The photo above has nothing to do with the content below. I just really like Fritz, and think that everyone should enjoy his sweet face.
I've been thinking.
One of the things I've deeply learned about myself in the past year of self/fun-employment is that I don't have the same urgency of accountability towards me as I do towards others. I like myself, I really do. Probably more than the average person with the ways that I enjoy holding my own hand or winking at myself in mirrors. I continue to build confidence each day that my life purpose is truly unfolding before me, and was just telling B how stupidly happy I feel right now despite the many unknowns.
But when it comes to doing my goals-based...well...to-do's...I tend to hang out in the right lane. I'm extremely grateful for this time of serious introspection and creative wandering as it has helped me to become more and more clear on my desire for a slowed down pace of much meaningful, ordinary. Yet, quite frankly, this energy is not exactly conducive to the hustle speed of building + growing a business...which I really do love!
I feel a bit torn by this. Craving slow, but needing to move "fast". Makes me want to take a nap, and that doesn't usually get me much further in the process (despite being a delicious gift to self!). I am an excellent "be-er" and an inconsistent "do-er".
As a coach, I recognize this is likely a space where I need support; a space where I need to let myself be vulnerable and ask for help in steering me more towards the left lane to help my heartfelt goals find more light and love from me. Or, to at least keep me on a curious path to uncover what feels like the next right step.
In short, more movement is necessary.
This is where you come in.
You are really wonderful. And for you, I can be more accountable. As I continue to commit my time to responding to your emails, I can see this truth. I can be more accountable for sitting down to write, sharing coaching insights, and telling tales for you. To lean into my life purpose statement of being the Storyteller who Encourages, Enlightens and Entertains.
Which is why I've decided to create monthly Grateful Life Letters: from my heart, to your inbox!
A mix of blog posts + all things spirits lifting :)
Here's the kind of thing you can expect from TGL Letters:
So here's my humble ask: Will you subscribe to my letters, here? (Or share with someone else who may be interested?) <--that's a vulnerable ask for me, can you tell?
And, will you let me know what kind of letters feel really good to receive, so that I can create, curate, design, and grow something of meaning with you?
And, as always, very grateful...
I practically fist pumped and high-fived myself when I saw how Book Passages in the Ferry Building (my most favorite SF landmark) labeled the traditionally classified "self-help" section:
...thank gosh, amirite?
"Self Help" has such a cliche vibe to it now. People are (unnecessarily) embarrassed to be seen in the "Self Help" section. "Self Help" sends out this false image of a single, over weight woman with her 22 crying cats sitting on her couch watching Lifetime movie marathons and waiting for Prince Charming to come along & fill the void she pretends doesn't hurt with the help of her "Self Help" book stack....
Sorry. Got ahead of myself.
Introspection is so much more accurate.
Everyone can...should...get behind that.
I know it's where you can find me :)
It was very overdue, this visit. To leave the city and spend a few nights with sweet Honey, in the woods.
Honey is wild and smart and accomplished in both traditional and uncommon ways. She is all things natural, and healing, somehow managing to be both warm & cool with the ways in which she welcomes you in and calms you immediately. Lighting you up, and bringing you to your center.
Honey is compassionately introspective and a juicy, succulent kind of hokey that I am so drawn to.
She is hiking; a quick, uphill pace or a slow, wandering stroll -- it's your choice, your body to move and stretch. Your bones to creak awake in rhythm with your breath.
Cabinets of natural products meant to aid the body and not harm the earth. Deep, fresh air filled lungs and glasses of good wine. Red wine. Whisky while snuggled by a fire or under layers of blankets while watching a movie. Swapping story after story, listening and connecting. Talking so much, so openly, the dog starts to feel neglected; just a couple of hens squawking to him. Talking about god, directly or abstractly. Wanting more of god.
Trinkets around the home representing a beautiful and eclectic energy: witchy, wild, magic memories or wishes. Prayers for things yet to be, and tokens of gratitude for everything there is now.
Curiously watching the world while openly participating in its most generous, vulnerable offerings.
She is she. She is so very she. A shifting energy of multi-faceted womanhood: Barefooted, unpretentious, explorer, home body. Amusingly, endearingly ferrel. I read an article recently in which a tribe of native women refused to wear donated shoes because, as one woman explained, she could not "see" with them on. This resonated so deeply with me, as a person who could never quite explain her deep desire to be barefoot year round, and hatred of socks, even in winter. Honey understands this, too.
Introvert/extrovert...depending on what the soul requires. Listening to the soul to choose each day.
I wish to bottle her womanly energy and spritz myself when (always) I need to be found again. To emotionally wrap myself in her cashmere blanket, smelling the earth's heavenly scents trickle through an open window. To be given permission to howl at the moon or hum a made up song for the sake of feeling the vibrations in my throat.
To be given permission, in general.
I love my visits with sweet Honey, in the woods. I feel so much more like me again.
One of my biggest challenges these days is that I feel like I'm going through the motions of life, but almost too exhausted to actually experience it.
...Since I don't have children and my life has been very similar over the past several years, it's hard to feel like I've accomplished anything. I'm left with the feeling that I thought I would be so much further along in life (whatever that means). Having nothing to do with death...how do you measure what you've done in life if you don't have milestone markers like marriage and children??
Thank you for asking this very important question.
I would like to start by telling you that of the last 25+ emails I have received through TGL, more than half contain messages with a similar theme. These messages are from people just like you and me, and are varied, unique, vulnerable and raw in their specifics. But they all basically wonder the same thing.
I love these messages.
You see, the issue of "existing" vs. really living is something that has come up a lot lately, in both my work with clients as well as personal relationships. It’s important for me to remind you that you are not alone, and point out you've also already started a crucial part of this next process in posing an important question to yourself: "I thought I would be further along in life...whatever that means".
I also desperately need to ask you: What life script are you referring to? You know -- the one outlining marriage and children and other acceptable milestone markers? Where did you get it, and, more importantly, may I borrow your copy? Because, somehow or another, I seem to have been overlooked during the delivery of these. Or maybe I just misplaced mine very early on, since, as B likes to remind me, I tend to lose a lot of things. And truly, I would love to have this script in hand for future reference in all decision making so that I can really nail it next time, A+ style. It's been a little rocky living in improv, and it sounds nice to be directed for once....
I kid, of course.
But worry this is a pandemic level of emotional struggle; this losing sleep over a script to life that most certainly cannot exist.
Now, I say these next few things knowing that I actually don’t know if you want or wanted marriage and children. If there have been painful circumstances that have denied these desires for you, I’m truly sorry. I recognize that these can be deeply rewarding soul-cravings. So I cannot say with any confidence that my words will begin to heal you of those potentially missing pieces. What I can say, however, is that they are also in no way, shape, or form, the only possible markers of a well lived life.
Listen, I'm going to be very blunt about this, but please know that my tone is dripping with compassion: What is the price you are paying, and for what, exactly? It sounds to me like exhaustion is no longer working, if it has ever worked for you. It sounds to me like your spirit is clawing at you to find meaning in something that fits precisely with who you are, and clawing in a manner that feels as though a clock is ticking. It’s that serious. And so you keep racing -- away from this, or frantically towards that -- whatever this&that may be at any given moment. And most of all it sounds to me as though your breath has been labored, not from deep, nourishing inhales of mindful presence, but from holding it in until your being can be recognized as an authentic life, fully lived.
Like my beloved Whitney Houston once sang -- you're waiting to exhale, baby.
I can relate. There was a not so distant time in my life that felt extremely difficult to breathe in. I watched my friends and acquaintances begin to settle into what I perceived to be their truths around me -- parenthood, careers, marriages, home ownerships, etc. Lots of those acceptable milestone measurements. Meanwhile, I was divorcing and job searching and pinching pennies. I distinctly remember looking around one particularly tough day and thinking “I am far too old, to have so much nothing.”
Of course, this was not my real truth. But it’s very hard to know that, when you are waiting to exhale.
I also remember an old, very accomplished friend once telling me that he did not feel he had anything to be proud of in life. His multiple degrees, lengthy world travels, successful career advancements were all technically things, he reckoned, “anyone could do”...so they didn’t seem like things to feel pride in. He was not a negative person. He was simply quite sure he had not yet found the magic place where being & doing energies meet, that felt most authentic to him, to the extent he could be proud of his life for himself. Not others, or a script, or a checklist. But really for himself. This stuck with me for years after I last saw him, and occasionally still makes me pause on my journey as I take next steps.
So what was I, or him, or you actually missing?
More specifically, D: What does a life fully lived mean to you? How do you want to feel while living this full life?
Where are you saying "yes" when you actually want to scream "f*ck no!" ... Where are you saying no, when you so desperately wish to cheer "f*ck yes!"?
What's the big fear here? What is the scariest shit you can think of happening, if you don't hit those scripted, check-box milestones; all while trading in being extremely present with who you are to others and self, for mere existing exhaustion?
What is the fear in slowing down long enough to gently, curiously, consider “whatever that means?”
There is a really great line at the beginning of The Artist’s Way where the author, Julia Cameron, speaks on the common fear of time + goals + oh god it’s too late for me: “But do you know how old I will be by the time I learn to really play the piano / act / paint / write a decent play?’ Yes . . . the same age you will be if you don't.”
Milestones are not a place of satisfaction to arrive at, once and for all, to signify you’re done and happy now, so hallelujah, pour mama a drink! Set that goal for yourself, and be prepared to always be at least a little disappointed. They are part of life in motion, because life is just fluid, shifting energies. They are reflecting back on all of the times you joyfully belly laughed with people who really see you. And on times of great loss, too, that remind you of your humanity and your sensitive heart. It is a living, breathing, brutal but worthy practice that never ends.
So I say this to you: start being lovingly curious while you exhale.
And maybe, throw out the script.
Make origami swans from its pages, I don’t really care.
Whomever wrote it was drunk or mental or Republican, anyway. I’m sure of it.
D, you already are further along in life. Every passing year you stand on this earth is proof of this.
It’s just up to you how you choose to be fully present in your practice, how you wish to deeply experience it, and with what perspective you look back: from a place of lack, or abundance? With gratitude, or regret?
If the motions of life are no longer serving you, then honey -- I beg you -- change the rhythm. This power, and permission, has not left. Your truth is waiting.
All my love,
These photos don't need much of an introduction other than to say I went with cousin Meggie to the San Rafael pet adoption fair over the weekend, and it was cuteness overload.
Figured I'd share in case your Monday needed a little bit of cute, too :)
I tried once again to use my DSLR, but this spread has a few iPhone snaps as well. I mainly wanted to kiss & cuddle the dogs, so photo taking just wasn't my priority!
Meg & Jonny found a new bubby to take home while we were there! It's her birthday this week (HBD, Meggie!) so Jonny gets quite a few fiance points for this gift.
Internet, meet Fritz. (Or Mr. Fritz, as I like to call him, since we are still getting acquainted). This little doxiepoo is only 3 months old and already a hit with the ladies.
He is delicious and ... as an older woman once said to B as a compliment on his looks (no joke)... "crispy". Yes, crispy is my new favorite term for delicious things like B and Fritz.
Oh mylanta, amirite?
Another win for adoption!
“...eventually tides will be the only calendar you believe in…
Happy Monday, Grateful Lifers!
B's parents flew out to visit with us this past weekend, a first for them, so I thought I'd share a couple of my favorite snaps from our time together. I feel grateful that they have been so kind and welcoming to me since day one -- it was a true pleasure (and fun!) to host them, and I know not everyone can say the same about their significant other's families.
One of B's extremely generous clients gifted us with his to live for gorgeous home in wine country for two nights. It was the perfect way for B to catch up with his family outside of the city hustle, and for us to relax under the remaining few weeks of summer sun. I took full advantage of their lovely pool to re-connect with my mermaid roots. We are so thankful for their hospitality and hope to visit again sometime! (hint hint, Brandon, make sure you keep up the good training work!!)
Another highlight was certainly getting to stomp grapes Lucy & Ethel style at Grgich Hills Estate, though admittedly if we hadn't also been given a t-shirt to put our red foot prints on, $30 would have felt like a bit of a waste. As you'll see by my delicate expression, it mildly grossed me out at first. Gosh, I am such a catch. At least we can officially check that off the California bucket list :)
This is a mix of iPhone & DSLR shots, since I am still figuring out when it is most appropriate to use which. And by that I mean I am still trying to muster up the energy to lug around my big camera more often vs. the ease & convenience of just whipping out the ol' cell.
I hope everyone else had an enjoyable weekend as well, and that October is off to a beautiful start!
More essay responses to my amazing readers are in the works, by the way. Thank you for continuing to stick with me on those...