Wellness & Holistics
The weekend is upon us – my gosh, seriously, where do the days go? Friday’s the day we usually start daydreaming of how to make this weekend a memory that lasts and my brain’s already on overdrive.
What plans are you thinking up right now? A night out with family and friends…entertaining guests in town…hosting or dining out on a savory meal? I gotta say…
I feel like Mountain Biking!
The last time I switched gears like that, I was 15 and was attending a summer camp program in Orr, Minnesota. That experience turned out to be the best six weeks of my teenage life! I remember biking up a boulder and winning the camp medal for being super fast and first to arrive back that day.
I never forgot that heavenly experience and want to relive it as an adult woman. I hear St. Croix has great trails, and you can’t go wrong with Colorado or any one of these other destinations. And when I can’t hop on a plane to take a vacay, I’m so happy to know my Austin has some great spots to hike and bike.
What’s been on your radar of things to do, places to go?
Indifference to someone’s ideas, thoughts, dreams, desires, concerns and fears can kill so much between cherished individuals.
When someone shows courage and speaks a deep desire, a wish, or they share a long-time or completely new dream with you, understand that THAT is an honor if you are on the receiving/listening end.
When someone trusts you enough to share something so close to their heart AND something they fear, keep in mind that by speaking up, they have just walked across a tight rope, then leaped over a self-imposed safety net that existed to keep them exactly where they are in life.
Do you remember how scary it felt to share a deep desire or a dream you had with another person?
We have to take great care with one another’s heart’s desires.
When someone speaks up and declares how they feel, what they want to change, and what they intend to do about it…know that they are taking the first crucial step of busting out of a box they have been comfortably sitting in for who knows how long.
Your thoughts become your reality, so by taking the faint whispers of your heart and putting them out in the open for another person to hear and know, you are declaring your desire to change the story you’ve been telling yourself and the world.
You are deciding to begin anew, to recreate yourself.
That someone, that dreamer, can be you.
If you are the one who is lucky enough to be on the listening end in that grand moment, YOU are a chosen one, you are the secondary ears and eyes for that potential vision, and if you care enough, you can play a role, a part in their success – you can be a co-creator of their happiness.
They have spoken ALOUD what many are afraid to admit – what they want, need, yearn for, fear.
I’ve been that dreamer speaking my desires and dreams aloud to certain individuals for a long time now and I have learned to decipher between those who care, those who don’t, and those who don’t KNOW how to care.
When I first embarked on my path to writing for the best city news magazine in Dallas, I was excited about simply getting my foot in the door and wanted to share how I was feeling with a friend. When I began talking about what I was doing at the office, my friend cut me off, flicked her hand and said, “Oh, you’re just fetching coffee for them there!” Talk about getting shot DOWN, huh?
Being as self-aware and emotionally driven as I am, those sorts of moments hit me deep, because I would never dream of doing that to a friend.
Every single one of us is a dreamer.
Not everyone of us is a doer, though.
That has nothing to do with ability, but about the choice to take action.
The dreaming for 2013 has already begun for so many…what are you ready to make happen?
Depending on how self-motivated you are, and especially who you surround yourself with, who you choose to hear you out when its dream-speaking time, is a big factor in going from dreamer to doer.
For that reason, it’s important to be attentive, be conscious, be considerate, be open, be available when someone chooses you.
There is a reason they have chosen you, and its not convenience.
Don’t be indifferent.
One day, it will be your turn to speak up. If you dare.
However well you listen can determine how well you will be heard when your time comes to share what’s in your heart.
Your dreams are fed by the amount of nurturing you do for another person’s dream mapping.
Don’t be indifferent.
Be willing to dream with them.
We are all in this together.
P.S. if you’re ready to embark on a quest to the masterpiece within you in 2013, take the first step and grab your copy of my book ‘Convivial’ – its one experiential read that can set you on your way to the creative, convivial life that awaits you.Tweet
- I was the new girl at the three elementary and high schools I attended.
- I stopped talking to my best friend in the 8th grade and found myself a loner at school.
- My neighbors announced they were moving back to Mexico–this was a family of five siblings I spent every day with outside of school. My summer was officially over.
- My family moved back to Texas and every friend I’d grown up with was left behind in Chicago. That included my boyfriend.
- I became a mother and while transitioning into that lifestyle, I found a new circle of friends, only to find myself turned off by their competitive mommy behavior and walked away.
- Moving to a new city with my family and feeling extremely happy, yet knowing I had to build new relationships for my children and myself again.
Change was my friend. I looked forward to it, embraced it, made the best of it.
I have one brother and he never had trouble getting in where he fit in. He made friends very quickly. But me, I was picky with my company, very selective and took my time getting to know people. My brother many times thought I was a snob because of that, and probably many other people thought so too, but I wanted deep connections, true friendships.
When I first moved to Dallas, I attended a football game with my parents, because my brother had been invited by his new friends. I was sitting in the stands next to my mother and my brother brought his new friends to meet us.
When they left, my mother looked over at me and asked, “Do you have any friends?”
Nonchalantly, I said, “No. Not yet.”
She asked, “Why not?”
I said, “I’ve not found any I like yet.”
End of that conversation.
Since changes are inevitable in life, it’s important to “diversify your identity”, as my entrepreneurial crush, Tim Ferriss once said. In order to roll with the punches that life will bring, you can’t allow who you are to get wrapped up into one area of your life. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs…you know the rest.
Your ideas, interests, career, relationships, mind and body will change throughout the years, but the one thing that is constant is…CHANGE! Yes, you get the prize. Be willing to embrace it, seek it out, and accept it when it is out of your control. There are lessons to be learned and insights and wisdom to be gained from every transition you go through.
It’s all for the purpose to build a stronger sense of who you are and your place in the world.
What have been some of your biggest takeaways in moments when it was time to start all over–whether it was moving to a new city, ending a relationship, switching career paths, etc? We could all gain some wisdom through your experience, so don’t hesitate to share it in the comments below.
As a mother of two boys, the wife of a messy husband (shh…don’t tell him I told you), and being a writer and entrepreneur in my soul who walks around with myriad thoughts and ideas jumping off the walls of my membrane, I work hard to keep order in my world. I can’t say I’m always successful.
As creatives, the meaning of “order” is different for each of us. Do you know what it means for you?
Way back when, I may have wondered about, or dare I say, judged someone for keeping a crazy space, but I’ve learned there’s more lurking beneath the surface than just laziness. It plays a part, but many times its more than that.
I’m reminded of when my brother was temporily living at my parent’s home as an adult. Back then, he was quite distant from family and didn’t want to mingle or talk much. I didn’t understand it at the time, but now I do.
He knew he was talented, smart, and (more…)Tweet
I’ve been living in Austin for four months now. My husband and I have been in the throws of looking for a house and we’re discovering so many areas and details about this town because of it.
If you ask me for the zip code of any area surrounding downtown Austin, I bet I can tell ya! I’ve driven all the neighborhoods and have determined the ones whose vibe seep deep into my soul.
I’ve flip flopped back and forth between wanting to raise my kids in the outskirts of the city (aka suburbs) and the inner city and I keep coming back to the city.
I grew up in Chicago and my husband grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, so we were used to seeing people walk up and down the streets, hang out on their front steps, play football in the street, wave to the police, wash our neighbors cars during spring break, play basketball at the neighborhood park, walk to the corner store, and so many more unforgettable memories.
I didn’t go to the most prestigious urban schools- my folks were hard-working people just doing their best to put food on the table and clothes on our backs- but I can tell you I got schooled by the exposure I had living in the city. I’ve got street smarts up the wazoo!
I cherish my upbringing and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Now that I’m a parent, I plan to enhance my children’s education by not only finding them great schools (it’s important to know what that really means for you), but also granting them exposure to city living, because there are myriad things to learn by simply living among all kinds of free-thinking individuals.
I am not going to be a parent who relies solely on the school system to educate my sons.
I don’t plan for my kids to live in a pristine neighborhood that resembles Pleasantville. Nothing against those areas, or the people who prefer to live there, but to me there’s so much more to life than having a well sculpted lawn, a nice car in the driveway, and a pretty box made of bricks to call home.
I want edgy, cultural, unexpected experiences. I want eclectic, progressive-thinking, out of the ordinary people surrounding my family.
I want people who know the value of investing in the community they live in (and I don’t mean just money, but time) and not just buying into one that is already established.
My mother is visiting me for the second time around and I have been pleasantly surprised to find out that the neighborhoods in the city that I fell for appeal to her too and remind her of her own upbringing.
I take that as a great sign that there’s something familiar pulsing beneath the trees and the streets of the city spots I keep coming back to.
I remember my days in Dallas when I was itching to experience other urban lands and my husband would (nay)say, “Change your thoughts; it’s not Dallas, it’s you.” Well, he couldn’t have been more right! It sure as hell was me and there was no avoiding my feeling.
Pay attention to the places that bring you to life. You will feel it the instant you set foot on the ground.
Some places just don’t get you and vice versa. You can change your thoughts all you want, but your gut (that spot near your hips) don’t lie.
It took me five years to follow my instinct to the place where I felt at home with myself. That feeling reaches deep within and is undeniable. The first week that I got to Austin, I felt this inner calm and felt no desire to be anywhere except the place where I was standing. It felt so good.
It sucks to live each day with the attitude of “Anywhere but here…”
Your life is all about venturing out and discovering where YOUR proper place is, which can be many places. Sadly, many well-meaning people who love you can get in the way of that if you let them. Be courageous and follow your bliss.
I’ve got five places that I can easily call my soul’s home- San Francisco, Chicago, Austin, San Miguel de Allende, and Florence, Italy. And I don’t mean to use pretty language when I say “soul’s home”…I literally mean it, because I felt it the moment I walked the streets of each distinct location.
Places can make a person just as much as a person makes the place.
Getting out every day to discover something new about Austin is what I’m living for these days.
Today I hiked a scenic point overlooking the Austin skyline with my mother and two boys. My oldest son, now 4 years old, led the way and feisty mama wasn’t too thrilled that she had to hike in sandals, but we worked it out!
Sometimes, life takes you away from the things you think you should be doing to give you the material and wisdom you need to do what you’re meant to do.
It’s all about surrendering to the direction your life wants to take you. Only you can steer that wheel. If you let someone else take control of it, who knows where you’ll end up.
Which risk do you want to take?
Transitioning from one place to another is never smooth or stress-free, but I am thankful I had the will and the courage to make the move…even if I had to do a good bit of ball-busting to get here.
Listen to what calls you and what haunts you, because there’s something magical and scary and exciting on the other end just waiting for you to take that first step towards living how and where you are meant to live.
With Mother’s Day this weekend, I’m getting a head start on the celebration by joining in the conversations that are bubbling to the surface online and in print about a beautiful, mysterious, golden handcuffs kind of experience called motherhood.
After a long day of taking care of my convivial clan, I snuck away for some late night reading.
I came across this article about the on-going debate over the so-called “controversial” cover photo of Time Magazine. Take a look:
Are you offended by the image? Is it too much for you? Or does it possibly bring back fond memories as it does for me?
First of all, controversial photo my ass. That image is not offensive. It’s a reality for many people (the attachment parenting fans). I’m not exactly one of them.
The purpose of the photo was to spark a debate and Time succeeded in getting it started.
Hello! Raising my hand to speak on the subject! Thank you for granting me the floor. Ahem…(clearing my throat and straightening imaginary collar) (more…)Tweet
I rented the movie We Bought a Zoo for my boys the other night, but I ended up watching the film solo since both little warriors knocked out on me.
There I sat watching the story of a newly widowed father and his two young children. They were trying to figure out how to go on with life after the death of their wife and mother.
I hadn’t seen any previews nor heard anyone rave about the film, so it really was just a casual grab at the good old Redbox near my home. (Psst…that’s exactly how the best and most memorable experiences of your life tend to begin.)
Come to think of it, I don’t know why I didn’t anticipate greatness knowing damn well Matt Damon would be starring in the movie.
The experience I took away from this work of art consisted of tears, major heart palpatations, more tears, and just an all around warm feeling in my body.
I couldn’t help thinking about Matt Damon, a husband and father himself in real life, and wondering what motivated him to take on this role.
We’re all used to him busting equations at Harvard, running from the adjustment bureau, or motivating soldiers in the green zone with one-liners like “Put your f*cking game face on.” I have a certain friend, very masculine in nature, who goes weak in the knees when he hears Matt Damon talk dirty like that.
But in this film, he was simply a man trying to figure out how to start over and starting over proved to be him learning to speak a tiger’s language. Talk about a true character actor.
There was so much about life weaved into this film:
the loss of a loved one,
not knowing where or how to begin again,
going where your heart leads you, as crazy as it may appear to others,
the importance of having stories of your own to share,
and really getting the chance to live and take on your own kind of adventure- one that suits you, that is right for you.
You’ll find many beautiful lessons about life, love, leading, taking risks, and letting go throughout the movie.
I felt moved to tears numerous times and highly recommend you watch the film.
I leave you with music by Jónsi from We Bought A Zoo, performing (click below)
The music is the next best thing about the movie! Just listening to it again brings tears. Enjoy!Tweet
I’m at Starbucks trying to uncover the gems I seek for what will eventually become chapters of the convivial book I am writing.
I won’t pretend to be fearless. It scares me to say that I’m writing a book. Such a daunting task for a busy mama, but its what I desire.
I refuse to believe in the impossibility of my dreams.
It’s so easy to just exist, to get by, but defiantly creative spirits won’t let up and don’t get comfortable, so day by day, I take steps to be resourceful, to connect with people who can guide and be part of making this book a reality.
Declaring what you want to the world takes cojones and holds you accountable.
Once you make your dream known, you have a choice to follow through or disappoint…yourself. After all, that’s who you’re creating for, right? If that isn’t the focus, then forget it. Your art is not about anyone else but you. By being true to you, to your art, that’s how you serve others.
And the world- upon hearing your dream- now has the choice to believe you, (eagerly) watch you fail, or become part of the process. Ask for help. Show up for the unknown.
Failure is inevitable, a gift, something to embrace.
In Seth Godin’s book, Tribes, he says, “You’ve got to be willing to be wrong in order to be right all the other times in your life..” Words like that fire me up and make me want to go make a writing fool of myself…in private. If I show up and do the work, I’ll eventually clear the junk and find my treasure.
That’s how art and the process of creating it works. It’s hard to see the initial results of your labor, but if you keep faith behind your efforts, you’ll get to the good stuff.
I am in the beginning stages of this book project. Unfortunately, writing for me can’t begin until after 8pm each night, and I can’t always dedicate every day to creating a new sentence for the book, the blog, or simply for me, because family life takes first place, and many nights, my body fails me. My boys take a lot of my energy throughout the day, and even though I’ve got passion for this convivial empire brewing and bubbling beneath the surface, sometimes I just don’t have enough energy to keep going.
This is me, the convivial mama in action.
I’ve learned very quickly, and painfully, that you are nothing without your body. You must take care of it.
I used to stay up late into the night writing, researching, creating plans with my muse, but those days seem long gone. Nowadays, my body seems to crash around 3pm and I’ve not even done anything! It’s frustrating since the lack of energy cuts into my creative time. Scoliosis and a 34 degree curve in my lower back are the big culprits. I’m working to get that driving force of energy back. My next holistic move to heal myself is Cranio-sacral massage. I’ve been wanting to try it for years now. Intuition’s leading me there and I’m finally listening.
For now, I take it day by day. I avoid comparing myself to others who are birthing one creative project after another, because I know my story is not their story, and my path is my own. Being gentle with yourself is essential to pushing through the slow times, the times when you’re full of creative ideas, yet seemingly stagnant. It’s like you’re standing idle, in some imaginary, never-ending line, waiting for your turn to come.
This is every artist’s struggle: making the time and having the energy to create.
You get knocked down, find discouragement almost anywhere, at times lack clarity of vision, struggle with self-acceptance and self-belief, yet you keep at it, keep believing in what you are compelled to do, because that is what convivial minds who are artistically committed do.
Sometimes I don’t know why I feel the need to show up for the blank page and write my journey, sometimes I am not sure what difference it all is making, but I do it anyway, because I don’t know how NOT to write what I feel, what I believe, desire and dream. Some of it I share here, some I keep just for me, but I know one day, it will all come together. One day…this I believe.
Wishing you the best health for your next creation,Tweet
After the dip, there’s only one way to go and that is up.
Taking a trip back to my hometown of Chicago, the place where I spent the most influential years of my life, proved to be a great way to bring me back to the core of who I am after I’d experienced a dip in my own life.
During my time there, my hubby grabbed us some wheels at Bobby’s Bike Hike and we biked from Navy Pier along the lakeshore to Fullerton avenue to Clark street to Wrigley Field and all the way back down Clark to the Willis Tower! If you’re a local, you’ll know how much distance we covered! If not, I’m gonna guess we did about 15-20 miles.
I gathered with my old neighborhood pals, friends with whom I kept the Sabbath day holy (back in my parentally-imposed religious days), and with grammar school chums.
Among other typical tourist spots, we also (more…)Tweet
“People will forget what you say, what you do, but they never forget how you made them feel.”
Rejection…being judged…it happens to us all.
I’ve certainly had my fair share of rejection. Like these moments in particular…
I’m in New York at a conference that promotes authenticity, love, and support for your fellow woman in business. After the first night’s activities, I get invited to have dinner with some women whose work I love and support, then (more…)Tweet
Hey Convivial world of mine!
It’s been 3 months and I’m back. At least, I think it’s been that long since I last felt my true self.
Confession: I think I experienced depression for the first time.
I actually googled the symptoms and had many of them. Fatigued. Check. Hard time getting out of bed to face the day. Check. Preferred extreme isolation to socialization. Yup. Lack of focus and clarity. Writers block. A sense of hopelessness. All there in the imaginary dark room with me.
Having the sudden blues from one moment to the next. Oh yeah. Not being able to tear myself away from episode after episode of Mob Wives and Basketball Wives. Yikes! One could argue and say I was doing “research” to better understand the dynamics of female relationships, but I’m not one to shit ya…THAT’S when I knew something was seriously wrong!
I’m a full-time mama who is committed to nurturing her individuality, the writer in her, and building a convivial brand of her own
BUT I do the writing and empire building once my little bambinos hit the hay. It’s not always an easy feat, it can get overwhelming, and all three adventures (mama, writer, entrepreneur) take a ton of practice and patience.
Word to ya muthas: There’s no place like the home we make and no such thing as “life balance.” Don’t quote me on that, I’m just living it. I continue to juggle and drop occasional balls, but the key is learning to pick up your delicate heart along with all the balls and keep juggling. My own lessons continue and I just want to be brave enough to write about them here.
The Scoop on how things went down…low. (more…)Tweet
I’m lucky enough to have friends I can look in the face and with whom I can be completely honest.
I’m the kind of personality that doesn’t want to condition people to simply tell me what they think I want to hear.
I want the truth. Even if sometimes it’s not pretty.
For that reason, I use to think that being completely honest with someone, even if what I was saying was hard to handle, was showing that person respect, but not everyone is on the same wavelength. What I continually learn through experience is to
know when to share the truth and when to simply offer love.
I don’t always get it right every time, but my intention is there.
In today’s video, (yes, I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted a video!) I talk with my dear friend, Nina about this whole business of speaking your truth and letting people know where you stand- politely, of course. We’re all continually evolving and learning, so I hope our discussion serves you well and I encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences on the subject!
We all learn from one another if we’re willing to share.
NOTE: There is a lot of background noise which I tried to minimize with iMovie, but that would’ve minimized our voices too, so please forgive my lack of film editing skills and the background noise and try to focus on us! I’ll get better with time and practice.
P.S. Gotta love those screen shot expressions lol