Thank you

Thank you.

I am thankful for the silly dog, Winston that is a little demon but makes me smile and love more.

I am thankful for all of the times my heart has exploded and gotten bigger and grown more capacity to love. I was so in love with my first child, it didn’t seem that my heart could have any more love because it was all going to her. Then I had #2 and BOOM! My heart exploded and grew a million times bigger with more love capacity. Each time I had another child, got a new animal, or made a new friend love connection, my heart has grown and I can feel it growing again. I am thankful for being open to growing in love.

I was at the farm last night working alone for awhile. I love that pine tree farm. I love that Wash lets us use her property to build our sacred women’s space. I am thankful for the farm.

I am thankful for the organization and disorganization of the forest. The rows are so carefully planned and aligned until….they just AREN’T. There are random trees in the middle of rows. There are different species of trees. There is diversity even within such careful planning and work. I am thankful for the beauty and the diversity and the opportunity to spend time with Mother so closely. I saw a blue bird this weekend. Beautiful blue birds. #findingthejuicy #mfryearofthemother2019 #sistertimeinthepines

We finished up the end wall of She-Shed. It was a small and intimate work group today. We were quiet and efficient. We got it done. #thankful #progress #babysteps #everybitcount

Last night, I slept in Moldy. I have known that the bedroom skylight was leaking but I was unsure of the severity. During the rainstorm last night, all was revealed. The roof leaks A LOT!

I was woken to a puddle next to me in the bed. I kept thinking that I could roll a little bit more over and that the water would run away from me. Yeah, well, it all soaked through and my night was soggy and not very restful.

I hope you will understand the brevity of the blog but also remember how important just writing something down is, especially when it is a moment or ten for gratitude.

I am thankful. I am thankful for my MFR crew. I am thankful for MFR. I am thankful for my committee. I am thankful for my partner and mentor. I am thankful for my loving friends. I am thankful for my amazing children. I am thankful for my MFR framily. I am thankful.

#bethankful #iloveyou

Bluebird song enters your life when you begin giving up your happiness for something or someone else. He reminds you that you need not loose joy in the process of achieving a goal.
Overall Bluebird Spirit comes with good news. He prepares you for what’s ahead. Once that boon arrives, Bluebird says, “share the wealth.” Spread that joy all around and see what wonders it produces.
When Bluebird frequently appears in your meditations, consider if you have taken time to appreciate the little things in life. It’s easy to recognize BIG blessings, but sometimes we overlook others that can fill our moments with laughter and good cheer. Stop and look at nature – the glory of an autumn leaf or spring flower. It’s good Spiritual therapy!
Another message from Bluebird may be that you don’t realize you are admired. Bluebird has been immortalized in stories, poems, and songs about hope and love. There is something in you that naturally radiates those positive feelings. People appreciate that, so celebrate that aspect of your personality.
If you are stepping into a new chapter in your life, Bluebird may arrive to help with just that. There are decisions we must make, and steps to take when our lives hit transition. Bluebird is your guide to making those so that the end result leads to long-term contentment.

https://whatismyspiritanimal.com/spirit-totem-power-animal-meanings/birds/bluebird-symbolism-meaning/

Clearing paths to the light

Several years ago, we decided to have a womyn’s music festival on 80 acres of pine tree farm in Wayland, MI. The pine tree farm is owned by a lovely friend. She gifted us the (almost) unlimited use of her property.

Her home sits in one corner of the 80 acres. Her rental home sits close to the road next to hers. The rest of the property is divided into 20 acres portions. Where her home is one twenty acre plot. Then her rental home has another 20 acre plot. The field is 20 acres. The next pine portion is another 20 acres. Roughly.

When we first got the property to use, we spent a lot of time riding the trails finding the paths. I thought it was really important to find the paths. Or rather the paths would find me. While everyone was very familiar with the paths and the lanes and the routes and the trails at Michfest in Hart. We were creating a brand new space. Creating from all of the beautiful chaos of the trees, scrub, overgrowth, poison ivy, and rot, a new and fresh festival space. This was going to be a space that we got to define (and now we are refining!).

I drove the paths.

I crashed through the paths.

I crashed my golf cart through trees like it was a four wheel drive gator. I crashed through scrub and brush and just kept going. My passenger and I would always come home with some tree and whip marks on our arms or faces from crashing through and letting the paths find me.

My passengers were not always happy with me. But we had so many hard belly, almost pee your pants laughs out in the woods, finding the trails. And I broke a lot of golf carts. I pissed off the mechanics. But I still kept doing it because I loved those trails. They were calling to me and I only had that vehicle. The trails made me do it.

We raced our golf carts and found the name of Tata Trail! When making a quick turn at the end of the path to finalize my amazing victory over Venice in the next row over in her golf cart a dear sweet sister (we miss you Marcia!) almost got flung out of my cart. I saved her by grabbing her and hanging on tight to her right in the tata area!!! Lo and behold, Tata Trail!

I learned a lot in those paths. Patience to find and clear the path were not easy. There were so many thorns. There were so much wood to cut, chip, move, stack, haul, burn, so much freaking wood.

There was also a lot of pain. There was pain between me and my partner. We were so stressed and so ill equipped to handle and manage our stress, our business, our relationship, creation of a space, and production of a festival. It was a fuck ton of pain. We still are working on healing from those hurts.

There were a lot of lessons. I learned humility that year of clearing paths. I learned perseverance in that endless pursuit of clearing a path to a brighter way with clarity. I learned to forgive. I learned to ask for help. I learned.

All of those lessons continue in 2019, Year of the Mother. I will continue to pursue clearing a stronger and more clear path, just another way of saying work smarter not harder. But that first year of shaping and creating the space were the hardest and the most painful. Now the space is created and we can hold and shape the space. We can make it prettier. We can make it smoother. We can find newer and more efficient ways to do it. And we are. Personally and professionally, things are getting better, smoother, more refined, and beautiful.

It took the major overhaul and cutting to get to the inner beauty. It was worth in the woods and it’s worth it in me. I have done some many “cutting and clearing” in myself, finding new ways to manage stress, anger, and conflict resolution while at the same time learning and improving my hard skills such as using power tools, doing maintenance, and cleaning up after a job. I am happy to be always improving and striving to be more skilled and diversified.

BE the Hummingbird!

Yesterday, I might have been feeling sad and rejected. I reminded myself to fall in love with myself and love me up the way I want to be loved.I went to flowerland and bought a fuchsia for myself and my mother. It’s a 20 year tradition that I give my mother a fuchsia on Mother’s Day. Now I am blessed to work very close to Flowerland and was able to pick up a beautiful Fuchsia. I love them because the hummingbirds love them. I love hummingbirds!I often refer to myself as a hummingbird, flitting around, taking what is sweet, moving on to the next juicy part of life, able to fly forwards and backwards, able to hover in one place while generating exquisite amounts of energy.

I did a search on the meaning of hummingbirds and it was really quite deep. I will choose two to meditate on…

Hummingbirds are also a symbol of tenacity and endurance in the pursuit of our dreams because some hummingbirds are known to travel up to 2000 miles to reach their destination.

https://wootandhammy.com/blogs/news/hummingbird-meaning-what-does-a-hummingbird-symbolize-spirit-animal-meaning

If nothing else, I believe that I am incredibly tenacious and can endure. I have come to believe that not all things last forever, good or bad, everything comes to end. Good feelings end (but then they can restart!) and bad feelings end. Also, any situation has the possibility to change and improve. I think that it makes it easier to stick to something when I remember the “why” of what I am doing. It’s hard to work all the time. When my feelings or attitude are not in alignment with my why, I get discouraged and frustrated in the pursuit of my goals. I get tired easier and I don’t feel like going to work weekends or working all weekend. But my spirit is tenacious and enduring. I quickly can remember what I want to accomplish.

I am tenacious and enduring.

Hummingbirds, in their seemingly carefree and happy flight, remind us to live in the moment and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Also, because they often seem to appear out of nowhere, they remind us that joy is unpredictable and can often be just around the corner.

https://wootandhammy.com/blogs/news/hummingbird-meaning-what-does-a-hummingbird-symbolize-spirit-animal-meaning

I love this. Live in the moment and enjoy life’s simple pleasures….sounds a lot like #findingthejuicy to me. I will continue to search for and FIND the juicy in everything I endeavor. Life can be hard. Or life can be juicy. I choose juicy. Regardless of the situation, I want to find the juicy in it. If it’s a hard time, I will look for the lesson. If it is a sexy situation, um well, duh! If it’s an uncomfortable situation, again, I will look for the lesson. If it is a confrontation, I will look at my part in it. If it is a wonderful time, I will easily find my gratitude and juicy. I will keep being the hummingbird and hope my nose will come out with juicy nectar. #alwaystheoptimist

Furthermore, because of their unique ability to fly backwards, sideways and hover up and down, they remind us to stay adaptable and to accept the reality of change with a happy heart.

https://wootandhammy.com/blogs/news/hummingbird-meaning-what-does-a-hummingbird-symbolize-spirit-animal-meaning

Resilience

Do not have expectations that are tied to the outcome

going with the flow

let it be

what will be will be

it is what it is

Having a more calm and accepting attitude will keep me peaceful. Not only will it keep me peaceful, it will protect me from future stressors by building resilience. I know that when I have expectations and they are tied to an emotion then I get disappointed. Being able to adjust and adapt promotes resilience which makes me stronger emotionally AND physically. I will increase my cognitive reserves so when there really is stress that requires my fortitude, I will have some stockpiled. #bankingthefeelgoods

Words words words and the words behind the words

Communication is the key. The key to what? I think it might be the key to happiness, joy, peace, community, and so many other things that need to be built.

Without clear communication, people on both sides are confused. Communication is not just a one way street. It involves two or more people giving and taking. It involves the speaker and the receiver. Both have their own obstacles to overcome and work through to understand what is being spoken and what is actually received.

What is the impact if the message is delivered with hostility? What if the message is delivered with not enough words? What if the message is received with hostility because of the story that the receiver is telling herself? Each one of us comes with a story that clouds the messages we send and the messages we receive. It’s important to remember the purpose of the exchange: to share information, to teach, to change minds, to prove someone wrong, to build connection, what is your purpose? That will drive the intention and keep the flow centered on the impact.

If I am working super hard and I feel like others around me are not working as hard, I might be rerunning an old “tape” in which I am feeling unappreciated and overworked. I might snap at others to get with the program or direct them to get to work or something else. Depending on my level of frustration or the stories I have in me, that message might come across as super bitchy or mean.

If I am working with someone and I have just experienced a big loss emotionally, my head might not be in the game. I mgith be thinkinga bout myself and not working as hard as I usually do. When my coworker snaps at me to get into the game and get to work, I can feel very attacked, even if they are not “bitching” or “barking” at me, if I already have a story going on that I am not good enough (the story that I am telling myself since I just experienced an emotional loss), I will feel attacked even if there is not an attack going on.

As I have worked through many things in life, I have learned more and more about communication. I have learned that I am not perfect at it. I have learned that even when I think it is perfectly obvious what my intention is, it can still be misinterpreted or not received with my original intention. My IMPACT does not match my intent.

I have learned that teenagers and butches speak their own language. I have learned that it is harder to communicate when both sides do not have the same terminology or understanding of the vocabulary.

I have learned that listening is hard when you are forming your reply and your rebuttal even while someone is still speaking. I have learned that it is not okay to personally attack or call names.

I have learned some of my triggers. I have asked questions of myself when I feel myself triggered. I have questioned my stories. I have worked on my tone and delivery. I have reassessed, reevaluated, and asked more questions. I will keep asking more questions.

I have learned that I can suck at communicating. I have also learned that I can be a great communicator. I have learned by fucking up and I have learned by staying open. I have learned to keep asking questions.

What is my part? What is my story? What can I do differently? What is my intent? What is/was my impact? What is my hope? What did I accomplish? is my ego involved? What is my part? What can I do differently? Can my tone, content, body language, and message be improved? of course. Of course.

In my new role, my communication skills are going to be challenged and will continue to evolve and improve. Of course my skills are going to improve because I am going to practice them. You get proficient at what you practice. I am working on developing plans for various nursing education groups. It will help me focus my teaching and practice my teaching.

Teaching a group will require to gauge the level of comprehension of the various students. One size does not fit all. I cannot talk to each person the same way. While all deserve to be spoke to with kindness, compassion, and respect, not all will receive the information the same. It is my responsibility to determine the best way to communicate with various levels of understanding and mental illness.

It’s a balancing act trying to find the best way to communicate. I mess up a lot. I get it right a lot too. It hurts me when I communicate in a way that isn’t received in the spirit of my intention. I used to get butt hurt about it. Now I realize that it is my responsibility to clarify intention and impact. It is my responsibility to be kind, compassionate, and truthful. It is not all of my responsibility if the message is misinterpreted. It is also the receiver’s responsibility to clarify their story (ask questions), clarify the intent, clarify the actual message, and ask questions.

Communication is a two way street with many potential road blocks and obstacles. It can work but sometimes it gets slippery and dangerous. Other times, there is a connection and an understanding and a willingness to be open and understanding that allows free flowing communication with good feelings and mutual understanding.

It’s not easy but it’s worth it for improved well being. Blocking communication or suppressing it is not healthy.

Thirsty Thursday!!

Or thankful Thursday. If I am grateful, all those things that I am thirsty for will reveal and be manifested. If I can think it, I can touch it.

I had another wonderful day at my new home. I am so thankful I made the choice I made. I am a good fit there. I am enjoying getting to know the residents and the staff. I am enjoying sharing space with someone. I even like having another person join us in our little office. It’s cozy but really nice working side by side with other folks, having the opportunity to bounce ideas, listen and learn from them, and just have the interaction of close coworkers. I love it and am so thankful.

It also makes me “thirsty”, by that I mean, that it is leading to inspired thinking about my future goals and mission. Each one of my previous jobs has lead to even greater opportunity. This new place will be exactly the same. I will get thirsty and seize the day and hopefully make the place better for me being in it.

This position has opportunity to feed my soul. I do believe that I can make a difference in someone’s life. I think that if I pay attention and learn and develop relationships, I will make a difference in someone living at their best. I can be the difference in collaboration with the rest of the team. I don’t have to save the world alone. I can be part of that bigger picture and help someone become more independent. I can motivate and inspire someone to have a healthier life. I love that. And it makes me want more.

I want to learn more. I want to be more. I want to blossom and get even juicier. I love it. I love feeling excited and being happy about what I am doing.

I am reading Vishen Liakhani’s book, Code of the Extraordinary Mind. It speaks about Blissipline, the practice of finding bliss and happiness. He shares that to be happy it is important to find the balance of living in the now and being grateful for the life we have while also keeping an eye on your future and your vision. While it is important to have goals, we should not tie our happiness to the achievement of our goals but be happy now and we will more quickly achieve our goals. Being happy makes us more productive. Being happy makes us more efficient, smarter, and HAPPIER. #findingthejuicy

I’m really thankful for making the choices I have been making. I am happier and know that my life is growing and becoming juicier with every day. Each time I choose my life by choosing my actions and behaviors and not letting my emotions rule my attitude and behavior, I get happier. I”m happy. That feels pretty damn good. #aboutdamntime #dingdingding #livingmybestlife

Totally unrelated but still equally wonderful is I am at the farm right now. Chilling by myself, wishing I had bad snacks but I’ll be all right. I pulled out my yoga mat and did yoga sitting outside Moldy. I should have went out and worked in the workshop areas but I visited my friend Wash for a minute, listened to her talk about her friend, saw a deer by her pond, then came back and unloaded my car. I am blessed to be able to stay here and not have to drive in an hour in the morning. YAY!

Finding my juicy

I have continued to use that hashtag because it is still something I am striving for in my life. I still want to find everything that I do and experience “juicy”, life-affirming, joyous, wonderful, insightful, rich, tasty, JUICY.

Yet I haven’t been consciously searching for my juicy. I have been thankful. I haven’t lost my sense of gratitude but I want to infuse my life with #findingthejuicy again. I want to feel and experience the juicy and be grateful for this most spectacular life that I have.

Best and quickest way to get to the juicy is to live in gratitude. Of course, my persnickety ass gets annoyed when someone says to be to have some gratitude for my blessings, it pisses me off. Well it annoys me. I want to argue. Let’s be real, I do argue…blah blah blah, you just don’t understand MY situation, you don’t understand how hard my life is, you don’t understand. Yeah, they probably didn’t hear my whole situation. I wasn’t given or I didn’t take the opportunity to tell about all of my woes and the things I am upset about.

Or maybe they did listen. Maybe I got a chance to rant about the injustices, the bullshit, the rotten treatment, or how my situation just sucks ass. Maybe my friend stopped trying to remind me that feelings pass. I wasn’t ready to listen. Maybe my friend didn’t take the time or energy to remind me of the hard lessons I had been working on: it’s not all about me, feelings pass, gratitude changes the attitude. Maybe I just wouldn’t listen. Maybe I couldn’t hear. Maybe I just wanted to stay mad. Or sad. Or pissed. Or whatever that negative emotion was that I was feeling, maybe that feeling fed something in me that being happy didn’t feed.

I think too many times, I WANTED to stay unhappy. I chose to stay mad. I chose to be pissed. I chose to stay in my head, feeding the stinking thinking, feeding my bad feeling, feeding the monster that was keeping me from my juicy (yeah, that would be ME). I got some sort of pay off for these negative feelings. It reinforced my beliefs that I didn’t deserve happiness. It strengthened the stories of not being enough, this is what I deserve, I don’t get the happy ending, or whatever story that my childhood self or my teenage girl self, or the wifey poo self chose to believe. I continued reinforcing this belief. I chose to be a victim of my emotions rather than the Mistress of My LIFE.

NOT TO- FUCKING -DAY SATAN!

Today, I choose ME. I choose to tell myself a new story, to adopt a new belief. I deserve the happy ending. I deserve the great job. I deserve the deep and satisfying connections. I thrive and love being happy and juicy. I LOVE BEING JUICY.

I love being me. I love my life.

Is it perfect? Well, my house is small. It is cramped with too much clutter. I have a lot of repairs. My towels don’t match. My yard is not neatly trimmed. My home and safe space is perfect. It is my safe space. It is familiar. It fits us all. I can cook in it. I can dance in it. I can laugh in it and do that quite frequently. It is infused with memories and love. It is my kids’ home. It is my home. Is it perfect? Fucking A it’s perfect.

I got fired from my job? OH fucking well. Sounds shitty? NOPE. I LOVE MY NEW JOB> Is it perfect? Well, my office floor is dirty as fuck. The rug in there is DISgusting. It’s loud. There’s screaming people. Staff doesn’t always work as hard as **I** think they should. I love it. I have a window and watch the robins and squirrels quarrel. I have keys. I am learning a new system. I am figuring out what is working. I will be developing a plan to improve it. I will increase efficiency. I will streamline some things. I will develop relationships. I will work with and teach staff. I will make friends. I will get frustrated. I have gotten frustrated. I love it. I am so happy I am not at my previous employment. I am SO FREAKING HAPPY that life happened the way it happened.

I lost friends. I felt betrayed. I was hurt. I was hurt. That too was a good thing. More was revealed. I learned to love. I am practicing forgiveness. I am practicing tolerance, empathy, and kindness. I am PRACTICING. I am not perfect. I am practicing. I am also practicing letting go, releasing, setting boundaries, valuing myself. I value myself. That is a practice. I don’t always get it right. I put up with poor treatment. I shouldn’t take it personal. It’s not about me at all. Practicing that belief is hard. I am practicing these new skills of love. I am thankful to have the opportunity to practice these skills. I am learning and I am evolving. I’m thankful. Thankful. #findingthejuicy

I lost my clean office and a gym with wifi so I could work out every day at lunch. I drive an hour to and from work now. I have someone that I share an office with and I am making a new friend and associate. I get to work early every day and I go for a walk and practice my “I am” meditation or my chanting. My consumers see me walking and ask about it. Maybe I can be an example of doing just a little something something to get healthy. Maybe I can inspire someone. #maybe #lovemyjobhopein19

I have a great life. My dad let me use his vehicle and get my car maintenance. I don’t really like driving his car. But my relationship with my dad has not always been stellar. He let me take his car to work today. I love that. I really, really love that. It’s been a long haul but it is improving and feels better. I must have changed. #lovemylife

I came out to my office partner today. her response was perfect; it was exactly what it should be. A blip. Not even a blip. A “and???” or not even that, just another thing that is part of me. She likes me. I like sharing space. I like being part of a team. Pretty freaking cool.

I said a pray. I offered a pray. I continue to pray for a deeper, more meaningful, and rich relationship with my kids. I did a spell. I spoke and blessed and asked and have subsequently made some changes in availability to reinforce my spell, my prayer. I was hurt. I feel hurt. They are so mad. Yet, don’t take it personal. Forgiveness is a blessing. Taking a pause can save some feelings. I waited and prayed. My sons are coming over more frequently. My sons are talking to me about FEELINGS. They are asking my opinion, taking my feedback, listening to me. YES!!! THANK YOU GODDESS. I am loving this new development, this building, this connection. I am thankful. I am overwhelmed with love and gratitude. I love being a mother and this makes me so happy.

There are things about my life that I will continue working on. OF COURSE, I plan to keep working. I will keep working at managing time to fit in more of a work out program. I will work on improving my communication and love skills. I’m happy and thankful that I get an opportunity to continue to grow, improve, evolve, and be amazingly grateful for this beautiful life. It’s not what I would have planned. But I did plan it and I’m thankful that I took the time to learn some things so I can keep #findingthejuicy.