The Cult of Done

imgp2569So my daughter came home from school-my daughter is an adult and school is art school-just to be clear.
She said, mom, i just love my teacher, he gave us these and I think you will really like them too. Well my heart burst, in like layers. First, my daughter has always struggled with school and to see her loving it, and excelling in it is like magic. She really does love learning and now knows how to give herself what she needs to learn. Second the content of what she gave, The Cult of Done Manifesto, which I will get to later. Lastly after reading and loving the content, I said wow, this is great and she said, “ya i know you mom” which caused the third explosion of love. My daughter knows me, I have often wondered will they know me? I no longer have that question, they probably know me best and I love that!

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Now for the Cult of Done Manifesto:

THE CULT OF DONE MANIFESTO
Bre Pettis and Kio Stark
There are three states of being.
Not knowing, action and completion.

Accept that everything is a draft.
It helps to get done.

There is no editing stage.

Pretending you know what you’re doing
is almost the same as knowing what you
are doing, so just accept that you know
what you’re doing even if you don’t
and do it.

Banish procrastination. If you wait more
than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
The point of being done is not to finish but
to get other things done.

Once you’re done you can throw it away.

Laugh at perfection. It’s boring and keeps
you from being done.

People without dirty hands are wrong.Doing something makes you right.

Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.

Destruction is a variant of done.

If you have an idea and publish it on the
internet, that counts as a ghost of done.

Done is the engine of more.

This is just one part of the manifesto project, and what I love about this is that it is freeing. Having lived with perfectionism for many years, challenging myself to make mistakes and be ok with them, hell even to celebrate them has been a huge learning. Learning to live my life, to take action on the ideas I have and make things happen is a bit of shake up. To do something that comes from deep within, that is not subject to what others think or held ransom by my own self doubt, to do because I decided and because I want to learn. It’s like that old thing people say, “well I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible” How will you ever become flexible if you don’t start? How will I ever trust myself to complete projects or take action, unless I try?

So the hanging plant shelf.(pictured above) I kept seeing it in my minds eye, I drew some sketches and then decided to do it. I asked my husband to help because he has years of building experience and is my favorite person to collaborate with. We got what we needed, hashing out the how’s in the aisle of the hardware store. The fun was in the doing, not in the finished product, which I am still pretty pleased with it was the journey to getting it done. I am now a memeber of the cult of done.

http://www.manifestoproject.it

2014- What a year!

This year was an epic year. A year of challenges, dreams coming true and dreams I didn’t know I had materializing before my eyes. From living and working in Paris, tripping to Marseilles and training in 3 sessions which propelled me to Malmo, Almhult, Hamburg to Delft and home again. I have been inspired, challenged, terrified and pushed so far out of my comfort zone that I have seen more of myself than I knew was possible to know. I have been humbled and learned so much, not only of myself, but of the world. I experienced being a foreigner, where I couldn’t speak the language. I learned how to speak, enough to get by and learned how frustrating it can be to be unable to communicate. I learned how to pack a suitcase and a carry on bag and I have learned how to create a wardrobe that easily travels. Leaving my family was difficult but I learned that relationships can’t be 80-20 if they are to be mutually satisfying. Learning how to speak my needs in relationship was another big lesson for me. I have had some fantastic coaches and mentors this year who have guided me and shoved me out of the nest of comfort. Knowing the right questions to ask at the right time is essential in being a great coach and the one question that I still need an answer for is: “You want to do so much, what is your plan for protecting yourself from doing too much?”

window watching

art

Beauty found in windows and reflections
My idea of home has changed. Living in a bachelor suite hotel room was bound to have an effect on my perception of essentials. What are the basics needed to sustain life? I have discovered without a doubt that I need a bath tub! It is one of the ways I ground myself, and get back to me. Home can be as simple and basic as a tent perched near a fresh water supply to something as obscene (my perception) as Versailles. In 2014 I saw it all! Beauty is found all around but it does not mean that I must possess it, in fact I become free by simply enjoying beauty as I discover it. Today I look at my home and think, “I have way too much stuff”. Living with less has shown me how magical and grand life can be when I start living life instead of consuming it.

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The Louve -so much beauty being protected and shared-sacred spaces indeed

mirrors

play, art imitates life

Playing at The Louve
I look for experiences rather than things and want to create, collaborate and enjoin. As I dream of the future year, I open to feeling and experiencing many more moments of being in the space of love, and conscious of it too, so that in the moment I can express my profound gratitude by being All that I am meant to be, with nothing between me and Spirit. 2014 Thank you! Thank you to all who have played a part in such a huge year of growth, magic, beauty, grace, challenges, and truth.

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My Wild Love- Taken at Pere Lachaise
As I look back, I catch a glimpse of what the future holds. My goals and dreams have shifted. Home will be about reducing and refining. Finding gratitude, joy and beauty in the basics, the everyday pleasures.

Working in the circus
A Yak!? oh and camels too, all found on the way to work-who could have guessed?

This is my symphony

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To live content with small means

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.”

WILLIAM HENRY CHANNING.

This quote from Channing, has been my guide the last several months as I study my life, my home, my thoughts, my habits and my dreams. To allow the unbidden, the unconscious to grow up through the common, I must stop or at least slow down to think, meditate upon the life I am meant to live, the life of my dreams.

the life changing magic

In “the life changing magic of tidying up” one of the first questions is to consider and describe your ideal lifestyle. What I have been discovering is that this actually is a very big deal! When I become aware of my current lifestyle and then think about if it is even the lifestyle i want to live. What is my dream? Am I living it? Am I taking steps and actions in the direction of my dreams or am I becoming caught, stuck in waiting or procrastinating unsure if it’s what I am meant to do, or if I deserve it.

This is where many of us become stuck, living our lives “in between” somewhere in between our dreams and what we have settled for. The comfort of the known feels safe and secure, but if there is one thing I know, change is constant and I must be aware of when my need for comfort is getting in the way of my dreams becoming manifest.

As I focus on my dreams, or my symphony, I learn to balance and find contentment, but to also pursue the elegance, refinement and take time to listen to align with the unbidden and open my heart to the life of my dreams.

Anger: a potential portal to unlimited sight

punching bag chandelier

From punching to protected elegance.

You have to feel it to release it! Stuffing anger has been my go to method of operating, since I can remember. The problem with this is that it caught up with me, or rather I began experiencing depression as my body was trying to tell me to pay attention and stop the insanity. I have been working with a lovely and gracious coach who doesn’t pull any punches, but will lay me out with a lovingly delivered truth in under 20 seconds.

I was asked what my relationship with anger was, and as I honestly looked, I realized that it was rather cold and dead most of the time, with rare “head popping off” explosions of rage. So my homework was to invest in a punching bag and a bat, because of course this angelic warrior of light did not want me to hurt my hands. My job was to feel the anger and release it via the physical act of punching, or hitting.

This was not easy, and is not easy. It was no problem to find a punching bag, used and for the very same reason, it seems as a society we struggle with expressing anger in a healthy and functional way. But where and how to hang it? Where and how to express it, commincate it and do it with style and grace?

Regardless, this freeing of stuffed anger meant I had a lot of feeling to do, and it began to come in waves, to be let go. As I began to feel and become more comfortable with it, (believe me it was not comfortable!) I began to see how my fear of expressing it controlled my reactions and responses to things, in a really skewed and unhealthy way. I had dynamics of passive aggressive manipulation and I would transmute the anger into victim like sorrow and despair.

Seeing that there is a way to communicate, without temper tantrums or manipulation, was difficult, not ever really having a strong role model for this. Facing myself and seeing my behaviors and dynamics in truth, was not easy or comfortable, however it was necessary for me to grow into the person I really want to be. Honest, direct, truthful, gracious and loving. Not only must I face myself, but also forgive myself for the mistakes I have made.

As I begin to find comfort with anger as a tool for communcation, as way of my body telling me when a boundary has been crossed, I can begin to communicate my boundaries and teach people how to treat me, how to love me and how to relate with me. My relationships are improving and becoming more intimate because I am providing a safe sanctuary in which to grow, express and create. I trust myself more to defend my boundaries and protect myself from intrusions, projections and abuses, which in turn provides an elegant and gracious way of being, feircly loving.

 

Virabdrasana

The story of Warrior 1, 2 and 3

Life today is Virabdrasana (Warrior 3) In looking at my life today I started to reflect on how my life has been feeling for the last few months. I feel stretched, pulled in several directions and balancing carefully through one point. As I look to the asanas of physical poses I feel Virabdrasana (Warrior 3), which is a great omen of what is coming. The story of this pose is the conclusion of 3 poses in which Shiva (in the incarnation of Virabhadra) is severing the head of the King (the Ego) after having risen (Warrior 1) and confronted (Warrior 2) in righteous anger at his involvement of the death of his wife Sita, which represents Love and the path of Heart. The last few months I have been engaged in a battle, or rather I have been overtaken by my own ego. I have not felt connected with my heart and feeling the Love of Self that is usually my bedrock. Thankfully I engage fiercely and gently, placing my ego back in it’s proper place, allowing my heart to step forward to lead me back to my Power place. My heart center. This battle is never ending as I grow and expand my awareness, new paths emerge. The ego grows bigger along with me and from this new size of awareness it takes great strength and great courage to engage in the battle and place the ego back into position of death advisor. Appreciating the size and strength of the ego in it’s larger form will only ever serve me, exacting it’s prowess in life and death extremes only. As my own consciousness grows, expanding and encompassing ever more heart and loving to infinite capacities, I learn to graciously lead from this place of truth, purity, integrity and Power.

Becoming mySelf

merci

merci

“She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.” —Kate Chopin, “The Awakening – See more at: http://theunboundedspirit.com/50-of-the-most-beautiful-sentences-in-literature/#sthash.1srOG5Vg.dpuf

Kate Chopin delivers a beautiful sentence, when I read it on the Unbounded Spirit, it took my breath away. (thank you Unbounded Spirit)

There is a daily casting away of that fictious self that must happen if we are to remember who we really are, and one of the biggest kept secrets is that we are not always who we think we are. The ego can be a dangerous thing, keeping us from who we really are. A well placed ego is essential in staying balanced and casting off that fictious self, and more often that projected self.

In life we assume roles, responsibilities and the projections of who we think others want us to be, and yet to become ourselves and to live, really live our own freely chosen lives, to be truly free we must be vigilant and determined in casting off the garment fearlessly.

Building Bridges

 

Marseilles

Marseilles

Transitions, change, new ways of working, different ways of being, how many different words or collections of words put together are there that describe something that happens most naturally when life is flowing? How often do we  encounter resistance to change, or possibly deny, ignore, or rigidly stand in the way of change, even if the result is for our own benefit, our own growth and ultimately our higher good?

I am an optimist, an early adopter. I like change. I like to see things from different perspectives and to experience the contrasts that occur when a change is happening. It’s not always comfortable. I trust that change is happening for a reason and ultimately  for my own good. I have faith. I know there is a higher power (one of a spiritual order, not human) that I am willing to go with, to flow with and transition to the newness, jump into the adventure.

Not everyone is like me however, and this is where I am realizing the importance of bridges. I am often among the first to try things and the first to accept things. Often I have forgotten that whatever I am into is new to someone else and I am easily irritated by slower adopters, the questions, concerns, as resistance expressed. I see that I need to be able to build value, to remember what it is like to be a beginner and share my experiences with others, so they can learn from what I do so easily and willingly. I don’t care if I fail, I don’t care if I look like a fool, I don’t even mind fixing mistakes, because it means I am learning! This attitude is not always shared, many people live with fear as their counsellor, while I prefer to look to love. Love is a bridge.

A bridge provides a space to travel between the new and the old, to go for a look and see, and then back to the safety of the known, it can provide a platform to observe and witness, to test and transition from one place of being to the next. Bridges can be made of anything, a photo, words, or an actual physical bridge. What I am realizing is that as an early adopter I must also be a bridge builder, and I need to build bridges out of love.

Love allows the bridge to be used or not, it provides time and patience for all the resistors to come to the bridge in their own time, to allow the free flow of energy, it provides free will and an escape should the newness be too much to bear. My impatience with those who live with fear can only be conquered with love, and a bridge of love will quickly dissolve the fears of others..potentially, if I can build bridges, then I can let go of my impatience because the choice is no longer mine to make. I make my choices and it is up to each individual to make their own as well, either jump into the adventure, stay locked up in your permanent routine, or travel the bridge and look and see what wonders can come from change.

There are a couple of famous quotes about change:

“The difference between what we are doing and what we are capable of doing would solve most of the world’s problems.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

“Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.”
~Carl Jung

“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.”
~Harold Wilson

How less becomes more

bedside attractions

Bedside Attractions

How less becomes more

This past year I spent a total of 16 weeks living out of 6 different hotel rooms, an incredible gift for which I am deeply grateful. Travel changes our perceptions and brings in new awareness’s we may not have gotten to otherwise, taking us out of our comfort zones where we can stretch and discover more of ourselves.

Upon my arrival home, after one of my 6-week stints, I was shocked by all my stuff. I realized that I was looking at things differently. Everything looked different and yet I knew that nothing had physically changed. Then I realized that it was I that was different. The stuff didn’t seem to matter as much to me, and seemed quite frankly, noisy.

Having less allowed me to become aware of all that I do have or rather all that I am minus all my stuff. To be truthful, all that I really need are a restful sleep, tasty nutritious food, challenging work, yoga, interesting and enlightening conversations with loved ones, the opportunity to give back and to be touched. With less stuff I began to tune into me, to find a reverence for the moment, for being nowhere or rather Now Here.

The act of consumption is necessary but the degree to which it is enacted can become an art when focus is placed on the holiness of the moment. With gratitude for life, consumption can be an act of celebration, a giving of thanks, but only with awareness, presence. By giving each moment our presence we bestow reverence, for it may never happen again, and then we are truly living the moment to it’s fullest.

Sad as it may be to think that it may never happen again, the moment is lost as soon as we try to capture it, for we are already aware of losing it. Upon seeing all my stuff I suppose I had the realization that all my things were attempts at trying to capture the moments: reflections of memories, statements of ego. Some of the things really do continue to bring me great joy and so I may not yet thrown them all away. However, I am less attached to what I was and more willing to let them go for the person I am to become.

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”
John Milton

It is with gratitude that less becomes more.

ALL from ONE String

One-String

Brushy One-String

This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Salina, Kansas for the Blues Masters at the Crossroads event. On the second evening of the event I watched a humble Brushy One-String stand on stage and perform with his whole soul. He delighted me with his humour, his talent for creating beautiful, fun melodies and his gifts of fusing all parts of himself, his past, his present and his future and ALL with just ONE string. This man knows that he is the instrument and he has a message. A message of Love.

“If we can change the words and melodies and bring back the love, we can have a balance between God and man,” Brushy reflects. “That’s what we need to put the world together.”

Brushy is correct, balance is needed and during my time in Salina I became very aware of how important listening is in creating this balance.

Listening is becoming a lost art and it is essential for any performer. The listener is the receiver and lately at concerts I’ve noticed people are busy, taking videos to watch later on their iPhones, or to post to social media…(which I am doing right now, no judging) but what about being there? I mean actually being there.

Listening is a state of being in the moment, fully present. To listen with my whole self, is when I feel at my fullest, it is an opening of my emotional body, an active reception. When I do this I feel a connection happen, a connection to that inspiration that brought about the creation of the sound, it becomes a trinity and the relationship, the connection has been made. The message is received.

After the show Brushy was giving autographs and I thought about going to get one, but I stopped. Something felt so wrong, so small, so insignificant about an autograph, when I had just witnessed this man stand on stage and bare his soul for all to see.

He was an inspiration. Inspiring me to wonder what is my one string? What I witnessed was more than just a performance, I witnessed magic. An autograph on a piece of paper won’t help me to remember, for I truly “saw”, my friends won’t need to see proof to know the story I share of the effect his music had on me and to feel my awe, there is no one I need to impress or make jealous, but I do wonder, what could I do to show thanks for this awesome gift I was given?

Brushy One-String I have become a fan, but not for the usual reasons, I have become a fan because you had a dream, you took your talents and your spirit, formed some words and melodies and inspired me to take a look at all that I have, all that I am and contribute something with my whole soul and so this is how I will give my thanks. Namaste.