The Jelly Goo May 27, 2024

Hey Sunshine!

 I had dinner at a friend’s house over the weekend and she was telling me about her yoga teacher who went on a 30 day silent retreat.  During his retreat, he experienced a deep transformation. You see, for him to qualify for this 30 day retreat, he had to complete 10, ten-day retreats first.  They know how difficult 30 days in silence can be and they wanted to be sure that his mental health was up for the challenge.

He said his 30 day retreat was like the metamorphosis that a caterpillar experiences.  When the caterpillar folds itself into the chrysalis, it dissolves into a sort of jelly goo before it rebuilds itself into a butterfly.  He felt himself dissolving like that.  He felt himself breaking down, coming apart, letting go of the old structures… and it was painful. 

If you were to cut open a chrysalis before the transformation were complete, there is no possibility of it becoming a butterfly. 

You can’t...

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The 2 Story House May 21, 2024
Today in my meditation, I saw an outline drawing of a 2 story house with a basement. We are meant to live on levels 1 and 2, with occasional trips into the basement… but we've gotta climb back out of there quickly or else we can get stuck down there.
 
The basement is where our trauma and sadness are deeply felt. We visit it when we go back into the past. This morning I had to move my ex-husband’s guitar off the couch so I could sit for meditation. I once took beautiful pictures of him with this guitar… out in a grassy field… the sunlight glinting off the frets. He was singing a love song he wrote to me.
 
Why is his guitar on my couch? My daughter is visiting me and he let her bring it. She’s been singing the most beautiful songs in French and Spanish and Ladino which is a blend of Hebrew and Spanish. She’s so brilliant and alive and interested in every culture. She loves languages and history and she teaches me so much. When...
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Feels So Good to Feel So Good! May 20, 2024
I am content.
This feeling of nothing being wrong is such a welcome gift.
I just want to feel at ease. I want to feel I can breathe. I’ve had to work so hard to get here.
When I inhale today, I only feel expansion… I don’t feel like I'm taking a drag from the life force of the Universe.
When I exhale, I'm not releasing pain, bitterness, rage.
 Inhale, open. Exhale, stillness...spaciousness... gratitude.
What freedom, to breathe in peace.
I could not know this kind of spaciousness without the trials I’ve lived through.
I never knew there was space on the other side of an exhale before things got really hard.
Before the wind was knocked out of me.
I didn’t know that it would be hard to just breathe one day.
I didn’t know that I would be so lost in my thoughts, so angry about the same 5 things for YEARS that I wouldn’t be able to take a single deep breath without thinking about every exhale as an opportunity to let this go.
This must be...
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Arriving in Bali Jan 30, 2024

I arrived in Bali one week ago to an excited driver who was holding a sign with my name on it.  When we got to his car, I asked, “Do I sit in the front seat or that back?”  “You’re preference, madam.”  He gives me a huge smile.  “Ok, I prefer the front seat.”  I open the passenger door and find myself looking at the steering wheel.  “Oh!  Only, other side!” We have a big laugh at my ignorance.  

 

He has lots of questions for me on the 90 minute drive.  The best question was, “You like kopi?”  This is the Indonesian word for coffee.  “Yes, I love it!”  “I take you to best kopi.”  So we stopped at a totally unexpected place.  I was immediately swept up by a local woman in a colorful sarong who was showing me a variety of plants along a trail… ginger, turmeric, mangosteen, she showed me a cinnamon tree.  She...

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Word of the Year Jan 06, 2023

Word of the Year 2023

I attended the annual White Stone Ceremony at Unity Church of Houston this week... read on if you want to do your own white stone ceremony at home!

This is a long tradition at Unity… and many others have practiced this art of choosing a ‘word of the year.’

 The approach at Unity was a little different than I’ve ever done it before.

 I have always given my word of the year a lot of thought. 

 I always try on many different words, and want to choose just the right one.  I change my mind many times.

 The experience at Unity invited us to come to the ceremony with no word in mind.

 They explained that in ancient Roman times, if a person spent time in prison, when they were released, they were given a white stone.  This was evidence that they were purified, they had all the rights of any citizen in the community, they would be protected by the law, and most importantly, they had a clean slate.

 We...

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I Don't Miss It May 12, 2022

This bolg post was recorded as my very first podcast podcast.  Use the link to listen! *If there's a blank space following the word "podcast" click there!

*This is a first attempt just to test it out... better sound quality and production coming soon!

 

Well Hello Sunshine!

I just decided to something crazy on a Wednesday… Start a podcast!

This is such a very ME thing to do!

I have been thinking about podcasting since I began life coaching… the idea has been like little champagne bubbles that keep rising up in me… start a podcast!  you should start a podcast!  And you know what?  I listen to that.  I take it seriously.  I believe that it’s important.  I have SO many words in me.  If you know me, you know it’s true.  I have been a talker since the very beginning – and what do you know… there are platforms in the world that are just MADE for talkers!  What is this magical world we...

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Just Let Yourself Be Loved! Apr 28, 2022

I’m coming off an epic birthday week, and if you’ve been with me for awhile, you might remember my Build Your Own Birthday blog post from last year.  

I’m all-in on crafting your own celebrations that are uniquely YOU… rather than waiting on someone else to make your special days special.  

This year, my birthday began with a little pile of gifts from my family, then I enjoyed a spa day with friends, an overnight trip to Galveston with a bestie, a Miller Outdoor Theater production, yoga and lunch with another beautiful friend, and the party will continue in my hometown of Lafayette this weekend!  (I’m headed there for a wedding, but I’ll have some time to love on my family, which is my favorite!) I'll return to another sleepover with some of my favorite ladies at the lake... and there are a couple more birthday lunches in the coming weeks! 

I know this is a lot!  I didn't plan all of it... but it is so...

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Life is Not a Self-Improvement Project Mar 25, 2022

I visited my local library recently.  It was the first time I’d set foot in a library in 2 years… because… say it with me… #covid.  I found my favorite section… self help/spirituality… and a happy little book caught my eye: “Good Morning, I love you” by Shauna Shapiro.

I haven’t had a chance to read it because I was hungry when I went to the library and I took more books than I could read in 3 weeks.  I renewed them all and now it’s time to return them, and still I haven’t opened the little book with the sunshine on the cover.  So, this morning over coffee, I flipped through the book and landed on a paragraph about the author speaking to a therapist who said to her, “Shauna, life is not a self-improvement project.”

Record scratch.

Wait, what?

It’s not?  I giggled a little.  You know, the ‘yeah right’ giggle?

I kept reading.  Shauna said she almost...

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The Loudest Voice Jan 12, 2022

Picture me in my Catholic school uniform, a junior in high school, terrified, smiling nervously, sitting on a stool in front of my Psychology class.  The room is filled with Juniors and Seniors and a diabolical teacher who randomly chooses a student each week to suffer through this exercise.  As I sit there, the students write on the backs of ripped sheets of ditto paper.  They have permission to judge me.  They are asked to write their thoughts about me… anonymously… and place them in the envelope that is being passed back through the rows.  When the envelope reaches the last student, it is handed to me and I have to read them aloud.  The envelope shakes in my hands.  I am sweating.  I am begging the faces in front of me to be kind. I open the first folded slip, then the next and the next… below is a list of all the comments I received (typed exactly as written).

 

  • Very outgoing and active. Fun person
  • I just now got...
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Making Boring Things Fun! Jan 08, 2022

What's boring to YOU?  Waiting rooms? Laundry? Church service?  Homework?  Carpool pickup line? Sitting through a lecture? Shopping with a partner? Long car rides? Long (or even short) flights? Babysitting?

I remember getting my first iPhone... the iPhone 3.  It took me about a year to join Facebook because I thought it would be a time waster and I didn't want to dip my toe in that pool.  I was sitting in a Drs waiting room soon after creating my FB profile. I scanned the magazines - nothing looked interesting.  Not yet accustomed to looking at social media, it took awhile for me to have the thought, "Oh yeah, I can look at Facebook!" Then I thought ... "Man, I never have to be bored again!"

Sure, phones keep us entertained... but is that REAL fun?  I actually feel really bored when scrolling social.

What is actual, genuine, REAL fun to you?  To make boring things fun... first you've got to KNOW that you CAN.  In Joie de Vivre this...

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The Steady Stream of Constant Casual Self-Rejection Dec 05, 2021

Today, we’re gonna take a look in the mirror.  Just stand there and look at her.  Notice where your brain goes.  What are the exact things it likes to say to you?  Are you able to look at yourself for long without looking away?  Can you handle the steady stream of casual constant self rejection?

I listened to a podcast this week featuring Mel Robbins who wrote The High Five Habit.  She teaches a method to help address the ‘language’ we speak to ourselves.  Here’s an impactful bit of the conversation: 

“We justify self-criticism by thinking that somehow we’re holding ourselves accountable.

Self-criticism has been passed down from generation to generation.

You are so unaware of how fluently you are negative.

When you are speaking, you are unaware that you are speaking the English language, you just speak it.  Self-criticism and self-rejection is something that we are fluent in.  So...

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"I'm just not that kind of person." Nov 14, 2021

I’m just not that kind of person.

This empowering sentence runs through my head anytime I encounter anything that I know immediately is not ‘me.’

I first heard the phrase from my friend Sara 20 years ago.  We were talking about cleaning house in ‘zones.’  It was a fad of the moment.  You set up your house into 5 zones and you clean 1 zone each weekday..  “I’m just not that kind of person” she said. I giggled at her confidence.  I, on the other hand, was definitely considering giving the trend a try.  My brain loves something NEW.  If I’ve never tried it before, then maybe THIS new system will be just the thing I need to finally make the changes I have been meaning to make. 

This new planner.

This new diet.

This new fitness tracker.

This new commitment to invite people over once a month so I’ll finally get all the little projects done around the house (because nothing motivates home...

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