Living Fully…. “Bucket List” style! Come on NASCAR!!!

When my life took a serious turn, swerved out of control then crashed and burned violently 6 years ago in a devastating end of the family I had lovingly and painstakingly created and nurtured, I was forced to take a very solemn internal assessment.

“What did I want to be when I grew up……. this time?”  I had already dreamed the dream, fostered and fed that dream and birthed the reality of it with near impeccability.  I was raised and groomed to be a “no-holds barred” mother, homemaker extraordinaire, homebirther, homeschooler, holistic health expert, gardener, organic chef, doting wife and partner, church volunteer and devotee, community outreach leader, ongoing student, and fitness advocate.  Tall order…… yes?  I was undaunted.

How do I dream again?  How on earth would I know what I wanted when I had mastered the art of taking dictation from without and obediently ascribing?  Did I even know what I wanted or how to listen to that part of myself anymore?

The only thing left to do was to do something I was afraid of.  Yep, I had to stir myself up internally and step out onto the proverbial ledge… and leap!  So I did!  I jumped out of a perfectly good airplane, with a highly reliable, ex-military jump expert attached to my backside, but jump I did….. with enthusiasm and glee!   And “something” mighty powerful awoke within me….. my solar plexus gasped for air for the first time in over a decade and wailed a loud infant wail of “YES”!!!  I AM ALIVE!  I AM AWAKE!  I AM BACK BABY AND I AM HERE TO STAY!!!

Shortly thereafter I made a log that would soon after be referred to as a “bucket list” made popular by a movie that shortly followed, and it would hold every adventure that somewhat awed or frightened me that I knew I must dare to take on.

Since that time I have skydived twice, rode an electric bull, sang public karaoke solo, danced on a bar, dropped backward into a zipline ride, parasailed in the gulf, flew shotgun in a helicopter, simulated skydive in a wind tunnel, ridden “bikeweek” on a motorcycle chopper, scuba dived, and most recently, rode an official NASCAR solo on the ride of my life!

As it is my desire to maintain the divine claim of living fully in my body, mind and spirit, I regularly expose myself to opportunities such as this.  In all honesty, driving a NASCAR independent of a driving supervisor unnerved me immensely, which was exactly the point.  This was grossly exacerbated by the fact that the security information video presented to all drivers that intended to take their lives into their own hands that day, was completely glitchy.  It ended up being narrated by the “no-nonsense” well weathered staff member that spared us no details regarding the layout of the track, definitions of the major turns and markers, but managed to discuss how many ways we could flip our stock car and uncontrollably careen into the infamous wall. 

The handful of brave souls that had purchased the same “NASCAR Experience” that I had for that day were left vacant of pertinent safety details, and equally vacant expressions.

By the time they suited me up with the official helmet and gear, established radio control to the track boss and very efficiently strapped me into my driver seat to the point of constriction, I realized that I was beyond human help.  As a matter of fact the dials displayed across the dash were indiscernible to me and there didn’t appear to be time to figure them out before I was sent out onto the foreign track ill prepared.

In that precise moment, all that I had gleaned from past knowing and experience became crystal clear…… I was Divinely supported by my steadfast Guidance that absolutely had my back and I had the distinct ability to “feel” my way through this insanely cool experience.  So I shut out the world and eased into an acceleration and visceral thrill that every soul should have the opportunity to own.  The track boss broke my silent world with brief but eager compliments and encouragement to move to the next band of speed.  I smiled at his challenge and leaned more into the accelerator, howling at the rush of the vehicle underneath me.  One round and I am cheering myself aloud….. a second round and I am mastering this thing,… rushing past another driver on the 3rd turn I take it up a notch and by the 4th rounding of the track I have grown a savvy new skin for this speed thing and I am owning it!  I obediently dropped my speed at the end of my “personal NASCAR experience” and slowed into Pit Row flawlessly and brought my Jack Daniels mobile to a purring halt.

YES!  This IS mindfulness!  This is the experience of being fully embodied, alive in my skin and completely connected with my Solar Plexus and the desires that it’s wisdom reveals to me.  This is what it is to live the life unlived and make it my own.  And there is so much more to come!  The hot air balloon ride has been scheduled for a warm May afternoon at sunset….. and then, who knows?  What a life!

What life are you choosing and is that life worthy of you?

Cultivating Self

Cultivating self

Have you reached certain poignant moments in your life when you take stock of all that you are being, doing and accomplishing and realize that you are deeply unfulfilled?

Many of us arrive in this barren desert of juiceless emotions and unexcitable days rolling one after the other.  Many of my clients show up directly in my office for this very reason alone.  Some ask…”is there something wrong with my heart…. I can’t feel things like I used to”.  Some are concerned about the viability of their most intimate relationships and question if they may be over.

It is nothing short of imperative to reveal these moments of emptiness for what they really are.  A calling to reconnect with your most intimate inner longing…. To connect with yourself.

In my practice I refer to these moments as cultivating my solar plexus.

Recently I was privileged to be able to celebrate my birthday in grand fashion.  I was flown “home” to Los Angeles where I had grown up and where the bulk of my formative memories originated from.  In this magnificent city I could experience the visceral pull of the great Pacific Blue on my identity cord.  My old neighborhood and familiar hotpots were all present and reminding me of days gone by.  Family and friends fed this reawakening through nostalgic drives, social get-togethers and reflections of youthful escapades.

 I was simply marinating in a huge aspect of myself lying dormant for so many years now.  Ahhhh, YOU!  I remember YOU!  You are me and I am so much more than I am living fully in my present moment.  May I cultivate more of “YOU” back into my self- image in the now?

When we open up to these ripe opportunities of reflective delight, we are primed to remember what we may still desire to express about ourselves…. What deep unfilled longings have been left unanswered?

Make a list!  Make it fun and rediscover yourself.  Do this as often as you feel prompted to wake up to yourself anew.  Discover the richness within you and then set it free.   Watch how other aspects of your life take on new texture and dimension.

Reconnecting to self is to cultivate oneself.  To do so is to know oneself most deeply and live from there.

What within you is waiting to be heard and break free?

Staying True to Course…..

Upward and onward!  Being in a state of flow is not entirely an automatic experience for many of us and getting ourselves into the right state of mind, feeling and being may require taking deliberate action.

But first…. where is your internal energy level?  Do you have the reserves to fuel your intentions?  Do you know how to re-fuel your being sufficiently?  Have you fed yourself well, provided your body the kindness of a nap?

I was misled early in the rebirth of my career, into believing that multi-tasking was a fantastic skill to master and the more tasks I had spinning around me the more I would be accomplishing.  We have all heard the term, “kill two birds with one stone”.  It’s been part of our cultural heritage to believe that stillness is often idle and multi-tasking is productive busy-ness.

So when energy wanes and intuition runs scarce between intervals of activity along life’s path… what is being called for? 

“Do you have the patience to wait
till your mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain un-moving
till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Lao Tzu

Often we forget that when a void of activity and vision arises, it is indeed time to refill our wells.  It is time to nap,.. to dream.  What is being called for is a “divine data download” meant to revitalize our efforts and bring new meaning to our happenings. 

Running full force will burn us out.  Being “ON” in a fixed and permanent way is the fastest path to fizzling out.  Or should I say turning “OFF”?  Quiet time is necessary and today as I take quiet reflective time I recognize that this is the way of all of life.  It is the way of the earth and the seasons.

Remember to take restful and replenishing seasons and respect yourself enough to embrace them when they arise.  Life will unfold. 

Why not show up well rested, refreshed and at your very best?

Be Deliberate! Choose the life you truly want.

Knowing what we want is over half the trick!

Well that shouldn’t be hard to do, right?  I mean, how much difficulty is there in determining what kind of life we want for ourselves, really?

In my practice one of the biggest obstacles to my clients being able to move forward in any area of their lives whether it be professional, interpersonal, artistically, creatively, health maintenance,…. you name it….. is getting in touch with what they genuinely want for themselves.  Why is this so important?

In a recent article published internationally regarding the “5 Top Regrets” that most hospice patients echo unanimously, a very poignant truth emerges.  What do you think the number one common regret was?

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. 
It is very important to try to honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it. 

Missed dreams…, lost opportunities and the like can haunt us when the chances for fulfilling them are no longer possible.  Often, family, societal and other outside pressures can build within us such a strong resistance to listen to and respond to our inner longing that we learn to successfully turn them off. 

This is what I refer to as “silencing and blocking” the Solar Plexus, a very significant energy center in our internal Chakra System.  The Solar Plexus is located between the naval and the sternum and is related to the corresponding organs and body systems in that region.  A tight or blocked Solar Plexus can play into a host of corresponding physiological imbalances.  But for the sake of this writing, let’s just focus on what a “silenced” Solar Plexus or inner voice can do to our sense of self and personal satisfaction.

If you find yourself struggling to get clear on what you want, perhaps having reached a significant transition point in your career, relationships, life plans and feel bereft of genuinely passionate ideas for your future…. you may have been one of the many who forgot to listen to your “still small voice” within and forgot where to find it.

Breathe….. deeply breathe into this vast space in your core and gently allow your mind to wander.  Allow yourself to remember who you were, what you once loved, what activities exhilarated you, what ideas tickle you now and allow  yourself to listen without judgement or restraint.  What is there?  How long has it patiently sat, dormantly awaiting its resurrection and it’s moment of being allowed to shine in the warmth of your attention?

Make a list…. and make it FUN!!!  Let the list roll out loose and unabashed…. no judgement!  Who knew you were so darned adventurous?  And without fear of longing for something you feel is unattainable, without the fear of failing, just let it be!  Why?

“Inspiration and gratitude heal and empower. If you’re not doing what you love, you’ll feel ungrateful and desperate. The greatest cause of illness, disease and death is not living your dreams. Also, you are wise to love failure as much as success, since you fail and succeed equally and constantly. If you have a fantasy of only succeeding, you’ll beat yourself up for being a failure”. – Dr. John Demartini

So it’s really about us living the fullest life available to us and being our best selves!  Everyone wins in this exchange.  This is the FIRST step to choosing the life you truly, genuinely want, love and deserve!

Are you breathing yet?  Are you gently holding your core and compassionately asking it to reveal itself to you…. begging its forgiveness for how long you have starved it of your attention?  Are you breathing…. are you listening?  GOOD!