i’m going to make gluten free cheesecake and nobody can stop me because even though alexander graham bell apparently said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us,” i say that if one door closes you’ve got several options: 1) get a locksmith to open the door, 2) watch a silly animal video on youtube while plopped in front of the door, 3) make a cheesecake, 4) clean the tops of your cabinets that are full of dusty stickiness and you’ll feel like you accomplished something even though nobody will ever see or appreciate the work you’ve done (you’ll know you did it and that’s all that matters), 5) remember that being alone and bored is the seedbed of creativity because you will finally remember who you really are on the inside and you’ll self actualize sooner, 6) start digging a hole to get under the door and when you’re doing that discover something amazing like that extra key to your car that you thought you had lost, 7) write your great american novel you’ve been meaning to get around to, 8) take a shower and get some more sources of inspiration that you feel compelled to post immediately to facebook for no good reason other than it’s another way of avoiding doing more annoying grading, 9) remember that when you were 9 you were at your peak so savor that and try to cultivate that sense of inner peace throughout your day and life. the end.
I’m just gonna say it: I don’t like selling myself, but if I’m going to get anywhere with my Life Coaching business then I have to. So, here it goes: beginning with my new business cards that just arrived.
To answer a few questions… that nobody is asking me (haha! Well, number one, I think that laughter is key when it comes to self-help. Hopefully, you enjoy it, too, if you end up choosing me as your Life Coach.
Why did I decide to become a Life Coach?
- Honestly? I really enjoy people, understanding people, and (if possible) helping people in whatever way I can. I have learned the hard way that change doesn’t happen overnight but if you stick with things and you’re determined and patient, then with your ‘eyes on the prize’ I believe it is possible to make helpful big and little changes to get somewhere. Maybe you make it to the goal you set for yourself, or maybe you make it somewhere else (different but good). Who knows but the point is to keep moving and trying and growing and making mistakes and learning from them and picking yourself up and going at it some more.
When did I figure out that I enjoyed all this self-actualization ‘stuff’?
- (Haha it’s fun asking myself questions that I then answer). It really started when I read a book by Natalie Goldberg called Writing Down the Bones. It was about writing as a form of self-discovery, self-help, Buddhism, and more. I learned how writing can help you answer your own questions and move yourself down whatever path you choose. Once I started writing, I realized that I liked other thinkers who offered ways to free your mind, become happier, and let go of unhealthy patterns, etc. I found that I enjoyed growing as a person and so once I started picking up enough tools of the trade, I felt that I had something to offer others, too. I’m no expert on life, but….. I have been fascinated by what I’ve learned from life and from seeking wisdom through other scholars/philosophers/psychologists that I’ve encountered along the way.
How am I qualified to be a Life Coach?
- I have a Ph.D. in Theatre from the University of Colorado-Boulder, I have completed a Life Course training course online via the Life Coach Training Institute, and I have read extensively on self-help, psychology, philosophy, and self-actualization.
- If you are interested, what I can offer is a free consultation via email. If it seems like a good fit then we can make arrangements from there (e.g. skype, phone, etc.). You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s it! It’s up to you if you feel like you are at a point where having a Life Coach to talk to might help you get to where you want to be. 😊
preaching to the choir (which is myself) moment #45: is it all about getting what you want all of the time? nope. is it all about getting what you want some of the time? nope. is it about seeing what you have and accepting it unwittingly? nope. is it about making the most of what you have? kinda. is it about seeing something better and staying open to it? closer. is it about having a sense of humor no matter what happens because in a moment you could get hit by a bus? yes. is it about being totally selfish and not taking care of yourself because it’s all about living in the moment? nope. is it about having a long term plan some of the time but living in the moment most of the time? yes. the end.
i want to know the etymology of the term ‘BenGay.’
procrastination is the single greatest contributor to my creativity.
you know those male ballet dancers who stand there while the ballerina does all the pretty and graceful moves? that’s how i feel as a parent of teens. but come to think of it, that in a way is what all relationships are like. it’s just that when you get older, each person takes turn being either the holder-upper or the pirouetter. back and forth. but it’s all good. it’s just my turn to do what somebody else did for me once. the end.
brilliant idea #544353498573490: last night, going through the drive-thru at taco time, we came upon a vision of the future. one day there may no longer be fast food restaurants where you buy food that is then put in a bag and handed to you. maybe in the future, you’ll just drive up and there will be a steel tube that reaches out to your car window and you open your mouth and they just shoot the food paste into your mouth. more efficient, n’est-ce pas? less wrappers, less time, pre-masticated…
whenever life gets to be too much – too boring, too stale, too stressful, too stupid, too cheap, too expensive, too nonsensical, too logical, too blech, too bigahsldjgalk, too too – i look at my hands and think how lucky i am to have hands and then i start playing with my hands and i remember being a kid playing with my hands and how i’d construct little plays out of nowhere with my fingers. and then i’m back in the present again.
The reason why spotting a penny is lucky is bc it indicates that your mind is peaceful enough to see it.
Less drama offstage. More drama onstage. That is my current philosophy and I’m sticking to it.
Men need a fancy store to buy special underwear and it should be called “Victor’s Secret.”
i am determined to seek out magic wherever and whenever i can… and where there is no magic, i am walking away.
you know how they have those videos of people who take like the same one second shot of something for a year and then compile all the shots together? if i had balls (instead i have ovaries… which are really the same thing…just inside), i would take a photo of myself as soon as i wake up every morning and post it each day as my profile pic.
if you ever find yourself in middle school (or a similar social dynamic in your life), when someone calls you a dumbass, just call them a smartass to get them back. a perfect riposte!
Can u be alone without feeling lonely? Yes I can. More and more. And here’s how I do it. I walk. I notice the pavement under my feet. I hear the birds. I go a new direction. I think about my legs and how good they feel to move. I think about how it’s not winter anymore thank god. And I can be outside without dreading it. And I think about the interesting people in my life and I hear remnants of our conversations. And I realize that I used to do this as a kid. I didn’t need much to entertain myself. I can do that again.
I can’t handle it when strangers are nice. Well sure I can. It just always surprises me.
i’m extremely intolerant of judgmental people. hmmm. let me untangle that a moment…
i’m extremely intolerant of judgmental people. hmmm. let me untangle that a moment…
Just saw a woman wearing a button that read “Porn produces pollution.” Ummm. The world gets a little weirder every day.
My dog Gizmo puts his paw on my leg.
The air smells sweet again this morning.
I feel empty and yet complete. I see the bigger picture and I’m fine.
I realize that you need to listen to the whistlings of your soul and my whistling is singing a tune that says ‘Sit. Relax. Draw. Daydream. Do a little work now and then. Doing nothing sometimes is the best something.’
And when you’re ready to be your silly self, the person who can easily forget herself and get lost in the moment, the person who can laugh at herself and not lose herself, the person who loves to help people laugh at themselves, too, the person who doesn’t care if she does push-ups in the classroom as long as it gets people to loosen up, the person who doesn’t care if she dyes her hair black because at least it’s a fucking change, the person who takes risks, the person who has been through all kinds of shit and still lets go of the bad and lets in the good, the person who would rather sit down in a restaurant and watch people than watch TV, the person who thinks about ‘the end being nigh’ every day not because she’s morbid but because she wants to live life to the fullest Buddha way, the person who is going to keep writing about her life because she is still trying to accept self-love and she’s going to keep doing this until it doesn’t feel so awkward and weird… and when you’re ready to be that person, then be her.
no matter how up or down or around or sideways a day has been, i go outside and i smell the air and i realize there is something bigger and better than all of the petty little concerns that can take up too much space in one’s brain at times. i smell campfires and grass and leaves and moss and i feel the cool air on my nostrils and i realize i’m more alive out here than in a house and life is wild and when you connect with that then it doesn’t matter where you’re at. it doesn’t matter who you’re with. it doesn’t matter if you’re alone. you’re already a part of it all and that’s just fine and dandy. and the trick is to stay open no matter how much circumstances conspire to close you up. stay open. and free.
why do i write so much gobbledyguk about my past? because i’m a woman in a culture (in a world) that tends to want to define me before i have a chance to define myself. for all the good in religion (and there is some – for example, i learned about karma or ‘treat others the way you want to be treated’), i also absorbed that stupid notion that self love is a bad thing. so between culture trying to tell me who i am for years and a religion telling me that i have to put everyone else’s needs before my own all the time, i have a lot of self actualizing to do.
beautiful moment #1: driving down a road in sequim that i’ve never been down before and realizing that this place has nooks and crannies that still surprise me.
beautiful moment #2: realizing that my strategy of grading a small chunk a day (rather than waiting for it to pile up and then i start hating life) is paying off and actually do-able.
beautiful moment #3: the feeling of freedom is awe-inspiring, scary, and magical.
beautiful moment #4: slowing down is what reaps in the magic.
beautiful moment #5: getting reacquainted with my favorite pen.
beautiful moment #6: freedom means carving out your own destination/destiny.
beautiful moment #7: people will always buoy me up if i’m around them long enough.
When I am – not to get morbid here but I guess I will – laying on my deathbed, there will be two memories that stand out. One is, the day I discovered Natalie Goldberg.
I was visiting this older lady named Maude. She was very small, very old, and she had a beautiful horse and she lived alone in a tiny studio apartment and she drank a shot of tequila every afternoon. She had lived with an abusive husband for years, but she eventually divorced him. She had a nice son. And she was happy with her life as it was with her horse. I don’t know how it came up but she handed me this book Writing down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and it was one of those books in my life that I couldn’t put down until I finished it. Like Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.
I loved it for many reasons but mainly because it finally gave me permission to write. Write my drivel. Write whatever came out of my brain. But write. Up until that point I knew that writing could lead me in positive directions. I had intuited this on my own. But to hear this come from another writer was spectacular. And writing has become such a huge healing part of my life since then that I would not be who I am if it weren’t for that day.
The other memory is an exercise she wrote about in her book where she asked a classroom full of kids to each unwrap one Hershey’s chocolate kiss and put it in their mouth and close their eyes and only open their eyes to write down the sensations and thoughts and feelings that came over them as they let the chocolate melt (don’t bite it!) in their mouth. I loved that image and I use it from time to time with my students.
Savoring the little moments since that’s all we really have. Knowing what you love. That’s all that really matters.
I hold my cat usually every morning. Lately I play Putomayo world music and she lays there with her fur in my face as I pet her head and her head falls back relaxed. They say that petting cats and dogs lowers your stress level. I believe it. I feel the bubbles of tension in my stomach slowly soften like when a massage therapist works on those little nodules in your neck and shoulders, pressing on them until they pop and melt away.
It’s not bad tension really. There’s a bit of excitement mixed in. Not knowing what will come my way. When I start moving around and dissipate the energy, it goes away and I care less about what curveballs come. Being immobile and overthinking is what doesn’t work. That’s why I type. At least my fingers are moving, dissipating the energy. When I was a kid, I was excited every night for what was to come the next day. In the morning, I bolted out of bed ready to jump into the day. I am ready to get back to that kind of excitement.
There is only one thing that can get me outside myself – besides sex – and that’s writing. Ok there is one more thing: talking to people. So yeah, in order of importance? I guess it’s sex, writing, then talking.
With sex, it’s pretty self-explanatory why it’s easy to get outside yourself. Or rather, out of your way. Stop thinking so much and just start doing. Same with writing (for me). Talking with people? It’s a little easier to get distracted. Somebody can be yammering on and I can drift away if I’m not careful, but even with that I’m getting better at noticing when I’m not paying attention or if I am monologuing it and not even noticing whether the other person is listening or not. I’m getting better at checking in and staying connected (get it? ‘Connected?’ Sex? Hahaha).
So yeah, aside from sex, it’s writing. Writing for me is like talking to this imaginary other person. This all-knowing, all-understanding other person who just ‘gets’ me. That’s why I like writing. It’s like my best friend is sitting there, listening, hanging on every word, and they have all the patience in the world. Maybe it’s because they know that I will be enraptured when they speak next. That’s what writing is for me.
It makes time go away because for a moment I am connected not only to the universe of being but to all of the minds down the road who might read these words… who might follow this train of thought and not jump off the train out of fear or boredom. It’s not necessarily that I write for posterity – although that is a plus – it’s more the idea that my mind can somehow time travel into someone else. Ok, so maybe it is about ‘living on’ but not because I need to be famous. I just like the idea of popping into somebody else’s mind and bopping around and seeing if maybe an idea or two that I have might help them out.
Like this idea. Look people in the eye. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. Or, try the opposite and don’t look people in the eye. Either way, do what’s unexpected. Sometimes when I go through the checkout lane at the grocery store, I deliberately give the cashier very little attention. Not because I’m ignoring her or him but because I want to take the pressure off so they don’t feel obliged to ask the same ole boring questions. I notice that if they feel attended to but not stared at, then they start opening up and telling me things. Like this lady the other day who told me how the previous guy had just tried to hit on her and she was glad she escaped his clutches. Or like this other store clerk who told me how much he hated the whole Monopoly marketing campaign but he had to do it and what a fucking waste of time it was and how employees at other companies like McDonald’s were often fired over it because the staff would collude and try to scam the company and save the tickets and win the big bucks. I love it when people share things because you’re not putting pressure on them to share.
But I also like putting the pressure on. I like looking at people just to let them know that I’m aware, and I’ve noticed that when people are being watched that they don’t really want to escape. I’ve noticed that if you don’t look away upon first meeting someone (in a natural, non-weirdo sort of way), then people are not tempted to look down at their phones. But if you allow yourself to get shy and look away for too long, virtually everyone begins the self-preservation tactic of grabbing their phone and hiding, too. Stop hiding, I say. Stop!!!! Myself included!!!!
So there’s an idea. Don’t hide. Stay connected. Writing. Sex. Talking. It’s all the same thing really.
How did someone come up with the phrase…’Be the bigger person?’ Like, is it impossible for smaller people to be big- hearted, generous folk? i call that small-ism and i’m not going to stand for it. i’m going to sit down, in fact, and show my support for smallness.
Be yourself. If you’re changing yourself to suit someone else too much? You’ll know it. So don’t do it. Be yourself.
that’s it!!! i’m getting out of this house!!! no more no more no more no more looking at a screen. no more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at least for 10 minutes.
Sometimes you have to ham it up… in order to egg people on [cue audience groan].
my life consists of doing a lot of repetitive tasks differently more and more each time. not complaining. just observing.
Don’t normally like cloudy skies that are toooo cloudy but this one is special. It feels like a literal blanket that I’m playing hide and go seek under but it feels even more like when you’re swimming in a pool and you look up at the sky through the surface of the wavy water.
cheesy moment #478924578249857409: be a leader of positivity rather than a follower of negativity.
i cannot do it all. i can’t even do part of it. in fact, the only thing i can do really really well is WHINE!. yes i’d say that is one of my best skills. letting it out. yup, that’s what i do. wooohooooo i can do something!!!!!!
i like clothes that don’t make me think so hard when i put them on.
A day of meetings. Woooohoooooo. Ok now where did I put my positive spin on things soapbox? Darn. I used it as firewood.
The world would be such an easier place to live in if we all just said ‘sorry’ more often (including myself) and stopped pretending that we weren’t little shits to each other sometimes.
Sometimes a little space and a lot of coffee is all I need. Sometimes a lot of space and a little coffee. Sometimes it’s a lot of space and a lot of coffee but it’s never little space with little coffee.
Cutting cloth with scissors feels good in my hands.
I like noticing little details like this.
I like people who like noticing little details like this.
Why are we so afraid as a species to notice this kind of stuff?
Is it because the world is about to end and Trump is destroying the planet and if we aren’t on hyper-alert 24/7, then another type of butterfly is going to go extinct?
It’s good to notice little things that make you happy all day.
What else is there really? It’s not like you’re going to get a promotion or win the lottery or fall in love or get a new puppy every hour on the hour?
So you might as well stop and enjoy little details. Little things. Let the big stuff come to you. Seek it out at other times, but the big stuff will always be clamoring for attention.
So back to cutting cloth. Why does it feel so good in my hands? I don’t know. I can feel the edge of the scissors effortlessly gliding through. There are some bumps and ridges but it still feels like a hot knife slicing through cold butter. It’s not a perfectly smooth ride. But there is assurance. I know the scissors will make it to the end. And I know that the cloth will never be the same. And I like having that much power, with just a pair of scissors and some cloth.