Soft eyes

Sometimes I feel more love

from a grocery store clerk

than I do

from the rest of the world combined.

He looks me in the eye

softly,

unwaveringly,

steadfastly,

and cares whether I understand

that paper is better than plastic.

So I choose paper —

not to please him

but to let him know

that I’m on the same page.

He wants me to know that if I had chosen plastic,

he would have been forced to charge me 20 cents and thus

I am now even more convinced.

Before I go,

he smiles calmly

and I believe

that he cares

about me.

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It’s official: I’m a Life Coach (because my business cards that arrived in the mail tell me so)

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.

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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.

What next?

  • 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 larastarcevich@yahoo.com. 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. 😊

a public service announcement (i’m announcing something publicly that will hopefully be of service to others in some weird, unforeseen way)

I am setting myself the following achievable tasks:

  1. each week I will post at least something on my blog.
  2. i’m going to aim for it appearing on Mondays but I can’t always promise that (i’m a mom and that’s my excuse and i’m sticking to it)
  3. i’m going to try to edit things before I post them. this doesn’t mean I care a jot about capitalization and punctuation though. I still believe in the virtue of undecorated, dressed down prose (because i’m lazy but also because it encourages other people to let their hair down and write rather than thinking everything has to be picture perfect all the time) but yes sometimes I will clean it up as well.
  4. this is my reward to myself for having done something I didn’t want to do (like grading – sorry but I just don’t – I know some people love it, but I simply detest it even though, yes, often the things I am grading are pretty dang exciting and good in their own right).
  5. i’m rewarding myself by writing and posting stuff because if left to my own devices I will only do things I want to do and never do anything that actually pays the bills. one day maybe writing will pay the bills but it’s not right now so there ya go.
  6. thanks for listening. they say that making vows or setting goals is more useful if you don’t tell anyone well… oh well! fuck it! it feels good and i’m doing it.

Loneliness vs. Aloneness

Loneliness versus Aloneness

I’ve been obsessed with remembering my childhood from the age of 7 – 10. I think it’s because I was the most content at that age. I hadn’t yet gone through puberty, that time when suddenly everyone else’s voice is louder than your own. Once that happened, my equilibrium was thrown off.

Back then, my sister and I would play with these two brothers down the street, W and K. But we only played with them if we needed an occasional diversion. It wasn’t a requirement. We also had two friends who were girls – D and F – each one (respectively) about the same age as my sister and I – and we would see them, too, but even less often. Maybe once every few months.

But somehow I was still content. Content enough with my family, my room, our animals, our house, my imagination, the grass, the clouds, time. I don’t know how I filled my time but somehow (without gadgets except Saturday morning cartoons when chores were done) I was fine.  No after school soccer practice, no constantly revolving stream of extra-curricular activities. Nope. Pretty much nothing except my imagination, a few people, and nature.

And I want that feeling back.

Of course, I can’t totally get it back. I have a house now, kids, a job, bills, but I think it’s possible to get closer to that feeling.

Loneliness is a word with a lot of shame, but the problem is if you can never admit that you’re lonely (just like if you can never admit you’re an alcoholic), it’s hard to change. So I’m admitting it. For the past – I don’t know… 25 years? – I’ve been lonely at least some of the time. Not all the time, but sometimes, and I haven’t always filled that void with the healthiest of options. And the reason I can say this is… I know I’m not the only one. Ok maybe some people have all their shit together 120% of the time, but the reality is we’re all human and that feeling happens sometimes. So what do you do with it? Eat too much? End one relationship and begin another the same day? Become a people pleasing workaholic?

Loneliness is akin to boredom. If you’re bored, you want someone to play with (whether you’re 9 or 49). But the truth is, if you’re bored then you’re probably also kinda boring. You want some new gadget or person to amuse you. Maybe it’s a new boyfriend, maybe it’s switching jobs, or the town that you live in. Sure I can get a new job, a new town, or a new spouse, but can I try out new parts of me? Can I learn Spanish? Can I go square dancing? Can I start delivery pizzas and run into my students who will look shocked when I show up at their house? Can I start talking to strangers in checkout lanes at the grocery store? Can I do a social experiment where I eavesdrop on people in Walmart not because I’m a creeper but because it’s fun to watch people when they don’t think you’re paying attention?

When I was about 25, I was living in Denver and I decided that the reason I wanted to be in a relationship was because I was “bored being alone.” I told myself: “I already know myself really well and the only way to grow as a person is to be in a relationship.” What a crock of shit. Ok, maybe you do grow as a person in a relationship, but seriously. What I’ve learned since then is that if you are going into a relationship because you’re bored, then eventually you’ll get bored again once the novelty wears off. So you might as well learn how to not get bored on your own. Boredom leads to loneliness, but curiosity about you and your world turns loneliness into contented aloneness.

 

 

 

Slowww down and savor the little things, goddammit! (J/k – I thought it would be fun to have ‘goddammit’ in the title)

2374918-coffee-with-cream-and-sugarSo I have a theory. All good friends are really the same friend in a different form.

So this is a story about one friend but she is really all the friends I’ve known.

I had this friend in high school. M. M and I didn’t have a lot in common in many ways but somehow… at some point… something sparked and we always had fun together. It didn’t matter what we were doing. Stuck in LA traffic. Procrastinating doing our homework. Sitting on a bus for hours on end. We always found the fun in it and laughed laughed laughed.

We went to different colleges and over the years saw less and less of each other but whenever we did, it was the same. The same love of little things, the same silliness.

Here is an example of the little things that would make us happy. We would go to a coffee shop in the valley and, to save money, get the cheapest coffee cup size available. And then we would go to the ‘coffee accessories’ area and put in the fixings. And we’d deliberate over whether to include nutmeg and/or cinnamon and/or honey vs. sugar and/or half & half versus soy milk. Or maybe a little of everything? We’d taste test and mix things and sprinkle things to get it just right, taking as long as we felt like because… why? Because it was fun.

I’ve made other friends since M and other people, of course, have other amazing qualities but somehow or another… I always beeline my way to that quality when I see it in people. In my experience, it’s the seed of happiness.

Oldies* can be goodies, too.

39022638-Retro-styled-image-of-an-old-car-radio-inside-a-green-classic-car-Stock-PhotoSo I was telling my friend the other day about how I’ve gone through this long period of time – maybe 5 or 6 years – where all I’ve done is try to keep up with new music. I’m not totally sure why but I think it has something to do with the fact that when I would listen to older songs, I felt as old as the song. If I played a song like ‘Friday I’m in love’ that I listened to like crazy back in 1993, then I felt like I was one of those people who only listened to oldies stations whilst driving in their car and I never wanted to become one of THOSE people. So I figured I better stop listening to old songs and I did.

But now something has changed. When I listen to older songs, I feel my power surge back inside me. I feel like the parts of myself I discarded along the way to keep up with ‘the new’ are coming back and I finally know why those ole fogies listened to their old songs on their car radios. I don’t want to be an old fogie….EVER…. but that doesn’t mean I can’t love the old and the new.

*Disclaimer: I have nothing against people of the older variety. You could be 20 and be old in spirit (i.e. clinging to the past and refusing the present or future).

facebook outbursts #478

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.

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i want to know the etymology of the term ‘BenGay.’

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procrastination is the single greatest contributor to my creativity.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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The reason why spotting a penny is lucky is bc it indicates that your mind is peaceful enough to see it.

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Less drama offstage. More drama onstage. That is my current philosophy and I’m sticking to it.

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Men need a fancy store to buy special underwear and it should be called “Victor’s Secret.”

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i am determined to seek out magic wherever and whenever i can… and where there is no magic, i am walking away.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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I can’t handle it when strangers are nice. Well sure I can. It just always surprises me.

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i’m extremely intolerant of judgmental people. hmmm. let me untangle that a moment…

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i’m extremely intolerant of judgmental people. hmmm. let me untangle that a moment…

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Just saw a woman wearing a button that read “Porn produces pollution.” Ummm. The world gets a little weirder every day.

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