creativity + art

Intentional Offering: The pursuit of giving.

Body: 

(details below)

Giving in its purest form is a gift - there is receiving in giving.

Offering gifts of time, space, knowledge, wisdom, even monetary resources aka: “fat checks” – can be a good thing.

Devotional giving is pure in form; it’s what you believe to be for the highest good.  It’s personal, can be slightly introverted and organic; like an offering in silent meditation, a blessing before a meal or a special gift that represents a sentiment for someone that’s resonant or deeply personal. 

Actionable giving is also good, so long as the gift is offered from a holistic place – void of want, need, accolades or desire. This could be volunteering your time, gifting personal items or monetary donation. 

Giving keeps us spiritually active and keeps the heart pliable, it binds us.

A truism: Sometimes giving is conditional. The idea is to be clear as to why you give what you’re giving and what it is you hope to gain: clarify intention, so it sits right with you.

Give habitually and with heart, with purpose, commitment and presence.

*For as long as I can remember I’ve had amazing luck finding pennies.  Many years ago, I started a personal project that goes like this: when I find a penny, I then make a wish and immediately send it back out into the world for someone else’s good fortune as a devotional offering. Give it a try - The Penny Project.

21 days of stand-alone bliss: A chronic happiness immersion.

Body: 

Your happiness project: Q + A moment.

* Do you know what it feels like to be in union with yourself, to experience the feeling of innate joy and to be enveloped in wholeness? 

* To move through the world in joyful solidarity: Would it be enough?

 Does your joy rely on attachment to people, objects and outcomes - situations outside of yourself; could you be stand-alone happy or would it turn life upside down?

Spiritual untethering is to sync joy + happiness and know true, authentic solo bliss – a simple oneness with self.

* Complete this sentence (this list can be as long as you see fit): The perfect day, activity or moment for me, doing exactly what I love to do is __________. 

Stand-alone happiness = life symmetry; a matrix of bliss.

Be bold. For the next 21 days live resonantly + blissfully solo.  Immerse yourself in your daily happiness.   

Be clear. This is for you. "Follow your bliss." ~ Joseph Cambell

Dream big. Take action. "Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the earth." ~ Rumi

21 days: Do one thing that makes you over-the-moon-completely happy... everyday

: Take a walk, a nap, write a book, study, journal, hobby, dine, dance, do nothing, explore, travel, breath, love… color outside the lines of your everyday life.

Honor your core self; inspire others to live in kind – Start your own happiness project!

Go to Facebook + Twitter and leave your comments – What are you doing to be stand-alone happy?

Re-birth + Renewal: The courage to get it right

Body: 

“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind” ~ C.S. Lewis

Regret is a waste of time. Yet, for me personally, if allowed one “do-over” it would be some of the parental choices I made specifically - mothering my son through the lens of my upbringing. The “giving” based on what I did or didn’t get, was clearly a one size fits all approach to parenting. My epiphany was sent special delivery last weekend while my son Shane was visiting home from college. Through 19 ½ years of being “Shane’s mom”, I’ve learned more about myself than any other life experience. 

By modeling through action what I want for my son - I’ve learned to want more for myself, to be more of myself.  

Each day gives us opportunity for renewal; to allow room in our lives to get it right, to start fresh.  

They say in life there are no do-over’s - that this is our final act. Last weekend I took my chance to get it right and grabbed it with both hands. It was my moment to speak with love and care, to take a top-down approach by way of his mind and heart. I said the things I’ve never said, in a way I know they’d be lovingly received; while gently and metaphorically cutting cords. 

To willingly and authentically shed layer upon layer, by moving forward and emerging as a whole woman in a way that honors who I am; I’m allowing him to be the man he’s meant to become.

apathy , the upside of intention + author Star Roberts

Body: 

“Intention is what creates {our} reality” ~ Deepak Chopra

What do you want, what do you wantwhat-do-you-want?

For yourself, for family, our nation and this pending November election?

There’s a downside to apathy: lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern aka: “sorry… not my problem” (or) “I’m just too busy”.

Apathy is ignorance void of intention when it impacts us on a humanistic level. 

I’m actually in favor of healthy detachment but at a point - there’s no space for apathy. It’s delusional to think that someone else can carry our slack on issues that affect us as “a collective”.  

Strike apathy from your repertoire. 

If reality is a state of being, intention gives us the fuel to move forward; cause to assert ourselves, the aptitude for survival and capacity to thrive.  

This November be of service; make “the vote” your intention.  Vote for someone, some cause, some-thing more relevant than yourself that best serves us all - collectively.   

Make a difference: Vote. 

Soak in a timely piece written with intention by memoir writer + sister / friend Star Roberts.  Star co-authored - We came back to say: an Anthology of Memoir

 

Read this story of hope … 

 

                                                 Bobby & Barack by Star Roberts

The only letter I‘ve ever written to a well known person was in June of 1968 to Ethel Kennedy. It was right after her husband Bobby was shot in the kitchen at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. I was 13 years old and grieving the future of our country. 

A week earlier, my mom, sisters and cousin Pam and I all piled into our Ford Wagon Master in Tacoma, Washington. We were headed seven hours down I-5 to Roseburg, Oregon to see and hear Bobby Kennedy speak on the steps of the Douglas County Courthouse to a crowd of around 1500 people. It was my first encounter with a politician up close. I don’t remember the exact words of his speech, but I so vividly remember the goose bumps it left on my arms. He was charismatic, passionate, and inspiring. He was his brother, but better.  It was the first time I felt like I was part of something bigger than myself and it felt amazing.

After the rally, we held up our campaign posters that said KENNEDY in big bold capitol letters and took each others pictures. In one picture my eyes are barely peaking over the large poster and beside me, my cousin Pam has a big smile on her face. Her bouffant hair-do is a testament to the times and the magic properties of a good teasing comb and a can of Aquanet. 

We rode back up the freeway the next day full of hope, Orange Fanta and possibilities. In the long, dark tunnel of bad news, delivered nightly via Walter Chronkite and the CBS Evening news —in the form of body counts, tear gas, and race riots—Robert F. Kennedy was our bright spot at the end of it. I became hopeful. I held my breath. And then, unbelievably, a short a week later he was gone.

I didn’t know where to go with my adolescent grief so I took pen to paper and wrote to his widow, Ethel. I had to let her know how her husband had moved me. I had to let her know how sorry I was. I had to let her know how sad I was for her and her kids, for me, and our country. I didn’t expect to get a response. When the letter showed up in my mailbox, a few weeks later with a Massachusetts postmark on creamy white stationary, I was amazed. It was a typed response to my condolence letter, thanking me, and it was hand-signed, by Ethel, and I knew in my 13 year old heart she had really signed it.  My grief found a place to go in that moment and in that place there was comfort.

Great men enter our hearts quietly on a first name basis, whether we’ve met them or not. On that night in November of 2008, when Barack came out on the Chicago stage and gave his acceptance speech, even though I was only watching on TV, I felt the goose bumps all over again, in a way I haven’t since 1968. My goose bumps and I looked over at my 15 year old daughter Riley, and I could see on her face, she knew history being made. I held my breath, sent a silent prayer upwards and chose hope again. Hope for this man who has sparked her political passion and re-ignited mine. Hope for Barack to be kept safe and to burn brightly for a long time to come...

Fast forward four years and here we are again. Same hope. Same worry. Same thought that if we dare to dream the bigger dreams, maybe, just maybe, it will all be worth it. My daughter is now 18, away at college and out of our nest for the first time in her life. I won’t be sitting beside her during the upcoming election night and I know she is buried in her new life so I text her with my pesky parental reminder: don’t forget to register and vote! For now, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and choose hope again. It is what I know how to do.

  • Star Roberts is at work on Hellsgate: Stories from A Northwest Childhood. Her essay “Moving Away” is a PNWA Literary Contest Finalist for 2012.  When not writing, she can be found reading, nesting and mothering in the shadow of the Space Needle. She awaits good news at: stargish@comcast.net

Entrepreneur Life + Mastering Time: A Prelude to Success

Body: 

Time can be your soul mate or your elusive friend – it’s all about perspective.

The entrepreneur life is not for the faint of heart.  Some days can feel like you’re scraping and crawling to get through. Infuse that with managing life with some semblance of normality: marriage, domestic partnerships, kids, friends, your health…. and so on. 

Managing time is your golden ticket - whether it’s business, your personal life, or both. Its absolutely 100% doable even at times when it feels like the shit is not firing.

My personal credo: Time is on your side when you get clear and are committed to desire, priorities, positive perspective, determination, showing up + pushing through.  

Making time your friend takes careful choreography.

Allow yourself a shift of mindset: Fuse the concept that time wisely chosen is time well spent. 

  • Can you clearly define success on your own terms?
  • What is your motivation? 
  • Understand the “why” i.e.: your goals, your dreams – the stuff you wish for. Know that clarity will lead you to desirable outcomes. 
  • Is procrastination your “go to” place? If so, is fear the driver?
  • Do you participate in activities outside of work that you wholeheartedly enjoy? A quick note; make these a part of your daily calendar – this is the reward for being the C.E.O. of your life and business, it's you who gets to call the shots.

Prioritize your calendar. Let it reflect your personal and business goals – both short term and long term on a daily, weekly + monthly basis. Learn to stay flexible; schedules change, priorities shift - go with the flow.

Here’s a sample schedule of my typical day: 

6:45: wake up – Coffee, read / answer email. Walk Trudy.

7:30: Schedule meetings, send out inquiries via email.

8:00: Write blog, work on coaching ideas.

9:00: Call clients, schedule meetings via phone. Have a mini “think tank” session with a trusted colleague. 

9:15 to 10:00: Hit the gym, or go to yoga (depending on the day).

11:30 to 1:00: Meet with clients.

1:30: Lunch

2:00: Walk Trudy / Fifteen minute meditation.

2:30: Return / Send email correspondence. Make adjustments to weekly / monthly schedule as needed.

3:00: Meet with clients or colleagues

4:30: Return messages as needed. Work on marketing ideas. 

5:00: Write, journal, blog, check email. 

6:00 to 9:00: Dinner / Family + friend time / Walk Trudy.

9:00: Journal and make notes / revise business and coaching ideas.

10:00: Sleep or watch a movie.

* schedule and times are +/-  depending on the day.

There is no magic to this entrepreneurial life.  It takes nothing short of rolling up your sleeves and getting down in the trenches; tenacious ingenuity. The idea is to increase fluidity in your day, allow for flexibility and artful assimilation. This is the key to personal success, the unending balance between work and life.

Designing rituals that celebrate life ::

Body: 

“Personal fulfillment begins with loving yourself, by aligning with rituals that reflect that”.

Do you take time for restoration in a manner that brings peace and raises spiritual symmetry?

It could include a warm bath, lighting a candle, writing, reading a good book, a long walk or quiet meditation. Moments that beckon for self-reflection, allow for soulful shedding, they are an accompaniment to un-stifled growth. Through self-designed rituals, I’ve experienced epiphanic moments that changed the course of a thought or idea that no longer served me.

Restoration rhythmically raises levels of consciousness making way for embryonic inklings + sparks; the doorway to the center stage of our lives.

What rituals do you prescribe to and what have you let go of? On Facebook or Twitter, answer today’s question by leaving your comments.

::  Yesterday, I was featured on Editor Jones™ in an interview on being an entrepreneur: read here. 

Seattle Kate Walsh Sightings + Bringing Sexy Back.

Body: 

Last Monday after leaving physical therapy, I decided to drive through downtown Seattle en route to home for a change of scenery. As I turned onto sixth avenue in front of Nordstrom in the valet lane to my left, I saw a black town car. As I sat at the light, I noticed the valet had one of the most incredibly lit up smiles I’d seen in a very long time. Like a smile you see on Christmas day, when a child takes first glance at what Santa’s left under the tree. 

Looking on with curiosity, directly next to me the door to the sedan opened. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle – it was as if the heavens opened up; out-stepped a statuesque honey blonde wearing a pencil skirt, high heels and a bright sunny yellow short trench coat. Her hair was pulled sleekly back into a high polished ponytail, her skin and make-up were to perfection. She exuded an air of fierce confidence like nobody’s business; she looked fantastic and she knew it. “Holy crap”, I thought to myself, I recognized her…it was Hollywood “A” list actress, Kate Walsh. Her presence was visually poetic; If I wouldn’t have looked like a complete nut job, I would have offered applause + snaps all ‘round. Let me tell you - that is one sexy gal. It actually made me inspired and proud if I may say, to be a woman.

Driving home, my thoughts raced: Why the hell can’t everyone find their sexy? I’ve actually heard people say out loud, “I used to be hot”. My personal opinion: that statement hits a low point, when we put that “out there”. On a soul level, it invariably makes that idea real. We all have our moments when we fall into complacency, but it goes much deeper than that. In my career as a Hair + Make-up artist, I’ve worked with many of the “beautiful people”, but what captured me was her attitude. The saying “attitude is everything”, is an absolute and true statement. That confidence is housed in all of us; we are all capable of that quality of mind.

Ladies, let’s break it down. Sporting bras old enough to exibit in a museum, your still rockin’ the high wasted “mom jeans” that give you mom booty and gee-zuz, wearing yoga pants for day wear when you’ve not been to an actual yoga class or the gym in months, (or at all)? I won’t even venture into hair + make-up territory, accept to say, the 80’s were not your best look and leave it at that. Step away from the time machine, stay focused on this current decade.

Men, what’s up? What’s with the Dockers, acid washed denim shorts and “Members Only” jacket? Since when were Jerry Seinfeld white “sport” shoes with shock resistant comfort soles considered okay? Not your best look hon. The aloha shirt worn by Tom Selleck, while solving crimes in his Ferrari on the Magnum P.I. series? Please, If you’re not Hawaiian, attending a luau or a fictitious person named Tommy Bahama, walk away. A special request: For the love of all that is decent, ditch the team sport shirts as street wear, it’s high time to break free from your fashion funk! 

Once a month, wear a great pair of fitted jeans, a beautiful dress, or a fashionable suit coat. Or try test driving some kick-ass shoes and see how it makes you feel.  Spend a little extra on a great hair cut and a bit more time on your grooming. Under your hood is hotness just waiting to happen. It’s not about vanity - it’s about self honoring, self expression and metaphorically finding your way back to “you”. 

Be the “bomb”, get your swagger on, bring your sexy back – go find it.  More times than not, we get in our own way. There's a fine art to growing into ourselves, a deliciousness that is life.

Begin Where You Are ::

Body: 

A dedication to sheltering a lifetime of intention.

This life is yours, to begin where you are

abbreviated moments

lucidity

resolve

encapsulated sparks, a glimmer

unconscious dreams 

awaiting birth

an inward assent 

undoing, unfolding   

the masculine, the feminine 

a dance of equanimity 

the ebb and flow

a mindful harvest, a sanctified feast

effort, ease, presence 

a soulful reprieve

reverberates with clarity

to begin where you are.     

Be more of who you are :: Begin with healing.

Body: 

Who were you meant to be? 

The process of knowing your place in the world begins by sifting through untruths and letting go of who you are not.  It’s the first step to healing and the portal to emotional and spiritual expansion. 

Ask Yourself: What’s the one thing that you believe about yourself that may be holding you back? Perhaps they’re stories you were told, some passed down generationally. They may be physical, emotional or spiritual barriers.

That “thing” whatever it may be, is not your truth. It’s a story you’ve told yourself over and over again, it became a part of you. In order to move forward…the act of emotional untethering is necessary.

A Simple Clearing: In a brief statement, write down that belief and say silently, “I release all negative thoughts that do not serve me. They do not belong to me and never have”. Tear it up, burn it, relinquish attachment.  Be gentle with yourself, this process takes time.

In yoga, one of my favorite poses is at the end of practice. It’s called corpse pose. It allows for a time of surrender and for silence of the mind. Meditation is the gateway to self visualization, self actualization and is used as a powerful tool.

A Guided Meditation: Find a favorite space that you can access daily. This will be your sacred dwelling, a place where you’ll feel at peace for 5 to 15 minutes, daily. This space is where the mind will be quietly protected from the outside world.  It could be on a porch, your bedroom, or a corner of your living room; a place to lay or sit quietly, free from noise or distractions. 

Close Your Eyes: Take a deep breath slowly in, then slowly out, repeat this naturally. Let thoughts of the day float effortlessly away. You may fall asleep, or experience a state of lucidity. This is your time. You’ll emerge inspired, energized and nurtured. 

If someone were to ask what your vision is for yourself or others, what would it be? To be clear, this does not involve the thinking mind. Part of the practice of meditation is tapping into the higher mind; the mind void of preconceptions + limiting thoughts. 

A Self Visualization Tool: Visualize and focus on what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye through meditation + reflection. Perhaps you desire more peace, ease and fluidity in your day. Or maybe, the next great invention or business idea is brought to light. Even the simple wish of healing or prosperity for yourself or a friend can be given flight. The simple act of self visualization takes practice, focus and repetition.  It takes the quietness of the mind and release of diversion. Over time, it becomes effortless.

My hope is that this offering, will become part of your daily practice, will resonate with you and allow you a sense of purpose, clarity + renewal.

truth seeking, life balance + having it all ::

Body: 

Last week, the newswires were all abuzz with C.E.O. of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer’s pending pregnancy.  It dawned on me, if we were talking about an expectant father such as Bill Gates…well, we just wouldn’t be. Not in the same context. We wouldn’t be questioning his ability to balance career and familial obligation. We wouldn’t dissect whether parenthood would be a distraction from his very important corporate role in the world. He wouldn’t be chastised for placing his career potentially above family and questioned in regard to how well he’d juggle his responsibilities. One thing that I’m sure of - that in spite of all the staff, “help”, money, systems in place, etc., career + family is indeed a balancing act for anybody, yet also rewarding. Why must we choose between the things we love? 

For the longest time, I believed that having it all was possible, that life was a quest for balance. What I learned in reality was there is no such thing as a balanced life, particularly from a place of want. For those of us who desire more, life is full of concessions.

I was convinced that I did what I did for my family, out of fiscal need, financial sustenance + let’s face the straight up truth: as a member of the 99% club, let’s not forget the strength of a two income family. Like most, we do not own our home, (our mortgage company does), and at this very moment retirement is something we’ve planned for, but is a ways out.

disclosure + personal truth: The career path I followed was out of choice - for the accolades, the attention, the ego, feelings of grandeur and self worth. All the same logic a man would use to process his justification. While that may be acceptable (when well managed), it admittedly gave me a sense of completion in a way that family didn’t. I felt as though I was contributing to life’s bigger picture, really, my bigger picture. 

I had this notion that having the kick ass career, the partner / husband / wife, aka (family) would be the end all be all. The façade of the white picket fence, that when crossing its threshold, all problems of the day would magically melt away.

I do and still want to believe, that I was for the most part, present: that my family’s perception would not be to the contrary. What I’m quite sure about is that I'll never get that time back and that’s something I’m not particularly okay with. My son, I pray, is. 

First words, first steps, first bike ride, first mistake. All firsts.

disclaimer: I firmly believe that a woman or man, regardless of their role or responsibility, should aim for personal relevance and financial sustainability with the idea that: No matter what happens, there are options on the table at all times, with the ability to stand in your power. That’s a solid place to be.

While our “personal truths”, “beliefs”, “ideas" around family and career resonate with so many, or are even cause for contention: for those of you (men or women) who bust ass every day in or out of the home and want more for yourselves, while raising a family in some semblance…..

You go. 

Don’t ever stop.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - creativity + art