Chasing My Home: 17 Moves

16 moves in 11 years with #17 pending in the next few months. No, I'm not in the military. I'm single, young and trying to figure my life the fuck out. As another move approaches, I find myself questioning what I'm running to, or running from. The feeling of a home has been an elusive and moving target I've chased for what feels like a very long time. The truth is, I feel at home in most places now. On airplanes, in my car, traveling both near and far. Primarily, I feel at home where my dogs are and feel drawn to the deep yearning to provide a nice space for them to be comfortable and happy.

On the relationship front, there've been short bursts of the feeling of wanting to cohabitate with another. The few times that's come to fruition, it highlights our incompatibilities quite rapidly. Mark another bad decision on my chart. Another failure, another set of lessons learned the hard way. Self-doubt, questioning my decision making abilities, understanding the why of the decision to move forward, what I'm trying to achieve and what hole I'm aiming to fill with the company of another. 

When I was much younger, I carried this narrowed and limited notion of find a person I was at least somewhat happy with, sometimes, and settle down with them. What a bloody miserable life that would have been. I operated from a very fear and lack based system back then.

Upgrading my way of thinking and the thrills of life have taught me not to settle. It's also taught me that it's more than okay to spend time alone. Sadly, I've never felt more alone than when coupled. 

At 33, I'm looking back, wondering if I should've, could've bought a house instead of renting year by year, while I so desperately searched for "The One," the person I'd make a home with. All along, I've been the one I need to make a home with. I need to find that within myself, before I can find it with another.

Material goods like lamps, candles, rugs, pictures and art hanging on the walls, bright colors and a clean space make a space feel more homey, but there's still an element of permanence, or at least a more grounding and permanent feeling than a 12 month lease contract provides. At some point in our lives, we all need that. Until then, we move around, experiencing newness, purging, the energy of a new space and meeting new neighbors.

Below is a summary of my moves to date with associated reasons, situations and life lessons I experienced:

1. Moved to Dallas from my childhood home and hometown after college to seek more opportunities, new experiences and love

2. Moved into a tiny efficiency (studio) to have my own space

3. Moved into a nicer, bigger apartment closer to work and live with a partner

4. Moved an hour away from work, to save on rent, and for what I thought was a relationship

5. Moved in with a friend temporarily when that went quickly south

6. Moved again when I rented a room from an eccentric lady

7. Moved back in with person I thought was in a relationship with

8. Moved cross country with person I thought was in a relationship in to renovate a house I had no legal protections of

9. Moved back to my parent's in Texas when the above situations expired 

10. Moved back to Dallas when I got hired again with a roommate to split living expenses

11. Moved an apartment when I realized I needed my own space

12. Moved to a nicer apartment when I was frustrated with my neighbors asking for money

13. Moved to another apartment in what I thought was a hip and trendy place, with a small yard for my doggies

14. Moved to a house when that apartment life was the worst apartment management experience of my life

15. Moved to another apartment when that relationship went south and received a death threat from a roommate prospect

16. Moved to current house for spacious yard for doggies to play

17. Next move coming October 2017, working on shifting from chasing to attracting experiences and ideas of fulfilling my dreams and intentions. 

Awareness and recognizing that chasing things I want to attract by moving all around the metroplex are now at the forefront of my mind, I'm now dissecting the why in order to learn the lessons and move onto the next phase of living in an attraction state of energy. 

What are you running from? What are you running to? 

Are you chasing, or are you attracting the life you want? 

I would love to hear your tales of moving, or of staying put. Please share your stories in the comments.

What Do You Want?

Photo credit: boatbookings.com

Photo credit: boatbookings.com

It's been said that humans are complex creatures. We can be boiled down to one thing: We want to know that we matter, to someone. That our presence as a human is validated, appreciated. We want to be heard.

A month ago, I started a new list of what I want:

+ full, active, engaged support

+ independent happiness

+ freedom to be & do

+ presence

+ adventure

+ to be heard

+ celebration & to be celebrated

+ to be hugged

+ surprises

+ to be challenged, engaged in thought, conversation and habits

+ partnership in business

+ fun & spontaneity

+ shared activities - festivals, movies, museum nights, local music, walks, bike rides, brunches

+ to outsource all the "minimum wage activities" = for me, house cleaning, lawn care, grocery shopping

+ weekly massages & floating in epsom salt water

+ a garden (community or in own yard) to grow our own food

+ variety of experiences - new and familiar 

+ social meals with friends, new friends, strangers, business partners

+ to read & write in coffee shops, parks

+ to feel safe, secure, held, heard, seen, respected, honored, adored, loved, liked, cared for

+ a date. to date. to court and be courted.

+ curiosity

+ to live at the beach, in a groovy little beach town

+ to have a mountain cabin

+ patience

+ old fashioned manners & etiquette 

+ a life of abundance

+ growth & change

+ good, loving, kind, giving heart level of energy

+ self love & self care

+ meditation & spirituality

+ walks, bike rides, fitness

+ healthy, nutritious, natural cooking & consumption

+ compassion & empathy

And now, for things I definitely don't want:

- anger

- to be ignored

- complacency

- unhealthy habits

- stagnation

- a life of "no"

- fear & lack

- messy home

- jealousy

- misaligned priorities

- a life with friends or social activities 

- poor health

- to clean up after others

- to be tolerated

- to be responsible for others 

- imbalance

- lack of trust

- to not be appreciated

- religion

- laziness

- anger

- hate

- deceptive behavior

- manipulation

- cheating

- to be taken advantage of

- irresponsibility

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

It's always important to know what you want, to know what you don't want, and to learn to let your wants, needs, desires, beliefs and opinions change with the winds of life. What's good for one might be detrimental to another, this is my list as it flows from my pen currently. It might look very differently next year, or tomorrow. 

What do you want? What do you not want? What are your boundaries? Do you feel confident setting them in your life? 

 

Gratitude of 2016 Proportions

A few days ago, I wrote a list of things, experiences, people, lessons and accomplishments I'm thankful for that happened in the now infamous year of 2016. Some people had a helluva year, the British voted to leave the EU and not to be outdone, America electoral colleged Donald Trump into the highest known political position, President of the United States. What. In. The. Holy. Fuck. It's time to wake up, time to take charge of your own destiny, to take responsibility for your own life, decisions and actions.

Below is a short list of some things I'm thankful for that happened in 2016:

+ writing with a fountain pen
+ investing in myself
+ getting a Zephyr train tattoo
+ seeing Dave Matthews Band in San Francisco
+ watching friends get married in Cancun
+ spending 5 days in Las Vegas for a friend's 40th birthday
+ completing the Catalyst Course (life coaching certification)
+ SHFT
+ tribes
+ family time
+ love, support, humor, faith, communication, dedication, loyalty and kindness
+ dogs
+ Dell buyout of my company
+ new position at my day job - more flexibility, less stress
+ a new startup venture
+ co-workers and networking
+ spending a long weekend in Colorado with Kira
+ Sully & Zephyr :-)
+ friendly neighbors
+ treating myself to happiness, abundance
+ cooking at home
+ Bespoke Post
+ credit cards and bonus points
+ extra income streams
+ new iMac that I got a bangin' good deal on ;-)
+ making leather goods - Sully + Proper
+ living in a nice happy bright apartment
+ moving to a nice quiet open house
+ life coaching clients
+ blogging
+ Chipotle's Chiptopia
+ endings to what was no longer serving my highest good
+ online learning webinars
+ Awake event in LA with other SHFTers and Catalysts!
+ turning lemons into deliciously tasty lemonade :-)
+ my boss
+ farmer's markets
+ dates
+ building a dining table
+ planning a trip to London for April 2017
+ my officemate
+ my Mom's love and support
+ family
+ music
+ tattoos
+ charcoal filters
+ going to the Texas Women's Conference
+ saying YES and making things happen
+ getting out of my own way to say hello to others
+ connecting with new friends
+ saying goodbye to old friends
+ chocolate chip cookies
+ coconut oil
+ coffee
+ creativity
+ walking
+ physical ability
+ Kickstarter - seriously, it's one of my favorite things in adulthood!

I wish everyone the most prosperous, bountiful, abundant 2017 ahead.

Live good, live well.

Connecting the Dots



"You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." - Steve Jobs, 2005 Stanford Commencement Address


This past weekend, I spent 3 days in a conference room of a Marriott hotel, learning about real estate investing. I've done this before. Twice before, to be exact, around the 2008 time period. One of these was the Robert Kiyosaki 3 day training, which was motivating and inspirational, but I took it nowhere. The other one was at the Lifestyles Unlimited headquarters in Irving. After this one, we had the opportunity to spend a few minutes doing an open Q&A with Del Walmsley. I asked him a question along the lines of where do I get started and his answer was "get yourself a better paying job for a while and some work experience" ... ummm ... excuse me? 


At that time in my life, I had been working for 8 years. I'd spent 6 years working at a bank as a high school and college student, started my first 401(k) at the age of 17, finished my BBA in under 4 years, and was working at a very large telecommunications company, making a salary of $38,000 a year. I was making more than a few other people in the audience quoted as their annual salaries, that he respectfully gave a 1 minute business plan response to. What was it about me that indicated to him that I was, essentially, a lazy kid with no business there? It didn't hurt my feelings, I just took it as a sign that maybe that group wasn't for me. So I let that dream go. 


I continued to work in my corporate job, with dreams of doing something else. That something else was real estate investing, but I didn't have the capital to get started, and that was my limiting belief. In 2010, I invested what I DID have in a row home in Baltimore, but it wasn't in my name. I made the down payment, I paid for the roof to be replaced, I paid for the day laborers that I picked up for a 7-11, I paid for pizzas for them all, I paid for materials and gas to move who I thought was my girlfriend to Maryland to get this going. What I paid for was a whole shit ton of life lessons and was being flat out manipulated and used. And I knew it, but I was too far into it to give up. 


Three months into living there, in the basement of her parents' house, I resolved to move back to Texas, to throw in the towel and take the losses as they were. What was becoming increasingly more important as each day passed, was getting away from her and into a place of safety and sanity. I spent 5 weeks working in a row home in Baltimore, not in the worst part of the city, but not in the best part either. Many of those days, I was there alone, in that space, with no security and no money. I remember counting my change to get a jug of tea to have something to drink while I worked. I'd take a package of crackers to have something to eat. I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches during that summer. They were cheap and filling, and stopped my stomach from growling. After the 5 weeks when I was down to my last few dollars, I spent a day pounding the concrete and secured 2 jobs: mall copping and stocking the new grocery section at the new Target in Annapolis. One paid $8.50/hour and one paid $9/hour. I'd prioritize the $9/hour one over the $8.50/hour one, but most of the time, I worked both. A day off to me was only working one 8 hour shift and not two. 


My shift at Target began at 3 AM most days, and my mall copping shift was 3-11 PM. This left about 3 hours for sleep each night. Sometimes I could squeeze a nap in between my morning shift at Target before I went to the mall, but the stress was too much to nap. It felt like I was wasting the day. I kept a notebook, tracking the number of hours I worked at each and how much money I made each day. My goals were very humble: make enough to figure out my next move. I had to decide to stay there and keep searching and hoping for another corporate job to come my way, to continue working 2 jobs to make a portion of what I left Nortel making, or to move back to Texas to regroup. 


Zephyr was my top priority. I didn't know if she would be there, safe and sound, when I got home from each shift. Of all my material items that got stolen from the person I sacrificed and gave so much to, she was manipulative and crazy enough to take my Zephyr, just to be malicious. I can't describe the relief I experienced each day, the comfort I felt each time I got back to her beautiful face and the relief I felt lift from my shoulders the night we drove out of Maryland and into Virginia. 


My Mom flew up on a Friday night, my last day there, to drive back with me. The succubus's brother and best friend knew just how badly things could go with her, so they helped me pack up my things and get out safely, without her knowing when I was leaving. We hurriedly packed and loaded and tied things down, watching the road and driveway for her car, hoping it didn't appear. The friends I made during that summer all gathered at Applebee's for a going away party. I had never felt so loved by friends. It was like we'd known each other for our entire lives, yet it was literally only a couple short months. It's a summer I will never forget, and one that I hold so near and dear to me. 


Once I got back to Texas, I lived with my parents for about 6 weeks. I searched and applied for jobs like it was my job. I spent 60+ hours a week on my computer, applying, reading, applying for more. I didn't want to go back to Dallas, it felt that was an expired part of my life and I wanted something new, so I was looking all over the country. One day while getting some BBQ for lunch, I got a call for a position with a startup called Acadia. I went through the phone interviews, the in person interview the following week in their Addison office and got the job offer within a week from that. It's not called Acadia now, but I still work there. We were next VCE Company, then a division of EMC Corporation and now a division of Dell EMC. It's been a wild ride, and I'm thankful for every single minute of my experience there.


I've grown into myself, in so many ways, while working there. Developing business relationships, public speaking, money and time management, professionalism, project management, leadership, managing people, dressing well, asking for what you want, being rewarded, traveling the world ... it's been a powerful experience indeed. I wouldn't trade it for anything. 


But, as all good things must come to an end to allow for new beginnings, I feel the time has come to plot out my next move. I don't know the stability of my position there, and want more for myself, my family, my life and legacy. This past weekend, things came full circle, as other things in 2016 have done and I invested a large portion of my 401(l) into education for myself, to take this next step in life. Education and mentorship are paramount if you want to get to the next level - whatever that next level might be for you. I took the plunge and am super fucking excited for it. I know challenges lie ahead, they always do. Those challenges are what propel us forward, what drive us, shape us and sharpen us. 


I joined Phill Grove's Big Dog Program and am pretty excited for the year long journey that lies ahead. Today is day 1 of it - setting up my calendar for the daily calls, getting websites going, taking out the loan to fund the cost to join, getting other bits and bobs squared away. There's so much to learn, so much to do and I can't WAIT to start doing deals. I want to do a deal a day by this time next year. I want to do a deal in my first month and 2 the next month, 4 the next and then 8 and then 16 and .... you see where this is going! Let's do more deals! 


I've said all that, to say this: do what lights your soul on fire. Do what keeps you awake at night because the excitement is too much to let you fall asleep. Do what you love, whatever you love that benefits others. Helping others is another level of being, another level of living. When we serve our true selves, we serve the world. Don't let anyone hold you back, fucking go forth, make your own path if you must. Take action. As Nike says, JUST DO IT! 


Live good, live well. 


Coaching Sessions & How to Book








We aren't made to get through this life alone. It is encouraged and absolutely welcomed to reach out to ask for help, especially to someone that's been there before. Struggles through relationships, financial blunders, moving, traveling, joblessness, lacking direction and passion, feeling lack of control of your own life, drowning in stuff, not knowing what to do or where to go, feeling anxious and just plain ol' stressed out ... let's have a talk. I'm here to listen, to ask questions, to provide guidance when needed, but most importantly, to help you better your life by making better decisions for yourself. This is all about you.

Available sessions can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/theorganiccatalyst/services

To schedule a session, click here:
https://theoc.acuityscheduling.com/

Whatever your stressor is, we can work through it to get you to a happier, healthier, more satisfying daily pace of life. Some of my passionate areas to help you with:

Food and nutrition
Water quality and consumption
Relationships
Relationship with self
Career, direction and purpose
Traveling & life goals
Controlling your money and finances 
Cleaning your space & organizing your life
Shifting your mindset from lack to abundance
Finding your voice
Living your life for you

Available sessions can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/theorganiccatalyst/services
To schedule a session, click here:
https://theoc.acuityscheduling.com/

My rate is $100 for a full hour session. I will meet you locally, or we can do Skype, FaceTime or a traditional voice call. The medium in which we use to communicate is your choice, and I will accommodate your needs. If you are outside of my immediate area, travel costs can be worked out on a case by case basis. I love driving, flying, bicycling, walking, train riding!

We'll make the best of what's around

Image result for black friday crowd
Photo credit: Matador Network


It started as a whimsical purchase of something I wanted while I was out shopping for others a few years ago. A pair of shoes I just HAD to have. A wallet I so desperately needed. A new laptop bag. Before you know it, I was outright shopping for myself during the holiday season, and lost sight of how to thoughtfully shop for others. As a teenager, I modeled after my Mom and bought gifts for damn near everyone I knew. Now, as an adult, it's almost infuriating because it's more about figuring out what you think someone would want, even though you only see one another at Christmas and Thanksgiving. WHAT. 

This year, I've found myself doing the same. I got my Mom a few things, and my girlfriend a couple things ... but here it is, 11 days before we are due to go spend a weekend with family and exchange gifts in hopes of figuring out something they want ... and eat more holiday food. And spend hours with people we don't typically spend time with. And smile and be happy about it. And it's the busiest time of year at work for me. And ... you get the idea, it's a quite similar story for so many of us! Why do we do it? Since Thanksgiving, I've bought myself: 2 necklaces, a lantern for my office, a surprise box from Bespoke Post with some random goodies in it, some candles for setting intentions for the new year, a leather pocket folder thingy ... and that's just what I can remember. I suppose I began this tradition because I don't feel I get gifts I want from others, for the most part. But that's not true. It's all this murky misconception I have about people "not getting" me and feeling alone and swimming around in my own damn head. 

At Christmas 1989, there was a gift under my Nanny's tree to Steve in very neat handwriting, but no from name was included. Everyone took a look at it and no one owned up to who brought it. After our dinner, it was time to open gifts and my dad opened the one addressed to him with no from name, and lo and behold, it was the exact gun scope he had been wanting! He had drawn his own name for Christmas and given himself exactly what he wanted. Is there where I got it from? 27 years ago when my dad started this tricksterness? 

What's it mean now, now that I'm an adult? I don't need the things I've purchased for myself, they're just cool to have and things I'll probably enjoy at some point in the future. Are these things I wish someone else would know me well enough to buy for me? Probably, yes. But highly unlikely that'll ever be. And that's okay. I'm coming to peace with it. I have my own money and can buy my own things. My bigger struggle is understanding what to get others ... and where do you draw the line on who to buy for and who to respectfully leave off the list?

My sister, for example. We don't talk. We don't really have a relationship. But in years past, I've gone to her home for Christmas morning Santa Claus gift opening because it's what we started doing after my parents divorced, 2 decades ago. But I'm not welcome there, because I'm a lesbian. This year, I'm politely not going and don't feel odd about it, aside for the fact that it puts my mom in the middle per usual, because no one will talk to each other in the family and mom does everything. 

And ... my dad. He and step-mom give me cash each Christmas and I haven't seen them for a birthday in several years. I see them exactly twice a year, unless there's a death and subsequent funeral to attend.  

Does anyone else do this? What are your feelings about it, and reasons for it? Is there a shift on the horizon we are inspiring? Can we reverse the dreadful impacts of ridiculous unnecessary consumerism? 

Be the door, not the door mat.

Let people come and go as they need, don't try to hold the weight of them on your shoulders. It's not our responsibility or even our place to rescue others, to save ones we care for, to impose ourselves into other's lives. Be the door - be ready to accept folks into your world, and also be ready to let them go when they are ready to leave. Caring for another sometimes means letting them go, and that is life. It's all the entanglements that hold us down, that weigh on us so heavily like kids, pets, all the 300,000 items we share in our homes together, bank accounts, etc. What if all of that was a non-issue, and you were in each other's lives because you WANTED to be, not because you feel you have to be?

Chew on that for a few minutes. Re-read it. Now, read on.

Most of us don't remain in the same friendship circles our entire lives, and most of us date multiple people before committing to one long term, and that is even often short-lived but quickly entangled. What does it all mean? We get caught up in the idealism of romance and security and stability, without understanding that it's not for everyone. The idea of marriage and vows and a lifetime commitment - where does that come from, and is it even for humans? In our basic natural state as animals, are we monogamous? It doesn't appear to be so, just watch any movie or read a book. Yet we choose it, often for the sake of comfort and to be not-alone.

I May Have Outgrown Thanksgiving This Year

3 meals. 2 days. 3 branches of family.

On Thanksgiving Day, we drove to my hometown to have lunch with my Mom's side of the family, then ventured 1 minute around the corner to my Nanny's to have dinner with my Dad's side of the family. On Friday, we spent the day with my girlfriend's family. Each passing year, I get a bit more agitated, restless and sad. Spending time with family at large feels just ... obligatory. They don't know me, not the real me, nor do they care about my life. Why should I even go? Why do we put ourselves through the discomfort and awkwardness? I'm not the only one that sat in a small cluster of seclusion and perceived comfort, but I can only speak for my own feelings. I know this happens across the map, for various reasons and varying degrees of strong feelings. Family is such a strange concept to me. I've always wanted to be part of a family I fit into, an accepting and worldly family full of love and meaningful conversation, you know, like in the movies. 

Plans began a few weeks in advance with our respective family members that were involved in each meal session about who would make what dishes and what day each meal would happen and where, yada, yada, yada. To preface this holiday, I have strong underlying feelings and opinions about its history and how duped we all are about the bullshit around it, highlighted more than ever by the recent presidential election results and what's happening on sacred Indian Reservations in North Dakota. Family we complain about, food we don't really like the taste of, traditions we aren't sure why we continue them and Black Friday shopping that's planned out so strategically to execution. Do any of us truly feel thankful for any of these things? 

Let's face it: 

If we loved turkey, we'd make it year round. The same goes for dressing/stuffing. And casseroles. And fruit salad. And ham. And casseroles. And all of the other strange things we blend together to stuff down our gullets once a year. Does anyone enjoy the taste of turkey, truly? Please, raise your hand if you do. 

The manner in which these birds are raised is horrifying, as is the amount of food that goes to waste on this single day ... the Pilgrims didn't have a kind and welcoming meal with the Indians, while we are on uncomfortable topics that the masses don't want to acknowledge. They murdered them in mass quantities, took their land and wiped out entire tribes. Genocide. Why do need to spend hundreds of dollars, countless hours and pour our hearts into this meal on this day, for the sake of tradition? 

Are there not other traditions we could start, that have a positive impact on the world instead, like feeding the homeless, going to support events like the Standing Rock, ND shitshow, spending time with folks in the hospitals and nursing homes, walking dogs at a local shelter, traveling, reading, cleaning? I've read hundreds of posts, tweets, blogs and articles about how so many dread going home to spend this holiday with their family members. Many are funny, some are sad, others are so painfully true and relatable. So why do we do it? Because we don't want to disappoint our family - the family that quite literally couldn't give two shits and a rat's ass about seeing us any other day of the year? Why, on this day, must we put on our smiles and pep-talk ourselves into being friendly and social for a few hours? 

While my more raw feelings and opinions linger around holidays, it's because when I boil it all down, it's the time amidst the laughter and off-color jokes and shallow commentary of my family that I feel the most alone. The most isolated. I don't feel like I grew up there, in that small town, with them. I know I did because I have the memories and the photographs. But each time I go back, I feel increasingly more like an alien trying to blend in with the locals for a few hours until I can escape back to the reality of my world in the city, where no one knows or cares who I am or where I came from, except my girlfriend and our dogs. Though I feel comfortable everywhere, they are home, to me. I wandered hard and fast, aimlessly, for about ten years without having a feeling of "home," and it's recently settled in my heart that they collectively provide that sense of belonging, safety, support and love. 

Feeling isolated isn't a bad thing, it gives perspective that propels me through the other 363 days of my life each year. It harbors feelings of gratitude because I enabled myself to create a life I enjoy, thrive in, challenge myself with, help others in, grow and regrow in. It's easy, relaxed and happy, full of open minds and intelligence, ideas and abundance. Our families raise us and help shape us into who we are, but it's up to us as individuals that go out on our own to break the mold for the parts that don't serve us, that we don't like and that aren't joyful for us. Make new parts. Make new traditions. Do what makes you happy, from the small acts of choosing where you grocery shop to what you do on the holidays, where you live and work, the food you eat, the way you fold your laundry and everything in between. 

I'm thankful that we have the tools at our fingertips to learn awareness, to support who and what we want, to support the companies that better the world, and to educate ourselves on current events. I'm thankful for the Internet and the many ways it enables us to connect with one another. The power of Facebook is global and I'm grateful it's used by so many as a tool of good, such as the community that John Kim's first blogpost has created for us to all share and grow together. To change the way that we change.

Use these last few weeks of 2016 to finish up what you need to leave behind, to tie up loose ends, to close this 9 year book and start a fresh new chapter when 2017 comes ringing in. Take responsibility for what is yours, make your lists and get on with it. Make your life what you want it to be, without the "shoulds," "coulds" and "woulds" of others. Do your thing.

Live good, live well.

The Organic Catalyst










My F#$#ing Feelings November 2016

Green poop.

The worst combover  and biggest political upset in history.

A misogynist sexist racist dishonest inexperienced bigot celebrity is now the President of the United States.

Uncharted waters.

Someone I thought was a friend, attempting to dictate who I am friends with and what I can and cannot say.

Excused myself from two circles of friends.

A life coach certification.

A calm relationship blooms.

This year has been one of great change and doors closing, windows opening, walls being torn down. The above statements and phrases are what have been swirling in my mind lately, trying to sort out the reasoning, the messages, the lessons to be learned from it all.

Green poop ... at one point this year, I quite literally knew the color of poop of a couple I was close friends with. I was in their home regularly. I signed their marriage license. I scored the highest on a know-the-couple type of game at their wedding shower, above people that had known them all their lives. I'd been over for dinners many times, hung out with them to watch sports, to go out to bars, out for birthdays and celebrations. I was part of the inner circle of a group of regular, nice people all around my age and demographic for a while. But they didn't know me. I knew the color of their poop but they called Zephyr a he. I knew the entire picture of their family dynamic and makeup, the drama with them all, yet, they couldn't be bothered with being on time to meet my family for lunch. They never stepped foot inside my apartment. Never came to meet me on my side of town for a meal or coffee. For hours, I'd listen to long drawn out rants of repetition on subjects I knew little of, but learned to be engaged in conversation for, without once being asked how I was doing, what I'd been up to, and towards the end, why my feelings were hurt or how our friendship could improve since I'd distanced myself. I was on the receiving end of an imbalanced and what my mom would call woppy-jawed friendship. I was the one that compromised my tastes and cravings, accommodated and gave in. Listened and rarely talked. Extended invitations just to turned down. I was expected to be on their timetable, at their whim. To do what they wanted, when they wanted. The day before my birthday, we had plans for the day when I got a text for an invite to the dog park. For years, I'd invited them to the dog park, getting a no in various forms every time. And on this day, when I had other plans and stuck with them, I was met with short remarks. Whaaaaaaat? 

I'd had enough. It was that day that I resolved to step away, to reduce my interaction with anyone that didn't respect me. I've spent my adulthood trying to form relationships, to build a network, to make friends, and at what cost? At the cost of self respect, of being a people pleaser, of being away from other things I wanted to do and being away from my dogs to stare at a television in a loud bar while humans ran into each other in the name of sports. It was that day I said yes to myself, and no to anything less. It's a daily practice, as I'm a people pleaser by nature, to make things "easier." Easier is not better, and better is not always easier. Fuck that shit. Take the long way around. Take the challenging route. Take pleasure in the process, Enjoy the journey. That's why we are here, after all.

********

Today, I feel sadness. I feel mourning, I feel angst, I feel turmoil. A slight twinge of optimism, overshadowed by very real fear and worry for who I am and for who others are, in fear any of us are now targets for discrimination again. We've taken so many steps forward, and now the very likely possibility of blowing those all to shit, of giving power to those that think racism, sexism and bigotry are okay, because the person they voted for, the biggest bully of them all, is now President elect of one of the most powerful countries in the world, as we are told to think it.

What does this all mean? What's this here to teach us? What are the lessons we are to experience and learn from this punch in the gut? How will our children react? What will the world do in response? What does this mean for future generations? Are we all dreaming the same dream, waiting to be woken up by our alarm clocks to learn that it was all a joke, a nightmare, a ploy and that the other wing of the same bird, Hillary Rodham Clinton actually made history? Republican, Democrat or otherwise, this isn't about the left and the right, this is about what's right and wrong, about supporting an openly dishonest person with the worst hair you've ever seen. He's on trial soon for rape charges. He has openly said he wants to **** his own daughter. He believes women are possessions and climate change is a hoax, created by the Chinese to foil us all.

While I don't think HRC is the greatest of all candidates, she was the lessor of two evils this go round, as elections tend to go. And now we are left with the most evil joke of all, Donald Trump. People are literally sick over this. It's felt in our guts, in our hearts. Intuitively, instinctually, instantly. This isn't an overthinking thing, it's not an intellectual war we can wage with ourselves. People genuinely fear for their lives now, because of one man's elected power that suddenly gives a power to his supporters to be racist, discriminatory, violent in wide swaths in the name of "Trump's America." Stop that shit. Be the protection for those that need it. Step in and make a difference in someone's life.

What this does show us is that we all care, and that a single voice does make an impact. We all carry our own power and right to be heard, right wrong or indifferent.

You can do what you set your mind to. We all have that in us. Clear the bullshit and get to it.

Live good, live well.

The Organic Catalyst

Law of Attraction Tribe

Law of Attraction Tribe
Notice the word action in attraction. We will come back to this in a bit. 

How do you create your life?
Thoughts, ideas, people, money, energy, feelings, situations, circumstances, events, material goods ... all of these things happen as a result of the Law of Attraction. Do you feel happy, satisfied, challenged, joyful, loved with balanced amounts of anger, frustration, sadness, melancholy, boredom, exhaustion, etc? Do you feel the same all of the time? How do you WANT to feel? Whatever you want, is already yours. You just have to claim it as your own, by aligning your mindset to the higher vibration of the Universe. Book suggestion: Happy Pocket Full of Money by David Cameron Gikandi

As we embark on this journey together, think of things you currently dislike in your life, feel misaligned with, want to look, feel and be differently within the next few weeks. Some ideas are:

+ cleaner home
+ new car 
+ improved relationships
+ improved attitudes
+ less stress with day to day life
+ better/different career path
+ new friendships
+ financial improvement
+ nicer home
+ dream trip
+ new business
+ more clients
+ happier feelings
+ hobbies
+ your dream partner
+ new rug for your living area
+ smiles from strangers
+ new pair of shoes
+ improved health
+ new goals
+ a cute puppy
+ exercise classes 
+ a new wallet
+ 500 Instagram followers
+ to meet your favorite celebrity

Whatever you want in your life, big or small, expensive or not, is yours. Make lists of what you want, the things you desire to have, feel and be. Write them  down as the ideas come to you and keep listing, everyday! I have lists everywhere. I always have at least one notebook in my presence, I keep one in my wallet with a small pen, 2 in my phone case, about 8 in my laptop bag, a few in each car, multiple on my nightstand, several on my desks, you get the picture ... I'm never without a notebook in case an idea comes to mind, so I can capture it immediately without forgetting it. 

The Law of Attraction has been around for centuries, studied and practiced by millions from all walks of life. Whether you know it or not, we practice it with each breath we take, decision we make, thought we have, feeling we feel and action we take. The key to all of this is action. Visualizing, dreaming, listing, thinking, feeling are all important components of this process, but taking action is the catalyst for bringing it into your reality.

Vision Boards
Oprah does them. Will Smith. Maya Angelou. Jim Carey. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Lindsey Vonn. Kellan Lutz. Ellen Degeneres. Kelly Rowland. You get the idea ... very successful celebrities and influential people of our time create vision boards. So, what are they? Essentially, they consist of photographs of your choosing, arranged in a manner that appeals to you, of things that you want in your life. Specificity is your friend with this, so do put things on it you do want, and don't put things on it that you don't want. Simple enough?

If you're questioning or doubting the specificity point, let me share a personal story. In June 2008, I created a vision board for my cubicle at work. On it, I put various pictures of friends, a dream house, vacation spots and a black Ford Expedition, because I couldn't find a photograph of a white one that would print out well, but I really wanted a white one. In August that year, there were massive incentives on trucks and SUVs because the price of fuel was at all time highs. I did my research and found a white Expedition at a nice and reputable Ford dealership, and went first thing on Saturday morning to get my dream vehicle. As it turned out, the white one I found that Friday afternoon online was sold that night, and the only one left in the model I wanted was ... black, just as the one in the photograph on my vision board. I went for a test drive and fell in love, did the deal and still have him to this day. His name is Duke. 

Have you created vision boards of your own before? Here's a quick how-to with some examples of where to get photographs and inspiration if you aren't sure where to begin:

1. Identify the areas of your life: love, career, friends, finances, home, travel, hobbies, spirituality/religion, family, health, education. Identify the areas that are important to you, and make a space for each. Some may not be applicable to your attention and goals right now, and that's okay! You can revise your vision board at any time, add to it, take away from it, re-create it, whatever feels right. This is yours and your life, do with it as you feel is most powerful for you. Listen to what speaks to you. I might suggest the Feng Shui Bagua map as a sample layout, and it also doubles as a map to your home, with ancient guidance on how to arrange your belongings to encourage and allow free flow of energy, color placement and elements for each space, all to enhance abundance, love and happiness in your space. Have you ever walked into someone's home that just felt good? You couldn't pinpoint what it was about their space that was just so welcoming and comfortable, but you felt it in your soul. This is what Feng Shui brings to your home space. The feeling of goodness, happiness, joy, abundance, comfort, motivation, creativity, 

2. Acquire a large backboard of your choosing to post photographs and print-outs on. You can use poster board, a wall in your home, cork board, whatever appeals to you and fits in your budget.

3. Gather photographs of images that you want your life to look like. A dream house on the beach, a loving relationship with your partner, children, a booming career, a bank account balance of 7 figures, a tight knit friendship circle, amazing vacations ... whatever your best life looks like, that is what you want to get images of to put on your vision board! Be creative, specific and intentional. Approach this with a loving, happy, abundant attitude of gratitude as you put this together.

4. Tape, glue or thumbtack your photographs to your vision board, in a visually appealing manner in the organized layout that feels right for you. Refer to step 1's Feng Shui Bagua map as a suggested method. Most importantly, be sure to display everything lovingly, abundantly and with respect of space and intention.

5. Place your vision board in a place you will see it everyday, and spend a few minutes as often as possible with it. Gaze at each image, imagining yourself with those things, those people, those feelings and that different newness these changes will bring to your life! Meditate with these images and feelings, and ask for the Universe to bring them to your reality. Everything you want is already yours, and it comes into your reality when you are deeply ready for it. This is you opening the door for yourself to invite in the greatness you know you are!

As you begin the next chapter of your life armed with your vision board, open yourself to opportunities that life has to offer. Make lists of things you want, feelings you want, goals you have and keep making lists for the rest of your life. Writing things down connects you with your subconscious to pen and paper and brings a realness to your ideas. Be open to possibilities and accepting of the plethora of ways abundance comes to you.

Everyday Life - New Challenge 
From the moment you wake up to the moment you fall asleep each night, thousands of decisions are made, usually in 95%+ default without your input. Walking, driving, eating, breathing, talking, working, cooking ... we go through the motions without fully being present and without being completely aware of our actions and how we impact others.
My challenge to you: approach each task and decision as if it's all new to you and observe through how it makes you feel, as well as how it makes others feel. 
Does it improve or degrade your quality of life? 
Does it improve or degrade others you interact with?
Do you act out of love and kindness, or anger and fear? 
Do you bring kindness to everyone you meet? 
Do your driving habits involve angry rages against other drivers and make you so stressed out before you even get to your destination? Do your outfits bring you joy, bring you confidence? 
Do your shoes hurt your feet? 
Does your toothpaste do your teeth more harm than good? (Making your own from 3 ingredients: coconut oil, baking soda and essential oil is life changing.) 
Do you get to work or school happy and ready to greet the day, in your best confident and most loving energy? Or do you get to work frustrated, stressed out and ready to go home by 9 a.m.? 

What Is Manifesting? How Do I Manifest? 

Let's start with something small and simple. Identify something you desire. It could be something as simple as a free coffee, a kind gesture from a stranger, finding a penny on the ground, receiving a call from an old friend, seeing a spider on your windshield, finding something you've coveted for a while is finally on sale, a hug from a loved one, etc. Whatever it is, hold it in your heart and mind. Write it down. Print a photograph of it. Any of these actions will help, but the most important is to ask for it. Asking the Universe for something is very simple:
"Please provide a kind gesture from a stranger today. Give me this, or something better." 

Manifesting Challenge





The Scared Science - Observer's Observations

I've just watched a free screening of The Sacred Science online in spurts of my free time on this beautiful sunny Sunday. It documents 8 very sick people's journey across 30 days in the Amazon Jungle with shamans, their thoughts and feelings, sweat and wildlife that lives there. I was moved to make a list of the things I took away from this inspirational and eye-opening film, those thoughts I share with you below. These 8 people entered the jungle after years of suffering in the traditional medical world with Type II Diabetes, Cancer, IBS, Parkinson's, Alcoholism and Depression and Chrone's Disease.

+ sweat and smoke it out
+ drink teas
+ set intentions, meditate - set intentions into what you consume
+ walk in nature
+ connect with strangers
+ practice Reiki
+ connect with nature
+ eat from nature
+ allow yourself time free of technology and distractions from "the real world"
+ breakdowns lead to breakthroughs
+ let the negativity exit - give it back to Mother Earth & thank it as you let it leave you and your life
+ walk for hours
+ let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food
+ let your heart be the guide, not the intestine, not the mind
+ respect other life forms
+ live your life and choices for you and not for others
+ let go of your trauma - holding it in is poisonous
+ accept yourself, your trauma, your shit - embrace it all, love it, appreciate it, learn from it, share the lessons with others
+ death is a process, a necessity of life
+ regardless of where, what, why, how, who ... it's going to happen to us all and it's okay.
+ flush it down and out with water
+ smile, laugh, dance, walk, play music, be in nature
+ greet your demons, your monsters, thank them for their invaluable lessons and set them free
+ what do we truly need to live?
+ remember, write and listen to your dreams' messages
+ physical pain is a symptom of what's in your head and heart. deal with it in those spaces and you'll heal your body
+ learn to be at peace with yourself
+ change starts with today and tomorrow, but it continues for years and years

Daily Lemonade Journal + Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Image result for lemonade
Photo credit: crews1972.com


Turning lemons into sweet, delicious lemonade


Who doesn't enjoy a nice glass of lemonade? I'm a firm believer in finding the good in every situation, every story, every movie, every struggle and every observance. Life is full to the brim with negativity if we choose to allow it, and it's also fuller with positivity and happiness and gratitude and opportunities for appreciating the goodness when we choose to see it.When life hands you a lemon, say thank you for the gift and enjoy that shit! Lemons are super delicious and chock full of beneficial nutrients and vitamins that are wonderfully beneficial to us and have thousands of uses! 


Below is my first entry in what I'll call the daily lemonade journal:


A couple of weekends back, my SUV got wrecked by the porter at Car Spa. He lost control as he exited the wash bay, ran on the curb and smothered a sturdy metal and concrete sign, ripping off the Ford emblem, license plate holder and doing $5000 worth of damage. The sign got uprooted from its secure home in the grass, ripping wiring and structure as it wedged itself under my front passenger floorboard. The manager came inside to get me immediately and showed me the damage, My initial reaction was calm and collected, but shifted from relaxed to politely controlling. I vowed to stay with him (Duke, my Expedition) while the interior process began and supervise every move. The manager was apologetic and efficient in his process of getting the necessary paperwork sorted, explaining the next steps and giving the information to a great auto repair shop nearby. He ensured everything would be completely taken care of by Car Spa with no out of pocket expense to me and offered to pay for a rental car. I graciously declined since I have Oxford (Mini Cooper) that is just a joy to bop around in.


I've had Duke since 2008, when I bought him brand new, in the heights of $4/gallon gas prices and very near the financial market collapse. There were amazing rebates on SUVs during that time, so I lept at the savings. He and I have been through everything together: moves, road trips, break ups, new dates, friends, driving at all hours of the day and night to and fro. Aside from Zephyr, he is my longest relationship and a very stable fixture in my life. To say I love a material item is an easy statement here. I love him. I've kept up the maintenance like a responsible driver, washed him, appreciated him, treated him very well, and he has treated me and my loved ones well through the years. People ask why I keep it since I have the Mini. I keep it because I have the Mini. I paid Duke off with a bonus in early 2014 and I can't imagine life without him. I want to keep him forever, as my Papa kept his Model A. To do that, I will keep him in good working order for as long as possible. The day he was damaged, I was just grateful someone else was financially responsible instead of me filing on my insurance. It'd have probably been totaled and to be quite frank, that would completely suck.


The following business day, I took him for an estimate at the shop owned by a very kind and professional gentleman. Solutions Automotive is a small outfit, and a welcoming shop. Joe is an honest, standup type of guy. I was a bit more at ease after meeting with him about the whole thing, though I wasn't very rattled with it to begin with. Joe mentioned my calm and collected nature as I showed him the damage, and I told him of how my Papa bought salvaged cars, repaired them to look like new again and sold them off to new owners. He taught himself the business and craft while in the Army in Europe, and set up shop when he returned and married my Nana. I grew up knowing the smell of grease, sweat and paint, seeing cars that were wrecked into the most horrendous conditions and with some resourcefulness and manpower, made pretty and drivable again. A few months before my 16th birthday, my mom and Greg started dating. Greg is a mechanic and wrecker driver, Throughout my entire life, I've seen hundreds of wrecked vehicles, from ones with minor dings to ones involved in fatal wrecks resulting in severed bodies, knee meat on the corner of a tool box and brain matter on the windshield. (PSA: wear your seatbelt and drive the speed limit. Every wreck my bonus dad works and tells about happens because of drivers driving at unsafe speeds. Most injuries are due to wearing a seatbelt improperly. Some have been injured from flying objects during the impact. Buckle up, and be safe out there!) Duke's damage is minor in comparison to what I've seen, with a few blemishes on the hood, bumper, fender and a damaged catalytic converter. It can all be easily repaired and no one was hurt.


Both gentlemen I've interacted with during this process have been surprised at my composure and understanding nature. The car wash manager has been very helpful and responsive in getting the funds issued to me and I highly recommend Car Spa in Allen, especially after this experience. 


Chase Sapphire Reserve


When I picked up the check yesterday or the damage repair, Aaron also gave me cards for two free washes. The real kicker here is ... hehehehe I'm giggling so hard right now as I think about it! I applied for the Chase Sapphire Reserve card a few weeks back and didn't get approved, for whatever reason. Once I got the estimate for the repair, I applied again and got approved. Once you spend $4000 in the first 3 months, you're awarded with 100,000 bonus points. Bada bing bada fucking boom ... I'll pay for the repair on my card and get the bonus points in one transaction! That amount of points is worth upwards of $1500 in travel. BOOM shaka-laka! 


Secret Shopper 


Last week, I had some free time and read a blog posted by The Penny Hoarder & signed up for a secret shopper program. Upon login, there was an entry that immediately caught my eye and met my needs. The Mini of Plano dealership had an opportunity open, with one of the services to have performed being an oil change. Ta fucking da! Oxford was due for an oil change. I signed up, made the appointment with the dealership and made myself a reminder on my phone app. Another credit card points opportunity: pay for it with my new CSR card and get the 80 points, and also get the oil change and tolls paid for by the secret shopper company. BOOM! Oil change at a net out of pocket to me of $0. 


Discount Tire


A few months ago, Oxford had a flat tire. No biggy. I went to Discount Tire, left him there to be patched while I Uber'd home and back a few hours later. When I picked him up, we headed to Target and the tire was flat again when I came out, half an hour later! Well shit. It was late in the day by that time, so I drove him home to get on with the weekend and would take care of on Monday morning. 


Monday morning came & I headed straight to Discount Tire where I was greeted by the gentleman that helped me just two days before. The lines were growing increasingly longer by the second, and since I was back for something that should've been already fixed, they bumped me up in the line. I walked out to the far corner of the parking lot to find a quiet space to take a work conference call while I waited, and upon returning inside, was met with a pleasant surprise during the checkout process ... they'd fully replaced the tire at their expense. While I wasn't expecting that, I was extremely grateful for it. I've been to Discount Tire many times, and only once have I actually paid for anything. I put a new tire on Duke last summer out of necessity because a nail had punctured the previous one and was unrepairable. They cover many things complementary and always with a professional and courteous manner. They'll get my business in the next couple of months when I need to replace tires on little Oxford. 


Sell before donate

On Sunday morning, I gathered some clothes I no longer enjoy or wear and took them to Plato's Closet to sell. $36.40 back for 12 items. Not bad! (Side note: not buying clothes you don't love in the first place is the best method of money saving/earning, not buying them and thinking "meh, skip" each time you scroll past them hanging in your closet, only to deal with later on.) While I waited, I popped over to Jo-Ann's Fabrics and used the 60% off one full priced item and got a new cutting mat for my leather working hobby/business. 

Today's entry made short, if there's a deal to be had, I will find a way, whether by asking directly or simply being open to abundance.