Sunday, February 27, 2011

So much for quiet time....

I'm hiding out in my new space. We found a fantastic camper in Kearney and it is now parked in front of the house.

Since quiet and solace are rare commodities 'round these parts, I decided I'd sneak out here to study and type.

I got about an hour in before the kids found me!
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wabi Sabi

I watch themes roll in and out of my life. Since the beginning of February I've had an incedible urge to release, shed, unload, sell and give away many of my possessions.

Im not going anywhere that I know of, I just have a strong urge to clear out the clutter in my life. Simplify is my motto. It always had been but living within a nine fire kind enwrgy station for the majority of 2010 wasn't necessarily conducive to such aspirations!

It made complete sense then that the words waving sabi have been cropping up in my awareness. It directed me to the public library to investigate.This philosophy relates to honoring imperfections, balance through natural objects, finding joy in the mundane and ordinary and highlighting transient beauty in one's life and home. I so get this!!! And now I know the reason for why I pick up broken, muddy turkey eggs and pheasant feathers! Somewhere within my soul knew this ancient truth. My surface mind is now remembering. What divine timing too; my first class Clear Our Clutter is next Monday! I love how synchronicity works!

From the looks of this place, we've got a long way to go to get toto Zen. I trust that this will be an enlightening journey!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

Play like a team!

The hours of practice and dedication are paying off; our 6th grade boys played fabulously in the Brady tournament today, taking second place! They get the concept of TEAM and winning or loosing aside, this is what rocks my heart!

We need each other. In life, love, work, play, in every situation we need people we can trust and depend on. Knowing that someone "has our back" allows us to do what we came to do. We become greater as we support those around us. We start with our family, our peer group, coworkers, community, state, nation and world. Monumental shits are happening right now. What we never thought would happen does, what we never dared to dream becomes reality. If there was ever a time to stand up, step out and believe the (seemingly) impossible.....NOW is a great time!

I've had one heck of a week. I'm no longer focused on the what ifs. I only have space and time for "focused vision". My eye is on the goal. I learned that from these 6th grade boys. Teachers are arriving in ALL forms these days!
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Friday, February 18, 2011

Road Trip

For reasons beyond my control/knowledge I can't sign into blogger on my computer. The keyboard on my phone are challenging so this won't be a long post.

It's been an elightening week to say the least. I've experienced incredible depths and highs. Things may be balancing out but its pretty early to tell for sure!

What I know is this : I am blessed with an amazing array of friends. Hands down I am connected to great peeps! Perfectionists tendencies strike when I least expect then to. Passing a class is passing, sometimes an A or B is irrelevant when it comes to just getting something handed in the best you can. Be willing to see another's viewpoint. It's not going to be the same as yours but it can do a lot to bridge gaps, holes and tears in your heart! Finally stop trying to figure it all out. That part is totally pointless. I recommend taking a road trip, being out on nature and away from anything that hurts, bugs, annoys, scares and or challenges least for a few hours!

Breathe in. Breathe out!
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Saturday, February 12, 2011

Poundin the Pavement

It is Saturday morning and we are once again headed to a basketball tournament. Our team has continued to improve so we want to get them in as many tournaments as we can. The lessons they learn now are important, win or loose.

It's been a fast paced week, fun and productive. I'm feeling a deep urge to go through my house and spring clean. I've accumulated a good deal of items and I've enjoyed them but I am feeling its time to lighten the load and adopt a more minimalist stance. In reality I know I have way too much stuff to pull that off; I can feel a shift happening though. Quality items versus quantity is what I'm going for. I'm leaning towards a more mobile lifestyle in the coming years....I just haven't tamed those gypsy genes and I can feel their pull enticing me down the road.

Our kids are getting older and able to hike longer distances, a milestone I've been waiting for for the past 12 years! The baby is tough and she can hold her own on most trails. Moab here we come! We have at least three summer trips in mind (is it May yet?!)

I've done a fairly good job of keeping myself grounded. I've certainly enjoyed the past several years of less travel and home vibrations. I can hear the wind calling my name though and I know it will soon be time to explore. Its easy to be dormant and domestic in winter. As soon as it warms it'll be nearly impossible for me to resist packing a bag and heading into an outdoor adventure. I've dreamed of camping since the last's only getting stronger with me.

For the time being, we've got a few more weekends of basketball, working cattle, and various home/ranch responsibilities to tend to. I am blessed with fantastic clients to share with, fun classes to teach, great kids to work with, awesome friends to connect with and an amazingly comfortable, cozy bed to flop into at the end of the day. I can't remember what down time feels like but that's perfectly okay with me, I'm good with a rockin' fast pace for now. I'll find a quiet river to lay beside this summer. Time to keep pounding the pavement!
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Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Organized

This is me, taking steps to amend my New Year's Resolutions for the past 15 plus years....and counting. I'll be the first to admit that tracking purchases and balancing my checkbook is about as exciting as watching a roof leak. It brings up pretty much the same emotions, frustration, fear/dread and rebellion.

I consider myself to be a cre8tive, free flowing being. Like my Ki energy, one water/three tree, I'm attracted to colorful adventure, schedule free days and love of the unique. That said, I'm coming around, growing wiser or just generally in a real funky location as I am (taking a deep breath) getting the left-brained, linear, sequential aspects of me, in-line.

Perhaps it was sitting through many evenings of "receipt punishment" explaining to my accountant (aka Chad) what I spent, why, where and how much. I have an excellent memory and yet, sadly, some expenses did escape my realm of consciousness.

It was enough of a "wake up" call that I have been working for days to come up with a more suitable plan for tracking expenditures and receipts. I had made it easier on myself, in the present moment by piling everything neatly by the stereo as I emptied my purse/bag. I then neatly carried the pile downstairs and plopped it near Chad's computer. And the stack neatly grew and grew, and grew. When it came time to input the information, Chad's was all neatly added, filed and stored. Mine..........looked like a paper blizzard. I'm ashamed to admit that for someone who considers herself to be fairily organized, this was an epic fail.

I vowed that I would come up with a better system, one that would actually make it easier for me and for my accountant. I purchased a small coupon holder and divided it into various categories; food, clothes, gas, kids, dining, etc.  These receipts will then be filed in a monthly pocket folder with a copy of all expenditures. Chad can then grab the file notebook at the end of the month and head downstairs where he'll input and file them. I had found a cool "mom file" at Target for $17 bucks, which gave me the initial idea. I opted to use a similar style of folder at home, buy a pack of 8 pocket holders for $8.00, and punch some holes in 12 old copies of expense pages. At the end of the month I empty the blue coupon file, clip the receipts together in order of use and pop them in the pocket for Chad to take to his office downstairs for input. Perhaps this will mean a more "friendly atmosphere" in the craft room of Casa Johnston next January?!

In the short time I've been searching for a system, I've discovered the key to uber organiation is to clean out recepits first thing Monday morning and/or as soon as I return home at the end of the day. Like house cleaning, a continual effort creates efficiency and goodness knows I need to be an excellent time manager these days. My days are packed to the gills. In fact I would go so far to say that because of my intensely busy daily schedule, that I have HAD to become more aware of time management, prioritizing, task identification and completion. I guess I had it in me all along but it did take a change in my environment (inside and out) to really activate these organization skills.

Am I super organized? Oh heck no! I'm not even close. I am taking conscious steps to help me bring additonal order and balance to my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual levels. These organizational skills have lain dormant for many years as I may or may not have housed the belief that "organized is boring". Since I've been writing about change I can say that my new belief is "organization is essential if we are going to be successful and productive". To do what we want to do means that we will need to slow down long enough to complete what we feel we have to do. Do I like having to keep track of how much money I spend, on what items and when.........the answer, quite honestly is NO! That said, it does help me to recognize trends and tendencies and become more aware how much is going out.........(note to self: need to change that real soon!)

Are you super organized? And if so, what excellent strategies do you employ that help you make the most of your time and talents. Feel free to post in the comment section below.

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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011


And not the retail kind either! This may appear to be a random post, but stay with the words and you'll see how this post matches the theme of change!

I haven't worn heels since a Dixie Chicks concert in 2002. It was around this time that I recognized I had something wrong with my left toe, I could barely bend it back into place. It wasn't until last summer that I decided I needed to do something about it! In November I had a bone spur removed. It was painful to say the least. I've stretched it daily and it is doing better but I'll be the first to admit that I am not naturally inclined to inflict pain on myself on a regular basis!

What I noticed was that stretching and bending REALLY HURT at the time but after a couple of hours or so, the constriction eased and I went longer without noticing pain. I made it a point to stretch my toe when I was typing, reading, brushing my teeth, and even eating! I worked it good but it still wasn't enough. What I needed was to have a "mold" that would hold my toe in an uncomfortable position for longer periods. What to do? What to do...........the answer: ORDER HEELS!

I found these cute "retro/vintage" looking ones and straped them on. The right foot feels....perfect. The left....OUCH. I found that I could only wear them for short periods of time at first. I've increased the time daily and today.......I've worn them since 8 am.

How does this support embracing change? What is your life feels painful and constricting? What might you be avoiding? When we sense pain, we tend to go in the opposite direction. Yet, sometimes, simply stoping and being willing to feel a bit of discomfort can actually reshape our thoughts and attitudes.

It is when we stretch, moving past our comfortable boundaries that we begin to grow. This growth need not happen all at once, it's more important that is happens continually. It's easy to become complacent and accepting of ourselves, the routines and relationships that we've created. None of us wish for discomfort and pain, yet in some ways, those less than supportive emotions and situations can open us to greater posibilites and postive changes. Just because something feels painful now doesn't mean it ALWAYS will. Sometimes we have to take small, calcuated steps toward a goal and intention. Great risk often implies amazing results. And if the results are not what you anticipated, rest assured, there will be a valuable lesson, either way.

One of the techniques I've learned is rather than avoiding and running from fear, we can stop and face it, head on. There's nothing more empowering to admit that something scares us or that we really hurt. Admitting how we feel, in any situation is vital for clarity.  When we recognize the value of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, even if no one else feels this way or can understand our viewpoint, we can connect the dots and see what we have to work through. This is not an obstacle, this is a stepping stone! And rather than feel guilty, we can celebrate the fact that we have the ability to feel pain, as well as joy. We can't clear out old patterns, habits and beliefs if we don't know where they are showing up and holding us back in our daily lives!

Step intot that which hurts, physically/mentally/emotionally. It may feel like a large wall, but there's no reason that it can't be dismantled brick by brick. Become the architect of your life. Create new foundations. If there is pain, welcome it. Focus intently on where it is showing up. Breathe and relax into small doses of coarse. Listen to the body, it will tell us when we've had enough for the day. Honor your efforts, even the smallest ones. And if it makes you feel better, buy yourself a new pair of heels (or whatever footwear suits you best). There's no reason why you can't look great paving your own path. I doubt I will wear these out to the chicken coop/goat pen, but when I take them off and slide into the good ol Muck boots, I notice that the pain is significantly less than the time before and the time before that.

Where is pain showing up for you right now? What can be done to make it your ally? Drop any resistance. Open up, breathe and if the mood strikes, go ahead and KICK UP THOSE HEELS!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Embracing Change

February is here and this marks the official shift of a brand new ki energy coming our way. Ki energies are those invisible life forces and "themes" that we work with each day, each month and each year. We are influenced by these natural energies; through careful observation and study we can recognize patterns around us, inviting us to acknowledge various lessons and opportunites to deepen learning of ourselves, others and the world around us.

Much is going on in our world right now. Change is here. Change has always been here and always will be. It just seems that the rate of change is something to take note of; we changing in accelerated ways. Technology and information exchanges happen in the blink of an eye and the click of a button. Phew! It can certainly be exhasting and can tax us on all levels.

I've sat with all the wonderful requests about suggestions for blog posting and I'll be sharing insight on embracing change, working with challenging situations and finding balance in daily life! Thank you for all the WONDERFUL suggestions. I've got ideas rolling now so stay tuned and you may just see your suggesting manifesting into a blog post! I appreciate the feedback and loved pouring through the emails. What fun.

Today, I'm reflecting on change. How we can change, shift and stay in the flow of our life. It seems that when we put our feet firmly down, resist and try to avoid change, that is when it knocks us off balance. Boulders in a river have the ability to divert the flow of energies around them. They stand their ground, unmoving and seemingly unchanged. However, they never see new view points, they don't have the gift of experincing new scenery or different people. They stay in the same place, day after day, year after year. The river stream can't force the rock to move but over time, it can wear it away. It can also create new channels around the boulder.. In life, we may want to be more like the river; flowing, adjusting, opening and allowing feedom between us and the boulders we meet along the way. Financial challenges, relationships, health problems, career shifts can all represent rocks in our stream, but they don't have to stop us. They may divert our attention for a bit, but it is us who determines the choice of going with the flow or resisting.

I encourage you to keep moving along. You don't have to go fast. You can stop and rest if you want or need to. By all means listen to your body and your heart. Take care of YOU. When the time comes to make a choice, we can use the best of the resources we have at hand. It's when we stop, when we resist and fight against those impossible boulders  that we loose focus of the river and it's beauty. This boulder is probably not where we want to live. Let's move on then! Change is not comfortable. It can be scarry as hell. It can also be exhilerating, it just depends on how we look at it. This river we call life, will take us places we didn't know we wanted to be and once we're there, we may decide we never want to visit again! Just keep moving; often something better does arrive, especially if we Do know what we want MORE of!
Being open and allowing abundant blessing to flow into our lives is no match for any boulder that we encouter.

Peace on your journey!