Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Step by Step.....

Today’s “One Little Step”

I’ve just barely gotten underway with my One Little Step Project and already I am detecting shifts. I find myself continually asking (*fun) questions and those questions inevitably lead to an invitation to a seemingly small step. I may or may not take the step but the “seed” is certainly planted in my mind.

Removing the FB app off of my phone and shutting off email may be the single best thing I’ve done to raise efficiency this month. FB is a lovely distraction and while I miss status updates I am also quite happy with how I’ve been able to focus more on the task at hand. Setting times throughout the day to check in was a little harder than I thought it would be so, just for fun, I took a sip of water every time I went to look at the phone. (I drank two glasses if that tells you something!) Today, I forgot the app was even on my phone and I’ve managed to get a cup of tea down, it’s been quite a busy day.

Another little step was taking a walk in the rain on Monday. I didn’t have to but I felt the need to be outside. By no means was I knocking out 5 mile run or sweating to the ass breaker Jillian Michaels (that DVD just screams RESISTANCE). I simply give myself the “freedom” to take a walk, CELEBRATED the fact that I was moving and thoroughly enjoyed the mist on my face.  

Oh but what would this share be without a little resistance?!  That arrived this morning when I hit snooze….twice for the third morning in a row.  I have long wanted to be a morning person but that first step out of my bundle of covers is excruciating. I set the alarm for an over-zealous five minutes and this DID NOT WORK. I am not even sure a 30 second little step could budge this stuckness. So I thought to myself what tantalizing little treat would voluntarily get me out of my nice warm nest {happily}? It would have to be something sweet, tantalizing and something I couldn’t resist…………that’s right WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESE CAKE! I live 5 hours from the nearest CC factory L  

So tomorrow I will set the alarm for 1 minute early. I am also going to take my shower at night to cut down on my morning preparation time. My “treat” will be making a piping hot cup of coffee in my favorite coffee mug and using the time I would normally be in the shower to “lazily” drink my coffee in my still warm bed. Risky. Dangerous. FUN. Different. I’ll start with that. In a month or so, maybe I’ll work up to five minutes and who knows, maybe 15 minutes early just to read a book, or maybe I’ll just not get too aggressive and stick with the coffee? Slow. Steady.  1 minute early tomorrow morning.  Check. Remind me to share with you how this goes. I’m sure it relates to other stuck areas. So I’m curious to see how they begin to unravel by tapping here…..

Another aspect that surprised me is the amount of questions that automatically generated themselves in my head. Instead of starting with intentions and goals I just started writing down all the questions (working backwards is how this feels!) This is a pretty fluid, non-linear, watery way to go and MUCH different than how I usually set up a focused change. But then again, few of those focused changes have gotten me anywhere long term. I start out strong but I fade and falter. And for those who carry tree energies in the Nine Star Ki, it is never an issue of coming up with a goal or focus area, instead it is a matter of WHICH goal should I look at first (there are usually many, many, many goals for persons who carry tree energies).

So another One Little Step is to shift the way I am working with this technique.  I’ve releasing the idea of having a specific goal and calculated steps that I’m knocking out left and right every day. Right now it feels good to simply to observe, ask questions and choose the most exciting one to work with. I’m letting the questions be my “bread crumbs” along this inner maze. I have zero idea where this will lead and for the first time in maybe, say….EVER I really don’t care! I’m enjoying the steps, the view and the personal joy emanating from each tiny movement.

How aobut you?! Please share what steps you are taking, small, silly, insignificant steps. I’d love to hear about them! It’s so nice to have walking partners! 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Here's my One Little Step, grab your favorite shoes and join me!

My One Little Step

I started reading a book this week and even though I am on page 85 I am already sensing the effects. I’m always on the lookout for great self-help books (though really I need to just STOP looking and start taking action!) *More on the book in a few! Action is what this year is about, put my ideas and inspiration into motion. As of February 6th we’ll all be moving into different ki energy stations. Nine star ki is the sister philosophy to Feng Shui. It is a system that I’ve followed since 2001. I have to say it helps a great deal to know what my monthly and year themes are; I can be somewhat prepared rather than feel completely lost and scattered. (It isn’t a cure all, I still have times when I feel lost, scattered and insane, the difference is that I know when these times will end!)

This year I move into two themes that are already speaking very loudly to me. The three tree heralds accelerated movement, education, action, launching projects, travel, insight, and creativity. One water signifies the potential for deep spiritual journeys, connection with soul vibrations, self-improvement, visioning, and career aspects, art, music and writing (all things non-linear and water begin here!). We all return to our home stations this year, though each month will still offer us abundance opportunities for continued growth and awareness. Though the official shift doesn’t occur until February 6th the energies are already tangible. My next three months are already indicative of travel: I head to Seattle in February, Las Vegas in March, Memphis in April and Durango in June. Those are just the ones that I am aware of today!

In terms of spiritual energies, those have always been running like a river through my being though now the flood waters are collecting and bubbling. And then I picked up this book, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life, The Kaizen Way, by Robert Maurer, Ph.D. Oh my. Yes. This is the Holy Grail for me. Something I’ve been looking for, asking for, wanting and needing for a LONG time. If you have a ton of GREAT ideas but lack in the execution of them-----this book is for YOU. I am not paid by the author and am receiving no kickbacks of any sort but Universe if you are listening, I’d LOVE to meet this man in person and spend a day month with him!

The idea is based on the Japanese technique of kaizen to introduce, simple, consistent focused change. By taking small, seemingly trivial steps toward a goal, we are able to override the body’s response to fear and change. Over time, through continual application, the body relaxes and opens it’s creativity and support, in other words we stop fighting ourselves! We work with the body’s natural rhythm to release blocks, shut-downs and procrastination. It’s simple and profound. It’s also my new motto.

Dr. Mauer invites readers to ask themselves questions, easy ones, to help open the mind and bypass the natural filters and protections mechanisms that are in place to keep us “safe”.  I started asking questions and we’ll just say the combination of the full moon, and the pre-activation of the water and tree energies kept me up most of the night! In fact, I haven’t been able to stop asking questions. I now have a Kaizen Question section in my life design journal.

So this afternoon, as I was organizing my journal pages and writing questions for career, home, body/food/nutrition/health I had an idea pop in…….What is one simple thing I can do to be more productive, more efficient? What could I do to inspire others, with the least amount of effort and still be FUN. The answer came though something like this:

1.     delete Facebook Ap from my phone (done)
2.     put phone in the other room. (check it after breakfast, lunch and dinner, then put it away again.) *I DO spend a lot of time on my phone, I’ll admit that. I’m interested in tracking how much time I GAIN by hiding it from myself! I’m also interested in seeing how much $ I save by not searching for things I want (sorry Zappos, I still heart you) *notice I phrased that in the positive---time GAINED.
3.     I’ll be sharing “This Week’s One Little Step” through my blog. I don’t know how many people read my words there but this is where I’ll be posting. I will place a link on my Facebook page so it is easy to find. (I am not deleting Facebook yet but I am going to be on there far less. I’ll have to access it from a computer, when I have internet…which may be off most of the time too.

This is all an experiment and my disclaimer as such is that I am creative and, the past, not all that consistent. That is probably why this little book resonated so deeply with me. I like the idea of easy and effortless. I love the idea of working with my being, and its amazing abilities already locked within my cells. “What small little steps can I take to open those cells and allow them to come out, dance and share?” Fun is the key here and if this gets to be less than fun, then I’ll be moving on to something else, soooo what the heck? It sounds do-able (which is the basic tenant of the Kaizen technique). I’m willing to give it a try and in the process perhaps others can find joy, inspiration, support, hope and purpose through my sharing. 

My One Little Step this week: Writing these words and posting them! If you’d like to follow along, feel free to share what little steps you are taking, either in the comment section below or on FB. I’ll check it eventually J

Monday, January 21, 2013

What I really love

I took this picture during a very frigid outing. Normally I wouldn't have so boldly ventured outdoors in such cold weather, but I felt a strong urge to be in the canyon, to commune with nature, fresh air, trees, earth and sky.

It's easy to set aside such subtle yearnings in lieu of unfinished items on my to do list but I'm learning to listen. Laundry will never be completely done, no matter how much I wipe the counters they will still collect dust and crumbs, a perfectly warm windless day in Nebraska, in January is rare. I might as well sped less time doing what I think I have to and more timing doing what I really love. I love gazing out across the rough grass that leads to the sanctuary of our canyon. I adore staring into the ocean of a deep blue sky, letting my thoughts drift peacefully, rolling along in the recesses of my mind. Here I find my anchor, my still point, my soul. Rumi's words echo within my heart vibrations; "Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray."

Sunday, January 20, 2013

There's hope toddler moms

I've written a much longer piece today but due to time and wanting to spend more of it with my kids, I just wanted to pop in and say that....there's hope for those mom's who are hanging with little ones, perhaps at the end of their rope of patience and self-care. I've long waited for the day when my kids were old enough to bathe themselves, understand my angry outbursts (more often I'm upset with myself and not them) and can get my sarcastic humor and nasty jokes. I'm not running for Mom of the Year...and I do not live under the pretense that I'm perfect. What I am is real. I've never liked playing "toys" card games or Candy Land with my kids. Sure, I endured a few things that I knew they enjoyed but truly, honestly, I didn't enjoy it. At all. Motherhood is a blessing. I've loved it deeply and intensely. I knew from a young age that I wanted to be a mom and I am glad I started when I was young. Not that I wouldn't have been a good older mom but I wouldn't have had far less energy. Today we had a lovely, simple lunch. I noticed, as my children each took on his/her favorite job in the meal prep that THIS is the age that I've waited for them all to be. I've shed my fair share of tears when I put those baby clothes and toys in totes and even more tears when I look at pictures of them (that I don't even remember taking because I was so tired). But this, THIS is the age that I remember praying and hoping for at 2 am holding a screaming child. Toddler year do pass and poof, before we know it the 14 year old has a gf, the 11 year old has written his first book and the 7 year old is telling me that she'd rather work with wolves than have babies of her own some day! We talk about the places we are traveling to this year, the experiences we are most excited for. They still fight, they are even louder now but they have developed their own wonderful, beautiful, distinct personalities. They are big enough we can head out for an adventure sans 5 bags of accessories and get by on a change of clothes and enough food to keep em happy. We can find music that we all tolerate (sorry Pake, we can't stand that crap you listen to, but we love you anyway!) We talk, we laugh and we hang out.... I know this phase is but a window as well but I certainly intent to enjoy it to the fullest. I've waited a long time for these three to be these ages. It's totally cool that we've all hit our strides, we all have our rhythms and though we are all SO VERY different, we're also pretty darned close. These are my peeps and I couldn't be prouder!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A little sunshine on my shoulder...and face

January is one of my least favorite months of the year. The cold, blah month tends to nip hard at my heart strings. It seems that spring is far in the distance and summer but a distance dream. While I love being inside and watching a gorgeous snow fall and I LOVE a hard driving rain, I do not like cold temperatures. In fact, after Christmas season it'd be just fine if we could fast forward straight to April! Today the clouds broke open and I was called by our little dirt road to take a walk. It's been awhile. I'm not one to be out in the nature during the winter months. I LOVE the outdoors but I hate freezing so I'm content, most of the time to observe nature through the sliding glass doors and picture windows. It was good today to feel the sun on my face. Though I had to strain to feel those rays, there were discernible on my skin, nonetheless. I could taste a hint of spring, green grass, dandelions, the burst of red tulips that I always promise myself I'll mark and dig up and re-plant (it's been 11 years of saying that). Under the solid, dry, stiff layer of earth, the seeds still sleep but the promise is there. I was reminded as I watched the sun fade, that I shouldn't get my hopes up that spring is near, no. Instead, I should just enjoy this gift, this moment, this.....warmth. There's no way to command it differently, nature is the ultimate navigator. We are at her mercy as well as her unsolicited gifts.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weekend Plans

Here's what I am doing this weekend. I am currently NOT a mixed media artist, I don't even play one in real life, but I'd like to. I have dreams and aspirations of making a big giant mess with paints, paper, stamps, and whatever other materials appear within my craft room. I've taken a couple of fabulous classes on-line and have learned some interesting techniques. I need/want to do a trial run for the art journal classes I'll be teaching this spring. I've spent the better part of six months gathering materials (which I am excellent at) I've spent the better part of this week gathering courage to actually make that big giant mess in my neat, tidy craft room (which I am not that great at). I'm really good at cleaning, organizing, collecting and not so wonderful at execution of said projects. They're all neatly filed in my head...time to see what's actually locked inside.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


The sun is out but wow, it is COLD. Bone chilling cold. I spent the better part of the day watching Park's team play basketball.

We are about to head home and from there I'll promptly pounce into my p.j's have some chai tea and read a bit. I could use a nap, a very long, replenishing one. My to do list is about to burst wide open and... It will wait.

Right now my focus is on pushing less and resting more, when I can!