Monthly Archives: July 2010

May You Live With Ease

Ease at expressing just what is there.

Ease at naming your bare experience before it gets all wrapped up in a story.

Ease at knowing without a doubt the next right thing.

Ease in the transitions.

Ease with the hard parts of life – pain, loss, disgrace.

Ease of enjoying the good parts of life – happiness, gain, joy.

May you live your life with ease.

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Approaching Satisfaction

In the spirit of sharing rituals, I thought I’d let you all in on my monthly goal setting and the weekly check-ins I do to see if I’m on track. As I go to post this, it feels a little bland, like I need to make this check-in into a chicken.  For now, I’ll trust that it will develop into something fabulous as we go. I’m trying to practice just starting things, rather than waiting until they are perfect. Here goes!

How did we do this week?

After last week’s laziness, I felt mostly calm, confident and productive this week. I am not sure I did any less or more than last week. I was just more satisfied.

1. Be pro-active about negotiating job & housing. Feel great about my future story.

I’ve been describing my current story as being “in limbo.” That makes me feel stuck, at the whims of the gods, perhaps something eternal. I’d like a new metaphor. Perhaps I need to call on Metaphor Mouse? I need something more about possibility, adventure, openness, excitement.

2. Focus on closing up past gigs, and only taking on new gigs that PAY WELL.

I’m considering one project closed (though I’ll check in next week when I send my final invoice). Another is still slow as molasses, and it totally brings me down. I worked on it last night, and while it only required 30 minutes of actual work, I needed a huge break after it because it just stirs me up emotionally to not be done with it. At least the break included tea and a friend. I’m just noticing what a time suck it is when I don’t want to do something, and it helps to just name that it’s going to need a little extra space. And it helps to know that other smart, brilliant and capable people have their own Inowanna Iguanas!

It also helps that it’s crunch time for my best paying gig. It’s a great reminder of how great it can feel to help people with their finances when they appreciate and respect my contributions.

3. Get blogging services online

I drafted a long rambling post this morning that could probably get chunked down into a series on racism and oppression for Rooting Nonprofits. I’ve got an inkling of an intention that I will start doing more writing, even if it’s not being published – morning pages, draft posts. I get myself stuck sometimes in the “I need to post” pressure.

4. Pay attention to Fiscal Reform Committee regularly – get very focused on the next right steps

FRIC is officially moving forward into advocacy! Whoo hoo! It’s a good reminder to me of how coalition work works. There’s a lot of phone calls, casual emails, conversations behind the scenes to gauge where everyone is. Especially to be checked in with leadership and strong voices around the table. After doing that work, I basically just had to sit back and watch the meeting play itself out to the direction I wanted it to go.

I did some check-ins the next day as well about what worked and what wasn’t so great. It’s good practice for me to be on the phone a lot more than I like to be. I think I made 4 phone calls this week about FRIC, including some I wasn’t that excited to make. This is the kind of experience, learning, and progress I wanted to make by working on this project, so I’m glad it’s happening!

5. Make $900/week

I’m still feeling the awkwardness of “It’s gauche to talk about how much money you make. Much less in a public forum!” Yet being off trajectory is about pushing back against some of these societal rules. My intention here is to track my mix of salary and freelance income so we can all better understand what it looks like to piece together enough income to pay the bills and enjoy life.

I made $1049 this week. Whoo hoo! A combo of regular job ($744) & freelance ($305) . What’s hard is this still doesn’t quite balance out a $700 week a couple weeks ago. No paid vacation is a real bummer.

6. Find a balance of movement, meditation, friendship, art, & laughter that supports my busy life

Hung out with a couple of good friends I haven’t connected with in awhile. We are all in our own versions of limbo which makes planning to get together kind of challenging. I faced my “what do choices” with greater ease this week – whether deciding who to spend time with, or deciding to just stay home for an evening.

I was glad to do more meditation and Hiro’s Sovereignity Kindergarten class. I also enjoyed more writing and reading that’s been on my list forever: Tales of the City and This Bridge We Call Home. Tonight will be Music in the Mountains – I’m very curious how I will feel watching an amazing pianist at his art of piano! Movement still feels hard – either too hot or too rainy. I am doing a lot of Dance of Shiva (crazy brain-training yoga), and trying to be intentional about walking to work and around the neighborhood.

Sharing my weekly check-ins feels like it’s helping me feel safe, more comfortable to delve into deeper blog posts again. I’ve got a lot going on internally from being in limbo, and it’s a bit scary to put that out for 6 billion people to see. Thanks for your love and support in this process!

When Lazy Equals Productive

In the spirit of sharing rituals, I thought I’d let you all in on my monthly goal setting and the weekly check-ins I do to see if I’m on track. As I go to post this, it feels a little bland, like I need to make this check-in into a chicken.  For now, I’ll trust that it will develop into something fabulous as we go. I’m trying to practice just starting things, rather than waiting until they are perfect. Here goes!

How did we do this week?

I felt rather lazy this week, overwhelmed by the heat and the amount of work I’ve said I’d take on. I had some emotional shifts on Monday where I really felt some compassion for the part of me that is terrified that I’m not doing enough and not doing it fast enough. That part is so keyed into scenes where we really do run out of time and a bomb goes off or a child dies or a building crumbles or the world self-destructs. Whether it’s real or imagined, experienced or seen on TV, there’s this internal panic that’s driven me to do, do, do. As I felt into just how hard that life lived in panic is, I found some ease and some comfort that perhaps there is enough time, and perhaps I am doing enough. And recognition that sometimes going only as fast as the slowest part of me feels safe to go is actually the fastest way to go in the long run.

The results? Despite my internal sense that I was being lazy and blowing things off all week, I crossed off everything on my weekly list. I made steady, incremental progress on all of my projects, and even had a lot of fun along the way! I got enough sleep, even when it was at odd hours of the day, and feel pretty good overall. I’m kind of shocked actually, as my inner critic still is quite convinced I’ve spent the week being lazy. If there’s ever a reason to do a weekly check-in, it’s to collect up all the bits of evidence that I’m plenty as is. That I know how to lead a life of balance because I’m doing it.

1. Be pro-active about negotiating job & housing. Feel great about my future story.

Housing is set, with an even better arrangement than I was asking for! I finally called my landlord and asked about signing just a 5 or 6 month lease. She said, “Oh, don’t worry about it, let’s just keep you month-to-month and let us know when you are leaving.” Yay! No progress on job negotiation because there’s just not anything to do about it yet. My bosses need a lot more information before they can even think about negotiating with me, so I’m just trying to patiently stay out of the way. I do plan to do a job search in SF anyway to be sure that I have some leverage in the negotiations. But since I’m not moving until January or later, there’s really not much of a reason to start a job search before late August or September.

2. Focus on closing up past gigs, and only taking on new gigs that PAY WELL.

I took a new approach with a project I’ve been frustrated by. I found that I couldn’t bring myself to have yet another conversation with someone who had ignored our previous 4 conversations about what needed to happen accounting wise. Kind of brilliant actually not to keep banging my head against the same wall. So I brought my needs to the attention of a couple other folks who I trust, and they’ve agreed to help me get done what needs to get done. Whoo hoo!

The other project I was looking to extend  is in limbo, which I’m totally okay with. It felt good to erase them off my white board of tasks for now.

3. Get blogging services online

Community Resource Center blog post went out to their huge subscriber list and is posted online. Updated my “About” page with my bio on Rooting Nonprofits. It probably could use some more work but I’m glad I at least did something to update this. I also did a new blog post on both blogs.

4. Pay attention to Fiscal Reform Committee regularly – get very focused on the next right steps

I did less this week, but still moved forward. Got some community impacts back from a school district, and confirmed next weeks meetings with several folks. It felt really good to skip an informational meeting that others were attending and play instead! It helps me feel more excited to do some work on FRIC over the weekend rather than be resentful and grumpy about it.

5. Make $900/week

I’m still feeling the awkwardness of “It’s gauche to talk about how much money you make. Much less in a public forum!” Yet being off trajectory is about pushing back against some of these societal rules. My intention here is to track my mix of salary and freelance income so we can all better understand what it looks like to piece together enough income to pay the bills and enjoy life.

I made $878 this week. It is close to my goal but I thought I should have made it easily since I worked more than 25 hours at my regular job. I forgot that I need to more than 32 hours/week if that’s the only job I’m going to. I’m still pretty happy, considering I felt pretty lazy this week, and didn’t have much extra paid work that I took on.

6. Find a balance of movement, meditation, friendship, art, & laughter that supports my busy life

Impromptu margaritas on Thursday was a ton of fun. I definitely wasn’t intending to turn impromptu happy hour into closing down the Irish Embassy, but it was worth it. I had a couple of fun nights with new and old friends, and a ton of time on the phone catching up with some of my besties. I am such a helper mouse, I really enjoyed helping friends with purging their craft supplies and learning how to Twitter.  I always end up learning more about myself when I open myself up to help others. The Next Generation sitting group for people in their 20s and 30s is so inspiring, I am in awe of being surrounded by people my age grappling honestly with our legacies of self-hatred and self-doubt. I had a body work session on Monday that really tapped me into my energetic body, so I signed up for Hiro’s Sovereignity Kindergarten. I’m hoping it helps me keep this clearing out process moving. It felt like a pretty good week all around! Perhaps just a bit more movement.

Sharing my weekly check-ins lets me share some of the bits and pieces of what’s going on in my brain. It feels like it’s helping me feel safe, more comfortable to delve into deeper blog posts again. I’ve got a lot going on internally, and it’s a bit scary to put that out for 6 billion people to see. Thanks for your love and support in this process!

Moving, Attachment, Loss, Gain

I spent much of the day yesterday helping a friend pack up her home and start moving. This morning I read this lovely poem by Hiro Boga: Going Away and about Jen Louden’s determination to just stay put. The rupture that is moving is on my mind.

I usually think moving is easy for me – a childhood of moving has helped me be more flexible, make new friends quickly, and live rather minimally to make the physical process of moving simpler. Odd then to talk with another friend yesterday who said, “A childhood of moving has made me want to hang on to more stuff, ground myself with physical mementos of the places I’ve lived.” He needs a thread of home visible in the stuff that surrounds him.

Odd too to watch my friend – an admitted shopaholic and hoarder – sort through her piles of crafting supplies to decide what will get moved, what will be stored, and what should just be trashed. The crafter in her sees the possibility in everything; her gift is that she sees what everything could be, rather than what it actually is. The emotional connection to each tiny, sweet thing she imagines is so deep, I felt like I was asking a mother to abandon her child when I would ask if she could give up on that tiny, sweet crafting project she held in her mind’s eye. Heartbreak. Devastation. I could only push her to let go of so much. The early steps of the process of learning how to let go of lesser projects so we can have time for our best projects is itself a tiny, sweet thing.

I feel like there are lessons in all this for me too, but for now I’m just full of questions. Am I avoiding something by not hanging on to a thread of home? Yes, there’s something to be said about not being overly attached, but there’s also a problem in pushing away a deep longing for home. Where am I on this continuum of attachment and avoidance? How much of my pull to move to San Francisco is me just continuing to bounce around to find some semblance of home outside of me?

And while I’m not one to be hugely attached to things, I am ridiculously attached to so many projects to organize my community for good. How do I practice letting go of lesser projects so I can have time for my best projects? I sense that I keep my little projects not only because they are a tiny, sweet thing that deserves love, but because I’m terrified of what might happen if I choose one or two to raise into beautiful adult projects. What if I choose the wrong ones? What if they get out of hand? What if they don’t turn out as I’d hoped?

So much fear. So much at stake. So much loss. So much to gain. Stuck at the crossroads is a hard place to be.

Back on Track

In the spirit of sharing rituals, I thought I’d let you all in on my monthly goal setting and the weekly check-ins I do to see if I’m on track. As I go to post this, it feels a little bland, like I need to make this check-in into a chicken.  For now, I’ll trust that it will develop into something fabulous as we go. I’m trying to practice just starting things, rather than waiting until they are perfect. Here goes!

How did we do this week?

I always seem to test the waters with myself when starting new rituals. Early on, I need to resist the timing of the ritual and get off schedule. Do I panic? Beat myself up for failing yet another daily or weekly practice? I’ve learned to resist those patterns, and just get back on the horse. Even if it’s late, even if I’ve skipped a few, it’s more helpful for me to just recommit rather than wallow in the imperfections of it all.

1. Be pro-active about negotiating job & housing. Feel great about my future story.

No new negotiating action this week. I am trying to stay engaged in my story about how I would love life to be, without being tied to a particular way that it turns out. It feels like it would be much easier to just indulge in a fantasy story, or completely check out. This could be part of why I’m avoiding the phone call about housing, as I’m leaning toward being checked out. I need to just do it anyway.

2. Focus on closing up past gigs, and only taking on new gigs that PAY WELL.

I’m still in a bit of limbo with two projects that I’m trying to close up. One may turn into a bit more work at a lower rate that I’m happy with. It’s hard to hardline nonprofits who are in financial problems. Note to self on how terrible I am at saying no, at moving on from things I’ve been tied to.

3. Get blogging services online

Finished Community Resource Center blog post. Whoo hoo! Next step – update “About” page on Rooting Nonprofits.

4. Pay attention to Fiscal Reform Committee regularly – get very focused on the next right steps

I finalized the schedule with Coloradans for Responsible Reform to come to Durango July 20-21, and I provided some updates to people. I watched how I take on a little too much, and then totally avoid all the work to be done so I have an excuse for why I only got the essential done.

5. Make $900/week

I’m still feeling the awkwardness of “It’s gauche to talk about how much money you make. Much less in a public forum!” Yet being off trajectory is about pushing back against some of these societal rules. My intention here is to track my mix of salary and freelance income so we can all better understand what it looks like to piece together enough income to pay the bills and enjoy life.

Eek, only $701 this week ($582 at my regular job, and $119 at freelancing).  Going out of town on Friday for the weekend definitely lowers my totals for the week. So does a Monday holiday – even though I did some work that day, my brain is kind of on vacation. I also spent a lot of time avoiding work this week, trying to process my reactions to work. Valuable if not paid. This is good information about how low my pay goes when I go out of town.

6. Find a balance of movement, meditation, friendship, art, & laughter that supports my busy life

Laughter & fun with two dear friends in Boulder! The art of burlesque is amazing, it draws me in. I realized that the only reason I’m not a burlesque performer yet is that I don’t trust my own ability to create a dance. I could get on stage anytime, could be part of a troupe if one existed. But to develop my own piece??? Where do I start? The last week of the class on Desire, Aversion, & Delusion – the 3 Roots of Existence makes me a little sad to have missed 2 classes. I hate feeling pulled in two or three important directions at once.

About half way through the month! How are your goals & intentions going? What’s been good & not-so-good this week? What needs attention next week?

How are we doing? July 4th Check-in

In the spirit of sharing rituals, I thought I’d let you all in on my monthly goal setting and the weekly check-ins I do to see if I’m on track. As I go to post this, it feels a little bland, like I need to make this check-in into a chicken.  For now, I’ll trust that it will develop into something fabulous as we go. I’m trying to practice just starting things, rather than waiting until they are perfect. Here goes!

How did we do this week?

1. Be pro-active about negotiating job & housing. Feel great about my future story.

I talked with my boss about moving this job opportunity with me to SF. She thinks it’s a great idea! Many details to work out, but that possibility is open. On to housing. What I want: I’m happy to sign a lease through December 31, and then revert to month-to-month after that date. I would negotiate to a 6-month lease (through January 31) if necessary to keep my place. I’ve been a great tenant for the past 3 years, so I can’t imagine they’d want to get rid of me.

2. Focus on closing up past gigs, and only taking on new gigs that PAY WELL.

I did work to close up two of my projects, though I’m now waiting for them to get back to me. I’m noticing that I’m not the only one contributing to these projects lingering. What I want: Patience to let those projects percolate for the time they need without getting freaked out that they aren’t finished yet. Wisdom to know when to poke them back into action.

3. Get blogging services online

Done! Once the intention is there, that was actually rather simple. My brain is now thinking about updates and revisions to it. My next step here is to finish up a guest post for the Community Resource Center’s blog.

4. Pay attention to Fiscal Reform Committee regularly – get very focused on the next right steps

Reflecting on last week’s meetings where I dropped the ball on a couple things, I realized I need to be a lot more proactive, more confident, and go into meetings with more intention. Lunch with Ellen helped me get focused on the next right steps for coalition building. And I just took some actions that clearly needed to happen without stopping to consult with others first – setting up a key one-on-one meeting, contacting Coloradans for Responsible Reform, and agreeing to a presentation on July 20. Here we go! What I need: Time to think about organizational structures for our group, follow-up with several folks to set up a July meeting.

5. Make $900/week

I’m feeling the awkwardness of “It’s gauche to talk about how much money you make. Much less in a public forum!” Yet being off trajectory is about pushing back against some of these societal rules. My intention here is to track my mix of salary and freelance income so we can all better understand what it looks like to piece together enough income to pay the bills and enjoy life. I hit my goal for the first time in awhile, earning $1064 this week ($208 in freelance, $856 at my regular job).  Putting in 30+ hours at Haugen makes a big difference in my weekly pay! While I’ve been taking on freelance gigs for nearly equivalent pay to my regular job to develop my business, I need to move toward only the best freelance projects. I’m just not going to have the time if I move to 40 hours a week later this year.

6. Find a balance of movement, meditation, friendship, art, & laughter that supports my busy life

A great balance this week. A couple of hikes, 2 meditation talks,  phone & in person connections with several dear friends, writing on my blogs & the visual stimulation of a costume party, lots of laughter during it all. I found myself feeling confused when I had free time. I was shocked I didn’t have anything urgent that needed immediate attention, and it took me quite a few minutes to decide that I really truly was free to do what I wanted. I then wasn’t sure what to do – hike? yoga? call a friend? work on a non-urgent project? write a blog post? clean my house? I’d swirl around in the options for another 20 minutes, get on Facebook or email when I couldn’t land on anything, then get angry at myself for wasting precious time. There were just so many options, and I didn’t want to make the wrong decision!

On Friday, I had decided I needed some activity, but yoga or a hike? I finally just flipped a coin – heads, yoga; tails, hike. The Colorado Trail was beautiful, before the storm clouds gathered. I got back just before the fat drops of rain fell to rinse off my dusty car. What I need this week: To watch the stuckness around free time and choosing what to do with it. To dance Shiva Nata to see if it might help shift this pattern.

How are your goals & intentions going? What’s been good & not-so-good this week? What needs attention next week?

How do You Celebrate Independence?

It’s Independence Day here in the United States, a holiday usually celebrated with fireworks & beer, family & friends, parades & barbecues. American flags waving, I keep expecting people to start a “USA! USA!” chant. I love getting together with great people on this day, but I’m never quite comfortable celebrating independence in a strongly pro-America way.

Instead, what if we worked on projects that helped us develop our personal independence? Our business plans, our investment strategies, healing old traumas, or whatever is holding us back from living the great life we dream about?

What if we supported the struggles of Burma for independence from military rule, or campaigned for our nation’s independence from oil?

What if we celebrated Interdependence Day, and honored our connections with each other and our world?