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Facing Harsh Truths

Posted on March 19, 2015

It’s been about two months since transitioning to the gift economic system. If there is one way to test yourself to see if you are indeed spending your time on heartfelt passions, just try to actually do what you do for free.

While I have met some absolutely amazing people doing this work, there is no doubt that after 20 years in healing and helping professions, I am fried. I have listened to all of the “I don’t want to change my lifestyle, just fix me” requests, the excuses, and the drama for too long. I mean, how dare I suggest that you lay off the Mountain Dew or suggest that you have to take some kind of action to make a positive change in your own health? I have cared when I didn’t want to, cared when I really didn’t have it in me to do so, and have mustered trying to fake caring just because I was being paid to care. I’m very much done with all of that nonsense.  

Less Really is More

Posted on February 14, 2015

The more I move away from energy wasters, the less tolerance I have for them. There are so many completely unimportant things just waiting to jump at the chance to take up our precious time. My lack of patience for these things is intensifying as I choose a little more freedom each day.   

If you’re looking for a place to start, Chris Guillebeau provides a great exercise to help filter through the draining junk in his book, The Art of Non-conformity. He suggests making a “to stop doing” list instead of a “to do” list. What is wasting your time? This is always an ongoing personal question, one that I encourage others to ask themselves as well. How do I want to spend my finite time and energy this one time around on the planet? That answer for me never includes things like fighting about fees with the phone company, discussing insurance premiums and coverage, going to nonproductive meetings, or dealing with draining or otherwise annoying people and situations. There are a lot of headaches that can be easily avoided with a little solid intention!  

Unofficial Business

Posted on January 26, 2015

Where to begin. . . The magic, synchronicities, the wonder. . . the general details . . . a little inspiration?

I have let a lot more people in on my tentative plans though it’s still a work in progress and quite honestly, I have no idea what it's going to look like or where my comfort zone is going to end. Many people seem to get it, but the faces of those who don’t – priceless. When I first talked about creating this situation of gift economics-based living for a while, my honey was even a little freaked out. But after a couple days he was excited and loving the idea simply because it unsettles people so much and makes them think. In his words, it’s like throwing a fire-cracker at someone and watching them respond. It goes something like: You can’t do that. Oh wait, CAN you do that? How, what, why. . .?  

So I’ve been playing with scenarios and possibilities. I planned to hold on to my vehicle until after winter, but it decided to break down this week so I am re-thinking that.

A New Year: New Levels of Courage

Posted on January 3, 2015

In recent posts, I have challenged you to start thinking about how you really want to spend your time and energy. But thinking about it is only the first step. Perhaps we can start by asking what you want to let go of and see where your courage takes you. What is taking your time and energy and getting in the way of things you would rather be doing?

Finding the courage to act truly takes no less than the heart of a warrior. Where can you start? Listen to your own heart and common sense and go from there. What rattles you to your core? What can you do about it?    

On that note, what kind of an inspiration would I be if I wasn’t willing to walk the talk? Here are a few of the things I did in December. Some are small; some are huge. You can start anywhere and build momentum. As is my nature, I did the most extreme thing first. Your path will be different than mine. To find your own way, ask yourself “does this make sense” and “is this how I want to spend my time.” See where that takes you.

The biggest, scariest thing I did was quit my doctorate program! I had been maintaining a 4.0 GPA for about a year but was completely exhausted. In addition to working full time with about an hour commute each way, I was putting 20-30 hours a week into classes, on top of part-time self employment. Sound familiar to anybody? Why on earth does our culture take such pride in being able to handle so much pressure?

Fear, Kidneys & Letting Go

Posted on November 28, 2014

What are you afraid of, I mean really afraid of? What holds you prisoner? What would you do if money, time constraints, and the expectations of others were not issues? (And why the heck are they issues anyway)?! Are you living your life in a way that you are proud to model for your children? Would your wishes for them be fulfilled if they adopted your patterns? Have you created a well lived life that would leave you with no regrets if you found yourself on your deathbed tomorrow? What are your priorities? Do your words, thoughts, and actions line up with them? If not, why?

Take a moment and really play out the scenario. Are you living your best life possible? Do you feel joyful and alive? If not, what do you want to change?

What would it look like if you stopped giving your time and energy to people and systems that teach you how not to think, speak, or behave? What if you decided to stop jumping through hoops, to stop trying to live up to others' expectations, to stop doing things that you don’t care about, and to stop justifying things that waste your precious life energy? What if you decided to weigh your options a little differently from here on out before making decisions, to stop functioning on autopilot, and to start making choices that move you closer to your goals? What do you need to walk away from? What do you need to seek out and embrace?

The Zombie Apocalypse is Now

Posted on November 22, 2014

So many recently popular movies portray this exact scene: mindless zombies taking over while a small group of people with their wits intact fight the insanity. At risk of sounding like an alarmist, it dawns on me that this time really is now.    

After eleven years of being out of the regular working world, meaning the nine to five daily grind, I recently decided to give it a go again. For the most part, I enjoy what I do, working in the wellness field. But, I had the thought that maybe the 80 hour work weeks with self employment were getting to be too much (not good for my own health); maybe it would be really nice to have a regular, steady paycheck; maybe not having a real job with health insurance and other benefits was going to be detrimental later on.

What I found has shocked me and not in a good way. The experience of this transition has reminded me why I walked away from that world eleven years ago. If you know anything about my past, you know I ended up in the field of integrative health partially because of a long history with fibromyalgia. But over the years, I have learned to see the symptoms as a compass, not a curse.