Spring’s Joyful Song

As wildflowers sway to the music of the wind and trees begin to say ‘hello’ with their fresh green buds, spring begins to celebrate the end of winter and a healthy bout of hibernation and rest.  This past winter has been a time for me of focusing on health, wellness and hibernation.  I love that I allow myself time for ideas to percolate and bubble up to the surface.  I’m simply allowing the seeds planted deeply within me have the time they need to be cozy and nourished by the fertile soil of my heart and blossom when the sun and spring breezes beckon them forth.

Happy Home Family Coaching is beginning to take shape with a website and Facebook page.  My community connections are growing and thriving as I organize gatherings for Santa Cruz Radical Wellness and All for Fun & Fun for All:  Santa Cruz Family Outings.  I love meeting new folks whose mission is personal wellness, as well as connecting families together for their own wellness and joy.

When I consider the purpose of my life and of humanity, fostering the joy, happiness and loving feeling for others seems to be the avenues that make the most sense.  Wendy Collier of Wendy Collier Worldwide recently asked, “If you were given one sign to hold up to the world, what would it say?”.  What a profound question!  I sat with this question to see what my heart had to say.  My answer was this:  “Love Your Family” and “Love Each Other Well.”

This is a season that has my heart feeling fulfilled with love, family and friendships.  I have been living in Santa Cruz for eight months and I keep on with manifesting the good things I desire.  I feel thankful for new women friends.  I feel thankful for my satisfying position working with preschoolers with special needs.  I appreciate the women’s business community (Thank you, Susan Liddy!) with whom I have connected to put my life mission and creative ideas into action.

Redwoods self-portrait

And all of this has come from practicing self-love, self-acceptance and allowing myself the space I’ve needed to explore, grow and thrive.  I love that I am being the woman that I have dreamed of becoming.

Starting the year off with wellness…

Having passed from 2012 into 2013 feels surreal.  That we have not been in the 1900’s for the past decade plus seems strange.  Most of my life was 19_ _ and that made sense for some reason.  Thankfully, the thoughts about the end of 2012 being the end of the world, were simply ideas that have not come to fruition.

This New Year’s, I considered attending a couple of community events including two different meditation evenings and a peace vigil.  Each had schedules that pushed activities up to or past midnight.  Any more, I’d rather go to bed early, miss some “excitement” and have my energy and wellness to enjoy the following day.

IMG_9339On December 31, 2012, I chose to stay home with Jennie Cat, cook root veggies, listen to classical music and create altars and a vision board.  I enjoyed positioning candles with sacred partnership in mind as I encircled my intention for love and relationship with steadfast stones and crystals.

After feeling satisfied with my assemblage, Ms. Jennie Cat admired my work.  I sat with my creation in prayer and intention putting loving-kindness wishes out to all Beings.  My palms felt warm as I touched the floor and sent positive energy into Mama Earth.jen gazes on...I worked on a wellness collage whose main theme came forward to be Nourishment as I explained my creative process in a New Year’s card to a friend.  Nourishment in the form of healthy, wholesome food is an aspect of what interests me presently.  Meditation and studying the Dharma also holds a dear place within my heart.

An essential aspect of how I wish to grow and expand in 2013 is to truly and wholly integrate my spirituality with my sexuality.  While I have long experienced myself to be an empowered and strong woman, I have been noticing the places within that are calling out for greater self-acceptance, love and embrace-ment.  I feel grateful that Santa Cruz offers just the community support and teaching that I am seeking in my aspiration to fully embrace all aspects of myself as a woman in the world.

vision board 2013As I journey across the precipice to more wholly trusting myself: my intuition, my judgment, and my choices, I gain a more grounded sense of my Self as my personal foundation and rock.  Continuing my meditation practice and Dharma studies is helping me experience more of a sense of witnessing my feelings and thoughts instead of identifying with them in ways that proved to be painful.  I have been experiencing moments of feeling proud of my maturity, growth and actions as I navigate relationships in my workplace and community.  IMG_2408At times, I giggle about my maturity and strengthened skillfulness in communicating, connecting with others and taking radical care of myself, having taken only 38 years.  This beholds a sense of satisfaction for me.  I look at past years and can recognize how I tripped, stumbled and fell over and over again.  I also see how I have more learning, fine-tuning and skillfulness to achieve as I involve myself in my community, stand brave in my connections, and deepen my unshakable sense of Wholeness and self-love in a holistic, human way.And for now, I feel more at ease with mySelf than I have for a long while.  I feel calm in my work.  I feel happy about taking my business project and ideas at an easeful pace.  I feel grateful for my family and their support.  I feel warmed with the friendships and love in my life.  I feel appreciation for growing my sense of will-power, self-dedication and discipline in healing myself Whole.

Wow!  I look forward to my unfolding and growing as these life pieces mirror the majestic nature of the redwood trees, standing tall and steadfast while reaching far and wide with their creative branches.

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Lisa’s book recommendations:
Against the Stream by Noah Levine
Daring to Trust by David Richo
Waking Up Together by Ellen and Charles Birx
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Props to Jamie Ridler Studios and her amazing Wishcasting Wednesday prompts!  This week’s was “What do you wish to try?”

My year in the now…

November is my birthday month.  Each time a digital clock reads 11:21am or 11:21pm, I notice it and think, “it’s my birthday minute.”  I feel fond of how the word No-vem-ber is said and spelled.  I am also fond of the season autumn with its pumpkins, changing leaves, and cool weather clothing.  And because my birth is a part of this cozy, nestling together time of year.

For close to 5 months, I have been living in Santa Cruz.  I have settled into my preschool special education teacher position and created my grocery shopping routines.  Delving into community opportunities, such as returning with a new view to ecstatic dance and finding a meditation center, has felt fulfilling and energizing.  I even started a meetup group named Santa Cruz Radical Wellness whose events has been well-attended and well-regarded.

November is a perfect month for sharing gratitudes.  As I reflect on my time in California and the things for which I’m thankful, I decided to consider 38 aspects that enhance my life, wellness and experience of love:

  1. My supportive, loving family and healing connection with them…
  2. My dear friends with whom I stay in touch long distance…
  3. My new friends with who I spend time in Santa Cruz…
  4. Ms. Jennie Cat, her purrs and gentle kneading…

    Ms. Jen-Jen...

    Ms. Jen-Jen…

  5. Insight Santa Cruz meditation center…
  6. Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History (The MAH), the most community participation focused museum I’ve experienced!
  7. Going surfing as regularly as I like…
  8. Living within two blocks from the beach…
  9. Being able to easily navigate Santa Cruz by bike…

    Betty on the Santa Cruz wharf...

    Betty on the Santa Cruz wharf…

  10. Working in a well-knit special education preschool program…
  11. Dance Church and Inner Rhythms at The 418
  12. Green Vibrance drink powder…
  13. Coaching with Dr. Amanda Noelle, soul-mating faerie…
  14. Receiving mentorship and being inspired by Fempreneur Susan Liddy, heart-centered business coach…
  15. My new friend and kindred spirit on the spiritual path and in community:  Shamanic practitioner and raw food goddess Natalia KW
  16. My friendship of over a decade with inspiring Maren Souders’ and her life coaching business, Dream into Change
  17. Ancient redwood trees with wide open branches
  18. The new meetup group I created:  Santa Cruz Radical Wellness
  19. My new-to-me purple couch and matching chair from craigslist, kindly delivered by its previous owners helping me making my living room much cozier…

    Purple lusciousness...

    Purple lusciousness…

  20. Soft cotton bed sheets and pillow cases…
  21. Kindness from my landlord in the form of ‘free’ laundry quarters and a loaner room heater…
  22. Pure essential oils for my morning self-love ritual…
  23. The smell of surfboard wax (like fruity boardwalk taffy)…
  24. Learning how to practice metta (loving-kindness) meditation…
  25. Free piles of random goodness on curbs and sidewalks…
  26. Women’s clothing swaps…
  27. This bizarre, wonderful human experience (sometimes it seems so surreal and ethereal)…
  28. Merrell barefoot shoes and mocs…
  29. Thick wooly socks…
  30. Warm, fake fur-lined slippers…
  31. Clean, fresh ocean breezes…
  32. Preschool children’s laughter, artwork, and hugs…
  33. Bookshop Santa Cruz–a local bookshop business–I love buying local!
  34. Lola the Volvo with heated front seats and flip-down station wagon back seats…
  35. Living ever so near redwood forests–walking amongst the wise, old trees brings peace to my soul…

    Elder's circle...

    Elder’s circle…

  36. Fun frames for my reading glasses…
  37. The gray hair swirls in my bangs (and that my sister has them, too although swooping in the opposite direction)…
  38. My heart full of love for the people in my life and my spilling over gratitude for the children and families in my preschool program…
Lisa and Ms. Jennie Cat...

Lisa and Ms. Jennie Cat…

As December 2012, begins to wrap itself up, I feel glad to have a long winter break and open time to ruminate on what I would like to create and cultivate in 2013.  Thank you to those who hold space for me.  I look forward to sharing my musings for 2013 with you soon!

Sea moving as silk…

The blue geometry of undulating waves has become a mainstay in my mind’s eye.  The natural shapes remind me of the diamond knit work of a fisherman’s net. As this fascinating watery organism quietly creeps toward land, myself and the ocean’s other devotees wait patiently.

As I spend more time in the ocean seated in a straddle on my surfboard, I receive the gift of being gently bobbed as I breathe in the fresh, clean marine air.  Otters twittering, breathing and crunching on their dinners, alongside surf line-up conversation and an occasional “wa-hoo” of a happy surfer, mix with the soothing crash of the waves crossing the finish line.

Inner peace and physical calm feel easier to attain when I am suited up in my 5/4 wetsuit and have been baptized over and over again in the sea.  Some many most surf sessions are more about paddling than catching and riding waves.  Other days, the sets come rolling in and I move back and forth paddling to catch waves and paddling back out to the line-up to wait for another.

Surfing and sitting in meditation behold similar wellness properties for me.  Being in the water helps me create physical calm because I am able to release the active energy in my muscles and the holistic organism of my body.  Sitting in meditation, helps settle the active energy of my brain and fosters restfulness and awareness.

Both require presence, breath observation and mindfulness.  In the ocean, I need to be mindful of all that is around me to so that I can strive for safety and fun on the waves.  While seated in meditation, I strive to fine-tune my focus on my breath and the motion of inner energy and emotion.

As I continue both practices, I feel grateful for how I make space for myself to float along and open more broadly to self-acceptance and the present moment.

Just like the vast horizon on the sea and the vast possibilities of the mind.

 

Da doo run, run, run…

Feeling stuck and in a funk is not something I do well.  A couple weeks ago, I felt challenged to experience the joy that I believe is innate within my Being.  I knew it was there yet the thick clouds of feeling down hid that spark within and I felt lethargic and unmotivated.

That following weekend, I spent time with my sister, my father and his wife.  I had a waterfall tearfest and released my feelings of stress, overwhelm and vulnerability of living in a new town, with a new job, and striving to cultivate new friends and community.  Not only was I feeling sad, my brain felt discombobulated, sketched out, and off-balance.

It was time to take action!  In addition to talking to my dear family members, good friends, and reflecting on my pity party journal writing, I realized that I needed to tweak and improve my wellness and self-care so that I could uplift myself instead of remain stagnant and status quo blah-feeling.

Getting a professional massage helped finish off week two of the blah’s.  That same Friday evening, I ate sushi with a girl friend and attended a museum event where I got to paint, see people’s unique (a.k.a. bizarre) collections, and socialize.  I committed to going surfing each day there was surf and thankfully, that got to start the next day.

On Saturday and Sunday, I not only surfed but got to visit with my mother who was in town.  We saw a fun children’s play, ate good food and went for walks in the sunshine.  She was a positive and encouraging sound board with her always gentle space holding.

Sunday morning, it hit me that laying in bed and writing wasn’t what my body truly needed.  I motivated to put on my running shoes and power up my favorite dance music while I cruised near the beach.  I am happy to report that my morning runs continued on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (albeit in the dark and mist).

My attitude and morning mood has felt noticeably more positive.  I like the mystery of the quiet dawn and morning fog.  I appreciate making time to get in at least an hour’s worth of surfing after work on days there are waves to catch.  Even on days when the water is calm, seeing sea mammals and birds brings me joy.

My realization is that I must make these active wellness choices.  It’s this or miss out on the beauty of my oceanside town and the shimmering vitality of my life.  Choosing radical self-care is a path with which I’ve grappled.  Sometimes, I experience self-judgment that I need to schedule so many activities to insure that I feel healthy and positive about myself.

Then I sit with the reality that my eating wholesome food, sleeping well, sitting in meditation, refraining from using intoxicants, and getting daily exercise are all about choosing self-love.  This in turn, helps me cultivate my mission to help empower others to choose to love themselves in radical, healthy, and active ways.

Care to join me on this wellness journey?

 

Making room for love…

Two months have passed since my previous blog entry and it is, indeed, time for me to share my updates.  I’ve since moved to Santa Cruz, CA and started my new position as a preschool special education teacher serving children with autism, Down’s Syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and speech delays.  I have been feeling more settled into my new oceanside community and feel proud that I went surfing three days in a row, last week.  After three saltwater soaked days, I attended two evening sittings of meditation at Insight Santa Cruz.  Good medicine abounds here!

To stoke the flames of my typing fingers, I meandered to Jamie Ridler’s Wednesday Wishcasting where she asks:

What do you wish to make room for?

Down the road, I’d like to make room for my bike and surfboard which reside in my living room and kitchen.  Storing my multiple suitcases and backpacks in a back closet or garage would be my preference than having them tucked in the old Murphy Bed nook beside my redwood plank bookshelf.  These do not pester me every day.  They are simply organizational steps I know I will eventually take.

For the past 2 1/2 years, I have been mostly single.  By single, I mean that no serious love relationships or partnerships have been a part of my existence.  This has been the longest period of “single” time in my life.  Sure, I’ve had dates and some dating stints.  Nothing has yet to stick.

Much of this time has been a personal evolution of self-love, fostering my Wholeness, and discerning between potential matches (Mr. Next’s, Mr. Could-be Right’s, Mr. Slow-n-Steady’s) versus non-matches (Mr. Wrong’s, Mr. Fabulous’s and a of couple Don Juan’s, literally).  My dear friendship with my kindred soul brother, Nels, has helped inform me what true friendship feels like:  whole, unconditional, supportive, loving, and full of laughter.

Making room for love and a life-long partnership is what I feel most open to in my life.  I know that my teaching career will continue to flourish in partnership with me creating a business to support teachers and families.  I know that my surfing skills will strengthen with my regular access to beautiful Mama Ocean.

I wish to make room for my life-long husband and partner to enter into my fun, holistic, spiritual, and nature-loving life.  I wish to make room for feeling even more alive and bodacious in companionship with him.  I wish to make room for ecstatic energy exchanges, adventures to almost anywhere, and the cultivation of a deep, authentic, raw and honest friendship.  I wish to make room for his and my love, friendship, laughter, and co-created family.  I wish to make room for all of this–in the best interest and highest good of all involved.

Bit by bit, I know he is coming closer because the men I’ve met recently have more and more of the priority qualities that are on my divine husband list.  Honestly, I feel him heading in my direction.  I sense it with my intuition’s energetic vibrations and how my Wholeness and gut sense of ready-ness nod “Yes!”.

You gotta know when to hold ’em…

Kenny Rogers’ wise, gravelly voice seeps into my consciousness when it’s time for things to make a shift in my life.  As a woman who does not consider herself to be the queen of overall lyrics, I tend to be able to remember the chorus of songs and can ‘fake’ or ‘meow’ through the parts I don’t know.  I am more of a musically and rhythmically inclined person.

This week’s Wednesday Wishcasting, prompted by Jamie Ridler Studios asks:

What do you wish to learn?

I wish to strengthen my life experience of knowing when and how to create boundaries, especially in situations in which I feel triggered or more clearly, flipped out.  I have mad skills creating boundaries and structure in classroom settings and with children with special needs.  I am good with setting boundaries with colleagues when I am delegating tasks.  I am even quite good with creating healthy boundaries with most people.

Where I have growing edge and also can see how I am making gains is when a situation is highly emotionally charged.  Sometimes, I find that I end up absorbing other’s intense feelings and then feel confused if they are mine or not.  I am becoming aware of my somatic experiences of feeling physically nauseous, dizzy, or tired.

My research has revealed that there is a percentage of women and men who are especially energetically sensitive and/or experience life as being highly empathic.  As I work with my business coach, Susan Liddy, I am also learning how to strengthen my emotional intelligence.  Honing and mastering these skills will support my path as  situations arise during which energetic and emotional boundaries will nurture and strengthen me.

Strategies that I have been integrating into my life include:

  • Emotional Freedom Technique, also known as tapping
  • Meditation with the intention to better understand and sit with a triggering situation
  • Deep breathing (known as pranayama in yoga), especially Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
  • Labeling my present moment feelings and sending them love and care
  • Dialoguing with the “little Lisa’s” who are needing attention and acknowledgment
  • Reaching out to trusted friends and family
  • Going for a walk on the beach, in the lapping ocean waves
  • Surfing
  • Riding my bike around town
  • Insuring I have eaten a healthy meal or snack to support my body and blood sugar levels

Being that I feel committed to my spiritual, emotional and humanly evolution, I look forward to continuing learning and integrating new healthy wellness strategies into my days.  Saying ‘yes’ to myself while kindly and clearly saying ‘no’ to what does not serve me is in the best interest of my own growth and all those around me.

As I tune in to my feelings and their wisdom, I am able to make decisions that create ease and peacefulness in my life.  A past therapist commented that I was an experiential learner.  At the time, I wasn’t sure there was any other way to be aside from diving right in and experiencing all of life’s offerings.

I finally understand what she meant.  Presently, I am enjoying being able to listen to my feelings, sense wellness actions and make choices.  This is alleviating my previous tendencies to run into the ocean fully clothed.  Now, I take time to think through or meditate upon what is most healthy for me.  This often includes creating verbal boundaries, discerning with whom I wish to nurture friendships.

This also includes making sure I create space so that I can choose which swimsuit is best for the occasion!  Bikini underneath my wetsuit?  Tankini with modest coverage?  Honoring my spirit and Self via details and boundaries is what I am finding it’s about!