Friday, December 17, 2010

I am being with memories everywhere

Memories.  They are all over, it is truly amazing all of the things that can trigger moments from our pasts.

Just now, I was transferring my jewelry over into a new organizer that I bought at The Container Store (my heaven).  Piece by piece, I put my accessories into their new pockets, they now each get a little spot to themselves, no more tangles.   Most of it I rarely wear, perhaps because most of them have lived in storage and not in the suitcase that always travels with me, but now we actually get to share a home together and I am getting re-acquainted with them all.

Very few of these earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings have I actually purchased for myself, most I have collected as hand me downs and gifts.  My mother’s mother had an amazing collection of costume jewelry, really original stuff.  Each time I was in town visiting  she pulled her jewelry drawer open for me to look around.  I was only allowed to take one or two pieces per visit,  because she insisted I share with all the other grandkids, but no one else cared for her outlandish accessories at the time, so I have ended up with pretty much all of it.

Along with my collection of Grandma Hanser’s costume jewelry I have bracelets hand crafted by my sister, gifts from my mother, a pair of earrings from one of my best friend’s that were brought back for her from Egypt, and odd pieces that I have bought in my travels.  There is a brightly beaded necklace from a personal vacation to Bali in 2007, that I am quite sure I only wore once.   A gold embellished bracelet that I bought in Toledo, Spain on a trip abroad with a group in high school, when I was 17.  A black leather bracelet that belongs to Billy Idol that he left on stage the first show I worked with him at House of Blues Chicago in 2002.  My personal favorite is a gold ring with an Islamic prayer engraved into it that I bought at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul when I was on tour with Natalie Cole in 2007.

As I move each piece from one organizer to the other,  these memories come up, memories of where they came from and where I have worn the.  The one that really causes me to stop in my tracks is my Grandma Anderson’s long pearl necklace.   Just last fall my aunt passed it along to me, and it has been in storage ever since.   My father’s mother passed away when I was 10 after a hard battle with cancer.  Although I barely remember my childhood, I remember having a bond with her that was like no other.  I have always felt her with me.  I know she is and has always been watching my closely, protecting me.  For most of the past 19 years of my life, it was my Grandmother Anderson that I prayed to.

The only nik-nak like item that I have kept in my possession after all of my moves and travels is a brass rocking horse figurine that was hers.  Even when I didn’t have a home, the brass horse lived on the parking break of my Toyota 4 Runner.  It has always had a home with me and now I have another piece of her with me.  The pearls feel so special in my hand that I don’t know if I can actually bring myself to wear them.

I remember where each piece of clothing, each pair of shoes, nearly everything in my possession is from, where I bought it, and what year.  This is because my life has always been in motion.  It is easy  for me to remember based on the tour that I was on, because I mostly shop when I am on tour as that is when I am making a solid income and it is the  perfect thing to do when exploring a new or favorite town on a day off.  There are memories sewn into everything in my possession.

I love these moments of reflections.  I am not my past, but all of those bits have shaped me and continue to shape me.  I never allow memories that may be good or bad, happy or sad to pull me down, to weigh me down.  I use all of my memories to live, because new memories are being made as I type.  I am empowered by all that surrounds me, by my past, by my future and most importantly my NOW.

my dream, and sometimes I forget.

Sometimes I forget.

I forget what my passion is, what my why is, what my gift to the world is.  I don't mean forget as in I become, depressed, or sad, or lonely.  I just enjoy such small things that I forget about all of the projects I am creating to serve others.  I watch TV shows online.  I get wrapped up in reading facebook updates, or twitter.  I read friends blogs, I open links on all of these pages and read more about more people.  Time disappears and I am not working on my projects.  I have forgotten them.

Sometimes I forget.

I forget that reading twitter and facebook updates, watching TV shows online, opening links and reading more about more people inspires me.  I am learning.  I am seeing the world in views that are not entirely my own.  I forget that by doing all of those things or any of those things I am serving myself and others because I am allowing it to stir up thoughts, ideas, emotions within and those thoughts, ideas, emotions within are what guide the projects that I am creating.

Sometimes I forget that it can all serve the greater good, if I allow it to.  If I allow my diversions to serve me and not guilt me.   One of my favorite quotes is:
"The time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time." - Bertrand Russell

Sometimes I forget.

Does this mean that I will now allow myself to spend all of my time in these diversions?  No, but for me it is a reminder to allow myself to be there.  If I am reading updates then I will allow myself to fully be there and not let an inner voice tell me I should be somewhere else.  If I am allowing myself to watch a TV episode online, then I will allow myself to fully enjoy it and be moved by it (I get seriously emotionally pulled in and I love that) and not be telling myself it is wrong to be watching TV.

Sometimes I forget that I forget that life is meant to be lived.  Sometimes I forget that I am allowed to simply be in it and enjoy it, that I don't need to be working towards my dreams at all times.  My dream is to inspire everyone to fully live their life and love their life right now, right where the are. 

Sometimes I forget that I do that just in living mine, that my dream is not actually work, it is my life.
Sometimes I forget that in living each day and loving each day that I am working towards my dreams, that I am living my dreams.  I already am my dreams.  Sometimes I forget that everything that I could ever desire, I already am.

Sometimes I forget that I get to choose where I am and that does not just apply to my physical location or any other status, it refers to where I am with myself.  If I am choosing to work on my project right now, then that is where I am.  If I am choosing to soak up inspiration via social media, TV, and more than I will fully choose it and this will allow myself more space to fully be present for my passion.

Sometimes I forget that my passion, my why, my gift to the world is in action with every breath I take, with every thought that comes up, with each and every moment spent here or there.

Who I am is not how I show up when I know everyone is watching.  Who I am is how I show up when I think no one, even myself is watching.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a choice to live

It is currently 4:22PM on Tuesday.  I am sitting on my sofa (new sofa! I have furniture!)  catching up on a few of my friend’s blogs via the interweb on my laptop.  I am somewhat wasting time.
I have a client session at 6PM.  My plan for today was to write.  That is it.  Today was to be a writing day for my book, but it turns out that I did little writing.

I did start with that intention this morning by opening the document.   Upon opening it, I discovered  a new way to organize it the file into chapters instead of just creating page breaks.  So, I did that, creating ten chapter seperations for what I have already written (not that all chapters are completed).  Now it was time to write.

I hit the tab for the  chapter that describes the day I find out my Dad had been found dead.  I start to read it, to see what I have written and where I have left off.  I know that I have not written it all yet.  I know that I have really not gone that far at all even though it says there are 9 pages to this section already.  I read over what I have written and start editing it.   I am cutting parts out that are more setting up the day and not really what happened and realize I have to call my sister.

I have been putting off calling my sister for clarification about the phone message that she left for me that day, that gave me the news.   Did she tell me to call her or did she leave the news on the message?  I am sure she must have told me to call her, she wouldn’t have left the news of our father’s death on the voicemail, right?  But, it was a big surprise, so maybe she was in shock when she left it?

I don’t want to ask her this question, because I don’t want her to have to remember that day and all of the emotions that may come up for her, but I have already put it off for over a month.  I actually have to ask her about another phonecall, too.   Digging in to all of these moments of my life is quite emotional.  I am grateful for everything that has happened in my life because it has made me who I am, but in many ways I have forgotten about it all.   I have gotten really good at living in the present and not dwelling in the past, but now it is necessary for me to go there.  Unfortunately, this means bringing my loved ones there too as I want to know all of the details and not just what my memory banks are giving me.  I don’t want to bring any pain to my loved ones, but I also want to tell my story.

I call my sister and she seems fine with answering this question.  She actually remembers it very clearly.  I don’t know why I assumed she wouldn’t?  She lost her father that day, too.  Her life was changed that day too.  She may not of created a new career because of it, but she is certainly not the same pre-loss and past-loss, either.    She does not get emotional in answering, but is very knowledgible and straight ahead.    I am grateful for her answer.

That was at 12 noon today.  I have not looked at my document since.  I let myself be distracted by answering ads for the items I am giving away on FreeCycle.  I did some online window shopping.  I stalked facebook, twitter, and even  I kept very busy during those hours, but I didn’t write.

I told myself that I get easily distracted.  I guess today was a wash, I say as I get cozy on my new sofa.   I can start over tomorrow though, the day is almost over.  I think about how I haven’t gone to yoga yet and I am hungry.  If I eat I won’t be able to do yoga on a full stomach.  I have errands to run, but I am waiting for my client session.  I will just start over tomorrow. I will do yoga tomorrow.  I will do the errands tomorrow.

Then, I caught myself.  Um…Why don’t I just start over right now?  If I want to start the day over, then start the day over.  It really can be that easy.    I can easily fit a few errands in before my session.  I can easily pull myself of my ass and into action.  I am the one in control.

What also realized is that I haven’t just been shielding and trying to protect the emotions of my loved ones, I have been doing it to myself.  Sure, I talk about the fact that my dad’s death inspired me to create my joyology a lot, but actually going back to those days, those months, to all of my grieving and loss, hmmmm, it may be harder than I thought.  I want to do it though.  I am going to do it., because I make up that is important if for no one else, than for me.

Loss is hard.  No matter how or when it happens and that is why I choose to live and I choose it over and over and over again.

Friday, December 3, 2010

A constant ? to you -What do you love about yourself?

I love asking people this question and I love hearing the answers.  In fact, on my personal message for my cellphone I ask for the caller to tell me what they love about themselves.  This makes listening to my messages so much more fun and gives the caller a chance to acknowledge themselves.  I really love when people that don’t know me call, such as salespeople.  Of course, a lot of people ignore it and some people seem to think if they have answered the question once before then it doesn’t apply to them.  Once, my sister left me a message and said something like, “It’s time for a new question.”  Yet, I am pretty sure that she has never once answered it.

When people do choose to answer I get incredibly excited to hear what they have to say.  In fact, sometimes I save them because it is just so moving to hear somebody get to say what they love about themselves, especially when they are not planning on being asked a question like this.

The other day I enquired about gym membership prices at some local gyms via the interweb.  I had my phone on silent and didn’t see when someone from one of the gyms was calling.  I didn’t recognize the missed call number, so listened to the voicemail.  Dylan, of one of the gyms, was calling to invite me to check out the facilities and tell me about the specials that were going to on and at the end of the message he said and “Oh yeah, what do I love about myself? I love my family.”  I was soooo excited that he had answered, and I am super happy that he loves his family, but that really isn’t answering the question.  I called Dylan back to talk about the gym and before hanging up I said, “And by the way, I love that you answered the “What do you love about yourself?” question, but you didn’t really answer it, you know that right?”  He laughed and agreed, saying he was caught of guard by the question.  He then shared with me that he loves that he is tall, but he still wants to think about it.  Great!

I also received a voicemail this week from someone at the management team for one of the artists that I work for.  He was calling to ask me a business question and then left an amazing answer to my question, “What do you love about yourself?”.  I wasn’t sure if he was going to answer as he is a repeat caller and he has answered the question before.  Like, I said, many people act as if they are only invited to answer as first time message leavers.  He answered and with not the same answer!  Yes!  He was able to channel right now, what does he love about himself.  What comes up first, not a go-to answer but what comes up for him right now.  He then went on to thank me for having that on my message to remind him of that.  Love it!!

On day 8 of Cafe Gratitude’s logbook, which one of my clients and I did this week (we are now on day 12, yay!)   the exploration for the day is to acknowledge five things that you love about yourself.   Really, my client is the one doing the logbook and I am guiding her through it, but I still like to play along.  I chose to tweet the exploration and then asked myself the question, thinking that naming 5 things that I love about myself will slide right off of my tongue.  I did not just want to nod my head and say, yep, I got more than five things I love about myself, no problemo, I wanted to play along actively and say my answers outloud, even if I was the only one to hear it.

I called out three right away, and then I surprised myself with a long pause.   I actually sat there and thought about it, hmmm “What else do I love about myself?” I mean I know there is a lot, but suddenly expressing outloud even to myself I got stopped.    I just took a moment again, now, to ask myself again to name 5 things that I love about myself and this time they did run right of my tongue.

So, lets make it so these answers roll off our tongues all the time no matter what is going on.  I invite you to ask this question to yourself and to everyone else regularly.  When having a disagreement with someone, throw in, “What do you love about yourself?”.  When checking out at your local store, ask your checker, “What do you love about yourself?”.   When catching up with old friends and new, ask, “What do you love about yourself?”.   When tucking your kiddies in at night, ask them “What do you love about yourself?”.

What do you love about yourself, in this now moment?