I’ve always been the kind of person who believes in facing our fears, in working towards our dreams, who isn’t afraid to feel the scary moments but knows that fear (usually of failure in some form) is the only thing ultimately stopping us from achieving our goals. You know that quote…
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” – Robert Schuller
It’s nice when we can daydream what we would do, but to put it into action…. well, that’s another story, am I right?
We all want guarantees in our life. Evidence that it will work out, no matter what we decide to do. I have been one of those people, hanging onto my comfort zone, afraid to swim away from the edge of the pool with many situations in my life.
Only in recent years have I been ready to face the fact that CERTAINTY doesn’t exist (just like perfection doesn’t exist either) that HOPING for something doesn’t guarantee it’s showing up in your life. Last year, I discovered that I am a “Hope addict”, constantly craving the ‘high’ that hoping something to happen brings, and when it doesn’t come about, continually ending up deeper in the “Pit of Despair” (A Princess Bride mention) and each time, taking longer to climb my way out of.
With the help of my coach friend Laura, I discovered that holding onto hope, doesn’t secure lifes certainty, it only perpetuates the DEEP, underlying belief that we never deserved to have that happen, this happen, or to have that show up in our life… anyway, when it doesn’t work out the way we want it to.
Hoping sort of messes with our self worth. I know it has for me.
My husband has always been good at accepting the philosophy of “That’s life!” in his usual state of going with the flow. Frankly, it’s something I admire about him and also, something that frustrates the shit out of me. NOT because I think he’s wrong, It pushes on me… makes me wonder why I can’t be more go with the flow… take a risk, as the Kardashians call it “YOLO – You only live once” and instead, I’ve settled to just tread water on the side of the pool. AFRAID.
Well as I prepare for this next chapter in my life, I have made a concerted effort to let go, try to go with the flow, and most importantly, BE CALM with whatever happens. Despite one huge setback (my reaction to finding out we’re having a boy, versus my HOPING (see there’s that hope addict again) that it was a girl I was carrying), I’ve been relatively able to drop the extra baggage that looking for certainty brings. I KNOW that I have NO idea how my pregnancy will go, how my labor and delivery will go, and ALL I can do is let go of what I WANT to happen, and just be okay with what does happen.
To me, this is me being BRAVE and I have been really happy to say I feel I’ve been doing a relatively good job of it.
Well, if you know me or have been following me, you know that there is one thing that I have been wanting to do, that I have been just too afraid to do. It just causes too much uncertainty for me, it causes me to be frozen in fear. It’s leaving the “certainty” of the financial security of my 9-5, in order to work on my dreams of having a thriving coaching practice and mission with Married to a Chef. Honestly, I’ve simply been too afraid. Even though the 9-5 has not served my soul in a LONG time, the fear of financial scarcity has kept me there, and has deteriorated whatever energy I had to go to it, every day. In turn, I isolated myself from everyone in my office, and because I know everyone can feel how I’m feeling, everyone stayed away from me, for not wanting to bump into my negative energy, which was my own way of beating myself up for not being brave enough to have the courage to face my fear and LEAP.
With the decision Peter and I made for me to stay home a year, in order to take care of “the boy” (we still haven’t decided on a name), and also giving me the gift of working on my dreams, I knew there was an end in sight with the 9-5. I knew if I just held out, I would soon be able to leave on my own terms.
Well, This has proven to be more challenging than I thought.
Back in May/June.. I can’t remember, the company made a decision to change manufacturers (From Herman Miller to Steelcase – think of it like changing from Toyota to Volkswagen) and for the past few months, all we’ve been doing is ramping up to do business with this new company. Frankly, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know this companys philosophy (believing in transparency and no visual hierarchy in office spaces) but as I am getting to the practical knowledge of what it takes to be a designer, learning parts and pieces… I found myself feeling like I was wasting my time and the companys time, knowing I’m spending all this time training, just to be leaving in a little over two months.
SO I did something BRAVE.
I took the LEAP and left the 9-5 as of this past Tuesday, 8/13, in order to face my fear and do what I’ve always wanted to do….
Thankfully, this was a mutual decision with the management of the 9-5, and being in agreement with how we were to handle my early departure, financially and strategically, I felt confident enough to do it.
I kept thinking, “It’s only a BLIP in time. Two months. This is a GIFT Kerilyn, take it.”
So here I am, on the other side of that decision, and I am still feeling quite brave. I know that there are no guarantees. I know that the part of me that wants certainty is still there, and will show it’s face when I give into that first moment of fear… of scarcity.
But for now… I will revel in this moment of bravery. CELEBRATE doing something that I have wanted to do for a LONG LONG time… and do my best to ENJOY this time I have, to prepare for the coming of this little one, to give me a heads start with making my own dreams come true, and to continue my lesson in learning to be brave.
PLEASE CELEBRATE WITH ME.
*Because I know this is a gift, I vow not to squander it. No sitting on the couch, watching TV, eating bon bons (even though, I’d LOVE to dive into some chocolate right now, miss chocolate quite badly) I am determined to work hard to prepare for little one and this transition in our lives, and to use this gift to get a heads start on what I am envisioning with my business and my plight. SO excited (nervous too, don’t get me wrong) and am SO GRATEFUL 1. that my husband supports me in this leaping and 2. that I know this is a GIFT.
Before I dive in, I’m going to do my best to articulate my experience but I want to be honest – this trip was beyond articulation. It was an experience using my sixth sense only. My third eye. It ultimately was something I can’t really explain, in a taste/smell/see/hear/feel, kinda way. It’s kinda like asking someone to explain what PEACE is. I can share my experience with the town of Portland, what I saw..etc.. but how I FELT I know I will never be able to truly convey. Just gotta believe me… this trip changed my life.
PS: I’m a chatty Cathy and I know I already want to ramble on and on.. tell you every single thing but I’m writing a blog post, not a book here so I’ll ATTEMPT to shorten it. No guarantees though.
So, my girl friend Kellee and I set to travel across country to both experience Portland for the first time. She is considering a move there and the Summit gave me a reason to check out this town that has been on my Top 3 Cities to visit for quite a few years now. I had heard that the city itself was unlike the rest of the country, and was excited to see first hand what they were talking about. We flew in on the Fourth of July – I thought we were coming in too late to experience any fireworks… BOY WERE WE WRONG! Check this out.
* I left my commentary and the crying baby in there for true flying affects. Cause everyone loves being on a plane with a crying baby, right?
The fireworks were EVERYWHERE. It was one of the most spectacular things I’ve ever witnessed. Everywhere we looked, hundreds (dare I say thousands) of exploding colors filling the sky below us. It was an amazing Red Carpet moment for Kellee and I, I tell ya.
That night before hitting the pillow hard… I was excited and also nervous about what the next few days would bring. Being a extrovert with introverted tendencies… I didn’t know what side of me would stick around. Large crowds of people I don’t know can definitely bring out the wall flower in me… but I kept telling myself to be OPEN to whatever. ‘Be OPEN’ I kept telling myself. My mantra for my trip (and the previous week as well, if I were being honest) was something my amazing coach friend Laura told me…
Practice being comfortable being uncomfortable…
Aye, Aye Captain.
We got there the day before the opening party… which gave Kellee and I some time to explore the town. She definitely did more homework than I did on what was to do there, and I was (and still am) ETERNALLY grateful for that. She was the navigator and I was so damn grateful for that.
One of the first things I noticed was this sense of peace I got when walking around. No people rushing around, not a lot of traffic (It was the day after a holiday, but still) Here comes my first point of AWESOME-NESS about Portland.
– Public Transportation is FREE within the space of downtown Portland. The Streetcar and Rail system were all FREE. We weren’t rushing around trying to find coins/tickets or fare. It was kind of amazing. Taking that stress off our plate as visitors really contributed to our ease as we traveled from place to place.
The weather was absolutely beautiful. An average high of 82 degrees while we were there, sunny, LOW humidity. Seeing as how I just came from 100+ weather with high humidity, Portlands weather reminded me I was NOT at home, thankfully. (Thank you Rain Gods for staying away from Portland while we were there, I know you’re comfortable holding reign (pun intended) over the city.)
After traveling to our recommended breakfast place, we meandered through the city, walking to the river and then hopping the rail to the area called North Williams. Since we didn’t know exactly where we were going, we strolled down the streets, passed amazing parks with huge trees and green green grass, saw some AMAZING craftsman style houses to the sweet spot – the place where all these shops were located. By now Kellee and I were both already in love with our experience and were enjoying soaking it all in. Without having a set plan, we enjoyed finding our way and eventually ended up at a restaurant called Veritable Quandry for dinner – where we enjoyed a good meal and even better conversation.
The next days adventure was just as amazing as the first -Beautiful weather – after getting breakfast, we moseyed over to Early Registration for #WDS2012, as I walked up, I was greeted by Chris Guillebeau (The initiator behind #WDS2012) and immediately saw bloggers that I recognized. Butterflies in the stomach. Picked up my badge, T-Shirt and Gift Bag (with Chris’ book – the $100 Startup inside! Score, I had yet to buy the book and voila! there it was! More on this $100 Startup later) I hadn’t prepared for interaction yet, so we quickly left and made our way to the Lan Su Chinese Gardens. I knew before long I would be among so many amazing people but I was still in touring the city mode. The gardens were amazing. Right in the middle of downtown Portland. It was olfactory overload due to the amazing trees and plants they had there. We continued the theme and enjoyed a light chinese lunch and then I had to make my way back to the hotel to get ready for the opening festivities.
Leaving Kellee, and taking the rail to the opening location, I felt a quiet excitement. Holding onto the unknown and sitting with it. I had NO idea how the next two plus days would look, how I would feel and being the planner I am, I was heading toward the event with my mantra already being repeated.
Be comfortable being uncomfortable.
The most uncomfortable part were those first 20 minutes, walking up and not knowing anyone. Recognizing a similar uncomfortable-ness with others who also didn’t know anyone, my eyes immediately landed on a beautiful woman with gorgeous auburn hair and eyes that matched her hair. She meandered in and out of the space, and I knew she was attempting to find a spot where she would feel comfortable. Like me.
She was my first.*And as you know you always remember your first.
In typical Kerilyn “Is comfortable in small groups” fashion, I went up to her and introduced myself. I felt a sense of relief and immediately relaxed, after confirming that she too, didn’t know anyone and I knew I would stick with her throughout this experience. Her big sparkly eyes and beautiful smile made me feel like I wasn’t alone, and immediately felt like I’ve known her forever.
We chatted a while and I fell in love with her right away. Little did I know that I would fall in love (literally fall in love) a few times that weekend. We asked each other the usual “Don’t you DARE ask about what she does for a JOB” questions like “What brings you here?”and “What’s your mission?” – I figured out before coming here that this was NOT going to be about how to manage a 9-5, or live WITHIN our means…. NO. This was a “What do you feel called to do?” kinda gathering. Only after I came home did I realize that for the first time, possibly in my entire life, I was with my people – The Searchers.
Amazing fact – Anna Ray came from Dubai. What a long way to come for such an event. I admired her dedication and it only intrigued me to get to know her more.
In truth, I had already been admiring Kai for a while. Admired her for her bold statements that we’re all superheros and honestly, I also loved that her tagline involved a bit of potty mouth. HELLO.I had connected with her via the Twitta so I knew she was coming and was planning on finding and meeting her in person.
I went up to her, introduced my actual self and introduced her to the amazing Anna Ray. As I expected, she was passionate, cool and as beautiful in person as I’d seen her online.
Fell in love for the second time… all within the span of 15 minutes.
I didn’t know then but we would stick together throughout the summit. Weaving in and out during the speakers and breakout groups.
I also knew that I would eventually see a handful of familiar faces. A group of us, going to the summit from DC got together a few times prior so we would know someone there. Another lifeline, if you will. I was counting on connecting with them when I needed a respite from the energy transfer of meeting all these new people. Even if I only saw Lisa, Monique or Chris from across the room, I felt safe. It was that way throughout the weekend and I was really glad for that. Thank you Monique for creating this group – I didn’t even know how needed you all were going to be to me.
At the opening festivities, I saw people whose blog I’ve followed a while, whose e-course I’ve taken to help me figure out what my Declarations were, and a kindred spirit whose mission to help us be well-fed women, just to name a few. I couldn’t believe I was amongst so many inspiring people and had no idea at the time, what I was in for. Food Trucks and Sumo wrestlers, Yoga moves, “Dunk-a-blogger” stations and skee-ball lanes… it was like I was at a carnival. A carnival where amazing people, doing amazing things, were all around me. I fell asleep, after making my way home, buzzing from the residual energy that we were all plugged into. The next morning, I carried with me my badge, and my mantra to be comfortable being uncomfortable, but quickly discovered I wasn’t uncomfortable at all.
Here’s where it becomes difficult…
I cannot explain to you the impact that the next two days had on my life. Truthfully, I am still processing how big an impact it was. Each night as I got back to the hotel and caught up with Kellee.. I could barely explain to her what my experiences were. It was beyond words.
Here is what I CAN say… as I BEGIN to process what I took in. (After chatting with my mentioned above friend Laura, only just a day or two ago)
I have NEVER, EVER.. in my life felt like I fit in more than I did in those two days. Among others who feel like me, a fish out of water. Gasping for breath as I flop around, constantly attempting to make my way to where I belong. THE OCEAN. I have always felt like the odd man out… NOT because I think so differently from most people who want to be happy and live with purpose… but because I have always been unafraid to show my sadness that I have yet to find it and disenchantment (and yes, frustration too) with the trappings of a mediocre, “be happy you have a JOB” kinda life. As the beloved James Kavanaugh said…
I am one of the Searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand.
During those two days, I was among The Searchers. James said he believes there are millions of us but there are BILLIONS of people in the world. That makes us, those ACTIVELY searching and never ceasing to find their calling, their purpose… among the few. Constantly working to find what fills them up, makes time stop and what helps contribute to the greater good.
Not just a campaign to get votes, and hold power – but in all ways… MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
The World Domination Summits tagline was…
“How do we live a remarkable life in a conventional world?”
It’s the same question I ask myself (and beat myself up over) ALL THE TIME.
The Speakers…. again, unless you were there, I know I would not do them justice (and this blog post would go on FOREVER) so I won’t even try. Just know they all, in their own way…spoke directly to every single one of the 1000 of us sitting in that theatre. It was sacred ground… and just like we don’t usually talk about what we pray about… I’m not sure I can share with you how receiving this information has changed me. *Except to see it in my future actions. And that I CAN talk about.
TAKE ACTION, BE UNCOOL, MAKE A MOVE, IT’S GOOD TO BE AN INTROVERT, DO SOMETHING, YOUR PASSION ISN’T ALWAYS THE FIRST PLACE YOU LOOK, FIND YOUR SUPERHERO…
Each day at noon, we broke for lunch, then at the 1 and 2 o’clock hour, there were breakout groups. Mini-Lectures of yet more amazing people. The first day, for lunch, I heard about this AMAZING farmers market to wander to… MAN. It’s without a doubt, the best farmers market I’ve ever been to. Here is a snippet of a really awesome band that was playing. The weather was wonderful, the vibe was so chill and it looked like all the familes in Portland were there. I had a delicous Pulled pork sandwich and Strawberry lemonade. I can still taste it now. I also had this impulse to buy flowers. I LOVE flowers. They make me happy. I originally intended to give them to one of the speakers during the breakout group, but I was amazed at how many people who saw these flowers, stopped and slowed down enough to really enjoy them as well. I ended up carrying them with me the rest of the day. I was walking across the street with my flowers when someone in a car yelled out the window how beautiful the flowers were and when I waved them on to pass me… she said “No, I want to keep looking at the flowers.” It was kinda amazing. Here is a picture of me with the lovely flowers. Nevermind that I look stoned (I wasn’t, I assure you.)
The first day of breakout sessions, I sat in a Chapel, a few blocks away from the main location and listened to Danielle LaPorte and Brene Brown share their insights during an hourlong Q&A. Like listening to a Sunday Sermon, I sat in a pew as Brene Brown helped us understand how shame shows up in our lives and how to work through it (When you’re feeling shameful, bring your brain back to center by saying “Pain Pain Pain”) and Danielle Laporte showed us by way of opening up her trench coat (not literally) and revealing to us how she has worked through the same things we all have. (My takeaway with Danielle has always been not to be afraid to fail. I lean on her when I need a reminder that It’s OKAY to be scared… to keep going anyway… JUST DO IT.) Sadly, I didn’t take pictures as I was holding onto my flowers, just taking in their wisdom. It was amazing to be in the same room as these inspiring women.
At the close of the first day, we were all left to our own devices to do as we wished that evening. Fortunately for me, I already had plans. A month or two prior, there was an invitation to watch the screening of a movie whose trailer had my heart beating faster as I asked myself the SAME questions…
Is this how it HAS to be? Watch the trailer here.
That evening, I met up with my DC ladies as we sat and watched this thought provoking movie. Great way to end the first day, If I say so myself. I was just SO DAMN HAPPY to be among other people who felt the same way that I did… hearing them whooping and hollering throughout the film, even now it gets me feeling a bit choked up to know they’re out there. Questioning and Challenging the status quo.
~For those of you out there, feeling the uncomfortable feeling that it doesn’t HAVE to be this way, that it can be different – I THANK MY LUCKY STARS you exist.
The second day during the breakout sessions, I experienced the energy of two very powerful women who are making big changes in the world. Pam Slim was talking about how to connect with your audience and honestly.. her real time examples she gave us I will never forget. Moving us around the room to help us understand how the energy changes when delivering in person talks.. and how to translate that online was amazing. To feel the energy shifts in every different focus was something I’ll always remember. Then to Tara Gentile, talking about the root of wealth in ALL it’s forms. Money is such a challenging topic to talk about for most of us, but as I listened, she made it so easy, had me feeling like I wanted to. I left her session, SO wanting to sit down with her and have a long conversation. She seemed really easy to talk to, like a sage for the modern womans finances.
Bonus share here: During the 2nd day of amazing lectures, I found myself sitting next to Kai. She informed me as we sat down, that she HAD to watch the finals of Wimbleton Tennis match and I melted right there. I LOVED that she felt as passionate about where she was as she was about the tennis match she was watching. Not to mention I too, love watching Tennis, I somehow fell in love with her more that she knew she could have the best of both worlds. As she listened to the speaker, she watched the final match of the game…even handing me half of her ear buds to listen to the award ceremony. Swoon.
At our scheduled breaks, we had a few moments to either randomly connect with someone new, or meetup with someone we’ve yet to connect with… at one said gathering spot the second day (the Highly Sensitive Lounge area) After embracing a kindred spirit who I look forward to being permanently engaged to into the future (Rach, that’s you), I was introduced to Jill – instantly, there was a spark. That did it.
Officially fell in love for the third time that weekend.
After the final keynote speaker, JD Roth, talked about personal transformations, having us all convinced we too, can transform into whatever we’re willing to put the work into, I knew we were coming to a close. If I were honest, I was feeling a bit anxious, not knowing how I would find a way to re-enter into my everyday life after having this experience, my 9-5 job, What was my next step with Married to a Chef? I was sad and frankly a little scared. How was I going to keep this energy going? I knew part of the reason why I came to Portland, was to find a way over the hump that has recently had me feeling paralyzed. I’m at this place with my mission… my obsession where I know I’m needing to swim to the middle of the pool, into bigger things, more fruitful opportunities, and I’m feeling quite scared to swim away from the side of the pool. (READ: I’m SCARED TO FAIL)
As Chris, the creator of #WDS2012 was sharing his final thoughts with us, I had NO idea what was coming.
Here is the video with his closing thoughts and his preceding gift – definitely worth a watch.
He (along with an anonymous donor) gave us all a gift, a $100 Investment it’s been coined, and gave us the only instructions were to INVEST in something.
Yea. I left in shock. Did that just happen? What? I put my Investment in the book by the same author who entrusted me with this, until I can even process what I’m going to do with it.
That last day was frankly a blur. As I re-grouped with Kellee to spend the last day in Portland, I felt really off. (Yes, at this point I was exhausted, overstimulated and on the verge of a very needed tearful release) We connected with someone Kellee had met while I was plugged into inspiration, and he showed us a bit more of the city, the part that you needed a car to get to. (SIDE NOTE: I totally fell in love with this renovated school turned lodging/restaurant/movie theater/smoking lounge…. WHEN I go back to Portland again (maybe for #WDS2013, if I’m not pregnant (fingers crossed) I will definitely be staying HERE.)
So here I am… it’s been about a week since the Summit ended,
Still in this state of suspension.
What do I do with this $100?
Where do I go from here?
A week has passed and I still do not know.
All I know is I’m not the same person I was two weeks ago… before the storm.
No. Somethings different.
I’ve always said that I felt like an eagle tethered in invisible chains to the ground by a large cement block. From an early age, I’ve felt that way. I have, time and time again, attempted to spread my vast wing span to take flight, only having those chains remind me that you can only go so far…not doing what you’re meant to do. For a few days in Portland, I found myself without any chains…flying with 1000 other eagles, letting the wind heal their unused wings and bruised hearts and the sun heat their passions. I hold those Eagles in my heart right now, I support you and I am here if you ever need a reminder who you are. For you helped me remember who I was.
For a series of moments… I was released from “Be Realistic” and “Is that practical” and “If I were you…” statements. I left the worry about how I should be careful behind and was soaring into the wind. Untethered. FREE.
You know why I feel suspended (it just hit me) .. because I’m still flying. My heart and my mind are still amongst the clouds… haven’t yet landed on the ground but am flying close enough not to feel the pull of the chains. In this feeling, I am able to be in the moment… not in the worries of the past or the anticipation of the future rouse me. I am HERE. NOW. I don’t want this feeling to go… but instead use it to keep me moving forward, taking action…to do something,
TO MAKE A MOVE.
After this experience, I feel even more dedicated to learn to LIVE from this place of suspension. It’s been building a while (to let GO of the past/future and live in the PRESENT..to swim toward the middle of the pool), these experiences, from the storm to this very moment, have given me the EVIDENCE that it does exist, that it CAN happen.
Amazing what we can do when we have EVIDENCE to back us up.
To wrap: Chris asked us on the Twitta a few days ago, “#WDS2012 Attendees: One year from now, how will your life be different?”
I responded to him by saying that while I’m still processing everything I took in, I feel confident to tell him that not much will be the same.
So many things are changing in my life right now, with this newfound elevation of flight I’m in… I’m even more excited to see what that will look like, come this time next year.
Well, well…. here we are. A little over a week before the end of 2011.
This year went by fast. Lightning fast.
Actually… in a FLASH.
Now that the flash is almost over, I take a moment and look back. Slowing down those moments and capturing the goals I wanted to accomplish this year but didn’t and also REVELING in the dreams that I saught after and accomplished. (and by that I mean BIG time accomplished.)
For instance, I wish I could tell you that I am jumping for joy that I actually did accomplish my goal of making 2011 my bitch like I originally intended, making PLAY and SELF CARE higher on my priority list.
Unfortunately, I cannot.
These two subjects are still very much on my mind, and something I am conscious of on a regular basis, a daily basis. Yet they still elude me and year after year, I find myself in the same spot… wondering WHY I don’t feel like I accomplished what I set out to do when it comes to play and self care, topics I have yearned to master for so long.
Needless to say, the question of “Why is this something I cannot achieve, that always feels SO FAR AWAY?” has been rattling around in my brain a bit recently.
The answer *hit* me while I was watching a series of TED talks over the past few days. Amazing, Inspiringwomen who, in their own way, are sharing their gifts, connecting with that question that has been stirring inside me for so long of “Why????”
Why are we unhappy?
Why are we sick?
Why are we not feeling fulfilled?
Why is what we DO have, never enough?
Why are MY goals always OUT THERE???
Why don’t I have enough money?
Why am I always afraid, freaking out, angry?
In a breathtaking moment of clarity, I realized that they’re all saying the same thing. I looked around at my spiritual search, all the books I’ve read, inspiring movies I’ve watched, groups I’ve attended, conversations I’ve had, my quest to find purpose, my restlessness, my being ‘A Searcher’ and it hit me…
The answer is the SAME in all of those things.
The answer to what I always feel I’m missing is how I have not TRULY stepped into what it means to be in love with myself.
That’s it. It is as simple as that.
Honestly, It’s kind of blowing my mind. I mean, if it is that simple.. why am I constantly thinking it’s something ELSE?
We make it SO much more complicated, we use other phrases like we’re not good enough, or smart enough, or thin enough, we don’t have the relationship we want or enough clients, more money, or we NEED to accomplish X before we begin to Y.
I know reading this you’re probably thinking, “Well, I already knew this.”
I’m sure you do know this. Actually, I’m positive of it. I know you do.
I know this as well, on an unconscious level, when I sit still, or have moments of GLARING clarity (you know, AHA! moments, epiphanies) …it’s there, in the present, swirling to the surface- but when I get out into the world, in the groundhog day of everyday life, this knowing sinks to the bottom… no longer on the surface of my conscious thoughts. (Think sugar in a glass o’iced tea. If what makes it sweet is at the bottom, your tea isn’t going to taste too good)
In that moment when that knowing sinks to the bottom, all that’s left is that endless question/search/feeling of WHY? *Insert the face you make when you taste that tea and it’s bitter and strong, not sweet at all. Instinctively, we look at the bottom of the glass to see all the sugar at the bottom, right? Pondering what we want to do next…
The difference between our conscious thoughts of being in love with ourselves and that glass of tea is we are actively adding the sugar to the tea. We put it in there, and at the desired amount. “To taste”. Whereas the answer of what is missing isn’t something we ADD TO our life, it’s there already. That’s what makes it tricky, we’re not adding to… we’re looking within to find it. Typically, we’re not comfortable doing that. We are more comfortable looking outside ourselves to find the sweetener.
Watching the woman so many call SARK… there was a moment in her talk when she says she walked into an elevator and saw this man who had such a great energy and she told him so. (If you want to watch, it’s at the 12:15 mark) What he said in response really hit me… it was the answer to all the questions.. to all the searching… to all of the WHYS?
“I am so in love with myself.”
I want that. I want to be SO in love with myself.
It makes complete sense to me that the reason most of us are unable to sustain that loving ourselves consciousness for long, when we do have those moments of clarity… is it’s too heavy to absorb into the tea. Soo steeped in “Loving yourself means you’re selfish, self absorbed, conceited.”, that sense of “Who do you think you are?” limiting beliefs from others AS WELL as ourselves that it naturally sinks to the bottom, back within us to protect ourselves from the vulnerability that being in love with ourselves can bring.
If only we knew, REALLY KNEW, that that’s where the answer lies.
The answer to EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY QUESTION YOU HAVE ABOUT YOUR LIFE.
We’re scared to be vulnerable, so we become paralyzed. We freeze in place. But we still want the sweetness so we want it to be simple. Easy. *Why do we use chemical sweeteners? Because they’ve engineered it to absorb instantly. No continual stirring necessary. There’s the thing, it’s not even REAL sugar.
Where, in your life, are you adding artificial sweetener?
okay… so now that I begin to make sense of that… the question becomes, “HOW do I practically make being ‘SO in love with myself’ a priority in my everyday life?
I need it to be practical because anything too convoluted is going to overwhelm me. I need simple, daily tasks so I can dip my toe in embracing being SO in love with myself more.
How does it feel to have a moment when you’re “SO in love with yourself”?
Have you ever had one of those moments? *I’m sure you have. It’s the same reason why you already know that loving yourself is the answer. Somewhere inside you, you know this.
To me, it feels like peace. Like time doesn’t matter, I have no where else to be. Like watching a beautiful sunset, or that moment when you taste that first cup of great tasting coffee…. Deep breath in… and out.
okay… so how do I make that a part of my day? How can I make the tea sweeter without having to constantly stir it? How can I be brave enough to embrace this without hearing those limiting thoughts that I’m crazy or ‘What’s wrong with you?” or in my case “It’s always about you.”
That’s where I find myself today.
I decided that’s the ONLY goal I want for 2012. I want to figure out how I can be that man in the elevator. My attempt to get pregnant, leave my 9-5, become a full time entrepreneur, help others by being a coach, move to Charleston are all my desire to add the sweetener to the tea. Outside of myself. When I realize the ONLY thing I’m missing… is the realization of the love I have for myself. Nothing else REALLY matters. The sweetener is already inside.
ONE way I am choosing to practice being SO in love with myself in 2012 is thru the studying of A Course in Miracles. A radical thought process steeped in forgiveness. A way to combine the sugar and the tea into ONE. I already joined a weekly study group and already am finding myself being more conscious of when the sugar is at the bottom or when it’s swirling at the surface. I have a long way to go, but I am excited at the possibility of where this will take me.
If you’re interested in hearing the message of A Course in Miracles, check out this AMAZING video by a student, taking one of the Lessons titled, “Seek not outside yourself” – me thinks this video is absolutely apropos for learning to be in love with myself this year.
I believe the answer is simple, yet the act of making it naturally sweet takes practice and patience. And then more practice and more patience.
A lifetime of practice and patience.
I am willing and looking forward to give myself the gift of practice and patience in 2012.
I want to end this by asking you…
How can you become ‘SO in love with yourself’ this upcoming year?
Thank you for being a part of my journey.
Happy Holidays & Happy New Year.
As we come to another Thanksgiving… it makes me want to share what I am grateful for this 2011 Holiday Season. This year has been an interesting ride, and it’s not over yet. I want to THANK YOU for being a part of my life. I am so overly grateful for the awareness that I am still growing, still learning and that Thank Goodness – I am not done evolving!
5 people I am ESPECIALLY grateful for this Thanksgiving:
My husband. Hands down. We have been through SO MUCH since reconnecting in 2008. He is my partner. In the good times, and the not so good. I am absolutely 100% SO MUCH MYSELF with him. I am the best me with him, and I am the worst me with him (and yet he still loves me). I could not IMAGINE being where I am today without his love and support. I am hopeful that this next year, our family will grow, and we will continue to grow stronger as a couple.
My Auntie. She is the person I go to when I don’t think anyone else understands. Of shared faith and family, I feel so grateful she is just a phone call away.
Laura Hall – A fellow coach, she “saw” me during one of my 3 day coach training weekends, in a way that made me feel so vulnerable yet SO relieved, a fellow ‘Searcher’, she helps me become a better me. I think it still hasn’t hit me that I’m NOT letting go of this one… I honestly think she is going to seriously help change my life.
ChaChanna Simpson – Another coach & for a time, my accountability partner. I am SO grateful for the gentle push that I received from her to help me do all I needed to become certified. I wouldn’t have gotten it done as quickly if it weren’t for her.
Kyra Dosch-Klemer – Not in my WILDEST DREAMS could I have imagined my idea for a website, a support system for Significant Others in the Restaurant Industry to be as beautiful and as functional as Married to a Chef has become. She continues to add to it, to make it even better. I am SO grateful for the masterpiece she has created.
4 events this year, that I am grateful for this Thanksgiving:
As of July 8th, I am officially a CERTIFIED life coach! It was a lot of intensive work but TOTALLY worth it. It comes pretty darn lose to the dream I had when I was 6 years old. Being able to help other people ‘feel heard’. It’s truly an amazing feeling. *BONUS: Beginning my practice with paying clients!!!
That we moved to a bigger, much brighter place this year,an awesome kitchen, our own office, full size laundry, and a spare bedroom so we can comfortably have more family/friends visit us. I also discovered that while I am not one for the suburbs while living in DC (boring), I do like having the space to move around.
Being able to celebrate my husbands 40th birthday with his cousin (who also turned 40) , at their place in Pennsylvania. Great friends and family. It was a wonderful day. 🙂
3 things I am looking forward to:
I am SO excited!!! This year we will NOT be traveling this Christmas! Peters family is traveling to US this year! Oh my goodness… Christmas with BOTH our families together! It’s a dream come true!
The weekend of January 20-22, Peter and I are making our way to NYC for the weekend, to meet up with the NYC Significant Others for Married to a Chef, we’re going to dinner with Peters family Friday nite and I’m trying to coordinate brunch on Sunday with my family! We’re staying in this cool cool hotel in Midtown Manhattan. I LOVE the city and I am giddy like a school girl to be up there a few days!
I have NO idea how long it’s going to take, but I am looking forward to the day that I look down and see a positive result on a pregnancy test. I feel SO ready to be a mom. My biological clock alarm is ringing very loudly in my ear, and I am SO excited for that day when I scream, call Peter and tell him ‘We did it!”
2 goals I intend to be grateful for achieving:
Reconnecting with my physical health again. Losing weight by eating more healthfully and finding a new way to exercise (thinking Zumba, belly dancing, Burlesque).
Have few goals for Married to a Chef/Coaching – running my first group coaching session, creating a 30 day program (30 Days of Dares/Note to Self project), begin to plan a Married to a Chef US Tour (I want to visit other areas of the country to coordinate other halves together) *hopefully at some point next year I’ll grow my clientele enough so I can change my 9-5 status, at least go part time, so I can work on my OWN dreams.
1 thing I have not been able to get off my mind:
Moving to Charleston,SC. I have NO idea EXACTLY when the stars are going to align and we’ll be ready to pack our bags but I am SO SO ready for a fresh start. A planned change. I want the slower pace, the weather, and the southern charm that I’ve missed so much.
Wherever you are, whomever your celebrating with, find one moment and SAVOR IT. Thanksgiving Day 2011 will soon be a distant memory, how do you want to remember it?
I’ve got a warning, a confession and a revelation on board.
First the warning. This is going to be a no holds barred kinda post. I don’t feel like being nice. Expect profanity. Okay? Good. Consider yourself warned. Now onto my confession:
I’m a liar.
I know in my last post I was all “Coming to Grips” that my life was coming true for me. Saying things like “pinch me moments” and “Dreams do come true”, etc… Like the climax in a really good suspense thriller, the presentation of the birthday cake with the sparkler-esque candles on top, that moment when you KNOW you’re about to have that first kiss with a new lover. I was THERE.
Except it was all bullshit.
Okay maybe not ALL bullshit, but I definitely wasn’t telling you the whole story. If I were to have been completely honest with you, I would have published my previous to that blog post (which has remained in DRAFT) called ‘In the Tunnel’ where I admit that while I’ve accomplished becoming certified, getting a paying client, working on Married to a Chef and learning how to be an entrepreneur, I’m still not feeling happy INSIDE.
You’ve heard the saying “Light at the end of the tunnel”, right?
Well, for most of my life I’ve felt stuck in that tunnel, while continually staring at that friggin light ahead of me, wondering if I am ever going to get out of this darkness and finally reach the blessed light of day. You know… the “If I/When I….THEN I will be happy” philosophy , the “keep your eyes on the prize”, visualizing what the outcome will be when you finally get there”. It’s similar, I believe, to how little children believe in Santa Claus, how Christians believe in Heaven and how most baby boomers still believe in Social Security. It’s what drives me, motivates and inspires me to take action and admittedly what sends me crashing down when something I am not expecting happens and obstructs my view to that light.
What is that light, you ask? (I know you know what it is. You probably are looking at that same light right now somewhere in your life.)
Yep, Hope. The dictionary defines hope as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best”. It’s MLKs ‘I HAD A DREAM’ speech, what some little girls daydream to marry one day, not to mention it’s the same thing that had a WHOLE lotta people voting in the last presidential election (including me). The daydream and vision of what you HOPE your life will look like SOMEDAY, when you reach this and do this and write this and make this happen.
Hope can be a seductive mistress… making you feel such pleasure when you’re soaking her up and also totally spent, clinging to whatever you can get your hands on when she’s wrung you out to dry. We’ve all been there, your first relationship, your first job, your first …. you name it, you’ve had hope.
Well I’m one to constantly be using hope as a floatation device and this time, the waves got a little too rough for me to hold on. (And here’s where we reveal why I sorta lied to ya’ll)
When I wrote the darling post about ‘Coming to Grips’… I was on a Hope High. (You know.. like I just smoked a mammoth doobie and am now laughing hysterically at anything anyone says? What? I have no idea what the hell I’m talking about.) Well, I was waiting to hear about this dream job to come thru. I thought I was a shoe in for this position, seeing as how I was asked if I was interested in the position in the first place, interviewed a few times and was told “there really is no one else interviewing for this position”. This position would’ve allowed me to go part time (work 3/week) and have 2 days to work on my business, WHILE still being able to make enough money to pay the bills. It was utilizing my degree (Interior Design) while also flexing my recently certified coaching muscle and…. (wait for it) at an ART school in the ‘no it’s not NYC’ city. (que angels singing from on high people.. THIS is how much I wanted this job)
So yea.. I was stoned on hope BIG time. Picture little birdies singing to me on my shoulder as I was walking down the street, I was THAT hopeful that this was happening.
So I wrote my last blog post partly feeling like HOLY SHIT, all that I’ve ever wanted might actually be coming true (Hope… get in the picture here, will ya?) So you could imagine that hearing from the school that they felt they were not the right fit FOR ME kinda sent me into a tailspin.
“Mayday… Mayday… She’s going down! She’s going down and shit! She forgot to pack her parachute!”
Something happened in that moment…
I LOST HOPE. I can honestly say that in my 36 years of life… despite 3 layoffs, one company bankruptcy, multiple heartbreaks, being sexually assaulted, and dealing with my dysfunctional family… I’ve NEVER GIVEN UP HOPE.
True.. my hope would be in the shitter but I always knew if I looked hard enough.. ah yes, there she is! (Yes, in my world, Hope is a woman! I used to watch ‘Days of our Lives‘!)
NOPE. Not this time.
I knew this time it was serious when almost immediately, I cancelled my obligations I had with people. I stopped working with my accountability partner and I told my book club friend that I could no longer read the book we were on. I had a feeling that this would last a while. I had NO energy to LOOK for hope and just wanted to lay on the ground in a puddle of my own drool….
I would be faced with the same barrage of hopeful kick starters from people…
“It’s okay… just means something better is coming”
Really? That’s what you’re going to say to me when I didn’t WANT something else to come along. Shut up and get out of my face, you asshole!
“Just gotta stay positive.”
I’m sorry are you still talking to me?
I would even try to jump start hope on my own by saying …
“AT LEAST I’M NOT IN AFGHANISTAN.”
Really Kerilyn? You’re conjuring up third world countries to find hope? I think you’re really fucked this time woman!
And that… my friends is where I have been since my last post.
On the floor, fetal position, with my blank-ey snuggled up next to me… with no freaking clue or desire on how to pick myself up and move forward again. I told my friends that I felt like I should just “stay down” until this feeling passes. It’s not like me not to have hope so this was a very strange and very uncomfortable feeling, being hopeless. I’m usually the kind of person who helps everyone else find their own hope…
I MEAN…THIS IS WHY I BECAME A COACH, DAMN IT!
I like helping people find hope to move forward. I apparently could no longer do that for myself anymore. I thought maybe the reason why this happened was to finally ACCEPT that this is my life, this is IT! and I should just deal with it.
SO I TRIED…
oh man.. trying to just accept the “what is” of where I am SUCKED!!! Seriously I was getting SO depressed. Going to the 9-5 (which doesn’t bring me joy in the first place) sucked even more and my lack of energy started to really affect my interactions with my husband who is perfectly happy to not think too much of the future.. and just live in the moment. I thought I had to try to be like him more. Just live for TODAY. That’s it.
No light. Just tunnel.
I gave it my best shot but it just wasn’t my nature. I isolated myself, and stared blankly for HOURS at the television. Everything lost its color, it’s zeal. I even had a breakdown in front of my boss when I busted out crying and told her I’m just not happy (she didn’t know what I wasn’t happy about) Final straw was going to the doctor for a prescription for anti depressants. I thought ‘shit, if I’m going to accept this is my life, I gotta find a way to cope.”
Flash forward a few weeks.. I was meeting up with an old roommate, someone who I thought embodied what I always wanted – a successful career. As a VP of a non profit, doing good for thousands of people around the world, I thought that perhaps she could help me find my hope. She gave me some good ideas, that I was contemplating a few days later in the shower (Why do the best ideas come in the shower?), thinking of the route her ideas would take me (new job/new commute/having to start at the bottom/taking a pay cut) I asked myself.
WHAT DO I REALLY FREAKING WANT?
Do I want a new job? (Even a part time job at an art school?) NO.
I want to move out of the area and start a family while working on my business.
BAM. There it was.
Then I thought instead of trying to change what IS my life now…why don’t you give yourself a goal, and work toward what you REALLY want!
AND WITH THAT THOUGHT THE CLOUDS LIFTED AND HOPE WALKED IN!!!
(damn girl… bout time! Want to hand me that towel?)
In that moment I realized that I am FUTURE oriented. My husband (God bless him) is PRESENT oriented (It comes with the territory of being a chef). The past few years all I ever hear about is how happiness is living for TODAY… the NOW. Maybe they’re right, but for ME.. I realize that when I am working toward a goal.. one set out in the future, I am able to better focus on my every day, knowing that I am working toward SOMETHING and BONUS…. it’s something I really want!
So upon my revelation, my husband and I decided to really buckle down and set our sights on our goal for moving out of the area within the next year. To stop talking about it and really put it into action. We both want a fresh start, well, we’re not going to get one if I start a new job and we stay focused on what life looks like today. In doing that, my whole outlook changed, the 9-5 now takes on a different meaning (Moving fund!) and I am smiling and feeling hope settle back into my gut, where she belongs.
For all of you out there that are also FUTURE oriented, who enjoy how it feels to imagine “What ifs” and “Somedays” and visualizing where you want to be one year from now… YOU’RE NOT ALONE!
Don’t let the messages about living for today interfere with that light. It’s where our hope resides. Hope is important. It keeps us moving forward even when we don’t know the outcome. Find out what you REALLY want and…
Keep looking into the light.
Isn’t it interesting how when we are looking at that light.. really focusing on it, the tunnel doesn’t seem that dark or that long. You can actually see BEYOND the tunnel, it sort of melts away and your life today becomes a reflection of what you are HOPING your life will look like.. sometime in the future.
*Thanks Ash and all the Clients + Cash peeps. I really could not have done this without you. PARTY DANCE BREAK!!! 🙂
I got this from my Auntie this morning… thought I would share.
“There are times when even the bravest want to give up, times when appearances indicate that everything is against us, and it is no use to try. At such times, you should remember that it is always darkest just before the dawn; that a little more faith, a little more patience, is all that we need to win. Remember, too, that all those who have reached their goal ahead of you felt tired sometimes and wanted to give up, but they did not. If they had, you would never have heard of them.
“Occasionally we are like the little boy who went off to find the ‘Wishing Gate.’ He was so intent on his purpose that he did not notice where he was going. Presently he found that he lost and very tired, so he sat down on an old stile to rest. North Wind came along and offered to take him home, so he abandoned his quest because he was tired and accepted North Wind’s offer.
“As they traveled along, the North Wind asked him how came to be lost. “I was looking for the Wishing Gate,” he said. The Wind laughed all the way to his home. When they reached his doorstep, the North Wind said, “The next time you go out to search for anything, keep your wits about you. You were sitting on the Wishing Gate when I found you.”
Keep Your Faith, Never Give Up…..and Make A Wish!
Venice J. Bloodworth, Ph.D. author of Key to Yourself…
EXACTLY where I feel I am in this very moment… Thank you Auntie. I love you.
Hi, I'm Kerilyn Russo.
I'm a tall drink of water. I'm a life-coach and mama. I'm here to explore what lies beneath the surface; in the deep end. The shallows are not the place for me. Hopefully, you feel the same. Come, grab a cup of tea and dig in.