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10 Things I Loved in August 2014

10 Things I Loved in August 2014

At the end of each month, I take stock of the previous month.  What went well?  What did I learn?  What brought me a simple joy?  These monthly reports are a way to encourage myself to take delight in the littlest of things.  I find that Ten Things I Loved allows me to always see the silver lining, even when there are hard moments in a month.  And taking joy in the simple things is paramount to how I want to live, making 10 things an invaluable tool for me.  Here’s this month’s simple pleasures.

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Pitching a book.  So I have been sitting on a book idea for about a year now and this summer I had the breathing room to get a couple sample chapters down and last week, I sent the full proposal and two sample chapters off to be considered by a publisher.  Every body part crossed as I am aching, aching, aching to write it!  You know when something just feels like the next natural of course?  I am so feeling that with this book.      

Passion. Purpose. Plunge retreat. Another amazing PPP retreat this month.  It is such a touching experience for me to work with women who are in powerful moments of transition clarify what they want next, why they want it and how to get there.  I am really honored to do this work.

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The Circle de Luz planner.  I was able to work on several Circle de Luz  projects this summer since there weren’t as many week to week details to focus on (our programming is very light in the summer).  While all the projects were important and even fun, my very favorite project was designing (well, I did the conceptual design not the physical design) a planner for our girls to help them really learn how to organize themselves and keep track of their lives.  The amazing Erica de Flamand of The Summer House donated her amazing talents and time to the project and realized the conceptual vision with this gorgeous, gorgeous planner that the girls were thrilled to get started using.  As you can imagine, this was a really fun project for me because it combined two of my loves—supporting the amazing young women of Circle de Luz and organizing.

 

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Circle de Luz Board Retreat, Leadership Meeting, and Back to School Meeting.  In early August, the CdL leadership got together for a day of team building in the woods and then some very focused planning for 2014-2015.  These women are AMAZING.  I am honored to work with them and humbled by how much they give to the program.  We also had our annual Circle de Luz back to school meeting.  It’s a time that we all gather together—leaders and hijas- to focus on the new year.  It is always so great to see the girls after a couple months off from programming and their families who have become like our families.

Body Image class.  School started back for me and I was happy to meet my newest group of students.  They are already interesting, thoughtful, supportive of one another, and funny.  This bodes well.  Read my first day of school letter to my class.       

Personal things

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Carowinds.  We took a day and enjoyed the closest amusement park and had a ball with my sister and her kids.  We spent half our time riding rides (I was almost put into traction by a kiddie roller coaster) and then the other half of our time in the water park where I became the slide queen as I was the only one of the adults sucker enough game to ride the super slide over and over again.

Cannonball Challenge.  I learned how to swim at 34.  I’ve never been off a diving board.  I am woefully accident prone.  And, yet, I totally casually told Happy and BF that I would do a cannonball off the diving board at the local swimming pool.  Most nights, BF and Happy go to the pool before dinner and no one is there.  Of course, the one night I join them to complete the cannonball challenge, it is busy and, of course, the people that are there are ones I know.  Nevertheless, I fulfilled my commitment and then double downed with a can opener.  Goodbye, pool.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty.  A good, compelling read.

Kindergarten.  Whoa.  Happy’s in the big leagues now.   Oh, my heart.  He’s so excited.  Here’s to a great year that fills him with a love of learning and deep compassion for his friends and neighbors.

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A 6th birthday.  On the same day that he started kindergarten, our little guy turned 6.  Our celebration included a chalkboard countdown to his birthday, lots of decorations around the house, a balloon avalanche, cinnamon roll breakfast on a You Are Special plate, a note and cookie in his lunchbox, dinner and dessert out of the house, a treasure hunt (complete with maps) for his gifts, and then a night and two days at Great Wolf Lodge. Safe to say that six was joyfully ushered in.

So, what did you love in August? 

Friday Reflections

Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
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tasting ::  broken open potatoes (what Happy calls baked potatoes), steamed broccoli, homemade turkey burgers, peach cobbler, cinnamon rolls (birthday morning breakfast each year for me and Happy), berry + spinach smoothie, mango, pineapple + spinach smoothie, watermelon, calamari, garlicky shrimp, ginger sesame noodles with green onions
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hearing ::  squeals of delight as we descended the water slides at Great Wolf Lodge.  We do birthday parties every other year and in the off year, Happy chooses something fun for the three of us to do.  This year it was a two days and a night at GWL.  We were able to go in the middle of the week of the first week of school here because of his stagger start kindergarten and it was like our own private water park.
smelling ::  mint chocolate chip cookies baking.  That was the treat Happy wanted for his birthday.  Easy enough.

seeing ::  Our little guy walk confidently into his elementary school and hardly look back.  I really loved school and really hope he does, too.

feeling ::  wistful and proud as we hit the big 6 year old and Kindergarten milestone this week.  My heart is full.

wishing ::  for lots of back to school joy in our house and an easy adaptation to new routines.

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!

This post was inspired by Teacher Goes Back to School who was inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

See what the muses + horses have in store for you!

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Are you hungry for a moment of creating in the midst of all the doing and being that your life demands of you?

Are you looking for a creative challenge that will gently stretch your abilities while opening you up to your possibilities?

Do you just want time and permission to explore with horses, consider nature, paint, write, draw, or capture images without any expectation and without worrying about the set-up or clean-up?

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Discover what the muses and the horses have in store for you at Equinox this September 20th from 9 am to 12:30 pm at Triple Play Farm in Davidson.

At Triple Play Farm, we offer powerful equine facilitated learning and creative experiences that awaken a clear self-awareness in you while you have a wonderful, soul-stretching and refreshing time in a beautiful setting.

Equinox is a unique retreat designed to feed your creativity and foster your awareness of your creative process and yourself. Participants will enjoy working with and learning from horses and the absorbing and satisfying experience of creating art during a lightly guided, self-propelled creative time.   And you do not have to be a “horse person” or an “artist” to love this experience!  All you have to be is open to the possibilities of what taking time for yourself might offer.

Our time will be divided between horse work and creative time and participants can individually elect to do a little bit more work with the horses during the free creative period, if they wish.

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What have others said about Equinox and EFL-work?

I have been a lover of horses since I was a child but never realized that I thought of them mostly as animals- magnificent animals, but animals nonetheless. Through my experience at Equinox, I learned to see the horses and beings and to learn from what they have to share with us. They are true to their feelings at all times and what they are feeling shows clearly through. This was an important lesson as I approach my creative process because I think it is easy for us to let our busy lives pile over our creative ambition and for us to push that to the side as frivolous. But, if we are true to our feelings as the horses are, we see that engaging in creative pursuits often leads us to breakthroughs in other areas of our lives. During our workshop, a participant who is writing a book and had been stuck on a title created the space in her mind while working on a watercolor painting and, boom, had a title! The day was one of the best I have had in awhile because I was able to clear away the outside world and just focus on what I needed to release creatively. Rosie and Kris were both awesome instructors and had a very gentle way of leading that left plenty of room for the participants to make the experience their own. My only complaint is that the day was too short and the time went too quickly!  ~Mary Kathryn Elkins

The morning I spent with the horses at Triple Play Farm was transformational. Working with the horses taught me so much about being in the moment and trusting my instincts. With the guidance of Rosie Molinary and Kris Batchelor, I pushed past resistance and had a one-of-a-kind experience. I think about my time with the horses often and how amazed, grateful and empowered I felt earning their trust and having the opportunity to interact with such majestic creatures. The lessons I learned continue to shape my experiences. I’ll definitely be signing up for another workshop. ~Jodi Helmer

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A new friend posted the opportunity to participate in Rosie’s 2012 Vision Spark Workshop.  I was drawn to the idea of making a commitment to myself.  Not a New Years Resolution; but a challenge.  One that required taking stock of my strengths.  In this workshop I was able to focus not only on myself, but at the same time recognize and appreciate the unique talents of each person.  That VISION was built on Rosie’s ability to SPARK living with purpose.  Now a fan of embracing new opportunities; I was blessed to venture into the arena of equine facilitated learning.  This powerful experience encouraged me to investigate how I develop relationships, range over where I am at my creative best.  I was reminded in the most sincere way that what I want vs. what I need can be two different things. All while through truly observing the beauty and wisdom of a horse.  We all have unique abilities to explore.  Just ask one of the herd at The TriplePlay Farm.  ~Mary Rose Taylor
My husband and I were involved with Pet Therapy for over 13 years with our 2 Labrador Retrievers. We lost one of our dogs recently, and I am having a very hard time accepting her death. Throughout the years we saw the joy, compassion, and comfort that they brought to others. At the EFL workshop, I was overwhelmed to be on the receiving end of the same thing from the horses. I signed up for the workshop with the hopes of being able to learn to bring comfort to others in my volunteer duties at Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. At the workshop, I realized I needed to find comfort within myself in order to give comfort to others. I cannot describe the peace I felt when I was able to completely relax just by having a horse slowly approach me. I had a little fear of the horses at first but was amazed at how my new friends were so willing to help me get over that fear. It is up to ME to take care of myself and accept the things I cannot change and be thankful for the blessings I have in my life today. Life is good and I must not forget that! ~Marty P.

The EFL event was 3 of the most stress free hours I have had in quite awhile. The facilitators were very knowledgeable and the horses were amazing! I would recommend this experience to anyone looking to learn a little more about themselves or just to have a fun way to spend a morning.

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Details 
September 20th from 9 am until 12:30 pm at Triple Play Farm in Davidson, NC

$125 includes art supplies (feel free to bring you own including a camera!) and refreshments.

This event is the ONLY EFL experience planned at Triple Play Farm this fall.

REGISTER NOW

Goodbye Five, Hello Six

age 6 loves

Grade:  Kindergarten

Favorite Color:  Red

Favorite TV Show:  Teen Titans Go!

Favorite Song:  The Best Day of My Life  photo 1[1]

Favorite Thing to do:  Go to the pool.

Favorite Book:  Back to School Tortoise

Favorite Food:  Cheese pizza

Favorite Movie:  The Lion King, but I love all the movies; I cannot choose.

When I grow up I want to be:  a lion trainer.

What sport do you like the best?  Soccer.

What’s your favorite outfit?  A t-shirt with fast shorts.

What are you really good at? Acting out animals.

Three words that describe me are:  fast, kind, caring.

If I had one wish, it would be… to go on lots of fun field trips in kindergarten.

Where do you wish to go on vacation?  Disney World

What is your favorite memory from this summer?  Diving off the diving board.

What do you hope to do before you turn 7?  Play soccer with mommy.

In Kindergarten, I am looking forward to:  using the computers.

I want to learn about:  reading.

 

Embracing Fall

embrace fall

If you are stateside, the back to school routine is getting ironed out, and you are already anticipating the cooler mornings and nights that September and October promise us.  If the cooler days and getting back into a routine isn’t enough to have you welcoming fall (and, for me, right now, it is not), sitting down to make some plans might help you reap the benefits of that back to school energy.  But keeping in mind that I am incorporating more fun and presence in my life, my plans for fall incorporate a fair dose of delight.  Here’s what I am thinking.

Go Old School.   Remember that feeling of promise that fresh school supplies, a new school year, and a few new back to school clothing items provided?  Well, you can harness that feeling even now.  Set a few goals that will give you a bit of a stretch but not push you into higher-focus, super productive at the expense of your soul mode.

For me, my gentle fall goals are to:

  1. get to the gym at least twice a week for yoga and Pilates.
  2. get in at least a couple runs a week.
  3. use the walk to school to pick up Happy at the end of the school day as a powerful transition tool to shut down my work brain and my walk home with Happy as a great way to hear all his stories about Kindergarten and stay connected.
  4. Continue to focus on presence.
  5. Give all the closets, cabinets, and the attic a good once-over for clutter.

Make a To Experience List.  Speaking of goals, productivity, and presence, sometimes what we most need to get out of our heads and into being is to dream a little bit about what we would rather be experiencing if we weren’t always so productive. You’ve got the running litany of to dos in your head (or in your trusty to do notebook).  You have some goals for the fall.  Now, let’s shift your energy and start thinking about having some fun.  What fun can you drum up this fall?  Is this the year that you camp out as a family?  Do you want to really decorate for Halloween or have a family theme for costumes?  Just like Summer of Intentionality, throw the gauntlet for fall and write down some things that it would thrill you to do.

For me, I am looking at these possibilities for our fall:

  1. Celebrate starting Kindergarten and Happy’s 6th birthday in a big way.
  2. Go apple picking.
  3. Go on a hay ride.
  4. Turn up the holiday décor for Halloween (including pumpkin patching) and Thanksgiving.
  5. Put up a Little Free Library.
  6. Go fishing.
  7. Build a path to the Sugar Shack.
  8. Go to a football game.
  9. Ride bikes on the greenway.
  10. Visit a corn maze.

Nail down the details.  The ideas aren’t usually the challenge; it’s the follow-through so take some time with your list and calendar to figure out what you can really logistically make happen (if something feels like it is hard to make happen that might be an indicator that you don’t really want to make it happen which is perfectly okay).  Schedule items on your calendar and then break the parts of making it happen down for your to do list.

Most of all, just get ready to relish your fall.         

 

Friday Reflections

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Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
tasting ::  roasted cauliflower, parsnip fries, watermelon, plums, vegetable soup, greek salad
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hearing :: the goals and dreams of our Circle de Luz hijas at our Back to School meeting (sorry for the poor quality camera phone picture.  You know those people who are all like “My phone takes even better pictures than my camera”?  Yeah, I don’t have one of those phones and my camera is just a point and shoot.) and cheers from a little pack of six year olds when I did a cannonball off the diving board at the community pool (my first time off a diving board!).  They then peer pressured me to do a can-opener.
smelling ::  chlorine permeating everything as we soak up these last days of the pool being open.  It’s been our central activity this summer so we are really going to miss it!     

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seeing ::  this little guy reading with me when I decided to really put my practice of turning down the productivity side of me and turning up the presence side of me and took two hours of my time while Happy was at camp to drive over to the pool and read on a lounge chair.  He eventually wandered off.  Guess it wasn’t gripping enough.

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feeling ::  so grateful for a lovely summer. Excited about school starting back for me and Happy.  And super excited about these gorgeous, made just for Circle de Luz planners that two incredible people– a super talented graphic designer who donated hours and hours of her time to creating it and a donor who covered the printing of it– provided for our hijas.  Doesn’t that happy cover make you just want to dive in and get your stuff organized?

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wishing ::  for a week of wonderful kick-offs and celebrations.  We are counting down to Happy’s 6th birthday and first day of kindergarten at our house, and I am back at school, too.

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!

This post was inspired by Teacher Goes Back to School who was inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.

An Open Letter to My Body Image Students on Our First Day of Class

letter to students

Yesterday, you looked in the mirror, and, instead of your inherent greatness, you saw flaws.  You saw things you wanted to change and not everything that made you powerfully, wonderfully, uniquely you.

Last night, in a deep conversation with your friends, you had a powerful thought, the kind of thought that would have changed the whole conversation, maybe would have changed you, but you doubted yourself and so you swallowed it inside of you.  Tucking it away, forcing it out of your mind, so that great big belief would not threaten your status quo in its hunger to get out.

This morning, you walked to class and compared your body to someone else’s.  Your body, a body that has worked so hard for you, that has allowed you to experience every good thing you have known, a body that has kept you going through all the hard stuff, through all the difficulties that have been thrown at you.

And then you walked into our shared space, a space that I hope will become a sanctuary to you, a place that I hope will quiet your inner critic enough so you can see the fabric of which you are made, you can recognize your worth, you can embrace the idea that you are just fine as you physically are right at this moment- not just because that is true, which it is- but because you come to understand that what the world most needs from you is not your trappings but your longings made manifest. 

If you yearn for art to be inspiring or children to feel loved or food to be breathtaking or houses to have souls or communities to have gardens or technology to be accessible or music to have your unique viewpoint or patients to have soulful care or records to be broken or whatever else it might be that speaks to your soul, I want that for you, too, and I want our space and time together, our journey, to be one that supports your recognition of your worth, sparks your awareness that the world needs you and your unique solutions and galvanizes you to embrace what you have to offer.

Today, you will tell me your name, your major, your graduation year, your hometown, the last great book you read, and why you chose to take this class.  You will say you needed Body Image class for your Women’s and Gender Studies minor, for your art major, for your public health concentration, because it fit into your schedule, and, maybe, just maybe, if you can muster the courage to say these words, because you knew when you saw those two words on the course guide that you wanted desperately to have a different relationship with your body and your soul.

And here is what I can promise you.  I will do everything I can to see you, to hear you, to understand you, to help you to understand yourself, to empower you to see your greatness, to inspire you to understand that while you are lovely because you are uniquely you that it is more than just your loveliness we need—that we need your fire, your passion, your purpose.  I will remind you that our bodies are ever changing and so to build a foundation of our worth on what we physically have to offer right this minute is to invite disruption over and over again.  And I will implore you to understand that your soul will always lead you right, will always let you blossom, will always let you shine.

On the day you last walk out of our sanctuary, I hope that you leave this space with your eyes up, ready to recognize and greet those who approach you not just because you know that other souls should be seen but also because you understand that to hide your soul from us is to deny the world of one of its greatest gifts- you.

I hope that you will be able to meet your eyes in the mirror and see purpose and clarity and passion and self-acceptance staring back, that you will treat your body like a guest of honor to your life because it has served you so well so far and you want to continue on that journey, and, ultimately, that you will not hesitate to give the world everything that you uniquely and powerfully have to offer. 

Welcome.  I am so glad you are here.  I am honored to walk alongside you.  I cannot wait to see where we are going.  Let’s get started.

Shine a light on your truth!

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Are you ready to finally quiet the self-doubt that has stopped you from really creating the life you want?

Do you want to reconnect- or connect for the first time- with what you find life giving so that you can live with passion?

Are you eager to claim what your purpose is in life and realize how you want to live it?

Do you need time and guidance to really help you breathe, think, dream, and plan for your best life?

Are you ready to make this moment YOUR time?

Then Passion. Purpose. Peace:: a retreat is calling for you.

At this one and a half-day retreat at the Scarritt-Bennett Retreat Center in Nashville, Tennessee, we’ll spend our time together filtering out the excess noise while identifying and embracing what is most true for you in how to live authentically and create the life you want.

We will forge a deeper self-awareness, practice greater self-acceptance, examine your self-care in a way that empowers you to be your greatest ally.

We will discover what you want your legacy to be and how to live in a way that aligns with whom and how you most want to be in the world while allowing you to creatively express your passion and purpose in a personally crafted mission statement and manifesto.

You will be guided in creating an action plan that guides your wants and needs at a pace and in a way that is just right for your life.

Ultimately, you will leave Passion. Purpose. Peace invigorated, focused, and clear with a sense of confidence in what you uniquely offer the world and a vision for how to live on purpose in an authentic, whole-hearted, peaceful and passionate way.

Deep soul work + restorative time with like-minded women= exactly what you need to shift mindsets, bathe in abundance, and find that peace for which you have hungered. 

Retreat details

Monday, September 29th (starting at 9 am) through Tuesday, September 30th (ending at 3 pm) at the Scarritt-Bennett Retreat Center in Nashville, Tennessee.  You can stay at the retreat center or commute in for the retreat.  For those who arrive or are available on Sunday night by 6 pm, we can enjoy dinner together at one of Nashville’s incredible restaurants.  If you want to travel in and are worried about travel details, just be in touch.  I am traveling in, too and am happy to help you navigate your journey!

I’ve wanted to offer an over-night retreat experience for years for the amazing women I have had the pleasure of meeting in this work and I am so excited to host my first overnight retreat in Nashville.  I will be staying at Scarritt-Bennett and look forward to the opportunity to come together in this intentional way!

Tentative Schedule

September 29th

9 am – 12 pm   Embracing A Sense of Peace:  Insights and exercises that explore self-discovery, self-awareness, and self-care.

12 – 1 pm  Lunch

1 – 5:30  pm  Embracing A Sense of Passion: Insights and exercises that explore passion and purpose and guidance as each participant discovers and then writes a personal mission statement and manifesto.

5:30- 7  Dinner

7 – 8:30 pm  Embracing A Sense of Mission: Participants will capture their mission statements and manifestos in visual form to display at home.

September 30th

9 – 12 :30 pm  Embracing a Sense of Purpose:  Insights and exercises that allow participants to create an action plan for living on purpose including insights on how to organize time and when and how to say no.

12:30 -1 pm  Lunch

1:30- 3:30 pm  Embracing a Sense of Celebration:  We’ll share our growth over the past two days and celebrate our plans.

Put simply, this retreat is an invitation to celebrate who you are, honor your truth, embrace your talents, and call into being what you seek. 

Who am I? 

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Knowing that I write books or teach body image classes doesn’t necessarily tell you what you want to know about how I show up or why I do what I do.

Put simply, I am an inspired asker, a perceptive listener, a gentle but direct truth teller, a life strategist, and a self-acceptance champion.

My purpose is empowering women to embrace their authentic selves so they can live their passion and purpose and give their gifts to the world.   When we each do that, we push this world closer to the healing that it most needs.

Others have said…

I did a person Passion, Purpose, Plunge retreat with Rosie because I’d attended several of her VisionSPARK events and the outcome was always more than a good feeling. Time spent with Rosie is warm and supportive, but it’s also PRODUCTIVE. I knew I would leave my retreat with a clear action plan, timeline, and clearly articulated goals, not to mention fresh motivation to accomplish them. Rosie quickly and precisely narrows down what someone needs to be successful in personal or professional endeavors and then draws a map for how to get there. A retreat with Rosie was an investment in my success and happiness with immediate and measurable results.   Michelle Icard, Founder and CEO of Michelle in the Middle  

Rosie Molinary lights up a room the moment she enters.  Rosie’s contagious enthusiasm for helping each woman live the life she wants inspired our group beyond my expectations.  I hired Rosie to speak at to the Charlotte General Electric’s Women’s Network about the tools she developed to help women create their own “Hopeful Year”.  Rosie taught us to use information to make changes rather than to be judgmental and self-critical.  She taught us how to be more purposeful rather than getting wrapped up in a list of to dos created based on others’ needs.  Rosie’s real life examples hit home for all of us.  Her casual, down-to-earth style led everyone to be an active participant.  Rosie drove us to dig deeper into what we each really want and to examine why we aren’t giving it to ourselves.  Then she gave us the tools we need to make changes in our lives and to be proud of ourselves for who we are and what we want to do with our time.  Rosie was an inspiration to all of us.  Every woman in attendance raved about how inspiring Rosie was and they all left talking about how they are going to make their lives happier.  I cannot thank Rosie enough for the gifts she imparted on our GE community.  Lisa Firestone, Wharton MBA, Board of Directors GE Women’s Network Charlotte

Rosie has the ability to ask the right questions to reveal my truth. Creating the space to dream, vision and create with Rosie was awesome. Definitely time well spent. I feel like I have a plan for my next steps and settled on some new ideas that feel really exciting to me. Rosie just knows the right questions to pinpoint on and ask to reveal a deep, authentic and joyful truth within. Anonymous retreat participant

You are here on purpose.  Let’s shine on a light on your truth.  

Register here.

reconciling the tension between productivity and presence

simplest joys exist in being

 

It will come as no surprise to you that the keeper of a master to do list and the completer of a weekly review gets things done.  If you ask people from moments across my whole life what defines me, on the list between “woefully accident prone” and “cannot carry a tune but nevertheless sings with gusto” would be “she takes care of business.”

TCB.  They might as well be my initials.

And, yet, what I am realizing more and more is that the me who takes care of business isn’t my favorite me.  I am proud of what I have done, of course.  And I am even grateful that I can look at a project and know what needs to be done and then knock it out item by item before the deadline.  But having to be that person over and over again—the person who prioritizes the doing to help a team or even myself individually exceed intentions– doesn’t really allow me to always show up the way that I want to show up.

Here is who I most like being:

the mom who will play whatever silly game Happy dreams up for however long he wishes to play it and then doesn’t stress about the time and, instead, moves peacefully into the kitchen to prepare dinner (all without looking at my cell phone to see what emails have come in since it’s not work time anyway).

the friend who always has time to make a meal when a friend is under the weather and then drive it to her, even if she lives 30 minutes away (as so many of my friends do since I am a small town girl and they are city girls).

the daughter who not only calls her parents every day but has the hour to let her mom go down memory lane.

the community activist who has time to call every single girl in Circle de Luz regularly to check-in on her and the time to thank every single volunteer every time (even if I am not at the event) profusely and personally.

the townsperson who with her little boy makes from scratch scones and chocolate chip cookies for the helpers in our community and then delivers them.

the creative who reads or grabs her watercolors over surfing the internet mindlessly with those small pockets of time that present themselves.

To be fair, these things happen now because, after all, they reflect the person I most love being.  But the truth is that, for me, they don’t happen enough.

When I think about what I most want out of my life at this point, I want it to move slower, for it to be a force for distilling as it becomes more and more apparent to me that my experience of time is at warp speed.  If I cannot literally slow time down, then I want to slow me down.  I want to linger.  And slowing me down starts by giving me less to do.

I don’t want to scratch one more thing off my to do list today at the expense of enjoying one more hug, a longer conversation in the driveway as I cross paths with our beloved neighbors, moving my body for my mental, emotional, and physical health, sitting on the porch with BF sipping lemonade at the end of the day, playing a frenetic smack talking round of Uno with my big and little boys before bedtime.

I want to wake up and not feel such an urgency about the emails I got overnight and instead go do my workout just as I had planned rather than bagging it because I cannot bear the thought of someone waiting a few more hours to hear back from me.

I want to end my work day and say “that was enough.  Well done.”  And then glide into the other roles that I have the honor of living—daughter, friend, mother, partner, community member, more- with grace and patience and-that all important word- presence.

I want to relax about the doing and really get into the being.

At the beginning of 2014, I choose Thrive as my word for the year.  Over the course of the year, I have learned so much about what thriving looks like to me and, at its root, it means that I am fulfilled in my being, that having the opportunity to be present is what allows me to overflow with feelings of joy, satisfaction, passion, and consciousness.  That breathing space is my fountain.  That I shine greatest when my flame can be deep and not broad.

In really looking at my professional and personal habits over the last few weeks, I can see where I make it harder for myself to be present because I am demanding productivity and I am even more aware of what habits I practice that keep me on the productivity hamster wheel.  So I am working on practicing different behaviors, not over-engaging in stuff that isn’t mine, not letting anxiety beat out presence, not letting getting things done be more important than being.  And just like embracing self-acceptance, embracing presence is about a choice.  I am choosing to behave differently.  Over and over again, as I navigate the tension between productivity and presence, I will remind myself that I have made a different choice.

This summer has been such a gift to me in being more present, in not sweating that master to do list, in remembering that I always get done what I need to get done and I am not going to start disappointing myself or others now so maybe I can just relax a little.  If my twenties were about giving up beauty and my thirties were about giving up perfect, then I want my forties to be about giving up production, letting go of the fury to always be making something happen.  Because here is what I know:  the most miraculous things that have happened in my life all started with just showing up, being, listening and feeling.

Here’s to experiencing life rather than always orchestrating it.

Friday Reflections

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Every Friday, I reflect on the week that has just passed by doing a little sensory exercise.  This practice is a gentle, easy way to tune into how we are doing, what we are experiencing, and what we are grateful for while more acutely tuning into our senses.  It’s a whole heart exercise with plenty of bodily input, if you will.  Because this practice has been so good for me, I want to encourage you to do it, too.  Building some gentle reflection into our weeks is a nice way to stay grounded while maintaining some big picture perspective.  So please join me in this week’s Friday Reflections (with each sense as your inspiration, consider how experiencing it impacted your week).

Here is my sensory round-up for the last week:
tasting ::  broiled sweet potatoes, slow-cooker macaroni and cheese, crab dip, hummus, guacamole, late night HOT chocolate chip cookies delivered to us by our sweet neighbor, birthday cake,  roasted broccoli, chicken noodle soup 
hearing :: squeals of delight as three cousins navigate an amusement park
smelling ::  roasted veggies, sunscreen, fresh early morning air that hints just slightly of fall

seeing ::  the shocked look on Happy’s face when his cousins surprised him on our amusement park outing

feeling ::  grateful, loved, blessed and also every bump and bounce on the amusement park rides.  Shock absorbers for life (or after 30 when you ride carny rides)!

wishing ::  for a great first day of body image class next Friday!

What about you?  What were your sensational experiences this week?  Please share!

This post was inspired by Teacher Goes Back to School who was inspired by Pink of Perfection’s Five Sense Friday.