#SeptemberEquinox14 Preparing

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 8:00 am September 18, 2014

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September Equinox 2014

In preparation for September Equinox…

On Tuesday we’ll start exploring balance and transition through seven prompts that will inspire us to give thanks each and every day. Then on the 30th, I will send you off with some “homework” to keep you thinking about how you can best experience balance and gratitude. Each day you will receive the prompt via email and can also reference the prompt on my blog (in the links below). I will be sharing my responses on my blog in case you need some inspiration for your own response. I have included a blog badge for you to put on your blog to show you’re participating in September Equinox 2014. I’m excited you’re joining me on this journey and can’t wait to read your responses!

SeptEquinox14BlogBadgeIf you haven’t already signed up for the prompts, you can do so here. Don’t forget to share your responses by commenting on the blog or using the hashtag #SeptemberEquinox14. Add the September Equinox 2014 badge to your blog. Image is courtesy of Lisa Wilkinson (LisaL1964 on Flickr).

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#AugustMoon14 Day 14-16

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 12:31 pm September 4, 2014

How will you start the journey?

Kat writes: What sort of trust would this require?

When she asks if I would say the things I tell myself to a small child, I realize I’m incredibly mean to myself and tell myself things I wouldn’t tell my friends or children. It’s time to stop the negative self-talk once and for all, even if that has been an ongoing intention that fails time and again. I have a vision in my head of how things should unfold, and then life reminds me every single time that things progress at their own rate. I compare myself to others who have gone from zero to six figures in less than a year, meanwhile I feel like I’m over here chasing my tail. I want to get out of the hamster wheel and start feeling like I’m living — like I’m actually going somewhere and moving forward. I guess I need to start appreciating what I have instead of pining for what’s missing. I need to trust that things will work out as they always seem to do and take it much easier on myself.

What if there was no need to wait until you’re “perfectly formed”?

Kat writes: What if what you are doing right now was actually your destination? What would that mean for your journey?

I remember when I first started out here, I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write and enjoy my life. Eventually my motives morphed into providing offerings, which have begun as tutoring. I only recently decided that I don’t want to take on pre-college students — it just doesn’t feel like the work I’m meant to do. It only took one student for me to realize that I’m not comfortable with tutoring English as a second language, either. I want to go further with my tutoring and consult with professionals, but I haven’t made it there yet. Right now, I’ve got a steady student, a steady full time job, and a steady stream of house work. The idea that this is my actual destination terrifies me, honestly. And yet, I also wonder if attempting to inspire others to join me on a quest to make our lives feel fulfilling is the actual destination. Regardless, I think what this means for my journey is that I don’t have to sit down here to write the greatest story ever told — I just have to show up and allow my words to find their place in the world. In the end, I think I just want to have my voice heard when I feel like I’ve got something worth sharing.

Fast forward a year…

Kat writes: You have my word of honour there will be glorious surprises.

A love note to myself, you say? Truth be told, I’m planning to be back in Florida at this time next year. I miss my family, and I’d like to get closer to them. Also, I haven’t seen the growth my family needs with the resources available to us in this area. Sure, I’ve grown heavily attached to several people while living in Georgia, but I’m just not into this place. And while the thought of leaving behind four seasons once again fills me with regret and sadness, I know that this is the right plan. So in thinking from one year later in the sunshine state, here’s what one-year-older-me has to say to present-me:

Write. Sit down, clear your mind, and just be. Yes, things have gotten rough. The “struggle” has been “real.” But take a deep breath. Look inside yourself. Look at all that you have accomplished. Trust me. When you get here, you’re going to be just fine. Just give yourself a chance. Drink your water. Eat your fruits and veggies. Avoid gluten, lactose, soy, and sugar. Quit abusing caffeine. If you’re tired, take a nap. Call it an early night. No one else gets to decide how you live your life. Don’t let them tell you to “sleep when you’re dead” or “just one bite isn’t going to hurt you” — or even worse, “I know you want to!” You are a 30-year-old woman! You are strong and intelligent, and you have a wonderful grasp of the English language — use that that pretentious English to tell them off. Keep walking your own path. Do the work that lights you up. Even if your work doesn’t pay the bills, it’s worth it to feel like you’re doing what you’re meant to do.

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#AugustMoon14 Days 11-13

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 8:56 pm August 30, 2014

What is the perfect space for you?

Kat writes: How can you start creating a place like this in the spaces you already have at your disposal?

My pack rat tendencies paired with my three children’s piles of toys chase the inspiration to write and create back out the door, all the way down the road. I have had intentions to cull our stuff for quite some time — some of those toys haven’t been touched in years except to get tossed out of the way in favor of whatever the new favorites happen to be. I know we’ll be moving a little further down the line, and I’d prefer to make our packing experience less of a hassle. But more than that, I need the inspiration to let my voice out. I need to feel capable of creating words that touch the lives of others. I need to feel like I’m expressing myself. Therefore, I need to focus on the spaces that give me inspiration.

What do people thank you for?

Kat writes: How do you surprise and delight other people? (Because you know the truth is that you do.)

I think the biggest thing that surprises and delights other people is my smile. I get told regularly that my smile brings happiness to others in a world (or maybe just a country?) where happiness and kindness seem to be dying art forms. I’ve been thanked for my friendship and for my knowledge of grammar. I’ve been thanked for offering a hand when I can. Incidentally, I enjoy being a beacon of happiness, friendship, and knowledge, so I must be doing the right things.

What are the stories that limit you?

Kat writes: Who would you be without that story?

The current story of my life limits me in numerous ways, mainly because I’m crippled by fear, regret, anxiety, and depression. An incredible amount of situations that shocked my very soul happened so close together, and I have yet to recover. Yet I know these events have given me the foundation to arise stronger and wiser. I know that I can put these stories behind me and work towards the lifestyle I’d like to live. My current state of affairs is merely temporary, and I have come through other difficulties before. Surely I’m strong enough to stand tall once again and put some more cheer back into my smile.

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#AugustMoon14 Days 9 and 10

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 8:35 pm August 25, 2014

What about your multiple selves?

Kat writes: How could you a cultivate a life that reflects all that you truly are?

This has been a difficult subject for me for several years. I have a deep desire to forge my own path in which I’m earning enough to feel comfortable and enjoy my life, yet I feel that my aspirations aren’t good enough to take me farther than the so-called starving artist. With a husband and three children, I cannot afford to be a starving artist. Instead, I neglect my needs and passions in favor of the more “appropriate” means of living — working outside the home, coming home to do household chores, etc. This doesn’t feed my soul.

Then there are are the multiple facets of my passions. Writing. Tutoring. Editing. Sharing the need to cultivate a thriving life worth loving. Inspiring. It’s all so confusing when broken down into each of its own parts, and all the more worrisome. I’ve been told I need to narrow it down to a niche, but I’ve never been one to be pigeonholed. In high school I had trouble “fitting in” because I was so against being labeled and shoved into a box with one name. I — all of us, for that matter — am so much more than just one thing. I’m a sales associate. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. I’m a writer. I’m a cultivater. I’m a free-spirit. I’m me.

I think I need to spend more time putting the puzzle pieces on the table to see how I can arrange them so as to fulfill myself while still maintaining a functional household.

How will you make time work for you?

Kat writes: But I ask this because I genuinely don’t know: how do you go to work and give as much as is adequate but ensure that you have enough left for you?

Honey, I don’t make enough time for myself. I’m almost always overextended anymore, and the rare occasions when I’m not it’s all I can do to lift my head from the pillow to face another day. Negotiating more time for me seems like a dreadful prospect. How does one even do that while in the process of recovering from rock bottom? Surely there must be some sort of textbook or workbook, right? It seems like such a chore. However, I know what needs to be done. I know that I have to take time to nourish myself so that I can be all of these multiple players — the mother, the wife, the worker bee, the writer, the childlike woman seeking to enjoy every sweet second of her life. I think what I need to do first and foremost is remember that I’m in the recovery phase and treat myself as such. Don’t take my personal life to work; don’t take my work home.

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#AugustMoon14 Days 6-8 Responses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 11:54 am August 23, 2014

What are the signs that you are on fire?

Kat writes: What is the catalyst for this feeling? What is it that you love about feeling this way?

When I’m on fire, it’s like the words flow as easily as water. I haven’t felt this feeling for a while, which is saddening. The catalyst is elusive for me. The conditions need to be just right. I need my environment to be calm and quiet. Sometimes having some energizing music helps. I absolutely love how productive and creative I feel when it strikes.

What tends to trip you up?

Kat writes: Who might be able to work with you to help you work this to your advantage?

Yes, I have trouble focusing on my ideas because I come up with a lot. I research how others are doing their work — the lifestyle business method — and get stuck when it comes down to deciding how to proceed. The ideas seem great on paper, but then I’m stumped and the inner voice starts telling me that my ideas aren’t good enough. Yes, I’m easily discouraged. Yes, I do question my “authority to write or say or make certain things.” Yes, I do compare what I’ve got to offer to what others have, and then I put myself down because I feel like my offerings aren’t good enough. I’ve got a list of lovely ladies who I feel like I should be reaching out to in order to get past these roadblocks. I just need to work up the guts to contact them and let them help me help myself.

Put out the call!

Kat writes: If the universe was prepared to send someone to help, who would you ask for?

I feel like this ties into Day 7’s prompt. I think I need to sit down and write several emails to enlist some help. Dearest Universe, I truly need for my dreams to materialize for the sake of my own health and the health of my family.

 

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#AugustMoon14 Day 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 7:20 pm August 14, 2014

What would your perfect work day be like?

Kat writes: Whatever scenario that you have conjured, how does it make you feel when you picture yourself in it?

I’ve imagined the perfect day (work or otherwise) so many times that I suspect my head is a cloud itself at this point. I feel free and happy. I feel relaxed and nourished. I feel nurtured and nurturing at the same time. I feel inspired and inquisitive. I feel at peace. This prompt brings me back to a task to created a “painted picture” of my life — similar to conjuring this scenario of the perfect day. At first I felt compelled to respond to this prompt by attempting to create that painted picture. Then I realized it would defeat the purpose of feeling those feelings while imagining what that perfect day would be like. It also brings me back to The Desire Map and its CDFs (core desired feelings). Everything is tying together right now, and I feel that this is my sign to get back to cultivating the life worth loving so I can enjoy feeling free, happy, relaxed, nourished, nurturing, inspired, and peaceful.

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#August Moon Days 3 and 4

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 7:49 pm August 13, 2014

I’m batching yesterday and today’s prompts since I missed yesterday.

What do you love?

Kat writes: Say someone found all of this evidence many years after you’d gone: what conclusions would they draw about the things/ideas/people you loved?

I think whoever found all this evidence would be kind of confused. I’ve never been one to get pigeon-holed into one category or another. I think the biggest conclusion they’d draw about me would be that I had a varied taste, a love for life, and cared deeply about people who touched my heart. I wasn’t biased. I also wasn’t afraid of different — or of unpopular. They’d see the artwork on my walls, put their by my children, and realize that I certain was no Martha Stewart, either. I wasn’t fond of scrubbing crayon and markers off the walls.

What’s hiding in your closet?

Kat writes:What, in your wardrobe, feels most like you?

First off: my work clothes aren’t fair game here, so we’re going to ignore most of the clothing I wear 5 days a week. When left to my own devices, I seem to select feminine pinks and purples or earthy greens, oranges, and browns. I’ve got a ton of clothes that fit into that “someday” category — pants from before I had my babies, dresses that were worn for singular occasions. When it comes time to relax and settle in for the night, I prefer loose fitting pajama tops and bottoms. I love fleece pants and socks during the winter months. I’ve got a favorite jacket that’s older than my daughter, and I really don’t care that I’ve worn a huge whole into the right elbow of it. I’ve got a love for scarves and added several to my collection last year. Overall, the persona I wear says bright, fun, and flirty. It says I’m a bit of a hippy — and that’s okay.

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#AugustMoon14 Day 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 5:56 pm August 11, 2014

What is it that you do now?

Kat writes: What sorts of themes are emerging from your list? What is missing?

I’m not up to sharing the whole list — really, there’s a boundary that I’m not willing to cross here. However, the overbearing theme emerging from even a quick mental inventory is that I’m not focusing on that which matters most. I’m spending too much time on auto-pilot, too much time on other people’s dreams, and not enough time cultivating a life worth loving. I’m missing that sparkle I once felt. I’m missing the feeling of connectedness within my soul. I don’t write nearly as much as I used to — or as much as I need to, for that matter. Writing is a form of self-care for me. I’ve neglected myself in that regard. I don’t spend enough time cultivating relationships to grow my business. Without these bonds, I’m floating aimlessly in a sea of binary code. I don’t spend enough time enjoying the present. My family needs me to stop, take a deep breath, and cherish every moment. I don’t need to dwell on our troubles. I don’t give myself enough positive reinforcement or spend enough time soaking up positive vibes from positive people. (Seeing a pattern here?)

A couple years back, I called it Operation Summer Vacation. Maybe it’s time once again to revisit this mindset so I can get back to myself.

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#AugustMoon14 Day 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 2:13 pm August 10, 2014

Set an intention.

Kat writes: On this first day together, in the light of the beautiful full moon, I invite you to share what is it that you want to explore over the next two weeks. In particular, I invite you to consider the crossroads at which you find yourself, in any aspect of your life.

The word “crosswords” has been floating around me for over a year now. I’m at a fork in the road — and I’m not talking about a two or even three pronged fork here — and have been standing still in confusion for quite some time. I used to have a very clear vision of who I was, what I wanted, where I was going, and how I was going to get there. And then one day, my life came crashing down. Although I had the best of intentions to persevere and prove my strength, I’ve been beaten down to the point of near destruction. I’m at rock bottom trying to crawl out of the hole and heal my shattered soul while nursing my traumatized family.

I have several options going forward, but I still feel a small piece of me yearning for that life I had begun to cultivate before January 16th, 2013 derailed my dreams. I think the very best intention to set now would be to explore that yearning — dip my toes in once again to get a feel for that dream. I intend to take time to explore my options while remaining fully present. I intend to start over with my Cultivate project. I intend to draw inspiration from Kat to host my prompt series once again.

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#Cultivate2014 Day 15 Response

Filed under: Uncategorized — Meredith @ 4:02 pm June 21, 2014

Set your intention(s) for 2014. It can be something as simple as setting an intention to choose happiness to something as grandiose as a list of major accomplishments. Use your best judgment, and keep in mind that you want to cultivate a life worth loving.

I intend to finish the second half of 2014 cultivating happiness by simply choosing to be happy.

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