Staying Real

This past week has been a real struggle.

I wish I could write another cheery encouragement to you saying things are going great and my online journey is beautiful, but I can’t.  Well, I could…and actually I thought about pushing aside the reality of where I am right now and giving you some sage advice on being happy and lovin’ life, but I won’t.

One of the things I want to do with this blog is to stay real.

Staying real in a world of “unrealistic” television, flashy ads on billboards and perfectly perfect models on magazine covers combined with a culture that promotes, “never let ’em see you sweat”, is no small order, at least not for me.

I’ve found that being “real” though,  is what I want and I believe what this world desperately needs, at least those of us who are still human.

The brilliant Everett Bogue, one of my favorite blogs to read, has been doing a provocative series of posts on superhumans, drones and zombies.  I don’t have time to restate the whole thing here but its very thought-provoking and if you want to real the whole article visit www.farbeyondthestars.com and give it a look.

At any rate, part of his point is that so many of us “humans” have been turned into things that aren’t real and that aren’t really living, ie. drones and zombies, by a fake world that wants to define our reality.  Everett states his articles are simple metaphors, but its really easy to forget that when you start reading because somewhere deep inside alot of us, it feels like the truth.

In light of those thoughts, I choose to stay real in this post in hopes of connecting with my readers at a much deeper level than the sticky-sweet, superficial surface of this current culture.  To be honest I’m tired of strapping on masks and fake smiles in order to appear that I have it all together or that I’m somehow better because I never show my struggles, or worse yet, pretend that I don’t have any.

That only keeps us all stuck in the crazy cycles we’re beyond tired of.

But my struggle has been very real this week.  My doubts, I hate to admit, have overwhelmed me.  I wanted to quit, throw in the proverbial towel and to be honest, for several days last week, I did. 

I lost my drive to write, to share. I couldn’t even turn on the internet.  My creative spark got doused and a big, dark cloud wrapped itself around me and I almost completely gave up.  I felt I couldn’t share my struggle on this blog, too depressing.  Who would want to read that?

But I realized I couldn’t pretend and write something from my head and leave out my heart and the truth of my condition.  So, I decided to take a risk (shiver) and step way out of my comfort zone in the chance that these genuine, honest words would connect with someone right where they are too.

Fortunately, yesterday morning things began to change for me.  They changed because of a phone call.  The person at the other end of the line heard the struggle in my voice and came to my rescue.  He validated the hard place I was in, empathized because he’d been there before and then reminded me why I started this in the first place.

I began this to make a difference, to reach out to people through words and connect with them at a real level and help them grow.

My writing is how I let the world in.

Sometimes, reading other people’s writing is the most powerful and safe way that I am able to open up and see myself for what I really am. The good, the bad, the beautiful & the unsure.

Because, for some reason,  if someone else has felt that way, then maybe what I’m feeling, what I’m going through is only human, and that somehow makes me feel relieved… and it’s easier to embrace.  Maybe these words will be that for you too.

And sometimes words have a way of penetrating the surface of our lives and  they can go deep.

They go deep and are able to connect with what’s real inside me.  Inside of us.

And that’s where we change

That’s where we grow.

BTW, the person on the other end of that phone call was my husband.  He helped relight my spark, told me he believed in what I’m doing and that he believed people need what I have to say.  Those words penetrated my dark funk, went deep and this morning I decided to keep climbing.

Thank you Honey…

My climb this past week has involved wading through the cold, desolate swamp of discouragement and doubt.  And sometimes in that  dark swamp, we get stuck and find ourselves even wallowing in it.

I’ve decided that’s ok.  That’s what’s real.

The journey,in all it’s beauty and all it’s misery, is what’s real.  But what’s even more real than that are the relationships around you, which anchor you in life’s storms and which pull you out of all life’s murky swamps.

Here’s to Staying Real,

Kristi

Adjusting to my new “On-Demand” Work Day

On my journey towards financial freedom, I have begun to realize that my work days don’t look like they used to..

I don’t have to work between the hours of 9-5pm any longer.  I am so used to being on the “work morning and afternoon schedule”, that I have had to remind myself  today that it doesn’t have to fall in between those hours anymore.

When I got up this morning I felt out of sorts, couldn’t really find my groove with my work.  I did all the regular things that i usually do… got up, got kids up and on bus, stoked fire, ate breakfast and took vitamins.  Then I got in the hot tub to try and meditate and find my balance for the day, but I was restless and the day was cold and gray.

I then decided I needed to get out and moving. My first thought was a bike ride, that has become my drug of choice because of the creative rush I get afterward…lol, but I realized I hadn’t been horse-back riding for almost two weeks and thot that it would be good to get out and ride Prince and let the dogs, Dixie and Ace, go run for awhile.

So went and rode and basically just got cold.

Came home, unthawed, let the other horses out and still couldn’t find my concentration or my inspiration.

I went ahead and sat down at my work spot and started sorting and got on the internet just to try and get something started.  I felt uninspired, I felt sluggish and I felt a little defeated for some reason.  My usual passion and momentum for my work just wasn’t flowing and I couldn’t figure out how to prime the pump.

I realized it had been two weeks since I had a normal, consistent string of days for working and that maybe I was just having to get adjusted to being back in the saddle.  My whole day felt awkward and out of sync, but now that the sun has set I feel some energy from somewhere and my brain seems to be ready to work a little.  That’s strange for me because my “normal” optimal brain hours are in the morning, so to have motivation hit me after dark is kinda different.

I decided to roll with it, and that maybe I am just not used to being able to work whenever the urge hits me and that it doesn’t have to be within a certain time period.  That’s really a change for me, but I have labeled it, adjusting to my new “on-demand” work day.

I think I like it,

I just have to remember to go with the flow,

and not fight to arrange it all in a neat schedule.

Inspiration doesn’t work on a schedule!

Cheers,

Kristi

Embracing Winter

This year I’ve decided to

embrace Winter!

The colder months of the year are always a challenge for me and every year I tend to dread the end of Autumn and the beginning of the cold, dreary days of Winter.

This year I’ve decided to look for the things that I like about the weather being colder and to create rituals or hobbies that help me make the best out of a dreary situation!

Here are a few “Happy Winter Things” I thought of…

  • With all the leaves gone the sunsets create glowing silhouettes with the bare branches of the trees
  • There is no worries about bugs or flying critters that might sting you or land on you
  • At night the stars seem to be extra bright and beautiful against the cold winter sky
  • I have horses and I like their warm, fuzzy winter coats that they grow to stay warm
  • No grass to mow or weeds to worry about for a few months
  • I love watching a fire burn and winter is the perfect time for heating your house with a wood stove
  • One of my favorite things is to slide into my jacuzzi while snow is falling, that’s near to perfect!
  • I enjoy the crunch, crunch of the newly fallen leaves under my feet when I go out for a walk
  • Holding a warm cup of coffee, tea or hot cider is comforting and makes me smile..

I guess you get the idea of how I’m trying to look at things differently, or at least focus on the positive side.  The times that it gets more difficult is after the Holidays, when all the rush and hustle is quieted down and I’m staring at 10 weeks of freezing weather ahead.  When the cold, gray clouds get socked in for a week and the sun seems like it took a vacation, that’s when it effects me the strongest!

I have also taken up cooking as a wintertime hobby.

I’ve never been much of a fan of  cooking. I love to eat, but cooking seems to be so never-ending once you get into it.  But I figure that when I can’t go outside and I’ve had all the TV and movies I can stand, that trying a new recipe that results in a yummy treat for the whole family has got to be a good thing!

So, I’ve been trying new recipes and a great resource is http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/  Lots of fun and tasty things to discover with Leigh Ann!  Sour Cream Apple Bars were a big hit and taste amazing right out of the oven…

Another thing that I’ve been doing is a ritual to welcome the early evenings.  One of my least favorite things about winter are those darn short days!  It feels like a I just get started with everything and then, just like that, the sun sets and it’s cold and dark!   So! I decided to make the best of it and every evening just as the sun in sinking into horizon and the light is fading from the sky, I light several candles and turn on some fun dance music! I make my kitchen really cozy and happy then start an impromptu dance party.  It has really made a difference in changing my mindset from dreading the short days to enjoying the coming on of each evening.

Well, there you have it… my personal strategy for braving the coming winter and hopefully it has inspired you to think about the cold season a little differently.  Don’t feel badly if you don’t feel much better though, I have struggled with it for many years and just this year decided to strive for something different, a more positive mindset and happier outlook.

If you have anything to add to my above list of “ Happy Winter Things” , please leave a comment and share, I need all the input I can get!

 

Here’s to warmer thoughts and warmer toes and doing better at Embracing Winter!

Cheers,

Kristi

Your Powerful Words (Part 1)

Have you ever stopped to contemplate, just really think about how amazing words are?

Do you REALIZE what power words carry?

Words can change your life! They can alter your thoughts and beliefs.  Words can shape your entire future and yet so few of us really take the time to understand just how powerful the words we hear, think and say are.

Here is something to try that will help you “feel” my point. Below are five sentences (& of course sentences are made up of words.).  Take a brief moment to read each one…and after each sentence PAUSE and notice the feelings or thoughts that each “set of words” brings up inside you.

1)  Take a deep breath…everything is OK.

2)  Honey, you better sit down, I have some INcredible news!  We just won the $500,000 in the lottery!

3)  I’m sorry to tell you this, but we think you may have an terminal disease.

4)  Your LIFE is about to Change forever…

5)  I’m sorry…there is no hope.

Did you notice it?  Did you feel the energy released inside your with each sentence you read?  Just writing each sentence made me feel, just for a moment, excited, peaceful or very sad, and I thought them up!

Words are powerful.

They can change you, help you, devastate you!

We’re bombarded with words daily, hourly.  The good, the bad and the ugly words.

So how are the words you hear, say and think affecting YOU?

Does “anything go” with you when it comes to words or are you aware and choosy?  Are the words that make up your life, your daily language and your thoughts, helping to motivate and encourage you?  Are they escorting you towards success and vitality or are they holding you hostage in your own life?

If you have an inkling that your words or the words you allow into your life are not exactly what you’d like them to be, take a day and just begin to notice the type of words that you speak.  Are they harsh, judgmental or impatient?  Are the words you use upbeat, positive or hopeful? Maybe a little of both.

You can change your mind and your life…With Your Words!

You really can.

Try, for one day, to only speak words that are positive and non-critical.  Words that embrace and nurture those daring desires and quiet dreams in your soul.  Practice, even for a few hours, releasing any thoughts or words that limit you, or that create doubt in anyway.  Try picturing your adult-self as a loving, wise being who comes along side that part of you who doubts life’s  possibilities and gently and confidently nudges you towards thoughts and words of confidence, happiness and satisfaction.

It’s really amazing how powerful one day can be when you are mindful of the words you harbor and the power that they wield over your present and your future.

Change your words, change your mind,

Change Your Life.

You CAN do it.

Here’s to filling your moments & life with words of possibility and power!

Kristi

Flickr Photos

Selsey Life Boat Station

Compass Plant (Silphium laciniatum)

Squirrel in the undergrowth D50_9462.jpg

More Photos