Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's gotta click

If you want to do something but it doesn't seem to be coming together... if you want to make a change but you're not quite taking the steps... if you want to learn something new but it's not making sense... if you want to lose weight but you can't stick to a diet... if you want to change careers but you're not sending out resumes... if you want to have a relationship but you're not reaching out to people... if you want to do anything but it isn't happening then there's only one thing I can tell you.

It hasn't really clicked yet.

When I was a kid I remember how hard it was to learn the multiplication tables (if you know me you're probably laughing at this).  I tried to memorize them, studied for hours, cried, fought with myself, complained, and didn't learn them.  In fact I was close to the bottom of my class in math.  Until one day it clicked.  In one spectacular moment something in my brain shifted slot and I understood.  I understood what multiplication meant.  At that moment it was no longer mere numbers I was trying to memorize but a process, almost a living thing.  I *knew* multiplication and very quickly went to the top of my class in math.

But until it clicked I couldn't do it at all.

And if you're struggling in some area of your life then something hasn't yet clicked for you.  Because if it had you'd be doing it instead of struggling with it.  Simple.

So what do you do if you want to make a change but it isn't clicking yet?

Stop fighting.  Stop thinking you "should" or beating yourself because you "haven't" yet.  Instead put your focus on getting it to click in place.  Tell your mind to work it out then go do something else.  Chew on it for a while and let it simmer.  Tell yourself that it hasn't clicked yet and ponder it, actively telling your mind to work it out.

Then go have fun.

Release it from your conscious mind and let your unconscious mind take over.  Very soon you'll start seeing things differently.  You'll start getting insights, new ways of looking at things, possibilities you didn't notice before.  And soon.... way sooner than you think.... things will start clicking.

And once they do you'll zoom right up to the top of your class, just like I did in math!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back porch revival

Today I had my own personal back porch revival!

I really miss back porch sitting.  It's been a while since I had a porch to sit on, several years in fact, and over a decade since I had that multi-tiered, wooded back deck with the swing and the creek and native wildlife.  Ahhh...... those were the days :)

Getting back to the present, I've been feeling pretty unmotivated lately.  Lazy, tired, and generally not too excited about much of anything.  I blamed it on the heat, some up-in-the-air issues in my life, the fact that junk food has snuck into my diet a little more than I'd like it too lately, and a myriad of other things. 

Tried to write a blog post each of the last 4 days but it's like the words have dried up and there's simply nothing flowing from my mind into my fingertips.  Tried to walk at a park today but frankly city parks with their paved paths and artificial landscape just don't interest me much. 

So ya see.... I've been in kind of a mental no-man's land lately.

Until this afternoon.  I was getting the office organized so we can do the preliminary work for the next psychic fair (yes, we really do start this far ahead) and all of a sudden I had this overwhelming feeling of being sooooo tired!  It was all I could do to lift my head, and I knew something was really pressing on me.


So I drug myself out of the office and went to sit on the back deck.  The office is in a lovely old house with a beautiful view of the city, so I sat for a moment gazing out at the scenery.  Next thing I know, I'd fallen asleep.  Not a 5 minute snooze or even one of those 20 min power-nap things but a really deep, transcendent sleep.  I started having visions and then left my body, wandering off, snapping back and then wandering off again.  Then a friend met up with me and we had a very serious in-depth conversation.  I always wonder when that happens if the other person consciously shares the experience.  I'll have to call later and ask.

Then abruptly, I woke up.  Almost jumped really, and came back to full awareness in an instant.  And I was revived.  Completely, totally and fully revived and ALIVE!  The doldrums of the last week are gone.  The aimlessness and lack of energy and focus are gone.  The whole experience lasted just a few minutes but seemed like hours but it's effects were profound.

Now.... I can get back to work and really start moving forward in my life.  Dang, maybe I need to find a back porch to sit on more often :)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A really goofy, but cool book

So a couple weeks ago I'm helping my boss clean out some stuff and I run across this book .  The title caught my eye so when we took a little break I started reading it.

The first sentence of the book is "A long time ago in a land far away, there lived a famous dragon slayer named Duke."

"How goofy," I thought.  "What kind of name is Duke for a dragon slayer?"  But I was in a giggly mood so I kept reading and the story made me laugh as it got sillier and sillier talking about Duke hitting the juice too often at the Hero Shoppe and going off to fight dragons with his faithful dog Prince.  Plus he had a wife named Allie and a son named Johnathon... all very unlikely character names in a book about dragon slaying!

I was about to write the whole thing off as a bunch of silliness, when it took a serious turn and I realized that there are some amazing life lessons and insights to be gained from this story!  Plus it's so darned entertaining :)

Anyway, I took it home, finished it in an afternoon, and now highly recommend it to everyone!  Yes it's goofy but it's also an excellent primer on getting back to sanity when life is crazy and things just aren't going your way.

Here are some of the gems I picked up from the story.  Check it out and discover what nuggets it might hold for you too...

  • Awfulizing and Terriblizing - I love that expression!  It refers to those times our head gets away from us and makes us crazy thinking about all the bad things that could happen.  We all do it sometimes and it takes us far away from reality.  Now when I find myself heading down that slippery slope, I remember that phrase and it makes me laugh and breaks the mood instantly.
  • Dispute your beliefs - Did you know that most of what people believe isn't actually fact?  It's a fact... ha!  I've always made a practice challenging my own beliefs and I think the book presents how to do this very well.  In a nutshell, whenever you find yourself saying "should," ask yourself if it's true.  "He should treat me better."  Is that true?  Or is it just something you "want" to be true?  There's a difference and the book explains it all.
  • I prefer..... but it's ok...." - This little sentence is amazing!  Every time something doesn't work out how I want or someone doesn't act how I want, I pull this one out of my pocket and use it.  "I prefer that he treats me better... but if he doesn't my life won't be ruined, the world won't stop turning, and it will still be ok."  It takes the emotional charge off things, reminds me that I can't control anyone else, and reinforces that life will still be ok in the end.
Ok, Your turn.  Check out the book and list your own gems in the comments below. Time to go slay some of my dragons!

Random Pics

Nothing earth shattering going on today so here are some random pictures from the last week...

My apartment manager plants pretty flowers in the front yard each year.  Then she sits under the tree, admiring her handiwork as she talks to passers-by.


Next up, my first ever taste of Limburger Cheese!  Last weekend I was doing a Tarot reading at MaiFest and the client's mom brought a Limburger and onion sandwich for us to try.  We were a little apprehensive as we've all heard the stories of the smell and such, right?  But it smelled fine and darned if it didn't taste pretty good too!  Another check mark off the list of "things to try in this lifetime."

 


After the cheese-tasting, my booth partner went and got us a mountain of chips.  No kidding, this thing was about a foot tall.  Freshly sliced and fried, homemade potato chips.  Yum!  Didn't even miss the salt.

 
 

My booth partner also bought this Pitcher plant.  Isn't it cool?  They're carnivorous and there was an entire booth full of them - a real life Little Shop of Horrors!  The pitchers catch rain water and have a sweet aroma which attracts bugs.  Once the bugs are in the pitcher they fall into the water and the plant digests them.  Glad I'm much smarter than a bug! If you want to get your very own man oops bug eating plant you can contact Bob & Billie Joe Williams at bjnbob@windstream.net.  They're not allowed to ship them (postal regulations) but they can tell you when they'll be in your area.


And finally this is me planting tomatoes at my mom's house last week.  The "look" is because I hate having my picture taken, but mom insisted no one would believe I did it if there wasn't "proof." We also planted celery, peppers, eggplant and something else I forget.  Next week we'll plant the seeds and by mid summer she'll have plenty of fresh, organic veggies to enjoy.  Hmm... I might just have to go over and swipe a few :)



Friday, May 25, 2012

What do I do for a living

Wow talk about a change in perspective...

The other day someone asked me what I do for a living and without even thinking I said "I'm a psychic and I  do Tarot readings, Channeling and spiritual guidance.  Would you like to make an appointment?"

Omg did that actually come out of my mouth?!!

Just a month ago I would have said something like "I"m still trying to figure that out so right now I have a part time admin job" and a year ago I would have said "I do admin work, bookkeeping and web design."  How far things have come!

The most amazing thing about it though wasn't that it flowed seamlessly out of my mouth.  Ok that was pretty amazing too actually.  But what really blew me away is how HAPPY it made me to say that.

I really love this stuff!  I love helping people.  I love hearing their stories.  I love offering support.  I love using the Tarot to give them guidance.  And I love seeing their lives get better because of it all.

This is so cool!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pigeonholed

Ok so this is really bugging me lately!

I feel like I've been pigeonholed.  Certain people who I care about very much have made assumptions about who I am and who I'm not and have decided to put me in a little box of their own making, saying "this teeny bit I know is all of Maria" and conveniently ignoring the 99% of me that is outside of their little box.  This makes me sad because it severely limits the potential of my relationship with them, and in many cases eliminates opportunities (both business and personal) that could benefit all of us.

It also kinda makes me mad, especially since I go to great lengths to not pigeonhole others.  I make it a point to see many sides of the people in my life and when a new side of them is presented I seek to understand rather than dismiss it as "not really them." 

I just don't understand why it's so hard for them to give me the same consideration :(

Ok venting done and I'm wondering.  Have you ever been pigeonholed and how did it make you feel?

Sealing the deal

Ever since jumping off the fence a couple weeks ago, I've been doggedly making progress toward a mobile career doing spiritual guidance and intuitive readings.  So far I've purchased business cards, handed out coupons, told all my friends and associates, and done some networking.  All with so-so results.  I'm getting my name out there but it hasn't converted to many clients... yet.

There's also a confidence thing, which I think is normal when jumping into any new endeavor. I've been doing this type of work for years, but not professionally and rarely for strangers.  So there's this whole "can I really do this" thing going on under the surface.

All that changed last weekend though.  A friend invited me to share a booth at a local street fair, and we spent a solid 3 days doing readings for dozens of people.  Between the two of us we did over 150 readings, and the response was very positive.  No, it was wonderful!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE HELPING PEOPLE IN THIS WAY!

Despite almost 30 hours of work in 2.5 days and near 90 degree temperatures, I came home Sunday night feeling energized and ready for more! 

Since then other things have diverted me - heck I'm not even posting this until today and it's Wednesday already!  But I was so happy to do readings, talk to people, and really feel like I'm a positive influence in their life.

So the deal is sealed.  I definitely know I jumped off the right side of the fence, and I can't wait to venture even further into my field of dreams :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

When something catches your eye


The other day while at a business meeting this pile of rocks kept catching my eye, like it was calling to me.  As we got up to leave it called me again, so I had to go back and snap a picture.  Weird huh?

For a while I wasn't sure what the message of the rocks was, or why I felt compelled to photograph them.  But one thing I do know is that if something calls to me as strongly as those rocks did I need to pay attention.  I also  know if I'd walked away without snapping that photo I'd still be thinking about those rocks, and would probably have to go back just to get the picture :)

Anyway, I went on with my week, then this morning the memory of the rocks returned again - this time with a message.  I am being called back to nature.  I need to get out of the city, out of urban (or even suburban) living, and spend some time in a more natural environment.  I need it for my health, my spiritual growth, and in order to help others on an even higher level than I already do.

The rocks were my sign, calmly sitting in the background waiting for me to notice.  I wonder how many others they call out too, and how many hear their voice?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Another look at consumerism

As a minimalist and someone who generally doesn't participate in mainstream living, you'd think that I'd be against consumerism. After all, if you peruse minimalist websites and blogs or talk to others who advocate simplifying and minimalist living there's an underlying current of anti-consumerism.  Even I have complained about consumerism on a prior blog post.

I've been thinking about this lately though, and while I am surely not a thing-crazed consumer, I have realized that consumerism has a certain value and has made my life (and the lives of my fellow non-consumers) a lot easier. 

It hit me last night when I met some friends for dinner.  We went to a nice little pub, not a large place but business was booming, and had an enjoyable time.  On the way home I was reflecting on the evening when it hit me:  If it weren't for consumerism that evening wouldn't have been possible.  A little pub like that couldn't survive on people like me who might patronize it once, maybe twice, a year at most. No, it relies on the attitude of the masses which is buy, buy, buy!

The more I pondered this, the more I realized how many things in my life are dependent on consumerism and how without someone to buy those things they simply wouldn't be available.  I think that is because the phrase "necessity is the mother of invention" has been replaced with "profit is the mother of invention."  In other words if people buy it then manufacturers will continue to make it and to keep developing newer and better things to quench the insatiable consumer thirst.

Which puts people like me in a sweet spot.  We enjoy all the benefits of a nearly endless buffet of consumeristic-glitter, in small doses when and where we choose.  We get to dip into the waters of consumerism, cherry picking our experiences and leaving the rest behind.  We can have the latest and greatest technology, keep what we have, or choose to forgo it all together.  We can dine occasionally at our favorite places without giving over half our paychecks to them.  We benefit from the latest in alternative energy, fuel efficiency, instant global communication, entertainment, reasonably priced, mass-produced clothing and household items, and a myriad of other things precisely because the consumers out there keep buying them. 

Think about it - would anyone have a smart phone if consumers hadn't spent millions on the first, bulky cumbersome, expensive commercial cell phones some 30 years ago?  Would I be able to share this post if consumers hadn't bought those first Tandy's and Commodore's or if no one had subscribed to America Online's dial up service way back when?

Virtually every convenience we enjoy in today's world is made possible by consumerism.  From the technology I mentioned above to fuel efficient automobiles to bottled water to softer, stronger toilet paper.  For minimalists like me it's even better because advances in technology make it possible for me to do more with less.  Smart phones for instance combine phone, internet, TV, cameras, calendars, notebooks, and even the trusty Rand-McNally road atlas into one convenient gadget.  Kindle has eliminated the need for shelves (and even rooms) full of books.  I don't need a library or encyclopedia because hey - Google knows - and it's all at my fingertips.  Consumerism has also sparked all sorts of practical things minimalists find useful, from multi-use furniture, appliances and gadgets to outfits that go from day to evening wear with a flip of the collar and cuffs to automobiles that serve as a family wagon, utility van, and even a place to call home.

The bottom line is that consumerism makes our lives a lot easier!  Which leaves us the time and resources to simplify and live the stress-free, minimalistic lifestyles we love.

So no, I don't participate in consumerism.  But I sure appreciate those who do so I can share this blog, connect with friends, and live a simpler, more peaceful, minimalistic life of my own.

Thanks consumers!  Now go buy something :)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Gravitating toward the familiar

As I get farther from the fence of indecision and step more solidly into my new business and vocation, I find there are many times I want to hang a U-ie and head back toward familiar territory.

It's very sneaky how that road winds around, and the lull of the familiar gently leads me back to the rut of complacency and indecision. The thing is when your mind has been working a certain way for a long time it's easy to slide right back into that rut.  Plus it feels safe and more natural somehow.

But if I'm serious about going in this new direction - and I am - then I have to purposely keep steering myself out of that rut and keep going down the road toward my goals.  Sometimes it takes gripping the wheel with both hands and white knuckling it past self-created fears and obstacles.  Sometimes I slow to a snail's pace, even getting out of my "vehicle" to clear the road ahead so I can move forward.

What a fascinating time in my life!  Everything is new, everything is old, and everything is different yet the same.  The colors are brighter and the destination is so glittery and exciting, yet the road right in front of me can be hard to navigate.

This is a journey of purpose.  It's about weighing the options, making a choice as to where I want my life to lead, and with purpose putting one foot in front of the other to head that way.  Skipping at times, plodding at others, and constantly steering and adjusting course.  But the road ahead is certain - it's chosen by ME - and I am headed in that direction!

Which brings me to YOU.  Are you heading down a road of your choosing?  Are you weighing your options, making deliberate choices, then heading in that direction no matter how difficult it may seem at times and how often you get distracted?  Things to ponder if you want to live your life on purpose.  Things to decide if you want to find true peace and happiness :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Omg I'm a crack dealer!

About a month or so ago my boss is complaining about how he asked a friend to pick up some cream and that friend came back with fat free half-in-half.  Ewww!

I had to run up to Whole Foods anyway, so I decided to introduce him to what might well be the most amazing heavy cream ever!  Well except raw but that's a pain to get here in Ohio (you know - where the laws around dairy are more than a century behind).

So I come back with this cream and he LOVES it!  Duh.. I knew he would :)

Anyway, a few days later as I'm getting ready to head out to his place I get this text: 

Can you stop and get me more of that crack?

Frekin' hilarious!

So now I guess I'm a cream-crack dealer, handing off the goods for a 10-spot in the corner of his kitchen.  Dang I hope the neighbors don't report us!

Btw the cream is made by Snowville Creamery which is in Pomeroy, Ohio (on the Ohio river at the West Virginia border).  Their website lists retailers that sell their very yummy cream-crack (and other stuff too), and they're on my list of places to visit as soon as I get rolling.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Insights under a tree

Friday afternoon I spent several hours chilling under this tree, pondering life, writing and just dosing off for a while.  So here are some of the insights that hit me (in no particular order)...

  • It feels good to slow down and we need to do it more often.  When your brain is all filled up with the stuff you "have to" do there's little room for the small, quiet voice within to be heard.
  • Trees are great places to take naps!
  • What we consider "nature" really isn't (see the post on nature). 
  • When you don't like something, instead of dismissing it take the time to learn what it's all about.  Many things are very different than they appear on the surface and you may find you change your position once you understand.
  • When people rub you the wrong way it's often something you don't like about yourself being reflected through them. 
  • When you close your eyes the world comes alive with sounds, scents and sensations you weren't aware of before.
  • The older you get the stiffer you get and the more your butt hurts when you try to get up after several hours under a tree :)
  • When you fall in love it's often not the person himself (or herself) you've fallen in love with but your projection of your ideal partner onto that person (this from a book I recently read - more later).  
  • Kids love to work and will step up to the task with great enthusiasm if you give them a job to do (this from kids gleefully emptying the trash cans in the park while dad sat in the truck).
  • Thought and emotion are very closely intertwined, and sometimes despite your best thinking skills, emotion takes over and sends you on a wild ride.
  • Emotion and even physical sensation can be transmitted from one person to another, and so can thought.
  • Just because science hasn't yet explained something doesn't make it valid (this has been on my mind a lot as I try to find scientific and practical explanations for certain things).
  • It's hard for me to find a good angle to see my laptop screen outside and it got me to wondering how many things are hard to see because of our perception or other things that distort our vision.
  • Certain people make me happier than others for no tangible reason.  Maybe it isn't always possible to follow the dots and come up with an explanation.  Maybe it's just better to enjoy the feeling.
  • There is a time to think and a time to suspend thought and just be.
  • When I don't know the answer the best course of action is to assign the problem to the Universe and my sub-conscious mind and do something else for a while.  It will come.
  • When I'm feeling floaty like I was the past few days it's useless to try and get any practical work done.  
  • Conversely when I'm feeling focused I can get enormous amounts of work done in a fraction of the time it usually takes.
  • I need to sit under trees more often :)

Nature - or is it?

Yesterday afternoon as I sat in the park pondering life, I snapped a few pictures, and as I did I got to thinking about nature.

In today's world parks are where we go to experience nature, right?  But is that really nature?  Or is it some watered down, manicured, man made, amusement park-like fake substitute for the real thing?

I mean look at these pictures.  Pretty as they are do they really reflect nature?



Nope.  Nature doesn't have manicured yards, pruned hedges and trees, or trash collection.  Nature doesn't have footpaths and parking lots.  Nor does it have bathrooms, jungle gyms or swing sets.

Nature is wild.  Nature is untamed and unaltered.  Grass grows tall and burrs stick to you as you wade through it.  Yes there are paths in the woods but they're often blocked by fallen trees, forest rubbish, and spider webs.  If not used they become overgrown and eventually disappear entirely.  There are dangers like poison oak and ivy, unseen ruts and holes that might twist an ankle, streams and creeks to ford, wild animals, and limbs that can and do fall.

As a kid we had woods behind our neighborhood (long gone now.... replaced by expensive houses on tiny lots) and I remember spending entire summers there building forts, clearing paths, playing hide and seek, running through the fields, and picking wild blackberries.  I got scratched up and bruised and knocked myself dizzy on more than one occasion trying to swing from vines that didn't hold my weight.  I got poison ivy, and various bites and stings from unknown forest bugs.  And I remember at least one time getting in trouble for coming home with purple hands and cheeks from those yummy blackberries.

But oh the fun we had!  We went on adventures and safaris,  hunted deer, squirrels and foxes with our "guns" (we used sticks people - nothing ever got hurt), had wars with BB guns and sling shots (ok maybe we got hurt :p), played house, found secret spots, made up stories about fairies, gnomes and other mythical woodland creatures, pretended we were indians or pioneers in the "olden days," had secret clubs with passwords and booby traps, made woodland golf courses, and even made bike tracks and obstacle courses.

We did it all without bike helmets, knee pads, fancy playsets, or our parents sitting on a bench watching so we didn't get hurt.  And guess what - we not only survived but we THRIVED!  Our imaginations exploded, we developed critical thinking skills and (some of us) also learned common sense.  We learned to settle our own arguments, make our own rules and build things without the help of specialty parts or directions. 

Yeah I know it seems like I'm getting off track here but think about it... that is nature.  It's people working and playing in a natural, unaltered environment. There's a lot of trial and error, it's not sterile or particularly clean and it's not always safe.  But if you learn it's lessons, work with it instead of subduing it into something "pretty and safe" and allow your imagination to run free as the wind you may just find a part of yourself you've been missing.  Are there any untamed woods left in these parts?

Friday, May 11, 2012

Intrpospection

For the last couple days I've been super introspective, almost looking at the world as if I'm somewhat removed from it and pondering "stuff."

This generally happens to me as I get back into readings, channeling and healing.  I love the work but it leaves me with a floaty feeling that, unfortunately makes it harder for me to attend to the business side of life.  Gotta learn how to balance that so I can get stuff done!  Ya know?

So tonight I'm turning the computer on for the first time in a couple days (almost unheard of in my world), and just wanted to check in and let everyone know all is well.

I'll post some of my ponderings here over the weekend.  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another micro world

I've been fascinated with teeny-tiny worlds lately.  Took this picture at the bottom of the steps to my Mom's basement.  She'd swept all those little helicopter seeds down the steps and into the corner and this is what happened.  Can't you almost see the smoke wisping up from itty-bitty huts and the little people going about their business in a micro-village?

Ahhhh..... I wish my Photoshop skills were better so I could make the whole scene come to life. You'll have to settle instead for a crop and your imagination :^)



Monday, May 7, 2012

Off the fence and over the cliff!

Over the weekend I did a lot of soul searching, determined to finally get off the fence and decide what I'm going to do for work. I’ve written about this many times, and truly I could waver back and forth for the rest of my life. But wavering doesn’t realize dreams (unless the dream is to waver), so it’s time to make a decision and LEAP!

Recapping, the two possibilities were business consulting & training or spiritual consulting & guidance.

On the business side of things I am very skilled at doing every kind of admin work, accounting, web-design & marketing, and also at teaching people how to do those things. I’ve launched and run my own businesses, and managed businesses and millions of dollars for others. I’ve also unraveled horrendous accounting and admin messes created by people with far more formal education than me. When it comes to business and admin, I know my stuff.

On the spiritual side of things I am very skilled at helping people with their problems, seeing things differently, finding solutions that weren’t apparent before, understanding their spiritual and mystical side, and tapping into higher intelligence in order to help them better understand situations and make decisions. I am patient and compassionate, and often people call me because I’m the only person in their life who can listen without judgment and gently guide them in the right direction. I’ve helped people through major life changes and crisis and even helped avert several suicides. When it comes to spiritual guidance, I bring the mystical and practical together and I’m excellent at helping create a solid foundation which people can use to create better lives for themselves. In short, I also know my stuff.

If money was no object, I’d happily spend the rest of my life pursuing knowledge and working to better understand the relationship between the spiritual and practical sides of life. That’s where my true passion lies – figuring out how to develop spiritually while remaining grounded and fully participating in being human too. It’s where my own life has led me and I believe this integration is essential for humans to evolve into the wholeness of who and what we are.

But money is an object – a big object – and my logical mind kept telling me that the safer, more conservative, and easier approach would be to do the business stuff as a career and relegate spiritual pursuits to my free time. Kind of like being a Sunday Christian, and that doesn’t feel right to me at all. I’m either going to walk the walk or get off the path.

The truth is that either way I’m starting at ground zero here. Since I gave away my business clients last year and haven’t actively pursued spiritual counseling or readings as a business for a while, either path is virgin ground. It will take an equal amount of work to go down either road, clearing the path, building the foundation, putting myself out there, and doing all the practical and necessary things it takes to start and grow a business. I’ve done this before and I know that whichever way I go it’s going to be HARD WORK. No beating around the bush there. It is what it is.

So all things considered, I’ve decide that since either path leads to the same amount of work and that both paths have the potential to support me financially the deciding factor has to be “what my inner guidance is telling me to do.” And the question I have to answer is “what makes my soul sing?

Hands down it’s the spiritual stuff. Yes it’s incredibly scary because it’s so different from anything I’ve ever done before (for work). I am terrified that all sorts of “unknown” things will go wrong, that I’ll give bad guidance, that people will hate me, that I’ll end up broke and living in a box and a whole host of other terrible possibilities.

These are the predictable worries, indicative of someone who is about to jump off a cliff and whose worried their parachute may not open. That’s where I am. And this morning I jumped. Did a swan dive actually right into the unknown and mysterious world of spiritual guidance and growth. So far I’m holding perfect form but hey, it’s only been a few hours :)

But I’m off the fence – er cliff – and spiritual consulting and guidance is where my personal and business life are headed.

I’ll be asking for your help and support in the upcoming weeks as I get things rolling. And I’ll write more about it here as it’s always exciting to get an insider’s look into the birth of a new business and career.

Peace out people – I’m going to work!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The celebration continues

Yesterday my birthday celebration continued as I spent the day with my daughter.  We went out to eat at Mexican place, not even realizing that it was Cinco de Mayo.  How funny and serendipitous that we picked Mexican food on a Mexican Holiday :^)

I had some tacos topped with marinated cabbage.  They were soooo good!  I could have had a bowl of that cabbage all by itself. Also had an ear of fried corn on the cob.  Amazing!  I've never had it fried before and WOW does it make a difference.  It rivaled my favorite way of making corn on the cob which is to grill or bake it in the husk.  Didn't think to get pictures but honestly the food disappeared so fast I'm not sure I could have snapped some off fast enough.

Then we headed up to Traders' World, a super humongous flea market about half way between Cincinnati and Dayton.  We were window shopping mostly, and in fact didn't buy anything at all.  But it sure is fun to look at all the interesting and different stuff.  Truly - you can't find unique items like these at your typical shopping mall.  Donna and I both love old time tools, appliances and household implements and we had fun trying to figure out what certain things were used for.  People were pretty inventive in the days before electricity and plastic, and there were some items we thought would have sold pretty well on an 1890's version of an infomercial!

Again... didn't get pictures because we were too busy enjoying the sites.

But I did get a couple outside, as we were leaving. Here's one of the local wildlife... they really need to train them to stay off the roof :P


Who knew there were oceans in Ohio?


And watch out Erik... Donna's got a new man in her life!


On the way home we swung by Jungle Jim's International Market, which is a real shopping experience!  If you're ever in the Cincinnati area you've got to check it out.  The reason I go there is because of their huge selection of food you just can't find anywhere else.  They have sections for many different countries - and I'm not talking about one corner of a little shelf but entire rooms dedicated to different international cuisines!  They also do cooking classes and demonstrations, and like Traders' World have native wildlife roaming around the store and parking lot :)  

We went there specifically to get some Elk burgers, and I got a package for me and one for Donna.  We also spotted some antelope, wild boar and squab which are on the list for next month's safari shopping trip.  I love trying new things!

I made it home around 6ish, took a nap and then went out to do a Full Moon Ceremony.  The moon was so beautiful last night!  I tried to get a picture but with my little point and shoot camera it was a major fail.  Good thing my friend Fifth Density knows how to take a great picture.



In case you're wondering about the Full Moon Ceremony, it can be as simple or elaborate as you want.  Knowing the full moon was in Scorpio which made it about shedding light and seeing the truth of situations, I asked for understanding about some things that have been on my mind.  I also resolved to use the power of the full moon to help me carry forward in the decision I've made about business.  Then I affirmed the intentions I'd set last month.  One for spiritual growth and expansion, one for people connections and the third for business and money.  I'm really excited about moving forward and can't wait to experience all the adventures I'm sure the upcoming year will bring!

And that was that... another fun day and great way to celebrate my birthday :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Micro World


Here's another picture from my trip Friday.  This shelf jutted out about a foot from the rock-wall and went about 4 feet across.  What struck me is that it looked like the perfect setting for a village of tiny, hobbit-like creatures.  Everything seemed perfect on a micro level, and as I got closer I half expected to see little huts and witness their tiny inhabitants milling around, perhaps waving at us :)

The picture doesn't capture it as well as my imagine did, but it sure is fun to contemplate micro-worlds filled with magical, mythical creatures.

Spending a nice day in nature - Carter Caves Kentucky

This is my birthday weekend and I've been spending it doing all sorts of fun things!  Thursday I went to lunch with my sister, and yesterday a friend and I drove way out through the hills of Kentucky to hike the trails of Carter Caves State Park.  Since moving to the city a couple years ago things like nature trails and bubbling creeks haven't been that convenient so I was happy to get away for a day.

As I took pictures I realized it's just not possible to capture the experience in a still image.  Even video doesn't do it.  You have to be there - drinking in the sights and sounds and absorbing the atmosphere.  That's a big reason it's so important to me to start traveling soon.  There's to much I want to experience and a post card or TV documentary just can't replace being there.

As we entered the park we were greeted by this really cool rock formation.  It almost looked like it had been placed there on purpose to welcome us.


This rock formation is some 15 feet tall and what's really interesting is there's a tree growing right out of the top of it.  You can see the bottom of the tree at the top of the picture above, and if you go around to the back you get a really good view of the roots.


Isn't it amazing what nature does to adapt?  The trunk of the tree is probably 18" or so in diameter and the tree itself is at least 30 feet tall.  Probably more but that's my guess. Way cool!

After stopping at welcome center we walked the trail to the natural bridge, admiring the fauna along the way.  There's something about the GREEN of spring that's so vibrant!  I feel so alive when surrounded by all this color and beauty!


Here's a rock formation we saw along the trail...


I see a face in the lower section... do you?  And here's the tunnel leading under the natural bridge.


Not sure why my camera tinted it all green.  It didn't look green at all to my eyes.  The hike was very nice, and afterward we stopped at the creek to meditate and reflect.  Since it's my birthday I'm reflecting on how the last year went and thinking ahead to what I want for next year.  I have the big picture and now it's time to get down to the details.  All in all I spent about an hour sitting by the creek contemplating and allowing myself to melt into oneness with nature.  Very peaceful and enlightening too.  Can't wait to do a lot more of that in the near future!

Then we decided to tour one of the caves.  Not all of the caves are open right now due to an epidemic of White-Nose Syndrome, a fungus which is killing bats.  Bats are one of my favorite animals so I'm sad that so many are dying from this very nasty syndrome.

I didn't get a lot of good cave pictures but here are a couple.  This formation is called "cave jellyfish," which seems fitting.


Then there was this (rather blurry) picture of a hole in the ceiling of the cave.  Nothing special really except the shadows and rocks make it look like there's a ghoul smiling at us.  How cool is that!


As we were getting ready to leave someone noticed a "strange spider" hanging from a rusty metal gate latch.  Upon closer investigation we realized it was either new species all-together with 16 legs or, more likely, one spider eating another.  The white spider on the bottom was alive, though barely and the one on top was, we think, making a meal of it.   There ya go National Geographic.



After we were done we headed home, and got back into Cincinnati around 9pm.  Once again my heart felt heavy as we hit the I275 belt.  I can't wait for the day when I can spend an afternoon at a beautiful park like this, then hunker down for the night and continue exploring America the next morning.  Soon.... very soon :)


Thursday, May 3, 2012

How to get a job

This is more directed at the teenagers and young adults out there, some of whom seem to be at a loss as to how to get a job.  So real quick, here are some pointers:

  1. Apply lots of places - One mistake newcomers to the workforce make is that they put in one application then wait. Not the way to do things.  Put in MANY applications to all different places.  The wider you cast your net the more fish you will catch.
  2. Be proactive - Don't wait for them to call you because they probably won't.  Instead call them back a few days after you've applied (a week at the latest).  When you call back confirm that they have your application then ask them what day and time is good for an interview.  This is called "closing the sale" and what you are doing is assuming you'll get the interview and simply scheduling a time.  Sure some people will say no but you'll get a lot more interviews this way.
  3. Show up dressed appropriately - So many people mess this up.  For most jobs you don't have to wear formal attire but make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free, wear a belt, tuck your shirt in (which should not be a t-shirt by the way), stay away from jeans, don't wear something you'd wear to the beach, and so on.  Dressing this way shows your prospective employer than you respect them and understand proper work attire and it also helps you look like a responsible, competent person.
  4. At the end of the interview ask when a good time is to follow up - If they say they'll call you ask when you can expect a call and if they don't call back then you call them a day after they were supposed to call.  This shows you're professional, and sets the expectation that you be treated professionally by them.  It also keeps you in their mind which ups your chances of getting the job.
  5. Expect your first couple interviews to be a flop - If you've never interviewed before then you're going to make some mistakes.  That's ok.  See each interview as practice for the one that's going to land you the job.  Think about what you could have done better then use what you've learned the next time.  Hint - it helps to practice with a friend a few times so you can come across smoothly and professionally.
  6. Follow up with a thank you e-mail and/or phone call - This is something few people do, especially for entry level and summer jobs.  Taking the time thank the person who interviewed you is a smart business move and may be one of the factors that causes them to offer you the job.
  7. Go in with the attitude that you are interviewing them as well - Yes they are deciding if they want to hire you but you are also deciding if this is the type of environment you want to work in. By going in with this attitude you are sending out a vibe that says you're confident that you can do a good job for them.  This is a subtle thing but it does make a difference.  People want to hire people they can count on and with the attitude that you are evaluating them as well, you exude that confidence.  Plus on a practical level there will be jobs you decide you don't want after all, and it's ok to politely say no thank you.
  8. Remember this job probably won't be your last - Use it as a training ground to learn and practice skills you can take with you to the next place.  Even if you consider this job a "grunt job" there are still practical skills, proper attitude, work ethics, and people skills to learn.  The most boring job can be more exciting if you approach it as an "education you get paid for."  This is the attitude of entrepreneurs and people who are successful in life.
  9. Don't give up - Once you decide to get a job, your job IS to get a job.  So don't quit.  Expect to be rejected a few times and realize that's just part of the game.  Keep going and you'll land that new job quicker than you think.
Did I miss anything?  Feel free to add more tips in the comments below...

Serendipity

I just love it when serendipity rules the day and life just flows, sometimes even despite me messing things up.

Today I decided to renew my license plates, then meet my sister for lunch before heading to an afternoon appointment.

The plan was to be out the door by 11:15 so I could swing by the bank for license-plate cash and get to the BMV early enough to avoid the noon rush.

So I didn't make it out the door until 11:25 and then without thinking I turned left to head to the highway instead of right toward the bank.  I didn't realize my error until I was a couple exits up and by then it was too late to turn around.  Not remembering if there was a bank near the BMV or not, I opted for the safe choice and headed toward the one that was a bit out of the way but that I was certain was there.  Hit the drive-thru ATM at about 11:40 and then headed toward the BMV.  At this point I figured my plans were nixed as I'd never be able to get through the line and still make the rest of the way across town by 12:30 for lunch.  So I decided to peek in the door and if the line was too long I'd have to come back after lunch.  Ugh!  That would mean driving 30 minutes north, then south then back north again and possibly being late for the afternoon appointment.

So at 11:52 I pull in to the BMV parking lot and I'm encouraged to find it fairly empty.  Feeling a bit more hopeful, I walk up to the door and open it to peek around the corner to check out the line.  Then I hear the most wonderful words in the world.... "Can I help you?"  Yes! She was talking to me!  There was absolutely no one in line and within 5 minutes I was out the door and on my way. How cool is that!

So next thing, I have about 35 minutes to get to the next stop which is about 20 minutes away.  The highway is perfectly clear and I reach the exit so quickly I can't believe it.  Then as I'm driving up the road I realize that now instead of late I'm going to be way early.  So I think "wouldn't it be nice to get there just on time" and seemingly on cue the stoplight ahead turns yellow then red.  Then I hit a construction zone (that I didn't know was there) and then more red lights and by the time I pulled into the parking lot it was 12:27.  Perfect :)

After lunch I went to Wal-Mart to find a pair of shoes.  Many years ago I found a certain shoe I like there and every couple years as I wear them out I go back for another pair.  But they're hard to find so sometimes it takes several stops to get them.  Anyway, I walk in and sure enough, one pair in my size is sitting right on the shelf. So I snag it, then head over to the women's section and snag the one pair of capris in my size.  Walk toward the register and bam.....another one opens up just as I get there.  Then I'm out the door and head over to my afternoon appointment, arriving just in time.

All in all a pretty serendipitous afternoon huh?  Now lets get the rest of life to flow so easily....

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hair

With the weather getting warmer it's time to break out the summer clothes which means my legs are going to show.

Which brings up a subject that is a real annoyance for many women.... hair!

If I could change one thing about my body it would be my hair.  I hate how the hair on my head won't listen to my pleas to get thicker and longer.  I hate that without inordinate amounts of product and primping it won't de-frizz and fall nicely into the nice, shiny waves of my youth.

And despite my asking over and over again, the hair on my legs and underarms won't fall out and never grow back.  Why is that?  Is it such a hard thing to ask?

As I broke out the razor this morning I asked the Universe, once again for a little assistance.  "Look at these nice, smooth legs I said... now keep them this way.  Pretty please :)"

Let's see if it complies!