Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sacred Life Sunday: Hidden Writing in Wreck This Journal

I just noticed that there have been 600 posts at the happyluau. That seems like quite a few, but my first post was 2 1/2 years ago...

Everything I post here is written with you, my readers, in mind. Everything I write in my journal is written for myself, but always with the thought in the back of my mind that someone someday could find it. Since starting Wreck This Journal, I've discovered something fascinating---that there is so much more I want to write, and I can write it on WTJ pages that are hidden from everyone. Like this:

I have been very quiet in the WTJ group lately, not posting in a few weeks, mainly because these pages with hidden writing are not very exciting on the surface, especially when compared to the many creative things all of you are doing. My very favorite post so far was Suzie's baking her journal in a cake! Compared to amazing things like this, a compulsion to write all over the printed pages in WTJ with hidden writing didn't seem that special or blogworthy. Then I listened to Jamie's video about comparisons and being comfortable with where we were in our process. I realized that this writing is significant to me, so that it's exactly what I should be doing right now.

Thus I'm continuing to write, write, write many things on those pages. No one can go back and read them, even me. It's very freeing, and what is coming out is surprising. I censor myself far too much in my journal; I do think that this process is helping me to be freer in what I write. And to admit things to myself that I have been resisting and holding back about.

I'm writing this on Sacred Sunday because I think that everyone can benefit from writing in this way. If you don't have a WTJ, just write on some newpaper or discarded artwork or in a book or anything really...something that noone will be able to read. And I think that like me, you may be surprised at what comes out.

Sacred Sunday is for me a day of rest and contemplation, and a perfect time to do this sort of writing. I hope that you may find it so as well.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Top of the Hilton

I've come to Seattle for a convention and am sitting up at the "top of the Hilton" typing this into my laptop. Someone just answered the phone here "top of the Hilton", which is just as spiffy as you'd imagine. I am enjoying becoming more and more location independent as I learn to use my Mac. This is the first time I've traveled with a laptop. It's just great.

I haven't gone to the convention yet. LoveHubbie is already there. I am feeling that hermit-like feeling I haven't felt in a long time. Like all I want to do is to be cloistered off alone with my art and my writing and no contact with the outside world for a few weeks. It is such a strong feeling. More than a craving--a feeling of desperation that I have to constantly fight.

I've been struggling with it for a few weeks, but it keeps building in intensity. 

My timing is so off. 

This is an important convention both for LoveHubbie and myself. Still, if I were alone, I'd just leave. Flee the city, go home, cancel everything and have a retreat. Forget the lost money, the missed workshops, the neglected relationships and never have a second thought about any of it. As it is, I'm choosing to stay so that LoveHubbie can feel supported and will stay as well. 

Hiding out in the hotel seems the best compromise at this point. Peppered with solitary walks, a visit to an art store, and maybe even a meal alone at Fresh Bistro, I'm hoping. If the weather holds, I'd really enjoy going to a local park. Alone. Revel in the peace. The smiles on people's faces. Little dogs. The cool air and overcast sky. Puget Sound. Vivid colors. Seagulls.

This isn't the first time this type of thing has happened. I keep hoping that someday I'll accept my reclusive nature and not put myself in situations that involve regular social interaction. Maybe that's the lesson I need to get today. As much as I want to be different, as much as I enjoy people, when I force myself to live a life of normal and natural social interactions, I end up folding and retreating. When I continue to strive and resolutely will myself through (an option I no longer take), I get sick. It's something I really don't want to accept. But this is a good time to work on accepting it, since fighting it and forcing myself to fit in just doesn't work.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Everything Will Be Alright

This picture is from Amanda at kind over matter, was originally uploaded by thejoysofjess and beautifully says my thoughts and wishes and prayers for you on this Wellness Wednesday!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sacred Sunday: Right Work

Today I wanted to share my news with you. As many of you may have already guessed, it's related to my job.

I've previously written about the difficulties I had working in an office setting here, and a bit here as well. A few more things happened at the office. One was that I was doing selling, which I dislike. When I finally would have an actual patient to work with, I would try to convince her to buy my products. This involved a lot of persuasion and overcoming objections and such.

I can do this, but I do not enjoy it.

I can talk people into things, even things that are very good for them (in my opinion), but it seems to me to be a backwards way of doing relationship marketing. I wrote about developing relationships with the patients, and allowing the business activities to follow where indicated, but in that office setting only just so much of that could take place. Lately I'd been doing groups of about five women at a time, and with that many people, relationships take a bit longer to form. I was just doing a lot of selling.

The nature of my business is so very different. The products I promote are for people who value their health, and who are interested in aging in a certain way---consciously, as healthfully as possible, using as many natural ways as possible. If you're not there---if you're not interested in your health, if you don't particularly care how you age, and you don't want to invest any money in your health---then you're not a candidate for these products, really. If you want the allopathic medical system and health insurance to be your sole method of taking care of yourself, then good for you---but you won't want to buy my products. And that's fine with me! Not everyone is interested in health and nutrition. Many people want to let their physicians prescribe drugs for their chronic health conditions, which they see as inevitable and which they feel powerless to affect. I would rather accept these belief systems, which are very strong, and look for people who are already wellness-oriented and who are looking for solutions. I don't want to change people's belief systems or interfere with their readiness for anything on the particular path that they are on.

This makes traditional selling problematic. It violates some of my basic values, which are just accepting people where they are, and what they want for their lives. Rather than sell, I'd like to simply sort. Find the folks who are looking for what I have. No arm twisting involved. No making them wrong for not being into wellness right now. No telling them what they need. It just feels right to me.

So, bit by bit, I backed out of the job I had. This past week I only went in for group patient visits, and then decided even just that wasn't working for me. I was also making pitiful money, not even enough to cover my costs. I felt as though I was letting my physician friend down, but I knew it was the right thing for me to do. So I quit on Friday.

I love relationship marketing and I really love my products, but I want to be working in a way that is congruent with my values. I also want to balance my work with writing, art, friendships, and other self-care activities---these things make me feel whole---and picking just work alone while excluding the rest made me feel like someone I didn't know. Prioritizing these values and insisting on honoring them was a "Be Brave" type activity for me because I knew that backing out of this opportunity would be hard on various levels. I could be tempted (and was at first) to view it as "failure". Instead I choose to view it as success, because I learned so much about what integrity is for me in this context, and how to stand up for it. Some people did not understand, and I think never will, but that's okay with me.

So that's why I registered for Suzi Blu's class, too, and Wreck This Journal. And that's why I kept up on reading your blogs and blogging here. Even though I wore myself out. I couldn't, just couldn't---COULDN'T---not do these things. I felt like I was losing myself and becoming a saleswoman I didn't know or want to be. There is nothing at all wrong with being a saleswoman. It's just that I am not her.

So, that's my big news. I feel like I got my life back (and am incredibly grateful for it), and now want to revision what my business will be like in this new context. It is scary good. I have lots of disapproval from some important people in my life. And I feel very happy. Like myself. Like I believe in myself, too.

~Photos by LoveHubbie Mark

Biggest Heart Award---Thank You!

Thank you, Kelly Kikipotamus the Hobo, for sharing this blog award with me. Please read Kelly's post, in which she describes blogs of many people in our community with big hearts and names ways that they have contributed. I am greatly honored to be in this company. I especially treasure that Kelly gave me the award "for her commitment to love and compassion toward herself and her partner". This means a great deal. For those of you who know me well, you know just how much. Thank you, Kelly. I feel acknowledged, appreciated, and loved.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six Things That Make Me Happy Today

I was delighted to receive the One Lovely Blog Award from Lori-Lyn this morning! So six things that are making me happy right now are:

1. Having a really long Quiet Time today, reading, thinking, contemplating, all in my pj's well into the afternoon. This is real luxury.

2. The sun shining and no responsibilities today.

3. A spontaneous invitation from our neighbors to have dinner with them around their firepit. This will involve barbecuing and wild salmon and great conversation. We will bring fresh greens harvested from our garden on the way over.

4. Good rest and long sleep last night.

5. Anticipating another quiet day tomorrow.

6. Kelly Kikipotamus the Hobo's Grace in Small Things lists that help me to observe and see the impact of the smallest things, which somehow are the most important.

And to pay it forward, 6 blogs that I'm finding especially lovely right now are:

Kikipotomus the Hobo

Hamquin's Hide-Not

Fumbling for Words

The Painted House and rocks, paper, scissors

Welcome to My Universe

Queen of Arts

And a special category for my friend Chani's lovely blog: Finding My Way Home

I am bestowing the One Lovely Blog Award upon each of you! And thank you so much, Lori-Lyn!

Friday, June 12, 2009

WTJ Week 2 Reflections

This week I spent some time reading other WTJ blogs and spent some time reflecting on the WTJ journey.

Jamie Ridler describes in a video aspects of Wreck this Journal this week that really resonate with me. She starts out her video biting off a piece of the journal---really! On the surface, it sounds like it's about destruction. It is, but it's also about so much more, things that are much more important. Things totally unrelated to destruction come up as a part of this project, and I love that---I'm not into destruction at all!

Jamie discusses crossing boundaries and where we hold ourselves back in life. What would happen if we do things that aren't expected, things that are outside of the box? In WTJ we are stretched as we play with boundaries, she says.

Lori-Lyn writes about how she deals with perfectionism in even trying to wreck her journal "perfectly" and how her process might have to happen in layers. Sometimes I think we can let go of certain things only in baby steps, building confidence as we go.

Sherri wrote lots about things she did, but what got me thinking was how bleed-throughs are good in WTJ. I thought about how I always try to avoid imperfection (like Lori-Lyn) and feel bad about it afterwards---so unnecessary! Bleed-throughs, weeds, dents and dings in the car, divots in my hardwood floor---why are they SO BAD? It's so all about perspective, isn't it. This was one little part of her post, but it had a big impact on me.

Mel inspired me to make an ink spot---another one of those things to be avoided, but now embraced and enjoyed.

Victoria wrote about self-acceptance for where she is on the project. Boy, did that hit home! I always try to be the best at whatever I do. In this case, it's just so silly. Why do I have to have the best WTJ video? Or the best WTJ journal? Do the most WTJ exercises? Post before anyone else? Get the most comments? I had to laugh at myself. I was inspired by Victoria just to be myself.

There is no "behind"! There is just where we are.

Gemma wants to do the wrecking gently and make it art, which she does beautifully. Here's to wrecking however we want to, and making it our own, our own authentic wrecking.

Susan reminded me that I want to send my journal off, so I'd better do it while it's still sendable. I love her idea of using UTEE too...I may do that myself!

Gracegal wrote about her journal being a companion---that's just how I felt! Moreso than my purse or glasses, because those are fixed objects, not organic, growing things that I create...

This entire process reminds me of the "Be Brave" process we all did with Jessie in the past. So much of what we do in WTJ symbolizes deeper things. At least that's how I'm taking this process! I was inspired by all of your blogs so much...keep on learning, creating, growing, and wrecking!

Here is my favorite WTJ activity for the week (a 14 second video):

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Happy King Kamehameha Day!

Today is King Kamehameha Day in Hawaii, and we are celebrating here at the happyluau. Rosa Say of the blog "Talking Story with Say Leadership Coaching" wrote a post in honor of the day called, "Kamehameha; Law, Legend and Leadership". It explains the Law of the Splintered Paddle. King Kamehameha was a great Hawaiian king who united all of the islands, and there are many, many stories about him.

Happy King Kamehameha Day to everyone in Hawaii and those of us who have Hawaii in our hearts but live elsewhere!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Receiving Fully

This post was inspired by Elena, who created Wellness Wednesday, and who blogged about this very topic today. Her post also was titled "Receiving Fully". This is such a provocative topic, and her post explores it using examples from her time at a spot dear to my heart---the Maui upcountry.

How hard is it to receive---fully? I'm not sure what this even means in my life, because whenever I receive, I immediately feel as though I now owe the giver and want to pay them back. I know that they do not feel this way, and that it's just me. Another thing I try to do that is related is to try to then earn gifts after they are given. Even more often, I try to sabotage what I have been given because of a feeling of undeservedness that is irrational, but there nevertheless. I want to learn to relax into what God, friends, family, the Universe provides for me and accept, receive, relax---fully.

I look forward to many opportunities to learn do this.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Taking an Art Class

Visit Suzi Blu's Les Petit Academy

I'm excited to be creating this summer with Suzi Blu at her Les Petit Academy. If you're participating, let me know.

PS. I will share my news soon :) Still processing everything.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sacred Sunday: More Gratitude

This Sacred Sunday I took inspiration from two friends: Rick, who challenges us to make a blessings list, and Chani, who shares her journey from a desperate situation to true happiness. I made my own blessings list, which I share below.

This is more important for me to blog about today, so I also have to apologize for waiting a little longer to share my news with you :) It's good for me to process it for a while.

So here, in honor of Sacred Sunday, is my gratitude list (in no particular order):

1 - Home: My peaceful, quiet home in the woods.

2 - Health: My healthy body, mind, and spirit that have survived so many challenges.

3 - Financial Security: Not having to work only for money but being free to work at what I like (a gift from LoveHubbie, the gift of financial security).

4 - LoveHubbie.

5 - Freedom: Living in a country where I am free to choose, free to express myself, to choose my own religion. Free with laws that protect me, in a land of abundance.

6 - Hawaii: Being able to vacation in a place I truly love.

7 - Internet and Technology: Unites and connects me with friends and family-of-choice, enables me to have a like-minded community.

8 - God, the Universe: Who I am just beginning to come to know as good and kind. Who keeps me safe, even in difficult and painful situations. Who lives in each person. A spiritual path that is fulfilling and expansive.

9 - Protection: I feel protected from so many things that could harm me. I know that there are many threats as life is fragile and an adventure, but I still feel as though whatever difficult things will happen to me, I will still be "safe"---as in being taken care of by God, and cared for even in death---not necessarily protected from "bad things".

10 - Opportunities: I feel that life's choices are limitless, that much of what happens I create, and that the opportunities are endless.

Friday, June 5, 2009

WrecK This JournaL BegiNs

The news I promised is hinted in in this video, but it will be a bit longer until I post it, so sorry. In the meantime, enjoy this 3:12 video for the Wreck This Journal launch:

Monday, June 1, 2009

What the World Eats

Although this has made the rounds on the Internet, some of you may not have seen it, and it's worth checking out. It illustrates what a family spends on food each week in each of various countries, showing a picture of the family and a picture of the actual food they eat. Note the amount of processed food each family eats, especially the family from the United States!