Slow down…

For five months our house was on the market. We probably picked a bad time, putting it on right before all of the holidays: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s, but it’s what we did. Finally, the thing we have waited for has happened.  We have an offer on our house, the inspection is tomorrow, and if we reach an agreement they want the house on May 2. Just five weeks from now.

A dear friend has been joking for months, “Hey, I love ya buddy, but you’re the only one of my friends I’d like to see become homeless!” He meant it as a wish for our house to sell, of course. Now, it feels as if we could become homeless;
the apartment we want isn’t available on the date we need to move.  We could always down-grade, of course. Or we could upgrade to a bigger and pricier unit. Or I could dig into my endless reserves of airy-fairy optimism and just…trust.

roadrunner keysAs I said last week, I haven’t ended up like Wile E. Coyote yet, so why would it happen now? I have always been able to create just exactly what I wanted/needed every other time in my life. And although there have been some sketchy moments (that’s a whole ‘nother post!) they always lead to something even better than I had imagined.

Call it God, Karma,  the Universe, call it “the field of infinite possibility”…I know from experience that when I ask for help, and demonstrate gratitude ahead of time trusting it will show up (and do my part, of course) it does.

I had a decadent lunch with my 90-year-old friend today. A statuesque, vivacious woman, she still works as a motivational public speaker and coach. Yes, at 90! She’s a font of wisdom, experience, and inspiration. When I told her how I was feeling, she reminded me that we often let fear get the best of us. We worry, and in doing so we sell ourselves short, down-grading our desires. Life is too short to play small, she said. Expect BIG!

So, Universe, you’re on notice! I expect everything to work out perfectly. In all of the “hurry-up” we will sell the furniture we need to sell, we will find new homes for the beautiful items we no longer need, and the right apartment will become available to us.

Beep! Beep!

XO Donna

You gotta have heart

It seems as if I were much more courageous when I was younger (or maybe that’s the invincibility that comes with youth) and now that I really don’t have anything to lose and nothing to prove, here comes fear.  How odd. It has probably been there all along, buried beneath the hustle and bustle of living my life, raising a child, working full-time. I always wanted to write, and always stopped myself, until now.  What have you always wanted to do, and still haven’t yet?  beachsand

This morning I gave some advice to an artist who is struggling with feeling “like an impostor/fraud.”  (Women tend to do this to themselves, I’ve often wondered if men do, too?)  She has a good career, but wants to begin a new one, and is just paralyzed with fear over going from a “job” to an artistic career. She thinks all of the respect she’s received from her peers is because they don’t “really know her,” and she feels like she’s bottoming out.

I told her what I try to remember when I have ‘scared the snot out of myself” –

  • There is nowhere to go but up.
  • It’s fear…not reality.
  • Breathe out and keep moving forward, one step at a time.
  • This too shall pass

Like the Cowardly Lion, we just need courage to overcome our fear.  And just like him, it’s in all of us all along!

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”   Marianne Williamson

There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”   John Lennon

Go be fearless…it’s sexy!


Tabula rasa

While looking for something else, I found some photos I took almost three years ago that are a reminder of my journey to who I am today. That winter, I was having a hard time. Nothing – not my job, my relationship, or my health – was working, and I just couldn’t  “push the river”  any more. I was completely out of energy, and ideas…and the river was steadfast, unyeilding.  highway

I called a dear friend, crying, and told her what was going on…vaguely, loosely, not wanting to really say the words. I’m sure she read between the lines, she’s very wise that way. A few days later, I was at the airport nearest her home, where she hugged me, looked me in the eyes, and summing up the situation, took me to a cozy restaurant for lunch.

Afterwards, we drove out of the city and through the desert to her home in the hills. I remember now that another friend of hers joined us that night for dinner. We had wine and home-made pizzas as we watched “Precious.”  When I awoke the next morning, it had snowed, and the  leaden grey sky warned of more to come. Steeple in SnowThe whiteness everywhere seemed to clear my head by uncluttering my visual field. It made everything fresh. Tabula rasa.

One of the things I enjoy about being older, is that you learn how to be present for friends. You don’t just talk in order to fill the space and try to fix everything. You let their answers come. You hold the space for them. You don’t just tell them, “everything is going to be alright,” because you know by now that you don’t know that to be the case.  Instead, you tell your friend that they will be alright…because you do know that to be the case. No matter what happens, they will get through it. You’ve got their back.

My friend held the space for me, she fed me well, and beautifully…her gift to meGrapefruit while I sorted through everything. We bundled up, and walked and talked in the arroyos as much as the weather allowed.  She listened, and kept listening, as I realized that it was easy for me to walk away, and call it change. The time had finally come for me to stay put…and change myself. The hardest thing of all to do. I needed to make a decision to go toward something, rather than away from everything.  And I had to stop saying, “that I had faith that the right thing would show up,”  in order to compensate for my lack of plan, lack of direction, lack of desire.

I came back from our visit in the desert, honored to have been received as a valued friend-in-need. I came back having made a decision, and had set a goal and a timeline for accomplishing it. The wide-open space of the desert imparted onto me it’s quite strength, and a resolve that I’d felt only infrequently. A strength that allowed me to face my fear. A strength that my friend modeled for me while I was with her.  Maybe that’s why she loves living out there…I can completely understand that!  The changes I wanted to create have happened, are happening even now. They have been harder than I imagined, but they’ve also been even more rewarding than I could have imagined!