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I’ve festival these sweet buns on and then back off again, sang hallelujah beneath a waterfall with other exhausted dancers and gave back our tears to the river, you know the tears, the ones that come when you are so IN that the only response left is to become the river. In my life of mucho shared play and revelry, I’ve also fallen apart, had my tent stolen, had my massive tent destroyed by storm, lost kids, lost myself, and found my deeper self each time. I’ve learned a few things.  This was written, originally, for those who are coming to the upcoming Yescapades, but I decided to share it with you cuz, it tis the season of revelry.

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1. Establish your Fort/ode to You love nest/nook/alignment pod
When we play deeply and in new and expansive ways, we get tired, we get off, stuff comes up.  Creating a space for to take good care of you allows you to stay with the playful momentum and to be awake and renewed and in your groove when the next Yes comes.  When we don’t get what we need, we shut down.  Creating a little nook as homage to your brightest spark signals a deeper ignition.
So, first things first, you’ll set up a tent or build a fort for you.  We have fort experts who are here to hang sheets, ribbons, and play open this tender little space with you.
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our resident fort building experts. Mackerel, in the middle, is unusually overdressed

It’s a simple thing, really, sheets over a tree limb and a pillow can do.  The key bit is that it’s there when you need to recharge, or to be alone.  Often festivals and shared play experiences wear people down because they don’t have a zone to just come to center.

Next, stock your alignment pod with the tools and things that help you come to center. A temporary alter to your joy?  A project that’s been hailing you?  Mine has a simple mat and sheet to sleep on, a great pen and something I feel excited to write on, a candle and a sparking thing.  Some music making thing.  And beauty.  A flower, a wispy, light catching thing.
Now, leave it.  It’s there for just you.  There if you want to party with yourself or to invite someone in for tea, poetry or to watch the stars from your fort.
2. Don’t. Over. Think. It.
If you feel a buzz, come. The end.
We lose trust with our core selves when we second guess our intuitive urges.  We rebuild that essential relationship when we begin to listen without our questioning or judging.
3. Scan your range of emotions about the Yescapades
What’s your mix?
This composite, whatever is, is what you’ll experience.  Got a hodgepodge of wariness, curiosity, excitement and worry?  That’s the kind of cake that’ll come out of the oven.
If you want a different, tastier, less confused cake, make a better recipe.  I like to lean in the direction of the things that are bright for me. Worry is an old, unfun habit and when I lean towards my genuine thrill, worry loses traction, easily, like a leaf falling off a tire as it dries.
Try doing a rampage of what you’re excited about for this experience and really knuckle into the bright bits, looking for the sweet meats and expanding on them.  Doing so will bring you back into range of your original bright intuitive urge to say yes.  Rampages usually start slow and build momentum. If you’re not familiar with that momentum, enjoy playing around with the sheer thrill of building positive momentum.
You can also do a grid on how you want to feel during.  Put on some captivating toons and then type into the ‘vision cloud’ emotional words that truly evoke.  Feel each one, and let the next word take you deeper into how you want to feel. Journey with the words. Feel free to repeat. It’s about the tone you’re evoking, not about originality or word accuracy.  Have fun with tone finding and activating.
This is perhaps the most important step because this tiny bit of ‘work’ sets you on an entirely new path.
4.  Pack intuitively.
Like in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium where the bouncy balls kept jumping back into the customer’s bag. They wanted to adventure with that fella!  What wants to come with you to the Yescapades?  is there a journal, a scrapbook, painting, project, tinker toy sculpture that you’ve been longing to play more deeply with?  Does it want to come along? Ask!  And then pack accordingly.
Deep play is DEEPLY inpsiring and you’re going to have a lot of insight and creative inspiration flowing through you. You may want to bring your nets to catch those butterflies!
We love what happens to a ‘normal’ day when you approach it from the coccoon of some unexpected dressing, a costume, or a sparking or new way of dressing.  The unexpected element adds both an element of playful unknown to each interaction, and an invitation for the world to play with you back.
Also! playing with dressing differently can be a journey of discovery into the flavors of you. This is a perfect opportunity to explore the infinity of flavors that you are and are forever becoming.
5. Trust that the yes will deepen.
That urge to say yes to this retreat will soon lead you to an even deeper and sweeter yes.  And as you continue to play with, in and through it, you’ll discover the yes beyond all other yesses (spoiler: You are that Yes.)
Get ready to meet, and to play deliciously, with that Yes.
belize cave

 

good bye world

Phase One

Day 0 

I am out walking, and then, rather quickly, I am out crawling, because of all the sheep fall off of em’ steep mountains here in the Blue Ridge.  Mid-crawl, I hear a voice as clearly as I hear my own panting and swearing, and it says “Get off facebook”

Which is not even relevant to mountains. And I am not even in the habit of hearing voices.  Especially concerning social media.  So I just kind of ignore it, which, I hear is a fairly common initial approach upon the Hearing of Voices.  I proceed to think about the farmer boys who had just driven by and paused to applaud my little dance break I’d been having.  I liked the jib of the story and all the selfies I’d taken to accompany it.  And then it came again.  Clearer this time. Get. OFF. Facebook.

So, this is actually happening.  I feel completely not into it.  I wonder if I am having a mystical experience.  Might be God. Might be a farmer. I’m not sure which is which, but I’m curious. I feel a buzz. Most of it is discomfort, but there’s something else beneath it, so I decide to do it.

Then it’s time for the fun part. The crank up the music and run all the way down the mountain, fast, faster and faster than my legs even know how to go, then faster than that.

good bye world

good bye world

 

Day 1

I wake, roll over, grab my device and Very Nearly Forget.

Then I remember.  Audible sigh, set The Thing down.  I feel nervous and lonely in advance.

After coffee, I decide that I’m also excited, like I’m embarking on some unknown expedition into uncharted waters.  Bring on the sharks!

In a huzzah of inspiration, I delete the apps off all devices. I’m a witch on a rampage.  I shall clean every room! I shall sup on only sunshine and clear thinking!

Later that night I lie in bed a long while thinking about what all my friends are up to, or down to.  A lightning bug flies into the quiet dark of my room.  I am startled, then almost immediately, delighted.  Just as quickly, it flies back out.

A beat later, and two more fly in and blink into an intricate dance of spirals and infinity loops.  Then they’re gone too.

I notice that I don’t miss them when they’re gone, so much, as I miss the way they positively captivate my attention.  I like the feeling of being in the presence of Something Happening.  Soon they’re back, over and over with the loops and quietly pyrotechnic dancing, on and on until I fall asleep, mid-dance, and actively grateful for the tiny company.

 

Day 2

Only day TWO?  What the eff? Did time just stop?

I’m out of the loop. Requests are piling up and the overflow is coming thru in texts and Gmail.  Have I seen this? Why haven’t I responded? Am I okay?

Am I?  I’m quieter than I’ve been in a while and holy shit, this is day two.

Later, I get good and bored and find myself lost on a long adventure up the mountain to harvest ramps, an onion garlic thing that grows high up on mountains and only for a week. The experience is so special feeling, rare and I’m pretty sure I saw real faeries, that I have this overwhelming, nearly painful urge to share it. Is it that my own enjoyment of it weren’t enough? I’m suspicious of this urge like a film noir detective.

I also notice the urge for me to want the world to see me doing “cool” things.   Ouch. That smarts.  I begin to see the lens of social media on all my personal experiences: how can I frame this? Share it? What will the world think of this?

I spend a long evening on the roof, trying to be noticing the world, but mostly missing being noticed.  I feel like I’m lowering myself into a cave.  But when I check back in about returning to Facebook, I get a strong strong no.  That night I fall asleep sans firefly dancing.

 

Day 3  

I spend the day finishing a book.

One more time:  I FINISH the book.

I finish, uninterrupted, and with big beautiful focus and grace, the fucking book.

For the WIN!  I want to celebrate online. It’s a sweet, real urge.  I don’t, but send out psychic messages instead.  I imagine the fireflies carrying them far and wide, like little blinky messenger pigeons.

The urge to celebrate is pressurizing so I reach into new/old crevices for ways to celebrate that have meaning for me beyond broadcasting the news and receiving people’s responses about what I’ve done.  Fascinating.  I end up picking flowers from a few different streams and make myself a bouquet to set beside my bed.  It is nearly unbearably fragrant in the night.

 

Day 4

Breakthrough!  Up to this point, I’d been reading blogs and books about using social media to make mucho dollars. All the while grimacing. I had unwittingly begun to drag myself through this process, in an “Eat Your Brocolli, It’s GOOD For You Way”.  In this pause, there is room to realize I DON’T WANT TO PLAY THAT WAY.

Relief! I realize that my business model is tied up in how I am perceived on social media, which is simultaneously where I play like a firefly, crazy in love with the wind and the night and sometimes in love with butts too.

I’m not totally sure how those two want to come together, but I don’t want them to be conflicting or sneaky pants.  A rocket of desire for clarity and lightness on this sproings out of me.

I know that I don’t want to ever care or get tangled up in what other people feel about my experience, and I surely don’t want my business model on that shaky fault line.  It’s too dicey.  My jobMission in this life experience is clearly to play fully in being alive.  That means exploration, edges, getting it wrong, and finding how to play through to the other side.  I can’t scheme about how others perceive me and show up absolutely for that gorgeous central conversation flowing at the heart of my life.

I also realize that the least fun experiences on Facebook are when people are all, “look at my shiny life! pay me to have this shininess!”  I was doing that too.

Please something cleaner, please funner, please honester.  I want the business model of a firefly.

 

Day 5

The sheer number of selfies I’m not taking is dangerously low.  Also, I feel left out.  All my connections were happening in this playground that I need a break from, and so, there is a new quiet that is a little hard to take.  Without the constant interruptions and notifications, there are longer and longer spaces of time.

I really have no choice but to paint a new mermaid.

O! Gold! O! pink fat butt! Is there anything funner in the world to paint than fat mer-butts? I wager there is not.

 

Day 6

I wake up without the urge to check.

Just.

Lay there.

I scan my ceiling to see if there are any fireflies, hungover and needing help getting home.

It isn’t until later in the day that I remember I am on a break, but the feeling of being “on break” is receding.  I feel like I’m living a question about my own relationship to the outside world. What I say and why? I’m curious, and not lamenting being off. I’m listening for what lies on the other side of the question.  I can’t hear it yet or even really feel it but I trust the process of living a question. That’s nice to notice. I trust my own ability to truly journey.   I fall asleep in a sweet swath of self trust.

 

Day 7

It is … um, interesting, that something as “mundane” as the Doing of the Dishes is the thing that really brings the question to the next level.  As a part of this break, I’ve been doing a Joy Calendar every evening to scan: where in my life am I giving away my joy? I discover lingering resentment/split energy in household stuff.

I decide to line up with the Doing of  a Thing, or not do it a’tall.

So, I’m doing dishes, and the hot, soapy water is this little warm cave for my chilly hands.  And there’s this long pile of dirty, disorderly things that want renewal, and a delicious sense of ordering chaos settles in and I feel like the teeny god that I actually am, bringing order, cohesion and beauty, and playing in all of it with waterfall bridges, and bubble epiphanies and deep hot water plunges back into the original drink.

For a moment, I’m in no one’s business, but my own. No part of me leaves the scene to think of reporting this.  All of me stays. All of me is here. Someone puts on music. As if on cue, the children begin to join in the cleaning, happily, laughily, and I stay in the pleasure of the moment as long as I can, later I will surely note how my deeply  centered presence in my own joyous now, allowed for a vast harmony, but for now, for right, my mind is on break. There is too much joy for thinking.

Holy symphony in the key of life, batman.

 

Day 8

I think about starting to write about it, this, it, the break, the unraveling, the pause, quiet, thequietpauselistening.

I’m still a little smitten with that thing that happened last night. The All Clear Hallelujah Right Now thing.

Having access to that level of clear clear joy, no matter what, feels Peppermint Bronners on your Nethers exciting.

I can see that part of the thou Shalt Take a Break from Social Media thing from Farmer God was about this…  This calm.  This quiet in the head. This no one but me, this no fucks given moment of ease and all hereness.

Sweet jesus have I missed this all hereness.  I kind of want to cry when I think about how scattered I have been willing to be with my presence and my precious, life-giving attention.

 

Day  9  

I’m smack whack up against “technical details” that have deep roots, and I don’t know how to play through ‘em. The stay off Social Media until you’ve lived this question feels nonnegotiaable. But I feel negligent for missing the online play lands that I run on Facebook.  Still, I stay quiet.  Still, I send out my heart

to all my soul dumplin’ playmates. I love you!  I love you even in the quiet.  Even in the vast unprofessionalness of this. I love you still.

The haphazardly acquired habits I was developing toward social media are drifting off.  I don’t want to be constantly checking other people’s lives, I realize. I want to check my own.  I want to have enough of my own attention to be properly fascinated by my own experience.

 

Day 10

Longer swathes of time are unfolding. I feel like I have more time than ever before.  I plan ANOTHER 40 mile bike ride like it’s nothing. I am time rich.  wow. Fistfulls of time. Ballin.

I wonder if maybe it’s not that I have more time, but that I have more presence in the time I have, and so, there is more delight, more satedness, more all there-ness.  More.

I think of the book A Wrinkle in Time and imagine time folding and stretching around me like a magnificent silk scarf, pale yellow, and impossibly soft.

So much possibility unfurls that I’m losing sureness on stuff that felt hard and unmovable; in the yellow silky lack of sureness that it can’t move, it begins to.

 

Day 11

I think about returning to facebook and get a little whiny, like “do I HAVE to?”

Wow!? Where did that come from? I used to DELIGHT in playing on FB.  Romping and playing and posting and alchemizing and exploring and being uplifted and uplifting and starting new games.  Truly fun for me. So what’s this?

Then I realize that, running right alongside all that joy, was a kind of guilt, like “I SHOULD be living my real life,” or, “I’m using all my focused time to facebook and that Wonderful Project is going to be shoved off to another day, undone.”  So, the playing I was doing on facebook wasn’t pure.  Aha.

MY FIRST CLUE!  I need to clean up my social media playground, or, my Urge to Say and Share Playground.  Ahhh… I know how to clean up a playground.  I’m a playground cleanin’ pro, yo.

 

Day 12

It’s still not time to leave cave, but it’s not all dark anymore either. Now that I’m thinking about my social media outlets, or the Urge to Speak Of The Experience of Being Alive, as a playground, the pathways are beginning to blink in like fireflies on a moonless summer night.

I can clear up the tangle. Sure, there’s a part of me that wants to be the Bestist, the Winningest, but I’m not interested in that conversation. I’m really interested in developing a clear, ringing relationship with my own voice, and the harmonies that come in when the music I emit is clear.  I’m ready to transition into the next phase of the question.

leaving the cave...

leaving the cave…

Phase Two … coming soon!

~~~~

I’m truly interested in your dance with That Urge to Share, and ways in which you’ve found sweetness in the dance between the creative, playful life, and our interconnectedness.  Please comment below or share and cobloom the conversation with me!

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heyo bFullSizeRender-4eauties!

This is a shout out from the road, or, more accurately, The Emerald Coast. It really is emerald.  And manatees really are as fun to swim with as I thought they might be. Wow.

The Travel by Yes mission, now in it’s 11th month, is bringing us deeper than ever into some new fascinating insights about how Flow State & playfulness want to samba with each other and make life easier and way way way more fun and flowy. It’s thrilling. We’re joy guinnea pigs most days.

Which means this guinnea pig has had to learn how to do a lot more Buoying. those little, on purpose play moments that keep the momentum of joy rolling and easy to access.  Sometimes I slip into them on accident.  They help me not get mired or slip under the Blanket of Seriousness and Forgetting.

And that’s where a dare comes in …

Recently, one of my teammates issued a dare to the world, to try your hand at a 100 Gratitude list, where you get yourself into a kind of appreciative frenzy. It takes some finagling to really pull this off, and in order to do it right, you have to keep tuning in.

At the point with others jump off the ship, you steer harder into the turn, find a deeper joy, a stronger whiff of glee.  When she gave the dare, I shied away from it. I have done these. Old hat.  It’s for others.

The next day, I found myself alone at a park, in a state I’ve never been, tired and a bit sick. Everyone was playing and I was half-heartedly twiddling with a piece of sidewalk chalk, bored, tuned out. And then I remembered the dare.

And I remembered the bigger bit about JOY and how freaking important it is.  And so, I began.

It was so much harder than I thought.  Writing that much with sidewalk chalk over rough terrain is surprisingly arduous.  After I began, I leaned into it, which means, I actively marshalled my focus into the task at hand, what is good in my life? What makes my heart glad?  How can I steer into the fun of this dare?  Where is the center of my joy?

About halfway through, some of the team appeared, and jumped in. By that time, I was deep in flow state, locked into the rhythm of the gladness, and the writing, locked into the happy task, the bigness of it, the glory of it, how impossible and fantastic it was.

When the team, and my PRECIOUS AMAZING CHILDREN started helping me, so that we were sharing this amazing goal, and

playing deeply together in what we love,

I nearly cried, no, I totally did, but then the joy went deeper, and I felt myself shifting into that poetic, ethereal shared flow state where we were all moving and laughing and appreciating in harmony, like a murmuration of absolute joy.

I just wanted to share this with you, the sweetness of it, and the usefulness of it.  I hope your heart is blooming, dear friend, and that you find yourself stumbling into more and more moments of genuine play and ease and fun every day.

All my love,

Natalie

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IMG_4504Today my first & most goddess daughter made the teary decision

to move with her boyfriend to Belize (where I had thought I was going too, but as I neared the dream, I realized it was someone else’s, not mine, or not yet mine.  And there is sweetness in that acknowledgement)  But oh, my beloved banana leaving the nest after 18 of the most exquisite years together.

Amidst the many, many layers of tears, I stumbled upon this 3 yr old letter that I actually wrote to her.

Oh, sweet god, more type-crying …

Not because I will miss her, holy hell, will I

but these new tears are for the realization that

it was Me, following an inspiration, 3 years ago, has given myself the exact gift I need today, to be ok

Dear Lovely,

no matter how happiness comes, you have to be willing to its arrival. (And you, my dear goddess daughter, are one of the most willing players I’ve ever known).

We up our willingness by actively looking for what to truly, soul swooningly love about the possibilities and by refusing to fuss at the stuff you don’t.  Refusing even when the monkey mind is insistent, even when the rest of the world wants to wallow. Refusing because you are literally the goddess of New Life and Spring and it is your birthright to be and bring light wherever you go.

Fussing slows down the whush. It creates more and more drag because it draws stuff of a similar quality to it.  Focusing on what’s good purifies what comes in.  Wheels up, take off.  Clouds, wind, sun and higher perspective.

Focusing on what is working, what is good leads you to happiness, which is full of whush. If your happy heart had a finger, it could lick it and stick it out the window and feel the wind coursing by you as you zoom.

The clearer you become, the more sensitive you become and the more you will be able to discern what is calling you, and not all things call equally. As Rumi says, “Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you really love.”

If you simply keep taking the happy elevator up over and over, than you will live a good life, which is, well, good. I mean, Good! But there is a life a few clicks beyond a Good! life and that is a meaningful life. You enter this kind of living, by consistently engaging in things that are meaningful to you. You discover these meaningful places by following your great Happy Urges.

Next time you’re feeling explicitly grand, take a look around, with a very clear heart and very clear listening ears, and you will see that what is calling you, from this great height, are activities, ideas, insights, zoomy woomy yesses, that feel warmer, brighter, more inviting than other ideas. These are your points of entry into a kind of play that allows you to Be in ways that are so satisfying, and, are also are taking you towards your dreams.

Yes, Persephone Quinn Meercat Kinsey-Gray-Clover-Wolverine the Tiger, your life has caused you to dream for yourself. Yes, even beyond the awesomeness that you already are (how is that possible?)

Astonishing thought: there is no end to the awesome you can/will be. And these dreams, some of which span lifetimes, will hail you. It is easiest to hear those hailings when you are very happy, so next time you’re giddy skiddy do, take a gander! The urges from there are so powerful because they sync you up with experiences on your dream meridians, and feel important and exciting to you.

So, the question is not: less of computer? or more of writing? or less of taterbatin’ ? and more of corn spooning?  It’s more of careful listening. These joyous moments float us into our deepest, most satisfying playgrounds where we do the work/play/ninja-lovin’ that we came here to do and when we’re happy we can hear and respond in kind to those epiphanal urges most.

After a deeply immersed writing or arting, ever notice how you feel as if the whole vast river of life has coursed through, leaving you clean, cleared, and infinitely perfect?

Yes well, that’s because it actually has.  Just keep playing.  Great Knowingness always follows great joy.

Love, Mama

And so, as suggested by my older, wiser self, who wasn’t swimming in tears when she wrote this, I want to consciously bring my focus to the parts that are wonderful about now:

my beautiful girl is so IN love

And in love with a splendid manlet. And their relationship is the nicest, clearest love play I’ve seen in, ever.  That’s a wonderful thing to feed. She’s going on a soul expanding adventure of a lifetime.  She’s going into the wilds. She’s going to start something meaningful and to be deeply and powerfully involved. It’s gonna rock her socks and build her wings.

I get to grow bigger and become the next version of myself. I’ve always dreaded the day of Leaving The Nest.  And now I get to live, grow and actively play through one of my biggest fears. Wow.  Who will I be on the other side?

My grid for this:

tending this tender heart

tending this tender heart

Ahhh, it felt better to make some art. To use this energy that keeps wanting to run it’s head against grief and sadness and to let it out the window a little, forge it into something, the forging, the making, it moves away from helplessness and into where the energy can move, can pick me up again.

The art play brought me to a more connected, loving & deeply glad state of being

I felt gladness for her, and ease.  And love. Oh, so much love.  And clarity.  There is no end to  love. It shifts and grows. I’ll always be her Mum. The games we get to play together shift now, and will always shift. I’m curious about the next fun, the next closeness, sweetness and adventures.

I’m curious about your deep and tender playing with now moments.  We’re slowly building a nexus of conscious players here are so glad you’ve found us. Would love to have you shout out and introduce yourselves and your journey below.

Love,

Natalie

woman-biking (1)
woman-biking (1)

This is NOT me, sadly, I wish it was. My body-imposed cavegirl diet is costing me MY LUSCIOUS BUTT

Tonight I biked hard for the first time this year. And by hard, I mean, racing vehicles hard. I was giddy with the new buds of late winter pushing up already in the deep South. I was giddy to be on my pony again and super giddy from this week of deep play in the online playshop Money Boogie.

Considering the depths of my joy, it’s surprising to think that it took me a full three minutes to realize that I might be dying.

And then another SOLID minute or two to make the decision to get off my bike. That seems like a fair bit of lag time for such a critical feeling situation.

I laid there in the sun, kind of sort of bleeding from the chest. I’d recently gotten some kind of lung funk and hadn’t realized the extent of it until I PLAYED THIS HARD.

You know where this is going.

This is a metaphor.

Okay, so, when you are sitting down on the couch, you may never know you have a tender spot in your foot, or whatever. It is in the wondrous activation of deep play that we encounter, and play with and love into and EVENTUALLY play through those wobbly bits.

But there is no rush to get through. Life is delicious. The stillness is delicious. All of the all of it, is so very very delicious.

I discovered the joy of pain as I laid there in the new sun, hurting so effing bad and so effing alive. And I realized that my lungs want some love. And so I breathed the thousand healing smiles inside of the sun down into my lungs and Nidra-ed my insides back into calm and realzied that I had found my pace again.

For a moment, I’d eagerly pony-jumped ahead of the pace of my delight AND THAT’S FUN TOO, because damn it life IS EXCITING and if you aren’t eagerly leaping ahead, you aren’t in range of the thrills that are your birth right, but for a sustained playful existence, I prefer staying close to the pace of my delight.

Mmm, roll that around a moment: The pace of my delight.

What other freaking pace is there?

Okay, here’s the helpful bits:

You can tell you’re leaving it when you start to feel more anxious than excited. You can tune back the pace a bit by doing a calming breathing or taking a quick five minute stroll or boogie to your favorite song.

You can tell you’re finding the pace because the excitement feels just right, the joy feels Just Right, YOU FEEL JUST RIGHT BECAUSE YOU ARE.

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The pace of your delight is the pace of allowing.

Really, when you get down to it, it’s the only pace in town.

Happy delighting! Happy perfect now, however it finds you, it’s perfect, and the moment you decide it is, you find the pace again …  ahhh …
Love, Yee Old Bloody Lung Kinsey

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I was once so NOT into Christmas that I just stopped doing it. Then I booked myself (JUST me) into luxurious hotels far far away and let my family celebrate without me. Seriously, I did that. But, oh how I missed the magic, togetherness and tenderness of this season. Also, elves, and cookies! And Santa’s rosy cheeks and …Instead of abandoning my family to go write poetry by the shore, I decided to learn how to stay ME, playful and real through it all, so that every drop of this life has me signed onto my joy-boat, no matter what.

#1   If life is a pie…

(and I very much like to think that it is, probably warm cherry with homemade whipped cream) then, the heightened togetherness of the holidays introduce rarely played roles into our pie. Most of your daily pie is just you being you, and then here come the holidays and suddenly you’re someone’s daughter, or an aunt, or an ex, or you’re obligatory Santa, or an only friend or a mama.  Sometimes the surprise of encountering the full range of all the beautiful human games we play, can shock us out of remembering the primary-ness of our primary role: to vibrate clearly, happily, and extra yessily.Your only role in life is a vibrational one.

And no matter how rich you are, ain’t none of us can afford the luxury of forgetting to tend our primary role, because Law of Attraction just don’t quit.  There are no vacations from consciousness.  You are always drawing in what you’re vibrating at. If you let yourself get stressed out and start doing obligatory rather than hell yes things, and lose your self care rituals, you’re going to draw in dramatic and stressful life circumstances which is why so many people arrive, gasping and depleted on the shores of New Years Day, desperate to return to their true role, Being Happy.  They scrabble using diets and new structures to hold them in place so they can clean up their frequency, relax, and feel good again. 

But I say, why ever leave the sweetly connected spot? Why not hold Your own hand all the way through?  And in a season devoted to frolicking why the heck would we be anything but wildly playful?

#2  Which is why 

you’re going into this holiday season with your conscious guns a blazin’!  Think of this as the Big Game prep time.  Instead of (or in addition to) getting ready for Christmas by shopping and cooking or avoiding shopping and cooking, you’re going to tend your vibrational playing field so that you will encounter the best of each you meet, and be delighted and sated by all you engage in.  You’re going to have the best, most deliberate and love-drenched holiday of your whole, bloom festival life.  Ready?  

#3  First! Joy O’ Clock is your sacred

little nugget of time that you stake out as a the biggest gift in the world for your aligned self. Here, you do JUST ONE THING: tend and grow your joy. JOY O’ Clock becomes a home for all your consciousness tools and a safe space to begin to use them regularly.  Make a home for love to return to and love will flood your shores. Your joyful rituals will be a life raft through the holidays.  They help you stay wide awake.But what does it mean to tend your joy, I mean, really?  I know that I’ve had to kind of dig to recover my original know how about the Joyful Life.  Here’s some of my current thots that are workin’ for me:

#4  WE are the architects

of our own life experience and when we take the time to imagine things the way we want them and to clear up everything that’s stand in the way of that coming in, we live the life of our dreams.  
Grid it! ( WHATEVER it is, you can dream it better: dinners with in laws, Christmas Shopping, Christmas Morning … )Here’s how:  Get some markers and blank paper. Put on some cheery music and close your eyes, let everything go for a moment, then begin to fill the page with emotional words that feel like you want to feel on and during the holidays.  Get arty. Draw shapes that match the feelings. Go deep. The longer you meander around those good feeling words, the stronger the point of attraction you’re creating.

p.s. As you grid, you’ll find a pure tone that feels AMAZING, but then … you’ll encounter the stuck beliefs  that don’t match those dreams. Those are what Abraham-Hicks calls your bugaboos. 


They’re not true and they are the reason you’re not living your dreams now.  

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Grid for our Travel by Yes mission!

#5  And so you clear

the energetic stuckies.  Like giving away old clothes. And most of your old stuff is around other people.  We let old, so boring resentments and discontents cloud our beautiful, loving hearts for long enough!  Why not let this holiday season inspire you to find ways to return to love in these areas?  If you do nothing else, do a gratitude list for each of the people you’ll be celebrating with. It changes everything. And you can do it in your head while driving. You can do it with your kids. You can do it in the shower.

If you’re feeling like you want to go deeper,  I recommend using Byron Katie’s “The Work” and â€œHo’oponopono” or our version â€œHo’oponoyesso” and the focus wheel just can’t be beat for thrilling yourself with new love and clarity.  I’m also a fantastic coach.  Just sayin’.  

#6  Then you play

and slip into full presence, listening to a story from a long forgotten elder, or maybe making cards or googly eyes with a newly discovered baby niece.  You’re unbusy in the head, relaxed, not wanting to be anywhere else, and filled with huge gratitude for this precious now.      We get so durn STARVED for fully presence during this busy time of quick and often superficial engagements.Buoy the season by making deliberate playdates

with those who are buzzing for you. For me, these playdates have quickly become one of my bestist pleasures and keep me wildly happy.  Here’s a quick how to for making playdates:

  • plan to do something that rings for you and feels even a tad meaningful. Be easy, and loose, the plans will likely evolve as you play together.
  • Don’t invite everyone and don’t be scared to say no to others. A good no makes a good yes even greater.
  • Don’t cancel or get so busy you can’t really be present.   Intend to show up with all that you are.
  • Cell phones off!  Gift yourself with the fullest presence. 
  • Do a gratitude list with the person before you play together. Remember their bright lights.  Savor their beauty. It’ll help draw the best out of them.
  • Do a grid for the interaction. How do you want to feel?  Take five minutes and grid it into existence.


Now that’s you’ve laid the vibrational ground work, and feel ready, it’s time to …

#7  Pack that Beautiful Adventure Bag!

“If you think you’re enlightened go spend a week with your family”  Ram Dass

I carry a literal adventure bag everywhere I go.  Yes, I am currently on a mission to slow travel the world via yes, so the adventure bag is pretty much a necessity.  Headphones have literally saved my life more times than I count. So have the sidewalk chalk and bubbles I carry.  But more important than that is my energetic Adventure Bag, chalk full of the consciousness tools that allow me to stay happy, in balance and playful with my reality.One of the favorite things In MY energetic adventure bag, this holiday season, are the kooky rituals that keep me rocking, keep me playing in the yes, like…

#8  Peeing With the Trees 

I ONLY pee outside when I’m at my parent’s house. 

WAIT, don’t run! There is some very useful and only SLIGHTLY peepee-involving spiritual stuff here.

  
I’m not (very) feral or a pee advocate (wait, WHAT?) But I am a wide awake for the breezes at dawn, playful little spirit budlet, who sometimes gets kooky pants during the holidays, where there’s so much unintentional hooby hah.  And in order to maintain my connection with ME in the midst of all the hooby ha a la, I have developed playful rituals that keep me awake, conscious and consciously happy.The practice of peeing outside is an odd one I accidentally began many years ago, when all my sisters and their kids were visiting and I couldn’t wait for the bathroom to clear.  Beyond pee-full, I was also fussy, overfed, bored and impatient, so I huffed my way outside.  Once out there, the

stars started their magic on me, and by the time I’d finished and breathed the cool night air, and thanked the earth, I was unfussy, and had some clarity.  The tree pee interrupted my unconsciousness.  

#9  Boogie in bathrooms

just a 3 minute private jig with my headphones in will shake loose any fog and get you right back into your business. I also like to have a couple of aces up my sleeve, like fresh new high consciousness games that get everyone synched up and playing in their connectedness, or just being prepared to play your favorite game.  Idle hands really are the devils tools and if you don’t have deliberate structures offered, people tend to just default to more food more booze more wooze more lose.  

#10  Call your alignment bud

when you feel yourself losing momentum.  If you don’t have one, look around, they are the conscious, grounded, balance and nearly always happy person who loves the hoo hoo out of you and will say glorious things to you when you call or text, like “go climb a tree, NOW and don’t whine. It’s never attractive.”

# Yes.  OR, you can just take a shortcut to ABSOLUTE glee

by simply following the yesses.  Seriously, as Bashar says, if you are always following the path of your highest excitement, you’re always EXACTLY on path.  You can keep it simple this holiday by being a little fearless with your no’s and even more fearless with your yesses. What do you want to say yes to?  For the love of all that is, well, love, SAY THAT YES, and keep following the path of true yesses as they light up for you.  And let the Universal manager handle the rest of it.Happy holidays playful darlings,
all my love,
Natalie

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Quick announcement! I shall henceforth be calling my blog a blerg, for two super important reasons. 


One, It’s funny, and Two, 
it makes me laugh.(and the word blog never has and likely never ever will for the foreseeable, never going to be funny future)

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Did you miss this old meme? It’s taken over my family’s joke life. I mean jerk lerf.

Beneath this silly decision is an acknowledgement that sometimes the house in which a thing lives can keep visitors out.  When I think of a blog, all this serious crud fills mah brain.

 When I think of doing a blerg, I laugh, and a berber herperpertermerse floats through my brain like a champagne bubble.  

Also, it’s Liz Lemon’s favorite word. 
‘Nuff said.

Therefore, 
welcome to my blerg. 
 

Not only is changing how you talk about a thing one Tony Robbins favorite tools to stay light and conscious, but it’s also a poet’s favorite tool.  The right metaphor can liberate a silent things into an expression that creates a bridge into a brand new reality.  Check out this portion of Jack Gilbert’s poem “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart”  How does your feeling about “love” change as you flow through?

Love, we say,
God, we say, Rome and Michiko, we write, and the words
get it wrong.

When the thousands
of mysterious Sumerian tablets were translated,
they seemed to be business records. But what if they
are poems or psalms?

My love is a hundred
pitchers of honey. Shiploads of thuya are what
my body wants to say to your body. Giraffes are this
desire in the dark.

What in your life wants to be 100 pitchers of honey but is stuck behind some outdated word? Can we play it open? Can we honey-chop, flambé, and triple lux the word houses that we choose to invite others into our experience?  Pick a word, an idea that wants reinvention … post in comments below, then let’s play the next reality open!

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What does habit have to do with being a wild, creative player, who is in love with wind, wanderlust and wanton abandon to the ecstasy of beingness?Everything, it turns out.  When my life gets so chaotic that I’m too fussy to play (I’m on a slow travel mission thru the world to explore my biggest yes) I realized I need to lay it down.  In the past, I’ve started and stopped at least 438 attempts to find something that really works for me: Hour of Power, Gratitude First, Swallow the Frog, bla bla bla.  All great, but not great enough to keep doing. Then I realized, oh, hey, how about I play with what works for ME and MY LIFE? Not Tony Robbins or Louise Hay, but Natalie Sweetcheeks Kinsey. 

So for the last year or so, I’ve been playing around with what kind of morning shindig helps me to set the right tone for a bombastically joy-drenched day.   Even when I get it wrong, it’s changed things so powerfully that I’m addicted! Every day some new amazing manifestation or higher than ever joy moment.  Clients, Love, Work, Vehicles, Bliss, Bucket List, Travel dream life etc!  Joy o’Clock creates a home for my playful consciousness to live and lets me truly play the way I want to.    Here’s how to git your own.

#1

 4:44  Pick the earliest sexy number you can handle.  Set your alarm.  Tell the parts of you that are scared that it’s going to be okay.  

It really is.

#2

Gently expect that your life will gently fill in around this new practice.  Starting each day with such a strong, positive, happy momentum will help you access the higher bits of consciousness more consistently.  Synchronicities, manifestions and general yesaliciousness will soon be flowing in. You showing up for yourself and setting aside this time to really delight in pure beingness is a huge act of self love. It’s like a gadzillion lovers sending you chocolate and flowers that you really life for 33 silver lifetimes.

#3

Don’t fight

what begins to shift as you prioritize your own joy.  You may find yourself snoozing through your former midnight snack time. That’s okay. If it’s truly on your juiciest path, it’ll find a home in your Centered Around Joy O’ Clock life.

#4

Soothe Sleepycranky-pants Afternoon You in the first couple of weeks of developing this habit by reading them the following list in your best super soothing British NPR voice:

Highly successful people discover the habits that let them play how they want to in this world.  And they support you while you grow and hold your head when you think you can’t go on.   Also, nap, baby, nap.As you’re shifting into new, more empowering momentums, don’t give up!  Your dreams live at the frequency of steady joyful beingness. The only way to get to them is to become steady joyful beingness. If you want to do that, you’ve got to take charge of where you’re steering your ship.

#5

Fill your Joy O’ clock with …Joy bubbles!  Duh.  Joy O’clock is your time to fill up on joy and tune your vibe to the frequency of Source.  It’s where you make sure that the momentum’s you’ve got going on and the ones you want going on.  Here’s how my mornings go:

    1. 4:44 for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee. Or me.  It definitely tolls for me.  The trick to getting up that early is to JUST GET UP.  And definitely do it before your brain rolls the ol’ “oh but it’s so… (jump up before the next word or ALL IS LOST) cozy”  Don’t even think about how cozy the bed is.  Yes.  It is, but it’s time for not cozy.  It’s time for growthy.  Yessy. Uppy. Get Uppy.

 

  • 4:50   Gratitude up. With sparkle markers and glitter crayons, I contribute to my Glad Heart Book, a simple, long running list of what I love, what is going right. I especially focus on the people with whom I interact with everyday. It keeps me focused upon and activating the best of them.
  • 5   Meditation. Then I scan my vibe and write down whatever feels “off” or makes me feel bad when I pass my brain over it.  I make a list.
  • 5:15  Boogie walk!/ run/ jump/ hop kinda thing.  It involves the outside, and wind, and early stars, and me! and dance music and lots of moving usually to this song. (p.s. I am also fake practicing my fake parkour.) It’s so fun.  

 

  • Some days I feel like dancing is the best short cut to god.  But then I get lost singing with someone and I think, THIS is the short cut.  But then I get lost meandering up a river, rock hopping and following the eagle and I think, THIS…  
  • Then I remember, it’s the full presence.  Not the action. It’s how willing I am to go into and be transformed by the play.
  • 5:30   Home again! Time to clean my emotional laundry list for the day, using whatever conscious play tools seem funnest, lightest, most downstream.  I do a lot of Focus Wheels, Grids and I EFT my bunz off.  I can tell I’m using the right tool if I feel relief.  Then the rest of the day I’m not carrying worry, chronic discontent or frustration and I find myself feeling clearer and happier than ever before. 
  • 5:45   grid the day on how I want to feel & calendar check and plan day around prioritizing hell yesses.

#6

Pinky Swearto do it for 7 days straight and enlist a wake up buddy to text and pester each other to get out of bed. It helps!  I had a bud help me through the first 7 says by yanking the covers off and making me angry enough to chase her outside, at which point, well, hell, I was up.  At the end of the week, so much good stuff had flowed into my life that had previously been stuck and I was just happier than I’d ever been BY FAR.  Why stop?  So I didn’t.  And I’m wooing all my clients and homedarlin’s to the kiss-the-stars-before-dawn side!  

Who’s up for the challenge to find your Joy o’clock and give yourself a week of experimenting with what you really need to do to show up for the Awesomeness that is your beautiful life.  

What are your joy bubbles? Meditation? Laughing? Boogying alone in your front yard under the stars?  Are you willing to give yourself this early Christmas gift?  C’mon…let’s kiss the stars together.

Love,
Natalie

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The other day I paused, in the middle of a TRULY magical motorcycle ride through some of the prettiest mountains I’ve ever seen, on our way to a secret glen of naturally occuring hot springs, having just left Play Church and with a juicy recording session ahead of me, yet I found myself struggling to be present. I was missing my bucket list moment.  What was going on?I think back to my sis, on her wedding day, so stressed out from the prep, that she just couldn’t relax and enjoy what lots of folks think of as the best day of their lives.

If life is simply a string of happy moments, why do we miss the opportunity to really let it in?  If now is our point of attraction, and what we’re vibrating at is discontent and scattered energy, what does that mean for our future?

Here’s my go to guide for letting the win IN.

1. If you have to force “it”, it ain’t your it (not yet anyway)

Thoreau cautions: ” beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.”  I think he was talking about leaving our elemental selves, no, I’m lying. He was literally talking about clothes and how you shouldn’t give your valet your old shoes because only people who went to legislative balls need shoes, but the quote has always stuck with me as a metaphor for not doing something that feels off, not leaving yourself behind out of obligation or a confused allegiance to something or someone other than your most darling self.And we often feel like the road to success and getting what we want requires us to leave our joy and connectedness and muscle in and take your lumps and push hard, but “You’re not ever going to have a happy ending to an unhappy journey.”

If we get all whiggy trying to make it happen, we’re going to only allow in a result that feels a little whiggy to us.  I find that if I take 10 minutes to tune up my frequency that it makes an exponential difference in the quality of the experiences that come my way.  So, one of the best ways to let something in is not lose your alignment on the way to it. Take yes steps each way, so when you arrive at your win, you’re actually there to receive it.

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me, lettin’ it IN!!!!

2. Life is like a fine wine, you need to let it breathe

Spoiler: the next bit is kind of sexy.  My ex-husband and I went to couples therapy and learned how to use breath to reconnect to our sexy bits and to bring flow there.  Reconnecting, individually, via breath, helped us to be more available for the flow between us and the sex got crazy great.  So now, whenever I find myself checking out during sex, I just direct some breath downward into the hot spots and I reconnect myself with my body, with the experience, with the now.  The breath brings my attention and with it goes life energy.  This works pretty well out of the bedroom too :)I live and travel with a breathworker and she’s helped me to notice that when I get stressed out or start to check out, I actually slow my breathing or breathe shallowly, sometimes I just stop breathing if I’m really freaked out and she thumps once or twice like a baby who needs some encouragement to take that first amazing breath. But I am literally stopping the flow of life to whatever is going on by breathing less.  The less I breathe, the less there is of me to enjoy anything.

Sometimes, as a win is manifesting into our reality, we can get anxious and weird.  So that at the exact time we should be relaxed and receiving, our nerves are jangling and we’re either literally and metaphorially holding our breath, and we’re not a match for the full manifestation, so we’ll only experience part of it.  Sometimes I’ll see a friend letting in something they’ve wanted their whole lives and I’ll ask, “are you PSYCHED???” And they shrug, “eh” and usually list something that could be better.  I realize that I AM A MATCH to see the full potential that they were wanting to manifesting because I’m relaxed and playful, but THEY ARE NOT so it DOESN’T MANIFEST FULLY INTO THEIR REALITY.

3. say no. Oh my god, just say it.

When I started the Travel by Yes mission I had a teeny weeny understanding of what yes really means, what the power of a yes is and how, holy hell, to live a life in the key of yes. That’s partially why I embarked on this mission, to ask, with my whole life, how do I live inside my yes?  One of the answers has been to get very very good at saying no.My yesses have become mighty oaks in what used to be a cluttered forest, but I wasn’t always that way, About a month into the trip, I stopped really feeling like I was in my yes, or really enjoying the things I was doing.  I felt overwhelmed, split and chronically starved for time.  After a deep check in with myself during a big epiphany-generating adventure, I realized that I wasn’t really checking in with HOW YES something is. I was just saying yes to all of it, and my plate was too full. My big trees weren’t getting the vital nutrients they need because all the undergrowth was sucking them up.  And nothing was getting very much momentum.

Saying no still remains something of a challenge. There is a part of me that wants everyone to approve me at every moment and this part of me never says no.  Put that’s not my highest self. My highest self is needless of other’s approval.  She is clear and clearly focused on the fun of feeding and dancing fully with her highest yesses and what others think of her is not relevant or even all that interesting. She knows that what is buzzing as a yes for each person is deeply individual because it is an indicator of you being on path, and we each walk and play on our own paths.  So, she doesn’t want or need others to understand her choices and her path because she’s so deeply enjoying her path.  

4. make peace with whatever the heck you’ve chosen to do as much as you possibly can
 

I’m sitting here at my laptop in the midst of a very poppin’ festival, writing, on a laptop.  Like a derk.  And before I wrote that sentence up there, I was struggling a little with the voices in my head, all wearing little weeny should hats: “you SHOULD go do festival things” “you SHOULD never miss an opportunity” “you are missing out” “You’re a bad/internet-head person and you’re escaping” but the flat-out truth, when I get beyond the haze of should-ville, is that the festival had inspired me to a place that I’d been trying to get to all day until I was so happy and clear that the only thing I really wanted to do was to write the blog post.  And now I’m having a good ol’ time, snuggled up in the RV/Play Nexus office between the permaculture labyrinth and the chicken coop, jamming out to Daft Punk and writing my durn heart out. Bliss.  But I had to give myself permission to be all here. I had to choose it, or else I was only partially here and the rest of me was worrying about what all my cool festivaling friends would think of me, or what I might be missing.  Fuck missing things!  I choose now. Now is all I have and I choose to be here as fully as I am able and make peace with the shoulds.

For example:

  • I sure will MISS EVERYTHING if I keep being indecisive.
  • I trust my urges!  When I follow a warm buzz it always blooms miraculously!  
  • I am where I am supposed to be and the more I line up with that the more true it will be.
  • Playing in writing is one of my deepest flow-state inducing ways to play, as real and fun and viable as the naked woman on a trapeze 20 feet away.  It may not be as sexy, but it’s as on my path as that kind of play is on hers.  
  • The more I value and make room for my play the more room it makes for others to value and make room for it.
  • Now that I’m calm and beyond the shoulds, it actually make sense that I would leave the shin dig in order to go deep.  It’s the trajectory of most play experiences, unless you interrupt it with lots of booze and drugs.  Also, those people are going deep together in the music making and performing and it’s perfect for me to use the inspiration and elevation and all the energy and channel it into my funnest, brightest projects.  
  • People have confused ideas about how long people should stay or about ideas of anti-socialness that serve no one.  I love being in my business and following my highest yesses.

 

5.  Choose your snowballs wisely

I heart momentum!  I mean, I heart POSITIVE momentum!  Somedays, like today, where I received news that someone has fraudulently stolen my son’s identity and I get to see that a bad feeling I had about things a while ago, has BLOSSOMED into a bit of a manifested nightmare and I can clearly trace the build up of momentum that I didn’t find a way to shift.  But that kind of moment I don’t heart.   Even though it teaches me more about momentum than my positive momentums do!

I like realizing that my “wins” are simply the logical result of an uninterrupted positive momentum.  Like pushing a car down a hill.  But how do you keep from interrupting a positive momentum? 
My favorite way to feed a positive momentum is to love the shit out of what’s going right and to just leave the rest off my plate. I don’t pick it up in my mind, in my words or in my deeds, I just let those unsavory momentums fade away from lack of attention.  This takes me deeper into my win. What do I love about this? What’s magical about this?  This helps you to let it in more and to have more fun with it.

Try it now, take a look at all the threads going on in your life as if they were tiny snowballs that are going to head down hill and get bigger.  Which of these snowballs do you want to roll majestically down the hill and get huge? And which do you want to just melt in the sun and not follow you into your tomorrow?

Choose one of the ones you want to get big (for example, you may have just got a promotion or some positive recognition at work) and now lets feed that momentum with some glad heartedness.  What’s great about the promotion or recognition?  I feel valued.  I love that I get to explore a whole bangarang opportunity. I get to learn cool new shit!  I get a sexy secretary like James Bond … and so on.

Do you notice what you’re NOT doing as you’re focusing EXCLUSIVELY on the good bits?  You’re not scared, overwhelmed or worried which is where lots of people go when positive momentum starts to really bloom.  Having some discipline around your snowballs will let life get really good for you AND it will help you to enjoy the getting good bits even more.