know it

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To begin …

Start to listen, now.  What is extraordinary appears in the spaces of deeper and more exquisite listening. The day will carry you to new inner and outer vistas.  You can prepare by turning up your willingness and carving out some quiet space for just laying on the floor, or slowly thawing spring earth, and, just, listen.

 

Notice any deeper askings that might be knocking on your heart. You don’t need to do anything, just notice. The day is a little of a hot air balloon and will carry you up where clarity lives.  But for now, you might want to tune your inner ears to that precious and next level knocking.

 

Give some love to the part of your that might feel nervous, resistant or skittery about engaging something brand new.  What tools do you have for clearing a resistant frequency?  Grid, tap, gratitude the heck out of it?  What are ten things about it that feel bright and zooming?  I find that doing gratitude for an experience will return me to the heart of the original urge and keep me at a level where I can accept the gifts of it with delight and true fun.

 

Ask your higher self to pave the way for the most delicious and productive and shiver fish yespleasemore experience ever.  Then just hold that tone and let the Universe blow you away with deep abiding joy and clarity.

 

To bring …

 

Adventure bag.  Things that want to go in there.  Trust your intuition about this.  If your heart says bring slinky dress, bring the damn thing.

 

Slinky dress.  Just kidding. I mean, more clothes than just the one pair.  You want in and out shoes. Versatile clothing and a jacket that’ll do it’s work.  What else?  Smell into the heart of adventure, trust what you hear. Pack accordingly.

 

Always, your joyful willingness, curiosity and unquenchable yes.

In great joy,

Cap’n Nat

For those of you who’ve sent your owls to me to confirm your spot, you’ll receive your mission details for meet up location on the evening of the 22nd.  Be ready to be ready.

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Late one night,  in a cabin way in the Northern Kingdom my young daughter woke screaming. Her arm was nearly black. And she was in the most extraordinary pain. As I touched her black throbbing arm, I almost passed out.  We soon found the culprit, an elastic that had worked its way up her arm.

But to this day I LOVE HOW SHE FREAKED THE FUCK OUT. No part of her was unclear that no circulation is not ok.

I’ve seen a recent trend in clients ( and, of course, in myself )  where a chronic vibration of anxiety creates this tourniquet of static, cutting off the flow of life to that area.

Wanna know if you have an anxiety tourniquet on an area of your life?  Check it:

  • do you feel like a nervous poop when you think about it?  
  • Is life moving weirdly and unsatisfyingly there?

Then you probably do. And….

I want you to stop being so fucking calm about it.  Chronic anxiety is not okay, not helpful and you don’t have to endure it anymore.

Anxiety is you using your focus to activate realities you don’t want and feeling powerless in the whole deal.  It literally cuts you off from all your intuitive urges, and the guidance that’s always coming through and so, in that area, you likely feel like a bit of a dunce and a lifelong sloth because you ain’t got no mojo flowing.

It’s nice to realize that removing that tourniquet of anxiety will release life force to flood that area again. And you’ll get to meet your fully funded, awake and playing like a boss self in this area.  You’ll get to crush out on Renewed and Sexypants You again.

 

It’s spring, and the sap is rising. Let it rise, darlings, let it rise.

 

nat joy o clock saves me

from a client this morning

Here’s how I play with and thru anxiety:

 

I went through a whole ninja training period where my sole aim was to get better at relaxing.  

I slowed way down, and really started to pay attention to what works for me. Hot long baths actually make me angry.  Laying all day on tropical beaches are something I would pay to avoid.  Rock hopping really hard, fast and bright into the surf, on the other hand, cleans me to my wind parts.  

Listen, really tune in.  And make room for a realer relationship with your own calm abiding self.

I collect tools, shamelessly, just like I’m not shy about snatching a beautiful shell or rock from the shore.  I harbor no romantic attachments to having happiness be easy or inevitable. It’s a craft and something that takes dedication and no small measure of wizardry.  

I greet new tools like the new best friends they are and incorporate them into my toolkit.  I make sure I have some uptodate tools for anxiety. Right now EFT, on the go nidra breathwork, and shifting my focus are really close friends to me.

I get ahead of the momentum. Joy o clock is a simple practice of getting up a little earlier than your life does and turning all of your gorgeous human attention, for a small period of time, on your joy, where she is, and how you can be closer and more steadily in love with each other.

It’s like a sexy date with your forever love Joy.  In that,  you inevitably discover those thoughts and worries that are creating that anxious static tourniquet that prevents all the joyful impulses from getting through to you.  And you deal with them, right there, and get a jump on them before they get a jump on you! Leverage that contrast yo!  Don’t let it leverage you.  As Abraham says, it’s easier to just step out of the way of the Mack truck that’s about to fall on you, then to try to clean up the mess if you don’t.

Happy chilling the eff out friends,

love, Natalie

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There’s a lot of hubbub out there on the waves about following your highest yes.  As I am a huge fan of both hubbub and waves, let’s DO THIS.

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Bashar, the alien, says that the key to a happy life is to follow your highest excitement, period.  And while I trust the advice of aliens absolutely (when is the last time an alien steered you wrong?) it’s not that practically useful.

What the hooties does that mean or really look like?  In a life, so full of demands, inquiries, habits, responsibilities, not to mention ruts, grooves, and cycles, or all those people we’ve COMMITTED OUR LIVES TO, how do you find room to really follow your highest excitement?

And not just follow, but converse with, show up for, and maybe even dance a little nekkid with, all without dumping the apple cart of your beautiful life, on it’s little apple cart head?

If you were to look at your now life and tried to brain-scheme how to carve out some room for your real yes to thrive, you’d likely just lower your head in a quiet hopelessness.  Perhaps you’d start to slowly slam your skull against the desk, maybe you’d establish a little quiet rhythm, who knows? The point being, and Einstein fully agrees with me here, “The mind that creates the problem cannot create the solution.” You gotta heart ping your way there.

And by heart ping, I very much mean freckle friend your way there. Here’s the story from a Player’s Way participant, from her perspective,

“I remember in my twenties I was so free.  I had a ninja boyfriend and would sneak in through his roof gazebo and attack him in his bed.  I traded seashells for coffee on my way to work.  I’d take myself out for knitting and beer dates, alone at a bar, and feel so satisfied and easily perfect in myself, whatever I was or wasn’t doing.

One day I was taking a shower and realized I had a new freckle on my arm. I used to have 8 freckles, and I also had 8 friends at the time.  When I saw that new freckle, I knew instantly that I had a new friend, and that I had to meet them as soon as possible.  I leapt out of the shower, got dressed and jumped out the door and dashed down the street.  I started looking everywhere, thinking “is it you?  Is it you?”  

I didn’t even know what I was really looking for, I just knew I had to do this. Suddenly I realized I needed to go into this convenience store/bar.  I walked all around, looking, but found no one, no buzz. So I left, but walking away felt wrong, and even though I felt sure that none of the people I’d seen were it, I went back in.  As soon as I entered the door a man emerged from the back and our eyes locked.  We walked towards each other.  He seemed like he wanted to say something, I opened my mouth to speak, totally clueless about what I would say, then he said in a rush, “I have the strangest feeling that I have to tell you something but I have no idea what it is.”

Then we just started running. He reached out and grabbed my hand so we could run better together.  We were so alive. It sounds like something out of a movie when I say it.  We found our way to a park and spent all day talking and making art out of the things we found on the ground and in the trees and stones.”  

That friend went on to become an important player in the development of her artistic career, and hosted her first opening.  There was something unique and ineffable about their connection that she could simply never have thought her way to.  She had to freckle friend her way to him.

 

When we hear something on the earlier ping, it’s delicate, fresh and pure, like a raindrop before it’s traveled through a polluted atmosphere and dog pee snow to get to you.  I’m not saying that your cluttered mind is dog pee snow, I’m implying it is but not actually saying it.  The POINT is, it’s real super nice to encounter that drop in its purest form, because it’s full of the original power (and not dog pee).   

If we learn how to listen and respond to those cues at that delicate, intuitive, deeply connected, deeply listening level, our whole conversation with life becomes more authentic, stronger, more flexible and the life that blooms out of that conversation reflects that authenticity, strength and verve.

When you don’t hear the pinging in the early, outer heart brain, intuitive magic listening range, it’s a little like you’re talking to someone else while you’re driving, and your GPS is sending these very fine-tuned cues, but you’re focused on the other conversation and miss the cues to turn, which, at first, are coming quickly, as the GPS quickly reroutes its suggested route to accommodate your now position, but after a time, as you continue to not listen, you get farther and farther away and the clues are less bright and further apart, all the while, the number indicating how far away you are from your destination continues to grow.

When you begin to make some durn space and willingness to clearly hear the wisdom of your highest self, turn here, now turn, here, now! The actually shape and quality of your life begins to reflect the very timely, and very unique-to-you wisdom of your highest self, lighting up the path.

You turn when it’s time to turn, you speed up when it’s time for entering the pure whoosh, and slow down when it’s time for slownness, for care, for integration and deepening.  Your life begins to look like Your life, which is the deepest creative gift we have to give.

Now onto the How To Bits…

the only real valuable thing is intuition

 

stay long listening at the listening well

Are you REALLY okay with this ________?  Is it a ten? Is it ever gonna be? Are you fake yessing cuz you’re unwilling to make real room for all of you to bloom up into the wild tundra of your gorgeous life?  Try this simple thing, it works for all everythings: (really) listen, and adjust accordingly. Almost nothing kills intuitive living more than pretending you’re okay off your path. Except shame.

Shame definitely is worserer.

 

buy dem shameproof jammies

If humans can design tents and jammies that don’t burn, we can design lives that don’t indulge in the profound confusion of feeling shameful about who we are.

Important note: if you’re doing something you feel is wrong, and you feel bad about it, good, that’s an informative clue for you to cut that shit out. Don’t do anything that makes you feel shame.  High roads and all of that.

Beyond that, shame, as a response, spreads like briars and soon you’re more familiar with how to be ashamed, than how to enjoy and nourish real growth.

If you don’t have a shameproofing tool in your adventure bag, get one.  EFT, the Work and rampages of appreciation for self are nice places to begin a new conversation.

 

be willing to be wildly, astronomically misunderstood

When following intuitive urges, sometimes shit don’t make no sense no how. You’re hunkering into some primordial ooze, following the funhouse pathways of least resistance and dancing with the Cosmic Harmonies.  The mind can’t keep up, yours or theirs. Get okay with it.  Breathe into the calm abiding wisdom of your heart … over and over and over again.

 

keep your soul eyeballs out for freckle friends, everywhere, in everything

What if connection is a thousand times easier, more fun and more meaningful than we ever imagined?  What if ease and curiosity and self tenderness were all that was missing from profound shared joy?

O!  The primal beauty of a brand new possibility. Smile into the possibility of renewed ease and delight infiltrating all your relationships.

 

get photosynthetic

Lean towards joyous, light experiences like a kitchen plant that’s plastered it’s face leaves flat to the window to souse itself in every freaking drop of light the sun has to offer.

Lean with all your weight into joy and you’re well on your way to being whiskable.

 

become whiskable

At the heart of every dream is an essence, a distilled emotion or experience we are being called to for all the reasons we are.  When we say “the Universe has a better imagination than me” we’re just acknowledging how prettily we are by the lives we live, and also, beautifully limited.  But Source Energy is beautifully not contained, and beautifully without limits and that lends itself to some serious perspective on how best things might shake down.

So, get a little easy about how stuff shows up.  I like to aim in the direction of what is bright and stay flexy, listening and tuned in as I get closer, course correcting as I go.

Like a trash bag in a city wind, I get whisked away on the most extraordinary and bucket listy kinds of treasure days and dropped, heart first, into moments of astonishing beauty and wonderment.

 

kill the cat

Kill fake sureness.  Kill fake okayness.  Learn how to live a question and not settle for things that are not really answers. Trust your thirst.  Feed your greedy, curious heart what it needs to stay lusty and quaking.

 

Figure out how you storm

In a hurricane, there’s a quiet center where you can stand and watch wicked witches and lost cows whizzing by and not be smacked asunder by the chaos.

Find that spot. Stay in it as the storm moves. You’ll know you’re there because you can breathe.

 

Softly Wend

Linger, meander, moodle and soft shoe with life.

Stay tender, tender friend.  Soft and pliant like a cloud in God’s windy hands.

 

p.s. if you missed part one, here it is

 

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I WANT to be the gal who navigates intuitively through her life like a star pirate captain, hearing bright new buzzes and fearlessly responding, weaving in and out of dangerous new galaxies in the nick of time.

 

But I don’t actually know how to do that, in almost all areas of my life.  

 

I am, in this moment, resisting the urge to google “how to live more intuitively” because that’s how much I don’t actually know how to live a life that way.  Do I KNOW that that’s the way to go about things?  Yesh, yesh I have read the memes. Yes I watch Super soul sunday. P.s. I am only managing not to google it because I made all my kids hide my devices and am writing longhand. #expert@selfcontrol    #zerohashtagskillz

 

It’s also fun to note that I discovered the depths of my befuddlement while teaching a class on the stuff.  Not awkward at all.  (in my defense, the urge to do the class was nearly overwhelming, and the generous participation of my students created the most downstream path to the clarity I was seeking).

 

I also didn’t know that was what I was really teaching. My mind thought it was guiding people through the framework of The Player’s Way.  My mind didn’t know that the player’s way is and always has been, the intuitive way. My heart knew all along, my heart has always known.

To be fair, I have led a pretty divinely led life, and encountered miracles almost daily since I was a wee teen.  But there was something new about the on purposeness of this event that thrilled me. A lot of my earlier experiences felt nearly out of control and wobbly with doubt, and barely letting it in kind of stuff.12188073_10154304546144202_8314630707216002505_o

 

From my journal: January 23rd, On the rocks at Kettle Cove

this morning I recognized a signal.  Not precisely that I have signals, and am connected to a much larger thing (duh), but I actually consciously recognized what it feels like, in real time, to appropriately and fully respond to the conversation a signal is inviting me into. Very similar to how it feels to respond to a hungry child, tugging at my leg in the kitchen wanting an apple, I listen, I feed, life moves forward, and the integrity and elasticity of the conversation remains intact.  

 

Simple jaunt along the shore that had turned rock climby.  The nearly always present choir of voices singing their various anthems in my head were in a relative harmony and my attention drifted more and more to the wind coming off the ferocious and  unrelentingly turquoise ocean. I felt freshly greedy to have more of that wind.  I wanted to take my jacket off. And let it have at me. Morely. Forever morely.

 

I note my state of being because I fidn it’s easier to hear and properly translate intuitive urges when you’re not crackling with anxiety.  

 

Then I heard it. Or more, felt it, an anxious feeling in my belly when I thot of taking a particular direction in my life, one that had been up for me for a week or so.  

 

And then the revolutionary thing happened: I said okay, we don’t go that way.

 

I’m just gonna listen.  Hungry child, apple.  Simple.

 

I’m hearing that, for whatever reason, this is a no-go right now.  I’m not going to give it another thought or explain my decision, not even to myself.  I’m gonna give the kid the apple and move on.  I’m gonna trust the system, trust the urges, trust my bright yesses and not get overly fascinated by my no’s, and generally trust my higher self leading me along the pathways that are best for me.

It’s easy to get really sweet on what is a no.  It feels irksome and the urges to give it a lot of attention can be nearly overwhelming.  When we set up our mental basecamp around a No, we locate our energy and the conversation of our life around the wrong question, and begin to drift and steer haphazardly, without that compass twang of being on path.  

 

I should note that the idea made every logical sense in the world. The new proposed business plan was both magical and logical AND an answer to some of my recent askings.  In other words, it should be a hell yes, but it made my tummy feel nervous in the not fun way, and every time I thought of moving ahead with it I got those cave walls falling in feeling that comes when I’m going in the wrong direction.  

 

In hindsight, I can see that if I had not acted on that intuitive intel, and had powered through and done it anyway, I would now be extricating myself, dramatically, from that situation now because the people who were involved have had a major change of life and are not ready to form that level of partnership.  

 

I see now that my higher self up ahead was putting out a long and lusciously far reaching beacon for me to see and follow.

 

Pause to feel the depths of my gratitude for that listening. What an extraordinary self kindness.  Thank you past self, thank you.

 

Why am I making such a big deal about this?  Because I think we’ve lost familiarity with the conversation our higher guidance is trying to have with our daily lives and only access that wisdom in sporadic moments of mediation or in retreats.   Our daily intuitive muscles have atrophied from self doubt and misuse.  

 

It all sounds so simple. And so obvious, like, what the hell else would you do?  But in practice, it can feel SO DIFFICULT to hear an inspired urge and act on it. It can feel like trying to become a barnacle or to win a hot air balloon race without a balloon, like, even a little red latex one, never mind a hot air one with a basket n’ shit.
We live such beautifully booming and full lives. There is SO much to compel our attention and we know that where our attention goes, so goes our life, so, it’s a radical act of self love to learn how to give more and more of our attention to the total conversation that these inspired urges are ultimately inviting us into. And not to do it half heartedly, but with total swag.  The way a playa might make it rain in a club or how Beyonce might do, well, everything she does. Boom. Doing it. Doing my Real Life, listening for urges, and following them. The end. Boomity boom boom.

Next up: How to actually work out those intuitive muscles via play

 

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12188073_10154304546144202_8314630707216002505_oI have been successfully doing tiny playful habits for 10 days without failing, so … I’m pretty much an authority on the subject.

Ok, joke.  But I am PLAYING AROUND WITH HOW to turn my gorgeous human attention in the direction of those things, experiences,  and playgrounds that are more deeply meaningful, the things that if you don’t do them in this life, you-ain’t-gonna-be-okay kind of things.

I call those Dream Meridians.  You know you’re on one because the world lights itself on fire in response to the absolute joy you feel when you find a way to play on one.

I used to be a strong proponent of the do it whenever freeball approach,  but here’s the dealio — you’ve got to be IN RANGE of inspiration, consistently, if you’re going to rely on it as a catalyst for doing your good work.  And playing your good play. And yessing your yessiest yesses.  Here’s why I am no longer in the Freeballer Club.

  • inspiration is a wobbly mistress. She comes during peak moments of great joy or insight, after Burning Man or a meditation, or suddenly while doing dishes. You can’t rely on her showing up. As Jack London says, “You can’t rely on inspiration, you’ve got to go after it with a club.”  For me, that club has become setting up daily playful habits that get me in range of where inspiration lives.c
  • where we focus, we go.  Wherever you put your attention, your life follows.  You can choose to steadily put your attention on what matters to you most, on your Dream Meridians, and it’s okay. No one is going to hate you for developing discipline around your heart’s mission. I mean, they might, but as the sage Taylor Swift says, “haters gonna hate,” so, focus on what blooms you and sets your heart on fire.
  • what you focus on creates how you feel and what you get

Imagine a pinball machine with no flippers to keep the ball going where it needs to go. Not that fun.   Pretty sure there would be no pinball wizards anymore.

Like those useful flippermajiggies, your playful habits begin to determine the direction of your life.

Inspiration is a frequency, like anything else, it’s a state of being.  You achieve any state of being by directing your thoughts.  If you want to steadily enter a state of inspiration where your creative projects flourish, you’ve got to set up some habits that support that happening.

 

BUT HOW do you develop habits and playful rituals on your Dream Meridians?

Story time:

As a deeply creative child, I had no relationship with making on purpose habits.  I’d get into little nooks of time, seasons, where I’d do something because it pleased me, or served me in some way. Something would inevitably interrupt the cycle, often, something as simple as running out of ink and forgetting to replace it. Or a friend would visit for a week and when they left, I would forgot to return to the thing I was doing before.

And all of that was fine, but as I got more and more reflective on the whole shebang, I realized that my happiness levels and “success” or positive response from the world with which I was interacting directly correlated with those seasons where I was painting every morning, or adventuring and building fairy houses every afternoon for an entire summer.  Those seasons of direct engagement with my wild creative impulses held other doors open as well and things moved.

As an adult, a coach and a teacher of conscious play, the thing that throws off my emperor’s new groove, more than any other, is me falling behind on the things that bring me the most joy. Losing access to my playgrounds because I get distracted and let my attention go every which way, and while I’m mildly enjoying the distractions and scenery of a freeballin’ life, my deepest heart of hearts is a little grieving the deeply satisfying play I get access to when I steadily show up for a dream.

So I’m learning to play with habits.  Just like I play with parenting, with my own ideas of home, and with love.  Only, habits feel scary. Turning towards my own conversation with habits kind of lights my resistance on fire, like, I don’t want to be a dictator for anyone, especially me! Or, who am I to say what I should be doing?

Well, shit, who else would know? I can see that part of my wishy-washyness stems from self-doubt, doubt that I can actually know and breathe and live and take direction out of my own intuitions.  And in this busy, information rich world, I need habits that help me tune into my own intuition.

So, got that, right?   You can feel those areas that would be supported by consciously aligned habits, right? You feel better when you walk or run every day, that kind of stuff. But then comes in the New’s Year’s Resolution Syndrome where, in an inspired huff, you swear to change some part of yourself and to develop a new positive habit and you’re SO MOTIVATED in the moment of making that, and so focused on what you’re wanting to experience that for a few days, it actually works, and you keep up with it, and you feel GREAT about yourself and your life.  But then, something interrupts, and you skip it or lose the thread. And feel badly, but then, BACK ON, renewed vigor, I’m GONNA DO IT THIS TIME! You buckle in, determine harder. Motivate more, read more memes, and blogs.

But then you don’t do the thing again, and again and eventually you either convince yourself you didn’t really want to in the first place, or you just distract yourself from thinking about it cuz it’s too painful to feel like a failure.

And I have danced with this cycle on about every front in my life.  And the failure to change thing can be really damaging to your core vibration, to that calm and steady tone of “I love me. I’m perfect in my now and always becoming more.”

Which is why I’ve come to think of habit development as a way of holding certain vortexy doors open for my life to flow through and my Dream Meridians keep showing up.  And choosing not opening up other others cuz they’re less bright.

 

papa and mama

Of course it was laughing that brought him back to me.

papa and mama

mama and papa bear in love on the shore

Spoiler: this is a post about the power of playing together to reunite, reignite and invigorate the core love a family shares and knows and can and should swim in.  If that doesn’t interest you, thanks for visiting our blog and have a majestic father’s day wherever you are.

As a young mother, in full time college, I agreed to work with my father in construction, even though it made me nervous and wiggly feeling on the inside.  In those days, I thought a relationship was whatever it appeared to be.  Mine with my father was virtually impenetrable.  Compared to some of my vital friendships, he felt as real to me as a piece of firewood, and then there was all that childhood ballyhoo lurking in the shadows.  Ack!  Did I want to spend my day next to THAT!?

I was confused. I thought that us not knowing or actively loving each other was the inescapable truth, and not simply a result of my cluttered, sloppy and unexamined thinking.

We’d spent a lifetime accumulating stories (he’s never there for me, she’s dangerous, selfish, careless etc.) Day after day, as we worked side by side, we were not seeing each other, but our stories of each other.  And that tight restricting sense of not being able to be myself continued.

I don’t think I’ll ever really know what broke it open.  I’m kind of a miracle junky, so let’s just say my profound wantingness to be Inside of love brought a silly little miracle.

It’s early morning. I’m alone in the cathredral part of the living room, way up high, and was really into what I was doing.  I was smoothing a rounded wall, and the morning light was following the lines with a kind of tender helpfulness.  We had oldies playing and I remember consciously realizing that I didn’t want to be anywhere else.

And then an unfamiliar voice rang out, in a deep and unfamiliar Bronx accent “Hey Lucy!”

My mind was like one of those machines they use to check your vision at the eye doctor as it flipped through the lenses of perception, first fear, “holy crap, is there a stranger way out here?” then, “where the heck is my dad?” then, “that voice sounded a little familiar” then a few beats, I put my trowel down and settled back onto the scaffolding, feeling the light follow the lines of this movement with the same generous tenderness, as I answered, in an equally deep and unfamiliar Bronx accent, like I was suddenly a Mario-esque wise-cracking character about to argue with Mama about too much spice in the sauce, and with only the tiniest nervous quiver,

“Yeah, Goosey?”

I heard a small chuckle from somewhere deep in the house.  And then that same voice asked me to bring him some tool, except, it wasn’t me, it was,”You lazy SOB, ‘ow many times, I gots to ax ya … ” and the game, suddenly, was afoot.

precious goosey

Goosey!

No longer were we estranged father and daughter, but Lucy and Goosey, rough, joking workers who didn’t give a shit about being careful with each other, and had no broken history so we just played for the funniest joke, the funnest possible scenarios.  We were both transported by the role playing and I was genuinely curious about what he’d say next. I was so absorbed in the moment that I didn’t have the bandwidth to note, but later I realized that I was absolutely thrilled by the sudden fluency and levity in our interaction, it was a dream come true to have that kind of access to my father’s playful heart. And as the game deepened, I found myself sometimes too stunned by the depth of his humor to even laugh properly.  The deeper we played, the more the politeness dissipated like a bad fog.

Through these sudden, silly roles, we’d miraculously found a way to act ourselves around each other. I’ve never encountered quite so severe a relational shift as that. And I’m still kind of in love with the sweet magic of it. We never went back to our former relationship. We never hashed out the stuff that happened in our earlier relationship, when I was working out how to be a free, happy, kid and he was working out how to be a free, happy dad because that never seemed fun. Lucy and Goosey would never dicker like that. They talked about gettin’ a slice and takin’ off work early to dive off the pier.

I find myself using my conscious play tools to maintain the deep knowingness that I discovered with him, of our inherent joyfulnessness and our ability to access it, together, at will.  You can find those lovely tools here if you’re curious.

Once in while, after a particularly fun playtime together, he’ll sigh and say something like “I wish I’d played more with you when you were younger”

To which I reply,

mama and papa and me

Lucy n’ Goosey with Mama bear!

“you taught me how to find play anywhere, anytime, with anyone. I needed space to learn that. You were/are the perfect father. But now I got that, so you can play with me, now.”

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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!

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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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Have you ever had one of your big dreams come true? I’m talking about the really big giant dreams that you’ve had for a really, really long time. That’s what is happening for me right now. As I’m writing this, a ridiculously adorable little lizard is climbing up my wall. And, yes, I did dream a little bigger than that. Ever since I was a little kid I wanted to live on the ocean. And since the first time I came to Belize in 1996, I wanted to specifically live on the ocean in Belize. And here I am, hence the lizard.

One of the interesting things about manifesting something so tremendous is that it is a little shocking when life continues to be, well, life. There’s a little bit of pressure to feel like I’m supposed to be floating on the clouds all the time. Like I should never have a need for my conscious play tools ever again.

It’s simply not the case. I still get periodically (ok, several times a day) irritated with my toddlers, and even though I love the heat, I occasionally feel uncomfortably warm (I’m typing this naked). I still need to do my morning routine of gratitude and meditation and motion. I still periodically need focus wheels and grids. I still have to stay aware and mind my vibration and continue to care how I feel. It’s just a WHOLE LOT EASIER NOW!

I think often of the Abraham saying that the only reason you want something is that you believe the having of it will make you feel good. And I do. It’s easier here in this place that matches so many of my preferences to lift myself back up and stay there for longer.
Here’s where manifesting a really big dream like this is super helpful. First it is such an incredible touchstone that I can manifest anything. I’ve been lining up to get here for 19 years. I basically feel like a rock star for manifesting this. AND my favorite is that I have realized that one of the reasons I wanted to be here is that it has so many of my favorite play places, and that’s THE EASIEST AND BESTEST way to lift back up, right? Most of the people here are really joyful. There’s tons of music and dancing. There are loads of kids here, and pretty much everybody loves kids. People have a deep connection to their culture, heritage, art and traditions. There’s ocean! And reef! And loads of animals and amazing natural spaces. And oh my Lord, the food!
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And so I realized that is the deeper meaning of that Abraham saying for me. Our dreams, the things we are manifesting in our lives, are almost always connected to our favorite play spaces.
There’s no doubt you can be happy anywhere. I proved that a couple summers ago (perhaps we can talk about that in another post). Happiness is never about a place, but surrounding myself with some of my favorite ways to play has been such a blessing and feels like an incredible step forward for me.