New Beginnings

It’s been 6 months since I’ve visited this space. This rainy, lazy Saturday before I begin my new work adventures seems like a good time to come back, doesn’t it?

I’ve started meditating.

My goals for this are multiple:

Better sleep. Moving through the days with intention, compassion and awareness. More time in the moment and much less time spent with the chaos choir in my head. Less time spent just inside out exhausted from the world.

My former hair client and friend Ryan sent me a code for a free month of the Headspace app. I used it once and let it set for 6 weeks 8 weeks, who knows. All things in the right time, eh? So I started using it, ten minutes a day about the same time my friends and I started reading A Buddha Walks Into A Bar. Talk about serendipity.

I can already tell a difference if I somehow don’t give myself the ten minutes in the morning. I can tell a difference if I don’t give myself ten minutes at night to decompress.

The guided meditations are so easy. So…just…so forgiving. It’s ok if your mind travels. It’s ok. Everything is ok. There is no “you’re doing it wrong!!!” That’s the most pleasantly surprising thing, that it IS so nice and surprising in that my internal reaction was to expect the negative.

I love it. I can’t even tell you how much.

I’m doing a float tomorrow and I cannot wait to do it and incorporate some of the practices I’ve already gained.

Monday, I begin my Fund Development career. I’m still with Girl Scouts. No longer in the PR/Comms dept, and while that job has afforded me so many crazy, cool, life-changing experiences I am beyond ready for something new.

I’m thankful that I found something to feed this need without having to leave the organization that I so strongly believe in. I’ll hit the ground running next week as we have an event on Thursday, I’ve got a United Way event on Wednesday with one of our state legislators and holy cow thats not even counting the learning curve. I’m excited.

I’m happy to be back here too.

 

 

 

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Free Brain Space

I’ve been making a conscious effort this year to spend less time taking in the opinions of the world via social media, and putting more energy into gratitude, being mindful of the time I’m spending in conversation with my husband and friends and just generally staying away from the yuk.

I removed all FB apps from my phone, which is working great. Especially when I’m in a waiting situation, like the line at the grocery store, or at the salon. I disconnected my Twitter and IG feed from FB and enjoy time on those platforms independent from FB.

Because pretty pictures of my sweet #SybilWoJo and #Jamapalooza and #ZooBabies are way better for my soul than anything anyone is posting on Facebook. Because 140 characters is enough for me to ingest.

It’s working. I feel lighter. I’m having less arguments with family and friends and acquaintances in my head. There is less toxic and more of the good in my particularly crazy brain.

I’m calling it a win.

We’ve continued going to St. John’s here in Norman on Sunday morning. We have had some really great conversations about the time we’re spending, how we feel about it, what it means to us and our lives. It has been many many years since I’ve been a churchgoer. So these are baby steps. But we are really enjoying what this time we spend weekly is adding to our lives.

Mark will have his 35th work anniversary this year. We look forward to the day that we can retire, and move to Colorado and begin a new adventure there. He’s sent off for actual retirement information, and once we have that we will being real conversations about real dates. I’m giddy about it. And scared. But not so scared that I wouldn’t do it.

Leap and the net will appear.

I want to begin writing here on a more regular basis. There are books to read. Shows to see. Life to be lived. That moment a day journal I started? I made it like two weeks and then dropped off. I should pick that up again. And that’s cool, right?

The politics and the state of our world right now is just doing its best to level me. A lot of us I think. But I’m holding on to joy.

Savoring the moments.

 

 

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#Blessed

We’ve talked about it for several years…really since I met the priest of St John’s Episcopal Church at a neighborhood Christmas party a few years ago and just enjoyed his company immensely. Our neighbor and friend Anne goes to St. John’s and I’ve always loved the way she loves her church.

When Mark and I speak of ‘church’ (and we have these conversations often) we do what most non-church going folk do and bring all of our personal experiences to the table. Our stories sometimes intersect and overlap, but not with positive examples. So when I said I wanted to visit this week, it came after several years of talking about it. Looking at different “flavors” as I call it. What do we like about church, what do we not like.

We both love the tradition and ceremony, but also need a contemporary message that will ring true for our lives in 2017. We don’t like fog machines and praise bands, though that resonates with many, it’s not our personal flavor. Choirs and robes and candles and pews and prayers and messages about love and reminders that we are to love each other and commentary on the place in our society and democracy…all of that. All of that.

Today was really lovely. Made even more special because my husband was right by my side sharing in this new experience. When the call for birthday and anniversaries came several people filed up and knelt at the alter.

“what are they doing,” I whispered.

“it’s their birthday or anniversary,” he whispered back.

“I know but what are they getting?” I asked.

“blessings!” he giggled. and continued to laugh at me while the folks received their blessings.

Look I didn’t know. Maybe you had to give a little extra money for your birthday tithe or something! I also spent a handfull of years in the Assembly of God flavor of church and the first time I was there and people filed to the alter one old lady took a header about two minutes into prayer and the men were lifting carrying her to her chair. So…yeah.

The Eucharist was just beautiful, the ceremony and affirmation of community.

also….real wine. one cup.

no little tiny baby shot glasses full of Welches.

 

As we kneeled in prayer (on real kneeling pews!) I prayed for this family of mine, for our next year, for this next week…I prayed for our leaders in the state capitol…and for our president-elect. If ever there was a week when my soul needs the extra bubble wrap security that comes with prayer…this is it.

It was a lovely way to start our week.

I look forward to visiting again.

 

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Hitch Your Wagon

It’s an emotional night at my house. All of my emotions are just wrecked and hanging out on my shoulders.

President Obama just told us we should hitch our wagon to something greater than ourselves. To continue to have faith in and believe in Yes We Can.

sob.


I couldn’t even finish this last night.

In truth, I wanted to watch This Is Us and just decompress from the day.

My workday only concluded in time for me to tune into the President’s farewell speech when he was speaking to his wife and daughter. tears.

But I was keyed up already because I had just finished the first of 5 training webinar’s for my upcoming trip to NYC in March.

My council was one of three selected to send four delegates to represent girls and Girl Scouts at the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women for a week over Spring Break. I am one of the chaperones. For a week, our girls will be at the table, discussing the following: 

  • Priority theme:
    Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work
  • Review theme:
    Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls (agreed conclusions of the fifty-eighth session)
  • Emerging issue/Focus area:
    The empowerment of indigenous women

They will have an opportunity to serve with girls from Hawaii and Southern New England councils as well as other delegates from across the nation, and the world. They will be at the table representing the Girl space on the themes and be allowed to use their voice. They will literally be in the room where it’s happening. 

and I get to be there too.

This is going to be a game changer for these girls. What an experience.

I’m really proud that the organization I work for offers opportunities like this for girls to expand their world view, to think about more than their little bubble. They will experience travel and a big city and different modes of transportation and they will never be the same girls from Oklahoma who had maybe never left the state. (I don’t know their stories yet, but i’m on a roll here.)

And I firmly believe that this experience will help them navigate an adult life that brings issues like we are facing today.

This divisive, vitriolic culture that we’re all swimming in, watching it grow and grow until we’re dog paddling with our chins barely clear of it, and our friends, the people we have shared meals and laughter with, they refuse to throw us a life raft because they were for him and we were for her.

My hope is that these girls, will continue to have experiences that expand their world view, experiences that introduce them to people of other skin colors, people of other faiths, people who have different educations and backgrounds than they do. And because of those experiences, they have the courage to use their voice, to stand up for injustices and continue to impact their world and create change.

History has it’s eyes on you. On our president elect. On our governor. On you. On me.

I’m sickened by the sideshow. I’m confused by those who see him as the true answer.

And only time will tell…if we were on the right side of history.

Until then, I’m following this President’s call.

I’m hitching my wagon to something greater than ourselves.

I wonder what that will be for you?

For me, that something greater is our girls.

Yes. They. Can.

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Weekends are for Loving

It’s been a few days since I delete my FB off of my phone. I think a lot of people read that as I was off of FB altogether…

“I was off of FB” –get it? am I the only one that does that when someone says altogether?

Alas, no. I’m still on it. But wanted to limit my time spent by removing it from my phone, that thing which I have with me at all times. So far so good. I notice, like I did when I gave up FB for Lent that one year, how many times I automatically reach for my device to check in, to look at it while at a red light, when I wake up in the middle of the night. That part is easing. And it feels good. Sticking with it.

Also sticking with Dry January, which I’ve done and usually do at the beginning of the year. I’ve seen many people talk about it, counting the days. I wonder if it’s a huge struggle for them? It’s not for me, other than habit. Socializing. That thing you do on a snow day. l like seeing all the steps everyone is taking to feel good about themselves this year. I really like it.

Yesterday was near perfect in that I got to officiate the wedding of Brandon and Aron. What an honor, and to be able to declare them legally married in Oklahoma is just never ever going to do anything but make me weepy. This year I get to participate in three more (that I know of) weddings and they are people I love and adore. Man, it just is the best soul food, being able to participate in the most special day for these people. Love Wins.

Mark and I had a fun little date night afterwards, we saw Hidden Figures. It was beautiful. Old fashioned story-telling. A real movie that told a real story and had the theatre clapping and had most of us smiling through tears. Run don’t walk to this one yall…

My new year is progressing nicely. I feel in control of most things. I’m ready to purge the closets and do some downsizing. We’ve had some real conversations about what it looks like for us, this next chapter, and how we are going to get there. Next weekend  is a 4 day for me. I’ll use the vacation time I’ve got to burn and put some of those plans in action.

My house chores are mostly done for the weekend, meals are prepped or in the process of. I’ve got sweet potatoes in the crock pot baking for lunches, bagged up sweet peppers and carrots for munching, meals planned for evening and mostly what’s left is digging into one of my new books I got this weekend!

I love that this little entry is just a slice of an absolutely normal, quietlife weekend for us.

Huzzuah for books and snacks and perchance a nap in my future!

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Baby Step One: Delete Delete Delete

My desire to savor the moments this year manifested today in my deleting Facebook off of my phone.

When did we get to a place where something as trivial as deleting an application from a phone was major?

But who are we kidding. You know it’s real. I’ve reached for it a million times today just out of mindless habit. We all do it. I’m not shaming, judging or trying to compel you to do it just because I am. This is just the thing I’m doing.

When I was in those moments, those mindless phone moments, I looked at photo streams and not once did I see disparaging remarks about stupid people, orange cheetos, violent football players, or rants about how Garth Brooks is no longer a True Oklahoman since he chose not to perform at the impending inauguration.

This is just what I saw a moment ago when I logged on via laptop, just in the first five minutes.

I continue to delete and hide.  I cannot stand the mindless posting of obvious misinformation. Is no one curious anymore? Aren’t you just the teensiest bit CURIOUS about the world at all? Just fucking get curious again. Do some research. Tell the REAL story.

See? See how it riles me up?

deep breath in. deep breath out.

So anyways, I deleted it from my phone. And I feel happy of myself.

Today is the final day of a glorious break from it all. The sun was shining, the temperature said 70 degrees. I spent the morning writing. I have the honor of officiating a wedding ceremony of two friends next weekend so I worked on their words until we were all weepy and happy.

We packed up all the decorations, the house is still shiny and I burned my smudge stick and set intentions for the house this year.  I made a delicious meal with clean ingredients. Tons of water and even a little nap made the day damn near perfect.

I usually dry out in January, no booze. I decided I’d do that again. It always feels good to just slow my roll awhile. If I can get rid of this stupid cough (thank’s record-breaking cedar pollen) I’ll be in great shape to start the work week tomorrow.

So there we have it. Baby steps towards savoring the moment. Encourage curiosity whenever you can. Find me on Insta if you feel like it @Mistikae

Savor.

Curiosity.

I think I just found my words for the year.

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Soak It UP

I’ve been thinking about the usual end of year, new year things the last few days. Thinking about the year that we just closed out, the good the bad and the presidential. Thinking about the changes that came about for many of my family peoples. Thinking about those moments during the year where I thought the camel’s back would break.

The usual contemplation.

For Mark and I, it was a year of travel. We managed between the two of us, either together or solo, to do at least one major trip a month- 11 out of the past 12 months. We just got home from ringing in the new year in The Woodlands, with Toni & Patrick & Buster in their gorgeous new home. This is what we want out of our life. To pack up and go. To hook up the trailer and wake up in a forest surrounded by trees. To experience this life together.

We will have travel this year, but not as much. This year is for prepping to launch. To save, to plan. . . perhaps to leap. But anyway, I digress.

Coming home, I saw the most glorious, graceful sunset, noticed that if only but by a few minutes the days are starting to get longer, and it kind of startled me out of the contemplation mode.

My brain had been going a mile a minute, thinking about the new year, about starting back to work, about moving to Colorado and wondering where we will be this time next year. It shook me out and I savored the moment.

Slowly wrapping my brain around the here and now, and the intention behind it, behind wanting to commit the moment to memory.

The weekend had been glorious. There was no stress. Nothing but relaxing and soaking up time together. Savoring each other. Slowly soaking in the moments before the year takes hold.

I always get so crazy this time of year with all of the LOSE WEIGHT THIS YEAR ads. My brain goes bonkers and it’s just ugly. But that lovely post on FB by Anne Lamont kind of gave me the things I needed this year to move forward with intention.

My goals for the year are pretty simple. Get my passport. I’m going to spend more time looking at pretty pictures on Instagram than looking at the petty on FB. I’m going to be conscious about money and saving it. I’m going to be aware of what I need and make the clear choice to savor those moments– to roll around in them, slowly soaking up the grace and the good of the day.

Julie gifted me with a Favorite Moment of the Day journal. It’s the most wonderful thing. Because I’m not obligated to write a long entry, or reveal my soul and find revelations. It’s just…my favorite moment of the day.

Inadvertently, it’s helped with the enjoying, slowly savoring the moment. Because at the end of the day, I rummage through the memories and write one or two down. It’s lovely.

Holly gifted me with a MyIntent bracelet…my word is Colorado.

I feel like I’m set.

Savor. Cherish. Soak It Up.

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Peace Be With You

This weekend has been lovely. Yesterday was spent snuggling animals, sporadic cleaning that amounted in a tangible difference, Gilmore Girls marathon, The Crown on Netflix, OU football and yet another underwhelming experience with Order Up Norman. (NEVER AGAIN AND I MEAN IT THIS TIME)

Throughout all of that peace, it also had that overriding energy that burbles up when travel is imminent.

The check list of things needed, things to accomplish, places to be.

Packing is almost finished for me. Mark will being about 3am tomorrow. Because that’s how he rolls.

I’ll deliver Winnie to Cori and Jess for a week of what we all only hope is fun and laughter and zero mishaps.

Tonight we get to hear Slaid Cleaves in The Depot once again. That man can make a song, sing a song, take you to church with a song.

Traditionally the last show right before Thanksgiving is the one filled with so much magic it is palpable. I can’t wait.

I’ve got us checked in for our super early flight. We get to be with family for a week that includes Harry Potter World, some amazing sight seeing,and ends with Thanksgiving. That makes my heart soar.

There is, amid all the bullshit, a newfound sense of peace in my heart.

For that I am so very thankful.

Be blessed this week, be kind and speak to each other with words of love. For many it will not be easy to sit across from family, this time has been so full of toxic energy it will be an effort. For others it will be a mixture of duty and dread and carbs.

Whatever your scenario, I send you thoughts of love and light.

Rise UP together.

xoxo

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Travel Log 2016

We’re THIS CLOSE to being on vacation for multiple days. THIS CLOSE.

This year has been an epic year for travel for us, and while I do think that the more prudent choice would’ve been to save that money for a house in Colorado, I wouldn’t change a thing. Next year we scrimp and save. Next year we stay put as much as possible.

Until we move.

Monday we head to San Diego for the week with family that I maybe see once a year  and that is our final splurge for 2016.

Tuesday I will be with my cousins at HARRY POTTER WORLD OH MY SWEET LORDAHMERCY!!!

I counted it up last week and we have traveled together or solo almost every single month this year.

Jan: Colorado exploring the neighborhoods trip

Feb: Mark went to Folk Alliance, we took the train to Dallas/Ft. Worth for our anniversary

March: stayed home

April: DC

May: stayed home

June: Cousinpalooza

July: I went back to Colorado and saw Dolly @ Red Rocks

August: stayed home

September: Santa Fe/Pagosa Springs Four Corners Folk Fest

October: Colorado to see the Raley’s and check out more neighborhoods

November: San Diego for Thanksgiving

December: mostly home but some travel to Ark for family holidays.

 

WHEW!~

While 2016 has taken it’s fair share of shots at us, removing some of our favorite people from the planet, that fucking election and the fall out, ugh…it’s actually been one that I’ve dreamed of for so long.

Having a partner who loves to travel, sleeping in nice places as well as in forests and willing to be the one to say ok and the one to say LETS GO!

For that, I give thanks.

It’s Thanksgiving potluck at the office today.

I’m wearing soft pants.

Happy Thursday ya’ll.

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Away From The Things of Man

Did anyone besides SP, Audra and myself see Joe vs the Volcano?

I remember the three of us, and I think it was only the three of us, sitting in the theatre just loving every second of that movie. I think that for awhile in the world, we were the only three. It’s got it’s own little cult following now. I’ve seen quotes sprinkled throughout social media this week, they always make me smile.

Patricia: My father says that almost the whole world is asleep. Everybody you know. Everybody you see. Everybody you talk to. He says that only a few people are awake and they live in a state of constant total amazement.

The flotsam and jetsam of a life shared bubbles up in my brain at the craziest of times. This week has been an opportunity for many of them to rise up, what with all the reflection and all of the new that came around.

It’s a reminder to me.

Though we may feel wonky, uncomfortable and downright afraid, we have each other. For those of you that aren’t feeling wonky, uncomfortable and downright afraid you’re likely not brown skinned or have loved ones that are,  not gay or have loved ones that are, not raising a transgender child or have loved ones that are, not…well the list could go on right? These are legitimate fears. Not some kind of fear mongering crying of the wolf by the side that lost.

It’s when I get caught up in the frizzle of the storm that I reach for one of those pieces of flotsam and jetsam.

Angelica: Would you like to hear one of my poems?

Joe Banks: Sure.

Angelica: Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair… covered the emptiness of my hand… Would you like to hear it again?

Joe Banks: Ok.

Angelica: Long ago, the delicate tangles of his hair… covered the emptiness of my hand.

and I laugh.

and I send a text of love, or a quote from a favorite tv show, or like a post or just say I Love You but I am STRUGGLING.

I understand the need to rage and point fingers and say DON’T EVER TALK TO ME AGAIN.

I understand the fear and the pit in our stomach for our children and those that we hold close.

I understand the maniacal reading of everything on the internet and posting and reposting and saying SEE I TOLD YOU SO.

I don’t have any answers.

I slept a lot yesterday and last night. My soul was beyond weary and flat ass exhausted.

But today, I awoke to a morning filled with sunlight and laughter and dog breath. I get it.

I see crunchy leaves that resisted the urge to show off with bright colors and just said fuck it and dropped to the ground. I get that too.

We’re going away from the things of man for a short time and I cannot wait.

Patricia: I wonder where we’ll end up?

Joe Banks: Away from the things of man, my love. Away from the things of man.

Tonight the moon will be beautiful, big and bright. I will look up and I’ll think of my friends who are always with me as I quote:

 

Joe Banks: Dear God, whose name I do not know – thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG… thank you. Thank you for my life.

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