Saturday, December 19, 2009
My Nana drove us to the airport yesterday, so we had a nice hour to spend talking about the world, our family and life in general. It was during the car ride that I realized I hardly know any sayings that my Nana uses in normal conversation. (And apparently these are common things that people used to say.)
So, I'd like to know what some of the prized and best known ones are, that have been used in your family.
Some of the ones that were new to me were:
* "Cut one's teeth" meaning to getone's first experience by doing (although I have to admit the visual I got for this one was quite interesting)
* "Barking at a knot" meaning that your efforts were as useless as a dog barking at a knot.
Let's hear it...what are you favorites that your grandparents or parents used to say?
Friday, December 11, 2009
In fact, just the other day Jake was doing the funniest thing. We were sharing a drink with him, a smoothie. And we figured that it would probably be easier for him and cleaner for us to use a straw, which he has had plenty of success with in the past. Well, he began to drink and then stopped, looked at both of us and started to scream. Then he made a sour face, turned back to the smoothie and repeated the odd behavior.
It went something like this:
We couldn’t figure it out, but we started laughing…I decided that he was just thirsty and brought him some water which seemed to satisfy him. And then it occurred to us (a good 20 minutes later) that Jake was having trouble actually sucking the smoothie through the straw. As soon as he was given the smoothie like “grown ups” drink it, he was happy and smiling.
So what does this teach us? Or rather, what did it teach me?
You can whine and fuss when you don’t get what you want…but never give up. Eventually, however, doing things like a grown up will get you exactly like you want.
So I guess I don’t have any more excuses…I have to act like a grown up! At least I get to have smoothies...
Sunday, November 29, 2009
What a great way to start off a post! In all reality though, I loved making these delicious Pecan Truffles over the Thanksgiving holiday. It reminded me how much I enjoy cooking with others. How, just having a few moments alone together, creating something full of love and flavor can be so fulfilling and rewarding. There is certainly something to be said about having too many cooks in the kitchen. And, this year...there were just the perfect amount. We really had a splendid time, didn't we family?
I have had plenty of people ask for the recipe, so here it is:
Makes 24 truffles
2.5 cups pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons maple syrup
.25 cup bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla
7 ounces dark chocolate
1. In a medium bowl, stir together pecans, graham
cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and salt until well
combined. Add maple syrup, bourbon, and vanilla,
stirring thoroughly. Use your hands to make sure the
mixture becomes fully incorporated.
2. Freeze mixture for about 20 minutes. Form into walnut-sized balls,
then place on a cookie sheet and freeze for 2 hours.
3. In the top of a double boiler or in a medium stainless steel
bowl set over a pot of gently simmering water, melt
chocolate. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dip the frozen balls into the melted chocolate, then
place onto prepared baking sheet. Let sit for 15 minutes
or until firm. Or, put them back in the freezer for a yummy frozen treat!
I do have a question for you, however. What was your favorite part of Thanksgiving 2009? Or, what is the best part about cooking with loved ones?
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Are you ready for a lot of questions?
What is art to you? This question has come up a lot recently. Mostly, because my lovely husband has been approaching the question and I find myself wondering. What is it? Why do we value, or not value art in our society? Is it just a creative expression?
This past month I have been exposed to some brilliant artists, and it seems to have opened up a portal in my mind that I was unaware of. Now, I want more.
I seem to be defining what my aesthetic preferences are lately and I'd love to know what yours are. Who are your favorite artists? Are they painters, sculptures, authors, designers? And why are these people your favorite?
This picture is of an amazing sculpture artist by the name of Robert Holmes.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Luckily, I have a very understanding husband who will often join me in these moments of delight. He doesn't laugh at me when I pull out my funky dance moves on him. He just smiles, and laughs with me as I slide around on the floor in my fuzzy over-sized socks and pajamas. He has taught me a lot about accepting my goofy nature.
Do you ever let the moment whisk you away to another place? Are you ever inspired to do something totally out of the norm?
I find that doing these simple acts of pleasure give me a sense of exhilaration and joy in my life. In an otherwise structured and boxed-in society it can be nice to just let loose and let the music carry me to a beautiful alternate reality where I dance, sing and entertain in my own perfect way.
In this alternate reality I'm also really funny. Especially when I'm doing the Running Man in my kitchen. Or perhaps, the Macarena...to keep in shape, of course (see below).
What do you do in your 'Other Universe'?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
It seems like the previous sentence is pretty normal, right? But the experience wasn’t. Because when I really observed this singer, I noticed that he was in a whole other “place” than where I was. I don’t mean he was in Kalamazoo and I was in Santa Rosa. I mean figuratively, he was “in” his song. He was completely and fully immersed in his version of the world. He radiated joy for what he was doing, time seemed to stand still for him and he savored every note. His eyes were closed, his body was open and he was experiencing his craft to the fullest.
Have you ever felt this before?
Artists have spoken about being in “the zone”. What is “the zone”? And has everyone felt it? The reason I ask this question is because I’ve also heard people say that when they’re in this creative zone it is the closest they have ever felt to God. Now, I don’t know what everyone’s definition of God is, because even within the confines of a single religion it is an extremely personal and unique relationship or experience. So how could I possibly understand what another person’s experience of God truly is? This doesn’t stop me from wondering about our connection to the Divine or Source. Because, knowing that we are always a part of or connected to this Source is a conscious understanding of mine. I get it…we’re connected, all the time.
So why then, does it feel like we are more connected to this Divinity at some times in our lives than in others? When do you feel connected, or in “the zone”? And how can we maintain a level of connection that allows us to flourish as the creative sparks of light that we really are?
What do you think?
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Well, maybe I don't know what you are looking for but I know that I'm always looking for something. And when I look, I find. So when I started trying to figure out how intuition and energy are related , a bunch of answers came flying my way.
The other day I was discussing how people think of energy. I'm not talking about your local PG&E office, although that is a form of energy too. I'm speaking about the vital essence that we are all created from. Some call it energy, others call it vibration and some folks believe it is pure love. Whatever your association to the substance, I want to know how do you experience it?
When I first started becoming interested in the metaphysical world I was very attracted to numerology (I use the word metaphysical because of its etymology: 'meta' meaning beyond, and 'physical' pertaining to our material world). I was fascinated at how accurately numbers could explain things. You see, the theory behind numerology is that everything is made up of numbers, and each number has a certain vibration. Each vibration (or number) has specific implications inherent within it, and when we learn what these implications are, we can learn to see our reality through new eyes.
I was very skeptical at first so I started cataloging all the numbers that I could find.
I started with people, and created a spreadsheet of my friends and loved ones (I know I'm a little weird). Within this spreadsheet I noticed clear patterns. There were certain people with whom I felt connected or bonded to, and they all had similar number profiles. Others, with whom I did not feel so attached had different number patterns. When I noticed this, I started to give the study of numerology some credence. This led to my love of the numbers. My head started swimming with numbers all day, every day. I began to view the world with a new approach, and I saw my life was full of "hidden" meanings. Everything started to make sense in a completely fresh way. Years later, it still amazes me!
The reason I bring up my history with numerology is only to illustrate that this is the way in which I started recognizing how energy can be interpreted. I've never considered myself to be all that "intuitive", so when I realized that THIS was how my intuitive sense came through I was ecstatic. I am aware now that we ALL have intuition, we each access it in our own unique way. Some people feel things, some people see things, others just have a knowing. Whatever it is for you, and however you do it, is perfect.
So I'll end with my question from above: How do you experience intuition as it relates to energy? Have you been in touch with your intuition throughout your life, or has it developed over time? And for those of you who have always had strong internal guidance, how do you strengthen it?
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
And while we’re on the subject, is inspiration the same as motivation?
I don’t think so. Because, I can certainly motivate myself to do things I don’t want to do. Like...cleaning the kitchen or folding the laundry. You know, those mundane chores that seem to be endlessly waiting for my attention. What’s the trick? All I have to do is imagine that the task gets ten times as worse. For example, I visualize the kitchen getting exponentially dirty or the laundry pile growing to an enormous mound. As soon as I do that, it seems easier to do it, now…rather than later when it has become even worse. This is what we call ‘negative motivation’ in NLP. But it is not the same as inspiration.
And inspiration is what I’m looking for. Artists seem to find it in the simplest things; like a drop of dew or a flower petal. Parents find it when looking into the eyes of their newborn children. I admit I have found inspiration sporadically throughout my life. However, what I’m seeking is something different, something reliable. Is there a steady source of inspiration out there?
So tell me; do you find inspiration in your life? If you do, how? And, is it consistent?
Saturday, August 8, 2009
While vacationing this week in Costa Rica, I found myself among a group of healers trained in a variety of modalities. Many of these amazing people were trained in the field of NLP, but there were a few who were a little lost when we would dive into our NLP terminology to describe something we found interesting. I found myself answering the question; what is NLP? As I began to answer, I realized one very important question that I was asking myself: Who is asking? And, I mean this in the most literal sense. Depending on who is asking, and who is answering the definition of NLP will change. The reason for this is simple. There are many answers because NLP can be used in almost every part of the human experience. The very basis on which NLP was created is the notion of modeling successful ways of doing things. Whether that means becoming a superstar athlete, overcoming addictions and phobias, or learning how to be a master communicator, NLP is an invaluable method for creating phenomenal results.
Describing how NLP is integrated into daily life is kind of like describing how the experience of breathing air for the first time as a newborn becomes automatic. Just as breathing becomes a natural, normal function, NLP becomes an unconscious way of living, communicating and experiencing life. When given the time to develop the lungs in the womb, a newborn can breathe and scream as soon as she is born. Her lungs are strong and she does not need to think about how to take her next breath, she just does it. In the same way the newborn can learn to regulate her breath with simplicity, NLP can be incorporated into everyday life.
Just the other day my younger sister came to me with what seemed to be a rather serious issue. She plopped down on my bed and began to describe to me why she was in the decision making process of whether or not to break up with her boyfriend. As she began to describe her rather troubling situation my antennae shot up and my sensory acuity skills became alert. I started to realize that I had already unconsciously begun to sense how she was experiencing her situation. I watched her eyes and body; I listened to her tone and words, and started to notice the tiny clues that would assist me in helping her.
The first thing I became aware of was that she was completely immersed in her feelings. Her body hunched over, her head was hung low and her voice was low, slow and sad sounding. I know that being associated into a situation can be useful in certain circumstances, but in this situation I needed to pull her out, or dissociate her, so she could see her situation from a new perspective. This is where a pattern interrupt is useful. So, I made her laugh about something completely unrelated to confuse her neurology.
The next item on the agenda to accomplish was to establish what she wanted as the outcome. NLP teaches us to create well formed outcomes every time we start a process. And, what exactly is a well formed outcome? I began to ask my sister what her vision of the future would be, and like any 15 year old young lady she replied; “I dunno…” And I responded, “Okay, and if you were to know, what would it look like if things worked out perfectly?” She started to describe the way in which she could see herself working through her issues with her boyfriend, the types of things she would be doing, the things she would be saying and the emotions that she would be feeling. As it turns out, she wasn’t able to completely conceive of how to accomplish each of her goals. This is when knowing how to model becomes paramount in achieving the results we want. (And by modeling, I don’t mean putting on a pair of Mom’s stiletto heals and creating a runway in our hallway.)
Modeling is perhaps the most important tool used in NLP. Modeling is the foundation of how NLP was developed. The method for modeling is simply to find a person who does the behavior you want to do, and figure out how they do it. This is why mentoring is so vital to creating healthy individuals. When a person has an ample source of people to look up to, she will have more resources to cope with potential situations that will arise in her life.
I had my sister close her eyes and become fully associated as a person who possesses the skills necessary to handle this particular problem. After she was able to get in touch with what it would feel like to actually have her issues resolved successfully and with ease, she knew what she had to do. It was only a few short minutes and she was ready to resolve her conflict. The best part is that she felt empowered to do it herself!
Situations such as these present themselves to me on a daily basis. Perhaps the situations are not as acute, and do not always involve family members. However, the fundamental tools are kept in my tool belt that I wear everyday. Before I start any construction project I use my magic rapport building tool to understand the person with whom I am speaking. Then, I pull out my sensory acuity stick in order to calibrate the situation properly. After I assess the project I am about to assume, and the environment in which I will be working in, I put on my builder’s hat and go to work. All of this happens unconsciously and effortlessly, just as one might drive a car and change the radio station while talking on the phone, changing lanes and shaving. Well, perhaps not just like doing all of those things while driving, but you get the gist of it, right?
What I am getting at is simply that once a person learns NLP, it becomes a silent force of positive change that is waiting patiently to emerge day to day. How can one not apply the tools of NLP once shown the value and track record of its use? Unconscious competence is a key term used in NLP to describe the effect of how a skill becomes second nature. When a person is unconsciously competent she can achieve successful results without knowing that she is doing it consciously. This is my well formed outcome for NLP, to be unconsciously competent with its use. Just as I learned how to breathe as a newborn I established the unconscious mechanisms for using NLP in real life, encouraging others to do the same.
How do I help others to align their outer circumstances with their internal dreams? By helping people to realize that there are alternate methods of perceiving reality, dealing with crises, handling life’s struggles and manifesting their desires. How will I do that? I will do that by guiding mentors to learn the tools of NLP including rapport building, calibrating, modeling which help these individuals to become unconsciously competent in whatever they desire. I can do this in California or in Costa Rica, with every person that I meet. When this is achieved, it enters the realm of real life and becomes really meaningful.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
The other night at dinner, I had a familiar feeling that I had dreamt about a situation that we were in. And, it wasn’t déjà vu. I’ve had the feeling before. The only way I have been able to describe it is to say that I’ve dreamt it. Which is what it feels like; watching a dream unfold. The funny thing is, the situations usually aren’t anything spectacular. For example, sitting at dinner with a few people from our Yuen seminar isn’t all that profound. Yes, we got some great work done. But, that in and of itself isn’t a great feat in my life. Not that I know of anyway.
When I was discussing it with my husband he mentioned the possibility that these experiences could be my way of experiencing Divine Timing. Divine Timing is an interesting concept which I particularly enjoy. It seems to go along with other belief systems that I have. Divine Timing (according to my perception) is the view that before we come into this life we decide certain things that we will do, or experience. Some instances of Divine Timing might be having children or getting married. These occurrences are non-negotiable. No matter what we do in our lives, our Divine Timing WILL happen. We can fight against it, but it won’t be pleasant. So when we realize that we are in alignment with our Divine Timing…it can be a wonderful gift.
This déjà-dreaming that happens to me is pretty cool. I think it would be even cooler if it was my subconscious letting me know that I’ve seen this before. That I know this is the right path, and that I’m on it. That I’m right in-step with my Divine Timing.
My question for you is: Have you experienced a knowing that you are on the right path? If so, how did it manifest itself for you?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Lately I've been playing this game on Facebook. It's called FarmTown. It's a simulated farming game where the player is given a plot of land and she can do whatever she wants with it. As a player you can grow crops of various vegetables and grains. You can grow an orchard of trees, and you can have animals that wander around your acreage. At first I thought it was a harmless little game. So, I gave it a whirl and something unexpected started happening.
You see, I was harvesting my virtual wheat yesterday and I had the distinct experience of feeling fulfilled. That's right, fulfilled. And I thought to myself...weird. I'm not actually "doing" anything and yet I feel a sense of completion, gratification and accomplishment. Immediately, I began to tell myself that I shouldn't be feeling this way. That, in some way it was not the appropriate response to a game. I can hear myself now; "Don't be silly Renata...it's just a game." or "What would people say if they new you felt this way?" All of these thoughts, feelings and emotions came up and I was curious why. Why, first of all do I feel fulfilled? Secondly, why would I discount any emotions about it?
Is it possible that I'm accessing a deep memory of actually farming? A genetic or ancestral memory. Maybe I really enjoyed being a farmer in my past life. And if that is true, and I derive some pleasure out of virtually farming my land, maybe I should keep doing it. It certainly is a lot less effort than digging in the dirt. I don't really know for sure what this is all about...but I think I'll keep doing it all the same until I figure it out.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Our fabulous gym teachers dressed as Men In Black for the launch of the new classes today.
This beautiful July morning my hubby and I went to three fitness classes at our local gym. Oh my goodness! Or as my sister would say Omg. Actually, I thought I would be a lot more fatigued than I really am. Which is a good sign that I’m getting more stamina, and healthier, right? That’s what I’m going on. Afterward I felt a nice sense of peace, tranquility and relaxation. It probably helped that the last class we did called “Body Combat” is based on martial arts. I’m pretty sure it allowed me to release some anger or irritation or frustration or…something that I didn’t even know existed.
According to well respected metaphysicians, grinding your teeth is a signal that you have some unresolved rage. This isn’t the best news for me. I have been grinding my teeth for almost my entire life. So I have to ask myself, what I was raging about when I was an infant. Perhaps a past life thing? I don’t know and maybe I never will. I do know, however, that taking Body Combat this morning was enlightening. And apparently, I still have a few more things to work out in this lifetime because there seems to be a lot of umph behind that right hook of mine.
Too bad I can’t just punch away real life problems. It might be easier and slightly less involved than hashing out all the emotional drama that I am so want to do. I just love to assign reason and logic to all of life’s situations. I think it might be better to just give me an invisible punching bag and I’ll kickbox my way to a healthier psyche…
Anyone up to creating a prototype?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Often times I miss my cats. I say my cats not because I believe they are my cats, but for the ease of conversation. I really believe that it's more like we are their humans. And, if you know me, you know that animals play a larger role in my life than do many other things and leaving my cats was one of the hardest things I have ever done. So, when I see the furry feline friends I find myself watching, gazing and admiring them. I find that animals tell us exactly what is going on with us at exactly the right time. They act as a sort of mirror in a way, shedding light on our lives.
This morning I had the great privilege of being reminded of my kitty Timmie. Timmie was one of those cats that owned the place. She was large and in charge. She had long hair and her coloring looked like a tuxedo. She lived on our three acres with a sense of entitlement and pride. She was a skilled huntress and while she carried a few extra pounds she could run like the wind if she had to.
Thoughts of her were running through my mind when I looked out of my big window in the back room this morning and saw a beautiful black cat walking through our yard. The kitty seemed to be walking toward our bird fountain to get a drink of water. She slowly sauntered with her ears pointed slightly back, looking a bit agitated. And then, seemingly out of nowhere came a small grey and white bird chirping loudly and aiming right for the cat! This tiny bird would fly from a tree branch, nose dive toward the cat and barely miss the fur on her tail. She did this over and over again for many minutes. For a moment I watched as the story unfolded.
And while I was watching I remembered that birds used to do this to Timmie...right after she snatched their eggs from the nest. You see, Timmie didn't really play fair when it came to hunting. Anything was fair game. So when I realized that this bird had the same kind of force and urgency that the birds who hunted Timmie had, I knew that something unpleasant must have happened. This birdie was NOT happy. For me, I didn't need to know the whole story. I just knew that this cat represented something threatening or menacing to the bird and this bird was not just going to take it. This bird was not going to back down or fly away to a safe place. She was going to stay and fight.
So it got me to thinking. If something as delicate and small as a bird has the courage to challenge a fierce black cat five times her size, what might I have the courage to do? What situation or person or place or thing in my life presents itself as a predator that I want to challenge? Do I have the same kind of courage as that little bird?
Well, I believe I do...and I might as well get started. What's first on my list? That's a different question.
What I really want to know is where do I learn to nose dive?
Friday, June 26, 2009
First, take a moment to think of the type of people you would like to attract into your life. What are the qualities you are looking for in them? Are you looking for clients or a new social network? Or, are you looking for something completely different? Whatever it is, just get a good idea of what you are seeking. Then, identify the part in you that is most like what it is that you are attracting. Connect with that part of you.
Now, as you are connected to that part, imagine yourself as a beautiful light. Remember that light is a vibration. Feel the vibration and movement of your light. Get a sense for what you, as the light, look like. Are you bright or dull? What color are you? Is there a temperature or weight to your light? How big are you?
Take a few moments to get settled into this feeling and imagery.
When you are ready, visualize the city/county/state that you are in. And, when you have a good sense of that, start to imagine each of the lights in that region which are similar to your vibration or light. See how they all pop up and make themselves known to you. As you begin to become aware of them make a conscious effort to connect your light with theirs. It might begin to look like a web or a net, or maybe it will look very different and unique unto your experience. The intention is to create links between you and others like you. Whatever comes, go with it. This process can take a few seconds or several minutes. It is up to you.
When you feel that you have connected successfully with as many lights as you wish, come back into waking consciousness. It can be helpful to write down any insights or knowledge you have gained from the meditation. Were the lights close to you, or far away? Did you have an easier time connecting with some? What did the other lights look like? These are a few questions to get you started in the right direction.
Congratulations! I'd love to hear feedback on your experience with this exercise.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
So, I was pondering this very thing while I was sitting in my car this afternoon at a stoplight. Today is a rainy day. Not the depressing kind, but the kind that makes you feel refreshed. The kind of rain that feels like a big glass of water after you are on a long hot hike. So, I’m sitting in my car, listening to the rain because I’ve decided to stop listening to the endless radio personalities all predicting the downfall of America. I’m listening to the drops of rain and my windshield wipers and feeling the warmth of the heater on my toes. Suddenly, my car, who I’ve named Bubbles, begins to sputter a little bit. And, at the same time the jeep beside me revs her engine. There’s no place to go, it is a red light…and I start thinking, is this symbolic of my life at all? Am I stopped at a red light while simultaneously sputtering and revving my engine? Am I going nowhere in a quick way? Or am I just chomping at the bit to GO when the signals turns green?
The point of my story is that I truly want to start remembering my environment as a reflection of who I am and what is going on. Not just animals but everything around me. All of it.
And, while I’m at it I may want to add that the people in my life are also a reflection. Uh oh.
Eyes…it’s time to stay open and take it all in.