authenticity · goals · theater

How to talk so the Universe will listen & listen so the Universe will talk.

2.6.19In a bout of manifesty goodness (or plain coincidence, if you’re feeling cranky), performance has been floating to the top of my experience again.  Last Thursday morning, my blog was about how I was feeling itchy for performance, feeling isolated in my creative endeavors, and that I wanted more engagement in the theater or music realms.

On my drive in that morning, after having told you all about that, I was on the phone with a friend and told her the same.  So: I spoke my intention in writing, then I spoke it aloud.

That afternoon, I received an email from a theater company I’d auditioned for several years ago inviting me to participate in their audition workshop.  Eeek.  Um. Well, I don’t have anything prepared right now!  I haven’t auditioned in years, and I certainly don’t have a piece ready to go.  “So,” I replied, “could I come to audit the workshop?”  It would be great for me to be around theater again, the language again, to glean what I could–and I’m happy to pay the cost;)

And he replied, Yes.

Later on Thursday, in preparation for an upcoming trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with my 7th graders, my boss reminded me that we have an in-house Shakespeare expert in our drama teacher!  And while she’ll be instrumental in helping me form ideas for my curriculum and our trip… “Well,” I asked the drama teacher, “do you ever do audition coaching?”

And she said, Yes.

I am humbled and reminded that when I am specific and intentional about my goals, they repeatedly rise to the top of my experience.  I forget that sometimes it’s as simple as letting people know that I have such dreams and goals.  There’s a host of helpers, seen and unseen, just waiting for me to take ownership of them.

Even if it feels silly or embarrassing or I’m not ready or I’m good enough, that’s none of my business, frankly!  My only role is to tell the truth.  Show up.  And play this ongoing game of Fluxx.

 

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family · finances · goals

Family Meeting

12.17.18I asked J if we could schedule a “family meeting” for this weekend to set down our goals for 2019… and he agreed(!).  So, yesterday afternoon, all cozy as the wild wind blew rain and leaves around the house, we took out our calendars and J began to take notes.

I wrote in his back-country ski trip; he wrote in my Spring and Summer breaks.  I added in his birthday; he told me he still had mine on his calendar, that he hadn’t erased it from when we split up earlier this year.

Then we turned to our travel priorities for the year: the local weekend trips, maybe back East for Thanksgiving, the Paris trip for his mom’s 70th birthday… and how that would work best for us—since “Paris with your mom” doesn’t quite ring like “vacation” in our ears!  So, what would we need to do to help us all have the kind of trip we’d want?  (Hint: 3 days all together, then go off with your own person, is what we’re thinking!)

After that, we talked about our vehicles: are they in a good state for the upcoming year?  Mine is, his isn’t.  What does he really need?  If it’s to tow motorcycles to the track, as he’s planning to do, can he use the one he’s got which needs significant repairs or should he buy a new one?  So, we put an action item in the notes to research motorcycle trailers with brakes.

We talked about the house, if it’s meeting our needs or not.  If yes, how to improve upon the situation, if no, what steps to take to change it.  This precipitated talking out his career plans and that if, as he’d like, he’ll be moving into his own venture soon, we’d need to keep cash out-lay pretty low.  He’s got a call with someone to talk about home options in the area that would improve our financial circumstances, and if there aren’t any, then we stay, but don’t do any major home improvements.

Then, we came to another piece of business: whether or not to attempt to have children this year.  (And his leg immediately began to jiggle!)

While we’ve spoken of it before and, as a teacher, I laid out the timeline that would make the most sense before, it was time to really ask: Will you do this with me?  Will we do this together?

Because of my financial situation right now, I’m able to save quite a chunk of money (even after setting aside a large portion for retirement).  I could be apportioning this savings toward the first year or two of child expenditures.

So, do I?

It’s a huge question and even though he’s been the one more “deer in headlights” about it, I began to feel my own adrenaline rush.  Because it would mean trying in the summer, this summer.  *rush of adrenaline as I type!*

There wasn’t a resounding, “YES! I totally want to and can’t wait to have children with you,” but his answer was: “I’m in it to win it, babe.”

We’d spoken yesterday about the difference between “a default” and “a choice” when we were talking about the house, and the same applies to kids.  I can’t allow bringing humans into the world be a default for him, just because it’s “part of the package.”  It’s unempowering for him, and it’s distancing for me.  (This isn’t, “Guess what, I bought tickets to the opera,” here!)

As our business meeting came to a close last night, he on the couch next to me, darker now outside, we snuggled and agreed that we have a pretty good plan for next year…

and you know what they say about plans*;)

 

*If you want to hear G-d laugh, make a plan.

 

 

fear · focus · goals

Scattershot

12.7.18.jpgAs J and I continue pondering whether or not to have children together, I have to look at my personal history of focus.

In the 21-day meditation challenge I’m working through now, The Energy of Attraction, they return repeatedly to the idea that in order to manifest anything in our lives, we must be focused on it.  We must maintain that focus.

I feel like some of my 6th graders! SQUIRREL!

My attention muscle is extremely weak.  Rather, my attention on myself muscle is weak; I have a voracious capacity to focus on you!

And it would be easy for me to give up; to say, “You know, clearly it’s easier for me to focus on the needs or goals of others, and it’s sooo freakin’ hard to focus on myself, and besides, I’m totally bomb at “helping” other people(!),  so I should just do that!!  I should dedicate myself to what others—including my partner, potential children, students, their parents—may need.”

It’s so much easier that way!  It’s ingrained!  It’s hella focused!

But, truly, I know that’s not the path I really want to or am meant to follow.

My path, clearly, includes the consideration of others, but I know that I need copious strengthening of the muscle of Coming Back to Myself first.

I have so many disparate interests that part of the lure toward “helping” others is that I don’t have to decide.  It’s the curse of the “Master of None.”  I don’t want to be a master of none; it doesn’t help my self-esteem to say that, Yes, I play several instruments, but none of them competently.  Yes, I’ve been a community theater actress, but I don’t do that anymore.  Yes, I’ve worked in bands, but those collaborations fell off.

In fact, I increasingly notice that my friendships often suffer the same “fall by the wayside” fate if I’m not attending to them.

I want to study physics, fly a Piper plane, visit Rome, own rental property, do Shakespeare, play the piano…

But more than any of these things, I want to write a regular column in an online or paper publication.  I want to use my voice and my ability to condense disparate pieces of information into a coherent whole to inspire others to ask important questions of themselves, to illustrate progress, and to share vulnerably that I may help others to do the same.

I want to be a writer.  A published one.  And I don’t want to waver from that goal.

And yet, EVEN AS I TYPE THAT, I feel emotions, something like resistance, or fear, or hopelessness, rise up in me.

And so I know that THIS is the place to “focus” my attention.  I will never be able to move wholly into a realm if I feel terrified of it; if I feel ashamed putting my attention on myself; if I hide what I want for myself.

In a word, I must own my voice.

Honing my focus in on this one goal feels internally like my trying to benchpress … any number of pounds!!

But, I have been going to the gym lately, and I do notice that I can hold that plank a few seconds longer.  Make my mind like that plank: just a few seconds of awareness on bringing my vision into reality, just merely hold my attention on that goal, and see, just see, what movement can happen.

 

goals · insanity · meditation

Center

11.21.18We finally had our Goals Group call again last night.  It had been several weeks, folks out of town, my cross country final “meet.”  And it was like an oasis.

Although I’ve been connecting regularly with my action partner via text each morning, letting her know what I hoped to accomplish that day, I was finding that those lists were becoming more and more “task” oriented and much less oriented toward my visions and goals, which is the aim of an action partnership (at least to my understanding).

Further, I was barely getting through any of the items I was texting her.  Because the way it’s currently set up is that we make commitments but don’t follow-up on if we did them or not, I was finding that I was writing lists and then hardly doing any of them!

So, I got to tell as much to my Goals Group last night.  We’ve been working together through a series of questions over seven months now, having weekly calls to share our answers to what our goals are, what’s holding us back, what’s the payoff we’re getting from avoiding our goals — you know, the usual!  And it felt like an anchor last night, a recentering to come back to, “Oh yeah, what am I attempting to do with my life, again?”

It’s all well and good (and necessary) to accomplish the daily tasks of living—like Complete assignment for work, Get car smogged, Pick up paint samples,… Shower daily…—but these tasks do not fulfill the deep needs of my true self, and without holding those needs and goals in my awareness, without anchoring into my “purpose” or vision for my life, I begin to feel lost, unmotivated, and vague in my life, even while accomplishing the tasks of daily living.  Then I begin to feel depressed and listless.

Those tasks are not what bring me to life, so  I need to hold my vision for myself and my life topmost, as it is literally “vital” that I do so.

Therefore, last night I committed to my Goals Group that I would do my morning practice today, Wednesday, and Friday.  Journal, Meditate, Blog.  This practice (all three together!) helps me to remember who I truly am, not an automaton just trying to “get through the day.”  I want more for my life and for myself.  And if I don’t take the time to reflect, if I don’t set aside the hours (yes, hours every morning) to come back to center, to remember who I am and what I want for this one lifetime I am honored to have, then it’s just a series of days falling off the calendar.

I am grateful for the chance to plug back in, to center.  I do not yet feel back “on it” or “in it” — in myself, I guess that is — but I do know that, one day at a time, I will write myself into right thinking, and then think myself into right action.

Welcome back, to both of us.

 

finance · goals · parenting

Next steps.

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Yes, that’s me, during a 2015 modeling shoot.  Guess I was prescient! 😉

As J and I were driving into SF on Saturday, up and over the hills from the Marina to the Mission, I had a brainwave.

We were continuing the discussion (begun many moons ago) about kids, their time and financial impact on our lives, and the well-worn difference between what I anticipate it will be like and what he will.

When I tell him that I’ve done the research and kids cost x amount a year, he laughs and says, “Where? In Des Moines?!”  So I said that I would do some research on it, see what financially savvy mommy blogs there might be.

And that’s when it struck me: I’ve been aiming to transfer my blog to some kind of regular magazine column, and to preferably make some kind of money off this writing I’ve been doing for over the 10,000 hours they say it takes for a person to become an expert.  But, aside from the general tenor of the writing I do here, what would be my hook?

I paused in my speech, and said, I think I just had a lightbulb moment.

What if I started a blog about learning and becoming and refining what it takes to be a financially sound parent?

If we learn best by doing, wouldn’t it be great if I researched what information was out there, and coalesced my learning into my own writing?

So, I began to search the web.  When I type in “financially savvy mommy,” I get a lot of results.  I also found an article that listed the 25 “best” finance & parenting blogs and began diving into those.

What I saw was what I’d kinda hoped: Most of them suck.

Or rather: many were 404 not found anymore, or were about how to clip coupons and crochet a hairshirt, or were just clippings from other websites.

Very few (in my limited research so far) had what it was I’m looking for… which is great, because it means a vacuum and niche exists.

Combine the vision-, goals-, and values-based living I have and want to strengthen with the financial acumen I’m learning and also want to strengthen, and then aim that in the direction of planning for, raising, and thriving as a family — with a little irreverence and humor thrown in?

Well, that’s a blog I want to read.  So I better get to writing. ❤

 

focus · goals · relationships

Ready, Aim, Keep Aiming.

10.23.18.pngI was able to share on a phone call yesterday some of my fears about “going into hiding.”  I told them how I’d done this flurry of work, inspired to send out this essay recently to magazines for publication … and then how it was published! … and then I stopped writing my blog for a few days because I got scared (of what, it’s hard to say).

Then, my bandmate and I played a small gig the other night for about 60+ people after some success 2 weeks ago when we’d played out, and I told the phone listeners that I was afraid that if I didn’t set up another gig or specific plan for sometime soon, it would be another year before I sang in public.  In fact, I said the same thing to my bandmate as I drove him home that night!

I also told the phone listeners that I’m … moving in with someone right now, and how I know that my time and attention can become exceedingly divided, and I can get off-kilter when in relationship, and I wanted to tell on myself so that I could keep my priorities front and center.

These are the priorities for me.  A relationship is wonderful, and what will happen here remains to be seen, but thinking about it, or him, doesn’t move me toward my visions.  And my visions are quite specific nowadays, thanks to my Goals Group, so I really have no excuse.

Magazine columnist; Small plane pilot; Lounge singer.

These are my goals, and I want to ensure they stay that way.  Whatever else happens around them.  To do that, I want to be focused on them, I want to set up guards in place so that they’re unstoppable, inalterable, have fail-safe mechanisms.  I want my goals to be impossible to fail.  Not necessarily on the basis that I’ll succeed in my business ventures, but that they’re not diverted from, that they have a chance to succeed because I’m putting energy and attention and intention into them.

My meditation (Desire and Destiny from Deepak and Oprah) tells me I have only 2 tools in this lifetime: Attention and Intention.

With my intentions clear, but my attention divided, I cannot get to my goal.  I need the same voice I intone to my more distractible students: Stay on target, Mol.  Stay on Target.

 

friendship · goals · isolation

The Buddy System

9.20.18.jpegWhile many actions I’m taking are to strengthen the net around moving toward my goals, it’s become clear that plain “accountability” isn’t enough for me in some cases.

Would you believe, even following that blog about the importance of music in my life, that I bought tickets to a concert last Friday and didn’t even attend?  It was the evening after Back to School night, so with the delayed homecoming it was a very short night of sleep and a long day.  But still.  I discovered, as I checked in by phone with my Action Partner (and admitted to her that in just a few hours I “should” be going to a concert), that just buying a seat doesn’t get me to that seat.

As I looked at my list of actions for yesterday, I had 2 competing tasks: “Find Opera Buddy” and… “Call Opera to Sell Back 2nd Ticket.”

Now, I’m not as dense as I look;P so I can extrapolate from last Friday’s experience to know, pretty deeply, that if I sell back my 2nd ticket, I have a much less likely chance of actually making it to the show.  And that’s just sad, because I was so excited to buy this package of tickets and go to the opera.

(I’m not traditionally a huge opera person, but I’ve gotten into a few over the last couple of years, so I bought a small, teacher-discounted set that includes Tosca, which I’ve seen and loved, and It’s a Wonderful Life, which seems like it’ll be a totally cool and unique opera experience.)

So.  I need a buddy.  It’s funny: 2 coworkers and myself bought tickets to see this simulcast of Macbeth last year at a movie theater — one of them had to cancel because of a work commitment and one got violently ill in the middle of the day!… So, you guessed it!  I didn’t go either.

There are plenty of activities for which I don’t require a buddy, but it seems the list of things for which I do are any events requiring I leave my 5-block radius once I’m home from work!

In the age of last-minute flaking, made so much easier because of texting, I find that I am flaking out on myself.

Part of my vision/goals for myself is to form new friendships and to strengthen those I have.  If that’s the case, then it follows that maintaining fidelity the first of those action items (“Find Opera Buddy”) will generate more dividends than going (or not going) alone.