My Afflatus

Dedicated to those that have “showed up” in my life. Especially my clients and Marines, ready to do “the work.” Because of YOUR life, I am inspired. You are my afflatus this morning…(EK, JC, Lt. FGO, FL, CL, MS, JK, AZ, LA, SB, LB, on and on and on…Thank you for trusting me.)

IMG_3530

“You hold the paint palette of your canvas. Create it from your heart. And like the trekking at Angel’s Landing in Zion, one step at a time, speak your heart’s truth to your mind. It will hear you. It will concur with your heart’s whisper. I promise.” Excerpt from Buckle Up!

IMG_3371ZION! ZION! ZION! This word or place or metaphorical afflatus (look that one up!) has been whispered in my ear for the past two months.  If you look up Zion on the world wide web, you may find a few different definitions, translations and ideas on what Zion is, means and was historically. I am going to stick to the basics of what I have found. Or of what I liked. 🙂

“Zion” can be looked at as:

THE WORLD TO COME. 

IMG_3957If you are a diligent Still Playin’ With It reader, you know about my adventure in the Grand Canyon with my folks which ended in a very scary and unforeseen accident where my father fell and severely sprained his ankle. The hours to follow were inspiring and courageous. If interested in this WILD story, check out Namaste Grand Canyon. From the premature end to my travels in the Grand Canyon, I stepped in to ZION National Park ready for my WORLD TO COME.

IMG_3301

Stepping in to the unknown can be, well scary, to say the least. What is next? Who will be there? How? What? When? Whether by pure exhaustion or the monotony of their current circumstance, I often experience people finally ready to explore their WORLD TO COME. And get out of their own way! They are ready. Ready to stop the feedback loops in their mind. Ready to dig deep. Ready to sift more in to who they are to be in their NEW WORLD TO COME! It is the biggest gift and honor in my life to do this with YOU!

“Life lesson: Small steps lead to GREAT and significant accomplishments! Even in the midst of fear, take a step.”- From my blog DIG DEEP PEEPS 

I will hold your hand. And heart…

IMG_3163One of the ways to DIG DEEP is by “showing up” (in my office, in your life, in your heart) prepared to step in to the “cave you fear to enter” as Joseph Campbell wittingly coined. As well, most of you know, I stepped in to this cave post separation from my ex-husband over three years ago. These pivotal moments (divorce, heart ache, loss of job, person, life circumstances) act as points of reference to take a leap in to YOUR WORLD TO COME!

IMG_3169This “cave” or the precipice of change, and/or letting go, circles us back to the Hero’s Journey and the “Call to Adventure.” Right? Here is a link to my blog on the Hero’s Journey. The Hero’s Journey has been a significant afflatus in my life since my leap. If you haven’t read or learned about Joseph Campell’s “Hero’s Journey”, and you want to be inspired, please watch Finding Joe on Finding joe dot com. Or Itunes. 😉

“We all have the choice to make a decision that may be detrimental to our growth, yet provides momentary satisfaction. Or make a decision that provides painful growth and possible discomfort, yet is the ultimate reward. What will your decision be?” – Excerpt from Hero I Go

IMG_3264I often speak on creating YOUR reality and YOUR world. I often riff about the POWER within YOU! YOU are responsible for YOUR own well being! YOU are! Not me. Not your partner. Not your parents. YOU! It is a ton of responsibility isn’t it?

Well, I think it is time for YOU to hear this:

Stop blaming. Stop being a victim. Stop making excuses. Dig Deep. Show up. Be courageous. And if you need a little push, or a soft prod, ask for support.

IMG_3292I am confident of your ability. I am secure in the perfection of timing. I am 100% fucking stoked on YOU! From Portugal to Australia. From Africa to Sweden. The United States to England. Thank YOU for reading my words, trusting my nudge and SHOWING UP!

Now, Let’s GO! 

Accept your call to YOUR ZION! It is YOURS! THE WORLD TO COME! How exciting!

Love, Rebecca

IMG_3270.

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

Advertisements

MUTHLE FIBERTHS

“If YOU can dream it, YOU can do it!” -Walt

10411303_10152847183997189_5139088686968229107_n

Dedicated to Garry Alesio: one of my biggest fans. Thank you for your undying support of me following my bliss…I love you, G! Now it is YOUR turn!

A year ago this weekend I set out on an adventure of a lifetime that is STILL with me today: A SOLO trip to Bali, Indonesia.

When I told my wise friend “Natgeo” that a year ago this weekend I set out for Bali she said: “Reflection and Retrospect.”

So, I looked back at my blog from a year ago when I returned home from Indo. The last line of the post was:

“We grow the most from things that stretch us the most.” -Unknown

Geez. How congruent is that still for me today?! And for YOU?

It is wild and powerful how time soars by. In my reflection and retrospect this am I thought of a few things: IMG_8921

  1. Who? Who has touched my life along the way? And to whom have I had the honor to do the same?
  2. What? WHAT did I experience and push through? What pushed me? 
  3. Why? DON’T ASK!! 😉 Reflect and possibly ponder, but some things we may not understand…don’t force it, right?

It has been terribly uncomfortable for me to not write on a weekly basis on Still Playin’ With It. As those of you whom have stayed with me on this revolutionary journey of becoming a “writer” you all know that I was diligent and spot on with regards to my goal of writing one blog per week for a year. Well, I did it! And I am proud, yes! Since then, with life’s hiccups, new adventures, and new opportunities, I have chosen to not force the flow like I wrote last week in I believe IT is coming:

“As I have contemplated, searched for, and judged myself for not writing the past 6 weeks, today I remember why:

YOU CAN’T FORCE THE FLOW! 

I want it to be my inner most creation built on the precipice of movement. Not crammed within the lines of expectations.”

(As you can tell, it is REAL altercation in my homeostasis to not write weekly and sit in the presence of this choice WITHOUT judgement!) Good lord that was such a “therapist-y” thing to write! AND I LOVE IT PEOPLE!

As well, I think all these experiences and lessons I am learning are part of the perfection of Still Playin’ With IT! I mean the TITLE of my blog alone states the obvious! Aren’t We All still playin’ with something in our life trying to figure it out or attempt to stay the course?

I continue to believe with the utmost of certainty that WE are responsible for our own well being. I am living proof that if you set with intention, your goals, dreams and desires, THEY WILL COME TO BE.

This I challenge you TODAY…

WHAT WILL YOU CREATE THIS WEEK IN YOUR LIFE?

HOW WILL YOU CREATE THE SPACE TO DO SO?

WHAT MAY NEED TO BE ELIMINATED?

HOW WILL YOU CELEBRATE THE VICTORIES…EVEN THE SMALLEST OF ONES?

LASTLY, IF WE TRULY GROW THE MOST FROM THINGS THAT STRETCH US THE MOST…HOW WILL YOU TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF IN THE MIDST?

In celebration of courage, strength and commitment to myself and to YOU, Please read the blog from Bali below or simply scroll down as I pasted it in.

And remember…YOU have it all within YOU!

Until the next flow sesh…

Terimah Kasih Friends!

Look What I Found!

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

“EITHER WRITE SOMETHING WORTH READING OR DO SOMETHING WORTH WRITING.” BENJAMIN FRANKLIN

Canggu, Bali August, 2014

First and foremost terima kasih (Thank you) friends and followers for supporting this Bali adventure I just took. Thank you for asking me about my travels since I have been back in the states. Thank you for wanting to read, or hear what I learned and experienced. Thank you for connecting with me while I was gone. THANK YOU! You are the sweet soul of Still Playin With It.

IMG_8708

I don’t believe I would be a good writer if I weren’t honest, right? As I have said numerous times, “leading at scale” or allowing yourself to be vulnerable with your audience is where change happens to everyone involved. So, with that said, I look forward to sharing with you about Bali and the adventure it was!
IMG_8893I arrived in Canggu, Bali tired, jet-lagged and run down with a lovely cough that had been lingering for weeks. The last season of my life has been of racing from school to residency to licensure in the midst of a divorce. So once I arrived in Bali, I didn’t know what to do with myself. That amount of freedom when your body and mind aren’t used to it can feel simply nauseating. After acclimating and receiving the love and support of a few amazing Aussies, I was able to relax with open eyes. (Thank you RF and AR!)

Let’s call this the winter of my trip, or at least this had some signs of winter: tired, dark and impatient. One morning, in my dark room, I said to myself,
IMG_8746“Rebecca Laser, get up just before sunrise and go find Echo Beach!” I had rented a scooter the day before, so I had the means. I got up, quietly grabbed my stuff out of the room and set out to find this beach everyone was chatting about. I definitely took the LONG way to find it…seems to be a theme in my life. Literally I went probably 100 times farther than I needed to go, but I FOUND IT!
IMG_8773As I adventured out I stumbled across the Rice Paddy fields where the sun was rising immediately over them. I stopped my scooter while visually and emotionally embracing that moment. What a beautiful introduction to my “spring.” I discovered and created my new season, my self, and my moment of season shifting. Like the equinox we just experienced yesterday, September 22, 2014, my sun rose to the top of my hemisphere, bringing a change to my season. I think the best part of this story is that I CREATED this alteration. By utilizing my natural resources and listening to the “Braveheart” in my head, I allowed this turn to occur organically. That is Echo Beach below… IMG_8783

Like seasons past, so is the history of our pathway, our footprints, and our tracks. The past two years of my life have been one for the history books, my history book. This is my life and I am writing it. I reflect on the lessons that come from my history, my past, my textbook of life, and my personal bible. History, whether history of the nation we call “Home” or of another far off land, history includes brutality, peace, war, reuniting, being lost, gaining sight, destruction: self and natural, fear, bravery, pain, triumph, pleasure, growth, wages, power, debt, weddings, divorce, slaughter, birth, re-birth, murder, value, bartering, suicide, contemplation, harvesting, and FREEDOM!
IMG_8892When reflecting on your history and being the only TRUE scholar of your past, by definition, inquire and therefore gain knowledge through investigation. The memories, visions and interpretations of your history go through your brain like a train on tracks. Those dark winter months of your personal history drove you forward, naturally, to the next season. Being lost helps you gain sight. Courage intertwines with fear. Freedom stems from letting go of old shit. Your history, the good, the bad and the ugly are synchronizations of a perfect, absolutely perfect journey called YOUR LIFE.

The seasons result from the Earth’s axis of rotation being tilted with respect to its orbital plane. Imagine your life spinning on the axis of your history, ever rotating, moving through seasons. My world continues to spin on the axis of my history, with recognition of my present ever orbiting. I see my future as intertwined with my history making me stronger, better and more beautiful whether enjoying a sunset in Uluwatu or wrecking my scooter in Canggu.

IMG_0009Our muscles will grow more physically when we stretch them. Our relationships will strengthen when we stretch them through awareness, connection and vulnerability. Our minds will grow when we stretch it to encompass more knowledge, experience and put effort into learning. Our spirit lengthens when we devote our thought, prayers or meditation to our higher power, our god, and ourselves. Some of these stretches come through personal practice. Some come through the gentle guidance of a coach, trainer, mentor, friend, or partner.

IMG_8857 2

What is stretching you today? Allow this life experience to strengthen you while you GROW into your next season.

NAMASTE GRAND CANYON

 

…”An adventure holds many components. The end result sometimes may be pure resilience. I will tell the tale this weekend…”IMG_3435

Hello! Oh the freakin’ anticipation, right? Terimah Kasih to all the inquiries into when this would be coming off the press! And here it is…

Today, I am going to tell the tale of our descend…next week I will add in the metaphors of the voyage. Grab a tea, a coffee, some popcorn, Gluten free shit, or a handful of caramels, and enjoy!

This is how it went…IMG_3966

Mom, Dad and I took off around 6 am for our 5 and ¾ mile hike down the Grandview Trail. This trail is called “Aggressive” And that doesn’t even do it justice. I hiked this trail about 7 years ago. Geological evolution was in full effect and I was the hamster on this wheel.

IMG_3047Within the first 6 feet I mentioned to my folks how happy I was that I was doing this hike with just them. Me. Mom. Dad. No one else. Missed you Ry. Unfortunately, my brother has an injury he is healing and couldn’t make it with us. We chatted about the last time we hiked together and reminisced on the adventure we have had in this very canyon.

Let me take you back a few years. Two and a half years ago I stepped out of this canyon with my folks, called my husband and knew my marriage was ending. He moved out 7 days later. My metamorphosis started in the sludge of pain, sorrow and grief. Loss, it felt. Yes, loss of a 5 plus year relationship with another person, yet the rebirth of Rebecca. This part of my journey is the pivotal point of who I am today. To be back here at the place this amazing journey began felt so perfect.

And it was…some 1,000 plus days later…here I am again. Full circle, it felt. IMG_4030

Now on to the adventure…

About a mile and a half down I was thinking (no filter here) “Fuck, I can’t imagine hiking out on this trail in 5 days. My folks are champions, but this is wild.” The trail, as I mentioned above, had shifted. It felt steeper. It definitely was more defined by rocks, big rocks, and small, slippery gravel. The sheer exposure of the Grandview is intimidating. “Exposure” is steepness of the terrain and the potential consequences of a fall. It also references the “edge” or the side of the trail that is exposed to a drop. Imagine looking to your left and seeing a foot between you and the place the canyon drops off. This exposure consisted of sharp broken boulders and a significant plunge.

I continued on to about mile 2 and waited for my folks to catch up. They are studs. They take their time and maneuver with grace and a seamless stride. Their backs weighed about 40-50 pounds and they are smart trail babes. I tend to stick with them as close as possible, especially on terrain such as this.IMG_4025

As I sat with my pack propped up on a rock that I leaned against to take the weight off my back for a moment, I called their names. No response. After about 15 minutes I started to worry yet stayed calm and continued to call their names often. At about minute 20 they came around the bend. “Phew” I thought. There they are. Mom made it to me first. And dad was behind about 30 paces but not in sight due to the significance of the boulder between us. Then I heard it. A crash and a slide and a yell I will never forget.

“AH! Help me! My leg is broken! Help! Help ME!” I ran around mom to find dad on his back with his leg wedged between two boulders.

“I heard a snap. I think my leg is broken!” Dad said grasping for strength to get through the moment.

He was on his back sliding down the trail, with his foot caught and contorted at about a 90-degree angle. His arms were bleeding and his body stressed. I pried his foot and leg out of the boulders and placed his leg on the ground with his hips sitting between two other rocks that filled this trail. He was nauseous and we were all frightened.

IMG_3979About 75 seconds later around the corner comes Ben. What? A person?! And right now?! Crazy! Talk about serendipitous! Ben ended up being a Wilderness First Responder. Of course you are Ben! Andd an angel! Ben calmed us down and wrapped dad’s ankle. It appeared sprained and possibly broken. After Ben assured we were hydrated, prepared and cognizant of our upcoming decisions, he moved on with the two women he was touring.

Our options at that point: 1. Back up the two miles we had descended. (Not an option.) Or down 1 mile to a place we could at least be in a smidgen of shade and re-assess our next move. Horse Shoe Mesa here we come. I took a little of his weight and down we went. That was the longest mile of my life.

Watching my beast of a father walk on this treacherous trail with a pack and a possibly broken and sprained ankle was exhausting. It was hard enough for mom and I to stay focused on the trail with the elements and our loved one ahead of us watching his EVERY step. And you know, when the left foot is not working properly the right side takes over and over used in compensation. Talk about hyper-vigilance for mom and I.

Now all this is in the midst of our own thoughts. Such as, “What the fuck are we going to do?” And, “Wait a minute! This isn’t part of MY plan for the circular evolution of MY-ME!” And perhaps also: “How am I supposed to finish this journey if I don’t get all 5 days and all 20 some miles of reading “WILD” and journaling?!” Ummmm, I think I am writing my own “WILD” 😉IMG_3964

The last 200 yards before our destination I had my dads pack on my back and my pack on my front. It was slick as a snotty slip and slide. We were exhausted, thirsty, and as nervous as a “dog shitting peach seeds” as my dad likes to say. (Insert “DICKISM”)

We got my dad propped up under a little shade in the “Horse Shoe Mesa” area. At this point it was almost 11 and we were almost out of water. Due to the strenuous morning and the amount of time, our water had dwindled. Mom and I had about 8 ounces and my dad had about 20. This spot on the trail was dry, no water. I had to go get us water. The only source of water was another mile down to Page Spring. I had been there before and had no other option. We needed water while we rested, and water to cook and drink over the next night if we ended up staying. No water is NOT an option.

IMG_3974Mom didn’t want me to go alone. She was so tired. I could see her exhaustion and her love of her daughter battling. She didn’t want me to go alone. So we gave her an emergency packet and off we went. Well, until her hiking pole snapped in half about a quarter of the way down. That was a sign. I was really worrying about her because of the trail conditions and her exhaustion. It was almost noon and the temperature was about 90 at this point. I needed all the focus I could hold and having her behind me took away from the trail. Mom and I agreed it was a sign and she should wait there. We developed a “I am fine” yell that would reverberate up the canyon to let her know I was doing ok. “YEW!” I would yell and she would holler back. We did this back and forth the next hour as I maneuvered ever so carefully down the most difficult trail of my life.

This portion from Horse Shoe Mesa to Page Spring was immensely dangerous. The exposure was frightening. I was crawling over rocks and sliding down gravel. And at this point I had 16 EMPTY water bottles in my backpack. As I approached Page Spring, I vaguely remembered where I was. But I took a wrong turn and got a little frightened. Now, I had 6 ounces of water, a piece of gum and a protein bar. That was it. I felt I was going the wrong way. I prayed. Please show me where I am to go. And I found it. OF COURSE! “YEW!” I yelled!

The first thing for me to do was drink a little water. I had brought the water filter/pump and was ready to filter that shit and drink. I WAS DYING OF THIRST! Rule #2 in the Canyon: NEVER drink unfiltered or untreated water out of any water source in the canyon.

IMG_4006
I filled a bottle and attempted to filter it…but of course the pump wasn’t working. So, being the wise trekker I am I took a deep breath and scooped a small amount of water of the VERY top of the spring. And I drank enough to wet my whistle. Then I filled up 17 liters of water yelled, “YEW!” and off I went…on the climb of my life.

Coming down a trail with no weight is much different than coming up a trail with 17 liters of catawampus weight and unbalance. My mind was racing. “How much water do I need to save to get me out of here tomorrow if we are unable to continue so I can go for help?” How much water do we all need to use to limit the depletion of our hydration while allowing us to be sustained?” “How the fuck am I doing this right now?” How the hell am I able to climb this steep, slippery and hot trail while my father is hurt, my mom is exhausted and I am depleted?” (BECAUSE WE ARE FUCKING CHAMPIONS THAT IS WHY!) IMG_3963

Halfway up to my mom I plopped down to catch my breath. Popped my chewing gum in my mouth and off I went. Once I got to my mom the tears flowed. For about 30 seconds I Just sobbed it out. My mom stepped in. She had attained some energy from her rest and emergency drink. She got the filter to work, like the amazing mom she is, and gave me water. She listened to my fatigued cry, rubbed my back, prayed for us and quenched our thirst. What a team. And off we went back up to dad.

The next few hours consisted of us having a snack and deliberating every possible fucking scenario known to man…because my dad didn’t want to hit 911 on his Spot Check unless he felt certain. I totally understand! We also didn’t know if the Air Rescue would take just dad or all of us. So we assessed all the routes of exit that could happen. Would I have to sleep at the Mesa, where we had seen a total of 5 souls the entire day? Yep. But as dad said, “IF you can travel through Indonesia by yourself for 18 days you can stay one night on The Mesa!” Such truth! Thank you BALI! IMG_3954

With no human beings around and a very isolated tour route we grappled our plan. After about 2 hours of deliberation, while mom lay to rest a little on her Thermarest pad, while swatting the gnats away from her face she said, “Just do it already.” Dad and I chuckled and he did it. 9-1-1 was hit. Now we wait. I could feel Dad’s angst after he hit it. It took everything in his body to hit that button for help! Was his injury deserving of 9-1-1? Abso-fucking-lutely. Without a doubt. There wasn’t a possible way for the strongest man I know to walk out of this canyon, let alone 5 feet on one foot.

An hour passed with nothing. I was starting to get extremely anxious. Water? Time? Will they come? What will we do if not? Oh shit. I was pacing. My dad was stuck on the ground unable to really move much and my mom was doing her best to keep me calm. I paced. I swatted those fucking gnats. I sat. I stood. I sat. I stood. Like a good ol’ Grand Canyon Mass.

At about an hour and a half I had this thought: “If I take that god forsaken tent out of its piece of shit bag that is a pain in my butt to put back in they will come. Just watch.”

So, I pulled out the tent. I put one pole together…and guess what? Over the edge of the canyon I see the helicopter! We all see them coming and we all are happy. Mom and I wave our Thermarest pads in the air, just like in a movie when someone is trying to be rescued! “Do they see us?” we thought! They circled overhead a few times trying to find a spot to land. Again, like in a movie, they land, and squat and run toward us. Our HEROES!

IMG_4018

And out we went…they took dad and mom first and I stayed back with Earl to clean up camp. Then out I went. Well, we all agreed we had never seen the canyon from that view!

Dad ended up spending his 70th birthday, which was the following day, at the Flagstaff E.R. with a broken Fibula, severe sprain and torn ligaments. HAPPY BIRHTDAY DADDY!! Talk about HEROES! My parents are the biggest heroes in my life. Their strength, perseverance and attitude inspire me beyond words.

IMG_3087We enjoyed a gorgeous dinner at the El Tovar restaurant on the rim that evening. (Thank you Daisy.) Poor dad was adjusting to life on crutches and mom was adjusting to assisting her independent husband with his new found needs. Dad has hiked this canyon some 27 times and my mom has joined him on most of them. With all the steps he has taken on his numerous adventures, the odds were pretty good. He is and always will be a BAD ASS in my eyes! As well, my brave and steadfast mother is a true testament to HIKING LIFE AND KICKING ASS!

Thank you for teaching me to be brave and wise. Ever so aware! The next day they flew home to Oregon. I decided my journey had not stopped; it had just begun. Zion National Park here comes Rebecca Laser! Watch out! Chapter 1 of a new book…

IMG_3165

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

GOOD ON YA!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 

IMG_0547

This is the story of the last 365 days of my life….(the spark notes)

Once upon a time, in a land far, far, far, far, wait that is too many. Anyways, in a land called: Laserville, a beautiful princess was playin’ in the field. She would stop and enjoy every scent and blade of grass. This princess would idolize the intricacy of each animal and creature that crossed her path. She would smile and capture the heart of those she spoke to. She loved to see if her smile would make a difference.

“Is it contagious?” she pondered… She loved to love.

This princess, we will call her Boots, was sitting in this gorgeous field on her back watching the clouds go by. Boots was enamored by the shapes of the clouds as they rolled by. She giggled and smiled at each moment. She was enjoying the space between the clouds. She was in it to win it. She was perfectly Boots.

IMG_7383

As Princess Boots sat in the field this day, she knew she was being called to something great. She felt the quiet nudge of god to walk forward with great courage and bravery. She innately knew that the battle would be fierce, but she would prevail. Well, she thought she knew. The doubts were large and in charge at times. She believed in order to win the prize of her beloved (herself) she must step out and answer the call. Little did Boots know she was entering the Initiation phase of her Hero’s Journey.

When Boots would quiet her mind, which was a challenge in its own, she heard tremendous opposition:

YOU WILL WIN! VS. YOU WILL BATTLE!

To win you must battle, fight, struggle and squirm. “SIGN ME UP!” and “FUCK THAT!” were a few of the thoughts that ran through this sweet princesses mind…

IMG_1074

“Boots, you must WILLINGLY enter the most FEARFUL experiences of your life to find the TREASURE,” her inner guide would say.

So what did Boots do? She started a blog. Isn’t that what all people at the precipice of adventure do? Shoot. I mean, Boots wasn’t no dummy. Boots was a complicated creature who enjoyed the complications of life. She thought, “Well, I guess if I am going to enter this outrageous amount of fearfully exciting parts of My-Me, I will let the whole fucking world know about it!” Yep, that’s Boots for ya. She is an outrageously vulnerable and BOLD princess.

“YOU will see, world! I will jump in and take you all with me! Let’s do this!”

IMG_0447

From the beginning Boots felt a fire inside her that she hadn’t felt before. She didn’t know how much she would love writing. She didn’t know how much of an impact she would have on so many UNTIL SHE DID IT. Boots didn’t know what her bliss was until she conquered the fear inside of her that said she couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t meet her goal.

Boots, sweet Boots, was following her bliss. And stayed committed weekly. She claims that BLOGGING, writing, and “Leading at Scale” are probably the most rewarding part of her mosaic of the last year. Even compared to traveling through Bali. Boots found herself in her writing. Boots found her inner most ember as she dug deep to conquer and slay her dragon.

IMG_6750

Lesson: YOU WON’T KNOW HOW MUCH YOU LOVE SOMETHING UNTIL YOU DO IT. 

Boots doesn’t do things in a half-ass fashion. This princess does things with a full-ass. She likes to add as many variables as humanly possible. So, she decided it was time to start studying for her licensing exam, too. In the end of March 2014, Boots started studying for her licensing exam. Morning, noon and nights. Weekends, holidays and everyday, was full of study prep. She was at the coffee shop by 5:30 most mornings and spend 8-10 hours every weekend in preparation for the biggest TEST of her life.

This test wasn’t about passing a two part exam that she studied 6 months for. It was about believing in herself enough to know she could and would slay this paper dragon.

In August of 2014, Boots became a princess with a few more letters behind her name and a whole new field of opportunity in front of her.

IMG_2420

Lesson: SOMETIMES YOU JUST GOTTA JUMP THE HOOPS TO WIN THE ULTIMATE PRIZE

As the summer started to end on one side of the princess’s world, it just began on the other. Princess Boots decided to continue her summer in Bali. Boots being the wild, courageous and some may say, CRAZY princess she is, ventured to Bali for 18 days on another solo tour of herself. Bali provided the platform to truly step into the cave she feared to enter. The-cave-you-fear-to-enter

“Bali, oh Bali!” Boots sings, “Bali is my muse, my friend, my undying and ultimate love because this is where I found myself.”

Courageously this brave little princess took off to the other side of the world. With her backpack, journal and a few bucks, she headed out without knowing any details of the future. Knowing the whole time that voice she heard that day in the field was whispering,

“This, my dear princess, will also be a part of your gorgeous mosaic that will come with all aspects of a lesson: the call, the acceptance, the battle and the prize.”

Boots humbly accepted. Boots remembers trembling on the flight over knowing she was in the midst of a perfect storm. (I am getting verklempt as I write this part, readers.) This was one of the scariest moments of her life.  10704094_10152847182747189_3294955951532801723_n

As Princess Boots stumbled, tripped, soared, scuba dove and loved through Bali, she became highly aware of the inner turmoil that was coming to a gelatinous finality. This “jell-o” is the inner most webbing of her mosaic. Like a mermaid, Boots danced her way through the waters of her soul. Coming face to face with the scariest, and most rewarding parts of her travels Boots came back from Bali a changed princess!

Ready to LEAP!

IMG_8857 2

LESSON: TRAVEL. AND WHEN YOU DO, LET IT BE A JOURNEY INWARD.

Since returning from the land of Bali…Boots felt a tremendous pull to figure out what the hell was next. Inundated, FROM WITHIN, to write a list as long as the Nile River in order to feel accomplished, Boots felt defeated. “Now what? What is next?” she thought. In the midst of the turmoil, Boots remembered that Bali had taught her thee most valuable lesson of her life:

HOW TO LISTEN TO HER INNER GUIDE, HER INNER TRUTH. HER INNER DESIRE. HOW TO LISTEN TO THE STILL VOICE INSIDE HER THAT SPEAKS BEAUTIFULLY AND CLEARLY. WITHOUT QUESTION OR DOUBT. 

10592777_10152829132012189_5039563355179949029_n

From this space Princess Boots turned down a job offer, which scared the piss out of her inner child.

“What are you thinking there sweet princess? Are you sure? Are you really sure? What if…” 

Boots sweetly replied to those fearful voices: “Ssssshhh, I got this.” 

IMG_2888

Boots recognized through the guidance of her own therapist that less is by far more. And guess what she did? She let go. She let go of the need to control it all and ALLOWED her life to unfold…

????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Tired of the details, Boots continued to do the work. She knew there were bigger and better things beyond the majestic land of the castle grounds, but didn’t quite know which way to go. So, she sat still. She waited. She pondered. She embraced the moments of self exploration and the opportunities to envision EXACTLY what she wanted.

In October, Princess Boots opened the door to her private practice with the courage of a nat. She was so scared. She didn’t feel brave. She felt minuscule and worthless. Did she know enough? Would she be able to make it all happen? Would she be good enough? Would she fail? OH, THE FEAR! But she pressed through the fear and doubts. She opened her heart to those that needed guidance. Today, she is in the business of changing lives…and hearts.

IMG_0724

Lesson: DON’T GET CAUGHT UP IN THE DETAILS. JUST DO IT. 

In the final chapter of this FAIRY TALE, Princess Boots couldn’t be more content with the wrapping up of an adventurous year.

In January, Princess Boots was offered a job working for the military. Five years ago, Princess Boots was standing in the Castle gym talking to a friend and stated:

“My dream job would be to work with the military inside and outside the office, hiking with them, training with them. Coaching them and doing therapy with them…”

IMG_1467

Today, she is doing it. Princess Boots is now serving back in a commitment to her father i.e The King, and in a commitment to herself. As she wrapped up an 11 mile hike last week with her majestic army, she wept as she sat in her chariot. Princess Boots FELT the FEELINGS of her courageous journey.

Victory comes in the courage and bravery of the battle. You can’t win until you play. You can’t know true victory until you slay the dragons. You won’t know your inner self until you step in to the fearful cave. That is a message that Princess Boots wants YOU to know as TRUTH.

IMG_4850

“Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it!” -Braveheart

There are moments that Princess Boots feels awkward, scared, and anxious. She isn’t immortal. She is human. She shares this humanity with all she is exposed to. Princess Boots speaks mantras to herself daily such as:

“Good is good.” 

“I will write. I will travel. I will teach.”

“I am powerful.”

IMG_1461

And today, this 9th day of March, 2015, Still Playin’ With It has 4,198 hits from 27 countries.

While Princess Boots enjoys her successes, she is grateful of each energetic mass and mosaic that have been a part of that 4,198! She embraces her readers. She sends them love. She recognizes she wouldn’t be the princess she is today without the support of her family, friends and followers of her bliss!

Princess Boots kissed some frogs, lost a slipper, or two. She slayed dragons, made deals with smoke and mirrors, fell, conquered, and bargained. AND SHE ROSE. SHE SAID YES. 

she LIVES and LOVES happily ever after…

IMG_0141

THANK YOU! GRATZI! TERIMA KASIH!

Shake, Rattle and Kick ASS!

“Exercise is a beautiful equilibrium of weakness and strength.” -Me

IMG_6649

I would like to start this weeks flow off by sharing with you something about me personally. I am this woman, that you read…most of you weekly…from many countries…not knowing much about me. Except that I can throw some words together to form a sentence, and then a paragraph, and then a slew of connected paragraphs to make a semi-concise riff.

This week I accomplished a goal I set out to achieve over 5 years ago: I passed my second and final Licensing exam to be an “official” Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of California. CLAP CLAP! What a journey it has been.

I share this with you because I have learned so much in this process. Once it has set in, sifted into my being and is ready to shine…YOU will be the first to know and hear!

With that said, last week we chatted about the things in our life that we want to do or that we should doo. Here. I will make it easy for you to read if you haven’t: Do Do or Doo Doo (See MO!)

IMG_8062

SO, here is my DOO-DOO confessional regarding my exam: I did some stinky DOO DOO-ing on myself this week! Before I took my exam, I was unsettled…expressing anxiety and fear, reaching out for support and taking a ton of deep breaths! My “doo-doos”, which smell like shit too, sounded a bit like this: “Rebecca, have you studied enough? You didn’t doo this and you didn’t doo that! What if you don’t pass? Holy “doo-doo” pile, (like i’m on my knees praising this pile) what if you fail and then…” THEN WHAT?! Then nothing. We will be the same, smart, centered people we are in this moment, in that moment and every moment in between.

Remember last week from Do Do or Doo-Doo “Push through that discomfort. Move forward. Don’t stop and waste a bunch of time, pointless time, to stress about what may not happen.”

These Doo-Doos met their true form this week, because guess what? None of that wasted, SHIT STORM of Doo-Doos mattered or happened! So here is your amazing Still Playin With It life lesson for today: flush that poop down the toilet and call it good. Because it is ALL GOOD!

IMG_8417

Even more, “You cannot fail because you already succeeded.” came in an email this week (wink wink) and what a valuable tool that was for me on game day! That is the quote I had at the top of my ONE sheet of scratch paper. When you think of your Hero’s Journey and the different stages along the way, slaying the dragons (plural) is a part of this journey…You can’t fail at what you have already achieved: Answering the Call.

Check out my Hero’s Journey series for some dragon slayin’ revelations!  Hero I Go, then Insta This, and last but not least: Delta Delta Delta! Yummy stuff.

IMG_2110

Step one from last week was asking what you do do? So let’s look at Step 2: What do I want to do and aren’t doing quite yet? For example: I want to start exercising more regularly. 

We all experience this when we are prepping to exercise, or merely thinking what we should do…the cursed “shoulds”! The hardest part of a run or working out is before we even begin. Our minds are busier and working harder on why it is going to suck, more than our physical bodies are doing anything at all.

What you will find is if you actually start the routine, start moving your body towards the road, gym or studio, you will feel more energized as you move. As your body starts to feel that surge of Serotonin, the “feel good” neurotransmitter and Endorphins, those creatively, amazing chemical compounds that are produced while IN MOTION, you will actually desire MORE!

IMG_7612The term “Runner’s high” comes from these pesky blessings that are IN YOU! They reduce stress levels and create a feeling of euphoria. Not sure about you, but, I will take some of that! Natural Euphoria. Now that is delicious! IT IS IN YOU! All of it. Right inside of you! Use it. Absorb it. Feel it.

Lastly, step 3 states: set a small, savory goal. Something that will ignite you. Find that inner excitement I wrote about in Ignition…Check!

Andrew Carnagy says: “If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” Whether walking a mile (with a friend), hitting up that exhilarating Zumba class at your gym or hopping into a 5/10k, discover your inner hero through movement. (Link to Joggin’ For Frogmen 5K happening soon in SD!)

What form of movement ignites an energy in YOU? It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is YOU moving forward into that feeling. Committing to yourself: I WILL LIVE A HEALTHY LIFE. DO IT!

Where are you headed? To the land of Natural Euphoria? Or to the land of Stinky Piles?

YOU CHOOSE!

 IMG_4767

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

 

Delta Delta Delta

IMG_3236

First off…a big THANK YOU for all your warm remarks and comments regarding my blog. I continue to be shocked at the amount of views I receive and the positive reflections people are having. Please feel free to leave a comment, follow Stillplayinwithit and share with your friends. This whole blog experience, as well as me discovering my BLISS, is wild and a true honor. Again, Thank you. I am grateful for each and every one of you.

Last time we chatted about a few of the stages of The Hero’s Journey. In Hero I Go, we discussed clarity and accepting YOUR call to adventure. I mentioned acceptance of YOUR call is the choice of the hero and part of your journey despite true understanding in the midst:

“We all have the choice to make a decision that may be detrimental to our growth, yet provides momentary satisfaction. Or make a decision that provides painful growth and possible discomfort, yet is the ultimate reward…Therefore, I had clarity without consistent understanding, but clarity, nonetheless.”

Last week in Instathis, I mentioned the stage of Separation and the death of a part of us in order to make space for Rebirth.

“Once we cleanse, prune or detox our body and mind from the old, we are able to access the new, live, infant experiences…We have similar experiences or different ones, but they produce the same result: Separation, Initiation and Return. We separate from the old, we initiate the new and we return to share the story.”

Let’s riff about the second stage: Initiation. What is INITIATION? By definition: “The action of beginning something.”  This seems like a simple definition. But what comes to mind when you think of initiation? Adventures, societal admittance, great moves forward…initiation does not resonate as complacency or stagnation in my mind.

Culturally speaking, there may be a rite of passage to move a member through to a new stage of their life. An event, process or age that requires people to voyage across those difficult thresholds of transformation.  For example: Bar Mitzvahs. Bar Mitzvahs aren’t just a big party. It is the rite of passage for a 13 -year-old Jewish boy into adult hood, to keep it simple.

Or…Have you seen “An Idiot Abroad?” Oh my goodness. If you haven’t please check out this hilarious show on the Science Channel. Karl goes to Vanuatu and experiences Land Diving which is is a precursor to bungee jumping. Land Diving for the Vanuatuans is a rite of passage or initiation for young men in which men leap headfirst off a 67- to 98-foot platform with vines tied to their ankles. The aim is to touch the ground with their heads, yet pick a vine that isn’t too long, thus slamming your head on the ground, potentially being fatal.

Frat and sorority pledges initiate into their new society. The president is initiated into office in some degree…by stating the Oath of Office. Some initiations are on the down low, maybe because they had to wear a pink tutu or got smacked in the butt too many times to share…and some are part of a journey into the new adventures and exciting paths, such as those described in the Initiation Stage In YOUR Hero’s Journey.

Campbell says it is the Initiation Stage where the true process of growth and development occurs. We must go to a place of darkness and mystery, facing some of our biggest fears; it’s part of your SOUL’s Game! This is where YOU get to claim your inner resources and fight the good fight.  This bloody passage is where the true Hero is discovered.

On a personal note, I feel at times that this initiation phase is never ending. Lessons seem to keep coming! Awesome! Another Dragon! Really?! As I am aware and truly connected to my inner hero, I am able to accept this stage and glean what I am to, even if it is challenging. I had a great conversation with an amazing man this am about accepting his call to adventure and how scary it is. Part of your journey may be exploration: true, deep, reflection on where you are. Move inward and assess what is going on. And remember: “It is not what happens to us, but what we do with it.”

A great word for this entry: Apotheosis. Which is defined as…

“the highest point in the development of something; culmination or climax.”

Through your initiation process, in the midst of your fight,  you WILL find your apotheosis. You will develop skills and culminate the essence of your journey. You will slay your dragon!  Through this battle, your true character emerges, you connect with your inner strength and bravery, you get to the highest point of the path YOU have forged.

At this battleground, greater understanding is achieved. The clarity we discussed in Hero I Go, comes through this stage of initiation. Armed with this new knowledge and perception, the hero is resolved and ready for the MORE difficult part of the adventure. What? It gets more difficult? It may. It may not. It depends on the path you are making and the readiness you have.

Fear, as debilitating as it can be or seem at times, is a natural part of our lives. Without fear, we aren’t able to truly be courageous. I want to live a courageous life. I want to be brave. I am courageous. I am brave. We are in this together. I SEE YOU, remember? We walk this journey together. Hand in hand. Sword and shield. Some of my hardest times have brought the most strength to my life. Cruising around Europe for 17 days solo, though exhilarating, was freaking scary as hell at times. The word and phrase I heard most was: “Wow, that is Ballsy!” “You are Brave!” Bravery is facing your fears. If you want to understand your true character and empower your inner warrior, do something that scares the hell out of you. Get outside your comfort zone. Walk into the face of that mythical dragon. And if you need to, take me with you. I will be right there by your side.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela

If you have answered the call, separated from the ordinary and are in the midst of developing the extraordinary, CONGRATULATIONS! You are in the sea of initiation. I commend you for taking the challenge. I celebrate your discomfort. I applaud you finding your own path into the dark forest. But beyond this metaphorical slaying, I look forward to your return, when you come home to share the tale.

IMG_4946

INSTA THIS

IMG_4459

It is usually in hind site that our clarity is understood. Hind site is 20/20, right? Possibly a better way to read and feel that statement is: Clarity comes from hind site vision and experience. Last week I wrote about YOUR Call to Adventure. We discussed having clarity in the midst of a confusing circumstance or life experience. My hope is you can see this confusion of clarity, or ambiguity, as a part of YOUR Call to Adventure.

The Call is during the stage that Joseph Campbell considers the Separation Stage. According to Campbell, during the Separation Stage, you are facing fears, acquiring hidden strength, and are value-tested. This is the stage where you accept that call, again, by shear force or by readiness. It is the death of your old self, old stuff, and old patterns we were possibly programmed to do. It is the death of a part of YOU. This death is painful and uncomfortable.  Sweetly stated in the film Finding Joe:

“Where there is no death, there is no life. Where there is no death, there is no transformation. Where there is no death, there is no change.”

The Bible talks about this in the book of John, chapter 15. John speaks here of The Vine and the Branches. This chapter speaks metaphorically of the pruning of dead or decayed relationships, unhealthy habits, addictions, and worn down stories (the branches) to make space for rebirth (the new vine). Look at a rose bush sometime. If you notice, the most beautiful and fragrant roses come from a single naked stick. Once we cleanse, prune or detox our body and mind from the old, we are able to access the new, live, infant experiences.. and new life paths are open.

I did a three day cleanse this week. I eliminated many of my vices that I utilize to avoid feeling or hearing that voice inside me; the one calling me to slay my mythical dragon. These vices include my phone, computer and my favorite coping skill: STAYING EXTREMELY BUSY! Didn’t think that was an addiction did you? YES it is. Our life becomes so busy we don’t stop to look at what we are avoiding or not wanting to deal with. We look to instant gratification. Like a shot of Heroine to our vein, the return of a text, or checking Facebook gratifies this craving. We sit glued to crappy reality TV and video games in order to keep our mind so busy, we can’t stop to even think, let alone be aware. We space out. Forcing our entire body into a trance; a trance of being satiated, yet starving at the same time. We fill our hole with stuff, fast-paced action, emails, insta-this and insta-fucking-that. All ways to avoid your call to adventure. These are all means of compensating for rotting branches.

Rebirth became the theme of my life last week. I experienced opportunities, which I felt FORCED into, not by people, but by my old programs running, kind of like a record skipping. You have to lift the arm of the record player and gently put it back down on the vinyl to make the gorgeous melodies play again. But a manual reset was in store in order to allow this to flow. This part of my journey has been most difficult for me. Allowing the new programs to boot. Resistance to the call keeps us dead or assists in the stagnation of new life.

Personally, I have to be at my depths, blowing snot bubbles on the arm of a friend or in the stillness of my room in order to discover the magnificence of my “death.”  Finally allowing the eruption of tears to produce enlightenment. The lessons come as I welcome them…sometimes they arrive earlier than I want, or I avoid them at all cost. With an openness in my being, I hear, I stop. I accept the lesson, finally! Thereby granting me with opportunities to recognize a softer path the next time. And there will be a next time.

In regards to technology: I utilize social media. I think it serves a purpose and I enjoy it at times. But, I have recently developed a way to limit its availability in my life and a way to avoid the urge when it arises. Mainly thru awareness. It feels weird to be phone free. But I challenge you this week to try it. Go to the store without your phone. Go to dinner with a friend with no phone. If you are driving or standing in line at the grocery store and you think, “Aw shit, I forgot to text her back…” STOP. Sit in that feeling and urge, and wait. It can wait. It will wait, and most likely you will remember later. Allow your beautiful 2.87 poundish brain to do what it does best.  You hold all the power inside you.

All human beings are the same on this journey. No matter how big or small you feel your journey or calling is. We are not separate but together in this ONE journey. We have similar experiences or different ones, but they produce the same result: Separation, Initiation and Return. We separate from the old, we initiate the new and we return to share the story. By no means is my current journey complete…but today, I share with you just a small part of MINE.

This is precisely what I mean by Journey into Yourself, the subtitle of my blog and name of my business. What a glorious journey YOU are in the midst of. It becomes more magical and theatrical when you become clear of what needs to be pruned and what needs to be awoken or released INSIDE of you.

Like a really bad playlist on your ipod…take it off repeat, start a new playlist and feel inspired, energized and ready to run into that dark, treacherous forest. I believe you can and will take the challenge. Do you?

IMG_0444

IMG_0445

IMG_0447

HERO I Go!

185135_285624644871762_698414135_n

This week has brought some serious clarity into my sight. The message sometimes comes through the voice of a friend…a stranger at the gym…or a glance…or a calling. An experience, a view of the sunset…a totally destructive thought.

Well, people, if you want clarity in your life, you have got to open your awareness and clean your glasses in order to receive the call. These smudged up, dirty, foggy, steamy goggles are not conducive to clarity. Clarity isn’t necessarily 20/20 vision either. You can have great vision with no clarity. Let me explain…

Webster defines Clarity as : “Clearness or lucidity as to perception or understanding; freedom from indistinctness or ambiguity.”

Clarity includes vision with understanding.

Vision: “I can see that road block (or as you will discover below, “A Call to Adventure”) in the way of my path.”

Clarity: I can (still) see that my Call to Adventure is a gift used by god, by the universe,  or by nature, to assist us in receiving clarity and understanding of its purpose. I understand it.

So does clarity come with complete understanding? For example: While I was in the midst of my divorce, including separation confusion, awkward emotions, uncomfortable terrain of experiences, did I fully understand why I was feeling the way I was or why this was happening? Not often. Did I have clarity, though, that this was to happen and I was to move on to a new journey? Yes. Therefore, I had clarity without consistent understanding, but clarity, nonetheless.

I truly believe this clarity came through the acceptance of MY Call to Adventure as Joseph Campbell describes in his work: The Hero’s Journey. Do yourself a tremendous favor and watch it on DVD or familiarize yourself with the story. Here is a link to an easy understanding of The Hero’s Journey: LINK

Clarity may comes during or after the second stage of The Hero’s Journey: The Call to Adventure Stage. This stage follows The Ordinary World Stage (the complacent or mundaneness of your current situation). Now, The Call can and will come at any time you are open to it, despite the circumstance in your life. From this space of adventure: A new, or redefined YOU will emerge!

The Call to Adventure: The hero (you and I) begins in a humdrum situation of normalities of life from which some information is received (for me a divorce) that acts as a call to head off into the unknown!

“Uh, no thank you. The unknown? I am comfortable here.”

“But, my dear Rebecca, adventure awaits! If you accept this call, your journey WILL begin!”

Acceptance of your new voyage must be discovered through an event or even a hardship, dangerous experience, or a request. This experience, or Call to Adventure, critically plays a part in triggering a desire to press on into the unknown!  Your destiny will continue to unfold as you continue along. Again, if, and only if, YOU ACCEPT THE CALL.

Sometimes we slip upon our quest by accident. Campbell puts it like this, “A blunder—the merest chance—reveals an unsuspected world.” This new world can be much different than we anticipated, or could even imagine, but is exactly where you are to be in the midst of your Hero’s Journey. I promise. This is where the real lessons came for me…the real uncovering of the Golden Buddha that is inside us all.

Freedom from ambiguity, the second part of the definition of clarity, is like the Acceptance of the Call to Adventure. Accept the call to your Hero’s Journey and the ambiguity of your situation will become more clear, the lessons will unfold, your inner Hero will surface. And it will be just that: A manifestation of your soul’s purpose.

We all have the choice to make a decision that may be detrimental to our growth, yet provides momentary satisfaction. Or make a decision that provides painful growth and possible discomfort, yet is the ultimate reward. What will your decision be?

While I was meditating this week I got this mantra: “Not what is NEXT. But what is NOW.” Those are the clear messages received when one quiets their mind and allows your innermost HERO to speak.

I ask you: What is NOW for you? Is it YOUR Call to Adventure? Is it time? Is it YOUR TIME?

San Diego Mud Run

“When you open your eyes you have sight. When you open your mind, heart and divine self to the infinite, you have clarity…AND ADVENTURE! Open up and accept the call.” -Rebecca on her Hero’s Journey.