Encore! Encore!

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Good Day Still Playin With It family! 

I usually end my blog with the above quote. Today, I am starting this blog with that quote because it has become a foundation for the last two years of my life.

IMG_7266It’s Still Playin’ With It and My 2 year Anniversary! Yes, it has been two years since I started the adventure in blogging. Holy Hell! Two freakin years! I remember sitting at Starbucks on a sunny March morning in 2014, setting out to study for my licensing exam. Then, like the amazing procrastinator I am, I started a blog instead. Ha! Best A.D.D. decision I have EVER made.

Blogging, for me, wasn’t ever about blogging. Blogging was just a silly word to me that represented a time in history where computers and social media had become the go-to front for people to hide behind. I am NOT speaking of all bloggers. I am generally speaking of the way people have grown accustomed to hiding behind a keyboard, cell phone or computer screen. Feeling courageous when typing, and not when talking. Feeling invincible when clicking, scrolling and tweeting behind the safety net of the web. Yes, it is a web. A confusing, convoluted web of isolation and fear. Ok, rant over. (natgeo)

So, I decided that my blog wasn’t going to be about hiding…but about showing up to the world. Being honest. Being transparent. Being Perfectly Rebecca. As James Clear states: “To Lead at Scale.” It was a way to get out of my journal and into your head!

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I get the most compliments from readers thanking me for being real. Could you imagine living your life any other way? AHA! I felt a little squirm in you when I asked that! Because WE ALL do it. We hide behind a text message. Experience life behind a screen. Conceal our true emotions, feelings or ideas from your world in order to…to what? Well stop that shit. Make eye contact. Oh! Here is an idea…Dial a string of digits on that keypad and actually use your vocal chords to talk. Be bold.

IMG_7272In all honesty, blogging was an amazing opportunity to show and tell my life as I grew, stretched and got OUTSIDE my comfort zone. Leaving the “comfort” of a difficult relationship and tip toeing my way along the ledgies of the unknown. I knew it would be the perfect storm of life lessons for US ALL If I was honest about it. And I was.

All of these were full of F.G.O’s. Yes, fucking growth opportunities. Despite the back drop of the Indian Ocean in Bali, The ruins in Rome, the pain of the Grand Canyon, the liberation in Zion or the Marines that fight for this country, my life and YOURS is full of lessons to be learned. Along with a choice. A choice to Dig Deep or to isolate in the blooming. I mean, I was and still am Still Playin With It. Still Playin with life, lessons, love. What are you Still Playin With?

IMG_7051Still Playin With It, two years later has been a way for my life to inspire yours. My means of leaving a little fairy dust of inspiration or continuous wave of encouragement. A ripple effect long outlasting the short moments you share with me. I want to show up in my world and leave a lasting effect. Hence the world of blogging for me. Maybe a word or a statement from my heart leaving a little impression on the life of my reader.

IMG_7261Aw! The Encore Effect! Right?! 😉 Have you heard of this idea or this book??  As the name implies, The Encore Effect is what happens when you walk away from someone and they want some more. A standing ovation suggesting: “Wait! I want some more of that!” You impact people merely by being YOU and that leaves a ripple whereby they can’t  wait for more! A yearning. A longing for more of what you left in their presence. A crop dust of enticement. A little sprinkle of power to welcome back the people who are ready to dive in. Do you want to leave that effect on people? How can you? What do you leave behind?

Two years ago I wrote A-WAKE. I re-read it today and it rings as true then as it does now. You WILL leave a path behind you. You will leave some sort of impression…

“What will your wake of existence be? Will you allow for a chemical filled jet stream to be your source of forward momentum? Or will you look behind your path, behind your life and see a wake of impact? A wake of ripples, whether large or small, that give people an opportunity to believe in the possibility of empowerment? That was my choice. That was my option. I chose to be and have a wake-effect, a small ripple in my sea of influence. My imprint.”A-Wake 

Thank you for reading me. 

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I love, love, love you all. May this next year be one where we all stand and applaud YOU for taking a leap of faith, forgiving someone, setting a goal, achieving it, blessing a life, or hugging your person. Be here now. And know, that you are perfect.

“All she wants to do is, all she wants to do is dance. And make romance. (Oh, and change the world btw.) That’s it. 

Love, Rebecca 

 

Poppin’ Tops

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVE  

STILL PLAYIN’ WITH IT TRIBE!

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I am taking a moment to LOVE YOU this morning! As we embark on the festivities of this eve, I trust you will have an amazing time partying your face off and OF COURSE taking a moment to reflect?! 

“Yeah Right, Doc! I will be making out with my hot midnight date that I met at 11:52. Or utilizing my dance moves to gain some momentum.” 

Understood. I am not naive. But a girl can dream…

HERE IS MY HOPE FOR YOU AT SOME POINT IN THE EVE…

Enjoy a moment. A second. Just a fleeting breeze of an experience to reflect on:

WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW IN THIS MOMENT?

That is it. No need to go back, we will do that tomorrow. 😉 Or think about your goals for 2016. We will do that Monday. Instead, just take a moment to be PRESENT. To BE PERFECTLY YOU DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE DOING! FREEDOM!!!!! Experience the folks you are with and the feeling in your heart. Can you do that? I know you can.

BUT WILL YOU?

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Whether in: San Fran (love you Natgeo) Sydney (love you JH!) Okinawa (LT. FGO) My family and friends in Oregon. My favorite Swedes (love you boys!) My gorgeous Anna in Australia. Or my readers I do not know by name in Qatar, Slovenia, New Zealand, and the other countries and cities around the world that this platform I love is reaching:

May YOU bust a move and reflect on the radness (is that a word?) of THIS MOMENT WHEREVER YOU ARE. Super Radness!  

Mostly this morning, I would like to salute the hundreds of Service Members still on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, I THANK YOU! And the millions of others that are on our home front and on U.S. soil serving in the numerous ways they do: THANK YOU!!! And for ALL the veterans that have served in the past, whether a week ago or 50 years ago: THANK YOU!!! I ask that my readers take a moment to reflect on their freedoms. The sacrifice you all make daily is the reason I do what I do. Semper Fi.

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NOW GO ROCK THIS EVENING AND HAVE A FUCKING BLAST!!!!!!!!!!!!

In respect and love, ❤

Rebecca

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

 

Rock With Me

“When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor. It’s to enjoy each step along the way.” -Wayne Dyer

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Welp, this wraps up my Birthday Week. And what a magical week it has been. From the onset of November, I have been stoked with little nuggets of blessings. From the Goddesses that enlighten my soul, to my marines digging deep. From movement of my spirit to movement of my body. From overcoming obstacles in my mind to conquering “ledgies” on a golf course. 😉 (Waves) From being open to receive to giving the gift of love in a smile to a stranger, this month has been a true gift.

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If you have been a part of Rebecca Laser’s life, I thank you for the continued love and admiration. If you are reading this, then you ARE a part of my life; An integral part of one of the biggest adventures of my life: Still Playin’ With It. I am in continued awe of this platform for MOVEMENT! A movement of knowledge, truth and more than anything, a platform to PLAY! Thank you for being my play mates.

“YOUR MOVEMENT. YOUR ADVENTURE. IT IS WITHIN YOU. SAY YES!” -Rebecca Laser

bad-badder-the-bad-world-tour-billie-jean-michael-jackson-19013348-873-955What makes you wanna move? What makes you feel the most? For me it is music. It is the soundtrack of my life that elicits the movement of an emotion. Whether in my living room, at a bar, or in the hallway of my shop at Camp Pendleton while I show my Marines that this MFLC knows how to “Dougie.” Busting out a little rhythm always makes my heart vibrate a little more and makes me smile. Shit, even if just to ignite a smile on my face or my audiences, I FEEL more. I feel better. My friends don’t call me D.J. Bexlove for nothin’!

I encourage most of my clients, marines and friends to try hollering while in their car at the top of their lungs. Get some of that stuck energy moving. Maybe it is an angry yell. Or perhaps an excited “YEW!” Either way, it gets the blood flowing and the possibly pent up feelings moving! To boot, try busting out a dance move in your car. And who gives a shit if some random stranger sees you. Remember, it will more than likely make them smile. Consider it your Random Act of Kindness for the day! 🙂

For my birthday this year I gathered a group of amazing women in to my home.  I gave them a soundtrack to my soul…

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“Rebecca Laser’s Feel Good Mix”

  1. People Everyday (Reprise) Arrested Development
  2. You Rock My World – Michael Jackson
  3. Jive Talkin’  – Bee Gees
  4. Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough – Michael Jackson
  5. Sugar – Robin Shulz
  6. Loud Place – Jamie xx
  7. Ocean Drive – Duke Dumont
  8. Rock With You – Michael Jackson
  9. Stolen Dance — Milky Chance
  10. All About the Bass – Meghan Trainor
  11. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
  12. Don’t Call It Love – Zero 7
  13. Killing Me Softly With His Song – Fugees
  14. She’s Gone – Hall & Oates

YOUR STILL PLAYIN’ WITH IT CHALLENGE FOR DECEMBER:

1. Develop your own “Feel Good Mix”

What songs evoke a response your body has been longing for? OH! And PLEASE SHARE with me! I would love to hear what the Soundtrack to your life is! You can email me through my blog, leave a comment or through my website: www dot Rebecca Laser dot com.

IMG_2724Are you a Brick House? An Electric Slide? A Macarena? Or a slow dancing sexy mama? Do you Swing? Do you Square? Moonwalking Bad Ass? Robotin’ Queen? A Cupid Shuffle fool? Shakin’ the Harlem? Bring it!

I SEE A “DANCE OFF” PARTY IN MY FUTURE…and YOURS!

Be the dancer doing YOUR dance. What moves you?  

Love and Play, 

Rebecca

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

 

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.)

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“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.

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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

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

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.

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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!

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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…

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

PLEASE REMEMBER

“To the ones that DESERVE TO BE SERVED…I AM COMMITTED TO YOUR SUCCESS!” -RML

I Remember…

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I remember five years ago standing in a gym telling a fellow gym babe that my ideal job would be to work with the military inside and outside the office. TODAY I am doing it! I am more than proud of the work I do daily. #changinglives 😉

I remember struggling with my divorce from a US Marine for many reasons. But for this specific: I was a proud military spouse that wanted to support her USMC man in every way. Those moments you don’t understand why things happen the way they do, REMEMBER, it will ALL work out for good…if you TRUST yourself and the process.

HINDSIGHT: I was able to step into my current job due to my experience as a military spouse. Don’t question where you are. Just know it is right.

TO ALL my military peeps that TRUST me daily with your heart, mind, and past…THANK YOU!!!!!!!! 

And…TO ALL those that have supported me in this dream, THANK YOU!

Thank you Poppy for your service to this country. You are my hero.

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Some of you, if not all, have read my blog: “SERVCE”. It was originally written 29, March, 2014. One of my first. I have published it twice since then due to the impact it had on me and where I AM TODAY:

“I am committing to serving them right now. I will volunteer my time and career to serving this population of people. Whether by listening to their stories, connecting them to services or holding their hands. Whether supporting the families at home while their loved ones are away, or contacting our government officials to discuss the benefits they deserve…I will serve them. Whether by researching and making forward progress into treatment modalities that will assist them in processing their experiences and leading successful post-war lives, I will serve them.”

SERVICE-29, March, 2014

This entry is passionately riffed as the subject matter is near and dear to my heart. Please read and comment. Please allow yourself to feel my words. Thank you for reading.

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Inspired…

How many of you know someone who has served this country? I am sure you all do. These are the men and women, past and present, who have given up their freedoms to protect ours.

My gratitude for the military is beyond words to express. I really have a hard time verbalizing my gratitude, my respect, admiration and utter love for this population.

The ones that… during the draft of Vietnam, watched the old black and white TV in their parents living room sat scared shitless as their number was drawn. Could you imagine this feeling? I can’t. Or while the love of your life, your son, husband, boyfriend, nephews number was drawn. Imagine.

And to the women that nursed these men back to the best health they had the ability to. For the women that served this country on the sidelines, seeing the blood and guts while hearing the same things the men did in the trenches. The smell of gasoline, the feeling of blood and the loss of a friend.

Or the ones that came home ready for a ticker tape parade and instead being spit on. Pride in their hearts and pain in their soul.

Or the ones that received the word that their child, spouse or friend had given it all for the betterment of our lives at home. Imagine.

These are the 18 year old boys (not old enough to drink legally) that say, “Sign me up. I mean I don’t have a better option. My folks are poor, I wasn’t given the opportunity to go to college, I live in a small town and don’t wanna work at the gas station, so I think I will sign up for a job that feeds me three meals, gives me a bed and pays me less than minimum wage.”

Or the ones that decided, “After college, I will commit to continued excellence by now, giving at least four more years to the betterment of this country and the men and women in the military. I want to develop leaders by being a leader.”

Or the girl that thought, “I can do this. I will show them, I will prove to myself and to the world, that I am strong, that I matter, that I am enough to fight for this country.”

Or the ones that courageously said Post 9-11, “SIGN ME UP! I am proud and honored to protect this country from an attack of this impact.” Without looking at any details of the attack or the governments involvement, they said without a blink of an eye, “I will serve, I will commit my life, I will forge forward and I will make a difference.”

Or the woman that says, “Go, my love. I will support you. I will be here when you return with my arms wide open, ready for your return, no matter the impact it has on you, me, or our family. I will love you if you return without a limb, return with a tremendous amount of stress in your mind, and the inability to connect for…a while.”

Or the parent that accepts with pride as they watch their son or daughter get on that bus and drive away for bootcamp, knowing that there is the possibility that this little person they grew in their womb and in their homes would be able to hold a gun, fight for our country and lose their life.

(Alan Jackson’s Song, “Where Were You (When The World Stopped Turning)” just came on Pandora…Thank you for the confirmation of my inspiration this am)

Or the child that watches, possibly unaware, of why Mommy or Daddy is leaving again. Smiling, they hug them, giggling they squeeze their neck while the parent holds back the tears to be strong for their family. “See you soon, baby. Daddy will be back before you know it.”

I will forever and ever and ever, admire, respect and SUPPORT our military. Despite political opinions, sex, race, sexual preference, SES, education…THANK YOU!

How can we serve them? How can we give them back a teaspoon of what they give and gave us?

I am committing to serving them right now. I will volunteer my time and career to serving this population of people. Whether by listening to their stories, connecting them to services or holding their hands. Whether supporting the families at home while their loved ones are away, or contacting our government officials to discuss the benefits they deserve…I will serve them. Whether by researching and making forward progress into treatment modalities that will assist them in processing their experiences and leading successful post-war lives, I will serve them.

The ones that DESERVE TO BE SERVED…I AM COMMITTED TO YOUR SUCCESS.

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I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR SERVICE. 

Tag! You’re It!

“The privilege of a lifetime is being WHO YOU ARE!” Joseph Campbell

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Helloooo Still Playin’ With It Family!

I got to spend a spectacular weekend with my father. He came for a quick visit from Oregon. What a stellar man. Sincerely he is the tour guide that made me who I am today in every way. We cruised the beach discussing the worlds’ problems and bitched about annoyances. We laughed and drank margaritas on the beach that we bought at the liquor store. #lawbreakers 🙂  The best memory of the past weekend is when my dad and I created our own personal Tag Lines. I will reveal below…read on. IMG_2850

I riff quite often on remembering that we are RIGHT where we are supposed to be. Even in the awkward, uncomfortable spaces. As I dropped my father off at the airport this a.m. I was sad to say good bye for now. Did I yell out my Ford Edge as I drove off, “Later Pops! I won’t miss you because I am right where I am supposed to be…one thousand miles away from my favorite man!” Hell no! I was fucking bummed. (F-Bomb for you DB) For good reason, too.

As I negotiated with my brain and heart throughout the day, I recognized this: In our Hero’s Journey we are called to adventure! Is my adventure nestled in the comfort of my home in Oregon with my folks? No. Is it sitting next to my best mates in the Great Pacific Northwest? (RD, DS and KG) Nope. BUT, it is in a space I created. A life I sought and discovered on my Hero’s Journey.

My adventure and the Tag-Line I created for my life stemming from past experiences, present moments, and future dreams is this:

Rebecca Laser: Travelin’ the world and kicking ass. 

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This adventure is laid out in a yellow brick road of F.G.O’s. and moments that stretch us to a point of exhaustion. Remember readers: We grow the most from things that stretch us the most!

The quote below is from Do Do or Doo Doo. A valuable read from Still Playin’ With It.

“How do we become strong? First, you must identify your definition of strong. How does strength show up in your life? Generally speaking, in order to become strong, we allow ourselves to experience the pain of growth, or the discomfort of stretching our muscles to a point of exhaustion. Thereby, experiencing the amazement of building YOUR STRENGTH!”

Is your adventure stretching you today? If so I give you a big fat high five! You are doing it! Good on ya! It is courage that pushes you through those moments you want to say, “Fuck it!” and give up? (That is two DB) It is bravery that keeps you moving forward despite those uncomfortable times of fear that you feel!

What part of your Hero’s Journey are you forging through? The Call to Adventure? Are you slaying dragons? Or are you returning to tell the tale? Remember, I am with you.IMG_0296

Is my pops on this rad voyage with me? Am I able to connect with my Dad at any moment? Absolutely. My pops sent me this text this a.m:

“I am always with you.” 

And he is! You are always with me. I am always with you! May I even suggest we are one? Oh shit, that is for a whole other blog! (If interested in my esoteric opinion on the matter, shoot me an email and I will expand!)

Here is my dad’s Tag-Line he created at that moment on the sand. Fluffy, it isn’t. True, it is:

“R.C: Live life and F#@* the rest.”

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Yes, this is my dad for you. I love him for it! He has learned in his almost 70 years how to “Hike Life” and move forward without the shackles of other’s opinions, ideas and projections. Definitely lessons for all of us to learn. Yes?

What is your life Tag Line? Make it simple. Make it congruent with your intentions and who you are. And share it with me!

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

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“Like seasons past, so is the history of our pathway, our footprints, and our tracks.” -SPWI

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Good Morning Still Playin’ With It family! A ginormous Terimah Kasih (“thank you” in Indo) to all those that have inquired when the next blog would be. That shows and tells me I am doing something right!

IMG_0141If you read me on the reg or are getting to know me now, I tend to be VERY consistent with my writing. My efforts for the first year of this #creature (nat geo) were once a week, which I conquered! I have recognized that since my year anniversary edition and the story of Princess Boots, I have taken a little subconscious sabbatical. (Click that link to read the fairy tale of Princess Boots!) My sabbatical being a much needed rest. Which is NOT easy for me!

Just as the seasons of the year change, so does the seasons of our lives. In the midst of this transition from one season to the next, hibernation, rest and stillness are necessary. To honor that in myself and yourself is a beautiful gift. Good On Ya Rebecca Laser! (JH)

I have written about seasons before. Excerpt from Look What I Found!:
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“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…”

And love it. Love the season you are in. Perfectly where you are placed to be. Remembering it is ONLY a season.

Still Playin’ With It is my biggest achievement thus far, I believe. I can’t believe those words spewed from my mouth and mind. I am in CONSISTENT awe of what happens when you “Follow Your Bliss” as Joseph Campbell discusses in the Hero’s JourneyFollowing your bliss means discovering what gets your fires a blazin’! Following your bliss can be scary and vulnerable, yes? It may mean taking a risk. So do it!

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”-T.S. Eliot

I truly encourage you to watch Finding Joe.  Rent it here or buy it at the link I attached, as well! It is worth it. And if you do so, PLEASE tell me your thoughts. Joseph Campbell, the inspiration to the film says: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.“-Joseph Campbell

When I sought out to write a blog, I had no idea what that would entail. Let alone the commitment it was going to be. But I did it. I stepped out in a leap of total faith and fell into something that gets me buzzed.

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When I am sitting in my office with a client who is evolving, changing and sifting more into themselves(EK) …I am following my bliss. When I am writing to YOU at 5 am on a Thursday with inspiration from the moments in my life…I am following my bliss. When I am thanked by a Marine for being a little tour guide into themselves(SG)…I am following my bliss. When I recognize that I am following my bliss, I feel passionate. I feel excited. I feel ready.

What feels blissful TO YOU? What gets your heart racing? Like I tell my clients, I don’t ask you these questions, or probe your mind, for shits and giggles. I am intentional about the questions I pose to you all. So stop for one fucking minute and ask yourself that question: WHAT FEELS BLISSFUL TO YOU? What wakes you up at night because the thought of this thing excites you? What seems impossible and scary, yet probable and secure? Hmmmm….

Or…the other option: DON’T take one moment to stop. Thus, possibly miss an opportunity to listen to that IMG_1912inner voice telling you which way to go. UP. TO. YOU. 

At first, like any muscle, listening to and hearing that voice takes practice and time to actually develop it. “We grow the most from things that stretch us the most.” -Unknown

Therefore, be patient with yourself. It takes time to hear that voice. Or, like I tell ya’ all often: it may take you crashing your scooter over and over and over before you actually are aware that someone (yourself or god) is
telling you something. Listen! Look What I Found is packed with these ideas that I am sharing today:

“Our 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.”

 My Note from the Universe this morning said this: IMG_2395

“In all battles of the heart over the mind, go with your heart. Because, truly, Rebecca, it’s a lot easier for your mind to catch up with your heart, than for your heart to catch up with your mind. A whole lot.”

WHOA! That is brilliant! And possibly apropos for todays riff. Our heart is the one guiding us towards our bliss, not our minds or heads. This 10 pound mass tends to get in the way more than blaze a trail. When you get caught up in your head, do this: GET OUT! Get out of your head and into your body. Your heart may constantly be trying to catch up to those neuronic messages…constantly. Our mind…hell, that is for a whole other blog. Next time. 🙂images (1)

And I say to you: Listen to, or TRY (CB) to listen to YOU. It is always true.

Like most times I set out to write, I never know what will come out. I listen to my heart. Following my fingers as they riff a bunch of words that form sentences that form paragraphs, a blissful product develops. I trust the process. YOU may think I, or god, is speaking directly to your heart right now. If so, please share that with me. It encourages me. It reminds me that I am Following My Bliss. We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. My spirit loves to experience the benefits of following my bliss: Touching hearts and #changinglives 😉

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

 

GOOD ON YA!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! 

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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.

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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…

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“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!”

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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. 

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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.” 

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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…

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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.

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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…”

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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.

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“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.”

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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…

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THANK YOU! GRATZI! TERIMA KASIH!

Are you kicking ass?

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Below is a blog I wrote from April, 2014! It is by far one of my favorites! As I have grown the past year, I reflect on my writing specifically. I look back over my blog and see the growth, as a writer, that I have done. Some were small steps, some were ginormous. With each step YOU and I take, comes progression, movement and evolvement. Therefore, no matter the size of the step, YOU and I will expand, develop and cultivate our own yellow brick roads.

I wrote last week in A Great Resolve about setting your resolution to make 2015 GREAT! Do not merely hope for the best, waiting for 2015 to bring it to you! Expect Greatness by creating it.

I mentioned this definition in A Great Resolve as well: “resolution” can be defined as: the act of finding an answer or solution to a conflict, problem, etc. :the act of resolving something.”

IMG_0606By awareness of this definition, I realized something this week. Sometimes the answer comes from hind sight. The word resolution, as defined through, say, A New Year’s Resolution, is setting something for the future. The above definition suggests, to me, more of discovering an answer through experiences of the past. Yesterday was the past. One second ago was the past. What did you learn?

I will set out this year to continue to Expect Greatness by being Perfectly Rebecca. As well, I will utilize my past lessons to hear the voice inside guiding me to where I am to be! In Look What I Found, I explain the depths of lessons I found while traveling through Bali. This is my bliss: Traveling, writing and teaching. If You Build It explains the beauty of living by your dreams, YOUR BLISS! What is your BLISS? What wakes you up at night with a passion in your gut?

IMG_0676Anyways, I send you off with the beautiful riff below. I am in the midst of some major transitions in my life. I look forward to sharing with you all as they unfold. Please take a moment to read How To Kick Ass In One Easy Step.

 

Well, that is, if you want to KICK ASS!! Do you?

 

How to Kick Ass in One Easy Step

I am sitting in a Starbucks on Sunset BLVD this am. To get here, I had to weave around the detour for a race happening on Hollywood BLVD. Apropos for today’s blog…

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On your marks…Get set…GO!!!!

First thing that we encounter as we leave our mother’s body? Breath. Last thing we experience as we take off to our next space? Breath. And every moment in between? Breath.

But we must also believe in it’s power to support our goals and dreams. What I mean is this: Look at your breath as your building block. You want to increase your pace, speed or endurance in exercise, practice focusing on your breath. You want to decrease anxiety or stress levels, practice. You want to be more attentive in your meditation practice and enjoy deeper thoughts, practice connecting to your vitality, your breath. Like the one listed below… 🙂

Deep Thoughts By Jack Handey:

“If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is “God is crying.” And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is “Probably because of something you did.”

Step one: Breathe with intention.

What is intention? One view of intention: higher consciousness thought. When you hold an intention you actually call forth your conscious awareness at a present level.That is it. We, as humans, as spiritual beings, have the ability to find our present moment, our presence, in a breath. We have the POWER to calm our nerves through a breath. We have the ability to increase our heart rate at a pace that our breath can assist in reaching. We have the design to expand lung capacity and maintain a steady heart rate by…breathing.

Let’s try it together: (Come on. Just do it.) Inhale through your nose to a count of 10, or 11 or 50 for heavens sake…just pick a slow paced inhale… slowly, as slow as you possibly can. NOW STOP. Before you exhale, which we normally do quite quickly from this point, become exquisitely aware and now…exhale…AS slowly and consciously as you inhaled. Get grounded again before you inhale…now consciously inhale again, SLOWLY. Maybe give your breath a color. Visualize this colored air oxygenating your body from the base of your spine, up through each vertebrae, filling your lungs, enlarging your rib cage…this vibrant breath swirling around your heart space and moving up into your skull and swirling around that beautiful brain of yours…and out the crown of your head. Wow. Did you see that?

Someone once shared with me how he meditates and I really appreciated it (Thank you LS): As you exhale, visualize yourself squishing down to the smallest molecular form of you, like you were a speck of dust, a particle of sand, an electron, an atom, a quark! (yes, look that one up). Then as you inhale, imagine yourself expanding to a ginormous form of YOU. Like you could engulf all of Texas with your amazing mass. NOW HOLD IT. And consciously exhale as you transform this immensely sized being into the smallest, tiniest form of YOU. Breath in…lungs expand, oxygen increasing the expansiveness WE formulated with those moments that WE created. You did. You created that moment of intention of YOUR breath.

Do we have to focus on our breath? No. See, your ANS-Autonomic Nervous System- will continue to breath FOR you. Most ANS mechanisms are involuntary. The ANS acts as a “control system” that functions below the level of consciousness even. Beautifully and intricately formed in our being, the ANS assists us when we are unaware of our design. Thank you ANS! Sometimes I forget to breath…and am able to simply allow this visceral function to be. We can bring precision to this valuable force by utilizing our focus.

Spirituality of Breath: In most, dare I say all, traditions, spirit means breath. The spirit in us and the spirit through us is breath. Do you believe that you have the power to connect with your spirit through your breath? Again, maybe try that exercise a few more times really focusing on your spirit, god, God, whatever connects your spiritually to you. Pray as you practice this breath. Meditate as you breath with awareness. And gratitude. Let us be grateful for this tool in our belt.

PranaYAMA is prana-YUMMY!

Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning: extension of the prana or breath. Or extension of the life force. Breath equals life force. Therefore, that kick ass step I was selling you on in my title: Breath is life force. Breath is energy. Breath is our life. Breath is the key to awareness, presence and adaptation even to stress, yes? Breath is our fuel. (And a little plug for Yoga. Sometimes the only place in this world I can be present is on my mat…while I am focusing on the breath that centers my practice.)

I included a picture of myself from the 5k I ran last Sunday. Just a little 3.10686 mile run along the coast…I was inspired to riff about breath because of this race. The reason I crossed the finish line was because of my breath. My breath fueled me, increased my pace when needed and slowed my stride, too. My breath was with me the entire way. As well, breath is what linked me to the other stars racing that day. We all have breath, we all have life while we are still breathing, and this connects us as humans. From the beginning to the end. From the start to the finish line. This race…this pace. I’m ready to execute. Are you?

Our bodies, designed in greatness, will always hold our breath…so you don’t have to. Let it flow. 

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Step two: THERE AIN’T NO STEP TWO. Just breath 🙂

Perfectly Rebecca

“Some of the worst mistakes in my life were haircuts.” -Jim Morrison

IMG_0516In Honor of and dedicated to my father: Richard Ross Craig. (He is alive, don’t worry, and more of a stud today than ever before.)  

GOOD LORD! So as I am “Still Playin’ With It…” I noticed that a bunch of my pictures, almost all, areIMG_3521 missing from my previous posts. What the hell? GRRRRRR! Then I realized why after a little recon: I deleted pics I had used from my media folder on WordPress not knowing it would remove their links in my blogs! (Insert Aussie accent here…) “Good on ya, Rebecca Laser”  for trying to organize your life and thereby lose all previous files. So! There it is. It is. It is perfectly…Rebecca Laser. They may never come back and I will be okay with that…I think. 🙂

????????????????????????????????????????????????????Let it go…Can you? Is there something in your life that is holding you back because you can’t let it go? I utilize the image of holding reigns often with my clients. Take your hands right now and visualize holding reigns as tight as possible. Finger tips digging into your palms. Fists squeezing so tight nothing could penetrate the grip. Take a deep breath and release the grip…slowly…allow the light to enter and the control to release. Enjoy the ride.

I tell you…I sat at my spot, beer in hand, being spoiled by my friend and bartender. I thought: “This is gonna be a great night to write!” Then distraction set in as I ruminated on details of the day, or on what I wanted to come out onto the screen. Oh, and then I met Ryan, a fellow writer. And then my chicken was dry and the girl behind me was yelling in my ear. All distractions of life that love to wiggle their bloody paws into our moments. Frosted on top of the fact that my photos were buried in the WordPress cemetery. (Letting it go…)

IMG_6633AHHH! WHERE THE HELL ARE MY PICTURES? (Well, trying…) This is an opportunity to practice what I preach. Deep Breath. Be here now. Enjoy the moment. Taste the hops. See the patrons. Here the tunes in my ear. Move right. Move to the right hemisphere of that gorgeous brain and feel the night. FEEL the words. Feel the presence of greatness surrounding you, readers. FEEL the elements surrounding you and FEEL yourself in the midst. There must be a gift wrapped in this shit. As I sit here I think: “What a perfect example of the title of my blog: Still Playin’ With IT!!! Again, I say: “Aren’t we all?!

I titled this “Perfectly Rebecca” because I was feeling frustrated and bummed about my blog IMG_0236mishap. Judging myself for making a mistake. Judging myself for not knowing the ins and outs of the blogging world. Frustrated at the amount of time it would take to fix it…blah blah blah. Then, I stopped and thought about a conversation I had with a wonderful girl I see in my private practice. We were discussing her frustrations at thoughts she has, or decisions she makes. She was wondering if they were “good or bad” in an attempt to clarify her feelings. Or possibly, in an attempt to identify the “whys”. Or a way to ultimately understand her true self. As I listened to this gorgeous soul discuss her pain and frustration at why things are the way they are, or why she feels the way she does, I looked at her and said, You are perfectly You! (inserted her name here.) You are perfectly and exactly where you are supposed to be. Thank you for the true inspiration you give me (MS).

And I say to YOU: wherever you are and whoever you are: YOU ARE PERFECTLY YOU. Period. Even in the midst of chaos and judgements towards yourself. Stop. Take a breath and accept this moment as ideal. Accept this space as RIGHT. Acknowledge this step as part of the amazing process we call life. And be fucking proud of yourself. You are HERE because of all the steps you took prior. Right? Repeat after me: I AM PERFECTLY (insert name here)!

IMG_7133You have a choice. You have a choice right now to be bitter and pissed, as I was for a moment. Or you can enjoy this moment as perfectly placed in your path for a purpose. Or just love yourself and your “mistakes.” The dictionary defines “mistake” as:

“an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.” 

Well then. I mean, without getting TOO DEEP…(HA! Yeah, right! I would never force ya’ all to DIG DEEP!) If you had poorly reasoned, carelessly decided, and/or insufficient knowledge, then how the hell wouldn’t you fuck it up? This statement infers there was a moment, a planck (the smallest measurement of time) where you were able to decide. To decide which way to go. And from this present awareness”mistakes” happen.

Mahatma Gandhi said: “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.” download

Mistakes can be some of the biggest gifts in our lives. Aw, the red wedges of Bali! (Woohoo, AW!) These “mistakes”, or planck of time, or moments of reasoning… give us the bridge to the cave we fear to enter, yes? In this cave are the elements used for producing a perfect “YOU-MUFFIN”. Maybe made out of momentary icky ingredients. But, yummy nonetheless. 🙂 

NOW…Get out your air guitar and rock this planet being thee…

PERFECTLY ALIGNED INGREDIENT THAT YOU ARE!!! 

IMG_3977“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” Benjamin Franklin

Follow Me to the TOP!

Good Morning Still Playin’ With It PEEPS!

Aw the start to a new BIRTH year! My utmost love and gratitude for each of YOU. I believe it is going to be an ASS KICKING year!

Follow me to the top of your true potential. Your dreams, hopes and aspirations are just around the corner…even if the trail bends, the path is rocky or the road is slippery! Woohoo! Those make for perfect experiences! And a training which is ideal for who you are and where you are going! I promise.

Enjoy this raw video and know that I will be posting a blog this weekend with a rad “Playlist to my Life!”

Love and Ass Kickin’ Gratitude,

Rebecca

 

Links to mentioned past blogs:

Imatard, Uatard Avatard

For the Love of Legos

Tootsie Rollin’

“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day your realized why.”
Mark Twain

IF YOU BUILD IT…

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” Joseph Campbell
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‘Still Playin With It’ Family…

Today, I set out to write. I am moved. I have been inspired this last week by challenges, educational experiences and MORE than anything…Opportunities For Growth! When an opportunity comes (like I have mentioned before) and it appears to be wrapped in shit, you have two options: Take it or leave it. Who wants to take a present wrapped in pain, heartache or failure? Not many of us would ask for that.

(With a hint of sarcasm…) “Oh please god. IF you really love me, you will give me a ton of painful, life altering, awkward moments, and I will accept them with grace! Pretty please?!”

IMG_3813If we are to be free of the imprisonment of fear, we must accept these truly as gifts, as treasures, as a part of our Hero’s Journey.  As a means to slay the dragon and utilize our hearts cry to discover our bliss. Your bliss! What is your platform? How will you leap to the next level?  In retrospect, so many of these moments were used to catapult you and me into what is next…into what is delicious on the other side of the unveiling…

Fear is a cry of our ego to be heard! “Listen to me!” says your ego.  “I am worried!” Don’t you know that you don’t know what you think you know!?!!!”  (YES! That is exactly what I just said!) YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TOMORROW HOLDS.  There is no evidence to prove what may or may not happen tomorrow, or in an hour, or in a year.

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real 

What would you do today if you had no fear? NO FEAR of what may happen or what may not? What could you do with your life TODAY that would push you a little closer to your bliss if you didn’t tread lightly? What would it look like to live like you were dying?

WHAT IS POSSIBLE? I believe it is ALL possibly, if you BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! That is what it takes, SPWI Friends. It takes you believing in the whisper or gong of your heart. What is going to make your heart burst right out of your chest?IMG_7333

I am taking a leap of faith today. I have been hearing the past week: “If you build it, they will come.” Most of us know this line from the movie The Field of Dreams. Today, I am asking for guidance, internal guidance towards my bliss. “I will WRITE. I will TRAVEL. I will TEACH” has been my mantra for 4 months now. I believe this will happen. Mind you, maybe I will be traveling to Stockton, California, or Nepal…not sure…but I BELIEVE it is going to happen…well it already is because it is INSIDE of me!  YES?! You feeling me? “If you build it, THEY will come.” Your dreams. Your visions. Your bliss. Time to start the construction…
IMG_8417I listen to an inspiring podcast from David T. Wood on his podcast series, The Kick Ass Life. Today, Crystal Flaman, of “Inspiring Success” was discussing the move from “Success to Significance.” I desire to be SIGNIFICANT! I desire to make an impact on this world and change the lives of those who didn’t believe it was possible. But more poignantly to me today was that she mentioned the line from Field Of Dreams…”If you build it, they will come.” I got tears in my eyes, looked up and said, “I am ready…I will continue to lay the foundation to build this dream.”

“I will reach, coach and empower people through my teaching and example to live to THEIR optimal potential!” (my mission statement)

And as, Mark Divine says, “I will master myself” in the process. Ever striving to be the best ME I can be!

Still Playin’ With It has been just that: my platform towards creating space for my bliss. A total leap of faith! An avenue for me to make clear the lines that blurred my vision. To accept and know where I want to go and utilize this amazingly supported stage as a catalyst to greatness, my personal greatness. So, I THANK YOU! I thank you for holding this space in your heart and on the web: Twitter, Insta, Facebook, Linked In, Rebeccalaser.com, clients, colleagues, mentors, friends and family…thank you.

And I ask again, please share with me how you are being inspired by Still Playin With It. How have my words, which are merely just the chat my heart has with my head, impacting you?

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I have a new practice I would like to share with you: I have a post-it next to my sink in the kitchen. It says:

Drink H2O + Gratitude = Pavlov

If you don’t know who Pavlov is: he was a psychologist, and behaviorist that discovered and theorized about conditioning. Brief synopsis: Through association he found that by ringing a bell, his dog would salivate as if ready to eat. He would ring the bell, feed the dog. And eventually he just rang the bell and the dog salivated with no food. We are the same creatures. We are able to do salivate at the conditioning of our spirit.

FOR ME: This post-it reminds me every morning as I drink my 8 oz. of lemon water, to be grateful, or ignite the feeling of gratitude as I drink thereby training myself. Eventually,  I will have trained my mind that whenever I drink water, I will feel gratitude. GRATITUDE is the most important energy you can store and have access to. Yet it still takes practice.IMG_6816

Invent your self today! What will your “Pavlov-type” training be this week? Please tell me! I will help you create those new neural pathways! You got this!  If you need help thinking of one, here are a few examples:

1. Tickle your arm + think of your partner = touching arm equals thoughts of your partner.

2. Turn on the shower + say out loud, “I love you, Rebecca (your name)” = Shower equals self love.

3. Open the fridge + think of someone you want to forgive. Fridge = forgiveness/love

Eventually the first action will make an immediate association and appropriately trained response.

IMG_6830What a journey into yourself it is! Take it. Take the leap. Take the shit covered present…it will change your life. It will empower you and strengthen you more than you could have ever imagined. I lived it this week. This past week brought a bit of pain and a lot of TRUTH and CLARITY. Unfortunately, it came wrapped in a stinky box of crap. I have lived this journey and truly reflected on it the past two years. I have fallen into, stepped around and landed face first in the cave I FEARED to enter. Oh my! The diamonds inside are so brilliant! I can hardly contain myself! Thank you for being a part of my journey, people. Thank you, again.

I will leave you with a quote from above because I BELIEVE it is worth asking twice!

What would you do TODAY if you had no fear? NO FEAR of what may happen or what may not? What could you do with your life TODAY that would push you a little closer to your bliss if you didn’t TREAD LIGHTLY? What would it look like to live like you were dying?

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

Shake, Rattle and Kick ASS!

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

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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!)

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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!

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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.

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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!

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

 

Do Do or Doo Doo?

“Whatever it is, make it your own.” – James Clear

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Last week I wrote about my discovery of my true bliss in Ignition…Check! My bliss also includes my love of exercise. Exercise is, and will forever be, a part of my bliss, if not my true BLISS!

IMG_6649You may ask yourself: “Why don’t I exercise? Why don’t I do things to live a healthier life? Why don’t I wake up earlier? Why don’t I visit that friend? Why Don’t I!? Why why why?” Those questions all sound very limiting and discouraging.

Reframe style: Instead of Why DON’T you? How about focusing on the Do’s! First focus on what you DO DO. Not doo-doo…Do Do! And not in question form. Therefore: I do take walks. I do desire to exercise more. Or…if you really can’t commit to that statement, how about: “I DO want to live a healthier life, therefore, I want to DO what I can to get there.”

Let’s look at this from a step by step process, or a way to outline some questions to ask yourself…
IMG_3226Step 1: What do I DO, already?! I walk my dog. I am aware that I want to be in better shape. I understand that it takes effort on my part. 

Step 2: What do I want to do and aren’t doing quite yet? I want to start exercising more regularly. 

Step 3: Identify a small path to get there? I will workout 3 times a week for 20 minutes. I will invite a friend to join me.

Step 4: Focus on the feeling you want to have once you have accomplished your DO. I will feel energized. I will feel strong. I will feel accomplished. I will feel sexy, confident!

Exercise is a powerful tool that our brains, bodies, and I believe, spirit, longs for! From the bilateral stimulation of our brain, to the brilliant way our bodies use simple movements to handle stress, exercise is a gift.  From the beautiful benefits of confidence to improving the oxygenation of our blood while it perfectly travels through our body, exercise is of enormous value.

What is exercise? By definition: Exercise is “a particular movement or series of movements done to become stronger and healthier.” 
IMG_5009 Flip the definition around and it becomes more enticing: “To become strong and healthier, I will perform a particular movement…or I will exercise.” Starting our life mantras out positively engages us more than starting our life mantras off with something that seems like work, something that takes effort. To become stronger, I will do, I will exude, I will practice…(fill in the blank)

While discussing the attributes of exercise with a strong man a few weeks ago, (Thank you LS) I discovered what it is about exercise that I love, that I long for, that I am addicted to and possibly what others witness in my workouts:

I love feeling my focus. I love getting in my zone. This zone where no one else is. Where I am truly connected to my self and becoming stronger! A place I get to revisit daily in order to connect with my physical body. Where I am able to kick my ass over and over again; walking away, with shaky quads and/or weakened pectorals with an increase in strength simultaneously. Exercise is a beautiful equilibrium of weakness and strength. 

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While running triathlons, a great friend of mine (BRP) would repeat: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians  12:10) Utilizing this statement as a source of power in the midst of his exhaustion. Thereby, finding the beauty and balance of two opposing forces in order to perpetuate his endurance. Rad.

How do we become strong? First, you must identify your definition of strong. How does strength show up in your life? Generally speaking, in order to become strong, we allow ourselves to experience the pain of growth, or the discomfort of stretching our muscles to a point of exhaustion. Thereby, experiencing the amazement of building YOUR STRENGTH, and bettering your body. Your muscles will not be taught to get bigger, leaner, stronger, or more defined, without experiencing the, at times, torturous, development that comes through movement.

Little side note…I still believe, and will always teach, that everything begins with BREATH. Strength starts with breath. Gaining muscle starts with breath. All our movements start with breath! I discuss this valuable tool in a previous blog titled: “How to Kick Ass in One Easy Step” Check it!

During my first MFT licensing exam, which was one of the biggest challenges of my life, I was taught to push through the discomfort. When you feel uneasy and uncomfortable in the thought of not passing, or not knowing the answer: Push through that discomfort. Move forward. Don’t stop and waste a bunch of time, pointless time, to stress about what may not happen.

When you feel like quitting your set because your muscles are exhausted…finish one more. When you don’t want to get your butt out of bed to work out…push through! I tell my clients: When you don’t want to walk the 130 steps back up from the bottom of Stone Steps (a beautiful exercise spot near my home), WALK BACK DOWN! Then you HAVE to come up. You HAVE to push through the pain, to gain YOUR strength.

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This is Jack. He is 90-years-old and walks the convention stairs 12 times a day for a total of 1200 steps! I did this workout the two days prior to my licensing exam. I was blessed to have experienced this amazing athlete and his stamina, desire for strength and an over-all love of fitness and health. Thank you Jack! My inspiration for strength!

Because this topic is my true passion, I will expand on exercise over the next few weeks. From exercising physically to mentally and with many other twists and turns…let’s explore the amazing dynamics of exercise.

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“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day your realized why.” –Mark Twain

IGNITION…CHECK!

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” –Joseph Campbell

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In concurrence with the above (spot on) quote…I shared with you in “Tootsie Rollin” about discovering “YOUR YOU”. This built on top of who YOU are in the midst of the whole in “For the Love of Legos”.  Which followed “Imatard, Uatard, Avatard”  where we came to understand that you are a piece of something bigger, or a reflection of who you are around. “I see you.” Remember? All that which is your privilege to be.IMG_4365

Links to the above blogs I mentioned:

Imatard, Uatard, Avatard

For the Love of Legos

Tootsie Rollin’

So…

To wrap up my Heroes Journey series, I feel it is important to discuss The last stage: The Return and discovery.

Prior to the return, you were fighting battles, knocking out soul terrorists, and possibly hating your life at times. Luckily, when we are open to it, and you have kicked your own ass, you will discover the reward that awaits you. This may be the hand of your princess/prince, the “kingdom” you wanted, money, fame, or a big chocolate bar…it doesn’t matter. What does matter is this: You accepted your call, you fought hard, you pushed through, and YOU WON! Now you come home to tell us about it…with your chocolatey princess at your side.

There has got to be a reward for you. Create your reward if you don’t think you got one. Go on a vacation, get a massage, spend time with someone that energizes your soul.(Nat Geo) You deserve it.IMG_4131

I have saved the best, or my favorite part of his work, for last: “Follow Your Bliss”. This isn’t just a pretty saying or a mere mantra. It is the beacon of light you are longing for. It is following and connecting with your “bliss” as you push on through your darkest points. This is where your deep sense of being is informing you…go where your body and soul want to go…listen to that voice inside. Moreover, following your bliss is what gets you going, it drives you, it makes you giggle, it motivates, it catapults, it makes every cell of your amazing structure IGNITE! So…what is your bliss?

Campbell believes this bliss has been there all the while, waiting for you to discover it. Or maybe to stop and reflect on what it is? What do you wake up at night thinking you wish you could do? What is something that gets your fires blazing? The thing that holds you apart from the rest? What adventure is calling to you? What makes you feel most alive? WHAT IS THE THING YOU CAN’T NOT DO?

“Wherever you are—if you are following your bliss, you are enjoying that refreshment, that life within you, all the time.

 -Joseph Campbell

This bliss is with you all the time because it is the thing leading you from the inside. It is guiding you through all the twists and turns of this lifetime. Therefore, if you are following this passion, you are enjoying the sweet nectar of YOUR life. And if you aren’t…I challenge you to pause, reflect and discover…this inner most, exciting part of YOU! Oh, I am so enthused for you. You matter. Your bliss matters. YOUR YOU matters…GO FIND IT! JUST GO!!!

IMG_4105While meditating, or simply stilling my mind, I heard this: “I will write. I will travel. I will teach.” That is my bliss. My bliss is inspiring people through my words, my experiences and my ability to connect with others no matter what language I speak, they speak, my skin color, or theirs. My last night in Rome, within 48 hours of my arrival…I was flipping pancakes in a small cafe with Laura and Anita: two local, limited English-speaking, beautiful souls. We were laughing so hard! We talked about life. We joked about silly things. We discussed my book. Laura said she wanted to buy my first copy. Connection: true connection, discovered on the path of following my bliss, following my souls journey.

From doing some self inventory and recognizing, owning and continuing to follow my bliss…I decided it was time to write a personal vision statement. I believe that this may change at times. You may refine it. You may discover a new path, in your new Heroes Journey, where your bliss evolves…and your passion reveals a sense of newness. Today, my vision statement is this:

“To reach, teach and energize people to discover their purpose, connect with their authentic selves, and be inspired.”

The opening quote inspires my heart. I couldn’t agree with him more. YOUR privilege of YOUR lifetime is being YOU. Period. My mom is coming to visit this weekend. She mentioned to me that she did her “I am” list from “Tootsie Rollin.” She told me last night she is bringing it with her to share with me. What an honor! Thank you mom, for your readiness to share with me who you are today. So, I ask again…Who are you? It is YOUR privilege.

I shared a few photos from my voyage across Europe in this blog in order to, as my vision statement suggests, teach, reach and energize…YOU…to accept your call, battle the demons inside, and discover the reward, while SIMULTANEOUSLY FOLLOWING YOUR BLISS!!

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“The two most important days of your life are the day you were born and the day your realized why.”-Mark Twain

Delta Delta Delta

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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.

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INSTA THIS

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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?

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HERO I Go!

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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?

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“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.