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 🙂

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Bump, SET, Spike… Video!

What do you want in your life?  What is your intention for today and for this week and for your future?

Still Playin’ With It Video for YOU! Set it, believe it, create it!

Watch Video HERE!

This is a raw and impromptu video…enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

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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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Tootsie Rollin’

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This one was a challenge for me…expressing myself…like being on the top of a high dive, standing at the edge, with the audience watching, as I…DIVE IN!

Have you ever looked in the mirror and thought, “Who is that?” or “Is that what I look like?” or “Is one eyebrow really higher than the other?” Self gazing, we could say. Most of us don’t take time to stop and really reflect on ourselves, especially while staring in the mirror. For one, you can’t see both eyes at the same time or your vision goes blurry. So you glance from eye to eye, trying to encompass the entire picture. Difficult to do.

As we learned in my past two blogs, “Imatard, Uatard, Avatard” and “For the Love of Legos”, I am a reflection of you, you are a reflection of me. I am part of you. You are part of me, we are we.

The work comes in for me when reflecting on MY part of the whole, MY inner being, MY Me…I am gonna say that again, “MY ME.” I think that is a sweet statement. My Me is an ever growing magic show. Ha. The performance of a lifetime. Journey into yourself. How do I experience me? As I face My inner most reflection…It is a voyage inward.

So, the challenge I have owned for myself is to see and experience my own reflection of Me, little ol’ RL. How do we identify who we are? By checking in with your reflection. Being present with yourself. Ask yourself questions. Be inquisitive. Be quiet. Be still. Observe yourself. Step outside of yourself while talking with a stranger. Be a witness to your life. Be your own audience. What impact am I making? What’s your WAKE leaving behind. (Check out “A-wake” from a few weeks back…) Write them down. Chat with your trusted, special mates about your stories.  Be ready to experience yourself. Be prepared to flow in whatever you hear. Like a spring, as it bubbles up, let it flow. You are exactly who you… are to be.

When working with my clients, one of the first tools I go to is an “I am…” journal. I have them write out ten “I am…” statements in a few different ways. Such as, descriptions of their outer identity. i.e. I am mother. I am student. I am brunette. I am 8 feet tall. The other list will have words that describe who they are internally, how they feel about themselves, their strengths. i.e. I am strong. I am powerful. I am loved. I am a fucking rockstar! 🙂 We will also do, whatever you/they are feeling today “I am…” lists. Sometimes, they really teach me, as a therapist and coach, where they are in their head and in their heart. “I am worthless. I am ugly.”  This shows me a great place to start working to empower them to be their beautiful selves.

Once I was able to identify Me, which is an ever evolving joy ride, I was able to see more clearly my role in the whole. I am able to unconditionally witness the other. I can see you; my friend, my partner, my colleague, my client, my barista, my fellow gym babe, my best friend, my teammate, my new connection, with such clarity. What a transcendent gift to give yourself, boundless in blessings.

I have a great idea! Why don’t ya’ all make an “I am…” list! Share with me what you come up with! I would LOVE that. It is a powerful experience and I would be honored to hear your descriptions of YOU.

I will show you an example below. Which, may I add, is what James Clear speaks about regarding “Leading at Scale.” (www.jamesclear.com) As a writer, expressing your internal self to the external world is scary and awkward. Thank you for allowing me to share who I am to each one of you, personally. I GOT THIS!

More than all the previous words, I want to share today what I desire to observe and experience in my own true reflection:

I desire…to…reflect love. I reflect beauty. I reflect awareness. I reflect authenticity. I reflect respect. I want to be a blessing to all I encounter with my genuine reflection. I reflect you.  I want to sprinkle my magical fairy-dust…better watch out. I’ll get ya!

And here is my “I am” list… 

I am a daughter. I am a sister. I am an athlete. I am a writer. I am a therapist. I am a teammate. I am a coach. I am a wellness guide. I am a student of life. I am educated. I am a friend. I am a traveler.

I am passionate. I am loving. I am funny. I am strong. I am sexy. I am sweet. I am available. I am loyal. I am present. I am brilliant. I am vulnerable. I am rad. I am harmonious. 

I love to love. I love to connect. I love to riff. I love to dance. I love to laugh. I love to be still. I love to meditate. I love to empower. I love to rock it. I love to smile-smilings my favorite. 

I am me. 

Now look in the mirror. Look in a pond. Look in your hub cap. Who is that? ‘Lead at Scale’ and make your list.

One more time: this poem (again I wrote when I was 21) is as applicable today as it has been each moment in between…

“It is Me that you see. Nobody but Me. Who do I dare to be? Nobody but Me.”

I see ME. I see YOU

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Yep, that’s me…tootsie rollin’ in the whole.

Imatard. Uatard. Avatard.

As promised…

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I really love to blog. I have discovered a part of me that has been liberated. Thee artist unravelled. I love to write. I am ignited and inspired to riff and share my words with the world. The word “riff” comes from a man I met a few months ago that blew my mind with his “riffing” as he called it. He just let his words flow from his lips and meet his listeners right where they were. Thank you Chris T.

Writing, I have discovered, is a true honor, privilege and CHALLENGE that I do not take for granted. Probably one of the most challenging activities I have ever done…weekly. I have experienced a smidgen of what “writer’s block” must be like. Ryan-I admire and respect your work, your art, your craft more now than I EVER have been able to even remotely comprehend. I love you. I value you. You are my muse.

Authenticity, “leading at scale”(www.jamesclear.com)-is what I am bringing to you in Still Playin’ With ItLast week, I was not in a blogging space…so I shared with you all where I was, what my inspiration was and for a little telepathic help from my readers. I knew, I just knew, in my heart that when it was time I would riff. 

And here you go…

I was looking up reflections on-line to gather a little knowledge regarding images in our brains and how they are reflected back to us as objects or some type of matter. Our brains are wild! I won’t even go into the way our brains process information to see, or utilizes light and how the images reflect from the inside out. Mind blowing and powerful processes. Look it up, really. It is worthy knowledge to hold when you start tapping into what is actually happening in our bodies. Know yourself. As interesting as this is, today we will look at reflections from a more social aspect than a biologic aspect.

Reflection is a compound topic. One that I will break down into a few different blogs over the next few weeks.  For today, we will look at our reflection as a part of what we receive from others: I am a reflection of you. You are a reflection of me. We are a reflection of we.

Have you ever stared at someone intensely? Or “Gazing” as my mentor calls it. In couples therapy, this is a homework assignment we give to couples to allow them to connect. Eye to eye contact is one the thee greatest aspects of human connection and mammalian abilities. We can tap into the other immediately by “gazing” into their eyes. Eye contact is intense, hence the reason some people can’t look you in the eye. But, a powerful way to tap into others and into yourself. How comfortable are you when looking in someones eyes? Oh my…or when you are with someone you are seriously connected with and the eye contact itself puts you over the edge. It is like I tripped over a curb in my mind.

You want to connect more to others: make eye contact with them. Be present with them. I am not speaking of staring contests or crossed-eyed competitions here. Not that those aren’t ridiculously funny…Wanna see me cross eyed? It’s pretty funny…(Hey Chips?) I am speaking of tapping into the other by utilizing what you have: your eyes, your sight, your mirror.

Mirror neurons are a real thing in our brains. (Ok, a little biology) These little neurons fire when connecting with something in your sight…an object, a person, an experience, an accident. According to the American Psychology Association, Mirror Neurons are: “a neuron that fires both when an animal acts and when the animal observes the same action performed by another. Thus, the neuron “mirrors” the behavior of the other, as though the observer were itself acting.”

These organic components of our species are available for your gazing pleasure. Increase your awareness of these little feelers that we are able to tap into, connect with and grow from. You are with a friend and they get tears in their eyes, and so do you. Aw, the ability to connect with another. Priceless.

Sociologically speaking: We are a reflection of the company we keep.  I learned early on from my parents that our reputation at times can be all we have. The tribe you surround yourself with is a reflection of YOU. Who do YOU want to be? Who do YOU want to represent? Who are YOU when YOU are with those people you hang with?

Marc Chernoff wrote in his blog “30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself:”

1. Start spending time with the right people. – These are the people you enjoy, who love and appreciate you, and who encourage you to improve in healthy and exciting ways.  They are the ones who make you feel more alive, and not only embrace who you are now, but also embrace and embody who you want to be, unconditionally.” (Link to website)

What an amazing truth. One to stop and think about…

To the amazing souls who are my true reflection: I love you. I would attempt a list, but it would be ridiculous. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. My utmost gratitude for the reflection you have left in my soul.

“I see you.” Avatar hit it on the head with this aspect of the film. Reflections are an “I see you-I see me” experience. Could you imagine instead of saying, “Hello.” we say, “I see you-I see me.” Hard to imagine, but profound in the intention of the thought. Especially when capturing the art of gazing.

So…the poem I left in my last “quickie” blog, I wrote again below…and added to it to incorporate the reflections of today…

“It is me that you see. (I am a reflection of you.)

Nobody but me. (and you.)

Who do I dare to be? (I dare you to be you and I will be me and we can be we.)

Nobody but me.” (And YOU are YOU and I am I.) 

Prost to the true essence of reflection: To see and be seen.

Until then…I SEE YOU-I SEE ME.

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