How do you spell PHEW!?

PHEW! That’s how. 

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IMG_7631You know the word you say when you almost got hit in the head with a softball at the game last night, but it grazed by the side of your beautiful head? Breezing through your golden locks. PHEW!

Or…the sound you make when you were just about to graze the side of that fence with your car and at the last mili-second, you stopped. And pondered: “What the heck told me to stop right then?!” PHEW!

Or…you slowed down on the freeway just in time to see a police officer. Or you decided NOT to fly through that yellow light as the car in front of you gets caught on camera. PHEW!

img_8873Or…when you make it to the top of that glorious hike. The view and the sweat are worth the steps and pain! PHEW! 

Or…(ok, one more) Or…the moment you pop the question to the love of your life and she says, “HELL YES!” PHEW!

What is your PHEW! moment?

Phew literally has a definition! I didn’t know.

Phew means: “to express a strong reaction or relief.

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As you read in my last blog, It Truly IS,  I put my stud of a dog, NEO, down in April. It truly was the hardest time in my life to date. And writing this wonderful blog was the last thing I had the strength to do. I thank you, for those who recently started following me, for understanding, as a writer, or as a human, the need to take care of ones self and not force the flow.”

“You can’t force the flow. I want it to be my inner most creation built on the precipice of movement. Not crammed within the lines of expectations.” –Muthle Fiberths

 

IMG_6573I also want to share about the (excuse my language here) “Mind Fuck” grief is. I am a therapist, as most of you know. I have been trained in grief. I studied grief in grad school. I work with Marines, and military who have experienced grief more than the average person could understand. However, until you experience it for yourself, it is a crazy, hard, confusing experience. Have some grace on yourself if you are going through it now. And look for guidance as you let the process happen.

My PHEW!.. (insert here.) 🙂 PHEW! I made it to OCTOBER! I made it through this challenging year of loss and gain. The yin and yang, right?

Here is another PHEW! for me:  I landed my first teaching job! I am so excited to share with my Still Playin’ With It Tribe: I have been hired to teach Positive Psychology at a university! Aw, people! Just follow your dream. Wiggle your way in. Even if you don’t think you have what it takes or the experience, trust yourself. Be resourceful. Pray. Leap. WHATEVER it takes so you can have your, PHEW! I nailed it! moment! Because you deserve to live the life you want to create! (I share, too, as a root to the reason I may not write as often in the next few months as I flow into this new season…)

every-journey-starts-with-one-stepSssssshhh…Hear that? It’s the voice in YOUR soul. It’s gently whispering. Waiting for you to find the strength or courage to make a small step forward towards that dream of YOURS!

And, ONCE, you make that FIRST step…you can say:

“PHEW!!!! I DID IT!”

YOU did. No one else but YOU! Now! Go! Create that PHEW!

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

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The Dubyas

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” -Viktor E. Frankl

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Happy 2016 Still Playin With It People! Stop the New Years Resolutions right now! Please! For the love of all that is good. Stop thee: “what will be in a few months” and think about what is NOW…In the space between. I wrote in Rock the Vote back in July of 2014 about this moment in time…the space between what will be and what was. This perfectly precise space to discover your self, your bliss, and your next courageous leap.

Your next ninja move is housed in this magical fortress: The Space Between.
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As I reflect back today, January 10, 2016, on Rock the Vote from July of 2014, I decided it is too perfect to not reiterate right NOW in this Still Playin With It moment of THEE Space Between. Please Enjoy!
ROCK THE VOTE- July 24, 2014…
You all know, if you read me diligently (and I thank you from my depths, if you do) that I love definitions of words. They carry strength.
Between by definition: “in the period separating (two points in time.) 
Two points in time…what is in between two points in time? NOW. This “Between” is my current residence. But, I am going to be the Mayor of this fucking town and call it: FOR-NOW. Who is ready to buy some land and plant some crops in FOR-NOW?  Prices are amazingly LOW because no one wants to live here…currently. So I will take a breath, look around and know that this space is exactly that: FOR-NOW. 
  IMG_3082The magical land of FOR-NOW, between where you were last and where you are going…can be scary, to say the least. It can hold an energy of confusion, and or fear. Those fearful moments don’t add to the amazing process we are experiencing in the Space Between. Your free floating thoughts may sound like this: “I’m lost!” Impossible! “I’m stuck!” Nope. “I’m stranded.” Never! “What do I do now?” Be Here. 
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My Space Between is filled with inquiries that I don’t have an answer…FOR-NOW. They are evolving. My current habitation is rich in development, so, I sit patiently. Well, most of the time. What will unfold? What and how will I move into this next chapter? Who will I meet that will have a specific purpose to teach me something radical? Or vice versa?
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 FOR-NOW is a space for letting go of control. Allow yourself to open your eyes and mind to all that is in this space. And then, settle in. Snuggle yourself into the depths of this cozy, warm, perfect place…a truly exciting place to see what is brought to you! Are you with me? Or are your insecurities and ego getting in the way of what is? Stop for a moment, right now and ask yourself that exact question. Allow the answer to come…
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A tool to use for this space: BREATH! I think of meditation within the context of this space. The space between in meditation or prayer is that “place” you go where there is no time. Where there is no space, people, things…just your breath…and YOU. Link to How To Kick Ass in One Easy Step, where I talk about this practice of…breathing.
IMG_0525 And of utmost importance, my FOR-NOW abode is not my FOR-EVER. Nor is yours. That is an important point to make very understandable and clear: FOR-NOW, does not mean FOR-EVER! Life is a becoming. Let your life become what it is to be through this space between.
IMG_7371As Mayor, President, CEO, and Soul-Proprietor of the beautiful city of FOR-NOW, I promise this to you, dear citizens: YOU can take complete solace that the unclear will become clear, the unknown WILL become known, and the fog will lift. Then and only then, will your investment multiply!
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Population: 1
Who is ready to admit where they are and invest in this ocean front property?
(END ROCK THE VOTE ENTRY)
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As you ponder what 2016 will bring, STOP and ask yourself instead about the 5 Dubyas
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Who will you Be?

Who will you free?

Who will you see?

Who are you to become?

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What will this day bring?

What will you feel?

What will you sing?

What will you heal?

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When will you KNOW?

When will you believe?

When will I let go?

When will I achieve?

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Where are you?

Where will you stand?

Where will you go?

Where will you land?

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Why will I go?

Why will I stay?

Why will I know?

Why will I pray?

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How? 

Aw, the Hows!! Those are my favorite…kind of like smiling! (Twaves) 😉

You will “HOW” by BEING HERE NOW! (I am a poet. And I know it!)

That is it. Presence. Awareness. Trust. Faith. And bringing the people in to your path that allow you to do just that. You all know who you are in my life and I am utterly grateful.

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

 

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

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.