Posted on March 10, 2023
We could be talking smoke and mirrors, fun house sorts of illusions, but if you know me, then you know we aren’t. We are talking about personal illusions, of course. Of course. I would love to discuss how sometimes we lie to ourselves, about ourselves.
Bill and I were going to breakfast last Saturday, and he had been unwell with a cold. I watched it develop from Monday through the week to Saturday. It built a little more every day to where I knew he desperately needed rest, and so I had to convince him he was unwell and needed rest to recover. Our conversation was humorous if nothing else, as I was telling him that he was sick. He asked why when he is unwell, I say he is sick, but when I am sick, I say I am unwell. I took the longest, most pregnant pause ever, and finally answered with “we are just different”. We both busted out laughing and spent a good minute or two laughing at the absurdity of my statement. To make it worse, I went on to explain(womansplain) to him why and how it is different…let me just say, that the picture I painted of him, to him, was very unflattering, while the picture I painted of myself was pretty complimentary, if not down right heroic.
I should say, Bill has asthma, so when he gets sick, it does affect him differently than it does me-in a breathing capacity sort of way. So, this is the complete basis of my picture painting style for both of us in our respective states of unwellness. Never mind that he will work through his illness, while I will rest and sleep to recover. No, we don’t need to pay attention to these disparaging differences. Let’s keep our focus on the fact that I have super human powers and Bill is a sickly kind of person. Yes, this is the part where you laugh with and at me for my own sense of illusion…even if it is based on my previous life of constantly pushing through any obstacle in my way, and his dying with any minor illness.
Today, I am writing this while I am a bit unwell, and under the influence of medication. Never mind that my face feels kind of numb, my thumbs work and I can feel the left side of my brain working. See, super human! Sure, Bill is working away in the next room, having recovered. Probably because I made him rest last weekend when he was sick. Not to lose track of our topic, but the best naps are to be had on Fridays when he is on conference calls all day. The soothing deep tones of mainly male voices really just relaxes me and I rest so well. I probably should ask for one of them to record about 2 hours worth of talking and put that on when I need a nap, on a day other than Friday.
Back to illusion. I may be unwell today. I am not going to commit to answering this quite yet. Maybe it’s just allergies. I think I was just run down from my 4:30am wake up calls this week, and sleeping poorly, yeah, that sounds truly accurate. I am fine, not unwell, definitely not sick. I have work to do, but maybe I will just sit here and stare at a wall for a while…while I drool from my numb left side of my face. Sounds like a decent plan, thumbs working, maybe it is my right side of my brain working, the left side may be numb like my face? Hmm. The wind is kind of strong today, and look at the bushes leafing!
I think I will rest today, maybe the whole weekend? I am so glad Bill is feeling well, recovered from being sick. I am definitely well, maybe I just need to go work out today. Perhaps I should look up the word illusion?
In all seriousness, I am mildly unwell, but I will rest, hydrate and medicate to help my body recover. I no longer live under the illusion of my super powers and will listen to my body when I need to. My people are all adults now and can fend for themselves, if need be. I don’t have to keep plowing away, I can rest. I know illness is going around the area, and hope if you find yourself sick or unwell, that you listen to the wisdom of your body. No illusions for us, our super power is wisdom in acknowledgment and then dealing accordingly! 😉
Posted on March 8, 2023
Bill and I have been wanting to get matching or coordinating tattoos for a while. He has decided to be his best self, and I have decided to keep him because of it. We have had each other’s name and the kids’ names tattooed on our bodies for 15 years, but this is something that just we have, as I have a design that the kids and I share too. I liked this design immediately, and so did Bill, to me it represents individuality and freedom in our love for one another. Your marriage should not be a prison sentence or shackle, and this says unending love for self and one another.
Bill also got a sacred heart, and had some leaves and shading done at his appointment. Heidi always exceeds our expectations, she is great to work with and sadly my cell pics are not doing her work the praise and recognition it deserves.
Bill’s half sleeve is really coming along, and I am excited to see what he and Heidi come up with next! My tattoos always have a meaning or a story, usually both, connecting to where I am at in life. I had a couple of designs in the hopper that I have thought about getting from months to a year. I have quite the tattoo board on Pinterest and I just keep adding to it, gathering inspiration and ideas. I was fairly certain I was getting an eagle or an owl this time, but clearly that wasn’t meant to be. To my delight, I had a vision of what I needed to get next, and so I looked up the significance.
The cedar waxwing stands for: Balance, patience, self reliance, family, teamwork, dedication, love and prosperity. These are all cornerstones of my beliefs about life and family dynamics! The peonies stand for: love, honor, happiness, wealth, romance, and beauty. These are also very important to me in my relationship with self, home, partner and family. This is very spot on with how I have always felt, and how my life is finally in alignment with that. It was a done deal for me!
Heidi does amazing work, and we are always blown away by her talent and skill! I will have to post a better photo when I am healed up, but I think this is my favorite piece so far. Who knows what other birds I will end up with, but I am sure there will be more! If you would like a referral to get some amazing work done by Heidi, let me know and I will send you her link! Bill and I are both so thrilled with her art inked on us, we will definitely be adding more in the future!
Posted on March 5, 2023
Happy Sunday All! It is such a lovely day today, I hope you are all basking in the sunshine and Spring time views! Today’s prompt is one I considered not writing about, as my answer may seem vague, and I considered how much my words may be misinterpreted or misunderstood…then I remembered that is a regular occurrence when we read others’ writings, and so I said “why not?”!
Most people will tell you that you never grow unless the experience is bad, has repercussions, or you learned a lesson. While the latter is most true, the former is not the exception, nor always true. Yes, our experiences may seem to be more impactful with a negative connotation, because human nature focuses more on the negatives, but can you remember a positive experience that held just as much, if not way more weight, in helping you grow? I can, and I will share that with you, eventually. Let’s start with the negatives, looking at them in an overview sort of way.
When we are children, we often learn from things that scare us, especially when reinforced by parents or authority figures. This holds true throughout our lives, again this can be reinforced by those around or influential to us, but the way we hold on to how fear impacts us can seriously alter our experiences and our lives. Let me give you some examples.
Growing up for me, my parents would have differing reactions to my actions. Sometimes I would be met with harsh criticism, other times they would ask me if I thought my solution/answer was a good idea, and some times they would tell me that eventually I would learn. While I eventually saw merit or purpose in all three methods, it dawned on me that harsh criticism was typically done when they were stressed, when they were worried about or for me, or when I seriously was not getting the lesson. This is when they would typically sigh and say I would learn eventually. I always knew that at that point, I really had to pay attention, this was on me to learn from. Thanks mom and dad, this was my favorite part of your parenting of me, and I also use it for my kids-telling them they will eventually figure it out.
I learned so much from those experiences, and I honestly think the most sunk in with those instances…because I was truly aware and paying attention then. Do you know why? It was because my parents were not having a negative feeling about it, they felt a bit helpless, and I could feel that it was up to me to help myself and to change things if I wanted a different experience, with them, and with whatever the situation was. Ironically, that is what I have been doing with my life, seemingly forever, but definitely recently. I want a different experience, and so I am making decisions to have that. I have had several people think there is something wrong with me, commenting as such and asking me if I am okay, but that is so far from the truth. So much in my life is right because I am making different choices, and this is providing room for me to grow and enjoy my life more. I am choosing differently than most people would, and while that looks like self isolation, it is me eliminating negatives or distractions so that I am more choosy with the good things in my life. Talk about misinterpreted or misunderstanding, but that also comes from the others’ levels of perception. They might get it eventually.
I have had all kinds of experiences that have helped me to grow, some amazing experiences where another person’s kindness has made my heart bloom like a field of wildflowers. I swear in these experiences, you feel your heart expand threefold, almost to the point of bursting with joy and love. This is when we find ourselves growing in love, compassion, joy, empathy, kindness, happiness, etc.. We often forget these over the painful or the less than stellar times, maybe we should hold on to these experiences more and let them guide our hearts and minds more frequently.
So which experiences helped me grow the most? All of them. The good, the bad, the indifferent, the negative, the positive, the stumping, the hateful ones, the joyful ones, the ones that held no clarity. I have learned from them all, grown from them all, I am having the human experience after all! I will tell you the ones that I did not grow from, that would be the ones I kept repeating…until I eventually paid attention, let go of something and learned.
Tell me, what experiences do you grow the most from? I am still not on FB, so feel free to drop me a message, or chat amongst yourselves. In the meantime, embrace being misinterpreted, misunderstood and have a laugh about it. You know you and that is all that matters, not what others think they know. Chao!
Fate or Choice?
Posted on March 1, 2023
I was reading this morning, and came across this prompt from a fellow blogger, I felt it was an excellent prompt to consider and explore. Please remember, I am not on FB currently, but hope you are all discussing this without me. I am always a message away, and welcome discussion if you have time. Let’s check out this prompt and see where it takes us.
When I was younger, I found my life to have so many fateful coincidences that I believed solely in fate. Everything happened in sequence, with purpose, and it felt very much that my life was being guided by forces beyond me. I am not sure how long I believed that fate was the only factor in my life evolving, growing, and changing. Looking back, I can say with certainty, that I was a very naive person to not see my choices then, and how fate may have been more so a different kind of force than what I perceived.
If I am being totally honest, fate as I erroneously assumed, was really opportunity for choice. That is kind of mind blowing, knowing that my choices in fact were not fate, but actual choices. I say that because fate may have presented opportunities with possible outcomes having ability to forge my path left or right, but ultimately, I made the choice…even if those choices were intuitively lead. Intuition is more or less a built in system of self trust, and I trusted that part of me to make decisions…choices.
Sooo, looking at this prompt, I am gobsmacked not by the prompt, but by my own words slapping me in the face. I have told my clients and people for years that they can make choices that can alter, mold, or completely change their lives, and while I have subscribed to the same logic for myself, once upon a time I denied the truth of this. The answer to the prompt?
My choices have by and large shaped my life. Just like me forcefully changing my life since 2018, I am undoing a lot of what I chose, or at least that is the way it seems, perhaps fate is intervening again? Ha! Truthfully, I am forging a new path, one in which I am working with my body and not against it, bringing me more in to alignment…maybe the most aligned I have ever been with myself, my values, my intentions and goals. While this is carving new paths, I am always guided by a compass set forth for me that reminds me, my choices shape my life. I ultimately have a lot of sway over my own life, my choices are the only things I can control. Unpopular statement: our lives are exactly where we have chosen them to be. While this is not 100% true, it is probably 75-80% true, outside factors weigh on our lives…but we still are making choices, so…
Our lives have been wholly in our control, despite what has happened to us. We typically don’t realize how much control we had with our choices until later in life. It is a shocking moment to realize we have chosen so much that affects us, good, bad, and indifferent. How do you feel about this? I feel oddly relieved, yet full of grace for my younger self. I have some regrets, but don’t feel regretful. I have been working through these feelings for over 4 years, and the last year has really shown me that I feel my best while making choices best for me, less self sacrificing. I am working to the Nth degree to make my choices count, how about you?
Drop me a line, send me a message, give a smoke signal or something to let me know your thoughts on this. I would love to know!
Posted on February 27, 2023
WordPress/Jetpack, is now coming up with these little prompts to get users to open conversations and write about things to provoke response amongst readers. I have been avoiding jumping on this prompt pushing, as I am more of a free flowing, talk about what speaks to me, topic writer. I read another writer’s post on this, thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and so I figured I would tell you the word I think should be banned. Oh, the other writer suggested we ban the word “racist”, I concur as it is being very misused these days.
I used to really dislike the word paradigm, as it was such a buzz, trendy word that everyone used to make themselves seem way more intelligent when needing to say problem, issue, situation, etc.. The people using this word had no other big words in their vocabulary, but yet I was supposed to believe that paradigm was now a representation of their bland palette parading as more upscale or sophisticated. The funny thing is, it should have been a gateway word leading to just that, a more sophisticated, expanded word base. These are the same people though that overused the word “absolutely”, and very closely to the same time frame as their “paradigm” usage. What an intelligent, proactively worded time that was, not. Now, this is not me being judgmental, but more so saying to not expose yourself as a fraud, untrustworthy, or reaching. If you don’t use bigger words typically, don’t start using trendy bigger words to put on a facade, people will see through this and it will cut your credibility.
I would however make a suggestion, if you want to enhance your vocabulary. Start with synonyms and antonyms of words you feel you commonly overuse, try on some of those first. See which feels best to you, and which you might bust unexpectedly in conversation. Look up a new word, or be prompted by an app to start using one new word a week. Don’t do one a day, that is overkill, and can become overwhelming, thus deterring you from expansion. The goal is to beef up your vocabulary, not sound like a pretentious twit.
While I told you what word I used to want to ban, and I mentioned reading the post about banning “racist”, I don’t think we should currently ban any words at all. I think in both cases, people allow/allowed themselves to be influenced by what narrative is being pushed at the time. I had a client once tell me that the English language was being dumbed down to a point of simpleton, and at the time, I laughed, now I agree. I challenge you to expand your vocabulary for your own purposes, while remaining true to the way you speak and interact with others. I challenge you to stay clear of words that are trendy and buzz worthy, in society or your work capacity. I also challenge you to do a spelling test of words we all struggle with, think receive, weird, connoisseur, etc..
Tell me, is there a word you would ban? Why? I would love to know, but keep in mind, I am still on a social media hiatus, and won’t see your comment.
Posted on February 25, 2023
Our society has been so focused on being highly capable of doing it all, to the point that we are not only spread thin but our output may be lacking a bit of girth and substance. A person’s worth and success has been tied to what all they have been capable of managing and doing, while achieving, growing, nurturing, and adding to the already high pile of activities, responsibilities and work they were doing at the beginning. Many people don’t think they have too much on their plate, and one of two things is probably true for these folks, they either don’t realize they are heading for major burnout, or they really are not doing as many in depth things as they think they are.
This is not to say that we all have the same threshold, or that each person’s level of output is comparable, but more so that it is different for all of us. Let me throw an example out: A woman may be married, have a 9-5 job, and a small child, but her life may be a different level of occupied than another woman with the same criteria. Adding to one woman’s life may be doable and perfectly okay, but to add to another woman’s life may be too much for her. If you think this is about balance, you are incorrect. This is about what occupies your time, what you give value of importance to, and how other outside factors weigh in to it all. Balance is a self designated perspective, and that can be erroneous or easily miscalculated over the course of time involved. So, if balance is perceived, what is the actuality?
Less. Less is the actuality. You have less busyness, less worry, less doing of things and less distractions. Let’s go back to the married woman with the 9-5, and one child. She had less without the child. She had less without the marriage. She had less without the 9-5. Add those things up, and continue to add, she has more, possibly to the point of too much. Something will start to lose her quality of attention eventually, maybe to the point of losing her attention altogether. Ah, here is where people start to say “she balances it all”. Not quite. She will either give something(s) up, or she will ask for help to keep her attention focused and prioritized…which is still not balance but outsourcing and lessening her load.
This scenario translates all across the board, from women to men and whatever occupies our time. When do we go from occupation to distraction though? I think that is the case, we are very distracted from important core things and it is revealing itself in our society. We are less concerned with quality, more with quantity, and that is leaching our richness, in all honesty. What would happen if we focused on less? Would we be less successful? Would we be less fulfilled? Would be better as individuals? Possibly, but not necessarily.
Point blank, if you cannot outsource, you need to do less. If you can outsource, it provides room for you to do more. If one more so aligns with your values and expectations, do that for now, and maybe later or the whole time. The point is, are you doing all you are capable of, are you doing too much, do you need to do less, do you need to outsource…are you distracted by your own expectations or the expectations on you by others? These are very hard questions to answer most of the time, because we are so deeply in our lives and layering all of the things we add, that we really don’t see the absolute truth until we subtract to see a difference. A full life is not a rich life, and a life lacking is not fulfilling. Hopefully you see where this post is at and where it is going.
There is no balance, there is ebb and flow. There is not one size fits all, there is tailored to you and your life. There is not one right answer for people with the same criteria, there are multiple answers because we are are all having our own experience. There is however, one life to live, and we need no metrics from others, on which we need to measure our own.
So, tell me(even though I am not on fb and this will have to be a discussion you all have on your own, unless you want to message me), are you living your life by your own metrics, measurements, expectations, and pace? Are you outsourcing, lessening, or carrying an unbearable load?
I’m (NOT) Back!
Posted on February 20, 2023
While I have been absent from social media, I realized a couple of important things. I love people and I love to see what is happening in their lives…but I don’t think our interaction with humanity is meant to be done so largely through technology. Is that me cutting myself off at the legs? Maybe.
I have decided to not live on social media for a while. “But Erin, how are you posting this or to Instagram if you are off social media?” Well, I write on WordPress, hit publish to Facebook, and it does it’s thing. I have an app that can post to instagram and my Fb business page, all without ever stepping foot on either platform. This does however eliminate me engaging with you all, which is vital to building and maintaining some friendships and a business. Sigh.
What I love is engaging with those of you that engage with me, and I am not going to ask you to do anything special just to engage with me, like get a WordPress account. So, while I would love for you to enjoy my content, I won’t be responding to comments for a while, and I don’t want you to think I am ignoring you or not appreciating you. Truthfully, I will be sharing content at my leisure, will make a birthday post for Brooke this week, and I will probably write about some things that I am finding with a social media hiatus, which I encourage everyone to do. If you find yourself wanting to reach out to me, message me and I will give you my number and we can communicate in a more personable way! In the meantime, I hope you are all having a great February!
Time, Focus, Grow
Posted on February 5, 2023
This week has shown me that two weeks will not be enough time to do what I want to do, so I am taking an indefinite break from the blog and social media. I think we all need time away to stay focused on what is most important to us, to do the things that make us feel good about our accomplishments in life, and most importantly, to spend time on and with those in our immediate circle, fostering deep relationships where we need and want them. I hope you are all have a great February so far!
Posted on January 29, 2023
I have decided to take a two week hiatus from blogging and social media. Not for negative reasons, the opposite in fact, I have some positive projects I am working on, and I want to devote my undivided attention to these projects! I don’t want to document my projects, but to immerse myself in those completely, which sounds nice too. Have a great couple weeks!
Posted on January 28, 2023
I have been witness to, and have recently listened to so many people that are transitioning in deeply profound ways. As we, yes including me, transition, it remains important that we remember to breathe, find our balance, ground ourselves, have grace for ourselves and others, and hold space and love for others.
I chose this photo of Maria to serve as the embodiment of this post…as she embodies these things, provides space, love, and opportunity for everyone around her to find the aforementioned things! Thank you Maria for being you, for sharing your gifts, and for always inspiring us! You can find Maria at Rainbow Yoga with multiple weekly offerings!
Drop me a line, tell me if you are transitioning, or if you have noticed those around you transitioning…and how you are immersing yourself in that, I would love to know!