Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Permission to Fumble

You know when you know something but just can't find the right words to articulate it? Or the right thoughts? But, you know that there's something there - whether it's a feeling you can't quite place, or a hunch of a good idea. This post is about giving yourself permission to fumble through the thick of it so you can land in a place of improved clarity. The key to fumbling as elegantly as possible - is to do the following:

1. Identify a "safe" person(s) to fumble with. By safe, I mean someone who is a good listener, non-judgmental, and authentically has your interests in mind. Even better if they're not vested in the outcome of what you're fumbling with.

2. Ask your safe person(s) for permission to fumble through and request what you need of them. "I just need you to listen." "Tell me what you hear me saying." "I don't know what I'm getting at...but think there's something, can you help me clarify?"

3. Pay attention to the mirror, mirror, on the wall. Face the fact that you might not actually want to hear what's coming out of your mouth. So really listen to what your safe listener is playing back for you.

4. Take mental or physical notes and then let some time pass. Let your subconscious speed up to your conscious. Your brain has wheels turning that our out of your control - and those parts work wonders. It's what happens when the AHA pops up. The best way to let that happen is to switch your attention to something other than what you're trying to resolve. Take a break.

5. Repeat this cycle with another safe person (s), or advance to the party that may be involved in either developing your idea or working through the issue you have.

Innovation, growth, progress only happen when we give ourselves permission to take risks into the unknown.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Consuming or Nurturing?

When making way for the new, consider what you can release. Maybe it's that book you are never going to read. Maybe it's the "friend" who is total drain-o (technical term for "depletes your energy"). Maybe it's clearing your bag of all those loose receipts. Maybe it's parting ways with t-shirts that are expired.

I once read that nature doesn't like holes. So if you create a new opening, a new space, fill it with something nurturing to seal the deal of goodness or the same stuff will just be attracted right back. You know how when you get a facial - they clear you out and then seal your pores? It's the same thing for everything.

If you're clearing a physical space, consider lighting candles, adding flowers, or performing some blessings. If you're clearing a relationship, make sure to fill your life with activities that fill you with positivity. Get the point?

One way to decide whether it's for keeps or not is to ask: is this consuming me or is it nurturing me?


Monday, June 13, 2011

inspired by a friend

a good friend just shared something brilliant with me and it was totally expanding. i was like, woah....how can i learn THAT?!?

she said, "i've been so busy focusing on what outcome i wanted, i didn't give any possibility for appreciating what just is. i've been trying to control the whole situation. and once i let it flow...i was met with something even bigger. not the package i wanted it in...but beyond GOOD. and, actually exactly what i needed."

hallo! let me get in on some of that action. ahhh, the tender place of envisioning, desiring, but being open to any outcome - for the masters.

sometimes you gots it. sometimes you don't.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Download

Today I met up with my business coach. It took me a while to seek out the support of someone else. After all, don't I advise thousands of women on entrepreneurship - shouldn't I have my own answers? Uhh. NO. Everyone needs someone. You can't do it alone. And that's the point of this post. So here we go:

It's been over two months since I saw her last. We're supposed to meet monthly. But to be honest, I put it off. I wanted to wait until I had some real "progress" to show her.

After ordering some divine fried chicken thingy, from the cool, local South Africa spot in my hood, she said, "Now, Stella. Stop judging yourself. Don't feel like you have to perfect for me. I'm not anyone you have to get "ready" for. I'm the one you can vent, you share, you can just BE wherever you are. That's the point. I'm here to help you."

AHHH. Yes. I forgot...you're here to help me (not used to that). So we just talked. I gave her updates. She was super validating and enthusiastic. I shared some insecurities. I expressed things I hadn't quite worked out in my head. And then I left feel lighter, better, energized.

My coach is a trailblazing entrepreneur - many of you have probably enjoyed her products sold nationally throughout Whole Foods. She gives me some amazing biz advice. But what I think I really pay her for is the listening. It's the chance to give a messy, undigested download, and have a space to see it somewhere outside my head. When "IT" is out in the world - through spoken word to someone else - somehow I feel I have more space from within to analyze, resolve, create, innovate, and feel alive.

Don't underestimate the power of the download. If you are wrestling with anything, unsure, overwhelmed, or feeling a little ick - talk to someone. Literally, say, "Hey Friend or Coach or Stranger: Can you give me 10 minutes of just pure downloading time? I need to get somethings out of my head and all you have to do is just listen - this would help me work it out. Would be happy to do the same for you if you like."

I know this sounds small, duh, and you know it. But I needed a reminder. So thought I'd share. We need each other - even if it's just to be containers for downloads.

Now if you want to be an advanced, super container make sure you validate the feelings or experience of the downloader. Don't negate what's happening - just show the sharer that you care for them regardless of whatever they are sharing. We all need to feel that we're loved, valued, and worthy - despite any junk in the trunk.

Much love

Thursday, June 9, 2011


What's a track record anyway? It's your choosing to acknowledge certain actions led to certain results. But there are infinite track records - infinite tracks. So perhaps we shouldn't so rely on what served us before serves us now. Or what worked before is bound to work again. Or that just because it was "planned" it's the best choice in the moment.

I'm getting more and more comfy with what my friend Lisa says to me all the time, "Stella, you choose now. And you can choose again later...everything is allowed."

So I'm allowing myself to get more jiggy with changing my mind and making up my own rules. Because 1) everything is made up anyway, so might as well create it in a way that sings true to me and my values. 2) things changes, and to override the present because of a past intention feels more about proving something versus exercising integrity in the now.

As best as I can now..

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Ready Freddy? A relief from anguished patience.

What does it mean to be ready? I actually looked it up on freedictionary.com it means: "Prepared or available for service, action, or progress."

I've been coming off an impatient jag recently...questioning why things weren't the way I wanted them now (I'm wincing as I write this ... but yes, I was having an existential tantrum...NOW NOW NOW!). Why can't I be ready for X NOW? Why can't he be ready for me NOW? Why isn't it all happening NOW?!? Why is the time not NOW? Why haven't I launched it yet? (Note to reader: This is not a recent jag - this is an-all-my-life-I've-been-feeling-this-restless-kinda-jag...I just happen to be recently coming off of it - settling into something else).

So I've been asking myself:
Prepared? What else I have been doing but preparing?!?
Available? I've created a big huge space for available...hello?!?
What else am I to do? If it's not happening does it mean I can't handle it? Does it mean I have more work to do? Is there something wrong with me? Please, please, whoever is in charge, don't tell me...it's just because I'm not ready! I'm not feeling that ANSWER.

So...here are some alternative answers I came up to self soothe...check them out...They appeared through two events that shined the light on the complexity of that which I have been calling, "readiness."

1. A hangover
2. Very healthy and strong nails

What the hangover taught me about "readiness"
I had a great night on Saturday at a friend's b-day and spent most of my Sunday recovering. I'm not a big drinker, at all. So it's been a while since I felt this sweet. I tried to stay in bed but couldn't. I tried to work - forget it. I spent time with a friend for bfast - positive and distracting but I still wanted to throw up afterwards. What to do?

Nothing. But let it take it's course. I felt a familiar tug pointing me to look up and see the answer about my readiness examination. Saying, see, see, Stella, you just got to sit with it. Not much for you to do here. So, I took some Excedrin, and finally fell asleep. I emerged a NEW WOMAN! God was I grateful for my body working this out. I felt victorious. I felt AWESOME. All I did was relax. Hmmm.

What my nails taught me about readiness
There was a time when I covered my nails with fake stuff so I would have one less appointment every few weeks - so worth it (I guess). But I stopped because I couldn't find a good lady to replace the one I cherished. Suddenly it was just me, my natural and wilted nails from overly chemicalized treatment, and some pain.

So what to do? Well, not much. I tended to them as best I could. Bought some vitamins. And let, again, my body and time do its work. This week I looked down at them and realized, woah, they're back! They are rockin! Lookin FINE.

So what's the lesson? How have I appeased myself so as not to consider myself a failure because the things I've so been moving towards are still moving their way towards me? Well, if you think the message here is JUST WAIT, it will all work out - that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying, just LIVE, do what feels right in the moment, and one day, one day, dear Stella, and dear reader, you'll wake up and the shift would have occurred, effortlessly actually - because you were totally present in your life.

I'm done trying to clutch onto a virtue of which I have none (patience). It's not about patience or waiting. There is not waiting. There is just BEING.

So here's to being as full as you are, just right now. Which is perfect. Relaxing or doing. Preparing or not. Available or Occupied. Fresh and chipper or smelling like last night's cocktail. It's all good. And none of it is missing anything. It's not incomplete. So long as I'm plugged into this perspective I feel whole. I don't feel like I'm missing anything, like I'm longing to be any where but here, and the restlessness, oh that constant tug, well, it feels ever-so-slightly more peaceful. For which the tiniest droplet of that rest - I am grateful.


Friday, June 3, 2011

When you feel like you're missing something, realize you have everything already.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I must have been ON

The other day I was walking down the street to buy some quick groceries for an impromptu dinner party in my back yard. I quickly changed into my first summer dress of the season. The sun was just setting. I just got a mani-pedi. The breeze was warm. And the fog of sadness that I had been experiencing that week (oh romance) started to clear up.

Walking briskly to the market I made eye contact with a man who smiled big at me. As we were about to pass one another he held up his hand for me and I gave him a big high-five. And we both kept walking. We didn't lose a beat. If you were an observer you would think we were long-time neighbors. But I never saw this dude in my life, nor can I recall what he looks like.

It was the most brilliant exchange and gave me so much light. It was a "yeah, high-five to life mf'ers, we are all connected human beings" kinda moment. I LOVED it.

While random and so small it was my personal sign that everything is all good and will be all good.

I often use NYC streets as my mirror. I try to make eye contact with strangers. Gauging by their response, my energy. Sometimes I get tons of warm affection - and people who I don't know feel very familiar. Other times, I find, I can barely get a glance from the throngs.

We experience what we put out. And I'm so grateful for that mini-moment - totally affirming and celebrating. A little file I will put away for days when I need a high-five.


Non-Violent Confrontation with a Moth

I just worked out. Sweaty. Excited to feel a cool shower. I move the shower curtain out of the way and something huge flies out. Holy shit! I scream. F+CK. I don't like having to deal with insects. Damnnnnnnn. Jumbo Moth calmly hides itself on the upper reaches of my medicine cabinet. Fine. (But you better not eat my clothes MF'er).

I finish my shower. Dry off. And know that I have to deal with it. Come out come out wherever you are.

I open my medicine cabinet and it's hanging out on the brim. But it's still steamy and I can't see that well. My glasses are off. And when I put them on they just fog up. "You've got to be kidding me," I mentally declare to the moth/man/world higher up's.

Can't you just leave or somehow not be here! Seriously, I don't have time to deal with this right now.

I stare at it. As I do with all bugs who come into my space (or so I think it's mine). I'm hoping it has ESP and will somehow catch up to my thoughts - knowing what's good for it, and peacefully depart.

The problem is that there is no way out. My window is shut. I'm still naked. The medicine door, if I let go to open the window will swing shut. And then Jumbo Moth will be squashed or tumbling around with my floss, lotion, etc. Uhhhh. And then dealing with opening up the cabinet only to have it fly into my face is not an option.

Quick thinking I create a MacGyver-like prop with some "Purity" face wash - it keeps the medicine cabinet from fully swinging shut. I cover myself up quickly with my towel - now free to open my window as high as possible without flashing my Super.

Then I tell it, OK. You can go now. Just go.

But it won't. So I start blowing on it.

Can't you feel the breeze of my breath? Move it!


So then I start to mentally bargain and be nice. OK Mr. Moth, it's been great knowing you, thanks for stopping by, you can seriously just take off now.


Fine. I get out a magazine and it starts to flutter. And fly. Oh no! It's all around. Ahhhh. I'm in a steamy box, naked, with a Jumbo Moth that has no navigational sense. What if it flies into me and sticks to my skin? (Amazing the imagination, isn't it?). Its wings flap so fast it feels like it has thousands of wings. I'm so freaking out.

And then it's out. Right out the window! The chaos and frenzy disappear. Silence and stillness.

I shut the window FAST. YES!

I raise my arms victorious. Jumping up and down in my bathroom.

This felt big for me. Profound. I'm not sure if there is necessarily a big AHA here or lesson. But dealing with this on my own (versus asking a boyfriend or my mom) made me feel quite competent. Maybe there's something in this about fear? About dealing? About letting go instead of squashing? I'm not going to over analyze this one - just relish feeling quite proud, relieved, and ready to take on the next challenge. Yeah baby. Thanks Jumbo.