Giving Presence

Find your breath. Inhale. Exhale. Put away your phone. Don’t even take it inside. Stop. Be there. Be here now. Be open. Listen. Give others the gift of presence. Give them your energy. Your attention. Give them your love. Be here now.

 

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Saying Yes to No

Living Well Spending Less™...reminds me of Chip Ingram's quote, "Busyness is satan's tool for a barren life."I’m so tired of the anthem, “I’m so busy.” Everything that’s on your plate is there because you said yes to it.

Recently Lululemon released this little gem of a video about giving presence this holiday season (something we should give everyday?). This quote came from the wildly brilliant Danielle LaPorte. I LOVE this quote. When my friends broke up with their boyfriends earlier this year, I thought and talked to them a lot about space (or time if you will). When someone leaves our lives there is a gap, a space opens up. How do you fill the void of time you spent with them? So when I think of it in that way, I also realize that we are constantly determining how to fill our space. We are deciding how we spend our time. Who is there. Where we go. What we do. How do you fill up your space? No one else is responsible for it but you. What are you creating? What are you saying yes to? What are you saying no to?

I agree with Danielle that we often glorify and applaud busyness. Especially this time of year, we are so busy getting ready for the Holiday, are we truly celebrating and enjoying it? Why? Why fill up our lives with a bunch of mindless check points? What if we did fewer things with more intention? With more mindfulness? What if we did things we are passionate about? What if we made space for people who fill us up? Who energize us? Who inspire us? Continue reading

What’s your story?

Part of my goal in life is to be undefinable. I’ve spent the last few years, annihilating the person I thought I was or rather, the person I am ‘supposed’ to be. Ive become aware of some of my fears, and I’ve pushed (push) beyond them. Beyond my self imposed impossibilities and comfort zones. One of my biggest fears is existence. To go through life and notions. To not experience it. To be present for it’s magic, challenges, losses, gifts, lessons, blessings. That I won’t feel it. That I won’t embrace it. I’m terrified of not living my potential.

I am also afraid of boxes. No I don’t mean corrugated cardboard boxes, but in being labeled and defined into a neat box. As if you could look me up in a dictionary and there would be a nice, tidy, proper explanation of me. It makes me feel anxious and claustrophobic just thinking about it.For in the box there are no changes. No growth. No surprises. No spontaneity. There are limitations, rules, and standards. Standards to live up to, to abide by. There is no flexibility, it makes my neck stiff just thinking about it. I don’t want to confine myself to a box. I want to live beyond it. I want people to struggle for adjectives to describe me, before settling on she’s just Brittany.

As I watched Fault in Our Stars recently I found myself bawling for so many reasons. Part was when Gus asked Hazel her story. When she went to repeat herself, he said, no not your cancer story, but YOUR story.

A few months ago when I was reading my water meters, I stopped at a home where a beautiful women was outside on a hot summer day, playing in a sprinkler with her sons. I was stopped by her laugh. Her joyous laugh and smile, as she was consumed and caught up in play. As she approached me, she kept repeatedly apologizing for not having a wig or hat on. She’d just gone through chemotherapy. I insisted she looked beautiful and radiant (because she was). She still apologized. Continue reading

START!

What's your goal?

Recently it has come to my heart (actually its managed to manifest its way into my life a lot recently) lately that something key in life, especially when it comes to dreams, is starting. Taking a first step. And then another. Striding towards the life of our dreams. Closer to love. Closer to our dream job. Closer to our desires. Closer to ourselves. How important it is merely to START. Where do dreams begin? With the thought. With the seed. But first you must actually put the seed into the ground.

What do you lose by starting? While pondering this the other day, I opened up my Gabby Bernstein to a page about showing up. How 90% of life and change is showing up. So do it. First, put yourself in a position for change. Start.

Start a new exercise routine. Show up to a kettlebell class. Get your ass on a yoga mat. Stand at a trail head. Put your running shoes on.

Start meditating. Get calm. Get chill. Make a meditation playlist. Light some candles. Close your mind. Learn some mantras. Study some mundras. Emerse yourself in silence. Relax. Make time. Create a time and space to let go. To let light in. Continue reading

Dream State vs. Our Actual Lives

She's a dreamer, a doer, a thinker. She sees possibility everywhere.Today I couldn’t help but wonder:

What creates the disconnect between dreaming without limits and living without limits?

I think this all started out of a conversation with my cousin the other night. He usually seems to be on my case. Joking about my ‘stoner’ mentality (despite the the fact that you actually should smoke weed in order to be a stoner) and spirit animal way of talking (although I’d like to point out that he was the one pulling out pics of his spirit animal on his phone-a bear cub in a bath tub with bubbles on its nose). Anyway, he can jest about my dreamer ways, but when it was just the two of us, I am a great person to share dreams with. I am constantly reevaluating mine, tweaking, sharing, and taking actions to make mine happen. But more I listen. Talk dreams to a dreamer because they’re not going to tell you No or point out limitations. They’re going to say: do it! Because when he shared with me that he could see himself developing into a director, I knew he’d be great at it. You could tell it was something he was passionate about.

So we have this rad conversation about true dreams, but when someone asks later about where he sees himself the answer changes. The typical, safe answer, not the creative dream of his heart that we just talked about.

One: I wonder why we hold ourselves back from even dreaming? I find I can often weasel dreams out of my friends and family, but sometimes its not something we allow time for, for ourselves. Why? Why are we afraid of wanting the life of our dreams? Is it the vulnerability of dreams? Is it the raw connection and journey into our souls that we have to take to realize dreams? Is it the uncomfortable feeling of knowing we are not on the path of our dreams? We all have wants, why are we afraid to dream or more importantly ask for them. Why deny ourselves of the things and experiences we truly want?

Two: do we then not live our dreams because of reasons above? Because we’re afraid? Because we’re afraid of our potential? Because we’re looking at the big picture and not the daily tasks to make dreams come true?

Where does that disconnect come in then? We have dreams, why are we not living them? Why are we not starting on them? Why are we not taking action?

What is separating our dream state from our reality?

So many questions. So many variables for each person. Are dreams worth the risk? Are they worth living? Do we truly want to live out loud? If this is our one shot and opportunity, this life, why not?

Today is just a day of pondering life’s questions. There are not always concrete answers. But for me, I want to take strides and believe I’m in my dream. Like the tattoo on my arm:

Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

Bliss the Brand

I like what it's saying more than the actual designBreak times have become my Desire Map times. The other day just opening the book I was hit with a lightening hot streak of intuition and creativity. Luckily there was a whole blank page for me to scribble ideas onto. I couldn’t write fast enough to keep up with all the ideas flowing through me.

I’ll confess my old job had become a bit of distraction, but this new change, the uncertainty I’ve been experiencing in my life, the waves and roller coaster I’ve been on lately, and the book I’ve been reading lately, have me reconnecting me with my dreams. Do you ever feel stuck? I got into the market. I love being there every week. What next? How do I want to grow my business? How do I want to expand my audience? Where do I want to channel my creativity? Where do I dedicate my energy?

Boom, here is the lightening at work: what is Bliss the Brand. I need to get up close and personal with the product and brand I am creating. What is it’s purpose? What does it feel like? What does it look like? How does it smell? How about my packaging? What about my customer service? What does the person looking into my booth see and feel? What do I want people to say? Who are my followers? Who are my buyers? How can I serve them? What kind of vibes do I give off? What about me? How do I represent my brand? How can I do better? What do I need to change? How can I grow? I can I expand? What more do I want for Bliss Delish? I see the long term vision, I’ve seen it for a long time: a little cabin cafe in the woods. Oversize, comfy worn floral fabric chairs. Fleetwood Mac turning on a stereo in the background. Copper mugs, steaming with soul-warming coffees and teas. The smell of freshly brewed java and baked goods lingering in the air. A fire place crackling on one wall, with a group of plaid-clad dinners nestled around laughing, Continue reading

What kind of baker are you?

Anais Nin Quote Made on Typewriter and Framed by farmnflea on Etsy, $12.00The other day at work one of my co-workers brought up the point that there are two types of bakers:

Bakers who follow recipes. And bakers who create their own thing.

Naturally I expanded this into a broader life-encompassing thought. Are we the baker who follows recipes? Do we adjust? Do we make them our own? Do we experiment? Do we just wing it? Do we measure? Do we make it our own? Do we put our own signature on it? I realized that even at the Pie Company we all had our own fluting or piping style, like our own little baking signatures. And so I think, what type of baker am I? Am I dynamic, and  a little of each?

Are we rule followers? Waiting on instructions? When I went to a zumba class and mom asked how it went: it was fine but if I’m going to dance I want to move according to how I feel. I want to do my own thing. Not be some sheep herded about. Letting people tell us where to step. How to move. Now I don’t mean to diss zumba but for me it doesn’t work. We let others guide us. We let society mold us. We go to work and let a boss tell us what to do. Part of the reason I went to college was because people told me I was too smart not to. My whole life others have felt the need to tell me what is best. Again I go back to the invisible Life Rule book that others are references, because I have never read it, especially when there are billions of people in the world, I would hope there would be billions of versions. That’s it for me: we all have our own individual purpose. We have to live that purpose. We have to express ourselves. Create. Create our life. Our own dreams. Continue reading

Just What is it You Want?

002I have been reading Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map lately. I love the layout. I love the content. I’ve taken cues to fill in the questions. To scribble in the side margins. To make the desires, the wants my own. It has forced me to do some soul-searching. Its made me get real with myself. Real honest. Self-reflection I believe is empowering, but also unbelievably scary. It makes me feel vulnerable. It makes me see where I need to make changes, and although most often I embrace change, sometimes BIG changes scare the shit out of me. Like I mentioned that comfort zone is a temptress sometimes. But then I say: this is your one life. What do you want to create? What do you want to give? How do you want to feel?

And so today as I sat at a soulful, feel-good coffee-house with my Desire Map in hand: I asked myself to fill in the blank: what the fuck do you want? In a time when I am making changes, as life evolves, as I grow the wants change. Keep up with them. With your core desires. Refine them. Redefine them. Extend. Add. Subtract. Nourish. Fuel. Water. Plant. Replant. Start-over. Begin. Focus on. Reflect. Reconnect. Listen. Go. Act. Let. Let them happy. What can you do for your desires today? How do you feel today? What are you doing in this moment? Does it align with your values? With your dreams? With your soul?

So I filled in the lines. I wrote in the margin. I searched every corner of my soul. And I allowed myself to be truthful.

Just what the fuck do you want?

I want to smile. Sweet smiles. Smiles that come from my soul. Smiles that beam through my eyes. Smiles that get return smiles. Smiles that are open. Smiles that feel special. A smile for the whole room. Smiles that are natural and infectious.

I want connection. Oh boy do I ever want connections lately. To my friends. To my family. To strangers. I find myself reaching out. Talking more. Initiating more. Seeking out new connections. More friend requests. More follows. More likes. More engagement. More conversations.

To feel. In the past I’ve found my unhealthy way of ‘dealing’ with my feelings was to eat. Now I realize that it is essential to feel my feelings. Good and bad. Let them wash over me. But also create healthy habits for feelings. Go to the woods. Feel them there. Explore them. Grow them. Dispel them. Get real with them. Also one of my greatest fears is merely existing. And so feeling, experiencing has become part of my practice. What makes me feel alive? Do those things. Write more. Meditate more. Hike more. Adventure more. Breathe consciously more often. Spend time with my family. Let go. Be present. Boom, that’s a big one, surrendering to the current moment, allows me to truly feel alive in my own skin, secure in my own soul, connected to my intuition.

I want to dance. I want to sing. I love to just let my feelings take over. Dance I feel is a great expression of this. To just let go on the dance floor. To let your limbs take over. To swing your hair around. Talk about presence and letting go. Loose yourself in dance. Loose it in a song. Dance party in the kitchen? Night out on the town, burning it down? Karaoke night anyone?

I want to feel vibrant, healthy, and pure vitality. I want to lift heavy kettlebells. I want awareness of my body in space and time. Lost in a beautiful windmill. Focused on the muscles. On the breathtaking strength and power my body has. I want surrender. Surrender on a yoga mat. Focused on my breathing. On my flexibility. On my possibilities. I want to get lost and found in the woods. I want adventure. I want to connect to myself. To my thoughts, feelings, purpose. I want to go and go. I want to climb. I want to let loose and run down a hill. Full-steam ahead. I want fuel. Good-soulful food and fuel. Natural foods. Foods I’ve found. Food from my favorite farmers. Lovingly prepared with my own two hands. Food that feels good. Food that tastes good.

I want to love. I want to love myself. I want to know what self-acceptance feels like. I want to be open to others. I want to believe in others. I want to give complete strangers a chance. I want to give others the gift of letting them be themselves. Authenticity. I want to allow myself to be. To stay true myself, weirdness included. I want to see value in myself. Value in all. I want to be a positive seeker. Positive beauty. Positive vibes. Positive personality. Rather than catching someone doing Continue reading

How are you showing up? Shine and Be Radiant

You are an exceptional person and this planet could use more people just like you! I love your creativity, your spontaneity, your beautiful open face, smile and heart. You are not of this world..only heavenly creatures beam the warmest and brightest light…and this is what you do for my world. Never let the world change you!!!

Every morning I give thanks. Every morning I pray. Every morning I set my desires and intentions for the day. Reading Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map has got me set to boldly exclaim what I want. In the past I’ve let myself want things, but still placed limitations on them, or thought that they were silly, or thought I was being needy. Lately I’ve dove into: HOW DO YOU WANT TO FEEL? So when I’ve set my intentions on my way to work in the mornings, recently I’ve added: I want to be radiant.

Just because I’ve exclaimed it doesn’t mean others feel it. Doesn’t mean my comfort zone for so long wasn’t to hide. To fit in. To try to be perfect. Doesn’t mean I’m not afraid to be different. Doesn’t mean I don’t have doubts. Doesn’t mean my ego doesn’t interfere. But the enthusiasm, the joy, the yearning to be radiant, to be truly loving wins out. Back to my Continue reading

No Longer Shy

everything you wantGrowing up I was a ridiculously shy girl. Literally racked with terror, I would never approach anyone. I couldn’t even wait in line.  Embarrassment came at the drop of a hate. But most of all I feel I wasted a lot of time waiting. Waiting on life to happen. Waiting on people to initiate conversations with me. Waiting to be approached. Waiting to be spoken to first. Waiting…waiting…waiting. Why not me? Why can I not be that person? That bold, blunt person? That person who talks to stranger? That person who smiles first? That person to break the ice with a compliment? That person to stick their neck out?

Lately I’ve noticed that I didn’t want to just ask myself these why not questions. And I am not that shy girl anymore. It’s time to bust through blocks. Like my California journey taught me, I don’t have to be the character I’ve created. I don’t have to believe the lies I’ve told myself. I don’t have to be who I think others and the world want me to be. And I don’t have to wait. Now is the time to start being bold. It is the time to start letting go. Now is the time to say fuck it to comfort zones. Now is the time to smile. The time to dance. The time to sing. The time to build dreams. The time to enjoy. The time to connect. The time to do my best. The time to extend. The time to believe in possibilities and potential. To believe in my power. My potential. Now is the time to approach. To be me. To be magnetic. To be radiant. The time to initiate. The time to be the first. Now is the time to compliment. Now is the perfect time for laughter. Now is the time for joy. For inner happiness to pour out. For passion. For purpose. For drive. Now is the time to be courageous. Continue reading