Tag: revolutionary living (page 1 of 3)

Men and drinking…

I have a belief about relationships I have been trying to examine. The belief is:

Expressing myself and being honest is not safe because it:

creates conflict

turns the other person off

makes the other person think I am crazy or too much or too intense

Beliefs create our actions in life…

Because of this belief when I am dating or getting to know someone I stifle my communication. I don’t say what I want to say. I hold back. I don’t speak my truth. I don’t show up fully. I stop expressing myself.

And then this happens…

I drink some wine with friends and then go on a texting spree finally feeling brave enough to express myself, speak my truth, and say all the things I have been holding back…

This is exactly what happened last night

and then this is what happened this morning…

I feel shameful. I feel regret. I question who I am and what I am doing.

I spent a few minutes going back through all the things I said and feel like shit Kimberly…

“you are such a mess”

“why can’t you just not say anything”

“you are going to push him away”

“you need to get your shit together”

“when you drink you always do things that you regret”

Blah blah blah… on repeat.

Shame.

Shame.

Shame.

Shame…..

When I realized I had spun into a shame pattern I paused and took some breaths.

I asked myself…

What is rehashing and bashing myself doing for me or anyone?

NOTHING. 

So if this is doing NOTHING what is going on here… What is the point??

I sat.

I sat more…

Then this came in … YOUR BEHAVIOR IS INFORMATION.

Your behavior, aka, wino texting explosions is just like a smoke signal.

Our behavior signals for us to pay attention because there is something to learn. Something to notice. Something to become aware of.

OUR BEHAVIOR IS JUST INFORMATION. 

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(symptoms could also be behaviors)

Holy crap… I just want to keep saying it. Our behavior is information to know ourselves better, to grow, to evolve. That is it.

Yet so many times in life our behavior becomes weaponry. It becomes things that we use against ourselves to make ourselves feel like shit or to hold over ourselves.

My behavior does not define me as a good or bad person. (This is something I talk all the time about with my clients.) If my friend told me she had wine and went on a texting spree to a man she was into I would not shame her. I would not think she was a bad person. So why do I do this to myself??

I think our behavior becomes weaponry because we have some idea that if we make ourselves feel bad enough then we will change. Same thing with other people if we make people feel bad enough for what they have done then we believe they will change. I think parents also do this with their children.

YET I DO NOT THINK THIS IS TRUE.

I think all this does is send us or others into a shame spiral and the shame spiral sends us right back into the same behavior that we want to change. It is a cycle… We do something, then we shame ourselves and then because we feel awful about ourselves and are beaten down then we just repeat and do it all over again.

For me my cycle is this:

I don’t express myself because I fear my intensity will turn people off.

I explode in expression when I am feeling brave.

I shame myself because of fear of rejection.

Then I don’t express myself anymore.

It is a cycle.

Now knowing I am fully aware that my behavior and shame cycle are doing nothing but screaming at me to notice and learn and grow I gently asked myself…

Kimberly, what information is your behavior trying to gift you?

When I asked myself this question what I heard is this…

You stop expressing yourself when you are spending more time living in your head than in your life.

Woahh… I am going to say that again.

You stop expressing yourself when you are spending more time living in your head than in your life. 

My life is my expression.

Then I asked myself…

How can I start living my life, right now…

I compiled of list of things I love to do that make me feel alive…

Writing.

Dancing.

Singing.

Being around people I love.

Reading.

Being in nature.

Loving people.

These are just a few… so you know what I did I wrote this blog!

Do you spend a lot of your time shaming yourself about your behavior?? Whatever it is:

Eating junk food.

Drinking too much.

Watching too much t.v. instead of exercising.

Having one night stands.

Distracting yourself with Facebook.

Whatever your behaviors are… how instead of shaming yourself can you ask yourself what is this behavior trying to signal and teach me? Is it signaling to you, like it was me, to start living  more? To get out of your head and live your life?

How can we live more in our lives and less in our heads?

I freaking love that question…

Now I want to hear from you! Please share your heart below. Your comments are what make this blog juicy.

Here is to living,

xoxo

Kimberly

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Sex…

For those that care this post might not be PC… (or maybe it is).

This post is specifically for people who have mastered talking about sex. Being a single woman… who has been married. Well let’s just say that abstinence isn’t my go to. I have periods of abstinence (current state–TMI?) and I have periods of the opposite (this also might be TMI).

Also this quote keeps coming to me “you should not be having sex with anyone you aren’t comfortable talking about sex with”. The older I get the more that I sooo believe this. Sex should be something that is openly being talked about with anyone who you are going to have that sort of relationship with.

My issue is that I either 1. don’t attract men that feel comfortable being vulnerable and talking about this sort of thing… or 2. I don’t feel comfortable talking about sex. I am leaning more towards the first because I feel so open but I can’t just blame it on them. I have be open to that it is me. Also I know I am a sexual person and relationships quickly turn sexual on me. I know that I have some shame around sex from my past and also my family background… and HOW IN THE HELL DO TWO MATURE ADULTS TALK ABOUT SEX?

How do you talk about what you want and like?

Positions?

Fantasies?

What they like and want?

How do you have the hard conversations (STD’s etc.)?

How do you wait and not rush the sexual part of a relationship?

How do you stay prepared and safe?

Am I over thinking this? Or does this mean I am maturing?

All input is welcome and soooo desired! Please help me before I become a monk and leave the sexual realm forever (kidding and kind of not kidding!)

Thank you in advance!!!

Also to be transparent this is a conversation I think should be more in the public. It is a conversation that should not be shameful. It is a conversation all humans should be having. Well the one’s having sex.

Xoxo from a single lady trying to figure things out,

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This does not mean everything is wrong…

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14 hours in my car, just me and road, and I finally saw the skyline of maybe my favorite American city, Denver. It is 5:00pm and I was sitting in bumper to bumper traffic watching the sunset over the mountains that line the city. Curiously, watching all the other drivers. Some of them, I can tell, are just as enamored as I am with the sun setting. Others are talking or texting on their phones. While others have a look and feel of exhaustion from a long day of work or play. I spend moments imagining their moves on ski’s as they blow down mountains covered in new powder or the others who sit behind a computer and type away all day, similar to how I am now.

Wondering what excites them, if they love living here, and what their deepest desires are.

Finally I reached my destination and my car turned off sighing with the same vigor I did grateful we made it. My first stop in the city is my favorite dive bar. A bullet bourbon neat is my first date to settle in and celebrate being exactly where I want to be.

I walked in and my favorite bartender was there. He sees me and I see him and both of our faces went from autopilot to connection and love.

I sat. He brought me a whiskey remembering exactly what I drink. We did some small talk. Then I sat. Silent. Just being. Watching the city lights flash outside the bar doors. Enjoying the dim lighting and the strangers that come and go.

This was also the predetermined meeting spot of my friend Jackie who I was meeting in the city. She arrived and then another beautiful friend of ours arrived and we all sat. As we sat my exhaustion began to hit.  It was the altitude, 14 hours of driving, and the whiskey all at once. I quickly bolted because I knew I had to go to bed. I walked all the way back to my Air BnB and entered the dream realm. Sacking out until morning. Waking up refreshed but also feeling weird.

I felt weird because I couldn’t be social and I had to leave.  I felt weird because usually I am the life of the party and love being around people and I just reached a point where I couldn’t do it. I also am a people pleaser. Which translates into worrying about what people think about me and wanting to act in ways that ensures people will still like me or see the value of me.

Thoughts began to circulate.

‘Oh man am I not supposed to be here?’

‘Is this how the entire trip is going to be?’

‘Is this all wrong?’

I recognized I was going down the rabbit hole…

Then I paused. I breathed. Then I sat. I sat in how I was feeling. Waiting for clarity.

Then it hit me. When one thing doesn’t go how you want it to go it does not mean everything else is going to go that way. One thing does not equate everything. 

YES, I thought. Just because I had a weird moment it does not mean that everything is going to be weird or bad. It just means I felt weird. It just means I had to go to bed. It does not mean anything else. I am not the thoughts that are trying to sabotage the rest of my trip. I am not the thoughts that are trying to make me believe that the rest of my trip is going to be just as weird as my first night.

I could let these thoughts color and create the rest of my experience here.  And I deeply believe this is how many people create a reality of suffering. They let one thing color everything. One thing begins to go ‘wrong’ and then they believe and live in the reality that everything else is going wrong or is going to go wrong.

Do you ever find yourself doing this? Allowing one thing in your life color everything else in your life?

In these moments can you remember all of the good that is also in your life? All of the things that are working or that you love?

When I paused I got clear about what my true reality was: I am in a city I love, I am with one my best friends, and I have a whole week to do whatever I want.

Am I really going to let one night of being exhausted destroy this trip? Hell no. 

We can’t always control the things that happen in our lives, aka, my exhaustion. What we can control is how we react to them. What we can control is how we allow situations to affect us. What we can control is how we move forward.

The next time something happens in your life that isn’t ideal and you notice that you are letting it turn your whole day or worse your whole life into the shits, pause, ask yourself what are the things that are amazing in my life? What about today is not shitty? How can I shift and move on just as the situations, thoughts, and feelings do in my life?

Now it is your turn. I want to hear from you! Where do you do this in your life? What did this blog bring up for you? Please share all your thoughts below in the comments and also if you are so called share these words with anyone you believe could use them.

From the mile high city,

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You attract into your life who you are…

Let me just start by saying being single this day and age is well… hilarious.Mostly because I feel like a newborn. I genuinely feel most of the time that I have no idea what I am doing. It is also challenging and well TONS OF FUN. Dating for me is an opportunity to get to know and explore people. Get to know what makes them tick. Get to know what makes them excited. Get to know what they struggle with. We date to experience another and in some cases we find compatibility and in other cases we find friendship and in others we find life lessons and growth.

Sometimes I feel excited about dating and other times I feel frustrated and hopeless about it. Yet when I get really quiet and honest the truth is that one day I would love to walk this life beside another badass human.  Working together to be an offering to the world. Allowing our relationship to grow and evolve us into more conscious beings. So if this is my deepest truth then the questions I have been explore (and noticing others exploring) are:

How does you find authentic partnership? 

How do you meet people who align with your life and truest values? 

 How do I fully enjoy being single AND at the same time attract amazing, compatible people into my life? 

I was on the phone with a client the other day and we started exploring all things relationship. Here is what we did. I want to offer that if this conversation is sparking an interest in you this would be a great opportunity to pull out some paper and play and explore with us:

1. Make a list of all of the things in your past relationships that you love and would like to have continue in your next partnership. (Things to note in people you meet.)

2. Make a list of all of the things in your past relationships that did not serve you or that you hope to never repeat. (We learn through contrast.)  Now notice what you desire instead. What are the opposites of what you don’t want. This will give you insight into inquiry #3.

3. Now make a list of your deepest desires for partnership. (This does not just have to be intimate partnership. It could also include friendship, business partnership, family relationships… etc.) And write it out like this:

  • To be respected.
  • To be valued.
  • To share similar values.
  • To be listened to or heard.
  • To be lifted up.
  • To be emotionally understood.
  • To be communicated with effectively.
  • To be accepted fully for who I am.
  • To work through issues.
  • To have honesty and trust.

If you have no idea where to start maybe think about how you want to feel in relationship with another. What actions or ways of being would give you that feeling.

4. Go through your deepest desires and do a ‘swivel’. I call this the Spotlight Effect. It is when we take the focus or spotlight off of others and we put it on ourselves. Shinning the light on you instead of on the other person, allows you to stand in your power. When we have the spotlight on the other person it puts the energy and attention where we have no control. We cannot make someone act a certain way or have certain attributes, even if we try really hard, we can have hope, but ultimately we can’t change people or mold people into who we want them to be.  People are who they are. What we can control is how we show up in our lives, in our relationships, and how we treat ourselves and others. Now that the spotlight is on us let’s look at our deepest desires above and let’s get curious and play. Let me show you.

If your deepest desire is To Be Respected: Then the new inquiries could be:

  • How and where in my life am I not respecting myself? Where in my life do I show lots of respect for myself?

If your deepest desire is To Be Valued: Then the new inquiries could be:

  • How and where am I not valuing myself? Where and how do I value myself?

If your deepest desire is To Be Listened To or Heard: Then the new inquiries could be:

  • When do I not listen to myself, my needs, my intuition, my gut? Where do I listen to and trust myself?

If your deepest desire is To Be Accepted: Then the new inquiries could be:

  • How do I not accept myself fully? What parts of myself do I fully accept and love?

If your deepest desire is To Have Honesty and Trust: Then the new inquiries could be:

  • When and where in my life am I not being 100% honest? Where in life am I courageously honest to myself and others? Where in my life do I not trust myself? Where in my life do I trust myself?

You get the point…

5. Answer the above questions or your version as honest as possible. This is not an excuse to beat yourself up or judge yourself. This is a moment to have complete honesty about how you are showing up for yourself and where you are not fully showing up for yourself. Let’s pretend for just a second that we attract what we are. If this is true and spend a lot of our time speaking negatively to ourselves or being hard on ourselves then it makes sense that we would attract someone who does the same to us. Or if we do not fully value who we are in the world then we might be attracting people that don’t see our value.

This exercise is applicable to any area of your life. I am specifically using it in the realm of relationships because that is where I am and and where so many people in my life are but play with it wherever you are. Asking yourself high level questions and being honest about the answers is one of the most powerful tools that you can ever practice in your lifetime. You have the answers inside of you. Only you know what you need, want, and truly desire.

Partnership is not to complete us. Partnership is to enhance our journey here. Answering the questions above is to give you information so that you can show up fully for yourself and your life. Not needing another to save you or make your life better, but giving you the information and tools to do those things for yourself. This takes the pressure off partnership. Makes it more playful and enjoyable. Makes it more genuine and possible to thrive. When you are thriving your partnerships can thrive. When you love yourself and your life I believe then you can truly love another. It starts with you. Always!

Ok it is your turn!! I want to hear from you! What came up for you? Share below in the comments below the blog. Also if you feel called to share these words please do!

Here is self inquiry and trusting the journey and attracting beautiful humans into our lives!

Xo

Kimberly

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2016 Baby…

Well first and foremost Happy New Years! An acquaintance of my mine shared these wise words that I am now going to share with you:

“2016… a graceful turn inward to radical self-love and self-care – a chance to love my own spirit so fiercely that I can blossom into a more loving being for those who need me. I set fire to that which no longer serves me, sending it to the ethers, thanking it for the numerous lessons…setting forth on a new journey to further decolonize, wisen up, more sharply attune myself to Gaia* – to accept myself as a teacher when the space calls for it, and a student when I am to grow from the wisdom of others.”

Meg Houston is an herbalist, magic maker, and storyteller. She is an amazing powerhouse in the world. She resides in Austin, TX.

Second my thoughts about this year and what are to come are this…

A Poem By Axiom.Attic

this is not
your heart
breaking
my darling,
this is your
heart hatching,
shedding the shell
of who you
once were,
this is
your rebirth.

All I have to say yesssss. 2015 felt like a death to me. The death of a  version of me that I literally can barely recognize now. A version that is dependent on others for value and worth. A version that is searching for love no matter how painful or to what level of suffering that love is. A version of me that feels stifled and is willing to drink copious amounts of whiskey until that feeling goes away. A version that served me then and does not serve me now…

The night of New Years I made a big promise to myself. The promise was that NO MORE would I stand in my own way. No more not being fully expressed in the world. No more reaching for love in all the wrong places. No more doing things that I don’t want to do just to please others. NO MORE.

This is my promise:

To everyday walk on this Earth fully Kimberly. Fully quirky. Fully expressed. To value myself, my gifts, and my health in bolddddd ways.  To walk fully in my creativity. Fully vulnerable and authentic. Fully open hearted. Fully in search of the light and love in each person and situation. Fully honest about my struggle. To be fully honest and integral with my words and actions. Fully in service to all I come across and all of those I love. To be fully alive and present in each moment. To follow through on my dreams and watch myself blossom, change, and evolve. To allow the challenges of the years prior to be lessons to learn from and challenges that I face this year to be molding moments to become the most vibrant version of myself. Boom.

To me if I walk in this way then 2016 will only be successful.

This is what I want to put into the world to be held fully accountable for…

  1. Bringing One Year Alone to the Podcasting world. (More to be revealed… Launching March 1st)
  2. Posting weekly blogs here for all. Consistency. Consistency. Consistency.
  3. Loving myself so fiercely in comes out in every word I speak and write.
  4. To be honest and integral with my word. If I say it, you can trust it will happen!!
  5. To keep it weird and real. My only resolution for 2016 is to be more myself and to love myself fiercely. What this means is no holding back. You guys are in for a treat… the real deal Kimberly (just writing this is hilarious to me and slightly terrifying).

 

Here goes nothing. If you champagne pop the cork. Cheers to the best year of our lives. Cheers to no more holding back. Cheers to following through and trusting the process. Cheers to you and cheers to me…

Can I hear a Hell yes…

Kimberly

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Do you struggle with giving?

I was sitting with my Buddhist Monk friend, Geshe, yesterday and I told him

I am stingy.

How do I become more giving?

Let me start by saying that I am giving. I want to own that I love to give but only of very certain things: my time, words of encouragement, love, and acts of service.

I was recently at a dear friends house who was moving and I asked her what I could for her, she said in a quiet voice would you mind washing my baseboards. Of course I said and was elated to be able to do something to help her.

Yet there are some areas of life where I am not giving: money or my material things. I tend to grasp and hold tightly onto my money and my things.

When I brought this up with Geshe he said many profound things and here are a few I want to pass along:

  1. The desire to be stingy is based in fear, fear that there isn’t enough.
  2. He said, Kimberly the only reason you are stingy with money and material things is because you have forgotten that all money and things are not actually yours they are the Worlds and the Universe’s. They are part of the collective of everything that exists. 
  3. He also said true giving has no expectations attached to it. True giving is just that. It is giving without expecting anything in return. It is trusting that when you give that it will come back to you. It might not come back to you in the same form but understand and believing that it will indeed come back.
  4. He also made a profound distinction for me. Giving is not about what you do. Generosity is a state of being. It is a way of living. It is who you are. When generosity becomes your truest nature then everything you do, you do in a generous way. It isn’t like you are generous one moment and then not the next. It is the way you breath, walk, and do everything.

I took what he said and I sat with it last night. I also am reading a book called Self-Observation by Red Hawk and in it, it states “the act of self observation is the only change a human being needs to make in her behavior, everything else, all fundamental changes in behavior, emotion, and thinking arise as a by-product of this practice”. (9)

Combining all of this new information I have concluded this:

In order to become more generous I must just become aware and observe my current relationship with giving. Notice the moments when I want to be stingy or I am living in fear. Simply notice. Notice time and time and time again. Notice the patterns and then watch them break down overtime.

They say it takes 10,000 hours to become a master of something. I believe this to be no different. It might 10,000 times to see a pattern before it breaks or before you can guess that it is coming before it actually comes and to be able to in those moments change direction, path, or behavior. It is in the continual observation without judgment that it becomes possible to do something different. 

This brings up another huge thing for me and it is around judgment. When we simple observe and don’t judge ourselves then we stop destroying ourselves, our hearts, our souls, and our confidence. We just see what is happening and allow it to be which gives it space to evolve, grow, and shift or change.

I also believe that to become generous it takes simply asking yourself in moments of awareness if I were walking my life in generosity what would it look like?

And in those moments if it feels right  to play with shifting into what my vision is and trying something new. Experimenting with how I am. In those moments practice giving without expectations. Practice walking in generosity. Notice and practice.

Notice and practice.

Now it is your turn to share! I want to hear from you.

In what ways do you notice you struggle with giving? Or in what ways do you love to give and how does giving make you feel?

Please share below and also if you are so called share these words with anyone you think could gain something from them!

In deep gratitude,

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Friends in low places…

The title for this blog comes from many places and inspirations. It is not just from the famous Garth Brooks song.

Another inspiration is this delicious photo.

 

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This is a few of my dearest girlfriends. We laid under the stars, being kept warm by a fire, and talked life. Like real life.

Not how the weather is but how our hearts are.

Asking questions to dive deep into each others souls. Offering space for each of us to share and open up and heal.

There are seasons in life that are darker than others. Lower than others. I at times forget how crucial and important friends are during these times. I tend to be a person who isolates myself or keeps to myself about the more bumpy moments in my life. Last night I came out of my hole and spent time with a group of people who feed me, who I long to feed, who radiate love. Last night I was gifted with the remembering of how much healing can happen even in just two hours if you open up and let others hold you and you hold others.

Today I am celebrating friendship.

Here is to learning the path to befriend ourselves and the path to nourishing and cultivating true relationship with others.

Feeling so much gratitude today.

Who can you reach out to and let them know how much you love them and care about them? What friendships do you want to celebrate?

In love and light,

Kimberly

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Outhouses and bee stings…

My new house doesn’t have a toilet.

It does have a fancy outhouse with twinkle lights, toilet paper, and windows.

We can discuss why I live in a place with an outhouse later. It has to do with my value system. Not that I don’t value using a toilet I just value other things more. More about that on a later date!

Back the main story. I was taking my morning adventure to the outhouse and as I was sitting there  peacefully doing my business. Then all of the sudden…

Boom.

Something stung me right in the left ass cheek.

The sting was followed by a loud buzzzzzzzzzz right in my ear.

Shit.

I jumped right off the seat. Whipped (sorry for the lack of better word or description). And rushed out the door.

As I stepped down the steps I saw my neighbor as I was about to share with her what had just happened and the son of a gun stung me again this time in my lower back.

Oh my God it is in my shirt, I screamed.

I pulled my shirt off (having nothing underneath) and as I did the jackass stung me twice in the hand.

I flung my shirt to the ground as my neighbor watched. She was stunned not knowing what was happening. Trying to help she picked up my shirt and the bee flew out of my shirt started chasing her.

He was pissed. He literally began just swooping between me and her. Both of us running around like little children terrified.

The story continues with some deep self care supporting my four new wounds but I want to transition into GRATITUDE.

OH MY GOODNESS so much gratitude for this bee.

mybee

In this moment you might be asking “what is Kimberly talking about, gratitude for the bee that just attacked her”.

Well let me tell you.

I had spent the entire morning stressed and anxious. Anxious about my trip to Seattle coming up. Anxious about my life and business.

I have bouts of anxiety. Usually they are around the time of my menstrual cycle and or change. Right now there is lots of change in my life. I just moved into my own place. This is the first place I have lived in alone since being an adult woman. I have since I was 18 lived with other people.

I moved out of my boyfriends house so we are figuring out what it looks like to date and not live together.

I am transitioning in  my business, just in the way that I am climbing my own Mt. Everest so that I can truly teach others how to climb Mt. Everest. I am walking my talk at a completely different level. Sitting in meditation daily. Doing yoga daily. Working with mentors on a weekly, daily basis. Knowing and feeling how this is going to change my work and change my business.

Anyways you get the point. So here I am.

Sitting after being stung four times and all I feel is gratitude because for the first time all morning and not sleeping all night I didn’t have anxiety.

The bee brought me back to the present moment. The bee took me out of my head and took me to the only thing I could think about which was what I needed to feel better.

I put my shirt back on, made my way into my neighbors house, and made a baking soda paste and put it all over my wounds.

As I rubbed the white paste all over my body I began to laugh. How hilarious and what a blessing this beautiful bee was.

Of course I could be pissed and think whoa me why did this happen to me.

But I know exactly why the Universe, God, Mother Earth, Spirit, Energy, Buddah… whatever you want to call her/him/it sent this bee to me because God is always conspiring for good.

We could think things are conspiring for bad AND WE COULD JUST AS EASILY  take a moment and look a little deeper and see what the lesson being taught is or what is conspiring for good in each situation in our lives.

In this moment I went from anxious to alive.

I went from stressed to laughing.

I went from living in an illusion to living my real life.

What has happened lately in your life that you have seen as negative, bad, or not for the good of your life or the world?

Can you pause for a moment and look a little deeper.

I would love to hear what shifts when you look deeper and investigate the good instead of focusing on the bad.

I would love to hear what you uncover please share in the comment box below and also if you feel so called share these words with anyone you think would be moved or touched.

You are amazzzzzzing,

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The moment everything changed…

I am a dreamer.

A big picture thinker.

A kickass action taker.

I used to wake up in the middle of the night, unable to sleep, because I couldn’t stop dreaming of the day that I was going to be a famous author, speaker, and coach.

Dreaming of the houses I would own in cities, country sides, and different countries around the world.

Thinking about how amazing it would be to have nothing … not a damn thing … hold me back.

Thinking of the day that I could finally say ‘I made it’. Here I am finally doing my work in the world, making a difference, and able to do ANYTHING I please.

Buy a plane ticket on a whim.

See a jacket that I just have to have and not even think twice.

Help family or friends that are in need.

No longer second guessing just fully living.

Even writing this I get caught up in the dream world, thinking, gosh all of those things do sound sooo nice.

Yet I have found something even nicer.

I stumbled upon something worth more than any amount of dreams put together.

It was still cold out.

I was standing behind the register of the coffee shop I work at sometimes. Taking order after order of coffee and food. Receiving money and giving back money. Repeat. I have done this job many, many times before but today it was different.

I stood with both feet flat on the ground, shoulders rolled back, face relaxed and realized how peaceful I felt.

It was a level of peace I had never experienced. It was not in my head it was in my body. I began paying attention in every single interaction I had and noticed I was calm, peaceful, joyful. I found myself deeply connected with each person I met. I found myself deeply in awe with every order made. Amazed at how each cup felt in my hand and how every time I picked one up it felt different than the one before. I found myself looking at each person who walked up and even though I knew their name and even sometimes their order I still felt so immensely curious and inspired by them. Inspired by the mere fact that they stood in front of me. Inspired that they were living, walking beings just like me and were taking breaths right in front of me.

I was highly aware of everything. Noises. Smells. Colors. Shapes. Faces. Bodies. Voices. Everything.

I at first was so much in bliss I didn’t even wonder what was happening I was just in it. Experiencing it.

Let me just preface this by saying that I have worked off and on in the coffee industry for 10 years. I have felt many white paper cups, seen many of the same faces, plated hundreds and hundreds of blueberry muffins but this day it was like I woke up in a different Universe. One where nothing could interrupt my feelings of complete bliss, curiosity, and utter joy.

I was for maybe the first time truly present and also highly aware that I was present.

In this moment every task, every movement, every face, every order was brilliantly the most amazing thing that had ever happened to me. When I would walk to the sink to wash dishes I was so in love every step to get there and with the way the water washed over the porcelain and the soap bubbles beaded up on my hands.

Try it. In this moment become hyper aware of what you are doing. Notice the sounds in this moment, Notice every detail of what you are doing. If you are on your computer notice when you touch the mouse. Notice when you type. Notice when you get distracted by something not on your computer and give it your full attention when it distracts you. Try it just for the day, with all that you do, see what happens and then share with me!!

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This is it.

This is life. 

This is all there is. Ever.

Life isn’t in some future moment that I have been dreaming of reaching or some future self that I will one day be.

Life is in each moment that we are here. Life is when we are washing our dishes. Life is when we are writing our grocery list. Life is when we are taking a bite of our salads. Life is when we get caught talking to a stranger on the street and are running late to the birthday party. This is life.

This day at the coffee shop I realized how much bliss I miss out on thinking about the next thing I am going to do or rushing to get to where I want to be.

I miss out on paying attention to each dish and my body as I wash it. I miss out on intricacies of driving. I miss out on walking down the stairs, each step, to get to the bathroom. My mind is always on what comes next. It isn’t on my journey to the bathroom it is focused on how I will feel once I am done using the bathroom or what I am going to do after I get done using the bathroom. My focus isn’t on noticing every car I pass in detail as I drive it is on thinking about how the party is going to be when I get there. My focus isn’t on cutting up this tomato it is on how amazing I am going to feel after I eat the salad I am making.

Yet there is soooo much missed when we live this way. I mourn all the moments I have missed. All of the awe in the mundane I have wasted away dreaming about the things I believe to be ‘more exciting’. I mourn and I celebrate. I celebrate this moment as I am in awe that I know how to type and can use a computer and not only that but I am amazed to see each letter I press magically appear on the screen in front of me. I am in completely awe that I can have thoughts in my head and form them into this sentences and put it here for the world to see.

I celebrate that in this new awakening never a moment goes by that isn’t magical, unique, and so so extremely celebrated.

I feel so happy that I know I can dream up all the amazing things that I want to accomplish and do in this life AND that I know deep in my soul that this moment, this exact moment, is where all my actual bliss resides. It won’t be when I own three homes or make a certain amount of money or be able to finally do that one yoga pose I have spent months trying to get into.  It is NOW. My bliss, my contentment, my life is NOW.

Oh thank God. I don’t have to chase anything anymore. Oh thank God I don’t have to worry about failing or not reaching all of my dreams. I get to just be. Trusting the rest will unfold in my deep state of bliss and presence.

As I say this my breath falls even deeper into my chest and I am calm.

Oh thank God!

So grateful,

Kimberly

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Is that so?

The Zen Master Hakuin (1686-1769) travelled extensively to learn from other masters. When he was 32 years old, he returned to the Shoin-ji, the temple in his home town of Hara, in present-day Shizuoka Prefecture. Here he devoted himself to teaching a growing number of disciples. Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as a teacher living an exemplary life. 

A beautiful Japanese girl whose parents owned a food store lived near him. One day without warning, her parents discovered that she was pregnant.

This made her parents angry. The girl would not confess who the man was, but after much harassment, she named Hakuin as the father.

In great anger the parents went to the Zen Master and scolded him in front of all his students. All Hakuin would say was “Is that so?”

After the baby boy was born, it was entrusted to Hakuin’s care. By this time he had lost his reputation. His disciples have left him. However Hakuin was not disturbed, and enjoyed taking care of the little boy. He obtained milk and other essentials the boy needed from his neighbors. 

A year later, the girl-mother couldn’t stand it any longer. She confessed the truth to her parents— that the real father of the boy was not Hakuin but a young man working in the local fishmarket.

The father and mother of the girl went to Hakuin at once. They asked his forgiveness and apologized profusely to get the boy back. 

Although Hakuin loved the child as his own, he was willing. In giving up the boy, all he said was: “Is that so?”

— Edited from Paul Reps, Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (1957), p. 22

“The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, in exactly the same way: “Is that so?” He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness or unhappiness. ” – A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle

This is I believe to be my whole entire purpose on this planet. To find peace in each moment no matter the outer circumstances. Peace, happiness, and contentment are all within me. It doesn’t matter what life is serving up for me I can still choose happiness and peace. Also when I am at peace with each moment life begins to be a teacher and an opportunity to grow and learn. I don’t have to resist. I get to be present and see what is in each moment to help me evolve.

Life is truly what you make it. Try on just being with whatever is happening in each moment of your day. Without judgment. Without reaction. Without resistance. Whether someone at work is complaining to you. Whether someone is offering to buy you a coffee. Whether you rear-end someone. Whether you see an old, dear friend. They all can happen with ease, peace, and acceptance. Imagine the difference of experience if you rear-end someone — there are two ways one could show up —   you get pissed and start yelling, crying, and screaming. Blaming the other person for slamming on their breaks. Feeling like your life sucks and this always happens to you. OR you get out of your car, take a few breathes, walk over to make sure the other person is okay. Check out the damage. Call the insurance company and the police. Calmly explain what happened to both. Apologize and hug the person you hit and leave the minor accident with the rest of your day fully ahead of you. Feels different right? You have choice. How you act affects others. How you show up changes everything. Even if the other person is freaking out you can be the calm in the storm. We can’t change anybody. We can’t change how they act, how they show up, what they do with themselves and their lives… what we can change is how we act, how we show up, what we are modeling in our lives and in the world.

This is taking responsibility. This is making a difference. This is how you can impact people and the Earth.

Choosing love. Choosing presence. Choosing consciousness.

I love stories. This one always speaks to me. This is what I want to model. Love. Acceptance. Peace. Freedom.

I love you all, thank you for coming here, thank you for reading my words, thank you!

xoxo

Kimberly

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