Category: 2016

I Take You To Be My Lawfully Wedded Abode

We bought a house! What. A. Ride. I have to admit there have been at least a half dozen times I’ve wanted to quit. At some point in the process, I realized how much it was like being in a committed relationship with a person.

It’s been many years since I was in the dating scene, but certainly I can liken house hunting to searching for men I desire to court. Even the online component is the same! It would have been handy to have a real estate version of Tinder over the last several months. Admittedly, I was quick to judge a home by its exterior cover photo. My husband, on the other hand, would continue clicking on each and every photo to assess the potential of us living in that space. Ugh! So deliberate.

After finding homes that seemed interesting enough to see in person, it was another piece of the puzzle to coordinate showings with our realtor and the seller. Yes, much like setting up an actual date with someone! There were moments when we were like, “Do you want to sell your house or not?” Either the seller had minimal showing availability or they didn’t bother to tidy up the place. It was like being greeted by that guy in his grungy jeans and stained t-shirt. Eww!

And then came the time to make an offer! “Will you be my steady girlfriend?” We would anxiously wait, knowing there were others who were possibly more attractive for the choosing. At one particular address, someone offering cash was picked over us, leaving a feeling of being less-than-worthy. The emotions were real! It was like she said, “Thanks, but no thanks. I found someone better than you.”

Oh, but when we found the seller who said yes, there was such joy! It was exciting and scary at the same time! This one said yes to a long-term commitment … 30-years to be exact! And so it began. We were seeing first time flaws during the inspections and, despite them, still choosing to move forward. External factors, including the mortgage lender, were getting in our heads and stirring up doubt and insecurities. Yet, we knew this was the one we desired to build a future with.

As the actual closing date drew near, the impact of commitment got more real. Wait! What? No more renting? What seemed like an insignificant change of address quickly began to reveal itself as something bigger. We were buying a home! To have and to hold, to honor and cherish! Closing was very much like the wedding because there was a particular deadline that allowed us out of the contract and still get the earnest money back. Although not for long, we did consider running away. <gulp>

Now that we have moved in together, just like with a human being, new discoveries are constantly made. “Hey! When we dated, your dryer worked. Now there is no heat. What the heck?” The expense to repair was not expected and discouragement was triggered. It seems, in this century, people in relationships encounter unexpected circumstances and call them deal breakers. Imagine if we could get out of the mortgage at anytime after closing because of too many irritations with the house. That would be nuts! If only the same accountability held true for people in a couple situation. Oh right, that’s called marriage!

What I know for sure is, owning a different home would only bring me another set of issues to navigate through. This wee nugget has served me well with my husband … reminding myself that being with another man would simply mean dancing with a different set habits and behaviors. I gladly choose my husband and our new home, with all their quirks, and am in it for the long, rewarding haul.

Shavasa – wha?

Outlaw YogaWhile living in Kansas in 2012, I tried yoga for the first time. It was a class, more of the restorative variety, offered at the local gym that left me less than jazzed about the practice. In 2015, after having moved to Colorado, I ventured into a chain studio for my free week of hot yoga. Sweating like a pig WHILE doing yoga poses was definitely more attractive for me. Still, though, it wasn’t an activity that I felt compelled to add to my calendar on a regular basis.

It wasn’t until this summer that the topic crept back into my consciousness. You know those thoughts that lurk in the background waiting to get noticed? Even after receiving a mass mail postcard from a local studio, I wasn’t inspired into immediate action. Finally, in September, after the whispers from my higher self could no longer be ignored, I went in for a complimentary session.

With a friendly environment, an intimate class and a super cool female instructor, maybe this yoga thing was gonna work out? And a workout it was … holy cow! This girl pushed my limits. And I secretly liked it! “Okay, I think I can come back for more of my free week.”

Each experience in this commUnity was enhanced with a different instructor (male and female) and new participant faces. The music was bold and fun. The poses were technically simple, yet physically challenging. Some of the classes even featured LIVE musicians. How cool! I like yoga!

As part of the sabbatical from my coaching practice, I also set aside all traditional contributors to expansion like books, webinars and networking. At least I thought I had. After joining the yoga studio, it took a few weeks for me to realize THEIR contribution to my expansion. My context for yoga had been from a place of physical exercise. It wasn’t until a few weeks in, that I heard words like self-love, flow and being. Ha! Okay, then. I simply required a different environment for my expansion.

What a delight to leave each class feeling more open and chill. Yes, chill is the word I use to describe the sensation. The Urban Dictionary calls that sweet, calm and easy going. You betcha! Transformation was happening, inside and out, that I was not fully aware of. My handstands! Yes, the strength I display in one of those bad boys impresses the crud out of me! My divine, feminine essence. Indeed, being more aligned with my true self leaves me feeling more graceful, light … feminine.

During class a few poses get called by their Sanskrit names and the final one, Shavasana or Corpse Pose, is one of deep restoration. It is a resting pose that allows one to be still and completely let go. I’ve taken to basking in the energy of peaceful gratitude. What a gift the folks of Outlaw Yoga have given me! The space they hold is filled with love and a commitment to connection … so perfect for a relationship coach intending to get her groove back.

Place Heals the Hurt

meadow-kissEudora Welty, an American short story writer and novelist, said “People give pain, are callous and insensitive, empty and cruel … but place heals the hurt, soothes the outrage, fills the terrible vacuum that these human beings make.”

My initial reaction was to envision a physical space like my home followed by a location like the mountains or ocean. Certainly, those places can heal the hurt. But when I get truly in touch with my heart, I know the most healing place for me is, and has been, in the arms of my husband.

For some, that may sound corny or too dependent, yet for me it’s truth. Much of the personal growth teaching for women these days encourages self healing before she can thrive in a solid relationship with a man. Absolutely, alignment with self is imperative, however I believe a woman can achieve that WHILE being in relationship.

When I first met Thomas, I had just come out of a marriage where my husband announced he was gay after two children and13 years together. Two years after that revelation, he died from cancer. My experience of Thomas is that he is a man of love. He oozes kindness, affection and adoration. Anyone in his life is fortunate to be cloaked in this man’s loving presence.

In our early years, his amorous way of being was a novelty. It was delightful to experience this new way of connecting. You see I grew up in rural Kansas with a family of German decent. We did not practice physical displays of affection, let alone express it verbally. My parents never told me they loved me. My first husband and I expressed our love, and I know I felt affinity for him but with this new man, the sensations reached me at a cellular level.

Despite the passionate bonding, Thomas and I endured more than our fair share of hardships. He had his own past filled with callous and insensitive people. Losing his children in a nasty divorce from his first wife was traumatic at the deepest levels. Together, we were a hot mess of painful wounds that required healing. Most advice in the relationship arena would have been for us to heal separately. We disagree. Waging the storms together, even the ones aimed at each other, quickened the process. Exponential recovery is what we experienced.

Today, I am at my most feminine while my husband has reached a new level in his divine masculine. Certainly, we’ve had guidance from books, healers and specialists. We both agree this expansion would not have been possible without each other. As a relationship coach, I see too many folks choosing to stay single with a declaration to heal BEFORE moving into a serious relationship. I often want to cry out how it’s impossible to get to that place alone. Mending solo, inside the vacuum, will only go so far.

With over half the US population choosing to stay single, my heart aches for the ones missing out on the magnificence when sharing life with a primary partner. Every night I fall asleep in the arms of safety. Every morning I am greeted with comforting kisses that act as a shield against what life has in store for me that day. My marriage is my place of refuge and revitalization … and for that I am grateful.

Connecting with Humanity for Minimum Wage

Sbux Green CupMany folks know the story of how I met my husband at Starbucks. In case you haven’t heard it, I’ll share the sweetened condensed version.

It was autumn of 2007 and I was separated from my first husband. On a particularly heavy Sunday evening, I needed (yes, needed!) a chai tea latte. My deep thoughts at the Starbucks drive thru were interrupted when the gentleman taking my order asked why such a serious face for a coffee order. “I didn’t realize you could see me,” was my reply. After ordering the tea and pulling around to the window I was greeted by the most handsome and friendly man! You see, I wasn’t one to ever really notice other men, but this guy got my attention! Wow! We chatted briefly about the caffeine content of my beverage and then I drove away, soon to forget him.

Fast-forward eighteen months, post divorce and death of my boys’ father, and I am sitting in the café of that same Starbucks, lamenting with a girlfriend about the online dating scene. At the bar, I notice a handsome barista. Yes, it was the same man who took my order at the drive thru! Immediately, I went into reconnaissance mode with friends to discover he was divorced and not dating. My visits to Starbucks increased dramatically, as did my smiles for the cute barista. It took some time to make a solid connection, but it finally happened. Today, we are joyfully married.

Thomas no longer works for Starbucks, but the impression that company made on him is positively permanent. Because we have spent many hours and dollars there, as a couple, the establishment has an obvious special place in our hearts. After having my hormonal collapse in the summer, I felt a strong need to change my scenery. Working my business from home, while being a mom and wife in the same space, was feeling stale. My thought was to get a part-time job outside of the home. While sipping a mocha and surfing the net (yes, at a Starbucks), I was moved to apply with them. As a relationship coach, I’ve always been attracted to their mission~

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.

The essence of connection with others lives in that statement. And, their values take it to a even deeper level~

  • Creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.
  • Acting with courage, challenging the status quo and finding new ways to grow our company and each other.
  • Being present, connecting with transparency, dignity and respect.
  • Delivering our very best in all we do, holding ourselves accountable for results.

We are performance driven, through the lens of humanity.

Through connecting with other partners, with customers and local communities a deep sense of purpose is created at Starbucks. They believe we can all become a part of something bigger and inspire positive change in the world around us. This intention has always been at the heart of my business.

It was no surprise that I electronically submitted my job application at 8:00 in the evening and got called in for an interview at 8:00 the next morning. I was hired and, to date, the experience has been fun! It’s so nice to be working with regular people who have mostly regular lives. We don’t have deep conversations about our spiritual frequencies or our abundance blocks. I stand at the register, with a loving smile, ready for the customers. It’s fun to witness my impact on their faces. Other partners thank me for my contributions in lightening the mood or the workload. The simplicity of it all has been so healing … and I earn a paycheck to boot!

We’re On a Break

lampSo far, this year has been a bumpy one. Good intentions were set in the beginning, yet by forces unseen, the path veered in a different direction. Isn’t that how relationships go sometimes? We aspire for success but life has a different agenda. By summer’s end I decided to stop the battle and step away because I was tired and no one was winning.

By now, are you wondering with whom I had this experience? It wasn’t necessarily with a person, though it felt like it. I went on sabbatical from my business as a relationship coach. Everyone and everything was triggering irritation and intolerance. Not good qualities for someone in my profession!

Another tidbit you don’t know is that I’ve been on a journey with doctors for my hormones for the last year and a half. The symptoms started out subtle and I assumed less stress and more sleep would cure them. No such luck. My body ached and I required a nap most days. Attempts at exercise were futile and eating healthy with zero appetite was not an option. Something was wrong and all I got from the gynecologist were prescription offerings for birth control and Prozac. Grrrr!

Early in the spring, a bug was put in my ear about low vitamin D. After the levels were tested, they proved to be significantly low, prompting the start of supplements. Physical changes in a positive direction began and it finally felt I was on my way out of the dark woods. Or was I?

At the start of summer, a dear girl friend dumped me over my behavior toward her. She called it rude and appalling and I called it straight talk. I justified my position with a classic phrase from the conscious community, “She’s unwilling to expand her frequency to accommodate the growth of our friendship.” Yep, I did that.

My higher self whispered that perhaps I was being rigid and I basically told Her where to shove it. I was one grumpy woman … and when it wasn’t someone else’s fault, I was berating myself for being such a loser. Fellow coaches pointed out my mindset and I argued it was just fine. Other friends played the frequency card on me and I privately rolled my eyes. By this time, I was unsubscribing from all conversations around consciousness and spirituality. It all occurred as a load of crap and I could not, with integrity, talk that talk with clients.

And my family … bless my beautiful family. My husband and boys hunkered down and endured these dark storms being sourced from the once anchoring bright light of our household. Cleaning and cooking were never favorite activities, but I never before had abhorred them so. If I could barely manage a household, how could I even consider running a business?

The idea of stopping my practice was met with such resistance and I refused to be a quitter. It wasn’t until a professional group meeting where I was internally seething toward the speaker that I knew it was time to pull the plug. I looked at my business like a lamp. Something I would unplug and put away in the closet. It wasn’t jiving with the current décor yet I wasn’t prepared to donate it away permanently. In the future I’ll bring it back out with fresh eyes and perhaps utilize its services once again. For five years, the purpose of my business has been to expand awareness for conscious and intentional relationships with self, others and earth. It is clear my self needs tending to.

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