its not about waiting

Instead of thinking about what you need to do today.

Try thinking about how you want to feel.

Life isn’t about waiting 

Its about creating

What do you want to feel today?

And then what things can you do, create, generate, connect to, see, eat, touch, feel, that create that feeling in you?

cool eh?

Sometimes I feel like personally I become a victim of my days… I do and do and do and then at the end of the day, decide how it all went.  The above idea is kinda like the opposite.  Thinking about it all in reverse!

SO ANNOUNCING IT OUT LOUD,  today I want to feel JOY, LOVE, LUXURIOUS, and VALUED.  And like I said above, its not about waiting for it!  So im off to go create some joy, love, luxury and value for me and for others!

Today I have invited some lovely women to join me in a small “urban retreat” – relaxing in my home with some yoga, meditation, yummy snacks and journaling!  This idea grew from listening to my heart and thinking about what i want to create, instead of waiting around for something to happen.  🙂

Retiro Urbano

Check out http://www.daniellelaporte.com/thedesiremap/  to learn about the founder of this philosoy and more ideas about this topic!

Let me know what you will be creating today!

Advertisements

a love letter, to you

A love letter, to you from me:

You are powerful beyond measure.
listen to your heart
become a portal for your desires,
a channel for your true voice
a pathway, for your own feet
Feel your way.
Feel your beauty.
You are wiser than you know. Brighter than you think.
Keep going. Keep searching. Keep pursuing.
With breath. With ease. With flow. With faith you will find.
Beautiful heart dreamer, beautiful listener, beautiful friend, partner, sister, brother…
There is no one like you on this earth.
There is no one with the same story, the same gifts, the same uniqueness, the same journey that you have.
You are powerful beyond measure…
when you believe in yourself.
You can do it.
You can do it with love.
with love in your heart,
and gratitude for this exact moment where you are now.
Whether it is at the top of the mountain, or in a dark room looking at this glowing screen.
Because where you are is perfect.
Just start where you are.  And nothing more.
One baby step.  One phone call.  One post.  One connection.  One prayer.  One moment at a time.
You are.  I see you.  I see you so brightly.  I see your heart.
Thank you for being you.
with all my love.
your friend,
Ashley
I recently found this amazing artwork, and it moved me so much, it lead me to write the above love letter to you.     Powerful blessings, love Ashley.

I recently found this amazing artwork, and it moved me so much, it lead me to write the above love letter to you. Powerful blessings, love Ashley.

I'm so thankful to learn about the artwork of huebucket.
If you want to see more magical artwork you 
can visit their page here:
https://www.facebook.com/huebucket

HAPPY HABITS OF CYBER MONKEYS – Avoiding the “YUWK!”

Uncle Ramon lives in the mountains in Mexico.  He has traveled all over the world working hundreds of trades in literally dozens of countries.  He is an artesian and now dedicates his time to metal works, ceramics etc.  I admire Ramon´s amazing work ethic, renaissance skills and general curiosity about the world.  He (like myself) could be identified as multipassionate.  Incredibly skilled in many disciplines, he built his house from the ground up, starting with a small square structure that has slowly been added on to over the years. He has a true appreciation for resourcefulness, creativity, and handmade crafts.  An avid reader, Ramon has cultivated a deep sense of tolerance for different cultures, religions and ideas.  He is more reflective than judgmental, more curious than critical.

Recently at a dinner conversation, the topic of technology came up. 

Some were criticizing how much new technology there is, or how technology, mechanizes people and makes us inhuman. 

And I loved what he said: He likened technology to a hammer.  You can use a hammer to build a house, but you can also use the same hammer to kill a man.  Would you blame the hammer for the fault of killing someone?  No of course not.  You would blame the person using it.  Or rather their choice in how they used it.

ramon looks on_7

This I think is one of the best metaphors for thinking about our new technological world and also our beloved new line of communication: the internet, web, the cyber sea… whatever you want to call it.

It is a tool.  What makes our moral, ethical and personal choices about using it so difficult is that, unlike a hammer (that has perhaps a dozen uses)  the INTERNET has thousands, perhaps infinite uses.  The challenge we face now, is how to use it.  How we want to use this tool and for what.

There are futurists in our world (Jean Houston) who comment on the radical advancement of our society in over the last 10 years.  If you think about how much growth, change, advancement and technological OPTIONS we have acquired over the last 10 or even 5 years, the list is massive.   Jean Houson believes we are on a fast-track evolution:  she explains that all the international intelligence and information of all world nations combined in 1950, is now accessible to a 10 year old via the laptop he carries in his backpack today when connected to the internet.

THATS a LOT OF CHOICE.  A LOT OF OPTIONS.  I lot of tools from just one source.

If you are like me, you love the internet.  You might call it a passion that hinges on addiction.

CYBER MONKEY

I looked up cyber monkey on google images and got this! Love it!Not what you can do on the internet, but really how to use it.  Even per-say, what is our relationship to it.

It is a deeply personal choice, and I dislike when people make blanket judgements about use of the internet, computers, technology, social media etc.  For me I live in Mexico, and feel so deeply blessed to have tools like Skype, Facebook, Email to connect to my friends and family that I otherwise wouldn´t see.  Its my choice to use lots of social media, but I know I also run the risk of addaddaddddddiction to the ever so sucky-inny Face of Book.  When I get sucked in, I need to remind myself to connect to my REAL world and also creating balance in my choices.  I have to create ways to maintain that essential groundedness so I don’t turn into a robot or my own precious hard drive (my brain) doesn’t fry.

The internet as a whole entity is a phenomenon with millions of choices.  Tools, applications, games, programs, websites.  Youtube for example, its own entity inside the internet with another thousand choices of its own of HOW it can be used.  You can use it to watch ridiculous videos of cats, or you can use it to learn Photoshop.  The options and the choices are just un-ending.

ADDICTION

I think that because there are so many choices, is just so easy for us to get lost in a cyber sea of options.  All the sudden we look up from our laptop, or our tablet, or our cell phone and we realize that hours have gone by.  Or worse yet, that a dear friend is sitting across from us at a cafe, and for the 6th time in the last 15 minutes you glanced down at your phone.

This is the heartbreak of the addictiveness, when we forget (as zen master That Nit Khan so graciously reminds us) that our presense is the best gift we can give anyone.  It is so true.  Our presence, our undivided attention, our most valuable comity and the best gift we can give another.  When the Internet begins to get in the way of our focus, our ability to sit with someone, our ability to concentrate or connect with another.  When it becomes a mask for our self, or a way to avoid difficult reality, we can liken the internet to any other addictive substance or habit.

FOCUS

¨Our Un-divided Attention.¨ It is so rare that we can give that.  Our lives demand so much and the choices and things around us so easily pull us away from focusing or connecting with others.  Its such a gift to give another your presence, your attention.  It reminds others ¨you matter¨ ¨you are worth it¨ and how desperately so many of us need to feel that kind of attention.

On a more logistical level, the wonders of our cyber lifestyle has also lowered our ability to give un-divided attention to a specific task.  Our focus at work is limited, sometimes we sit down to do something and after two hours we feel we have got nothing accomplished.  Our ability to focus or have a productive hour of work sometimes leaves us feeling also ¨worthless.¨  Our disks get fried by too many windows, glowing screens, opt-ins and double clicks.

 

SOLUTIONS, A FEW HOPES, DREAMS AND PROPOSALS…

Thinking of the wonder of growth that has happened in the last 5 or 10 years, I can only wonder what the next 50 will hold.  I hope more innovation, more advancement, more magical cyber weavings.  But it is our decision how to use it.  How to encourage others to use it and to maintain connection in our interconnected world where ironically so often, we disconnect.

So, before you go GOOGLE something, Ive laid out a little list here that I like to call…

THE HAPPY HABITS OF CYBER MONKEYS:

  1. FAST. Take a technology and internet fast for a few days every once an awhile.  Longer than 2 days!  Find a window of time where you can do it.  Notice how you feel.  Write about it, or reflect to a friend.
  1. Avoid the YUWK: “Youareina Unconscious Webhead Kunundrum.”  Have you ever found yourself wandering around the internet with no true direction? Imagine that each time you use your computer, you need to “log in.”  Imagine you need to answer to a troll at a tollbridge groggling: “WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE HERE.”  Try writing down your purpose and give yourself a window of time to do it in.  You know you are YUWK -ing if…You consume but never share.  You share but never listen.  You stalk or meander.  You “overspill” for attention, or scrounge for “likes.”  You window jump. You can’t get anything done. You eat at your computer or your eyes look like traffic lights.  “YUWK! MOMENT!”  DEFINE your purpose when you walk into web terrain.  And if you are “YUWK-ing” – see step happy habit #1.
  1. Lonely Linda’s Beware.  Lonely Lindas of the world feel sad and check their phone, look for messages and constantly make sure there isn’t something more important on their phone screen than whatever is in front of them.  If you have a lonely Linda moment, just breath for a second.  Connect to your own self, your surroundings and give yourself the attention YOU NEED!  No text message, facebook status, email or chat will be able to really fill you up, better than you can fill yourself up!  Take yourself out on a date and LEAVE YOUR PHONE BEHIND!  (Stay tuned for my next post with more about LONELY LINDAS)
  2. Resourceful like Ramon.  May we be more like Uncle Ramon.  Tolerant, practical, well-read, resourceful, and curious. Because most of all Happy Cyber Monkeys enjoy the wonders of the www and find the joys and positivity and the miraculous interconnectivity it all brings.  We use it as an inspiration station – to better our mind and better our world.  (For resources on Happy Cyber Monkey wesites please see below!)
ramon view_5

Look up from your screen dear friends, you might just be missing a great view.

What do YOU think?

What is your relationship to the internet and what choices do you make in your life to create balance when using this great tool?

These days, this Happy Cyber Monkey likes to frequent these websites:
http://www.ted.com
http://www.kriscarr.com
http://www.positivelypositive.com
http://www.daniellelaporte.com
http://www.inc.com
 
THANKS FOR READING!  – love,  Ashley 


Cybermonkey Illustration by goopymart

Undies in a Bundie? GET FUZZY about your dense problem.

LISTEN HERE!

(you can listen to an audio version of the blogpost above!)

When I was in elementary school my mom (the lovely and talented Mrs. Meeder) was in her puppeteering stage.  She did these great productions that were usually two person shows with various wigs, costume changes, puppets of all shapes and sizes.  Many shows were musical acts with talking toilets and goofy kings performed to packed audiences of children.  I remember these shows as colorful worlds of delight, where my mom would often pop out from backstage while her counterpart Rob, would stay behind the scenes acting in 4 different voices simultaneously with 4 different puppets.

Mom and Rob were a great act.  I have such clear memories of mom in these times, usually caked in sweat and exhausted after the show, I would wait while they packed up.  I got to observe a lot, go behind the scenes, and of course hear Rob’s one-liners… in all his charm, he has the best lines.

“Ahh Annie, Don’t get your Undies in a Bundie.”  That was my favorite… when my mom was all stressed about something, Rob’s voice in all its expressive theatrical charm would shout these type of colorful expressions from the dressing room. And his expresseions have had a lasting impression on me.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/

I thought I’d spare you a visual image of this saying and instead refer to the Urban Dictionary.

I refered to the Urban Dictionary to look up the roots of this word.  The original saying, “Undies in a Bundle” refers to being:  agitated, annoyed, PISSY or uptight.  

For us ladies, this is something that we deal with daily, to varying levels and degrees.  We have our days where we go…SNAP!  Im not talking about PMS.  Im talking about something else.

OUR reaction…to Stress.  When a stressor gets the best of us, and our emotions lead to our misery and our unhappiness.  AND if we are powerful, influential women (which of course we are) it leads to the unhappiness of oh, so many people around us.   Like dad says:  “If momma ain’t happy, ain’t NOBODY happy.”

ITS NOT THAT THE STRESS isn’t real.  Usually its totally legit.  But here is what I think:

I think its a habit.  That we have learned.  

To react “in stress” to a stressor or difficulty.  

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and I’m trying something new.

I just try to stop and observe it.  The Stressor or Difficulty. Like as an outsider.  

And not react for a moment.

I’ve had major stressors about getting visa’s for my fiancés family member for our upcoming wedding.  Its a very stressful process.  Sometimes it seems very overwhelming and I feel very alone and angry in all of it.  But I realize that its my own stress and tension.

The process is going to be EXACTLY the same whether or not I am content and happy during the process or sad, angry and stressed.  Nothing is going to change the physical process.  Its only me that can change.  That I can choose to be miserable during it, pissy or agitated…or just choose to be…(maybe not happy) but at least neutral.  From there I can choose.

From neutrality we have a choice.

The word RELAX  has been working for me.  Not to relax myself or my stress… but to relax the tension I feel around a particular thought or process or problem.

Ive been using the image of a rubber ball.  A rubber ball is dense, hard and solid.  When I put tension around a problem or an idea like “the visa process is impossible.”   The thought or the problem hardens.  It be comes like a rubber ball.  My brain and my energy puts all this tension around it.  Worse yet when there are several “rubber ball thoughts” –  my brain starts to feel like there are all these blocks in its way.  Bouncing hard, dense, problems inside my head. There is no creativity, no freedom, and no choice.

my rubber ball.  Ive been caught talking to it.  :)

my rubber ball. Ive been caught talking to it. 🙂

But if I can just breath in to it.  Breath into that rubber ball of a problem, it might start to look a little fuzzier, the denseness starts to break open.  The particles of tense energy start to relax.  Maybe it starts to change shape or color, it can become a fuzzy tennis ball, into a loose ball of yarn,  and things start to unravel or shift.  Inside the center of it, the seed, there is usually an emotion.  If I can just sit with it.  That sense of powerlessness, or loneliness. and start to breath into that little seed.  So it starts to get softer.

What is really wierd and quite miraculous is that when I do this, when I relax the tension around a problem, it begins magically to almost take care of itself.  I had all this tension around the visa issues and felt so alone. I started to breath around it. I sent an email to my fiance’s mom asking for help.  In 1 day she had a list of all the things we needed, had read all the websites I sent her and had already begun to get her own papers in order.

A little miracle.

I came back from the holiday break so convinced that in Mexico I could never find the quality and quanity of friends I have in the states.  “My rubber ball thought was: “I have no friends here in Mexico.”  Which isn’t true.  But my rubber ball thought wouldn’t let me see any other possibility.  So…I started to get fuzzy about that statement, because a statement like that has no room for anything else.   My statements about not having friends was more based on the feeling of loneliness (Ill save that for another blog post) But as Ive gotten more space, less density around the “problem”.  Its like God in her infinite creative wisdom and energy has created a little project to put people in front of me recently that I can share with and create friendship.

So if I feel something STRESSY coming on. Ive been using quiet moments during the day, almost like a meditation to observe how i feel, and ask for spiritual guidance.   Pausing that habit to react right away and just give it a few moments.  This develops trust and faith.  And it starts to get easier each time.

So next time your UNDIES ARE IN A BUNDIE.

Get fuzzy about your dense problem.  Like a chemist or physicist, imagine you can change those dense, hard and solid rubber ball atoms into a fuzzy puffy cloud of possibility.

Pause.

Observe.

Breath.

And, ask for help if you need it.

” Angels fly, because they take themselves lightly.”   –   Tony Robbins

love with my heart,

Ashley

 
 
PROBLEM SHROBLEM