The Irony of Chaos

I have a confession to make.  I'm disorganized.  

I work hard at hiding my chaos from the viewing public.  It's there to see, of course -  the haphazard receipts in my purse, the lack of coherency in my closet, the socks (and more) under the bed.  Even as I have tried to reduce and simplify to get a handle on the disorder,  I admit none of it comes naturally.

I cannot tell you how it was to own and operate a five star B&B and keep this part of me squirreled away indefinitely from the viewing public.  It's one thing to start each working day at point zero and bring everything to a high standard.  It's an entirely different thing to start at point minus twenty and do the same thing.  It ate up a lot of my life force to do that.  More than I care to think about. 

I am not going to sit here and say I didn't enjoy it.  I enjoyed a great deal of it.  But I spent too much time fussing about all the things that were not, in my mind's eye, perfect. To complicate things, the property was 400 years old.  If there's something that's never going to be perfect, it's a 400 year old stone house.

I have often considered the irony of that. 

Why people really came to our B&B.   

Why people really came to our B&B.   

I missed, in those days, the big glaring elephant in the room.  And the elephant knew this:  People were not coming to our B&B for perfection.  They were coming there because of us, our story, and what we had created.  And the warm, inviting atmosphere came, in large part, from my sense of chaos and willingness to throw things together in such a way that they felt comfortable but not planned. They were coming for the creative energy on our little hill in the wine country. 

The part of me that shames me was actually responsible for creating the very thing people loved.  It wasn't perfection they were looking for after all; it was rather the magic that came from whirling creativity that expresses itself on occasion as a hot mess.

 Now, all these years later, I consider the ultimate irony in that and feel grateful for it.

I learned from this.  Changing my basic nature is not going to happen. And I find that I no longer want to. I am accepting that there is only so much order I can demand of myself without being self-destructive. And while I'm pretty sure I'll never completely get away from the small voice demanding some kind of unattainable perfection, I will learn to hush her as I choose my paints and clay and messy sock draw over the dust rag and Swiffer one more time. 

Life is Grand

Life is Grand

So many have asked me why we sold the B&B and left Italy.  Here's my first blog post about this.  

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Drama.  The thing we want less of but need more of. 

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Resilient Joy

Joy is of the essence.  

Once we tap into our own resilience we see that our suffering level is related to our ability to allow joy.  Joy does exist even when we feel it doesn't.  Feelings are deceptive.  Often, they don't reflect reality.  They more often reflect our exhaustion, our momentary concerns, our scattered synapse responses. 

If we can learn to stop at the moment when joy ceases and regather ourselves outside of our feeling world rather than as a victim of being inside of it, we can call on what we know to be true.  Once we've been knocked over and have gotten up, we know it's possible to get up, and so getting knocked over becomes less terrifying.  It feels more like part of the process.  

These mechanisms,  available to us when we are in the throes of change and pain and hurt, can keep us balanced enough to remember to connect with the source of all energy.  If we can manage to connect with energy, we won't completely contract and we will have a shimmering thread of light to grasp on to. 

That light is joy.  Love.  

Man, this is important work.  It's so needed.  Bouncing back is a learned behavior.  It's possible even in the most difficult of circumstances.  When I started putting together ideas for this course, it amazed me to learn about resilient people and their habits.  Their focus.  Their drive.  For some of us, resilience feels like a distant dream.  For others, it's second nature.  

These are the processes that are the core of the upcoming course on Resilience.  You can find the course description here.  There are 13 days left to register for the course.  

If you feel this course would be good for you, or if you know someone who really needs this information, please register yourself or pass it on.  I've priced it in a way that everyone who really needs it should be able to afford it; I did that with intent, because I know myself how I could have used this kind of course not so long ago.  

Being resilient is very much part of living a happy, healthy, self-determined life.  I look forward to your joining me on this journey. 

Authentic Shifting

Lately my world has been inundated with all kinds of energy regarding authenticity. Experience brings a deeper understanding of my own work. Sometimes it's really shocking, because I strive to be true to myself.  And then I find I've been doing the opposite, albeit unwittingly.  I've allowed myself to get caught up in someone else's energy and then masquerade it around as if it's my own.  At some point, my awareness kicks in (normally through some kind of eye-opening event) and I have a chance to bring myself back to my own center. When I manage to do this, I am equally shocked to find out how much I've learned from the process. 

It's continuous, the shift toward authenticity. 

Sometimes, we sell ourselves a bill of goods.  We see our authentic selves as a static state of being.  We should find ourselves, we should know ourselves, we should be ourselves, end of story.

But it's not like that.  Authenticity is like trying on clothes at your favorite store.  Some things feel right immediately.  But sometimes, we convince ourselves that something works.  We buy it, we take it home, we convince ourselves to wear it, but then find we just don't feel that great in it.  It doesn't work for us. Sometimes we get stubborn and keep wearing it.  But if we're smart, we give it to someone for whom it works, and make space in our closet only for things we love.

That's a bit how authenticity is.  We try something, we put it on, we decide how we feel with it.  If it works for us, we take it into our spiritual inventory.  If not, we're better off letting it go.  

This shifting and trying is all part of change and growth.  It keeps us from being judgmental and stagnant. It makes us pliable and keeps us in touch with our own vulnerability and inner strength.