Practical Magic for Soul Liberation

I have a lot to say....

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Sometimes it's serious, sometimes it's silly, but it's always the truth.

Mostly, I share my stories and the wisdom gained from my own journey, in hopes that it helps you on yours.

Old Habits Die Hard

oldhabits

Ever find yourself on a roll?  Walking around head high, feeling pretty confident that you’ve got this whole work, parenting, relationship, healthy living (insert life area of your choice) thing mastered?  Like, “Huh, look at me over here.  Doing pretty damn good.  Got my ducks in a row.  Got my shit figured out. Yep, really liking the direction things are going” and then BAM! You wake up one day and feel like your ass has been kicked right back to square one. 

After 6 months of eating healthy, you’re suddenly sneaking your kids’ Halloween candy every night after they go to sleep. 

You’ve been killing it at the new job all year but today, a project lands on your desk that leaves you feeling completely overwhelmed and wondering why these people were stupid enough to hire you.  Don’t they know you’re incompetent, dammit?

You have skillfully avoided the family melodrama machine for ages, and then cousin Fred sends you an email about how he got left out of Grandma’s will and now he can’t get those hair plugs, so you spend the next week embroiled in a real life episode of Coronation Street. 

You’ve been feeling like parent of the year lately.  You haven’t lost it on your kids for a whole two weeks, and then someone leaves their toothpaste spit in the sink again and without warning, you’re pulling a Linda Blair on everyone in the house.

So Many Deep Breaths &
What Do You People Think I Do Around Here All Day?

yogafingercropped


Today I am teetering on the edge of an all out adult temper tantrum. I can feel it bubbling up every time someone asks me a question, needs help, or bolts into the room spewing a random thought. Like, do you really have to say ALL the things that are in your head out loud?

Every time I hear a knock at the door, the phone ring, or my notifications go off, I am one step closer to losing it. If one more person needs a piece of me today, if one more distraction or interruption happens, I fear, it won’t be pretty.

So many deep breaths. So, so many. I keep reminding myself that I love working from home. Which I do. I love it so hard I could marry it. Except I’m already happily married, and except on those occasions when I have been trying for days to get something accomplished and I just can’t seem to scrape together 10 measly fucking minutes of uninterrupted time. Like today. Or yesterday for that matter.

It Turns Out Jim Morrison Was Right

bridge to eternity

Lately, I’ve been contemplating my own mortality a lot.  Yeah, I know.  That’s a little heavy right?  If that makes you uncomfortable, I personally think that’s a good sign.  But if you don’t want to ‘go there’, then feel free to stop reading right now, because ladies and gents, it’s gonna get a little real up in here for this one.  So you know, your choice.

Still with me?  Awesome.  I knew you were one of the brave ones. 

So yeah, contemplating my own mortality.  This is not something I’ve ever really done before, unless you count the obsession I had with death for a short time when I was a kid.  Don’t judge, I hear that’s normal.  Even if it’s not.  Have you met me? 

Mostly, I’ve walked through life with a, perhaps irrational at times, sense of immortality.  See, me and Noel Gallager (and I'm pretty sure Keith Richards) all had the same plan, to ‘Live Forever’. 

How To Keep Your Relationship Thriving After 21 Years

Freedom

Tomorrow is our Anniversary. We’ve been married for 21 years. As you may know if you’ve been around here for awhile, we got engaged after dating for exactly 29 days. We married the year after and the rest, as they say, is history.

21 years, two kids and a WHOLE lot of crazy shit later, our relationship is still thriving. In fact, it’s more solid and sacred than ever. We’re in it for the long haul and although every day isn’t perfect, we seem to have this whole marriage/committed relationship thing figured out.

There’s a whole lot of relationship advice out there already, and I don’t claim to be an expert (like not even a little), but I can share what’s worked for us and maybe it’ll work for you too.

(Editor’s note: Although I wrote this post, Sean read and approved every word. Cause like I said, we kind of have this whole thing figured out pretty well.)

Here’s What We All REALLY NEED To Know About
The Brangelina Breakup

brangelina

OMG! Have you heard the news about Brangelina? Of course you have because you can’t fucking escape it. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Yesterday, an article showed up on my newsfeed titled, 'The Brangelina Divorce - Everything You Need to Know'. I refused to share it or even read it, because people, here's what I (and all of you) REALLY NEED to know about Brad and Angie’s breakup... S.F.A.! In case that’s not an acronym you're familiar with it stands for, Sweet. Fuck. All! THAT folks, is what we all REALLY NEED to know about the whole ordeal. Exactly NOTHING. Rien. Nada. Neinte.

We NEED things like water, food, a roof over our heads and social connection. We NEED to know if we are in clear and present danger. But the details of the Brangelina divorce, are on exactly nobody’s list of ‘things I need to survive’. Clearly, the author of the article in question, was never taught the difference between an actual need, and a weird fucking desire to be a voyeur into other people’s personal lives. There seem to be a lot of folks in the mainstream media who missed that class.

I Think I Found My Niche &
The Experts Aren't Gonna Like It

egg smiles


I’ve been reading a lot of stuff lately that talks about the importance of finding your niche in business. In fact, in my line of work, that’s like rule #1. The experts all tell you, if you want to establish an online presence, attract readers to your blog, students to your courses, clients to your practice, or just generally be successful at what you do, you have to have a niche (“a specialized segment of the market, for a particular product or service”). Sounds serious right? Experts are always so serious.

These experts also want to give you a ton of advice as to how you should go about finding your niche. You know, ‘best practices’ and all. It makes me want to either nod off or run screaming when I hear people start blathering on about stuff like, ‘your ideal client profile or better yet, ‘avatar’, social media target strategy, call to action, Google/Facebook/Instagram analytics, conversion rates, search engine optimization, blah, blah, blah....  Hell, it took me forever to even realize that my blog would loosely be categorized as a 'lifestyle blog'.  Who knew?

Seriously people! Who talks like that in real life? Not me, and you know why? Because I’m a normal fucking human being (well, relatively speaking), and normal humans don’t talk like that! At least not the ones I know. Sheesh!

Be Careful What You Wish For
(Our Boring Summer - The Epilogue)

make a wish

Yep, it’s September!  Back to school and all the rest of it.  Except for this time, it feels a little (or a lot) different around here.

Back in June, I wrote about how we planned on having a boring summer, free of major commitments or big plans.  One where aside from regular work duties, we did a whole lot of whatever we felt like, whenever we felt like it.  One where our kids would have to find ways to occupy themselves without constantly being shuttled to day camps or other activities.

When we decided to do this, it was mostly because we were spent.  We needed a break from several years worth of juggling too many commitments and having too much on our plates.  We just couldn’t fathom another summer that felt like an extension of the busy-ness of the rest of the year.  And although we’d already taken some steps to say no to a lot of things that wanted our time and attention, it just wasn’t enough.  Once you get a taste of that kind of liberation, you want more.  Also, with me working at home, it didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to us (financially or otherwise) to send our kids off to camps all summer.

It turns out that we got a lot more than we bargained for.  Sure we got more down time than we’ve ever had.  Which was the point.  But what we weren’t expecting is that the last few months have been kind of like hitting the re-set button for our family in so many ways.  We never anticipated it, but we’re all feeling pretty damn good about it right now.

Here's what happened...

Things I Learned In The Last 24 Hours

NukaCola.3

Proof of hand stenciled logo before it disappeared. 
No, I wouldn't win Cake Wars, but it was there.

You ever notice how sometimes days or weeks go by and everything is status quo?  Just rolling along and minding your own business.  One foot in front of the other and all that.  Then one day, BAM!  The universe starts throwing all kinds of flotsam and jetsam in your path to see if you’re paying attention?  To see if you aren’t just wandering through life half asleep?

Well that just happened to me…. Again.  I say again, because it happens to me more often than I’d like.  But the point is, it just happened.  Sometimes it’s o.k., sometimes it sucks and sometimes I don’t get the joke (the universe has a weird sense of humour).  But if nothing else, when these wake-up calls happen, I usually learn a ton, or remember stuff I had forgotten.

To illustrate, here are some things that were ‘brought to my attention’ in the last 24 hours...

Here We Go Again!

afterstorm

I got the call just after 3:30 a few Tuesdays ago. I’m not sure if it’s because on some level I was expecting the other shoe to drop, or because around here, we are no strangers to upheaval and surprises of the, ‘not always warm fuzzy’ variety, but my reaction was underwhelming. Bordering on nonchalant even.

“I just got let go,” he said.

Pause while the thought, “So this is how it’s gonna be eh universe?” runs through my head.

“Wow. I’m really sorry. Are you o.k.?”

His reaction, equally as underwhelming, “Yeah, I’m fine actually. Maybe a little surprised, but really o.k. I’ll stop at the grocery store on the way home and I’ll fill you in more when I get there.”

When we hung up, deep breath, long exhale, and out loud this time, “Well then, here we go again I guess.”

Another life change. Another new beginning.

What Introverts Want the Rest of You to Know


What Introverts Want the Rest of You to Know - Lara Newell-Barrette, Life coach e-courses Small Town Big Life,

There are many people in my life that have known me since I was a kid, and I bet it surprises a lot of them when I profess to being an introvert. In fact, when I first started realizing this about myself several years ago, it kinda surprised me too! If you want to split hairs, I may actually fall under the definition of ‘ambivert’, which is a new term used to describe people who fall somewhere in the middle of the introvert/extrovert scale. Nevertheless, I have some major introvert tendencies and the older I get, the more they seem to take hold.

I’ve talked to a lot of introverts over the last while. It seems that I’m increasingly drawn to fellow introverts and that a lot of these people are ‘my tribe’. When you lean more towards the extrovert end of the scale, or you don’t recognize your own introvert tendencies, it can be hard to understand introverts. They can seem kind of aloof, disconnected, uncaring, too serious, quirky or even downright weird. Most of that is really not the case at all (except maybe the quirky/weird part).

In fact, the more introverts I connect with, the more I realize how totally misunderstood a lot of us folk are. So in an effort to bridge the gap and foster human relations just a little, I figured I would dedicate this post to offering up a list of things that those of us who are more introvert than extrovert, want the rest of you to know. Of course, I can’t speak for all introvert-type people, but based on my own experience and conversations with others who lean towards introversion, these are some pretty common traits.