This is Day 1 of a 90 day commitment to write or blog daily. Buckle your seat belts.
“It’s a brand new day” jingle just popped into my head. I’m hoping it’s not an advertisement for constipation or something. Or maybe, that would be appropriate.
I just returned from the Kripalu Yoga Retreat Center this past weekend (even though I don’t do yoga). I traveled from Maryland to Massachusetts with gal pal Allie (pictured above) to attend Evolving Out Loud with Kyle Cease. In my experience, Evolving Out Loud hurts a lot less than yoga.
Kyle Cease, author of I Hope I Screw This Up: How Falling In Love with Your Fears Can Change the World was a stand-up comic who now combines transformation with comedy. A great combo, because aren’t we all a little too serious when it comes to spirituality and transformation? Cue close up of serious, yet compassionate facial expression as we look down upon another from our spiritual place on high. No, of course, we don’t do that. I mean, never. Except maybe with family. (My family excluded of course.)
So, EOL was fabulous and I totally recommend being in person with Kyle at one of his events.
You’ve been to these personal development seminars, events, workshops, speaking engagements. You know what it’s like. You are excited to be with like-minded, driven people who really want to be happy, healthy, prosperous and be all they can be. (Shout out to my peeps!) Most of them want to help the world, or fix the world, or cure the world, change the world or make a ton of money in the world. Anyhow, you’re with your peeps and you are feeling it! You are out of your small-minded thinking and into the world of possibilities. You get hugs and make connections and you are oh so ready to do your thing!
And then … you come home.
You know this one.
So here’s the difference with Kyle and EOL. Yes, you must go home. But, Kyle is committed to being different. (That will become obvious in many ways.) He is committed to taking your weekend progress and all the Ah ha’s and put YOU into action after you leave the workshop. He even has EOL one-on-one online follow-up programs (I’m on day 4) and books, videos, etc. He offers a ton of great exercises in his workshops and materials. He shifts your thinking, moves you into feeling and helps you find your excitement, your soul, so you can continue to experience joy. (If only my dates would do this). Sigh.
So, before workshop participants leave, we make a commitment. Here’s mine:
I will write every day from 9-10 AM (this is me doing just that, writing from 9-10 AM. It is now 9:14). No, it didn’t take me 14 minutes to write this, I was finishing my Day One video and posting it onto our community Facebook page. (Can’t link you to that, but here’s my page.) The community is another way to make progress, being connected to your peeps. BTW – technically I wrote 10 minutes in the car so the 9:14 time, which is now 9:15 is all good. Not to mention there is NO TIME.
Ok, back to commitment. In addition to your commitment you choose a consequence if you don’t do what you committed to. Something you SO don’t want to do, that you will actually, for once, act on the commitment you made at your wonderfully titled workshop that is meant to change you life. BTW-You can also choose a reward for doing it, instead of consequence for not.
Here’s an example: Kyle wanted to go raw vegan. (Ok, I’m not there yet either. Until they make vegan chocolate Ho Hos, that is.) The consequence he chose was to write a check for $10,000 if he didn’t stick with the commitment every day for 90 days. I admit, even a bite of a HoHo would not be worth $10,000. He stuck with it and ALL kinds of things changed in his world (go to conference and see for yourself, get it online, whatever. No Kool-Aid served, I promise. He’s be the first to say he didn’t make this transformation, I did, or you will. Whatever, it works).
At the end of the conference, like a good life coach , I sat with my new peeps and asked about their commitment. Creating accountability. (And, accountability is not the ability to keep track of your accounts, which once you become rich from doing all your work you’ll need to keep track of).
The commitments were diverse and wonderful. From meditation for two hours every day (which Kyle did for 100 days and MANY things changed for him)… Is this beginning to sound like a Kyle advertisement?
“He’s cute, he’s funny, he’s transformational and he doesn’t eat Ho Hos. But even better than that, he will help you get into your heart and make those changes you’ve always wanted to make. Or find those changes you never knew you wanted. Or help you remember those changes you wanted to make that you’ve forgotten because you’ve been eating so many damn Ho Hos your sugar brain has deteriorated your memory.”
And back to our regular programming…
Geez, where was I?
Oh yes, it’s a 90 day commitment I made (about the time it takes to make a habit stick). Several wonderful women committed to meditating every day for an hour or two. Another to write songs, another to make time for herself. Here’s where it gets real … the consequences of not doing their commitment:
- To shave her head.
- To give $500 she doesn’t have to spare, to an animal rescue.
- (And the most gut wrenching one) to give $1,000 to a nearby KKK hate group. Dear God don’t waiver from your commitment!
I settled on choosing not just a consequence, but a reward AND a consequence. That felt right to me. And that’s the thing. Your commitment comes from you, what works for you. What would you SO not want to do or SO want to do it will help you keep your promise to yourself.
So, my reward is:
Every day I write from the 9-10 AM hour (it is now 9:26). And so far, time (that does not exist) really flies! When I do, I put $20 in my Italy fund.
I have always wanted to go to Italy, eat real pasta and not gain a pound, meet handsome Italian men, and fall in love. If I do NOT meet my commitment: I take away $100 from the fund. I’m stuck in Maryland, eating chemical laden pasta and gaining weight, meeting non-passionate men whose idea of foreplay is “Hey baby, you awake?” And not falling in love. Hard choice. I choose writing and Italy and falling in love. (Won’t that make a great story when I do all this?!)
Here’s the deal, as of yet I have never put money away for my Italy dream trip although I’ve had it for YEARS. I would instead spend extra on my daughter, I would spend it on a friend, I would save it, I would even give it to a stranger, but not spend on me. Especially on something “not needed.” But, guess what? My SOUL needs this. To really go for a dream that I pretty much thought I wouldn’t be able to afford, wouldn’t want to spend money on, would never get around to, wouldn’t be so good to myself to do.
So now … Every blog I make. Every step I take …. cue music: “I’ll be watching you,” Sting). I invite you to watch these 90 days with me or start your own commitment and consequence. I’m really pumped.
By the way, in my commitment I included that before I begin writing each day I would check into how I was feeling that day. That way I could lean into my feelings before writing or taking action. I would be inspired by my soul versus my head. I don’t know about you, but my mind has some pretty crazy beliefs. But, as the amazing Louise Hay said, “A belief is just a thought and a thought can be changed.”
Here’s an interesting note. As I was leaving my home to go to the workshop, I yelled goodbye to my roommate and said, “I’m coming home a different person.” And then I heard myself say that. It’s like I didn’t actually say that or even think that before I spoke. Something said that through me. It blurted it out. And then I heard it. And then I was like, Rut-Ro. (Scooby Do) …. I knew it was the truth when I spoke it. And it is.
I feel different. A part of me has awakened and I have given myself permission to take care of me, to choose me. To be selfish. I know the word selfish has a bad rap. So, let’s make up another. Selfable! I am ABLE to think of myself and choose myself.
I have been a very intuitive, compassionate person since I was very young. My mother tells the story that she once pulled me aside, at about age 5, and said. “Barbie” (that is my childhood nickname), “Your friend took your Barbie. (You know I mean the doll, right? AND isn’t that ironic?) So I said in my spiritual, all loving voice, “Well, mom it’s okay. She’s my friend. If she really needs it she can have it.” At five. So, you see, I was giving myself away even as early as five years old.
At 13, while living in Reston, VA I met a 16-year-old who was pregnant and had been kicked out of her house and had nothing for the new baby. I was so upset by this, I went home and emptied out my doll basket that had dolly clothes in it, and gave the basket to her for the baby clothes she would own one day. I organized a baby shower so she would get said clothes and other items. I then spent the entire summer walking her to and from the plaza where the teens hung out or to help her get groceries. Just being sure she wasn’t alone. I stayed by her side until she gave birth to that little girl and I even named her. Then, I became her baby sitter. That’s me.
So, it’s not a surprise I grew up and focused on helping others. In Washington, D.C. I was a PR expert promoting world leaders, activists and authors so I/we could save the world. I was the person who stayed up all night when your beloved was diagnosed with cancer. I was the one who spent every day with my mom when she was diagnosed with lung cancer (2 months after my BFF’s husband of 8 weeks dies of that aforementioned disease). I’m even that person who goes to a counselor to grieve these painfully unexpected losses and try to take care of herself. And in a few months, when real bonding and trust has developed, comes in one day to her therapist’s office and she tells me she has just been diagnosed cancer too. Really cancer, wtf?
Anyhow, so taking care of me, being selfish, selfable is really using a new muscle. You would think after I got a life threatening disease and “God/Divine Source” had a serious “come to Jesus” talk with me, I would have gotten the memo. But some of us are more hardheaded that others.
I really look forward to the day when giving to myself feels as AWESOME as giving to others. And it’s not about not wanting to give to others, because I really love that. Actually, I like empowering others so they can share their gifts, be who they truly are and make the world better. (This clarification of help versus empower was made clear to me in one of our exercises.)
And I no longer want to give Barbie away. (Even if you want or need it). Barbie is more than happy to help you manifest that Barbie car or dream house you’ve always wanted, or Ken, Skipper or Hot Barbie, or empower the everyday Barbie/Ken transform into a Change-the-world Barbie/Ken. But I’m not giving away Barbie herself. Me.
Okay, we’ve gone the gambit from Kyle’s comedy to commitments to Ho Hos to Barbies. We’ve covered a lot, thanks for hanging in there with me.
So, coming back from EOL (again, Evolving Out Loud, which I highly recommend even though Kyle is a raw Vegan) I am a different person or just more alive? And, I so far have done Day ONE of my commitment. Yay me. I get to put my first $20 bill in my ITALY fund.
There it is! I am so freaking excited. (Wanna go? What’s your commitment?)
And here’s the weird thing. Just making this commitment, I bypassed my cinnamon sugar toast breakfast of champions this morning. And, instead had oatmeal. Cinnamon oatmeal. Okay, baby steps. But the point is, I didn’t set a goal of eating better, it was a natural outgrowth of listening to my soul. I’m doing something that excites me, but something that isn’t in my daily routine. Italy! And that is taking me to a higher place of living. Then, naturally I chose another action that is better for me, to put healthier food into my amazing body. Wow. This shit actually works. (Kyle, feel free to use that ringing endorsement.)
I’m just going to take a moment to take all this in. (You can take a moment too. Breathe).
So, as you make choices you might find there are certain things in your life that aren’t serving you. I’m realizing something for me that something specific isn’t in alignment with me anymore and I need to change this. I’m not even at the “I want” to do it stage. I just know.
It’s really hurting me to make this decision because I don’t want to hurt this other person. But THAT is my imagination that it will hurt him (my roommate). It may be the very best thing that ever happened to him. And to me. (The stories we create in our mind!)
You see, I rented out a room in my home when my daughter went off to college last year. But, then something happened and she came back, so now my house is a bit crowded. (I’ll fill you in later.) And now we have to schedule our bathroom breaks because there is only one bathroom. Not always convenient.
The funny thing is that tiny, little, stupid things about Mr. Roommate have been bothering me for some time. And I could easily say, he did this or that and that is why he needs to move out. For instance, I didn’t want a smoker and he said he wasn’t but he smokes cigars. And I thought he meant, that every once in a while he sits outside with his dudes or dudettes to have a cigar and talk smack. No, he smokes every day. I am not a fan. My mother died from smoking, I hate the smell.
And he brews fresh roasted coffee every day. I know that is some people’s heaven. I do not like the smell of coffee. Never drank it, never liked it, especially the smell. (It may or may not have to do with my childhood.)
When I was a child I would wake up bright eyed and bushed tailed. My mom would see me in the kitchen and in a rather unhappy voice utter the words, “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee.” And my happy little kid’s morning heart, that wanted to be excited for the day and have mom be excited to see me, well it would break a little. (Me not liking coffee, probably nothing to do with that, right?).
Back to present day issue. And, he burns toast. No trauma there. Well, maybe for the toast. But it just stinks up the house. And, he watches a TV network that is filled with people who are loud and love to hate on others and spread distrust, fear and division. You figure that one out.
So now my house is filled with cigar stink, coffee stink, burnt toast stink and people who stink. Message from the Universe, or my soul pushing me to make a change?
But, these are just all outward signs pushing me to the realization that I need to live in my own energetic space and not rely on that source of passive income or companionship. Reminder to self: There are MANY streams of income, there are unlimited resources. And many possible companions.
Heck, it was a great option for a while, when I really needed to be home taking care of my beautiful daughter who was healing from a trauma. (And said rommate was wonderfully supportive, flexible and kind, and I really appreciate that!) So instead of working with clients I was able to be home with her. I wasn’t out in the world teaching people how to get publicity, or write a book. I didn’t do my spiritual coaching sessions and services. I was home. Protecting my precious girl while creating a safe and loving space for healing. For both of us. Truth be Told … I was taking care of my own heart that felt devastated from my daughter’s trauma and the grief we were both experiencing.
Like many parents, I had expected my daughter would go off to college and feel the freedom and happiness I once did. I imagined she would make life-long friends, gain wisdom and start her amazing career. The story didn’t go that way. (Because it was all made up, years ago, in my head!)
So, I’m really grateful for this roommate who allowed me to be in my own home, tending to my daughter and my heart (really, almost the same). Who offered me companionship. And then reminded me what I don’t like. Truth be told, I was thinking to myself, I am being so picky! As a spiritual being I should accept him for who he is, rise above it, not be triggered, etc.
But you know what? I now think about waking up in a house that smells like fresh air, nature, or even essential oils. I imagine walking into my bathroom any time I want. Walking around the house half-naked. Ahh. This feels great!
So, it’s all good. 9:59 here. Now, I am going to sit in the, “How do I convey this decision in the most heart-connected, kind, higher purpose way?”. And no, I won’t be doing a laundry list of what he did wrong. Because he didn’t do anything wrong. He was being him. And giving me a great opportunity to flex my boundary issues muscles and use the “choosing me” muscle. Falling into it all.
So now I am being more of me. What about you, who is the you, you want to be?
10:00! Done! Well, almost.
P.S. Ok, so now my dog has just had a bout of diarrhea which is really stinky. I guess it’s progress, starting with constipation and moved to … Geez, what’s the message here? Maybe I should have asked, “What’s stinking up my (your) life?” and “What do I (you) want to do about it?” OR maybe it’s just law of attraction, what you think about grows. Like stinky stuff turning into more stinky stuff.
Okay, change of focus: The smell of flowers, a fresh breeze, Ho Hos (whoops)….living in a beautiful open home with lavender smelling dogs (do they exist?)….an always available bathroom, a beautiful home for my daughter and I, and the passionate man I am going to fall in love with… in Italy. There we go, back on track.
So now I’m taking care of me while Intentionally Co-Creating with others …. Contact me if you’d like to find out how I can empower and support you (like I did for Allie … see how happy she is!)
Go to Italy! Or call me so you can start living a stink free life.
Until next time, Arrivederci,
Barbara Webber, Your Intentional (Humorous) Co-Creator
PR Expert and Author of Feeling Loved, A Ted E Bear Story