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Day 159: f*ing friday :: feminine mystique

8 Jun

F*ing Fridays are back!
And, they will continue to occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5 in Year 1, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Flip Flops

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the words:
Feminine Mystique.

As in, where is the love?

Love can be puzzling at times.
It’s so hugely, largely, enormous, that word. L.O.V.E.

It can mean so many things in various degrees – family, friends, lovers, partners, children, neighbors, community, this one spinning world.

I am learning that love IS all things in this LOVEMORE journey of mine

But, I am committed to learning more. So, this week I spent every night soaking in lessons on a critical piece of the puzzle at Love University, a program offered by En*theos Academy and Mastin Kipp from The Daily Love.

To break it down, love is …from a scientific view pretty cut and dry — male energy and female energy (no matter the coupling). This is based on much research and work from the likes of David Deida, Patricia Allen, Marianne Williamson, Allison Armstrong, and more.

The work is much deeper than my little brain can compute in this tiny little blog post, so I will focus on what stood out most for me: GODDESS TIME.

For people with a core of feminine energy (me for instance) the amygdala needs to be relaxed and worry free (not in fight or flight mode) in order to truly engage in deeply connected relationship love.

The answer?  Settle down the amygdala. Turn off the f*ing fight or flight frenzy.

Otherwise known as self-care. Think bubble baths, meditation, yoga, and other ways to let feminine energy flow.

It’s amazing how something so simple can make such a huge difference. An hour to yourself. A commitment to be in charge of nothing.  A peaceful moment. A deep breath.

Proven to be good for the mind, body, soul, as well as, finding and keeping LOVE!

But, not all relationships work out. So, what to do when the proverbial shit hits the relationship fan? Mastin recommended a mantra, or a call to a higher question.

For instance:

  • Where is the grace in this?
  • How can I be even more love in this situation?

I think it’s a good practice to live by, no matter what problem, mess or complication we’re trying to solve — be it matters of the heart, career or community.

Personally, I can’t help but hear the Black Eyed Peas echoing through my head,  “Where is the love, the love, the love?

But, I know it’s hard to remember when life falls apart.
As a survivor of cancer, divorce, sugar addiction and the ultimate heartbreak of my mother’s death, I can testify that love keeps it all together, even when it seems there is nothing left.

And, I think it’s the best mantra when I need to find perspective in life, love and the pursuit of happiness.

Surviving with grace is like putting together a puzzle —
keeping love in view is like finding the corner pieces first.

With that, I leave you with the words of the Black Eyed Peas:

Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all

Day 365: f*ing friday :: finale

31 Dec

Today continues the weekly series, F*ing Fridays, which will coincidentally occur on Friday. I mentioned some of my favorite F words back on Day 5, including: Fearless, Fabulous, Fine, Fun, Faith, Freedom, Forgiveness, to name a Few.

Last week I dove into the word Festivities.

Today’s F*ing Friday is dedicated to the word:

As in, Day 365.

That’s right, it’s the end of the road.  The top of the mountain.  The final destination.  The icing on the cake.

The f*ing finale if you will.
Cue the fireworks.

Actually, there will be fireworks all around the world at approximate 11:59pm, wherever you may be.

So, what happens when you take care of your head, heart, body and soul for one entire year?

Good question.
Other than my underwear becoming wholly holey, I have added and subtracted much over this year.

I purchased no clothing, shoes or frivolous items. 
Bar one pair of running shoes that I acquired at the beginning of the year to better my body.  (I even laced them up and ran in a foot race, thank you very much for dragging me along Amy Crawford!).

At the beginning of the year, the thought of not shopping was purely painful.

I agonized over it, I held my hands in my pockets while walking through department stores to prevent myself from the slight movement of reaching out and touching fabric, as if feeling it across my skin was a sin.

So I decided I had to remove myself completely from temptations way.  I bowed out of shopping trips, I walked on the outside of stores, only to peer in through the windows, knowing that they couldn’t lure me as long as I didn’t cross the threshold of the front door.

I cleaned house.
As I debated the merits of deleting all of my promotional emails from my favorite fashion icons. In the end I opted out of most of them but held on to a few favorites just to stay in the loop of the design world.

I said no to chocolate and mochas and cookies.
At fancy restaurants!  Even at Starbucks!  But soon discovered cacao powder and nibs, my new source of chocolate flavor (and magnesium — see it’s good for me!).

I successfully beat the sugar blues.

I gave up coffee — twice.
The first attempt failed as soon as the month-long Ayurvedic cleanse was complete.  This second attempt has stuck even through these past two weeks in the Seattle area, a.k.a. The Coffee Aroma Capital Of The World.

I lost weight.
I gained weight.
And continued to lose, gain, lose, gain.  And, then I read these words that changed everything — instead of losing weight, decide to let go of it, and instead “Give It Up.”  Because when we lose things we try to find them again.

I lost other things too.
Like the stone in my mother’s ring.  The most precious of worldly possessions in my grasp, that I wore on my hand everyday, unhinged itself and fell to the earth, nowhere to be found.

But what I gained was extraordinary.
New friendships, new adventures, new ideas, new ways of looking at myself and the world.

I tried new things.
Like kettle-bells (thank you Yvette!) and green smoothies (after weeks of failed attempts, I finally mastered the art of a yummy tasting green smoothie). I bought glasses online (sight unseen!) and removed all the under-wire from my bras.  I even did yoga with an iPhone App while on vacation!

I pushed myself to the edge.
I jumped into the Martha’s Vineyard water at night (thank you Justin!) and experienced the most beautiful Tinkerbell-like magical bioluminescence I have ever seen.

I learned from the masters.
Like Debbie Phillips, Joshua Rosenthal, Rob Berkley, Donna Eden, Joan Borysenko, Belleruth Naparstek, Mark Hyman, Bruce Lipton, John Douillard, Andrew Weil and Deepak Chopra.

Sitting before such great teachers made me realize that while I don’t know everything, I don’t have to.  We all have innate intelligence. We already have what we need.  And, if we don’t have it yet, we aren’t ready for it, or just don’t need it.

Things showed up when I needed them.
From a freak snow storm in Michigan, to a cold and rainy day in New York city, I borrowed clothes and shoes, jackets and gloves (thank you Mary Ellen Jones!). Boxes surprised me in the mail (thank you Jaynane and Dawn!) and saints handed me down their gently used clothing (Debbie!).

More than anything else, I didn’t give up.
Through hurricanes and earthquakes and from all corners of this country I wrote.  Even when I was locked out of our Mexican Villa, I borrowed a computer and beat the clock to post my blog post in time (thank you Lizette and Mike!).

There was one night where I almost forgot to write.
After a fun-loving time out with Debbie Phillips and Holly Getty, seeing the movie Bridesmaids, I was so full of laughter and love that I came home ready to call it a night.  Just as I started to prepare for bed, Justin asked me the golden question:  “Are you going to write your blog tonight?

Saved.  (Thanks honey!)

I learned a few new things.
Like how to properly dry my hair.  Never knew I was doing it wrong these past 37 years!

I found inspiration.
In the magic and the mundane.  From the dew drops on leaves to the look on Pup‘s face, I began to see the world with new puppy dog eyes.  I revisited the place where my promise began and found both new friends and even deeper inspiration (thank you Lake Austin Spa Resort!).

I had support.
From my life-long friends (Laura, Sara, Lisa and Sheryl) to my Facebook buddies, from Debbie Phillips and my Women on Fire sisters to the fun-loving clan called The Davis Family, I had more than wind beneath my wings — I had love at my back.

And there were heart-felt conversation (Debi Lilly!) that gave me strength.

There were days when people touched me beyond words. Through a simple “like” on Facebook or an email or note, it made all the difference.

I found magic.
I started this year resolute to make my promise happen all on my own, no matter what.  I was, after all, doing  this for ME.

But the fact is, I couldn’t have done any of this without YOU.

Because I learned a thing or two about magic this year, and it is as simple as this: we are all connected.

If I change, you change.  And if you change, I do too. 
We are in this together.

As I sit here typing these final words of 2011, with tears rolling down my face and my head, heart, body and soul full, all I can think is this:

I wouldn’t want it any other way.

And, that, my dears, is the Grand Finale.

With much thanks and continued love for you in 2012, Happy New Year!

P.S. It’s not f*ing over!!

P.P.S. I will reveal my new promise for 2012 tomorrow, a.k.a. Day #1.

Day 184: in the middle part 4 :: soul

3 Jul

You’ve made it.  Over the hump of 2011 and looking directly at the other side.  Approximately six months left to go, 181 days to mark on the calendar.

Today concludes this four-part series, In The Middle.

Day 4: Soul

I wonder what Lewis and Clark thought as they hoofed it across North America, did they high-five each other to celebrate their arrival at the Continental Divide?

Okay, who knows if high-fives were invented yet.  Maybe they just shot a possum or something at the half-way mark — all I’m saying is when Lewis & Clark made it to the half-way point of the Oregon Trail they had yet to experience Oregon.

For the most part, they still didn’t know what was out there.

I am by no means comparing The Promise 365 to a government sponsored road trip on horse back, just saying this: as much as I would like to congratulate myself for not buying anything so far and diving deep in the head, heart, body & soul, we’re only half-way there.  It’s really just half-time.

As my basketball coach would say:
“The score is now 0-0.  You still have to win the second half.” 
Game on.

As matters of the soul go, I have to admit I get confused.
Just what is my soul anyway?

On some days I believe it’s where my heart beats with a deep feeling or emotion, on others it seems more in line with my head.  There are days when I feel like an old soul on this earth and still others that make me weep like a baby.

Here’s the definition from our friends at Wikipedia:


noun /sōl/
souls, plural

  • The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal
  • A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity
  • The essence of something
  • Emotional or intellectual energy or intensity
  • A person regarded as the embodiment of a specified quality
  • An individual person
  • A person regarded with affection or pity
  • African-American culture or ethnic pride

See what I mean?

“Soul” seems to be one of “those words” to me, like “love” or “friendship” or “shit”  ~  the singular word just doesn’t describe the deep levels into which one can get herself.

Being 184 days in, I can report this: the closest I’ve come to soul food during this promise was my adventures in a 21 Day Meditation Challenge from the Chopra Center.

The meditations encouraged me to listen more (to my head, heart, body & soul) and talk less (tough gig sometimes).  Most important they reminded me that my journey is not one to seek perfection (even tougher gig) but rather seek being, just being.

So, I’m taking my time with this soul thing.

Mostly because I imagine Clark asking Lewis many times along the Oregon Trail, “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yeeeet?”  and “Are we there yeeeeeeeeeeet?” until of course they finally saw the power of the Pacific crash up against the rocks of that beautiful coastline and they knew exactly where “there” was.

Day 177: sisterhood of the traveling dress

26 Jun

Have you ever felt like you were just supposed to be somewhere at a certain time ~ even though it wasn’t planned, you couldn’t predict it and never expected it?  But there you found yourself anyway?

That’s how I felt this week having to rush off the island with Pup’s little emergency.

It put me on the “other side” with no toothbrush, my pajamas and one change of clothes.  Then, I tried to get a ferry reservation home and there were none available until this weekend.

From the outside it looked like I was stuck.
Serendipity would have it another way.

My second day on the mainland, while still awaiting Pup’s test results, I found out my dear friend Sara sold her house.  I thought I had all summer to see her and hang out before her move to Texas, but in an instant their moving time table was pushed up.

So it turned out “being stuck” soon turned into an opportunity to see friends before their move and then attend our cousin’s wedding shower today.

Which was all very exciting, and seemed very “meant to be” ~ and it would have been if I had packed more than a t-shirt, pair of capris and tennis shoes.

This, as you probably already guessed, is what dear friends are for!

First, I dug through some of Cindie’s clothes in Brian’s basement.  Aha!  One tan summer dress to the rescue!  This was on Thursday and I threw it in my little day bag knowing it would do the trick …but I didn’t try it on until today.

This dress was TOO SHORT.

I showed Sara my dilemma (the sort of dilemma that occurs when you’re 6 feet tall and afraid to bend over) and said, “I think I need to borrow a dress?”

To which she smiled a best-friend smile and said “that’s cute” and I promptly followed her into her closet.

The second dress I tried on was TOO LONG elongating me even more.

The third dress made me feel TOO EXPOSED.

By this time our “girls-too-old-to-play-dress-up” giggles were starting to surface and Sara had an epiphany.  “I’ve got the perfect dress!” she exclaimed.  “Hold on a minute while I go find it.”

I was not prepared for what Sara would uncover but it would create a wave of giggles and laughter.  So loud it got the attention of Sara’s three-year old named Luka who came running to the room to see what all the ruckus was about.

“What’s so funny Gigi?” he asked me in his cute little voice, calling me that adorable little name he always has since he was a baby and couldn’t pronounce my real name.

“This is funny,” I said as I showed him the dress.

The dress was from Sara’s high school years and while it was actually beautifully hand tailored and fine stitched, it was either TOO COW or TOO CURTSY for today.  While I’m not sure which one is a better description I thought the hat she found to match definitely topped it off!

Finally, after all the silliness settled down I found the dress.
The one that fit JUST RIGHT.

The ironic part is it used to be my dress!  I gave it to Sara a few years ago because it was so roomy in the middle and she was pregnant with her second child.  Turns out the dress fits me and I think it might fit any body ~ like a magical dress.  At least today it certainly felt like we were part of the Sisterhood Of The Traveling Dress as I whisked it off to the wedding shower and now back to the island.

Right before I headed out for the wedding shower, Luka looked up at me, his little angelic face confused and said, “Why aren’t you wearing the cow dress Gigi?”

I wish I could have told him all about Serendipity and Irony.
And, someday I will.
But today I just said, “This one fit better.  It was just right.”

Day 86: se vende?

27 Mar

It feels like summertime and the shopping is easy.
Here in Mexico one can’t escape the local vendors.

They come to you.
Whether sitting at a restaurant or sitting on the beach.

Se vende?
Want a new silver bracelet?
Want a bright pink strapless beach dress?
Want a kabob with shrimp and papaya?

It’s so not easy not to shop!

Today we popped into Hotel Hafa just for a second.
The bright red wall beckoned me with an embrace.
“Come inside!” she whispered. “Just for a quick visit!”

Inside I found this amazing mirror.
The borders were bunches of roses made out of metal.
It was beautiful. It was so well crafted.
And, it was just the sort of thing I would take home …if I were shopping.

I would show you a photo but when I asked the shopkeeper if it was okay to snap a quick pic, she said, “the owners prefer you don’t.”

Clearly, they get the question frequently.

I told her about this blog, and begged for a little snap of the camera.
But, she declined. Good employee!

But, she did tell me this:
She has lived 6 years away from her Canadian homeland.
She traveled from South America to Mexico over these years.

Unfortunately she had to return home to Canada to visit an ill family member, and she described it as culture shock …because of the shopping.

When she returned to Canada, she observed this:
Consumerism runs rampant with her Northern sisters.

If they don’t have the right boots in the right color, they will just go out and buy new ones.

Yes. I know!
She could have been describing someone I know (me 87 days ago!).

Being here, makes me want to buy.
Because I want to remember the trip.

I want to remember the roosters crowing in the morning (why not buy that hand painted rooster pottery?).

I want to remember the beach and surf and long afternoons sipping margaritas sitting on the sand (how about those totally adorable Reef sandals?).

I want to hold onto the memory of Hotel Hafa’s welcoming boutique with the red walls and the silver sculpture adorning each wall (why not get that mirror?)

I want the feeling of vacation.
I want to take it all home.

And I will.
On my camera.

Se, vende?
No, gracias!

Day 13: seeing red

13 Jan

I passed this red coat in the window of Max Mara today and literally stopped in my tracks.

I was drawn to it.  My eyes caught a glimpse of that little red spark of intrigue and my heart jumped for joy.

Me likey.

Since that moment I have wondered: Why did I have such a visceral reaction to a coat?
Here’s what I’ve come up with:

It was a cold day in Naples, Florida.
I can’t complain while the rest of the country was pummeled with snow we received a slightly breezy and temperate 55 degrees. Brrrrrr! (not complaining)

There’s also something intriguing about the mismatched lapels.
It’s a design note that screams: I am creative. I am an individual. I am bold.

Here’s the play-by-play of what happened in my body:
My skin noticed the dip in temperature. My eyes spotted the coat. My heart pumped faster and my mind developed a feature-length fantasy of me walking through the open air mall in a beautiful, red, woolly work of art.

All of this in less than 5 seconds.
It was totally subconscious.

Let’s rewind a bit. This is really what happened:
I had tons of work to do and my day was perfectly scheduled. I planned to go to the early morning yoga class, then pump out a ton of work and do my afternoon calls. However, when I woke up this morning, my MacBook Pro wouldn’t turn on.

Plans ruined.
I skipped the yoga class, didn’t eat and hurried to the Apple Store.  Waited forever in line for my “appointment” with the Genius Bar, watched as they most effortlessly worked their magic and continually rebooted my computer. Once out of the throws of Apple Land, I rushed to find a spot at Starbucks to plug in and crank out at least something productive before my 2pm call.
Foiled! Starbucks was busy, all seats taken.

I left the mall in a scurry to uncover a Plan B, and that is when I saw…

A promise of comfort, ease, and warmth.
The wearer of this coat must always be on time, on schedule and totally put together, with no computer delays. Lines and hassles surely disappear in an instant when this coat arrives on the scene.

It was a fantastic fix for my rushed reality.
And, I’m not buying it.  At least not this year.

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