:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Wabi Sabi and the Astrological Cat Lady (Holly)

Setting the tone-yo!

Quotes and clichés from the last couple of weeks:

Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Children need slow to grow (hey, guess what? So do adults!)
Relapse is part of recovery………
Or is it Recovery is part of Relapse? Think about it……now play it over in your head again…
Sometimes you have to be out of balance to achieve balance.

First writing since the winter solstice for me. And, yes. The days are getting brighter, both figuratively and literally.  I’m still doing the Artist’s Way, but not nearly as diligently as I was in the beginning.  I have been doing my morning pages about 75% of the time and still suck rocks at the Artist’s dates and the extra tasks.  I feel a bit guilty about these things, but not too bad as I have evidence that I actually am becoming more creative. In addition, I feel like I am living a more authentic life.  Consequently, I am happier and have a renewed energy. One might even say zest.

Holidays- I took the advice I doled out on the winter solstice. I slowed down and enjoyed my friends and family.  It was my first year divorced and the holidays could have been crap. But no.  My family and friends, both old and new, came through. I had fun. I laughed a lot and cried a little.  I loved and I felt loved. It was genuine, good stuff. It’s what life is all about. Full stop.

Alive- I’m alive and I’m going to stay alive. And, I feel more alive than I remember feeling.  Besides the friends and family mentioned above, a lot of this has to do with music.  My life changed last year when I received my first ever iPod and the corresponding iTunes.  Since then I’ve been introduced to a lot of new music, seen a lot of live shows, and dabbled a bit in writing songs! (much to my complete surprise, amazement, and chagrin).  It all started with Truck Driver’s Daughter last March, then The Flood in July. In December I wrote two! I ain’t gonna beg and Owl and Hedgehog. January I wrote Back Road Boy.  They’re all kinda different from each other, but I kinda like them all.  I have no idea what I’m going to do with them.  I don’t play an instrument and I can’t sing.  No, I mean, I REALLY can NOT sing.  But, I’m trying to remember the line from the Artist’s Way book….I’m to take care of the quantity and god will take care of the quality.  I feel like if I feel like writing songs, which on the surface seems nonsensical to me, I should do it.  The answer of what to do with them will come later. Yup.

Bucket List- Somebody asked me in August if I had updated or created a “bucket list” as a result of having cancer.  I stupidly stammered and said, uhhhh….no. I guess not.  Well, in retrospect, I was too much in the thick of it then….intense chemotherapy, newly divorced, etc….I was not thinking clearly enough for a bucket list. I was in survival mode.  Now, however, I’m ready to create a bucket list of sorts.  It’s going to tie in nicely with Artist’s Way and cleansing.  What I’m going to do is set short, long, and lifetime goals. With SMART goals. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time bound). In several different areas of my life. I’ve never done this before.  Areas will be things like career, financial, education, family, artistic, attitude, physical, pleasure, public service, and spiritual. There will be backpacking in Utah and learning Spanish involved.

Owls, Hedgehogs, Wabi Sabi, and the astrological Cat Lady-  I can’t tell you how tempted I was to name this blog something to do with Owls and synchronicity.  Again. I’m telling you! This shit won’t stop! Just when I forget about it, something happens again! It’s freaky, creepy, and well, a little bit amazingly beautiful.  Just one example…..when driving home from work on New Years Eve day, the streets were quiet as nobody else was foolish enough to be working on this particular holiday day.  The air was cold, it was overcast, and the earth was brown. I had my grant on my mind and a little bit how much last New Years sucked.   Suddenly, a very large bird flew from one side of the street I live on to the other-low and right in front of my car.  You guessed it. An Owl.  I had actually never seen a real life Owl. And there she was. It was stunning.  Is it god or the universe guiding me? Nudging me? Slapping me? Or is it that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.  I have to say, I always took that saying a little bit more literally. Like a human teacher would appear, like in robes or a snazzy suit.
For Christmas I received a lot of things to help with writing.  I didn’t necessarily ask for any of these things. Through doing the artist’s way, I’ve mused about what my creative outlet will be. Well, based on synchronicity, I’m going to start with working through some of my writing gifts. 

Implosion of Gratitude

I can’t stop thinking and feeling so grateful. I sometimes feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude.  On the surface, this sounds lovely, right? Well, it’s actually a problem.  My gratitude is so powerful that I am moved to inaction.  There are so many things and people that I want to honor for how they’ve touched my life and for what they’ve given me that I am moved to complete inaction. It’s embarrassing and it’s bullshit. And, really unacceptable.  I simply must come up with a plan on how to remedy the situation. Ok, well, I have a plan. I need to effing make it happen. And, learn how to show my genuine gratitude more often and as it happens.
So, ladies, my friends……it’s 5 am and I’m drinking COFFEE and writing this.  The COFFEE is warm and delicious and I’m savoring it.  I am overwhelmed with gratitude for YOU ALL. I’m grateful for the time anyone spends reading my musings and even more grateful for the feedback received. It always moves me and means so much.  I wish I could do more to show my appreciation. Like pay everyone’s travel to Des Moines for a vision board party…but alas, my words will have to do for today.

Rock on and make today your bitch!


Steph said...

Um... I am actually in tears after reading this. I'm a bit embarrassed by this, as my kids are looking at me like I've finally lost it. Oh, Holly, ZEST!!!!!!! YESSSSSSSS!!! I'm, like, THRILLED for you about this... Zest... heck, yeah!
Might I suggest you email your songs to Wendy??? Perhaps she is your avenue that God has provided for your songs to be heard? (Wendy, hope it's okay I made the suggestion... it just hit me like a ton of bricks... the dynamics of our little COFFEE family often times blows me away. We are ALL here for a REASON; I just know it.)
I love that you're making your "bucket list." Not because you're just trying to stay alive long enough to experience things, but because you are ALIVE, ZESTY, and LIVING. What better way to celebrate survival than to decide how to best spend your time and truly ENJOY it in a real and authentic and exciting way! Oh, how I love this...
I took a picture of a gorgeous owl ornament (on my phone, though, and I can't figure out how to get that image off my ancient cell and onto here to show it to you - DANGIT!!!!!) at Pier One a couple nights before Christmas, and I so thought of you. Daughter and I were checking out all the pretties, and I saw those owls and just stopped. Don't know what's up with you & the owls, but it's awesome... go with it!
Gratitude is such a liberating emotion. I understand how it can be paralyzing, as well, but the fact that it's rendering you inactive is just proof of how deeply you are experiencing it. I'll tell you that sometimes just saying the words out loud (even if it's to no one in particular at that moment or place), "THANK YOU" is so freeing. I've caught myself saying the same thing to absolutely nobody, and it allows my breathing to resume... Savor your coffee and our COFFEE! You keep rockin' on, girl, and I'm so happy for you right now, I can barely take it! YAHOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

patresa said...

alive, authentic, grateful, spiritually ambitious, plugged into the mainframe. AWESOME. i love it. love that you're indulging your creative spirit. love that i get to witness it. i think you're quite inspiring, as a matter of fact.

Wendy said...

Holly, your post left me wanting to high five somebody. I love it.
You are one zesty filly.

Reading about synchronicity and the story about the owl swooping down on new years eve (what timing, too!) actually gave me goose bumps. I think you're right, you are ripe for the learnin' and that is so evident in your attitude.

BTW, I totally thought of you the other day. We were sitting here and we heard our owl purring loudly right outside our window. Eric peeked out the window and just then it flew past the window in all its broad-winged glory.

I'd love to hear your songs! That is so great that you are exercising your creativity in new ways. And btw, some of the best, most prolific and renown songwriters in Nashville are not singers - infact some can barely play an instrument. Doesn't matter, a good song always comes through. So don't let that phase you a bit.

I can't wait to see what's in your bucket list!

Wham said...

it's a little late in the day to make it my bitch, but i'm totally going to own tomorrow! i have a feeling you're going to own all of 2011, and with your goals, many years ahead will be full of life and love and happiness and creativity, something everyone should strive for. i think i will attempt to get off my ass and do the same :)

thanks for the inspiration!

blj said...

I want to feel zesty. I want renewed energy. I want to love and feel loved. How do you do it, COFFEE master? Teach me your ways. I'm happy for you, Holly. Love, Becky

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Hey Holly, this is all just wonderful... no effing bs... I thoroughly felt the vibe in this writing (at least I think I felt it, and if not, that's ok too because it felt good whatever).
"I’m to take care of the quantity and god will take care of the quality." Well, this is eloquent, and I like it a lot. I find when I read your posts, I'm often struck by SO MUCH you have to say that I worry I'm going to forget something that can profoundly change the world. Seriously, I think things like this, and I have great appreciation for your journey.
YOU SAW AN OWL. I'd say, yes, that is a real life message from the universe. I can only imagine how overwhelmed by calm, laced with a little revival that must have been.
High five right back at you Lady. Cheers to your zest and authentic life. Sounds like your student is sitting in the front row of the class.

Katie said...

Holly this is just, well....tantric. In-line. Well-aligned. I like it when I can actually SEE the wavelengths overlapping and swaying in perfect harmony, which is what I envision when I read your posts. You really have the humble gratitude thing down and I think that is one of the most important, and hardest, things to learn. It's a whole new way of SEEING, not just being. I bet someone who did not have the humble graitude thing down would just have said "look at that big damn bird that just flew by!" and kept driving. You are open to stuff, and that makes life interesting, meaningful, big.

Keep rockin' your big life Holly!

Corey ♪ Linstrom said...

Owls seem to stand in judgement over the night. Interestigly you're doing the same over your days. Being able to measure your creativeness might be as hard as catching rain in a spoon. I'm sure anyone who experiences the artistic energy you're putting forth counts themselves lucky. I hope to her your music one day.

Being creative is one of best ways to celebrate being alive.

Thanks for sharing Holly!

amy said...

Holly, I DO think the Universe is sending you some messages via owls. If I had more time, I would do a google research project for you about this right now. But owls are associated with wisdom, and personally? I think your constant running into them is the Universe's way of saying: "Cool beans, Holly, on your search for wisdom and art!"

I think these weird, what-the-heck-is-going-ON-here??, repetitive and symbolic experiences are pretty much the only way the Universe knows how to do a high five.

Puedo ayudarte con espanol! (I can help you with Spanish...if you're okay speaking really broken Spanish.)

AND--Bob Dylan can't sing either, but he wrote super fabulous songs and sang them anyway. And people loved him. A lot. Go for it!

This blog made me feel grateful you're out there, Holly. And I would totally pay my own way out to Des Moines if you hosted a vision board party. Woo!