Ask And It Is Given

Multi-passionate firestarter with Thoreauvian tendencies seeks poet / lumberjack for flight.

Must have passport, rhythm, & a signature dish.

 

A wise friend once taught me that asking for what you want is the surest way to get it.

Clarity married to intention. Add in a bit of the unconventional and some cheeky humor…and best ~ it’s tweet-able!

Psst. Pass it on 🙂     !

The Thunderous Clap Of The Full Moon

Kayaking Megunticook River, Maine SunsetYou are what you surround yourself with.

Lately, I can’t be still long enough to eat breakfast, write a post, a chapter in my book, or do the dishes without flitting around like a nervous hummingbird. Normally playing inside is some radio broadcast like Democracy Now or Morning Maine on WERU, or a dance-to-it Pandora or Genius playlist. I like a stimulating aural environment, yet since moving recently, I’ve been disinclined towards manufactured sound in my new space. What wafts in from the surrounding wooded hillside provides plenty of ambient chirp and chatter. When I listen closely, the rustling branches, whose sways hypnotize through wide skylights, whisper to me to turn off the computer, the Netflix, the modern technological impositions to concentration and creativity. Skittish as a dragonfly, I’m regretfully honing to a steel glint an attention span more suitable for a fourteen year old with ADHD.

Completely at odds with my meditation practice, eh?

Seems I’ve got my feet on the brake and the gas simultaneously and if I remember from Ms. Ewanciw’s ninth grade math class correctly, [ + times – equals -], which means I’m a poor conductor of electricity – that creative spark every writer needs for propulsion. What good are rituals and discipline if I’m training my mind right out of focus?

Kayaking Megunticook River, Maine Island Sunset

So last night I go low, low enough to be eye level with the water – that surefire conductor, and paddle up the hyalescent Megunticook River. My savage beast is quietly tamed by rhythmic paddling and harmonic birdsong. That one music turns off while another turns on is the Rx for all that insanely eddys and ails. Outside of time, I ponder lily pads and heron flight and the splashes of just-missed fish feeding on the bugs of dusk.

So sublime. Ahhhhhh…

The boil thus reduced to a simmer, inspiration glides near, throwing golden coins into the water around me like I’m the fountain, a wellspring, the bestower of wishes. Seduced by the setting of these rippling sunstreaks and mesmerized by the coquettish moon peaking behind a wash of clouds, my relaxed and fertile mind receives the planting of a new seed.

Kayaking Megunticook River in July, Maine Island Full Thunder Moon

I drift back to the sandy shore, pull my kayak out of the water, and pause before heading home. The discovery of such a lovely spot minutes away feels like being baptized; I am submerged in deep appreciation. How have I let the falsely urgent crowd out the important? This natural beauty taken for granted! Such foolishness…

Back under darkened skylights, in centered calmness, I sit and write. And write and write and write – outlining chapters and anecdotes, developing theme and tone – any and all jumbles merely sequences and friendly tangents that will illustrate and illuminate this freshly waterborne idea. Only a few days ago I was distraught over my riches: having so many good projects…how could I ever choose which to cultivate? Too many sometimes is just that: too many. What I longed for was THE ONE. The one that would propel me out of creative logjam and launch me, like Tigger, into joyful action.

Yes! Clarity emerges. Focus and Direction hold hands, winking slyly at me.

To refine this new germination, I consult the I Ching, an ancient Chinese method of divination and guidance. I throw 3 coins, resulting in 54, Changing, and my changing lines lead to 51, Shock / Thunder. Curious, as tomorrow is the full moon (in July often referred to as the Full Thunder Moon), I put the burgeoning project into the reading’s context:

    “The shock of continuing thunder brings fear and trembling. The superior man is always filled with reverence at the manifestation of god; he sets his life in order and searches his heart, lest it harbor any secret opposition to the will of god. Thus reverence is the foundation of true culture.” (~from the 1950 Wilhelm translation of the I Ching)

Anew, I surround myself with fluidity, with natural rhythms, with less 21st century madness. I bring reverence to the well, not to the chariot of technology, so when the thunder comes, I will not be deterred.

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Want more? Here’s a post I wrote on the I Ching: a poem of engagement.
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xo Kellie

Failing? Fabulously!

Selling Your Soul – that entrepreneurial shindig in NY this month whose scholarship I was anglin‘ for? I didn’t get it, but I’m not letting it stop me from building on my dream!  In fact, the 10 winners (The Hula Hooper is my fav!) were so inspiring that it’s sending me right back to my fire-starting desk to get even clearer on what I want and why I want it.  I must give thanks to Danielle Laporte and Marie Forleo for igniting my drive to create when I was merely smoldering – sometimes it’s not the ‘thing’ we’re pursuing that we really want, it’s the lessons we gather along the way.  I haven’t failed; I’m refining my focus and discovering my resilience.

Speaking of giving thanks, that oh-so-powerful fireball of gratitude is shooting through my hemisphere and I want to share some of my recent good fortune.  The more I dare, the more I am rewarded – it’s as simple as that.  Throw in some appreciation, and I’m unstoppable.  These past few weeks have seen my cuppeth overflow.

La Prairie Spa At The Ritz

Right before I left for NYC a few weeks ago, I found a gift certificate for La Prairie spa in the Ritz-Carlton given to me by a woman I helped a few years ago when I was working in the restaurant at the Museum of Modern Art.  Yay for me!  I look at the date: expired.  Boo for me.  I decide to call anyway, and ask if they’d accept it. (I still have a gift certificate for the Russian & Turkish Baths on 10th Street from ’96.  Note to friends – I promise to start using these more timely – hint, hint.)  Long story short, after explaining my situation to Linzee at La Prairie, she said they’d be happy to honor it – for ANY spa service I wished!  So I scheduled an hour and a half massage for the following week and tried not to feel like I was cheating on my regular massage therapist (who’s on break, pregnant with twins). I walk into the Ritz-Carlton, never touching a door (love those white gloved doormen!), and the next three hours are indulgent bliss:  Would you like a glass of Champagne?  Here’s your plush robe and slippers.  Strong hands, aromatic oils, custom music chosen from a 2-page menu, then a steam with cucumber slices for my eyes and a plethora of pampering to doll me up for the rest of the afternoon.  Ahhhhhh.  As I head back to reception to settle the gratuity, Linzee informs me that I’m “all taken care of,” that even the tip for my masseuse is included.  Nothing is more gratifying than being on the receiving end of such gracious and generous hospitality.  After years of working for Danny Meyer, I appreciate anew what he meant when he taught us – If you’re going to give, give graciously.  Everyone should have such good fortune to give this way, and to receive so, as well.

Another wonderful day I spent was with a dear friend who lives on the most glorious block in the city, 10th street between 5th & 6th, in a light-drenched apartment that’s beautifully and lovingly appointed.  She prepared a delicious vegetarian lunch for us that tasted of Italy and as we feasted, we caught each other up on our futures that are moving ever-so-gratefully towards us.  It fills me with happiness to see people I love turn towards their power, their voice, their truth.  As we emerge into our own best visions of ourselves, and leave behind the agendas of others, our unique beauty is unleashed.  To be witness to another’s hatching is wondrous and humbling.  (And I got some good puppy-lovin‘ in there, too.) There’s not much sweeter than a curled up animal on your lap to coax forth our gentleness, nor an environment of friendship and safety to acknowledge those softer, more vulnerable sides we keep hidden.  So much gratitude…

It’s where those soft places meet the fiery ones, where success meets failure, when we allow our strengths and weaknesses to inform each other and collaborate, that wholeness begins.  Sometimes I need that push to define my desires more clearly, that poke to unearth my shy tenderness…and sometimes I need to be reminded to both give and receive fully.  For all the clarity I pray for, I’m thankful each time it materializes.  That it appears in the form of failure is a surprise, but I’m embracing it.  Besides, some of the greats, like Einstein, Edison, and Churchill were both successes AND failures.  Not such bad company…

Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ~ W. Churchill

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. ~ T.A. Edison

The Hydraulics of Spirit

I’m applying for a scholarship to an Entrepreneurial Powwow in NYC next month with Danielle LaPorte of White Hot Truth and Marie Forleo of Where Women Entrepreneurs Live Rich, Happy & Hot.

As spring is finally making its long-awaited debut, so am I.  This was my application essay – wish me luck!

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I am my greatest victory! I have created a life brimming with curiosity, adventure, and a healthy dose of being contrarian. I’ve been told by others I’m an inspiration, that I’m the happiest person they’ve ever met, that they wished they had my life…so for the past 11 months, since quitting 20+ years in the hospitality biz and dedicating my time to writing and fine-tuned inner work, I’ve been dreaming of a life that’s far, far bigger than where I’ve been.  To get here, I’ve plucked out the dark roots of money obstacles (I actually used to believe that being rich meant compromising your values – crazy, right?), adequacy doubts (How did I ever think this amazing life was given to me & I had nothing to offer in return?), and self- and otherwise-imposed limitations (now I’m sure, down to the bottom of my pink little heart and toes, that all the success, love, and freedom I’ve yearned for is MINE!)

Off~Peak, a blog I recently began (about how going against the tide taught me to go with the flow) is merely my first foray into self-expression.  I’m also chronicling my 500-mile journey, solo & on foot, across Spain on the Camino de Santiago, where this lost soul found spiritual connection (massive Oneness revelation! You breathe, I breathe – we are all the same song: the Uni-verse) and some really fab friends.  Research has also taken residence – I’m kneeling at the altar of playwriting, too – A coming-of-age during-the-Cold-War tale about false illusions is BEGGING me to write it.  I’m heeding the call.

I’ve so much to say.  I’ve so much to share.  I’ve so much to learn.  And I am…

My challenge is overcoming the unknown, but I’m on it! I’m kicking those fears to the curb.  I’ve enrolled in Web Design classes to learn the tech side of blogging.  I’ve gotten on the mat in yoga class and confronted constriction, transforming it into spaciousness! I’ve asked a broadcasting friend to teach me how to podcast, and a playwright friend how to develop structure and direction for the stage.  I’m getting good at asking for help;  I know now it’s a sign of strength.

photoWhat I want more than anything in this moment is to throw on my futuristic power suit (which includes visionary glasses – to see grand possibility with laser clarity, titanium stilts – to stride farther and faster, and my new Kris Carr-cleansed Body of Vitality), thrust out my hand with confidence and grab the outstretched arms of my tribe.  I can ask the questions (SEO tricks? find an editor/publisher? NGO bookkeeping?), all I want is to get what I want to give: a community of creative collaborators, generous think tankers, prosperous prognosticators, uplifting visionaries.

Where am I going? Ever-evolving is the birth of Luminary Foundation, a physical and organizational model that supports social justice and advocates for access around education, the arts, and food security.  With a far-reaching approach and dedicated vision (I’ve some radical ideas about a post-capitalist economy & the emergence of global non-money-based prosperity), this Foundation will shine its brilliance collectively, because only with transparency, accessibility, and collaboration will our best future come to light.

Thank you Danielle and Maria for this opportunity to join forces – inspiration overflows!

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Stapled To The Chicken

Why did the dead baby cross the road?

Because it was stapled to the chicken.

Stay with me here.

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My regular yoga practice was going strong this winter, until I put it on hiatus for the past 3 weeks.  I’m still figuring out how to be mobile and maintain a routine; usually something has to give, and this time yoga got sidelined.  Back in Maine after a jaunt south to celebrate my sister’s birthday and get a B-12 shot of Gotham, I barely made it this morning to an early Vinyasa Flow class.  Returning to the mat I felt like a blue square skier on a double black diamond slope – is this what happens when the pause button gets pushed?  Damn!  If Plank and Cobra didn’t make me feel like a traitor, then ‘resting’ in Downward Dog was far from soothing.  In fact, while the blood was rushing to my head and my shoulders were painfully strained in this upside-down vee, I began feeling a HUGE resistance.  Of course, I thought it’s been awhile and I’m out of practice.  But it was more than that – it lodged massive and imposing like a mountain.  I’d never felt so much physical force inside me.  Little did I know I was on the verge of having emergency psychic surgery.

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Quickly a vision of the resistance entered my awareness like a camera snapping into focus:  a large ball, perhaps 3 feet in diameter, seemingly composed of milky white cartilage, smooth as a ball-bearing.  Solid.  Firmly half in and half out of my body, from my navel to my philtrum, nestled like an asteroid that just hit earth, I clearly felt this imaginary (?) object emerging from my mouth, my throat, my heart, my gut.  I tilted my head back to give it room.

Immediately the asanas dropped their struggle, or I against them, and I  effortlessly continued on through Pigeon, Tree, and Warrior III, while this otherworldly cartilage protrusion, still as stone, remained as real as the wood floor under my mat.  When I finally came to the supine poses, nearing the end of the session, I lie there wondering… what next?  Then this pearly, foreign sphere rolled up and off my chest, across the floor, into oblivion.  I didn’t feel lighter, there was no crying or any other inclination to release.  The only notable result was that I suddenly wanted a freshly juiced glass of green vegetables.

Back home, after stopping by the local grocery for all things green – kale, kohlrabi, celery, fennel, parsley and cabbage (as well as a bag of Willow Bake Shoppe donuts) – I reflected on the strangeness of my morning.  I wasn’t compelled too much to figure it out, or understand any symbolic representation.  Instead, what most interested me was feeling that I had just witnessed the boundary point of my unconscious and conscious minds.

I had no intimation of this coming nor did I feel afterward that anything paradigm-shifting had really happened – all I wanted was some raw green juice. But somehow I think something had occurred.  I think there’s a whole world down there that I’m completely unaware of, with burrowing voles and tectonic waltzing that sometimes erupts.  It’s just the first time I was keen to it.

Am I transformed?  That remains to be seen.

So what was with the donuts? I sense they were my ‘dead baby:’  that which no longer serves me, but I haven’t relinquished yet.  I’m crossing that road, and little is going to stop me, even if it resorts to absurd stapling tactics.

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