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Yesterday, a woman I respect and value named the gifts I give to the world aloud.  I was fully with her + tuned in to our conversation, but I swear some magic happened that blurred my hearing as she said the words.  My spirit soared when this happened –  as much as I might have wanted it, I know with absolute certainty that I wasn’t supposed to discern the words.    Maybe they weren’t for me? Maybe I’m not ready yet?  I’m not sure the reason, honestly, but I’m not much invested in understanding the reason.

 

Today, I opened up my spirit for my team to see.  I was honest, and I was open, and I was not afraid.  We did an exercise that involved drawing (and sharing) deeply personal bits of ourselves and as I moved through the day, I felt more tiredness set in.  Tonight I am energetically exhausted.  I was blown away today by a series of events, conversations, moments in time.

 

More and more, I’ve been feeling the spirit in my daily life and it’s changing my entire life.

I can’t ever go back in time, and I’m okay with that.

 

(She asked me: What would little Kate say?  And I responded with what I saw in my mind’s eye: she’d encourage me to play.)

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Leave a message, I’m adulting

Things I’m into right now:

Adulting like a professional.  Doctor appointment: Check. Dentist appointment: Check. Naturopath appointment: Check. Getting serious about going to the DMV? Check.

 

I believe they call it crafting: I made a sweet felt garland for Valentine’s Day that included hand IMG_3334sewing  a dozen cut-out hearts… and then I followed that up by making a valentine’s day banner. I don’t much consider myself an artist but when I think about it, I notice quite a few creative hobbies popping up in my more recent years…

 

Speaking of which: watercoloring is on the docket! I am looking for a free online art class for an introduction to the basics. A friend of mine recommended the art form to me as a companion art to my dream life… The ethereal, imprecise nature of watercolor would lend itself to connecting during waking life, she said.

 

Meditation practice. The more I think about it, the more I believe that this is the key to a happy, balanced me. This is not to say it’s easy, or that I’m doing it, but that I’m pretty convinced that it’s a key to my wellbeing. Lately I’ve been thinking about the sacred in the mundane. Sometimes I catch my mind drifting…

 

I’ve been drinking ALL THE TEA! My honey bought me a beautiful teal teapot for my thirtieth birthday and it’s gotten more use in the last six weeks than ever before. I’ve long been a fan of Yogi’s green and kava teas. Recently, I’ve been working through Gypsy’s green tea. Thank you, winter.

 

Building a wardrobe. Y’all this is easier said than done. So far, I’m convinced that any modern wardrobe should include the following:

  • Dark tailored jeans
  • Black skinny pants
  • Oversized white button-up shirt
  • French stripes
  • Olive green utilitarian coat
  • Structured handbag
  • Ankle booties
  • Cheetah print flats

For a long, long time my wardrobe was a result of my budget + my body size/shape. There was a certain scarcity to clothes shopping – like if I found something that was affordable AND fit, I would buy it. I generally only went shopping when I was flush with cash, or before an event that demanded a new outfit (see: graduation, job interview, etc.).

Building a wardrobe is a very different process for me. I hold a lot more intention, and I’m on a quest to buy garments that flatter me and represent my personal style. Things that are different:

  • I’ve been using a secret Pinterest account to make a vision board of my style.
  • I wrote down the Spring 2015 Pantone colors of the year and had them with me when I went to the mall.
  • I tried on 9 things at H&M and bought none (despite many of them fitting and being affordable).
  • I spent an hour perusing clearance racks and bought nothing.
  • I spent $80 on a structured dress (with pockets!) from Nordstrom that is in a wild and beautiful orchid color.
  • Last month, I snuck off to do some shoe shopping by myself and tried on a dozen pairs of boots before not buying any.

 

Snow driving and snow walking and snow digging and snow thriving?  I am learning a lot about IMG_3313snow life. Things like how to dig a car out of a  3′ deep snow pile, the beauty of 4wd, what it looks like when very, very dry snowflakes fall (Diamonds! Glitter! SO SPARKLY!). I survived the fifth worst blizzard in Chicago history. I have managed to enjoy this, for the most part.

 

Planning trips to cross off more states! May: Louisana, Oklahoma, & Kansas. July: Minnesota and North Dakota. September: Michigan. If all goes to plan, by year’s end I will only have Alaska, and the Northeast remaining (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut)! This makes me feel explosively happy! I’m wondering if maybe to celebrate my final states, I should actually plan a weeklong sojourn to Puerto Rico. They must have all-inclusive resorts, right?  Somewhere I could just lay down and not do much but swim and relax?

 

Buying frames. This is an ongoing struggle in my house. Some day, I swear I will frame my college diplomas.

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The rabbits

I’ve spotted a pair of rabbits near my house. Coming home with groceries, after work, I’ve been delighted to see them scamper across my path. For a few weeks, I thought there was only one. Then I saw two together. Where there’s two rabbits… there’s hopefully babies come spring.

I always greet them with a hello and ask them how they’re doing. They’re often in motion, but sometimes they stay seated, eating, looking at me sideways, and I feel so touched to be in their presence.

I haven’t seen them much recently: it’s been cold enough this January that I’d imagine they’re in a burrow, hiding.

Come to think of it, we had four inches of fresh dazzling powder the last time they showed themselves. I keenly remember that I watched one of them bound through snow drifts, leaving holes in the snow every two feet. I inspected the impressions left by those mighty hops and I remember being just beside myself with awe.

Tonight, I was shopping through my own bookcase when I stumbled upon my copy of Medicine Cards. I was struck immediately by the impulse to look up rabbits to better understand what kind of medicine is saying hello so frequently.

“[Rabbit] could also indicate the need to stop and take a rest. [Rabbit] will always indicate a time when you need to re-evaluate the process you are undergoing and to rid yourself of any negative feelings, barriers, or duress.”

“Take a hint from Rabbit. Burrow into a safe space to nurture yourself and release your fears until it is time again to move into the pasture, clear of prowlers who want a piece of your juicy energy.“

Well, put that in your pipe and smoke it, eh?

I really start to take myself too seriously sometimes, and then I experience these synchronicities that serve as glorious reminders that I’m connected, that any and all fear I might carry about anything at all is something I can surrender or give away.

I really, really hope there are tiny baby rabbits in the Spring.

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I’ve met some angels this week

I’ve been talking to angels. 

It started with prayer. A few years ago, a friend introduced me to the work of Doreen Virtue. She gave me a deck of angel cards and I slept with them under my pillow, with intentions of super charging them for my use. I asked Archangel Michael and Archangel Raphael for support and guidance so that I may use the cards for healing work. 

The cards have been an incredible learning experience: I’ve been a conduit of messages for others. I’ve received message that have resonated across synapses.  I’ve studied angels, mythologies, and rituals.

It was only a matter of time, then, that I’ve started to identify interactions as angelic.

She asked me if I wanted some hot tea and I nodded yes. I was sitting alone on a stool with a mouthful of tabouli on a busy street in a a major metropolitan city.  I watched as she poured out her personal glass mug, washed it by hand, and then poured me hot black tea.  She swirled a plastic fork through it to mix in sugar and cardamom, as is traditional in Iraq. She smiled as she handed it to me, no charge.  She told me about leaving Baghdad in 2010 and coming here. She was a high school teacher in that desert, and now she runs a food cart in America.  I felt an extraordinary sense of protection on that stool, the benefactor of her blessings.

I don’t have a clear opinion on the matter: do people sometimes become temporarily inhabited from angelic realms and act as messengers of divine love?  Am I speaking with angels personified here on Earth?  Are these not angels, but “light workers”? Am I just connecting with another human? Does that matter?

Seeing all this written down gives me some apprehension about sharing because you might think I’m crazy.  

But synchronicities (as Jung called them), or miracles, or supernatural phenomenon have captivated humans for millennia.  I think many people choose to have their antenna down, so to speak: they claim atheism or cite scientific explanations for the wonders of the world.  Others, I think, are so overwhelmed by their station in life, and the incredible courage and scrappiness it takes to survive, that they don’t even know they have an antenna.

There are times we’re more receptive than others.  We experience times that are so heavily saturated with “information” (some new agers call them ‘downloads,’ some judeo-christians have called them epiphanies), it can be hard to keep up.  Like you can’t stay present in the moment AND ALSO capture everything that’s coming up.  It can be almost overwhelming, at times, to articulate insight as it happens.  

A friend in Portland offered me some great perspective when she said: “You gotta trust that even if you’re not able to take a timeout to digest everything that’s coming up, it’s still in there.  Your internal processes have everything they need to do the work.”

So good, right?

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In between one major phase

“Wilderness is a metaphoric landscape; it is where you are in your life when you are in between one major phase or identity and the next. It’s a time to make your own way, when you do not know what will come next or how you will change. It is a time of transition. It may be a time to trust instinct or deep curiosity. You may find an important part of yourself in this wilderness, or lose your bearings and become lost.

The wilderness phase often comes after a significant death, or when a relationship ends, or after leaving a community… You are in the wilderness when you have left “who” you were, and there is no turning back. When there is no definite course to take and other people may have opinions, but don’t know. It may be a time to pay attention to your inner compass of intuition, as you go in the direction toward which your soul is drawn, or sense how your body-psyche responds to each next step, or let the “soft animal of your body, love what it loves” (from Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese”). Paying attention, pausing as you might from time to time, as if in an unfamiliar neighborhood, moving on when something instinctual in you knows that all is well.

― Jean Shinoda Bolen, Artemis.

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Right in the guts

Stress does funny things to memories. In my experience, it killed them dead, almost as soon as they happened. Roadkill.

As I’ve endeavored inward, my memory is improving. I’m better able to win arguments and settle scores. I can more easily track details and retain information. For so long, I’ve been great at patterns, big picture ideas, and taking a 10,000’ view. Life’s categorically different when you can grab onto more intimate details. You’d be surprised at the beautiful and ordinary little things that come back: the wherewithal to drop the line from a Sondheim musical at just the right time, knowing exactly where you left a conversation, remembering how someone takes their coffee.

I was emotionally sucker punched tonight by one of my dearest friends.  First a punch to the guts. Then one right where it counts. Continue reading