Throughout this great moving adventure and major changes that are taking place in my life right now, I’ve been feeling quite a few emotions. Some positive and some negative. I’m happy to be going home, but I am sad to be leaving New England. I am happy to get rid of things that no longer serve me, but I feel somewhat sad about letting them go. I am happy that I get to live in my house again, but I am sad about what my brother and his friends have done to it.
And I’m giving myself permission to feel all of these emotions. Yep, you heard me right.
I give myself permission to be both happy and sad.
When we are faced with huge life changes, our emotional landscape can go from being sunny to overcast and rainy..and it can change in a minute or an hour. Being an empath, these massive emotional swings can seem insurmountable and sometimes frightening, but they don’t need to be. Let me explain why.
How would we know what happiness is if we never experienced sadness or grief? How would we know harmony and peace if we’ve never experienced anger and discontent?
We wouldn’t, would we? Life would be dull and drab and downright boring if all we experienced was one emotion or no emotions. Imagine that?
There is a movie called Equilibrium about a society of people who are drugged into what is called equilibrium. Emotions are never expressed and to show any emotion can mean death. Can you imagine? I can’t.
Feelings and emotions are what make being human so….Human. We have to give ourselves permission to feel all of them though. Even the negative ones because with out them, we wouldn’t have the positive ones.
So give yourself permission today to feel whatever it is that you are feeling.
I had planned to write a different kind of blog today, but what happened to me in the past 24 hours was just so profound that I had to share.
Life is precious.
I’ve been living in this condo for about four years now. Four years. When I first moved in, I met one of my neighbors and became friends with her. Not good friends, but somewhat friends. We’d hang out sometimes and she’d call me or come over, sometimes uninvited. I became so frustrated by her behavior though, I decided to end our friendship. I quit answering her calls or my door when she’d ring.
See, my neighbor was a drunk. A lonely, angry drunk. I didn’t want to be around her because of her behavior and negativity. She was hurt by my actions and at one point, came over to my house in the middle of the night, drunk and demanding to know why I wouldn’t be her friend anymore. I told her to go home and get sober.
For the past 3 years, other various things have happened between us even though we didn’t speak. Those details aren’t important to this story.
What is important is what happened recently.
About two months ago, I read Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Book, Get Rich Lucky Bitch! And started to do some of the activities in it like the decluttering forgiveness exercise. In the book, Denise says to use this technique to help declutter your money story. When you declutter and forgive things or people from your past, you heal your spirit and soul. The best part is that by doing this, you make room in your life, mind and heart for new happier things to show up.
Now I took it a step further and decided to declutter my entire story, not just my money story. I’ve painstakingly written out everyone and everything that has upset me or hurt me in the past 30 years and then forgave every single thing on the list.
So what does that have to do with my neighbor? Well she was on my list and I forgave her in private. Then just a few weeks ago when she learned that I was moving, she called me. I have not spoken to her at length in years, but I figured the Universe was giving me an opportunity to forgive her in person from a place of peace, love and compassion which is what I did. I forgave her. Now if you had told me 3 years ago that I would forgive her, I’d have told you you were crazy….But anyway…..
Last Friday, she invited me over to chat about my upcoming move and New Mexico. She said she’d never been there. She was telling me that she wasn’t drinking anymore and she was looking forward to losing weight. I told her I was proud of her for not drinking and for making improvements to her life. We hugged and she told me to keep in touch when I moved.
That was Friday.
Yesterday, my other neighbor called and asked me when the last time I talked to her was. I said Friday. He then informed me that she was in the hospital on life support and that her family was going to take her off of it. I was shocked. Life support? What?
Then she died yesterday.
I had just seen her and even though we were not close, I still feel the impact of the loss.
Our lives are precious. So very very precious and fragile.
Sometimes I think we forget how precious our lives are. Everyday, we make choices about our life. Choices that may not seem to have any impact on our lives, but do. Everyday with every choice, we either chose life or death. Happiness or sadness.
So what do we choose?
How do we live?
How do we treat ourselves and others?
Do we treat ourselves and other with love and compassion, or hate and contempt?
What do we choose?
When I think about my neighbor that just passed away, I look at how she chose to live her life. What choices she made throughout her life which subsequently led to her premature death. Thinking about her and her life has me now examining my life. What I choose and how I live.
In today’s interview, I had the pleasure to learn more about Roni and her business, Metis Caravan, nature fashioned for your soul. Her stuff is amazing and it was great to learn about how she came to be the fabulous artist that she is.
Let me just start by saying I’m French-Ojibway and Irish-Gypsy plus maybe 11 other herbs and spices so my craft work is handed down to me by family. I was also introduced to craft shows and festivals in a family business as amid so that’s how I knew where to start when I needed to start over.
I am previous qualified as a counselor in general psych, fitness and nutrition and natural medicine but in 2009 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. The ‘cure’ wreaks havoc on your body and brain so life never gets quite normal again.
As a chemo survivor I needed something to help me feel healthier and some dignity and some income.
My faith and traditions, mainly Ojibwa, gave me back some health so I pursued dignity and income the same way.
How did you come up with the concept of the Metis Caravan?
The Metis Caravan idea is to share cultural traditions, the lifestyle practices, the wonderful outcomes and my artwork which comes from those traditions.
I guess that answers question 2 as well though, nature inspires me. Nature based spiritual practices inspire me. My cultures and the fact that they are many and they are harmonious together inspires me as a person and as an artist.
What inspires you, personally and as an artist?
My media were taught to me by family tradition. My take on the craft is a bit different though. My inspiration is nature based but I like to toss in something that is just me as well- that’s the medicine of it.
First, I’ll only use leather or other parts from salvage or an animal which has been fairly hunted for food. I won’t just go to a hide house for boxes of farmed pelts! No new animal is ever harmed for the making of my product.
Secondly, I’ll have to illustrate an example:
If I make a dreamcatcher from natural willow wood, natural sinew for the web, natural stones for the dreams, just to be Metis Caravan, I’ll add a bright orange nylon butterfly or deep blue plastic beads to hold the feathers on.
Its just the Gypsy in me needing to come out and make medicine.
My mom is an artist, a watercolor painter. She chooses to work with watercolor because it makes her feel good. Why did you choose to work with the media you work with: wood, leather and beads?
Making medicine is what I do. That’s how it feels when I make something new. I create with my hands but also my heart. I do pray over my pieces, for the recipient.
I pray for dream catchers to take away nightmares and to help people manifest their good dreams into their reality.
Can you describe the feelings you get when you are creating something new?
On one level I feel pride and “wow that’s really pretty” when I complete a new piece, especially my clan-dream catchers.
A clan dreamcatcher is an animal carrying a dreamcatcher for your family.
I dreamed up clan dream catchers all- by- myself. They are my original design. So proud.
Speaking of pride, my heart fully sank when I was building a bridal crown from leather and dove feathers and realized, ” someone will wear this on their most special day, then cherish it for the whole rest of her life. And I made it!” I could have gone into wedding planning after that big feeling.
I just love making medicine that I can see, that is tangible.
Of course crafting is not the only tradition I learned from my cultures. I love to share all of it; herbal medicine, ceremonial practice, hearing from animal guides through cards my auntie Twylah designed.
Often I’m able to share medicine by first reading the cards which lead to a counselling session or four, discovering what foods, herbs, exercise or ceremony may be most beneficial.
Where can my readers find you?
I have a website showing my zany, medicine-filled designs, and they’re for sale, at Metis Caravan
Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers?
Since proceeds often go toward protecting animals and to help cancer survivors, Metis Caravan is also on this fabulous little site: At The Keep Chari-tees
It shows more of who I really am, how we can help each other and how we help these charities when we work together.
In the meantime to get in touch with me for business,spiritual, friendly, whatever! Just email: email@example.com
Tobi, you’ve asked me questions about my business but they’ve turned out to be pretty personal for me. I see that my business is all built on personal beliefs and cares, after all. Thank you for reminding me of that.
Lately whenever I sit down to watch a movie, I am instantly drawn to the movies with a main character who is facing some kind of insurmountable challenge. They refuse to give up too and they get what they want in the end. Their dreams come true and it’s fabulous. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it’s not.
Now one thing that these strong characters in books and movies have in common is their tenacity. I love that word and it’s meaning. Tenacity. Determination. Even when everyone around them is treating them like they are crazy or insane, they remain unfaltering to get what they want. Even when their professional colleagues and friends desert them, they still keep going to achieve whatever it is that they want to have or do.
The movie I watched last night, Contact starring Jodie Foster, exemplifies exactly what I am talking about. Jodie Foster plays the main character of Elenor ‘Ellie’ Arroway, an brilliant astrophysicist who’s dedicated her life to the search for extra terrestrial life or intelligence (ETI). She’s fierce, strong, driven, and oozes confidence in her belief in ETI. Oh, and did I mention that she also has so many obstacles put in her path to get to do what she wants, search for extra terrestrial life. She gets ridiculed in public and is ostracized by others in her profession. Her mentor tries to force her to quit and go back to a normal field of study. She even spends 14 months trying to get funding for her project and gets rejected time and time again.
And she just keeps going! She doesn’t quit! I love the character of Elenor “Ellie” Arroway for this very reason. No matter how anyone around her treats her, she refuses to give up on her search, her dream. Even when her best friend tells her that maybe it’s time to quit, she refuses to abandon her dream.
So what can we learn from the character of Ellie Arroway?
Our lives are challenging enough, but can become even more challenging and difficult when we stand up and try break free from the norm and chase our dreams to live life on our own terms.
So what can we do about those challenges? What are our other options? What else can we do with our lives if not chase a dream and live life on our own terms?
Work for other people and help them build their dream? Succumb to peer or family pressure and do what others expect us to do to make them happy or so they will leave us alone even though doing what they want makes us feel lifeless and empty?
For me, those aforementioned options are simply not an option anymore. I refuse to live my life by other people’s standards and norms. Yes, I realize that by choosing to live the way I do will make a heap of people uncomfortable and that many people may not like me as a result, but I don’t give a shit. It’s my life. I guess you could say that I am like Ellie in that I refuse to give up on my dream, no matter what anyone else says about me or does to me.
So that brings up my next point: What can we do about the naysayers who may ridicule us or try to sabotage us as we chase our dream?
Limit contact with those people. Sounds harsh and mean, but why surround yourself with people who do not believe in you and what you are doing? Are you a glutton for punishment? Seriously….limit or end contact with people who belittle you and what you are doing. They aren’t trying to help you in any way by telling you to ‘give up’. In fact, I would go so far as to say that these people are your frenemies. (More about frenemies).
Go out into the world and find new people who love and support you. Seek out others like yourself who are chasing their dreams and you’re whole world will change. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. When I made friends with other writers and entrepreneurs like myself, I was able to find the love and support that I was lacking from some of my previous friends and colleagues.
Now, how do you stay motivated even when things aren’t working out the way you want them to right now?
Well, you just keep going, like Ellie Arroway does. You just keep going. You have faith and you believe in yourself and your dream. Put on some blinders. Do something everyday, no matter how small, that reinforces your dream. Instead of giving yourself the option to quit, take quitting off of your menu.
What about the dark times when chasing your dream gets so hard that you just don’t feel that you can go on anymore.
It’s during these times that you have to get into action and act ‘as if’. Don’t be fake with what you are doing, but remember your dream. Believe in it and yourself. Take a half and hour, close your eyes and think of all the reasons why your dream is important to you. Write them down in a journal.
If you are really struggling to find reasons why you are doing what you are doing and you’ve already written your big dream down, get it out and re-read it. Maybe add to it even. Take a bit of time to remember why you are chasing this dream. What it means to you? How does it make you feel? How will your life be different when you achieve it? Dig deep into your feelings and remember.
Today the Vietnam Veteran’s of America is coming to pick up the last of the boxes and bags of stuff that I have cleaned out and decluttered from the condo. They are sitting in a tower in front of the house awaiting the start of a new journey and life. Soon, very soon, they will be gone.
The Great Decluttering Project of 2015 is over.
Cleaning out the house like I have been the last few weeks has stirred up a lot of energy both external and internal. While I move stuff around, sort and pack it up, the feeling in the house became very unsettled and murky. As a result and because I am an empath, I have been feeling physically and emotionally unsettled. Yesterday was one of those days. After purging how I felt through my writing, I’ve woken up today with a sense of peace and calm.
And that’s how it goes.
When we stir up the things around us, we may not realize it, but we are actually stirring up energy..both negative and positive. Old memories of when we bought something or who we were with when we bought it can come up. Sometimes those memories are good happy memories, sometimes they are sad or bittersweet memories. The point is though, that we have to raise our awareness to what is going on beyond the physical moving of objects and things.
We cannot control those energies that come up when we shift things around in our life and home, but we can control how we react to them. We can choose to let them affect us or not. Sometimes there is so much energy that we become overwhelmed and frustrated or angry very much like I was yesterday. Maybe we become tired and lethargic as a result of the abundance of energy.
Being an empath, I am extremely sensitive to outside energies from both people and things. I don’t like crowds for that reason and if I have to be in a group of more than 10 people for an extended amount of time, I have to take mini-breaks away from the group so I can cope and not get overwhelmed. When it comes to things, I can actually feel the energies from the things especially if they are something that I have bought and brought home, so moving them around always stirs up some sort of emotional response for me.
Are you an empath too?
If you are an empath, you have probably been called ‘sensitive’ or ‘over sensitive’ at some point in your life. I surely was. When you are around large groups of people, you probably can feel the emotions of others as if they are your own.
For example, have you ever been to a party and walked in feeling great and in a good mood, only to start talking to some person and suddenly start feeling bad or angry or sad? If that’s happened to you, you’re probably an empath.
Another example would be to be able to tell what sort of mood someone is in when they walk in a room. I had a boss who would come into work and as soon as she stepped through the door, I could tell if she was feeling good and happy or angry and bad that day. Didn’t matter if she was smiling or pretending to be in a good mood, I could tell otherwise.
Another thing about being an empath is you need time alone from people. Not a lot of time, but time alone to be in silence to recharge and purge the energies and emotions of others. When I used to work in sales all day, talking to people, I used to come home and not answer my phone. Some of my friends thought I was being rude and avoiding them, but I really wasn’t. I needed that quiet time alone to recharge.
I already did some journal writing today, but I’m still fucking frustrated and I don’t know what to do next. Do I write a blog? Do I create a new e-course? A freebie? Do I pack and clean some more? Do I just sit here and wallow in my frustration?
What the fuck am I supposed to do now?
How do I quell my fiery discontent and restlessness?
I wish I was already back in New Mexico and this move was already behind me. I don’t like having to wait for the movers to come. I don’t like having to wait to go to court. Fact is, I don’t like having to fucking wait for anything. To say that I am fucking impatient would be a massive understatement. I want everything done and taken care of right fucking now. Not tomorrow. Not in an hour. Not in one more fucking minute. I want it done so I can move on and get back some semblance of a fucking routine and normal daily life. I swear, this is like Purgatory.
I am living in the Condo of Purgatory.
I don’t even believe in hell or heaven, but I sure as shit believe in Purgatory.
Anyway….here’s the deal! I am neither here nor there. I’m in fucking between places. Gah…..it sucks! No wonder Dante wrote a whole book about it. Because I am moving in three weeks, where I am right now isn’t where I will be or want to be…and I fucking hate it here. I’m ready to move now. Ready to move on and heal from my time here in New England. Ready to lick my wounds and begin again, only this time with more wisdom and experience and strength. I want to go NOW!!! Fuck waiting.
I have more important things to do when I get back to New Mexico….and I want to start them now.
and though I do have things to do here, I don’t give a shit about them. I’m done with this stupid condo and noisy neighbors. What else is there here? Oh yeah… Packing and cleaning. I think I’d rather go to the dentist and get a root canal done with no anesthetic today. Seriously. Yeah, I am soo not in the mood for either of those things. Most of the house is already packed and I am not packing up the rest of it until the week before the movers come. ….so what’s next? What now?
You ever feel like this? Frustrated? Angry? Restless?
Well, fuck….I gotta do something before I go completely bat-shit crazy…….
and I apologize for not having any nuggets of peaceful zen woo-woo wisdom for you today. You’ll have to find your own just as I have to go find my own.
Thanks for listening to me rant!
PS I decided to drop the price of Color Your Dream for this week only. Join my tribe and get 75% off.
When I’m not writing, I like to watch movies. Heaps and heaps of movies. They comfort, entertain and inspire me.
Anyway…sometimes I’ll be watching a film and I’ll be so impressed by an actor’s performance that I’ll go to Wikipedia or the Internet Movie Database and look them up cause I want to know what else they’ve been in so I can watch them be awesome in other movies.
And you know what blows my mind almost every time I look one of em up?
Nearly every single one of them has been performing for years before they catch their breakthrough and become to get recognized. Call it the 10 years to ‘overnight success’
Here are some great examples:
Jeremy Renner, you know him as Hawkeye in The Avengers, has been acting since the mid-90’s and had his break out and overnight success with The Hurt Locker. Now he’s one of Hollywood’s most in demand actors.
Jessica Chastain is another one of these overnight successes. She’s been acting since the mid-2000’s and had her break out in 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty. Now she is finally getting roles worthy of her talent.
Benedict Cumberbatch has been performing since college and working in film and TV since the late 90’s. He had his break out performance and became a household name in 2009 with Sherlock.
Comedian Ken Jeong from The Hangover spent nearly 20 years trying to break into films and tv doing stand-up while also practicing medicine as a physician. Yes, you read that right, 20 years.
Jane Lynch, 53, had been in Hollywood for decades taking small roles on TV and in films like The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Role Models, but it wasn’t until she joined the cast of Glee she became a household name.
Alan Rickman studied acting for years but didn’t have his big break through until Die Hard at age 42. Now we all know him as Snape (and we love him).
And there are many many more overnight success stories like these.
So what can we learn from these ‘overnight successes’?
Number one thing is you’ve gotta follow your passion and do what you love. I bet if you asked any of the aforementioned actors, they would tell you that they love what they do and cannot imagine not acting, even when they are passed over and rejected for roles. Even when they have to take a day job to pay the bills. I imagine they’d also say that it doesn’t feel like work because they love acting so much. .
Another thing that we can learn from these actors is that they refused to give up. They just kept going even when it was rough. When you follow your passion and heart and really love doing something, giving up isn’t an option. You simply do not give it up. Ever. You keep going. You do not quit. You keep going.
There is no thing as an overnight success. Yes, it may look like they were overnight successes, but were they really? After working or struggling for 10 years or more, is that really an overnight success? Um…not really. So getting there may take longer than a year or two. So what? If you’re doing something you love, you aren’t going to notice and like I mentioned before, you aren’t going to give up.
You gotta believe in yourself, your talent and have confidence even when no one else does. No matter what anyone says to you or does to you, whether you face criticism or praise, you have to believe in yourself. Without fail. Believe in yourself cause you’re fabulous.
You are. Just like those actors that we all love. You are fabulous!
PS Color Your Dream is 75% off this weekend! Sign up for my tribe below and get the discount AND 3 FREE GIFTS cause I love ya!
Anyone out there have a ‘thing’…..something that you would NEVER tell or show anyone ever!
We all have our things. One of my most favorite things is my helmet.
I own a costume Viking helmet. Sometimes I like to put it on my head and dance around my living room while listening to 80’s music. It makes me feel good.
Do have a ‘thing’ that you own that makes you feel good or something that you do when no one is watching?
I didn’t think anyone noticed it as Facebook is so weird with their algorithm that only lets your posts been seen by people who have danced naked in the moonlight and scraped the lichens off the trees at the stroke of midnight during a rain storm or some other thing as far as I know.
Anyway..people did notice it. One of my dear friends asked me if I were going to write a blog about it, so here I am, writing about my viking helmet and other various things that I many people don’t know about me or that I have not been comfortable in the past sharing. Today is a new day though….:)
First there is the viking helmet. Yes, I own a viking helmet and I like to wear it when I am feeling bad because it somehow makes me feel better. More powerful even. Don’t ask me why it makes me feel better as I don’t really even know. It just does. I also like to wear it when I dance around my living room after I’ve been sitting too long at my desk working.
I also own a collection of hats that I have been known to wear to parties or on holidays. Some of my favorite ones are a velvet joker’s hat, a non-traditional springy Santa hat, a turkey hat and an octopus hat. I love my silly hats!
I really hate bras. Like hate them. In fact, usually the only time I wear a bra is if I am going out in public. Otherwise, my girls are free. It’s a beautiful thing.
I currently weigh 248 pounds! Yikes! I’m on 5’2″ so that makes me morbidly obese according to the BMI chart. I’m not happy with my weight so I guess it’s time I do something about that, huh? Here’s my thoughts about being overweight: my weight and fat does not make me a horrible person. It just means that I have more fat on my body than others. I am still beautiful and awesome, just a little bigger.
I’ve had 32 jobs in my life time and I’m only 42. Yep, you read that right. 32 jobs. I’ve been fired formally from 4 of them. Most of them I have quit. Here’s a summary of my favorite ones: Retail manager, Microbiologist, Dominatrix, International Sales Manager, Business owner, Writer, Actor.
I don’t believe in the status quo and believe that people should question authority and act with ethics and morals even though it might not be what other people are doing On that same note, I am not affiliated with any political party, but I still vote.
I love stories and movies. I watch at least one movie a day when I can because I just love them. I fell in love with movies as a kid and used to ditch class on Fridays to go catch the premieres of some of the big blockbusters of the late 80’s and early 90’s. Getting to work on films has been on the biggest highlights and best things I have ever done in my life. In the future, I hope to write, produce and act in at least one film and get my SAG card when I get moved and settled in back in New Mexico.
I read on average 2-3 books a week. Some of them fiction, some of them non-fiction. I love stories and find so much inspiration in them, much like I do the movies.
I don’t believe in organized religion, but rather a great spirit or energy that rules supreme. I self identify myself as a pagan and I celebrate Samhain, Yule, Beltane and Midsummer. I don’t really care what religion you are either as long as you do not try to recruit me. That shit pisses me off.
These are just a few of my things that I don’t normally share with others.
Do you have a thing that you normally wouldn’t share or want other people to know about?
I believe that we all have our things, our strange and odd idiosyncrasies or beliefs or life experiences that we just are not comfortable sharing and I totally understand. I think we keep some things to ourselves because we are afraid of being judged or that maybe people just won’t like us. That fear is a mighty powerful one too, the fear of not being liked. I know that I have spent way too much time in my life worrying about what other people think and acting in a way that I thought would make me more likable and less weird.
Somehow though, I’ve gotten to this point where I just don’t give a shit whether people like me or not. Either they do or they do not. Other people don’t live my life and whether they like me or not is my problem. I like me. I am comfortable enough in my own skin to be myself. I am tired of hiding who I am just to please other people.
That’s the last of my ‘things’!
So what’s your thing?
P.S. Join my tribe today and get special updates and coupons for Color Your Dream (I’m having a huge sale this weekend!)
Is it really September already? Damn! Where has this year gone already? I swear it was just like January 1st and now it’s September 1st!
The start of a new month. A new beginning.
I love the first day of the month. Why, do you ask? Well, it gives me an excuse to look back on the previous month and see what I’ve accomplished. I find such great pleasure in looking back a bit and saying, WOW! Lookee what I did!! (or didn’t do ha ha). I spend part of the day writing down the statistics from my websites and blogs. I do a monthly money inventory. I journal what worked and didn’t work for the previous month. I update my business notebook…and I celebrate. All of it. Both the successes and the failures.
The other big pleasure I get from the first day of the month is goal setting and planning. Actually, I really love love goal setting and planning. I get out my journal and write what I want for the next 30 days. I let myself dream big and then I write them out like a movie as if they’ve already happened. I get out a piece of paper and put the really big goals in giant letters or numbers and I color it in. I hang that by my desk where I can see it everyday.
You’re probably wondering why I do this like clockwork at every start to every month and why I love it so much! Here’s why:
If you don’t have a map of where you are going, how will you know how to get there or when you get there?
Goal setting and planning is like your virtual map. It’s also a really great concrete way to keep your goals and dreams at the forefront of your mind and heart. Oh, and the Universe likes it too cause it’s shows that you are seriously about what you want. Writing it down makes it even that more powerful. Also, did you know that the most successful people in the world write down their goals everyday? Yes, everyday! A good place to start if you aren’t used to writing down your goals is with monthly goal setting.
I challenge you to try setting some goals for this month and writing them down. Put them in a notebook or make a small poster type sheet that you can hang by your desk or workspace.
Write down three things you’d like to accomplish this month.
Imagine that you already have them. Play this visualization in your mind like a movie and write it in your journal.
Make a Goal Sheet that you hang by your desk or work space. Keep it simple and make it fun!
Track your results as the month goes by.
You’ll be surprised by how much this simple act can profound your life.