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live it to give it is all about love and connection. Being authentic. Living our lives and sharing it with others. Life is messy and so is this blog. Somedays my organized coach self shows up. Other days it's my vulnerable author. There's a mom that lives inside me alongside a wife, friend, creative muse, ponderer extraordinaire, and multitude of others. I'll introduce you to people who inspire me and offer a peek into my world that very likely intersects with your world. In other words, I will share life in its full, glorious mess with you. I'm honored you're here and I hope you'll come back soon!!  Cheers! Kayce 


Entries in Mindfulness (21)


Fetish Focus

DiLoPi writing prompt #9 - Write about a fetish, totem, "blankie" or other centering object that you have a) owned and revered at one time or 2) currently own and revere or 3) that your character owns and reveres or 4) that you wish you owned and revered.

Earlier this morning I was writing about being infused with thoughts or images that pass our way. We don't necessarily know they've even entered our consciousness until they pop out somewhere down the road. Continuing my journaling, I ultimately found myself answering the above writing prompt that recently showed up in my mailbox. Here is what I mused:

Starting my day with news and distractions, doesn't work for me. If I first open up my e-mail, then I'm off down a rabbit trail that often takes me away from a life-giving focus. Even though good stuff abounds - if the computer is my first default - I'm off on the circuitous trail that beckons and pulls. The flashing images are seductive. My iPad and iPod lie next to me and my MacBook is just across the room. Oh my, have they become my fetish?

Oh, the seductiveness of this technology. I curl up in bed seeking warmth and comfort. The devices call to me and promise excitement, community, new information - even devotions. I meet my friends there. My sister - fellow bloggers - the characters in Grey's Anatomy. Christine brings morning greetings and DiLoPi offers writing prompts.

When I'm lonely and bored or wanting to distract myself, I reach for a little piece of technology. I decide it's time to work or create, possibly both together. So, I turn on that glowing screen. For a moment, I choose to pass the beckoning e-mail, but... I know it's there. Just one peek? Perhaps a quick look? I tell myself. And... once I succumb, I've lost my own momentum. A force other than I has taken over and I'm off down the rabbit trail. Minutes turn into hours and ultimately a day. Frustrated with my lack of accomplishment, I turn for the comfort of more surfing. Perhaps just a blog site or two? Maybe a stop by the forum at SCS?

Will I be satisfied? It's a crap shoot - especially when I reach without forethought. I stuff another URL into my brain like stale cookies I can't even taste. I know this, and still I'm like a zombie drawn to fresh blood. The blink of the light. The push of a button. Just one more taste...

My fetish? I've vowed to turn let it go or at least I'm taking back control. I'll choose to curl up with a book instead of my iPad. No e-mail before meditation or morning pages. No infusion without first checking in with there I am! The news can wait 30 more minutes. I'm learning to block the path of the rabbit trail with timers, boundaries & mindfulness. Finding where technology nourishes me rather than allowing it to become obsession. That's often the problem with a "good" or favorite thing. We manage to manipulate it and cross the line into over-indulgence until it turns into something we don't love quite so much. Hmmmm... Gotta stop now and see what my iDictionary says about fetish :)

fetish: any object eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect or devotion

snowy pictures from 2008 - although I'm looking out the window in WallaWalla where it's snowing right now.


Can You Plan Destiny?

My last post ended with the words, "I'm off to plan my destiny." Can one really plan their own destiny? I truly love the idea of letting go and allowing surprise to happen. I am also discovering that my nature actually enjoys some discipline in the process of going with the flow. Impossible? Well, consider this: a river has banks; the oceans have shores; showers have stalls. Even where water is concerned there are some boundaries.

For the last couple of weeks (since attending the fabulous DiLoPi workshop), I have created a lovely rhythm for my days. In the past, I've typically awakened without alarm, structured my schedule around "official" appointments and hoped I would accomplish all of the other things I wanted to do during the time in between. What I found was there was never much (if any) time to work on my passions. In other words, going with the flow allowed my dreams to get washed down the drain or at least soaked to the bone. The rhythm I established looked something like this:

Morning pages
Book writing
Get ready for work
"Official" Meetings
Creative work
Family time
Read & Rest

What I found was there was almost always time for everything and then some. By setting both specific times to do things and holding to the boundaries, my satisfaction level, as well as my productivity, went way up! So, why am I talking about this in past tense? Because Sunday, I failed to set up the boundaries and decided to go with the flow. Big mistake!! I made it through my first two items beautifully and then frittered away the rest of the day. I ended up feeling like a slug and just a pinch of salt could dissolve all of the goodwill I'd been developing toward myself for the last several weeks. Geez Louise, it's so easy to slip into old patterns! And, once I'm aware of what I'm doing, it's possible to dry myself off and jump back in the flow.

Planning my destiny? How about if I start by planning one moment at a time? I'll let you know how that goes.

So... what are you planning today?

photos ©Ireland, 2009


Riding the Wave of Breath

Before daybreak and slightly bleary-eyed from my night's sleep, I enter my studio. Touching match to wick, the soft glow of candlelight enters the room and morning shadows dance across the walls. Tenderly I curl myself into a comfortable cross-legged position, close my eyes ever so slightly and offer myself to this new day.

Inhale. Exhale. I ride the wave of my breath. As I meditate, there are moments where my curiosity stirs and I wonder from where this tranquility comes. I sit in silence and follow my breath. In. Out. One. Two. Three. Four. My body settles into a gentle rhythm. With the inhale, I hear the sound of wind through aspens. On the exhale, a storm is brewing in the midwest. My thoughts float by like gentle clouds on a summer day. Grounded. Breathing. Simple. I am tranquil. Again, I wonder how I got to this place until even that thought drifts on by. In. Out. One. Two. Three. Four.


Paying Attention

"...paying attention requires no equipment, no special clothes, no greens fees or personal trainers. You do not even have to be in particularly good shape. All you need is a body on this earth, willing to notice where it is, trusting that even something as small as a hazelnut can become an altar in this world." -- Barbara Brown Taylor

"When you have put into practice the thing you are talking about, then speak from knowledge of the thing itself." -- The Wisdom of the Desert

Sunrise Sister recently wrote a powerful post about how her reading choices had taken on a theme of which she was unaware during the selection process. A similar thing is happening to me, and for now the theme seems to be paying attention.

A couple of weeks ago I began reading The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton, in preparation for my upcoming trip to the Sinai Desert. A while back a dear friend suggested I might enjoy Taylor's, An Altar in the World. Recently it became the book that most wanted to hop onto my Kindle pages. Having just finished a chapter in Altar titled, "Reverence," I found it a perfect prompt to review the glorious day I am currently experiencing.

I feel the evening breeze blow across my face as the late afternoon sun begins to set. My golden cat sits nearby, tasting his paws and grooming his coat of gold in beams of precious light. An ice cream truck plays "Merrily, merrily, life is but a dream" and mercifully fades into the distance. Crows caw and sparrows chirp outside my window.

Earlier as I drove home from yoga with the convertible top down, the sun shone on my warm, moist skin as the wind blew my hair wildly across my face. "Unwritten" poured from the stereo and as I looked overhead, a pure white seagull pierced the light denim sky. Heaven on earth. Reverence for these small, great things. Majestic. Awesome.

Fuschia-colored peonies. Miniscule ants of ebony. Golden fur and fluff. Gentle breeze. Strong-brewed coffee crinkling over ice. The feel of glorious, perfect sunshine after days of gray to numerous to count. Strength of my body bending backwards and sinking my spine into the floor. Sweat on my brow. Air moving down my throat and into my lungs, then pressing out again. Dirt beneath my fingernails. Smell of freshly mowed grass. Blisters on my feet. Lavender bubbles in my tub. Crushed ice and freshly squeezed lemon. My daughter's endless legs teetering on silver heels as she heads to prom. Lilting country music drifts from the stereo. An evening fading. A night beginning. A body well loved. A heart received. A spirit full.

These are a few of the things I've noticed today - paid attention to - revered. Oh, that I could speak from their knowledge. Perhaps tomorrow.

"yoga" SoulCollage card by lucy


rhythms and rest

"...whatever you see your soul to desire according to God, do that thing, and you shall keep your heart safe." - the desert fathers

is it appropriate to follow the desert fathers with an Aaarrggh? i've already written this post once, and it disappeared into thin air... no wonder i'm computer-resistant these days!! (note to self - breathe.) ok...early this morning i was sitting here pondering which way my day might flow and an e-mail popped into my inbox. it was from a reader who i've been in correspondence with, and she was wondering if i'm alright and might perhaps be struggling with something i need or want to share. as i responded to her, i realized she had prompted the post for which i was looking these past couple of days. thus, i'm sharing a synopsis of those words here (so in reality, this is the 3rd time i've written this post. Aaarrgghh). one more deep breath.

i find myself to be in an interesting place of internal stillness (i.e. things are quiet not only externally, but also internally as the mindless chatter has slowed to a near nonexistent pace). my husband is out of town for a couple of weeks and my 17 year old daughter requires minimal attention from me, so i have some spaciousness in life and seem to find myself just being. aslan has also attached himself to me like velcro, and it's rather difficult to be "productive" with 9 pounds of purring fluff planted in your lap. consequently, i've chosen to surrender to his masterful spiritual direction and settle into the rhythm.

if there is an overarching struggle, it may have something to do with the multitude of feelings around my young son being incarcerated. it's a challenging road to navigate and one that few (any?) people i know personally have walked. my beautiful boy turns 21 next wednesday, so as i write to you i realize i may be experiencing solitude in solidarity with his solitary confinement.

in contrast, much of my days are spent giving and listening to others which truly feels like gift to me (and hopefully them as well) - so i am listening to my own rhythm as i have the time and it feels perfect. yesterday, i felt like i had a little spa day - i went to yoga early in the a.m., followed by my exercise routine, a stroll in the misty rain, my favorite hot latte and a few hours curled up with zen kitty while finishing a great book.

so, there you go... i hope you don't mind sharing this e-mail response/stream of awareness with me today. it's always such a delight to find a writing prompt through cyberspace. now, it's my turn...

how are the rhythms of your days falling into place? is there spaciousness to experience internal and/or external rest? what would your private "spa day" include?