The Beauty of the Bee

Beeswax CandlesI am a big believer in ritual and my favourite one is writing in the afternoon. Sometimes when I sit down to write, I know exactly what my topic will be. And sometimes I have no idea until my fingers hit the keyboard.

One of the best ways to get into the swing of my writing is to brew a cup of tea and light a beautiful beeswax candle. There is something about the smell of beeswax that just delights my senses and gets the creative juices flowing. And I don’t just light beeswax candles for writing. I light them for relaxation, romance, grounding, happiness, and sadness.

There is just something about the warm amber glow and the smell of beeswax that makes me feel as if I am in the presence of greatness. And, really, what better muse than the mighty honey bee to inspire me every afternoon as I spin the yarn of my everyday extraordinary?

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A Radical One Hundred

Today is my one hundredth blog post. Today, 365 Radical Acts is one hundred days old!

100posts1When I launched this project one hundred days ago I wondered if I was a bit nuts. My life was already very full with a busy family to care for, a coaching business to run and not a whole lot of disposable leisure time to speak of. I truly wondered where I was going to find the time to write every single day.

Here’s what I have learned in the past one hundred days;

  • Writing and publishing every day has become a habit (and, frankly, one of the easiest habits I have ever formed)
  • Setting an audacious goal is critical to my success
  • There is always time in the day for writing
  • My family gives me the space I need for blogging
  • I can write in the middle of the chaos of my household
  • I love living my life through the writer’s lens…always on the lookout for the next story
  • I am noticing (and appreciating) the little things more than I ever have
  • This blog is for me…readership is appreciated but certainly not a marker of success
  • There is something to write about every single day
  • If I feel passion for what I am doing, it is easy
  • I LOVE writing
  • I am wildly fulfilled creatively
  • I am a darn good writer
  • I am extremely proud of myself

cartoon20telephoneI could have spent years waiting for the right time to start a daily blog; when the kids are older, when I am working less, when we are empty-nesters. One hundred days ago I felt the call to honour my creativity. And it told me that the time was now. I could have ignored that call and had a myriad of very valid reasons why I could not possibly fit one more thing into my busy life. And, I would not have felt bad about it either.

I did not ignore the call. I leaned in. I got courageous. I went for it. And that decision has altered me in ways I cannot possibly understand at this moment.

And the greatest lesson in the past one hundred days? That there is always time to do something I really want to do. And if there isn’t time? Then, it isn’t something I really want to do anyway.

I have given myself an invaluable gift…the privilege of quenching my thirst for writing, the sheer bliss of living large, and the wonder of seeking out and celebrating the everyday ordinary in my extraordinary life!xmas gift

Note to Self…

My Dearest Katie,

There are many things that I have discovered about you in the 45 years that we have been co-habitating in this body. At this particular point in time I feel compelled to share ‘Katie’s Top Three Must-Haves to Ensure Success, Balance, Fulfillment and Joy’;images (5)

  1. You need vigorous exercise at least three times a week
  2. You need to write (something) daily
  3. Quiet meditation in the morning is critical to your success

When you try to persuade me otherwise at some point in the near or distant future, please give me leave to have you re-read this lovingly delivered letter.

Seriously!

All My Love,
Your Highest and Best Self xo:)

Somebody Out There

Three and a half years ago I launched a blog entitled Open Secret. I created Open Secret because my son, Michael, had just been diagnosed with ADHD and I was feeling completely overwhelmed and utterly alone. Even from the very beginning, something told me that our journey was going to be important and to document every phase. I had never blogged before and wasn’t sure about sharing our ‘dirty laundry’. I did know, however, that I did not want any parent to have to feel the same depth of despair or bewilderment that I did at that time.Journey of a Thousand Miles

Open Secret followed us through our highest highs and our very lowest lows and I am so proud that it stands as a testament to Michael, to me, and to our family system.

I wrote Open Secret over the course of almost two years. By March of 2012 I could feel the energy and the life starting to fade. Michael was living an entirely new story and our family was in a new phase.  I put Open Secret on hold so that I could write a book. Well, it took me more than a year to feel the inspiration again and to feel the call to reach back out to the world. And, as it turns out, it’s not a book. It’s another blog.

I absolutely love blogging. I love the feeling of being able to publish myself. I do not have to wait for a publisher to ‘discover’ me and decide that I am worthy. I am never told what I have to write or what is marketable. I just get to go where the spirit moves me and let my fingers reach out to the world. And, I love being able to share my observations of life, the Universe and everything.

When I began Open Secret I felt significantly attached to my daily stats. I wanted to know that people were reading what I was writing. I think that the isolation I was feeling at that point in my life had me needing the connection and undoubtedly also the acknowledgement.

365 Radical Acts feels, well, Radically different. I am absolutely loving the daily practice of writing and publishing. I feel very connected both personally and professionally so there is not that same need for approval or recognition. I do glance at my stats each day but do not feel in any way attached to them as a marker of success or failure. They are just stats.

I do have to admit, however, that if I notice that there has been a day with zero hits I wonder; ‘is there somebody out there? Is there anybody out there?’Anybody Out There

I had the Sunday Blues yesterday. I am still in the throes of a massive flare of both hives and eczema and have been feeling like I will go crazy with the itching. I have cut out every food I can think of, am taking at least thirty pills per day and following the detoxification regimen to the letter. I am getting worse, not better. I hit an all-time-low yesterday at my sister, Margie’s, birthday party when I could feel the itching coming on and burst into tears in the middle of my sister’s kitchen. I just need some relief.

I still felt pretty emotionally tender this morning after a rough night of very itchy sleep. I called Margie on the way to my Naturopath IV appointment to wish her a happy birthday. We chatted most of the way and something triggered a memory about an encounter she had had at a party this past Friday night. She ran into an old friend who had read my blog and the long and the short is that she loved it! And she not only read 365 Radical Acts but she also read Open Secret. She made sure to tell Margie that my blogs had an impact, that she loved my writing, and that she is sharing it with others.

When I was feeling at my lowest this morning, Margie’s story gave me the boost of energy, connection and re-engagement with my passion that I really needed.

I am not alone. I am never alone. Somebody really is out there!

So thank you to all you ‘somebodies’ who are sharing this journey of life, love, family, passion, discovery and serendipity with me.

And, Jill, this one is for you. Thank you for being my ‘somebody’ today!Heart

Go Slow to Go Fast

I don’t have time to write tonight. I have a million and three things to do and not enough time in which to get them done. I am getting ready to go away for a week, Michael was home sick all last week, Max is home sick today, I have been juggling kids and an at-home office, I have clients requiring my attention, a big sales meeting tomorrow morning, a demo workshop with a new client tomorrow afternoon and all kinds of things that I have decided need to happen at home before I leave for my solitary week away. You know, critical things like cleaning out the fridge, getting the Christmas decorations out, putting the lights on the tree so we can decorate it as a family tomorrow night, getting the Christmas lights up outside etc. etc.

I don’t have time to write tonight.Time

It is 8:30pm, the laundry is under way, the kids’ sheets are changed, dinner is cleaned up, my workshop is built for tomorrow, the monthly budget is finished, my lengthy vitamin regimen is done and I am finally (!!!!) caught up on e-mail.

I don’t have time to write tonight.

So why am I sitting here with the laptop in my lap? Because I made a commitment. Because I promised myself I would blog every day. Because when I say I am going to do something, I do it.

Sounds pretty militant, doesn’t it?

Well, here’s the other side. Writing slows me down. It forces me to take a deep breath and ground myself in the moment. It gives me a much-needed break from all the day-to-day things that pull at me like demanding toddlers tugging at my skirts. Writing is not a have-to. Writing is the most delightful want-to. There have been times since I launched this project a month ago that I have wondered why, with everything that is going on in my busy life, I have taken on such a demanding project. Tonight I have my answer.

Go slow to go fast.tortoise-hare1

As I sat down to write a few minutes ago I figured that I had three options. Option number one was that I could spend three more hours roaring around my house and still not feel ‘done’. I mean, really, are we ever ‘done’? Option number two was that I could go to bed feeling wired up and exhausted all at the same time. Option number three was to sit down and give myself over to my writing.

I am a little bit in awe of option number three as my writing unfolds right before my very eyes. And the bonus? It’s so much better than any pharmaceutical could ever achieve. Five minutes in and I feel grounded, cleansed and completely relaxed

I do have time to write tonight.

Choosing option number three means that when I go to bed I will have allowed myself time to wind down and relax into my creativity. And that means that I will have a better sleep tonight. And that translates to a more productive and fun day of client contact tomorrow. And that translates to a day of productivity rather than a day of roaring from one place to another and never really being anywhere at all.

Hmmm…this blogging thing is a Radical Act indeed!

Happy Monday!Slow

Every Day I Write the Book

I put my first blog, Open Secret, on hold two years ago. I felt like I had exhausted what I wanted to say and I had closed a chapter in my life and in Michael’s. At the time, I felt the pull of something new that wanted to be written and I couldn’t wait to get started.Write a Book

I wanted to write a book.

For the first few months I felt kind of relieved that Open Secret wasn’t constantly badgering me to post. I gave myself a much-deserved holiday from writing and accomplished very little on my new project apart from a quick chapter sketch. I told myself that I was letting the idea ‘gestate’ and did not want to rush into birthing my book too soon.

About the time that Open Secret went on hold, my coaching business picked up speed and I stepped into the challenge, success, abundance and prosperity that I had been longing for professionally. As a result, all my creativity went into my work. I designed and delivered workshops, coached executives and individuals and continued to tend to my growing business. And, frankly, for a while that was all I could manage.

Looking back on my non-writing phase I realize that even when I wasn’t physically writing I was always writing in my head. I was interpreting my day-to-day life through my writer’s lens and feeling short pieces of writing perpetually taking shape in my head. I just wasn’t taking the time to actually write them down. I realize now that I fell in love with observing life and was capturing it in my head the same way that a photographer would capture a moment with their camera. I was observing snapshots in my imagination.

So I guess I never really did stop writing.

Starting to blog again feels like a rebirth. It feels like coming home. It feels absolutely magnificent! I have reawakened to the simple fact that I am a writer and I absolutely love to write.I Love Blogging

Here’s the thing I’ve realized though; I love to write about the everyday. I love to write informally, as if I am having a conversation. I know I am probably an editor’s worst nightmare but my most vulnerable and transparent writing can only be written in my own voice. It seems that as soon as I put limitations on myself (like…’today I am writing my book…’ or ‘the grammar is awkward here…’) I lose the inspiration and the magic. I lose the fun.

So, for now, 365 Radical Acts is just what the doctor ordered. And will I ever get to the writing of that book? I just don’t know and, frankly, at this point, it really doesn’t matter. I’m having way to much fun to care!

Thanks for reading!