Saturday, August 21, 2010

Can You Travel in Comfort Without Your B*a*g?

We're packing up the words and memories of this blog. and are moving in together and redecorating over at

We'd hate for you to travel without your B*a*g, so follow along AND

on Facebook, Twitter and our newsletter, as well.  

Saturday, August 14, 2010

B*a*g Essentials to Fend Off Surprise Attacks from Your Inner Critic

The loser in my brain just told me I couldn't write this.  Her negative voice can be quite tenacious at times.  I guess being aware of her presence is much better than being deaf to her damaging blows. (Off to soak in the tub to flood her out.) Ok, I'm back. She's always trying to stab holes into my "CAN DO" fuel tank. She's been known to slap a "Baggage Welcome" billboard advertisement on my back while greeting me with her passive aggressive cynical pat on the back.  HA! HA! Funny joke, me walking around completely unaware that I was inviting my own and my neighbor's baggage into my space.

Here are some of her more famous subliminal attacks & my B*a*g essentials needed to fend her off.  Prepare your B*a*g!

"If I was as (adjective) as (amazing woman's name), I could (accomplishment)." This type of talk could keep you from surrounding yourself with amazing women that you NEED.  Bag ESSENTIAL #1 - Supportive, smart, funny, giving, amazing women in your life, in the real world and the virtual world.   

You need living breathing examples.  The more authentic they are the better. Their brilliance shines through as they share their struggles.  Their authenticity will feed the awesomeness in you because that is their goal. They won't feed your inner loser. They expect a lot  from you, hold you accountable and give you grace, all at the same time.  They do this because they know doing this "woman thing" is a team effort.  Gossiping and judging doesn't serve us. Real success is earned and is truly inspiring.

5 Authentic Women (and Men) I Know.

Put them in your B*a*g and add yourself to the list.  I am (positive adjective) and I will (accomplishment).  One of the most challenging parts of this essential is that you may need to subtract some people out.  It's not that you don't love them or that they are horrible people.  In fact, why not ask them to join you in creating a more positive space together.  Sometimes they're not ready and as you separate you may feel lonely. I am posting a great video that might help with the alone thing, at the end of this post.

"When I (accomplishment) I will (feeling or destination)." We need to flip-flop this one.  You must feel worthy first to know that you deserve to accomplish the goal.  For example:  I have struggled with cutting out Diet Coke out of my diet.  I've been doing very well.  I may have 1 a day, but many times none, compared to 6 or 7 a day.  It has had a profound affect on decreasing my brain fog.  "I deserve to feel good." has detoured me straight away from the pop machine and to the water cooler on more than one occasion.  Bag Essential #2 - Creating a space to feel the feeling of the accomplishment in preparation of achieving the goal.   

Feeling worthy of the accomplishment fuels you and gives you strength to take action.  The journey creates the actual feeling, which is the OH YES fuel that keeps you going.  Visualize a picture holding the moment of FEELING.  Creating a vision board is an awesome way to create feeling.  I wrote about vision boards on the Survivor Manual.  A dear sister, who is on my top 5 authentic woman list, Terry Grahl, always says, "Get the cart before the horse."  She creates that space of feeling with grace and faith.  Go to the  Enchanted Makeovers website, which is a non-profit organization that creates beauty and worthiness for all women.  This is a shining example of this B*a*g essential.

I can't (action).  You're not holding yourself accountable when this one creeps up.  In reality you are saying, "I am not willing to...." following by "because (insert excuse)"   Let's start with one reason I was not willing to write the best post that I could possibly write tonight.  I read great blogs everyday. They inspire me, challenge me and provide tools I need to accomplish my goals, BUT I have a terrible habit of comparing myself to them because I don't feel worthy.  "If I was a talented writer like Donald Miller, I would have best selling books and a blog that has tons of readers."  "I won't be a talented writer if I don't write and surround myself with great writers."  My obstacle is my inspiration, which created the space to feel the feeling of writing my best and sharing it with you, risking being rejected. See how that works?  B*a*g Essential #3 - Do for others.  

Doing for others inspires you to find your gifts and to continually strive to do your best and improve.  When this happens you tend to the health (mind, body and spirit) of the vessel that delivers the gifts.  By doing so, you become keen to the sounds and feelings of a oncoming surprise attack from your inner critic, stopping her dead in her tracks.  If one person has an OH YES moment while reading this, it is worthy of my efforts.  If nobody reads this it is worthy of me practicing my craft, with intentions of helping others.

   Our inner loser is a broken record, force fed to us.  In Modern B*a*g Ladies lingo those broken records are bought and borrowed beliefs that don't align with our born, buried beliefs.  Time to toss out those records!  THEY"RE BROKEN! WE'RE NOT!  Speaking of records "I want to be a billionaire so freaking bad..... I want to be on the cover of Forbes Magazine, smiling next to Oprah and the Queen.Hey it's not my dream and who am I to step on their dream.  Our inner critic is quick to judge.  Watch the music video, pretty good actually.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Straight Up! On the Rocks!

The Sanity Lounge is a place where I expose myself to a semi private audience (you can make it completely private if you like.)  I feel it is important to share some of my thoughts which have flowed so easily in this space.  It's the conversations I yearn to have with my sisters; STRAIGHT UP! ON THE ROCKS!  I can't emphasize enough the importance of getting your feelings out in a journal; write, draw, scribble, collage etc.  Carry a  physical one with you in your physical bag AND have one online if you'd like.  For me the pounding of the keys maintains the rhythm. TOOL YOUR B*A*G. Your thoughts flow. Then find true sister friends whom with you can share.  Thank you for being here and allowing me to share.

Friday August 7, 2010 11:00 PM - Had the best impromptu meet up with Kirsten tonight. Husband is home this whole week, which is the first time all summer. Hence, making this last minute meet up possible.

We talked for 3.5 hours. Time flies when you are physically with somebody who understands where you are at and each of you unselfishly wants to help the other along the journey. It seems I have very few "sisters" like that in my real life. Most of are online, which is awesome, but you know what I mean.

Driving home the word TORN is taking up huge space in my head. I see a piece of paper being divided into 5 strips, tearing, tearing me down. Laying down in a heap, me, my daughter, my son, my husband and my father, the paper turns into a thick liquid, as if it has melted. Slowly, calmly spreading like the most amazing glaze on the most delicious mound of dessert. Equal parts everywhere. Not torn. Flowing, flowing flowing.

First it starts with me tall and rigid. The heat of my love softens me. The tall tower slumps and spreads. Suddenly I see in all directions.

Is this wishful harmony, peace and joy. NO. I don't think so. The difference between the tear and the melt is all about my presence with the feelings. I am not pieces to be torn and given away. I melt over everyone, whole, connecting, loving and bringing whole peace, not pieces.

Physically I can't be with everyone that needs me in their life right now, but i can be spiritually. Inside the melted icing, forming waves where I physically surf from one physical body to the next. Always my spirit there. The invisible yummy thread.

On my way home from a wonderful physical meeting of mind, body and spirit I almost shifted into auto pilot. Schedules and needs of others bursting the bubble. I came back quickly and thought I'm going to the journaling lounge before I go to bed.

It's an interesting place here. Writings that don't fit my blog. I feel like exposing my naked soul. Writing flows much better for me through the physical act of typing. I can not get this with my physical journal I carry. I draw stick figures there. You can't really type them. I suppose. Only the smiley face. I do write in my physical journal and not usually in a straight lines. Words everywhere.

I spoke to Kirsten about intention tonight. I really feel I am laser beaming on specific intentions lately. It's a good thing. I have a huge vision. Now I am reconciling with the amount of time I can spend on my drive, passion and purpose, given our situation. TORN!!! NO!!! Flowing grace. intention. All battles are fought internally.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

No More Pussy Footing IT in Auto Pilot

Alarm, snooze, alarm, snooze, alarm.  OK, the feet hit the floor, now the search for an outfit that looks half way decent and is comfortable. Shower, dry, lotion, dress (wrangling the boulders into their holder. the most exercise I will probably get all day), brush the snags, hair-do, makeup. LIGHTS~CAMERA~ACTION.  "Gavin! Time to get up." (insert a banter of some morning grumpiness) We rush out the door.  Backing out of the driveway, fleeting joy catches my eye.  ERRRRRT. Brake. Stop. "Gavin, did you see that?"

I've been on this joy ride for a few months now.  Myself and two other dorky moms got this things rolling. Get the back story here.  Here's the deal. 

Everyone has a purpose. It doesn't start by finding it. It starts by giving it to yourself. It leads you and pulls you towards IT. A continuous cycle of mystery and discovery. The pursuit.

What is your IT?  I really couldn't say, but it's not doing to just fall in your lap.  Purpose is joy.  Joy is purpose.  You have to give it to yourself.  Plain and simple, not easy.  So, back to this joy ride thing.

The Ultimate Yellow Joy Machine

I've been seeing YELLOW finches flying everywhere lately.  There are a few of us who have given ourselves the purpose of finding joy in the color yellow. We see it. We take a picture. We post it on our public Flickr group here. We write a caption. AND in October we will gather all the images and create a video montage of YELLOW Joy.  You can read about Tracie's reconciliation with YELLOW here.  This ride is creating an amazing collaborative story!

"Gavin did you see that?"  I'm jolting out of auto pilot by YELLOW finches yet again.  But, today as the finches swoop low a gorgeous blue bird zooms by high.  We follow it down the street (blue bird), but loose the trail.  I keep thinking how I could get a picture of these little joy flights.

I drop Gavin off at day care and make it to work.  Annette comes into my office.  She's becoming such an amazing painter.  She shares each new child of emotional labor with me.  This is what she lays on my desk.

I'm in LOVE! "Annette, I must buy this painting."

She too has been admiring YELLOW finches for a few weeks.  It is their mating and nesting time.  It was pure joy the instant I laid eyes on the painting.  I shared the Yellow Joy Machine story with Anette.  Her emotional labor brought someone pure joy.  JOY. JOY. JOY. RADIATING YELLOW .

Pure JOY can't be found in your auto pilot mode.  It takes intention. Don't pussy foot around.  The Ultimate Yellow Joy Machine is just one ride.  Catch one of your own.  Pick something that will represent your joy and seek it out. It is your purpose.  Let's put the pedal to the metal and keep this riding going.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Handy Women and Wowmen

From time to time I will post a Scavenger Hunt Challenge on Modern B*a*g Ladies' Facebook Page

Go to your actual BAG and find something that is weighing down your B*a*g. It needs to be tagged (acknowledged). It needs to be recycled from baggage to bag (believe act go).

I revealed that the loose receipts in my bag represents how I put off tracking expenses.  I was off to find a tool that could possibly help me, but before I go all "handy woman" on you, let's really acknowledge the baggage.  I believe it is rooted in my scarcity mentality.  Why?  Well that's a much longer post for a later date.  Suffice to say, "I need to keep digging." 

Megan replied,  "You just gave me a task for today. WOOHOO! I'm off to tackle the mini-mountain on my desk."   I asked her to report back on how it went and she replied, "Ah! I'm finished!!! I feel like I can breathe... Thank you so much for the reminder to get that desk DONE."  I told her I would find a tool to help with mine.

Handy Woman

I realize I had already identified a great tool to track my expenses, but wasn't using it and we know why.  So, as soon as I can really come to terms with the root of the baggage I have the tool, which is an Excel Spreadsheet and Evernote.

Evernote (free product with premium for pay packages) is a web/mobile application that is a virtual filing cabinet.  You can store text, audio and image files.  You organize the content with your assigned tags.  I can simply take a picture of the receipt, come up with appropriate tagging with amount, date and expense category.  This allows me to have a back up filing system.  I love Evernote as a tool. It's no wonder Tim Ferriss, author of The Four Hour Work Week, is an adviser and investor as providing virtual tools allows you to have rich "lifestyle' as Tim would say.

I need to become more disciplined with logging my expenses on a very nice spreadsheet I built 2 years ago.  Advantages are two fold:  #1 - I am ready for tax season in a timely fashion, void of more procastination and scarcity anxiety and #2 - I am more accountable to what I am spending.   It's right there in front of my face with each entry.

Handy Wowmen

Megan's willingness to share and participate in the scavenger hunt challenge motivated me to go a step further with my filing of information.  I made category lists of the "clowns"  I follow in my @discoveryourbag twitter account (wrote about this on my last post). One group is Wowmen.  Although Modern B*a*g Ladies targets a woman audience, we are not islands and there are plenty of men out their offering information on great tools and some fuel as well.  Check out this list.  I'm sure you will agree.

Before We Strap on the Tool Belt....

The best handy women and wowmen know this.  Fixing a leaky pipe without identifying the root problem will guarantee ongoing repairs.  Identify the root problem, then seek out the right tool for the job.  You can't repair everything at once and tools used for prevention are golden.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My Volkswagen Beetle ~ Filled with Clowns?

"Slug Bug!" POW!  Just what a boy needs, a valid reason to punch mom in the arm. I don't fully understand why boys need that chest pounding hormone at such a young age, but that's not what I intended on writing about tonight, so I'll get on with it.  The Volkswagen Beetle car concept I started with distracted me a bit.  Maybe that speaks to my state of mind lately. (If you spend time surfing the internet for information and connections you'll want to read on.  If you don't..... well I recommend you leave this post and go hug your child (pet) or do that one thing you've been putting off.  But then again if you read on you could actually apply this to your real "in person" life.)

So anyway.....lately, I've been thinking about the passengers I allow in my Traveling Sanctuary. It is easy to connect with others via online social networking. Your path can intersect with so many amazing people, who share much needed information. Knowledge is power and you are bombarded with choices.  A survey of Forbes bagillionaires reveal that they spend at least 3 hours a day reading, most of it online. To like or not to like.  It's as easy as a click. Should I add this to my RSS feed?  It's as easy as three clicks.

Surely, more is better right?  Size matters. Yet, maybe it's not the size of the boat (actually Volkswagen Beetle for this post), but the motion in the ocean (internet surfing for this post). Ah heck, that's just what people say when they don't have a sizable following on Facebook and Twitter.  I recently watched a TED Talk about choices. I am sharing the video at the end of the post.  Don't get distracted with it now.  Watch if you would like to challenge your ideas about the freedom to choose and whether it's better to have more choices.

Your Traveling Sanctuary is the size of a Volkswagen Beetle

Let's face it, you're only one person, so from that perspective your capacity to spend online time with others, is the size of a VW Beetle.  The question is, "Are you trying to stuff it with too many clowns?"  And when I say clowns I am not implying these passengers aren't wonderful, amazing people. But damn a bus load of clowns in a your VW Beetle is pretty overwhelming, with all them huge red noses and massive feet (he he).

Ask Yourself ....

  • What do I hope to accomplish via my online presence and how does that influence how and who I connect with online?
  • Is your connecting and knowledge consuming proportionate with your "actions" that actually accomplish your online goals?

I Love all the Clowns but I can't fit a bus load into my VW Traveling Sanctuary

Based on your goals.......

  • Take inventory and prioritize.  Sheena is re-organizing her RSS Feeds. Check it out.  I frequent her posts.(Ironically enough the presenter's, on the video below, name is Sheena as well.) Chris Brogan has a few thoughts on this subject. I read his blog every day.
  • Balance your "fuel" into categories:  Mind, Body, Spirit, Joy, Fun and Fear Shredding. 
  • Is it business or pleasure? There's a time for work and a time for play.  The best is when your work is your play, but sometimes you just need to put that huge red nose to the grind stone.
One final note (OK maybe two or three)

Just because somebody is your friend on Facebook doesn't mean they are allowed to fill your online space with negativity and baggage.  Generally I believe you attract what you're putting out there. If somebody un-follows or un-friends me I figure I'm not delivering what they need.  I'm cool with that.  Most people I follow online that have huge followings have them because they are amazing and they deliver on point information to their targeted followers.  Get it? They concentrated on their online goals and the following followed. Imagine it looking more like a convey of VW Beetles that are not overloaded with clowns and their baggage.

Thanks for clowning around with me.  Convoys can be a pretty powerful force when you have a common interest and desire to make a difference in virtual and real worlds.

Photo credit SlideShow Bruce