Summer Possibility

Do you feel like you are working so hard and not getting where you want?
Does it feel like you are hitting the wall and not seeing the results you had hoped for?

Here we are at the halfway point of the year, and it’s a really good time to just check in and ask,
How is it going?

Sometimes, however, the answer we see can be pretty tricky to process.

You may feel disappointed.
You may be thinking,
I should be farther along than this by now.

The day to day grind can really take us out and while we started the year with so much enthusiasm, the summer can typically be a place where everything slows down.  And for many, I imagine that can be scary, especially when it comes to your livelihood and your dreams.

So, what actually helps in the summer heat?
What helps when we see where we are and just feel disappointed?

Well, as James Taylor famously sang,
You’ve got a friend…..

This past week I went to see my acupuncturist for the first time in almost two years, the luminous Sabbath McLean.

This is the woman who saw me through my divorce, back injury, car accidents, and really me creating a whole new life.

I’ll never forget the first time I went to see her.  I was overcome with grief as my divorce was happening, and I sat in front of her and she looked at me with the widest eyes of compassion.

I felt so SEEN, so safe.  She held the space as I wept, and I knew after the first session I would be back again…and again….and again.

What I could have never imagined was how a deeper connection was formed.  When I started dating for the first time in my life at the age of 38, Sabbath shared her success story of meeting her husband online.  Over the years, I would come in with my woes and trials of finding my man. Sometimes we laughed, and many times, I cried.

I remember coming in after a deep disappointment and feeling so panicked I was never going to find my man, and Sabbath looked me deep in the eyes and said,
You haven’t given up.
You are still here.

She was reminding me of my perseverance, and reminding me of my vision, of my WHY.

And over the four years I was seeing her, something else magical was happening for both of us.
We were both creating our own companies.  We shared our dreams of having our own businesses, ones we loved where we no longer had to answer to bosses, and could have creative control over what we offered.

No more middle men.

In 2015, I opened the doors to ZenRedNYC, and in 2017, she opened the doors to Silver Spring Wellness.

When I saw Sabbath this week, I was overcome with emotion.  Again, sitting in front of her large eyes, I said,
Sabbath, it happened….I’m married now.

She smiled and said,
And you appear so happy.

And as I choked on my tears, I shared,
It’s a miracle…he’s more than I could have ever hoped for.

Everything came flooding in at that moment.  All the times I came in, feeling so frustrated.  All the summers I looked at where I was and wasn’t where I wanted to be. The crazy ups and downs of the journey and all my fears it would never happen.

But, Sabbath reminded me, I stayed IN it.
I stayed committed to my vision.
I stayed connected to my dream.

And here we were.

Sabbath with a successful wellness center, full of the practitioners she wanted, and me, happily married to the most incredible man, and doing work I love.

Sabbath was and has been a witness to my hardest and most challenging journey.
She has also been witness to my greatest triumphs.

And in seeing her, I was reminded of my OWN strength and capability…through her wide and compassionate eyes.

I saw myself, and knew everything is going to be ok.
Everything IS ok.

When we are in the thick of things, we can easily lose sight of the journey.
And we can also lose sight of our support.

If you are feeling stuck, this is the perfect time of year to re-focus on your vision.

What was that creative dream you had back in January?

Now, take the time to ask yourself some really powerful questions,
* What is WORKING as you progress towards your vision?
* What are your stumbling blocks and what actions can you take to resolve them?

And most importantly,
* What support might you add to make your progress even more efficient, fun and easy?

Simply put, we don’t get there alone.
We are stronger together.

Who is championing you in your life right now?
Who is rooting for your Art and Creative Dreams?

We can only see as far as our limitations, so it is vital you have help on your journey.

Whether that is a coach or mentor…who is SEEING you for ALL you are?

Sometimes, it takes being seen by someone who believes in us to wake up to our greatest source and simple fact I know if my heart about you,
You are limitless.

Surround yourself with people who nurture and promote you.

Let the summer sun shine on your brilliance.

Take stock where you are, and where you are headed, and celebrate everything that has led you to here.

This is a new day full of possibilities.  Bring close those that see YOUR possibility too.

Interdependence Day

Happy Interdependence day!

Here in the U.S., we celebrated July 4th yesterday, which is normally marked by fireworks, barbecue, and outdoor concerts.

It’s also commonly referred to as Independence Day, marking our country’s Independence with red white and blue plastered everywhere.

Many words are passed along during this time such as
Patriotism
Pride
Freedom

And while there is great benefit to these, our country’s history and the path to this celebration has in fact been incredibly bloody, including claiming rights to lands that actually never belonged to us.

Independence.
What is really going on there and is it really serving us as a whole?

Something I value about you, as a part of this global community IS the fact you are all over the world.  The ZenRedNYC community is represented by about 20-25 different countries.

I grew up mostly in Europe as a child, as my father was a fighter pilot in the Air Force.  This introduction to diversity from day one really led me to living and falling in love with NYC.

Somehow in NYC we have learned how to live together.  All shapes, sizes, colors, and ethnicities ride the subway standing shoulder to shoulder.  There is a section of Queens that is actually has the most diversity in the world within a mile radius.

All together in a relatively small space.

When I lost everything in 2013, the most radical change I made was to ask for help.  I had actually wanted help for about four years, but the belief that held me back again and again was I would be rejected.  I thought it was far more important to “have it all together” than to admit I was actually really struggling.

In other words, I didn’t think anyone would understand.

Have you ever felt that?
Independence.
I have to do it on my own.
I can only do it on my own.
I am alone.

And yet, when I stepped forward and asked for help, it came in more ways than I could have ever imagined.  When I shared my shame and vulnerability, I found not only did it bring people closer to me, it opened up a magical space for them to share their vulnerability as well.

I actually had been wrong all this time.

I realized I have far more in common with those around me than differences.
Interdependence.
Connection
Shared humanity.
We are in this together.

And all those who came to help me at my darkest hour helped me to build a whole new life.  One where I woke up to how much more connected I am to the world around me.

Last week I was down at the beach to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary.

My family is small and very spread out, so it’s rare for us all to be together. In fact, it’s been 10 years since we all gathered in the same place.

For my parents’ anniversary, I really wanted to create something special. I wanted to create something that would honor our family, and all the beautiful things my parents’ union has created in my life and the life of my immediate family.

So, I asked for help.

I reached out to my Aunt Bonnie, who owns her own design company in San Diego.  We put our creative brains together and came up with a glorious idea.

A custom engraved wooden box that would house a set of 50 cards.  On each card would be a single thing I was grateful for.

My aunt designed beautiful cards.
I found an amazing artist on Etsy who created the personalized box.
I went to Michaels, Staples, and AC Moore for ribbons, accessories, flowers, and a glue gun.
My sister in law glued the moss and wooden dowels to keep the cards in place.

This gift was a collaboration.
It didn’t happen alone.

And when I stood in front of my parents to present the gift and express my gratitude, tears welled in their eyes.

The gift would never have been possible without the 43 years of memories I have FROM my parents.

Inter:
between; among; mutually; reciprocally.

On the giant table we all sat at was a golden sign reading,
Love is sweet.

What if this is what we all share?
What if this is what truly connects us all?

The moment of standing in front of my parents to present this gift wasn’t about me, it was about what we have all created together.

It can be so easy to isolate with our art.  Each of our processes are so unique, and we are creating work that is personal and deeply expressed.

But where we cut ourselves off is by thinking we have to do it alone.

For years I would cry in the shower, beating myself up and so afraid to be seen.  I was convinced I had to isolate and put on a “brave face”.  Makeup perfect, lines exact, I actually was practicing independence in the most destructive way……self hatred.

Waking up to interdependence radically changed my life. It changed my art, and it allowed me to create a team that nurtures and promotes my work.

I know many of you have incredible visions, and they include,
Becoming a best seller
Playing in large sold out venues
Having a raving fan base who buys all your original work

Your career doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

And most importantly, your art doesn’t either.

Your art is an expression OF your experience. 
OF your humanity.
OF the people, places, and influences that have shaped you into the incredible light you are today.

So, Happy Interdependence Day.Today, I am grateful for you in my life.
I am grateful for this connection you and I have.

Know you are not alone.
And know it what we create together that brings us most alive.

Love is sweet, indeed.