Acknowledgments

Everyone knows it takes a village to raise a child, and also, that when you say "Please," you also say, "Thank you!" when someone has done what you requested.  So this post is an acknowledgment of the people in my Austin village who have made my launch/child possible, with grace and help and over-delivering on the things they agreed to do.  

The first "Thank you" goes to my amazing web designer, Ellery Ross Reid, a young woman with an immeasurable talent who has surpassed my vision of what I wanted, who instantly "got it" when I was trying to communicate with words and lots of hand gestures what I saw in my head, and she made it happen on screen, in print and in all the other digital ways I can use on the interwebs that I know nothing about and am working to understand.  I am so glad it was you!  I must also thank Brio Photography, who made my portraits look amazing.  I am going to use you again, and again, and again.  I would not have had a gorgeous place to shoot my portraits had it not been for wonderful, patient, and beautiful Ellen Kelsey of KW Portfolio Real Estate (512.422.0481) (seriously, girl, your responsiveness and hustle is impressive and I am so grateful to you for advocating on my behalf!) working with the generous and illustriously talented Craig Hoverman and Eric Leishman at DIG:A to grant me permission to use the gorgeous newly built home at 1703 Newton Street (in the Bouldin neigborhood) for my photoshoot.  I dreamed lots of dreams for my future home while in that space, and I am extremely grateful for your permission to shoot there.  If you ever decide to throw open the doors again so people can wander around inside with their mouths agape at the beauty of it all, let me know.  I'll be the first in line!

My sister, Elaine, for being the cutest stylist/photoshoot assistant ever and making sure my outfits looked good.  And my hubs, who always makes sure I have an adult beverage on the days when I get home drained from all the awesomeness in my days, and for allowing me use of the bath for hours at a time to regroup!  You are my absolute favorite.

Live aligned, 

Ellen

 

 

Advice. It's a tricky little thing...

Advice.  It is a tricky little thing.  We find ourselves full of it when listening to someone else discuss a situation in which she finds herself.  We give it so freely: “You should tell him…” “Oh, I would NEVER do that.“  “If I were you, I would…” “You need to…” And on and on.  And what are we doing, really?  What are we trying to accomplish by TELLING the other person decisive action that you imagine you would most certainly take or that she should definitely take in a situation that is not your own?  How can we be so arrogant as to think we could possibly know what is best for the other person?  That’s crazy!  The huge ingredient that is missing from your well-intentioned advice is the FEELING that comes with the decision.  It is hardly possible for you to feel what the other is feeling, and, moreover, those kinds of questions are often missing from the “giving advice” conversations.  (Also, advice given without taking into account the feelings she has will lack any chance of furthering connection between you.)

Think how differently a conversation might go with a friend, colleague, or family member if, when they told you about a situation, you asked her how it FEELS.  And then, once she tells you, you asked her what her body is asking her to do about it? As in, what is the answer that she feels to be true and right at that moment? And that’s it.  Giving someone a chance to tap into her body’s own knowing about the situation is the best advice you could ever give. Because she already knows.  You do not, because you cannot possibly feel what she feels from her unique perspective from her life experiences that have led her to this point, or what she wants to feel as a result of the situation, or what her soul thinks is the best way for her to navigate these particular waters, but her body does.  Ask her to listen to it. 

We always know the truth of something, deep down.  We already come equipped with all of the answers to all of our problems.   They live inside of us.  Nobody else has access to it.  Only you.  Isn’t that neat?  So the real issue when a friend comes to you in a pickle is not that she has this “xyz” problem.  It’s that she has lost her way to her own special guidance system and is maybe asking you to tell her what to do instead.  And the best, most loving thing as her friend/colleague/family member that you can do is to gently guide her back to her own knowing.  THAT is advice I would take any day.

Now, over to you.  When have you been given advice that felt TOTALLY disconnected with yourself and what you wanted?  Have you ever been guilty of telling someone what she should do?  Leave a comment below!

  

Musings about Misunderstandings

I am feeling a lot today.  My friend is going through a breakup, and, I have to tell you, it has been the most loving, sweet breakup I have ever witnessed from two people.  Holding each other, crying together about the sadness of it ending, about the death of dreams that they had together.  I mean, I have shed tears over it, because it has been so heartbreakingly beautiful...until today.  Boyfriend witnessed a comment from Girlfriend's Personal Trainer come through on the iPad that mentioned something about how sorry Personal Trainer was that this was happening, and making a joke about it, said, "It must be nice that "homeboy" is waiting in the wings for you through all of this."  "Homeboy" is a guy at the gym who knows Girlfriend and recently confessed to Girlfriend that he has a crush on her.  At the time, Girlfriend said, "Thank you.  That's flattering, but I can't do anything about it because I have an amazing boyfriend."  Personal Trainer knows that Homeboy likes Girlfriend.  So, in an effort to cheer Girlfriend up, Personal Trainer makes joke that Boyfriend sees and now Boyfriend is hurt and angry because he imagines Girlfriend has been flirting with Homeboy, even though Girlfriend has not encouraged Homeboy's crush, and the loving ending of a beautiful relationship has screeched to a halt.  Now there is bitterness, spite, venom, and anger introduced to the mix.  All because of a misunderstanding.  

You see, I HATE misunderstandings.  Almost all of the biggest relational calamities I have ever experienced have happened because of misunderstandings.  To be misunderstood is one of the biggest sources of anxiety for me, and so if someone I love is being misunderstood and is hurting because of it, I am feeling anxiety for her.  I hurt for her because I know how terrible it is.  It is taking everything I have not to go over there and wield my Perspective Sword to help sort out the misunderstanding between these two so that this ending can continue in a loving way.  But I won't.  All I can do is pray for them and love them and ask the Angels to descend and help calm the ire and hurt over something that isn't real.  A situation between Girlfriend and Homeboy isn't real, and yet, Boyfriend is immensely hurt because he imagines there is something there.  

I so value truth.  To my core.  Because without truth, everything else is supposition and imagination.  And imagination, the majority of the time, is harmful, fueled by hurt and ego and past experiences that don't necessarily have anything to do with the now.  Imagination leads us to call perfect strangers in a grocery line some of the worst names on the planet because "she was giving me the stank eye."  That is absolute insanity.  The stank eye?  From a perfect stranger?  In the grocery store line?  What if she had something in her contact?  What if she was squinting to see something behind you?  What if she was frowning in concentration trying to remember if she edited that report at work before she turned it in?  What if it had nothing to do with you?  Would you feel silly if you heard the truth about that situation and it had nothing, NOTHING to do with what you thought?  

And here, imagination is going to lead to a tarnished ending to a relationship that was so loving.  And I hurt because of that.  I hurt with sadness and disappointment for them.  And I mourn the fact that the Truth didn't have a chance to win because Misunderstanding took over.  I ask you to please, in your own lives, ask yourselves, "How can I see this differently? Could there be truth to what they profess is really happening?"  If the answer to that question is yes, go with it.  Believe them.  And get back to loving them as soon as possible.