Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It Takes a Village

The Coffee House on Cherry Street, Tulsa Oklahoma (Feb '12)
Have you ever launched a personal aspiration out into the world? Or embarked upon something you’d planned for a lengthy period of time (a dream vacation, college selection, or committed relationship)? From personal experience, I’ve found it’s a lot like sending a child off to their first day of school or standing on the edge of a minuscule airplane platform preparing to fling yourself into the great unknown. You’ve prepared as best you can—read all the books, packed the lunch (or parachute or suitcase), gathered support from friends and family—and now it’s time to let go and see what happens. Such has been my experience over the last few months as I released my innermost reflections and introduced As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life into the world.

Officially published on January 25, 2012, “Pondering” has made its way into over 350 homes around the world—including Australia, England, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and Florida. It’s a highly respectable sales number for a first-time, self-published book, but... hey, I have more friends than that on Facebook and this is my baby I’ve sent off to school which means I want the greatest success possible. Now to be perfectly clear, my definition of success is not by numbers. It’s about reaching people who may be touched, inspired, or personally challenged and transformed by its message. My belief is that “Pondering” is a life-giving book. While I know it’s not for everyone, I also trust there are way more than 350 people out there who will resonate from this message.

"Like Mark Nepo and Rachel Naomi Remen, Kayce invites us to learn with her day by day as she creates a handmade life. Her stories enlighten while her prompts tickle the heart's ear to listen with more clarity and self-kindness. A beautiful way to spend a few minutes each day." Jennifer Louden, best-selling author and teacher 

Book signing, Walla Walla, WA (Apr '12)
The foremost question people ask me these days is “what’s next?” My answer? Who knows!?! But in this moment, I am sharing these few thoughts. Perhaps you’ve been considering buying your own book. Fabulous! Today is a great day to do it. Maybe there’s someone in your life who could use a little encouragement and hope each day. As I Lay Pondering makes a beautiful gift! Think about it. Are you ready to embark on your own dream and would welcome some encouragement? Yes? Go for it! I’m here to cheer you on.

The term “it takes a village” has always resonated with me and now more so than ever. One way I see it manifesting is in how we help each other nurture our dreams, thus growing stronger villages in the world. Today, I’m sharing my ongoing dream with you. I hope you’ll consider being a part of my village in whatever way resonates for you. Send me a note... buy a book... pass along this message... say a prayer... invite me to your town/blog/interview/favorite bookstore... the possibilities are really endless once we start dreaming together!

And, please don’t forget to let me know how I can help nurture your dreams! Collaboration? Shall we? Remember... it takes a village!

As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life by Kayce S. Hughlett Available here and at

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bold Living Today

Happy Friday the 13th!! It's been a gorgeous few days here in Seattle and I'm excited to wrap up the week with this tidbit of exciting news. Each Friday, a person who is making bold moves, living well, nurturing their creativity, following their passions, and making magic is featured on Bold Living Today. It is with great joy and gratitude that I announce today's featured guest... Can you guess? C'est moi!! (Need I translate?)

Bold Living Today creator and passionate living person, Kanesha Baynard has this to say:

Today's interview is with Kayce Stevens Hughlett. She is an author, speaker, life coach, soul nurturer - and someone I admire deeply. (Right back at ya, 'Nesh!) Kayce has the kind of energy and spunk that makes you want to fly and create something stunning - while skipping along eating your ice cream cone. Yes, she's that amazing. (Wow! It's awesome to receive this kind of love any day... Who says Friday the 13th is bad luck?)

Without further adieu, I invite you to pop on over and check out the interview. I had so much fun doing it and hope you'll enjoy reading it, too! Click here!!

Hmmmm.... It may be time for skipping and ice cream! Care to join me? ☺

Monday, April 09, 2012

I Believe in You. Do you?

“I don’t precisely know what you need to do to take care of yourself. But I know you can figure it out.” Melody Beattie

Have I told you lately how much I value and support self-care in the world? Or that I believe living life to the fullest is perhaps the one true mission we have in life? If you can begin to value and accept these two premises, then I promise your life will begin to transform in ways beyond your wildest imagination. Last week after I wrote about 10 Lessons Learned (& Affirmed), one of my friends and colleagues declared that post “an Essential Self Care Tool in itself.” There it was in a nutshell—my two passions... self-care and living life fully—all rolled up into their own manifesto for daily living.

1. Follow your heart.
2. Be open to whatever shows up.
3. Put on your sassy and Play, Play, Play!
4. Make essential space for connecting with friends and loved ones – the rest will follow.
5. We are all teachers and there are lessons to be learned in everything. Pay attention.
6. Self-care is the best way to restore, rejuvenate, and prepare to offer our gifts (and love) back out to the world.
7. Re-entry (each day or after time away) can be challenging.
8. “What’s next?” takes us out of the present moment and launches us into the future. All we have is now.
9. Have an assembled toolbox of nourishing notions nearby at all times and use it! (I imagine mine is like Mary Poppins carpetbag, filled with magical delights and the perfect thing manifesting at exactly the right moment.)
10. Sometimes it takes a full arsenal (or the whole bag) to feel relief, but with time relief will come.

Since one of my callings is to spread the message of soul nourishment throughout the world, the Universe has conspired to help me out. Yesterday, Melody Beattie’s thoughts on self-care appeared on my pathway. Here’s what she has to say:

Rest when you’re tired.
• Take a drink of cold water when you’re thirsty.
• Call a friend when you’re lonely.
• Ask God to help when you feel overwhelmed.

Many of us are afraid the work won’t get done if we rest when we’re tired. The work will get done; it will be done better than work that emerges from tiredness of soul and spirit. Nurtured, nourished people who love themselves and care for themselves, are the delight of the Universe. They are well-timed, efficient, and Divinely led."

I don’t know about you, but I love the feeling of being well-timed, efficient, and Divinely led. How wonderful to know that it can begin with a simple step of showing up and following your own heart! I’d love to know what self-care and soul nourishment look like for you, so please feel free to share in the comment section.

If you’re a little iffy on how to define personal self-care or you think it sounds good for everyone, but you... because you don’t have time... I invite you to check out my online course Live it to Give it: essential practices of soul nourishment and self-care. Class begins Monday, April 16. There are just a few spots left. Does one have your name on it?

And Remember... Figure out what soul nourishment practices work for you and the world will express its gratitude in abundance!!

Monday, April 02, 2012

10 Lessons Learned (& Affirmed) While Living Life

Hello, Love. I know I’ve been away for a while and I always miss you when I’m gone. Today, I’ve been reflecting on where I’ve been these past few weeks and what I learned (& affirmed) along the way. What bubbled up were 10 Lessons that I'd love to share with you.

Since we were last together here, I followed my heart’s calling and sailed high above the Arizona desert, experiencing the peaceful wordlessness of a sunrise hot air balloon ride. There I released floating dreams on behalf of myself and others (you, perhaps?) while sharing in the majestic silence with old and new friends. It was an experience potentially missed if a sprout of fearful discomfort had become overgrown. I’ve discovered the importance of learning to differentiate between fear and exhilaration. Fear holds us back. Exhilaration lifts us higher. When your heart sings YES, you can trust it’s moving in the right direction... even when it seems a little scary. Lesson #1 – Follow your heart.

Following the early morning balloon ride, 300+ of my cohorts gathered in Phoenix where I was able to explore the beauty and dissonance of life together as one big family. While we are all profoundly connected in unnamable ways, we don’t necessarily click with every person in the room (kind of like a real family). Expectations aren’t always met and sometimes they are exceeded when connection greets us in the most unexpected places and ways. Lesson # 2 – Be open to whatever shows up.

A highlight of the time in Phoenix was when my alter ego, “Sassy Girl,” sashayed onto the scene and whooped it up with fellow Sassy Cats during an evening of Cabaret. Our giggles and laughter resounded like a babbling brook after a refreshing spring downpour. Even “grown ups” have an amazing capacity and desire to pull out the over-the-top duds and play dress-up. Lesson # 3 – Put on your sassy and play, play, play!

Upon returning home, I hunkered down and added the final touches to my recent workshop, Exploring Archetypal Energies through the Expressive Arts. Simultaneously, I made space for some additional playtime with out-of-town guests and my sweet hubby as we became tourists in our own town. Lesson #4 – Make essential space for connecting with friends and loved ones, the rest will follow. (Refer to Lesson #1.)

Ready or not, off I went to St. Andrew’s House on the Hood Canal for a magical time of retreat and awakening. Surrounded by 10 amazing women and my fabulous co-facilitator, Christine, I was reminded of Lesson #5 - We are all teachers and there are lessons to be learned in everything. The bonus of being a group facilitator is that I am blessed with learning from the wisdom of other’s life explorations. During our retreat together, we danced, created art, read poetry, got quiet, and dug deep. The mountains peeked through the mist and the sun made a guest appearance as we walked the labyrinth. The moon did her dance alongside 10 royal queens who proudly stepped into their personal sovereignty.

My re-entry time has included snuggle time with golden kitty, Aslan, a delicious massage, fine wine and the darkest of delectable chocolates. I am, after all, a widely-proclaimed, self-care practitioner. Lesson/Affirmation #6 – Self-care is the best way to restore, rejuvenate and prepare to offer our gifts back out to the world!

And lest one might think that life is always easy and full of light, Lesson #7 arrives: Re-entry can be challenging! Somehow, I often manage to get blind-sided by that one! With all of these glorious adventures and soul nourishment, I was a bit annoyed to find myself overwhelmed and uptight as I looked at my week ahead... not to mention the Big Question: “What’s next for me?”

Lesson #8 – 'What’s next?' takes us out of the present and into the future. The question What's next? has a powerful ability to pop me into high alert mode if I’m not careful. If it’s too far in the future, What’s next? sends me spinning like a top (and I don’t mean the fun, colorful kind.) So, when the spin feels out-of-control, it’s time to pause and get off. (Easier said than done, I know.) Fortunately, Lesson #9 is available. Have a previously assembled tool box nearby at all times and use it! and remember this...

Lesson #10 – Sometimes it takes a full arsenal to pry yourself out of the spinning top, but with time, the spinning will stop!

This time my tools included...
1) Getting quiet... although today the noise increased.
2) Get something done (anything)... alas, confronting my to-do list raised the anxiety.
3) Distract myself... choose your distractions carefully – email and Facebook kept me spinning this go 'round.
4) Bring presence to someone else... helping someone else feel good feels really great! (However, please keep in mind Lesson #6 re: self-care.)
5) Name my stuff... “I’m overwhelmed and out of control” (even saying it begins to slow the spin.)
6) Take a walk (Move!)... feeling the ground beneath my feet is... well... grounding.
7) Witness the beauty everywhere... notice the sun on my face, blooming daffodils, a curious chickadee, warm java, a neighbor’s smile. Ahhhh.
8) Come back to the basics... Breathe.
9) Write and reflect... (This is my favorite ritual... What’s yours?)
10) Share your ritual with someone... Today I'm sharing with you, Love. Yes, You!

So that’s where I’ve been and a few things I’ve learned in the last weeks. How about you? I’d love to know where you go when the world spins out of control. What are your favorite life lessons? Do share, pretty please. A person can never have too many tools!