Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer Reading Fun!

long summer days + hot book + cool coaches + blog hop =

On the Same Page

I am super excited to announce a blogging book club — that will be hosted by five amazing professional coaches including yours truly. We are calling this "On the Same Page" and this summer, we will tackle flow written by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

"It is by being fully involved with every detail of our lives, whether good or bad, that we find happiness, not by trying to look for it directly." M. Csikszentmihalyi.

Each Monday, from July 9 – September 17, one coach will tackle a chapter from Flow. Key points from the chapter will be highlighted. Discussion questions will be posted, and “YOUwork” (aka homework) will be provided.

We hope you will join us and read along. It is absolutely FREE!! You do not have to register for anything. Just purchase or checkout the book (from your local library), show up here (starting July 9), and lend your voice to the discussion.

It will be insightful, thought-provoking, and transformative fun.

In the meantime, tell me what books are on your current summer reading list? What summer adventures are you planning? What’s your favorite snack to take to the pool?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Turtle Stepping to the Finish Line

How we do one thing is how we do everything. Take a moment to pause, ponder, and consider this. Are you typically a procrastinator or do you jump straight into the fire? Are you organized to perfection or a chronic case of disarray? Do you primarily listen to your head or does your body have the option of weighing in on decision-making? Do you operate from the learned behavior of others or can you recognize the epiphanies of your own heart? What works for you? How do you operate in the world?

Finish Line Approach
Throughout my life I have been each and all of the above, but as I become more aware of my ways of being I see how the initial statement, How we do one thing is how we do everything, rings true on a relatively consistent basis. Two perfect examples are the writing of my book, As I Lay Pondering, and the half marathon I completed this past weekend. In each case, the spark in my heart said, “Go for it!” and set in motion a journey toward the finish line. In either case, was I prepared? Yes and no. Did I believe I could achieve the goal? Yes and no. Did I keep putting one foot in front of the other no matter how challenging, scary, or disheartening things became? Unequivocally Yes!

Turtle Steps @ Green Lake
Here is where I am reminded of the timeless story of the tortoise and the hare. My essential way of being holds both characters. I typically leap quickly into the race (once the spark ignites) and then pause to notice what I’ve set in motion. If the goal continues to ring true, I turtle step my way through until the finish. On Saturday, I believed I would finish the race even though my training routine was a bit underdone (just like my book writing experience). All along the route, I checked in with my body and noticed when I was able to push forward and how I needed to occasionally hold back. I ran on the downhills when things felt easy and smooth, and I muttered under my breath on the uphills as I systematically put one foot in front of the other. (To author the book, I kept showing up to the page... even when inspiration or completion seemed a long way off).

When I got scared or tired and felt my heart beat with anxiety, I kept the end result in mind. I felt the exhilaration of crossing the finish line (or holding a completed manuscript in my hand). I believed completion was possible. I chose to follow my vision and turned my back on the naysayers (including my internal critic) who said I couldn’t do “it” without proper training. I wasn’t fully prepared in either instance, but I was prepared enough to begin. In the last two miles of the race, I came upon a t-shirt that read “Courage to Start. Faith to Finish.” It was just what I needed to see me through those last paces.

On Saturday, I set out to have fun, hang out with my daughter and sister, and move my body 13.1 miles without serious injury. I wanted to break my record of last year, but mainly I focused on my intention: Have Fun and Finish. I succeeded in both (and I broke my record by 15 minutes.) It happened one step at a time, because I've learned that...

how I do one thing is how I do everything!

Tortoise? Hare? Combo? Other? What’s the “everything” style that works best for you?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Knowing When to Ask for Help

My pondering has taken on a new level of exag- geration these past weeks as I tap into the thoughts, feelings, and emotions surrounding the promotional aspects of being a self-published author. As I’ve perused books, websites, and media expert information, I’ve felt like a seasick sailor in the midst of a typhoon. Green at the gills and seeking solid land, I’ve deciphered enough to know that it’s definitely not a positive sign when thinking about marketing your beloved product results in a tightened chest, violently churning insides, and a strong impulse to throw up.

Walla Walla Book Event
While I can candidly declare that I am competent in a number of arenas, there is never-the-less a voice in my head (and stomach) that says, “Leave the marketing to someone else.” There is naught like the mechanics of unsolicited self-promotion to turn my insides out and make me flee for shelter or cower under the covers. Please don’t get me wrong... I absolutely adore sharing stories, connecting with people, speaking on a welcoming stage, or engaging in an intimate one-on-one conversation. But the thought of walking into one more independent bookstore and having a clerk stroll away with a sneer on her face and As I Lay Pondering held between two fingers as if it were a dirty diaper turns my skin cold. Seriously... diving into Puget Sound midwinter without a wetsuit feels more inviting to me.

Now, anyone who has known me for even a brief period of time understands I have little aversion to taking risks. In fact, it joyously tops my ongoing to do list...

Take A Risk Every Day

...but I have also come to learn there is a laudable difference between taking risks that propel me forward and  those that push my heart begrudgingly into areas that leave my essential self feeling disturbingly icky. Even though I am a rockin’ coach, it is rarely wise to practice my skills on my loved ones. I am typically too invested in the outcome to be objective. Likewise, I’ve determined that exclusively promoting my own book is akin to being the sole counselor for my family. I am entirely too close to the subject. Misunderstandings are inevitable, feelings will get hurt, and unflattering barfing may ensue.

Further down on my list-to-live-by is another premise that I have a tendency to overlook.

Know When to Ask for Help!

I was raised to be an independent woman and asking for help can be a challenge. It is both blessing and curse to know myself as competent in my own right. Navigating this new marketing territory is clearly possible, but leaves me with a daunting feeling and the declaration, I don’t wanna! That’s clearly how I feel about taking the next promotional step(s) alone... I don’t wanna!! Therefore...

It’s time for me to take a risk, put my independent ego aside, and ask for help! Today I’m turning this plea over to the Universe. Call it prayer, intention setting, dream making, wish casting, whatever you like, but I’m releasing it out into the Great Unknown. And since I’m choosing not to go it alone, let me ask you this...

·      What projects make you turn ‘green at the gills’?
·      Are you compelled to disregard the potential warning signs and push on through?
·      If yes, consider why.
·      What does risk taking entail for you?
·      Do you know when (or how) to ask for help?
·      Feel free to practice alongside me by putting your needs and desires out into the world.
    Together we can see what happens!
·      Ready. Set. Go!!!

Wanted: Ideal advocate for As I Lay Pondering: daily invitations to live a transformed life. Must be articulate, energetic, and marketing knowledgeable (or excited and willing to learn). A promoter of passions with excellent tools and the skills to implement them.

Excited to work together and find perfect ways to extend our mutual energy and efforts. Reasonably priced and ready to make things happen. Passionate about my book, work, and what I have to offer the world. We connect seamlessly and complement each other well. Loves marketing and promotional work, is a self-starter, and not overbearing. Compassionate, generous, an excellent listener, and a well-connected connector.

When she/he arrives the weight drops from my shoulders and the gnawing in my stomach releases. Life moves forward with ease and satisfaction. It feels effortless... yes, effortless.

Companioning and marketing with ease... that’s what I want!! Okay, Universe. Ready. Set. Go!!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This and That...

While I really prefer to save this space for "pondering," it occasionally seems appropriate to share a little "what's going on..."

Seattle Peeps won't want to miss this Friday's (June 15) fun and casual event at Breathe Hot Yoga (South Lake Union). I will be reading from "As I Lay Pondering" and conversing about my insights into presence, play, and passion.

4:30 P.M. (Optional) Class SPECIAL DROP-IN RATE $10 (if you've been curious about hot yoga come try it out!)


6:30 P.M. Festivities Begin with Tasty Treats from Eat Local
7:00 P.M. Author reading + Q&A
7:30 P.M. Book signing, mingling, and more!

BTW - "Pondering" is now portable. Get your copy on Kindle today!! Just $9.99.

Featured Online Class... Now is the time to kick back and connect with the Elements and your creativity... Summer Sale for this online "anytime" class ends Sunday. (Featuring SoulCollage© guided by yours truly.)
Water, Wind, Earth, & Fire 

Just for Fun... Take a minute (literally) and view WayPo Goes Wild (video outtakes) created while filming the "official" Wayfinder Post welcome. Thanks for stopping by!!!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Remembering What You Already Know

When was the last time you paused and took the time to be curious and observe children at play? Each person in the world is a teacher and there is something to be learned from everyone no matter what age or stage of life. I believe children are our greatest teachers – especially those around the age of four or five. Robert Fulghum highlighted this notion when he wrote his poem (and subsequent book) about kindergarten.

“Most of what I really need
to know about how to live
and what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.”

Everything you need to know about being a fabulous, perfect YOU is already present in that early stage of life. As a little girl growing up in Oklahoma, I loved to skip around the block, ride the miniature roller coaster at my backyard kindergarten, hang out with puppies and kittens, eat ice cream, take naps, dress in sparkles and have permission to get dirty. I could ride my bike for hours without exhaustion because I loved it so much. Chalk was my favorite writing utensil and Tarzan and The Three Stooges brought me adventure and laughs. Road trips to the California beach and floating for hours on a raft in the middle of a peaceful lake still resonate. In fact, most of these things (or at least their essence) are where I find love and joy today. They are the things I know about living my life and being me—both then and now.

Several decades later, I still know it feels delicious to take a nap on a warm or rainy afternoon and there is sweetness in being gently awakened by someone I love. Sharing is delightful whether with a friend or stranger. Seeing a person’s face brighten is worth offering a lick of my ice cream cone, a seat on the bus, or a kind word. I also know it’s physically impossible to be angry while skipping. Doing something that elevates my heart rate with excitement and a touch of trepidation is worth the risk. Coming out on the other side and saying “I did it!” is one of the best sensations ever. Undertaking something risky each day brings living into life... and you get to decide what “risky” looks like for you.

We innately know what’s best for us (although it’s sometimes forgotten through years of poor habits and trying to follow everyone else’s advice). Our bodies know what is satisfying and nourishing... whether it’s cookies and milk after a lingering nap or gluten-free pizza and fresh garden veggies that comfort the soul.

An adult’s knowledge and a child’s wisdom are the perfect prescription for living life beautifully. Today, imagine what it might be like to nurture and trust the wisdom you instinctively knew as a healthy child. If you’re uncertain as to how or where to begin... Start slowly, be gentle with yourself, and explore...

·      Watch children at play.
·      Notice what you love and who makes you smile. Acknowledge generously.
·      Laugh every day.
·      Skip when angry. (If you find yourself in a situation where skipping isn’t immediately possible, then imagine doing it. The results are nearly as effective!)
·      Eat well. Dine when hungry. Stop when full. Ask what would best nourish you in the moment.
·      Move your body.
·      Claim peaceful moments.
·      Remember what you already know!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Watery Vision

I hold a song in my hand and touch new birth.
Watery though my vision may be, it is true.
Flowing. Flowing. Flowing...
Light rising through me.

Watery though my vision may be, it is true.
Grounded in love,
Light rising through me,
I create. Lead. Inspire.

Grounded in love,
Flowing. Flowing. Flowing...
I create. Lead. Inspire...
As I hold a song in my hand and touch new birth.

© Kayce Stevens Hughlett, March 2012

Collage and words inspired while leading Exploring Archetypal Energies through the Expressive Arts on the Hood Canal, March 2012.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The Other Side of May... a reflection on grief

“When the river of the soul takes your weight into itself, you can release that which has died into the next world so that you may live more fully in this one.” Karla McLaren – The Language of Emotions

If a single month could be a lightening rod for grief-filled events then May would be my designated “rod.” Before you jump into sympathy mode or start asking yourself what might have happened to me in the past few weeks, let me assure you that things are well and there were no significant “strikes” this year. Conversely, it was a period of time where I was able to dip deeply into the river of my soul and emerge on the other side living lighter and more fully.

The winter months were filled with countless live-giving events and boatloads of adventure. By the time mid-April arrived, my body was in deep need of rest and restoration. It seemed somewhat ironic (or not) that May was just around the corner and my calendar allowed the spaciousness to sink into relaxation alongside remnants of previously glossed-over grief.

Teeny Me @ Bandon Beach
Unresolved grief and heartache form like mist over a morning pond. Vaporous, we can put our hands through it and almost pretend nothing is there, but the moisture and residue permeate into our deepest core nonetheless. We want to push the hurtful feelings away with words like, “I should be over this by now,” “I’ve already gone through this process once, twice, a hundred times,” or “I’ve moved past this and don’t/can’t/won’t move backwards again.” This is the place we often get stuck, because we believe if we acknowledge the pain it will grow rather than dissipate. There is a difference between fondling the story—turning a tale over and over in our minds and relishing the attention it brings us—and necessarily feeling the depth of grief or experience. If we haven’t allowed ourselves the space to sink fully into grief, then it will continue to return repeatedly like the morning mist.

My personal experience was that for multiple years May brought events of heartbreak and tragedy stacked and piled upon each other. I responded by attempting to move forward, not slowing down, and pushing through the pain rather than relinquishing and melting into it. I rarely found the space (or acknowledged the need) to sink into the slow movement for which my body longed. Like crop-generating fields, we can continue “producing” for numerous years until all the nutrients (life/spirit) are leached from our soil and there is nothing left to give. Just as the fields need to lie fallow to regenerate, so do we. This May became the month for me to rest, relax, restore and unplug... to lie fallow.

Turtle Steps
In hindsight, I realized that most of the month was spent living on the water... Maui, the Oregon Coast, Lakebay. There I stood watching and playing with the tides as I felt my past and present connect to the deep river of my soul. Grounding, resting, watching, letting go... my spirit was washed like baptism as I named, felt, and honored the waves of longstanding grief.

Today, I find myself on the other side of May. The past is still the past—where loved ones have moved on and my heart bears the scars of breakage, but I arise cleansed, refreshed, and more clear after having dipped deeply into the river of soul rather than continuing to paddle madly on the surface of a stagnant pond.

Ponder this...

·      What is lingering in your life that must be mourned? What do you carry that needs to be released completely?
·      Notice if statements like 'I should be over this,' 'I’ve already gone through this once,' or 'I don’t want to go backwards' arise in your mind indicating a resistance to fully accepting or honoring loss and profound transitions.
·      Consider how and where you can make space to sink into the river of the soul.