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Monday, October 29, 2012

*Just* Another Four-Letter Word

As a very articulate almost-four-year-old, Chephren seems to have a gift for gab (no doubt that he got that from his mother, and yes, it can be a gift to be a talker, ok?)  He has also assigned himself with the distinguished role of 'word police' in our house - meaning that if he catches anyone (and I mean anyone) in earshot using any of his 'forbidden' words, namely the words 'dumb' and 'stupid', he will call you on it until you acknowledge the error of your ways.  He is freaky good at it.  You can be in the next room having what you think is a semi-private conversation and accidentally slip one of those words into your conversation and he will come charging in - making sure that you are brought to justice.  Drop in a few f-bombs however, and he won't even flinch.  Funny stuff, and hey, I said he was articulate, not a rocket scientist.

Another four-year-old characteristic is wanting to know the 'why' of these 'rules'.  In other words, I had better be able to come up with a good reason for why these words aren't allowed.  Fair enough.  I told him that these words aren't really that productive.  They aren't very descriptive.  There are better words out there to help convey your thoughts and feelings than these.  He seemed to think this was a good reason and, satisfied with my answer, we now find ourselves strictly monitored by an almost-four-year old.  I am ok with it.  I know that it won't last forever.

Living with a card-carrying member of the word police has helped me to get even more present with my speech.  If you have read any of the material on FIERCE Integrity, you will know that this is a big deal for me, in fact, it is one of the 'Big 3' sections of the full course (coming out soon, I promise).

This business of 'non-productive words' has gotten me thinking about similar words.  What other words do we use that really aren't productive?  One word that jumps forward when I ask this question is the word 'just', and I am not referring to 'just' as in 'justice'.  I am referring to the word 'just' as in 'I was just calling to' or, 'It was just the one time', or 'It will be ready in just a few weeks'.  When used in this fashion, using the word just is to casually understate the thing that it is describing, and what if that 'thing' is you?

Back in high school, there was a boy who was interested in dating me, let's call him Romeo (basically to ensure that you know I made it up and yes, I am aware that this is a really lame and self-indulgent track that I am taking and no, I don't care).  During this time, this boy would often call my house and ask to speak with me.  If I wasn't home (and I frequently wasn't), he would leave messages either with my parents or on the machine.  The messages varied from day to day, but they inevitably contained the phrase 'It's just Romeo calling'.  Hmmm...  Is it me or can you hear him already dismissing the possibility of me ever phoning him back?

I did phone him back, but we never did end up dating.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  But you can never know for sure.

The point is, words are one of most powerful tools we have access to.  When we speak, we are essentially calling forth the reality that we would like to create.

How present are you with your speech?  Do you use any words thoughtlessly?  What words do you use that are perhaps 'less than' productive?  (Another word that jumps forward here is the word should).

Who gets to be the word police in your life?

MareBare xo

P.S.: Interested in reading another person's take on this 'four-letter word'?  Check out this article that talks about the harm of using the word 'just', especially in business settings.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A little bit of sunshine!

The sun is not shining here today.  But is SO doesn't matter.

Watch this and you'll see why...

I am quite possibly the luckiest woman alive, EVER.  Well, in my opinion anyway.

Shout out to 'Mr. Sunshine's dad'... Happy Birthday baby.

MareBare xoxo

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The call is answered...

Earlier today I told the Universe that I wanted to write more.  Actually, I think I said, I want to be a writer, but then I also acknowledged that this meant I needed to write more and I committed to doing so.

A short while later, an e-mail from the people over at Storylane was delivered to my inbox.  This is yet another social media forum - this one inviting you to tell your story, er, I guess more like write your story.

Serendipitous, no?

So, the Universe answered my call and I, in turn, answered back.  I love it when the Universe and I really 'get' each other like that.

Here is my first post on that site.

(The question was: What are the greatest challenges in running a small company or start-up?  The post is called: When you don't quite fit inside the box)

I was at the Dermatologist's office today (not to worry, just having a harmless spot burned off my nose with liquid nitrogen... that was a 'special' experience!), and I had to fill out a big long form for the nice lady at the front desk. There were the usual (and relevant) questions pertaining to my medical history, allergies, age, blah, blah, blah etc. Oh, and also on the form? Occupation.

Really? On a medical form? Sigh. Fine. I scribble down a quick 'self-employed' and soon after, find myself being escorted into the exam room by none other than the dermatologist himself(!) 

'Ah yes, Maren, nice to meet you, my name is Dr. W., am I saying your name correctly?'

I should add here that I am currently suffering from a wicked case of laryngitis and sound like a croaky, squeaky, toad-like creature. Seriously. My voice is barely audible. You should see the look on people's faces when I try to talk. It's like I have the plague or something. 

But ANYWAYS, where was I? Oh yes, back to Dr. W. and his next question:

'I see here that you are self-employed, what do you do exactly?'

Seriously? How on earth is that relevant to the spot on my nose?

Hmmm... I quickly consider my choices. I could:

A. Smile, nod, and pretend that I didn't understand the question. (Downside - kind of rude and lacking Integrity) (PS - I just wrote a book on Integrity. Honesty is kind of a non-negotiable for me these days...)
B. Slide him my card with a big smile. (Downside - this would require a grace, preparation and ease. The reality would be more like me scrambling around in my purse for my card, past the dirty kleenex, old grocery lists, toy cars, and crayons which are all likely to end up on the floor. Nope. Not a good option...)
C. Attempt to croak out my 'list' as gracefully as possible. 

Sigh. C it is.

'Well, um. I do a lot of things. I teach yoga, I write, I am a life coach, and I am an educational consultant.' 

Wow. He looks uncomfortable. I am not sure if it is my voice or the crazy 'list' that I just choked and croaked out of me. 

I smile sheepishly and make a motion that I hope he reads as: 'bring on the liquid nitrogen Doc and let's get this over with.' He does, and I note that he seems very glad to oblige and get me out of his office asap!

So, finally, the answer to the question that inspired this post. I am in the 'start up' phase of building my writing/coaching business. The thing is, I currently do all of the things that I squeaked out to the kind Doctor. For me, one of the most challenging parts of what I do is trying to explain it to people. Our society isn't really 'set-up' for people like me. Heck, the taxation system isn't really set up for people like me either. 

One of the things that had previously been holding me back from chasing my dreams was just that. The fact that 'society says' I must be some sort of career person that fits inside a box. Boy do I detest boxes. I am like the Houdini of societal boxes. Put me in there and start the stopwatch to see how fast until I bust out! 

What else am I struggling with? 

Oh you know the usual stuff: 
-Sorting out my accounting and finances
-Figuring out ways to market and advertise
-Trying to self-teach myself about the the publishing industry
-Trying to figure out the various social media tools and use them wisely and effectively

Working for yourself has a lot of advantages, but some distinct disadvantages too. For one thing, right now I am a 'one-woman show'. I am my own accountant, marketer, publicist, and agent! All would be grand except that I don't really know how to do any of these things well. But, I am figuring it out and taking it one day at a time. Being gentle with myself as I go along and really, authentically, enjoying the ride. 

I LOVE what I do. It is my passion. This fact makes all of these challenges seem small in comparison with the fact that I am living out my dreams. 

Go and get yours!

You can see the post here:

If you want incentive to write or feel like connecting that way, let me know, I will 'follow you'...

Thanks for listening :)


What do you want?

Have you ever wondered just exactly how many blogs are out here/there (wherever it is that we are meeting up in cyber space). 

Me too.  And I checked.  As of the end of 2011 there were 181 million blogs out there!!!  (If you want to read more on blogging stats, check out this article).  Wow.  That is a lot.

With that being the case, I am honored that you stopped by.  And even more honored if you read this blog regularly when there are clearly millions upon millions of other choices out there. 

So why blog?

Well, I can't speak for the other 179,999,999 bloggers out there (seriously, that is a LOT!) but for me blogging is a great outlet, a great escape.

I have always been into journalling.  I have dozens of journals lying around my house, some dating back to when I was a pre-teen.  Throughout my life I have been jotting down my ideas, my feelings and my life's happenings on a semi-regular basis.

I am also a 'sharer'.  If you know me personally, you would probably laugh at what an understatement this is.  So yeah, I like to talk.

What I particularly like about writing, blogging in particular, is that it is like talking but with a built-in filter.  I get to express myself as I normally would and then re-read and edit.  I am able to get really clear about what it is that I want to say and consider how it will be received by the listener, or in this case, the reader.

Since I started this blog back in 2010, it has changed me.  I find myself 'thinking in blog', which can be really annoying, especially when it wakes me up at night.  In fact, sometimes I will get up in the middle of the night, walk over to my computer, type a whole bunch of 'blogspeak' down and then go back to bed.  This post, yes, this one that you are reading, started out as one of my 'mid-night' ramblings.

Over the next little while, I am going to try to make sense of these mid-night inspirations and see if I can pick up where some of those ramblings left off.

A lot of posts stay hidden up there in the trappings of my mind because my inner critic tells me that they aren't 'good enough' to share, not worth of 'taking up space' on the internet.

Maybe that's true.  Maybe not.  What I do know is that I want to be a writer.  I want to be seen as a writer.  I wrote a book and I am going to publish it... (still trying to figure out the path for the book, but it is coming together).

As a writer I know that I need to write more.  Practice my craft.  No more excuses.

This feels like it is turning into a bit of declaration to the Universe.  Not what I had planned, but heck, I am going with it.  So expect to hear more from me.  Often.  A big thank you to my inner critic for your well-intentioned Service, but your services will no longer be needed in this department, at least for now.

Now it's your turn, what do you really want?  What are you doing to go out and get it?  What's stopping you?

Go out and get yours!
MareBare xo

PS: I might be onto something.  Here is an Abraham quote (Esther and Jerry Hicks) that I 'stumbled upon' yesterday:

'The entire Universe is set up to produce wanting within you!  You cannot squelch wanting.  You are born wanters.  Wanting is a good thing.  Write that down in big letters: WANTING IS A VERY GOOD THING!'

How very relevant... :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

When all else fails...

Feeling a bit lost today...
Cure = yoga.  A home practice to be exact.  AND, I have always wanted to do one these videos.

I am so not a techie.  But I figured it out.  And I will only get better.  And I love how I look like I was dipped in silver.  And I love my home practice.

For all of you 'twitterers': #bucketlist, #homepractice, #yoga, #bliss

Forgot the song credit: Everything at Once by Lenka.  Love it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The results are in (there's an opportunity in here somewhere...)

Recently I was over at Postpartum and Pigtails, a wonderful blog written by a mom and Postpartum survivor, and I was particularly inspired by this post about 'Things I'm Afraid to Tell You'.  Andrea's bravery and willingness to be unbelievably vulnerable has inspired me to 'come clean' about a few things that are currently present for me as well.

Two days ago, I admitted to the world that I had written a book and even entered it into a publishing contest.  I titled the post 'Coming out of the writing closet' because that is kind of how it felt.  It felt vulnerable to share this information because of the potential consequences (read: FEARS).  What if the book doesn't do very well in the contest?  What if it doesn't even make it into the finals?  What would become of the book?  What would become of the project?

Since I submitted the manuscript at the end of September, I have been wrestling with this fear of failure.  I told myself that if I didn't really tell anyone about the book, it wouldn't really matter if it didn't do well in the contest.  For the most part, this worked, I was able to push the book and the contest from my mind and go about my business.  Then, for whatever reason, I woke up on Monday and decided to post about the book and the contest both on my Facebook page and on this blog, praying that the Universe would have my back on this one and 'reward' my bravery and vulnerability.

The Universe has my back alright, starting with the fact that I didn't need to wait until Friday (as expected) to find out if FIERCE Integrity made it into the finals.  I will save you the suspense.  It didn't.

And yet I know that all is well.  Everything is working out for the best.  And that in this situation there lies an opportunity.

To be honest, I don't know what I will do with the book.  I need to spend some time with it and check-in with my intentions for it.

Right now, I think the opportunity here is to love myself more.  To show myself more compassion than I have ever been able to show myself before.  

So, while there is a voice inside of me that feels less than or lacking, that feels it is 'not enough', there is also a voice inside of me that KNOWS it's not true.

TRUTH: I tried my best.  I literally could not do any more than I did.  And it is enough.  I am enough.

And for the record: this is what living with FIERCE Integrity is all about.

Much love,

PS, I am pretty sure that Bungee Jumping was easier than all of this.  If you missed that video and you need a laugh, check it out.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Out of the writing closet and into the world...

I love the writing process... sometimes.  I recently wrote a nonfiction book, a book about living with FIERCE Integrity.  The book is in two parts, the first part tells about my own personal journey into living with FIERCE Integrity and how the whole concept came about.  The second part is the extended version of the course - living with FIERCE Integrity in thought, word and deed.  I submitted the manuscript to a publishing house contest on September 27th.  October 19th (FRIDAY) I find out if it makes it into round two.  

This morning, I am truly enjoying a luxurious ‘working’ morning.  Chephren is at preschool and I am sitting in the local coffee shop with a hot cup of tea in hand, clicking and clacking away on my laptop.  

If you are an avid MareBare blog follower (all three of you!), you may have noticed somewhat of a decreased presence on the blog over the past few months.  This is partly due to the book... after all, I set out to write 50,000 in less than 6 weeks (!), but it is also because my writing process has completely changed.  

If you were to sit down with me and ask me about writing the book, I would probably laugh and first respond with ‘actually, the book wrote me’.  What I mean is, I really feel that I was only a channel or a vessel for the content that came forward.  The best way that I know how to describe it is to say that I needed to ‘get out of the way’ in order for that book to be written.  I have heard other writers and artists describe the creative process in a similar way.  Your best work comes forward when you step into the ‘flow’.  

Which brings me to the true topic of this blog post.  Lately I have been trying to write on the blog and keep it current but every time I sit down, I have been experiencing writer’s block!  Remembering the experience of writing the book, this morning I have decided to simply sit down and write on whatever is present, whatever comes forward.  I am taking my own advice and simply getting out of the way.

The Universe has been kind enough to honor this intention and when I sat down to write this post, this quote popped up on my screen:

If someone prays for courage - do you think God gives them courage or the opportunity to be courageous?
If someone prays for patience - do you think God gives them patience or the opportunity to be patient?

I had written it down a week or so ago after watching the movie Evan Almighty with Chephren (it is a super cute family show if you haven’t seen it, in which Steve Carrell plays ‘Noah’ - as in Noah’s Ark and Morgan Freeman plays God). 

The quote above is said by Morgan Freeman and it struck a chord so I wrote it down.

What I love about ‘co-creating' with the Universe is the synchronicities that are so often associated.  For instance, the above quote is so very relevant today.  After submitting that book a few weeks ago, I was delighted to not have to think about it anymore.  This morning, for whatever reason, I woke up with FIERCE Integrity on the brain... counting sleeps until Friday morning.  Learning patience.  

And yet I know not to wish my life away.  I have four whole days of living to do before the fate of the book is learned.  The funny thing is, I know that it will be exactly what it needs to be.  I am totally at peace with any outcome.  And yet I am so very curious...

What are you learning today?

Shanti, Om