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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

BREAKING NEWS... or you know, an update

How's about just a general update to start of with? (The breaking news is coming, I promise)

I don't do this very often.  Maybe I should?  I don't know.

What I do know is that while I love to write, like LOVE to write, if I am not "in the flow" than I might as well not even bother.  Seriously, I could sit here all day, looking at the screen, clicking in and out of Facebook and random searches on the internet only to have absolutely nothing to show for it.

In contrast, some days the words just come pouring out of me.  When I am in the flow, writing is truly effortless.  For example, I wrote an article on the plane while en route to a family vacation in Arizona.  Now, it needs to be said that this is not exactly an atmosphere conducive to writing.  Chephren was sitting next to me, wiggling, fidgeting, squirming, snacking, drinking, bathroom-ing as most four year olds do when asked to sit still for 3 hours.  And yet, in between all of those distraction, out came the article.

When I got here I decided to submit it to Elephant Journal...something that I have long told myself I would do.

A week later?  Ta-Da!  Published.  (You can read it here).

What a beautiful and fun creative process.

Today?  Not happening.  Sorry.

So, instead, I am going to post some pics on here.  From our vacation.  How very mommy-blog of me.

Those are coming up soon, but for now, I should also tell you that I am going to be taking down this blog.  

You heard me, MareBare Necessities will soon be no more

Don't worry, don't worry.  I am going to still be blogging.  But I am going to be publishing from a new site:  www.marenhasse.com

In the coming weeks, I will be reflecting here on the MareBare Journey, sharing some highlights, and setting the stage for what is to come.

Let's hope that I am gifted with some flow to make it happen!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy these pics from the desert...















xoxo M.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Post 3 of 6: Coaching = the perfect pair of pants

I hope you don't mind, but I am going to take some liberties with the order of the list I am working on.

As such, today's topic is going to be on "being more disciplined with my practice".

Maybe this is clear as day to you, and maybe this is a bit muddy, but either way, I would like to explore what I mean by the word "practice".

When I think of the word practice, I think of an action (or actions) that you repeat, with the intention of honing or finessing the skill(s) involved, of improving or maintaining them in some way.

For me, the action(s) or skills that I am working at, that I am practicing, are those that have served as "tools" in my journey towards personal transformation. These tools being yoga, mindfulness, contemplation, meditation, Gratitude, writing, setting intentions, and ceremony.



In my New Year's post - I talked about how I needed to get bored this year.  A pattern that exists in my life is that I willingly try something new, throw myself fervently into that activity or project.  You saw this with the start of this whole thing; MareBare Necessities.  Actually, the fact that I even completed the one-year challenge is a bit of miracle, because typically, when my "new thing" starts to plateau and lose its lustre, boredom sets in and I am off looking for my next new thing.  My whole life I have been repeating this pattern, leaving a trail of unfinished projects behind me.

There are lots of examples; knitting, sewing, gardening, foraging, photography, scrapbooking, a whole host of outdoor sports, but perhaps the best example is my choice of career.

A few of my hobbies...
In the past I have jokingly said that I have tried different careers on like pants.  Endlessly searching for that "perfect fit".

About a year ago, I found it.  Coaching = the perfect pair of pants.

It is exactly what I have been looking for, and I can honestly say that it is my dream job, but now that the newness of it has started to wear off, I am really being tested.

Can I settle in?  Can I navigate the plateau?  Can I sit with the part of me that is addicted to all that is new and shiny?

I know that I can and that I will, but it will require discipline.  A strong commitment to myself, to this path.

From my heart to yours,

xoxo M.















Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Post 2 of 6: Dieting is for Dodo Birds.


Yesterday we talked about the word discipline and how we were going to attempt to turn around its bad reputation.

Today I want to talk about the first item on my list:

Be even more disciplined with my food. 

I would love to know how many people wrote down a similar resolution this past New Year's?  You know what I am talking about..."Lose 15, 20, 50 pounds this year"..."Stick to my Paleo diet"..."No more snacks after dinner"...etc.

And if that was you, don't worry, I can relate.  After high school (while recovering from the binging-purging behaviors that come with bulimia), I put on about 50 pounds.  For most of my 20's I weighed a good 20-40 pounds more than I do now.  And I was so unhappy with my body.  If I loathed myself while I was skinny and bulimic, just imagine how I felt about my body when it was "fat".  So for all of you who hold similar beliefs about your body, I can empathize.  (In case you missed it - you can read more on the body image topic here).

Every New Years during that time (and frankly, every other week), I would desperately try to problem-solve my way out of this dilemma.  I tried the SouthBeach diet, the Bloodtype diet, the GI diet, the Body for Life diet, I gave up wheat, I gave up meat, I gave up dairy, I tried weight watchers...nothing worked.  At least, not over the long term.

Now, I need to clarify something here.  There is nothing wrong with any of those eating plans/diets/lifestyles.  Most of them encourage you to eat better, get more exercise, and generally take better care of yourself, which are all good ideas.  

For me, the missing part of the equation, the thing that was guaranteeing my failure each time, was the voice in my head.

You see, each time I embarked on another diet, I did it with this as my mantra, "I am so fat.  If I could just lose x lbs, I would be so much happier".  Hmmmm....do you see the problem here?

Maybe you do (and if so, great), but if not, consider this: our thoughts create our reality.  Meaning, my thought, "I am so fat", was true because I believed it.  I was telling myself that "fact" all day.  And each time I put food in my mouth, I did it from this point of view.  Food was the enemy, food was making me fat.  Woah...talk about giving all of my power away!

Now, if you have done the FIERCE Integrity e-Course, you know how I turned this around.  Actually, it's in my upcoming book too, but I will give you a hint.

In order for my body to change, I had to change my thoughts about it.

The voice had to become more loving, more accepting, more kind.  My relationship with food had to change too.  I had to stop using food as an opportunity to punish, and instead use it as an opportunity to nourish.

Because of this inner work, my self-discipline resolution around food is radically different today than it was back then.

Today, it involves:

  1. Eating with more awareness, more reverence, more Gratitude.
  2. Being very present when I cook.
  3. Being very intentional in planning our meals -- I have been very successful with this one.  I told you about my vegetable mission a la Jessica Seinfeld.  Every Sunday, I spend 1-2 hours planning our meals -- I have been using a program called Plan to Eat and it is amazing!  I puree the veggies we need, make a week's worth of sweet potatoes/whole grain waffles for the freezer (simply pop them in the toaster to re-heat and my son LOVES them!), and basically figure out my life for the week.  Gone are the days when I get home at 530 (or 700!) and wonder what the heck I'm going to make for supper.  The result?  We have less food waste AND we spend less money.

Can you see how planning, cooking and eating would look very different if done in this way?

Can you use food as a means to love yourself more deeply instead of punish yourself more fervently?









Monday, February 11, 2013

Post 1 of 6: Self-Discipline - And It's NOT What You Think!

At the start of our new calendar year, 2013, I blogged about New Year's traditions/resolutions. I talked about how I love new beginnings, starting fresh, etc.

Yesterday marked another New Beginning, Chinese New Year, this year marking the Year of the Snake.



Last year, the year of the Dragon, was all about Transformation.  Think of it like a caterpillar going into its chrysalis.  If we embrace(d) the energy that was available, this is what is/was possible.  A COMPLETE CHANGE OF FORM!!!  Kind of cool to think about, don't you think?

This year, courtesy of that powerful serpent energy, is all about shedding.  It is about emerging from the chrysalis.  It is about letting go of what needs to be left behind: your old stories, your old habits, and emerging as your 'new self'.  I like to think of this as being more YOU than you had ever dared to be before.  It isn't about being someone who you think you should be, it is about being brave enough to show the world the REAL YOU.

Are you with me?

Ok, so being the very intentional being that I am (or am aspiring to be), I made a 'plan' for this emergence, this re-birth if you will.  How was I going to show up this year?  How could I get in touch with and then stand forward in an even deeper, truer version of myself?  

In that first post of 2013, I told you about how one of my intentions was to try to 'get bored'.  To do less.  To simple 'be' more often.

How am I doing on that?  Well, to be honest, it has been a struggle.  I am learning though, and this intention stays with me, on most days anyways.  Learning to simply allow myself to be is really challenging for me.  It is learning to embrace that 'contraction' part of the cycle of co-creation.

Something that I neglected to tell you about my New Year's list and traditions is that I also like to pick a word each year.  A word, much like an intention or a mantra, can be used to ground my experience.  To help shape me.  To help me receive.  To help me Serve.

My word this year was discipline.

Now, before you quickly jump to conclusions and perhaps even exit this post, let me clarify something.

The word discipline has a really bad rap.  Typically, when people think of this word, especially when used in conjunction with New Year's resolutions, they are thinking about it in terms of its harshness.  It is often associated with holding oneself to strict standards, and followed up with punishment if there is perceived failure.

This is not the kind of discipline that I am talking about.  I am using this word with the intention of loving myself more deeply, not punish myself.

When I wrote the word discipline down in my journal, around it are 5 principles or ideas:

1. Be even more disciplined with my food.

2. Be more disciplined with my belongings.

3. Be more disciplined with my practice.

4. Be more disciplined with the voice in my head.

5. Be more disciplined with my consumption.

I started off writing this post with the intention of expanding on all of them and going into more detail, but holy, that would make for a long post.  Instead, I thought it would be more fun to expand on each one of them - making a series of blog posts instead.

If you are interested, stick around, and check back often - 5 more posts will follow to round out the series.  Also, feel free to throw your ideas/two cents in.  Let's get this conversation started!

PS - a lot of these are FIERCE Integrity topics!

Much love,

Maren

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Contraction

I have an addiction.

I am addicted to feeling good.  To having lots of energy.  To laughter.  To play.  To the feeling of a light and open heart.

When I feel like this, I feel as if I could do anything.  I feel like I am home.  I feel like I AM all that I can be, or at least well on my way there.

When I don't feel this way, I feel like something is wrong.  I feel like I am broken in some way.  And I resist it.  I fight it.  I struggle against it.

I once heard Marianne Williamson compare the experience of "waking up" to giving birth.

This comparison allowed for powerful imagery within me, allowing me to readily identify with it.  In my journey, I have often found myself heading forward, accelerating towards the light and all of the possibilities that might live there.  This is the part of the journey that I live for, it is what feels good to me.  This forward movement, this expansion, it is what feeds my addiction.



And yet we know that this is not how birthing happens.  No baby just slides its way out into the world in one effortless burst forward--and if it does happen this way, it is a rare occurrence!

Instead, what follows every forward burst, every expansion, is a period of contraction, where the baby actually moves back into the womb, retreating into the dark.

This contraction phase is everything that the expansion phase is not.  It is subtle.  It is quiet.  It is slow.   It represents the "yinside" of life, of the human experience.

According to the Tao, every single thing must fall into balance.  Every.  Single.  Thing.

This means that with every "expansion" that I experience, there MUST be a period of contraction.  Of low energy.  Of tranquility.  Of solitude.



And I am in this phase of contraction, with no where else to be but in it.

I want to stop craving the light, but I haven't.  Not yet anyway.  Wondering if I ever will.

For now, I am learning to be even gentler with myself.  Even softer.  I am looking for ways to honour this phase.  A quiet walk outside in the dark after dinner.  Allowing myself a deep stretch with a yin yoga practice.  Allowing my husband to step in and help out.

Grateful that this too, shall pass.

xoxo M.








Wednesday, February 6, 2013

50 Things I Love About Me

Ok.

I am uncomfortable with my last post.  Not uncomfortable enough to remove it, because as I have talked about here and here, discomfort is likely a good thing.

But then my own "inner coach" stepped in and started to explore/self-analyze this situation.  Oh great.

And what did my inner coach suggest?  She suggested that I actually follow through with the "50 things that I love about me" list.  Oh brother.

When I started to think about this exercise, I thought, "No problem.  I love me, this'll be easy."  But driving home from preschool this morning, I started to think that it might be harder than I thought.  So, here it is.  Bear with me, I might be grasping at a few straws along the way.

Photo Credit: Jody Goodwin


50 Things I Love About Me:

  1. I already shared with you the "quick at getting ready thing", so it is first.  (Oh man, am I grasping already?)
  2. My taste in clothes.  I love wearing colourful, if not a bit zany, clothing.  
  3. My willingness to look inwards (most days, I am more than willing to do this, other than today, which is what brought me to making this list in the first place).
  4. My ankles/feet.  They look great in beautiful shoes.
  5. I am a great cook (most days).  
  6. I have a pretty good sense of humour.
  7. I love to talk (and mostly, I love that about me)
  8. My ability to be honest, with myself and others (although as you know by now, this is an ever-unfolding and deepening journey)
  9. My resolve.  When I really want to do something, I generally don't quit until I have sorted it out.
  10. My smile.  Crooked teeth and all.
  11. My eyes.  They are windows right into my soul, and they are usually shining with mischief and delight.
  12. My relationship with words: both written and spoken.  I like that I can access a variety of ways to express myself.
  13. My readiness to get excited about stuff.
  14. My sensitivity to energy.
  15. My ability to reflect.
  16. My ability to be be Grateful.
  17. My ability to Manifest.
  18. My commitment to myself and my family.
  19. My desire to be of Service.
  20. My yoga practice and everything that it entails.
  21. My ability to focus on something and get it done efficiently.
  22. My punctuality.
  23. My belief in myself and others.
  24. My ability to listen to my intuition and my willingness to act on it.
  25. My ability to see other people's gifts and unlimited potential.
  26. My ability to reframe ideas.
  27. My creativity.
  28. My willingness to forgive.
  29. My willingness to indulge in self-care.
  30. My willingness to honor where I am at in all of this.
  31. My cute little tummy.
  32. My ability to fall asleep easily and peacefully.
  33. My ability to ground myself and self-soothe.
  34. My (usually!) positive outlook on life.
  35. My willingness to be uncomfortable and stretch myself.
  36. My willingness to try new things.
  37. My inherent curiosity about people, places, things.
  38. My respect for sentient beings.
  39. My playful, inner child.
  40. My ability to learn new ideas/concepts quite easily.
  41. My ability to write multiple choice exams.
  42. My willingness to be silly.
  43. My sense of accountability.
  44. My willingness to be vulnerable.
  45. My physical health.
  46. My tattoo.
  47. My independence.
  48. My typing speed (Ok, starting to grasp!)
  49. My voice: ability to speak.
  50. ALL of the skills that allow me to do what I love (coaching, yoga, writing).
That wasn't so difficult after all.

Interestingly, while I love these things about me, I know that they aren't who I am.  My true essence, who I AM, is what remains when all of these characteristics fall away.

It is an interesting thing to be human.  To know that you are spiritual being having a human experience.  To walk in both worlds, both human and Divine.

My last post was very human, and in no way does it mean that I have forgotten who I AM.  I haven't.  I am simply honouring my humanness, my imperfection, my present truth.

What do you love about you?  About your human manifestation?  Can you come up with 50 things?  Think it's easy?  Great, then I CHALLENGE YOU!!!

 xoxo M.

What is true today.

Sometimes I am so sick of myself.

Ironic, because I woke up with a desire to write down "Things that I Love about Me"...only to find that Louise Hay posted a similar idea on Facebook this morning.  Now, I am a supreme lover of all things involving synchronicity, but the truth is, today I am not feeling it.

This morning, as I started to make my list, the one thing that came forward was "I love how quickly I can get ready in the morning".  Seriously.  I have mad skills.  I can shower, dress, blow dry and style my hair, moisturize and do my makeup in 15 minutes.  I think that is even faster than Trent.  So yeah, I like that about me.

I can celebrate this small win today, but as for the rest of that list?  It will have to wait until another day.

This journey that I am on, this path that I have chosen, has involved a ton of self-reflection.  I have referred to it as a "journey inwards" and "the path to self-awareness".  Don't get me wrong, it has been an amazing ride, and a wonderful experience, but today?  Today I am so over it.

Today I find that I am tired of analyzing, reflecting, and observing.  I am tired of aspiring, thinking, and growing.

Frankly, I just want to stick my head in the sand for a while.  I simply want to BE.



And maybe I am not supposed to say these things...in fact, I have consciously avoided ever putting anything negative on this blog.  I have been avoiding the truth.  The truth is, sometimes I don't feel like doing "my work".  Sometimes I want to pretend that there isn't any "work" to be done.

And maybe that's ok.  I have had days (haha, ok, weeks) like this before.  Where I wanted to simply step off the road momentarily and take a break.  For some reason, I always seem to get back on, and I am sure that this "break" is no exception.

Now, after re-reading what I just wrote, I have to laugh, because it is actually "work-related".  What I wrote here is truth-based.  And today, I guess that I am willing to go there; to speak a truth that isn't all gushy and rose-colored.

So yeah.  That is what is happening today.

M.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stretched!

Have you ever stretched yourself?

No, I am not talking about yoga (for once), or warming up your muscles before a workout... I am talking about the kind of stretching that is required for personal growth.

To be stretched means to do something outside of your comfort zone...something that you have maybe done before.  Really, if you think about it, the first time you do anything (as an adult), it is going to be uncomfortable, especially if it involves other people witnessing your first attempt.  This would be a great topic for a later blog post, but for now I am going to argue that this stretching, this discomfort, is important.  It is essential.  Because it is through this willingness to stretch ourselves, to test our limits, that we discover more of our true selves.  What we are actually capable of when we don't allow fear to stand in the way.

You see, in order to grow, change, transform, we need to stretch (or be stretched).

I only ask because this past weekend was a bit of a stretch for me.

A while back, in November I think, I was asked to speak at a fundraising event that was to be held in February at the local theatre - Horizon Stage.  Horizon Stage is a beautiful venue... I know this because I have been involved in many a production there as a drama student in both junior and senior high.

Poster for the event

To be honest, when I was asked, I didn't give it much thought.  Could I speak?  Sure.  Lord knows I love to talk (ummm...okay so maybe that is the understatement of the year).  And speaking is something that fits well with 'the plan'...you know, that list of (not-so-far-off) dreams.

I should tell you that I am so the person who agrees to stuff readily without considering it that much.  In other words, I love to say yes, leaving myself to figure out the details later.  I probably don't have to tell you that this has gotten me into trouble on more than one occasion...

So, I said yes.  And I didn't give it much thought until January rolled around.  Oh January.  My soul thanks you.  Thank you for the lessons that you invariably seem to bring forward.  Thank you for the opportunity to see yet an even deeper level of what I am 'working on'.  I know that you are a gift.

But the voice in my head?  It is so very, very Grateful that you have gone away for another 11 months. And this part of me celebrated your passing.  February 1 was a day of celebration in my life.  Nope.  That is an understatement.  I actually frolicked.  Seriously.

Erm.  Anyway.  As I was saying, I spent part of January trying to figure out 'the details' of my speech.  What was my intention?  What did I really want people to know/take away?  Was I sure that I could even do this?  Was I going to freak out?  Was I going to screw up?  What if I completely sucked?  And on and on and on...anxiety building as the date crept ever closer.

Saturday, February 2nd.  The big night was here.

And it was perfect.  Not that I was perfect (haha, hardly!) but the experience was perfect.  My dry mouth, my heart pounding in my chest, my shallow breathing.  Even my note to myself: Breathe.  Go slow.  Remember who you are (FLOW!)  Smile.  Have fun.  All of these feelings of discomfort, of uncertainty, paved the way to the actual experience.  Spotlight on, staring into a black hole, speaking to a silent room filled with 150 people.

And you know what?  It was fun.  And now I know that I can do this.  And I know that I like to do this.  And I want to do it again.

So the stretch?  Uncomfortable?  You bet.

But it was so very, very worth it.

Thank you for the opportunity Jillian Rutledge and the Mishah Ocean Foundation.

M. xoxo