Dog Walk Diaries #5: Find your Adventure

They lift their wet black noses to sniff for adventure. Is there a coyote out there, a rabbit? Where’s the deer that left droppings? What new path can I take?

They’re always finding something along the way  -  a skull of some unknown animal, a set of teeth, sometimes they find snacks. You know, the doggie snacks that make us all say “EEEwwwww.”

Their wild abandon reminds me that life IS an adventure. They remind me to say “YES” and to explore something new – find a new trail, stop and look at what’s around me, pause to see if there are any magical clues to the questions I’m asking right now. They remind me that life is about fun and play.

The book Sidewalk Oracles, by Robert Moss, speaks of the magic of life, the synchronicities and how the spirit world is working with us all of the time. We simply have to stay open and alert. This book came to me because of an amazing magical encounter of re-meeting a friend from 15 years ago at a painting workshop last Fall. She just mentioned this book and my soul said, "Read THAT!"

Robert Moss reminds us to soften our (ego) grip on life and to "read" the signs like the Shamans and the wise ones do. When I drop into the flow of the mystery and let go of my rigid ideas of “how I think things should be,” or “how I want things to be,” (ego) I notice I am SO much happier. I notice that everything seems easier and I’m no longer banging my head against a wall to “try to make something happen.” I begin to FLOW with life and what it has in store for me.

The biggest clue is to stay true to my own happiness. DO what makes me feel happy and joyful.

So, I rely on the dogs to remind me of this….in those moments when I forget!

When I get too serious, or get sucked back into my rigid ways of thinking “No, I HAVE to do this NOW,” Benji or Zara comes along with a ball in his or her mouth to tell me it’s time to play, to get out there and find a new perspective.

I hope you have a fun filled day. Let me know what you find out there on your adventures!


Dog Walk Diaries #2 Taking the Next Step

The only reason we fail at anything is because we don’t take the next step.

I’m often reminded of this very simple truth on my dog walks – when I’m tired and trudging through the snow and I want to bail on my walk. I get that I have no choice if I’m going to make it to the cozy fire awaiting me.

And so it is in life! Gotta take that next step – to write the book, paint the painting, teach the workshop, whatever it is I’m doing.

Of late, I’ve noticed an uninvited guest has shown up at my life party and her name is….

drum roll please….

FEAR!

She’s an uptight guest full of criticisms spewing out through pursed lips. She finger points and is a total naysayer reminding me of all of my shortcomings and why the painting doesn’t work, or why the book idea won’t fly, or better yet, reminding me that if some of these things don’t fly I might end up homeless, under a bridge with no health insurance and want to jump in the river like George Bailey.

She spoils the party and has me contract into a conundrum of doubts. She tells me to look at the evidence – “see, you haven’t made it big yet! Why do you think you will now? And do you REALLY think this idea’s going to be the one?” She’s the one who never shows up to do her work, rather, spending her time going from one person’s party to another criticizing their work, their efforts and their character to feel better about herself.

Well, you’re no longer invited Miss FEAR. Go back to where you came from! I AM doing my work. I will take all of the next steps despite your miserable, sniveling, finger pointing commentary and I will bring joy to the world with the Divine gifts I’ve been given.

So take a hike and go back to your own party and work on your own projects!

Here's one of my "next steps" - finished this piece!

Here's one of my "next steps" - finished this piece!


Dog Walk Diaries #1 - Getting Real

It’s always on my dog walks that I “write” the best blogs, poems and essays in my head. I get real and raw with myself and I own those tossed off parts. You know the ones – the tantrum throwing little girl inside, the fearful one who gets frozen and stuck, the rager who wants to throw plates at the kitchen wall, the poor-me victim girl who just can’t seem to get her shit together and blames everyone else for her misery.

Out with the dogs, walking among the trees, hearing the crunch of snow underfoot and looking up at the wide open sky, my tight heart relaxes and I breathe more easily. It’s on those walks I open my heart to myself and start to listen with no judgment.

So, why am I telling you this? Because I want to pull back the curtain of the carefully crafted Facebook presentation that I show to the world and get real. With myself. With you. I am walking this path of life towards inner liberation, at least that’s where I’m headed and the way there is to get real once and for all.

I’ve been investigating the inner landscape for years through a variety of practices – yoga, meditation, dance meditation, authentic movement, the creative process. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. But I’ve found that there still seems to be a thin veneer of hiding myself to the world so that I create a perception of who I am so you will like me.

Yes, that’s right.

I still want YOU – whoever you are – to like me. And why is that? Well, just recently at a young 53 years old, I realize that I love myself conditionally. The conditions are that I am all together, that I’m successful, that I am a “good” girl, that I’m a loyal and loving friend, daughter, wife, watever. Oh, and I love myself if YOU love me – if you tell me how great I am, how amazing I am, how this or that I am. Of course, that’s like a line of crack cuz it only lasts a minute and then I’m chasing the high again.

Well, let me just say.

Fuck that shit!

It’s tiring. It’s exhausting and I’ve been trying to play by all of the rules for 53, yes 53 years and I still have anxiety, I still melt down, I have NOT found inner peace and I am coming to the conclusion that it’s because I have NOT accepted myself AS I AM!
 

So, let me tell you a little about myself – I’m going to start with the dark side first to get it out of the way!

I’m a drama queen! I AM DRAMATIC! YES I AM!!!!!!!

I’m emotional – I cry at the drop of a hat because I FEEL so damn much. SO much that it’s painful. Which by the way gives me the ability to empathize with you and whatever your situation is.

I am an envious and jealous person. I, of course don’t want anyone to see this. It’s embarrassing, that’s why I’m writing it here. I often think other people have it better than me – they have life figured out, no anxiety, they don’t have any struggles – financially or emotionally. They’re not riddled with irrational fear. I’m convinced some of my friends are like this, or at least that’s what they show me.

I’m a rager – well, not so much any more, but I still feel the heat of anger rise up and I STILL WANT to throw phones and break them, but I don’t because I know that’s not acceptable. But the heat of anger can blaze through my body like a wildfire out of control. I wish it didn’t, but it still does.

Well, I guess that’s a good start on the dark side. There’s certainly more, but let me switch to the light side and tell you some things I DO love about myself .

I love that I’m immensely creative. I live and breathe creativity. I create beauty wherever I go because I believe beauty soothes the soul.

I’m incredibly compassionate. I can FEEL other peoples’ pain and it often breaks my heart.

I’m a loyal and loving friend. Sometimes so much I forget to take care of myself – BALANCE Diane, balance!

I love people.

I am joyful a lot of the time (when I’m not sucked down and under).

I’m a generous soul and I want the best for everybody.

OH, I can feel the pride rising as I write down my “good” qualities. Down girl. Down!!

 

So, Dog Walk Diaries are a thing. I’m going to share my inner world with you – whoever of you wants to read – so that I get more real and pull back the polished veneer of life that is so much of this FACEBOOK culture we live. It’s time. I want real, so I’m getting real with myself.

I’m going to be exploring relationships – with myself, with my husband, with friends and how it gets messy and dirty and shameful and how all of that polishes me off to shine more brightly.

I believe the WAY to inner liberation is to own all parts of myself and love those parts equally – to not feel proud about my accomplishments or of my “good” qualities, nor to feel ashamed or shameful about my “darker” qualities. Each of these is simply a human condition that I believe we all walk through if we are honest.

It’s exhausting to keep holding it together all of the time. Get real with me. I’d love to hear from you!