Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Yippee, Us!! Sealion and I have been married for three years!
Technically, we consider our anniversary to be whatever Friday happens at Burning Man (since the week corresponds with Labor Day, it changes year-by-year), but since Anjali and I aren't headed to Black Rock City this year (we're aiming for next year :-), we're celebrating today. What have we done so far today? We had a really delicious snuggly sleep-in session this morning, followed by a bikeride down to Tacubaya for brunch in the sunshine, then play and explore time down at the marina park (which was exceptionally warm and non-windy).

Our relationship is feeling good to us. It feels solid. It feels balanced. I feel as if I am supported and encouraged to grow and flourish. And I feel free to do the same for him. We have a shared vision of desired life-goals. And we are both beside-ourselves in love with our daughter. I feel pretty darn lucky. I love you, Baby!

Ahhh! I love my family!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wake Up Call

That's right, brothers and sisters! It's time for a rant the likes of which you've not read in years here at Tiffanie's Church o' Life! We were lost, and now are found. Blind, but now we see.
You gon' need sunglasses.
photo of Woo on our Baja vision board

From my astrologer, Rob Brezsny, whom I hadn't consulted in many many months:

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 19, 2010

The poet Jean Perrin dreamed "of marrying the dawn with the light of the moon," and I invite you to do the same. The darkness you've been immersed in will leave you soon. As it does, please don't forsake the pale, moon-like radiance that has provided you with a bit of guidance and consolation. Rather, bring along what it has taught you as you head into the far brighter phase you're entering. In other words, retain some of the wisdom the dim light has compelled you to learn.

Change wooshes Fresh into my brain and sets loose dusty cobwebs of habitual thought. Possibilities are myriad! Potentialities are reachable, and worth considering. I feel a flutter in my chest with anticipation of the unexpected and a brightening in my eyes. Perfectly timed with our move and our strong desire to de-clutter and simplify, I have come across several very inspiring pieces of writing - Your Money or Your Life, a book that has helped hundreds of thousands cut their expenses by focusing on their life values, and two blogs which are dedicated to minimalist living - "the less you have, the more epic your life": Rowdy Kittens, and Far Beyond the Stars.

It feels as if, very recently, a veil has been lifted in my thinking, and my mind and heart said, "Oh, yeah!" in their remembering: I've been thinking too small. I've been Being too small. My view has been too myopic: not in seeing the universe in the fractal-like details, but just .. letting the details be a universe in themselves. I've been experiencing a lot of anxiety lately. Learning to deal with it by breathing into it, but maybe I should have let it be an indicator to me that change is in order. Maybe I'm letting it be that indicator right now. I imagine myself to be a little mouse with my nose down trying to find the cheese at the end of the maze, when, if I would stand up I could see that the maze is located in the middle of a lush food forest (or cheese shop in Switzerland!).

From Far Beyond the Stars, 99% of the people in the world are content to exist within the confines of their own settled mediocrity. The boredom of sitting under florescent lights all day begins to set in over time. Their current situation burns into their psyche, and they stagnate.

The thought of rejecting the status-quo scares the crap out of them.

It starts with the idea that you have to be realistic. Everyone knows a horde of people who either are being realistic or will tell you to be realistic. Well, these people are wrong. They’re blinded by their own passivity.

They’ve given up. They’re walking zombies. You don’t want to be one of these people.

And more importantly, don’t listen to these people.

They call them worker drones for a reason. These people are not being compared to busy bees, they’re being compared to The Borg.

Does this sound familiar? When you look at yourself in the mirror are you beginning to see the last remnants of life seeping out of your soul?

I have dreams about Lucent Dossier (the performance company I danced with when I first came to CA) often. They stick with me. One that really hurt my heart was: that I was walking along a country road with them, and talking with them as they made their way to another magical gig, when I realized they didn't recognize me; I was a stranger to them. I looked down and was dressed 100% preppy with clothes from the mall. I felt ashamed. I know this sounds very shallow. But I have come to think of these dreams as oracles. What this one told me was that I was not being my true (magical) self. I was clothed in the coverings of someone with an inner life other than my own truth.

The most recent dream I had was that Lucent had marketed a fragrance. It was the Essence of Sensuality (not the narrow definition, but sensuality as drinking in life fully - with all of the senses). It was sold in individually enchanting, antique bottles with cute stoppers (I love tiny, unique bottles!). I rushed to the store to be the first to see them, and tried to make my way to the display secretly. I opened a bottle. The scent went on like metallic copper powder (like eye shadow), and smelled of fine sandalwood. The dream diverged from there.

My oracular interpretation of this is that I'm wanting to re-member how to drink deeply of Life, in the way that is so essential to the M.O. of Lucent Dossier. And, what's so awesome is that, as my parenting guru Scott Noelle always says, that awakening of Presence is always available; you simply need to open yourself to allowing it.

“The Master in the art of living

makes little distinction

work and play,

labor and leisure,

mind and body,

education and recreation,

love and religion.

You hardly know which is which.

You simply pursue your vision of

excellence in whatever you do,

leaving others to decide whether

you are working or playing.

To you, it is always both.”

from Rowdy Kittens, poem By Marcia

My existence has gotten cluttered with stuff that has obscured my truth. I have been attempting to fit into the clothes of someone with less awareness. Like that right-on song by Erykah Badu: "bag lady, you gon' miss your bus! You can't hurry up cuz you got too much stuff!"

I didn't finish a "good enough" marriage, cull all my stuff and leave my hometown and family of friends, move thousands of miles, dance with a mystical circus, and be cleansed by fire in the Black Rock Desert, to become bogged down and fall asleep. I came to get down and get funky!

I finally watched Avatar. Since I don't watch tv, I didn't know anything about it except its popularity - which usually frees me from having to see something. As soon as I saw the fantastical creature on the cover (I love costuming!), I had to watch it. And of course it's not a story of a distant planet, but of our own blue and green ball. It re-minded me of our true essence, our birthright: to run and jump from treetop to treetop unafraid, to telepathically communicate with other animals because we are truly connected, to worship Nature because she really is our Mother, and to be 100% free in our own bodies, our own skin, because we are as regal and able and noble as any jungle animal.

I have been asleep and it's time to Wake Up!

Miss Kitty

From Far Beyond the Stars

It’s never too late to start having unreasonable expectations for yourself….

1. Set at least one unrealistic goal to achieve in the next year. I’ve become a firm believer that everyone should set unrealistic goals for themselves. Take a moment and think, draw, write down your unrealistic goals. For reference: last year my unrealistic goal was to work from anywhere, quit my job, and move to another city. Done. Done. Done.

2. Map out your ideal life. So you’ve set your unrealistic goals, now you need to visualize them. Tim Ferriss calls this practice Dreamlining. It’s the idea of mapping out your unrealistic ideal life. On that piece of paper, start adding more details to the unrealistic world you’re creating. Do you want to be sipping margaritas on the beach? Swigging wine with Colin Wright in New Zealand? Training to run marathon? Ask the girl of your dreams out on a date? Write it all down: but please, do NOT be realistic.

4. Remove the floor. Many people exist with a constant safety net to catch them if they fall. What if you remove that net? Take it away, and then start to have unreasonable expectations for yourself. The Bahamas or the gutter, which will it be? You’ll have no choice to fly to the top, because there are no other options.

5. Be unrealistic about what you don’t need. Just like thinking about what you unrealistically want, but the opposite. What can you survive without? Basically, everything. You can live in a room, eat Brussels sprouts and be happy. ..

10. Ignore everybody. People will nay-say you into oblivion, and they are not to be trusted. Do not listen to negative opinions or influences. You are able to accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.

Via Dream (artistic director of Lucent Dossier) ~ Those who achieve great things, defeat long odds, and become legends didn't have anything you don't have. They just kept showing up, expecting a miracle, long after everyone else got practical. ~ Notes from the Universe

waking life


Your imagination is the single most important asset you possess. It's your power to create mental pictures of things that don't exist yet and that you want to bring into being. It's the magic wand you use to shape your future. 

And so in your own way, you are a prophet. You generate countless predictions every day. Your imagination is the source, tirelessly churning out images of what you will be doing later. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Changes (forecast: sunny)

Though I love using a Mac computer, I have never been proud of owning an Iphone (though I secretly love it as well); I just felt like a techno-gadget "joiner" ("if the other kids are doin' it, I'm not" is how I've always functioned, regardless of whether it's the best way. ; ). (And I hate that smartphones have "apps" as opposed to "applications". But anyway.)
I happened upon the Hipstamatic App for Iphone, and it's just the artistic medium I need to help process the .. sentimental place I find myself in life at the moment.

Things are changing for our family. We have a dream, a goal, and a plan ~ not necessarily all synced up. We are moving to Sacramento in the next couple of months. We have a goal of spending dramatically more time in Baja, and of dramatically simplifying and downsizing our situation here in California. We dream of spending most of our time in Baja on a piece of land dedicated to permaculture with a small community of others. (I dream-dream of living in Baja most of the time by February.)

We had gotten really comfy in Berkeley. I feel like I "fit in" in Berkeley like I have in no other place in my life ever. Our life could progress contentedly and consistently and easily here for a long time. But there's not much of a challenge here (maybe getting to a yoga class regularly), or adventure (darn! I missed the 4:50 train! gotta wait for the next one). When I imagine a trajectory of life in Berkeley, I don't feel Destiny calling me to a higher purpose.

When I imagine attempting a life in Baja Sur, Mexico, especially with permaculture, my mind's eye pulls back so that I see far and wide. (There is a particular photo of myself in the mountains near Portland, Oregon, where I was seeing a most incredible beautiful view, and the breeze was blowing back my hair. It reminds me of that.) It feels important and visionary. It requires me to step into my best and highest self. I feel called.

Sacramento is the stepping stone, what ties it all together (The Big Lebowski's special rug). It helps us live closer to our priorities ~ of living simpler, smaller, cheaper, more self-sufficient and creative, and closer (just a block away, actually!) to chosen family Arlene and Brian.

And, though this has been an unusually chilly summer for the whole state, Sacramento is a hell of a lot warmer than Berkeley! I realized I had made a deal with myself during the rainy season that if I remained Zen with the gray and wet, then I could soak in deeply the summer heat and sun; it never showed up this year. ! Cinching it up, I've noticed a fundamental difference between myself and the "dedicated" Bay Area residents I've talked with and overheard, who smugly say, "Oh, but I like the cool weather.." Well ~ you can have it. ; )

It feels scary and poignant and adventurous and unknown. Exactly what my life hasn't been at all for the last three years ~ and (I also realized) that was precisely what I needed to bring Anjali into the world: stability, comfort, ease. And really good food. Now we're ready to fly.

As I look through these photos I realize I have everything I need right here. No matter where we end up, what the adventure requires of us, or how it all turns out. I'm good to go.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

In the Kitchen

I have noticed throughout my adult life that when words fail to surface to describe my inner life, other forms of creativity have taken center stage. This is the way it was for me towards the end of my college career ~ with a focus in Creative Writing; I couldn't bare to eek out another externally-demanded piece of written "creativity" but I found myself drawing and painting again for the first time in years (I can't think of a more effective way to rid a young enthusiastic soul of her creativity than by making it a major in an institution where your output equals your worth. This, and more, is why the ideas of Unschooling resonate so strongly with me.).
Right now I am not finding words to put here, but I have had a lot of inspiration in the kitchen. Yay for summer cooking, even if the weather isn't feeling like summer weather.

I have added a link at the top right so that you can pop in and see what I've been up to in the kitchen. Happy summer eating! : )

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Getting a Lift

Activities in my life right now that almost always feel good and/or noticeably lift my spirits:

-Going outside, even just for a minute.
-Riding my bike, even just for a short errand. I feel free. And especially now that I have a front rack for bags so that I can carry things while also carrying Anjali (like produce from the farmers' market), I am set and feel so free.
-Going to farmers' markets. I love them.
-Being creative in the kitchen. I am reminded over and over. Unless I'm trying to rush, and even then sometimes, I end up having fun.
-My voice lessons.
-Swimming. I love being in water. Playing in waves at the beach, and going underwater in a pool (*not* doing laps) remind me of being a kid. Ahhh!
-Jogging. Even though it often feels like a "should".
-Gardening - even just pulling a few weeds or picking and feeding some clover to the chickens through the garden gate.
-Dancing - even just boogying a little hip bump to the music.
-Taking a shower. I don't shower daily. When I get around to it, it always feels good.
-Rubbing my face with coconut oil (that's what I use as lotion).
-Giving a dollar to a sidewalk musician.
-Petting a kitty cat on the sidewalk.
-Having an orgasm.
-Being outside in the sunshine.

What a feel-good list! It is insightful to see so many parts of my everyday life that truly give me pleasure.

And interesting to ponder that some feel like "shoulds" even while being on a feel-good list.