PicTweetArt September 2015

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Another month of the daily PicTweetArt’s! The point of this exercise, although I wasn’t really sure when I began, was to create a daily ritual of drawing each day. I didn’t occurred to me that my skill would improve, because why would I think such a thing? My skill has improved and my non-stop curiousity about drawing people is pushing me to study the human body. I draw ’em when I’m walking down the street, I draw in my sleep. If you catch me staring at you, I’m probably looking at the line of your neck errrr something.

This daily exercise has also highlighted my weaknesses and where I want to improve; mostly hands and feet. I am practicing drawing the body in one continual stroke, which has been nerve-wracking, but also quite thrilling when I nail the curve of a back or something similar. But almost always, I choke when I get to the hands. Feet are getting better, but hands trip me up!

I am in a weekly live drawing class, which has been great practice for (d’uhhh) drawing the human body, and it’s rather up close and personal. I feel high as a kite when I walk out after two hours of drawing. I am trying to persuade Henry Vermillion to once again teach a drawing class, because I totally admire his work and think his hands are amazing–the ones he’s drawn.

And so it goes….. thank you for following along.

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Remember that time my dog was kidnapped in Mexico?

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Friday evening, 7:30pm, I slipped into a bit of a staring jag after I paid for the piece of cake at Café Rama. A middle-aged Mexican couple caught my attention, eating their dinner at a small, window-side table. They were leaning in towards each other as she chatted a mile a minute, both eating their dinner, which is what caught my eye.  The kicker was that the woman was engaged in an enlightening conversation on her phone, tucked under her chin, as she ate her dinner looking straight through her husband. “How odd,” I mumbled as I gazed at them both.  “Aqui tienes,” the joven behind the counter handed me a piece of carrot cake and out the door I went.

Swooooooosh, I stepped into slow motion as my head spun around. I looked to my right, I looked to my left, Henry was not near the door, where I had left him moments ago. Just as I’ve done a million times over the years. Henry isn’t a roamer, he doesn’t trot away, he never leaves my side, well, not since I had him neutered in 1987 –errr 2004. He’s a very well-behahaved dog and he’s also 13 years old, so he’s in no hurry, ever.  I stood there in a stupor; my fever was still high and I really was in no shape to be out in public; I had been battling the worst flu of my life all week, and in fact this trip out was to finally buy some drugs at the farmacia because I could take the pain no longer. My thinking was fuzzy. “Where did I leave him?” I spun around in a circle. I went back inside and asked if they saw my dog. “Yes, we allow dogs, he’s probably here.” I took a spin around the place, Henry was not inside, which I knew because Henry doesn’t go anywhere without asking me. I was speechless.

This is not a busy street, in fact it was about two blocks away from home. I went up one block and two mariachi fellas were practicing on a bench. “Have you seen a little white dog run by here, wearing a leash?” “No, no ma’am.” I went to the other side of the block where a family had pulled their truck over to sell their hand-carved wood headboards, “did you see a little white dog walk by here, wearing a leash?” No, no dog.

Henry had vanished.

I was in shock when I arrived back home a few minutes later and asked Reed if Henry had arrived before me, “What? No, Henry’s not here.” Holy crap. Henry was dognapped!

Dognapping is big, easy money in Mexico; our little pampered pooches are a big bullseye for easy money to desperate thieves. They know all they have to do is swipe a dog, keep it for a few days for panic to surge, call for ransom, then arrange a hand off.

The first thing I did on this rainy Friday night was make a sign to post in Facebook. Then I posted the sign in Adopciones Perrunas San Miguel de Allende and Rescue San Miguel: Saving Lives One Dog at a Time. It was a Friday night, so there was not much else I could do. Except worry. And toss around all night.

Were they being mean to him? Was he out in the rain? Will they feed him? Was a angry dog going to beat him up? Or rape him? All my fears became louder and louder as the weekend inched by. This is a nasty little crime, yet don’t expect any help from the police; there are actual people being kidnapped all over this country for Pete’s Sake. Ahhh, but the social networks are alive and kicking, and many of my friends and acquaintances shared the message of the missing Henry in no time. How grateful I am for lightning-fast stretches of the social networks. I met some new friends along the way too!

And now, the waiting game. A little time needs to pass; the panic needs to surge. This is Mexican time and do NOT try to rush it.

Saturday morning I put signs up all over town and placed an ad at the radio station. The entire town listens to the local radio station, so when you lose anything or need to make an announcement, the radio station is where you go. I spent the rest of the weekend pacing and trying to recover from the flu; it didn’t work out so well because I was a runny, sneezy, teary mess. Sunday arrived with no new news, except my panic was ramping up.

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Oye Hark! The call came in around 3pm Sunday afternoon; the woman had Henry, wanted to know how much was the ransom, and to let us know we had to pay for her taxi to return the dog. (grrrrrrrr)

All Told:

$35              Print a copy of the original sign
$20              Make copies for distribution in Centro
$480           XESQ Radio San Miguel ad ($120 per announcement; I ran 4 ads)
$1,500        Ransom, puta madres!
$60             Taxi for Coyote (this was when I wanted to slap her, the nerve)

$2,051       Mexican Pesos
$120          US Dollars

Although it only cost roughly $120 to get Henry home, it was a very stressful and long weekend of worrying about his safety and whereabouts. Mexico has a way of reminding you who is in charge and it is never you, no matter what measures, nor precautions you take. The very legs of this wild-west country are built on corruption, yet for the most part, I admire Mexico and am calling it my home, with Reed, for now. Henry’s dognapping was a reminder not get too comfortable, because Mexico will always pull the rug our from under you. Donnie Trump may want to watch his back because the country also has ways of exacting revenge that I wouldn’t even wish on that baffoon.

People move here because of a lack of rules (sure, there are other reasons), but there’s a price for that lack of structure, as in things that disappear in the middle of the afternoon. And then I find myself questioning whether or not I’m a fit dog parent, onto shaming myself for ignoring him all those times I went out carousing and left him on his own. Brutal. Henry didn’t reminisce about any of this nonsense; he, naturally, was THRILLED to see me when he arrived home

It’s no scene from Law & Order, but the moment Henry was returned by the Coyote:

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It was a huge lesson in the importance of being aware at all times, something I take great pride in, as I am a big proponent of strengthening my six senses. This particular day was especially off for me because all of my senses were compromised due to the flu; my throat was super-swollen, nose plugged, eyes watering, ears jammed, skin crawling; my 6th sense was practically DOA, and yet Mexico chose to kick me when I was down, as it does. Still, awareness.

While in the restaurant, I focused on the odd couple and how they were so intently ignoring each other, yet had I expanded my focus just outside the window behind them, perhaps I could have seen when Henry’s Captor made the dastardly move. Or not.

Aside from appearing a bit beat and dirty, Henry was the same Happy Little Neurotic Guy, although he did let me hold him a bit longer than usual. I’m getting back on my feet after this bout of flu (or whatever it is, Mexico) and will continue to ask of myself the following, “eyes-see, ears-hear, nose-smell, skin-feel, aura-interact.”

Gotta stay sharp! xx

home

 

Temazcal we meat again

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Survived the Temazcal!

This past weekend, there was a “Festival of the Spirit” event happening in the park across the street from our casa; how handy was this? Incredibly handy!

It made for a really lovely weekend in the neighborhood; the sounds of pan flutes, conch shells, drums and kirtan came softly wafting through the house, as opposed to super-loud Mexican music. I enjoy the weekend mariachi sounds, but why-oh-why can’t a country the size of Mexico have one set of speakers that work correctly? Maybe they all go to ELEVEN and then some, but the sounds of this weekend were quite pleasant and I of course spent a bit of time in the park chatting with the healers, dancers and merchants. This was a delicious weekend!

I signed up for the temazcal and it turns out it was being hosted by Gustavo, the same man who ran the temazcal I participated in at el Charco del Ingenio (the botanical gardens) last year. Gustavo was looking much leaner and his muscles were more strongly defined; I mentioned he looked thinner and he excitedly told me his girl friend had helped him change his diet. Ahhh I am gluten free now too, save for a few cheats I’ve had since arriving in SMA.

Reading my post from last year’s temazcal reminded me of how fearful I was about recovering my health; my fears have quieted a bit, but there’s always more to do. Being diagnosed with a low thyroid condition BEFORE I needed to go on medication was a Godsend and pushed me to make the changes I had been entertaining; getting off wheat and sugar. Faced with the idea of daily medication, I jumped in with both feet. I started asking around and was absolutely floored at the number of women I met with auto-immune conditions and/or diseases, and the challenge to discover a new way of eating.

I don’t like being the weirdo at the party, the one who has to take five minutes to discover what’s in the food and then how to change it to my specifications, is there anything more annoying then THAT person? The world of living gluten-free is alive and kicking and the ideas are swirling all around me; thankfully it’s a lively community!

I successfully survived my 30-days of no wheat, no sugar, no grains, no caffeine on The Myers Way program, and came out on the other side a lighter and brighter person; I no longer cry at the drop of a hat either, which is a good thing for all those considered. I like this lifestyle; it works well for working with my energy and the energy around me because I no longer feel fuzzy from sugar, nor wheat. I’ve lost about 10 pounds and can run, skip and jump so much better. However, the challenges of maintaining this lifestyle are a bit challenging in Mexico, however, San Miguel de Allende is probably one of the more advanced cities in the country, even rivaling Mexico City for the access to gluten-free, organic and grass-fed options. People are moving here from all over because it is a forward-thinking community.

Reed has had a cattle ranch outside of San Miguel de Allende in Dolores Hidalgo for a number of years. I told him I needed a cow because I need to eat grass-fed beef and it’s hard to come by on a consistent basis. He then told me if I could find someone to process the beef, the project is MINE. I had a meeting the next day with Via Organic, the local organic shop that has far-reaching tentacles around the world, as they have initiated and are involved in many projects and educational efforts to reverse the effects of global climate and provide a more organic and clean way of living in Mexico and beyond.

We struck a deal and currently have gone to market and soon you will find our Rancho Santo Nino grass-fed beef at Via Organica. I am excited to be a part of this project, which is leading us to be involved in other projects in the community and elsewhere. Stay tuned for more information!

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Reiki on the cows:))

“The word Temazcal originates from the Aztec, “calli”, meaning house, and “temas”, meaning vapor or steam. The structure, made from mortar and stone, is symbolic of Mother Nature’s womb. Through the use of steam and healing herbs, the Temazcal ceremony purifies the body and the spirit.”

Amongst eighteen strangers, I once again was the only American and now felt very much at ease as I crawled into the ceremonial hot hut, while wearing barely nothing. It should be noted that I believe the Mexican woman is the strongest and hardiest of all the creatures there ever existed; this sweat lodge becomes unbearably hot and we are in there for over three hours, yet the Mexican woman remains unswayed and fully-clothed. Jewelry too. I am in awe of their ability to endure while the rest of us fall all over each other from the sweltering heat and pitch darkness.

I now understand and appreciate the community aspect of a temazcal, to be so close to each other, respect each other and to quiet the fears if you think you or your neighbor is going to freak out — and believe me, the idea is right there.

It’s an amazing feeling to crawl out of the hut after I’ve sang songs, cried and prayed to my Gods. I have been walking on clouds ever since and feel incredibly grateful for the experience and how it makes me feel. I am getting involved in some exciting projects in the community and am excited to move them forward.

Jump in that temazcal if you get the chance, it’s a wonderful opportunity to shed some unwanted skin!

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And then there’s the #PicTweetArt, exploring even more deeply the energy between people. I am learning anatomy and how to draw emotions. My first set of balls ever!! :DD

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#PicTweetArt going deeper! xx

Drift Out of Driftwood

dirty meag

This week I am closing up life at the ranch and joining Reed in San Miguel de Allende for the next few weeks. It’s hot as a witch’s breath here in Austin; everything’s gone and dried up and blowing in the dust. I hear cackles in the wind, it’s that hot.

I’m so very happy to be heading down south; when the news sank in, my spirit shot up about three stories high. My time in Central Texas has not been easy, oh but it has been highly educational.

It’s been challenging to find work in and around Austin, THE hottest, hippest city in America. Countless interviews later, I was probably giving off a much bigger vibe of “no, I really don’t want to work for your company” than their vibe of “now wait, who are you?” After years of working for companies I could not be more opposed to, I find it difficult to pretend to be excited about someone else’s company. Throughout many of the interviews, I could see exactly why I would leave, or more specifically, why they wouldn’t ask me to join. I have had small project work here and there, but mostly I have spent a heck of a lot of time expanding my repertoire of energy, energy, energy, gimme more of that arty-energy-jui-jui-jui.

My fear of failing after being fired a handful of times a few short years ago has had a fierce grip on me, almost smothering at times, but my backbone has returned and I’m ready to get forward move ahead. I failed at being able to succeed in a corporate job; I never liked it, but that’s what I was supposed to do, right? My mom’s voice still haunts me, “for crying out loud Meag, why can’t you just keep your mouth shut?”. This internal struggle has led me to work for some terrible people at some awful companies and guess what? I could not keep my mouth shut and was eventually shown the door.

My inner conflicts reflected as all my outer struggles. I have been in my way forever.

Another challenge to finding work was “being so far away from Austin” in Driftwood, Texas, a small po-dunk Texas Hill Country town, about 22 miles southwest of Austin. Yes, TWENTY-TWO miles, not TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-TWO miles. Driftwood truly has a gritty feel of the wild, wild West; it’s rugged and quiet, hot and empty — for now, the real estate wars are heating up all across Hays County. The Salt Lick BBQ is here and that’s a huge claim to fame for Texas BBQ fans, but there is little else besides ranching, cowboying, and stealing water. Reed’s family has had property here for a number of years, so I have had the privilege of living on a gorgeous National Park, in a state with very little national parks. I have tremendously enjoyed my ranch explorations with Dito Bandito at my side, Henry in the car; I will always think fondly of this little internet-providerless town, ideally from afar.

You get dirty when you live in Driftwood, it comes with the territory and the terrifying shower I avoid like the plague. Here, I have lived precariously close to scorpions, spiders, snakes, fire ants, lobsters, chiggers, kissing bugs, cows, wasps, mean donkeys, mean HORSES, oh and an angry Reed Burns, but the latter has started to mellow as he ages like a fine wine, errr rather a full-bodied, potent, añejo tequila. We have had a rough road together, Reed and I, but we’ve also made great strides as we break down our walls — huge graffiti-filled walls from the early days of our spontaneous, mostly reckless, tequila-fueled, rowdy marriage. I am excited to meet Reed; he’s in his element in Mexico and it is something to behold, when he holds his court.

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In early 2001, I moved to San Miguel de Allende to teach Gabrielle Roth’s 5 Rhythms dance class and develop my artistic talent. However, in reality, after 10+ years of sobriety, I decided to drink the vino tintos and life took a turn towards a very different path than I had envisioned. It wasn’t awful, but sometimes it was painfully awful. I certainly had some glorious times, but many of my demons came back to haunt, they took a hold and directed my life for a number of years and through a number of scenarios. I eventually made my way back to Chicago after our divorce and I spent the next few years directionless and heart broken.

I am not these things anymore; my heart is alive and looking straight ahead. I take my dedication to all-things-energy very seriously and have experienced some tremendous healing as of late. I was recently attuned in Reiki Level II in Wimberly with Melissa Kleen; I am very aware of the strengthening eyeballs in the palms of my hands. An intensely powerful shamanic surgery with a clairaudient shaman healer has created new pathways in and around my heart during a mind-expanding experience. A traditional cacao ceremony has elevated my heart and I can’t stop giggling, nor crying tears of joy, for that matter — it has also changed my approach to my art and how I see the world. An autoimmune friendly approach to eating has relieved some long-time anxieties and discomfort, in addition to helping me drop some weight I had been struggling with. Curious to see how I will fare when face-to-face with the delicious street tacos of Guanajuato olé!

—> I am totally ready to get to work — I need to get to work.

ANDALE! Nos vemos!! Saying adios to my NIA Dance pals, until next time xx

New Energy in 15, big gay Texas wedding!

The week-long celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling legalizing gay marriage in all 50 States has been buzzing all week, although we’re probably assured it will not be without further pushback, unfortunately. On this 4th of July, dozens of gay couples gave up their independence to join in holy matrimony — and the steps of the Texas State Capital were alive with love!

I was a witness, and what a wonderful, wonderful thing to witness.

Love, the ultimate energy, and it has won this round xx

PicTweetArt July 2015

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Update: This was a pivotal month because I feel as though I moved closer to the type of art I want to explore; the humanness of physical love, the energy that dances between people. I do not wish to be vulgar, just visceral and many times I feel I just miss is, I want to go deeper. As I get more established in my new home, I will go deeper. Love on, Fair People!

xx

Now heading into the fourth month of my daily drawing challenge — and the overall affect has been positive; it literally — okay figuratively, has cracked my head wide open on some level. When I fire up Twitter in the morning to select a tweet to draw, I move to a bigger space. I think bigger than me, bigger than you, something outside of me. I remove myself — at least I try. Third eye-thingy, if you will.

Ahhhhh but the ego enters back in as soon as I post the drawing on Twitter, attached to the creator of the tweet. I would say most of the time I get no response, and the overall responses I do get, is that my tweet gets favorited. What is a favorite, by the way? My ego goes, “waaaaahhhhhhhhhh nobody likes me!!” as I throw the crayons across the room. Ah, but the Third Eye chimes in to say, “Hush you, Rigid, Needy Ego, it’s not about you. It’s about creating a ritual, a daily practice to help take you outside of yourself; to see the world in a uniquely special way. It’s not about the details of each drawing, it is the showing up to the paper and seeing the world through your hands.”

Voila. I trust my Third Eye way more than my ego, ergo. xx

New Energy in 15, walking the labyrinth

Have you ever experienced the magic of a labyrinth?

Being from Chicago and having travelled a bit in Europe, I have seen my fair share of labyrinths, even enjoyed the movie, but honestly, I never paid them much mind. They certainly are pretty. I used to walk one during lunch breaks when I worked near Saint James Episcopal at Huron & State in Chicago, but I probably stood there smoking butts on most days, pondering my daily dilemma.

These days labyrinths have taken on a much deeper meaning, other than wrecking the depths of my lungs thankfully; they have become a place of revitalization. Walking a labyrinth is an opportunity to experience a divine imprint through a walking meditation, a different manner of praying. I like different manners of praying. While I appreciate mediation and continue to explore the hidden nuggets found within, I’m always anxious to get my butt up off the floor, preferring to walk, dance, hop, skip, jump as I strengthen my third eye. It works for me and through this, I discovered the magic of the labyrinth.

The labyrinth is an archetype in the human mind and represents the many twists and turns we can take to arrive somewhere — anywhere in life. “SOLVITAR AMBULANDO.” IT IS SOLVED BY WALKING says the sign over the labyrinth at St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin. Labyrinth patterns are universal, have only one path and there are no tricks, nor dead ends. Many times my thoughts are chattering away in my head as I begin to walk, starting from the outside, zig-zagging towards the center, but the experience changed for me when I walked with a group of women on the night of a full moon in Butler Park. It completely altered and lifted my spirit — the moon beams surely helped — and I’ve been a big fan of walking in these magical circles ever since.

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If you would like to find a labyrinth in your area, the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator is shock full of information and will point you in the right direction. If you have never tried it, I would suggest walking a labyrinth with a group of people because the opportunity, for me, represents life. Often times churches will offer a free monthly labyrinth walk; I like free.

The labyrinth walk is a chance to see how I navigate around and through others. Do I dance smoothly or dart sharply with my world, what are my thoughts telling me? What makes me hesitate? I have always gone to great lengths to avoid people throughout my life, but I’m changing my tune — it’s now or never. This sacred map is teaching me things.

If anything, it’s a wonderful bump to disengage from the day, a chance to re-charge and think about love. Wait. Love? Love won big today with the Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriage across the entire damn country, HOORAY! Here come the haters but Welcome to 2015, America!

Ooooh I’m looking for clues… maybe then I won’t be so frightened by the sound of a telephone, oh yeah…. xx

New Energy in 15, re-energize on the lake

After realizing I needed a physical break from the qi-gong training I was doing, as well as from too much exercising when under the weather, a day on the lake with friends was a great way to re-energize and enjoy some lols before the thunder and lightning rolled in. Perfect day!

 

Cries from the Buddha Belly

This past week was my second week of an intense daily qi gong practice called “Jingui Golden Shield,” and this was also the week that the levy broke. The beginner instruction for this ancient form of qi gong involved slapping my bare stomach in key meridian points for several minutes in succession, in order to awaken the chi (qi, prana, holy spirit, life force energy, call it what you will) to quickly develop the human energy body for improved health.

Yes, it hurts to slap the belly with the bare hands. So what, I said.

On about the 12th day, tears started to fall as I reached the end of my lesson, right before I was to hit the floor and apply the ancient Chinese tincture to my red-hot pink belly. My instructor suggested I stay ahead of the slapping; in fact it should be a hit and not a slap, and don’t take it too far — but don’t be numb to it. It should keep me awake. I tried to find that spot that kept me awake; I could not. The tears continued as I made my way home. I kept on crying; the tears fell throughout the day and night, when I was alone and when I was with others. ugh.

You know that crying that comes from super-deep within the lungs and goes on forever with the mouth agape, yet no sound is produced? I had time to wonder if I would ever breathe again, or if it would ever stop. That kinda crying. Buddha Belly tears, but fuck that, I was not in search of a zen-like state-of-being, I was cracking some buried egg wide open all over the place, and the oozing seemed to have no end in sight. It was the most exhausting cry I ever cried.

In some recent blood tests, I learned I have a borderline thyroid condition that does not yet warrant medication, but now is the time to repair current damage and prevent future injury. My research into the world of autoimmune disorders and conditions has begun. Whoa Nelly I had no idea!

I read a new book written by Austin doctor, Dr. Amy Myers, called “The Autoimmune Solution” and could not believe how much sense this book made to me. I have been denying symptoms of my autoimmune disorder for years, but did not even realize it; I just thought I lacked the discipline and motivation to achieve my goals in life, although I have always remained busy. In the past six month, my symptoms have worsened; weight gain, chronic fatigue, digestive disorders, muscle soreness and brain fog.

I continue to exercise quite a bit and assumed I was always sore because of it, but now I wonder. I exercise because I worry I’m getting fat and old, although I do really enjoy being active and continue to have ambitious future goals. The worry makes my stomach upset after eating a very small amount. I sometimes forget what I am doing. The movie “Still Alice” was scary to watch. We all forget, right? I cry A LOT. My Chinese doctor gets a little uncomfortable when he sees me. I have to lay down after each meal I eat, even if I just slept 9 hours and this “laziness” drives me bat-shit crazy. It’s all a vicious cycle and this book goes into great detail about our current state of gluten and how it’s newly-mass-manufactured evil properties are wiping the human race right off the planet. Well she doesn’t exactly say that, but it does not look good for the world and all it’s millions of highly-processed gluten-filled products we find ourselves surrounded by.

I have been tremendously stressed over the past few years and my life has yet to settle down, but I never considered any lasting physical effect from any of this…. until now. Now it’s staring right at me in the mirror and I need to make some enormous changes.

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I have stopped working out every day; I stepped away from the qi gong classes. I have cried a river of tears and I’m not even sure why, except it sure does feel good when it’s over. I am going to do the Myers Way Program because I want to feel as good as I can for the rest of my days. I have suspected sugar and bread and whatnot for months and months and now my exhausted self is ready to take this leap of faith.

Pass the hankies xx

 

Andale Austin

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I have been in Texas for just over a year and in the past few weeks — no, days really, it has truly begun to feel like home. I am feeling so much support in this cradle in the middle of Texas, I find myself caught off guard and tingly-all-over by the kindness of strangers and not-so-strangers that have helped me get acclimated in my new hometown.

After several months of travelling and setting up shop on the ranch, I have turned my focus to getting into the groove in Austin. I’m back at Square One in that I need to get a job, an address, a routine… and it’s finally starting to happen. I know what I want and now it’s time for the legwork. I have found some work; it is not my dream work, but it is putting me out in front of people, which is a great start. I am highly animated these days and eager to work with others. One foot in front of the other.

Austin is a very fast moving city; hottest city in America, some would say. The recent cover of Austin Monthly magazine quoted 158 people are moving to Austin EVERY DAY. That’s a solid stream of buses dropping off musicians everyday at the Greyhound station.

New friends, YaY!

Austin’s NIA dance community has been a great source of support; it’s teeming with women who are excited about life, love to shake their moneymaker and aren’t afraid to let it all hang out. Their stories are extraordinary and many times moving, and I’m thrilled to have found this support as a new whitebelt teacher and as a new citizen of Austin. Many of these women are undergoing profound personal transformation and have been a great source of comfort as I go through my own. Plus we spontaneously break out in dance when out in public.

There’s something very delightful about not caring if you cause a stir –when stirred properly.

Meetup.com has been a great resource to meet new people and learn of new ideas; I attend about four meetup groups on a regular basis and the momentum is building. One is an art and technology meetup with it’s focus on creating a community in Austin for new digital artists; I volunteered to be the gatekeeper of information and gather everyone’s name and interests. I even presented my #PicTweetArt and #NewEnergyin15 at the last meetup! It was a bit of a departure from the amazing new media presentations that were being highlighted, but I think it was all very well-received. There were LOLs :D. I joined the group to discover new ideas in video and to meet some interesting people.

The artistic sparks are flying, she said with a cheese-eatin’ grin!

I am a member of a Women’s Shaman Circle; the wisdom that’s being shared within this sacred circle has altered my life forever. I am honored to be a part of such a experienced and educated circle of women.

Women helping women. SHAZAM.

I’m also a new member in a specialized qi gong training called Jingui Golden Shield. It is a rare Temple Style of qi gong designed to achieve super health by developing the human energy body very quickly. I discovered this through my Chinese doctor and acupuncturist, Dr. Zhang, who diagnosed me with a deficient spleen a few weeks ago. We are working on this, but basically it’s the early stages of a thyroid condition, and it is my goal to reverse this condition NOW before a Western doctor prescribes daily pharmaceuticals.

Nooooo pills for me.

A worrisome mind, my age and irregular eating patterns are probably to thank — oh and the stress of absolutely everything changing in my life.

thanksaustin

I am turning 50 this year and this health condition has added an extra 10 pounds around my belly. It freaked me out — well hell’s bells it still freaks me out, because it gets in my way and I want it gone. Given the amount of energy work I do in addition to biking, hiking, dancing, yoga-ing, qi gong-ing and walking, it drives me craaaaaaazy that I have this new blob that just won’t budge. Then I read a book called “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl. I’m remarkably embarrassed I’ve had the audacity to cry about a little midlife weight gain.

mans_search_for_meaning

I have the privilege of being alive and living pretty well for half a century. I digress. This profoundly moving book about surviving a Nazi prison camp put gratitude in perspective for me in a manner I shan’t easily forget.

Profound gratitude.

My body can still move in amazing ways. I have great new friends I can lean on. I am networking. I’ve always hated networking! I love, love, love learning about energy and sharing it. I am branding and self-promoting, gaaaaa the dreaded self-marketing. I am in Austin, f*cking Texas, the hottest city in America and the good vibes are growing. I have a tremendous friend and confidant in Reed Burns. Sure it’s terrifying to be starting all over, but I am totally grateful for this life.

I am scrappy and I live in America — and if there’s one thing America loves besides Cheezwhiz, it’s scrappiness.

ANDALE TEXAS!

 

New Energy in 15, I am a Texas Tree!

I have decided to lay down my roots in Austin, Texas after sitting on a fence for about a year. I actually cried as I gazed up to Lady Liberty on top of the Texas State Capitol; this State can annoy the heck out of me at times, but fault can be found in any state. I don’t look for that because I have found some awesome new friends, some bubbling opportunities and a fairly clear path ahead of me. It’s where I want to be.

xx

New Energy in 15, the Texas Polar Dip!

These past few weeks have been especially awesome because Deep Eddy pool has opened its gates at 6am because Barton Springs pool is closed, due to all the recent floods and storms. The water is spring fed and suuuuuuper-cold, which is a fantastic way to greet the day if your heart can take it! The pool goes back to regular hours (8am) on Monday, June 8th, so I am grateful to have enjoyed it these past few weeks in my favorite sunrise hour.

#PicTweetArt June 2015

And the days keep rolling on by!

I’ve crossed into the third month of the mostly-random-daily-drawing from Twitter, although it feels as though I’ve been doing these drawing for many moons. I love the challenge of plucking out a tweet, serious or not, and quickly creating a snapshot of said tweet — without the use of words (and believe me, it’s tempting). I still struggle with hands, but I’m feeling much more confident about the emotions I’m able to convey; not every time and certainly not perfectly, but there you have it. The daily practice is what is helping me see clearly — not whether or not I nailed the hands (which I didn’t).

Twitter is rich, full of kings and queens, jokers and leeches. Thanks for following along!

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New Energy in 15, Go with the Flow, Vladimir!

Best laid plans until Vladimir the Russian Wolf Hound decides it’s his party, then it’s best just to roll with it ;).

Things have definitely settled down after last weekend’s torrential storms and flooding here in Austin; even Red Bud Isle dog park is back in business. It’s a very pretty park to start the day in and even to do some qi gong if you know how to go with the flow!

Sure it’s cornball, but I believe the key to happiness, which is fleeting, is to look for the good stuff in times of chaos. What do you believe?

Why I do the New Energy in 15

For the past 40 weeks, I’ve been posting a 15-second video to Instagram, sharing insight on what I’ve learned about energy. “Energy?” you say?! “Energy!!” I say! “Energy Balls!” I say even louder!! The road has been fascinating and it will be a lifetime of learning — tip of the iceberg, as they say. Some weeks are better than others and I find I am getting better at just rolling with it. I’m truly dedicated to this, so I decided early on to commit to doing #NewEnergyin15 for one year… but why?

Because there’s so much to learn, so much to know and so much to try. So much to heal. I don’t need to post the videos on the social networks, but why not? It’s fun and helps keep me focused on this, my purpose. Learning about video on the iPhone and all the cool apps available, are an added bonus. Doing energy work in public places has all kinds of perks, mainly meeting new people and getting over my fears. Sharing these videos with you is *your* bonus 😉 The more I learn, the more there is to discover, and so it goes. The videos will go deeper in the future.

Two years ago I awoke to the gift of feeling something different around me, in fact everything had shifted in my life after my mom passed away. I’ve felt compelled to know more about this strange new sensation because my vibration had unknowingly been raised and it literally felt like I was having a heart attack. It was scaryKundalini rising, wooooosh. It took a few weeks to feel right in my skin, but when I did, holy moley what is all this??! So began the clean up of my life and it continues today.

What’s that? Was that an eye roll? Energy is a bunch of hooey, you say? Faeries Riding Unicorns, Sprinkling Pixie Dust on Glittery Rainbows All Over the Place? Believe me, I have heard it all — mostly because I’ve thought it myself; at least I did years ago, before I could see and feel the things I can see and feel today. I spent years trying to understand and fix myself through self-help books, therapists, groups, workshops, ETC., mostly to no avail because I was a bit dead in the heart. My mission was, “I’ve got to fix this thing that’s wrong with me; WHAT is this thing that’s wrong with me!?” ‘Round and around the treadmill I ran for years and years. It was exhausting and frustrating, and eventually I gave up and went back to my old bad habits. My eyes would roll as I walked away from “energy” people. Weirdos.

Millions of self-help books.
They know the treadmill.

Then.
As my mom neared her final day, she said to me, “I wish I had been nicer to you Meag. I was wrong about you. I’m really sorry.”

*boom*
I fall down, everything’s different. Closed my eyes…
The power of love. The power of forgiveness.
Millions of useless self-help books.

My mom’s death (and perhaps the other heart-breaking deaths I’ve been privy to) completely cracked me open in a way I was not expecting. I now feel a responsibility to understand what’s happening around me and to gain a grasp of it– not a control of it. All those years of annoyance at my mom have been replaced with gratitude for the priceless gift she has given me. There are things to do, but I no longer feel there is something wrong with me. I am excited if I am anything, for Pete’s Sake.

I read about energy. I study energy. I love energy! I practice intuition. I sleep better than I have ever slept in my life. I dance, I qigong, I t’ai chi, I make art— which has improved tremendously since I started playing with energy. I’ve walked through many of my fears and doubts and have witnessed some incredible shifts. I moved to Texas. I am meeting a new tribe; we speak the same language, yet there are plenty more words to learn. How cool is that? But in all honesty, my energy game is way off these days.

This road is not always easy; but it is necessary. There has been heartache and loss, there too has been ghastly name calling; I have been called weird. Alas… I no longer blink at weird; my mom thought I was weird, she then regretted it. I am weird. No biggie.

I’ve set my sights in a new direction because the past few months have been brutal at home and my Spirit has effectively left the building. This affects my everything; I am not learning as quickly nor effortlessly as I had in the past. My energy is stuck, wowza how ironic — and dammit this hurts. Luckily I have found a support system and am leaning on them; I am confident I will bounce back but my biggest fear is that my heart shut down again. Oh please not that. I hold my heart near and dear, literally, figuratively and metaphorically, and will continue to protect it fiercely.

Three steps forward, two steps back.
Expanse, Constrict.
Energy Balls.

Thank you for checking out my new website; Larkabouts is now forever larking about here and there. This site will house my art and energy endeavors, with more categories to come. My heart thanks you for following along — and reading — this far. Stay tuned for a few more weeks of #NewEnergyin15 and then… on to deeper things.

This week’s video is a reminder about why I do this work — I really do love it, even as I struggle through it right now. I am not, nor will I ever give up; I am Grasshopper 4Evah!

Thank you xx

—> My #NewEnergyin15 YouTube Channel is here <—

Follow along on Instagram
………. Twitter toooooooooo!

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New Energy in 15, a bike ride in Austin

I love that Henry is still game to come along with me on adventures — he really is the most docile dog in the world, without being annoying.

In what was a rather stressful week, a bike ride along Lady Bird Lake was the perfect medicine for the day; I rented an Austin B Cycle and away we went. Henry gets all the smiles — he alone changes people’s energy. My energy was changed too, Bless His Heart as they say here in Texas.

New Energy in 15, Draw me Amadeus

Draw Me Amadeus

Each day I draw a drawing based on a tweet I randomly select from Twitter; the exercise has done amazing things to expand my creativity and inspires me more each day, even on the days that I don’t like my drawing. I did a drawing of Pope Francis recently that literally made me feel weird — but even the creepy ones teach me a lesson.

The more I work with my energy, the more risks I take with my creativity — and this is my goal! My art is pretty safe right now, so there is tons of room for growth, but I also focus on my people skills — drawing them, that is. I struggle with hands and feet, but it’s getting better.

So this week’s #newenergyin15 is all about creativity, playing and setting high hopes! I’m currently taking belly dancing lessons — I love it! It uses muscles that rarely get used in the Western world and makes me feel stronger on oh-so-many levels.

Here I am belly dancing in Vienna, listening to Mozart In Real Life, because this is what I’m going to do some day. Perhaps not all at once, but you get the drift, it’s my vision board… :DD

 

 

New Energy in 15, Stillness in the Spillway

Practicing stillness or mindfulness can be challenging, and even trickier for me when I do it in public spaces… but the Barton Springs Spillway was a’buzz with friendly folks, many of whom were interested in what I was doing. What was I doing? A t’ai chi move called Cloud hands in s-u-p-e-r slow mo. Slow motion is hard because I want to whizz about always, but the lessons of slowing down have been ginormous, across the board. Summer time…