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, 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.

labyrinthATX

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

Andale Austin

austinstar

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, 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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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, 7 Precious Gestures on Lady Bird

In Qi Gong, there’s a practice called “7 Precious Gestures” and while there is no perfecting them, I hope they will be a part of my daily routine for the rest of my days. The slower, the better, the bigger the burn — the bigger the test on my patience. Even though it’s done very s-l-o-w-l-y, these 7 gestures totally fire up my life force energy and that’s what I’m here for.

New Energy in 15, at da Bean in Chicago

On a bright & brisk March day, I did some qi gong moves that focus on releasing grief from the lungs, by literally letting the lungs breathe (stretch), while pointing index & thumb like a gun (Chicago-Bang_Bang). The Bean is a HUGE Figure 8 ta boot, such a magical place!

I was in Chicago to say goodbye to my Uncle Buzz, a bittersweet trip for sure as his dance card was up. I tipped Buzz’s Chicago Whitesox hat my uncle, to the Loop; and to the Irish of Chicago. I bid you a fond farewell into the Mystic xx

New Energy in 15, One Eye One Foot Balance

I am following the suggestions of Dr. Christiane Northrup from her book, “Goddesses Never Age” although I have been practicing standing on one foot with eyes closed to find my balance for some time now — it never gets old;). But now it turns out it will help you stay young and mobile! Although you probably shouldn’t try doing it the first few times on a cliff overlooking a busy highway… :DD

New Energy in 15, Valentine’s Mambo of Love

I’ve started doing t’ai chi with fans, because it helps move the stagnant energy out and away from my body, and on this Valentine’s Day, my guy Reed joined me with his ice cream cone to dance a little t’ai mambo. There are classes on this in San Miguel de Allende btw. Hearts & Loves to you!

New Energy in 15, HOOOOLA HOOP it up!

I’ve discovered in my study of energy that our hopes, dreams and creativity literally get trapped in our bodies, so anything you can do to free up your energy will help you move closer to your authentic self. HOOOOOLA HOOP is a fantastic way to free up the spine’s energy and it’s fun too! xx