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…

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!

The things you discover when larking about …

harklark

I had the best of intentions when I started this challenge; to share a part of myself every day for the month of June, and I do share a bit of myself each day on Instagram. However, I had to hit the brakes on my writing, because there was such a huge shift in my world, energetic and physical, I thought my head was going to explode. It did not and I continued to do a mountain on energy work and my inspiration have never been so charged to press ahead. I am consumed with it, this desire to push through my limits, to continue writing, to push the limits on almost every boundary in my life, all in an effort to do the things that ring true in my heart.

I’ve been afraid of being thought of as being weird by everyone “outside of my head”. No more. On this date of June 27, 2014, I no longer care if you think I’m weird, because I no longer think I’m weird, because my mom apologized to me for thinking I was weird before she died and I’m finally finally FINALLY¬†starting to get it!

My mom’s deathbed apology was beyond a game changer for me — and I can’t stand that phrase “gamechanger” — but her confession yanked the earth out from under me, forced me to crawl on my hands and knees, shake my fist at hell and scream at the heavens; it striped me of all my earthly belongings; the things I so desperately¬†thought I needed to look “normal” enough for this world… and I was not even happy in that world as it was all blowing up on me, but I had no clue what else to do. Much like the Titanic’s band, I hung on, singing my familiar songs of woes and going down with the ship. Gloriously defeated and striped of everything.

Except I was not striped of spirit. My spirit lifted me up off the depths of despair and dusted me off. What else would Spirit do?

When my mom was in her final hours, something happened in that room in the middle of a dreary Northern-Illinois-February-Day. There were sun rays on my mom’s face and I looked high and low to try to figure out where they were coming from, because the sun was no where in sight on this day, this week, nor this month. I sat down, looked at my mom, cocked my head to the side and gazed at her. She became a girl again. Her wrinkles evaporated, her puffiness slipped away. She was a young girl. And that young girl looked exactly like me. I sat there for a long time, looking at my mom, with her new young face and the sun rays twinkling on her cheeks. It was me, well, me¬†before my reckless years and hopelessness.

There was hope in my mom’s face and her body was almost dead. But not her Spirit. Or was it my Spirit? It doesn’t matter.

My whole life I have been fascinated by spirits, by the afterlife, by seeing stories in my head that¬†I was not sure of… and I kept all of this to myself most of my life because… well because my mom thought I was weird. She told me she was afraid of me and that I lived too loud for her. I asked too many questions. I was weird.

I used to struggle at the thought of people thinking I was weird, and that makes for a life lived on the fringes. But I honestly don’t care anymore if you think I’m weird.¬† I’ve lost everything in the world yet here I live on this gorgeous little slice of a ranch in the middle of Texas, surrounded by all sorts of animals that talk to me on a daily basis, all thanks to a very generous ex-husband, who only has the best intentions for me and wants to see me happy.

I have everything I need plus a stack of books and a mountain of inspiration to learn more, because I’m finally embracing the fact that I am not weird, that I have a very strong intuition and¬†I can help others with my intuition — I proved it to myself this past week and have been crying tears of gratitude all week.¬† My whole life, I’ve been fascinated by this subject and never believed the reason I was drawn to it was because I have it too. I no longer doubt.

I believe!

My first step was to acknowledge this. And now for the good part!

Stay tuned, xoxo

Friends from Sweden

swedes

Today my friends from Sweden arrived in the Texas Hill Country. They flew into Dallas and spent the first two days dining on America’s culinary delights from Taco Bell, Outback Steakhouse, In & Out Burger and McDonalds before heading on over to Driftwood for dinner at the Salt Lick. When I saw Marie-Therese, it was as if we had known each other for a very long time and hugged and squealed like long-separated¬†friends who were finally being¬†reunited. They are staying in our guest house, Marie-Therese, her husband Hakken, her 17-year old step son Viktor¬†and her four year old¬†son, Alfred. They could not be more thrilled to be here in the heart of Texas, eating barbeque, swimming in the swimming hole and riding in the back of the pickup truck.

They were in love with Texas before they arrived here; now they want to marry it and bring it home to Sweden to meet the parents!

Truth is, Marie-Therese and I met through Instagram and had never set eyes on each other before today, but there was a certain¬†familiarity, how can you explain? Except to say that Instagram can be a window into someone’s soul and you can sometimes feel really comfortable meeting someone who you follow on Instagram. You could even fall in love through Instagram, but that is a story for another day.

My new friends from Sweden LOVE Texas and their plans for the next day involve cowboy boots, shooting off guns and liquor, but not necessarily in that order. It was so fun to meet a friend from Instagram; I just hugged and kissed each of them as I left them to collapse in their air conditioned house on the river for the night.

Such an adventure!

Keep on Drippin’ in Dripping Springs

So I find myself¬†back in Dripping Springs, Texas; a town¬†I honestly never thought I’d return to — nor wanted to because I never felt I was on the “same page” as this¬†town or its people. It was full of bugs, critters, snakes, Republicans and I was bored to tears. ¬†I never looked back when I left it years ago, so it was a complete surprise to me when I had no resistance to moving back to this Texas¬†town earlier this year.

Downtown Dripping Springs:
pano_drip

It’s a hum-dinger of a tiny¬†town and now there are things to do! Places to go, people to see! There was nothing here in 2005¬†except a tiny (gross) grocery store, and a newly minted liquor store because¬†Hays County had been the “dry county” for…. well I think forever and it had recently been declared NOT DRY, so yes, there was a¬†liquor store too. ¬†The feed store was about the only business¬†that had wifi and people would line up their trucks out front with their laptops to steal the internet. ¬†It has only been very recently that we’ve been able to get internet service out on the ranch; and even so it’s satellite service, which means we have to pay for each and every little kilobyte of internets.

Where to start?! There is great, local¬†coffee (no Starbucks hooray!!), a big ol’H-E-B, a Home Depot, Mercer Street Dance Hall, a weekly farmer’s market, a gorgeous¬†YMCA, restaurants WITH full bars and not just wine and beer, and even some food that is NOT barbeque! There are festivals with more to come… big news is that the Songwriters’ festival is going to be here this October; I think this could bring some even more awesome talent to the neighborhood.

I do believe, however, that Dripping Springs is just an idea, as there is not much to it (yet), but it’s a place where people want to escape to. It’s motto is the “Gateway to the Hill Country” and many people trapped in Austin and other cities, dream of getting away to the Hill Country and enjoying the Texas countryside, but few have access to it because there are so few parks and wildlife areas. ¬†I am totally grateful for the land that I am living on, with my ex-husband, because it is essentially our own National Park. ¬†I’m know¬†this will change in the coming years, as there’s a mad dash to conquer the Hill Country. For now, I love the small town feel¬†to it, I hear the schools are the best in Texas and aside from the sweltering heat and fiery fireant bites, it sure is purdy.

There is a libation renaissance going on here as well; the laws have been changed recently and now you can find craft beer makers, wineries and spirit makers.  You can schedule a bus or limo to take you on a winery tour that includes sampling Texas olive oil or listen to live groovy music out on the ranch while eating wood-burning-oven-roasted pizza and drinking locally made beer, gin, this vodka or that vodka.

The booze-hounds have CRUSHED Hays County! And I concur it is all very interesting indeed.

This is my slice of Dripping, although I should probably mention that I live in Driftwood, an unincorporated community and even smaller than Dripping with nothing but a wonderful Italian restaurant, a legendary bbq joynt, a post office, a church and a few wineries.  I am totally thrilled and grateful to call this funky part of the world my home for now.

Y’all come back now, and be sure to keep Drippin’¬†Dripping! (conserve that water dagnabbit!)

Painting. Glass. Reverse.

Years ago, I don’t remember where, possibly Chicago I think, maybe¬†San Francisco, I saw a reverse glass painting of a Parisian cafe¬†scene and I couldn’t take my eyes off it. I didn’t buy it, but boy I wish I had — why didn’t I buy it?

I love the layers that were created by painting on glass and the elements that could be placed behind the glass, as if you are looking into a room or cafe or whatever the subject may be.  Reminds me of the shadow box painting my mom used to do.  My mom was such a talented artist in her day, well even to the end of her days with her quilting, but it was her early painting that always mesmerized me.

So I didn’t buy that reverse glass painting I saw years ago in some far-away city, of some other far-away city’s hopes and dreams, and recently I came across another reverse glass painting at an antique gallery in San Antonio, Texas that made me stop in my Texas tracks.

I. Did. Not. Buy. It. D’oooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh why not, I do not know! It was from Istanbul, as well! Of TWO ANGELS¬†are you kidding me what’s wrong with me?!?!?!?!?!?!

This recent stumbling¬†across this angelic¬†reverse glass painting, which I rarely see, reminded me of that other¬†glass painting¬†I saw years earlier and how¬†I’ve always wanted to try this method. ¬†It’s tricky, do you want to know why? Because you have to paint in reverse of what you are accustomed to painting. Highlights first, dark shadows last. Front-to-back.

Reminds me of the brain teasers I learned in Lydia Wong’s t’ai chi classes; “Anything that breaks up normal brain pattern is a good thing, because it keeps your mind sharp and creates¬†new thinking patterns.” Does this instagram video link work for you?

I’ve done two now and feel like¬†I am ready to stretch out of my¬†comfort zone. One thing I have always¬†struggled with when I first begin to paint or do any sort of creative exercise, is that I am so afraid to make a mistake. ¬†It holds me back until I can talk myself out of it. There are no mistakes, but I certainly have to warm up to this.

I may¬†have to go back to San Antonio to look for those two angels, but in the meantime I will be more adventurous, and not just with the reverse glass paintings! ūüėÄ

 

Photo Essay; Texas Hill Country

I have a new Sony NEX-3n camera and I took it for a spin on our mini-road trip through the Texas Hill Country to see the wild flowers; which ironically were not out, but they are out in full force in our front yard. Still a fun two nights cruising the countryside. Texas LOVES Texas. xoxo

Start: Dripping Springs, TX
Р Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Fredericksburg, TX (the park has free wifi!)
Р Vaudeville Bistro, Frederickbrug, TX
Р Carol Hicks Bolton Antiqueties, Fredericksburg, TX
Р  The Woerner Warehouse, Frederickburg, TX
Р Fredericksburg Jewelers, Fredericksburg, TX
Р (Reed gifted me a few Calvin Begay pieces! )
Р Fredericksburg Brewing Company, Fredericksburg, TX
– ¬†Otto’s German Bistro, Fredericksburg, TX
Р Luckenbach, Texas!

The song here —–> Where Everybody Is Someone!¬†

Р Blanco State Park, TX

Death Does Not Become Her

Muertos

I am not going to review all the death and dying I was close to this past year; I’d rather focus on what it has inspired me to do.

I came to visit my ex-husband in Mexico rather unexpectedly, and I certainly did not plan to stay as long as I have, but my lessons are starting to appear in front of me and I do not want to miss this opportunity to grow.

Watching my mother’s death was a huge wake-up call for me. I changed everything about my life and felt like I had the opportunity to elevate myself to higher spiritual lessons. ¬†I was completely inspired and ready for such a drastic change, so I suppose it’s no coincidence that I lost everything in my life at the same time. ¬†Well everything except my good health. ¬†I lost my job, my apartment and my reason to be in Woodstock, Illinois, but this situation afforded me the opportunity to extend my stay in San Miguel de Allende. I felt guilty about this at first,¬†but not anymore.

When I first came to Mexico many years ago, I was a healthy and spiritually minded woman, eager to achieve many things in life. I am still this same woman, but I certainly did lose myself along the way for a number of years before waking up and seizing my potential once again. A few weeks ago, I said to Reed, “this is a country full of bad decisions.” He responded with, “perhaps you just made bad decisions while here”, and I agreed he has a point. ¬†I can’t really blame Mexico for the decisions I made, I alone am responsible for my choices in life and want to make sure I make the best choices moving forward. I know I have not been alone in making bad choices while here; I have seen so many Gringos destroy themselves when they move here. ¬†I have seen some ugly things and now is my opportunity to heal thyself and come full circle.

I made a joke in yoga class that I needed lots of yoga while here because I need strength to combat the devil. Everyone laughed because they know. ¬†This country, this town makes it so easy to fall into trouble. ¬†It’s a lovely pretty little colorful town, with lots of artists, writers and free thinkers and you can absolutely get caught up in the charm of it, but if you are not strong in your personal convictions, you can get swallowed up by the never-ending fiestas. ¬†After Reed & I were married, I needed to leave this town because, well because I had had enough of the party and needed to get back to real work. ¬†Looking back, I didn’t fare so well in Texas either; it was not the place for me, just as San Miguel is not the place for me.

Here I have been presented with an opportunity to come full circle. ¬†A chance to fight back the devil and be the woman that I want to be. ¬†It was easy to be super-healthy while I was living in Woodstock; I never saw the party and was very comfortable with that — but I was always alone, and I was not comfortable with that. Here in Mexico; the party is everywhere — and especially at Reed’s house. ¬†I see him struggling with his health and with feeling good. I am being the good wife that I was not while we were married and attempting to make him comfortable without enabling his behavior. ¬†I had my own little slip with smoking when I first arrived but have stopped that outrageous behavior because smoking sucks donkey dicks.

A long-time frind of mine who lived here in San Miguel for many years, but returned to her home town in Northern California, has recently been diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. ¬†She is essentially me and there, but for the Grace of God go I. ¬†In my few weeks while here in San Miguel, I have been writing long, detailed emails to my friend, filling her in on my adventures and news of the town. ¬†It has been a positive way for me to share what’s going on and to stay honest about my intentions. ¬†We don’t really talk about cancer, we talk about adventures. ¬†She has been gearing up to begin her aggressive chemotherapy treatment but was just haneded the news that her heart is not strong enough to endure the treatment and other options must be reviewed and decided upon now. NOW.

When I read her email yesterday, it launched me into a mood I was not quite prepared for; I sat in stone silence for quite some time before I found ways to distract myself. ¬†I had horrible nightmares and woke up in tears. ¬†I did not respond to my friend after she sent me that email to tell me her “heart-stopping news”, but when I awoke, I said to myself, “imagine how she feels” and reached out to her on the spot.

I want to have no regrets.

I want to make good decisions, no matter what country I am in.

I want to have more children in my life (not mine, silly)

I want to live a full life, full of loving relationships.

I want to be barefoot in the grass as much as possible before I die.

I am so very grateful for all the lessons of 2013 and whole-heartily look forward to the lessons of 2014.

hi, i'm meag
hi, i’m meag

Under the Spell of the Mexican Moon

Venus at el Charco del Ingenio

When I lived in San Miguel de Allende ten years ago, I started to write a book called, “Under the Spell of the Mexican Moon” and my personal downfall was that I showed it to too many people and the fear I experienced from hearing the feedback caused me to set it aside indefinitely. Until then, I kept all my writing under wraps — and since then I mostly have kept it private. ¬†I’ve written AMAZING letters to friends over the years. And to my mom.

I had forgotten about the letters I used to write my mom, but while cleaning out her condo earlier this year, I found all the letters I sent to her. ¬†I was hilarious — and still am. ¬†I laughed and cried as I read my letters and postcards. ¬†Here’s a postcard from I sent from Santa Fe, New Mexico after arriving via Amtrak from Chicago:

Hi Ya Ma! If it’s an Indian you want, get your buns out here! They are so beautiful! This town is beautiful! The weather is beautiful! What can I say, I am in love. I met a guy from Italy on the train, we will stay in touch! I’ve fallen in love 8 times in Santa Fe and I’ve only been here 2 days. I think I’m going to move here if I can get my migraine to stop. Love you like an adobe Ma xoxo

Over the past few months I have been told by friends and complete strangers I should write a book. It’s always been in me, I’ve thought about it over the years but again, the fears have stopped me. ¬†“Who wants to read what I have to say?” Although many many times, when I share a story of my past, the response I hear often is “you should write a book about that.”

Since my mom’s death, this idea is coming more into focus. ¬†My mom apologized to me and said she wished she had been nicer to me. ¬†Said she was wrong about me. ¬†These words have completely changed my world — even I am surprised at the impact of her parting words. ¬†I mean I was knocked flat on my back after she spoke these words. ¬†My mother’s apology has been life-altering for me and I no longer want to be that passive girl. I want to be the woman who moves through grief and loss without losing herself. even if that means I lose my way for a bit.

I had thought for a spell that I was choosing to “duck out on life” by returning here to San Miguel; returning to my ex-husband’s home and this town that I angrily departed from several years back. ¬†But this is so not the case. ¬†This was the perfect time for me to come back here and make peace with my past. ¬†For years I had been feeling bad about who I was as a married woman — that I was the sole reason why our marriage did not survive, let alone succeed. ¬†Good Lord this is not true. ¬†I love Reed dearly and we are family; we are just not the “one” for each other, nor do we “get” each other. ¬†I care for him deeply and I know he does for me as well. ¬†We are family and sharing this holiday with each other has been healing beyond belief. ¬†Well for me it has been, I don’t think Reed would ever admit to this, but when I ask him if he wants me to leave, he says no. ¬†We have fun together! I also cook for him, I don’t ask a lot of questions (!!!) and I busy my time out of the house with things that are important to me — and he provides me the resources to pursue my interests because he likes to see me happy.

I have been using this time of unemployment to get right in my head. ¬†The recent deaths in my family have broken my heart and then to have lost so many jobs at the same time….. I was operating from a place of desperate grief and needed to step out of my hamster-cage life. I cannot take another job with a fear-driven company — because honestly it offends me to the core and I then operate from a place of asking to be fired. “But you’re not independently wealthy, Meag, are you!?” ¬†No, I am not, but the desire to not work with these four companies was so huge, my time with them was no more than six months, when in the past I would suffer for years with miserable jobs. ¬†This last job was probably the quickest in terms of synchronicity; I had thought I found my tribe, it was a healthy foods company and seemed to be generally interested in living a healthy, complete life. ¬†I quickly realized this was so not the case and my time with them was under two months. ¬†This was my personal tipping point.

(note: no disrespect to the companies I worked for; there is nothing wrong with them; I was not the appropriate person for the job.)

So when I leave this pretty home, I spend my time doing the things that make me happy and peaceful. ¬†Yoga, swimming, hiking, walking, looking at art, meeting up with old friends, etc. ¬†But I recently took a huuuuuuuge back step. ¬†I smoked some cigarettes — the thing I hate the most and have since been berating myself that I’ve destroyed all the good work I have done.

I am flawed. I have more work to do.

Everywhere in Reed’s house, there is an ashtray. And a pack of Marlboros. They have been taunting me. It’s no excuse. Well I made it an excuse. And I could TOTALLY sit here ALL DAY and beat myself up and tell myself what a damn loser I am and how I’m going to die a horrible death… whoops, I’ve already done this…. but this is a HUGE waste of time and I want to do things that will get me out of the hole, not keep me in it. I don’t normally use ALL CAPS, but I am totally fired up about this as I pound out the words.

Smoking makes me feel bad.
You know what I don’t want to do anymore?
Feel bad.

This quote found me this morning:
The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” ~~Ferdinand Foch

My soul is on fire so that must mean I am still alive and that I care deeply.
I’d rather my soul be on fire than my lungs.

All is not lost, I just lost my way temporarily, but I am determined.
I was under a spell.
I can no longer blame the Mexican Moon.

Full Moon in San MIguel de Allende

I now will be more focused about my writing and tell my story of being flawed yet never settling. Mending my broken heart. Always growing, always looking for a way to improve — at the same time while not damning myself to the depths of hell for being human. I need to stop over-thinking every little detail…. and this is the hardest thing in the world for me to do. ¬†I have struggled with this my entire life.

FEAR FEAR FEAR fuck everything and run.

I really want the fears to stop stopping me from being awesome, know what I mean?

After I did my morning thing to get right (journaling), I like to listen this this because it lifts my spirits.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgWeNEHcsh8<

Two books by John Amodeo Ph.D.¬†have been recommended to me by Sonia Choquette, to get me through these next hurdles: “The Authentic Heart: An Eightfold Path to Midlife Love” and “Dancing with Fire: A Mindful Way to Loving Relationships“.

Respiro profundo Meag… Exaaaaah

(deep breath, exhale…)

Energy Balls UP O’Hare!

faeryhouse

So today is the day I head off to London for a week in pursuit of all things sparkly… because I decided months ago I want the autumn and winter of my life to be magical. ¬†It’s only been a few months and it’s almost surreal, the magic I have witnessed. ¬†It’s true, it can happen! A head’s up however; should you too decide you want the remainder of your life to be magical, be prepared for a backlash. ¬†It’s 2013, and a lot of people have completely given up on magic, let alone wanting to begin to believe it may be true for anyone else ‚Äď some people actually think I am nuts and I do not care.¬† If being nuts means having a child-like wonder and curiosity for life, then it‚Äôs true, I‚ÄôM NUTS.

I recently discovered¬†Signe Pike‘s¬†awesome book that is loaded in my Kindle called, “Faery Tale: One Woman’s Search for Enchantment in a Modern World” and it has been such a perfect read for me. ¬†This morning when I took Henry to his vacation ranch for the week, this marvelous faery house greeted me at the end of the walk way and I immediately looked around for faeries because it was that ‚Äėtween hour. Nothing but dew drops and an unmade bed! (jaja) ¬†More proof that I don’t have to chase the magic, it is right in front of me if I open my eyes. ¬†My eyes are open and I am awake 8-D

The past few months have been filled with quite an education on both a personal and professional level. ¬†I just ended my participation on a project that had an ongoing opportunity, but I knew it was not a good fit for me, so I gracefully backed out. ¬†I’ve been fired three times in the past year. ¬†I have lived, breathed, sweated and cried rejection. ¬†It hasn’t killed me, made me to go hungry nor homeless, so now I follow my heart and learn about the things that make me happy. ¬†Right now that‚Äôs a thing called MAGIC.

Andale let’s go; ENERGY BALLS UP O’HARE!