Thursday, July 26, 2012

Little = Big: Part 2

Struggling to say all this eloquently -- oh well, just going to go with the thoughts.

This isn't a rebuttal, this thinking, to any other point of view.

I am curious as to why the "out there" functionality of seemingly every blog now exists.

I suspect a few things:
1.  People crave work satisfaction not found in current jobs.
2.  People want meaning:  in themselves, in what they do.
3.  People want to make money, especially the way some of the 'power bloggers' seem to.
4.  People crave personal validation, and are still conditioned to think it's externally source - blog hits, stats, comments, recognition, kudos, all that applause by which they measure success and worth
5.  People want the fantasy of all that -- ideas of glamour and influence and power and wealth and independence
6.  People want to matter and believe that's an "out there" quantified value.
7.  In the last 4-5 years, all of this has taken over as The Trend.

Out there is a myth.

Out there is right here - ME, as I am, every second of my process.  The rest, without the internal core, can't happen, or anyway can't sustain itself. 

How many of the people pursuing a personal business based on someone's 'how to do it' booklet, trying to create a blog/website-centered business, are motivated by NOT feeling they're enough?  Not enough to start with, certainly not enough if they don't have a self-made business, aren't participating in The Trend?

Who has stripped the value out of an individual's choice to work the proverbial 9-5 because she wants no part of building a home-based, self-propelled business?  What I do at my job is as valuable (to MY value, belief, & priority structure) as anything anyone else does toward a business of her own.  Financially, I have to work, of course.  But I choose to work my '9 to 5' gig, not build a business.

====== herein lies a whole speech that needs to happen about how I don't WANT to 'manage' others - not their time, their process, their anxieties, their growth, their accountability, their fantasies, their performance ... a speech for another time, I think =====

It's a worthy counter-dialogue, this.  I wonder if there are any women out there who would really like to be let OFF the 'Out There Is The Way' hook?  Women who'd like some nourishment validating, or anyway bringing forth, the discussion about not pursuing all that, not resume-building?  Women who'd like to pop the rose-colored Trend Lenses out of their spectacles and restore their personal vision(s)? 

You don't "push through" the kind of deep-core recoil I feel reading someone's 'how to build a business' booklet.  I learned not to bully myself, not to name-call, not to persist, not to label it "fear & flaw".  I learned to stop and say, "Whoa!  Clearly this isn't for me, this isn't ME, period.  So what IS?!" 

& in no way am I slamming building a business, or any of the outlines teaching insight to doing so.  They're great if that's who you are:  WHO YOU REALLY ARE.  But my idea of business is taking care of my family, my intimate circle of people and activities and all that relates to those -- and creating a life which gives me time for that and for myself. 

Why isn't it okay to say I'm a Business of One. 

Or to say, as I actually do:  "Business?  Blecch, tuey, ack, eesh, pfffft, NOT.  I'm about The Personal, Man!!!" 

& the personal, for me, is always right now.  Anything else, for me, is just distraction, falsely-motivated, or just talk-speak (jargon) or getting tangled in Trend. 

My life is none of that.  I won't allow it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Little = Big, Part 1

Sometimes, I just want to write a piece (or 50) about my take on 'mindfulness', about process and NOW as my 'business', about what to do, feel, believe, when you have a mind like mine, one that is goal-allergic, dream-satiated, and when you're tired of feeling lacking because of it.  If we're each here to be our unique, awesome SELF, why is there any feeling of unworthiness attached to getting the cringes at the idea of having, let alone needing, a form of daily planner, a Blackberry, or a 5-year plan?  Or of experiencing profound recoil at the idea of A Business?  of not wanting a website, a brand, a logo, an assistant, a subscriber list, or any of the accompanying obligations? 

What about the legitimacy of being a  ... hmmmm ... a Business of One?  Which I am.  Tending fully to one, me, little=big, editing, honing, perfecting?  Visiting on-line blogs and circles occasionally, perhaps -- to glean, to put my toe in the big water, to see wazzup, but not much (or necessarily) to participate?  Why do accusations and assumptions follow that I'm 'NOT GIVING BACK'?  That I'm hording my gifts? 

They are inaccurate and demeaning.

I am essentially introverted, solitary, very very particular about who enters my inner circle and who stays.  Who and what.  Being this way isn't a claim to operating, existing, out of fear, stinginess, holding back.  Where did those declarations come from and why are they perpetrated without challenge? 

Thought:  NOT needing applause or audience as an ongoing or consistent element of my daily life speaks to me of my core, its existence.  Usually when I'm driven to seek either applause or audience (or both) I'm driven by insecurities prompted, resurrected, by reading yet another "out there" focused blog post, article, 'success story'. 

I'm not a creative spinster:  dry or crackly or lonely or scary -- or SCARED -- because I basically create alone, and for my own eyes.

My activity range is small, by choice.  I do what I most want to do, when I do anything at all:  journal, family, domestic things, reading, even errands.

My personal interactive group is small, by choice.  I attend to those who mean the most, with quality, focus, 'mindfulness' (as defined by me), and my practice of always enhancing, nourishing, the NOW.

My creative projects are few, by choice.  I want!  to JOURNAL!  And be accessible, available, to my inner circle.  I've prioritized what I value most to allow me to enjoy creating what I love.

My dream list is nearly non-existent, by choice.  My life is the dream, because I've spent two decades of focused 'soul work' learning to let go in order to nourish what I value at my core.  I can say YES because I own my own time.  Even work is a choice I've made.

My false selves are fewer, and ever diminishing, by choice, by deliberate practice, effort, attention.  I want that space for my true self.  I want truth, I want honesty, I don't want any hiding, I don't want any fragmenting off onto fantasy/false tangents and wasting precious time there. 

Three years ago, I realized what my modus operandi is:  Little = Big.  Less (activity, people) means exponential improvement on the quality of my interactions everywhere.  Much more to work through, explaining all this to myself.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Handmade Grandson Cards

by Marcus, age almost-12

by Miles, age 7


Scampi in her spot atop her scratching tower 
My bro, Cam's, recliner, which I take over when I visit 
My bro, Chris, slicing onion -- he is a Top Chef,
and THAT is a true story.
Scampi:  Sleepus Interruptus
('Um, Toni, you wanna get that flash
outta my face?  I don't have my false eyelashes on!
Otherwise, I'll have to shred you.')

Monday, July 9, 2012

Personal Greatness

On the way to work Friday, I had a nice
internal dialogue take place.
I was crabbing to myself about not
doing something with my life, as in,
"I'm not going to do something great during,
with, my life, I guess." 
And this part of me did a WTF,
head-to-the-side face, then said,
 "Yea, you are.  You already are. 
You're a fabulous wife. 
You go to work every day and
give them 100% even though it's not ideal. 
You love the stuffing out of your sons, your family. 
You write.  You're humorous and real. 
Um -- that's what life is. 
That's what great is."
[My Love, Ciera's Zebra curtains ... ]

And I listened, and was nodding even! 
It's TRUE. 
That's what "Great A La Toni" truly is. 
 God damn
NOBODY else can do any of that like I do,
with my feelings about it. 

"Some great thing' --
it's just another internalized myth,
perpetrated by this culture I live in.
'Great' has to be out there, visible,
quantifiable, blah blah blah.

These myths, I tell ya. 
Damned things!!!!!
They seriously do encroach on happiness,
satisfaction, self pride.
[Zebra curtains, acid green corduroy chair, blue Boho lamp,
all from My Love, Ciera's incredibly cool bedroom]

There's a shitload of great that's gone on,
and is always GOING ON,
in and about me.
I'm a great journaler, listener,
lover, reader, employee, intuitive, creative,
purger, salsa maker, soulful relative,
photographer (I have the eye),
visual curator/image discoverer.
I'm a great imaginative (my word).
I'm deeply musical, not just
because I love music, but in the way I
process & express -- well -- everything.
I'm greatly humorous, raw, real, alchemical.
I'm a fierce mother at base, DNA, and heart levels.
Ditto Grandmother.
I'm passionate, curious.
I'm resilient, adjustive (my word, too),
seeing, analytical, intellectual.
I'm a great poet.  I'm greatly organized.
My work ethic is exceeding.
I excel at naps, and writing letters, and
apologizing first.

[a shelf in My Love, Ciera's bedroom]

THIS is the stuff of personal greatness.
You see?

So 'they' don't build reality shows on any of this --
not enough bullshit or drama,
I'm guessing --
too much genuine.

I like genuine.
I like it in and about myself.
I don't need a TV show to
know I'm great.

Friday, July 6, 2012


I'm taking a minimum one-month hiatus from art journaling.
I need to replenish/relax,
see how I really feel about it,
decide if I want to continue or not.

For now, it's my daily written journal and me,
bonding again.

calming (to me) images from my last few days' stay
at my brothers' place,
what my family calls
"The Ranch".

This was laundry day.