Opening Up About 16 Years

My box from Enterprise came today. The little pieces of my years at work collected in one pretty heavy cube shaped box. Acquisitions, certifications, jobs thrown for, people managed, gifts received, business cards saved, nail polish once loved but probably not good anymore.

Fun little boxes with pictures of my daughters speckled along my favorites of all the notebooks: my dreams, my ideal jobs, my pitches, my love for people – customers – my hopes to be an adopted Taylor.

Somewhere in that box is a review or two from Kristi… beloved mentor, manager and friend.

I think one of the things that hurts is the outpouring of support and recognition I received for being “one of the brightest” and yet seeing the notes and business plans for two… three of those “bigger jobs” I threw for. Business Plans that stole time from my 4 year old, 6 year old then 8 year old, 10 year old to go for it, to demonstrate it: be a boss, get on that path to the VP gig. Bringing my family to work parties where there are rides, BBQs, fountains and sunshine.

For the ball games and hockey games with work people who are your people; adorned with family-esque loyalty and trust.

Needless to say: I did not get those jobs.

I evolved in my role, I out performed it, I grew tired… a little bored… then I got married and, with that, got a vision of a garden and family. The corporate ideas once had felt minor compared to the ideas for the house in the Pacific Northwest, the Webster studio, the music… the music… the music. Winning a Grammy more obtainable than a Director level job. “Let’s get this one life”, David and I thought.

Back to this morning. I continued through the box and came across my portfolio and feel this immense pride.

…in my Visio skills… in my practical way of laying things out… in my ability to communicate what matters.

As I manage this household and balance ideas of task orientation (dishes / laundry), personal progress and performance (teens / sports / school), communication and administration of feedback (all of our emotional / social growth) with this idea of compassionate rebounding (the spiritual unfolding), team work (blending family) and ongoing support and love (because hashtag you got one life. love your neighbor) I realize – should I ever return to the corporate world – my resume will be stocked with more than sufficient quality personnel leadership experience.

5 Human Beings.

Under jurisdiction in which I am a main influencer.

How much more satisfying will my thriving other worldly bubble be than a realized daydream of afternoon sunlight pouring into an executive office on Corporate Park drive? We will see.

With the right song and mindset I think maybe I could have it all, you know? But – right now I guess I just want the one next, best thing:

an established rhythm so I can work on my book(s).

Okay. That felt good to write. Love you all.

“from the help” @ study, saint louis, foggy day

Parents traditionally delight in their children taking their first steps, demolishing their baby size birthday cakes, dressed up in a costume… a bow… a little baby tux.

As a mother, I know the feeling of delight when I am delighting in my children. I have actively stayed still in present moments to strictly observe whatever they are doing – watching the game they came into on their own, watching their slow waking moments, watching them watching something all on their own.

Matter of fact, this ties into an early intention I set for things like outings to the zoo: let them sit as long as they wish. It doesn’t matter to me how much ground we cover, we can sit in front of the hippos, we can camp out in the birdhouse. Dwell. Delight.

This made for many childhood younger year memories but also, last year, when my 13 year old stepdaughter came to live in St. Louis for 6 weeks in the fall. Prior to the official move, the marriage; David and I let her give it a shot. I took her to the zoo and was mesmerized by how long she could sit, watching… observing. So I, too, sat… watched… observed.

I remember one time I delighted in Ellen; a time so uniquely unconventional for typical delighting that it was formative to my way of parenting. I was sitting on the couch, she was playing on the floor – maybe 2 1/2 or 3 years old. She got up from where she was playing, walked to the end table, grabbed a tissue and wiped her nose.

I cocked my head, squinted and smiled. Did she just get up from playing, aware of a tickle in her nose, know to get a tissue, get one and care for herself? Did she help herself become more comfortable? Surely, she was aware of herself.

Fast forward five years later, she is 7 or 8 and her parents are divorced. I moved out into a small apartment and – though I was experiencing a tremendous amount of relief and freedom in my life – I was naturally processing grief, specifically in relationship to the loss my children took in the break up and the definitions that were shifting for them.

There was one night I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. It was a peachy-pink tiled bathroom with a big deep tub, stained glass window and warm lighting over a big huge vanity mirror. On the counter was my toothbrush, resting on a fold of toilet paper with toothpaste on it. Next to it was a note, “From the help of Ellen”.

From the help of Ellen.

My heart, to this day, flutters when I think about this – this concept of each of us having a reservoir of help. Bounty of help, reserves of help, to offer ourselves and to offer others in this world; specifically those we are doing life with.

I think about her early demonstration of helping herself with her runny nose. I imagine a tank of help, swirling with awareness, from which she took a small withdrawal and then the experience of being cared for depositing more back in. Likewise, that night, kissing her sleeping soft cheeks – I deposited back into her tank.

I wonder about this concept a lot. That we have help (noun) instead of we help (verb). When we live in a way where giving is the action and the helping, the hoping stop and instead we have help to give, we have hope to give – does this shift the way we feel? Does it impact the way we consider ourselves able?

It’s a foggy grey day today and I have a few things to button up before starting up some work at 1p. I am curious if this thinking feels different to anybody out there. That’s all for now :) namaste…. erin

The More I Sit Here @ Deck Again on a Good Hair Day – Bellingham

The only thing about the house here in Washington that is like a thing is that we are up high and can look over and down onto our neighbor’s backyard.

Gordina – a house back and over – has a lovely garden with an enviable rosemary bush raised up in the pnw sun and veggies all year round under tinted weathered prayer flags. She doesn’t live right behind us though.

A young family does.

I look over and see chairs in random spots, that their gymnasium was moved, toy miniature everything galore and actually I think like 3 slides. On nice nights when we are all living that pacific northwest life, eating outdoors or with windows open, we are within ear and eye shot of each other.

I write out here. Sit out here. Close my eyes out here. Work out here. And I have noticed lately that their baby is probably teething. Or growing. Lots of baby cries.

But the more I sit here, I am also noticing how extremely patient the mom is. Sigh.

Deep breath and smile.

I think she must be a really good mom.

She must be – I can tell by the lack of anxiety in the air that she doesn’t let the fact her neighbors can hear her child carrying on put pressure on her to “fix the child”. I think she knows deep down she simply has a baby and they – simply- are crying.

Unlike most mothers I know who hush their babies to the self detriment of their own sanity, I am pretty sure this mom is like cool with reality and knows she is not annoying me.

Additionally, I have been out on the deck a lot lately. August in Washington is like perfect satin jambinos after a salt bath soak and a face massage; so relaxing and happy stupor inducing. The more I have been here, the more I notice when they are not in their yard.

I wonder sometimes if it is nap time. Or if she is cooking.

I wonder if they went for an outing and I picture them at the bay or on a hike or at the market.

Maybe they went to Target and, if that is the case, I send prayers and helpers.

One of my favorite things about being a spiritual mom is remembering I can send helpers. A woman I studied with a couple of years ago in yoga teacher training told me I was a white witch. I thought nothing of it but then when I close my eyes and bring a person to the center of my mind (like my friend right now who is waiting to give birth) and send supreme love and guidance and comfort and help and support and strangers to offer pieces of gum or cashiers to smile in just that way – I think maybe I am magical.

Wouldn’t mind it :)

Sighhhhhh… the rental lady just left here and the papers are signed to list the house to rent. David looks handsome and is probably getting ready for me to fix dinner. I am super excited about progress on perfecting pizza dough. So we are doing greek pizza tonight. But with goat cheese and not feta. Yum. Can’t wait.

The breeze is so nice, I just want to stay in this cradle of an afternoon sun forever.

But. Kalamata olives are calling my name.

One more glance back and over the fence. Smiling. Hope she is doing good with her little ones… wherever that mama is…