the truth about Messiness

the truth about Messiness

We live in a home of artists …

always inspired by our next project before the last one is even done. I find myself at times apologizing to my daughter for my “messes..” Yet she always reassures me that it’s just organized chaos … with a purpose.

I have found my artistic inspiration has taken a great leap out of my metaphorical emotional window this last year. My nature-inspired art can even get a kick start on my beach walks or garden ramblings. I have unfinished projects laying on my outside workbench. A dragonfly doomed to never fly because his missing last wing is an enigma to me. My stacks of shells and rocks mock me every time I walk past them.

My walks, which were once inspiring, now leave with me that familiar voice in my head that says “why even look for anything else … you can’t even finish what you started.”

and sometimes I listen …

and I don’t look.

So my heart stays heavy. I can’t bear to throw out the projects I was once so inspired to share with the world. So my work space stays cluttered and I hang on to the hope that THAT particular inspiration will grace me again.

But I know this isn’t true. Those inspirations came from a place I am no longer in, a space, an emotion that I chose not have anymore. So do I toss it all and start again? How can I do that when there are so few things that inspire me anymore? I am literally cut off from teaching and loving and supporting all those around me. I thrive and fill my cup by being around my tribe until it spills over into art.

But …

I focus on gratitude … for all I have … my messes and all. For the inspirations that once drove those half finished creations even though they are no more. Because in that gratitude I remember the person I am. That everything I see in others is just a reflection of myself.

And today, as I walked by that tree that has been laying on my workbench for six months, an inspiration whispered in my ear. It said Eisha, my soul sister, is coming back to visit soon. So then I followed that thread. Yes, I jumped on that train! This is a distraction I DID need. So I drifted to our past visits and laughter and teasing and tears. The healing and all the sunshine she brings with her on her visits.

As I looked at this tree that was once supposed to cradle wooden hearts from all the places my ex and I would travel to, I realized that often times people travel to my home for healing and love. Then I knew that all those people who graced my home would always have a warm hug (and a room) to come to. So now my tree will hold heart rocks in its branches … the rocks that the universe sends me via the ocean sand and waves … to remind me everything is going to be o.k.

Most of my visitors come to stay because they need a safe place to heal. So now my guest room will have a bowl full of heart rocks that each visitor will choose their own to place on our “family tree” that will hang in that room and then one to place in their pocket to take home. I hope it will remind them that they always have love around them … if only they lift their gaze to find it.

Sometimes our messes don’t need to be thrown out, just transformed by what our heart is speaking. Our truth. Not last year’s or last week’s intentions or inspirations but what moves us in this very moment.

Life is messy. Sometimes we have to change our perspective and see what beauty lies beneath the chaos.

#findyourtruth

Micki Beach, author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth

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the truth about Perfection

the truth about Perfection

per·fec·tion: pərˈfekSH(ə)n/: noun

is defined as…

1. the condition, state, or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects. 

2. a person or thing perceived as the embodiment of perfection.

the ideal, a paragon, the ne plus ultra, a nonpareil, the crème de la crème, the last word, the ultimate, the best; 

“More the action or process of improving something until it is faultless or as faultless as possible.”

Who determines our standards of perfection to which we drive ourselves ? 

Are we not all in a constant state of “improvement, betterment, refining, and honing”? 

And if we aren’t … 

we have achieved x, y or z … 

where do we sit, looking outward and basking in this isolated space of perfection?  

There is nowhere to go once we reach a state of (imagined) perfection. 

In our lives, 

on our mats 

or in our outward search for “more.”

My sea walks (with inspired bouts of yoga and photo snaps) have started to lean to a repetitive conversation with my companion. 

We always look for our favorite shells to collect. Slow walks, downcast gazes and easy conversations are had in this magical, cleansing space. 

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“Oh look at this one! 

(Slow pause)…

It would have been perfect if …” 

and we toss it back into the sea. 

“Oh, I wish that one was whole …

or shinier …

or didn’t have that hole.”

The photography of my poses takes on the same tone … 

“oh, the light is strange, 

or 

can you zoom out a bit

or 

my lines aren’t correct …  

we will delete that one.”

We see the shells’ scars and worn edges. Broken pieces, halves with their beautiful patterns, elusive because we can’t imagine it in its whole state. 

We criticize ourselves 

and others 

and our poses 

the same way. 

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Like the shells, my scars are plentiful. 

As are the scars of most people I know. 

We all have a story, a pain, a badge of honor we carry in our pockets that we struggled through … 

a rock we were battered against 

or a wave we were carelessly tossed by. 

What if every scar 

or our tears 

or pains 

were blazoned across our skin? 

Would we be discarded by others as easily as we toss those simple shells back into the sea? 

We search for perfection … 

in a mate

in a job

in a house

in our lives

and especially on our mats. 

We demand it …

we expect it … 

we struggle to attain it. 

But at what cost? 

Maybe, if we turned our souls inside out, we would have much more compassion and gratitude for others. 

If they could see our broken pieces too. Our flaws, 

our dance with our struggles. 

Our scars make us beautiful. Our pains provide opportunity for growth if we walk through them. 

We must share our stories, 

allow ourselves 

and others to heal …

then allow all those broken pieces to evolve into something beautiful. 

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Something that, 

one day, 

someone …

will truly see …

and find the art, 

magic 

and inspiration in. 

Only then do we grow. 

Struggle not towards perfection … 

just growth, 

constant growth …

Walk the path. 

Enjoy the journey! 

Be Yoga ….

Namaste

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the truth about Embracement

the truth about Embracement

Time taken on purifying, cleaning, dry brushing, shaving and moisturizing … polishing and doting on ourselves is necessary for the spirit. 

I lovingly take extra time today to be pleasing to the eye, the smell and touch. Painstakingly picking the perfect jeans that hit exactly right on my kick ass new heels … the finishing touch. 

As I sit on the floor and slide the first one on, I notice how pretty my toes look … freshly stone sanded and painted with my favorite color. Then as I wiggle and bend my leg under me in the most unnatural way to buckle those pesky side buckles, I secretly send love and gratitude out for my yoga practice and the ability to torque my leg in such a way without tearing any meniscus. 

As I buckle the first side, I notice the buckle fits best a little tighter than the last time I wore these shoes, evident by the slightly worn hole I was passing up for a tighter fit. 

Multiple flashing thoughts…

“Wow, my ankles are smaller.”

“Maybe they won’t look ‘thick’ anymore.”

( … and here we go … )

I jump on that train … one thought after another … trying to push my way through all these veils enshrouding me, before I suffocate. 

I remember where I was sitting, even the physical sensations of when my father told me I had thick ankles … and in this moment … almost 30 years later … My chest was heavy. My breath quickened. My heart pulsing in my ears. 

Even despite knowing I had beautiful calves … (My dad taught me that as well because they looked just like my mother’s) I never wore dresses to “show them off” because they were attached to my “thick ankles.”.

My past hour of loving self care, doting and pampering myself vanished.

Well, maybe more like vanquished. 

I was so proud to share myself outwardly today. To feel … and be… beautiful. 

“Oh! That’s it. You are too prideful. What gives you the right? Don’t gloat and boast or talk highly of yourself. It makes others uncomfortable. It makes you appear conceited. Your friends won’t like you.”

( … and this is the train … )

We hop on and ride and ride … Long after we KNOW we have missed our stop. 

… and there is the memory now of that junior high friend who always made fun of my “frizzy” hair. 

… and then it goes on and on. 

By the time my date walks in, I am a puddle of tormented memories on the floor … still … yet … with one shoe left to buckle. 

You may have to give me a valium by the time both feet are properly encased! 

Then I notice my hand … the one strapping down that thick ankle. That hand that at 22 years old rested on a table to assist my Kindergarten student with her work … “Ms. Beach” as she lovingly … almost sympathetically … stroked the back of my hand, “your hands look so old.”  

I have thought my hands old ever since … When did we stop teaching children to be kind?

And then my sister, as we grew to young adults, grabs for my hand one day and almost wistfully told me of a fond memory she always had. The memory of me holding her hands … in protection and in love, in a chaotic home. That she always remembered how soft my hands felt to her. 

The thoughts continue to flood in …

… these hands were also strong and supportive for my beautiful child as I held and nurtured her … but they were “old hands.”

This constant tug-of-war with my self-image was so dizzying at times, that I didn’t know up from down. 

Our parents, our peers even our tormenting siblings weave these shrouds over us. Many proclaiming it is for our own good, professing “societal norms” or “acceptable standards.”

The confusion and heart wrenching aches that spawn from those common phrases of “well if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you as well?”  

We are taught to not let anyone influence our “rational” decision making process. We are told to never succumb to peer pressure … but only as long as it fits our parent’s agenda. 

The ones we love most, always think their molding of our identities is best for us … when in fact it is most usually based on their fears, upbringing, values and standards.  

I was trained and ingrained at an early age by everyone around me that my natural, wily locks were not smooth enough, calm enough, styled or polished enough. I bought rubber bands by the pound and kept my hair pulled up and taut and greased. Inevitably, that stray spring curl popped loose … only to cause more harassment and poking fun at. 

My father used to loving stroke my hair then follow with “your hair is so kind, Fats.”

(I won’t even go into the details of what that nickname did to me). 

“Kind of like a dog’s ass” he would say. 

Can. You. Imagine? Speaking to your child this way. 

So …

I paid high dollar for straightening products and tools. Hours spent fighting my tresses to conform to other’s standards. 

For years …

ever since …

Until my peapod came along. There was no more time for me. Thank god for the unexpected popularity of “messy buns”… this I can do! 

I had an enormous collection of baseball caps as well. Anything I could do as to not make others uncomfortable by my presence or rather my frizzy hair. 

My ex-husband constantly avoided or sniffed with an itchy nose and complained of irritation and tickles and annoyance every time my ringlets grazed him. It was best to always be pulled up in intimate moments so as to not spoil the mood. It prevented adequate visibility to him when operating a motor vehicle and turns needed to be made. 

It was never stroked or caressed or smelled or adored. Not braided or played with or occasionally massaged.  

The only time he ever praised a hair on my head was when I shaved it all off donating my hair to child’s cancer research. He stated we would save so much money on hair products! 

I think that may have been a back handed compliment … maybe?

Then it became … you ARE getting older. Shorter hair is more appropriate for your age.  So I kept it short. I was just turning forty after all. 

Everyone was happy. I wasn’t rocking any boats or itching anyone and I fit perfectly into my suburb house with one kid and a dog AND my age. 

Everyone was happy … Except me. 

Caged. Suppressed. Sinking deeper into murky waters without the will to fight for my inner untamed beast. 

I am wild, thoughts scattered and squirrelly in creative moments. My hair is a reflection of my inner self. Was that what everyone was really trying to suppress? 

An energy …

a light that made them uncomfortable? 

 There are moments of clarity …

As the barber took the razor to my head and shaved off my long tresses, my child sat at my feet and cried. When I looked down at her and asked her why she was so sad, she looked at me so innocently and said that “Mama, you won’t be beautiful without your hair.” And that is when I told her that what makes me beautiful is inside my heart not on the outside. The first time I said those words to myself OR anyone else. 

Such a golden moment … a perfect opportunity to empower my daughter.  So much so that two years later she did the same. 

Full. Of. Awesome! 

How can we offer these shining moments to others but can’t afford them to ourselves. 

Or do we offer them? 

Some continue the perpetual degradation generation after generation.  We pass down our insecurities and conditioning to our children.

Find your truth.

Yell it. 

Scream it! 

Someone will hear you and come to trumpet by your side. 

Find your sisters and dance wildly in the moonlight …

… frizzy hair, chunky ankles and all!!

10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth

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the truth about Comfort

the truth about Comfort

We know what we need.

Intuitively…

Yet sometimes the cyclone around us seems so unbearable, we can’t even gather a simple thought, let alone what we really NEED during hardship.

Comforts tranquilize and calm us. They bring us back to our true nature. The anger, frustration, exhaustion, resentment dissipates slowly when we allow ourselves the refreshing reliefs that cradle our hearts and nurture our spirits.

Years ago I stumbled upon the lavender plant …

In one scientific study of Lavender and the Nervous System, lavender was found to reduce “symptoms such as restlessness, disturbed sleep, and somatic complaints and had a beneficial influence on general well-being and quality of life”.

Ask any dirt loving gardener what they grow and they will almost always sing out that at least one lavender plant grows in their garden. Look closely and watch them …. just the mention of this not only beautiful, but truly fragrant plant, will set the stars to twinkling in their eyes. They will parade you through the throngs of bliss amassed in their well manicured yard only to deliver you next to this amazing garden treat and insist you take in its delights.

Whether it is inhaled through essential oils (therapeutic grade is always best) or placed in a sachet in a hot bath or baked or brewed, there is always an easing sense of life’s turmoils when we take time to incorporate this garden beauty into our lives.

Here is a great recipe for you to try that I often make in my own home that is great at relieving fatigue, depression and even tension headaches …

Boil 7 cups of water

Pour 4 cups of the boiled water over 2 tablespoons of lavender buds in a bowl

(Mountain Rose Herbs is a great resource for organic lavender)

Steep covered with a cheese cloth for 10 minutes

Pour the leftover 3 cups of boiling water into a pitcher

Add ½ cup of agave or local honey

Stir until dissolved

Strain lavender “water” with a cheesecloth into your pitcher

(make sure the kids are watching … it is truly magic for the soul)

Add the juice of 3 lemons (about 8 ounces)

Serve over ice

Enjoy your bliss!

Micki

10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth

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the truth about Failure

the truth about Failure

You hear that little voice on your shoulder …”just forget it … it’s not worth it … did you see the way they looked at you?” Unfortunately, we must often fail at things in order to succeed. When we fail, at least we are trying and learning and formulating a better way, a smoother path. If we give up or, even worse, never even try for fear of how we will look or seem to others then growth is never possible.

A friend of mine recently shared a post on Facebook that was incredibly truthful and powerful. The title was “Embarrassment is the cost of entry.” Damn if that won’t get your attention!

It goes on to state that “Winston Churchill defines success as the ability of going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.” Have you set out on a new task, a new skill, a new yoga pose that eludes you? Have you become discouraged and given up? Maybe you just need the right tools, a skilled teacher and a room full of understanding, compassionate supporters. The Powerful Mind website states “there are many benefits to experiencing failure, even though you may not think so initially.”

Here are a few…

You learn something. You actually DO something. It boosts your empathy and it makes you humble while also being a great motivator.

Rule #2 from 10 Little Rules to Finding Your Truth is Expand.

“Our tendency in those quiet stolen moments is to reflect. It’s not the heart-mind that speaks first but the one that sits above those heavy, burdened shoulders that has the loudest, most demanding tone.”

We aren’t thinking at the time “oh, I will learn something here or learn humility.” Fear and panic usually strike! I’ve been right there with you …

Take a moment and picture this. …

You are in front of your most respected teacher and she encourages you to do something so outside your box that panic strikes. That is soon followed by shame for not being more courageous. Do you jump in feet first and throw caution to the wind? I did! And you guessed it … I fell flat on my face. I think I actually had to pull carpet out of my front teeth. And yes, she was watching.

But when I looked up, I saw not condemnation or disgust; I saw a huge encouraging smile urging me to try again. She believed in my expansion. It took three more tries, a few bruises and a lot of carpet burn but I nailed the most elusive yoga pose I had always be fearful to even try.

We are not made to live in boxes!

One day you may even realize there are no boxes!

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the truth about Needs

the truth about Needs

That soundtrack is in my head …

“I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy, I’m not worthy.”

I don’t think twice about doing for others, helping others, building up others. But somehow when I need to fill my cup up, I feel like I’m a burden … other people have their own lives, right? They don’t need to have to deal with all my mess. It’s not their job to make me feel better.

Today the love of my life moved the last of his belongings from my home because his “lifestyle” was more important than our marriage. So here I am once again sitting (COVID strangled, actually) with the utter feeling of hollowness. It would be easy to crawl back into my pjs and into my bed to numb my mind with senseless TV shows but I knew …

We hear our self talk reiterating all the woes and worries but sometimes we have to put a muzzle on that long enough to listen to our truth. I knew my bed was not going to nourish my soul. I knew what I needed! Now just to muster up the courage and strength. I put on my game face and tightened my pony tail!

Rule #6 in my book 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth kept speaking to me … Replenish!! 

So I grabbed my keys and my favorite bubble mate and we visited a new produce stand, my daughter and I having a sing-along in the car. I filled my kitchen with fresh fruits and veggies. Then I leisurely washed my car. Then I put my hands in the dirt. I dug up discarded plants from a neighbor (ones I couldn’t normally afford) and I reverently placed them in my bare yard, filling my life with color. Kitchen? Check! Backyard? Check!

I planted some of these flowers for my new neighbors so they can enjoy the beauty! They trade with me dinners I would never take the time to cook. I pass along more of these plants to other appreciative friends who in turn shower me with baked goodies. Belly? Check!

My life is so full even on the most heartbreaking of days because I know what I need to refill my cup and I now understand …

I AM WORTHY!

I give 

and fill others up 

and it is absolutely ok to allow others to replenish me. 

Somehow it’s not a burden to others. And its weird how they always do exactly when I need it most. In turn, they fill their cups by helping me, just as I do others. It’s a never-ending cycle of give and take and love and support.

Whether it is in human, plant, animal or food form. 

Find what makes your soul happy and do more of that!!

Your favorite pjs and binge watching is for PERFECT days …

NOT the stormy ones.

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The truth about replenishing … a book reading

The truth about replenishing … a book reading

What fills your cup? What makes you happy … especially now, when “normal” is nowhere in sight?

Micki Beach, author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth, reminds us that it’s more important than ever to take care of our joy, and refill our own cups. Without that, we are no good to ourselves or anyone else. Enjoy this reading from her book … (and sign up for our newsletter for upcoming book readings from Micki and our other authors)!

For more inspiration on finding your truth, please visit Micki’s book page to purchase your copy. We love our authors, and our readers.

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a teaser about Truth

a teaser about Truth

These days it can be hard to tell the “truth” from the noise, both in our own heads and in the voices all around us.

Micki Beach, author of 10 Little Rules for Finding Your Truth, wants to help. She’ll be giving a book reading soon; watch her teaser below and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss the full recording!

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