Category: Daily Lessons

A Humbling Plant

A Humbling Plant

Another day, another lesson…

My skin has been acting up for quite some time now. I figured out the other day that it’s been at least a year since the extreme flare ups began. They became progressively worse in the last 6 months and terribly debilitating in the last 2.

I keep my head up and I work hard, but I’ve really been in a lot of pain lately. Some days, it’s hard to get out of bed because I’ve gotten little to no sleep the night before from scratching. And most days, my skin has a constant stinging sensation, so every position, sitting or standing is uncomfortable. I’ve tried everything… diet changes, including elimination, topical trials, steroids!! Yes, I even tried pharmaceuticals. Every natural remedy you can think of, including various herbs and vitamins, but nothing has worked! And y’all know I tried everything #cannabis related.

Well here’s the kicker. And the reason this image is so powerful… Two days ago, I figured out what’s been causing my extreme dermatitis. You’ll never guess! The irony is too great.

The very Plant that has taken all of my muscular skeletal pain away, given me the ability to walk again, and opened my mind beyond realms imagined, is also the culprit for my recent skin challenges. Yes! Can you believe it? Since I’ve been in such regular contact with the raw plant material and I already suffer from atopic dermatitis (#eczema), I’m more susceptible to irritation from the #trichomes in the cannabis plant. MIND BLOWN!!

It turns out this is a pretty common thing, minor irritation and itchiness after interacting with the raw material. Trimmers can testify to this. But my situation, like everything else in my life, is #exceptional. Go figure!

—-

What I’ve learned…

  1. When you are suffering, it is only temporary and always seek to free yourself from such suffering
  2. It pays to have smart friends because it is they who will propel you to think of all the possibilities and help you come to new understandings through your collective knowledge.
  3. When you give any one thing too much power, it can defeat you. Maintain your own personal strength.
  4. Journaling matters. By taking a survey of your daily routine and acknowledging the changes along the way, you can more easily pinpoint what catalysts have lead you to where you are now. Makes changing directions a lot easier too.
  5. Be willing to rethink your social constructs. Everything is impermanent and there are many ways to see one thing. Be humble about all that you “think” you know.

So why this image? Well, this tattoo has always been a reminder for me to be present in the moment. The OM symbol in the center of a lotus speaks volumes to my soul. As a practicing Buddhist, I try to meditate daily, and if I forget and look down, I take a moment right then.

And now… I can barely see my beautifully stained armwork because this damaged skin prevails. But today that ends! It’s been 2 days since my discovery and the double edged sword this dilemma presents only makes me more loyal to my mission to educate others on this miracle plant. I’ve already changed some habits and the itching has significantly decreased. Give thanks! Now it’s time for me to delve further into this segment of my work. I want to gain greater understanding of the effects of trichomes on the skin and I definitely want to be able to benefit from topical cannabis so I have to find a way while continuing to teach.The journey never ends. And self treatment with cannabis is an ever evolving process.

I am committed to achieving healthy skin again. I believe it will heal quickly. Now that I’m empowered with this new knowledge. And when it does, I’ll check back in with my armwork. Might be time to add some color and details.

Tattoo artists. Hit me up!

Work a lot of Jobs, Learn a lot of Stuff

A large part of my #success can be attributed to the fact that I’ve had many, many #jobs. Not all of them pleasant or fun, but every one, a learning experience.

Take Notes

Yesterday, when giving my #makeup #traincase a much needed deep cleaning, I began to reflect on this reality. Why? You ask… Because my first job at 16 years old was in sales at Nordstrom. Back when they hired folks that young. Haha! I learned the importance of attention to detail and catering to your clients. They taught me well. Within a year I moved into cosmetics with Estee Lauder¬†and I got the bug! The bug that teaches you how to make more money by taking good note of your surroundings.

So if you’ve ever worked for #Nordstrom, you know you can always go back if you left in good standing. Well I did that… Several times over the years. The last time was during my early years as a High School teacher. Yes, that was one of my many jobs. I taught Geometry and Pre-Calculus… can you believe that?! Anyway, the last time I returned to Nordies, I worked for MAC Cosmetics. It was so much fun! After teaching each day, I would hurry to the nearby mall for my evening-close shift. I worked with brilliant make-up artists, sales leaders, consummate professionals and of course, event those “catty” and competitive folks who could sometimes make your work hours miserable. Everyone is there for you to learn from.

Be Grateful for the Details

Makeup

While cleaning my train-case and wiping each individual eyeshadow by hand, I began to feel a tremendous amount of gratitude in my heart. As I separated my items for recycling (because the “Back to MAC” program gives you a free lipstick, lip gloss or eyeshadow for every 6 empty containers) ūüôā, I thought about all the gifts I have received over the years. You see, true learning begins with gratitude.

 

My professional experiences over the years have been varied. I’ve worked in retail, corporate, non profit and education… all to thoroughly prepare me for what I am doing now. Becoming an entrepreneur was both the easiest and toughest decision of my life. While it meant having the freedom to truly pursue my dreams, it also meant that I was going to responsible for securing my own steady income. Becoming a Cannapreneur took a tremendous amount of courage and commitment to a cause so much larger than myself. So how have I done it and been successful?

I pay close attention at every opportunity, to learn from those doing what I want to be doing.

Knowledge SpeaksMy Daily Practices on the path toward success: 

  • I try to listen more than I speak.
    • Sounds funny because if you know me, you know I talk quite a bit. But over the years, I’ve learned to be quiet with someone else wants to speak. Not only does it make for a more pleasant conversation, but it most certainly makes for a more productive one.¬†
  • I always read, read, read the entire article.
    • Whether it’s about the current state of the nation, a blog post or a book. Read the whole thing from start to finish. Nowadays, everyone wants to read the headline and call themselves an expert.
  • I write things down so I can remember them.
    • Throughout the day, I’m sparked by inspiration. But I’m also really busy living my multi-passionate lifestyle so it’s impossible for me to remember everything. I carry a small journal or 3 and I write everything down. If you’re not as old school as I am, that’s okay. Use the Notes feature in your phone… just do it!¬†
  • I #givethanks for the good and the bad.
    • It’s human nature to want to avoid all negative experiences and/or blame others for that reality. But the fact is, without those not-so-positive days, we wouldn’t have appreciation for the awesome days. Take the good with the bad, listen and learn. Then commit to change.¬†

 

#Kindnessmatters

Work a lot of Jobs, Learn a lot of Stuff
Let Nature Nurture You

Let Nature Nurture You

Every year we set new intentions, most of us see the winter months as an ending to things; We allow the celebrations of the new year to help us see the possibilities ahead. This is a good thing. It says to me that we are on the right path because we keep making efforts to be better. With each new year, I do the same. I use the cold winter days to stay in and reflect on the past year(s). I spend more time with family friends during celebrations. And I set new goals for the future. This year, I even made a vision board!

After I set my goals, I rank them in order from ‘most easily attainable’ to ‘may present some challenge.’ Word choice matters ūüėČ And then I dive right in, no hesitation, no additional thought. I immediately begin work on the easiest one.

My first and most easily attainable goal this year is to spend more time in nature.

Forest Blog Pic

This past weekend, I took my second hiking trip of the year (the first was Mt. Baldy). Joined by the hubs, our kids and a few awesome friends, we¬†hiked about 6 miles along a gorgeous trail in¬†Etiwanda Falls. It was a little chilly in so. cal that day, but perfect for a climb. EF is a popular trail so we weren’t alone, but the hills are massive and the views are wide, so it’s easy to find peace in¬†your surroundings.

 

The goal of this particular hike was to reach the waterfall. Once we did, we sat, we ate and we enjoyed the sounds of the river. You know, even as I type this it sounds so surreal. I promise, I am not making this up! It was a beautiful experience.

I took that time to review all that was going on around us. There were a few other groups up there as well. The sound of the water rushing by created a natural meditative experience and for a brief moment, it felt as though all was right in the world.

There was a vibration coming from the rocks letting me know that Mother Nature knew we were there and that she was looking out for us.

I am certain that each of us gained something different from the hike. Being in nature can lead to so many unexpected revelations. The trick is to relax and let them come… Before heading back down the mountain, we snapped a couple pics for posterity and extended thanks to Mother Earth. What a day!

I learned:

  • We should join others in nature for rich and rewarding experiences.
  • We are a tiny part of the universe, but our power within it is very great.
  • Hiking is great exercise!
  • When we trust the process, things always go exactly as they are supposed to.
  • After hiking up hill for 6 miles, you need to stretch or you will be sore the next day. ūüôā

Msk at EF

#kindnessmatters

Taking Breaks to Ease the Pain

My days are filled with “things to do” and “stuff to get done.” I have to constantly plan ahead and schedule everything in its place. This helps to keep the chaos a little more organized, but could never alleviate it. The reality is, I chose this life and all that it comes with. You might say, I called it to me. Sometimes, our inner desires aren’t even known to us until they manifest. I wanted a small immediate family, a business or 2,¬†great friends (lots of them), and very large extended network of people I could count on for one thing or another. I got all of that and more! So, how do I manage it all without going crazy? … I take breaks. Small breaks, big breaks, weekend breaks, cocktail breaks and most importantly, meditation breaks. Yes folks, I said it. MEDITATION. I do all of these things without guilt. That’s the key.

“There is a virtue in work and there is a virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” ~Alan Cohen

I’m going to keep this message simple, so we will keep religion out of it. Now¬†practice,¬†that’s a different story. We should all practice something that helps us feel balanced on a regular basis. I choose meditation… and frequent cocktail breaks with girlfriends of course. ūüôā

What is meditation? 

If we think of it in a literal sense it’s not such a daunting concept. Meditation means, but is not limited to: contemplation, thought, musing, pondering, consideration, reflection, deliberation, rumination, reverie, and/or concentration. (And not necessarily in that order!) It is all of those things in one actually.

I sometimes let meditation be my small break in the day. I have learned how to achieve instant
peace with even 30 seconds of breath counting. I don’t always close my eyes for the practice
because it’s quick. But it’s long enough to reset your body’s rhythm and provide the brain with
enough oxygen to re-clarify any feelings of stress or irritation. You can do it anywhere and at any time. Try it right now. Take 30 seconds to just sit still and count your exhales. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

note to self-breathe

Nice job! How do you feel? I bit more relaxed right? Try it a few times each day and see how it helps you to navigate the chaos. Once you’ve realized the value in your breath, you can increase the time increments and officially adopt it as a¬†practice.¬†Once that is sure to change your life, I promise.

“A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest man.” ~Roald Dahl

So let’s talk about those cocktail breaks now. I try to get one of those in at least every 10-12 days. Yes, I calendar those too! It gives me something to look forward to because I know that when I’m with those I love and trust, I can totally be myself. With our drinking buddies, we can be silly and unpolished. We can easily do what I like to call, “let the crazy out.” Feel free to use that term after you do it. You will know when the time is right. ūüôā¬†cheers wine glasses

These “cocktail” breaks don’t have to actually involve cocktails if that’s not your thing. The most important part of these types of breaks are the people you take them with. The cocktail break is a time to let loose, to talk and be listened to. It’s a time to laugh and be carefree, to de-stress and re-focus. It’s during these times, that I really feel grateful for all of my gifts. Gratitude opens the door to the wisdom and creativity of the universe. #truth

“Each person deserves a day in which no problems are confronted, no solutions are searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares that will not withdraw from us.” ~ Maya Angelou

The¬†big breaks¬†are of great value. We will call these breaks, VACATION! Yes, you have to take vacations every now and then. During these breaks I do not work, I don’t even check my email. I may write a journal entry or two, but that is welcome work when on vacation.

beach-relax

Getaways don’t have to be long, they just have to be BIG. That’s the point. Take 1 or 5 or 15 days to just get away. Take as long as you want to and can do; remember, just do it big! Go somewhere that makes you feel relaxed. Go somewhere that makes you feel happy. Plan it ahead so you don’t have to feel guilty when you go. Take the folks with you that help you to find balance. For some vacations, you may be alone. That’s certainly okay too.

Some of my best inspiration comes when I’m alone.

I’ve learned¬†

  • Taking breaks is a necessary and vital part of maintaining my sanity
  • I can take these breaks without feeling guilty because I am a better person when I do.
  • I must be grateful for the energy, time and patience I’ve been gifted if I want to keep those gifts.
  • Meditation helps to reset my rhythms so I can live to fight another day! #namaste

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.” ~Louisa May Alcott

#KindnessMatters

 

 

contemplation, thought, thinking, musing, pondering, consideration, reflection, deliberation, rumination, brooding, reverie, brown study, concentration

 

We are busy people; that we know. But how we fill our time is completely up to us.

Taking Breaks to Ease the Pain
Use your hindsight to see the future

Use your hindsight to see the future

I journal. Do you? I have been writing my thoughts down on paper for years. I really should purchase stock in Moleskine. Are they a public company? Anyway, if you don’t journal, you should start today. It will make a lasting impact on your life and affect change.

I frequently return to old books to read my past thoughts and assess my growth. This morning, before setting my intentions for the day (we will talk about that soon), I began reading some excerpts from more than 5 years ago. As I flipped through the pages, I found a common theme… I was all over the place emotionally. From day to day, I was happy, sad, angry, depressed, confused. Hell! According to my notes, I experienced many of those emotions in the same day. It’s amazing how much energy flowed from those pages. I was in a tremendous amount of pain and I don’t even think I knew that back then.

mom-stressed-kid-messThis very recognizable pattern of chaos begged me to consider what was happening in my life at the time. Why was I in so much pain? And then it hit me, we had just had our first child. I was in one of those ‘periods of time’ when you experience tremendous, rapid growth. Those periods are often painful. But like the inspiring Iyanla Vanzant says, “There is so much value in the valley.” That entire year was difficult. I had a growing business, a new marriage and a new baby. Oh, AND my mother had just moved in with us, so for the first time in almost 15 years, we lived together again. Imagine that!

So what happened? I made it through, that’s what. And I made it through victoriously. I remember feeling under-stress for that period of time, but I also remember when I started to feel better. I remember making the choice everyday to try again. Eventually, I rose from the “valley” and moved forward with ease. Now, I use hindsight to create knowledge and learn the intended lesson. With this wisdom, I avoid repeating many of the same mistakes.

I learned: 

  • I am just as important as anyone else.
  • I cannot take care of others if I do not put my own needs first.
  • Post pregnancy hormones are no joke!
  • I should ask for help if I need it.
  • I can do many things well, but that doesn’t mean I have to do many things.
  • Buy a house with an In-Law’s Guest House. (I love you Mom!)

Now, I have foresight. I can prepare for future valleys. I can recognize them sooner and if I am self-actualized in the process, I can breeze through those periods with grace.

Start journaling today! Tell us what you’re learning.

#KindnessMatters

P.S. This is not an ad for Moleskine. I just freaking love those things.

Listen more than you speak.

Today’s Lesson:

LISTEN MORE THAN YOU SPEAK. Because there’s so much to learn.

You, like me, have probably heard this before. But something else I’ve recently learned is that “first we hear, then we listen.” So I guess yesterday, I finally listened. The message rang loudly in my spirit. It made a resounding noise in my mind and more importantly, my heart. I finally understood the value in observation. It is only through a calm, quiet lens that you can truly see. Observation¬†without interjection or judgement is a powerful tool in learning.¬†

This is the thing. It’s really easy to say we understand a message and state our intentions, but it’s very difficult to change a habit and then sustain that change. The key is developing a practice that easily and quickly becomes a new habit. What I learned to do yesterday (in situations of high stress that would ordinarily provoke an extreme response and delay learning):

1. Implement the 3 second rule. That is to hear a statement or question and literally begin to count in your mind. 1, 2, 3… You’d be amazed at the power that lies in 3 tiny seconds.

2. Take a deep (I mean deep down into your core) breath. Focus during that breath on exactly what you feel and on the exhale, release it!

This one actually happens naturally in heightened states. Our heart rates increase and we begin to take deeper breaths. Here, you do it with intention.

3. By now, you’re already more acclimated and prepped to be a better listener. You’re more equipped to respond, but the funny thing is, just after two intentional actions, you can more easily decide to keep listening. There’s so much more to learn.

Step 3 and the final step, involves a quick self exploration process. Ask yourself one simple question…

“What is your end goal for this immediate interaction?” Then proceed.

active-listening

#KindnessMatters

Listen more than you speak.