Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I love how courageous I am!!!!

Moving right along toward my vegan chef/entrepreneur dream...and it's amazing how much support I'm getting and opportunities are presenting themselves in just 48 hours, as I do the foot-work of course. This week, I'm dropping off resumes at businesses I want to work in, thus learn from. AND here's the biggie...I may have full funding for the culinary program I want to start next month!!!! Fingers crossed!!! Holding the vision!!! Seeing myself succeed!!! In service to the health and wellness of all!

So, the other day, I was complaining and speaking negatively about having to go back to therapy school, before I dropped out, and that friend said, Laura, be careful because words have power...

So TRUE!!! I am extra aware of that now, and it's interesting because, for so long, I just tried to suck it up and not speak negatively, except in my journal, about the edu path I was on...and just stay positive and power through and do something I didn't want to do and tell myself all kinds of stories to keep myself motivated and..........

But when, I finally paid attention to my language, the private language in my head, heart and journal entries, and to my hesitation, and paying attention to the story about me being a drop out loser who will never accomplish anything, and started saying it and my dislikes about the life I'm living and work I'm doing, out loud, even though it was negative and not blissful and spiritual or whatever...then everything changed.  Sure, that's scary!  To admit to myself I don't want to be a therapist, or a teacher, or a social worker...that I don't want to work with kids, or humans, too closely and on a daily basis...was really hard.  I've been forcing myself to do this work for years now because I thought these were my only options.  Guess what, they aren't!!!!

My vocational dream timeline:  
  • start the Rouxbe on-line plant-based professional chef program 10/17 and have my certification complete within the 6 month period they allot 
  • at the same time, be working in the Vegan Bakery and Catering department at La Montanita Coop, or in the kitchen at Verde raw vegan kitchen, or BOTH at different times would be great, or at Body, or in some other businesses which I have rated in order from most desired and in alignment with my goals to the least
  • so then I'm getting on the job training and getting paid, so I have a home to live in, etc...
  • be researching other work opportunities within different plant-based nutrition organizations like Food For Life 
  • be researching animal sanctuaries, non-profits, how to support the animals with a farm-to-table cafe, how to set up a space for the animals to live, property stuff, where do the animals come from...possible therapeutic opportunities involving collaborating with the animals, if they and I even want to do that, of course, and certification processes involved in that
  • be researching gardening and how to manage a really big one to support the cafe
  • "                    " and developing business plans, menus, financials
  • where do I want this cafe and sanctuary to be??? can I afford that? what's the weather like there, is it conducive to raising animals and a prosperous garden???
  • who is going to be on my team?
  • eventually have all of this up and running...probably other steps between research and that but this is the idea and a good start

Anyway, I am just glad I have the courage to follow my heart and pursue my dreams...and listen to and voice my negative as well as positive language, in order to be truly honest and real with myself and the Multiverse.  I don't have to grin and bear it...I don't have to take one for the team...

I'll truly be able to serve the highest good doing what I want and love to do...just watching my world shift in the last 48 hours is an affirmation and indicator that I am right on track!!! A courageous winner willing to take risks and appropriate right action! not a loser/quitter!!!! 

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Grad school drop-out (at least for now)...I'm out!!!

After a long and careful deliberation, and integrating all that has happened over the last year (and more than the last year) in my studies and life, I know that I do not want to be a therapist. It’s been hard to admit that to myself and now that I have, I feel so relieved. I have a clear vision of the work I want to do and directions I wish to follow and it involves A LOT less work with humans and academia and more work with Nature, non-human Animals, the plant-based, vegan, sustainable agriculture movement and entrepreneurship within that movement, as well as my own individual work in the arts which will likely involve collaborative healing work.
If it turns out I have made the worst mistake of my life, I can always re-apply and finish up my degree. I am not worried about it. I know and trust myself and listen deeply to The Winds of change when they cause my sails to shift directions. It may seem flighty, and it truly is, and The Winds of my intuition have never steered me the wrong way yet. Onward!  Following my heart and my dreams! 

Dear Multiverse:

I hope you are well!  Hope your summer, now turning to golden Fall, is lovely!  Autumn is my most beloved season.

So, I don’t know if you identify as an introvert or not...but I need your help figuring stuff out.  Of course, we know that being an introvert doesn’t always mean being a shy or reserved person.  We know that introversion is actually a brain processing phenomenon.  I am an introvert, although I am not reserved; I always have been but have been learning how to self-identify over the last few years. I remember and recount my childhood sensitivities...there wasn't one adult around who could relate to me and reach me as I needed to be reached, nurtured, and gently guided so I could really tap into my great potential and talents...and I'm still playing catch up as a result of such blind neglect. So, like any kid would, I felt I was an outsider and have been trying not to be one my whole life!  Hey world, I'm not an alien, I'm an introvert! And I'm an introvert with different value systems than other dominant cultures, ie, veganism.  I've thought there was something wrong with me, have wondered about all kinds of "disorders" and have tried to understand why I don't and usually don't want to fit in with others, and why navigating relationships can be so difficult and tiring.  I've tried doing the opposite of what is comfortable, questioning and even going against my values so I can try to coalesce with others and group norms.  It never works and it never lasts. Believe me, I really have tried to be a team player and team builder too!  In fact, I've put lots of training hours into it.  I have also humbly reached out for help from mentors and counselors and I think that I have not received the help I need is because I live in a world of extroverts.  Seriously, extroverts run the show and are the majority.  And we live in a world that rewards extroverts.  Moreover, extroverts, even extroverted mental health and other types of "helping" professionals do not really understand introverts, therefore introverts are mislabeled, misunderstood and misguided, among other things.  A friend wrote: it is typical that non-dominant cultures understand the nuances of dominant cultures, but is rarely the other way around. Indeed! This simple statement if mindfully acted on could be the root to solutions for conflict across the board. 

Anyway, I wanted to request a heart-to-heart with you and to learn a bit about your practice in the therapy field and professional life in general.  You seem like a high and healthy functioning adult, so naturally, I'm drawn to knowing how you survive and thrive as a professional in this world.  

Here's a brief synopsis of my, uh...situation:

Long story short; I am having a really hard time finding a professional avenue that I like and want to travel.  As much as I have a heart to serve others, I really don't like people that much, which sounds awful, but I mean...what I mean is that I feel exhausted by people and I prefer to be alone and to limit my time with most people to very short, manageable increments.  Moreover, I am feeling, and have over this last year at SWC felt, like I don't want to be surrounded with people's problems...which is a tough one since, as I said, I have a heart to serve using the arts.  The thing is, I really need a profession where I get to be creative and helpful in my community and the world and not struggle financially all the time.  

Here's another example that I am waking up to:  I recently got a job working with youth in an empowerment-based feminist program, which is awesome in theory, and I really don't like kids, or humans too much, as I already mentioned.  I don't understand this...how do I feel a desire to serve and work with folks and not like them...and want nothing to do with them...???  This is really perplexing.  I mean, I deeply love these children, they're beautiful, and I even sometimes enjoy them, but they are loud, rude, self-absorbed, mean at times, and I have to raise my voice and be someone I'm not with them just to get them to settle for 10 seconds and then they're at it again...I hate this work. Kids scare me and I feel a range of hope and fear for the world when I engage with them and watch them develop little by little into adults.  I'm a little shocked by my misanthropic feelings but it does not serve me or anyone else to suppress them any longer.  So, people and social engagements to an extent are...uh, tough...for me...and I try to avoid them.  There are moments that feel good and like working with youth/humans is something I want to do but in general not so much and I feel tired and annoyed and need to be alone to get back to equilibrium. And I have tried soooooo hard to mold myself into being someone else, someone who loves these types of interactions.  I'm not that girl. 

It's important to note that I keep trying to shift this part of myself, as if I can wave a magic wand and be someone else with different needs and feelings.  Living in an extroverted world has conditioned me to believe that I'm wrong, aloof, snotty, for being introverted; that I need to be/do more this or that; that I need to be an activist in certain socially engaging ways in order to take responsibility for "being the change" and I think there's a lot of truth to that; that in order to be kind I must be available to help and show up at all times; that I need to be able to handle all the intensity and drama and chaos within interpersonal settings; that as a woman I should want to have a family; that as a human I should want lots of friends around; and I'm FINALLY starting to understand that I AM FINE and healthy and stable the way I am.  I do not need to change this part of myself and I cannot change it. Trying to shove my curvy self into a square hole is not working. Instead, I want to and must leverage this awareness and find solutions for myself so I can get my needs met and live happily. I keep thinking, oh, this new work gig is cool, I can do this, or, maybe I'll like that job and can excel...and I'm actually dying inside while I lie to myself.  This is unsustainable and at times, downright miserable on an existential level.  I refuse to live this way.  

So, I thought I wanted to work with kids and groups, and maybe adults are better (but adults are often way worse than kids in lots of ways...and adult bad behavior is horrible to put up with as well…) so, I'm at a loss.  Working with individual humans seems doable and could be great but I have little experience with that. Perhaps Spring practicum can help me figure out if I like that? Right now, I feel like I want to drop out of therapy school (and I'm not going to because that would be incredibly stupid as I'm sure I can work these skills and credentials into a workable professional practice somehow) and become a chef/artist.  I see myself with a bright and open studio art space, where I work alone besides when I invite someone like a client in or a colleague to collaborate with, with a commercial kitchen to bake bread and make the vegan food I love and want to serve, and a place for yoga, dance, meditation, and an outdoor space for connection with animals and gardening…stuff like that.  I truly am a sensitive artist type, like for real.  The older I get, the less flexible I am about not getting my introverted needs met.  I'm actually slightly indignant and am becoming unwilling to compromise certain things. I like quiet...spaciousness...creativity, music, cooking, animals, plants, nature...and a very few, select humans.  I dislike having to answer to people and shape my life around the agendas of other folks, which may sound uncooperative, and maybe it is, but I've been cooperating for so long! It's time I have the courage to really live authentically and to shape my studies and professional life around that.

Can you offer me direction, please? Maybe the “helping” profession isn’t for me?  Maybe I can do other things and still be a self-identified altruist, but a less social one?

Thank you so much for your consideration and insights!!!


Laura Murphy

P.S. Even as I write this, or just a few minutes after, I feel compelled to minimize and backtrack and explain myself...like, actually, I am a nice person, I love people, I care about their struggles, etc, etc, etc, and all of that is true.  And, for the sake of simply honoring my truth and feelings that I have pushed away for so long, it's important that I just say all of this. I'm tired of pretending.  Now, I get to take this knowledge, explore it, and allow my awareness to propel me into appropriate right action that will take me where I wish to go.  I know that switching gears if need be, and or simply fine tuning my current plan, and taking a path that I feel truly inspired to take, will in the long-run help me to be of greater service to myself and others.  Now it's time to research jobs I might like, for instance, forestry, being a chef, perhaps being a therapist with a private practice on the side of other jobs....light house operator...being the person who makes hiking trails...working with animals...having my own art studio, a good one too...

 Also, it's interesting because I love huge cities...probably because I can blend right into the crowd, hide out in museums, get lost in the library and on city streets, meditate on the subway, etc.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Calling IN, not calling out

RE: current political/social climates/conflicts et al...
I read about a communication/advocacy/activist strategy recently that caught my attention: "calling IN, not calling out."

At first it seems subtle, but the more I ponder it, it's a remarkably powerful and right action oriented shift that takes a whole 'lotta skill, care, self-awareness and self-regulation. Just noting the self-mastery this skill takes hints at why so many conveniently use the calling out method instead. Going against the streams of convenience and conditioning takes a lot of effort and that effort is worth more than we might be able to imagine.

Anyway, calling IN rather than calling out feels much more spacious and fluid to me. It creates a place for shifting, exploration, pivot zones, dancing of seemingly opposite forces, and coalescence of seemingly polar interests, needs and values. Calling IN could allow for messages to be heard more effectively, for positions to be stated with intention assertively in integrity without striking blows and destroying progress that is made, and for hearts to soften and open, even just to be more transparent about the fears, anger, hurt, vulnerability, victimization, etc, one or a group feels.

When I think about calling in as oppose to calling out, it's like, I can breathe easier. Even as I sit here writing about it. I feel a shift in my body toward relaxation. I imagine more possibilities and solutions and open space for them to develop. I hope we can take time to listen and get to know each other, even if we completely disagree, and learn to use this style of communication and practice more non-violence in our lives.

p.s. I'm trying to remember where I read this so I unfortunately can't cite who said it or where I found it.  I'll dig around in my brain and report back with sources. I just think this concept is brilliant!!! I want to know more.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Tuesday morning white privilege

….so heart breaking...sickening and depressing….white privilege is one of the worst cases of tunnel vision out there, and because of our whiteness, we have it, I have it... period. It’s very important to get real with and sit with the disgust that arises, at least that's what I feel. we white folks can and must work on being more aware, loving, and active change- and peacemakers—especially in educating other white folks about these issues—but we can never fully understand what People of Color have gone and go through because of racism and historic trauma.
white privilege can be a tough concept for many white folks to wrap their heads around. And it’s tough for me to understand how it’s tough for white folks to get it, but that’s a crux in this horrific situation that continually perpetuates greed, fear, lack, hate, and more. The longer it takes for white folks to get it, the longer this nightmare will drag out. however, with a willingness to humble one's self, which includes learning new ideas, laying down the need to be right and to make others wrong, laying down tired victim stories that aren’t inclusive and sensitive to the experiences and victimization others deal with every single day, and trying to look at the world through different cultural lenses, it can be done and a river of compassion and insight can wash over that willing human. it's the graceful, righteous cleansing our nation and world need.

a lot of white folks’ language around multicultural issues and current events come across as brash, disrespectful and demeaning of People of Color’s experiences, valid fears, anger and anxiety... IF white people would rather not set themselves up to look like uneducated, hateful bigots, and if they want to venture even further and create solution, cohesion and peace in the world, they may want to consider using their language and privileges in ways that empower people, heal, and help to eradicate hatred, rather than fuel fires. words have power. I urge you to tap into the inherent love that is in you and that you are, and choose wisely.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Double Rainbow!

I saw a double rainbow today on my drive home from my first day of my new awesome job with the youngest feminists in Santa Fe!



and after getting to hang out with one girl singing this song very boldly on repeat!  I'm surrounded by little sparkly lions, tigers and unicorns at my new job and I love it!!!


and to top it all off, I decided to make pancakes for dinner, because I can, and one came out in the shape of a heart without me even trying...

some days are just wonderful!!!