Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Home for the Holidays

I am not "Home" for the Holidays. Millions are not. Transplants who have relocated for better jobs and possibilities, military overseas, families who have moved to create an idyllic life in the burbs, young adults who have moved to escape, many of us move away from our families of origin and don't make it back.
But we are where we are. In fact, I am HOME. I am at my home of my family of my creation now...and all the heaviness and sadness in my heart from missing my family of origin softens as I consider what home is and what I do have now.

As I roll out the pie dough, I think of my father who would make three, four five pies at, pumpkin, pumpkin with mince meat, grasshopper pie and always the mystery pie which usually involved peanut butter or squash or a combo....he proudly presented the pies, which each had special marks on the crust as a special code to him, and he relished in our guessing incorrectly about the secret ingredients. His delight, generosity and excitement brought a special magic to the holidays every year.
I am not home for his pies this year, but he is with me as I make mine.

As I wrap the presents, the ten, twenty or more little tiny stocking stuffers that my husband thinks is insane to wrap...I think of my mother, up late wrapping and labeling each stocking stuffer, her handwriting always neat and feminine and loving. You could tell it was a special gift just from how she wrote and the little clue she would write on the label " For warm and cozy nights" or "Something pretty". She would wonder at our glee as we struggled to open the tiny presents, luxuriating in the stockings being opened while she sipped her coffee. I am not in her home as I wrap this year, but she is with me in mine.

As I buy a huge 5 foot giraffe for my son 7 year old Ben that he "really really wants", a toy my husband disagrees is useful or practical, I think of my sweet sister. I remember her generosity in giving us a huge present one year, that she saved up for and bought with her own money. She insisted we open it last and was very serious that it was a special gift. It obviously meant a lot to her to give it. When we opened it, I didn't get it at first. It was a big brown ottoman, a thing to rest our feet on. I was maybe nine, I didn't rest my feet. But then I got the thought that she put into it. We all worked hard on our family hospitality business, she cared enough about us to get something we could ALL use, relax with and rest our feet on.

I told my husband it's not whether we agree that this toy will be useful, it's What It Means to HIM. So I smile at the people who smile at me, holding a 5 foot giraffe leaving the mall, and my heart fills with joy when Ben invites my husband and his brothers to hug the giraffe, and they do. He is sharing his gift with the family and his heart if full. Life is magical...and although I am not home with my sister, she is here with all of us.

As I stick a label onto a blank journal that I am creating called " Grandpa's Legacy Journal, 50 Words of Wisdom We Want to Know from You" I think of my brother Tao, an artist who has inspired many years of making gifts. I think of his imagination, freedom and fearlessness he embodies when learning a new form of art or making something to give to someone. He doesn't worry if they like it. He doesn't explain how he wanted it to look and didn't make it that way, he doesn't create anything that you would expect just because it needs to be a certain kind of "pretty". He makes what matters to him. He makes a contribution of the inner workings of his mind, which is beautiful place we can only see if he shares it.

So as I put questions into the journal for Grandpa to fill out and create a legacy for himself through his contribution of wisdom in raising our boys, I think of the boldness my brother has given me. I am proud to be giving a gift I have created with the boys. Sometimes, the greatest gift you can give someone is to allow them to contribute to you. We are asking for that contribution for our boys, to raise them into men of responsibility,creativity and integrity. I may not be home to hug my brother but he is here contributing to the future of my sons and their brothers, here, now.

As we ring in the New Year, with my amazing family of NOW, I am present to my husband who has chosen to create family with me for the rest of our lives. He was not born into my family. He chose me. I choose him. And we make that choice everyday. It is not a "given" that we will be together forever. It's a choice. Just as we chose to be here for the holidays this year, we choose to live here, 3000 miles away from my family of origin. It's all a choice and one I must get continually present to that I choose in the creation of the life that we are choosing here together.
If I wallow in the missing of my family of origin, I loose the power I have to create and be present with my family now. I become a victim of the life I have created.

Instead I choose to honor my family of origin by bringing all that they have given me and make this life with my family exciting, creative and magical now.

Thank you for your gifts Dad, Mom, Tao and Chi. Thank you also for the very amazing gifts that you have chosen, Timothy, Kaia and Amy. They make our family fun, gracious and delightful. I love you all.

Zen LaBossiere Honeycutt

The Last Year of Your Life

We watched 2012 last night. The movie plays out the scenerio of the ancient Mayan calendar being correct about a huge sun flare on December 21, 2012 sending out enough gases to cook our earth's core and disrupt the entire earth's land surface.
I know I was about two years late, the movie came out a while ago...but it was perfect that as we near a New Year to reflect upon, what if The END was next year? No I am not a Dooms Day-er or particularly appreciate a palpitating heart from the anxiety of what would happen to my family if the world were collapsing around us,crumbling into an abyss of the earth's core of hot lava...
But I do really really enjoy reflecting on the Way things ARE, or how I THINK they are....and if that is real or not...and what COULD Be...what's POSSIBLE.

I think that is a part of being the sense of the Buddhist philosophy of my namesake.
Being present to what is so and how that most likely isn't real...and being at peace with that.
I so often, like the commander who bases his actions on what the scientist says what he projects is going to happen to the earth, think that I KNOW what is going to happen..
Later today my husband will remember to fix that webcam for me, next week school will start and I will finally get to clean out the art closet, in the summer I will go visit my family in Connecticut and my kids will bond with my family of origin...
and I base my whole pattern of life on the future I am living into...that I think I KNOW.
When the Commander finds out things are not as the scientist says, he is angry. I do that. This SHOULD not be this way. The scientist, who has experience with nature being unpredictable, find it predictable that the unpredictable is happening.
More often lately, by being present, I am able to do this instead...BE with what's so. Then take action to create what I want to create. In this movie, the scientist created generosity, caring and LIFE.

What if we think we know and suddenly we saw our future wasn't real?

What if we just didn't know what our future will be like?

What would you do with the last year of your life?

What are you Creating?

I am creating that this is the year we turn life upside down as we know it. Like in the movie where the poles switch, what if I didn't base anything on anything the way I KNOW. What if I came from the UNPREDICTABLE?
Suddenly new things open up for me...
Surprises, Joy and Abundance in areas I once saw as lacking. Excitement in areas where I avoided....Love in areas that I with held. Real ADVENTURE and being PRESENT to my children.
Total LOVE.

What is also present to me is well, if we KNEW this was the last year of our life I would probably be really irresponsible and spend wild amounts of money on wild adventures around the world. There in lies the rub. We don't KNOW.
The world, most likely, historically, will continue on for a few thousand years give or take before a catastrophe happens. So if we come from we just don't KNOW...either way, we would probably work with what we've got right now and make that work to the fullest. And still,anything is possible...wild adventures included.

On New Year's Day we will have a Celebration of our Past Year and a CREATION Dinner of our Future with some dear friends.
Who knows what the future holds....but if we live like this is the last year of our life, I place my bets on a palpitating heart from living fully.

Zen L. Honeycutt

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Oyster in the Chicken

I am pulling the tender meat off a cooked chicken, the flesh is soft and almost waxy, greasy with tasty fat and salty bits. I remember to get "the oyster" and I have a flashback of thirty years ago when I saw my mother pulling the meat off a carcass of a cooked chicken, preparing it for "Jook" or Chinese rice porridge, as I am doing now. She was peaceful, standing in front of the sink, sunlights shining on her round face, wisps of black hair over her ears...and she gently pulled apart the bones and wings to get every morsel of meat. As a curious child I asked her what she was doing, and she showed me, turning the chicken over and pointing out not to forget " the oyster". She pushed out a perfect oval shaped piece of slightly pinker meat, noticeably softer, and whispered in conspiracy, "It's my favorite part, the most tender, do you want it?" She held it out, fingers coated in grease, invitingly, happily, with an excited smile on her face. When she saw my hesitation her mind went to my siblings,"There's two, I'll put the other in the Jook." she said. I took the special morsel as a sacred honor, bit into it and noticed indeed it was more tender and flavorful. It instantly became my favorite too, and I will never forget that one moment when my mother taught me how to take them meat off a chicken, prepare Jook and treated me special, just that once, to have the whole oyster all to myself.
It occured to me that it's "something" to know how to cook Jook and get the oyster off the chicken. Not everyone knows that probably...
and then I though about all the other things my mother has taught me.
How to find the tiniest treasures in the snow or on a nature hike.
How to always say three good things before you say one constructive criticism to anyone.
How to, when you are made at someone, sit down and write three good things about them.
How to, when making flower arrangements, always put things in odd numbers. Three is good. ( She has three children, see a running theme here?)
How to say I love you frequently,daily, and include a hug.
How to wonder at children and play with them in their world.
How to laugh at the silliest of jokes and be free.
How to talk in front of people authentically, gracefully and be the source of laughter without trying to cause it.
How to give generously.
How to be creative even if you don't think you are "skilled enough".
How to be a friend and do fun things with them often.
How to travel adventurously.

I have learned much from my mother....often times she didn't intend to teach me what she did, but I was watching.
I still am, as she is source not only of great knowledge, but of great love.
And she can make the most mouthwatering Jook you ever tasted.
Recipe here:

Boil then simmer a cooked chicken carcass, meat removed, covered in water ( about a half gallon) for about two hours. Use a sieve and pour broth into another large pot and remove any more loose meat from the leftover bones and add to the broth. Add about 2 cups of cooked rice, depending on how much broth you made, so that it still looks soupy. Rice will expand dramatically. Add leftover cooked chicken, about 1 cup. Add 1 inch of minced fresh ginger ( skin removed) and it it easier to cut if frozen OR add one teaspoon of jarred ginger. Add three teaspoons of Soy Sauce, Tamari or Braggs. Stir occasionally and and cook for about 30 minutes, until rice has curled and expanded and porridge is somewhat thick. Chopped fresh scallions and scatter on top and serve immediately.
This is a fabulous breakfast or lunch on a cold day.
Chicken broth is a natural antibiotic, so it promotes good health too!
Thanks Mom!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's YOUR Life

As I lay you down for a nap…

You will never remember the first time we met
And I will not remember when we last say goodbye
In between, our memory is fleeting
Deleting, randomly
The moments we hold can be deciphered a million different ways
I choose to hold mine with you as sweetly
Completely, true.
True love, true innocence, true presence.
You will interpret our moments together as you do
You may blame me, shame me, yearn for me
Or disdain me.
I forgive you.
Because you are a perfect being of love and light
Of sweet delight
And whatever you say that moment was for you
Is what it was
You say so.
I love you.
Your mother,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rains of Change

It is raining for the first time in perhaps six months, in Southern California. The soft grey skies and pleasant rhythmic plopping of rain soothe my heartbeat, slow my pace.
I miss the rain, I think. It's happening here, now, I am in it and yet I miss it.
I miss the sudden warm Connecticut rain showers of summer...thrilling thunder storm outbursts, days of cold constant wetness in the early winter, when I curled up by the window with a book in bed and read by the soft glow of the clouded sun, the nourishing rains of the spring where green and yellow forsythia and purple crocus spring up from the rain drops.
Like two streams of rushing water after a sudden downfall, merging together, my thoughts about rain merged with my thoughts about how we can cut out housing cost in half and plan and save for extraordinary experiences, like traveling around the world and volunteering as a family....these two thoughts merged together and began to flow forward...
my husband could get a job there...we could have the dream life...

My childhood state beckons now, as the answer to many of my dreams for our family.
The spacious home with character and charm that is a fraction of the cost of the one we have now. Great schools and stellar colleges. Seasons, ponds, ocean and wilderness. The big green back yard that goes on forever, lined with leafy Maple and Sassafras trees, protected by a few tall stately evergreen. A tree house stands towards the back of the yard where our three boys play for hours, having adventures and telling stories. An organic garden in the sunny part of the yard grows fresh herbs, tomatoes, corn, broccoli, brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas and lettuce. Flowers like fuscia peony's,Day Lily's, Iris, and Queen Anne's Lace surround the yard, which I collect every few days and bring into nearly every room of the house. A garden shed or small barn houses the garden tools, maybe even a guinea hen coop or small goat I can make fresh goat cheese and have fresh eggs for breakfast.

My sister lives 25 minutes away and we see her often, her dimpled smile, clay pots she makes, her art, her funny and smart husband composing music and their adorable two year old daughter Kaia growing and playing with her cousins. My mother, father and brother are within 45 min to 1 hour...nestled deep in the lush rolling hills of green green Connecticut. My brother and his amazing Bride-to-be are artists, she is in marketing and is getting a Masters degree in Human Evolution.... how phenomenal! How fascinating! We could talk for hours with them by the campfire, and barbecue by the glassy pond to the hum of peep frogs and Katydids.
I see it all...and I see our pristinely planned California lifestyle we have now. I see it differently now.

I love what we have, I love what we do. I love our friends and family here and am so grateful for them. I don't want to move. I don't want to pack, change schools, not have this lovely weather all year round. I don't want to miss my friends, our cousins creating a thrilling chaos at Christmas or Trader Joe's. I don't want to miss the beach and the perfect parks and pools. I used to think California life was better.
But something has shifted in the way I see things. Something has shifted in what matters to me. It's been ten years, living away from my family of origin. I yearn for them and the lifestyle of the state I grew up in.
It's amazing, one day I didn't really, and then the next day, I did.

I feel a physical deep pull, like the undercurrent of a river, flowing in that direction. It may be this year or five years from now, it may be, I shall say with commitment to my lifelong partner and what matters to him, it may be never. But this compelling magnetic vision is there. It IS possible. He could get a job there ( because he is awesome he can get a great job anywhere), we could have a different kind of adventure. CT or CA is not better, just different.

In the we create our life together, I will create those things that I value here. I am committed that whatever we do is a joint choice, not just MY dreams, not to steam roll him into this direction ( I used to be so Right, things had to go My Way..I did a lot of exhausting convincing), but to listen to what matters to him, to create with him, to be as clear as the crystal stream water about our future direction and be supportive of him. I am committed to, not to make moves based on feelings, but on fulfilling my husbands dreams as well, a powerful partnership, that my husband's and my rivers of ideas merge and flow together powerfully in a unified direction.
I am excited that, no matter what, we will come to a place where we choose newly to live here or there. That together we talk, share, create, that we can do anything and live anywhere. THAT is exciting, no matter what we choose.

I can do that, and when it rains, you may see me standing in it, soaking it up, savoring it...

Zen Honeycutt

Friday, October 1, 2010

Thank you Thank you Thank you

Today is a day of Great Gratitude. In the core of my being, the warm center of my chest, in the silent soul of my soul...I am grateful.

Today is the day my third son, Bronson was born two years the warm water of a kiddie pool in our living room while our elder sons slept. My husband holding my hand, my Doula's and Midwife's inner strength and silence supporting every surge. After only 3 hours of labor...walking around barefoot under the stars and Jacaranda trees barefoot in our neighborhood...we three and the the flickering candles and Adrea Bocelli music greeted Bronson at 3:21 in the morning.
When he emerged, he was perfect, pink, and serene. He looked at me right in the eyes and held up his hand. I kissed his hand and when I expressed that I wished he would make a noise, he let out a soft, brief cry. He gave me the gift of his voice and peace, and there hasn't been a day since that I have not been present to the immense gift his life is.
So today is a day of Great Gratitude.

I create this morning with my dear friend that today I am being Present and Grateful.
And immediately I become present to the great gratitude in life...everywhere.
I call my father and he practically hollers "THANK YOU! I just got your card and I'll be doggoned if the quote on the card isn't one that I am practicing memorizing right now! "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."- Ralph Waldo Emerson
He continues to express his gratitude for what I have written, which is a true expression of my feelings, and I feel complete with past conversations, full with gratitude for our communication, for his life and for the contribution he is to our family. This conversation is not something that was just going to happen anyway, it is a creation of gratitude.

Then I walk into the bank and the song being played is Natalie Merchant singing "Thank you, Thank you, Thank you" over and over again.

I hold my 5 year old's soft, warm hand as I pick him up from school and I nearly tear up being present to how grateful I am that I can be there, listen to him talk about his day and hear him thank me for being a good Mom...out of nowhere.

As I look into my toddler's eyes on his second birthday I am present to the many miracles that I can SEE now, from getting out of my "box" or "point of view" that I used to have that I am "not a good enough Mom to handle three" or " I am too temperamental to have three,you will have to haul me off to a Betty Ford clinic."
I am clear that by having this huge breakthrough of seeing myself newly, a good Mom, albeit perfectly human and imperfect...a Mom who does yell now and then, who does forget picture day, who does slack off on taking care of myself through showers and writing, and puts off laundry for days, who has rotten fruit smells in the house somewhere, and just does not want to make lunches most days...and THAT'S OK!

By seeing myself with some grace and humanity, by being present and grateful for my own human being-ness...I am able to not only give birth to a miracle of life, I am able to have a fun, harmonious ( most of the time) and miraculous adventure with my family.
The rest of Ralph Waldo Emerson's quotation is below:

"And when we bring what is within us out into the world, miracles happen."

Zen Honeycutt

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Kids, I give you Nothing.

I am sitting at a huge round dinner table with three of my classmates and their parents from the graduating class Parsons School of Design, 1996. We are up on the balcony, and can see below, the tables gathered around the runway, and the exciting top designers, like Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karan that have come to support the up and coming fashion designers. We are not entirely sure why Fergie is there, but we are all in a buzz, seeing her red hair and smile amidst the sea of black cocktail dresses and tuxedos.

One at a time, they call the student winners of each mentor designer's group to the stage to accept their awards. I realize, with a sudden sadness, that all of us at the table, save one, is receiving an award. I feel awkward for a moment, sad for my friend. Then I realize she isn't sad at all. In fact, she looks genuinely happy for us. I go down to the stage, walk in tiny steps across the stage in my skin tight, electric blue, rubber dress, dizzy with joy of the moment. The "Gold Thimble Award" is a real gold thimble, the several hundred people before me are real important people in the industry. It all seems so very, very, important.
When I get back to the table, and my friend is smiling so lovingly at me, I remember that she is the only one out of all of us that actually already has a job in the fashion design industry. Several weeks before Banana Republic came to interview at our school and hired our friend Cathy on the spot. I know why, too. She is delightful. Her warm and joyous smile makes anyone feel happy and calm. She is genuine, honest, funny and always looks on the bright side.
She got the job, not just because she is a creative fashion designer, but because of who she was being.
That's what is important.

At a recent birthday party, as several Moms discussed the classes we are putting our kids into after school, french, swim, chinese, art, soccer, tennis, math tutoring etc...I was compelled to tell them this story. Because in the end, our kids will get their dream jobs,or become entrepreneurs, not because they are the smartest or most accomplished,or because of what they know, but because of who they are BEING.
We parents are the only ones who are going to actually take the time to teach them and guide them from that perspective. Teachers don't have time, with their classrooms of increasingly ballooning sizes of 36 or more, to actually coach kids on being responsible, being humorous, being a person of integrity and compassion. No, teachers, bless their hearts for what they take on, need to get to the next chapter and meet the standards set before them. If the child doesn't stop talking, or start answering, they get just consequences and move on.
We parents are the ones that need to take the time to talk with them about who they are being.

If a child has ten after school activities, when do they get a chance to just BE?
We are a culture that is so busy doing, doing, doing...sports, tutoring, games, practice, classes...what about the joy in watching them play with their stuffed animals in bed, or perform a dance or song? That's a dance or song they never would have made up had they been in soccer or Chinese school. That's a self expression that never would have been created had they been in tee ball. They are imagining, creating and developing who they choose to be...they need time, and nothing, to do that. In fact they need more of NOTHING and LESS of outside sources to create.
So kids, I happily give you Nothing today.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with after school activities. But Moms, there is nothing wrong if they are not in them either. In fact, it is just as important for them to have afternoons of NOTHING planned, including no TV or computer, so they can generate themselves. Bored? Good! Go create something! But, but...what about everyone else? Judy's kid is playing chess already, Martha's kid takes a language and three sports.
So? That's them, That's their life. My kids have their life. There is no race, there is no scarcity of time for them to learn. They will learn, they will do...I vote for them, and empower them, to just BE now.

Zen Honeycutt

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yellow Cars and Awesomeness

As I drive down the tree lined, perfectly manicured streets of southern California, occasionally a Jaguar, Smart Car or the odd Hummer will stand out. Sometimes a green VW bug car or even the screaming yellow Mustang down the street will grab my minds eye for a moment. I have an opinion about the loudly colored! we should have more color!...and yet that tiny judgmental voice in my head wants to make it mean something about the owner...needs attention...wears overpowering cologne...nouveau riche...something...but in general the cars are just background noise to my day, things that jumble and blend with the rest like the clothes washer noise in the hallway. Eventually no matter what color, I don't notice them.

Then we created a game with my sons. Yellow cars are two points! Suddenly cars became exciting, yellow cars, thrilling. We're pointing, playing and shouting with glee.It's a great way to learn to count by two, add, and take the attention off their brother's elbow which is encroaching on their sacred seat space.

Suddenly yellow cars are everywhere...yellow taxis, buses, yellow Ferraris, VW bugs, vans and construction vehicles. I cannot NOT see yellow cars now. Even when the boys are not in the car my inner voice hollers "Yellow Car! Two points!" My sons are up to forty something points, I would be at 200 probably. My context for yellow cars has shifted and where things were mundane before are suddenly fun. Life can be like that with anything...its all our creation.

It was like that for me yesterday when I created with a dear friend (we consistently create what we are up to for the day, hold each other accountable, acknowledge each's great) I create that something AWESOME is going to happen today. Who I am going to take on is being Miraculous peace and JOY!

Suddenly I am looking for awesomeness. I am looking for where I can cause something miraculous to happen. And I don't mean like make a miracle happen because I planned and strategized. I mean, I look for the miracles that are already there and actually take a moment to let them be miraculous, to really Get give something that I have to control everything...and when I give that up and just be with my family...the miracle of love and joy and laughter shows up....nothing I could have planned for. Something miraculous.

Awesomeness and miracles pop up everywhere...not at first but when I share with my sons, "Guys, guess what??? I have this feeling that something AWESOME is going to happen today!" Suddenly they are on the edge of their seats, I am too...and we are looking for awesomeness like the yellow cars.

I get a phone call and a gracious woman from the city refunds my account 100 dollars for a class that she really didn't have to refund me. Awesome! I love this city!

I work on an area of my business which has been unclear to me and I get clarity like an smack in the face. This could not be awesome..this is not the news I wanted....or it could be awesome, if I chose to see that once I am clear about where I am not accomplishing what I want to accomplish, then I can choose to do something new and create.Clarity and CHOICE. That is awesome.

My friend Sandi calls me to meet up and she is radiant, grateful and we have an awesome time chatting, she listens to me and totally empowers me in what I am up to. Her love and attention is miraculous too, because she is going through some circumstances in her life that could curl your hair...and she is being determined and clear about who she is for her family. She is unconditional love, strength and the embodiment of anything is possible. I would say that is pretty darn miraculous.

Lots of awesome things happen. My eldest son performs a dance show for us after dinner. For someone who has been careful about dancing, he is sweet,vulnerable and yet unstoppable. He gestures and moves thoughtfully, expressively and creatively and then he powerfully explains his dance moves, new names like the "Pancake Flip Flop and XRay Jump". Awesome!

Our middle son learns to swim "ON TOP of the water!" and beams with pride like a puppy who has just tackled and won his first round of puppy fights. Thrilling!

Our youngest, 21 mnth old, learns how to string the "Bye bye" with a person's name and sings "Bye Shaun, Bye Shaun" in the car ride home, victorious with his progress. Speech is miraculous!

And before bed my husband fixes the kitchen garbage disposal without being asked. Awesome! Miracle!

I go to bed grateful, fullfilled and present to how miraculous my life is. Like yellow cars are everywhere...a game we made up called life...and I have a million bazillion quadrillion points.

What miracles are there in your life? I would love to know.

Zen Honeycutt

P.S. This blog is dedicated to my friend Anisa who says I say Awesome too much :)I love you, you're Awesome.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ready, Set .....GO Time!

It is 6:54 AM and I enter the kitchen, just about ready to leave to drive up to Santa Barbra to sell for my business, to find my husband sitting at the kitchen table at his laptop, in his pajamas. No shower, no shave, just sitting there clacking away...
When he asked the night before what the plan was, I told him we were leaving early in the morning for Santa Barbra. HE said "We should leave at 7:00."
I unwisely took that to mean that we would LEAVE at 7:00....obviously ...he meant he would stop writing at 7:00 and then start getting ready. I should expect departure time to be well, sometime after the shower, shave and a sundry of other which includes a maddeningly slow sauntering between the house and the car when he has to go back to retrieve something he left behind...maddening! Insanity!!! Meandering like we are in a museum just drifting along and admiring 17th century art!

By the time we are in the car leaving at 7:30 something, I am fuming like a steam power plant, totally stressed out about being in time and sputtering obscenities under my breath, trying to eat my breakfast all the while (which was the only reason I didn't kill him on the spot, he did make my breakfast to go before I came into the kitchen). I am getting a stomachache, completely distraught that our "day out together" is starting out like a big turd, and filled with anxiety about what happens if we don't get there on time and are turned away after the two and a half hour drive.
I am being a know a stressed out human being of the female species. We tend to do that when we are stressed. It sounds like I am making myself wrong and my husband wrong doesn't it? Well, maybe I am, just to create the world of it.

Really though, when I reflect on it, WHAT IS THAT?
That which has us in a pattern of saying we are going to leave on time...we don't and then we are stressed out and angry at each other on the way to what is supposed to be a fun family outing, a precious date night or time to go see family. We don't want to be stressed but we are. What IS that? Why does that keep happening?

Now I know on a fundamental level it is all about integrity. If we don't do what we are committed to, than nothing that we are committed to will work. So we just didn't honor our word. That I get. I tend to however, end up in "make wrong" there...make myself wrong, make my husband wrong...

So I take another look...What Happened was we said we would leave at 7:00. What Happened was Todd just started to get ready at 7:00.
What I made it mean when he did not was that he doesn't care, we are going to miss out, it's the end of the world I got stressed.

With my PAX work I can also add the perspective of looking at this situation and just get the differences between a man and a woman.

Single focused man. Hears 7:00, moves at 7:00. That's all.

As a responsible woman it suddenly dawns on me that when we agree on a time, that time, as a man, might be the time that he is going to transition from doing what he is focused on to what I need from him.
He would be empowered by having time to transition.

So I am creating "Ready, Set GO time!"
First, get Ready....meaning a sweet reminder perhaps 5 minutes before it's time to transition, a runner who stretches, jogs for a bit and shakes to loosen up.
Then to get Set, 6:30 ( which I am sure he will do on his own, but if not, then again a sweet reminder)which is to actually get in place to make the transition, in this case to close up the lap the runner who bends down, puts feet in place, in the position, ready to launch down the track.
Then to GO Time! Which is the time to actually get up and Go get ready!...running to the finish line.

Once we are both in action, getting ready, at that point, we can create newly, the departure time as a new point of focus, the finish line. 7:00 would be a sure thing then, we would both win!

Now I hear the voices, For crying out loud, just let the man be responsible and tell him what time and leave him alone, he'll do it. You are not his mother.

Ya ya, I get that. I'm not. I am however responsible for how things go. Everything, everything, everything, from my communication. I can't control him, but I can be someone who has things go the way we are committed to going and have him empowered. Say X and produce X...not Y.

Men are single focused, one thing at a time has them win. That doesn't mean they can't do more than one thing at a time, but they preform at optimal levels when they are the hunter tracking the deer and there is just that one thing to focus on.
If we create anytime to do anything, I can see now that creating a Ready Set Go Time! for getting READY would better empower him, then reminding him, like a cheerleader on the side lines( ie:not a harpy) that our goal time to leave is like the next destination, the finish line.
That's just what I see is missing, is honoring what he is committed to and then empowering him in taking on what's next, what I need from him.

Because I know he wants to do that, make me happy, be there on time, leave peacefully, and be appreciated for what we are doing together... we are both committed to that. And it would be sooooooo much more fun if we did that feeling empowered and excited!!!

So I am going to chuck the harpy out the window this weekend, and try this with Todd and my boys, and will post back later.
What do you think about Ready, Set, GO Time! ???

Zen Honeycutt

P.S. Thanks to Donna who talked this out with me and really helped me to honor my husband.
Oh and by the Grace of God we did get to Santa Barbara on time, I let it go, and my husband was my hero that day... selling our products like hotcakes, being charming but cool to drunk girls at the wine fest, and moving the heavy boxes like a champ. I don't care what time it is, he can always do that for me.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Growing a Beard

My MOMS Club new President is starting a new section in our newsletter called "Kids Quips" She emails out a question to ask our kids and we submit their unimaginably funny answers to post in the newsletter to give us all a little comic relief while perusing this months MOMS club's happenings.
This month is "What does Daddy do at work?"
I laughed to myself, for I remember the exact moment when I asked my first son that.
He was 4 maybe, and answered thoughtfully, "He grows his beard."
It was so funny to me, his perspective. Well, of course! He goes to work clean shaven and comes home with a fuzzy face...he's growing his beard at work!

I am reminded of a recent coaching call for business development where we talked about our occurring worlds...Ben's world occurred to him like Daddy goes to work and comes home with almost a beard...that's exactly how it is for him. There's no arguing with him. That's what it looks like to him and he is probably, albeit being a 4 year old, not interested in much else. Adults are like that too.

I have my own occurring world of how my husband is for me, how my kids, my family, my company is for me. And that way, which I could tell you volumes about, is the way it is for me, and those ways would be completely different to the other people living in the same husband is tall dark and handsome, he is highly intelligent and often obsessed with something, my kids just say "Daddy is fun and protects us."
Completely different, neither one wrong!
My occurrence of my company is that it is growing, but is consistently on the brink...I have an occurrence of "someday" with my business.
I can see clearly that with an occurrence of "someday", that today would not be the day. It would never be now. How limiting is that???
I wonder what does it look like to my kids that I do? To my husband?
Until I see my occuring world of my business, it's like a blindspot to me, I keep operating inside that. Once I see it, I can choose newly, and I do, I chose now.

ASKING is the key. When I asked Ben what he thinks his Daddy does at work, I got a charming glimpse into his world. I got to see for a moment, what he sees.

That also happened recently when my sister called me and asked me about why I did something five years ago and why I am reacting a different way now. Family drama, I am sure it doesn't happen with you right? But instead of getting defensive and getting back into a reoccurring argument, I got that she really wanted to know. She was asking. She was interested. I described how things occurred for me then, and how things occur for me now, in my world, detached from that occurrence being right. I don't claim that I'm right. It's just how it is for me, just my view.
She got that. And we got five years of misunderstanding cleared up. I got to really get how it was for her too, and get how generous she is, really, really, committed to our family and her family.I am ever grateful she asked.

I have been much more present to asking people...getting into their worlds since then. That's the key to getting the people around you. Be interested. Ask. It doesn't mean you will understand or agree with them, but you will see their world and see that their actions inside that world completely make sense. You GET them, and they feel gotten. You can see that if you were them, you would do and think and say exactly what they would do...really. Thats' a big one to try on, but I invite you to try it. Ask someone today, someone that you don't understand, agree with or just want to know...What do they think? Why do they do that? What is that like for them?

Zen Honeycutt

Above is Ben's picture of Daddy..notice how Daddy looks differently to Ben...he actually becomes a different person in Ben's eyes than when I take pictures of him. He takes on being FUN Daddy! How people show up has something to do with how they occur to us...hmmm very are people and situations showing up to you?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Romancexting...Renewing a Marriage from Afar.

It's 5 pm on the fifth day of my husband being away. An unmade dinner calls to me like a lonely cowboy from the kitchen. My boys disagree for the twentieth time about the placement of the castle of pillows they are making in the living room. My 5 year old Bodee suddenly screeches bloody murder at Bronson, the almost two year old, who has other ideas for the pillows. It's a matter of life or death and at this rate Bodee is going to bust an eye socket or internally combust.

So I drag myself from the bed upon which I had a brief flirtation of a rest...
settle the conniption on my way to the kitchen, pick up a squashed black olive from the night before and start the picnic dinner for the concert on the lake where I said we would meet some friends.
I don't want to though. I am tired, the kids are rowdy, and I am not inspired to get the kids into the car for the fourth time today.

I hear my phone beep as I pull out the fixings for dinner.
I check it and it is a text from Todd. A photo of the very spot we met 12 years ago and " I love you". He is in New York City for a writers conference ( which is going fabulously ) and he has left the conference on a break, walked or taken the subway twenty blocks uptown, in the heat, to just BE at the spot we met 12 years ago, Lincoln Center, swing dancing at Mid Summer Night Swing. It means that much to him, and he knows it means that much to me.
My eyes fill with tears. My heart fills with love.
I can't imagine a more romantic thing to do, a more romantic way of being, than who he is right now. I blubber a text back about how romantic he is and how I can't wait to kiss him...
I remember my committment to him to be supportive. I told him before he left "Don't worry about us, I will have FUN with the kids, just love them and we will have a great time."
He said. " Great, that's the best way you can support me."
I text about the fun things we have done and are about to do...
My body feels light, energized and ready to go.

When we arrive at the concert on the lake, the band just starts the very first notes of the swing song "In the Mood", our wedding song...a wild coincidence.
I call him back to hear his voice, tell him about the song, and I get that although we are 3,000 miles apart, we have never felt closer or more connected.
After 12 years of knowing each other, it's those little moments of anticipating what the other person might like...of creating a special moment by a sweet gesture, a thoughtful glance or note...photographing a special spot and sending it by phone...a romantical text...earlier he texted me the spot where he's those moments that renew our marriage daily.
We are not "Sexting"...we are an old married couple:) (just joking) but we are create romance through texting..not sure if the word Romancexting works, but what the hell. It works for me!
The marriage feels new, alive, vividly colorful and intense.

And at the same moment I become aware of so many times when I don't take the opportunity to create these kind of moments or when I don't recognize when Todd is doing those things...I am just too busy being busy. I realize that there are many many times when Todd is being romantic in his own ways that I am not looking for so I often don't notice. I suddenly see that my story about him not being romantic is just a bunch of hooey. He is. He is beyond what I could even hope for. I was just busy seeing him another way, so I could be right ( oooooh I love being right!) and perhaps get attention....and I get that that is not the kind of attention I want. This kind is waaaaay better.

In the South Coast Plaza mall, where I took my kids to change things up a little while Daddy was away earlier in the day, there was a store under renovation and the blank wall had a giant cursive quotation on the wall "Change the way you see the things and things change."

There was nothing wrong with him. It was all my perspective. My perspective of "he isn't __________" created more of him being not ___________. I could fill that in with lots of judgments and assessments....

The funny thing is, this time, I didn't control, strategize, beg, plead, hint, convince, demand for him,tell him or try to fix him to be as romantic as he has been on this trip away. All I did was support him, in what mattered to him. I created the space, structure and support for him to pursue his dreams. And what showed up was the Man of My Dreams.
That's a marriage that excites and delights me... that's miraculous... no matter how far apart, how tired... that's freedom and bliss.

Zen Honeycutt

Thanks for reading my shares about my life...when I share this it become more real for me, more miraculous. I invite you to look in your life too..where might have you been too busy to notice something romantic your partner has done...or where are you supporting your partner in having a life of their dreams...and what miracles have shown up from that??
They are there...miracles show up when we take a moment and honor those moments.
Thanks for reading and being a part of me honoring one of those moments in my life.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Boys will be Boys

" Boys will be boys" a tired looking Mom would say with an exasperated but knowing sigh. I was in my early twenties and completely repelled by young boys, wrinkling my nose when a eight year old would push past me in a restaurant.I would feel sorry for them and anyone who had boys or had to be around boys. What a pain in the rear they dirty and violent and spazzy. ECCCH. I hope I have girls someday.

Today I have three boys, 7, 5 and 21 months. I am in the middle of mayhem: spitting, wrestling, screeching, farting, burping,rocket ship blast noises,shooting, teasing, Indian rope burns, wet willies in ears, pee pee underwear balled up in corners, rocks in beds, boys falling off chairs and loud thunks of things bouncing off walls.

And I love it. Okay, not always. Sometimes I am to the limit of dirt and camping vacations. Mommy needs silence, a nice hotel and spa with hand and foot impeccable service.
But I can say, Thanks to my husband, my boys, and some great courses, I GET boys now. I actually marvel at them and delight in their quirks, talents, instincts, motivations and expressions.

I noticed that the other day when standing in the shade at the park, watching my boys play. My eldest was being chased by two younger boys. They were ganging up on him and Ben stopped, stood there and smirked at them. One of the smaller boys mother scolded them, exasperated, " Boys be NICE. Can't you just play NICELY???"

They turned and looked at us, with a blank look, moths gaped open, eyes completely checked out. Huh? Do you speaka my language?? they seemed to say...It struck me that boys have NO Interest in playing nice. Not even when they are the ones being chased. Girls play nice. Girls connect and play house and marry themselves off. Boys don't strive for "Nice". They do play nicely, they just don't strive for it. They want conquest, conflict, struggle and conquering! YES! Chase me! Then I will chase you!! "PSSHHHT! PSHHHT!" You're dead!"

"Boys, when given the choice between Right and Fun , will always choose FUN. "

And they do..not to be naughty. It's just their instinctual, primal fun FUN! It's play war, play battle, play conquering.WIN!!! It prepares then for the challenge of providing for their mate someday. It's practice for being a man.

Teachers who don't get this have a helluva time in the classroom. In a classroom boys are not set up to win, they are expected to sit, listen and nice...sooooo boring for them. I am guessing most female teachers are constantly annoyed by boys. They might see boys as dirty, spazzy, misbehaving GIRLS. When they expect boys to behave like girls they are constantly disappointed, exhausted by, and frustrated by boys. Anyone would be.
It's all about the context.

Now, when I think "Boys will be boys." it's with a new context, a newfound relish and peace of mind. They are doing what they are doing and I love them. I love their drive to help me, provide for me, save their friends and rescue people. Boys are relentlessly driven to be the hero. Their wiggle worm antics and noises of interruption are their way of preparing to battle, conquer and provide for a beautiful girl someday.
That's marvelous.
Those girls will be so lucky.

Zen Honeycutt

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Greatest Human Tragedy

I don't keep up with "American Idol", "America's Got Talent", " Last Comic Standing", or "So You Think You can Dance", but once in a great while I will flip through the channels, come across one of them and watch a while.
During the critique, when the contestant suddenly switches from magnetic performer to one with their life on the line...their eyes become filled with anticipation or resignation, sometimes even blatant pulls at the very heartstrings of being human.
I can feel their anxiety, I experience the beads of sweat, their heart tight and body alert and buzzing with possibility.....will their plans for the future be tossed aside tonight??? Or with their dreams be one step closer to coming true?

We have all been there. Will our lives be dictated by this moment or will we cause our dreams? That's why this formula for entertainment is so rampantly popular now. We watch, we feel what they feel, we remember waiting to be picked for the team or asking that girl or boy to dance, waiting for their answer....anticipating either total devastation or an explosion of freedom...

Often the outcome is almost predictable from just observing their faces. We play the guessing game..."Oh, he's can tell he's going home..." or "Oh, she is totally not confident, if she doesn't go home this week, she's next..."
As the critique is delivered, the judges repeatedly get to the crux of the matter.
"You need to be more vulnerable and connect."
"You need to be less nervous and more confident."
"You need to let your personality shine.

Sometimes it is about technical issues, the moves being cleaner or the voice being a little pitchy...but what it always comes down to is not what they are doing, because they obviously have talent or they wouldn't be there...but it is really about who they are being.

It's what we all confront. What we all yearn for a victory over...who we are being in the face of an extraordinary challenge....who we are being in the face of the ordinary every day tedious routine...who we are being when our parent says that one thing that just triggers us to spiral into the abyss of insanity and resentment....who we are being when our friend asks us to do that thing we just feel like is a little bit like taking advantage...who we are being when we know we can get up and do it but just don't want to....

It's ALL about who we are being.
When we can be powerful in the face of any circumstance...when we can BE what we are committed to.... a phenomenal dancer, a miraculous singer, a pogo stick jumper with pizazz... rather than react to our fears, than we create a victory over the past. The crowds will vote. The crowds will cheer. Our hearts will soar. Our relationships will blossom. We will experience that freedom and contribution to others that is the reason for our existence.

As I watch the girl I predicted would be eliminated tonight on " So You Think You Can Dance", I didn't feel glad to be right. She chose it. She knew she was going. She wasn't really playing the game of winning. As she said in her exit video...she wanted to come and feel like a star. And she did, she won that game. We always win the game we are playing.
What? No not every game..... am I really winning the game I am playing with that one person who is not speaking to me?...
Well, yeah, if I really look at it...I am winning the game of being right. So we are not speaking. I am right, they are wrong. So that's that. I win.
Melinda, tonight, on "So you Think You Can Dance." won her game of feeling like a star.
What pulls at our hearts is that she could have gone all the way. She could have won a bigger game. But who she was being...who we are often being, is someone who doesn't believe in ourselves enough to have it all.

That's the greatest human tragedy.

That's why we keep watching. Shakespeare's works, some of the greatest writing of all time, pure genius, is all about tragedy. His "performance" of writings are hundreds of years old and we keep watching.
If only his characters knew how great they were..and told the other how much they loved them...none of the drama would have happened. If only the dancer or singer knew how great they are and really really let it rip...

We soooo want the other to know how great they are. We want so much for them to shine. We want so much for our children, our parents, our family to be happy and shine.
We want so much to shine ourselves and to express our greatness.

That is the greatest human victory...

whether it's dance, singing, loving, writing, building, throwing batons of fire or training dogs...whatever our self expression is, it's time to unleash it.

It's your life..."So You Think you Can....Be?"

Zen Honeycutt

The quickest way I know to unleash who we are
Just register and let it rip.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Being " Nice" Is not Empowering

I am speaking with a dear friend of mine about some feelings of frustration and resentment I have towards my nanny and assistant. I don't want to feel this way, I adore and appreciate her, but right now, GRRRRR. I want to get these feelings out...

What happened was I was trying to take a nap, she was at my home and checked on me...then later brought me food to give me energy and woke me up.
What I made that mean is that I "shouldn't be napping" in her eyes, she needs to take care of me, because I wasn't taking care of myself the way she thinks I should, and I can't do what I want in my own house!!!!

My friend asked me "What do you want to say to her?"
I said "You're awesome, but No Thanks."
She said, " That's NICE. What do you really want to say to her?"
I got it.
" Leave me the F*(^&* alone!!!! You are not my Mother or Nurse!!! When I need to nap I need to nap!!!"
I was really surprised by the ferocious energy behind the resentment.
My friend said " Being "Nice" is not empowering."
Whoa. That is a complete shift in perspective for me.
Aren't we supposed to be nice? Especially so important to be nice!

I got suddenly though, that being nice...when something isn't working for me, leaves me resentful and not getting what I need and the other person completely in the dark, not able to give me what I need if they want to and not understanding any resentment they may sense from me. I saw that me trying to be nice and let her talk to me while I am resting or wake me up was just not working for us. It's also completely irresponsible of me in my communication!

Being straight with people is much more effective. And it empowers both of us.
Being authentic and creative was missing in that interaction.
I don't have to be rude and spit fire, but I can just say what I need. REALLY I can do that. The world won't cave in. She won't melt. I won't turn into a harpy.

I suddenly saw new actions I could take to create empowerment for both of us. A fun creative sign for the door when I am napping or want to be alone...
"HALT!! The Queen Rests. Thank you for your loyalty. YOU SHALL BE REWARDED" So in a few minutes I made one with a crown and hearts. This will empower my husband and kids as well, to respect the times when I need privacy. Yeah!! Multiple issues solved!

I take on being authentic and creative with my friend/nanny/assistant as well and we connect and create partnership. She tells me what works and doesn't work for her and I learn about how I can be of support to her too. I feel like a huge sigh is released from my body. I am straight with her and she gets me. And we get to create something new and empowering that is new for both of us. She will live with us part time and save money on expenses while supporting me part time with the kids and business. Our family still has alone time and she has friend, work and fun time.

In the old days, my father, who is 85, told us that his mother Cora and her sister Fanny lived in connecting houses and would lift up the toilet seat and holler down it in high pitched voices " CooooooorAAAAA!" " Yes Fannnnnnieeeeeee!" and that would be the sign that they needed each other. They had each other at nearly arms reach. Most woman go it alone sister or aunt living next door.

My generous friend/nanny/assistant and I are creating that kind of partnership...but not by being "nice" being straight with what matters to us, what works and doesn't work for us and creating something new with responsible Communication....just minus the toilet.

Zen Honeycutt

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Future of Food and our lives....

I am ready to rant. Seriously. Just watched the "Future of Food" (available on Netflix) and am so riled up I could walk up to the President of Monsanto and the FDA and punch them in the face. ( Ok, I know, not very "Zen".) Or at least do a citizen arrest.I get what the "Crazy liberals" are chanting and waving signs about at the GMO food protests now. I get it. There is a crime of nature going on and most of us just don't know it. Because money, control and convenience are more important.

My father used to smoke something like 10 packs a day of cigarettes in the 40's for a while, he was a total chain smoker. He remembers ads that said "Camel cigarettes...they soothe the throat." No kidding. He thought he was doing something good for himself for a short time.
(When he found out my Mom was pregnant he stopped THANK YOU DAD!!! Amazing will power!)

The food industry has that same kind of smokescreen up right now. There is a huge percentage of our food that is genetically modified and patentented/owned by Monsanto (80% of all corn and soybeans) and we don't know it because it's not labeled. All of the European countries won't allow GM foods...but we Americans don't even know because it's just too inconvenient to label it.

What does it matter? Ok:

#1) Genetically modified is NOT natural..meaning our bodies don't know how to process a tomato with flounder fish genes in it (allows it to ripen in the cold) and so we become allergic to it....know any kids with a lot of allergies to all kinds of food especially cow's milk (fed GM corn), soy (80% US GM) and wheat...increasing GM???) Um, most of us??

#2) Genetically modified food comes from genetically modified seeds, which have been in the case of corn, as an example, been injected with some kind of chemical derived from a NERVE GAS (BT?) which is an pesticide which KILLS the worm that eats the corn....ok so what does it do to humans??? My kids??? I wonder if GM foods could be linked to the rise in autism and developemental delays which are exponenetially on the rise?

#3) To top it all off, the majority of the people in leadership positions of the FDA..that regulates all of this...have been on the board or in leadership positions of Monsanto. The laws for regulation have been laughable...they are basically complete what ever you want, just make money and donate to our political careers.

There are lots of other reasons to be alarmed, in action, and causing a shift in how our food is manufactured..injustices to farmers,third world hunger monopolization, crops taht are programmed not to reseed...sterile crops, so that the farmer in a third world MUST buy from Monsanto...(and we wonder why some other countries hate Americans???, Monsanto owning over 11,000 patents on seeds,on our world's food... thousands of types of potatoes and corn that are extinct because the four large food companies only grow about four types....etc, but the top three above take the cake for me.

I took on being a champion for "green" several years ago....preached to my family and friends about parabens,plastics, preservatives, and pesticides. I created a Green Earth Festival and a group called "Moms for Mother Earth". Then I saw the green movement grow around me... I had wanted to be a spear head person in growing it. The paper work for "Moms for Mother Earth " to be a non profit was daunting, however and I chose to direct my energy on kids and business.

One day as I went to the grocery store I saw two out of three other people approaching Sprouts carrying reusable bags. I breathed a sigh of relief and said to myself...ok there are lots of "Moms for Mother Earth" out there now. People know about plastic bags, saving energy and healthy personal care. Time to Champion another cause.

Like GMO food...
Folks, take a moment to consider that your voice matters. Buying Organic MATTERS:
it is Non GMO only because 250,000 US citizens wrote to the government and caused that standard.
Walmart has dropped the growth hormone rBGH (owned by Monsanto) from its dairy products because their customers spoke up!

We caused that. Those emails you get to send a petition...they matter. Buying organic of from Co-Ops matters.You matter. The natural structure of our food matters...our future generations matter.
Thank you for reading a Mom's rant and taking action for people and our planet.

Zen Honeycutt

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Basic Needs...Surviving versus Thriving

Today was one of those days where I clung to the bed until the very last second and then scraped my self out like a crusty pancake, flipped my self into a half assed shower and dragged the boys to school, baby still in his pajamas. All on auto pilot. Not a moment of pause, gratitude or creation, just pure doing, doing, doing.
I noticed, after the morning tasks were done, that I was in pure survival mode. It made sense. I hadn't fullfilled a basic need. Sleep.
The baby had a fever on and off for the past two days, teething AND sick... We were going on the second night of maybe two or three hours of straight sleep and very little else.
My brain and body had nothing else to pull from energy wise, except surviving and making it through the day. I noticed how clear it was for me that I wanted to quit life.
And I was making that wrong there is something wrong with me because I want to give up. I am a BAD Mom. Deffinately a lazy wife...the house got progressively messier throughout the day as I snuck naps with the baby in between wailing and picking the boys up from school. Messy draws on walls...Bad Mom, Bad Mom....
My work too, the few things I had on the list didn't all get done...Bad business person.
Pretty soon I had enough evidence stacked up against me that it would SO not matter if I didn't keep my standing evening coaching commitment that I have with a phenomenal personal training and developement company. I am too tired, I won't make a difference...some one else can do it...
I emailed my husband to warn him how tired I was, what a mess the house was and what I needed tonight, snuggling etc to restore my energy ( I learned how to ask for what I want in a gracious way!..thats another blog).
Then I looked at my phone and almost texted my coach that I wouldn't be coaching. And then I thought about my commitment.

I am committed to honoring my word and being a person who creates and not reacts...someone who brings possibility to conversations where there was no possibility before...and I confirmed I would be there instead.
A surge of energy lifted my body. I picked up the house and made dinner. And I gave my husband a long hug, and asked HIM about his day rather than droning on for hours about my excruciating day. Connecting with and surprising him with a clean house made all the difference for my evening.
After a lovely dinner with my family (the boys actually ATE the vegetarian Indian food!)and hearing what they did today that they are proud of... I went to my coaching commitment. My exhaustion seems to melt away further with every conversation.

I learned that one woman is standing for her entire city to be a pace of Vitality and Aliveness and is causing the leadership of that city to have breakthroughs in everday politics.
A man shared with me that he is creating an entire Sheriffs department to have the acknowledgement they deserve in his mountain town.
A salon owner share that she no longer lives a life of "What IF..." (something bad might better not do that) but of action and creation.
Another Mom of two young kids can see now that she realized that some people have conversations of "I can't" and she has a conversation of "I can" and that is the only thing that sets them apart and why she does what she says she will do.
I love coaching. I get to just listen and empower them.

I drove him not exhausted from the circumstances of life, not overwhelmed by what I didn't do all day, but present to how amazing my life also is, how I have so much going on because I am committed to a life of adventure and love and my natural wellness business. That matters to me. And it's just natural that there will be times of not accomplishing Everything I would like to.
Keeping my word and coaching also got me present to how many incredibly generous and compassionate and courageous people I have the privilege to meet. Then I get present to my insanely incredible husband with my miraculously sleeping baby draped over his shoulder...I am present to being just ready for bed, for snuggling,for a deeply fullfilling sleep...and creating a day tomorrow of Thriving!

Zen Honeycutt

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Heart on Fire!

It is my wedding day. The sun is setting and I am resting for a brief moment, watching my friends dancing on the outdoor dance floor in front of the pond. My friend Domique is dancing with a friend of my husbands and she is sexy, enchanting and radiant. Our friend Dan, who is standing beside me, says softly, "Dom knows just the right time to turn her sexiness on and off." In other words, she is fully aware of her femininity and knows how to use it appropriately. I so admire this quality. I want to know how to be like that.

Whoooooooeeeeee!I found out how tonight! have just completed the PAX ( meaning peace) Program "Celebrating Men & Sex". No, this is not a rated R blog. I will share like a lady. I want to clarify right off the bat that I did not take this course because there was anything wrong.I took it to expand what's possible after 11 years of marriage and to learn about men, myself, and to claim my femininity. I am estatic to express the joy, freedom and excitement that I now have around myself, understanding men and their perspective on sex.

It's FASCINATING!!!! The differences in perspective are HUGE! We women make sex mean so much, we make it so complicated, fraught with conditions, strategy, comparisons, resentments, unexpressed desires, past baggage and hurt which we then unconsiously and silently haul into bed with our partners and wonder why we might not get what we need. For men, it's much more simple and fun.
To understand them, we must understand ourselves.I discovered that when we feel sexy, than we are sexy to men and when we express our needs we get what we want. Sounds obvious, but until we actually shift our perspective and experience it, we tend to continue to blame men for everything we are not satisfied with.

We are lovely, charming and enchanting creatures...and in the words of one of the men on the panel, "Magical Mysteries". We have so much feminine power we don't see, use or express in so many ways. My mind is boggled by the different perspectives women and men have....even though so many times my husband tried to tell me, and I didn't listen.
Isn't it so strange how our spouse can say something and yet we just don't get it until someone else, usually a complete stranger, says the very same thing? Is there some kind of invisible spouse filter we put over our ears when we get married?
I am referring here to just one of the many juicy topics we much men LOOOOOOOOVE the female body, no matter what it looks like, no mattter what the lumps or bumps, extra curves, freckles, dimples, smells, or colors...they love it. When I got to hear first hand from a complete stranger the love men have for all women it was like something in a deep inner chakra was healed. I wept with joy to know how amazing, appreciative and awesome their love is for us.

They only want to make us happy and we withhold so much when we don't tell them what we want. We deny ourselves so much when we don't ask them what they like, when, where, how, and how often. There is a whole world of communication that could save, expand,and explode the passion in any marriage or relationship if we women just take on the responsibility of being in charge of our innate magical femininity and sexuality.
This course frees a woman from her baggage and opens up a woman to creating the passion and love of her dreams.
I am THRILLED for the future of our marriage!!!
(Which is the foundation of everything, our family, my business, our future.)

I cannot express the magnitude of gratitude I have to the Pax Programs creator, Allison Armstrong and the staff, Paulette and volunteers. Your stand for women and men have peace and love in all aspects of their relationships is phenomenal.
Thank you.

Ladies..sign up for these programs!

Zen Honeycutt

Sunday, May 30, 2010

"Ignorance is Bliss" Era is Over

There was a time, as a kid, when eating those Hostess pink puff balls of coconut, marshmallow and fluffy chocolate cake with creamy filling center was BLISS. I closed my eyes and time stopped as I savored the sweet gooeyness. I would eat six of them if I could.I just wanted more.

When I was proud of the fact that I could easily read anything I began to read the cereal box out loud at the breakfast table. When I turned to the ingredients, especially for the rare "treat" of some sort of Fruit Loops or Sugar Smacks cereal...I lost interest. Who knew what they were, who could pronounce those ingredients and did I want to sound stupid by trying? No. I just ate them.

I remember wondering briefly, as a teen, where my fuscia Jordace jeans came from, and then dismissed the idea that it was even important. They were hot, they were now mine, and they would make me hot. Who cares where they came from?

Even with money...I wanted to go to the best design school in the country (as I was told), Parsons NYC...and I didn't know, nor want to know where the money came from for me to do that.My parents would figure it out, the money would come from somewhere...It wasn't my business, I didn't need to know.

As I slathered on my Apple scented lotion every morning in college, I loved the scent. I never even bother to look at the ingredients. It smelled good, would make me smell good...heck might even get me a date...maybe even my husband someday.

after seeing the death of a dear friend's mother at 57 from toxic overload of synthetic chemicals...after actually Googling some of those ingredients in my lotion, seeing "Blood Sweat and Tee Shirts", watching Food Inc. and managing my own household money and coming to terms that the money doesn't "just come from somewhere"....
I can see now that Not Knowing doesn't do me one bit of good. There might be brief pleasure, yes....but what is that pleasure? Is it fulfilling? No. Does it really make a difference for anyone else? No.
Is finding out that those ingredients/methods/sources aren't good for me or someone else inconvenient? YES.
Darn inconvenient. Sometimes even a Pain in the Rear.
Don't like it. I don't wanna choose something else!!!
I want what I want and I want it to be Tasty, Pretty, Hot, Fast, Easy, Savory and MINE. NOW.

So I resist the knowing.
And then I think, sometimes ( I am human...I mostly don't think about what I am thinking about, I just react)
I actually think about why I am doing what I am doing, or eating or buying or spending....
and I get present that it's all for love.

I love to eat because I love to live, be healthy and be with my family and friends.
Yes, I eat because it tastes good, but really...I really eat because I want to live and be healthy.

I love to wear nice clothes and feel attractive,good, be confident and have fun with my family and friends. Because they matter to me. And if I was wearing ten year old sweats they would still love me, we would still laugh and love each other.

I love to spend, yes it's fun...the female gatherer in me loves to spend, nest and decorate myself or my home...
And when I budget, plan and create the money we have to have the adventures we will have, it is an expression of love for my family....because that is the most important thing to me, being with my family and having adventures.

I get present when I am eating stuff that's not good for me, or buying stuff I don't need..I am just more present to the want than to the love I already have in my life.
Ignorance is not Bliss...Ignorance is ignorance.
Bliss is Love and being present to what is right before kids and family and friends.
So Bring it On world...I want to KNOW what I Don't Know I Don't Know.
Then I will choose powerfully.
Doesn't mean I will never, ever, have a pink puff ball again...but most likely I won't, because I choose Health, Love and Adventures. Bliss.

Zen Honeycutt

Note: Finding out what I don't know about what I don't know is also the key factor in success in business. When I continue to operate in a certain way, I am on the hamster wheel...when I find out what I don't know I don't know I then have a choice to get off and propel into the next stratosphere. Thanks to my Biz coach Alexandra Kaplan, I am doing

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dream On! Dream On! Dream On!

Watched Glee on Hulu tonight, the episode about dreams. Doogie Howser guest stars and tells the Glee club that 91% of their dreams will not come true. That they will end up as middle management for insurance companies etc...
They are crestfallen for a few minutes and then vigilantly set about to prove him wrong.

I remember doing that.
At 17, as I graduated from high school, as the VP of the school I met with a famous news anchor, whom I will, I know, frustratingly enough, will not name here. Something tells me that is not cool...anyway this famous news anchor was the Godfather of one of my classmates and he came to my boarding school to speak for graduation. Before his speech he met some of the students. He commented on my white chiffon dress, which I made myself, a Karl Lagerfeld designer pattern, and I told him I made it. He asked me what I wanted to be and I said simply, " A fashion designer." He nodded and moved on.

In his speech...he spoke of dreams and hard work and accepting life. He literally said, "You may want to be a football star,famous fashion designer,or platinum record selling musician someday...and most likely that will not happen."

Something in my chest hardened and dropped. He went on to talk about how the power is in finding the happiness in what you do have. I know it was profound. But at the time I was furious.
How dare he poop on my dreams???
I WILL be a fashion designer. I WILL live my dreams.
I will NOT be one of those people who settle.

Later in fashion design school....the evil powers of negativity tried again. My freshman teacher, a highly respected Japanese woman in her early sixties informed us that out of 13 of us in the pattern making class, only one of us would still be a designer in 6 years. My classmate, who I has just met that day and had talked to during class, suddenly grabbed my arm and raised my arm, telling the class I would be The One. I was stunned. But I believed it. I would be the one.

Later still, my jaded, older boyfriend tried to convince me, as he had a Scotch after a long day at his pharmaceutical sales job, that
"Everybody settles."
I insisted, " NO. I will not settle!"

Six years later, I realized suddenly, I was still a fashion designer. Then I wondered what it meant. I did it. I proved them wrong. So what?

Then I realized I wasn't happy. I no longer cared what 16 year old girls wore in Japan. It was heavenly to get paid to shop there for a while. Loved it. Bliss! But after a while other things began to matter more.

Now, I see that dreams change. Or rather we choose them, daily. It doesn't mean anything either if we do not pursue the one we made up at 5 or 17. It really doesn't.
On the other hand we can have our dreams. We CAN. All that matters is if we have the gumption to say I WILL. Now. No matter what...whether they are hard, or take a long time, or are not likely. I will do what I said I would do. Because I say so.
It's that dedication, that journey, that shapes our lives.
I have new dreams now. They are entirely different and yet I would never have these dreams if I hadn't dreamed those dreams. The skills I learned from full filling those dreams are also the very same skills I am using for my new ones. It's all perfect.

I will, as the head of Glee and Doogie end up screaming in unison..."Dream on! Dream On! Dream On!"

What are your dreams?

Zen Honeycutt

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mom, Dog Poop and a Mermaid...

My mother and I are walking down a cracked sidewalk in the East Village of New York City. I am moving for the sixth time in probably eight years and my Mom, who just turned sixty, insisted on driving in from Connecticut to help me move. We walk together toward the apartment, fall leaves are scattered on the sidewalk, the air is crisp. Suddenly I see a huge dog poop in the center of the sidewalk, as if a Great Dane had just been there. It is curled up and pointy on top. I see it and my mind goes "UGH".
My mother sees it, stops dead in her tracks and says in a gentle exclaim "Ohhh! Nature's sculpture!"
For real.She is not kidding. I explode with laughter and joy.
My Mom is amazing. She sees the good in everyone, in everything. EVERYTHING.
We continue on, she sees and marvels at a squirrel eating a nut.
I marvel at how she marvels.

Later, I am reminded of this moment, of this quality she has, when she interacts with people who I would normally judge as bottom of the barrel characters...she finds the good in them and they are soon chuckling together.

When I graduate from fashion design school I prove my teacher wrong by wearing a full length, skin tight, brilliant blue rubber dress. I put a slit up the back so I can walk...see you can wear rubber! Some turd of a guy said "You look like a prostitute".
My Mom took one look at me and exclaimed "Ohhh! You look like a mermaid!"
I love her endlessly.

When I held my first newborn, I said " Mom, isn't he amazing? Aren't babies amazing???!!!"
She looks me in the eyes and says " We all still are." and I got for the first time in my life how much she loves me. I felt her love deep within the soul of my being, like being aware of an eternal root of a tree that goes back to the beginning of time.

So it confused me greatly when, as a new Mom, my Mom started to drive me crazy. I was gaining a new awareness of what it meant to be a Mom and I loved her even more, and yet when she came to visit, not even two days would go by and I found myself crabbing at her, " No Mom, please don't put that there...Ok, Ok, Mom you don't need to tell me how to drive....Mom, I got it, please don't talk to me while I'm....or Yes, I heard that three times already...Mom..GEEZ!"
I would become an irritated BRAT and my Mom would just IRK me. Even though I love her!
I couldn't figure it out. For years it went on like this. Angst would build in my chest before she came. I was lucky to have her fly across country to be with us, lucky to have her help with my children, lucky to be able to see my kids make paper hats with their Grandma and read to them at night....and yet I was irritated and crabby almost the whole duration of her stay. We worked it out so she would come visit me for a week, go visit her sister in SF for a week and then come visit me for a week again, partially because we both knew I needed a break from her.
And when she left, to tell the truth, I felt a strange sense of I could let go of something and finally be myself again..and then a huge burden of guilt at the same time. I love my Mom, I don't want to see her go, and yet I hate myself when she is was a torturous mystery to me.

When I took a course called the Landmark Forum, I got that there was a moment in my childhood when my father punished my brother. In that moment, I made up that she couldn't do something about it...stop it. That she couldn't do anything right. I got to see the for the rest of my life, I looked at her through this view point of "She can't do anything right, she's weak, she's ineffective."
And EVERY interaction with her I saw through that viewpoint or filter....even though I love her. (You could imagine what the impact was on myself and kids, how I saw myself as a Mom as peace there.)

I also get to see that all that happened was my father punished my brother. That happened. Th's just what happened. What I made that mean is what has been running my life and my relationship with my mother. A five year old's point of view was running my life.
I now get to see that I have a choice. I choose a new empowering relationship, I choose fun and freedom!

My relationship with my Mom is now one of love, joy and strength. I see her power, wisdom and commitment to her partner when she stays in Connecticut to be with him through health troubles rather than come visit us (the old me would have pouted and been stressed). I can enjoy the joy she has created in her life and not make her wrong.

When she visits now, I treasure her commentary, have a cocktail on a beach cliff restaurant and talk about life (She has traveled the world and is chock full with stories!) and giggle like new best girlfriends. I get to see her as a magical, girlish lady whose cheeks glow pink with joy when she talks about her adventures...I get to know her. I can even enjoy the ways she interacts with the kids, rides in the car and the way she puts back the dishes. Because she is here. Because she is alive.Because she is love. Because she is my Mom.
Than you Mom for being you. Perfect. Amazing. A Brilliant Beam of Light and Love.
I love you.

Zen Honeycutt