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.