Saturday, September 25, 2010

yay!

I've had a most excellent week.
I'm not in a space to elaborate on a whole lot right now, but I want to plug my new favorite blog, Daily Pep Talk from a Best Friend.  Rachel is said 'Best Friend' and has a feature on the blog to email her if something good happens. So, I did just that. See for yourself what she posted:


Shout Out: Layla Is A Registered Nurse!!!

“I just passed the National Council Licensure Examination and am a Registered Nurse!!!!! I am so stinking excited and thrilled!! Start work at an acute care hospital on Monday! WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” Layla
Layla, great work! Give em hell on Monday. Congrats!!
xoxoxoxoxo
When something good happens, let me know at emailingrachel@gmail.com   

To see this in the blog world, outloud and proud, is such an awesome feeling.  Sure, I plugged myself, and emailed Rachel, but you know what?  I am so proud of myself!! I did it!  I worked hard, did excellent in school, finished each of my semesters learning more than the previous one, and graduated Nursing School.  Then, instead of doing the 'right' thing, I left the Country.  I went to Switzerland for six weeks, and was able to enjoy myself, despite my fear of what will happen.  I came back, put one foot in front of the other to do the next indicated thing.  I got my test date for license, applied for jobs, got hired at a job before getting licensed, and passed NCLEX. 

I did it!!
Wow.

One huge 'Yay!' if you ask me!!!
Hope you're doing well today, too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Egoic Doubt and Fear.

I am sitting here, getting ready to get ready for bed.
I don't want to be in stress or fear about Thursday.
It's creeping in a little bit----did I do enough?  I just know I didn't because The Princeton Review book I have isn't completely read.
Did I do just what I had time to do? Yes.  
I am scared I'll fail, and I'm hopeful I'll pass. 
I don't want my ego or my self-defeating mind to get the better of me in this process. 
It is just a test.  That's all this is. 
Just a test.  
I can weight it in my mind if I want to, but that just makes it bigger than me and I already have a Power Greater than Myself.  
If I make this exam bigger than God, then I'm sure to fail.  
No matter what the outcome. 


I am tired of studying, and grateful for all I'm learning during this serious review process. 
Tomorrow, I wake before the sun to catch the sun rise from Trail 317 north of Thumb Butte.  
Then, I do a practice exam. (more than one if I have time.)  
And, a lunch date with a very nice and fun man at noon.
I don't plan to study after lunch.
From lunch, I plan to drive to Mesa to hang with my daddy-o and try to breathe and be calm.

But of course, these are all speculations as to how tomorrow will play out, and I know very well that my days have not been going as I think they should.  So...
I get ready for bed, now.

Good night, world.

Monday, September 20, 2010

breeeze!

There is a breeze coming in through the window. 
There are clouds piling up outside in the blue sky. 
There is a Princeton Review NCLEX study guide in front of me, pleading me to open her, to study her. 
There is a song playing by a band I've not heard of, and I love it.  
There is an overwhelming calm within me. 
I don't doubt calm.  I know to not question calm. 
I trust calm. 
Calmness is trust in action, and I'm grateful I learned that three and a half years ago. 

I test in two and a half days, and I believe with every ounce of me that whatever is the result of me sitting down for the National Council Licensure Examination will be God's will.  
I trust the breeze, the effort, the coffee, the ginkgo biloba, the music, the books, the people, the experience, the power of this educational experience. 
I am not afraid.  

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Gaga.

Going a Little Crazy for Lady Gaga.
Remind me to tell you the story of the cute British girls on their way to Lalapalooza to see Lady Gaga (said brilliantly with their darling little accents) and their very cute father who flirted with me.  I might have flirted back.

Sun.Day.

Today has begun with Things I Love.
  1. waking to the sun
  2. watching the sun rise
  3. coffee
  4. another coffee
  5. happy babies
  6. toast with earth balance, peanut butter, raspberry jam and ground flax
  7. lots of glasses of water
  8. being healthy 
  9. taking my vitamins
  10. prayers
  11. reliving dreams in my mind while little bodies eat cereal and make funny faces at me across the table
  12. being well rested
  13. little plans and designs
  14. turning 'them' over
  15. trusting NCLEX will be just what it needs to be
  16. wishing i could have a morning with my mom 
  17. thinking about half-marathon runners
  18. curious what i need to do to get the scale to go below 167.4
  19. contemplating another coffee but knowing that would probably be a bad idea
  20. looking over and seeing a brown-eyed sweet four year old roll her banana in her hands like it's a play-doh snake
  21. wishing my hair would curl at the ends like the sweet almost-three year old sitting next to me
  22. contemplating bangs and a bob
  23. gratitude
  24. faith
  25. sunshine
Happy Sunday.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Reminder from God (v.3)

Today's Reminder is hitting me up the head.  I am in a bit of a funk...not even really sure what I'm feeling but feeling nonetheless *shudder*.  Trying to keep my head up.  Taking care of my body by eating delicious food, but lacking the motivation to study. (That's probably where my funk is coming from.)  I wish my mind would quiet.  It's really quite busy today, and uggg....The adage 'Never go into your mind alone' is very applicable today.  Trying to remember to bring my Higher Power into my thoughts....Trying..

Here's the reminder from God today---appropriate, no?
If you only sat still and longed for Me, you would be so unruffled, so calm, so bold. Refuse to be downcast. Love and laugh. I am with you.

..in.the.moment..

What a week!!
Holy Moly!!

I try to reflect on what I was doing this time a week ago, and I literally have to open my planner to remember.  It's been sooo long since a week ago Saturday.

I will fill you in on what I can remember---I had an overnight shift with a little girl I haven't taken care of since June, and it was so fun.  We played hard, we enjoyed each other's company and she was on board to go with me to my sweet friend Beth's daughter's baptism.  It was a special day on Sunday, and I was thrilled to be part--even if we couldn't stay the entire time.  Beth is an awesome Mom and her little babe is a joyjoyjoy.  The entire time she was up near the alter she was smiling.  It was a sweet day.

My little charge and I went to see Nanny McPhee Returns.  It was a fun movie!!  I can't find anywhere the lessons Nanny McPhee imparts on the family she is with, but when I can find it, you'll see it in a post, for sure!    Sunday night, I had the privilege of my darling friend Becky's company for a two hour walkabout our little town's square, and then an hour more of sitting and chatting.  We were in desperate need of a catch-up!

Monday I spent studying and practicing yoga in the evening after a delicious dinner with a sweet friend, Jen.  She is very talented, and I posted earlier this week a video they just created for their song. I am so proud of my friends!!  There is a new yoga studio in town, it opened last week (when I get the webpage link I will post it!) and all this week they've offered classes for Donation.  So, I had the yummy privilege of practicing yoga in a classroom setting, instead of in my living room in front of the television.  The studio is offering Hot Yoga Vinyasa and some 12 Step Yoga classes, and so far, I'm hooked!!  I really enjoyed where my yoga practice took me this week.

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday were heavy work days--averaging nine hours each day.  IKES!  Tuesday night was a treat, though, and I was taken out on a date.  I think this *ahem* male friend is very super duper, and we had a great night.  Not at all what I expected to have happen this week, and really the definition of a treat! Oh! And Tuesday I found out what my schedule will look like at the new job and it will be DAYTIME (yessssssssss!) and three 12-hours shifts in a row: Thursday, Friday & Saturday.  Long days, and I'll be tired, but I'm so thrilled I won't be working nights!!  And, I'm overwhelmingly excited to begin working as a nurse.  By the time I start on the unit, it will be SIX MONTHS since I've done any nursing care, and I am readyready to get back at it!

On Wednesday and Thursday I got to spend some time with my friend Dani, and that was wonderful.  She's doing well, and I enjoy the company she offers and the time I get to spend with her children.

And, then, well, then there was yesterday.  Fuhhhhreaky Friday.

I went to Human Resources for my new company and signed my Offer Letter.  I filled out reference check information, employment screening information, all that good stuff.  I found out officially that if I don't pass NCLEX, I will not be working this job.  (I sort of knew this already, but I enjoy knowing things with certainty and now, now I know).  I found out some of the benefit package details, as well, and am overwhelmed with what I have been calling, until yesterday, my grown-up job.  I am excited!  There are things that come with this nursing position I've never had as an employee:  insurance!, paid time off!, vacation pay!, life insurance!, overtime!  These things equal a grown-up job.  Or, at least they did until I had a most welcome and severely humbling conversation yesterday.

Here's the lesson I am learning:  a deeper understanding of Step 3.
When we sincerely took such a position, all sorts of remarkable things followed. We had a new Employer. Being all powerful, He provided what we needed, if we kept close to Him and performed His work well. Established on such a footing we became less and less interested in ourselves, our little plans and designs. More and more we became interested in seeing what we could contribute to life. As we felt new power flow in, as we enjoyed peace of mind, as we discovered we could face life successfully, as we became conscious of His presence, we began to lose our fear of today, tomorrow or the hereafter. We were reborn. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 63)
So, I have a new Employer.  And this previous idea of grown-up job is completely FALSE.  For the past three years, I've been exclusively working as a nanny.  I've been able to earn enough money to live a full and rewarding life.  I've supported myself while I've been in school, and what a gift I've been able to care for children, and be of ultimate assistance to families in my community.  I heard yesterday: a grown up job is something you would do for free or for fun.  I would (and do!) my job for free and for fun!

Now, I'm employed as a Nurse and am working in a profession where compensation and a benefit package are par for my course.  Would I do nursing for free and for fun?? YES!  (Mind you, I have for the past two years during clinical experience in the various hospitals in my town).

The blessing of the lesson I'm learning is that God is my Employer.  God "provides what I need when I keep close to him and perform his work well."  I believe this fully!  I want to see what I can contribute fully to this life!  Regardless of what my benefit package is.  More on this lesson, I'm sure, but I am blown away by this awareness, and excited to stop devaluing myself for only working in childcare these past three years.  What an honor to care for other's children, to do a great job at it, and to be reminded whatever work I do, I get to do it for God.  Every bit of it.  Nursing, childcare, the dishes, all of it.  For God.

So, that was my morning lesson yesterday.  I went to a local coffee shop and participated in the Eckhart Tolle book study, went to leave, and couldn't find my keys.  Um.  I don't lose my keys.  I looked everywhere.  I went up and down the block, asked every business to see if someone had turned in my keys, I phoned my roadside assistance, and a locksmith was en route to open my car to hopefully find my keys--maybe they're in my car?? Tow truck comes, unlocks my car, keys are not in it. So, roadside assistance offers I get another tow truck to come, tow me to Prescott Honda, and I paid $109 for a new key.  Yep.  One hundred nine dollars.  for a key.  


I was a blob of buzzed out mess--after my morning of discovery regarding employment and worth, I lost my keys.  I had to pay money that was allotted for other things (oh well!) and thank goodness my roommate was kind enough to make a copy of his house key and bring it to me while I sat in the showroom of Prescott Honda and studied for NCLEX, waiting for my new key to be programmed.  


Holy Moly, Freaky Friday!

The entire day I had planned blew up to be not that at all when I couldn't find my keys to leave Cuppers.  What does all this mean?  Do I need to slow down?  Do I need not be on the phone talking about worth, employment and God while driving?  um....probably.

Last night, I treated myself to quiet.  Much needed and enjoyed quiet.  I watched Greenberg, which I don't recommend. And I watched A Single Man, which I HIGHLY recommend.  A movie night? With NCLEX looming in just six days?  Yep!  I neeeeeded it.

Today has been fabulously calm.  I woke well rested and caught up on some business I unfortunately neglected with my long hours this week.  I went to the farmer's market and got yummy eggplant and kale from Whipstone Farm, and some amazing vegan tamales.  I have another overnight shift tonight with four kiddos.  Whoa.  Grateful, and looking forward to earning enough tonight to pay for the week ahead.  And, study study study.

Gosh, what a week!  I'm ripe with awareness and learning, and feeling surprisingly calm about Thursday.  My job and my profession are contingent on Thursday morning at 8am and I am calm.  Thank you, God.

I hope this week ahead can continue with calm, and I don't lose any more things of value....Especially my serenity.  Most importantly, my serenity.

Happy Saturday!

You’ll give it a shot.

Some delicious goodness this morning via a new blog I've found through another new blog I've found. First found Yes and Yes (via Kaelah B's blog) and she sent me over to Daily Pep Talk. I love when the blog world makes this small world even smaller.

And, I especially love being sent uplifting, applicable goodness for me to consider today. Believe me, after you hear about my day yesterday, you'll understand what I mean.

You’ll give it a shot.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

proud of my friends.

I have some very talented friends.
Give a listen to their latest endeavor:

Reminder from God (v.2)

Today's Reminder from God is awesome given last night's events.
I'm tired, and wow-ed!  And, yet, totally calm, too.
That feels lovely.
Nothing is by chance. No detail is forgotten in My Plans for you. 
I don't know that I'll disclose much but just wanted to put out there the beauty that nothing is by chance. 

On a blog note:  when I view this blog, the header is no longer clear and crisp; it's blurry.  Is it blurry for you, too?
Thanks for the input, and Have a super Wednesday!
No Detail is Forgotten...

Monday, September 13, 2010

all things french

currently on repeat.
so i can practice my french and be a beautiful darling like Carla Bruni
Goodnight, world.
Good morning, France.  See you in the Summer.

EXCITED!

Today's Daily Reflections got me so so so excited.
I am so ready for the miracle of working a thorough and complete 9th Step.  Things in my life are already propelling me forward--people from my past becoming part of my present so I can do as the 8th step suggests, and to quote the AA 12&12
...having thus cleaned away the debris of the past, we consider how, with our newfound knowledge of ourselves, we may develop the best possible relations with every human being we know. (emphasis mine).  
I have a deep, core excitement about allowing God to govern my life on this level and truly reveal to me what it look like to have the best possible relations with every human being we know.  On that note, I want to share the Daily Reflections for today.  It just makes me so excited about living this 12 Step life, having a program of recovery that has completely changed changed my life, and allowing myself to be in Partnership with a Power Greater than Myself.
Good judgement, a careful sense of timing, courage and prudence – these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine. Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions Page 83
To make amends can be viewed two ways: first, that of repairing damage, for if I have damaged my neighbor’s fence, I “make a mend,” and that is a direct amend; the second way is by modifying my behavior, for if my actions have harmed someone, I make a daily effort to cause no further harm. I “mend my ways,” and that is an indirect amend. Which is the best approach? The only right approach, provided that I am causing no further harm in so doing, is to do both. If harm is done, then I simply “mend my ways.” To take action in this manner assures me of making honest amends
These past relationships coming into my life are such a gift--I am being given the opportunity to "mend my ways."  I get to show up in the best possible way to have the best possible relations with every human being.  And that means the human beings in my past where the relationship didn't end as gracefully or sweetly as I would have liked.  (Though, on that note, do relationships ever end gracefully?? And, then, I'm reminded of Nate, and yes! Relationships can end gracefully!!)

Feeling grateful today, ready to embark on this adventure of serious action step-work and doing some NCLEX practice questions over and over and over and over again.....


Happy Monday.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Eckhart Tolle (v.1)

I've had A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle for a few years now, and just figured I couldn't really get into it because of the rigorous reading requirements of nursing school.  I have a couple friends that have been studying this book and I asked them recently if they would be interested in meeting to do a book study--selfishly, so I can actually start studying this intriguing book, and altruistically, because I really like book studies with these women!

Friday marked our first meeting, and with A New Earth I've only been able to get 60 pages in!  I've tried reading it three times!  Three times!  And each time I get sidetracked and stop around page 60....So, I'm super thrilled to begin this book in the way we are.  One of the members is going to pick a topic and we'll read on the topic and talk about it.  Very casual.

The topic chosen was Conscious Suffering and Conscious Parenting.  I about floored when I walked into the meeting--I was a bit late because of my schedule, and feeling an overwhelming sadness regarding my friend in surgery.

Here is what we read:
If you have young children, give them help, guidance, and protection to the best of your ability, but even more important, give them space--space to be.  They come into this world through you, but they are not 'yours.'  The belief "I know what's best for you" may be true when they are very young, but the older they get, the less true it becomes.  The more expectations you have of how their life should unfold, the more you are in your mind instead of being present for them.  Eventually, they will make mistakes, and they will experience some form of suffering, as all humans do.  In fact, they may be mistakes only from your perspective.  What to you is a mistake may be exactly what your children need to do or experience.  Give them as much help and guidance as you can, but realize that you may also at times have to allow them to make mistakes, especially as they begin to reach adulthood.  At times, you may also have to allow them to suffer.  Suffering may come to them out of the blue or it may come as the consequence of their own mistakes. 
Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering?  No, it wouldn't.  They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things.  Suffering drives you deeper.  The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form.  A lot is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego--but not until you suffer consciously.  
Formless attention is inseparable from the dimension of Being.  How does it work?
As you look at, listen to, touch or help your child with this or that, you are alert, still, completely present, not wanting anything other than that moment as it is.  In this way, you make room for Being.  In that moment, if you are present, you are not a father or mother.  You are the alertness, the stillness, the Presence that is listening, looking, touching, even speaking.  You are the Being behind the doing.  
These paragraphs are so ripe with tangents and thoughts.  I love what Mr. Tolle says about suffering--that it is not avoidable.  In 12 Step rooms, I hear often, "Pain isn't option, but suffering is."  And, in some cases I believe that statement.  It is up to me to not suffer because of the pain that is bringing about change.  Pain is the catalyst for my change, and I'm grateful for the awareness.  In Mr. Tolle's language, I believe the awareness that pain brings about discomfort so I may begin to change what is causing me pain is 'Conscious Suffering.'

I appreciate so much the essence of Being, especially as it relates to parenting.  I spend a lot of time with children, and hope one day to have my own (God willing!)  I sincerely appreciate the reminder that in the moments I am the Being, the essence of who I am, and I let go of all else, I'm truly showing up for the children with whom I keep company.

I hope your weekend is blessed!


Reminder from God

More perfect timing from this daily reminder
When things do not work out as you planned, then smile at Me and say "Have Your Way then". Knowing that My Loving response will be the best for you.
I love the Surrender of allowing God to have God's way.

sleepin in.

I haven't slept in this late in a long time.  It feels awesome!! I've been pushing the Layla envelope with three!  (yes three!) nights in a row going to bed after midnight! (ack!) Today, I woke so so so so tired.  I've been given an assignment in my step work that is very pivotal and this week has been so busy (there's a lesson; I'm going to get to it)!  Every time I started writing for my assignment, something would come up, or I couldn't see the exact harm I've caused...I was getting frustrated, and ended up canceling my appointment to go over the list.  I need more time.

I was flexible with myself this morning, too.  Being so tired, and only functioning on six hours of sleep did not sound like a super way to start my day--even though Saturdays are my favorites.  In the four weeks I've been home, I've begun this darling Saturday routine:  up at 0700, Kundalini yoga, quick breakfast, 0845 book study and coffee meeting, 1030 meeting, home around noon feeling rejuvenated and serene.

Well, today, I crawled out of bed at 0950!  WOWZA!  I didn't go to my meetings, I didn't yoga.  I've been super flexible with myself this week around activity.  I was on a roll before this week began:  hiking, yoga-ing, doing something every day...Then, I just paused for this week.  It seemed too overwhelming with all I have going on.

So, as far as my lesson for the week, here goes.  (I haven't gotten to the lesson learned part; I'm still in the discomfort of awareness).  I've set my date for NCLEX.  September 23.  That's in THIRTEEN days.  I took advice from those near to me and scheduled studying time EACH day this week..Starting with Monday.  On Monday, it didn't work.  The program Noriko lent me to use for practice questions wasn't loading and I got frustrated.  I did end up doing 180 practice questions, and that was a super starting point.  But, unfortunately, aside from a half hour of Princeton Review work booking on Thursday, that's all. I've. done. 

My discomfort lies in letting other things be more important than this study time.  More important than me working my 8th step.  More important than getting enough rest each night.  It feels like procrastination disguised by my being too busy.  I'm putting things in front of studying and working my steps.

It's uncomfortable.  And, I'm so so so grateful for the awareness.  This morning, I've made a delicious breakfast, coffee, and am listening to Wait Wait.  I am catching up the blog world with my lessons.  I work a 24-hour shift beginning at 1700 tonight, and have a busy day planned with my little kiddo tomorrow.  The good news?  It's only 1100 and I have six hours to focus on NCLEX.  (My goal for today is a solid three hours of studying).  I look forward to sitting in awareness around this lesson of putting myself first and transitioning into acceptance.

A fun note: I was flirted with last night by a man I find totally sweet, intelligent and kind.  It was very exciting and fun and we made plans for Tuesday night. Hmmmm....So didn't see that coming.

An awesome God note: my darling friend is out of surgery, her discharge papers are signed and we had an awesome conversation this morning.  Her voice doesn't sound groggy at all; she sounds great.  She will be home this afternoon, and I'll get to see her tomorrow.  God is so great!  (Thank you for answering prayers, and allowing my darling friend to be safe, without complication, and hopeful!)

A body note:  I plan to do a whole blog about this because it's totally weirding me out but I'm in size 12 pants--like, totally in a size 12.  I weigh 165 pounds.  I haven't been this little since 2002.  (little:  re: still overweight as BMI standards go, and I still feel I could lose another 20 pounds!)  The future blog will be about how I thought it was going to feel, because it is surprising and weird, and I don't trust it, and I really thought fitting into those GAP size 12's and American Eagle size 12's I've kept for EIGHT YEARS would be more monumental than it was yesterday when I pulled them on and they were kind of loose.

A work note:  I'm so excited about my new job, and didn't ask what would happen if I don't pass NCLEX--it is in the back of my mind.  What if I don't pass??  I have a list of questions to ask the Director of Nursing next week, and will hopefully get more of an idea of what life working as Registered Nurse will be like. As far as childcare goes, I'm blown away at God providing so hugely for me right now.  I am working lots, and having fun, and enjoying the kiddos with whom I keep company.  I am so blessed!!  

I hope this day is treating you well.  It's a big day for American history--nine years ago today.  I think it's important to live life to the fullest on this day--heck! I think that of every day, but especially today.  There seems something  powerful about enjoying the freedoms of this American life and celebrating them.  For me, celebrating the joy of American life is the best way I can acknowledge the awful of September 11.

Friday, September 10, 2010

My Prayer for You.

Right now, you are in for surgery.
I am scared, and sad, and friggin' pissed off this is happening to you.
In that breath, I love you and I love the universe that created our lives side by side one another's.
I trust in God.
I trust in whatever this is, this Crappy McCrapperston that is in your body, that there is a bigger purpose, that you will be strong enough, that well, shoot...I don't even know what to trust in because it's in you but the good news is I trust you.
I pray the surgeon is guided with knowledge, intuition and ability to rid your body of those bad cells.
I pray the nurses you encounter treat you with shining love, concern and beyond-competent nursing care.
I pray your body will flourish with strength to heal post surgery.
I pray your heart will be rampant with courage and trust.
I pray your friends will be exactly what you need.
I pray your children will be surrounded with laughter and love during this time, so your heart and mind won't worry about them--any more than you already will, I'm sure.
I pray your husband will be exactly the support you need and his own concern will be assuaged.
I pray for you, friend. In that breath I surround your name with
Courage.
Strength.
Love.
Light.
Healing.
Strength.
Strength.
Strength.
You live an authentic life full of passion, joy, and sweet giving.  It is such an honor to know you, to be around your amazing children, and to see you glow during this time, and each of the moments that have comprised the past three years I've known you.
Thank you for illuminating Grace.
I pray for your recovery and your increased trust in the physician's supervising your Cure.
I pray for you.

I love you and can't wait to hug you on Sunday.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

fifteen.

My friend Jess posted this on Facebook and I'm not so much a poster on the faceplace anymore...I like the personal accountability of blogging, and I appreciate not being wrapped up in the Facebook....
That being said, I adored the premise of this note she posted and wanted to reciprocate, too.


The rules: Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen albums you've heard that will always stick with you.   List the first fifteen you can recall in no more than fifteen minutes.
  1. Little Earthquakes--Tori Amos
  2. Nebraska--Bruce Springsteen
  3. Joshua Tree--U2
  4. Murmur--REM
  5. Graceland--Paul Simon
  6. The Animal Years--Josh Ritter
  7. Good News For People Who Love Bad News--Modest Mouse
  8. Sand in the Vaseline--Talking Heads
  9. Blood on the Tracks--Bob Dylan
  10. Boys for Pele--Tori Amos
  11. Seventh Tree--Goldfrapp
  12. Automatic for the People--REM
  13. Astral Weeks--Van Morrison
  14. The Wall--Pink Floyd
  15. Living in Clip--Ani DiFranco
What are your top fifteen??

thoughtmusic. (v.2)

I was listening to a cd mix from last year and this song came on:


I was singing along loudly and thinking what an AMAZING break-up song this is.  (This video is pretty spectacular as well!) While singing along I was thinking of other super awesome break-up songs--not to be sad or invoke any thoughts (regarding my recent break-up) because, really, that's not what this post is about--more just an appreciate for really super music!

This song is Gloria Gaynor at her finest but when performed by Cake--It just invokes serious survival skills.


I adore Jenny Lewis--in whatever form she takes: solo artist, lead of Rilo Kiley, love interest to Fred Savage in The Wizard!.  Seriously, she's a gem.  Especially when singing this song:


Now, for a gem of sad goodness.  This song breaks my heart every time I hear it because I can hear the emotion, I can feel the emotion Tori Amos puts into it....I have felt this heartbreak.


And, the grand finally of Break-Up gems---at least now, when I think of all the joy that can come from a break-up---it's dancing like this, with the sentiment of knowing the dude is missing out. Totally. Missing. Out.


What are your favorite break-up songs?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

HIRED!

I was hired today at a 16-bed acute-care facility in my community.
I am blown away.
And so thrilled.

I begin orientation on September 27---after I pass NCLEX and get the good fortune of seeing Michael Franti & Spearhead in concert in Flagstaff September 26.

I am so delirious with gratitude and awe I can feel my head floating a little higher than it was before 1600 this afternoon.

Now, I'm making donuts for a sweet friend's birthday celebration tomorrow.
And walking in a somewhat stupor of gratitude and amusement that this is indeed my life.
Ohmygosh!

So blessed.

perfect timing.

Today's Reminder from God is spot on!
I leave in an hour for a job interview---
Trust in Me and leave to Me the choosing of the day and hour, then My miracle-working Power is made manifest.

There is something beautiful about today--is it things are falling into place?  is it the delicious apple I'm eating from finally at last apples are in season New Frontier's?   is it the beautiful kiddos I was able to be around today??

I'm not sure but today feels peaceful, calm and wonderful, and I am filled with joy.

Monday, September 06, 2010

sweet.

From today's Reminder from God:
Be calm, assured, at rest. 
I love you.
I find a great comfort in hearing God say these words to me right now.  Paternal, loving, and kind, and most of all, welcome to my ears in this moment.

flexibility and being enough.

I woke this morning with the intent of a yoga sesh and a trip to the market for fixin's for a breakfast guest.  I didn't get to sleep until latelate for me, 1230a!, and was very tired when the 7a alarm went off.  I showered, listened to this song loudly! and got ready--Wandered through the market with a fuzzy head realizing I usually don't leave with the house without breakfast or coffee, and I needed to get home ASAP to get some food in my body!!

The AC repair man was due to arrive at 0900 to cool my home (just in time as today is not near as hot as the weekend had been, but at least now we're up and running for whatever heat September has left to offer).  I wasn't sure the exact arrival of my breakfast guest, but I got juice, toast and coffee in me and went to check my email---

Well....my guest said he wasn't going to make it.  Hmm...Okay!  I was so thrilled I took care of myself and didn't wait for his arrival to feed my body.  I was a little disappointed and then, took a breath, and thought, this is okay!  I can be flexible!

I put on Youth in Revolt and had a grand time!! This film is FUN!  Very well written, with lots of laugh out loud moments, and darling Michael Cera sure is cute.
image credit here
image credit here
Sweet movie, good laughs, and a reminder that being me is being enough.  

Happy Labor Day!


the first woman.

Did you know according to Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman? Or, am I just trusting in silly wikipedia to give me information that isn't true??  Either way, this wiki article is a good read, and today my Pandora radio stations (Bruce Springsteen, Arcade Fire, and Tallest Man on Earth via Quick Mix) have given me some DELICIOUS gems.

Enjoy!







Yay Music!!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

strange and graceful ease

It's been nearly two weeks since my big catch up the world post about the end of my trip and start of life back in Prescott.  And, I have been home for just over three weeks.  I am amazed how quickly time flies--and that I've been able to transition into life so well.  In hindsight, of course.

I panicked when I got home.  P.A.N.I.C.K.E.D. I was a mess and reminded of a certain prayer to keep me focused on life bigger than me, and a Power Bigger than me that will provide!
Eternal God, Lead me now out of my familiar setting, where doubts and fears reside.  Lead me beyond my pride and my need to be secure, into strange and graceful ease.  Your arms of hope support me, and I hear your voice in my silence.  I will grow strong enough to endure and be flexible enough to share your grace with others.  
Then, life started happening.  After my initial panic I got myself to a meeting QUICK and began to get the much sought after serenity I had been lacking after eight long weeks away from the rooms that help keep me focused on a spiritual solution.  I've been making four to five meetings a week, making lots of phone calls, and getting back on track with my recovery.  It's been wonderful, and I'm reminded how much work living this spiritual solution is.  Today, I'm willing.

I also knew I needed to find a roommate with whom to share my awesome space.  I found Noriko through Craigslist and have not had any problem with the site so I posted a prayer-inspired post, and got quite a few responses--all of them felt alright.  Then, Jeremia wrote, and YEP!!  God is awesome, we emailed for a day or so, talked on the phone, and then Sunday Aug 15 he came by to check out the space, meet me in person, and that afternoon paid the deposit to be my housemate.  Wow, God!!   Quick work!!

He moved in Aug 25 and so far, so great!!  I think we're finding our 'living together, getting to know each other' vibe out and it's working well!

A lot of my fear and panic was looped in and entangled around money.  Imagine that.  I was so afraid I wouldn't have enough, wouldn't be able to pay bills, rent, food, any of it.  Why is it so hard for me to remember that God has my back??  I heard this week:  If God leads you to it, God will lead you through it.  God is leading me to the miracles and joy of my every day life, so OF COURSE God is going to lead me through the 'supposed' trial of daily living.

I started to let go of the outcome.  Reminded again of another prayer ridiculously helpful:
God, enlighten me.  Help me recognize Your will.  Give me the strength to execute Your will for my life.  I willingly let you take control of my life and the outcome of my experiences.  
Yes.  I willingly let God take control of my life and the outcome of my experiences.  That does not mean I sit in my home and pray for money to fill my accounts and pay my expenses.  No.  So, I reached out, I lined up work with families I worked with before I left.  And, all has been okay!!   My fear has been slowly decreasing.  I do have moments of fear, but I have to remind myself fear doesn't leave me completely, and fear is a reminder to trust God.  Fear is an opportunity for me to practice faith.  I am grateful for these reminders.

Without giving away too much, I have come home to two friends dealing with stupidyuckylotsofswearwords & expletives: Cancer.  I have a myriad of emotion around these diagnoses.  I am confused, frustrated, angry, sad, and utterly powerless.  I am reminded of the beauty of the Al-Anon program with regard to alcoholism initially, but applicable to everything:  I did not cause this, I cannot cure this, and I cannot control this.  Oh sweet powerlessness:  I embrace you now as this yucky yuck enters my community and I ask that you show me what I can do to be of service, not judge, be kind and tolerant and most of all, loving.

I have written about it loads, and I know if you keep up with this blog at all you know I have my test date for NCLEX.  I am beyond excited to apply my belief and faith in God's will around this exam, do my footwork, which means STUDYSTUDYSTUDY, and rock the socks of this sucker.  September 23, baby!!  A perfect day--autumnal equinox, equal parts sun and night, and the beginning of my favorite season, Fall.  And, a full moon to boot.  I'm taking the exam in the city of my birth, Mesa, Arizona.  Magical beauty of course!!  Do I subscribe that all these magical events are ripe to my passing NCLEX?  No!!  I do subscribe that this date feels right, my instinctual thought says YES! and after prayerful consideration and a very good night's sleep, this will be the date I take my knowledge, hard work and Higher Power to the testing center, sit down, breathe deeply and test for Registered Nurse status.

For about ten days while I was home, I found myself sleeping and waking to the sun's schedule.  I was blown away about this--Partly because I realized this rhythmic cycle began in Switzerland, and it was timely there.  The sun didn't completely set until 930 or 10p and didn't rise until 630a.  A perfect eight + hours of sleep!!  And, in California, I was fighting jetlag so the sun didn't factor in, and in Oregon, again, the sun was setting later thanks to Oregon's observance of daylight savings and I could rise with the sun at the 6a hour and feel well rested.  Well, here in Arizona, where daylight savings is just a day on the calendar and not an action taken twice a year, the sun was setting at 730p!!  So, guess who was climbing into bed with Stieg Larsson and falling to sleep by 830p and rising between 530a and 6a with the sunrise?? This girl.  I fought it at first and judged the heck out of it, (what an old lady I am to go to bed at 730p!!) then I embraced this beautiful ability to sleep and rise with the Earth.  I think I have adjusted to being back in Arizona now, and the sun's setting doesn't equate bedtime to me anymore, but I am rising with the sun still and there is such a beauty to that wakening.

I've been incorporating way more activity into my life than I ever have before and I absolutely credit God, Switzerland life, motivation from JJ and a fifteen pound weight loss since May.  I've been doing Kundalini Yoga at home three to four times a week., hiking with girlfriends one to three times a week, and have been challenged and inspired by Yoga Flow on Fridays.  My body is shifting.  My thighs are changing shape, my waist is 30 inches (!!!), and I'm in clothes I haven't worn since 2001 (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).  I'm falling more in love with my body than I ever have before, save freshman year of high school when I was a two-a-day volleyball champion running, squatting, crunching my way to a super fit 14-year old body.  I didn't know then I wouldn't have that body when I was in my twenties.  If only....For now, though, there is a deep joy with feeling love with the body that is looking back at me in the mirror.

I'm embarking on some deep spiritual lessons about forgiveness, judgment, acceptance, and internal discomfort.  It's uncomfortable, and at times I feel like a failure and a fugg up.  Then, I thank God for giving me awareness about areas in which I get to grow, accept my humanness, and do the next indicated thing.

I think this brings me up to current!  I am home.  I am studying for NCLEX.  I test September 23.  I am interviewing for a RN position Tuesday.  I'm working with kiddos that inspire me with laughter, sweetness, and joy.  I am surrounded by friends that have courage and strength unprecedented.  I am open to miracles and shown that graceful ease is a lot of times strange and doesn't look how I think it should, which I believe is God's way of showing up even more gracefully and miraculously.

Love to you!

Reading Rainbow.

image credit weheartit

I loved Reading Rainbow as a kid.  I think I've mentioned it here before years ago but I would sit in front of my mirror in my bedroom and do 'book reports' like the kids on the show.  I would excitedly and animatedly tell of the plot and illustrations of the books I just finished.  I was probably nine or ten.

Since college, the first go-around in 1997, I have kept a 'book journal' of each book I've read.  I am compulsive about it, and shoot for yearly goals for number of books read.  I try to read 12 each year and always surprise myself by bypassing that goal.  

In a lot of ways, I think my book journal is just me still sitting in front of the mirror doing my own personal book report on my favorite PBS show.  

With that background, I must inform you to get and read The Millenium Trilogy by Steig Larsson.  These books are phenomenally written by Stieg Larsson, painting a vibrant and detailed Swedish world of crime, violence and triumph.  I have found,without giving too much away, despite the initial violence of the first book, the series is in its whole a tribute to the power of Women.  

If you're stuck and not sure what to read, get this series.  I can promise by page 50 of the first book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you will be hooked.  The initial description of Lisbeth Salander hooked me and I couldn't put it down.  I immediately devoured books two and three of the series.  

Happy Reading!!

(And, on that note:  What are you reading that you can't put down??  I was sidetracked by Mr. Larsson's vivid world so I'm just now finishing Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire and thanks to my mom, have received Lit by Mary Karr which I'm insanely excited to begin.  I'm still chewing on The Spirituality of Imperfection every few days and also trying to get at least an hour of NCLEX studying in each day.  Ohmygosh, I love to read.)

Serendipity.

Merriam-Webster defines serendipity as  : the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for; also : an instance of this.  When I first read the definition I was a bit confused--especially as I've been saying, wow! This is all very serendipitous what has been happening lately.  Well, as Merriam-Webster defines the word, what has been happening hasn't been serendipitous at all, as I am SEEKING after the things that are happening.  

I wrote about receiving my authorization code, and I was so so so excited.  Almost too excited.  I had a difficult time being present Thursday afternoon, and finally found that September 23 was available and would be a great day to test.  Yet, I couldn't click confirm, so I slept on my decision. 

Friday morning, I woke, coffeed, showered, and clicked confirm for testing September 23 in Mesa, Arizona.  

Feels so great. 

I sent out a text to my support crew letting all know I confirmed my date, and this adventure of Registered Nurse is becoming more real as the day approaches.  Five minutes after I sent out the text, and confirmed my test date I got a call from a job I had applied to six days earlier.  

Mind you, I've applied for nine jobs so far since being back in Prescott.  I've not heard from any of them.  I am a blessed individual and have been able to continue doing childcare and nanny work for the past four weeks.  I am so blessed---I still have money in savings, I'm able to afford my life, and I'm in awe at the way God provides for me!!  

I want to stay in Prescott, and I would love to find a nursing job here and continue growing and flourishing in this amazing community of family here.  So, while working in the meantime as a nanny, I've been applying for nursing jobs as they come available.  

So, my surprise to get a call from a job I had applied to a week earlier!! And, get this:  the question she asked was, "Have you set your test date yet?"  Now, Merriam-Webster tells me serendipity is more of an accidental find and not a purposeful seeking.  I purposefully sought this job and this kind woman purposefully called me to inquire after my test date and my license.  Am I making more of a simple phone call and its timing?  Perhaps.  I just find it completely amazing I set my test date and five minutes later I'm called about an employment opportunity and my test date.  

I turned in my resume, cover letter, application and letters of recommendation (I went in with my artillery!) on Friday to another company and met with the Human Resources fella and had an awesome conversation about my inexperience in nursing, and my excitement at getting experience.  

Nursing is a phenomenal field, and it's quite specific.  My education the past two years has been broad and varied.  I've done clinical work in long-term care facilities, ICU's, Emergency Departments, surgery centers, labor halls, postpartum wings, medical units, post-surgery units, cardiovascular units, endoscopy units, and psychiatric units.  I have not had the opportunity to specialize except for my internship January through April.  My experience was perfect, too, because it was there I realized I don't know if I'm ready to begin my dream of midwifery just yet.  I think I want to experience life as an RN doing all types of nursing.  I want to do it all. (This is not surprising to me).  

So, applying for jobs means I have to WOW! my future employers with my go-get-em attitude and ability to apply the broad knowledge of nursing school into a specific field.  I have to explain the dilemma of the Catch-22: Hire me even though I don't have the experience you're after.  Train me so I will have the experience you're after.  Please.  You will not regret it because I'm eager, excited and willing to learn!  I am ready to begin this amazing career!  

I have an interview Tuesday with a 16-bed hospital in the area and I'm so excited about the opportunity.  Is it what I thought I would be applying for?  Is it what I sought after?  No!  It is a surprise, it is serendipitous, and I'm so excited!!  



Friday, September 03, 2010

flashing back.

I'm flashing back to 1998.  I'm making agar plates in Dr. Powis' lab at the Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, Arizona, and this song is playing from the radio with the antenna that is taller than me, and when the beat gets faster, I dance and marvel at how much I love science and Ani DiFranco and titrating chinese herbs to fight cancer.

Agar smells like nutritional yeast, if you're interested.

And, if you're not, enjoy this song.




Thursday, September 02, 2010

Authorization.

I received in my email today a very nice and well-timed email from 'NCLEXATT.'
I have my Authorization To Test Code.
Which means I am able to sign up for NCLEX.

My future is within grasp.  I taste it, feel it, and envision success! NCLEX is the pinnacle of exams I've taken the past three years.  It is the exam that grants me Registered Nurse status in Arizona, and thankfully, because Arizona is considered a 'Compact State' this also means I'll be licensed to practice nursing, when I pass, of course, in 22 other states. (Unfortunately, not any of the fun ones, like Hawai'i where my mom lives, or Washington, where Whitney lives, but Texas is a Compact State, so you never know!! Maybe I head back to good ol' Pine Tree Land!!)

Regardless of where I end up, this is where it begins.   

I'm thinking September 23 but don't know yet....
I almost booked the test, was thiiisssss close to clicking 'confirm' but my gut said, WAIT!  So, I waited.  I  made a necessary phone call to my support person, and was told that if my gut says, WAIT! I wait.

What a gift of intuitive thought.

Tonight, I sleep on what it means for me to sit for NCLEX on September 23.
Tomorrow, I'll be sure to let you know.

things i love.

Happy September Everyone!
I'm overcome with love this morning---

I love

  1. coffee
  2. serendipity
  3. green leaves 
  4. Morning Edition on npr
  5. Sonja
  6. a freshly made bed with clean sheets
  7. successful list making (it's successful when things get crossed off!)
  8. blogs
  9. children
  10. iTunes Genius
  11. Gorilla vs Bear
  12. XMU on Sirius Radio
  13. being part of a community
  14. being a good friend
  15. having good friends
  16. having enough
  17. loving God
  18. not knowing how to answer the question, "Layla, where do you go to church?"
  19. physical activity
  20. not stressing out if I don't get to work out today.  well, not totally stressing out
  21. applying for jobs
  22. envisioning my future
  23. feeling a deep and sweet love for myself
  24. learning all about cancer so my knowledge can be power. 
  25. turning over cancer to God
  26. trying not to hate cancer, even though sometimes I really do, and really, cancer is just cells gone a little wayward.  I can appreciate waywardness---I just don't appreciate waywardness in the lives of women I love. 
  27. dancing
  28. yoga
  29. Switzerland
  30. Hawai'i
  31. my mom
  32. Prescott, Arizona
What do you love?