The oxytocin of friends

30 April 2015

There are people you are born with and then there are the people you find … I have found my people in the cubicle next to me, in the apartment upstairs from me, and in my book club. One morning one friend brings another friend running, and it sticks forever. Other times the funny stranger across the table at an industry lunch is just who you need in your life. Don’t get me wrong. There aren’t loads of Your People out there. That is why it is important to be on the lookout. Your People are hard to find.
Satellite Sisters


Last night, I went to Sharla's again.  She opened the door with a smile on her face, revealing a brand new pixie cut.  I nearly died.  That hairstyle is SO attractive to me on women.  I told her that I mad crush when women cut their hair like because now their clavicle bones and jawbones and cheekbones are so exposed and scream for flattery.   Men dig the long locks, but man, I dig the women with the short hairzies.

And our conversation started there.  We talked about sensuality, the way women appreciate beauty, feeling pleasure from a lovely thing.  It's a healthy swirl of love chakra energy, but it has nothing to do with sexuality.  A noteable distinction so that we don't silence our sensuality, which spurs enjoyment and appreciation.  (But speaking of sexuality, Sharla showed me this excellent resource for the best way to approach sexuality by age group).  Then Sharla told me how gratitude is the highest vibration of energy, even above the vibrations of love for another.  Gratitude.  Which really excited me because well, first, I very much believe in the flow of energies, and second, releasing a vibration of gratitude is something I can always do.  As I said yesterday, love needs room to pulse, space and time to expand and contract, expand and contract.  But gratitude can always be consistent.  Open your hands in every moment, pull everything into your chest as Sharla showed me, and be grateful.  Even if things around still remain messy and chaotic, still pull your hands into your chest and say you're grateful.

The night continued, and Sharla and I kept loosening up and getting more silly.  It's been nice to have a scheduled friend night with her every other week for the last couple months.  Of course it started as nights of Body Talk, getting my energy work on.  And before that it started when I was still a gangly teenager and Sharla's younger sister was one of my high school best friends, and Sharla was the much cooler and wiser older sister that we only saw in the hallways at school with her cooler and wiser friends.  So Sharla has been in my life for awhile, but she's never been IN my life like she is now.  And each time I go see her, my stay extends.  An hour.  Two hours.  Four hours...  And now we're reading The Queen's Code together (THAT I RECOMMEND TO EVERYONE) and starting a 6-week energy work program together (which I also invite you to join with us if you want).

Later in the evening, Ryan called to report on his soccer game, and he remarked that every time I spend an evening with Sharla, I emanate.  He can tell something really connects us.  And there is.  There is A LOT that connects Sharla and I.  Our departures, our becomings, our relationships, our blueness, our destiny and callings. 

Divergent.  That was our word last night.

Did you know spending time with a good friend is one of the best ways to release oxytocin?

Upward and onward,

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I swallow the wind through my nose

26 April 2015

A quintessential evening of dancing in my bedroom.  And then turning it into a music video.

(This is what happens when Ryan goes out of town, and I accidentally watch a scary movie by myself - because I didn't know it was going to be so freaky - then I turn up the music real loud to ward off ghosts, murderers, and bears.  Oh my.)

Regardless, my posterity will know bedroom dancing as a sine-qua-non practice.  One to not do wimpily either.  But to grow into the art of hearty, sweaty bedroom dancing.  None of my ancestry left me record.  No engraved gif on a cave helped me understand, but I just as well figured it out.

And then I quite enjoyed waking up some of my friends with this video early early Saturday morning like a Jubilant Alarm Clock:  "HAVE A HAPPY DAY!!!!"

I don't know who posts stuff like this on the internet.  I do.  I guess that answers that question.


Sore neck winning, 


23 April 2015

I had to present to the CEO today in front of the entire senior executive team.  I'm really glad I didn't realize this last night, as I was able to greatly enjoy my dinner with Ryan last night at Banana Leaf and then cooly get ready for work this morning.

But the second I walked into the office, meeting preparations were happening at large from every team, and I was informed that I'd be the one going up for battle.  So for five hours I drank from a fire hose of information as everyone shared their knowledge with me of this new financial analysis process I'll be owning.  The home-building industry fascinates me, but it's hard to feel qualified to present much of anything after only being involved with it for under two months.  I think that I would struggle to thoroughly explain it to even a fleet of mice.

Well, this morning, everyone was gathered around the open work area discussing, and I stayed mostly silent and tried to swallow their thoughts as much as I could - and stop daydreaming and focus - mostly feeling overwhelmed and underconfident.  And then I thought about steadiness.  Because Ryan has been such a good example of this quality for me.  I used to try and understand everything all at once, and likewise, shake and rattle the whole world in one swoop.  But he is so good at letting things be, just as they may, and letting things come, just as they do, and being so steady and evenkill in his mood. 

So instead, this morning, I let everyone else split hairs, and I just sat in the corner and snacked on some nuts.  I said a prayer in my mind that I would have understanding and articulation, and that was that.  I knew I'd be okay.

Then the meeting came and went, and the CEO was as intimidating as I was warned, and I only wanted to pee my pants one time, but I clearly presented the new report with the exact amount of information that was necessary.  Everyone told me I did a really great job.  I still don't know a lot, but I knew Heavenly Father helped me with exactly what I asked.  Just as Ryan works with a steady hand, I believe Heavenly Father enabled me to do the same.

Today, it is what it is.

The picture on my desk:

"I have the strength,
the talent,
the friends,
the resources,
the qualifications,
I need for today."

And another good thing to remember - a baby muskox.

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Pictures of lately

22 April 2015

All the happy moments of lately:

Rachel had a birthday and invited Ryan and I to her ice-skating party.  It was such a fun time!  I really really like Rachel.

While riding in Ryan's truck to grab some groceries for dinner, Ryan and I are debating if this mans outfit is his own free will and choice. Or that of his wifeys. Please help us put that debate to rest.

 After Jessica's wedding reception, Ryan and I went on a date to Wing Nutz and then to see the Imitation Game.  We had such a good time together.

I've got the scrapbooking mood lately.  It comes around every so often, and I have the time of my life!  Watching The Bachelor while I sort papers and pictures.

My nightstand.  Loving all these essential oils Sharla keeps giving me.  And the grapefruit - YUM!

Love my dresser lately!  Pictures of the Savior friends have given me.  Chocolate that was Kelli's Christmas gift returned to me.  My Joseph Smith statue awarded for getting my CPA.  And lastly, the beautiful white rose Ryan had waiting for me at dinner on our Valentine's date!

Loving my whole room lately!  Always like to keep this a clean, tranquil space.

Figured out how to do the fastest bun in the world!  And it's still super cute!
Studying conference talks and church notes on my front porch in the sun, while eating a healthy home-prepped dinner.

And lastly, seeing Sequoia's little underpants on Kersti's floor when I walk by in the morning.

Upward and onward,

Miracle Morning

21 April 2015

I LOVE my mornings.

Doing my morning routine has created a daily ritual that leaves me feeling in the top tier of my happiness and focus levels.  Every day - to operate from that level of happiness and focus!

I wake up and immediately work out 20-60 minutes, depending on when I naturally wake up, and I never skimp on effort.  My body craves that time every day, and it has begun to feel so personally sacred.

Then I quickly shower and get ready, pausing at the end of my routine to read my scriptures for 10-20 minutes.  After the rush of washing, blow drying, curling, painting eyeliner, I let everything go still.  Fade away, as I lean against my bed and focus on God.  Lately as I read, I've been letting my mind hold a trailing string to pick up any residual feelings towards missionary work.  I have made a covenant to God to be a part of His Gospel, and with that comes discomfort and times when I have to show courage against the beliefs of the world.  That is harder for me.  I sway towards relativism of personal light, believing everyone will find their way and their truth at the time and way their soul needs.  Spirituality is in so many places if you see with the right eyes!  But people sometimes don't know how to see with those eyes, and God knows He needs His covenant people to actively share His Truth and His Light.  I must find a way to do that because I have covenanted to take this responsibility on myself, so I note how God's prophets of old shared their Truth found in God in a way that is connecting.

Afterwards, I quickly finish preparing my breakfast.  Then I drive to work, admiring the view.  Once at work, I open my Headspace meditation and I do a quick meditation to center myself again.  Then I open a post and do a freewrite for 15 or so minutes.

So, by the time I turn my focus to starting the actual day, I have been bolstered physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.  And my veins are pumping with oxytocin, energy, motivation, joy, and love.  Every single morning.

And that's what I call - my Miracle Morning.

Upward and onward,

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Extraction & Intimacy

20 April 2015

Sharla told me about a book she read once that talks about the maturing of relationships.  It covers four stages of depth in a relationship and most couples stay at a level two, where they know each other well, but the doors of weakness stay closed, and they just remain in static contentedness.  But the couples who open doors of weakness, aware of limitations and points of resistance between them, climb to a higher rung of unity.  And then those who actually work on ripping out the roots of lifelong negative habit, and do it in a way that's with each other and not against each other, move to the deepest stage of maturity.  That takes such an amount of courage and vulnerability and faith and my gosh, humility.  A quote from the book-

More recently, the need to integrate our spiritual and intimate lives, rather than maintaining separate spheres and relationships on autopilot, has become increasingly apparent. Given the high rates of infidelity and divorce, it would seem that the possibilities of freedom through intimacy have not been explored in much depth. Too often we pull away when relationships become difficult, missing out on the rewards of connecting more profoundly.

The passage from immature to mature monogamy is not only a journey of ripening intimacy with a partner, but also a journey into and through zones of ourselves that may be very difficult to accept and integrate with the rest of our being … how to navigate the thickets of reactivity, conflict, shame, anger, fear, and doubt, but how to understand them in a new light so that a deeper level of relating to oneself and one’s partner becomes possible, opening new levels of trust, commitment, and love.  (Transformation Through Intimacy)

The last few weeks, Ryan and I have been taking hands and opening more inner doors to The Self.  Because what happens when a relationship keeps maturing?  Doors keep opening along the discovery route.  I'm like, "yeah peer around, come to know me - NO, NOT DOOR 87!  Go back to door 12 and admire that one, I just need to do some quick house cleaning here for a second."

But in the pursuit of deeper intimacy, relationships must extract such impurities if they wish to be as intimate and close as both Ryan and I desire ours to be.  To which, we each give honest awareness to what is impeding our highest level of connection with each other, and then bear the vulnerability and pain of severing away ingrained habits. It is a process of exposing oneself and being reborn.  Only it is within the bonds of incredible love and safety.  The place I have found most satisfying to render personal development.

And Ryan's love and willingness to improve is unwavering.  That man does not budge in his commitment to me, no matter the messiness behind my Door 87.  When I asked him how he maintains such incredible resolution, he told me two quotes from two of his favorite books, "you must always 'confront the brutal facts but never lose faith.'" (Good to Great).  And "for what you really want, you must 'persevere without exception.'" (The Seven Decisions).

I feel so in control and happy with all my open doors, as well as all of Ryan's.  I'm sure there are ever more doors to discover in each of us.  But I feel so proud of the priority I made long ago on constantly improving myself, even if I still had dark doors I couldn't understand yet, because I've never been afraid of owning personal housecleaning if some needs to be done.  And now, I'm very happy to be inside of such relationship that is the same.  One that is so deep and pure and full of unconditional love.

"...Can the purpose of a relationship be to trigger our wounds? In a way, yes, because that is how healing happens; darkness must be exposed before it can be transformed. The purpose of an intimate relationship is not that it be a place where we can hide from our weaknesses, but rather where we can safely let them go. It takes strength of character to truly delve into the mystery of an intimate relationship, because it takes the strength to endure a kind of psychic surgery, an emotional and psychological and even spiritual initiation into the higher Self. Only then can we know an enchantment that lasts.
Marianne Williamson (The Mystical Power of Intimate Relationships)

"...all the people I’ve ever deeply admired are profoundly honest about their own weaknesses. They have identified their core sin." 
-David Brooks (one of my favorite authors)

Upward and onward,

The beautiful apple blossoms blooming outside my bedroom window.  Perfect representation of being reborn and becoming.

Reducing interference to really experience

17 April 2015

*written after a nice hot soak in the bath while reading.  So much delight!

Recently I've been reading The Alchemist, right as Rachel departs on a trip to Jerusalem, near the location of this story setting.  In this book, they talk about pilgrimages. How in the olden days (or maybe still) people showed their devotion to God by taking pilgrimages to Mecca.

But I've been thinking how we're spiritually, mentally, emotionally on that journey all the time.  Wandering through the desert in our caravans, weathering the trek, becoming even more purified for when we make it to Mecca.  Aka, figure out what the heck we're doing in the world and how to rise into someone greater, instead of just withstanding in a flat-line sort of endurance or a state of shallowly happy oblivion.  So by the time we make it to Heaven Home, we have been refined partially out of inevitability, but mostly because of deliberation. 

And I tend to gravitate towards people who are taking this journey more consciously.  The ones that are eyes-wide open in a spiritual - Truth-seeking quest.  And that is Rachel.  I can tell she's more conscious of her life journey, being something to Rise and Grow from, rather than just riding the wave, staying in the wide and popular lane, but deliberately seeking the narrow lane that goes upward.  I have so much respect for her.  She, as well as so many of my other close friends, see things differently, more holy, from up above.  And those perspectives I love to know.  What are they seeing.  Not in front of your eyes.  But understanding from the soul.

Another book I read awhile back talks about how growth doesn't come by an increase in intelligence, but a decrease in interference.  Which is something I told Rachel a couple weeks ago as we talked over the phone.  We try to schedule a weekly phone call date, because we each draw so much strength and spirit from the other.  And I told her how I've been thinking recently how the closer we get to our own roots, our own internal light, the closer we hear our own intuition, and the more we'll see.  Which is the problem of Today, right?  It's hard to see inside of ourselves because there's so much other noise.  But I've been placing a high priority on that as of late.  Reducing interference.   Seeing my true self more, seeing God more.  Taking my trip to Mecca very consciously.

Upward and onward,

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A Home

15 April 2015

This new job is exactly what I want to do. At least for as far in the conceivable future. I'm sure I'll choose a new pursuit someday. But right now, this is what I want. And I feel so much security that I've been looking for homes!  The thought of having my OWN place.  To create a full home of my space, my utility.  Dancing in the upstairs bonus room.  Preparing meals in my kitchen.  Having a sure place to always come home to and be mine.  Knowing the community, creating bonds, hosting dinner parties.  Driving home from weekend roadtrips and pulling into my driveway.

A rooted place.

I invited Ryan to my appointment to see the home.  He really liked it as well and said he'd love to, and then invited me to get lunch afterwards.  That made my heart beat fast.  Ryan and I have yet to have a lunch date during our work days :)

Also listening to all of conference today with my headphones.  Love the talk about the Gospel being the music in our homes.  God doesn't look at who we once were.  He looks at who we are now and who we are becoming.  So much so that our past sins won't even be looked at. 

Upward and onward,

Away for a day - Gone Fishing!

07 April 2015

Ryan purchased a fishing boat last week.  One second he was browsing through them online on my couch, and just a couple evenings later, we were on Utah lake in this swaggy little fishing boat.  We were mostly practicing for the next Titanic remake:


Okay but really, it was like 2 degrees and the wind was ferocious.  I drove the boat while Ryan toyed around with the two motors.

And when he reached over me at the steering wheel, I selfied his butt.

So all week we were way excited to take this boat out and catch some little Nemos.  And since my dad was coming into town for his Indonesian mission reunion this weekend, we invited him to join our adventure, and lo, Saturday was deemed as the ultimate day of fishing.  (Why people don't use "lo" in common conversation, I don't know.  I'll start).  Anyway, our nerves were giddy like Christmas kids.

Our departure time was 8 am sharp.  Which meant I got up at 5 am because Saturday is my Sacred Hours.  After Ryan and my dad arrived at my house, we drove up through Park City to Jordanelle Lake.  We were one of the first people on the lake.  I mostly manned the boat, and they mostly reeled in the fishies.  When things would get really exciting and all the poles would be jostling with either fish or a snag, someone would hand me a different pole and have me reel.  The poles reeled all different ways, so twice, I twisted the handle right off.  Holding the pole in one hand, and the handle in the other, I'd hand them back and go sit at the steering wheel.  Later Ryan kissed my cheek and said he'd let me use just one of his poles from now on so I could reel in just one direction. 

I gotta say, fishing is the best way I've ever known to lose time.  The sun moved all the way around the lake, and we just trolled around not even noticing.  Ryan packed a little cooler of sandwiches and chip and salsa.  The three of us talked a lot and all the hours out on the lake. We caught five fish, and then my dad reeled in this ginormous brown trout.  Biggest fish Ryan and I have ever seen caught.  And when the sun began setting, we finally pulled out the boat and grabbed dinner in Park City.

The next day, Ryan cooked up that brown trout for Sunday lunch, and it was the most delicious fish in all the land. 

And because I'm a sneaky photographer.. mmm.....

Upward and onward,