Lesley Youngblood

Granola girl, Earth Mama, Crazy Cat Lady, Dragon Whisperer

Tales of Chaotic Good

This is our world. We can make it better. Here are a few ideas about how…Welcome to “Tales of Chaotic Good” -- stories about universal connection and the shifts that can help shape our collective future.

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Day One Hundred and One on the Path: Endings are always beginnings too

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 17, 2020 at 2:10 PM Comments comments (2)

It’s a lovely sunny morning here in Porter Ranch. As I stroll around the block and chat with my mom, keeping up with the Southern contingent of my beloved family, I can’t help but notice how happy the planet looks. Bunny rabbits are hopping about. Plants are growing and blooming. Trees are alive with spring green growth. The murder of crows that lives in those trees is cavorting around like its 1999. I wonder for a moment where they go when it rains. The air feels cleaner, fresher, like our house does when the maids come. There is no noise but the breeze and a few kids laughing as they play with sidewalk chalk the next street over. It almost feels like we’ve transported backward in time. Or, perhaps, forward in time to a new reality where we slow down, calm the mind and the breath to hear our innermost hopes and dreams, respect the planet and our family time, and coexist with our entire world once again.


 


A gal can hope. Something truly spectacular should come from this pandemic experience. If nothing else, we should all be much more aware of just how connected we are, to each other, to the ecosystem, the plants, the air, everything. Don’t ever try to tell me again that climate change isn’t real or that the changes are not resultant from our human lifestyles. We have a poignant and patent example now that mankind has under lock-down and our industries shuttered. There are dolphins in the Venice canals again, people! I just hope we learn from this experience and make a few changes when we return to freedom.




All of these images and ideas keep running through my head long after the walk has ended. They edify me through my yoga, and inspire me through my meditation and vision board. I can’t help but get a little teary as I work on my redo of the vision board. It feels so appropriate to be envisioning a more positive and fulfilled future for my own life, just as I’m hoping for something similar for all humanity and our Earth.




Maybe I’m just feeling poetic and philosophical here at the end of this 101 day journey with you all.


Endings are almost always also beginnings. Remember back on Day One, I found a program by Eddie Sergey? The 15 Minute Manifestation program? Yeah, I thought I’d start that again. Track one it is! It’s called “your natural state” and I feel like that’s where I’m headed these days. I chat with a friend over zoom and “coffee,” send emails and texts to clients and friends, shoot our now-completed tax information off to the accountant (aka my mom), and help mom-in-law restart her phone and email for the 15th time this week.


Somewhere in the middle of the day, the hubby walks into my office and presents me with a brand new laptop he’s managed to finagle from somewhere. My existing equipment is more than 15 years old now, and no longer supported for security and software. It’s not just newer, it’s bigger and better in so many ways. What a loving surprise! Now, I just have to make time to transfer everything and get it functional.


  


But not tonight!! Tonight is D&D, and that trumps a new computer- certainly during quarantine. The evening takes a very strange turn during our shopping excursion to replenish supplies. Turns out, even in D&D you can find recreational herbs to buy, and one of our team is a fan, so some is purchased for later consumption. The rest of the day goes by, and while we are gathered back at our loaner estate, tensions begin to mount between the party members. I know some of the game is reflective of our lives in the here and now, and our home is obviously not the only one to have some tempers flaring and patience waning under the current circumstances. But I’ve never seen quite this much frustration openly displayed in our group. In game, the recreational herbs come out, but only one person is interested. The frustration of the other party members grows, and the longer the fun continues, the more tense it gets. I watch fascinated – it’s like observing a bachelorette party when one member gets so sloppy drunk that tending to them impairs everyone else’s fun for the evening. There are some meaningful moments in the game tonight aside from this aberration, but I hope we have some combat next week and bleed off a bit of the pressure.


The game winds down around 11pm, and I’m left to contemplate the end of the day…this 101st day. I cannot believe this is the final day of this journey. It seems so strange that the time has gone by so quickly, and reflecting on how much has happened, I feel like I want to tie up any loose ends I’ve left along the way. That’s not really how life works, is it? I didn’t finish tapping on all 39 of those disempowering beliefs about money. I didn’t ever finish the Moving From Stuck to Flow course. I haven’t completed my new Vision Board yet. I haven’t yet finished that art card design, or even started on my last float-inspired art. I haven’t shot so much as a test run of my web series. So many things still to do! Who will I share those with if not here with you?


The truth is, the journey is continuous, there are no conclusions tied up in neat little satin bows with perfectly even loops and tails. Even when we die, there is more to do and discover. So, I’m letting go of my OCD and the desire to finish, and just embracing the adventure we’ve been on together.

 

A brief look at the last 101 days.


Exercise – I’ve run quite a few courses over these past months. Yoga, HIIT, Tabata, strength training, walking, biking, and just dancing with my crazy self. And burpees. Which I still don’t like. Without actually going back and crunching the numbers, I believe I kept moving, like, 95 out of 100 days, not counting my mulligan. I’m pretty proud of that. Now excuse me while I go put on those yoga pants and do a little downdogging.


Meditation – LOTS of tapping with Nick and Jessica at the Tapping Solution. It’s just a phenomenal resource. If you haven’t tried it, get over how dorky it feels and try it. Really. We also explored neurolinguistic hypnosis meditations, regular guided meditations and visualizations, and some simple breathing techniques and mindfulness. So many options to choose from here, and my cache of resources keeps growing.


Career /Job – This has been like Mr. Toad’s wild ride (before it got shut down by the plague). From lots of events to coordinate and run to no events. From no office job to two full time office jobs to no offices, period. From a fair amount of acting auditions and voiceover stuff to nada for now. And, of course, the addition of my healthy hippie endeavor, Arbonne (I’m drinking a shake as I type!). I can’t wait to see how all of these pieces morph into a new life over the rest of this year.


Creative – I haven’t done as much as I had hoped here, but I feel really great about what did happen. Scenes and classes and art and reading… all are essentials for existence. Now, it’s on me to up my game and really take advantage of this time at home to do more in this arena. More songs to be written and learned on my guitar. A harmonica to be learned and semi-mastered. Canvases waiting to be painted. Novels to be written and re-written. Videos to make. Parts to play. I feel my momentum shifting and leaning once again into the creative side of me, and this is a very welcome change.


Overall health and wellbeing – Certainly there have been ups and downs. But I’ve truly enjoyed joining you and journaling via blog for the past several months. I think I’m generally healthier and happier than when I started this trip, and certainly more grounded than ever before. Yes, grounded, even in the midst of this current chaos.

 

   

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Gratitudes:

Since I’ve spoken about 495 gratitudes along this Path, today I’m offering up five wishes instead. (Yep, still changing things up). Here are my wishes, today and every day:

- I wish for every being on this planet to feel loved.

- I wish for every being on this planet to be healthy and strong.

- I wish for every being on this planet to know they are special and worthy.

- I wish for every human on this planet to find a tree to love and protect every day of their lives.

- And because I’m still truly a hippie at heart, I really do wish for world peace.

 

Namaste, everybody.

 

Day One Hundred on the Path: Dont Poke the bear

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 16, 2020 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Flynn, God love him, woke me up at 6 am today with his not-so-charming-at-this-hour food beg. It consists of a series of weird noises that don’t even remotely resemble a meow. Seriously, I’ve woken up in a panic several times, scrambling mentally to figure out who left an owl or a tribble or a hyena in our hallway. Freaking actors, man. Even our cats are in the biz. In return for this performance, he gets a bath, courtesy of the squirt bottle we keep beside the bed just for these special occasions. A quirt in the butt of cold water is kind of like a bouquet of roses at the curtain call, right? Ok, not really. We “negotiate” like this until I finally surrender at 9:30 and just get up.


Hubby is up before me today, sequestered in his office pulling his tax stuff together. He’s having as much fun as that sounds like. While he types and cringes and wishes he were doing pretty much anything else on the planet, I play a game of paper ball chase with Sybilla and launch into my yoga for the day.


 


Meditation will have to wait, because I’ve decided to do a new video. This one is about my skincare regimen, so we’re using the natural light of our bathroom, with a little help. Hubby brings a light up from the studio to balance out the sunshine, and it looks like a pretty darn good set-up if I do say so myself. Since I don’t have “lines” to mess up, and I’m literally walking the camera through my morning routine, I don’t have hair and makeup to worry about either. Perfect!


Before you know it, the video is done (I only get one take unless I want to wash my face over and over) and the edit begins. I still don’t have a comprehensive plan to promote these videos, mind you – that’s why I’m taking the online class – but I sure am having fun making them.


And this whole no makeup thing is one trend I’d definitely like to continue.


Video wrapped, I help the hubby with a little of his tax gathering. Actually, I think I just poke the bear and make it worse, but I at least intend to be helping. Maybe we’ll just put that task off until tomorrow… (slinks away silently)


Later in the day, the hubby and I embark on a much less stressful adventure known to photographers as the Great V-Flat Fiasco. We’ve made them before, and this deceptively simple process can get a little wonky in a hurry. It’s really just two foam boards taped together like a book, but that diminishes the ease of mucking this up. For starters, one side of each board is white and the other is black, and creating a hinge that works both ways with three different sizes and colors of tape is the challenge. Since we’ve learned (the hard way) to watch an instruction video for every single step (every – single – step) we pull it off without a hitch this time. Huzzah! A new V-Flat for the hubby’s next shoot…whenever that may be.


  


Remember when I said mom-in-law was making some crazy online purchases? So, along with ordering cheese the size of her head, she also ordered some salmon steaks. That sounds great on the surface, but when we opened them, we found they were three filets large enough to feed our entire neighborhood. And that’s fine, except, you can’t thaw only one of them, so you have to figure out how the heck to cook three gigantic steaks at once. We should have simply grilled them – cedar planks like my brother does it! – and been happy with that. But this is quarantine time, and that means folks around here start to get really creative about their cooking (I’m making baking videos for crying out loud! It’s a world gone mad). The hubby decides to butter poach two of the cuts, and oven bake the other to be used on bagels for breakfast.


I’m making rice next to him on our gigantor stove, and as I’m staring over at this giant skillet of butter and oil, my stomach is already queasy. Then, he adds butter and garlic to the asparagus too, and my heart sinks. My body is not going to tolerate this well. I’ll have grumbly tummy for days, and breakouts on my face, and itchy skin and scalp… oy. But it tastes good and I eat it with grateful appreciation for food and the loving hands who made it…and deal with paying the price later.


We’re trying out a new show for dinner called The Fall. It’s a murder mystery/detective thing. Not really my jam, but we’ve found some great ones in the past, and mom-in-law really digs this kind of show, so we’re giving it a shot. The hubby and mom-in-law love it. I’m not completely sold, but at least I don’t hate it. Looks like we don’t have to worry about what to watch for a while, and that’s worth sitting through just about anything in my book. There’s nothing more tedious than sitting down with a hot dinner, only to channel surf for 20 minutes trying to find something engaging, and having a cold meal once you finally land on entertainment we can all agree on.


We do squeeze in a meditation before sleep - I’d nearly forgotten it for the day. But we use the guided breath meditation from the Oak app to ease away the day and settle in for sleep.

 


The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY)

Meditation – Mindfullness (https://www.oakmeditation.com)

Healthy meal – Poached salmon, rice, and garlic butter asparagus spears.

Creative – Video on skincare (https://youtu.be/zTDhkIOHuFI)

 


Gratitudes:


1 – I am grateful for meditation right before bed

2 – I am grateful for good skin and good products I can share in a video

3 – I am grateful for my live-in camera crew 

4 – I am grateful for the fair exchange of time and energy today. I got a video, hubby got a v-flat. Parity rocks.

5 – I am grateful that Flynn is a forgiving kitty… but if he does that again, he’s getting another bath!


Day Ninety Nine on the Path: Tikking the Tok

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 15, 2020 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

It's funny, here in the final days of this journey, I feel a crazy need to make every blog brilliant...even when I have nothing brilliant to say. I've avoided this pressure since the first week was posted and I could just relax into sharing the events without some expectation of judgment. I mean, when you have 101 days, at least one or two are bound to be winners, right? But now that we're in the home stretch, and there are only three days looming instead of the multitude, the pressure's back. I find myself staring at the keyboard this morning, fingers poised, and absolutely nothing coming to mind to type. Ego is a tricky little bugger, isn't it?


I have two online classes scheduled today: one that I missed last week and am making up, and the other is the next in the series at its regularly scheduled time. Only, the first class turns out to be one I’ve already taken. Much as it might be useful to watch it again, I opt not to and scurry downstairs for breakfast instead. I’m actually saving my shake for lunch and opting for some tahini toast with honey and nuts this morning. It’s a recipe I saw on the Centr app yesterday, and – even though I didn’t do the workout – it looked worth a try. It’s really tasty.




My tea and I return to the office in plenty of time for class number two. And then my phone rings. A friend is calling with a “quick” question, and I’m happy to help. So, I’m about 10 minutes late to the lecture, but don’t miss anything important. Today is all about marketing strategies specific for social media, and where to find the data to analyze for adjustments and a more effective program. It seems pretty in depth, and my head starts spinning at some point with so many possibilities swarming.




Class finished, I definitely need some yoga, or a walk, or just some kind of movement. It’s a fairly energetic yoga class today, and I need it. This whole sedentary staying home routine is beginning to drag on my energy. I mean, I’m sitting for meditation, then sitting to read, then sitting to send text messages and emails and such. It’s a whole lotta sitting going on.


 


And I love it, and hate it. It is truly great to have time to sit and read. But not having the option of hiking a local trail or playing a game at the park kinda stinks. To distract myself, and in the interest of standing up today, I create my very first TikTok video. This is one of those apps I had not heard of until it was mentioned in my online class. Seems it’s a growing media outlet, and mostly video content…and from what I can tell, it’s almost entirely what David Letterman would call stupid people tricks. I can start to see where an over the top creation could be made here – something reminiscent of Harley Quinn or The Joker posting weird dance videos or something. Or maybe cat videos…those are always good, right? I’m not sure I get it. But, in the interest of exploring and growing, I create a 13 second video of making my date nut treats.


You know what? That was pretty fun. Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone I enjoyed that.

 

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The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY)

Meditation – You Are Enough (https://www.thetappingsolution.com), mindful meditation for 15 minutes.

Healthy meal – Tahini on sprouted grain toast drizzled with honey and pecans. A sunflower seed and pumpkin shake. Apricot Chicken and green beans for dinner.

Creative – Reading, video for Tik Tok

 


Gratitudes:


1 – I am grateful for new breakfast ideas

2 – I am grateful for hubby’s help to make a fun video.

3 – I am grateful for new avenues to share creativity – or stupid videos, whichever.

4 – I am grateful for a few more days on this path.

5 – I am grateful for a healthy imagination that makes reading such a visual experience.

 

Day Ninety Eight on the Path: Happy Easter

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 14, 2020 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

And so Easter Morning dawns. What an odd Easter this is…no family or friends over…no giant ham or turkey to eat. No baskets of chocolaty goodness. Not even a colored egg. Weird.


  


And I feel the strangeness echoing inside me, enough so that I start off with a meditation before I even grab my tea and fizzy stick. I start with Loving Kindness, then a tapping on You are Enough quickly after, because I am acutely aware of the need to DO something right now. I feel like I’m not doing enough to help out in this situation, and it’s a hard pill to swallow, particularly on this day of giving, that the most loving and useful act I can engage in is staying home.


I listen in on a bit of Natalie Ledwell’s live broadcast on Facebook, and finally grab my tea. I feel a little more grounded, and I know yoga will take me the rest of the way. And a quick look outside is enough te remind me that Mother Nature has already provided quite a basket of spectacular colors.




And just as I finish the yoga video, we get a message from our grocery store saying our order will not be delivered today, but has instead been cancelled. I’m really angry. We’ve waited a week for these groceries, only to be told the store is cancelling because they don’t have anyone who can do the shopping and delivery. They’re overwhelmed, I get it, but why offer a service you can’t fulfill? Furthermore, now we will have to go to the market, on Easter. So much for being a good citizen, huh?


I choke down a mocha shake, don my shopping apparel, and print out our grocery list. We should have it memorized by now – we’ve looked at it so many times in the last week trying to place the order anywhere that could deliver it. I think, all total, I’ve typed these items in at least five different times.


Ah, grocery shopping, one of the true joys of lockdown. You can feel the anxiety of folks as they walk around the aisle, eyeing anyone within a carts’ distance. Folks get downright territorial about aisles too. I walk around the corner of the coffee aisle, and suddenly find myself transported to the OK Corral. Where’s Doc Holiday when I need that decaf off the shelf? Basically, folks are well spread out and well behaved, but it is far from a pleasant experience.


Or maybe that’s just me. I’m miffed about the delivery failure, miffed that this trip is costing me every minute of free time I would have before class tonight, miffed that we’re potentially endangering mom-in-law by bringing germs into the house, and miffed that I can’t even be eco-friendly and use my reusable bags.


When we get home, the hubby and I employ our new decontamination system, and get things cleaned and cleared away within 45 minutes. Not bad, I guess, and I do sneak in a turkey and brie sandwich before I have to gather myself for the Crash Acting broadcast. I had hoped to do some Fitzmaurice work before we started, an attempt to clear my head and open up to creativity, but there just wasn’t time.




Thankfully, class almost always starts with a mini-version of the body scan and breathing exercises, so I’m not entirely adrift for the four hour class. But, I can definitely tell something is off tonight. The lecture portion feels long. The assignment for next week – reading Bridesmaids – annoys me. The critiques of the monologues feel rushed. I guess I just never got my feet firmly replanted today, and that’s carrying into the evening.

 

 

 

The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY)

Meditation – Loving Kindness (https://www.oakmeditation.com) You Are Enough (https://www.thetappingsolution.com)

Healthy meal – Mocha shake. Turkey and Brie pita with pickles. Carrots and Pine Nut Hummus.

Creative – Class (https://www.crashacting.com)


 


Gratitudes:


1 – I am grateful for this entire journey, which is almost at its conclusion

2 – I am grateful for the employees at the grocery store who work in a hazard zone so we can eat dinner tonight.

3 – I am grateful for the mute button on Zoom so no one can hear me crunching these carrots like Bugs Bunny.

4 – I am grateful for food on the table and in the fridge and in the pantry…enough to last us a couple weeks without seeing the inside of a store again.

5 – I am grateful my futon, which holds me comfortably, and my great grandma’s quilt keeping me all warm and cozy.


I’ll hold off on the weekly stats, because WE ONLY HAVE THREE MORE DAYS! I figure a grand tally makes more sense than a Sunday summary this week.

I’m almost sad to see it end. But I’m excited to see what may come next. Honestly, I have no idea at the moment, so I could use your help!

Leave a comment to let me know what you think should be next.

 


Day Ninety Seven on the Path: Bright Sunshiny Day

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 12, 2020 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

I skipped yoga today, I think just because I said yesterday I could start every morning with it. Just to be ornery. That’s how I roll. But I do substitute an extra tapping in its time slot. Yesterday’s walk reminded me of how challenging my allergies get during this time of year. It’s an odd catch-22 to be so thrilled to see spring color arrive, all the while knowing the price to be paid for it. So, I do a tapping on allergies – yep, there’s a tapping for that.


I also listen to that ultra peppy 15 minute recharge again today. I’m feeling the need to be productive. Part of that motivation is a team challenge I’ve volunteered to be a part of for Arbonne. Me and my two teammates are supposed to book as many one-on-one meetings or group parties as possible in the next twelve hours. Our Regional VP has thrown down the gauntlet, so I’m in.


A few hours later, with zero progress to report, I make a little brunch for the hubby and I: cream of wheat with flax seed. It’s a bowl of warm and savory to boost us both, and it’s apparently kitty approved.


 


Okay, back to work.


The afternoon is bright and beautiful, so I take my phone work for a little stroll in the back yard for a change of pace. My hubby is quite a deft hand with plants, particularly roses, and his handiwork is on full display in our back yard. I soak up the sun on our terrace for a bit, then get discouraged and come back inside.



At 7pm, with only an hour of work time left in the challenge and absolutely nothing to show for our entire team – not a single booking between the three of us – I throw in the towel and opt to work out my frustrations with a new exercise program.


Megastar Chris Hemsworth (aka Thor) has a program called Centr – it includes healthy recipes, meditations, and workouts daily. The guy has a 6 week free intro to the program during this lockdown period, so the hubby and I thought we’d test the waters. Only we haven’t yet, and our first week of the six is up. Being the bargain shopper I am, I just can’t let another day go by without trying it – gotta feel like I’m getting my money’s worth, right? Umm, well, yeah, it’s free, but you know what I mean.


At first I’m not thrilled. The meditation is bad. Period. Cheesy voice that is not conducive to relaxing at all. And, when I click on coached workout, the warm-up starts without any guidance whatsoever. I close it and restart – maybe I hit the wrong button? Nope. That’s just the way this is set up, the warm-up is on your own, and the coach comes in for the ass-kicker…I mean workout.



Let me just say here – if I thought I was in decent shape, I’ve been schooled. The HIIT workout has a combo of cardio (yep, those damned burpees again) and core work in each set, and I used muscles tonight that I obviously have not in my other workouts (Obviously. Really obviously). I set my membership up on the intermediate level, and on some of the exercises I was absolutely okay with that. Others, not so much. But there is no way the hubs would be able to do this level consistently, so I’ll drop it back to beginner from here on out. No need to kill us all while we’re in quarantine.


Rather than following through with the Centr cool down – unguided again, I’m sure - I choose to do some yoga with the hubby instead. It’s great stretching and cool down material anyway, and he can join me so it’s more fun that way.


By the time we finish, I can breathe and walk again, and I’m famished. We make a tilapia dish with green beans and a homemade pesto, then settle in for more futball. Two episodes is enough – what I really want is a long hot shower and some sleep.

 


The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY), Walk in the back yard, HIIT workout (https://centr.com/join-us)

Meditation – 15 Minute Recharge (https://www.brainhacker.net), Create a Great Day and Heal Your Body: Allergies (https://www.thetappingsolution.com),

Healthy meal – Chocolate covered cherry shake. Grilled tilapia with green beans and pesto.

Creative – Vision Board redux syncing – halfway there!

 


Gratitudes:


1 – I am grateful for lizards who enjoy the sunshine as much as I do

2 – I am grateful for support from my fellow Arbonne consultants, even in the face of disappointment.

3 – I am grateful for a new workout to kick my butt

4 – I am grateful for new shake recipes to mix things up a bit.

5 – I am grateful for every single public health worker on the planet.

 

Day Ninety Six on the Path: The same but different

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 12, 2020 at 8:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Good morning, rain. Good morning house with the creaky 6th stair. Good morning tea pot that steam burns me every morning. Good morning, kitties, and blanket, and space heater. Good morning, Friday.


I’m up early today to catch up the blog and take my online class I missed yesterday. Only, the class won’t let me back in for some reason, and I have to officially reschedule for Monday morning. Guess I’ll be pulling a double there. But that leaves me extra time to focus on meditation and yoga while the house is still quiet. This soothing yoga in the mornings is such a blissful start to my day. You know by now that I have a love-hate relationship with routine, sameness of days that both bolsters and perturbs me. The thought of doing the same thing at the same time and in the same way every day just makes me feel heavy and caged. But, I believe I can live with starting most days with this lovely, slow yoga.


   


Now I get in a little bit of kitty snuggle time. Also an essential part of every day that I have no qualms with maintaining. Sybilla has become my ubiquitous shadow during these quarantine days. She spends so much time curled up on my lap or under my feet, I’m surprised her legs still work. Even Flynn has decided that snuggling with humans ain’t so bad. He has taken up residence on the hubby’s lap every night during our post-dinner tv watching. This morning, he’s curled up at my feet – well, he settled there after a 5-minute bap-fest with ‘Billa. She got my lap out of the bargain.


The day isn’t really anything particularly unique or exciting – there’s a pattern to this quarantine life with very few interesting blips on the radar. The hubby makes a mercy run to take a spare mask to a friend who must go to the office right now. I help mom roundup a few more documents for the house refi. I sneak in a few minutes of reading, and even a few work emails and a dragon game on my phone.


By the late afternoon, the sun comes out just long enough for a quick walk. The fresh air is phenomenal, even though both hubby and I are suffering with seasonal allergies right now. And it’s no wonder really. One step out the door explains why – everything is exploding in color. The entire neighborhood is alive with spring, and even though we cut our walk short, it was worth it to see the world so alive in the midst of this chaos.


  


As the rain begins to fall again, the hubby and I turn out attention to that cornice board project we’ve been hoping to get to. No time like the present, so we pull out the materials, the plywood, and begin to plot and design. Mind you, it’s been more than a year since we purchase the ribbons and trim and material and plywood, so it takes a few minutes to recall what our plan was for each piece. I’m not even sure we did recall, but we certainly arrived at a design that we both loved.


  


Measuring precisely, we cut, and I pin, and the next step is completed. What remains is to sew the braided trim into the edge – which will likely be by hand unless we buy a new sewing machine. My old heirloom Singer (my grandmother’s from the 1960’s) has seen the last of its functioning days, safely functioning at least, and is getting retired. There’s a constant smell of bak-o-lite burning every time we plug it in, and you have to hold the plug with one hand and guide the material with the other or it doesn’t run consistently. Oh, and we lost all of the foot attachments in the last move, so sewing upholstery material is definitely a challenge. I’m not that great a seamstress to begin with – don’t give me extra challenges!


Our project milestone hit, it’s time to put materials away once again and focus on dinner and some family time. We have one of our favorite rainy day soups tonight - chicken and sweet potato soup. And we find a new show to watch that none of us thought would be good, but all of us find intriguing. It’s called The English Game, a period story about futball (that’s soccer if you’re from the South like me). Not a topic I would have thought interesting, but turns out it is.




Well, that’s all the news from Lake Wobegone.

 


The Daily Deets:

 


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY), short walk during a break in the rain

Meditation – Awake breathing exercise (https://www.oakmeditation.com), Love, Peace, and Light tapping (https://www.thetappingsolution.com),

Healthy meal – pumpkin pie shake. Chicken and sweet potato soup.

Creative – cornice board project, a little reading.


 

Gratitudes:


1 – I am grateful for books – actually paper and spine books – to hold in my hand and read.

2 – I am grateful for allergy medicine to get us through spring.

3 – I am grateful for Flynn’s bouts of snuggling.

4 – I am grateful for a creative, designer of a hubby who can be a partner on projects.

5 – I am grateful that we’ve all made it through another week of quarantine alive.


Day Ninety Five on the Path: A Flynn Day

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 10, 2020 at 5:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I’ve often heard that every day is a choice – a choice of what lens to look through. In this house, we have Flynn days and Sybilla days. Flynn days are slothish, focused around food and sleep, and maybe even a little whiny. Sybilla days are energetic, focused on playing and being loving, and usually involve mischief. Today was definitely a Flynn day.




I got up at 6:30 but promptly fell right back asleep…and stayed there. I do not change out of my PJs. I do not have my morning tea and fizzy drink. I do not exercise. I do not make my class online. I do not even go downstairs until well past noon. Not in a box. Not with a fox.


I do, however, get in a full length listen to the health and relaxation NLP track from many weeks back. And a tapping, of course, and even a bonus mindful meditation.




Between meditations, I also do a little searching for more cloth and elastic for the masks I’m making for the Million Mask Campaign. I’ve pledged to sew 25 masks, in addition to the masks I’ve pledged to add into the Arbonne care kits for our local hospital, and I’m running out of materials. It seems that there’s quite a run on cotton and elastic these days…most suppliers are out of it until May.


I chat with a couple clients about how they’re doing on the 30 Days to Healthy Living program. It’s so much fun to help guide folks through this and answer questions that come up along the way. It also feels good to know I’m doing something to help them stay healthy right now. The hubby and I also talk a friend through the unemployment process so they can get registered for benefits.


   


I binge a few episodes of the Voice, which always makes me feel positive and hopeful. I run a load of laundry and change the bedsheets because nothing feels better after a long day than clean sheets. I finish selecting the photos for my vision board and begin to sequence them for the slideshow, because I know the vision board will lift my spirits once it’s done.


So, it isn’t a wasted day, exactly… just not an energetic one. And a slightly whiny one. The hubby and I are bickering, our grocery order still hasn’t arrived, we can’t get outside because it’s raining again, we have blown through the first of six free weeks on a new fitness program without trying a single workout, and I’m feeling all sneezy and itchy from allergies. Mom-in-law has taken to ordering stuff online, then forgetting she ordered it, and so ordering it again, or even a third time. As of today, we have 10 pounds of Jarlsberg cheese in the fridge. The hubby wants to work on a project - a Moroccan cornice board for our bathroom - but I’m just not motivated. And my favorite pair of socks has a hole in the big toe. Can you hear the “Waaaaah” running through this day?




And to top it all off, when we settle in by the roaring fireplace for dinner, the tv starts acting up, and we finally figure out that the flu for the fireplace is closed and the heat is melting our nice big soundbar and tv screen.


It’s a Flynn Day.

 


The Daily Deets:


Exercise – My thumb and the tv remote

 

Meditation – Healing Relaxation (https://subliminal360.com/brainhacker), I’m stressed about uncertainty (https://www.thetappingsolution.com), a 20 minute mindful meditation.

 

Healthy Meal – Lentil soup with extra veggies. A pumpkin pie shake. Chicken Tarna with salad and hummus.

 

Creative – Vision Board photo selections complete. Sync still in progress

 


 

 

Gratitudes:

 

1 – I am grateful our tv didn’t melt.

2 – I am grateful for Flynn and his big white furry belly, and the fantastic “old man” sounds he makes, and the weight of him on my feet at night, and his adorable pink nose, and those big eyes that he will occasionally blink lovingly at me.

3 – I am grateful for clean sheets

4 – I am grateful pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice mix.

5 – I am grateful for the space heater at my feet keeping my big toe warm

Day Ninety Four on the Path: Calls, Cats, and Churros

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 10, 2020 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I’m an introvert. It’s a fact. I often call myself a highly functioning introvert, and in the entertainment industry that’s absolutely necessary. But, if I’m really being honest, I’m probably better suited to be a writer or a painter – someone like Van Gogh who disappears into the landscape for months, soaking up the solitude and storing up the energy and fortitude to face people when the time comes to share their completed art. I think I might even make a good Frankenstein’s monster –lurking in the wings of the theatre and trying oh-so-diligently not to be noticed.


Then again, I love the stage and the spotlight and the feedback of an audience perhaps more than I love cat snuggles. Perhaps. Maybe. Ok, really it’s more of a tie, but the point is that I really love performing, and you can’t have a performance without people. Every once in a while, I have a day like today - a day that reminds me how much people matter to me, a day when talking with folks energizes me and makes me smile.


It starts with a chat with Julia, my Arbonne sponsor. Our weekly meetings are fun as well as motivating. We talk about what’s going on, set goals and make plans for the week, and just chat about the weirdness of this current environment. She’s an animated talker, and I’m immediately drawn in by her energy, which is good early in the morning. The second call of the day is with my buddy and fellow D&D party member, Gabe. He’s creative, and funny, and a good listener as well as a good story teller. We don’t have an agenda today, just a “coffee” chat, and that’s perfect. Next is some texting with my brother in Georgia. We’re a close family, and it’s always wonderful to hear from him or his wife or their cats. Today, their kitty Tuxie has taken up residence on his shoulder and wonders why he can’t just work that way all day.


 


Between the calls and texts, I sneak in my yoga before the hubby and I sit down to schedule a few tasks out. We want to take advantage of this “down time” to check a few DIY projects off the list, but for me, I need the structure of a schedule. Yes, even now. So we pull out the calendars and begin carving out time.


First on the list is some special housecleaning. With all the rain we’ve been having, I’m overdue for a thorough cleaning of the cat run outside and the litter boxes. We have a short break in the drizzle, and this one gets tackled today. Everything gets emptied, scrubbed, swept, covered, or refilled. The hubby also has materials for a new V-Flat (a big white and black foam board screen that photographers use to bounce light) and wants to get it assembled. That will have to wait for a sunnier day so the tape doesn’t bubble. We also have a cool cornice board project for our bathroom that has been on the list for a year now. We got the first stage of the project – a heavy brocade curtain – finished up in November, and step two was cutting the plywood into the shape we liked for the cornice board. All that remains is to sew the material that will cover those boards, stuff it with batting, and fasten it to the wall and ceiling. It gets added to the weekend. And, of course, there is the final bit of tax information to be gathered and sent so we can file our 2019 taxes and be done with it. That gets penciled in for early next week.


After the schedule is set and my calls are wrapped up, I take a while to work on the photos for my vision board redux. I’m basically going through all of my photos and pulling stuff that makes me feel positive and proud and hopeful, using them as living examples of the good things I want to increase in my visioning. Once I have them all assembled, then I’ll have the more difficult task of sorting them and syncing them with the music and voice track. I figure the whole project will take me another week to finish, but it’ll be worth it when it’s done.


  


In the evening, we’ve eaten all of our Hello Fresh meals and no one really feels like cooking anyway, so the hubby and I drive to our local Baja Fresh to pick up dinner. Who knew picking up dinner would be such an undertaking? Gloves, masks, don’t touch anything, sanitizer as soon as you get back in the car, only one person touching the bags so to isolate any possibility of germs being transmitted, bleach spraying the counter where the bag sat. My goodness, the lengths we have to go to. Worth it, but it certainly makes one think twice about ordering in…might be faster just to cook.


Still, it’s hard to beat warm churros to accompany hubby’s famous hot chocolate. I think we may survive this after all.

 


The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY),

Meditation – Loving Kindness meditation (https://www.oakmeditation.com), Releasing anxiety around being stuck at home (https://www.thetappingsolution.com)

Healthy Meal – Chocolate and banana shake for brunch. A chaga fudge snack bar. Does guacamole count as healthy??

Creative – Vision Board photos and sync

 


Gratitudes:

 

1 – I am grateful for an empty restaurant that is still open for business

2 – I am grateful for not having to choose between cat snuggles and performing.

3 – I am grateful for friends and family to chat with today.

4 – I am grateful for hubby’s hot chocolate talents

5 – I am grateful for so many amazing memories to choose from for my vision board. What a wonderful reminder of how much I have to be grateful for.

 

Day Ninety Three on the Path: From Idiot to Genius

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 9, 2020 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Feeding the kits at 6:30, an idea begins to form… a series of videos for my Arbonne biz. I try to lay back down and sleep for a bit, but the ideas just won’t stop. Rather they begin to expand. By 7, I give in and get up.


First I jot down my ideas, including a few additions to my previous web series scripts, then I grab a tizzy and work on this lovely blog. I feel like I just lost 20 pounds! So many ideas rolling forth, inspiration just pouring through me, and I feel cleansed and refreshed and fulfilled all at once. What a great way to start a day!


Now that my writing spree wanes, it’s time for yoga and meditation. I’m trying out a track sent from Wendy Braun today. She’s a fellow actor-turned-self-help-guru, and she sends out a weekly email. Most of the time I browse through it and delete it. Today, the meditation enclosed catches my attention, and I actually click the link to listen. Sometimes hearing the same words from a different voice or in a different order resonates more, so I figure it’s worth a listen.




I’m focusing this week on being of service – raising funds for care kits for those fearless folk in public safety, sewing masks to be donated where needed, recording voice messages of hope and light to a few friends I have who have been diagnosed with this dread disease and are fighting through it. In the process, I reach out to my old Fire Department to see if care kits would be useful there. I spend an hour or so just brainstorming on where I can safely be of use.


Around 1pm, SAG-AFTRA has a webinar presentation about the CARES program. Or, I thought it was at 1pm. When I click on the link, it informs me that I’m and idiot because 1pm was the Eastern Time for the presentation. I’ve missed it by three hours. Oh Great. So, I find a podcast from yesterday with President Gabrielle Carteris and one of the lead representatives from the NELP. It’s about 40 minutes of pure informational gold. Everything I was hoping to find in the webinar is pretty much covered in this podcast. Voila! I’ve gone from idiot to genius in less than an hour.


And how that we are equipped, we get the hubby registered for this new self-employed unemployment program. It doesn’t take that long and is surprisingly straightforward. Even though I know any actual payment is about a month away, it feels good to have done something proactively.


I spend the rest of the day finding music for new my vision board. I end up at an old favorite – Ben Sounds – where you can find and download royalty free music for internal projects like this. I found the PERFECT track and download it into my Audacity file, then tweak the timing on the voiceover to sync with the rise and fall of the music where needed. I’m super happy with it once it’s done. Here’s a snippet of it.


You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

     


By dinner time, I have the audio portion complete and have begun to pull photos that will be incorporated into the visual of the board. It is called a vision board afterall. And there are so many great photos – from my own life as well as stock images for what I’m looking to draw into my sphere – that I get lost in the project for quite some time. The hubby has to come up and grab me for dinner prep.




Tonight we’re fixing an apricot chicken with green beans and rice. Pretty basic, but really yummy. And we’re back to The Outsider tonight, and so engrossed we have a hard time stopping at just two episodes. I get to be the bad guy – or the voice of reason - and call it a night. It’s been a long and wonderful day, but I still need a tapping before bed to clear my mind and get a good night’s sleep.


And to get that creepy theme song out of my head.

 


The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY),

Meditation –Easing Anxiety and Improving Well Being (https://www.actorinspiration.com), Evening Stress Relief (https://www.thetappingsolution.com)

Healthy Meal – A cinnamon roll shake with turmeric and cardamom. Apricot Chicken with green beans for dinner,

Creative – writing for webseries, photos and VO for vision board

 

 


Gratitudes:

 


1 – I am grateful for a little break of sunshine on a rainy day.

2 – I am grateful for tapping and meditation and my daily practice to keep me sane during this weird time.

3 – I am grateful for the ability and desire to be of service.

4 – I am grateful for a creepy show the whole family is enjoying

5 – I am grateful for inspiration for new projects and old.

 

 

Day Ninety Two on the Path: New Patterns and Designs

Posted by lyoungblood1500 on April 8, 2020 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (0)

It’s raining. And I love it. Rain just feels clean, like it’s clearing away stale energy and germs and complacency, and making a clean slate from which to create new patterns and new designs.

 


I have my fourth class today in the digital marketing course. And I finally figure out where and how to access the assignments for the class. Today is about building a social media strategy, and it really gets my brain working. I’m jotting down ideas a good hour after the class is over.


But sitting for that long, even on my yoga ball chair, makes me tired, so I switch tracks and hit the yoga mat. Today is a long version of a sun salutation – the foundation for most of yoga. It’s simple moves, but I love exploring them more deeply by doing them slowly instead of flowing through them as usual. See what I mean about the rain – new perspectives.




I also opt for a different meditation for today, finding a mind movie about vital health. It seems appropriate right now. And I sneak in my vision board while I’m at the computer because I’m hoping to stay away from it the rest of the day.


Instead, I switch to the hubby’s computer for a bit. We’re crafting a grocery list for delivery, but knowing how long delivery takes these days, we’re planning for two weeks. We have our usual meals coming from Hello Fresh, but we still have to supplement several dinners, not to mention lunches. The shakes really help cut down on the expense of groceries - I have them to fall back on for breakfast and lunch, and the hubs will partake of those too, but we still need other food. Our next door neighbors turned us onto a local grocer that delivers through Instacart, as long as you’re willing to keep hitting the refresh button until a delivery can be scheduled. Which can take days. That’s why we’re planning now. We put together a dinner menu, load up the cart, get mom-in-law’s specific items added in, and begin the refresh process.


In the meantime, I’m cold and I want to switch gears, so I indulge in a warm bubble bath. Candles, rose petals, a rose scented fizzy ball - I even made myself a rose champagne mocktail to drink while I lounged and listened to an audiobook. It’s spectacular, and feels utterly decadent. I should do this more often.


   


My whole vibe shifts, my spirit dilates, and I’m ready for some art now. I bring the audiobook with me, and set up shop on the futon. My furry grey shadow comes with me and keeps me company while I create for the next hour. It’s funny how art works – I often have moments of fear when I’m working on a piece. Fear of messing it up with the wrong color or the wrong line. Fear that I’m the only person who will like it. Fear that I’ll never finish it because I’ll get so caught up in the minutiae that I can’t see when it is complete. It gets worse when I really like how the piece is going. So, the audiobook really helps me focus my mind elsewhere and let the creativity flow uncensored. I know several musicians who do this when they play guitar – telling themselves a story instead of focusing on getting every chord exactly right, and paralyzing the flow of creativity in the process. It also gives me some sense of time, because I will get completely lost in the work and not realize hours have passed. The chapters of the audiobook help monitor that so I don’t have to worry.




I work all the way up until dinner, so I’m ready for a little creative cooking. The hubby and I make a pan seared barramundi dish with roasted sweet potatoes and poblanos and a homemade salse verda that is just plain delicious. We load up the trays and head to the kitchen for a little family time. I forget who recommended The Outsider to me, but I need to thank them. We were all completely engrossed and watched until well after 11pm. The hubs and mom-in-law wanted one more episode, but the show is creepy enough that I needed a meditation to clear my head before sleep, so I vetoed it until tomorrow.


Trash cans are broughtback in, face is washed, teeth are brushed, Loving Kindness meditation is done. One more time to hit refresh on the grocery order – nope, still nothing.


See ya tomorrow, folks.

 


The Daily Deets:


Exercise – Yoga with Adrienne (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBu-pQG6sTY), HIIT workout from Centr (https://centr.com/join-us)

Meditation – Vibrant Health (https://www.mindmovies.com), Loving Kindness meditation (https://www.oakmeditation.com)

Healthy Meal – Quinoa, Kale, and Lentil Soup for lunch. Pan seared barramundi with sweet potatoes and poblano peppers for dinner.

Creative – audio and art (https://www.audible.com)

 

 


Gratitudes:

 


1 – I am grateful for time and inspiration to do art

2 – I am grateful for rose petals and their wondrous scent in a bath tub

3 – I am grateful for time away from a computer screen today.

4 – I am grateful for online grocery orders that magically appear on your doorstep…eventually.

5 – I am grateful for everyone out there in this world who is putting positive, affirming, loving materials out there right now.

 


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