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I think I discovered a part of my life’s purpose tonight….

13 Nov

There are but a few times in your life that such beautiful insight and guidance comes along.  Tonight was one of those nights.

Growing up, when the question was asked, “What do you want to do when you grow up,” I’d reply, “Be an Olympian… and an amazing wife and badass mom.”  Because – that was real; I really wanted to be a great mom and wife.

But what about professionally, and creatively? What, outside of the mom and wife, do I want to do?  Well, tonight, after years of searching and subsequent months of stillness and patience, I think I know:

I want to build magical spaces for people.

That’s it.  Ahh… a little clarity of self.  Such a nice, and relieving feeling.

A few other things that have become clear:

1) I want to work with great people with incredible integrity

2) I want to feel good about my work, and that it builds a world and a personal body of work that I believe in.

3) I want more cohesion, professionally, amongst myself and other people who seek truth and understanding.  I believe it is possible that you don’t have to play “the game” in life, but it starts by disillusioned, non-game-players getting together and creating a new and different game. Note: one way I’d like to do this is by giving a portion of any company I start to “people who’s body of work I believe, and who are fearless in their honesty and pursuit of their truth” (whatever that means).  It also means doing business with these people, and it means doing business to connect these people.



24 Oct

Whether it is seasonal, or timing or life, there are times when you just feel a change taking place.

For the last year or so, I have been going through a beautiful phase.  An experience of opening, of death, of full-blooded woman-ness (ultimate vulnerability, love, desire, care-taking, nurturing, neediness, non-self-importance, insecurity and of course drama).  The goal, seemed unable to reveal itself, as if stillness was the only thing to move towards, as if nothing was the only things to seek.  This is the phase that gave birth to this blog.  This phase was, very clearly, more about life inside of myself than about anything outside.

Part of the energy of this phase felt passive.  I was waiting, as still as I could be, listening for clues, expecting nothing, but present for anything that move me in a direction – any direction.  It was an experience that was precious, fragile, tending to ‘little-girl’ me.  I am so grateful for it.  I was not the hunter; I was the ultimate recipient – waiting patiently (okay… as patiently as I could).

And as everything, it changes. I change. We change.  And, so has my perspective on life.  This phase has happened to serve me, and now, it no longer does.

I said one week ago, to a friend, “I am ready… ready to be ready.”  And so it begins, a return to a less passive version of myself, and a more focused, proactive builder/artist/entrepreneur/who-knows.  I feel like I have the “eye of the tiger” again (go Katy Perry … And Stallone!)

Thank you, Life, for introducing me to the little girl and the woman in me. For letting me love her, understand her and not judge her..  Thank you for my husband, who held space for me as life unfolded, and I changed.  He allowed it, and watched with intrigue, love and a lot of laughter.

I’d like to write more about the death I experienced in another post at another time, but more than anything, I am focused on tying up all of the loose ends from of my ending phase.  Id like the closure of finishing my Ph-Me project.  So here comes a slushy of book reports and insights.

With love and sighs and acceptance,

~ Me

I’m becoming a woman again….

8 Sep

And it feels great, settling, secure.

Over the past year, I feel like I revisited my middle-school self. Falling in love with my husband, playing with him, giddy beyond control (otherwise known as “hyper”). I experienced neediness, drama, acting out, mood swings, middle-school-note-writing-circle-“yes”-if-you-like-me-love. It felt childlike and free. I loved it. I felt like myself, and that I got to live a version of myself that I had somehow missed back then.

And now, as I feel it will always be, we (my husband and I) are re-creating our relationship (or more so, allowing it to be re-created).

Perhaps the timing is great. We feel ready to start a family.

And so it ends. And so it begins.

Mys. Mrs. Natalie Craig

Coffee //

23 Jun

Negative Affects of Coffee

One of the conclusions I am definitely drawing (and have been aware of for a while), is that I am highly affected by coffee.  It leaves me wondering, does coffee affect women in a different way than it affects men?  Certain blood types? Certain personalities?  Essentially, I know I am not the only one affected so intensely by coffee, and most others that share this with me are women.  I wonder if there is somethings there.  Below are my experiential notes:


  • Jittery
  • Shaky Hands
  • Anxiety
  • Impatience
  • Uncontrolled Intensity
  • Out of control, fast pace of thoughts
  • Difficulty being still
  • Difficulty listening for extended periods of time
  • Feels like I can’t stop talking when I know the time to stop talking has passed
  • Sometimes, increase heart rate and increase in the intensity of my heart beat
  • Dry skin
  • Dehydrating
  • Sometimes a crash after a few hours


  • Increase productivity (eh hem… like this post)
  • Sensual enjoyment of coffee’s aroma and taste
  • Emotional enjoyment of my associations of coffee with friends, my husband, my brothers.  I really enjoy the ritual of making it and drinking it.
  • Laxative and positive digestive affects
  • Appetite suppressant
  • Increase alertness

Week 2 Recap // Aware Reflections

22 Jun

The week was tough.  Here are some of the things I became aware of:

  1. WEEKENDS:Weekends are more difficult for me to gather and input data into My Daily Chart.
  2. SLEEP: I have not been able to sleep well the last three nights.  Like, last night I was up until 7a.  This is either due to the Zpack, taking up coffee again (even the slightest amount), the summer solstice, stress, who knows?
  3. SUPPLEMENTS: I have been taking vitamins and supplements almost daily and am going to start tracking that.  I think it is likely having an impact on me, and I’d like to be trying to understand that impact.
  4. TEMPERATURE:  I honestly have no idea if my thermometer is even detailed enough to be capturing the data I want. :-/  Also, I am not consistent about the time of day when I take my temperature.  I don’t know if it is always supposed to be a certain amount of time after you wake up, or a specific hour during the day.  I guess I should look into that (bolding to remind myself).
  5. HYDRATION: It is hard to keep track of exactly how much water I am drinking, but I am very conscientious of it, and am fairly certain I am hitting my mark.
  6. DREAMING:  I’d like to start tracking my dreams as well.
  7. SOCIAL: This week I have been feeling pretty social.
  8. BODY IMAGE: I feel like my butt is turning into a “mom’s butt”.  So.. I am kicking back into gear with butt and ab excercises.
  9. SKIN: I had some blackheads on my chin.  Seemed like more than usual.  Could it be the increase in animal fats and proteins (my husband makes amazing chicken, and I am never going to be able to give up meat.  It’s usually organic though).
  10. HEALTH:  I am still on the recovery from this terrible system shut down I had. Lots of mucus, pressure, little bot of coughing.  I have a feeling my health would be better if I had a regular supplement routine and did a netti pot once a week.  Can I actually commit to that stuff?
  11. HOUSE: Woa – how do people stay on top of house work.  I am not working full time and I feel like all I do is cook, eat, clean, cook eat, clean and do laundry.  It is started to loose its “domesticated charm”.
  12. CAR: Arg.  I keep wanting to get on top of fixing my car, and it hasn’t happened yet.  In a way, I feel like I am living in the Tao.  Instead of doing anything, I am just present to what I want to do in the moment, and act on that.  Seemingly, it all works out. Maybe next week?
  13. MORE ON THE TAO: Also, on non-doing… I was sidelined all week with this sickness, and come Thursday night (when I could not sleep) and Friday, it is like my body just started taking care of the business that I was wanting to accomplish.  It did… just happen on its own.  Granted, there were a few emails that I would have liked to have responded to quicker and a few things I still have not done, but it was nice to feel my energy shift on its own (without me forcing it).
  14. OTHER: I started watching “My So-called Life” on hulu.  It is AWESOME.  I feel like I missed out on an entire teenage angst phase. :).  Also, I am recovering from an insecure phase.  More like, I am still in it, I am just having a lot of fun in it.  When people ask how I am doing, I say I have never been happier and I am going through a lot of pain with all the transitions in my life. Feels good to say that, and enjoy the experience of my “now.”
  15. PERSONAL:  I am having a hard time writing about some of the personal parts of my life that play into this journey, because I simply do not know what is appropriate.  Still trying to figure that out.

Tarot Card Reading //

18 Jun

I went to a tipi in Laurel Canyon and spent an hour with Angie, a somewhat new, but very gifted Tarot card reader.

Much of what was said, I had an intuition for, except for the traveling part, especially with my husband.  It was a great experience, but from past experiences, I know that the value of the experience varies greatly depending upon the reader.

An interested note about Angie, is that the Tarot cards found her at age 33 (Is it me, or are people getting transformed in their early 30’s?).  She started toying with them for fun and her gift was undeniable. She now has people showing up for readings.

I did not have detailed questions for the cards, so we drew some general ones.  Out of the gates, one flew out that was about “going back to school” – The Eight of Earth pictured below.  Considering my 30ish day research, I think this card was very encouraging.  The themes that followed were: be patient, have fun, travel and a child is on the way.


0) The first card flew out of the deck.  It was the Eight of Earth (above) which plays perfectly into my “existential research.”

1) I need to be patient and my next career move will come on its own.  Financially things will be clear in time, but I need to be patient, have fun, and travel.  Also, that I am still healing from my past career, I was really good at it, but I have not let it go and I am not ready for what is next yet.  When I am ready, I need to still be patient and not go forward too fast.

2)  The cards specifically said I should travel…travel with my husband…over water and that, it will be after this time of travel that things in my career will become clearer.

3) The cards had a lot of number threes which mean a child is on the way.  One card specifically was about celebrating an upcoming event (like a pregnancy).

4) When we asked about “when” things will be different financially, I guessed that the cards would not show me, and I was right. The cards showed that I just need to be patient.

5) With money, the cards showed the “fool”, essentially saying I should be more carefree in my spending, within my limits was another card that came up.


6) The cards also showed “Darkest Self”, which I attributed to some of my Vipassana experience and my recent interest in exploring my shadows.

The goddess card was

cordelia goddess cards

Angie just reminded me that there were a lot of “4 of Cups” drawn.  This means:


Four of Cups Tarot Card Meanings tarot card meaning

The Four of Cups depicts a young man sitting under a tree far away from others in what looks like deep contemplation and meditation. In fact, he is so engrossed in deep contemplation that he does not appear to notice the cup being presented to him by an outstretched arm. A further three cups stand at his feet, symbolizing the world and its attractions but again, he pays little attention to these. In this sense, he indicates the need to look deep into our Self to discover the answers we seek. External influences can be distracting and may not lead us to the goal we seek even if those influences purport to be of a spiritual nature.

This young man and his predicament suggest the story of the Buddha under the Bodhi Tree, contemplating the state of the Universe and unwilling to rise until he has reached the Truth. He is not taking the cup and indeed appears to be paying no attention to it whatsoever. He misses this gift of love and opportunity because he’s completely tuned within.


The Four of Cups often appears when you are bored or dissatisfied with the status quo. You may be feeling disengaged, apathetic, or unmotivated. Life has become stale or ‘flat’ and there is little that excites you anymore. To overcome this, the Four of Cups suggests a need to re-evaluate your situation and to look deep within your own psyche to find understanding and meaning. Turn your attention inward to find the Truth for which you are searching. Avoid distractions and examine your heart and mind to gain clarity.

Similarly, the Four of Cups signifies disappointment in someone or in a situation. You may be growing tired of the same old struggle that has been carried on too long in the past. As a result, you have started to withdraw and go within yourself to seek greater peace and tranquillity. If you are becoming particularly ‘pouty’ or sulky about your predicament, the Four of Cups is then a call to action; it is time to wake up, be alert and to be open to new experiences that offer a more positive outcome.

The Four of Cups can sometimes point to defensiveness. This can be noticed in the body language displayed in the crossed arms and legs of the man on the card. He chooses to ignore the possibility of what the cup has to offer. Possibly he has been hurt emotionally before, as this is the Suit of Cups, and he is fearful to expose himself to that again, hence he is closing himself off to this opportunity. Consider what opportunities you are ignoring or declining, and ask yourself whether this is because you truly believe you would not benefit from it, or whether this is because you are fearful of what may follow. Be mindful of any defensiveness in your responses and reactions.

At its worst, the Four of Cups is a stubborn, ungrateful and self-absorbed card. Whether you are off in your own little world, depressed, selfish, afraid to reach out or are nursing wounds from a bad relationship, the isolation in your world is self-imposed. You may be only concerned with your own troubles and problems, neglecting the needs of others. Be mindful that your detachment from being part of the world is becoming an issue. Remember, there is always an opportunity for you to reconnect with the world around you. Look at that cup being offered to you!

Often, the Four of Cups indicates that an offer has been presented to you but you are holding off making any sort of decision or evaluation of that opportunity until you have had more time for reflection and consideration. Notice that while the man in this card has not accepted the offer being presented to him, he has not completely rejected it either. The cup will continue to be there and the decision to accept or reject it can be made at any point. For now, though, it is the time for contemplation, research and meditation. When all of the answers are in, and it feels right emotionally, then you can take action but in the short-term, you do not need to make an immediate choice.

The Four of Cups serves as a reminder not to take life for granted. Numerologically, four signifies that you have created a solid foundation for yourself and a strong sense of stability and security. However, sometimes this can play to your disadvantage, where you feel so content, safe and secure that you begin to take your relationships and other aspects of life for granted. Thus, when the Four of Cups appears it must be taken as a cautionary note. It bears the message that there is a lot of love in your life but it can and will slip away if you do not continue to nurture it and demonstrate your appreciation for everything that you have gained so far. Most of the time, people do not realize the abundance they live in every day. They are too concerned with what they want, and they have no time to look at their lives and see how much they already have. A lot of the disappointment in life comes from people who want more but who already have all that they need. The key to overcoming this disappointment is simply to see all the good that is in your life already, and be thankful for it every day. So open up your eyes and look for yourself.


The Four of Cups reversed suggests that there is a good possibility that an offer will come your way but you must work hard to go out and get it. It is sitting right under your nose, so make sure you snap it up before you miss out! You may also be too focused on your own issues that you completely miss this opportunity or are unaware that it even exists. Keep your eyes and heart open to new possibilities, and release some of the focus on yourself to allow new opportunities to appear.

The Four of Cups reversed also reflects a time when you may be reluctant to open your heart to someone or to express your true feelings, instead withdrawing and isolating yourself from the other person. Be mindful of how this may be impacting those who are close to you and be considerate of their needs as well as your own.

On a more positive note, if you have been going through a period of stagnation, boredom or apathy, you will begin to feel restless with this state of being, and will want to break free from this rut. Put aside any negative thoughts or sulky behaviour. Embrace the opportunities that are already being offered to you. Reconnect with others and let them know how much you appreciate them.

What is up with the Early 30’s?

18 Jun

As a 32 year old, I feel like a lot of changes have come since I was 30, and are continuing to happen.  As I ask the healers, teachers and mystics I work with, and read the texts from old world religions, I cannot help but think that this “30-thing” is not just my imagination.

Here are some figures:

  • Buddha: Enlightened at 35 years old.
  • Jesus: Began his ministry at about 30 years old. (The Bible, Luke 3:23)
  • Angie (my tarot card reader): received her first set of cards at 33 years old.
  • Rachel (an intuitive and channeler): started channeling at 33.

More coming as things unfold.  Thoughts are warmly welcomed on this post!


Taoism // Through ‘Tao Te Ching’

18 Jun

Through the lens of the “Tao Te Ching”

Personal Intro

I enjoyed reading Tao Te Ching, and found it to be a quick and easy read of roughly 100 pages of metaphoric teachings and pros structured in a poetic way.  Although I was unfamiliar with the make-up of Taoism, I had been introduced to several concepts that are central to its teachings; mainly: surrender to the universe (doing not-doing) and see past the illusion of seemingly contrary forces to their actual complementary relationship (yin-yang).

I associate Tao Te Ching’s concept of  “doing not-doing” with “flow states” or “being in the zone” (my athlete metaphor).  Essentially it means, ‘get out of your own way and let the law of the universe work through you’.  I have directly experienced this while playing soccer, dancing and in all of my life  for a brief four month period during my 30th year.  I deeply associate this state with the loss of ego, although that direct metaphor did not come up in the Tao Te Ching.

Beyond, “doing not-doing”, Taoism teaches that forces that seem contrary, are in actuality, complementary (yin-yang).  I have personally experienced this lesson, and recall sometime in the Fall of 2012 reading about complements and spending time pondering its significance.  My first experience in understanding this was with a former co-worker who I considered rigid and uptight. For the longest time, it drove me crazy, until I realized that the co-worker’s discerning eye actually allowed me to have more freedom and creativity because all of the worrying was already taken care of.  Props to my younger brother, who, as I was venting about the co-worker, said to me, “Wow, it seems like they really get under your skin. I wonder what they are here to teach you.”

Most recently, I have experienced the deep connection of complements with my husband.  Not that we are so “contrary” to begin with, but there is much of our surface identity that might seem that way.  In reflecting on my single years and my single friends, I feel like we were searching for our “match” – our equal and opposite.  Instead of finding my “match”, I found the complement to my feminine energy. In hindsight, I actually do not believe finding an equal is even possible, nor lasting. Firstly, I think that the concepts of equality and self-worth are based in the ego; so a “match” is more for the ego than the soul. Secondly, with two dynamic and changing beings, equality cannot stay in tact for long. And lastly, I do not think “equal-ness” is even possible, as every human being is so different.

There are several topics associated with Taoism that have come up in my past, and again came up during my research and peaked my interest.  Those topics are: I Ching, Qigong, Qi, and Yin Yang.  Perhaps I will dive a little deepr into those.

I believe Tao Te Ching is a great read for those seeking lessons on: LEADERSHIP, FORGIVENESS, ACCEPTANCE OF OTHERS and LETTING THINGS GO.


“Tao Te Ching” translated as “The Book of the Way” was written by Lao-tzu, a man who left no trace, and dated to the late 4th century BC.  It is categorized under both philosophical and religious categories.  The version I read was translated into English by Stephen Mitchell, and he states upfront the difficulty in translating the Tao Te Ching with 100% accuracy.


The main message of Tao Te Ching is “Wei wu Wie” meaning literally “doing not-doing.”  The book talks often about not forcing things, but rather accepting them as they are and allowing them to be naturally and unfold spontaneously.  The book teaches that the greatest treasures are: simplicity, patience, compassion (translated elsewhere as compassion, moderation, and humility[1]).


Yin Yang

Another focus of the Taoism teachings is that of yin-yang: how apparently opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another[1] “What is a good man, but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man, but a good man’s job?” Tao Te Ching calls understanding this “the great secret”


Like Buddhism, the Tao Te Ching emphasizes the impermanence of the world, and the perils of illusions, desires and attachments.  
Tao Te Ching states that “for governing a country well there is nothing better than moderation.”  Although I did not mention Buddhism’s focus on the “middle way” in my report, both Buddhism and Taoism mention moderation or a “middle path”.  In Buddhism, the focus on the “middle way” is much more prevalent.


The Tao Te Ching  says “He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.” and “When you have names and forms, know that they are provisional.  When you have institutions, know where their functions should end.”  This is resonant of existentialism’s focus on the individual first, before all of their ideologies and categories.

The Tao Te Ching says, “you can show all people the way back to their own true nature.” The mention of a “true nature” aligns with existentialism’s view of a core and authentic self and a path back to that self.  This differs from Buddhism’s “no-self.”


When the Tao Te Ching says, “Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source.  Returning to the source is serenity,” I believe it is referencing a return to that source after death. Existentialism makes no common claims for life post death, and relative to Buddhism, this varies from it’s “no-self,” and rebirth beliefs.  As well, the Tao Te Ching’s “Be a pattern for the world. If you are a pattern for the world, the Tao will be strong inside of you,” reminds me of Gandhi.

QUOTES (with more coming under categorical posts).

 “All things are born of being.  Being is born of non-being.”

“We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it livable.

We work with being, but non-being is what we use”

“In the pursuit of knowledge, everyday something is added. In the practice of Tao, everyday something is dropped.  Less and less do you need to force things, until finally you arrive at non-action. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.”

“In dwelling, live close to the ground.

In thinking, keep to the simple.

In conflict, be fair and generous.

In governing, don’t try to control.

In work, do what  you enjoy.

In family life, be completely present.”

“It is serene. Empty. Solitary.  Unchanging.  Infinite. Eternally present. It is the mother of the universe. For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao”


Existential Categories

18 Jun

All philosophical and religious literature, film and experiences cover a variety of existential topics.  I have chosen to organize the content I have gathered into the following 32 categories:

  1. Achievement & Failure
  2. Attachment & Clinging
  3. Aversion
  4. Awareness
  5. Bliss & Happiness
  6. Community
  7. Culture
  8. Compassion
  9. Death
  10. Detachment & Observation
  11. Desire & Expectations
  12. Effort & Allowing
  13. Enlightenment
  14. Faith (including God)
  15. Fear
  16. Femininity & Masculinity
  17. Greed
  18. Ideology
  19. Illusion & Ignorance
  20. Impermanence (includes: change, evolution, growth)
  21. Inwardness
  22. Judgement
  23. Leadership & Power
  24. Love
  25. Other
  26. Patience & Stillness
  27. Self (includes: ‘I’ vs ‘me’, no-self, selfishness, subjectivity)
  28. Spirituality
  29. Suffering
  30. Truth
  31. Understanding
  32. Wisdom

In my blog format, these will appear as categories.  If there are any you think I am missing, please let me know.


A New Approach // Iteration #1

12 Jun

Note to my readers:


As I have been conducting this existential research and following my “curriculum”, I have myself not enjoying the work. I’m constantly concerned about the reader (you); I should make my reports accurate and complete on your behalf, I should make the presentation nice, for your ease and understanding.

But, that is not what this was supposed to be about. I didn’t even know I would be blogging (and somehow having people follow my blog). I was getting lost; I found myself taking 3 days to essentially summarize a Wikipedia article on Buddhism – boring and completely unnecessary. Half of the stuff is not really of interest to me (or the only interesting thing is how it relates to my preconceptions or overlaps with other philosophies, etc).

The original intent was to actually understand words, terms, concepts, and beliefs that I casually throw around and excitedly (and often without understanding) associate myself or my experiences with. For example, how can I be an “existential researcher” without understanding what existentialism is and where it comes from? How can I say I resonate with Buddhism, if I don’t really know what it is? And thus my intent was a deeper understanding for myself, but I am getting caught up in the package of the information instead of the nuggets of gold that I hope to take with me for life.

Just a heads up that my future reports will be more inclusive of my reaction to information than copying a bunch of stuff from the internet.

Iteration #1 of many,

~ N