Life By Your Design.

Experiencing life from the soul’s point of view is what drives and sustains me. I’ve made it my mission to revere soul through the enormous gift of the senses. They offer nourishment and sanctuary to my body, yet also deliver the wonder needed to be continually engaged by life.

My own journey has taught me that enlightenment is not a destination – it’s a philosophy of living. It means cultivating a fully considered and continually evolving life, then luxuriating in its everyday resolutions … with passion.

Honoring the wisdom of my senses has required an unwavering faith in their ability to orchestrate my decisions. My soul yearned to be seduced by an honest connection to the Divine. I call that grace. When I surrendered to being impassioned and replete with soul, grace saturated my life.

I strive to live there every day.

We’re joined to each other by our collective craving for beauty, serenity, and meaning. My senses are my refuge, my way into those cravings. They’re a tangible connection to a union with my self, my family, and my surroundings.

I’ve always been a mind-body-soul seeker, but my refuge wasn’t always assured. In my early 20s, I was usually mired in a stack of self-help books that either explained how to chase my toddlers while smiling or how to lock the door and have a bath to engender balance. I was continually searching outside myself for answers. I was an overwhelmed, exhausted, single mother so deeply entrenched in caring for others that I’d forgotten to nourish the innately essential me. I’d fallen away from the wisdom of my senses.

So I began to revisit my physical self through my love of movement. I realized it was the one thing I instinctively trusted for safe exploration of my soul. My senses awakened in soul. I discovered that the human body demands refuge within itself for authentic exploration. Physical connection to the outside world is the soul’s yearning to reengage the senses. Doing this became the driving force behind my sojourn back to me. That revelation changed the direction of my life.

I pledged my faith in the wisdom of my senses to unearth my passionate human soul … and I’ve never looked back.

What’s meaningful to me is cultivating a deeply authentic and passionate life of sensual harmony.

 

View my original interview with LifeByMe.

 

It’s A New Moon… Dream. Desire. Trust. Go.

The moon is chock full of fabulous energy. Use it.

 

Consider the moon for a moment…tides shift because of it, women menstruate on its cycle, wine tastes differently when harvested with the moon, and even scientists are trying to mine moon energy to use on our dying planet. So, if you’re already open to the idea of manifesting new pleasures and dreams into your life…set your intention and let it grow. The new moon is about renewal, birth, re-birth, dreaming and growth. You don’t need to get all witchy-woo-woo, chant at crystals and wear Birkenstocks, in fact, please don’t. You simply need to surrender your grip on the ever pushing ego. What do you have to lose? Simply suspend disbelief long enough to dedicate a wish/dream/desire to the mysterious unseen forces that for abSOULutely certain exist in this world…and let go.

The dark side of the moon creates a fertile new ground to manifest a new direction in your life. Take a few moments to breathe deeply, easily and without strain, until you have some clarity of mind, then write your intention*. The written word carries more power – it just does. By the way, you have a full reign to write as many moon intentions as you would like. When ink has touched page and you’ve put your pen down, take another deep breathe. Exhale fully. Then release any worry, judgement or expectations around your intentions. Trust that your soul seeks to blossom toward the light and toward your greatest good. So after you’ve planted your new moon seed(s), step out of the way and watch them grow. Dream big. Live long & prosper. (Not a trekkie, big bro is though. Couldn’t help myself.)

* A word to the wise…be careful what you ask for, you just might get it! Be sincere, be succinct.

 

Here are your simple steps. Go.

  1. Close your eyes + allow your REAL wish/dream/desire to bubble up. Not the one(s) you want, but the one(s) your soul needs.
  2. Open eyes, inhale, grab pen, exhale, write. Always write your intention in the present positive.
  3. Finish. Put the pen down. Trust the universe, it’s conspiring in your favor.
  4. Place your paper somewhere private + safe. Step away.
  5. Carry on with your day.
  6. Smile.

 

2012: It’s your year…Get Real

 

HAPPY REAL NEW YEAR           How is 2012 treating you so far? Are you happy yet? Did everything change at the stroke of midnight? Resolutions solidly on the get-up-and-go train? Have you completed + checked-off the items on your 2012 vision board? Awe shucks. Give yourself a break. You always have this NOW moment to create change. Today.       Oh thank goodness for small favours.

I’m thinking that you’re thinking it’s time for you to spread your wings and fly. Right?! But not just fly…Soar. The sing your song loud+clear and glide above the clouds kind of soaring. Right on…I knew we were thinking the same thing! Prosper, create abundance, inspire, spread peace, parent brilliantly, work efficiently, love extravagantly and live with passion. Keep adding to the list, go on and on…*sing your song from the depths of your soul. YES!

How exactly is all of that going to happen? I’ll let you in on my secret. Here’s the real deal…HAPPY is an adjective. You know, those words from your carefree days of Mad-Libs and Tab Cola that describe something. You could have just as easily picked goofy, fast or scratchy to use for your fill-in word. “Happy” is the winning adjective we’ll use today. Cool. But the inherent problem with the fun, flirty + dangerous adjective words is that they’re not actually something, or truthfully anything, on their own. They simply describe + modify. Hmm. They don’t stand on their own. Double hmm. Let me rephrase that for dramatic effect…they’re kinda needy! What the heck? Screech. Not my aim for 2012. Alrighty then, let’s get real.

REAL is something authentic, absolute, physical, honest and undeniable.

I’d be remiss to say that your search for happiness makes you some kind of co-dependent needy fakey nightmare, it doesn’t, it makes you a seeker. I like seekers. The only problem is that seeking happy often intimates the search is somewhere outside of your self. Now we’re getting somewhere. Your happy simply needs a foundation word, and that word my serenely-evocative-soul-seeking friends is called…PLEASURE.

PLEASURE is alluring, enchanted, sensual comfort. It’s pure solace.

It’s Joie de Vivre.  It’s sacred.

I like the sound of that. That’s more me. That’s certainly more me after another year of living purposefully via the spontaneity of my soul and the fortitude of my heart. It’s also more me when I’m authentically in tune with my physical body and strive to honor my senses daily. Let 2012 be the year where every minute detail of every single day becomes the simple yet bombastic poetry of your life. Now doesn’t that sound a little more delicious than happy? C’mon, you’ve gotta be honest…every day cannot be adjective happy anyway no matter how hard you meditate. Would you really want it to be unicorns + butterflies all the time? Yikes. Boring. How would you appreciate and celebrate life’s revealingly soul-filled ups+downs? What happens when the shit comes down and happy is not an option until possibly you wake up the next morning and start all over again after a night of affirmations + rituals to get you there? That’s where pleasure comes in to save the day. Yippee! It’s about living in the shit storm, in the shadows, in the challenges and not only growing from the experience, but encountering pleasure while you’re there. Ah yes, the fertile soil of a soul unfolding. You see, the soul craves mystery, sensuality, challenge + evolution. Nurturing the soul is the sacred art of allowing your abundant imagination to become one with your innate body; it’s a philosophy of living. 2012 will unfold, that’s guaranteed. Just how it unfolds is up to you.

Are you ready + willing to be seduced into a life of everyday sacredness?  Yes!?!  Then boy-howdy do I have a revolutionary idea for you.

Don’t get happy, get Real.

It’s what I call…  The Pleasure Principle

 

 

*A little piece of wisdom to help unfurl your wings:

“A bird does not sing because it has an answer – it sings because it has a song.”   -Ancient Chinese Proverb

 

 

S stands for Sensuality + Solstice.

Let’s stay on the S theme for a wee spell: Splendor,  Solitude, Simplicity, Seduction, Solace, Spirit and for today in the apex of this celestial Season…

Let SOULstice stand for a moment to reflect in the Stillness of Self. This powerfully dark day can be used as a reminder to simply stand still with your soul and breathe into the wisdom that only serenity can offer. Use the absence of light to reflect inward and connect authentically with your inner Divine. The dark has a way of opening our eyes, and after all, the eyes are the windows into the soul. YOU are waiting. Seek.

CULTIVATE YOUR LIGHT FROM WITHIN.   

Each day, until today’s solstice twin in summer, will grow longer with light. So take advantage. Sit with your darkness now. Sit with your woulda-shoulda-couldas. Sit in the refuge that only darkness provides in order to see the light. Seduce your deepest thoughts, feelings, senses to come out of hiding and allow their honesty to warm your soul. When I say seduce…I mean it. Let your senses take over and be impassioned with peace and meaning. And Self. You’ll create room for the profound shift that awaits your Divine spark. promise. It’s a profound simplicity, but you must fully and completely surrender into it.

I’m a big believer in ritual. The soul craves it, family & friends bond around it, and it marks moments on which to reflect as you delve forward into change. So get hot tonight. Seriously. Surround yourself with fire as a symbol of your own light. Peer into it and get lost in its mesmerizing life force. Sit quietly in the stillness. Watch. Listen.

Crackling fire, single candle, lots of candles…just get out the matches (safely please people) and discover your light.

Got it?  Good. Go explore. I’ll see you in the stars.

 

 

 

 

 

A wee bit of “Life By Me.”

 

Enlightenment is Sexy…So Are The Senses. Share.

Miss Representation is political.

So is misrepresentation. Actually, in this country, everything is political. At least it should be. To be political is to be civic. To be civic is to be of or pertaining to citizens. Citizens represent this country from every angle…mommy bloggers, student editors, professional speechwriters and the increasingly powerful media. If the average American is spending anywhere from 6:47min to 10:33min a day engaging with some type of media (be it internet, television or their Twitter feed) isn’t that a cause for concern that currently women are not being represented with equal cognizance within that media.

Equality…Hmm.

So where/how is this media misrepresentation formulated and why does it thrive at an unequal rate toward female citizens? Here’s the other side of the etymological equation…politic is also to be shrewd, tactful and contrived. Ah-hah. For women, this is where the current media agenda got heinously lost in translation. I’m not going to point out the easy offenders because frankly…I don’t have all day. The negative messages might at least seem less consuming if there were an equal amount of positive ones. A poignant and wonderfully simple quote by Jennifer Siebel Newsom states “If you can’t see it…You can’t be it.”  Yes, a word play borrowed from the Founder & President of Children’s Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman, who said “You can’t be what you can’t see.” Either way…you get my drift, right?! How can little girls dream of being leaders if our own media continues to treat the highest ranking females in our country as targets for derogatory fodder? One step further…how does the everyday woman in this country even stand a chance at capturing an equal moment for an equal voice?

“Media creates consciousness.” -Jane Fonda

Yes, what I’m saying is…women are being erroneously and devastatingly misrepresented on a daily basis. And our children are watching that by the ever-increasing hour. There is a sellable obsession with the female appearance that equally infuriates and intrigues the media. And NO, it’s not dealt with by capturing stories and reporting positive messages  which advocate for women by somehow celebrating BOTH beauty and intellect. It’s a one-way content barage of misdirected, misinformed and misrepresented media. And it needs to stop. Now.

Hmm…Equality my ass.

Here’s a little something to provoke your Monday morning into action…imagine the shoe (ahem…stiletto) being placed on the other foot? Imagine coming home tonight and turning on your bonafide nightly news and hearing something like this:

“The congressman, Mr. OldWhiteMalePolitician, was wearing a yellow tie today. That fact, coupled with his obvious visit to the dentist for a teeth whitening over the weekend, makes it hard for us to think that although he spent two years drafting this bill, it could possibly have any intellectual and political merit. Really America, let’s not even discuss his hair. Comb over or bed head? He looks exhausted. How can we trust his intellect with these types of missteps? Did he finagle his Harvard Law degree by batting his eyelashes? What was he thinking?

Women make up 51% of the U.S. population, but only comprise 17% of Congress. You wonder why?

Reactions anyone?  (comment below…it’s your civic right.)

 

[blackbirdpie url="http://twitter.com/#!/Karin_McDermott/status/125961802851958784"]

 

 

91 Million Girls Are Waiting.

Have you ever been hungry for knowledge?        I mean really hungry?

This question became the pondering ah-hah-moment that linked my desire for learning to the palpable reality of what education looks like for the majority of our global sisters. With staggering statistics such as “out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls,” it’s obvious that any additional family money beyond what is needed for food is not being put toward educating the girls in the house. Unbelievable right? That’s 91 million girls who want to go to school today, but nobody will let them. The truth should shake you. It did me.

I went to school. Did you?

When did you stop going to school?

Were you in the 1st Grade? The 5th grade? When?

Were you ever told that going to school was not available to you? Yeah, neither was I. Clearly it was a different country, a different birthright and a different time, but when my parents were struggling…I went to school. In fact, they never gave it a second thought…neither did I. Beyond the fact that I was lucky and privileged enough to be born in a country where a certain level of education was my right, my parents also inherently knew that education would offer me the chance to do anything, be anything, dream anything. And I did. I was hungry to become something, someday. I craved to live a life where I could somehow make a difference. But I also had no clue how privileged I was to actually have a support system behind me that would assure it would happen. So as much as I naturally yearned for learning, growing and becoming, the only real hunger I experienced was when I succumbed to the latest fad diet. It didn’t last and I didn’t need it. Not the same for education. Education needs to be at the forefront of our priorities. Feed that hunger and generations will be nourished.

This young woman was literally hungry for knowledge. And incredibly brave. Click, link, watch, then continue reading. Then take action.

Hungry now? Me too.

Anita’s story allowed me to reminisce and realize the sheer unknowing awe of my experience at the time in comparison to hers. I was blessed and beyond lucky to attend an all-girls school. Yep, all girls, all the time. Could Anita even imagine such a place exists? A place where girls sit in circles, told they are worth the effort, and being educated together. I hope so. She deserves it. All girls deserve it. Because of her courage and steadfast belief in the power of education, the girls in her village can dream of school as an option. Santa Catalina School was my home away from home during high school. It was like one big sleep over but with homework added…and it lasted for four years. What girl wouldn’t love that? And by the way I wasn’t “sent away” because I was unruly and incorrigible, but rather because my parents’ selflessly sent their daughter far away from them so she could be educated, well-read and empowHERed. Anita chose to defy her family, starve herself, take a government course and learn apiculture just for the attempt at a chance to be educated.

So let me ask you again…How hungry are you?

More importantly…Are you willing to feed the minds + lives of others? 

There is a viral and amazing idea that started today, and you can join it… The Girl Effect Blogging Campaign. Write something, share your thoughts or simply upload a video with a headline like “Change The World: One Girl At A Time” …and spread the love. Compassion has an urgency behind it. The time is now. Do something. I promise by the end of the day you’ll feel like a renewed and uplifted person. How could you not?! That “I’m being of service” energy will ripple across oceans, climb mountains, walk into villages and change lives…it’s called The Girl Effect. And it starts with YOU.

I would love to hear your thoughts, your inspiration, your ideas. Comment below + let’s keep the conversation going.

Unplug and Connect.

Sometimes the soul needs a reminder…just for itself. A soul wake-up call of sorts. Not a reminder for you, that would be a conscious thing and somehow would then get attached to the need to fit into your appointments on iCal or figure out a way to squeeze in over the weekend. Nope. The soul needs a reminder specifically so it can caution you NOT to do all of that nonsense all of the time. Your soul needs to breathe and it needs room to inspire you. We all desire a life teeming with more balance, beauty, sensuality, time to chillax and space to enjoy the people we love, but how do we fit that in when we’re bombarded 24/7 by tweets, pokes, todo lists and bills to pay? Well, we don’t. And that sucks. But we can. And that’s rad. Trust me, I get it. So for today…I give you permission to put worry aside, turn off your electronics…and connect. Start there. Choose to connect to your self or choose to connect to others. Just do it. The good news, either choice will melt seamlessly into the other and that’s a beautiful thing.

My reminder was delivered at 6:43am using my gangly yet adorable 6’3″, 150 lbs., 3000 calories-a-meal consuming teenager as its messenger. It went something like this…

“Yes my sweetheart angel of a child, I actually woke up from my very short yet deep slumber to cook a hot meal for you simply because I love you. I abSOULutely adore you. And yes…of course, selfless motherly love is enough to brighten even the foggiest beach morning while you ignore me. So even though you’re grunting and only half awake, I’ll keep humming my fave wake-me-up Kate Earl song while I rub your back and tell you how great you are. Sure, you love me and you’re tired, and I know full well that later tonight we’ll sit in the spa together and crack-up about the insanity that ensued in our respective days. But even taking all that into consideration, on this particular morning as I stare at the top of your very tall and lovely head I can only think of one thing to say….put your f**king phone down before I scream bloody murder and throw it in the jacuzzi while your eggs find their way into the dog’s bowl! Uhh…oops, sorry, growling mumma hasn’t had her Illy latte yet my sweet love. What I meant to say was…could we please share a slightly more involved than a one-word answer conversation between bites before you head off for your day?”

Anyone out there with me? I mean really, does he know how early I got up in order to make this particular morning happen? Before my Pearl Jam iPhone alarm woke me up, I went to bed exactly 3.7 hours AFTER he did because I had the ever-so plentiful amounts of first week of school and club volleyball paperwork to fill out on top of completing my workday. Ahh…love. Parenting is…love.

But that was today, on the other days I’m blessed and beyond luckier than most of the nightmare stories I read about in the trashy rags proffered when getting my bi-monthly pedicure. Thank bejeezus for that. This gangly youngster, almost 17, is my last child at home. He talks to me about everything, smiles when I hug him, and totally gets it when my final answer is…”because this way cultivates your soul my angel” or “that’s just straight-up sexy” or “let me meditate on that, have some one-on-one time with God, and I’ll get back to you.” Not so bad. I’ve never had a “terrible teen” in my house. Knock wood. But…this one is addicted to his iPhone. Umm…confession time…Apps have changed my life forever, so maybe I have a bit of a co-dependency problem as well. It seems once you go Mac, you’ll never go back. But, technology has its place, and thankfully so does soul. Lucky for that ever-morphing relationship…it goes both ways. So my real point is, teens aren’t the only ones looking down at something small when they’re walking, rather then gazing in amazement at the stunning world we inhabit daily. Soul thrives and blossoms from a deep sense of connection to the outside world. It craves beauty, sound, touch, laughter and sensuality. The soul yearns to be enraptured by the senses and looks for moments to deeply gaze into something it recognizes as love. That is inspiration at its most authentic. Give it a try as you head into your weekend. Create time to allow your soul to be cultivated within the obstacles and confines of our techno lives. You can have both. I promise.

So here’s your homework: Do yourself, and those around you, a favor…put the smart phone down for just a couple of minutes. But do it AFTER you watch this video link below. Ha! Funny, but not kidding.

Connect. Give. Love. Share. Be. Enjoy your week’s end, together.

 Thai Commercial – Disconnect to Connect