Thursday, February 24, 2011


I can feel myself transforming. My world has been cracking open and allowing me to reconsider the possibilities of new adventures and dreams. A friend recommended a book and told me that I'd read it "when it was time." Apparently now is my time. This book is called the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If you haven't read it, go out and get you some....when it's your time, of course. This is my new favorite book and within the first few pages I knew I'd be reading it multiple times throughout my life. It's the kind of book that makes you want to take notes, journal and post quotes on your fridge, which, like an inspired writer nerd, I did.

"It's the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting....And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it."

I'm envisioning travel, moves, try-outs, writing, risks, outside-my-comfort-zone activities while appreciating that lately I've been trying tons of new things. I'm transforming into a skier, a dancer, a writer, a National Board Certified teacher, a runner, an elected WEA council representative, a mentor. For the rest of my life I will be transforming. Someday I'd like to transform into a professional dancer, an Ayurvedic counselor, a wife, a mother, a racer, a professional writer.

The Alchemist describes each individual's Personal Legend, or calling. A few months ago, I had my tarot cards read, and she said that I'm entering into my true path, a transitional time for inner work, and that I will see lights or signs along the way, which the Alchemist describes as omens. She said that my immediate future is that of a shape-shifter, that I may not want things I used to want or when they come back they may look different. This all sounds mystic and cryptic, and that's why I love it. I absolutely love the idea that if sit back and watch, and listen, and ask questions, the answers will become obvious. This has happened to me recently in my love life, and I'm thankful. I was able to practice surrender and exit that situation gracefully. This is how I want to live, open and learning and growing.  I'm working hard and progressing forward, but letting go of everything else. For example, today I hit a wall with my National Boards. I felt like I had vomited up a million ideas and had no idea how they would mold together into anything comprehensible for Entry 4. My mentor even said, "Nicole, you look worried." I guess that's my look of concentration, followed by my look of determination (I am a Taurus, after all), followed by a long walk in the snow. Why? Because I wasn't going to push, force or demand anything else from myself today. The coffee shop is waiting for me tomorrow and Entry 4 will have a whole new light, accompanied with my organic shade-grown Mexican coffee on the clover.  I know, it's a thing of beauty.  Anyway, point is that change is happening.  I'm experiencing the transformation, one day at a time.  As I sit reading (or typing) in my cozy little condo, in my favorite area of town, in my single-girl free time, I know that I will miss these years of freedom when they're gone, so it's my job to soak them up and enjoy them now.  That's my Personal Legend.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm Accessorizing

Sometimes a girl needs a few accessories.  This week I splurged on new running shoes and knee-high green socks for the St. Patty's Day Dash. 

These may not sound like extravagant luxuries, but the small things make a big difference.  The idea of sparkling, new shoes makes me want to rush home and break them in.  I can already imagine myself dashing down the streets of Capitol Hill, grinning as I catch a glimpse of my shoes in the storefront windows.  The restaurants and bars on Broadway can't tempt me when I'm wearing new shoes.  I smile at fellow runners as we cruise around Volunteer Park.  In my new shoes.  Yes, I can see it now...

That's the best motivation that money can buy.  If that's all it takes to keep me running, then I'll consider it an investment.  My comfy feet, splint-less shins and healthy knees will thank me.  In new shoes.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Breaking My Own Rules

I'm changing the rules.  The one-month experiment feels restricting and rushed, so I'm extending it.  Sometimes I impose rules on myself that don't actually exist anywhere except in my own mind.  How to act, how to eat, what to say, what to wear, how to be a responsible teacher/daughter/friend... the list goes on and on.  It's so freeing to let go of the pressure I put on myself.  My blog is one small place where I can adjust the rules however I want, so here I go.

I'm still reading my Chi Running book and experimenting with new techniques and exercises.  I don't want to move on yet.  Stacy and I are running the St Patty's Day Dash on March 13th.  I just registered online and have this new challenge in my sights.  The website has a clock counting down the days, hours, minutes, seconds until the race.  I have 38 days to get ready.  38 more days of the Chi Running experiment.  38 days to break in new running shoes, 38 days to try out tips from my book, and 38 days to find cute green legwarmers to go with our little shorts and shamrock necklaces.  This is a timeline that feels more like me.