30 November 2009

note to self

note to self:
  • eat a pomegranate every week. yes they are slightly expensive, but i'd rather pay my grocer than my doctor. sorry doctor. health prevention reigns.
  • perhaps convince paul that it can be his weekly gift to me: peeling my pomegranate.
  • enjoy every pomegranate seed this world has to offer. crunch into every juicy bit. savor. taste the sweet and the tart. be stained with the goodness.

22 November 2009

grateful {& giveaway winner}

feeling very grateful for connection today, for the joy we share for traveling together. for neighbors who smile at you every time you leave your house. for bus drivers who know you. for the small reminders that we are supported & held up. grateful for a running partner in pw and the first chance to babysit my niece and a one on one night with bink. it is the little things. the points of contact that have you coming back for more.

and forgive me if this comes off as corny, but i am feeling grateful for our ability to pass information via the internet, to make friends, create community, and you know what? have a lot of fun in the process! i love sharing this space, connect with aunts overseas and friends far away and folks who i wouldn't know if it weren't for creativity and vulnerability and a platform for sharing. so grateful for all this and more.

have a great week. and keep on finding places to love more and connect more. that could be what it is all about.

ps: the gratitude tortoise is ready to be send to marly! marly, send me your mailing address and it'll be on its way to you! stephanie dot tabb [at] gmail dot com and...i totally want to talk about changing my name!! xo

p.s.2 btw: i still want to have a sum it up on the pillars from last week. will try to get to that first thing this week!

20 November 2009

dreams: balance and support you

let the beauty of your dreams balance and support you in this very moment.
(custom card for ea, holiday 2008)
i have to say this first: recently, because of my work towards
simply believing in the act of dreaming, i have been head over heels with the idea of giving myself permission to dream REALLY big dreams.

so if you're a bit of a negative
nelly when it comes to this kinda stuff, i'm going to ask you right now, to leave THAT coat at the door, and get comfortable. this isn't a post for the faint of heart.

"A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved.
{s}He inspires the power and energy to get it done."
(Ralph Lauren)

how i got started dreaming: first, i got the itch. the "i truly know that i'm not living to my fullest potential" itch. the "something has got to give" itch. the frequent asking of "really? REALLY?" itch. and then i started to scratch that itch a bit. after some time, i realized that was just spreading the problem, so i decided i would make friends with it. i started to do the work of taking care of it, tending to its symptoms and soothing it with the right actions.

i signed up for mondo beyondo and did the homework. (ok, did SOME of the homework) i asked tough questions, sat down with my frustrations, and got comfortable with my curiosities. i even made a list of the biggest dreams i could conceive.

some of my dreams, though, we really just an effort to "fix" my self; as if i was broken for wanting those things in the first place. they were dreams born out of shame. other dreams were real responses to an inner longing. like my dream to intern with
curly girl. or my dream to get more custom work. or my dream to run the austin half marathon on 02.14.10.

these dreams are dreams, yes, but they are also strengthening sessions. like weights in a gym, i am picking them up, holding them in proper form, challenging my existing person with them, and reracking them for another day. i come back to them when the clouds are thick and gray above me. they are stashed away in the treasure chest of my heart, beckoning me when i get out of the dentists' chair. (did your dentist have a treasure chest???)

on the daily though, i have to do a few things to remind myself that dream living is also, right here, right now. tonight, on my bus ride home, i made a list of gratitudes. that was a tough effort after a long week at work & some rowdy teenagers on the 19 headed to the mall, but out of my lack gratitude came pouring.

dreams are an essential part of living, they move us forward. they anchor us into the present moment, teaching us their power and their persistence. dreams propel us out of places where we feel stuck into the open field where are longings are no longer unspoken; we awaken to the possibility of their potential.

so dream tonight. dream and hold those dreams. don't hold them against the current of your life as you know it, but hold them to strengthen you and anchor you and propel you. hold them in the beauty and the balance that this life requires.

19 November 2009


before i had my current job, i was newly in love, employed by a small non-profit organization, and working some side jobs to cover the rest of the bills. one of those jobs was my creative business, heart piercing cards, and the other was catering with a fabulous, home-grown catering company in louisville, wiltshire pantry.

looking back now, i was such a free bird. and i was making enough money to get by, pay all the bills, and have a comfy life. why was i so unhappy then?

ah, i remember. i couldn't get all my $hit together, thats why. i could carve out time to take paul to work, or be at Adelante by a certain time for our afternoon programming, but i was a failure when it came to keeping an artistic responsibility, or getting in my workouts consistently or building bridges out of the sticks and twine of my daily life.

and, btw, i didn't respect myself, my desire to figure it out without a job title or my own timeline. i wasn't able to proudly put stephanie time on the calendar and valuing that time as being as essential (or MORE) than the time commitments i'd made to others. you know that feeling, don't you?

time has a way of telling its story, and now, working in a cubicle from 9-5, feels unhappy some days too. but i've also be able to throw all my energy into my pile: working out, cooking healthy meals, commuting responsibly, spending dedicated time on cards, etc. the structure (and lack thereof) has taught me so much.
so i'm adding another pillar to this week: structure.

tonight, prior to this post, i read this post over at Magpie girls blog, and i think that's the final word tonight.

i think i'm still trying to find a balance...and always will be. so head over there, and play along to whatever extent feels right for you. i could certainly say more on this, but tonight less words feel like more. we know these situations, we sit with them everyday, but do we ever face them courageously?

17 November 2009

balloon 2: cReaTiViTy!

"let your hook always be cast.
in the pool where you least expect it,
there will be fish."

sources to spark your creativity:
a blank journal
an open field
a bunch of balloons
a new recipe
letters to the editor
a craft project
daily gratitude lists
trying something new: like watching basketball with your boyfriend or taking up the guitar at 27
meeting with a life coach
long runs with your baby
playing with sequins, glitter and shiny threads
setting a new workout goal
reading a biography
writing a letter of appreciation
hikes and long winter walks
feathers in your hair
walking a dog
calling your grandmother
purchasing a brand new box of crayola crayons
writing haikus

find something, and express yourself.
creativity is the culmination of all your senses.
throw more of your ideas in this pond of inspiration.
and throw out your hook.

16 November 2009

balloon 1: authenticity

if it was up to me, i do believe things would be a bit different than they are in my current reality. i would like to think my life would be more colorful. mornings would be sunshine filled and i would actually wake up when my alarm clock started making noise. this tune would play upon rising each day: "Love of an Orchestra" by Noah and the Whale. my bike ride commute would be playful and fun, not a race to make the bus on time. i would spill less and drop things less, too. work would not be about making a paycheck, but making progress. passion would be in the front of my mind at all times. i would snap pictures during my daily grind like a tourist in a brand new city. my hair would be bigger and more outrageous. i would quit when things were over, and hang strong when there was more to come. i would act mindfully, but not wait for someone else to approve my decisions. i would take more chances, be more playful, and have just a few extra handfuls of fun everyday.

to me, authenticity is central to our daily operations; its more about knowing who you are, deep down, before you every get out of bed in the morning, than it is about sticking to your guns. sometimes, we're wrong. i admit it. but deep down, knowing ourselves and expressing ourselves is the tallest of orders.

this week, as we explore the pillars of life that hold us up, and the balloons of life that lift us up, let's be sure to hang on to what is working, reflect on what has worked in the past and be open to the place that need a tiny bit more attention than usual.

authenticity is really easy to talk about. it's easy to breakdown and formulate, divide and conquer. but perhaps that's just the opposite of authenticity. i dare you to consider this: authenticity is a quiet knowing, a wisdom so deep even you have to dive to discover it; a reflection pool that you must linger beside long past sunset. authenticity is speaking your truth & following your path & braving your fears, yes, of course. but it is also about knowing who you are when the noise settles. authenticity is the tortoise.

you've heard that story right? the tortoise and the hare? you've had some slow days, some races you were afraid you had no chance at winning, but you kept on. you dug really deep and kept moving forward. it wasn't fast or eloquent at times, but it was steady, and communicated your interest, your deepest desire, your heart of hearts. well it is in that moment, in those moments of struggle, all strung together with your faith and your sweat and your persistence that you awakened your authenticity. you discovered the cistern within, the source that has been collecting experiences and collaborating with every piece of your life to prepare you for this moment. and discovering that, you took a chance. any chance.

and i would even go as far to believe you're doing that now. that some piece of your life has rubbed you raw (i won't say what running metaphor comes to mind), and you're caught thinking that maybe you weren't made for this. well i am here to remind you that maybe you are just where you need to be. and being there, being FULLY there, you're being offered the most brilliant platform for your whole self to shine. it may be quiet, or in a shadow, or bright as a lime green balloon against the backdrop of a sunsetting sky, no matter. what does matter is that you take this chance. that you trust your inner knowing and act as you know you should.

here is the catch with authenticity though: you don't always feel like you're being authentic. sometimes you feel awkward. out of place. crooked. in those moments, i have learned its possible for our authentic selves to shine without us even knowing. and when it catches back up with you, at the finish line or somewhere down the road, you will be so surprised to hear you were really seen, really known, really admired as you hoped to be.

so tortoises of the world, keep steady! find a pace that works for you, a piece that you need to work on, an example of a well-oiled process and be proud. your authenticity is seen & known & heard & admired. and quiet as it may be now, it will be as loud as an orchestra in due time.

in an effort to create play around these topics this week, i open up the forum to you. to share where you are, to deny everything i've written. to use this space to express whatever resistance or hallelujah's rise. i created a card to giveaway to one commenter. it is titled authenticity tortoise. the forum will be open all week---so you'll have the chance to comment until Friday when i'll choose winners from each day this week! have at it! xoxox

15 November 2009

seven balloons

something i've learned:
balloons are good for your soul.
come with me to a wishing space, where each day this week, on my blog, i'll be introducing various topics that highlight the pillars of my life. i'm sure some of them will be familiar to you, and i hope you'll join me for the journey. i can promise you this: openness, optimism, and vulnerability. this won't be a seven step process to perfection; but seven pieces that make up this puzzle i call life, seven balloons that make up the beauty of mine. don't be fooled for even one second that mine is more beautiful than yours, or more lifted, or more colorful; no no no. i am a child just like you are a child. i hope you'll come out to play. xoxo

first step: PLAN

i am so excited. i finally have a whole day to ME. a clean slate. a no plans sunday. so, i will PLAN to use it wisely. {this is just the way i am!} and in the spirit of my new blogcrush, kaileenelise, i think a creative weekend to do list is in order. these are lists that feel good for your soul, and also help in a stay-on-track, get-things-done, kinda way. kaileen elise's from yesterday put me in a real mood for tidying up space and self. read on.

creative weekend to do list, version sunday

  1. get coffee mugs from kitchen, lay in bed until it just feels right.
  2. up & at em' but first things first: CLEAN room.
  3. make delicious brunch for PW prior to long day at work. send him off with a kiss.
  4. package up care package for *someone special!*
  5. finish thank you card
  6. plan grocery list and a few meals for the week
  7. work on heart piercing cards for upcoming event: holiday bazaar daniel chaffin furniture makers (dec 4, more info to come)
  8. half marathon training: 3 mile run on the schedule for today
  9. eat a leetle bit, clean up, head out
  10. post office, vinyasa @ 4, then whole foods for weekly grocery goods
  11. finally: home again! shower, eat some dinner, prepare lunches, read my book, and...relax.

yes indeed, all of this sounds mighty productive, but also soulful and just right. and hopefully, just maybe it will jump start a productive, healthy week. what are you planning this week? what is shifting and needs your attention? what is on your creative to do list? xoxo.

14 November 2009

wing-wide and root deep

(heart piercing card's mixed media image, digitally altered)

a necessary saturday reminder.
especially if you're being pulled in multiple directions. especially if you're asking for adventure at the same time you're hoping for a home. especially if you find yourself immensely appreciative of the presence of others and simultaneously seeking solitude. especially if you seek to be present and dare to dream. especially if you are living out who you are to the fullest today, and believing in the full scope of who you are becoming.

we are wing wide and root deep, indeed.

09 November 2009

many things, maybe aNyThiNg (and the inner compass)

the inner compass: noun a navigation system that never fails, never powers off, always sends you the scenic route, and when needed, gives you a good chance to rest while it is recalculating.

trucking around dc and virginia this past weekend, blissed out in the company of family & friends galore, i found myself trusting my inner compass. grounded in the knowing and the not knowing of it all. letting time run its course and gathering all the confidence and courage i could.

"confidence and courage for what?," you ask.

confidence and courage run so deep. they are woven into our every move. how we sit in the hot tub bikini clad and how we cook a meal for six. how we stand up when we are faced with friends we haven't seen in years, how we cheer on our brother at his soccer game. how we hold one another when we're weak and how we let go when we know we must. confidence and courage anchor our lives in the everyday.

confidence is trusting the inner compass. it is the voice within that announce "i am who i am" and it is the deep knowing of "i was made for this." it is fresh nervous jitters, and a tall spine. confidence is, as they say, key.

but courage is the arm that turns that key. unlocks doors and takes strides in a new direction. courage is heading confidently in the direction of the needle of that inner compass. courage is pursuing what matters most, no matter what.

i am not short on these orders, but they are tall orders, and my tendency of late has been to shrink a bit. i have been searching so hard for direction that i've lost some of it en route, and i've been longing for the road, so badly, that i've stalled out time & time again. all of this is part of the journey though, isn't it?

this fall, i have been celebrating knowing this group of girls for ten years. ten good, turbulent, distant, intimate years. ten years of teenage and twenties turmoil. ten years of two minute drills and twisted roads. ten years of belly laughter and branching out. ten years. {{{ten years is a lot when you're twenty five}}}

now ten years later, a baby is on the way and we're transitioning yet again. recreating ourselves and our friendships. becoming, again. what will we be this time around? where will our compasses guide us? i'm confident that we'll find our way and find the courage to act when summoned. i'm hanging onto possibility for each one of us---and you, too. in this world, we truly can be many things, maybe aNyThiNg...xo