Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Leapin' Lizards and Crocodile Tears

Allison is one of the neighborhood girls who loves to play with my toddler daughter. She is a shy 9 year old girl who has an aversion to combing her hair, a penchant for turning odds and ends into toys, and a devotion to all things Hillary Duff.

One of Allison's hobbies is adopting lizards. She has a talent for catching them, then she puts them in a shoebox or clear plastic container, names them, holds conversations with them and makes them her new friends.

I didn't realize how much these animals meant to Allison until I set one free.

You see, I'm not big on putting wild animals in captivity. Domestic animals are one thing, but when I see a lizard, I want it to be able to stretch in the sun and scurry up walls. Under the Aztec calendar, Cuetzpallin (the lizard) is my birthday sign. I feel like I'm a lizard and have always enjoyed seeing them run about. They eat bugs, they're resourceful... not bad attributes.

Allison caught a baby lizard that Alyssa, another neighbor, was playing with.

"Hi baby, now it's time to go to bed!"
"OK, baby let's clean the kitchen!"

Alissa was torturing this poor creature in a Polly Pockets playhouse, a pink plastic thing the size of a jewelry box.

I couldn't stand it. This defenseless creature was being held hostage by a psycho six year old and I decided to do something about it.

I took the lizard, walked over to the bushes, and set it free.

Allison came downstairs and upon learning what I did, ran back up in tears. I didn't realize that the wailing and crying I heard from afar was her, and strange enough it increased in volume and intensity whenever she'd see me.

"What's wrong with Allison?", I asked her sister.

"Well, she's feeling sad."

That's all she said.

Not realizing that Allison's tears were aimed towards me, I went about my day playing outside with my daughter.

"Gee, maybe if she came down and played she wouldn't feel so sad", I offered. "Hey Allison", I shouted, " wanna play with Citlalli?"

Allison looked down from her front steps, caught sight of me, then ran off wailing and moaning.

"She's scared of you", Alyssa told me. "She thinks you're going to kill all her lizards. She's afraid that the baby you threw out will die."

I didn't throw out a lizard, I set it free! Here I am, a grown woman, wanting to defend and justify myself to a six and nine year old.

Just then, Allison came running down with a big box of kleenex in her hands, looking in all the bushes for her baby lizard. She'd look over at me and let out a huge sob. OK, the guilt trip is working, I thought to myself.

So I went inside, feeling bad and confused, sad that I alienated a child. I talked to a few people and was told the usual, to mind my own business.

"You took away a part of being a kid", my sister told me.

"It's none of your business what that kid does", my husband told me.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

"I think you did the right thing", my friend consoled.
Finally, a kindred spirit!

Well, after stewing and thinking about it I realized a few things. Mostly things about Allison that have been under my nose the whole time, but I didn't add them all up.

Allison lives in a home with wrappers and dirty toys strewn about the front yard. She'll go weeks without combing her hair, often wears dirty clothes, eats only fast food and junk food and is afraid of people. Her dad can usually be found sitting in his van with the A/C on, talking on his cell phone. I've only seen her mom leave the house twice in the years they've lived here. They are an odd family, let's just put it at that.

I don't know much more about them, but from what I see, I think that Allison gives her little pets the love she'd like to receive. Each cricket she catches and names, each lizard, each rolly-poly... they're all her loved ones.

Allison doesn't torture animals and she honestly tries to provide a loving, safe environment for them. She wants to protect them from the harms of the world.

I still don't like wild animals in captivity, but I'm not going to get on my soapbox around Allison. I went up to her and apologized for setting her lizard free. She put down her kleenex, ran upstairs and brought down a tiny lizard, barely two inches in length.

"This is Baby Leopard. Wanna play?"

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Release Your Inner Loca... and my 1st Audio Blog

I have been a bizzy little bee today putting the finishing touches on my new teleclass Release Your Inner Loca.

This last summer I offered three different classes: one on Loca Rituals, another on Finding Your Purpose as a Creative Woman, and another on what stops you (Unpacking Your Procrastination Toolbox).

After talking to participants, the overwhelming feedback I received was to make the classes LONGER, and possibly combine them all into one. I think that's a great idea and am happy to announce a ten week comprehensive adventure into creativity, Release Your Inner Loca.

My teleclasses are tons of fun, deepen the conversation around creativity and give you the space to step into your Loca Greatness!

If you sign up by October 1 then you get a huge discount. You can get more info here..

OK, now what is this Audio Blog bidniss and what's so cool about it? After this post you'll see a little place for you to click to hear an audio blog. I made a mini Loca Ritual for you to ponder, an invitation to sum up your creative greatness in a single sentence.

You can hear what I sound like and also a special guest in the background, my comadrita Citlalli.

Enjoy my first audio blog and tell me if you'd like more. You can email me... just be sure to write "Blog Comments" in the subject line.


Audio Loca Ritual

this is an audio post - click to play

Friday, September 10, 2004

Very Productive September

Last week Miss Amber and Miss Robin (my twin sister babysitters who alternate days with Citlalli) were out of town so I had to seriously readjust my work schedule.

Because it was the last week of the month, I didn't have clients scheduled so that was good. But I always have a ton of emails to deal with, an article to post, things like that. I was worried that perhaps I wouldn't get it all done and had alternate babysitter Miss Lupe in the bullpen in case an emergency fill-in was needed.

I awake each day between 5:30 and 6, which is normal now. (Unheard of a few years ago). I take 30 minutes for my SPAM time (Spirituality-Prayer-And-Meditation). Then I go to the computer, see how many Canadian Pharmaceutical ads I have, try to retrieve valuable messages that Spam Inspector trashed, and scan my schedule for things I better not space out on.

Something happened to me on that first day. I took a "how important is it" approach when looking at my to-do list. With no calls scheduled, I felt compelled to fill the time with random activities.

"Update your Quickbooks". OK, that took about 5 minutes.
"Send so and so this article." Hmmm.... another 5 minutes.

Things suddenly didn't seem super interesting or profitable at this point. Rather than create work to fill the time, I took the time off. Called my comadre Queta, invited her and her little guy to the park and made a day of it. Afther the heat of the day set in, we took the kids to a great taqueria where I had the best tacos: 1 birria, 1 carnitas. Big glass of horchata to wash it down, rice and beans for Citlalli.

Then a few days later, my friend Laurel invited us to this park that has water squirting out of the playground so the kids can get soaked. We met for breakfast and chowed down on eggs, bacon and french toast.

So why is this such a big deal? Well, the last time I had Citlalli in a restaurant, she ate all the butter packets, spilled jam everywhere and ran wild like the banshee that she is. I ruled out restaurants but my friends encouraged me. And like a charm, it worked.

OK, you say. Kid sits in a restaurant, eats her food, doesn't cause too much damage to the place. What's so special about that.

BECAUSE IF I HADN'T TAKEN A FREAKIN' DAY OFF I WOULD NEVER HAVE LEARNED THIS! Being able to participate in social rituals such as dining out used to be a big part of my life until this little dynamo of a kid entered the scene. With Citlalli, we've been sidelined so often that we became gun shy. Shut ins. Recluses.

AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENED WITH MY BUSINESS WHILE I WAS OUT GALAVANTING AROUND? Well, everyday it seemed I had new clients calling me, people wanting to set up exploratory coaching sessions, women who found me on the web and wanted to connect, even a request to perform a WEDDING CEREMONY.

What would have happened had I stayed home and tried to force work?

I usually reserve Wednesdays for Citlalli and Fridays for family day. I expanded it, I felt better and my business did well.

My Inner Loca needed her batteries recharged and she got that.

What's good for the Inner Loca is good for all!

With all this insight, I forgot to mention how far out rockin' cool the first annual Crafty Chica Teleforum was. Kathy Cano Murillo is a powerhouse crafty diva with so much knowledge to share. Folks on the call were so lucky to connect with her. Those of you who missed it will be able to purchase a recording as soon as I get that in order.

Rock on Aztec Warrior Angels!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Bulletin of the Board

Today's entry is a substitute for my random newsletter, The Pocket Comadre. I've had a taste of keeping life simple and this blog thing is as good as it gets for right now. So please read this through as there are some fun and funny moments ahead.

1. Deb Deras, a loca from L.A., is a partner in a wonderful business called Synergy Unlimited. I met her other half , Adoley recently and she's an inspiring and powerful speaker. She and Deborah are hosting a workshop on time management that sounds different than any other seminar on the topic I"ve ever heard of. Here is a blurb from her:

How many of you feel overwhelmed by the demands of your time? Do you feel you are doing more but accomplishing less? Odunton & Deras, Results Coaches & Speakers of Synergy Unlimited have a seminar on Time Expansion unlike any other Time Management seminar because it works at the subconscious level to eradicate procrastination, perfectionism, tardiness, overwhelm etc. This seminar is valued at $297 however as a loca you get it complimentary as my gift to you as a faithful subscriber to this ezine. Space is extremely limited so call before September 7th to ensure your space at 1-888-886-6847. For more information go online at www.synergyunlimited.net.

2. I'm holding an informal open house this Wednesday at 4pm Pacific for anyone else interested in joining the Chispa coaching circle. I can squeeze three more bodies on the line. This is a special group for action oriented, creative women who have an idea they'd like to turn into something tangible. Whether it is starting a new business, writing a book, or sending out a big proposal, there might be some help for you here. If you are interested, please contact me by 12 noon Pacific Time on Wed 9/8.

3. There are about 5 openings left for the Crafty Chica Teleforum this Thursday 9/9 at 5pm Pacific. To sign up, go to www.comadrecoaching.com/murilloforum.html

4. OK, now on to the personals! I wrote a few blogs ago about my upcoming meeting with Lorinda Morales of Bella Brava Botanicals. We met a couple of weeks ago and it was awesome. We are long lost sisters! First of all, we're both tall Chicanas, a semi-rarity. Second of all, we are both post-punk chicas with sordid pasts of punk shows and thrift store wardrobes. We had such a great time connecting and getting to know each other more personally. She is a special person and puts that special touch in her products. The night before we met, I had a dream about her corporate headquarters, with this beautiful fountain out front and big semi trucks delivering her goods across the land. I hope she finds that level of success because her products are wonderful. If you have a bath shop or could recommend her items to a store, I suggest you share her name with them. She's awesome. We took some photos and I'll post those later.

5. Today, I did the ultimate Disneyland no-brainer. My sister has a pass to Disneyland and we went and had a four hour extravaganza! It was a little too easy and I must share this info with all who plan on visiting Disneyland in Anaheim.

First of all, we parked at Downtown Disney. That's 5 hours of free parking with validation. I arrived at 11am and the place was deserted for a holiday. Want to avoid major lines? Enter the park through Downtown Disney at the Monorail entrance. Zero wait, zero people. Hop onto the monorail, get to Tomorrowland, grab a bite to eat and watch a groovy Buzz Lightyear floorshow. (Yes, it was a Citlalli-centric visit.)

Our goal was to get Citlalli on It's a Small World and the line was practically nada. Got on a boat (front row!) and had a blast. She loved it and the air conditioning in the ride gave us a relief from the 100 degree heat outside.

We bopped around the park some more, took in a few sights and then took the monorail back to Downtown Disney where we had ice creams at Haagen Das.

Citlalli is not at the ideal Disneyland age. She's too big to carry around, too small to enjoy most of the rides and too squirrelly to sit in a stroller. This was the perfect visit. We got back home, she fell fast asleep and here I am blogging away.

Free entrance, free parking, big fun.

I like this life!