The trick of balance 

I have always strived to find a balance, a place where I am not running through my life with my head down just trying to get through busy days of To Do’s, work demands, eating well, exercise, chores, social responsibilities, etc. I always had this crazy idea life should be enjoyed not endured. Not enjoyed just on vacations and weekends but every day, most of the day. Crazy I know. So, I started this journey of curating my life, building in more good moments, savoring them when they happened and plotted how to build in more. In this quest I realized a well lived life is about many small perfect moments and being present. It was not big things, though those helped, but loads of small things like appreciating that first sip of coffee. The way the sun poked out between the trees at sunrise making the duskiness start to sparkle. The kid with the too large backpack trudging to the bus stop with his shoe laces flapping about with every step. I started to notice the impermanence of life, the fleeting moments of the ordinary which became beautiful. 

I learned to slow down my racing thoughts and directed into the world to notice what was happening around me, the clouds in the sky, the feel of my nubby sweater against my skin, a conspiratorial smile with a coworker in a too long meeting.  I started to be more consistent about creating small spaces of appreciation for what was spinning all around me. This made me more aware of where I was giving away my time to things and people I didn’t need or want to. Not in a bad way, I just was busier than I wanted to be but felt pressure to do these things that didn’t interest me. I started to look at where I could pull back and reallocate time to things that made me feel like I was in charge of my days or redirect what I was doing in ways that I felt invested in. 

One of the keys in this process I have found was learning to say No. Having set phrases like “no thank you” and “thank you for thinking of me I can’t”, was the first step to slow the roll of  saying Yes to things I didn’t want to do and/or was too busy to do. It was difficult but in do so, I stopped resenting other people for asking me to do things and blaming them for my inability to speak my heart and mind even in the smallest ways. To be clear: these were not just work or drudgery but fun things too. I was no longer saying Yes, resenting them for something I created with my fear of saying No. That was step one in creating balance in a chaotic world: building my days with things I felt more invested in. I looked for jobs that mattered to me, to finding like minded people at jobs I was in and taking time to get to know them and enjoy them. 

As I let some things and people go, I was intentional about what if anything I put back in my days. I  learned that the universe abhors a vacuum so if I didn’t fill my days with things that I wanted or needed to do that other stuff would float in and jam me all up again. I learned to book time on my work calendar to get actual work done that came up in meetings and then actually did the work during those slots. I protected my scheduled time to get those things done and the result was I didn’t run from meeting to meeting with no time to get projects done. I took that idea and booked in lunches with co-workers, 15-minute walk breaks in the morning and afternoon. I started being proactive in all areas of where, with who, and how I spent my time. I built in space to stop, breathe and appreciate the moments of where I was and who I was with. Mostly it was just stopping my head spinning and being in the moment. Putting down the mental check list of To Do’s and stepping outside my head. It helped me jump off the hamster wheel I was on. 

It was not only important to schedule things that I wanted to do, and things that helped me stay on track at work but also things I didn’t always want to do but needed to. Working out, food shopping, batch cooking for the week. I developed routines to ensure that those things happened in concert to keep the fussy two-year-old in my brain that only wants to do what she wants to do at bay. I didn’t want her running this part of my life. I started to sketch out a routine that was flexible enough to accommodate my fussy two-year-old self and my adulting self so that I was supporting  where I was but most importantly where I wanted to go.

 I started to realize what I was thinking of as drudgery and chores was actually self-care, self-love. I was nurturing myself and started to find recipes I wanted to learn and took my time enjoying buying groceries and cooking for myself. I took time to stretch my body and move it. These activities were no longer things I had to do but ways to care for my body in appreciation for what it did for me. I flipped the script in my head to the point where these things became more enjoyable, not always, not every day but when I did that pause and looked at the moment, I could feel it. 

I learned to ensure flexibility and sanity. I stopped booking commitments back-to-back. Mostly because I don’t have a teleporter, so travel is needed and has to be accounted for even if I was walking across the hall, campus or town. I built in wiggle room for traffic, bathroom breaks, wandering time, a pause and the just in case window. Part of not running through my day is literally not to be running through my day because I over booked. There are also windows in my day with nothing planned, this is to take advantage of how I feel in the moment. As an example, 25 years ago I came to claim Sunday mornings holy days just for me, no commitments, no people or plans out in the world, just home time to recharge. Over time I took the whole day for prep for the week and quiet time just for me. As an introvert I learned I need alone time so taking Sundays has helped me find and keep some balance. I know many extroverts who also need downtime, in fact anyone with a pulse. 

Knowing that I needed some downtime between social engagements taught me not to double book social commitments in one day. I might have play time with a friend for part of my day, even a chunk of it, but then left the evening to myself and visa a versa. If I didn’t choose what I wanted my day to look like and fill my time intentionally it got filled with other people’s stuff. When this happened, or happens, where I am over committed, I become overwhelmed and cranky. I start to feel boxed in, anxious and my head gets cluttery. Being vigilant about how I spend my time became second nature. 

Balance is not a static thing where once you achieve it you are set. It is a dance of constant micro adjustments to respond to internal signals of what we want and need and external responsibilities, expectations and the spin of the world. If you were to stand on one foot in this moment you could feel and see your foot making those constant micro adjustments to keep you up right and standing. The exact same thing is true to in balancing your life. By taking the knowledge of ourselves and what we know about our historical reactions to events and pressures we can make adjustments for the best possible outcome for us. It is harder work in the beginning but after a while, like a balance practice of standing on one foot, it becomes steadier, easier and muscle memory. That is what life balance becomes in many ways. 

In learning who I was and what I needed got me past survive mode into thrive mode. By paying attention and listening to my internal signals of what I needed and wanted allowed me to quiet   what the world or those around me expected. We get messages like lean inwork harderstay busy that are focused solely on achieving but those external messages are not taking into account the natural cycles in how we grow and learn or our unique talents, proclivities and desires. It is up to us to figure out how best to work in the world honoring who we are and pushing ourselves to our fullest expression of ourselves. What we cannot do is fit the mold others push us toward. So many of my clients are trying to change their true nature and what feels best to them because they don’t fit what is deemed the proper mold for a manager, for an executive, for adulting. There is no one way to move through this world. Our job is to look inside, nurture ourselves, do the work of figuring out who we really are and what makes us tick and then create systems, processes, opportunities for ourselves to thrive. It is also important to connect with others who see us for who we are and support, love and encourage us in our journey for wholeness and balance. 

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to or

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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Priorities and Flawed Magical Thinking

I hear a lot of people working on their priorities, trying to create more of a work life balance, which is to say life balance as work is part of life. Everything we do, say, avoid, worry about, cry or cheer over are threads we have pulled on and included in our life. It is essentially what we pay attention to, give our time and energy to. Whether we think about what we are doing or not, we do it. So that is why I write about setting our intentions so much. Making a conscious choice about what and who we give our time to is our only truly finite resource is time. 

On August 9, 2006, Amy, my 36-year-old younger sister, lost her short battle with leukemia. She was diagnosed the first week of December out of the blue and then gone the beginning of August. In our last real conversations when she found out the stem cell didn’t work and things had gone south, she called to tell me. I was traveling and was to come see her with my other sister Chris the following week. In her status phone call to me she said, “What I could’ve done with another month.” After I spoke with Amy, I contacted Chris, and we switched up our flights and were able to make it to see Amy before she died. Though she has been gone for many years I still carry her in my head and heart, and I live by her sentiment of “What I could do with another month.” Time is not a given, not promised and we only have this moment to show up for ourselves and others and enjoy this crazy ride. Her death taught me how to live better. 

The impermanence of life has sharpened my need to be brave, live outside the box, try things, fail stupendously and try again and again without shame or recrimination. I don’t care, I want the most out of my ride. That is not to say I don’t get depressed, frustrated or discouraged on a semi-regular basis but I recover quickly because I have only right now to move forward. Knowing that now is when I need to dig deep, to rest, to play and to love, to test, try, nap, create, argue and explore… I don’t want to regret the thing I did not do. Having spent time with my sister and my father before they exited, I know that at the end of our lives, we most regret what we didn’t do, not what we did do. That we didn’t take the risks we wanted, loved the way we wanted to love. We need to be worried less about disappointing others and more worried about disappointing ourselves. 

Time and our perception of it changes as we age. As a child a summer vacation felt endless as did a school day. The work day for some might feel the same and that illustrates that you are in the wrong place, not your spot. When young we start this kind of magical thinking  that never comes to fruition about future and how if we had this one thing everything would be better. Telling ourselves, my life will be better when I get my braces off and my sisters stop telling me it looks like a trainwreck when I eat with my full metal jackets on my teeth. My life will be better when I can drive, have a boyfriend/girlfriend, loose 10lbs, get into that college, get that job, find a mate, get a better job, apartment, house, engagement ring, have a baby, get a raise, get a new nose/hip/knee. We literally wish our lives away thinking that outside of us is what makes the inside of us feel whole, loved, seen and that we matter. It doesn’t, which is why we move on to the next item on that wish list over and over. 

Outside things and people can’t fill those holes within us, only we can. That is both scary and empowering. We have the ability to look at where those holes are, how they came to be, our rough patches, trauma, limiting beliefs and find mental health partners to help us step through  and process those minefields within us. The ones we tip toe through or trip over and explode every time we are triggered. There are self-help books, therapists, coaches, organizations to help us sort out our fears, and baggage so we can travel more consciously and lighter as we move through life. This work takes a life time, your life time, but every investment you make in yourself to heal gives back whole parts of yourself to you and subsequently the world. It delivers that wholeness, feeling of belonging, love and calm we all seek. Falling in love with all of who we are and accepting ourselves for our weird, funny, smart, lumpy, cranky, arrogant, wonderous selves. In doing that we start to step off the comparison train, we start to have a better idea of what our true wants and needs are, we are grateful for the time we are here and who we are with. We prioritize from the inside out rather than the other way around. We stop the magical thinking game that this one thing, person or situation will make my life better because we already know we have that power. Today is the day to celebrate, and if you get a tomorrow make that the best you can and keep doing it. Keep being brave, showing up, making mistakes that’s how we learn. Learning not to take life so seriously, being more comfortable in the unknow and lean into enjoying this short messy, chaotic and joyous ride you are on at least for this moment.  

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to or

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in celebrate, Change, choices, Enjoyment, Faith, Fear, foundation of change, Happiness, Health and Wellness, intent, Joy, Learning, Magic, Manifestation, mind shifts, Stress, Stressed Out, truth | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Namib Desert and Stressing Out

In the last few weeks there was a situation in my life that could have had a large negative impact on my finances. This would have caused me to make some big changes like moving, job searching, rethinking my whole future. I had no control over the outcome, I just had to wait and see how everything would shake out. Then it was up to me to work with what was left and move on. Putting me in a weeks long waiting and watching game as all the players scrambled to meet a goal that would affect me. My only recourse was to keep holding on to my faith that I could and would make any result work.  In the moment I forgot all the other times where the winds of fate turned my life inside out, and not for what I thought was the better, but I still picked up the pieces and figured out a way forward. Sometimes what I thought was awful in that moment turned out better than I planned but I couldn’t see it at the time. That is part of problem solving: growing and learning and getting twisted up in our worry in the process some of that time, ok most of the time.

Waiting was not an easy feat. Staying calm in the storm of uncertainty, slipping in and out of trying to find a solution to a not yet known end result was crazy making. The added bonus to this roller coaster was struggling not to spiral down and catastrophizing menu of what could go wrong. This became harder and harder as deadlines approached and things were not improving. I watched helplessly and tried not to spin out over and over, wrestling my mind back from the what if game every couple of hours. It was exhausting like negotiating with a two-year-old.  

I couldn’t concentrate on complicated or creative tasks,  but thankfully working out and doing mundane stuff like cooking held my attention and helped me shift my focus in fits and starts all day long. One of those mundane tasks was clearing out my tagged emails, tagged because there was good reference material in them, I might need to find easily. In one email I found a YouTube link to a Namib Desert live cam pointed at a small watering hole in Namibia between two game reserves. I clicked on it, turned on the sound and was transported to this wonderful faraway place watching all kinds of critters. Most times it was birds and listening to the wind but there were other times when bigger wildlife came for a drink. I would tune in 5-6 times a day for a couple of minutes. I saw an Oryx, a type of giant Antelope,  a water buffalo once, a porcupine family, warthogs rolling in mud, hyena pups jumping around and playing with a very patient mother, a lone ostrich with an impossibly bendy neck and jackals on a regular basis. Each time I watched critters chase birds, take a drink while watching for predators bigger than them or otherwise just going about their day I was transported to a place away from my worries. It was so calming. It was a wonder to me that they were across the world having a drink trying not to get eaten in the exact same moment I was sitting in my little house watching them. It made my worries melt as I marveled that the world is so much bigger and smaller at the same time. 

During the first few months of Covid where there was nothing but questions with no real answers, I found the Jelly Cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have many live cams but for me the Jelly Fish is the most beautiful and the sound track is lovely classical pieces creating a graceful watery dance of light and color with the jellies.  It was a go to watch during those first long uncertain days, weeks then months amid the chaos in the world;  a way to rest my busy brain. These scenes of life, not humans but rather animal and marine life in a foreign environment from mine is a balm for how small my life gets sometimes when I am hyper focused particularly in times of uncertainty. These wonderous creatures pull me out of the day to day of planning, worry, tasks, to just sit and wonder who will show up at the watering hole next.

I am lucky enough to live in a place that I can regularly watch deer, turkey and a flock of 20-30 Robins land in my yard and work their way around the house pulling on worms and popcorning around in the grass like it was their job. I take time to watch these nature scenes too stepping out of my head and into the world around me for a few minutes of quiet and calm. Though recently I pleaded with an ostrich to kick a pigeon in the face who was making a racket near the camera. Small steps, small steps here folks. When I go visit the Namib critters, I bring my tea or coffee and sit for five minutes, just watching their behavior, looking at the sky, listen to the song of the whistling wind and appreciating the day. This is a meditation of sorts that evolved over time without me ever paying attention to it until now, years later, realizing how it came to be and how much this stillness benefits me in stressful times, in good times it doesn’t matter. 

Years ago, in the 1980’s when I lived in NYC, I did the same thing but watched more people than critters since critters there are pigeons (rats with wings), some dogs, alley cats and once in a while a rat. Looking out my window in Chelsea I witnessed the life happening around me, not in the Bewitched Gladys Kravitz way, but rather a dance of others moving through their lives in day-to-day tasks. Watching taxies jockeying for position as they raced down 7th Avenue, pedestrians dart between cars, elderly women with they pull carts of shopping slowly traverse cracked pavement and globs of spit on the sidewalk. I would notice the smells of the pizza place two doors down mixed with the Chinese restaurant on the ground floor of our building. I would immerse myself for a few moments in just watching the world around me rush about which stopped the rushing about that was happening in my head. 

I didn’t know what I was doing then, it was a way to calm myself that I didn’t think about.  I just knew it to be soothing and helped me collect myself. Much later in life I learned about stopping my internal mind from ruminating by focusing it on external tasks or witnessing the world around me helping me to recalibrate my worries, overthinking and planning and just be in the present. Now watching the animals come into the watering hole, interact with each other and just be is yet another tool in my tool bag. Even when the pigeons showed up at the watering hole in a small flock, what the hell? Even watching those cooing clucking bastards helped me cope. In the end the stressful situation resolved itself with an amazingly good outcome for me, miraculously really. This helps me to remember that amazing things can come out of uncertainty too, and that both good and bad came help propel me down the road. I still stop in to the Namib Desert watering hole several times a day to hang out with the locals and see what’s going on. Because community, calm, and solutions are found most everywhere with a bit of creativity, curiosity, faith and a good internet connection. 

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to or

Posted in Change, choices, Faith, Fear, foundation of change, Gratitude, Health and Wellness, Learning, Manifestation, mind shifts, Stress, Stressed Out, Uncategorized, Vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Beginnings

What is a good beginning? It’s private, it’s slow, it’s a dawning of an idea, a change of mind, a different choice. It starts as an itch so slight as to think we have imagined this idea, impulse or shadow thought. Then it takes root, germinates, and slowly if not fussed with comes into a slight outwardly shift. It looks like eating one more piece of fruit or veg. It means you walk  the dog an extra block. You might smile at that nice neighbor when they look your way. They are small openings to something new, something good and something that makes you feel well, vulnerable and connected to yourself and to others. I would say those are good beginnings. Small delicate shafts of light that emanate from our soul outward. 

Bad beginnings come from dogma. They are public, dramatic, motivated outside of us in waves of shame, pressure, and a need to fit in. They bark at us, belittle who we are instead of nurture, they are rigid and petty. Bad beginnings are done to mold us into something, submitting us to external rules that make us smaller, quieter and foreign to ourselves. 

Flowers don’t look at each other as they start to bloom, nor leaves stealing glances at what the others are doing prior to unfolding. They are pushed by nature, internal systems that signal that it is time to unfold, time to bloom, time to push open into the world. This, when we do beginnings right, is how they truly work. True change comes when it is too painful not to make that change that intimidates us but are pushed to do; when the avoidance, the collateral in not doing the “thing” is greater than the risk of change; when the uncomfortableness of not changing is your internal signal, your intuition, your soul pushing you to bloom, to create, to become. 

Think about what small nudging in your soul you have been ignoring,  pushing down and away because it is scary, you don’t have time, you don’t know enough, are not enough and don’t feel ready… There is no such thing as comfortable change. We are NEVER ready. We just have to step out into that darkness and scratch that itch, follow that impulse, embrace that idea and lean into it with action. I rarely do this without boat loads of trepidation, but I do it, nonetheless. Nothing changes unless we do something different. Thinking and planning are all good but only for a short time if they are not followed up by an action, a small step or stumble. Thinking and planning past the time for action is just procrastinating, only it sounds better. 

The point of a good beginning is that like a flower or a leaf they open to the world in slow, steady actions of growth. For us it is the same: it is us opening ourselves up to the world and bringing forth our skills, creativity, heart, and quirk to be part of a community being wholly who we are not who we think we should be. Take that internal que to unfold into healthy living, into creative pursuits, to community organizing, to listening to your soul’s whispers like your life depends on it… because it does. Those whispers are where all good beginnings lay. 

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Being Open, Change, choices, curiosity, Faith, Fear, foundation of change, Health and Wellness, intent, Learning, Listening, Manifestation, mind shifts, Stress, Stressed Out, Vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Heroes and Homework

Nobody’s coming to save us, fix this or that, none of that is going to happen, it is wholly up to us. We are the heroes of our own lives. We are the ones making mistakes, maybe falling from grace… we are also the ones to rise from the ashes. I believe we come to earth to learn so our soul can have experiences of growth, heartbreak, deep connection, pain, envy… all of the potpourri of what life has to offer. This being said looking around for someone to fix things, to make our lives better, to love us, to see us, to validate us is a dicey bet. Because all of those things are an inside job, in our hearts and our minds, it starts first inside of us. That is what this trip here to earth is about: learning, loving and making a proper mess of things in the process of evolving. And if we are lucky, we will  figure some things out before we have to go. 

It is up to us to love ourselves, to see our worth, to find validation within. All of these things are an inside job, when we negotiate our worth with others, we give ourselves away. In doing this we might make others happy who want to mold us into their world, and we lose ourselves in the process, we betray ourselves. Being able to recognize when we have given our voice, our power away is essential.  Figuring out who we are, loving that weird little person we are is the start to freedom, confidence, peace. This process of becoming, of loving yourself as you are is also the start of our hero’s journey. This is our purpose here and it is our homework to evolve. 

This is not to say we do everything alone and live a solidary life. What I am saying is the work is ours to do, each of us, and we do it in community. You can’t play bumper cars alone…just saying. We have to race around and yes crash about with the other players to have the experience we signed up for. Hopefully while we are doing this there is also kindness, understanding, patience and love as we bumble and tumble through this life. 

The stressors in our lives are built by us and it is up to us to dismantle them. Holding a grudge because someone didn’t make the choice, we would have made is ludicrous. It is like playing a game with someone and not telling them they are playing or what the rules are and being mad at them for playing badly.  As an example, if we agree to do something we don’t want to do because we want to support someone, or we don’t want to make a fuss, or we want to think it’s not a big deal and then resent them because we have not voiced how we feel to start with when asked that is on us. Saying yes to things that you want to say no to builds resentment and then colors all the interactions you have with that person. It is poisoning that relationship.  

Being the Hero in your own life is about using your voice, even when you are scared. Doing the things that make you vulnerable in building connection. Not waiting for the other person to make a change when you hold to same key and are also standing still. We hold the power to control our days, our lives, and our choices which dictate our tomorrows. Nobody is as invested in us or can be there for us, more than us. Taking responsibility for our growth, happiness and pain and learning who we are, what makes us tick and honoring those things is the key. Bringing our talents into the world to heal, grow and love was our homework when we showed up to this little blue-green marble. This is what we signed up for, our mission, our purpose, our destiny on this trip to earth school. So, look inside yourself figure out what you want and need and get going. Don’t wait for the right time, the right circumstances, or when it is less scary, there is no such thing. All Heroes are scared, reckless, brave and mess up but they learn as they go. We only have today, right now nothing else is promised.  That is all we have: this one precious moment, what are you going to do with it?

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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Baby Corn and the Long Dark N

The conversation started with an update from my doctor about me over achieving my numbers on my cholesterol test and not in a good way. It seems no matter how little meat and dairy I eat, or how many beans and veg I eat, my numbers are bad. Bad in the way where meds are needed to head off outcomes nobody wants, most of all me.

My doctor had directed me to an online group of medical folks who support patients exploring and struggling to eat a plant-based diet. I am not a joiner, I aligned with Groucho Marx when he said that he didn’t want to be a member or any club that would have him. So, joining any enthusiastic movement where folks preach, shame or boast puts me right off. Plant-based and Vegan are different in lots of ways that I won’t bore you with here. I was looking at medical reasons, so the least amount of processed food was important which is why the doctor pointed me to plant based. Not that the sustainability, climate change and mistreatment of animals in not important but did I mention my undying love of cheese and that I am not a great person? I soldiered up and filled my script and attended an online weekly class to educate myself more about nutrient and plant-based diets. Yes, I am the woman who has said she didn’t want to live in a world without cheese but now I understand that the “live” part of that sentence is key.

The class was led by two medical professionals: a doctor and PA who were there to educate not preach which was helpful. They showed us data, where the data came from, and went over a string of questions folks had who were contemplating or struggling eating plant-based for medical reasons. I was dutifully taking my meds, which I loathe, and thought how much I love dairy; meat is fine I don’t eat a lot, but we are talking anything with a face so goodbye to seafood too if I took this turn. I had been toggling between milk and oat milk for coffee and tea already, but eating plant-based means no yogurt, no cheese, no Friday pizza, unless I can find a good substitute. I had a lot to think about as I am of the age where I would like to stay as healthy as I can as I rumble to the end of my days. Which I hope is decades away.

I decided to kick start plant-based eating in 2023 for six weeks without taking my meds to see if it netted me the same result. I am not a good forever person, as anyone can tell from my dating life. I am more of a catch and release type of girl. That being said I can commit for a solid six-weeks at a clip, and it turns out you can do most anything in life with just taking small, medium or in this case six-week bites. Those bites being leafy green and healthy.

I expressed this New Year experiment to my bestie Marsue, who I knew would mourn me, deeply in her forays into fine dining and Costco pizza. However, with a significant birthday coming her way, much to my surprise she voluntarily put herself in the line of fire to join me in this six-week experiment. Upon a good three minutes of uninterrupted thought, she scaled back her plan to a much better option that fit her needs but remains in solidarity. She’s a great friend not crazy. We would march into the long dark night of the soul, joined in withdrawal, discovery, perhaps even good health. Some might say what about those martini Fridays, or wine tastings? I would say, one thing at a time; I still want a good reason to get out of bed before I have to consider the mountain after this. Small steps my friends, small steps.

As our conversation progressed about her time in NY as a vegetarian in the 80’s she admitted to relying heavily on Thai tofu curry and blocks of cheese. We batted around recipe ideas. Ingredients were bandied about when baby corn surfaced. As it is apt to do in a pool of lovely red coconut curry sauce when done well.  I paused, “hey, were does baby corn come from? It really is corn, with a little baby cob inside but how is it made, grown, whatever…” I trailed off thinking with my martini brain buzzing. Marsue, without missing a beat, said it was made by elves or fairies. Now I know this to be wrong as fairies and elves have other skill sets and are quite busy. Fairies take care of teeth retrieval and compensation for said teeth, work in entertainment for Disney, children’s book authors, casting spells, granting wishes and mischief. Elves also have their tiny plates full with Santa and toy making, forestry, shoe making and again Disney and mischief. But there are a collective of Keebler elves doing good work.  Baking is huge in our country and based on the government and FDA making ketchup and pizza vegetables, white cane sugar a fruit and oxy and meth nonaddictive chewable gummies for all. 

Needless to say, the next day I looked up where baby corn came from and was still disappointed to find its lack of magical origin. It is simply little cobs of corn, harvested by hand [and not the hands of elves and fairies] as the second cob on a corn plant, removing it helps the plant to focus on the one big ear of corn. Ah mother nature knows some good shit. So, with a new appreciation for baby corn and a healthy but sad heart I will muddle along in my six weeks experiment next year to see what a plant-based diet will yield for me. Perhaps, better statistics, perhaps even more energy, a smaller waistline, a trail of friends and family who will not know how to feed me. The line of restaurant’s I currently frequent will have to dial back their orders from suppliers of cheese, eggs, and ice cream for God sakes… the carnage will be there but maybe it might not be me if all goes well. So, here’s to baby corn, and a long dark night of the soul while I still have my martini’s.

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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In Celebration of Old and New

As we get close to the year’s end, we see a parade of events consisting of the good, the bad and the ugly of the year as we close it out. We have anticipation of a new year and how we are going to change, get our life together and start new. Remember this, everywhere you go, there you are. We are still dragging our old self into the new year. The self that struggles with healthy eating, exercising consistently, seeing those around us as who they are instead of who we want them to be. What I am proposing is that we start now, loving ourselves and those around us for the state of disarray we currently all are in. Embrace the human frailty of what is in this moment true, real, uneven, and very much alive and loved. 

Remove the To Do List of life, settle into it and just enjoy the fuck out of each moment presented. I am not saying don’t try to learn new things, to improve, to extend yourself as those are part of growing and becoming. What I am saying is love where you are and who you are so change doesn’t feel like a punishment or a chore and more like an adventure, a project, an experiment of what ifs. The goal is not that I have to be better, thinner, kinder, more organized, more creative, more …. but rather the goal is that I have to be me. Me trying new stuff, pushing against old tapes and beliefs, and trying new ones on. Knowing it will be shaky as a ride down a cracked sidewalk without training wheels. Shaky like the first time the nurse handed you your first born and left the room. Shaky like every new situation, great or small you have ever been in and how it feels when you start. Remembering oh yes this is the shaky part, go slow, watch for the cracks and bumps, look for the cushy grassy knolls for when you feel like you are going to fall. 

Start this process by thinking about who you want to spend time with over the holiday season. What can you let go of that no longer matters? What is old expectation thrust on you by others or your inner dictator? How has your life changed and where can you walk away from pleasing others above nurturing yourself? Start small, make plans for simple play dates with loved ones. Identify one or two things you dread doing and see where the strings tie back to that which no longer serves. Problem solve your exit to dreaded events with a partner, therapist, or coach. Work out the steps on walking away from responsibilities that were never yours to shoulder or that their need for you to do so has expired. Stop trying to shoe horn the players into who you want them to be or to be who they were when you first met. 

As you get closer to the holiday look to add small things that invigorate and excite you and remove things you dread. Break rules, traditions and create new ones for this stage of your life. Let go of the dogma that rules and intimidates. I loved the traditions of my youth around the holidays but over the years I created new ways to celebrate that make sense to where I am in the moment and who I am with. We grow and change and so do our relationships, our needs, wants and responsibilities. Keep the traditions that you love, invite in others who enjoy them too. Don’t be the holiday bully who needs things to stay the same for the sake of tradition. Just try to add new things that sound like fun, that are easy, that place little time and effort to land you in the place of celebrating, not orchestrating. Let go, drink a little drink, eat a little nosh, take a little nap, and crumple up that To Do List in favor of purposeful play, creative adventures, lazy snuggly downtime with people who matter. Try just being you, who you are now not better, not jolly, just open to the possibility of joy.  Cheers!

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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Thanksgiving and Thanksgetting

This is the time of year we get together with family and friends and commune. Sometimes we give thanks for things and people in our lives, sometimes we eat too much and fall asleep on the sofa, and sometimes we do both. I am sure the name Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have received, so is Thanksgetting. How often during the other 364 days of the year do we do this? How often do we look around at the people and opportunities in our lives and feel thankful. Being thankful, having gratitude is a physical experience not a mental one. It happens in our chests, in our hearts like the Grinch only in reverse. 

Lots of times when I teach gratitude exercises people are focused on their thoughts, on actions of others or a good burger. I have them think of someone who they are truly grateful for and think about that person’s role in their lives, what is it they do that makes them grateful, how do they feel about them. Then and only then do I see an inhale of breath, hear a shaky voice when they start to speak about that person. That is when they feel their chest open up and have a physical experience instead of a psychological one.  This is when they are getting it, really feeling the wonder of gratitude. It is not hard to do, we know that that science says that writing a heart felt thank you to someone can have lasting effects of well-being for the author of that note for up to a month. Yes, a month. 

We will readily drink and eat things that propose well-being: teas, concoctions, exotic foods, tinctures, and/or med’s when we are told we will feel good for a period of time. Why then don’t we take on a practice of giving thanks, of being thankful for getting to experience being here and for the people in our lives? Again, research shows that being of service, helping another person, volunteering, even writing a thank you note has sustainable feelings of wellbeing for long periods of time. 

I am a practitioner of gratitude; I can look at the nature around me and be profoundly grateful for where I landed in Oregon. I can listen to friends and family and appreciate the humor; love and support I feel from them. Sometimes it happens via a meditation, a quiet cup of tea, a laugh over a martini. There is this welling up from deep that small bubble of joy, of gratitude for that moment. It reminds me that life is good, if only for this moment. I then tuck that memory away like a squirrel for tough long dark nights of the soul. 

I do write thank you notes for no reason, not as often as I like but I am working on it. There is a vulnerability there in telling someone how import they are, or calling out the acts of love, tenderness, help that support and supported you in chaotic times. My experience with being depressed, miserable in my life has given me a sense of wonder about people and things around me. Being witness to my father’s slow whittling away as he slid to his death and my younger sister’s short ferocious battle with leukemia sharpened my sense of how very fragile this life is and how grateful I am for the moments, good and bad. 

The bad moments, the painful things make me feel acutely alive, shitty, but alive. I get to be here now to live, to love and to screw up on a regular basis. I appreciate the scope of emotions and experiences in being human that comes through learning and being vulnerable. You can’t have a rollercoaster with only ups, there has to be downs in the ride or it’s not a ride at all. I get to watch people I love find themselves, struggle, and triumph, as I do the same, giving thanks for getting to be here, be here now and together through the good and the bad. I get to support, to grow, fight and take naps. Appreciating this wonderous, crazy fucking ride we are on and savoring all of it is why I am here. 

I implore you to stop, to pause once a day to soak it in. To reach out and say thank you in a heartfelt way to someone. Help a stranger, a struggler, or a stray because that is what community does. We get to show up for each other, to support, to share beginnings and endings of days and lives. Give Thanks for getting to do that, celebrate Thanksgetting every day. Now stop boggarting the pie and pass it this way because who doesn’t want to celebrate with pie?

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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When there is nothing in the tank

Sometimes there are no words. No ideas, nothing interesting pulling me this way or that. There is nothing in the tank but the practice of creating, the commitment to myself, to try and show up at the blank page on a regular basis. To try to make something, out of nothing. That is the thread of creativity: to make something new out of what you think, feel or have lying about and what’s lying about is mostly the junk in your head and heart. These are all the same practices I use to build a life and so do you. 

We show up in our family unit a blank page to them, but fully ourselves to us. They write on us to figure out who we are and how we fit into the family. We take some of those assigned traits on and other traits we rebel against and peel off in chunks over time. We do this same thing in every job we walk into. We know who we are, and present a resume, they see the blank slate of what does this really look like, and they again guess about who we are. We either allow those guesses to stand or show them in our acts and deeds who we really are. 

Our every action, what we do, shows those around us who we are, not what we say. In this we are always becoming. We are creating our lives from the inside out, taking our hearts desires, our inspirations and even our fears and putting them out into the world in our actions or inactions. 

Every morning is a new blank slate, a new day to be and act that is more in alignment with yourself or not, simple as that. Each act, word, deed moves us further away from ourselves or closer to who we are. Some days that blank slate is daunting because we are overwhelmed, tired, lost and it all feels too much. Those are days to be gentle with ourselves, as tender with our feelings and thin skin as we would be with a wounded bird. There are times we are warriors and push through fear and doubt with trust in ourselves and the universe.  Other times we just do it because we are stubborn. That would be me. If I make a promise to others and myself, I work hard at making my word and actions align. Sometimes it is that stubbornness that makes me show up and habit makes me stay. 

Sometimes I rest, I take a break and fill my tank with adventures, other times I do it with naps, with reading, with exploring places and ideas. I always come back, I always come back to the blank page, the frustration, the excitement of following one word with another like chasing down a purse snatcher in grimy, trash littered, uneven alleys to take back what is mine. Because it is in this nonsensical way that I string my words, my dreams, my habits, my life together. This creative life is mine to keep or let go, that is my choice. Being stubborn, I will chase that mother fucker down and get my shit back. 

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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What we leave behind

When I leave a job, a room and this lifetime I hope to have left every person and place better for me having been there. To do good things, to be thoughtful, to be funny, to be helpful and of course to enjoy the fuck out of my life and help others do the same is the goal while I’m still there.  Do I always do this, no but I set the intention and try every day. The goal being to produce that pebble in the pond causing a ripple of light, of play, of goodness however small. Small acts of kindness and grace travel the world in those ripples. 

Setting my intention based on my core values and living from the inside out is what helps sustain, guide and hold me up in times of struggle and enables me to live the way I do. Knowing who I am and how I want to be in the world helps inform my choices and by doing that I am happier with results. I am living my life as opposed to letting life happen to me and reacting to it. I am trying to put a pause in situations so I can respond rather than react. I am working with my intuition, my gut, and using those tools as a way that brings me to clarity.

I work hard at trying not to get sucked into the drama around me in the news. I watch, I listen and take that in and choose what I can do to move my locus of control, which is only me, then I move in a direction to be of service to myself and others. That is why I am here. I think it is important to get a clear understanding of why we are here. This concept has helped point me in a direction using my heart, gut, and Spidey senses to navigate and not get blown off course by the world’s spinning. If I can hold center in myself, I can stand at the eye of a storm, feel and see it all and not be lost in it. 

These are hard won skills. They take time to hon through practice, intent, humility and humor the key ingredients for learning and changing. You notice intelligence is not listed… our brain is not our sharpest tool in the kit, it is important to validate things, but curiosity is far better for problem solving and learning. Taking time with ourselves, journaling, noticing our choices without judgment and getting to know who we really are instead of who we were told we are or think we should be is the first huge step to living with intention. 

I highly recommend using a journal, taking up a loving kindness practice of mediation or yoga, walks in nature doing something that starts to put you in a quiet space with yourself not in relation to anyone else. Start to recognize that calm voice deep inside that points or suggests and tap into it. Pay attention to what it says, to what happens when you second guess yourself and ignore it. Just notice, you don’t have to do more than listen, watch and learn from yourself about yourself. Nobody has the manual to you but you. It is an inside job.

With some practice you get some clarity about who you are, what you are really like, and that what you feel is important. You learn to recognize what you need to do verses what you think you should do. Learning to shut out the noise of the world for periods of time, is key. Sometimes being without our significant others to get that alone time is important. If I am not clear on who I am, how can I be clear who I am with you?

Our autonomy and our gifts are what we bring to our community, our relationships and the world. Knowing our strengths and struggles help us be there for others in a genuine way. Not in the role of rescuer that undermines someone else’s power and says I know best, but rather in support, in empathy, in helping to hold space for their growth. Bringing our whole self into that room, that job, that relationship and that lifetime knowing who we are and how we can help, support, grow, cry and laugh together is the key. Knowing who we are and living with clear intent allows us to be flourish and create spaces for others to flourish as well. What will you leave behind?

To learn more about my Coaching practice and book a free sample session go to trueroadtraveler@com or send me a note at

To read more of my work or subscribe to this blog go to

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

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