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 trueroadtraveler@gmail.com

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Being Open, Change, choices, curiosity, Faith, Fear, foundation of change, Happiness, Health and Wellness, humor, Learning, Stress, Stressed Out | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 trueroadtraveler@gmail.com

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Being Open, Change, choices, curiosity, Enjoyment, Faith, Fear, foundation of change, Health and Wellness, humor, intent, Learning, life and death, Magic, mind shifts, Practical Magic, Vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 trueroadtraveler@gmail.com

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in candy, celebrate, Change, curiosity, Enjoyment, Faith, Fear, foundation of change, Fun, Giving Thanks, Gratitude, Happiness, Health and Wellness, holidays, humor, Learning, mind shifts, Stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 trueroadtraveler@gmail.com

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in celebrate, Change, choices, Enjoyment, fellowship | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 trueroadtraveler@gmail.com

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Change, Creativity, curiosity, foundation of change, Health and Wellness, intent, Learning, mind shifts, Stress, truth | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 trueroadtraveler@gmail.com

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Being Open, Change, curiosity, Enjoyment, Faith, Fear, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Don’t Care

I have lived alone for most of my adult life. I know how to buy and sell houses, find a plumber, locate the nearest ER, cook for myself, do almost everything for myself. I cannot however manage to get my clothes on right-side out.  At least twice a month I look down and notice, hours into my day, that my shirt is inside out. 

I work from home and frequently zoom but even on days I am out in the world. One memorable time I had just started a new job as a high school counselor. A few hours into the today I had my jacket off and was in a crowded hallway filled with lanky, stinky, loud adolescents and some over wrought faculty when I got a tap on my shoulder. A soft-spoken English teacher I knew slightly leaned over and whispered in my ear my shirt was on inside out. He looked positively stricken with embarrassment having to tell me. Or maybe he was embarrassed for me, I don’t know. Clearly, he hated to be the bearer of bad news in such a public place. He watched me with sympathy as his words sunk in. I reached over my shoulder to feel my tag at the back of my neck like a ticket for the hapless train I was aboard, and I burst out laughing. He was startled and I assured him it happened all the time and thanked him and shrugged it off in search of a bathroom to ameliorate my clothing debacle.

In my 30’s, at least one day a week while munching on my peanut butter toast and drinking coffee on the way to work, startling at a stop sign to remember to check my shirt’s orientation. When dressing and doing many things I am not always focused on the task at hand. That has led to some early embarrassment and later humor. I understand many people think that having your shirt inside out, a rogue chunk of hair darting off at a crazy angle, or a wrinkle or two on clothes and faces are embarrassing things and cringe at them. Those are not my people, not my tribe. I used to embarrass easily when I was younger but since I was embarrassing myself on a regular basis, like all things, I got better at it. Better at not caring when it was something silly to be embarrassed about, a mistake, a misstep and bumble, stumble and stomach rumble. I do love alliteration.

There is so much more I don’t care about as I get older because the things, I do care about matter so much more. I have less and less time on this planet and how I use it is the only thing that matters. 

The things that have slid way down the list of worries and embarrassment are things having to do with …My face, my soft body, wrinkles, weird clothes moments, bodily functions, wedgies, being wrong, mistakes, being understood, being right, being cool, being liked by people I don’t know or don’t care to know. The not caring list is exhaustive as it should be. This was not an overnight slide. Those who know me, know that when I was younger, I was hyper vigilant with a plan A, B, C, D and scripts for them all so I would not face embarrassment, look stupid or silly. The more I accepted my human frailty of being a goof ball the more head space I opened up for more important things. 

I teach my students not to do anything they wouldn’t want their grandmother to know about or they wouldn’t want on a billboard in their hometown. That focus helps identify choices that might cause embarrassment. Everything else is just being human and living in avoidance of being embarrassed is NOT living. It is a recreation of a life for daytime TV on public access stations. Meaning that it is a facsimile of life, a faded paper copy, it is a waste of time, energy, worry, anxiety etc. Letting go of what others are thinking, of worrying about being embarrassed is a brick-by-brick dismantling of what media might be telling us. So, it means we must put down our phones sometimes and have good, real conversations with the people who matter. Then go out into the world and do cool, fun, worthwhile things. Don’t look over your shoulder in real life or digitally to see who is following you just do it and then go do something else. The freedom this brings you is intoxicating, I promise! The stories that cause embarrassment for most people are just funny stories, they are lovely human bits of humor, humility, joy and chagrin all wrapped up together. The people who love me, love me because of who I am not despite of who I am. I am betting the same is true for you…

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

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in celebrate, Change, choices, Enjoyment, Fear, foundation of change, Health and Wellness, humor, Joy, Learning, mind shifts | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What do you see?

Years ago, when my nieces were small maybe seven and ten, and phones were landlines, they and my sister and I went on an adventure. My idea was to go to the Catskill Game Farm, a smallish rural petting zoo back then. This zoo consisted of mostly benign animals including 17 kinds of deer and lamas, alpacas which you would feed little stinky nuggets from your hand. The girls had been there before but my twist this time was each of us were going to have a disposable camera for this tour and shoot the roll throughout the day. I would develop the film and we would have a viewing party for us. I thought it would make the trip more engaging for us all.  I thought it would be fun and a better distraction than just feeding fat deer, I didn’t think much more about it.

After I had the rolls developed and we all piled on the squishy green sofa in their living room we went through each roll one by one with the photographer adding some bits of insight and inviting comments. It was hilarious and eye opening. The pictures had a good bit of subject overlap, deer, deer, deer eye, deer poop, lama, lama, lama, turkey, unidentifiable poop. That being said, how we saw them and shot them was so vastly different. That did not include skill, we are talking point and shoot here. It was all perspective, perception and poop.  Yes, I was the only one who took a picture of a smashed Budweiser can jammed in a fork in a spindly tree, but I am an artist who likes to drink, what can I say. 

I knew people saw life differently and witnesses are notoriously bad at recounting what happened, which made this that much more fascinating. I thought it would be a lark, but it turned out to reveal more about the people I loved, why they liked what they liked, what they thought was beautiful, funny, gross and how they expressed those things visually. It brought home in the most solid way possible that the only way I might really understand what someone is seeing, thinking, knowing, is to ask them. Even if we are in the same room watching the same thing play out. Our collective experiences, beliefs, preferences, knowledge, prejudices, aesthetic, shape everything no matter how old we are. 

So, without asking, I don’t know what someone is thinking, or knows, or feels. Unless they ask for what they want or need, again, I don’t know and neither does anyone else. We need to ask each other what is going on and not make up stories in our head about what they meant when they said they were “tired.” None of this shit about I should know, or they should know what I am thinking. NOBODY knows what we are thinking or feeling without us having the courage to speak it, to tell them. We are not living in a world of mind readers and if we were… listening to our laundry list of mental gymnastics and bullshit is not interesting to anyone except those who know us and care for us and then only minimally.  

It is our birthright to feel our emotions, it is our responsibility to feel them, process them, talk about them if we want but we cannot blame someone else for our reaction . Most especially if our reaction is a trigger that has far more to do with us than them. On a side note, If our reaction is bigger than the event, it is tied to our past not what just happened. We are human, we emote. Emotions are important guides for us to understand what the hell is going on under the surface, they portend our actions, and are excellent ways to decode the mystery of us. What we feel and think are important, and it is up to us to communicate when we want people to understand something. 

We all are in the same world, with very different knowledge and experiences all of which shape how we move through it. Asking about someone’s view and how they came to it is a tool of curiosity, of being interested in their intent. Listening to understand and not just respond is the first step here. Just listen, ask questions, and think about it. Don’t compare experiences, don’t bogart the moment just try to listen. This is also very different than jumping to conclusions, dismissing someone who has a different opinion because of a story we made up about them. 

Listening to my nieces talk about their pictures, the experience of capturing what they were seeing and why they chose it was a lovely window into who they are. I highly recommend asking someone what they think, feel or understand from what they are experiencing even if you are in the same room, town, state and country. Being able to do this is difficult but it is the only way to create better relationships, connections, communities and real belonging. 

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

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Being Open, Change, curiosity, Enjoyment, foundation of change, humor, Learning, Listening, mind shifts, Play, Summmer | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment


There are important skills and practices we learn as children that are incredibly valuable. Some of those skills we continue to use into adulthood and some that should follow us, don’t. Practices like looking both ways before we cross the street, sharing, taking turns and blaming the dog or grandma when you fart, have traveled with us to adulthood. The practice of the Do Over we learned and enjoyed unfortunately has not.

For those who never learned or have forgotten – a Do Over is a chance to do something again because you messed up the first time you did it. Most importantly, there was no recrimination, stigma, loosing face, feeling awkward… essentially include all the words that make us feel shitty here. A Do Over was just part of being a kid, no big deal. We all took advantage of a Do Over. How perfectly sane is that?

When and how did we lose this lovely practice as we came into adulthood? Do Overs allow us to omit the sense of failure when we are not our best, when we are learning, when we are struggling. It invites in grace and humility and normalizes what learning and messing up really are. I make a mistake, I learned something from it, and I try again… no harm, no foul. 

Do Overs allow for stigma free learning, creating, inventing, being brave for trying new experiences. We need the grace that a Do Over delivers us when we are vulnerable. It affords us time, space, and community support to grow. This would normalize what we know to be a natural learning curve and allow us to embrace that journey without hiding, feeling stupid and denial. How different would schools, workplaces and our homes be if we brought back Do Overs?

How wonderful would it be if in a meeting, on a project, in the classroom, at the dinner table we could all call a Do Over, take a moment, a breath, invite in grace and take another whack at it? Sign me up!

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

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Being Open, Change, choices, curiosity, foundation of change, Health and Wellness, intent, Learning, Uncategorized, Vulnerability | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I never always…

Two words that raise a red flag for me are Always and Never. They alert me that the speaker, even when it is myself, is about to tell a story. That story is a construct, a myth that we have built to support something that is not true. It is something we may use as lore, a basis for decisions and support who we want to be as opposed to who we really are… regardless it is not true. 

Let me explain. Rarely if ever does something organically always or never happen to us without our influence. If I were to flip a coin it roughly comes out 50/50, I say roughly because every study has outliers where things go awry. When something always or never happens to us we are the common denominator. Let me say that again because it is important, we are the reason for our Always and Nevers. We have architected something to always or never happen to reinforce a belief we hold, a story we tell ourselves that is false.

Our choices and behaviors feed that Always and Never monster, but we have control of those choices. If these choices and behaviors are something we are not happy with, we need to look underneath the surface at our beliefs about ourselves, others and our past, especially our family of origin. What myths and stories were told to us about who we were in our childhood that might not be true, or we have outgrown?  What outdated works-self story have we told ourselves that is no longer true? What projection of others have we believed that there is no evidence for or that was manufactured to manipulate us? 

By tuning our ears to hearing the Never and Always leads us to question what really is going on, what is true and real. Listening for these red flags allows us to peer into the windows of ourselves and others. It can give us some idea of what is causing friction and discomfort in ourselves in that who we think we are or shouldbe is misaligned with our true self. It is that misalignment that causes us pain, depression, anxiety and to question our worth. 

As a side note, when we hear the word should it is also a red flag that our or someone else’s motivation is about external influences not internal. The should’s in our lives are about making decisions for others not ourselves. It indicates that this is something I think I need to do for others in societies terms of conformity which runs contrary to who we are and what we want. 

Years ago, someone I knew said all their previous partners “were always difficult or crazy”. I looked at them and laughed, shaking my head. Then I asked, “what was the common denominator?” They were stunned, like I had hit them in the head with a 2×4. They had not even seen their hand in the pattern they had created, over and over for years. Perhaps it was easier to lie to themselves and not look at the hard stuff, choosing to believe it was bad luck, or an entire sex was unbalanced. Talk about crazy…

There is no denying our hand in architecting our results when things Always and Never happen to us. The good part of this realization is we are able to start listening for these red flags and recognize that we are orchestrating something we may not want. We may begin to see we are perpetuating an old wound, an outdated belief, or we are avoiding something scary like an opportunity. Adjusting our behavior can give us a more desired outcome and support healthy change, learning, and growth…all of that is scary stuff. 

Making conscious choices gives us a life that feeds us, helps us to grow and bloom focused on intent and our passions. To use reasoning, instead of myth to open up our world helps us

to create more honest relationships with ourselves and others. Therefore, building deeper and more satisfying relationships and connections with the world around us. Watching out for our Never and Always, helps to point us in the right direction. It is like having a little decoder ring for ourselves to solve the wonder and mystery of us.

Cheers- Kyra

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

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

Follow me on Instagram @kbfreeburg

Posted in Change, choices, foundation of change, Happiness, Health and Wellness, intent, Learning, Listening, mind shifts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment