Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Allowing "strangers" to stay in my home. Brave? Yes and no.

     I am an Airbnb host ( I love it. Some folks are repulsed at the idea of strangers staying in their home, focusing on potential problems. To them, I may seem brave. To me, I'm just doing something I love which supports my belief that people are fundamentally good.
     Airbnb invited us recently to write about our experience with Airbnb for a Federal Trade Commission workshop on the sharing economy. Here's what I wrote:
Airbnb has been of enormous benefit to my family since I began hosting in September, 2013. We are “empty-nesters” and have very comfortable, welcoming space for guests. The money earned in a year from Airbnb guests is proving to be sufficient to cover our homeowners insurance and real estate taxes. We are headed toward retirement and are very much looking to Airbnb as a supplement to our income.
     My favorite thing about Airbnb is meeting folks with whom I would not otherwise have ever come in contact. To date, I have hosted 27 sets of guests (individual or couples) and it has been a delight to meet every one. I have met folks of all ages and from all over the world.
     I truly appreciate and marvel at the system that Airbnb has created to make this all work so well. I’m especially grateful for the attitude of “it’s my home, I set the rules, availability, price, etc.” Airbnb personnel have been consistently responsive to my requests for help and information. The system provides the security I need to feel comfortable having folks stay in my home. The review system between hosts and guests is very much self-regulating. Airbnb is based on the philosophy that people are fundamentally good, and that matches my life view nicely.
     As a traveler, I love Airbnb. I have stayed with two hosts and have already made another reservation for this summer. Staying with Airbnb hosts has been comfortable, economical and fun. Hosts provide knowledge of the local area that is extremely valuable to travelers. The variety of options available in lodging via Airbnb is outstanding.
     On a practical note, guests typically support our local Wichita restaurants, and if staying multiple days, support local attractions, rental car companies, etc. Airbnb is a win-win for all!

     I'm excited for our future as humans with examples of creativity, innovation and a win-win mentality such as Airbnb and Uber. Bold ideas put forth benefiting so many, now that's brave!

Monday, May 18, 2015

No Confirmation

     This writing comes from Mark Nepo:
"I have a young friend who speaks of the time when he reads stories with his daughter as a time that needs no confirmation. There is wisdom in his phrase: a time that needs no confirmation. ... where nothing need be approved or accepted, where no rejection or criticism need be overcome. The experience itself is all the authority we need."
     I, too, felt that way about reading to my young sons.
     I feel that our society places such extreme emphasis on being perfect that we are constantly feeling the need to justify our existence and our actions. This mentality takes courage to resist.
     One example of "no confirmation" for me was attending yesterday's Royals-Yankees game in Kansas City. I LOVE baseball, and I had an easy opportunity to go, so I went. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. "The experience itself is all the authority we need."
     What are some of your "no confirmation" experiences? These feed our souls, and they are important to identify and enjoy regularly!


Friday, May 15, 2015

I can't do yoga, I have no balance

     As a yoga teacher, the title phrase makes me crazy when I hear someone say it. Improving balance is one of the reasons one practices yoga! I have NEVER seen a human that can hang out for hours like a pink flamingo can!
     I recently had a request for comment from a yoga practitioner who is frustrated with what she considers slow progress in improving her balance. This is my response:
People generally expect way too much of themselves regarding balance. It is extremely variable day to day. This is related to two things: 1. Gravity. It's relentless :) Even with the smiley face, I'm quite serious. There is ALWAYS a force pulling us down. 2. Balancing (in the many ways we may be called upon to do it) is not a natural act, and therefore, we're not balancing all the time. We maybe practice it a few minutes a few times a week. If we did it for hours a day, we could do the pink flamingo thing. Telling yourself, "I can't balance" will just get you more of "I can't balance." What you focus on expands. There is great value in using the mantra: "My balance is improving" when you are practicing balance. Your body listens, and will take that positive intent and make it happen. I often say to my classes that it's a good thing I don't have to have perfect balance to teach yoga! Some days I'm sturdy, some days not. That's why it's called a practice.
 Balance is just another of the many places we "beat up" on ourselves, and it's a great place to stop that practice. After all, our natural, organic state on all levels IS balanced.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day--some brave words

     Mother's Day is a gooey, heart-warming holiday where all mothers are appropriately honored.
     I shall be brave here and say that's not always the case.
     Mother's Day is challenging for me. My mother transitioned many years ago, in 1979, when I was just shy of age 24. When Mother's Day arrives, it seems that everyone else on the planet has a living mom except me. I know that's not true, but that's how it feels.
     I've put a lot of pressure on myself to "love" Mother's Day, but truth be told, I'm glad when it's over. I'm not sure if I'll hear from either son, so that's makes the day dicey right there. Usually I do, but they work most Sundays, so if I do hear from them, it's much later in the day.
     The past few years I've held my focus on how incredibly grateful I am to BE a mother, and that's helped me through the day with much more ease. With this focus, it doesn't matter what Mother's Day stuff happens around me or for me. It has been an honor, a privilege, and quite an adventure being a mom!
     Grateful for life and love,

Friday, May 8, 2015

"Make my day" or Don't Take Your Clothes Dryer for Granted

     I visited our two sons in Fort Collins, Colorado, last weekend. They have a lovely home that they rent with a friend. It is comfortably complete except for a working clothes dryer. They have been washing their clothes at home, then taking them to the laundromat to dry. Not so much fun.
     They were working while I was there, so I decided to investigate used dryers. LSS, I found them one, purchased it, and gave them the paperwork with instructions that it had to be picked up within a week. (Actually, it was two weeks, but I'm a mom, I know better!) Yesterday I received a text photo showing the old non-working dryer gone and the new one in place.
     This afternoon my younger son called to say that it works great,and they are so appreciative, that it makes life so much easier not having to go to the laundromat. "Thank you so much, Mom!" The call made my day, as I was anxious to hear this good news. He also said, "You don't realize the stuff you take for granted until you don't have one."
     So what are you taking for granted that your life would be so much more difficult without? Worth considering... car, washer, dryer, spouse, toilet, shower, computer, the list is endless.
      Enjoying a full, blessed life,