Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Winter Struggles


As someone who's used to just throwing on flip-flops and leaving the house, 
I'm struggling right now.

Growing up in South Dakota,
we were ready for this nonsense by October,
so we had our routines down.

We'd take out our winter coats and boots for the year,
and then wait patiently for, uh, May.

But it's been a minute since I've lived there.

And now it's supposed to be 50 degrees again later this week.

- C McG

PS. As promised, I also started recording/posting Your Classy Companion commentaries, so you can find me on Soundcloud, or just visit my new page here

If you have a favorite podcast app, you can see if you can search by RSS feed, and use this: http://feeds.soundcloud.com/users/soundcloud:users:359196923/sounds.rss

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Project - Your Classy Companion

Hi, everyone! I just wanted to let you know that very soon-ish, probably, you'll be able to listen to audio companions to a bunch of my blog posts!

I've recorded a little preview this week, and I hope to have more recordings for you this month.

I'm revisiting stories and musings and topics I've discussed on the blog in the past, and adding links to 'audiobook' versions of those posts, along with any added discussions ('commentary' I guess!).

Sometimes I'll have friends with me when I record; sometimes I might just be reading things I've written. I hope it'll be something you'll connect with, and I hope I'm able to help you in some way (even if it's just laughing at me for a few minutes).




Whatever your preferred way of connecting with me is, I'm so glad you're here with me in the world!

- C McG

Monday, January 1, 2018

Don't Forget Yourself



Morning Greetings for 2018, hello.

I'm not exactly sure what will be different this time

or what even was supposed to be different last time.

We just long for something to be different.

--

My friend Sandy was telling us a story during our Winter Solstice gathering the other week. It was about a dog who was visiting their office. This dog, when left alone for mere minutes, managed to go poop in every corner it could find.

My wine-self was really inspired by that.

Today I can't exactly remember why,

but I am feeling such fondness toward
commanding the spaces you are in,
bringing your A-game,
being unapologetically you.

--

I have to deem 2018 my "shit or get off the pot" year.

It's terribly exhausting to have conversations over and over again

that start out with, "I need to do that; it's been on my list forever."

What kinds of fucking lists do we have that we never get around to them?
What's keeping us from moving on with life?


--

Something you'll probably hear me talk about more this year

is the idea of Perfection Paralysis,
that thing where you wait to do a thing until all conditions are absolutely perfect.

Our best intentions are crushed

by lingering insecurities.

We find the biggest excuses

in the tiniest road bumps.

The other thing you'll hear me talk about is

this entirely novel concept of just
being yourself.

Our best intentions can ALSO be crushed
by this lingering glimmer of hope
that we can be things we're actually not,
deep down.

We ALSO find the biggest excuses
to abandon the stuff that will make us truly happy
when we try to be on someone else's road.

--

I think this month, I will write out The List, 

and start deciding if the items need to stay
or if it's time to cross them off.

"Finished caring about that" 

is a perfectly acceptable way
to complete a to-do list item
on The List.

And then, hopefully

I can half-ass something 
until I decide I know what I'm doing.

--

Grace, one of the yoga instructors in KC, closes her practice
with the saying (that I'm totally paraphrasing) 
(that may be a quote from something, too, I'm not sure),
"In order for something to become easy,
you must first allow it to be difficult."

FINE.


- C McG

PS. I'm totally drinking Gretchen Rubin's Four Tendencies habit-changing/building Kool-Aid, so if you ALSO want to drink this beverage, go find her books. She's quite lovely. A lot of her words will probably start leaking into my words. Uh, moreso than they already do, anyway. Haha. She is really good at putting words and actual research into the feelings I'm feeling, so whew.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Love is ALWAYS in Fashion 2017 Round-Up and 2018 Hat Announcement!

Hello, friends! As 2017 comes to a close, I just wanted to say THANK YOU for your presence and kind words and support this year and every year. I'm so very grateful for you. 

I've just completed my 6th annual Love is ALWAYS in Fashion hat fundraising, where I'm passing $5 from each hat sale onto an organization of my choice. This year I had 3 partners because the world is falling apart and I couldn't pick just one. I also asked for cash donations and did other types of fundraising to support agencies this year.

I'll be donating:
reStart, Inc - $250! (includes $50 from a special fundraiser during KIFF). I also separately raised $260 through a Facebook fundraiser for my birthday! Thanks to all who donated to that!
Let America Vote - $100
Southern Poverty Law Center - $100

Next...


I'm winding down my hat-making. My life has changed a LOT in the past 6 years, and I have other projects I want to do for 2018.

That being said, I'm still selling hats through February (because it's freaking cold, you guys). 

So! Through February 2018, I'm shifting gears and fundraising for Midwest Innocence Project; an organization that gives legal support to the wrongfully convicted. From their website
The Midwest Innocence Project (MIP) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation, and exoneration of wrongfully convicted men and women in our five-state region. Recent studies conservatively estimate that between 2% and 5% of all inmates in America are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted, with some estimates reaching up to 7%. This means that somewhere between 2,000 and 7,000 moms, dads, sons, and daughters in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, and Arkansas are locked behind bars this very moment for crimes they did not commit.
I've partnered with America's Improv Test Kitchen, and they will be hosting me for 2 more events! Saturday, January 27 and February 10, 7:00 at the Buffalo Room in the back of Westport Flea Market. I'll be there at 6:00 selling before and after the show, and audience members have a chance to win a FREE hat each show!


Special thanks to AITK for hosting me in Nov and December. I did almost half of my hat sales for the year at those 2 shows!

As always, you can make an appointment to shop the hat bin! Message me on Facebook or Instagram!

Here's to an even MORE Classy 2018!


Love,
C McG

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

My Sankalpa

Hello! I've started my #doyogawithmedecember Instagram project, and it seems like a great time to finally write a post about my first yoga retreat experience...that happened back in June.

The fact that I've delayed writing this long is pretty much exactly proving my own point of this. You'll see.


First of all, we went on a weekend retreat with Amie Rader. She's a phenomenal yogi, yoga teacher, artist, and all around lovely human here in KC.

During one of the sessions, we learned about creating/choosing Sankalpas. I want to try to Classy-fy the word, but I'll probably fail, so here's a reference link and link and link, too. Essentially, it's a statement that's the foundation of yourself, your deepest desires, your call to be your truest self.

To get to such a statement, we were asked to contemplate a couple of things, and I'll write some ramblings here, too, that I didn't quite have time to write during the session (but the intention reached far enough through me that I still remember them).


When you release tensions and anxiety and the expectations of others - what do you most deeply desire? I answered "laughter, stories, a big pizza and sweatpants." Man, the question sounds like, "When there are no obligations, what are you up to?" I have a personality type that thrives in helping others solve problems. It rarely leaves time to be quiet and figure out what else I could even want for myself.

How do you allow these deep desires to guide your choices in your day to day life? I don't really; I feel guilt and shame if I indulge in any of those things when I don't feel like I deserve it yet. It's a small joy to keep everything light-hearted as we're moving from crisis to crisis, but I've hit a point where I'm recognizing that I cannot shift to any sort of self-care when I feel like there are things I can help fix/resolve with other people/the freaking world sometimes. I usually even work out in the middle of the night just so I know everyone's asleep and nothing new will come up for the day while I'm busy.

To that end, I've set my sankalpa as

Let it be broken.


It's amazing how much people can handle their own shit without my intervention. I don't need to fix everyone and everything. The world will turn and I will remember to find reasons to laugh and make others laugh and not feel guilty about pizza and sweatpants when I need them. I don't have to be "ON" all the time. I can take breaks; I can write these stories. I can recharge.

And it took me six months to write this because I was waiting for a perfect moment when I had all the perfect words, and that's...just not a thing, ha.

But here I am.

-C McG

Friday, November 24, 2017

Holidays and Gentle Reminders

I'm not really into holidays, but I do sure get quite a break from regular life when holidays are declared and our offices close and people take vacations.

So I get to spend a lot of time immersed in thoughts;
just catching up with myself.

Usually by this time of year, I've felt the weight of my over-commitments
and my attitude of waiting to rest until everyone else is taken care of.

This year has been a practice of finding more of those holidays,
those restful times.
In hopes that my year-end isn't one giant melt down where I resolve to be different next year.
We can always find time to rest; we can always start our resolutions now.

--

I've been practicing yoga on and off for about 10 years now.
In the past few years, it's been more on than off
which is a good thing for me.

I think what keeps bringing me back
is yoga is a very self-centered practice.

It's the few moments in my week that I slow down and notice what my body does for me,
what I am able to do for myself.
To thank myself for always showing up.

In that spirit, I want you to say these words to yourself,
to remind yourself
as often as you need it.

--

I am so grateful for you.

I'm grateful you always show up
even when it's difficult to do.

I'm grateful you allow yourself to cry
even when it's embarrassing to do.

I'm grateful that you care
even when it's easier not to.

I'm grateful for your place in this world
even when it's not always easy to see.

I'm grateful for the times you choose to rest
even when it feels selfish.

I'm grateful for your connection to others
even when it's easier to work alone.

Everything you are doing
is something that needs to be done.

Until it's not anymore,
and I'm grateful you recognize when that time comes
even if it's the difficult decision to make.

Hold your loved ones close,
hold yourself even closer.

If you could see in you
half of what your loved one see in you,
you probably wouldn't need these words.

But here they are,
just in case you need them.

-C McG

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Journal-Solving

Have you ever sat and just researched for inspiration online and were just annoyed with everything you found? It may be why I mostly avoid Pinterest these days.

I struggle with the parts of my brain that want things to be cute and creatively put together, and the other parts that strive to complete every task with utilitarian flair (none, just get it done).

Journaling has always been a necessary evil for me. It takes a lot of time to do, but I feel really great when I'm writing/drawing out thoughts and plans and stories. It's also a tremendous act of self-care, which is hard to commit to until the wee hours of the night/morning when you know everyone else is busy/sleeping/OK.

Last year, I remember hearing of Bullet Journaling, and I was optimistic that it took all the many moving parts of our lives and compartmentalized them into daily/weekly/monthly checks and columns and rows and colors. It's called a "Bullet" Journal because you journal in bullet points, rather than long-form writing. In hindsight, my little paper Weight Watchers journal I carried for years was exactly that; just tailored specifically to lists and checks about food and activity.

What I don't exactly love about Bullet Journals is that it's TOO cutesy for me; I think part of the charm is having to use a lot of creativity to get it inked out and ready for your daily updates. I had flashbacks to playing WWF on N64 in high school and remembering how we would spend HOURS creating our characters before the game part even started. And I rarely wanted to actually play the game at that point.

Ultimately, though, with any new habit undertaking, we want to ask what the problem is we're trying to solve. All the fancy flowers and rows and color-coding won't really do anything if you don't know why you're doing it.

At present, I have a pretty good system in place already for tracking calendar items and to-do lists, but I'm really lacking the motivation to just talk to myself about how I'm FEELING about everything I'm doing. I try diets for dieting's sake, but I don't know why, I don't know my goal. I say I'll go the gym, but I have no idea what I'm trying to fix by doing that. Without a way to measure if things are actually working or not, it's easy to just spin our wheels and give up.


Anyway, yesterday I started a blank journal that just broke out the main things I wanted to talk to myself about, and I added a few check-boxes so I could have some sense of resolution on a few important points, too.


I got really tired of journaling specifics and calorie counts and scale numbers and measurements. Right now my goal is to..."feel better?" I don't know for sure yet. I'm hoping this map of what wellness things I should be watching will ultimately show me something about myself. On the back of each page, I left a whole page free for notes/doodles/tasks anything that came up during the day to deal with. All the pages are penciled in at the moment to give me the freedom to change things up as I go along. When the day is over, I commit the page to a cute marker color of my choosing and pen my summary of the day and how I'm feeling about my choices and activities for the day. 


I can already tell I'll need to add some home care items, too, because I know when my home is out of control, I am too.

It's a start. "Avoiding mindless snacking" is one of my big life goals at any given point in time, so just writing this blog post, and adding a new template page to my notebook are little things that are helping pass the time at least.


-C McG