Turkey

by Kristin Morrison on November 25, 2015

in Adventure,Aliveness,Letting Love In,Life as a Grand Adventure

turkey(Reposting in honor of the humble turkey and Thanksgiving. This post is originally from November 25, 2010.)  

Last November I was riding my bike down Fifth Street in San Rafael when I saw a turkey walking down the street.

Yes, a turkey.

He was on the sidewalk and so was I. I got off my bike so I could pass without scaring him.

As I passed, he began clucking at me. (Yes, turkeys cluck. I know that now.)

Then he began running toward me.

He came up close and looked up at me. Looked me deep in the eyes.

No joke.

He clucked.

He looked.

He clucked some more.

He was about a foot away and his head came to my knee.

It was like he knew me. (I’d never seen him before.)

To my untrained eyes he appeared to be a teenager turkey.

I said hello and then I began walking my bike away.

He clucked excitedly and ran after me.

He walked beside me. He became obviously distressed if I got too far ahead of him. The clucking would increase and he would pick up the pace so that we were walking side by side.

People in cars stopped and stared.

People across the street stopped and stared. Camera phones came out and I’m sure I appeared on many Marin county Facebook pages last November.

The turkey would stare intently at me with his little black eye on the side of his head.

He was truly LOOKING at me. He was present in a way few humans (including myself) are.

He wouldn’t let me out of his sight.

There was something oddly comforting about him.

Each time I would stop, he would stop. When I began walking, he would walk. It was the avian version of Simon Says.

I walked to a park to get him away from the speeding cars. He found a worm or something in the grass and promptly forgot about me.

I noticed that I felt more than a bit disappointed that food could get in the way of our connection.

I got on my bike slowly. I hoped he’d see me leaving and come running after me as he had all the way down Fifth Street.

But no.

He was busy looking for food.

I felt oddly alone as I rode my bike home.

:(

I told a few friends about the experience and I thought about the turkey from time to time, wondering how he was doing.

I wondered if he’d gotten hit by a car. That thought made me very sad.

So I tried not to think about it.

Last Tuesday I was riding my bike on the Fifth Street sidewalk and low and behold, there was a turkey on the sidewalk.

I got off my bike and sure enough: he came running up to me, making a slightly deeper clucking sound than I remembered from last year.

It was him!

Same turkey. I’m sure of it. Unless all turkeys like me this much.

He was a tall adult now and last year’s drab brown feathers shown iridescent.

He was so beautiful.

He clucked excitedly and followed me as I walked my bike down the street.

People stopped and stared.

“I’ve never seen anything like that! A wild turkey following a person,” one guy said. “He really likes you.”

“Yes, I met him last year,” I replied, as though I was talking about an old friend. “Perhaps I’m the turkey whisperer,” I mused.

“Perhaps you are,” the guy said in wonder.

He took a picture of us. I smiled. Turkey looked up at me with adoring eyes.

Other people lined up on the opposite sidewalk to stare at me and Turkey walking down the sidewalk. Cars stopped and iphones came out.

We are probably on Facebook again this November. Me and Turkey.

We walked beside a retirement home and a woman who worked there came out. “That turkey peers in the window at the residents sometimes. They love him. They become animated and alive when they see him.”

“Oh, that’s sweet.” I stared at Turkey and he stared back at me, clucking.

“There are a few wild turkeys here in San Rafael,” the woman continued. “One got hit by a car last year and we had a funeral for him. A lot of people came to the turkey funeral. Everyone who came was quite upset.”

“I’m so glad it wasn’t this guy,” I replied.

“Yes, he seems to really like you.”

We walked away, me and Turkey. We stopped at the red light and then when it turned green we walked through the crosswalk.

People stared and pointed, pointed and stared. I felt a little embarrassed. Like we were famous or something. Turkey looked intently at me as we crossed the street.

We reached a patch of grass and he began rooting around for worms or bugs or whatever it is that turkeys eat.

I kept going.

I looked over my shoulder at one point, hoping he’d run after me.

But he didn’t.  He was deeply focused on whatever was in the grass.

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Soulful Meandering

by Kristin Morrison on October 25, 2012

in Aliveness,Contentment,Gratitude,Life as a Grand Adventure

Deep breaths simply because I’m ALIVE

A meadow full of sunflowers

A shaggy horse leaning over a fence

Riding shaggy horse as fast as the wind

Exploring a new country

Bali

Diving Deep

The feeling of my heart + knowing all is well in my world

My 2-year old niece Hunter who melts my heart to putty

The secret trail + the smell of California dust

Riding bicycle without a helmet

Riding on the back of a motorbike in Bali without a helmet

Smiling for no reason

A big bowl of popcorn

Crackly fire in the fireplace

The symphony of rain on beamed-wood ceiling

The word staccato

Steam from the hot tub in winter, summer, spring, fall

Harmony in my world + in my relationships

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another sabbatical please. Thank you.

by Kristin Morrison on October 2, 2012

in Listening for Guidance,Rest,Travel

I’m ready for my second third sabbatical.

I think once-a-year L-O-N-G sabbaticals, just like traveling after high school, should be mandatory. At least 2 months off. No working. What do you think? Sounds good, doesn’t it? If you’ve ever done the sabbatical thing you know it takes about a month just to get used to a slower pace…

Today has been a blissfully slow workday (feels like first time in years months that it’s been slow). Because there is an unusual abundance of unstructured time today I’m finding myself day dreaming about being in Thailand, Mongolia, Bali.

Well, all of the above really.

I also have fantasies about being blindfolded (no, this isn’t that kind of blog) with a dart in my hand and a map on the wall in front of me and letting that dart throw pick my next destination.

But alas, no maps in this girl’s house (no darts either which is probably a good thing).

But I’m mapping out my next trip in my head.

More shall be revealed…

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

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A good idea

by Kristin Morrison on September 26, 2012

in Contentment,Gratitude,Letting Love In,Saying Yes

 

 

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I’m making some conscious and big changes to my life that aren’t fully in effect just yet but I’m anticipating that they will be within the next few months. I’m sure I’ll write about it when all is said and done but for now I’m keeping things hush-hush. Within these changes, I find myself alternating between being fearful (the kind of fear where I’m up until 3am, questioning myself and mulling over worst case senarios) and other times (such welcome relief!) feeling a sense of sureness that I’m facing in the right direction. The word for me this year is LIBERATION. Liberation from my fears and doubts. Liberation to live my most satisfying life and let go of what stands in the way of that. It’s about trusting my innermost self and telling the truth about what works and what (really) doesn’t work anymore.

 

At my New Year’s Party I said “I want to blow the roof off my life. I’m ready for my whole life to change.” And then when things, the old things, started breaking down and changing in my life, I felt pissed off, scared and confused. ‘Why is this happening? Why does it feel like suddenly everything is not working?’  I thought. Then I remembered: ‘Duh. This is what you asked for. In order for your whole life to change, lots of things have to change.‘ Oh yeah, I didn’t think about that part.

 

I had a dream a few weeks ago where my landlord had cut 7 trees. He hadn’t cut the whole tree but just the tops of the trees. I woke up relieved that he hadn’t touched my beloved trees. Today, after a weekend away, I pulled into my driveway and my landlord was in the middle of cutting the tree branches in my yard. A lot of them. Now the trees look quite naked and my house feels exposed, no longer tucked away from the branches. Nightime dream meets daytime reality. So strange.

 

Speaking of dreams, my dreams are ramping up in intensity, probably because of the imminent changes. Whew. Every night lately is a technicolor, Oscar-winning show. Every morning I can be found scribbling in my bed the remnants from the night before. I’m a part of two dream groups which are helping me speak the language of Dream.

 

Has my whole life been spent rushing? It feels that way. Rushing here. Rushing there. Rushing so I won’t be late. Rushing so I won’t be late to a massage (okay, now that’s crazy). I was talking to a friend about this a few days ago and he said he often feels that if he hurries now he’ll be able to relax later. But later never comes because he’s always rushing to relax. Sounds crazy right? I do it too. Time to slow waaaayyyyy down.

 

Saturday night I was at dinner in Monterey and the waiter said to us, “Are you finished enjoying that?”, pointing to my nearly-gone entree. I realize how often waiters say, “Are you done working on that?” It was such welcome relief to hear him say enjoy instead of work. I felt relaxed just hearing that new-to-me waiter term.

 

I have a friend, Sharon, who is my hero right now. She’s going through similar life-altering changes and yet her attitude is one of mostly calm. She gets freaked out sometimes (today was one of them) but she’s quickly able to establish equilibrium. She’s the willow tree, able to handle the winds of change and yet strong enough to stay rooted. I’m learning from her. Watching. Listening. Learning from Zen Master Willow Sharon.

 

Tonight I was feeling freaked out. I was not the willow that Sharon is. Sometimes when I’m freaked out I spend mindless time on the Internet to try and soothe my spirit. (It doesn’t always work.) Tonight it sort of worked though. Here’s what I did: I Googled ‘Burn victims get face transplant’ and I saw videos of women who made what I’m going through right now seem like a simple wipe of the kitchen counter. It may sound like a morbid way to spend an evening (okay, we can take the might out of that sentence) but it was very helpful to see and hear these women talk about how they managed to keep their optimism in spite of being completely disfigured.  Sometimes it takes seeing or hearing about someone much worse off than me to inspire me to stop the Inner Freakout.

 

As a kid I was super empathetic and empathic. It was a lot to handle and I had a lot of sadness witnessing the pain around me. It was almost unbearable, actually. Somewhere along the way I shut part of my heart to not feel it (as a super sensitive kid it was necessary to live with a half closed heart in order to make it to adulthood) but darn it, I have missed being blindsided by empathy. It’s coming back, this empathy and compassion. I find myself feeling the pulsing of tenderness in my more-opened heart and a rush of tears come to my eyes when I see a homeless person who is clearly in need or the woman in her electric wheelchair trying to navigate it across the street.

 

Life works a lot better when I don’t take things personally. Actually, I think if I could master the art of not taking things personally I would be the happiest person around (and probably so would those of you who know me personally). Every day I have opportunities to practice this. I am at the point in my practice of non-personal-taking where I find myself habitually take something personally. It may zing me (yow) and I react (even just in my mind) and then after I remember, “Oh, yeah, I’m not taking things personally. What would it be like -in this moment- to not take what just happened so personally?” It feels like LIBERATION is what it feels like. Amen!

 

 

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Creativity

by Kristin Morrison on May 24, 2012

in Creativity,Life as a Grand Adventure,Saying Yes

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been taking a loooong break from writing in this blog.

Work projects are taking front and center stage these days and my next book is due out next week. Woo!~

SixFigurePetBusinessCover-1

This is one of the reasons I haven’t been doing personal blogging…

My book copy should arrive tomorrow by US mail into my hot little hands. Yeah, baby!

🙂

It’s so exciting to bring something (this book) that’s been virtual for months (lots of editing emails back and forth with my editor) into tangible fruition (a book I can actually hold, see, and feel).

It makes the endless days and nights spent working on the book so very rewarding.

There is such a rich experience of creativity in my businesses and in my life these days. Ideas are coming to me and I’m receiving the help I need to implement these ideas into the world.

I’m having a great time and hope you are too!

🙂

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Whew!

What a month!

Most of January was spent gearing up to speak at the business conference in Las Vegas. The thought of public speaking brought up so much fear that I could barely sleep some nights in January.

Here was my biggest fear:  I would get up on stage and completely forget what I’d been hired to speak for an hour (goal setting and how to achieve goals).

To combat that fear, I practiced my talk/Power Point countless nights in my living room with my fireplace as the audience. While I was practicing my talk I would experience a mix of feelings: excitement, terror, frustration, exhaustion (January was also a very busy work month for me).

I’d never done a Power Point before (I had so many friends say ‘really???’ when I told them this).

Really.

Never done a power point presentation and I’d never before spoken to an audience the size that would be at the conference.

Also I’d never been paid to give a live talk (I’ve been paid by a few companies to do webinars and teleclasses. Those have been quite easy. I’m behind the phone and computer) but never a live talk with real people (lots of them) sitting in real chairs in front of me.

Yow. I felt a lot of pressure to do a good job. And I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself anyway.

So therefore I was experiencing double pressure.

So, all of this to say, January was not the most fun month I’ve ever had.

And what made it worse was that I kept thinking thoughts of , “This is going to go badly. I’m going to make a fool out of myself, I just know it.”

And yet, my talk (funny enough) was all about how the thoughts we think and the words we say create our reality. Good and bad.

Duh.

I know this.

And here I was speaking it every night to myself and to my fireplace as I was practicing.

A week before my talk I got it.

I realized that I had to change my thinking or my talk would go crappy.

I would bomb if I didn’t change my thinking.

So I began to imagine myself giving a great talk.

And having a great time at the conference.

My affirmation became, “My talk exceeds my wildest expectations. I feel touched, moved and inspired while I’m speaking. I have so much fun on stage!
The audience is deeply inspired by my talk. I have so much fun at the conference and I experience happy surprises as a result of speaking. The positive rewards of being at the conference exceed anything I can imagine.”

Here’s what actually happened:

I went to the conference and some of my coaching clients got very emotional and cried when they saw me.

I did too.

I’ve never met any of them in person, only on the phone, and it was incredible to get to hug them and look in their eyes and really connect with them.

Words can’t express how touching this was for me.

Here’s the thing: the past couple of months I’d been wondering if I should continue doing this coaching work (Am I really making a difference? Is my work helping people? So many people are suddenly popping up and doing coaching in my specialized niche. Maybe I shouldn’t be doing this anymore?!).

After meeting my coaching clients at the conference I really got that I am making a difference and have helped a lot of people. Hearing this from many of my coaching clients through the course of the weekend was the shot in the arm I needed to continue to passionately do what I’ve doing: helping business owners achieve success in their business and their life. I felt inspired to continue my work.

And the talk?

My talk went better than I could have ever anticipated.

I got on stage and was happily surprised that I felt so confident and self assured. It was incredible to experience those feelings after a couple of months of terror at the thought of public speaking.

After my talk I went to the ‘author table’ where I proceeded to sell every single book I brought to the conference.

I got to sign my books for the first time and hand them to real people (instead of simply seeing the sales numbers on Amazon and on my website). It was so fun to personally meet and connect with the people that would be reading my book!

I had hired a videographer to film my talk and he interviewed nine of my coaching clients who gave video testimonials of my work.

Seeing and hearing my coaching clients talking on the videos about how I’ve helped them has brought tears to my eyes. And the fact that they were willing to do video testimonials was touching also (it’s a lot to give a video testimonial–more pressure than simply writing one. And yet my coaching clients were willing to do that for me. I’m grateful).

I spoke at the conference in the morning and that night I went to a dinner reception with the conference attendees. While I was at the dinner, a couple of the board members for the organization that had hired me to speak asked if they could talk with me for a few moments.

I felt like I was in trouble.

I had no idea why I’d be in trouble but hearing those words ‘we’d like to speak with you for a few moments’ brought up that feeling.

I followed them to a room away from the reception hall. I felt like I was going to the principals office (obviously I have a lot of memories of this!)

When I sat down they looked at me and were quiet for a moment.

I felt even more nervous.

Then one of them spoke. “We have received so much positive feedback from the conference attendees about your talk today, Kristin. It was an incredible talk! We knew it would be. That’s why we’d hired you. So we’d like to book you for next year’s conference. We’d like to fly you to San Antonio, Texas, to speak at the 2013 conference.”

🙂

Here’s a short snippet of my talk on You Tube: Kristin speaking at the conference in Las Vegas.

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Life has been a bit of a (mostly good) whirlwind since I’ve been back from my 7-month sojourn.  6121478476_88140558f6_m

Blogging has been put on the back burner and will be for a few more weeks. I’ll be speaking at a conference in Las Vegas at the end of the month so I’ve been gearing up for that. My first paid public speaking event!

I’ll be speaking on goal setting and how to achieve business and life goals. A lot of my coaching clients will be at the business conference and it will be the first time I’ll see them face-to-face (all of my clients are via phone).

Just wanted to check in and say HELLO and wish you a very Happy Unleashed New Year!

2012 is going to be a good year. I can feel it.

Warmly,

Kristin

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Hi. It’s me. Kristin.

(Not quite as unleashed as I was a few months ago and feeling a bit younger than I have in awhile as you can see from the picture above.)

🙂

The past few weeks have been a slew of activity. So many small and large work details to take care of and feeling like not a lot of time to do them. Is it just me or is the pace of American life really, really fast?!

Let’s take a moment to breathe together, shall we?

breathe

breathe

breathe

Okay, that’s better…

The last few weeks have been filled with some challenges: having to fire/hire people. Uggh. And then odd and somewhat dramatic things happening in my work that I had to deal with quickly when really I felt like a deer in the headlights -my brain and spirit felt a bit paralyzed after months of not working…

Working intensely after not working at all for many months has been like…hmmm…what has it been like?

…like trying to run a marathon after being a coach potato for months.

(Not that I want you to feel sorry for me, mind you. I can hear your thoughts now “Poor Kristin, having to work after her 8-month sabbatical. Let me get my violin out.”)

It’s just that working again has been like going to boot camp, is all I’m trying to say.

🙂

And in the midst of all of the intense work-related stuff I’ve also been working on my second book and creating a logo/tagline/website for the new business I’m creating.

Thankfully those particular parts of my work are really creative and fun and fill me with aliveness.

When I was in Bali I started saying this affirmation a few times a day:

I experience happy surprises.

And I began to have really cool things happen. I found money (lots of it) on the street (a couple of times!) I ran into people that I really wanted to connect with. Strangers in restaurants invited me to try bites of their yummy dessert. Things that I needed were given to me (without my asking). Etc. Etc.

So after all the unhappy work surprises started happening I pulled out the old trusty Bali mantra, dusted it off and began saying it again.

And then: someone recently posted a positive video review about my book on You Tube which caused book sales to rise this weekend. I got asked to be a guest business blogger for a few websites which helps me develop my ‘platform’. The photographer who took my book cover photo last time offered to shoot my upcoming book cover photo for free if she can use the pictures for stock photos (you betcha!). My fisherman neighbor began bringing me fresh salmon, halibut and crab on a weekly (and sometimes twice-weekly) basis. I began having powerful dreams about beautiful houses which has prompted me to begin taking steps toward buying a house.

And in the midst of all these challenging and exciting things, finding moments of much-needed peace and serenity through: hikes in the woods, bike rides to the Good Earth for lunch and grocery shopping, Sunday night group meditations, and heartfelt connection with dear friends and my various communities. I feel like these things have held me through the work challenges of the past few weeks.

All in all, I’m grateful.

And, I have to say, really surprised at how happy I continue to feel about being back in Marin in spite of the recent work intensity and challenges.

That’s one of the happiest surprises of all.

🙂

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Here

by Kristin Morrison on September 21, 2011

in Bali,Being in the Unknown,Friendship,Gratitude,Life as a Grand Adventure

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I’ve been back from Bali for 1o days now and I keep checking my emotions and asking myself:

Am I really okay being here in America?

And the answer is:

YES. I am.
Which surprises me.

Last year when I returned I felt like I’d been plucked out of paradise and placed in the center of Highway 101 during rush-hour traffic.

It was a challenging adjustment.

This reentry, I am delighted to say,  feels like I’ve been plucked (carefully) out of paradise and placed on a human-sized, love-filled cotton ball.

This time it’s been such a gentle, easy and loving reentry.

I test out the italicized thought “Am I really okay being in America?” multiple times a day; the way someone who broke their leg a year ago might test out their now-healed leg: Can I really walk on this? Without pain? Is it really okay to walk?

My testing-out thoughts come in the form of: Is it really okay that life is much quieter here? Is it okay that a lot of my friends are really busy here? That self care costs a lot more? That there aren’t rice fields around?

Here: my neighborhood doesn’t have more people out on the street than in the houses, there aren’t a million social things to choose from in one day -at least not since I’ve been back. I’m getting some but not tons of daily text and phone messages the way I did from all of my Bali friends (who, just like me, weren’t working). Massages are $100 here instead of $8. We have hills and trees here instead of rice fields.

Is all of that really okay?

Yes.

It is okay that I’m here.

I walked on my beloved Gold Hill trail the day after I returned and I felt the odd -and wonderful- feeling of the California earth and air. The smells and sounds of nature were different than I’ve been used to in Bali. I could feel -and this sounds so odd- how very much of a California Girl I am. I could feel how at home I am as I hiked the dusty trail and smelled the rich California earth.

I could feel how right it is for me to be back in California. Where I was born and raised.

And today I could feel how right it is that I’m working again (today was my first day).

It’s all okay.

I have had brief twinges of longing for Bali. Slightly longer twinges of missing my Bali friends and all the fun activities going on there.

I could indulge in those sad thoughts.

Of longing. Of missing.

But I choose not to. Instead I focus on how grateful I am to have had the experience to travel for so long (7 months). And gratitude for all that I have here. My wonderful tribe of Bay Area friends. My brother and my nieces whom I adore (and who I had dinner with last week). The yummy social stuff here and my always-solid community of dear loved ones that nourish my soul.

Remembering all of these things helps get me present and to be grateful here. In this moment. In this American reality.

I started work today but not before experiencing some challenging feelings around returning to work after all this time.

What helped me get grounded and grateful was remembering how lucky I am to have a job to come back to. Lots of people travel to experience the freedom that I experienced but they don’t come back to stability like I am able to do. I’m fortunate to be able to have both.

Freedom and roots.

It’s a great combo.

Anyway, I started my first workday in many months today with a short meditation (very short, maybe a minute) and a long hike (very long, maybe over an hour) and then I got down to it.

Before I started working I remembered what Sarah had said last night when I told her I wanted to experience ease and flow in my first workday today.

“And how about experiencing fun too?” she suggested.

“What a great idea,” I replied.

So I decided to experience ease, flow and fun in my workday today and with that intention, I did: I got all three.

In spades.

It was a great day and yes, it feels good to be here.

In America.

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