Me stuff

Feeling comfortable

I’ve been a chameleon all my life changing my spots according to the environment I find myself in. I know when I need to be the funny one, the happy one, the supportive one, the one that takes the lead and the one that lets others lead. I have changed my stripes so many times that sometimes I even don’t know who the real Kaylynn is.

I have listened to the world tell me who I should be, I have listened to others and their opinions of me but when I sit with myself I can feel what direction my heart lies.

Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

What do I want?

-I want to be in the presence of beautiful things.

-I want to be touched enough to bring me to tears.

-I want my heart to race so much that I need to gasp for air.

-I want to be a part of making this world a better place.

-I want to be involved with my community and volunteer my time and efforts for things that make a difference.

-I want to love my Heavenly Father without judgment.

-I want to laugh.

-And most of all, I need to feel.

-I need to live in a world where truths are shared, where hearts are touched and deep changes are made to the soul.

I am done altering who I am for the sake of making others feel more comfortable.

The insanity stops now.

I don’t mean that to be harsh or seem that I am set in my ways without compromise. It just means that I finally know the person I was meant to be. It’s only taken almost 48 years to find her.

I laugh, I love and I live an honest life doing what makes me happy, saying what I know, sharing my truths. If I get hurt, I will act hurt instead of pushing it down and moving on. I will sit with the hurt and find a way for it to be fixed…if I can. If I hurt another, I will make amends. I will be the friend that has the courage to say what’s real. I hope I can say it with a whole lot of love and a big handful of friendship. I only want to surround myself with authenticity.

Why do we walk around thinking things about others and then avoiding them instead of sharing our insights to help that person become a better friend? Or worse engaging in conversations with others about those negative thoughts? Avoid gossip, it’s not good. Why not tell them how you feel? PERSON UP!

I am done sacrificing my muchness. I want my light to shine. My light is only ignited by how I feel on the inside. My outside is the megaphone for what’s happing inside. I want to live a life free of chains. Free of ‘have to’s’ and only full of ‘want to’s’. I am shedding the guilt and shame that have ruled my life. Most of it has not even been my guilt or shame, things others have placed on me. I am cutting out the cancers of my life. Toxins that have never brought me happiness. Why hold onto those things? Because of guilt? Pride?

GET RID OF IT. ALL OF IT.

Lighten your load.

PUT IT DOWN.

Learn to forgive.

Forgiveness is never for the other person. It’s for you, a tool from God to help us move past the anger, hurt or resentment that is holding you back.

Photo by niu niu on Unsplash

STOP HOLDING YOURSELF BACK!

The only one who knows what you’re holding onto is you and if you don’t know what it is, then may I suggest you do some soul searching of your own.


Feature photo above by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

Me stuff

Music, the best present ever!

Ever since I can remember, I have been madly in love with music. The melody, the emotion it can provoke and the lyrics…the words. Music has taught me how to love, how to feel, how to get back up and how to heal. Music has helped me find who I am.

Through the years, my taste in music has changed and we have more variety than we ever had before. More access to music without having to buy the album.

In The Beginning…

Music first came to me in my baby crib, a wind-up mobile overhead. I remember when I was a little older, the countless times I took a musical toy to my mother and ask her to ‘make it go’.

Then when I was old enough to wind-up the toys myself. I had one particular toy that I couldn’t get enough of. It was a box, a music box of ‘Jack and Jill’. You would wind the plastic knob until you couldn’t. Then the nursery rhyme would play out in visual drawings that scrolled along with the song until it lost its energy and another twist of the knob was required. I spent hours, hours listening, watching and singing ‘Jack and Jill’.

Photo by Simone Acquarot Unsplash.com

As the years pushed on, I got a tape recorder when I turned twelve (BEST PRESENT EVER!) I would spend hours (and I mean hours) listening to my clock radio. When a song would end I would race over to my tape recorder ready to push the play and record button simultaneously if the DJ was about to play a song worthy of my blank cassette tape. If the two buttons had been pushed, I would go around the house with a finger in front of my lips telling everyone in the house to be quiet because I was recording. I was very important and my tape was going to save the world one day.

Usually, after I had told them I was recording, they all came into my bedroom to hear what song made the cut with overly mouthed words ‘ARE YOU RECORDING?’ Pointing with big eyeballs as I still had my finger to my lips, shaking my head yes and eyes of death if they ruined my recording. If someone spoke accidentally, and they usually did. I would hit the stop show my exasperation and rewind the tape to find the spot where the last song had finished.

You always had to allow a few seconds of recorded emptiness between the songs. I learned after a while that I could hit play, record and pause at the same time, then when a song came on, I just had to release the pause button. A much better way to record without the clunk of the buttons being recorded on the tape.

Photo by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash

Mixed Tapes People!

I got a little older and the cool ingenious invention of the ‘mixed tape’ was born. This was the grandfather of playlists. If you were lucky enough to receive a mixed tape (BEST PRESENT EVER!) then whoever gave it to you thought you were really something special. Like, I mean you were one of their number ones. Like, at the top of their friendship or crush list. I received a few mixed tapes in my time and I have given them too.

You would put your entire heart and soul into making one of these for someone. It could take you weeks, months especially if the song you were waiting for needed to first be played on the radio. But technology matured and the stereo with a double cassette player was invented. Dun Dun Daaa! This changed everything! You could record from a record to a tape, tape to tape and my favorite…radio to tape without being quiet.

Then hail the Compact Disc. The CD sort of chased away the mixed tapes for the technology junkies, you know the ones that were always jumping on the bandwagon for the next best thing. I liked CDs but mixed tapes still held a big place in my heart. I would walk around with my off-brand Walkman listening to my mixed tapes until I wore them out. Yes, they could break…sad but true.

Then the discovery of the Discman appeared…

Now you can listen to your favorite CD while walking around. It was bigger and chunkier than the Walkman but who cares! I got myself a Discman from a garage sale. By the time I got mine, people were starting to get sick of them. You couldn’t really run or exercise with a Discman because the laser could skip and scratch your disc. I think maybe some went back to the mixed tape, and then there were others who never left.

Hail The Digital Age…

Photo by 90 angle on Unsplash

Now years, many many years, have passed and the Y2K bug is a thing of the past. In October 2001 a company called Apple (the computer company) came out with a thing called the iPod! Say what? It was smaller and could fit almost your entire CD collection! My husband gave me my first iPod, a pink one, a second model they called the iPod Mini (BEST PRESENT EVER!). I was excited but had no idea what to do with it but I learned quickly how to download my CD collection onto this teeny little device. After that, I never went anywhere without my iPod and my book.

Then cell phones got more sophisticated and today at the touch or our fingers we can click onto a memory. Memories of the people we once were, memories of the people that once touched our lives, memories of the people who helped us become who we are, memories of the moments that made us who we are today.

A BIG thank you to my mom and dad who were lovers of music and always had it playing around the house. Love you both to the moon and back.

Here is a soundtrack of my life…

Put your headphones in your ears and settle back and enjoy this ‘Mixed Playlist’ for you. My favorites over the years, 50 of them actually, I had too much fun putting this gift together for you. Just click on the links. You’re welcome.

Oh! But wait, before you go, will you share a song or two with me in the comments below? What song makes you weak in the knees or has stayed with you over the years? I love new music…Thank you!

Before my time…

James Brown – ‘Try Me’ (1958), The Letterman – ‘Hurt So Bad’ (1964), Glen Campbell – ‘Witchita Lineman’ (1968), The Doors – ‘Love Street’ (1968)

The 1970s-Me Decade

Neil Young – ‘Old Man’ (1972), Billy Joel – ‘You’re My Home’ (1973), Fleetwood Mac – ‘Landslide’ (1975), Pink Floyd – ‘Wish You Were Here’ (1975), The Beatles – ‘Here Comes The Sun’ (1976), Kiss – ‘Beth’ (1976), Paul Davis – ‘I Go Crazy’ (1977), Bob Marley – ‘Three Little Birds’ (1977), The Commodores -‘Still (1979), Christopher Cross – ‘Sailing’ (1979), Dan Fogelberg – ‘Longer’ (1979), Kermit the Frog – ‘The Rainbow Connection’ (1979)

The 1980s-Old School days

The Climax Blues Band – ‘I Love You'(1980), Styx – ‘Babe’ (1980), Dire Straits – ‘Romeo and Juliet’ (1980), Boz Scaggs – ‘Look What You’ve Done to Me’ (1980), Journey – ‘Open Arms’ (1982), Restless Heart – ‘I’ll Still Be Loving You’ (1985), Peter Gabriel – ‘In Your Eyes’ (1986), Kenny Loggins – ‘Meet Me Halfway’ (1987), Garth Brooks – ‘The Dance’ (1989), The Judds – ‘Young Love’ (1989)

The 1990s-The Dot-com Decade

Collin Raye – ‘Love Me’ (1991), Richard Marx – ‘Hazard’ (1991), Little River Band – ‘Lady’ (1992), Alabama – ‘Angels Among Us’ (1993), The Whitlams – ‘No Aphrodisiac’ (1997), Ben Folds Five – ‘Brick’ (1998), Willie Nelson – ‘Angel Flying Too Close To The Ground’ (1999)

The 00s- Gen Z

Heartland – ‘I loved her first’ (2006), Pete Murray – ‘The Game’ (2008), Zac Brown Band – ‘Free’ (2008), Blue October – ‘My Never’ (2009), Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova – ‘Falling Slowly’ (2009)

The Twenty-Tens-Here and now

Ed Sheeran – ‘Kiss me’ (2011), Hillary Weeks – ‘Beautiful Heartbreak’ (2011),Alan Jackson – ‘Where were you’ (2012),Prince Superbowl Medley (2012), Jason Mraz and Christina Perri – ‘Distance’ (2012), Chris Stapleton – ‘Tennessee Whiskey (2015), Until The Ribbon Breaks – Blondie cover ‘One Way or Another’ (2015), Red Hot Chilli Peppers – ‘Dark Necessities’ (2016), Kenny Chesney & Wendell Mobley – ‘There Goes My Life’ (2017), Colin Hay – ‘I just Don’t Think I’ll Get Over You’ (2017), Phoebe Bridgers & Noah Gundersen – ‘Killer’ (2018), The Weekend – ‘Call Out My Name’ (2018).

Feature photo by feliperizo.co | heart made on Unsplash

Gregory Neil Barry, Me stuff

Hello Malaysia. Hello SLUDGE!

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Photo Credit: unsplash.com Vald Shapochnikov

Two years ago we went to Malaysia with another close family that we adore. We’ve known S&B since before the kiddos came along. Our families get along well and we’ve done lots of camping already, but this was our first overseas trip together.

We love each other so much that we combined our last names to make one last name for our extended family…we are The Raslee’s. Made up of two mom’s, two dad’s, two girls and two boys (besties from birth)…perfect really!

IMG_3224W and I had never been to Malaysia before but we love travelling to anywhere really. We loved it! Loved the weather, loved the activities, really loved the food and really loved the kids club. We drank fruit drinks out of bags, danced in the elevators, took long walks off short rickety peers and we definitely avoided durian at all costs… (because it smells like feet!-P.U.)

We did crazy things like, hang out in the pool all day, shopped at the knock-off markets (I got a fake Montblanc), and had massages from little competing old men on the beach, who could tell us everything about our future health issues by feeling our joints and cartilage. We paid to have the dead skin eaten off out feet by tiny fish, it totally tickled! (Ours was not as nice as the one in this video but it gives you the idea), we ate at the same shack-of-a-cafe for lunch every day, explored the art in George Town and bought a cheap snorkel set for the boy.

One night after dinner, the two moms went for a foot soak and leg massage down the road from the hotel. The dads took the kids back to the rooms to get ready for bed. We sat next to each other and enjoyed our pampering. We were only going to be an hour or two at the most, checking out the night markets along the street on the way back.

Now my good friend B, enjoys lots and lots of things (she’s awesome like that), however, ‘conversations that open up your insides and explore the deeper feelings of why you are the person that you are today’…aka a Deep and Meaningful, is not one of them. So I was very surprised (and extremely proud) when she asked me a question about something quite deep and meaningful, an o.p.e.n  e.n.d.e.d question…I LIVE FOR D&M’S! So of course, I took her question as an invitation. An invitation,  TO.  GO.  THERE.

I am always happy to go there, on a moments notice, I’m there. At 9:00 am, I’m ready. Ready, set…I am already there. Get my drift? I LIVE MY LIFE ALREADY THERE. Need to talk deep? I’m your woman.

So,

we unpacked our feelings and

went there.

IMG_3039It was wonderful! We talked during our pampering, we talked looking through the night markets, we talked walking into the hotel lobby. We were not done talking so we went outside and set up camp at an outdoor table, admiring the blue ambient lights of the swimming pool. We spent almost four hours talking about everything! While we chatted and chatted…our husbands took turns combing the streets of Penang looking for us. Almost sure we had been kidnapped and forced into female slavery. They took turns to look after the sleeping children and ready to receive the ransom call any minute.

We only finished our chat because we noticed we had been gone for twice as long as we said. We were big girls but didn’t want them to worry. So we quietly went back to our rooms knowing they would have been fast asleep not worrying about a thing. oops!

So the next morning at breakfast, I looked forward to seeing my B. We had shared so much. B came to breakfast late and when she did come, she couldn’t make eye contact with me. (ah oh!) Later by the pool, I asked her if she was okay.

She felt SLUDGY. Ya, that’s right. SLUDGY. That is her word. She explained it like this… “You made all the sludge that I had pushed down come up and I didn’t want it floating around the surface. I want it pushed down where it belongs.” She felt dirty.

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Photo Credit: unsplash.com Filip Bunkens

My B is a snowglobe.

Here is my definition of SLUDGE…

S ⇒Share your

L ⇒learnings.

⇒Uncover

⇒deep

⇒growth about yourself and

⇒embrace the changes that come with it.

I’m a fan of SLUDGE! Are you? Do you like to shake your snowglobe? or are regular D&M’s important to break down the debris before it settles on the bottom? What do you think?

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Me stuff

being an empath.

I want to hug the world, one compliment at a time… 

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Photo credit:  www.globalartproject.org/galleries/2000gallery

When I was back in Utah visiting my family, five years ago (2012), I was catching up with one of my oldest friends (I met her in 7th grade). We were having a deep and meaningful (D&M—my favorite type of conversation. I have a really good friend here in Oz that defines it as SLUDGE…the title of my next post), and she told me she was an empath.

“What’s an empath, ” I asked?

“Do you feel things about other people? Feel their emotions? Sometimes feel drained around certain people, where others lift you?”

“Yes! That’s exactly how I feel, don’t we all feel that?”

Apparently not, and she gave me some websites to read.

♥♥♥

Well, I’d like to share some learnings about myself…  You know that ‘Bruce Willis’ moment (spoiler alert, when we find out he’s a ghost) —the aha moment when the lightbulb undeniably turns on and insight and realization finally grace you forever.

These were the major missing pieces of my million piece puzzle. These things, that I now understand, helped me put some sense to my life. These are things that would have made my life a lot easier knowing about twenty (or forty) years ago.  Here goes…

I’m an empath.

I am a positive person by nature. I sit high up on my life-mountain feeling like I’m on top of the world.  It’s where I am most comfortable—where I can be my most authentic self.

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Photo credit: freepik

I have an incredible view from here. I surround myself with people. I am a people person. People are my air but sometimes my poison too. Sometimes you can’t always choose the people that are near you.

I see people all around me. I see what they are showing everyone on the outside; their clothes, hair and sometimes smile. But the stuff you can’t see is what stays with me. The side we keep hidden from those we don’t know yet to trust.  Sometimes it’s more what I feel when I’m around them. Sorrow. Pain. Struggle. But sometimes I don’t understand straight away because it is being protected by skin and rib cages.

We all have things, things we hold tight. The more someone tries to cover it, the more I see it. I can see straight into their heart—past the hurt, past the conflict, past the protected. Into the center of who they are. The person they are meant to be without fear. Not always, just sometimes.

I can only see into the good hearts and I can only see what their heart allows me to see. I choose not to see the angry hearts. I can only see the angry person and it stops me there.

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Photo credit: Twitter

I smile, I laugh, and I share my silly thoughts…often…sometimes too often. I see positive things and share them as they come to me. It’s important to tell people they look nice, or that they make you feel happy. We don’t do this enough.

I share my light with those around me. When it works, it really works. I give energy, light and love to those who appreciate it and can accept it. It comes back to me tenfold. I feel lifted and that’s how I reach the top of my mountain. People unknowingly help me to get there. We elevate each other simultaneously.

Part of sharing my light and love come with insights. The closer I feel to the person, I freely share what their heart wants them to know. But this side of me can’t always come out. It can be intimidating to some, unsure how to take me. I’ve been known to openly tell acquaintances things like: ‘you need to quit smoking’ or ‘someone is getting themselves ready for you to love’ but it would be weirder if I said ‘your heart wants you to quit smoking’…or maybe not?

These thoughts often come to me around different people, but usually, I have to keep them to myself even though I know they need to hear it. Sometimes I’m brave and tell them but I’ve learned that not everyone is ready to hear their heart’s desire.

…But I’m not always perched high on my mountain.

I’ve learned that I need to be careful who I open myself up too—some people are wolf-criers. Those are the ones that tear strips off me. Cry for help and I feel depleted after helping them. It takes me a little while to replenish myself—it can be a slow process. Sometimes I’ve been completely drained when surrounded by takers. I’ve had to learn to protect myself from them but you can’t always see them coming.

In my 40’s, I only realize now that it’s my positive energy being drained. Usually, the energy has been swapped, the good for the negative. The negative can survive inside me too.

So life sucker-punches me in the face and I climb down off my comfortable resting place. I fall to the bottom in a heap. A messy heap. I can’t pull myself out of. Then it’s me who needs someone to reach out, look inside my heart and see my vulnerabilities that I try to hide.

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Photo Credit: pexels.com

I want to hug the world except when I can’t because it’s me that needs the hug.

Take an empath test, you might just learn something about yourself, It’s never too late.

Being Mormon, Me stuff

Thank you. Uni.

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Photo Credit: unsplash.com Matt Jones

So here I am really out there on the web writing and publishing my own stuff. I never thought of myself as the ‘blogging type’, but here I am cutting my blogging teeth. And I’M HAVING LOTS OF FUN TRYING TO FIGURE IT ALL OUT!!

Thank you to all those wonderful friends who gave me a shout out on their own socials. I appreciate it and I’m humbled by your sweet words about me and to me.

Just a little post to say thanks. This all started as a university assignment, my major assignment for my Creating Digital Content class, that is due this Sunday (28 May 2017) …Eek!  But it’s really become much much more.

♥♥♥

I went back to university last year, in 2016 and I love every min of it! My little man started school in February 2015. I was so excited about his first day of school. My first day of freedom in over twelve years! (I have a four-and-a-half-year gap between my kids).

I had his first day all planned out. I was catching up with some other moms after school drop off at a cafe around the corner. Getting a massage, then go home to a quiet house to watch one of my favorite DVDs and read my book in peace. It was a lovely day and it went too fast. But when I dropped him off at school for his second day, I went home and cried. I missed him desperately. Everything I try to distract myself with didn’t work. Laundry, vacuum the house, make lunch or watch TV, they all made me miss him more because he was my little buddy, we did those things together… and the day dragged on, 3:30 pm didn’t come fast enough.

So, after a few months of feeling sorry for myself and playing way too much Plants vs Zombies on the iPad, I got up and did stuff.  I only felt sorry for myself on the days I didn’t work. If I was distracted, I was fine. I joined the gym, invited people to lunch, and found projects off my to-do list I had not gotten to in years.

One day when I was volunteering at the school canteen with another parent. She talked about how busy she was since she started uni again. I asked her what she was studying…

     “I’m doing Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT”

My heart sang!

Now I need to go back a little…seventeen or eighteen years, life before kids (I can barely remember that life). I worked next door to the State Library in the city. On my lunch break, I walked over to check it out. When I stepped into the Latrobe Reading Room, I had this overwhelming desire to be a student again. I brushed it off because who wants to ever go back to school, no sane person. But I held on to that feeling and often went to the library on my lunch breaks looking for peace and solitude.

Latrobe-room-state-library-Melbourne
The ceiling inside the dome in the La Trobe Reading room

State-Library-La Trobe-roomWhen I had made the decision to apply for university, I was scared and nervous. I had written a lot for myself in journals but writing for others is a very different thing entirely. I had to write a thousand-word essay on anything—a sample of my work and five hundred words on why I wanted to take the course. I submitted it on the last day it was due and started to breathe normally again. Sort of. I had thoughts about what was I going to do if I didn’t get accepted. I didn’t have a plan B.

Months later I got a letter asking me if I could come in for an interview. I was so excited! I wasn’t in yet but this was a good sign. I am a people person—I do my best work in person. The interview was fun and I felt relaxed once it started, however, I was very nervous leading up to it.

A few weeks later, I was accepted! I couldn’t believe it! Then the heavy reality of it all started to creep in…homework, assignments, due dates. Then a few months before my classes started, I was called as the Relief Society President in my ward. Are you kidding me? I felt overwhelmed even before I started and considered deferring. But I didn’t. I got down on my knees and prayed about it. A warm peaceful feeling came over me and I knew that I was going in the right direction. I’ve been sitting on the edge of my seat with a big smile ever since (buckled in and enjoying the ride).

I love being in Relief Society and how it has brought me closer to the Lord and all the sister in my ward. I have found balance in my calling, university, work and family life. The first year was tricky going back to university and it only could have happened with the support of W. He stepped up helping with school drop-offs and pick-ups when I was at uni.

W and the kids’ relationship has blossomed even more and the kids now ask for us both equally.