Fear, Rage, and Guilt Doing Shots

by Lauren Stewart

Fear, rage, and guilt doing shots to see who passes out first.

This is the image I get when I think of how easy it is to not feel what is really going on in me. This New Year’s was brutal. A lot of fear came up. Why do I, do any of us,


the door on ourselves…

like all the time?

First, often when we feel bad it is because of the meaning (relative to perceiving we are safe, loved and worthy of both) that we give to the event, NOT the event itself. Think about that. Do you agree? Maybe not. It sounds harsh. But if you think about that in your situation, does it make sense? If not, stop reading. Cause neither will the rest of this, haha.   

So, feeling what we actually feel would equate signing paperwork that the meaning is true; the meaning we couldn’t help but adopt as a conclusion to lost love, lost hope that we were good enough, way back not so very long ago as small people. It would equate investing in a story we don’t want to believe in (but do anyway). It is no different than thinking we would be investing in a rotten onion. And why the heck would we do that?

Oh but the price! Our body takes the beating of this suppression. And our mind stays split. How can we make ourselves happy when we are living two lives? We distract ourselves of course, from the inner-child who has something to be felt and validated, and has something to teach us about the next step in our evolution as a personoid. Yes, I said personoid. 

How many times a day does a flitting bad feeling swoosh through your mind and body? And what do we do with it? Why were we never taught what to do with these? Its crazy! What we feel is the entire basis of our perceived happiness and we have no relationship with our emotions and beliefs, relative to our well being.  We are so cut off from ourselves! We keep vaulted off in the highly classified section of our brain, access to our deepest fears and concerns. We are scared of our own mind!



hell?! Me too. 

Cry?! Pshhh. Now way. Invest in that rotten onion? Sign that paperwork? Eat a shame sandwich! How bout I don’t acknowledge that feeling and we can just carry on (as if I don’t believe in the meaning I am giving to this situation). That meaning is all tied up in shame and scary things.

“Go away feeling! All you do is activate my shame! Shut up. What’s this? Anger? Why? You have a good life! Have another shot. Another round? On the house!” This is one very powerful reason to NOT feel what we feel. Makes total sense to me. 

So, I called a friend and he said,  “Just let it flow and be natural.”  You may think I wanted to punch the guy through the phone. But no, no. It felt weird hearing this, I admit, as this is pretty much what I would say to someone. But standing in the squall of my own fears, I am glad to have friends to remind me. So I did it. I got to the point I could really feel the deep fear and anger at myself. I yelled at the air about what’s wrong, and what I want to be different. This is key. To say, I deserve better! I don’t want this!

So much of the despair we are trying to avoid feeling is based on an idea that things wont ever get better.  When you let the feelings rise up and be felt, you become energized in the direction of your desire, which is empowering and helps shift out of that doom mind set. 

I felt my power come back as I validated that I am right to feel as I do, solely because I made logical conclusions, and of course I would feel this way based on my conclusions.  

We can use the upsets to teach us what need we wish we were paying attention to.  And then DO THAT. This is the point. I cannot stress enough how hard this is to do. I mean REALLY do. Not kinda do. I mean go all the way. For me, it helps to just start easy with a little cry. Then that feels safe and eventually I can talk out loud about what isnt fair, what I wish were the case, what I am believing to be true that hurts to believe. And what I want!

What would happen if we meet the person we are trying to keep quiet. The one who is full of stupid ideas and scary shame. What happens is we claim our power. Its counterintuitive. Like Harry Potter in Goblets of Fire when he was in the maze. He was hanging from his legs, upside down in a tree, but the sky was below his head. The world had flipped. He realized if he let go of the tree he would right the world, against the very apparent doom of falling into the sky. He let go and the world flipped. 

There is one problem. If you have a deeply rooted belief that you are not worthy and things will not, can not improve, this will be very painful. You will get stuck at hopelessness. But if you follow it through step by step (as I sort of laid out in that paragraph, a formula that follows a natural progression) it can lead to a more empowered perspective and self image around the issue. There are always options. And this is what we need to remember to feel hopeful.

When we acknowledge what is under to surface trying to be felt, hell yes, we invest our focus in the story! But we also validate ourselves. We let ourselves feel bad without a Should-Judge butting in with “You should stop crying and deal! What’s wrong with you?!” There is relief in this, especially for those of us who learned it was wrong to feel bad and express discontent. “Don’t be upset about that!! Just deal.” Leads to, “Don’t trust yourself.”

Ooooo baby that’s a nice little road through hell (true story).

If emotion can lead to new understandings, an excuse for self-care and catalyze inspired action then we can be inner alchemists. Let whatever is within you be acknowledged. Take Fear, Rage, and Guilt out of the bar to the park. Otherwise they’ll just be hung over.  


Writing the Dream Out Helps Believe

img_5022Mango and I have made it to day 10! What a trip! I even blogged on my vacation. So many great outcomes.

Discovered: I am clearer on my why: awakening, self expression, play and transformation. I really like writing stuff people will read; more than I thought. I can push myself to write at late hours and stick with a deadline. I tend to put off writing till absurd hours. 30 minute posts take 3 hours.  My night writing is better than my morning writing. Ugh.

New habits: I have started a regular morning writing routine. See above ugh.

What on earth did I get from this 10 days( in a row) blog challenge: Day 2, find the why, was the most exasperating and longest session, but the most important.  Day 9 was the absolute most pleasure to write. The dream of setting up in Portugal and writing music with my cat, Mango, for a month (or 6), implanted itself as a mini-movie in my head now, complete with sense memories and emotions! It seems (more) possible.  This is the takeaway. That it is (more) possible. Writing about it made it so.  Natalie asked great clarifying questions and encouraged us to post on social media (I felt obnoxious), which made me give more to the project, knowing I had a (potential) audience.

Now what? continue to blog twice a week, minimum. Maybe redo the 10 questions to clarify more. They are very important questions for starting an online nomad business, which I intend to by the years end! Ooo I have like 6 weeks.


Music Intensive in Portugal Dream (Blog 9 of 10day challenge)

stocksnap_yfm5df2y9uAs audacious as this may sound I dream of taking six months to travel and write music.

But who doesn’t? This is like my dirty little secret. I shut it up for two reasons: money and fear. I use the excuse, “Oh, you are just wanting to run away and escape. This is no solution.”

Or iiiiiiis it?

At the moment, I leave songs unfinished, bits of verses and random choruses, and instrumental sections tstocksnap_4k2vpposr1hat will one day have trumpets and violas and ukulele and congas and double bass kick drums and haunting strings.  I am sad that I don’t (write music). It’s like I am living my own funeral every day. Why bother? I cannot make a living at it. Wow that sounds so sad. Sorry.  Writing songs is all I really wanted to do as a kid and I made up plenty in my head. Then in my 20’s I had my band, Screaming Venus, and wrote the songs but burnt out on trying to keep a band together (we had RGS, revolving guitar player syndrome). I wonder if I could be a decent composer. Will I ever find out? Will I ever be skilled enough at piano to play what I hear and feel? Will I ever answer that?


I dream I wake up in Portugal on a hill in a row of white stucco apartment houses overlooking the sea. I pay like twenty bucks a week for a two bedroom! stocksnap_a1dv9hpwgzMango, (hey how’d you get here!?) wakes me up for her morning ride. She looks straight ahead from the basket on the bike, wind in her fur, as we head to the market for her fresh fish. I grab a loaf of that bread you see in the movies at European markets, fresh and fluffy, and some pomegranates or whatever is juicy and bright. Off we go! We take the coastal path home. The gravel shakes the bike and Mango braces down but never takes her eyes off the road. After breakfast and a run, we sit down for a two hour music writing session. Mango is ready for lunch so we eat. I get in two more hours of music and two for my online business (this will take a lead later).

img_5012 At sundown Mango and I bike into town where we meet musicians and artists. I joined an improv comedy team that is very low commitment: just show up and play once a week. Sometimes I bring my keyboard or guitar and play to their absurdities. Other musicians show up; trumpet players, drummers, guitarists, and kids of all ages. This is the light I have been craving. This is the love that was missing. This was the art that was dying. Finally, Mango is tired and stuffed from all the goodies my new friends always bring her. She jumps in the basket and off we go! …..

Then I don’t wake up because it wasn’t a dream. Or maybe I do and start this here where I am as best I can till I make that dream a thing. Or maybe going is what I need to make it a thing. Right?!

Screaming Venus, Chase Lounge NYC 1994

Do you have a secret of a dream? What would it feel like fleshed out in real time? What could you do that would make your past ten-year-old self drop to her knees and thank you for (after slapping you first for taking so long)? What would you cry to honor in yourself? I invite you to dream it out on paper. Just for kicks.

Or we could just do what we are doing.


This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 9

8 Days a Week Review and my mini-adventure (Day 8)

img_5010Today was mini-adventure day. I took myself to the new Beatles movie, directed by Ron Howard, Eight Days a Week, the Touring Years.

This documentary is really about the effect Beatlemania had on PJG&R. We see nothing (thank you!) of the Yoko takeover or the great divide of John and Paul over manager preferences and deeper issues. We see nothing of Pete Best, the pre-Ringo days. And nothing (well not much) of the pills-weed phases.

What we did see was shots of camaraderie, warmth and playfulness. We saw their cheery sarcasm grounded in realness that was and still is so damn refreshing. A reporter asks the group what they think about why the crowd screams so much. George (the cheeky bahstad) says he doesn’t know but if he did he would hire up another band (train them to do that) and be their managers instead. When asked why they are so snobbish to reporters, Paul says that they get a lot of questions that are not nice, so don’t expect a nice answer. That just means we’re real. You gotta love their fearlessness and comfort with themselves! That is what we all want: freedom and permission to play. They would not settle for less. That’s why they did Sergeant Peppers. They were so thrashed and beaten from the pressure of being a “Beatle” that Paul suggested they take on new personalities to play in.

Most interesting, for me, was the behind the scenes song writing. They wrote rough skeletons (P and J) and brought them into the studio every morning for just an hour and a half to write the drums, and flesh out the songs! I was inspired. We see/hear about John’s discovery, by sheer accident, of backmasking, recording recorded tracks backwards, during Revolver sessions. We get plenty of interviews of Paul and Ringo but also a few precious interview recordings of George and John.

Then there is the full live performance at Shea Stadium after the credits. This was pretty awesome because we learn early in the movie that they could not hear themselves during that gig due to the noisy 52,000 people crowd and the teeny field speakers (used by the sports commentators during games) as an attempt at a PA system! What were they thinking? Listen to how in tune they are! Watch for the brief moment on the second to last song where Paul gets off tempo and John laughs at him. They had such a great attitude! 52,000 fans and they are just highly skilled goofs up there rolling with it.

Well done Ron.

I just realized the coincidence of it being Day 8 of the 10 day blog challenge and the movie title!












This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8


Morning Thoughts vs. Day thoughts

img_4986Can we create space (time) for stuff that is important?  Can we?! Can we take imperfect action, like the photo here, blurry and has the time stamp on it because the crop feature is apparently on strike? Can we?! Why don’t we every day of our lives? I know, I know, but seriously, t’ink about this.

The question for day 7 of the blog challenge is what imperfect action will I start tomorrow that can help move my life forward. I’m going with a morning writing routine. It sounds so fun! To sit with my coffee and toast in the quiet and be creative! Why not? What have I to lose?

Maybe morning thoughts and creations are different than other-time thoughts and creations. 

I truly would not know. But soon I will. I will know that. And that will be helpful to know.

I would love to see what life feels like if I sit and write in the morning.  Sitnwrite-time. Will the rest of my day feel different?  I have project ideas and speeches to write and this content needs only one thing, its own time slot.

Now, let’s be honest. If we write for twenty minutes a day for a month, will that produce much? Meh, probably not. But hang on! It just may give me enough momentum to want to write longer or at other times. You know the “just-put-the-sneakers-on-you-dont-have-to-go-running” trick we play to get ourselves out the door (if that’s your thing)? Like that. And if not, well, we will have information.  No harm done.







This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

Who Would You Ask What?

imageHave you heard of Naomi James, the first woman to sail around the world single-handed via Cape Horn in 1977?  Well, she’s real.  I admire her audaciousness to take on this adventure, being quite new to sailing at the time. The goal was so exciting, and the challenge so thoroughly interesting. She managed to survive squalls, half broken masts, failed radio equipment, and even a capsize. When I was little I would tell my father, when attempting to do something that was a bit difficult, “dad, I can han how.” Naomi James lived and breathed han how! She has quit sailing for good and studies has a doctorate in philosophy (I believe, dont quote me).

Dear Naomi,

What quality do you cherish the most in life? Are you afraid of death and why?


This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6


Sitt my butt down and Get itt Done!

When and where will I sit my butt down and work on this new project

Ok, so I have a sort-of idea! This is great. Now I need a space and time to commit to to sit and write content. All I need is content at the moment and I do not want to spook myself off into more journaling, by overwhelm. So here is the plan:

My work will happen from 8-10am tues wed thurs and 8-10 pm friday sunday, with saturday and mondays off.  I will clean out this book shelf and desk area so its way more Danish-like (neat, clean, sparse) and on some days go to the cafe if I need a change of scenery.

make one video every tuesday and upload to my youtube channel, write blog on thurs. Write content other days. Research other creativity coaches. Work in 30 minute blocks with stretch breaks. Do videos outdoors. Zero in on who I want to help, with exactly what problem and how. this is my plan foblog-challenge-banners-21r December.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5




How To Find Your Super Duper Power(s)

Self discovery is: very disco self. Something to consider.

Very Disco Mango

Our super powers are the things we are good at AND enjoy. I made a list and whittled and whittled (it was hundreds of pages) and finally got it down to 10 things! Then I deleted the things that just wouldn’t make a good business (doing cartwheels, sadly) or were just not appealing to me for a business (balancing on my exercise ball and nutrition, been there, all done!) the shiney super stars left were…. ready… omg I’m so excited!

CIA agent!

Psyche! Although close! It was this: (you should be sitting. (Say that 10 times fast)).IMG_3035

A – Working with strong emotion- mine and others, moving from dark to light

B – Creative Expression: song writing, singing, personal development writing, writing and illustrating children’s stories, public speaking: impromtu and scripted,  Yes, yes, I tried acting. It was my thing for awhile, then music, and dance. That is WHY I moved to New York City at age 15 and somehow lived to tell. But THAT story is for another day, depending on if Mango wants me to tell it, which leads us tidily to:

C- Adventure

I can help people work with depression or lack of motivation or self confidence by tapping into their creativity. A creative self expression coach including improv, music and public speaking. Something to do with taking on challenges, to creating more opportunities to feel good about oneself. Hmmm. We are getting there for sure. I recommend doing this exercise if you have many interests and or have no idea what you are good at. That’s where I started.

If you read this far, I really owe you a hand-made paper pom-pom. Let me know what color you want. xoxo

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 4


The Dog Was a Mutt the Size of a Fox

On May 25, 2017 or 2018, I wake up next to a window of light and see the white pines and multi-colored wildflowers kinda wiggling in the morning breeze. I see a couple of goats in the back jumping. There is an amazing guy next to me who smells like life and joy and would travel five hours to be with me for one. This house has so much light in the morning I must squint to make my veggie juice!

After I write my morning thanks on the whiteboard and sit to appreciate whatever comes to mind, and after I’ve fed my four kitties, scratched them all behind their ears and put the coffee on, I head out to the beach for a jog, which is not far at all. Perhaps I ride my bike. Yes, that’s what I do.

Once on the sand, I reflect on my purpose here on earth and thank the ocean for its awesomeness. I do some sun salutations then jog or rimg_1752un for however long seems good. On the ride back I’m thinking about my day, excited to get started, but trying to focus on the sweet smell of the air, or the sun (or fog, or mist) on my face, or the sound of the seagulls! Wow, they are lovely. Thank you birds. Hey, there’s that stray dog again. No! Don’t take him home. Do. Don’t. Uhhhh! Ok, I got him.

He’s a mutt about the size of a fox.



And now, its time to get my 45 minutes of piano practice in and then its off to meet some folks I am collaborating with on my new project.

And I haven’t even had lunch, which reminds me, my son comes by with his girlfriend for lunch so I gotta go. Ciao!

Thank you if you’ve read this far. Its a little scary spilling my guts out here to the whole world. This blog challenge is about getting clear and also being honest, to write from the heart on the topic of the day. Today was: creating a sensory specific vision of the ideal day. Thanks for reading my words. This was a fun one. xoxo

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3


Y O Y do I?

Hello! Today I am answering a question that I have been chewing on for one year to date! What is the driving force for my life? What is the reason I do anything I do? The answer should help steer me towards designing work that is aligned with that purpose.

Here we go!


A things:

I love self discovery for the purpose of waking up. I believe this sensory reality pales with how things actually are. Meditation, yoga, dance, personal development, communication stuff. I believe our inner world and our outer world share elemental qualities and in essence are not two different things. I have had very very minor and fleeting glimpses of that. The absolute worst self-curse I have made on myself was believing I could not change my life. So yeah, empowerment in the freest sense, through the mind and then dissolving (so to speak). Deep and irreversible!

B things:

I love sparkly things and cauldron’s both. Not because I am a supreme optimist or practice dark arts! But simply because they both are conduits of transformation. Get some fairy dust you can fly. Make a potion you can be mentally or physically healed… or ahh yeah whatever.


What is my Why, guys? So let’s distill that. I think it is first and foremost- to be honest – selfish. I want A things: to awaken myself. I enjoy getting to the bottom of things. I want complete freedom which is awakening in itself. Then there is nothing to be free from.  And B things: to create and live in a utopia of friendly, colorful, vibrant, kind, magical (we are talking best case scenario here), transformative, fun, creative place. You are invited.

Lets distill that even further :

Mix A: personal empowerment. with B. Creative stuff/Arts. I am here to wake myself up and share that creatively to create a harmonious and fun world.

even further :

I am here to promote awakening through seeing the lighter side of dark and visa versa and then blasting through the whole thing altogether.

further :

Transformation through humor and imagination of the impossible (like foxicorns)blog-challenge-banners-21

Did I just find my why? I’m running with this one.

courtesy to Mango the model.

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 2