Taking Tea in the Kasbah

Meanwhile, back in the kasbah...

Meanwhile, back in the kasbah…

Sooooo, yeah. I’ve been gone a while. Again.

I know, I just up and left the kasbah without warning. But you see, life has this funny way of finding you and forcing nudging you to face your inner demons, those stories and beliefs that you’ve been dragging around like a set of old luggage circa 1981. No wheels or fancy handles. The kind that weighs a ton and is ugly as sin. But this time when the suitcase burst open and the little buggers came bursting out, I realized I had to do something different than simply trying to avoid them.

So, out of sheer desperation and exhaustion, I decided to take a different approach. I welcomed them. Invited them to tea right here in the kasbah. And in order to do that, I had to close the doors of the kasbah for a bit.

Apologies. Again.

But now I’m back. And hopefully with a little more consistency.

While I was having tea with the demons, I took some breaks to read some other blogs. Throughout the months of January and February, many of them focused on a word that’s been chosen to influence a whole crap ton of goals, both broad and specific, throughout the year. I like the idea of having a word to reflect on during the year, a word that can inspire or guide or act as a reminder. I like this more than having a set of resolutions or coming up with a list of should’s or have-to’s. (You might remember I touched on this a bit last year with my Un-Resolution List in a letter to a certain classy British actor, which you can read about here.)

That said, I had a hard time narrowing 2014 down into a one-word nugget of wisdom to follow. (And yes, I realize nearly a quarter of the year has flown by already. The You Must Be Perfect All the Freakin’ Time Demon was part of the entourage I courted for tea and was told I no longer needed his services. As such, I’m 87.3% ok with sharing this very belated post. That Demon still loiters around and we argue a bit, but mostly he just wanders in my unfinished garden muttering how I should really get some of those ceramic garden gnomes to spruce up the joint.) So, instead of one word I decided to go with the Big Three, words I’ve noticed repeatedly wriggling their way into the forefront of my funny little brain:

*Intention – to make more of my waking moments mindful and filled with outward intention, and to do so with as much energy and attention as I spend inside my head in quiet reflection.

*Love – to live with this always in the forefront of my mind, so it becomes my default setting in all things, and to choose it over any and all fear-based thinking and rationalizing crap that has been weighing me down for ages.

*Create – to stop with the renovating or renewing or re-anything. It’s time to create new things, to build, to manifest, to bring forth. This is less about how an end product turns out and more about having an end product to hold in my sweaty little palms, all the while continuing to learn everything I can about the things I’m drawn to and love.

Intention, Love, and Create. My three guide posts for 2014. 


Tell me, wise readers, what would your word for 2014 be if you were to choose one (or three like me)? Sit, sip, and share. It’s been far too long and I always love to hear from you.

12 thoughts on “Words to Live By

  1. First let me say I’m SO happy to see you back in the Kasbah!! I understand that entertaining demons is time-consuming work, but I was just thinking the other day that I had a yen for a cuppa and some chat. I can only think of two words for 2014: recovery (as in, last year was kind of a thrash and I’d like to let some of that go), and travel. So far I spent a week in NOLA, and while I don’t have any other tickets bought, I’m very much open to suggestion.
    Cheers, mate!

    • So glad to be entertaining you in the kasbah again, Liv! Recovery and travel – two words I can totally appreciate. And how did I miss that you went to one of my absolute favorite places in the world? I love NOLA and am itchin’ to hear all about your adventures. I think I need to road trip it up to Seattle and get the story first hand over a couple of pints. 🙂

  2. You left after my last post on Snark E. Pen and made it back before I did, so I imagine you spent quality, focused time chatting up and knocking down those demons, Tami.

    I love your three guiding words for 2014. I sat on my patio before finishing this comment and let three important words pop into my noggin. I took them as they came to me:

    Nurture: In an oh-so-self-centric way. I spend little time focused on nurturing myself: spiritually, creatively, physically, gleefully. No one has been putting my needs first; including me. And, that’s no one’s fault but my own. I’m in charge of me. That’s not to say I’m going to stomp on others. Quite the opposite, because that would be self-sabotage of my glee meter.

    Balance: With a new home, a new budget, and soon-to-be-completed manuscript, it’s time to balance writing and adventure and nit-nat responsibilities. I have time for all three, but tend to push myself to spend more time than I need to/want to on one of those on any given day. Sometimes that leads to shiny bauble chasing to run away from my life.

    Engage: I’ve isolated over the last three months — the absolute worst thing someone with my personality can do. That’s part of the commitment under “engage.” The big picture definition takes “thinking about thinking about planning for, and fixin’ to think about” out of the equation. The results may not be perfect, but I will have achieved something.

    Stellar post. Welcome back.

    • Nurture, Balance, Engage. I can relate to each one of your reasons for choosing these words – not focusing on myself to my own detriment, slipping out of balance by focusing on only one aspect of my life, and isolating myself when what I really need to reach out and connect. I love how all three words influence and support each other.

      I have no doubt you can and will achieve many great things as you keep these words in the front of your noggin.

  3. Intention. Love it. In the last year I’ve come to realize that unless I make a plan, possible realities remain in the state of daydreams. Lunch with a friend, a spin at the gym, 50 pages to critique partners, a snow day with my DH… Whatever it is, I need to make a plan, approach with Intention, and then–and only then–does the dream become a reality.

    Go, Tami. So glad you’re back. My tea cup was running low, and I was ready to start licking the saucer.

    • I’m guilty of letting dreams linger in dreamland longer than necessary, mostly out of fear. While I believe it’s ok to let them percolate a bit in their dream state, I would do better to nudge them (and myself) out into the world. P

      Here’s to plans, intention, letting go, and leaping. And lots of tea along the way so there’s no need to lick any saucers.

  4. Yippee, the tea flows again! It was a little disconcerting peeping in at the Kasbah every now and again and seeing only dusty tables and unswept crumbs. Spooky, just spooky.

    My all purpose, never changing word is “Faith.” Sometimes I mislay it, forget it, or let it rundown too low and it starts seeping out the bottom of the barrel. But without it, I’m just a flyaway tumbleweed so I try hard to never let it get too far out of reach.

    And then there’s this: “A goal is just a dream with a deadline.”

    • Faith is a good word, one that can mean so many different things depending on the person.

      It’s good to be back in the kasbah with friends like you, Barbara. Glad you stopped by to have some tea. 🙂

  5. “Having tea with the demons” – love it. Such an evocative image and sounds like a great story title.

    Love your three words. Intention fits where I’m at right now too. Although sometimes I’m great with the intention yet never quite deliver. Perhaps “discipline” is one I’m confronting at the moment. Although that’s awfully dull, isn’t it.

    Or perhaps “Joy”. Because life is too short not to experience joy.

    I dunno. It’s late and I think I had better quit while I’m ahead. Welcome back to the kasbah, Tami! So glad you’re clearing out those cobwebs and putting on some afternoon tea. Vanilla slices, anyone?

    • Discipline isn’t at all dull. It’s an important one to have in our back pocket, if for no other reason than to give us the kick in the butt we need to get stuff done. Perhaps joyful discipline is where you’re at?

      And yes, pass the vanilla slices! Some day I have to make it to Australia to enjoy that with you. 🙂

  6. So glad you’re back in the Kasbah, Tami. I can relate to dealing with demons. The ones I’d been keeping in my closet all these years finally managed to break out. Terrifying at first. But then their size and weight faded the more I gave them face time. Funny how that works.

    I’d have to say that my words for 2014 are:

    resilience: the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after a stressful trial
    fortitude: strength of mind that allows you to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage

    Those demons don’t stand a chance!

  7. Welcome back, Tami! Missed you and the tea.

    Good luck with the demons. They will always be hanging around, that’s what demons do. But hopefully now, they will be content to sit in the corners and we can throw dishes at them.

    My words: Nurture, Balance, Listen.
    And pass the vanilla slices. I’m good for that too.

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