Monday, July 23, 2012

My Favorite of The Four Agreements: Be Impeccable With Your Word

Always Speak With & From Integrity
Sometimes I forget that Agreement...

I went to the laundromat today to wash one huge load of laundry...Max was asleep, I was watching the tv screen and speaking to my sister on the phone. A young girl sits on the chair diagonal to me and when the other person sat down they clenched my arm, inadvertently, with the chair. I took a deep breathe and continued to talk on the phone with my sister. The lady sighs quite audibly and very loud, as well as sarcastically, she says, "Excuse ME!" I say, "yes, these chairs are quite close together." I know what she was getting at but I was attempting to avoid any conversation or confrontation. Heck, I ignored her sitting and clenching my left arm with the chair, she should do the same and not mind that I shifted in my seat and her seat moved a bit.

She starts rambling and I tell her she needs to stop. My sister asks what's happening and all the while the lady is talking about how rude and disrespectful I am and who the "f" do I think I am and on and on. In response to my sister's question I say, "Nothing, I'm at the laundromat sitting down and then this fat ass comes and throws herself on the chair right behind me..." at this time her daughter tells me to stop disrespecting her mom. I say, sarcastically but half serious, "God bless you!"  The lady says, "F you and the person you are on the phone with!"
I tell my sister and she laughs so hard she snorts. My sister then says calm down, relax ignore her and thank goodness your machine will be fixed tomorrow cause you aren't built for laundromats. 

<The funny thing is I went to the laundromat on Saturday night to wash two small loads of Max's clothes, I spent about two hours there and I was able to read about 5 chapters of my book, "The Soul of Money," which I have been reading for a couple of months now and haven't really been able to finish. Prior to Saturday I had not been to a laundromat in about 4 years and I missed it. I use to love going to the laundromat, it was cathartic for me, like journaling or listening to music.>

I say bye to my sister so I can call my grandma and before I do I say I'm sorry to the lady and she says, "I don't accept your apology! Nope! Shut your ugly face."  Now I'm like arg, let me relax and call grandma. I speak to her for a few minutes and she usually always makes me laugh and gives me stuff to think about. I didn't tell her what had happened cause she would worry and there was nothing to worry about.

Once I finished talking to abuelita I turn around and calmly and authentically explain to the lady that I was wrong to call her out disrespectfully and that when she sat she had in fact hurt my arm but ignored it and I was sorry for real to her and to her daughter because it was wrong of me. The daughter said she accepted the apology and then the mom said fine whatever and the fact that my arm got clenched was not her fault but management.
I told her I could not take responsibility for management but my job was to take responsibility for myself and what I did was wrong.

She then said ok and thank you.

As I was folding my clothes I kept thinking about my righteous response and how my go to emotion is often anger out of fear. My righteousness took me out of integrity. I couldn't accept it. On my way out I again expressed my remorse and my respect for her as a human, woman and mother and we both apologized for having such an out of character reaction.

The thing is in my heart it was out of character and in the action of it it was out of character but in my mind it was status quo, actually the norm. That's scary to me and I just came to that awareness with this situation.  I smile and breathe deep and in my mind I want to scream. Not often but even once is once too much.

I must be more mindful and never react. 

Deep breathes and ALWAYS come from integrity.

I was just sharing this because I thought about it so much. I had an aha moment in the midst of my frustration and thank the Lord and the universe that I was able to express my remorse.  Words hurt as much as or sometimes even more than actions even if it is from a stranger.

I called the lady a fat ass in front of her daughter, heck I should never do that even if she is alone but in front of her daughter that is just rude and disrespectful. I became what she accused me of. I gave away my power in that moment for weakness and stupidity.  That was wrong. I was wrong and righteous all at the same time. Incredible.

My Aha moment was, I work hard EVERY day to not be righteous perhaps what need to turn my efforts to is to be in harmony, present and at peace.

What are your thoughts?

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Respectfully & Sincerely yours,


Monday, July 9, 2012

Love. Loss. Gratitude.

I've always told the people I love that my life is an open book, I wear my heart on my sleeve. I don't have to say it, if you know me you know this to be true. If we are connected in some way, be it in the same physical space, similar spiritual space or just by love, I will most likely share some sort of intimacy.  Intimacy by way of words or even greater, in silence.  

[Since I became a mom the openness has transitioned into a small and very intimate safe space.]

I'm very proud and grateful for the TRUE connections I've been fortunate to experience in my short 39 years.  Some connections have been so profound even in the face of simplicity, it's wonderful, they have truly transformed my life.

In one of my Red Tent circles I have found the support to always be powerful in my vulnerability. I have found the space to face my fears and expose my weaknesses without judgement, just unadulterated and compassionate LOVE.

I've realized in the past few months that my subconscious has taken it upon itself to protect me in all ways possible.  I have a sister friend who has served as not only my buddy but also my "memory keeper." She's held on to so many of my thoughts and experiences and I've easily put them away to rest.  I am so grateful for her in my life as she is greatly responsible for my emotional well being and growth.  

When Jay-Z sung about the miscarriage his wife, Beyonce, had, I really didn't know how to feel.  It wasn't until I spoke with a dear friend of mine and she shared the article she wrote about her experience that I came to terms with it. What I now believe caused the uncertainty was having had the same experience as a young woman. It's not a memory I had owned, my friend kept it for me for so many years. It's mine now. I shared it with my partner and I've shared it with my dearest sister circle. I now have to agree with, and thank, my dear sister friend, Tomika, when she extends her gratitude to Jay-Z for shining a public light on something so relevant, so common, so life & mind changing.  Something that, like Tomika says, "it's just not the sort of thing you bring up at dinner parties."

I wonder why it is that we live a society that makes something so natural and common to be something so dark that women are afraid to discuss with others.  It's not anyone's fault. It's neither bad, nor good, it's a sad experience.  When it happened to me I was too young to really encompass the reality of it. Now that I am a mother to such an amazing being I am grateful to The Lord and The Universe for keeping me in safe Grace and for allowing me experience motherhood even after not knowing and honoring my early experience.


"There's a line in Jay-Z's beautiful new song "Glory," that he dedicated to his newborn daughter, Blue Ivy, that changed the way I look at him." "As you can imagine, it's just not the sort of thing you bring up at dinner parties."

Tomika Anderson via Regarding Loss & Gratitude


About 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage On miscarriage-statistics

Spontaneous abortion (SAB), or miscarriage, is the term used for a pregnancy that ends on its own, within the first 20 weeks of gestation. 

American Pregnancy Association Info On Miscarriages

Sadly, miscarriages are a very common occurrence. Sources vary, but many estimate that approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage; and some estimates are as high as 1 in 3. If you include loss that occurs before a positive pregnancy test, some estimate that 40% of all conceptions result in loss. 

Statistics On Miscarriages

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Respectfully & Sincerely yours,


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Conceive it, Believe it, Achieve it

In December of 2009 I was embarking on yet another life-changing transition, oh the joy!  One particular afternoon, I had had lunch with some very special ladies and on my way back to our office I decided to stop in Barnes & Noble near Washington Square Park, to pick up a new Agenda for the coming year.  As I was looking for what I needed I was drawn (as per the norm) to the "Self-Help" / "New Age" section, as I stepped into the aisle there was a book that practically fell off the shelf into my hands.

I began to skim through the beautiful pages as I gingerly returned to the office. ;)

I could not wait to get in the train to start reading this gem.

I loved it so much I wanted to share it with all my friends. I recommended it to Erika, a colleague I knew would LOVE it as much as I did.  Erika asked me if I wanted to facilitate a Book Club using this book, I JUMPED at the chance, just as the book JUMPED into my hands. :)

I reached out to the author, Patti Digh with the message below:

Dear Patti,
Hello. I'm Julie Katheryne, mother of Maximillian J., lover of life and Jaggie, former After School Field Supervisor and current Programming and Events supervisor, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to many beautiful souls.  I was searching for some answers and solutions to precarious situations and lo and behold I found your book.  Life is a Verb is truly an inspiration to me.  I walked into a Barnes and Noble on November 10, 2009 and it just jumped off the shelf and into my hands.  I have read the book and made a grillion notes in the margins, I continue to read and be inspired by it.  Thank you for creating it.  I have shared my inspiration with the Senior Programming Manager of my sister company and now the president of the company is purchasing 15 to 20 books to share with my colleagues for a Book Club that will meet on Friday, February 26, 2009.  The companys are The Leadership Program and Leadership Learning Lab.  WE specailize in cultivating students' and educators' sense of empowerment and connectedness. Our mission statement is:  Leadership is a dynamic urban organization that enriches lives, emboldens confidence and expands options by building strong leaders in classrooms and communities.
We host Leadership Classrooms for our fulltime staff (about 30 people) on Fridays and Life is a Verb Book Club is one of those classrooms this coming season.  It would be an honor to have you come share with us and or any feedback you can give us.
Again, thank you for creating this treasure. :)

Imagine my excitement when I received this response from Patti Digh:

Dear Julie -

Oh how wonderful to get your message - many, many thanks for your very kind words about Life is a Verb - I'm glad it jumped off the shelf at you!

That's so great about your Book Club - Interestingly, my business partner and I are doing most of our work in education these days, after years of corporate engagements. I love your mission statement - how can I help?


I am so grateful to Patti for her creativity, openness and kindness.
We had a wonderful book club meeting and Patti Skyped in.  We didn't have the capability to have a large screen at the time but we worked with what we had and it was phenomenal.

I had a thought, I believed in it and a group of wonderful human beings made the possibility a reality.  Now it wasn't as I envisioned it in my mind but it was as wonderful as I knew it would be.

The world is full of possibilities, go out there and create!

Thank you. 

PS: Patti has so many wonderful books. She runs workshops for writers and is just so talented, down to earth and brilliant!
Check out her website: Patti Digh's Website:

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Respectfully & Sincerely yours,


Sunday, July 1, 2012

I forgive you and I'm sorry

Sometimes we do stuff to people we love and it hurts them.

Nothing is personal in any way except to the individual herself.

This doesn't mean we should do what we deem even if it's with reckless abandonment.

The only thing I recommend we do with reckless abandonment is LOVE.

I forgive you and I'm sorry.

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Respectfully & Sincerely yours,