BB Webb as BB Webb!

Exploring the Possibilities

How might WE rise….on this Easter Day April 24, 2011

Rise from the very beliefs, habits, associations, which hold us back from our true desires and potential.

Might nature guide us back to the places where we feel most alive?

Might sitting with our breath awhile remind us of other places we might arrive within ourselves?

I have felt over the last weeks the pull toward my own freedom as well as the anchor of my own habits, ‘stories’ from my past and inability at times to MOVE from where I feel momentarily stuck. And yesterday it was like thick glue arresting my heart and my soul.

And then the wakeup reminders we experience, (through people is how I seem mostly to receive them, they like actors clad in their own stories, their mannerisms a products of the many years which shaped them, their talk, their nuances)….all serving to take me more deeply into myself if I’m open to going there.

And I watch at how people pace themselves noticing their same mixtures of desire for ‘more’, (as in purpose in their lives), and too how they are drawn to desires I share, or where they also hold back with trepidation, hints of some unconscious fear.

Yet, at mid century point, many of us seem a bit protective of the lives we have created, branching out too much either in new terrain, physically or emotionally, is not always so welcome, certainly not if we’ve found a ‘groove’ which suits us in many ways.

Though I consider too how perhaps at times we ‘protest too much’ and a wandering outside our ‘safe’ zone might be a VERY good thing.

I feel the need, desire to ‘cloister in’ often, in myself….selfish or fearful at times, perhaps, but honest. And if honestly is selfishness, or rather, claiming who I am and what I desire for myself considered selfish, so be it.

Even so, I’ll encourage myself to wander more from time to time….and this week…..off to Italy I go.

Maybe I’ll run into the Pope…and he’ll offer some clues??

Perhaps we might all rise from the dead of our own limitations, our own lethargy which keeps us mired in energies of the past.

‘Rise up’ I say….’Rise up!’

Why not?

BB Webb

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We all need a champion! January 23, 2011

I had a young man working in my organization not so long ago. A tall, good looking, sweet and capable young man. He was caught drinking Carl House alcohol on the job. I had to let him go. In letting him go, I offered that I would not abandon him, but rather walk alongside him IF he reached out to me for help. I would not make it easy for him, but would offer support should he ask for it.

I am happy that he has. I had initially told him that I would not employ him again. Given his efforts, I have reconsidered. I feel it is important to guide people toward their own growth, to empower them through encouraging their positive action. I have learned not so much from my successes, but from what brought me TO those successes, which is most often challenge and adversity.

So, thank you tormentors. Thank you. I may not offer to supper with you, but I thank you nevertheless.

Below is his recent letter to me and my response today to him, his name changed of course to protect his privacy.

BB,
I would really appreciate some hours when some become available. I think the carl house could be a very positive atmosphere for me to wrok in. I would really enjoy a chat with you as well. If you would like to set up a meeting if you arent too busy that would be great. I have been continuing my progress of becoming a better person but have hit a few snags along the way and could use some good advice and you have given me some of the best advice i have ever recieved. Its not like i have resorted to drinking, im just kind of lost on a few things. Either email me or call me on either of these subjects.
Thank you,
Joseph


Thanks for reaching out Joseph. I’ll pass the word to Debbie about scheduling you when we can though this is our slow time. If there is other work available, I’ll let you know. Things though are growing since we launched our new website. Have a look, we’re very proud of it. http://www.carlhouse.com

You need to consider a group to check in with Joseph and of course, I’ll be here for you as I can be. Consider an AA group. You don’t have to be a fall down drunk to benefit from these groups, in fact, those of us with mild addictions often have the worse situation as it’s easy to justify why we feel we can handle it all ourselves. We are human and we ALL need support. I struggle with my own issues, we ALL do.

Find a group to visit with before we next meet. Bring the names of 3 or 4 options. You’ll be glad you did and begin to realize you are not alone with the struggles you face.

Consider where YOU might be of service to someone. If you are an animal person, consider giving some of your time to an animal rescue through PetSmart or a similar organization. You never know who you’ll meet who makes a difference in your life and you to them.

We ALL want to make a difference and to be recognized for the beautiful people that we are. And, we all want to make a living to support the dreams we have. It’s a process so be patient. You’re doing better than you know Joseph. Even writing to me is a BIG step.

So, find an AA group to visit, or several and a place to volunteer your time….if only a few hours a week. What you put out to the world WILL come back to you, in the proper time. Be mindful of who you hang out with and consider if they are helping to support the new directions you are wanting to take or not. They needn’t necessarily be BAD people, but question if they are the support network or a group of folks who inspire your movement forward.

Here’s how you can help me. I am looking for a student in film or marketing who is looking for a project for credit and experience at their school. I am embarking on filming some of my stories and am looking for someone to help film and document some goings on at Carl House to showcase on our blogs and newsletters. We have a new website and I have big plans for our growth, our YouTube and other social media outlets a big part of initiating that growth. So, if you know someone who might spend their time with me, I’d be most appreciative.

If you have time on Friday the 28….toward the end of the day, I can schedule some time around 4pm. Let me know. And just keep breathing, be conscience of where you are, where you want to go, ask for guidance from God, the Universe, whatever you believe and KNOW, know for CERTAIN, things WILL improve. It’s a process and it’s all EXACTLY the way it is supposed to be. Keep the faith Joseph and know you are cared for!

Warmly.

BB

There are so many challenges as we grow and unfold. We all have them, our worlds to negotiate. I want the best for this young man. He needs support as we all do. We all need champions in our lives.

I want to help in a bigger way than I feel I presently am. I consider how I might do so in a bigger way. This young man motivates me to find my next direction as well.

Peace and good things to us all.

BB Webb

 

Bob Banta births BB….Awwww Dad! November 22, 2010

I hadn’t put it together until just this evening, but my father, Bob Banta, (who dubbed me Barbara Suzanne Banta) was a BB as well.

Happy Birthday to my father, Bob Banta. He died some time ago and honestly, I feel a greater bond with him since his death than perhaps when he was of flesh.

Odd thing to say perhaps, but I ‘get’ him a bit more since his passing.

BB and Bob, November 2005

He was not a warm, fuzzy guy, prone instead to temper tantrums and outburst of ‘crazies’. Though part of me now understands him a bit. Actually, MORE than a bit. And I love him dearly. Totally and dearly!

We are all part adult, part child. The child parts show up in the most profound (interesting)? ways….and I’ve found for myself, often embarrassing ways. We all want to FEEL we are so entirely ADULT, but what indeed is that.

But none of us is ‘complete’, I feel on this planet….we are all unfinished specs of humanity doing our best to make our way. Some of us have a savvier intellect, or are more affable, some negotiate good business, others terrific family relations….but we all have ‘work to do’….and to me, that’s what makes life interesting, if not frustrating in moments.

We all have our world view, my Dad clearly had his. We grow up with our ‘rights and wrongs’ our ‘preferences’ so to speak. My Dad was a most rigid sort. He had a box in which he lived and anything outside that was deemed wrong. Imagine me, budding artist, creative soul living in his household!

My Dad found me a bit too LARGE for life, too animated, lively, loud, BIG and certainly dramatic. And, I am. That doesn’t make me wrong, merely ME. Me. Not him. Me. I clearly judged him, his box, his disapproval mostly, sadly. I know better now. You do NOT fight fire with fire. I prefer to ‘fight’ with boundaries and love!

And so as I’ve mellowed in SOME regard, (others not so and perhaps never will or care to), I realize that there are things we must just accept within ourselves, others we can maybe tweak but again, I am reminded of Popeye and his ever popular, ‘I yam what I yam’ declaration.

And so should you be. And if I find I am not fitting into the current choices in my life, I’d best find other digs. My brothers moved to Montana when they found the surrounds and growth within our once rural Pennsylvania, not fitting. They needed a new place to thrive and get what they needed. Certainly traffic in Bozeman is far less hectic than in an ever growing outskirt of the Philadelphia surrounds. I admire their decision making.

I too am outgrowing things in my life and it’s almost comical to watch me ‘burst at the seams’ as I do. My father perhaps never found his groove until later in life. Business was a huge stressor to him and I think the role to which he was thrust at that time in the world and in how he grew up, a mother more concerned with cleanliness that teaching ‘Bobbie’ how to love.

A funny memory is my Grandmother telling us not to sleep out in the backyard as kids as ‘bugs will get into your ears’!

Bob's 2005 BD, our last together with my brothers.

Though far from warm and fuzzy or generous with his compliments, he was a master at the back handed compliment, i.e when reading an article written about me in the local newspaper when I’d brought my play, ‘Through Ruby’s Eyes’ to my hometown….I shared the ups and downs of being a traveling artist. He said to me,

‘in other words, if you can’t stand the heat in the kitchen, get outta of the kitchen!

Bingo Bob! And that was his way of saying, ‘atta girl. You’ve got the right attitude.’ But he was unskilled in using words in that way…in the same way that some people are not effective speaking their truths in person, they need instead to write what they feel, my Dad had his own style for communicating his feelings. Though I’d hardly say he was ever much IN TOUCH with them.

I recently received a mail package of things my brothers procured from my father’s estate. In my bundle was every letter I’d ever written him, (and, effusive I am) along with trinkets I’d made for him as a child. I was moved beyond tears to guffaws of joy AND sadness. I wish we’d known one another better. I wish he’d been open to my brand of communicating and ‘being me’. I wish I’d known how to reach him better to let him know how deeply, deeply loved he was by me and how badly I wanted him to see me and tell me I was his own special girl.

But I know that now….not just because of the found trinkets and letters kept, but I feel his presence in uncanny ways. We speak to one another and honestly, he’s so damn proud of me and I feel that. He edges me along in my business, challenging me to think bigger, to create, to work my magic which he knows I have. His sense of the Universe is so much grander from where he sits now and I am the beneficiary of his vision.

He was a good man with a broken heart and a fractured soul. We’ll meet again no doubt and he’ll feel me and know on NO uncertain terms that he is valued, loved, found capable, smart, loving and special for just being who he is.

I love Bob Banta. With every inch of my fiber and more. Thank you for the gifts I’ve received through having you as my Dad, warts and all that we both have….I may be a similar pain in the ass to others that you were, but I’ve now both scienter and a heart filled with both forgiveness and love and I dare you, dare you dear Dad, to beat that.

Happy Birthday…you’d have been 89 years old today.

Love your DDD. Barbie Sue.

 

Play, play….time to play! November 7, 2010

For a woman who works the hours I do…certainly of late, I am reminded this early Sunday evening the necessity for play…with people we love, who ‘get’ parts of who we are.

BB and Janice with candy cigarettes and martinis!!

My friend Janice is one of those friends who makes me feel prettier, smarter, FUNNIER, more generous, inventive and generally a better person than I might feel I am….certainly with all the humanizing incidents that happen in a day, week, month or year.

Last evening Janice hosted a fundraiser for children’s education at she and her husband Dave’s home, (another fun sort). We all had a grand time with a Mad Men theme and decided for sure that we looked entirely like our parents. CRAZY.

The evening ended up with Janice having a visit to the ER, (an end of the party slip, not martini, but running child induced) and after we learned that Janice and her now stapled head, were fine, we guffawed all the more, imagining the stories we’ll tell her little girls when they are older…. remembering how YOUNG we looked, how fun it all was, putting the other less fun parts of our lives aside….remembering truly how minimal those parts are if we allow them to be.

Here’s to dear, dear friends and a good evening of play! Truly!
BB Webb

 

Breaking the Shell October 10, 2010

Ever feel as though you’re incubating…..under the warmer like a chick in an egg, waiting for the right time to hatch? I appreciate what Mr. Scptt-Maxwell has to say.

“You have neat, tight expectations of what life ought to give you, but you won’t get it. That isn’t what life does.

Life does not accommodate you, it shatters you. Every seed destroys its container or else there would be no fruition. ”

– Florida Scott-Maxwell, Playwright, Jungian Analyst, Author

It’s up to us to burst from that shell, that egg and to make sense of the world we’re delivered into….of this I know for sure….tempering it with who we seem to be….delivering our actions in a way that satisfies our passions, desires, our heart.

So, I work these days to brush away the broken shell to ready myself for the new work at hand, clearing away all matter that might be in my way.

I’m finding patience helps, breathing is a must, a few key allies to remind me of what I already know, but often forget as I’m sweeping, and of course sleep, renewing sleep is a must. Oh, and having a fire to sit by in the morning, the better to stir my fires within.

Loving the possibilities,

BB Webb

 

And When She Asked for Help…The Storm Did Subside August 28, 2010

Consider this. If you tune in, really tune in to what is unfolding in your life, can’t you feel when things are shifting and turning, realigning in a sense.

I’m not just talking when things seem to feel better, or you start getting along with your wife, or you get hired to a more fitting job, or your health improves, OR, conversely, shifts in what outwardly feels like a negative spiral…at least something NOT to our liking.

No, I’m referring more to an deep inner knowing shift….your DNA perhaps taking an evolutionary turn, appeasing the Gods of limitation, showing that, no, no, you ARE more powerful than anyone imagined, certainly than YOU imagined.

For I can say, even not knowing you perhaps personally, you ARE. We all are. I think our purpose on the planet is to realize that power…..used for good I would reckon, not sure why I consider that the case, but I do as recklessness, horror, hate and crappy behavior, I don’t get….certainly not when a conscious choice to ‘another way’ is available.

Though, I do understand being in places in our lives where we feel hopeless, helpless and powerless. I had such a moment last Saturday morning, and it was hysterical in retrospect.

(I love retrospect….it makes for GREAT stories…and as a sideline note, I’ve been having a terrific time putting MY stories on tape….soon to be shared, destined as a start for YouTube. I’m thrilled to get them in 3D and with a voice behind them, giving them, to me, more life and the expression I feel when writing them)…

…but, back to my meltdown. They don’t come often as I’ve as feisty and perhaps curmudgeonly as they come in moments….I DON’T take NO for an answer, readily….(in certain areas of my life)…..and though the details don’t matter, I had a rather hysterical ‘come to Jesus meeting’ with myself, at my wits end, the end of my rope, the tail pipe of my Thunderbird and the drain of my resourcefulness early, early last Saturday morning.

A thunderstorm was beckoning this outburst, coaxing me on, Ernie, my needy Husky boy, prompting my disdain and frustration as he whimpered to come in with a whine and tone that pierces my ear and frustrates me to no end. This boy with his full under cover porch, two floors really, with comfy dog houses, fluffy pillows, instead, standing outside my bedroom window-door whining in that frantic, annoying pitch, getting totally sopped, rain pouring on his thick yellow and black peppered hide.

I, all the while working through some grave issues of the moment, both perplexing and real, weary of the stress I was under, the need to rally solutions and new support, topped with thunder rocking my home, lightning sure to strike my dog acting like an idiot, (I felt) in the rain….needy and whining with every advantage at his paw-tips.
It was then I let my own rage loose, shouting through the window, ‘get out of the RAIN Ernie you moron, damn it, stop being so stupid…..AND STOP THAT INCESSANT WHINING DAAAAAAMN IT).

As I moved out of my bedroom I saw him fly to the porch, he racing around the back of my home as he does, to always be in eyes view of his ‘mama’. I could feel my rage course through my body and I know what I’m capable of in these moments of fatigue and no answers.

I opened the back door and shouted some mean things to Ernie, to shape up, stop being so senseless, cuss words at which I’m so adept, not making me feel any better, or that I was yelling at my loyal dog of 11 years. I could feel the guilt cloak me as I continued my rant, my body pulsing with rage, not anger, rage….seething rage…..anger is sensible….anger is healthy, rage on the other hand, is not, but reckless and unpredictable. It is helpless in those moments, hopeless and we feel powerless.

And I did. I stormed back in my house, slammed the door making the windows shake….stomping back and forth on my wood floors with all my weight and I was heavy in those moments, heavy with grief, frustration, my feelings of limitation, in my bedroom, though the living room, in my kitchen, a small space but an area enough to if not dissipate, release this tension which had been mounting for weeks, oh Lord, maybe months, years……I shouted, I cried, I screamed til my throat hurt and let loose anger and frustration I didn’t know I had hiding within my body. How could I carry all that….where was this coming from?

I finally found myself on my knees, fallen forward, nearly feeling the cliche, asking, ‘Oh GOD, I don’t know what else to do, help me please, I don’t have a clue what else I can do.’

And with that very request, summons, admonition, I don’t know, I could feel something begin to settle, a surrender, a letting go, the hinge coming off a shutter that didn’t need to be on this window of my soul, I don’t NEED to have all the answers, but I can ask for help, from God, the Universe, the ether net of worldly EVERYTHING….I’m not alone.

And then, my phone rang…my home phone which I don’t give out, have only for my security system…..and, oh, oh, and for my neighbors….I slowly walked toward the phone, looked squarely at it, lifted the receiver and in a sheepish voice, thunder still rocking my home,

‘Hello, this is BB’.

‘BB, this is your Carol, your neighbor’.

Oh God, my mouth dropped open before quickly responding, ‘oooooh, ooooooh, oooooooh, hi Carol.’ I could feel my face tighten. ‘Did you hear my screaming?’

‘Yes honey, is everything alright.’

‘Yes, yes, I was just angry with Ernie and frustrated with some stuff I’m going through and had to let off some steam. Everything is okay’.

‘Well, we were just worried.’

‘Thank you. I’m fine,’ and more quickly, ‘We’re all fine, everything’s fine, just fine.’ I paused. ‘Sorry about my language.’

She laughed, ‘oh honey, Bill and I were on the porch listening to the storm, we didn’t hear anything except screaming,’ she continued to giggle. ‘You just get it out honey, you get it all out. We’re here if you need us’.

‘Thank you Carol, I’m so sorry to worry you. Thank you.’

‘Oh, we’re fine. You just call if you need us’.

I hung up the phone and felt my body settle back down to the earth. A deep breath, some guilt in being so reckless, yelling at my yellow pup who wants only to be near me, see me through the window if I am in my bedroom, see me through the window if I’m on the sofa. My protector, yes needy as all get-out…but willing to get soaked to be near me, to lend a hand, a paw.

And I asked for help and the phone rang. And I asked for help and on Monday a solution came to one gargantuan off setting challenge. I asked for help and I found new solutions to business, several in fact. I asked for help and a new friend appeared.

I asked for help and I got it.

I am in awe of the mysteries of this Universe. I am in awe.

BB Webb

 

And then we die… August 7, 2010

I’ve been thinking a good bit about death lately.

Of course we’re all GOING to die….I don’t know anyone who ultimately won’t or hasn’t. Certainly there are folks who work ardently in defying it….working to look young, stay healthy….all that. Well, I certainly have a measure of vanity and would prefer being a good looking old bat, healthy, able, but moreso, I hope to have achieved a measure of my potential before traveling on…..but clearly that is my ego speaking…..my desire to create so many things…..as if I were in control. Funny that! Nevertheless, wasted talent to me is a disappointment, for sure.

I’ve lost some people very close to me….my mother…..my father. We all expect that our parents will die before us and frankly, I always worried when taking physical or safety risks that had I died before my mom, THAT would have killed her, certainly broken her heart which would have broken mine.

I realize with this thought, that the death of a loved one becomes so much about those of us still living, narcissistic, perhaps, but where I certainly have and do gravitate, the idea of living without them seeming unbearable. But, I’ve learned it IS bearable, in time.’

I’m not a parent, but I CAN grok that bond. But, my mother died first and despite the initial blow and the grief process that followed for some time, I worked through it and have her with me (sounds so hokey), in spirit. I get it. I do.

In fact, I was celebrating the good work of two key employees, serving them with a yummy dinner and wine at my house last evening, a treat for me. Memories of my mother Kitty came up. They wanted to hear stories. There were many and we laughed uncontrollably at some of her hysterical antics.


One of my favorite ‘Kitty’ stories, her cooking a roast on the manifold of our station wagon on a trip she took with we, her three children, on the way out west for a grand adventure,

(Everything was a grand adventure to her. We wouldn’t just have apples as a snack, it was always, ‘an apple party!!! Get your party hats!’ I loved that about her, she a woman who experienced untold adversity in her 74 years)!

So, our roasting oven on four wheels….these were the days when we had service attendants raising the hoods or our cars to check the oil. When our unsuspecting attendant lifted ‘Kitty’s’ hood, with his eyebrows high on his head, the smell of a seasoned roast wafting through his olfactory membranes, with her broad and characteristic smile, Kitty beamed, ‘care to join us for lunch?’

Good heavens, the love I had…have for her is clearly, unmeasurable and certainly thicker than molasses and as dark as tar! Deep! And once you have loved deeply, there is no other way.

My two work team players drank ‘after dinner coffee’ in Kitty’s fine china and spooned homemade frozen yogurt from her rose painted dessert bowls. She is with me everywhere, mostly her heart, seeing me through the tough times, rallying my wins, always hoping I’ll find love in ways she didn’t. I feel her smile and her ‘back’, her fortitude and her energetic presence whenever I tune in, as she is never far. I had and have no better champion. Experiencing this sort of love can buoy a soul in magical ways.

And, I am a grateful daughter, reminding me, that it is the challenging twists and turns and how we surf, lob, traverse or bob through and around them, that determines the profundity, the power of our relationships with others. I appreciate that. Adversity can serve us deeply if we stay aware.

We don’t need many ‘rocking chair’ friends, the ones who will be with us in spirit or in the flesh throughout our entire life, some still alive though who we don’t see in the flesh as often as we might prefer, but the few I might count on one hand, oooooh, they are like the right seasoning on a roast…..be it cooked in an oven or on the manifold of a 1960’s station wagon!

BB Webb