Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

•January 2, 2014 • Leave a Comment


Goodbye, 2013.

2013 was a little crazy. A lot of big things happened. My 2013 in review:

  • D traveled with my parents for the first time albeit was only to Dallas
  • I got to be the maid of honor at my best friend’s wedding
  • We got our first apartment in a new town
  • Graduated college with my BAE family
  • My younger brother graduated high school and started college
  • Tornadoes tried to take out the apartment as well as my friend’s wedding.
  • Visited California for the first time since eighth grade (twice)
  • My brother won County 4-H Hall of Fame
  • I started grad school and a new job
  • Went to Jamaica on our honeymoon
  • I ran my first 5K & mud run
  • Dad had total knee replacement surgery
  • Had our first Christmas together 🙂

Overall it was a pretty awesome year. It’s good to look back and celebrate all the amazing things that happened this year. 2014 has a lot to live up to but if it’s a little quieter I won’t be too disappointed however. 🙂 I have a really good feeling about 2014. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I prefer to make goals for the year. For me personally, the word resolution doesn’t carry the weight or motivation as goals. Here is the list of things I want to do in 2014.

  • Monthly family meetings to review budget and set goals for the month
  • Wake up earlier for mediation, workout, and planning
  • Get in a Routine
  • Date Night once a month
  • Tackle one room a month
  • Go camping somewhere new in OK
  • Complete a creative project each month
  • Start Journaling Again (Blog – Hence this post 🙂 )
  • Present Research at AIM in Montreal
  • Go Paleo – Mostly
  • Make a 4.0
  • Learn Conversational French

Hello, 2014 🙂 It’s gonna be a great one 🙂

Mindfullness, Heartfulness, Bodyfullness

•June 20, 2012 • 1 Comment

Through ALIA this week, I am really trying to hone in my mediation practice. Last time I was here, I always left mediation frustrated and feeling as if I was struggling with a foreign language. I realize now I wasn’t fully giving myself into the practice or allowing myself to just be as I was. I was still trying to change it in my mediation.

But this post isn’t really about mediation or my mediation journey. It’s about what came to me through mediation. (!!!!) Alan Sloan said something yesterday during morning mediation which intrigued me because I was experiencing the brunt force of it all yesterday. He said that mediation wasn’t just mindfullness. It was mindfullness, heartfullness, and bodyfullness because those three things are completely and utterly connected.

I was going through a whole rollercoaster of emotions yesterday. Tears flowed on numerous occasions, I had to keep reminding myself that the fear and nervousness meant I was onto something great, and through it all, I was allowing myself to just be in the moment with that emotion. Not trying to change it or look at it as being wrong. I just was and I was having a hard time putting that all into words.

My body, however, knew exactly  what I was feeling. I had the incredible heat radiating out of me all through the day yesterday. Normally, I am a very cold-natured person. Yesterday was not a particularly warm day and no one else seemed to think that the building was that warm. But I was on fire.

And at the end of the day, after all was said and done, after all the workshops, decisions, and mediation. My muscles ached. I only walked up and down the hill once yesterday and that was all the physical activity I did. My muscles didn’t ache this month after the hour and a half walk I took Monday.

It’s just interesting how connected our whole being is to each other. It was as if the heat I was radiating was from the friction coming off the tracks of my emotion rollercoaster. No matter what emotion it was, it was hard, fast, and fully experienced which is a gift that I haven’t granted myself in a very long time. And at the end of the day, when I given all my emotions, allowed my truest self to come forward, my body was exhausted and ached. It granted me such a feeling of enlightenment. An ‘ah, ha!’ moment. That’s what’s going on with my body! And to physically feel the connection between all parts of me is just extremely powerful.

It was an amazing day. What better what to end it than in a bar 🙂

Slowing Down

•June 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

We’re always rushing. Going a hundred miles an hour, always trying to get to the next step. And I for one am especially guilty of this. Both my family and my fiance have said on a number of occasions that I thrive on stress, that if I wasn’t trying to juggle fifty million things at once I couldn’t function.

Unfortunately, all of that is probably true. From my readings of Amy Ahlers and Christine Arylo, I have discovered that I am an achievement junkie. I have to be doing and succeeding at things. I have a really hard time dealing with failure, walking into the unknown, and with just sitting and breathing in stillness.

“Hi, my name is Qualla and I am an achievement junkie.”

I’m still not sure what that entails or how to correct it but admitting you have a problem is always the first step right? 🙂 And the fact that I can just admit it and be okay with that is a step in the right direction as well. Not feeling the hurried need to correct it or fix the problem now. Just knowing that I am.

But this post isn’t really about being an achievement junkie. It’s about how slowing down is imperative for our quality of life, especially for an achievement junkie like myself.

Yesterday was a day of arrival, travel, and relection. Today was full of relaxation and nature. I slept in and had a leisurely morning getting ready, organizing, and visiting with my fiance back home. I then ventured out and took about an hour and a half walk down the waterfront road just outside of campus, taking in the sights, sounds, and fragrances that are Halifax. After I returned I took my blanket, lunch, and a book outside for a picnic on the grass under a beautiful tree. I read a little, I wrote a little, and I took a little nap before returning to my room before conference registration.

And you know what? For once, I didn’t feel bad about it. I didn’t criticise myself for “wasting the day away” or beat myself up for taking that nap. Today I did exactly what I was supposed to do. I transitioned from my normal chaotic everyday lifestyle to the slow, relaxed pace that is ALIA.

Susan said it best in her welcome to the conference at dinner. We have enough time here. There is no need to hurry. Everything that needs to happen during this time will happen. We have enough time to truly go deep into those meaningful conversations and relationships that are forming here.

Today has already been an amazing day. Already had such stimulating conversations and made new lasting connections with people, as well as reconnected with old friends and mentors. The nervous energy is fading and the excitement is building. Something great is gonna come out of this week. I can feel it and know it.

This is where I am meant to be at this moment.


•June 18, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Today is a day of travel and reflection. I find myself nervous. Old feelings I recognize from the last time I made this journey emerge. I am not the same girl that walked this path two years ago. I was at a turning point in my life. I have grown so much from that scared little girl to the woman writing to you today.

That girl needed the physical affection of a man to define her worth. She turned to alcohol to hide her insecurities. She arrived in Nova Scotia afraid of what she’d find or be asked, feeling unworthy to be in the presence of the amazing people around her.

She left ALIA more confident with a community of support around her. She had learned what it meant to be woman and to embrace both the feminine and masculine parts of herself. She had a new set of tools to deal with the unknown, her insecurities, and her relationships.

Today, as I make the trek back to Nova Scotia, I reflect on how far I’ve come from that place. In the two years since my first trip, I have worked to breed positivity in my life and cut out negativity. I put my worth back in myself rather than in how others see me or love me. Realizing this, I have been finally able to cultivate a healthy and satisfying relationship with a man who loves me unconditionally flaws and all. I am working on recognizing my bad habits and exploring why I developed them rather than chastising myself repeatedly for them.

I am working on a better me and growing as a person and a leader along the way. I left ALIA in 2010 on the brink of a new me. Last time, it was a very personal journey. I am arriving today with hopes of continuing that journey but also developing the professional tools to bring home the lessons taught here in order to implement sustainable change.

Here I have set the intention for this next week. I have released it into the universe. The see has been planted. This week it will be nourished and the soil will be cultivated. For when I return to my home, my family, my people, and my university, it can blossom and produce fruit for me to share with all.

When I Am Fearless….

•July 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

At the beginning of this year, I was really unhappy and struggling with self-doubt and fear. What happens when we let go of fear? What could we accomplished? I spend a few days really soaking in these questions and really letting the ideas and answers stew. This was what was created.

In the months that have followed, I’ve really undergone a transformation and you all will hear more about this soon I promise 🙂 But as such, a lot has been accomplished towards my When I Am Fearless… list

– I will speak my mind & feelings.

            I will not let fear of offending others keep me from sharing my voice. I will not stand by & stay quiet when injustice and hatred strike whether it is directed myself or others. This is something I am still learning but I’m very pleased  with my progress. I am finding my voice. 🙂

– I will find my voice through blogging.
 has begun as you can tell and I will continue to share my voice, which is a valid voice that needs to be shared, through this venue.

– I will love with all my being.

         Devin and I are getting ready to celebrate a year of being together. He is my biggest cheerleader and supporter. I fall in love with him all over again every day.

– I will trust God, others, and myself.

         I am slowing becoming more trusting of others as well as my own abilities. Still learning but progressing 🙂

– I will not sweat the small stuff.

        This is my biggest difficulty. I tend to stress and worry about everything and blow things out of portion. I am slowly learning but this is definitely my biggest challenge.

– I will embrace the mystery of the unknown

         I have really embraced the idea of not knowing what’s coming next. It still makes me nervous every once in awhile, but I have definitely become more comfortable with sitting with the mystery.

– I will tap into my creativity

– I will paint again

         These two kinda go together. I have a creative journal which I color, journal, or draw in almost every day 🙂 I have really started painting again. Mostly little things like door hangers with our initials, but painting and creating. Something that relaxes me and I truly missed. 

– I will smile when I look in the mirror

       My personal body image has never been the greatest. One where I thought I was pretty but nothing special. The small step I wanted to make this summer towards this was I wanted to get myself a bikini swimsuit something I’ve never had. This summer, I bought and have worn a bikini as well as a sexy one-piece w/ cutouts. 🙂

– I will dream BIG!

      I just recently applied for Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women Competition. The women who last year were AMAZING and my inner gremlin tends to tell me there’s no way I’d measure even close to them. But, when I am fearless I’ll apply anyway 🙂 What’s the worst that can happen right? I don’t get the award but I get a free dinner instead 😉

– I will be calm, organized, and confident

        I have a routine. One that I do allow myself to break occasionally, but one that keeps me organized and calm. Gets everything done, but still allows for creativity & leaway.

– I will just. be. me.

When I am fearless….. the possibilities are endless….

From Fear to Celebration – Contemplative Transition

•May 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I have been trying so hard to put something out today but this is gonna be as good as it gets today. So I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Today I was working on video blog after video blog and it just wouldn’t cooperate so I’m gonna try my best to get all my thoughts from today here.


Last night we had a beautiful thunderstorm here in Oklahoma. We’ve been fighting a drought so this morning the earth was so alive, fresh, new, and vulnerable. That’s basically how I was feeling. Very contemplative. Trying to sort out my thoughts and feelings. This week has been a very stressful & weird week and it took till Friday for me to sort it out.

My first video blog attempt was very vulnerable. There were smiles & tears & signs. I was talking about my fears. Everything these last few months has been about my fears. My fear of disappointing others & failing. I put those two together cause they stem from the same thing. I fear failing for fear of disappointing those I care & love. I can’t handle the thought. And it’s not like anything major or dramatic happened to make me that way. It’s just how I am. I strive for the best. I strive for every opportunity. And when I fail, I feel like I’m letting everyone who worked so hard to help me and cares down. My parents, my mentors, my loved ones. This morning I couldn’t even handle talking about it. It literally brought me to tears.

My second fear is of the unknown. Growing up that was always my biggest fear. Not the dark. Not the monsters.  Every night before I went to bed instead of having Dad check my closet for monsters, I asked over and over the plan for the next day until they told me every detail. Now, as I’m in the middle of my college career, everything is unknown. I have no idea where my schooling is gonna take me. No idea what tomorrow will bring. No idea. And it scares me shitless. I hate it.

But slowly and surly I’m learning to embrace my fears. I know that with my passions and my purpose fear will always be present. And I just have to smile and have the courage to acknowledge it and move forward. “A leader without courage is no leader at all”


After releasing my thoughts & feelings into the air, I had a visitor. A beautiful hummingbird came up right in front of me as if to tell me I wasn’t alone. That the universe had heard my cries and wanted to let me know its okay. Hummingbirds are seen as purifying and to bring rain in desperate times of need in many different first nation stories. 

After some frustration with the failed video blog attempt, I got some really good news about my brother succeeding and it shifted my whole mood as well as a job offer of my own. I was excited and ready to celebrate some of the amazing things in life.

I love birthdays. Not my own especially but others. I go all out for the birthdays of those I care about. Today is my role model and amazing woman, Heather Plett’s 45th birthday. Tomorrow is Devin’s birthday. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and his birthday has actually been a source of stress this week. His birthday isn’t usually a big deal and I wanted to make sure everything went perfect. I forgot to celebrate. I lost my passion in the perfection.

This afternoon I found my passion again. I baked Devin’s favorite cake (his mother’s recipe & i’m kinda nervous lol).  Made pudding. Made a HUGE card for him with markers, paint, and glitter 🙂

One of my passions is celebrating others. And learning to celebrating myself and my own journey. I started reading Jennifer Loudan’s e-book about the Shero’s journey. I am stepping into my Shero’s journey. Diving deep into my self and new discovery.

Another quote I really liked from my readings today was from Heather Plett’s How to LEAD with your paint clothes on e-course. “Only when he no longer knows what he’s doing does the painter do good things” I have no idea what I’m doing. None whatsoever. But everyday I learn something new about myself, my passions, and my purpose.

Celebrate those around you. Celebrate yourself. Celebrate each lesson and each other. 

Warm thoughts & Much Love

Oklahoma is thinking of you

Calm, Fresh, Thankful, and Alive

•April 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

  *An exert from my journal this morning,

“the simplicity of a morning sunrise. the magic of sitting quiet and still. soaking in the fresh air and new rays. saying good morning to the trees and the birds. sitting in awe of the brand new day. a new day untainted by the strain and worry of the day. a new day, just thankful to be alive and grace the world with its light once again. keep this spirit throughout the day. quiet. calm. fresh. thankful. when the course of the day starts to drag you down, remember the new sun rays. With their fresh new outlook on life and the day. remember the calm of a new day. for tomorrow, the sun will rise once again and the birds and the trees with sing their beautiful songs. and i will rise again. calm, alive, fresh, thankful to grace the world with my light once again. my name is qualla parman and this is my hope for today and every day after. to live like the sun and the birds, and the trees. to just be. to just be calm, fresh, thankful, and alive”

*the picture is not mine unfortunately. google search*

First Step to Surrender

•March 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I sat down today and wrote down some notes on blog ideas that were coming to me when I realized they were all the same story. Surrendering from fear and self-doubt and leaping into the great unknown that is the future.

Last summer I had the amazing opportunity to participate in the ALIA Summer Institute in Canada. It was the start of a total transformation in my life that is still continuing. There is so much to say and so many aspects to discuss about ALIA but this post is simply about the beginning of my journey to surrender.

One of the first activities we did in my Women Leadership module was to take a sheet of poster paper and draw a picture of our life journey. Being one of the youngest participants in the module, I didn’t know what I could really bring to this activity surrounded by all these amazing women who really experienced life. Looking back, I felt very self conscious and inadequate, feelings I’m becoming very familiar with as of lately. I ended up drawing this HUGE black question mark covering most of the sheet simply surrounded by little pictures of things I was interested in, passion about, and loved.

That question mark is the physical representation of where I was in my life and where I still am. Not knowing who I am, where I’m going, what I want to do, just plain not knowing. My greatest fear. The unknown.

One of the many things I truly learned at ALIA was learning to just be. to just be me. to be okay with not knowing. not doing. just being. (something that since returning to Oklahoma, to school, and basically to reality I am still struggling with and learning)

As the conference continued I kept an eye on my question mark. I planned on bringing it home with me as a reminder of that experience. However, the last day of our module I made a grim discovery. While busy making a collage (something I loved and strongly encourage), I saw one half of my question in the pile of poster sheets used for the collages. I was mortified. completely. After that feeling had passed, I realized that I was still hanging on to that question mark. That fear. I still wanted to carry it home with me.

I had to let go. I had to leave that question mark in Nova Scotia and come home to Oklahoma. Surrender to the unknown and return to school a new person.

Letting go is currently a huge struggle for me even still but I am learning. If this is something you find yourself working on, I strongly recommend Heather Plett’s new series “Letting go of the Ground”. It is amazing. Brought me to tears several times. I’ll link it at the end of this post. I also recommend this summer’s ALIA Summer Institute. I am trying my hardest to find a way to get to Columbus this year. Poor college student. lol. It is also linked at the bottom of my page.

Plagued by Self Doubt

•March 26, 2011 • 3 Comments

I’m not smart enough.

I’m not pretty enough.

I’m not old enough.

I’m not good enough.

I don’t have the qualifications.

I don’t have the knowledge.

I don’t have the grades.

I’m just not good enough.

I’ve been dealing a lot with these negative thoughts lately. Majorly. I’m not doing as well as I would like in my studies. I don’t think I’m gonna enough for the applications I’m filling out. I even think I’m failing at blogging…

I don’t understand. Why the sudden lack of confidence? Why the self doubt?

I’m a strong young woman. I know that my voice needs to be just as much as anyone else’s. I know that this is a tough field of study and just cause its gonna take longer than i thought doesn’t mean its not impossible. Knowing and feeling are two different things.

So what do we do? How do we deal with it?

Push through it. Take a leap. Do something for someone else. Apply for the positions even if you think you won’t get it. Love even if your afraid of being hurt. Dream cause you’ll never know when it might come true.

So, I’m gonna turn in that application. I’m gonna do the laundry and clean the apartment. I’m gonna make my boyfriend lunch and curl up with him at night. I’m gonna smile, laugh, and be with my friends. Surround myself with love and positivity. Dispel the negative energy and bring some light to the world.

I am Qualla Jo.

I am adequate.

I am good enough.


I Hate Girls

•March 10, 2011 • 6 Comments

This is my personal response after reading “Sophia Rises – Changing the world through feminine wisdom” by Heather Plett

“I hate girls”

I have been saying this for as long as I can remember.

Growing up I had a lot of masculine energy surrounding me.

I grew up as a tomboy. Farm girl. Played with dirt and the animals. Card carrying member of Boy Scouts of America. Went climbing, rappelling, camping, 4-H, FFA.

The most ‘girly’ thing I did was cheerleading, but no matter what I tried, I just didn’t fit in with the girls. I got along with guys so much better. It wasn’t until my senior year of high school that I really had a best girl friend.

On top of that, my mother isn’t exactly your typical mother. She is a very strong woman and I always strive to have her kind of strength.  We didn’t have your typical mother-daughter conversations. She didn’t hold my hand while I getting shots. It wasn’t that she didn’t care. Quite the opposite. Its just that her masculine energy is greater than her feminine and thus growing up I leaned more towards the masculine.

It wasn’t until recently that I started to embrace my feminine. It was always there. Always present in all I do. “Never Lost. Always Within”

I first began to realize my feminine nature at the ALIA Institute in Nova Scotia, Canada. The first blessing was the opportunity to be at the institute at all. I was one of the youngest participants there and the only one from my area. The second blessing came in the opportunity to participate in a Women in Leadership Module. This was first time that I was really able to be in a circle of women.

The wisdom, energy, experience, and love that was in that circle is something I will never forget. Listening to their stories, to their feelings, I became more in touch with what it truly meant to be a women. to be a woman in leadership. That it was okay to be emotional. That it was okay to care. That it was okay to cry. I began to embrace my feminine energy, to truly realize it and its power.

In my Cherokee culture, the women were strong. Tribal decisions could not be made with the approval of the Sacred Woman. The masculine and the feminine were equally important and revered.

In my male driven field, it is important that I continue to balance these two principles. Never forgetting the other. My masculine power gives me the drive to succeed and find my place and purpose in this world. It is my feminine love that gives me a different insight, the urging to unite, nuture, and bring up others to succeed along with me.

Yet another beautiful paradox