Recently I’ve created many opportunities that have pushed me to make decisions. I’m deciding on bigger things like, taking a part-time job, upgrading my website through a third-party and accepting volunteer opportunities that stretch me.
This is what I signed up for this year because my word is DECIDE. Something I couldn’t have predicted is learning the real power of the word AND. Over the years I’ve either heard or read about leaning into the AND versus having either/or, black-and-white thinking. Conceptually I was all in with the idea of AND. This year, I am experiencing AND, and it feels so fun and expansive. Who knew?
My biggest AND at the moment is that I have taken a fun part-time job in the city which gives me exposure to creative energy and PEOPLE (have I told you I am an extrovert?). This opportunity came as a surprise even though I applied for a posting way back in 2013 (way back sounds like it is so long ago).
One of my many ‘fun’ applications for jobs both strategic and tactical finally had a hit. The tactical job won out which is very cool AND it is part-time which allows so much more for me to expand on what I want to be/do/have at this point in my life. My experience of AND in this situation is that I get to have a fun, creative, collaborative and energetic work experience AND I get to build out my coaching practice. I can do both (the photography is a bonus AND). For whatever reason, I am now LOVING the word and am looking for more opportunities to experience it. It is as if I am now addicted to AND. I’m looking for another hit!
Just as I started developing this post, a colleague of mine posted about the SAME topic read here.
I’m on to something! What are your ANDs?
My thoughts about how difficult today was going to be were much worse than the reality. The day was actually reasonable. The puppies tolerated/played with each other….to the point of exhaustion. They now are flat-out on the floor at my feet.
There are several other situations in my life that have a continuum of potential outcomes from easy to terrible…and my mind is trying to write stories of the bad outcomes…and then I have to consciously bring myself to the truth of this very moment. The truth is, the event does not exist in this moment and that the negative outcome is only in my mind.
Choosing a peaceful possibility is in my control in the moment and I choose to create that story…for now. Here is how I do it…in the form of 5 Rs.
- recognize the negative future-focus
- remind myself I can choose another possibility
- reframe the thought to either a neutral or positive outcome
- release the thoughts of the future altogether
- re-engage in the moment at hand.
This is a lifelong practice. For some unknown reason to me, the brain has a habit of going toward the negative future outcome. The only purpose I can see for this is to have a sense of being prepared for the worst.
Instead of preparing for the worst, what I would prefer to do is to create the CONSISTENT story that says…
I am resourceful and will meet each situation with the intent to create as much peace for myself (and others) as possible. Therefore, I can trust myself and release the need to prepare for the worst.
Up NEXT…creating the story that tonight’s sleep is restful because Harley sleeps through the night!
I am somewhat embarrassed by the fact that I’ve done the ‘typical’ New Year thing and joined a gym. I pride myself in being a little different, so doing this seems like I’m following a crowd…but goodness, it isn’t a bad crowd to follow, right? I chose the closest gym to my house (3 minutes) which actually isn’t the “best” gym but has enough to keep busy. I think easy access is one of my tickets to success.
Here is my gym/fitness story. I have had some great successes in my past with keeping fit and staying in shape. I even ran a marathon and did a sprint triathlon. However, I also have a history of injury that puts me right back to ground zero. Deciding to build a significant habit again…and again…and again can be a little daunting.
The business of fitness brings up my “all or nothing” habits which create a little manic and overzealous approach and then injury comes and I stop cold turkey. My last big push was in 2006 (yes 8 years ago). I was left with bad knees and a permanent issue with my shoulder. These ‘injuries’ were manifesting before and got re-activated at that time.
As of late, I have been doing moderate exercise with walking, light weights and spurts of ‘classes’ from time-to-time. I’ve been content with this but knew that I would want to get back in better shape at some point…my mid section is asking for more (and arms too)! So, for the past year I’ve been talking to myself about a gym but have been cautious about what I am making ‘joining a gym’ mean. I want to make sure I am honest with myself and also be very deliberate with adding this into my life. Here are some of my wishes for this:
- I want to honor my fiscal investment and go on a consistent basis.
- I want to work within my limits and develop a healthy relationship with fitness.
- I want to ease into my habit…baby steps.
- I want to build a consistent (but flexible) routine.
- I want to avoid injury and ‘set backs’.
- I want to HAVE FUN doing it.
- BONUS: I want to meet like-minded people to add to my network of friend/acquaintances.
So, there it is, I am accepting what has been in the past and creating a new story and relationship with this fitness thing. I get to DECIDE how this works in my life. The overall intention is HEALTH and VITALITY!
The first of the year is deemed PAJAMA DAY for me. I not only stayed in my PJs all day, I showered and changed into CLEAN PJs in the evening. The first day also usually involves some beginning-of-the-year rituals. I created a visual journal page celebrating the Year of the Horse. I started a new year in my 5 year, line-a-day journal. I wrote in my daily journal (the last day I wrote was October). I finished some work for clients and started developing a class for a non-profit. While the day was relaxed, it was also meaningfully productive; a very nice start to the year.
Another ritual (like Pajama Day), is to pick a word for the year. Last year’s was Elevate. I reflected a little on what Elevate meant me in 2013, and honestly there isn’t anything that sticks out as super significant, but I can see where I’ve achieved things that have raised my possibilities. For example, I signed up to be certified in a coaching process based on the law of attraction (www.goodvibecoachingacademy.com ). I updated my resume and began to research career opportunities for me to work in a creative and collaborative environment (this will be in addition to my coaching and photography). I opened my heart to a new puppy. I stood down from the auction committee at the elementary school (normally I would have stuck it out). The list could easily go on if I spent more time thinking of the specifics of my year. I can see that each contributed to my concept of Elevate.
This year’s word came to me in a flash. The flash was due to the fact that I was in a group discussion and I had to come up with something ‘on-the-spot’. I decided to go with whatever came to my mind and chalk it up to divine inspiration. So, the divinely inspired word for 2014 is DECIDE.
That word can be a little bit overwhelming to me because it involves possibly having an opinion about things that I normally am flexible about. I also know that my Myers Briggs Type of P (perceiving) is naturally inclined to leave things ‘open’ so that I don’t close down other options. Deciding sometimes feels like a very risky thing to a P. The other uncomfortable part, is that my type in terms of the Enneagram (I am a 9) has a tendency to not focus on my own needs, but looking out for the good of the group. So this DECIDE word feels more challenging than it does peaceful…buuuuuut….I know that sometimes the things that make me want to drag my knuckles on the ground and mope, are the ones that, in my soul, I know are only going to provide growth and expansion for me.
My other belief about the word DECIDE from a law of attraction perspective is with clarity of desire, comes alignment and ease of manifesting said desire. Alternatively, if you give out ‘wishy-washy’ desires, you’ll manifest wishy-washy results, which may be fine in the short-term, but will then require more clarity over time to fulfill the ultimate desired feeling state that one is looking to achieve.
So, DECIDE for me will be a lot about knowing what I desire from a feeling state, and also owning some clear boundaries and decisions on what I really want next for my life. Two areas of specific interest to me are my career and my relationship with abundance. I may actually have to have some opinions about both…and that scares me a little…in a good way (I think).
Alas, this day is about to come to a close for me, and most likely tomorrow will involve wearing ‘outside’ clothes (not that wearing pajamas outside is a bad thing). I am feeling a sense of peace peppered with anticipation. It is a good feeling state for me because I live in a state of contentment with my simple life, but also am activating the desire for more and better. All is well.
I spent many hours creating a coaching process. What I like to call “creative flow”.
Flow is one of my desired feeling states. It is that activity that makes time pass without noticing and a sense of connection with something that is what I’m meant to do and be. Perhaps linked to my purpose.
Other flow moments for me are writing, photographing, and connecting deeply with people. Those are the things I find great pleasure in and in which I feel at my best.
What is your flow?
I had intended to write to start off the month “right”.
I was waiting for the perfect time to allow my fingers to alight the keys (blasted perfectionism).
It is now almost midnight (a bit later than expected).
The content is light.
I can sleep tight.
Knowing I did myself right.
By writing just a tad tonight.
I have recently come to realize that I am motivated by the ‘story’ I get to tell when cool stuff happens in my life. I believe that I have the ability (and we all do) to be deliberate about how events unfold in our lives. I have a lifetime of evidence and recently a boat load of practiced experiences that confirm my belief.
As a result, now-a-days, I pre-pave major and minor events in my life with visualizing how I want to feel and what I want to see. I then think about the many ways that it will be possible. I then drop all of those possible ways and say “this or better”. I then watch with a sense of anticipation and curiosity as to how the story will play out and I get excited to share the story with others (once it transpires). Here is a recent example.
A few weeks ago I realized that my AMEX card was not in my wallet. I had a strong sense that it was in my house somewhere so I let it go. Over time I was reminded that I was missing the card when I went to pay for things and started to gain a sense of “responsibility” in terms of finding the card. I also entertained the uncomfortable idea that it COULD be in the hands of the wrong person.
On Saturday morning I sat down and wrote a pre-paving statement that the card shows up in the house in an unexpected place. I then felt the feeling of elation that I would have when I found it, and the excitement I would have to tell someone. I let the statement ‘go’ (ie released any attachment to how the card shows up) and went about getting serious about the missing card.
I first rummaged through all the usual hot spots where the card could be in my house. Nothing showed up. I realized then that I actually needed to take this seriously and call the missing card into AMEX. I also realized that I had to admit my ‘loss’ to my husband (YIKES!). I ‘braved up’ and told him. I am grateful for his relaxed response. I got the 1-800 number off of his AMEX card and sat down to call. I dialed the number and as I was waiting for someone to pick up, I grabbed a notebook in case I needed to take notes. I opened it to a random page…AND THE CARD WAS THERE!!!!
This kind of crazy stuff has been happening to me a lot lately. I think it is because I’ve become practiced at stating what I want, believing it is possible, letting it go, getting busy doing something that feels good (sometimes my “feel good” is to be resourceful in solving the problem) and waiting to see how the story unfolds.
I love love love to tell my own stories and witness others. The ones that are positive of course are keepers and are meant to inspire. The stories that don’t serve me/us are meant to be questioned and turned around to encourage the possibility of a different outcome and perception. I am in the practice of witnessing both (positive and negative-turned-positive) for my clients, my friends and myself. Let the story-sharing begin…I’d love to hear! It’s like a virtual Speak Easy!
In 2008 I set the intention to write daily as a self exploration, curiosity, creativity, and escape-from-boredom process. I started on/near my birthday. I truly enjoyed it and gained a great deal from the experience.
And then, it stopped and I created all kinds of stories about that. I have since let my old blog www.happinessanmoonshine.com stay ‘as is’ without updates.
Today is my birthday. I desire to write regularly again on this website. I’d like the cadence of writing I achieved back in the day.
Here’s to my 44th year (feels like an auspicious number). Here’s to renewed writing goals and enhanced inspiration.
I love my new neighborhood and my new neighbors. In the past few months and as recently as this week, we have been welcomed so generously into the lives of the people who make up our neighborhood. I could not feel luckier.
Even before the possibility of moving here to the DC-area came into being, I had written about what I desired for a place to live. I wrote, and wrote and wrote…and I phrased it in the present tense as if my desires were already fulfilled (also know as “Pray Rain Journaling”).
I feel totally at home, I feel inspired by my environs, I am proud of the ability to walk and use public transportation and most of all, I am amazingly pleased to find that I enjoy the people in our neighborhood.
I have become a true believer of writing “as if” the desired outcome has already happened. My new journal writing will include how I intend to expand my network and my opportunities to make a difference for my family, my community and for other endeavors that I don’t know exist yet!
I love to think that ‘the best is yet to come’ – I am willing to have it be that way (and more). Because I cannot think of all the possibilities available to me, I always end my writing with the statement – THIS OR BETTER!
Today I co-facilitated a vision board workshop with a fellow coach Joda Coolidge. I love facilitating small groups and I love to expose people to new creative ways to set visions and goals for themselves. It is my playground!
I’ve been doing this process for myself for the last 5 years. I enjoy the actual process, and then have fun reflecting on what I’ve achieved.
My first one I did was my most ‘inauthentic’ of all I’ve done. I put things on there that I thought I ‘should’ want, like tons of money, an advanced certification, a published book. That was and is ‘en vogue’ in coaching communities and I thought I should have that on my vision board. When I recall that time, I can feel how much I was not aligned with some of the images.
On that same very board though some things did come true…I traveled extensively, I got a cleaning lady, had time to read a ton of books and so forth. The thing that was also on the board was a house that, to me, represented a living space that was ‘just so’. I was not necessarily interested in the house, just the feeling it gave me. Well, fast forward to now…I am living in that very kind of house – a Cape style. I didn’t even know I really wanted this style of house, and I wasn’t necessarily looking for this kind when we were house hunting, but that is what I live in. Pretty cool, huh?
I do my vision boards mostly from a ‘feeling state’ perspective. Of course, if there is something specific that I desire, I’m willing to put it on there, but I also want to make sure that I put how I will feel when I have it…because there is maybe something even better that can fulfill that desired feeling state that I cannot envision for myself.
I didn’t get a chance to do my own vision board today, but I certainly have a hankering…all magazines and glue sticks have better be on notice, I’m in a cutting and pasting mood! Watch this space!