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Future Focus

IMG_0266For a total of 24 hours, I am babysitting a newly adopted 8 month old Cock-a-poo named Harley.  This is in addition to my one year old ‘mutt’.

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.

  1. recognize the negative future-focus
  2. remind myself I can choose another possibility
  3. reframe the thought to either a neutral or positive outcome
  4. release the thoughts of the future altogether
  5. 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!

Celebrating Self

DSCN0018Today I ran a workshop on Self Esteem that I had a great time creating.  I had even more fun facilitating it.  I was in my element from start to finish (minus the moments of self-doubt and avoidance and perfectionism – and back around).

So, taking from a lesson from the class,  I am celebrating my strengths using I AM statements to wrap up this experience:

I AM resourceful

I AM creative

I AM a planner

I AM able to ask for help

I AM surrounded by amazing friends

I AM good at research

I AM willing to do it “my way”

I AM motivated by making things the most fun I can

I AM able to set great intentions

I AM generous

I AM excellent at connecting.

Here is the feedback from the coordinator:

Thank again so much for coming and doing this session!!! Your gift for reaching people is an AWESOME sight to watch. God has given you a great ability to connect with people and this group of women lives has been enhanced as a result of having you cross their path.

I say a simple THANK YOU to that! (which is another lesson from today – accept compliments simply and graciously).  I would also like to acknowledge that this feedback speaks directly to my CORE VALUE – Authentic and Meaningful Connection

Final note – The words placed after the I AM statement are of utmost importance.  They are ‘facts’ to the brain…so make it GOOD!  Please, if you have read this post…do this for yourself.  It will do loads of good for YOU and those who you influence.  You’re doing the world a favor.

Speaking of favors, on my way to the event, someone bumped my fender.  I got out of the car, and released the woman from any obligation.  I then asked her to pay-it-forward.  She blessed me.  Today is officially a good day!

 

Oops, I did it again

DSC_0186I 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!

 

Lessons in Discomfort

prickely heart2Right before Christmas I got Shingles.

I knew I’d get it some point in my life.  I had heard that those who’ve had a small case of chicken pox would likely get shingles.  So, I somehow knew it would come.  It did!

Here are a few things I gleaned from it.

  • I have a tendency to catastrophize things…so when the pain started (before rash), I was brewing a story of cancer in lymph system.
  • My husband is not one for talking about medical things, but when I told him of my pain and rash, he diagnosed the shingles! So, my reframe for my husband is that he deals with medical things when it is important.
  • I am proud that I took myself into the doctor…my normal mode is to wait it out.  If I had waited, I would not have been able to get the medicine to reduce the symptoms and duration.  My lesson is that I can trust myself to do what I need when I need to, and things work out for me.
  • The minute I was officially diagnosed, I DECIDED that I would have a mild case.  I held the belief the whole time…guess what, I had a mild case.
  • When I told people of my shingles, I found MANY people have had it.  That is where they would then tell me in detail of their symptoms.  That was a tricky spot for me because I had decided to have a mild case…and focusing on harsh cases didn’t feel like a good place to be.  I held myself neutral and reminded myself that I was going for mild.
  • When the significant nerve pain started, it was Christmas-time.  It was a blessing for me to be focusing on myself and not worried about how everyone else was doing.  I stayed right smack in my own business where I belong.  As a result, I had a pleasant family experience (I didn’t say pleasant physical experience).

As I shuttle out the remains of my rash, I feel in some ways blessed to have gotten it out of my system and to have learned a lot about myself in the meantime.  To recap…I learned.

  1. Assume the best not the worst
  2. Stay in my own business – always.
  3. Trust that my husband also has intuition about his own health – and remember #2.
  4. Trust my instincts
  5. I get to DECIDE how I experience everything (even the seemingly unfortunate)…and in most cases, the experience rises to meet my expectations.
  6. When being exposed to topics and information I don’t like…stay neutral and keep mentally focused on what I DO want (change the subject if possible).
  7. See blessings in everything.  They are there if I open to them.

In Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life.  The affirmation for shingles is:

I’m relaxed and peaceful because

I trust the process of life.

All is well in my world.

To Love What I Do

IMG_1998Do what you love, Love what you do.

That is one of the many suggestions I have in my Self Esteem workshop I am creating for a nonprofit.  I love that I am reminded of the concept on the 2nd day of the year.  I am so happy to put this idea front and center for 2014.

I really want to believe that I can create an ideal, multifaceted career that fits my values, desires and strengths.  I am believing that it is possible…in fact, I might even be so bold as to say the career is already in process and I all need to do is see it, ask for it, believe in it and receive it gracefully.

At this moment, the clarity I have are in the words and requisite feelings that I am activating for my career and ultimately my life.  The list is long…  I’ll stick with 14 to commemorate the year 2014.

Creativity, curiosity, variety, collaboration, innovation, strategy, learning, relevant, facilitation, possibility, current, integral, meaningful, expansive.

As always…this or better!

Decide

IMG_0169Welcome 2014!

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.

Power Down

P1050126Today our power went out due to ice storms.

This did not cause panic in our home because it was early in the day and I had faith (hope?) that the power would come on in due time.  I also had the safety net of family nearby to retreat to for warmth, baths and recharging.

The interesting thing for me was my feeling of being lost and aimless as a result of no power (and coincidentally my iphone wasn’t connecting to internet either so I was truly unplugged).  It took me a bit of time to decide to get off my duff to find some things to fill my time; like cleaning the house, walking the dog, reading a BOOK or a myriad other fabulous things one can do without technology.

It feels almost ironic for me.  I am a child who was raised without a television, limited music resources of MY choosing, and often times left without friends and family to engage my time (we moved almost every 2 years with the Navy and my brothers were older and not interested in me).  I have NO CLUE what I did with most of my time, but I do know what I did with some of my time.

  • I was at best friend’s house constantly (I’m an extrovert raised in an introverted world)
  • I was listening to my three records on my child-size turntable (Annie, Sesame Street and Men at Work)
  • I was learning to recite poetry, like the one on the back of my brother’s Moody Blues record
  • I was reading books (not regularly though).

So, what I am saying is that I used to be good with ‘nothing to do’.  It was a standard of living I knew from childhood.

My take away from my ‘lost’ feeling today is that the ability to be ‘unplugged’ is a muscle that needs to be developed and exercised regularly.  I like the thought of that.  I like the idea of a routine unplugged ‘program’ that is meant for renewal and engagement in LIFE.  I get excited at the potential payoff; imagine the other random poems I can memorize!

To this day, I am a great party trick with my Moody Blues poem…”Breathe deep, the gathering gloom…”.

Powering up

DSC_0168I am settling into a phase of my life where I desire to amp up my earning power.  I have a myriad options before me on how to slice the income-pie.

I have been both enjoying the process of gaining clarity and also have been overwhelmed by the options and all the limiting beliefs I have about what it means to work.

The thing I love about this process is that I realize that I actually can get things done and can make good strides.  I don’t see myself putting things off.  I DO see that there are roadblocks that I must plow through and brave moments I must have.  I am practicing the art of putting my neck out there and knowing that I’ll be ok.

What I DO want is to feel empowered and that I have choices.  What I DO want is to have fun figuring this out.  What I DO want is this to be a fun story to tell in the end.  I DO want to clear out some of the ‘thinking muck’ as I go along so that when the opportunities present themselves, I can address them from a place of personal choice (want to’s) versus fear (have to’s).

It is all coming together nicely, in due time and with greater and greater clarity…and dare I say fun.

Milking It

DSC_0134Something has opened up for me.

I have been having a flood of ideal scenarios playing out for me.

I have been desiring meaningful connection, collaboration and some direction toward what my next career step will be.  I also have opened up a desire to do volunteer work that is aligned with my coaching/mentoring passion.

  1. Just this week I have 3 scheduled calls to discuss forward momentum with my ideal-type of clients (meaningful connection)
  2. I have said yes to a workshop for a local nonprofit (collaborate & volunteer)
  3. I have gotten 2 mentoring relationships started (volunteer)
  4. I have 2 new photography sessions on the books (creativity)
  5. AND I have had a response back regarding a possible job (career)

Other fun things are showing up like songs playing that I want to hear, :11 showing up on the clock on a regular basis, and not really related, but my DOG IS CLEAN!

I know how and why this works for me.  I am actually masterful at getting what I want AND also being relaxed when it hasn’t shown up (yet).  I am able to maintain an even energy that allows me to enjoy my simple abundant life while also launching desires and expansion that if it came would be FABULOUS, but if my life maintained its beautiful hum…I would be more than ecstatic.

I have become more and more skilled at playing both ends of the spectrum (simple AND expansive)…and I believe that is why sometimes I have these beautifully aligned periods.  I know that to acknowledge, accept, and honor these times (which can be called “milking it”), boosts the possibility for more of the same (or better!).

I LOVE what this week is bringing.  I LOVE that I can create and accept what comes into my life with ease and joy.  I LOVE sharing how this works with others.  Pretty amazing!

(picture is from my 15 year anniversary trip to Cambodia – one of my favorite trips ever!)

Hermit (but not crabby)

IMG_1607Where has the time gone, I ask?

I have not posted in ages and that can actually feel like  a disservice to me because I love writing.  What I do know, however, is that I experience fallow times on an annual basis and I can say its like clockwork.  I’m coming out of one of those times.

When I am fallow, I operate more on a simple ‘hermit-like’ approach where I keep to myself a little more and I allow a lot of nonlinear activity (including NOT CLEANING THE HOUSE) and introspection.

Recently I pulled an inspirational card from a deck (like Tarot Cards) and it said Hermit.  My mind and my heart said…yessssss…that is what it feels like.

The card suggests that you are in a phase of introspection where you are drawing your attention and focus inward and looking for answers within. You have a strong need to understand, not just at the surface level but to really know why life is the way it is. The Hermit reflects that your consciousness has moved inward and you now realise that the truth and understanding you seek is within yourself and not in the distractions of the outside world. This is a perfect time to take a step back from your day-to-day life and deeply contemplate your motivations, personal principles and values. http://www.biddytarot.com/tarot-card-meanings/major-arcana/hermit/

What the card did, was allowed me to be ok with it and actually made me recognize that it was a phase and it was temporary and that it actually was USEFUL.

I can tell when I am getting out of that hermit-like time when I feel the urge to write and create…it just pops right back into place.  And here I am writing again!

Not only have I popped back into place, I am inspired for a great change for me.  I am looking for a career opportunity that allows me to work in a collaborative environment because…speaking of the opposite of hermits..I am a people person (read extreme extrovert) and have found that working from home as a solopreneur is no longer desirable for me.  I want opportunities to work with people who are working toward a goal that involves creative thinking, facilitated discussions (by me!) and a process by which we can get great work done!  That sounds like a good time to me right now!

AND I get to continue my writing, coaching and photography passions when they work best for my schedule!  It’s a win-win for sure!