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Archive for March, 2013

I realized not that long ago that I have been chasing some dreams and not getting anywhere and I couldn’t figure out why.

At least that is what I told myself.

When I had the courage to ask myself some tough questions and pause long enough to really look at what I was doing it really seemed like I what I was really doing was chasing my tail rather than my morebedingdreams.

So, I had to ask myself what the deal was.  Why was I feeling very ‘busy’ but getting nothing done in terms of moving forward with some things.

Busy doesn’t mean productive.  Do I really have to explain this?  I think we know deep down when we are being ‘busy busy’ but not being real. Procrastination loves this aspect of itself.

I was chasing something but never catching it.  This plan had to change if anything was going to be achieved I knew that.  The hard part was being really honest with myself and not beating myself up at the same time.

Mindful examination without judgment…wow.  Powerful stuff…and really tricky at times.

Still I decided to STOP chasing my dreams altogether.  This doesn’t mean I’m not still planning on achieving my dreams – no way I’d give that up!

What is means is I’m no longer blindly running around hoping to fall into what I need.  Fact is even if I had I’d probably have kept running around unable to recognize it anyway.

So I stopped chasing.  I started pulling my dreams towards me with conscious deliberate steps.  Mutual attraction is so much more powerful.

I asked myself what do I need to get ‘here’.  Then, how can I get what I need.

Two very simple, very powerful questions that stopped the chase.

Now I’m walking purposefully towards what I want.  I know what I am doing to get there.  The blinders are off, the chasing has stopped and I no longer am waiting to fall into something.  I’m making it happen.

For the record one of my dreams – now a concrete goal – is to train to be an ICF certified Wellness Coach.  More tools, more skills, more people to serve. Although I am already a certified coach I really felt limited by my own skill set and wanted to get DEEPER.

I’m doing that right now.  In about 6 months I’ll have nailed that goal down because I asked myself what I needed (training) and how I can get that (research schools, talk to people) and then I submitted my application.  I was approved and started just recently.

It’s like waking up in your own bed after being away for a time.  It just feels right and perfect.

If you are chasing your dreams maybe it’s time for you to stop too.  Give up the chase and start the path of striding with all sorts of confidence towards what you want and need.

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This past weekend I was at a 3-day intense (and I mean INTENSE) training weekend called Life and Leadership Potential.

I hardly even know how to put into words the power of this weekend on my energy, my thoughts and my  mindset.  Incredible? Amazing?  Even my moniker FABULOUS seems to be not quite enough but I think you get the picture.

When what turns into a 12 hour day of learning and fun and meeting some amazing new people feels like I just had a wonderful vacation you know you’re doing something right in your life.

This weekend I heard a quote by Bruce Schneider that said something along the lines of this world has a disease that is tearing it apart.  (I am paraphrasing).  That disease is ‘what’s wrong?’ mentality. I was shocked a little when I heard this.  Heck, I’ve WRITTEN about this before but this is the first time I’ve heard it put so perfectly.

Is this you?

We’re wrecking ourselves with this way of thinking.  Scary right?

Disease

  • A disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, esp. one that produces specific signs or symptoms
  • A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people

Think about the word…is means not at ease or uncomfortable.  We are all walking around unhappy, uncomfortable in our own skin and part of the reason is in our own heads.  We look for it.  We are almost addicted to having problems and drama.

The beauty is we don’t have to be this way.  We can shift that to a different default way of thinking.  Instead of always looking for the bad, the dramatic and the ‘what’s wrong’ in the world.  When was the last time you looked for what was right?

Now I have personally spent a few years working on this mindset shift and boy did the universe help out with lots of ‘stuff’ being thrown at me!  And sadly I’ve yet to have the test around how I’d handle winning the lotto. 🙂

You can shift everything at once. It’s not really sensible to expect that.  BUT we certainly can take some baby steps, make smaller efforts to affect change.

And you KNOW I believe that this creates a ripple in the pond effect.

So here are a few suggestions of how we can begin to build some energy that looks for what is right.

  • after your child brings up an annoyance at school with a friend, ask them what is ‘right’ with that friendship
  • in a meeting with your team at work, don’t forget to ask about the ‘wins’ they had that week
  • remember to tell your spouse why you love them (not just I love you…but why)
  • tell your parent about something they did that inspired you
  • find good news stories to share
  • when your tempted to complain about your kids/wife/husband/friend or whomever, instead consider what is wonderful about them
  • when things don’t go your way ask yourself where the opportunity is in it

These are just some ideas.  Not to many because I’m going to ask YOU for your thoughts because I know you’ll have brilliant insights.

What are you willing to do to start thinking in the “what’s right mindset” today?

Please share with me below some of your suggestions or perhaps there is something you can and will DO. Then come back and tell me how it went.

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“Need” thinking seems to be getting more people in trouble these days.

What is need thinking you might be wondering.   Ah..this is all about word power once again.

You see there is a very big difference between wanting something and needing it.

And sometimes it can be really tough to tell the difference; especially when it comes to what our hearts feel.

What we need and what we want.  It’s goes back to being mindful and self-aware.  I think the surge of ‘in your face, every moment of every day’ marketing has shifted our thoughts on need and want.  We are getting it mixed up and it’s starting to wear us out and mess us up.

What do we need?

Shelter, food, love, compassion…these are needs.

What do we want?  Oh my…loads of things right?  From houses, to shoes to an old boyfriend or girlfriend.

There is nothing wrong with wanting things I suppose it is human nature after all.  Heck, even my dog Charlie ‘wants’ things sometimes.  The trick is to understand where the drive is coming from and temper it with a bigger ‘end’ goal.

I see many of my friends who have trouble with their wants and needs.  They don’t ask themselves how it fits into their bigger goals in life.  A really simple example is a friend who won’t go to the doctor for a recheck on a serious problem because it will cost money.  At the same time, almost the same breath this person tells me all about the great stuff they got on clearance…none of which they needed or even wanted before they saw it.  And in the same conversation they are talking about the sales on this weekend.

My head was spinning trying to figure out a way to point out this glaring gap in common sense…your health is far more important than more ‘stuff’ dont’ you think?

But, how many of us will sacrifice some or part of our needs in order to fulfill momentary wants?  I caught myself thinking about this when the price of my favorite fruit went up considerably. I almost didn’t but it but suddenly realized that their were things in my cart I didn’t really even want and probably won’t eat much of – but they were on sale.  Does that make sense?  Nope.  Those things went back on the shelf and I bought my fruit.

This type of need thinking creates homes and offices full of stuff.  We want it, but we think we need it.  We get caught up in the pull and end up living in clutter.  Even organized clutter isDo tell... still clutter.

How many of us complain we need more room, less clutter or to get organized?  Really?  Or maybe we need less stuff that doesn’t matter in our life.  My new policy is I can think things are beautiful or amazing in the store – but I don’t have to bring it home with me.

I have 2 criteria.

  1. Is it functional?  Does it replace something I used that is broken?  Will it save me time/energy/money and I will USE it often?
  2. Is it beautiful?  By this I mean does it lift my spirit? Will I be able to place it somewhere I will find it bringing a smile to my face each day?  Knick-knacks that get put in a cupboard don’t do this.
  3. Combine the 2 criteria and we’ve got something worthwhile!

These criteria help me stop the spontaneous buying…even with shoes!  I kid you not.

It also helps that I have learned to be so very thankful for all that I do have.  I cannot fill my heart with stuff, even if buying something makes me feel good for the moment; that feeling is very fleeting.  But graitude – now that is something you can fill a heart with.

There is a theory that when we clear out and clean up the mess in our living spaces we bring peace and harmony into our homes.  This allows us to find more peace in our inner worlds too.  Messes stress us out, we subconsciously don’t enjoy living in that place.  Ohh..I just realized “mess stress” is an awesome term to describe this effect!

What do you think? Would clearing out some clutter in your physical world bring you some peace in your inner world?

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Never apologize for how you feel right here in this moment.  Good advice I think. 

This doesn’t mean you need to be a jerk about it or even that you’re in the ‘right’.  It also doesn’t provide you with special privileges.  You may learn something that changes how you feel or what you believe to be true.  Heck you might even finally realize that you are wrong about something.

That’s not the point.

If you are doing the best you can to understand something and be as empathetic as you can, there is no point in assuming that your feelings are anything other than what they are.

Apologising for that would be like saying your sorry for who you are.  neversaysorry

Of course the flip side to this is to be mindful enough to maintain an open heart and mind, so that you can learn and grow and not be stuck feeling righteous in your personal feelings.

The bit that many forget is two-fold.  First, yes you most certainly are entitled to feel how  you feel be it angry, happy, silly or whatever.  That said, you also must accept that so is every one else – no exceptions.  You don’t have to understand their feelings or agree with them in order to accept them for what they are; that isn’t always your place. 

The other bit that many forget is that empathy is a skill that needs practice.  We have yet to develop the ability to read each others minds and so being aware that others may feel differently and listening (and asking) is a huge part of being a compassionate and loving person.

We all want to connect in some way and feel understood.  It’s human nature. The best way to begin getting that, is to start GIVING that. 

Acceptance, empathy and compassion sound so simple on paper, but they can be much  harder to put into practice when we encounter difficult people.  When we are able to do this however, we bring peace to our lives rather than adding to the chaos and bitterness that so many drag with them on  daily basis. 

I have seen such a difference in my own relationships and dealings when I approach angry or upset people with a different attitude.  When I don’t allow myself to defend my thoughts and emotions and instead attempt to understand theirs. 

It’s amazing. 

Of course this doesn’t mean I’ll agree with them or they will change either.  Think on this though..the end result is still the same. No one agrees (or maybe they do) but there is much calmer process to get there.  I mean…why stress myself out if nothing is going to change anyway?  Besides I have found I get much better results when there is an attempt at compassion for the other person (no matter how distasteful the encounter might be at first).  You may never change your opinion or thoughts but it saves you a lot of extra heartache.

You may not be able to control how you feel about certain things but you can choose how you react to them.  Your emotions are just that…emotions.  You should never feel bad about feeling them.  And while they might guide you, they should never rule over you.

Your reactions to your emotions should fit the person you are choosing to become. 

 

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Perhaps I am lucky that I have experienced both real passion and real focused purpose.   It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve been able to really understand that some people never get to feel either.

That makes me so sad – and I really want to DO something about it.  The problem is of course I know that everyone has the opportunity at some point.  Some people just choose to pass on it.

I’ve also realized you can’t MAKE someone dig deep unless they are ready and willing.  I’ve tried in the past.  I’ve even thought I succeeded but then nope..not so much.

All I can do is live my life in a purposefully and passionate way and hope that inspires.  I figure if I can move someone to start on their own life journey awake instead of sleepwalkng through it then that would be more than enough. 

I can also offer up some of my own experiences which is what I often do with these blog posts.  Digging is hard work, even when it’s mental and not physical.  BUT I do know that both types of digging is easier if someone lends you a hand – or a shovel.

I knew for most of high school that I was going to be a teacher.  I just knew.  It bubbled up from my heart of hearts and drove me to do what I had to do.  My passion drove my purpose which gave me my continued motivationjobs-tribute 

So what happens when you get to a point where you feel like you’ve achieved what you needed to? 

You have a choice even then.  Find your passion, dig up your new purpose or pass and stay right where you are.

This is what was happening to me a few years back.  I felt like I had reached a leveling off in my growth and the craving for something MORE started. 

It was this craving I think that may have been starting even when I moved across the country alone to live on the west coast.  I don’t think I recognized it yet but it may be that is when the seeds had been planted or struggling to break free of their shells.

Either way, I was looking for my own passion and purpose.  While I love teaching the kids and enjoy it still, I know I have grown and want to play a bigger game in my life.

Probably why I got certified as a Coach in the first place.  Stepping stones to where I was headed.

Lately I’ve been feeling like I need to be able to go even deeper.  With myself, my business and all of life.  I can see it, taste it even…but didn’t know quite how to get there.

I was a bit stuck.  Funny how stuck rhymes so nicely with YUCK isn’t it?

I started getting an idea but I was resisting opening up to it fully.  I’m not even sure why.  So much has changed the last few years that I think perhaps I just wanted to stay in some comfortable settings for a while but my restless heart would have none of that.

The signs started showing  up more and more often until one day I just took action.  A tiny small thing…reaching out to a friend for some information…that lead to a huge leap.

Suddenly, I’m headed back to school!  I’m upgrading my skills, opening doors and freaking out with happiness! 

I can’t quite see around the bend in the path yet but as soon as my feet hit this road I knew…just KNEW it was the right one.

I won’t kid you that my inner saboteur jumped right out and started yelling about ‘what if this’ and ‘what would happen’ sort of stuff.   I gotta say I almost smiled at that.  It means what I’m doing is just scary enough to bring about some serious leaps and bounds of growth.  I’m aiming so BIG!!

I answered that little voice with faith and then told her to shut up and sit down, cuz I’m doing it anyway.  Oh yes…I got this!

Open hearts find their passions – you already know what it is I promise you.  Fear and inner beliefs try to keep us from them.  Quite a dance really. 

I believe in me (and it’s taken a lot of work to be able to say that with real conviction!) but I also believe in YOU.  If you are having trouble finding your own purpose just look at what makes your heart sing.  

My heart sings when I help other women figure out what makes their hearts sing…pretty awesome huh?

How much attention have you been paying to growing your life?  Do you have Purpose, Passion or do you Pass?

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I get a lot of interesting questions these days because in my monthly newsletter I have a section called “Ask the Coach”.  You can email me your questions and I’ll answer them in the newsletter. 

One question I get over and over again is about motivation and how to GET and KEEP it.

There is a simple formula I use to explain how internal motivation works and I’m about to share with you this juicy not-so-secret secret.

Motivation starts with breaking into some strong feelings.  Sometimes it’s fear; which oddly can be a pretty good motivator to get you moving.  The problem with fear is that is won’t KEEP you motivated. Plus it’s kind of stressful to live that way and we all know that stress will give you wrinkles!

So what keeps people going strong and doing what it takes day after day; even when it’s really hard?

First, they are clear on what they want.

They tend to work not from the motivator fear, but from a deeper well.  One filled by passionate purpose.

But more – oh so much more – importantly…they know the why behind it.

People who are passionate with a purpose can move mountains and touch the stars. They are connected so deeply in their souls to their purpose that it becomes part of the truth of their lives.

How can that not wake you up in the morning ready to go out and do whatever it takes?

Hey, we all get pumped up and excited by things in the moment.  Marketers depend on that~ (hello time-share seminars? ) In order to keep that kind of pumped up, loving my life; seeing the endless possibilities sort of attitude, you NEED to ask your self why you want it.  Why, why WHY??  And then dig a little deeper into your soul to make sure you are being painfully honest about it.

THAT is where you find out your purpose and where you get your motivation.

But it ain’t easy, it takes real courage and perseverance to dig that deep and drag that purpose out into the light.

Are you ready to look deeper?

threesimplerulesinlife

 

 

 

PS. You can grab access to my free monthly newsletter on the sidebar…with a bonus or simply click this link!

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