The GIFT of Perspective – A Refresher

Perspective harnessing

It’s been an intense week; every week has its highs and lows, but this week seemed ripe with many wonderful people dealing with serious life changing events.  It made those who were stressing over small things fade into the background, virtually voiceless in my sphere of concern.

A time of transition: some are altogether leaving this world, while others are leaving a job that no longer fulfills them, and yet others love their lives but long to find the balance where they can be fully present with their families while maintaining their workload. Overall, there seems to be an underlying force of change, pulling in one direction or another.

Grace during this time flows from the gift of perspective. When we are faced with life’s big challenges, we relinquish control over other areas of our lives, and we learn to just go with the flow. In short, we choose our battles, or choose where we place our attention or energy. We look at our situation in a different way; that is a good lesson and a reminder for us.

How often do we take on stress because we feel like we need to do everything on our To Do List, or be perfect?  Or perhaps we take on responsibilities because we didn’t realize that, “No,” is actually complete sentence, and we do not need to explain or justify why we simply cannot add something more to our plate?

As stressful as daily life can be, this week was a not-so-gentle reminder of what is truly important in life, and what we would regret pushing off to another time.

Family and good friends – these are the people with whom we need to be fully present. They deserve our undivided attention, free of our multi-tasking tendencies. It’s the time we can’t get back after it’s spent.  How important is that email anyway?  There is no boss, client or household chore more important than a child, spouse, parent, or great friend. Seriously, I promise.  I don’t know of any terminally ill person who wished he or she spent more time at work, or cleaning… you get the picture.

So please don’t wait for a diagnosis or tragedy to remember how precious this life is, and how important those are whom you love.  Give your full attention to family and friends when you are with them. Have fun NOW and make wonderful memories!  (And have no fear, the emails and chores will still be there when you get around to them.)  😉


The Veil

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I am not sure when it happened, but at some point a thin black veil of a cloud slid over me. Thin enough to hide the veil during bright sunshine so I couldn’t see it, but dark enough that I didn’t realize how much it was blocking the full sun. It must have moved in and slowly built over time, because I don’t remember seeing it form. There was no storm that brought the darkness; just the noticeable absence of light when I realized it was locked in over me. It has had a firm grip for some time, but now that I know that it’s there, I recognize how much more I want light to shine through and break up the veil.

I have a good life – no, a great life.  I have so much for which to be grateful. I am soaking up the transition to fall, as I sit outside and listen to the trees sway and make their own music in the sky while their leaves float left then right.  Our dogs cover every inch of the yard, soaking up every ounce of scent – and as the seasons change there is plenty of scent to be had all around us.

It is indeed time for change. Time to let go of the cloud that has kept hold over me. Time to release negativity and relish all that God provides, each and every day. Every day is a true gift, and I’ve somehow forgotten to take notice of the gifts – the trees, their song, nature at its best.

I used to love being outside just before a storm, as the wind kicked up and as the clouds yielded their rain. It made me feel alive. It is time to feel alive once again. It’s time to dance in the rain.


Going Inside

Pencil

After a season of summer entertaining while hosting beloved family and friends, I am excited to retreat and “go within” for the next few months while my husband travels – so I can curl up with my laptop to see what my creative energy will birth. I have an ambitious list of what I’d like to accomplish, of course! The introvert deep inside me is longing to share what’s on her mind. She’s been quiet and patient, and wants to wait no more!

Isn’t it wonderful when you feel that you are on the brink of something altogether new and fun? Kind of how you felt the night before a school field trip? What adventures lie ahead?? Only our imagination has a clue of what’s in store, and like a trusted confidant, she’s keeping “mum” so we can experience its fullness for ourselves, without ruining the surprise. The magic lies in the unknowing; it’s the excitement of what “could be….” where all possibilities are still in play. Ah, what fun! What an adventure!

I wish for you your own adventure! Have fun with it, and we can share our stories on the other side! Let’s go!


Living in the Dash

Live-Your-DashLiving in the Dash

Many of us realize how fleeting life is. I once heard someone reference our time here as “living in the dash;” the dash between our birth and death dates on our headstone. It encompasses all of the time that we spend here on Earth. With true purpose, I often give thought to how I am spending my time within this dash.

But every now and again, we get a serious jolt of a reminder of just HOW precious this life is. It’s the blessing of a wake-up call.

Yesterday, my husband lost a fellow high school graduate and fellow coach, of his Alma Mater.  A wonderful man in his prime, his friend was of kind and generous spirit – and not yet 40 years old.  He suffered an apparent heart attack during his morning workout. Understandably, my husband took it pretty hard; he was mourning the loss of his friend while embracing the reality of his own mortality.

We have so much that we want to do in this short time here, but somehow we delude ourselves into thinking that we’ll get to it “someday.”  And the reality is: what if that day never comes? How many more tomorrow’s are we willing to sacrifice?

So, I gently ask you, what is it that you have been meaning to do? What have you wanted to do, but you keep putting off? What one small thing could you do today, that will bring joy to your life?

We just don’t know how many tomorrow’s we have. But for what we want to accomplish and experience, there are not near enough of them.  So may you give yourself the gift of living the best life possible.  It’s never too late to live a smile-filled life, within the dash. The possibilities are endless – how big a dream can you dream for yourself? And what are you waiting for??


Who do you want to be, REALLY?

dreaming-1721    Who do you want to be, REALLY?

We’re almost one chapter into the adventurous twelve chapters of 2015. Are you doing what you want to be doing? Are you happy? Is it all you hoped it would be? If not, it’s ok; it’s never too late to redirect your course.

Resolutions are terrific if you are motivated by resolutions; but if you are not, they can leave you feeling like an under achiever. Maybe it’s just me, but what is the payoff of judging yourself? Aren’t you doing the very best that you can with what you currently have? Life is too short, so be gentle with yourself.

So what goals did you set for yourself this year? If you’ve gotten off track, that’s ok. Sometimes the scenery is more breathtaking on the less traveled path. More importantly, have you learned something about yourself along the way? And if so, who do you want to be TODAY?

As children, we inherently give ourselves permission to dream – without worrying about, “Can it really happen?” and “How are we going to get there?”  It’s time to give ourselves permission to dream again. What does your heart want? Don’t limit yourself or overthink it. Don’t edit yourself. No one else will hear, I promise – what do YOU want? What would that look and feel like?  When you can see it and feel it, that’s where the magic happens. Don’t try to figure out how it will happen; just think it, feel it, and get out of your own way. The universe, higher power, whatever it is that you believe, always has a bigger dream for you than you have. Now is not the time to play small. Think BIG. What does YOUR heart desire?


Remember to refill your own cup

coffee-34251_1280There is something wonderful that happens when you give yourself completely to anything; it’s fuller because of your pure intention to make it be all that it can be. And when you give yourself fully to something, you leave an indelible mark on it, or a part of you in its place. When you leave that mark, you leave a part of your energy there, which is why you reconnect so easily when you revisit that place – you are reconnecting with the energy that you left there.

But when you do this over and over, you can start to find yourself sluggish and depleted, if you are not putting any effort into refilling your “cup” or refueling yourself.  And it’s important to keep your own cup or tank fueled, so that you will have a source or reserve to tap into, when needed. It’s a similar scenario they reference when you are on an airplane: remember that you must first place the oxygen mask on yourself, so you’ll have life force energy and oxygen to help those you love and others.

Too often, we realize that we need to refill our tank when we are feeling depleted, which means we’re running too low. We’re already depleted. It’s similar to the need to stay hydrated on a hot day – if you are thirsty, then you are already dehydrated.  You’re still able to be rejuvenated, but it will take more hydration and more time to get back to where you need to be, in order to be at your ideal balance.

Life is all about finding the balance of keeping your cup full enough to be able to share it with others. So it’s a great habit to get into when you share with others, to also refill your own cup from the ocean of nourishment. If you make it a part of your daily routine, it will keep you in balance and rejuvenated!  Drink up!


Have you lost your Mojo? Take a step today to regain it!

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Do you feel that you have lost your Mojo?   Or that someone stole it from you?  In reality, no one can steal YOUR Mojo; it is yours to fuel, maintain or give away. If you are feeling like you’ve lost your passion, you are overwhelmed or don’t know where to start, then start small. Take ONE step at a time. Today might just be the day that you acknowledge that you’ve let your Mojo, zest for life, or joie de vi·vre  slip away. And that’s ok; acknowledging it is a starting point. You might know where you’d like to go, but not know where to start. Well, what would be the next logical step? Is it a phone call, an appointment, or research? If you would like to leave your current job and start your own company but don’t have the client base yet to sustain financial independence, could you set up a part time project that could generate a referral or some seed money? Could you do that once or twice a week for the next several months, where you can continue to save your seed money while you gain experience and referrals?

I think that you will find that with each step, each hurdle, you will gain confidence and momentum. Word of mouth referrals are still the best source of growth. Transitioning into your business is a great option if you are not quite ready to take the leap.  What could you do today that will move you forward to tomorrow?

When you drive in your car at night, and you have to travel 20 miles, you don’t expect to see the next 20 miles through your headlights, do you? You can only see the next 20 feet or so, and then the next 20 feet, and so on, and so on. And you will arrive 20 miles later, safe and sound, at your destination. Trust the process. Don’t get scared when you can’t see the whole path; just START the journey. As you move forward, the next step along your path will reveal itself to you.

 


What is intentional living? And how can you experience it?

Enjoying the sunWhat is intentional living? And how can you experience it?

The definition of intentional living may vary depending on its source, but I know it to be the conscious decision to live each day by your values and beliefs. To not only plan your day so that it does not “plan you,” but also to know what you value most and on what you will not compromise, so that you can remain steadfast when the inevitable distractions duel for your attention during your day.

You can best experience intentional living by knowing the five things about which you are passionate and will not compromise.  This list might include your family, your friends, your health, your faith, your financial stability, your career, your independence, your hobbies, or your spiritual development; only you know what truly drives you.

So what is important to you? On a piece of paper, list the things/people you value most.  List everything that comes to mind. Then review your list and rank the top 5 most important things/people in your life, with # 1 being the most important item. Keep this list near you at all times and refer to it every time you are stuck on what decision you should make in a situation; this is now your “Non Negotiable List.” If you will be going against what is on your list if you say, “Yes,” to a situation, then you know that to honor yourself you must say, “No.”  For example, a friend asks you to go out to dinner at an expensive restaurant but you know that you truly cannot afford it, and Financial Security is on your Non Negotiable List, you can politely share with your friend that one of your goals is to be financially secure and that you look forward to going out to celebrate that achievement once you have reached it. By deciding to place your focus on what you do want, the things that you don’t want fall by the wayside and it is easier to say, “No,” to them.

By honoring your values and beliefs, you will find each day more and more enjoyable. You will get very good at placing your goals ahead of the distractions, and it will energize you.  But it is a conscious decision, especially when you begin the process; you need to work at it every day until it becomes second nature to you.  It will get easier each day. Soon you will feel empowered and you will see your progress towards your goals, which will help you stay the course, and enjoy intentional living!


Attitudes are Contagious….is YOURS worth catching?

positive-attidtueDo you have people in your life that you absolutely adore being around? People who always seem to lift you up when you’re having a bad day? Their good mood feels like it rubbed off on you, making you happier?  They are always in good spirits and seem to be lucky in life; good things just happen to them.  And you’re wondering why that kind of luck hasn’t happened to YOU yet?  Well, it can. All you have to do is change your attitude.  Yes, your attitude.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at actually change.  It’s true! You can switch from seeing a glass as half empty, to being half full. Instead of seeing what you are missing, you are seeing what you have. The glass itself hasn’t changed at all. This simple switch can change your overall attitude where you start to look for good things instead of bad things.  And here’s the funny thing:  you will find whatever you are seeking…you’ll be so “focused in” on the good and happy things that you will actually notice and therefore create more of them. You are sending a signal to your subconscious mind to look for certain things, so do yourself a favor and get in the true habit of looking for good things. That’s how good things and good luck will find you. Your gratitude for what you have, instead of what you lack, will generate more things for which to be grateful.

Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are RIGHT.”  We search for evidence to prove our beliefs. So believe positively in yourself, and know that you can create amazing things.  You have the ability to change how you feel by changing your outlook; look for the silver lining in every situation, and you will find it. And that will help you feel better and better – about your life, your job, and situation. You will elevate your attitude and your life! And then YOU will be the person that everyone wants to be around, because you seem to emanate some sort of magical powers where things always seem to go your way, and luck seems to find you!

You rub off on the people around you, causing a ripple effect of your happiness or misery. May you be the person that helps others by sharing your great attitude!

Attitudes are Contagious….is YOURS worth catching?