Who's never been much for dabbling ~

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Shining Light

Today is my first day without my father, I'll say on earth, because I believe his spirit is still with me.  It's an experience we all go through and now is my turn.  Rather than writing my own thoughts today, I'll share these to honor my father, a man of God, compassionate and giving who let his light shine so others might benefit:

From the chapter "Heaven" from Return to Love by Marianne Williamson:

"There is no light more bright than the light that shines within us.  Hope is born of participation in hopeful solutions." (This phrase epitomizes his life of service)

A favorite passage of my father:

Matthew 5: 14-16
"Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.  Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."

And lastly, from his faith, the chapter "Science and Being" pg 295:16-24 from Science and Health:

"The manifestation of God through mortals is as light passing through the window pane.  The light and the glass never mingle, but as matter, the glass is less oblique than the walls. The mortal mind through which truth appears most vividly is that one which has lost much materiality - in order to become a better transparency for Truth.  Then, like a cloud melting into thin vapor, it no longer hides the sun."

My father's light shines in many.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Clean Out the Closet and Clean Up Our Act

Let's look at the same process we use to clean out a closet to help us clean up our act  -

Think about the piles you might make as you pull your stuff out of that closet:

Get Rid of It
Did you find that jacket that never fit?  The orange set of towels you keep thinking you'll use at Halloween?  How about that fondu pot from 1980?  When you start with the resolve to get that closet cleaned up, you pull these out, take a good look, maybe have a good laugh and then put them in the Get Rid Of It pile.
Same goes for a habit or behavior that you don't need - look directly at that behavior like it's that fondu pot staring back at you.  Don't flinch and don't distract yourself.  If you know you don't need to eat that bag of chips at 10pm, Get Rid of That Behavior!  Give those chips to your neighbor with ten 10-year olds at her house for a birthday party.  Are you hanging on to an old behavior that you no longer need or can afford?  Give it away with the cassette deck.

I don't need to hit the snooze alarm three times.  I found that I don't need to use it at all.  That behavior is now in the Got Rid of It pile so I can afford to give away my alarm clock too.
Sometimes Useful
Sometimes we find something useful in the closet that we forgot about.  If you find an umbrella that still works, well you don't need it everyday so that goes in the (sometimes) Something Useful pile.  The trick here is to not only save it, but to put it in a place where you'll remember it and use it!

When it comes to our habits, this might look like paying our bills (on time), putting out the garbage, cleaning behind the appliances or buying a card (for our favorite relative that's not on Facebook).  

Wow - This is Cool!
The Wow - This is Cool pile includes stuff you forgot you had but are so glad you found again; so glad, in fact that you'll start using it again right away.  This stuff is useful and meaningful and you can't even remember why you tucked it away - so hooray!  It's found and back in circulation.

How does this look in our habitual life?  Well it might be discovering the joy of talking to a friend that you lost track of or realizing that you were happier when you jogged four times a week.  It could be resurrecting a long-forgotten yoga routine or a recipe that makes you feel good and is good for you too.  "Wow - that's cool" and I even have the ingredients!

Don't Need it and No One Else Does Either
This covers the stuff we find that has no value to anyone - the don't put it in a yard sale, don't give it to a charity, don't put it on the curb with a 'Free' sign on it pile . . . it's junk and belongs in the garbage. 
This includes stuff that's broken and unrepairable, is so old that there are no replacement parts, or is dangerous.

Ok, so here goes - when we have behaviors that are not worth repairing (as in a habit that has no redeeming value to our life) or that comes from long, long ago with zero benefit, or - drum roll here - is DANGEROUS,  these behaviors belong in the chuck it pile.  Rationalizing any of these is a con game waged against ourselves.  Be brave, be honest, hold yourself to the standard you know you deserve, hire a coach or if it's an addiction or therapeutic issue, get proper help. 

We all know the obvious, illegal and addictive ones, but don't forget the less obvious like chronic blaming, shaming, yelling, tantrums, manipulative pouting, gossiping, being chronically late or making others guess when our nasty stuff will show up.  It's up to each of us, to look at our own stuff and want to clean it up.  

So do you want to do some tossing?  Let's clean up our act and a nasty closet too while we're at it!

Leave a comment or send me a message on Facebook:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wanting and Giving

There is plenty to read these days about manifesting what we want in life, making money online, beating the lottery, getting a big this and an expensive that - I've read them, sometimes even been seduced by them, but these pitches activate the 'getting' mindset when what manifests peace in us, is the giving mind.  We may have a laundry list of stuff we say we want, but most of us deep down, want to feel peaceful, fulfilled and purposeful. 

I want fulfillment, but what am I willing to give for what I want? 

We often idolize musicians and actors, but forget that they gave up security, the almighty steady paycheck, in order to be in those careers.  Many had to give up pleasing a parent who wanted them to be something "practical".  In the past I had peers say, "oh, you're so lucky because you got out of the classroom and don't have to do lesson plans and curriculum maps" and I answered, "and all you have to do is be willing to work on a grant or in to consulting that doesn't guarantee your employment from year to year." 

Take giving down to a personal level.  What if you are in an argument and just can't seem to get your point across?  The discussion becomes heated as you both try harder and get louder in an attempt to convince the other of your point of view.  I want this to be resolved, but what am  I willing to give?

> Try giving the person you are arguing with "the benefit of the doubt" - this is a gift because we are taught that giving them a "benefit" means you're giving in or giving up, but that is NOT what is occurring when you make this choice.  Giving a benefit is a choice of addition, not subtraction.

> You can give "I don't know what I don't know".  Perhaps there is something here I am not aware of, have never experienced or can't understand because I don't have the experiences of the other person.  Do we ever have the identical experiences of another? I work with people from a different culture and socioeconomic background than mine; at times, it's essential that I give them this perspective or I'll wind up sounding condescending and disengaged from their reality.  It's tough to communicate from there.

> You can give "What would this issue feel like if I walked in their shoes?"  This is going from I don't know to maybe I can try to understand a bit more if I step on their side for a few minutes.  This may increase empathy, which is a gift.

> You can also always choose to give LIGHT.  This can be challenging to choose, because when light is the most needed is when the situation or opponent is at their darkest.  What changes the dark?  Not more dark - only turning on a Light.  If you find yourself in the presence of someone who is "going to the dark side", getting personal, ugly or demeaning, you only have two choices:
1) choose to leave: the gift of retreat, which many consider weakness, allows everyone involved to live to argue (or understand) another day, gather our dignity, and can save you from dropping into the same demeaning behavior (the subtraction mindset which creates guilt in yourself - never a gift).
2) shine a LIGHT: resist every urge to drop into the darkness of the argument, share only positive thoughts and solutions, see a light around whoever is trying to darken your day or win at any cost and know that it is not personal - they are expressing the dark thoughts in themselves, regardless of how much they try to make it about you.

If you can't hold on to light thoughts, which I readily admit can be difficult, go back to 1) . . . try another day if this pattern repeats with the same person and you're willing to keep engaging until it improves.  (Not willing?  Walk away and do no harm.)

What do you really want?  What are you willing to give to make it happen? 

Healthy Giving improves life.  Giving takes a healing mindset, purposeful action and love to dominate our decisions and actions.  Giving works in the mindsets of addition and multiplication, avoiding subtracting or dividing to get what we want.

Happy GIVING ~


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Choosing Childish or Child-Like?

There's a difference between acting childish and being child-like. 

When we're being child-like, we are in-tune with our joy, some might say naive, but nonetheless, we're happy to be there and in the moment.  Feeling the wonder of something new and amazing, seeing a work of art, the beauty of nature, "there's Grandma!" or enjoying the sun on your face as you ride your bike.  Perhaps we don't squeal with glee like when we were young, but the feeling is clearly linked to those childhood moments.  The anticipation of something exciting is another childhood feeling - that can't quite go to sleep I'm so pumped up rush is a child-like feeling that can kicks lot of endorphins into our grown up bodies.  It's possible to feel that way again if we allow ourselves the wonder and joy that was so freely expressed as a child. 

Somewhere along the way, we replace many of those anticipatory moments with worry and angst.  Growing up doesn't mean replacing joy with anxiety, but it does require less (and less) childish behavior.

Acting childish: first notice that you'll have to act because you are not a child anymore.
Try this one:
I want my own way!  Screw up your face 'til you look fierce and see if that tantrum look still gets the job done (at home or at work) . . . probably not.
How about:
I want this now!  Give in to yourself and buy what you don't need or can't afford.  The instant gratification will soon give way to the weight of the bill or the shame you feel when that shiny new item sits in the closet.
I don't want green food, I want ice cream. You're in charge now - do it everyday if you want.  See if this creates child-like wonder or the need for a new wardrobe.

When choosing between acting childish or being child-like,  choose be.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What's Stalling Your Dream?

Do you know what you want but can't seem to get there? 
If you know what you're aiming at, that's a huge!  It may seem obvious, but lots of us don't quite know what we want. 

If you do know, check out these variables that may be stalling your progress:

> You lack the resources to get to your goal: this may be financial support, technical knowledge,     manpower . . .

The short answer to this is to begin gathering a supportive team that can fill the roles or information you need.

> You have not given yourself the thumbs up to go for it.  Play with that one.  Have you given yourself permission?  You may be listening to gremlin voices within that say, "what are you thinking?" "you can't do that"  Hopefully you don't have real live naysayers in your inner circle.  If you do, kindly ask them to support you or stay out of the way.

The short answer to the negative inner voice is to hear it, recognize it's fear-based bull and ignore it.  (A coach can help considerably with this part of the process.)

> You are distracted.  This may be incessantly checking Twitter, Facebook, email, texting on demand and answering your cell phone.  All of these can and will wait, but YOU have to make that choice.  Some of us are distracted by the drama of others or the chaos of our own making.  Distractions from your goal, make that your dream - must go!  Too much TV, gaming, eating, sleeping, gossiping = failure to launch.

So if you know what you want, give yourself a big dose of DO.  Carve the time out of the mindless, time-sucking activities that are distracting you from real progress and the joy of doing what you love.

> You may have the dream wrong.

Sometimes what seems like a conspiracy to sink our dreams is the universe trying to tell us, we're chasing the wrong dream.  There are clues -

Coaching dreamers willing to DO - http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Climb Every Mountain

I grew up in the 60's and 70's and can't remember a year without The Sound of Music (there were a few, I just don't remember back that far!)  Some are surprised when I name this among my favorite movies, but I don't care - the messages are too strong, voices too beautiful - what little girl didn't want to skip through the mountains like Julie Andrews (or float down to earth with nothing but an umbrella)? 

For days now, Climb Every Mountain has been floating in my mind, randomly, quietly and at times powerfully.  So today's post honors that persistent unconscious voice trying anything, including singing to get the conscious mind's attention.

". . . a dream that will need,
all the love you can give,
everyday of of your life,
for as long as you live.       

Climb every mountain,
ford every stream,
follow every rainbow,
til - you - find - your -

Oscar Hammerstein wrote that his muse for this song was an actual nun and drama coach named Sister Gregory.  Letters that she sent to Hammerstein described the parallels between a nun's choice for a religious life and the choices that humans must make to find their purpose and direction in life. When she read the lyrics, she confessed that it "drove her to the Chapel" because the lyrics conveyed a "yearning that … ordinary souls feel but cannot communicate."

If we have that yearning to find our direction and purpose, there's really no turning it off.  We can distract ourselves, rationalize, and procrastinate, but the dream's voice will persist: "pssst, don't forget, we dreamed of  . . . "

Do your dreams deserve "all the love we can give"?

I like to think my mind was humming this tune at my heart's insistence.  Maybe that's corny, but it makes me smile, 'cause:

"Perhaps I had a wicked childhood,
perhaps I had a miserable youth,
but somewhere in my wicked, miserable past,
I must have had a moment of truth."
Something Good, Hammerstein

My dream is to coach all the days of my life ~ 
message me at: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Enjoy -

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Write New Rules

We are conditioned to follow rules: family rules, school rules, rules at work, homeowner rules, community rules, rules of the road, . . . yup, there a lots and lots of rules out there.

But what about the rules within?  These are our GUIDING RULES.  They become our beliefs.  They guide our behavior, our actions, they create our path.  

Our guiding rules are worth considering and reflecting on as we may be unconsciously following rules and beliefs that are the beliefs of someone else: parents, friends, community members, the society at large.

One clue that you are following someone elses rules is when you say to yourself, "I should do this" or "I should do that."  Remember the word SHOULD and pay attention to how often it enters and lingers in your mind.  A second clue is a feeling.  To me, it feels like static when I act or react in a manner not aligned with what I believe and who I am.  Static can feel like: dis-ease, a knot in your stomach, a headache, tension somewhere in your body (almost always the same spot - shoulders, thighs, forehead).  Sometimes people describe static to me as a voice shouting, "what are you doing?!"

Start with some of the simple ones that go way back like: "Eat everything on your plate."  We all know why parents say this in a valiant attempt to get something of nutritional value into their youngster's system.  Now let's say you're 30.  You're busy and often eat out, going to countless restaurants that routinely give you huge, make that obscene amounts of food.  Despite clearly seeing three portions sitting on one plate, despite knowing that something called a "to go box" exists, you obediently go about eating everything on the plate.  This is a simple example of a guiding rule at work.  So the question is - does that rule support or defeat your conscious goals?

These unwritten rules can be much trickier, but once you put your attention to why you are behaving a certain way, you will discover there are many more rules lingering below the surface of your conscious mind.  Some are ok, even helpful, but many are not.  "Don't speak your mind, you're not smart enough", "That dream is foolish", "Just be quiet and behave", "Woman can't handle money", "Someone who looks like that is not worth knowing" and so on (there are thousands).

When you discover one of these guiding rules at work and it clearly does not feel right - STOP and write a NEW RULE.  You are the adult now and your guiding rules can be ones that reflect who you are.  Being who you are honors who influenced you are a child.  It is not disrespectful to be true to yourself. We will always have rules that must be followed.  Be sure that the ones that you carried from your first few decades actually line up with who you are now and what you value. Rewrite the ones that don't.

A coach can help you uncover unwanted rules: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It Takes Courage Part I & II

When I first saw this poster, I was drawn to the courage it takes to be who you are,
then I realized there was an essential message to be digested before the "and":

"It takes courage to grow up."

We simply can't get to who we are when we refuse to grow up.  Steven Pressfield calls it "Going Pro".

I'm renaming e.e.cumming's quote: It Takes Courage Part I and Part II because we must summon our courage for both parts  -

If we get Part I without Part II, we are likely playing the part of a grown up, but missing the authentic mark.  In this scenario, our life may be spent on a career parallel to but not actually on the path we were destined to take.  This can be easily identified by comments like, "I wish I had . . ." "When I was your age, I should have . . ." "If I didn't have a family to raise, I could have . . . "

If we adhere to Part II without Part I, we lack the discipline to stay on our path - we're easily distracted, lacking focus and sometimes even self-destructive. Most everyone can see our potential, but it is unrealized, left in the dream or wishing state or considered not worthy of pursuit.

Coaches can help with Part I & Part II: http://www.facebook.com/CoachWSolutions

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Jurassic Park is Calling

When our son Seth was not quite 10, we went to Jurassic Park.  The school year had just ended and for a few years, Seth, his brother Tanner and I had been going to Phoenix the week after to play: water park, motel pool time, summer clothes shopping and a movie or two.  Fun, carefree days.

In 1993, we waited in a long line to get our tickets to see Jurassic Park on the opening day.  When we went into the theater, we couldn't find three seats together without splitting up. The boys were 8 and 10 so I headed back to the ticket counter and asked if we could use our tickets for the next show.  He didn't want to agree, but most people know not to mess with a mother when she's got her cubs nearby. We're not splitting up!  ("Ok lady, here you go" with eye roll)

It was a long wait and this time we made sure we were near the front of the next line to get good seats together.  We had our popcorn, sodas, and requisite candy: Sour Patch for the boys and Raisinettes for mom.  Cue your memory of this fantasy thriller here: ______________________________.

I'll never forget what Seth said to me when we came out of that movie. "I'm going to do that when I grow up."  I wasn't sure what he meant, so I asked, "Are you going to be in the movies or make movies?"  "No", he said with his well developed seriousness.  "I'm going to write music like that."

When we got home, he started on his own dinosaur-inspired composition called "Prehistoric Overture."  He was going into the 5th grade.  I helped him transcribe what he dutifully worked on at the piano day in and day out for weeks.  Those were special days.  We both knew that he had discovered his calling, his purpose -

and he was 10 years old.

Twenty years later, what does Seth do?  He writes music professionally!  Tonight, he and his brother will hear the music of John Williams, conducted by Williams live at the Hollywood Bowl.  I wish I were with them again, but I can feel the glow of excitement from hundreds of miles away and it takes me right back to those summer days of their youth.

To find, nurture and follow our passion, our purpose - can there be a better life? 

Most will say it's luck to know what you want to do at a young age, but I believe he was observant enough at a young age to recognize that feeling, the famous "ah-hah" that speaks volumes when something is just right. 

Like me, you're probably past the age of 10, but paying close attention to those moments that speak to our soul and say, "this is it, do this" - that's worth our time and attention at any age.  I wish for you that moment and the courage to follow the feeling. 

Coaches are here to help forward your action.  Just say "I'm ready!"  

Have fun, guys -