Life Just Is.

March 5, 2014

My first post of 2014 and it’s March already. Two months down, ten to go. They just flew by. Some of those days were more memorable than others. Some were just a blur. What I realize now is they just were. Life just was. Passing as it does.

As I look back on the latter part of 2013 and the stress and anxiety I was facing and now at the first few months of 2014 and the calmer, mellower take I have on life I see that it’s not what’s “out there” that has changed. My perceived stressful, annoying, frustrating, [insert adjective] “circumstances” haven’t changed. Everything is still pretty much the same; but completely different at the same time.

So what changed? I started to actually see where my experience of life was coming from. It wasn’t the external circumstances, events, people, or situations I was dealing with. It was always and has always been from within. Life, the world, reality (whatever that is) just is. We ‘see’ and feel our own version of reality based on what we’re thinking in the moment. We’ve all been given a miraculous ability to think. I hadn’t really tuned in to that before. The fact that we can think. Yes, yes we think I hear you say, so what? This means our feelings, emotions, mental state, stress, anxiety – you name it – is only ever a product of our thinking in that very moment. Am I losing you now, OK good we’re getting somewhere!

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Three weeks in …

January 17, 2014

So, we’re three weeks into the new year already …

I pondered over writing an end of year review and a pre-2014 post. Then I thought some more, what would I write, what have I learned. Then I would inadvertently catch a bit of the news and hear about something horrible. Then I’d lose inspiration. Then to be perfectly honest I just got lazy. This working Mama just needed to zone out and so I did. Back to work now.

More and more I’ve recently found my mind to be on overdrive, cluttered, weighed down by thought. If I could sum up 2013 it would be a mental roller coaster. I couldn’t stop thinking and the harder I tried the more exhausted I became mentally. Thinking about things that had happened, things that could happen and thinking of plan A, B, C scenarios to certain events. I only have one focus for this year and that is to get clear and slow down. Clear on what I want, what I’m good at, what I don’t want anymore of in my life and how I’m going to create that life and slowing down to be present and appreciate the every day moments. It’ll all start with cleaning up the cobwebs of my mind.

So here I go picking up Jamie Smart’s “Clarity” for a second round, hoping to soak in the understanding and let it settle in. During my winter sabbatical I’ve also come across a lot of great new resources and will be sharing my insights here. I also declare Pharell’s new song “Happy” my 2014 anthem.

I still don’t know what direction my writing will take this year but I sure hope you’ll stick around for the journey!

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It’s always personal …

November 13, 2013

So my plan to write more has become somewhat of a quarterly endeavor as opposed to a more frequent schedule such as monthly or dare I say weekly … I think I’ve been waiting for that “great post” to pop into my head and be inspired and once again through the wonderful words of Matt Cheuvront I am reminded to just write.

In Matt’s The Hustle newsletter he writes:

“And for a while, writing didn’t feel right. I didn’t have anything to say – or at least, not anything that I thought was worth your time. That’s because I was over-thinking things – a lot. When you start to force writing – when it becomes a chore, not a joy, the best thing you can do is to press pause and ask, “why?”

Funny, that’s exactly how I’ve been feeling lately. Feeling like I should write but not knowing about what. Or thinking I need to edit the post to perfection and carefully craft my words. So I did hit the pause button probably by default of having a dynamo of a 2-year old running around. But here I am; trying to crack this writing thing again – because it feels good. I am also inspired by Doug Shaw’s impressive ability to pack a punch in a brief post that keeps you thinking. So here we go!

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Don’t Think. Just Be.

August 1, 2013

So my intention to write more frequently seems to have slipped by the wayside. I realize it’s been over three months since my last post. August is here and summer is well on its way out.

I take full responsibility though; I have prioritized other activities over writing in the past few months. A full time job and mothering a tornado of a toddler seem to have taken up all my time and energy. Yet it is what it is.

Over the last few months I’ve been “thinking” about this topic and have come to the conclusion that thinking is overrated.

I would play a mental game with myself every day on how much my brain would be able to handle each day. The mental notes, and lists just kept growing and it was a miracle some days that I still managed to remember everything I needed to remember. It was an accomplishment to make it out the door without endlessly forgetting keys, access cards, lunchboxes, or even my toddler! With the passing days and the constant rush I was in day by day I would feel my mind become more and more cluttered. As if I physically needed to do some spring cleaning and air out the cobwebs in my mind to make room for new, fresh thinking.

As the saying goes, when the student is ready the teacher appears and so they did. Two eye opening books. I stumbled upon a copy of Michael Neill’s “Inside-Out Revolution” and Jamie Smart’s “Clarity” and a new realization began to emerge.

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Live and Let Go …

April 27, 2013

April is coming to an end and I realize I haven’t written in about three months. There goes my resolution to write more often! A third of the year has already flown by. Where is this pause button on this thing called life. In some respects I wish there was a fast-forward button to zip through the long-winded meetings, endless traffic and long queues at the supermarket. Yet on another hand I wish I had that pause button to freeze all those moments my 18-month old dynamo of a toddler is going through. I would freeze those points in time to memorize the sparkle in her eyes, the cheeky grin on her face and the heart-melting way she scrunches her nose.

A lot has happened in these last three months and most recently some tragic events that once again remind us of how fragile and fleeting everything is. These acts of inexplicable evil that send shock waves into our systems to remind us to focus on what really matters. Part of my New Year’s resolution was to learn to let go. Easier said than done. Letting go of anything that doesn’t serve me and learning to apply that in all areas – at work and at home. I recently attended a service leadership workshop that was conducted by Ron Kaufman and I remember walking out that day with a completely different view on service and on life. Ron has a very simple yet profound definition of service.

“Service is taking action to create value for someone else” – Ron Kaufman

That’s it. In the most simple terms. It is not constantly worrying about “what’s in it for me” but rather “what can I do to help you”. It is not subservient or servile. It is a higher level of operating. To go through the world seeking out the value you can create for others. With that new found knowledge and my New Year’s motto to “let go” I started to look for ways to put it to the test. It meant learning to let go of the ego wars over who’s idea was best and instead focus on how to make a project successful and valuable to the organization. I started to look around me at other opportunities where people could embrace this philosophy.
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