“Renew, Refocus, Re-engage” is the theme of my annual mid-year private coaching sessions. Here are a few questions to guide you to your own precious Truth. How about you take them for a walk this week?
Renew:What is the nourishment that I crave right now? What will renew my spirit and bring me vibrant aliveness?
Refocus:What do I choose to let go of? What do I choose to embrace? What am I learning? What am I absolutely clear about? What is still unfolding?
Re-Engage:What are my inspired next steps? What is most resonant? What connections would be natural to make right now?
If you were to ask my Mother how I am, she would say, “Jeaneen does not have enough time.” This description has me wonder where I might go to get more time so I can avoid radiating this “not-enoughness”? The truth is, this perception of me is simply a reflection of how my Mom is with time at this point in her life. She feels that she does not have enough time left on this planet so therefore; she projects her truth on to me.
How am I with time? My default is to be busy, mind you, and I also notice that I live in the illusion that I have all the time in the world. How do I intentionally choose to approach time? I choose to feel urgency around accomplishing what is mine to do combined with spaciousness and ease around how I approach each moment.
Time is neutral. The way time is for you is simply a reflection of the way you approach time. In other words, How you are with time is how it will be for you. If you, like many of my clients, are constantly in a place of too much to do, too little time, that is exactly how time will be for you. If you are spacious with time, ease will permeate your life and time will expand. My challenge to you this week is to try something radical and new with how you approach time. See what you discover and as always, let me know. I’m, here. I’ve got all the time in the world AND I have a great sense of urgency.
P.S. I’m unattached to what you decide, I just want you to know it’s your choice.
In my spiritual tradition, you always receive a blessed gift with both hands. You never try to snatch a blessing away, you always put forth both hands. To receive the greatest experience, one offers of oneself wholeheartedly giving from ones entire being.
When unexpected gifts come your way do you honor them by receiving them with both hands wholeheartedly? This is a powerful practice that requires focus, presence and agility. Life’s most magical moments often arise from surprising invitations. What if we made it a standing, house rule to pause and accept these with both hands?
I’ve noticed lately that I have gotten into the annoying habit of considering the impact of every darned thing before I receive it. I ponder, “How does this gift fit it into my schedule or business plan?” I evaluate, “Do I have enough money or energy to fully utilize this gift?” How exhausting and frankly, off-putting. I’m pretty sure gifts are NOT going to flow in easily to one in this state of relentless analysis! What would it be like to simply receive with both hands?
This week when you are offered a gift, especially if it is unexpected, (which is the best kind, right?) simply focus on receiving with both hands, offering yourself wholeheartedly. I wonder what breathtaking turning points will unfold?
At the very least, this practice will yield; you got it, to the greatest blissful experiences. Sounds perfect for the year of Honor, Ease and Bliss, right?
“She was the woman that every young girl dreams of being!” These words were uttered in hushed awe as my friend described an older woman who had lived in the house my friend had just purchased. (NOT Lynn Twist, she enters my story later. ) My friend’s retelling of this woman’s life story sounded nice AND I realized it was WAY different from what I had dreamed of becoming as a young girl. Like each of us, I had a unique set of dreams.
What did I dream of being? I dreamed of racing sailboats on the wide blue ocean with a team that won races and swaggered into the yacht club brimming with confidence at day’s end. I dreamed of leading a wildly successful business. I dreamed of having a husband who was creative, entertaining and a kind warrior too. I dreamed of engaging in work that made our world BETTER.
After I, more or less, achieved these things, there were deeper dreams to consider. The next level of dreams includes the wisdom gleaned from the unexpected disappointments that were not at ALL what I had hoped. You see, it is at the point where we have some success and messy learning under our belts, that we can turn toward our most potent legacy upon this earth. To that end, here are a few key questions to answer in the middle of the journey of life.
Who is the woman that I dream of being when this is all said and done?
What are ways I want to be and what is the impact I want to have as a leader?
What do I want to stand for?
Now is the time to create and live into your unique legacy. A legacy that builds on all that you have done and are NOW. A legacy that will truly inspire the next generation. I’m here to support you in getting clear on what is next AND turning toward it, in your unique way using your voice. YES, now is the time!
I saw my favorite poet David Whyte last week. One of the Irish sayings he shared with us was GO AGAINST YOURSELF. I love it. Yes, of course, it’s important to discern our true voice and act in resonance with our heart’s knowing. This is penetrating, wise work… AND sometimes the easier path is to just GO AGAINST YOURSELF! Here is a list of all the ways I was thinking we might practice this:
When you decide to give and are feeling like you want to hoard what you have, especially if you have plenty. GO AGAINST YOURSELF! Be generous.
When you don’t feel you have time to attend yoga class or want to fit in one more thing before you do go. GO AGAINST YOURSELF!
When you feel you need to prove yourself and therefore vulnerability is out of the question, GO AGAINST YOURSELF and remember you are significant and wondrous just as you are.
When you feel like you have to do one more task, even though you are simply exhausted. GO AGAINST YOURSELF. Let someone else do it.
When you really want to blame another. GO AGAINST YOURSELF!
When you believe that you are alone. GO AGAINST YOURSELF! Ease yourself back into the conversation.
When an opportunity to lead knocks and you are not sure you are ready to say yes because you don’t know how to do it perfectly. GO AGAINST YOURSELF!
When you have an urge to grab the microphone and speak and you haven’t formulated completely what you want to say. GO AGAINST YOURSELF! Raise your hand, grab that mike and begin to speak.
In what other ways would it be wise to GO AGAINST YOURSELF?
The complimentary energies of resolution and acceptance have often felt paradoxical to me. Here’s why. I am a confident, maker of resolutions and achiever of goals. For most of my business career, this led to what I perceived to be success. The unexpected challenge of all this is, due to the linear predictability of my focused step-by-step planning strengths; it’s easy for me to get emotionally thrown when, things are flung wildly off kilter. In these moments, the powerful antidote of acceptance seems impossible.
Here is the bridge. I take refuge in my resolution to show up as a leader and to learn and evolve as a human being. This vantage point allows me to embrace unanticipated twists and turns as opportunity. Actually, opportunity doesn’t seem to be a big enough word. It’s more like miraculous transformation. The unexpected surprises that have me so intensely resistant or sad hold the exact right ingredients needed to transform me into my highest destiny.
The resolution to grow and evolve is a way bigger platform on which to stand. It supports us in celebrating our unfolding destiny, no matter how it looks to our achiever egos.
Cool, huh? So the challenge I have for all my like-minded achievers is, when things go off kilter and acceptance seems impossible, dig deep and resolve to evolve.
How did the rose ever open its heart
And give the world all its beauty?
It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,
Otherwise, we all remain
Between the two inner realities of “Who we are.” And “Who we are not, yet” there is an edge. This edge is the dividing territory between the bud and the rose. Once we have crossed over our edge, the rose becomes the reality of “Who we are”. We stand in our new full-bloom splendor full of confidence, stunned by our beauty and wonder, What was all the hub bub?
To evolve into the leaders we are capable of becoming, we must become adept at journeying across our edges. To use Hafiz’s imagery, we’ve got to find a way to journey from bud to rose. Our edge is the place where we stop, gripped by fear. We are tempted to stay in the reliable, comfortable, status quo of the tight bud that never opens to it’s full potential.
To bloom we must recognize when we are at an edge. It is immensely valuable to understand the specific nature of the edges we you are up against. In this way, the emotional intensity of the edge doesn’t scare us into believing that…”Oh no, this is not meant for me.” In fact, at our edges, it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be inner saboteur voices that demand, in no uncertain terms, that we stay a bud. Please remember with equally firm conviction that these voices are not your Truth. With consciousness of the edge, we can discern the saboteur voices and support ourselves in crossing the edge insuring success.
Techniques for crossing over:
Champion yourself with encouragement and gentleness.
Call yourself forth with fierce remembrance of your burning power.
Find the part of yourself that has the resources to cross and have that part get it done.
Forbid yourself from crossing. (I mean it, tell yourself you are not to bloom, you don’t get to change…you will be surprised how much energy you can muster.)
May we shine forth sun upon each other as we gracefully cross over our edges from bud to rose.
Yesterday on my walk, I felt sad that I have missed one of my favorite spring scenes; beautiful blossoms drenched in sunlight against a blue sky. This year the scene is more like blossoms in the cold rain against a dark grey sky while tromping through oozing slippery mud. This is “what is” and I can’t accept “what is” until I fully experience the sadness of the “what is” not being what “I had intended it would be.”
As humans we must experience the sadness of the loss of the dream first in order to embrace and create from the destiny that is actually unfolding.
Put another way, I simply can’t get to the experience of somehow accepting the reality of the muddy blossoms without first being with the disappointment of the dream of the sunny blossoms slipping away.
“Being with” pain and anger is the place where we so often miss the mark. We try and rise up out of the mud and push down the emotion of being in the mud, when what is truly most beneficial to our growth is the ability to be IN the mud. In fact the only way through the mud is to fully experience it. We naturally want to sidestep this piece, moving directly toward trying to reframe the situation in a positive light.
As a leader of transformational change, watch for those places of emotional charge and practice the art of pausing to be with your feelings. Lead yourself and your team into the authentic emotional texture of each loss before moving on to revising goals or expectations. You’ll free up valuable energy that was previously used to avoid or rise above the whole mess. Here’s the bonus; you get to evolve as a leader and a human being. (Get it…Human BEING).