Posts tagged: life lessons

Start Today

start-today-sarah-ban-breathnach

 

Life never calms down long enough for us to wait until tomorrow to start living the lives we deserve. ~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Where Has Time Gone?

Here we are at the end of January.  Last week I found myself wondering where the month went. It seems like yesterday we were ringing in the new year.  Suddenly spring is in reaching distance.

Are you like me, telling yourself you will start that new book, lose weight, learn to paint, next week, next month, this summer?

Start Today

Well my friends, it is time to start today.  This is that moment you promised yourself months ago to start something you’ve always wanted.  Pushing it off another week is telling yourself you aren’t worth it…and you are.

There will always be something more important on the front burner, but you don’t want to get to an age where you regret the things you never did.  If the year is moving so quickly, you must take advantage of this moment right now to begin the life you deserve.

Take The First Step

Spend a few quiet moments this week imaging such a life. Imagine what it is filled with. I love to journal.  If you do to, write all those things down.  Now look at your schedule and begin planning in the first step.  If you want to learn to paint, maybe this week you go to the library and get a book on painting or sign up for a class or even go and buy the paints. Then plan your next step. It doesn’t have to be big to move you in the right direction.

Soon you will notice that time expands to meet your needs. I promise.


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You Can’t Get Tulips From Zucchini Seeds

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Snowy Tulips

We’ve had a wonderful end to winter and early spring.  Then it snowed, April 4th.  My early-sprouting tulips were covered with several inches of snow.  Yuck!

As we week progressed, we went from snow to rain and finally to sunshine.  You could feel the tulips shaking off the chill and re-positioning themselves to soak up the warmth of the spring sunshine.

Would a zucchini have the same resistance?  I venture to guess if you planted zucchini seeds in the fall as you do tulip bulbs, you would not be seeing zucchini sprouts in April.  Even if by some strange chance they did sprout, 4 inches of snow would seal their demise.

Right Season Right Plant

All of this seems common sense, but how many seeds of ideas do we sow at the wrong time.  How many times have we wished for something that we actually weren’t prepared to achieve.  I think about my own business and although several years ago I would love to have the success I enjoy today, truth is I wouldn’t have been able to handle it.

As you stretch yourself this spring, think about the seeds you want to sow.  In the non-gardening world these would be goals, projects, etc.  Are they realistic for this time in your career or in your business?  Are you prepared to endure the potential snow storm that may befall them.

When you plant the seed at the right time, provide it with what it requires and nurture it, you are blessed with a fruitful harvest.  When you plant to early, you only experience frustration, exhaustion and regret.

Will It Be Tulips or Zucchini This Week

This week review your goals from the beginning of the year.  Visualize yourself achieving the goal today.  What does it look like?  How does it feel?  Do you have the systems in place to make things run smoothly?  Do you have the time and energy to sustain them?

Use this time to revise your goals if needed.  Perhaps you scale back to make them more realistic.  Perhaps you ramp them up because you know you can do even more.  Whatever your situation, it is important to review our goals in real time to ensure we have what it takes to not only enjoy the tulips now but reap the zucchini later this summer.

Clear Out Your Priorities

autumn-gold-priorities

 

I finally cleared my garden this weekend. It feels like yesterday when I carefully put in the baby tomato plants that now I pull out with vigor ready for Fall’s squash and apples.

As we grow older, our lives seem to move faster.  What I realized today, is the pace doesn’t change, our attention changes.  With age we become distracted.  Whether it is with the daily to do list, or the worries about family, friends and business, we seem to fritter away our precious minutes, thus time appears to move faster.

My tomato plants don’t mourn that it is fall.  They don’t bemoan the upcoming winter season.  Instead they continue to cherish each ray of sunlight and rain drop until it is time to sleep.

We give so much of our time…ourselves away every day.  We over commit.  We push through.  We forget to cherish the sunlight, golden trees and even the rain.

After a day in the garden my priorities seem sorted once again.  Although I’m sure tomorrow I will feel sore, my garden brought me back to the present.  It felt more like two or three days instead of one.

This week notice what brings you into the present.  Is it spending time with your kids?  Is it cooking a fabulous meal in the middle of the week?  Is it walking through the woods?  Whatever it is, note it and remind yourself to go back there often.  You can recapture and slow time once you move into the present.

I’m off to make tomato jam (one of my newest discoveries this summer).  Enjoy your week!

Summer Lessons

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Waning Summer

My sister and I were talking on the phone the other day lamenting the end of summer.  It seemed to come as such a miracle to us here in New England this year, it is hard to see it pass.

A reader of my Monday Inspirations reminded me throughout the summer that “Vacation is a state of mind.” (Thanks Wayne!) It has been a mantra all summer long.

Now in the twilight of the season, I realize the quote above is also a subtle mantra I have been adopting this summer.

Getting Caught Up In Stuff

Summer allows us to shed what we don’t need.  We live out of beach bags.  We open the windows and simplify our homes.  The garden grows of its own accord.

As I put my fall calendar together, I find myself slipping away from the vacation mindset being replaced by “I’ll get through it.”  I am getting caught up in stuff again and it doesn’t feel as good as summer did.   A familiar stress seeps back into my life.  I feel my shoulders tighten as I add another to do to the ever expanding list.  I sit back and sigh.

I take a deep breath and then another.  I repeat “All I have is all I need and all I need I have in this moment.”  I grab a water and stroll through the garden marveling at all that has been provided for me.  Gratitude replaces the stress.

Summer is Gratitude for What Is

I’ve learned the vacation mindset isn’t just about getting away.  It is about letting go of the stressful stuff and giving thanks for all that is in your life.  It is looking beyond your four walls and seeing there is a beautiful world out there full of wonder, surprises and yes, everything you need.

If you feel your summer being cut short, take a moment and get back into the vacation mindset.  You have everything you need to be happy.  Take a moment and look around.

The Best Solutions Come From Love

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“The best solutions will be found through loving thoughts and perhaps a good cup of coffee.” ~ Jen Vondenbrink

What I’ve found to be true is the best, most creative solutions have come when I’ve given up the “have to” thoughts and instead focused on loving thoughts.  When the solution presents itself, I find myself saying, “Of course, that is the right way to go.”

Loving thoughts are those that have no agenda but the good for all concerned.  In the business world, this may be called a “win-win” solution.  No one loses.  Everyone gains.

When you engage in thoughts that are not loving when trying to find a solutions, you will arrive at a very long to do list that feels overwhelming.  Literally your heart will not be in it.  As you proceed, you begin to dread each action.  Soon what seemed like the perfect solution, ends up being pushed to the side, ignored or faced with obstacle after obstacle.

I’ve seen this in my own personal life with my financial goals, weight loss or even relationships.  The more I solely focus with my head, the more off track I become.

I’ve also seen this in corporate and business goals.  At the beginning of the fiscal year, anything seems possible.  Budgets are refreshed.  Outlooks are positive. Goals are set with heads.  By this time of year, panic sets in because you haven’t looked at those goals in months.  When you do, you realize you are off the mark.  Then you spend the rest of the year trying to make up the difference.

I fall into this trap.  Every year I dedicate a notebook to the following year’s goals.  I engage my brain in what logically makes sense.  I write plans.  I write calendars.  When I look at this year’s notebook, sure I’ve accomplished some of those objectives, but the women’s retreat I’m planning for October wasn’t even on my radar.  That solution came strictly from my heart and it has been a joy to work on.

If you have a problem you are struggling to solve, grab a cup of coffee, tea or your favorite beverage.  Find a quiet spot and engage your heart in a solutions discussion.  If doing this is new, you will need to pay attention to the small whispers.  They won’t seem like much, but capture them for they are the seeds of something great.

Inspiration Quotes

Just remember that Dumbo didn’t need the feathers; the magic was in him. ~ Stephen King

Don’t look at your feet to see if you are doing it right.  Just Dance. ~ Anne Lamott

 

Love Yourself

Love yourself Charlie Chaplin Quotes

Happy Upcoming Valentine’s Day to You!

This Valentine’s Day, I want you to make a special effort to love yourself, and then others in your life. So often, especially women, you go through your Valentine’s Day checklist and think of everyone except yourself.

You make sure the kids have their Valentine’s for school. You make cookies for the family or a special meal. You buy your significant other something they love. By the end of it all, you are exhausted which makes it hard to see all the beautiful things they have done for you.

This year, I want you to start your Valentine’s Day by reading this poem by Charlie Chaplin

As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering
are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth.
Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody
As I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time
was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this
person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.

As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life
and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.

As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance
I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens
at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm.
Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.

As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time
and I stopped designing huge projects for the future.
Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do
and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in
my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.

As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for
my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew
me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude
a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.

As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since
I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.

As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worry
about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where EVERYTHING
is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.

As I began to love myself I recognized that my mind can disturb me
and it can make me sick. But As I connected it to my heart, my
mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this
connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.

We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know THAT IS “LIFE”!

Back to Reality?

lao tzu quotes reality

Back To Reality

I’ve been thinking…all last week I kept saying I was getting back to reality after the holidays, but what does that really mean?

Our work, our families, our obligations, our fun are all part of our reality.  So why after vacation does it feel like you are leaving a dream world and going back to something else?

I found the quote above when I was reading this weekend.  I loved it because it took away the bummed out feeling I was having after the holidays.

Reality is this moment.  Like it or not.

You can choose to have a reality you want to get away from or one you enjoy like a vacation.  Believe me, I’m not totally there yet, but I’m going to work on this.  What about you?

Are You Creative?

Life Simplified: Do You Have An Imagination?

photo credit: Sand Creation via photo pin cc

 

Diagnosis: No Creativity

When I was 12 years old, I thought I wasn’t creative. Although my mother told me everyone was creative, I figured she was just being nice.

My grandmother painted, created needlework patterns, drew,  and much more.  My mother sketched.  My younger sister made up cartoon people.  My creativity went as far as a stick figure.

I channeled my creativity toward math and science.  I spent hours copying whole sections of dinosaur books into a notebook or doing math problems while my sister drew.

My Imagination Run Wild

Fast forward 25 years or so.  I’m sitting in my coach’s office.  It’s my first visit so we’re getting to know each other.  She asks me what I like to do.  For the next 20 minutes (or more) I rattle off hundreds of things I love to do.  When she gave up taking notes, she said, “You are certainly creative.”

What happened in those 25ish years?  I discovered being creative didn’t need to look like what my mother, sister or grandmother were doing.  I learned what I loved and my creativity took root there.

What Do You Love?

Sadly, when I ask clients what they like, they stare at me for a few minutes and then say, “I don’t really know.  I’m so busy all the time I haven’t thought about it for a while.”

I’m giving you permission today to think about it.

Write down all the things you love.  Be gentle with yourself.  Start small.  Do you love your first cup of coffee in the morning?  Write it down.  Do you love taking a walk after work?  Write it down.  Do you love cooking a new recipe?  Write it down.

Don’t judge.  Just write.

Grab your coffee and start right now.  Jot down at least one thing you love  in the comments.  It will loosen you up.  Ready.  Go.

Flying Into Love

flying into Love

I’ll never forget my first airplane trip as a kid.  It was like magic watching the ground slip away cars and people become ants scurrying around below.

I think one of the most amazing experiences is flying during a rainy or very cloudy day.  Climbing higher through the storm you enter the clouds.  As a kid I wondered how pilots know where they are going.  At least on the ground if you drive through fog, you are on a road.  There are no roads in the sky.

Then a miracle happens.  You break through the clouds.  On the other side is a whole new day.  The sun is shining.  The sky is blue.  The only thing left of the story is a fluffy white blanket below you.

It’s not a bad metaphor for Love and Life.

Love Is Energy

According to the law of conservation of energy, energy can not be created or destroyed but can change form.  If Love is energy, it too can never be destroyed, but only change from form to form.

Each of you have your own weather system called ego.  Your ego creates turbulence in your daily life with feelings like jealousy, anxiety, and worry.  It’s easy to block out or diminish Love’s energy on these days.

Become a Pilot

But by design you are a pilot.  You can soar above the weather system of the ego and experience all of Love’s energy.  Like a pilot, you may have to learn to fly.  Once you do, you have the daily choice to live in your weather pattern, or fly above it all and live in Love.

Learning to be a pilot can be a lot of work.  The results, however, are a lifetime of peace, joy and happiness knowing you always have a place in the sun.

I like to remember even on your worst days, the sun is always shining on the other side.

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