Trusting the Equipment

A few weeks ago I went on an awesome treetop adventure course, climbing, tightrope walking, and zip-lining more than sixty feet off the ground. To make it all the way through the course without falling required a combination of balance, strength and creativity. Fortunately for anyone who thought they lacked sufficient balance, strength, or creativity, we all wore a harness tethered to a safety cable that kept us from falling more than a few feet towards our untimely demise.

I had a great time, moving from obstacle to obstacle without giving one thought to my wellbeing. After completing the first section, one of the instructors asked me to come to the front of the line. I didn’t understand why and felt bad for “cutting in line”, but the enthusiastically sweet instructor welcomed me on to the second half of the course with a huge smile and said “Go have fun!” To my amazement the entire second half of the course was empty – wide open and waiting for me.

The instructor had noticed my comfort on the first half of the course and how much time I spent waiting for others to cautiously cross the obstacles. He set me free on the second half and seemed to enjoy watching me fly through almost as much as I enjoyed doing it, playing like a carefree kid.

What struck me as interesting to think about was how different this experience might have been if I had attempted it without a harness. Even though in the end I never fell or made use of any of the safety equipment, I suspect much of my attention probably would have been focused on not falling to my death and I most likely would have had a lot less fun.

Trusting the Equipment

Imagine yourself strolling down a narrow sidewalk without a care in the world. Now, imagine walking down that same narrow sidewalk 1,000 feet in the air. Notice the difference?

Many of the participants were tentative and clinging to the cables throughout the course instead of simply letting go and using their body to balance naturally. While watching them I thought: “Man, this would be so much easier for them if they trusted the equipment!”

Then just last week in Athens, Greece I had almost the opposite experience. While on a walk in a park I came across a beautiful towering tree that begged to be climbed. Its branches were broad and perfectly spaced all the way up to the top. Before I had time to think, the tree climbing kid inside of me was up amongst the branches. Like a monkey, I began easily climbing up. But the higher I got, the more worried thinking I had. In reality, the tree was just as simple to climb 35 feet up in the air as it was when I was only a few feet off the ground, but I began to think more and more about the “what ifs.” Just as I suspected when I was on the adventure course, without the safety equipment I began to worry more about falling than enjoying the experience.

Remember, when I did the adventure course I had the safety equipment, but never needed it. On the tree, I didn’t have any equipment. So while I had full confidence on the lower branches, I experienced significant unease on the higher ones.

Here’s the point:

It wasn’t the tree that caused me to experience the uneasiness; it was my imagination running wild. I was overthinking. The higher I got in the tree the heavier my thinking got, and as you can probably imagine that feeling wasn’t helpful at all.

To me the equivalent of “trusting the equipment” in life is an unconquerable faith in the future. What if we knew the universe always had our back?  Imagine having a celestial carabiner attached to the cable of life and no matter what happened you’d be safe. Sure, life throws us obstacles and challenges involving balance, strength and creativity. That’s just life. When we have an unconquerable faith in the future we can zip along through the course of life really enjoying the ride.

Until the next revolution…

 

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The Paradox of Difficultness

In the last week, the subject of “difficult” has come up several times in different contexts… here are some thoughts. I’d love to hear yours too! Leave your thoughts, ideas, or musings in the comments below.

Difficult…

Nothing can be difficult and everything can be difficult. The same situation (act, person, project, thing) can seem both difficult and not difficult at the same time depending on who declares the difficultness. Even more interestingly, the same situation can seem both difficult and not difficult within the same person depending on their mood. The idea of “difficult” lies within our own mind and thoughts.

Can Difficultness be a Litmus Test?

Some believe whether or not something seems difficult can be a sign whether or not the universe wants something to happen. If the idea of difficultness lies within our own thoughts, then it seems a litmus test based on difficultness is a house of cards built on shaky ground. For example, if we say: “This isn’t meant to happen because it’s difficult” we may miss the boat. If you know, You Know. What comes after the ‘because’ is irrelevant. Similarly, if we say “This is meant to be, because…” we are living the same hoax.

If we say: “If it gets difficult, I’ll just go,” we are only running away from the thought created reality we think is true. What if sometimes “difficult” is merely a feeling that precedes seeing a deeper understanding?

If it were a Truth that difficult is the precursor to knowing if something is worth doing: Man would not have walked on the moon, Mount Everest wouldn’t be climbed, and most babies would never be born.

Belief & Thoughts, Knowing & Truth

‘Difficult’ rests in the land of the intellect and our thoughts. Whether or not a situation seems difficult is a belief, not a fact. A belief is not Truth. Let’s explore beliefs and Truths:

Thoughts and intellect are where beliefs manifest. Thoughts we think are true become beliefs. Beliefs are not fact, though in our own minds beliefs seem like fact. Beliefs only seem true until we see something different: Ask a four year old about Santa or the tooth fairy and then ask them years later. A child thinks Santa exist, so in his mind Santa does exist. Santa exists in his mind until the moment he thinks otherwise. The point is: Santa only existed in his thoughts. Santa never existed in the real world. Beliefs only thoughts we think are true.

A Truth just Is. There is no explaining it. Truth is remarkably simple. The sweet amazingness of Knowing lives in the realm of Truth without thought. In this realm we discern not by words or thoughts but by Knowing, a deep feeling like no other.

 

Until the next revolution…

 

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The New Year’s Resolution that Changes Everything… No Goals Required

It’s January and that means it’s time to clarify your goals and make your new year’s resolutions! …Right?

What if there is a simpler way to start off 2019 and REALLY enjoy the year ahead?

2018 was the first year in several decades that I had no concrete goals. Instead I vowed that I would first and foremost live by feeling (follow my heart and gut instincts), have fun, and not “work” on my business. What transpired was phenomenal: a year full of personal growth, extraordinary experiences, exploration, business growth, world travel, new friendships and deep connections. In my wildest dreams I could not have predicted what happened.

If you knew you could create really cool stuff this year and truly enjoy life while not having to set goals… would you be up for giving it a shot?

We’ve been taught that to be successful we must set and achieve goals. Society also tells us we need to be successful to be happy. Subsequently, it seems that happiness comes from our propensity to reach our goals. For example: If I make this much money then I’ll be happy; If I lose 25 pounds I’ll be happy (or the guy/girl will like me more and then I’ll be happy); If I get this job, then I’ll be happy. Sound familiar?

One of the snags with goal setting is it often becomes a perpetual game of leap frog. We sacrifice to chase the goal. When/if we achieve the goal we set more goals and sacrifice again. We leap frog our way towards burnout and a life spent being “busy.” I see so many people (and close friends) who claim to be busy all the time. It sure looks like they are busy being busy… busy in the pursuit of one day finally getting to the place where they can relax and be happy. In reality they are chasing a carrot that doesn’t exist.

Here’s a kicker: Whether or not we make or reach goals has no bearing on our happiness and wellbeing. If you have something really cool you’d like to create and purposefully head in that direction- awesome! On the contrary, if you are setting a goal because you think you should, there is much more to see.

Imagine how enjoyable life might be if you did what you really lit you up.

Just a few months ago I was reviewing my calendar from 2017 and actually cried. I worked so very hard. It’s mind-blowing how busy I was. Most of the time being busy was not fun. I forced myself to do things because I thought that was how to grow a business. The reason I cried when I reviewed my 2017 calendar is because I realize now that I missed out on many of the lovely things in life… I was doing the best I could in the midst of big misunderstanding about how life works.

Some of the misunderstandings I was living in were:

  • I thought I had to set goals that weren’t fun and achieve them to be successful and happy.
  • I thought my feelings and experiences were coming from my circumstances.
  • I didn’t see that my goals and my thinking were limiting me.

When we can clear ourselves of all that thinking, we begin to experience life in the now. Here (in the present) we are free of the burden and influence of our own personal thinking… free of our shoulds, confusions, and worry. This is where we naturally feel better and know what to do without even having to think about it. When we follow our innate wisdom (AKA: our heart, gut feeling, or instinct) the unimaginable happens and life simply lives us. Creativity abounds and really cool stuff shows up at our metaphorical doorstep.

When we begin to realize that we were born happy and wellbeing is our natural state, it becomes more and more obvious that creating goals that we think we have to achieve to be happy is a waste of time and energy. We become unshackled: We can do what we are naturally inclined to do and come alive!

“Ask not what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  — Howard Thurman

When we grasp that goals can limit us, an entire world of possibilities opens up: Imagine yourself standing in the center of a compass rose. You look around and in every direction lies possibility. This is where we stand in every moment of life: right in the midst of possibility. When we try to predict our future by thinking we know how things are going to turn out, we are limiting ourselves. Future predicting takes our 360 degrees of possibility and narrows it down to a tiny slice of the pie. When we set a specific goal of what we want to be, do, or achieve we do the same: narrow our focus to only this outcome. We then tend to become blind to so many opportunities that come along. What might be possible if in every instance you were open to anything?

Here’s what happened when I began living more in the present and stopped “working hard,” doing what I thought I should do, and living inside so much limited thinking:

I had the most enjoyable year of my life by far. My clients saw so much more for themselves (and clients kept showing up in 2018 even though I wasn’t “trying” to get clients!) and my business income increased by over 20 percent. Remember, all this happened in a year I vowed not to work! More importantly: the entire world opened up for exploration, more friends were made this year than in the previous decade, I began experiencing life in an entirely new light, and others also opened up their own field of possibilities. All the while, I purely lived by instinct and heart.

2018 felt like an almost perpetual holiday…  My resolution now is to continue to intentionally see more and to continue having the most enjoyable year… year after year…  why not?

See what you see…

What feels really fun? If you could do anything, and create an entirely fresh and enjoyable new year’s resolution, what would it be?

 

 

…until the next revolution.

 


Now Enrolling for One-on-One Coaching

It’s no surprise that I’m a huge fan of coaching. My journey in 2018 would not have been possible without several coaches in my corner continuously pointing me towards Truth and a deeper understanding. Coaching has immensely transformed my life and this is the reason I have dedicated my life to coaching others in the same way. Here is a little bit about what coaching is and why it changes everything

If you are wondering how coaching can help you experience an even more amazing life and be wildly successful without the stress and pressure most people equate with success: now is a great time.

I have a few slots for complimentary coaching sessions in January. If you are interested in working with me on a one on one basis in 2019, let’s chat. Fill in your info here and I’ll get back to you shortly to arrange a time for us to talk. During the chat I’ll be glad to answer any questions and then we can set a time for your 90 minute complimentary coaching session.

 

 

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Love is Love

Twelve years ago at around 2:00am a couple of firefighters had just returned from a medical call. Only the clicking of the keyboard broke the silence of the early morning stillness in the fire station as the details of the call were being recorded in the medical report. Interrupting the clicking of the keys was a single sentence said with soft resolve: “I love souls…” I stopped typing and slowly turned toward Randy who was sitting next to me. He was now silently gazing back. I wondered if the lack of sleep was getting to him and equally wondered what he was talking about.

“I love souls. It doesn’t matter what body they are in…” Randy calmly stated.

It took me a moment to realize what he was saying. Randy was married and had a three year old son. He was one of my favorite guys at the fire department, although we rarely worked together and weren’t close friends. He was a newer firefighter: very kind, courteous, a hard worker and seemed to have his life together. We hadn’t talked about anything deeper than what to have for dinner or what we had done for fun recently. This conversation (that had so far consisted of three sentences) suddenly had a gentle significance. I turned away from the computer and gave him my full attention.

Randy continued on about how he loved souls. It was obvious that he loved souls in general: He was a kind and compassionate guy. What Randy was specifically referring to was romantically. He explained that sometimes the soul had female body and sometimes the soul had a male body, but that didn’t matter to him: he loved souls, not the cover. I listened with tender intention without saying a word. I can’t remember the rest of the conversation, but the seed of a deep friendship was planted early that morning in the silence of a quiet firehouse. He asked that the conversation be kept private and we said goodnight before retreating to rest while waiting for our next call.

Through or friendship and our working relationship I saw on a deeper and deeper level what Randy meant by “I love souls.” He loves, listens, and cares for whoever crossed his path. His home doubled as an animal shelter: he took care of and loved the furry friends that no one wanted. He brags on just about anyone- always seeing the best in people and connecting those that can help each other. He truly loves souls in such a unique way.

Fast forward several years later. Randy, now a single father raising his son, had just returned from a short vacation in Boston. He and I were in the kitchen of the firehouse cooking together. Randy was glowing and couldn’t wait to tell me about a guy he met in a bar in Boston. They had chatted for a while and exchanged information. There was a special bond and Randy went on and on… I thought it was cute and listened contently. Even though I didn’t burst his bubble, I really wanted to say “Randy, really? A random guy in a bar in Boston?? These things never work out.” I kept my thoughts to myself and listened as Randy seemingly floated around the kitchen.

Fast forward more than seven years after the conversation in the kitchen and well over a decade after the “I love souls” conversation. The scene: It is a crisp mid-October evening. We are at a beautiful vineyard in New Hampshire as the sun is beginning to set. The soft orange glow is creating an unbelievably rich postcard like back drop of fall colors. There are 150 of us sitting in simple white wooden chairs. There are close to 300 eyes welled with tears… beautiful love filled tears. There is a soft but silent focal point. We are all mesmerized by the most gorgeously touching wedding ceremony.

Randy is standing to the left struggling to read his vows through overflowing emotions; Kaiden, Randy’s son and best man (who is now fifteen years old), has tears of love streaming down his face; and across from Randy is Jon, the kind and handsome young man Randy met in the bar in Boston seven and a half years ago. The vows being exchanged are the most heartfelt and deeply touching vows imaginable: Such an example of adoration, profound friendship, and love.

Kaiden has two fathers and a rich family atmosphere that is helping him grow into one of the finest young men I have ever met. Jon is the father and husband he always dreamed of being. Randy not only has a loving, strong, and kind partner, he also has the huge loving family that he’s always wished for. The foundation of all of this is love… a love of souls.

What’s even more interesting is how Randy’s love of souls has permeated so many. The 150 of us sitting together in the crisp fall air were loving souls. We were loving Randy, Jon, Kaiden, and their families. We were in love with each other- all of the varied friends and family that had come together to celebrate love. There were people with a slight southern twang, Harvard doctors, military vets, scientists, gay couples, straight couples, single people of all kinds, and many varied races, religions, ages… None of that mattered. There was only love.

What a journey it has been to the vineyard. There have been tears of all kinds, struggles, laughter, friendships, and love… lots of love. Randy and I experienced lives that ebbed and flowed, continually crisscrossing in unique and beautiful ways. Over a decade early in the wee hours of the morning when Randy first shared “I love souls,” neither Randy nor I in our wildest dreams could have imagined sitting in that vineyard. But it happened… it all unfolded beautifully.

What if we all loved souls? Imagine the possibilities if we didn’t see the shape, color, religion, political affiliation, age, scars, or skin deep attractiveness of all of the souls we meet each day. What if we saw love and possibilities in everyone? What if we saw ourselves in everyone?

 

Let’s all love souls.

 

Until the next revolution…Love

 

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Bonus From our Sister Site: Coddiwomple Now

Featured Coddiwompler, Randy Kostelansky

Randy Coddiwompled his way from an average life in south Florida working as a firefighter to being one of the top up and coming doctors in Boston. In just two years he went from a single dad and student to happily married, running a thriving wellness center, and lecturing to doctors at Harvard. He truly UNpredicted his journey and the unimaginable happened. Check out his story!

It Only Takes One

Not long ago I was engaged in an argument that could have derailed many friendships. Thankfully it didn’t, but I did find myself boiling and swearing under my breath. Shortly after the argument (and while the disdain was still fresh) I began wondering how I could let myself get so aggravated… especially since intellectually I understand where my experiences come from. My experiences come from my feelings and my feelings come from my thoughts… it seems quite simple. Why was I so pissed when I knew better than to let myself get all up in a tizzy. Well, for starters, I’m human and I was living in some deeply aggravated and defensive thinking. I was very curious, but thinking about it sure wasn’t helping.

Then in a flash, suddenly I knew something… something I could not put into words but that changed everything. In that moment and even in the days and weeks following the realization I tried to explain what I knew, but I continuously fumbled. It was like trying to describe the color blue: it felt so simple, but attempting a description left me feeling like a bumbling idiot. The only thing that was clear was that something inside me knew it would be close to impossible to argue like that again… with anyone. If only I could share what I knew…

Weeks later a metaphor popped into my head and still remains my only explanation:

Let’s say you are sharing a walk with a friend on a beautiful day. You are casually strolling  along when suddenly out of left field comes a jab that seems to hit you right in the heart. A little perturbed, you shoot back a look that says: “really?” A few jabs are exchanged and things get a bit heated.

Interestingly there are now two sets of fencing armor and swords lying in a neat pile right at your feet. As if by habit you both suit up and go to battle! Swords clanging, feet moving, you are in a full out dog fight with the masked person. Blow for blow you fight. Clink! Clink! Clink! The sounds of battle drown out the rest of the world. With every swing of their sword, your anger heightens. “How can they do this to me?” you think. “Why can’t they see how wrong they are?” As tempers and swords flail they are thinking the same about you.

And Pause… Mid swing time freezes.

What might happen if you stopped fighting back? Would your adversary continue to attack? Maybe, or maybe not. If this is anything like the rage filled match I was in, it would be tough not to continue to battle.

Now consider this, what if you gently laid your sword down and began taking off your amour: First you take off the mask to reveal your humanness and lovingly gaze at your masked opponent. Though you can’t see their humanness, you know it is in there. This isn’t just a masked enemy, this is a beautiful being, a being with whom you are deeply connected. What if you continued to gently remove the rest of your armor and stood there in full vulnerability, unarmed, and open. What might happen?

Who might be seen?

It only takes one to keep the illusion from ever being reality again.

It only takes one glimpse of the Truth to see through the thought constructed battle and realize the obvious: when the mask is removed the true beauty is the moment of realization that the loving gaze staring back… is ourself."Why struggle to open a door between us when the whole wall is an illusion?"- Rumi

 

 

Until the next revolution…

 

 

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What do you do when you don’t know what to do? Part 2

Your Potential…

Most people consistently make decisions based on intellect. The majority of people also don’t get close to living up to their potential. Do you worry about not reaching your full potential? Maybe you are concerned about your loved ones or your team not reaching their potential? The best way to get more out of your own potential is to run towards it, instead of away from it; to embrace it, instead of ignoring it. The simplest way to do this is to follow your heart, trust your gut, and listen to your intuition.

This article is a special edition “Part 2” on how to be exceptionally happy and successful by trusting your gut and following your intuition. We will build on the ideas we explored in Part 1. If you haven’t explored Part 1, “What to do When You don’t Know What to Do”, check it out here.

Thoughts

After reading Part 1, many reached out to share their experiences and inquire about the idea of tuning into our own inner GPS for turn by turn instructions. One reader had concerns over feeling “boxed in” by the notion of following his own inner GPS all the time:

“Although totally relying on GPS for every turn may sound right, to me it takes away from the freedom to explore… Basically what I’m saying is that exploring alternate routes has almost always resulted in new discoveries and a feeling of ‘glad I did this. I guess I don’t like being boxed into choices [by following my internal GPS all the time].”

This may be a common concern, but fear not: your freedom to explore is built into your inner GPS! Consider this- “Hilda” (Hilda is the name we gave the voice of our GPS) is not an outside force.  She is actually your inner wisdom guiding you. So when you get the urge to explore, that is actually part of the turn by turn instructions. By choosing to explore (when it feels right), you are listening your intuition.

The real life GPS in your car is a metaphor and it exists in the outside world. That gps will not always take you where you want to go, but your internal GPS always does. It will never box you in and has limitless possibilities: we take a step and see what comes up, then we take another step and see what comes up…. and on and on the rest of our days. It’s the most amazing adventure and the epitome of exploration.

What is coming up for you?

Part II- the Chicken Pot Pie Approach

Intuition

Another question that routinely comes up around following our heart is in reference to what many identify as the “first big choice” in making a decision: choosing between 1) going with your gut or 2) taking in all the data and then deciding analytically. This is where the idea of the chicken pot pie approach (CPPA) was born. The CPPA is my on the fly a metaphor that popped up in a group discussion and offered a third option: 3) let everything mingle like ingredients in a chicken pot pie.

Many people think very analytically and live by the data. The CPPA offers this: take in the data, but don’t make it the focus. Instead realize the data is there and it’s great to have, but let it be one of many ingredients. Let the peas and carrots of data mingle together with all the other spices and cream of life. Allow it to bake together and set. Once you pop the chicken pot pie in the oven, there is nothing left to do but relax and anticipate the mouthwatering meal that will soon be on your plate.

With the Chicken Pot Pie Approach, there is no thinking to be done–things get muddy when we think. Let your heart and intuition guide the way. You know and understand the data and the facts. Sit with it, and then notice what your gut is pulling you towards. That is intuition. Your inner wisdom doesn’t pick and choose the pieces and parts that must be used in coming to a decision: Everything is considered, data included.  The important part to remember is to let your heart have the final say- it knows the way.

You don’t know when you don’t know

No matter how in tune we are with our inner GPS, there are times when the next step is unclear. Sometimes you don’t know. That’s human nature.  Here’s one truth: When you don’t know, you don’t know. A second truth is: When you know, you know.

For a few years I have been wrestling around with leaving a career I’ve enjoyed for 14 years. I’ve known I wanted to take a different path, but I didn’t know how or when. I had tons of doubt: I didn’t know and nothing seemed to help make the decision. Then suddenly the answer hit me like a ton of bricks: I knew! There was no doubting. Now it feels like there is a giant vacuum cleaner sucking me out the door of that career and there is nothing I can do to stop it. It’s exhilarating! I know! You will to, because When you know, you know. Plain and simple

Just Choose vs. Decide

There are times when making a decision doesn’t seem simple. No matter what, the clear answer doesn’t bubble up. In those times just choosing is where the freedom lies. It is in these times that choosing a course and going with it is paramount. Our inner GPS will be there to guide us after the choice is made.

Once you have made a choice, you just take the next step, and the next. Your inner GPS will guide you and adapt. If it wasn’t the right choice, no biggie- “Hilda” will recalculate and guide you in the right direction.

I look forward to having many more discussions around intuition, following your heart and trusting your gut. What are your thoughts? Please comment below, send an email or give me a call. I’d love to hear about your experiences.

TRUST YOUR GUT, follow your heart, listen to your inner wisdom… Develop your intuition!

Take that next step towards happiness and fulfilling your potential… and the next… and the next… and…

Happy exploring!

 

Until the next revolution…

 

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How to Make the Most of Your Time- The Easy Way

Time. On one hand, it seems a limitless resource and on the other, it appears as if there is never enough.  How do you value and make the most of your time?

Time

What if you saw someone burning money (literally), buying frivolous things, or otherwise foolishly wasting money. What would you think? Most would see them as crazy!  However, we witness people, including ourselves, wasting something much more valuable every day: time.

Why do we think nothing of wasting time, but think wasting money is crazy? Time has the greatest value, because once it’s gone you can not get more of it. Facebook, long drawn-out meetings or years spent waiting to do something important “someday” are just a few actions, or in-actions, that may be more damaging than burning money. Why the double standard?

William Penn brilliantly summed up it up in this statement, “time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”

Despite the fact that time is the one thing we want the most, very few of us use our time wisely, consistently. It’s easy to get sucked in to scrolling through social media, procrastinating, or delaying a big decision. How often do you have a busy day and then, just before bed, realize you can’t remember what you actually accomplished? There is a huge difference between being busy and being productive.

Each day millions of people chase techniques and tricks that promise to find more hours in their day, while others rely on sheer grit and willpower. There are no magic bullet points or supreme spreadsheets that will magically help you free up more time.

Many people think they can will their way to success by multitasking, even though studies show this practice is counterproductive. Some people try sleeping less, working harder, etc. We can make changes through grit and determination, but it’s a struggle. The second we take our eye off the ball, we slip back.

Willpower works well enough so that it appears if we only try harder, it would really work. We think if we are better at it, we will be successful, but even the toughest and strongest lose steam. We aren’t the problem. The way we are going about it is. We want more time. We want to use our time better. We can try and try, but putting our nose to the grindstone is only going to get us so far.  This is not a long term tool for success. Instead, a change in mindset can bring about effortless change and is suitable for long term efforts.

In March I disabled my Facebook account. It was much harder than I imagined. I hadn’t realized what a habit scrolling had become. The first week I found myself mindlessly reaching for my phone. It wasn’t that I was wondering what my friends were having for lunch, rather it was a deep seated habit. Staying unplugged was tough and it took willpower.

After about a month, I realized how full my life had become without social media. I was more productive, at ease, and relaxed.  Around the 4-6 week mark, I had amazing clarity and no longer felt I was missing out. In fact, I realized that for years I had been missing out by wasting so much time on social media. An important change occurred; I had an insight. It was an awareness of a different way of seeing things and it brought about new thought. I just “got it” and it was no longer a struggle to limit my social media time. I rejoined and have enjoyed occasionally connecting without the urge to mindlessly scroll.

Awareness is not about looking for something better; it’s having a different perspective of the world you are living in. It’s not overcoming habits so that you can make a change. It’s as simple as looking from a different point of view and noticing what is there.

“We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is.” Arnold Bennett

Here are three ideas on making the most of all the time there is:

  1. Realize what is important to you and what you want to create in the world. Prioritize around this
  2. Notice your state of mind. Operating from the mindset of well-being brings a higher level of clarity, creativity, and ingenuousness that opens doors of opportunity and a further abundance of time.
  3. Notice instances in your life where you may be letting time slip away. What comes up? Look from a different point of view and see what is there.

If you are also looking for methods to combine with your mindset shift about time, here are are two that can help:

What if we all began to consider wasting time just as foolish as burning money?

Enjoy your time, make the most of it, and welcome the possibilities.

 

Until the next revolution…

 

 

Your Thoughts?

Share in the comments below what is coming up for you. What do you notice? How have you shifted your thoughts and actions?

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Part 2: From Overwhelm to Clarity, Creativity, and Calm

In Part 1 we explored ways to calm the feeling of overwhelm, making a master list is one tactic. There are many other tactics that may help us prioritize our lives around what we want to create in the world. Now, in Part 2, we will explore the effect that state of mind has on overwhelm and the connection between our thoughts and feelings.

From Overwhelm to Clarity, Calm, Creativity

It’s important to know that how we feel (happy, carefree, anxious, overwhelmed, etc.) comes directly from our thoughts. Whether or not we feel stressed depends on our thinking about our situation, rather than the situation itself. Having tools and tactics to help quiet the feeling of stress is great, but what if there was a better option? What if there was something more innate that could instantly and continuously change how you think, act, and react to your world?

There is!  Being in a high level state of mind changes everything. Operating from the mindset of well-being brings a level of clarity, creativity, and ingenuousness that opens doors of opportunity. Think of a time when you were in an extremely great mood. What was it like? What did you notice about your interactions with people and clarity of ideas?

If you were in a happy, free, fulfilled state of well-being: How might you respond to a loved one who is upset and having a tough day? Imagine floating through your day at this level of peace of mind as your loved one walks into the room.  He (or she) is short with you and upset. How do you react? You might love on them, try to help them, or let them be and shrug it off. His or her reaction probably wouldn’t affect your state of mind much at all. What if you were feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and in a low state of mind and your loved one was short with you and upset. How do you react? It will not go nearly as well for either of you as compared to the previous scenario.

The only difference in these two scenarios is your state of mind. State of mind changes everything. Can overwhelm exist in a very high state of mind? When appreciation, happiness, peacefulness and love are oozing from your pores, is it possible to simultaneously feel stressed? Pause and think about that for a moment.

When we are feeling overwhelmed, we lose perspective and see things as black and white. This narrowing of our thinking is what fuels the vicious cycle of stress. When we are living in that clarity of a higher state of mind, ideas come to us. Things that once seemed like problems suddenly clear via creative solutions. The monstrous list of things to do begins to organize itself. New ideas pop up that change everything. Without realizing it, we get things done with efficiency and simplicity. We may even do more than we ever have before, but now with an ease and flow we can’t explain. This is not possible when we’re dragging ourselves through the quicksand of worry, stress and overwhelm.

Now, are you wondering how to get to this high level state of mind? If you try to control your state of mind, you won’t. It’s counterproductive. You can’t will yourself into clarity, well-being, and creativity. That would be like throwing a saddle on a wild mustang and trying to get it to take you for a ride like a pony at a petting zoo… it ain’t going to happen.

Instead of trying to make it happen, be open to letting it happen. Trust that it is possible. Trust that our natural state is well-being and calm. Be willing to step outside of your current thinking and notice what comes with the stillness. Trust that when you take a deep breath, step back, and settle in, you will effortlessly begin to float back toward this natural state of broader bandwidth.  In that stillness, you may find that peace and ease are already there. Instead of worrying about what could go wrong or cleaning up your mess, you’ll have more time to do what you want. You’ll begin to move forward with ease and grace.

I have lived from both sides. Right now I have a few more “things to do” on my plate than I did last year, but a totally different perspective. Back then, I was in the quicksand of overwhelm. I wasn’t as productive, my temper was much shorter, and I was living from a space of scarcity (scarcity of time, energy, money, love, bandwidth, etc). Comparing then to now, my surroundings haven’t changed, but everything else has. How did it happen? It was a change in perspective that was born out of the support, encouragement, and deep conversations with my coach, Andrew. It’s been a life changing journey.

Sure, I experience low states of mind and can get stuck there for a bit-that is part of being human. Now, I notice my thinking and feeling more often. About a week ago I had a heated discussion with someone close to me and I wasn’t in the best state of mind. Normally, I would go do something physical outside to find clarity and clear my thoughts. This wasn’t an option, but knowing well-being was my natural state, I took a different approach. I laid down and quieted myself by focusing on my breathing and purposefully noticing physical sensations in my body. In less than three minutes I was feeling calm, peaceful, and had clarity. Experiences like this continue to confirm that well-being is much closer and more accessible than it previously seemed. Well-being is our natural state… give it a try.

Clarity will be abundant when you come from a state of well-being and use your tactics, like the master list. In that state of well-being you have more common sense and more creativity. You’ll be able to identify which tactics and tools work for you. You’ll be streamlined and innately know what is best. You’ll be able to clear any unrealistic expectations and also clear limits you have placed on yourself.  This is our natural state and it is much closer than you may think. If you’d like support in your journey, begin with experiencing the power of coaching for yourself by contacting me directly via the phone number or email address listed below or by applying for a complimentary strategy session.

Well-being, calm, and limitless creativity are available to you. Be open to noticing and allowing yourself to experience it!

 

Until the next revolution…

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Part 1: Overwhelm- Choose to Change

What if “stress” or feeling overwhelmed wasn’t a problem at all? What if overwhelm was merely an intrinsic message—your inner wisdom suggesting a change?Calming Overwhelm

Though feeling overwhelmed often feels like quicksand (the more we try to escape, the more we sink in) it may be more akin to the “check engine” light on your car’s dashboard. It’s purely a signal to make a change, and the change may be simpler than you believe.

We can approach overwhelm two ways: as something that “happens to you” that can be “fixed” or as a feeling. In the latter, your state of mind intrinsically facilitates a shift towards (or away from) a state of wellbeing. To fully explore both of these views, this article is divided into two parts. This week we explore taking action, and next week, we dive into the effects of your state of mind. It will be interesting to see how you relate with each view!

In the “check engine”-light metaphor, imagine a very busy day: your plate is full; you’ve got several errands to run; you’re wondering if it’s possible to get it all done. As you jump in your car and speed to your next stop, your dash goes off like a fireworks show: buzzers ringing, lights flashing. This isn’t just a “change the oil” suggestion. This is something serious. What do you do? What might happen if you ignored the alarms and kept the pedal to the metal? Chances are you could blow the engine and put your car permanently out of commission.

So what are you going to do? Most people, despite their hurry, would realize the risk of continuing on. They would realize those lights and buzzers signal problems, and would pull over to investigate or call for help before larger problems arise.

Compare this to the feeling of overwhelm: if you are the car, stress and overwhelm are the lights and buzzers on the dashboard. They are communicating the need to make a change immediately, or you could blow your engine. No matter your workload or schedule, something must change or you’ll be going nowhere soon.

Amid the frustration of overwhelm, it can seem difficult to pull over and check under the hood. Stop and consider what could happen in your life if you don’t.

Calming Overwhelm

For those wanting to calm overwhelm, the questions I would ask are: What is important to you? What do you want to create in the world? How might you organize your day around the triad of what you find important, what makes you happy, and what is effective?

As counterintuitive as it may seem, in the midst of feeling overwhelmed you must stop, re-evaluate, and make a change. Instead of trying to “manage time,” identify your priorities.

First, be upfront with yourself: there is no magic spreadsheet that will instantly change your life. One person’s way of prioritizing may not fit everyone, but ideas on getting started and getting organized can help you find your ideal approach. Here’s a simple method that’s a great way to begin your journey:Calming Overwhelm

Clear your mind!

One of the easiest and most productive ways to “reset” is to make a list of EVERYTHING on your plate. List absolutely everything you have to do personally, professionally, with your family, in your career, your volunteer activities, etc. Get it all out of your head and onto paper.

Imagine walking around with a massive swarm of flies buzzing around your head, flies so thick they form a black cloud. They are buzzing in your ears, your hair, and your eyes. You swat at them, but it makes no difference. This is often what overwhelm feels like. By writing (or typing) everything on a list, you get those flying, buzzing thoughts out of your head and onto paper. Consider keeping this a “living” list: continue adding to it whenever you think of things you need or want to do. Often this one act alone can calm the feeling of overwhelm. Don’t be surprised if your initial list is well over a hundred items. Once you have your list, consider grouping the tasks in categories as well.

Prioritize

What do you deeply care about? What do you want to create in the world? When you hone in on that, life gets a lot easier. With these ideas in mind, choose one thing on your list that, if completed, would make things easier, or -better yet- make other things on the list melt away. Then go do that one thing. Complete the task. Re-evaluate and choose the next thing. If choosing one thing is too daunting, try selecting two or three things at most.

The Master List

Many find it best to put the master list aside. Complete those 1, 2 or 3 important tasks and re-evaluate. Day by day progress will be made. Constantly seeing the master list may not be helpful. Consider glancing at it once a week, max. I make a monthly, weekly, and daily list of what I want to create and it has worked well for me. Start simple and notice what works for you.

A few more things to consider in reference to your master list:

  • What can you delegate?
  • Which of your tasks are out of line with what you want to create in the world?
  • What can you stop doing?
  • Can you hire people to take care of some tasks?
  • Are you allowing for self-care (sleep, exercise, quiet time to recharge, etc)?
  • Consider time-blocking.
  • Consider setting time limits. Ex: I’ll do this for 30 minutes.

The key idea to remember is: Overwhelm is not a state of being, it is a feeling. It is a signal to make a change: List, Prioritize and Re-commit.

 

…until the next revolution

 

Check out Part 2! Here we explore the effect your state of mind has on the feeling of overwhelm and your wellbeing.

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Feeling Lucky? How to Create Your Own Luck

Create Luck!

Why is it that some people seem to be so lucky? Do you believe in luck… is it real?

In the spirit of St. Patrick ’s Day and the luck of the Irish I have been mulling around the idea of “luck.” Some people seem to be so lucky—they have the best experiences and are in the midst of astounding situations entirely too often. Whether or not you believe in luck, blessings, good fortune, coincidences or any other way to describe life’s fluke marvels it certainly is nice to be the recipient from time to time. What if there was a way to up your chances of being the beneficiary of luck? Well, (said in a whisper voice) it’s 100% possible…. It’s your choice to significantly up your odds at being the lucky one.

The Lucky One

While chewing over how to write this article I was lucky enough to have an astounding conversation with a friend who had a stroke a few weeks ago. Let’s call her “Lucie,” for the sake of this article and her privacy. Lucie had a severe stroke, so severe that the survival rate was 20%. Most patients who survive this type of stroke are aware of everything, but are completely paralyzed and have no way of communicating. This was what Lucie was facing. Here’s another kicker- Lucie is in her 30s, has three young children, is very active, and was in perfect health when an incident occurred that very nearly took her life.

At first glance, this appears to be a very unfortunate situation for all involved, right? In my first conversation with her since the stroke, Lucie happily declared that she was “Lucky to have the stroke.” Instantly my ears perked up and my little voice inside said: “WOW!! Buckle up kids and enjoy the ride! This conversation is going to be one for the books!”

Lucie happily shared that prior to the stroke she was stressed, felt pulled in too many directions, overworked, etc. Since the stroke, all that has changed. She is relaxed, has free time, and is enjoying her recovery while connecting with friends and family. Moreover she realized how many people are willing to step up, help out, and genuinely care. My guess is she is also grasping what a difference she makes in the lives of others. She is loving her post-stroke existence.

Two Views on Luck

There are a few ways to look at Lucie’s thought about being lucky to have a stroke. Here are two:

  1. Lucie thinks she is lucky to have the stroke, therefore she is lucky.
  2. After the stroke Lucie changed how she is being in her world, which changed her world.

Option A:

Lucie thinks she is lucky to have the stroke, therefore she is lucky. She could have been absolutely devastated while thinking thoughts like “Why did this happen to me? I don’t deserve this. My poor kids. Life sucks!” The great news is she is choosing to focus her attention on the opportunities she has. Her thoughts are encouraging her to be happy, healthy, relaxed and enjoying her relationships. She is in a wonderful space of gratefulness. This is why she feels lucky. Her life and the lives of everyone around her are fundamentally better because of her state of mind. She truly is “lucky” and that is awe-inspiring.

Option B:

After the stroke Lucie changed how she is being in her world. Faced with the alternative of death or permanent disability, Lucie’s health and wellbeing suddenly became her top priority. She realized she had to take care of herself first. If she didn’t take care of herself, there would be absolutely nothing to give. So she made the change. Lucie feels she is lucky because she thinks the stroke forced her to slow down and encouraged those around her to give her space and care for her. Suddenly her life became more relaxed which is giving her space to heal. Although, was Lucie’s change really due to the stroke?

What was the cause of the lifestyle change? The way I see it, the stroke was a defining moment and surely inspired the change, but the stroke was not the cause of the change. Lucie’s thoughts caused the change. She could have had the stroke, come home from the hospital and continued to stress and not make her health a priority. Some people may have done that, but not Lucie. Her thoughts and priorities shifted and so did the thoughts and priorities of her loved ones and those in her circle. Lucie (and everyone who knows her) wants to heal, so Lucie’s healing took precedence.

Here’s something to ponder: Could all of those changes have taken place in the absence of a defining event like a stroke?

Could Lucie and her loved ones have created that shift in thinking and made Lucie’s health and wellbeing a priority anytime? It might seem improbable, but it is possible. The same is possible for you, your loved ones, and everyone else. What are your priorities? How might we all discover a bit of wisdom in this experience? Lucie was lucky to have the stroke because she was able to change who she was being and realize her priorities. You can too… and you don’t have to wait for a massive life event to decide to change the way you are thinking and feeling.

Upping Your Odds

As luck would have it, there have been studies done on the science of luck. The findings overwhelmingly show that people who think they are lucky, are “luckier.” This scientific study on superstition showed that people who had a lucky charm, crossed their fingers or did other things they considered “lucky” performed better! Why? Because “activating a superstition boosts participants’ confidence in mastering upcoming tasks, which in turn improves performance.” The study is not saying a lucky rabbit’s foot is going to help you win. Instead this study (and many others like it) uses science to show that if you think the rabbit’s foot is helping you, it probably will. It’s your thoughts that matter… not the foot.

Professor and experimental psychologist, Richard Wiseman, has dedicated his studies and written books and articles on the psychology of luck. He has identified “four basic principles that lucky people use to create good fortune in their lives.” Here are his four principles:

#1 Maximize Chance Opportunities (create, notice, and act on good stuff)

#2 Listen to Lucky Hunches (go with your intuition and gut feelings)

#3 Expect Good Fortune (…a self-fulfilling prophecy)

#4 Turn Bad Luck to Good (there’s always a silver lining)

Notice how Richard’s four principles of luck relate: Each principle has to do with your thoughts. Also notice it is not about “positive thinking,” it’s about noticing, believing, and looking forward to great outcomes. Ultimately, we all have the innate ability to think ourselves into good fortune. When we shift our thoughts, our world shifts. In Lucie’s heart of hearts she sees the silver lining, expects things to turn out wonderfully, is going with her gut, and is noticing the opportunities all around. Even more, she is thoroughly grateful to have the chance to live an amazing life. She thinks she is lucky, therefore she is!

We Are All Lucky

We are all lucky to know “Lucie’s” story and being able to witness her strength, humility and resiliency.

Immensely upping your chances at being the lucky one and having a similar impact is well within your reach: Create opportunities; notice and act on the good stuff; go with your intuition; expect great things to happen to you; and always notice the silver lining. Do this and everyone wins.

It is 100% possible to shift your odds. It all starts with your thoughts.

Be the lucky one!

 

…until the next revolution.

 

 

Join in! Live Interactive Session on Creating Luck

Join in Monday April 12, 2017 to dive deeper into greatly increasing your odds at being lucky and creating more success in life, business, and retirement. This is an interactive session and life changing discussion facilitated by Kristy Halvorsen at The Microsoft Store- University Town Center in Sarasota, FL from 8:30-10:00am. For more details and to register for “Feeling Lucky” click here.

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