Posts

For Jim’s birthday I planned to take him sailing. The day came and the weather was rough, so rough there was only one guy that would rent us boat in Southwest Florida. We drove down and set sail in a 16’ Hobie Cat. Thankfully Jim is a very experienced sailor; still, there were several times I was quite impressed he kept the bottom side down! On our past sails the conditions have mostly been just breezy (on the verge of boring). That day was different- The wind was strong and gusty and the water was rough. I learned more in two hours than I had in all of our previous sails. We were flying. I was hanging off the side of the boat and using my weight to keep us from capsizing. Jim was “spilling wind” because our little boat had limits and at times the wind was too much. It was exhilarating.

Isn’t life just the same? Sometimes winds are strong and sometimes there is no breeze at all. At times during calm conditions we think we have to create our own wind. If you were in a sailboat in the middle of the ocean on a breezeless day, would you huff and puff and spend all your energy blowing into the sails with your own breath? What might you do instead? Why do we think our businesses, careers, or lives should be treated any different? How much effort do you put into blowing into your own sails? Conversely how much energy do you exhaust trying to push against the wind when the breeze is blowing?

Looking back at the birthday sail I notice so many more similarities that relate to ordinary occurrences. For instance: When it was time to tack (change directions), sometimes it didn’t go so smooth. Jim and I bumped into each other, emotions got edgy, and a couple times we lost all of our momentum.  On the other hand when we were moving swiftly forward with our sails full there were occasional adjustments to be made, but in the big picture, we were just enjoying the ride.

One factor to realize is: if we didn’t tack and kept that course, we would have sailed our boat into deep waters far away from land… and we were on a tiny boat only prepared for a couple of hours of adventuring. For our own well-being, we had to change directions. The changing of directions sometimes wasn’t a smooth transition. Even though I’m not an experienced sailor, I had complete faith in Jim and wasn’t worried at all. After a few times of turning around and heading back toward shore I also realized this: Even if we came to what seemed like a complete standstill miles off shore- we were still moving and those strong winds eventually filled the sails and we’d be flying again. We continually used the wind to our advantage- that’s what sailing is all about!

How might this relate to you?

Are you in the midst of a change in direction? If your current situation seems muddled or confusing, might the good news be that you are still moving (even if it doesn’t seem so). If there isn’t wind now, there soon will be and it will fill your sails. Let it. Worry and apprehension might give you something to do in the moment, but neither will get you anywhere.  Trust the gale of inspiration will come.

Are you flying and moving swiftly forward with full sails? Receive and enjoy the gale, realize you are the wind, take the voyage and do it with ease.  When we let our ship sail under the wind and give it everything we’ve got, every day is a blast- it becomes seemingly effortless and fun.

My big takeaway from the birthday sail was: I love sailing in a strong wind and in what many would consider intimidating conditions. Sure, when winds are calm it’s relaxing and that can be nice for a bit. BUT, WOW! Was that sail fun!! It’s was a lot more work, Jim and I were both sore, and there were a few times I thought we were going to capsize…. But that is where the living is done! I feel like I am in those same winds in life right now. The wind is a blowing and I love it! I really don’t know where I am going to end up, but that is all a part of the adventure.

What is your take? How might this discussion apply to how you feel and where you are today?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, stories, and comparisons. Feel free to comment below or contact me directly.

Catch Some Wind, Be the Wind, Enjoy the RideSt. François de Sales’ quote (below) was the fuel for this article. I first came across it while reading The Inside-out Revolution last year. In June it popped up again and spurred on a fascinating class discussion (on the same day as the birthday sail!). Then, out of the blue last week, one of my clients mentioned how drawn he is to the quote and the ideas it has stirred in him. Read it, let it sit and read it again:

“Our free will can hinder the course of inspiration, and when the favourable gale of God’s grace swells the sails of our soul, it is in our power to refuse consent and thereby hinder the effect of the wind’s favour; but when our spirit sails along and makes its voyage prosperously, it is not we who make the gale of inspiration blow for us, nor we who make our sails swell with it, nor we who give motion to the ship of our heart; but we simply receive the gale, consent to its motion and let our ship sail under it, not hindering it by our resistance.”

St. François de Sales

One simple message that comes up for me is: propelling our tiny boat across the ocean isn’t our responsibility. The wind will take care of that. It is in our power to work against or do nothing with the gale. It is also in our power to set sail and take an active part in the grand adventure.

What comes up for you?

 

Catch some wind, be the wind, and enjoy the ride.

 

 

Until with next revolution….

 

Get More!

If you would like to receive powerful tips and tools in your inbox once a month, sign up for the Yourevolution Newsletter by clicking HERE

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?

Get More!

If you would like to receive powerful tips and tools in your inbox once a month, sign up for the Yourevolution Newsletter by clicking HERE

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…

Contact Info

Share!

If you enjoyed this article and know someone who might enjoy it as well: click the social media buttons below to share.

Get More!

If you would like to receive powerful tips and tools in your inbox once a month, sign up for the Yourevolution Newsletter by clicking HERE

Achieve your Goals AND Enjoy your JourneyWe all have things we want to be. Or do. Or achieve. In going after what you want, do you consider sacrificing present happiness for future bliss? This is often the case, but there is a better way! What is the secret to achieving your goals AND enjoying the journey?

The first step is clarifying exactly what you want so that your path becomes clear. One of my clients described finding clarity and his path extremely well last week and graciously endorsed me sharing it with you.  He described his path as the Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz.  He explained how, right now, his yellow brick road is covered in a soupy fog. As he continues to progress day by day, that fog lifts a bit.  He has faith that soon all of the fog will be lifted and his path (The Yellow Brick Road) will be clear—at that point it is just a matter of continuing along the path and enjoying the journey.Yellow Brick Road

What a lovely visual, right? How would you like to have such a clear vision for your future and the famous Yellow Brick Road for your path?

Life is a journey and surprises come up along the way. For instance, just as Dorothy experienced in The Wizard of Oz, people flow in and out of your life—some deeply enrich the journey, some you learn and share with, and some are there in passing. From time to time you are skipping along with your friends when a wicked witch or a gang of super scary flying monkeys pop up! How you react to these surprises along your journey is totally up to you.

I remember watching The Wizard of Oz as a kid. Do you? What is interesting is even though I was a tough kid, those monkeys had me cuddling up to my dog for protection and closing the window blinds. To say the least, they were super scary—much in the same way that life’s obstacles can seem so burdensome in the moment. Now when I see a clip of the flying monkeys they seem fake and not scary at all. When you look back, years in the past, to life’s hurdles, do they often appear less daunting than when you were living through them? What are some ways you can gain perspective in the moment when surprises pop up on your path? A secret weapon is focus. Focus on where you are going, how you are going to get there, and remind yourself to appreciate the adventure all along the way.

What does focus mean to you? To me focus is: clarifying and being attentive to the task at hand, eliminating distractions, simplifying, and concentrating on getting the important things done that make a difference in the big picture. How would your life change, personally and professionally, if you kept your focus on where you were going versus concentrating on concerns that may pop up, like the flying monkeys?

Over a decade ago, while endeavoring to be the best mountain biker I could be, a lesson in a book hit me in the chest and changed my life forever. In his book, Mastering Mountain Bike Skills, Brian Lopez said:

“Focus on what is important… and let your peripheral vision handle everything else.”

Like many people careening down a mountain trail—and through life—I looked at, focused on, and gave a lot of attention to the bumps in the road and boulders in the way. How else will you maneuver around them, right? Brian revealed that there is a flow in riding that only comes from scanning the trail quite a distance ahead and noticing obstructions, but never looking right at them. When there is a hole, a tree stump, a huge rock, or any other obstruction, never look at it! Focus all of your attention down the trail—you will sense the overall flow, elevate your perception, and increase your speed. Instead of looking at an obstruction, look at the exact line on the ground you want your tires to follow and let your peripheral vision take care of everything else. You may be thinking (just like I did): “Wait, wait, so as I am barreling down this mountain trail making split-second decisions while risking life and limb, by just looking at where I want to go, the bike will magically steer itself right where it should? Yeah. Right.”

BUT IT WORKED!

I changed how I rode and purposefully focused on the exact line I wanted to take while keeping my attention down the trail. Of course I noticed obstacles on the path, but never again did I focus on them. Suddenly rides became smoother, more efficient, and much more fun.

Imagine having intense clarity about what you want in life, and then choosing to truly focus on your path. What will happen?

THE SAME THING HAPPENS!!!

Your life becomes easier, your actions are more efficient, and the ride is more enjoyable. Soon those flying monkeys that once stopped you in your tracks seem harmless and, with practice, they may vanish altogether.

The choice to enjoy the journey while achieving your goals is yours. Clarifying what you really want so that the fog lifts and reveals your yellow brick road is a fantastic start.  Then it is just a matter of keeping focused and enjoying the ride.

 

Until the next revolution…

 

If you just can’t seem to take your eyes off those flying monkeys, coaching can draw your attention to what really matters to you. Commit to a Strategy Session and experience the power of coaching.

 

If you would like to receive powerful tips and tools in your inbox once a month, sign up for the Yourevolution Newsletter by clinking HERE