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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….

 

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Gifts—what comes to mind? “Gift” has so many meanings and each one of us has a slightly different interpretation.  Before reading further, take a moment to note what thoughts the word “Gifts” brings up within you- there is no right or wrong answer.

Alright, now let’s explore “gifts” and I’d love to hear more about your thoughts, feelings, and ideas in the comments!

Giving Gifts

Christmas Gifts

My Tree- The tiny bike is for my 3 year old niece and it is sooo cute, like a puppy! I love having it in my living room and can’t wait for her to enjoy it.

Particularly during this time of year, gifts are given and received: material goods, like a bicycle or a sweater; experiences, for instance a skydiving adventure or a weekend getaway; money;  services, such as a gift certificate for a massage or an offering to give someone a ride; and more!

In giving and receiving gifts, both sides benefit. Oftentimes the giver gets even more of a rush that the receiver. How do things change when you give a gift to a complete stranger? Watch this 2 minute video and notice the joy and exhilaration being experienced… and notice who seems to be experiencing the most pronounced joy and happiness.  Take note of this: How did you feel while watching that video?? You were watching strangers, most likely in a different continent, and the actual exchanges happened in 2015. BUT- Chances are you experienced a nice feeling watching the exchanges. This brings up another point, observers also benefit from seeing others give and receive.

Giving is good for your health!  In fact, we experience a release of endorphins which mimics a low level hit of morphine when we give. This is commonly referred to as “Helpers High.” Whether your gift is opening the door for an elderly person or giving a million dollars to charity, the benefit is there for the giver, the receiver, and observers.

Let’s go a bit further in this journey into the meaning of “Gift.”

Being a Gift

You are a gift. You have gifts. You may not fully know what your gifts are, but the gifts are there. They have been there all along. It’s a matter of letting them blossom.  An extreme example of “Being a Gift” is Derek Paravicini, one of the most amazing pianists of all time.

Here is a quick rundown about Derek by Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes:

“Derek is a masterful musician, who is blind, with disabilities so severe he can’t tell his right hand from his left or hold anything but the simplest of conversations… We started following Derek because of his gift at the piano, but it is what he taught us about relationships, communication, and what music is really all about that’s kept us coming back… Derek is a musical savant, blessed with an island of extreme talent in a sea of profound disability.”

This youtube clip tells his story. I invite you to plan a time in your day to take 15 minutes to watch the clip and experience Derek’s story- It is well worth the watch.

How many “Dereks” are out there in the world? My guess is there are millions. Millions of people have yet to discover the extraordinary gift that is lying dormant inside. What if no one was there to support Derek as his gift emerged? His gift might not have blossomed and forever been a secret—a potential unrealized. Also, he may have ended up in a facility as a stranger to the world with his gift trapped inside. We all would have missed out!

This is the kicker: Just like Derek, you have a gift. You have many gifts! Everyone does. Imagine what the world would be like if absolutely everyone realized their gift and lived a life in service of that gift. The world needs people that have realized their genius, have come alive, and are being a gift to the world!Snowflake- You are Unique!

“The part you are to play is as unique and beautiful as a snow flake… And one only you can fill.”

-Jane Lee Logan

 

You may be wondering: “Ok, but how do I find my gift and help others realize theirs?” The answer: It is already there… relax… notice.

Living in the Space of Noticing Gifts

Simply stated, there are gifts all around you.  Consider all the “gifts” mentioned above: gifts we give and receive, gifts we observe being exchanged between others, special gifts people have yet to realize within themselves, your gifts you bring to the world, and more.

Notice the gifts everywhere—even the simple ones like a sunny day, a relaxing rainy day, or the serenity of falling snow. When you purposefully begin to practice noticing gifts, gifts appear.

Notice the happy outcome that arose out of a situation you initially thought of as unpleasant, the emotion in a dog’s smile, or the gratitude for the tiny gifts that pop up throughout your day.

In the last few months I have met and built relationships with several amazing people—all of whom have incredible stories and huge untapped potential just waiting to be set free. If I had met these same people a couple of years ago, they may not have seemed so special to me. However, they have always been special, I just didn’t notice it—the world has not changed, I have changed how I perceive the world.  You can too.

Life is a work in progress. It’s not always rainbows and butterflies. Although, the more we notice gifts (people, situations, material gifts, the gifts each person has within, thoughts, feelings, opportunities, possibilities) the more we have available to give.

As you enjoy this holiday season, give gifts, be a gift, and notice the gifts all around you.

What are your thoughts, feelings, and ideas? I, and may others, welcome your comments.

 

…. Until the next revolution.

 

 

2017 is just around the corner. Start the year off by treating yourself to the gift of discovering what is next for you. Apply for a complimentary strategy session– realize your possibilities!

 

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