Act in ways that make you feel what you want to feel. ~Danielle LaPorte
I started listening to The Fire Starter Sessions a few days ago. I was already familiar with Ms. LaPorte’s take on aligning your actions with what she calls “core desired feelings,” but listening to these audio sessions has been a good reminder to actually take that advice. I spend a lot of time as a wellness coach asking about what underlays a desire to lose weight or stop smoking or get in better shape. In a corporate coaching world, sometimes it’s like pulling teeth to get people to pick up the telephone for appointments, much less talk about what they truly desire for themselves. But sometimes we go there. Sometimes people are willing to look deeply into what is driving them to want something different. And it’s always a feeling. Continue reading “Fire Starters”
Here we are at the end of another December. A time for looking back over the past year and looking ahead into the new one. Some of us will indulge “one last time” before beginning a strict diet on January 1st. Some of us will set lofty goals to exercise 6 days a week at the gym that we hate. Some will get out a blank journal with the intent of getting up early everyday to write down three positive thoughts. New years resolutions come in many forms, and sometimes they even stick for awhile. Benefits have been seen by setting one’s sights on making change with the turn of the calendar year.
But. So often it’s the same old same old every year. The diet starts strong and tapers off by February. It turns out we still hate the gym enough to stay home more often than not. “Thinking positive” starts to feel like pulling the wool over our eyes and avoiding the root issue. New years resolutions come in many forms, and they also fail a large percentage of the time. They don’t do what we really want them to do. They don’t change what we want them to change.
Do we throw in the resolution towel then? Stop setting goals just to fail at them over and over again? Embrace our negative thinking since that’s what feels real?
Maybe. Actually, I propose we do all of those things. This is what I think we should do as a new year begins. Continue reading “Where the Magic Happens”
I started re-reading Clarissa Pinkola Estes’ book Women Who Run With the Wolves about a month ago. The very short synopsis is that it’s a conglomeration of ancient folk stories, myths and fairy tales from all over the world that illustrate the importance of holding onto the wild is present in all women (and men). The book is about the powerful force, filled with good instincts, passionate creativity, and ageless knowing that is the ‘Wild Woman’, the energy that represents the instinctual nature of women.
Reading this book is making me ask questions of my own story and the stories that dictate my way of being in my family, in my community and in the world. Some of these stories are mine. Some of them are not. Some of them are stories that have the potential to move me further into my own story, the one that is best suited to how I want to show up in life. And some of them are stories that I have let overshadow my own, even though they don’t serve what I need and have the potential to create pain and struggle. Continue reading “A Wild Calling”
This morning I woke up to the sun rising in the east into a pink haze of clouds over a lake of utter stillness. The air was colder than usual, which isn’t saying much this year, after a fall of above average temperatures. But I could see my breath and the grass by the lake was sparkling with frost, so that’s something. The water was like glass, the surface broken only by a tiny duck that had decided to stick around these parts for a little longer before heading south for the winter. As the sun’s rays gathered strength, I looked into the western sky to see the sort of vibrant blue that only shows up once in awhile, usually when I’ve gone outside on days when I think I’d rather stay in. There is something about pushing yourself to get out of your comfort zone (sometimes quite literally) that provides rewards that you otherwise wouldn’t receive, I suppose. At any rate, instead of sitting sipping coffee and scrolling through emails and messages this morning, I stood on a frosty dock and watched a duck glide over misty waters as the sun crept higher into the sky. Continue reading “Mornings of Wild Air and Fading Starlight”
It’s two days until Halloween in America. If you’ve gone into any commercial establishment in the last few weeks, you’ve been bombarded with pumpkins of all sizes and materials, plastic decor of infinite variety, mountains of orange and black wrapped candy, and enough cheap costuming to clothe the entire country for a year. The holiday season is about to begin in earnest as October gives way to the season of shopping, otherwise known as Thanksgiving and Christmas. Commercialism abounds, we get sucked into the frenzy even if we don’t like to shop, and good deals take our attention from being content with what we already have. We eat too much too quickly and have more excuses than usual for why we can’t exercise. For many of us, the holidays mean putting on weight, being stressed out, spending too much money and throwing in the towel until January. Often times we are multi-tasking, working late to prepare for a few extra days off or packing frantically to visit the in-laws. We get snippy with our children, our neighbors put up lights that are too bright and we hope the time goes quickly. It doesn’t feel like a time of celebration when the culture calls the shots. We forget to be mindful and live in the present. Continue reading “Palpable Joy: A Mindful Thanksgiving”
“The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door”
Crossing that thresold into your uncharted future is an act of great courage and self compassion, and it changes your relationship to life in a fundamental way. It embodies your willingness to employ a new form of risk taking, to consciously choose growth-stimulating, soul-nourishing conflicts, to live through the accompanying anxiety, and to accept your life as open ended and unpredictable. Passing through the door commits you to living in the present in a way you never before have. ~Bill Plotkin, Soulcraft
Have you seen that movie, Sliding Doors? I have to admit that I don’t really remember the plot very well, other than in tandem story lines, Gwyneth Paltrow’s character misses her train by seconds as the doors slide shut in one and in the other she makes it and goes on with her day as planned. Her choices as a result of missing the train and going through a different door alter the course of her life almost beyond recognition. In the movie, at least as I remember it, she doesn’t consciously choose to miss the train of course. But she does and goes through a different door that she normally would have chosen, and we see the chain reaction of events that emerge. It can be a scary thing, a door. An unwanted thing. And it can be life changing. Continue reading “It’s Only A Door”