Last spring I heard a woman named Cynthia Jurs speak. She said a lot of interesting and important things during her talk, but what stood out to me most was the way she spoke of “acting from the subtle” and how important it can be to stop and breathe in the midst of the chaos that seems to punctuate our world more than we want it to. She spoke of focusing on the space that is in between where we are and where we want to go. She said it’s that ‘in between’ space that allows new things to come into being. From that space we can learn to recognize our gifts, and once we’ve recognized them, we can offer those gifts out into our communities, our workplaces, and our families. She reminded us that it is from our gifts – those gifts that are unique to our own being — that we can affect our life situation in the deepest way and contribute to the healing of the world. She reminded us that due to the nature of “in between” space, we all have a different version of what’s true for us, but that we can still support each other despite being on differing paths. Continue reading “The Space Between”
The first person I called after four weeks of training to be a corporate health coach was a gentleman named *Charlie. The appointment was at 7pm on a Tuesday in April, and I had literally all day to prepare and worry about how it would go. When the witching hour finally rolled around, I dialed the phone, had my paper at the ready to take notes and half hoped that he wouldn’t answer. He did answer, and at the end of the conversation, he had a goal to play basketball once a week and eat one less serving of pasta when spaghetti was on the table for dinner. (No easy feat when one is Italian and spaghetti rules the meal plan.) And I knew that he had a six year old daughter going through treatment for leukemia and that he felt powerless in the face of something so important that was outside of his control. In twenty minutes I learned what made this person who I’d probably never meet get up in the morning and what drove him to take care of himself. I learned about some of his challenges, and I learned of his struggles to stay on track. I asked him what his vision of a healthy life was, and he told me it was to be his best self so he could give his daughter the dad she deserved. Most of his story I’ll never know, and he didn’t have to tell me the parts that he did. But he chose to share, and I chose to listen, and now our stories will forever be intertwined. Continue reading “Weaving With Invisible Thread”
January. A time to take stock of what’s working and what’s not. Resolving to do better this year. Worrying that nothing will change. Again. Losing those 30 pounds… for real this time. Giving up all foods that contain white sugar and flour. Going gluten free. Joining the gym. Taking up yoga. Quitting smoking. Quitting drinking. Quitting gambling. Quitting failing. January in the western world is full of anticipation and anxiety as we look for a fresh start – as we look for something that will keep us moving into the life that we want.
How might we take the start of another calendar year to surrender into a version of life that is simply… enough? What it would be like to be satisfied – really satisfied – with exactly where we are, regardless of what our external life situation might look like? How can we use our everyday actions to illustrate a way of being in the world that promotes joy instead of suffering? How can we make January about what is, instead of what isn’t?
I wonder how to accept the present – to really, truly accept it and be in it. I wonder how to discern the direction my life needs to take to best serve my family and the larger collective. I wonder how to be in the world as one of the privileged, and how to accept that for what it is. I wonder how best to use the abundance that I have to help others see their own. I wonder how to use ideas that don’t work as stepping stones toward those that do. Continue reading “Little Bits of Good”
Do you live well?
It might take a moment to decide how to answer that. Most of the time, I feel like I do live well. For me, living well means finding a way to be true to the things that I value most: leading a life of simplicity, being satisfied with enough, embracing the natural world and empowering those whose paths intersect with my own. It means being able to adapt to the misfortunes and troubles of a human life, living fully in each moment, and holding a sense of joy at my center. Resiliency, along with a joyful presence, allows me to be fully alive, fully engaged in my every day, and fully able to be the person I am called to be.
Caring for myself, creation and others allows me to live as whole person – mind, body and spirit. Wellness is multi-dimensional and requires alignment of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual bodies. Finding our balance between these areas helps us to live fully: As a joyful, resilient people that can achieve wholeness in the midst of a sometimes broken world.
What is most important to you in regards to your wellbeing? What might you need to do differently to keep working toward being your best self, full of joyful presence and living well?
The following questions can be helpful in figuring out a plan to move forward toward making optimal wellbeing a reality:
1) What’s working now in my health and wellbeing?
It can be tempting to go straight to what feels wrong with your lifestyle, or what isn’t working right now. As you begin thinking about what you might want to do differently, take some time to reflect on and acknowledge what you are doing well already.
2) What’s my vision for change? What is making change important?
Identify what is causing you to desire something different in the first place. It is one thing to say, “I want to lose weight.” It is another to say, “I am at a healthy weight and have a renewed sense of self, increased my energy and am able to participate fully in my life with confidence and ease.” When you figure out what is making you want to do something differently, your choices are fueled by inspiration, and your intent becomes reality.
3) What strengths can I bring to my change process?
Everyone has unique qualities and strengths – think about what you do well and what allows you to be successful. Maybe you have a knack for remembering people’s names and thrive on challenges. Maybe you are detail oriented and like structure. Maybe you are an empathetic listener and need alone time to think. Whatever makes you you is something that can be identified and drawn on to set the stage for success. When you know what you do well, you have a foundation on which to build.
4) What are my greatest challenges to changing, and how can I work around them?
Most of us have things that get in the way of moving forward with our desired changes. Make a list of the challenges that might get in the way and identify possible ways to work around them. There are no wrong or crazy ideas.
5) What are my first priorities for change?
Figure out what needs to come first. Maybe you want to lose weight to increase your energy, but you aren’t sleeping well at night and tend to stay up too late which makes choosing healthy food and getting any exercise that much more challenging. Perhaps your first priority will be to avoid screen time after 9pm and spend your last waking hour in dim lighting, doing something peaceful to ensure a refreshing night’s rest. Getting to the root issue is essential to lasting success.
6) How ready, confident and committed am I to taking the first steps toward my vision?
Setting realistic goals and backing up those goals with firm commitment is a cornerstone of moving in the direction you wish to go. Do whatever it takes to build confidence in yourself, even if it means starting with a 5 minute walk, once a week, or smiling at the person stuck in traffic next to you. Every success has to start somewhere.
7) What will I do this week?
It’s up to you. No one else can decide what you need to live well, and no one can live for you. What are you going to do for your precious self, as you awaken to your own abundance through taking small steps?
Remember that no success is too small to acknowledge and celebrate. Joy is on your side, so you should be, too.
Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?