I often say my son saved my life. I was born into this world focused on my academic and professional career, even as a child I was leading teams, championing women's rights on the playground and unafraid to share my voice that true to form went against the grain. I knew I was ready to change to world, what I didn't know was there are people who are here to change me and shape my life. That fire inside that's ready to protest for the right cause works in the professional or political space, not so much in the areas of relationships and love. As much as I gave my son life he gave me life too. To this day he is still the one who disrupts my world, my heart and my thinking working real magic that saves me from letting myself in my own fiery spirit.
While I have friends and mentors that serve the role of the unabashed disruptors in my life, what's really interesting is that I also have people whom I would not call friend or enemy per se, but who nonetheless grate on my nerves because they push me out of my comfort zone. In this edition of Sun-day Design I want you to find the people who will save you from yourself and push you on your path.
You like everyone else on this planet, get stuck in our own life story, naming all the reasons you didn't get that job, that home, that date, was because of someone else. In your mind you believe you have done everything in our power to achieve your goals and then work to convince yourself that any action you didn't take toward achieving that goal wasn't really important or something else mattered more. A great example is dieting. How often do you set a target weight or physical goal only to have "something else" come up and derail your plan? Longer work hours, no access to a convenient gym, not having a personal trainer, or not enough money to buy healthy organic foods are top reason for slacking on your dream body. Well it's not likely you will be able to shake yourself out of that self-sabotage thinking pattern, and this is the the time you need a hero. The irony is your savior may not be your ally or friend.
That person who comments about your ill fitted clothes, or asks you directly if you've gained weight will generate new thoughts and feelings inside, which is exactly what you need right now. Whether that person's words intentionally or unintentionally hurt you, the spark in your mind goes off and you're more likely to do something about it. This also plays out in your professional career. It's the person that asks you how long have you been in your role and why you haven't been promoted. It can also be that person who has nothing but strong words of criticism about the work you were proud of. That tinge of angst is a gift for you to look inside and see ways that person may be right. This person, is not a friend or an an enemy, (s)he is your disruptor here to call you to action. Be grateful and forgive their delivery method.
Now open your heart, disrupt your thinking, rewrite your story and claim your dreams.
Some people have a knack for finding the path of least resistance where many others feel their life is constantly bombarded with challenges, obstacles, convoluted roads and energy sucking hitchhikers. Have you asked yourself why is that the same roads often feel bumpy? Why can other people be on the same or similar road and have a completely different experience? To answer these questions think about what steps have you taken to clear the path other than painstakingly attempting to remove each piece of debris by your own hand?
For this month's Sun-day design it's time to reroute your GPS on the roads that are immersed with baggage and worries, and begin creating and choosing an easy path.
By now means am I suggesting you drop everything and walk away from your responsibilities. I'm am suggesting you look for or design an easier path to your challenges. One way is by not focusing or pouring all your energy and resources into battling those perceived obstacles. Get creative, jump over instead of busting through. The easy path may be the one you're on. You can walk that path with greater comfort and ease when you stop picking up the debris or holding on to past. Let the anger go. Another way to walk an easier path is to shift your focus from the potential danger that may be a hundred miles ahead, and focus on what is working right now. This future-focus trap tends to also be my own Achilles heel. The good news is life present me - and you - with lots of opportunities to practice.
Now back in school pursuing the next level of coaching certification I am reminded to stay focused on the present, and not create my own vortex of anxiety by paying to much attention to all the good and derailing possibilities in the future. I trust that if I stay present, living in the moment while still glancing for alignment toward the future I'll actually enjoy the path I'm on and gain more from this journey than I could have imagine. What are the easy paths you can choose to create in your life starting today?
Sometimes life puts you in the front seat of an emotional roller coaster and in that moment you can choose to scream or have fun and enjoy the ride. Life - or rather the aspects of life for which it feels like you have no control - can twist and turn upside down, leaving you discombobulated so that nothing makes sense and the only thing you do know for sure is that life is changing BIG time. Taking a cue from the martial arts form Jujitsu, there is an art to responding to and shifting emotional energy in and through your life. In this week's Sun-day design I want you to practice emotions jujitsu gaining strength from the huge surges of energy that can accelerate or block your next big move in life.
In Jujitsu training and its sister martial art forms - Akido and Hapkido, power is gained in flexibility, endurance, and "ki", mental training. The use of whole-body movement is also accessed through yoga, Pilates, qigong, and tai-chi to name a few. And while I by no means claim to be a yogi or martial arts expert, I know and have seen the ways in which these practices enhance and empower real lives - myself, my son, and my clients...when they stay on top of their life commitments.
As you prepare for life's inevitable emotional roller coaster ride, select the jujitsu move you need to practice most. Pick one day and practice one move. If you choose to practice flexibility choose a day where you say YES to every request that comes your away. Of course if that request puts you at risk or in danger then be smart and say no. Anything else is fair game and will help you practice managing your emotions in the moment. If you choose endurance then choose to push yourself physically. Go for a 5k run, commit to 500 push ups, or show up for that fitness class you purchased a Groupon for months ago. Should you choose to build your "ki" then take on a new course. There are tons of one hour, few hours, full day courses for adults who want to learn, grow and master new professional skills.
Practicing emotions jujitsu will help you build the skills you need to navigate any emotionally havoc period in your. And remember the emotional journey you experience can be challenging, exciting, fearful and fun all at the same time. Emotions can run high during difficult times and also when good things come into your life. When you accept a new job, come into an unexpected inheritance, propose to your partner or give birth to your baby or business. Leave a post and share your jujitsu move for the week.
It is great to establish a personal spiritual practice, listening to your inner voice and looking for guidance from someone or something bigger than yourself. At times you may fall victim to codependency upon that spiritual guide to look for signs directing you to go left or right, and end up going nowhere fast. In reality you have more than one option, you can move left, right, up, down, or sideways. You even go so far as to convince yourself that there is ONLY one right way and that answer will be revealed to you if you just pray, meditate read the astrological signs, or ask Siri. Sound familiar?
You may in fact have some pretty good reasons for why you pursue a spiritual deep connection. Trouble ensues when you won't move without a sign and find yourself stuck in a descending cycle of doubt and dismay...as you wait. Instead walk toward a choice and put a stake in the ground. In this week's Sun-day design I want you to figure out what you're waiting for by telling the truth about what exactly it is you fear.
The reason you are looking for some signal outside of yourself is because you're looking for some guarantee against that very thing you fear, and since there is practically little to slim chance to protect yourself against all fears - all the time you have to decide to move or sit on sidelines watching life go by. The lesson, the movement, the progress may very well be in simply making A decision. Do you stay in the game, do you continue this relationship, do you finally stick to your love rules once and for all?
There is immense power in prayer, meditation and other sources for connecting to others, something bigger, your greater self. I want you to stop and seek, more than stop and wait. Recognize the answer probably arrived - you might have missed it in your persistence to have the message packaged and delivered in a specific tangible way. It's also quite possible the answer has not arrived. That's okay too, take it as a cue that right now stillness is a path. Listen, learn, and lead your next move.
What are you afraid of? What would happen if you finally faced that fear? If that seems like a daunting task then I’ve got an easy answer for you. Whenever you’re apprehensive about taking action for fear of failure or fear of success resolve your angst by fudging your fear. Just think about it, just like fudge your fears seem savory, deliciously justifiable, and once it latches on it takes a good scrubbing to get off.
In this week’s Sun-day design I want you to take a lesson from fudge and appreciate the taste of fear for just one sweet moment. The key is to not overindulge. A little fudge is fun, a nice addition to an already sweet dish. I want you to view your fear in the same delectable way. Your fears are merely an added layer of caution and as with too much fudge, too much fear can cause you lots of grief and stomach pain.
A little fear and caution makes good sense - no one would suggest you walk down a dark alley oblivious to your surroundings. But terror for things big and small things alike call for closer examination. So first let’s start by naming your fears. Where do you shut down and avoid pursuing at all costs? You can figure out your most disabling fear - at least the more recent one, by asking yourself what’s the biggest goal or dream you hold and still don’t have. The answer is not about skill, or your personality, or your access to money or fame. What’s holding your back is your belief in what you feel you lack or don’t deserve.
You can face your fear by savoring it like fudge. Indulge a taste or two then close the jar and put it away until next time. Find your sweet spot of fear, the right amount will mobilize and not paralyze you.
The life we experience is designed to help us grow. My wish is that you learn from me as much as I learn from you. Share your life lessons and let's build together.