Monthly Archives: May 2011

Fun!

In describing and discovering the dream for all areas of my life, one of the areas that seems to be the most challenging for me is in the area of fun. I have had such a difficult time discovering what fun is for me. I mean, there are things that I enjoy doing, that are either hobbies or interests, and some of them can be fun. However, really allowing myself to get excited about the heightened energy in something, that has not been so easy for me.

This week, my daughter and I went to Hershey Park here in Pennsylvania. She had a trip planned with her newspaper club at school, and she actually wanted me to chaperone and come along. Well, looking for opportunities to connect with her whenever possible, I said yes. And, we had so much FUN!

What made the day fun? Countless parts of the day. Riding a school bus with eighteen loud, laughing and very energetic adolescents, listening to the buzz of anticipation. Eating snacks and reading. Going to an amusement park, which I am enjoying more now than ever before in my life.

Riding the carousel. That is definitely at the top of the list. AND, finding a horse on the carousel at Hershey that moved up and down, and had a pink bridle. Cool.

Riding a rollercoaster, a wooden, noisy one, and screaming through the whole thing.

Drinking/eating a sour apple slushie.

Going to Chocolate World at the end of the day and finding the perfect candy to take home.

Black Twizzlers, Cinammon flavored Jolly Ranchers, and Reeses Whoppers. BLISS.

Connection with my kid.

I realized that day, and since then, that for me, fun is really not so much a specific event or activity, but the nature of how I am present to my life. Sure, not every moment has fun in it. However, the more present I am, the more aware of what I am involved in and doing, the more that I can go along for the sweet ride.

And oh, what a sweet ride it can be!

Advertisements

Lather, Rinse, Repeat.

Getting present to my life on a daily basis certainly has its benefits. One of those benefits is understanding the importance of my life not becoming too much of a routine. I used to think routines were fine for certain areas of my life, like work, or the way I fix dinner or take out the dogs, or even wash my hair. Now, I realize that even hair washing can be changed up every now and again.

A good routine can be the familiar for us, which for me, always brought comfort. The hard part of comfort for me though, was that I then became afraid, or at least, less willing, to try new things, to venture out on new adventures. Comfort felt nice, familiar, warm and cozy, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that feeling. However, it also steered me away from my adventurous spirit, the part of me that wanted to try new things, see new places and make new friends.

So, as I go forward my dreams more consistently and precisely, I realize that routines don’t fit so easily into my life anymore, and rightfully so. Although I enjoy planning my days, and knowing what will be in store for me, I also embrace the idea that sometimes I don’t know what is to come. Whether I am starting a new job, meeting a new person, or visiting a new location, it is entirely possible that what lies within that experience could be all new and unknown to me.

So, even with the process of lather, rinse, repeat, it always creates a new adventure to change it up a bit. Whatever that means for you, take a chance, change it up, and tap into your sense of adventure, magic and wonder. It will be well worth it.

Only change brings change.

In looking at the title of this post, maybe it states the obvious. However, maybe not. As I move forward in my coaching training, and learn more about myself and others, I realize that there are many of us that do not get this logic.

The truth is, many of us believe that our lives will change for the better if the other people and circumstances in our lives change. We may really believe that we don’t need to do anything in order for our lives to become more fulfilling. And it is that way of thinking that I am addressing here.

If we are not willing to change, then our lives will not change. No matter what others do or don’t do, we won’t have anything different if we don’t do anything different.

I am learning about this more as time goes by, that I need to do the changing in order for my life to change for the better. In order to grow, I need to be the one growing, and wanting to grow. I could swirl in the expectation that others will do the changing, and growing, and believe that as a result, I will grow and change by osmosis. However, it doesn’t work that way, and as a coach, I have to fully realize and put this into practice in my own life if I am going to be great at coaching. Being a great coach is one of my dreams.

I understand more than ever that when I resist change, or want others in my life to change instead of me, my life doesn’t change or improve. And, it is a pretty self absorbed way to be, to expect that everyone around me will change, and I can just keep doing what I have always done. The kicker is, in some ways, what I have always done doesn’t work anymore, so if my life is unfulfilling in some ways, it is my job to change that.

I could complain, and feel badly, or get discouraged or even angry that my life isn’t going in the direction I want. But the real truth is that if my life is not focused on my dreams, that is my doing, my design, or my lack of a good design. So, I know that, and am willing and ready to make the changes that I need to, in order to have deeper, more meaningful relationships with others; to be living the dream life that I desire; and to feel balanced, happy and well.

It is all in my hands.

The dark side of my moon

I am an optimist, see the glass half full, there is always hope, love and opportunity kind of woman. I take great pride in having a positive outlook on life and believing in the good of people. However, when I would have darker thoughts, judgmental thoughts, or mistrust or hide from my true feelings, I pretended that I was only the flavor of sweet, with no edge to me at all.

I am finally getting honest with myself and others about this.

I can’t speak for all humans, however, many of the humans that I have met through the Handel Group, many of them Coaches in Training like myself, have dark parts of themselves that they have kept hidden for much of their lives. For me, I always wanted to be liked, loved, admired, and looked up to for being the “go to” person; the person who would know how to fix the problem, heal the heart, or run the errand. I always believed that if I showed the parts of myself that were less flattering, that were darker and not so positive all the time, then people would find out that sometimes I am a mess, sometimes I am hurting, sometimes I am scared and overwhelmed and want to throw in the towel.

However, nothing but gifts have come my way since I started to acknowledge, and face up to my darker side. This is the side of me that can turn my emotions off, or pretend that I don’t have them in the first place. I can go cold inside like flipping a light switch. I turn off my listening skills so fully with a person trying to tell me their side of a situation, that I turn into a total bitch. I can get defensive, hostile and angry if a person doesn’t see things from my point of view. ANd, in those moments, I am almost always right.

YUCKY.

So, I realized that I would need to really call this shit out, and take it on, if I want to have any chance at being a great coach and really connecting with others, as is my dream. So, I dug deep, explored this right to my core, and realized that I am doing the total opposite of what I say I want; I want connection, yet my actions at these times create mistrust and disconnect with others. So, I decided to start turning it around, get more aware of it, and stop trying to please others and just listen for a change.

I started with my former partner, my daughter’s other mom. I started with her, to whom this trait has been the most evident to, by just listening, and then letting her know that I want to help her in any way that I am able; not telling her what I think the solution is (which I have done to her for years), but rather, let her know I am here, if she decides that she needs the help. So, I can stop controlling, yet be available to her. And, guess what? we got along better than we have in a long time.

That is what I want, genuine connections with those that I love, and those that I have yet to meet, but I am finally realizing that I can’t have those connections and closeness if I shut myself down and act like I am perfect. The more human I show myself to be, the more that others can relate.

I am taking it down and am on my way.

Yoga

I have had a promise in place for myself over the last few months to get to a yoga class in my community once a month. I have not done it yet, and yesterday, as I was still deep in thought over my recent life changes, I decided to go to a class I have been contemplating. It is a mile from my new home, and I got brave and decided to check it out.

I arrived a bit early, and just took in the atmosphere of the studio. It was cozy, warm and inviting. The couch was comfortable; it smelled of incense and there were many books around that were familiar to me. The instructor was welcoming and inquisitive about what I knew about yoga. I actually knew more than I realized, as my Intensati work incorporates a great deal of yoga.

She let me know that the moves would flow one from another, and I might be challenged. I found a comfortable spot on the floor, and got started with a small group. What was so amazing to me is that I knew many of the moves, and because I was familiar with focusing on my breath, and how to do the poses, I was able to just be present to the experience more. I felt myself opening up.

At one point, the instructor, who called herself a guide for us, was walking around the room, checking our poses. She approached me as I was doing one of the poses, and gently pulled back on my shoulders, to open up my heart more. I immediately felt my heart open as she nudged me back, and I started to cry. In that very moment, although I have made the connection before, I understood the power of being present to the body, and giving it the space to open up and release.

My intention during my whole practice last night was release, release of the tears and the emotional heartache that comes with loss. That comes with the end of love, the end of any type. To know that I can not only feel that, but connect with it within my body was so powerful, and now I know even better how to care for that part of myself.

I am really looking forward to going back and continuing my healing.