Who is on your team?

2015-06-08 08.13.49For much of my life I prided myself on being fiercely independent. I did things for myself, by myself, and would move mountains before I’d admit I needed someone else.

I even avoided letting too many people get to know me. I didn’t see the same hair stylist more than 1 or 2 times before moving to the next one. I would choose the big gyms and spas where I could be anonymous. Somehow believing that by getting to know these people and letting them get to know meant that I was not as independent and free.

So when I decided to work for myself, I really embraced the solo part of solopreneur.

But the truth is that we need each other. Human beings are pack animals. Community and companionship is important for safety and for our mental health (among other things).

Over the last several years, I’ve surrendered to the idea that I need other people (duh).

That I cannot, in fact, do everything myself. (It’s still hard for me to put that into words. I believe it, but that defiant, independent, competitive part of me is throwing up a little as I say it).

So I started building my team.

Continue reading “Who is on your team?”

The stuff dreams are made of.

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Follow your bliss.
Do what you love.
Chase your dreams.

At some point or another, we all hear (or say) something like this. Do what feels good. What does your heart want? …

But that isn’t enough.

It’s not enough to follow your bliss. It’s not enough to do what feels good.
It’s not enough to do what you love.

Knowing what your dream is or what brings you bliss or what your heart wants… is only the beginning.

Start with your heart’s desire but then do the work.

To really make a dream come true takes persistence, commitment, tough choices, support, self-care, and time. It takes some amount of doing it anyway even when “what feels good” is binge-watching another season of Grimm.

So, YES, imagine what’s possible in your life and listen to what your heart desires. And then get to work.

The dirty little secret that we all want to ignore is that what we’re really chasing is fulfillment (not bliss), and that real fulfillment comes from the work it takes to build your dream – not so much from achieving your dream.

Take the time to enjoy the process (even the detours).

At the end of the day, achievement is temporary. We reach a goal, we actualize a dream, and then what? We celebrate and do a little dance and then? We move on to the next thing.

This or something better

2015-04-18 12.25.04I am a planner. I look into the future and map out how to get from here to whatever goal is set way off in the distance.

I draw pictures. I make strategies. I break it into milestones.

But sometimes you have to go with what feels right, even when you have no clue where it might lead.

Say yes to the unexpected and let go of needing to know what will happen next.
Trust yourself enough to go all in and still be unattached to the outcome.

Because being unattached, unplanned, and open allows for magic. It leaves room for something better to be created. It gives your mind, body, heart, and spirit the space it needs to create things you could never imagine while you’re busy making plans and strategies.

Say yes to this and leave room for something better.

When you slip

2015-04-12 13.42.57I set a goal a few week ago to write a blog post every day for 30 days straight. It quickly turned into every week-day for 30 days. And I was plugging along until yesterday, when I missed a post.

How do you handle slip ups?

At first I was disappointed with myself and started to get upset that I ruined everything, but then before the voices in my head got a strong foothold, I took a deep breath.

Isn’t it amazing how healing breathing can be?.

And in that breath what I realized was that slip ups and misses and stumbles are all part of the process. We can’t win every single moment of every single day. We can’t be perfect. Believe me, I’ve tried.

Some days I’m going to eat cookies instead of dinner.
Some day I might drink more wine than I should’ve.
Some days I am going to skip my workout… or work… or writing a blog post.

And that’s okay.

It’s not how you handle success so much as how you handle failure.

And missing one day out of all-the-days is not the end of the world.

All in and unattached

2015-03-31 08.08.57-2Is it possible to be totally committed to something and yet not attached to the outcome?

Being all in to me means bringing all of my best stuff and really wanting to create something amazing. Building relationships and being part of the team. And generally not holding back.

Sometimes being all in can turn into a deep sense of attachment.

I put in so much, it has to work out.
Not just work out.. it has to work this way.

As a coach, you learn to fully commit to your client without getting wrapped up in the outcome. Or at least you do your best. And remaining unattached is in your best interest as a coach because people do what people do, and often that is not the thing you think they should do (and there is still great learning for everyone. Crazy, I know).

But can we learn to be in that same less-attached place in our own lives and for our own sake?

Can we love someone completely and not be attached to whether they love us back?
Can we share our best ideas and not be attached to someone using them?
Can we teach our children how to do their laundry and not be attached to them doing laundry on our schedule?

I like to think we can. It’s not always the easiest thing to do, and sometimes easy is overrated.

Slow and steady

2015-04-13 08.33.50We don’t really want slow and steady anymore. We want fast and now. Instant gratification. Binge-watching an entire season. On-demand and at your fingertips.

And for lots of things, that’s just how it is. I don’t fight it. I want my internet fast and my latte now.

But what about those things that require a little planning?

Like business, for example.

Much of business can be done at the speed of light, but how do you plan for success if you never slow down to well, plan for success?

And what about those things that don’t happen overnight? Like weight loss. Building strength and stamina. And again, business growth.

When we focus on overnight success, we miss opportunities for slow and steady growth.

In most of the things that matter most, we need to take the time to plan, to build, to grow, to invest. Slow down. Breathe. Expand.

In fact when we slow down and steadily build success, we usually find more time for binge-watching and spaghetti-throwing. And we make it count more.

Know your limits.

Photo Credit: _Hadock_ via Flickr.
Photo Credit: _Hadock_ via Flickr.
I was reading an article this morning about Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston Marathon, and it got me thinking about how important it is to test limits.

If you never test the limits, you’ll never know where your limits are.

Imagine what our world would be today if the Wright Brothers never tried to fly. Or Christopher Columbus (and all of those other explorers) never set out to find new lands beyond the edge of the world (cause you know, the world was flat back then). Or Kathrine Switzer never ran the Boston Marathon with race officials trying to physically remove her from the course.

Imagine if as a baby you never tried to crawl or walk or talk or venture out beyond the watchful eye of your mother. Testing limits is hardwired into us. It’s not until later that we’re taught not to test limits and sternly admonished to “know your limits”.

But in order to know your limits, you need to push a few “normal” limits. Or ignore what’s normal and do what feels right to you. If someone tells you that eating dairy is bad for you but you feel your best when you drink milk everyday, drink milk. Likewise if someone says that everyone needs to eat dairy everyday but you feel sick every time you do, don’t eat it.

This goes for the limits we set on ourselves too.

I could never run 5 miles.
I can’t write.
I’m not flexible enough to do yoga.
I couldn’t possibly travel alone.
I’m not outgoing enough to be a leader.

You can either accept limits as they are and live in world that is flat. Or you can explore and stretch and say why not?, and live in a world that is round.

What if this is it?

2015-04-17 08.25.31Today I woke up exactly 12 minutes before my 7am workout class. I was tired and wanted to go back to sleep, but made myself do it anyway. Not because I have anything to prove and not because I was excited to go.

I got up and rushed out of the house to make it just in time to catch the first exercise because this is it. This is my life.

I go to a workout class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7am. I come home afterward and eat breakfast, feed the cats, read emails, kiss my husband, catch up on social media, drink coffee, pet the cats, and then I open up my laptop to write a blog post like this one. And only after that do I go shower up and get ready for work.

I could spend my mornings worried about getting to work earlier or getting more done or all of the stuff I have to do later. I could skip my workouts and inhale breakfast, stop writing, and generally speed through my morning in order to be a better worker, stepmom, wife, friend, daughter, coach, whatever.

But the sun will set later today, whether I fret about everything that I should do later or if I spend time noticing where I’m at right now. So regardless of what tomorrow brings or what the future holds or what goals I may have, I covet my mornings. I luxuriate in them. I do my best to just be in this moment whether that is savoring the first sip of coffee or taking a moment to pause and say good morning to each cat (we have 3) individually.

What if this really is it?

Today, this moment, this space between waking up and doing the things that need to be done. What if this is where life happens?

What I know for sure is that I am a bad facsimile of me when I rush through my morning. This is my time. And this is my life. Why not take the time to enjoy it?

Do it anyway.

Out for a walk that I did not want to take this morning.
Out for a walk that I did not want to take this morning.
Some days motivation is easy. Excitement is high, energy is up. And doing the things that need doing is easy.

You know, things like exercise, eating well, going to work, making that phone call, writing that blog post, getting out of bed, etc.

And then some days it feels impossible. You’re tired, frustrated, bloated or moody, or just aren’t feeling it. These are the days it’s easy to make an excuse and do the opposite thing — eat the brownie, lay on the couch all day, call in sick, whatever.

And once in a while, taking a break is exactly what’s needed.

But most of the time, we just have to do it anyway. Because it is what is right. In the big picture, it is the thing that will keep us moving toward our goals. Because skipping it for one day is taking a break, but skipping it day after day is choosing a different outcome.

Unconsciously choosing a different outcome. Unconscious choice is the thing that causes us to wake up a week, a month, a year or more later and wonder “how did I get here?”.

Yes, take breaks. Be gentle with yourself. Don’t try to do everything all of the time. But most of the time remember your big picture goals and go do it anyway. Your future self will thank you for it.

Out of body experience.

2012-04-06 10.15.42When I start something new (new job, new project, new relationship, new hobby, whatever), I tend to get I-can’t-sleep-excited. This kind of excitement is fun and intoxicating so I freely give myself over to it.

But there comes a time when the excitement has turned to adrenaline fumes. Sleep is still disrupted but the high isn’t so high. Nothing bad has happened, it’s more that I’ve forgotten to breathe. I’m no longer “in” my body”.

This out of body experience is like the difference between smiling and nodding your way through a conversation and actively listening to someone. In the former, you catch just bits and pieces, but are busy thinking about other things or what you are going to say next. In the latter, you are really “there”. Present. And with the other person.

So whether you are running on excitement or overwhelm, joy or fear, love or hate,… remember to breathe. Feel your feet on the ground. And come back into your body. Because that’s where life really happens.