UBC #30 – Listen Up

I put out a request to the Universe at the beginning of this year. I asked for guidance and direction on how to move my business forward.

Since that time, messages have come to me out of the mouths of a variety of people. Some were during conversations about business. Some were random conversations about nothing related to business at all. Some were random blog posts written during this challenge in which another author’s work spoke to me. Some were things I wrote to myself.

None of them came from out of the blue from on high like a lightning bolt.

I’ve had to learn over the years that messages of guidance and assistance come from the most unexpected places.

What I have to do is learn to listen. I have to listen internally as well. There is an internal bell of truth that rings when one of these messages comes through someone else. That bell rings right around my heart. Always has.

Even when I didn’t want it to.

How do you get messages you need to hear?

 

Are you listening?

UBC 29 – Vision Boarding Ideas

So I’ve loved the idea of vision boarding, but I’ve never been very happy with the process. Often they are done as parties or group gatherings of some kind. There are a lot of people and a lot of clutter with all the materials that are brought. This process doesn’t fit the way I process. I am internal, feeling oriented and kinesthetic. My process takes quiet, daydreamy type energy to be effective. So when I read this article by Jeanine who blogs at Comfort With Hyggeit actually made me teary. It was the first time I had someone had described a vision board process to me that was built for my type of processing. So, I immediately asked Jeanine if I could cross-post this article from her blog over on to mine and she graciously allowed me to use her content. I hope you enjoy it.

UBC #28 – Honoring Your Cycle

When I get on a roll of creativity/activity, I have a hard time wanting to stop. That is until I run completely dry and just crash into a hole of creator’s block or exhaustion or both. The inertia of awesomeness is just as powerful as the inertia of slothiness. Each contains its own lie. Creative passion lies and says “if you stop, I won’t be with you anymore”. Slothiness lies and says “once I have you in my black hole, you will never escape my gravitational force”.

Both are lies. I know this because life is a verb. It runs in cycles. Regardless of what I impose on it, there will always be peaks and there will always be valleys.

Within the peaks and valleys are the seeds of the other.

In the pauses are the seeds of the next peak. The soil is being cultivated and nurtured here. The appropriate amount of water is being added. Wise gardeners do not yank the seeds up to see if they are sprouting, nor do they yell at the seeds for just laying there.

In the peaks, there are the seeds of the next valley. Cruising along our preferred method of activity burns energy (physical, mental, emotional) that needs to be replenished at some point. Wait too long and you will crash into the valley rather than travel there by choice.

Learning your cycles and honoring them is an integral part of wise aging. Learning your cycles means knowing when the shift from activity to rest is happening. What the signs are, especially if they are subtle for you. Know that when they show up, it’s time to start moving in the direction they indicate even if your personal inertia would lie to the contrary.

Here are some of my personal signs that I need to shift to rest: excessive daydreaming about ANYTHING but the tasks at hand, preoccupation with a million other little things that suddenly seem very important, sudden onset Netflix binging of stuff I really am not that interested in

Signs that I’ve rested enough: a feeling of wanting to vomit if I watch any more of that Netflix binge I never really cared about, reading other people’s blogs/books/programs wishing those were mine, sudden urges to clean house.

 

What are your indicators of a shift happening? What tells you it’s time to pause? What tells you it’s time to create/get active?

UBC 26 – Rest and Recharge

It’s the end of the week and I’m feeling tired. End of week, end of month, end of whatever cycle you may be in, there are times in every cycle where we need to rest and recharge our batteries. Resting and recharging in themselves are skills everyone must learn to function wisely in the world.

Tired people do stupid shit.

So today I’m focusing on resting and recharging and I’m sharing with you 10 of my personal favorite ways of doing that. Share yours in the comments below.

  1. Hot bath
  2. Walk in nature
  3. Music
  4. Cuppa coffee/tea
  5. Essential oil aromatherapy
  6. Meditation
  7. Dancing
  8. Solitude
  9. Coloring
  10. Naps

Ok, get busy commenting and let me know what yours are. I’m always interested in expanding my list of possibilities.

UBC #25 – Intensity is a Big Fat Lie

I was driving home from the city yesterday and there was a guy in a truck driving erratically.  He was either going full speed or full stop. There was nothing in between.  Of course, I immediately judged him as an asshole, but then in one of his full stops, he allowed someone to come into traffic from an adjacent parking lot. Then I judged him to be less of an asshole until he started the erratic driving again. There was nothing gradual or nuanced about this dude. He was all on or all off. Completely black and white.

This planted the seed of an idea that I wanted to write about yesterday but it was just not gelling. I felt like I was seeing another great lie similar to balance, perfection, and security.

That lie was confusing intensity with intimacy.

Our culture coaches us towards intensity on a moment to moment basis. Our media is air-brushed and overproduced to the point no one can live up to the images. No one can be switched on 100% all the time, killing it, crushing it, achieving it all while being perfectly shaped and made up. We cannot drive top speed at every moment. It isn’t sustainable because it isn’t real.

The flipside is being intimate with life. Letting it penetrate and fill us up. Letting it exhaust us and drain us. And everything in between. Mother nature didn’t paint in black and white, she used the whole damn palette.

Intimacy with life shows you the nuances, the gradations, the moment to moment variability. That intimacy allows you to live and breathe with life as it lives and breathes with you. You can go through your day without rushing. You can take 3 breaths before you send a nasty email. You can enjoy a cup of tea without thinking of the next thing you have to do.

You can drive the speed limit or slower in dense traffic and not have me call you asshole.

UBC #24 – Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I have vacillated today on what to write about. I have had tons of ideas. I have had moments that look like a blank whiteboard. I have had moments of anxiety about meeting the expectations of the daily post for the Ultimate Blog Challenge.

And then I remembered.

Life is a verb, so I’ll do what I can.

Balance is a lie because harmony is the way forward.

Perfection is a lie because excellence is the standard.

Security is a lie because sustainability is what matters.

And I thought about where I’ve been over the past month. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Today may be just going through the motions and that is alright. That is where my excellence is today. By practicing excellence in harmony with my current state of mind, I keep my practice sustainable. And that’s life.

 

Oh look, a squirrel!

UBC #23 – The Yoga of Life

A friend and I complained about and compared aches and pains this morning. Nothing major, just the typical signals of the tides of age rolling into bodies once youthful.

I’m 12 years older than he is and I have a list of things that talk to me if I move wrong.

The muscle I pulled in my lower back years ago tells me to mind how I turn, squat and stand.

The tendon I damaged in my foot reminds me to step lightly when I first get going. It also tells me to turn the damn light on in the garage so I visually account for the fact that there are steps there.

The shoulder that suggests strongly that I be wary of how I hold heavy things or make certain movements.

As I went through these for him, I realized that these were all little moment by moment bells of mindfulness. They ring throughout the day to remind me to pay attention to my body as it moves through space. They remind me to pay attention.

This moment to moment mindfulness of the body as it’s moving is the yoga of life. My pain helps me live without rushing through and missing something. It reminds me that life is right here, right now. It’s not somewhere else. Suffering and Joy are the wings of the same bird. If I deny one, this bird can’t fly.

What is the yoga of your life?

UBC #22 – WTF Relationships

We are social creatures. Be it in business or personal life, we are better together.  

We call togetherness by many names: companionship, community, alliance, associates, PLAYMATES!  Whatever the context, we are driven to connect.  Connections carry energy and consequences so the wise choice is to approach them consciously.

I wrote much of this last year. I guess it was a future love letter to myself because I found it in an old file and it really resonated with me today. I share it with you now.

Here are some ideas for positive relationships.

Who do you want to connect with? What is the purpose of the connection? Why a certain person or company? Why now?  

Do some advance consideration around what your goals are for various relationships and for partnerships in general.  They are not all the same and if you are operating under opposite or competing assumptions, awkwardness will ensue.  It does no one any good to damage a relationship simply because not everyone is on the same page.  Clarify your ideas and see if they make sense on paper.  Write down your intentions.

Tell the Truth. Test the waters. Give it Time.  

A fruitful relationship raises everyone up so beware going into one with too many cards hidden in your vest.  Make your process telling some of your truth and test the waters with it (sounds like dating, right?).  Measure the response that comes back to you. It will let you know if it’s ok or not to move forward with more. A sustainable relationship doesn’t begin with everyone getting naked in the middle of the room in the first meeting.  Testing the waters over time allows you to walk away with grace if it’s not a fit.  The option to do so is more difficult for everyone if you jumped in the deep end too soon.  Temper your drive to connect.

Feelings matter. Does it Fit? Does it Flow? Does it Feel right?  

This set of considerations is far easier if the first two issues have been addressed.  Your intentions create a set of boundaries inside which you can play around. Your truth over time creates context and content to measure.  Your feelings are naturally able to do their job and discern if the relationship is working for you.  How easy is it to get things get done? Are you putting in more energy than you are getting back?  Was it good at first but over time has changed and needs adjustment?  It may be time to revisit the steps above.  Follow your gut.

Go forth and partner, connect, commune, associate, and play!  Elevate and celebrate each other, for a rising tide lifts all boats.