While listening to my daily dose of Michael Beckwith earlier, I realized, once again, that my positive mental attitude is a choice. Maybe not always an easy choice, yet and still: a choice.
In this moment when I think I have too much to do, do I chose the presence or absence of a positive mental attitude?
Do I choose to be present with myself, these ideas I'm sharing with you, the sun streaming into my office and my fingers on the keyboard? Or, do I choose to be absent from this glorious moment, lost inside a swirl of habitual thoughts and familiar anxiety?
Do I choose the positive mental attitude that all is well when I am present or do I choose to be absent and feel lost?
What about you?
Are you willing to give yourself the precious gift of your positive mental attitude in this present moment?
You say you want to, but you can't right now because you don't have enough money? Or enough health? Or enough time?
Or, you'll have a positive mental attitude after you lose some weight? Or get a new client? Or a new lover?
Okay, I hear you.
And, in the meantime, would you be willing to give yourself one precious minute right now?
Would you be willing to take a great big, deep breath right into the full presence of your positive mental attitude? Would you be willing to be with you for this moment? Would you be willing to notice that, indeed, all is well right now? Would you be willing to feel the unseen support that holds you in this moment?
And guess what?! In that one minute, you achieved at least two of your goals - you lightened up and received the new lover that is you!
I'd love to hear about any other goals you achieved . . .
Yesterday, I overheard at the coffee shop that we have a new ice cream store in the neighborhood called Sweet Action. For some reason, this has stuck with me today. I love the sound, feel and idea of sweet action - for ice cream and for life and work!
As I started my work this morning, I was wondering, "what is my sweet action?" I felt inspired to write a new page about about my newest area of coaching, check it out: StrengthsFinder™ small business mentor.
How 'bout you? Where's your sweet action? What's your sweet action?
Even after all this time,
the Sun never says to the Earth:
“You owe me.”
Look what happens with a love like that:
It lights up the whole Sky.
- Hafiz, from "The Gift"
Recently a client asked me, “what is the opposite of fear?” I used to think it was love. While I still believe that’s part of the answer, the meaty answer that gives us something to work with is: trust.
Let’s try it on.
If I fear my neighbor is going to make my life miserable, I’m not trusting myself to handle the situation. If I trust I can resolve an issue with him, let go of the issue or even move to a better place for me, then I have nothing to fear.
If I fear the Earth is getting too hot, and I hate heat and I have no where to go, then I don’t trust that God never gives me more than I can handle or my ability to keep myself cool or acclimate to heat.
If I fear I won't have enough clients next month or next year, I have the opportunity to trust my ability to attract clients, to reach out to new potential clients and to serve from my heart. I also need to trust that regardless of how many clients I have at any given moment, I am creative, resourceful and whole and I have an entire Universe on my side conspiring for my good!
If I fear my memory isn't good enough to keep track of all that's important, I'm not trusting the inherent messiness of life. I have the opportunity to trust I'll remember what I need or have a way to retrieve something when I need it.
If I fear I won't ever meet my beloved sweetheart / life partner, I have the opportunity to trust myself to first be in great relationship with myself and my friends and loved ones. Then, I have the opportunity to follow my intuition about inspired action as to when or where I might meet him. And, I get to trust the process and God in the process.
I realize that in every one of these situations, I have many "opportunities" to trust. Because of my life-long commitment to my own spiritual growth and spiritual coach training, I'm going to take on these opportunities as sacred callings. It's too easy to let opportunities slip by. Of course, my life becomes so much richer and more fulfilling the more I answer a sacred calling, yet sometimes it seems easier not to answer. Today, I commit/recommit to answering!
What about you? Where in your own life is trust the antidote to fear? I’d love to hear from you.
Today is day 21 of my 21-day commitment to focusing on strengthening my spiritual foundation and sharing my process with you.
The time has flown by.
And, at the same time, I feel like I've always been in this process of strengthening my spiritual foundation. What that tells me: yes, I would love this to be a natural, daily part of my life!
For the last couple of days, I've gotten back to a practice that I used daily years ago. The original idea sprung from Julia Cameron's morning pages and I adapted the process to make it my own.
Each morning before I started my day, I would write long-hand two or three pages of whatever came to mind. I started with writing all the ideas in my head that weren't serving me. I got them out of my head and onto the paper.
Then, somewhere in about the middle of the writing, ideas would spring to mind. Ideas for how to best do my day that day and ideas for projects down the road.
Basically, I cleared the junk out of my head and then the good stuff had some space in which to flow. And, I loved having a record of the great ideas. I then transfered them from those pages to wherever they best fit in my planner and I got rid of the pages.
All that remained were ideas that could serve. And, often by the end of the day one or more of those fresh ideas had already been implemented. How cool is that?
Wow, so one of the best things about committing to doing something for 21 days involves having that focus even though "I don't feel like it."
I've had a challenging day with too many tech issues. Some haven't resolve. Heck, some may never resolve! And, because I promised myself in front of you all to keep a spiritual focus for 21 days, I press myself to get out the door and over to the park.
And then I start to feel better. Those tech issues take a lesser role in the great big stage of my life as I walk through open space, lovingly greeted by friendly trees, a cool breeze and warm sun.
Praise God and Gaia . . .
This morning as I was listening to a Michael Beckwith recording I noticed myself scanning his ideas for something to spark my blog post. Then, I read an ezine from my friend, Tama, with the same thought in the back of my head.
Finally I noticed the spot of anxiety inside me. Instead of taking in Michael and Tama as nourishment for my soul, I was busy looking for something amazing to share with you. As if that amazing thing had to come from outside of me. As if nourishing me isn't enough.
The anxiety has subsided as I realize offering you a slice of my process is way more than enough! Please enjoy this slice as you revel in YOU being way more than enough . . .
While walking in the park today, I thought about my client who's on a snowshoeing trip this weekend with some friends. During our last coaching session, she was excited to learn about the StrengthsFinder™ assessment and share it with her friends so that they could all take it and talk about it over the weekend.
Then I realized that just in the last month, one of my clients and her husband and daughter all took the assessment and talked about each of their strengths. Another of my clients is going to take it with her two business partners so that they can all be more aware of each others' strengths. And yet another client took it and had her two sister's take it so they could support each other around their strength's on their annual birthday trip together. Me and my three sisters gave each other examples of when and in what situations we see the others' strengths clearly on our annual sister's ski trip a few weeks ago.
While walking, I realized that even though I don't tend to be much of a group person, I am facilitating (behind the scenes) lots of conversations around people's strengths. As I realize the impact of more people living and working from their strengths more of the time, I get super excited! What a better place the world becomes as more and more of us contribute to it from our strengths.
When Gallup surveyed millions of people, they found that only one-third felt they had the opportunity to do what they do best every day at work.
I had the displeasure of dealing with several in the other two-thirds this past week. So, I'm on a bit of a mission to get more people living and working from their strengths!
If you haven't taken the assessment yet, I highly recommend that you do. I guarantee you willl thank me!!!
(Don't buy a used book. You need an unused code from the back of the book to go online to take the assessment.)
Here's to that wonderful world in which we all fully utilize our natural strengths and talents . . .
Driving home from yoga today, I realized that I am a much more patient, kind, compassionate driver on the drive home from yoga than on the drive to yoga.
Even though my yoga studio is a mile from my house, I almost always drive. And the past few weeks, I've tended to run late. I don't fully stop at the stop signs and I'm impatient at the lights. And annoyed with myself for running late.
Taking the same route home, I'm present and fully stopped at stop signs, allowing others at four-way stops to go first. I enjoy the time at the red lights and praise myself for giving myself the gift of yoga.
Having practiced yoga for only a few months, I have yet to be able to do a pose exactly how it's suppose to be done or for the full length of time. Quite humbling for a girl who likes to be great at everything! So, somewhere during each class, I let go of judgment, impatience and the need to be great. I surrender to whatever is. Even when it looks ugly and hurts - two of my least favorites!
And then I drive home in that surrendered bliss - how great is that?!?
My business mentor, Peleg, recently completed a client survey for me. For the past two weeks, I have been periodically reading and absorbing lots of information from the survey and asking Spirit to help me know whatever is most helpful for me to know.
No small task. A couple of times I got completely overwhelmed and had to stop.
While on personal, spiritual retreat in New Mexico last week, I finally reviewed everything piece-by-piece and felt some concepts integrating inside me.
Here's the one I'd like to share with you today: one of the comments in the survey indicated that I need to decide whether I am a business coach or a spiritual coach.
After initial annoyance, I am so grateful for that comment.
I have chosen.
I chose both. More accurately, it's less of a choice and more of a truth. I AM both. Spiritual coach and business coach.
How great is it to run our businesses from our spiritual foundations?! I am privileged and honored to support people in growing themselves and their businesses at the same time.
Spiritual coach and business coach. Okay, I'm out of the closet.
And what great value to my clients: two for the price of one. Spiritual coach and business coach. (And, mentor coach to coaches.)
Glad we cleared that up!
I’ve just returned from four days of personal, spiritual retreat with a meditation focus in the New Mexico desert. I’ve been on many such retreats and every time I’m there, I tell myself I MUST do it more often.
All that quiet, all that open space, all that natural beauty, all that allows me to drop into meditation as I walk, as I eat, as I contemplate . . . simply being there, breathing, walking, soaking it in . . .
When I’m there, I feel most naturally me. I know God in every moment, whereas in the city, I don’t tend to notice God in every moment.
Is it easiest to know God in nature or is it specific to each person? I would love to hear from you. Where and/or when do you feel most naturally you? When do you most notice God?
I also love spiritual retreat because I've given myself time to just be and then notice what I'm drawn to - usually in the form of reading, writing or projects. I feel as though I am challenging myself with, "Who am I without computer or television?"
On this particular spiritual retreat I found myself drawn to spending time to really take in responses from my client survey, asking Spirit to help me know what's most important for me to know. What could I learn about what people most value and appreciate from me? What could that tell me about how I can better serve?
I also found that finishing Seth Godin's book, Tribes, gave me some wonderful clues about leadership and how I might best lead.
On one of my walks, I spontaneously created the Ann Strong Roadside Beautification Project and collected 96 (But who's counting?) cans and bottles from a 1/2 mile stretch. Great exercise and a beautiful outcome! And, more road to cover on my next spiritual retreat! Ah, job security . . .
And, I wrote a tribute.
The Earth's Joy
Surrounded by the Earth's unfettered
majesty and beauty,
I give thanks to the glory of God.
Cradled in Her presence,
Fed by Her bounty,
I give thanks to the abundance of God.
Rejuvenated by Her full acceptance,
Refocused by Her clarity and grounding,
I give thanks to the love of God.
Inspired by Her quiet power,
Awed by Her radiant simplicity,
I give thanks for knowing I am one with God.
Dedicated to Sunshine Valley, NM
Sangre de Cristo Mountains