Archives for the month of: November, 2013

Today I shared just a little more.

HIGH POINT: Greeting a new friend

LOW POINT:  Seriously, ‘…tiny little bubbles popping’?  Please tell me I didn’t write that.

BIGGEST LEARNING: Small external shifts are indicators of big internal change

This morning I was blessed with a fine reminder of just how far I’ve journeyed, not just over these past 30-days but throughout the past three years.

A gorgeously beautiful woman that I’d never met walked into an event I was managing and without thought or pause, I strode directly over and embraced her.  It was the most natural gesture in the world.

Not only that, once that first friendly clinch was complete, this woman and I hurdled straight over small talk and travelled quickly into the juicy zone of men, dating and feminine/masculine polarity.  Not only was it interesting surface content, we dove deep to personal (and ever more juicy) experiences with no hesitation.

I’ll be clear here: hugging/sharing/general touching of strangers didn’t used to be my thing – man or woman.  I  was one of those people who infinitely preferred air kisses and manly handshakes to the potential awkwardness of an embrace. Heaven forbid I actually let anyone into my world!  As my dear brother once remarked; if I were a castle, I’d have a very well guarded, crocodile infested moat surrounding myself.

Or in the language of Star Wars: my deflector shields were always up and fully operational.

Now?   I find myself eagerly embracing hugs (pun intended) and all forms of connection as essential to a life worth living.

In that moment this morning I knew instinctively that this woman was someone worth allying with – and I have already been rewarded with a new friendship that is rich, fulfilling and playful.

This is by no means an isolated occurrence.  More and more and I find myself parting with ridiculously personal information, looking people in the eye without a hint of self-consiousness (and a whole lot of curiosity), and ending countless conversations with ‘I love you.’  My 31-year old self has no idea who I am.

In those moments – be prepared for a Hallmark flash of gushiness here –  it has felt as though tiny little bubbles are popping inside and the only possible expression is through authentic touch or verbalising the first heartfelt comment that bursts forth or sometimes, in random uncontrollable (snorty) laughter.

My tightly wound left-brain is starting to freak out just a little bit.

The most delight-filled aspect to all of this is that there’s no end to this hugging/connecting/giggling/gooey-filled goodness!  Now that I’ve started down this rabbit hole, I can see that this exploration will be vast, expansive and limitless.

I wouldn’t say the moat is gone just yet, but I have built a rather sturdy bridge.

 

Today I created quickly.

HIGH POINT: When I press publish on this blog with time to spare!

LOW POINT:  Knowing that this is one thing I can’t outsource 

BIGGEST LEARNING:  Do the ironing before inspiring greatness

This whole blogging exercise is all well and good – right up until you’re on a tight schedule and doing your best to create a 400 word masterpiece in minutes.

Say something profound!  Give rise to greatness!  Verbalise some rare insight that will alter someone’s life forever!  Just don’t take too long about it. We’re on a deadline here.

So creative mind of mine, I ask you: what uncommon slice of wisdom do you have for me today?  What gem of understanding will you pull up from the cloudy depths?

……??

Dangit!  Where are you when I need you!

FOCUS!  Stop thinking about ironing and sleep and shopping lists and emails and Star Wars.  Look at the screen.  Be amazing – but do it now.  We’ve got places to be!

Hmm…should I try channelling some literary great?  Or perhaps cheat the game again with another of my lists?

I’ve retired from my online search addiction so I can’t even Google ‘How do I  innovate in 30-minutes or less?’

This is getting silly.  I’m no JK Rowling sitting in her hotel room while the world waits for Harry Potter #7.  For starters, I could never have  hatched a character so delightfully despicable as Dolores Umbridge.

Is there an off-switch to the left-brain by any chance?

Wasn’t I just talking yesterday about how relaxed and un-busy my life was?  What was I thinking?!

Oh dear, this is not going to plan at all.  Lucky for me the ‘haters’ have been pretty silent on this blog.

So that’s it I guess.  On this, Day 27,  I’ll just have to settle for a mildly inventive hunt for original thought.

Wonder if I have time for a nana nap?

Today I stopped being busy.

HIGH POINT: Dancing around the room – less the silly hat this time around

LOW POINT: Trying to inject fun into doing laundry

BIGGEST LEARNING: I’m too busy having fun to be busy

This morning while reading ‘Game of Thrones’ over coffee in a local beachside cafe, a patron came inside and said – patronisingly – to the wait staff: ‘If you two aren’t too busy doing nothing, could you show me how to open this umbrella?’

That pricked up my ears on a number of levels.  Having worked in hospitality for a number of years, I was taken right back to those moments when I would’ve happily thrown a tray of filled pint glasses over certain customers.  The part that intrigued me more though was his equating of busy, with worthwhile.

That is if you’re not busy, then you mustn’t be doing anything of value.

In reality, the two female staff were ‘busy’ having a wonderful moment of connection as they got ready for the day ahead.  I looked around and there were no customers waiting, no tables to be cleared and the place was otherwise clean.  I’m sure they could’ve found something to do but for the sake of taking a couple of minutes for shared conversation, I’m pretty sure their roster of duties could wait.

This game of ‘who’s the busiest wins’ is something that fascinates me.  Being busy has taken on some magical element to our lives without which, we mustn’t be important.  If I’m not busy doing something, then who am I?!

I’m just so busy!

Oh man, I’ve been sooo busy!

Could I BE any busier?!

Over the past 12-month months I’ve been observing this notion within myself because I’ll be honest, my life is pretty darn relaxed – now.  This week alone I have been able to share deliciously long conversations with close girlfriends, lay on the beach, play with the dogs, take afternoon naps and spend as much time as I enjoy doing things purely for pleasure.

If you’re noticing a somewhat self-congratulatory tone, you’d be absolutely right!  I’m pretty darn proud of myself for being able to live the life I do.

Every day I have time to meditate, drink coffee, connect with friends on Facebook….oh, and I probably should add at this point that I still get plenty of the ‘busy’ stuff done.  In fact when I sit down to work, it’s done in far less time and with infinitely less effort.  Most of the time anyway….I’m still human.

Yet frequently I have found myself feeling guilty over my easy lifestyle.  In fact there have been days when I’ve become aware of myself slotting in unnecessary activities, just so that I can fill what feels like wasted space.

So I had to ask myself the question, if I weren’t so busy, what would I do with my time?  A year ago I didn’t have an answer, now I do.

I have fun – and as much of it as I can.  In fact, fun has become such a main driver that not only does it flow through my ‘playtime’, but I do my best to not take on any work unless I know it will be fun for me to do.

We no longer merely survive in an industrial age with sixteen hour days and a dinner of gruel and tepid water (OK, so maybe I’ve read too much Dickens).  We thrive in a time where yes, work is important but not mutually exclusive to relaxation and enjoyment and goofiness and basic contentment and dancing round the room wearing a silly hat.

It really is OK to sit on the couch and…no, that’s it!  Just sit.

So this is me officially giving up my place at the busy table.  Time for a nap.

Today I turned up the volume.

HIGH POINT:  Surrendering to the journey

LOW POINT:  Realising just how trapped I was by the undertow of unhelpful thoughts

BIGGEST LEARNING: I may not be Jim Rohn, but I’ve got some pretty good things to say

As I near the end of this 30-day journey I’ve become acutely aware of something important: my internal dialogue has grown louder (my external chatter is quite raucous enough, so happily for anyone who knows me well, this hasn’t increased).

Why is this so important?  Well, as most of you would know, the unconscious mind controls the show, and my unconscious little whispers were creating an undertow that kept pulling me further out to sea.

What this creative process has done is allowed me to pull those faint murmurings up from the ocean floor, look at them in the sunlight and then cast off those which were contributing to the turmoil.

In my daily existence this subtle shift in my awareness has meant an immense improvement in my ability to let go of stuff that just doesn’t matter.

Day 21 is an obvious example.  A confrontation like that would’ve had me battling for days/weeks (years!?) in the past, but simply by expressing it via this medium I could move myself forward within 24-hours.

Day 3 (still the biggest hurdle so far), turned up the volume knob on all my inner gossips.  Venting my feelings onto this platform silenced the ‘haters’ and gave me the strength to continue.

Day 18 gave voice to an experience that I didn’t fully understand until I sat down to explore it here.  I had no idea why this person had suddenly intrigued me so much but in pushing myself to look deeper I got the clarity I needed.

This internal lucidity has flowed into my outer voice as well. In conversations with others, I have been able to express myself with more purpose, direction and authenticity.

While all of the above has been magnificent, there is one gift in all of this that stands above the rest: I have become my very own inspirational quotes page.  Countless times I’ve found myself moving through my day in need of guidance, when out of the internal depths I hear my ‘blog voice’ speak up – and with just the advice I need for that very moment.

Why am I blogging about this today?  I actually don’t know.  But if I were to turn up the volume on a possible answer I would say this:

I am blogging about this today because I needed to take a day to acknowledge myself.  To appreciate the trust, the commitment and most of all the surrender, that has made this whole journey possible.

Nice!  I think I might just hold onto that one.

Today I got off my rocking chair.

HIGH POINT: Seeing my pattern and breaking it  

LOW POINT: Imagination problems

BIGGEST LEARNING: Talk is only cheap if there’s no one to listen (or no problem to solve…)

I have a great male friend who I love to go walking with.  When these rare gifts of exercise bonding occur, I grab onto them tightly for 2 very selfish reasons:

1. He is an exceptional listener

2. Walking is my meditation

It’s my own personal grand slam of problem-solving:  walking clears my head while talking clears my soul.

I cannot speak for other women but in my case, talking moves me to solutions that I find difficult to get to otherwise – especially when my listener plays their role well (yes, I do mean you walking buddy!)

However there is a case when all my talking leads down a fast-moving river to nowhere.

Today I rang up a girlfriend to discuss some matters quite close to my heart, and as I monologued without pause for minutes at a time I took the opportunity to observe an interesting pattern: I was talking about things that weren’t currently a problem – and may never be one.  And it was exhausting!

In the wise words of one of my mentors: Stop solving problems that don’t exist

In hindsight (20/20 vision!), the only times I have not been able to reach a resolution on a problem is when I am rocking back on forth on one that I’ve imagined.  In those moments, I have future paced myself out to a possible issue and am trying to do something about it now.  When there’s nothing to be done.  Because it hasn’t actually happened!  And if my past is an indicator, will probably NEVER happen.  Talk about wasted effort.

I will acknowledge at this point that prevention of future problems is important – but only if you can actually do something about it now.  Thinking and/or ruminating about it for days on end does not solve a thing.

As always, the power to change anything is only ever in one place: now.

So my new promise to myself is to solve actual problems now, and if there’s not one?  Well then maybe I can do the listening for someone else.