top ten questions for 2012

Posted by on Jan 27, 2012 in Authenticity, Challenges, Creativity, Intention, Learning, Virtual Assistance | 1 comment

I'm taking baby steps on my Planning 2012 project so here's an update from my 100 Questions post. I found the exercise to be daunting at first and only wrote curioius questions like, How does electricity work? and Why is purple my favorite color? There were broad and often unanswerable questions like, How long will I live? followed by, DO I want to know? Eventually I got down to the nitty grity and experienced a shift to focused specific questions that I truly wanted to answer. Then I had to choose the top ten questions that resonated with me truly-madly-deeply. Ten? Only ten! I ticked and crossed off and bit my lip and then I put it away. I didn't want to choose only ten. When I was ready to come back to it weeks later (at least I came back, that's huge for me!) I decided to tick off ALL the questions that were particularly close to my heart and I came up with twelve and decided the extra were okay for now. I'm playing by my rules after all. They are in no particualr order other than how they came to me. Here's a sampling: What do I want to learn how to do more than anything? What adventure do I want to have in 2012 like paragliding? What do I want to create? Who are my sheroes for aging with attitude? What do I need to do to be ready for my ideal client?   My top twelve questions led to creating my goals for 2012. Which I divided into categories of: Healthy Living, Learning, Biz, Creativity, Relationships, Play, and Writing I answered this burning question: If you could accomplish only ONE thing in 2012 what would you want it to be? Why? What would your biz/life be like without it. What would your biz/life be like with it? I did this both personally and professionally . These answers gave me my Intentions for 2012. To reach and maintain my fitest, healthist self. Create financial freedom via a business partnership with Jeff. Next, I considered this question: How are you going to make your intention a reality? Glenda suggests SMART goals: specific/measurable/actionable/realistic/timebound My committment to this process is consistency over intensity! Brian Johnson reminds us, "If we work diligently, patiently, persistently, and playfully we're bound to be successful." I will continue on to the next level of Palnning 2012 and create action steps for each of my goals. Glenda recommends three so as not to try and do too much. (Who me?) Then the steps actually need to be scheduled. This is the peice that gets me every time! Yes, I have my intentions and goals but I don't designate a time to take action on them. This planning prcocess has been extremely illuminating the process of 'making real' doesn't happen in my head—it begins there with an idea or desire but then I need to take action to begin the actualization process. I knew this logically but now I know it in my heart where it's blossomed into the power and inspiration to transform my dreams into...

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I’m okay with that

Posted by on Jan 18, 2012 in Challenges, Creativity, Learning, Spaces | 2 comments

My Christmas gift to myself was to redecorate my bedroom. I wanted paint, carpet, trim, the whole shebang. I used this project as a guinea pig to test new processes to break a task down into action steps. It felt overwhelming as a whole. When I’m overwhelmed I take no action. So I created a storyboard and the visual steps felt extremely foreign to me but were particularly helpful: Here’s what I needed to learn again. Patience. Process. I set aside my vacation week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We took our time and did tackled one portion a day. The first time we painted it was with a base coat Jeff had surprised me with, a soft lavender color which he thought I would love. Is there another color besides purple? When we finished Brin stood back and said, Momma it looks like a Unicorn puked in here. Sadly I agreed. It was the perfect color for a bedroom for a four year old princess. Back to Lowe’s for more paint.I was okay with that. I agonized over shades of purple so long and completely that Jeff was able to make his escape to another part of the store without me stopping him. Once I was alone I put all the paint chips named purple mist and grapesicle back in their little slots. I took a deep breath closed my eyes and felt the feeling I wanted when I opened my eyes in bed in the morning. I started picking color brochures of landscapes: the ocean, the mountains, the forest, and then…canyons. That was the feeling—the sun illuminating the oranges and yellows in the canyon wall. Who knew? Huh. No purple? I was okay with that. The green is called Willow Tree but as we slathered it on the bookcase it looked more and more like baby poop. So it’s a doo over—and I’m okay with that. I couldn’t be more surprised by my attitude towards the completion of this long overdue project. I’m in tune with the process and have faith I will find the ideal hue for the bookcase and have not bemoaned the expense of the baby poop paint as a waste. It was an investment in discovering what worked for me and what didn’t. Now I know. And I’m okay with that. Have I suddenly evolved into a patient-in-the-moment person instead of the impatient, controlling, I-must-get-finished-so-I-can-be-happy person I used to be? Huh. What happened? I made a decision. I chose to immerse myself in process and be present instead of getting to done.  The walls and ceiling are painted, the trim is stained but not yet installed, the carpet has been laid, there is only a bed and a nightstand in the room, there’s no curtain on the window ( I tack up a piece of material at night), it still smells faintly of paint. The room is in transition and I am along for the ride. I’m okay with...

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Christmas without Mom

Posted by on Jan 7, 2012 in Authenticity, Celebration, Challenges, Family, Gifts, Healing, Love, Spirituality, Wholehearted | 4 comments

My mom loved Christmas! She would hoard little treasures from yard sales and flea markets all year long and store them in a trunk to give to us at Christmas. Presents had to be distributed one at a time and in a certain order so we could all watch the recipient open and share their joy. 😉 In the early seventies she excitedly drug home her most exciting find and we assembled it in the living room: a garish silver artificial tree made of some sort of aluminum strips. Once the lights and decorations were on she added the final finishing touch by pouring white Styrofoam ‘peanuts’ over the top to simulate snow. At nine I was completely enchanted! Her enthusiastic giving continued even when she was seventy-nine. Mom became ill two days before Christmas last year and I transferred her to Hospice the day after Christmas. We stayed with her until she crossed over on January 7th. I’m sure we celebrated Christmas after that but I don’t recall it. And I know I must have taken the tree and decorations down and put her unopened presents away but I have no clear memory. So this year I wasn’t sure I wanted to celebrate Christmas. Did I want to put up the tree she and I found for five dollars at a thrift shop and we’ve used and loved the past seven years? We even considered traveling for the holidays. But I knew I wanted to be with Brin wherever we were and I knew Mom would not want me to give up Christmas. I gave the tree away to a neighborhood family and wished them many happy memories around it. Our family tradition since Brin was a toddler was to get a ‘free’ live tree on Christmas Eve bring it home and decorate it, have dinner, and then open presents. Oh about the ‘free’ tree—you know those empty lots near shopping centers that pop up after November strung with white light bulbs and cut live trees lined up along a mesh fence? Well this free tree ritual began literally because in those days we could not afford to buy a tree! My parents and sister and brother-in-loveand even our neighbors always joined us. We practiced this tradition for over a decade into Brin’s teens and well after I moved on from working Christmas Day at a movie theatre and could afford to buy a tree! And over the years most of those loved ones for one reason or another join us now only in Spirit. This year we reinstated the tradition which Brin explained to her boyfriend and we learned she never realized it started because we were broke—we all found this quite hilarious! Brin cooked for us Christmas Eve at our house and Jeff and I went out to look for a tree. Our little town used to have them everywhere but this year we couldn’t locate even one. Sigh. Soooo, Brin’s three foot tall purple pre-lit artificial tree would have to grow on me. I set it up on a table in the living room window and dug out the Christmas decorations brought in from the shed but I could only find the bulbs mom and Jeff and I had painted together last year. Oh it was a brilliant idea but a bigger project than I had anticipated as it was too challenging for her physically. But we muddled through and had a great time. We gave each of her caretakers and family and friends a special bulb to remember us and this Christmas.  They actually...

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“If you can dream it, you can do it.” ~ Walt Disney

Posted by on Dec 12, 2011 in 2012, Authenticity, Challenges, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Wholehearted | 4 comments

I spent the day with several AssistU Virtual Assistants on a virtual retreat on Friday. Our goal was to plan our year for 2012. I have never taken the time to map out goals to accomplish in a year and I thought this was a brilliant idea for next year: my year of action. 2011 was a gift to myself I needed to spread my wings and fly, to experience freedom and the ease of soaring but next year I want to focus on digging in and taking action in my business and personal life. My first step was to take Kim’s advice and journal where I wanted to be in December 2012. Oh that was easy—to have one more ideal client; to be debt free again; to finish my screen play and the edits; to create a new WOWVA WordPress website; to discover a business that Jeff and I can do together; to maintain my weight and fitness goals with ease; to volunteer with a local therapeutic riding organization; to learn to sail; to take the Weight Watchers leadership training. A couple of those potential manifestations surprised me and spoke to stepping out of my comfort zone. Next, I knew I wanted both a theme and a word for 2012 to help me focus on my priorities, create a plan of action and processes, and stay on a clear heading for true north. I realized during this process they may not be the same word and that was a new possibility as well. I mind mapped the word action which felt like the right beginning for my theme but I wanted more. Action as in ‘something done’ led me to accomplish, achieve, realize, and finally actualize as in ‘make real’.  It clicked. The word fit my purpose and intention exactly and resonated in my entire body kind of like a deep hum or the vibration from a stringed instrument. Thawaaaaang!  Some of the synonyms for actualize are: activate, create, begin, undertake, initiate, accomplish, bring about, produce, realize. The other synonym that came from mind mapping the word action was challenge—there it was like a clear blue day filled with possibility. The definitions that applied for me are: difficulty in a job or undertaking that is stimulating to one engaged in it. And: something that by its nature or character serves as a call to special effort. Stretching myself out of my comfort zones both personally and professionally is a way to challenge myself and achieve the ultimate goal of living my best life—a call to special effort. Beautiful that. Sailing is something I’ve always wanted to learn to do and would be a stepping stone to the live-aboard life hubby and I envision. I’ve shifted my thoughts from ‘I don’t know how to do that and can’t picture myself doing it’ to the possibility of: what does it take to learn to sail? Who do I need to become and what do I need to do to actualize being a sailor? Amazing that. Now that I have my theme and one little word and have generated a slew of goals for 2012 I am combining Jamie Ridler’s planning ideas with Glenda Myles’s Planning 2012 Series. I’ve completed the 100 Questions exercise (extremely enlightening—more on that in another post) and am ready to select my top ten questions and move on to writing my intention for 2012 and a plan for transforming my ideas into reality: actualizing them! Here's to a year filled with possibility, delight, and your wild and woolly dream actualized! Here’s a quick review of the...

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See it. Be it. Live it.

Posted by on Dec 7, 2011 in Authenticity, Challenges, Conscious eating, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning, Self worth, Wholehearted | 2 comments

For most of this year I have struggled with emotional eating, over eating, and craving comfort foods. In the beginning of my weight releasing journey I was focused on getting done with burning fat but I learned that it was a process and there was no way to do it but go through. The same with all life lessons from having a baby to losing a loved one. I had to wrap my head around the idea that once I released the excess pounds that maintaining my weight might be a challenge but I didn’t imagine it would be more challenging than my original journey. Oh my—it is. And I realize I have not listened to my wise self and I have gained rather than maintained. At 140 lbs. I heard, you’re too thin from a few people—I hadn’t heard those words since I was nine years old! In 2009 when my mom and her love of sweets moved in with us I gained five pounds and I was okay with that because others thought I was too thin. I liked how I felt at 140 but I could live with the gain. When mom was sick last Christmas and died in January—I gained five pounds in a few weeks. They stuck. Every trip I’ve taken this year I’ve gained 3-4 pounds and then struggled for what felt like forever to let them go. It's not about the number but how I feel—heavier and less energized. Since starting CrossFit I have definitely seen and felt a difference in my body (yes, besides sore muscles!) but I haven't lost weight. Yes, I built muscle. Yes, I’m stronger and have more stamina. I still have a ways to go to be toned but I’ll get there one workout at a time. But I see that I slowly gave up on all my other exercise; walking, biking, dancing, and I felt sorry for my poor sore body and didn’t I deserve a reward for all my effort? I reverted to thinking of foods as good, bad, and evil. Guess where all my comfort foods lie out of those three categories? It has taken me all year to realize I’ve been stuck in diet mentality. My Weight Watchers leader Stacey mentioned this in a meeting last week and I had an Aha! moment. I wasn’t consciously depriving myself but now I see that’s why when I broke down and binged I could disappear a half a pan of brownies. Poof! The thinking is: scarf as much as possible because it may be months before I get this again. Then came the cycle of guilt, admonishment, feeling bad about myself, which triggers a whole ‘nother emotional food-fest, followed by the question why bother exercising after eating all that!? I was discouraged. I was tired of the struggle. I’d lost my way. I'd forgotten that this journey is a process—not about getting to done. There is no done for this over eater/emotional eater. For me the first step to getting back on track is to pick myself up. I wanted something to lift my spirits and energy. I needed a vision. Once I became aware of my thinking I was on board immediately with letting go of diet brain—I know diets don’t work yet I had reverted to my comfort zone. I needed to stretch myself out of that supposed comfortable place of excess and ease and get back up. I needed to see it. Be it. Live it. Not a DIEt but a LIVEit. Isn’t it interesting that evil in reverse is LIVE? Hmmmm....

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Reading list from Learning2011

Posted by on Nov 30, 2011 in Books, Challenges, Connections, Creativity, Inspiration, Learning | 1 comment

Many of the speakers and presenters at Learning 2011 were also authors and so I've compiled a list of their books and the books they recommended. Being a bibliophile and working with a group of librarians made this list a must have! The Learning Explosion: 9 Rules to Ignite Your Virtual Classroom By Matt Murdoch & Treion Muller The Art of the Focused Conversation Edited by  R. Brian Stanfield Wikinomics & Macrowikinomics By Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams Back to Work By Bill Clinton The Big Sort By Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing Being Wrong By Kathryn Schulz The Indian Clerk: A Novel By David Leavitt Social Media for Trainers By Jane Bozarth Power of Pull By John Seely Brown The Checklist Manifesto By Atul Gawande Take the Lead By Betsy...

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