Go With the Flow

Does this sound familiar?

You get to the office at 8:00am feeling inspired. You have a to-do list a mile long but that’s OK. It’s early in morning and you are ready to rock n’ roll. You are powering through your work and then around 10:00am you start to feel a little distracted. You really want to go out for a walk or move or do something other than what you are working on. You try to ignore the urge and re-focus. But the pull is strong. So you eat something or you check Facebook; anything but doing your work. Finally you get back on track. You re-engage with the work and start crossing things off your list.

Feeling productive, you keep moving through your tasks when you realize it 12:00pm. Lunch time! Everyone else is taking a break so you do too even though you really aren’t that hungry. Instead of really taking a break you go back to your desk and troll through Facebook or the Huffington Post while aimlessly stuffing your not-really-that-hungry self.

After 30 minutes it’s back to work! But now you are not really focused at all. In fact, the rest of the afternoon you are fighting the almost constant urge to do anything but your work. You look around and everyone else seems to be on task so you get mad at yourself for not being able to work like everyone else. What’s wrong with you? You better get back to work or everyone else is going to think you’re a slacker. The afternoon rolls on and at 3:00pm you are cruising the kitchen looking for a snack even though you feel bloated for eating your lunch so fast. You continue to beat yourself up until 5:00 all the while not getting much done or what you do get done is pretty crappy. You pack up your computer and go home just to repeat the scenario the next day. And the next. And the next

Now consider this scenario…

You wake up early and follow your morning ritual, connecting with yourself, moving your body, setting your intention for the day. You feel ready to tackle the day so you open your inbox and promptly take care of the dozen or so emails that require your immediate attention. You are focused and ready to work. After about an hour of taking care of some administrative work you get ready to go into the office.

You arrive knowing that your email has been addressed, for now, so no need to open the inbox. With a clear mind you begin your most pressing project, inspired to complete the task. About mid-morning you listen to your body and decide to go for a 30 minute walk. You head down to the cafe and enjoy a cup of tea while just sitting and thinking. You return to the office refreshed and ready to get back to work.

You spend the next couple of hours working on one of your projects that requires a little creative thinking and daydreaming. It’s OK that you are taking the time to think and wonder because you spent the morning banging out your most urgent to-dos. You feel the ease of just relaxing into your more creative side.

After about two hours you realize you’re getting a little hungry. You step away from your desk for lunch. You might find a quiet spot in the office or you might take your lunch to the park. You give yourself about 30 minutes to enjoy your meal uninterrupted followed by a short walk before returning to the office. This helps your digestive system kick into gear so you don’t feel bloated later in the day.

Once back at your desk you take some time to review what you’ve done, looking at what you have left on your list. You engage in some deep conversation with your colleagues, recognizing your natural tendency to want to chat in the afternoon. You check your email one last time and follow up with any issues still lingering from the morning. Around 3:00pm you feel your energy start to lag. Instead of fighting through it you pack up your things and head home. You decide to go out for a run or a walk to re-energize yourself. You take out your project list, make adjustments to your to do list and prepare for the following day. You are are so motivated you end up working until 6:00pm and finish the day reading an article you been meaning to get to this week.

So what’s the difference between scenario number one and scenario number two?

In the second one you are following your own rhythm, your own ideal patterns, your own Feminine Work Flow. When you embrace your Feminine Work Flow you harness the power of the masculine energy (action, focus, honor, structure, drive) along with the power of the feminine energy (pleasure, play, vision, beauty, joy, ease, devotion) We all have these aspects to ourselves whether we are men or women. The key is learning to embrace all parts of ourselves.

Harnessing the power of your own personal workflow is the key to unlocking your full productive potential. If you know you are more naturally productive at 7:00am, ask your boss if you can start work earlier. Feel more juiced at 3:00pm? Maybe you can start later in the morning and work until 6:00 or 7:00? Even if you can’t change your scheduled hours you can incorporate some of these ideas into your day. Get up and move when you feel your attention decline. Drink a glass of water or go for a walk when your energy starts to wane. Stare out the window and daydream if you need a little inspiration. Feeling distracted? Put your headphones on, close your eyes, and listen to your favorite song. You are not the same as the person in the next cubicle so honor your own style and embrace your own flow.

With the help of my coach I have been able to discover my feminine work flow and it has been a game changer for me. Instead of fighting against my own rhythms I have embraced my natural energetic flow. I get more done, enjoy myself more, and find more pleasure in my work. Does it work all the time? No. Do I have to sometimes push past what my natural flow is and power through when the job needs to be done? Yes. But I have discovered the more I honor myself, take care of myself, and listen to myself the happier I am!

Interested in figuring out your Feminine Work Flow? I have a couple of openings left for my Re-Connect Strategy Sessions. Schedule a FREE call and we’ll see what works best for you!

To Believe or Not to Believe

Have you ever been drawn to something, felt the pull to really go beyond your limits? You have a desire, a dream, and it’s forming right in front of you. It’s pretty exciting isn’t it? You get all jazzed up thinking about it. You tell your friends and your family. You have a ton of momentum and really dive into the work. Then you start to realize that your big dream is kind of scary. You start to doubt yourself. You start think you’re nuts for even trying to do it. Before you even realize it you have talked yourself out of making the leap. You chose to to stay safe, to stay small.

I have been down this path many times before. I have started this journey so many times. Bought the ticket, packed my bags, checked in at the station, and even boarded the train just to jump off at the last minute. Then I sit there in the station, crying, wondering what had just happened, and why I jumped off. My ego talks to me kindly and reminds me that it is “safer” to stay right where I am and not question or wonder or dream because that is scary and dangerous. The ego brings along her friends Ms. What If and Ms. Yeah But and they take me out for a drink.

Rinse and Repeat. Over and over.

For so many years I have stood on the sidelines and wondered what if. What if I had not gotten married so young. What if I hadn’t become a mother at 24. What if I had gone to graduate school. What if I had enrolled in yoga teacher training. What if I hadn’t stopped my dog training business. What if I had stayed home when the kids were young. What if I had spoken up. What if. What if.

Well, I am dog tired of what iffing my life. I deserve a life that is of my design. One that I craft and sculpt and create. One that fits me and shows off all the parts of me. We do not all have to live in fear of the What Ifs and the Yeah Buts. We can boldly and courageously step into the unknown and feel supported.

I am a lightworker and I want to get to work. Want to join me? I have a couple of openings available for you if you are ready to explore your true voice, your authentic self. Sign up for my newsletter to get the latest updates and discover your true voice, your Wholistic Life. Plus you’ll get my Five Steps to a New Morning Ritual, one of my signature ways to reconnect to the parts that make you whole.

What’s Your Theme Song?

I’ve never been good at setting yearly goals. I have pretty much sucked at setting any kind of revolution or intention. This year I was intrigued by the idea of planning and goal setting. I realized that in order for my life to move forward in the direction I desired I needed to set some goals. But which ones? How would I know they were in alignment with what I wanted?

Good question. Along came Jeannine Yoder’s Power of Themes. With her expert meditation guidance I was able to settle, to have a word choose me for the year.

My word for 2015 is EXPANSIVE. Holy crap. That word carries a lot of weight.

Expansive – unrestrained, open, free – not how I have always lived my life. BUT I know that is exactly why it needs to be my word. In order to expand you must contract and I feel like I have been contracting a ton the past 10 years. It is tome to bust out.

So what does EXPANSIVE look like?

It looks like me saying no to things that aren’t in alignment with how I want to live my life. It’s saying no to obligations no longer serving me and saying yes to opportunities that cross my path.

One of those opportunities is a workshop I am leading with Jaclyn Wallach. She and I will be leading a women only workshop on deep communication February 21 in Napa called Honor Your Expression. If you wish to push past your limiting beliefs, gain deeper insight into yourself, and generally want to have a groovy time we would love to have you!

Click here to register!

Now, my question for you? What is your Theme Song for 2015? What word will help guide your decisions, your choices, your life for the next 12 months? I would love to hear about it here on the blog or you can hop over to my Facebook page and share there too!

My Perfect Day – Too Much Pressure!

I needed a day. A day for myself to do whatever I wanted to do. So I decided to take a personal day from work. I was going to have my Perfect Day. I had planned it out weeks ahead, spoke with my soul sisters about it, dreamed about it, and pictured myself having this completely perfect day. It was going to be glorious!

I woke up early that morning because I didn’t want to waste a minute of my Perfect Day. I was sitting in my room, drinking my coffee when I was struck by anxiety that it wouldn’t be perfect enough. I started to worry that  I would waste my time and not be able to soak up the goodness I was creating. I could see the day flashing before my eyes and me not doing a damn thing. Just wasting my day, my life and definitely not feeling perfect.

I took a deep breath and felt into what was coming up and recognized that my inner guard was trying to protect me from screwing up my day by causing this anxiety and fear. The fear of not living up to my own expectations was keeping me stuck on the couch and stuck in this funky place. I told my inner guard to relax, that I didn’t need her today, she could have the day off.

In that moment I realized that I had put unnecessary pressure on myself to have a “perfect day”. What I was really after was a day where I could spend my time the way I wanted to, the way that would support my Core Desired Feelings. I wanted a day free from the confines of somebody else’s agenda. A day where my actions were in direct alignment with how I wanted to feel. It was then that I changed the name of my day off from My Perfect Day to Me Day. Everything I did was a reflection of Me and how I wanted to feel. From the power walk in the morning drizzle to the reading and reflecting over breakfast to the coffee date with myself to the flowers I bought for my desk.

flowers

It continued through the photo shoot with a dear, and very talented friend (can’t wait to post the pics here!) to the most luxurious facial (thank you Lacie at Pure Skin Spa!). It wrapped up with an amazing dinner with my loving husband. In the end was it perfect? Yes. It was perfect not in what I did but in how I felt all day. Spending the day with Me was perfect, listening to Me, honoring Me. It made for rich and spacious day.

Oh, and my inner guard? She’s on an extended vacation. 🙂

When was the last time you took a day just for yourself? How did it feel? I would love to hear more! Comment below or find me on in social spheres.

Stuck in a Morning Rut?

I have always been a morning person. I enjoy the quiet solitude of the early morning. I started getting up before the sun when my kids were little. It was the only time I had to myself, with my own thoughts. I relished the dark, peaceful feeling of the house before the rest of my family woke up.

As my kids grew up I continued my early morning routine and started to incorporate some yoga and exercise. I found my body and mind needed the kickstart of movement and stretching to really get going everyday. I also relished the first cup of coffee and the ritual of its preparation. Soon it became a habit and I was getting up early almost everyday to drink my coffee alone. My idea was to get up early so I could exercise, meditate, and be present for the day. What ended up happening was I would make the coffee, settle on the couch to read the news and end up trolling Facebook. I often would skip the yoga practice or talk myself out of going for a run.

I was stuck in a morning rut. What’s a morning girl to do?

I reached out to my coaching sisters and asked for help in developing a morning ritual, one that would set me up for a successful day. I was guided to three different, brilliant women that helped shape my morning ritual. Each one of them gave me something to add and it has turned out to be a delightful experience.

One of my coaches in my training program, Maya Haugh, encouraged me to check in with myself in the morning and ask “How do I want to feel today?”

Casey Erin Wood has an entire virtual workshop about morning rituals that I listened to. She keeps it simple and provided me with some excellent things to do each morning. One of my favorites is Morning Pages – stream of consciousness writing to get all the crap out of my head.

And finally my coach, Jeannine Yoder, provided me with the most awesome program to develop a kick-ass morning ritual. I have combined the three into a ritual that helps me shape and welcome the day. I now have a sense of my purpose for the day, how I want to feel, and the clarity to act on it.

What are your morning routines or rituals? How do you like to start your day? Comment below. I would love to hear from you!

Interested in developing your own morning ritual? Signup for my newsletter and I will send you my five steps for developing your own morning ritual!

Finding Acceptance

 

2014-01-19 16.57.04This post was written in January 2014.

I spent this past weekend with a group of people that are very enthusiastic about their hobby. You might say it borders on obsessive. There was a lot of cheering and encouragement and everyone involved was welcomed as we were all there for the same reason. Was I watching the 49er game? No, I was at Further Confusion.

What is Further Confusion, you ask? It is the annual gathering of furries and those that are interested in the furry fandom. Now some of you reading this are doing your due diligence and you’re Googling “furries” and “furry fandom” and you are probably wondering what it is all about. Go ahead. Take five minutes to do some research. Some of you might also be raising an eyebrow and thinking this is some strange perverted group of people that dress up in fursuits. I admit, I did the same thing three years ago when my son told me he was a furry. Immediately I searched the internet hoping that this “furry thing” was not what I thought is was. Even after much searching I still wasn’t convinced that this was a group of people I wanted my then 14 year old to hang around.

Two years ago he found out about The Convention or The Con as they say in fandom. I reluctantly gave in and took him for one day. I wasn’t about to give up my entire weekend to hang around a bunch of people dressed up like animals. We really didn’t do much but wander around the marketplace and watch a few people. The second year we went for two days but drove back and forth. I wasn’t about to blow our money on a hotel room so I could be close to a bunch of people dressed up as animals. I tagged along with my son and tried to not be “that mom” who embarrassed her kid but I also wanted to protect him from whatever dark forces were lurking around. This year we went for two days and stayed at a hotel so we could really immerse ourselves in the experience. A lot has changed in three years.

This is what I have learned. The people that attend this convention are some the nicest, most welcoming individuals you could ever hope to meet. Whether they are dressed in full fur or dressed in jeans in a t-shirt they are friendly, open, and accepting of everyone. With close to 2000 people in attendance I was pleasantly surprised at the good nature of the attendees. They even welcomed this obviously-not-a-furry mom. I learned I could relax my worrisome grip on my son and let him be who he is. I left him to find his friends, some of whom he was meeting face to face for the first time. (Gasp! Online friends that he has never met in person? How can you be friends with someone you have never met in person or you only see once a year? Oh wait, I have lots of friends that I only see once a year or that I only see via video conference so I guess it’s not much different than that.) As I sat watching the antics of fursuiters I was taken by how comfortable they were with themselves and how respectful and caring they were of others. Traits any parent hopes to nurturer in their children.

On the last day my son told me that he felt he could truly be himself at the convention, that he didn’t feel that way anywhere else, no one else really understands him. I told him I knew exactly how he felt because I had the same feeling as a teenager. Finding your tribe is so critical and sadly high school is not always the place where kids feel they can be themselves.  To see your child open up and be comfortable in their own skin is a blessing and while I wish we didn’t have to travel out of town to experience that I know that he comes back home feeling more confident about himself than he did when he left.

 

Relationships are assignments

I still remember the day like it was last week. It was after school and my son and I had stopped at the store to pick up a few things for dinner. We were, of course, in a hurry, had to get to karate class. As we were walking out of the store he dropped his stack of 60 football cards. Scattered. All 60 of them.

I thought to myself, “Why does he have these stupid football cards? He’s only 7 years old. We don’t even watch football in our house. Why on Earth would the teacher give them to him?”

As he started to pick them up he took his time to arrange them so they are all facing the same direction. One card at a time. “This is going to take forever and we don’t have forever. We have to get to karate.”, I thought to myself.  I immediately start to get angry and try to “help” him and then it struck me. I would have done the same thing. I would have taken the time to make sure they were all in the right order. I would have made sure they were facing the right way. Why? Because it makes me feel grounded and centered. That was when I realized that my son was not so different from me. Yes, he might be diagnosed with a “non-specific learning disability” (whatever that means) and struggles with auditory processing and sensory integration but he really wasn’t that much different from me. The moment I realized that my empathy for him grew.

We discovered over the years that allowing him to learn and develop at his pace led to much greater success than trying to make him conform to benchmarks aligned with his grade in school. I am convinced that giving him that freedom allowed him to develop at a much faster rate than relying solely on formal interventions. Patience, love, and acceptance were the common denominators of his early education. Those aspects allowed him the space to grow and find a level of success that I had prayed so hard he would experience.

Fast forward to high school and I am revisiting that football card lesson of acceptance all over again. I was feeling myself start to push him more. I wanted him in different classes, to think about college, and what it took to get there. I was pushing him to train harder with his swimming in hopes of getting noticed by colleges at some point. Parents always worry about the post-high school years but I was projecting all of my fears for him in the future without being still with the present. I could feel the anxiety build up in my throat almost to the point where I felt I couldn’t breathe properly and couldn’t speak my truth. So I got still. I listened to my heart and heard the message I heard nine years earlier.

Let him be who he is. Embrace him as the individual he is and let him flourish on his own terms.

He is no different from me in that he wants to feel grounded, centered, and accepted and pushing him to do more than he was developmentally ready to was not the way to go. He is an individual and comfortable with who he is as a person and that is all any parent could ever hope for their child. Why couldn’t I be happy with that? He has helped me become more in tune with myself and I am thankful for that gift. I heard someone say once that all relationships are assignments and each one has a lesson to learn. I have so much more to learn from my son and I am grateful for the opportunity.