Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Well, we're wet and cold, but at least we're exhausted."

My husband, Craig, and our friend, David Patterson, ran the Covenant half marathon this morning. The above quote is David's response to my post-race query about how he was feeling. I feel your pain, David - not because I've ever run a half marathon (one 10K, back in the day was plenty for this ex-runner) but because I've been through the training and eating patterns and knee braces with Craig as he prepared for the race. I observed the determination, grit, and perseverance it took to prepare your body and mind for this kind of adventure, and I respect the heck out of the folks who do it. No I don't aspire to do it myself, but I believe the characteristics that must come into play to accomplish something like a half marathon are also valuable for accomplishing other great feats in our lives. Feats such as building a business and creating authentic relationships, among others.

First an intention must be set - I am experiencing the joy of completing a half marathon; I am thrilled to be starting a successful business; I enter into relationships in an authentic, joyful way. Then we make a plan for getting from where we are now to where we want to go (spoken like a true Life Coach, I know!). Next we figure out ways to determine if our plan is working - are we making progress? Can I run further today than I could last week? Do I have more customers now? What's working? What isn't?

Accountability is also a key. If left to our own devices will we stick to our plan, or do we need a coach to hold our feet to the fire? A cheerleader to encourage us when the going gets rough?

When we've reached the goal, it's time to celebrate! How do you reward  yourself? This step is important. Remind yourself of the energy you expended, the hard work it took to make your goal a reality. Give yourself a pat on the back, and let others pat you too. Bask in your glory for a while, then start all over. Move to the next goal and the next and the next...

Create your life with intention and attention. Finish the race, and you too can be wet, cold, and exhausted!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don’t Spit In God’s Face

God has endowed each of us with certain inalienable talents. They may be different gifts or talents for each of us, but they are there, inherent in the structure of our DNA, waiting for us to recognize them and put them to use. If we don't, it's like spitting in God's face - not a good idea.

Sometimes it's easier to recognize someone else's gifts than our own. We appreciate the way a friend is always calm in a crisis, but we don't realize how our own sense of humor brightens peoples' days. Or we value a leader's ability to make things happen, without seeing how our compassion softens others.

Even when we do recognize our own talents or gifts, we have often been taught that it is rude or conceited to call attention to our positive characteristics. So we down play the very aptitudes that could help make the world a better place
What gifts are you hiding under a bushel? Wisdom gained from tough times? Serenity in the face of adversity? Courage under fire? Discernment? Whatever it is, let your light shine and inspire others to shine their own light.

Your 'call to action': Discover your inherent gifts and talents - ask a friend or family member what they see in you that you don't see. Or schedule an appointment with me and use the Enneagram to glean information about your personality and your gifts. Believe that you can make a difference in the world and commit to exploring ways to use your own special gifts to make the world a better place.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New Beginnings

Spring has sprung and along with it, the urge to write and blog and twitter and facebook. I'm getting serious about all of the above, so I invite you to subscribe to this blog and my e-zine, follow me on twitter, and add me as your friend on facebook. Together we'll explore what being healthy in mind, body, and spirit means.

Many of the major religions celebrate new beginnings in the spring - Passover and Easter, to name just two. But we don't have to belong to a specific religion to begin anew in the spring or to clean out and clear out our bodies, minds, houses, cars, closets, etc. Getting rid of things we don't use anymore, be it clothes, extra weight, or beliefs that no longer fit, frees up space for new ideas, new ways of doing things, new clothes, and makes for lighter bodies and spirits.

You really don't have to do anything drastic if you don't want to - drastic can be overwhelming and stop us before we even get started. Gradual is often better. Rather than fasting from all food for 40 days, give up sugar or caffeine for a week. Don't de-clutter your whole house in a day. Do a drawer each day, or a room a week.

Pace yourself as you clean or clear or eat differently or begin to exercise. You can always increase your efforts, if you aren't making the progress you want to. And don't hesitate to ask a friend or family member to support your efforts or make the changes with you. Having someone on your team can make all the difference in your success.