Graduation [be] Present

Graduation [be] Present

Regardless of when you graduated, you may be familiar with that loaded of all loaded questions…

 

 

“Now What?”

 

I suspect more than a few people who are graduating are asking that question tirelessly.  With of course some other good ones like.

 

  • What am I going to do with my life?
  • Am I doing the right thing?
  • What if I hate it?
  • What if I fail?
  • What if I succeed?
  • What have I done?
  • What if I’m wrong?
  • What if I should have listened to… and did what they said?
  • Maybe I should do what that person is doing?
  • I shoulda…
  • I coulda…
  • I woulda…
  • I wonder if the circus is hiring?
  • Etc.

 

My eldest is a few days away from walking across the stage in her cap and gown.  I’m so excited for her because this is BIG.  There is no do-over when it comes to this particular ceremony.

 

She is excited too with equal parts scared.  And she is not alone.

 

The significance of any milestone is the fact that it marks the end of or accomplishment of something, while simultaneously marking the start of something new.

[Click to Tweet]

 

When it comes to completing high school think for a moment of all the things that are no longer going to be the same.

 

Regardless of how long a student attends a certain school the consistency of going to school for 12 years, 5 days a week, 10 months of the year ends.  The comfort of seeing familiar faces in their community, the other sights, sounds and smells (it is high school after all), is no longer their day to day, the normal order of things in their world stops as they know it.

 

The core of their existence, their friends, teachers, lockers, and routine changes and the “Now what” question gets even more traction and momentum.

In my opinion, depending on the intonation with which you ask that question, “Now what?”,it can be an invitation to throw open the door of possibility WIDE OPEN, and not always feel like the tentative turning of the handle.

 

To coin a phrase, “The world is your oyster”, can sound divine to some and others can be thinking “Ewwww oysters, what does that even mean?”.  Its all perspective.  And perspective is close cousins to focus.

When my daughter shared with me this morning that she and others were feeling off kilter with the upcoming graduation and all that implies about their future selves, this is how I responded. [Sharing with her permission]

 

 

It can be so easy to get caught up in the future energy that we forget to be HERE.

 

Being HERE in this moment.

 

Being PRESENT.

 

When we focus on trying to figure it all out at once we can miss the good stuff happening now.

 

This is for anybody, who is trying to create a future, no matter what door we are about to close or what door we are about to open.

 

Watch my video [3 min] here…

 

 

 

Last year I wrote,  “Graduation & Grief“, from a observation standpoint after attending my friend’s daughter’s High School graduation, from the community me and the girls had lived.  This year I am seeing and feeling this from an altogether different perspective.

 

And hey, If you are asking your own self, “Now what?” or are thinking about joining the circus,  why not book your Discovery Session with me and let’s have a chat, before you head to the big top! 🙂

 

 

 

How are your habits serving you?

How are your habits serving you?

In my recent newsletter, which you can read HERE.

Power-of-Habit-TP_nospine1

I talked about the book, The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg. 

There are many things that we DO in our daily lives that are habitual, and I believe that it is possible that there are many things that we THINK in our daily lives that are by routine as well.

In the book he outlines the cycle of a habit:

  1. Cue or trigger that makes the behavior unfold automatically.  Perhaps its a location, time of day, emotional state, or culmination of a pattern of behaviors.
  2. Followed by the routine – the actual behavior itself.
  3. Reward – that will be different for every person and every habit.

He then invites you to diagnose what the habit is and when we can observe it in action then we are better equipped to make a change.

Based on the book I decided to set my awareness and observe my habit of checking my iPhone.

What I observed for myself was how much time, energy and focus I was investing in being and or feeling like I was omnipresent with each notification I received.

Admittedly, it was some time ago that I disabled the bells and whistles on my phone that told me that a new email came in, I can empathize with Pavlov’s dog who salivated at the sound of the bell, and I responded by reaching for my phone.

However, rather than being cued by the bells, I noticed that since I didn’t have that auditory signal that someone had sent me an email or posted, liked or shared something on Facebook, my iPhone still listed all the notifications I had missed every time I opened it up.

So I disabled its ability to show me those in my lock screen.

Then 14 days ago I disabled the ability for the little number to show on the icon, again cue-ing me to see who had shared, liked or posted whatever.  And I disabled it on my computer so that when I’m doing something else I wasn’t triggered to click on the floating notification and check out what someone was up to.

What a great thing that with a mere click of a button I was able to interrupt these ingrained routines that I had in place that had become such time stealers.  

In reflection, my perceived reward for checking and clicking was thinking, believing  & feeling that I was being present and social, truth is when you are involved with multiple groups with frequent postings these notifications were keeping me present in their world, and not mine.

And not to mention the time I have reclaimed since, (perhaps you can relate to how time just flies when you are scrolling through all the updates).

Now without that little notification number, beep or pop up on my screen I consciously choose to go onto social media, see the list and I choose which ones to click, and no longer feel as if I “should” be liking, sharing or clicking in the red hot moment its posted.  Just like making any type of change it has been a struggle at times NOT to succumb to the habit. Overall, it has been very liberating!  And I’ve become more present and conscious of what I’m reading or supporting in the social media ecosystem.

Thoughts can trigger feelings, or feelings can trigger thoughts which when habitual may lead us to an actual behavior.

 Habits of action and thought serve us.  

What do you do habitually that serves you well?

What would you like to do routinely that would add value to your life?

What thoughts are on auto-pilot?

What are the rewards?

Observing our habits is the first step to changing existing ones, or creating new ones, if you so choose.

Cultivating Curiosity

Cultivating Curiosity

When is the last time you wondered about something?  Truly wondered about it?  As in you didn’t go onto the internet to fact check?

Google has become the ever present fact checker in our lives, and for good reason.  However have we lost the ability just to muse or wonder or daydream about stuff?

Wondering about things turns on the tap of our creativity.

Wondering leads us meandering down the garden path of what ifs.

Wondering opens up channels to possibilities, because anything can happen in our minds when we wonder about something.

What do you wonder about that you or Google can not verify, substantiate or confirm?

When is the last time you curiously speculated about something?  If you can not remember the last time, why not?

During a brisk walk yesterday I decided to pose a number of un-Google-able questions.

  • I wonder if that couple are on their first date?
  • I wonder how far that man has run so far on his jog?
  • I wonder if the people driving wish they were walking in the sunshine instead of driving?
  • I wonder what they are grateful for?
  • I wonder what it would be like to ride a skateboard?
  • I wonder if that person I just passed is okay?
  • I wonder what they are talking about over there?
  • I wonder what inspires that woman?
  • I wonder what it feels like to be them?

None of those things could be verified by an internet search.  All of those I wonder statements were prompts for more I wonders which started to flow more organically.

Cultivating curiosity invites us to color outside the lines, think outside of the box and be open to possibilities, no matter how preposterous our ideas, conclusions or queries are.

Carefree Joy

Carefree is the Balance between Careful & Careless

Choosing a carefree state of mind allows us the joyful pleasure of balancing our thought energy.  Consciously choosing to wonder about this that or the other may be inspiration, solution, idea, and break your mind was needing.

Therefore, I wonder if this will inspire someone to wonder?

I wonder what you will wonder about?

“Think and wonder.  Wonder and think.” ~Dr. Seuss

 

Couples Therapy:  My Relationship with Procrastination

Couples Therapy: My Relationship with Procrastination

It took a long time of struggling with the push and pull dynamics of the relationship to finally ask myself:
  • How had I allowed myself to be bullied for so long?  
  • When had I given up so much power over myself?  
  • And how could I release this hold on me?  

Being caught in this vortex was not serving my purpose. 

The need for change was imminent.  
Or was it?
It seemed futile to look for balance in a relationship, such as this, when the common ground felt as stable as quicksand.  I needed to step onto the sidelines of the blame game and determine what my role was in all of it.  Along with my new found conviction to make a change, I set off armed with fresh eyes, an open heart and a clean slate to begin anew.
Determined, I moved forward, seemingly unaware of the subtlety of the seduction, the light and easy suggestions, the whispered ideas luring me to come out and play.  The gentle urgings, the innocent voice, the promise of “it will only take a moment; you’ll be back on point right away.”  
The mastermind I was dealing with worked easily and effortlessly to derail my intentions.  
The initial moment was drawn out with the cajoling of, “Just one more minute, what’s one more minute?…You can make up the time later.”  
Those are not the demands of a bully, they are simple requests or so I led myself to believe.  Once the realization came I was furious.  It wasn’t just a moment, it wasn’t just another minute, I had been duped yet again by the exponential growth of a single moment into the whole loss of a day.
I berated myself, I belittled myself, I was angry at myself for being led. Angry at the apparent ease I had succumbed to distraction.  
Where were my fresh eyes, my open heart? 
I looked at my clean slate with disdain, now smudgy with taunts of distracted success by procrastination.  Chaos ensued.
Chaos had become a common ingredient in my life and it reigned in my world more times than not. In turn I welcomed chaos as I began to notice and accept that I thrived within its outer appearance of frantic disorder.  
That feeling of being more grounded as I stood amid the eye of the storm, more productive, more decisive, more clear and more successful to get my tasks done.  I began to relish in my many accomplishments handled and realized that I create chaos for my greater good.  Then it hit me.  
If chaos was a direct descendant of procrastination how could I love one and not the other?
I had found my piece in this dysfunctional relationship and now I could make my peace.
Procrastination had firmly established a place in my life, and for years I had rejected its value.  I had adopted the attitude that we could not work together, either I was on top or on the bottom, no balance. 
I was attempting to keep track of wins and losses and each time I checked the scoreboard I was always behind.  My feeling like a victim in the relationship only served to feed procrastination’s power over me.  The imminent change I needed to make was not one of overpowering my opponent, rather to embrace the challenges procrastination presented me.

I wanted procrastination to do the work to change.

I wanted procrastination to leave me alone so I could relinquish the guilt I felt when I listened to the whispers.

I wanted procrastination to respect my productivity rather than seducing me away from it.

I wanted peace! And procrastination was not giving it to me.

Making peace with something is akin to forgiveness.  The process is to accept what is in its natural state, not being in agreement, condoning it or in opposition to it, but to find neutral ground from which to move forward from.  
Procrastination had been doing its job, and doing it well without fail.  It always led me to chaos which I admittedly embraced yet I continued to resist the journey with procrastination to get there.
The relationship looks and feels different now that I have accepted procrastination for what it is.  
In my opinion, it is a momentary meandering off the path, or coloring outside of the lines as a means to an end.  I have chosen to view procrastination as a gift to myself and gently allow myself to wander for moments at its request.  
I have given myself permission to get to the end result without fear of veering off my predetermined path and know that procrastination allows me a bit more time for mulling or creating before the destination is reached.  At times getting there may be chaotic and other times not, that works for me too.

Procrastination and I are cultivating that comfortable relationship known best by old friends rather than adversaries, most of the time.  

How do you face procrastination?

This is my favorite way of approaching things that have the putting it off vibe…

Wood You? – Its Elemental Dear Bagua

Wood You? – Its Elemental Dear Bagua

If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound?  I’m not sure.  However if a palm frond falls off your palm tree and hits the neighbor’s garage it most definitely makes a sound.

I’ve had the pleasure of being in the garden on 2 occasions in the last month to hear the cracking and subsequent whoosh and crash of a 2 metre frond drop.  This morning as I looked up at my tree I was struck with something, perhaps you can relate.
Isn’t it fascinating that plant life just does what it does?  Right now in the Southern Hemisphere I see new leaves opening on my trees, my lawn is covered in clover, my citrus trees are nearly done producing and the palm is dropping the seed branch which I think is Australia’s version of snow.
The tree never questions its process, it just goes with its rhythm.  All it wants to be is a tree.  
You don’t see the orange tree trying to emulate the bamboo, or the bamboo trying to be a hedge.  Plant life does its thing, its the plant its intended to be.
The element of wood in Feng Shui is that of growth.  Plant life of all kind have a foundation of roots to support the growth above the earth.  Just like in our literal life we sometimes need to cut or prune to allow new growth, or to clear so that growth is not stunted or all consuming.
Wood is 
  • intuition, 
  • it is what you see and what your don’t see; as in the plant/tree reaches out above the earth while the roots are hidden in the earth therefore it holds trust; 
  • its an element of new growth, new skills, new projects. 
  • Wood embodies expansion.
  • trees have branches; our brains can branch out
  • trees have seeds; seeds are knowledge
  • the color green.
Wood is in Balance when we can trust the process and take reasonable risks; while open to guidance and open minded.
Too much wood can leave us feeling encumbered, and we can not keep up.
Taking to much on and consuming to much of the Earth.  We need to bring in the metal element to cut the wood.
Too little wood may be felt when we are not branching out; when we are keeping ourselves small. We need water in order to nourish Wood.
I invite you to consider where you are nurturing yourself for growth in all ways.  Physically, mentally and emotional nurturing to grow your tree of life.