Sunday, April 6, 2014

Temporary Insanity

I recently found myself in a state of temporary insanity. The basis of my insanity was fear. Fear that I had caused harm, which then caused me to fear I had no control since it was not my intention to hurt anyone in the first place. This combination can be deadly to joy, which can only be present for the sane.

After circling round and round for a while in this spiral of fear, I realized that I was feeding my own insanity. As I looked for other weaknesses I possess where I may cause future harm, it caused my fear to increase. It was only after realizing what I was doing to myself, and that I did actually have control, that I was able to pull myself out of the dark hole and back into the light.

Now that I’m back, I can reflect on my lesson. (This is not a new lesson, I apparently just forgot it…. which happens with temporary insanity) What I have recalled is things change….emotions, thoughts, situations, actions and words of those around us. As these elements shift, our level of fear can shift. If we are especially willing and desiring to feel better than the way we do when we are insane, this process can occur rather easily.

I was willing. I was ready. I had a strong desire to feel better…to be sane once again and in just over 24 hours, I was back. I was back to the land of love, where I can now see things more clearly, where I can be aligned with who I really am.

Unfortunately when we are temporarily insane we may fool ourselves into thinking our self-abuse will actually heal the harm we may have caused, where in truth, it only delays healing and it some cases can actually increase the harm to those we wish to protect.

Love heals all….even temporary insanity.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Room for Joy

In this dog eat dog, competitive world we're in, some businesses frown on joy in the workplace. Having fun at work is believed by some to actually infringe on productivity and that it negatively affects the bottom line.

I understand that every business owner, manager, or supervisor would want to see every employee showing up at their best. . .giving their all for the company that employs them. For some reason, there seems to be a collapsing of the concepts of joy and fun engagement with a lack of serious commitment and a strong work ethic, as if they cannot co-exist.

Perhaps it is because I believe the world would be a better place if there was more joyful souls, or because I have worked on teams that were fun loving and have worked with those that were serious and cut-throat in their interactions. Without a doubt, the teams that held a high value around team spirit and joyful engagement, not only had more enjoyable work environments, they were more efficient and productive in their work.

Other positive side effects include greater camaraderie where employees sincerely care about their co-workers and seek to help one another when things get tough, rather than be in competition.  Employee turnover and sick days are less since the work environment that promotes joyful interactions is a more pleasant place to be. Why would people want to leave a pleasant and connected environment and team?

Seeing employees as more than simply machines that punch clocks, do their jobs and have no heart to heart connection with their co-workers is a win-win at every level. People are emotional beings, they are not machines. Working in an environment where there is room for joy, for compassion, for fun, understanding and sincere connection is beyond a doubt, a healthier environment that one without.

Imagine if there was room for JOY in every group, on every team, in every home, and in every business. My bet is that problems would be solved more quickly, people would be more collaborative, communicative and cooperation would be the norm. That combination would not only be a successful one for making money for the business, it would be paving a positive track for others to follow.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Auto Correct Fantasy

Imagine if your mind worked like the software in your computer and every time you had a thought that was a complaint, self deprecating, unkind in reference to others, or negative in any way. . .it would automatically correct itself. 
Stuart Miles

Imagine how you would feel if the litany of complaints that you think about your life would be interrupted and exchanged for the things you're grateful for. 

Imagine how much more productive you would be if auto-correct changed your thoughts about your fears to ways you can live your dreams.

Imagine how much more creative you would be if when you made a mistake, auto correct would stop you from spiraling down to a place where your creativity would hide in fear of making another error, to trying again and again until you get it right. 

Imagine how much more you would enjoy nature when auto correct would stop you from day dreaming during sunsets or drives through the mountains. 

Imagine how much better your relationships would be if auto-correct shifted your thoughts from blaming someone else to loving them as you seek to understand and to be understood. 

Imagine how nice it would be to not put your foot in your mouth if auto-correct stopped you from saying something you'd regret later. 

Although this sounds like a fantasy, auto-correct is actually possible for each of us. Unfortunately, it won't come with new software, where we are passive and it just happens. It comes with practiced awareness and presence in each moment. 

The next time you notice your mind taking you in a direction that makes you feel uncomfortable, uneasy, angry, resentful, jealous, vengeful, fearful or any other way that is not contributing to the life you want, choose to correct that thought. 

Exchange each negative thought for something else that feels better. Breathe as you make this shift. Repeat often. Soon you will find that your auto-correcct mechanism is working spontaneously because your mind's software will be programmed just the way you want it. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Motto to Remember

Now that 2014 has a few weeks under its belt, perhaps it is time to assess how well you are staying on the course you set for yourself for the next eleven months or so. If you haven't given it a thought, fear not, since it is never too late to find some sort of inspiration, that not only helps you meet your goals, but will assist you being your best. 

For about ten years now, I have created  a motto for myself in the beginning of each year to serve as a personal reminder on showing up at my best and to keep myself on a positive track. 
Here's a few  of my all time favorites from past years:
"Good Enough is Not Enough" served me at a time when I was trying to break the habit of thinking I accomplished all I needed to in my life and that there was no need to strive to learn or do more. I was tempted to stay in the state of the familiar, rather than stretch into the unknown. When I thought about this motto, it was energizing and reminded me we are never done. Learning and growing will continue as long as we're open to possibilities. As it turned out, I was just afraid I might fail, so playing smaller was easier than taking chances. This motto brought out my boldness and served me well to take some leaps into the unknown.
"Welcome" was intended as a reminder to be open to new learning, opportunities, abundance and even uncomfortable challenges, since that is where I sometimes learn and grow the most. It was pivotal in teaching me to be open to new ideas and to not resist the things I cannot change.
"Grace and Ease" reminded me to be gentle rather than forceful. It helped me practice peaceful acceptance of whatever was showing up, rather than holding stress as I met challenges and difficulties. It also taught me to trust that everything will work out.
My motto for 2014 is "Playful Presence". This is a fun one since being playful is the most natural, joy-producing way of being I know. It hits me at the core and embodies ease along with a light hearted way of living and working.  It reminds me not to take anything (or anyone) of a potentially negative nature too seriously. When I am embodying this motto, I am having fun and am at my creative best.  The word presence holds significance  since it means pause, be aware, notice, be tuned into the moment. Without presence, the true joy of playfulness can be missed. 
So, if creating a motto sounds intriguing for you, I suggest you pause to think about how you want to feel and be this year. Write down some goals you would like to accomplish and then imagine yourself successfully completing them. Next step is to assess what words of inspiration will keep you in a positive mindset and feeling how you want to feel.  Your motto will also serve by helping you get back on track f you slip off course into an old way of responding to life and its challenges.
There are no rules to creating a motto if the words speak to you in a deep way. Other people don't have to understand it. You don't have to explain or defend your motto. You simply have to feel it's power. If it doesn't move you when you think about it, keep on playing with other options until you land on one that is speaking directly to you.
To deepen the power of your motto, writing some specific examples of how it speaks to you will serve as a handy reminder and can give you a jump start on those tough and challenging days when you lose sight of your dream and how you want to be through the year.
The bottom line of my Motto Message is make it yours so it will guide you through the year when you lose your way.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Be Your Best

A new year is upon us and it is quite likely that you may be taking stock of yourself, your work, your relationships, habits, and life in general, assessing what changes you would like to make so that you can be your best

Many of us take this new year tradition as a time to improve ourselves in some way, and for some it can turn out to be an opportunity to scrutinize ourselves to the point all we can see is our faults. 

Now, I am not going to dissuade you from taking a good hard look at how you've been showing up in the world, paying attention to how much stress you've felt or transmitted, or the impact you have on others. My suggestion is to not do your self assessment from a place of lack or judgment, but rather from the standpoint of being MORE ALIGNED with what is naturally great about you. 

Consider this perspective: You came into this world complete with an array of natural gifts. They were hard wired into the beautiful creation that is the spirit of you. As your life went on, due to a variety of circumstances, you may have lost sight of those natural gifts and began to see yourself as lacking in some way. You may have begun to compare yourself to others, or put yourself down for not being good enough. 

The truth is, your beautiful gifts that you came into this world embodying, are still there. Unfortunately, you may not be knowing or trusting their presence. If you don't know you've got it, it makes it hard to use it. 

So, as you take stock of yourself in this time of renewal, be sure to look within at the truth of who you are and how you are (or are not) living up to manifesting those gifts in your life. 

The tip in making this process easier is to get real and identify what is innately true about you. If kindness is natural, be kind. If compassion feels natural, be compassionate. If sensitivity is a gift others appreciate in you, be sensitive. If you're naturally bold and adventuresome, take more risks. 

It is a win-win situation for ourselves and for every life we touch when each of us stays true to who we are. . .I mean who we really are rather than live our lives constantly longing to be someone else. 

Being your best, means just that. Be YOUR best, not someone else. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

Peace Is Not A Season

We are in the midst of the holiday season and peace and joy abound.

Shoppers are hustling and bustling about, choosing the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Trees are cut and decorated, families gather, special meals are prepared, and thoughtful gifts are shared. 

We connect with friends, co-workers and neighbors to share a drink and special treats. We sing carols while standing around the piano, attend special church services and make donations to those that are less fortunate. 

We follow the traditions, religious and secular, that mean something very special to us. 

I think it's safe to say most people truly enjoy this time of year and show it in their mood and in their actions. I notice people going out of their way to be kind, friendly and welcoming. I see more patience, understanding, generosity and compassion in the midst of strangers, family members or co-workers. In essence, most of us seem to behave at our best this time of year and we all appreciate the extra acts of kindness we receive. 

So, if most of us enjoy the peace and joy of the season, why is it seasonal? Why don't we maintain the same sense of caring for our neighbor or co-worker all year long? 

Sound good? Well, it's possible! We just have to be conscious and deliberate with our attitude and actions. Peace is not a season. We can each behave in the same peaceful and caring way all year long and we can do it without having a punch bowl in the office lunch room. We can do it by consciously choosing to treat others in a way that would improve every conversation, every meeting and ultimately every relationship. 

My offer to you is to remember your potential for having a very positive impact will go on long after the decorations come down. You can choose to be kind, generous and understanding every day. Hopefully, those whose lives you touch will pass it on to others, and that would truly be something to celebrate. 

May the blessings of this season carry on for you all year long! 

Thursday, July 4, 2013

My Heart's Stress Test

There has been some concern about the health of my heart after I experienced a couple episodes of chest pain last week. I'm extremely healthy, with no prior history of any problems and was surprised to be awakened in the middle of the night with sternal pain. If I hadn't just walked ten miles two days before, I may have overlooked the episode. Instead, I told my Doc, who ordered a nuclear stress test, so he could sleep better. 

Although, the official findings have not come back, the unofficial results have been reported below:

This sixty year old healthy, white female presented for her stress test on orders of her doctor. She noted the most stressful part of the procedure was going without coffee and chocolate for 24 hours prior to the test, and without food for eight hours. 

The test proved to be uneventful and routine even though she was not in charge of setting the speed or level of incline of the treadmill.  

An I.V. and wires were attached to the patient and she happily took off for her make believe hilly trek, while the physician, students and technicians looked on, watching the monitors and commenting on the heart's S-T segments, causing Kate to feel a bit like a lab rat in a laboratory. 

A short time into the procedure, it became clear that this subject's heart was quite large....not in a bad way, but in a way that has obviously allowed itself to be touched. There was also evidence that this big heart has reached out to touch many others. 

This heart also showed significant signs of healing from previous episodes of being broken. It was warm and soft and surrounded with bubbles, which were apparently secondary to a history of numerous joyful experiences. 

There were chambers filled with happiness and some with sadness, all of which showed signs of being cracked open many times in the past, allowing for all that it contained to be fully felt. 

The heart beat was strong and regular, with a bit of a jazz rhythm to it. (Nice to listen to and easy to dance to). 

There were some areas of mushiness....apparently secondary to watching quite a few You-Tube videos of dogs being rescued and kittens being cuddled by babies, as well as some touching marriage proposals. 

Although 60 years old, this heart specimen was quite young in appearance and opened easily when new experiences and people were introduced to it. 

Overall, this heart shows itself to be extremely healthy and resilient and is expected to continue to beat regularly until it stops. . . hopefully a long, long, time from now.