Following my murmuration

Today I went somewhere, physically and spiritually.  I went for two reasons and I stayed for only one.   What I’m experiencing in my life is beautiful, joyful, and at times…not overwhelming…but more…mind boggling.   And I have no one to share all this with.  I can write about it, mention it in my talks, but that’s not the same as what I experienced this morning.  Not usually, but sometimes I’m SO LONELY because there are no people in my life just to sit with in it or casually speak with about it all.  But today I followed my murmuration and sat with people who share in all this…whatever all this is for them.  They have a place where they can physically go to be with each other.  And, I didn’t realize how much I crave this.

And by the way, I’m not really ever alone.  I always have the support of something that’s always with me, supports me, guides me, and loves me unconditionally. But being with people who might understand what I’m feeling is important too.

Interesting to me, the other reason I went there I’m no longer interested in pursuing.  This was a gift today and I don’t desire anything else.  And today was a good day to show up.  I’ve had a rare bee in my bonnet yesterday and the day before, still buzzing around even this morning as I started my day.  It’s about wanting to spend more time writing, to noodle with a talk I’ll be giving, to research leads and look into some legal things I need to look into as I create this new idea I have to bring people together to share their inspiration.  But, instead, I spent the past two days doing what I felt I should do… favors, errands, cooking (but not cleaning) and I was full out annoyed.  It’s becoming more and more important that whatever I’m doing I’m doing with as much joy as I can.  And I desire to allow for more time each day to play and work on my dreams and ideas, even longer meditations if I feel like it.

I exhaled when I entered that room today and it felt like that bee buzzed off somewhere else.  I allowed myself to show up today as just me, just someone who wanted to feel all that love, and it was a very nice thing indeed.  I’ve always run from churches.  I don’t like repeating someone else’s thoughts, someone else’s words, believing a belief just because someone wrote it down a gazillion years ago.  This part of my life I’m finally love-2111827_1280learning to speak my own words, uncover my own beliefs, to follow my heart, and to allow myself to be seen rather than hide.  That hasn’t changed.  But after following my murmurations today I see that I can have community without losing who I am, without compromising my own unique beliefs.  I can have all that, feel a community of tremendous love…stay afterwards, get (and give) more hugs, and eat chocolate chip cookies.  Murmurations are a good thing to follow, and I probably follow them more than I realize.

TMI

When I share with people that I give talks, I also share that I’m nervous about public speaking.  Totally TMI right?  However, even Adele tells people she’s scared when she sings to crowds, sometimes she tells the crowds just before she begins another song.  “I love you but you really really scare me”, is what I remember she said.

But I’m not Adele.  Publicly saying I’m nervous, especially while delivering my 30-second elevator speech, isn’t a winning strategy for attracting people to hire me.  You’d never know, at one time, I used to work in advertising.  Note to self:  must self-promote better.

I have other fears…like Copperhead snakes.  Yikes, they are a bad ass snake.  They don’t slither away from us, they hunker down, appearing to be a confident and secure snake…a good role model for the rest of their peeps.   Because we have a lot of them on our property, I wear my gardening boots to prevent a nasty problem.  Eazy peazy right?   But…being seen by ooodles of people?   Not so eazy peazy.  Sometimes I’m not as bad ass as I’d like to be.  microphoneEveryone knows that many people are nervous about public speaking.  That doesn’t help me!  And that very unhelpful factoid doesn’t mean that particular fear isn’t something for me to look at.  For me, it’s about how I feel about myself.   That I am not enough and I’m afraid you’ll see that too Way more challenging than dealing with Copperheads. 

But over the years, I worked on I’m not enough.  I learned to be more aware of what I was thinking about myself and the words I chose.  Over the years, I released many negative beliefs about myself, replacing them with way healthier ones.  But never skipping the valuable, but sometimes highly uncomfortable step, of looking inside of me to understand where all that came from, how it started, and why I kept believing it.  The more I understood, the more I let go of one limiting belief at a time.  If I do say so, the result was totally worth it.

If this fear is showing up again at this time, it’s because I’m stepping up to bigger opportunities and allowing more of me to be seen.  However, the art of looking and releasing is way easier and faster now, because I know to always look inside of me and to learn from that place.  Throughout the remainder of my life, I plan on acting on many of my dreams.  And if I’m not good enough shows up again?…  I keep looking until those beliefs completely disappear.

Ah Networking…Parlay This…

For whatever reason I woke up in the middle of the night and entertained myself by watching the stars outside our bedroom window, reviewing my day by reliving the networking lunch I attended.  I somehow composed in my head a much funnier blog post about networking than what I’m typing here.  But how nice that I was cracking myself up last night.  Funny or not, I had an epiphany about networking, or better yet…let’s call it…reaching out and connecting with others.

Creating my own vision and ideas requires that I also create the follow-up to those ideas.  That means it’s time to leave my awesome sunny house, pull myself away from watching the bird feeder activity, shake some hands and parlay connections to speaking opportunities.  Opportunities won’t drop into my life and bite me on my cute…well, you get the idea.  I have to take some action in order for the results to meet me where I am.

Therefore, yesterday I attended the second networking event in two weeks and I haven’t done that since the days I worked in the Corporate world.  Thankfully, I’m no longer mingling and talking about how I grow a company’s ROI through my strategic marketing plans.  Now I’m talking about our humanity, something 30 years ago I never would have guessed I’d be talking about.  Something that’s not the least bit mainstream and boy did I ever feel like I stuck out at this luncheon.  After my initial Sesame Street song moment…which of these things don’t belong?, when I took a breath and chilled, I realized I’m actually really great with sticking out because I can’t make much of a contribution if I water down the thought provoking ideas I’m sharing.

As I listened to the realtors, the beauty product and healthy food supplement sellers, those in fashion, IT, photography, floral arranging, marketing, travel, fitness, various support services, I realized we’re not so different after all.  pexels-photo-70292Just like me, it seemed like every person that attended that luncheon desires a meaningful life.  They either genuinely already feel good about what their work is or want to.  Purposeful work is a heartfelt desire but often isn’t pursued for a gazillion reasons.  When I was ready to move into what I’m doing now I had to let go of don’t attract attention to you.  And here I am, an introvert networking to find public speaking opportunities where I’ll be seen and heard.  Introverted or extroverted, as we create connections we all show our vulnerabilities as we allow each other to see where we are in our personal process.  I’m sure I wasn’t the only person feeling awkward.

Ok, so in the past, networking has been nowhere near as fun as a walk in the woods, music, painting, taking photographs, or going to the dentist. But my new intention is to have fun with it because it’s about connecting with others and isn’t that what my work is all about?  And I can use networking to practice telling what I do in a New York minute (fat chance), assist someone with one of my contacts, parlay it into a newfound acquaintance, or let it lead to a sweet speaking opportunity.  I’m good now at allowing for and enjoying what’s within to assist me.  Now it’s time to get out of my own way and gratefully let it also assist, through people.

When the glitter wore off

My husband is an expert gift wrapper.  No detail is left undone…the edges are crisp, the bows are perfect, you don’t see any tape because he hides it and there’s not one ounce of ugly.  I however, am a disaster, and the final product looks as though I left my glasses in another room while I wrapped it.  One Christmas, back when we were dating, I wanted to impress him and wrapped his presents in thick gold glitter paper and silver glitter paper.  Tasteful not tacky, I promise.  I bought the paper at a lovely stationary store but they neglected to tell me that it’s best to use special tape because the paper is really really thick and the regular tape won’t stick to glitter.  Yup, the wrapping popped open, many many times before the official gift opening. Between the gifts unwrapping themselves and the teensy weensy little glitter falling all over my floor, furniture, and getting stuck to my face…the novelty wore off.  I still have that paper tucked away in a closet and I tried it once more for a wedding present.  And you know what?  My husband always chuckles when he sees my wrapping jobs, he thinks it’s cute…I didn’t need the glitter, he loves my kid-like wrapping.

My interest in spirituality began with looking for the glitter, not that it registered as that at the time.  I searched high and low for information, answers, the best teachers, and the more woo-woo the more glittery they were to me, and the more interested I was.  Even though I spent a lot of time with the glitter I don’t feel I wasted my time because it led me to learning that wasn’t what I was looking for after all.  It took many years but I found what I was looking for and it’s way simple.

 

It’s different for everyone.  What one person needs, another doesn’t.  What another person resonates with, someone else may feel empty with.  One person’s unfulfilling glitter experience might be a life changing experience for another.  The important thing is remembering that as we look around to enjoy ourselves, don’t take it too seriously because lightheartedness assists us more than anything and, anyway, we already have what we’re looking for we just have to open to it.

Against the Odds – Me & The Bosun’s Chair

For this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge

img_2670Our halyard…the line at the top of our sailboat mast was stuck.  One of us needed to be hoisted up, alongside the mast, in the bosun’s chair to determine the problem and fix it.  “Boaty” was I and very comfortable on the water.  Grew up on boats, power boats from antique to speed and we also had a little Sunfish sailboat.  However, I was just learning how to sail on larger sailboats.  And this is a subject for another blog post that I’ve been putting off…sailors…jeeesh.

Anyway, back to my thighs, I mean the bosun’s chair.  This is the against the odds part…you see I was nominated as the person most likely to be easily hoisted up the mast to snap a few photos and bring them back to my not yet husband so he could figure out what the problem was.  Or, better yet, while I’m up there, fix the problem.  Yeah right.  So we were still dating then, not yet married, and he was so concerned for my safety and a bit nervous (this I didn’t pick up on) that when I was ready to come on back down, he forgot to release the clutch that holds the line in place…meaning unable to bring me down and he didn’t know why.   Now he thinks the bosun’s chair is stuck.  So he sends up another line, on another winch (I sure hope someone out there knows what I’m talking about) for me to clip into on the chair so he can bring me down on that line.  Oi. We politely and calmly shout our conversation to each other since we’re not near to each other and need to hear these important instructions and responses.  This means I have to first clip into the new line and un-clip from the other one…never mind just know it was dangerous if you’re me.  Totally unncessary of course but we don’t know this yet.  I clip, un-clip, and whatever.

A nice person swims over from the sailboat near to us.  “Is everything ok?“he asked.  My husband a bad ass sailor, used to race, can fix an engine or any mechanical problem like nobody’s business of course says, “Thanks, everything’s fine” as the bosun’s chair is now digging into the underside of my thighs.  I wave happily to the nice person.  Yup the @#!&* chair experience is wearing on me now but I’m in love and life is good.  Wave, smile, no worries here.  Against all odds I return to lower altitudes and my not yet husband tells me he realized he forgot to release the clutch…oops I guess I was a bit nervous having you up there, he says.  He gets big points for telling me he was so nervous and forgot to do something kinda basic.  You see why I married this man?  The circulation returns to my legs and we settle down to cook and watch the stars before heading back the next day.

As I’m writing this he comes into my office to show me a bluebird box he just made.  God I love this man.

 

I Know More Than Squat Now

I didn’t know squat before about managing my awareness, my energy, or about how I was creating (usually creating what I didn’t want to experience).  There was me controlling things by making them happen because I could….Miss Organized.  And there was the philosophy of things just happen.  Life happens.  Well I feel totally differently now as experienced by everything I’m learning.  I’m learning to use my intuition rather than take a velvet hammer to my life and pound it into it’s organized place.  I’m learning to catch myself before I go down the various rabbit holes of discouragement.  Then there’s creating.  Had zero knowledge that I create what I experience from my thoughts and habits, among other things.

There are ideas I’m creating and working on, there are interesting people I’m meeting, and my every moments, large and small, are lovely.  I can’t wait to walk down the hall to my office every morning to get to work on some of my ideas.  What’s funny is I’m waaaayyy more open and lighthearted.  I’m effusive but hopefully not annoyingly so.  If I really like a business I’m dealing with I send them an email and tell them all the things I like about them and thank them profusely.  Then I wonder if it might not be a good time to ground myself.  I wrote two thank you notes two times last week and wasn’t the least bit embarrassed for myself.  One of the “gushees” even sent me a nice extra discount for future use.  More reason to gush.

My feeling is that lightheartedness is contagious.  img_9122Yesterday I watched my husband walk over to the paint person at Lowes and told her how nicely stocked the paint can aisles looked and asked her if she did it.  Ok random example he might wish I didn’t share, but point being, she lit up with a big smile. Yesterday I went to a vegan class at Whole Foods (yes friends my face will get even thinner…again…bite me…this time I’m sticking with it) and a woman asked me you probably get this all the time, has anyone told you that you look like Jill Biden?  Happily I said, only one other person. THANK YOU, I LOVE Jill Biden and then I added and Joe, and Michelle and Barack.   And then I thanked her for not telling me I looked like Steffy Graff as the checkout person at Safeway told me.  Steffy is awesome I just don’t think I look like her.  You’re looking at my photo aren’t you and thinking I don’t think she looks like Jill Biden.  Whatever.  I don’t think I look like Jill either but how nice of the woman to say so.

I have no idea where I’m going with this other to say that I believe the world shifts one tiny moment at a time.  When we feel nice we behave nicely.  I’m personally experiencing joy and inspiration as a result of what I choose to focus on, where I place my thoughts.  I know way more than squat now and I’m enormously benefiting from it.

Trying to Resist Vulnerability

This week’s WordPress word prompt is resist.   Something I know about because I do it every day, several times a day.  Recently I’m trying to approach my passion more like a job.  I’m organizing my time to reach out to various organizations to see if I can share with them what I’ve learned.  To share about living with more awareness and working with a higher energy and how it assists me so beautifully.  To show just how dramatically one’s life can shift as a result to beginning looking at oneself and practicing new habits, behaviors, and thoughts. And how I feel this directly impacts the world.  I’m good with all of that…just not the reaching out part.  I feel vulnerable.

There are many incredible organizations out there and all it takes is contacting them.  But I resist.  I know I’ll be rejected sometimes and I know some will say ‘yes’.  And, still I resist.  Even though I’ve been personally encouraged to step boldly forward and assured that I’m in alignment with my purpose, I still hold back.  Mostly I resist because I’m stuck on how to reach out.  What do I say?  How do I frame myself?  What are my first words of introduction?  Ugh, please don’t tell me to create an elevator speech.  I will not come up with an elevator speech.  No way.  That’s ok for my previous career but not this new direction I’m so excited about. Nope, uh-uh, no.  My words can be spontaneous.  However at this point, spontaneous means tripping over my words.  More vulnerability.

I hold back by running an errand, writing this blog post, taking measurements for a chair, looking for tile, looking in iPhoto for our best photos and ordering them so we can frame and hang them in our hallway.  All fun things to lose myself in but none come close to the passion I feel about my work.  I have abundant freedom where I can take the occasional break to go outside and enjoy the weather, even paint a little, or make a call, but then I really do need to go back to stepping boldly forward or I’m not creating what I’m excited about.  I literally feel myself being assisted and encouraged.  My guidance is so patient but, gratefully, it’s also persistent.  Get out there.  Be bold.  As Nike would say…Just Do It.  Have you noticed that many great brand taglines are also great inspirational sayings?  I can’t get away from marketing for a minute.  The Army beat me to Be All You Can Be.  The Army…jeesh!  But I digress.

Every time I phone someone, drop by their business to drop off my information, or send a proposal via email, I place myself in a vulnerable position and feel both excited and uncomfortable.  I don’t know about you but being vulnerable is not something I learned to be good at in my last career.  I didn’t get to practice that much.  Can you imagine my quarterly review at AOL where one of the guys suggests…Sara, I’d like to see just a little more vulnerability from you in our weekly team meetings.  Ha!  LOL as we used to say.  But strangely enough my vulnerability complements me if I let it.  It’s me.  It’s in my story, it shows up as I allow myself to be seen…it’s the parts of me that are kind, caring, thoughtful, compassionate, also awkward, unsure and afraid.  How ’bout I resist less, Think Different (thank you Apple), and pursue my dream, vulnerability and all.

Dave's Maine photos copy