Finding Your Doorway

When I was young, the noise was kind of loud.  What was worse is that I didn't understand it.  My escape was the pool.  With swimming, I could escape my mind and just be.  I could be in my body where it was at that moment.  Things were clean and clear.  Yes, there was a coach giving sets, kids both doing them and goofing off, but the beauty was in the being within the doing.  It doesn't mean that it wasn't hard or exhausting.  It doesn't mean I wasn't having fun or always making send offs.  What I was, was just me.  I was my deeper self in the pleasure of existence, playing out in the action of swimming, celebrating life.  It really is that simple.

The doorway to stillness, at that time, was swimming.  The muffled quiet under the water accentuated the "just-me" time with my body.  The constant physical movement in a rhythm based on the requirements of the set, brought me further into the stillness.  The set's challenge kept me present in the moment and in my body rather than in my head.  

I have found other doorways to stillness from a cup of tea, to prayer, to meditation, to a walk, to yoga, and even back in the pool where I feel most at home.  Stillness is merely a doorway to yourself.  It can feel scary because of the many thoughts we carry that have clung to us along the way rather than moving through our heads like clouds in the sky.  It can feel uncomfortable because starting something new is always a bit awkward.  It can feel painful, because your deeper self has been yearning for it and you haven't been listening.  Tears can come.  But just like anything, tears cleanse, awkwardness finds a rhythm and distance is found as we learn to observe thoughts.

Look for stillness in the quiet that brings you happiness or joy.  Stillness happens in movement as well as in a stationary body.  But, what it does require is permission giving.  Permission giving for time, permission giving to play in the awkwardness of finding rhythm, permission giving for failure as you walk your journey, permission giving to explore and just observe.

And, sometimes we need other's permission...a good friend to say, "take a risk, I know you will find yourself...what I have found is beautiful!"  If you need that friend, I am here...go for it!  Our shared humanity is found in the life journey that we each take.  Know that I am walking it with you! 

The Busyness Trap

Sometimes, my truth doesn't even make it to a precious 15 minutes.  I get caught up in the busyness.  And let me tell you...I have THE story...3 kids, different schools, different schedules, different issues, business building, and it goes on.  I can feel it even as I type, that draining exhaustive, "just keep the engine running a little longer to get more done" feeling.  But.  It doesn't, get more done.  With the increased busyness, the short term ego-satisfaction, comes the ache inside growing larger and my productivity slowing to a crawl.  

I have my trap and I fall in.  But I can also recognize it, feel it, hear it.  And then...I answer.  My answer is...nothing.  Some days, it's a full stop.  Other days, I listen to my desired routine that includes some space in my life for just being with myself.  These answers become my ladder back up and out.  Out into the sunshine of my life where I can breathe and feel.

A place of nothing is when we look to stop adding to our life and just be. Nothing is the water for the soul allowing space to quench a thirst that may have been neglected without understanding why.  If you stop to ponder, even for a few moments, isn't the idea of doing nothing...you know, putting down the laundry, the report, the list of calls, deeply tantalizing?  

If you are cramming your life full of dates, responsibilities, activities and yet feeling that it is not quite hitting the mark, consider listening to that quiet sense inside.  It is your nudge that your answers are not quite fitting.  THAT is your beginning.  Allow that initial sense to be your starting point of awareness.  Adding the space of nothing enables that beginning place of understanding room to grow.

I allowed my space of nothing to grow by just beginning to get to know myself alone!  It began by sitting down, in undisturbed time, with a cup of tea.  What could you do to just be with your self?  In fact, try introducing yourself to yourself and have a cup of tea, go for a walk, watch the fire burn in your fireplace.  What is it like just to feel your body, consciously feel your chest rise and fall with your breath?  Start there and just see what happens for a few minutes a day.  You might just find an amazing companion in yourself!

6 Ways To Recover From The Holidays

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Congratulations…you have survived—the holidays, I mean!  Survived food, relationships, gift exchanges, weather, travel and it is time for recovery!  Time to get back to the person you recognize in the mirror each morning rather than perhaps the one that your mom is clinging to at the age of 9 or your dad at the age of 17.

Getting back on stride, your stride can be easy and quick as quick as turning a corner.  Honestly, though there is a prerequisite: cut yourself some slack and recognize you are one of the billions on this planet –learning, growing and releasing along the way.  Period.

So, how do we get back to where we were and continue our forward movement? 

#1:  Breathe.  Bringing yourself to your present comes with no price tag and is always with you whether in your car driving to work, standing in line at the grocery store or sitting at your desk.  You may have heard this before, but now, it is time to try it.  Take your awareness to your breath.  Feel your body take in the oxygen, entering your nose and filling your lungs.  Feel the release on your exhale as your lungs collapse and the air leaves through your nose.  Do it 3 or more times with awareness.  As the air enters, does it feel cool or tickle?  As your lungs expand, how does your body feel as your chest widens or your shoulders rise up, just a little?  And, as you exhale, does one of your nostrils feel a bit clogged?  Do you feel the contraction of your chest or your shoulders releasing?  Whatever you experience is your personal moment of awareness of presence.  It is not complex, but it is deeply and fundamentally real in your body.  Embrace that reality for a few moments.  You may begin to find your door to a bit of heaven.

#2:  Do nothing!  Enter and discover your stillness, either in movement or non-movement.  Crazy, right?  Yet stillness can be found in rhythmic movement as well.  Go for an early morning walk.  Or, find your place of stillness watching the movement of the branches.  Just be with yourself for 15 minutes.   This can be a recharge.  It really is just what it is. 

#3:  Clouds in the sky.  As the thoughts roll in with the stillness, just notice.  Let them be like the clouds in the sky-they are there and are moving.   Notice them, even name what you see – anger, anxiety, hope, fear.  Let them continue to move on by; you do not have to claim them just because they happen to be in your head.   Your mind will not be used to being watched. 

#4:  Take out the garbage.  Ok.  Stuff comes up.  Release what is simply not yours.  What stuck to you as you left time with family, friends?  You know what it is.  Simply write it down and dispose.

#5:  Keep the gold.  Time with family and friends can offer great gifts of understanding, wisdom, forgiveness, challenge, humor, and memories.  Give yourself the space to integrate what you would like to integrate, write a memory down and keep it in a special place-a journal or memory box, or family album.

#6: Name your daily play!  Yes, this is your game of life.  Claim your rules, the teammates you want to be with, the competitors that you want to challenge you, the coaches that lift you up and guide you forward.  Life is impermanent and holds connection to the eternal.   So claim your play as you move with your learning and growing.

Life is messy.  But in the mess you will find fun, creativity, learning, growing, letting go and well, living.  Hold it loosely with the other few billion people hanging around with you…and, Happy Every Day!


Need Help Recovering? We're starting the Career Joy Journey: A Course On Claiming Your Path With Eyes Wide Open beginning January 21, 2015. 

As we embrace the New Year, we create the opportunity to open to our deeper self, claim the mosaic of our life and discover our journey to joy.  While those ideas seem quite lofty and maybe overwhelming or untouchable in the everydayness of life, why should our journey be anything less!?!

This journey is the finding of your joy as you learn to ground yourself in your deeper beauty of yourself that can enable forward movement.  Come, dive in and play for 6 weeks! You and a small group of women will discover their journey to joy in the “career” of their life.  Career, in its broadest sense, is the course of action a person takes over a lifetime.  Tapping into your joy enables the process of opening yourself to this much bigger, deeper place of career. 

5 Bad Habits You Need To Quit In Order To Claim Your Joy

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

While this isn’t “hide-and-go-seek” per say, your own personal rendition seems to be playing quite nicely in your life…you hiding from the very life you are seeking--a life standing firm in joy. Imagine that!  Check yourself to see if any of these resonate…

#1.  When you pause for a half second (forcibly for a bathroom break) you feel exhausted from head to toe, but the list is so long that well, you will look for a slow down period sometime next month!  In a moment of midnight honesty, it is feels like you are slipping down a drain with no way up. Join my Career Joy Journey to learn how to capture the time, your time, right now.

#2.  If you were to stop and examine where you mentally spend much of your day, you find that it is spent thinking about the “What if’s”, the “Shoulds”, the “If Only’s” and any other fear, hope and fantasy that crosses your path (which is, on average, every few minutes.)  It feels comfortable, but it comes with a numbing sensation and empty feeling that you don’t quite understand. 

#3.  Any time you start to want something…you know, really ache for it, voices surge in screaming quite loudly that “you’ll never get it, so why try?!?” or “You are just being selfish” or better  yet, “You are simply not good enough!”  Each voice keeps you safely tucked in tight, but can you breathe? I can teach you how to silence this voice. Better yet, how to hear it, but hold it separate from yourself while you embrace your joy.

#4.   The blaming of your mom, your dad, your older brother, your younger sister, even the mail carrier coming in the morning rather than the afternoon feels much more comfortable and safe than the possibility of accepting responsibility and opening you into your own creative power.

#5.    You are absolutely clear that 2016 will be the year of moving forward with your big idea, as soon as you get a little more financial security under your belt.  That said, you have been saying it for the past five years and you never seem to get any closer…let 2015 be the year you make the change. Let me help you claim your joy, in your life and career in 2015!

All these reasons…no, let’s be honest, bad habits must be faced to claim your joy.  These five habits hold you back from playing in the worlds of stillness, truth, desire, creativity and risk.  Yet each of these worlds is a natural human state of play deeply desired for your growth and development.  Open the door to yourself by stepping into yourself.  You will find that JOY has been there all along! If you're ready to take the first step toward becoming the you - that you're supposed to be, click here to join my Career Joy Journey - and learn how to quit these bad habits and start living the life you want.


Need Help Shedding Bad Habits? We're starting the Career Joy Journey: A Course On Claiming Your Path With Eyes Wide Open beginning January 26, 2015. 

As we embrace the New Year, we create the opportunity to open to our deeper self, claim the mosaic of our life and discover our journey to joy.  While those ideas seem quite lofty and maybe overwhelming or untouchable in the everydayness of life, why should our journey be anything less!?!

This journey is the finding of your joy as you learn to ground yourself in your deeper beauty of yourself that can enable forward movement.  Come, dive in and play for 6 weeks! You and a small group of women will discover their journey to joy in the “career” of their life.  Career, in its broadest sense, is the course of action a person takes over a lifetime.  Tapping into your joy enables the process of opening yourself to this much bigger, deeper place of career. 

4 Helpful Tips for Practicing Stillness

Source: Flickr

Source: Flickr

Stillness must be THE MOST DIFFICULT ACTIVITY ON THE PLANET!  A bit dramatic, but at least you get my point and, perhaps, where I began.  I would say this has been an on-and-off battle for well, along time.  It simply felt uncomfortable and sometimes boring and, it certainly didn’t live into my fantasy of the peaceful rising into my desired state of nirvana!

Hopefully you are having a good chuckle at my expense, because I certainly do!  We all begin somewhere!  Has my experience changed in the on-again/off-again relationship?  Humbly, I offer a yes.  I am walking the long road, but it was never meant to be a sprint.

I have found a little more patience, a little more laughter at myself, a little more acceptance.   And, it is also sometimes boring  (especially when fears creep in desiring to hold me tight) and can get physically achy (especially when I am tired and I recognize that I hadn’t been listening to myself along the way.)  But what I have come to lean into is that it is my journey.  It is beautiful carrying a slice of peace as I roll through the turmoil and busyness of each day. 

So, what helped, and what continues to help?  Here are a few tips from the Forever Beginner…

  • Give yourself permission to start where you want to start.  Perhaps stillness looks like a cup of tea, or the watching of the tree branches moving in the wind, or a walk in the silence of the falling snow.
  • Let it be what it is in all of its awkward beauty.  It won’t seem so beautiful at first, but as you get to know it by just being present in the stillness, the love for, well, yourself will grow.
  • Forgive yourself when you “fail” (whatever you have made that mean) and look a little deeper to see what gift might be waiting in that place to open.
  • Claim a discipline of time, both the amount to begin your stillness as well as the time on the calendar to hold as sacrosanct.  You are worth it.  (And offer forgiveness when you blow it, because you will, and you will re-enter again with even greater humility, laughter and understanding.)

Enjoy walking this journey.  Because, the beautiful part is, you are walking deeper into yourself just in the act of being.  Presence offers an amazing satisfaction that quenches the deepest of thirsts. 


Need Help Practicing Stillness? We're starting the Career Joy Journey: A Course On Claiming Your Path With Eyes Wide Open beginning January 21, 2015. 

As we embrace the New Year, we create the opportunity to open to our deeper self, claim the mosaic of our life and discover our journey to joy.  While those ideas seem quite lofty and maybe overwhelming or untouchable in the everydayness of life, why should our journey be anything less!?!

This journey is the finding of your joy as you learn to ground yourself in your deeper beauty of yourself that can enable forward movement.  Come, dive in and play for 6 weeks! You and a small group of women will discover their journey to joy in the “career” of their life.  Career, in its broadest sense, is the course of action a person takes over a lifetime.  Tapping into your joy enables the process of opening yourself to this much bigger, deeper place of career.