Thursday, June 30, 2005
this moment is your life
coming home and returning to 'normal' life has been interesting. i've been missing the forests and the mountains. missing being on the trip. i've also been really cherishing being home. remembering all the good things about the life i have built for myself. as i was reflecting on these two distinct feelings this morning it occured to me that there is some 'thing' that i think i cannot experience unless i am traveling - some 'thing' that i've told myself is unavailable to me at home.
as i thought more about it i realized it's not exactly one thing, it's more a perspective. a relaxed, adventurous, awe-filled outlook on life. and i realized that if i can feel this on vacation, then i'm settling by not feeling it at home. i'm at home the majority of the time, and i love the experiences i have when i come from this perspective, so why not adopt it all the time?
a very wise friend once said to me in a conversation about life and how to make it what i wanted, "this is your life, kirsten. the things you did since you got up this morning, the places you'll go later today, this is it. this is your life." it has stuck with me ever since, that simple statement: this is your life. today, right now, this is it.
so i'm deciding to stop reserving my vacation perspective for traveling. i am choosing to be present, go for adventure and soak up the beauty and awe all around me - all the time.
what perspective or outlook do you reserve for 'special occassions'? what have you told yourself isn't possible in amidst the day to day grind? what if it was? what if you decided to make it happen? this is your life. start today.
Friday, June 17, 2005
learning to be
even more than the destinations though, i am thrilled with preparation for this trip. my mom and i are accompanying my brother and his girlfriend on the first 10 days of what will be in total a 45 day trek. as such, my brother did all the planning, all the reservation making, all the distance calculating - and as official family trip planner for the last 6 years i cannot tell you how amazing it has been for me to just let him take charge. i am so excited to be on a vacation where i am not the expedition leader.
this freedom has given me a chance to think in preparation about what i want out of the trip - why is that i'm going? i think it's a great question to ask ourselves in preparation for any event...a trip to the local pub or our annual review with our boss, but vacations are especially important time to review our expectations (in fact i know a coaching team that works specifically on designing vacations that work). because if we don't get our expectations out in the open for ourselves and our traveling companions up front, we will likely end up dissapointed or worse - really pissed off.
so my goal on this trip, to be. that simple. to be in the moment, whether that moment is in the car in middle of north dakota or climbing a mountain in olympic national park. i don't want to yearn for our arrival at our next destination or focus only on the summit of the mountain - i want to experience each moment fully.
i've realized lately that one of the big barriers to really being present and living each moment full out is trying to do 200 things in each moment. when we overcommit ourselves and end up running around all the time, we can't focus on the present moment because we feel like we are supposed to be in five places within that single moment.
so my mantra for my vacation - go slow and experience everything fully. if you are at all like me, i'd encourage you to try out this mantra or your own adaptation. give yourself permission to slow down and enjoy. say it to yourself through out the day, or write it on a post-it and put it somewhere you will read it regularly. while getting it all done often feels like the answer, in actuality choosing to be present is key to us really getting to live big.
hopefully my next post will come to you from an internet cafe in seattle, wa!
Monday, June 13, 2005
it's not surprising then that as we grow we find ourselves constantly comparing ourselves to others, or overhearing the comparisons of the adults around us and internalizing them. as young adults comparison can become a tricky sport and one that often leads us down the wrong roads for the wrong reasons.
it's so easy to look at our friends, relatives, people on tv, whoever is available and see what they have that we don't - a great partner, their own house, the right job, cute clothes...'it all together'. doing this comparing not only puts our focus on what we don't have rather than what we do...it's almost always based on our assumptions, which are more often than not just that - assumptions.
when we focus on comparison we often make decisions based on trying to impress others, or to achieve some happiness we perceive that those others have. which they often don't, and moreover if they do it's what makes them happy not what would make us happy. we sit envying our friends for their happy lives, while they sit envying us.
what if next time we found ourselves comparing, we stopped and took an inventory of what we are doing well. what we are pleased with about our lives. putting our focus on what do we have sets us up to go after the things we don't yet have. it puts our attention on our strengths and abilities rather than on what we are lacking.
i'd encourage you to make a list - 10 things in my life that i'm pleased with! hang it on your bedroom or office wall. give yourself a regular reminder. and when you find yourself comparing again reference the list, or make a whole new one!
Thursday, June 09, 2005
the website is about two balloonhat experts who decided to travel around the world making balloon hats for people and taking their photos. it was an exploration in joy, as they say "the goal was to show people all over the world laughing and having fun, and to emphasize the fact that all human beings are born with the ability to experience joy." i highly reccommend you check it out, in particular the what is laughing portion of the site.
i love hearing stories like this. stories of people following their dreams, as outlandish as they might seem. deciding to do something and going for it - in spite of the lack of support or even discouragement of those around them. it's often hard for others to fully see the value of our vision, but choosing to trust our thinking and go for it can yield amazing results. in this case, it is bringing immense joy and beauty to the world.
so what's your outlandish dream? what is the world missing out on by you not going for it? as always, i'd love to hear.
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
you are the foundation
the lesson that i have most recently been reminded of is that it is entirely logical and totally necessary for me to be at the center of my life. it seems obvious, after all who else is my life about if not me, but i've found that this proves a hard lesson to live. we have so many things to do in life, responsibilities to fulfill, dreams to follow, people to love, that it's easy to forget us. to forget why we are doing all of these things.
after leading a tremendously successful workshop in april of this year, i was keeping in the front of my mind the question "what do i want to get out of this?" each time i approached a situation, a project or even just an evening hanging out with friends, i'd ask myself this question. it yielded great results. but as the weeks passed the question slipped from my mind and the lessson lost its impact. until this week, during a coaching session working on some frustration i'd been feeling about my business i had the realization that i had become so focused on my goals i had lost track of myself. the aha hit me - i've forgotten the question, what do i want to get out of this?
on the surface this may sound like a selfish question, but i would argue that it's actually a generous one. asking myself this question as i was preparing for and leading my workshop allowed me to lead for me and thus bring more of myself and my brilliance to the group. asking yourself what you want out of a situation allows you to be more open, more real and brings more energy and creativity to whatever it is you are undertaking. by honoring yourself you are able to honor others.
putting ourselves at the center of our lives not only allows us to more fully enjoy our life, it is essential if we plan to accomplish our goals. because in everything we set out to accomplish, we are the foundation we are building on. and when we honor ourselves we ensure that this foundation is solid.
so check-in with yourself, what is that you want out of the experiences you have? ask yourself the question, what do i want to get out of this? and then go for it! as always, i'd love to hear what comes of it.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
i did a little browsing and came across this article on the top ten barriers to getting your dreams. it summed up perfectly where i was at, fearing the downward spiral into poverty while i compared myself with everyone around me and felt less and less capable and significant. yuck-a-roo!
after reading the article i glanced up at a quote i have hanging above my desk, which reads:
i have come to the frightening conclusion that i am the decisive element. it is my personal approach that creates the climate. it is my daily mood that makes the weather. i possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
it's a hard reality to argue with, especially when you are feeling completely crap-o-la and know that if you were to shift your perspective your entire world would shift with it. so i'm slowly changing gears and shifting my point of view.
it won't be an immediate shift because there is a definite prerequisite of releasing some frustration, probably some screaming and crying about how hopeless it all feels. (which, by the way, i highly recommend as you move through your own big bad barriers. it's great to realize that your perspective doesn't reflect reality but if the feelings are there and you don't feel them now - they'll be back!)
once that's complete i'll head towards reality, and the knowledge that i will get my dreams - obstacles be damned!