Saturday, December 31, 2005


winter yin

my former yoga instructor who is also a good friend of mine recently sent an interesting article along with her monthly class schedule. it was about the natural cycle of the seasons and how the "holiday season" can often be very out of sync with the yin nature of winter.

the author of the article, which originally appeared in yoga journal, laurel kallenbach explains that:

Winter, the yin season, is a time for storing and conserving energy in the way a bear retains fat by hibernating, or a farmer stores food for the cold months ahead.
In agrarian cultures, people spend the shortest, darkest days indoors by the fire, eating warm, slow-cooked, nourishing food and sharing stories with their families.

unfortunately for those of us who celebrate holidays during the winter months, staying in touch with this yin mode of being can be difficult to do. and yet, as kallenbach goes on to say:

If you find quiet, more modest ways to celebrate the holidays, you'll stay in tune with the season and feel less need to release tension by overeating or rampant spending. You'll also have more time and energy to connect with close friends and family.

for most of us connecting with friends and family is ultimately what we hope to spend our holidays doing. deciding to be in a yin state during the winter months not only has the potential to make this happen, it also provides an opportunity for slowing down and recharging our batteries as we head into the new year.

what would it mean for you to bring more yin into your life?

i'd love to hear your thoughts about winter yin, feel free to post them here!

dream big,

Thursday, December 29, 2005


celebrations before resolutions

i've written before about the topic of taking time to note our successes, to review what we have done well and celebrate ourselves, but it seems particularly poignant to mention it as we approach the season of new year's resolutions.

now don't get me wrong, new year's resolutions are not all bad. in fact, i'm planning to dedicate a post to that topic as well. but often times resolutions can begin to take on a tone of "if i weren't such a loser i would my ideal weight, have the job of my dreams, speak spanish fluently". you get the picture, resolutions become an excuse to beat up on ourselves for all the ways we still don't "have it all together."

what we miss when we approach our lives from this perspective is all that we have accomplished, all the ways we do have it together and all the things we should be glowingly pleased with ourselves for.

in some ways a year is a long time, and in other ways as our busy lives move forward a year can seem like it has flown by in a matter moments. the fact is january was a ways back, and a lot has happened since then. the beginning of the new year provides a great opportunity to review.

what major events occurred in your life this year?

what five successes, big or small, did you achieve this past year?

what have you learned in the last year? how have you grown?

what are you most proud of from the past year?

before you start thinking about all the things you want to accomplish, tackle or figure out in the year to come, take stock of all you did in 2005 and take some time to celebrate!

i'd love to hear some of what's on your list of highlights from 2005, feel free to post them here!

dream big,

Sunday, December 18, 2005


what came first the value or the goal?

for many of us setting goals is great way to motivate ourselves to get things done, to achieve big things and go after what we really want. but what happens if in the midst of your determined pursuit of a goal you find yourself questioning whether you are ending up where you really wanted to be?

sometimes the answer is that our commitment to our goal led us to leave our values in the dust. jeremy's recent post over at lifestylism is a great reminder of the importance of making sure our values our driving our goals and not the other way around. he links to a post from superordinate which states:

We need to understand who we are and what we're about, and realize that values come first. If our goals are revealed to be out of sync with those values--or our understanding of those values changes so they are--we change the goal. Putting the goal down and committing to it makes it more likely to be achieved; however, we must understand we are committing to what the goal represents to us. The goal is a means to realize our potential and productively apply our values; it is not an end in itself.

one of the dangers of letting our goals supersede our values is feeling like we have failed at achieving a goal, when in reality we've simply outgrown that goal and continuing to live our values means moving in new directions.

thinking of our values as the foundation upon which are goals are built can help us to remember that our goals will only truly bring us success if they are in line with our values.

are your goals in line with your values?

what values do you want to make sure are informing your goals?

as always, share your thoughts...what helps you keep your goals on track and heading you towards living your values and finding success?

dream big,

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


best blog awards

i recently found out that my blog has been nominated for the 2005 best blog awards. if you are a regular reader and enjoy my blog, i'd love for you to head to the link below and vote for me. i'm listed as - let's dream big - in the best recruiting advice blog section. 2005 Best Blog Awards

i love knowing that my writing is having an impact and thank all of you for reading and spreading the word!

dream big,

p.s. curt rosengren, is also nominated for his fabulous blog the occupational adventure - he's in the best job seeker blog section. if you don't read curt's blog, you should definitely check it out. and if you do, you should vote for him!

Monday, December 12, 2005


inspiration in unlikely places

i recently picked up a copy of esquire magazine - a highly unusual purchase for me...i was lured in by the interview with bill clinton.

i'd read half of the article thanksgiving morning standing in the aisle of walgreens when i realized i needed to get to my mom's. so i checked out the cover of the magazine to see if there might be anything else interesting in it that would make it worth buying...well as it turned out it was their "genius" issue and was full of stories of people doing innovative and groundbreaking work. it seemed worth the risk so i bought it.

while the magazine is clearly aimed at men, and seems to make no outward claim of being a progressive men's magazine (i was dismayed when i flipped to the letters to the editor section and saw a picture of their cover from last month: kiera knightly half naked...ahh the objectification of women alive and well) many of the stories in this genius issue were interesting and inspiring.

one that i thought was worth highlighting here is about road trip nation. the basic premise is this: three college buddies all with 9-5 corporate careers essentially lined up for them to step right into following graduation decide to chuck it all and hit the road. they buy a huge RV, paint it bright green and start traveling the country interviewing folks about what they did in their twenties and where it landed them later in life.

as they say they on their website they wanted to "find their own road in life" and find people who had done the same. they have indeed done this, with road trip nation becoming a movement on college campuses across the US, a show on public television, and a book finding the open road - these guys have successfully begun carving their own path.

the part i find most inspiring in their project is that they have made it bigger than themselves. they've published scores of the interviews they've done on their website - all of which are interesting and informative, they have a grant program to help college students and recent college grads take trips of their own and they have created a space for people to share their roadtrip stories on the site. these guys are quite literally building a road trip community.

if you've ever wondered what path real people follow to get into a specific career field, i'd encourage you to check out the interview portion of their site. it's certainly not an exhaustive list, but they've got quite a few to peruse.

and as always, post your thoughts here. i'd especially love to hear about projects in the world that you find inspiring!

dream big,

Thursday, December 08, 2005


spiritual practice

i come from a very religious upbringing. my young life was deeply shaped by the religious community i was enmeshed in. since leaving this community at age 13, i have slowly been developing my own way of approaching spirituality.

recently, i've begun to learn more about the religion i was raised in, its historical underpinnings and the motivations it carried that i may not have fully grasped as a child. i've also set out to learn more about others who have shared my journey of being deeply involved in religion and then transitioning to a secular life.

i just finished listening to the audio version of a book called the spiral staircase by a woman named karen armstrong. armstrong was a catholic nun from the age of 17 to 24. the book is a story of the rebuilding of her life since leaving the convent.

one of the ideas in the book which has stuck with me is about the value of spiritual practice. armstrong describes spiritual practice as choosing to do things which further good in ourselves and others and remind us of the spiritual dimension of our lives. these things do not have to be what we might think of as "spiritual acts"...they might involve shoveling your neighbors sidewalk each time it snows, or calling your grandmother on the phone every sunday, or perhaps listening to music that you love every morning when you wake up.

as armstrong points out, in our modern world we often view religion and spirituality through the lens of reason and fact. we either want proof that something larger than our self exists or we see religion as requiring us to believe in this larger possibility on faith. for centuries however, spiritual practice has allowed people to connect with the divine in themselves and the universe - faith and reason aside.

these concepts simplify things for me in a way that i find tremendously helpful. demystifying spirituality and linking it to the regular practice of things i do, such as making a gratitude list each night before i go to bed, or doing yoga each morning before work helps me to feel like spirituality is accessible in a whole new way.

what role does spirituality play in your life?

what are your spiritual practices? what spiritual practices would you like to create?

as always, post your thoughts here.

dream big,

Thursday, December 01, 2005


what do you do?

it's a question that ranks at least in the top five of small talk questions. you meet someone, ask their name, maybe where they live, and then you ask "so, what do you do?" sometimes we are more direct and ask "what do you do for a living?" but often the shorthand will suffice, because we all know the expected answer to this question - the person is inquiring about your job, your livelihood, your means of making money.

now this is a great question for those of us who love our jobs, feel they are distinctly connected to our identity and truly enjoy talking about them. unfortunately, that doesn't cover a whole lot of us. and if you've had life experiences at all similar to my own you've had times in your life where answering this question can feel like a quiz you are sure to fail. what do i do? well let's see, i work part-time at a boring accounting job is that what your asking, or maybe you want to know about my blog and the book i'm hoping to write, or maybe your asking about the community building i do with people in their twenties...i do a lot and most of it doesn't make me any money nor can it be summed up into a simple job title.

answering this question often makes me feel like i should be more sure, more specific and more accomplished than i am. which quite frankly is ridiculous. the problem is not with me, it's with the question, or more accurately with the assumed answer. do you really want to know what my job is or do you want to know more about me?

oriah mountain dreamer's poem the invitation expounds brilliantly on this subject, i've written about the poem in previous posts. as the first lines state:

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

oriah's perspective is refreshing. and reminds me that i am not alone in my frustration with the "what do you do" question.

we clearly are in need of new questions, new ways of sharing the basics of who we are with others. i'm not saying that all of us would be comfortable telling a complete stranger what we ache for, (although some of us i'm sure would) but at least we could tell them something we love to do, or our favorite place in the world, or what kind of music inspires us. we could tell them about us.

i'd love to hear how you answer the "what do you do" question, or your proposal for new questions. post 'em here.

dream big,

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