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The other day I was unloading groceries from my van and dropped a quart of fresh strawberries onto the garage floor. I wasted no time picking them up and heading to the kitchen. As I climbed the stairs, it occurred to me just how undramatic the incident had been. No words were mumbled under my breath, no cursing, not even a minced oath (egad!) It was with efficient, fluid motion that I simply retrieved the berries and continued with my day. The thought brings a smile to my face because, for me, this is a reliable indicator of personal progress.

I’m reminded of Wayne Dyer’s question: “When you squeeze an orange, what comes out?” Answer: “Orange juice … because that’s what’s inside.” And when I “get squeezed”–when I am under pressure–what comes out? Anger? Frustration? Sadness? Surrender? If I want to know “what’s inside” on any given day, I can observe my reactions to the small pressures: a dropped spoon, my misplaced car keys, the inevitable computer glitch. When those things happen, what comes out?

When I’m over committed and stressed, I may react with impatience or anger. I may direct it inward (poor me!) or outward (poor husband!). It’s shamefully true, I can be very mean to myself and others when I’m stressed.

Lately, though, I’ve been starting my days with purposeful solitude. I’ve been setting an intention for a day of flow, which requires from me a higher level of compassion, acceptance, and vigilance. Slowly I’m learning which choices move me in the direction I want to go and which ones drive me off course. There are many opportunities throughout my days to get a glimpse of what’s inside. That’s why I’m smiling now as I remember the spilled berries. I do have some peace and acceptance inside, and it’s affirming to see it emerging more often.

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These are the musings of the Earth-Ship, Coach Barbie. Her first-year mission: to explore strange new perspectives; to seek out new possibilities and new ideas; to boldly go where she has never gone before … physically, mentally, spiritually.

And so begins my first experience with blogging. [Some dramatic theme music here would be nice.] Am I going boldly? Probably not by Star Trek standards, but certainly by mine.

My last year has been a series of changes and firsts. Blogging is yet another first on the motley mental list that’s been begging for months now to be transferred to a lined legal pad. Not making a list is a first in and of itself. [A special thanks to my Mastermind Co-Creator Deb Eibner for pointing that out to me!]

I love lists. I have lists for everything:  for things to do today, things to do tomorrow, things to do next week, next month, next year; groceries to buy; books to read; places to visit; web sites to explore; people to invite to dinner. I even have a list–91 pages long–of every time I’ve worked out on my treadmill since May 16, 1998. Who would I be without my lists?

As a coach, I am constantly challenging my clients to try on new ways of thinking as well as new ways of being. I ask them to challenge their self-limiting beliefs and create for real the life they say they want. And with every challenge I offer to another, in my quiet, reflective time, I offer it to myself as well. How can I effectively ask others to step outside their comfortable ruts unless I know firsthand what it’s like to be ” listless”? Or at least to be one list short of a tome?

Over the next several weeks and months, I’ll be writing about my journey into a life of flow. It’s what I’ve said I want. It’s an important element of my vision for a joyful, fulfilling life. But flow requires being in the moment, being flexible, and being willing to set aside a list when using it feels like paddling upstream through rapids. I want to keep what works and gently allow the rest to fall away, without regret, resentment, or judgment.

I invite you to take this journey with me. Explore what it’s like for you to go places you’ve never been before, to think new thoughts, and to eventually become a whole new version of yourself. Feel free to post comments here, or contact me directly at Barbie@CoachBarbie.com … Oh, and be sure to  join my newsletter LIST!   😉

(You can sign up at the bottom of the home page at www.CoachBarbie.com)

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