I’m on a journey to find my pot of gold at the end of my rainbow- it’s been fraught with torrential showers and occasional peeks of sunshine- but yes- for the very first time I’ve been able to wrap my mind around a very seemingly impossible goal that is now shouting out to me- ‘Impossible’ simply means I’m possible!
After a day crammed with taxing situations funneling through my queue, the most effective therapy involves picking up my guitar, strumming a few chords, and letting the lyrics flow from deep inside. I am magically transported to a different world where all tension and stress melt away. In these moments, a feeling of quiet serenity washes over me and life is good.
Sitting on the floor in our bedroom, back against the bed, guitar perched on my thigh, I look up to see my wife walking into the room. With a smile on her face she asks, “Do you take requests?” After issuing my standard disclaimer that any played song may not resemble the said requested song, she asks me to play The Rainbow Connection. The whosit whatsit?
I sheepishly admit that up until this very moment in my life, I had never really heard the song made famous…
55 year old Male, 229lb, 40″ waist, on Niacin to lower tryglicerides
Meat n potatoes kinda guy
Started Weight Watchers last year and lost 20lb all year and then plateaued.
Arbonne 30 day fit program start date: 2/25/13
4/25/2013 Update (8 weeks)
Off Niacin, 214lb – 38″ waist, 100% increase in energy, increased consciousness and heightened awareness about different foods and how they impact him! Enhanced sense of taste!
A lot of powerful thoughts and ideas flew around the room in today’s leadership class. I have a lot or reflect on and I’ll definitely discuss this at length in a future post. A statement that Peter Karoff, founder of The Philanthropic Initiative shared with us today that really resonated was “Be less ambitious and more intentional.” We talked a lot about values and what drives/defines us. He wanted to know if our values were aligned with our work and the trajectory of our careers! Very interesting questions. Lots of food for thought.
So how about you? Are your values aligned with your work? If not- what can you do to get aligned?
Sometimes I still hate to run, but love to have run!
I’ve been running since I was 7 years old. I ran track all through school – 100m sprint was my race. I HATED distance running… in 1998 I ran my very first 5K in Central Park, NY – it was the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure – and boy you would have thought I ran a marathon! I was so out of breath and so beat up after it that I hobbled around for days. See those days, I HATED to run, but loved to have run! I loved to say that I was a runner…never mind that what I was doing was just about putting one foot in front of the other at a slightly faster clip than walking. In fact, I have a cousin who used to be a Speed Walk racer and I bet she would have beat me, had we ever put that to a test!
So What Changed?
I discovered that I was running too hard. See as a sprinter you give it all that you’ve got right out the gate! You only have a short distance to run and so you run fast and hard! However that’s not sustainable – and sure you can train to be a fast distance runner (I wasn’t born with those Kenyan genes) – but for the average Jane wanting to run – sprinting long distances isn’t realistic. So I slipped into a more conversational pace and lo and behold, I developed a true love for running.
I call it my moving meditation – it’s the only time that I can guarantee I will slip into true mindlessness. I truly become one with the road under my feet, the sound of my own breath mingled with the tweets (birds, not 140 character posts) of the birds and the occasional car passing by provides me with the white noise I need to totally ‘zone out.’ I have some of my greatest a-has and longest periods of quiet mind during my runs.
So why suddenly am I talking about running? Well – intuitively you would think that running outside your comfort zone would bring you the greatest reward – and if you were training for the Olympics you would be absolutely correct! However, for those of us who want to run for the pure enjoyment or exercise value – the way to run is to be able to hold a conversation with yourself. Even at that pace, if you do it consistently enough – you WILL get faster. I have run at an average 10 minute mile for over a year, and suddenly, without warning – I have started to run 9 or even sub 9 minute miles. I am still amazed when my RunKeeper program announces an 8min 25 second mile! WOW! ME??? no way!! Yup! ME!!!
So apply this to anything in your life – do it consistently for long enough, sometimes even without thought of reward and the reward will come anyway!
This is the site of the Emerging Leaders retreat orientation – perhaps you can understand why it brought out such strong emotions in me — we are all matter and matter is energy and when we vibrate at an energy close to our natural state – we become ‘one with nature’ and from this place such amazing creativity emerges. I believe that is what I experienced there!
Last Friday I started what is going to be a 10 month long journey as a cohort of a leadership program called Emerging Leaders. This is designed to be a reflective, thoughtful, thought-provoking training with 15 of my peers to develop the next generation of leaders in the nonprofit sector.
An honor system confidentiality agreement dictates that I cannot share with you what others confide in that safe, sacred space, but I can and will certainly be sharing my journey here and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.
During an incredible orientation which started with a tour of a magnificent venue called Lotusland in Montecito, CA – a place obviously purposely chosen not just for the serenity and natural beauty but also for the inspiration that it provides you to just BE! It’s the place, where I’m told members go to just ‘Zen Out’ although I am not quite certain what that means. I imagine it means to just BE.MINDFUL.
One of the exercises we had to do was to think of a word, a phrase or a group of words that we felt defined us – after considerable thought the words I chose were
MIND.AFFIRM.ABUNDANT – and when I had to share with this group of complete strangers what this meant, I choked up! I couldn’t continue the first time and had to be allowed time to compose myself…I’m still working on why that happened…but when I did get to re-present to the group – here’s what I shared:
MIND – the most powerful tool at our disposal to create and have all that we ever want in this lifetime. It is our choice to use it or not.
AFFIRM: My dear coach and mentor Donna has dinned into me the power of affirmations – they work, even if you don’t believe them initially – they work! So create positive first person affirmations of EVERYTHING you want to attract or achieve in your life and don’t just say them – believe them…emote them!
ABUNDANT: If you employ your MIND to visualize and believe in your AFFIRMations you will fill your life with ABUNDANCE.