Ever found yourself standing in front of the fridge, definitely hungry, but with no idea what for? Eventually you shut the door and look in the pantry. Then move on to the cupboard. Then peer in the fruit bowl. Still nothing. So you stay hungry.
It’s a simple truth: you can’t fill a hunger you can’t name. It’s the same principle that I find myself saying again and again to my clients: You can’t change a habit you don’t know you have.
Which is why the first step – always – in changing old, annoying habits and patterns is awareness. Not fixing or getting harsh with yourself; simply seeing what’s there to be seen.
The amazing thing is that just noticing what’s going on in your head and thus, your life, starts the transformation process. (It doesn’t end there, generally, fyi.) It’s like the scientific principle that the very act of observing something changes the outcome. There’s magic in simple seeing.
I spent pretty much all of Mother’s Day in O’Hare airport. Well, 7 hours of it, anyway. Which gave me plenty of time to think about what it feels like when the universe’s timing doesn’t match up with your own desired pacing.
But first, let me back up a bit: My daughter Lil and I had traveled to Lake Geneva, Wisconsin to be a guest teacher at the all-out fantastic Camp Makearoo – a retreat for folks who want to make more space for creativity in their lives. I was thrilled to have an opportunity to take Lil along to this family-friendly affair: Our retreat host, Toni McClellan, brought two of her boys and keynote speaker Meagan Francis brought her four-year-old daughter, Clara. It was a dream to blend work, family, and fun. The above is a picture of me, talking the Campers through a visualization while Lil cozied up in my lap. Bliss.
My husband and I are in the process of selling our apartment in Brooklyn. It’s where we lived when we got married and had our two babies, in a gorgeous building in a great neighborhood. When we left the city, we thought we’d keep it long enough to be able to retire in the city. But then we bought a fixer-upper here in Providence (which I wrote about here). Which turned out to be a lot more of a “fixer” than an “upper.” (At least so far.) In other words: we needed a cash infusion.
The market is hot in Brooklyn. Way hotter than we anticipated. And for many other reasons, selling that apartment makes perfect sense. So we hired a broker, spiffed up the dusty corners, and had an open house.
At the beginning of April, we moved in to our new fixer-upper of a house, that is still pretty heavy on the fixer side of the equation. The living room windows still don’t have sills, the bathroom doesn’t have a mirror yet, the basement is still a field of boxes, the yard is still debris-strewn. And yet, we all love living here. Primarily because of the yard. Oh, the yard! <Swoon.>
For the first time in their young lives, my kids have ridiculously easy access to the outside, and they are out there as much as they possibly can be. Just last week, my 5-year-old daughter climbed her first tree–the enormous rhododendron that anchors our far corner. My son has been hiding rocks he smuggles in in his pockets all over the house. And the two of them have dug more holes than the gopher in Caddyshack. I love that I can say, “Outside until dinner!” It’s clear that spending time outdoors grounds my kids; they’ve been sleeping great, eating like champs, and we barely noticed any bumps in the road during the transition of moving. But I have also been craving a couple of ideas for ways I can use our newfound outdoor freedom to expand their wee minds. Enter Early Childhood Activities for a Greener Earth. Read more…
I feel I must warn you. I’ve been thinking lots of big thoughts this past week, and I’m feeling called to share them.
Primarily, I’m really present to the fact that life is precious, and finite. See, I’m just back from traveling to Alabama for the funeral of a high school friend. Teddy was a huge piece of my formative years – a hilarious, daring, larger-than-life piece. And he wasn’t just important to me; I was only one of the 2,000 people who came to his service — his wife, daughter, and mom among them. There were so many signatures in the guest book that they spilled over on to the inside covers.
I made the decision to fly home to for the services in an instant, and I’m so thankful I did. (Thanks, Hubs, for graciously single parenting while I was away.) Being able to visibly show my support for his family and spend time with others who loved him felt 100% right. What I didn’t expect was how great it would feel to be around old friends. It was like no time had passed. And yet, of course, it had. Almost 30 years since we graduated. And Teddy’s passing was a clear reminder that none of us know just how much time we have left. Read more…
Here is the recording of my recent teleclass, “The Most Important Two Minutes of Your Life.”
I hope it sparks an insight or an idea for you. If it does, please share it in the comments below! Sharing gives those thoughts power.
Video #3: What Matters Most
I’m all hopped up this morning on life itself. Three nights ago, my husband and I had a car accident that was – thankfully, blessedly – minor in the grand scheme of things and sheer terror in that actual moment. I’m still processing it, honestly, so I don’t want to go into it too much just yet. But the Cliff Notes version of my takeaway is this:
Life is precious.
We all know this deep down, but we need periodic wake-up calls to keep it front and center. I got mine three nights ago. I hope this post and the information it contains will be yours. Because we’ve all got important stuff to do while we’re here! Can I get an amen? Read more…
And over the years, that love of comfort has done me some disservices. For example, when I graduated from high school at the ripe old age of 17 and my wise Dad counseled that I take a year before going to college to travel and work. I didn’t even truly consider it. “Nah,” I said, in favor of a dorm room and a meal plan. Or the college summer my roommate invited me to drive cross country and go work on an Oregon resort. “Think I’ll stay home and lifeguard,” I replied.
Here’s something I’ve come to learn: Getting out of your everyday environment is crucial for your growth. See, the people we spend the most time with may love us and want the best for us, but on some level they’re invested in us staying the same as we ever were. It’s not malicious and something they’re likely not even aware of, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. A very big percentage of us are scared of change—change in ourselves, change in the world, and change in the people we love.
“Every thought we think is creating our future. ” ― Louise L. Hay
In the photo you see here, there is a large spaceship hovering menacingly in the sky while innocent people run for their lives. That spaceship is the approximate size of the sty I developed a few weeks back. Seriously. It was BIG.
Why am I telling you about my sty, you may be wondering. Well, before I tell you, I want to remind you about my newsletter from last week, where I talked about the cost of keeping your true thoughts locked away inside your head, and how exploring and sharing your truth will always get you exactly where you need to be. Because there is a direct parallel between my monster sty and my own personal truth.
“One of the greatest moments in anybody’s developing experience is when she no longer tries to hide from herself but determines to get acquainted with herself as she really is.” — Norman Vincent Peale
Raise your hand if you’ve bitten your tongue, decided not to think about something unpleasant, or otherwise kept your true thoughts from entering your consciousness or exiting your brain in the last 24 hours.
Oy. Will you please stop doing that? Let’s take a vow together right now: No more half-truths or tight lips. You up for it?
I know it’s hard to open your mouth and say what you really think. I know you were probably raised to be nice. You probably even learned some very powerful lessons when you were a kid about how saying what was on your mind was not cool, or even unsafe. I get it. Really. (I got the same message.)