Recently, I received some frustrating news and I’ll admit, my first reaction was to get angry and start to respond full of snark, potentially destroying a relationship. Luckily, I thought better of it and decided to talk myself out of firing off an angry email.
So how can we honor the emotions we feel and yet not let them control us? I can’t tell you I have all the answers, but I think a good first step is to pause. Just…wait….for a moment and breathe through it. Feel the emotions without reacting to them and then realize you can choose how to respond. That right there is powerful and especially important if we feel like we are a victim of someone’s actions.
OK, so what’s next? Well, if you’re anything like me, you then decide to just seethe for a bit and complain to anyone who will listen! But what does that do for you? Does it make you feel better? I know I certainly don’t feel any better! I start to revel in the victimhood and feel worse! I’m reminded of one of the Keller Williams training course, BOLD, laws “complaining = garbage magnet.”
I’m not a fan of “The Secret” and the idea that you can magically manifest what you want by thinking positively and doing nothing. I do believe that like attracts like and our brains adore patterns. As soon as you start complaining, everything else seems terrible too. And guess what? You attract other complainers! So complaining just leads to more complaining and puts you on a downward spiral.
So what can we do that’s more effective? I think the answer is we look for the lesson. We look for something we could do going forward to prevent it from happening again. Is there some way to take the lesson and even benefit from it? Can you maybe help others avoid it? Is it a wakeup call to make a change? It may not make everything all sunshine and roses for you, but it might just make some lemonade.
So it’s been a few months since I’ve posted last. It’s been an incredible adventure involving climbing actual mountains as well as mental ones.
In June it was Germany for my boyfriend’s family celebrations and then Italy where we had delicious Brunello di Montalcino wine, made with the lush Sangiovese grape, paired with freshly shaved truffles on everything. Simply divine!
After being back for a few weeks I found myself in Portland, Oregon. The waterfalls and mossy green surroundings are just beautiful! While I was there, I had a lot of time to think. Things were great, but something was off. I was juggling too many things at once and something had to give. Well, actually it turned out to be a few things.
You see, I believe in being fully present. I believe in giving 100% to whatever your current focus is. I also believe in course-corrections. Sometimes it’s harder to explain the change of direction to others than it is to actually make the change itself. And yet, being true to oneself is so very important. After all, it’s your life. Only you can decide what’s best for you.
So I took Oprah’s advice and got “very still.” I asked myself what was it that I’d do if I wasn’t afraid? What opportunity had I thought of that always got shot down out of fear of failure? And then, just as I’ve encouraged you to do, I started. I took one baby step, then another, and then a giant leap! I can tell you I don’t regret it!
Shortly afterwards, I hopped on a plane to Iceland with my boyfriend, Kevin. We rented an RV and drove around the entire Island in 17 days. It was incredible! Iceland is a rugged and wild country, with friendly people, majestic waterfalls at every turn, and beautiful horses just waiting for you to stop and pet (read: feed) them. I’m in love! As soon as I got back I started planning our next Iceland adventure!
If you like hiking and nature, you absolutely have to go. You won’t be alone, though! It’s hugely popular with Americans and Germans, but the further from the Golden Circle you get, the more remote and wild it is. If you’re a photographer, what the heck are you doing NOT going? It’s a photographer’s paradise!
I made sure to plan all our evening stops at the most beautiful place I could find for star/ Aurora Borealis photos. We went in September and every clear night we saw the northern lights! (Of course, it was only 5 out of 17 days…)
I will warn you, though, that they have changed their laws about camping recently. You can no longer just camp anywhere. However, we found there are a lot of campsites and frankly, if you’re in the middle of nowhere, no one cares, anyway. The closer to the Golden Circle you are, the more knocks you’ll get on the door at 10pm telling you to leave. Of course, midnight is when the stars are out so if you just explain you’re taking star photos and they see all your gear, they should leave you alone.
Let me know if you have any questions about driving around Iceland. I learned a lot on this trip and I’d be happy to help you avoid some of the struggles we had. And now, more pictures from Iceland courtesy of my incredibly talented boyfriend, Kevin. (You can find his page and and even order prints at http://www.PhotoKirk.net All these pictures belong to him.)
You know it’s easy to say “do more of what makes you happy” and that’s not necessarily bad advice. The world would probably be a more peaceful place if we did that. But this means different things to different people. For some, it means $83,000 a year in income, for others, it’s a sleeping kitten, or an amazing trip to an exotic location. Maybe for you, it’s all the above and then some. Most of us have long lists of things that make us happy.
But what if you don’t really know what makes you truly happy? What if you have a long list of things that bring you momentary joy, but you still feel like something is off or missing?
Well, I can’t tell you what will make you happy, but I can tell you the best way I’ve found to determine that for myself is to be a great caretaker of myself, set healthy boundaries, and to identify and live in line with my values. Maybe that sounds complicated or too “new agey” but it’s really not.
The key is to really start to listen to your inner voice. Understand that that having needs and desires is healthy, it’s how we respond to them (or don’t) that can be unhealthy. Take the time to get to know yourself and how certain things, situations, people make you feel. What gives you a feeling of lightness rather than a heavy feeling? What kinds of stories restore your faith in humanity? What makes you feel nurtured and cared for?
When you start to answer these questions, you’re on the path to discovering and living in-line with your values. See if that doesn’t make your attitude a little bit brighter.
Thanks for reading! What are your top 3 items on your list of what makes you happy? Leave me a comment bellow!
If you’re anything like me, you like to think about and plan things. A lot. Maybe too much, even. We could overthink until we’re in our graves if we’re not careful. It’s the curse of dreamers who long to be doers.
So let me ask you, how long have you been thinking about that thing and not doing it? You know what “that thing” is. It’s the thing you find yourself daydreaming about sometimes. The thing you maybe dismissed when you were still a child. Maybe it’s something you’ve only recently discovered but just can’t summon up the courage to start, or if you have started, you’ve reached a stopping point where something is holding you back.
Well, it’s just you and me here, and I won’t tell anyone. But I am going to challenge you like I challenged you in my first post. MOVE! It doesn’t have to be a big, grand courageous roar. It can be a whisper. But please, it’s for your own good. Just do one more thing that moves you closer to your goal.
Take all the self-criticism and doubt and shove it to the side for a moment -it’s not helping you- and then take one solid step forward. And tomorrow, take another. If you keep taking small steps, I promise you that you’ll get somewhere. It may not be where we intended to go, but that’s OK. This is about believing in yourself enough to try things and fail and learn, and then try again, and again, until you look back one day and say to yourself, “Wow! Look at how far I’ve come.”
So take a deep breath, close your eyes, make a wish, and with all the hope and passion you can muster in this moment, blow the dandelion seeds out into the world. You can do this.
Just some food for thought today. It’s one of my favorite lines, taken from a poem entitled “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver.
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu
Hello and welcome! This is the first post out of what I hope to be many, many more. I’ve had numerous transitions in my life so far, and this is one of them. A month ago, I quit my full-time job to pursue my two passions: coaching and coding. Now those my seem like very different things, but I’ve always been two things at once. I’ll tell you more about that later.
Right now, I just want give you a big, hearty welcome and tell you that this is a safe place with no judgment here. I’m not going to tell you what you should do or who you should be. I want to help you decide that on your own.
What changes have you been aching to make in your life? Maybe you aren’t even sure what they are yet, but you know something needs to happen. Maybe what you need is clarity. I’d like to help you find that. The first steps in finding clarity are to research, experiment, and repeat. So that’s my challenge to you today. Either research something or act on it.
I’m challenging you to take one small step today in the direction of a goal. Even a minuscule step will do, and it can be a tiny goal. It doesn’t have to be perfect and you can change your mind or goal later. Just take one little step forward on something you’ve been thinking about doing that will move you closer to a goal. Buy a book, look up the requirements, put on your tennis shoes, send a text, start a savings account with $5 a month, pick up the pen. Just do it!
So what’s it gonna be? Mine was to write this blog post. What’s yours? Tell me about it in the comments!