Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

The “Evil” Twins September 30, 2011

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Time and money – two things most folks would agree that they would like to have more of in their lives. They are an interesting pair – often you find yourself with not enough time to make the money you would like and not enough money to enjoy your time the way that you want. It’s a “chicken and the egg” scenario – and if you wait for the perfect balance before you make your move – you could be waiting for a very long time.

Fact is – whether it’s not enough time, not enough money or a combination of the two – the “big clock” is still ticking away and your time to take action is now. There’ always a risk that things won’t work out as you would hope they would – but one sure way to make sure that you aren’t going to get what you want is to wait around and do nothing. I’m not suggesting here that you should over-extend yourself financially or work yourself into the ground. What I am suggesting is that you prioritize yourself, what you want and what you need to feel more connected to that which you value and cherish and make the plans needed to move yourself forward. We all have a contribution to make – what do you want to be yours?

If you really think about it – chances are that you “waste” or more delicately put “fritter away” a good amount of your time. Likewise, if you were to really budget yourself you would find that there are likely several places in your life where you can trim back your expenses and free-up a little money. Maybe not a lot, maybe just bit – but sometimes all you need is to start the process rolling and the natural momentum will build and grow.  I know I am talking in generalities here – and that is a conscious decision on my part. How we each fill in the blanks is as different as we are as individuals – so I don’t want to sway your thinking on this in any one particular direction. But take a moment – think about it – what is “the thing” that you are always putting off – that thing or things that you know you need and want in order to live a life more connected to your sense of purpose and passion – and take one small step toward bringing it in to your daily life. You can do it!

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Lemonade, anyone? September 25, 2011

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Sometimes a “negative” event can have a positive outcome. We all are familiar with the old adage about “learning from our mistakes”, making “lemons into lemonade”, and “making the best of a bad situation”. We experience it and see the net effect of such phenomenon all the time on both personal and societal levels. “Amber alerts”, air bags and bicycle helmets, are some examples of societal and cultural attempts to learn from our “mistakes”. On a personal level, a divorce from the “wrong person in and unhappy marriage” can lead to meeting the love of your life, being laid off from a job you are not happy in can give you the time and ability to grow the business you have always dreamed of, and quitting smoking after one too many a round of bronchitis,  are all examples of how we personally can make positive changes in our life based on difficult life events.

But in order to move forward in a positive way we are required to have at the very least two essential ingredients; goals and aspirations, and plans and action. If you have always dreamed of having your own organic, hydroponic vegetable farm but lack the ability to develop a plan and the persistence to do the work needed to get it going –  then it’s never going to happen. Similarly, if you have the innate ability to become a brilliant writer but lack the confidence and drive required to both get your words onto paper and get that paper disseminated to the audience then you will never experience the joy of connecting with and reaching others in that way.

In order to turn a bad situation into a positive one you have to recognize what needs to change, envision what you want to happen and take the steps necessary to make it happen. Though a little bit of luck, and being in the right place at the right time doesn’t hurt, nothing will change unless you have what it takes to seize the moment and take action. It’s not easy all the time. Life circumstances are often outside of our control – but how we react to those challenges and what we decide to do about them – is. You don’t need a negative catalyst to get the ball rolling, though often they do provide some added motivation.

As a coach – this is where I come in. My job is to ally with my clients and support them in the discovery and articulation of their dreams and goals and then to help them take those aspirations into action; to create the personal and professional lives of their dreams. It’s a pretty sweet place to be, after all one of my passions is helping others discover and live theirs, becoming the best selves they can possibly be.  The work is yours – my job is to help support you in the articulation of your vision. It’s a beautiful thing to do what you love – isn’t it time you treat yourself to a nice tall glass of lemonade?

 

What’s for Dessert? September 24, 2011

Yesterday I baked a delicious peach and blueberry pie for my boys and I and “wow – was it good”. My neighbors had brought us over a half a dozen extra peaches that they had picked at a local orchard, and combined with a few I had purchased at the store last week and a pint of wild Maine blueberries that I acquired at the farmstand – I had all the inspiration I needed to pull it together. Baking pies reminds me of my two aunts who were never married, have lived together their entire lives and who were an extremely significant  fixture in my life from childhood to the present day. Emma (96) was the cook of the two, but Violet (94) had one skill in the kitchen – and that was baking pies. Actually, the combination of peaches and blueberries was inspired by my favorite of possible fillings from a pie I remember her making when I was little. Though I am a damn good cook, having grown up in a family where cooking delicious homemade food was the norm that my parents excelled in and having worked as a cook and chef for many years when I was younger – I am not a baker. But pie, is the one exception to this rule. It’s simple really and with pies as with regular cooking you can “wing it” as opposed to other types of baking which require recipes in order to turn out correctly. I hate following recipes – as it takes some of the joy out of cooking for me. The requirements of having the ingredients on someone else’s list, and specific instructions for the “how to” portion of the process – by their very nature leave out the spontaneity and creativity in the process which apparently, I don’t just prefer – in some ways I require.

Maybe that’s how Aunt Violet did it, maybe not and in fact it doesn’t really matter. If you enjoy the experience and the end result comes out to your liking it doesn’t really matter what your process was. Of course, the “what is in the fridge that I can turn into dinner” method that I most often employ – can make it a little tricky when you are trying to re-create something that you enjoyed before – but that doesn’t mean the final product will be a disappointment. I wouldn’t be a good executive chef – developing menus for my staff to create consistently and effectively night after night from the same menu – but ask me to develop some daily specials – and I’m your gal!

There is a time and place for order and repetition and a time and place for creative experimentation. Figuring out what works best for you in any given circumstance is the key. Trusting in yourself to stray from the directions a bit knowing that you will still produce excellent results is a perfectly good choice to make. Not every experiment produces a five-star creation but neither does every recipe. Determining which technique is right for you and when to apply which method, is the trick. So, that said – whatcha got in your oven?

 

Homage to Kimbob September 15, 2011

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Gonna keep this one brief – since I really have to get going here this morning – but I wanted to take a brief moment to reflect on the last few days here. I just bid goodbye – to my dear old friend who lives a mere 2700 miles away – and who I have had the great pleasure of spending time with over the last week. We have been best buds now for the last 35+ years – and though we only get the chance to see each other every few years or so – the bond we share is as close as ever, if not closer. There is nothing quite like a friendship that has endured the test of time. We have seen each other through our adolescence – our young adulthoods, we each acted as the other’s “maid-of honor” at our respective weddings, have shared the passing of each other’s fathers, have each become mothers of two great sons  and have in all ways grown from girls to women, together and separately.

Over the last few days, we have gone on little adventures together, shared many a great meal and talked and laughed and talked some more. We are two very different people who align on some very important levels and our friendship has endured and grown stronger. We talked a lot about this while she was here – how we have managed to stay such close friends over the years and the distance and the differences and we came up with this – we have a deep and true respect and admiration for one another. We don’t always agree, and as two strong women – we have locked horns on occasion – but our bond remains true.

There are few people in my life that have touched me so significantly and who mean so much. I feel grateful for my kindred spirit and lifelong ally and will never underestimate the value of honesty and respect in friendship as I know first hand how important and powerful it is. So “bye for now” my dear friend – until the next time – I love you always.