Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

My Favorite PRESENT! December 30, 2012

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Xmas presntI love the week between Christmas and New Year, I always have. I have managed to keep them relatively free from work – and since I became a mother it has been a goal of mine to keep this time clear and relatively open for my sons, too. Low on: responsibilities and things that “have to” get done, and high on: all-day pajama wearing, playing with toys, eating good food, watching movies, reading, playing in the snow (if available), staying up and sleeping in late, and generally just relaxing. It’s good…

This year seemed particularly nice, with my oldest son home from college, my boyfriend in-town and my youngest son on school break. It has been really sweet to be surrounded by “my fellas”. Love them! And though I have worked some of the time, in general, I am giving myself a break from having to be overly productive. Oh there’s a list though – and it gets a bit longer each day – but I am resisting the anxious pull of productivity. Soon the holidays will pass – everyone’s schedule will pull them back “into their regular routines” and work will be attended to. But not simply “work-as-usual”, New Year work. And that’s always exciting!

As I have said in the past – I am not one for New Year’s resolutions – they just have never felt “right” or “authentic” enough for me. On the other hand – I am a big fan of goal setting. In fact in a week or so – I will be leading a group entitled: “New Year – New Beginnings” – which is meant to support participants in taking the time to reflect on where they are now and where they would like to be, reflecting on the present, envisioning the future, setting intentions and creating concrete action plans for the year ahead. That’s what makes sense to me, and I started on my own plan weeks ago. But now, right now, I just want to enjoy the moment.

There are many families out there this year who have been deprived of the ability to spend their holidays with their loved ones. And the thought of that is heart-breaking to me. I am fortunate to have my loved ones close, so I can hug them, and spend time with them and tell them that “I love them”. And I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time. You see one of my intentions which I plan to continue into the New Year, and which I started working on quite a while back – is to be more mindful and present in my everyday life. To be as conscious as I can be in each moment, to be grateful for all that I have and to LIVE my life as it happens – while still building on the past and planning for the future. It’s a delicate cognitive balance that requires my active intercession in the moment – but it’s getting easier. Mostly, things always do… Enjoy your moments; like this one, right now and this next one, and the one after that, and…

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The Power of 8,000 Women December 7, 2012

Women

Yesterday, I attended (along with 8,000 other women, and a couple of men) the 2012 Massachusetts Conference for Women. ttp://bit.ly/VFym82 With its attendance breaking previous numbers,  it was the largest women’s conference in the country.  And let me just tell you, 8,000 women in one room is pretty damned impressive. Wow! And these were not just any women, they were every woman! A broad, cross-section of attendees – of many races, ages, professions, socioeconomic classes, etc. – all there to be inspired, to learn and to connect. Very powerful, very, very powerful indeed…

The conference, which went from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm – was organized under this year’s theme of: Imagine: Find Your Purpose, Make a Difference. And of the thousands there many attendees already knew their purpose and were making a difference in their own lives, in their communities and in the world. And with a full day out of the office yesterday, and an evening and day spent catching up and slowly absorbing and incorporating some of the pearls of yesterday’s experience, I am finally ready to decant some of what I walked away with from yesterday.

The keynote speakers were excellent! Charlotte Beers, (http://bit.ly/11TDjP3) the extremely successful business woman and author who has left her mark on the highly competitive world of advertising – talked about clarity, memorability and persuasion. Her wit and power delivered a presence that was riveting and engaging. Dr. Brene Brown, (http://bit.ly/VCWcoJ) professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, renowned speaker and author of Daring Greatly, who has spent years studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame delivered an address that modeled authenticity and inspiration. Beautiful! Deepak Chopra, M.D. (http://bit.ly/TMkdXf)- physician, author, leader in the realms of mind-body health, spirituality, human empowerment and peace – delivered with the grace of someone who has attained international recognition; a thoughtful keynote about collective transformation, and the age of wisdom. And Arianna Huffington, (http://huff.to/11TGMgo) president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and prolific author charmed us with her humor and reminded us of the need to take care our selves and to nurture optimism. If only one had spoken – the price of admission would have been worth it, and if I wrote notes faster – I would share with you a pearl from each of them, but alas, I was absorbed in my listening and my notes paid the price.

 

 

Beyond the keynotes, the breakouts offered closer access to numerous influential and impressive individuals whose impact and accomplishments touched the lives of others across all strata. And the audience, this little group of 8,000 area women – soaked it all in, laughed, shared, energized, and even shed a tear or two. There was a sense of connection, of commonality – of a collective view for a brighter vision for the future and the beautiful self-awareness that comes when your skills, gifts and talents are humming with invigoration.

I am still soaking it in and enjoying the buzz of watching my inspiration work through my own bones – excited to see the many ways it will manifest. 8,000 women – there is a lot of power there – but the most wonderful part is the awareness of the immensity of power that resides within each of us – to imagine, to create, to enlighten and to inspire. Wow!

 

You’re kidding! Right? December 2, 2012

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Last night in the wee hours of the morning, I decided, as I often do, to rollover from one side to the other; no big deal, no big newsribs here, we all probably do this countless times during the course of a normal night’s sleep.  This time about half way through, I paused on my elbows, feeling the need to stretch my back a bit, and as I was just beginning to push back, I was stopped by a sharp pain in my ribs and an audible “Crack”! I froze for a second and then sunk slowly back down onto the pillow with a very real awareness that I think I had just fractured my rib!!! What!?! Who fractures their rib – while doing a minimal stretch in bed? Me, I think the answer is unfortunately, me! Knowing there wasn’t much to be done, I drifted back off to sleep, only to be awoken each time I moved by a definite pain in my ribs. Ugh! You have got to be kidding…

This morning, as I got up to start my day, I was accompanied by the pain of this new “injury”, coughing, deep breathing and sneezing are all painful. It’s painful to the touch, and my movements feel compromised. Given that it’s a Sunday and I am not inclined to go to the emergency room for what is mostly a frustrating inconvenience and annoyance, I did would anyone does these days – I looked up “caring for a fractured rib” on the internet. In short, you rest, manage the pain and breathe deeply a lot in order to stave off lung issues, and that’s about it. So here I sit in bed, icepack on ribs, laptop on my lap typing away.

I am no doctor, so my diagnosis is of course, questionable. But nonetheless, I do think I am correct. Strange as it may be. And while this is most certainly uncomfortable, the pain is not too bad as long as I don’t cough – but mostly it is a frustrating inconvenience. I had a lot of things on my list of “to-do’s” today and resting wasn’t really one of them. But maybe it is the universe’s way of telling me to slow down. And while the concept that I could injure myself rolling over in bed confounds my mind – I suppose worse things could happen. So as the snow melts outside, and I surround myself with activities to pursue while resting (a bit of an oxymoron) I put it out there that next time – the universe wants me to slow down, I would prefer a non-injury related reminder. For now, I will practice my mindfulness, make the best of it and catch up on my sedentary pursuits.