Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

The Choice is Yours August 16, 2010

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Looking through quotes this morning to find one to read at the closing of my business networking meeting, I came across this one from an anonymous source:

“Life can either be accepted or changed. If it is not accepted it must be changed. If it is not changed then it must be accepted.”

I liked this one. It was simple and clear and had a definite ring of truth if the goal was to live a life of choice and minimize frustration and dis-contentment. Concurrently, part of me was straining against what I assume to be an over simplification of a complex concept. But I decided to accept the wisdom of it with the knowledge that I could in fact change it a bit to fit my own personal philosophy. This seemed the best of both worlds and clearly in keeping with the sentiment at hand.

For each of us there are elements in our lives that are not completely in line with our goals and desires for ourselves. Not all of these items are within our locus of control, and what action we can take to change them is limited. Our choice then becomes not whether or not we can change those things themselves (a stern and disagreeable boss for instance) but how we will allow those things to affect us and whether or not we want to continue to operate under those circumstances. Some choices, like deciding to leave our job and find a new placement are pretty darned big – and their effects can be felt in almost all areas of our lives. Whether we stay or go – our choice becomes one of accepting or changing not just the circumstance itself but our orientation, outlook and integration of that choice.

For instance, you may think of yourself as a writer, but unable to support yourself with your writing efforts; need to take a job in a totally unrelated field like restaurant work. You might not like this work, the hours are long, you’re on your feet all day, you have to deal with some unpleasant customers and an inflexible manager. But if you see this as an avenue to allow you to have your nights free to write, if you see your experiences and interactions with our co-workers and customers as fodder for character development and your paycheck as a means of buying you time to pursue your dream writing job then it can all be good. Or you may decide that you need to be in a more “literary” setting and work to get yourself a job in the editing department of a local newspaper or publishing company or as a teacher in an adult education program. The choices are endless. The change can be as subtle as a re-orientation of how you view your choice or an acceptance that this is what needs to be done to allow you to do your “real work”. Of course not all our efforts are rewarded either, and that’s a whole other topic.

Accept or Change… each day we have that choice to make and each day our decision may be different. The real trick is to know yourself and your goals – and to understand and appreciate how you have the impact to change your own course with each little decision you make by understanding how they align with what you know inside you and what feeds your true self. What will it be today? Accept? Change? Or a little bit of both?

 

Treasured Friendship February 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 8:19 am
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There was a box of treasure waiting for me when I got home last night. My oldest and dearest friend had sent me a package. My sons enthusiastically looked on as I opened the unadorned box and found the surprises inside. She had been to a gem and mineral show in her city and had gathered a collection of baubles and bangles for me to enjoy. All total there were three pair of earrings, three rings, four bracelets and a sweet little Mexican pierced-tin box. It was great!

Just the evening before I had been telling my boyfriend about this friend and how much I love her. We have been close friends for about 35 years and most of that time we have not lived in the same state, or even the same region of the country. We see each other, at most once every several years as we both have responsibilities at home which make the long trip a challenge. We talk on the phone maybe once a month, though may often leave each other voicemail in between. There is a lot of distance and time between us and yet we are as close now as we have ever been. We have grown up together, shared the stories of school and boyfriends together, supported each other on the deaths of our fathers, stood in for each other as “maid of honor” at each of our weddings, and shared the challenges of raising our sons (we each have two).

Our personalities, environments and lives are quite different and yet the bond between us is solid and meaningful for both of us. We are not without our challenges – we are both strong-minded women who can occasionally “lock horns” on a topic, but this does not threaten our bond. There is an understanding, a respect and knowing between us that goes deeper than any other friendship I have ever had, quite simply we love each other and we let each other know. Aside from my family – my relationship with her is the longest lasting one of my life and I look forward to the milestones we will face together down the road.

So as I get myself ready for my day today, I have the pleasure of choosing which of the assortment of baubles and bangles I get to adorn myself with today: an outward symbol and simple reminder of the friendship that has been with me almost my whole life.  And that friendship is a reminder to me to: let the people I love know that I love them, to work hard for the things that matter in your life even when circumstance makes it seem unlikely to succeed, and to treat those around me with respect, caring and understanding. Thank-you, my dear friend…

 

Grateful Reader February 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 7:24 am
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I just finished a book I have been reading for the last two months. It is a short book, a small book which if I had dedicated a concerted amount of time to it – probably would have taken me a day or two to complete. But it did not – instead – I stole five minutes here, twenty there, often skipping days and even weeks in between. Nonetheless I finished it finally and am having that experience that often comes when you finish a good book – a mixture of contentment and sadness. It is that sense of saying good-bye to a dear and intimate friend, one with whom you have shared a deep sense of intimacy and connection.

The book, Have a Little Faith is the third I have read by Mitch Albom. I never have gotten around to reading the book that put his name on the map, Tuesdays with Morrie but I have read the subsequent three, including this his most recent. And I have loved them all. They are not long books, not complicated or deeply intellectual but they are always moving and profound in their simplicity. Each book has left me with a feeling of “specialness”, gratitude and appreciation for what I have and for what the world holds. Their messages are not heavily veiled secrets but accessible and gentle, wise and beautiful.

So here’s what I am left with today. A beautiful reminder of the strength of the human spirit, a renewed belief in tolerance and acceptance, an appreciation for our past (shared and individual) and a palpable sense of the power of love, faith (in its broadest interpretation) and grace. I do not know if I can contribute all of what I am feeling at this moment to that book, but I do know as I start my day today I am looking at the world around me with eyes and heart wide open. Peace…

 

The Little Red Light February 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 8:36 am
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The little red light on my home telephone was flashing at me when I got home last night, beckoning me to listen to the message/s it was storing for me. I ignored it. Not that I didn’t consider that it may have been an important bit of information which I would have wanted to hear – but because often it is a sales call, an appointment reminder or some other electronic message I figured it could wait. So, I settled in first, talked with my boys, ate a little supper, went through my mail and so on.  At about 8:00, I decided to give it a listen…

It was my dearest and oldest friend calling from her home which unfortunately, is about 2700 miles away. She was calling, because she had been thinking of me and was wondering if I would be interested in some wooden jewelry that she had recently discovered. The second voicemail message was from the same friend – left about fifteen minutes after the first – wishing me a happy birthday,  if it was my birthday, which she wasn’t 100% sure about though she had narrowed it down to three possible dates – (one of which was actually correct).

The messages themselves really aren’t the point of this story though, what was important was hearing her voice and how it made me feel. My dear old friend has an effervescence and positive energy that is infectious. As she rambled on about the jewelry and the birthday she laughed and joked and I could most definitely hear her smiling. I saved both messages. I played them again for my son and talked about them again later. And here I am writing a blog about them.

Such a silly little thing and yet I was/am so moved by it. Listening to those messages; I felt joy, I felt love, and I felt acceptance and history and presence. So much there in a few seconds of recording, the power of words, and relationships and energy over miles and years. I called her back of course – but she was not home, so I left her a message instead – I hope that it gives her as much pleasure as her messages had for me.