Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

This Moment in Time November 29, 2013

SittingIt’s Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. The refrigerator is full, the dining room table has returned to its usual size, the serving pieces are put away. Like many folks, I am lucky to be enjoying a day off, not to participate in the “Black Friday” shopping rush (which I believe is a day of unnecessary chaos and “trumped-up bargains”) but just to take a breather. Yes, yesterday was a holiday, but it was a busy one, filled with cleaning, cooking and general doing, and I really just need a day of rest. Like many solo-preneurs most weekends are still filled with work activities, though I do get the benefit of being able to manage my time in a way that works for me.
Ever since we turned the clocks back, I have been waking earlier than usual, and today was no exception, despite my best efforts to go back to sleep. But that’s okay with me – I do love being up as the day begins in a quiet house where no one is asking me for anything, well, no one except for the cats that is. My older son is up and off to work already at his retail job and the younger is enjoying a little extra time in bed, since he doesn’t work until the afternoon, and my boyfriend is slumbering happily upstairs. It’s all good. Right now I am waiting for my banana bread to finish baking while I enjoy a fresh cup of coffee. And then? Then, I have no idea what I am doing, and for right now I am okay with that.
In general, I am an organizer and a planner, so often, when faced with a bit of free time; I have to actually “work” at just being present and relaxing. My mind typically is a buzz with lists of things that I want and need to get done. But there just seems something antithetical about “planning downtime”, don’t you think so? I know what I don’t care to do today; no shopping, no movies, no cleaning, no organizing, no working. I have a couple of ideas things that I might like to do today; writing my blog, taking a walk, doing some artwork, and enjoying the presence of my loved ones. That’s it – I would just like to let the day lazily unfold before me, and if an opportunity arises for a little spontaneous enjoyment – then I am in.
Right now, it’s about right now. Literally, being in the moment, for me it’s as luxurious as it gets and a personal goal. I am grateful to be a planner but it has its downsides. Sometimes, I miss out on what’s right in front of me in the moment, which is not to say that I am not able to notice the beauty and excellence that are all around us each day and to enjoy and be grateful for it. But I know there is room for improvement. So that’s my plan, what am I doing today? I am being present. That’s it and whatever specifically that means has yet to unfold, and right now, that is more than enough. Hoping your moments meet your needs today.

 

Beauty and Excellence – Ignition January 20, 2010

“Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence”, according to the VIA Survey of Characteristics which I took again yesterday after writing about it in my blog, is currently my top Signature Strength. I say “currently” because the strengths do move around a little bit. The last time I took “the VIA” about a year ago – I got similar results, in that my top five strengths were the same as they were this time, but they did shift around a bit in their ranking.

Per the survey, Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence is defined as; “You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.” And in fact, it is true, I most certainly do. But I want to add that what I experience goes beyond appreciation and attention – I notice these things because I find them inspiring. I have thought a lot about inspiration (and plan to write a blog about it when I can gather my thoughts on what exactly I would like to say) – nonetheless this little reminder of my “Top” character strength brings it to the fore.

I had thought about the idea that I believe inspiration is the fuel that ignites our passion. And I do get very energized when I see something that is beautiful, or hear an idea that is exceptional – no matter what the context. There is something about the simple awareness itself, of something exquisite, unique and extraordinary that fills me with a sense of wonder and excitement. So though at first I was a little surprised to find this at the top of my list of strengths the more I think about it the more I become sure that at least for now, that seems to be the right place for it. Beautiful how these things work out sometimes, isn’t it?

 

Freezing temperatures, backaches and a little bit o’ magic January 3, 2010

Snow Day!!!

When we were kids, those two words meant a kind of excitement and glee that was usually reserved for holidays and amusement parks. It combined with a curious sense of victory, as if nature’s elements were “in cahoots  with” the wishes and will of kids to thwart the school system and its grown-up demands. For those of us who grew up in climates where winter meant; blizzards and ice – the memories of snow days are a part of our childhood.  As a mother of two school-aged sons I can say – that hasn’t changed. My younger son, (having learned this little bit of childhood magic from a friend), will also occasionally put a spoon in the freezer on the eve of a possible snow storm to appease the snow gods and to encourage them to bury us in the white fluffy stuff.

As an adult, unless you are a skier, and I am not, it seems many of us look out the window as the flakes pile up and can almost feel the beginnings of the backache which is sure to follow. The shoveling, snow blowing, salting, and the financial outlay for having your driveway plowed – definitely sets up a different set of expectations when the meteorologists start talking about an impending snow storm. It has been snowing here on and off since the 31st and though the accumulation is not significant – it is still enough to have to deal with in one way or another. I just came in from my ritual “sweeping off of the porch”, (as it is too soon to start any actual shoveling) and the snow still falling steadily.

It’s coming down a little more enthusiastically then earlier and the wind is whipping the flakes around so that each one stings as it hits your face. But, after I finished cleaning the porch, I went inside grabbed my coffee and came back out to sit and watch and admire. The still quiet that fills the air when it snows combined with the smooth softness of the drifts and the swirl of the flakes is always so wonderful. Yep, there is no getting around it – no matter how inconvenient and exhausting a snow storm can be – there is an undeniably magical beauty to it. Even when you are indoors looking out – there is a special feeling of warmth and calm to know that your day will be spent at home and maybe you’ll even get inspired to make a bread or a nice soup (if you are lucky enough to have the ingredients). Then again maybe you’ll get some chores done, or maybe you will relax with a book or movie or board-game, heck maybe you’ll even consider going outside and romping around in it a bit – but whatever you will do will be touched by the sense that it is not just any old day – it is a SNOW DAY! And it is magic….