Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Perspective, Peace and the New Year January 2, 2014

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PeaceThought I would break my “radio silence” of the last few weeks and do a little posting today. Between the extra activities of the holidays and the need to spend some time doing a little quiet internal reflection, I haven’t really felt like I have had either the time or the inclination to do any writing. That said it also feels strange to let the passing of one year and the beginning of a new one go by without “logging-in” on some level – so here I am.

For me, as for many of us, the end of the year accompanied by the winter weather is a time for drawing inward; both in the physical sense as the cold often prohibits as much time spent outdoors and in a mental sense as I don’t think I could stop myself (even if I cared to try, which I don’t) from reviewing the events of the last year and thinking about where I want the next year to take me. I am “a thinker” so this sort of activity suits me well and has a comfortable familiarity to it. At the same time, this pull to self-reflect often means that any writing that I may be inclined to do is for “personal use only” – so sitting down to write a blog takes a bit more effort than usual right now. And while I am still in the throes of this state of being, deciding upon what I do want to share in this forum is difficult.

So I shall make it simple on myself and share what on New Year’s Eve, I decided is the thing from 2013 that I am most grateful for…

I am grateful to have both of my sons (and often my boyfriend) home here with me and for the peaceful, easy atmosphere that seems to be the general zeitgeist of our household this year. There is just something lovely about having the three people I most adore here with me, each living their own lives while simultaneously connecting with one another. As my boys grow into young men, their respective personalities coming more fully into focus – I find that I couldn’t be more proud of the people that they are becoming. They are totally different from one another, and while their lives, (and everyone else’s), are not without their challenges, they doing as well as they can with what they have before them. Everyone is doing their own thing – working on their own agendas and yet together in a harmonious way. I know that the current circumstances of “where” they are in their lives will be changing soon enough, but for right now, I am just enjoying what it is.

I guess when I think about it, I can’t really ask for anything more. Sure there are specifics that could be running more smoothly, challenges that cause stress present themselves each day but in my mind, the year overall has been a good one.

There are other dimensions, there is more to consider, there always is, but on a fundamental level I am grateful and at peace. As I dance through my mind; viewing, reviewing, assessing, pondering, planning, interpreting and working through all the bits from every perspective – I cannot underestimate the importance of this most fundamental aspect of the overall picture. Until, I am ready for the next installment, I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year and to say that I sincerely hope that the upcoming year brings you much growth, inspiration, passion, joy and peace. –Lisa

 

Happy Giant November 30, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 12:58 pm
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Meadow and MountainsWell it’s the last day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) and this is my final blog for this year’s participation. It looks like, I have managed to post eighteen out of a possible thirty, and I am feeling pretty good about that. When I first learned about NaBloPoMo on the afternoon of November 1st, I couldn’t help but thinking that this little “incentive” couldn’t have come at a worse time for me. The first couple of weeks of this month, (along with the last several months) of my life had been dominated by my participation in an Expo, the size of which surpassed anything that I had previously been a part of. And while one might wonder what exactly could have been so labor intensive about it, I can tell you that it piled A LOT of extra projects on my plate.

As part of my participation I had set a number of goals for myself, including but not limited to creating a number of new print materials, writing three eBooks, planning and marketing four new coaching groups andwriting a one hour presentation among a number of less intensive tasks. So taking on NaBloPoMo in the last couple of weeks of this push, seemed like a crazy idea that was destined for failure. But at the same time, I think I was in hyper-drive mode and I have thought a lot over the last several months about how I had lost my blog amongst my other writing projects in the last year and that simply was not sitting well. So while, the temptation was to say, “I can’t do it, the timing is just wrong”, I also knew that there are always “valid” reasons why “now isn’t a good time” for so many things that are more; wants than needs, and so, I began.

Participating in this “event” was really important for me.
• For one, I have re-learned what I already know, that if we wait for the path to be clear before we move forward on doing something we want, we can wait forever. I knew this already, and while I resist it in some corners of my life, I had let it take hold where my blog was concerned.
• I also realized that my “blog voice” is different from my other “writing voices”, and after a period of relative disuse it had grown hoarse. It took me longer than usual to find the place of flow from which I was used to writing my blogs in the past. My early efforts this past month felt more like “journal entries” than posts, but the more I kept at it the more it came back into focus.
• I knew already how much I loved to write, but lately my writing had taken a different direction. As a regular contributing expert on divorce for a few online publications, I forgot what it was like to have a more “free-choice” writing opportunity. While my other writing is still gratifying for me, and I look forward to being published in the spring in a compilation book about divorce, I do love just sitting down and writing about whatever it is I want to address as well.
• And lastly, I learned that I can get water from a stone. That there exists inside me, and likely within each of us, that ability to be true to those things that we value and that this connection will not disappoint when we want to tap into it again.

So thank-you to whoever came up with this idea in the first place. I am glad you awakened my sleeping giant. I hope to roam this fertile countryside for a while now, so I expect that you will hear again from me soon as November rolls into December. Thank-you to those of you who have been kind enough to read what I have written, to have liked, commented or followed me during the last month and who have helped to make me feel encouraged along the way. I needed that, and I am grateful for it. Maybe I will bump into you over the next rise as you too, traverse the possibilities. 

 

Looking In and Out November 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 11:12 am
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So apparently, November is “write a lot of blog posts” month, or something like that – and I have had a peripheral awareness of this “event” taking place. The only trouble is, I am not sure my life fits well into some arbitrary trend – decided without my buy in. At least that’s what I am going to go with for now. The reality is I haven’t been writing much for the last several months, not because I haven’t thought about it, because I do, almost every day, but because I haven’t been sure about what I wanted to write about for this forum. Or put another way, other “things”- are pulling for my attention and when I pondered writing – I wasn’t able to focus in the way I wanted to. And that’s fine, we all have to set our priorities and decide where to spend our resources, but I have to tell you, I have been missing this… It adds value, that I don’t want to ignore.

So today, before I dive into the “priority items” on my list – I decided I needed to make a little time for writing a post. The trick was – that I wasn’t sure “what” I wanted to write about, only that I seemingly both “wanted” and “needed” to do it. So before I settled down to write – I spent a little time looking for some inspiration and luckily I found it in both familiar and unfamiliar places. For me the familiar – is always being outside and taking-in a little natural beauty. It’s a clear and beautiful day here today, temperatures in the low 40’s, which actually seems warm after this last week’s Nor’easter. The blue sky, the birds, the green grass, the warming sun – just make me feel calm and grateful. And the “unfamiliar”, well that took the form of reading some of my own blogs. I liked hearing what I had to say – and how I said, it. And lest you think I am some sort of ego-maniac, I have to say that this was a welcome new experience for me.

And while, I am simultaneously not unaware of my strengths and positive attributes – and of course am naturally guided by my own inner knowing and wisdom – something felt different about going back to my own posts to not only “re-learn” how I do this in the first place but to “inspire” myself. It was nice to see what I wrote about almost three years ago when I began blogging. It was also warming to see the thoughts and comments of friends and family in those early days of being a “blogger”. I don’t know if in those early days, I had any readers who I didn’t know personally, and I hadn’t yet learned about adding pictures, tags and links to increase my readership. (Heck I am still surprised when a new reader “likes” a post or leaves a comment and am puzzled by “how” they found me.) Which leads me to the next thought – Why do we blog? Why do we read other people’s blogs? What is this all about anyway?

And the answers ,well they certainly are numerous. But I guess for me the answer at its most basic form is – “It simply feels good.” I like the way it feels to write, if I don’t do it for too long a period, I feel a void. I like reading what other people have to say – not just in response to what I put out there – but the things they are saying in their own blogs too. When I first heard about blogging – I have to say I just didn’t understand it at all. And now, now – it makes perfect sense to me. Expression, Connection, Inspiration, Education, Humor, Wisdom, Warmth, Stimulation – they are all there. Today I make my mark on this blog page. Blogger and Blog-Reader, I am here – still taking it all in – still wanting to swirl around new ideas and insights – still savoring the outlet – still developing and changing and evolving, right here, in my own little world, coffee by my side, music in my ears and words tripping out through my fingertips to you. Write On!

 

Gumballs, Grist and Gratitude? July 9, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 3:00 pm
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Do you know that feeling you had as a child, as you stood, clutching a quarter in your sweaty little palm, staring through the glass at the penny candy counter as the clerk behind the counter asks you; “what you would like?” Your eyes were wide, mouth already watering as you anticipated the taste of each little treat while you scanned the selections: the wonderful, colorful and tasty candies,  just waiting there to be dropped into your own little paper bag. It was all so exciting  – but in some strange way it was stressful too, because ultimately, you had to choose. You knew each candy was yummy in its own particular way, and you wanted them all, you may have even wanted multiples of some of your favorites, but you had to make a choice, had to decide not only which ones to select, but which one to eat first, and second and so on and finally, which to save for last. It’s “Childhood Heaven and Hell” (though not so much of the latter) all rolled in to one.

Well, at present, I am the experiencing the adult version of exactly that – over something as equally pleasant for me these days – which is, writing this blog. You see there has been a lot of “grist for the mill” lately – and I “ain’t complaining – really I’m not”, but my mind is currently a whirl with the possibilities.  Over the course of the last week or so, I have had the pleasure of reading about, listening to, or discussing so many “juicy” and thought-provoking topics that as I sit here trying to pick one to expound upon, I am thoroughly overwhelmed. “Problems of Plenty, as an old friend would often say, honestly it is hard to think of them as problems at all. So, though many people might choose to work through this last part quietly and to themselves before starting to write anything,  I will start with acknowledging, that sometimes I like to work them out, right here as a part of the blog itself. “Plip”, the first choice is in the bag.

Next, I am going to pause for a minute and hand-write a quick list of some of the other possible future topics, so that I can return to them at another time, if I would like. “Plip”

And then miraculously, without a need to think or fret any longer – I realize that throughout all of this – what is happening inside me is that I am filled with a sense of deep and profound Gratitude – and I know that this is the direction I want to go… “Plip” Because honestly, in some ways gratitude is the thread, the stream which flows through not only most of the topics themselves, but the experience left behind. “Plip” And though I could over-intellectualize the concept, what I want is to acknowledge are just some of the bits. “Plip”

  • I had a wonderful, picnic lunch yesterday with my beautiful son who will be leaving for college in September. I am grateful, for the time to spend with my boy and both of our intention and mindfulness to be in and enjoy the moment. “Plip”
  • I read a touching post today, by the daughter of my old friend who had passed away a couple of week’s ago. I am grateful to her for sharing her heart and memory and to the universe for creating this man who touched the lives of so many in his simple, too short and profoundly meaningful life. “Plip”
  • I attended an inspiring talk yesterday about “Violence and Identity”. I am grateful for the thought-provoking stimulation it created, for the opportunity to re-connect with a community of people with whom I have lost touch, and for the reminder that the world is filled with so many good souls. “Plip”
  • I had a wonderful meeting today with another old friend and former colleague with whom I am collaborating on teaching a class in Positive Psychology. I am grateful to have the chance to re-kindle an old friendship, for the excitement of learning new things, for the opportunity to share this information with others and to be engaged with my work on this dimension. “Plip”

And there is more, much more, that I could say. But this feels like enough – except for one last thing. I am grateful for my gratitude, itself. Through these eyes, life feels richer. I am fortified on all planes – buoyed up, strengthened and inspired. And though I am not suggesting that you put blinders on and always look for the bright side in life – I do think it is important to find those things that “feed” you and do more of them. Life is most certainly not easy, and that is true these days in ways that it has never been before, for so many of us, but I do find, that the more I acknowledge “the good stuff” not only do I have more energy to deal with everything else – but the more I see that I AM grateful for… “Plip”

And this is the one, that I am saving for last and savoring as long as I possibly can.

(Drawing by: Stevan Dohanos, “Penny Candy”, 1944)

 

Hearty Breakfast September 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:53 am
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Almost every morning my alarm clock, doing the job that I have requested it to do, begins the slow and predictable process of attempting to awaken me from my deep and well-needed slumber. It is a clumsy and awkward dance, and though I resist its persistent efforts to stir me from my sleep I appreciate the thankless job it performs on my behalf. The ritual begins around 5:00 am and usually after about a half an hour of false starts, I finally drag myself up and begin the “stuff” of my day. But some days, it just takes longer… And the thing that I am always working to squeeze in to those wee hours of the morning is writing my blog.  Showered and slowly starting to come into consciousness, coffee or tea at my side, laptop resting on my knees and weather permitting, I take my place on the porch and begin to look and listen inside for the words that want to emerge. And though my body is still moving slowly and my brain is still on auto-pilot, I find it is one of my favorite times of the day. There is something meditative and beautiful about this state of being.  

I carefully guard my head space – doing things like avoiding reading other people’s blogs before I write myself, mindful that I want to develop my own ideas and not inadvertently allow my direction to be influenced by the thoughts of others before I begin. Some days, it just doesn’t happen for me. In order to write an entry I need to have a minimum of about a half an hour to sit in quiet reflection and extract the thoughts I want to write about. Twenty minutes, won’t cut-it and I have a file full of half-written entries, just in case, at some point I decide I want to get back to them and complete what I have begun. But for the most part the writing is a totally in the moment, organic process. I may have an idea before hand of what I want to write about – but typically I don’t know what I am going to say on any given topic until I have finished the entry. And as I am writing this, I am thinking, “no wonder I enjoy this so much, it is like a mini-dip into the space of flow”. A-ha! You see what I mean?

I may not make it to this space every morning, despite my best intentions, but when I do, I am most certainly grateful. I don’t know why most people write – and suspect that each person comes to this process for their own particular reasons, but for me it is an opportunity to give voice to some of the myriad of thoughts that are swirling through my mind. It is a chance to express myself, to connect with other people who for whatever reason are interested in hearing what it is I have to say, and it is an opportunity to tap into that intuitive space that moves through each of us. Not unlike the experience of doing art, connecting with this automatic, organic brain allows an expression of a different sort that energizes and relaxes all at the same time. It’s an odd combination of focused concentration, non-intentional thinking and an abandonment of control all at the same time.

And like the process itself, I resist the temptation to over-analyze the experience, but find myself feeling naturally curious about how and if other people experience this same sensation, and wondering what gets them there. The draw is compelling, and though my life does not allow me to languish in the pool of flow and luxuriate in the pleasure and satisfaction it provides, I am glad to know that I can create even this small place for it within my days. What about you?

 

Pit Stop June 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 5:47 am
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Lately, it has been a particular challenge for me to get these blogs posted as often I would like to. And quite honestly, I miss it. Today is another of those jam-packed mornings, and I know that if I don’t write something now, I won’t have the chance to get back to it later. So, I am stealing this moment to make a quick entry before I embark on my next task. For me writing this blog provides a little reflective moment to put into words some of the thoughts that are perpetually spinning around in my mind. It isn’t quite meditation, nonetheless I find it helps me to feel centered. Like many other folks finding the time to do the little things that are rewarding and self-nurturing can be a challenge but the resulting positive benefits are undeniable.

So my question to you this morning is; what are those little things that you do for yourself that make you feel refreshed, inspired and centered – and are you making time to incorporate them into your day? The constant need to prioritize how we spend our limited resources often leads to neglecting those things that actually refuel our batteries. This is not the case for all of us, some people work time into their schedules for daily yoga exercise, brisk walks, trips to the gym and writing in journals (among other things). And some of us struggle to find the place to do those little bits of self-care and internal resetting. The point here is to not give up on these most precious of tasks and continue to work toward doing those things that enhance your experience.

Focus on what you want to do, not on what you didn’t do and take whatever opportunity you are offered to do those things that make you feel whole. We each deserve to nurture ourselves, because no one else can really do it for us. So before your tank hits “E” – allow yourself the chance to refuel, you don’t have to “top-off the tank” every time. You can get a lot of mileage out of a gallon of fuel.

 

Brief Pause for Station Identification February 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 9:13 pm
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Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Today was one of those days for me – too much to do and just not enough time. There are always items that slip off of the agenda. And if you haven’t already noticed, this is a lot later than I usually post my blogs. And though I would love to be able to sit down and write a great blog about one of a number of topics that are floating through my mind – I am instead giving myself the night off. Acknowledging our limits is an important piece of the self-care notion – and tonight I have reached mine. Sweet dreams…