Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Walking Down Internet Memory Lane March 30, 2013

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One could certainly debate the pros and cons of social media and its all pervasive impact on life as we know it. There is no question that it can lead to: a seemingly bottomless pit of time wasting, a propensity toward the “over-sharing” of life’s minutia and what amounts to an internet version of unhealthy, addictive behavior.  But in my mind it also provides an opportunity for connection that simply did not exist just a few years ago.  As someone who is at just the right age to have enough technical know-how to take advantage of what the internet can provide and a clear memory of what life was like before we were all constantly “connected” I can say that social media has provided one benefit that far outweighs its detractions – finding lost friends.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of reconnecting online with the person that I really consider “my first love”. As I was working on my business network site on LinkedIn, his name popped up as someone I might want to connect with – (though how they know that, both puzzles and creeps me out a little bit). Nonetheless, more than thirty years since I would have last seen him, and almost forty years since we were “an item” we connected for a brief but pleasant email interaction. And honestly, it was great! No, I am not still mooning for a “lost love” or wanting any more than this superficial conversation presented, but had it not been for this social media site I would have spent my life never knowing what happened to him. Sure, life would have moved along smoothly without ever knowing, but now I have what can almost be described as a sense of closure.

Several years ago, I was re-united with another old friend from my college years who I had lost track of, when our lives became full with children and families and life activities and the letter writing which had finally been reduced to holiday updates eventually stopped altogether. And for about 2 – 3 years it was great to once again know and connect with this person from whom I always received a great amount of inspiration, laughter and genuine warmth. When he suddenly died of a heart-attack last year, I mourned his passing with the many friends and family who also cherished his life, and was grateful that we had had the opportunity to re-connect again before this most final disconnection. There is no denying the intensity and deep connections that you forge in your younger years and how significantly they can impact your life even if circumstance and priorities separate you over time. Old friends know you in a way that new friends never can – and social media allows you an opportunity to acknowledge their importance.

Sure, I am lucky; my reconnections to my past have mostly been positive ones. I have not stumbled into any frightening, unhealthy stalkers. Aside from some of the minor annoyances of irritating posts on Facebook from people whose, let’s just say “approach,” is at odds with my own, social media has treated me pretty well. I have a greater appreciation for some people than I had, had years ago – and most importantly I have been able to connect with some folks who were and are very important to me. I am not a “collector”, one of those people with a hundreds or thousands of “friends” who they may simply have attended the same high school with, it’s not about the numbers really. Though I check in regularly, I don’t really care for the trivial updates about every aspect of your existence, and I could absolutely live without the constantly forwarded quotes and cute animal photos in favor of more authentic and original material.  But a little here and there is just fine.

Most significantly, over five years ago I reconnected with someone who has indeed, changed my life. An old friend, I had known since grammar school, someone I always felt “connected to” despite our lives taking us in different directions. Built on an old stone foundation of mutual respect, fundamental understanding and positive regard we have forged a new and deeper relationship then either of us could have imagined in an age before social media discovery would have allowed. Not everyone is going to find “true love” on Classmates.com, and probably it’s a good idea not to try. It’s not about re-living your glory days, or going back in time. It’s about being able to connect in the here and now, to those people who have moved and shaped who you are today. There are definitely undeniable upsides to being able to connect with the people who really meant something to you over the years, to say “hello”, to share your friendship, to let them know that you are grateful to have had them in your life, and once in a great while to be able to say “I have waited for you all my life – and I didn’t even know it”.

 

 

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!

 

The Opposite of: Alone in the Crowd October 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 9:33 am
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Sleepy, sleepy head – waking slowly on this cloudy, Sunday morning. The house is quiet and as I sit alone on my porch, drinking my coffee and contemplating my day – I realize that despite the absence of another person here sipping coffee beside me I have made about ten “connections” to other folks in the last 3o minutes or so – through the wonders of the internet. Between, the blog (in progress), the Facebook account, my email and now Twitter, (@LisaBorchetta) – I am far from being alone at all. Don’t get me wrong here – I am not suggesting that I was feeling lonely, in fact I enjoy these quiet moments to myself, I am commenting on this new medium for connection that has become a regular part of my life these days. It’s interesting, and strange and powerful.

Of course there are many folks who would consider this a pseudo-connection, the illusion of a true contact between people. And in some ways it is true, there is no competition with actual face-to-face contact with others. But for years we have come to appreciate that other forms of connection are also valid in their own right. Letter writing, though all but extinct in today’s world, was and is a powerful way to connect with the people we know that live far away. I miss going to the mail box, sliding open the flap on an envelope and holding a card or letter in my hand written in ink from an old friend telling me how they have been or what they have been doing. The telephone which includes the newer portable cellular model (for better or worse) – provides a connection in real-time with those both far and near. As a coach, I use the phone (or Skype, it’s cyber-cousin) to work with my clients who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away and I have learned to tune my hearing to pick-up on subtle nuances in tone, breath and sound to connect as legitimately as if they were sitting across from me in my livingroom. But these new modalities also bring connections of a different sort that are in their own way increasingly important and valid.

Writing this blog (firebirdlifecoach.wordpress.com) for instance has allowed me the opportunity to connect with distant friends and curious unknown readers who for whatever reason are interested in hearing my thoughts on things.  Equally as important – it is an outlet through which I can satisfy my desire to share these thoughts with others and to spend some time writing – an activity from which I derive a great amount of pleasure and satisfaction. Facebook (www.facebook.com)  allows us to re-connect with old friends who have gone missing over the years and speaking for myself – in some ways these reconnections have become very important in my life. And now Twitter  (www.twitter.com) has provided a way not only for me to get quick updates on the thoughts of those I respect and admire but for other unknown people to hear my thoughts. Wow – it is amazing, isn’t it?

Who knows where technology which seems to be moving at a more rapid rate than ever will take us next – maybe in directions we resist, maybe not. The fact is we currently have the ability to connect to almost everyone else in the entire world and that is extraordinary. But it is not about the numbers of connections as much as the value of those connections for me. Proceeding with cautious enthusiasm into this new age of communication, grateful for the opportunities for meaningful interaction, and curious to see where things will go – I submit this latest entry into my conversation with life.

 

Birthday Wishes August 19, 2010

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Yesterday was my oldest son’s 16th birthday. Eek! And Yay! And Wow! All at the same time…

Hard to believe we are here already. This feels like a big one. From the maternal perspective, I really feel the awareness of his growing into a young man, up and away. I couldn’t help myself from spending quite a bit of time reflecting and reminiscing on his life (and subsequently, mine) these last sixteen years and thinking about the future ahead of him. There’s definitely a bittersweet aspect to it all, as I am filled with a myriad of emotional reactions to his growing up and moving forward.

No one fully warns you when you start thinking about having kids what a roller-coaster of emotion you are about to embark on. It is a truly profound experience. The “wanting” I have felt as a mother for their happiness, for their safety, for their lives and experiences to be filled with all the good and beautiful things in the world and none of the pain and suffering is stronger than almost anything else I have ever experienced. And when you couple that with the awareness of how little control you actually have over the whole business, that experience can be quite staggering. There are many times along the way when as an honest person I have thought to myself, “My God, what was I thinking!” And yet there has never been anything so amazing and beautiful, either.

So as he (and I) pass through this touchstone, and he is learning how he wants to position himself in this life, I too am learning (slowly but surely) how to adjust my role to allow for his growth, to be there to guide and limit, support and encourage, to keep loving and loosen my grasp all at the same time. It’s not easy, in fact I have never done anything this difficult in my life, but it is worth it. The scrapes that I tend to, may be more metaphorical than physical these days, the healing and growth more internal than external, but as I try to ease back and let him make his way, I know that he is an incredible person and I look forward to seeing not only all that he is, but all that he will become. Happy Birthday Sweet Boy, mommy loves you!

 

Deep Bow August 14, 2010

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Just wanted to say, thank-you. Within the last few days I have gotten several follow-up emails from clients that I am currently coaching who are each reaching toward their own goals in their own ways. And I have to say, “Wow”!

What a true privilege and a deep honor it is to be entrusted with the job of helping them along on their respective journeys. I love what I do. I love connecting with these folks and assisting them with coming up with ways to pull themselves forward toward the lives they want for themselves and those around them. It is a beautiful thing and I feel so grateful to be a part of it.

And as for me, well I guess I too am living-out my dreams and goals by being the coach that I am and having the opportunity to do such rewarding and wonderful work. Woo hoo, for all involved!

 

The Weight of the Wait February 26, 2010

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I think living in New England (and other areas of the planet that experience “traditional winter weather”) requires a certain heartiness that folks in warmer climates don’t require. However it is always interesting (particularly with the climate changes of recent years). There’s an expression that pretty much sums it up – “If you don’t like the weather in New England, just wait five minutes.” And it’s true – today started off sunny and mild though there had been a dusting of snow overnight and a forecast for torrential rains all day. Throughout the day, it alternately was cold with snow squalls, rainy, windy and/or quiet. Every time you looked out the window there was something else going on – I was waiting for it to rain actual cats and dogs, ‘cause it would have seemed like just the right day for it. Our promise for the weekend – more unpredictable precipitation – rain, snow flurries and even some accumulations in some areas – what could be better than that? Well, actually a little sunshine and warming temperatures would be nice.

When the winter months reach their last legs, the weather is on everyone’s mind. I would bet that at least 90% of people who interacted with another human being in New England today talked about the weather at least once. “Talking about the weather” – the cliché icebreaker is more than just idle chatter in my belief. Around these parts I think that it is a way for people to bond together against something that is greater than they are. (That, and it provides an excellent opportunity for one-up’s-man ship – “You think you have it bad, we got 10 inches of heavy, wet snow last night in my town  – my back was breaking!”) After all, no one I know can change it and everyone is affected by it. At this time of the year and for the next month and a half or so as spring teases us with the promise of warmer days and sunny skies – there is a combined sense of impatience, resolve and hopefulness. We’re almost there… just a few more weeks… a few more snow storms and we will be rewarded.

When you think about the bonding we do over the trials of untamable Mother Nature – you know you are participating in a ritual that has been handed-down from one generation to the next in many parts of the world. It is the ultimate realization of the smallness of our presence in the eternal evolution of the planet and of our interconnected experience. You may feel all alone looking down the long snow-covered driveway, shovel in hand pondering the work ahead of you, but you are not, and later you will get the opportunity to swap stories with your co-workers and family. We are a hearty and hopeful lot – bound together by some frozen water crystals and the promise of daffodils.

 

Treasured Friendship February 19, 2010

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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…

 

Second Time Around February 11, 2010

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Sometimes it feels like you have lost people forever. Not because they have passed away in the ultimate permanent way – but because you have grown away from each other. For whatever reasons your lives move apart and time and distance fade them into a memory. The times you shared together become nostalgic remembrances of days gone by – and they no longer are part of your daily life. And sometimes the universe decides to bring them back around again for a second round. When it goes well, it is like discovering a hidden treasure. A beautiful reminder of the past and a real part of the present. Life is forever surprising and often the surprises hold a familiar knowing that heals the soul.

 

Where’s that Reset Button? January 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 11:06 am
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Today has been a real challenge so far and without going into detail, let me just say that it has been a rough start. What I really needed was to feel energized and not drained as I faced the list of tasks that I had hoped to carry out. Fortunately, I have been able to reset myself and though I am sure that the day will wind up being less productive than I had originally intended due to some unexpected curveballs – I am back on track with at least making the best of the time and energy I do have at the moment. This got me to thinking about what strategies we use to get ourselves back on track when life and all its myriad of possible distractions knocks us off.

I know that for me, at least this morning what got me refocused was a chat with a friend, that allowed me to vent a little bit and to re-engage my mind in a more productive way. In this case I think the reset was simply – human connection. I say simply because clearly this isn’t a profound ground-breaking concept here, and yet sometimes I think we forget the power of it. Being able to connect with another person, share in that empathy and understanding – combined with a mutual concern for one another’s well-being was the magic bullet. Additionally, I think that HOW you approach the solution is just as crucial.  I was open to the being reset and was not invested in staying in the negative space I was in. I may not have been able to control all the events that made my morning feel so stressful – but I was able to control how I let it affect me. (This leads me to another topic which I have thought about a lot – locus of control – but I will get to that in another blog.)

In any case sometimes having a friend to talk to isn’t an option and even if it is, coming up with ways to clear our own heads and refocus ourselves is an almost indispensible need. So, what are your strategies for resetting yourself? When you are feeling the weight of life’s stressors how do get yourself back to calm? The temptation here is to list off a myriad of possible suggestions, and maybe that would be useful to some extent, but I believe it is a primarily an individual process, and what would work for you might not be found on my list of options. Nonetheless, just as there is a value in knowing what your resources are in other arenas of your life, taking time to access those internal resources is just as valuable. So, make a list, go ahead, and think about what buttons you need to push when clearly the situation calls for a reset.