Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Hearty Breakfast September 3, 2010

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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?

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Prefection Reflection May 17, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:59 am
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(Wrote this one mid-day Sunday.)

A most excellent day! Find myself home and alone on a BEAUTIFUL, sunny day. Woke up early – got the grocery shopping done and laundry started before 9:00, just in time to enjoy sitting in the sun in my favorite and most private spot in the yard. After two restful hours soaking up the most glorious sunshine – and sketching a drawing that was floating around in my brain, spent another three hours or so – making said creation. It felt particularly good since I spread everything out on the grass and finished the first piece of artwork I have created in about six, long months. And I am now pondering – what’s next?

It’s one of those days that I am enjoying both productivity and recreation. Have had four long conversations with dear friends and am feeling both social and solitary. I had been thinking about having a friend to dinner and have been invited to another friend’s house if I’d like to join a group of folks for a casual meal. Just can’t quite decide what I am up for, since I am really enjoying being alone as much as I am tempted to spend time with friends. I am less inspired to get in my car for the 40 minute drive however and don’t know if I am up for putting on – leaving the house clothes. Ho-hum, problem of plenty I guess, things could be a lot worse.

This weekend is not what I had planned. I had intended to go out-of-town to spend some time with my boyfriend, but familial responsibilities kept me tethered to the home front. I wasn’t particularly happy about that change, but am rolling with it quite well as it turns out. Recently read a quote from a Buddhist monk (sorry, forgot his name) who said something to the effect of “People are always living for the future, and the only future we really have is the present.” Found myself nodding inside – and thinking, “so true, so true”. I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in our future plans and I for one am absolutely committed to the idea of planning for and creating a future vision for ourselves that is meaningful and resonant with who and how we want to be. But at the same time, I am equally convinced that living in the moment and making the best of the now is the way to go (while building and expanding on the past). It’s all interconnected and fluid, given that there are certainly no real breaks in between.

So to that end – I shall continue forth with my lovely day, my brief reflective writing moment drawing quietly to a close. I still don’t know what will come next – but I am okay with that – because at this very moment – life is beautiful perfection. Peace – LB

 

Thoughts from a Dancin’ Fool March 29, 2010

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I am a fan of an occasional show of reckless abandon. For me it usually takes the form of dance, but I suppose there are other forums for such displays. This weekend I went to hear a great funk band from New York with a few friends and I (as expected), danced to my heart’s content. Their music just has that “great beat” that you need to get your feet a tappin’ and your body a movin’ and once the music begins I just can’t resist the urge to get up and start shaking. Whether my friends were beside me on the dance floor or not – I was happy to be up there just “doin’ my thing”.

For me, when I am dancing it is all about the beat and the movement. It is truly a “primal experience”, by which I mean there isn’t a lot of thinking going on. I am 100% in the moment, just listening and moving and smiling. And afterward, exhausted and sweaty I feel renewed and revitalized by the experience. It is a forum in which I am completely comfortable and at ease, though a lot of folks seem to experience self-consciousness while dancing, I have to say that I luckily do not. And it is just that, the experience of tapping into something without thought that I find so refreshing.

The experience of dancing allows me to do something which in other forums I have to approach in a more intentional fashion. It is the experience of being 100% in the moment, and 100% focused of the experience at hand, without thought or analysis and without effort. There are other things that allow me to be in the present for instance, it is a big part of how I prepare myself when I am getting ready for a coaching session with a client. It is part of the process that allows me to open to my intuition and to ease up on my intellect, though in these cases like many others it is a conscious shift. Dancing is a given for me, there is no prep needed. Finding the places and experiences in your life to let go and just be are little gifts with big impacts. My recommendation for the day, find the thing that allows you to just sink into the moment, and treat yourself to a little quiet time with the simplest of yourself.

 

Go with “The Flow”… January 5, 2010

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Do you know what it’s like to be “in the flow”? It’s that feeling you get when something is just clicking along and you don’t have to think about it or work for it – it’s just happenin’. Those in the arts; musicians, artists, writers, dancers, chefs, etc. experience this feeling (if they are fortunate) when they are creating their work. There are times when I am working on a piece of artwork and the moment just feels right. My mind is alert and awake yet quiet, and my hands are moving over the paper as if compelled by an energy that is moving through me. I am aware of the texture and sensation of the pastels as they glide onto the paper. My voice tells me, “Put some blue here, move the green over there” and I just go with it – without really consciously thinking about what comes next. When I am done, I feel both calm and energized – it is a wonderful experience. Often I find that these are some of my most favorite pieces. Though I can’t always count on having that experience when I do my artwork – I am still grateful when I do.

I think that there are moments in all things when you have the sense that you are doing your best work and it is effortless and smooth and synchronous. I believe people can experience it in other ways as well. I think that a gardener who is slowly and methodically weeding a garden can feel that calm, the experience of being fully present in the moment, engaged and attuned with the simple task at hand. It is acute focus without controlling thought. And though it may have some qualitative differences, I believe it is still a type of “flow”.

In coaching it is called “Dancing in the Moment” – those times when you are working with a client and it feels effortless and inspiring. The “creative juices are flowing” and you are being propelled forward together doing good work, having meaningful insights and connecting on a powerful level. It doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, you know it. The focus is on the client’s agenda in coaching and the purpose is not to advise clients on what you think they should do but rather to assist them in planning their own strategies for moving forward and achieving their goals. The more you are able to be in the moment and to connect with the client, on as many levels as possible, the more likely you are to hit that sense of flow, where both client and coach can do their best work. When I lead with my intuition rather than my intellect I am more likely to move “into flow”.

Let it flow…