Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

The Squeeze August 2, 2010

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My schedule as it is, the best time always for me to write my blog, seems to be first thing in the morning. My usual pattern was to wake early, fix my coffee or tea, take my laptop out to the porch and start typing before beginning my other daily activities. However, lately, I have just not been able to swing it. The arrival on my schedule of two early morning appointments and what has become a daily battle with my snooze alarm have prevented me from finding the time in these early morning hours to get to writing. I don’t like it. But I am forever hopeful…

So here I sit, brain still a bit foggy, with few minutes left to devote to this task. As I type, I am busily strategizing a new system, for both waking early and for writing these blogs but nothing concrete has yet risen to the surface. I am pondering the blog of Seth Godin, and his ability to encapsulate a brilliant idea in two-three sentences and wishing I had his gift for streamlining my thoughts. But I will work with what I do have, do the best I can, and hope for a good result.

I do believe in the old adage – “where there’s a will, there’s a way” so I shall push forward in hopes that I can catch up with my own desires and get this piece, which is truly important to me, back up and running. So for now, you get this, just a small sample of my mental meanderings and the ever-present will to share my experience in this small form with you. May you find the time in your day today to do not just those things that you have to do, but those that you want to do, the things that make you feel whole and centered, refreshed and renewed, even if you can only squeeze them in for little bits of time.

 

Are you there yet? May 7, 2010

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Are you there yet?  

Most of us can recall the experience of sitting in the back seat, being a passive passenger on what seemed like an interminable car ride, anxious to get out and stretch our legs, waiting to get to our destination and unable to resist asking the driver of our vehicle once, twice or twenty times the question burning in our little heads – Are we there yet? In fact, those of us who are parents can recall several occasions when that very same question was asked of us. Getting to the destination after a long trip often seems like it is an eternity away when the question rolls through our heads over and over, no matter who is doing the asking. It is a question that my co-workers would jokingly ask one another after one of those long and grueling days at work which seemed to go on and on with no signs of ever ending. In life it seems, we are always waiting in one way or another to get THERE.

The funny thing is – unlike those long trips we may have taken as a child – the destination is often less tangible. Getting there, wherever there may be is often not so black and white. Many times the “there” is more elusive; morphing and changing so that just when you think you are at the doorstep, you realize that the roadmap has changed and the destination has now been moved down the block, around the corner or out-of-state without us realizing it. It’s like the old vaudeville routine when the unwitting character reaches down to grasp the dollar only to have it yanked a little further away by an invisible string. “Oh, I almost had it that time!”

So what do you do when your dreams and goals take on the same evasive dimension? Well, you can adjust how you see it. For one, rather than focusing on the final destination – you can allow yourself the opportunity to enjoy the ride. When I was little, I would often go on “Sunday drives” with my two aunts, and while there was always a final destination we were seeking (usually a place to stop for lunch), the joy was in the rides themselves. We would play car games as we rode along that involved taking turns “choosing” things that we liked outside the car windows. The journey itself WAS the destination and our lunch stop was just a part of the process. Allowing ourselves to enjoy the trip made for a complete experience and kept their young passenger engaged and happy over the hours long meandering through the Connecticut countryside.

Having a destination and a goal in mind helps to get us out in the car in the first place, but taking the best from each moment along the journey allows you to notice and savor all the little things along the way. Enjoy your goals, celebrate them when you arrive and then set a new goal for your next part of the journey. And most importantly, don’t forget to look out the windows and enjoy the ride, why should the enjoyment be reserved only for the final destination? Every little piece enhances and enriches the whole. Have a good trip – no matter where you are going.

 

Into Each Life a Little Rain Must Fall March 31, 2010

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Every year people in colder climates look forward to the advent of spring with great anticipation. The promise of longer, warmer days, sunshine, flowers and a myriad of outdoor activities puts an extra spring in our step (pun only marginally intended) and boosts us through the final days of winter. And every spring, I think we all suffer a temporary amnesia that causes us to forget that “with spring comes rain”. Sure there are the old sayings “March – In like a lion and out like a lamb” and “April showers bring May flowers” but the idea in most folks head is that the rain is just a light watering needed to make the spring flowers bloom, not a veritable monsoon season! This year, those of us in the Northeast as well as other rain-soaked regions are finding that those spring showers are carrying a particular tenaciousness and ferocity to them that just weren’t what we had in mind.

As water tables rise, rivers crest and the Earth becomes sodden with the seemingly endless supply of rain in the forecast, we are forced to table our plans for enjoying the warm weather that spring promises in order to mop our basements, replace our windshield wipers and buy new umbrellas to replace the one that was turned inside out by a rogue gust of wind. Like many of our other plans, hopes and dreams for our future – the rain provides the perfect metaphor for the monkey-wrench that is often a part of the process. There are few things in life that are a straight shot from desire to attainment – the path winds and the obstacles are unpredictable and plentiful – yet the spring always really does arrive. We may have the opportunity to get outside here and there – though it feels like forty days and forty nights, there are breaks in between and when there are, they are often glorious.

Though it would be nice to be able to believe that everything you work for and want in your life is just there around the corner – a short burst of elbow-grease away but the reality is that the path to getting there is often fraught with challenges. The key to succeeding is about being able to weather the storm, and work through the stalls and sidetracks along the way, focusing on the vision you wish for and dealing with the challenges as they arise in the best and clearest way that you can. There will always be another rainy day but there will also always be another sunny one. Reminding yourself that you have what it takes to get through the obstacles in your path as you strive toward your goals will help you along your journey – because if it was all flowers and sunshine the sense of accomplishment though sweet would feel a lot less satisfying. Besides you never know what you can learn from a little rain.