Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Lessons from Flowers March 18, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 11:26 am
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Hanging Flowers (I promise that someday soon – I will once again post a blog, that is just that… a blog. But since lately I have been pre-occupied with various other projects – I thought I would once again share an article that I wrote a while ago for the The Divorce Support Center about resilience, personal agency and self-care which has just been published and featured on their home page. It is relevant for all of us, I think – no matter what our marital status is!)

About an hour ago, I stepped out onto my porch to see two very sad looking hanging baskets. Vines drooping, flower heads sadly bent toward the ground and leaves folding in on themselves – all combined in one plaintive and unmistakable plea, “Water, please!” So, I obliged, as I always do, except for on the days that I forget, like yesterday, apparently… An hour or so later, when I went back outside to add an empty bottle to the recycling bin, I looked up to see my floral friends: refreshed and rejuvenated. This got me to thinking… Wouldn’t it be nice if people could “perk up” as quickly and easily as a freshly watered flower?

Life is hard. Stress abounds. And that is especially true when you are going through a divorce. There simply is so much to deal with on top of the needs and responsibilities of just regular old everyday life – that it is no wonder that some days we just end up feeling wilted and defeated. While it would be nice to wish for days of endless sunshine, plentiful water and the proper nutrients needed for continual and blissful growth, the reality is that sometimes the sun doesn’t shine, the rain doesn’t fall and the nutrients become depleted. So what’s a plant or a person to do?

Luckily, unlike plants whose personal agency is severely limited by nature and the sometimes faulty memories of our caretakers – as people we have much greater control. So the question is what can you put in your own metaphorical watering can on those days when you are feeling a little wilted? Each of us will answer that question differently, wouldn’t we? For some it could be an extra hour in bed, while others might choose to awaken early to have enough time for the gym or a brisk walk before work. Some might pick-up the phone and call a friend while others might take out their journal, pour a cup of tea and snuggle up in a comfy chair to work through their thoughts and feelings on paper. Maybe you want to do a little meditation to clear your mind or head out to hear some live music and dance so much that your negative feelings are left somewhere underfoot on the dance floor. The options are as infinite as each of us is unique. But the common denominator, is taking the time to reflect on what we need a bit and to give ourselves the nurturing that’s required.

The solutions may not be as simple as sunshine, water and nutrients – but that’s really more of a blessing than a curse. So fill that watering can and keep it close because, “You in full bloom – is a beautiful thing!”

 

Hey! Who’s steering this boat, anyway? January 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 8:27 am
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There is a term in psychology called, “Locus of Control” which describes the degree to which people feel that they can control events that affect them. The concept was originally put forth in the 1950’s by Julian Rotter and remains an important piece in the understanding of personality today. Basically, the concept refers to whether a person believes that the control for the good and bad things that happen in their lives resides within them or outside of them. Per Wikipedia, “One’s “locus” (Latin for “place” or “location”) can either be internal (meaning the person believes that they control their life) or external (meaning they believe that their environment, some higher power, or other people control their decisions and their life).”

It is not an either/or proposition, there are times in our lives when we are more in control of the circumstances we find ourselves in than others. And in these difficult economic times, there are a lot of people who are powerfully affected by forces and trends way outside their sphere of influence. Nonetheless, the pivot point is what and how we face these circumstances. We may not control everything that happens to us, both good and bad, but we can for the most part, control how we respond to it. The response itself may also be impacted by external factors, to some degree there is a measure of privilege at work here in even the mere pondering of the question. But there is also a pretty heavy weigh in on the spheres of personality, resilience, confidence, responsibility, commitment and courage.

There will always be things that impact us that are outside our control but how we allow them to impact us is within ours. When you allow yourself to take responsibility for how you live your life it can be both daunting and liberating. Too many factors exist to predict the positive outcome for all of your endeavors, but you efforts are never truly wasted. It is your life – what are you going to do with it?