Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Tiiiime Is On Your Side, Yes It Is December 19, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 9:33 am
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Card2These days, I don’t think that most of us feel great about time. Time is always doing the wrong thing; it’s moving too fast or it’s going too slow. We rarely feel like “time is on our side”. The pressure to: “be on time”, “make up time” and “find time” is a relentless “TICK-TOCK” in our over-booked lives. But for all the pressure the passage of time puts on us, I would like to argue that at this time of year, when the calendar is about to slide from December into January, time becomes a quiet gift. Because the passage of a year is not just quantitatively different than the passage of an hour, or a day, a week, or a month – it is qualitatively different as well.

When we pass into a new year – we celebrate that transition with parties and silly hats, giant dropping disco balls, fireworks and champagne. “Out with the old and in with the new” – we make resolutions and promises to make dramatic changes in our lives, and we welcome the opportunity to begin again with a fresh new slate.

“Happy New Year!!!”

And while celebrating is great, I would like to invite you to add a little quiet reflection to your annual celebration this year. Find a moment in these next couple of weeks to sit quietly, and review the year we are leaving behind. Take stock of the challenges that you faced along these last twelve months and the wins and triumphs that brought you through them. Spend a little time thinking about something you learned, someone who positively impacted you, a moment you are proud of and a beautiful experience that touched you. Savor and reflect – a year is a long time, a lot has happened and you have grown – spend some time acknowledging it.

Then when you are ready to start looking ahead at the new year on our doorstep, try to resist the pressure to make New Year’s resolutions. Instead slow it down a bit and delve a little deeper. Create a map for yourself that offers more substance and possibility for real success. It’s not as simple as making resolutions, it’s really about creating a map of goals, plans, intentions and then: working it, refining it, reworking it, retooling it and moving forward. So spend some time reflecting on where you’ve been and where you are now and then take the time to thoughtfully look forward to where you would like to be. If it feels right, you might consider hiring a coach to help you along your way; someone with whom you can explore your next best steps, what strengths you bring to the process and how to harness them, someone who will help you heighten your self-awareness, challenge you to think deeply and then hold you accountable for the plans you make.

We don’t need a change in the calendar year to make changes in our lives, but this time we can use the passage of time to our advantage. It is a natural touch point – a time to reflect, a time to dream and a time plan. This time, time IS on your side. Make the best of it.

Wishing you Happy Holidays and A Great New Year!

http://firebirdlifecoaching.com/

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Perspective, Peace and the New Year January 2, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 8:46 am
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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

 

Mindful Spontaneity January 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 5:17 pm
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meditation“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Today, I meditated. And it was good.

Many people meditate on a regular basis, and at a times in my life I could have counted myself among them. Many others seek to create the space in their lives to develop and maintain a meditation practice – but experience only sporadic success. And many more – still “want” to meditate regularly – but just never quite get around to doing it enough for it to “count”. This can happen despite how good it feels when they have success. These days, I am sorry to say – I am somewhere in the latter two camps. Though I do “get there” with what can be best described as sporadic inconsistency – my general sense is; it is never quite a enough – it happens too infrequently and I never give myself enough time. (That said – I am a fan and regular practitioner of a number of brief “awareness, breathing and centering” meditations which are relatively quick – 2-4 minutes. And I do find them helpful.)

You see in my mind – I have some idealized notion that the best time for me to meditate (and I am talking about a 15-45 minute practice here) would be the first thing in the morning. My thinking is, at this time of day – a meditation would serve to clear my brain for a peaceful and productive day. (Of course this is also the time of day I also want to squeeze in everything else, too – writing, exercising, etc. They all seem like they would work best first thing in the morning.) On an intuitive level – it makes sense to me – but on a practical level it just isn’t a good time for me. Maybe because I already spend quiet, reflective time most mornings; enjoying the birds in the yard, watching the early morning sky, sipping coffee contemplatively on my porch. Most days – it is a calm and “meditative” start to my day. And as my mind and body shake free of the sleepy cobwebs that cover my morning countenance – I quietly find myself attending to other simple morning rituals – breakfast, shower, putting away dishes and that sort of thing until it is time to begin work for the day. Making a list of projects, priorities and tasks, catching up on emails and then just getting down to the actual business of the day. It works for me – but try as I may – I just haven’t been able to squeeze meditation (or any of the other items) into my routine, on a regular basis.

And so they fall into rotation at other times. After dinner – can work well for walking. Writing works on quiet afternoons or evenings. And meditation? Well – that’s the tricky one. If I am too tired in the evenings – I fear I will just doze off to sleep. In the afternoons – I am usually busily wrapping up my work and shifting into dinner/family mode so – it often gets lost. So what was different about today you may ask? Well this time when I thought about meditating after working for a couple of hours, I simply – did it. I didn’t try to plan a more opportune moment later in the day – I simply stepped away from what I was doing for a half hour and did it. And it was lovely…

Also a departure from my meditation “norm”, today I found a lovely bit of meditation music to accompany the experience. You see, typically, I just sit quietly – but the addition of the music added a lovely, purposeful “sacredness” to the moment. And I discovered a cool website for downloading music for the mind, body and soul: http://mysoftmusic.com/new. Good stuff. I chose a piece that was just the right length of time, I was clear about the visualization I wanted to use in my mind and I just went for it. And it was particularly sweet.
Ommmmm… Ahhhhh… And afterwards? Afterwards I felt clear, and calm and centered and quite simply – I just felt really good. And the experience has propelled me through the rest of my day.

For me, it feels like I accomplished something – which of course I did AND it is ironic when you think about – because that something – was sitting quietly and “doing nothing”. But the paradoxical nature of meditation and its effects are part of what I like about it. (A quick search on the internet will pull up numerous examples of how meditation benefits its practitioners on a multitude of levels, but I am not going to delve into that here.) Now, I don’t know if this is going to be the “new normal” – but I can certainly see how it might work for me to make it – just that. It’s fitting really when one contemplates the meaning of mindfulness – to allow myself to meditate rather than to attempt to force it into a schedule.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that story with you today. As someone who spends a lot of time, planning and has a strong commitment to thoughtful contemplation and creating structures to support your dreams – I guess I want to also acknowledge that sometimes what is called for is allowing for the organic progression of things. Mindful spontaneity, if you will. A good reminder to me to allow myself to trust my intuition and be in the moment. What about you? What are you going to allow yourself to do? Peace…

 

Making Fire from Smoke October 21, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 9:13 am
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Ever have one of those days when you are all jazzed-up and ready to go? You feel energized, excited and have great aspirations for getting a lot accomplished. “It’s gonna be a good day, I just feel it.” And sometimes it works out – just like that – and when the end of the day comes  – you can enjoy a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. But sometimes – all that hopped up energy – has the net result of a “whole lotta smoke – but virtually no fire”. High energy – becomes – nervous energy – and at the end of the day you are left with a sense of bewilderment – “I know I did something today – but I have no idea what it is.” Energy and enthusiasm – keys to forward movement can without direction, keep you busy but not prove to be very fruitful.

Whether you are planning a business or starting your day with great hopes for productivity and success  – it pays to take a moment to slow down and reflect a bit on where you are and what you want to accomplish. Sometimes you may need to use a coach to help you decide what your specific goals are along the way and what are the components necessary to get to them accomplished.

Ever watch a bunch of little kids playing soccer? The field is full of tiny people full of excitement, a frenetic mob of flailing feet and arms chasing a ball “en masse” around a field with little likelihood of actually getting said ball into the net at the end of the field. That’s fine for five-year olds, at that level of the game – the participation, the running around is the game – but if the players on the Manchester United team played the game the same way – they wouldn’t be who they are. Yep – in order to play the game – there is more expected of you then simply stepping out onto the field with a smile on your face – you have to do more.

In order to move forward productively you have to know where you want to go and have a plan for how to get there. If you are starting a new business – it makes sense to begin with a vision and a mission statement, (a passionate enthusiasm for what you are looking to create) but without a business plan for how you are going to do it – chances are you will end up spinning your wheels without really getting anywhere. And so, my thought for the day, take a moment to pause and reflect on what you are trying to get accomplished, make a plan and then execute it. If you need help – then get some. If you can channel your energy and your passion – who knows where you can go – exciting to ponder isn’t it?