Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

“Where I am From” June 11, 2014

Sorting through a file of miscellaneous notes and assorted paperwork this morning prepping for a newSitting group I am planning on accessing the creative inside of us – I came across this… Below is my first pass at my “Where I am From” poem, see – http://www.georgeellalyon.com/where.html. What a great project and a wonderful exercise – might just have to incorporate this in to my group.

I am from Binney Park, baccala and bicycles.
From Aunts Emma and Violet
From head scarves and rubber bands.

I am from delicatessens and mansions.
From soft hearts and strict rules
From bocce and “BINGO” on Independence Day.
From wet snow pants and 45 records.

I am from the “rattle” of the utensil drawer and
the “kerchunk”of the library card.
From stories of WWII and Sunday visits.

From neighborhood hide and seek and whistles for dinner.
From dress-up and tadpoles.
From innocence and cigarette smoke.

I am from knowing too much and not understanding.
I am from the outside, looking in.
From train rides to “THE city” and walks to the beach,
From Friday nights and Barbie dolls.

All wrapped tightly in a bunch,
In a ball, a basket.
Buried deep and bubbling to the surface
All that came before and all here now.

If you haven’t tried it – I suggest you do. Offers an interesting way of thinking about your childhood – where you came from and who you are.
Be well… Lisa
http://firebirdlifecoaching.com/

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One More Item for the List December 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:42 pm
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December Sunset(I don’t generally “cross my writing over”, but for the sake of economy – today’s blog is the text from my monthly newsletter. Freeing to birds with one click, if you will… For those who receive both – sorry for the overlap.)

Well, its December already, how the heck did that happen? Many of us find that this time of year brings a lot of “extras”, extra shopping, extra cooking, extra socializing, etc. And while most of you are likely not going to welcome the fact that I am about to suggest that you add one more thing to your already growing lists – I promise this is one you may want to do. 😉

As our calendar year draws to a close, this is a great time to do a little internal reflection on the year that is about to draw to close. As we get ready to bid farewell to 2013 and begin a new in 2014, why not spend a little time reflecting on what the past year has been like for you? Consider where you were as 2013 rolled in and what changes and developments have taken place for you.

  •  What were you most proud of?
  • What have you learned?
  • What were your struggles?
  • What were your achievements?
  • How have you grown?
  • What memories do you want to savor?
  • In what ways did you take care of yourself, the people and things that are important to you?

It won’t be long before we are beginning a new year, when often we begin again in earnest to commit ourselves to those things that are important to us both personally and professionally, so taking stock before moving forward makes sense now more than ever.
You don’t have to make a big deal out of it. If you choose to ponder the year and write down what comes to you then great. If you choose to just let yourself consider these questions as wait in line at the mall, then that’s fine too. Planning forward is great but missing the lessons you have learned along the way because you didn’t make time to acknowledge them is a gift lost.
Reviewing where you are and where you have been allows you space to envision where you want to be. It’s a part of the process and an important one, so go ahead add it onto the list, it doesn’t cost anything, there’s no clean-up, and no wrapping paper – but it is still a gift you can give yourself during this busy holiday season.

 

I’ll get to it in a minute… November 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 9:15 pm
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wristwatchSo, what do you think procrastination is all about?

People (and I’m not naming any names here) who do it, know that they do it, often see it as a problem and do it anyway. They aren’t proud of it. It often makes them feel uncomfortable and yet they repeat the same patterns over and over again, forcing themselves into situations where they are left trying to complete projects at the last minute, often under a great deal of stress and occasionally at a sub-par level due to time constraints.

Just thinking about it makes my anxiety rise. It’s like when you think about having a dentist, drill your teeth for fillings. It just isn’t pleasant.

We’ve all procrastinated at one point or another, it’s probably more common a phenomenon than not – though I suppose that there are some people who do it much less than others.

Maybe it’s all in the anticipation. After all, people don’t really have a big issue procrastinating about things that they want to do. Procrastination is more typically reserved for unpleasant or arduous tasks, sometimes big things and sometimes very small.

Maybe some people really do, do their best work when they feel the urgency of a looming deadline.

Maybe it’s a way of taking control of circumstances in your life that are less favorable. Or maybe it’s a way of abdicating your role in the control that you do have in a given situation.

Maybe if your past experience tells you that you can wait until the last minute to do something and still receive the outcome you desire, there is some positive reinforcement for putting things off.

It’s a funny thing, procrastination. It’s pretty pervasive, often counterproductive, and surprisingly seductive all at the same time. I don’t have any big “answers” here tonight – I am just thinking “out-loud” a bit. The subject of procrastination keeps coming up in conversations that I have had with a number of folks over the last few weeks. It’s not an uncommon topic. And I do believe it can be “overcome” if that in fact, is your goal. But it’s still tricky.

In ways, I think procrastination is the evil cousin, of savoring. Maybe people who are procrastinators are better at living in the moment? That can’t be all bad. Is it?

It’s complicated. And for tonight I am not going to try to tie this up into a neat little package. I’m just going to put it out there, let you think about it a little bit if you want. Do you think of yourself as a procrastinator? Are there some things that you are more likely to procrastinate about than others? When you finally take action after procrastinating for a while about something, what gets you to move into action?

Maybe it’s one of those things that is worth thinking about sometimes, not to make yourself feel badly about it, but to decide how it effects you, what you get from it, and how you best deal with it? Maybe not, you decide.

 

The Crow and The Hawk February 26, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 8:38 pm
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crow-attacking-red-tailed-hawkThis morning, like most days, I sat enjoying my coffee on my porch. For me, even in the cold of winter, it is my favorite way to start the day. This is because there almost always exists a still, meditative quality to the early morning which is enhanced by the clean brightness of a fresh layer of snow.
Like many mornings the only other creatures I come across in those early hours of a new day are the birds, and today was no exception. But rather than the usual company of songbirds, my feathered friends this morning were three squawking Crows and one very large Hawk.
You’ve seen this phenomenon haven’t you? It happens when a murder of Crows bands together to harass and ultimately scare away a bird of prey. It’s an impressive sight, as both birds have a particular magnificence about them that demand attention.
I watched as they flew from treetop to treetop until finally the Crows were satisfied with the distance the Hawk had flown from their “home-turf”, and they retreated victorious and calm. But this dance is not exclusive to these two types of birds. I have seen it play out before with other combinations of predators and prey. And as my morning moved on, I couldn’t’ help but think about their boisterous interaction and how it repeats itself over and over again in our day-to-day lives as well.
Only, in our lives, both predator and prey often occupy the same close-knit neighborhood – because in us, they represent the opposing voices inside our very minds. You see, it seems that all of us have within us two very different types of “self-talk”.
I am not talking here about the “cartoon angel and devil” sitting on our shoulders advising us on the “right and wrong” of a particular course of action. I am talking about that other kind of self-talk; that conversation between the parts of ourselves that can either “lift us up” or “tear us down”. We all have them. You know the ones… There is the predatory self-talk; “You’ll never get this done”, “You aren’t smart enough”, “No one will want to hear what you have to say”, or whatever particular combination of self-defeating words will trigger your particular psyche to shut-down. And then there is the encouraging self-talk; “You can do this”, “You are doing great”, and “You are totally on top of this material”. Unfortunately, for a lot of folks the former group gets a lot more time at the microphone than the latter. And there’s a reason for that – it’s called the “Negativity Bias”.
First described by social psychologist, Roy Baumeister in an article he co-authored in 2001 entitled “Bad is Stronger than Good”, the Negativity Bias refers to the psychological phenomenon in which humans pay more attention to, and give more weight to, negative rather than positive experiences or other kinds of information. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negativity_bias)
There is a lot of information out there about how to work with our negativity bias (See the work of neuropsychologist, Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom) – not to the extent that we are burying our heads in the sand and ignoring danger – but in order to help us temper this internal response when it’s input may not only be unnecessary but, destructive as well. But over and over again, I find that the most significant intervention we can make is to simply raise our awareness of it and recognize those negative voices when they occur.
You see, it seems that a lot of our negative self-talk likes to operate “on the down low”. When you really stop to notice them, to think about what they are saying, often this simple illumination itself can weaken the force of their message. Like the lion in the grass stealthily stalking its meal, detection significantly lowers the chances they are going home with a big supper.
Once recognized, you can work with doing a little “reality check”. You can consider more positive and encouraging things to say to yourself. You can choose to re-wire your brain by spending more time savoring the positive, or any number of other interventions. But, before you go there just take a moment to shine a little light on your self-talk. You will be pleasantly surprised to see what it has the power to illuminate. After all, if the Crows didn’t notice that Hawk in the first place, they never would have thought to chase it away.

 

The Physics of Life April 28, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 3:36 pm
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Momentum is an undeniable force not just with regard to physics but with the less tangible motion of life. We all know what it looks and feels like to “get things rolling” and how once that forward motion is initiated things take on a movement and energy all of their own. Conversely, we know what inertia feels like – that sense of feeling stuck, still, motionless, unable to get traction and get something started. The same principles that govern the physical world around us seem to have corollaries in our internal experience. Sometimes we are stuck, sometimes we are”on a roll” and sometimes we just need that first little push to “start the ball rolling”.

A lot of us feel stuck, particularly now during these unsettled and unsure times. Many people are pulling in, rather than pushing out, counting their blessings, hunkering down and contenting themselves with staying put, quiet and safe. While others are straining against the bit – wanting and needing to get something started to propel them forward in their lives. In fact, I think many folks are looking for a little bit of both; a sense of change and of security all at once. It’s a tender balancing act requiring a lot of patience and fluidity in hopes of affecting the best possible outcome.

I think when we are anxious to move forward – often times we inadvertently dismiss the little victories along the way when our focus is solely fixed on the “end goal”. And paradoxically, the more we recognize and feed the little wins the more the likely we are to keep progressing forward in the process. We all know the old adage “Rome wasn’t built in a day” nonetheless when it comes to our own lives, I think many of us expect to go from an empty field to the Coliseum overnight. Ignoring all the daily effort and small successes along the path to our dreams is at the very least unfortunate. After all, life is an accumulated experience, no one gets to where they want to be instantaneously, and just think of all the little joys and celebrations you could be having everyday as you work along.

Savor the little wins, nudge the momentum that has already begun and you will not only find yourself moving faster along the path but enjoying the ride a heck of a lot more.