Firebirdlifecoach's Blog

Pursuing a Passionate Life

Sleepy Bear January 29, 2014

HibernationI think I have been hibernating. That’s what I am going to go with anyway. It’s wintertime, and this year with the “polar vortex” turning the cold season into the frigid season, it feels even more appropriate than usual to pull inward until the world begins to thaw.
In my head, hibernation has always meant dormancy; a long, slow, quiet, sleep – but my current experience calls for a little redefinition of that concept. Yes, there is a palpable, quiet, sleepiness to life at the moment – but there is also much going on. It’s just that the activity is more inward than outward. For me, these last few weeks have really been about pulling inward: reflecting, planning, reviewing and taking stock. My mind is alive and awake with a quiet intensity that fills all my waking moments, and some of my sleeping ones, too.
And, I like it. It feels powerful, it feels necessary and it feels right. In all honesty, no matter what the season, my mind rarely sleeps, there is always a lot of activity in there – but something about this particular season’s meanderings feels different. There is a sense of reflection and quiet, retooling and making ready that covers my consciousness like the quiet stillness of a fresh snow.
I will welcome the spring warmth when it arrives, but I am in no hurry. Clearly, nature has its time for all things, and being right here, right now, is where I need to be. When I awake, stomach grumbling and ready to move out in search of nourishment, I will welcome the re-birth of the season. “All things in their own time”, comes to mind. Mindfully, taking pleasure in the gifts of the moment, knowing soon the seasons will change and new moments will bring their own lessons, their own gifts and their own challenges. Sweet dreams…

 

In Every Season November 24, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 5:28 pm
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PerspectiveWe woke this morning to a light dusting of snow. Which was perfect, since the only part I can remember from my very active dreaming last night was that, I awoke in my dream, to the first dusting of snow. I was glad that I hadn’t had a dream about the first blizzard of the season as I was not ready for that just yet! Beyond the snow the temperatures here never rose above twenty-four degrees Fahrenheit on my outdoor thermometer and the wind was ferocious. And… there was something thrilling about all of it.
When I was little, winter was my favorite season. I enjoyed the crispness in the air, and the snow, the lovely, quiet, magical snow. I wasn’t a skier, though when I grew older I did find I enjoyed cross-country skiing. Nor, have I ever liked the layers of extra clothing or the early disappearance of the sun from the afternoon sky – and yet winter was my favorite time of year. Now as I am older, with a sometimes questionable back and the responsibility of; if not doing all of the snow removal, at least the coordination of said removal, along with the cost of the winter heating bills and that has taken a bit of the bloom off of the winter rose.
At this point in my life, I guess all of the seasons are my favorites. They each have their upsides and their downsides – but I guess the thing that stands out to me most – is how beautiful each season can be. Trees are lovely for instance; in early bud, in full bloom, in autumn glory and in their slender delicacy without leaves. There is something equally lovely about the first warm breezes of spring, the hot sun in summer, the crisp coolness of fall and the brisk bracing blast of winter cold.
Spring –Renewal,
Summer – Passionate Life,
Autumn – Harvest and Home,
Winter – Reflection.
It’s all good. I may be singing a different tune a few weeks from now, but today, I am grateful for the first day of “real” cold and wintry flakes. I guess reflecting on the seasons is a lot like reflecting on life itself, there are ups and downs, good bits and bad – but viewed from a certain perspective all parts have their place and the frozen days of our lives make the warm breezes all the more welcome.

 

Fall Back AND Forth November 3, 2013

Sunrise behind fragile-looking winter treesAhhh, fall and the end of daylight savings time…
I actually remembered this year, and before going to sleep last night, took the time to set back the clocks around the house. This meant, theoretically, that last night we would get an extra hour of sleep, (the only upside to this day that comes readily to mind). Unfortunately for me, the one clock I forgot to change was my internal one, so not only did I wake up early today, but I woke up earlier than I would have on any other “normal” Sunday. My day began at 5:30 AM.
This year the shift in the clocks, also coincided with a major shift in the temperature overnight, so we woke to a very chilly, gray and rainy morning in the 30’s. Brrrr! The fact that both of things happened on the same evening – really drove home the realization that fall is fast disappearing and winter is right around the corner. While I don’t dread this season as much as many folks do, I do find that I enjoy it less than I used to. I am beginning to understand why so many folks when they reach their retirement years, fly off to warmer climates. For me however, the single thing that I dislike the most is not the cold, but the lack of sunlight.
So given that the we are in the waning part of the daylight story, and that I am not even close to retirement, I guess I have a couple of choices: begin hibernation mode or make the best of it. Thus, today as I mentally prepare for the fading light and colder days, these are the things I want to remember about winter:
• I love to snuggle under the covers, when it is cold outside
• I enjoy making and eating “winter foods” such as; soups, stews, and other hearty hot meals.
• There is nothing quite as exquisite as a fresh covering of snow: twinkling in the moonlight, shining against the blue sky in the morning and cloaking everything in a dreamlike silence.
• Winter brings some of my favorite family traditions.
• It’s a great time of year for indoor projects and activities; artwork, writing, reading, having friends to dinner.
• The air feels crisp and clean.
• And winter is always followed by spring!
As my morning shifts into these reframed thoughts, I recognize that I can indeed feel a shift. I am excited to have written this blog. I have already gotten an hour of work in this morning on a couple of quiet projects. I am excited to make the beef stew, I was planning for dinner. And at some point, I am going to crawl back into bed for a little nap. It’s all good. Silly me… I forgot for a moment there that each season brings its gifts along with its challenges. Just like every aspect of our lives. I hope you find the upside in whatever may be vexing you on this Sunday morning, sometimes all it requires is a little reset of your own internal clock.

 

Writer – Unblocked May 19, 2013

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt has been an extraordinarily beautiful spring here in New England. Mostly clear and sunny days, comfortable temperatures and the beauty of budding trees, blooming flowers and singing birds – have made this really one of the nicest Springs I can ever remember. So nice… And as the lovely days roll by – I have at many times longed to sit down at this computer to write a blog entry. But alas, it has just not been happening. And while I regret it – I have welcomed all of the things that have prevented me from making the time. There has been a lot going on – and much of it is writing related.

At the end of January, my first article was published on the Huffington Post! http://huff.to/14tXjrN It was very exciting for me and a wonderful reminder – that pushing the limits of your comfort zone is (almost always) worth the risk – which in fact was the subject of the article itself. Yay! About a month or so later I became a regular contributing expert for a group of other websites, focused on divorce. Here are a couple of those articles: http://bit.ly/15P03Aw (The Values and the Message – is an article about connecting with your inner self and using that knowledge as the compass to guide you through the divorce process) and http://bit.ly/YZVItf (A Little Help Along the Way – is an article about accessing external, professional help while you navigate through the murky waters of getting a divorce). If you are interested, links to most, but not all of these articles can be found on my website: http://bit.ly/19QmC84. (I am trying to keep up with updating my site – but I always seem to be lagging a bit behind.)

Besides the article writing – I have also been working on sending out a more regular and consistent newsletter – which includes its own original writing tasks – so there’s that too. http://conta.cc/13z2STe So… all this to say – that I have not been slacking in the writing department – just otherwise focused. And while this is true – I do miss my WordPress blog! But I have learned a lot about myself as a writer over these last couple of months and for that I am most heartily grateful. Here’s just a bit of what I have realized.

* I can write for submission deadlines – not just when the muse visits me.
* My writing is not always, and or does not always have to be “stream-of-consciousness”, which was how I wrote most of my blog entries. I haven’t had to write on a specific topics since being in school, many years ago, and thought I had “grown out of it” in a way.
* When given one main topic – such as “divorce” has been for me recently, there are many, many things that I have to say. I am not afraid of exhausting the sub-topics.
* I truly do love to write! I knew this before, but now that my writing is taking on such a myriad of faces, I find that I get an extreme sense of pleasure and accomplishment from all of them.

So that’s it for today. I have another project to move on to now. But as I sit happily tapping away on my computer, which I set up out on the porch to enjoy the beautiful day, I feel good. Good because I wrote a “regular blog post” and good to have so many excuses to write – particularly if I can enjoy the birds, too. Peace out…

 

Whither the Snow Flower March 13, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 10:31 am
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snowdrops

(I wrote this last week, before the snowstorm that dropped 20+ inches in our area arrived – but forgot to post it! Better late, than never…) March is a cruel month.  After several months of gray skies, cold temperatures and wintry precipitation – the changing of the calendar brings hope to those folks living in the Northern Temperate zones. “It’s March – yeah, we made it!” – The optimistic voices of the winter-weary exclaim as the meteorological spring begins. But alas, the reality of early spring weather – is not long, warm, sunny days with daffodils and tulips. And as the East coast and particularly the North East prepares for another snow/rain storm those happy smiles turn to frowns. The once beautiful snow – looks strangely out of place and is definitely unwelcome.

No one likes a spring snowstorm. Power outages are common, as heavy snow downs power lines and breaks branches. Clearing the heavy, wet snow is unwieldy and back-breaking by shovel and impossible by snow blower. It’s slushy and dirty and gray and even the kids who welcome snow days like surprise holidays, made just for them, start to realize that another snow day will mean the school year is just going to grow longer into the summer. But alas – this is the way it goes, spring storms are a regular occurrence and as far as I know there is still no means of controlling the weather.

But there are upsides… As the days get warmer, the piles of snow will indeed melt faster. The tired grass once exposed will get greener. And always – there are those wonderful surprises waiting under that snow. Every year, much to my wonder and amazement, though I have seen it over and over again all my life, when the snow finally recedes it unveils the early buds of real spring. Crocus, tulips, hyacinth somehow oblivious to the snow cover awaiting them above the soil have managed to break ground. Somehow, in their biological make-up – they always know that their time is near and they begin to grow, no matter how many inches of snow cover the frozen Earth. It’s wondrous!

Yes, I will be out there tomorrow, cursing the heavens as I once again clear what has become my longer and longer driveway with the passing of each year. But I will know we are nearing the end of this winter weather. I will know that under those piles of snow; lay the truly thrilling beginnings of spring. It’s only a matter of time. The days are already longer and this may be the last storm, well at least for this year anyway. Bring it on – each snowflake brings us closer to daffodils.

 

It’s that time again! March 18, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:07 am
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Can this be spring? The clouds have finally cleared, the birds are singing and the first flowers have started to bloom. Yup, I officially have both Snowdrops and Crocuses blooming in my yard, despite the last dying vestiges of snow remaining from the winter’s plowing. When I went out to do errands today, I didn’t need a coat and with the clocks officially “sprung-forward” the daylight lasts until most folks are home from work and through dinner. You can almost hear the collective sigh of relief from people as they walk down the street. “We made it through another winter – spring warmth and sunshine is finally here.” (Knock on wood!) You never know in New England, we have had surprise snow storms into April before, and many of us will leave our snow shovels on our porches “just in case” for several more weeks. After all, if we were to put them away prematurely, then we’re just begging for another Nor’easter. But today the temperatures call for a near-record high of 70 degrees!

Down through the centuries, spring is welcomed and celebrated in many cultures and religions. Celebrations most likely based on our undeniable dependence on Mother Earth and the promise of the renewal of nature abound. Easter, May Day and the Cherry Blossom Festival are just a few of the many celebrations we humans hold to commemorate this transition to warmth and renewal. Whether you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or not – there is almost a compulsion to get outside and enjoy the weather. There is no question about it – almost everyone welcomes the advent of spring.

So during this time of year when rebirth and renewal are the focus – what are you going to do to give yourself new life? You’ve had the winter to contemplate and reflect now is as good a time as any to celebrate your own life and to begin anew. You don’t have to start from a clean slate, or make major changes in how you live your life – but why not use this season of rebirth to expand your horizons and try something new? As the Earth awakens from her slumber, and opens her eyes on a new season – allow yourself to begin again with new focus and new energy. It is a process that is ongoing and always available to you – but why not take advantage of the renewal that we all share? The Equinox is just two days away – get out there and celebrate!

 

It’s So Simple – I Missed It! March 8, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — firebirdlifecoach @ 6:45 am
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This past weekend was, here in New England the first real taste of spring. The temperatures rose into the mid-50’s and after what feels like an eternity the sun shone bright in the beautiful blue sky. The sounds of hammers and children’s laughter peppered the air as the warmth-starved inhabitants found reason to get themselves out into the day. It seemed everyone was outside – except me. Despite my great intentions to take a long walk and enjoy the outdoors yesterday, I was (for the most part) in my house doing “chores”. Actually, there was one particular chore which ate up the bulk of my hours – setting up a new desktop computer for my kids (and myself).

After allowing myself to sleep in a bit I went up to my third floor with full intention of “conquering the beast”; coffee, eyeglasses and flashlight in hand. I figured at worst I would spend a couple of hours getting the new machine configured and linked in with the new printer and then I would be able to go play for a little bit before returning home to finish the more mundane weekly tasks that also crowded my list. But it just didn’t pan out that way. Despite my best efforts, and some minor successes, I descended hours later defeated by the technology that is supposed to make my life run more easily. As I struggled to understand the cryptic instructions – hopeful that if I tried just one more time I would be successful – I pondered the irony of the task I was tangled in.

Computers are no doubt an excellent tool to allow us to do a myriad of things in our lives, like write this blog for instance. They certainly have the ability to make our lives easier but in so many ways they do quite the opposite. Whether it’s struggling to install new software, weeding through virtual junk emails or waiting endlessly on hold for technical support, they can be major time-suckers – and what is meant to be simple is often rather complicated. Now, don’t get me wrong here – I have most certainly bought into the computer age – hook, line, and sinker. I love my computer – if “love” can be used in this context – but sometimes the promise of the ease it will offer doesn’t outweigh the simple alternatives for the use of my time.

By evening, I certainly wished that I had mapped out my day a little differently. Given that the reward of completion with regard to getting the computer set-up eluded me, I wished I had given up earlier and gotten myself outside more. The promise of simple had outweighed one of the simplest things of all, a walk in the warm air. Next time I am faced with a similar choice – I will choose the simple, renewing path – the chores and tasks and technology aren’t going anywhere, they will be here to frustrate me for many years to come and the first days of spring are never meant to be ignored.