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Archive for March, 2010

Back Home

We arrived home at 12:45 a.m Wednesday, March 24th after 18 hours of driving. Was this what we intended? NO, yet the closer we got to home, the stronger the urge was to continue driving. This must be the same instinct that calls geese back to their summer homes.

For much of the route to Georgia from Tennessee and then home I had no map. I realized how much I like maps – that visual image of where you are travelling. In fact I felt rather blind without it. We did however have a GPS system which of course was reliable and guided us  easily to our destination. Still I was lacking in trust!

Then I realized that in ME FIRST I assist others in identifying their PGS (Personal Guidance System) which of course has a similar purpose to your car’s GPS. Our PGS is established from our intentions and where we want to go. It is guided by our core values, our call to service and our tick (Your Authentic Voice or who you ‘BE’ in the world). I always teach my clients to trust it and to let it guide you to your destination.

Obviously I saw the parallels between my car’s GPS and my personal PGS and I was left wondering if I fully trusted my Personal Guidance System without the benefit of a map to give me all the details of the journey.

Once again I understood that intention is designed to open up the landscape of possibility and calls to us to enjoy the journey. Details, the map, are not necessary, and when I am not following a map I can raise my eyes and enjoy the scenery.

Back at home we are getting ready to facilitate a team retreat tomorrow using one of my favorite tools, Insights Discovery. This is a Jungian Psychometric System that provides an opportunity for individuals to learn more about themselves and then subsequently their team members. I always enjoy introducing teams to this material as it enhances communication and relationships among team members.

That’s the check in. Until next time…

Betty

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The Great Smoky Mountains are the oldest mountains on earth, or so we are told. I have not checked this out from any scientific source and there is no reason to disbelieve what I have been told by the local residents. Certainly this place speaks of ancient wisdom – it is in the air, the mist, rooted in the trees and circling the peaks. As we hiked the other day through the forest and up a gentle climb, the forest floor was waking up, evidence of lilies and trilliums, jonquils, mountain laurel, dogwood and rhododendron about to burst into bloom. Spring is in the air and I love that we are here teaching “If I should wake before I die” just as everything around us is awakening.

We are now in Augusta Georgia after travelling another 6 hours today, south and east. Not exactly in the Tennessee neighbourhood yet when you are already in the south, difficult to say no to. Our friends and dousing teachers Joey and Jill Korn reside here. We have been constantly reminded throughout this three-week tour of the hospitality and generosity of our American friends.

Yesterday ended with a good tired feeling after 4 consecutive ME FIRST events. We had three extraordinary evenings and one full day retreat. Most events have been well attended, others small and I am learning it is not about the numbers, it about the quality of the people who join us for discussion and discovery. This trip was also the great experiment – we set an intention to reach people with ME FIRST and at this point we have attracted about 70 people to the different events and we have established a network here in the south. This is the critical first step.

One topic of discussion since we have been here relates the Health Care Reform introduced by President Obama. Today when I opened my e-mail, I received a message from Laura Davis, fellow author who stated the following:

I spent much of the afternoon, not getting a massage, not hiking, not writing personal stories, but watching the C-SPAN coverage of the health insurance debate.

Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow is the vote. And for me this vote isn’t about someone else’s health coverage. It’s about mine.

Laura is a breast cancer survivor and is well aware of the costs of her care and what would have happened were she not covered by her partner’s health insurance. Her insurance will lapse soon as her partner retires. Another friend of mine who has had a long-term chronic illness has over one million dollars of accumulated health care debt which she states costs her the equivalent of 3 mortgage payments every month. As a Canadian it is unimaginable to me not to have easy access to health care and trust me despite our complaints and concerns about our system, we have no reason to complain. There are so many people here who simply cannot access health care and there is much fear evident among those who don’t want reform. I heard it the other day on the hiking trail as one of my fellow hikers asked me about our system, from friends and on the news. And there are many misconceptions about our system, so much so that I have wondered who fabricated the stories I hear. I cannot help but be engaged in the debate as this place, the wealthiest nation on earth, has a poverty mentality when it comes to sharing resources and offering equal access to all. Over the last 2 weeks I have watched my friend Betty Jones lobby with her friends and family for the reform. We as Canadians can set an intention for tomorrow’s vote that generosity and common sense rule.

The rain has returned after several wonderful days of sun and warmth. We will rest here for one day and then begin the trek homes, setting intentions for safe travel northward.

Until next time…

Betty

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Asheville, NC

This morning we travelled from Townsend Tennessee to Asheville, NC. The mountain passes were freshly opened after a night of snow. Magic best describes our passage through the uppermost points of the Great Smokey Range this morning, as each tree wore garments of lacy white snow, the air about them misty and mysterious. We stopped along the way for a few photo opp’s, children everywhere pouring out of cars and engaging in spontaneous snowball fights. Another car from Ontario rolled down their windows to chat with us, sharing notes on the local sights and our enjoyment of the region. Even though we are fully enjoying this trip, it was good to greet fellow Canadians.

We have just arrived at our friends Maureen and Zelle’s place in Flat Rock. Maureen and I met back in the late 90’s as part of the Higher Ground Community. She is a graceful, creative spirit, who with her partner Zelle, have created the State of Grace document. I encourage you to take a look.

This past weekend kick started our ME FIRST activities – a series of three events. While participation was lower than we expected it was perfect just the same, and met the most amazing people. In addition to this our friends and hosts Betty and Bud have been introducing us to their very eclectic circle of friends as well as the local culture. I feel so blessed to be experiencing all of this. It is interesting to note once again that every journey is about learning.

Last evening I attended a ‘wining women’ event with 11 other women. It was the Ides of March and the requirement was to wear a toga (okay a bed sheet wrapped around me!) There were many courses of food, each one paired with a different wine, lots of laughter, sharing and a fun! Gathering possibilities for hosting similar events at home.

That’s the update for now.

Until next time

Betty

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Townsend, Tennessee

Townsend, Tennessee sits on the edge of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. As I sit in my friend Betty Jones’ beautiful home, I can look across the park, the peaks silhouetted against the sky and the valleys below filled with the smokey fog that has given these mountains their name. It is an amazingly energetic and spiritual place.

We arrive here 2 days ago and in our brief time here I have already experienced my first yoga class (imagine, almost 60 and never been yoga’ed), where I was reassured that not doing perfect poses was simply a crack and that cracks are important as they let the light in. I also had a session, along with Jim and Betty, in heart math, an amazing tool which provided strategies for creating coherence between your head and your heart and shifting into a heart space. I can see the benefits of this for all of us and for working with coaching clients.

Our inaugural ME FIRST event is this evening at Migun, TN. I am excited and anxious, that wonderful mix of anticipation that comes before every series of events. In the next 10 days we have 7 events planned and I am holding space and the intention that the perfect folks attend each event and that I am able to make that heart connection with each one.

I am very comfortable here. How wonderful it is to have homes to travel to and to feel the warmth and intentions that our hosts have seeded in their own environments. Did you know that you can do that? It is really so easy, simply opening the space, releasing any energies within the space that no longer serve the occupants and inviting in the energies that are in everyone’s highest good. For effect you can smudge, with sage or incense. It works. I prepare my space like this before every ME FIRST event. It is a way of welcoming in spirit, purifying and creating a safe environment for all who gather.

I believe a hike in the mountains is the order of the day before our event this evening. To each of you, open space, and attract all that is in your highest good.

Until next time….

Betty

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On the Road

We are currently on I-81 just north of Roanoke, Virginia, a busy north south route that extends from the Canada-US border to Florida. I am sure many Canadian snowbirds have tested this route on their way to escape the chill of the great white north. The temperature has been steadily climbing the further south we travel now sitting at a balmy 18.5 degrees.

Our road tour started off with a blast and our inaugural ME FIRST Retreat on Saturday, March 6th. This was followed by a day in NYC with friend and fellow coach, Janet Wise, and a visit with Josee-Anne Maurais, a Montrealer now living the ‘the city’. We walked the streets of midtown between Grand Central Station and Central Park. The world joined us, everyone enjoying the first vestiges of spring. Fortunately it was Sunday and our focus was being with friends – this kept my desire to some day shop in NYC at bay!

Traveling poses its own challenges as we have to visit Starbuck’s or Panero’s to access e-mail. The environments are often busy and noisy. Makes me realize how much I appreciate the quiet of my own office and how challenging it is to work in a crowd. I have empathy for those cubicle dwellers of large corporations where privacy comes at a premium. 

As we so often do, we are having a cleanse day today – a day of not eating solids and enjoying our gentle Isagenix process. Always makes me feel so much better especially after a few days of eating more or eating differently than normal. And it means not having to eat fast food along the way – never a favorite of mine.

In an hour we will decide whether to stop for the night or continue on to Tennessee. We have now been in the car for just short of 8 hours, and we are 4-5 hours away from our final destination. We will stretch, breathe and check our fatigue levels before we continue. 

What have I been learning as we go, bringing ME FIRST to new audiences? I have begun to understand just how important this work is as we observe the reaction others have to the program and witness the changes that are occurring in ME FIRST participants. Each time Jim and I facilitate the material something different happens, aspects of the program become clearer, the material grows. I know from a deep place of knowing that this is how I am supposed to play in the world.

As we begin our Tennessee tour, I am holding the intention that events are well attended with all the perfect people and that the journey we have embarked on continues to unfold in wondrous ways.

Until next time…

Betty

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There have been so many wonderful roadSIGNS this past week, not the least of which was an event I co-facilitated for Leadership Ottawa (LO). Of interest is that LO does not call their team facilitators, but cultivators. You have to love that, cultivating, seeding, nurturing and so on. For me it conjures up an entirely different energy.

In sharing this with my colleague and fellow coach Patty Walters this morning, I was able to notice that years ago I set an intention to work with individuals who understood that Leadership is an inside out process, that to be an effective leader one must first address the inner landscape of self. And this is where I was called to play during the LO retreat.

I am so grateful. And I have a dream of running a leadership event where this is the focus. I want to merge ME FIRST with leadership, in fact ME FIRST is exactly that, leadership of self. What follows naturally is stepping into being a leader in the eyes of others. Leadership, again in my view, is rarely about doing. It is a state of being.

And this is the beginning of our ME FIRST road trip, planned many months ago and now underway. Currently we are in Garrison, New York, in the upper Hudson Highlands. Tomorrow we will run a ME FIRST Retreat Day hosted by our friends Lynn and Norm. Sunday we will dip into NYC to see friends. Next week we travel on to Tennessee to run a series of ME FIRST Events. I will keep you posted as  frequently as possible.

Something I recognize is that I have not been keeping up with my blog – unfortunately I have allowed this venue to become simply one more thing on  my to do list, a chore. That is not where I want to play. I enjoy writing. I enjoy having this conversation with all of you, even though I am not aware of who is visiting. And I want to be attractive, inspiring and uplifting. This is the energy I insert here, in the spaces between my words.

I invite you to share my intention for a leadership event/retreat which is inspiring, uplifting, provoking. Without knowing where or when, I can absolutely see it happening and see you there.

More notes from the road later!

Until then,

 Betty

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