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Archive for August, 2012

As I drove home from Montreal last evening, it was hard not to be in awe. A crest of a new moon loomed on the horizon, so large that I felt if I simply reached for it I would be able to touch it. The sky to the west shifted from yellow to orange to pink and purple over the span of just a few minutes. As I drove over the Isle Eaux Tourtes, Lake of Two Mountains caught on fire with the reflected colours of the setting sun. I found myself thinking, “How could I forget how beautiful this all is?” It was breath taking and breath giving all in one moment.

It is easy to get caught up in the everyday activities of living. I am guilty of this, occupied with the daily tasks of running a business or simply caught up in life. When I am called back to what is right in front of me, when I allow myself to take in the beauty that surrounds me, I find myself diving into amazing gratitude for the abundance surrounding me. I remember how lucky I am to live where I live, in the country I live in, a country free of the turmoil that occupies the psyches of most of the countries in the world.

It seems like there’s no balance, at least in the way the world is presented to us by the powers at be. Faced with a choice of being in the beauty of this amazing evening or drawn into the busy-ness of life. In this moment I decided to choose beauty. It was simply a SIGN to fuel my soul with something more meaningful than the everyday.

It has been a season of SIGNS. Have you noticed the butterflies? Often mistaken for monarchs, the butterflies descending upon us this year are red admirals who arrived in huge numbers due to the early spring and ongoing summer conditions. From Windsor Ontario to the Nova Scotia border, clouds of them have settled into country meadows. In 12 years of country living I have never experienced such an abundance of winged beauty. Butterfly brings with it the message of metamorphosis, change. Given the predictions for this year 2012 and the ‘spiritual revolution’ underway, I have to wonder if this extraordinary explosion of butterflies is a significant SIGN.

And what about snake skins? We found a skin in one of our trees the other morning as we walked the labyrinth. Evidently the tree branches aided the snake in shedding the old layer and left the remnants of his old life behind. Snake crossing your path is about death and re-birth, the shedding of old skins and releasing what no longer serves you. I am wondering about my new skin and what I am about to step into.

Sunsets, butterflies and snake skins – all SIGNS? It would seem so. You could say it’s just what I noticed along the way, and this would be true. And isn’t that what SIGNS are anyway – messages, hidden meanings, or little pokes in the side asking if you are paying attention to your life. You can certainly choose to think that they are just random happenings and yet, when they catch your attention, you are left to ponder the meaning.

Reality – you can make something out of nothing and I choose too. I believe life is full of messages, some subtle, some screaming in your ear. Likewise I believe SIGNS are easy to ignore as it is so easy to pass that by But what if….

 

Set an Intention – Pay Attention – Be in No Tension

It may be time for all of us to be more alert. In our coaching we always teach that after setting an INTENTION, pay ATTENTION as there may be a SIGN in the wings letting you know that what you desire is happening. It’s time to be curious and to be present with what life is offering us. I hope to see you out there SIGN Spotting along with me!

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I have always prided myself on being planful – it’s simply the way to get things done. There are long range plans for the next five years and short range plans for the next 2 weeks. It’s makes life so easy when life is planned – you are in control.

CONTROL – am I really in control? Does planning really eliminate worry and make life a smooth running road? NO. Control therefor may simply be an illusion. I am considering this.

And all this planning … perhaps this needs to be re-examined. In one of our coaching programs recently, one of the participants noted that she was spending so much time planning, she was not living. Who’s the coach? I heard the comment and it dove deeply right to the core. I was left with the questions, “Am I living?” Am I so concerned about having control and planning my life that I have forgotten to simply BE in the moment?

The thing about planning is that it also limits choice. Take a look at it for yourself. You have your life planned and your eye on the ball. You know where it is and you are heading in the direction you have chosen for YOU. It’s all perfect and the ducks are lined up a in a row. BORING! (Yes, I have said this to myself as well!)

When you are overly planful, it’s a bit like walking through life with blinders on. You are so focused on the goals you have set for yourself; you cannot see what is in your peripheral vision. You eliminate unnecessary ‘distractions’, you don’t see the SIGNS crossing your path and in many ways, you are cheating yourself of some rich, playful and interesting experiences.  Life is happening around you and you are simply not in life.

Control freak or control free? What would be the benefits of less planning and more being? I have pondered this question since the moment the questions was posed. Did I mention that the person asking the question was only 17? Darn, don’t you hate it when the young are so wise, when they see the obvious and end up teaching you life’s most important lessons!

Here is the lesson for me and I am thinking for anyone reading this column. We all need to:

  1. Lighten up and be a little more in the flow of life
  2. Live more and plan less
  3. Be aware of what is happening on the side lines, in our peripheral vision
  4. Become more present in today and less concerned about tomorrow
  5. Pay attention to the SIGNS crossing our path and be curious about what they mean
  6. Relax, breathe and wonder what life might be like if we were control free.

I am sure that like me, you have heard the phrase living in the moment. I totally agree. So why is it I find it so difficult to simply be present, in this moment and feeling what I feel rather than planning the rest of today, tomorrow and all the days after that?

Here is my new morning ritual – setting my intentions for today. They are not plans; they are more akin to how I want to feel and the experience I am attracting during the day. I know the ‘plans’ are in my agenda and I am giving myself permission to relax and breathe into them. This feels different and I am beginning to encounter the shift from control freak to control free.

Here’s the other notice – life is flow. Control is an illusion (oops – who knew!). Back to flow – there’s lots of things to take a look at and enjoy when everything is not pre-planned. And for some reason everything in the plans still gets done. It is amazing how this works.

Back to you – control freak or control free – it’s a choice!

 

Until next time,

 

Betty

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This morning I took time to watch the end of the Canadian Women’s Soccer teams’ bid for an Olympic Bronze medal. After a disappointing loss to the US team three days ago, and threats of sanctions against the team when the complained about the officiating, I was more than a proud Canadian when they scored the winning goal.

 

The Winning Team
Canada Ladies Soccer Team Wins Bronze Medal at the Olympics

This team of athletes set out for the Olympics with one goal in mind – to be on the podium. Following the loss to the US team and the extraordinary disappointment I am sure they felt, it would have been easy to lose sight of this goal and to simply give up. They did not. They rallied. What an example they have set for all of us.

As I reflect back on my own life and career, I wonder how many times I have given up when I was disappointed or when I felt I had lost the game.

Staying the course takes fortitude and, perhaps more importantly, courage. When you choose to stay with something you risk being disappointed again or losing again. It is so easy to justify giving up. I have watched myself do it and can remember the excuses: “This wasn’t the best course for me” or “It wasn’t perfect timing for me.” Sound familiar?

Let’s stop doing that and understand that each time you work at something, you learn regardless of the result. If you always do your best and pursue the goals that are important to you, it is the journey rather than the result that really matters. Of course there will be challenges and disappointments along the way. That’s what makes achieving your goal in the long run so sweet!

I have been running our business for fifteen years. I cannot tell you how many times I have thought about quitting. Those days when it just seemed too hard to continue, when there was little or no new business on the books, when the future was uncertain and when I had lost sight of what I am here to do and who I am here to be.

This morning’s triumph is a significant roadSIGN for me. This band of committed women encourages me to stay the course, to never give up. And so I take a deep breath and begin again. I reach for courage and remind myself of why I have made the decisions I have made and what it is I want to offer to the world. I step into my authenticity and remember what I consider to be my raison d’etre, to facilitate the journey of self-discovery for those whom I serve. I dive into love and remember that I began this journey because I love what I do, why I do it and who I do it with and for. And finally I re-visit grace, reminding myself to stop pushing my way forward and to allow today and the future to simply unfold, to be conscious and fully present.

I think at times we give up too easily and as I reflect back, the greater disappointments in life were those where I fell from the path. I am left wondering about the great ‘what if…’ What if I hadn’t given up, what if I had tried something different, what if it had worked.

Here’s the good news – you get to choose again. You can re-visit and remember all those things that are really important to you and you can put them back on your agenda.

 

Until next time…

Betty

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One of the things I admire about the Local Seeker,   and one of the reasons I write for the paper is that the focus is on Positive News. It has long been a dream of mine that one day there would be a newspaper, TV or radio station where all you can find is the things that are right with the world. You will notice that this is not the focus of most media as finding the negative and then digging until whatever the wound is bleeds, is the preferred approach to the news. Honestly – YUCH!

Is it truth? Hardly! It is perception and in case you have forgotten, perception is not reality – it is simply the reality of whoever is reporting on the situation. We all have a ‘different take’ on how events unfold. And yet, for some indescribable reason we believe what we read. It’s not to suggest that what is reported is wrong, it is simply wise for each of us to read and watch with a level of discernment and understanding that all is not exactly as it is portrayed to be.

Back to celebrating positive news, the same principle applies to your life. At the end of the day, you tend to remember the things that went wrong in a day rather than enumerating all the things that went right. If you actually begin form the moment you arose and recorded all the good things, then all the ‘bad’, you would probably discover that the good far outweighs the bad. As Rick Hansen in his book Buddha’s Brain wrote, negative thoughts tend to stick to us like Velcro whereas positive ones are like Teflon, they simply side on by.

It takes focus to bring the positive into your life and consciousness to make it stick. The world is not inherently a bad place and I am completely convinced that on any given day in the world, the bad things that happen are like a small black dot on a white sheet of paper. All the white space is filled with the many acts of kindness, good deeds and amazing acts of humanity that go, for the most part, unnoticed and under reported.

As human beings we need to be inspired and fed a diet of positive news. Otherwise we become pessimists, our glasses held empty. You get to choose what you fill your days with, who you spend your time with, what you read and what you view on TV or the internet. Consider a media diet! Set an intention that you will attract only stories that inspire you and begin to turn away from anything that makes you feel less than joyful. How would that influence your days, impact your happiness and perhaps even influence your relationships? When you feel better your energy field shifts and others around you have a different experience of who you are.

Speaking of positive news, we invite you, our readers to join us either Tuesday, August 28th or Wednesday, August 29th for a day of positivity and well-being. On these days we will be filming the roadSIGNS TV Show at the Church on Sydney. This is the third season of the program filmed by TV Cogeco and we will be featuring a number of guests speaking on topics including the Body-Mind-Spirit connection as well as themes from Positive Psychology – understanding what helps people flourish. The Seeker Chicks are part of the program! We have 25 spots available for audience members so if you are interested and want to join in for a day that will feed your soul, let us know. You do need to reserve a spot so e-mail us at info@roadSIGNS.ca or phone at 613-874-9934.

Life is a series of choices you get to make every day. Take a little inventory and ask yourself, what is in your life today that feeds your soul and spirit in a positive way? What relationships do you have that build you up? What choices do you make regarding the media in your life?

I encourage you to reach for those things that make you feel good about yourself, about life and about the world you live in. Remember that what you focus on expands. Imagine that if we all, you and I, focused on what is right in the world, what might happen.

Yee-Haw! I can see it now!

Abundantly Yours,

Betty

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