Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘roadsigns’ Category

“You need two things to get unstuck: Clarity and Courage. And, clarity is the reward of having courage.”

It has occurred to me in the last two weeks that courage is something to embrace as the opportunities for self-expression continue to unfold in my Third Act. Why courage? I am finding it challenging to crack open the eggshell of old habits and daily routines which have governed my life for so long. One of my greatest gifts in life has been my purposefulness and goal orientation. One of my greatest liabilities in life is my purposefulness and goal orientation!

It takes courage to face it down, to challenge it, to understand how I trip myself up by relying on what I have always known. It is a bit of a trap, for even though we can agree that purposefulness and goal orientation is a great thing, I also see the limitations, the blinders these habits impose.

Enough self-flagellation; this is not meant to be a critique of me. The question really is ‘now what’?

In a moment of clarity, the other day I realized that what I really wanted to release was the ‘need to work’. Yes need. I don’t know how it has been for you, but I was raised in the school of responsibility, obligation and ‘shoulds’. The reality for me is that I no longer need to work. Now on the government payroll with CPP and OAP, I may not be completely set for life and I know that our financial health is strong. So what is this need thing, this drive?

In its place I would much rather embrace the joy of work and be open to whatever that may be. I still love what I do and offer clients. I thoroughly enjoy coaching, facilitation and teaching. Am I not fortunate? And there are as many opportunities out there for me now as there were 20 years ago when I started my business, perhaps even more.

And here’s where courage comes in – saying ‘NO’ to the less than perfect opportunities, releasing the work that lingers that no longer engages me, because I don’t need to hang on. This gives me the space for clarity, the opportunity for opening new avenues of connecting with and serving people. None of this is a surprise; I have been ruminating on this for a while.

I am a person that also enjoys structure and routine and again I am asking if I need it. With summer upon us, I dream of morning walks, time on the front porch in the early morning sun, gardening and painting, hammock time with a good book, evenings in the gazebo sharing a glass of wine with friends. My usual work schedule does not accommodate these things or this life style.

As I envision the July and August landscape, I see great possibility. The second week of July is fully booked with a series of workshops we will be facilitating from Quebec City to Vancouver. Yes, it will be an intense week. More importantly, by having the courage to speak honestly with our clients, we will be engaged in work that we love and which we believe will make a significant difference for our client. Clarity was our reward.

Then guess what, the remainder of July and August is a fallow field. Will I have the courage to ‘BE’ in it allowing time for new possibilities to emerge and clarity to grow?

So onto you. Some things to consider. Are some of your greatest strengths also your liabilities? It is a great exercise to recognize this.

Is it time for you to address some on the repeating patterns that have governed your life and crack open the egg? What would you like to replace these patterns with? Remember if you can’t name it, it is unlikely you will get it.

Summer is such a wonderful time to relax and allow yourself to sink into the days. Why not do so? I plan to and hope you will join me, perhaps even share with me a few of your AHA’s that show up.

Have the courage to let go of what you have always known and create space for clarity to walk in the door.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I have recently had the pleasure to dive into the work of Joan Anderson, an American author whose books A Walk on the Beach and The Second Journey have truly resonated with me. It is always good to be supported on one’s own journey. Joan’s vulnerability and humanity spoke through the pages, as if she and I were having a conversation. And this conversation was an important one as she disclosed that despite her work, that of encouraging others, especially women, to find room in their lives for themselves, was a message that she personally struggled to live. And in their lies my truth, that despite my ME FIRST teachings, I have lots to learn about ME FIRST.

Like many of us, I am caught up in the flow, forward and backward movement. A self-avowed doing addict, I have trouble at times slowing down and even when I do, I cannot seem to harness my mind. Oh sure there are a few divine moments, when the quiet descends and I find myself in the ebb. I relish those moments and hold on to them greedily, for it is in that ebb space that I see, I know and I am. And then, just as quickly as the ebb appeared I am back in the flow. And I know this is right as well, the ebb and the flow, the movement of the tidal waters around the earth and the tidal waters of our life, is as it needs to be. Nothing is static.

All of this insight falls on the heels of a year of what feels like slumber. One year ago in January 2014, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, a rather serious, although treatable, auto-immune disease. After month of stiff and sore fingers and toes, blood tests and X-rays pointed in this direction. This is an illness familiar to me as I have been part of the Rheumatology community for a few years as the facilitator of the Colour of Communication designed for health professionals working in this field. The irony of suddenly attracting this illness did not escape me. Yet somehow, in the back screen of my mind all this news did not ring true. My intuitive “energy” colleagues supported that belief. Despite this I embarked of a course of treatment which over the next eleven months included two drugs, Plaquinil and Methotrexate (a form of chemotherapy). I saw my energy levels diminish yet I stayed with the program. I saw no observable forms of improvement in my joints yet I stayed with the program. Without recognizing it, I began to slide in my desire and drive to be of service.

Here Comes the Sun - A New Dawn!

Here Comes the Sun – A New Dawn!

Five weeks ago, in a collaborative decision with my rheumatologist, all medications were stopped. We both agreed that while my blood work was highly suggestive of RA, my lack of response to treatment indicated otherwise. Subsequently I have had additional joint studies completed which have revealed osteoarthritic changes in my fingers, no meds required.

I have written previously about Awakening, and I feel that at this moment I am once again in the awakening process. My energy levels have returned, I am waking up with a new sense of vigor and I feel that suddenly I am once again in the game. I have a suitcase full of appreciation for this. You do not realize what you have until it is removed for a period of time. And I, admittedly was under appreciating my life, my passion, my sense of purpose and my drive. I was under appreciating the ebb and the flow.

I have no judgment of the last year or the decision I made to seek and accept treatment for an illness I do not have. Rather I am grateful for my current state of health and for the lessons learned over the past 12 months. A significant aspect of this lesson is to embrace the ebb and the flow, to be in movement and to be in solitude and contemplation; to find the easy balance between the two.

With the newness of 2015 still on my skin, and an appreciation of all the forecasters and pundits, I know this to be a year for transformation. This means casting aside what no longer serves and creating space for what is waiting on the other side of the door. It is in the ebb that I have time to identify the castaways and in the flow that I can reach out and receive what is next.

I encourage you to identify the ebb and flow, the natural rhythm of your life. So much of daily living is forced rhythm. May this leave you with the desire for contemplation and the willingness to step into the ebb for a few moments everyday!

Until next time,

Betty

Read Full Post »

On Tuesday October 21st, Jim and I travelled to Ottawa with our friends Lynn and Norm. As they were visiting us from New York, we wanted to take the opportunity to briefly tour the nation’s capital and take in an event at the National Arts Center. After parking the car we walked by the National War Memorial. Norm, who is former US Army Corp of Engineers, noticed the two soldiers keeping watch and commented on how respectful this was. Interestingly, as many times as I have been to Ottawa in the past, I had never noticed the soldiers standing there before. Our day continues with the joy of sharing our capital city and enjoying an evening performance of ‘Once’.

Then Wednesday arrives. Following our friends departure I become suddenly aware of the activity on Facebook and expressions of horror, fear, sadness and more. Canada and Canadians have, in a few short moments, seen the arrival of terrorism at the foot of Parliament Hill. One of those soldiers, perhaps one of the same soldiers we saw the previous day, has been gunned down. In a country of peacekeepers, the guns they lean into during their guarded stance, are not loaded. That same gunman heads for parliament hill where havoc reigns for several hours until he too is killed. Again, as Canadians, we have never required the extreme security measures of our southern neighbours and as a result, he easily entered the building.

More than inheriting fear from this sudden attack, I feel that we as Canadians have lost something much larger – our innocence and perhaps our peacekeeping soul. I will admit to having shed tears this morning, at the unnecessary loss of a young soldier’s life and at the enormous loss we as Canadians are experiencing.

And, this is only a beginning. Now comes CHOICE!

I have long understood that there are only two ways to live in the world, in LOVE or in FEAR. Yesterday’s incident thrusts into a crisis of consciousness and an opportuntiy to decide where we, individually and collectively, will play from here. Will we dive into fear because of this act and in response to the terror that reigns in locations around the world or will we hold ourselves in love because this is really what we want to perpetuate.

I ask you to choose Love!

Radiate Love - Painting by Betty Healey

Radiate Love – Painting by Betty Healey

Through sceptical eyes you might ask me why.

My simple answer is this: what you give energy to grows.

Do we want to grow FEAR – no! Do we want to grow LOVE – yes!

And so with that in mind, this is my request and advice. Feel outraged! Express it through writing or discuss with a friend. release it. Fill the space with LOVE, peace, gratitude and all the emotions that you consciously want to perpetuate and grow in your corner of the world. This is the way we curtail terrorism.

Living in FEAR offers fuel to a fire that I do not believe most people want to live in.

I invite you to join hands with me and feed the fire, feed yourself, feed your life with Love and Peace. You get to choose.

Until next time,

Betty

Read Full Post »

Four weeks ago while browsing through Facebook I came upon a TEDx talk by fellow Canadian Drew Dudley entitled This Game has No Winners. The fifteen minute presentation not only had an impact on me, it validated my personal beliefs and the work we have been doing with organizations.

In his talk, which I invite you to watch (see link below), Drew talks about the education system we have been raised in and how we have been cultured to not challenge the ‘truths’ we are taught, nor the rules or perspectives that are downloaded to us. These so called truths and rules form what I refer to as the IBSC (better known as the Itty Bitty Sh—- Committee), that choir of critical voices that sings in our ear and tells us how we are expected to play in the world. We teach our children that life and work is a game, that there are winners and losers, the great competition and the fight for resources. It is a scarcity rather than an abundance model.

The symptoms of this game are all the things we complain about in today’s world: greed, jealousy, bullying, empire building, spiritual dis-ease, lack of meaning, and more.

Many of us believe that there is another way. The what if is, what if we chose not to play this game? What if collaboration, understanding, and yes, LOVE, were the more powerful and potent tools. What if rather than beating the other guy down we endeavored to simply Add Value! What if we lived our lives through our compelling ‘WHY’, our sense of purpose and how we chose to serve the world? Same or different?

As Drew stated in his talk, there really is only one goal to strive for in life:

I will add aim to add tremendous value in every single interpersonal interaction in which I am a part of.

I will strive to give someone something they didn’t even know they needed or wanted.

…this is a matter of no longer asking what we need to do, rather asking who we need to be

(and to choose) to be the type of person who allows the people around me to shine brighter.

Drew Dudley

 

(To view this TEDX Talk go to http://youtu.be/d02UlBC3knw )

In the last two years we have focused our work on Conscious Communication, developing your communication intelligence. This has two fronts, one internal and one external.

The internal front addresses those conversations you have with yourself and asks if these conversations are uplifting or diminishing. It requires listening in on the IBSC to assess the messages that are running in your head and what you are feeding yourself. Are you telling yourself the truth? Are your messages driven by ‘them’, all the voices which told you the rules and expectations? Is your internal conversation intelligent? If it does not lift you up, it isn’t!

The external front addresses your relationship with the world, friends and family and work colleagues. It begins with self-knowing and acceptance which then allows you to see others and how they are similar or different. Communication Intelligence or CQ teaches that life is about understanding and working with diversity, learning about, celebrating and embracing your personal strengths as well as the strengths of others. It teaches that the approaches others take in their communication to us are not about us, they are about the individual speaking. Hence it teaches how not to take things personally. Of course the ultimate vision is collaboration and adding value.

I invite you to examine both your CQ as well as the value you add to every conversation and interaction. This might just be the new start you need….

For more information regarding Conscious Communication go to www.roadsigns.ca.

 

Until next time,

 

Betty

Read Full Post »

I have just returned from a two week vacation on the beaches of North Carolina. The intention was to break completely with the day to day obligations of running a business and have a complete rest. That said, I imagined that I would stay connected, follow my e-mails, keep up to date – not really keeping with the intention you might note!

The Universe has a way of providing what it is you need, so do be careful what you ask for. On the way to our vacation spot I began noticing the SIGNS! First was:

it can wait

Located in the I-81 in New York State, this sign took me by surprise. I could not believe that rest stops had been converted into ‘text stops’ to accommodate those drivers who cannot seem to travel a few short hours without texting. This raised the question, “what are my connection needs?

Arriving at our destination, I noted hat the name of the resort was Barrier Island. Another SIGN?

barrier island

Barrier – suggesting ‘boundaries’ perhaps. Hummm, some food for thought. Perhaps I was being directed in a way that would force me to live up to my intention after all. The next indication: no wi-fi in the condo unit. If I wanted to connect I had to walk to the closest Starbucks, conveniently located about 15 minutes away or the office. While there was access it had to be planned. This was a good thing.

The Importance of Stepping Away
We have become so connected with our electronic devices, Facebook, e-mail, texting or what ever our choice, that it has become an unconscious habit. Without the presence of wi-fi, plus no blackberry or phone as we had not purchased a US plan, we blissfully found ourselves in a vacation vacuum, a space to be filled not by the day to day but simply by ‘being’. I rediscovered books, devouring at least 4 great novels and Cheryl Stayed’s book Wild, walking the Pacific Rim Trail. I spent more time resting, reflecting, meditating, walking the beach, the types of things I rarely give myself permission to enjoy when engaged in a full throttle life.

Returning home, I appreciated the importance of the break – I can breathe again. Yes re-entry has been challenging. As if to keep us dis-connected, our Internet was down when we arrived back in the office today. It is back – a temporary situation, yet a gentle reminder of the benefits of taking time for oneself and for one’s significant relationship. Stepping away also gave Jim and I time to talk without the distraction of technology, to have real conversation outside of work and to re-connect in ways that are vital for couples.

The last SIGN, sighted a few days before leaving our North Carolina Retreat:

good for you

Stepping away gives you both the time, opportunity and a place for you to be good to you. It is an essential ME FIRST act. It offers you perspective on your life, an ability to look at things from the outside in. So here is my parting advice: on your next vacation, disconnect your devices! You might just find yourself again or at least those parts of you that get lost in the busyness of life’s demands.

Until next time,

 

Betty

 

Read Full Post »

As a facilitator and speaker, it is both challenging and rare to find a team of like-minded individuals to collaborate with. Having been in a solo practice for many years, my learned independence has made me very specific regarding whom I choose to work with. And yet when I was approached recently by colleagues Lianne and Carol regarding the creation of the Awakening Festival, I did not hesitate to say yes.

Over the months of partnership in planning and executing the festival, I felt valued and supported by the team. Without any time to actually become a team, which from my past experience has been a vital component of any success, we simply swung into action. Carol the ever competent coordinator, Lianne the visionary leader, Joanna, Sharon and I the contributors and speakers – we were a team from the moment the conversation began. Perhaps it was a shared vision, our breadth of experience or simply synchronicity, but agreement and forward movement came easy. There are some lessons to be learned from this.

The event, held Saturday April 5th, was for me, a highlight of my career as a speaker. Each of the keynotes we were in harmony and built effectively on the messages of others. Suffice to say, I have never experienced this type of coordination before. The opening meditation with Eleanor, the performers Kathleen and Carrie, the movement and dance by Tiffany, the presentation by Brigitte of Pure Art Foundation, the drumming by Caitlan, as well as the support behind the scenes created a full symphony for the delivery of an amazing day.

I share this as there are moments in life when everything converges: your dreams, your gifts and strengths and the vision of how you wish to live. Awakening Festival, both in preparation and delivery has been such an experience for me. Through the years, I have defined with great clarity the qualities and characteristics of those whom I want to work with as well as those who participate in our programs. This event was the manifestation of this clarity.

It is no surprise to me that the event was called the Awakening Festival. Awakening simply means mindfulness, being fully conscious of what it is you want and aligning your life with these desires.

Clarity + Action = Unlimited Personal Power.

It all sounds so simple when written like this, a perfect prescription for life. Yet in the simplicity lies the complexity for as humans, we are not typically that awake or mindful.

This was a conscious event, built from clarity, the intentions and desired outcomes we had for the experience. Our actions were designed to create the experience, whether this was in our advance planning, setting up to room the day before or coordinating the different speakers and our messages. In terms of attracting the perfect venue, the sponsors and attendees, again we were intentional. Days before the event it was sold out, amazing sponsors appeared, and a hall filled by amazing natural light appeared after the first location fell through.

I know I make this all sound simple, and yes, it still involved all the planning that any event requires. That said, it was for me a profound example of the Law of Attraction and intentionality.

Teamwork, event planning, coordination, and all the things that typically bog us down in organizations can be shifted significantly with a different approach. Setting intentions and outcomes from the get go, CLARITY, and aligning action with those intentions, ACTION, gives unlimited and powerful results.

I have believed and practiced this at a personal level and have found this to be powerful. To experience it at a team level lifts my spirits and renews my faith that everything is possible, that soul connections can be forged with others when you are clear about who you want to attract in your life, and the event management can be inspiring.

I am left wondering what would happen if these same principles were applied to everything we tackle, in both our personal and our work lives. Something to consider…..

Until next time…

Betty

Read Full Post »

In my previous post I discussed the steps in creating a Strategic Attraction Plan for your Business/life. Having written these words just a few days ago, I have been observing my colleagues and clients as the approach the new year. It is clear that many of them are going ‘gangbusters’, clearly they are open for business. In contrast there are the stallers, those holding their breath and hesitating to jump in. This raise an important issue for me as a coach and a word to you as a reader which is as follows:

You can plan until the cows come home and
if you are not Open for Business,
nothing will happen or
the results you are expecting will disappoint you.

I know – I have been there.

There are Four ‘C’s’ I have observed in myself and others:

1)      Conditions:
Conditions are linked to the great ‘BUTS’ in life, but I am not quite ready, but I need to sort out my finances, but I need to do more marketing… and so on.

To be attractive, you simply need to jump in. Frankly the Universe doesn’t care if everything is perfect, it simply wants to know if you are ready.

Being Open for Business implies that you are open to receive, believing in yourself and envisioning fully the possibility of what is to come. Conditions exist only in your head and are a distant cousin of fear. Don’t let them hold you back.

2)      Commitment:
The second stalling strategy is lack of commitment. Are you or are you not in the game? Are you or are you not Open for Business?
Commitment means making your business, or whatever other aspect of your life you are endeavoring to change, a priority. This will mean clarifying your boundaries, being clear on what serves your business and what does not.

When it comes to entrepreneurship particularly,  commitment requires that you view yourself as a business person, that you begin to keep business hours which respond to your perfect client’s needs, that you are prepared to say NO to requests that interfere with you creating and growing the business/life you want for YOU.

3)      Complaints:
You get started and things just aren’t going according to plan. Another stalling strategy as you get lost in what is not working.

Complaints are simply roadSIGNS and an opportunity to shift what is not aligned with what you want or expect to what is. A simple strategy is to take your complaint, for example, clients who sign up for your services and then cancel. Now make your complaint about them , then Flip-It and specify the qualities of your perfect client, for example, my clients are reliable and committed.

Complaints are simply contrast and give you the opportunity to clarify and to re-work your Strategic Attraction plan. Simply remember this, if you do not flip your complaints, you will continue to receive exactly what you are complaining about.

4)      Celebration:
This may seem like an odd one yet celebration is a key part of the equation.

Celebration evokes gratitude, an ability to be consciously aware of what is already happening in your business/life and acknowledging this. It is an important element of being Open for Business as celebration stokes the fires and fuels your passion.

Celebration/gratitude also allows you to inform the Universe about what appeals to you, allowing you to attract more of the same.

Final Thoughts
If you are feeling stalled with your business or your life, be aware of the Four ‘C’s’. You are the boss of YOU and Your Business, Your Life. You get to choose to be Open for Business.

Until next time….

Betty

Betty Healey, MEd, is a consultant-coach-facilitator of Conscious Communication. Learn more about her,  her business, her books and upcoming retreats at http://www.roadsigns.ca.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »