Archive for the ‘Space Management’ Category

I have found myself dipping into an exercise from my past recently, an exercise called the Big Rocks. Here is how it goes. Take a large gallon sized jar and place it on your kitchen counter. Beside this place a number of fist sized rocks. Carefully place all of these rocks in the jar, to the point where you cannot place any additional rocks in the jar.

You will notice that the jar is full – or is it?

Next, take two or more cups of gravel and pour this into the jar. As you gently shake the jar, the gravel settles down around the larger rocks. Once again the jar appears full, but is it?

Now take two to three cups of sand and pour that into your container. You will notice that the sand filters down around the large rocks and the gravel filling in all the crevices. Again the jar appears full – is it?

Finally add a large jug of water to all the other ingredients. You may be surprised just how much water you can add. Now the jar is full.

What if you had reversed the order, filling the jar with water, sand or gravel first, would you have had space for the big rocks? The answer of course is NO.

And so it is with life. We forget to look at our priorities or what we consciously want to fill our life with and the space gets filled anyway, with the gravel of demands made on our time, with the sand of taking on things that don’t belong to us, and with the water of “should’s, have to’s and must do’s”. When your days come to an end you realize that everything that is truly important simply has no space.

What are your big rocks? At a ‘being’ level they represent your intentions and your clarity regarding what you want to attract in your life. At a ‘doing’ level your big rocks represent your priorities, the things you really want to get done to forward the action on your life or your business. They would be the first items you would put into your daily agenda and they would be the items that are non-negotiable.

Here’s what happens however. Your priorities get pushed aside because you have not learned how to say NO to the demands of others or you get caught in the trap that something else looks more appealing at the moment. Now I don’t want to suggest that knowing your big rocks make you inflexible, in fact I suggest it is just the opposite. You simply want to become conscious regarding your emotional, spiritual, and physical big rocks and where they belong in your life. Once you know this, everything else, the gravel, sand and water can be placed around and you have whatever flexibility you need with that.

Knowing your big rocks is an antidote for what I refer to as spinning, being in action without being clear on why you are doing what you are doing. It is simple to plan for. In terms of being, the big rocks require simply taking a few minutes at the beginning of your day to be clear and intentional about who you want to be that day, your ripple effect, and what are the main items on your to do list. On a weekly basis, planning you big rocks ahead of time and placing them in your agenda means, this time is for this big rock and this in non-negotiable. If you give up space for one of your big rocks, you cannot get it back.

I encourage you to include scheduled ME FIRST time as one of your Big Rocks. In fact this may be the most important time you spend every day and remember, it takes on 1% of your day, or 15 minutes to begin a ME FIRST practice. Imagine if dedicating simply 15 minutes of your daily schedule was the most important Big Rock of all and imagine if this simple practice changed everything. Wow, that really would shift how the space in your life is filled and, most importantly, you would be living the life you want for you rather than the life others expect of you.

Start today – name and claim your Big Rocks!

Until next time….


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I have been vacationing in Miami Beach for the last two weeks, my first Florida vacation. It did seem a bit strange, vacationing in a city rather than in the country side which has been our habit. Now that I reside in the country the city scape was a pleasant experience and I have to say that Miami is a beautiful place.

Back to the idea of vacation, I find it remarkable that once I begin to relax and sink into my days, the anxieties of day-to-day living evaporate. A new rhythm is established for living the moments of each day. Suddenly there is space for me as well as all those important dreams and ideas that get pushed aside in the normal pace of life.

Early last week I had one of my dream visions. These are more vivid and real than normal dreams and tend to stay with me. I assume that is because they have some deeper meaning and that perhaps the Universe is attempting to communicate something important to me. In this dream I found a child, very young, cold, craving attention, curious. I immediately slipped into my mothering role, hovering over the infant, hugging and loving her. The child seemed to be in need of my care, underdeveloped and undernourished. In the few minutes of this dream the relationship between me and the child grew very intense and I awoke with a start, wondering what the dream meant, assessing whether I was being called in some way to work with children.

I have learned that my dreams, and probably yours, are metaphors for something deeper and as such, need not be interpreted literally. They are simply images of something missing in life or of something to come. Rarely do they mean exactly what they seem. With this in mind I relaxed and simply lay in bed with the images and the feelings that the dream conjured up. As I did so I began to wonder about the child and whether child I had found was me, Betty-Jane.

While I have been away I have given myself the opportunity of writing and coloring in our new ME FIRST Playbook. (It’s always a good idea to use the tools you create for others!).  I have a full set of colored pencils and using them I have immersed myself in filling in the images created by Tracy Lynn for the Playbook. As a child I loved to draw and color, in fact my mother often told me that I was drawing as soon as I understood how to hold a pencil. The act of coloring kick starts the brain differently. It is rather mindless as an activity yet it is mind opening as it allows you to banish other thoughtform and create space for your child to emerge. The child’s energy is about wonder, curiosity and creativity and of course, playfulness. It is about the dreams you had about who you would become when you grew up, some of which you may have realizes while other were buried.

As I lingered under the covers with my dream memory, I saw myself again as a child with my friends Muriel and Charmaine. On warm summer days, we created castles out of blankets and lawn chairs. In the rooms of our creations we lined up all our dolls. Here was where I taught my first lessons and the dolls were the very best students. There is something in each of us that understands very early in life what we are called to do in our life. Teaching was my calling. It was not the career I chose initially however and one I have come back to.

I am still considering what else the dream was showing me and I am left with the question “where did Betty-Jane go and what dreams did she have that I have forgotten?” It is a great question to consider, not for the purpose of digging up the past but rather to wonder what your child spirit most desired and whether this desire serves you now in your life.

My childhood was interrupted when my parents separated. I can mourn this or I can give myself permission to simply unlock the door on Betty-Jane’s room and let her out to play, to re-capture her child energy and to embrace her qualities of curiosity and creativity.

Imagine if you did the same. Why not extend a hand to your child energy and invite her/him out to play with you once again. What would you remember about you? What are the dreams you had as a child and how have these manifested? If they haven’t, why not realize them now? It is never too late.

Remember that your child knew you in many ways better than you know yourself; she knew you before all the rules of the world were piled on your shoulders. Create some space in your life to have a visit with your Betty-Jane.

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I just read an article in the March issue of O magazine called De-clutter Your Life. Specifically the article described Adam Glassman’s challenges in de-cluttering the closets of Gayle King, editor at large for ‘O’. Despite resistance on her part, he helped her purge, (you better sit down for this one) 152 dresses, 77 sweaters, 17 skirts, 12 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of pants, 13 belts, 62 pairs of shoes, and 67 handbags. I found the sheer number of purged items unimaginable as I am pretty sure that I have not owned that number of dresses, etc. over an entire lifetime. De-clutter indeed – and I am left wondering how much still remains in her closets and how much space was created.

In a recent roadSIGNS TV Show, one of our audience members confided that she could not seem to de-clutter her desk because if she did, she feared that her life would no longer have a purpose. The papers, journals, and books piled on her desk and jamming walls of bookcases represented the accumulation of her wisdom and knowledge over a lifetime. Ah! the real issues emerge. You begin to understand that to accumulate ‘stuff’ is more than jamming your physical space full of cloths, boxes, furniture and more, it is about the emotional attachment associated with them and the fear of letting these go. It is as if each item becomes a part of you, and if purged, is like amputating a limb.

Clutter occurs in all domains: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. To de-clutter implies releasing what no longer serves you, that is, what no longer fits, is out of date or is fear based. In releasing you have the opportunity to open space around you filling it with all that is in your highest good. You may not know the specifics of what you want to fill the space with right now. Just be clear that you do not want any backwash from what you have let go of and fill it with what is perfect for you.

Imagine for a moment your spiritual-emotional space and a desire to de-clutter. You might examine the following: the 13 old hurts, 23 resentments, 14 unforgivens (including yourself), 5 fears and the 72 voices that make up the choir – your self-critic’s voice. Man that is a lot to release and were you to decide to work on this de-cluttering initiative, where would you start? At the beginning!

If you can see yourself in this article and you are thinking that perhaps it is time to de-clutter, it may be time for ‘a “Radical Spring Cleaning Fest”. You begin by making a list: Name the old hurts, resentments and unforgivens. Chances are they are intertwined in some way. Imagine how much space they are occupying right now in your emotional-spiritual field. Wow! No wonder life never changes; there is no room for new things to come in as the closet is too full.

I encourage you to consider the following: as much as you want your life to change, very little can shift until you release and de-clutter your emotional-spiritual field. Just as in de-cluttering a closet, it takes time and patience and a strong will to let go. As you do this however, realize that you are creating new space for you to grow and expand, to attract a life which is much more perfect for you.

Once you reach this realization and make the commitment to de-clutter, begin with chewable chunks. Create a ritual. Take two or three of those hurts, resentments and unforgivens and shake hands with them. Bless them as they have offered you important opportunities to learn. Understand that hanging on to them harms no one but you and that you are ready to move forward. Attach them to a helium balloon and lovingly release them to the Universe. See yourself replacing these hurts with beauty, light and healing.

Notice how good this feels. Repeat this process again and again until all those hurts, resentments and unforgivens have been released. Note that some hurts are bigger than others and may need to be released more than once. That’s okay!

Are you ready? Radical Spring Cleaning it is! Watch out for the dust bunnies.

Until next time…


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I have noticed that there are things I really want to attract in life that simply don’t happen and I find myself wondering why? As I pondered this question the other day, a roadSIGN appeared in the form of a question. The question: Am I saying YES to me?

I had to take a step back as I considered my answer. Here I am a coach for others, reminding my clients to be clear on their boundaries, both personal and professional and the importance of saying NO when NO is the right answer. I often use my favorite Jack Canfield quote to facilitate this, “I am not saying NO to you, I am saying YES to me.” There it is, saying YES to me, but am I ?

Here is what I have noticed. I don’t give myself permission to do lots of things, partly because I am a bit of a ‘doing’ addict and I like to keep busy and partly because, like everyone else, I still get caught up in what needs to be done. I also have an extraordinary sense of urgency meaning that things generally need to be done NOW. I get in my own way and my desire to go to the new Yoga classes, or to make time for a daily workout, or to simply go to the meditation room to relax or read, often goes by the way. I have not learned to say YES to the ‘being’ side of me nor have I learned to say NO to the ‘doing’ me. What a complicated paradox this poses!

I know I am not alone in this situation, that those of you who are reading this are probably nodding your heads as you share my conundrum. After considerable reflection, I have decided that this is what we need to learn. Not only do we need to be clear on our boundaries with others we need to also set some boundaries with ourselves. You can’t have work-life balance, which seems to be the catch phrase recently, without reigning ourselves in. Only then can we understand what we want to say YES to and then creating space for those important YES’s to actually happen.

For me this means stepping away from the office by 5:30 p.m. at the latest so I can head to my workout area or putting those Yoga classes right in my schedule so that the time is reserved. It means saying YES to the trips I want to make or dedicating time to the other items on my ‘bucket list’, knowing that without the YES it surely won’t happen. It means that when I simply want to sit down, catch my breath and read for a few minutes, I simply allow myself to do so.

Here was my other wake-up call and roadSIGN – a good friend of mine was recently diagnosed with ALS. This is a progressive illness commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, which slowly and insidiously steals your life from you. I am thinking, there but for the grace of God go I. I received an e-mail from her the other day as she and her husband have decided to travel for the next three months before the time comes when she will not be able to do so. I asked myself, “what am I waiting for?”

What are you waiting for? What is it you really want? Are you ready to say YES to yourself and give yourself permission to do and be the things you most want in your life? If not now, when? Only YOU can make it happen. It is your life and whether you believe it or not, you are the boss of you.

Okay, I hear you, I am also guilty. Here is my pledge: I intend to start today by honoring my need for ME FIRST time. I am putting at least 2 yoga classes in my schedule for next week. I am reviewing my ‘bucket list’ this weekend and determining which of the items are my first priority. I am putting my trip to Baffin Island into the calendar. And I am dedicating at least fifteen minutes everyday to read. It may not be everything I want to say YES to and it is the first chewable chunk.

What are you saying YES to? Times a wastin’ as we say – no more hesitating.

Until Next time…



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I received an e-mail just the other day from a former coaching client where she shared that she was engaged in creative destruction. This conjured up all sorts of images for me as I imagined what creative destruction might actually mean. And there was a part of me that said, YES, I get it! I have been in the process of moving from floor to floor in our house, ripping things apart, purging the accumulated stuff of years gone by, de-cluttering everything I can in preparation for a move to our new office. I unleashed my inner dragon – just ask my poor husband who for the most part simply stayed out of my way. This is not the first time he has witnessed my creative destruction as this has occurred with every significant move we have had.

In the notion of space management (December roadSIGNS column), I have learned that despite my best efforts, paper, books, files, binders, office materials, you name it, simply accumulate. And, I have learned that once I begin the process in one part of my house, a domino effect occurs. Example: Move old office, furniture and contents to new office. Re-paint and clean old office and move coaching/meditation room to that location. Clean old coaching/meditation room and convert to third bedroom. Build ‘murphy bed’ in new coaching room to allow for conversion into forth bedroom. Whew! Now bear in mind that at each step of the way the creative destruction part involves assessing just how much you are going to move and what needs to be purged first. All in all I have released seven large recycle bins of paper and eight boxes of books. This plus all the things that were simply thrown away has created a much lighter household.

Now all I have to do is apply these same lessons to the rest of my life. Care to join me? If you do here are the questions I have been asking myself:

1. What are you prepared to discard that really doesn’t fit with your current picture of you? Consider any limiting beliefs you have about yourself, any fears that are old and dusty, any messages from parents, teachers or others which are out of date and simply need to be purged.

2. What stories have you filed away that feels like a ball and chain around your ankle? Consider people and /or situations you have not forgiven and where forgiveness is long overdue or situations which you feel you did not handle well and need to forgive yourself.

3. What relationships need to be ended? Consider those people in your life who criticize you or do not support you or people you simply don’t connect with as they have different values than you have. Let them go.

4. What is it you want to engage in that really fuels your passion? Whether this is work or play, begin to assess how and where you spend your time and decide whether this is time well spent. Consider how the activity makes you feel. If it doesn’t light you up, find something that does. Be curious and experiment.

I can see that in examining these questions I have a few critical decisions to make myself, and with the beginning of another new year – what perfect timing. Here we are in 2012 where the spiritual gurus are predicting the end of the world as we know it (a pretty heavy thought I admit). Without understanding fully what that means, I have decided, like my client, that a little creative destruction will do the trick and force me to simply be more conscious of the choices I am making today and in my tomorrows. I invite each of you to do the same and to wonder what is up for you to change or shift in your life, to release anything that no longer serves you and to make space for all that is in your highest good.

Watch out world, here we come!

Until next  time


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