Posts Tagged ‘elf-esteem’


Over the years I have found myself reflecting on my higher purpose in life. While I have found many ways to express this, it always comes back to one theme – world peace. As I write this, part of me thinks how ridiculous, you sound like one of the contestants from Miss Congeniality, that wonderful movie with Sandra Bullock where all contestants ended their personal presentations with “And I want world peace”. It smacks of sugar and honey. Then there is the other part of me, my personal and devoted self-critic who says to me, “Who do you think YOU are to have such a lofty purpose? Really!” And there you have.

Undeterred I forge forward and, despite my personal naysayer, it keeps coming up. I refuse to feel too small to contribute to such a large vision. As I result this is what I have learned:

  • I have come to understand that world peace begins with me and my capacity to make peace with myself
  • I have learned that when I make peace with me, I am far less judgmental of others
  • I have learned that when I set an intention of peace, within me and around me, life is a heck of a lot easier
  • I have learned that infusing peace into our property, Tigh Shee (Celtic for House of Peace), that people actually experience it while they are here and carry a little of it away with them.

Peace is an Attitude

Peace is an attitude as well as an action. It is easy to look at the many troubled places on our planet today, and the world leaders who are tasked with ‘solving’ the crises, and not see our part in it. Our media focuses on the action of peace as the antidote for war. As a result, it is easy to see the seeking of peace as someone else’s issue because we happen to live in a country where peace is our way and where war typically does not touch our shores.

But what if we have the capacity to influence peace everywhere? What if individually and collectively we have this power?

I am suggesting you do, and it begins inside you, in your relationship with yourself. You may be thinking that I am crazy (some do!) but before you leap to this conclusion, stop for a moment and consider what I am saying. Check in with your relationship with yourself for a moment. What is the content of your self-talk? Does your inner critic reign? And what vitriol is she feeding you? How many ways does she make you less than perfect; does she put you down, criticize you, or fill your head with all the ‘shoulds’ she can conjure up? If this is the dominant conversation you are having with YOU, then you are at war with yourself.

In contrast, you also have a self-coach, who appreciates you, who understands and supports the difference you make to your community every day, who sees you through the lens of your strengths. She is there to lift you up. She is your voice of peace.

You have the power of choice, deciding which of the two sides of you will speak louder and occupy your emotional/spiritual space. You have the choice to fuel yourself with negative or positive self-talk. Here is what you must realize: if peace is important to you, and it is to most of us, you cannot be a voice for peace in the world unless you are a voice of peace for yourself. You cannot create a peaceful life for yourself in your outer world unless the inner world of self-talk is a match.


Final Word

I do pray these days for the troubled areas of the world and the leaders who sit in the hot seat of decision-making. And with these prayers/intentions, I take the time to look inward and check in on myself, making sure that peace lives within me. There are great days, good days and crappy days – I am human!

Being aware is the first step. Shifting your relationship with yourself is the second. Choosing to consciously communicate in peaceful ways with yourself and others is the third. Radiating peace is the result.

This past Saturday, September 21st, was World Peace Day as declared by the United Nations. Here at Tigh Shee we celebrated this with our fall equinox labyrinth walk. With almost 40 people in attendance, we began our walk by greeting one another in the following way, “Peace be with Me, peace be with You.’

Peace BE with ME. Peace BE with YOU!


Upcoming Events

ME FIRST; If I Should Wake Before I Die: Two-Day Retreat October 19-20th/2013.

Living From Your Strengths: a One-Day Coaching Circle November  23rd/2013


For information on both events go to: http://www.roadsigns.ca/upcoming-retreats-events/


Until next time,



Read Full Post »

I am a Gardener. For some people, that may not seem significant that is unless you look at the size of our gardens. A large amount of summertime energy is dedicated to trimming, planting, weeding, grooming and creating, so much so that we rarely choose to travel in this season. Those who visit our home frequently ask us for the name of our gardeners at which point Jim and I simply share that they are looking at them and no, we don’t want any gardening contracts.

Despite the work involved in this rather large project, the garden is a source of many lessons. The most significant of these lessons is what I call, ‘three feet at a time’. This lesson first appeared in 2002 when Jim and I began construction of the Garden Labyrinth.

A labyrinth, in case you are wondering, is in the ‘maze’ family however, designed to lead you in and out without getting lost. It has been used by different cultures to represent a pilgrimage, for walking meditation and for community building. Our labyrinth is 40 feet in diameter, a gravel path separated by gardens filled with thyme and lavender.

Back to the building process; on day one I walked into the back yard where Jim had marked the pathway in the lawn. As I examined the size and the scope of my work for the week, creating the border garden, I felt myself in a state of overwhelm. A few unmentionable expletives erupted from my lips. Panic set in. Where upon Jim appeared with a yard stick, set it down in front of me and gave me the following instruction, “Place the yard stick down, mark off the first three feet, dig up the grass, till and add fresh soil. Pick up the yard stick, mark off the next three feet, repeat. Do not look up; keep moving forward three feet at a time until you are finished.” Four days later I looked up and realized I had completed my assignment.

Three feet at a time comes up every time we begin a new garden project, this year creating a shady glen at one corner of the property where scrappy grass, weeds, moss and wild violets needed to be cleared first. As I looked at the scope of the project, I reached for the yard stick and marked off the first three feet. It works every time.

I actually use this lesson over and over again in all aspects of life. As someone who tends to see the big picture before the individual parts, I can easily get lost in overwhelm. You may notice yourself in this zone as well. Overwhelm can lead to procrastination, a sense of being stalled or send you off in a tail spin.

The principle of three feet at a time can pull you out of both spinning and stalling every time. The idea of three feet is to break down the whole into chewable chunks, those bits which you know you can take on now and which when added together, lead you to accomplishing the whole. Along the way you get to experience a whole bunch of little successes, points in time where you can derive a sense of satisfaction for accomplishing the first steps of the whole. And this builds your sense of accomplishment and your self-esteem.

Much of my coaching practice is dedicated to helping people break down the overwhelming into chewable chunks. For some people it comes naturally. Not so for others. Here are a few suggestions for applying the three feet at a time principle:

1)    Name the project and the outcome you wish to achieve. Visualize it and make it as real as you can.

2)   Work backwards and look at what steps you need to accomplish to get there.

3)   Take each step and ask yourself what the first three feet are. Repeat until you have a sense of what needs to be completed.

4)   Take on the first three feet. Don’t look up – keep repeating until the first chewable chunk is completed.

5)   Celebrate and acknowledge yourself for what you have accomplished.

6)   Take on the next chewable chunk and repeat the process.

7)   Always remember to celebrate each step of the way. This builds you up and fuels the fire to continue.

The Glen - a plce for energizing and reflection

The Glen – a place for energizing and reflection

                  Final Word

I have been very grateful for the garden lessons I have learned and how they have leaked into other aspects of my life. I enjoy resting my head on the pillow at night and reviewing the day behind me and feeling grateful for each three-foot section I have accomplished. While three feet at a time may seem simplistic, trust me, it is a valid and powerful strategy. Are you ready to tackle your life three feet at a time?

Until next time…


Read Full Post »