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Posts Tagged ‘intention’

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

 

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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.

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On the heels of Meatless Monday, I have decided that every Tuesday also requires a specific theme. In considering what this might be, two SIGNS triggered my choice. First was a conversation with one of my clients who decided that October was going to be gratitude month in her organization and coincidentally, October began on a Tuesday. Secondly, October is the month to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving, surely another significant indicator.

So, this is my invitation to all my readers to begin focusing on gratitude and, just in case you don’t make time daily for this, to mark every Tuesday, from this point forward, as the day to acknowledge your gratitudes. From now on think of Tuesday as GratiTuesday (nice play on words, non?)

By the way, introducing gratitude into your life has been shown to have many benefits, not the least of which is to look at life differently and to bring your attention to all the great and good things happening in your life. Having a gratitude practice been shown to increase positivity, improve your sense of well-being and make you more attractive energetically to others. For those of you who are parents, introducing children to a gratitude practice has been shown to improve self-esteem and academic performance. Most importantly, gratitude is FREE!

To help you to get started, I have created an acronym based on GRATITUDE.

G =         Great, finding ways to notice and celebrate all the amazing things happening in your life and around you that you typically fail to notice.

R =          Respect, respecting yourself enough to acknowledge yourself for your accomplishments rather than noticing what you fail to get done; taking opportunities to model respect to others by acknowledging their greatness

A=          Awareness, paying attention to life, seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary, noticing the SIGNS which cross your path every day and which may be passing you by, pausing and wondering what it all means

T=           Truth, telling yourself the truth about who you are, activating your self-coach so as to tune of the inner critic (who does not tell the truth), reminding yourself that you are unique and that every day you make a difference in the life of at least one other person

I=            Intuition, listening to and living from what you know is right for you, embracing your great qualities and strengths and living from that place, allowing your heart to guide your actions while turning down the volume on all of life’s ‘shoulds’

T=           Team/Community, surrounding yourself with your perfect team, those who you love and who love you, those who are your fans and who see you uniqueness and celebrate your contributions

U=          Unconstrained FUN, laughter and joy and sharing this with your family and friends, engaging in activities which light you up!

D=          Daring, engaging in at least one new activity or adventure every month, taking the risk to stretch your pre-conceived notion of who you are and being successful, then celebrating your success.

E=           Environment, taking in random acts of beauty, sunrises and sunsets, the kaleidoscope of fall colors or the pristine whiteness of new snow, a thoughtful letter or complement from a friend or client, noticing that beauty lives in your environment every day.

Gratitude

Putting Gratitude into Practice:
Here’s the plan, if you dare to join me. Each GratiTuesday, post your gratitudes on Facebook, record your gratitudes in a special ‘gratitude journal’ or share your gratitudes with your family just before dinner or while tucking your kids into bed. Make it a weekly practice and have some fun sharing with others. I actually think this is way more exciting than Meatless Monday!

Until next time….

Betty

Upcoming Events:

ME FIRST Retreat: October 19-20th, 2013
Step away from the busyness of your life and re-acquaint yourself with YOU. This two day program is designed to bring you into the present, defining who you are today and who you are choosing to be as you move forward. Details at: http://www.roadsigns.ca/upcoming-retreats-events/

Living Your Strengths: November 23rd, 2013
Using the Lumina Spark Portrait, you will identify your preferred qualities/strengths and learn how to live and leverage your strengths in service of YOU. Details at: http://www.roadsigns.ca/upcoming-retreats-events/

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Last week I had the privilege of attending a networking event for entrepreneurs. I chose this event at it was billed as The Gratitude Circle. There have been many ‘gratitude roadSIGNS’ in my life of late from simple conversations, to radio programs, to articles, all extolling the importance of gratitude in our lives. In contrast to this however, I continue to find that many people are not aware of the idea of a ‘gratitude practice’ or the important role gratitude can play in your life.

Being Consciously Aware
Bringing gratitude into your life is really a ‘mindfulness practice’, specifically taking the time to become consciously aware of what your day has offered you and to express gratitude for the many apparently insignificant things that have shown up. For example: a colorful morning sky, an inspiring song on the radio on your way to work, a heartfelt interaction with another person, meeting a client’s needs and receiving great feedback on a job well done, a shared moment after work with a few friends, a great dinner with your family, seeing the first hummingbird of the season, or simply having great health and feeling amazing.

Notice how actively unconscious most of us are. Consider this; you get in the car every morning to drive to work. You arrive and as you pull into your parking spot you suddenly realize, wow, I am already here. I didn’t even notice the drive in – I was on autopilot. The radio was blaring yet I didn’t hear anything anyone said as they were all talking at the same time. I didn’t notice anything along the way – did I miss something? OMG, I really am living in auto-pilot! The day continues, and because much of your life is routine, it slips by, the details of the day unnoticed.

Gratitude Lifts YOU Up!
Gratitude gives you an opportunity to look at your life through the lens of positivity. In her book entitled Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson states that the old story is that anything that feels good is merely a distraction – trivial, inconsequential and expendable. The new story however, backed by science, is that these same good feelings are the active ingredients needed to allow us to flourish, that is feel good about ourselves and our lives. This begins by learning to cherish those special moments in your life, bringing your focus to what you are grateful for.

By cherishing those special moments in your life, you begin to feel better about yourself. This allows you to be more resilient. Research has demonstrated that feeling positive about your life, which is the end product of gratitude, has far-reaching benefits including building a stronger immune system, a cardio-vascular system which is less reactive to stress, and increased optimism. Finally, if you feel better about YOU today, there is a good chance that you will feel better about YOU tomorrow.

I have nothing to be Grateful for!
I do hear this, often!  A former coaching client of mine shared that she had nothing in her life to be grateful for, no one loved her and she was all alone. I asked her to take a closer look at her life, her relationship with her son, and her relationship with her colleagues. When she did this, she realized that she had a great deal of love in her life and when she expressed gratitude for this, more love appeared. At the point that I had begun speaking with her, she was engaged in a contentious divorce and child-custody battle with her former husband. As she shifted her focus to love and being grateful, her relationship with him changed and he dropped the suit.

Gratitude shifts your awareness and changes your energy. When your energy changes, so does the energy around you.

Gratitude

Final Word
Gratitude is a powerful energy, bringing you into a conscious relationship with what is right with your life. I encourage you, just as I do my clients, to begin some type of Gratitude Practice as part of your life. This can be a Gratitude Journal where you record your daily gratitudes or, my favorite one, sharing what you are grateful for with your family as you sit down for dinner.

Whatever your choice, know that gratitude will change your life – it has been proven scientifically!

Until next time…

Betty Healey

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Last Wednesday I attended a networking event in Montreal. As I venture out to new networking events I carry two burning questions: will I meet someone and make a heartfelt connection and will I walk away with some new learning or piece of information. Like anything else in life, I believe that networking needs to be intentional.

I was not disappointed. The guest speaker was Bhaskar Goswami of Bodhi Yoga Center in Montreal ( www.bodhiprinciple.com) who delivered an entertaining speech  on a trek he and three cousins completed in the Himalayas. It was not particularly new information to me just a simple reminder of things I know but fail to practice consistently.

As Bhaskar shared his experience I was reminded that I have a tendency, when beginning any journey, to focus on where I am going, the destination. In doing so I often forget about the experience, that is the journey itself.

While this focus serves my need for being purposeful, it is a bit like wearing blinders, prohibiting me from checking my peripheral vision and actually experiencing what is going on in the moment. And so, if you are like me, I suggest that we all pause to smell the roses and to begin being more present with our journey, whether that is simply life, a big project we are managing or an actual trek up a mountainside.

“Perhaps the turtle knows the road better than the hare.”

Take the First Step

Have you ever noticed that when you focus on the destination, the entire picture, that you get a wee bit overwhelmed. Eleven years ago I learned a vital lesson in living the journey when Jim and I built our garden labyrinth. On the morning of June 2nd I stepped into the back yard to survey the project we were about to begin. Three weeks earlier Jim had cut the design for the labyrinth out of the grass. It was 40 feet in diameter and while I understood it was going to be no small feat, I had not fully comprehended the full breadth of the project. My task was to lift the remaining grass in the design, dig up the soil and prepare the area as a garden.

My first response was a few expletives which cannot be shared in this article! You can use your imagination here. Then Jim appeared carrying a yard stick. He set it down in front of me and gave me the following instructions:  Place the stick down, mark off the first three feet, move the stick away, dig up the grass, till the soil. REPEAT. Do not lift your head, simply be in the experience until you have finished. Respond to your task and enjoy each 3 foot segment.

I did as he suggested and despite being tempted I did not look up. I stayed in the moment learning that it was very meditative to do so. Four days later the labyrinth was done and honestly, I could not have completed the task without following Jim’s instructions.

IMG_1522

The lesson, three feet at a time, has stayed with me since. Each time I begin a new project or embark on a new journey, I bring myself into the experience and consider the first three feet. Using this strategy will allow you to be more present and mindful of your surroundings, taking in information that is readily available to you but which can be so easily missed if you keep your focus only on the destination. It also enriches the experience.

I so often meet individuals who are in overwhelm. It is my belief that they have lost a sense of the journey and why they are on the journey. Responding to overwhelm has two possible options: spinning, which is just continuing on the same course and forgetting to get grounded in the moment or pausing, which as described here brings you into the moment and allows you to be clear on your choices and decide on the first three feet.

I can assure you, at least from my own experience, that carving out the first three feet, works wonders. And so I invite you to do the same: be present, mark off the first three feet, and enjoy the journey. You will reach your destination and along the way, enjoy the experience more.

Until Next Time,

Betty

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