Posts Tagged ‘love your work’

My coach Patty frequently reminded me that in life there are many choices and we get to choose what it is we want. She suggested that we chose in favor of ‘what lights us up’. While we no longer have our weekly calls, I find myself considering her advice more often than not, reminding myself that at this stage of life, my Third Act, I can finally give myself permission to choose for me. With obligation, responsibility, ‘shoulds’ and more fading into the background of my life, I finally can choose what lights me up.

The re-awakening of this idea came through a conversation with one of my coaching clients last week. Like many of us, her retirement has been dedicated to several causes. Being the loyal person she is, it has been challenging for her to say no or to step away from a group or cause once she has committed. And like many of us who are living our Third Act, she is slowly and progressively burning out because the work involved no longer lights her up. Fortunately for her, she is aware of this and is seeking coaching to understand how to extricate herself from the circumstances she has co-created and to begin making different choices for herself and what comes next?

As each of us moves forward at this time in life, perhaps any time in life, there are a few intentional questions that we might consider asking ourselves before jumping in…Does this choice light me up?

  • Does this choice bring me joy?
  • Does this choice pique my curiosity, engage me, inspire me to help me learn?
  • Does this choice serve to feed my soul, my purpose, my passion?
  • Does this choice contribute to the legacy I wish to leave for others?
  • Does this choice have meaning to me?

Have you asked yourself any of these questions? I have and I have also forgotten to. I still find myself saying yes to things that do not respect any of the above and most certainly do not light me up. The thing is, others know that you are capable, perhaps a go-getter and probably reliable, so they ask you to get involved. And out of some sense of obligation or loyalty to them, you say yes. The thing is, in doing so, you are being disloyal to yourself.

As stated earlier, life is about choice. It is my hope for me and for you that we begin making the choices that light us up because if not now, when? This is the opportunity of the Third Act.

All that said, you may be reading this and thinking, ” I haven’t a fu__ing clue what lights me up. Maybe, maybe not. If you have never explored the idea, how would you know. Maybe what lights you up lives under layers and layers of responsibility and obligation. It might be that you need to clear your plate of anything you are currently engaged in to create space for new possibilities. It’s challenging to see an entirely new landscape if you are living in the basement.

So start here:

  • List all of the activities that currently occupy your time.
  • Run them through the filter – the questions listed above. Do they fit any of the criteria?
  • Decide which of these activities you will drop (it doesn’t need to be all of them but at least some of them). This is called space management.
  • Before replacing any activity take a time out. Set an intention: “I am attracting opportunities that light me up, that bring me joy, that inspire and engage me”.
  • When something appears, especially if it is something totally unexpected, exercise your curiosity and explore it.
  • Check in with your heart frequently, your head not so much. If you find yourself excited or intrigued, you are in the right ball park.

It all sounds simple and it is. We are the filter that complicates things.

The key is making mindful decisions for your Third Act and how you want to play in the world. Look before you leap, reflect before you commit, be true to yourself and your desires. And, most importantly, have FUN!

Until next time,


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I was inspired this morning after listening to an interview with a favorite author of mine, Simon Sinek, who wrote the book ‘Start with WHY’. In the interview he began by saying that when you do something that you love, it’s called passion. When you work at something you don’t love however, it’s called stress.

This for me defines the difference between your WORK versus your J.O.B. Your work is connected to your ‘WHY’, your sense of purpose or mission, or what you want to stand for in this lifetime. It is rooted in your early years, something that you are deeply connected with and something that you felt would make a difference in the world.

As I think back, my earliest memories are linked to playing in my back yard, lining up my dolls and teaching them what I then knew to be the important lessons of life. Even at the early age of ten I knew that I wanted to influence the world in a way that allowed others to believe in themselves and to see the beauty and power of who they are.

Isn’t it interesting that you can know that so young and somewhere along the way lose track of it. Why does that happen? You learn more, life becomes more complicated and you lose sight of that simple truth, your all important work. Then you find a J.O.B. – a Justifiable Occupation or Business, which pays you a good salary but, (and here is the rub) does not light you up. It is simply a job. It is not connected with your passion and you lose sight of who you really are.

Can Your J.O.B. be your WORK?
Yes. Skeptically you may look at what you are currently doing and think that there can never be a connection between what you are currently doing and your passion. Frankly you don’t really know, at least not until you take the time to search back to your roots and consider what is really important to you. In our roadSIGNS work we call this your Personal Guidance System which is formed by your core values, the guiding principle by which you choose to live, and your ‘WHY’, what you really stand for and who, as a result, you choose to be.

Only in remembering your ‘WHY’ can you understand whether or not this is connected to your J.O.B. Those workplaces which truly value their employees will understand that any time an employee can connect their ‘WHY’ to the ‘WHY’ of the organization, passion and performance are unleashed.

WHY, How and what
In his book Sinek describes the Golden Circle. Like a bull’s eye with WHY in the center, the next circle is your how and the third circle your what. You will notice that most of you focus on what you do and how you do it, both in your work and other aspects of your life. Ask yourself if this is where you currently play? What would change or be different if you took the time to re-connect with your ‘WHY’, your sense of true purpose.

Living Authentically
Living authentically requires consciousness and courage. First it requires that you actually slow yourself down and step off the treadmill which has become your life. Secondly you must ask yourself what is really important to you, what contribution are you here to make to the world around you. Everyone wants to make a difference and reflecting on this allows you to claim your unique desire to change or shift the world in some way.

Next is courage. It is one thing to become aware of what lights you up, your ‘WHY’, and it is another to live it. There are plenty of naysayers out there who will put you down once you stand up and start living your ‘WHY’. I refer to them as crabs. Crab fishermen know that you never have to put a lid on a crab bucket because as soon as one crab tries to escape, the others pull him back in. It takes courage to live from your ‘WHY’ and ignore the crabs.

Crabs and Other Creatures

Take the time to step back and discover your work by remembering your ‘WHY’. This has the capacity to release your passion and we sure could use more of that in the world!

Until next time…

Betty Healey

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After weeks of concentrated effort we have launched our new website for roadSIGNS (www.roadsigns.ca) . I have no illusions now that creating a quality website happens easily. This is the first significant overhaul we have completed for several years and one that was badly needed. With the changes in our focus that have occurred through the years, our previous website was not supporting us.

Being Attractive
In the work Jim and I teach regarding Strategic Attraction, we have become clear regarding what we want. Although I am tempted from time to time to interfere, I am learning to leave the ‘HOW” the wants unfold up to the Universe. I am constantly schooling myself in the art of Patience and Trust as a result! An important part of Strategic Attraction however, is being the Lighthouse, helping people find you.; hence the website, with all the proper SEO behind the scenes, and clear attention to the details within the content.

A Labor of Love
While I occasionally forgot, writing the new content was a labor of love. As we launch our new conversation about Conscious Communication, writing helped me to understand what it is and how we want to share this with clients.

What is Conscious Communication
Conscious Communication is the process of learning to be fully present, aware and mindful both with yourself and others. The process is an essential one for understanding yourself, leveraging the best of who you are and ultimately, connecting effectively with others.

It is rare that individuals consider how they are connecting with themselves. They are unaware of the elevator music playing in their ears and the subliminal messages they are feeding themselves. Building on the new research in Positive Psychology, we are learning that these internal conversations must be brought into consciousness if we want to change them. We call this from Critic to Coach, re-programming the messages of your inner critic, the voice that puts you down, into that of your Inner Coach, that which lifts you up.

Once you begin to change your inner conversation, you show up differently in the eyes of others. You are visible and you have the opportunity to engage others differently, whether this is in conversation or simply in who you are being. This is the other side of Conscious Communication – how you are with others and who you are choosing to be from one moment to the next.

What’s in it for YOU?
If you want to feel better about yourself and think more positive thoughts, I invite you into this conversation.   Stay tuned for upcoming posts and I invite you to check us out at www.roadsigns.ca.

roadSIGNSUntil next time…


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As a subscriber to ‘O’ Magazine, I generally turn to the last page of the magazine first to read Oprah’s ‘What I Know for Sure’ column. An interesting column, it usually leaves me wondering what I know for sure – in fact this came up in the recent ME FIRST retreat and I challenged everyone to take the time to write down their list. Of course this requires that I do the assignment as well. Last week, while sitting at my favourite table at The Grind Cafe in Cornwall, I put pen to paper and this is the result:

What I know for sure:

  • that love trumps fear and all other negative emotions.
  • that when I live from my heart and trust my intuition I make better decisions
  • that no matter how it is cooked, I still hate liver (okay some liver pate is palatable!)
  • that paying it forward is better than paying it back, and expands the energy of good will
  • that making peace with my body, warts and all, has a huge impact on my self-esteem
  • that intentions have a much bigger impact on my life than simply setting goals and objectives
  • that I look and feel better in red than pink, in turquoise vs. navy, purple vs mauve and emerald green vs olive
  • that answers do not reside within books, they live inside me
  • that I waited too long to go sky diving for the first time
  • that getting lost in a creative project, whether that is writing, vision boarding or doodling in my ME FIRST Playbook, shifts my energy to a magical place
  • that when I share the load, and remember I am not responsible for everything, my life and my heath is a heck of a lot better
  • that sun rises and sunsets, rainbows and full moons lift me up as nothing else can
  • that I love my work and that work is very different from a J.O.B.
  • that the moment I began to mine my own diamond, see myself for who I really am,  is the moment I finally began to live
  • that my self-critic is sadly out of date and I really prefer the tune my self-coach is humming
  • that I get to choose my life
  • that when I take care of ME FIRST, everyone around me benefits as well.

That’s my list for now and I invite YOU to record yours and share your ‘what I know for sure’ here in this forum.

Until next time…


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Just coming off a ME FIRST Retreat and feeling the great sense of satisfaction that I derive from facilitating these events. On this occasion Jim and I also had friends, Carol and Wayne present as they prepare to eventually facilitate their own ME FIRST events. This is an intention come true for us – only weeks ago we completed our Strategic Attraction Plan for the upcoming year. Part of our intentionality is attracting perfect partners for collaboration and perfect ME FIRST facilitators. The plan is working.

Despite my experience with setting intentions, I am always surprised when what I ask for shows up. I love it and Jim and I have this little ditty we chant when the SIGNS appear that simply goes ‘it’s working!’

We have learned that to set intentions is one thing and paying attention and seeing the SIGNS another. Certainly paying attention is equally important as what would the point be in setting intentions if you don’t actually follow them. Of course there is the third phase of ‘No Tension’ – gotta love this step. It happens when what you have asked for shows up in a form that surprises you and you look at it and mutter, “I don’t think so!” Guess what – that’s the wrong response.

This is where I have forced myself to be curious and darn if the Universe doesn’t know better than I do what is in my highest good. I just don’t always like it and yet, in the end it is always perfect. I think that perhaps there is a great cosmic joke in there somewhere.

We are vibrational energy


In this weekend’s retreat I believe we did some of our best work in teaching ME FIRST, especially that part that says that everything you want to change or shift outside yourself begins with ME FIRST. This part of the retreat program allows each participant to see the effects that their inner dialogue has, the choice of living with one’s inner critic versus one’s inner coach.

Consider this – you do not have to say anything or do anything, all you need to do is be the vibration you wish to be. Remember Gandhi’s quote, ‘Be the change you wish to see’. Note the emphasis on ‘BE’.

Imagine for yourself walking into any situation you have to face and simply being love, peace, joy at the core of your being. Through a variety of techniques we are able to demonstrate to ME FIRST Participants the impact this has on your environment and those around you. You can’t see it – you experience it. It is a vibrational energy that emits from the core of who you are and it is powerful.

Oh, I do go on – it just gives me chills to remember the effect this has when we teach this part of the program. And it is why I love my work.

 Good old Dr. Suess – who knew that he taught ME FIRST principles. So much of what we are teaching is that you get to choose your life. So few people realize this it seems. Once you appreciate that your life is a sum of the choices you have made, and that you can change the course of your life with different choices, you settle into a position of personal power. Oh, and by the way, this is something I have to remind myself of everyday – the choice is mine.

Enough rambling for now. Looking forward to the next ME FIRST Retreat in Ottawa which will be co-facilitated by Wayne and Carol. I am handing over the reigns (and that may take discipline on my part!).

To all of you, you get to choose your thoughts, words and feelings – choose well!


Until next time…


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