Choice

The Moment I Left Myself Behind

The Moment I Left Myself Behind

It happened. The moment when I realized that I had left part of myself behind. Well, actually I left my suit case behind but it metaphorically slapped me in the face. I had packed all the stuff I needed to deliver my work yet did not bring any of the things I needed for myself. Wham!!

I’ve been going hard lately. Since September, consistently. I’ve been so focused on being in service of my clients and doing the work I love that I completely left myself behind.

Mid-Century Modern Mindset

Mid-Century Modern design is having a renaissance right now. It’s an architectural and interior design style popular from mid 1930’s to 1960’s. It really peaked in the 1950’s.

Style signatures include ample windows and open floor plans designed to create a sense of spaciousness. The intention was to open interiors spaces and brings the outdoors in.

As I sit in my own version of mid-century (I’m 54), I realize that there is an evolving state of being that I am embodying. A new normal is emerging. It’s a bit of a dance as some of it is intentional and some of is inspired by life’s natural rhythms.

Many of the elements mirror the descriptors of midcentury architecture and design – clean simplicity, organic, integration with nature, streamlined, abundant light, flexible.

I am choosing simple over complex.

I am choosing to be more open – with my stories, my heart, my dreams.

I am consciously claiming space in my own life to cultivate creativity and expression. By simplifying other things, I’m focusing more on writing and sharing ideas. It feels important to be doing this. It also feels like a gift of service.

I am choosing to be more integrated with the things that I love and value.  This means getting really clear on what I say YES to and NO to.

I am choosing to engage in community in different ways – more simple, organic and fluid. Previously I would engage in more formal structures like Boards and committees. I’m seeing that I can share my time in ways that serve and that are also more flexible and responsive.

I am choosing to integrate with, and be fed by, nature’s wisdom. This is spirit work for me and it fills my cup to walk in forests, watch the clouds, and swim in lakes. It’s a sensory experience that stirs my heart and grounds me.

I am becoming more organic and textured as my body and being transforms at this stage of life. As menopause shifts me I am working to ride the waves in a way that is gentle, compassionate and curious. In a way, it reminds me of child bearing where I had to be completely open to each of the unfolding stages. I learned then that it’s better to dance with the waves and experiences rather than to try and control them. Even though my body is completing a cycle, I sincerely feel that something new is being birthed. It’s cool (she writes while having a hot flash).

So, my version of being a woman at mid-century is about being present, aware, asserting choices and keeping things simple. It’s a conscious life architecture that is also influencing my leadership. It’s an unfolding and I’m enjoying this time as it feels expansive. It certainly feels like more light is coming into my being.

I’ll end with this quote as it is a perfect description of how I am experiencing this phase of life.

“The more in harmony you are with the flow of your own existence,
the more magical life becomes.”
Source: Third_eye_thirst

 

 

Signs You are Ready for Change By Choice

Signs You are Ready for Change By Choice

Many of my clients come to me because they are wanting to be the architects of change in their life or career. I introduce them to the notion of CHANGE BY CHOICE.

This is a decision to proactively change, not because they are reacting to someone or something. They are ready to advance a dream, amplify a value, or unleash a passion that’ been diminished for too long. It’s time to put a stake in the ground and be intentional about something that is important – themselves and their dreams.

10 Tips For Saying YES to YOU

10 Tips For Saying YES to YOU

You have lost connection with YOU - your wants, needs and choices. You are consumed by responsibility for everyone else to the point where you are no longer in touch with your responsibility to nurture and care for yourself. Your gas tank is perilously low and you've been ignoring the signals to fill up.

Leadership Time Out

Leadership Time Out

Most of the leaders I work with crave time to reflect, reset, revitalize, reboot, or re-imagine. As accomplished and caring leaders they give their all to their organizations, staff and clients.  They are always present for others yet give little time to themselves to pause and restores themselves.

 

For The Love of Dads

Today is all about Father's. I find myself reflecting on the Dads that are part of my immediate family. Each is a teacher to me. I am grateful and today celebrate them.

First, my own Dad Oren Claude Frood. He's been gone from my life since I was 29 yet I feel his spirit every day. He was charismatic, funny, creative, kind hearted, logical, and wickedly smart. He was also tortured, sad and lost. He and I shared a special bond. The kind where you could just be with the other, not talk and yet we spoke volumes to each other through our hearts. In fact, he was the person who taught me most about empathy. To this day I can still hear his hearty laugh and see his eyes sparkly with mischief.

I was blessed to have William Charles Hawke for a father in law. He quickly became my local Dad. He and I had a unique relationship in that we worked together for nine years. He was also a match maker as he set Peter and I up on our first date. We joked that ours was an arranged marriage. As a Dad, Bill wanted the best for his kids. He wanted them to achieve success in whatever they did. He was proud of each one of them for following a passion. Bill wrote poems for every occasion. He also wrote words that no one else could find as part of the eulogy for our son Ryan when he died. Bill was a very social guy and brought out his goofy, funny side often. However, I was privileged to see his deeply caring and compassionate side on many occasions. I learned a lot about loyalty and heart from Bill.

Then, there is my brother Peter Cameron Frood. Together, with his wife Francoise Cooper Bouchard, he has modelled what it’s like to unapologetically adore your kids. I have watched closely how he has loved and nurtured them through each of their life stages. He is a proud papa bear for sure. He too brings a good humour and teases relentlessly. He has gifted his kids with adventures in life and has modelled setting goals and going for them. His go with the flow state of being has been a powerful antidote to the sometimes intense life we experienced in our birth family. I’ve adopted that in my parenting style and am full of gratitude for the model of parenting he has shown – as Dad and now a Grandpa.

I also want to recognized the wonderful Barry Mark Moore. He is also a devoted Dad. When I think of Mark I think of play. His inner child is alive and well. He is a man of music and has a deep commitment to God, I have seen how he has woven his core values into parenting. His love for family in unparalleled. His care and concern for community has inspired his family to engage deeply in the lives of their friends and community. His commitment to playing in nature, exploring on a bike or communing through music has created many cherished moments with his family. Through Mark I have learned the power of being with not just doing as a parent.

Next I think of my nephew Jonathan Gerard Frood. On the Frood side, he is the first of the next gen to have a child. Seeing him step into this role seriously melts my heart. His pride and joy in being a Dad is pure joy to witness. His intentionality in wanting to be the best teacher, guide and champion for his son Logan is a reminder to me of the importance of the role of parent. His desire to inspire Logan to follow a sporty life is so much fun to watch. The world of opportunity is open to this little guy if you see the abundance of every type of ball or sporting equipment he already has. However, Jon also wants to inspire a love of reading and music, of being a social being and make sure he passes on the legacy of fun and play.

I am also equally inspired by our nephew Christopher James Kroeker.  He too has taken on the role of Dad with an abundant heart. He joyfully plays and creates with his kids. The laughter and fun that is in his heart comes through his interactions with Aubrey and Everett.  As a next gen father he’s found a way for Dad’s to bond by creating the Midnight Dad’s Club. It’s kind of a play zone for Dad’s to unit and spend time together. From Chris I’ve learned that parenting does not forego having fun.

Recently, I’ve been blessed with getting to know and love another Dad. Lorne Murray Hay is my dear friend Kat’s Dad. I’ve been an orphan for a while as my parents both died when I was younger. Lorne, and his beloved wife Betty, adopted me with open hearts. At 53, the opportunity to have Lorne in my life is a great joy. To find someone who can give a hug like only a Dad can at this stage of life is amazing. Lorne is a great story teller and I love hearing about the threads of his life that have shaped him to be the wonderful man he is.

Last, and definitely not least, I want to celebrate Peter James Hawke. Pete and I entered into parenting in a very precarious way. We were intentional and ready. Yet our first son Ryan had other plans for our parenting journey. He was born early and very ill. When Ryan died Pete was solid, steady and always present.  He was also open with his own vulnerability and fears. He journeyed with me through the healing work of grief. He was stalwart in his commitment that we would survive our loss together.

Then came the lights of our lives – Shannon and Jason. Since the day they showed up, Pete’s mission has been to be a devoted Dad. I have a movie reel of images in my mind of many sweet moments he’s shared with them. All I know is how deeply he loves them, how he’s celebrated them at each stage of life they’ve achieved, and how much he savours the time we spend with them now that they’ve flown the nest. I love both his devotion to our kids and how fully alive he is when he’s with them. He is a proud Papa and I am blessed to share the role of parent with him. Through Pete I have learned the artistry of co-creation and the power of strengths partnering for a common mission – the wellbeing of our kids.  

So, these are the Dad’s that I celebrate today. They are an extraordinary group of men who value family, love, commitment, and caring connection. I can’t help but notice that they all share common threads -- those of humour as they all tease and have wicked wits and how they show their love through play and being fully present.

NOTE-- Why I’m using full names. I recently had an amazing experience with a healer, energy worker and musician. He taught me that our unique essence as human and spiritual beings comes through in the architecture of our name. We each have a unique rhythm that is rooted in the syllables of our names. So I am using the full names of these awesome men as another way of honouring their spirits.

Courage is Choice in Action

This past weekend I visited my sister Ellen. She’s on the cusp of a grand new adventure as she prepares to move to Nanaimo, BC. She’s picking up her life, packing her belongings and will be driving across the country in just a few weeks. Other than a destination and a new home to move into, the rest of her future is unwritten. She admitted she’s both excited and scared.

As I drove away after visiting I thought how courageous she’s being. Would I or could I do the same? Contemplating it gave me butterflies.

As I pondered, I thought of the many courageous people I am surrounded by.  Most of the clients I work with are experiencing some form of vulnerability. Most of the time they are on the cusp of change – either one that they are designing with intention or one that life has presented and they are reacting to.

Courage is…

Moving to a new city or country without a job or a social network because of a vision and dream of something different.

Fleeing your home land so that you can find a safe country to call home.

Speaking your truth at work or in the community when you know it will be unpopular and possibly put you in danger.

Continuing to apply for jobs after being rejected or ignored many times.

Saying no to people you love to preserve boundaries that you need to sustain so you stay whole and healthy.

Taking a stand for your values and making choices that others might not understand.

Taking the leap and starting your own business.

Asking for help and being uncertain how people will react.

Believing in yourself when no one else does.

Trusting your gut feelings and acting on it when there is no “tangible” proof of evidence to support your actions.

Leaving a job when you don’t have a new one to go to. Doing so because you aren’t fulfilled and won’t stay in a role that sucks the life out of you.

Courage and vulnerability go hand in hand. Courage requires us to dig deep into our own soul, our own beliefs, and our own spirit. It’s a call that reminds us of what is important. It’s a choice to be brave, to take action when we don’t exactly know how it will end. It’s the belief that action is better than doing nothing.

As Brené Brown says, “You can’t get to courage without walking through vulnerability.”

I’m inspired by the many people I work with and witness who choose courage. In doing so they are honouring their own vulnerability. They are being wholehearted in their action because they are choosing to change their state of being for the possibility of something bolder, brighter and more fulfilling.

Courage is not easy. However, courage is choice in action. It reminds me that vulnerability is the flirt of something trying to happen.  For me, that is inspiring and exciting.

So as my courageous sister drives towards her new life, I’m going to be paying attention to my own flutters of vulnerability actively listening for the call of courage to move me forward in my next adventure.