Mindfulness

Walk Gently

Walk Gently

I woke this morning filled with thoughts of our son Ryan. On this day, 28 years ago, we were holding him as he took his last breaths. He passed peacefully. Life was forever changed in that moment.

I always enter this day with a sense of wonder. How will it be this year? What will be stirred in me as I remember him and his short life?

This morning I asked him to co-create the experience with me.

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

 

 

Listener In Residence: The Experiment

“From listening comes wisdom.”

I have decided to launch a one year experiment. I am self-appointing myself as the “Listener in Residence” at Innovation Works in London. In this role, I will be gifting my time to any of the co-tenants in the community who want someone to listen to them – deeply, with focus, in a non-judgemental way and with empathetic support.

I’m called to do this because I believe that being heard is one of the most empowering things in life. To pause and be present to another human is one of the most precious gifts we can ever give.

I have noticed that when people start to speak out loud about something that may feel vulnerable, bold, risky or over the top joyful, it’s a signal of something emerging. They are getting clear on something that is wanting to shift or change; on the cusp of something really important.

I also believe that people need to be heard, not fixed. Talking things out is a way of creatively figuring things out. As we give voice to a yearning or a concern, we are already finding our way towards solutions and actions.  

In coaching, there is a principle called holding a person as naturally creative, resourceful and whole. So, as I listen, I will pay attention to all the creative brilliance that lives within each person through the stories they will share.

Innovation Works and the co-tenant community is full of amazing humans with all kinds of potential. This is a community of caring, innovative, socially conscious and inspiring people. It’s also a place where people show up because they are change agents and status quo disruptors. They are wired to take risk and live boldly. That’s not always easy work. I want to support this energy with a gift I can give – my time, an open heart and two big ears for listening.

I am called to do this as a way of giving back to a community that has given me so much. Innovation Works London is just over a year old. Its culture and model of community is still evolving. In some small way I hope this experiment will model the way for the power of thoughtful listening when being in action.

How It Will Work
So, here’s the deal. I will be dedicating 15 hours per month for listening sessions. Each session is 20 minutes. I’ll be inviting people to sign up on designated “Listener in Residence” days. You come with whatever you want to share. I’ll listen. I might ask a few unfolding questions. Through the process, you’ll find your way to some new insights, awareness and intentions. Everything shared will be confidential. My greatest hope is that you leave feeling supported, understood and find some new elements of clarity that will spur you on.

Throughout the year, I’ll be blogging about the experience from the perspective of what it takes to deeply listen.  I won’t be sharing any details of people’s stories.  The Vegas Rule will be fully enforced.

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”

I fully anticipate that this will be a transformative experience. As a leadership coach, I have been trained to be a highly effective and active listener. However, I think this experiment will teach me a great deal on the power of being present and still in service of others. I can’t wait to learn deeply through the process.

So, I am pleased to invite you on the journey with me. Let the listening experiment begin!

 

 

 

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.

 

Be Still

Be Still

Today is an official snow day; the second in a row. As I peer outside, our world has transformed to a fluffy white winter wonderland of over 40 cm of snow. The official institutions of the world – schools, universities, city services – have declared themselves closed. So, our world is slowing down. We are staying close to home. We are having moments of stillness. Not by choice and yet it’s a delectable indulgence. 

Vulnerability = Power

Vulnerability = Power

Our vulnerability is the source of our greatest power. It’s also the access point for your life purpose. Bold statements I know. In fact, I know many will not agree. And that’s fine. I’ll offer a perspective from the greatest teacher - life. If nothing else, I hope that it might provoke new thoughts and new awareness. Vulnerability is being exposed. Vulnerability is not knowing. Vulnerability is scary. Most people do anything to mask vulnerability. Sometimes though, life creates circumstances beyond our control. No matter what, you simply cannot pretend that everything is "OK".