Perspective II

Perspective II

You are right where you are supposed to be. How many times have you heard this and said to yourself “that is ridiculous… there are so many things going wrong at this time! How can this be where I am supposed to be?”

If we try to find the truth in this statement, perhaps it would change our perspective, and then open the space for us “to be right where we are supposed to be.”

 Recently I had the occasion to misread the time, I was rushed and trying to get some work done before I had an appointment. I was feeling pressured, tight, and unable to fully concentrate on the task in front of me because I felt time constraints. Randomly I checked the clock again to pace myself and I realized I had an hour more than I had originally thought. My whole body relaxed. My brain opened, my breathing changed, and my focus became laser clear about what I wanted to accomplish and how I was going to do it. The strange thing is, in the end, I did not need more time than I originally had. My perception of the time had altered my feeling of what I could accomplish. It closed my brain up so much that I became completely incapable of functioning at a high level. The contrast from one moment to the next was life-changing. It was literally a second in between feeling inept and feeling capable of anything. The only thing that changed was my perception. The next day I was thinking what if I could actually create that freedom for myself? Could  I actually give myself the space I need to perform at my best. Time is just a perception. When I am open, confident, and focused it does not take that much time to do the things I want to do. When I am distracted, insecure, and closed I dance around the important subject and it seems like it takes forever. 

What are the pressures that make us feel closed? We use time to make appointments, keep track of our tasks, and log our progress. However, really it is random and quite unpredictable. We also end up using time as an excuse. In my horse training business time is not something I can control. Some horses take a lot of time to learn something and another horse less time. If I am stuck on the time I give them there is little progress if I base my value on the time I give each horse I may not be giving each horse what it needs. Giving myself the freedom to teach a horse for the amount of time he/she needs opens up this amazing space where I can work with creativity and compassion. Why did it take me so long to find this space in other areas of my life?

Make something nonnegotiable; how do you give yourself blocks of focused time, where nothing else matters? I am sure you have certain areas in your life where you are 100% effective. You have a strong commitment to that task and you make sure it happens correctly every day. We all have other areas of our lives where we are less effective. Why? Perhaps we don’t have confidence in that task, we have had a bad experience, someone has made us feel inept, or perhaps we simply do not have the tools yet to tackle the job successfully. Think of an area of your life you would like to improve, and you are having a difficult time. Then think of an area you have success, space, and energy for. Wouldn’t it be great to have this same energy to apply to this more difficult area of your life? It is possible, you just need to change perspective! Did you ever have a time in your life where the things that are going well for you were difficult? Was there a time when you had to learn more, work harder, or even had setbacks to overcome? What did you do? Why did you do it? What made you push through to the other side of those difficulties? You are the one that did those things, so I have no doubt that you can apply yourself in the same way to these new challenges. Visualize the space you need to accomplish them. Literally give yourself space. A clear area around your being in time, space, and energy where you create boundaries and freedom to learn and accomplish your goals.

 Why is this life area more difficult than another? For me, it is about overwhelm. I start on a project and my mind gets going a million miles ahead until it runs into something I do not know enough about and then it starts whirling about the past mistakes that brought me to this place and then I cannot dig myself out. One of my favorite quotes lately is “confidence is the belief IN MYSELF that I can figure things out.” I am changing my self-talk and I am changing the perspective I have of time. Time can push me or I can choose to create a space for myself in time where I become my most effective and creative self. I also spend a bit of time every morning visualizing myself moving through this difficult area. For instance, if I need to have a difficult conversation, I sit with the conversation in the morning before my day starts and I walk myself through how I want to make it the best it can possibly be. If I do not have all the answers, I do not push the conversation away to a later date, I ask questions, ask for help, or even study up a bit more on the subject. The actual conversation for me is not the big problem these days, it is the memories of past conversations that have gone wrong that create a block toward the ones I need for my future. Sitting with the task stops time, it helps me to focus on why the conversation is important now and gives me space to create the outcomes necessary to bring success for all involved.

I recommend writing a list of things that are nonnegotiable for you; changes you want to make or things that you want to accomplish. Write this list when you are feeling happy and confident about the future. Then start to block time, small amounts, that you can focus solely on each of these tasks. It can be only 5 minutes at first, but it must be 5 undisturbed minutes. Be sure to put your phone away and lock yourself from any other people or tasks. To start, pick something less intimidating so that you can practice finding the “feeling” of space for yourself. Once you find the “feeling” try using it with something more challenging.

I hope this practice helps you find peace in everything you do. As always, I would love to know how this benefits you. Tell me your story by emailing [email protected]

Be youthful in your approach, connection is the key, remember anything is possible

Nancy

Building Intention

Building Intention

During this time of worry, I found myself getting swept up in other people’s fear and interpretation of reality. After some days of feeling like a boat rocking around in a storm I have been able to get back to myself and I will challenge (encourage) you to do the same.

Although I know I have a great immune system and I am confident that I will survive even if the virus infects me, there is so much fear out there that I found myself expending a lot of energy fighting off other people’s fears. This was exhausting. I found myself to be emotionally drained and lacking any kind of enthusiasm toward my own purpose. I have never been one to get excited in times like these. I am not one to believe I will get hoof and mouth disease or the swine flu, I have traveled safely and managed to keep myself safe and happy for the most part. This will be no different. Why did it affect me so differently?

I do not watch TV. I do not turn on the news. I have people that I trust that I ask for advice and information. Of course, I can look things up on the internet from reputable sources. However, the onslaught of negativity on social media, where I might go to find some fun and pictures of family and friends was overwhelming. Another irritating thing is the email inbox being filled with offers of every kind to help during this catastrophic time. There is also a sad skeptical feeling of how people look at you when out shopping. Am I buying something they need or want? Do I have the disease? Am I a threat to them? This is not something I am used to. I am always friendly when out shopping, making sure to be aware of the people around me, a smile, small conversation or even offering to help if someone needs a hand. This feeling of being unwelcome was painful. It is interesting because in the beginning, I did not notice what was off.

After a couple of days, I realized that I do not need to fight off the outside, but instead stabilize the inside. Not sure why it took so long. I am new at this I guess.  I needed to set an intention of how I want to perceive this time, how I want to react to it and who I am in all this. Other people are welcome to do the same, and I cannot control how they handle this part of their journey, but I can control myself. So if this is true, why do we stop utilizing the tools we need, when we need them the most?

I do not have the extra time available that many people have been given because of businesses closing. The horses still need to be taken care of and trained, we may not have shows to go to right now, but we can still make progress, and stalls still need to be cleaned and horses fed. So, to find the extra time I need to get myself in balance is not easy. However, I will find the time and create a strong practice that will benefit me long after this whole virus thing is gone.

The bummer is that I did not keep up with my practices when I needed them the most. Although I have had the best intentions, the winter got away from me with our staffing problems and other bothersome, time-consuming issues. This is not an excuse. And it is now more than ever, after watching myself bob up and down in the storm, that I realize the need for this Daily internal practice.

So, I encourage everyone reading this to reach out, do not hide in your home and watch Netflix, but instead reach out and learn something new. A yoga or tai chi practice, a meditation practice, or even just a new work out routine. Something that helps you find you. Something that clears your head from fear and reminds you of your purpose and your gifts. I would love to hear what inspires you and how you are growing from this difficult situation. Please feel free to email me [email protected]

                 Stay safe and healthy

                                 Love,

                                      Nancy

Work and Fun Can Happen Together

Work and Fun Can Happen Together

A while back I wrote a Blog Post “Do what you love and the money will Follow”, I hope you were able to read it, if not look it up, it is a fun post!

The following are the basic takeaways:

  1. It’s okay to make mistakes
  2. It’s good to have fun even when you are working (work and fun are not mutually exclusive)
  3. Taking care of yourself is necessary, not selfish
  4. Everyone’s path is not the same (we are all working to find our own way)

I had fun with “It’s ok to make mistakes” in that Blog, so let’s dive into “Work and fun can happen together”. For some reason, that I do not understand, we are taught when we are kids that work is a bad word. Children grow into adults believing that the goal is to make enough money so they can retire and not have to work.  But then what? And for heaven’s sake, for most of us how long does that take? How many stories do we hear about unhappy wealthy people? Money is not fulfilling. I believe; money can mean freedom, but freedom from what? What if we design a life where making money and living a fun and fulfilling life go hand in hand?

This might require a shift in perspective, not a big one mind you, just a small shift. If you are able to look at “work” from a different point of view life will be much brighter everyday, waking up will be exciting, the prospect of a new day will be energizing. What if you are a waitress and you have a love of art? Every day you are pushed to a job waiting tables to pay the bills, every day you long to be more involved in art. What if, as a waitress, you go into the restaurant every day and bubble over with your amazing skills? What are you good at? Helping people feel good about themselves? Can you give more compliments? Help lonely people feel seen? Work with your teammates energetically and create a positive work atmosphere that helps everyone do a better job, and in the end benefits the restaurant and your tips? Can you notice people that might have the same interest as you? Find a part-time job in an art gallery, take a class in painting? Go to a new exhibit and meet people that share your passion? Is it possible to work in a restaurant with an owner that shares your passion and lets you participate in new and exciting décor? Could you add decorations as the seasons change? What about creating fun specials or challenges? How can you take your job and make it fun? I know you have been in restaurants where the waitress/waiter was “doing his job”, and I know you have been in restaurants where your server was engaged and creating an experience for you. If you do not want to be a server all your life you must create a vision of the next step and work toward it. However, I believe we do not get to the next step without honing our gifts in our present situation.

What does this mean? I believe opportunities come along for us often. I also believe if we are not working on who we need to be, then the opportunities become problems, create fear and many are passed by because they are misunderstood. What do I mean by this? One example is through the years I have had many difficult horses in training. What I learned from each horse depended a bit on my state of mind at the time. Sometimes it was the owner, not the horse, that taught me the lessons! However, as I look back, I could never be doing what I do now without the difficult horses. Do I wish I had paid more attention to a couple of them? Yes! But thankfully I listened to enough of them that I can ride the horses that I have now. And the best part is, that I have had two of the most difficult, shut down horses of my career this past year and not only am I able to build a connection with and train them, but I am also having fun doing it! Instead of looking at it like “why me?” I am thankful for the opportunity to learn more, be creative and give these horses a chance in the human world. Maybe the horses of the past did not take me to the big show ring, maybe they did not even make me big money, however, applying myself and my special creative talents changed their lives, as they did mine. From those lessons, I am able to do an even better job, create more skill and will be able to make money in the field I love.

So whatever you are doing to “make money” now I want to challenge you to make a small shift in perspective. If you are not happy with your present situation what would make you happy? What is your dream job? Start to imagine it, because if you don’t know what it is you cannot create it. Next, what can you do in your present situation to make it more fun? There is always something! Believe me, doing this will help you build the skills you need to be in your dream job. Enjoy the day.

Remember;

Be youthful in your approach

Connection is the key

Remember anything is possible

I hope this brings more fun to your life!

Nancy

Healthy Conversation

Healthy Conversation

I was listening to an awesome podcast today while driving around doing errands. I feel very grateful for all the time and effort so many generous people out there in podcast land take in sharing their journeys.

This particular podcast was talking about how important it is to find a stillness inside ourselves, using meditation and other various ways to become more grounded. They were just happily discussing various ways to become more in touch with who we really are, how different methods work for different people, then went into how even successful people can be unhappy and unfulfilled.

Here were two grown-up men coming from two completely different points of view sitting down and having a conversation, asking questions and delving deeper into the subject together to find more information. It was very refreshing.

Everyone is trying to find their “inner voice”, a place to go when anxiety rears its head. Even people who outwardly appear to be having it all still struggle to find the peace and joy that comes with expressing themselves. Oprah, Stephen Colbert, Adele, and Michael Phelps have all spoken about their struggles with anxiety.

Where does this leave all of us? I believe that we all need to continue to work to find out who we really are on the inside and bring this person out. The successful people I mentioned above, and many more like them, have insecurities and anxiety about what they are doing, but they overcome their doubts and bring their gift out to others. The gift is the easy part. The fear of not being accepted is the hard part. Which is so unbelievable when you think of who these people are and what they have accomplished.

When we really think about it this way, ask yourself, what am I waiting for? No one is perfect! Find your gift, listen to your inner voice. What would make you feel amazing to do every day and share with others? I imagine that when you think about it this way it feels awesome, for a brief moment, until reality sets in. But, what reality? Who’s reality? Seriously. Ask yourself again, what is your gift? What would make you feel amazing if you could share it with others? This is your life, it is now, take a baby step in that direction…and then another one tomorrow.

I believe that the world will be a better place when you do.

I hope this benefits you in some way,

I always love feedback so please email me at  [email protected] with your thoughts!

Nancy

Daily Practice

Daily Practice

Why is it that we seem to lose track of our positive daily practices just when we need them the most?

We all have things that get us down. We make mistakes, get sick or something can happen that is beyond our control. These things can take us temporarily off our path. The good practices and positive habits we were nurturing and were working for us drop by the wayside and the doubt and fear creep in. Productivity diminishes and this feeds the doubt and the spiral goes down the hill.

How can we hold on to our best habits even when we get derailed, depressed or lack energy?

For me jumping back in as soon as possible makes a difference. But, I also think we must take a bit of time to mourn the setback, recover from being sick or even take time for a loved one in need. Then we must jump back in as soon as possible to our best practices. Even if it is only for 5 minutes a day, set that time aside for yourself, then next week add 5 minutes and so on. Put the time for yourself in your calendar, set an alarm, do whatever it takes to notice yourself and take care of yourself.

We all know that exercise builds confidence and energy. So, we need to make time for it. We know that eating well and actually taking time to eat helps us feel healthy and mentally alert. We must make time for this. Hydration is imperative for optimum performance, no matter what we do. Let’s pay attention to this.

There is a kind of stigma around taking care of ourselves first. We are taught that self-care is selfish. However, if we don’t take care of ourselves then we can’t be there for the other people in our lives.

A few of my favorite quick tips for getting out of that rut as quickly as possible:

  • Talk to your good friends.
  • Start recording your wins.
  • Do 5 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning before you get lost in the day. Add to it over time, because it feels good.
  • Spend one healthy meal with yourself (and others) daily
  • Drink water, add lemon, mint, cucumber whatever makes you happy, drink water
  • Change all self-talk to positive self-talk; I can’t do this becomes I can’t do this yet, or who can help me with this, or how can I figure out how to do this. It might be difficult when you start noticing all of the negative self-talk, but it is necessary to notice it if you want to change it!

Please feel free to share your good ideas about getting out of a rut with me at [email protected]  

Finding Your Rhythm

Finding Your Rhythm

I think that one of the most difficult things to do is find a balance between all of the competing priorities that stand before us in a day. There are many amazing people out there offering to teach us their tactics for high performance, productivity and time management, but I find the more I look at them, the more confused I become.

Throughout this past year, I have really had to challenge myself to let go of old beliefs in order to become more productive. The things I have learned have actually not come from others, but instead, have come from listening to myself. One of my mentors said that we should let go of menial tasks, hire someone to do the shopping and laundry for instance. Doing this would open the day for more productive endeavors. When I thought about it, I did think, yes, it would be nice to delegate these things some of the time. However, for me, doing laundry is self-care. I take time to fold my laundry and just be in that moment, perhaps with music or my own thoughts. It is meditative. So, giving that up would not be healthy for me.

I challenge you to think carefully about what you really love about your life, what makes you feel alive and makes you want to get up in the morning. On the flip side, what could you let go of? What does not get you excited? What do you do because you think you should, or someone else thinks you should?

I imagine we can all find things that we could put on these lists and become more effective by doing so. By doing this exercise myself, I am finding a better rhythm.

I do like to feel as if I am going a million miles an hour one day and then completely ineffective the next day. Ineffectiveness for me comes from feeling overwhelmed by the things I should be doing, but I am not good at and therefore ignore. There are definitely things that I could delegate and as I started to identify them, real change began for me. What I really need to get done (things I do not like doing or am simply not good at), I will delegate, and then apply THAT time to something that I AM good at and creates benefits down the line.

What things are on your to-do list that you could delegate to someone else?
If you did, what would you spend your time on? When you look at things this way, does it give you the push you need to reorganize your time?

I believe it is really about what strengths you have, not about anyone else’s program. The challenge is to start to create your own program, your own rhythm. The awesome thing is that there are a lot of great people out there willing to share their ideas and just get you thinking about options. But! If one program does not work for you that is ok. Keep looking, be curious and create the best strategy for your happiest life, one day at a time.

I hope these ideas benefit you in some way.

Nancy