How to Find Sanity in a Crazy Schedule

For the past few weeks, my life and work have been far busier than usual. In many ways, it’s felt uncomfortable. And at the same time, I am awed as I notice how much more capacity I have than I believed I had.

Because I tend toward introversion and require space and quiet to recharge, I have often actively avoided filling my schedule. Right now, my schedule seems to have a mind of its own, almost as if my soul has taken the reins from my personality.

To a certain degree, I have surrendered to this new pace. And, I still require that space and quiet. So, I’m learning to experience it in a moment, rather than in an afternoon.

It looks something like this. What if before I rush out the door, I pause, take a few breaths, become present and check in to see what else I need to take or do before I leave? What if as I’m driving in to town, I notice the beauty of New Mexico all around me? What if when I feel like I just can’t do one more thing, I pause, take a few breaths, become present and then do the one more thing?!?

As I drive into town for my next appointment, when I am present to  the spaciousness that surrounds me, I feel more spacious - even with  a full schedule.
As I drive into town for my next appointment, when I am present to the spaciousness that surrounds me, I feel more spacious – even with a full schedule.

What could be possible with a pause? Anything I desire in a moment.

What could be possible for you with a pause? If you pause, take a few breaths and become present, anything you desire is possible for you, too. What if you pause, take a few breaths, become present and think about that for a moment? What do you desire in this moment?

When we allow ourselves to pause and become present to ourselves, we can create anything we desire. Becoming present in the present moment, gives us the only moment there ever is. Our pause connects us to the Eternal Now. No anxiety about the past. No fear about the future. No feeling crazy.

Only Now.

Which makes the state of my schedule irrelevant. Ah, my soul at work!

The Amazingly Simple Way to Gain Clarity

Over and over again, clients come to coaching with me to gain clarity. Their number one desire, by far, involves experiencing clarity – both big picture clarity and day-to-day decision-making clarity. In all areas of their lives.

For all of us, clarity naturally occurs when we allow our minds to settle down and we are present in the moment. Take a couple of deep breaths into that. Ahhhh . . .

No multi-tasking, no screens, no running to the next thing. Without resisting what is. Simple quiet mind, present in the moment.

Recently, one of my new clients told me she wanted to experience un-jumbled-ness. What a wonderful way to put it. I could see and feel the jumbledness and I could see and feel it dissolving.

We all have access to clarity in any moment. And we may not have much experience in getting there because we first must override some habitual patterns that lead to jumbledness.

One of my favorite ways to invite clarity involves letting go until the morning. Almost always my mind is more settled and I am more present for the first few hours of the day.

Oh, the clarity that comes as the day settles into night . . .
Oh, the clarity that comes as the day settles into night . . .

One of my clients finds that clarity often comes to her while she’s walking her dog. Another client frequently experiences clarity while showering after a run.

If I’d like clarity around a small decision, like what to eat for lunch, I take a couple of deep breaths and tune into what my body wants.

If I don’t feel super clear and I need to make a decision, I make it with self-compassion and remind myself I’m doing the best I can in the moment. No need to shovel self-judgment into the jumble!

What about you? What allows your mind to settle? What allows you to become present in the moment? I would love to hear from you . . .

StrengthsFinder®: The Precise Strength in Your Top 5

For years I’ve been curious about the brilliance, the genius, specific to each of us in our own unique combination of top StrengthsFinder® strengths. I’ve occasionally glimpsed mine. I’ve often articulated to my clients pieces and parts of theirs.

Not until recently did I realize how many clues can be found in one of the reports we receive from Gallup® when we invest 40 minutes of our time and plunk down our $19.99 to learn our top 5.

Once you’ve taken the StrengthsFinder® assessment, the 18-page Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide can be found by logging into your dashboard at the Gallup® website.

The beauty of this report: when it describes Connectedness (my #3 strength) for me, it describes something entirely different than for you (If you have Connectedness in your top 5). For each of us, it’s describing Connectedness with the influence of our other 4 strengths. So your Connectedness reads completely different than mine, because, more than likely, your other 4 strengths are different than mine.

Why does this matter? Because those 5 unique descriptions give us clues to ways that we be and do in the world completely different than anyone else. The 5 descriptions tell us about our completely unique lens with which we view the world.

What happens when we integrate these 5 descriptions? If we squint, read between the lines, become willing to see, have someone else tell us what they see, we will come to know the genius, the brilliance, of this person described in this one report.

It seems easier for many people to take in their report as if they are reading about someone else, rather than themselves. And, many times, it seems to take an outside perspective – someone else who can tell them what they see.

StrengthsFinder: The Precise Strength in Your Top 5

Here’s what I recognized in mine:

The glorious amalgam of Maximizer, Empathy, Connectedness, Activator and Individualization (my top 5) –

This delightful human being (me) takes a stand for the full expression of our human and divine nature. In every way she senses would be effective, she share the wonderful news of who we really are! Both specifically and Universally. She insistently and consistently calls forth the Beauty and Love of who we each are – fully ourselves, radiantly alive and gloriously messy.

What about you? If you’ve taken the StrengthsFinder®, have you read your Strengths Insight and Action-Planning Guide? What are you noticing? If you haven’t taken the StrengthsFinder® assessment and you’ve read this far, I urge you to take it now! See that glorious amalgam of me at work?!?

If you’d like an outside perspective, click here and we can schedule a time to chat!

What Keeps Us from Loving Ourselves?

What stands between us and self-appreciation, self-compassion, self-love? We behave as though our thinking is real.

What if we didn’t believe everything we hear in our head about ourselves? What if we didn’t believe our judgments of others (projections about ourselves)?

When we hear in our heads:

  • You shouldn’t have . . .
  • You should have . . .
  • There you go again . . .
  • You’re so _________ (you fill in the blank).
  • When are you going to change _________ (again, you fill in the blank)?

What if we didn’t engage with those repetitive, dead-end, self-loathing thoughts and instead used them as a mindfulness activity?

We could:

  • Take a few deep breaths and compassionately remind ourselves we are always doing the best we can.
  • Pause and notice the habitual nature of the thoughts and simply give them some space.
  • Byron Katie style, question the thoughts. “Is it true I should . . .?” “What is a turnaround for that thought?” “Who would I be without that thought?”
  • Take a few seconds to appreciate that we noticed the thoughts and didn’t engage.
  • Take ourselves lightly, smile and go on about our day.

What keeps us from loving ourselves? The human thoughts that tell us all the reasons we shouldn’t.

Orange Daisy Gerbera

Ah, to recognize our own beauty and divinity as easily as we recognize
the unique beauty and universal divinity of this daisy
. . .

Why might we love ourselves anyway? To honor the spiritual truth about us: that we ARE love.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you”)

How to Notice When You Are Creating Heaven

Heaven: “This is wonderful. I could stay here forever.”
Hell: “This is not quite perfect.”
– Byron Katie
From her book, I Need Your Love – Is that True?

What separates us from animals involves our intellectual capacity, our ability to think and reason. Yet, for the most part, most of us, most of the time don’t notice that our thinking causes our misery.

The minute we think any external circumstance, experience or person causes our happiness, we have begun to create our own private hell. And, we do this innocently, often without conscious awareness, thousands of times a day.

“I wonder if he likes me.” “If I can just hang in there until I get more clients.” “I’ll feel better when the kids calm down.” “I can’t wait until it stops raining.” “When I make more money…” “As soon as I lose the weight…” “Once I get the car fixed…” “It will be better when I get divorced, married, retired…” “If only…”

You get the idea. Once we become aware of our particular brand of this regurgitated thought, we can begin to consciously question it and/or take it less seriously and allow it to pass without engaging with it.

How to Notice When You Are Creating Heaven

When we remember that our essential nature is Love and well-being, we begin to become aware of the wonder in every moment, in every experience. When we remember that we are like the sun and the eternally blue sky and our thoughts are like the clouds, we can enjoy our Light and be gracious about allowing the clouds to pass.

And, we may just notice ourselves saying more and more frequently, “This is wonderful. I could stay here forever.” Regardless of what our circumstances look like.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for returning to the joy of you“)