What if Where You Focus Determines the Quality of Your Life?

Perception | Spiritual Business Coach Denver, Santa Fe

What do you see? The light, fluffy, hopeful clouds in the middle? The sunshine way off in the distance? The ominous, dark clouds at the top?

I love this photo as a metaphor for life. Or more accurately, how we think about and perceive life.

Do I want to focus on and worry about the possible storm? In this moment, will I choose the hope and joy of the light, bright fluffy clouds? Will I look for the radiant sun, even if off in the distance?

Or, if I can’t see the sun at all, will I remember that it is always shining? If I can see only a dark and stormy threat, can I give myself love and compassion in that moment? And, know that, “this too shall pass?”

What about you? How are you perceiving life right now?

Important: How Do You Keep Your Strengths Top of Mind?

Because our strengths are so natural to us, we tend to forget about them. When we forget, we negate the power of developing our strengths. It’s so fulfilling and rewarding to strengthen strengths! What’s one thing you can do on a daily basis to strengthen your strengths?

Mini Case Study

Ann: My Activator would love to run the show. Ready, fire, aim is NOT the best strategy.

To make sure I’m Activating the right things at the right time, I’ve put Connectedness in charge of all my strengths. Connectedness views things holistically and knows what’s most important.

Once Connectedness sees the direction, then Activator can engage Maximizer, Strategic, Empathy and Individualization in a far more beneficial way. Hooray – ready, aim, fire.

Your Gifts May Be Rough. Offer Them Anyway.

I’m excited to share the wonderful poem below by one of my mentors, Chela Davison. Chela consistently and insistently calls me to be more present with me and all of me.

Your Gifts May Be Rough. Offer Them Anyway.

Diamonds start rough and so do our gifts.
The measure of what we have to offer should not be in its popularity or “people getting it” or likes or uptake.
The measure of what we have to offer is by how much it’s killing us to keep it inside and who is suffering without it.
My friends, I know the fears.
“It’s been done before, it’s been said before, my ideas aren’t unique.”
“I’ll be judged or shamed or persecuted. Or worse, I’ll be boring, irrelevant.”
“It’s too noisy, peopl e want quick fixes, success and ethics don’t mix.”
“I’ll lose my loves. I’ll lose myself. I’ll lose.”
“I’m not ready. I’m not good enough. I need to be better.”
We forget that we’re animals. That we’re wild, that there’s freedom right here.
We’re looking for each other’s medicine. We’re looking for a safe den and a warm body to cuddle up to. We’re hungry for nourishment and have nourishment to offer.
Sure, the world is a dangerous place. Sure, it’s cut throat competitive out there.
Except all of the ways in which it is not.
We help to create those spaces, one by one, group by group.
No single one of us will heal and change what’s sick and broken.
But many.
Many of us, toiling on our own sacred curves of the Earth.
Our hands and hearts busy making love into things, reaching out in offering.
So what if your gifts are rough. Give them.
Our souls are weary, we don’t need polished diamonds.
We need each other’s medicine, in all forms, in all ways.
We’re waiting for you, hopeful that you’ll show up.

– Chela Davison, ChelaDavison.com

This Is as Important as the Top 5 Strengths

Which of the top 5 strengths are in which of the 4 domains?

Of the 34 strengths, 17 of the strengths relate to people and 17 relate to task. The people strengths are 9 relationship-building strengths and 8 influencing strengths. The task strengths are 9 executing strengths and 8 thinking strengths.

All combinations of strengths have equal capacity for contribution. And those contributions will vary wildly based on how many strengths are in which domains.

Mini Case Study
Janae: two Executing Strengths and three Relationship Building Strengths.

Keith: all 5 strengths are Thinking Strengths.

What kind of contributions might Janae make?
What kind of contributions might Keith make?
How would they work well together?
What might be areas of conflict?

While we could answer these questions more specifically if we knew their exact strengths, we can also understand what’s important to them just by looking at the domains.

Reflecting on Your 2019, Creating Your 2020

Happy Solstice (in 3 days)!

One of my favorite year-end rituals involves reflecting on the past year – the good, the beautiful, the challenging, and then consciously creating next year.

Ten or twelve years ago, I created a deeply meaningful worksheet for both reflecting and creating. I use it myself each year and have shared it with my coaching clients so they can use it.

This year it occurred to me to share it with anyone who would like it. That being said, it’s not for everyone. It requires deep thinking and feeling, and it’s best done in 2 or 3 quiet sessions, each maybe 30 or 45 minutes.

If you’re willing to put in the time, you’ll be richly rewarded. The Reflection points you toward what’s most meaningful for you. It helps you recognize your own joy around your specific purpose and fulfilling contributions. The Creating supports you in being creatively proactive around your purpose, meaning and contribution in the new year, and for the new decade.

If you’d like the worksheets, simply enter your name and email address here to access the worksheets.

I love celebrating the light in the darkness of Solstice, the birth of Jesus Christ on Christmas, and the blank canvas that is the New Year! I wish for you whatever is most joyous and meaningful to you this holiday season.

In love and appreciation.
Ann

StrengthsFinder - What is the Genius of the Top 5 Strengths?

With each person I work with, I’m endlessly fascinated by what they can do beautifully and effortlessly. This naturally happens when their top 5 strengths are all working well together.

You can recognize this when a person is feeling fulfilled and energized and in the flow. Start with yourself. Then begin having this life-changing conversation with people you serve.

Mini Case Study
Adam: Strategic, Futuristic, Ideation, Significance, Achiever
He used to feel frustrated by being labeled the crazy thinker in the room. Owning his top 5 StrengthsFinder strengths, he realized he needed to start projects and businesses. Today he’s happiest and most effective when he’s creating structure for big visions.

Let me know if you or someone you serve would like to be featured in the Mini Case Study.

The Good, The Holy, The Beautiful

“Every moment is a doorway through which the good, the holy, and the beautiful can be expressed . . .”
From the book:
The Way of Mastery – Part One: The Way of the Heart
Shanti Christo Foundation

What does this mean to you?

Typically, I might start looking around me or noticing what I’m reading to declare, “This one is good, that thing is holy, and the woman over there is beautiful.”

When I read it recently, I had a different response.

I’m on Day 24 of a challenging 40-day meditation. I’ve been resisting it because it involves holding my breath 52 times for longer than feels comfortable to me.

Shortly, after I read, “Every moment is a doorway through which the good, the holy, and the beautiful can be expressed…,” I began my meditation. As soon as I started, it occurred to me to simply experience the good, the holy and the beautiful in the challenge.

I was shocked by how easy it was. Without the resistance I’d been creating, all that was left was the good, the holy, the beautiful. Truly.

One of the infinite expressions of the good, the holy, the beautiful
One of the infinite expressions of the good, the holy, the beautiful.

Wow, where else in my life have I been overlooking the opportunity to experience, create, express or allow the good, the holy, the beautiful?

I’d love to hear your experiences! Join the conversation – comment below.

To expressing the good, the holy, the beautiful.

How Do You Stay Calm in the Middle of Several Problems?

It’s been happening for five of my clients. It’s been happening in my life. We put out a fire in our personal life and two erupt in our business. It looks like we’re getting those under control, and then we have a health scare. We do what needs to be done for our health and then there’s a crisis with our mother or daughter.

Maybe something like this has been happening for you too?

My clients tend to solve problems well. So do I. You probably do too.

And constant problem-solving takes a toll on us – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

I’ve been pondering Einstein’s idea that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” I then argue with God that I didn’t create some of the problems in my life. Then, I realize that I’ve created so much thinking around the problems – including labeling them as problems.

So, onto new thinking …

I’m engaging and encouraging my clients to engage in a specific type of new thinking for just 5 minutes once or twice a day. From the book, The Way of Mastery, Part One: The Way of the Heart: “Sit in a chair for 5 minutes. And, observe all that you see, all that you feel, all that you think, as though a perfectly awakened Christ was the only one sitting in the chair.”

I’ve found my 5-minute sessions to be truly miraculous. One filled me with beautiful self-compassion. After I finished another, the idea of “problem” didn’t even make sense.

How Do You Stay Calm in the Middle of Several Problems?
In a third session, I saw myself as an explosion of Light.

One of my clients came out of one of her sessions giggling. Another dissolved a long-time grudge. A third client came out of one of her sessions without a physical pain that had been bothering her for months.

I wholeheartedly encourage you to try this simple and powerful 5-minute practice. Including when you don’t have any problems!

Even though I’ve been practicing the 5-minute sessions only intermittently until recently, I notice flickering moments beyond my sessions of also being only a perfectly awakened Christ. It’s awesome.

I’d love to hear your experiences! Join the conversation – comment below.

To living our perfectly awakened Christ Self more and more …

How Do You Experience Your Unique Divinity?

What if the whole of your life was a contribution to the planet? Not only all the things you do each day, but also your very beingness, your essence, the specificity of your energy . . .

What if the more you engaged with whatever energizes you, then the more delightful energy you’d add to the planet?

What if when you were engaged with whatever drains or depletes you, you allowed that to be okay? Then you’d add more acceptance and allowing to the planet.

How Do You Experience Your Unique Divinity?
Remembering the Light that is always present, even behind ominous storm clouds.

What if you knew, really knew, that every breath you take matters?

If you’re inspired, I’d love to hear how this speaks to you . . .

Join the conversation ~ comment below.

Are You My Mother?

Recently, I gave a talk at church. I shared a bit of my journey from seeking love in romantic relationships to seeking love in the hills of New Mexico to eventually settling down and realizing I am love.

I highly recommend you allocate 17 minutes to listening.

I didn’t know until I gave the talk that what I was really talking about was letting go of the idea of finding anything outside myself so that I was available to experience what is within me.

Profound.

Strong from Within. Alas . . . Enjoy!

[audio:http://annstrong.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/080518-CelebrationSpeaker-AnnStrong.mp3]

Click here to download

And, if you’re inspired, I’d love to hear how it speaks to you . . .

Join the conversation – comment below.


Ann Strong, founder of Strong from Within and Thriving Coaches.

Author of Thriving Work.


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