Saturday, March 29, 2008

I'm Blogging as Fast as I Can!

Do you ever feel like that? That life is a series of doing things as fast as you can so you can scurry on to the next thing that you need to do as fast as you can, in order to get on to the next, ..... Oh yeah. It's hard trying to juggle all those pieces of our lives, getting things done and still feeling as if we are connected to the people we care about. It takes lots of time and energy. And I didn't even mention taking time for you or keeping a connection with yourself!

We all have those slices of our Life pie--home, work, school, kids, extended family, friends, outside interests, church, whatever you have going on. Keeping all of those slices rotating and taking care of the hottest one in any given moment, does create a very un-serene feeling of hurry, hurry, hurry. I don't like that feeling and it certainly contributes to things being lost or tasks being forgotten or done haphazardly, not to mention feeling exhausted.

What to do? Can't slow down the churning of the earth and the movement of time. But we can prioritize and pick and choose what we focus our time and energy on so that we feel productive but also whole.

As a Coach, I focus on the wellness aspect and the totality of my client's life-- where are they in or out of balance? You can do this for yourself by taking a piece paper and drawing a circle. Create about 8 pie slices in the circle. Now label each slice as the different aspects of your life: Friendship, work/career, adventure/romance, health, spirituality, Thoughts/intellectual/emotional development. You get the picture - the aspects of life that you ideally want. Now see how much you are feeling filled in each of those areas and shade in with a color crayon or pencil each one to the extent you feel fulfilled. Look at your life pie and see where you are directing most of your time, attention and energy. Now how can you shift just a little bit so that you can give an area that is lacking a bit more attention? Think one small step. No drastic changes, baby steps.

I know this feels scary. I find myself routinely giving much of my time to my my coaching and my retreats, because I love it so much and it is so important to me. Then I realize I've not spent quality time with my partner, and I know I need to slow down, stop, get off the treadmill and give a little more to my relationship.

The truth is I know I can't be a good Coach if I'm not balanced and being a good partner too. Likewise, I can't be a good mom if I'm not giving time to myself and my self-care and nourishment too. You see these pieces of you and your life are all connected and one affects the next and if the pie is skewed too much to one side, the whole suffers. I can't get to be a better coach by spending excessive amounts of time and energy on my practice as much as I could be a better coach by keeping my entire Life pie in balance and giving some equal time to all the slices.

Do yourself a favor and if you have that "fast as I can feeling", slow down, look at what piece of you wants attention. If you need support, encouragement or structure and strategizing in this area, please let me know. It's what I love to do.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Had a Dream

I don't often remember my dreams. Sometimes a snippet will stay with me. Sometimes I will remember a feeling from my dream later during the day. But I don't often have dreams with much detail stay with me come morning. This morning I awoke at 4:30 with a dream of intensity burning within me. A dream so intense I knew I needed to record it.

I know during the dream I was with my daughter. We were doing things together which I remember included taking pictures, going places. At the end, just before I woke up, I was shutting a door, a front door of a house and I believe it was the house my children grew up in. It was night. The house was empty. The street was quiet. And as I shut this door, just as my daughter and I were about to leave, I could hear the sound of my son's voice, the sound of his voice at about age 8, talking in his chirpy little boy voice, out there on the street. It struck me in that moment as I shut the door that it was the voice of a ghost.

And then I woke up, and felt an incredible sadness. I lay there pondering the meaning of the dream and why that voice, lilting over the street with the wind, should feel so sad. I thought of their childhoods -- my daughter and son, now 23 and 25. I asked - what are you telling me dream? What message is here for me to unravel? My mind went to pieces of their growing up years, arguments, assigning of chores, but also rides in the car with one of them, and oh yes, thank you for this memory -- laying in bed at night with each of them, reading a story and talking about things that mattered to them in that moment. My heart broke remembering these, and I started to cry, and then I started sobbing.

This would appear to be even more of this endless journey of letting go. I know I cannot bring back their childhoods, or create a happier childhood for them now. Oh the things I wish I could of, would have done. I do believe I was and am a good mom and that I did the best I could. I am not an empty nester mom who has no life, who has lived through her children vicariously and now has no existence outside of them. No, I have a full life and yet this part remains ever painful -- it truly was over in the blink of an eye. And now I miss them.

I think this dream is especially poignant as I wrestle with my children's grownup issues and try to distance myself from their issues and trust them to travel on their journeys the best they can. I was reminded of a saying I heard that sometimes you have to jump off a cliff and learn to build wings on the way down. At the bottom will be enough love to cushion the fall and loved ones who will bring bandaids, tissue and love. Well dear ones, this morning I know that I must let my children jump off those cliffs, and trust and know that they will build wings on the way down and I will be there at the bottom, always with bandaids, tissue and plenty of love.