As many of you who follow my blog know, I’ve worked a lot in restaurants. And to me, they are a great analogy for life.
Today as I was pondering what to write about, it occurred to me that we often complain that things didn’t turn out the way we wanted them to. But did we actually put in our order? I mean, if you go out for breakfast, you look at the menu and place your order with the waiter, right? You don’t go in and say “just bring me whatever you want,” do you? Of course you don’t!
But so often in life, that is exactly what we do! We just wait and see what happens, and then complain about it! Be honest with yourself. How did you get into the job you have right now? Most likely, you started out in a position that sounded pretty good at the time, and then as time passed, you were offered a promotion, or maybe a different job description and you simply accepted it and continued to go to work, like you always have. But are you happy with your work? Or is it just sort of “ok”? Or maybe you actually dread going to work!
How did this happen?
It happened because most of us have never taken the time to define what is valuable to us. Maybe we love being outdoors, but instead are “stuck” working in an office with fluorescent lighting. Or we love children and instead are working with adults.
And as for our strengths – are you using your strengths at work? Perhaps you are a very social person and would be great at PR, but instead are “stuck” behind a desk. Or you really suck at technology and have to be at the computer all day long!
What if you decided to find work that utilized your strengths and reflected your most important values? Maybe you love the outdoors and want to protect the environment for future generations, are super social and hate being in an office environment? This describes a real friend of mine who is now in charge of fundraising events for WWF, being social and also helping the environment!
But if you don’t know what YOU want first, how can you possibly pick something on the menu of “life” and hope to enjoy it?!
When you go to the restaurant, it’s good to know you want breakfast, and it’s good to know you know you want eggs…
But a word of advice when it comes to knowing what you want: don’t be TOO specific!
You want breakfast and you want eggs, but maybe the Chef has a special you never even dreamed of that is sooo much better than plain old bacon and eggs! (like my friend who ended up at WWF – she KNEW she wanted to do something that reflected her love of the environment and utilized her social skills, but had no idea what that looked like, and then “happened” to hear about the job at WWF.)
So, know the essence of what you want out of life, based on your strengths and values, and be sure to “order” what you want (I want to protect the environment and utilize my social skills), but then leave a little room for the Universe to be creative.
The Chef’s Special is usually MUCH better than what you had in mind!
So I leave you with this question:
On the menu of life, are you game to try the Chef’s Special?
Often, people ask me what coaching is.
Rather than answer that question myself, I’d like to quote a client, who spent just ONE hour with me:
“I've been in therapy for a while, and it's become an essential part of how I go through life. With therapy you learn that you can't get that much out of a one-hour session; its benefit reveals itself after many sessions, often after years. So, what could just one hour of Coaching provide?
Well, let me tell you, I was so surprised at how much I got out of it. I felt that my view on the situation we dealt with was thrown out of the window, and like a boomerang, came back and hit me in the face with a new point of view. It was a very pleasant breath of fresh air! I felt so enlightened and, the key word we found: empowered! I can now see that even for someone in therapy, Coaching could definitely be complimentary.
And as for you: a great listener, I instantly got the feeling you understood and knew my mindset (better than me!). You asked fascinating questions which unravelled my thoughts and, you helped me come to my own conclusion and realize I had the answer all along. I will definitely be recommending you as a Coach! Thank you for helping me empower myself.”
I am constantly amazed at the process of coaching! Every session is completely different. Most people have never really been listened to in such a deep way, and in such a safe space. Nor have they had their own thoughts reflected back to them, so they can really hear themselves. The questions I ask are never the same – they come from listening and being completely present with the person in front of me.
And as for the topics of the sessions: it is as varied as the personalities of the people I spend time with! But if there is one common denominator, it is this:
People who want to be coached, want to make their lives extraordinary!
They no longer accept “that’s just the way it is.” I won’t say they are fearless (nobody is), but they are willing to confront their fears, to step out of their comfort zone and discover for themselves, what makes them truly happy, make a plan, follow through and DO it!
My clients are my heroes! So now my question for you today is:
To be, or not to be? (coached!)
That’s what came to me during my meditation this morning. So much for empty mind! But I find that sometimes during meditation, even when I do have thoughts, I don’t attach to them like I would otherwise. I simply notice them, make a sort of “mental note” during my meditation and return to that thought later.
So, here I am: what does that mean to me? “Something’s gotta give” – something MUST change. That’s what I get. But what?
Let’s look. What’s missing for me to be happy? First thought: financial security. I am growing a business right now, so I don’t have much income. That’s pretty scary at times. But the alternative is even scarier. What is the alternative? Financial security but no creativity - doing something I don’t necessarily love, but that pays the bills. So what is more important to me? Creativity, obviously! That’s what I have chosen my entire life – creativity over financial security.
I see now that I have created a conflicting belief around this: I can EITHER have financial security OR I can have creativity. I can’t have both. And you know what?
I have been enormously successful at fulfilling this belief of mine!
Any time I have pursued my creative side, I have not made much money, even though I really enjoyed what I was doing for a time. Eventually though, the financial stress took the fun away, and I would pursue something else that would give me financial security. And guess what happened? Again, I was “happy” for a bit, with a steady income, but eventually I would again succumb to my longtime friend: BOREDOM! I missed my creative side!
So I am back at that point again – indulging my creative side – and allowing my financial side to atrophy.
But this time I have decided “Something’s gotta give! “
This time, I CHOOSE to believe I can be creative, help people, have fun, AND have financial security.
So, What’s gotta give? My belief that creativity and abundance don’t mix!
Your turn?! - What’s “gotta give” for YOU to be truly happy?
Photo Credit: www.fserpent.com
Remember when you were a kid and got bored (as usual) and went to bug your mom with “I’m bored. There’s nothing to do!” My mom always used to say the same thing. “Go play make believe.”
It worked every time!
At least for me…I got to be Batman. My poor brother always had to be Robin! The point is, in my 6 year old mind, I really WAS Batman! I had a Batmobile with all those cool gadgets on it and I was saving Gotham city from all the bad guys!
I still play make believe.
WHAT?! - Just stay with me here for a minute here.
When you’re a grown-up (that part is always questionable too) you call it “creative visualization” (I call it “creative inspiration!) But really – it’s playing make believe! And it’s fun. It makes you feel good.
And that’s the point. When we feel good, we’re happy. Here’s an interesting fact, our bodies function better when we are happy. We are healthier. Mentally too – we have a better attitude in general, when we practice creative visualization.
Why is that? Because when we play make believe, anything is possible. We have super powers. All our dreams come true!
Here’s another interesting fact: your body does not know the difference between make believe and reality. That’s right. You understood correctly. That’s why stress is so common. When you lose your keys in the morning and you’re going to be late for work and run all over the house looking for them, your body thinks you are running away from a lion – it goes into “flight or fight” mode. Your heart rate goes up, you get a hit of adrenalin so you can run faster and you might even start to sweat. Not healthy.
So the next time you lose your keys, just stop for a second, and calmly remind yourself that this is not a real emergency. Then WALK around the house and find your keys.
Now let’s get back to playing make believe. What about our minds? On some level, they know the difference between make believe and reality, but we give our minds permission to let the creative side go wild for a certain amount of time. We shut down the analytical, “nay-saying” side of the brain, for that certain amount of time.
After all, it’s just make believe!
Or is it?
Our bodies don’t know the difference between reality and make believe.
Why should the Universe?
And why is it called “make believe?” anyway? I’ll give you a hint:
It’s to “make (you) believe” that anything is possible!
So, I leave you with this question: Do you wanna play make believe?
If you're ready to go from bored to bodacious, you've come to the right place!
© COPYRIGHT 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. * Mountain photo by Cecilia Mortenson ACMG/IFMGA Mountain Guide/CAAL2aspiremountainjourneys.com