Jun 30, 2010

trusting myself

I finished an article for fall publication this Monday. As usual it took longer than I expected - but I did meet the deadline and I am happy with what I wrote.

Yesterday I heard that the publisher liked it - a lot! (Phew.) As much as I thought it was a good piece I wasn't sure if it was the content or style that they wanted. I was prepared to write something else if that was the case. In the end it appears that the match is good.

So there's a few things that I'd like to acknowledge to myself:
  • At the top: I trusted myself and followed my heart and mind in terms of what and how I wrote.
  • I was prepared to accept that the article might not be a fit for the magazine without believing that that meant it wasn't good.
  • I didn't beat myself up when the writing didn't come as smoothly and as quickly as I'd imagined it would. I went with the flow, trusting that it would come. 
  • It helped to give myself an earlier deadline than the magazine requested. That gave me a strange mix of space and pressure.
  • The initial conversation with the publisher a few months earlier gave me some idea of what they did and didn't want. It also forced me to get some initial idea's down on paper to send to them. This in turn gave my 'back burner' time to be working subconsciously on the subject.
  • I had someone encouraging and supporting me through the process. Thanks Erin!
  • I'm pretty sure blogging has helped as well. It is a practice in writing from my heart and my experience, in letting go of perfection and in honouring my commitment to myself and the life I want to live. 
Feeling quite aligned at the moment and it feels good!

How are you honouring and trusting yourself these days?  I invite you to post a comment - there is likely someone out there who will be encouraged by your story.

    Jun 23, 2010

    what's perfect with right now?

    Ahhh choices, options, opportunities. I usually greet these with open arms. But sometimes I get tied up in knots over mine, possibly because there are too many and I'm left feeling overwhelmed. Or the opposite, a sense of not having any choice, so feel blocked, stuck or forced into something. Neither are pleasant places be in.

    And is it even true?

    My frame of mind, my attitude, my perception of too many or too little choice is actually within my control. I can choose to be exasperated, tired, fed up ...or I can soften, relax, go with the flow. I can choose to find the mini or major aspects of what's good about any given moment or situation and watch that notion expand... or I can stay with a limited view point and watch the fear and confusion grow instead.

    I'd rather choose the former quite frankly...and right now this is what I'm reminding myself to do by way of the question: "What's perfect about this situation?" I'm enjoying the time I have to play with the written word, to spend time in my garden, to see friends, to simply slow down and rest, and to bring space and energy to idea's I had been putting on the back burner for so long. I'm appreciating the financial choices I made before that are giving me some peace of mind right now. I'm thankful for all that I have, including people to seek support from while I navigate my current situation.

    As I notice these positive outcomes of what was initially feeling quite negative, the good feelings in me grow. And as those good feelings grow they lead to an increased sense of energy, hope and creative idea's. I'm now more open to inviting, noticing, and being discerning (choosy!) about the options, opportunities, and choices before me. I'm operating from abundance again instead of scarcity.

    Choosing to see what's perfect with right now, and trusting myself to handle whatever comes, I'm living more relaxed and aligned into the unknown.  I simply need to remember this - often and regularly. 

    Jun 16, 2010


    How many of us have sat at this spot before...weighing, debating, crying, stomping, wishing...as we try to decide what is right for us, what path to take?

    What do I have to say NO to in order to live my YES!?

    As I deliberate my choices I am trying to be mindful of my patterns and tendencies. I realize I want to move to action quickly. I want to make a decision, any decision, now. Uncertainty and limbo is uncomfortable. I also tend to spend a great deal of time analyzing - pages of journal writing, copious quantities of tea are consumed as I share thoughts and feelings with friends and colleagues.

    So my 'NO' is to jumping to action and obsessive talking and storytelling about my situation. I will take a cue from my yoga practice:  encourage myself to 'pause between poses', to be still, to simply notice without judgment (or analysis), and give space for integration.

    This will allow me to say 'YES' to slowing down and being here in this moment, in this beautiful place surrounded by nature and creativity, feeling these sensations, listening quietly to what's happening for me...  trusting that clarity and insight will emerge.

    Jun 9, 2010

    using the arts for change - in organizations!

    Clay & Paper Theatre's mandate is to "create, develop and perform multi-disciplinary, community-driven theatrical works using narrative theatre and large-scale puppetry in public spaces for large and diverse audiences. Clay & Paper Theatre produces plays, pageants and parades with the community, grounded in the idea that performance in public space is an act of cultural transformation." They want to "reunite art with the daily life of the community, and to make art accessible to all." How cool is that!?

    Here I am wanting to find ways to use all sorts of artful play to open up conversations and possibilities for people in their work or volunteer endeavours.  What if the 'community' in this scenario was an organization - it's employees, managers and clients?! What if the 'cultural transformation' was about meaning and satisfaction, about putting 'fun' back into effective functioning of the organization?! What if the daily practice were the mindful intentions and behaviours each person put towards a shared vision of what that could look like!?

    Can you imagine something like giant puppets in your work hallways...inspiring a different level of conversation with your colleagues, your boss, your clients?

    How could I learn, play, try this out? I've sent a message to that theatre company asking if there's a way for us to collaborate and exchange idea's. I'll keep my eyes and ears open for other possible stepping stones to this world I envision.

    May mentors and teachers begin to show themselves to me (and you for what you long for)! If you have a contact or an idea or even a group that might want to experiment with me...do get in touch!

    Jun 2, 2010

    the stories we tell

    I recently spent some time devouring a journal on social change directed at leaders and folks like me who work with organizations around the people side of change. Among other idea's, one approach that stood out for me was:  transform the stories we tell ourselves.

    Stories offer a perspective, a view point, a way of seeing. They engage and connect us with ourselves and one another. A good story also tends to carry our emotions - and our emotions are an indicator of what's important and has meaning to us. Those emotions can also distort or limit our perspective of the whole picture.

    Let's start with ourselves ...what story are you telling yourself about what ever is currently happening in your life that has your attention? Are you a hero, a villain, a victim in that story? All three perhaps? How does this story serve you? How is it supporting your vision or goals right now? Is the story keeping you stuck or keeping you moving in a positive direction? If you decide it's not truly serving you, how might you alter the story, reframe it so that you might breathe a little easier, move into a more spacious place of compassion and possibility?

    For me I have been telling myself a story about my stressful situation. Each time I tell it - to myself or to others - I need to find evidence to make that story true. Lately I've decided to tell my story differently ...and I'm already feeling lighter, noticing more and more positive, supportive things happening as I find, invent or stumble upon ways to cope with the stresses that are a part of this journey...and notice which ones I have some control over! It's a great feeling! And a much better story!

    I will soon be facilitating a team retreat and I'm pondering ways we might explore their individual and collective stories, what those stories say about themselves, each other and their work.  By listening deeply and perhaps with a different intention, might they also notice in those stories what is wished for? Might there be some acknowledgment of some distortion, missing information, or an assumption getting in the way of working even better together than they are already? I know that creating a space for that kind of listening and telling does open up ways to transform the stories to identifying what it is they all want more of...and the opportunities to move it in that direction. 

    My hope is that you will uncover more opportunities and possibilities in your stories - even the ones you tell only to yourself - than at first or 10th telling. Try to listen differently.  Sometimes that in itself will produce subtle shifts. Let me know what happens.