Work

Success!

Aloha! The rain is coming down on Maui on my last night here.  It is appropriate since I will be heading into the rain of the Pacific North West.  The cruel truth is that rain here is warm and tropical, in Seattle it is cold and brutal.  My trip has been a fantastic journey, travel and food and working out and meeting awesome people.  However, I am very excited to come home.  I miss my bed, my things, a closet, a room without spiders and geckos.  Though the gecko is a spiritual creature according to Hawaiian lore, I am ok with not sharing space as much as I do right now.  Tonight, I picked up the sheets (to check for creatures) then lifted my pillow only to find a baby gecko that wasn't in a very safe place.  I put him outside only to see another baby on the other side of the room.  It is like they are gremlins; multiplying with water after midnight.

I also miss my work.  I was in college when I decided that I wanted to become a rowing coach.  It was my sophomore year and I was participating in National Team Testing.  I was new to sports and barely called myself an athlete, but I was good and I knew that much.  I was also good at describing the rowing stroke to my teammates and I loved helping.  I, after all, was a peer counselor in High School and an RA in college.  At the time I decided to become a coach I had a rather socially challenged Head Coach that needed a lot of assisting.  I filled the role of translator when I could.  It was then that I realized coaching was an option.  I thought the thought and then put it away.  I still had to finish school.  After graduating and picking up a coaching job almost immediately I was enthralled by the Olympics.  It was 1996 and cycling was being shown quite a bit.  I knew that I needed to find another sport to do alongside rowing and cycling seemed to fit.  It looked like it was mentally and physically grueling (a requirement for me) and I liked the way it shaped the body (another requirement).  I also sent into the universe ad dream of being able to work out for a living at the same time I was helping others.  I thought I would have to become an Olympic athlete (and I worked on that) or be a professional athlete in order to do so.  Turns out I was wrong with the means by which but dead on with bringing my dream to fruition.  Working out for a living is doable and exciting and literally a dream come true.

Because I love what I do it is hard to pull myself away from it.  So taking vacation becomes a challenge.  I do need space away from the daily grind in order to gain some perspective, stay fresh and study up.  However, it is a joy to come back to what I absolutely love to do day in and day out.  The music, the people, the love.  I am lucky because I worked my ass off for years.  When I began this journey I made $5300 annually for my first collegiate coaching gig.  I got a raise the next year to $5700.  Loving what you do and doing what you love means you may have to wait for the financial reward, but it is worth it.  No amount of money would stop me from teaching/coaching and training.  I always ask myself this question:  If I were to win the lotto would I stop working.  The answer has never been 'no' when it comes to my work with motivation and health & well-being.  When you would do what you do for free you know you have struck it rich!  That is what I would call success.

What are your passions?  Are you living them?  Are you going after your dreams???  Why or why not?

xo

a

Go Forward, Move Ahead

Hello, What have you decided you can or cannot accomplish?  What or who do you use as your guide to move forward?  Are you looking back at what is for others or what can be for you?  What is the key, how do we create our reality?

Often when I ask someone about their health and fitness goals they will tell me that they want to lose weight and get toned.  That is the usual desire for most people.  I also hear that some feel that they are in a better place than the people that they know of the rest of the US.  People also say things akin to that about their job being ok and that they cannot expect to like all of it.  I hear people talk about their relationships being work and that you have to go through those hard times and stick with it.  People tend to take the worst situation or the most mediocre and compare their lives to it to feel good or accomplished.  I am asking you to take the highest ideal and look to that for guidance.

Why would you compare yourself to the majority of people who are very, very, very unhealthy?  Wouldn't it make sense to shoot for the moon and have an honest assessment of where you are in relation to where you want to go?  We are so often looking to not feel bad for neglecting ourselves that we look at those doing a worse job to say that we are better than they are.  Well, I have to say, it doesn't actually take much to be at a better spot than most Americans, health-wise.  That type of comparison doesn't actually get you somewhere new either.  You end up just surpassing the bottom rung and having a difficult time elevating much higher.  Get over where you are, accept it without comparing it to someone who has yet to get to your level and look forward at where you want to go.  If you tried to drive to Florida by looking at where you were before and not the road that would take you there, where would you end up?

This is true for relationships as well.  Why would you want to have to effort your way through?  Is love an effort or is it simply abundant.  Maybe you don't believe it is possible for love to simply flow from one person to another and back without effort.  I believe we have all experienced that type of love somewhere in our worlds.  It may be a friend we have where the love is just overflowing.  It may be a family member that we adore with our entire being.  Wherever you have memory of that effortless love, bring it up, to the surface.  Feel it as a reminder so you know when it is and is not there.  If you want to compare, use your highest desire as a directional tool, not the lowest memory you can find.

Work, ahh, work.  We really do believe that we cannot possibly love all of our work… that there will be parts that we simply dislike and that just is the way it is.  If you say so.  I know that you can love what you do just like you can love the sunset or the sunrise.  You can enjoy the details, the big picture and your part in it completely.  We are so afraid of having high expectations that we don't get met… we create a world where we do not get what we want and then we wonder why we don't get what we want.  It is amazing really.  If you believe that there isn't a possibility to love what you do 100% then you are correct.

First, dream.  Where do you want to go?  What is your big daring feeling for your future?  Second, feel the accomplishment of the dream.  What would it feel like to be where you want to be?  Third, dream some more.

xo

a

Direct Yourself

Howdy! When is the last time you tried to tell someone what to do without being asked for help?  How did that work for you?  Sometimes we get caught up in the idea that our lives should be emulated by others we feel don't have their lives 'together' or are directionless.  You have heard, and may have even said, that so and so should have their own place by now or should have some idea of what they want to do… etc.  Who the hell said?  Too often the biggest issue we have isn't doing what we are supposed to be doing, but doing what others think we are supposed to be doing.  It isn't that difficult to figure out what you want when everyone else leaves you the hell alone. :)

So many folks who have "direction" as they say feel that everyone should be where they are.  They also believe that their direction means that they are good and that others without what they define as direction are not as good.  Some folks that are subjected to this type of pressure will buck it altogether.  Others jump aboard the direction train that leads them to someone else's dream instead of finding their own.  What if they were went in the direction their heart and soul led them instead of where their big brother or sister persuaded them to go?

The funniest, and saddest in my opinion, part is that the ones who are giving the advice to those who don't seem to be running the same race, is that those folks don't have their sh*t together either.  When someone has their ducks in a row, spiritually, emotionally, and physically, they aren't at all interested in persuading others to do what they do.  They are interested in finding out what is going on for others out of love and curiosity.  The idea of pushing someone in one direction or another, the idea of having a deadline for figuring out the rest of your life, and the idea that they would know what someone else is supposed to do more than that person themselves is not even had.  Those who want to direct others without permission are usually not doing a bang up job on themselves.

If you are one of the directionless or haven't figured out your dream or dreams do your best to not let others opinions cloud your intuition.  You will know when you know.  We are not meant to all walk the same way, dress the same way, talk, think, love, work, etc.  We are not to be carbon copies.  We are not to live the life that someone else wants to live.  We are here for our own personal purpose.  It is your responsibility to figure it out or not.  Life is to be experienced, enjoyed, lived.  Go. Do. Be.

xo

a

Fun - Part I

Howdy!!! "People are always good company when they are doing something they really enjoy."  Samuel Butler

There are so many people who HATE their job.  Seriously, they are miserable.  You might be one of those people, I dunno.  Yet, they stay for years sometimes.  They refuse to give up on a dream that turned into a nightmare all the while sucking the very marrow out of their now swiss cheesed bones.  It is an unfortunate situation that always amazes me.  I believe that people think the money they have grown accustomed to acquiring in those life draining jobs is somehow worth every ounce of their being.  Or maybe they just get conditioned to being unhappy.

Actually, when you hate your job so much at some point 'fun' becomes a distant memory.  Fun becomes a word that seems wrong when you spell it correctly, (as if you ever use the word when you hate your job).  Fun becomes a chore, something on your 'to do' check list.  You begin to schedule fun.  Yep, even fun becomes depressing when you hate what you do most of the time.

This is serious.  Seriously serious.  It needs addressing and redressing and maybe even a dress, if it makes it fun.

I have been thinking about the whole fun and job thing for a while.  I have always, for the most part, done what I have loved.  When I found myself at a job that ended up taking more than it gave I somehow found my way out… a few times I was ejected and other times I ran for the hills.  Either way, if it ain't fun, it ain't gettin' done.  I have always understood that joy was the purpose.  Giving and getting.  Drudgery isn't living, it is imprisonment.  That isn't something that I have any desire to experience.  Blech!

I wanted to share a fantastic email by a professional cat sitter after he stopped by to pick up something he left while she wasn't home.  Yes, he makes a living watching people's kitties (too many jokes, seriously) isn't that fantastic.  He also keeps things awesome by sending the pet owners emails like the one below.  Enjoy and you may want to adapt his preparedness attitude, he makes a strong case for it.  Enjoy!

Hi KC

They barely had water scraping the bottom of the water bowl. I filled the usual water bowl, and set out another across from the fridge. I hope that it is not a bowl that you do not mind being touched by kitty tongues.

I put out enough water for my cats to last a few days in case something happens - death, madness, overwhelming sadness, earthquake, the near total breakdown of our society, indigestion - that might keep me from home for two or three days. Just in case.

Duane

Now I am pretty sure Duane is not crazy, ok, not sure but am assuming.  He is just having fun.  Prior to this email he called her to ask about stopping by.  When she told him it was ok he asked her if he could also bake oatmeal cookies!

When you put fun as a driver in your world you may have the where-with-all to actually be funny, to send random emails, to laugh uncontrollably, to skip instead of walk, to sing when a song comes on instead of silently listening to it.  You could quite possibly become a very happy person indeed.

xo

a

Pot O' Gold

Top o' The Morning/Afternoon/Evenin' To Ya! When things are just right, just where they need to be, there is a click.  It may be heard, it may be felt.  Either way you have a sense of knowing.  You know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.  Everything is exactly how it needs to be.  That feeling is amazing.  Have you had it?

When you are striving to reach a goal that isn't lined up with your highest self the journey is arduous.  It is like you are working against nature because you are.  Have you felt that way?

So often we are concerned with our end goal.  We have a number that we want to see on a scale.  We have an amount we want to see on our paycheck.  We want to own a home.  We want to have a car.  Much of the time we are unhappy or unsatisfied while we are working towards those goals.  Sometimes the only thing that keeps us going is the idea of the end, the attainment of the goal.  As a coach, I know this method of training, growing, moving forward.  It works, surely it does.  There are a lot of things that work that could work better, that could make the goal less distant and easier to attain.

What if the feeling of it being hard is because we are approaching it incorrectly?  I am not saying that there won't be moments where you won't want to do something or that you won't nod off while writing a blog post .;) What if the joy in the journey is what was felt the most?

When the goal is lined up with the universe, the journey to it turns out to be the point.  One needn't push and shove to reach it.  On the contrary, the urgency ends up being the desire to do what needs doing now, in this moment.  There ends up being a sense of rightness in life, that things are lined up and ready for the taking.  When your goals match the universe, working towards them is no longer hard. The awareness around your goals changes and synchronicity becomes a way of life.  You understand that the steps you are taking to reach your goals are necessary instead of you 'having to do them.'  You see the journey as the gift(s).  You are left with the enjoyment of the moments, all of them, and know that the goal is just one of those moments as well.  The destination stops being so important because you have found the gold that most think is at the end of the rainbow.  When you are on the path the universe intended (higher self, etc) the gold is waiting for you at the beginning and throughout.  There is no wait, there is no end.  You are there, everyday in every way.

xo

a

What's Good???

Good morning! It is Tuesday!!  :) This only  takes a few moments to do but gives to you for much, much longer.  So put down whatever you are doing and take a couple of minutes for yourself.  Every Tuesday morning I am going to ask you to write down 5 things that you are grateful for and email them to me (keep for yourself as well).  What are you feeling gratitude around?  Here are mine for this week:

New York City.

Being Friends With Ex's.

Planes.

Kate Hickl.

Sarah Shattuck.  

There are no right or wrong answers.  It is about what you are grateful for.   It is proven that doing this once a week for three months (actually just 9 weeks) makes you happier, healthier, exercise more and less sensitive to perceived slights.  You will sweat the small stuff less and focus on what really matters.

So… what are you waiting for???

Food for thought:

Keep on keeping on.  Grow, Be, Do.  All that you are working towards now will come to fruition, just believe.

"Patience is waiting.  Not passively waiting.  That is laziness.  But to keep going when the going is hard and slow - that is patience."  ~Anon

What are you wanting to change in your world?  Where are you looking to go?  Set the idea fast in your mind.  See it.  Breathe it.  Believe it.  You must continue to work, to sweat, to act.  Hold onto the vision of your future, work hard in the present, and all that you dream will be yours.

"Patience and fortitude conquer all things."  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

xo

a

On The Road

Hey! I never understood the importance of vacations when I was growing up… mainly because we were poor and could never afford to take them.  Being older, not poor, and having taken the time to relax on vacations, I see the power that lies within getting up and going away.  Absence can make the heart grow fonder and it can also give you time to go within and find yourself 'you time.'  When you have a life where you give of yourself to others (which we all do in some way or another) making time to give to yourself must become a priority.

I am heading to NYC tomorrow and looking forward to seeing my friends and family.  I am excited about getting back to the Sunday 'Open House' with my father (poets, singers, artists all convene to discuss their work, politics, history, the future, racial and social justice issues, and more), hanging with my brothers (I have 5) and catching up w/my friends.  I am also looking forward to having some distance between me and my daily grind.  I need to actually have the perspective to see where time is being utilized well and where it is not.  I know there are places where tightening up need to happen.  Being away is great because it gives me the space and the vantage point to see how I may be over extending and or being inefficient in various areas of my world.  I love how travel can be clarifying.

Now New York is pretty far away, but it is necessary for me to connect in person with my family.  However, one need not leave the state to find that time away that they need.  You can take a day trip to any number of places that are cheap and easy to travel to in order to get that same perspective.  I like www.airbnb.com to find cheap and lovely places to crash if I want a mini vacation.  Changing the scenery is a great way to spark changing the interpretation of things in your head.  Getting away for a moment can be the thing that keeps you from becoming bored, overwhelmed, or stuck.   Sleeping in a different place, waking up to different sounds, being surrounded by different energy, can bring a re-appreciation for your life that you don't often get when you don't actually leave it.

So get up, get out, and get a new view.  Sometimes we have to look at things from another direction to see them clearly.

xo

a

What Do You Want To Do?

"Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life."  ~Wayne Dyer What do you love to do?  What is the thing that, when you are doing it, brings a smile to your face?  When do you feel the most fulfilled?  Is this the work that you are doing in the world?  Why not?  So many of us feel that the work that we do to make money cannot necessarily be the work that makes us the happiest.  Where did this notion come from?  Who said we wouldn't be able to make a living doing what we loved?  Why have we kept this story going so strong as to make it the 'truth' for so many?

I don't believe anyone wants to be living a life where they are waiting for happiness.  When we wait for something to happen we miss all of the good stuff that is happening right now.  When we put off doing what we love, we put off love and I am not sure how that is ever something we want to do.  What if you told yourself a different story.  What if you told yourself that you didn't have to be starving to be an artist.  What if you told yourself that there aren't too many yoga instructors, photographers, doulas.  What if you didn't worry about the market being saturated with something that you too wanted to produce?  What if you didn't judge what you want to do before you even said it out loud.  What if you believed that there was and always will be enough room for each of us to do what we love and be supported in doing it.  How would that change things?  Who are they who make us believe these things?  Why do we go along and support so many ideas that oppress us?  It is like an animal going into a cage and closing the door behind him. What is the point of being locked into an idea that doesn't feel yummy?

We are afraid to leave the comfortable place of knowing what we are supposed to do.  What we are capable of has been decided by generations before us so we don't have to do the work to make it up as we go along.  When you take away the road map to the perfectly normal and expected life you take away your supposed safety net.  The funny thing is, though you may be living this normal life of obligation and responsibility there is nothing perfect about it.  You may struggle with motivating to do the work you have given up you joy to do.  You may live for the things that job can buy you, but still feel a bit empty.  You may be holding onto the idea that there will be a big pay-off in the end.  Yep, there will be and it might be death.  Just sayin'.  I don't mind breaking it to you, nothing is promised and no one is getting out of this whole life thing alive. Why would you ever think it was ok to live a life that isn't full of life?

The risk associated with doing what you love pales in comparison to the joy you get from doing what you love.  I understand that you may not want to walk into your job tomorrow and throw down you two-week resignation… but, if you know what you really want to do or have any idea what that is, then you are obligated to yourself to go toward that which is most healing and loving.  When you love yourself and share that with the world, the world is filled with that love.  Just as it is filled with the pain of so many people doing what they loathe.  Think about it.

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.  Don't be trapped by dogma--which is living with the results of other people's thinking.  Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary."  ~Steve Jobs

xo

a

"You should exercise unrelenting discipline over your thought patterns.  Cultivate only productive attitudes… You are the product of everything you put into your body and mind."

~I Ching no. 27

Parks & Recreation

Woohoo For Friday! I saw a Parks & Rec truck today and it got me thinking.  I remember when that kind of job would have been something I was open to.  The idea of driving a truck, being outside the whole day, talking to people and having someone you drive with usually, yep, that would have been appealing.  I also remember when that was the only job I thought I could actually wrangle, so there was a pang of an old desperate feeling that also crept up.  I then realized how all of those crazy ass, ridiculous jobs I have had, and in some ways hated, got me where I am today.  Seriously.  If I hadn't driven that FedEx Truck I wouldn't know that I would NEVER do that for any amount of $.  It was one of the most unfulfilling jobs I have had, except the driving training was a blast.  I LOVE driving big trucks and I love defensive driving courses.

I have worked at a store where I picked out people fruit and veggies because they were not allowed to touch them:

Customer:  I would like a bunch of bananas for this week, a pineapple for today, avocados for tomorrow, and lettuce.

Me:  Ok, Just one moment.

Then I would bag it all, ring 'em up and off they would go.

Full service produce.

The Middlesex Fruitery.

Seriously an AWFUL job.

If I were to list all of my jobs or attempted careers it would take too long and you would lose interest… so I will save it for a later blog post.  However, looking at that Parks & Rec truck today got me thinking that job, for those guys, may be a job they hate that will bring them to one they love.  A job that at some point they will be so done  with that they will refuse to ever settle again.  Maybe it is to them like the MIddlesex Fruitery job was to me, or maybe it is like my shoe shining job, exciting and fun.  You never know.

Remember that we are all where we are supposed to be.  You cannot save anyone but yourself.  I don't mean you don't offer things that are available or lend a hand if you have it to lend.  It means that there is no need to feel bad, sorry, or guilty over someone experiencing life.  You can, if you choose, put that pitying energy out there, or you can choose to put the energy out there that helps guide them to their life's purpose.  I know that all of the jobs I had have allowed me to NEVER want to be in a situation where I am not, in most ways, running my own show.  Or, at least, working in the industry that feeds my soul.

It takes most of us a long time to find our direction, only to change it repeatedly.  Sometimes it may seem like we are hitting a wall or even going in circles.  All of the set backs, switch backs and back tracks are moving you forward, whether you can see it or not.  Have faith, keep smiling and forge ahead, there is light there.

xo

a

Walk The Walk

As a life coach and as a fitness coach I spend a lot of time helping people own where they are in order to move beyond it, if they so choose.  I help people lose weight, gain muscle, let go or hold on, find their voice and own their choices.  I help people find and embody confidence.  I spend a lot of time helping others to change their lives.  It is an amazing 'job' I have and I appreciate it almost every moment. Because I spend a lot of time speaking to others about their ideal selves it only makes sense for me to do the same thing.  After all, how effective would I be if I wasn't living what I was giving?  If I wasn't walking the walk?  I feel that for anyone to be a truly effective leader they have to know how to follow.  I feel that for anyone to be an effective coach they must have been coached.  This brings me to my first cross fit experience, which was on Thursday.  I shouldn't say first… because it isn't.  It just has been a long time.  It was fantastic and I am excited to continue on the journey of being new to something and then mastering it.  It keeps me in the place of learning and growth and challenge.  As a coach, counselor and friend experiencing myself in various ways helps me connect to others where they are.  It is too easy for any one of us to find a niche and just do whatever that thing we do is.  It is unbelievably important to push our comfort zones regularly.  When we go to that place that scares us and come out of it we are better able to reach others that are in the same place.  Your work is you… through that work others will benefit greatly.

We are all teachers.  We are all students.  We are all learning and teaching one another.

What area of your life have you been ignoring that may need some attention?  Where do you find you may not be walking the walk?  Is there someone in your life that you "know" needs something but won't listen???  How do you see that trait in you with you?  Are you ignoring your own advice regularly?

Stay present.  Be love.  Shine Bright.

xo

a

Life is Movement

Howdy, When you stop growing you die.  Life ends when movement ceases.  Many of us search for stillness, for a reprieve from growth.  We use all sorts of things to basically numb, slow down, shut out, or to simply stop movement in any direction.  We look for security, stability, predictability.  We look for people to be enable us and call them 'kind' or 'loving' when they do.  I don't consider helping someone stay in an addictive behavior as being kind or loving.  Anyone who comes into my world will be challenged in the exact way they need to be.

"We find comfort among those who agree with us-growth among those who don't." ~Frank A. Clark

I am challenged every day.  I am challenged to do what I know to be the thing that I must do at any given moment.  I live purposefully and passionately.  I grow moment by moment.  I feel differences on a regular basis and I appreciate the 'struggle' that brings me to new territory within myself.  It is work, growth.  It is constant effort that can be attributed to growth.  Growth isn't about being still.  It is about movement.  It is about life.  Think about how we are created.  It isn't through holding of a hand or a touching on a shoulder.  There is movement that brings about life and movement that keeps it going.   Movement is key to life.

"All growth depends upon activity.  There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work."  ~Calvin Coolidge

I challenge people (and myself) to own their present situation.  To look at their habitual behaviors and discern whether or not those behaviors are actually helping them reach their goals.  I challenge people to actually look at themselves without the niceties of "being nice" and "being soft" in order to not hurt feelings.  Sometimes feelings need to be hurt in order for growth to be sparked.  Besides, when someone get's hurt it is information.  So often where there is pain there is truth.

Look into yourself, be honest.  See the places where you are 'stuck' or repeating patterns.  Watch yourself play the same tapes over and over in your head.  Do you want to remain here… this place or do you want to grow, move, live?

"I will grow  I will become something new and grand, but no grander than I now am.  Just as the sky will be different in a few hours, its present perfection and completeness is not deficient, so am I presently perfect and not deficient because I will be different tomorrow.  I will grow and I am not deficient."  ~Wayne Dyer

xo

a

Love What You Do, Whatever You Do

"The only limits are, as always, those of vision."  ~James Broughton So I have been discussing work with various peeps… and realized it is a topic that comes up time and time again.  Work, what you spend most of your day doing, deserves to be looked at carefully.  Any place that you put your time is worth paying attention to.

We are what we think, say, do etc…  If you give something your time you are giving a part of yourself.  If it isn't something you enjoy what the heck are you doing?  No end is good enough to lose yourself over.  We tend to look at things such as money, status, etc. when considering a "job" instead of considering how much of your life that "job" will be taking.  And take it will if you aren't being fed by it.  It is no wonder we sometimes look around at our lives and wonder why we are unhappy.  If you are not happy with how you spend your moments in the work that you do, that work will become your hell instead of an expression of your dreams.

When you love what you do everything changes in you.  Love has a place to take hold and blossom.  Finding that thing to do that you love isn't always easy.  Sometimes you have to try various things and leave various things when they don't work.  It is always ok to go toward what works and leave what does not.  Think about the alternative, staying in something that steadily and most certainly will asphyxiate your dreams.

Your life is limitless, go live without the fear that keeps you from pushing toward what you really want.

"If you limit your choices only to what seems possible or reasonable, you disconnect yourself from what you truly want, and all that is left is compromise."  ~Robert Fritz

Good luck in realizing your dreams :)

xo

a