Saturday, 23 October 2010

Pushing the boundaries.....

Where are your boundaries..... and what is their purpose? Are they there to protect you? Or are they there to keep you playing small. What is your hearts desire? What stops you from reaching out and creating that world? You can do it, we all can, once we have that Vision, that purpose in life, and the passion and energy to make it happen. We can create anything we want.

Four or five years ago I had a vision of what I wanted my life to be like. (Bye the way, writing this blog today is one way that I am using to stay present to what I have created. It's hard for me to Stay present to it and not to create the next vision or plan or just move on quickly).

I didn't cross the t's or dot the i's and I did know the flavour of what I wanted. How many days I wanted to work, the kind of work I wanted to do, the impact I wanted to have etc. So, I set off on my Journey, one step at a time. When people put obstacles in the way, sometimes I fought with them, some times I surrendered, some times I bypassed them. The one thing I always did was keep hold of the vision of what I was trying to create and the impact I was trying to have!

I worked with Mentors and Coaches, I learned about me, I stretched myself and I surprised myself too. Here is the biggest surprise of all - the more I stretched myself, the more of me I found - that was and still is a bit of a shock to me. I stretched myself in many ways, physically, emotionally and logically. I took Acting and Singing lessons, I went to a couple of fitness boot camps, I learned that I liked taking risks, at work and at home and that I enjoy the energy that it creates in me.

I asked for what I wanted and stayed around long enough to see if I had to negotiate... and I got really clear with myself about what I was willing to sacrifice for the sake of creating the impact I wanted to have..... I remember, just before going to call on the GM of my company to ask for his support, one of my mentors asked me 'Will you still have a job if the GM doesn't support you?' and I replied 'Yes, I will still have a job - the question I will have to ask myself is, do I still want to do it'.... my reply was immediate, I didn't have to think about it and it came from a grounded place. I was not being arrogant, although I understand it could have come across that way.

I asked the Man I loved to leave his wife and kids to create the relationship we said we wanted. I gave him the space to think about it, knowing that we had been having an affair for many years and that was no longer enough for me. He said that he couldn't leave them and so I understood. I cried (a lot) and I walked away for the final time, knowing that loving him was not enough for me to be fulfilled. Also knowing that if I had stayed I would be selling out on myself.

Have a met the man of my dreams, no not yet! And what I do know is that there is space in my life and in my heart for him when he is ready to show up and show up he will, and soon!

I am pleased I found a way to write this blog that feels like it comes from a humble place, when I came back to a draft of this that I started earlier, I didn't like what I had written, it sounded like it was all about Ego and that is not the intent of this. My intent as I write this is to inspire you to have a Vision or a dream of how you want your life to be and then set out on your journey of discovery and start creating it, one step at the time!

Oh and bye the way, I find it hard to distinguish between fear and excitement these days!
How cool is that!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

.... and that is when the Magic happens

when I am open and available it means I can ask for what I want (coming from a place of good intention and not to be collapsed with ego) and leave room for a yes, no or a counter offer. Somehow, all the stress is removed from the situation and it feels easy and spacious.

I may or may not get what I want, that isn't the point, the point is that I have the courage to ask for it and, if I do get a NO in response to my request - then all I have to do is ask myself, 'so if I can't have that, is there any point in holding on to it?' or should I rethink and go for something I can have which will enable me to create the same impact in my life?' I know this sounds simple, and it is, it is very very simple and yet profound all at the same time. Imagine asking for what you want and at the same time, no being attached to getting it! Now, that's a paradox if I ever heard one.

What is funny to me about this is that I have been around this loop many, many times. At first my requests were, silly little things, almost cheeky and playful and I wasn't attached because to be honest the things I was asking for were not 'that' important to me. What I have noticed is that, as time has passed, the things I ask for have got bigger and more important to me and therefore the risks have got bigger too.

Now, what I have to say at this point is true and it sounds like ego, and it is not. So, this is all coming from a Woman who usually gets what she wants... its true, all my life, I have, pretty much got what I wanted. So, maybe I just made sure that I wanted things I could have - who knows - that is something I will get curious about. Back to asking for what I want... and taking risks, I realise now that the risk I am taking is the risk of rejection, being told no, we don't want you!

This is huge for me, and the reason, well the reason is that I have spent most of my life, living it in a way that meant I didn't get rejected.... as rejection was my biggest fear. It seems so simple now to say, once I stopped rejecting myself I lost my fear of being rejected by others... once I stopped rejecting myself I lost my fear of being rejected by others... that deserves a minutes silence.

Having finished my minutes silence I have to say that it has taken a lot of work, a lot of inner soul searching and a lot of experiential learning on my part to get to this place. I also notice the only part of my life that isn't the way I would like it is my relationship (or lack of one). So, is that the place for me to look next, is that the place to risk being rejected in order to have the loving, parthership I want with a man. It feels a little scarey to me, so that is definately the place to look! I know, sad isn't it, that when its scarey, I know there is 'juice' there for me.

OK, so that's the place for me to put my energy into moving forwards. Letting go of old relationships that no longer serve my needs or allow me to honour my values and stepping into new relationships to create the loving partnership I want.

Horray for me! Where ever you are Mr Right I'm coming to get you. Hold on to your hats!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Being open and available to be created from.....

I have no idea if any of you reading this will even understand the statement above, so let me try and explain. I believe that in order to create from other people and other things I first have to put my attention on them, I also believe that if I want others to create from me that I have to be open and available in order for them to do that.

In my line of work, Leadership and Coaching, I am the tools of my trade, there is nothing else, I carry my tool box around with me, my tool box is my body, heart and soul and if I my heart is open and available to be created from, even at the risk of having my heart broken, well then I am walking my talk and I am being the person in the world that I am meant to be.

Easier said that done I hear you say, well that is so true. I just had a realisation this week which has metaphorically 'taken my legs from under me'! You got it, I realised that there are times and situations in my life where I shut down, where I close myself off from others and I do not allow myself to be available to be created from. I can think of many situations that I have been working on with my coach, where the basic issue is, I take my toys home.... I go inside.... I close my heart to others.... I put up my armour and I stop being available.

Wow! What I huge realisation, as yet this is new and it is still unfolding, so I don't know why or how or can not make any sense of it, other than I know I do it, or did it, up until now!

As I type this blog I can feel my chest contracting, almost turning inwards which is the feeling that happens when I close myself off to others. I know it happens when I am feeling judged, I know it happens when I think someone is trying control me, I know it happens when I open my heart and then I find out that others either do not want to, or do not know how to open their hearts to me.

And here is the biggest learning, I allow myself to be compromised, I give in and become a victim of the circumstances, instead of understanding the others point of view and moving my perspective (allowing myself to be influenced) to align with the circumstances that now show up.
This is the biggest learning of all, I can, if I choose to, still do the same things, still be in the same circumstances AND to consciously choose to come from a more powerful perspective, which is open and available, rather than closed and unavailable.....

So from here on in I will notice when this happens and my intention is to try and stay open, even if my body had been trained (by me) to have a habitual reaction, which is to close.

More to come on this one, I know......

So, the more is here already (two days later), what has become clearer to me now is that when I notice that I am starting to feel compromised or to compromise myself, I can do one of two things to escape this trap.... I can either
a) consciously change the circumstances I find myself in OR
b) accept the circumstances and consciously change my perspective
This way I remain powerful and do not become a victim or compromise myself..

This is big learning and I am reminded what the great and the good in the leadership training world say that........ most leaders spend a lot of time understanding the practice of leadership, rather than practicing their understanding of leadership. Thank God I practice my understanding every day, it makes me a richer, more wholesome human being.

I love my work!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Being Complete....

I feel a strange sense of being complete at the moment, what does that mean I hear you say? Good question, I guess it means I am at peace with myself, in integrity with myself, honouring myself and not in a way which is all about me or not in a way which is self absorbed.

I was struggeling for a while about how I could find closure around something and I realised that, I found closure when I opened my heart up, when my heart is open I can see more clearly how important it is to me to be in integrity with myself. What is important is to be in a healthy, loving relationship with myself - from this place the world is a much safer, fun place.

What is it to be complete? It is to have a feeling of lightness, of wholeness, of trust and of knowing. It is a calm place where things happen because they are meant to, where life is fun and alive and the world is just looking down upon you, just waiting for you to notice the sign that it has sent, where the universe is flirting with you and all you need to do is to be awake long enough to notice what is going on. To be complete is to be in sync or in rythum with the natural cycle of the world.

I feel like I have let go of something I have been holding on to for a very long time.... I can't quite put my finger on what it is exactly and yet it feels like something big. When I first started my leadership training I realised that I had been living my whole life through a fear of rejection - everything I did, every waking moment, every action and reaction was driven by a fear of being rejected. If I do this will I get rejected, if I do that I won't get rejected, my God I wasted so much time and energy worrying about whether other people were going to reject me or not.

And so it unfolds again for me. So, this feeling is one of acceptance, one of inner knowing and trust in myself that I don't need (not want, don't need) external reassurance to know that I am complete, I don't have to have the approval of others or the presence of others in order to know that I am OK and in fact better than OK....

It is being at peace with myself and the world, that is what this feeling is....

Yum, this is a nice place I'm staying here for a while....

Sunday, 31 January 2010

What is it to lead from the inside out.....

I know there is juice in this inquiry even before I start to type....

I chose this inquiry because I realise that this is a very important subject for me, its about how I live my life and how I model the work that I do in the real world. In the last blog I felt as if I was being led from the outside in and when I processed that feeling (with my Coach) I described it as feeling like someone had a hold of the bottom of my stomach and was trying to turn me inside out! It was painful and it hurt, lots!

We are so much creatures of habit, I can't tell you and the more I do this work the more I realise that I am my very best example of humanity to practise this material on, my god, the learning never stops, its a good job that learning is a value of mine, right!

So, What is it to lead from the inside out.... well it is to ask for what you want and stick around long enough to see if you have to negotiate.... that's one thing that it is, its also about not be attached to specific outcomes...... it's about being open enough to know that whatever shows up, you can work with, in whatever form. So, what comes to me is that its about trust, trust in myself as an individual and as a human being, with flaws and all that comes with those flaws, its about trusting me in all the roles I perform, as a Daughter, a Sister, a Lover, a Coach, a Trainer, a Student, a Client and a Woman whatever role I am in, I know that I can rely on me.

A very good friend and respected leader once said to me, you know I look at life like this.
We are given a body, some time and the ability to choose - what we create from those three things basically defines the life we live! Think about that, It doesn't get more simple than that... some time, a body and the ability to choose!

So, what are you doing and how are you being - with your time, your body and your ability to choose?

What I am doing is, travelling, having fun, engaging in work that I am passionate about and staying focused on the impact I want to have on my world. How am I being along the way? I am being engaging, passionate, relaxed, courageous, funny, gentle, kind, bold and loving. Sometimes grumpy, sad and always authentic!

To lead from the inside out, is to be conscious and aware of what is going on outside of me, to see how the people and organisations around me are operating and to be conscious enough to know whatever they throw at me, I can create learning from it.... I can stay on course and keep a hold of myself on the inside, no matter what is happening on the outside. I can choose not to be derailed, just because something or someone on the outside of me has done something I don't like, or created some circumstances that I was not expecting....

To lead from the inside is to let go of, 'Just in case' or 'what if' and wasting energy focusing on things which have not happened yet, far better to be in the moment, enjoying that moment rather than spending time and energy on things that may or may not happen in the future. Don't get me wrong there are some things that we can predict, Death, old age, taxes, so yes have some strategies to cope with or prepare for these... The other stuff that your Gremlin makes up, let go of that, free yourself of the baggage and energy that it takes from you!

So, for me, to lead from the Inside out is to be clear about what is important to me, to honour my values, it is to take myself over my emotional edges (have the hard conversation, ask for what I want and ask others for what they want) even if it makes me feel uncomfortable, for the sake of being authentic and feeling the aliveness that I feel when I fully engage with my world, with myself, the people around me and my everyday interactions. For me it is to be in conscious powerful life giving choice!

I am blessed to have found the work I do, I thank God that my path was pointed in this direction and I am so proud of myself, that I have taken so many risks in order to find this aliveness in my life!

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Staying and leaving space......

You know it is bizzar I have been doing this work for years and I only just realised that I have a massive Gremlin around one of my relationships, it is constantly nagging at me, what about this and what about that and what if this and what if that... oh my God it's driving me nuts and what does it feed on - you'll love this - it feeds on the fact that I have always got what I wanted in my life - blessed I am indeed, I know, and I don't mean that in an arrogant way - it is true however, that whenever I put my mind to something I usually get it...

So, what happens when I don't get what I want, well if there is only me to contend with I will usually find a way, for example, when I wanted to buy more holiday from work the other year and I was unable to, I just decided OK then we'll I'll reduce my working week to 4 days and that will mean I can have what I want.

I have to say I am feeling quite exposed as I write this and I am going to continue writing it anyway because I know there is learning here for me! My challange is to stay engaged and present and give him the space he needs whilst knowing he loves me and at the moment we can't be together as much as we'd like to be.

I love space, emotionally and physically and yet I find it hard to 'let go' and just be with the fact that we love each other but can't be to together at the moment. I have to say as I write this I am feeling physically sick and that is unusual for me, very few things have that physical and emotional impact on my body these days.... what is it? I wonder..

My Gremlin is feeding off something here and I just can't quite put my finger on it. It is something about all or nothing, this has been a huge issue in my life and slowly but surely I have worked my way through it, at home and at work and in my friendships and other relationships and yet somehow with this one person the pattern still shows up.

That's what it is, it's the paradox of staying engaged and leaving space all at the same time. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! That's it, I don't know how to stay in this relationship and have all the space and time I need or want. It's like I have made up a rule that if you are in a relationship it has to be 'on' all the time, in fact he used to say to me, why does it have to be all or nothing.... and I used to laugh to myself and dismiss it but its true, that is what is going on for me, and because its more 'off' than 'on' I am having trouble in coping with being in a relationship and not be in each others pockets - this is great!

I say all the time, 'Oh God, I can't imagine what it would be like to be in a relationship that was 24x7 it would kill me!' And yet deep down I don't know how to do anything else - this must be a deeply held belief of mine and its something like - if your in a relationship then you have to be together more than you are alone, or something like that! This make so much sense to me now, I am working on the Adult Stages of Development and reading 'Immunity to Change' by Robert Keegan as well as reading all 'The Leadership Circle' material that I have just been certified in... its amazing work and it talks a lot about having a goal and then behaving in a way which does not support the goal that you want to achieve..... which is exactly what is going on for me here... There is more work to do on this one I know and what a great realisation!