Who Do I Want To Be In This World?

Greatness Does Not Come From What You Do_350Are you familiar with Marie Forleo? If not, check her out – she rocks some serious sass and energy and doles out some pretty awesome advice and insights on life, entrepreneurship, inspiration and much more.

I recently watched an episode from her MarieTV series entitled “What should I do with my life. Wait, don’t answer that.” Click here to check it out.

“What should I do with my life????” Well, if that isn’t the question that haunts my waking (and sleeping) hours!

I’m pretty familiar with this question as it has been an intermittent companion along my life’s journey. This past year, following the closing of my second business, Ambajam, this question has become my constant shadow. Letting go of the business was undoubtedly the right call for me, but letting go of that identity was tough…tough…tough. Who was I now that I was no longer an entrepreneur and a business owner? What value did I bring? Where did I fit? Knowing it was solely up to me, how did I want to write this next chapter of my life? Where did I start?

Marie suggests that rather than focusing on what we should “DO” with our lives, focus instead on who we want to “BE” in this world. The DO versus BE debate is nothing new but it struck me when I watched the episode that I have spent so much time this year trying to figure out what I want to “DO”. And, believe me that “DO” has proven to be quite elusive.

Bottom line is that I have been focusing on the form, structure, outward manifestation of the “DO”, trying to imagine an entity or a job title rather than asking myself who I want to “BE” in this world and letting that inform what I decide to “DO”.

Just shifting that one word, as Marie says, can totally change the dynamics and the energy behind the questioning. Shifting from “DO” to “BE” loosens things up, opens us up to authenticity, creativity, compassion, play and more.

So, who do I want to BE in this world?

I want to be someone who:

  • Is compassionate, loving and kind
  • Lives life with authenticity and integrity
  • Embraces her vulnerability as a strength
  • Makes a difference in this world and in the lives of those around her
  • Brings people together
  • Takes the time to really listen to and “see” others
  • Helps people open up to their true potential
  • Is curious about life
  • Embraces her creative, intuitive self and let’s her light shine
  • Experiences life from a place of engagement and inspiration
  • Radiates joy and lives a joy-filled life

Knowing who I want to “BE” is the foundation for moving forward. The opportunity now is to take what is in my heart and find ways to express that in the world.

Shift The Question Shift The Mindset:

  • If I am trying to find answers and what I’m doing isn’t working…try a different path! As Einstein said “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
  • Changing, even slightly, the perspective from which I am looking at something can make a world of difference.
  • Who I want to “BE” in this world is the energy I will bring to what I “DO”.
  • If I know who I want to “BE” then I can work into what I want to “DO”.
  • My way of being is the foundation on which everything else is built.

 

 

 

 

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Savoring Love

Gate C22 image medium

 

I came across this poem a couple of months ago, and the raw authenticity and gorgeous simplicity of the words really touched my heart.

I love the idea of throwing all cares away, not worrying about who may be watching, or what they may be thinking, and just savoring a moment with someone you love.

The words hold so much romance in them yet they are not flowery nor elaborate. For me this is what gives the poem such beauty and soul.

Happy Valentine’s Day All.  Enjoy a little love from Gate C22!



Gate C22 – By Ellen Bass

At gate C22 in the Portland airport
a man in a broad-band leather hat kissed
a woman arriving from Orange County.
They kissed and kissed and kissed. Long after
the other passengers clicked the handles of their carry-ons
and wheeled briskly toward short-term parking,
the couple stood there, arms wrapped around each other
like he’d just staggered off the boat at Ellis Island,
like she’d been released at last from ICU, snapped
out of a coma, survived bone cancer, made it down
from Annapurna in only the clothes she was wearing.

Neither of them was young. His beard was gray.
She carried a few extra pounds you could imagine
her saying she had to lose. But they kissed lavish
kisses like the ocean in the early morning,
the way it gathers and swells, sucking
each rock under, swallowing it
again and again. We were all watching–
passengers waiting for the delayed flight
to San Jose, the stewardesses, the pilots,
the aproned woman icing Cinnabons, the man selling
sunglasses. We couldn’t look away. We could
taste the kisses crushed in our mouths.

But the best part was his face. When he drew back
and looked at her, his smile soft with wonder, almost
as though he were a mother still open from giving birth,
as your mother must have looked at you, no matter
what happened after–if she beat you or left you or
you’re lonely now–you once lay there, the vernix
not yet wiped off, and someone gazed at you
as if you were the first sunrise seen from the Earth.
The whole wing of the airport hushed,
all of us trying to slip into that woman’s middle-aged body,
her plaid Bermuda shorts, sleeveless blouse, glasses,
little gold hoop earrings, tilting our heads up.

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Finding Authentic Connection…Virtually

Can I really feel a heart connection to a group of women I have never met in person? Apparently I can, thanks to Real Life Book Club (RLBC), the brainchild of Susannah Campora, a life coach and inspired trailblazer here in Denver.

bede89_75fad7261aa94ca2aa475fdaee4c5960.jpg_srz_p_438_185_75_22_0.50_1.20_0For the last six weeks I have been participating in a virtual book club through RLBC with seven other women, a few here in Colorado and the rest spread from Nebraska to Kansas to Canada. Each week we would “gather” for a couple of hours via google hangouts video calls.

Although I used to own a bookstore, and have a deep love of books and reading, I’ve always shied away from participating in book clubs.  Real Life Book Club, however, is a whole different kind of book club, and one that really speaks to me and where my passions lie right now.

Real Life Book Club is a personal growth book club that brings women together (in person as well as virtually) to share, to create, to support and to inspire each other into taking action in our lives.

Desire Map Book Image smallThe book my group read was “The Desire Map – A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul” by the brilliant Danielle LaPorte. This book asks us to dig deep and really uncover the feelings at the heart of how we want to experience our lives. This is no superficial fluff… this is real introspective, thought-provoking work.

Allowing myself to be really open and vulnerable is not always an easy thing for me even with those with whom I am closest. Initially I was more than a little tentative and anxious about the idea of delving into such deep contemplation with a group of strangers. And I was definitely skeptical about my ability to open up and connect via the seemingly impersonal computer screen.

It took a surprisingly short time, however, for those fears to dissipate. I was truly astonished by the level of connection I experienced with the other women in the group in such a brief period of time. Between Susannah’s thoughtful facilitation and the authenticity and openness each woman brought to the group, the way was paved for real connection and deep dialogue.

During one of the book club gatherings I was struggling with some overwhelming emotions and ended up crying on the call. I would usually feel embarrassed for allowing myself to be so exposed and raw in front of others but I only felt love and support and genuine compassion from the other women in the group. Embracing and allowing my vulnerability to surface (and knowing it’s ok!) is a practice I want to cultivate in my life. Being a part of RLBC was a perfect place to play with this.

While we were a group of women of varying ages, who were in different stages and places in our lives, the overlap in what we were experiencing or wanting to experience in our lives was astounding. There were countless times in our meetings when one of the women would say something that so perfectly captured what I was thinking or feeling that it felt like she was living my experience.

imagesThe six-week journey I took with these amazing women was incredibly eye opening for me on the kind of deep connection that can be fostered when everyone comes to the table with a willingness and open heart, whether we are gathering together virtually or in person.

It was also an invaluable opportunity for me to recognize that I am not alone in my challenges or in the stories I tell myself. Nor am I alone in my aspirations and desires to live an inspired life.

Finally,  Real Life Book Club reminded me how much it nourishes my spirit to share and be with others in real, authentic and affirmative ways.

4 Reminders Brought Home by Book Club:

  • Being vulnerable isn’t nearly as scary as thinking about being vulnerable.
  • When I let go of my assumptions and open my heart and mind amazing things can happen.
  • For me it is often more fun, more inspiring and more rewarding to journey with others than to journey alone.
  • Genuine connections can be formed in surprising ways – remember to stay open.

 

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Nourishment in different forms and flavors

IIN CertificateI am a newly minted graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and one of the most compelling concepts I took from the program was the idea of Primary and Secondary Foods. Secondary Foods are the actual foods that we consume. Primary Foods are all the other things in our life that nourish us mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
It doesn’t matter how clean my food plan might be, if I am out of alignment with the things that bring me joy, fulfillment and connection then I will not experience the richness and fullness of the life that I crave.

I have felt this misalignment time and again when I have tried to compartmentalize aspects of my life. My life (body, mind, spirit) rebels and reminds me that it cannot be compartmentalized and separated. Each component impacts the other, and imbalance in one area of my life has ramifications for the other areas of my life.

People need dreams, there's as much nourishment in 'em as foodEmbracing this idea of interdependency reminds me of the importance not only of how I am nourishing myself through what I put into my body but how I am nourishing myself through my activities, my thoughts, and my relationships.

 

 

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Welcome to My Daily Whale!

Do you ever feel like you have thoughts and ideas bubbling up inside of you looking for a outlet and a way to be shared?  About 6 months ago, out of nowhere, I started to feel this way big time.

The urge to find my voice and to write, to take what swirls around in my head and my heart and put it down on paper, came on strong.  I felt drawn to capture and share the things that inspire me,  the nuggets of opportunity that can be found in every situation, and the people, places and moments that bring joy, contentment and fulfillment to my life.

what-if-you-flyLast summer, when the little voice in my head started to say “write…write…write” my heart answered with a resounding “YES…this feels right!”.  However, the voice of my inner critic responded with an equally resounding and strident “are you freaking crazy??!”  

I am a fairly private person so the idea of putting my thoughts out into the world brings up a lot of vulnerability for me.  In the lead up to launching My Daily Whale, resistance and doubt have been regular and familiar companions.  I have asked myself repeatedly, “why do you think you can write?  And even if you can, what makes you think anyone would be interested in your musings on life?”  Oh, the joys of the inner critic!

At the same time I have experienced an unmistakable pull to take a leap of faith and start putting a little bit more of myself out into the world, to be more vulnerable, more open.  What is the worst that can happen?  I guess the worst that can happen is that no one reads my blog or those that do think my time would be better spent elsewhere.

But what if?  What if what I write resonates with someone?  What if what I write inspires someone to take action in their life? What if what I write gives voice to something someone else has not yet found a way to express?  What if?

To me, the “What If’s” are worth the risk and I’m ready to take the leap and see if I can fly.

Thanks for coming along on this journey!

To read more about how My Daily Whale came about click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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