How I beat my inner doubter to become a firefighter weeks from my 39th birthday and how to overcome yours.
Part 1 of several.
This is it. Test day. I have worked hard to prepare for this day, and I am both terrified and excited.
I am standing in the gym at station 14 where the first elements of the Firefighter entry physical test are in progress.
The room is small. It’s a gym where the station 14 firefighters work out while on shift.
Although it is a gym, this is not LA fitness.
There is No treadmill.
Just bars, weights and racks.
The benches scattered about the room show their age with white stuffing visible in the cuts and holes of the thin black vinyl padding.
There is no bench for this test element, though.
For this test there is a bar with weights totaling 85 lbs and a line drawn on the floor, 4 inches from the wall.
You can hear the gentle squeak of gym shoes on wood as our...
In 1994 I had a dream.
I dreamed I fell off a ladder and seriously injured myself.
And then hours later, I fell off the very ladder I dreamed about and spend 3 days in the hospital.
That injury provided the stillness I so desperately needed.
The stillness provided a clear choice - I could continue avoiding and denying who I really was or risk full scale ruin.
Seriously - that's how I framed it in my mind.
I did the scariest thing ever.
And the gift I received was shockingly unexpected.
I hope my story inspires you to do the scary thing in your life you might be avoiding.
My story is included in a new book: The Beauty of Authenticity.
It comes out May 22, 2019.
If you would like to pre-order the book and get a personalized autographed copy please sign up here:
Here is to recognizing what we fear is really a gift. And you gotta go there to open it!
We all have two voices in our head.
There is the loud one - the complainer! This part of us is looking for safety and security which means if it involves CHANGE it freaks out!
You know - it starts by saying things like - who do you think you are? You can't do that? That didn't work out well last time. Or, that seems like a lot of effort, what if it doesn't work? You get the point!
Then there is the encourager. This voice is softer. You can't hear her unless you take the time to be quiet. She is there. She is subtle. And Powerful.
Make some space for her voice to be heard.
To help you out, go here: https://www.shannonsaid.com/encourage
for a download to listen to a 1 minute clip from your encourager.
We all have blind spots.
It's the classic statement - We don't know what we don't know.
We are blind to our own blind spots.
That is why having someone in your life that can tell you what others won't is the fastest way to rocket to your next level.
Shining the light of awareness onto your blind spots illuminates your path to your best self.
P.S. Whenever you're ready ... Start for Free Learn more Here
I love the water.
And, when it is my time to go, I'm coming back as a dolphin.
If you ever spent any time watching them, they know how to play!
They live with JOY!
I'm not sure if dolphins have rough patches or bad days but they sure show resilience towards play and joy.
This fantastic photo was taken by a friend of a friend in Florida where we were just visiting. It makes me smile.
And I was thinking to myself - what gives me great joy in my life? And, how can I intentionally create more of that in my life.
Water. I love being on it, in it and near it. So I have intentionally set out to schedule more water dates with myself and my family.
Then I got to thinking of the opposite.
What things tend to rob me of my JOY?
A big joy thief is FEAR.
We all fear.
There isn't a successful person in the world who doesn't feel fear.
The difference is they don't let it stop them from taking the action...
The photo above is of a solid gold Buddha. It's real gold. Back in the 1700's, Thai monks covered up depictions of the Buddha for political reasons to protect them from theft or destruction.
The above Buddha was covered up with a sloppy mud like substance made to look like a very ugly Buddha statue and hence, not one to steal. The problem was that they forgot about what was underneath the ugly exterior. In fact, the inner beauty was not known until may years later. The huge ugly Buddha was stored outside until a new spot was created.
In 1955, a new temple was built and it was large enough to hold this enormous "ugly Buddha" statue. During the long process of carefully moving the statue, it became dark and the statue fell. It was too dark at the time to assess the damage so the monks decided to wait until morning to see how they could repair it.
The next morning, while assessing the damage, one monk noticed a glint under some of...
Life is filled with challenges, right?
Sometimes, it feels like they are piling up.
Of course, it is part of the human experience to have challenges.
These never go away!
And, sometimes it feels like the hard challenges are, well, adding up!
The last week, I have felt like maybe I have too much on my plate, too many challenges to handle.
I walked out my door on the way to physical therapy for my new hip and noticed something.
Yes, it was blooming.
But, that isn't it.
Or, it's not what got my attention.
We have daffodils all over the yard blooming.
This one is different.
This bulb had to grow a stalk over 3 feet high through a bush to bloom!
Now, that is resilience!
And, if you look to the left - there is another one!
Okay so this might seem a tad ridiculous but really if that daffodil can do it, can't we?
Ok - but what is even better than being resilient?
Being anti-fragile is simply allowing each challenge...
The triangle on the left is what David Emerald calls the "Dreaded Drama Triangle" in his great book, "The Power of Ted". The one on the right is the empowerment triangle.
We all have been inside the Drama Triangle. That is called being human.
The trick is to recognize you are in this triangle and shift to get to this one:
Let's look at the 3 characters we can inhabit in the Drama triangle:
Each position needs the others. They cannot exist without the other two positions.
The Gerbil Wheel!
Have you been on life's equivalent of the Gerbil Wheel?
I used to think that in order to be happier and more successful, I needed to work harder! More time, more effort, less fun and play.
When I was practicing law, I thought that success was counted in the billable hours my bosses wanted. So, I tried to meet those crazy billable hour requirements.
Ever done that? Work so hard you don't have much else but ... work?
I told myself that it is only crazy for a while! Things will calm down and then I will work out or eat better or call some friends, plan something fun - but life just kept marching on.
Then years went by.
Wow! That didn't work!
That is a recipe for burn out, depression and well, exhaustion!
I even changed careers to slow down.
But, instead of slowing down I just worked FASTER! Firefighters do everything with...
This game challenges us to regain our inner balance through mindfulness techniques.
The whole point of the game is to improve the time it takes you to regain your inner balance. Here is how it works:
1. Notice when we are out of balance. Something has brought up feelings that you are resisting and wrestling with. Stop the wrestling! Notice.
2. Feel it. What ever the feeling is feel it without judgement. Feelings are not good or bad, just feelings.
3. Make a choice to let it go and regain your balance.
4. Note how long it took you to regain your balance and make a game of doing it just a tiny bit faster next time.
5. Build your bounce back resiliency!
I used this game the day I heard of it from Brian Johnson (amazing philosopher and all around cool guy). Two things were delivered to my post box that brought up strong feelings that I could have gone into rumination...
You have the option to create your System with me. Look below the download button for this special invitation.