Our culture puts a prize on speed and quickness.
In order to get more done, we are told: GO FASTER.
You’ve all been there.
Who hasn’t believed in the giant myth that to get more done you simply must put in more hours?
Usually that means less sleep.
Less working out and eating crappy.
Less fun. Less Play. Less Connection.
It never works.
Or rather, it never works for us.
It’s obviously not sustainable but you are too busy to notice, right?
It is a recipe for burn out.
You might have been there too.
You might be headed there now.
The first time I was told to slow down to speed up, I was a 38 year old female competing with a bunch of 22-25 year old guys who were faster, taller, bigger, stronger and much younger.
My Lieutenant called me over during my firefighter training and told me that if I wanted to go faster, I would need to be smoother. To be smoother I needed to slow down.
Did I hear that right?
Learning courage from my teenager
For most of my life, I thought of myself as courageous. I became a litigation attorney and practiced in the heavily male dominated field of heavy construction litigation.
I became a professional firefighter at age 39 beating out guys in their early 20’s in intense physical training.
This Halloween I learned far more about courage than any previous experience.
The courage to be seen as you.
To show up exactly as you want. Wearing what you want regardless of what others my say, think or do.
For Halloween, our son decided he wanted to dress as a French maid.
In a dress.
With a special bodice making the skirt flare out just so.
He wanted to wear it first to a school party and then out in the world trick or treating on Halloween night.
Are you sure you want to wear that?
My stuff coming up loud and clear.
My fears of bullying.
My fears of physical...
Please take me up on my Birthday gift to you! Reach out to me at [email protected] and share with me what you might want to explore and some good times that can work for your schedule.
Wishing you the gift of Presence. And, for a double love choose somebody to give this gift to anytime.
Your personal Glass Ceiling.
Everyone has one. Social scientists and experts all say we have a "set point" or a level of happiness and success where we are comfortable.
It doesn't have to do with our current reality. Our set point is developed early in life based on stories about success and happiness we received and coded into our subconscious from childhood. We then carry those stories into adulthood.
Often we are not aware of those stories we tell ourselves.
Unexamined, those stories tend to stay with us as a default setting.
Your default set point is your glass ceiling or the point where you are comfortable. When you rise above it, you tend to do things to get back to "normal" or your default setting.
Think: self sabotage.
Have you ever had a big win at work, maybe a promotion or getting a big sale only to find yourself worrying about something totally unrelated like politics and feeling the happiness and joy...
When we are faced with a challenge we have two options:
1. Go after the challenge
2. Give ourselves and others some Grace.
The photo above is an example of not stepping back into grace but literally pounding on the challenge.
Ever do that?
Resist what is?
Sometimes it is hard to tell whether we should go after a challenge full force or whether we should cut ourselves some slack - also known as grace. Or, in parenting terms - take an adult time out!
How are you showing up when you hit a challenge?
I would love to hear a current challenge you are handling and what seems to be working and what seems to be not working.
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I am learning a new tool to help us in these challenging times.
The practice of Radical Gratitude or RAD GRAD will help you to feel better.
Life will always throw us challenges and some of those will be painful.
We cannot escape those. It is part of our shared human experience.
But, suffering is optional.
Gratitude is the emotional state that is scientifically proven to lift your mood, to create feelings of happiness and life satisfaction.
Like life mastery, practicing radical gratitude is not a one and done.
It is a practice.
Here are the steps of Radical Gratitude:
3 STEPS TOWARDS INNER HARMONY
Ever found yourself at either extreme:
Frenetic, constant busyness, feeling like you are on a gerbil wheel of activity yet never arriving any place you like?
Do you feel bored, listless, unmotivated like you are going through the motions and don’t really care but a part of you wants to?
I think we all have.
So how do we re-orient ourselves toward inner harmony where we feel excited, vibrant, creative and playful?
We all want something different without changing anything. Yet, we know a change is necessary.
We need a new environment, a change of pace and support of new friends.
The place of harmony we seek is the balance of eudemonic stress and quiet stillness. This is a place where we feel energized, excited and vibrant without exhaustion. This is the place where we feel a deep sense of connection to our inner wisdom and confidence.
How can you create this in...
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...