Kindness

When I was a little girl, my family used to visit my grandparents in Iowa. Grandma was always so kind and generous; it was like she couldn’t give me enough. I must have been about 8 or 9 when, on one particular visit, she presented me with some gift. I remember being so moved that I went to my room and cried like a baby. I was so touched by her love. Something like that happened to me recently. I didn’t run to my room crying, but I was profoundly affected, and I think I’ll always remember it. I had screwed up. I got confused with times, and missed a very important appointment. In a panic, I made a phone call and someone covered for me. I deserved a tongue-lashing. I deserved to have my butt chewed out for being so irresponsible. Instead I experienced deep and genuine kindness that still has me thinking about it a week later. The person who covered for me jumped in and did it with an amazing attitude, one that I’m sure was better than anything I would have mustered in the same situation. I saw the Divine. And it changed me. I realized something profound: True character is revealed when it is inconvenienced. The next day I stopped by a department store to pick up something. Seeing the various checkout line options, I headed for the “10 items or less” line only to realize that the folks in front of me had two entire baskets full of purchases. (That’s WAY more than 10 items!) However, I was somehow filled with much grace for these dear people and all their stuff. I didn’t get upset. I didn’t give them dirty looks. I didn’t even think to myself how...

Start

It’s the new year, so you have likely been thinking about (and hearing about) resetting aspects of your life. There is a sense in January that one can start over. Newsflash: It’s still January! But starting can be the hardest part. Starting is step 1. But often we get bogged down by steps 4 and 5 and so on. What if I don’t follow through? How much will it cost? What will happen if…? Change is intimidating for many of us because it involves uncertainty. But it’s a vicious cycle; and sometimes our deepest desires get bogged down. We experience paralysis by analysis! What is the one thing that is really on your mind these days? Spending more time with people you love? Stopping something? Getting a new job? Enjoying every moment a little more? Cleaning out that closet? Starting that retirement fund? Being present wherever you are? Just being content? Today you can do step 1. Just start. You’ve done it many times. You learned to walk by taking that first step! You learned to count by starting with 1. You learned the alphabet by starting with the 1st letter. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Be courageous. Be curious. Be confident. Go ahead; take the first bite. Just start. As Rob Bell said in an interview for oprah.com, “When you say yes to step 1, you cross over from one realm to another.”*   *http://www.oprah.com/connectembraceown/Life-Stories-That-Inspire-with-Rob-Bell Royalty-free image by Colin Brough in the United Kingdom. Retrieved from...

021: Innovation Institute Jan24

021: Innovation Institute...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/21-_Innovation_Institute_with_Harold_Andresen.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 45:55 — 42.0MB)Car mechanics and engineers are some of the most creative people I know. Harold Andresen is one of those. After owning his own car repair shop for years, he followed his heart for the physically challenged and started The Innovation Institute. It might as well be called, “Machines That Matter,” because it gives disabled craftsmen the chance to fix and improve their own medical devices, but also to create and modify machines to help others—like modifying golf carts that support wheel chairs so disabled kids can go on joy rides to laugh and feel the wind in their faces. For a few brief moments, they forget their disability. But the story is more than using engineering and problem solving to better the lives of wheelchair friends. It’s a story of forgiveness, dealing with disabilities, giving to others, having fun and feeling useful. Harold’s message to you: “I have the one-liners all over my life, my desk and my phone, my shop, the garage. I think finding what works for you is really important. So if you’re favorite song really keeps you motivated to press in to something significant, then you should spend a lot of time letting that favorite song go through your head. But if it’s just your self talk and words, that’s fine too. And if it’s actually doing, you’ve just got to get out in the garage and make stuff, that’s great. And if it’s go to the park and meet people, that’s just great. We have so few molds in our culture of how to do it right; I think that’s the thing I try to avoid. I would say you’ve got to figure out where you’re niche is, where you’re energized, and...

Yes and No

This time of year, everyone is saying what you need to do more of. The message is that you need to say YES to vegetables. YES to going to the gym. YES to saving more money. YES to buying whatever they’re offering. Right. And you’re thinking how can I possibly do any more? How can I possibly spend anymore? Everybody seems to want a piece of you; it’s like squeezing blood out of a turnip! Yoy many be thinking, “I’m completely maxed out. If only there was more money and more hours in a day!” The challenge with saying YES to more stuff, is we have to said NO to other stuff. Last year’s priorities may not be this year’s priorities. But if you keep saying YES without saying NO, you will just keep piling on, adding to your stress instead of reducing it. I recently shared a quote by theist thinker, Rob Bell, that you have to say YES before you can say NO.* It means that when you know what to say YES (to something you’re passionate about), you then have permission to say NO to what you’re not! I agree. I also agree that you have to say NO before you can say YES. Check out what another thinker/author, Seth Godin, says on the subject (with CAPS added for emphasis. He brings out what many of us struggle with—RESPONSIBILITIES and EXPECTATIONS by others and ourselves. “If you believe that you must keep your promises, overdeliver and treat every commitment as though it’s an opportunity for a transformation, the only way you can do this is to turn down most opportunities. “NO I can’t meet with you, NO I can’t sell it to you at this price, NO I can’t do this job justice,...

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead...

Joe Cross found himself overweight, feeling terrible and on multiple medications for an auto-immune disease. He was fat, sick and nearly dead! He decided he didn’t want to live that way, so he left his native Australia to come to American to begin a life-change, travel across the country, and document the process in a film. The film, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead was the result. Discovered on Netflix, I found it to be an inspiring documentary that shows the incredible difference diet can make. Joe did what he calls a health “reboot.” He decided to only drink vegetable and fruit juice for 60 days. What he discovered was that the body has an amazing ability to heal itself when it is given the proper fuel. Joe lost a ton of weight and was able to get off his prescriptions. As he traveled across the U.S., Joe talked to hundreds of people about food, health and longevity. What emerged was nothing short of amazing. Joe rubbed shoulders with people who suffered like he did, and who were ready for change—big change. Take Phil for example. He was a 429-pound truck driver who was also sick—one cheeseburger away from a heart attack. Like Joe, Phil also did a reboot with juicing and exercise; and he got his life back. Now Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2 is out. See the trailer here: In the 2nd film, Joe revisited Phil, helped him back on track while he continued to spread his message. He also discovered a little boy who was almost paralyzed with arthritis. After juicing for several months, the kid had a complete health turnaround, is off medications, and is now able to run around and play like other kids. There seems to be a...

Where’s Your Treasure?...

“The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” This is an awesome principle from a little verse in the book of Matthew in the Bible.* And how true it is. We can talk all day about resolutions and goals. But in the end, we put our time and resources into the things we care most about. And in some sort of cyclical pattern those investments of time and resources set our priorities, define who we are, and reveal our desired destination. Which comes first? Yes. Time, resources, priorities, identity, destination; each affects the other. What you invest in reveals much about what is really important to you. And that is key—knowing what is important to you—because you can’t do everything! As Rob Bell said in his first Robcast,** “You have to say yes before you can say no.” It means you know what to say yes to. Then that gives you permission not only to say YES to what you’re passionate about, but NO to what you’re not! How cool is that? But oh how we struggle to say no! The priorities you set are both reflective of and determining of who you are. And who you are decides what you give yourself to (and not to). And your destination is both a reflection of your desires and a result of who you are and what you give yourself to. It may sound complex, but it’s actualy quite simple (and freeing)! Consider this circle as you contemplate how you will live your life this year.   * Matthew 6:21 The Message translation ** The Robcast (Rob Bell podcast), Episode 1, January 11, 2015. Check out here:...

020: Growing A Successful Life Jan13

020: Growing A Successful Life...

http://media.blubrry.com/gcoyl/p/media.medeor.co/gcoyl/20-Regina_-_Growing_A_Successful_Life.mp3Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 53:00 — 48.5MB)This is a great podcast to kick off the new year. Dr. Regina Lewis & Dr. Deb discuss strategies for growing a successful life. What is the difference between motivation and inspiration? How do you make big goals achievable? How do you push through the dips? We discuss developing a lifestyle of success, not one-hit wonders. “Whenever you make it to the top of the mountain, it just makes it easier to see the next summit.” – La Vonne Neal, Northern Illinois University Check out Dr. Lewis’s website here. Read about Dr. Lewis’s body building competitions. We mentioned, The Dip, by Seth Godin. It’s a great little book about handling walls you encounter in life. The key is knowing when to surrender and when to push...

Spending Energy

Where Will Your Energy Go in 2015? As I get older, I am more aware of the limits of my energy. So when I think about having another year to, “laugh and love and live,” as my dad used to say, I’m starting to consider the coming months differently. The first difference is that I am looking at the “channels” where my energy can flow, rather than specific goals I want to accomplish. Hmmm. Energy vs. goals. Both are important. But it seems I first need to identify what is important in my life, and where of the many potential directions, I want to go this year. Where will I put my energy? As a coach, I usually ask my coachees (clients) to identify the ‘big rocks’ (priorities) in their lives. These are the major responsibilities that you need to balance in your life; they don’t change much from year to year unless you have a significant shift like a job change. Channels are a different. I see them as more specific aspects of those big rocks that you really want to see grow and expand in the next year. For example, one of my big rocks is the vacation rental business I want to grow this year. My major channels are pursuing new clients and creating sustainable and reproducible systems for each aspect of the business. There will be many other responsibilities that will take my time and energy as well, but these are the ones I would like to really give my energy to this year. And that brings me to another realization. I find I have different kinds of energy, and when one is exhausted, another may still have some fuel in the tank. When it comes to channeling my energy,...

Gym Memberships

We’re a whole week into the new year. How are you doing with those resolutions and goals? If you’re like me (and a lot of other people), you decided you want to be healthier. And that likely includes eating better and getting more exercise. How are you going to do those things? Could joining a gym be a potential solution? Like investing, I started seriously exercising way too late in life. But it’s never too late. I figure today is better than never, and there is no time like the present to make a change. I always thought gym memberships were too expensive, until I started researching them. Years ago I had tried jogging; I hate jogging. I tried an exercise ball and elastic bands, DVDs and TV exercise routines and an in-home bike and treadmill. I even tried a circuit-training program for women, I found little motivation to go. None of these worked for me. Now that I’ve found something that works, I’ve stuck with it. That is a key! What’s the best exercise for you? The one you’ll actually do. If you live in a place with a lot of nice weather, daily walks, hiking or swimming may be great for you. Or maybe you’re self-disciplined enough to follow an online program or use your own equipment. I found that actually GOING to a gym helped me. There is nothing like seeing other people workout to convince you to do the same. Somehow being with others who care about their bodies enough to workout motivates me. Here are some options you may not have considered: FREE – Is there a gym you may have free access to, like at school, work or where you live? BARE BONES – I found there are...

Hope for 2015!

Hope. There is something hopeful about new things. New babies seem to represent the promise of a bright future. Springtime brings new life from the death and dormancy of autumn and winter. And a new year brings a fresh reminder that we can always escape the trappings, failures and disappointments of the past and get a lease on life. Just like forgiveness releases us from the past, so does a new year. Hope can be defined as a feeling of desire of excitement about a thing about to happen. It’s also an expectation for great things to happen! What are your hopes for 2015? What are the desires of your heart? Do you have a renewed sense of excitement, expectation and desire for the new year? I figure there are two main ways to view the world. One is to feel hopeless and a victim of things that are outside your control. I sometimes refer to it as the Doris Day philosophy. Que sera sera; whatever will be will be. The other is to view yourself as an architect of your destiny, a deep belief in your ability to alter the world and cause things to be. I sometimes refer to this as the Sly Stone philosophy, based on the song, You can make it if you try, made popular by the funk musician in the late 1960s. While some things are out of our control, it’s good to be reminded there is a great deal we can control! Our destiny is to a large extent in our hands. Consider the Sly Stone philosophy as you think about the new year. You can make it if you try! You can accomplish things you never knew possible. And you can be the bright light shining in your...