Archives for expansion

Taking out the (head) trash!

Head by Fimb on Flickr

Head by Fimb on Flickr

There are many phrases for it, many of which I’ve heard recently. This leads me to believe that there a personal message about this personal growth rite of passage meant for me to notice and use in my life. “Going to the fire.” “Being on the field instead of in the stands.” ” You can’t go around it you have to go through it.”

For the most part I have prided myself on taking epic leaps in my life for the sake of personal or professional expansion. My comfort zone is much more vast than the 8-year-old me would have even imagined. Since being that scared, intimidated, self-conscious little girl, I have made it a mission to prove to myself what I’m capable of. However, in my quest for personal and professional development, I am confronted and very haunted by things from my past – stories that I have inherited, stubborn self-limiting beliefs that remain, and bitterness and resentment that resurfaces during moments of weakness.  While I know, logically and consciously that these beliefs are just reoccurring stories that my brain made up and have very little truth in them, my subconscious believes them.  They continually redirect my life to align with the self-limiting beliefs rather than the identity I have been striving to create for myself.

 

Why do I have so much to prove to myself?

It is the answer to this question that is, fundamentally, the reason I hold myself back. I’ve tried various methods of ridding myself of this belief –  EFT, The Sedona Method, meditation, affirmations, declarations, incantations, etc. I still believe that all these methods have tremendous application to my life, but for this one reoccurring story, they have not done the job of ridding me of it.  (This Brainathon event on Saturday looks promising, but still…)

In my practice of being present, I notice signals that are meant to prompt me into appropriate action. I do believe there is no such thing as coincidence. I believe that there is an energy that is common among all of us, that if we tune into it, all of our questions and qualms are answered. I believe that this is how we achieve a self-actualized life. The message that I have been getting loud and clear lately from various sources, including Eddie Vedder‘s interview with WMMR, a speaker that I had for a social media subgroup that I run, my intern, and various books and articles that have been passed my way in the past couple months, is this:

I need to stop avoiding the source of the story and deal with it directly.

This means potential conflict with someone that I love. That means that there’s the potential that I could, by bringing this to light, cause a rift that could impact not just my relationship with this person, but other people’s relationships as well. I’m resolved that I have done everything possible to overcome this story without assuming such a risk. It will eventually become part of my new story. But I have to resolve the old one first. I’m sure if you have read this far, you probably want to know what that story is and who I’m implicating as being the cause. I assure you – the cause is me – I created the story. I know this, and I know I can create a new story. But I have to walk through the fire. There’s no more thinking I can get around it. The story reoccurs unless I put it to rest with this individual now.

I know I make it through it. I know the other person will make it through it as well. And when I share with you my new story you will get all the juicy details of the old one. Until I have the opportunity to share the story with the individual who inspired it, she will remain anonymous.

I fully anticipate someday that I will revolutionize careering and hiring. Someday, I will by a sought-after keynote speaker and visible spokesperson for career empowerment. I know that there are many people out there who have similar or smaller dreams and are stopped by head trash. If you don’t have any trash, or even if you do, and you live an actualized life, you may see other people who are inabile to succeed up to their own standards as lazy, weak leeches who would rather be supported by the government and others’ hard work than go out and help themselves. I see that head trash is an epidemic – it is a toxin that has poisoned the minds of too many people who have amazing potential. Someday, I will tell my story and help other people take out the trash, transcend their pasts, and write new futures. So, if I’m going to “call out” this person in a very public forum someday anyway, I’d rather tell them now about the stories that I made up about them and about me.

 

Stay tuned and wish me luck.

My Labor Day of Labor – I’ve Come Clean

This may still be cluttered to some, but it is zen-inspiring to me.

This may still be cluttered to some, but it is zen-inspiring to me.

No, I didn’t have another baby. I spent my holiday fighting dust balls and licking paper cuts.

After 3 years of compiling papers and collecting nonsense in my office, I “clean sweeped” (I know it’s swept, but it doesn’t sound right in this context.) There were literally 60 lbs. of paper and other junk purged from my house. I have two big boxes of great fall clothes to sell on e-bay, donate or turn into crafts. I know where everything is in my office. What is most important is most prevalent and within easy reach.

The adjustment to working from home with my babies, who are now grown up enough to know when the house is messy, happened very slowly.  While I expanded my roles as primary caretaker and entrepreneur, some of my other priorities and values were placed aside. I justified that it was what I had to do because of the choice I made to stay home and work, but in the meantime, crap accumulated and inhibited my growth. That’s where I was; I had no more room to grow because I had no room in my home and most sacred space.  The choice I made was no longer empowering; it was an abyss. While I continued to learn more and teach clients about efficiency, time management, resource management, etc., I was ignoring fundamental best practices of success – simplicity of organization and accessibility of information.

Especially because I do so much on my computer, where it seems everything is at my fingertips, these fundamentals were easy to ignore for so long. Until, enter financial advisor and partner Brian Brogan.

He asked, “Where is the space dedicated to managing the lifeblood of my family and business?”

“Oh, here and over there and I can even work outside…”

“STOP!,” he pleaded. “What are you saying about your priorities if you have no place dedicated to managing the very thing that allows your family to function?”

While he has been here at our house, he never new we had an office because the door stayed shut when there were visitors. We even kept the vent closed so as to not heat or air condition it. It was, essentially, a junk room.

After reading some of The Seven Minute Difference: Small Steps to Big Changes, by Allyson Lewis, I had started to make a little progress on my office. I sorted unopened envelopes one day. Then another day I opened them. Then another day I took out any files older than 2009 to make room for the newer files. Then, I left the office alone for a week. I avoided it. What happened?

If my house were a factory, I think they would call it a bottleneck.

I needed to renew my car registration, but I couldn’t find the form. I had to make a return, but I couldn’t find a receipt. The CPRW (Certified Professional Résumé Writer) certification exams that I am supposed to grad within 2 weeks piled up for a month. ssential functions took 10 times longer than they should have. I was wasting time looking for things, feeling like a hot mess, and my temper and patience were getting short. Friday I had a gentleman tell me that I wasn’t able to listen to him. I didn’t even realize it, but I kept interrupting him. Instead of listening compassionately first, then advising appropriately, I was defensive and curt. This was impacting more than just tasks – my credibility with peers, my authority with my kids and my ability to effectively coach were hampered.

Enough – I had to do the work. The clutter had to be confronted, and so did my feelings about the clutter. With the exception of a break to have tea with my husband, make princess hats with my daughters, and hit up a local playground where we could all get a workout in, I pounded away – from breakfast to 2 or 3 in the morning. I finished at 4:30 Tuesday morning. The process, while tiring, was cathartic. What Brian said was reverberating in my brain and I thought very consciously about where I placed things based on how important I wanted them to be. Even choosing what size folder to attribute to a project made me process what amount of time I was committing to dedicate to that project.

Once it was done, I didn’t care anymore that I didn’t get to go the shore or the Poconos or that I didn’t see any concerts or even go out to eat. I had forgotten how much I value organization. For a while, I had been wishing I could just hire someone to find a place for everything, but I couldn’t wait for that to happen.

Now that I am in my office, and I can work in my office and find things in my office (and elsewhere,) I am able to think. I feel lighter and can breathe easier. Brian says that I have now made room for the harvest. Those books that I read, while portraying the importance of organization to taking action also echoed his sentiments: If you want something to show up, you have to make room for it. Now that I know I have room for growth and expansion, I have more confidence making strategic plans for my business. I want to spend time here. I want to show it off. Here. Have a look:

One thought leader I follow, I can’t remember which or perhaps it is all of them, says that people take action when they are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Why is that? Why did I have to let it get to that point? Even though the disorganization was certainly having an impact on my family and me, I waited until other people were being impacted by my disorganized house before I resolved to get it cleaned up for good. I resolve now to be proactive in keeping order in my house, in my office and in my mind.

 

Have you ever been sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you waiting until to feel this way to take action?