Since I am not a student of Yoga, I wanted to know what the term ‘Namaste’ actually means — and this is why. I was thinking about what I wanted to share on my blog yesterday as I was driving home from my office. On the way, I stopped at the post office to drop off a package to mail. As I was getting ready to enter the post office a small, older woman was on her way out. She was diligently attempting to roll a large and cumbersome box out the door on a dolly while she struggled to hold the door open. I grabbed the door and assisted her in getting the box on wheels out of the building. I looked up to see two men standing there simply watching the scene and to my surprise, neither one offered to help. I continued into the post office and dropped off my package. On my way out, two men were approaching the entrance (not the same two who declined to lend a hand to the sweet lady I encountered only seconds earlier). I, of course, thought that they would pull the door open and kindly allow me to exit the building. Once again, I was stunned as they stood outside and waited for me to open the door which I then continued to hold while they entered the post office. Neither one said “ thank you, F U, have a nice day”, nothing. I proceeded across the parking lot
Write a Letter to Someone Important to You Who Has Died
Welcome to the second in a series of four suggestions to compose a handwritten letter. If you missed last week’s installment, you can read it here. http://meetmeatthebarn.com/why-handwritten-letters-make-a-powerful-impact/
A Handwritten Letter That Says What Needs to be Said
The first letter that you were invited to write was a thank you note. I hope that you chose to participate in sending a note of appreciation to someone who has had an impact on you. This week I am asking you to scribe a letter to someone who is no longer living. That’s right, this is your chance to say what you might have left unsaid to someone while they were still living. Or maybe you would like to simply check-in with a dearly departed. Whatever the case may be, use this occasion to connect or reconnect with a soul who somehow matters to you.
I think you will find that this exercise gives you the opportunity to get some things off your chest, or to get complete with a person, or maybe have a private dialogue with someone you miss and think of often. You will likely have emotions of recollection, humor, sadness, and joy. Whatever it is that you experience, “be” with it, appreciate the fact that you have taken this opportunity to make amends, to say I Love You, or to merely give a wink and a nod to a beloved and never forgotten friend.
So, what do you do when you
What Do People Want ‘More Of’ In Their Lives?
I was at my barn, one of my favorite spots to “be” the other day, surrounded by my two horses and my sweet Australian Shepherd, Twosocks. The horses were contently eating and Twosocks was busy appreciating the smells of the early morning. I was scooping horse shit into my Gator and carting it off to the compost pile; it’s one of my favorite things to “do”. Why? Because I am outside in nature doing a chore that doesn’t require much talent and it is when I have some of my best thoughts. I stood there for a minute and I pinched myself, literally as I often do and said out loud, “I am so grateful to be here and have this wonderful property.” And then I thought, I wonder what most people want out of their life. Later that day I did what I always do when I am curious about something, I Googled it. The first thing that popped up was an article by Kathy Caprino titled, The Top 10 Things People Want In Life But Can’t Seem To Get. It was the “can’t seem to get” part that caught my attention.
Caprino surveyed 700 people. The key question the survey probed was: If you could say in one word what you want more of in life, what would it be? What intrigued the author most is that it is becoming more and more obvious that the things we humans desperately long
Handwritten Letters Get Opened First
How long has it been since you wrote handwritten letters to someone you know? Not an email, not a text, and not a 140 character tweet that rarely, if ever holds context as a respected consideration. I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love to receive a handwritten letter in the mail. Admit it, when you receive a hand-addressed envelope in the mail with a real stamp in the upper right-hand corner a sense of intrigue, wonder and surprise come over you. It is the first piece of mail in the pile that you open, excited to discover its contents. Joy fills your heart and a smile finds its way to your face. You read it over and over and appreciate that someone took the time and made the effort to connect with you in such a special way. There is magic in those words written in longhand.
Who doesn’t wish to receive a handwritten note in the mail? This is exactly why one of the exercises in the Lines In The Sand Class I teach is to write four different letters. Over the next few weeks, I will share the kind of letters that the participants in the course write and I invite you to join us on this journey. The first letter is a Thank You note. Think of someone who you would like to get in touch with and express your appreciation to them. It might be one of your teachers from the past,
What is the source of your struggle?
I did a struggle survey with several people over the past few days. What does that mean? I asked them what the stressors were in their life. “Work-life balance” came up as one of the top three things mentioned. Out of curiosity I Googled the term and in .62 seconds, 114,000,000 results popped up and that didn’t include the related searches.
The result that came up from my Google search was this Fast Company article titled Arianna Huffington On The Struggle To Find Work-Life Balance. The piece was written by Rachel Gillett almost two years ago. Generally, I like to offer more recent commentary on subjects, however this one roped me in as I read the third paragraph. Gillett explains that Huffington, who founded The Huffington Post, a 24/7 media company woke up in a pool of her own blood with a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash above her eye. What happened? She collapsed in her home hitting her head on the way to the floor. Why? After undergoing multiple tests to determine the reason for her fall, the conclusion was sheer exhaustion. This is what two years of 18-hour work days will do for you. In Huffington’s own words she explains, “By professional definitions of success, I was successful. By any sane definition of success, if you are lying in a pool of your own blood on the floor of your office, you are not successful.”
Patience While Building And Growing
Although I had never considered building a home from the ground up, I was given the opportunity to do just that when my home burned to the ground. There were many intriguing steps and processes that I witnessed during the construction of my new house. One thing that I recall is the amount of site preparation that took place prior to pouring the foundation on which the house would be built. I learned that soil compaction is a vital part of the construction process. I also learned that this is a protracted process that takes time, patience, precision and the watchful eye of geotechnical engineers.
In my case, I watched as giant excavators moved big mouthfuls of soil around and a D-9 caterpillar methodically crawled back and forth over the ground to ensure the proper level of compaction. During the five months that it took to complete this stage of the construction process, I noticed myself experiencing a range of emotions from impatience to fascination. I liken it to the seven stages of death and dying; one finally gets acceptance. For me, I finally got to fascination. Once I embraced the fact that there would be a house on what, at the time, appeared to be a big pile of dirt I settled into a state of curiosity, knowing that the next twelve months could be as frustrating or as fascinating as I was willing to let them be.
Build Upon a Strong Foundation
The primary thing that I
What You Focus On, Flourishes
I tell the participants in the Lines In The Sand course, “what you focus on, flourishes.” And, the great news is you get to decide on where you are going to direct your attention. If you choose to put up with people, things or events that don’t make you feel good, then you are NOT going to feel good. It is my observation that a good number of people are unhappy and angry these days and they are letting the news set the tone for their moods which only serves to keep them miserable and dissatisfied. My coaching is first, to quit watching the news, and then look for what is right in the world instead of what you view as wrong. Look at all you have in your life versus focusing on what you don’t have. Surround yourself with people who are aligned with your values and get grateful. You cannot have the emotion of gratitude and lacking at the same time. Gratitude wins every time.
Look For Positive News & Stories
I make it a point to go looking for good news and inspiring stories. Today I came across a story on the GoodNewsNetwork about how high school students in Boca Raton, Florida started a Lunch Club so no one would eat alone. This is a wonderful account of how a young student (who had immigrated to the United States during his first-grade year) found adjusting to school and a new culture difficult, so
One of the topics that we discuss in the Lines In The Sand course is the importance of self-respect and self-love. I have come to know that the best way to honor and love others is to honor and love yourself first. This weekend as I was at the barn pulling weeds and raking leaves, (yes, a girl has to keep her land in good order) a song that I haven’t heard in years came on the radio. You know the song, it is I Want To Know What Love Is by Foreigner. It was the band’s all-time mega hit written by the guitarist, Mick Jones.
Something Bigger Than Myself
I have always liked the song and since it hadn’t come across my music listening plate for so long I heeded the words with precise attention. There is something about the rugged grittiness of the lyrics that appeal to my earthy appreciation of something bigger than myself. As I listened to the song I noticed that I was hearing the words with a new perspective. I heard it as a conversation with myself — regarding self-love, or my own love for me. These are the course lyrics: “Let’s talk about love. I wanna know what love is, the love that you feel inside. I want you to show me, and I’m feeling so much love. I wanna feel what love is, no, you can’t just hide. I know you can show me.” For me, epiphanies have always been striking occurrences that happen
My life changed the day that I made FEAR my friend. My biggest fear has always been related to money, you know the ugly and nagging monster of not enough. I grew up on a farm in Northeastern Colorado, an upbringing that I will always treasure. We were poor, (yet rich in so many ways) so poor that I can still remember days when my parents would not eat so that my brothers and I could have something to eat. When I reflect back on those days I realize that my young head didn’t know we were poor, but my young heart did. I did not want to fall prey to the human conditioning of not enough, but I didn’t know how to NOT be poor. Over time I have managed to create and keep my financial world in good order, but fear does raise its ugly head now and then.
In the Lines In The Sand class that I teach, I share a philosophy that I have developed over the years. I call it “keep your ass in the saddle”. This means to stay present and not focus on the past or the future. The only power you have is in the now, right here, right now. Wandering off into the weeds of your past or future oftentimes gives rise to havoc and poor choices. Dwelling in the past keeps you stuck on thoughts and emotions that do not serve you. Getting too far out in front of yourself thinking
Regular self assessment can lead to a life you love
I often hear people say that they are frustrated and unfulfilled with some aspect of their life. And, although they know they feel like this, very few of them know where to start in order to turn their annoyance and displeasure into a life that they love. One thing that I have found useful over the years is to step back and take inventory through self assessment of my life to help me to identify where the frustration and lack of fulfillment are coming from.
At least once a year I sit down and look at nine domains of my life and note my level of satisfaction in each area. The next thing I do is write down at least one thing that I can do in each of these areas to increase my quality of happiness and fulfillment. This exercise helps me to pinpoint exactly where I want to focus my time and attention in order to continue to thrive in my life. I have found this so useful that I have created a Self-Assessment Tool that will assist you in determining what areas of your life could use some sprucing up.
Get yourself on track with free tools
Do yourself a favor and complete this five-minute free Self-Assessment Tool. Not only will you learn where your opportunities for enhancement are, you will gain access to frequent life tips, coaching, and inspiration to help you create a life you love. You