Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Recap on the Balance Retreat

Saturday was one of those wonderful, life affirming days. We had a large group of participants, so many participants!

There was a point during the day, when leading one of the sessions, that I felt so fully present and engaged. So in the moment, and so full of gratitude to be able to have the chance to be in the position I'm in. It was really cool when that moment hit me ... It's neat to be in the moment, but also have that same realization that you're totally digging what's going on and grateful to be doing it.

The day went really well, and as always, I feel like I get more than I give from leading a retreat. The big take aways for me were:
1. I should leave more room in my schedule. This is mostly around free time ... personal time, reflecting time, that kind of thing.
2. If I leave more time (and don't pack my schedule or my family's schedule completely full), it leaves moments to be present, to be fully aware with the people I love. It also leaves time for spontaneity.
3. I tend to get hung up on creating lists. When I created a list of "all of the things I'm balancing" I listed several similar things, but listed them all separately. (personal time, spiritual time, time to journal) After re-reviewing the list, it was obvious that I wanted more time to do quiet things, but I think I could consolidate those into "me time" and stop stressing that there are four things I wish I had more time for, when it's really all the same root desire.

I'll get back to making edits to my "Balance" e-course, because I think you guys will really love it, and that it will give you an interesting frame work to analyze, prioritize, embrace or abandon the things you're balancing. The participants loved it :) so I can't wait to share it!

Here are a few photos of the day.

It had rained during the morning, and San Damiano was looking lovely as we approached it:


Here is the courtyard at San Damiano Retreat in Danville, California:


And the fountain in the courtyard after lunch, when the sun had started shining.

Earl J. Rivard is a talented musician, and he provided music for our day. I'm so very honored to call him a friend, and to have been working with him over the last seven years. Brother Mike is also in this photo and I deeply appreciate his support and assistance in making it possible for our retreats to happen.


I hope you're having a great week!
Paula

Friday, October 24, 2014

Small Ways to Enforce Balance

The "Balance" retreat is just a couple of days away and I'm really enjoying immersing myself in the topic. It's been great meeting with my fellow leaders, Earl and Tammy, and we are super excited about the day.

Another thing that will be coming out of this retreat is my first e-offering. My idea at this point is to offer either an e-book that includes paired down version of the retreat itself, or to offer a week long series of emails that would send the equivalent of each session out daily for people to enjoy at their own pace. It's exciting to see how the content I've been creating can have a life in a blog-friendly format. I'm really thrilled to be able to do this! It's kind of like a Virtual Retreat!

I'm looking for a few people to review, comment, critique the content before it goes on to "Prime Time," so if you'd like to do that, please leave a comment. I have some ideas on a little present for folks that help out.

As a sneak peek, here are some ways that you can enforce balance in your daily life. This is a list of things I remind myself of as often as possible.


If you're unfamiliar with the idea of "No Toggle," here's a link to a podcast with Kristoffer Carter on The Lively Show. It's pretty much the best podcast I've heard in quite some time.

So happy Friday, and let me know if you would like preview of the Virtual Balance Retreat... :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Morning iPhone Usage, This Time with Intention

Over the past few weeks, I've had a hard time getting out the door and getting to work in a reasonable amount of time. I can make excuses, but I know that  it has to do with my routine. And due to the fact that for a long time, I've used my iPhone as my alarm clock.

But that means that all that stuff - Facebook, email, Instagram, Pinterest, all of it, is sitting just a foot from my head all night. And, when the alarm goes off, I've taken to checking each of those accounts before I do anything else each day.

Here's the brutal truth: I spend 10-15 minutes checking these accounts every morning. And it delays me from getting start on doing things that matter.

Don't get me wrong. I love social media. I want to know if anyone's emailed me. I love checking in with each of my friends and seeing what's going on with Welcoming Spirit.

But, if I'm being efficient, and if I'm being intentional with how I spend my time, social media does not need to be the first thing that I check every day. I don't even really want it to be the first thing I check every day.

I'd rather hug my new husband. Or kiss my four year old, or meditate, or make a cup of coffee, or snooze for 10 minutes. Those are things that bring me joy. Those are things that set me up for a good day, that prepare me mentally for what I need to do later.

Instead, I'd gotten in this routine of habitually checking my phone.

So over the weekend, the phone got put out in another room and I found a new alarm clock to take it's place.  It's an ugly little thing, but it works fine and it's made me feel a little more peaceful about my mornings. Nevermind the fact that I'm getting to work about 20 minutes earlier...


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Lean In, Maxed Out, and A Retreat About Balance

Somewhere in my spare time (ha! in between planning a wedding, studying for the PMP exam, working and spending time with my four year old), I'm also rather ironically planning a retreat about balance.


I'm obsessed with the topic, ever since my friend Stephanie and I started talking about Sheryl Sandburg's book, "Lean In." I own it, but totally have not read it. Who has time? I'm expecting to be booted off Facebook for this modern day indiscretion at any moment.

I love that there is another book that talks about the life of working mothers, the stress of trying to balance everything, and it's called "Maxed Out."

If I had to go with one of those titles to describe the state of affairs chez moi, you can bet I'd be in the Maxed Out camp. Most days I feel that I can't "Lean In" any further, even though I like my job, love my coworkers, feel passionate about what I do. And I know that at my previous job, when I was miserable, the idea of Leaning In more really would have equated to what I love to think of as a follow up companion book, "Fall Over," or  the third in the trilogy,"Burnt Out." It's a fine line, in my opinion, to give something your all, but not lose yourself (or a bit of your sanity) in the process.

But ... Balance. The real thing at stake in both books is balance. It's a topic that seems to take up a fair amount of our time, trying to find ways to live a balanced life.

So, if you're curious, I totally invite you to join myself and my fellow team members at San Damiano on October 25 for the retreat. You can learn more about it at the San Damiano website.

I'm also really pouring my heart into the topic and I think that the retreat will lend itself really nicely to my first eBook or coach offering of some sort. I'm playing with the format, but I'm planning on pulling this together in a way that other people can use it, ponder the topic, and maybe come out feeling like they understand what balance would look like for them. Exciting!


Friday, September 19, 2014

Excuse Busting: Two Reasons I Make Excuses


Over the last week I've thought a lot about excuses, still, since my time on CreativeLive with Michelle. It's made me really get mindful about excuses when I hear them come up in my subconscious.

On CreativeLive with Michelle Ward in her amazing "Create Your Dream Career" course

Why am I resisting something?
Is it too hard, too much work, not something I want to do?
What's at the root of WHY I'm finding something else to do, or a reason not to do whatever this thing is?

I find that when I'm making excuses, it's usually for a couple of reasons.

Often, the decision or the thing is not aligned with what I really want to be doing. In some instances it's a task I feel obligated to do because I volunteered, or it was assigned to me, or it's on a weird checklist in my head from three years ago. I keep making excuses as to why I can't do those things because, if I'm honest, I don't want to do them anyway. These are the things I need to either power through or let go.

The other reason I know I make excuses is around those things that might be a step in a brave new direction, but seem scary. Maybe I'm putting myself out there, and I'm afraid to be judged. Maybe I'm scared I won't be enough. Fear sits at the heart of these excuses. And if I'm honest with myself, I know I need to meet those excuses with love and courageously confront them.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Free Wallpaper Download: Excuses Rob Us Of Possibilities in the Future

Embracing my new found title of "The Excuse Buster," I tweeted this quote ... "Excuses Rob Us of Possibilities in the Future." It came to me after writing my last post. I paired it with a photo of a passionflower on a cement floor. Hardy and gorgeous, the passionflower grows on anything, anywhere, and looks like an alien plant. I love them. Like most of nature, they have no room for excuses.

So, download the size you want. Use it on your computer, your phone, wherever you need a little reminder to focus on what needs to be done, and bust some of your own excuses.

Excuses Image: iPhone Wallpaper Download
Excuses Image: iPhone 5 Wallpaper Download
Excuses Image: 1280 x 1024 Wallpaper Download
Excuses Image: 1024x768 Wallpaper Download
Excuses Image: 1600x900 Wallpaper Download




Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Excuse Buster! Learning to Live Past the Excuses and Why I do It

Tomorrow I get to wake up, put on a dress and a new sweater and go be on CreateLive with Michelle Ward as part of her "Create Your Dream Career" course. She's bringing me on to talk about being an "Excuse Buster," which surely fits me.

I don't know what the questions will be, but I'll admit I've been pondering answers all day.

Where I find myself lingering, spending time, is around this quote, which is not really about procrastination or making excuses, but about courage.

"Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear." - Meg Cabot

It takes great presence, great courage to really show up and stop making excuses. Everyone has a whole ton of valid of reasons why they can not do something, be something, change something.

But, with love and respect, with lots of work, I learned to stop the excuses. It takes asking oneself, "If not now, then when?" and getting real about what that answer will be. If I don't do this thing right now, will I be OK with the result in 10 minutes, 10 months, 10 years? 

It's also a lot about intention. If my intention is to tackle my Ten in Three and move in to a new phase in my life, then making excuses is only robbing me of my own future. It doesn't serve anyone, and it only sabotages me. That's reason enough to get stuff done.

I can't wait for tomorrow! I sure hope you'll follow along with Michelle's class on CreativeLive, and tune in at 10am to see me as she helps you Create Your Dream Career.