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.

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Dream is Free, The Hustle is Sold Separately: The Recession is Bullhonkey with The When I Grow Up Coach

Today I'm pretty excited because I have a little guest post action going on over at Michelle's blog. She has a cool series she calls "The Recession is Bullhonkey," and in today's post I share a bit about my job journey over the last few years.

Here's my post.

It was October of 2010 and we’d just had our son the month before. I was out to dinner with some friends after going to a retreat with them. My friend Kevin was talking about his job, at a credit union, and how he’d just gotten promoted to a VP spot.

“Do you need any project managers?” I blurted out, knowing I had no desire to return to the job I’d left. The commute, the hot and cold nature of the three owners, the long hours of advertising. All of it left me feeling empty or angry, depending on the day. I could not face going back there.

“Actually,” Kevin said, “We do have a PM that’s going out on maternity leave in January and we need someone to cover her projects for three or four months. It would be freelance.”
My heart skipped a beat. Yes!  And a new adventure! I was totally in.

I loved that job....

Click on over to Michelle's blog to read the rest!


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Big News! CreativeLive Interview with Michelle Ward

Big news! One of my favorite people and THE all around awesome life coach, Michelle Ward, is going to be teaching a FREE three day course on CreativeLive on September 11-13.

And, get this, she's asked me to join her on that Friday to be part of an interview session! I was really honored and thrilled that she asked me to talk a bit about "Feeling the Career Fear but Diving In Anyway." Or, as I see it, the story of how I found my way to my big Ten in Three project.

So, if you know me (or you don't, or you haven't seen me since high school or YDS, or that time we worked on the Olympics together at Quokka Sports), I'd love to have you tune and and catch me "On Air" with Michelle around 10am on Friday, September 12. I'll be in studio with Michelle, since the CreativeLive offices are here, in San Francisco. The interview should last 15-20 minutes.

And, this is a great chance for you to get a free three course with Michelle, which is totally unheard of. So head over and RSVP :)


via CreativeLive: Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Puff the Magic Dragon: A Boy and His Dragon

My three year old son, who's nickname around here is Zoom, loves dragons. I can't say just when the fascination started, but it must have been a couple of years ago. It doesn't completely surprise me that he loves the beasts, I too adored Elliot (Pete's Dragon), and Puff.

Puff the Magic Dragon is a song that I strongly equate with childhood. We sang it at my house growing up. We sang it at summer camp, and later as a counselor at Kennolyn, we sang it with our campers around the campfire.

And so when Zoom was about a year old, I showed him a silly little video about Puff. And he loved it.

In Pacific Grove, California - Zoom and his Dragon!

This week, on the morning of first day of preschool, Zoom asked me to play the Puff video. We sat on his bed, watching. I sang along.

Zoom got so quiet. And I looked down and he was crying near the end of the song.

"What's wrong," I asked.

"Momma, what happened to Jackie Paper? They said he stopped coming to see Puff. Where he go," he asked quietly.

"Jackie grew up, Zoom. He got to be a big boy and stopped playing with dragons," I tried to explain.

"Momma, I never want that to happen to me. I always want to play with dragons," he told me. And this last line tore at my heart and made me cry. "Momma, why are you crying?"

"Because I want you to always play with dragons, too," I told him. And then we hugged and sang along and we were fine.

I'm grateful for this boy who loves his dragons, who can't imagine a world without them. I'm grateful that he's allowed me to remember so many of the things that I loved in childhood, and that he's let me relive those moments again. And, I'm touched by this moment, on a morning before he goes off to his new big boy class, when he quietly tells me that he is a boy full of magic, of wonder, of light and goodness and love. And I'm grateful for every second that I get to spend with him and his dragons.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Struggling to Live a Balanced Life: How "Shoulds" Effect How We See Things

My search for the last year has been specifically around finding balance, and it is the topic for the next retreat I am leading. And my experiences over the last year have been full of not only searching for balance, but also in trying to actually define what balance would look like.

And here's what I wonder...

Is Balance the choice to actively juggle every ball that is thrown my way, and keep everything moving?


Is Balance really about defining boundaries, making choices about what is best for myself and my family, learning to say NO to things that don't work (or no longer work), and finding an equilibrium between the "shoulds" and the "want tos"?

Recently, I've come to define balance as the latter. Balance is an active choice. It's deciding what works, what a person wants, what one needs in their life. And it's about walking away from things that don't work.

"When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give time for the right things to catch up." - Rachel Ann Nunes

Truly, a lot of the "wrong things" are the same thing as what I've labeled as "shoulds." This is the stuff that each of us thinks we "should" do, often without a specific reason or notion as to why we "should" do it. For me, it's often the vague, nagging sense that society expects it of me, or is judging me against a mythical woman who does everything she "should."

I should stay in a "good" career like project management and stay the course with my job because I have a child and a family and it would be unwise to risk our stability.

I should have a second child (or get a dog, or both) because my son needs a playmate / is lonely, or because families should have two children.

I should be able to do everything - keep a clean house, cook, get groceries, do laundry, exercise and sleep eight hours a night.

For me, chasing all of these shoulds and wrong things often goes hand in hand in the search for balance. And for that reason, I've come to realize that the word "balance" is often used as another word that is similar to the word perfection. It's another way that we end up judging ourselves, because we think we "should" balance everything.

Instead, though, Balance is about finding the good mix of what a person wants, what they long to do, and finding a way to make a living doing that. It's not about doing all of the things, but about doing the right things. It's not about going for broke emotionally or physically to do all the things one "should" do. It's about making brave choices about what one wants to do with their life.

Part of my journey for the last year has been looking at each of my "shoulds" and mindfully determining if it's still a fit, if it's do-able, if it has a place in my life. I've replaced quite a few of them with things that fit me now, and things that feel truthful and honest. I'm still in the middle of it. The three shoulds from above had turned into something closer to:

I will stay in my current job for now, and move into something more entrepreneurial over the next few years. I'll create a solid plan for myself and my family so it's not a huge risk, and Sean and I will make an educated decision together to except any risks that it entails.

We might get a dog in the next few years because Zoom would like one. We will wait until he's old enough to help care for an animal. A fish has been a good place to start.

I can't do everything, and that is OK. The house is clean-ish. Sean cooks dinner and I do breakfast. We often have groceries delivered because we prefer to spend the time as a family on weekends. I'm aiming for around 10,000 steps a day and I'm working on getting more sleep.

It's been a real learning experience for me, turning shoulds around, and questioning them. I like that my idea of "balance" has changed. It's manageable. I'm less anxious about it, and I've stopped worrying so much.

If you're struggling with "balance," it might be worth writing down all of your internally assigned "shoulds," and listing all of the things you're trying to juggle. Are they all things that you chose to own? Are some of them items that you took on because society, your family, your friends thought you "should" do? Write them out and give yourself some time to think on them, and then decide what you might be able to let go, or rewrite.