Took a walk this morning and my MP3 player decided to play Coach's notes from Volume 4... what perfect timing. Stay connected, stay energized, stay true! Love to you all! Colleen aka Sean's sister!
I owe my entrepreneurial spirit and business know-how to my parents. My Mom is incredibly innovative and taught me how to be resourceful, creative, and get things done. She also passed on her sensibility around money and people. My Dad was the one who gave me great practical business start-up experience and my desire to help grow great people with great ideas! He also was the formal educator in the family, so my writing style and use of parallelism and proper punctuation (some times) is his doing. :)
In the early 90's when I was in college, my Dad learned he was going to be transitioned out of the Federal Government due to the change in administration. He saw it coming so he was able to put a lot of thought into what he would do next. He had a vision and was very clear on where he wanted to go. What he didn't know was how to set up shop, promote his business, and turn his ideas into reality. He asked my Mom and me to help.
Looking back it seemed fairly straight-forward. We focused on the logistics and infrastructure first. After we painted my old bedroom (his new office with a bad paint job no less), we bought him a desk and chair, a few metal file drawers, and of course, file folders and little label tabs (doesn't that make any home office feel official?)
We purchased a computer and a laser printer, set him up with internet (choices were AOL or CompuServe - we chose CompuServe dial-up service). We also bought Word Perfect and Quicken. Next on the list: figure out the reveal codes features for Word Perfect ;-), design a logo, generate a mailing list (not email), find laser labels for printing addresses, and print, stamp, and mail newsletters every month. I created a logo, brochures, business cards, a newsletter template, and we got his name out there. He was my first 'Idea Cultivator' client!
As his business grew, he started selling subscriptions to his newsletter. People would call him to come speak at their conferences and graduation ceremonies, and next thing you know my Dad had a viable business. My Dad just turned 80 this year and guess what, his business is still running... he and my Mom are still traveling, and instead of a newsletter he posts on LinkedIn and sends out emails. I think it's so cool that he had an idea, a vision for what he wanted, and more than 20 years later, it's still thriving!
Storms, house guests, being home with our daughter this summer -- a bit of a whirlwind transitioning into June, but wow, I love the results! We lost internet/email for about a week thanks to various circumstances (moving the web site to a new host caused one hiccup and storms seem to have shorted out some wiring outside the house) I was able to catch my breath. I unplugged in many ways. I set aside 2-3 hours in the morning before Emma woke up, and another few hours some evenings to work on the web site, my marketing materials, and write.... WRITE! I have been wanting to write again for years - and voila... three days in a row of writing blog posts, children's books, and even a cookbook with Emma.
I was so busy I didn't realize how much I wasn't enjoying my life. Now I'm picking berries, working in our garden, meeting new neighbors, playing in the pool, talking with friends, and when I do sit down and work, the results are big. I am not spinning on all the little stuff... I'm focused on accomplishing some specific tasks, and they get done with ease. How extremely satisfying to feel like I'm doing something that matters and not just being busy!
And, as if I needed more reminders...how appropriate that my dear friend Sara sent me a blog post from On Being (http://onbeing.org/blog/the-disease-of-being-busy/7023) last week -- which I ignored cause I was too busy. This morning in the still of the morning, I was going to send a 'hello' message to Sara. I saw her message there (the one I ignored -- the one without a reply from me!) The 'doer' in me felt guilty. The new side of me that is emerging remembered what my hubby keeps telling me: "all is at it should be".
I opened the blog posting she sent and read it... As I read it to myself, at times, out loud and with commentary, I had to remind my self to quiet down since Emma was/is still sleeping. I kept saying "YES!" "I so do that!"... the posting completely resonated. Then I read the part Sara sent me on the text message and I got it..I deeply got it:
In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is yourhaal?
Right in the middle of the living room I stopped, gently released my stubborn legs, and eased down to the ground (as much as I am able to ease) and took a breath. I thought about my day and what I really wanted to accomplish. What did I really need to accomplish? Who did I want to connect with? What is my heart aching for?
It was fascinating, as for the first time in a long time, I was able to breathe deeply knowing I was on the right path. My heart wasn't aching, it was feeling joy and gratitude - for Sara, for the article, for the work I am doing, for my family, for my husband, for the time with Emma, for the summer...
This web site, this blog, has been a wonderful journey for me. I have become very clear on who I am in this moment, what I want, and who I want to work with... I have taken a firm stance on when I will work, how I will work, what my life will look like with this new approach toward work.
What is your heart aching for? What would bring you joy and gratitude? What is cluttering your life, your work... your day-to-day? Let me know! Let's cultivate a life that is clear for you in this moment and your future moments, let's grow the ideas deep in your heart, let's remove the weeds that entangle you.
I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.
Mr Safi, thank you for your words of wisdom and clarity! http://onbeing.org/column/omid-safi
Sara, thank you for speaking to my soul, as always!
I am a self-growth junkie, not that it seems to do much good when I am struggling with the stuff of life.
Many of you know, I am in transition or as I like to say, 'unstucking' myself from the middle (middle management, middle life, middle ground). I have recently made some choices, and had some made for me, that created a plot-twist in my life (again!). The result, I had to figure out who I was (yes, again!)...
Ok, I have a pretty good sense of who I am, but somewhere, somehow I lost my voice, my ability to stand in who I truly am. Deep down I have a powerful vision; a calling to stand up and have a voice. Sometimes it's there, sometimes it is playing small waiting for the courage to resurface. Sometimes I get mired in "how do I brand that part of me?" Funny thing is, the answer to all of my searching was so simple: JUST BE ME!
The key for me in this latest growth spurt, was to let go of the attachment to the labels of who I was playing the part of: "corporate employee", "learning professional", "room parent", "dedicated friend", "recovering brain injury patient", "Mom", "Wife"... and just BE ME in all situations.
Wow! A bit too deep for a Tuesday morning blog post, but there is something I'm feeling compelled to share with those of you who are still reading this! ;-)
BE YOU! No matter what your business, your title, your role in the world - do it phenomenally as you! Don't fear being you. Fear NOT being you! What are you missing out on, what is the world missing out on when you don't stand in you? Do it from a place of respect, love, and honor for yourself and others, but DO IT! BE YOU!!!!
Yesterday I was exchanging emails with a friend/mentor/client who had a dilemma. She was injured and could no longer keep a commitment she made with a new client. After some reflection, she decided to reach out to her client and share what happened through an email message. What was fascinating was, all of her power was not lost by showing weakness. In fact, she radiated even more by sharing her vulnerability and truth. Her words were real and raw and reached a deeper level than a professionally crafted email could ever reach! She stated what happened without any drama. She revealed how much this commitment meant to her, and what she could offer instead. She was also very clear on who she is and what she had to offer this client. His response was incredibly positive and she now has some time to heal. She has also earned even more respect for her integrity, honesty, and authenticity. I am excited to see how things will unfold for her and her client!
That's it for today. Thanks for allowing me to share my growth spurt and spread the love! ;-)
Instead I believe in taking on life with the belief everything we do is part of an Alpha, Beta, Pilot or a Release/Version for two reasons:
1) Life is a series of learning experiences. Try, experiment, and see what works and doesn't work when cultivating ideas. Don't focus on creating final products; re-frame your approach to consider each 'release' as a version...for example:
Earlier I said take on life "with the belief EVERYTHING we do is part of an Alpha, Beta, Pilot or Release/Version. I know I said 'everything'. I actually apply this principle to my gardening, to my cooking, to my designs, and even to my marriage and family. I gave up trying to be 'that perfect employee', 'that perfect mom', 'that perfect friend', or even 'that perfect wife'. Tomorrow's dinner will be an interesting version of a stir fry, or maybe not! Hopefully it will be enjoyed by all, if not, I can improvise and add or try to subtract something to create version 1.2 or, worst case scenario, order pizza! :) Perhaps I could just follow a recipe, which I may review one, however, part of the fun of cooking for me is to experiment and play with flavors.
Play with the flavors of your life. Take an idea and experiment with making it 'real'. Sketch out a logo design, start writing that book you have been dreaming about (even if it's just typing some titles of chapters or thoughts), or contact us and share an idea or dream you have for yourself, your business, your organization, or for any project that needs to be launched. We would love to co-create something fantastic with you!
Our garden of ideas are housed in this blog. Much of our work is around innovation -- taking an idea from a space of creativity to action.