What Matters Mondays – July 18, 2016

July 28th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Do you ever do things that you don’t enjoy doing just because you have always done them? For me, that was running. Since I was in my early 20’s, I was a runner. I ran 5km, 10km, ½ marathons, full marathons, the Death Race, even two legs of the Death Race one year before I was honest with myself. I don’t like running!

So about two years ago, I quit running. I still like being fit & healthy, but going for long runs no longer filled me up. I ran because I felt like I had to.

When I quit running and chose Orange Theory and yoga instead, the reaction from some people was hilarious. It went something like this.

Friend: “You want to run this weekend?”

Me: “No.”

Friend: “Next week?”

Me: “No.”

Friend: “Why?”

Me: “Because I don’t like running.”

Friend: laughs

Friend: “Seriously, when can you run?”

Me: “Never. I don’t like running.”

Insert long pause and confusion here.

 

That was about two years ago.

Last night I realized something…I do like running. I just don’t like competition. I don’t like expectation. I don’t like “shoulds” and “supposed to’s”.

So much of my previous running was preparing for and entering races. I put expectations on myself. I had to finish in this time. I had to climb that hill without stopping. I had to improve my time on this race. I had to run for at least one hour if not several hours. I had to keep up with running partner. It took all of the fun out of it!

Last night, I went to watch my son’s baseball game and a group of the moms were going out to run 5km before the game. They asked me if I wanted to come. Initially I hesitated…thinking, “I don’t run anymore.” But they said they ran for fun, they took breaks, they did it for the social part…and because one of the mom’s daughters (who just finished grade 2) was coming with us. So I chose to join them.

We ran 5km. We talked. We laughed. And mostly, I was so inspired by the enthusiasm of young Megan (who kicked our butts…this girl can run!). She was so happy and positive. I loved every minute of it! When we got back to the ball game, I was so grateful that I went. I truly enjoyed every step of the run.

Here’s what I learned last night:

  • I can run any distance I want. I don’t have to run an hour or more for it to feel worth it!
  • Running for social enjoyment and nothing else is what I want to do.
  • I will run when I want to…never because I have to.
  • I will only run when I can bring the same enthusiasm to it that Megan had.

Am I a runner? Not really. Do I value health…absolutely. Health is one of my top 10 values. So I will continue to choose things that honor health, but also honor ME and what matters to me!

It’s okay when something you thought you loved fades…it opens space for new things or new ways to look at things.

Are there things that you do that you no longer love? Are there things you need to say yes to or no to? Do you need to redefine the boundaries around things you do?

Do you need to bring Megan’s enthusiasm to the things you choose to do?

 

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What Matters Mondays – July 11, 2016

July 28th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

So many people are uncomfortable with other people’s discomfort. Last week, I had a tough week. I had to say goodbye to our exchange student who has been here for one year. Throughout the week, as it got closer to her leaving date, I noticed my sadness creep in. I would cry at the thought of it, and I would cry if people asked me about it. And that’s who I am. If I feel sad…I cry! I can’t help it! I’m the person who cries at commercials on TV too!

Here’s the part that challenges me…

When people saw me cry, heard me talk about it or post about it, the first reaction I got most often was, “Don’t be sad.” And then it was followed by things like, “Be grateful,” or “It was such a great year.”

Here’s what I know…

I am grateful. I am incredibly grateful that I got to know her like I did. And…it was a great year. In fact, it was a FANTASTIC year. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get to feel sad. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt.

What I know is that people don’t like to see others in discomfort. They want to say things to take the hurt away. They want to say things to make you smile again. They want you to be okay. Those are all awesome, and I love the people who want those for me, but for me, I need to feel the sadness too!

I need to cry. I need to say I’m sad. I need to feel the uncomfortable feelings as much as I feel the happy, grateful ones. And there is nothing wrong with that!

We are in a world where suck it up, push through, you got this, toughen up are expectations we put on ourselves.

Vulnerability is where we allow ourselves to expose our emotions. And it scares the crap out of many people.

The trick is to figure out how to be with someone when they are being vulnerable. How to be with someone when they are in discomfort.

We want to fill the space.

We want to talk.

We want to fix.

We want to make them feel better.

But the truth is, we need someone who will sit with us in the space of the discomfort. Someone who will say, “I’m sorry this is so hard/sad.” Someone who will sit and not talk but just be with us. Someone who will ask if we need a hug. Someone who will love us not despite our vulnerabilities, but because of them.

We all handle emotional situations differently. But I know, feeling your emotions rather than stuffing them down or armoring up and pretending they aren’t there is necessary. We need to feel the tough stuff, and we need to be the person who allows those we love to be in discomfort. It’ll pass, but being surrounded by people who allow for the tough emotions is the best feeling in the world.

 

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What Matters Mondays – July 4, 2016

July 5th, 2016 by admin Leave a Comment

Are you or have you ever struggled with what your purpose is? For me, I used to think my purpose and my roles were one in the same. I thought my purpose was a mom, wife, teacher, life coach…etc. But I was so wrong. My purpose has always been part of me. Long before I was a mom, wife, teacher or life coach. In order to have a meaningful life, it’s important to get connected to your purpose.

Your purpose is the best part of you. The part you love being. The part that lights you up. The part that makes others want to be around you.

Your purpose is WHY YOU ARE HERE….you are meant to share it with the world!

Try this exercise…

  1. Make a list of all the things someone might say about you if they were writing your eulogy or a speech about you. What makes people drawn to you? How would they describe you?
  2. Check your ego as you write this list. It’ll try to convince you of what to put or not put on the list. Listen to your heart. Trust that it knows. Write every word that comes to mind.
  3. Once your list is done, read over all the words and let them sink in.
  4. Leave the list for a bit and go do something else.
  5. Come back to the list and read it again.
  6. Look for 2-3 words that stand out to you. Star them. Who do you love being? What lights you up when you are being it?
  7. Once you have found your 2-3 words, you have found your purpose.

 

EXAMPLE: This is my list (* ones are my purpose)

Leader

Funny*

Motivating

Teacher

Shy

Passionate

Competitive

Athletic

Good listener

Empathetic

Responsible

Determined

Optimistic*

Smart

Sensitive

 

My purpose in life is to bring optimism and laughter to those around me. When I got really clear about my purpose about 5 years ago…it was awesome and a relief all at the same time. I didn’t have to be superwoman and show up differently based on where I was and what my role was. I got to show up with two things and that was enough! If I can show up with laughter and optimism to every part of my life no matter what my role is…everyone wins! And it feels damn good!

 

I did this with my boys about 3 years ago and here are their words:

Nolan – leadership, encouragement, authenticity

Spencer – kindness, laughter, adventure

*It’s crazy to watch them and see that these traits have always been part of who they are and continue to be today!

I’d love to hear what your life purpose is. Please share below.

 

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