I was thinking this week about my plants in the garden and how some of them thrive in certain spaces and some of them don’t.
On the back of their seed packets are specific instructions for how deep the seeds should be planted, how far apart from each other, when they should be planted (soil temp), etc.
Are people really any different?
Do we each actually have a set of ideal planting and cultivating instructions that if we followed we would set ourselves up to thrive and be more resilient?
What would those be for you?
If you were to write a description of your planting instructions- what would those look like?
Here are some ideas:
I need to head to the big city to get my car serviced, so I’m taking myself on a date.
I plan to sit and savor food in a restaurant and go to a book store and stay in a hotel.
I don’t feel a strong need to “get away” from anything, I just know that spending some quality, intentional time alone is so important.
Without a list, without expectation, without coordinating logistics.
I know that taking this time for me makes me more present and open with others.
It makes me return to home with gratitude for the life I lead and the people I love.
And… it's fun.
What would you do on a date with yourself?
Perhaps it's time to schedule that.
When I think about the freedom I want most for myself and for you…
it's freedom from suffering.
Suffering from thoughts that make us feel like we’re somehow not enough, or that there isn’t enough or that any good measure of success starts and ends with our financial statements.
Suffering from ideas that the weight of the world, family or business rests solely on our shoulders.
Suffering because a mindset of productivity and responsibility without balance, leads to results of disconnection and overwhelm.
Suffering because we know that inequities of freedom for “some” are at the cost of freedom for all and sometimes we feel powerless to affect change- even in ourselves.
As we enter a weekend intended to celebrate America’s independence and freedom, I invite us to consider if our freedom is in balance or if we are shackled to ideas or ideals that actually create less freedom in our lives or the lives of...
18 years ago my partner (Joshua) and I kayaked the Green River in Utah and paddled through the confluence of the Green and the Colorado.
While the majority of our trip was a float, the confluence of these two major rivers during spring runoff provided a little turbulence and swirly moments that required us to pay just a bit more attention to our surroundings and surrender to the increased flow of the river.
A few months later we got married in the mountains of Colorado with wedding rings inscribed with confluence 2003. The image of these two rivers coming together to form one massive waterway- was the image we wanted to hold onto of the life we wanted to design and live together.
In life and business, I can think of so many examples when the merging of ideas, values, or priorities have the opportunity to coalesce into something powerful if we plan for, navigate, and then surrender to (rather than resist) a little turbulence as it...
This is not an advertisement.
It's a metaphor.
And...if you know anything about me...you know I love a good metaphor.
Recently I gathered with some girlfriends for a ladies "power day".
We divided up the day and traveled to each other's houses and helped with projects.
We jumped in and did what was needed at each house. It was fun and productive (we removed wall paper in my bathroom....hooray!).
Anyway, I was introduced to this new tool. The scouring stick.
You see....I have hard, well water. In all of my toilets and sinks there are stains from the hard water that nothing will remove. Not even bleach.
This little scouring stick....got rid of it in less than 5 minutes.
I have struggled with a strategy for over 10 years....and in less than 5 minutes, it's no longer a struggle or a problem.
So, it got me thinking.....
How often are we trying to solve a problem alone or with the wrong tool?
Perhaps if we are open, our struggles and challenges can be erased when we least...
Are you constantly putting the needs of work, family, or friends ahead of your own?
Do you feel your energy slowly leaking away?
Is there anything that you dream about, that you keep putting on the back burner?
What if you knew with absolute certainty that taking care of yourself first was the best strategy for success at work, with family and friendships?
Would you then put you on the front burner?
And what does that even mean?
I have a hunch that you already know.
I love late night comedy.
This past year it hasn't made me laugh as much as I wanted it to- but I still appreciate the ability to take challenging and painful situations and find some way to make something funny.
The other night I came across a Daily Show video about women in the work force and how they have disproportionately (compared to men) lost their jobs or left their roles due to the challenges of the pandemic. While it was funny that all of the incredibly intelligent women being interviewed were simultaneously caring for their children (on screen)- I know how not funny it is when you are working at home and facing a deadline, or working with a client and your most important little (or let's be real, also adult) humans need something.
Back in October, NPR reported that women were leaving the work force at four times the rate of men and from what I can tell based on various other reports, those trends have not slowed down since.
Are you ALL in?
This is a question I ask myself regularly. It started a few years ago, when I was spread pretty thin with family, farm, business, professional and community responsibilities. I was feeling despairing when some support I thought I had fell through and I was back to square one. I was questioning why it was so hard to find support that was reliable
and why people can't commit. My friend and fellow coach asked me:
"Are YOU all in? Are you giving yourself the support you are requesting of others?"
Damn. That stung at first and I felt armed with defensive thoughts: However, for months that statement stuck with me. I realized that I hadn't been all in on my business. That I wasn't giving myself permission to dive full focus in, to believe in myself, and to commit to my vision. When I looked closer, I realized that same theme was showing up in other areas of my life.
Now, I look at this question as a great measure of where I want to spend my time and...
In 2001, I traveled the country as a "traveling trainer" sponsored by Subaru for the organization Leave No Trace. I spent the year traveling the country on a National Park Tour- training people in outdoor ethics and minimum impact recreation. One of the highlights of this year on the road was the opportunity to stay in unique places, meeting unique people.
While traveling in Maine, I stayed with a friend's family on their farm. I woke up in the morning and sat with the matriarch on her porch- drinking coffee (of course). She said..."can you hear that"- its spring, that's the first sound of the spring peepers (frogs).
Having lived on the road, there was something so endearing about her connection to the land and the seasons and especially her "knowing". I remember craving that kind of connection to a place where I could say..."hear that? its spring".
Fast forward 20 years- here I sit, embarking on my 10th spring at Moonstone...
If you are a child of the 80’s/ 90’s then you are singing this familiar tune right now. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about….ask Alexa to play you Vacation by the Go Gos.
You will not be able to get this out of your head now.
A few years ago (Pre- COVID), we had scheduled 5 days off of work to enjoy Spring Break with our son, Sam. We had ideas of following the snow or the sun in our camper.
Anytime we leave the farm, it means finding help for the horses, chickens and dogs. It means ramping up on house and farm chores to minimize the overwhelm on the other side of a break.
It also means, figuring out what we want to do.
None of those tasks are insurmountable; However, I find that when we have a hard time rallying for any of them, it probably means we need rest and a “simple” plan more than anything.
So we stayed home.
We divided up the days and each of us got to plan 2 of them. As a result we: