For the past 6 weeks, I've been employing 8th graders for a few hours on Fridays.
It gives me a crew to help with weeding, harvesting, and other special farm projects.
It's also helping me refine my leadership style for this particular audience of 13 year olds.
I see it as an opportunity to plant seeds.
Seeds of what it means to have a job, to be a hard worker, to advocate for yourself, and to hone in on what makes you feel intrinsically motivated (beyond hanging with your friends).
I usually allow for one perfectly sarcastic complaint at the end of our shifts for everyone to have a good laugh, but today we ended with a gratitude circle.
Gratitude for nature, our friends, the ability to work on a far, the ability to see our progress throughout the morning.
One of my highlights today was watching two boys harvesting peas.
One of them said...
"you have to look within to find inner peas."
I have always been one to have a lot of projects happening simultaneously.
Its how I roll.
Sometimes its overwhelming and then sometimes it feels like pure pleasure to have so many things I care about to work on.
cleaning the house
mucking the horse stalls
volunteering on our local school board
At any given time....each one of these things can take over all priorities.
That's ok...because sometimes that's necessary.
And somedays....I putter around between these loves of my life - giving each project a quick high five.
projects incomplete...but life in focus.
How about you?
Where are you focused these days?
In rural Colorado, we often can't count on the internet or cell service for our communication needs. This is frustrating and annoying at times, but really points out how reliant we are on modern communication for human connection. This has been especially true during these past few months.
In the equine world - horses mostly utilize subtle cues and energy to connect with each other in their herds. If these subtle cues aren't read quick enough.... then the cues get louder and bigger, like a bite or a kick or taking flight.
As an Equus Coach and horse owner, I have been trying to learn the art of reading their subtle cues and building connection with subtle energy.
What I've learned is that the more disconnected I am to myself or my own body in the moment, the more hinderance there will be in clearly communicating with them.
I've noticed that with my human herd too.
How lack of connection with self can lead to miscommunication and disconnection with others.
And how that often leads to...
Emotions have been a big subject in our family lately. There is so much going on both in our household and externally.
Can you relate?
We all process our emotions very differently and can be challenged to feel connected to each other when we have different sensitivities, desires and needs.
This can add additional overwhelm to an already challenging time.
I recently listened to this interview with Dr. Marc Brackett about his bppk, Permission to Feel, on Brené Brown's Unlocking Us Podcast.
Have you heard it?
It's a powerful message, grounded in research, and offering some strategy for allowing and processing emotions to help you and your family thrive.
It helped me shift to some new perspective... I hope it helps you too.
If we were going to plan a road trip or a vacation together, we would probably start with one of two guiding questions:
1. Where do we want to go?
2. What do we want to do?
I'm not saying those are easy answers- but they are crucial questions to ask if we are going to get on the same page about our experience together.
Once we've nailed those questions down, then we can begin planning our route.
If we encounter roadblocks, then we can re-calculate.
Without our shared vision...both of those next steps would be pretty challenging and probably lead us to either give up or have some serious conflict along the way.
Any shared vision has to begin with shared ownership and buy-in individually. Which means that each person needs to clarify for themselves:
1. What matters most to me?
2. What am I willing to let go of?
3. How do I want to show up in partnership and communication?
This year, 2020,...
I actually wrote this piece about a year ago...but I thought is was just as relevant this week.
The past several weeks we have been prepping the soil in our garden to plant seeds.
This means digging up the weeds that have taken root already, and clearing out the clutter of the debris that accumulated last summer, fall and over the winter.
It means creating intentional space for the things we WANT to grow.
If we don't create this intentional space and fill it with things we want... then it will be overrun by things we don't want.
I can't help but think this is the perfect metaphor for time and priorities in general.
If we don’t create intentional space and time for the things we want to grow in our lives... then our days will be filled “managing the weeds” rather than harvesting the bounty.
Do you ever find yourself reacting to demands of the day as it unfolds, rather than creating the intentional space for what feels most important?
I keep hearing different phrases, metaphors, and analogies about our current situation- that we are, in fact, sharing with our global community.
"We are all in the same boat"
"Nope, not the same boat, but the same storm"
I'm not sure if its a boat or a storm...but what feels true is that there are many people in positions of leadership around the world and in our neighborhoods who are trying to find the pathway to lead through chaos.
Some are creating more chaos as their strategies emerge and some are creating more of a shared vision of stability.
For some businesses and organizations, their strategy to stabilize may include having to lay people off....which creates a different kind of chaos in our communities.
For some people, stabilizing now means going deeper into debt or asking for help in order to keep people employed or their family fed.
For others, it means tapping into savings and reserves.
There is not a right or wrong way to handle these situations....and there...
At the beginning of 2020, I had big plans to pivot my business to focusing on in-person events/ retreats for women entrepreneurs and leaders. This included plans for international retreats 2-3 times a year as well as hosting retreats at our Farm Retreat in Salida, CO.
Obviously, a re-direct needed to happen...
and I'm grateful.
I'm grateful because 10 years ago, I landed on this farm with a vision of growing food, hosting celebrations, creating community, and facilitating leadership retreats & workshops.
At some level, all of those things have happened...maybe not the way I initially envisioned, but they have happened.
Now, with a full six weeks of a consistent daily routine- feeding chickens, planting and watering starts, caring for horses and observing seasonal changes, I believe I've come full circle to a stronger vision...
A vision that includes a focus both personally and professionally on: