Are You Blocked?

 

The other day, I was in the pasture with my horses and decided I would catch our gelding, Wizard, to spend some time with him.

He is a willing partner, always curious about what we might do together.  He doesn't hesitate to let me halter him, unless of course something spooks him.

I always take it easy, its not an abrupt or demanding process.  I invite him to participate and he lowers his head and I halter him up.  We breathe together and stand for a minute.

As we begin to walk, our mare (Barbie Slew), starts to get ahead of us and blocks our path.  I pivot and try to move around her and she pivots too.  It becomes a game of how far I can get around her before she blocks me again.  I can feel the frustration boiling up.

I'm definitely focusing on the "obstacle" and how to move around it.  I'm thinking about why she is blocking me.  Is it because she doesn't want me to take him?   Does she wish I was taking her?  WHAT is...

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Sense of Place

Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty
in the world we find.— Terry Tempest Williams

 

My new favorite morning ritual, after coffee, is to bundle up, grab the ball thrower and head out with the dogs to walk the perimeter of the farm.

In this walk, I'm not allowed to look at what needs to be done...
The only goal is to observe what is changing, what is consistent, and what is "new" to me.

This more present observation has served as a meditation and connecting force to provide a more secure sense of place.

Sense of place is defined as the meanings of and attachment to a place held by an individual or a community (Semken 2005) from Global Sustainability 2021.

It is through this meaning and attachment that we become committed to its health, vibrancy and stewardship.


So whether its your kitchen, backyard, or neighborhood block or even your website...might you consider cultivating a deeper sense of place with it (maybe just for a day)?

...

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On Purpose

Over the past several months, our Joy Harvest- Fall Leadership Council discussed how to incorporate personal sustainability strategies into business (and the business of life).

As we held our closing retreat this past week, we talked about honing in on "purpose" and how layered that word can be as not everyone feels a strong sense of purpose every day as they navigate the complexities of business development, leading families, and navigating a changing environment.

Oxford defines the action of purpose as " to have as one's intention or objective", which is a simple lens in which to define purpose in big or small ways as we enter a new year.

If having purpose simply means creating intentions,  doesn't that free us up to shift on purpose whenever we want to or need to depending on current circumstances  or circumstances we are hopeful to co-create?

All that being said, perhaps a life of purpose is one simply built on intentional action on behalf of what matters...

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Take A Break

My family loves to go river rafting. This summer we hired professional guides and paddled in the Grand Canyon. It had been awhile since we were in someone else's boat, following their commands, and we did so willingly as it felt like the stakes were high.

I loved watching the Guide read the water ahead and then tell us to paddle forward two strokes or four or paddle hard or take a break.  Each of those commands represented a strategy to navigate the moment - fully knowing what's coming up around the riverbend.

Taking a break becomes a super important strategy to be able to sustain the paddling through the big waves.

It's no different in navigating business.

We know that success comes from showing up, doing hard things, and building systems over time that will make your operations more effective and efficient.

 We make waves on purpose and sometimes by accident- and if we are following the river analogy, we won't be able to sustain our work without...

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Change Your Mind

Chances are if you are feeling burned out in your business, you have some thoughts or belief systems that aren't helping you.

I think it's important to remember that no product, service or system is created without a vision and a belief that it is possible.

If you are struggling to believe, it's time to tackle those limiting thoughts and make a choice of what you want to believe on purpose.

Why? Because our thoughts and feelings determine our actions and behaviors which lead to our results.

If what and how you think is paramount to your future desired state, don't you think it's crucial that you "mind your mind" and change it if need be?

The first step in this process is to track your thoughts and become more aware of the current beliefs that are swirling around up there.

What thoughts or beliefs do you have about your business - that might not be serving you?

As you track these thoughts, notice the sensations or feelings that come up for you.  

Then, make a...

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Track Your Success

Some goals are measurable and some are intangible and hard to quantify but are just as important to plan for and to track their success.

At the beginning of each week I set the intention for where I want to put my time, energy and focus both in my personal life and in my business. At the end of the week, I reflect back and see if my actions followed my intentions. 

This routine allows for some closure to the week and some clarity around where I am on track toward my larger business and life goals.

These are some of the key questions I ask:

What went well this week?
What went off the rails and why?
What did I learn?
How did or do I move forward?
Who am I grateful for this week?
How did my actions create a positive impact at home, work or in the community? 
What is one tiny way I can celebrate (however big or small the accomplishment)?

This weekly practice has a cumulative impact over time as it helps to create new intentions and...

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Picture the Exit

Thinking about the end of your business while you are starting it or navigating its growth can seem counter intuitive, but it can actually be one of the most powerful planning strategies. This process can be just as much fun as planning an adventure, road trip or vacation.

In each of those scenarios, you are likely to have a purpose for your adventure, a destination and some idea of what you want to experience, right? And at the end - you can picture getting home safely, having some time to decompress and unpack, and then having memories to return to.

Your business is no different. All things eventually come to an end and it can bring great peace and joy to know what that desired state looks like ahead of time, so that you can make decisions along the way to support that end.

  • running a school
  • long term lease/rental to a farmer
  • tiny house community
  • RV park
  • subdivided homes and condos
  • raising livestock
  • developing a restaurant

While some of these ideas have been interesting...

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Reconnect with Your "Why"

When we lose site of our vision and purpose in business, this leads to feelings of overwhelm, "swirling" in indecision and ultimately feelings of burnout.

One of my favorite exercises with clients who are just starting out or re-visioning their businesses is to go back to the core drivers and values...the big "why's".

  • Why did you (or do you) want to start your business?
  • Why is your business concept helpful to others (your customer base)?
  • Why are you the perfect person to pull this off?

I have found that spending time answering these basic, core questions can result in insights that I wasn't expecting (both for myself and my clients).

For example, if one of your "why's " is more time freedom, but you find you are glued to your computer with endless feelings of "there's not enough time"- then something is not in alignment and its worth exploring strategies for making a shift.

The true "bottom line" in business is not how much money you are bringing in... it would be better...

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Harvesting Joy Through Chaos

I'm guessing you have heard the term "reap what you sow." Unfortunately, our hard work doesn't always equate to desired results. Sometimes things don't go as planned, we don’t get a return on that investment, or the seeds we've planted don’t grow ( OR the frost comes right before harvest :).

Regardless of your current situation or the outcome of your efforts - you can harvest joy and REAP reward by following these simple steps: 

- Rest - rest is critical for your body, mind and spirit to renew. It is also critical for decision making and prioritizing. If you are feeling a lack of joy or increased chaos- sleep on it! If this is hard for you...consider mediation, slow walks in nature, warm baths, healthy diet and turning off the screen.

E - Explore Your Nature - each of us are equipped with an internal navigation system that lets us know when something feels “warmer” or “colder”. Track yourself...what interests you?...

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Compare & Contrast for that Special Sauce?

I think we all know that it's dangerous to compare ourselves to others, right?

What good becomes of it?

Yet its human nature, like moths to a flame, to take a peek at others' lives and businesses and do a little comparison.

This can be a helpful exercise and can serve you when you are looking for new models, a way to differentiate yourself, or inspiration. It can be harmful when the comparison leaves you feeling like who you are or what you are doing might not be enough.

If you find yourself in this situation, consider trying this deliberate activity of compare and contrast by answering these three simple questions:

  • How are you and this other person or business similar? (find 3 ways)
  • How are you uniquely different? (find 3 ways)
  • How does this serve you and/or your clients/ customers? (find 3 ways)

As you are answering these questions, notice which answers make you feel stronger and more confident. Consider how you might put more intention and focus there. 

This...

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Visioning Your Sustainable Business

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