Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hitting the Floor Running...

This is the time of year when vacations have come to an end, kids go back to school and at work, many of us hit the floor running. It’s a time to build, to grow, to get as much ‘in’ as one can before the holiday season is upon us. It’s time to clear away the mental clutter and focus on what you want to accomplish. This is the time of year when I am the most creative. After a quiet summer (well it’s all relative : ) lots of writing, creating concepts, programs, material to use in my practice, it’s time to put it all to the test. It’s also the time of year when I make the most changes in my life.

A man must be able to cut a knot, for everything cannot be untied; he must know how to disengage what is essential from the detail in which it is enwrapped, for everything cannot be equally considered; in a word, he must be able to simplify his duties, his business and his life. - Henri Frederic Amiel

A beautiful way for saying “Simplify your life” …a catch phrase many coaches use with clients who are wound so tight, have so many responsibilities and stressors (many self-imposed) personally and professionally, that they only way they can slow down to the speed of life is to cut knots, or, as I often say let go of the rope in a tug of war. The most damaging kind of tug of war is warring within yourself. “I could have done it better” “I should have made another choice” “Why didn’t I listen when everybody told me not to…..” "How stupid could I have been?" etc etc.

Then the war begins, paralyzing….making one stay stagnant in a time or situation that brought them down, not helped them soar. From that point on the spiral downwards continues until one hits rock bottom.

Choices come into play. Choices as to what we do, what we want, how we think, remember what it was that worked not dwell on what didn’t; learning from past mistakes not living among them. And then slowly but surely growth begins. Life is simpler….living in the present gives focus and energy. Using the past as a compass helps guide people to where they want to go instead of going backwards into an abyss.

I remember speaking at a conference when the discussion turned to being successful and self-sabotage. One of the attendees spoke about watching her once successful practice go down the tubes and she couldn’t figure out why. Well, being in a room filled with coaches, the questions started flying. It turned out that her whole family had failed in their perspective careers, businesses etc and once she became successful she was ashamed that she was doing so well when other members of her family were losing their homes, possessions and were out of work. Instead of inspiring them by example, she was on her way to joining their ranks.

Self-sabotage. We often hear how we are our own best enemies. Once things start going well we find fault, instead of looking for the next level to climb in the scheme of things, it’s anticipating the fall and in subtle ways making sure we eventually do fall.

People can grow as high as they reach, go as far as their choices take them and live their dreams when they take the time to acknowledge them.

Without leaps of imagination, or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all, is a form of planning. - Gloria Steinem

Set your sights on the possibilities and reach for them. Cut the knot that binds you to a place you know is toxic and reach for one the rope that will pull you up and out of the ditch. Thomas Leonard used to say “Ceiling? What ceiling?” There is no end to what you can live if you design it, reach for it and begin to live it.

Donna Karlin

*Note: Here are a few pictures to share with you from this past weekend....pictures of calm, peace and beauty....

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