Being Gentle

What does one do when a beloved pet dies?

Be gentle.

A little over six years ago, my husband and I adopted a rescued golden retriever from GRRAND, the rescue group here in Kentucky.  Sophie was somewhere between six and eight years old, and had been rescued from a puppy mill where she had spent her entire life crated and birthing pups.  She came to GRRAND with softball-size mats of feces in her golden coat, they told us.  We brought her home on Easter weekend and it truly felt like a springtime revival.  We were showered with love from this wise, good-hearted dog…it was like she knew she had been rescued and she was ever so grateful.

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Over six years, five moves, the birth of our son, and the launch of my business, Sophie was my constant companion.  She spent quiet nights with me as I nursed Harper for hours,  afternoons in my truck where I worked when the realtors showed our house to sell, mornings at my feet as I pecked at the computer or coached clients by phone.  She was the gentlest and most loving of souls.

We were with Sophie during her last breaths this Monday.  And since then, I’ve found myself needing gentleness.  It has come in a number of ways:  letting the tears come during quiet afternoons now by myself at work,  going for a spontaneous family bowling outing the night that she died,  loving my body and spirit with fresh food, tea and yoga class, as well as surrounding ourselves with laughter and play.

I really don’t want to sound like a Hallmark card.  Really.  I just can’t help but gush over how darn dear she was.  She brought our family constant love.

The good news is that Harper, our four year old, took it in stride.  It’s funny how the preschooler mind works.  The first thing he said after we shared the news was, “Does this mean we can get another pet?  I want a fish.” Well there you go!  Another version of gentle, I guess!

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Weekend for Daddy

Despite some steamy weather, we had a yummy weekend celebratating Daddy and Papa. 

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Homemade cherry pie and baked beets, pancake breakfast for the boys, cards colored by Harper, as well as some afternoon golf-watching…I think we celebrated rather well! Next up will be a visit with Papa Clint for swimming, fishing and perhaps some ping pong playing!  We love you all!

Jullien’s Passion

Earlier this week, I had the treat of meeting Jullien at Department for Motivated Vehicles.  He is fired up about motivating others to find their passion!  Below is an article by Jullien that describe his programs.  Enjoy!

8 Cylinders of Success by Jullien Gordon

Our life is our vehicle to design, drive, and maintain.  Unfortunately, many people end up back-seat driving through life and telling others what to do or they end up driving someone else’s vehicle (company, vision, dream) without ever getting in the driver’s seat of their own life.  It’s time to take back control and renew our license to live.

We tend to take better care of our cars than we do our own lives. We take them in for oil changes, but how often do we clean up the inner turm-oil in our own lives?  We take them in for tire alignment, but how often do we make sure that our goals are aligned with our desired destination? The belief “If it isn’t broke, then don’t fix it” has probably cost people more in the long-run with their cars and lives than someone who believes in regular maintenance. 

Even with a powerful vehicle, sometimes we get lost on the journey of life.  Whereas we can plan a cross-country trip using the directions from Google Maps and be 99% certain that the roads will be there, the same isn’t true with the journey of life.  In life, the world map is evolving and changing so rapidly that 5-year plans don’t work the way they used to work.  In less than a year, the industry you prepared to spend your life working in can disappear.  In this world, we need direction instead of directions.  A set of directions is one way to get to where you’re going, but direction keeps you in alignment even when the directions fail.

Everyone should have a personal GPS system to navigate their life.  Even when plans change and detours occur, a vehicle with a GPS system is able to find alternative ways to reach its destination.  When you’re lost, the GPS system simply recalibrates and creates a new way to get where you want to go. Our life purpose works just like a GPS system.  When we feel lost, we can check in with it to identify where we are in relationship to where we want to go, and create a new way to get there in the moment.

The 8 Cylinders of SuccessTM is a framework created by the leadership team of Department of Motivated Vehicles to help individuals, teams, and organizations discover their GPS system and align their lives with their purpose. It is based on the in depth study of some of the world’s most successful people and companies. The framework is also supported by academic research in positive psychology, self-efficacy, optimal performance, and organizational behavior. Together, the 8 Cylinders of SuccessTM will help you craft a powerful purpose statement to guide your daily and major decisions so that you can live a purpose-filled life full of happiness and success.

Part 1: Your Origin = Where am I?

1. Principles = Your dashboard
How do I measure success?

2. Passions = Your keys
What activities do I love doing?

3. Problems = Your fuel
What social, scientific, technical, and/or personal question or pain do I want to solve?

4. People = Your motor
Who do I want to serve and where?

Part 2: Your Destine-nation = Where am I going?

5. Positioning = Your lane
What do I want to be #1 in the world at?

6. Pioneers = Your pacesetters
Who are my models? Mentors? Guides?

7. Picture = Your road map
What’s my vision for my life?

8. Possibility = Your momentum
What is in-possible in the world with me that would be im-possible without me?

Take 30 minutes to write down your answers to these questions above and compare your answers with how you’re living today.  Identify where you’re in alignment and where you’re out of alignment and create ways to address any inconsistencies.  Knowing what motivates you and why will allow you to move towards alignment with each choice you make so that you can reach your highest personal velocity and achieve everything you want with the life that you have. 

For more information about Jullien’s coaching or consulting on the 8 Cylinders of SuccessTM visit www.drivingschoolforlife.com or email jullien@drivingschoolforlife.com directly.

Weekend Musings

What was so lovely about our last couple of days?  Well, let’s see…

homemade pizza and blanket picnics

Saturday morning coffee and walk to the park, bargain shopping at Sustain, chocolate chip cookie baking, cookout supper with friends

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green eggs on Sunday morning, a “boys” trip to Lowe’s, watermelon coolers, work on our jungle of a backyard, flowers for Harper’s room, lots of Candyland games

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oh, and all the hugs, snuggles, giggles, and hand-holding a mama could want!

p.s.  Here’s how to make your own watermelon coolers:  blend 8 cups of chopped watermelon with a few cups of lemonade or white grape juice; strain seeds and pulp.  Pour mix to fill half your cup and then add sparkling soda.  Add some fresh mint on top.  Enjoy!

Cafe Wisdom

One of the simple ways I am renewing life these days is being a member of Jennifer Louden’s membership site, the Comfort Cafe.  I’m a Cafer.  One of the treats we enjoy each month is a WisdomCast, a conversation by telephone with a guest speaker.  Lisa Sonora Beam, the author of The Creative Entrepreneur, joined us yesterday. 

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One of my favorite parts of the conversation was when Lisa said something like this:

“If you have [creative] blocks, do something with them.  They are just like wooden blocks a child would play with.  You can grow and learn from them.  [Being blocked] is a process, not something to get over.  Creativity is a relationship you have with yourself.  How would you be a good mother to your child?  Treat your creativity that way.  It will inform you; it’s coming from your heart and soul.  Find processes to dialogue with it.”

Isn’t this refreshing?  So how would I mother my blocks, my creative processes, if they were my son?  I would take deep breaths, I would listen for messages behind the obvious, I would lean into my intuitive hits around what to do next.  Of course, in the dailyness of mothering these responses don’t happen automatically, all the time, for me.  It takes me being mindful…and often giving grace to circle back when I get myself off track.  It takes checking in with others for perspective and encouragement.  It takes trusting the process of healthy development.  It takes always coming back to my intention:  choosing love and trust over fear and frustration.

My creative process these days is asking me to feed it, to rest with it, to explore with it.  To trust it.  Where are you in relationship to your creativity?

If you want to check out the Comfort Cafe membership, sign up this week for Jennifer Louden’s newsletter here.  She’ll be giving away five tastes of the Cafe this week for new readers so sign up soon!  Tell her your friendly Cafer sent ya!

Inspirations

I’ve been meandering around the blogosphere for the last few weeks as I get my feet wet as a newbie blogger.  What incredibly gifted and inspiring people are out there…sharing their thoughts, questions and creations with us! 

I’m taking great comfort in knowing that other women are sharing their hearts with the world.  Many of them are mamas creating work they love while balancing their energies for family and community.  Many of them have multiple projects simmering at once.  Some are in business, some are artists, others are stay-at-home mamas and others work day jobs while crafting on etsy.  All of them are living out loud…their stories, their passions, their vision, their questions, and their balancing acts.

Here is a random sample in no particular order of the inspiring women I am discovering; I hope you delight in them as much as I am…and know we do indeed have a tribe of like-minded souls around us!

Soul Support

Several years ago, my mom gifted me with a little bundle of Soul Support cards made by artist Deb Koffman. 

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This teeny package is about the size of a pack of gum and each card has a different message on it.  Deb says they are meant to “set intentions, get unstuck, take the next step…or anyway that supports your soul.” 

Here’s a card I’ve just randomly pulled for all of us today:  You don’t have to be perfect…you just have to be delighted.Find out more about Deb and her cards here

These cards inspired me to create my own deck of Renewal cards. 

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Each of my cards has a different word of action that describes the coaching journey.  I love having folks pull a card from the deck to see what message they will receive for the day.  It’s so fun!  You can design your own deck of cards with pictures or words here

Enjoy your weekend, y’all!