Giving Thanks….And Not Just at Thanksgiving

I LOVE this time of year! It’s great to spend time with family and friends, share some stories, have some laughs, watch some football and eat some great food. OK – those are all wonderful but this is time for us to give thanks for what we have. It’s a season of plenty and abundance.

My parents were BIG on saying “thank you”. And it wasn’t just about saying, “thank you”, it was about meaning it. They taught me that there are reasons “why” we are thankful for the things in our life and the gifts we receive.

During this season, I pause to give thanks for what I have and not dream about what I don’t.

I am humbled and blessed.

A year ago, I got married. At 47 years old, I married the love of my life. We were surrounded by family and friends who love us very much. Each day, we celebrate and give thanks for our relationship and what it means to both of us. We have learned to take little for granted. I am grateful for each text, gesture and kindness all of which remind me daily, I am loved and loving.

I am thankful for almost five years at my current organization and as I leave my organization next week, I am thankful for the experiences and learning I have gained on this job as I launch a full-time coaching practice. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pursue my dream and step forward to serving others through coaching.

I am grateful for my health. My overall numbers are good and while I have a few pounds to lose, I am excited to go on that journey to lose the weight and see how my body gets stronger and healthier.

I am blessed to have a wonderful circle of friends and family. Without them, my life would be empty and heartless. They shape my character and make me be a better person each and every day. And, to keep me grounded, they also taught me not to take myself too seriously.

I am thankful for my teachers who taught me more than what was written between the front and back covers of textbooks. They instilled a lifelong love of learning and inquiry in me. They taught me to be curious. They taught me to dream.

I am thankful for my love for the sport of bowling. I am grateful that my father taught me the sport and though it, I have met some amazing athletes, coaches and most importantly, friends. I am thankful to represent two wonderful companies, Brunswick and Vise, as i continue to learn and grow in the sport.

I am thankful for a wonderful community of coaches whom I have met this year. I learn and grow from each and every one of you and most importantly, you inspire me. You are an amazing group of people!

Finally, I am thankful for the roof over my head, the food in my fridge, and the heat in my house. I know there are people out there who don’t always have these things. Last week, we had a really bad wind and rain storm. It was the perfect time to pause and give thanks that we were warm and safe.

Most importantly, I am thankful for my faith and recognize there is something far greater and more powerful than me in this world and for that, I give thanks.

I believe when we come from a place of gratitude, we appreciate the people and things in our lives in their most magnificent and special ways.

So, as we celebrate the season of Thanksgiving, what are you most thankful for this year?

Drop us a comment and let us know how you gave thanks this Thanksgiving Holiday. 

 

525,600 Minutes

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear.

five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes.

How do you measure,

Measure a year?

Seasons of Love, RENT

I came of age during the rise of RENT on Broadway. If there is one song that gets caught in my head, it’s Seasons of Love. If you’ve never heard it, take a listen here (it’s also a great reminder that Idina Menzel has played characters other than Elsa).

Of all of the equalizers in the world, time is one of them. We are each granted with 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, and 52 weeks a year. While our stage in life, professional responsibilities and family obligations may shift how this time is spent, it is up to us to figure out how to optimize.

I’m reflective now on the past year. I used the 5 Deep Questions for your 2017 Review tool created specifically for our Intentional Life Lab community and uncovered a few ways I have measured the year.  Here are a few:

  • Relationships: I met more new people in 2017 than I think is normal in adulthood. While I tend toward introversion and having a few really close friends, I decided to let more people into my life this year. What this has led to are new-found friends in adulthood. Opening my life (and my time) to these people has been rewarding and inspiring.
  • Professional ups and downs: This year was challenging regarding my profession. I went after a few opportunities that didn’t pan out. I also had some amazing cheerleaders show up during this time to propel me forward. While I have done the normal exercise of looking back on the time spent preparing, visualizing myself in a new role, and wondering what could I have done differently to change the outcome, I’ve spent more time using this experience to help me focus on “what I want to be when I grow up.” As cliche as it is, I believe things happen for a reason, and my professional journey is no exception.
  • Travel: I had some serious “pinch me” moments of travel this year. I lived out a life-long dream of staying at a Ritz-Carlton (something this small town girl never thought would happen). I took a cruise with my family and am asked everyday when we are getting back on the ship. I also enjoyed daytrips to festivals, pumpkin patches, and nearby cities for quick getaways.

There are no “things” on my list. There are people, experiences, and personal growth. That’s how I’m measuring my year. How are you going to measure your year?

If you need help getting started, be sure to check out 5 Deep Questions for your 2017 Review.

Tribes

It’s SO freaking interesting that I selected The Tribe card in our Time-Out Tuesday fun. Community, a sense of belonging, a feeling of being seen and understood in the world.

This is something I have now, but it wasn’t always this way for me. I remember just 5 short years ago when I was working in NYC, a place we usually don’t associate with being alone, I felt…..lonely. Apart from the rest, and like there were so few people who “got” me.

Now, this is NOT to say that I didn’t have friends, I did! I had a few wonderful friends who I loved and counted on (still do!). But what I didn’t have was a community, a sense of belonging and inclusion. And the funny part was that I didn’t think it was MY responsibility that I didn’t have this in my life. As if the chips fell where they fell and I was just left out of ALL of the collective groups of like-minded people who shared their hopes and dreams with each other, helped one another, and created BIG (or small!) things in the world together. I was simply left out of any of it by a swish of the cosmic wand. I played no part in any of it.

Five years later and so much has changed. I moved across the country, made friends in places in never thought possible, began coaching wicked -smart,  successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders and co-created The Intentional Life Lab with Natalie Siston and John Neral – two amazing coaches and incredible humans.

So what was the big change I made, what led to this total turnaround in my life and career? Simply put, I just started showing up. I started talking to people I never would have – this was scary! I started going to networking meetings I NEVER in a million years would have gone to in the past. I started writing and creating and posting and asking. And I did all of this because the fear of what my life would be if I DIDN’T do it was GREATER than the fear of actually doing it. I had reached my “tipping point”. (Or…had I actually CREATED my tipping point? ) The point where things MUST change, they can no longer stay the same. I battled the nervous feelings of not being accepted, being laughed at, misunderstood, and even downright hated. But, these were all MY feelings and fears, my gremlin (or inner critic) trying so hard to keep me safe and small.

Feelings can be really tricky that way. We think they are a real representation of what is going to happen. When in fact they are just our gremlins talking, wispy shadows of our past trying desperately to stay alive in our future by keeping us safe. And small.

Where do YOU need to show up? What kind of tribe do you belong to? What kind of tribe can you build? Because you, my dear, hold that magic wand.