December 21, 2010
Well that didn’t last!
I talked with my coaching group earlier this month about how the gratitude journal idea just doesn’t work for me. I would remember to record things only every other day – at best! I would sit at the end of the day and stare into space, and then notice the windows needed to be cleaned, or wonder if the tops of the ceiling fan blades were really dusty. It wasn’t working for me. Even when I remembered things it was just a task on my list to write them down. I didn’t notice a real benefit.
Fellow group member Judy Krings gave me a piece of wisdom that contained a nice blessing, too. She said there are different ways of appreciating things and standing in gratitude, and that because I notice things and savor them in the moment the journal practice might not have much meaning for me.
So I changed my approach. I even updated my “Gratitude Journal” category to “Gratitude Practice” and changed the category slug to simply “gratitude.” My evolving way of practicing gratitude is now focused on increasing my intention to take time to stop and appreciate things in the moment. I want to acknowledge them in my soul and marinate in the gratitude.
That’s what it was like for me yesterday afternoon recording my Tapa Palapa podcast with Francie at the park. The weather was great so we could be outside, which we always relish when we’re recording. And we laughed repeatedly about the chainsaws buzzing in the background, the kids dragging a small dead tree to the picnic table next to us, and the car alarm going off in the parking lot 50 feet away.
Then last night I saw the beginning of the eclipse and reflected on the beauty and the reminder of the last time – years ago, I don’t remember when – I saw a full lunar eclipse. I had planned to go to bed and just see pictures, but after seeing the early stages I stayed up and kept checking on the progression every few minutes. This picture from the web shows a close-up of the eclipse. It doesn’t capture the canvas I saw standing out in my yard, with the stars looking brighter than ever and the moon cloaked in red.
Somehow writing it in a journal wouldn’t add a thing to it.
How do you practice gratitude? Leave a comment so we can learn from you.
December 12, 2010
(Adapted from a post on my personal blog which I am integrating with Twisting Road.)
I started my Steve’s Not Nice blog when I had started to blog, write, and post a lot about coaching, positive counseling, and growth. All the hope, optimism, and “can do” energy of personal development roused my shadow monster, that grouchy cynic.
I didn’t want to give the accidental impression that I’m all goodness and light. Hell, I didn’t even want to be thought of as goodness and light. Yich!
When people call me “nice” my first reaction is to fear I have misled them – terribly.
My second reaction is to get irritated. If I were really “nice,” then the interest and helpfulness they were seeing would be easy. It would be automatic, involuntary, etched in my DNA, or trained into me from birth. Pleasantness from one of those “nice” people is no big deal. Caring and connection from a natural skeptic with a slow-to-warm-up cautious temperament is something to celebrate.
Those moments of humanity are hard work! I want some credit.
I started Steve’s Not Nice to be sure people didn’t accidentally think that I’m “nice” and made of all goodness and light. I wanted a place to show the rounded-out nature of the rest of me, irritable and cranky and critical and cynical. I wanted a place to showcase my other thoughts and ideas, to make sure I didn’t give an unbalanced, skewed view of myself. But I was afraid to let out too much of the ogre. I thought that would skew your impression of me too far the other way. I held back. My posts were still tame enough that no one could tell how much of a bastard I am at times.
I quit posting on Steve’s Not Nice for a long time, because I had no clear direction about the theme or purpose for the blog. I finally decided to make it a personal blog. All the other writing I did was directly related to my worklife, to building my new business and learning and teaching about personal development.
I think ultimately that’s why I felt what I presented was incomplete. To balance my professional self, to balance the part of my self focused on growth and development, to balance the optimistic and encouraging sides of my personality (I do believe in hope! I do! I do! I do!) I needed a place for my not-professional self. Less structured, less focused, less thematic. Less nice. This will be that place.
When clients or potential clients come here, they’ll find I’m a real person. I think ultimately that will help them be more certain about working with me, if that’s what they choose. For others it will help them decide to look elsewhere. But that’s one thing I want. I want to work with people who are compatible with me. I don’t want to have to maintain an unreal façade.
I will handle my responsibilities professionally, but as a coach and mentor one of my responsibilities is to be authentic. Authentic is grimy sometimes. Authentic is dusty. Authentic is organic and messy. Authentic is truth. And authentic is living aligned with your beliefs, talents, and passions.
I hope I can get there some day.
To Authentic Living and Right Livelihood
December 6, 2010
Earlier this week I saw a blog post by “indie-rock-star” blogger Ken Robert about deciding not to start a second blog for a new idea, but instead incorporating it into Mildly Creative. I follow Ken’s blog closely so I was surprised he referenced a prior post asking for feedback from his tribe on this question. I hadn’t seen the previous post so I read it and immediately thought…
December 5, 2010
I haven’t experienced it, but I have heard that people gather in public in some places around Christmas to sing portions of Handel’s Messiah. That means it’s expected, with some showing up to participate and others to listen and enjoy. What happens when the singers slip in announced at a food court in a mall and start to sing?
I’m sure the people watching and listening in this video were entertained. Most probably understood how much preparation and practice it took to make this incorrectly named “flash mob” happen, and how much hard work was involved.
But what would you have thought?
Wow! That was amazing. I wish I could do something that well, but I just don’t have the talent.
~ or ~
Wow! That was amazing. I want to be part of something like that.
My hope is that you’re inspired to develop your own talents, collaborate with other talented people, and put it all together for your tribe to appreciate.
December 4, 2010
This is my secret fear after training to be a Profiting From Your Passions™ creative career coach.
Some guy will say, “I can design and build my own instrument made of PVC pipe and I can masterfully play rock music, classical themes, and movie scores on it. How can I make money doing that?”
But after a little thought, I think I could come up with one or two ideas…