Time Keeps on Slipping, Slipping, Slipping….

This morning, my husband David and I are giving an Energy Leadership workshop to 100 students in Western Carolina University’s Project C.A.R.E. (Committed to African-American Retention in Education), so I’m sharing a blog from my fabulous friend and mentor, Jennifer Barley.

It is hard to believe how fast time flies. In just a blink of an eye, it’s Saturday, August 25, 2012.  How did it all happen so fast?  Where does the time go?

Habits can easily enter our lives or disappear from our lives. We may have had the best routine going and then all of a sudden, it’s been two months since you tracked your food, ate healthy, got in a good workout.

Often we “awful-ize” the whole kit-and-kaboodle saying things like, “I can never get back in that routine,” “I can’t get my mo-jo back,” or “Once I lose my groove, I can never find it.”

That is so untrue.

A new habit is ready to bloom. You just need to start. Today. Yes, start today. And repeat tomorrow. And then again on day three. 

Time is going to go by anyway.

What new habit are you willing to start? Go ahead and make the commitment by posting your new habit in the comments field.

Jennifer Barley is a Professional Certified Life Coach, public speaker, Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) instructor, author and former award-winning Weight Loss Leader.

It is Jennifer’s strong belief that every person can create whatever life they choose and she partners with her clients to make it happen. She has a strong talent for motivating, inspiring and adding humor to every situation.

Jennifer works with clients one-on-one, in workshop environments, and through online tele-classes. As the KickStart Coach™ Jennifer is committed to providing the support, encouragement, accountability, and motivation that her clients need to get inspired and get in the game.

You can learn more about her at www.jenniferbarley.com and read her blog at http://blog.jenniferbarley.com

What A Gift

My thoughts are with several friends who have recently had close family members transition after dealing with serious illness.

It is reminding me of the importance of living in the moment.

Each of my friends has been an amazing example of giving and being present. They have stepped up and fully expressed their love and support in time, words, and actions.

How many of us are able to say goodbye without the regret of having left anything unsaid or undone?

Life is precious and we are not always able to consciously be present with the people we love, or to remember to live our own lives as fully as possible. Too often we are worried about the future or are stewing about the past.

Only when you are present can you fully experience the moment-to-moment opportunity to learn, grow, and expand—and reach for more joy and fulfillment.

The key is to not wait for “bad” things to happen to learn these lessons, but to take it upon yourself to practice being present right now.

Here are some ways to practice being in the moment:

  • Notice each bite of your next meal. How does the food feel on your tongue? What are the flavors? How slowly can you finish it?
  • Breathe. Take three slow, deep breaths. Pay attention to how the air feels as it’s moving in and out of your lungs. What sensation follows your breaths?
  • Listen. The next conversation you have with the person you love the most, listen more than you talk. Look at their body language. Listen to the words they are using. Watch their facial expressions. What’s going on with them beneath the surface?
  • Tell someone how much they mean to you. If this was your last conversation, what would you want to leave them knowing? Do they know how much you love them?
  • Totally focus on a task. Whether it’s finishing up a project at work or doing the dishes, pay attention to the sensation of your hands, the colors you are seeing, the sequence of actions. Notice what you are doing as you are doing it.

Today is the only August 2, 2012, that you get. How can you be present and fully experience it?

This moment is a gift that you cannot barter, return, or exchange. No matter what is going on in your life, fully experience right now. What difference does that make in how you think, feel, and live your life?

Together we can do it!

Making Joy a Part of Your Return on Investment

I am in the first week of an 18-week challenge for Transformation Mastery. While I have set specific, inspiring goals to work towards, my focus and excitement is on right now.

We do not change our lives by jumping from where we are to where we want to be. We change it moment-by-moment and decision-by-decision.

Right now is when I need to be motivated. Right now is when I need to be engaged and making good decisions. Right now is when I need to be having fun!

Because while it will feel good to meet my goals, that feeling will be fleeting, and it will be so much more satisfying if I have enjoyed the process all along the way.

Just think of it as return on investment. I can put all this time and energy into this process and get a nice but short-term return on the feeling of joy I get from meeting my goals, or I can get a huge return on that investment by feeling joy as much as possible all along the way.

An added bonus is that the accumulated joy will actually help me meet my goals.

Enjoying the process includes making a conscious choice to look for and celebrate what I am doing well, learn from and let go of what I can do better, and celebrate where I am right now and the opportunities I have for growth.

This means I have a choice about how I look at my first week of a high-intensity and extremely demanding exercise program. I can struggle through the workouts the first time and get discouraged, and maybe even give up, or I can struggle through the workouts and celebrate the opportunities I have to grow and excel.

What I am laying down this week is a baseline from which I will get to measure my future success. I can use it to inspire me to keep going and try harder, and to enjoy everything from the muscle soreness I’m feeling because it’s an indicator I’m making muscles, to the challenge of learning a new workout routine.

And I want to eek out every ounce of joy and fun that I can as a return on this investment of time, energy, and dedication because enjoying the journey will ensure I enjoy the end results.

How can you begin to measure your success by how much you are enjoying the process of life leading to your goals? What difference does that make to the process, and to your ability to meet the challenges along the way?

Together we can do it!\

Photo by sakhorn38 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What Path Are You On?

Nobody experiences or sees the world exactly the way that you do. Because every moment of life is new and ever-changing, all of the individual perspectives in the world are constantly changing and being shaped. The person you are in this moment will be slightly different in the next as you take in these words and the environment around you.

Not only are you influenced by outside experiences, but in this moment you can also consciously choose your perspective, thought, and reaction.

The uniqueness of each individual and their journey is one of my favorite things to ponder. But what does it really mean for our day-to-day lives?

One of the things it can do is help you recognize and accept your innate value. You have value because your experiences and how you see the world are slightly different from anyone else on the planet. You add to the greater whole.

But that’s still pretty esoteric. What does it really mean?

It means that you matter. It means that the greatest gift you can give the world is to be the absolute best possible version of you.

So often, people get caught up in their lives and doing and caring for others that they forget Who they are. They don’t take time to think about what makes them tick? What are their values? What do they enjoy? What’s important to them? How do they want to spend their time? Who do they want to spend time with?

Instead of consciously choosing your path, you may be buffeted along in the hubbub of day-to-day life until you wake up one day and realize you don’t like where you are and that you no longer know the answers to those questions. It’s typically not a pleasant day.

You can also lose sight of Who you are by constantly comparing yourself to other people. If gazing over at someone else’s experience is inspiring, that’s great! Keep doing it. But more often than not, people use the life of another to judge or criticize themselves, their contributions and progress, and their value. You are never going to be able to authentically live another’s life, and trying to do so never feels good.

Other than being somewhat unpleasant, neither of these paths is “bad” or “wrong.” They will still help you create the irreplaceable you, and ultimately taking the scenic route can be very fulfilling.

It’s just that focusing on being the best possible version of you throughout your journey can be a lot more fun and robust. It like catching a wave and riding it into shore versus paddling the whole way.

What does being the best possible version of you mean? Who is that person? What small step can you take today towards being that person?

Together we can do it!

 

Photo by Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net