Monthly Archives: September 2011

Are You Listening?

Posted on by
um-092711-emailI was speaking at an annual retreat event, and over the course of 3 days in a beautiful lakeside setting we had conversations that turned inward to reflect on the nature of beliefs.

On the last day one of the participants, a lean lady of many years with a lived in and delicate face said, “I hope I didn’t offend you with questions I asked on the first night.”

I responded easily. “I don’t get offended,” I said, “I can listen to anything.”

In fact I’m interested. In my early days, I thought it was more important to be heard. But at some point, I realized that being heard is really being listened to. In order to create the space for “listening” you may have to cultivate a state of standing still so you can listen first: read more

Creating Space

Posted on by
um-092011-emailMake this week a noticing practice to create spacious thinking and living.

This is how it works:

  1. Focus on your breath. Take each breath consciously. Just a simple inhalation that creates room in your mind, and isn’t already filled up with what you need to do.
  2. Create space with every exhalation. Consciously focus on the exhalation of your breath and let go of any concern about what needs to be done.
  3. When thoughts go through your mind, just notice and say thank you, or identify the thought as pleasant, or painful, or memory. Identifying the thought that’s going through your mind allows you to notice that you are thinking the thought. You have the thought; it doesn’t have you.
  4. When good ideas go through your mind, don’t worry about writing them down. The really good ideas, you’ll breathe life into. These are the ideas that you’re excited about and will do so you don’t need to “remember” them.
  5. Breathe deeply through the stories of how you should be so when you exhale, you release them as soon as they come through. This includes all the productivity “shoulds” like getting organized. You only need to get organized if you’re over scheduled. Consider under scheduling instead.
  6. If you’re tracking, measuring, and analyzing, on the inhalation ask to what purpose, and on the exhalation notice the response. What does the tracking, measuring, and analyzing serve? Does it breathe life into what you’re doing? If not let it go.
  7. As you consciously breathe in, if you notice an ever present “to do” list comes to mind, exhale any anxiety or rush to get it all done. Consider setting fewer goals.
  8. Enjoy each breath you consciously take in, and you’ll smile on the exhalation.

This noticing practice will create spacious thinking. It’s a way of living each day from fulfillment.

It will give you the room to consider choosing from enjoyment now instead of from what you have to do in order to make room to enjoy your life someday.

It will change the nature of how you engage with life. Forced choices disappear and what appears is the opportunity to be present with every thought, word, and action. read more

What Makes You Tick

Posted on by
um-091311-emailEveryone runs on his or her own clock.

Some people thrive in the morning and others are night owls. Some wouldn’t miss breakfast, and others just say, ugh! Some head out the door to run, hike, walk, hit the gym or do yoga. And some hit their smart phone or computer. And then there are those who just hit the snooze button.

Whatever your favorite way of being, do you have anyone in your life—friends, spouse, lover who say to you, “Come on, just do X, it will be good for you, you’ll love it.” read more

So Many Decisions

Posted on by
um-090611-emailBe careful what you decide, you get everything that goes along with it.

How many decisions do you make each day? You’d be surprised at the number.

Research tells us that we make 100’s of decisions each day just about food!

In the first few minutes of the day I made decisions about:

  • Getting out of bed (I did sleep in as planned)
  • Brushing my teeth
  • Having a cup of coffee
  • Making a list of people I had to call
  • Writing
  • Changing out of my pajamas
  • Exercising (or not)
  • Reviewing reports
  • Eating Breakfast (or not)
  • Reading my email (or wait knowing that once I start I’m deciding to go through them, and make all the decisions necessary to respond)

That was the first few minutes of a non-working day with no meetings or conference calls. A day to relax, write, and catch-up. All those decisions (relax, write, catch-up) were made in advance of the day! read more