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Chasing Possible http://www.chasingpossible.com Life, Love, & The Pursuit of What Could Be... Tue, 02 Apr 2013 19:53:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.2 Chasing Possible Has Moved! http://www.chasingpossible.com/2013/04/02/chasing-possible-has-moved/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2013/04/02/chasing-possible-has-moved/#comments Tue, 02 Apr 2013 19:53:19 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=489  

It’s been so long since I last wrote on this blog, many of you may not even remember that this blog existed – or that you subscribed to it so many moons ago.  Since my last post here, I’ve had another baby (who’s now 8 months old), worked on rebranding my coaching business, [...]]]>  

It’s been so long since I last wrote on this blog, many of you may not even remember that this blog existed – or that you subscribed to it so many moons ago.  Since my last post here, I’ve had another baby (who’s now 8 months old), worked on rebranding my coaching business, wrote a short ebook and built another website based on my new brand.

Which is actually why I’m writing here now.

First, let me say thank you for being a reader.  This was my first attempt at having any kind of an online platform and it was definitely a positive experience.  I so appreciate the fact that I have received such wonderful feedback from these posts.

Because I have moved on to bigger (and hopefully better) adventures, I am finally ready to officially say “goodbye” to Chasing Possible and will no longer be keeping this site active.

I would love for you to continue on this journey with me, however, and invite you to take a look at my new website – www.theclaritylab.com.  I have combined my love for writing with my love for coaching and so you’ll find this new site to be a blend of both.

To make it even easier for you, if you are already a subscriber to Chasing Possible, I have automatically transferred you to The Clarity Lab subscriber list.  All you need to do is confirm your subscription if you wish to continue being a part of my blog.  You should receive an email shortly with the link to confirm your subscription.  If you don’t, please visit my site directly here and enter your name and email in the form at the top right of the site.

As a thank you for subscribing, you’ll also have access to download my recently published ebook, “Finding Clarity: Five Steps to Making the Right Decision” for free.

Thank you for being a part of the Chasing Possible journey with me.  I hope to see you around my new digs!

Bobbi

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Parenting 101: Prepare to Be Unprepared http://www.chasingpossible.com/2011/05/27/parenting-101-prepare-to-be-unprepared/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2011/05/27/parenting-101-prepare-to-be-unprepared/#comments Sat, 28 May 2011 05:26:10 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=446 About a month ago my husband walked in on our daughter Taylor who, unbeknownst to us, had learned to sit up in her bed unassisted.  She wasn’t however, just sitting quietly; she was happily chewing on her crib’s wooden front rail.  Seeing the teeth marks in the not-so-inexpensive piece of convertible furniture that’s supposed to [...]]]> About a month ago my husband walked in on our daughter Taylor who, unbeknownst to us, had learned to sit up in her bed unassisted.  She wasn’t however, just sitting quietly; she was happily chewing on her crib’s wooden front rail.  Seeing the teeth marks in the not-so-inexpensive piece of convertible furniture that’s supposed to last until college, he very calmly pried her little baby jaws off the rail and lay her back down for nap time.  Shortly thereafter, we showed her who was boss by permanently moving her crib mattress down to its lowest level.  As predicted, the chewing stopped.  Score one for the grown-ups.

Fast forward to yesterday morning.  I was just about to check my email during a moment of peace, when Taylor’s usually vocal morning nap protest turned eerily quiet.  I flipped on the video monitor to do a quick check-in and discovered her latest trick – pulling herself up to stand in her crib.  Proud and annoyed all at the same time I headed upstairs while rehearsing my calm and collected speech, “No, no honey, it’s nap time and nap time is for sleeping and you can practice standing after you sleep.” But my thoughts were quickly diverted when I walked in to find her chubby little cheeks covered in what appeared to be brown marker.  If only that had been the case.  I looked down to see a new row of freshly imprinted baby-sized teeth marks all along the front rail of her crib, much deeper and messier than before.  She smiled up at me with what I now realized was crib paint (non-lead-based of course), smeared from ear to ear and all over her nose.  Her mouth was wide open as if to say, “See Mommy?  Are you going to clap for me?”

Rather than scolding my 9-month-old about the inappropriateness of chewing on one’s own furniture, I playfully scooped her up and whisked her over to the bathroom sink for a scrub, hoping the paint wasn’t of the skin-staining variety.  Thankfully it wasn’t.

Wash cloth in one hand, squirming baby in the other, the only thing I could do was laugh out loud.  I wondered if I was the only person this had ever happened to, but guessed immediately that I was probably just one of a million other mothers who’ve had the same experience.

It has dawned on me multiple times in the last 9 months just how unprepared for real life parenting I am.  You can plan and prep and make lists and check off the boxes, but kids are just wild cards.  And you never know what you’re going to get from day to day.

What I do know, however, is that the surefire way to see things go awry is to think (even just for a second) that you’ve got this parenting thing in the bag.  Literally the day before this all went down, I was patting myself on the back thinking, ”This is turning out to be a piece of cake … we’ve got the nap schedule down … the eating schedule down … the play time schedule down … I can finally settle into some sort of a routine.”

Talk about a rude awakening.

I will say that these are the moments I was secretly looking forward to as a parent.  Though not always funny in their midst, they are the kind of crazy stories that only parents can tell.  The kind of situations that call upon your ability to remain calm no matter the circumstance and then challenge your inner McGuyver to fix whatever the problem is.

In my case, that fix was a few blankets and a roll of duct tape.

I later found myself Googling the phrase, “HOW TO GET YOUR BABY TO STOP CHEWING ON HER CRIB” and found a surprising number of crib-chewing experts out there who had products and solutions for just about every type of crib and every size child.  Who knew?  More importantly, why are we not given this information from the start?  You know … some sort of gigantic all-knowing reference library of possible child-related predicaments and their most obvious solutions.  Kind of like the Encyclopedia Britannica, but written by a frazzled mother who’s seen almost everything.  That would be handy.

I suppose until said reference manual is actually written and distributed to bookshelves near you, I’ll just go about parenting in the same way as those who’ve gone before me – winging it through one dilemma at a time.  And as long as I promise myself to keep my sense of humor and wits about me whenever the curve balls are thrown, I might actually be okay.  In the meantime, I’ll do my best to control any premature praise I might be tempted to bestow upon myself for even thinking I’ll somehow be more prepared the next time.

And, I’d love to hear your words of wisdom too.  What unexpected mishaps have you successfully endured as a parent?

I welcome your comments!  Add your comments below, or click on the title of this post if no comment form is visible.

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What Babies Teach Us About Processing Emotion http://www.chasingpossible.com/2011/04/27/what-babies-teach-us-about-processing-emotion/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2011/04/27/what-babies-teach-us-about-processing-emotion/#comments Thu, 28 Apr 2011 05:11:57 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=422

As a Life Coach, I talk a lot about “processing” emotion.  It’s the equivalent of exploring the deep dark places in your psyche that you tend to avoid on a regular basis, all for the sake of being able to move past whatever it is that’s blocking you.  And though not [...]]]>

As a Life Coach, I talk a lot about “processing” emotion.  It’s the equivalent of exploring the deep dark places in your psyche that you tend to avoid on a regular basis, all for the sake of being able to move past whatever it is that’s blocking you.  And though not at the top of anyone’s list as a favorite pastime (because let’s face it – feeling, especially negatively, can be about as much fun as a trip to the dentist); I stress the importance of it to my clients often.  Because even though it’s not fun, it is necessary if we intend on living the kind of lives we all want to live.

Oddly enough, even though I know the importance of allowing yourself to process, and understand completely the benefits of it, doesn’t mean it’s easier for me to apply to my own life when the time comes.  Sometimes it’s so much easier to teach than to apply.

I’ve been wrestling with some of my own emotional baggage lately that I haven’t felt quite like dealing with and it surprisingly took my 8-month-old daughter Taylor, to remind me that there is a better way than stuffing it down and pretending it doesn’t exist.

It all started when a large part of my family came to town – my parents, three aunts, and an uncle to be exact.  They were visiting from Minnesota and I was thankful that the California weather cooperated enough for them to enjoy some sunshine after gladly leaving behind snow banks and freezing temps.  And though not quite swimming season yet, my aunt had no reservations about taking full advantage of the sun and lounging in the pool.  Yes, I said IN the pool, not BY the pool.

This is just one example of why I love my family.  In every get-together you can expect the unexpected.  In fact, it’s not uncommon to get stares from outside onlookers as they observe the laughter and commotion that goes on during public outings with the whole group.  It’s quite a spectacle, but not annoyingly so.  It’s more the kind of fun that is involuntarily contagious in an “I’ll have what they’re having” kind of way.

There’s a never-ending emotional high that happens when we’re together.  Good conversation, stories new and old, and laughter ’til your sides hurt are plentiful.  It’s easy to be addicted to the goodness of the group.  And since we live so far away from each other, I tend to soak up as much of that goodness as I can while they’re around.  Unfortunately, the fun can’t last forever and once everyone returns to their normal lives there is an emptiness left in the wake.

And that’s where I’ve been recently – in the wake.

Normally, I would have enjoyed the ride while it lasted and then settled back into my everyday life.  But this trip was different.  The reason for this trip was to say goodbye to my grandparents, both of whom we lost in the last year and a half.  The very people who shaped what this family is all about.

Having lived in Calistoga during their retirement, their final wish was to have their ashes scattered on the mountain just beyond the town limits.  My great-grandparents owned a cottage on that mountain and it’s where my mom and her five brothers and sisters spent many a summer vacation.

This trip had a different kind of meaning because it was the end of an era and held a finality that I wasn’t yet ready to embrace.  I missed both of my grandparents’ memorial services due to circumstances beyond my control and there has been a sort of gnawing in my heart ever since about never finalizing my goodbyes.  This was supposed to be that time, but I wasn’t ready.

Then everyone left and it got worse.  No more grandparents.  No more family.  The high I was on quickly deflated and I was confronted with a wave of sadness that hit me out of nowhere.

In essence, the emptiness I felt after everyone left was just an extension of saying goodbye to Gram and Grandpa – now everyone was gone and the emotion of it all seemed too much to bear all by myself.

What really threw me was the intensity of my sadness and I tried my best to hold back the tears each time they welled in my eyes.  I started rationalizing that it was silly to be so sad.  It wasn’t like I was never going to see my family again.  In fact, I’m planning a trip to the Midwest in just a few short months, but somehow, that didn’t make me feel better.

I’d fold a load of laundry, start to cry, then beat myself up for being an emotional wreck.  The day continued in that fashion … starting to cry, trying my best to hold back, and then beating myself up until finally Taylor gave me a much-needed reminder about allowing myself to process what I was feeling.  At 8 months old I’ll say she is wise beyond her years … simply because she doesn’t know any better.

Having recently learned how to crawl, I sat watching her explore the family room with new newfound mobility.  As she moved around she became increasingly brave venturing into new corners of the room she’d never been.  She eventually made her way over to the fireplace hearth where she unsteadily tried pulling herself up to her knees.  Realizing she didn’t know how to get back down on all fours, she did the first thing that seemed logical … she let go.  And of course, fell face first into the stone step she had been holding onto.  it took one half of a second before she let out a bloodcurdling scream and came crawling back to me for comfort.  I picked her up, cuddled her, and let her cry out loud until she was done, which was only about 20 seconds in total.  Once the crying was over she looked up at me, smiled, let out a sigh and reached out to the ground below so she could continue her exploration.

I immediately noticed her ability to bounce back so quickly.  She was happy while she explored, she fell, she felt hurt, expressed her hurt, and then felt happy again to explore some more.

As adults, how many of us don’t even think about processing our emotions that quickly?  When something bad happens we stuff our feelings away as though they don’t matter and act like whatever happened didn’t affect us at all.  Instead of allowing ourselves to feel hurt or cry or get angry, we do our best to “get over it” as quickly as possible so we can move on with our lives.

The problem is that “getting over it” is nearly impossible if you haven’t given yourself the opportunity to process the corresponding emotions with the situation.  It’s a downright risky move.  Risky because you inadvertently take all of those unprocessed emotions with you to the future and they show up in other places when you least expect them.  In fact, those emotions become a part of your story whether you intend them to or not and you begin to view the world just a little bit differently.

I needed that wake-up call.

After putting Taylor down for the night, I gave myself permission to cry as much and as long as I wanted to.  The sadness of my family leaving was just the tip of the iceberg.  Years of memories and love for my grandparents pushed their way to the surface; things I haven’t allowed myself to feel in the time since they passed – the way my Grandpa grinned when he knew he’d pushed my Grandma’s buttons; the way my Grandma’s blue eyes lit up when she saw me.

It wasn’t fun, but it was necessary.  And I’m sure it won’t be the last time I cry about it, but because I gave myself that moment to just feel and not care that I was blubbering all over my pillow, I automatically felt better.  The goal in learning how to process your emotion is not to solve any sort of problem.  It’s simply just to feel.  To let yourself go to the deep dark place you don’t want to go, because it really is the only way to feel better.  I know it sounds backward, but trust me it works.

I guarantee it won’t ever be my first choice to feel hurt, sad, angry, rejected, etc., but I’m learning that if I don’t give my heart the time and space to feel those things as they happen, I’ll never be able to move on and have the kind of existence that I really want.

Ironic that it took someone who can’t even speak to remind me of that.

So, what about you?  What emotions have you been carrying around with you that need to be set free?

 

I welcome your comments!  Add your comments below, or click on the title of this post if no comment form is visible.

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Under Construction… http://www.chasingpossible.com/2011/03/18/under-construction/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2011/03/18/under-construction/#comments Sat, 19 Mar 2011 04:22:45 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=393 This past year has been quite a ride with changes, changes, and more changes at every turn.  

Here’s the quick run-down:  Hubby and I finally sold our beautiful downtown condo last February and moved.  Twice.  First, into a temporary apartment and then into our permanent house in the ‘burbs that we bought [...]]]> This past year has been quite a ride with changes, changes, and more changes at every turn.  

Here’s the quick run-down:  Hubby and I finally sold our beautiful downtown condo last February and moved.  Twice.  First, into a temporary apartment and then into our permanent house in the ‘burbs that we bought in May.  I was leary at first about packing and unpacking so many times, but believe me it was well worth the double-move.  I LOVE our house.  LOVE IT.  Capital L-O-V-E, love.  Some days I still pinch myself.

In the midst of all the moving, I decided to complete my formal training as a Life Coach through The Coaches Training Institute in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It was, as it turned out, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.  Aside from the amazing people I met and worked with, the training itself was second to none.  Coaching others most definitely lines up with my heart and has the unique ability to link my business background with my personal quest for all things possible.  You can check out my official coaching website here

A couple of months after our move, we welcomed our first baby; a precious little peanut named Taylor Alexis.  She is the light of our lives and we’re soaking up every moment of baby goodness.  To say that life, and our priorities, have changed would be an understatement.  I feel incredibly blessed to be living this life, right now, day in and day out.

It goes without saying that given all of what has taken place in recent months, I am continuing to chase what’s possible for me.  And now that I can successfully care for our little girl and take a shower in the same day (little did I know that was going to be such a big deal) I am venturing back into the writing game and am giving my blog a complete overhaul to better match my current focus (i.e. family, mommyhood, and all things home). 

I will still be adding more inspirational, life-lesson focused blog posts to my new coaching website; however, Chasing Possible is getting a bit of a facelift.  Being a mom has given me so much new material to work with that I could write daily and never talk about the same thing twice.  I now see why mommy-bloggers have become so popular.  There is SO much to say.  Therefore, I intend to make Chasing Possible a bit more personal than I believe it’s been in the past.  Don’t get me wrong, however.  It won’t all be tales of breastfeeding and baby poop (though don’t discount that idea completely), but I do believe that my life is far more interesting now than it ever was pre-parenthood.

If you haven’t been to the site in a while, I’d love for you to check out the redesign.  I’m sure it will be a work in progress for a short while (as is what happens when you work between baby naps), but that’s okay with me.  If parenting has taught me anything at all, it’s that my tendency toward waiting to start something at the “perfect” time has been completely thrown out the window.  From here on out, “just good enough” and I will be very close companions.

 

I welcome your comments!  Add your comments below, or click on the title of this post if no comment form is visible.

If you enjoy this blog, I invite you to subscribe by email or RSS reader (links are on the sidebar).

And… if you like this post, please help spread the word! 

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Dare to Dream http://www.chasingpossible.com/2010/06/30/dare-to-dream/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2010/06/30/dare-to-dream/#comments Wed, 30 Jun 2010 20:02:30 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=355 As most of you know, having my own television show is one of those far-off fantasy dreams that I have been thinking about for a very long time (like nearly 30 years or so).  However, it is also one of those dreams that seems, according to the great logic of life, like a one-in-a-million [...]]]> As most of you know, having my own television show is one of those far-off fantasy dreams that I have been thinking about for a very long time (like nearly 30 years or so).  However, it is also one of those dreams that seems, according to the great logic of life, like a one-in-a-million shot.  A lot like winning the lottery.

However, I’ve come to understand that when life hands you an opportunity, it is not our job to decipher what about that opportunity is going to work and what is not.  Instead it is only our job to take that opportunity and make the most of it… and then let fate decide what happens next.

So after much encouragement from those around me, I took the opportunity to make a video for the Oprah Winfrey Network and their latest contest of hosting your OWN show!

Believe me, this was a GIANT stretch for me.  But I must say that after having uploaded my audition to the Oprah website I feel good.  Not good like, “Oh for sure I’m going to win.”  But good like, “Wow, that was something that was really scary for me and I did it anyway.”

The things in life that terrify us are the things we need most pay attention to.  For it is in the midst of these acts of bravery that we uncover our soul’s depth and desire. 

Who’s to say this audition will take me anywhere?  No one.  But you better believe I am currently celebrating my success - if only because I overcame the fear that nearly stopped me dead in my tracks.  And if the process or the journey is really the only thing that matters… I’ve already won.

But to take things one step further outside of my comfort zone, I’m here now sharing my video with you.  Because maybe it will spark a conversation or maybe you’ll simply think it’s neat.  Or maybe, it will inspire you to vote for me on the Oprah website.

Whatever the case, thanks for watching and for being a part of my journey…

Click below to watch my video!

Chasing Possible on Oprah

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Begin Again… http://www.chasingpossible.com/2010/04/18/begin-again/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2010/04/18/begin-again/#comments Mon, 19 Apr 2010 04:38:02 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=336 Life is a series of starts and stops… beginnings and endings… a constant state of motion in which we are always moving somewhere and not quite in control of where that might be.  This is generally the place where time and space seem to stand still, even as life is clearly evolving full-speed ahead.

[...]]]>
Life is a series of starts and stops… beginnings and endings… a constant state of motion in which we are always moving somewhere and not quite in control of where that might be.  This is generally the place where time and space seem to stand still, even as life is clearly evolving full-speed ahead.

This blog has sadly been left unattended for months as my own life has ventured forth into new and exciting territory.  And now that I have given myself room to breathe, permission to explore and a fresh perspective from which to try on new pieces of my future, I am ready to begin again.

I have to admit that I am struggling against the part of me that thinks I should sit here and make a list of all the things I have accomplished in order to prove that my time away has been fruitful and productive.  But I am quickly reminded that approval is not what I seek and is the very part of me that I am working hard to tame.

What I will say instead is that I have forever been changed by quite a few things in recent months that will impact the rest of my life and the way it plays out.  By far the greatest of these changes has been learning first-hand that life is precious and doesn’t last nearly as long as we think it should.  And with that realization comes peace in the “not knowing” and surrendering my outcome in order to enjoy this very moment.

And I have much to enjoy.

A big part of my blogging experience to date has been findng my voice and figuring out what exactly I have to say to this great big world about me.  And in truth, the long-awaited answer to that question is… not a whole lot.  Because it’s really not about me.  My heart would rather write about what I care for most… people… and our connections to one another, our resilience, and our collective, amazing capabilities as human beings to live, to triumph, and to dream. 

I’m not even going to pretend to know what comes next, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this blog begins to reflect a new take on what Chasing Possible actually means.

For those of you who’ve waited patiently for new content… thank you.  And for those of you who’ve just arrived… I hope you’ll stick around for a while. 

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Do Something That Matters to You http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/09/18/do-something-that-matters-to-you/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/09/18/do-something-that-matters-to-you/#comments Sat, 19 Sep 2009 06:03:01 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=301 This week I enrolled in a couple of fall writing courses through the UC Davis Extension program that are being taught by two amazing instructors.  My hope is that I will be able to fine-tune the writing skills that I’ve mainly used only as a hobby.

I am curiously [...]]]> This week I enrolled in a couple of fall writing courses through the UC Davis Extension program that are being taught by two amazing instructors.  My hope is that I will be able to fine-tune the writing skills that I’ve mainly used only as a hobby.

I am curiously nervous about this new venture.  School was never scary before and I’ve done well in other classes as an adult, but this feels strangely intimidating for some reason.

Maybe it’s because I sincerely want to do well or maybe more than that, I really want the instructors to like my work.

It’s interesting that our deepest-rooted fears seem to emerge when we least expect them to and this situation is no exception to that rule.  “It’s just a class!” I keep telling myself, but I cannot seem to permanently shoo the hum of anxiety that’s been buzzing around my subconscious.

In attempting to pinpoint exactly what it is that I’m afraid of, I realize that these classes are frightening because they matter to me… in a way that others have not.  It’s not a pass or fail; it’s something bigger than that.  Why is it that the stuff in our lives that we really, really want is the same stuff that causes us to stop short, left to wonder whether or not it’s a good idea to chase what matters?

I know you know what I’m talking about.  What if we were all challenged to use only the talents that matter most when choosing our work – be it singing, painting, cooking, or writing – wouldn’t the world be a much better place?

But we don’t.  And that’s a harsh reality.  We don’t because we think it’s easier not to think about it.  It’s easier to not put ourselves on the line.  We don’t because we fear that someone else might say, who are you to be doing that for a living?  When really what we should be saying is, who are you not to be?

I personally have written since I can remember.  My life in black and white resides within the cabinet drawers full of old journal entries, poems, letters and stories.  I joke that someday my great-grandkids are going to have a field day trying to weave my life story together by gathering these scraps of old binder paper and the backs of napkins.  And in that context, it is good that I write to my heart’s content because it’s therapeutic for me.

This blog is very much the same form of a creative outlet.  And though timid in the beginning about letting people see what’s on my heart, I’ve come to learn that if I write something that doesn’t read well or doesn’t sit well with someone, I’ll be forgiven.  You can take away whatever you like; use it, scrap it, or tell me I’m ridiculous.  It’s all just opinion and rhetoric and at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter because my career potential doesn’t hang in the balance if you don’t like it (though of course, I hope that you do).

These classes however, are forcing me out of a different part of my comfort zone.  One that I’m not entirely sure I’m ready to move from; which is precisely why it must be the absolute right time to do so.

These instructors make a living with their writing and combined they have decades of knowledge and experience.  And though their teaching and feedback is something that I yearn for, the flip side is that their feedback also has the ability to potentially set the tone for the next step in my writing career.  They know what publishers want to buy and what sells in the magazines.  And what if I write from my heart and soul and they tell me it’s crap?  What if they tell me no one will ever buy what I’ve written?  They have an all-access pass to be candidly opinionated and to constructively criticize away, without so much as a pause… and the irony is that I’m paying good money for this.

And, if this piece of the big picture (writing for money) is missing, I might be forced to go back to the drawing board of my life and eliminate one major part of the “media mogul” game plan I’ve set for my future.

I do admit that there could be a teensy bit of dramatic flair built up in my mind around this whole situation, but there are definite undertones of truth that dwell within the sensational.

Fact is fact.  I’m human and I’m scared.  And that’s really the point I’m trying to make.  BUT… I intend to go forward anyway and the outcome will be what the outcome will be.

My life coach said to me just yesterday that the only way to get everything you want is to give everything you have.  And if I begin this new adventure with that one thing in mind, I simply cannot fail.  Right?

In the end, I will always have my blog and the loyal readers who don’t really care if I use too many commas, or if I start my sentences with “and”, or if I separate my thoughts with a dot, dot, dot… because that’s how they naturally flow in my mind.  And for that, I am thankful.

And of course, that leads me to ask, what’s something that you’ve been contemplating?  And when are you going to sign up?

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A Reminder of 10 Rules to Live By http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/08/28/a-reminder-of-10-rules-to-live-by/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/08/28/a-reminder-of-10-rules-to-live-by/#comments Sat, 29 Aug 2009 03:19:50 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=272

Some weeks for me are peppered with events and tasks that seem to have no meaning and no real effect on my life, while others are loaded with messages that are far too obvious to ignore.

This week was chock-full of the latter.

I made a conscious decision early on this [...]]]>

Some weeks for me are peppered with events and tasks that seem to have no meaning and no real effect on my life, while others are loaded with messages that are far too obvious to ignore.

This week was chock-full of the latter.

I made a conscious decision early on this week to focus my attention less on being productive and more on listening to the world around me.  This was done for a number of reasons, most of which stem from not feeling well and suffering from insomnia.  Sickness is a sure sign that my body needs rest and is frequently brought about when my mind is overloaded and could use a vacation also.

I gave myself permission at the onset of the week to just be.  To feel what I wanted to feel (be it self-loathing, tired, sick, sad, good, fine, confused, frustrated, and occasionally even… happy) and to lighten my mental load with the constant reminder that the week was not intended to be productive.  No matter what.

The challenge in this exercise has been to allow space and time to continue moving around me while gathering up the significant pieces of wisdom as they land in my lap.

And after neatly folding away my ego and locking the critical voices in the closet, I can say that this assignment was far more productive than any completed task list would have been.

When we tune in to our ability to listen, we gain far more knowledge than any book, show, or high-priced education could ever give us.  And with that knowledge comes a certain sense of inexplicable peace.

Given that I tend to err on the side of over-achievement, it is especially satisfying for me to notice how much I actually learn when I let go of how things ought to be and instead allow simply existing to be an okay state of mind.  In fact, I’m certain that my ambitions would sooner be realized if I could only retrain my mind to consider this as fact.

I have been reminded this week of many things, all of which have value; however, the following is my newly compiled list of rules I should remember to live by:

1.  Don’t be afraid to lean on people when you need them most.  This week I’ve had the good fortune of sharing conversation with a true walking miracle; have dined, laughed, and sought advice from some of the funniest, most intelligent women writers I know; I’ve discussed business, been given the gift of learning from a coaching client, and had a phone call with my mom who knows the value in listening as I sob about my trivial frustrations in life.  I caught up with a long-distance friend about funny nightmare summer vacations and the joys (and trials) of parenting; and I’ve learned from my husband who is talented, intelligent, sensible and amazing beyond measure.  I’ve also been touched by countless others who affected me with their hellos, their smiles, and their kindness, without even knowing they did.  I say all of this to show that every single one of these people had an impact on me.  Every one of them said something or did something that added sunshine and insight to my life that wasn’t there before and it took me being quiet to appreciate just how lucky I am.

2.  Do the work.  This is a tough one for me because I’m an idea girl.  My mind continually swims with new… better… what if… and so on.  but this message has resounded in almost every conversation I’ve had this week.  Don’t think, just do.  Make a disciplined effort.  Write five minutes a day.  Make one phone call.  Put one foot in front of the other.  It’s okay to glance at the big picture every now and again if necessary, but stop thinking about it and just get to work.  There is no step two without a step one.  Do step one.

3.  Fully explore every opportunity.  Even if it leads you down a dead end road.  Even if you have to turn around and come back to step one, you’re still better off.  You’ll never know the answer unless you check things out.  Don’t be left wondering what might have been.  Don’t worry if people think you’re crazy for going in a hundred different directions.  Eventually, one of those opportunities is going to stick and when it does, you’ll be thankful for your time and effort.

4.  The choice is ALWAYS yours.  Let me repeat.  The choice is ALWAYS yours.  Being forced or bullied, or guilted into something sucks.  But it sucks even worse when you wake up and realize that you allowed yourself to be forced, bullied or guilted into doing what it was you didn’t want to do.  The same goes for stuff you do want to do… really.  What’s stopping you?  Did the excuse wagon pull up in front of your house and dump its load?  No?  Then make a choice.

5.  The choice, though yours, is not always easy.  Enough said.

6.  Patience is a virtue.  One of my all time least favorites.  I actually heard a great summation of this one… you can’t plant your wheat one day and harvest it the next.  This will take practice for me.  I want everything and I want it now.  But there is something magical about learning how to live without expectation of when things should happen.  Because if you’re too busy living than the very things that you want, seem to just happen when you least expect them to – and I don’t know about you, but I LOVE IT when that happens.

7.  Know your strengths.  And play to them.  Why do we insist on making life way more difficult than it needs to be?  We’re in jobs we don’t like, enduring relationships we know aren’t right for us, and saying yes to attend events we’re not even sure sound like fun.  Square peg?  Round hole?  Stop trying to play mind tricks on yourself and just go with what you know you’re good at and what will make you happy.  As women especially, I think we’re pre-wired to want to please, which makes this lesson even more appropriate.

8.  Don’t force what isn’t happening.  Just be.  And more importantly, be okay with that.

9.  The world will in fact keep spinning (and no, it does not revolve around you).  Whether you want to believe it or not, once we truly embrace the mentality that “this too shall pass”, we open ourselves up to the idea that moments were meant to be enjoyed and there is more to life than how many items are on our to-do lists, how much money is in our checking account, and that our lives won’t end because our favorite television show didn’t record correctly on the DVR.  It’s true.

10.  Be gentle with yourself.  We only get one shot at this life… and making sure that we give ourselves enough love and support and kudos and breathing room is essential to making the most of the life we’ve got.  The bonus with this one is that the more we love ourselves, the more love we have to give away.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

On that note… I’m off to enjoy my relaxing night in, with my favorite pajamas, my friends on the Food Network, and a glass of delightful red wine. 

Until next week…

 

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Close Your Eyes and Don’t Look Down http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/08/19/close-your-eyes-and-dont-look-down/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/08/19/close-your-eyes-and-dont-look-down/#comments Thu, 20 Aug 2009 04:36:09 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=257 Fear has been my topic of choice lately; presumably because I am navigating my own intensely fear-driven phase right now.

And the truth is that though I appear to be a risk-loving, leap-of-faith-taking maven, I’m really just a big chicken cloaked in a cape of blind ambition.

No… really.

When I was young [...]]]> Fear has been my topic of choice lately; presumably because I am navigating my own intensely fear-driven phase right now.

And the truth is that though I appear to be a risk-loving, leap-of-faith-taking maven, I’m really just a big chicken cloaked in a cape of blind ambition.

No… really.

When I was young it took me years to get up the courage to ride a roller coaster that went upside down.  I spent the better part of my childhood standing in line, watching the train of roller coaster cars whoosh past me in the landing house.  Finally, when it was my turn to board… I’d step all the way through the seats and walk back out to the entrance, silently watching as my friends waved down to me on their way up the first climb.

I had the same issue with the high dive at the community pool.  I spent an entire summer timidly tip-toeing out to the edge of that springboard and peering into the chlorinated waves below until I actually got up the nerve one day to jump.

God forbid anyone ever push me.  I was okay with being afraid.  I was only prepared to do things that I was ready to do and not until I was ready to do them.

Surely, I could sit here and tell you how I’ve since figured out a way to beat that timid girl into submission and how I now charge courageously into my future with no hesitation.

But that would be a lie.

I have overcome obstacles in my path, yes, and I’ve done things that have surprised even me, but I still continue to battle the surges of fear that rush through me when I least expect it.

That said, I decided to sort through my fear-related issues and have written about them here in hopes of clearing a path to my next leap.  Maybe you can relate.

I’ve learned that when I am most afraid of my own situation, I tend to talk about other peoples’ fears incessantly.  (Mom, are you reading this?)  And then I try to force them into leaping first… kind of a subconscious “you go, then I’ll go” tactic.  But you cannot make someone else leap; no matter how hard you try, even if you know they want to.  Secretly trying to make them leap seems to temporarily disconnect your focus from your own fears to theirs.  But every single one of us has to overcome our own high dive on our own terms.  Period.

I’ve also learned that no matter how many times I go through this process, it’s still scary.  You know how they say the bigger the risk, the bigger the reward?  Yeah, well for me the bigger the risk, the more I feel like hiding under a rock so as not to come face to face with my fear.

I do know myself well enough to know the exact moment that it’s time to leap.  But first, there is always that moment before that exact moment when I hesitate.  I can sense when something really big is at work in my life and there just might be more to it than what I can actually see with my own eyes… and I know I should go for it, but I still hesitate… waiting for some sort of definitive bolt to shoot down from the clouds and tell me exactly what the “right” answer is.  I stand there in pause, as if I might actually figure out at some point what I “should” do.

But then I remember that there are no “right” answers, only answers that are right for me.  And I shouldn’t do anything… except be true to my own soul.

And even though I know this, I still tend to lean on being “confused” as my go-to emotion as though that excuse alone can prevent any sort of failure.  Too bad I’ve been taught that there is no such thing as confusion.  Confusion is simply a label for not wanting to make a decision; for fear that it might just be the wrong decision. 

I saw a quote today that summed this up perfectly.  “Faith is believing in advance what only makes sense in reverse.” (Charles Swindoll)  This is where instinct takes over and you have to just go with your gut.  All the wisdom in the world can’t tell you what your heart already knows and when you finally decide… you just go… and you don’t look back, because you can’t.  And it’s terrifying to see that all the arrows are pointing down one obvious road, but you still feel sick because what if that road is the wrong road?

Trust me, stuck in contemplation is no picnic.  Leap… or get left behind.  There is no in-between.

Thankfully, we are born equipped with this instinct and if we learn how to follow it, it rarely steers us wrong.  After all, how does any good business person get to the top of their game?  Instinct.  We’ve all experienced this in some form or another where we can’t even explain the decisions we’ve made except to say that we just “knew”.

So for me right now, I already know that I know the answer.  I’ve been working on this solo career path long enough to know that what I’ve been asking for has squarely presented itself to me.  And even though I know it’s the right choice, and it’s good for me and good for my future, and it’s exactly in line with what I wanted… I’m still afraid.

Where am I leaping, you ask?

I’m still working out the details.  But my first order of business is to just say YES and then get moving.

In the meantime, what do you know about fear that might be worth sharing?  Is there a roller coaster in your own life that might finally be worth stepping onto?

 

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The Only Thing We Have To Fear… http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/08/07/the-only-thing-we-have-to-fear/ http://www.chasingpossible.com/2009/08/07/the-only-thing-we-have-to-fear/#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2009 04:40:17 +0000 admin http://www.chasingpossible.com/?p=239 Of course, it’s fear itself.  Surely, one of the finest proclamations in history, is it not?  And yet, so few of us actually seize the opportunities we are given to implement this wisdom.  Why?

Because we’re afraid… that’s why.

We’re afraid that we might actually reach for something higher than the inferior set of [...]]]> Of course, it’s fear itself.  Surely, one of the finest proclamations in history, is it not?  And yet, so few of us actually seize the opportunities we are given to implement this wisdom.  Why?

Because we’re afraid… that’s why.

We’re afraid that we might actually reach for something higher than the inferior set of standards by which we’ve become accustom and instead we tell ourselves that tomorrow might be a better day to take that leap, or make that call, or ask that question, or think that way.

A week ago, my wedding photographer (who I love, by the way… go here to see their amazing work), commented on a blog post that I wrote and forwarded me a link to another blog she thought was similar in nature to Chasing Possible.

After visiting said blog and reading through the most recent entries, my response was… OH. MY. GOSH.  I must figure out a way to meet this person.  He IS Chasing Possible.

Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m a self-help junkie and I’m easily moved by inspirational stories.  But even though that’s true, it’s rare such a story ignites my enthusiasm to the point of being jolted from my desk chair like a crazed sports fan in the last seconds of a title-clenching championship as I read.

I found myself all alone in my office, yelling at my computer screen… “Just do it, David!  Jump!” as if he might somehow hear me when I speak directly into my keyboard.

The blog I’m referencing is called “Jump David, Jump” and the author of this blog was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor (which by the way is not the reason for my crazed sports fan behavior, nor is it the reason I’m screaming for him to “jump”).  His tumor is not what makes this story impactful… well it’s partially why… but let me explain.

What makes this story so fascinating is how he has taken his prognosis and turned it into opportunity to face his fear.  Not the fear of his tumor, mind you, the fear of what’s behind it.  He’s responding to his diagnosis and trips to various doctors and specialists by combining his medical discoveries with an honest dose of self-reflection and he delivers it with humor and sincerity.

This all ties together… I promise.

In David’s latest post (which I read this afternoon), there is a passage that explains fear far better than I ever could and also explains the reason why we don’t instinctively face our fears head on…

Here is exactly what he wrote:

“It’s so hard to bare your soul to the world and honestly say, ‘This is me. This is what I hold deep down inside as the hope for my future. And if this goes bad, if my hopes are offered to the world and I fail miserably, I’ve got nothing left. What I thought was at the core of my true being turned out to be a failure. And now, because I opened my big mouth, everybody knows what a loser I am…”

THIS, ladies and gentleman, is what TRUTH in FEAR looks like.

What we hold inside and never let out can eventually make us sick, cynical, crazy, depressed, or any other rotten combination of emotionally dysfunctional versions of ourselves.  And for what?  To save ourselves the pain and agony of ridicule?  Well, I have news for you.  David’s onto something. 

The longer you hold back on what it is you actually want… the longer you’ll have to endure the type of ridicule that’s way worse than all the people you’re linked to on Facebook, laughing at you simultaneously.  Self-doubt is way worse than that.  Face it, we package fear and hand it to ourselves like it’s a gift.  We are our own worst enemies.

One of my very first posts was about the innocence of who we are at the age of five (go here if you want to read about it) and the fact that we believe we can do anything, be anything or have anything.  It’s such a universal truth in fact, that Walt Disney built an empire on that innocence and imagination.

However, somewhere along the way, something happens to us.  We go through life and people tell us we’re stupid, and we’re teased by our peers, and we suffer mass amounts of hurt and disappointment or worse… things so unimaginable that I wouldn’t even know how to write about them because my life was a cake walk in comparison.

And we use all that “life garbage” and turn it into our own version of the truth.  And we hand over our mental money and buy into the idea that whatever bad thing anybody ever told us to be true about ourselves must in fact, be true.  Otherwise, they wouldn’t have said it… right?

So, here’s my question:

What will it take to get you to scrap that idea and face the fear?

My hope is that your answer does not involve a brain tumor.  My hope is that something else will spark your need to discover your own unique something that’s calling you out of your own comfort zone and leading you directly into the fear you work so hard to avoid.

And the only rule in facing that fear is this: HONESTY RULES.  Because the moment you get honest is the moment you are forced to leap.  That is also the exact moment you will undoubtedly encounter that very fear… and your only option is to move through it.  It’s not even required that you move through it with grace and style.  You can trudge through it like a soldier covered in mud and moss by the time you’re on the other side, but the point is… move through it.

I actually want to open this topic for discussion because I’m curious.

What is your biggest fear?  Or maybe more appropriate… What is the biggest lie you tell yourself, regularly?

Is it that you’re not adequate?  Or is it that you might just be equipped beyond your wildest dreams to do something you never thought possible, but fear is getting in your way?

What is the worst that could happen if you try and then fail?

And finally… what on earth are you waiting for?

 

I welcome your comments!  Add your comments below, or click on the title of this post if no comment form is visible.

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