Forward Progress

Wednesday morning I was in my office getting ready to coach a long time client and I realized that a certain thing I have imagined, dreamed of, planned for, and desired is finally coming to pass.

The thing that made me realize this is a sheet of paper I came across in my office.  The paper was an outline, a business plan of sorts, a representation, a treasure map if you will, of the things I wanted to create in my career.  The paper was dated February 3, 2010.  Almost exactly 2 years ago.

2 years.

Many things in my life have changed in those two years.

Many things remain relatively unchanged.

I think it is those things that remain unchanged that can sometimes give us the impression that we aren’t making forward progress, or at least maybe not as fast as we would like to be moving.

And yet…I stood there looking at this slip of paper and taking account of just how much progress I have made towards my intended goals and dreams.

Many times the basic structure of our life is steady, we eat, we sleep, we wake, we go to work, we come home, we talk to family and friends, we do what we do and then we do it all again tomorrow.

And yet within that structure things change, shift, move, grow.

Two things came to mind for me that I believe made all the difference in bringing these dreams into reality.

  1.  I had to learn how to let go.  One of the most powerful things anyone has ever said to me was “Every big shift comes after a big letting go.”  I believe this to be the absolute truth.  We have to be willing to let go of one thing to be free to allow another thing space to happen.
  2. I had to learn how to say “yes”. We can become empowered enough to say “No!” to what we don’t want, but then we need to go the next step and be willing to say “Yes!” to what we do want, and this may put us in a situation where we have to again be willing to let go. (See step 1 above.)

What do you want to create this year?   In your career?  In your relationships?  In your life?

What are you willing to let go of?

What are you willing to say “Yes” to?

It might seem scary.  Or impossible.  Or crazy.

Let go.  Say yes.  Make it happen.

Trust the Process.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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What you want, wants you.

Recently a close friend of mine hung a sign on her closet door.  The sign is an antique car sign that says “Tourist”.

She said to me, “It’s hanging on the closet door hinges to remind me of Grandpa who left Iowa for Pomona and a warmer and better life. He purchased a car named Tourist and traveled to Iowa via New Orleans and returned via Montauk Point. I’ve always believed I was born with wheels on.  Certainly they were a part of my childhood travels with my parents.  My heritage: we keep going.”

This friend of mine loves to travel, in fact she becomes very energetic and passionate and alive just talking about traveling.

She has traveled to many places in her life and she desires to travel to many more.  The recent years have not offered many travel opportunities for her but there is something I believe and I see it so clearly here….and it this: the things we so strongly desire are there, somewhere, waiting for us, desiring us, and drawing us in.

Something I firmly believe: “What you want, wants you.” And isn’t this just a perfect example of that very thing?  We don’t just desire things for no reason.  I believe the desire is the confirmation, the signpost of what is true and real for us.

Recently I came across The Sketchbook Project.  It could have been a coincidence, except that I don’t generally believe in them.

I could not stop thinking about it.  For a solid week after learning about it, it was constantly on my mind.  (My early background was in graphic design, and I think I was born with a colored pencil in my hand.)  My inner self tried to object….”This is going to take a lot of time, you might not finish it, you already have a lot going on, you’re in a brand new relationship and this will take up time you could be spending together, <insert any other lame objection you can think of here.>

But then I realized that I was still thinking about it. A LOT.

So I took the plunge (and I might even share some of my work here if I hear from some of you about wanting to see it!)

Like my friend and her desire to travel, like my desire to create art and music, I know that you too have desires.

Dreams.  Longings.  And I believe they are there because they want to be fulfilled.  They might seem really big, like traveling to India.  They might be smaller, like creating a sketchbook.  But whatever they are, they are CALLING YOU!!

Take them out.  Dust them off.  Hang a sign on your closet door to remind you of them if you must.  Know that intentions are powerful and that you feel drawn towards that certain thing because that certain thing is drawing you…that opportunity, that situation, that position, that acheivement, and that place.

Open up to it and know that this is the year you will begin to move closer to fulfilling all of your desires. And I can’t wait to hear about them when you do!

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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This Present Moment

We are two weeks into 2012, and I have been thinking about how we tend to look forward to each new year–making plans and wondering what the new year will bring.

And yet, for all of our gazing into the future and desiring to create new plans for a new year, the Present Moment is all we really ever have.

Have you ever thought about that? That all we really have is right now?

The present moment is the only thing that is truly “real”.

All of our past experiences are so valuable if we allow them to be learning experiences, and all of our plans for the future are truly valuable when we make those plans with intention and wisdom.

Yet, the only thing we ever really have is right here, right now, and yet so often our thoughts have nothing to do with the present moment and everything to do with the past or the future.

The fears and worries that plague us by holding us back and preventing us from making progress are often, if not always, attached to the past or to the future, and often to both.

We have all had an unpleasant experience (in the past) and allowed that memory to form an assumption that if given similar circumstances it will happen again.


It is an empowering thing to realize that just because something happened in the past, does not mean it will happen again. Bringing ourselves back to the NOW can be a big step in that direction.

A powerful tool for bringing oneself back into the present moment is to become aware of the five senses.

What does the temperature in the room feel like?

What do the clothes you are wearing feel like on your body, on your skin?

If you are eating or drinking, fully focus on the taste, feel, and smell of the food or drink.

What sounds can you hear right now, where you are?

What can you smell?

What colors do you notice in your present location?

All of these queries bring you back to NOW.  All of these senses are being felt by you NOW, in the present moment.

And in this present moment our fears have no power.

Here’s to a year full of awesome moments!  Each one, perfect.

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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Happy New Year, You Are Awesome.

In just a few days we will be entering a new year, 2012.  I realize that you will possibly be inundated by all kinds of ideas about resolutions, goal setting, and self-improvement, along with a slew of offerings for new planners, journals, calendars, workbooks and apps to keep you on track.

And I am the last person to criticize or make light of any of this, since my business (and passion) is personal growth, and I am a workbook/planner/calendar/app JUNKIE myself.

However, in pondering what to write about for this last blog of the year, I just COULD NOT get motivated about writing ONE MORE article for you to add to the pile of “let’s-get-this-next-year-right-finally” articles that you may see.

So….this morning I was reading (actually re-reading) one of my favorite books (and a gift from my Sweetheart this year), The Alchemist.  And the following quote just JUMPED off the page at me.

…..when Narcissus died, the goddesses of the forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

“Why do you weep?”, the goddesses asked.

“I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.

“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”

“But…was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.

“Who better than you to know that?” the goddesses said in wonder.  “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”

The lake was silent for some time.  Finally, it said:

“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful.  I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”

(from The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho)

***

This little fable reminded me that we see things in others because they are present in us.

Do you know that the things you admire in others are easy for you to see because they are qualities that you yourself possess?

In fact, if you make a list of the qualities you admire in others, those will be qualities that you possess even though often you won’t openly or easily recognize them in yourself.

I recently received a question from a reader wanting to know how she can “be” to attract the wonderful man she deserves.  Another reader acknowledged her challenge was believing that she is truly lovable “just as she is”, the connection between these two ideas is that when we can believe that we are enough, we WILL attract the love and the life we desire.

Going in to the New Year, my wish for you is that your wonderful qualities will shine brightly, not just to others, but to you.

That your own unique brand of awesomeness will become something that you naturally recognize and take advantage of, for your own benefit as well as the benefit of the world.

That when you admire a quality in someone else you will own in it yourself and use it to make your world, our world, a better place.

That your blessings, talents, and gifts would provide you with abundance, joy, peace and happiness.

That you will feel comfortable with the wonderful amazing qualities that are uniquely yours.

I wish you a New Year full of Love & Magic,

Cindie

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Making a List and Checking it Twice…

Three conversations in as many days…three different
relationships: business, parent/child, and romantic.

One issue: Frustration.

The fix: Boundaries.

Now, about that list…yes, it is the holiday season and I realize that my title and picture bring to mind the popular image of Santa checking his list to see who is naughty and who is nice…(and here is where I apologize in advance for co-opting a Christmas sentiment to get your attention).

Because today, I want you to make a list.

I suggest that you pick a relationship that you are currently involved in (be it business or personal) OR the relationship you would like to attract/create, and then make a list of what you WILL NO LONGER ACCEPT.

There. I said it.

I realize that it is more fun to make a list of what we want, AND I know you want to have easy, sweet, happy, delicious relationships.

Which is precisely the reason I want you to start today by making a list of what you will not accept.

And why is this so important?  Because, we get what we tolerate. 

And the tolerations in our lives cause FRUSTRATION.  Frustration causes resistance, and resistance stops ease and flow.

My challenge for you is to decide upon 3 things that you will no longer tolerate.

I’m not even going to pretend that this will be an easy task.
Some of you have been tolerating things in your relationships for so long that it seems impossible to make a new boundary around them.  I know you can.

Yes, making boundaries may require a difficult conversation.  Be brave.  Success often depends on them.

Ridding yourself of those tolerations will open up space (emotionally and energetically) and that new space can be filled with what you desire, instead of what you are tolerating.

Won’t it be nice to go into the New Year with more ease, flow, sweetness, and deliciousness in your life?

 

Love & Magic,

Cindie

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The Comfort Zone

THE COMFORT ZONE.  It is a phrase we have all heard before, and I suppose that we each have our own perception of just what it means.

 

We are admonished by motivational speakers, ministers, teachers, bosses, and coaches to go beyond our comfort zone. I do not disagree.

 

Moving out of your comfort zone (whatever that is) in even a small way is often the first step towards a shift in consciousness that paves the way toward a more meaningful life.

 

The thing is, often our comfort zone is anything but comfortable, or comforting.

 

As Richard Bandler puts it, it probably would be better referred to as our “familiar zone”.

 

Virginia Satir, the famed family therapist, once remarked that, “Most people think the will to survive is the strongest instinct in human beings, but it isn’t.  The strongest instinct is to keep things familiar.”

 

Many of us stay in familiar situations because they’re familiar, even though they are often fraught with discomfort.  This often results in a sort of “walking on eggshells” experience. Eggshells are fragile, and this phrase denotes any situation where a great deal of care must be taken to maintain the status quo, or keep the peace.  This in itself produces a lack of ease and comfort.

 

When you read these ideas, what area or situation in your own life comes to mind?

 

Are you staying in a familiar place because you are avoiding having to deal with the unknown?

 

Recently a friend and I had a short discussion about “certainty”.  I remarked that my personal rule about certainty is that I work towards being absolutely certain about what I want, while also totally okay with being UNcertain about how it will come to be.

 

Often we don’t make changes until the discomfort of staying where we are becomes greater than our perceived discomfort of making a change. 

 

Once we do make the shift we often look back and wonder what took us so long.

 

Are you keeping yourself stuck in your comfort zone even though it is creating a lot of discomfort?

 

What is one thing you could do today that, although a bit unfamiliar, would be a step away from discomfort?

 

When you take that first small step away from discomfort you will be moving towards peace, and the ever present

opportunity for a better life.

 

Love & Magic,

 

Cindie


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Best Laid Plans

Are you a planner?  Someone who meticulously plans every detail of every detail?

My son and I often have a discussion about plans.  His take, in a nutshell: “Plans Fail.”

My take: “You HAVE to plan!! How can you get anything done if you don’t PLAN? How can you invite anyone to anything without a PLAN? How can you arrange your schedule without a PLAN?” (and my part goes on and on and on while he resolutely holds to his belief that plans are competely and totally unnecessary and a sure fire way to keep your self in a perpetual state of disappointment because, “plans never work out the way you expect.”

In fact he is so adamant that I don’t even use the word “plan” or any derivative of it anymore while talking to him because he will remain silent and just shake his head.  Which has made me aware of just how often I do use the word.

Recently I got a super huge dose of reality about plans.  Now this is where it gets personal.  For the past three years I’ve been “planning” to move across the country.  I had been creating this plan because for some reason I thought I needed to be somewhere else to have something different.

I did everything in my power to push this plan and make it happen.  It didn’t.  I held on.  push push push.  Nothing.

pull pull pull.  Nothing.

Wait, hope, push, pull, wait….this feels like a struggle.  And that is when the realization hit me.  I’ve been struggling with this “plan” for 3 years.

And that is when I did it.  I stopped.  I stopped pushing…I stopped pulling….I stopped planning.  I decided that maybe I needed to stop resisting what “was” and just let the Universe do the planning.

And in that magical space of nonresistance an amazing thing happened.  The things I thought I had to go elsewhere to find found me.

My son’s wise words to me, “You don’t need to ‘plan’, you just need to be prepared.”

And even though I will still forever be someone who makes “plans”…I’d like to think that I can be open enough  to just be ready for the better thing when it shows up, and not be so busy planning that I miss it.

So, when a monkey wrench gets thrown into your plans…consider what two of my best friends told me recently…

“The best laid plans of mice and men, are oft for naught.”

My wish for you is that you can relax into the magic of nonresistance and see clearly that sometimes it’s just better to be prepared.

Are you ready for something better? 🙂

 

Love & Magic,

Cindie

 

 

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