Tag Archives: Health

The Chaos of Big Transformations

Chaos theory
Chaos theory (Photo credit: anroir)

In the last twenty years, we all have become an expert at making rapid transformations in our lives and business.  Sometimes, we are made to feel less than if we don’t create big transformations quickly.  In the past, I have found myself doing work where I lead major transformational projects and have been considered a change agent, so I have some idea on how to get things done.

In my experience, no matter how much you plan a big transformation, there is always a part of it that is chaotic, especially if you are trying to do something more quickly than usual.  Of course, this makes sense, because if we were following standard protocol, we would take the normal amount of time and effort to do something.

I can’t say that the move to a new location for my family and business is particularly aggressive in it scheduling.  Yet, after 14 years of living in our home,  it’s hard to not have a chaotic element to what we are doing.  Right now, I’m taking a break from packing and getting the new house set and taking the time to check in here.

Have you ever had a big transformation where everything went smoothly without chaos?

The biggest transformations in my life always had times of chaos in the middle of them, whether they were personal or professional.  With the most important transformations, everything changes for the better after the chaos.

I can already see a new enchanted oasis emerging for my family.  My mother was awe-struck this morning with how lovely our backyard garden looks.  In our best transformations, after the dust settles we end up “living” in a better new place and way of life.

You may not be literally moving to a new home, but so many of us are moving through big transformations and dealing with the ensuing chaotic moments.  This is an important time to remember to remain aware of how we are showing up.  In chaotic times we need both rest and awareness to remain calm.

Daily Contemplation:

What is the smoothest big transformation that you’ve ever had in your life?

When you were exhausted and tired from a change that you are experiencing, and you know the chaos must continue for a bit longer, how did you stay kind to yourself and others?

Miracles Can Happen: Update on Ginger

Ginger on June 30th – she could barely hold her head up here, a few days later she couldn’t stand. We had to carry her everywhere.

Today seems like a good time to give you an update on dear Lhasa Apso, Ginger for those of you who had read some of my posts in June about her illness.

I wish I was a better photographer, so I could show the transformation of our little dog Ginger from June to July to now.  Her healing journey has been amazing!

As some of you will recall, I asked for your prayers back in June because Ginger looked liked this and frankly much worse.

She had all the signs of a dying dog.  She wasn’t eating or able to stand, she lay down with her eyes open for days on end.  Her whole body was shaking violently, and we couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her.

Her illness happened about two weeks before we had scheduled to go on vacation in the Appalachians.  From the way things were going, we had thought she wouldn’t be alive when we went on vacation.

Back in June, when I asked for your prayers and kind thoughts, my boys and I held all night vigils.  We slept next to her on the floor, the place she was most comfortable.

And to our great happiness and the surprise of our veterinarian, the medicines started to work.  He’s still not completely sure what she had.  He thinks it was encephalitis – swelling of her brain.  It could have been something else as well, we don’t know.

At first, Ginger began to be able to sit up, then start walking in a wobbly way.  By the time we started our vacation, she was walking and eating well enough for us to feel safe leaving her at the veterinarian hospital.  We had considered taking her with us, but thought it might be tougher on her health than being where she could just relax and keep recovering.  So, we called the animal hospital every few days to check in on her.  She was doing fine!

There’s life in Ginger’s eyes again!

This is what Ginger looks like now.She may be on certain medication for the rest of her life, it’s not clear yet.

What is clear to me, is that we are blessed that she recovered.

I wanted to share her story with you, just to say never give up until you must.

There are times when all our actions and all our prayers don’t create the results we want.  But sometimes they do, and it’s always worth fighting for that possibility.

Thank you to everyone who sent your love and healing energy while Ginger was sick.  I’m convinced it made quite a big difference in her recovery.  When you need prayers or kind thoughts from me, don’t be afraid to ask for them.

Here are a few more photos just because I’m so happy that the great Spirit of Life has given Ginger some more time with us!

Ginger standing and ready for action.
I was trying to create some more cute photos of Ginger, but every time I clicked the camera she looked away. She’s cuter than she looks in my pictures.

Do You See The World Around You As It Is?

Have you ever missed the patterns of your life because they are so familiar or just allowed them to continue because you’re afraid to make a change?  Sometimes the patterns are BIG problems in the world, sometimes they are small problems in our life.

This morning, after dropping the kids off at school,  I took the advice of a life coach and drove a square mile around my house to see what’s there.  I had never taken the time to really look at where I live.  So, often we miss what is so familiar.  We take for granted the relationship we have with the way things have always been.  We don’t see that we could try something new.

That little drive gave me a fresh perspective about my world.  I had not seen the functions going on around me – the schools, the churches, the shops, the homes, the health clubs, the banks.  For quite some time I have been seeing all the homes for sale and the foreclosure signs as well as beautiful homes where everything seems to be fine.  There are strip malls where major stores have closed down and housing developments which stopped growing.  There’s a silence that is frightening.

Kane county where I live has been devastated by the Great Recession in some ways, but the City of Aurora has amazingly become safer with less crime and gang activity going down because of innovative policing strategies.

The needs of this community are so diverse.  I spent five years working on sustainability and economic development in Chicago but I’ve been afraid to do anything in my own backyard because I have felt that I don’t have the right credentials.  I started using my experience to think about what could happen here.   Not sure if I can help, but I decided that I would start talking to some people, and see if there is some way that I can contribute more. If not me, then who will?

This is the BIG work calling to me that scares me.

Later in the day, one of my close friends called and asked about getting together.  Like me, she’s trying to grow and evolve her business, and she wanted to get together on a Friday because that’s her day off.  I work from home, but that doesn’t mean I always can drop what I’m doing.  So, I suggested that we try out a new idea for growing business together during that morning which was unscheduled as a way of honoring both our needs.

She practically barked at me on the other end of the line, saying I just want to have fun, you always want to work. This is a pattern that began a few years ago, when I started getting more serious about my life’s work.  Yet, to call me someone who always wants to work, is so very crazy that I can’t even begin to say how funny that is.

Since we don’t see each other often, I have often changed my schedule to accommodate her “more important” schedule.  I also find myself doing this same schedule accommodation with my kids and family.  Then, I get mad at them all as if it’s their fault that I don’t have the ability to say no.

I’m lucky to have the freedom to be accommodating, like when my son was sick at school yesterday.  I was grateful that I could drive over quickly to pick him up.  I remember the days of 3 hour commutes and full-time work when balancing kids, childcare and work were so difficult. Yet, it’s a matter of balance.  I’ve realized that I’m not honoring my own work or self-worth enough when I say yes too easily or say no too quickly to bigger work.

I suspect I’m like a lot of suburban Moms who get caught up in this trap of feeling like we have to drop everything for our family, and maybe you don’t have as much to contribute to the world anymore, now that we’re older.  It’s some of us older moms that need to get involved with rebuilding America.

I’ve decided that it’s time to make some changes and move out of my comfort zone as well as honor my family and those needs. As I look at my world with fresh eyes, I see that small changes on behalf of my work and play could be good for everyone.

Does any of this resonate with you?

  1. Is there any place in your life where you are missing little patterns or habits because they’re so typical and ordinary?
  2. Do you feel guilty for enjoying your work or taking it seriously?
  3. Do you find yourself accommodating others because you “should” help others more than yourself?
  4. Is there any place where you heart and mind are saying get involved, but you’re scared that you couldn’t contribute enough?’

Let’s see what we might do differently to follow our hearts where they lead us as we take a closer look at the world around us.

When Do Our Weaknesses Matter?

In the last post, I talked about how important it is to focus on our strengths to be more successful as a person and a writer.  I firmly believe this is the key to every success I’ve ever had and most of the people I’ve worked with as well.

However, there are times when we should put effort about weaknesses.   The most important reason to change your habits is so that you can build up your strengths, and if a particular habit or way of being is holding you back from focusing on your strength, it’s time to change.

A few days ago, I watched a video from Brendon Burchard featuring Dr. Daniel Amen. His talk was on the high performance brain, a subject I usually don’t worry about.   Yet, something nudged me to watch the video.  And watching it, increased my commitment to living a healthier lifestyle.

For in the video, Dr. Amen talked about the effect that being overweight had on brain size and brain age.  According to him being obese, shrinks your brain by 8% and increases your brain age by 16 years.  Essentially, being unhealthy decreases your intelligence.

This was a jolt to me, because intelligence is one of my personal strengths.  I’ve had the idea that becoming healthy needed to be my big priority this year, even above writing or being a good mother.  This recent video verified what was dawning on me, that changing this area of my life is important because it affects my ability to grow and expand my strengths.

As you consider any transformations you might like to make this year, ask yourself does this change allow me to grow my strengths?   If it doesn’t don’t worry about.  If you need to develop a new set of habits, and you know what they are, first allow your strengths to blossom, then work on that weakness.

The other technique that I’m practicing this year is to use my strengths to help me develop a healthier lifestyle.

When we put our personal strengths at the forefront of our focus, then we can make great progress.  So far, I’ve given up eating sugar, and I’m feeling much better.  Once again, I would recommend viewing Dr. Amen’s video from Brendon Burchard if getting healthier is on your radar screen this year.

Just curious. Do you have any examples of how you’ve used a personal strength to eliminate or at least tame a former weakness?

Happy New Year!

Don’t know about you, but I’ve been inundated with emails giving advice on how to make 2012 a better year than 2011.  Some of the ideas have been really useful or inspirational.  But all the suggestions for change can be overwhelming.

So many of us certainly would like to have an easier year in 2012.  This last year has certainly had its challenges for me, but I ended the year with good health for myself and my family and probably stronger connections between true friends and family than ever before.  In a lot of ways, I’m happier than I’ve ever been though I face some steep challenges early this year.  

I believe in these tough times we can discover something I call destiny partners.  There are always people who are there to help us if only we look for them.  These aren’t necessarily the people who are telling you how to lose weight or get rich quick.  Our true friends overlook the superficial and see through to our true talents.  May you appreciate those friends who care about your deepest success and can help you if only you ask for it.

Every year I choose a theme forthat year.  Last year and frankly the year before, my theme was peace.  Nothing was more important to me than having peace in myself and in my life.  And both of those years for all their challenges,  were peaceful for me.  I self published my first book last year, and finally finished my novel to the point where I’ve started looking for an agent.

This year, I feel ready for a new theme for my writing and my life.  I want to flourish.  It would be good for me to lose weight and build my bank account up again.  That’s part of a flourishing path for me. 

However, more than that, I want to connect more deeply with people who are doing their best to do good in the world.  I’m offering what I call the Good Life Mini-Retreats starting in February in the Chicago area to build a different kind of support system for kind hearted artists and innovators who want to flourish differently. 

What about you?  What’s your theme for 2012?  What quality of life matters more to you than anything else?

By the way, one of my resolutions is to make blogging a daily practice to commit more deeply to both my writing and my tribe.  So, I’m starting now, and would love to hear from you on how you’re upleveling your commitment to writing this year.