Archives for posts with tag: Reframe

Long before we have even roasted the turkey, we are pushed to go shopping for Holiday gift-giving. I am feeling old and stodgy when I say that (in my day…) we used to celebrate one holiday at a time. But I am not so jaded… (And I am not THAT old!)

At the same time that we are distracted from enjoying the holidays by believing we already need to be preparing the “stuff” for the next one, it is heartening to see a new wave of mindfulness.

On Thanksgiving,  my sister-in-law’s young grandson showed us the yoga pose he had learned in school. A client, who is a teacher, informed me that they teach  meditation techniques in the Head Start program where she works. I see hope.

What do you really want out of the Holiday Season? What is the meaning for you? Are you diminishing the value of the season for yourself in getting distracted by all the To-Dos?

Just as I once read in tips for meditation: 15 minutes per day is great, unless you are very busy, then 30 minutes per day is suggested.

My advice: Slow down. Take time to recharge–sharpen the saw, as Stephen Covey called it. Meditate for 5 minutes before getting out of the car after parking. Stop and take 6 conscious breaths. Pause and notice the sunrise.

The renewed energy and clarity of mind will make up for the time spent. And, who knows, you might just enjoy the Holidays more!

Each moment is created from the alphabet soup of the cosmos. Each moment is a pulling together from the soup of stuff that makes up our lives, our world, our universe.

As I sit and contemplatively chew my breakfast, I glance at the jumble of letters on the table. The letter tiles from the game of Bananagrams are spread out and available to play at any moment. Effortlessly I form words from the randomly placed letters. In an instant my mind forms words with no pattern or purpose; creating order out of seeming chaos.

It occurred to me that this is the opportunity we have in each and every moment of our lives. We get to pull from the possibilities of life to create our day. And regardless of the result, in the next moment, we, again, have the ability to pull from all possibilities that we allow. Each moment is a new moment. Each day is a new day.

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How freeing.

This means there is no missing out, no wrong-doings, and no failure. We experience a momentary compilation. If it is not in alignment with what we want, it is a mistake, and we move to the next moment and the next chance to compile anew.

AND we are not limited to a predefined alphabet! In life, we potentially have an infinite range of possibilities at our metaphorical fingertips.

Since these possibilities are available to us in each moment, we can safely be in the moment, fully immersed in the experience. We are and have everything in that moment, in the specific combination we created. And yet, it is like a thought–here in an instant and so fleeting that before we know it, another thought takes its place. So the momentary combination is everything and nothing–a creation like the words I formed. They have a certain semantic value for us and we can continually rearrange and reuse the letters of the alphabet to create an infinite flow of words. And we can play with the syntax of combining and recombining those words in an infinite flow of sentences, and so on.

Enjoy, play, and experience each and every moment of your life, knowing that each new moment brings the possibility to create anew.

 

 

Sound familiar? You are in a foreign country and your phrasebook query elicits smiles, whispers, and children’s wide-eyed fascination. The person, to whom you are speaking, gently tells you that instead of saying “Thank you,” you spoke of diarrhea. After a shocked moment, you all have a good laugh and end up discussing life over a bottle of wine.

I wish these moments on everyone. For me they represent the connection that can be possible anywhere, anytime, with anyone. How would you like to live in that kind of world?! A world, in which a miscommunication is simply that–and maybe even a chance to talk more, to clarify, to connect, to discover–yourself and others.

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What is different about communicating in a foreign country and communicating on your own turf? I believe it is the willingness to hear past the semantics, and to give the speaker the benefit of the doubt.

My assertion is that if we view each person as a Culture of One and if we communicate as if interacting with a foreign language and customs, we would have that connected world.

When dealing with an obvious difference of language or culture, the willingness to understand and to see the similarities in another person is more prevalent, despite the potential faux pas that can occur. This leads to a friendly or neutral interaction. It seems clear that if a person is raised with a different language in a different culture, her words and behavior may have a different connotation than mine. So, I don’t take things personally. I ask questions to clarify meaning and intent.

We each have a unique set of circumstances and experiences that gives rise to a very specific perspective that is reflected in everything we say, all our behaviors and reactions, and our interpretations. These interpretations fine-tune our perspective, and around it goes.

So, Jane Doe may have been born in 1983 in the U.S.A. with hundreds of other children, AND she was raised in New Hampshire, AND in the town of Bakersville, AND in the school district of Mount Washington, AND in the Family Doe, AND on Maple Street, AND…, AND in her own head. Each sphere represents an added layer of “culture.” The overlap of shared perspective is diminished with each layer. Jane Doe lives in her own unique point of view framed by her own unique set of beliefs. Her culture is, therefore, similar and yet unlike that of John Smith, also born in 1983 in the U.S.A.

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If you grew up using the same language as another person, it is easy to believe that she has the same connotations for each word as you do. That leads to arguments and being right about what another person said.

How often do you experience a person angrily saying, “But you said _______!” only to hear the rebuttal, “I never said that!” This is not communication, and it causes a disconnect.
Communication happens when the message that Person A sends, can be repeated by Person B, and Person A can say, “Yes, that is what I said.” This requires listening and being open to the meaning behind the words. It requires the willingness to understand a different perspective.

Speaking the same language obscures the fact that we each have a unique perspective and subtly different connotations and interpretations. It is BECAUSE we believe we are speaking the same language and meaning the same thing, that we feel justified in our position, and communication breaks down.

Applying the concept of Culture of One would allow us to step back. In the space we create, there is room to seek clarification and hopefully to deepen connection.

~SH

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Looking through my photos, an obvious theme emerges: Nature, and specifically Sunrise. If I am not directly viewing one, I live vicariously through FB Friends. I never tire of sunrise.

Each and every moment leading up to the sun peaking over the horizon, is savored. Captivating. The play of subtle shades on the water accentuates the lines of the waves and lends an air of an oil painting to the ocean and sky. The sights, smells, sounds, and feel of the breeze combine to engage all senses in a perfectly orchestrated commencement of each day. Not foretelling, but rather reaching perfection in each step; a string of complete experiences unfolding into a whole, perfect story.

Such is each and every moment of our lives. I believe that to savor each moment as the complete experience that it is, would be the way to honor and enjoy the whole, perfect story of life and ourselves.

There is no condition to meet for perfection to exist. There is nothing to do. It is a matter of perspective. To be open to perceiving the beauty and perfection is not always our first reaction, and yet it is there. Remind yourself of other instances in which, in retrospect, things turned out exactly as–or even better–than desired/imagined.

Breathe deep, and take a closer look/listen/sniff/feel. This moment is unique. It may be difficult to see a sharp, uncomfortable situation as perfect. It is like a tile in the mosaic of your story. Seen alone, it may not convey much, and as part of the whole, it is exactly right–lending contrast, framing, enhancing, continuing a theme, adding accent, etc.

Live and enjoy each moment. And in this way, your perfect life story will unfold and be told.

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My last post was about paying attention to what is directly in front of you, and not looking ahead into the future. The point was that if we don’t take care of the immediate task or deal with what is on our plate now, it changes our trajectory.

Did you wonder how a Life Coach could advocate for anything other than setting a goal and working towards it?!

Please understand, I am all about having a vision, dreams, goals, desires, and wishes! And I believe you must have clarity around these in order to realize them. By advocating for shortsightedness, I am, in no way, wanting you to ignore the steps of clarifying, stating, and working toward your goals. Yet, I am advocating letting go and allowing the unfolding of the path to your goals.

You may have heard the analogy of GPS, when discussing the path to manifesting your dreams. This is the way in which I understood my experience that I outlined in the last post titled Be Shortsighted.

Based on our experiences, we begin to define our desires. Very clearly we paint a picture of what we DO want by experiencing or learning what we do NOT want. Experience helps us whittle out our wants. This clarity is analogous to entering the destination in your GPS–or planting a homing device on our goal. Once we have planted that homing device we surrender the path and the details to the Universal GPS.

We then fill our tank with the excitement of being at our destination–how it feels, looks, sounds, etc. to be there. And we start our engines and roll on down the road. We trust our GPS to stay honed in on our destination. Our job is to keep the tank filled and keep making miles! [Filling the tank is where a vision board, for example, is helpful. Making miles means that you keep showing up, acting in alignment with your values, making yourself available for serendipity.]

That’s where shortsightedness or concentration on the task at hand comes in. We maneuver the car safely through traffic. This requires attention to what is right in front of you.
Even if our goal is a new job, we continue to show up and perform our current job as best we can. Secure in the knowing that we will be shown the next move; our GPS will tell us when to exit or make the turn.

Along the way, we may have to make a detour. Our GPS stays focused on our destination and recalculates the new, most direct route. We can sit back, and let ourselves be guided. If we become attached to a particular path or outcome, we limit the possibilities, and may delay an even better outcome than we could even imagine.

It is in the allowing of events to unfold that the magic happens. We must only continue to keep up the excitement of the overall feeling of the outcome, and keep showing up and being available for interactions. So, getting that new job, may come via that promotion you’ve been working toward, OR maybe a current client is so impressed with your professionalism that they want to hire you for a newly created position in their company, OR maybe there are other possibilities!

Keep up the excitement of being at your goal, keep moving forward, listen to the GPS, and you will reach your desired destination–AND it may be different and better than you ever imagined!

Happy Trails

PRISM for your Mind: NSA, WikiLeaks and Israel

Brilliant white light filters through a prism,
To emerge redirected, refracted as ROYGBIV,
RedOrangeYellowGreenBlueIndigoViolet.
The colors of the rainbow.
The colors of the chakras.
The colors of peace, joy, and happiness.
The arc leading to the proverbial pot of gold,
Lighting up the sky and children’s faces,
As the sun reaches out to catch a raindrop.

What color are you?
How can you be limited to just one?
Are we not each composed of ROYGBIV,
Regardless of how red-blooded, true-blue,
Or green with envy we may seem?
Categories of separated wavelengths,
Walls dividing light give permission to compare,
Form fractional factions, fear.
Division serves to isolate, dissociate, weaken, kill joy.

Remember from whence the colors come.
Trace your steps to the beginning.
Wholeness—not a splitting or splintering into individual pieces—
Is our true nature.
Acknowledge and accept all parts of yourself;
See similarities with others, find common ground;
Barriers dissolve like cumulus clouds after a storm.
Remember. Redirect. Reverse-refract. Reconnect.
Rainbows reconnected emerge as brilliant white light.

~Sarina

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I am going to go out on a limb—or a flagpole, as it were. I just heard again some coverage regarding South Carolina and the flag. The person being interviewed said that it should not be at the State Capitol, which is a place for everyone, and no one should have to drive past there and feel pain. But rather it should be in a museum where it can be honored appropriately.

First of all, what is appropriate? For whom? At what time?

Second, how are you going to affect that someone honors the flag in whatever way is deemed appropriate?

In addition, if someone feels pain, is it because of the symbol or is it because of what they tell themselves, what story they have about that symbol in their mind? So, what should be changed: The story or the symbol?

What are symbols anyway? Isn’t it just something that evokes a story in our mind? So, what is it that has the power: The symbol or the story?

I remember a while ago hearing a story about a black man, who adopted the Confederate flag, or whatever it’s called, because it is not just the Confederate flag, it was a flag before that and there is a name for it (I must research this further). He adopted it as his own; he had it proudly waving on his car. As you can imagine, some Blacks on one side, and some Whites on the other side, had different reactions to his adoption of that symbol.

He owned that flag. He refused to let someone else tell him what story to make up about it. It was amusing to see how, on the one hand, some people were horrified that he could adopt it. But he realized it was just a symbol, and he hoped others would embrace the same philosophy towards this symbol. It was amazing how some of the white men he encountered all of a sudden rejected the symbol; they wanted to have nothing to do with it. So, he helped them change their story about it. He might not have changed their way of thinking immediately, but at least the symbol they had wielded like a weapon was relinquished. This can ultimately diffuse the hate and fear behind a symbol, because it no longer has one rationale on which to cling or one single story which to propagate. Rather than upholding mental bondage, a symbol is slowly sapped of power.

Is that not the more effective way of honoring a symbol? To see it for what it is?

The more we uphold what it stands for—the story based on one time frame, based on hate and fear—the more that is real. And directly or indirectly, even if you don’t want to, that upholds it, that honors that story of hate and fear. What he was doing was turning it into love—seeing the reality occluded by the fear. He was seeing it for the symbol that it was—nothing more and nothing less.

In the same way, that is the lesson we can implement in our every day lives: to take behaviors that we see from our friends, family, and colleagues as symbols. We are the ones, who write the story about it. We are the ones who interpret it, attach meaning to it for ourselves. They are just symbols and we make of them what we want to make of them.

The person in traffic who …, the friend who didn’t …, or the colleague who …

What story are you telling yourself? Is it based on Fear, or is it based on Love?  ~BlinkNFlow

Idiom: Whistling Dixie–If someone is whistling Dixie, they talk about things in a more positive way than the reality. [Whose reality? ;-)]

Universal Law set to music by Rodgers & Hammerstein: My Favorite Things sung by Julie Andrews?

Sound of Music is the stuff of my childhood. I loved watching and singing along. Is that why I lived in Salzburg for so many years, passing by the Do-Re-Mi Pegasus fountain almost on a daily basis?!

Regardless, today as I finished up a coaching call in which my client was working through how to keep his vibration up, I drove away, and turned on the radio. A jazz rendition of My Favorite Things can on. The universe is so perfect! I laughed out loud (after I had sung as much of the lyrics as I could remember).

How can one shift thoughts to positive ones that raise the vibration? Listen and sing along with Julie Andrews!

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens…!

Happy Manifesting.

ps: I request, however, that you not serve/eat schnitzel with noodles. What a faux pas! Schnitzel is always served with potatoes. 😉

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Salzburg, Austria

The Decade – Another Building Block of Life

Das Jahrzehnt – Noch ein Baustein des Lebens

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The colors are a bit dim—this was November, after all—November 2011 in Salzburg, Austria. Pictured here is the view of the Fortress from Mirabell Garden. Mirabell Palace is on the left. Built in 1606, this was home to the Archbishop’s lover, Salome Alt, and her 15 children—at the time the palace and gardens were outside the city proper. [pun intended] This was just one of my fantastic daily views as I went about my business for 15 years of my life (and one in Vienna) between 1989 and 2005.

Die Farben sind ein wenig trüb—es war immerhin November—November 2011 in Salzburg, Österreich. Im Foto ist die Festung Hohensalzburg von Mirabellgarten zu sehen. Auf der linken Seite steht das Schloss, 1606 erbaut. Schloss Mirabell hauste Salome Alt, die Geliebte des Erzbischofs, und ihre 15 Kindern. Zu dieser Zeit liegt das Schloss außerhalb der Stadtgrenzen. Dieser Blick war nur ein meiner wunderschönen täglichen Ansichten meines Alltags als ich in Österreich wohnte—15 Jahre in Salzburg; ein Jahr in Wien—von 1989 zu 2005.

On July 5, 2005, I made the move I had previously thought I never would (so much for the old saying!). For the promise of starting up a business with my brilliant sister, I moved back to the United States. It took years for my shen to catch up to me; some might say it still hasn’t! [Please pardon the TCM talk.] Anyone, who knows me, though, is aware of how my heart still beats for Austria; that will likely always be so.

Obwohl ich mir gedacht habe, dass ich nie wieder hier leben würde, am 5. Juli 2005 kehrte ich in die Vereinigten Staaten zurück. Um ein Geschäft mit meiner superklugen Schwester zu gründen, bin ich übersiedelt. Es hat Jahre gedauert bis mein shen mich wieder eingeholt hat. Manche würden meinen, dass dies immer noch nicht der Fall ist! [Ein kleiner TCM Wink] Jeder der mich kennt weißt wie mein Herz noch für Österreich schlägt. Das wird wahrscheinlich immer so bleiben.

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Well, for one, I have great friends in Austria, and the beauty of the city and surroundings certainly make it very pleasant to live there. I have not lived in any other place longer—these were definitely formative years. How fortunate I am to have experienced the culture, the people, the language, the food, the perspective, the climate, the lifestyle, and so much more! Having been exposed to these broader horizons gave me a wider spectrum from which to choose for my own ways of being. That, for me, is the beauty of travel and living in different countries.

Erstens kenne ich großartige Menschen in Österreich, und die Schönheit der Stadt und Umgebung bilden eine sehr angenehme Lebenskulisse. Nirgendwo habe ich so lange auf einem Ort gewohnt. Diese Lebensjahre haben mich sehr geprägt. Wie glücklich bin ich, dass ich die Kultur, die Menschen, die Sprache, die Küche, die Ansichten, das Klima, den Lebensstil, und vieles Mehr erleben dürfte! Diese Erfahrungen haben bestimmt meinen Horizont erweitert und mir mehr Möglichkeiten der Selbstverwirklichung zur Verfügung gestellt haben. Ist das nicht der Sinn von Reisen und Auslandsaufenthalte? (Zumindest einer davon…)

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Ten years after I relocated to the West Side of the puddle (a.k.a. the Atlantic Ocean), I am amazed that it has been that long. Sometimes, I am amazed that I am still here…! But that is a different story. Time really has zipped by! In that decade so much has happened.

Zehn Jahre danach, bin ich erstaunt, dass schon ein Jahrzehnt vergangen ist! Manchmal bin ich erstaunt, dass ich noch in den USA wohne! Das ist jedoch ein anderes Thema. Wo ist die Zeit geblieben?! In dieser Zeit habe ich doch sehr viel erlebt.

In retrospect, the things that stand out are 1) I got to run a business with my sister, who is not only the greatest sister of all times, but also the greatest business partner!, 2) I got & get to live on the same continent with my family, 3) I became a certified Life Coach, 4) I worked with the visionary Luis Vasquez at the Yantalo Peru Foundation, in the USA and Peru, 5) I got to start studying Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine, and 6) I am getting to meet amazing people, who keep teaching me, broadening my horizons, and helping me grow.

Im Hinblick die Ereignisse die mich am meisten geprägt haben sind die folgenden:

  • Ich dürfte ein Geschäft mit meiner Schwester gründen (sie ist die allerbeste Schwester UND die allerbeste Geschäftspartnerin!);
  • Ich dürfte & darf am selben Kontinent mit meiner Familie wohnen;
  • Ich bin ein Life Coach geworden;
  • Ich dürfte mit dem Visionär, Luis Vasquez, für die Yantalo Peru Stiftung arbeiten—in den USA und Peru;
  • Ich dürfte mein Akupunktur/TCM Studium anfangen; und
  • Ich darf weiterhin neue großartige Menschen kennenlernen—Menschen, die dafür sorgen, dass ich lerne und weiterentwickle.

Despite the bittersweet goodbye I bade Austria, and the fact that I often wish I could have all my favorite people closer to me, I am clear that where I am is perfect.

Obgleich ich mich mit schwerem Herzen von Österreich Abschied genommen habe und ich lieber alle meiner liebsten Menschen um mich hätte, ist mir klar, dass wo ich bin perfekt ist.

My good friend, Silvia, during our conversation around my decision to move to the USA, felt that I should look inside for change, rather than make a location change. Every day, I thank her for that advice. I completely agree with her that a shift in perspective brings profound change, and most likely I could have stayed in Austria and I would be writing of different experiences and memories with just as much passion.

Damals im Gespräch mit Silvia, einer guten Freundin, über meine Entscheidung in die USA zurückzukehren, hat sie mir nahegelegt, dass ich anstatt einer äußerlichen Veränderung, eine innere Veränderung herbeiführen sollte. Täglich bedanke ich mich bei Ihr für diesen Rat. Ich stimme zu, dass ein Perspektivwechsel tiefgründige Veränderungen bewirkt. Höchstwahrscheinlich hätte ich in Österreich bleiben können und würde ich jetzt über andere Erfahrungen und Erinnerungen mit genau so viel Leidenschaft berichten.

And yet exactly the specifics of my changes and experiences have led me here. Just as the ones leading up to me falling in love with an Austrian (and consequently with Austria), led me on another journey in 1989. And I am the sum total. Do I miss dear friends, my magical Fuschlsee, the majestic mountains, and the more human cultural attitudes? YES! Mostly, though, I am so incredibly grateful that I can count these as part of my experiences, part of me. I love life and life just keeps loving me!

Jedoch sind es exakt die Einzelheiten meiner Veränderungen und Erfahrungen, die mich hierher geführt haben. Genauso als damals die Einzelheiten meines Lebens haben es ermöglicht, dass ich mich 1989 in einen Österreicher (und dann auch Österreich) verliebt habe, und ein neues Kapitel meines Lebens beginnen dürfte. Das gesamte Buch ist mein Leben—das bin ich. Natürlich vermisse ich solche tollen Freunde, und gerne würde ich wieder um den zauberhaften Fuschlsee gehen oder durch die majestätischen Berge wandern! Am meisten bin ich aber dankbar, dass ich diese Erfahrungen zu den eigenen zählen darf. Ich liebe das Leben und das Leben liebt mich weiterhin!

Thank you! Vielen Dank!

~Sarina

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Yes, the sun will come up tomorrow. But will I still love myself, if I keep putting things off until “tomorrow”? Are you like me and push tasks off until the deadline is staring you in the face? Or have you been starting your new exercise routine “tomorrow” for months? Then you might also describe yourself as a procrastinator, or a person, who needs a deadline to get motivated, or perhaps even (in secret) as a person, who just can’t do [fill in the subject or task] or who wants to lose weight and can’t, but I’ll change that… tomorrow. Each of us has her/his own reason for not taking action; very often a belief about oneself is holding us back. We are often unaware of this underlying belief – that is how it continues to do its damage and have power over us. It is possible to loosen its grip and move forward to a better self, leaving that nagging belief in the dust. (For some of us, it might be necessary to seek out counseling, but most of us are capable of moving forward now!) Warning: this might not be easy; there is no instant fix. This is change, and change takes time; it is a process. And, yes, you can do it. How important is it to you:

  • To feel good about yourself?
  • To maintain a good work-life balance?
  • To feel fit and energized?

Try it on for size. Sit back, close your eyes, picture yourself having these things. How does that feel? What does it look like? So, what are you wiling to do to achieve this? Are you willing to let go of the belief that you are unworthy of success or love? Yes, this belief may be at the root of your procrastination. Unconsciously, you push off doing things in order to keep a steady stream of “proof” that you are unworthy, thus maintaining the belief. That is self-sabotage at its best. How can you break the cycle? First, be aware of the belief. Look yourself deep in the eye in a mirror, and say to yourself, “I love and accept myself.” What comes up? Do all the “reasons” you are not lovable arise? Do you spout off a list of “…yes, but…?” If so, this belief is limiting your sustainable progress toward your goals. Then, tap back into the feeling of what it is like having achieved your goals. Feels good, right? Do you want that feeling or what you have now? Make the decision. If you are willing to change, let go of the limiting belief, and begin replacing it with a new one that serves you better. No, it is not likely a one-and-done. Yes, you can change your belief. It is, after all, a strengthened thought. It grew over time. You can do the same thing with a new, healthier belief. Be gentle with yourself, it is a process–one that gets easier with practice. True to the old adage: One must first love oneself… and then the sky is the limit!