Saturday, March 26, 2011

Experiences Help us Know we are LIVING!

We just got back from a wonderful mini-vacation in Lake Geneva, WI. It was our first time there. The reason for this blog post is to share my excitement about enjoying new "experiences" and stepping out of our comfort zones.

We stayed at the Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark, where they have several pools, hot tubs and two big water slides.

One of those slides was for going down in a raft, which was totally fun! But the other slide was for going down without a raft -- and it was pitch black inside. I wasn't so sure about trying this myself. Paul tried it and said it was fun, but a bit scary. I didn't attempt it the first day, but by the second day, I knew I had to!

I mean really -- kids 48 inches tall were going down this thing and having a ball, why shouldn't I!?  So, whoosh, I did, and I'm so glad! What fun! It was a little scary being in the water in the dark, and, to be totally honest, I did have to remind myself to breathe, but it was exhilarating to try it!

The other experience I almost let pass me by was going in the hot tub -- outside. Why? Because every time we walked by it, I froze my butt off. But Paul and Tyler pushed me, "You've gotta try it!" I was hesitant, but OMG! I  LOVED IT! I think I found a new favorite activity for when it's 30 degrees outside! I loved the feeling of being soooo warm under the water, while above the water, the fresh air was mixing with the mist and gently brushing across my face. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

As a parent, I notice that Tyler is a bit like me -- a little afraid to try something new -- especially something that could be risky. He did not want to try the water slide on the raft, but I reminded him of how much he loves the ride Test Track at EPCOT ... and how he was reluctant to get on that ride, too. That got him on the water slide in a jiffy!

While we were there, I also noticed the resort uses the word "experience" to describe their daily activity schedule. They say, "We don't remember days, we remember experiences." I thought that was really cool.

Overall, we had many wonderful "experiences" on our trip -- we tried new foods, taught the kids to play checkers, went down water slides, played in the pools, drifted in the lazy river, played family bingo, relaxed by the fire, discovered Lake Geneva and more. What fun!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Who the Heck Am I?

I seem to be coming across many people lately who don't think they know who they are or what they want to do when they grow up.

I see people who have had a career for many years, but are not feeling happy or fulfilled by their work.

I see people who have been laid off and now have an opportunity to discover what they want to do.

I see people who have already started to explore a new reality, but seem to be backing off for fear they will fail.

I see young moms, who chose to stay home with their children, feeling the desire to start their own business.

I also see more experienced moms -- in their 40's and 50's -- struggling to figure out who they are and what they want to do now that the kids are raised and on their own.

I find this all very interesting, and I wish I could just whisper the word "courage" into their ears. Because the only way to find your true happiness in life is to take some risk and try. But the questions these people ask are, "What if I fail?" or "What if I don't like it?" Self-doubt takes over. Fear grounds them.

My answer to those questions is the same -- at least you got off the fence and tried. At least you took a step forward. Even if your choice does not work out, it was still a step forward. Why? Because you now have more information than before you tried it.

Is it this simple? Not exactly. But there is a process. All it takes is drive and determination on your part.

What is the alternative? Living an unhappy, unfulfilled life? Feeling like you're going nowhere? Why would you live that way when you know a fulfilling career is possible? Contact me when you're ready to love your life and your career!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

How Alyssa's Preschool Gave me a Helpful Life Experience With Alyssa

Just wanted to share an interesting experience I am going through with Alyssa. There seemed to be some issues going on in her preschool class that ended up with Alyssa having hurt feelings and crying quite often. One morning on the way to school, Alyssa said through tears, "I want move back to Florida so I can have my Florida friends back, because these friends are too hard."

Oh my goodness. That broke my heart.

The teacher and I talked about this issue and were working on it, when one day she suddenly put all of the puzzle pieces together. She said some of the the other children in class may be experiencing jealousy toward Alyssa, because her mom has been volunteering in the classroom.This created an interesting dynamic.

Here's one example of what was happening: When I arrived at school to volunteer, the whole class would come running over to hug me, nearly knocking me down. Alyssa used to be a part of that big hug. She seemed proud to have her mom at school.

But as the year went on, I noticed she would not come hug me -- she would go off by herself. I wondered why. It seemed like she looked sad, too...but why would that be? Her mom was at school -- wouldn't that make her happy?

The teacher suggested I take a break from volunteering in the classroom to see if it worked better for Alyssa.

At first, I felt bad and sad about it, but after I had time to process the situation and talk with my life coach, I realized this was definitely the best thing. My life coach helped me to see what was happening energetically.

She said if you take out of your mind who the people are and just describe the situation you will see what is happening more clearly. So, in our case, a source of love (a parent) walks into a classroom of four and five-year-olds who have been away from their parents all day. The children are thirsty for love, so they run to the source of the love for a hug. This makes the child of the source of love feel abandoned, because she think there is no room for her with the source of love, so she goes off by herself, feeling bad.

My life coach also reminded me of something I didn't think I'd see until Alyssa was a teenager -- there tends to be an inherent feeling of competition between mothers and daughters. Well, regardless what her age is, the feeling of competition with her mother is not something I wish for my daughter to experience at all. So, I knew it was time to talk to Alyssa immediately.

Here's how our conversation went:

Me: Alyssa, how does it make you feel when mommy gets to school and all of the other kids come running up to me and give me a hug?

Alyssa: Sad.

Me: Sad? Why?

Alyssa: Because I think they like you more than me.

Oh my gosh. How sad to think that she thought that. And how amazing that a five-year-old could put that into words so simply.

I am grateful I took the time to talk with her teacher and my life coach, because it prepared me for that conversation with her.

I explained to her that her friends love her very much, and that even though they run to her mom for a hug at school, it's only because they wish they were hugging their mom instead.

I told her how much I love her and that there will always be enough love in my heart for her and her freinds, too! We ended the conversation with a big hug and a giggle as she started to get emotional and instructed me that we could stop talking about it now. OMG!