Wrapping Up The Year

Now that we are almost done wrapping the presents, I have started to think about wrapping up the year.  Most people have some kind of ritual or tradition of saying farewell to the year. During December, I offer my clients the opportunity to recap this year using The YAHOO/BOO HOO/AH-HAH list. (Try saying that 3 times fast.)

Under the YAHOO, we look at accomplishments, what you are most proud of, and any other items to celebrate; BOO HOO – goals not achieved, regrets, disappointments and any sad moments; AH-HAHs – key learnings or lessons this year offered.

Then my clients create a personal ritual for closing out the year.  Once that is complete, we tackle setting intentions for the next year.

How will you wrap up 2009?

New Holiday Tradition: Looking Forward to the Obstacles

We had a delightful Thanksgiving sleeping in, enjoying the outdoors, and of course, EATING! We especially relished our new holiday tradition: a post-dinner obstacle course in which family and friends gather in the basement and devise a course incorporating physical challenges such as leaping over couches (see photo of my son, James) crawling under tables and jumping rope; feats of manual dexterity (dropping bamboo skewers into a small glass); and tests of memory (how many times do I rock in the chair?)

Young and old look forward to the “race.”  My children start planning for it long before the adults plan the dinner menu. Everyone is engaged, whether by running the course, being a timer or commentator, or cheerleading.

Of course, this tradition got me thinking…

In planning our post dinner fun, everyone looks forward to creating a challenging set of obstacles and seeing how each person masters those challenges.  How could we bring that excited anticipation to the challenges and obstacles in our own lives?  Who enthusiastically cheers us on when we stumble?

Of course, part of the fun of the event is the competition. We are racing against the clock and each other but there is never a clear winner.  The goal seems to be to do your best and have fun at the same time.  What if we approached our lives with the same friendly competition and intention to do our best?

One more thing that adds to the delight: Nobody gets bent out of shape about the impromptu changes that happen as we run the course (like one of the spectators deliberately stepping into someone’s path). We laugh and admire the contestant’s ability to adapt on the fly.  How can we playfully handle the unexpected in our lives?

We are already making plans for next year. Would you like to join us?

Mary

Calgon Take Me Away!

It is the middle of the night.  The moon is shining bright.  I can’t sleep tight.
My mind is full and it isn’t visions of sugar plums dancing inside of my head. It is that never ending TO DO list caving in on me:

  • Buy Groceries
  • Send Holiday cards
  • Balance the books
  • Deadlines this week
  • Piles of email
  • Kids’ homework
  • OMG – I forgot to get my blog ready for tomorrow!

“CALGON TAKE ME AWAY!”  ;-D

I think I need a retreat.  Thank goodness my FREE Teleclass this week features the delightful, down-to-earth Retreat Coach, Michelle Burns. She is going to lead us in a mini-retreat to reconnect, get grounded, and BREATH.  There is still time to register HERE.  Michelle is absolutely passionate about this crucial tool for success.   I am happily anticipating this hour of playful reflection and conversation.  Hope you can join the fun and respite.

Living with your Crabasaurus

Some days I am irritable, crabby and grumpy – a downright Crabasaurus. I notice it more often this time of year. It could be because the schedule at our house is extremely busy with work, school, music lessons, workshops, sports, meetings, volunteer commitments, etc. It could be because it gets so dark so early this time of year. It could be because I am not getting enough sleep.

Regardless of the reason, my typical reaction is to chide myself, “I have nothing to be crabby about. I have a nice home in a safe neighborhood. I have 3 healthy happy kids and a devoted loving husband. I have work that I love….” That litany of judgments doesn’t help at all. It just makes me even CRABBIER!

So I have been experimenting with making room for the Crabasaurus – including it, welcoming it instead of ignoring it or trying to push it away.

One immediate effect of including it – a huge sigh of relief. I literally breathe easier. I don’t have to DO anything – just be in this moment. Another interesting result – I notice an increase in compassion and tenderness toward myself. I am a normal human being just trying to do my best and sometimes that means I am grumpy.

My 3 kids just came home from school. From the sounds of it, I might have 3 hungry little Crabasaurs on my hands. I guess I’ll have to make more room at the dinner table.