A Cornucopia of Wellness Resources – Part 1

cornucopia.jpgThose of us committed to deepening ourselves and learning all we can from our life journeys, are using this passage of time right now to say “Yes we can.” Yes, we can focus on all we have in our lives, all we aspire to, and all we have to share and give.

In this spirit of abundance and plenty, I’ll be sharing some of my 2008 harvest in the next few posts. I’ve gathered together some resources that have contributed to my own Well-Being this year. So feel free to dig around in the next few posts. Find just the right something within the bounty of quotes, websites, blogs, stories and snippets of thought I’ll share, that will contribute to your own sense of abundance, appreciation, delight and Well-Being this season.

I give thanks for your readership, your comments, your inspiring progress you’ve made through our coaching sessions and teleclasses and wish you a meaningful Thanksgiving…

Today’s Harvest brings this Snippet of Thought that meandered through my mind just the other day:

Simply Enough

I sat at my desk, facing my computer, navigating around the internet in total physical tension and mental overwhelm. With lightening speed, thoughts racing through my head screamed, “So much to do. So much information coming at me. So many email messages to read. So many new e-books to read, CDs to listen to, tele-events to attend, marketing actions to take. Other people are out there making giant headway…will I ever get enough new and useful information and get it fast enough?”

I did what I know to do when I hit this stage. I pushed away from my desk, took a breath, left the room, got a glass of water, and went outside.

The crisp autumn air greeted me. A sudden glimpse of a hummingbird, dancing in our red-flowering bushes, helped me forget my tension and brought an ear-to-ear grin to my face. I took a deep breath, looked up at the wide blue sky, grabbed another deep breath and stood there just Being.

Gently, a thought floated into the space of my refreshed mind…

“Wait a minute, Erica. What is the rush at your computer? You take a deep lung-filling breath of air here, not worrying about whether you grabbed enough, or worrying if there won’t be enough air for you, or that someone else will get to it first, or hurrying to grab the next breath. All the air you need is right here. All around you. Why not approach the internet and information the same way. In fact, why not approach life this way?”

I stood still and appreciated this short but life-altering moment. I had a deep visceral understanding that, in this age of information, our job is to discern what we need, take it in, use it, and gently let the rest go. And just like it’s not ours to worry if we get the right bite of air, or worry if we’ll run out of air, or fret that someone else is getting better or more air than we are, it’s not ours to try to take in every drop of information. Ahh.

I took another deep lung-full of air, stretched toward the sun, and headed back inside…forever touched by what I’d breathed in.

Are you “taking in all the air you need?” My friend, Gremlin-Tamer, and coach, Rick Carson, is fond of asking this question. When I’m not breathing, or I’ve squelched my breath in a moment of worry , he reminds me to take in all the air I need. How is your breath at this moment? Are you taking in all the air you need? Are you remembering that there is plenty of it available?

Grab a bite of holiday coaching with Erica this holiday season. Call for an individual session or join others for the December Teleclasses, “Why Weight?” and “Sacred Attitudes for Stress-Free Holidays“. Space is limited. Offices: 925-933-7445

Expanding Your Capacity – Expanding Your World

earthglobe.jpgI’ve been focusing a lot lately on the idea of expanding capacity…the capacity to do more of what we love, bring forward more of who we are, and the capacity to live with increased joy and grace.

One way to expand capacity seems to be to surround myself with new opportunities, new circumstances and even new information.

I’ve been browsing through books I haven’t known about before, DVDs I haven’t seen or heard of, and even new blogs I haven’t visited. The books I found at a used bookstore and the DVDs from a new catalog I discovered. As for blogs, I found 259 new ones in the batch of 260 that Liz Strauss brilliantly showcased at her annual Blog-To Show this past weekend (I also expanded my capacity for trying new bloggy things and put my own blog in the show:) Pop on over to discover some new blogs that will help you expand your capacity!

At first glance, the notion of expanding capacity might seem to be the antithesis of living a simpler life…I don’t see it that way. Expanding capacity doesn’t inherently mean “get and do more stuff”…it could mean expanding our capacity to live more joyfully, simply, and authentically. I like thinking of it that way.

How about you? What would it mean for you to expand your capacity? What might be possible?

Wellness Cafe – What’s on Your Mind?

friends-at-cafe-2-copy.jpgThis afternoon I went to my favorite cafe. Took nothing but money, my driver’s license and my car keys. Thought I’d take a time out from all things work related.

I got my iced green tea, settled into a comfy chair, and did nothing but stare into oblivion. I’m sure there were whirring blenders, a strong aroma of dark roast coffee, and a cool breeze produced by the overhead fan…I’ve experienced them all, many times before. But today, I just needed to chill out. I did. For a good 15 minutes.

And then I heard a voice rise from the group of people who sat at the table beside me. “What’s been on your mind lately?” I heard a young woman’s voice ask. I turned, thinking she was talking to me. She wasn’t. She was talking to her group of friends. I turned back to my iced tea and, having borrowed her question, mulled it over for a while.

“What’s been on my mind lately?” I asked myself. Posing the question to my own self made me smile. My own “answers” to the question included everything from “maybe Oregon would be a good vacation spot this year” to “I’m wondering if my own fitness regime needs tweaking?” I even thought about several business decisions I’d sworn I wouldn’t bring with me to the cafe. Doing so with detachment was actually enjoyable.

After I left I realized that just exploring the terrain of my mind, without insisting that I had to do anything about what I was pondering, held the key to that enjoyment…

So what about you…what’s on your mind?

Life Lessons from Watching a Master Golfer

golf.jpgEven though I come from a family of avid golfers, and grew up with the game surrounding me, I am not a golfer.

What I do have though is a profound respect for those who do play, a love for the aesthetics of beautiful golf courses and an unexplainable obsession for watching masterful golfers and gleaning lessons I can apply to my own life.

So yes, I was glued to the TV for days watching Tiger Woods win this latest U.S. Open. Especially the round on Father’s Day, the play off round on Monday and the subsequent sudden-death game that resulted in his win. The man never ceases to amaze me.

I’ve been thinking about what I’ve learned from watching Tiger play this past week and how I will put it to use. Here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. I’m not privy to the inside of Tiger’s head…if I were, I’d guess that his mindset FROM THE OUTSET of this U.S. Open was: “I’ve WON the 2008 U.S. Open”.

2. Like a pilot with a specific destination (let’s say Kansas), he knew where he was headed. He had a clear intention. In fact he already saw in his mind’s eye that he had arrived at his destination.

3. Also like a pilot, he had to do course-correction along the way. I imagine when a shot didn’t go as planned, even let’s say an hour before the tournament ended, he didn’t say to himself, “Oh crap, I’m not going to win now”, any more than the pilot would say,”Oh crap, I’m not going to land in Kansas” when the wind shifted a bit and the course had to be altered an hour before landing. I’ll bet instead Tiger’s thinking went something like:

4. “Okay, now what? Since I see myself as ALREADY HAVING WON THIS THING and I project to an hour from now when I am holding that trophy, WHAT DID I DO AT THIS POINT SO I WOUND UP WINNING?”

5. And then he just did the next thing he had to do…he did the next thing that his “winning script” (which was written in terms of the future) already said had happened to get him the trophy. He put ALL HIS FOCUS ON THE SHOT HE WAS TAKING AT THE MOMENT, knowing IT WAS IN SERVICE TO THE GOAL HE HAD ALREADY ACHIEVED IN SOME FUTURE STATE. In the present, he isn’t griping that he has to get out of the sand trap or rough (okay, maybe for a split second) but then, he immediately focuses and just gets out because he knows that’s what will have happened in the script of his already having won that trophy.

6. I truly think he enjoyed the process. (Okay, maybe not the knee pain, but certainly the chance to focus and apply his skill.)

7. In my own life, I have a few “trophies” that I want to attain or cultivate. Some are intangible trophies like peace and joy. Others are tangible like a clear business goal and a fitness goal. I am committed to spending time each day seeing the future “script” of myself as already in possession of these things.

8. And I am committed to simultaneously focusing on each task in front of me that is a part of that “script” with mindfulness.

9. I am committed to shortening the time I spend griping about unexpected sand traps. (I mean really, yes I might be bummed, but how much preciouis time do I want to hang out there?)

10. I’m committed to refocusing on the needed course correction that is already a part of my future success script. (My friend and financial mentor, Loral Langemeir, calls this future pacing.)

11. I’m committed to enjoying the process.

I sure have no inkling whatsoever to pick up a golf club, but God, I love golf. And thanks, Tiger. You’re the best business and wellness mentor I’ve ever “hired”.

How about you? Love to hear if any of this makes sense in your life…

When it Comes to Wellness, What are You Building?

construction.jpgThis is the first post in the “I’ve Been
Wondering…” category. I created the category for short posts about those everyday moments that capture my attention now and again.

One of those moments occurred this morning. While standing in the kitchen, drinking the last of the glass of juice in my hand, I glanced out the window and wondered…

As they’ve been doing for many months now, the people across the street are building a new home on their lot. I’ve watched as each stage–from the bulldozer to the current addition of windows–unfolds. With each nail hammered in, each board set in place, I’ve been witnessing a dream take shape. Nothing delights me more.

As I put my juice glass down, I realized we are all building something. Every action, every word spoken or written, is contributing to our own (metaphorical) construction projects. When it comes to wellness, we can look ahead to the day and keep in mind the wellness level we want to create in body, mind, and spirit and link our actions to that dream. We can ask ourselves if a specific action, or in-action is a useful “board” in our “wellness construction project” or if it isn’t called for in the “blueprint.”

As I walked out of the kitchen, I realized the metaphor was useful to me. I’m often telling myself I’m not doing enough in my own wellness plan and forget to acknowledge the small steps I take. I shifted my perspective and saw that the juice was a small but vital part of my dream to be healthy and live a vital life for many many years.

I’d been wondering how that construction site would inform me…

What about you? When it comes to wellness, what are you building? Does the metaphor help you?