The "inside out" of change

Events in the last two years of my life have challenged and shifted thoughts about myself that I came to believe were true. OK, so that is a nice way of saying, “Holy shit…it’s been a wild ride from shock to not yet awe!” Loss of what I thought was financial security through what I thought was a huge mistake adds up to a lesson my spiritual teacher imparts at each contact, with an Einstein quote backdrop: “We can’t solve problems by using the same thinking we used when we created them.” What is usually the problem, once we get “under” the circumstances? Erroneous thinking about who we really are. So, what does it take to machete through the jungle of shoulda coulda woulda’s that crowd out the still calm voice of truth?

That is the question of the century, maybe all centuries. What I know is that I have been challenged like this before in my life and it felt then like it does now, like I’m being turned inside out, to then go outside in. Some of the best gifts of my life came on the heels of that ride, machete and all.

Awaiting the awe and loving you all, Linda

Sustainable Change: Profile in courage

Last week, in my Coaching work, I was emphatically reminded of the courage sustainable change requires. During a group exercise, a well of not so hidden anger was tapped and the energy shifted dramatically. Coming from my background, it’s a sign of positive movement when people allow themselves to just say what’s really going on inside them, even if that is “negative”. I don’t know how we can change something we don’t know exists. But when the cards are laid out on the table more openly, it presents quite a challenge for anyone who believes themselves to be at all responsible for the “negative.”

Almost 50 years ago, in one of his infamous life lesson speeches, Jack Kennedy spoke about the Chinese symbol for crisis. He pointed out that the symbol was comprised of two characters; one representing danger and the other, opportunity. His point? What looks like crisis, upset and a way things are changing that we don’t want them too, is also an unprecedented opportunity for us to change. Change what? The only thing we have control over changing, ourselves. Our attitudes, our perceptions, our point of view, our “eyes”. And that, my friends, is a profile in courage.

So today, I salute any of you in the midst of that “crisis” and want to remind you that there are unimaginable gifts on the other side. Face one moment at a time and keep those you trust close.

Namaste, Linda

"Sustainable" Beginnings

      Last August my brilliant husband, Lance and I had our first conversation about creating a new website for “Options For Growth.” Over the next six months, we brainstormed ideas, outlined a structure, created & recreated the principal concepts, put text up, took text down, brainstormed again, etc. etc. Well, you get the picture. I began to think I should just change my middle name to Patience! But Lance and I know about the creative process and remember to trust, if not always like, a juxtaposition of direction and evolution for the best result. And today, time to celebrate the completed result!

   Of course, with the completion, comes new beginnings. New blogs, contacts, updates, additions..and hopefully  even work! Just focusing on them initiates another cascade of overwhelm before I’ve finished my celebratory glass of wine. And then I remind myself gently about “sustainable” beginnings. It’s the one beginning at a time approach. It’s remembering to meet each moment as a beginning by interrupting the automatic tendency to treat it like 257,849 other moments before. Or to look down the road at all the beginnings I think I see and focus on the one right here. Right now. At this moment, I’m writing my first blog for the launch of my first Options For Growth website that is, hopefully, reaching you…in more ways then one.

Thanks for listening!

Gabby Invites

One balmy spring evening in the truly courageous days of my preadolescence, I remember the shocked look on my mother’s face when I told her that my hero was Martin Luther King Jr. After about 15 seconds of the “Are you an alien?” look, I remember her sputtering…”but I didn’t think you even knew who he was!” Knew who he was??

The Beginning

Last Christmas my beautiful daughter created and gifted me with a T-shirt I truly love. It wasn’t that it was made of the most perfect t-shirt material or that it even was my favorite color. It was her knowing of me in the glittery gold letters on the front. The letters that spelled out “I’m just a girl with ideas.”

The creation of this post is an idea about a way to express my ideas about rock and roll life in the 21st century. (Yes, I meant to put those two “abouts” so close together in that sentence!) You have to admit that this century, so far, has been some wild ride! So easy to get caught up in the conventional dualistic he said she said right wrong bad good democrat republican crazy speak. I want to practice thinking and speaking from a vantage point outside that fray. Everyday.

For starters, then, I want to address the “debate” around Barack Obama receiving the Nobel Peace Prize last week. Clearly an event that shocked him…and pissed off many. He doesn’t deserve it, he hasn’t done enough, he’s not accomplished a lot since he’s been in office…were the opinions I was hearing. And after spending some time catching and containing the part of me that just wanted to defend him, I really thought about what that award, to him, in the 21st century might represent. You see, I think we are being pushed to evolve…as a species, as a country, as a society. And that theory is one I’ll explore over and over in my blog writings. But for right now, in this instance, I wondered what it might mean if that award was a step in our evolution. What if it represented a next level kind of thinking about honoring someone for their role in world peace?

Let’s see…..my thoughts slip back to John Bradshaw, the brilliant late ’80’s PBS speaker who inspired so many to see family systems in a totally new & dynamic way. He coined the phrase, “human doings”, suggesting that we had strayed from the concept of “being” and set the foundation of all in our lives rest on what we DID, ACCOMPLISHED, ACQUIRED, etc. Where was the “being” in humanity? My thoughts then jumped to the Professor Dumbledore wisdom of how we are defined by our choices. Our choices, which precede our action, our doing. And then what in us inspires our choices? Who we are? What if most all our choices are made by that part of us that is striving to get in the front of the line in the competition of life? Do, accomplish, compete, acquire, win, be the best, A’s, etc., etc. I’m not saying these things aren’t important, I’m just asking if they reflect our true selves, or what we’ve been taught to think is important. This is a pondering for me these days!

Now you may be wondering what all these questions, thoughts and ponderings have to do with my topic for the day. Barack Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize. So, here it is. What I’m wondering, if is he was awarded the Peace Prize not for what he has accomplished, but for who he IS. No drama Obama. The man who tries, as I see it, in a swirling political world of dualistic, cut throat judgement, to BE outside the fray. To stand for peace of mind and heart. I get that if he can stand in that place, in his heart and actions, even 50% of the time while in that environment, it would be a miracle. AND would make all those who don’t have the ability to stand outside the fray really really frustrated. After all, it’s a much more powerful place of change, being instead of doing. So much has been done & accomplished, but do we, as a society and a country, show up as who we ARE?

The girl who has ideas had these thoughts for the day. Love to you.