Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We are all Creative, Resourceful and Whole

It’s one of the first things we learn at co-active coach training. In fact, early on, I remember one of our instructors saying, “if there’s anything you take from this, let it be that you know nothing” – referring to our temptation to try and solve others’ problems with what we think is best for them, instead of leading them to their own answers. It’s because we have the answers already, for ourselves and as far as others go, we indeed know nothing.

We are Creative
I am going to step out on a limb here and say that we are all creative. Thinking back to when we were children and what we enjoyed doing can sometimes point us to our area of creativity. You may not be able to paint, draw, or twist balloons into cool animal shapes, but I be there is a creative side of you in there somewhere. It’s just sometimes not so obvious. Some people are good at taking over a business and turning it around, making it profitable – that too is creativity! Creativity can be so useful in helping us get closer to the life we want to live. It allows us to problem-solve, to arrange steps in the desired direction and imagination to picture what life could be. We are creative in thinking through challenges to possible solutions. All of us may go about it in a unique way, but the ability to be creative is within each of us.

We are Resourceful
Once you realize that you are resourceful, the less others’ opinions will matter. We all know what we want or don’t want. We can feel it, and that’s good enough. I know for myself, I usually feel it before I can explain it. And just because I can’t explain a decision doesn’t make it any less authentic. It’s usually a while later that I’ll look back and realize with words why I felt a certain way about a situation. You can trust your feelings. A coach can be helpful here in assisting a person in unearthing what is already there – but that is the key – the answer is there. Everything you need is within you.

We are Whole
For a big part of my life, I believed the opposite of this – I was taught that I was in need of something outside of myself to make me whole. What freedom when I realized that that line of thinking was rooted in fear and control and that it was just plain wrong. Know that you are perfect and whole just as you are, and in need of nothing to make you into something better. You are awesome!

And one more reminder - everything you need is within you – creativity, resourcefulness and wholeness. Don’t forget it.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Beaches & Sunsets

This week is the one week during the summer when I steal away with my daughter to Port Elgin, Ontario, located on the eastern shore of Lake Huron. If you've been following my blog posts you know that this is a place I have come to pretty much every summer since I was a child.

As I looked across the lake from the beach the other day, the thought occurred to me that, although I have visited the beaches of Mexico numerous times over the past couple of years, as well as many other beaches throughout the Caribbean, I still find this place beautiful. In fact, I think it may look especially beautiful now. Because I have become so accustomed to the beaches of Mexico, I notice the differences between the two places more. I looked across the shoreline and noticed how green the trees were against the colours of the beach and water. The sand is a dark brown and compact. Pieces of driftwood are scattered along the sand, as well as pieces of green seaweed, large rocks and tiny shells. There's a real wilderness feel here that is unique and beautiful all on its own.

There's a winding road (and now a bike path!) that runs along the beach, pretty much from Port Elgin to Southampton. It's the prettiest drive, although my eyes are naturally drawn to the dark blue and turquoise water when they should be on the road. My daughter and I stopped for a picnic lunch one day and the view was breathtaking.

Of course, for any of you who are familiar with this area, residents pride themselves in what they claim are the best sunsets anywhere. In fact, a crowd will gather each night at the marina in Port Elgin or the end of the main street in Southampton that leads down to the lake to watch nature put on her show. Camera's click away at the fiery display, and often times a round a of applause follows.

Then, turning to walk back, the moon.

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A New Month, A New Beginning

There are a couple of people I see every once in a while and every time I see them, the conversation goes exactly like this: "Hi Wendy! You look great, as usual." Let me emphasize here - they do not say "Hi Wendy! You look great, as usual!!" Instead, they say it in a way that makes me think what they're really thinking is, "Hey Wendy, when are you going to start falling apart?" Now before you stop reading, I promise, this is not a post on how good I look. In fact, after a summer diet of peanut butter chocolate ice cream and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and after shopping for bikinis today (hint: don't do that), looking good is really not top of mind.

The conversation continues, in the same way every time. Them: "What do you do to keep in shape?" Me: "Run." And the questions start - "Where do you run, how far do you run, when do you have the time to run???" Then the questions start about food. Them: "What do you eat, when do you eat, how much do you eat, do you eat this, do you eat that???" I can almost see them computing how much they would need to exercise, how much they would need to eat or not eat, to see change. The funny thing is, we are all the same.

We all want to put in the least amount of effort, but gain the maximum, most outstanding results.

Even funnier, as reasonable people, we know what we put into something will determine what we get out of it, yet we keep putting in the bare minimum, hoping for better results each time.

What if we tried something different? What if we actually put in a little more effort or tried a little harder in accomplishing our goals? Even a little bit?

What if I were to add one kilometre to my running route every week? What if I decided to stop eating meat for one month, trying out some healthier, alternative protein sources? What if I were to cut junk food from my diet for the next month? What if, within one month's time, I were to share with ten people what it is I want to do with my life? What would those results look like, if I put in just a little more effort?

Today is August 2nd. It's a new month, a new beginning. Where can you put in a little more effort, how can you push a little harder, or give a little more attention to this month? And then.. what will those results look like?