Tag Archives: lessons

Like a Hamster in a Wheel

I believe people come into our lives for a reason. It might not be readily obvious, and the timing may not even be immediate when we learn why he or she arrived. But there’s always a reason for us to cross paths with those in our life.

Sometimes it’s to fill a need, and other times it’s simply to show us how far we’ve come.

I have recently noticed this in work. I work with a guy who is just phenomenal: he’s hard working and dedicated, smart and really truly cares, and he’s very positive. Rarely do you see him without a smile on his face and a willingness to help anyone who asks. It’s refreshing to work with someone like him in what can be such a cynical corporate environment.

But lately he’s getting really burned out. His willingness to help is taken for granted and taken advantage of. He works a lot of long days compensating for those around him and he’s getting frustrated.

How familiar this seems.

I’ve had similar struggles in my work experience, and have worked long days and even lost a summer working towards a launch at a prior company. I was consumed with my work and though a part of me loved it, a part of me greatly resented it. Especially when my extra efforts weren’t appreciated.

Now I see the same in him, and though I’ve had some struggles with balancing my work and life in my current role, overall I have managed it reasonably effectively, and now I have the opportunity to step back and view my accomplishment. I also can share what I’ve learned to coach someone who hopefully can benefit.

How cool is that?

I’ve also seen this in my personal life too. Sometimes people come into my life at the right time to expand my life and my heart. Other times, they arrive simply to show me just how far I’ve come. It’s so easy to fall into old patterns of behavior, and I find that I do fairly often. The trick for me now is to realize what I’m doing, and to make a conscious decision to choose to continue, or to choose to do better for me.

And not blame myself for not seeing it at first. This is the hardest part.

This has been a huge work-in-progress for me. So when that person arrived and I finally stepped back and saw the lesson for what it was, I’ll admit I was frustrated at first for allowing myself to step right back into that role. I allowed my life to jump right onto that roller coaster that I know all to well from my past. Boy was I mad that I let myself do that yet again.

Then I stepped back and smiled.

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me realize how far I’ve come, and how I can do better for myself. I may always react in the same ways, but I can then step back and make better decisions. I can love myself enough to decide that I am worthy of so much more, and to go for it.

The games are over and I’m jumping off the ride. I choose me.

Thank you.

Lessons

 

Life Lessons Learned in Yoga

Last week I put my intention out there: within the next two years, I want to spend several months a year in Colorado to be able to live near my nephews and be a part of their life on a more regular basis.

Immediately following that declaration, I went into a tailspin. My “monkey brain,” the very same one that churns like an ocean in a storm when I try to meditate starting buzzing with everything that I will need to do to make that goal a reality.  

My brain very quickly turned to: What the hell am I thinking??

The blessing and curse of being an achievement-oriented person, I view a goal, and immediately begin to map out the tasks I’ll need to do to get there, almost like building a set of stairs moving me to the next floor. My brain starts churning and I become very focused considering all that I must do, the risks, the issues that I’ll deal with, what and who I will need to make it happen.

And then I realized, I don’t really need to do this. At least not right now. Sure, at some point in time, I’ll need to figure out the details, but my job for the moment is setting the intention: the what. How that will happen will come later, and when it’s the right time, the big pieces will start to fall into place.

For now, my job is to have faith, to be clear in my intentions and to be sure I’m putting out there exactly what I want. When I feel my brain start to slip in this mode, I find the following lessons learned in yoga class help to get me back on track.

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Be in the Now

I don’t need to worry about all the details of my future plans in one year, two years, or even further out. I need to focus on my now. “When you feel your mind drift off, come back to the mat” is the guidance in yoga class. So, I work to ground myself in my day-to-day of what I am doing, what I enjoy, and where my attention currently needs to be.

Acknowledge the Feelings

I find that often, I’m my own harshest critic. Some of my tailspin is because I’m feeling nervous, scared or even panicky about something and don’t think I should, or don’t want to feel that way. Then I judge the feeling as not good and I get annoyed with myself for it. It’s a vicious cycle. Instead if I just recognize how I’m feeling and why, it seems to not be quite so important. In yoga, I’m told to go as far into a stretch as I can, and stop when I feel pain. My body needs to be my barometer and I need to listen to how I’m feeling and acknowledge it.

Envision the Future

Slowly but surely, I’m starting to learn to calm my mind to meditate. Yoga teaches us to take a moment before getting into a pose to envision ourselves in it. I find that when I focus on how I want to feel about things, more than what will be, then I can better keep my brain from spiraling. I want to feel happy, peaceful, content and joyful, so I focus on that, and not the details of what my life will be like. 

Remember the Priorities

My goal of being in Colorado is all about family and being with my brother and nephews. Focusing on that, and how I will feel when I get to spend more time with them, watching the boys grow up helps to keep me grounded and calm. The details will work out, and most of them just really aren’t important.

What’s important is my nephews. Staying focused on that, makes a difference. I liken this to the concept of drishti in yoga, which is a point of focus where the gaze rests during a posture where you are gazing outward to bring the awareness inward.

I have my drishti point and I’m grateful for that.