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Posts Tagged ‘peace’

Screen shot 2012-12-16 at · Dec 16 @ 4.39.32 PM

This weekend feels so strange… not really the weekend before Christmas but I am definitely feeling the pressure of heading into the week before Christmas. Because let’s be realistic; there will not be a lot of people working next Monday. It is basically an upcoming 4-day weekend with the celebration of Christmas. In fact, each time I look at the calendar, I think, “gosh it is almost Christmas!” It is coming so quickly!

Have you been feeling this, too?

Therefore, this was a weekend of preparation. That is how I spent my holiday celebration time of which I have been blogging for the past 2 weeks.

Day 14: Friday: Made plans for Christmas Eve. Wanted to be certain I had a plan. I will be staying in the city this year and not returning to Rochester to my family’s so for me it was important to have a plan. Which church service was I attending, what volunteer work would I be doing, where would I celebrate with friends before church? All the details got worked out. Plan in place.

Day 15: Saturday: A beautiful day in NYC. Warmish for this time of year and a day that I had set aside entirely for fun. No work. Just “me time”. That “me time” included the most relaxing walk through NOHO and SOHO- looking in store windows with all holiday items displayed in the window. So much creativity and happiness everywhere. Plus, the walk was with my best friend who I had not seen since before the Hurricane due to all kinds of obstacles so this was just a wonderful, leisurely holiday celebration.

Day 16: Sunday: Since I decided not to send all my hundreds of holiday cards this year, I wanted to make a mini-plan for holiday greetings and beyond. Sitting quietly with a cup of coffee, I wrote a mini-list of family members who deserved a holiday greeting from me- regardless of the fact that my work life is so uber-busy that I determined that I would not be sending out cards.  I decided that family members would be the exception.  I then made a list of friends and clients who I wanted to be certain to celebrate. That list will be tackled after the New Year with a deliberate sit-down in a coffee shop to write individual notes to each one. I would rather sent a heart-felt note to wish them a Happy New Year than a generic holiday greeting just to get it in under the wire of December 31. Hopefully, they will all feel the same!

Now, we head into the week before Christmas. Wow.

Be Merry and Bright!

Screen shot 2012-12-16 at · Dec 16 @ 4.39.00 PM

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Full disclosure. I sleep with my iPhone.

Yes, it’s true.

I stopped this behavior over a year ago when my nutritionist, JJ Virgin suggested that I adopt a behavior called “power down hour”. Simple. One hour before bed, turn off electronics. .

And for a year I really embraced this ritual. I started listening to my body and my brain. The result was needing to go to bed so much earlier if I was sitting quietly reading, thinking, petting the cats or listening to music. The result was waking up well-rested.

But is getting quiet simple for me? Not even the least bit simple.

What “power down hour” really is for me is an opportunity to look at my fears. To look at what I am avoiding. To look at the thoughts from which I want to distract myself. And without the television or the computer- without my Olympic-level texting to friends and family, I am left with just me, my thoughts, my fears, and my concerns. So I chose to replace them with a ritual that focused on my gratitude and my joy. Before bed, I began writing a list of gratitude moments from the day. I also noted moments of joy- sometimes big but usually tiny and very personal like seeing that little girl grab here Daddy’s hand crossing the street. Plus I would include a few readings and prayers representative of my spiritual practice. This ritual helped to get me into a restful and serene place in my head.

So it makes perfect sense that I abandon this practice entirely when I moved to a new apartment in August-ha. Honestly, I am my own worst enemy.

Little by little the behaviors crept back in. Playing on the computer or watching a video until it is time to crawl into bed exhausted. Still talking on the phone or texting until I turn out the light (or AFTER I turn out the light). Not pulling out the pen and jotting down that gratitude and joy.

I see what is happening.

The awareness is that there are a lot of big changes happening in my life. Big decisions that have been made and continue to be made around relationships, business, home and finances. Each and every one of them brings with it a level of anxiety that is challenging on the best of days. But being in the perpetual circle of not “powering down” and then being overtired and then getting more anxious is not me and my best self shining through.

Sooooo the progression….

Last night, I fell asleep with my iPhone in hand after watching a DVD and texting until seconds before bed. When I woke up I thanked God that I do not drink and had not drunk texted anyone –ha- and then I said aloud (since I talk to myself also): “Bryn, what was so important that you needed to grip your iPhone all evening?”  Every answer I came up with felt both true and silly. So tonight, tonight I go cold turkey again. And replace it with uninterrupted “power down hour” and eight hours of sleep.

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Coffee Location:  Sitting by my Christmas tree

Today’s Beverage of Choice: Starbucks Via in my favorite blue/brown mug

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Even in indecision, I am making a decision.

Learned that first-hand this week.

Truth be told, I have learned this lesson over and over again in my life, but this was the week when it all clicked in a whole new way. The evolution of my emotional and spiritual self-colliding right into the long list of things I want for my life and business.

Like so many of you, I have made list upon list of what I want for my life. Opportunities, relationships, $$, happiness, friends, health goals and the list goes on and on. I have been filling journals and post-it notes with lists in various forms for decades.

However, over the past few months I’ve been challenged by some dear friends to create a few new lists about different aspects of my life. And this time to be VERY specific. More specific then I ever thought necessary. The kind of specific that at times felt a little ridiculous. But I did it. I did it because to be honest, my way had not been working for me. What did I have to lose?

Making these VERY specific lists- one about life and one about business- forced me to make a decision on some level. Do I want this or that? Is this particular characteristic of my business a non-negotiable? Each extremely specific item on the list was a decision.

And then I did the seemingly impossible next step. I let go of the results and the timing. Yes, you heard me. I let go of the results and the timing. Gave it up to the Universe and God.  Of course, I took my will back many times over those few weeks of letting go. Wanting so much to control the outcome- and then realizing that I really can’t. That is madness. Honestly, I have lived for years saying I don’t control the outcome but secretly thinking that maybe I did. (can you relate?)

All those years of not being specific.

All those lists of things I wanted without really committing to them with specificity.

I was living in a form of indecision. And that was a choice. That indecision was a decision. Quite profound to me actually.

Now I am actively letting go.

The result? Already in only a week of this daily (sometimes hourly) practice, I am seeing little miracles.  I am being provided even MORE than I asked for. Not always in the same “package” as I had envisioned but exactly what I wanted and then some.

I just had to share in case it can help you as you reflect on 2011 and begin setting your goals for 2012.

Happy New Year!

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Everything is changing.

I am on the edge. The edge of that beautiful cliff at sunset.  Do I stand here and watch the sunset until the opportunities fade into the horizon or do I free-fall? Trusting I will be caught. I will be cared for.

Free-falling is the answer.

That is how it feels. Beautiful sunset surrounding me. There is so much more faith than fear but wow… this is uncharted territory. I do not ever remember being suspended in life this way before.

Over the next few months watch for some big announcements. Changes in business. Changes in life. Changes in perspective. Changes in team, collaborators and partners. Nothing is safe from change in my life right now apparently.

But why play it “safe”?

I could have stayed in Corporate for that!

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  • Did you ever wake up and think, “What I am I forgetting?” “There is something that I am supposed to be doing today but I cannot for the life of me remember what it is. Darn.” That nagging feeling that will drive you crazy all day.
  • Did you ever think that there is a decision you need to make to move your life or business forward, but you just can’t tap into it?
  • There is something really obvious you are forgetting that lies just below the surface but you cannot seem to access it?I have definitely had that feeling. Many times in my life in fact. Usually at times of big transition. But the joke is, I do not know I am in a big transition. I just feel like I am losing my mind.Here are some signs that you might be in this position too. You think to yourself (but don’t dare say aloud):
    • What am I missing?
    • Am I losing my mind?
    • I don’t feel like me.
    • Why am I so exhausted no matter how much I sleep?
    • I am starving. What is going on?
    • I am completely distracted all the time.
    • There is a technology “black cloud” above me.
    • I keep forgetting important tasks or appointments.
    • I wish I knew why I feel so strange.
    • Why is this so hard?

    … that’s the question that gets me every time…Why is this so hard? When I ask that question I get the little whisper in my ear that something is shifting. “Bryn, pay attention.”

    These thoughts precede a big transition or breakthrough each and every time like clockwork.

    However, you guessed it! When I am “in it,” I can’t see it at all. But what I do see and feel is that I am unsettled.

    So I focus on a few exercises that really help bring me closer to the decision that needs to be made-bring me closer to the clarity I need to move forward.

    To read about my exercises click here.

    Do It Myself Method: I take out a clean piece of paper and make a list of all the things I do in life and business that make me lose track of time. Activities that never feel like a burden. That make me feel alive. That bring me a sense of calm or peace. A list of activities that make me feel accomplished, strong, smart, or empowered. Or maybe it is just one aspect of an activity that just comes so easy and feels so fun! This is critical information.

    Here’s a sample of my list: Stationary stores, writing handwritten notes, walking around NYC without an agenda, singing country music completely uninhibited, organizing things and thoughts, office supplies, watching my cats (“the boys”) do just about anything, creating calendars/plans and really talking with someone-deep, focused conversation.

    Bring It to the Universe: I often take the list of things I love to the Universe. Or sometimes I bring the questions like-“Why am I so tired?” “Why is this so hard?” This does not need to be a religious or spiritual activity. It is for me but I know people who simply put themselves in the right peaceful environment to hear their own thoughts. The goal here is really to quiet your mind- the frustration and questioning-and wait for answers. They come. Where you believe they are coming from is so not important here. The critical step is to make the spinning and exhaustive worry stop.

    I take a walk in Central Park or sit in my big overstuffed bedroom chair and look at the Cathedral in my backyard. All the media is off in my house. I allow myself to fall asleep if that is what I need to do. Sometimes I set this intention before bed and ask for clarity when I am sleeping.

    Take It to My Tribe: Ask them. I ask that trusted small group of friends, colleagues, and supporters. Caution: This is not intended to be what I call a “polling activity”-running to everyone I know or sending out a mass email for feedback. I am at a critical decision point. I am on the edge of something fabulous-a remarkable shift. I’ll let a handful of people-my tribe-provide insights. What can they see in me that I just cannot see? I’m just too close! I describe what I’ve been feeling and experiencing-exhaustion, frustration, the nagging feeling that there is something I’m not seeing.

    Ask them directly: What is the big gap in my understanding? What can’t I see? What don’t I want to see? What is so obvious to everyone but me? Where is my brilliance? What talents or gifts do I not tap into? Where do I seem afraid? In what ways do I delight friends/clients/colleagues and not see the pattern? You get the idea.

    Ask for brutal honesty. Be vulnerable. (Maybe you can see now why polling is not such a good idea…) Breathe. In my experience, this is the most remarkable exchange of love. Regardless of whether I use one of these exercises or all three-the answers come because they were always here. Everything I need is already here. I just cannot see it until I am ready to see it. Ha. So silly. But true. It is a process of discovery. Layer upon layer. My life today-so extraordinarily different than it was just a year ago-even a few months ago-is an outcome of this process. I am so grateful and the clarity just keeps coming.

    I wish this for you as well.

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Coffee Location:  My favorite chair in the living room between the bookshelves and the window

Today’s Beverage of Choice:  Blue mug of hot coffee with a little cinnamon

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 This is my absolute favorite day of the year!

The first snow!

Magical.

As so many grumble about the fact that it is only October and it is not only snowing but also STICKING, I dance on the sidewalks of NYC.

Amazing how things can change on a dime. This week was an emotional roller coaster. Marching through fear into new realizations. Making really challenging and unpopular decisions to take care of myself. And my reward for stepping into it rather than sidestepping around it? SNOW!

Snow makes me feel beautiful and free. I can’t stop smiling and skipping around. Generally this attitude is either really infectious to be around or whole-heartedly annoying because I just love this day so much. The texts, emails and phone calls started coming in as soon as it began to fall because there are so many that see snow and think “Bryn”. I treasure that!

Aches and pains- gone. Concerns of yesterday- gone.  Mesmerizing as I watch it settle on the trees outside.

The cats are curled up and peaceful. That is the thing. In this moment, everything is at peace. That is what snow does for me. Like the Grace of God blanketing the neighborhood.

I know it will be gone tomorrow and we will go back to lovely fall weather and more hoops to jump through. But right now in this moment with my mug of hot coffee, all is just glorious!

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Coffee Location:  My sofa 

Today’s Beverage of Choice: Grande Americano with an extra shot
– drinking from a paper Starbucks cup 

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Today was a day of honor.

  • Honoring the people who lost loved ones on 9/11/01.
  • Honoring those neighbors in my life who lost their lives on 9/11/01.  (Take a look at these amazing men:  Pat Brown  and Tim Byrne )
  • Honoring my grief that came in waves for so many reasons- big and small.
  • Honoring the remarkable and resilient city I live in. I love NYC!
  • Honoring the fact that this month marks the deaths of many important loved ones in my life and that has me reeling a bit.
  • Honoring those who choose to serve, protect and care for strangers as their life’s calling- here in America or overseas.
  • Honoring the most important people in my life who remember where they were as they waited to hear from me on that fateful day 10 years ago. I am so loved.
  • Honoring the thousands who are no longer with us based on those single acts of terrorism.

If you are interested, this is a link to an excerpt from an email I wrote to loved ones on 9/11/01

Grateful for each of you today and always.


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