Paradise is Sharing...

Saturday, July 28, 2012

On the Right Track ....

"Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there."  ~ Will Rogers

I finally feel like I am on the right track.  Things are starting to come together.... hard work and persistence is paying off.  I spent the entire day working on creating a sign up for my Mastermind Groups on my webpage - and despite my "tech-tardedness" I was able to put something together.  My brochures are 99% done, and should be ready to go to the printer come Monday.  All the challenges, all the stumbles.... at least I never stood still ... I managed to keep going - mostly because I always knew I was on the right track.

It would be nice to take a rest... but I have a feeling if I slow down, I might get run over.  I need to push on.... the finish line is in view.

As a life coach, I recognize that this is the pivotal moment where many people lose steam.  They've been chugging along for so long, as soon as the tracks line up and they start to reap the fruits of their labor, they slack off.  I find myself doing the same thing... the further away I get from discomfort, the less urgency is in the tasks at hand.  The closer I get to getting the task complete, the more comfortable I feel.

So how do you keep going?  How can you insure that you will finish the race?

People are motivated generally by two things - they are trying to escape pain... or they are trying to gain pleasure.  Sometimes, I feel like I've experienced "pain" for so long, that just a trickle of pleasure is enough.....  I am so satisfied with feeling "just a little bit better" that I am happy enough to be in the race... the finish no longer seems important to me anymore.   I have a track record of not finishing races ... unfinished books, incomplete projects... the last 20 pounds I always seem to need to lose.  I start because I can't stand my current situation any more.... I feel a little bit better.... the pain wears off - and back in steps complacency.

Complacency is sitting still on the tracks... and this time, I am going for the gold.  I am not sitting still. I refuse to get run over.   This little train thinks she can, thinks she can, knows she can.... and will be glad when she's knew she could do it. I'm on the right track.

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now ... Paradise is being on the right track..... 

Friday, July 27, 2012


Remember the feeling you got as a kid when you opened a brand new box of Crayola Crayons?

I remember thinking I had the power of the universe in a box of 64 colors with a sharpener on the back. I'd sit down cross-legged (criss-cross-applesauce!) on my mom's linoleum floor with a big sheet of blank mill paper, and marvel at the possibilities. The sky was the limit. Actually, no it wasn't... because I could draw Saturn, Mars, and Venus, the Sun, the Moon and the Stars... and using my carefully sharpened Screamin' Green Crayola, I could create an army of martians that would wreak havoc on the one-eyed, one-horned flying purple people eaters.

The magic inside that box was uncontainable. Once unleashed, anything was possible. There were no limits. There was never anyone telling me it couldn't be done. Once my amazing creations were complete, they were hung on the refrigerator for all to see. The world marveled at the magnificence of these art pieces. I would have a snack of milk and cookies, take a nap, and dream about my next masterpiece.

When did that magic fade? When did a box of crayons become the tools of trade for only children? When did I start hearing voices of doubt and when did I start believing the nay-sayers?

At times now I find my much older self sitting straight backed in an office chair, with the task of creating "masterpieces" for my business. I want to catch peoples attention, pique their interest, amaze them with my ability. I stare at a blank computer screen, and my mind goes as blank as the screen. Why is this so hard? And then I remember the blank mill paper and my beautiful 64 colors.... swirls of periwinkle, lemon yellow, thistle, and mulberry ..... if I close my eyes I can smell the wax, and I can feel the soft paper wrappers... And something deep inside me yearns to go back there.

My first thought was to unplug my lap top and sit criss-cross applesauce on my office floor, but realizing my body now protests that position, I settle for my aerobic ball instead and bounce for a while. A few questions popped into my head that require reflection:

What could you accomplish if you approached the world with child-like wonder and inhibition? What creative solutions would emerge if you unbridled your imagination?

Maybe its time to go back to basics. Perhaps I've forgotten some important elements of curiosity, imagination and creativity that I learned in Kindergarten. At age 39, I think I need to go back and repeat a year. A blank screen is a canvas of untethered possibilities... and so I write, and create, and let my imagination take me to a world of unicorns, rainbows, and magical creatures with amazing powers. And I have to admit, it was fun. Now I need a cookie and a nap.

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now.... Paradise is Using Your Imagination.... 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Staying Afloat...

"I look to the sea
Reflections in the waves spark my memory
Some happy, some sad
I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had" ~ Come Sail Away ~ Styx

We pulled up to the boat launch after noontime, with the kayaks strapped to the top of my Subaru, and two nearly frantic dogs loaded in the back.  Derby and Lexi could barely contain their excitement as they watched me and MyHoney unpack the contents of the car, unload the kayaks and carry them down to the outlet of the river.  Finally, leashes in hand, we opened the back hatch of the car and each retrieved a four-legged ball of energy.  I zipped up Lexi's life vest, and MyHoney coaxed Derby into his.... both dogs are now ready for an adventure - and their owners were ready for a day of drifting and dreaming. 

At the waters edge, we unsnapped the leashes and settled into our boats - Lexi immediately loaded up into my kayak - her regular perch where she can pretend to be Queen of Sheba.

Derby, on the other hand, doesn't even acknowledge that we have boats and plows into the water and starts his swim-a-thon.  He loyally follows MyHoney's kayak as we make our way down river towards the gut of the pond.  Once through the rapids, Lexi grows bored and walks out the the bow of my boat and leaps in to join her comrade.  Now game is on.  The two swim like otters, racing and playing on the shore.  They bound and race down the shore line as if on fire, then crash back into the water - laughing and smiling and looking for their humans.  They just can't understand why we choose to float when you could run and swim.

Because we live in Maine, there are places like this to enjoy.  The dogs can run wild and free along side the edge of the water, and MyHoney and I are free to paddle gently and enjoy the day.  With the sun on our backs, and the water gently rippling against our boats - worries can't find us.  I reached back and pulled MyHoney's boat up close and planted a kiss on him.  Love lives here... floating on the sun drenched water.

As I paddled I realized just how removed I was from my "ordinary" existence.  Here - out here - with the blue water, the green pines, and the sparkling sun - I am an adventurer.  I am the woman I imagine myself to be.  I am the woman I write about, the woman I tell other people I am, the woman who represents myself when I am dreaming.  I am able, strong, athletic, outdoorsy, rugged.   I am not that tired, stressed out, over-weight, overwhelmed, mad woman who is rushing around trying to get everything done.  Done for what?  Done for whom?  What exactly am I rushing around trying to get DONE?  This is the golden ring right here... this, this moment, and this moment alone, is all I ever really wanted.  I've dreamed about this ... seriously... I have.... and now, today, out on the water with my two dogs, the love of my life, and with the paddle in my hand - I'm living it.  So... relax Cilly... you are here.  You are exactly where you should be.  You always have been.

 The next day, "re-entry" into the "real world" was a bumpy ride.  Sunburned and sleepy, I awoke and ground some coffee beans for a morning cupa java.  I reviewed my to-do list, and was abruptly reminded of a deadline I had for the week.  My gut twisted as I thought about the amount of work I have yet to get done, and a pang of guilt shadowed over me thinking about the hours I frittered away yesterday on the water.  I poured myself a bowl of kashi, blueberries and soymilk, but instead of sitting down at the computer, I went out to my porch to drink my coffee, eat my cereal and watch the chickens make their morning march around the house.  My thoughts drifted back to the day before... I thought about how peaceful I felt, how complete my life was in that one little moment.  I had my entire world drifting along with me.  I thought about the sun on our backs, the glistening water... the conversations MyHoney and I had.  I wished every day could be like that.  I looked at my phone, noticed it was getting late, and realized I needed to get in the shower if I was going to get to work on time. Back to the daily grind.  But, having that Sunday, and hopefully many more like it... inspires me to keep my life afloat.

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now .... Paradise is Staying Afloat ....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Walk... with Lexi..

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Thursday (July 12th) marked the birthday of my favorite author - Henry David Thoreau.

To commemorate his birthday, I spent alot of time writing.  I would have gone walking, but we are experiencing a muggy heat wave in the NorthEast, and as much as I am a fan of Nature.. I am not a fan of heatstroke.

Lexi and I did get out for a walk yesterday.... we jaunted down to Otter Ponds so she could take a dip in the ponds before the heat of the day took over.

Because it was so early, when we got out to the ponds we were completely alone.  I wondered what it would have been like to have visited the ponds 100 years earlier.  Before the days of electricity, cars, phones... all the modern conveniences.  I then pulled my iPhone out of my back pocket, took a picture of Lexi playing by the waters edge, and uploaded it to Facebook. Crazy, even in my daydreaming of pioneering I can't seem to resist a good status update.

Walking back, it was harder to imagine ourselves in the past, so my mind went to where it centers - the present.  Lexi galloped ahead, trying to out run the flock of mosquitos that were chasing her... and I thought about the meaning of walking.  We have turned it into a form of exercise.  A chore.  I hate chores... but I love walking.   I thought about my Dad, and how he loves to walk his fields.  He surveys each hill, notes each change in the landscape, dutifully studies the wildlife, their habits - while they stand astute and study Dad and his habits.

I thought about my own occupation ... how I sit for hours on end at my computer, on the phone, or studiously studying research for my workshops and masterminds.  I thought about how Thoreau scoffed  "When sometimes I am reminded that the mechanics and shopkeepers stay in their shops not only for the forenoon, but all the afternoon too, sitting with crossed legs, so many of them - as if the legs were made to sit upon - I think they deserve some credit for not having all committed suicide long ago"  What he just described was being stir-crazy.... that feeling of phantom anxiety that I just can't put a finger on.  Life is good, but I feel antsy, anxious and testy - ya, I guess you can say I go insane. The prescription to my insanity is not an the form of a pill, but a daily dose of walking - so why aren't I taking this wonder drug more often?

"But the walking of which I speak has nothing in it akin to taking exercise, as it is called, as the sick take medicine at stated hours - as the Swinging of dumb-bells or chairs; but is itself the enterprise and adventure of the day."  HDT

Lexi found herself occupied by treeing a chattering red squirrel.  It still amuses me how alert and serious she becomes about our adventures.  In our near 3 mile walk, I had thought about the bane of my existance, the purpose of my life, what I needed to get at the store, and what work was awaiting for me when I returned.  Again, Thoreau's words came back to me "The thought of some work will run in my head and I am not where my body is - I am out of my senses.  In my walks I would fain return to my senses.  What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?"

Return to the woods Cilly.... go back to your senses.

All the solutions to my lifes "so-called" problems came rushing to me .... while I took a walk ... with Lexi.

Paradise is Here, Paradise is Now .... Paradise is Walking Back to Your Senses

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Mountain is Waiting ....

I have very little precious time lately.  I am working full tilt on a project and I have deadlines coming up. Every moment I have scheduled to work on it has got to be productive... so when I sat down to write out my invitations to my Open House for my Masterminds event and fell asleep, I couldn't have been more angry with myself when I awoke.  But, I couldn't keep my eyes open... so I went to bed at 9pm.

This morning I woke up with the sun.  I grabbed my laptop, eager to make up for the time I lost last night.  I hopped on Facebook a moment to catch up on the current events of friends and colleagues, and saw another coach had posted her launch of her mastermind group.  Another coach has a book deal.  Another coach is being interviewed on a network television show.  Another coach just launched her new podcast.

I looked at myself in my yoga pants (even though I have never done a day of yoga in my life), my disheveled hair, and half a cup of coffee in, and I realized these professionals are probably already conquering the world this morning, and I haven't even brushed my teeth yet. Discouraged, I thought to myself "These other coaches are running laps around me"... and I opened up my word document and clumsily started writing up my invitations, noticed the clock, and realized I had to leave for my appointment.  Before logging off, my inspirational quote of the day popped  up "You're off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting ... so get on your way!"  ~ Dr. Suess

Last month when MyHoney and I hiked up Bald Mt, I felt like the fat kid in gym class all over again.  I am really out of shape, and I was huffing, puffing and cursing my way up the trail.  Now mind you, this is an easy hike... people of all ages hike it - people with babies on their back, people who are in their 80's, little kids....  As they passed us on the trail going up, and then not long after, came back down - often walking past us with words of encouragement - "The view is beautiful".... or "You don't have that much further to go"...  I would get pangs of jealousy that they made the hike look so easy.  They weren't covered in sweat - they weren't huffing and puffing and taking breaks to catch their breath.  I had to remind myself that they are in far better shape, and are way more experienced.  They have the right gear, they do this all the time, and they know how to pace themselves.

Launching a new business is like mountain climbing.  There are people who have been doing it longer, have more experience, better gear, and know how to pace themselves, who will get to the summit before you do.  It's ok... the summit will still be there waiting for you.  The summit doesn't favor them any more than it favors you.  The view will be just as amazing for you as it was for them.  Your Mountain is waiting ... so take a breather... take a drink of water... take in the view... and get on your way.  And if you want to enjoy a cup of coffee while sitting on the couch in your yoga pants... it will continue to wait.  Enjoy your hike...because it's your hike... it's your mountain.

Paradise is here, Paradise is now.... Paradise is patiently waiting....