Connecting The Dots

Discussing the threads of my own passions which have culminated in my work as coach, mentor, presenter in my own business.

Walls vs Doorways

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Last evening marked the first workshop in a 4 part workshop series on 'Life's Third Act' or life after 60 and our fourth offering of this program. Gathered was a group of 11 women transitioning, for the most part, away from traditional work and looking for 'what's next?'. Many expressed the frustration of feeling stuck. Most of our lives we look at life as a series of obstacles to be tackled, dominated, worked around, climbed over. Goals are set. We march out to accomplish them.

As we find ourselves contemplating our Third Act, the whole goal thing becomes blurry. We don't know what we want to achieve, do, contribute. We can't see beyond the walls, barriers we erect around our not knowing. Not knowing is darn uncomfortable! So we rail and fight against the wall in front of us. 'I want to know!' 'I hate being stuck.' 'Tell me what I am supposed to so.' The more we argue with the walls the more we feel stymied.

What if those walls in front of you aren't walls but doorways? That going over, under, around them is not what you are to do. You need to go through them. This means making friends or at least a truce with 'not knowing', 'feeling stuck', 'no goals', 'no clue'. A most uncomfortable place to be!! Perhaps THIS is what this time is about. Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. Not having all the answers. Allowing what's next to arrive without man handling the whole situation personally. Trusting 'Life' a little more. Oh this is not easy. Especially for high achieving, capable, competent women (and men). 

So consider befriending 'the wall' so that the doorway through appears. This quote showed up for me today. Bingo I say! It from one of my favourite human beings and coach extraordinaire Doug Silsbee.  

"Presence requires us to stay with even what is uncomfortable, so that it becomes tolerable and so that we can organize ourselves towards what matters, rather than away from discomfort." 

     

Excellent adventures

Mary Johnson - Wednesday, October 10, 2018
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As I sit looking out at the grey skies and trees blowing in a cold breeze, it's hard to adjust to being back home. This wonderful collection of friends finished up our 7 week sojourn across Canada last Friday. The photo is taken on our last evening spent in Kenaston SK. I have written a few blogs along the way (Our big old countryLayers of rhythms , Challenging timesTime flies ). Mostly there was too much to see and do to spent time in front of the computer. 

We finished our Canadian leg of the journey in Niagara Falls. The Falls were spectacular**. The city not so much. After Quebec City it seemed rather cheesy. Still all part of the adventure! It was also the last of our amazing weather. We took a day off before we hunkered down into some long driving days. Wine, reading in tank tops and shorts. Oh how I miss that sun!

Our trip along hi way 2 through Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota was like a travelogue. Virtually no traffic, amazing fall colours. The reds, oranges, yellows an oh did I mention the reds! We were blown away by the scenery. Drove along the north shores of Lake Michigan and the south shores of Lake Superior. Our lakes around here are quaint by comparison! People were great. Lots of mention of Trump. :) 

As we got closer to home the talk turned to just how quickly this time went, the amazing take aways each of us had, how much we enjoyed  the sights and each other while exploring them. One of the fellows said, 'There are very few we could do this with. Lots of folks who are fun for a night or two. But we just travel so well together.' It's true! 

One night I realized we have been having 'Excellent adventures' that go back to nurse's training. That was where it began - excellent adventure #1. Then our first jobs after graduation were in Prince George B.C together. #2. We backpacked around Europe together. That's #3. Then came marriage and babies. We made a commitment to meet regularly - husbands, babies included, to share this rich and busy time with each other. #4 Then ten years ago the 6 of us went to England, Ireland and Wales together. It was an incredible time we still talk about. That's #5. The next ten years saw kids grow up, leave home and begin families of their own. Being Grandparents and sharing these times was a whole new, wonderful ball game and a big #6. Now this. #7. Our trip across Canada. 

Somehow we have become our own version of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Thank you Joy and Charlie, Don and Elaine and Neil the navigator! Here's to our next excellent adventure!

** A water fact. The amount of water in 1 tide cycle in the Bay of Fundy is equal to the amount of water that travels over Niagara Falls in 1 year and 9 months. Yes you read that right!