Connecting The Dots

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

More time

Mary Johnson - Monday, January 15, 2018

One of my favourite things is to be introduced to a new and/or clever way of looking at the world. So it's been with Stephen Jenkinson's work on approaching  end of life. My January newsletter touched on 'living a life of consequence' because what you do matters. We aren't talking 'special' but what we do does impact our life and those around us in ways seen and unseen. Sometimes long after we're gone. 

In reading Jenkinson's book 'Die Wise' he spends a fair bit of discussion on the idea of having or making More Time at the end of one's life. Now I'm not here to talk about that per se. It was a story he shared about a young woman, terminal in her diagnosis, who was praying for More Time. He invited her into the idea that her wish had already been granted, that what was she was living was her More Time. The story dropped like a boulder creating huge ripples of thought and feeling inside me. I have been surprised at how this idea has brought me more into the Present. We often read or hear individuals talk about 'the Now.' There are many teachers who invite us regularly into this moment. Personally I have found it a great idea though typically I can step into the Now oh for about 3 seconds before I'm off somewhere else in my mind! 

Jenkinson's invitation to the dying young woman has shifted something inside me. Personally I have experienced 3 brushes with my potential death. And have not considered any of them in a significant way. Heck  I'm young, strong, have a family to look after ... will keep on going and going and going! Now I am reconsidering each day I wake up. Looking at it through the lens of my More Time. That any prayers I offered have already been granted. That's a whole new ball game for me. Quite something!!    

 So the question I contemplate and I invite you to consider is, 'How might I live my life differently if this day, morning, this hour is my More Time?'  

What do you love?

Mary Johnson - Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Are you a glass half full or half empty kinda person? When looking at a situation do you see the glaring mistakes, things that are wrong or do you marvel at what's going well? If you are like many of us the glass is half empty and our partners, kids, co-workers, the world haven't figured 'it' out yet!

Just got off the phone a while ago with someone near and dear to me. She's a wonderful gal on so many levels. When it comes to work though I am not sure why she is still there? So little seems to go right, multiple layers of process and people don't line up day over day. Now I'm not saying that isn't so. Lord knows in a big company things don't run smoothly. That said she's hard pressed to speak of anything going well. (yes I ask and get a huffy sounding reply). This is a pattern of years. Of course suggesting this isn't a great environment to be in everyday doesn't net me a cheerful response either. Thing is it's often soul sucking to speak with her. My energy levels plunge. When we are with others I watch them check out when she speaks. This impacts the world! So when I catch myself focusing on the darker side of things it makes me realize I too am putting a low energy vibe out into my world. It's a habit of thinking and speaking.

Now the flip side of this is, of course, looking for what is going well in your life. This too is a habit one can cultivate. While at lunch last week with a dear friend and colleague of mine, he shared a practice he has gotten into and does every morning. With a cup of coffee in hand, the radio on low, he looks out his window and appreciates his day. All the good things that have happened (or bullets he's dodged!) to bring him to this moment. His wonderful daughters and the lives they are launching into. All the great people he will meet today. The wonderful opportunities he knows are coming his way as well as the unknown delights that will occur as well. He said he sits for an hour or so and marinates (my word) in this space of appreciation and humility. The upshot is very little ruffles him, most delights him and he's present to the day and what it brings. I was inspired!

Taking this up a notch what if we spoke about what we love, ... on a regular basis and even out loud. Affirming the good things in our lives in person, on the phone, on email tends to have you eye see more of what is going well in your life. This sends a very different energetic vibe out into the world. I felt lighter and loving after my time with my friend. The world is impacted by this also!       

We often are flummoxed by what/ how we can do anything that would make the world better right now. We get stuck thinking the action needs to be big and bold and impact thousands. Well being conscious and responsible for the energy we bring to our lives is a great place to start. Seeing the world with appreciation, curiosity, compassion touches those in our world who touch those in their world, who touch those in their worlds. If we are all connected, then this small act indeed makes a difference for many! 

Being enough

Mary Johnson - Friday, March 06, 2015

Been savouring a day spent with my grand daughter last weekend. Her dad asked if he could drop her off late morning to spend time with Grandma and Grandpa before a big family birthday supper later that day. She was wanting to come early. I was a little fussed and I love spending time with her. There was much to do to prepare. So I accepted the fact that with a young one only so much would be accomplished. Sure! bring her by.

Our time together consisted of eating - we both love our food! Doing some cleaning and setting up of the table. Time at the 'Grandma and Grandpa' playground. As we were enjoying the swings (read Marion swings and I push endlessly!), a number of realizations hit me in rapid succession. 

* When she was born, I simply wanted to be the very best Grandma. This had me put incredible pressure on myself about how I showed up and the need to see her often so she could be with this very best Grandma.  

* As frequently happens when you are forcing your view and expectations on a situation, you get push back. And I did. 

* My internal struggle said I was out of the flow of this whole relationship. That required me to need to back up and rethink this whole Grandma thing.

*  At no point in the past three years has my grand daughter thought me any less or more than her Grandma. Period. I am ENOUGH just as I am! 

To say this was startling to me would be an understatement. Yet it is so obvious. Kids accept (So! much better than adults) what is in front of them. 

This got me to thinking how often we are overly concerned with how others perceive us. We want to make a good impression, an impact, be recognized for a skill, strength we feel we have as we rush and push to get ahead, to be noticed, to be viewed as successful. All that fussing in our heads has us miss what's in front of us and the fact we are indeed enough - just as we are. There isn't a lack. We only need to show up fully. 

My darling grand daughter handed me a beautiful gift last Sunday by being who she is - fully and completely. I accepted that gift by realizing I am enough.