Connecting The Dots

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

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! 

The Pivot

Mary Johnson - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

For years I have spoken about 'Your Story' - the one you tell yourself everyday. Especially when  a circumstance has triggered a particular reaction. Smugly thought I had figured out my story in all it' splendour and murkiness! Well loving to be pleasantly surprised in life, I certainly was! 

Got ahold of Tad Hargrave's 'The Niching Spiral'. In it he walks you through a fascinating and liberating look at niching. One of the invites is to create your story line. There is 'a something' most of us in business want to offer others. It is shaped by the good/ bad things we have experienced as well as the ugly/inspiring events of our lives. I have written out my story a few times in my life - looking for clues to a variety of things. Wasn't sure what doing it again would offer. And, .... I committed to gaining some clarity on whether I was still on the right path. Righto!

The second part of this came from Jeff Goins 'The Art of Work'. Once you have written your story create a PIVOT. What else could your story be saying (to you and possibly others)? Come at your story from another angle. And another, and possibly another yet. You need to give it a bit of time. Write, walk away, lookout it some more, write again.

Surprise!!! I found 5 pivots on my story. 5! To say I was blown away would be an understatement. One of my storylines centered around my last job and the ombudsman like work I did. In fact this is the story I used to underpin my business. In my heart of hearts, there had always been something missing for me. Yet on the surface it seemed a great door into the business world. Then I saw the story of the technical frontline nurse makes her way into a senior corporate role. There is another one about not letting a life threatening illness conquer me; the spiritual seeker and my longest, strongest thread that is about health. Not peas and carrots stuff; rather how do you move past the barriers, triggers, circumstances that hold you back to become a source of contribution in the world.

Bingo! while all of the PIVOTS are true versions of my life, it's the last one that energizes me and I can speak to without hesitation. I had completely walked past this one, thinking it just a stop along my way to something bigger. To quote my grand daughter 'Silly Grandma!' Yet I might have continued to have this dropped thread without this once-more look.

What about you? Perhaps it's time to examine your story. Maybe it's run out of steam - no longer inspiring you. Write out that story of yours. Then look for what else might be there. A thread that may go back a long way. Or maybe it'll invigorate your present story. Either way don't be fooled into thinking this is all there is. Your stories will tell you otherwise.

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.