Countdown!

Dear Readers!

Isn’t it always the way? As soon as Halloween is over, Thanksgiving struts it’s turkey self right into your calendar and then Christmas and before you know it, the new year is upon us and people are pestering you about resolutions again.

Well, I can’t even believe it but we are 28 days away from the end of the year, and the end of the decade.

Take a minute to breathe that in, friends.

The end of the decade.

Which likely gets you to asking, “What have I been doing with the last 10 years of my life?”

I suggest you go ahead make a list, I did it and was surprised by all the entries!

(Can I let you in on a secret?)

YOU are way more awesome than you give yourself credit for, pass it on!)

This (what the heck did I get done from 2010-2019 list) is a great way to pat yourself on the back, and really take stock of what in fact you have been up to lo these last 10 years.

However the point of today’s post is to get you to look forward and focus on this question.

What do you want to do in the next 10 years?

Take a second, breathe that in.

Okay, maybe that’s a BIG overwhelming thought accompanied by several follow ups or dwelling on the unknown. Okay, so let’s start smaller.

What do you want to do with the next 28 days?

The year isn’t over, so don’t act like it is.

Once you have set a few goals there. Look a little further down the road, how about the first 90 days of 2020? How about the next 90? And the next?

Are there some goals you need to let go of because this just isn’t the season to give it your full attention?

For instance, my marathon goal is being pushed back again. Originally, 2020 was my target but realistically it’s going to be 2022)

Still working hard on my book, but it might not be published until 2021, so coming to terms with that is part of this inventory and Intentional Living.

On the other hand, what goals will you add because as the year winds down you can see more clearly what the future might look like?

Think About It.

More importantly, make a plan, and get ready for it to get blown to smithereens by life and then make a new plan. Before you know it, we will be staring down 2021 and it will be too late to be intentional about 2020 any more.

Silence over Noise- Wonder over Answers-

Dear Readers,

This past weekend I took myself to see a movie which is one of my very favourite self-care activities. Note my smile!

One of reasons I love movies so much is they offer the chance for us to be quiet and just watch and take in something as it unfolds.

I saw “It’s A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood” and as with anything that reminds us of our humanity and the need to slow down and be kind, I am onboard and here to listen to it.

I don’t think we give that gift anymore (the gift of silence). I’m very concerned that our society is much more interested in information than wonder. In noise, rather than silence…how do we encourage reflection? Oh my, this is a noisy world. I get up every morning at least by 5AM. I have a couple hours of quiet time, reflect about what it is important. What can we do, to encourage people to have more quiet in their lives, more silence? Real revelation comes through silence.– Mr. Fred Rogers

I watched an interview with Tom Hanks and he was talking about how hard it was to slow down and pay attention to every person as though they were the only person in the world. This was the overarching piece of advice he got when asking others about Rogers, preparing to play him. He admitted to being terrified to play the part for fear of getting it wrong.

That quote and this movie got me thinking, in our very loud and busy lives, how often do we stop and listen? The other day I found myself getting impatient with the person I was talking to and as soon as I realized it, I said, “Gosh, my mind must have wandered, can you say that again, please” and I felt my frustration lift, and real comprehension took place.

Yes, I even get impatient with these two, and forget to be silent and explore the wonder.

This happens all the time, so this week I wanted to invite you to find ways to find wonder and look for places to be silent as you listen intently (ala Mr. Rogers) to spoken and unspoken things being shared with you.

Think About It.

Six PM Social Media Shutdown!

Dear Readers,

A couple of weeks ago I saw a delightful picture online which of course I can’t find now, but the sentiment stayed with me.

What if the internet closed every evening at an appointed time?

What would that world be like? How much more “connected” might we be if we “disconnected” from our phones or the things that emanate light for just 2 hours a night?

I can hear the objections now, I mean, how would the WORLD turn minus technology? Planes wouldn’t fly, people couldn’t work or drive minus GPS to guide them, right?

So, this idea has flaws, but the premise of taking an intentional sabbatical from the internet, that my friends, is solid.

Perhaps 2 hours feels like a lot, okay, try 30 minutes, no technology, let yourself be bored and see how good it feels.

Maybe your family sits down to dinner at 5, so 5-6 no devices. Try it, listen to your kids or partner grumble and try the high/low game – “What was your high today?” What was your low today?”

If you are by yourself, relish the sound of nothingness and let yourself be awash in boredom. It’s good to be bored.

It would be great if we could all agree to put those pixels down at a certain time every day or night but I am fighting a strong habit here so it’s okay to ask for help with unplugging.

In fact, there are applications for that, so please go check them out. Moment is one that I use and have found it to be a good accomplice in my self-imposed digital diet. I did this when I noticed that my 3 year old daughter knows what a phone is but has never used one, and is always grabbing for it, so I started to keep it in the other room. When it buzzes or rings, I don’t always answer it or look at it right away, abecause I don’t want my technology to own me or our family, I want to use it to enhance the relationships we have and tell my electronic assistant we need bananas or coffee from the store, while sitting on the ground tickling my munchkin and hearing her peals of laughter. It truly is the best sound in the world.

Remember the only thing we don’t get back is time, so let me ask you, how are you spending yours?

Think About It.

Free Rodney Reed. Your voice matters, use it.

Dear Readers,

If you have not been following the Rodney Reed case, let me fill you in on what’s going on in this case.

Rodney Reed is sentenced to die next Wednesday for a crime that he is accused of but that there has not been sufficient evidence to prove that he committed.

He has been proclaiming his innocence for twenty years and according to NBC news recent article breaking down the case and advocating for Freeing Rodney Reed

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/rodney-reed-deserves-chance-clear-his-name-victim-stacey-stites-n1080491

This article includes witness statements and forensic evidence uncovered since the victim died should allow Reed a new trial.

In the same article, by Eric Ortiz, the sister of the victim is fighting to keep Rodney Reed alive so they can get “justice for Stacey”

Does that sound like she thinks he is guilty?

Why would she come to Rodney’s defense if she did not believe in his innocence.

While thinking about that, here are some facts.

  1. DNA was never collected from the belt used to strangle Stites.
  2. The home shared with the victim was never searched for evidence.
  3. New witness accounts have not been allowed into evidence.

What can you do? Well for starters, familiarize yourself with the facts so you can make a judgment call about what you think given the following-

https://www.freerodneyreed.com

Are you done reading? Good, now it’s time to act.

Time is of the essence.

Rodney Reed is scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, November 20th.

I implore you, read the site, Sign the petition- and then get to dialing, and then share and tweet and instagram the living daylights out of this message. This man does not deserve to die due to racism and bias.

Don’t let this be another case of someone who is executed and then exonerated. Please do something before it is too late. 

Often we use the internet to share memes and jokes, but no one is living or dying because of it.

No one has a voice like you. Use it.

You signing a petition and making calls and sharing this could SAVE A LIFE.

Think About It. Now, what are you going to do?

—————————-

From Shaun King-

We need to persuade Governor Greg Abbott, the Board of Pardons and Paroles, the Bastrop County District Attorney Brian Goertz, and other conservative elected officials to stay this execution, review all of the evidence that exonerates Rodney, and eventually grant him a new trial.

It’s in their hands, but they have to know how much we care. 

I need you to call ALL of the people. If you’ve never done this work with me before, we’re kind and respectful when we call. Be firm and thorough. Be persistent, but be kind. People are more apt to respond to kindness than they will anger. Leave a message if you have to. Ask to be transferred to someone else if nobody is available.

And when you call, let them know that you are calling to advocate on behalf of Rodney Reed, an innocent man who has been wrongly convicted and sentenced to death on November 20th.

We have set up a tool that will connect you these influential people back-to-back. Each group of people has a slightly different role to play in the process. Here are the dial-in numbers for each group-

  1. Call the governor, TBPP, and DA Brian Goertz: (512) 967-0567

  2. Call Governor Abbott’s Staff: (512) 488-0698

  3. Call Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s Staff: (770) 800-0689

  4. Call The Board Of Pardons and Paroles Staff & Members: (737) 214-3944

Tell Fear To Shut Up, You Are Too Busy Being Awesome!

Dear Readers,

Ever wonder how to fight that nasty imposter syndrome?

Today I heard a great idea (from Jena Vivian- a fellow career coach) for counteracting those feelings of insecurity and doubts that plague your mind when you step up to the plate, take the bat, and get ready to swing and get ready to connect.

Just as you do, all that fear and uncertainty tells you for sure you are GOING to strike out instead of hit a home run.

Why do we do that? Why does our mind cast immediately to the worst possible scenario and set of circumstances? Well, if you are anything like me, it’s because you spent the majority of your life watching things “not work out” or in fact, “fall spectacularly apart” or more accurately “waiting for the other shoe to drop” but it really all comes down to the same thing. FEAR.

Stepping out into the unknown is HARD.

Any time we have the audacity to challenge the status quo or attempt something outside the normal or mediocre and THAT is when fear starts rearing its ugly head and starts saying things like,

“Who are YOU to write a book?

“You are too old to go back to school, it’s too late!”

Who are you to audition for “The Voice”?

<Insert your big dream here>

You want to know the antidote for fear and doubt?

It’s simple. Any time someone (a voice or another person) tells you that you can’t do something or questions your ability to try, take a minute and refute that fear with truth.

For example-

Fear says- Who are YOU to write a book?

You say: Well, I have these ideas that will not turn me loose, so I am pretty sure I am SUPPOSED to write a book, so shut up, sit down and watch me do it.

Insecurity says- You are too old to go back to school, it’s too late!”

You say-

Well, you need to check your facts, pal.

Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.

Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.

So, shut up and watch me prove you wrong

<Insert your big dream>

You get the idea.

The other thing that helps and I mean this sincerely.

Surround yourself with people who want to be in the circle- Professor Haston

I am not sure if it will work for you, but I keep a kudos file, a record of voicemails, letters and emails or as it happens, confidence inspiring photos of past moments of swaggery (which is bad***ery and swagger combined)

-Thanks to Shonda Rimes “Year of Yes” for that one.

to remind you of the pure and unadulterated awesome you TRULY embody.

Trust me, you need something you can call up any time those other voices get loud and nasty as you wait in the wings for your turn to shine.

Think About It.

Then get busy telling Fear to get lost.

Strong, Smart, AND Cute!

Cute. It’s a word that gets thrown around a lot, especially when describing little girls, in this particular instance, mine.

I mean, yes, she is, AND she is so much more.

She’s three now (HOW?) and just the other day I heard her say, while putting her hands next to her face, “cuuuute” – not sure if she was describing herself or the outfit, and I saw an opportunity to reverse a seemingly innocuous habit.

Allow me to explain- I absolutely think my daughter is cute. I also know she is smart and strong and that’s a narrative I want her to believe from as early an age as I can to negate barrage of people telling her that she is “cute” but forgetting all the other things she is too.

So my husband and I discussed it and agreed we will teach her to say, “Strong, Smart, and Cute” when describing herself.

I never want her to think that “cute” is ALL she is.

I am proud to report after just a few days, she is saying all three!

(Thanks to Aunt Rachel for the dress!)”

Growing up, I was definitely recognized as Smart, but that was all.

I think it was good to grow up with that notion and hearing people say that about me, helping me to believe it about myself, and I am also sure it would have been greatly beneficial to believe all three about myself and, as I have grown, I have come to believe it.

I could leave it at that, but I think the important takeaway here is YOU.

What words do you use to describe yourself?

Are they true or false?

Are they aspirational or accurate?

Taking it even further, what are you saying about others, what words are you using? They matter, so

Think About It.

Unplug and Reconnect!

Dear Readers,

I think we can all agree as a society that we spend too much time looking at screens and not enough time looking at other people or getting outside and active. I was thinking about this as I watching a commercial for deodorant which advocated getting out of the house and get active which made me ask the question, why do we need commercials to encourage us to do that?

We KNOW it’s good for us, and yet, we don’t always make that effort.

Same goes with eating foods that are good fuel for our bodies, but that’s another post.

Going back to getting more active, let’s talk about that, shall we?

The attempt to blackout all social media is pointless, the goal is to be intentional with my digital use.

Some days I do better than others, and it’s about progress, NOT perfection.

One step I have taken is to start waking up with an alarm clock. I am also working to give up the “Snooze” and speak more French. It was bought six months ago and I only started this two days ago, but details, details.

To report, Monday worked great, (Day 1 is always the easiest, isn’t it?) Today was Day 2 and I snoozed twice which is better than my normal 3-5 times so I am calling it a win.

Yes, I know, I know, you want your phone, but think about that. If your phone is the first thing you touch in the morning, that sets the pattern and habit to be interacting with “IT” all day. What if you change just this one habit? What could happen?

Another thing I do is think twice before I pick up my phone to review the calendar or log on to Facebook, or other applications or games.

The most vital of these (unplug) moments is also the hardest. Every day from 4:30-7:30 p.m, I shut down my phone to give full attention to my child. I did not realize how important this was till my 3 year old pointed at my device and reached for it, saying, “Phone”. I did not teach her that word, yet at 3 years old, she already knows what it is.

The very notion that it’s hard for me to PUT my phone in the other room (studies have shown, if it’s in the room with you it still pulls your focus, isn’t that crazy?) makes it all the more important that I stick to my word.

But look at what I would have missed if I was not looking at her but rather looking at my phone ?

My hope is to inspire just ONE person to examine their use of devices over their interaction with people. All I am asking, is for you to THINK about it.

Yes, it is fun to scroll and read and comment and like and I love my word find games for relaxation and keeping my brain sharp, but I recently started to count how much time I spent on games and Facebook using an application called “Moment” which is free to use, and this screen really caught my eye, because it tells the world you are unplugging and “living in the moment” for a specified duration. I like that, I like the idea of choosing to be away from your computer.

If the idea of putting your phone down for a day or a week makes you twitch, this post is for you.

There is also a low-tech version, you can just put the phone down and go do something.

To be clear here, I am not against technology, I am against mindless technology. Applications like “Moment” can be leveraged to help us “Unplug” and “Reconnect”

Case in point, you are reading my words, which I appreciate, and after this, what will you do to unplug and more importantly, RECONNECT?

Think About It.