SO WHAT (I’m Still A Rockstar!) Wise Project 2018 #TenaciousTuesday

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I had an uncomfortably amazing experience this weekend at a course called the Gift through Integrity Seminars designed to help me (and others) identify and break down barriers that prevent change and keep me from leading my best life both personally and professionally. I was interested in learning how to establish and support inspiring relationships at home, at work and in my community.  Though I could personally identify areas like ego, vulnerability and trust as some of the limiting dynamics that create obstacles in my relationships,  I actually went in very unaware of some of the automatic boundaries I put in place to discourage new connections.

For those of you who know me, you probably would never describe me as shy or introverted and you might possibly be surprised to learn that I have discovered that I have developed some habits that may say otherwise. I walked into a room of thirty strangers and I felt small and more than a little bit scared. Those old beliefs of “am I enough?” ran through my mind at lightning speed. When I am communicating with my tribe I often feel like a bit of a badass, completely at one with myself and confident in who I am and also wide open to learn from the empowering and resilient people I have called into my life. In a room full of strangers I felt none of that, however, what I recognized immediately in the discomfort is that I was being gifted the amazing opportunity to grow and expand and free myself of the restraints of my outdated belief system.

My late husband Kirk was a huge presence in every life he touched. He was not a large man physically but he took up a great deal of space in the world. He was loud and loved to be the center of attention. His sister made a comment to me a short time after his death that I was funny but she had never noticed, it was attributed to me being around Kirk for several years and he was very funny.  I always knew it was more than that.  I was always funny and I became accustomed to standing stage side and being my husbands support. I shrunk to fit into the spaces that were left over. I was shocked to learn about a year before I lost Kirk to the devastating affects of depression, trauma and anxiety that he always felt alone in a room full of people. The person who myself and many others came to know and love as the “life of the party” struggled immensely in a room full of people, feeling completely alone and even talking about it made him cringe. His need to be loud and seen and heard stemmed from a great deal of fear and anxiety. I allowed myself to adapt to being in the background and after his death it was challenging to step into my own, expand and fill my space in the world.

“Change is inevitable.

Growth is optional.”

`John Maxwell

 

Standing in a room full of thirty strangers I could feel myself shrinking into the space and attempting to become invisible. So many times I have declared my need to be seen and heard and I found myself in the opposite position and though  I didn’t like it, it gave me a tangible place to launch from.

I was enamored with our facilitator Rae-ann, she is sharp as a tack, a powerful influence(r), and has the ability to cut through bullshit in seconds. I always say that the words we use matter so I was captivated by her ability to quickly point out how often myself and my course mates were using words like but and talking in the third person to diminish the impact of our words. She became our anchor in a storm of emotions that if left unattended may have had the ability to sink us. Her sharp intuition and commitment to redirecting us when we faltered encouraged us on a path of progression and expansion.

There were times that I deliberately chose to sit back and listen, I feel that we don’t always learn a lot from talking but we can benefit a great deal from listening to the experiences of others. Listening is progress for me as I spent a great deal of my life listening only with the intent to reply. Listening to learn is a bit of a super power.

I tasked myself this past weekend to notice the areas where I was experiencing discomfort. I was in a state of discovery and better yet rediscovery and that disquiet was an advantage that would quickly lead me to my areas of resistance so that I could make the conscious choice to make space for new possibilities.

“We cannot become what we want to by remaining what we are.”

~Max Depree

I have chosen to recommit to standing in my integrity and to set clear intentions about the types of experiences that I want to create in my life.

The thirty strangers that joined me in that room were and will continue to be an integral part of my healing, ascension and growth. Their inspiring stories, wisdom, fearlessness and energy have given me new purpose.

I have made mistakes. I have not gotten that thing I really wanted. I have pushed when I should have pulled and pulled when I should have pushed. I have sabotaged myself and my happiness on more than one occasion. I have under valued myself. I have chosen comfort over connection. I have limited myself with beliefs I didn’t even know I had.

So What!

I’m still a Rockstar.

In the words of Rae-Ann Wood Shchatz “Now what?”

It is what I do now that matters.

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Hell in a Handbasket-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

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My W.I.S.E. principles for the month of April are Wisdom, Integrity, Sincerity and Education. I am using and passing along my wisdom at every single opportunity that I can, especially in conversations with my girls. I am not book smart but I definitely have a lot of life experience to share and I know that even though it might not always seem like it at the time my children do listen and when I see the results of that it makes me truly joyful.

I have always tried to live my life with integrity and be sincere in all that I do. I haven’t always been completely successful because sometimes being a bitch wins. The other day a bloated and balding man in a Lexus cut me off as I was merging into the left lane. He did it intentionally, possibly to make up for some phallic shortcoming, and because I am a person of strong moral character I did not ram the bumper of my truck up his ass end for the remainder of our drive together in that lane and even though my finger twitched like mad I did not lift it in a tasteless gesture insisting he speedily copulate himself. Instead I smiled and sincerely wished him well. I wished that he would either learn how to drive or to stay home everyday. My well wishes for him made me happy.

I had a discussion with my girls about education the other day I was telling them to never give up on learning. Few things are more engaging and powerful then exercising your brain. I think we should always pursue new opportunities to learn and stimulate our minds. I have been taking some mini courses on the Psychology of Happiness and Living a Good Life. Happiness seems to factor into everything I do lately. Everything I am interested in, every challenge I face seems to be coincide with being grateful and living a good life.

It is a challenge. I have a million things I want to do and accomplish each day and only so many hours. I like to assign some of those hours to sleeping and after I have appointed equal time to my children, my husband, my pets and my housework there is very little time left over. I am grateful I have these types of demands though. I am blessed, and in knowing this and being thankful for this my life is better. I am not happy every second of everyday and often I don’t feel as happy as I would like, but I always know that making a conscious effort to be happy and being grateful for my life makes a huge difference in my well-being!

I really do not dip into the pool of politics too often. The water is greasy and it makes me break out. We have enough of our problems here in beautiful Alberta, not to mention the rest of Canada but this morning I was alarmed to hear the New York Primary outcome.

The race for the Democratic nomination is in the home stretch and a victory is in sight for presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

On the April 16, 2016, Julia-Louis-Dreyfus of Seinfeld, New Adventures of Old Christine and currently The Veep fame, joined the cast of SNL and blamed her HBO show Veep for informing the notion of a “presidential candidate being a cursing narcissistic buffoon.”

Even as a Canadian I am worried about how a Trump presidency will affect me. Trump claims to love Canada and says that he has no plans to build a wall across our border with the U.S. but many questions still arise about how a win for Trump could affect relations between the two countries.

Though Donald the businessman supports the Keystone XL Pipeline and the oil industry in general he has made no secret of the fact that he thinks that the North American Free Trade Agreement is a disaster and may impose barriers that would make it difficult for Canadian goods and services to cross the border. Trump may fear that Canada’s recent intake of Syrian Refugees may somehow be threat to the U.S. and therefore may deepen border security.

I am sad for all of the politicians that spent their lives hoping for a run at the presidency and it turns out that a man with the deepest pockets and no solid political background could take up residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. It makes a mockery of then entire system.

Besides the fact that I do not like Trump as a person or like what he stands for what scares me the most is his ‘Shoot first, ask questions later’ approach.

The biggest threat to Canada may be Trump’s unpredictability and how his policies and impending threats to confront China over trade may have a devastating affect on the economy and our dollar.

U.S. friends and neighbors, I am asking you sincerely to a) Go out and vote in November and b) carefully consider your vote and what it will mean for your country. You matter, your families matter, your vote absolutely matters.

For my fellow Canadians, let us be grateful, and keep our fingers crossed!

Be W.I.S.E. friends!