Showing Up for Your Life

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Today’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series episode is all about showing up.

Yesterday Becca and I went on location to the site of our Tapping Into Your Wellpower retreat to film this week’s episode. Ironically we recorded twenty minutes of video that mysteriously did not show up in my iMovie library when I came home to edit, forcing me to use the only five minutes that did show up.

What I’m noticing as I produce the Sunday Summer Stretch Series is that the right (and often exasperating) experiences show up at the exact right time to illustrate the point I am suggesting you pay attention to.

Clearly, it’s a case of physician, heal thyself.

For example, last week we talked about structure. On the 4th of July – a day that had the potential to throw a lot of people’s structure out the window – I found myself feverishly outlining Sunday Summer Stretch Series topics through September and creating a structure for each episode.

Some might say that should have happened before I even started, but let me assure you, if it would have, you would not have seen Episode 1 until next summer.

Sometimes, I just have to “Leap,” as Les Brown says, “and grow wings on the way down.”

Showing up in Boston in the middle of a blizzard in March to attend Ignite Your Power was such a leap. At that event I invested in a year long coaching program that has transformed the way I show up for my life and the people in it.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t had coaching or heard similar stuff before.  Like you, I’ve  consumed copious amount of content either out of curiosity or fear of missing out.

However, I seldom contributed to these conversations or left comments, even when the information totally rocked my world or changed the way I looked at something. I figured someone else would surely comment and the author wasn’t interested in my opinion.

Until I started creating my own content.  Now I realize feedback and comments are the lifeline of a thriving community.

Writing can be a very solitary pursuit.  Or it can be a call and response feedback loop where I put out the call and you respond or you toss out a question or a comment and I respond.

Showing up changes everything.

You can stay in your head where it’s safe, you’re surrounded by intelligent life forms, and your eccentricities are considered charming.

Or you can risk being seen.

You can risk being exposed for being human, being a bit unorganized, messy, or otherwise imperfect. You can be accused of anything from fashion faux-pax to intentional ignorance of the laws of defensive driving or good grammar.

I used to lament that my superpower was invisibility.  Now I’m determined to turn that around and I am committed to showing up and being visible – imperfections and all.

As Barbara She said, “Isolation is the dream killer.

I used to pride myself on being fiercely independent. Now I know the real honor is to be a part of a community.  If you are reading this, please know I am thrilled to have you as part of mine.  Many of you have been quietly reading for years, never letting out a peep.

Today I’m going to nudge you to just check in and say “I’m here” in the comments below. Or simply like this or share it with someone who might benefit from reading this. Because showing up – even in small ways – matters immensely and I’d love to let you know.

Here the link to today’s episode on Showing Up in the Sunday Summer Stretch Series.

 

 

 

Here to the New Year in Good Cheer – Day 7 – Plan G

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It’s Day 7 of the Here to the New Year in Good Cheer challenge. The letter “G” governs our goal of getting from here to the New Year in good cheer today.
It’s gift giving season and grounding ourselves in gratitude for the grasp we’ve got on the good life is one of the greatest ways to generate good cheer. It also allows us to gracefully gear up for giving meaningful gifts instead of grappling with feeling guilty for giving generic ones or goodies that gouge our checkbook
From grandiose gestures to gracious greetings to giddy gatherings, “g” words generate a generous amount of good will and garner glowing reviews as opposed to groans, grunts, or grumbles.
Glamorous words like glisten, glow, glance, glimpse, gallop, gasp, gaze, grin, giggle, gamble,  grimace, and gorge give us plenty to gab about. They grant us creative license to glide from goofy to galvanizing to grand depending upon the guy or gal the gift is being groomed for.

Gift giving can be gratifying or grievous, with no guarantees that the gesture won’t be taken for granted. However, you will grow from giving from the garden of your gorgeous self just as I have been graced with the gift of your time  and attention.
Could I goad you into sharing some of your most glorious gift giving experiences in the comments below? Or if you want to gush about our new logo below, that would be groovy. I will gladly gobble up the goodness I glean from getting a glimpse of what’s golden to you. Go for it!
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How Does Your Garden Grow?

 
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It’s Day 17 of Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge and today’s challenge is to plant the seeds of an idea, a project, a goal, or a grand adventure and watch them grow.
No one was more shocked than me (okay, maybe my parents when they came to visit yesterday) to find these zucchinis and cucumbers growing like crazy in the makeshift garden Bob and I rigged up a month ago.
Growing up on a farm,the rhythm of planting and harvesting has been a constant throughout my life. It should come as no surprise that what we planted and dutifully cared for has come to fruition.
What is surprising is how much joy these veggies give me simply because they exist. Their transformation from a handful of seeds stuck in the mud to these enormous, edible specimens is nothing short of miraculous.
Too often I’m detached from all the hands that make it possible for the food I eat to end up on my table. I love frequenting farmers’ markets but often opt for the ease of the big box store that sells the same stuff regardless of the season.
During the eight months of my training to become a certified eating psychology coach, I thought more about food than I had at any previous point in my life. I noticed how it is grown, manufactured to last longer, distributed, stripped of its nutrients,  and “enhanced” to be more appealing. I paid attention to how much food we consume, waste, destroy, and produce. I became acutely aware of how we use food not only to feed and nourish ourselves but also punish and condemn ourselves,  hide our feelings, or protect ourselves from relentless stress.
The fact that I am growing greens on my own makes me confident that I can do just about anything I put on my Get Stuff Done 1×31 listif I give it some respect and attention.
What about you? What seeds have you planted either consciously or unconsciously over the past few weeks or months?  What signs of success are showing up in your world?
If nothing comes to mind, use your 5-15 minutes for today’s task to think about what you’d like to grow in your garden. And by garden, what I really mean is your field of dreams.
(I realize I can get away with the Field of Dreams reference because I live in Iowa, but I really do want you to grow your dreams.  Or at least something you feel is as fabulous as I feel the zucchinis, cucumbers, and soon-to-be-ready tomatoes and peppers are.)
What have you grown from a spark into something spectacular? I would love to hear what you are growing or see pictures of your bounty. Share your favorite gardening hacks in the comments below or email me at penny@wellpower.com.
 

What's New?

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It’s Day 11 of the Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge. Today’s challenge is to learn something new.
No matter how old or young you may be, how much you think you know or don’t know, or whether you think there are any original ideas left to explore, as an educator I’m here to tell you there is always something to learn.
I know learning can be intimidating. Often the hardest thing for a student to do is to walk through through the doors of whatever learning institution he or she chooses. But doing so can change a life.
That’s why in order for me to teach, I must continue to learn. As a writer, it helps for me to be a voracious reader. To be an effective coach, I need to be willing to be coached.
TED talks are one of my favorite free sources of learning. I am a huge fan of these 18 minute entrées into the world of experts in every imaginable field. This is a luxury I would have never thought possible in my workshop junkie days when going where the gurus were was the only way to get the goods.
This month you can not only do the Get Stuff Done 1×31 Challenge, but you can also take the TED ED Challenge.  These lessons can also be completed in 5-15 minutes, depending on how engrossed you get in the topic.  A new topic is presented each day in an animated short that brings the information to life in a very entertaining and educational way. (It has also prompted me to add “find funding for an animator, director, sound editor, script director, and producer” to my Get Stuff Done 1×31 list.)
One of my biggest pet peeves is when people complain they are bored. There is so much to learn, discover, and do. Why would you not use the day’s downtime to take advantage of the ample learning opportunities to plant seeds in your imagination?

Our biggest threat is not weapons of mass destruction but weapons of mass distraction.

Today I encourage you to cultivate the kind of creativity that comes with having a quiet moment, a curious mind, and the patience to contemplate the questions that have confounded great minds for centuries.
Work a cross-word puzzle. Solve a Sudoku puzzle. Doodle or sketch a logo for your 1×31 Challenge list. Animate one of these lessons. Write a reply to a perplexing question with your non-dominant hand.
Use that Wiggle Room from Day 6 to explore the unfamiliar and make unlikely connections between things that appear to have nothing to do with each other. Maybe you will stumble upon a solution to a problem that just needed to be approached from a different perspective?
Share what you learn in the comments below.
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Here are a few classics for your playlist:
What’s New, Pussycat? – Tom Jones
What a Wonderful World – James Taylor, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel
Inside Out – Trisha Yearwood, Don Henley
And here are just a few of my favorite TED presenters: