No Matter What – Day 18

Welcome to the No Matter What Game where Gillian, the world’s greatest coach, asks a question and I answer.  No matter what. You can play, too.  Leave your response in the comments below or write your response in your journal.

The image of a man who wastes time. We often do not give enough importance to time, we take it for granted and do not know to use it well. Wasting time concept.

G:  My greatest time wasters are . .

P:  How do I waste my time?  Let me count the ways….

Today I seemed to be like one of those plastic bags floating about whichever way the wind blew.  And for the record, it was and still is incredibly windy in my neck of the woods.  Consequently, I’ve been everywhere, man.

Yes, I managed to cross a few things off my list but it felt like no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t take the deep dive into doing the kind of really productive work I usually reserve for Fridays from 4:30-6pm or right before leaving on vacation.

The greater challenge is focus. That’s why I’ve attempted more 21 and 30-day challenges in the past year than I ever have. These periods of sustained focus help me practice discipline and give me confidence that I can achieve what I set out to do.

Make no mistake. They are brutal.  But they are absolutely essential to catapulting me out of my comfort zone and into the productivity zone. Read more about this in this post.

To quote Michael Hyatt,We lose our way when we lose our why.” Today my why went missing. 

The best thing I can do in the morning is to state my intentions and map out a game plan for the day.  I’ve recently discovered a method called Future Mapping that is surprisingly useful and gets my creative juices flowing.

Just the act of being intentional about the direction I’d like my day to go can make a huge difference.  Especially when I add the way I want to feel to the mix.

Could I have grabbed that free flowing plastic bag of thought bubbles out of the air and grounded them at will today?  If I hadn’t been so enamored with the buoyancy of drifting through the day, yes. I’ve been on a regimented schedule for the past couple of weeks and I needed to decompress today.

But tomorrow I must reign it in and put professional Penny back in the driver’s seat so I can promote an event, answer questions, advise students, and write. Because this is what we do. We create. We produce. We deliver. No matter what.

**********************************

What about you?  What are your greatest time wasters? Have you ever thought something was going to be a waste of time only to have it change your life or vice versa?  Share if you dare in the comments below.  To have Gillian send you a post, contact her at www.gillianpearce.com.

No Matter What – Day 15

We wrap up this week of No Matter What with today’s prompt about control versus trust. To play along, see instructions at the end of the post.

fiducia

G:  Where do you try and control your life rather than trust it will all be OK?

P:  A few years ago I came upon a book called Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver. Like most books that rearrange my reality, it came to me at exactly the right time and introduced me to the concept that I might be better off to ease up on the controls.

Last spring when I was teaching my How to Get Your Groove Back class, I again turned to Tosha Silver and her new book Change Me Prayers.

Change Me Prayers are not pleas to be changed so we can tightly control every aspect of our lives.  Quite the opposite.  These prayers ask that we be changed so we can surrender to whatever life presents …. no matter what.

The truth is many of my prayers are best left unanswered.  Especially if they are some slightly veiled attempt to control something or someone.

When I’m truly aligned with the universe, the great creator, the gods, goddesses, or deity of the day, I don’t even have to ask for help.  Answers just appear.  Miracles abound.  Books fall off the shelf.  Packages appear from Amazon.

I have a limited grasp of reality.  My Divine Assistance Team, on the other hand, has a much better imagination and much broader view of the Big Picture.  The solutions they serve up are always grander than mine.  Even when they are so subtle I barely notice them.

The closer I get to living my life in alignment with who I really am instead of who I think I should be, what I think I should look like, or how I think I should spend my time, the easier life becomes.

Sure I’m wandering into woo-woo territory. But for someone who spent sixteen years in Santa Fe, this is sacred ground. I know my way around just about every alternative or metaphysical practice out there.

I was also born in a small farming community in the Midwest where one might suspect the stork took a slight detour on his way out west and accidentally dropped this “penny from heaven” at my parent’s door.

Consequently, I’m grounded in a really free-spirited sort of way.

So I’m absolutely sure of this.  I am much better off when I ask for an outcome that is best for all concerned instead of when I ask for the outcome I believe is best.

I am much better off when I allow for “this or something better” since remaining attached to only “this” rules out any chance of something better showing up.  Rookie mistake.

I am much better off when I trust that whatever it is, it will be okay. Even if it’s unpleasant. There are lessons to be learned, karma to come around, and webs to be woven.  I do not have to understand it to accept it.

It has taken me a considerable amount of time to figure this out. Even longer to trust it. I was intensely attached to my position as general manager of all things for quite some time.  Retiring from that position was the best move ever.

Besides, I have a Queendom to run now.  Instead of having a mighty military to protect and defend my assets, I do this by being vulnerable and surrendering.

And that, grasshopper, takes a lifetime of practice.

*************************************************

I’d love to hear how attempting to control your life is working out for you in the comments below.  If you’d like to play along just answer the prompt in your own words and leave them in the comments below or keep them to yourself in a journal.  If you’d like the world’s best coach Gillian to send you your own set of daily prompts, contact her at www.gillianpearce.com.

No Matter What – Day 9

father applying sunblock cream on daughters shoulder, sun protection

Gillian is on holiday right now and had this to say about today’s prompt.  “Right now I’m sitting by the pool in Gozo trying to get my daughter to put on some sun cream which made me think of today’s prompt. 🙂 “

G:  You know that song – always wear sunscreen by Baz Lehrman?  What 5 things would you have in your version of that song?

P:  I didn’t know the song, but I Googled it and added a link on his name (above) so those who don’t know it can listen to it.  Even before hearing the lyrics, it sounded like a commencement address to me.  Since I’ve given and listened to many such addresses in my academic career, I realized I had heard snippets of this one before.  It’s definitely worth sharing.

A few years ago when I graduated into a new decade, I wrote a commencement address of sorts.  I called it my Midlife Manifesto and tried my hand at making a video.  If you’ve got some headphones handy and 3 minutes to spare, click on the video below to see my version of “always wear sunscreen.”

If you don’t have time right now, no worries.  Come back later when you do.  In the meantime, here are 5 new ideas to add to the mix.

1) Put your own oxygen mask on first. You can’t save anyone if you aren’t alive.

2) Move at the pace of grace.  Don’t just do something, sit there. Go when you know. Act with intention.  Do with deliberation. Let grace be your guide.

3) Put your whole self in and shake it all about. Do what you love.  Love what you do. You are one thought away from a new perspective. Why not choose the cheerier thought?

4) Always trust your cape. Believe in your Superpowers.  “She did not know she could not fly, so she did.”

5) Create. No. Matter. What.  You know the drill by now, yes?  Begin again.  And again. And again.

Want to share your version?  Please do so in the comments below.  To have Gillian send you daily prompts, email her at www.gillianpearce.com. Thanks for playing the No Matter What Game with us.  Gillian sends me prompts each weekday and I do my best to answer them no matter what.  I encourage you to do so as well to get your creative juices flowing.

No Matter What – Day 5

No Matter What Game …. find out how you can play below post.

Woman is lost and wanders into a book with glow lights.

G: Your mentioned in your last post “I currently have 5 books begging to be birthed”. Give us a taste of each book.

P:  The theme that runs throughout all my books is the idea of “Lost & Found“.  I believe we need to get lost before we can truly find ourselves, our sidekicks, and our way in the world.

As cliché as it sounds, it really is the journey, the climb, the adventure that makes the man or woman. We need to set out on our grand adventures with the best of intentions so when we discover the road from here to there is under construction, we can see these detours for what they really are. Divinely orchestrated and unexpected side trips where we encounter the people, places, and experiences we need for our character (and stories) to emerge.  Joseph Campbell called this the hero’s journey.

One of my favorite phrases is part of a longer quote by J.R.R. Tolkien,  “Not all who wander are lost.”  That would be the title of choice for my stories about Santa Fe and why it attracts so many people who feel exiled from other places.

Another book about living the creative life in the Land of Enchantment would be The Dog, The Desert, and the Days that Define a Life.  My dog Malcolm and I had the most extraordinary adventures involving red racers, bulls, javelinas, hawks and a wide variety of other dogs as we hiked/housesat/dogsat our way through Santa Fe.

I particularly like stories of pilgrimages and hikes; works that explore inner as well as outer journeys.  I was thrilled to see Cheryl Strayed’s book “Wild” and Bill Bryson’s book, “A Walk in  the Woods” become movies.  I also love books and movies about the Camino De Santiago. I especially enjoyed The Way with Martin Sheen.

At the same time I’m concerned the market will be saturated with these walking stories before I have the chance to write mine.

The Lost Ladies of Cumbria is about a week long hiking trip with poet David Whyte through the Lake District told from the perspective of seven middle-aged women.  The circumstances that brought each of us to that place and that time are themes I think many women at midlife can relate to.

We often hear about men’s midlife crises, but women’s stories have largely been left untold.  (Except for Stella.) This book gives those stories a voice while weaving in the incredible poetry and wisdom of a gifted poet.

I’d love to create a day book called A Penny for Your Thoughts which could be a compilation of blog posts and the Midlife Manifesto I crafted a few years ago.

And last but not least, I plan to turn a class I designed and taught 11 years ago called Read It & Leap! into an ebook that ideally you will be able to download on February 29,  2016.  Yes, approximately three Leap Days after I originally conceived of the idea, I’d like to finally birth this baby.  Long labor, yes?

So, there you have it.  The books demanding I write them into existence.  Which one would you like to read first?  Let me know in the comments below.

*******************************************

Follow along or play the No Matter What Game weekdays at www.midlifemacgyver.com.  The world’s best coach Gillian sends me a prompt each weekday and I post a response no matter what.  You are welcome to use the same prompt and record your answers in a private journal, share with a group, or even better, share in the comments below! If you’d prefer to have your own prompts sent just to you, contact Gillian at https://www.facebook.com/gillianpearcecoach.

Detox Take Away #7 – Rhythm Is Gonna Get You

eating design

One of the concepts I am learning from my Eating Psychology coaching certification program is that timing is everything. From when we introduce new concepts to our clients to when and what we feed ourselves, there is a rhyme and a rhythm that can help us get results quicker or sabotage every step.

For many of us time is of the essence.  We hurry about grabbing meals on the go, eating in our cars, at our desks, and at all times of the day or night. We skimp on sleep, forgo our intentions to exercise, and collapse on the couch.  The accumulated impact over time can lead to weight gain, digestive issues,  sleeping challenges, you name it.

We’re a society out of sync with our rhythms. While that may not sound like a big deal, think back to the last time you traveled across multiple time zones and attempted to seal the deal on a major account as your body was desperately seeking sleep.

Our bodies really do talk to us. And not just once in a while. Like streaming video, our bodies are a constant feedback system. Our job is to listen. If we ignore the messages the body sends, it will pump up the volume.

One way I’ve learned listen  to my body is to eat when I am best equipped to metabolize meals. The first meal sets the rhythm for the day.

Eating breakfast lets our bodies know the fast is over.  Since there is no threat of starvation, there is no need to conserve energy and slow down metabolism.  Eating breakfast heats up the fuel burning mechanism in our bellies and prepares us to process the nutrients we need to get through the day.

Metabolism moves into it’s peak when the sun is highest in the sky. By eating our biggest meal between 12-1:30pm, we deploy our best digestive agents into active duty.

Body temperature then dips between approximately 2-5pm.  This explains that afternoon slump or the need to nap. Then temps start to rise again around 4-6pm.

Metabolically speaking, it makes sense to eat a healthy breakfast, substantial lunch,  and moderate evening meal.  Unfortunately, that’s the opposite of what people practice.

Many of us have a mini breakfast (if we eat at all), followed by a moderate lunch, and then go all out at dinner. This can be difficult pattern to change since the evening meal may be the one time your family gathers during the day.  It may be the only time you have to make a meal or the first time you get to relax and unwind.

I get it.  It’s a challenge for me as well.  I work long hours and often times I don’t eat lunch until 2 or sometimes 3pm. I usually don’t get home until 7pm, making dinner late as well. My new goal is to eat lunch by 1:30pm.  I’d also like to eat less during the evening meal (preferably before 7pm) leaving me with time to take a walk and digest my meal before going to bed.

It’s one thing to know better and an entirely different thing to do better.  I share this information with you not to so you have another item on your should do list but so you gain some awareness into the part rhythm plays in our overall health and well-being.

Recovering your rhythm can take some time.  You can start by experimenting with when you eat, even if you have no interest in changing what you eat.  Notice how you feel. Then pay attention to when you naturally want to move, sleep, work, and play and how you feel when you honor your instincts and follow your own rhythm.

I’d love to hear about your experiences. How does the timing of meals impact you?

Share if you dare in the comments below.