Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Wrong Left Turn Leads to Detroit

January 17, 2009 I stood in front of approximately 15 women and proclaimed, "I am pretty sure there is a trip in my future involving a truck and a Uhaul trailer traveling to Detroit MI." I knew it to be a true statement, as I had become accustom to this knowing feeling months prior, a peaceful certainly without knowing the steps in between the proclamation and the actual arrival.

Two years before the proclamation I had a hysterectomy and two years leading up to the surgery I basically felt like crap, which is how any working mother is suppose to feel right? I wasn't a very happy person and was exhausted ALL THE TIME. Funny thing about your body, it usually keeps sending you the signals until you either pay attention or die. I finally went to the doctor, which led to the hysterectomy, which led to me driving 665 miles to Detroit MI nearly 3 years later.

What I didn't know during those 6 weeks at home on medical leave was that there was a woman in Detroit at the very same time preparing to set out on a journey of self discovery, not dissimilar to my own. She was born to enchant the world with her decorating. As a result of searching during my medical leave, I decided to stage homes as a way to venture out of my corporate job on the way to discovering my purpose. Hey, each leg of your journey has to start somewhere.

Well along the way my journey as a home stager I took a left turn. Yah, I'm sure it was a left not a right turn. I had started to write, which eventually turned into a blog. Hey, I had stuff to share with myself. Well, 4 months into my public writing career that woman in Detroit commented on my blog. The date was October 15, 2008, which is a new kind of anniversary for me. I went to her world on the web and I had that knowing feeling. My logical brain had to first make the connection with her decorating to my home staging, which I had left along side the road by this time. It had served it's purpose, or so I had thought. My brain thought this women in Detroit, who transformed women's shelters into places of peace and possibility, needed my home decor items that I no longer needed. WRONG! Oh how a wrong can be so right.

The wonders of technology failed on my first attempt to email her, but a few months later I saw her comment on another blog. BINGO! I successfully emailed her and a few hours later we were talking on the phone and a few weeks after that I was standing in front of 15 women telling them that I would be driving to Detroit pulling a Uhaul trailer. At the time I thought I would be hauling my home decor items. WRONG! What I did transport to MI, just a few weeks ago, was 20 hope chests and jewelry boxes, handmade by my father, and 20 quilts handmade by women in Minnesota. These items joined many other handmade items from across the world to transform the bedrooms of 20 abused and neglects girls.

Stuffed inside the short little story I just wrote is a story of me unearthing my born belief that I was put here on this earth to be the Dancing B*a*g Lady, Born to be fuel my own and other's Traveling Sanctuaries. I stop at other Traveling Sanctuaries, to fuel myself, so I can share the fuel with others stranded along side the road. What I have learned is that when you take a wrong left turn on the way to Detroit you better have a full tank.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Terrain of Your Brain - Wow! It's a Trip. Map it!

A simple question led to the fascinating exploration of my mind, the exploration of the terrain of my brain. I asked, "How do you start writing a book?" I was watching Angela Shelton's live stream and she opened it up to questions. Since she is a fabulously talented writer and is funny in the most dorky kind of way, who better to ask, right?

Here was her suggestion, "Read, The Mind Map Book, How to use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain's Untapped Potential, by Tony Buzan." I ordered it that very day and started to read it the very day it arrived at my door step. Now.... I am accustom to constructing Value Stream Maps as a tool used to conduct business process improvement projects, but often felt bond by a "linear" focus. As you know, any successful business person has a very dominate left brain. Which is a borrowed belief I picked up early in my career. It left me feeling a bit lop-brain sided, stunted and out of balance. Now I am not saying that anybody forced me to buy into this. I limited myself mostly to fit in and to be accepted within a world I shared with some very capable, talented business people.

The book explains how the brain works and ultimately provides you with a mapping tool that allows you to tap into your left and right brain. No more pigeon holing your brain, left or right. HELLO TO MY WHOLE BRAIN. YOUR ARE SOOO CAPABLE AND VAST AND UNIQUE AND COLORFUL AND WELL....... TAKE A LOOK.

You see those two bridges. Guess what? Your left brain can talk to and visit your right brain. Which means they can collaborate and cooperate. Think about your bridges. Have they been out of service because somebody (yourself) has told you that you are left or right brain dominate? Time to open the bridge.
Below is the first exercise in the book, which demonstrates the power of association and how different people are based on their own unique experiences. The first one is mine and the second is my seven year old son's. The central theme is "HAPPINESS". The branches from the ten words are infinate, as well, and so is the power of your brain.
My associations: skip, joy, laugh, cry, warm, silly, smile, friends, family, go lucky
Gavin's associations: joy, play, friends, good grades, no school, parties, tv, building, sports, earning toys

I'll be sharing more about this book as I start using this tool more. There is a book inside me where Chaos and Rules can travel together. I will also use this tool to solve problems, brain storm ideas and plan my work.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

YOUR Rhythmn

Traveling the frontier of my heart, mind and soul, I share my journey. Experience life as if you were writing your own story. Journal your travels. Discover your B*a*g. Saturday 10:20 sitting in a hotel room listening to my mother snore.

I'm sitting here very tired as I reach for inspiration and energy to dead end my brain drain. So desperately wanting to share so much that has happened in the last 2 1/2 days, but realize it must wait until I can assemble these logs while residing in a brain that is well rested. Literally living out my dreams, in my heart and ones I have while sleeping, of becoming a traveling sanctuary gives me cause to P O N D E R and soak in the experience.

As you get out of your comfort zone ( the traveling part) you start to meet the most amazing people, which can cause you to compare yourself to these amazing people. You observe their rhythm, click, clack, ding, zip. She's funny. Oh how her faith drives her through her fear, accomplishing the impossible. She's creative. She's patient. Here's the thing, when you get close enough to where the rubber meets the road and you see how things really do get done, the romance fades. You have a choice at this point, emerge yourself into joining the action or compromising your potential, further burying your born beliefs.

You find your rhythm in the ACTION part. Personally, there is nothing more satisfying than pounding the keys, feeling the HIT that make the words visible. When you get to the end of the page, push hard to the left, zing to the next line. You can continue streaming along or you can pause. YOUR Action story is written one key stroke at a time, at difference speeds and force. Can you hear it? CLICK, CLACK, DING, ZIP, BAM.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Arm Pit Sniffing, Tree Kissing Super Star! (down on one knee, arms in the air)

TIME TO EXERCISE!!! Your well being that is. I know.... I bring up stripping a lot and trust me stripping is good exercise. The reality is that most of us are sooooo good at layering on the negative labels that we need to cleanse often.

You will need to take out a piece of paper and a writing instrument (crayons are welcome).

First, lay your paper landscape and draw lines to make three category columns. Label them, My BAGGAGE, My FUEL and Go to My Dreams. Carry this piece of paper with you for a week.

When you place a label on yourself write it down in either the Baggage (negative self talk) or the Fuel (positive congratulatory talk) category.

To complete the Go to your Dreams category, you will need to tap into the realm of limitless possibilities. Can you go there? Think about what you wanted to be when your were young. New skills you would learn if money and time were not a factor. Think about people you admire. What do they do that resonate with your born beliefs that you wish you could tap into. Pull out those buried labels you were born with and are the core of you.

Reflect on your list at the end of the week. Only you really know what it means, but just being aware of the labels we place on ourselves allow us to make sense of them.

This exercise also applies to our awareness of putting labels on others. Let's not limit others with the labels we place on them.

Here's my list from several weeks ago. The Baggage column took an early lead, but the Fuel and Go to your Dreams columns made a huge comeback later in the week.

I read the Baggage label and cancelled them out with a counter acting Fuel label. Here's a partial list.

Late Night Person cancels out Non Morning Person
Distracted Dreamer cancels out Disorganized
Clothes Folder YAH cancels out Poor Housekeeper
Good Mother cancels out Bad Mother
Prayerful cancels out Fearful
Doer cancels out Fearful
Prayerful cancels out Angry
Capable cancels out Poor Money Manager

Here are some leftovers:

Happy #2
Good Friend
In Pain

Now for the Go to your Dreams List:

Super Star (in that Molly Shannon kind of way), highly sought out key note speaker, author, columnist, dancer, radio show host.

All of the labels in the Fuel column will help me Go to my Dreams. Doer, Capable, Prayerful and Expressive match up very nicely with these new labels.

Which Baggage Labels did not have a counter label?

In Pain and Tired. This is where I am out of balance. I need more sleep, exercise and a better diet. My chronic back pain would probably get better with the sleep, exercise and weight loss. Stretching and yoga would also help my pain.

This exercise reminds me that the answers are not in the answers, they are in the exploring, reflecting and doing part of life. Now stick your fingers under those arm pits, pull them out and sniff. Lunge down on one knee and PROCLAIM it! YOU ARE A SUPER STAR!

P.S. Do you like my new ride? I had to put away the convertible for the winter.