Your Rhetoric Matters; Choose Wisely

Marianne Williamson Quote

“People hear you on the level you speak to them from; speak from your heart, and they will hear with theirs.” I’ve been taking a free online course, “Teaching the Teachers” with Marianne Williamson. The course is based on “A Course In Miracles” text. She used the above quote on the first night and it’s been rolling around in my head every since.

This quote resonants especially with me today since there has been terrorist attacks on Democrat’s and CNN that appear to be linked to the divisive hateful rhetoric the President and GOP has been using against Democrats and the Press. When he speaks at rallies his followers are hearing him from the level from which he speaks and responding to his call to arms the same way Russia responded to his message to hack Hilary Clinton.

The polarization in our nation makes me sad. I pray for good to triumph over evil. I also pray our DJT rises to the reputation of the his office and speaks like a POTUS instead of a mob boss. I was in the car a lot today.  As I drove, I was listening to CNN and praying. I am praying for healing in our Nation. I am praying for the return of our Democracy. I am praying POTUS finally sees how his words are polarizing our nation and leading to hate and now terrorist attacks. I expect better from our leader.

If you are not “woke”, now it the time to wake up! Hate brings more hate. So if you are a leader, take heed. People will hear you from the level from which you speak. Try speaking from you heart and think twice about your rhetoric. The below song from John Legend and Roots seemed fitting for today.

I am also extremely grateful today for getting good news at my appointment with Gastro specialist at Jeff. It’s highly unlikely my suspicious biopsy is Cancer. My problem is definitely in the Small Intestine. It appears to be Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which can cause all of my symptoms as well cause swelling in the bowel that is pushing everything out of place. He ordered me a special antibiotic that has been made at compounding pharmacy and shipped to me. He said it will reset my bowel and bring it back into balance with minimal side affects. I have to take it for a month along with following a low FODMAP diet as best I can. He gave me the guidelines. I have to read more on it. And, I have two other problems 😂 From looking at my blood he’s pretty sure I have Pancreatic Enzyme Deficiency which is blocking my body’s ability to break down and digest foods which also leads to bloating and distention. After I am done the antibiotic, I’ll start taking Pancreatic Enzymes. Lastly, he said he thinks I have Splenic Flexure Syndrome.  When I do get gas it gets stuck just under my left breast in my upper left abdomen. SOOO, the key to all of this is managing the bloating, gas and distention by eliminating the bacterial overgrowth and increasing my body’s ability to break down food with Pancreatic Enzymes. Doing both of these will reduce the pressure on the Splenic Flexure issue. He told me to email him in two weeks to let him know how the meds are working and plan to see him again in two months. All in all good news today and I am very grateful. He was worth the wait 🙂

Since I drove into Philly through South Philly, I stopped at the Italian Market on 9th Street on my way home.  I bought some yummy Grass-Fed hard cheeses like Gouda and Gureye. I hit the Gluten Free Bakery and bought some produce. However, when I got home I saw all the produce I bought today is on the “AVOID Food List ” for the FODMAP Diet😂😂😂  That’s why I am not starting it for a couple of days 😉 Thank God hard cheese is allowed; it was expensive 😊

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Self Care Sunday – Overstimulation is my Kryptonite

Rumi quote

I am highly sensitive and an Empath. My intuition is super charged. I can feel the heaviness of emotions around me. I am empathize to the point I take on another’s pain. I can tune into another’s heartbreak until I become incapacitated. I can feel the sadness of those around me. It’s a gift and burden. I’ve been this way since I was a little girl. People have always commented about how sensitive I was. My family used to tease me about my sensitivity until I would be in tears. I learned to hide it as I got older until I was eventually old enough to self medicate it with wine and beer.

In recent years, I’ve learned how to manage my sensitivities and embrace the gifts God gave me with good self care practices. I’ve also learned OVERSTIMULATION is my Kryptonite 🤢 Actually, it’s Kryptonite to anyone who is sensitive and empathetic. I’ve found inner peace, harmony and balance can only be found by managing external sensory stimulation.

So what is overstimulation? Overstimulation means too much sensory stimulation from lights, sounds, people, etc. It can include loud music, incessant talking, chaotic environments including work environments, bright white lights, perfumes and scents, too much screen time, too much TV especially NEWS, too much socialization, big parties and social events, not enough sleep, not enough alone time and stress even good stress can be over stimulating. When I am overstimulated, I become snarky, agitated, emotional, controlling and stressed out. When I am overstimulated, I clench my jaw subconsciously. When I am overstimulated, I worry and obsess. If I continue to be overstimulated for too long, I become depressed and can get sick.

I’ve learned as someone who is highly sensitive and empathetic it’s necessary for me practice good self care by giving myself plenty of alone time to recharge. I’ve learned to control how much TV I watch. I’ve learned to opt for quiet music instead of loud music. I’ve learned to stay in bed a little longer and to rest. I’ve learned to use soft lighting in my home and I’ve learned to be selective with whom I socialize and which social events I attend. My biggest overstimulation trigger was revealed to me a few weeks ago and it’s rocking my world.

I deactivated my Facebook account 18 days ago. 18 days ago I stopped using Instagram every day. 18 days ago I started limiting how much time I spend on Twitter. 18 days ago I took control of my Social Media habit and in doing so I realized Social Media was huge trigger of overstimulation for me. I also realized it’s an addiction. The first few days without Facebook were like detox. I kept wanted to go back but I held out. The first few days, I wanted a fix. I held out. I got through it and now, I am calmer and less keyed up because of it. Not only I am not triggered by what I see on Social Media but I’ve also greatly reduced my screen time. I’m sleeping better too.

The biggest benefit to my Social Media withdrawal is that I have more time back in my hands. I am back to reading books before going to bed instead of having my face buried in my phone. I now turn my phone off more often when I am writing or listening to music. I even started watching some shows that partial subtitles and I enjoy it. Something about watching a show with some subtitles makes me pay attention to it more which means I can’t look at my phone. It’s actually pretty relaxing. I am not sure how I feel about Facebook anymore. I am going to go 30 days without it and see how I feel about it then but I am thinking I am just going to leave it deactivated. I actually don’t think it was good for me. I also greatly reduced my time on Twitter too. I am actually happier and more relaxed without all of that noise in my life.

As I sit in my quiet room under warm blanket on a Saturday night writing this blog on my iPad Pro by the soft warm light of my Pink Himalayan Salt Lamp, I am thankful for the wisdom life has given me. I now write on Saturday nights and schedule my posts to go live at 6:00am on Sunday mornings. I am grateful I learned how to shut out the noise and tune into my inner knowledge. It’s been helping me manage my thoughts and stay calm in stressful situations. Sitting in silence is often the only way we can hear our own truth. My soul talks to me in these quiet moments. When does your soul talk to you?

SELF CARE CHALLENGE: Are you up for it? Deactivate Facebook for seven days. If you make it for seven days, go for 30 days. See if you are as addicted and overstimulated as I was.

Other updates, I had another great work week. I am designing a website for my Program and I got some good news about one of my projects that was stuck in our Legal department. I gave another successful presentation to leadership on Thursday which was fun. I enjoyed it. This has been such a great professional experience for me. It’s allowed me to really work to my skill level, use all of strengths and grow at the same time. With regards to my tummy troubles, my appointment with the Jeff Gastro is Wednesday. My local docs say Dr. Michael DiMarino at Jeff Gastro is worth the wait and he is supposedly an excellent diagnostician. I am looking forward to getting some answers and relief. While the pain isn’t horrible every day, it’s definitely not going away and hasn’t gotten better. It may even be a little worse. The waves of nausea that come on suddenly followed by a few other symptoms are uncomfortable. I pray for courage, strength and healing.

Staying tune to my hippie soul, I chose Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young for the music on this post this week. Their music speaks to my soul. I love their harmony. “Carry On” is one of my favs from them because it’s about Love. When the melody changes in the middle, is usually when I feel the need to dance, be free like a flower child and wish I still “smoked” 😂 I might need a medical script 😇 😂 I digress… in my opinion, “Deja Vu” is one of the BEST ALBUMS of all time by any artist – hands down! I also attached a link to a “Legends” VH1 documentary about them.

Music Deja Vu, CSNY

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Self Care Sunday – How do you define success?

Art

On this Self Care Sunday I want to discuss Career. Career is the one of the four areas of life that Integrative Nutrition Health Coaches call “Primary Food”. Career satisfaction can affect your overall happiness and it also can affect your health and relationships. It’s important to step back and evaluate career satisfaction from time to time. If you are manager, I would recommend encouraging your employees to do this too.

For me, it’s so easy for me to get caught up in constant movement. As a “do-er”, I check my boxes off and claim my productivity by accomplishments and goals achieved. In a recent professional experience, things didn’t work out quiet the way I thought they were going to. I was not going to be able to achieve the goal I had set for myself which was causing me some anxiety and making me doubt myself a bit. Being trapped in my own definition of success was undermining my enthusiasm for the work I am doing and I was starting to feel a bit deflated.

I traveled to DC to give a briefing to senior leadership on Tuesday morning. In the briefing, I discussed my honest assessment of the program I am working on and its future if it remains supported the way it stands today. As I spoke, I was careful to be confident while also be truthful about my observations of the challenges and opportunities.

As I spoke, the conversation and energy in the room shifted and became supportive even nurturing. That’s when we realized that my definition of success was different from senior leadership’s definition of success. Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. Let me say that again… Leadership already viewed me and my Program as successful while I was still trying to prove to myself I could be successful. My leadership explained to me that I already accomplished more than they originally thought was possible. WOW! That hit me hard. Right as I sat there in front of them I felt the magnitude of that reality hit me. I was pushing forward so hard that I never stopped for one minute in the last nine months to really see what I accomplished or to be proud of myself. They made me stop in that 45 minute meeting. It was a powerful moment for me. It was a powerful moment in my career💙

One of the Directors pulled me into her office for a chat about career opportunities. She wants me think about what I want because there are few different type of opportunities that could be open to me. She said I’ve proven myself capable and comfortable in “high profile” roles. She wanted to know if I would be satisfied going back to something less “sexy” after this 😊 It’s an interesting question for me. The truth is I am comfortable in this type of high visibility role. I am good with stakeholder engagement, up and down the chain. I present well and handle myself well. My biggest challenge this year was my own body. The constant health issues have been frustrating and the current issue with my stomach still isn’t resolved. I told her about my current issue and that I needed to see a specialist because of a suspicious stomach biopsy. She reassured me. She told me I shouldn’t let that be my deciding factor because my health issues obviously didn’t interfere with my work performance this year. She also told me accommodations could always be made for me. Yes, it may be easier for me to go back to a desk job that has more predictability, maturity and less of an ask from me but will it be enough for me after this???? My intuition says no…😊 But, I am keeping an open mind because I think it will depend on the opportunity and if it has room for growth and diversification. I also don’t want to work in chaos again. So work environment is important to me now too. For now, I am going let go and trust that everything is always working out for my highest good. I am going to trust God and my intuition to direct me to the right choice. As opportunities present themselves I will ask myself, “Does this honor who I am?”

I also met with new GM who is now an advisor to my program. Wow! What a difference chatting with someone with fresh eyes and fresh perspective can have! Having to walk her through my whole program reenergized me. It reminded me why I was passionate about this. It reminded why I wanted to do this in the first place. Her thoughtful questions and insights helped me find an unexplored path forward. I just met her that morning and already she helped me get unstuck. She suggested I look for something I can leave as a legacy, something tangible that people can say, “Linda did this”. I laughed and said, “Being the first and standing up the program isn’t enough?” 😂😂 She laughed but said she was thinking something more like a brochure or even a webinar that folks could use after I’ve moved on…. The budget will not allow for my current role to be a full time position. However, the role will continue as a temporary assignment after I move on to something new. She encouraged me to remember that I was first. I was the trail blazer. I have been the vision setter. I need to leave a legacy as well as start thinking about a transition plan. I came home full of things to think about as well a fresh new perspective and a new to do list. As I flew home looking out of window at the spectacular clouds, I was pensive. I was thinking about the events of the day and what I accomplished this year and what I learned about myself along the way. It’s been a great year professionally and great work experience.

I learned this week it’s important for folks to agree on what success looks like. While we had conversations about the goals of the program, their view of success was actually more achievable than my own. I learned this week the value of talking to people face to face when you have an important message to relay to them. If I presented my briefing over the phone, they would not have felt my energy or passion. The conversations that took place that day never would have happened. They would have missed the subtle nuances of my facial expressions and body language. This is good advice in any situation. If you have something important to say to someone, say it in person. The message may not be received in the way you are intending through phone, text or email. I learned this week talking to someone with fresh eyes or perspective can reenergize you. It can help you see things you may have missed. I learned this week to be open to constructive guidance and accept support when it is offered. Most importantly, I learned this week to always speak from my heart with confidence, authenticity and honesty even when I am briefing the big cheese in the organization😊

I write about self awareness a lot on this blog. I write about it so much because I truly believe self awareness is the key to growth and development. I think it’s especially important to practice self awareness in our careers. I admire leaders who encourage self awareness. How can you grow if you refuse to see yourself as you are instead of how you perceive yourself to be? How can you grow if leave no room for inner reflection and self knowledge? How can you be empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others including your employees if you can’t even acknowledge your own needs and desires? It’s with this new self awareness I will be moving into the future and evaluating upcoming career opportunities.

Do you celebrate your career accomplishments? Do you honor who you are while making career decisions? What legacy will you be leaving to the folks who will step into your shoes? Do you encourage your employees to leave a legacy? When you talk to employees, do you ask thoughtful questions and give helpful insights? Do you help them define success in their careers or projects? And is your definition of success in alignment with the folks around you? Do you practice self awareness as a leader or in your life?

I chose “Blackbird” by the Beatles for this post. It was written by Paul McCartney during the Civil Rights movement after seeing a black women arrested for sitting on a bench in a “white” section of a park in the United States. As a highly sensitive, empathic feeler, the current political climate is causing me a bit of anxiety.  I worry about our Democracy and the inflammatory rhetoric used by leaders against the Press and to stoke right extremists.  And now, a “USA Today” Op-Ed full of outright lies that many will believe on the surface without questioning. He’s gaslighting our nation.  I urge people to fact check politicians.  Even worse are the rich GOPers who only care about the economy and their own economic interests; turning a blind eye to everything else because life is good for them. I’ve been pulling away from people who lack a social conscience and put money & power over people. If you recall, fair haired white people were living good lives and turning blind eyes while 600K Jews were executed. I do not think our President is a horrible human being but I do think he lacks social consciousness.  Money and power are his Gods and rulers.  He’s willing to exploit the right extremist groups to win and aligns himself with Dictators.  The Senate and/or House needs to be a different party to separate and diffuse his power as well as bring accountability & transparency back in DC. November 6th is my sister, Sandy’s, birthday. I am hoping her spirit brings us luck and change. Stop the #trumpcult 🌊#votethemout 🌊💙

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Remember George Magazine?

George Magazine

My favorite magazine to read in my 20s and 30s was George, a magazine centered around politics that was published by John F. Kennedy Jr. I actually remember reading the issue that is featured in the above photo. I’ve always been interested in politics. I am still interested in politics. I don’t want to be involved in politics and I don’t want to run for office but I like civilized politics.

I’ve been registered as an Independent or Democrat since I turned 18 years old. My entire family has been life long Republicans. I am the only Democrat. We do not talk politics in the family 😂 I tend to be a moderate blue. I don’t like the extreme ideology of either the Reds or Blues. Extremist are making politics especially troubling these days. The rhetoric is intense, inflammatory and dangerous.

If you know me personally, I am no weak flower. I do not like being bullied, pressured or coerced. The more someone pressures me, the more I will do something extreme to let them know to back the fuck off. This is where I need to make a confession and make amends to my fellow moderate liberals. In November of 2016, my pant-suit wearing friends were flooding my Facebook newsfeed with extremist rhetoric. They were texting me. I can’t even tell you many times I had to tell them to back off. I was a registered voter and have voted Blue in just about every election since I was 18. Just stop already.

Just before entering the voting booth, I got one final text and I just about lost it. So I went into the booth and voted straight Red as a fuck you 😱😱I felt immediately sick after doing it. Thankfully, my state is a Blue state and my Red vote didn’t matter in my state. However, it matters today. Everyday I get little more irritated and hope the end is in sight.

I needed to write this out loud because I felt like I let myself down. I needed to “out” myself to atone for my sins. I am true blue. How could I vote Red out of spite? I am cracking up because as I wrote “true blue” I immediately got a flash in my mind of Blue Love wearing a blue button down preppy shirt looking at me all cute with those beautiful blue eyes ☺️ I am even true blue when it comes to men. I digress, I am true blue when it comes to politics💙💙

While I am not enjoying the extreme politics and polarization in our nation these days, I am enjoying watching the democratic processes play out. I have been watching and following the SCOTUS Confirmation hearings. If you are not for Roe vs. Wade, I am not for you – bottom line! I personally do not believe in abortion. I personally would never have an abortion. However, I believe every woman has the right to make that choice. I am watching RBG tonight On Demand! RBG is about Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I am looking forward to it.

I will say that I do not plan to write about politics on this blog going forward. This is a one and done confession for atonement and just letting everyone know where I stand💙💙💙💙 I may only leave this on here temporarily. I don’t want to make this blog a target for attacks based upon what I wrote here. I will see how things play out.

As far as my work project goes, well my Legal Eagle self found a loophole all on my own while researching Statutes🙌☺️ YAY ME. Did I ever mention I got a Paralegal Certificate while in college many years ago so I know how to do Legal Research and citations? 😉😂😂😂😂 Well, we had four legal hurdles to clear. What I found this morning cleared three of them. Legal advised we only have one more to clear. However, the last one is big! It needs signature authorization as high as you can go in the “company”. We need to strategize the approach on this. I will crafting the documents for his signature & I have the support of my whole Organizational Leadership Team. I can, at least, live with myself now because I advocated to the extent possible. If nothing else, it showed management that I am no weak flower and I will fight for the things I care about 🌸🌺

My tummy is still sore and not feeling great. I am waiting the biopsy results which may not come until next week. They were not back as of this morning. It has to be something for it to hurt like this for this long ☹️

Oh yeah… Fly Eagles Fly

Views expressed on this blog are my personal views

EAGLES

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Life Coach Jargon

art

In the last year, I’ve been exposed to many coaching techniques. A lot of Life Coaches these days talk about positivity, staying in alignment, flowing with the Universal energies and offering no resistance. But what does this lofty jargon mean? What are the real world applications? What does it mean to flow?

Let me first say, you do not need to be positive all of the time. Forcing yourself to be positive is not authentic. It’s more important for you to acknowledge your true feelings. Be miserable and feel sorry for yourself for a day, if you need to. Then, work to release it, accept it and move on. Authenticity is more important than positivity. Putting a happy face on a problem won’t make it go away. Living in truth will at least help you adapt to a new reality and make you emotionally stronger.

What does it mean to stay in alignment? All this really means is to become so in tune with yourself that you can intuitively feel when you are doing something that is NOT beneficial to your long term growth and well-being. When you know are you doing something that makes you unhappy, that breaks you down and wears you out, you are no longer aligned with your highest good. Alignment means you are lined up with the path for your highest good. A word of caution – the path to your highest good can go through the valley of hell. You can be frustrated and struggling even while in alignment. It really depends on what life lessons you are supposed to learn. Remember to check in with yourself and be sure you are suffering for the right reasons. If you are suffering because you are growing, changing and living outside of your comfort zone, you are still in alignment with your highest good. It’s really that simple.

Flowing with the Universe and offering no resistance is tricky. It means accepting you have no control over some things. It requires us to let go when something is no longer working out for our highest good. It requires surrendering instead of struggling and pushing. It’s hard because life sucks sometimes. There are times when we all want to kick and scream like a toddler having a tantrum. No one enjoys change. No one wants to accept rejection. No one wants to move on. No one wants to let go when the heart wants to hold on. If you can work towards using these sucky times of life as opportunities to grow, learn something about yourself, adapt and become stronger, you will be flowing with Universe instead of digging your heels in the sand resisting.

So, you wonder if I actually practice all of this New Age mumbo jumbo. I try. That’s about all I can say about it. Sometimes days I flow like I am riding a magic carpet; other days I fall flat in the sand because my heels are stuck in resistance. But I try😊

On the work front, I’ve been actively going on the offensive to reshape the expectations of leadership so they understand what is achievable within my scope. Second, I’ve been speaking truth to power; it isn’t easy. I have to speak more truth to power tomorrow morning at 8:30am…😂 Although this job has been a great growth experience, I am not yet sure about staying long term. One deciding factor will be if they decide to support a Grand Research Challenge. I would love to work on a project like that! Otherwise, I am keeping ALL of my options open.

Unfortunatley, I am still sick. I took Mucinex, Flonase and Decongestants for a week. My sinuses and ears are still jacked up. Since it’s been over seven days, my Doctor gave me an antibotic. Hopefully, it kicks in soon. I have to call on Friday if my ears don’t open up. I don’t feel horrible. Just a little tired and my hearing is muffled 🤧😷

Finally, I am making a committment to myself to get back to writing poetry. I hope to post something for the Blue Love collection on Friday. A little blue eyed spark of lust would help with getting the poetic mojo going 😉💥🔥😋😘 I could use a little crystal blue sparkle ☺️

blue eyes

Life Lessons and Perseverance

Albert Einstein Life Lessons

I’ve been noticing a lot of posts on Instagram lately stating that things are easy when you are in the “flow” with the Universe. Folks are asserting that what is meant for you should always be easy and come without resistance. While I understand the concept, I see things a little differently; here’s why.

Sometimes the struggle is part of our lesson. Sometimes the struggle is where we grow, learn and adapt. If we never struggle, perhaps we never truly learn how to persevere. If we don’t persevere through adversity, perhaps we don’t learn our depth of strength and fortitude. I think guiding folks to believe things should always be easy, perhaps trains them to avoid the very struggle that is supposed to make them stronger and more resilient. If folks are always expecting things to be easy, they will not be prepared to rise to life’s challenges. Do you think it’s easy for a butterfly to break out of a cocoon? Do you think it’s easy for a drug addict to stay clean? The process is a struggle but the end result is magnificent.

From my experience, you can still be doing what is meant for you, still be in the flow and still be in alignment with the Universe even when you feel uncomfortable, frustrated and burnt out. Yes, it’s true – you can. If you were intended to learn perseverance, things will not be easy. I think the key is to ask yourself if you are growing, upleveling or expanding in your current situation. If you are, then you are still in alignment. If you aren’t, you are most likely no longer in alignment. We were not meant to be stagnant beings. We were meant to evolve, change and grow.

Here’s an example from my own life…

In December 2017, I accepted a one year assignment doing a job completely out of my comfort zone. The application and interview process were easy. Things went smoothly. I felt good. I knew this experience was meant for me. I applied and got the job without any resistance. I was definitely in the flow.

I’ve been in the job since early February. I’ve had many successes and have received a lot of encouragement from leadership. But this job is frustrating! It is stressful and it is hard at times. So hard at times I’ve considered giving up – I’ve persevered. Even though it can be challenging at times, that doesn’t mean it was not meant for me. It doesn’t mean I am out of alignment. What it means is that I am learning something about myself through these challenges. I am being force to uplevel myself. I am being asked to work at a level higher than ever before.

This job forces me to have daily interaction with internal and external stakeholder at all levels of the corporate ladder. I interact all day; it’s exhausting at times. If you know me, I am introverted. I could hide in my cube all day not saying a word. In this job, I must engage; therefore, I am stretching and growing. I am also trying to change company culture and champion for the proverbial underdog. Not as easy as it sounds. My Sponsor asked me to help her shape the future.  I am her boots on the ground.  Do you think asking folks to change the way the they do business is easy? We all know how folks feel about change. Lol 😂 This job has bit of sales component to it. If you know me, you know I HATE small talk. 😂 This job involves auditing current practices. Folks just love that I am peeking into their business practices. (sarcasm) Lol. 😂 BUT, I am growing through these challenges because I am persevering.

Most importantly, I need to be mindful through this experience. The key is for me to be aware if emotionally, physically and mentally the job starts depleting me instead of motivating me. I need to be in tuned with my soul to know if it’s no longer rewarding and then take steps to walk away. I need to use my intuition to sense when I’ve learned all I am meant to learn from this experience.

I have six months left in this role. I don’t know what will happen. I do know I can’t push myself like this long term but I am hoping that within the next six months with the help of the Execs, the tide will turn or perhaps my focus will be changed by leadership. I am hoping it continues to be rewarding but I am open to all other opportunities and experiences just in case it’s not.

Wrapping back to my point, I was meant to learn through this experience. I was meant to learn I can operate at this level. I meant to know that I was underestimated and held back in the past. I don’t think I was held back intentional it was just the culture of the organization I used to work in.   I was meant to understand I can sit at a table with the highest level of executives and hold my own. I was meant to prove this to myself. I was meant to persevere. So, hell yes! You can still be in the flow with the Universe even though you are stuggling. You just have to make sure you are struggling for the right reasons. If you are growing, expanding and living outside of your comfort zone, then you are definitely doing what was meant for you!

Lastly, I went to a STEM training class late in the day. I was going to skip it but I went so I could just sit back and absorb information instead of talk 😂 As I walked in the door, I bumped into a stakeholder who owes me something that is on my CRITICAL PATH! I was planning to reach out to him later in the week if I didn’t hear from him. We sat together and talked for a few minutes before class began. We came up with plan on how we can move forward. We scheduled a meeting with our “Chief” while we were there. We both committed to possibly launching two grant challenges at the same time running Oct to May. Yep, two at the same time.(There’s reason why it has to be two). It’s really complicated BUT it is doable! He’s the science and mentorship guy for academia while I am administration and project management. We have a few more meetings set up to work things out but we are briefing this to my Sponsor and Execs on Aug 20th.  Wish me luck 😂😂

So, do you think I was in the flow today? I went to a meeting I was going to skip and ended up getting the missing piece to the puzzle that has been keeping me up at night for a week 😂 Yep, I was in the flow for sure this afternoon 🙌

Gandhi

Showing Up Anyway

Glenn Doyle Melton

One of my biggest issues about Facebook and Instagram is that everything on Social Media is an illusion. It’s all smoke and mirrors. You only see what the person posting wants you to see. For example, I had a conversation with a coworker a while ago. From what she told me in person, there is a A LOT of drama in her life and her family life is challenging. However, on Facebook, it’s all big smiles, family photos, beautiful pictures of happy times and long posts about her wonderful life and vacations. Her Social Media image does not match what I saw in person. My coworker isn’t the only person guilty of this. Almost everyone does it on Social Media. I bought into at first too. Folks take 35 crappy selfies and only post the one that turned out good. They use filters on their sunset photos so it looks extra beautiful and make sure you only see what’s good. Social Media robbed us of authenticity and reality.

I disengaged from a Facebook a few months ago. I have no regrets. I am still on it because my family is on it and they post photos of the kids there. I also find out where my nieces softball games are so I can go watch. I enjoy that. I don’t post. As I scroll through posts, I can’t help but wondering how did we all get conditioned to think we always have to be positive, have a beautiful back yard or live in a big home? Why is it everyone thinks your life is wonderful if you are eating dinner with 20 other people or checking into four bars every night? When did we give up our right to have a messy complicated life? Why can’t we ever be pissy, have a bad day, be sad, admit our holidays sucked and God forbid post a bad picture of ourselves on Facebook?

This post isn’t a rant about Social Media. It is about a complete lack of authencity. No one wants to own the messy parts of themselves that aren’t camera ready. No one wants to admit they have depressing thoughts sometimes. No one wants you to see their darkness anymore. I am writing this post because the truth is I am messy and complicated lately. My thoughts are sad and depressing. I am worried and scared. My tummy is bloated. I am in pain and I just am fucking over it. Why should I continue to lie and pretend I am positive and happy when I am not. I am just not…

Don’t get me wrong… There are positive things in my life. I like where I live. I am enjoying my job. My career is going great. My family loves me. Yesterday I got to watch my great niece pitch over 50mph at FastPitch Summer Nationals via North Myrtle Beach Park’s field webcam. Tomorrow is her first elimination game. Her team, Philadelphia Spirit (Fast Pitch Softball), is in seed one in her division. They are undefeated in the tournament so far. I hope I can catch part of the game. My nephew is a good dad and good coach. That makes me proud and happy because I’ve been keeping him straight since I was 10 years old. We fight like brother and sister BUT he listens to me. I get through to him and I know I played a role in making him the man he is today. That makes me happy and proud especially when I see him with his kids.

I have an appt with my Gastro doc tomorrow morning. I am hoping for answers but I don’t expect to get any tomorrow since I will need a scope and probably a cat scan. The pain is all around the left breast which is where the stomach but it is also where the heart is. My BP and Heart Rate have been stable and beautiful. Hopefully that means my heart is not the problem. Either way, I need to figure out what this is because it’s wearing me out.

I just decided it was time to be honest and show authenticity on this blog. Sometimes life sucks. These health issues are taking a toll on my stamina and wearing me down. That is nothing but the truth. Why should I act strong when I am not? Why shouldn’t I allow you to see me? Perhaps I allow folks to see me this raw, others will feel liberated and will drop their masks too. Perhaps someone reading this will see I am sad and know it is ok for them to be sad too. Maybe someone will see it’s ok to be messy and afraid. Show up anyway… Show up in life anyway… The below poem is messy and afraid Linda writing authentically about how she’s been feeling lately. Please open your mind and heart a little before reading this. Allow your compassion and empathy to feel what I am feeling rather than judging me. Then you will understand authentically how I feel.

In gratitude,
Linda

Showing Up, Anyway
By: Linda A Long

I can pretend…For your benefit…That I am well
That my…Mind, body and spirit…Are harmoniously unified
I can pretend…That I am…Determined to…Remain strong and optimistic
That I have…Control of my emotions
That I am…Filled with…Inspiration to rise up…And fight, fight
The adversary within…My own body
Undermining every…Step forward…Pulling me back…After every victory…Weighing me down
With worry, anxiety…And ceaseless attacks…On my body
Weakening my mind…And slowly…Breaking my spirit
I only fought…This long…Because I didn’t…Want you to…Think I was weak
I only fought…This long…Because I believed…I could still…Win
I believed…I could still…Live a full life
I thought…I would still have love
And be able to…Share my heart…With another
Joyfully living my life…In a state of gratitude
But…It is very hard
To be grateful…While feeling…Constantly defeated…By a body that…Attacks itself
It is hard…To be optimistic…When every day…Presents a new physical challenge
With little answers…And even less support
Everyone wants to hear…“I’m great”
No one wants…To know the truth
Or even really…Look in my eyes to see my truth
No one wants to…Stop looking at…Their phone for five minutes to have a simple Conversation
And actually mean it…When they ask…“How are you?”
I’ll just go on…Pretending…“I’m great”
And you all…Just go on…Doing whatever makes you feel good
With your heads…Buried in your phones…Too preoccupied for human compassion
Being too wrapped up…In your own life…To really care…About mine
I go on pretending…To make it easier…For everyone…Who says…“I am here for you”
But really…Just want to be here…When I am great…And not when
Life is heavy and complicated…
I’ll pretend…You care…While you feel…Good about yourself
I know the truth….But
I will keep pretending…For your benefit
If it helps you…Get through the day
Broadcasting fake friendship…On Facebook…While phone calls and texts…Go unanswered
I know who…I can really count on…I know who…Really cares about me
But…I will pretend…For your benefit
Everything is fine…Even while I silently…Want to let go
Because I am tired…
From fighting so hard…To be well…It is exhausting me
Fighting alone…Is disheartening
I am just not sure…I know my reason…Anymore
I don’t know my…Reason to fight…For this life…Anymore
And I am not sure…What difference…It makes
I am sorry…If my true thoughts
Scare you or hurt you…
It just scares me… That I don’t know what my reason…To live is anymore
The next time…You ask…“How are you?”
I’ll smile and say…“I’m great!”
Simply because…It’s what you want to hear
Not because…It’s how I feel
Know this…When I ask you…“How are you?”
I want to hear…The full truth…Even if it is…Messy, complicated and sad
Let me hear your heartache…Let me share your burden…Let me lighten your heart
I want you to know… You are loved…And have a reason… To live
Even if I can’t…Find my own reason anymore

(C) 2018 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved – Highest Good Holistic Health Coaching, LLC

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