What the *!~><!

TheUnexpected7.26.16The unexpected.  It happens.  It takes you by surprise.  You are in momentary shock and your inner voice can only come up with something useless to say, under the unimagined circumstances.

What was your “unexpected?”

A failed test?

It’s your first day at the new job – and the new job is not exactly what you had in mind?  You’re supposed to do that?  Know what?  Stay how late?

Your roommate wants out of the lease?

A few weekends ago my “unexpected” came in the form of a boulder face.  A carefree family hike to the summit of Mt. Washington, the highest peak east of the Mississippi….. I have stamina.  I am pretty darn fit, but, uh, I thought we were hiking, you know, walking with hiking boots, to the top.  On the Ammonoosac Trail that meant “scrambling.”  Translation: hand-to-hand climbing rock-to-rock.  Okay, no ropes were required, but this hike that I was now into mile two or three of had “unexpectedly” turned into a more emotionally challenging ascent than I had imagined from the comfort of my air-conditioned New York City apartment!

How we handle the “unexpected” is what makes the difference:

between failure and success,

between not graduating and graduating,

between giving up and adding to a skill set,

between paralyzed inaction and problem-solving,

between walling off, giving into fear and doubt; and remaining curious –

hand-by-hand, step-by-step continuing on the trail.

How do you handle the unexpected in your life?  Consciously? With curiosity and self-awareness?

The “unexpected” – it will present itself.

The choice is ours: Wrestle with emotion. Sleepwalk. Retreat.

Or, observe.  Hear, see the lesson.

Rock on!

How Much Pain Will It Take?

How Much Pain Will It Take?

“In spite of warnings, nothing much happens until the status quo becomes more painful than change.”

                                                                                 ~ L.J. Peter

 Why are we so resistant to change?  Change challenges us to think in fresh ways.  Change challenges us to revisit past patterns – to break those patterns.

To stop the treadmill and walk out of sync for a while.

We must evolve from where we were to where we are going to be.  And it is not always clear where the there  – is.

Facing the unknown churns up emotions: fear of the unfamiliar, anger at discomfort.  What is going on?  What should I do?  Why is this happening?

How is your status quo?

Are you at ease, feeling fulfilled and creatively challenged at work?

Is your financial house in order?  Bills paid on time? Debt-free?

Making enough to be self-sustainable?

How do you feel? Are you tired? Energized? Clear-headed? Focused?  What do you make of the human shape you see in the mirror?  Does it show a thriving human specimen?

How is that human being interacting with family? with work colleagues?

Are your relationships loving and supportive?

Are you lonely? Isolated?

Pain.  Do you recognize it?  Are you curing and conquering it?  Or, numbing it with paralyzing distractions and excesses:

fantasy games and novels and television

vicariously “living” through Facebook

wandering the mall or the Internet

eating and drinking with no awareness of hunger or thirst

sleeping and sleeping some more, rationalizing your life away…

blaming others for your paralysis, your lack of motivation

Put pain to work in your life.  It is there to draw your attention to a dis-ease in your life that requires you to CHANGE, to show up differently, to go boldly down a different path.

Move past the pain and feel the joy of returning to the leading hero that is YOU.

YOUR Show Must Go On

showgoeson7.1

 It is another day. Another curtain call.

Another reminder: I’m supposed to be doing – what?

Uh. Do I have to?

We all have them: days when we wish we had not committed to something, days when we simply do not want to do what we said we were going to do, days when we feel overwhelmed, hijacked by life’s demands, not eager to charge into another day.

But, when the sun rises on another day, you ARE the show. The minute you wink open that one eye and admit to yourself, yep, it is another day… the lighting is being adjusted, the sound slowly being tested: One two – one two – testing…. Kinder still if that sound test is birdsong, but go on, the backdrop of your show is being painted, fellow cast members are beginning to stretch and prepare for their parts – in the play that is YOUR show, YOUR life.

So, what’s the problem? Fear creeping in? You may not be the star you thought you were?

Sleepy? Looooow energy? Wasn’t such a great idea to sit before your numbing computer or tv until midnight?

Just another 30 minutes, your inner assistant producer is suggesting?

Light is getting brighter! Sounds are becoming clearer!

YOUR show will go on. The curtain will rise.

How will you show up?  

When will you show up?

What kind of a show do you want to produce and stage and star in?

Theater is passion, a message, a connection that pulls the audience onstage – into a world of emotion and language that ideally resonates across blocks and barriers and differences – the passion – connects deep within.

From that same depth, observe your show with an awareness that – your show will go on. It is your choice to simply: show up.

to: show up differently

to: raise the curtain on the fullest expression of YOUR show.