Living with Intention

Living in the present is not always easy. We often have challenges that are really though, periods in our lives that are far from what we want, even some months (in my case February) that just feel overwhelming. However, every season has an ending and winter is not the exception. If I pay attention, I can feel the call of spring when is almost ready to come forward and melt the snow and the challenges of the winter and all that comes with it, and that gives me hope.

I have had some very difficult moments in life, and I want to share with you what I have learned and how did I move forward, every time faster and with better results than the previous one.

One of my earliest learnings about life management 101 was a brief lesson shared by one of my uncles when I was probably 14. I asked him how did they have so much money and abundance in their lives and he said that what he has learned from his father was that “the more you give, the more you have”. They had a fund for an annual celebration honoring the saint patron of our town and the doors of their place were open during that week of festivities and people were fed without questioning. I just loved the humbleness and the generosity of this family and that lesson stuck with me.

When I feel that there is not abundance in my life, when I am concerned about the scarcity, I always look to see how much I am giving. If I am not generous, I won’t have room to receive Life’s gifts. So, there you go, for me, this is the first step to live with intention and enjoy life at the fullest. Make room for Life’s blessings by giving free advice, giving your time, giving a smile, or giving whatever is that you need to receive in abundance and the universe will show you all the kindness you spread around.

New Beginnings

People say that a new year is a new beginning. A lot of people feel a stronger need of change during the holidays, perhaps because the new year brings a new chapter in our lives; but I suspect that often, the reason behind our need for changes and resolutions is that with each new year, we become aware of how time is slipping through our fingers and that we have less time to achieve our plans.

I truly believe anytime is a great time to slow down, dream, and plan how to make our dreams part of our reality. My last post was about the dreamlining process and I wanted to talk this time about career planning, but I’m still inspired by quotes, readings, and conversations that I have had during the last couple of weeks and I would like to invite you explore with me what is your true calling.

I don’t believe we’re in this amazing world to push papers (or as we say in Spanish, to drag a pencil) and although I don’t believe that there are jobs unworthy by themselves, I’m convinced that we need to run away from a job that doesn’t nourishing our souls. I believe we all have a higher purpose related to the gifts we received when we came to this life,  that we all have a piece to the puzzle of Life and that we won’t thrive as humankind until we work together and we share our gifts with everyone.

Of course, I understand the pressing needs of living in this world, paying rent and buying food, but I also believe that when we do what we love, we thrive.  We need to find our purpose in this life, and as Zig Ziegler said, if you cannot find your purpose, find your passion, and this will lead you to your purpose. 

LET’S WORK!

Finding our purpose is not an easy task. I, myself, still wonder what am I supposed to do with the gifts I received and the competencies I have developed.  However, when I followed the advice of teachers and friends, I was able to find my passion. Finding your passion could be done in different ways, but here are my suggestions:

-Ask yourself (and your family  and/or friends) what is what you loved to do when you were a kid. This is frequently a key to find our passion.

-Ask yourself, if money and financial responsibilities weren’t an issue, what I would like to do?

-Which activities do you find exciting?

-If you could only work 2 hours per day, what would you do? If you could only work two hours per week, what would you do?

Don’t forget to explore your vision, create your vision board and include your findings in it. Finding our passion is also a journey, where both, the journey and the destination are important. Don’t forget to enjoy this discovery process and don’t be afraid of the time this process will take.

Also, please share with us what else have you done to find your passion or your purpose, and feel free to ask any questions.

Dreamlining

 

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Unbelievable,  2013 is about to finish! For most of us each year seems to go faster. This year was a busy one for me: starting my consulting practice, as well as an aromatherapy company, it really took a lot of my time. Between those two activities and writing my blogs, I learned that I really need to pay attention to my plans and dreams, if I want to achieve  them. I used to think that dreams and plans were mutually exclusive, but this year I had the chance to focus on my dreams and see them take form. I am still early in the process, and it’s clear to me that it IS a process and it will take time, but I feel confident and excited about them.

 

 

 

It seems yesterday when I started my vision board for a class. In the years before I had only written affirmations of what I wanted to achieve, but having a vision board helped me to see the big picture. So, today I want to invite you to start dreamlining: writing a plan for your dreams. To start, all you need is a dream, which of course is easier to say than do actually do it. We’ve been forced to settle and to forget about our dreams in order to fit in society; we need to start dreaming again, remembering what we wanted to do when we were younger and what we feel would give meaning to our lives.

 

LET’S WORK! As Timothy Ferris says in his book The 4-Hour Workweek, the best way to start is to think: -What would you do if there were no way you could fail? -What would you do, day to day, if you had $100 million in the bank? This is about doing, but you also should consider something about being and something about having.  To help you explore your dreams, describe: One place to visit One thing to do before you die One thing to do daily One thing to do weekly One thing you’ve always wanted to learn Then, look for a board or a notebook where you can put your vision board. Visioning is a powerful exercise and it will help you to keep your eyes on the goal. Once that you’re done with the dreaming part, it’s time to start planning it. When do you want to reach your goals? how much will it cost? what investment do you need to make? what are the first steps you need to take? As this planning process is overwhelming (you should be aiming for something amazing, remember Disraeli’s words: Life is too short to be small), you may want to start with the next, minimal, elegant step. Then write down the next step, and the ones you will take in the next week. Ferris recommends to determine three steps for a 3 months and 6 months dreamlines. As he says, the objective is to define the end goal and build momentum with the critical first steps.

Life will find its way to help you achieve your goals, so you might as well plan and dream big!

Feel free to share your goals here in the comments or contact me directly if you have any questions.

Aphei – it is kind to ask for help

Through Toke Møller,one of many teachers (although an unofficial one), I was reminded of Aphei, an ancient practice that means:  It is kind to ask for help.

 A person who

cannot

ask for help

cannot

be trusted

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see how people flourish through the helping process. During a 3-day event, we collaborated, shared laughs and information and worked together. Finally, we closed the event with a session of co-creation: a group of people presented projects, and  the rest of the attendees formed small groups and supported one of this project with our expertise, questions and suggestions.  For some hours, we became their consultants and our clients shared their needs and information about their projects. 

ask for help 2013

It’s amazing to see how this simple practice of asking for help and being open to receive it can change a person and a situation so much. The process of helping also enriches the helper, and although there are some rules that need to be considered in order to be helpful, when we help from a place of respect and appreciation for the other person, both grow.  We usually think that asking for help will make us vulnerable, but the reality is that if we don’t ask for help when we need it, the things that we fear most (losing control and being vulnerable) will probably happen.  Remember, all the problems start small.

LET’S WORK!

Think of a topic where you need some help: either input, questions or help in the execution of something. Be careful with requesting advice, as the responsibility should always rely on you and not on the other person, remember also that an advice that is not followed usually has an impact on relationships.

Be clear on the type of help you may need and find who is the best person to provide it. Ask the person if they would be willing to help you with your process, allow them the opportunity to decline, and explain briefly the topic. If they decline, say thanks, too. It takes courage to do it.

If they accept, proceed to give a more detailed explanation: what happened, what did you do, who else is involved, what do you think the problem may be, and clarify what would you like to achieve. Be open to answer questions and be challenged on your assumptions. Ask for clarification if it’s needed and be open to co-create new results. Finally, always remember to be grateful!

Feel free to contact me if you need some help : ) or leave a comment!

Letting go in 7 easy steps

Life is an intermittent lesson of letting go.  We have something, we get used to it, and more often than not, we need to let it go.

One of the biggest “let go” moments happened some months ago. Last October I graduated from a Masters program and I was ready to let go of my work in Customer Service with the intention of looking for a new job and starting again my career in Organizational Development. I did this for years in Mexico and I wanted to go back to this field. I was ready to let go of the certainty while I found a new job, but I couldn’t imagine the whole picture at the moment.

I live in Montreal, a vibrantly bilingual city, that is receiving more and more immigrants every day. I had the opportunity to work in Spanish and English most of the time, I attended school in English and the first thing I had to let go, after being laid off, was of my comfort with the language.  A big portion of the jobs are exclusively for fluently French speaking professionals and my “good” French wasn’t enough.

When I moved here I knew I had to let go of the comfort of the familiar, the friends and relatives, the places that I knew and where they knew me. After 6 years of adapting myself to a new environment, I had to let go of this barely familiar environment. I thought it was a good time to flow and put my attention and my intention to the French. All this came with a little bit of frustration, for sure, but I’m someone who knows how to adapt to the new realities.

I had to let go of my previous life-style as before I wasn’t careful with the money, I wouldn’t be concerned of investments and I was always very generous with everyone who needed money. I had to let go this “no worries” attitude and be more mindful of the way I spend.  For sure, generosity is very important, but not everything is money. I’ve learned to value my time and my intention.

I also had to let go of my superficial need for consumption, buying things I didn’t need, or things I could make myself, including prepared food. Prepared food is expensive and less healthy than food that we make ourselves, but you know, no one has time to prepare bread, for example.  Food is just an example but there are many things that I can do myself, and that are not difficult (such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, creams, deodorants, etc).  I can say that I was moderately crafty, but I have discovered new interests and skills now that I have more time and less money.

But perhaps the most important thing that I had to let go was a “self-sufficient” attitude. I was the one who helped others, I was the one solving problems and I was the one who knew what to do. My ego was probably the most affected in the process, but I finally applied the common sense advice that we have ever given or received: “Ask for help”.

So, this is my reflection for you today. One of the biggest obstacles for change is our inability to LET GO of anything (attitudes, assumptions, relationships, jobs, concerns) that no longer serve us. Let go in order to get to different, new places. Let go of the past, so the past can let go of you.
let go

LET’S WORK!

Here are some simple ideas to let go of the past and embrace the unknown future.   Of course, they can be as difficult or easy as you want them to be. If you need help applying them, or letting go, please, feel free to comment or contact me directly.

1. Be honest and remember the good and the bad. Not everything was perfect and you know it.

2.  Embrace things as they come. Remember that things come and go, that no one promised us anything, nor we signed a contract before arriving to this world. Everything is an expectation and the bigger they are, more room for disappointment, so let’s be conscious.

3. Focus on what you can control. Yes, it’s not fair that people tend to hire their friends, for example, but what I can do is develop more skills to better position myself.

4.  Allow yourself to express the emotions you feel. If you feel like venting, do it, but then do something that is positive, that brings you closer to your goal.

5. Take responsibility but don’t put all the guilt on you. Yes, you may have contributed to the situation, but sometimes, bad things just happen.

6. Be open to new experiences and thankful for the positive ones. The mind receives millions of stimuli every day. Focus on the ones that serve you and be thankful for them. You cannot be thankful and sad at the same time.

7.  Relax. Think what’s the impact of this in the future. In the next 20 years, will this situation still matter? Probably no, so, just relax.

Manifesting your dreams

Some days ago someone asked about the differences between a fantasy and manifesting our dreams.  For me a fantasy is not guided, it’s something that happens in our mind without thinking. It’s an expression of our desires but it is very unlikely to happen in real life.

Manifesting, on the other hand, is a tool you can use to achieve our dreams. It helps your wish, idea or dream to come to life. Manifesting may sound weird, unusual or even esoteric to you, but it has very real components. In Jungian psychology, that component is called Synchronicity, the tendency of the universe to  create patterns (Eastern philosophies call it Tao). Synchronicity, as Jean Shinoda Bolen defines it, is a descriptive term for the link between two events that are connected through meaning,  a link that cannot be explained by cause and effect.

Manifesting something is spiritual work that happens along with your physical work. This means that although some things may just “appear” in your life, you likely need to work to achieve most of your dreams.

woman-sunrise-happiness

How do you do it?

The steps for manifesting are deliberated and precise:
*Dream/envision what you want – create a mental picture
*Use spoken words to define your ideal situation – taking care of not putting limits to the Spirit and or describe how things will happen
*Trust the Spirit –  You know that what you asked for will be granted, and you behave as if you have it already, as this is where your energy is focused
*Understand that you are an expression of the Divine and interconnected with everything and everyone. You deserve what you want and know that this is a world of abundance
*Repeat the affirmation for some time every day (I do it for a month) until it resonates within you
*Finally, keep this process private (do not share it with others, as this will “dilute” your energy) and let go!

Working with affirmations has to be aligned with what happens in your day-to-day life. It means that if I’m affirming that I want to be promoted at work, I need to show up and do my best. If I want to lose weight, I need to eat in a healthy way and exercise.  Affirmations are not a “magical substitute” for work but rather the work that our minds and spirit do to support us in reaching our goals and make the process easier. Affirmations are one of the sources of these amazing “coincidences” that happen from time to time.

What is the different between using affirmations or not?

When you use affirmations the Spirit knows what you want. As a friend of mine says, you don’t go to a store and simply say: I don’t want purple curtains. You have to say what you want!

Each person holds different beliefs about this topic, my opinion is that the best way to achieve something or receive a gift from the Universe is being very clear on what we want. Even if you don’t believe that the Spirit or the Universe provide you with what you need, you know that you receive millions of stimuli every day and your mind needs to know  which ones are relevant for you and focus on them. Perhaps you haven’t paid attention to the gifts you have received in this way yet.

LET’S WORK

Write down a simple affirmation, something that you would like to happen by the end of next month: could be a work-related goal, a personal one, something you truly would like to achieve. Put it on the mirror, your reader, as a reminder in your computer or wherever you find it every day. Repeat it for at least the rest of the month or until you achieve it.  Then, be thankful and give something back; the Universe loves gratitude.  Prepare to be amazed by the results!