Support hose... you know what I’m talking about, right? They are flesh-colored and typically worn because of circulation issues.
Yeah, well, they are ugly as all, that but the support is reliable and foolproof! (You just pray that you never need them.)
Well, on a rare moment when I had nothing to do, I started Google-ing my favorite topic: working moms. It’s sort of like putting your ear on the railroad track; you can hear the rumbling from miles away. I was not surprised by the number of articles that echoed the same message: working moms need more support. One of the articles I read suggested that working moms need a wife! And I’ll have to admit that at times, this suggestion can seem like an appealing option.
The support that seems to be needed comes in three distinct categories:
That, by the way, is never a good idea. I realize just how antiquated this sounds, but when you consider that “women’s liberation” was only a mere 35 years ago (give or take), it is totally understandable that real examples of how to balance home and work are not easy to come by.
But don’t lose hope! Here are some easy steps you can take to get the support you need right now:
Adjust. Purge. Adjust again. You may, for a short period of time, want to adjust your view of what a clean and organized house looks like. Schedules are complicated, and you may not be able to give the amount of detail as you once did (before family, business trips, etc.) It’s not defeat; it’s reality.
This leads to the next step: the purge. Do you really need everything you have? Stuff creates clutter, and clutter is an energy vampire.
It sucks your time, your psyche, and your overall outlook. After you’ve done the purge, adjust again. Set a schedule for cleaning, and enlist the “all hands on deck” motto – never too early to get the kids enlisted – and then test it out for a week or two and see how it’s going. You can always rinse and repeat the process!
Uncomplicate! I know the routine all too well! After work, you get slammed with practices, games, dance lessons. Here, too, you need to adjust. In my neighborhood there is an unspoken expectation that the more activities you have your kids enrolled in, the better parent you are. This shocked me when I moved out to the 'burbs! I was just unwilling to have dinner – aka fast food – in the car between activities when I was aching to get home, have some down time and enjoy just “being” with my kids.
Adjust, choose. It’s up to you. I know at times the squeeze is unavoidable. If you can, double up with another parent, barter or pay someone to do the driving around. I know I felt bad that the stay-at-home mom would get stuck carting my kid around because I wasn’t home from work in time, but then I would treat her to her favorite latte, magazines or a night out when I’d watch her kids.
Don’t suffer in silence. Seek out the support you need!
Play the game. There are some great companies out there who have very flexible work schedules, back-up day care, job sharing, telecommuting, and a host of other options to help you be your best at work. If your company is not up to this speed yet, I understand the challenges you may face. When I’d have to leave early because my child was sick, if it happened more than two times in one month, I would say the appointment was for me. I didn’t want to be looked down upon because I had kids who needed me. I did not feel like I was being authentic, but I knew because of the environment I was in, that I was doing what was best for everyone. And you do too.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you need to make certain decisions – within reason of course – to help you manage the rigors of your work life and family life.
It’s a classic dilemma: which came first, the chicken or the egg? Have you ever gotten an answer that makes any sense?
I find the same complexity in the question: how do I let things go? People talk all the time about letting go of emotions and things that no longer serve you, but can it really be that simple? Especially when you feel wronged or someone has hurt you?
Letting go of strong emotions, or the need to be right (of course, I’m right and you’re wrong!) in a particular situation, can feel like trying to move a 1,000-ton boulder out of the road so you can pass!
Now, keeping with the boulder scenario for just a moment, imagine it represents that thing, event, or emotion that you are holding onto. What would your life be like if you couldn’t move that boulder out of your way?
I will tell you that some people carry that invisible boulder on their shoulders, no matter how hunched over they get. They unwittingly create future experiences with that boulder in tow and allow the shadow of this great boulder to shade the brightness of new opportunities. They compensate. Compensating looks like settling for less than who you are and pretending that you're not. The worst part of it is that you are not being honest and authentic with you. Continue on this road too long and you can lose your zest for being who you were meant to be.
Others stay stuck in time. They try to roll it, move it, hoist it, and push and push against the boulder that won’t budge. And out of sheer exhaustion, they give up and sit down beside it, never moving forward.
So, what are you carrying, holding, pushing up against that needs to be let go of? Could you choose another way?
I like to enlist the power of my imagination when I am stuck in a situation and feel as though I don’t have the power (even though I really do!) to stop thinking, believing, or buying into something that isn’t serving me.
Here are some quick tips on how to remove (or shift) that boulder from your life:
1. Say Good-bye
Is the boulder (emotion, event, thought) serving you? Here’s how to find out: Close your eyes and think the thought or feel the emotion. If it feels heavy (sadness, shortness of breath, constricting) then it isn’t serving you. If it feels light (free), then perhaps you have learned all you need to learn from the situation, and now it’s time to give yourself permission to fully (and ceremonially) say good-bye.
If it is too hard to fully let go or you feel that if you do let go that you will be losing a part of your identity, ask yourself, “Am I willing to shift or morph the feeling, situation or event?” This means finding something positive or something you have gained from the boulder’s existence. Once you’ve found that, it’s time to change the landscape of the boulder. Using your imagination, perhaps you could plant some flowers around the boulder or paint a mural on it (it’s your imagination and your boulder, so have fun with it!).
If you are really ready to let go of the emotion, event or thought that is no longer serving you, you can:
Ever work on a puzzle? I haven't in years! The degree of difficulty of my last puzzle was likely an oversized floor puzzle my son had when he was three years old! Piece of cake. In general, I tend to find puzzles frustrating because it just seems to take a long time to complete, and I get overwhelmed by all the pieces. After I look at the picture on the box, I definitely have a distinct approach in how I will tackle the puzzle:
I realized I can apply the same process to things I want to accomplish. So when I begin to get overwhelmed by my business, and all I need to do, or if I keep procrastinating on a project, I take my puzzle approach to ease the frustration and get unstuck. Here is what it looks like:
1. Vision: Start with your vision and tap till you feel you are in a good place. (This is like the picture on the puzzle box). Ask yourself:
Be flexible! If you are at step four, and your progress doesn't match your vision, you have a choice:
1. Make adjustments to your vision.
2. Review steps 2 and 3 for changes.
How do you know if you should change your vision or your steps? It's all in the "feelings". The way you got to your vision in the first place is because it felt good! When you look back at your vision, drop down from your head (the thinking part of you) to your heart (the feeling part of you).
I hope this was helpful whether you are playing with puzzles or building your business!
Welcome to the Guilty Pleasures Revolution!
Today, on Day 1, we're going to talk about going from Multi-tasking to Zenful-tasking!
You get the helpful Zenful-tasking Checklist and comprehensive audio guide (as well as my personal, amusing, grocery store story of what happens when you're in multi-tasking mode).
Get your Guilty Pleasures Tools here:
Be sure to watch your inbox for Day 2 of the Guilty Pleasures Revolution!
And if you're not already part of the 12 Days of Guilty Pleasures, sign up below to make sure you don't miss a day!
Here's to choosing you!
Happy New Year!
So how is 2013 treating you so far? Yes, I know....it's only been one week into this new year, but like many, don't you just want to see instant results? Especially when it comes to losing weight (which according to national polls, is the number one new year's resolution). It's like that with blowing out birthday candles and making a wish too. I know as a kid I would think that some magical wizard (aka God) would make my wish come true (if I was good enough, of course). And not to depress you, but here's a crazy stat; according to researcher, Richard Wiseman, 88% of new year's resolutions fail. Why? Well, just speaking from experience of having been one of the 88% in the past, there is a lot of pressure involved and without putting a plan into action that will help achieve the resolution/goal and keep it real on a daily basis, it's a no win situation. See just because the clock strikes midnight, and we feel a sort of significance in being different from the previous 60 seconds, much of our life still remains the same. So, if you must set a resolution for the sake of Auld Lang Syne, consider this:
1. Baby steps. Have your goal in mind, like the end of a marathon, but on a daily basis place one foot in front of the other and break down the goal into small chunks that when achieved add up to the whole magilla.
2. Awareness. If you are trying to break a habit or form a new one, it takes daily awareness and physical cues to help you along the way. Leave yourself reminder notes in key places; bathroom mirror, inside your purse, on the refrigerator door -- make little changes (that increase and build over time) a part of your current daily routine, rather than doing everything differently all at once.
3. Make Everyday New Year's Day. Don't be so hard on yourself if you trip up. See it for what it is and simply start over again. Reframe the "failure" and just call a a do-over!
4. Partner up. Don't go it alone. Having an accountability partner, coach or friend to get you through the rough patches can make a huge difference in achieving your goals.
5. Par-tay! Don't forget to celebrate along the way. Even the little things like noticing that you could have done something differently for next time.
For me, the word, resolution, feels heavy and constricting (don't try to stifle this Aquarian soul). So, I chose a New Year's Commitment instead. The word commitment feels empowering, open and free to me. My commitment is to nurture my inner diva mommy (pump up the self-care) and let her shine without reservation. I also picked a New Year's Theme (or Intention). One that reflects the overall essence of how I want to live my life. I chose Gentle Courage. To feel the fear, see through its illusion and step into courage.
Remember, you can treat every day like it's New Years and start again and again.......string them all together and you're making progress!
So how about you? What is your New Year's Commitment?
My son Jake mastering the thrill of the ride!
By now most kids are in full swing of the school year and may have been asked by their new teachers to write a paragraph about what they did on their summer vacation. Well, at least that’s what teachers used to do back in the day!
So, I felt compelled to reflect on my summer and write my adventures!
I hadn’t really thought about it until the end of August on a beautiful day at the beach. The ocean was really warm (warm enough for me to get wet up to my knees!) and the sun fed my soul as I sat with my toes digging into the sand; hands clenched on the sides of my beach chair and watched my 11-year-old-son dive head first into the waves!
My hoped-for relaxing day at the beach was no longer. I was reminded that the only way I could enjoy one of those kinds of beach days was to go alone. I glanced over at my 17-year-old daughter with ear buds in place, relaxing, tapping her foot to the beat reverberating in her ears and “doing the beach” the way I had at her age. A pang of envy surged. Then the sharp contrast of my current reality came into focus. Here I was poised and at the ready to run into the rollicking foam to save my son. Thankfully this wasn’t necessary. Call it overprotective or just plain not crazy when I don’t have control, but it appeared I was the only mother screaming at the water’s edge for the safety of their child. I will one day learn how to be one of “them” (well, maybe not) and just sit calmly on the blanket reading a book while Mother Nature had her way with their child.
When my son surfaced he was frustrated and angry. He wanted to conquer the waves. To beat and overpower them.
Stumbling to his feet he made his way over to me and I tried to give him some tips and let him to keep trying. What the voice in my head really, really wanted to do was to crazy glue him to the blanket next to me, so that he couldn’t subject himself – or me – to the battering of the ocean any further. Not wanting to instill my fears and insecurities upon him, I did what any good mom would do – I prayed.
I held my breath and watched him, again and again, take a beating and barreling. Each time he came up he was frustrated and pissed. One of my son’s gifts is the persistence he applies to things that he wants to accomplish. So, he took a couple of breaths, scowled at the waves, rejected my advice, took a couple of more breaths and then went at it again – with a vengeance.
After a few more times, he began to think to himself (without admitting to me of course) that maybe his mom knew a thing or two about riding his boogie board back to shore. Not that I blame him for doubting me. He knows his mother well. This type of adventure and activity is not high on my achievement list.
But I did know a thing or two about life and the numerous times I felt beat up and tossed around by the waves of fear, uneasiness, doubt and disappointment. I have tumbled. And I have also risen.
Now, he held his boogie board under his arm and walked out a bit. He teetered from side to side, resisting the movement of the ocean and kept moving forward until he was past the break of the waves. And this time without hesitation, when the next swell of salty sea rose up, my son placed his boogie board in the ocean, climbed on top and road into shore!! Woohoo! He did it with gusto, impeccable timing and a mighty dollop of joy!
I watched with delight (o.k. a little fear too). I began thinking about how you never know what the next wave will be like and that maybe it would be too big for him and maybe he would tumble and maybe, maybe, maybe.
He too was thinking about how you never know what the next wave will be like. Only the thoughts that followed for him sounded something like: “I don’t know what will happen next and isn’t this exciting? I can’t wait to test my new skills? I can’t wait to feel the exhilaration and energy rush again!”
So there I was on an ordinary day in August and my son had taught me some valuable lessons about boogie boarding and life!
1. If you can move past the discomfort, with consistent action, you find yourself on the other side of what seemed impossible to conquer.
2. Timing is everything!
3. Just because you get knocked down (a bunch of times), doesn’t mean you can’t find another way to get up.
4. When you keep doing the same thing and getting the same undesired results, stand up and try something different. (thank you Einstein).
5. It’s much more fun to move your power into the flow of the nature of things than it is to dive head first into opposition.
6. Don’t be afraid to surrender and feel the whoosh of joy!
What do a little girl and a giraffe have to do with the power of intention?
Once upon a time there was a little girl who was very good at doing the right thing. She lived in the Borough of Kings with her three sisters, one brother and her parents. Although not spoken, there was a quiet understanding in the castle that it was very important to be “good”. She thought to be loved – especially by God – that she had to be good, and therefore, never rocked the boat. She would do extra chores to gain attention and affection. This seemed to work well. She would go out of her way to be seen doing the right thing and then be praised and loved by all! Being good meant not answering back, doing as she was told and never speaking her mind or asking for what she wanted. Until one day………
She attended a private school in the kingdom where all the little boys and girls also knew the virtues and gifts of being good. This one spring, there was to be a celebration…a carnival bazaar with all sorts of games of chance and prizes. Their school master took the children down to where the carnival was to take place – just to have a preview of the delight that was to commence the next day.
She began to walk up and down the lane with her classmates. Peering upwards and craning her neck to see above the tall countertops she was suddenly aware of her slight stature. It was hard to imagine what it was going to be like as the lights and sounds that usually went along with this environment were silenced that day. As the other children rushed past her, every step she took was plotting and deliberate as she was filled with a sense of wonderment. Taking note of the different prizes and the allotment that would be needed to play the game, a sudden sense of overwhelm swept past her feet.
And then she saw it. The prize she wanted. No, the prize she knew she would win. Standing tall above the rest in the menagerie of stuffed animals was a giraffe. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. Her friends tried to get her attention to continue walking, but she always came back to meet his gaze. He was majestic, calm and self-assured. The rest of her classmates were moving on, but her feet were cemented to the floor. She wasn’t sure what it was about the giraffe, but she liked how she felt inside when she would look at him. A sense of excitement and joy. Her heart felt full. That was it! Without using the word, she set her “intention” and would not be swayed.
Upon arriving at the castle that afternoon, she bolted up the cascading staircase. Out of breath but fueled by her exhilaration she began to tell her mother about her great discovery. There were not enough words in her 7-year-old vocabulary to describe what the giraffe was like or what it meant to her. She asked for a pittance to play the game for when she would return tomorrow. In her eagerness to describe every detail she sensed that her mother was not quite as enthusiastic. This bothered her and gave her a twinge of discomfort. In an instant she became aware of her own animation and when not met with the same fervor, she began to feel deflated. Deciding to curtail her exuberance, she began to focus more closely on the expression on her mother’s face. It was somewhat distracted and concerned. Her mother sat her down and explained that she shouldn’t get too excited because there was no way of predicting whether she would win the giraffe or not and she didn’t want her to be disappointed.
What? Not win? It hadn’t even occurred to her. In fact, at the mere suggestion, she began to get annoyed. “Why is she telling me this? Doesn’t she know that he is meant for me?” It was as if someone untied the knot on the end of her balloon and air was slowly escaping; shrinking her joy. The boundless elation she had felt just seconds before was now simmering and dimming its light. Her mother ended by saying, “but go ahead and have a good time; just don’t set your hopes too high.”
The seeds of doubt had been planted. Her magic had been doused. Or had it been?
She found a place deep inside her where she could continue to believe despite the warning she had been given. She imagined playing with her new friend and riding the giraffe for fun. She thought about tea parties they would share and began to smile again. In her world, anything was possible!
With a stipend in her pocket she left the castle and marched off in great anticipation of the carnival. As if waiting to see a great friend, her little legs were running double time as she bounded toward the counter. Yes! He was still there just waiting for her arrival!
The game was a spinning wheel and she would place her coin on the numbered space that she willed the wheel to stop on. She felt like she had played the game forever….and nothing. The conversation she had with her mother the day before began to seep into her consciousness. And she began to think to herself that perhaps her mother was right after all. But she didn’t want to believe it. Thoughts of the adventures she concocted began to reemerge and take residence in her mind and she could once again feel the sensations of positive possibilities. She hadn’t played any other games because she knew exactly what prize she was going to win and where he was. And then….one more spin of the wheel! The wheel stopped exactly on the number she had chosen this! There was a rush of accomplishment and euphoria! She did it….she had won her amazing prize. Her giraffe!
Her classmates and school master were equally surprised at her tenacity and determination. The 3:00 p.m. bell rang and she now had to figure out how she was going to take her new friend home to the castle – he was at least twice her size! A good friend offered to help her carry him. As she arrived at the castle and called out to her mother to come to the stairs she will never forget the astonished look on her mother’s face. She told her mother that she was so happy and said “see, I told you I could do it!” She called it her magic and after that day, she knew she was indeed a good girl.
Without knowing it, this little girl applied the steps to activate the power of intention:
- Set your intention or claim your desired outcome
- Believe it into being
- Feel the emotion in your imagination as if it has already happened
- Take persistent action toward your dream
I am this little girl and I still believe in magic. I didn’t live in a castle but a walk-up apartment in Brooklyn, New York. To this day I’m not really sure if the person running the game fixed it so that I’d win because I was there for so long or if the wheel landed on the number “on its own.” Whatever the case, the power of intention was well into play! Throughout my life, I have fondly recalled this event and have used these very same steps to create what I wanted.
Paula G. Rosario, Leadership Coach
On the Edge of Greatness Coaching & Consulting
Paula G. Rosario is a brand marketer with over 20 years’ experience crafting marketing strategies and engaging target audiences. She has held numerous marketing roles in the fashion and retail industries and in her most recent position developed and executed award-winning promotional programs and achieved many firsts. One of which was becoming the organizations first female vice president. The success of her career was due to Paula’s creativity and ability to relate to people; from CEO’s to consumers. In time she realized she received much gratification from supporting, mentoring and coaching others because of the high value she places on authenticity and building relationships. Following her heart, in 2005 she pursued training as a leadership and Certified Energy Coach.
Paula is a mother of two children and has experienced first-hand the joys of having a family and successful career along with the battle for self-care, organization and the occasional fallout of “having it all.” Her frustration at trying to achieve the work/life balance ideal took her on a journey of self-discovery and acceptance where she concluded that harmony, flow and peace of mind was the healthier way to go. Paula’s passion is in using her unique combination of business know-how, personal experience and intuition to share what she has learned about the role of leadership, the art of self-thriving practices and living your greatest potential. Today, Paula is the owner of On the Edge of Greatness Coaching & Consulting. www.paulagrosario.com.
Paula is also a published author and lives in New York with her husband and children.
Paula G. Rosario
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