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Posts Tagged ‘vision’

“When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.” ~ Rumi

In the previous post, I wrote about momentum. Momentum is about sustaining action (large and small) long enough that our project picks up a speed of its own and carries us along with it. We don’t feel like we have to push so much.

Motivation is about what gets us into (or out of) action in the first place. It speaks to a need or a desire that moves us. It can just as easily move us away from our target as toward it. Motivation can come from fear as well as love. It matters that our motivation be honest and in alignment with our more real self.

If we are motivated by fear, we may seek to avoid something. Even if we are motivated by a need to fill a sense of lack in ourselves (looking for love, recognition, a sense of belonging from an outside source), we may be trying to avoid the pain and emotion of feeling that sense of lack. In that case, we are afraid of our own emotions more than that from which we think we are running.

Feeling deeply our own emotions is one of the  first steps toward recognizing we are the authors of our lives and as such are the ones who create our feeling loved, recognized and belonging.

If we are motivated by love, we may seek to express a passion, to share skills and insights, to create something for ourselves, for others, for the sheer beauty or play of it.

interesting photo

Our motivation contributes to our momentum. It is important to explore our motivations because, to put it bluntly, if our motivation is to prove something to someone else or to get something from them, then our strategy may well backfire. Our energy reserves will be depleted and our momentum will lose steam.

If you are procrastinating around something that makes your heart sing, you are more than likely avoiding vulnerability. It is vulnerable to allow yourself to be seen in your awkward exploration, grand adventure, playful innocence, sheer majesty.

If you are procrastinating around something that you think you should do, but it doesn’t really float your boat, then look deeply into your motivation. Is this your agenda or someone else’s? How in alignment with your values and desires for your life is it really? What do you expect to achieve or get for this? If you say yes to this, to what are you saying no? What are you avoiding by focusing on this instead of what you really want? Do you need to delegate or ask for help?

Let’s play with “motivation” as both a process/conditions question and one of goals/outcomes (motive).

As a process/conditions question, we are addressing how we can move ourselves into action, build and sustain momentum.

Some responses might be to:

• Build a habit or routine
• Plant a seed the night before to facilitate more automatic action the next day
• Make a game of it
• Have an accountability buddy
• Create a ritual around it
• Work with others
• Go on a working retreat
• A clean office
• Setting a timer
• Play music while doing the work

What processes/conditions motivate you? Are you putting them into place?

As a goal/outcome (motive) question, we are addressing why we want to do what we say we want to do. What we hope to get from it. It may also be a question of why we are avoiding what we say we want to do. Again whose agenda is it? Is it a should a have to a must or a desire? Is it for short term gratification or long term satisfaction?

Here’s an exercise to help you tease out whose agenda you are following (or chasing).

What do you want?

Take a moment or two to write down your answer to that question. Write at least 10 things you want and include the thing you are procrastinating around that you think or know you want.

Some of your wants may be simple, like a new washing machine. Some may be more complex like to have a child or change careers. An avoidance want might be, to get out of my marriage or get away from this town. (You aren’t sure what you want, but you know what you don’t want. If you have to start there, then do.)

What do you really want?

Take time to write down the answer(s) to that question, however it shows up for you.

If your first answer was more of a “don’t want” avoidance item, then write what you want instead of that. For example, I want to get away from this town might now become I want to live in the country or I want to live where the weather is more temperate.

For some people, it will be further clarity around their original answer, like a front-loading, red washing machine or a career in which I can telecommute.

For others, the answer(s) may be entirely different. The first wants become replaced by something deeper, more heart-felt, more vulnerable. Perhaps it even feels risky to put it in writing or say it out loud.

Many of my new clients have difficulty with the question, “What do you want?” It is totally understandable. For the most part, we have been shut down over the years with admonishments about what we should and shouldn’t want, can and can’t have, need to accept, plan B’s and compromises.

We’ve also been told it is selfish to want what we want unless it is for someone else or “world peace.” We are subjected to the opinions and judgments of others about our desires and preferences. It is painful to want something we think we can’t have. So, over the years, we’ve learned to stuff it.

We bury our treasures so deep that finding them is a major archeological dig. So, don’t worry if you are having trouble with the question. Stay with it. You were designed to want what you want at a heart and soul level. Our life energy and time is too precious to waste on chasing after someone else’s (including our wounded ego’s) agenda.

Here is another fun and powerful way to open up to your heart’s true desire, which you may also interpret as your calling). I first heard this from my good friend Joette Tizzone. She says she may have adapted it from elsewhere. You’ve probably heard similar approaches. I am fond of this version.

The Bliss Question

Close your eyes.

You have everything you need to create the life of your dreams.

There are absolutely no obstacles.

You have the money you need.

You have the knowledge you need.

You are surrounded by helpers, and anything you don’t know or think you might need is happily supplied to you by others.

Everything is in harmony as you create your beautiful life.

Allow yourself to feel this….

Now, please describe it to me, in the present tense, such as I am ….

Where are you? ( I am …)

What are you doing? (I am …)

What is around you?

Who is with you?

What does it feel like? (I feel …)

Allow yourself to bask in the feeling.

Open your eyes.

If you take the time to do this with reverence for the spiritual human you are, you will have begun to feed energy to a future that motivates you into creative action and comes back to you as a river moving through you.

Do not worry for now about the how. The how is always revealed as needed.

As Joseph Campbell said:

If what you are following, however, is your own true adventure, if it is something appropriate to your deep spiritual need or readiness, then magical guides will appear to help you. If you say, ‘Everyone’s going on this trip this year, and I’m going too,’ the no guides will appear. Your adventure has to be coming right out of your own interior…You must have courage. It’s the call to adventure, which means there is no security, no rules.*

So, dear reader:  What do you want? What motivates you?

The next post in this series will help you make a distinction between the form and the function of what you want which will help you go further with understanding the why.

If you would like to uncover the buried treasure of your true calling, begin your grand adventure and could use an ally along the way, contact me and we can talk about how coaching might be your best investment in your self.

copyright © October 2015 Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

*Joseph Campbell in A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living.

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I was in conversation with a couple of friends the other day and one of them said she knew she was at a crossroads in her life, but she felt like she was sitting in a folding chair at that crossroads, not ready to choose a direction, not to mention a final destination.* I am reminded of the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken, and that he made a choice, presuming he could return and try the other path one day, but as he discovered, every choice point leads us to another and there really is no return. If you have ever gone back to your hometown, you know this. Nothing stays the same waiting for our return.

copyright (c) May 2013, Kathy J Loh

Many of us Baby Boomers, as we are called, are at a crossroads after having experienced others over the years; college or not, marriage or live together, children or not, divorce or stay, relocate , this job or that.  Now we find ourselves at a shared crossroads that has been called the Encore Years or our Third Act.

Many of us were young idealists during the Vietnam War era. We thought anyone over 30 was not to be trusted. We were wise beyond our years and more naïve than we knew. We’d only been on the planet for 15 to 25 years (well, this time around), but we felt so grown up. (“Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”**) This was our beginning and the road we thought we were on was marked by the sign post Change the World.

But, (screeching halt, right hand turn), we hit a crossroads as we reached our 30s, that “untrustworthy” age, and we began to chase after the American dream of another sort, homes, money, families, symbols of safety, security and comfort. Maybe you didn’t and that’s OK, but most of us did. Our idealism was funneled into joining certain political parties, contributing time and/or money to non-profits, following a guru, taking weekend personal growth workshops or haunting the self-help aisles of bookstores.

As we approach our retirement years, our children creating their own families, we find our time and mental space is freed up. We are feeling new (or abandoned) desires emerging or re-emerging. What got left behind? What went underground or became a hobby? Was it the artist, the researcher, the adventurer, the tree hugger, the idealist philosopher?  We have become the elders and some say that many of us only incarnated for the work we are up to now in our later years – to co-create a new paradigm, participate in the Big Shift.

Elders? Yes! I’m not talking about shuffling off to a retirement home and watching TV in your studio apartment all day. I’m talking about wise mentors, guides, creators. I’m not talking about pontificating at a family gathering as everyone rolls their eyes: there goes grandpa again. I’m talking about wise elders with a resonance of being that is grounded, present, trustworthy as well as actions that are in complete alignment with your soul’s calling. That calling may be difficult to hear beneath the cynical or hopeless chatter of a weary ego that has decided long ago that anything outside its comfort zone is unattainable. It takes willingness and courage to stop, pull out that folding chair and sit a spell, be quiet, listen deeply with great patience and curiosity.

For many, the crossroads is the result of being downsized, failing health, empty nesting, retiring from a long-time career, divorce, widowhood. For others it is the simple question that won’t leave them in peace: “Is this all there is?” A sense of urgency can accompany it, especially if you are 60 and older. It’s a completely different question from the one of our youth, “what do I want to be when I grow up?” It’s more like: “ I’m grown up and closer to my end, but I might very well have a good number of years yet to live and contribute.  What still wants to happen for me to know I’ve lived a good and meaningful life and can die with few or no regrets?”

And that is the crossroads you may come to face; the one where you can choose to continue the rest of your days in a comfort zone of the familiar or embark on an adventure into unknown territory, uncertain of the outcome, becoming more familiar with an unfamiliar you.  When I say an adventure, I am not saying that you must change everything in your life. Your life may look exactly the same in form and situation, but how you perceive it, whom you are as you are living it, even how you perceive the life you have lived so far, will be different and everyone will notice.

So, I suggest that when you find yourself at a crossroads, you take your time and pull out that folding chair. There is much to be done in the sitting. I think we all too often are propelled onto a path to avoid the discomfort of being present to our inner world and our soul’s requests.  It’s so much easier and so much more familiar to just get busy doing something again. Instead, take time to be still, to review and celebrate. Heck yes, celebrate! Get out of that chair sometimes and dance around with joy for the life you have lived so far and who you had to be to live it. No one gets this far without a bruised and battered heart and that heart, broken so wide open, is raring to dance.

This is the work that my clients do with me on my year-long Walkabouts.  We stand, we sit, we dance at the crossroads together.  We take a look back and see what needs your attention.  We recontextualize your past. You set down the burdens carried to this point and make a commitment to travel lightly. We laugh, we cry, we celebrate and a new story of your life emerges. This is the truer story that can carry the more real and soulful you forward, whereas the old story might have weighed you down.

You’ll spend some time sitting in the folding chair, or a granite boulder, or on a meditation cushion, listening, contemplating, becoming deeply intimate with you, the beating of your heart, the power of your breath, the stirrings of your soul, your radiant essence, your wild nature. This sitting becomes something that gets woven into your journey of transformation. It is a time of ambiguity, of not knowing and getting more comfortable with that. It is a time where you begin to surprise yourself and discover the sheer pleasure of being a beginner again as you vision and fashion what and how you want to use your wisdom and gifts in the years ahead.

Bring your folding chair along as you embark in your chosen direction. There will be other times you will want to sit a spell while traveling further and further onto the frontiers of your thinking, your emotions, expanding your energy and your world, exploring beyond the familiar and comfortable box that has so neatly contained you all these years. This internal and external exploration begins to weave a tapestry and that tapestry is the very fabric of the new you who now engages in their world in a profoundly new way. Not so oddly enough, that means the world engages with you in a profoundly new and magical way as well.

I call my path the Wisdom Path. What path calls to you?

Discover your unique path on a year long Walkabout with me. I invite you to contact me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com   We’ll set up a phone conversation where I will answer your questions and we can explore whether or not this is the right step for you at this time, as well as whether or not we make good companion explorers.  I am only accepting 6 Walkabout clients in 2014, so it this calls to you, contact me soon.

* The metaphor of a folding chair at the crossroads was attributed by my friend to Stephen Cope, but I have been unable to locate an exact quote.

** From the song My Back Pages written by Bob Dylan, made popular by The Byrds.

Copyright © Dec 2, 2013, Kathy J Loh All Rights Reserved

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Spring Equinox – when the day and night are of equal length – is tomorrow for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere.

With a new storm coming in and the lights flickering threatening to take me off line and detain me from posting this, it doesn’t much feel like Spring. Then again, Spring can be expected to be every bit as active as Winter, in its own way. Whereas stormy Winter is a time of hibernation and going inward, Spring is a time of emergence and new life. So, maybe I can think of this latest storm, after a week of truly magnificent weather, as a new foal kicking up its heels for the first time; everything and everyone feeling their oats. (Oh gosh, now I’m hearing Marvin Gaye singing “Let’s get it on.”) And I digress…I know, just when you thought it was going to get interesting!

This Spring Equinox, I invite you to explore, describe or express the landscape you will cultivate as the days grow longer and the Winter fights to be remembered but will, as it must, give way to Spring.  Write it, paint it, dance it, sing it, drum it. Allow Spring to introduce itself anew to you in dreams and meditations. However it feels right for you, let it flow out of you from your deepest connection to what matters most for you.

Then take another look and see what, in metaphor and symbolic, soulful dreamscape, you are creating for the landscape or the field known as you.

(A note for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere:  Fall is a time of harvesting the fruits of our labor and letting go. The first storms will rip the leaves right off of the trees and the first frosts promote deadlines for harvest.  What is the landscape you will create for Autumn?)

mushroom

Back to Spring. I’ll go first….

The landscape of my Spring

I want to work with the natural wild landscape that is already here.

Put some benches in the best sitting spots for all kinds of moods.

Some memorable moments will come for me on those benches and often, they will be shared with others.

I will cultivate invitations to birds, butterflies, wildlife and fairies.

I want to prune the fruit trees to give them the best chance to produce new fruit on last year’s wood.

I want to clear open space for Medicine Wheel work, meditation and ceremony.

I will nourish the energies of play and love.

I will grow flowers with color and express delight at every mushroom that pops up under the pine needles.

I know that each corner of the landscape has its own gift to offer.  Beauty is not always pretty.

If it doesn’t rain enough I will water the land.

If there is too much sun, I will provide shade.

In all instances, I will honor this landscape and if something wants to go, I will not argue; will not hold on.

I will gather the fallen twigs and branches and burn them.

I will till a specifically designated bed for growing organic vegetables and herbs and will compost the remains of what I have consumed to nourish what is just now growing.

I will wander and I will be still.

I will listen

and

I

will

make

noise.

And you, dear reader, what is the landscape of your Spring?

Copyright © March 2013, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Happy New Year dear readers!

A quick note before the subject at hand: It has been 4 months since I’ve written a post here. It’s not that I ran out of things to say. Actually, it’s more like I have too much to say!

There are a lot of changes coming to both my website and this blog. I hope you will come along for the ride. For now, have a fantastic new year and enjoy this and every perfectly wonderful moment.

I just completed a year-end review for my clients and thought some of you might like to use this as a guideline for your personal review.  So here it is!

I’ve broken this down into categories, most of which are part of the Wheel of Life that clients complete when they first come for coaching. Use it as a guideline, make up your own…whatever serves wonderful YOU.

Each question is meant to stir the pot, but it’s not my intention that you respond directly to the questions posed. They are just there to prompt you to muse about the year past and what you get to celebrate about how you and your reality shifted because of the attention you’ve given you/it. Too often, we are looking to arrive at some point of perfection. This leaves us doggedly running ahead for the next awareness, the next shift, the next accomplishment. We tend to forget how much we truly have to celebrate and for which we can be grateful. So don’t be shy! Pat yourself on the back!

Then I invite you to begin to look forward to 2012 and state something you intend to move, change, grow in each area. It can be a baby step or a giant leap. Whatever calls to you. If you are feeling nervous about committing anything to writing, consider this a beginning point and bring the topic to your coaching call, journal about it, create conversations with friends and family members around it. Better to point your ship toward a port of your choosing than drift at the whim of the wind and ocean swells. That is, unless you like being lost at sea.

Copyright(C) 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

Personal Growth

What are you celebrating about your personal growth in 2011? How much more aware are you of the ways you trick and sabotage yourself? How much more self-nurturing and self-loving have you become? How much more often do you say what you think and mean what you say?

What would you like to open up to, develop, unfold in the area of personal growth in 2012?

Spiritual Growth

What are you celebrating about your spiritual growth in 2011? How much more connected do you feel with something greater than you; Divine, Nature, Love? How has your heart opened? What has happened to you around the area of a sense of meaning, purpose, fulfillment that you want to celebrate?

What would you like to open up to, develop, unfold in the area of Spiritual Growth in 2012? What spiritual practices do you intend to develop or explore?

Relationship – Romantic

What are you celebrating about changes in your romantic relationship (marriage, romance, dating etc) in 2011? How have you become a better partner? In what ways have you grown that feeds your relationship? If you are not in relationship and desire one, how have you improved your readiness and what are you doing to find a partner?

What would you like to create in the area of romantic relationship in 2012?

Relationship – others

What are you celebrating about changes in your relationship with others, family, children, friends, colleagues in 2011? How have you become a better listener, communicator, more compassionate, less co-dependent, etc.?

What do you want to create for yourself in the area of these and new relationships in 2012?

Career/Vocation

What are you celebrating about your career, work, vocation that shifted for you in 2011? It may be the actual form and it may be how you are in relationship to it.

What’s next for you in this area that you want to set into motion, continue or complete in 2012?

Money, Wealth, Abundance

What are you celebrating regarding your relationship to money, your sense of wealth, your capacity to manifest what you need and how has it changed in 2011?

What’s next for you here? What do you want to be more aware of, understand more deeply, put into action, manifest in 2012?

Health

How was 2011 for you in this area? What are you celebrating in terms of what habits did you release, which new behaviors did you add, what did you learn? If your body were to say thank you for all you did for it in 2011, what would it say?

What will you change, release, adopt as a new routine, behavior, etc in 2012? If you aren’t sure, ask your body.

Physical Environment

What changes did you make in your physical surroundings in 2011 that you want to celebrate? Who did you have to be to create that?

What are your 2012 visions for your physical environment, where you work, live, play?

Recreation and Fun

Where did you go and what did you do for fun in 2011 that is particularly memorable and that you are grateful you gave yourself the space and opportunity to do?

What calls to you in this area for 2012 – anything from simply more laughter with others and less TV to in-depth exploration of the hiking trails of Yosemite to reading more poetry to ??

Personal Energy Management

What did you become more aware of regarding your expenditure of energy in 2011? What are you celebrating about changes you made in both your awareness of and your use of your energy?

What would you like to see happen in this area in 2012?

Your Own Category:  Add whatever you want here. It might be something like your commitment to community, global affairs, environment, leadership, education etc. Whatever you can think of that you want to celebrate and set an intention for in 2012.

Bonus:

What is one thing you are committed to being DONE with today?

What is one thing you are committed to creating by the end of 2012?

Some additional ways to play with these are:

  • Create a short mantra/phrase for each category that you can post in an appropriate place (or put on your cell phone) to remind you of your intentions.
  • Create a collage of words, images or both that captures your 2012 intentions and either post it where you see it, or stick it behind a door, under a bed and be surprised by how much of it has come true when you see it again.
  • Write your answers on paper and put them in an envelope addressed to you. Put the envelope in a place where you’ll come across it next December – with the holiday decorations or ??
  • Make a copy of your answers. Have a simple ceremony by your fire in which you speak out loud your 2012 intentions as well as what you are celebrating and releasing. Burn your copy and let the smoke rising through the chimney be your intentions carried upon the winds and whispered among the trees into the ears of the Divine for all to be manifested for you as you intention in 2012. Let the remaining ashes be all that is left of what you have released.
  • Send Thank-You notes to the people who helped you along the way this year or to whom you are grateful for encouraging you to be your most authentic and empowered self.
  • Send yourself a thank you note.  Put it in an envelope, stamp it and put it in the mail. It’s very fun to receive something like this from yourself.
  • Write yourself 12 monthly love/encouragement notes. Put each in an envelope addressed to you and stamped. Write each month on the outside of the envelope, so that you will have 12 envelopes for the 12 months of the year. Arrange with a friend to have them mail you the notes at the beginning of each month. You can do the same for them.
  • Hire a coach to help you vision and stay on track – of course, that would be me! email me at: KathyLoh@coachkathy.com
copyright(c) December 2011, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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This year, Winter Solstice (in the northern hemisphere) is on Tuesday December 21st. As always, I have left the day open so that I can create an intentional ritual that honors my growth this year and the vision that is unfolding for the next. If you would like some ideas about creating your own ritual, check out my 2009 Winter Solstice post.

For those of us who like to play with astrological, astronomic and symbolic events, there are some exciting things coming.

  • On the day of the Solstice we will also have a full moon with total lunar eclipse.
  • Mercury Turns Direct Dec 30th
  • For a period of about three weeks in early January, nothing in the sky will appear retrograde.
  • The Tarot guardian card for 2011 (which is a 4 year) is IV or The Emperor

Solstice, full moon, lunar eclipse

Here’s what my friend and personal astrologer, Nicki Michaels has to say about the solstice and lunar eclipse:

“The Winter Solstice, at the moment the Sun enters the sign of Capricorn, is the time of deepest darkness in the northern hemisphere.  It is when many traditions honor the rebirth of the Sun and renewal of the life force.  In our culture, many gravitate towards family and friends around an illuminated evergreen tree or a menorah celebrating the miracle of light.

One meaning of the sign of Capricorn is community cohesiveness, and so in this dimly lit season, we find illumination through connection to others rather than by the Sun’s light. We naturally renew our social connections and hopefully feel strengthened by them.

This year the Winter Solstice combines with the powerful energy of a Full Moon eclipse, intensifying and deepening the experience.  Both occur on Tuesday December  21st, the Full Moon at 12:13 AM PT, and the Solstice at 3:39 PM PT.

So at this powerful and sacred Solstice moment, rejoice at the rebirth of the Sun out of the darkness and experience the open-heartedness that this season ignites. Notice where you find light in your life and move towards it. Ask what you wish to illuminate in the coming year, and allow your light to shine.”  [see note (1) below]


Allowing our light to shine may also entail facing our shadows. Facing our shadows reveals our light and releases us from the darkness.

 

“If you bring forth that which you have within you, it will save you. If you do not, it will destroy you.”

– The Gospel of Thomas


Planetary movement

When Mercury goes direct on the 30th, there will be no planets in retrograde until Saturn turns retrograde on January 27th.  Yes, Mercury’s retrograde energy lingers, but this all-planets-direct in the sky period is a window of opportunity.  According to some astrologers I’ve read, it will be a powerful time for getting things done. There will be less energetic resistance to our forward movement. If you’ve felt like you’ve been making slow progress or steady progress with lots of relapses, you will likely find the energy shifting in your favor the first few weeks of January.

Sun in clouds copyright (c) Dec 2009, Kathy J Loh

This informs my ritual in this way

I’m looking to complete anything that still feels incomplete and release the energy so that I can rest in a beautiful space of silence and integration. I am also germinating seeds that I sowed this year, trusting that they are growing under the best of conditions.  I am setting an intention to make myself more available to community and to make community more available to me.

I was at a book-signing last night for Transforming in 2012 by Debra Giusti, et al.  Two authors, Marilyn Schlitz and Steve Bhaerman (aka Swami Beyondananda) spoke. Both spoke to the necessity of creating community as we make the shift from our old-consciousness story to the new story. We are in the process of creating that story now (or it is creating us, which is to say it is a co-creative process).

This delighted me since I have considered posting my very first ever predictions blog post and one of the predictions is the new level of meaning community will have for us. Here you get a preview:

Stop trying to do everything yourself. It’s not going to work anymore. Create community. ‘nuff said.


And what about the Emperor?

He is a symbol of the divine masculine. He is about creating structures that will sustain and nurture that which is birthed. I’m thinking of it as stakes, trellises and netting that will support the seedlings as they grow taller. As Pamela Eakins says in her book The Tarot of Spirit :

“Build a firm base of clear knowledge; do not become too rigid; remain open and lucid to retain control, know and serve a higher force; build your world in beauty and light; do not forget that the Emperor remains Emperor because he has a global sense of things that others do not necessarily possess, yet he will be overthrown if he does not serve his constituents; to remain in power, use your insight and serve those around you.”

Whereas last year’s guardian, The Empress, is the creator of all form, the Emperor illuminates the structure of all form.

Forms will be birthed and there needs to be an ongoing nurturing and sustaining of those forms for them to thrive. In 2011, the energy of the Emperor assists us with that. Whether we are creating a home, a product, a business, an organization, or a new world, the Emperor is with us and offers us wisdom.  Perhaps the most profound message is to serve, from the perspective of what the soul knows and sees.

When we look at our own structures in life, we may think of the word discipline. I remind myself that discipline means to be a “disciple to.” To what will I be a disciple in 2011? We are all disciples to many things simply by way of auto-pilot. What wants, invites and requires our conscious, intentional devotion now? Let’s be discerning about that.

The window and the calling:

Taking this back to the solstice (the time when we shift from ever shorter days to ever longer ones), the full moon – lunar eclipse, the direction of the planets, and the turning of the year, we can use this time as a powerful energetic surge, a kind of wave, to carry us powerfully toward all that we generate.  We are always generating something. Let’s be conscious in our co-creating.

 

It is my belief that all that calls to be created is calling from the new story.

Are we listening? How will we respond?

It is this new story that we are serving.

What is our degree of willingness?


As the days of increasing light return, let’s generate and inspire hope for ourselves, for our world.

We are called forth by our hearts to form community to nurture and sustain this new story. Each member of the community, you being one of them, contributes a vital and unique role. You are needed.

As Nicki advises:  “Ask what you wish to illuminate in the coming year, and allow your light to shine.”


Wishing you all an enchanted holiday season!


(1) For a deeper understanding of the Winter Solstice, read what Dane Rudhyar says about the the sign of Capricorn and Winter Solstice. Learn more about Nicki Michaels and her astrology services. Please note that the paragraphs contributed by Nicki are also copyrighted material and used here by permission.

Copyright© December 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Ever had a brain lift? I make up that it’s like a face lift, but instead of erasing wrinkles, it erases beliefs.

I felt a wire in my brain snap during a coaching call with my coach, Jeanine Mancusi, the other day.  She’d asked about my ideas as to why my ex-husband went on to have an apparently happy life, the new young wife, dogs, etc., when he had been the “bad guy ” who had never behaved like he really wanted to be married to begin with. I made up all kinds of amateur analyses about it, finally admitting I didn’t really know and I felt I never would, because I’m not in his head. I’m not even in his life anymore.

Then she said something that hit me like Cher’s “snap out of it” slap in Nicholas Cage’s face in Moonstruck. She said:

“He chose to be happy.”

It was as if my brain went on red alert and all thinking had to be shut down in order to handle some sudden voltage. This is what it feels like when an illusion is pierced by the truth.

Uhm….it’s that simple? It’s that simple.

I was totally energized when we hung up. I got straight to work doing the things I’ve been resisting for months. As I marveled about the new burst of energy, I also mused and began to unravel, further, the tapestry of this belief I’d been holding. Actually, it’s the belief that was holding me….hostage.

The warp and weave of this particular tapestry comprised such notions as:

If you are good, you will be rewarded with happiness.

If you are bad, you will be punished and happiness will be withheld.

People who are bad and do bad things don’t deserve to be happy.

People who are good and do good things deserve to be happy.

People who do bad things and are still happy are cheating.

Now, how old do you think the person was who thought all of that up? It’s been hard-wired  in my brain for a very long time.

Suddenly, I understood the strange sense I have had all these years of waiting for the good news, the money, the soulmate to arrive. I have been awaiting, patiently and sometimes not so patiently, my reward for good behavior.

Here’s the catch: I’ll never be good enough. (Notice the collapse between inherent goodness and good behavior.) There’s always a thought or action that will land me in the penalty box in the game of life. If I sprain my ankle, I make an assumption (with the old belief) that I must not have been good enough. You know, like that old saying: if you bite your tongue you must’ve been thinking something bad about someone.

Even more wicked is this part: If anyone else in the world is unhappy (especially innocent people) then I can’t be happy because to do so would be in very poor form. It would be selfish and taking more than my share. (As you know, there is only so much happiness to go around!) A good girl learns to share. If I was happy and taking more than my share while others were unhappy then I would be a bad person and you know where that gets me….back into the penalty box; losing points and losing ground in my pursuit of happiness.

So, as humans will, I’d created an elaborate scheme for earning happiness which has to do with putting myself though lessons of unhappiness to grow myself and become the better, more deserving person and thus closer to receiving the reward of happiness.  It’s kind of like working really hard and doing extra credit homework for the A, or striving for sainthood.

Then all of a sudden, la-dee-da, along comes the realization that anyone, regardless of good or bad, (A student or F student), deserving or undeserving, hard worker or lazy, gets to choose to be happy just because they want to.

WTF? That sucks! And WOW you mean?

The waiting is over, sweetheart!

Right here, right now, I can decide to be happy and I don’t have to do anything to earn it, to pay for it, to coax it, to deserve it. All I’ve got to do is choose. The entire tapestry of the old belief structure had been pulled apart, string by string and there is nothing substantial to sustain it anymore.

3_3_2010

Perspective (c) K J Loh

A hawk is circling skyward outside my window as I write this. It reminds me to note that I covered this territory in this blog last October.  It’s no straight line, this evolution of consciousness. More like a spiral; each time we rise higher on the current,  getting an ever broader perspective. At the same time, like the hawk, able to see the finest details with clarity.

My resistance to doing what I wanted to do (written about in the two previous posts) was generated by several factors:

Rebellion: I’d been earning for a very long time and I was tired of showing up and not getting rewarded.

A holding pattern:  I’m waiting for my reward. Surely it will arrive any day now. (The scary thing about this notion is that I could easily wait myself into the grave.)

Indecisiveness: I didn’t know for sure what action or activity would get me the most points toward happiness.  I mean, if I’m trying to earn points then there must be some scoring scale for various activities, right? (Some of you might recognize this one as wanting to know if you are on the right path, doing the right thing.)

As I went to sleep that night, I reflected on this thought:

My life is a grand adventure!

I thought of all the adventures I’ve had so far. I was able to see the amazing life I’ve had. Yes, there have been tough times, but for the most part, I’ve lived a privileged and wildly creative life. I’ve participated in many amazing activities, taken fabulous journeys. Even the painful times made complete sense as part of the whole vista (a window I’ve peered through before).

I cried for the sheer Beauty of the Adventure.

I am currently at a point in my life where I can go anywhere and do anything I want. I have a blank canvas before me. I can work from anywhere as long as I have a phone. I have no pets, no spouse or mortgage to worry about.  I’ve dreamed of having this blank canvas for as long as I can remember.

What is the adventure I want initiate now?

As a coach, and a visionary, I am used to taking people and myself through the visioning process. I have lost my interest in visioning the places, people and activities many years ahead.

I am more interested in visioning who I am being come whatever may. I am enchanted by the Mystery. I don’t want to plot my course so much as dance with it. I don’t need a GPS, I just need my dancing shoes.

Whether or not someone else is happy will no longer be the gauge by which I measure the happiness available to me.

Happiness is not a competition. (Neither for that matter is unhappiness, but that’s another subject.)

My coach once asked me “Does Kathy get to be happy?”

I now ask you the same question: Do you get to be happy?

Notice, as you reflect upon your answer:

Any discomfort in your body

Any conditions you place upon it

What you make up about why or why not

Does everyone else in your life and in this world get to be happy?

Why or why not? What are the rules and conditions that dictate your answer?

If you are someone who says you don’t know what you want, consider that you do know what you want, but you don’t think you get to have it. Why not?

Ok now, who wants to go dancing in the Mystery with me?

Copyright (c) March 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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The other day, I emailed a great rant to a dear friend, Cynthia Morris. I titled it “snarky moment.” I was smiling and feeling mischievous as I wrote. I was removed enough from it all not to be the victim in search of rescue, or the martyr in search of pity. I was having a romping roll with anger in the ranting hayloft and it was fun!

Here’s the story.

We had a series of storms here. The power was out for three full days. We had the advantage of a generator that was on briefly each morning and evening; enough to keep the food from spoiling and enable us to run water and flush toilets. Our water comes from a well. The well requires a pump and that pump requires electricity.

I hunkered down when the power first went out. I figured I could easily be patient with the usual two hours of outage that comes with a big storm. I’d managed to make my coffee just in time. I dressed like I was going skiing; long underwear, turtle neck, hooded sweatshirt and down vest. I checked to be sure the land line phone worked for the day’s client calls.

I spent 60 minutes in the morning and the evening scanning email and other social media using my backup laptop battery and a dial-up internet service.  Slow, v-e-r-y  s-l-o-w. I spent time under the down comforter. I actually read a book. (insert gasp of amazement here)

By day two, I was feeling really pent up. The rain, hail, thunderstorms, and falling tree limbs kept me off the wooded trail. To get to a movie, I’d have to drive the long way around on back roads as the main road was blocked by downed trees and lines. My patience was wearing thin and the lemonade I was making from lemons tasted sickeningly sweet. I was gagging on calling this an adventure, a retreat, a learning experience.

By day three, righting my rant had stopped working for me altogether. I was hardly breathing anymore.  My creative muse had flown the coop. The ways in which I was making positive out of the negative just weren’t telling the whole truth. I wasn’t being patient or positive. I was tolerating. In my hunkering down, I gave lip service to “adventure,” but I was living imprisonment. Of course, I didn’t realize this until the power was restored.

Stormy skies Santa Cruz

Storm Brewing (K J Loh)

The first full day of electrical power was followed by the first full day of sunshine. My own power was returning as well and instead of righting my rant, I wrote it. I wrote it and fired it off to Cynthia. Being the wonderful friend and creative coach she is, she responded:

There is a lot of wisdom and a lot of clues in this rant. I’d go through it and highlight what you want and then, you know, make it happen.

Now rants are kind of funny. They generally don’t have a life beyond their explosive moment in time. So, I had to go back and read what I’d written. It was amazingly clear that there are some changes I need to make in my life and the clues in that email are undeniable. The changes loom ominous like the storm clouds. So, no wonder I didn’t own-up to them. No wonder, I wanted to make lemonade. I didn’t want to admit that a lot of the “lemons” on my tree of doings had pretty much gone rotten.

After reviewing the email, I went mud-stomping with Callie dog in the woods. The hilly terrain got my heart beating and I exclaimed to the trees with delight, “I’m breathing again!” That’s when I realized I was no saint of patience.  I’d been tolerating. I’d hunkered down with the power-outage (no small bit of symbolism there) and decided to wait until circumstances handed me an oxygen mask.

Tolerating is imprisonment. It makes the spirit hover safely beyond the body, makes the mind crazy and the heart numb. Tolerating is not patience.

Tolerating is breath that is just shallow enough to get by.

Patience allows for deep satisfying breaths.

Tolerating is fearful inaction, constriction.

Patience is love and expansiveness.

Tolerating is a wicked ingrown hair of control.

Patience is free flowing surrender.

Tolerating is self-negation and has very little to do with self-love though it may have a lot to do with what appears to be self-preservation.

When I highlighted the key points in my rant, I discovered what I was tolerating. I discovered what I want through what I don’t want. I discovered new possibilities. Now I must also discover my courage.

There’s a huge energetic surge that comes with a rant. That energetic surge can be a wave that trashes us or one we can ride all the way to the joyful shores of our vision. Whereas tolerating leads to utter exhaustion and possible wipeout, patience allows us to become one with the wave.

What are you tolerating?

Next time you feel a rant coming on, write it before you right it.

Suggested steps for writing, and thus, righting your rant:

  1. Create a safe space for you and others when you rant. It’s not about blame. It’s about what you are no longer willing to tolerate. It’s about your own discovery of what has to change and gathering the courage to create that change.
  2. Write your rant.
  3. Put it away for a bit and go for a walk, dance…get your body moving.
  4. Do something kind to/for you. Receive love, nurturance and warmth.
  5. Go back and review your rant. Underline or highlight the clues. They may be things you don’t want anymore, something that needs to be said, a new creative outlet that wants to be born.
  6. Re-form those clues into powerful intentions and write them out as such.
  7. Chart your plan of action.
  8. Gather your courage and your allies.
  9. Begin – one small step is all it takes, one small action. It may be a powerful request you make of another. It may be resigning a position. It may be clearing a space in the home for creative activities. It may be asking for help. Whatever it is, your power will be restored with each step.
Copyright © January 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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