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And why Lego’s are my nemesis…

I can’t tell you the last time I’ve decided to re-read a book I’ve already read – just because…… (referencing them doesn’t count). But I decided to pick up the book “Radical Acceptance ” by Tara Brach, Ph.D., after I ordered it for a friend (orignially couldn’t find my copy to lend her…meant to be maybe?).  When I received the copy I ordered for her, sure enough, I found my copy. This book was recommended to me when I was going through a difficult time in my life. It was a big help then, but I’m amazed at how much more I resonate with its messages. One of which is learning to pause.

I was literally just reading about this last night when I was able to put this into practice with my son. I’m obviously not the most objective person when it comes to my kids, but my son is really one of the sweetest kids I know (and he makes me laugh). But when it comes to Lego’s – he seems to forget that the world outside of what he’s doing even exists (which by the way I’m thrilled that he loves playing with them…it’s just his choice of when he plays with them).

Like many other parents, we’re usually scrambling in the morning to get ready and get out of the house. Yesterday morning I went in to check and see  if he was getting changed. He got halfway there…..but decided he needed to sit on the floor naked and assemble something! Normal mom reaction…”What are you doing? Get dressed, we have to leave…blah, blah, blah..”. After going out to dinner with family last night we have the normal “I took a shower first LAST night…” between both kids (because of course it’s absolute punishment to get clean). After about 10 minutes of hearing the water running I go into the bathroom to make sure he’s washed his hair…..but he’s standing naked at the counter PLAYING WITH THE LEGO’S  he wanted to take INTO the shower! Fiteen minutes later I decide to tell him to pick up the pace as I want some hot water for a bath later and he’s sitting on the floor IN the shower…playing with Lego’s!!  He got a little smarter this morning….he got his pants on and shut the door to his room….and played with Lego’s!

My opportunity to pause came this morning when I opened his bedroom door and saw him sitting on the floor with his Lego’s. Much like Tara Brach says in “Radical Acceptance”,  practicing pausing makes it easier and easier (fortunately my kids have given me lots of practice!). As opposed to flying off the handle, I took a minute (probably seconds) and just looked at him. “Sorry, sorry”, he says, jumping up to finish getting ready. All I could do was smile at him. As I was able to pause (even if it was brief), I felt a huge sense of gratitude that he had something he loved doing SO much that he could completely get lost in it.  So, needless to say, nemesis or not, the Lego’s are here for a while!

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Wow- I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I’d posted here….time has a way of slipping out of your hands during the holidays sometimes. The crazy thing about it is that I’ve been totally busy (working online)- there’s just no way to squeeze it all in (as much as I tried, but it put me in bed with tonsillitis over Christmas). So, it’s a new year and here I am.

I’m just as floored that it’s 2009 as anyone else (and as I was  in 08, 07, 06, 05, etc.)- but I have to say I don’t have any resolutions this year! I’m hardly saying that I’m perfect, but I am, for the first time in a LONG time, perfectly happy.  I have finally found that “thing” that I adore- that I get to do every day, and it never feels like work. It makes all the other things I’ve tried SO worth the grief and frustration I felt when it didn’t go as I had hoped (and yes, I know, hindsight is 20/20- or as someone once told me “it’s easy to see the blessings AFTER you’ve gotten through it”).  I remember having a conversation with my therapist a while back and she told me a story about someone who left their career to pursue an idea/business of their own.  They believed SO much in what they were doing that they (a husband and wife) sold their house and their wedding rings to continue pursuing it. The end result was that the first income earned from what they were doing brought them millions of dollars- literally! (don’t ask- I have no idea what it was….).  I remember thinking as I was starting this journey into online marketing if I would do that? Could I give up everything to pursue it? And I can honestly say, without a doubt, that I would.

Besides the fact that the business is growing, I’ve realized that I really don’t have to give up anything- well, anything that matters anyways. None of my “stuff” matters as much as the way I’m feeling. My kids are great, my health is great, my family is around…..and I LOVE what I’m doing. I’ve actually been trying to weed out more “stuff” so I have less to maintain. I am SO grateful to feel at peace right now that the only thing I’m doing this year is to continue what I’ve been doing, full of grattitude and appreciation for everything in my life.

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I really think I have a firm understanding of this ‘allowing’ thing….It’s really easy to allow things when life is  flowing and you feel that everything is going the way it’s supposed to. It’s when you feel the contrast which is supposed to show up in your life (to help you get clear on what it is you DO want), that tests how much you understand the ‘Art of Allowing’.

Things with my business are still going great, and continue to grow in ways I had never anticipated, so when something else showed up that sort of threw me for a loop, I found myself in a place I hadn’t been in a LONG time. I did a number on myself for a while and then realized that all I was doing was making myself feel bad. I know, sounds simplistic….but, I get it.

I went out of town for Thanksgiving (up to my parents…which is beautiful) and left the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I was going to do some follow up on this matter that has come up and sent a little stress my way, but decided not to. I left it alone for the entire time and simply enjoyed my time with my family. When I got home on Sunday I got my mail from my neighbor…to find I had a check from an affiliate company (I’ve promoted a few of their products) for almost 5 times what I thought it would be!!! And honestly, I wasn’t even expecting it right now. I have no doubt in my mind that my ability to detach from my worries and just make sure that I enjoyed my time is what brought that check into my life a few days ago. And that doesn’t even include what’s happened in the last two days!

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I’m sure this post is going to make many people think I’m either living in a hole or just plain ignorant. Of course I’m neither….I am just not interested in hearing one more thing about how bad the economy is. Don’t get me wrong, I am very aware of how hard it is for many people. There are a ridiculous amount of houses sitting empty with yellow front lawns in the city I live in, but there are also a lot of beautiful green lawns and front doors with beautiful fall wreaths on them.

I guess my point is just that complaining and reiterating how miserable the economy is won’t change a single thing. For the most part I don’t watch the news or read anything that’s a reminder as to how hard things are….everywhere. I will read uplifting and positive news pieces (although they’re just a tad harder to find). Interesting isn’t it that when gas was almost $4 /gallon this past summer it was on the news constantly. It’s now under $3, but no one says much. And honestly, as hard as it was to pay the almost $4 a gallon, that’s still no where near what it costs in Europe or Canada.

I’m hardly saying we should bury our heads in the sand and pretend everything is perfect, but what I am saying is if you decide to look for what is good in your life, I think you’ll find it simply feels better to be grateful.

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I know I’m not the first person to come up with “Inspired Action’, but it hit me like a ton of bricks tonight. I was talking with a friend tonight about someone else I know who is getting involved in online marketing. I’ve been talking with this person for a couple of months and know exactly how they feel. When I started on this journey a couple of years ago (I didn’t do a whole lot until the beginning of this year), I was in the exact same spot as this person. There’s SO much information available and so many different directions you can go in, it’s hard not to want to jump on every opportunity, ebook, teleseminar, or product launch that comes your way. This is sort of where this individual is. They’re going in every direction that comes their way. I’m not doing that anymore.I’ve realized that the difference for me now is that everything I do feels like ‘Inspired action’.

There’s a big difference between activity and productivity. Personally, I’m sort of a fan of both. When it comes to starting a business, both are important. Too much productivity feels like a JOB though….not what I’m looking for anymore.  I’m hardly against hard work, but when what you’re doing doesn’t feel like work, you know that it’s because you feel inspired to do whatever it is you’re doing. I never feel like I have to “motivate” myself anymore. Motivation is external and inspiration is internal. Everything I’m doing is coming from within. The next thing I have to figure out is how to walk away when I’m feeling this “inspired”. There are plenty of times when I could keep working, but I know that keeping a balance is key to staying inspired. I’m still working on this, but I know I’m getting there.

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This past weekend I had my girlfriends over for a ’sleepover’…yes, at 38 we still like having sleepovers! But before everyone came over we went and got massages. I’m sure I’ve written about this before, but I am a COMPLETE massage junkie! I would take a good massage over, well…..a lot of things (nothing great comes to mind).  I actually have sort of a regular masseuse that I go to at the spa in town. Unfortunately, she was booked during the time that I had my appointment, so I went with someone else. No regrets. The massage was good, but it wasn’t great. I’ve gotten so used to the other masseuse and the way she does things that I have to admit I’m becoming a little bit of a massage snob. However, what I get from the massage can definitely be described as ‘physical self help’ (yes, I made that up…..). While  someone else is clearly doing the massaging, spending the money on myself for this physical reward is worth every penny!

I’ve found that the massage does just as much for me mentally as it does physically (well, almost). I love to get 90 minute massages (who doesn’t?), and the spa that I go to is fairly reasonable for the price (I think it’s $95 for 90 minutes….which I’ve paid way more for a 50 minute massage at some hotels….and they have never been as good). What this does for me is it allows me to just sort of slow down my brain for a while. Like most other people, I have a lot going on in my life. I spend the majority of my work day on the computer so my neck is constantly tight. Because the work I’m doing is for my own company, it’s kind of hard to shut it off- and I love what I’m doing. So when I get a massage I really make a conscious choice to relax, breath deeply and enjoy the quiet.  I usually leave feeling in a very calm place….even if I have to get back to my ‘things to do today’ list- I’m able to enjoy what I’m doing, get more accomplished and at a less huried pace.

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You would think I would have realized by now that to keep myself healthy, I need to make sure I’m getting enough sleep. The problem I’ve been having with this (and I don’t know if I’d really call it a problem…more like a challenge!)- is that I’m up late because I LOVE what I’m doing! Haven’t had this ‘challenge’ before! But I also know that if I get sick, there comes a point when as much as I’d like to be working, you know that you have to stop and get well.

So yesterday I started getting that achey, not wanting to move feeling with a little bit of congestion. I got a little work done, ran a couple of errands with my daughter then came home to put the Halloween decorations away (which, by the way, is part of the reason I feel run down. After having a Halloween party the weekend before, we moved a lot of decorations out front…the slideshow below shows some pics). As much as I probably should have taken a nap, my daughter and I got it all done and I feel MUCH better today (knowing it’s done). Took some Nyquil last night and slept great. So, now I’m quietly working with some tea & honey….I think I may be napping today. I often wonder why I don’t take my OWN advice….get enough rest! And of course, balance things a little better…..

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