step twenty three

look closer and see what else is there

i have about sevenhundredandthirteen favorite things, and minustides are among them. nature does all the work and pulls the ocean back like a winter blanket on a summer morning. no wetsuits, tanks, and masks. come as you are and put your feet where yesterday and tomorrow only waves hit the sand.

give yourself permission to spend time unfolding your curiosity. allow your eyes to rest on a , because the most incredible tiny things come into focus when you do.

set one foot in front of the other in full awareness of how rare your moves are. allow your brain to segue through different levels of consciousness as the sound of Ocean lulls you into mini trance.

this is a time to allow yourself to be as much as to see what else is there: underneath the water, exposed; underneath the layers of what molded you, your beliefs, assumptions, opinions. as the tide opens channels on the ocean floor, marvel, explore, and walk in joy over the minustide magic.

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step twenty-one

be like a cute newt. float.

hyperbarics work.  or, as the redmayne lodge in york/uk claims: floating solves problems you don’t know you have in ways you can’t understand.

if lying in a closed oxygen chamber doesn’t sound appealing, find a pond and watch a few cute newts. they are amazing semi-aquatic amphibians who can teach us a lot: how to be mellow, and how to regenerate limbs, organs, and tissue. this includes heart muscle and the lens of its eye. the newts i watched on my hike through a nature preserve today looked so relaxed as they slowly floated around pond lilies , stretching their plumb and broad limbs as if to ventilate a heated body. they crawled into the lilies to feed on larvae and drowned flies, and gave one another ample space.

but the best part was watching them spread their limbs in the still water and just float. as if they gave the water permission to carry them. as if they gave their bodies permission to just hang. to just be. they don’t always have to perform superhero magic like growing a new tail, or a new heart, or kill their enemy with the mere moisture of their skin. they can do all those things because they know how to take breaks and just float. just hang. just be.

simple.

step twenty

So tonight, as you wrap up this day, ask yourself ~

Did I do my best to increase my happiness?
Did I do my best to find meaning?

Did I do my best to build positive relationships?
Did I do my best to set clear goals?

Did I do my best to make progress to achieve them?

A wonderful lesson from master coach Marshall Goldsmith.

Work from there, and see where it takes you.
Questions? #Talktome #coachwithki

 

step eighteen

pumpkins are simple. they are easy to grow in warm weather, and all parts can be cooked into deliciousness, flesh, skin, seeds, leaves. flowers can be eaten raw or stuffed. the orange color illuminates even the rainiest, foggiest of days. let a pumpkin make you smile. visit a pumpkin patch. it costs nothing. just go. enjoy. smile.

step seventeen

we can’t change the past, but we can be aware in the present.

whatever painful experiences shaped our way of thinking, it is never too late to revisit, and re-shape our thoughts today with mindfulness and gratitude.

imagine this scenario:

a person looks at another person.

this sounds simple, but it can be oh so complex if we assume anything other than innocence. person a is taking in their surroundings, scanning their environment and simply taking it all in. person b, however, has a much more layered experience. based on years of bullying and abuse since early childhood, the pure information of “person a is looking at me” is interpreted as “person a is giving me a funny look”, “the evil eye”, and even a potential threat “person a is going to attack me”.

before you dismiss this as an extreme example, check in with yourself – has this never happened to you? that you realized, you are assuming the worst, simply because it was that kind of a day?

a couple of years ago, my boyfriend-at-the-time and i were driving from toronto to niagara falls/on, when suddenly, the car started shaking uncontrollably – we had a flat tire. we were close to an off-ramp and parked on the muddy shoulder somewhere near hamilton. it was dark, a faint rain drizzling, and we had no tools to change the tire. while we were waiting for the canadian version of aaa, a small car pulled up beside us on the off-ramp, and a man got out and asked how he can help. a thought this was such a lovely ray of light, and when the man offered to run to tim hortons and get us some timbits, since he didn’t have a car jack to help us change the tire, i only declined because i had no clue what timbits were. the person i was with had a clearly different experience. he almost told the kind stranger to get lost, and later warned me not to take any of the baked goods since they could be poisoned.

“why would he first be so kind and stop for us, offering help, and then getting us some coffee and timbits, only to poison us!!??”  i was baffled.

“people are crazy here. you don’t know, this is toronto, everything can happen. Don’t ever accept anything from a stranger.”

to this day, i don’t know what caused my friend to react this way in this particular situation, but he clearly had a filter borne of previous, adverse experiences with which he judged everything happening around him today.   i am grateful for this stranger and for the hot coffee and donut holes (yes, he brought them anyway), because it ended up being a long night.

i also noticed that smiling is easier than being afraid, and that it feels absolutely amazing to accept a stranger’s kindness, because it made everyone feel good in the end. assuming innocence and giving the gift of accepting help (and timbits) shifts everyone’s energy upward.