It hardly seems possible that the holiday season is upon us again. Time flies when you are having fun though and there is lots of fun in my life these days. Besides getting ready for the holidays, which I love, I am taking a very exciting class.
It’s an intensive training in public speaking and you should hear me with the voice and breathing exercises. Very entertaining! The class is another step towards what I want to be doing to spread the message of living your life as an adventure. I find lots of people need to hear more about my core principles: opening to love, tending your spirit, living fully, staying real and taking risks. Perhaps I will be coming to a stage near you someday to spread the word on how to do all that.
And speaking of the holidays…
Happy Thanksgiving to all my United States readers! This holiday is the official start to the most joyful and the most stressful time of the year for many of us. There seems to be so much to accomplish and rarely as much time to do it as you would like. This may be a perfect setup for you to start cutting corners and neglect taking care of yourself.
This month’s Life Adventure article is a reminder to pay more attention, not less, to yourself this holiday season. Although it requires some careful planning and discipline, self care – what I am calling maintenance – is the key to a low stress holiday season.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with good food, connections with the people that are important to you, a little physical activity and time to remember and express your gratitude for the many things you have in your life. I continue to be grateful for you and that we can take this small monthly journey together.
Thank you for your interest in Life Adventure coaching and may your adventures be rewarding.
My husband, Bob, is one of the managers running a manufacturing facility and in this role he oversees the company’s maintenance department. He continuously stresses to his maintenance team the importance of preventive maintenance and one of their main goals is to have a continuous system to keep the machinery going. It is obvious to me that this is also one of the difficult life lessons for many of us.
In a maintenance department, preventive maintenance refers to the tasks needed to keep the equipment running on an ongoing basis – perhaps greasing bearings or replacing gears. On your car, you change the oil and rotate the tires for preventive maintenance. The purpose of these tasks is to keep the functioning of the system at the same level that it has been. Success requires that some of these tasks be accomplished each day to keep everything in top shape.
Success in manufacturing and in life requires you to build daily upon what you did the day before. You cannot seek excellence, achieve it and then simply keep that as your new steady state. There is an ebb and flow involved in life which leads to peak experiences and the inevitable downturns as well.
Maintenance is the tool you have to sustain your accomplishments as best you can.
Let’s be more specific. Personal maintenance activities include –
eating healthy food that your body can use for fuel, movement that keeps you strong and flexible, adequate rest and relaxation, time off for fun, social connections that are rewarding, practices for reflection and meaning and mental challenge.
One of my maintenance activities is running and it is a good example for me about the need for maintenance. If I take a week off and skip running, I lose a little bit of my ability and my next run is tougher. Such is the way with all maintenance activities – the longer you go without, the more you go backwards and the harder it is to restart. Neglecting preventive maintenance is one of the causes of those downturns in life. The good news is that it is under your control.
The other importance aspect of maintenance is that it provides your future for you. I run because I want to keep what I have, a healthy well-functioning body, and because I want my possibilities to be even better tomorrow. Perhaps I will run my fastest time ever next summer or be able to run even further than I have before. My running achievements, no matter how small, always help me feel better about myself in many areas. Continuing to perform that maintenance activity allows me to multiply my possibilities for the future and to continue to grow. Without the ongoing discipline of preventive maintenance, I am at risk.
I pay attention to maintenance so that I do not lose the me I was yesterday and the me I might become tomorrow. I want the same for you.
What preventive maintenance activities are missing in your life?
How can you change your thinking to keep preventive maintenance as a top priority in order to keep all your possibilities open?
What challenges to your maintenance activities will the holidays bring? How can you adjust to avoid losing your progress?
The Way is Hard, but Clear From The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo
The naturalist and environmentalist Kevin Scribner tells us that salmon make their way upstream by bumping repeatedly into blocked pathways until they find where the current is strongest. Somehow they know that the unimpeded rush of water means there is no obstacle there, and so they enter this opening fervently, for though it is the hardest going, the way is clear.
The lesson here is as unnerving as it is helpful. In facing both inner and outer adversities, the passage of truth comes at us with a powerful momentum because it is clear and unimpeded, and so, where we sense a rush of truth is where we must give our all.
As human beings, the blocked pathways of our journey can take on many forms, and – whether it be in avoiding conflict with others, or in not taking the risk to love, or in not accepting the call of spirit that would have us participate more fully in our days – it is often easier to butt up continually against these blocked pathways than to enter fervently the one passage that is so powerfully clear.
In this regard, salmon innately model a healthy persistence by showing us how to keep nosing for the unimpeded way, and once finding it, how to work even harder to make it through.
Some say it is easier for salmon, since the power of their drive to end where they begin is not compromised by the endless considerations that often keep us from the truth. Still, it is the heart’s capacity to rise one more time after falling down, no matter how bruised, that verifies that such a drive lives in us too. Like salmon, our way depends not just on facing things head on, but in moving our whole beings through.
INDIVIDUAL COACHING BY PHONE
Want to stop that feeling that life is passing you by?
Would you like to able to experience your life as an exciting series of adventures?
Would you like to feel more joy and achieve more success?
That is what I help my clients develop in their own lives. Working with a coach helps you overcome the challenges that can keep you from a successful life. Coaching gives you a companion on the journey; someone with whom to discuss events as they unfold and to help you move toward joy in the adventure. Developing clear goals, focusing intently and staying committed become possible.
If you aren’t sure and would like to explore whether coaching is right for you, please send an email to Janet@lifeadventurecoaching.com or call me at 828-691-4655 for a complimentary consultation.