Big Picture Master

A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a talk on organization to a group of entrepreneurs in the wellness lifestyle industry.  In pure irony, the notes I prepared for this talk look like a scrambled ramble of ideas.  The organizer appears messy but gets it all done.  Here are some gems from my notes for you, dear readers:

The key to my success: I know exactly what I want and I let NOTHING get in my way.

I’m a Big Picture Master, a Results-Driven Red (see The Four Color Personalities for MLM by “Big Al”).

I know nothing about running a non-profit organization, but I make a non-profit run.

Take an honest look at yourself and your habits or get a coach to assist you in doing that— it is from here that you get organized.

It’s really cute when people tell you to follow your dream or your vision if you don’t know yet what that is—it’s like telling kids in school to pay attention without ever teaching them to pay attention.  Check out Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for more about this.

Play to your strengths.  Not mine.

I’m never going to be a runner but I run s…

You don’t get organized from a book or from anyone else’s system, if you want to lead.  I don’t know how to get your organized until you know your vision.

Once you have your vision, your dream, your goal, then (and not a moment before) you need:

-executable steps.

-consistency and routines.

-to stop doing stuff that doesn’t work.

For me, it’s committing one hour per day to my business, regardless of how active the day job and/or Rescue was that day, it’s keeping a consistent schedule and it’s TONS of personal development.  That’s how I stay organized.  That’s how I’m the Big Picture Master.  That’s how wellness, abundance and purpose continue to flow freely to me and my family.  Much love.

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I Don’t Know What to Say

I write these stories to you best when I don’t think about you.  When I think about you, I think about what you want to read about.  Then, I get all judgy with myself that you won’t want to read about the things I’m inclined to write about.  Are you here for the Reiki and spiritual tales, so you click away from the Rescue stories?  Are you a bunny person, but the spiritual stuff turns you off?  It’s a quick mind-spin and I almost don’t get my fingers on the keys when that “stuff” is the stuff swirling through my brain.

That’s judgment.  And projection.  That’s self-sabotage.  Consciously, those aren’t choices I would make.  When I stop, breathe and think, I want to write what I’m thinking or feeling in the moment.  Maybe if it’s not for you, it could be for you or you or even you.  But it’s always for me.  Writing this is part of my personal development, walking the walk of what I teach, putting in the work on me.

Our brains click into this judgment mode as a form of protection.  If you believe in science, our brains have evolved to keep us safe.  We judge the stimulus around us based on past experiences, past hurts.  Go to the old “hand on the hot stove” adage—we learn not to touch it again because we remember getting burned.  Some of us love to keep our hands pressed firmly on the hot stove, even after multiple burns… but that’s a topic for another day.

I sat down today and I didn’t know what to say to you.  What if you don’t like it?  I have to figure out where that all comes from… and I have just the tool to help me get started… Much Love.

JD

Masterclass

Where do I even begin?  Maybe this will be a 12-part miniseries…

I am a certified Spirit Junkie.  I completed the level one Spirit Junkie Masterclass training with Gabrielle Bernstein.  Friday, Saturday and Sunday surrounded with like-minded, amazing women and men.  On Sunday during the lunch break, I texted one of my dearest friends to tell her that although I was ready to come home, I never wanted to leave how I was feeling, never wanted to leave the place my heart, soul, spirit and mind were in.  Talk about pure bliss…

Masterclass cert

So I’ll grace you with some of the highlights from my 37 pages of notes.  Forgive me if some of my words and some of the speakers’ words blend together.  I tried to paraphrase and quote with accuracy, as my formal training dictates but in the flow of the weekend, some elements mushed together.  And believe that I feel a shift for which words will do no justice.

In her opening talk, Gabby circled around humility, love and transformation.  She, in certain terms, told us all that we have to do this work and must step in fully. She prompted us to lean into appreciation when we see ourselves comparing our journeys, our experiences and our concepts with those of others.  Powerfully and frequently throughout the weekend, Gabby urged us to be unapologetic about what we’re here to do.

Proudly, I introduced myself as an animal Reiki practitioner and rescuer to my new-found sisters—I didn’t hide behind the day job (but shout out to the Spirit Junkie who described herself on mic as a spiritual teacher disguised as a school teacher… because I’m so using that line!).  I’m fully stepping in.

And as I sit here, I realize that it is time to fully step out.  I am tired.  So there’s just a taste, a teaser of sorts, just the opening chapter… stay tuned for the next installment.  Much love.

Take Action

People sure seem to find a lot to complain about.  Now, I can get all cliché-crazy here (You can’t have a positive life with a negative mind!) but I’ll try to keep it my voice, as much as possible, today.  Through Rescue, I don’t hear many complaints from the volunteer team, but when I do (or when I’ve made them myself in the past!), those complaints generally center around the perception that someone wasn’t contributing as much as the others were contributing.  But I’ve been able to shift my own focus and the focus of the team as necessary, reminding myself and reminding them that we all play different roles.  Some roles are more public, more obvious time working with foster rabbits or educating the community.  Some other roles, the behind-the-scenes roles and even the sending of positive, supportive vibes and spreading our Rescue message, may not be as obvious but are just as important as the physical tasks.  We treasure help in all its forms, from all givers.  We are all taking action, whether you can see it or count it or not.

Also through Rescue, I’ll have the occasional “dumper” (someone who is trying to “dump” his/her rabbit on us) complain that we aren’t helping them.  No, I can’t just take your rabbit.  We do offer help, to anyone who asks—just not necessarily the kind help they anticipated or wanted.  I’ve found that posture is huge with handling and even avoiding these complaints entirely.  I’ve taken what I’ve learned about posture from my entrepreneurial reading and mentors and applied it to Rescue.  I never tell anyone we can’t help them.  I clearly and firmly show them how we can help.  Then, if they still complain, that’s on them.  I can’t control that crap.

So, let’s shift this idea into our lives, our experiences in general.  Are you complaining?  About what?  Why?  Or, perhaps the better question: Why aren’t you doing anything about it?

You can wish, want and whine forever.  But change comes through action.

Are you surrounded by complainers?  At work?  Walk away.  On social media?  Unfollow.  At home?  Well, spray some White Angelica and do something uplifting for yourself.  That positivity will spread, but even if it doesn’t, you’ll be in a good space.  In Miracles Now, Gabby Bernstein writes, “Say to yourself, ‘I choose to remove any negative energy I’ve been holding onto.  I choose to retrieve all the positive energy around me and within me.  My intention is to share my positive energy with the world.’”  So start there.  Take action through your intention.  Speak it into existence.  Keep it as positive as possible.  There is nothing, seriously NOTHING, about you and your circumstances that cannot be met and overcome with action.  Much Love.

Now Ang

Gimme a Break

I sit here in the closing hours of a week off from the day job.  I’ve shared with you before about the (unnecessary) pressure that I put on myself to make the days off count… Of all the chunks of time off from the day job, I feel like I was better to myself over the past 9 days than I typically am—looks like all that personal development actually works.  I’m mentally beating myself up too much over what did and didn’t get done this week.

I’m a quantifier by nature.  I’m the one who keeps score, who keeps copious notes, who has the memory and the records of it all.  So here’s a run-down of what I made happen over the past week-plus:

  • babysat our friends’ daughter for 3 days
  • completed the last course for my +75 (75 graduate credits above my Master’s degree)
  • co-hosted a LuLa Roe and Young Living party
  • various doctor and spa appointments (self-care is super important!)
  • volunteer time and community outreach daily for Rescue
  • hosted a business dinner (and ate everything on the menu from 3 Brothers)
  • went to my favorite yoga class
  • reconnected with a friend (Love you S)
  • spent time with the uncles
  • hosted a wellness talk
  • had a private reading with the amazing Calise Simone (I highly recommend her!)
  • finished reading 2 books
  • watched 2 seasons of “Schitt’s Creek”

And yet I sit here with the anxiety of “going back” tomorrow.  And before I sat down to write this, all I was thinking about was the messes I didn’t clean up (this desk!) and the things left undone… but holy carrots!  Look how much I did do in the span of one week plus the bookends of weekends!  I’m not sharing this with you to brag about how much I did but as a reminder for you to shift your focus (if you need to) and recognize the good.  Celebrate the tasks accomplished.  Luxuriate in the moments, hours and days (if you’re lucky) of relaxation.  Appreciate what you can do rather than bombard yourself with what’s left undone.  Yes, I might be talking to myself more today than I’m talking to you but writing this is often as cathartic as it is instructive.

I need to recognize the breadth and depth of the list above.  I’m in awe—I legitimately felt like maybe I didn’t do enough to make it count this past week.  So, when you’re beating yourself up, grab your notebook and engage in a retrospective.  Make an I Did It list, rather than a Things To Do list.  Celebrate.  Recognize.  Give yourself a break or a pat on the back or both.  Reality is, there will always be “things” left undone.  When we are “done,” then there’s really nothing left.  So, while I’d love to get this desk cleaned off today, I promise to give myself a break and appreciate all the accomplishments, in and out, of the past few days.  The days will tick by, regardless of my action or inaction.  Like Calise told me yesterday, I must “create space, calm and structure.”

Much Love.

 

Curiosity

Often I’ll get a book as soon as I hear about it, like this mad dash of NEEDING this book in my life… but then I won’t read it for a while or forever.  I saw Brian Grazer on “Super Soul Sunday” with our Earth Angel Oprah probably a year ago, maybe even longer.  I downloaded his book A Curious Mind shortly thereafter. I started reading it last week.  I think that the delays of this nature are very purposeful—the information comes to us when we need it, when we are ready, when we can best benefit from the message.

Curiosity is more than just an adorable notion (or an annoying notion, depending on its source).  Grazer writes, “…one thing I know about curiosity: it’s democratic.  Anyone, anywhere of any age or education level, can use it…. even if your curiosity is suppressed, you can’t lose it.”  At what age or stage do we stop wondering?  I’m inclined to ask people a lot of questions.  I often joke that I want a talk show when I grow up.  I love doing Facebook Live talks with my oilers or my Rescue team.  Curiosity can level the playing field.  Listening to someone’s curiosity, the questions they ask of you, the things they read and share about opens up the possibilities of connections.  Those of you who live to help others, you’ll help them so much more if you listen to their curiosity, interests, needs, rather than just dictate what you think they need to better their situation.

Grazer talks about the efficacy of curiosity as hinged on the ability to pay attention to the answers to your questions and the willingness to act.  Curiosity is as much about wonder, asking and exploring as it is about listening, thinking and acting.  How many times have you asked a question, then completely tuned out the answer?  Did you not really care about the answer?  Did you have a “squirrel moment” of distraction?  Did you ask the wrong person or source?  Were you afraid of the responsibility warranted through the answer?

Grazer highlights an element of leadership, putting words to a sense that I’ve felt for a while now, a sense that has helped my day job life, my Rescue life and my Reiki and wellness life flourish: “I’ve discovered that even when you’re in charge, you are often much more effective asking questions than giving orders.”  Think about the effective teachers, coaches and mentors in your past (or present).  Who reached you best—the one barking orders or the one questioning, thinking about what will help you reach your goals and milestone?  Rescue life—I can “yell” at people who want to “get rid of” their rabbits or I can ask them how we can best help them either make their rabbit a source of joy in their family rather than a source of strife or how we can assist in helping them find a loving home.  The questions, rather than the chastising, are the only way people will potential recognize their responsibility in the matter (and life) at hand.  And in Reiki/wellness life—I’ll help facilitate far more healing if I ask, wonder and listen than if I prescribe and dictate.  Always.

I’m only 17% through the book but it’s cracking so much wide open for me that I was compelled to write about it already, rather than wait until I was done.  This just might join the ranks of the books that I buy copies of for “my people,” (The Four Agreements by Ruiz, The Happiness Project by Rubin, May Cause Miracles by Bernstein).  So, stay curious.  And don’t apologize for it.  Don’t feel weird or annoying for asking questions (but don’t be afraid to do some research of your own too!).  Let’s reignite our sense of wonder, our questioning and thinking, together.  Much Love.

Urgent & Alarming

Emergencies are based on perception.  What’s urgent to me may not even register at all to you.  And in a culture where we are inclined to be verbally emphatic over things that are bordering on mundane (I’m reminded of Julian Treasure, in one of his TED Talks, when he asks what he’s supposed to call something he sees that is actually awesome since just about everything is labeled awesome!), sometimes calls for urgent help or an emergency situation are look at with skeptical eyes—is the user of the word urgent just having an moment of increased inflection?

Because I am a connector and a promoter by nature, I fall into this perception trap at times.  When I’m reading and loving a book, I seek out those in my life who need to read this too—I’ll often send them copies.  I can’t fathom them taking another step in their lives without infusing this work of fiction or non into their realm.  When I’m introduced to a product that’s awesome, I always buy extras because I know someone who just needs this.  This week, it’s the lip exfoliator by Younique—it’s vegan, cruelty-free, deliciously flavored and works great.  I used it once, then ordered another for my mom, then told everyone with lips that they need one.

So you might think it’s in my excitable nature to see emergencies in situations that truly aren’t that urgent.  I’m sure I was guilty of that in my early rescue days, as most new volunteers are.  Particularly because we deal with life or death, survival or suffering situations, every case can have the perception of urgency.  But as one of the “big picture” people in our group, I’m tasked with, often quickly, prioritizing cases and differentiating between perceived and actual emergencies.  And I think I’m good at it.  I’ve developed a knack for delegating and managing and I’m damn lucky to be a part of a solid, dedicated and selfless team.

This past week was a week of emergencies: a rescued stray who needed urgent transport for veterinary care (thank you Jessica and Lauren for making that happen); a foster bun who fell ill and needed medical care (shout out to Michael and Victoria); and a sanctuary rabbit who is fighting for her life as I type this (Zulia and Tom come through again!).  Our group doesn’t operate out of a facility; all of our rabbits are fostered in private homes, so there aren’t doctors on staff, a room away from the rabbits in need.  Our island is 118 miles long and the rabbit-savvy veterinarians are sometimes an hour (or more) drive from a foster home or rescue scene.  In addition to those 3 medical emergencies, we had 3 new rescue intakes and one adoption this week—that’s a busy set of days (I realize I keep saying week, but this all went down Wednesday-Saturday).

But it’s all about balance, right?  Good thing I have some Peace and Calming to get me through the Urgent and Alarming…