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Apps for Hacking Your life

I was working with a client on Monday morning and recommending some apps that I use on my Android ; RunKeeper, Noom Coach, Domingo and Coach.me and realized that these tools help me be successful in achieving my goals. (Update from the beginning of the month goals, run 100 k – 111K, 2 Spanish lessons a day – 60 day streak, 25 minutes screen free in peak hours – 20/30 days, maintain weight -2 pounds, write everyday – done,  and I also dropped my 5k time by 2 minutes). The tools are helpful but without the app running in my head and heart – Commitment, the Android apps would just have become ignored alarms and notifications.

Blessed

For me Commitment is almost the Merimam-Webster snapshot;A promise to do or give something and/or a promise to be loyal to someone or something and/or the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something.  Gulp, now I really need to think through the goals I am setting and how I can promise and be loyal to them. The success this month with the tools was that all the goals were doable, with a small stretch. I could easily measure my progress and take a moment to celebrate the milestone and then set another doable goal for October.

If you are interested the October goals in the categories I am disclosing are 5k <27 minutes, run new long distance 15k, run 115K in October, maintain weight at 170, love life, 90 day streak on Duolingo, write blog daily and write 1500 words in book draft, spend 2 1/2 hours of quality time a week with each of the people I love.

If it sounds like I am harping about commitment, it is probably because I a committed to helping you achieve your goals.

Be Blessed through this amazing fall,

B

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Is Disappointment a Valid Expression?

I realized this morning that I used the word disappointment in three different conversations over the last three days, I felt that my expectations in three completely different situations had not been met and I  candidly expressed displeasure. All three circumstances were outside my control, philosophical and pragmatic and based in relationships. Upon reflection, I realize that I was imposing and projecting an implicit or tacit desire on individuals and situations that were bigger than me.

Can I wear the disappointment and not unfairly impose what I want done on other people? Am I at all justified in feeling dejected because my hope was rejected? Did I attempt to manipulate a relationship towards a favourable conclusion without considering barriers and goals of other organizations? Is disappointment valid if it isn’t expressed? What about if I ‘honestly’ express it?

I am learning and leaning towards honest communication but inside a different frame. ” I am disappointed in your decision” may not be as helpful or genuine as ” I am disappointed that we couldn’t find agreement” or ” I am disappointed but I want to understand your decision’.

I am not sure what I was actually attempting to achieve with expressing my disappointment – guilt? A change of heart? Another chance?

I do know that feeling disappointment and stating disappointment didn’t relieve or resolve what I was really feeling and it may have damaged the relationship and circumstances.

Thought?

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Family Day

CASAColumbia® Family Day was launched in 2001 by CASAColumbia.Family Day is a national movement to celebrate parental engagement as an effective tool to help keep America’s kids substance free. I love their STAR acronym;

SSpend time with my kids

TTalk to them about their friends, interests and the dangers of nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs

AAnswer their questions and listen to what they say

RRecognize that I have the power to help keep my kids substance free!

I don’t know anything about their materials but it seems to me that pledging to be a STAR is a remarkable commitment even if your kids are 6 months old  or in their 40’s. We never stop being parents.

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Rest

For many people I know, rest is elusive. They run from early morning to late night trying to complete a long list of tasks that someone else created. Or they lay down and turn on their worrier and sleep retreats. I go through seasons of rest lessness but for the most part I still fall into slumber quickly and rise at 5am feeling refreshed.

Stubbornness is my secret. I lay down at night wiggle and turn once or twice and then ‘decide’ that I am comfortable. I consciously do not move. I don’t let wayward nerve endings trick me into scratching. I deny that my hip is sore and persist in laying still. All the while I am bringing my awareness to silencing my brain and body. I usually start with my feet and rarely make it to my head. I bring awareness to my toes and relax them, the bottom of my feet, top, ankles, calves, knees (this is a trouble spot so I hope I have drifted before then, my thighs, waist and keep going until the relaxation and stubbornness wins out.

If I awaken in the night and nature isn’t calling, I take “another kick at the can” and if sleep is still needed I never get above my ankles before I am back into a dream. I don’t give up on resting, I know that I am my best when I have given myself over to the natural rhythm of rest, rise, recreate, reap, relationships and rest.

Rest Today,

B

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Saturday Morning

Most Saturdays when we are home I have a few responsibilities; laundry, bedding vacuuming and some grocery shopping. I cam do all of them, not really well but they do get done and I can move on. I don’t ‘like’ doing any of them but I do them anyway. I get everything done as quickly as possible and the fell the freedom to truly enjoy the rest of Saturday.

During the week, I often don’t enjoy things that I have been anticipating because I didn’t get something done that I should have done. When I have a list and tackle it early, I feel refreshed and often accomplish way more than the list. When I get more done there is somehow more time to do ‘fun’ stuff.

Mark Twain said ” Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day” I suggest that getting all the frogs on your plate cleaned up ensures that you will have a great day. You will feel good about yourself, good about your accomplishments and ready to take on something of great challenge.

Get your laundry, bedding and vacuuming done and then watch for something remarkable that the world offers you.
B

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Little Black Dress or Classic Blue Blazer

What is essential in your wardrobe? The blue blazer and black shoes may have become passe or may still be stylin’ – I’m not sure. I couldn’t tell you  if you need a Katherine Hepburn little black dress or if a short white cardigan keeps you fresh. I don’t watch closely enough to know what is in or what is out.

character

But I am curious what you need in your character wardrobe. Is loyalty still in vogue or are  we more unfaithful and indifferent? What about honesty? Has deception and deceit, that we see from political leaders rubbed off on our choices? Trust was once a very important staple for the character closet. Are you still choosing trust and giving people a reason to choose to trust you? Respect and self respect were once signs of maturity, in fact maturity once held an important place on the shelf.

I think men and women of true character wear loyalty, trust, respect well. They are honest, reliable, caring and persistent.  Old words like charm and grace, honesty and sincerity are given honoured  places. Curiousity, candor, compassion and confidence should be in good supply.

This past weekend, my mom (88  years old) started reciting Rudyard Kipling’s “If”. Written in 1895, it still seems to resonate.

If you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
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Value Relationships

Of all the things that I take for granted, I can be oblivious to those caring, special people that make up my circle. In my struggle yesterday there were dozens who reached out with a call, a text, an email or a question of concern. I was carried in their heart, head and prayers and could feel their support surrounding me. I pause in awe this morning. We certainly don’t get what we deserve because I rarely am a good friend. I can be so in my own head that I miss opportunities to reach out and support those who could use a kind word or an encouraging text. I pause and say a simple Thank You to everyone who carried me yesterday and have carried me in many yesterdays. I am remembering you all and will carry you through today and as many todays as I can.

Make Today Remarkable,

B