Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Seeking Our Own Balance

Last night, we drove home through a warm and violent rain storm. We watched the droplets pound the road, dance upon puddles, rush through streams carrying mud and leaves. Up close, from a view inside our car, the storm seemed almost personal. We struggled to see our path through the rivulets that casually traveled down our windshield without a conscious care that they partially blinded our view. Intentionally, we would hurl thousands of them away from our gaze with the swipe of a blade. But they were formidable. They kept coming. They were pure, happy, and falling on us in a way that lets you know nature doesn’t separate our conscious moments of power from the natural balance of any other creature in her domain.

We try, as humans, to bridle nature. We create dams and pipe lines; we suck up the living aquifers and create commerce out of a finite element. And still, when the rain falls, she first seeks to re-balance her own level. It is not political, or emotional. It is not vengeful or regal. It simply obeys the voice of nature.

I thought about all this last night, as we looked out our bedroom window, falling asleep to the sound of a rushing stream; captivated by the symphony of waves roaring across rocks and tree trunks. I thought about the fact that the natural flow of water, its unfettered ability to crash and splash on a random journey, is made all the more beautiful because she follows her own way. She seeks only to look at where her cargo will fall, not where the rocks or streams think it should be. Indeed the ledges of grass and weeds that erode away cannot stop the incessant tide. They must simply enjoy a countenance constantly changed by the rolling and swiftly traveling molecules of life.

As we seek balance in 2010, are we not like the waters that flow and carve and nurture? Do we not seek our own level by soothing those that ache and gathering laughter with whom we choose to find joy? Do we not feel more at peace when we gather with others to change the landscape with a natural but determined purpose? And are we not at peace when we allow the natural journey of our lives to create artful pathways and meadows of life? When we slake the thirst of others we are in balance. When we fall without a net we feel free. And when at last we soak into the earth and await the sun to bring us forth into the clouds to fall again, we know the circle of our existence is as it should be.

Networking, Women and Wine seeks to help you discover true balance and nurture it. Let’s join together to be a flood of healing and connections!

Monday, January 18, 2010

You need to decide what's worthy of your INBOX

It hit me, as I was depressing the ENTER button that would effectively release the trap door on my SPAM folder, that I hadn't even reviewed its contents this go around before trashing it. Gone were the 13 messages clogging it as I moved dutifully through my morning rituals.

It seems all our lives have now been relegated into two folders: Good Email and Bad Email. It's more than a PC problem, it's a PEOPLE problem.

I know I've done this: When a friend asks if you received the invite to the tree planting ceremony you never intended to patronize, you immediately offer the excuse, "It must have gone into my SPAM folder." Likewise, many important messages languish there, having been assigned to its abysmal location because of a tricky title, spelling error or just because your Email client simply decided to send it there. It's turning into our conscious on a disk!

What strikes me is that we allow this categorization to be a key component of our time management arsenal. As new ways to communicate enter our daily march from sunrise to sunset, we also find more ways to eliminate what passes through to us. And happily so. This electronic communications filter with a brain that is only explained by Physicists and Mystics, helps us to avoid the mundane and concentrate on the seemingly valid messages that harmoniously reside in our InBox. The trouble is, I still get advertisements for digestive health pills and truncated promises about wrinkle reduction right next to news from my business partner.

Again, we are faced with a metaphor about choices. In our innate human rhythm, we are willing to relegate our judgement of communication to a sentinel who appears to subliminally care about our priorities. Because this sorter resides in OUR computer, we're more than happy to overlook messages marked useless by this shaman of electronic babble. Have we looked into why we're happy with a Good-Mail, Bad-Mail color guard? And could it be, that in our own minds, we have innocently developed a good thought, bad thought lens that is just as arbitrary?

The contemporary truth in the phrase, "thoughts become things" is celebrated with a crescendo of hope with every book and workshop created. And with good reason. We need to take back our own decision making process. But the flippant effect of SPAM vs. INBOX, I fear, gives a false sense of thinking we're eliminating the real bad from the real good, instead of the comfortable from the uncomfortable, or the popular from the anonymous.

SPAM is kinda like that. There's enough 'uncomfortable content' in that folder, that we skim the titles and assume, with little or no cognitive engineering, that most of it is bad. And yet if something foolish, like an Email from a Facebook friend comes in the In-Box, asking us to compare ourselves to which shellfish we most resemble, we're all in. It's easier, isn't it. We've been given permission from the great Windows guru that it's okay.

Try this if we've got you thinking now about your good/bad Email decisions. For just two hours, (because we know you have to update your Facebook invites) try writing down the titles of all the Emails you open in that time. Then make a list of all the Emails you trash. See if you can't find a gem hiding in the BAD folder and a stinker residing in the GOOD one. Perhaps it will push you to make sure your own choices each day are not guided by habit, fear, peer pressure, or sleep deprivation but a value system with intention.

Then, resolve and say aloud, "This message is part of my responsibility as a choice. For answering it will push my life's desires and the good of others forward." Your answers may surprise you and help guide you in choosing what you will do with each day, each little folder, each little muscle in your fingers that runs your world with the words, OPEN, COMPOSE, SEND.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Celebrate Yourself. You are a Hero for any moment of courage!

A recent conversation with a friend yielded in interesting insight. A bright, successful and attractive women, who, like many of us has dealt with struggles and previous choices that were self-deprecating and perhaps destructive, she seemed poised to start on any journey of her choice, Armed with maturity, a pedigree of success, and a wisdom borne through experience she emulated the woman we all want to be.

However, she was blocked by a recurring sense of self doubt that was keeping her from exploring the abundance and possibility before her. The seeds of this sense of helplessness surfaced because she felt she hadn't learned to completely overcome the moments of despair. She was punishing herself because she had to work hard at finding the courage to move forward at times when the demons she felt as a child, were pushing hard at her core. Mentioning the countless things she had accomplished, but labeling them failures because she couldn't emerge without having to navigate through her self-doubt, I turned to her and said,

"It seems to me you are not celebrating your times of braveness. You are not rewarding yourself for the great deal of courage it has taken you to learn to have this positive dialog with yourself to pry yourself from these moments of darkness.You must be your own cheerleader and celebrate what is your most courageous triumph; that of helping yourself to see that you can find the light."

I could see by the look in her eyes she had not thought about being her own coach and supporter. A new smile grew on her face as she touched my shoulder. She could see clearly that she had not seen or taken credit for the courage she truly had.

In this month of new resolutions, of change, and hope, don't forget to be kind and gentle with yourself. As you heap upon yourselves the list of resolutions you deem important, keep in mind that you must balance them with kindness and insight. Knowing that the true hero is one who knows fear and channels it. Only the fool rushes in without knowing the cost and the brave are always celebrated for showing their wounds.

Come celebrate your own courage, taste fine wine, and make meaningful connections with Networking, Women and Wine!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Balancing Your Resolutions With Reality

It's funny, isn't it. In the blink of an eye we have arrived to see a new year, a new decade, a new month simply appear before us. All around the clear, cold air seems to glisten with hope and possibility. The bobbles that adorn our trees, or the candles that lite our nights, or even the families that have shared our bathrooms; all have gone away leaving us alone with our conscience and our intentions.

Now that it's just you and that little voice inside your head, you're probably following the crowd by listing out your resolutions. One more carrot stick and one less caramel macchiato. One more sit-up and one less slice of pecan pie. It's a see-saw of giving up and replacing old habits with new ones. A willingness to ignore temptation, followed by a cardboard reward.

Hmmm. I don't know about you, but I doubt that I'll make it to September without a chocolate chip cookie. Good chance that breakfast will be one of those cookies before the week is out considering it's my husband's favorite and he can eat ANYTHING he likes. And of course, when it does happen -- when I fall off the wagon, I'll fall into a pit of cookie dough and vanish into the mixture like slightly beaten eggs and creamed butter.

Carmen and I have a different approach for you. Let's talk with a new language about change. Shall we? In fact,let's simply just 'do change' in a whole new way. We will, together, approach each shift in our lives with gentleness and mindful nurturing. We will create abundance through the desire to change, with the idea that we need balance to maintain new habits. And last but not least, we will seek to surround ourselves with what we're yearning for, without hearing that harsh wooshing sound as all our comfort foods, habits and vices vanish into an abyss of non-achievable goals. In short, you will grow and not even know it!

2010's theme this year is The Year of Balance. What that means, is that if you're going to create shifts, you must be conscious of how to replace them in a gentle, kind and conscious fashion with other meaningful things.

This month seek out other strong women who can nurture your noble traits as women. We'll enjoy and learn about wine, create a safe place to find meaningful connections, and offer you a place to begin your NEW YEAR OF INTENTION!