Ideas and desires are like seeds, you’ll always have plenty of them. That’s the good news. The bad news is we’ll have more ideas and desires than we’ll ever be capable of actually carrying out.

How many of us feel dissatisfied with our lives because of the ideas and desires we’re not pursuing? I know I can feel that way. I buy into the belief that I can have and do it all. But that’s actually a false belief that will always keep us feeling unfulfilled and critical of ourselves.

sunflowers

In nature, plants produce more seeds than they would ever need in order to reproduce. If a sunflower plant was determined that every seed in every flower she bore had to create a new sunflower plant, she’d be stressed and discouraged as birds ate her seeds, as some fell to the the sidewalk to be swept away by a homeowner, or as some lay on the ground not germinating for one reason or another. Nature intentionally creates more seeds than is needed for just reproducing, there’s plenty of other uses for them.

That’s the same with our ideas and desires. Some we’ll achieve. Some will lead us to other ideas and desires. And some we’ll give to others to use.

Unlike the sunflower plant, we can choose which ideas or desires we want to pursue. A secret to fulfillment is picking the ideas and desires that currently fit us best and pursuing them in ways that also fit us best. The others will fade and be forgotten or return another time when we are looking for something new to experience.

Image courtesy of thawats / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Staycation—A New Style of Vacation

I believe down time is as important as taking action toward your goals. It brings about a powerful balance you can’t have without both.

A couple weeks ago, my husband and I decided to try a new kind of down time—a staycation. For those of you who don’t know what a staycation is, it’s where you stay home, but you enjoy yourself in the same ways you would if you were on a trip. (Our cat especially liked the stay home part.)

We started our staycation by getting massages. Later, we had a authentic French dinner at a restaurant in our home town of Albuquerque…bringing back fun memories of our 2011 trip to France.

La Boca Santa Fe

The next day, we explored nearby Santa Fe—museum, art galleries, shopping, sherry and tapas for lunch, and good beer and mussels for dinner.

One of the advantages of taking a staycation is that we could sleep in or take long naps and not feel like we were missing sights we’d never get the chance to see again. We were able to relax even more than we typically would traveling. On our 3rd day we did just that.

On our last day, we went for a sunny winter hike. It felt so good to get outdoors and enjoy the beautiful nature in our area.

Taking a staycation gave us the opportunity to enjoy those things in our area that we don’t always take the time for. Plus, it gave me a chance to see how I’d like to live my ideal life and start putting it into practice. Temporarily upleveling my life here at home was a powerful step in creating what I want in the future. I highly recommend a staycation.

The Right Teacher Can Make All the Difference

I’m a big scaredy cat, and skiing is my way of challenging my fears. At the beginning of last season, I was so proud of skiing my first black (advanced) run and thought it was time to take a lesson to go to the next level.

Ski Santa FeThe ski instructor told me I was way off balance and had me go back to a beginning wedge style of skiing. He then proceeded to bring me to a very steep blue (intermediate) run. I could ski this run my normal way, but to try to do it in a beginner’s wedge was impossible. I kept falling and eventually broke the bindings on my ski.

The instructor and I rode down the ski lift where he proceeded to tell me my problem was my skis and boots. If I got new ones, I would do much better. My gear was only 4 years old, so I went back to the shop where I bought them to get their opinion.

The shop said my skis and boots were fine and were surprised the instructor was having me ski with my boots unbuckled. They knew of another instructor who they thought would be perfect for me. So I signed up for a private lesson.

The second instructor got me skiing decently by shouting commands behind me about how to lean, where my arms should be, how to balance my weight, etc.

Then came the real test. A couple weeks later I went skiing by myself. Now remember, before my lessons, I had started to ski black (advanced) runs.

I went to the top of the mountain to ski a green (beginner) run. I couldn’t ski at all. It was like I had never skied before, and I couldn’t figure out how to do it. I cried and crawled down the mountain.

Because I had done so well before these lessons, my brother and sister-in-law bought me and my husband tickets to a challenging ski resort—Taos. I had never been to Taos Ski Valley, but I knew I was in no condition to attempt even their easiest run, so I signed up for another lesson on the bunny hill.

My Taos instructor told me that I was in analysis paralysis from that second lesson. My mind was trying so hard to break down all the moves and instructions, that it couldn’t communicate to my body. Thus, I could no longer ski.

Instead, he had me look downhill, jump, then look over to the side. That was it. I skied better than I had in my entirely life!

He explained that when you jump, your body instinctually tries to find its balance. I didn’t have to think about it, it would automatically happen. Now, that’s the way to do things!

Taos Ski Valley is known to have the best ski instruction in the U.S. I can see why. From now on, that’s the only place I’ll go for a lesson.

I could have stopped after the first or second lesson and given up, thinking I was the problem. But with the right teacher, I ended up advancing faster than I ever thought possible.

Listening to Your Inner Authority

Have you ever taken the advice of a doctor or teacher and later regretted it because you knew deep inside that your idea on how to handle the situation was the right one? Over the years, I have come to realize how important it is to check in with my inner authority before making decisions. It doesn’t matter how experienced or skilled an adviser is, I need to make my decisions for myself. This is empowering and in the end I get much better results.

A couple years ago, I hurt my back. I went to a doctor I had seen once before. I was really impressed with how she handled my first issue. I told her my back hurt at the level of “distraction.” I had walked 3 blocks to get to her office. I definitely wasn’t debilitated. She started writing out a number of prescriptions which right away concerned me. I’m sensitive to medicines and avoid taking them. She comforted me by saying the medicines were gentle and would help me heal.

Pills in womans hands

I decided to try them. I figured if I got a side effect, I could always stop taking them. I had no idea how powerful they were. The first medicine to show it’s bad effects was the anti-inflammatory. I went from nausea to vomiting very quickly. It took me over 2 years to recover from this damage to my digestive system. I didn’t know if I’d ever fully recover.

The second medicine showed it’s bad effect a couple days later. It was the painkiller. My digestive system was majorly stopped. The nurse on the health insurance’s hotline sent me straight to the emergency room where they informed me, based on the medicines I was taking, they weren’t surprised to see me there! They, then, proceeded to prescribe yet another medicine and put tremendous amounts of pressure on me to take it.

It was a tremendous challenge to walk out of that emergency room and not give into the fears they had impressed on me to take the medicine they wanted me to. I agonized over whether to take that medicine they said was so critical to my recovery or go a more natural route. I took the natural route… and with good results.

This experience was a major lesson for me on listening to my inner authority. If I had, I would have taken natural approach from the start. I probably would have been fine with just a heating pad. I would have gone to the physical therapist as the doctor prescribed to address the root cause of my pain. And I wouldn’t have had to suffer for 2-1/2 years and paid all those medical expenses trying to figure what had happened and how to fix it.

Now, I let my doctors know that I’m hiring them as a consultant. I will listen to what they say and then decide for myself how I will handle my issue.

This also applies to teachers and coaches I work with. If I turn my authority over to them, I become filled with turmoil and drift into places that aren’t good for me. It can be scary not following the advice of someone who is very knowledgeable and skilled in the area that they are advising in, but they don’t always know what’s best for me. It’s my job to sort that out.

 

Image courtesy of marin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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