Starting a NEW job

Starting a new job, is one part first day of school – at a new school – and two parts first date, minus the nervous laughter.

You hope you end up loving them as much as you want them to love you.

You hope that everything you’ve heard and thought and the story you’ve told yourself about how it’s going to be –  IS TRUE.

You hope

Anyone can be anyone – even any organization can be anything you believe it to be for six months – and then the cracks show and the truth comes forward and you realize – you might want to make it work and you might not.

I’m thankful to have a job and thankful that it seems to be one that’s going to be amazing and the best and RIGHT opportunity for me right at this very moment. I’ve been telling people in the last few weeks that I found a job – they were so congratulatory that I had to take a step back and remember how hard it’s been for some people to find work.  I’m grateful that this all came together in the way that it did as quickly as it did.

My biggest challenge, while working, will be continuing to focus on the things that I love writing and fitness.  I’m prepared to figure out a way to DO IT. I can do it. Taking everything I’ve learned in the past and bringing it right here, into the NOW. Saying no to the black and white, always living in the gray, in between the absolutes of work and no play or play and no work. We can have both.

It’s a challenge for everyone to find time to do what they love in the world while continuing to make an income to live the life they want to live. One day those two worlds might become the same world, but until then we ride the edge.

Dreams do come true, of course it’s not without actually doing something about them though. The FUTURE is now. GO!

Resistance Training for the Mind

The greater the tension, the greater is the potential. Great energy springs from a correspondingly great tension of opposites ~ Carl Jung


When you want to get your body in shape, you run, you do resistance and strength training and you get better, faster, smaller, firmer, more fit. Feel the burn, it’s good for you.

What I call resistance training for the mind is what Carl Jung calls Holding the TENSION of the Opposites.

When I first started trying to figure out who I am and what I want to do in this life, someone suggested I hold the tension of the opposites.

I didn’t quite get the meaning, until I got the meaning.

If you are constantly doing, seeing, going, deciding, choosing  without pausing –
you likely aren’t doing much of anything.

If you aren’t aware of what your unconscious (shadow) is doing – you may be sabotaging yourself when you jump to a decision without spending some time with yourself before you jump. Sometimes, you may not have that luxury – burning building, jump out window – but many other times we do have the luxury and we don’t pause, we decide based on our patterns – our history. If we become aware of what is underneath our decision (shadow) we can see things through a clear lens – what our choices are and why we are making them – this sometimes leads to creating a new pattern for yourself, which is more meaningful.

If you choose too soon, you may make a decision out of desperation and not out of consciousness.

A few weeks ago, I had two potential career opportunities on the table, both beckoning and calling me, for different reasons. I had to decide which one to take and soon. Pausing and thinking was maddening, make the choice already! I pulled out my manifesto and my values to think about what’s important to me for the future.  Holding the tension of the opposites, this and that, the yes and the no – I got to a point just sitting, not doing, not thinking – my legs began tingle, tears fell for no reason, and soon the reason became clear – all my life, most times unconsciously – I’ve made choices that drop me into chaos and craziness – because it’s what feels comfortable.

That’s not right for me anymore and not the choice I want to consciously make.

It was instant and clear what was inline with my values and what wasn’t – and saying no to what isn’t inline with my values is clearly what I want to do. But – why was I resisting it?  Because change is hard and what feels comfortable is easy.

I paused some more and reminded myself that re-imagining and reinventing myself takes something different happening, choosing a new pattern.

If you keep ending up in the same place, with the same issues, with the same thoughts, holding the tension of the opposites when you make your next decision, might be a way to move past those things and choose something in a new way.

This is resistance training for the brain. Feel the burn.

I still find it challenging, but the more I do it, the better I get at it and the better choices I make.

Where can you hold the tension of the opposites and resistance train your mind?

REVolution is POSSIBLE

“Revolution doesn’t have to do with smashing something; it has to do with bringing something forth. If you spend all your time thinking about that which you are attacking, then you are negatively bound to it. You have to find the zeal in yourself and bring that out.”  ~ Joseph Campbell

Six months ago I started a REVolution in my life

instead of a new year’s resolution, i’m starting a new year’s revolution. dream big, be big, believe everything will come true. 2012 you’re the start of a beautiful future.

Putting these words out there, tipped the scales of my life in surprising ways. But, so far everything has come true for me. I continue to believe it will.

Positive thinking won’t get you everywhere, but it is a start. Six years ago I read The Art of Possibility by Rosemund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. One of the best things that I took from the book was being able to reframe things that I once thought were negative into things that are more mysterious, looking at them with more wonder. It taught me to look for possibility in everything, instead of assuming the worst.

Sometimes things feel awful and are in fact awful, but if we change our minds and look for the true meaning, instead of dwelling on the negative things – it’s like having a super power. Life changing.

As my REVolution continues, I look for possibility, dreaming big, being big and that everything will come true.

With a tiny bit of practice, it’s easier to focus on the possibility of what could be and what can be than what isn’t, doesn’t work, or is broken. Put your energy in possibility.

A challenge for you – take one thing that happens and reframe it into something positive.

Stop worrying about things you can’t change.  Stand up, ask for what you want and then go get it.

GO!

Let me know how it goes – really I’d love to hear.

What’s in your revolution? What do you want to bring forth? Are you smashing your way through or finding your zeal?

Healing the Heart and MIND

When I was in Taos, NM for a writing conference, I stayed at the San Geronimo lodge. At the time, an older woman was the host of the well worn, but clean lodge.

She was a tiny bit bent over and all her hair had gone gray, but still had a spark and an aliveness to her. I was drawn to be nice to her and felt a bond with her.

At that moment I was transitioning between two jobs and had chosen to do this writing retreat as a gift to myself. It wasn’t often that I did this kind of thing “JUST FOR ME” and synchronicity timed it so that it fell between the end of one job and the start of the next.

I needed to be grounded, there was a lot of chaos in my life at that particular time.  I thought a massage might help, even though I was always uncomfortable getting naked and getting a massage. I let intuition drive this decision and it felt RIGHT. There was a woman associated with the writing conference that was available, but it didn’t feel right to me.  So, I asked the older woman running the lodge if she could recommend a massage therapist who would come to my room at the lodge. She recommended someone and I booked the appointment for the next day.

The lodge staff let the massage therapist into my room before my appointment and she had everything setup when I arrived.  She went into the bathroom and I got naked and got on the table under the sheet. Despite it being so warm in Taos, she had brought hot stones with her.

When the massage started, I had intense electric sparks charging through my body, energy moving in and out. I didn’t say anything, because I had never experienced it before and I was kind of freaked out by the whole thing.  The stones she laid on me shook and vibrated. I wondered if it was happening or if I was imagining it – and THEN – I burst into tears.  There was no stopping them and I just went with it. It’s as if something broke loose in me that day.  I’m grateful for the experience.

Afterwards, the woman – and I wish I could remember her name, to give her credit here – said that I should go back to Portland and find someone who works with hot stones because I was in need of more body work to release old energy.

It was a little new age-ish for me, but having had such a profound reaction, I took it to heart  and knew there must be something to it.

When I got back to Portland, I searched the internet and found a bunch of different people, but was drawn to one person in particular, no idea why – but following intuition again – I booked an appointment.

The first time I went to Brenda at Denderah Healing Arts we talked for a bit and I told her about my experience in Taos and that I wasn’t sure about the whole thing. She nodded along while I was talking and then we began the massage.

I get weirded out by anything that is too woo-woo spiritual, but this woman made me a believer and she was gracious enough to not even tell me what she was doing – I think she knew it would freak me out – and I still do not understand exactly what she does, but when I say it changed my life. I’m not kidding at ALL.

It all still feels a bit kooky for me to say, but – I’ve had singing bowls sounded at me, hands placed on pressure points, tuning forks resonating around me, crystals placed on me, hot stones vibrate, felt as if I was lifting up off the massage table, energy going in and out, and I’ve cried or laughed uncontrollably.

Before taking the plunge into the woo-woo, I often felt lost, depressed, not quite myself and if that feeling ever comes up again, I book an appointment.

It’s changed me and is what has worked for me, along with other things, to heal my heart and mind.

What heals your heart and mind?

Stealing_Perrier

Spring, 1980

I work at the store after school on some days. I only earn a quarter or two, but it’s worth something to me to feel important. I know at nine I shouldn’t worry about feeling important, but I do. Working. I put the quarter or two that I earn into my bank account at the bank across the street. I’m saving for a way out of this town.

I stock the coolers at the store and can carry two 8-packs of glass bottles under one arm and one 8-pack in the other.  Each day when I walk by the cooler, I check to make sure that everything is stocked up and when someone buys something, I run and replace it right away.  It’s my job.

I am tempted everyday by one thing in the store, Perrier. The smooth green glistening bottle taunts me each time I walk past the cooler door.  I slide open the door, the black rubber on the bottom squeaks and I have to push in while I’m pulling to the right or the door gets stuck. If the Perrier bottle is not facing forward, I turn it so the perfect lettering is facing to the front.  Why we sell Perrier in the store, I don’t know.  I’ve never seen anyone buy it.  Perrier is RICH and beautiful to me, not poor and run down like our town. I have never tasted it, but I bet it tastes clean, like the smell of laundry after hanging on the clothes line.

I can’t stop thinking about Perrier and instead of saving for it, which would take months of work at the store, I decide that I can steal it faster than I can save for it.

I know it is wrong to steal, but my brother Patrick does it and he doesn’t seem to ever get in trouble for it. I will only do it once, I promise myself. Only once.

I keep watch for anyone coming down the aisle by the cooler. I’m nervous and I think this is why bad things happen when people steal. They get too nervous and mess up, but I can’t stop my nerves from making me shift around – left foot, right foot – my heart racing.

There are customers up front talking to old Mr. Hambone, who drinks Seagram’s Seven from a paper cup all day long. If I hurry I can run out while they are distracting him.

I slide open the door, pull down one bottle and put it up under my shirt and hold my arm against my side as hard as I can to keep it under cover. I run out of the store, down Avon street, legs and arms pumping, breathing short and quick, sprinting down the sidewalk as fast as I can. I run all the way to the library, around the back where there is a fenced in electrical cage. I sit down in the grass and hold the cool bottle against my face. Sweat dripping, heart racing. I know someone is going to catch me. I want to taste the sweet taste of Perrier, but I am scared. My nerves are jumpy, jumpy and the bottle now feels hot and bad. My belly has the I’ve done something terrible feeling.

I stand up and throw the bottle over the fence, which is locked, with barbed wire along the top.

I stare through the fence, longing for Perrier. Sad.

It was quite a few years before I could afford Perrier and when I finally tried it, I fell in love again – not just with the packaging, but with Perrier. The cool crisp mineral taste. I was hooked.

I thought Perrier would make me feel rich – but realized it wouldn’t if I didn’t get it in a way that felt good to me. Why I learned that lesson and some people keep stealing, I’ll never know, but I’m grateful to have learned it early.

I still don’t know why I had it in my head that Perrier was so good, I laugh at my nine-year-old self, but realize she’s still here with me today. Loving Perrier.  And it is – GOOD.


DEEPression

I’ve been in a funk.

It’s definitely a funk.

The whirlwind of the last three months, trying to figure out what I was going to do next – were stressful, fretting – a lot. I was patient with myself and with the process, but it impacted me in surprising ways.

First, I had to let go of the idea of my old job and the camaraderie, my pals in BTV and NYC. Getting fired makes you feel like – crap – and in this case, it ripped people out of my life that I held in high regard. It was instantaneous. Like death. There’s no way around it – you doubt yourself and you wonder what other people think of you. Some people call or email and some people don’t and you wonder, is it their discomfort with the situation or did they never have any respect for you at all? So, I spent the time crying and grieving all that I needed and that dropped me down into the first part of the funk.

Signing up for unemployment feels like – crap – too. The process is antiquated, the usability of their website is challenging and then you submit and have to wait for approvalfor weeks. It doesn’t take as long if you weren’t fired, but if you were fired – they have to make sure you didn’t do anything that “caused you to be fired” – like punch someone in the face. Then, every week you have to claim a week of benefits, which reminds you that you don’t have a job and that you are receiving unemployment benefits. I understand why you have to do it, but it still feels like – crap. DEEPer funk.

Sunday nights and Monday mornings are difficult for the first 8 weeks. You know that everyone else is getting ready for the week to come and you are not. Monday mornings were 100% depressing. Lonely.  DEEPer funk.

Finally, sending out resumes, talking to people, networking, figuring things out – takes time and energy and it creates self-loathing.  I’m all for promoting myself in a genuine way, but you find yourself wanting people to look at you and affirm that you are good enough, which is weird. You know you are good enough, but for some reason, having someone else think that, especially after you’ve been fired, means something.  This was the DEEPest funk – relying on other people to validate me. Sad.

I felt terrible many days, but worked on being positive. I knew it would all work out, but that trust, in and of itself, was a challenge. But a good one.

What came through for me was this – I know that I sometimes want people to validate me, but it’s not really what I want. I want validation from myself and when I could get to the place where I could give it to myself and believe it. The funk – it lifted.

It’s going to be a great weekend. Get out in it. GO.

What puts you in a funk? What lifted the funk for you?

Synchronicity and a New Job

Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen ~
Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you are looking for signs of what you should be doing in your life, they will appear. It CAN BE that simple.

I was fired on the same date my brother died 21 years ago. Given the number of days in a year and the number of days in the last 21 years when something significant like this could happen on

February 16th, I’m going to say it means something. I’m not exactly sure what, but…here’s where I went with it.

My brother was an artist, a handsome devil of a man, who died too early, at 34.  I believe that he died because he didn’t follow his dream. His dream of being an artist.  I’m taking this event as a sign that I must follow my creativity and follow what I want in the world, don’t hold back, hold myself to my own standards and thinking. Don’t kill myself doing something I don’t want to do. GO.

I don’t know how it will end but I do know how it begins.

On February 22nd, I posted about being fired and what I would be doing next. Something with writingintention setcheck.

I promised myself to take the time to grieve, not stress too much, not fret, to have courage – it would all work out in the way things always do and then I watched it all unfold, from the past to the now.

In 2005, when I left the job I was working, I was given a copy of a book that is published by an agency that specializes in writing and strategic communications.  The book is personal creative writing of the people who work at this firm.  They publish it annually to keep their own creativity moving.  The person giving it, knowing I was a writer thought I would enjoy reading it. I read it and put it in a drawer somewhere.  When I moved in 2008, I got rid of nearly everything I owned, so I no longer have it.

Fast forward seven years.

I’m sitting across the table at a Thai restaurant from a recruiter and she says “Have you ever heard of this strategic communications firm?”
“I’ve seen them, but they are in Vancouver.  Who wants to work in Vancouver?”
“Have you seen their building, because if you see it, you’ll know that if you HAVE to be in Vancouver, this is the place to be.”
This was only two weeks after losing my job, so I wasn’t quite ready to REALLY talk to people yet. So, I replied “Let’s wait and see how things go.”

I emailed her about a week or so later and asked to be introduced, because I kept thinking about it.

She said “I’ll introduce you, but let’s wait a little longer.”

A few weeks go by and at the end of March I get an email, from said agency, that says “Our CEO, received your resume from someone on the Agency Roundtable that she attends.” They attached a job description and asked if I wanted to come talk to them.

Synchronicity. I called and said yes!

Who gets a job interview like this?  Maybe a lot of people, I don’t know.  I also don’t know who gave her my resume, it wasn’t the recruiter, that I do know. Whoever it was, thank you.

When I got to the interview I sat down on the sofa and saw the same book, I was given in 2005 when I left that job, which I had forgotten until that day.  Synchronicity!

I spent the next couple of weeks interviewing. There were multiple other shining moments of synchronicity, in addition to sweeping views of the Columbia River, but I was still questioning it, it was almost too good to be true. It was like I was in a movie and everything in the world was saying this is the next step – follow me, but I wasn’t convinced and I kept thinking what is going on? – and then something magical happened, they sent me a job offer.

There have been other options in the last few weeks, other dangling carrots, but I’m trusting that all the signs are pointing me in the right direction. If there is this much energy flowing here, I’m going with it.

I accepted that offer today. It surprises me to say that, but it’s how it all came together.

To be clear, I didn’t sit back and think about what I wanted and wish it would come to me. I set a clear intention – acted – I wrote a manifesto from my heart, that represents me and how I am in the world – I knew that people who didn’t like it wouldn’t like me – and I used it as a cover letter – you can see the latest version of it here – I sent that out to a few key people and then I networked some, and in return I received.

And the next chapter – BEGINS.

The universe delivers.  intention – action – reception.

What are your intentions? You are powerful.