From Type A to Type Ahh

Be the Change You Wish to See in the World – Ghandi

Leave a comment

Minimal Holidays

Tis the season

It is the holiday season and in America that means the season of more.  More stress, more debt, more guilt, more pressure, more commitments.  It  is what turns the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” into the most stressful.  It has everyone tense and where you would hope for wishes of peace and goodwill, you instead get road rage, races for parking spaces, stolen packages, and arguments about happy holidays vs. Merry Christmas.  Frankly as long as the intention is pure I could not care less.  

Here is where I confess I love this time of the year.  I did not always.  I also felt overwhelmed overcommitted and the pressure to buy the perfect holiday.  I pushed through and by the time we got through the holidays I felt like I missed everything I enjoyed about them.  Minimalism did not ruin the holidays it gave me back the things I actually loved about them.  My 4 AM run through the neighborhood under beautiful holiday lights.  It makes the everyday exercise somehow magical.  The old fashioned Christmas music that I grew up with.  I defy to hear Johnny Mathis croon a classic Christmas tune and not feel lifted up.  I focus not on what I or my friends and family want but what many need.  We stopped doing gifts and only make charitable donations on behalf of other and in the name of loved ones for something they are passionate about.  Pay for someone’s coffee or give someone short of cash some money to complete their purchase.  Carry some care packages made from the dollar store for homeless people who ask for help when driving.  Most of the simple pleasures of the holidays cost little or nothing.  

Also when we do spend money it is on experiences.  Like supporting a local theatre by seeing their Christmas play.  Driving around the area blasting classic Christmas tunes and watching lights costs nothing.  Reading a book watching lights twinkle and having a purring cat.  The kitchen full of the smell of cookies baking is cheap.  Take a walk around the city square decorated or your neighborhood.  Say no to spending the day in a mall and instead listen to children signing in the square.  Yes we buy less and the day of Christmas other than watching our kitties play with some new toys we don’t have gifts torn open.  We have a quiet breakfast and we reflect on how fortunate we are.  We take a run in the cool bracing morning air and enjoying our health, family and friends. We take off over a week and we reset by spending time together and thinking about what we want in the coming year.  It is a personal holiday permeated with music, lights and cookies.  Slow down, say no, so you can reclaim the things you love about the holidays.  You are in charge, not Amazon!

Leave a comment

Getting into the Groove



I have a confession to make.  I was really scared when I took my new job.  I had actually been working up to it for a while  I had been focusing in my meditation about letting go.  You might wonder why I needed to practice letting go in order to embrace this new activity.  Let me give you a quick background.  I was working in water efficiency and water resource management in both my previous positions meaning I have been doing it for the last 14 years.  Not just working in it.  I created the entire program for my utility and worked on regional, state and national stage in this field.  I was recognized, award-winning and an expert.  There is a comfort in that.  If you know that you can go and exceed every day then you decide to do something different.  It is big deal.  It is especially a big deal if you associate so much of yourself with this success.  I used to do, still did a little not as much as before I started working on myself.

I had to find a way to let go of who I was and that mastery to open myself to this new period of learning and growth.  It has been surprising how energizing it is to be in growth mode again.  That is maybe not as surprising for me as how easy it has been to let go of that other me.  The master and expert.  I have found it empowering to inform all of my committees that I have moved to a new position and I won’t be available to continue these activities.  I thought it would be painful.  I have not had a job where I just really concentrated on one thing in a long time.  I also have not been actively in growth mode for a long time.  For a while I was really off kilter being in growth mode.  It had been so long.  Now I am still in growth mode and will be for a long time.  I have found my groove in growth mode.  The first step is acknowledging that I am no longer moving and deciding from an expert position, but from a growth position.  Accepting that has helped me to find a balance.

What I also have learned is how bored and stagnant I felt.  Yes it is true I received a lot of accolades and a lot of opportunities in my old role.  I am so grateful.  After I took this leap I realized that these accolades and opportunities had not been fulfilling that contribution and value part of me in a few years.  Onward toward the new and unfamiliar in search of a renewed purpose.