Moms. Relax! Everything always works out.

We all have a memory of how we first learned about the birds and the bees. As parents of young children we all live in some level of fear about the inevitable “TALK”. It’s time to relax about the whole thing. As Julia Sweeney so brilliantly illustrates, this is going to make a fantastic story in 10 years even if it goes on for what seems and eternity and goes horribly wrong in the end.

I’ll let her tell the story!

How to Admire Charlie Sheen

So, I admit to watching a couple Charlie Sheen interviews and spoofs over the last couple of days. And I’ve laughed, and tsk-tsk-ed and shaken my head. but on second consideration I’m wondering why we’re all stunned, shocked, amused or sad for the guy?

It shouldn’t  be remotley stunning, shocking, funny or sad that Charlie is riding this particular ride. What’s amazing, given our current culture is that most of us are NOT.

I got in the car to drive my daughter to a cheerleading competition today and in the drive over (40 minutes including the 10 we spent driving in circles) I heard Nicleback reminding us for the millionth time that:

…. we all just wanna be big rockstars

Livin’ in hilltop houses driving fifteen cars

The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap

We’ll all stay skinny cause we just won’t eat

And we’ll hang out in the coolest bars

In the VIP with the movie stars

Every good gold digger’s

Gonna wind up there

Every Playboy bunny

with her bleach blonde hair

And we’ll hide out in the private rooms

With the latest dictionary

in today’s who’s who

We’ll get you anything

with that evil smile

Everybody’s got a

drug dealer on speed dial

well..

Hey hey I wanna be a rockstar

I’m gonna sing those songs

that offend the censors

Gonna pop my pills

from a Pez dispenser

Get washed-up singers writing all my songs

Lip sync ’em every night so I don’t get ’em wrong

And then not 10 minutes later Ricky J just had to tell us about his wonderful life:

oh-oh what a night

i’m feelin’ fly

we got the party started and we goin’ over-time

we at the bar, we doin’ shots, shots

we with these girls

you know they hot, hot

oh-oh what a night

you got your hands up high

we gonna party like it nineteen n-n- ninety nine

we at the bar, we doin’ shots, shots

we with these girls

you know they hot, hot, hot…

So, we’re pumping our kids (and ourselves apparently – I knew all the words)  full of the idea that their heros spend their lives getting high and getting laid, we laugh along with Charlie playing himself on Two and A Half Men – and admit it, you like charlie way more than his goofy nerd brother what’s his name. One of my daughter’s favourite shows is watching a housefull of mentally pre-pubescent adults drink them selves stupid every evening on ‘Jersey Shore’ with the sole life purpose of obtaining tight abs, clean clothes and fake tans so as to up their chances of hooking up at the aptly named club “Karma”.

And we have the extreem hypocracy to diss Charlie sheen for unapologetically adopting this very lifestyle  with all the resources at his disposal (resources we handed him delightedly for being exactly who he is may I remind you) And then we shake our heads in wonder that he doesn’t feel BAD, TERRIBLE, GUILTY for doing so.

Come on people.

Which ones of us are more messed up here? We all know there’s actually something rather compelling about Chuck. Here’s what I think it is. He’s unapologetic. He’s made his choice he takes full responsibility for it and he doesn’t give two flying hoots what the rest of us think about it. We keep sending him money and fame so why should he? Charlie Sheen, you have to admit it, is living life at full permission. It may not be a life I choose for myself. Mostly because I make up that I enjoy the rush of a full speed downhill run in command of my senses more than I’d enjoy banging one of Charlie’s 8 gram rocks but what do I know? I’ve never banged an 8 gram rock.)

He’s living at full permission, guilt free. Now maybe his ability to do that is a little drug induced but you know what? We’re all a little jealous.

Now, I’m not advocating going on a drug and porn-star-filled tear. (Unless that is your true sole ambition in life) but what I AM advocating is that we take a page from Charlie’s book of no-apology. How many of us have dreams we’re not allowing ourselves to dream? How many of us are allowing our true, full, self expression to be constrained by guilt and fear of judgement or fear of failure or fear of being judged for failing or Gawd only knows what else. How many of us have hopes and aspirations that might even be valuable to others, to our culture, to our world and we’re immobalized because we won’t allow ourselves to live at full permission?

That’s how to admire Charlie Sheen. Come on out of the shadows, we’ve all got a little tiger blood!

First Creation: Moving from Dream to Voice

Just the other day I was loving how clearly the Dreamstepping process outlines where and how we get stuck when stepping into our dreams. I do love that. Except when I don’t. What I noticed today while reflecting was that I’ve had a recurring ‘to do’ item on my list since the new year and though I know exactly what transition is involved I’m discovering a particularly insidious strategy that my ol’ buddy fear is using to stall me.

Yeah, it was step one on one heck of a Doozy of a new years resolution.

Deep Breath:

For ages I’ve had the Dream to redevelop a piece of rental property I bought years ago. It’s been a ‘back burner’ dream the kind that I keep quietly simmering in the back of my mind and don’t really ever talk about except perhaps to my closest friends. (And then only with loads of protestations that it’s waaaaaay in the future, still in the ‘someday maybe’ category) Have you noticed that before? That transitioning out of dream-mode and into talking about your dream like it could actually happen is one of the scariest transitions out there? Well, that’s where I’ve been for about 4 weeks now. I know what the step is, I know who I need to talk to I even have the numbers written on a stickie right by my phone but somehow, the days just slip away.

Tricky Fear. Very tricky.

So here’s what I’ve noticed. This feels like a really, really big dream. Worse, it seems complicated, certainly way bigger than I can accomplish without help and worse still I decidedly do not have all the resources I need to complete the projcet. These are all really great ‘rationalizations’ that fear is using to great effect to stop me from picking up the darn phone.

So, here are the fear soothing transition strategies I’ll put to work:

  • Set out perfectly clearly, like a script, exactly what I’ll say when I make those calls. Fear seems to amplify itself in an empty space. The more unknown the results of our actions the more likely we are to succumb to it’s wily tactics. A script that takes into account a number of possible results helps us feel safe again.
  • Remind myself of all the reasons why my dream is perfectly plausible and a darn good idea too. Fear and appreciation cannot co-exist. Different brain structures entirely are in play when we appreciate. And radically different brain chemistry. If you want to sooth fear, appreciation is hands down the best way to go about it. As an added bonus, the happy state appreciation brings on actually expands our ability to think creatively, laterally, out of the box. If I could bottle appreciation I’m sure it could be a miracle cure.
  • Imagine all the diversionary tactics I typically use to not-call and picture myself coming back on task every time. Just a few minutes of practice like this can short circuit hours of diversionary laundry-doing.
  • Make it subtly difficult to do anything else. Clear my desk before Monday morning and sit the phone square in the middle of the empty space. Unplug my wireless router so I can’t check my email or surf until I do the deed. Slipping into auto-pilot is so easy to do and so mindlessly comfortable that we’re often hours into a distraction before we realize we haven’t tackled job one yet. Anything that brings us back to awareness, any disruption in the routine will help us re-trigger our beleaguered will power and get us over the hump of inertia.

Good strategies all. I’ll let you know how I make out. And if any of those strategies work for you, or spark ideas of your own, let me know!

Why I Love Dreamstepping 8/365

I’m encouraged to take my heart seriously. I’ve got girls, two of them and what I want for them, more than anything, is that they are happy. You’re a parent, you know what I mean. And what I know for sure is that kids learn what they live. Doesn’t matter how much lecturing I do, or nagging, or demanding, or pleading or bribing. I turn around one day and the darn kids are doing something I absolutely KNOW they learned only from watching me.

Can’t think of a better reason to inquire deeply into my heart, uncover all those dreams and make sure I start living them. Now. Today. The kids are watching.

Why I love Dreamstepping 7/365

Whenever I get stuck I can pin point it to one of the six transitions and I know exactly how to get out of the rut. Today was one of those non stop doing days, I found myself after the 10th errand feeling like I was spinning my wheels and with a vague sense of having missed something. It wasn’t feeling good. When I realized I was stuck in act mode I took a few minutes to consciously tap into enjoy and looked back on my day with a pride of accomplishment. It didn’t take long to lift my mood and slide from there into reflection. When you reflect from a place of appreciation and enjoyment you think far, far more clearly (seriously, there’s biology behind this!) and I was able to pinpoint the thing I’d missed and took care of it quickly. Why do I love dreamstepping?  A clear path out of just about every rut!

The Importance of Maintenance

I’m a skier. (Have I mentioned that? ) And I’m really fortunate in that I get to schedule the odd week day off and enjoy a day on the hill.  There are a lot of life and leadership lessons to be had on a ski hill one of them was made very clear to me today. The importance of taking time for maintenance. Right after lunch today I took off into changed weather. It had been damp in the morning but it was colder now and started to snow. As I took the first post-lunch run I discovered that the skis I’d been on that morning without any ill effects were complaining that they hadn’t been tuned up in far too long. The first run down was a lurching, grabbing, sticking, thigh burning nightmare as the unwaxed bases tried and failed to slide smoothly on the snow.

At the end of the run I was exhausted. Legs burning from compensating for the uneven jerky progress of the skis.

Nothing for it but an emergency pitstop at the tune up shop.

40 minutes of missed fresh snow later the turns were again effortless and I was back to loving my favourite sport.

Life’s like that too, as you make progress toward your dreams if you don’t take time to tune your equipment with regular replenishing maintenance you’re going to run into changing conditions you just can’t navigate because you’re plain worn out. Some of your essential actions need to be taking care of you!

What are your self care routines? I know I’ll be taking time out to wax my bases so I can slide through the sticky spots from now on! And it’s a wonderful reminder that my own practices, meditation, writing, exercise, time with friends, long hot showers, (and the odd day off for skiing!) are an essential, not to be missed part of making progress.

Why I Love Dreamstepping 6/365

I love having a regular reminder to reflect. It’s easy to slip into a semi-conscious state in your life. Easy to let days, weeks and months slip by in relative sameness. A remindr to reflect, to mine the learning from the day in order to move forward powerfully and possibly differently tomorrow is essential. Some quality reflection questions?

  • What did I love?
  • What am I proud of?
  • What opportunities are right in front of me?
  • What did I miss?
  • What could I do better and how?

Dig up the gems (being gentle with yourself) and then let go of reflection, trusting you’ll retain what you need to. Time to dream into a new day.

What’s your reflection routine?