As part of the personal development community to which I belong (www.secondwindsf.org), I’ve begun a values clarification workshop. I didn’t expect much from it as I’ve both participated in and lead similar workshops before. Yet I was moved to begin to examine a largely unexamined life. At 67, I am tired of working all the time, but not sure what it is that I want to do instead of or in addition to work.
It has been my experience, and I know this is a blinding glimpse of the obvious, that when I am willing to step into change, the universe aligns in some new way to accommodate the possibility of whatever change I’ve chosen.
For instance, for the first year in a long time, I wrote not quite new year’s resolutions, but two lists suggested by my step-daughter Judy. The first list is a To Do List–the things I should accomplish this coming year. I’m enthusiastic about some of these, and feel obligated to perform others. The second list is my Passion List–what I really want to do this year.
Some of the things on my to do list:
1. Finish my coaching certification
2. Lose the 10 pounds I’ve put on in the last year.
3. Begin Yoga classes again.
4. Clean office
Some of the things on my passion list:
1. A writing project yet to be determined
2. Make more videos
3, Meditate daily
Funnily enough, last night at my local International Coach Federation Chapter I heard a similar message from Jeanna Gambellini http://www.masterpeacecoaching.com. Her brand is the Law of Attraction, and her message is do only what you love, find fun, and gives you energy. This message is so aligned with the facilitated material from Living Your Values, the workshop I’ve started.
Since January 1 I have started private yoga lessons, resigned from two boards, begun to weed through too much stuff in order to find which stuff I actually want, and watched the videos I’ve made for my website. I have meditated perhaps three times a week and I’m committed to finding out more about living in alignment with my values and with enjoying my family and my life much, much more.
San Francisco, CA 94110
Live Workshop With Lead Author Of Appreciative Coaching
Come to San Francisco in February for 2.5 days of energizing new research and practice! Put more positive energy into your own life and your coaching with others. Learn to live the 3:1 positivity ratio for yourself and your clients. Appreciative Coaching AND Asset-Based Thinking (2 Books included at a value of $120)
Lively, engaging, participative learning and practice at the low price of $160 per day ($400 for the 2.5 day workshop)
February 25-27, 2011
611 S. Van Ness Ave. (second floor above auto repair shop)
San Francisco, CA 94110
YOU HEARD IT HERE FIRST!
Current brain research as described by scholars and writers such as David Rock and Srinivasavan Pillay, MD, tell us that training our minds to see the best in ourselves and others actually helps us achieve our goals. If we want to earn a certain amount of money, achieve a calmer presence with our clients, or engage our partners in a more intimate and loving relationship, we can do this with more ease and enthusiasm.
This workshop uses the neuroscience and organizational research behind Appreciative Coaching and Asset Based Thinking to help YOU train your mind and achieve what you most desire in 2011.
I’ve worked for an online university for eight years. For most of this time, I have been a part-timer. I’ve worked for many different bosses, and taught many different kinds of graduate courses. Recently I’ve been asked to create a course that I’m now teaching. Every one of my experiences with this university has been enriching in some way. I confess that I haven’t always seen the enrichment in the moment, but I have grown as a scholar, a writer, an editor, a mentor, and a colleague at this place. I’ve even done a little of what I think I do best, present positive psychology and appreciative inquiry to an audience. I haven’t done as much as I would like or as often as I’d like to do it.
Today I had a meeting by phone with two of my bosses and a finance person. The finance person asked me to justify the amount of coaching I’d written into and we were providing in a doctoral course. He asked me to do this from a learner perspective and from a financial one. I told him immediately that I couldn’t plead the financial case, but I did plead the learner case. After I had done this, the finance person asked me to create two videos for enrollment counselors to use with prospective students to encourage them to enter our program and take these courses. Yes, it was the finance person who asked me to do this marketing. He said he thought the budget would support continuation of the coaching component of my class and hoped that my videos would help enrollment counselors differentiate our program from our competitors. One of my bosses described me as a “rock star.” I described myself as a ham (being a ham is someone being funny but in a cheesy way according to one website I consulted). Being a ham is not exactly what I am being, then. Being completely alive and me is what I am in front of an audience–being my best self.
Being with an audience is what I do best. I think I knew this at a very young age, perhaps in middle school. I did lots of theater in high school and college but never wanted to be an actor. In my corporate career I had plenty of opportunities to be “on” with a group. As an online academic, there are fewer opportunities. Perhaps today’s phone call signals more of them. If you read yesterday’s post you know that my mom says I’ll be working as they lower me into the ground. My hope is that there is an enormous crowd at my interment and that I get to speak to them, to engage them, to ask them how the experience is for them, and how we can both grow from it.
I don’t know at what age people stare in disbelief or feel free to comment on your mental health when you talk about your work. I do know I’m past that age. My sister-in-law, asks “Are you crazy? Why would you want to do this?” when I tell her that I’ve accepted a full-time position at the university where I’ve worked part-time for 8 years. My mother tells her friends and anyone else who will listen, “My daughter is driven. She will be working as they lower her into the ground.” I kind of like that image. My husband advises me to prioritize after I’ve accepted a new board position, 12 hours a week on a consulting contract, and membership on a program committee for my church. These are in addition to my full-time work.
I’m 67. I work full-time. Well, more than full-time. Many evenings I’m too tired to cook, or even speak. It is a small price to pay for daily engagement with the world and with its human citizens. I love the work I do. All of it. I love teaching and inviting managers to view themselves as leaders. I love listening and talking to city workers who are mad as hell and don’t want to take it any more. Some say their anger is whining. I need to hear them and begin to collaborate for more effective organizations. I’m committed to the growth of my professional coach’s organization. I’m also committed to the expansion of my growing spiritual community.
So I work. My area of interest is the positive processes that enable us to expand and grow as humans. Furthering my interest, I’ve completed some short videos to explain Appreciative Coaching (my own contribution to the positive processes) that I will add to my website as soon as the videographers (my step-son and his wife) and I have edited them. They’ll be up soon, so look for them. Perhaps I am an example of the processes in which I believe.
My grandson Lachlan is visiting. He lives in Minneapolis with his mom, my daughter Lindsay, and his dad, my son-in-law Kelly. Lachlan comes to California every summer and stays in our guest bedroom with his legos, his Star Wars books from the library, and his clothes. His mom packs for some tropical climate. I go to Target every year to buy more socks, sweaters, and long pants. Northern California is especially cold this summer.
I adore my grandson. So does my daughter Blake who lives nearby. There is a bit of a tug of war over this six year old. Blake has step-children who are Lachlan’s age. I don’t. I have grandchildren whose parents are my husband’s grown children, and some of them are Lach’s age. But Lach doesn’t know them as well as he knows Blake’s kids. I have DVDs and videos and trips to the library. Blake has a Star Wars Wii. I love to have him every minute, and I get tired. Blake has him somewhat less and gets less tired. I feel sad and a bit relieved when he’s not with me. I’m glad to have him back after an overnight.
My husband is often gruff with children (his own and his grandchildren who all live nearby) and I try never to be gruff with Lachlan. My husband feels justified in demanding that Lachlan behave when he’s being a little silly or resistant. My preference is to ignore the behavior til it goes away.
All of this collides when I get especially tired. Lach has been here for 9 days and grandma is pretty bushed. Grandpa looses his patience and yells at Lach. I want to punch grandpa when I see the fear in Lach’s eyes. Blake whisks Lach away and I feel terrible.