What I enjoy so much about this new ‘What I Meant to Say’ podcast journey is the wisdom that flows from people of all ages and walks of life
This helps me connect the dots to high performance. One of these great conversations was with Mike Hagensick, a Special Education Consultant and Swim Coach from Iowa, not to mention a husband and father to TWO sets of twins, ages 4 & 2 (that should shed some light on his energy level). Our connection came through my favorite podcast, Finding Mastery.
Years ago, Mike started a program to teach special needs kids how to swim that caught my eye. I sent him a small donation to support his efforts and our conversations have continued through his podcast with the E3 collective and now mine. This week, as I worked on a video about the IEP process to send to an teachers' conference in Iowa, I was amazed at how that long-distance connection (we’ve never met in person) that started out small has helped me see my own massively transformative purpose for my own life:
I started Be Better because I believe that every human, not just an athlete or a performer, is on their own path to high performance and through storytelling, human connection and better understanding of the habits and innovative products and services that are out there to help us unlock it, we can build an empowered community to inspire that journey.
Pulling on this thread has helped me unlock healing in myself, my kids, and the people I work with so that our lives become more calm and connected and, through that, purpose emerges. I count my blessings daily that so many meaningful relationships have come from this social media space…it doesn’t just have to be a place of mindless scrolling. The world is smaller because of it and there is a parallel universe of great wisdom emerging beyond the dust of the 24/7 news media that help us find alignment within ourselves and build that out into our communities.
This weekend part of this connected vision comes to life down in Louisiana.
My friend Shawn Ledig, another entrepreneur, athlete, and family man, with boundless energy and heart, put together a volleyball team for the Special Olympics and they compete on Saturday, July 16. I wish I was there because just through the photos and videos he has shared, I can feel what he has achieved. The path to high performance and inclusion are not mutually exclusive, and Shawn and his team are living it. Kindness is inclusive, and that helps everyone BE BETTER.
There is a spring in my step, because work doesn’t feel like work and this world of BE BETTER expands and sheds light in corners that need to be seen. Don’t be afraid to reflect on where you have been, it's likely to lead you to a place of greater passion and purpose. Check out some of these What I Meant to Say conversations and stay on your own path to high performance. There is a beautiful view when you can see the universal truth in every story, and realize that your path doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
Who doesn't need a little Zac Brown wisdom in their weekend;)
I have a theory that keeps running through my head. It is based both in self compassion and growth and goes like this:
When we are younger, we learn big things… how to talk, play, and relate with others, we find out what we are good at, and what we can do with those talents. Most of us follow a similar path with school, friends, and relationships, and paint the canvas of our life with big broad strokes. If we keep it within the navigational beacons, (thanks to my brother in law for coining that phrase) many of us get to a similar point in life. As we get older though, little cracks start to form in our canvas and affect our daily life patterns and relationships, in large part because our subconscious patterns, that we haven’t taken any time to become aware of, begin to chip away at the days that once seemed so simple. The good news is, we get to make the decision anytime along the way, to acquire a finer paintbrush, and use it to create the little strokes that lead to greater self awareness. This is the brush that fills in these little cracks that have formed on the canvas of our life. If we do the work, we lead a more connected and expansive life. If we choose not to, the cracks weaken us and we end up living a much smaller existence just to survive it all. It’s up to us to decide if we want to go from the school art project that our mom hung on the fridge to a beautiful scene or landscape worthy of a great gallery. Contrary to what society or social media might led us to believe, that great gallery isn’t reserved for the most popular, but for those who decide to take on the challenge of knowing themselves better and uncovering the power of their story. It’s a brave process and sometimes painful in the short term, but as we have the courage to work through it, I believe we always come out better for it. Each of us is so unique, yet we also desire so much to connect and belong together. The only way to find that deep connection with others is to find it first within yourself by discovering your own uniqueness and the strength that lies within it.
In 2020, I am growing my life design coaching to include curriculum that helps people uncover the power of their own story. We each have unique gifts, the powers I have uncovered for myself in this process the last few years are the strength in my calm demeanor, and my ability to disarm and create genuine safety in conversations with others. Uncovering these strengths and not being afraid to acknowledge them, and then learn to use them to help others, has been an empowering process. As I build out a coaching curriculum that includes aspects of mind, body, and spirit, I can help people uncover the power of their own story to help them realize the path to their fullest reality.
Mind - Relationships, parenting, transitions, patterns of limiting beliefs; these are among my favorite runways to explore. Do you want to work on your relationship with yourself or others? Is there a transition, whether a new job, a move, or the beginning or ending of a relationship in your life? Are you trying to create a happier, more productive home with your children? I have experience in all of these areas and a non judgmental listening ear.
Body - Sleep, Nutrition, Movement, Recovery...they are all part and parcel of a healthy life. Are you looking to feel better, lighter, or more fit in 2020. All of these major areas of health in our lives can be broken down into small manageable steps that lead to a sustainable game plan to a healthier, happier you and there are practical tools to make this process successful.
Spirit - Our spirit is about connecting with things that we cannot see but can definitely feel If we are open to it. Are you blocking the good things in life that are yours with negative energy? Are you speaking to yourself in a way that affirms your best life? Do you recognize a power in the universe that is bigger than yourself? Connecting to something greater than us is one of the most compassionate ways to view your own story.
Life is not happening to you, it’s happening for you.
Your self awareness is the key to unlock your fullest potential and 2020 is all about your vision being clear. You have all of the answers, but sometimes it helps to have a fresh look at the situation to understand where your mind might be getting stuck. A coaching session with me is a calm place where my clients are free to dialogue about where they are today, where they want to go, and what, if anything, is standing in their way. I use my trained, non judgmental ear to help you discover more about yourself and the answers that work for you. Sometimes it’s the tiniest brush strokes on our canvas that make the biggest change in our picture. I understand that safety and belonging are among our most important needs as human beings and strive to provide that environment in each coaching session.
If you want to uncover the power of your own story in 2020, click here. Here’s to staying present but also to the excitement about all this new decade has to offer any of us willing to put in the work.
There is a picture on my bookshelf of a quote that I like. It reads:
“She needed a hero, so she became one.”
For most of my life I would have said that sounds like someone who is full of themselves…today I say it’s the quote of someone who has challenged themselves to find the power in their own story and sees the beauty in anyone else who wants to take control of theirs. The twists and turns of my life have caused me to wrestle with some big narratives, whether it was my shyness, or finding my core values in an less than traditional family set up, life is better the more we understand ourselves how know how we want to show up in the world. But, because I have examined my patterns and thoughts, I have found a level of connection, kindness, and calm that produce a deep level of contentment on most days. So many thoughtful conversations come from considering your own steps and observing others and then knowing what questions to ask. The nature of the narratives of our lives is that they are personal, what is true for one story, may not work for another…which is why we should stay away from judging other people’s perspectives and either bond with what we have in common or can find compassion for, or set boundaries to protect what we see as our best way forward in our own life. Going back to what I wrote about. last week, we can’t control other people, but we are solely responsible for creating the best version of ourselves.
Optimism doesn’t mean that every twist and turn of life is joyful and easy. In fact, it’s the tougher moments, the challenges, and even the stress in our lives, that comes to teach us and make us stronger. This reality gets sticky for me sometimes, usually around issues that I feel define my character and the way I present myself. I’ve had to learn to trust myself, rather than the outside opinions that I was a fan of taking in, and trust the gut that I have developed from a lifetime of listening.
At some point, we all have to take ownership for our own lives, figure out why we make the choices we do, embrace what we love about ourselves, and get after changing the things we don’t.
Because I believe so deeply in authenticity, but have also learned that not every story in our life is for everybody, I know that I have to be accept the fact that some will vibe with my personal philosophy of life and some will pass on it.
I had a little gathering at my new house not too long ago and when I stopped to pay attention, I was inspired by the generations of people that I find connection with. Every decade from teenagers, who are my kids friends, to people in their 70’s showed up to hang out. As I always say,
“pay attention to what you attract because it’s leading you to your purpose.”
This experience, hanging out with people who are a part of my life, whether at yoga, on the volleyball court or others who help me stay healthy and sane over the course of my days, inspires my belief in connection and generational learning and makes me want to create a world where people aren’t so guarded and afraid to tell their stories, so I lead by telling mine. It’s not for attention, it’s because writing is cathartic and creates a sense of belonging with people who get me.
Part of building a strong and supportive tribe is knowing that we won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and, if we try to be, we end up exhausted and hiding our uniqueness that we have to share if we want to create health and happiness in our lives.
For so much of my life I was the young one, always feeling like I had so much to learn, afraid to put myself out there, and yet with this little voice in my head telling me all kinds of cool insight and stories, probably why I enjoy my alone time. I didn’t know that learning to manage criticism and judgment were a natural part of gaining a stronghold on our own lives, so naturally, I tried to avoid anything that might draw attention to myself. In school, I was always the youngest in my class, then I got married at 22, so most of the couple friends we had were older than me because really, not many people, even 20 years ago were getting married that young. It’s only been in the passing of the last few years that I have taken over the roll of one of the older ones. It’s like my old soul has finally caught up, and now I want to make good on the time I have left, which has me thinking about some of the things I want to work on in the New Year…
I will continue to ask, and even more frequently, knowing that silence or even rejection (I still can’t decide which one is more internally uncomfortable) isn’t a reflection on my worth or purpose. I am the only one who defines it. There is always the possibility that a connection is created with a yes. If we control our own mind, an ask is at best a neutral position, and even better, we get a yes and move the ball down the field.
I will embrace the wisdom that comes with age and love myself for both the changes that come, and the work I put in to stay healthy and free. I’ve been putting a camera on my face more often and have noticed that my initial instinct is to be more critical of myself. I’m learning to put my face and my voice out there anyway, because what you see is the real me, getting better…and that’s the best thing we do each day for ourselves and the generations that come after us.
I will separate myself from judgment of anything but my own path, find compassion for my own story, and set the firm boundaries that create healthy relationships in my life. Today I know how to do this and I want to teach others how to feel the strength I feel from learning this essential life skill.
Why share your real story? Because it matters and it helps create understanding in this world. And you will indeed end up becoming your own hero when you find the power in your story. The pain is in the shadows, it begins to subside when we learn to bring it into the light. The challenge is to decide who to share it with, it doesn’t have to be in a blog…start with one person, find your connection, and the most beautiful healing will take root inside of you.