It was the third time in a single day that I had seen a blue heron fly over my head. To many of the Native Americans I work with, the blue heron represents a time to go inward. A time for a vision quest or a time to get near water and contemplate your life path. As I pulled my van into the school’s “pick-up-your-student-here” line, I realized why the Universe had given me “the bird” not once, but thrice. It was time for me to pull out of the day-to-day activities and do more thinking then doing.
This takes a bit of creativity when you’re a single-parent and working with multiple schools, scout troops, writing books, running a business and making sure that food is served with each meal. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned to calm myself down and put more effort into thinking rather than staying on the stress machine of doing, doing, doing without thought.
One of the beautiful things about being a scientist and shaman, is that I get to interact with a wide range of personalities, people and places. One of my favorite experiences is being able to help folks with the Shamanistic Techniques I’ve learned from decades of study with Native Americans, Voodoo Priestesses and Shaolin Monks. Last month I spoke at the Body, Mind, Spirit Fair that is held twice a year in Denver. It is a huge complex that holds 250 vendors selling all things metaphysical and healing. You can find an authentic Hopi rattle being sold next to a vendor that will take a picture of your aura and interpret the colors for you. Along the outer wall of the complex are 100 various mystics, psychics, mediums and shamans sitting behind little tables offering to give attendees a 20 minute reading for $20. Tarot Cards, Astrology, Palmistry, Runes, Toning, and Shamanism are just a few of the tools used by folks to help people live better lives.
- The box hit my outreached hands with a heavy thud. The 350 page document took me 2 years of 3am wake up calls to write. And now, the first Beta-Reader was done with the manuscript and, thus, begins the journey of criticism and edits to evolve the manuscript into a publishable book. Authors are used to criticism. We get it every time we hand over a document to be edited. The difference between the criticism we receive and what you may have on a daily basis is that we pay to have people edit our work! Yikes! Does that make authors masochists?
Whether or not that is true, this past week saw me pulling the manuscripts for my soon-to-be-book out of their boxes and looking over the various comments from the Beta-Readers. There is a process I use to work through these comments and I thought it may help you today with any criticism you may be dealing with in your life: [Read More]
As many of us have heard, there is nothing certain in life but Death and Taxes. This has been quite true for me and I have learned how to use such experiences of Death and Taxes to my personal advantage. I find joy in them. I have recently come out of 5 really rough life experiences that hit me in 90 days (November 2016-January 2017). Three within 2 weeks of one another.
- Death of my body. I was told I had 6 months to live and I had to prepare a living will, create a new will, find a place for my four kids to live upon my death and distribute my estate so that my children had financial resources to get them through high school and college. I later found out that I am cancer free after two surgeries were performed in December.
- Death of my business (I had invested 4 years and $20,000 in my start-up)
- Death of my relationship with my business partner (we left the partnership on speaking terms)
- Death of a parenting agreement (a legal process involving 2 years with 6 different legal professionals in two different states)
- Death of the relationship with a close family member. (I no longer allowed them to be angry AT me. If they can talk civilly without raising voices and yelling or projecting anger, they are welcome in my life, as soon as Anger is expressed, I remove myself from them)
These 5 major death events have totally transformed my mental landscape and attitude toward my current life. The funny thing is this. I’m happier then I can ever remember and I spend time each day in a state of awe over the beauty and serenity of my current life. Here are the points I’ve learned from these recent events and wish to pass along to you:
- The Phoenix Always Rises-No matter how bad something may look, no matter how much fire and destruction you see to the years of work that you may have put into a project, job or relationship-you will come out of it a better person than you went in. Keep that in mind as the flames rise around you burning everything you’ve worked on to ash. You will come out of this situation “More & Better.” As a chemist, I understand the heat and pressures required to make tempered steel. Let’s just say after you go through a rebirth of fire (which is what it feels like when you’re in it), you become a stronger person then you went in and one that will create a much better and happier life for yourself. Better than you could have ever imagined before going into the process.
- What You Don’t Need Burns to Ash-As you work on your taxes or work through a situation that causes you to lay awake at night trying to figure out a solution, realize much of what terrifies us is the fear of the unknown or that which we can’t control. In order to bring some peace to our lives, remember that we are tougher than we think and have more resources around us than we originally thought. As you stand in your office or home contemplating your situation, look at the abundance in your life, there are things and people within your grasp that are available for your use, comfort and care. They only need to be picked up or, in the case of people, call them and ask for help. They won’t think you silly. They’ll be happy to give aid.
- Get Back to Basics– Can you Breathe? Do you have enough food? Do you have enough clothing? Do you have a place to live? Air. Food. Clothing. Shelter. If these items are covered, then the rest of what you have in your life is Bonus! Because my life is such an adventure, I have experienced personal life-or-death situations many times. I’ve worked in an emergency room, I’ve been nearby when pedestrians have been hit by cars, I’ve been unable to breathe for long periods of time due to illness. Facing Death has been a recurring theme in my life. Whenever I get super-stressed over an immediate issue, I remember the basics and it calms me so I can get out of panic-mode and get back into problem-solving mode.
As Spring continues to push its way along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, it will find me finishing up my organization from taxes and putting the finishing touches on my Estate Planning. That will be the wrapping up of 2016 and all the adventures it brought into my world. Spring will also find me working on three new books, a new business, and a new perspective on all the relationships in my life. I marvel at the beauty and the people in my life. I realize I am surrounded by incredible experiences tin each day. Use this time to your advantage and find your deep inner joy of being alive. Yes, you are alive. I’m alive. And it is glorious. Enjoy your day!
Janine Bolon, Fool & Founder of The8Gates, writes your story so you can live the life you want. Find out how she does it here: http://the8gates.com/contact/
As I was digging through files and paperwork for this year’s taxes, I stumbled upon a quote I had on a scrap of paper. It was from Helen Keller’s Autobiography that I had read over a decade before:
“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
I laughed when I read this quote because my thought was, “Oh my gosh, she’s NAILED the basic principle to all of success!”