Pursuing your passions

Posts tagged ‘empowerment’

How Do You Revise or Revision Your Life?

%#!$ Happens

Things happen in life. Plans are derailed, people we love pass away or move on, companies downsize.

How do you cope with these things and not let them get you down?

If you are like me, you may not have coped with some of these things well, at all, at times. At other times, you may have thought you coped well, only to find out–facepalm–not so much!

I lost my husband to cancer 11 years ago. At the same time, I lost my career due to unrelated circumstances, and I reluctantly chose to move back home, after some lame attempts to salvage the life I had built up some 150 miles away from the rest of my family of origin.

Sometimes All We Can Do Is Coast–For a While Anyway

I had been working as a freelance writer, homeschooling my kids–well, formally, only my daughter, she was 7 and my son was 5. Unusual circumstances led me to lose my two biggest customers for my fledgling writing writing business at the same time as my husband’s death.

If you have ever experienced mind-numbing grief and ever stared at a blank page trying to figure out what to write, you know it would have been tough enough to keep going, even if my customers had not pulled out just then. Trying to find new writing markets, if you have tried that, well, you see where this is going.

I spent a good year as a automaton, working at a job, but feeling like an empty shell.

Slowly a plan began to form, one that seemed so utterly rational, it had to work. It would be more lucrative than writing and eventually lead to me being able to write whatever I wanted–as soon as I retired.

Another Wave

It was not until recently that I saw the true nature of the error in my “rational” approach. It took a lot of soul searching, re-evaluating, and re-assessing of my entire life up until now, actually. Yes, I had help along the way. I have made a lot of new friends, engaged in extensive personal grief and family counseling.

Real friends call you out on your stuff. They are like good coaches, that way.

My life up until now has prepared me for what I am doing today, writing this blog for you. I have delved into the depths of darkness and seen that it was in my own soul. I shined a light on it, embraced it, owned it, and I have found a new resilience and a passion for living that I could never have imagined in the depths of my grief, or the years of struggle that have transpired between then and now.

You see, I choose to no longer view my life as a struggle. And you can choose the same.

This article inspired me to write for you today: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/study-fight-performance-anxiety-by-getting-excited/282886/

And this book has helped me immensely: http://www.amazon.com/Second-Firsts-Live-Laugh-Again-ebook/dp/B00F8KX5AO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389202113&sr=1-1&keywords=second+firsts

There are many other people and resources that have helped me reach this point. It is not about not having challenges, it is about feeling powerful enough to take them on, and knowing the joy of overcoming them, and tackling whatever comes next. It is about remembering, you are here for a reason, there is only one of you, and you do not know how much time you have.

Does this post speak to you? Then please, by all means, reply below! I would love to hear from you!

Work-Life Balance

In my “career” I have careened through too many positions to count.

My experience includes child care, working at a park, bussing tables, telemarketing, working in a factory, working at a dry cleaners, waiting tables, collections, home care, office clerk, office administrator, administrative assistant, sales associate, customer service representative, registered representative and freelance writer. Yes, I saved the best for last on my list!

Considering how to achieve balance in our work-life there is one thing that often is overlooked, but it is crucial: motivation.

What motivates you?

Of course, we are all motivated to some extent by money, however, for many people that is not the most inspiring motivator. I know it is not for me. The quandary comes from the fact that we need money, even if it not something we like to think about. For people who have experienced poverty there are strong negative connotations to money. In many cases, people who have come from wealthy families have negative connotations with money, too, because they may have felt their parents neglected the time that could have been spent with them to pursue making or keeping their money.

My motivations are freedom, for myself and others; power, in terms of the power to rise up and uplift those around me, and joy, as in sharing good things and good times with people who inspire me. I think a lot of people share these motivations. Certainly a lot of people I have worked with over the years are motivate by these things. Many traditional jobs are hard to balance and maintain with these motivations.

When work is play, it is not hard to stay motivated. If you can take a playful approach to your work, it will help you get and stay motivated. How do you achieve that? The key for me, is to find something that intrigues me or challenges me in my work. Then I make a game out of it with myself.

When it comes to writing, it is very easy for me to be motivated. I love it! I don’t know how this happened, exactly, because when I was in grade school and junior high I hated writing. Well, maybe I started liking it in junior high when I wrote my first short story about being abducted by aliens while riding my motorcycle. (I have never owned a motorcycle, although I may have been abducted by aliens).

Gradually, I developed a love for writing, I think, largely, because I was given a lot of encouragement, the more I wrote. Still, even after majoring in English Literature and taking many college writing courses, I did not have a clear career plan. I floundered in the job market after college.

It was not until my children were born and I saw an opportunity to work from home by writing for a few local publications, that I decided to jump in. I built up a small business writing about, among other things, small business! I was published extensively in a publication called the Finger Lakes Business Almanac, which I parlayed into writing for a few web sites. It was the best 4 years of my working life.

Then my husband died, the Almanac closed due to a baby on the way, and the other main web site changed their editor and their focus. I did what I thought was the logical thing and pursued a “career” in financial services. I had been writing about personal and business financial issues, after all.

I had built up my credentials to the point of being close to becoming a financial advisor just when the world economy collapsed. I floundered again. Throughout all these years, I never stopped thinking about writing. I thought I would make enough money to write whatever I wanted through my “career” path.

After going through a few more ups and downs, I have arrived here. It feels like home. I hope as I share and explore with all of you, we will come to a greater understanding and appreciation of one another. I want freedom, power and joy to accompany all of us, through the remaining days of our careers and our lives, however they may careen along our chosen paths.

What do you mean?

My blog is called Freedom, Power & Joy. What do I mean by that?

Freedom is something that I have been enthralled with from an early age. I am an American and have had many family members join the military to fight for our freedom and that of others around the world. I have learned that freedom starts with a state of mind, and can have very little to do with the circumstances we find around us.

We create our own freedom by understanding the nature of choice and commitment and how we make those, or fail to make them, every day of our lives. What do we choose to think about our circumstances? How do we frame our worldview? Are we active or passive in our outlook on life?

Power is a word that may have a lot of negative connotations for some people. I choose to look at the positive side of power. Having power over others has never been a motivating force in my life. At a certain point, however, I began to recognize that my aversion to seeking power was taking me to the extreme of making me a “bully magnet” (more on this topic, later). I have learned to own my own power in the situations in which I choose to engage.

Joy. Ah, joy! How do we come to experience joy in our lives? Is it connected to freedom and power? Does it involve choice? In my experience, it definitely does! I choose to be joyful as much of the time as I possibly can manage to do so. I am growing more joyful every day. How much joy are you experiencing in your life? What choices could you make that would help you experience and share more joy in your life?

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