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What to Do With Bad News February 3, 2013

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Personal Observations, Self-Development.
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537962_228700923911787_1739544636_nLast week was a challenging week for me and for a whole lot of people I care about. We all got some bad news and suddenly our futures looked a whole lot different than we had thought. The seeker and coach in me watched myself move through the process and it was interesting.

The first thing that occurred to me is that this whole thing was very similar to a death. And there are five classic stages of grief according to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross: denial, anger,bargaining,depression, and acceptance. And the advice is to go through each stage as consciously as you can—not trying to rush to feel better but to sit with where you happen to be. It’s been my experience if you try to short-circuit any of these stages, they simply come back to you bigger and ‘better’ than before. It’s the way we’re wired as human types. I’ve watched people trying to distract themselves to pretend that the trauma in their life is done with and that they have moved on—before they have actually done the grief work. It never works…(wow—quite an unequivocal statement for me).

So what did I do to come to terms with the bad news? Well, it’s not like I’m finished but I am making progress. First of all I sat with it and all the implications of this ending. Whew, that was tough and I’m not finished yet. Then I allowed myself to awfulize about the terrible consequences that could be mine. Then I got good and angry at a number of people and blamed a few of them. Boy, that felt good—for about a day.

Then I made a sincere declaration to myself that I was not going to stay in a place of depression and hopelessness. I mean a stamp-your-foot-to-the- universe kind of declaration. Not freaking going there, universe. It’s not fun and I like to have fun. And with that (and the help of one Advil PM at night, daily meditation, some conversations, and some prayer thrown in) I found that a sense of serenity returned. Is everything perfect? Hell, no. Am I ok? Hell, yes!

When shit happens as it inevitably does, the thing that gets me back on a more even keel is perspective. Is this a difficult issue? Yup. But when I reflect on the blessings that my life holds and will continue to hold, I realize that this is a blip on the screen.

And with a little bit of luck, this post will help one or many of you out there when the universe rains on your parade.

—Amara

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3 Ways to Be Happy When You Think You’re Not May 14, 2012

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Personal Observations, Self-Development.
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 tango shoes by godwin lue Maybe you’ve noticed (and I hope you have) that I haven’t written a post since January—egad—really?  My family has been going through an extended difficult period and it’s caused me to be extremely preoccupied with support activities. I’ve been intending to sit down for weeks now and just write whether I had the energy and  passion for it or not. But alas, the spirit has been willing but the body weak.Or perhaps vice versa.

So today is the day for some reason known only to the gods—or God. I’ve been reflecting on how one goes about being happy in the face of being surrounded by challenges that are crazy-making rather than happy-making. And I have been working that little problem for months now, sistahs and bros.

Here’s what I’ve come up with. Hope it helps you because it seems most everyone I know is in the midst of something. I’m beginning to think that’s what was meant about the world coming to an end in 2012. Old stuff is ending and new stuff is coming in..But I digress.

So here are three strategies I’ve come up with. Not rocket science but they sure have helped me.

#1 Make a declaration

Make the declaration that you are going to be happy and peaceful even in the face of the crazy-making shit that happens. Yeah, so to do that, it’s probably helpful to stop thinking about events as “crazy-making shit.” Rather, start thinking of the events as merely events– ascribing no particular judgment to them. My massage therapist, Annie suggests that you pretend you’re watching a movie.  I like movies. And as far as the declaration goes, I envision stamping my foot at the Universe and saying, “I AM happy, and at peace, period. “

Does this magically fix everything? Of course not, but if you stay stubborn about it, it sure does make the joyful and peaceful moments more plentiful. Something’s better than nothing. Just remember that even if it seems not to be working, the fact that you have declared it paves the way for it to be so.

#2 Be wherever you are

A lot of us get really nutty because we have some kind of assessment that we should be happy all the time. And if we’re not, we judge ourselves not spiritual, grateful, resilient,or (fill in with your favorite guilt –producing adjective.) I believe it’s important to acknowledge that it’s ok to be down in the mouth sometimes. Even Mother Theresa felt that God had turned his back on her at times—and if it’s good enough for Mother Theresa, it’s good enough for me.

So if you’re sad—be sad. If you’re listless, be that really, really well. And if you’re happy then jump for joy and revel in it. Our emotions don’t cease to exist when we ignore them—they simply go underground never to be heard from again until our back starts hurting or we get some kind of disease. Just say no that! The way healing modalities therapies that help to release feelings that have taken up residence in your body. Do a web search—you’ll find a bunch of them.

#3 Find something that totally occupies your mind and do it

I’m the first one to admit that too much navel-gazing does not a fun-gal or guy make. Yes, it’s important to know where you are but you don’t have to make your problems a way of life, carrying them around like your favorite backpack. There are times when it’s helpful to distract yourself so that you can come back and see your life situation anew.

I remember in the old days when I used to balance my bank account using my checkbook. (before I could go on the internet and track my account daily.) I’d try and try to figure out where that missing $10.50 got to. Then I”d pick up and leave it for an hour or two. When I came back, the error jumped right out at me, begging to be corrected. It was there all the time but I just couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

This is a long way of saying—get a little distance from your stuff as often as you need to. And pick something that leaves little room for you to stew. I dance Argentine Tango—an activity that demands my complete attention. If I think about my problems, I suck as a dancer—or I get my foot stepped on. Don’t care for either of those alternatives so I stay present. And lo and behold, when I come back to my ‘problems,’ they look a little different.

So there you have it, boys and girls, the truth as I know it. It’s worked for me and I offer it to you with my very best wishes for peace and joy.

–Amara

Three Ways to Appreciate Yourself When No One Else Seems To January 15, 2012

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Personal Observations.
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  takanomebynomadiclass.cc

I guess we all go though times when can sing the old childhood favorite:

Nobody likes me; everybody hates me. Guess I’ll go eat worms. Big fat juicy ones, (and so on.)

You probably know the feeling. It seems that no one gets how great you are and what you have to offer, or they don’t seem to respect you for the great skills and talents you bring. Notice I have chosen the word ‘seem’ because most of the time when we are feeling that way it’s because of an inner dialogue we are having with ourselves. The more we stew on it, the worse it gets and pretty soon our mood is in the ditch and we are in the land of victimhood—one of my personal favorites.(NOT)

What can you do when you find yourself hanging out in this desolate wasteland? Well, just for you I have come up with some tried and true remedies to get you through the night, the day, or the week. Any longer than a week and you’re in danger of adopting a new way of life…yuk!

So here goes:

#1  Make what others think of you ‘mildly interesting.’

If you base your happiness solely on what others think of you, you’re looking for love in all the wrong places. The person who needs to think highly of you is? (for $1000 and a trip to Belgravia) Yep, that’s right—you. Often we are tempted to take personally what others say and do—making it all about us and our shortcomings or lack of value. Try this interpretation—it is never about you. It’s always about them. People see the world through their set of values and experiences—what I refer to as their background of obviousness or BOO. So if they are judging you as falling short, it’s more about their own world than it is yours. So how about making the assessments of others about you, mildly interesting?

I had a coach who used to tell me that when I would whine about something. Mildly interesting means you don’t discount it since their opinions may contain a nugget for you. However it also means that while their opinions are interesting, they do not rock your world.

#2  Make a list of your accomplishments/talents

We all have a very silly tendency to dwell on what’s not right about us. When you think about that it’s kind of crazy really. We have about a million choices in how we think of ourselves –or at least two. We can either think we are great or we can think we’re lacking. Hmmm, let me see. Which one of those choices makes us feel the best? We’re great or we are the dregs of the earth…let me take a WAG (wild-ass guess) here. I think it feels better to think we’re ok, worthy, good, talented, etc.. Now if it makes you feel good to think you are totally worthless, well, ok. But you don’t need a coach—I’d shoot for a psychologist or psychiatrist or some psych…

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine today about our tango milonga last night. He was commenting on the fact that he was much in demand as a partner. After that remark he said, “I hope I’m not being too big for my britches. (Being raised in Texas, that’s one of my favorite sayings.) My response was, “If you’ve got it, you may as well flaunt it.”

So take 5 or 10 minutes to sit down and write down the things that are good about you. No, not one word about what you need to improve. Bet you $10 you’ll feel better after doing it.

#3 Just Say NO

When I find myself going into the self-pity mode, or the I-am-an-unworthy- human-being place and I don’t feel like having a pity party, I just stomp my foot and say NO! You’d be surprised how much better this can make you feel. Especially the foot stomping part. Just make sure the little children are safely out of your way when you do it.

There’s something very empowering about deciding what mood you’re going to be in. And we all have the power to do that—if we choose.

I wouldn’t kid ya..

–Amara

An Approach to a New Year January 4, 2012

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Personal Observations.
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 thinkgreenbyearlwilkerson

Wow—2012…or should I say the dreaded 2012…Supposed to be a significant year of change–or disasters, depending who you talk to. I was thinking about my intentions for the New Year the other day. It was New Year’s Day and I was cleaning out my refrigerator. Now that may seem like a mundane thing to be doing on a holiday but I thought it pretty symbolic. Think about it–getting rid of the rotten/spoiled stuff and starting over. Yes!

What you do on New Year’s Day…

There is a saying that whatever you do on New Year’s Day is what you’ll be doing for the rest of the year. As I thought about that I decided that while I don’t want to be cleaning out the refrigerator all year, there are some things associated with the activity that I wouldn’t mind carrying along through the year.

Try a little awareness

Cleaning out a fridge can be pretty mindless if you let it. But while I was doing it I started thinking about a book that I’m currently reading. It’s called The Secret of Instant Healing by Dr. Frank J. Kinslow. One of the points Dr. Kinslow makes about healing is that awareness is key to the process. He has some exercises in the book that have the reader start to become aware of awareness. So as I was scrubbing and rearranging, I began to practice awareness. Rather than thinking about tango steps or the next thing on my to-do list, I simply focused 100% of my attention on what I was doing. Dr. Kinslow (and many, many others) say that true awareness is where your higher consciousness/God resides.

So I tried staying exactly in the moment. I’d love to tell you that some miracle happened and maybe the fact that I actually enjoyed (for a moment or two) cleaning the fridge is indeed the miracle.

I wouldn’t mind being more aware

My point is that if that activity is a pre-cursor for what I want to produce and be in 2012, then I will be well-satisfied. If I can sit in awareness more of the time, I can produce more of the good stuff and less of the mindless, automatic pilot stuff that comes up when I check out.

I can really get into the question of who I’m being in the important and trivial moments of my life. Maybe I can even stop dwelling on my imperfections and become more in touch with what’s right about me.

Drop the awfulizing

How about you? Are you willing to be aware of and stay in the moment as you live your life? Can you give up awfulizing, fantasizing, moralizing and any other ‘izing’ that keeps you from realizing (another one—but good) your great potential? Yes, we all have great potential for something…

Your mission– should you choose to accept it

Here’s your assignment: For one week, choose to focus on the task or activity that you have decided to engage in. Don’t do it half-assed. If you’re brushing the dog, then brush the dog with awareness. If you’re listening to your friend’s tale of woe, then be in the moment with her, not just waiting to jump in with a nugget of wisdom. Who knows– you might discover something really amazing about your life.

–Amara

Going Backward is Going Forward October 24, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in My Life as I See It, ontological coaching, Self-Development.
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305731_147565998669566_143825462376953_243159_203426164_n

This is me walking backwards with my friend Roman. Photo taken by my friend Godwin

I have found in my 18+ years of studying that dance—especially partner dancing–is an excellent metaphor for life. So you have been duly warned—this post is about dancing (sort of) and how it relates to life. Specifically Argentine tango—my current dance love and passion.

When two people dance the tango together there is a leader and a follower. Happily, my teacher insists that we learn both parts to speed up our dance competence. However, I am primarily a follower as are most of the women I know. As a follower it is important to know how to walk backwards–and to do it well. How hard can that be you ask? Well, to do it properly can be very hard. You probably remember the comment about Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers: Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did only walking backwards and in high heels. And that’s the way it is in tango.

I spend time in my lesson each week learning how to walk backwards correctly. The leg must extend out with no hip movement. There must be no settling of the hips as one moves from side to side or to the front. The back must stay engaged in the process. Lori has an exercise called “The Magic Leg” and even though it sounds well,magical, I can assure you that the magic is sometimes hard to find. But when I’ve done three or four steps correctly I get a great feeling of accomplishment, as well as praise from Lori. Who’d have thought that walking backwards could be so demanding and yet so rewarding.

Now comes the life application bit… You may have noticed that the same type of situations keep coming up for you in your life. One of my coaching clients kept attracting men into her life that were either losers or who were not available to her in some way. (I know, this is a very unusual example) When she finally looked right in front of her to an ‘ex’ who was still on the fringes of her life, she found that going backwards was indeed a very good thing for her.

One of my friends has been the primary care-giver for her elderly mother for the past 6 years. She formerly had a very nice life and a good job in New York City. ‘Coming home’ to care for her mother could certainly look like going backwards. However, she spent much of that time asking her mother questions about her life and delving into the patterns of their family and the reasons for them. She recently said to me, “I learned more about myself and my world by sitting with an old lady in my childhood home than I could have learned by working ten years in New York City.” Hmmm, once again walking backwards may not be the problem it’s cracked up to be.

Let me qualify this by saying that if you are continually looking backwards by living in the past, blaming your upbringing for all of your problems, or refusing to  be optimistic about your future—you are probably not moving forward. That said, sometimes we just have to be patient and learn from what has been placed in front of us.

What are your current ‘backwards’ challenges–the situations that you’d rather have a root canal than deal with?  These are the situations that keep coming up for you with different players in different costumes but who are acting out the same roles. Things like the unfair boss, loser boy(or girl) friends, friends who abandon you or who just want to take rather than give—to name a few examples. We all have our own flavor of ‘issues.’

Well, maybe, just definitely, there is something that you can learn from the situation that keeps repeating itself in your life. I’ll go even further—if it keeps repeating itself you cannot go forward in that particular area until you have learned what it is about you that keeps inviting in the same circumstances.

So turn around, take a deep breath and start walking. Keep doing it till you learn something new…

–Amara

Be That May 15, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching.
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I’m recovering from a weekend of tango frenzy and what better way than to come back to earth with a blog post.

I was watching a movie last week –or I should say a segment of a movie. I seldom sit down and watch an entire movie at a time. In the movie, Robin Williams play a psychologist turned convenience store owner. Williams asks the main character if he’s a smoker and the guy replies, “I’m trying to quit.” The psychologist responds with, “You need to figure out if you’re a smoker or a non-smoker. Find out which one you are and be that.”

Ontology

Since I am involved in the study and practice of ontological coaching, that comment is right up my alley. Ontology is the study of being and who you’re being in any given time is something that should be a conscious decision rather than a default position that may or may not further your intentions in life.

So, find out who you are and be that. Great concept. I have a conscious declaration about who I want to be in the world. Do I always manage it? Well, no. But the fact that I have that declaration gives me a road map when it comes to making decisions about how to live my life.

I have a practice before I go to sleep each night (unless I’ve been dancing tango till the wee hours—in that case I just collapse into bed). In this practice I call to mind at least five things about the day that I am grateful for. After that I mentally review the day and see if all of my actions have been in alignment with who I say I am. If yes, then I feel satisfied. If no, I decide to do a better job tomorrow.

What’s the payoff for being conscious?

Why be conscious of who you want to be in the world? By my observation of both myself and others, being in integrity with your values, desires, and mission makes for a more satisfying and value-producing life.

A case in point

Dylan is a young man of 16 whom I have known since he was 9. He probably won’t win scholarships for his academic achievements but Dylan is a world class human being. His declaration about himself is quite obviously to be a loving human being in all circumstances of his life. When you come into Dylan’s presence he greets you with an enormous hug and some sincere appreciation. Dylan fairly emanates love for others and receives it in return. He knows who he is and he is that all the time.

What’s this mean to you?

So who do you say you are? A writer? Then write. A reader? Then read. A tango dancer? Then dance. A liberal, an archconservative, physically fit, overweight, a musician, an emotionally balanced person, a neurotic. Figure out what (or who) you are. Embrace it, get really cozy with it and be that…

–Amara

 

Don’t Hug a Tree—Hug Me! April 3, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Personal Observations.
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3314737024_4ea1f1671f_20100719093630_640_480Current wisdom is that hugging is a positive thing. Why? Because most all of us benefit from physical contact with another person. And I’ve always thought hugging is a great  thing. However, something happened this week that has me totally convinced that hugging someone can make a difference.

The theme was ‘connection’ at my Thursday night tango class. (Didn’t I write a post about that last week? Well yes, and here is the link in case you missed it: Are You Connected?) So how very serendipitous that the very same theme popped up at tango class. In tango there are a number of connections that are important: connection with the floor, connection with the music, connection with your partner. This week we were working on the skill of connecting with your partner.

Hugging in the round

Lori asked us to count off by 2’s. All the 1’s (that was me) formed a circle and closed their eyes. The 2’s were asked to stand in front of a 1. The instruction to the 2’s was to give the person in front of them a really good hug. (I rolled my eyes a little at this—that is if you can roll your eyes when they’re closed. Let’s just say I mentally said. “How hokey.”) Lori turned on some restful music and we began the ‘exercise’. The ‘hugger’ circle rotated partners while the ‘huggees’ stayed in place. The upshot was that each person received about 8 hugs. When we had completed our assigned task, the energy in the room had totally changed. Tango students can be pretty intense and serious but at this point every single face had a broad smile on it.  We did it again at the end of the class and changed roles from hugger to huggee  And when class ended we were flying.

Following class was a practica –the opportunity to practice for a few hours. And what a practice it was. The connections that were established by hugging made for great connections on the dance floor. It was a wonderful evening.

What’s the lesson?

So what’s the lesson? Go around hugging everyone all the time? Well, no. There are just some relationships that aren’t big enough or safe enough for that and some places where it would be odd to do that. Like waiting in line at the bank or meeting your child’s teacher for the first (or even second) time or at a job interview (now there’s an image). As I thought back to what made the magic occur at tango class, I came up with the assessment that it resulted from opening the heart.

Open your heart

Opening the heart or letting down your barriers encourages others to be able to do the same thing. I know when I find myself holding back, being remote, shy, or unapproachable (and yes, I am that way at times), my interactions with others are a lot less rewarding. If I wait until I trust another person completely to let down my guard, I may be losing out on a wonderful opportunity to deepen a relationship that will enrich my life.

Trust and positive feelings as a starting point

So what I have decided to do is to focus on having an open heart with others. To think about extroverting the good feelings about him or her that I often keep to myself. And if I don’t really like the person all that much, I ‘m going to focus on dropping my judgments. I’m going to start from a position of trust and see where that might lead me. No, I’m not going to hug everyone in sight but I am going to pretend that I could.

Want to try it? Well,then– GAME ON…

–Amara

Who Are You Being? March 6, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Uncategorized.
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2418629901_0eceaf6e82One of my favorite questions of people I coach is “Who are you being?” (And one of my favorite most-hated questions is “Name 10 things you love about yourself.” However, I’ll save that for another day. )

What are you about?

Why do I love the question ‘Who are you being?” Because it really speaks to what you want to create in the world. And if you’re not conscious of what you’re creating, you are very likely to create a lot of muck and greatly annoy those around you. And since the guiding principle of my coaching is to get effective work done by intentionally building relationships with others, it follows that I’d like to know who you are being (or at least who you think you are being).

Who do you know?

When someone has a consciousness about who they’re being, it shows up in everything they do. Think of some of these people who are in your life. One person who comes to mind for me is Lori, the owner of Sangha Space in Media, PA where I take tango class. Lori is all about creating a tango community that is vibrant and welcoming. She speaks about these goals and her actions point to this commitment. Her energy and her desire to make everyone welcome is constant and when she’s not at the studio, the place is just not the same. Lori’s actions and words are a match and ‘who she is being’ is enriching her life and that of others. She is acting into a strong declaration about the purpose of her life.

You can be a whole bunch of you’s

Who are you being? There is no one answer to that question, of course. Sometimes I am being supportive, kind, and  loving. Other times I am being judgmental, impatient, and selfish. And I am ok with either end of the spectrum. However, I do have a declaration about who I want to be and judgmental, impatient, and selfish is not part of that declaration. So the trick is to constantly rely on my Observer—that element of myself that can step outside , take a look at how/what I am doing, and allow me to self-correct when I am not acting in integrity with my declarations about who I want to be.

Try this

This week figure out what you’d like to do more of in order to act in alignment with who you want to be. Kinder? More hard-working? Better organized? A friend to all? A setter of boundaries? You decide. Just decide. And then when someone asks you that annoying question about who you are being, you’ll have an answer.

–Amara

Ready, Set, Change! January 9, 2011

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Self-Development.
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organic light by xalamay (busy)

Last week’s post was about starting a new year, not with resolutions but with the setting of intentions. After I posted   it, my friend Karen sent me a post by Chris Brogan (the king of bloggers) on a similar topic. After I read Chris’ post entitled “My 3 Words for 2011”, I added another word to the two keywords that I had already selected. My previously stated keywords were Expansiveness and Service. After reading Chris’ post I have added Creativity to my list since I realized that a year without focusing on creativity would be a bleak year indeed. Take a peek at his post and see what you’re inspired to do.

Segue!!

Now a smooth segue into the topic for today…new beginnings. (See how I did that?) It’s related to last week’s topic but I’m writing it because my friend is starting a new endeavor tomorrow and I’ve been thinking about what that might mean to him as well as to those of you who read this blog. (Of course he probably won’t see one new thing in this meaningful and well-crafted nugget since he has been listening to me for quite some time but I hope you will.)

Let’s hear it for new beginnings…

New beginnings are yummy—like a brand new year, like a new boyfriend, like a new quilting project, like becoming a grandparent. You have the great opportunity to do something different and better and perhaps even to atone for the things that didn’t previously go so well. Beginnings can be scary too but most of us are smart enough to just push through the fear and get on with it.

I’m thinking back to some of the significant beginnings I’ve had in my life. Was I intentional as I embarked on the new experience? Probably not. I like to think that I am now a bit more conscious about what I want to produce than I used to be. It is, after all, my story and I’m sticking to it…

What you might consider

So if I were starting a new job tomorrow (as an example), what would I be considering? Here’s a short and thus not exhaustive list:

  • Who I want to be (the eternal ontological coaching question) Embedded in this question is some awareness of what I bring that is unique or special. What are my talents and skills that can add value in the new situation? What values do I believe it necessary to embody no matter how fabulous or not-so-fabulous the situation is? What is my promise to the world—or at least the part of the world that I inhabit?
  • What mistakes or missteps I made in the past that produced results that I didn’t value. Sometimes it’s possible to identify these without knowing how we could have done any better. Not to worry. That’s where my oft repeated mantra of INTENTION comes into play. I may not know how to be better but if I have a pretty clear picture of what I’m going for, I can use that as my North Star. From that picture, actions will either be ruled out or suggested based on my stated intention.
  • What value I want to produce for myself in the proposition. Make no mistake–unless you are producing value for yourself in addition to producing value for others—you won’t be having fun. And really, why the heck do anything if you’re not having fun? Especially if that ‘anything’ happens to be a job that takes up 40-60 hours a week of your time.

Now you try

How about you start something new?  Do something different. Start small if you really, really hate change. Today when I pulled into the Borders parking lot I made the heroic decision to park in a different section of the parking lot than I have been parking in for the last 10 years or so…Gutsy—maybe not. But it reminds me that I am about making changes, big and small. Changes, that is, that are productive and fun…

Wanna try?

–Amara

I’ve always wanted to…. October 3, 2010

Posted by Ann Bertorelli in ontological coaching, Self-Development.
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tangoshoesccPeterForret.jpg How often have you heard someone say, “I’ve always wanted to…” usually followed by a wistful or sad smile and a change of subject. You probably have an ‘always wanted to’ list that you periodically add to—at least I hope you do. If you don’t then your life is missing something really important.

A partial list of my ‘always wanted to’ is as follows (the part about the dominatrix costume has been left out):

  • live in Italy 
  • learn the Argentine tango
  • write a book
  • work in a bookstore
  • visit Seattle
  • go to Chautauqua New York
  • sew the perfect fitting pair of pants
  • knit a beautiful sweater
  • learn to roller skate really well
  • return to being a vegetarian
  • visit Santa Fe

I’m happy to say that I am in the process of doing a couple of items on the list, with the tango being my most recent endeavor. Now if I can just get to the point where I can say I do the tango without considering myself a big fat liar I will buy myself a pair of stiletto tango shoes..

The thing about your ‘always wanted to do’ list is that it speaks to unfulfilled but not unreachable possibilities. By giving language to these things you get closer to fulfilling dreams in your life. And achieving your dreams, even if they seem insignificant to the rest of the world makes life richer and more fulfilling. There is nothing sadder to me than the person who has no interests, no aspirations, no possibilities. I want to tell him (or her) to try very hard to get a dream and then believe that it’s possible. Believing you have no possibilities  can lead to drastic actions like jumping off bridges or the like.

When you can believe that something is possible you can begin to move toward it even though that movement may be in teeny tiny  baby steps. Then opportunities that you never expected wander into your life. But if you haven’t put language to it (sometimes known as intention—more about that another day) how the heck can you expect to find your dreams, let alone live them?

So here’s your mission should you choose to accept it

Make a list of your ‘always wanted to do.’ Include the ones that you have in fact done. Then spend some time getting cozy with the items on that list  Daydream about the joys and pleasures that will be yours when you experience some of the as yet unattained items. Then pick one to go for. Possibilities are great but without accompanying action they are a bit like window shopping at a bakery. Who the heck wants to do that?

 

Giddyup!

—Amara