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January 2012
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March 2012

Ready to Leap? Create Your Best Leap Life

 

“We have an inner thermostat that determines the amount of love and success we allow ourselves. When we exceed our setting, we tend to sabotage ourselves so that we can return to the old, familiar zone where we feel secure. The thermostat was set before you could think for yourself, usually in early childhood.” ~ Gay Hendricks, The Big Leap

Since Leap Day is an extra day this year, think of it as a gift, the perfect day to take a moment, take a breath and decide where in your life you want to leave the status quo, where you want to take giant leaps! 

I’ve been thinking about Leap Year for several months now, about how I want to take huge leaps in all areas of my life.  Leap Year only comes once every four years, but the beautiful thing is that you can live in your own Leap Life, every day of your life. 

Simply put, Leap Year was established to help the calendar year catch up with the solar year.  But, what if we thought of creating a Leap Life, not in terms of trying to play catch up with your daily tasks, but rather in terms of focusing on playing bold and taking risks in a way that takes you to the next level?

What would that look like for you? 

Make a list. Let’s call it a Leap Life List.  Now, this List is different than any other kind of list you might create.   It’s different from your bucket list, which includes everything you Create Your Best Leap Lifewant to do before you kick the bucket; or a list of intentions or set of goals, which is full of items you intend to do within a certain time frame; or a daily to-do list which usually makes you feel like you’re trying to just keep up. 

No, your Leap Life List quickens your pulse. Each and every entry on your Leap Life List creates a sense of excitement, a rush of adrenaline and an explosion in your heart. These leaps can change your life!  I’m not talking about danger, but rather those things that you’ve always wanted to do that create an immediate fear factor.  What scares you but makes you also smile or even laugh to your core when you think of you in that situation? 

Set aside your rational strategic thinker when making this list.  There’s a time and place for that too.  But, this is all about being bold, moving beyond what Gay Hendricks calls in his book The Big Leap, your “Upper-Limits.”  We all have them.  When fear creeps in and you stop yourself from moving forward, you’ve hit your Upper-Limit.  The Leap Year List is all about going beyond your own limits.

Extreme athletes, high-risk takers, successful entrepreneurs all live within their Leap Life because they allow their adrenaline to rule and they give themselves permission to push their limits. The adrenaline and risk evolve into exhilaration and joy.  It’s their way of life, the only way. 

Think about all areas of your life:

  • Career – think huge, dream big.  What makes your heart pound and sing at the same time?  

Related: "5 Ways to Have a More Meaningful Career"

  • Health – how can you stretch yourself physically and emotionally?
  • Relationships – what can you give that’s beyond your current wildest dreams? To the point that pushes you beyond discomfort?
  • Spirit – think beyond conventional. What can you do to thrive at a higher vibration?

How are you going to use this year to create the Leap Life you want to live?

“Outside ideas of right doing and wrong doing there is a field. I'll meet you there.” ~ Rumi

What's on your Leap Life List?  Go to our FB Page and post yours!

  


How "Island Time" Can Be All The Time

Gilligan: Hiya, Professor. What are you doing?
The Professor: I'm making notes for a book. It's to be a chronicle of our adventures on the island. I think people will buy it, don't you?                                                                
Gilligan: Sure, I'll buy one. I'm dying to find out what happens to us. ~ Gilligan's Island 1964

It always seemed to me that the stranded castaways on Gilligan's Island had it made; and even though their mission was to find a way to get off or to be rescued, every week they found contentment on their uncharted desert isle.  They became increasingly laid back and adapted to life on the island.  They were livin' on Island Time.  

I woke up on Island Time today.  I spent this past weekend on Catalina Island and we heard several people use the phrase Island Time.  "I'm in no hurry, I'm on Island Time." "The service is slow; they're on Island Time."  At first, coming from the fast-paced city and daily grind, slowing down seemed an annoyance, a hurry-up-and-wait torture. But, a  Catalinafter a day or so, we started thinking in those terms too. Hurry-up-and-wait became slow-down-and-chill. Everything seemed to pace down just a smidge, running late didn't matter, and not watching the clock was a pleasure.
It got me thinking about how much we let time control us sometime.  But yet by applying a little environment or mindset adjustment might we be able to use time to our advantage?
What exactly is Island Time?  
Urban Dictionary defines it as "An invisible concave barrier that separates... When passing through this barrier, by means of swing bridge or boat, the time space continuum slows down due to the island's laid back attitude."  Or, "a time zone that normally runs ten minutes behind real time."
Author Carl A Maida says that "cognitive maps" come into play when adopting the Island Time mindset. With this kind of mindmapping, the actual environment helps to set mindmap boundaries.  You must cross a divide to get there, the place is surrounded be water which has a natural calming effect, the sound of the ocean lapping against the shore and the smell of salt air quiet the senses and prepare the mind to slow time. It's one of the main reasons people are drawn to the islands when wanting to live a simpler life.  

What can you do to bring Island Time into your everyday life?  Here are a couple thoughts: Island_time

  • Every day, carve out a place where you can create your own island, setting personal boundaries that are quiet and safe.
  • Go off the grid for a bit every day or week.  Shut down all electronics and be in nature, or journal, or explore a part of your own uncharted world.
  • Get near some water.  It has such a calming influence that it can train your mind to slow down. Either find a body of water nearby where you can enjoy the sights, smells and sounds; or submerge yourself - take a bath, go for a swim or steam in a hot shower. 
  • Focus on a singular thing. Stop multi-tasking and stay present with whatever person or task is in front of you.
The key to the above and to all forms of Island Time mindset is to focus on the characteristics of your mindmap: environment, boundaries, senses and singular thought.  When they all gel you can create Island Time any time you want.
But, back to Gilligan's gang for a moment...  Did they really pack that much stuff for just a "three-hour tour"? I'm just sayin'.  

  


Loves That Make Up a Life

"For June who loved this garden from Joseph who always sat beside her." Some people do spend their whole lives together. ~ From the film NOTTING HILL

Last week my grandmother's house was put on the market, the house she'd lived in for most of her 98 years.  My mom sent me a photo of the house and it was so odd seeing it as an empty shell when it had always represented such life for me.   My grandmother passed last September.  It got me thinking, particularly during this week of Love, about how lifelong love surged through that home.  

I'm blessed to come from a family of lifelong loves.   I don't know the exact numbers, but collectively between my two sets of grandparents, my parents, and my sister and brother-in-law, there are well over 200 years of lifelong loves in my immediate family.   

A few years ago when I went through a divorce, I remember Grandma saying to me, “Why would you want to do that?  It’s so lonely out there.”  I didn’t really hear her at the time, being wrapped up in my own wrath, but now I understand even more about how precious relationships and family  19300526WeddingWhitsonGoldiewere to her.  Grandpa was the love of her life, and she lost him over thirty years ago.  So, does that mean she was lonely?  She never entertained the thought of marrying again.  Grandpa was the love of her life.   But, she was still gorgeous and still turned heads when she entered a room.  So, when I asked her about it from time to time, she said, “No, I’ve had my husband, Honey.”  

I’ll treasure a visit I had with her several years ago where she took me all around her home turf, showing me where she grew up, where all of the cousins lived, where ancestors were buried, where she was working as a teenager when she met Grandpa.  She still had a twinkle in her eye when she told me how he came to her boarding house diner where she worked, day after day, sat at the counter, and ordered cola after cola until he mustered up the courage to ask her out.   I’ve wished ever since then that I had a recording of that conversation.  It was at once a fountain of youth for her, remembering her lifelong courtship; her voice and entire being becoming that teenager again.  Grandpa was the love of her life.

But, I learned so much more about what loves make up a life from my grandma.

Her letters were all full of stories about her friends and other members of our family, minute details about what they were doing, detailed descriptions of her garden, or her weekly bridge game or the meal she was preparing for an upcoming event and then more progressively in later years about her health and the health of those she loved.   Detailed letters that we would read to each other and laugh lovingly over her painstaking attention to specifics, mentioning the tiniest, what we considered sometimes to be the most insignificant minutia, down to the type of fabric, stitching and color the subject of her story was wearing.   But, in the next sentence we said, “That’s her life, those details.”  Grandma noticed everything.  And it gave her great joy to share those moments.  I will miss those intricate letters in her delicate, feminine hand. She loved to talk about the people in her life, but was never one for an unkind word.  Rather she spent her life truly interested in the lives living around her.  Those connections made up her life.

Even at the very end of her life, those connections kept her going.  Mom said she was sticking around because she didn't want to miss out on anything.  She wouldn't be rushed.  In the last week, it was the love of her life, still with the patience of a man in love who showed up for her; Grandpa was there, coaxing her to come home with him.  She was smiling and laughing, joyous in her final moments here, leading to her first moments there.  It doesn’t get much better than that.  I can just them picture together, him in his hat and suspenders, her wearing something in blue.  Young, in love, anticipating an eternity together.  

When I went  Grape cookie jarback to Missouri for her funeral, I was nervous about entering her great house on the corner without her in it.  At first it was odd.  But, everywhere I looked she was there.  From her wall-to-wall blue carpet, to her framed needlepoint, to the grape cookie jar that always held a delicious surprise (which now sits in my kitchen), to her pink robe and 14 housecoats, to her glass collectibles, to the wind that blew the chimes outside the porch window.   It made me realize that the part of her that’s in those 14 housecoats and grape cookie jar is the part of her that will remain alive always for those who knew and loved her.  Memories of a woman who loved and was loved.  It makes the empty shell of the house now easier to absorb.

So, what makes up a life?  Grandma answered that question for me.  It’s love, and relationships, and connection, and a kind word and thoughtful gesture, and living every day in a way that honors all of that.  Grandma did it simply, gracefully, perfectly.  

Lessons to live by, as you think this week about the loves of your own life.  Relish them.