Ready for Your Re-Frame/Breakthrough Spiral?

Who is ready to go? Do you have your Breakthrough Spiral started yet? Did you buy a special spiral notebook at Target, or a leather bound notebook at a bookstore?  Or maybe you are using one of your kids’ old spelling notebooks like me because who has time to buy a new one?

This is a place where we can track our progress.  This is a place where we are writing our new ideas, our re-frames.  This is not necessarily where I whine about my boss my Mom, my mistakes, or free write anxiously about money issues.  This is all about growth and going places.  The anxious journaling is important. If we stick with it long enough, it gets us to the end of it and we see what we need to do. But consider if you want that in this notebook, or if you want your Breakthrough Spiral to be something different, an organized place where you can go when you are down and get advice from yourself.

We will tackle the following topics (and more): Parenting, Love and Romance, Self Care, Spiritual Growth, Emotional Life (anxiety, anger, forgiveness, etc.), Your Time (prioritizing, how to find more time), Your Money, Your Physical Surroundings and Systems, Your Work Life (job satisfaction, role, growth, earning power), Dating and Romance, and Your Passion Project.

This Spiral is taking you places!  It might be online too– you may be answering these topics in your blog, or in your One Note notebook, or Facebook, or just in one loooooooong M.S. Word document.  However you get your ideas out is how you need to do it.

The point is that you do know what is best for you when you are down in a funk.  But holy cow, when I am in that low place, “I just don’t wanna” ______.” Fill in the blank.  I don’t want to exercise, I don’t want to call a friend, I don’t want to reach out. I think everyone is out to get me. (I am an expert at avoiding the work to get my funk out the door and on the road) But when I read my own writing, encouraging me on,  then I can listen! Yes, I am stubborn.

My re-frame journal is a cardboard spiral notebook, but it has gold stripes, and I keep my favorite purple pen near it.  I also put it in a little basket with a candle some comfy socks, some chocolate, and a couple of nurturing books.  This is my place I go for comfort. I might only write for 7 minutes at a time, but it does help me to comfort myself!

So how about a place just for your reframes, where you are spiraling up?!?, (for now I am calling it a spiral notebook) where you are keeping your Operating Instructions?  This is a place where you track your ideas, the changes, the  re-frames you are working so hard on, 7 minutes at a time if that is what you have.

Ideas to keep it organized:

-Use post-it note tabs or bold headings (or thick underlines) so you can keep track of the topics you head off.

-Start a new page for each Breakthrough Re-frame Entry

-Give your Breakthroughs/Re-frames a title so you can look them up later.

You are a Rock Star Baby! You know what you need.  Together, we are just going to get it all down in one place.  You will spiral yourself up, and keep it in one place so you can find it again.

Justin Hale, professional productivity expert says we can only hold on to four thoughts +/- two thoughts; so “Write it down” he says.  So let’s get all that good juicy help down :).

More soon,

person writing on a notebook beside macbook
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Podcasting is… Odd!

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“Ahem, uh… oh wait”. Restart.

“Hi, This is Anne. Oh please, not that way…  Not that voice”. Restart.

“3, 2, 1, Hi, This is Anne. You are listening to 3-Legged Tables. A podcast about Single Moms, er, Single Parents.  I mean, anyone can listen.  It is just goofball stories. Ugh…” Stop. Erase. Where is the button?!?!? Ick. This is weird. What am I doing? What do I have to say?!? I don’t know anything.  No one will listen, and I am glad, because it sounds so weird.  Oh my goodness, what if someone does listen?!

I really have no answers, no advice.  All I can do is share my journey.  It is a journey of a Single Mom with impulsive issues (I decided to raise chickens one Saturday morning and still have them 8 years later).  I get mad too quickly sometimes (Son can tell when I am angry because my eyes bug out apparently).  I don’t appreciate the moment quite often.  And my divorces are novels unto themselves. My kids are young adults now, and I am still parenting, still remembering those days like yesterday when Son smeared blueberry poop all over his crib, and when Daughter clung so tightly at bedtime, I thought I might suffocate.  And then suddenly Son was tall and getting into different trouble, and suddenly we had lawyers on the payroll. And Daughter was so intelligent at 17, yet wouldn’t get out of bed because she was depressed. Now Mom has lots of gray hair when she looks in the mirror. Luckily these things all passed, we all learned from them and I can color my hair.

All I can do is share my journey, my Experience, Strength and Hope.  Just like in Al-anon. I am on this journey with you, and have nothing magical, just know that today I feel better by sharing goofball stories with you, and by writing my answers to tough questions I found I had to ask myself. So I share those questions with you too.

Pen and paper is magical that way for me, (computer keys and screens for others). It is my Inner Soul Champion, leaking out the tip of my pen on to the paper.

Breakthrough Topic: How do you find wisdom? Your Inner champion? Will you share your Journey?

More soon,

inspirational quotes on a planner
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Putting Ourselves Out There- A Passion Project

I’d really really like to curl up with a good cup of chai (tea), some hot blueberry muffins, a couple of episodes of Game of Thrones, and relax this Saturday morning. And maybe then coast in all day in my PJs.  Just call it a PJ day and give in to the flannel… Take a break, right?! I deserve a good couch meld.  You do too. It has been a hell of a long week.  Hella long.

But- I’m going to put myself out there today with my Passion Project.  My Passion Project is what energizes me, gives me purpose and excitement.  It creates some extra good brain juice (serotonin maybe?), and helps my heart sing. You, Dear Reader are my Passion Project.  I want to talk with you and share my life experiences as a Single Mom.  I want you to know that even though it is hard and Lonely Work (capital letters!), you are not alone.  I am here to help you lift yourself up, help you be light(er).  I want you to feel light enough these days that if you step in cat throw-up barefooted in the dark morning, (and it was kinda my fault when that happened to me, because I forgot to feed the hungry kitty for a full 24 hours, and she gulped it down and then swooshed back up on the carpet), you can laugh at the goop squeezing between our toes.

You can squeal and giggle at the grossness and let your kids see you spontaneously joyful at life’s unexpected (and mostly harmless because the cat has food in her bowl) surprises. Your kids will be so grateful to you (now and later).  We do need to step back, buck up, and laugh at ourselves.  How awesome is that for our kiddies? We can do it.  We can lighten up.

Sooooo, my Passion Project step up to lighten up is this blog/book/podcast thingy I am developing.  After 3 months on my To-Do list, this Late Lady is going to get out there and do a podcast.  Terrifying.  I hate the sound of my voice.  I’ll be vulnerable, so vulnerable!! I am not sure what I will say, but I am going to make a recording today, and share it with you tomorrow.

Breakthrough #21: What is your Passion Project these days (you can swap it out any day). It might be your photography, your blog, your book, your music, your art, your side hustle.  What is your next step with growing it along? Write it down.  Find a sticky note, or a paper towel to write on.  Share it in the comments here. Whisper it in the dark, or tell the anonymous grocery cashier.  Whatever, just get it out into the world somehow.  Then laugh, because we added heart juice to our brains, thinking about our creation… And we are braver today than yesterday.  It isn’t so scary.

More soon,

orange tabby cat on gray blanket
Photo by Tatiana Аzatskaya on




It feels like girlfriend time for my soul, with the perfect friend who only says wonderful things

Flying in to Home Base: the Hurried Lifestyle Tradeoffs

I read in a time management book (Morgan Tyree Take Back Your Time) that we should build margins and buffers around appointments. But single parents have nothing to buffer with. That is like telling a woman who is missing her leg to get a pedicure. We are bufferless.

I remember standing at a makeup counter trying to get a new mascara (before I found that Maybelline from Safeway is just fine). The lady behind the counter asked what my makeup regime was. I told her I can only wear makeup that I can apply in the car.

I got very good at paying bills at stoplights, the old fashioned way too w a checkbook, a stamp, the envelope, etc. Stoplights were when my middle console became a desktop and I put those 60 seconds to good use!

I considered dentist appointments a luxury because I could lay down in the middle of the day and actually slept while the hygienist scraped plaque from my teeth. When they asked how often I flossed, I looked at them and usually said, “Twice a year, right before I come here! I am lucky to brush my teeth.”

I had 2 labrador retrievers (who only got their daily water out of the toilet bowl because I couldn’t get the dogs food AND water) when my husband went to jail, I was 9 months pregnant and had a 17- month old barely walking toddler. It was poor judgement and terribly bad timing on his part. But of course, worse judgement on my part to marry him in the 1st place (And yet I have 2 entire journals filled with gratitude that I got those 2 beautiful kids out of the deal).

But I was super tired.

Food consumption was so on the go that I carried a small lunch bag of pb& j sandwiches for my munchkins to eat after church on the way home from the free daycare during the service… I am not afraid to admit that I got religious when I realized I could have 2 free hours of child care while sitting in a peaceful setting.

Anyway, margins and buffers don’t come easily to us. Someone is always needing to pee, or the food needs to be figured out, or we are asleep. Or, well, we are running late. So buffer zones are something I never figured out. Maybe I had too much on my schedule, or have FOMO, or maybe I expected too much from my life. No matter–I came to a half-peace with it all. I (selfishly) decided that I did not want to miss out on as many things because I was single. So we skied as a family, I ran on weekends, I dated, I worked full time, we did a lot of art projects, we hiked every New Years day, we made pancakes every weekend, my kids did at least 2 sports a year, and we ate dinner at the table most nights. And–my kids and I lived with messy hair, a cluttered house, dog hair on our sweaters, and we ran late. I chose experiences rather than appearances. It was messy and imperfect, but it was a conscious choice! *

Breakthrough#20: Some things have to give. Make your list of must-happens. Make your list of what you are letting go. Then breathe. It won’t be perfect. You won’t be perfect. I didn’t do it well at all. I was selfish and rudely late, my kids didn’t learn quiet peace and still don’t flourish in good hygiene.

*But I did get a really good nap in every 6 months!

You got this Mama, more soon!

Delicate Flower…? (Yes, a Tulip if You Please)

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Wow! What a week. Brexit happened last week. It actually happened.  The world is moving towards nationalism, so sad to me… Australia has been burning all summer.  My heart hurts for it all.  All the human and animal suffering, the trees, the country, in smoke.  In the U.S. here, I can hardly begin the political drama carries on and on and on with sham trail, acquittal, awkward lying State of the Union address.  Such lack of hope.

Then Tuesday I got an email in the morning that my sweet little cubicle by the window would be occupied by someone else (named Megan) by Thursday afternoon.  I lost composure. WHAT?! In 2 days, another rug pulled out, another punch to the gut to make my life at work more different, more uncomfortable.  By Wednesday pm, Admin had picked up all my folders and messy paper stacks and pencil cups and drawer of warm socks, hoarded chocolates, bobby pins and salt wound into a coffee filter so I could eat my salted salad at my desk.  I am now in an internal cubicle (with lots of visibility) and no window.  Also, my monitor shakes a little bit every time someone walks by. Especially when Megan walks by in her high heels…

The world is on fire, and my cubicle space change put me over the edge.  I am feeling quite shallow and self-obsessed.  I am lucky to have a job, a paycheck, dental care, and I am worried about my view?!  I remember when I was turned out of my teaching job (contract not renewed) and I sat and cried at the principal’s table and said, “Today is my Mom’s birthday”.  She did not give me my job back.

They say we should find the positives. I am trying!

  1. I have a cubicle where more people walk by and I can smile at them and say hello. I can make more friends this way (does that sounds like an awkward 2nd grader?). Every morning I will practice, “Hi Megan”. 😊
  2. I can rearrange my papers and folders and throw things away that have piled up, so I am more efficient. Maybe I will find a saltshaker.
  3. I will take more walks and more breaks to go see the weather outside and that will help my concentration. Especially after I finish off the chocolates I forgot about.
  4. I realize I am a damned delicate little flower. The world is on fire and I need to just get my head out and stop dramatizing my little stuff. It is a really good thing I don’t work at that teaching job any longer (it was middle school math at a troubled school – not a great situation having desks thrown around the room by 14-year olds).  I have made so many friends since that job and gained many better fitting skills. I can turn this space into a good place too.

Breakthrough #Crappy One: Think of 2 positives as soon as you can when something crappy happens. It may take years to see, and Crappy Thing might not be a great birthday present for your Mom; but all things do work out for the best.  I am divorced from 2 crazy ex-husbands (before I turned 40!).  I didn’t think it when they left, but it really was the best thing to happen to me in those situations.

We cannot see around corners or into the future.  Maybe where we go is exactly where we should be. Stand tall my friend.

More soon-

nature flowers spring flower
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Stop a Moment to Celebrate

How are you celebrating all the hard work we are doing? How are you acknowledging the consternation, the effort anyway, and the growth coming from all that planning and courage, the showing up day after day for your life? Is it possible to be present with the celebration, the pause in your day or week to congratulate yourself?

I struggle with that pause and reflection concept. I am so impulsive and tend to go off half-crocked just keep on truckin’, so to speak. I raise the bar every time I meet it rather than stepping back a minute.

This week I jammed at work and at home. I had huge goals, personally and professionally, a lot of pressure from she-who-shall-not- be-named. And I met them. I showed up and kept going (Yes, I watched a little Netflix at night when I should have been in bed, i will work on that. But the 3rd season of The Crown came out and i couldnt resist).

What would it feel like to stop and set aside 5 minutes alone to notice for ourselves all the headway we made? All the tasks checked off, all the good boundaries we kept, all the times we reached out with love and compassion?

Breakthrough #18: write down all of our accomplishments for the week. Put it all down, a big brain download. Look at that list!! Wow. If your best friend accomplished all that, what would you tell him? Now spend the last 30 seconds thanking yourself for showing up.

The rest of your day, be present and notice throughout the day all the things you did, all the mountains* you worried about but climbed anyway. I’m telling you, you got this!!!

*a clean kitchen, a laundry mtn diminished, a mtg run smoothly, a budget met… it all applies!! Because the reality is, no one appreciating you is as important as You Appreciating You!

More soon…

Phrases and Quotes Don’t Work Much For Me

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% attitude”. Who said that?  It doesn’t matter.  I don’t care because those little phrases piss me off.

They make it sound easy.

It isn’t easy to be optimistic.  I don’t come to optimism easily, I have to reason myself into it.  My mother wakes up and she hits the floor running with doom and gloom; she can’t wait to spread it around and resents others who feel ok when they wake up.  I don’t know if pessimism is genetic or environmental, but after 19 years I had enough of that and never lived at home again.  I can stand about 5 hours with her (all the while praying for her , yes.  And for me not to lose my composure. My eyes tend to bug out when I am getting ready to boil over). The problem is, she lives a 4 hour plane ride a way, is an 87-year old woman who needs and deserves love and compassion.  So I have buggy eyes when in Florida.

I work at optimism. I have a daily gratitude practice, I work out daily. I drink caffeine. I eat chocolate.  It is a regimen!! Re-framing and rearranging my brain is a necessity, not an option.

Did you see the “What the Bleep” movie? That explains about the myelin sheath smoothing over the neural pathways to create new roadways of thoughts and reactions from anger/frustration/pessimism/whatever negative to acceptance/motivation/energy/positive.  I highly recommend the movie.

When I do the work of analyzing and rearranging and see my reasoning for my role, (remember I use role as a grouping of tasks and responsibilities). THEN I can stay motivated and energized for my life.  My role.

I have high expectations for my life, my energy level, my time, my interactions, my footprint. Why the Hell won’t I change the world?? And why aren’t you changing the world?! Oh, but we are…

Breakthrough #17: Keep re-framing your tasks (see yesterday and day before’s blogs for the exact directions); write them down, say them out loud, sing them, draw them, visualize them. Share them in comments to us down below. Send them up into the Heavens with a prayer. Get them in the open air.

Then watch what happens.

More soon-

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Photo by Abby Kihano on

After the Re-frame: Keep Setting it Up

You know how you act when you are fulfilled, and you know now what the words or phrases are that describe your actions when you are in the flow (Time flies and I forget about food and sleep for a little bit- the chocolate cravings subside).  For example: “I like helping others to ease their lives a little”, “I love solving tricky problems”, “I really get a jazz out of caring for others and helping them”, “I get a kick out of teaching a difficult concept and seeing the light go on”, “I really lose myself when I am creating something beautiful out of nothing”, “I like meeting new people and making connections”, “I love inspiring and motivating people”.

Everyone’s phrases are different.  For example–I hate my kitchen’s tupperware cupboard, I just throw things in there and slam the door as quickly as possible and run away before it crashes out onto the floor. But it was the highlight of my boyfriend’s weekend to 1) empty the whole cupboard (which I have not done in 8 years, way too frightening), get his cordless drill out (no idea where mine is), buy a wire storage thingy, install it in the cupboard while laying upside down on my kitchen floor (I only use pushpins to hang pictures- I have no idea how to use a drill on a sideways surface); and then he arranged the tupperware and water bottles in a similar size fashion so that they all fit with room to spare.  A miracle.  I could not do that in a million years.  But he doesn’t feel good in social situations with new people where I feel just fine and know what questions to ask to find out their business and how our company can help them.

Breakthrough #16: Your phrases are yours- not mine.  Devise them with one word at a time, one little personality test at a time.  Now know your life’s igniting passions. It really is that simple.  Write them in your planner, on a sticky note next to your computer, use a dry erase marker on your bathroom mirror to consider them while brushing your teeth tonight. Come back to the words later.  See if they fit, see what you can add.

Next, apply them to your tasks and responsibilities.  That is, that list of dry expectations of you: Be in carpool pick-up lane by 3:05; Have dinner ready by 6 pm; Review that report; Develop that budget; Write agenda for that meeting, etc.

My example: Review 65 page avian mortality report for a wind farm construction site in Nebraska. That is dry as a corn husk boring.  Whut whut? 65 pages!?! That inspires day drinking.  But when I add in and write down and remember while I am reading that I am actually taking notes, collecting data and comments to develop a quality program to share our common errors with junior staff Katy and Paige so that we can strategize together to improve our reports, that is an entirely new mindset.  I am reading for Katy and Paige, not the silly wind turbines! My role has been re-framed to suit my energizer words to motivate me to be present for it and feel good about my work.  I am changing my little world with my review of this report.

Breakthrough #16.5: Describe your role or just one task re-frame using your words and phrases that are uplifting and fun, energizing for you.  Share them with a friend to see if they make sense. Notice how it changes your energy when you think about your task or role this new way.

Example 2: BD’s task is provider– He lost his life partner and Mum for his middle school son and is bereft of help and companionship, and love (for a while).  But not hope.  BD is energized and motivated when he provides hope to others.  He is able to keep motivating others every damn day in the midst of a dark British winter. He points out the view, the humor, the little get-through-it tricks, the small victories, the SUNSHINE in his life while also tying shoes, practicing spelling, fixing dinner, washing clothes.
He turns what could be mundane and darn right depressing into Hope.  That is his passion.  It ignites him with energy. Hope and Belief. He is the ray of sunshine to his family. THAT is his task.

You got this! Scratch out your task and re-frame it for you.  Just try it… Prepare dinner by 6 pm = Create a nourishing meal experience for my family.  Pick up kids by 3:05 = Encircle my children with love and enthusiasm for our day.  Develop the budget = Create a method to arrange numbers to fit in the constraints.

More soon-

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PS- Did you notice, the new boss is no longer part of “My Story”? 😉

Your Role: Re-framing the Icicle Cold Water to Volcanic Energy Bursts

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Your work is yours.  You signed up for it for better or worse and you agreed to be there right now. So let’s make the best of it.  Instead of letting it eat all of your energy dragging you  through the muddy dreariness of meeting their expectations in their words and their descriptions, let’s re-frame your role to see how you can find meaning and motivation.

Everyone knows the feeling of leaving the office at 5:30 pm feeling absolutely whipped, like you ran all day long with a jockey on your back telling you the finish line was so close, and yet it never seemed to get there until you shut down, shut off and just left.  You also know the feeling of flying at work, when interactions were actually life-giving. You smiled at strangers, laughed in the middle of the day, talked to yourself (nicely!) even your liver felt like it was smiling. When the day was done, you were energized and surprised that it was already quitting time.

What is the difference? We don’t always see eye to eye with our job’s requirements. Whether it is an office or parenting, the day can go either way.  Bath time and reading time sometimes just cannot finish soon enough (like baby diarrhea leaking out of diaper onto my shirt at a restaurant while out with friends, my toddler screaming out the window to the neighbors during nap time, shoe-less daughter upon our arrival to preschool 3 days in a row, or the 2 am call from police about a son’s arrest*…those times are HARD, and don’t feel life affirming). The days blur into a string of checking off boxes, tucking into bed, folding towels, “just getting through it” until I can sit on my couch and watch Sheriff Longmire on Netflix really change the world!

“Just getting through it” is exhausting.  When I constantly have to pull and push at my emotions and motivations, like saltwater taffy making, into acceptable expected behaviors, I am tired.  I binge on pizza, chips, TV, vodka, sleep, my novel, whatever.  I numb out.  But I don’t want to numb out and tough my way through it any more. I want to be present and motivated and energized by my career.  Do I need to quit my job?  Do I need to go back to school to get a counseling degree? Nope.

I am going to peel back the onion on my favorite activities, do the personality tests, talk to someone close who knows what I look like when I am happy and excited and satisfied with my day.  So tell me, What thrills you?  I happen to take the quiz on Marcus Buckingham’s Standout 2.0 book.  There are so many to choose from.  Find your strengths and motivations- those make you tick!  They energize you!

Maybe your strengths/energizers are:

  • Solving a problem
  • Teaching a skill
  • Creating something new
  • Caring for someone’s needs
  • Giving your time or resources
  • Intuitively seeing solutions
  • Connecting with a team or person to solve issues
  • Motivating others to action
  • Leading the team to the battlefield

Whatever it is, FIND IT.

Breakthrough #15:  Apply your strengths/energizers to your responsibilities in a more abstract way.  This is less concrete than a job description.  These strengths/energizers are your life blood, the oxygen for your heart’s passion.

For example: Dee loves pleasing people, gets a total tickle out of getting something exactly right for them.  So she asks lots of questions, and offers lots of options and is very generous with her time to re-do and update.  That is how she thinks of her days and how she defines her work.  It doesn’t matter what the vehicle is (she happens to be a graphic artist and has to fight computer technology and constantly updating software as well as an overbearing supervisor). But she focuses on the actions she takes to get her energy flow.  She focuses on the pleasure she will see in people’s faces when she gets the job just right. That is the energy she brings to her role.

It is a re-frame.  More soon. Take care–


*all true, from just 2 little offspring, a well of stories I will tell in another book.

New Boss Part 4: Role Conflict Lightbulb

As my readers lately know, I have been in a pickle with my new manager.  She is not my personality type, or values type, or communication type, or motivational type.  Our methods for getting good work from the team are completely opposite- she likes to bash people over the head with numbers, and confronts us with our shortcomings.  She is obviously fake when socializing, very disingenuous.  It makes me almost panic to be around her, it is so unfulfilling and frightening.  She cancelled all of our team meetings so we can all “just work” and report in to her our progress with our billing goals (blech, can you hear my sneer? Do you see me scrolling to find out what the heck Prince Harry is thinking moving to Canada?)

1) I am frightened because I feel like a fraud when she confronts me about spending time away from billable work– like I am stealing money from the company working so many hours and spending it doing un-valuable things like building camaraderie amongst the team, asking people how they are, encouraging them to grow, and making connections with folks we work near but not for (yet).  I work in the Environmental group of an engineering firm. We sell our expertise outside the company mainly, but should be able to sell within the company much much more than we currently do. I am the “Technical Lead” which she decided means all day I read and review and do technical work.  I enjoy that, but I am also a people connector person, and I like to help grow business and grow people. It is stressful for me to be in non-life affirming roles.  I am a scientist, and a partial geek, love to read alone and reviewing papers is fun.  But not 100% of my time.

2) I am frightened because I honestly don’t trust myself not to tell her that she is full of horse feathers, doesn’t know how to lead a team, is useless, etc. etc. and then I will quit my job and drive home in a rage, only to realize my kid has cavities, I need glasses, I DO want to retire some day and not work at McDonald’s, and oh yeah, I need to buy groceries because I do like to eat.

Hence the pickled brain Anne has had for the past 2 weeks, or is it 2 months (she started November 13). Keep reading!  I have been busy reading, thinking, pondering, journaling, talking, and finally, writing…

Dan Shapiro and Roger Fisher in their book Beyond Reason (I am reading the entire book, it is really good) describe that “fulfilling roles have 3 qualities:

  1. Clear Purpose: that guides the behavioral framework
  2. Personal Meaning: Incorporates my skills, interests, values, and beliefs
  3. It is not a pretense: the role defines who I am, what I stand for”

(direct quotes, I am not even paraphrasing!)

Tania Braukamper says “When we connect deeper internal motivations, or shift our mindset to find meaning in what we do, we’re not as easily enticed by distractions.  And because of that-… we have more of a chance of staying present.”… the more we practice being present, the easier the work will be come.

*Invitation to Explore* #14:  Define our role and find meaning in our definition. After you know your role and how it is meaningful to you, we practice focusing on the motivation to carry out the tasks by customizing our language.

If we are present with the meaningful motivation, (the WHY), then stress/anxiety/frustration/procrastination won’t lead us astray. For example, Mark sees his role as a father to provide his sons with experiences for them to learn to be responsible for themselves.  So when he needed to move his academically underachieving twin sons home from their freshman year of college to attend school nearby, the frustration and anxiety could have been overwhelming . But he didn’t lose sight of his motivation, and meaningful role as their Dad that includes allowing the life lessons and logical consequences . He stuck with the box packing , the gross dishes under the bed, the long drive, and the belly aching morose attitudes of people who don’t realize how well they are being loved.

Second example: I have to spin my job, reframe their expectations into something I can relate to: I don’t like her number-crunching on me, but I am motivated to be a good role model to the young women I manage. So I will be more energized to rearrange my priorities and solve the puzzle of how to fit 12 hours of work into a 9 hour day if I can talk about it to the women.  Filling in a number on a timesheet doesn’t feel life-flowing energetically satisfying when compared to a conversation connection, finding common struggle with someone, solving the problem together, developing and communicating a team approach to the challenge.  Synergy! (Can you hear the cheering section?) THOSE actions are volcanic blasts of energizing actions for me. Working alone to fill in my report numbers is a cold icicle stream of water down my back in comparison.

Stick with me, here is the kicker- how do we transform those cold icicle streams into a volcanic blast of energy by re-writing or re-thinking our “roles” from awful dirty piles of socks under the bed to changing the world?!?

What is your package of skills, interests, values, or beliefs that add the volcanic energy, the lightening, to your world?  Ignore what your “job description” posted on the website is.  What do you love to do?

*I like “Invitation to Explore” better than challenge today.  It feels easier to ponder, less confrontational.

More tomorrow.  You are lighting your own lightbulb!

close up photography of woman holding string lights

Photo by Myicahel Tamburini on