Don’t Miss Your Life (aka Shower Power)

IMG_4599I missed it!

How did that happen?

I wondered. And I stood there, momentarily dismayed and bewildered.

I had just stepped out of the shower when it hit me.

I had completely “missed” my shower.

Oh – I had HAD my shower. I had proof. I was still dripping wet with my towel wrapped around me.

But had I truly EXPERIENCED my shower???

Had I truly appreciated the warm water flowing over my skin?
Had I taken note of any other physical sensations in my body?
Had I listened to my thoughts or feelings in those few peaceful minutes?
Had I felt real gratitude for having access to clean hot water?

A 5-minute shower is a microcosm of my day. There’s so much to see, feel, know, understand, appreciate, reflect on, and be in those 5 minutes.

Had I let myself be fully with the experience of my shower?

I had to admit to myself that I had not.

No. Not at all.

And it was then that I wondered. If I had let myself “miss” my shower, one of my favorite times of the day – then how much else in life was I “missing”.

How many other “life experiences” was I “NOT experiencing”.

Where else was I not paying attention?

Where else was I not noticing how someone/something affected me?

If these were positive experiences, then I was missing out on the immediate benefits of the “good stuff”, and I was probably also missing out on being clear about going after more of that  “good stuff” for myself in the future.

If these experiences were negative or draining to me, and I wasn’t paying attention or taking stock – then how much “unwanted stuff” was I letting myself tolerate? And how would I recognize how to avoid or change those things in the future?

That one shower experience became a huge turning point in my life.

Maybe I was “sleepwalking “ through too much in my life???

How much was that costing me?

Whenever I think of my shower experience, it reminds me to keep more open to the realities in my life, even the very small ones, and to stay committed to the path of discovering the many deeper truths in my life.

Dear Readers: Remember my shower story the next time you are in the shower. Stay open. Stay aware. Be 100% present. And see what comes to you….discover how much awareness becomes available when you are open in the moment.

If you are willing to share – I’d love to hear.

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You are welcome to use some or all of this blog if you include the following paragraph:

Sandy McDougall helps women break the mold and reclaim their Maverick energy to find success and satisfaction in work and life. Trust Your Crazy Ideas! Crazy Just Might Work! Mavericks have a lot more more fun too. Go to www.TheMaverickEdge.com/Maverick-Playbook to download your free gift from Sandy, The Maverick Playbook: Your Secret Cache of Crazy Ideas.

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Don’t Go Back To Sleep

You are stronger and wiser inside than you let yourself admit.

You are resourceful. (despite all your current questions, pain, or confusion )

You tell yourself –

“You have a lot going for you already. Why rock the boat?
People look up to you. People depend on you.
What right do you have to complain?
So many others have so much less.
Who are you to ask for more in your life?

But sometimes, you hear your sweet heart calling out to you….

Hello ?! Hello !? I see the truth hiding in there!!

You are a lovely human being.
Of that there is no doubt. 

But you are not yet living in your power and brilliance-
and I don’t see your sweetest truest self shining!

When you wonder if you can feel more happy and fulfilled,
….you know the answer.

IT’S Y-E-S!

More potential. More joy. More beauty. More alignment with your truth.

Now and again, you stand still and scan your heart and mind for alternate paths. But asking the big questions seems scary. And change is scary. So, you turn back to the more familiar matters at hand.

If you were to branch out into new territory- you would need

More clarity (but, life is already full– there’s no time to get clear)

More courage (you wonder if you have what it takes)

More creativity (but, how to tap into that part of you?)

OK.  Maybe you could use more of all these things. Yikes!

But here’s the thing.

When you are open and ready  –  they BECOME available to you.

The only thing that keeps them from you is a DECISION.

Your decision to have a first conversation
and to ask for what you need.

I am here. Let’s talk.

If I can be your partner, let’s help you get moving on a new journey.

And if I am not meant to be your partner, then let me help you find some other helpful and supportive route. I cannot do either if we never have that first conversation.

The most important message here is:

If these words resonate with you, DON’T GO BACK TO SLEEP!

If you think it will help,
let me be your ear, your mirror, your champion, your guide.

BUT DON’T GO BACK TO SLEEP! 

Because you deserve a life you love.

AND

Because the world needs each and every one of us.

And that means the world needs YOU too.

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Smell the Roses

I tell myself  – Simplify, Sandy!! Let go of what no longer serves you.

Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Be yourself  for the sake of your own sweet heart – and because you now honor that you have a highest and best purpose. Find that direction. Go for that thing. Focus. Be choiceful. Know yourself. Stay your chosen path. Learn to say no. Know where to say yes. Go for your highest and best.

Sometimes I notice that I can “forget to remember” the powerful need I have to smell the roses regularly in life because they help me find the way to connect to myself and what I love.

I want the beauty. I want the peace of mind and heart. I want the chance to get quiet and reflect on my life. To get in touch with more clarity on my part in the whole of life.

The magic moments that come from the coaching I need (plus inner meditation, time in nature, and the like) help me remember who I am and help me keep perspective as I walk the path of my “one wild and precious life”.

And I am not alone. The time management firm Franklin Covey has studied this question and has found that three-quarters of us wish we had more time to “smell the roses”. And we women feel it even more than men!

smellroses

We often struggle mightily with our tendency to wear multiple hats and our ability to play a wide variety of roles at the same time, even as they distract us from our most important missions and drain our energy.

So when you find yourself playing too many roles or wearing hats that no longer bring you joy or no longer reflect chosen purpose in life,

then it’s time to ask yourself how much you are tolerating
and how much you are consciously choosing.

Don’t forget to remember you. Today matters to you. Your future matters to you. Your life matters to you. You can’t remember you if you race around in your daily busy or distracted state.

Take time out. Get yourself into a new experience. A different kind of conversation. New perspective. A new garden to play in now and again. Take time to smell the roses. If you find the right roses, they will help you remember you and your truest hearts’ calling.

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Change Your World

My life had come to a screeching halt. It was crumble ….or change.

I decided to change. I decided to think, feel, and act as if there were something better available to me in life. I just needed to learn how to find it.

I began with a kind of prayer in my heart– “Please help me find a better way to live. Please. I need a miracle”.

Day after day, I listened intently and looked around earnestly. Then, slowly at first, but surely, as if by magic, help began to show up.

Each time I sensed an opportunity was another miracle sent my way, I bravely took another step.

And by making such choices and taking such action, I found myself living happier and healthier in every dimension. The process continues, for I am still learning more every day about how to love myself fully, and to recognize and act on the miracles, which like love-notes from the loving universe, continually come my way.

Now I ask you.

What if you had the intuitive power to know how to guide your life – and at the same time to attract the miracle of powerful loving support from the world around you?

You don’t know what you don’t know. But when you commit to take a journey to explore your perceptions and be open to letting go of those that no longer serve you, your entire world can change too.

Does that make sense to you?

If it does, and you want to call more abundance and love into your life, it may be time for a new experience, the kind that helps you shift your perception and opens the door for miracles to become a very natural part of your life journey too.

Try it. You’ll like it.

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Adventure Is The Way To You

DO YOU YEARN FOR MORE ADVENTURE IN YOUR LIFE! I DO.

….for the sheer joy of it, and equally as importantly, because I have learned over time that it’s one of the most effective ways I know of to learn about myself, and to grow happier and wiser in important ways.

A few days ago, my friend, the bright, beautiful, and spirited Susan Schluederberg told me that she lovingly considers me to be –

“The Manifestation of our Collective Adventurous Spirit

We laughed together as I embraced my new “identity”.

And then my life flashed before my eyes.

Not many who know me now are aware of what a guarded, self-conscious, and serious  “good girl” I used to be, and how devoted I was both to “the straight and narrow” and to  “following the rules”.

With the help of many wonderful guides and teachers, I have loosened up considerably and enjoy a much more adventuresome and playful life. I no longer wear myself out with hard work for hard work’s sake.

They say play is children’s most important work. And in countless ways, my experience shows me that the same applies to adults.

We can create many more positive shifts in our lives through the doorway of  “improvisation”,  “adventuring into the unknown “ and “opening ourselves to new ideas and experiences” than through all our lonely hours of worrying, or of working hard to “stay on the straight and narrow”.

As devoted adventurers, many feel considerably happier and healthier, and are fueled with power and purpose.

The seriously playful spirit is a powerful and creative spirit.

There’s powerful energy available as we learn to let go now and again to what we think we know, and when we choose to make some room for what else wants to come in. You don’t know what you don’t know till you make space for the possibility.

I believe that when I (and my clients) some to trust that a joyful sense of adventure has the power take us closer to who we are and what we love, we will discover the truth of who we truly are, and the truth of what we know and value, and what we want to do about all that.

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Acorns Don’t Agonize

Acorns, by their very nature, reflect back to us something we often find very difficult, even impossible, to believe. As my friend Helen Collins wrote:

The acorn doesn’t agonize over whether to become a maple or an oak, right? Actually we have encoded within us our unique purpose from the beginning. So we don’t need to agonize either!

Resistance, fear, and tolerating living in cramped, small, uncomfortable lives create inevitable agony for us. We want something else. But we agonize over who to become and how.

Resistance is the wall we build between ourselves and the happy, free, brilliant life we truly desire to live.

Every time we dare to open to deep truth in our conscious awareness, our resistance will crack and break down a little bit more- and likewise, our desire will bloom, strengthen, and pull us very naturally forward.

How do we expand our conscious awareness so it can do its powerful healing work?

Conscious awareness expands and thrives on the path paved by powerful new experiences…new conversations, new questions, new thoughts, new feelings, new perspectives, new ideas, new listening, new speaking, new visions. Together these can pave the path to new truth.

Life enhancing new experiences come to us primarily in places where we feel safe, and with people we trust, so that we feel comfortable enough to allow ourselves to open to the deep and often well-hidden truth inside us.

Awareness of deep truth brings undeniable clarity. That clarity is what calls in the creativity and the power to make very real and meaningful heart-led change.

And continued meaningful heart-led growth and change motivate us with joy, ease, and confidence every day to continue down a better path for tomorrow.

To build the beautiful life that aligns with you and the dreams you hold most dear, love, trust, invest in, and care for the acorn in you!

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SPRING THING and Every Thing

What has SPRING THING got to do with ANY THING?

For one thing, this is the week we celebrate Earth Day – a day to honor our connection to the earth.

Honestly, I could write a book about the benefits of building a life closely connected to the outdoors (maybe someday I will!). But today, I’ll focus on one vital aspect.

I created the SPRING THING to encourage others to get outside in an intentional way every day. I reasoned… What better time to encourage people to enjoy the outdoors than spring?  Who could refuse such a fun, easy, and beneficial arrangement? The idea represents a friendly reminder to my Maverick friends. Everyone wins.

In addition, if you can’t get yourself outside a few minutes every day in the spring season, you miss out on a lot of “free stuff”. And who doesn’t love “free stuff”!

Humans are physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual beings. It takes input from all these dimensions of ourselves to support us in growing our families, building our work and lives, following our dreams, caring for ourselves and others, and more.

Energy: What if you had more internal energy for life any time you wanted?

Joy: What if you could access more joy and loving energy in minutes?

Power: What if you could plug in to a renewable and natural power source?

Healing: What if you could get a free boost towards your overall sense of wellbeing?

Creativity: What if you had a short cut to your creativity and inner muse?

Truth: What if you knew exactly where to go to access perspective,  insight, and clear vision?

I could go on.

IMG_8372

These energies and more become more available to us when we connect to the natural world, especially if we bring intention or relaxation into the mix. We can literally recharge ourselves anytime with a major accessible source of great, positive, expansive, and life and love giving energy!

And that’s why I work increasingly often in the outdoors with my clients. Together, we find more clarity, courage, and creativity. Our bodies relax, move, explore, and breathe the fresh air, and our spirits offer us fresh insight, positive energy, and increased wellbeing in return.

The outdoors and the natural world offer us an invisible flow of energy that supports and loves and encourages us unconditionally.

It’s a SPRING THING for sure. But these things are available to us in all seasons. No matter the month, who doesn’t want or need more of all that?

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Fear-Less

Love AND Fear.

These two energies exist under the surface of everything we do in our lives . Every thought and impulse inside us –  at its core – rises from one these two. It’s that simple.  And it’s that complicated too.

For while both love and fear can sometimes feel messy or confusing, when it comes to love and fear, it’s Either/Or.

Why? Because

  1.  love and fear are the two great defining human emotions &
  2.  they cannot live in the same space.

Only when I started on the long and intentional journey towards a better understanding of my inner life, did I begin to feel and see this truth.

Now, I actively look for where fear lurks in my life. I want to be able to name fear anywhere and everywhere it hides. Fear can be well disguised by convoluted stories I tell myself. The truth of my fear can feel so scary that it’s easier hide from it, which, of course, in no way makes it go away.

The best antidote is to recognize fear, name it, and then actively and openly follow what you love.

If you see it, you can change it. You can begin to choose love. When you choose love, there’s no more room for fear.

Of our two great life choices, love or fear, love energy shines clear and light. Love heals and love attracts. Fear energy casts shadows, hurts, and pushes away. Only love allows us to live in peace and freedom.

No matter what we do or who we are, many influences will continue to nudge us towards fear. That’s why we must continually practice our connection to love. Love for the world. Love for others. Love for life. And most importantly, love for ourselves.

No one can hand us love.
And connecting to the power of love is the practice of a lifetime.

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You want to build your business? Connect to abundance? Restore your spirit? Become the loving partner or parent or friend you want to be? Feel aligned to purpose and joy?

It’s all connected to your practice of love.

Love more and you will Fear-Less.

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Don’t Hesitate. Resonate!

IMG_7992On days I might waver, I gather my resolve for continuing the SPRING THING and keep going.

I know you are there. So I won’t stop. Your witnessing reminds me of my commitment to myself.

Because you are there, I wake up every day, excited to see how I will fit my SPRING THING commitment into each full day.

Because you are there, I decide what SPRING THING photos and messages to send you daily on Facebook. I also look forward to seeing what you will send me.

With your help, I am creating a gentle habit – a very intentional 35-day habit

Did you know that the literature on habit formation says that most habits take 21-30 days to build? That makes a 35-day intention extremely powerful!

When I actively flex my “habit building muscle,” that muscle gets a little stronger. My belief in myself gets a little stronger. My intention to follow through gets a little stronger.

If I flex my habit muscle often enough, and successfully enough in different ways, I will soon become quite confident that I am someone who can set bigger intentions and follow though. I may be able to do so in bigger and bolder ways.

After all, the more intentional habits I build, the more sure I am that I can build other ones as well.

You may be thinking that you are simply enjoying a little gentle outdoors time this spring. And I wish you 35 wonderful and memorable days of spring sweetness.

But know, in your heart of hearts, that you are also building something extremely useful and valuable – your habit muscle.

And as that muscle grows from gentle to strong, from bold to very much bolder, some day you will be able to count on it to spring into action on bold new fronts in any clear, courageous, and creative direction that your sweet little heart desires.

Let’s all do this together. As blogger Erica Cook wrote, “I’m not interested in competing with anyone. I hope we all make it.”

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Keep Busyness at Bay

Many of us imagine that the secret to producing either happiness, success, or both, is something still mysterious to us. And we feel certain that it includes something much, much more than we are ourselves doing.

So we sit at our desks for hours on end “doing more”. We may not have an actual plan, but we can become very good at finding “things to do.”

Perhaps we say yes to anything and everything that comes along. We value what’s “out there” more than we value our own vision. So we pack our calendars and then we can’t figure out how to get the basics done- nor anything particularly creative or focused. 

We tell ourselves that surely tasks and projects must be done “just right”. So we hesitate to get them sent them out where they might be judged by others. This drive for perfection gets in the way of both starting and completing projects.

Perhaps we stay busy, racing through life, because when we slow down doubts and worry descend upon us.

Perhaps we learned somewhere that we should keep busy to be loved, or be good enough, or to get places –  and even more specifically, busy means helping others, not ourselves.

I used to be intimate with all these reasons for staying busy. I remember feeling proud of my crammed calendar.

But, busyness is a harmful drug, if we use it to avoid the core questions, imbalances, or issues in our life and work. 

You may feel stuck. But that’s an illusion.  There are always ways out.

Your life may feel stuck, not because you are short of money or help or other tangible resources, but because you are short of inspiration, focus, energy, and fresh ideas.

2447791650_728c5262d6_zReady for an accessible first step to inject your life with positive energy?

There’s nothing so healing as getting outside and closer to the natural world every day.

The 35-day SPRING THING- 35 –days started April 1. All you do is get outside with intention every day. Do it and you are in. So if this calls to you, just do it! And know we are too.

Go with intention. Then, pay attention.

Take time away from busy-ness, and watch new wisdom and well-being begin to flow in with grace and ease.

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You are welcome to use some or all of this blog if you include the following paragraph:

Sandy McDougall helps women break the mold and reclaim their Maverick energy to find success and satisfaction in work and life. Trust Your Crazy Ideas! Crazy Just Might Work! Mavericks have a lot more more fun too. Go to www.TheMaverickEdge.com/Maverick-Playbook to download your free gift from Sandy, The Maverick Playbook: Your Secret Cache of Crazy Ideas.

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