Find Your Authentic Power

Authentic powerWhen navigating the transition from their full time work world, Baby Boomers have the opportunity to increase their self-awareness. As you design your encore lifestyle, what is your relationship between your personality and your Higher Self?

You may have lived your life driven by taking care of your individual demands and satisfying the demands of others. This worldly focus of your personality, or ego, can cause all sorts of discord and discomfort throughout your life. A life filled with striving for personal success indicates that you may have been unconscious of your Higher Self, or Soul.

Now you have an opportunity to enhance your experience of life in retirement by aligning yourself with your Higher Self. This higher energy can speak to you as your intuition and creativity. Your authentic power can motivate you to leverage your knowledge, wisdom, and expertise, to serve others without attachment to the outcome. You may feel a strong desire to live with greater ease and compassion.

My experience

For many years I based my life choices on fear and self-doubt. Finally, a health challenge forced me to reassess how I was living my life. I investigated numerous teachings and practices that all seemed to advise living in alignment with my Higher Self. Through practices of reading, writing, and reflection I have learned to live my life with trust, peace, and harmony. My daily practice of meditation reconnects me with my authentic power and sets me on a course for the day of ease and grace. I invite you to enjoy the same in your retirement lifestyle.

Many authors have written about how to live in alignment with your authentic power, Soul, or Higher Self. The Seat of the Soul Institute at http://seatofthesoul.com contains valuable information about how to explore this subject more thoroughly.

How will you live in alignment with your Higher Self during the encore stage of your life?

Janice Williams, Retirement Coach, http://welcomingretirement.com

 

Be an author in Google

Last week, at the Tuesday’s with Deborah meeting, I brought up the new ability to be listed in Google as an author. Several people asked me how to do that. If you go to the following link on Google information about how to create authorship is available for your use:

https://plus.google.com/authorship

The nice thing about this is it when somebody Googles you or an article you wrote your picture will come up it will save by your name and it’ll have an additional link that says more by your name. It keys off your Google plus profile.

Hopefully this is helpful.

Dogs a digging, writers a writing

It occurred to me this morning that I can no more stop expressing myself in writing than Schnitzel, my canine companion, can stop digging in the sand.

When we go to the shore I watch him dig, dig, digging away (see illustration) and wonder, “Why is he dogging there, Does he sense something beneath the sand I cannot? Is there a hidden treasure? Why is he so devotedly digging, apparently for no apparent reason?”

After digging at these questions for some time I uncover that Schnitzel’s reason is well, unreasonable. Schnitzel has no “reason” whatsoever, nor is there is any meaning to be made. There is little to no reasoning to Schnitzel’s capacity for living. Schnitzel chooses to dig because it is simply in his nature to dig.

He does not dig to entertain or inspire me (although he does). He will dig for as long and until he wishes to do something else: fetch a Frisbee, or bound down the beach cheerfully chasing after seagulls in the sand.

I note (perhaps you have as well) I literally and literately like to ponder and play with wisdom and words that alliterate in my writing. For me it is fun, appeals to my sense of whimsy, and it gives me pleasure.

And now I stop and reflect: How very different am I than my faithful playful canine companion? He digs, runs, chases seagulls because it is fun, gives him pleasure, and sheer joie de vivre. A snout full of sand is as much fun for Schnitzel as a peck of puns and plays on words is for me.

We are not so very different after all.

Do you dig it?

Our weekly TwD Writers’ Conference

Yesterday’s session opened with the ritual passing of Deborah’s Chinese porcelain mirror into which we looked and said, “Mirror mirror in my hand, who was the leader of The Band?”

No wait. That wasn’t the question. That was my timid humorist identity making an appearance alongside the usually-out-front sincere-ist identity. Our actual ritual was to look ourselves in the eye and say, “My name is Liz and I am a writer.” (Sometimes I write new words, such as “sincere-ist;” I’ll bet other readers of this blog also have fun inventing words.)

I once posted that claiming my identity as writer has helped to unblock and animate some of my other identities that need to work together toward the common good of various projects and responsibilities.

Deborah, as a writer, writing coach, teacher, leader, guide, and generous-hearted person offers at our Tuesdays with Deborah sessions a seemingly limitless supply of techniques, such as the suggestion that we free-write. Every weekly session results in practical, useful, do-able writing inspiration. As Deborah says, “Authentic writing provokes.” It certainly does.

The weekly sessions remind me of writers’ workshops I have attended.

I have attended the four annual “Search for Meaning” Book Festivals at Seattle University. This year, I attended sessions by two poets, by a writer in the field of ethical leadership, and by a writer of many genres including humor. The festival takes place each March.

Recalling the surprising benefit obtained by this non-poet in a workshop led by poet Frances McCue, I wondered if she has scheduled any local workshops in the near future that I might recommend to TwD peeps.  I came upon a two-day writers’ conference offered by Whatcom Community College.

Weaving many threads together in this post, I am grateful for the weekly writers’ conference that TwD is for me (and I think for others). I value the experience, the relationships, and the writing encouragement. I note that my next opportunity to attend a McCue workshop would be at a $259 two-day workshop.  Wow!  That is a little “less” accessible in the commitments of time, driving, and money than the weekly TwD sessions that happen just up the street from my home, every week, accompanied by a reluctant but practical invitation to help cover the cost of the space by contributing something less than the cost of a movie ticket.

I am eager now to read everything that has transpired in this community space during the month of April.

Being Inspired

So, Deborah sends me an e-mail saying she can’t wait to see my fist post.  YIKES…you mean somebody might actually READ this?  What a concept.  Now I really have to come up with something good.  No pressure there, nope, none.

Deborah is just trying to be supportive and encourage me.  I know that.  She is not the one putting the pressure on me.  I am.

What is it, in us, that turns the kindest gesture from another into something that creates stress?   What purpose could this fulfill?

This is a major focus of my life’s work.  I sit across from people who have found themselves in more distress than they would like to be.  It’s my job to show them how they are doing it to themselves, then to help them do something that works better.  I love my work.

What I find over and over in my work is that what causes us the most pain is the judgment we place on ourselves.   We often don’t notice that the source of our judgment comes from within; we project it out onto others.  That’s what I did with Deborah’s e-mail.  I projected my own judgment onto her, onto anyone who might read what I write.  There isn’t anyone out there who will read what I write and judge it more harshly that I can.  Most people won’t even think to judge, they will just read and enjoy, or not.

If I censor what I write, to avoid another person’s judgment, I limit myself.  If I censor what I write to avoid my own judgment, I will completely stop myself.  How much of the time are you stopping yourself?  What is the self-judgment you are trying to avoid?  And, what would happen if you tried to see yourself from the perspective of the ones in your life that most support you?  How much of the judgment can you hold onto if you are seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you?

I’ve just met Deborah.   From what I know so far, she loves to write and to share what others write.  I haven’t posted anything yet, so she has no idea what my writing “voice” sounds like, and she is curious.  In the way that I love to work with people to help them release the self-judgment, she loves to help inspire people to write.  So, when I took the first steps to be able to post something, she was pleased, and let me know.

Now, I have a choice.  I can succumb to my self-judgment and stop myself, or I can take a deep breath and face my self-judgment by posting something.  In facing it, I find the next best place to stretch myself to grow.  In this case, it is writing and posting.  What is it for you?

So, here you go Deborah.   Thanks for the inspiration.

Carla Camou, NLP Trainer and Personal Change work:  www.nlpinseattle.com

Writer as a facet of identity

I am a writer who elevates jargon into plain language. This is one facet of an identity that can be imagined as a geode. Imagine a stone that has been broken open to reveal aquamarine crystals – flat, complex, light-reflecting, light-bending, light-enhancing surfaces.

Let’s think of identity as a geode with many facets. Like the multi-faceted geode interior, my identity is a combination of skills, heart, curiosity, work ethic, enjoyment of learning, and enjoyment of language.  The same set of facet-like attributes, expressed and combined differently, exposed differently to light, might produce an identity of teacher, painter, pianist, gardener, or others.

Sometimes the light shines through a “writer” facet of the geode. The crystal facets once reflected light into the information systems world. Then I entered into a more important world – the world of real people who are vulnerable because of age or other attributes – extremely young age (beginning with the “light switch” change of venues when our son was born two decades ago), or more advanced ages, experienced through the rediscovered interdependence among the generations in my family during the past decade.

The light has shined simultaneously through the “writer” facet of the geode, and “leader” facet of the geode, in groups oriented around the systems world, diverse community projects, parenting, community organizations, and family transitions.

Thirty years ago the light dimmed a bit through the “writer” facet of the geode when I was laid off from a job I did well. I saw that professional writers and educators were among “the first” to lose their jobs in a recession. So I began polishing an “expert” facet of the geode. I came to value the “expert” facet of the geode more than the “writer” facet of the geode. I adopted the measuring tools of “the marketplace” to value different facets of the geode. I became very comfortable as a well- informed practitioner in the world of systems planning and database design. I never wrote a line of software code to make my living; I wrote and spoke everything except the code – repeatable methods for system development, plans, materials, requirements, specifications, and more. The light shining through the communication facet of the geode pointed toward and brightened the expertise facet of the geode, rather than shining independently into the world. I kind of forgot that I had my own measuring system to value and polish the “writer” facet of the geode. I forgot that I might move the geode around a bit to see what happened when the light shone through different facets of the geode of my identity, more or less.

Recent encounters and engagements, and the response to them, have reminded me that a unique facet of my identity is…. a writer who can elevate any jargon into plain language, right now on subjects that affect the quality of life of vulnerable people. Our complex world has expanding needs for that identity. I feel as though the recent engagements have invited me to see the geode as positioned in three dimensions, gyroscope-like, so that the light can reflect more or less on and through different facets at different times.

And I discover, to my surprise, that life is enlightened, life-giving and energized when I claim that reality.

Intuition in Writing and Living

Community member Linda Zeppa mentioned the “Intuitive Writing” process she shares with others through her practice. I connected enough dots to find her inviting website. I am not sure I am familiar with the “place” where Linda shares her gift – the Margaret M Center for Intuitive Arts in Issaquah, mentioned here. The helpful hints on Linda’s site are delightful. I am grateful to have heard Linda’s voice during “Tuesday’s With Deborah” this week, also to have found Linda’s site and practice.

What has this Writing Challenge done for you (so far)?

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How does writing every day (or intending to), affect your sense of your creative self, your communication skills, your sense of motivation?
Continue reading “What has this Writing Challenge done for you (so far)?” »

Parenting and Marketing Skills: More Alike than Different?

What do parenting and marketing and business development have in common?

What in the world could I be talking about and how could I even suggest that one is at all like the other? Or perhaps the readers who catch on quick are already formulating in their minds, similarities as well as differences. (You are encouraged to share and comment!)

While talking early this morning to Jon Knight, Graphic Designer/Website developer of Sound Design Solutions, I got inspired. I’m not quite yet harassing Jon to blog about our conversations, but every time we talk I hear him tell me a story about his tweenager that gets me suggesting he write about that moment somehow, as it could be a metaphor for branding and marketing and developing business.

So having a tween of my own to use as an example, I’m offering my first thoughts. Continue reading “Parenting and Marketing Skills: More Alike than Different?” »

Funny, Clever or Direct?… which one am I ? Maybe None.

I would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself. I’m Kelly Kyle……a Business woman, ARTIST, Photographer, Blogger, Wife, Sister, Step Mother, Friend & Rotarian. Writing for blogs is relatively new for me in the past 2 years….although I loved creative writing projects in school since I was a kid. As an adult, when the mood struck me I would write about a trip here or there…or write long holiday letters to family and friends telling of stories and places I travelled. It’s a wonderful giggle to look back at what you wrote 10, 20, 30  years later. Maybe something to post in a future story.

I think what I am most known for lately, is my community and humanitarian work with ROTARY. Caring about people and pulling for the underdog, is what I love to do. More specifically, the Redmond Rousers Rotary Club, of which I am the Current President, seems to get my foot in the door, when talking to people. I’ve taken on an unusual 2 year term as Madam Pres. Continuity, is a big part of being successful at any venture. When I stepped in as President on July 1st, of 2010, I had the enormous task of re-developing a club that was almost defunct. We were standing on our last leg of hope with only 5 members….and it was my job as the new President, to somehow, “save the club”. So, I looked at this, as one of my biggest tasks at hand. Recruiting and setting some outrageous GOALS, then followed.  #1,  If we did not have people ..AKA….BODIES… in those seats, who cared about “community”, then the club really was finished. So, I decided to stick to this #1 goal. I struck out one day, hitting the streets, getting to know my community. I met a man who changed the course of my life and it is ultimately, why I am writing this now. My world had a radical paradigm shift & everything in April of 2010, changed. Enter Social Media. This was 3 months before I became president and a few weeks after I had gone to  P.E.T.S., Rotary’s President Elect Training Seminar. Saving our club’s community history & “Rousing” club image, was fresh on my mind. Blaine Millet, of WOM10, walked into my life that day, and started talking about Social Media Strategies. I was all ears. I knew nothing about it…but it was different, it was edgy, it was NEW.  I liked what I heard. With blogging, we could control our future, not someone else’s view of it. . After going home and doing some research, how could I not be interested…this was the future of business and communities everywhere. Social Media was coming on strong, and anyone who wanted to be “IN THE GAME” had better jump on….So I did. I bought into the plan. Now all I had to do was convince the other 6 in our club to do the same.

I giggle a little, because then, some 20 months ago… I really did not know what Social Media was. Not compared to now, anyways. So I quickly approached the club board members, all 4 of us, and told them, not asked, but told them my plan to revitalize the club through a social media strategy and campaign. I was passioate. I must have been hopped up on caffeine or something, or doing a little jig…. cause all I got were wide eyed stares. I might as well have been talking about little green men from Mars!. It was an uphill battle during my 15 minute talk of fame, with hands slapping on the table, and a wild voiced presentation. But in the end, I persuaded them, or maybe just scared them or wore them out. I don’t know. But, they gave my ideas and me a chance to do something I believed in…even if I had only heard of it less than one week ago. But they did not know that.

I was allowed to spend money and time on what was perceived, a selfish project for ME. So, with that said, I got a little help from my new friend, Blaine in producing the effects of a well thought out plan. We were to use social Media to attract new people and to do good with our Rotary content. Nothing else the club had tried over the past 4 years, had worked, our numers were down to critical mass 7. The number of committed members were right there, only 3 staring back at me. We were in the position of being down, but not out.

I had “won”, but only after a long 15 minute “rant”, that I like to call my “passion”, coming out. I had sealed my fate…good or bad, and I was headed in a unknown and untried direction for a Rotary Club. I could feel all 3000 pair of eyes on me as I tried something new. I felt a little numb & like Christopher Columbus setting out to find a new world. (Funny, some days, it still feels a little like that first day over and over again, but now with a familiar, ring to it.)  It has been 18 months now, and praises, awards and accolades later… I am the district 5030 supper star. I was awarded the ROTARIAN of the YEAR award for our district of 3000 people…and 54 clubs. AWE inspiring stuff. There is a U-tube video, on our www.redmondrousersrotary.org site, of me on stage…that looks like a “deer in the headlights” version of me as I accepted my great award. I count my blessings of gratitude and I guess being a trailblazer and new explorer is something I like, and never gets old for me. I love being adventurous, and in this instance it worked out well with my personality and my sense of wanting to change the culture of ROTARY….in the community, and in our world.

Proud? Damn straight…I am. I feel like the Queen of my Castle….Momma of my flock, and worth every minute I spend…working on making a better life for kids and families in need. Every time I have a bad day….I think of others who sleep in tents, or who do not have enough to eat, or who do not have a family to love them. I know I make a difference, and am extremely proud of what WE do in Rotary….helping others. I guess, I really don’t know how to do anything else, any better…or I would do that.

So, to conclude this story and bring you up to date on what happened after my 1st year as President, July 1 2010 to June 30, 2011… I recruited 23 new people into our club. WOW….that is amazing, even for me to re-read that stat. An unbelievably rare accomplishment at any level of recruiting in a  Rotary club, especially when I didn’t know what Social Media really was. We won 3 more awards, the Presidential citation,the literacy zone and district awards, made a lot of new friends, made my mom proud and made a great story to tell my grand children someday. So, that is the good news. The bad news is that all of the newbies did not stay in Rotary. Some of them decided it wasn’t the right fit, long term for them…although they liked the club. Some lost their jobs, & moved away…But MOST of them stayed. Our Club now has 18 solid members in it. I have the good fortune to say, they are all now friends of mine.

SIDEBAR: I forgot to tell you about the catalyst to this story….and it matters, so here is why I decided to do what I did. One of my beloved and dear friends in our old club of only 8 people, was Russ. My longtime buddy of 10 years,  Russ Newman, suddenly died after a heart bypass in Feb 2010. 3 weeks before his surgery, he shuffled into the meeting like an 85 year old man does occasionally, but this time he looked different. I said to him, “Russ what’s the matter, why are you walking so slow?” He said to me…”well, my Dr. says I have a bad ticker and I need surgery”.  We proceeded to talk for 10 minutes about him and all he had going on. Who would feed his parrot ,was a big decision, I recall. He then pulled me close to him gave me a hug, and said to me, “Kelly-Girl”, (his nickname for me) “You are going to be the best Rouser President EVER!”. I was taken back by his confidence in me…and told him I hoped so, but I doubted it. We had had some really good ones in our past 20 years….like him, Bruce, Eric, Tom, Lisa and others. But somehow, his faith in me, was real, and I could feel it. I remember I cried hard when I found out he died in the recovery room after the operation. I was just making plans to go see him in the hospital, when I heard the news. I had lost my buddy, my pal, my one biggest fan & supporter in this presidential run….of a year in my life. What was I gonna do now?….I cried some more. Then a few days later, I went to P.E.T.S….and found the courage & faith he had told me about. I found my deep LOVE of Rotary and WHY I was there, training to become the new president. I was trying to revive an old dead club into a new alive club again, and it was going to be a lot of hard work. After this amazing weekend, I was now up to the challenge. Russ’ words stuck with me…as they do today and everyday. He was and is a BIG part of why we are still here…and if I could reach out to tell him, thank you, this is what I would say. “Russ, Thank You, from the bottom of my heart for your kind words and faith in, Lil ole me. Love you, Kelly Girl”

OK …so, back to the story of the newbies,…..Some of them listened to me and followed my urgings to start new committees, and to become new members within district committees and events. We even tackled a BIG new project together: Our new WORLD CLASS signature event, the Coup de Cascades. Our Bicycle fundraiser to help eradicate END POLIO in the world, just went viral with the news that we are now a RAAM qualifier. Some members I know better than others, but all in all, we are working towards a common GOAL; to make our community a better place, to live, work and do business together…through Service Above Self…our ROTARY motto.  Once again in our 21 year history, the Redmond Rousers Rotary Club is on the Map, literally. Our newest venture in Social Media is an ad placement on the 4th AVE MAPS…a new advertising piece that is an interactive MAP of the area for residents and new people in town. Microsoft has put their TAG in it for people to use as a scannable device to go to different websites to see more info about the companies in the MAP.  We plan to use it to attract more attention to our 425 mile Coup de Cascades biking event in Aug 18th & 19th of 2012. Along with that, it will be a great way for people to find out where we meet and come see us for dinner on Tuesday evenings at the Old Redmond Schoolhouse. We meet at 5:30pm at 16600- N.E. 80th in Redmond. Hope to see you too for a FREE dinner with new friends. bring your business cards and a smile!. Check out our speaker schedule to find someone you might like to hear, and come on down…. we’ll have a seat for you. www.RedmondRousersRotary.org

Kelly Kyle – Artist, Humanitarian, Friend

www.CreativeARTbyKelly.blogspot.com