Archive for July, 2008

The WisdomCoach says: A Wonderful Trip to Hawaii

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

I recently to a trip to Hawaii. It was wonderful. It was also great to spend time with my family and explore new sights and terrain. I also enjoyed the opportunity to distance myself from my computer and technology. I found the separation to be a healthy and rejuvenating experience.

 

For someone whose intention it is to stay fully present in my heart, I find that technology has the ability to keep me trapped in my head. I can easily get sucked into my computer and completely lose track of time and my focus. After doing so, I often feel buzzed and even a bit dizzy. I am sure that some of this is from my head injury, but I often wonder if others are similarly affected.

 

While visiting the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui, I came across a book titled Last Child in the Woods:  Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. (Click for Author’s Web Site)

 

It is about the many children today who have lost their connection to nature due to the fact that they spend the majority of their time indoors (playing video and computer games and watching television). It made me sad to think of anyone missing the opportunity to understand the delightful power of Mother Nature and her abundant gifts; something for which we often take for granted.

 

I live in a small mountain community visited by over three million people a year who come to explore Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s not hard to spot the out of towners as they are the ones loudly talking on their cell phones in the checkout line at the supermarket, painfully unaware of their surroundings. They seem rushed, confused, and clearly not present. It is my hope that after spending some time in the park (where there is no cell phone coverage by the way) that they will re-emerge with a new sense of connection both to nature and to themselves. Perhaps they will also bring this reconnection with them as they journey back home and plunge back into their fast-paced, technologically rich lives.

 

I was once on the leading edge of the technological world. I had an electronic newsletter long before a lot of people had email or a Web site. But over the past several years I have become out of touch with technology. I made a conscious choice to explore other things that had greater appeal to me (like spending time with my young daughter rather than learning how to properly operate my digital camera). I often wonder if my life has suffered for it, but when I consult my heart, I feel pleased with my choices. Perhaps I don’t know what I am missing, but judging from the joy I feel living at a snail’s pace here in the Rocky Mountains I am content not knowing how to text message (gasp!) while still listening to CDs on my walkman.

 

I ask you, does your soul yearn for a slower pace or a deeper connection within yourself? If so, might time spent in nature help you fulfill your intention? What might happen if you did?

 

copyright Carole L. Billingham 2008

The WisdomCoach says: Treat Yourself Like You Treat Your Friends

Sunday, July 13th, 2008

Years ago, a loving friend said to me, “If you treated your friends like you treat yourself, you wouldn’t have any friends.”

 

I remember being stunned and shocked in realization that she was indeed correct. 

 

Somewhere along the line, I had become cruel and mean to myself. I had become a relentless taskmaster with no tolerance for anything less than excellence. I had allowed my inner tyrant to take over my life and I had lost sight of who I really was. 

 

The irony was that I had a huge capacity to be kind and loving with everyone else on the planet except myself. In truth, I would have been ashamed and embarrassed if anyone discovered how brutal I could be, and was, with myself. 

I share this with you because I have discovered that most of us have an inner voice or two that if we allow it, can become quite bossy and out of control. Or worse, it can become amplified and can drive out all of the joy in our lives and replace it with FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real). Sadly, these voices can be very sneaky and manipulative. And who better to manipulate you than a part of you? Right?

The good news is that by remembering who really is in control of your life (and the voices in your head) you can start to embrace that inner taskmaster, send him/ her love and transform him/her into an ally. Believe it or not, that inner tyrant really does love you (after all, it’s a part of you). It has just gotten a bit out of whack on how it communicates its love to you. By loving rather than judging that part of you, you allow it to become integrated and healed so that the power it possesses can be used for your higher good rather than for self-destruction.

I have found there is freedom in being able to move from shame to a place of honesty and in turn community and connection in knowing that we are all in this together. We all have inner voices that can get us spinning and lost. In naming, loving, and reclaiming them we can finally be whole–complete and at peace–not to mention the world becomes a much nicer place both inside and out.

So, I challenge you this week to look inside and send love, lots of love, to every part of your being. I encourage you to send compassion and forgiveness to where there is judgment and to send joy to where there is rigidity or hardness.  I promise you, you’ll be glad you did.

copyright Carole L. Billingham 2008

The WisdomCoach says: Listen More, Talk Less

Sunday, July 6th, 2008

Have you ever found yourself babbling mindlessly to someone, more because of your discomfort with silence or your love of hearing yourself talk, than because of the importance of what you have to say? I certainly have. Once the embarrassment wore off I would often realize that my attention and focus had shifted away from my words and from the person I was talking with to a mindless place of self-centeredness. Simply put, I wasn’t fully present. 

Thankfully, as I matured and started to master the coaching skills that I have spent the past twelve years learning, I realized that there are many gifts to being fully present. At the top of that list is the gift of not looking like a fool.  Don’t get me wrong, I realize that there are a lot of other places where I can make a fool of myself, but babbling mindlessly is one that I’d like to think I have crossed off my list. 

 

All kidding aside, since I am now over 40, looking like a fool really doesn’t matter all that much to me anymore, but, honoring other people and their presence in my life does. And for that reason, I am compelled to pay better attention to whether I am fully present or not and to do my best to do so as often as I can. By doing so, I honor myself and those around me.   

 

In the interest of not babbling any further, I will leave you with a simple request. How about spending more time paying attention to what comes out of your mouth this week and challenging yourself to listen more and talk less?  I look forward to “hearing” how it goes.

copyright Carole L. Billingham, 2008