Posted by KakieF on February 14, 2013
There are people who will say Valentines Day is a novelty, but I think it’s an opportunity to reflect, create a memory or perform a random act of kindness, because sometimes even the smallest gesture can go a long way.
My mom never forgets a Valentines Day. Last night she came over with the tulips you see in the background of the picture, made dinner and then did some religion homework with my son.
She gave me the red heart ornament in the picture years ago on a February 14th. It says “Kakie” and on the back Love, Mom. Time has worn the ink from changing the oil in the decanter.
The faded letters on the ornament and the flowers are both signals for me. One, a gentle reminder about being present, new life, spring and what lies ahead. The other is to pause, step back, appreciate those around me and celebrate the journey. We didn’t get here alone and couldn’t have accomplished all that has been without others. Look how far we’ve come. For many of us it can seem quite remarkable.
Life puts gifts at our feet which we don’t recognize at first. Sometimes we stumble over them or we get in our own way. It’s okay because we are all flawed and I think there is beauty in that. Somehow we always manage to get back up, brush ourselves off and move ahead.
We are exactly where we are meant to be at any given moment and we have all of the tools we need. Today, give yourself permission to slow down, take a deep breath, find gratitude and share it with someone.
I would love to hear stories about small gestures that meant a great deal to you Share them below and thanks for stopping by. Happy Valentines Day.
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership, Reflections on Life | Tagged: gratitude, leadership and life, Life Lessons, Personal development, personal growth, Random acts of kindness, reflection, self reflection, self-improvement, The Journey, valentines day | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on February 27, 2012
We have been traveling down the road trying to figure out life, made decisions for valid reasons and our intentions have always come from the right place. Perhaps there have been situations where we said or did things we wished we hadn’t because we felt pressure or fear. We’ve had regrets and pangs of anxiety when we’ve heard the ongoing question in our heads; “What were you thinking?” and sometimes wish there was an undo button.
Then we are somehow reminded that imperfection is universal and our response is just a symptom of the problem, but not the result. We eventually come around, back to the place where we feel grounded and tell ourselves it is time to realign our thoughts, feelings and actions with our values, principles and goals. It is the spot of acceptance and redemption because we acknowledge being wrong, that we make mistakes and that the human condition is designed with perfectly imperfect flaws. Beauty and broken-ness teaches us there are rewards to staying on our path and to trust that nothing happens by chance.
Being a good leader means remembering we have all the tools we need and it is up to us to use them. Leaning into discomfort teaches us what we are supposed to be learning. Regret gives us the invaluable lesson that there is power in how we choose to use circumstances to move forward and do better.
On this journey of 21 days to happiness, I have wanted to go through this process the right way. Then I realized I get to define what it means to do things the right way. Although I have not written a post every single day, I am thinking about and practicing gratitude constantly because I am writing about it. That is progress, which I think is delightful.
Three things I am thankful for today:
- The fresh smell of clean laundry
- Starting each day with intention
- That I am practicing gratitude each day
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership | Tagged: Acceptance, hope, Imperfection, leadership, new beginnings, Personal development, redemption, reflection, regret, renewal, self reflection | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on February 14, 2012
21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for:
Years ago I attended personal growth and leadership seminars by Earnie Larsen, who used the analogy of “Who is driving your bus?” to illustrate how people hold on to resentments and that often, “then is now.” So let me give you an example of what he meant by that.
When Johnny was 7 years old, his parents were constantly at odds and one day, while they were fighting, he began screaming at them to stop, started sobbing and ran outside. No one came to console him, apologize or explain the argument was not about him.
It broke a part of his spirit and sample messages he could have carried from that might be “love hurts, nobody listens to me anyway, I will never allow others to be that much in control again,” etc.
Now, what if we put that seven-year old’s outdated lie in charge of driving his life (aka bus) for 50 years? Who is behind the wheel? That is an awful lot of years of pain and false data from which he establishes his viewpoint. The reality is, his parents were probably young and just trying to figure things out themselves, but that was not what he took from the experience.
Examples like this play out every day at home and at work. As leaders,we manage people with various backgrounds and social styles. Perhaps if we keep stories like the one above in mind, it can help us incorporate emotional intelligence and compassion into our professional environments in ways that are healthy. Intent, usually comes from the right place and situations are not always as they seem at first glance.
Hanging on to resentment is a painful form of abuse that prevents us from having self-compassion, but all too often, we may not even realize we are clinging to a given injustice. That resistance gets us emotionally jammed and a majority of people do not have any idea how to get unstuck.
One solution? “And acceptance is the answer to all of my problems today.” Someone once told me there are four stages that shine in the face of love. They are:
These four things are at the core of who we are when we are born. What if we made it our goal to live these principles in every aspect of our lives daily as a way to get back to our core being? Including loving all of our resentments and saying yes, accepting the things we can’t control. What if this was your personal growth homework? What have you got to lose? Try it for a few days and let me know how it works for you. Who is driving your bus today?
Three things I am grateful for today:
- The process of allowing, acceptance, approval and appreciation.
- The idea that “If you don’t give yourself any options, you don’t have any choices.” There is always another way, we get to seek the counsel of others to help us with that.
- That I have learned how to give myself permission to let go of old resentments and lies
Posted in Business | Tagged: Acceptance, Emotion, Emotional intelligence, gratitude, Health, leadership, Mental Health, Personal development, reflections on leadership, Resentment, Self-Help | 1 Comment »
Posted by KakieF on February 2, 2012
21 days to happiness: My story and 3 things I am thankful for.
Today I am grateful for my health and to celebrate that, I went for a one hour walk. During my walk, I was listening to a personal growth seminar about taking a first step towards a new way of living.
I am ready to make some changes in my life which is going to take courage because it means facing fears openly, with a goal to change “old lies” or negative self talk. The only person’s truth I can live is my own, so I will share my stories with anticipation of finding a new place to stand and have a different view of life. Transparency about vulnerabilities does not come natural to me, but by sharing my walk towards self-compassion I will learn, grow, and hopefully teach. Research shows it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so here is my first step towards happiness in 21 days.
“Then is now.” How are we repeating old patterns that began at another time in our lives?
I grew up in a loving family and am the oldest of 3. My parents were divorced when I was young and as the oldest, often, I was the one left in charge when adults were not present. At the age of ten or eleven years old, that meant I got to “tell my siblings what to do.” I tried and got frustrated because often, they didn’t listen. They were just busy being kids, doing what kids do.
There were good things that came from the experience. It helped me be responsible, strong, independent and someone who sets high expectations of myself, (a blessing and a curse). The hard part was I felt out of control because I did not have the tools to know how to give myself (and them) options. The old lie or message I took from that much of my life was fear of not doing or being good enough.
But now, years later I don’t have to carry that message around any longer because it is not true!
I AM worthy, I CAN do the work by telling that old lie it does NOT have control in my life any longer. Today, I embrace this truth. I deserve happiness, I matter and I am enough.
3 things I am grateful for:
- That I have family and friends who love me
- That I am ready to take this journey and I don’t have to do it alone
- That I am learning to treat myself the same way I would treat those who I love
Posted in Business | Tagged: Personal development | Leave a Comment »
Posted by KakieF on August 27, 2011
How many times do we allow negative self talk to be in control when life is so full of empowerment choices? When we are hard on ourselves it is an especially important time to break the pattern because we can. We get to give ourselves permission to learn, recycle and reinvent!
Courage takes guts and is about doing whatever it takes to find a place of peace and serenity. Its about facing the things in life that are hard and walking through them no matter what challenges present themselves. It takes an awful lot of humility to face our flaws, but acknowledgement is the first step to healing.
Years ago I was at a personal growth seminar by a local author by the name of Earnie Larson. I was saddened to hear of his passing in January of 2011. He changed the lives of many people and the quote from him I will always carry with me. “What we learn, we practice. What we practice, we become. What we become has consequences.” That statement was about change and teaching ourselves new behaviors.
When we hear the saying that people don’t change it drives me crazy because guess what?
Change —- Is —- Constant.
It is the way people try not to transform and grow that is crazy. How easily we forget that fear can be healthy if it motivates us to do something differently. It is how we experience adjustments in our lives and what we do with that information that matters. Personal courage and growth is a choice, so what are you waiting for?
Greatness requires simplicity. Get out there and make it happen because you can.
What does having courage mean to you?
Posted in Business, Reflections on Leadership | Tagged: adapting to change, change, Coaching, Courage, leadership, Personal development, Self-Help | 3 Comments »