Are you a Multipotentialite?

This morning I was having a conversation with my daughter about college classes as some of her older cousins are going off to college in the Fall. She was wondering how many different classes you could take each semester and suggested that you could take classes in your major and your minor. I suggested the idea of taking a class just because you may be interested in the subject and she informed me that this was not allowed…she is eleven.

How does my daughter at age eleven already feel that you have to choose a course of study in college and follow that course into the world of work?

Cultural norms support the idea that we have one purpose; that we are meant to do one important thing here on this earth over and over again until we achieve mastery. This general cultural bias towards specialization leaves out the opportunity for one to experience a broad range of possibilities.

In some of us, it creates anxiety over the consequences of choosing the wrong major, or taking the wrong job, or wanting to switch career paths in midlife. What if you want to study many subjects or have many careers or would like to pursue many interests? 

What if you’re an e-Ticket kind of person who just wants to do it all!! 

Well, you may be a Multipotentialite: A person with many interests and creative pursuits. And for you, there are likely many paths.

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Unstuck

I know I’m stuck when I have no answer for the simple question, what’s going on?  My honest answer would be, not much and everything at the same time…I am exhausted and not getting anything done!  But to be more PC, I give a standard answer about the usual life stuff: work, kid, travel, house, etc.

Does this sound familiar?

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Have You Met the New You? Updating Your Operating System for the New Year

A new operating system comes out and we rush to update our devices, but what about ourselves?  Are we integrating the newest version of us? This holiday season with all of the rushing around, try to take some time out to update yourself before jumping into a New Year.

Now, you may be one who waits to install the update until you see how it works for others or until the bugs are all worked out. Or maybe you feel you have always been doing something the same way and it is working out for you, like that old chocolate chip cookie recipe that makes everyone happy.  If this is sincerely the case, then keep on doing it the same way! But if you want to do something different or want a different result, you have to update your data to the new you. You have new life experience, new information, new preferences and even new values.  You may wish to work with new people or in a new environment.

Don’t bring the old you to a new situation. Update your operating system before the New Year!

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Transitions are Supposed to be Uncomfortable

Transitions are challenging for most of us and the truth is that they should be. A transition is like a chemistry experiment where you are moving from one state to another and along the way there is turbulence. A transition creates an internal state of chaos so that you can reorganize the patterns in your life and get rid of what is no longer working.

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Unplug

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  -Anne Lamott

Most of us need to make a conscious effort to take a break from technology as our electronic devices are just too addictive to put down. For me, the best break from technology is to be without a WiFi connection. This forced break brings my focus back to the present and allows me to be in touch with my inner self. I recently returned from a backpacking trip into the heart of the North Cascades National Park where I was without a WiFi and cellular connection for five days. At first, it was tough to let go of my desire  to be entertained, distracted and generally attached to my phone. My phone feels like an extension of me and when I cannot find it I can experience a mini panic attack. I was experiencing this panic-like feeling for about the first 24 hours of the trip and then something wonderful happened….I forgot about my phone and I began to interact in an authentic way with my surroundings.

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Traveling to a new destination can grow your brain

On a recent plane trip, I read that 85% of US vacation travelers are inclined to visit the same place every year. Many of them stay in the same hotel and eat at the same restaurants. While repetition can create wonderful traditions for people, it can also lead to complacency and staleness.

Did you know you can evolve your brain simply by visiting a new destination?

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Are You a Free Agent?

Are you tired of working hard for a company that lacks good leadership?

Are you disenchanted working for an organization that doesn’t share your values, but not quite ready to go it alone?  

I work with many people who are considering working for themselves to make work more fulfilling, but the solitary path is not an easy one and it is certainly not for everyone. For many workers who are feeling stuck, there is a growing movement called the Free Agent economy. Free agents are people who work in flexible environments and set up their own work rules.  They can operate within larger companies on a contract basis, or they can be self-employed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an estimated 40% of all U.S. workers now operate on a part-time or contract basis.

What exactly is a “free agent” and what is the advantage of being one?

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Gathering up your life: Transitioning to Fall

September is the new Summer for Moms!

It’s the first week of Fall, but for many moms with young children it feels like summer has just begun.  The kids are back in school full swing and activities have been sorted out.  Moms can take a collective exhale and breathe some new life into themselves. How about taking a few of those precious moments to gather all of the seemingly disparate parts of your life to see how they fit together?  Hint: Even if your kids are not yet school aged, Fall is a great time for gathering.

Gathering up your life

Why is gathering important?  For me being pulled in many directions is discombobulating, frustrating and exhausting. Taking time out to gather up all the activities, to do’s, schedules and desires in my life and putting them into one place is a necessary exercise to get me back on track.

Gathering also helps integrate the seemingly disparate parts of your life. It is difficult to create meaning when our days are filled with pressure and anxiety from work, kids, meal preparation, volunteer commitments, errands, chores and more kids. Spending our evenings flopped in front of a screen doesn’t help either. This constant state of inattention leaves us out of touch with our emotional life and functioning on autopilot. Gathering helps us to understand what is important and creates a framework to ensure that we focus on the important pieces.

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Turn Resolutions into Decisions

Have you already given up on your New Year’s resolutions?

It turns out that you are not alone. Only 8% of people who make resolutions at the start of the year end up successfully fulfilling them. (Source: University of Scranton. Journal of Clinical Psychology) I am among the 92% who gave up a great intention this year. The goal was for our whole family to cut out desserts and treats during the week. I admit it was bold as there are treats everywhere during the holiday season, but we went for it. The first few days were pretty easy as I had cleared the house of sweets and we were eating at home. Then came a jam-packed day,

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Taking the Hit as a Gift

The Hit

About three months ago, my husband was unexpectedly laid off.  It was a huge blow for him and our family as we were unprepared for this situation.  However, as the news started to sink in, I found myself strangely happy and relieved.  I saw his layoff as gift; it presented an opportunity for him to find a more positive environment where his skills and expertise would be utilized and he would feel challenged.

My aikido teacher, George Leonard, called this awareness, “taking the hit as a gift.”  At various times in life we all receive “hits.”  They can take the form of injury or accident, relationship struggles, career pitfalls, family crises or disappointments.  Some are more forceful than others.  When we receive the hit and label it as “bad” or “negative” we lose the opportunity to grow.  If we receive the hit and look at it as a “gift” we can open up to the possibility to change a pattern, belief, behavior or relationship in our life that is no longer serving us.  We are empowered by this wake-up-call to act in a way that improves our health and wholeness thus embracing the pain or challenge for what it is…an opportunity.

Here are a couple of ways that you can take your next “hit” as a gift:

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