That thought came to me as I woke up and wiped the sleep gunk out of my eyes. It's not an original thought, but it is for me insofar as I tend to awake, most mornings, with a sense of fight or flight panic, dread, resistance, and/or all of the above.
But this morning I woke up, walked over to the mirror stretched my arms and said to myself, you are a chrysalis in the transformative process of becoming a beautiful butterfly.
Sounds hokey, but if you knew what I normally mumble to myself in the mirror when I awake, you, too, would opt for the hokey.
This first day on a journey paradigm has newfound meaning for me quite simply because while on a course I'm auditing this weekend, it came to me, as we were identifying our driving needs (things you absolutely have to have in life apart from basic needs) and how those needs manifest themselves negatively/destructively, that my driving need for newness and adventure has been behind my compulsion to move every couple of years. It was a bit of an epiphany to realize that instead of uprooting us every couple of years, I can actual manifest this same restless energy and drive for adventure in smaller, more productive ways. Like a holiday or a new, adventurous hobby, for example. :)
Even though I'd been there, done that with this course before, I think it took me being in my 40s and knowing myself a wee bit better than I did at age 29, to dig deeper into what really makes me tick. Fast forward ten+ years for my next insight.
The program I'm auditing is called Advancement of Excellence (see "course" link above for details). It's an 8-10-week program designed to advance graduates of the previous two programs (Pursuit of Excellence and The Wall) to the praxis level, where theory meets practice. I use the term "graduate" because that's their lingo. I still think of "they" as being Context Associated, a San Francisco based organization now focused exclusively on leadership training, although Context has since closed their branch offices throughout Western US and Canada and have opted to franchise the intellectual property and rights instead.
Quite literally, this course work transformed my life back in the early to mid-90s. I know so because I can even remember the hotel locale and room of when I attended my first introductory seminar. This from the gal who has a hard time remembering what she did the day, week and month previous.
So anyways, long story short, I took the first two, and then Hubby was so intrigued with my positive changes (ie. less nagging), that he followed suit. And then we took the Advancement together.
But much has changed since those days. An overseas move, starting my own business, having two kids, moving cities, finding my birth family, and last but not least, realizing my long-term vision goal (first formulated at The Wall session on Orcas Island in December of 1993) of us living on the west coast with our two kids (who weren't even in the making at that stage).
And lo and behold, our west coast dream came true. The only thing missing is the timber frame home and water view but alas, we are still house hunting.
Anyhoo here I am, back in The Advancement 13 years later to the month, working on my schtuff. And it is mostly the same schtuff, although I have worked my way up the self-actualization ladder a tad since then and am not as preoccupied about career concerns as I was back then. But it' s refreshing to know that I have realized many of the dreams and goals I listed 13 years ago (go to university, have kids, travel overseas, etc).
One of the coolest things about the program is that anyone who goes through the programs (course fees range from about $700 and go up incrementally a couple hundred from there), may audit the programs free of charge for the rest of their lives. So the investment we made way back in the day has repaid itself a few times over.
We've had the privilege of "auditing" Pursuit programs as well as assisting as logistical support team members for Pursuit and The Wall. And now the audit privilege pays off hugely because the value of Advancement is truly priceless. There's a tremendous amount of what they call "space scrubbing" that goes on in the two months of AOE so that participants can rocket through their various life "to-do" and task lists - both big and small - and work at completing "incomplete" and things that have been weighing on them.
For me, those things include getting my Canadian taxes done (capital Y yuck for dread but capital V in vitality for relief), finally writing my Washington State driver's test, purging closets and organizing a garage sale, to name but a few.
Each participant goes in with an area of focus. I've chosen Vitality, which is a necessary benchmark for me in knowing if my life is working or not. If I don't have a feeling of vitality, then basically, life sucks for me.
So I'll be working on kick-starting my vitality again by focusing on my physical health and getting at all those incomplete tasks in my life, which have been weighing most heavily on my psyche.
Growing up in Canada in the 70s, I and others of my generation learned all we needed to know about physical achievement and physical health from the good folks at Health Canada because of our mandatory participation in a school program called Participaction. I don't remember the entire drill, but essentially, every kid - short/tall, big/small - had to go through a mini-circuit training drill which included chin-ups, sprints, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. and depending on how fast one went or many one did, each kid would be awarded a bronze, silver or gold embroidery medal. I remember that I only ever earned bronzes - never a Silver or Gold - I hated chin-ups more than anything on earth in those days.
Looking back, it was pretty cool stuff - I'm glad to see it's been resurrected and I sort of wish they did it here. Kids here only have to attend gym once a week for 40 minutes. Whenever I peek in on gym class, I only ever see them skooting around on weird little but skooters or some other lame non-active activity. How pathetic is that? It's why I'm starting a jump rope and hoops club at our local school. After-school sports aside, kids today do not get as much exercise, especially proportionate to today's high-fat dietary realities.
And surprise, surprise - neither am I getting enough exercise. My chin-up dread has stayed with me. I still hate working out. It's bound up in a deep-seated belief I have that I am strong. So whenever I do anything that jeopardizes that belief, I stop doing it (weight-lifting, jogging, squats, lunges, etc.). I just give up.
Not this time though. It's the last area of my spiritual triad (Mind, Body, Spirit), I have yet to work on and gosh dang it, I'm determined to make this work.
Our course leader reminded us this weekend that it is the little steps taken over a long period of time that produce results. For those of us impatient types who except big results now, that's a profound paradigm shift.
So baby steps and slow and steady it is then. I am a tenacious ninja turtle.
And this time, I'm going for gold.
Law of AttractionNeedless to say, I'm excited, once again, about this program. It's cool to be auditing it post-Secret hooplah. Naturally, all personal development training seminars have capitalized on the law of attraction buzz and absolutely all of them - from Anthony Robbins to Joe Schmoe, will assert that they were teaching this stuff long before Rhonda Byrne clued in down under.
Case in point, one of the first notions we were introduced to in Pursuit was this concept of attraction - ie. I attract to me that which occurs. This statement is not about right or wrong, good or bad - it is simply a workable position from which empowerment and reactive choice can foster.
So I can choose to get caught up in fault and blame in a series of bad-luck car accidents, and go into oh-woe is me, victim mode, which is what I've noticed a certain awol blogger doing, or I can look at it and go, OK, so I attracted this into my life, what am I going to do accept this and move on, or deny and stay stuck? It's trickier still when issues like abuse, serious illness, and death , factor in, but tremendous empowerment can come from using the law of attraction to work through these obviously-unwanted incidents.
We discussed the Law of Attraction quite a bit this weekend and were even provided a great little book (way better than The Secret people, check it out!), called none other than The Law of Attraction. It's written by Michael J. Losier, a Context graduate in Victoria, BC, and he takes all the best elements first revealed mainstream by the likes of Ernest Holmes, Jerry & Esther Hicks, et al, and repackages them into an engaging yet simple and practical format.
Losier defines the law of attraction as, "I attract to myself whatever I give my attention, energy and focus to, whether wanted or unwanted." Case in point, I have been busily cyber-shopping for a home and I have been singularly focused on building a list of things I don't want in a house - I don't want a split entry (we call them bi-levels back home), I don't want an ugly kitchen, I don't want a house that needs a ton of renovation, etc. You get the point. And guess what seems to have flooded the market in our area and price-range? Yup, heaps of tired, fixer-uppers. Methinks it's time to change my mental language.
Anyways, through some agreement Losier has cooked up with Excellence Seminars, all of us participants got a free copy of his books. It was almost like being on the Oprah show ~ (well OK, minus the Armani handbag and free car).
All that said, I have a good vibe about this chemical marriage between attraction and participAction. Thinking good thoughts is one thing - putting my time, money, energy where my abundant and harmonic wealth thoughts are is quite another.
Stay tuned for updates!