amber waves coaching
Today I looked at the weather app on my phone, to see how long this rain was expected to last. A while later, I realized that I had looked at the app, but had no idea what the temperature was, because that wasn't what I was looking for in that moment. And it occurred to me, wow, that's how people are generally. We see what we look for, and what we believe. All else will be invisible to us.
This is how the human mind works, in fact. If we took in all sensory information available, we would be overwhelmed immediately. So our minds primarily delete anything outside where we habitually, or consciously focus, what it considers potentially important.
Our brains scan our environment based on our thoughts, feelings, experiences, and beliefs--our filters. Much of this is unconscious and habitual. We can also consciously ask a question, then our minds (and nowadays, fingers and Google) will search for answers to that question.
The questions themselves direct the answers we get. For instance, if our focus is negative, we'll get more negative back. The same happens if our focus is positive. So, we can use this system to our advantage, by paying attention to what questions we ask, and also HOW we frame them. In that way we can open up a world of possibilities, by making more of the invisible, visible.
It is unfair for you to ask of anyone something they are unable (or unwilling) to give, and that you are unable (or unwilling) to receive.
I sent this recently to a friend who is struggling with a breakup & depression during this pandemic, but I think it applies to most of us:
On this day, no matter how boring or difficult you may find it, know that you can choose to find ways to make it better. There's always a light in the darkness, though you must choose to see it, or may even need to seek it out. You are not alone, there are people who care about you. Know also that you MATTER...not just for what you can do, but for who you are. Remember that, especially on the grey days. 🤗
The other day, in the midst of this global pandemic, this mantra came to me: "Be visible! You are not meant to remain a best-kept secret."
Come out of the shadows and into the light. Start a revolution if you need to. Lead. Write. Be you. Look forward, not back. Excavate the lessons, take what is useful into the future, leave the rest, release it. Enlist allies, gather support. Be a maverick. Take calculated risks. Don't go it alone, but lead. Be bold. Color outside the lines. Be careful who you surround yourself with. Be a compassionate leader. Let that be your guidance.
Oakwood Cemetery's Death Letter Project - North Carolina was selected as the 2019 Keeping it Personal Event Award Recipient by the International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association
Out of 47 nominations from 3 continents our project was selected as the winner.
https://spark.adobe.com/page/Ik1TyxsWmoguP/ (See the project)
https://spark.adobe.com/page/rIN92zwBzbhz3/ (See Amber's letter)
Words of wisdom from my former skating coach, that also apply to life.
She meant it literally at the time, because if you look straight down doing figures in skating, you'll fall on your face. You must look ahead to see what's coming in order to make adjustments and adapt.
Life is constantly changing. The things that happen to and around us are actually devoid of meaning, until we as humans give them meaning. Don't let your present circumstances limit your vision for your future.
Being grateful for what was
embrace what now is
and allow for what is yet to be.
On this magical Christmas Day, a point of reflection: The only things that truly matter are not things...They are our experiences, our contributions, our relationships--and how we create meaning from each of these.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!
Last year, after mending a broken foot, I wrote about some of the overarching lessons learned through that experience, for which I created a charm bracelet as a physical reminder (October 2017 blog entry). There was a fourth lesson, probably the most difficult one for me. I've since added a charm for it.
The lesson was for accepting help. Even with a broken foot, I stubbornly refused to accept any help, at least at first. "No, I can do it! I've got it!" Until I realized just how exhausting trying to do everything myself--especially whilst injured and healing--truly was. And people seemed to genuinely WANT to help. They were everywhere: friends, neighbors, colleagues, and a surprising number of strangers. Many shared their own stories of having gone through something similar in the past. Each was an opportunity for real connection.
The fourth charm is an open heart with a wing in the interior. It symbolizes this connection between people--the helpers (Good Samaritans!) and the person being helped.
This was a tough lesson for me. It's seriously difficult to acknowledge that you need help, especially when you are accustomed to being the helper. I believe this is true for so many of us. We so value independence and believe we should be able to do everything on our own, to our own detriment. We refuse help when offered, believing that it makes us look weak. But what if the opposite is actually true? What if being able to acknowledge and accept that we may need some additional support instead makes us courageous, as well as affords an opportunity to connect with a fellow human being? And that it helps the helper just as much, to be of service to someone? Think about it--were the situation reversed, wouldn't most of us be willing to offer that very assistance?