29 May 2007

Grace Cards

For those women who have attended any of my groups, know that I begin every session with Cheryl Richardson's Grace Cards. Grace cards are a deck of 50 beautifully illustrated cards with a simple self-care message on each. I use the cards at the start of all of my group sessions as a centering, a prayer, and an ice-breaker. It gets everyone to share and tell a little bit about themselves so that everyone in the room knows them too.

I have shared here and in my groups, that I am going through a transitional period right now. I am facing some definite unknowns and there is a level of fear. I will choose to do the next right thing, and do it afraid. I love the saying, "And this too shall pass." I know that intellectually, but it's still right now, and hasn't passed yet!

Every morning as part of my morning ritual, I pull 3 Grace Cards to see what the Divine has to say to me. Sometimes they are just reminders to stop and take a breath. I can forget this, especially in the throws of transition. The Grace Cards have a way of bringing me back to what is authentic. So, what cards "found" me this morning?

Silence: Be still.
Awaken: Keep your eyes open.
Peace: When we balance silence and activity, we discover true peace of mind -- the source of all joy and happiness.

Of course, I began to cry. So, what's the message?

And this too shall pass -- if you would just be still, staying aware and alert, true peace will come.

And so it is.

Coach Carolyn

Reflecting on the Purposeful Question: What do you really want?

Being a woman of purpose, I too sit and reflect on the posts I write, especially the purposeful questions. This particular question is a meaningful one for me right now as I am in a transitional period on my journey. Although I am a woman of inner peace, there is this crazy and wonderful thing called life that just keeps getting in the way. Whenever the storms of life come at me, I must reshift my approach to the way I deal with that particular storm.

I cannot and will not allow the storms to get inside of me. I must resist the temptation to become less than my divine self. I remain centered, knowing and trusting that the Great Divine Spirit is there to protect me, and walk me through whatever storms may come my way. This is a deliberate and conscious choice and not an easy one to cultivate. But it can be done.

Our natural tendency is to revert back to our old patterns of behavior, our old and limiting ways of reacting -- even though none of these behaviors ever worked for us in the past. We reach for the familiar, even if the familiar does not seve us. We must learn new ways of tapping into our authentic beings and pulling out what will serve us -- emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Whenever I am in a space of unrest or upset, my natural tendency is withdrawal and shutdown. As a child, I truly believed that if I was invisible, then no harm could come to me. I carried this message into my adult life. It may have served me minimally as a child (children are meant to be seen and not heard), but it definitely does not serve me today. In fact, it annoys the heck out of the guys I date. So I continally get the question, "Where are you?" or "Where did you go?" It does not serve, me or anyone I choose to be in communion with.

So, what do I really want? To be free to be -- knowing that I am a work in progress; knowing that life is a process; knowing that I am a unique and wonderful expression of the Divine; knowing that I am going to stumble sometimes, then get up and hopefully help someone else who has fallen; knowing that I am a woman of peace, passion, purpose and play!

Write to me and tell me what you really want. Either leave me a comment or email me. This is a journey to be travelled together, not alone.

Wishing you peace, passion, and purpose!
Coach Carolyn

26 May 2007

Meetup with Meetup with Purpose

Greeting of peace, Purposeful People!

I was privileged to be invited to the Meetup Headquarters in SOHO to have lunch (quite delicious, I might add) and chat and share with the Meetup Staff and other organizers about our meetup experiences. It was a wonderful experience. And, yeah, it's a REAL business. The offices are quite nice and inviting.

Of course, I got to chat with CEO Scott Heiferman again. Then the brainstorming began! For those of you who don't know me, I am an avid dreamer and brainstorming is just dreaming out loud with other people! Rock on!

Anyway, Scott loves our meetup model, the fact that it has purpose; and wants to "spawn" it. So he hooked me up with Maya, and well, more to come on this later.

I want to thank Linda, Katie and Derrick, my meetup hosts, for their fabulous hospitality. Also, a wonderful shout out to the entire Meetup Staff for their warmth, encouragement and the cool eats! Keep up the great work guys!

And to my Becoming a Woman of Purpose members -- doesn't all this just give you more passion to come and share? I know it does me. So hope to see more of you ladies at the June meetup.

Peace, passion, and purpose!
Coach Carolyn

Purposeful Question for Reflection

"What do you really want?"

How many times in our lives do we stop and ask ourselves this question? Well, hit the pause button, sit, and be still while you ponder and reflect. Then journal. If the answer comes as a surprise, don't let it go, follow up with another question. Then take a breath and sit with the question.

Let me know what comes up for you.

Coach Carolyn

20 May 2007

The Two Wolves

I tell this story to all of my workshop and lecture audiences because it speaks so much about life and purpose. And being part Cherokee, it speaks even louder.

A Grandfather from the Cherokee Nation was talking with his grandson.

"A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves."

"One wolf is evil and ugly: He is anger, envy, war, greed, self-pity, sorrow, regret, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, selfishness and arrogance."

"The other wolf is beautiful and good: He is friendly, joyful, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, justice, fairness, empathy, generosity, true, compassion, gratitude, and deep vision."

"This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other human as well."

The grandson paused in deep reflection because of what his grandfather had just said. Then he finally cried out; "Grandfather, which wolf will win?"

The elder Cherokee simply replied, "The one that you feed."

So, which wolf are you feeding?

Wishing you peace,
Coach Carolyn

Perfectionism is the thief of purpose

One of the things that came up at our May Becoming a Woman of Purpose meetup was the thief of perfectionism. Why do I call it a thief? Well, simply because it steals from you. It steals your joy, your passion, your creativity, your inner child, and the list can go on. All these elements lead to living life on purpose.

Defining the term perfectionism, I quote our trusty Wikipedia: The persistence of will in obtaining the optimal present and future quality of spiritual, mental, physical, and material being.

Whew! What a mouthful! Okay, that means I am obsessed with producing the best outcome in all I do. And sometimes even the best is not good enough! Perfectionism is about being in control and not trusting in the process or the Divine.

My response to perfectionism is to take the action and let go of the result. This is not going to happen overnight -- just as cultivating the habit of perfectionism did not happen overnight. It takes time and re-conditioning. But you are a woman of purpose, so you are worth the time and effort. You devote your time and energy to other things, why not devote some of that to yourself, especially if you want back your joy, your peace, your passion, and your creativity.

Don't try to break an existing habit; but replace it with a new healthy habit. Remember, it's about which wolf you are willing to keep feeding. When you stop feeding a habit, like anything, it will die. So stop feeding the habit of perfectionism and watch it starve to death!

Until next time, here's to healthy wolves,
Coach Carolyn

Life Purpose Statements -- May Meetup

The May Becoming a Woman of Purpose meetup was wonderful and very insightful for the women. During our sharing one of the women stated that her real life is so far from her dreams. How true that is for most of us. Unfortunately, we are not living the life we dream of or, at least even remotely. Most of us tend to live a life that someone else has scripted and laid out for us -- we are following the family script, the economic script, the cultural script, the gender script, and the list goes on.

So at our May meetup, we started looking at what some of those dreams were using our positive characteristics and the actions we take to live that out. Some surprises, some confirmations, and some plans for immediate action steps.

The Becoming a Woman of Purpose meetup is also about accountability and support. It is so easy to get caught up and even lost in the daily grind that we forget why we have been summoned to this planet. We each have a unique assignment here that no one else can complete. Life is about living out that unique assignment. When this is done fully, with joy, then we know a life of inner peace, passion, and purpose.

Until next time, live passionately!
Coach Carolyn

16 May 2007

The Koozebanian Mating Ritual

Now, this is living on purpose!

Meetup with Purpose!

Hey My Purposeful Sisters!

Last evening I attended the NYC Meetup Organizers Meetup which is for Meetup organizers. Duh! Our host organizer, David Greene, was gracious and awesome as usual. We were joined by Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman and two of his team members. We all introduced ourselves and our individual meetups along with any questions and concerns we were experiencing. It was a wonderful and informative evening.

Later that evening Scott approached me with the "Meetup Bag." What's the Meetup Bag? Well, I'm so glad you asked! It was a red bag with meetup goodies inside but also inside was an invitation to the Meetup offices in SOHO to have lunch and discuss our meetup! Well, how cool is that? If you check out the Organizers Meetup page, you can see a pix of me chatting with Scott. So, next week I will be absolutely bragging about all of us on purpose women!

Stay tuned purposeful sisters...
Coach Carolyn

11 May 2007

Live with Joy

“Fill your life with as many moments and experiences of joy and passion as you humanly can.” – Marcia Wieder

“We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.” – Kahlil Gibran

Joy and happiness are not the same thing. Joy is an internal process grounded in knowledge of spiritual truth, the ability to trust the wisdom of the Divine. Happiness is generally a mental and emotional response to temporary external stimulation, in response to a perceived need. Joy is a state of being, emotional stimulation in response to spiritual inspiration, whereas, happiness is a demonstration or expression reliant on a series of events that may or may not occur.

People often ask me why am I always so happy giving the amount of tragedy I have experienced. And I tell them, it isn’t happiness, it is joy; that deep, inward delight that no matter what is going on around you, will never be disturbed. My joy is divinely-inspired; and it is expressed passionately in my life purpose. I do what I have been created to do. Nothing more, nothing less.

Are you living with joy? Or do you follow whichever way the wind blows?

Live passionately on purpose and with joy,
Coach Carolyn

Your Life Purpose

“The search for the purpose of life is one of the deepest of our experiences as human beings…. Deep in our hearts, we all want to find and fulfill a purpose bigger than ourselves. For each of us the real purpose is personal and passionate: to know what we are to do and why.” -- Os Guinness

Do you know what you put on this earth to do? Do you thrive in your daily life, or merely survive? If you are like most women, you probably believe you are here to fulfill one or several roles – daughter, wife, mother, aunt, sister. Or, to seek your fulfillment in a job or career – lawyer, doctor, therapist, teacher.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with the roles mentioned. If they are how you are to live out your life purpose, then that is wonderful. But if they are simply a means to an end, just to pay the bills, with no real joy or passion, then something is very wrong. Living your life purpose should make you want to sing all day. Answer these brief questions about how you contribute to this global society:

* Is there a need – does it serve a greater purpose?
* Do I have the necessary skills, gifts and talents?
* Does it bring me joy?

Did you answer yes without any hesitation? If you did, congratulations on living out your divine purpose. If you answered no, then girlfriend, we need to talk!

Until next time, live with passion!

Coach Carolyn