Archive for January, 2009

Holding you accountable

The last post requesting your ‘top ten nourishing lists’ was joyfully met with emails and commentary about what a fun and useful project this would be and how I could expect imminent posts….just so you know I am still holding you all accountable for doing that because knowing what nourishes you IS important and writing it down, as with a goal, commitment or financial intent for the year makes it just that more tangible to fulfill.

Looking forward to a great read!
C
P.S I think my laptop took great offense that I replaced my ’08 passion for ‘all things mac’ with ’09’s entry for ‘Chocolate and Cheese’, today my hard drive died and I am typing this on a borrowed computer… these lists are powerful things!!!!

strong>© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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Checking in on what nourishes you..

I have been writing various responses to corporate RFP’s (request for proposals) and have repeatedly been writing out the Red Barn Coaching modality which is that we coach individuals and relationship systems around three simple elements of fulfillment a. to be authentic, b. to know where we are headed and c. to nourish ourselves everyday, whether that is remembering to laugh, hug someone, have the time and space to be creative, workout or eat comfort food!

Today it reminded me to check in on my own nourishing list as published last year and to notice what might be new… so again in no particular order…

1. The lyrics to ‘Unwritten’ by Natasha Beddingfield
(This remains on the list, I was just dancing in my office to it this morning and I am also sneaking in Craig Armstrong’s composition for the balcony scene from Baz Lurman’s Romeo and Juliet. It is a breathtaking piece of music.)

2. My tiny beach shack
(Yes this remains on the list, though the idea of improving it might be the more nourishing idea..going to consider this a little more…)

3. My boyfriend Marc and all the yummy meals he makes time to cook for me
(Still yummy…boy and food)

4. Cuddling up to my dog Poppy while she snores.
(Of course…)

5. My incredible friends who support me in all I do
(Oh my gosh… I am overwhelmed with the generosity and live in gratitude everyday)

6. NEW ENTRY! My quirky office and all that RBC allows me to do.

7. NEW ENTRY! Cheese and chocolate…very careless to have left them off last year..

8. NEW ENTRY! The thrills of this week, the possibilities of real CHANGE. Yes We Can…

9. The life learnings I gain everyday from my clients
(Nourished to still approach each day with some aspect of ‘beginners mind’ and the preparedness to encounter the completely unexpected!)

10. Whimsy, laughter and Tord Boontje
(Tord is still super cool but so is the wonderful Creative Simon Kennedy who brought my whimsy to life last year. I think #10 becomes about nourishment in collaboration, without it my world would be a stark stark place.)

So that is my check in, and I commit to be aware of these morsels of nourishment as I go about 2009. What about you? Some of you generously shared your top ten lists last year and we would love an update, and for those of you new to this blog please post your ‘Nourishing Top 10 list’ into the comments section of this post, we would love to read them.

The joy of sharing aside it is actually a great structure to have, you will have a list to check in with so you can create habits of the things that nourish you and whenever you are feeling a little ‘off’ it is more than likely that you have neglected your nourishing list and choosing to do one or more of your items could get you back on track.

Excited to see what nourishes you.
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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Celebration in the North

There was a mini-exodus from Canada this weekend bound for Capitol Hill. Bus loads of people driving down to Washington, people car pooling, flying. The co-founder of Canadians For Obama bought his ticket before Obama had even won the democratic nomination.

Canadians worked here, to reach out to US and Dual citizens living in Canada to direct them to votefromabroad.org to request their absentee ballot and Canadians For Obama also helped to recruit Canadians to canvass battlegrounds such as Fort Worth, Tex., and Charlotte, N.C. The co-founder said the most striking thing about Canadian Obama supporters was that “they came from every single political stripe: We had federal Liberals, we had NDP, we had Green Party members, even some Conservatives. It was literally the whole [gamut] of the spectrum, but coming together around a common cause.” Inauguration parties are being planned across the country, Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, Ottawa to name a few. One small town is showing the Inauguration at the local movie house and giving away free popcorn.

Obama will make Canada his first foreign trip as President, most U.S. presidents have paid their first international visits to Canada, America’s northern neighbor and largest trading partner. A new poll conducted for the Citizen by Compass Research suggests that an overwhelming number of Canadians see the first black president as a force for improvement in the world economy, North American security and race relations in Canada, the majority of Canadians appear to see the new American president as a centrist after their own hearts. Whatever the reasons, Canadians are excited about Obama and the hope for change. So as tomorrow approaches, your neighbors to the north are celebrating with you, and look forward to what unfolds in this historic time.

Happy Inauguration Day from Calgary
Penny

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

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What’s your trigger?

So if you read our last post you will either still be looking for elves in your home or alternatively be happily sharing your household with all your many selves and orchestrating them to perform all your tasks in a more effective/fun/impactful way. Learn anything new about yourself in the process?

Today I just wanted to talk about the ‘self’ that you know exists but may have tried to lock in it’s room, ignore, pretend doesn’t exist; you know the one. For some of us it is the inner child, for others it the sulky teen or for others the quiet unassuming inner verbal assassin…. yes we all have a ‘triggered’ state that we don’t really choose, can be a little bit ugly, and after the fact leaves us frustrated, angry or cringing. What I want to tell you today is that ignoring it is unlikely to help, instead I would encourage a dialogue with this ‘self’ to see what it wants and why it appears.

Triggered selves can appear when we are not taking care of something, when we see injustice, we encounter conflict or we become overwhelmed; in these situations we sometimes shutdown and hand over our power to this other ‘self’ who is really unable to handle the challenge in the way you would consciously choose but at the time it just kind of takes over.

So this one may take a little work but boy once you have this down you will be back in control! The trick here is not to wait until you are in a triggered state to to look at this, instead think of situations where you are likely to get triggered (maybe when talking to the ex. about child arrangements, when we feel judged, when we feel overlooked or unappreciated, when the children have been hanging around your neck all day) and imagine this version of yourself in those situations.

Now think of that version as a completely separate entity and really take a good look at him or her…how old are they and what do they look like? How do they show up? Angry/sulky/closed off? Now sit that image of your triggered self in a chair ‘outside’ of you and take a good look at this person. Are they really equipped to deal with your issues? Probably not… and here you get curious, ask why does this other self appear? What function is this ‘self’ satisfying? What are you maybe not taking care off? And really stop to listen to the answers. Once you feel that you have enough information, design something with this version of you around what you would prefer to happen when you are in a difficult situation i.e remain quiet, give you space, time to think…which ever works for you.

When you next feel your triggered self about to jump into a situation remember the conversation and choose to remain in the room instead! Now none of this is to say that you shouldn’t get mad over something that is important to you but it will help you get mad and get over it as your ‘natural self’ instead of becoming a version of yourself that you may not be very pleased with later, which I promise will be a lot more satisfactory for you and probably all others involved.

Practicing some de-triggering this week.
Candice

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

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All your inner selves

Yesterday I watched another trailer for the ‘United States of Tara’ a tv series created by Steven Spielberg and developed by screenwriter, Diablo Cody. The show stars Toni Collette playing a woman with dissociative identity disorder. The trailer depicts three of her personalities, a rebelious teen, a beer swilling male and a very put together 50’s housewife and the show looks as if it could be a comedic and touching insight into the effects of living in a family where DID is present.

It reminded me that late last week I had a personal realization that I had been defaulting to one of my own personal inner selves. We all have different versions of ourself and there is a creative visualization that we use with our clients where we ask them to imagine a dwelling, it can be a real or fantasy dwelling (mine is a tree house in a bubble!) and the exercise is to explore all the different rooms in the dwelling and identify each version of ‘self’ that exists in each room. It is a really fun exercise to do and usually full of rich awareness for the person doing the visualization. We are not talking anything like a dissociative disorder here, just the concept that we each have different aspects of our personality that we call on in different situations and roles.

My personal realization was in regard to the home renovation project that sits firmly on the goals list this year, I have been approaching it with my rather ‘earnest self’ which leads me down a path where I get bogged down in the detail; for me this is a ‘project’ so my default setting is to go to this place with this ‘self’. However I now see that I am much more compelled to move forward when I call on my ‘happy energy’ self. ‘Happy energy self’ is a lot lighter in spirit and is much more likely to be called on for a social function over anything that involves a contract but there is something marvelous here; when I think about the renovation through the eyes of my ‘happy energy’ self I want to go and talk to contractors and architects about what is possible and it becomes an entirely different ball game.

Try it. Imagine all your different selves, they can even look a little different and be different ages, once you have a strong image of each ‘self’ give them names or attach the dominate value or personality trait to them so you can distinguish them from each other. Then notice when each shows up. Are you noticing a default? I would imagine for instance that some of you in creative jobs will find that your ‘creative self’ will come to work with you and you may possibly leave the more ‘disciplinarian parent self’ at home. Alternatively your job might call for your ‘business self’ to get in the car with you in the morning while your ‘lighter artistic weekend self ‘ remains home in bed.

Now consider what would be different if you chose to call on a specific ‘self’ to deal with individual challenges or tasks instead of letting that default just kick in? What if your ‘creative writer self’ dealt with the children for a change, your ‘fun energetic self’ took you to the gym and your ‘older yoda self’ dealt with conflict at work ?

Once you become aware of your inner selves is a simple exercise to do and can be incredibly powerful as it gives you a whole new range of ‘being with’ various activities, and challenges. I for one will stop earnestly writing short lists of architects and contractors and instead will choose to skip toward finding someone that wants to play with us.

Who will you choose to be tomorrow?
Candice
If you are interested in being taken through the ‘inner selves’ visualization just call us!

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

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Hitting the Wall & Green Irene

Back in April this year we brought you a blog about Richie Caputo and his passion for the planet and for people. I am happy to say that Richie’s book, Hitting the Wall: A Vision of a Secure Energy Future (Synthesis Lectures on Energy and The Environment: Technology, Science, and Society) is now available via Borders in the UK.

If you would like a more detailed look at his fabulous house that won the SANDEE ( an excellence in energy award) visit www.extraordinaryhouse.net and if you have any questions for Richie he can be reached at richardcaputo@sbcglobal.net

Another of our featured people in 2008, Jill Donello became an Eco-Consultant for the Green Irene initiative which was featured today in the Wall Street Journal. Jill is based in Orange County and offers EZ Bulb SwapOut (free with minimum bulb purchase), Green Home Makeovers ($99 includes 2 hour custom consultation, over 30 page report and 6 months of Ask Green Irene support), or a Green Home Party (free).

Jill can be contacted at jill.orangecounty@greenirene.com

Happy New Year and stay warm everyone.
Penny

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

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2009 commitments & goals – breaking it down

Did you reflect on your 2008 accomplishments and discover anything new about yourself that you will bring into this new year? In this post we look at what your new year resolutions might look like and how you can be most successful in keeping them.

Firstly it is worth noting that a ‘resolution’ means to set an intention or make a commitment and one of the reasons why so many resolutions are broken early on in any new year is that while there might be a commitment there is rarely a desired outcome so the plan to lose weight, to stop being late or to do better at work starts to feel like a burdensome ‘should’ opposed to something you are compelled to do.

However attaching a metric turns this commitment into a goal which gives you a clear vision of success, for example you could commit to losing weight or you could set a goal to lose 10lbs so you can feel healthier and feel confident in a bikini by Memorial day or the working parents out there could plan to be home for baby bath time 3 times a week so that you experience and share more of your child’s young life or we could choose to do one brand new, never experienced activity once a month to broaden our horizons.

The next tip is to choose things that truly nourish you, don’t pretend, there is absolutely no point in creating a goal if you don’t intend keeping it, instead you will find that you will torture yourself when you could be spending that valuable time doing something that has a positive impact on your life.

The number of goals can also impact success. If you have a huge list it can become overwhelming, instead you could write out your goals for the year and then choose which you will do per month or quarter and again be authentic, if you know that your summertime is going to be full of entertaining the kids don’t leave the more challenging goals until this time, instead use your year wisely.

Think big picture, this is just one year in your full wonderful life, goals you set this year can build on the last and help you in the future, I like to look at my goals with the next couple of years in mind; what would be useful to put in place this year so you can live the life you choose to live?

Don’t suffer the disease of ‘terminal vagueness’, it is easy to be coy but these are YOUR goals and the only person judging them is you. If you want to earn a sum of money, buy a home, have kids, what ever your dream…own it and then begin to create it.

Get some help and support around accountability, you don’t have to tell your friends and family every detail of every goal but you can give them some very specific elements to check in on and if things get a little tough remember that they are checking in with you from a place of love and because you asked them to!

It can also be useful to set an ‘intention’ for the year along with your goals. Goals tend to be ‘doing’ things so also consider who you want to be in 2009, it can be a great filter for how you show up in the world. To be more serene? To be abundant? To be in community? To be professional? You will notice that this is more likely to be a commitment (you can attach a ‘desired outcome’ if you choose); having a mix of goals and commitments might just be what works for you, just as you would prioritize anything in your life.

There is also such a thing an ‘over operationalizing’, it is called the OOPs effect. There is a nifty little graph that goes with it too which looks like an inverted ‘V’. For a while effort and making plans really pays off and we increase our effectiveness but if we over plan and create our effectiveness begins to plummet so once you have written your list of goals feel it out. Stretch yourself by all means but remember to also hold an intent of success, joy of life and room to make a few mistakes along the way…..

Lastly, a note on fulfillment. A fulfilling life is not one that comes along once you have ‘such and such’ the point of goals is to keep you growing and living the life you desire. Fulfillment is here and now, in this moment, you just need to open your eyes and see it.

Wishing you every success and a fulfilling life in 2009.
Warmly,
Candice

This article was also featured on The ‘Advice for Women’ January blog Carnival.

© The Red Barn Cooperative – Working together to nourish lives
A Red Barn Coaching initiative www.redbarncoaching.com

Would you like to read about nourishment in all its guises twice a week? We issue ‘Nourishing Conversations’ to our subscribers every Monday and Thursday, click here to subscribe by email or if you prefer to use an RSS reader you will find the orange chiclet up on the right…

The Red Barn Cooperative

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