Is Your Bucket List Getting Rusty?

bucketlist-listI don’t have a bucket list and if I did, it would have to be written in pencil with a large eraser and room for substitutions. Not that long ago bungee jumping was something I pictured as an exciting, adrenaline fueled experience. Yet after watching one in real time, it became abundantly clear that it was not a good match for me. On the other hand, when the opportunity for a tandem paragliding flight off the Grand Tetons was a possibility, I jumped at the chance. It was an amazing moment in time with a seasoned pilot and yes, I suppose it’s something to add to that “non-bucket” list of mine and cross off as completed.

The total experience of seeing the gliders overhead as they dipped and hovered like giant winged birds was magical. I knew that I also wanted to fly. Had I given it too much thought with my practical side considering costs, fear of a crash landing, injury and long term disability, I would have dismissed it out of hand. Unknown to me, my husband had also been captivated by the same scene earlier so when I broached the subject with him, he was on board. In an hour we were registered and paired with our pilots. Having credit cards committed, there was no time for second guessing and only the tingle of anticipation as we rode the gondola to the top. My husband recorded my take-off, and between the pilot’s camera and on ground photographer, there were multiples to review and listen to afterward.

Each time I watch the video, it’s a reminder of the pure joy and adrenaline rush from doing anything so out of my comfort zone. After the flight we signed up for white water rafting and fly-fishing. Why not? And when I feel anxious about presenting a new workshop or trying something closer to my freak-out zone, all I need to do is pull out my phone, watch that video and feel confident that this other stuff is a cakewalk.

What’s on your list of activities to try, places to visit or new skills to learn? There will always be time and/or financial considerations. I would love to fly to Paris in first class yet coach will suffice if Paris is my true, ultimate goal. Fill that “bucket” with exciting adventures ready to be plucked out and experienced, not buried with excuses in the graveyard of “Memories I Wish I Had”.

©MWeisner2017

Career Change Tips

career-changeHow often have you contemplated doing something entirely different than what you are doing right now? Before quitting your job, look at the bigger picture and the implications of making a change or not doing so. Will you be proactive or just let things slide and continue? What’s really at stake? Let’s examine a more systematic approach to finding answers that work for you.

1. Look at the issues that make you crave change and outline your goals.
What are you satisfied with about your current situation? What are you dissatisfied with? Is it your boss or the culture of your organization? Or do you really want to change careers? Outline your goals- for example, more money, more time off or more flexibility. Write it all down.

2. Work to understand your inner critic.
Observe thoughts that trap you with fear and prevent you from achieving your objectives. Write these down on a piece of paper, then crumple it up and throw it away to symbolize your freedom from thoughts that interfere with your goals and dreams.

3. Recognize recurring patterns in your life.
What makes you happy? What are your recurring interests and social needs? What makes a work environment feel good or not so good to you? Write it down.

4. Network and investigate career interests that map to your goals and needs.
Once you’ve identified your patterns and desires, start thinking about careers that make sense for you. Give yourself one to three months to explore your curiosity by finding people who do these jobs and talking about the pros and cons of their work. Explore anything and everything until you’re satisfied — or until your time runs out.

5. Make a plan that takes your financial situation into account.
Change is never simple, but having a plan that outlines your steps and financial requirements makes it doable. Will your new career require additional education, a small business loan, time off from work or relocation? Make a plan with financial considerations and a realistic timeline that you can follow through on.

©MWeisner2015

True Heroes Manage Their Fear(s)

Strong-CourageousSome days are better than others for everyone. How would it be to live a life without fear? Norman Mailer wrote, “There are two kinds of brave men (women). Those who are brave by the grace of nature, and those who are brave by an act of will.” The latter is likely where most of us fall and the former sounds like the description of a character in one of Mailer’s novels.

The five most common fears:
1. unknown
2. failure
3. commitment
4. disapproval
5. success

These are only some amongst many and it does not even mention the fear of public speaking or the fear of death. Clearly the list is far from complete and please feel free to add your own buzzwords.

What does this have to do with personal heroism? Not everyone is Mother Teresa or plans to mount an assault on K2. Even something as simple as taking risks and being anxious and afraid to fail can qualify you as a hero. In fact, the great hockey player, Wayne Gretsky said, “If you never take the shot, you’ll never score the goal.” He had many more misses than shots in the net, but he never stopped trying and he continued to set career records until his retirement.

You can be a hero if you simply manage your fears. According to historian Michael Ingatieff, “Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid…Fear is a great teacher. What’s not good is living in fear, allowing it to define who you are. Living fearlessly means standing up to fear, taking its measure, refusing to let it shape and define your life.” It is not the absence of fear that makes someone a hero, rather the management of fear that gives you a chance. Take the risk, possibly fail and learn about yourself in the process!

• What’s your biggest fear(s)?
• How do you manage it?
• Recall a time when have you been your own hero?
©2015 Maureen Weisner

She Let Go

Most recently I was pondering the concept of “letting go” and it’s multi-layered meaning when I came upon this poem. Enjoy!282080_151733851568813_7813470_n

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments.
She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.
She let go of the committee of indecision within her.
She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely,
without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a
book on how to let go… She didn’t search the scriptures.
She just let go.
She let go of all of the memories that held her back.
She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.
She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn’t promise to let go.
She didn’t journal about it.
She didn’t write the projected date in her day-timer.
She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.
She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.
She just let go.
She didn’t analyse whether she should let go.
She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.
She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.
She didn’t call the prayer line.
She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.
No one was around when it happened.
There was no applause or congratulations.
No one thanked her or praised her.
No one noticed a thing.
Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle.
It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.
It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

By Rev. Safire Rose

Be Your Own Hero

we can do itjpgSome days are better than others for everyone. How would it be to live a life without fear? Norman Mailer wrote, “There are two kinds of brave men (women). Those who are brave by the grace of nature, and those who are brave by an act of will.” The latter is likely where most of us fall and the former sounds like the description of a character in one of Mailer’s novels.

The five most common fears:
1. unknown
2. failure
3. commitment
4. disapproval
5. success

These are only some amongst many and it does not even mention the fear of public speaking or the fear of death. Clearly the list is far from complete and please feel free to add your own buzzwords.

What does this have to do with personal heroism? Not everyone is Mother Teresa or plans to mount an assault on K2. Even something as simple as taking risks and being anxious and afraid to fail can qualify you as a hero. In fact, the great hockey player, Wayne Gretsky said, “If you never take the shot, you’ll never score the goal.” He had many more misses than shots in the net, but he never stopped trying and he continued to set career records until his retirement.

You can be a hero if you simply manage your fears. According to historian Michael Ingatieff, “Living fearlessly is not the same thing as never being afraid…Fear is a great teacher. What’s not good is living in fear, allowing it to define who you are. Living fearlessly means standing up to fear, taking its measure, refusing to let it shape and define your life.” It is not the absence of fear that makes someone a hero, rather the management of fear that gives you a chance. Take the risk, possibly fail and learn about yourself in the process!

•    What’s your biggest fear(s)?
•    How do you manage it?
•    Recall a time when have you been your own hero?

©2013 Maureen Weisner