Monday, June 13, 2011

Time to De-Clutter Again!

Is clutter taking over your life? And I don't just mean material clutter. I also mean email clutter, schedule clutter, emotional clutter, mental clutter, and the like. Does it seem to you that there's always too much to do, and too little time to do it in? Does this put you into a nearly constant state of anxiety and stress?

As a Life Coach, I find this stressful overcrowding of our lives to be a major theme in my sessions with clients. Several years ago, I began to look closely at the idea of decluttering and simplifying our lives in all sorts of ways, so as to create more "breathing room" and more time for the people and activites we value the most. I was studying Buddhism at the time and begin a serious attempt at developing non-attachment as a mental, emotional, physical, and materialistic approach to my life and lifestyle. I decided to begin my practice by vowing to let go of at least one thing in my life every day for a year. I called this my Letting Go Experiment.

[Click on sidebar links titled Letting Go Experiment, Organizing, Planning, and Time Management for relevant articles, including monthly reports on my own Letting Go Experiment.]

It is almost five years to the day that I began my Letting Go Experiment which was supposed to last 365 days but actually lasted sixteen months from June 14, 2006 to the Fall of 2007. In June of 2008, I revisited this process in my article Letting Go Experiment: Two Years Later.

Today, in 2011, I find myself wanting and needing to clear out my life again. I have a great urge to downsize and simplify. This is the season of yard sales, thrift shops, flea markets, and used book sales, and I am getting ready to unload! I am also in the process of shedding an unneeded 22 pounds, as well as some thought patterns and emotions that are not serving me.

So, what about you? Is it time for you to streamline your life? Imagine what good might come of that!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Philosophy of Life

Recently, a friend asked me these questions:
  • What is your philosophy of life?
  • How do you explain the world/your life to yourself?
  • On what do you base your decisions?

He was looking for an encapsulation that I could not come up with on the spot. But I have been thinking about these questions for several days now, and I think I have come up with some answers.

I have come to the conclusion that there is no one, easy-to-sum-up, philosophy that runs my life. There are many aspects that make up my answers to these questions. But there is a bottom line, as you will discover.

As you read what I came up with, I invite you to think about your own answers to these questions.

Here are some of mine:

  • Biology is destiny. To me, this means that some aspects of my life are out of my control and are influenced or determined by things like my gender (female), race (caucasian), genetic makeup (my inherited genes), physical characteristics (height, weight, physical attractiveness, physical mobility & agility, health, age, and the like.) Acceptance of these characteristics is crucial to one's happiness.
  • Time and place also influence our destiny. Being born in the USA in the middle of the 20th century, and living in various US states - especially Florida, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Massachusetts - have all impacted my life and destiny in various ways.
  • Our culture(s) influences our life choices. We exist within our culture(s) the way fish swim in water. Within the culture of the USA, there are many sub-cultures. These include nationality of origin, regional cultures, religious traditions, family cultures, workplace cultures, and the like. Often, we are so immersed in our culture and sub-cultures that we are unaware of how they influence us.
  • We all have free will and our choices are our destiny. There's a qualifier. Choice and free will operate within certain confines. Some of us have more choices than others.
  • Life is largely based on luck and chance. Sometimes we have good luck, sometimes bad luck. Some of us have more of one than the other. My experience - and hence my belief - is that luck is more often on my side than against it.
  • Dualities exist and always will. Duality is often the nature of things. A contrast is needed in order for either to exist. Consider whether any one of these things could exist without the other: Day and Night, Light and Dark, Hot and Cold, War and Peace, Heaven and Hell, Good and Evil, Joy and Sadness, Male and Female, Yin and Yang, Intimacy and Freedom, Democrats and Republicans, etc. We need to accept duality as a necessary and inevitable part of human existence.
  • This is a random universe to which we bring meaning. This quote from Sheldon Kopp's 1976 book, If You Meet the Buddha on the Road, Kill Him!, has always made sense to me. So many things we have come to believe and act on - perhaps even fight to the death for - are based on mystery or inadequate information. Yet we cling to these ideas as if they were absolute reality - reality that no one can prove.
  • Every person lives inside of his/her own reality. No two people - not even identical twins - see or experience life in exactly the same way. Ultimately, our brain controls our perceptions and our internal and external experiences of life and the world around us. (And, in a way, this goes back to the idea that "biology is destiny".) Each person's "cognitive style" is unique to him/herself.
  • Our thoughts create our reality. This is an extension of the point above. Buddha is quoted as saying, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.” This is where we DO have some free will and choice to guide our destiny. Our thoughts include our beliefs, values, ethics, principles, priorities, purpose, fantasies, imaginations, imagery, goals, wants, and more. Our thoughts, moreover, create our emotions - our feelings and feeling states.
  • Our beliefs create our reality. Our beliefs are one form of thought. Our belief system runs our life. If our life is going well, then our belief system is working for us. If our life is not going so well, perhaps the place to examine first is our belief system. Changing our disempowering beliefs is not always easy, but it IS possible, and herein lies the place where free will and choice can operate most effectively.
  • Our temperment heavily influences our life perspective and hence our reality. By this, I mean that whether we are primarily optimistic or pessimistic about life does color our perspective. Do we see the glass as half full or half empty? I am a half-full-to-full-and-overflowing gal. I tend to look for the best in people and situations. I would wear a Life is Good hat or T-shirt.
  • Our values ultimately determine our choices within the reality we have created for ourselves. Often, we are not totally aware of our Values. Perhaps they have changed over the years. Perhaps our values need to be clearly identified and prioritized. Perhaps this is what Socrates was getting at when he said, "The unexamined life is not worth living."

Here is what I learned recently in re-examining my own life: The top 10 values that most run my life and influence my priorities, choices and decisions are: Love, Relationships (family, friends, intimate other), Connection/Intimacy, Freedom (especially personal freedom), Health, Self-fulfillment, Growth, Learning, Fun, and Joy.

What are yours?

And what does all this have to do with Life Coaching? A Life Coach helps you to examine your unexamined life, to re-evaluate and update your beliefs, values, life purpose, priorities, choices, actions, and goals in order to help you make better choices, to actively create a life, career, or business that is in alignment with who you are, and to create for yourself a high-quality, satisfying, and happy life.

If you are ready to re-examine your life, career, or business, I can help. Visit my Website, Connie Komack/LifeWork Enterprises, and then let's talk. Have a great day!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A New Year, A New Path - The Path of Love

This is my year of deep change, both personally and professionally.

The path I choose to pursue is the path of Love. This is not a new pursuit for me. It is my oldest and deepest longing to find, keep, give, receive, live and share Love in all its forms - especially in the form of a mate relationship.

I am no longer young. But neither am I past the point of no return. I believe this: We can find love - and love can find us - at any age.

It is my intention [and this is way beyond a "resolution"] to begin a lasting, joyful, right-in-every-way mate relationship this year - 2011. This is my personal path.

It is also my intention to develop experience and expertise in guiding others along this path, through writing, coaching, and speaking on the topic of "Love, Dating, Marriage, and Mating in the Senior Years".

How do I define "Senior Years"? Not sure yet. I am a Senior - chronologically, if not in my psyche - and I am wanting to connect with women and men in my age range. But the path of finding Love is not restricted to an age range. It is a universal longing, from birth to death. So, I would say that though I may be aiming my arrows towards the 55+ crowd, or the 60+ crowd, anyone who resonates with this subject, and is on this journey, is welcome to join the pilgrimage.

Watch for these developments in 2011:
- a blog and a Web site devoted to this topic and including lots of Resources
- a proliferation of articles, both online and in print - and perhaps an eBook
- a coaching and speaking practice devoted to "Love, Dating, Marriage, and Mating in the Senior Years".

Stay tuned.

If you are on this path, or have been recently, and you have questions or issues to resolve, or wisdom and experience to share, please contact me by adding a comment below.