• Organizing 2.0

    Organizing 2.0

    Let the energy flow!

    I am feeling energized, happy, light, even joyous. I have just spent the last few hours re-organizing the primary filing cabinet in my office. Many of the old, out of date files are now resting in a “to be shredded” pile or safely in a box to be stored. And there is space now in this same loyal filing cabinet for files that are current. Work I’m actually doing in 2023: current trainings and clients, projects I hope to develop, references that inspire me.

    Discovering the Path through Resistance

    Whew! I need to report this moment of celebration has had a long and winding path to get to this particular moment. You see, there’s a long, long, long (and familiar) pattern in my history where I often get stuck in a resistance to organizing and cleaning out my office space. Hello piles! And in the two years since the move to Asheville, there’s been an ongoing time crunch from setting up the business here and delivering this amazing Presence-Based Coaching work (virtually to boot during COVID!).

    How did I get unstuck, you may be thinking?

    I began to notice some mysterious urges in my body around the beginning of January. Urges to move towards cleaning out (!), which I noticed was coming from an aspiration in December 2022 to start the new year with a clean and tidy office space. I mindfully inquired into the deeper meaning of these urges to find the symbology of what was standing in my way as I internally balked at moving forward.

    I began to see that my resistance to organizing my piles of folders on the floor, representing past projects, had to do with my tendency to not complete things (by, say, putting them to bed in a file cabinet). In addition, as I looked at what was already in my filing cabinet with no room for additional folders, I realized that it was filled with files that I moved with from my former house’s office in DC. I just stuffed the folders in there without going through them.  And, even more interesting, they were composed of VERY out of date PBC projects, classes, etc. Like from 2015.

    Out with the Old, Space for the New

    Old, out of date stuff, that was taking up precious space. Space that now I want for current projects. I had this wave of insight, that the filing cabinet represented ME! What I was carrying around inside me, that was ready to be released, to make room for what’s next and new for 2023. At that moment I felt an uplifting energy in my body and heart, and I felt even more mobilized to take action. And I did!

    And there you have it. A happy ending with my sitting here admiring my current folders now in the filing cabinet, and my beaming in appreciation not only of myself, but also of the new year’s possibilities.

    Questions to get you started:

    • What deeper meaning might you find in a current challenge you are dealing with, that if investigated, might lead to insight and newly released energy and motivation to take action?
    • What’s really underneath the surface resistance to making the change you know you want to make?
    • What symbology can you find within your challenge that makes sense of it in a new way?
  • On the Hard

    On the Hard

    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.

    Louisa May Alcott


    My husband identifies himself as a sailor. He is the proud owner of his father’s 30‘ Alberg sailboat, and he carries that legacy with care and respect for all his father taught him about the beauty and art of sailing. And, Sun Spur is in need of some loving attention right now. She has been in the water a bit too long and recently sprouted a tiny but significant leak in her bowels. This was not a dire emergency (despite my husband’s triggered reactions to the situation), yet she required a trip to a nearby marina sooner rather than later, where she could have access to experienced technicians who could repair her hull and perform some needed maintenance.

    I watched the story of Sun Spur’s situation unfold, entangled with my husband’s reluctance and several dilemmas about how best to take care of the problem (should he travel further to a marina where he could perform the work himself at less cost but more time and effort?  Should he try to find someone to travel to his current marina to fix the leak — which turned out not to be feasible? Did he actually have the skills necessary to repair this leak? You get the picture). There were many nuances and layers between the boat’s objective needs, the potential costs involved (monetary and time), and my husband’s personal history of “do it yourself” mindset.

    Recognizing Changing Tides

    I began to see underneath these surface issues into a beautiful metaphor for what I, and perhaps many of you, might be going through right now. There are so many current forces at work in this country and in the world unfolding at once, it seems hard to catch my breath before the next news item is surfaced. And each event has its impact on each of us, often at deep and personal levels.

    As Sun Spur is still sitting in the parking lot of the second-choice marina at this moment (and that’s another story in itself!), what’s becoming clear is that I, too, am needing some maintenance. I, myself, have some unattended to minor leaks of my own. For example, I seemed to have lost my north star in the fog of rapidly changing seas that have impacted how PBC training is delivered.  I’ve gotten caught up in the urgency of making tough decisions and pivoting quickly to create virtual versions of this work.

    Looking Beneath the Surface

    So, what’s below the water line for me? It looks like my disorganized office space with papers and piles spread everywhere. It shows up in feeling blindsided by deadlines that I had forgotten about in the fray and details of doing. It shows up in my reactivity to others when I’m tired from having pushed myself too hard at work. Or when I skip some of my regular practices (like yoga and meditation), rationalizing I really don’t need them today.

    What’s leaking is my energy, and my Presence. When I was training many years ago in the Toltec work (from Don Miquel Ruiz, author of “The Four Agreements”), I learned that we as humans have some insidious and subtle habits around leaking our own energy. We do this by gossiping or complaining, by becoming buried in social media, by dismissing our needs for rest or connection or quiet time in nature as we get pulled into the ever-changing external context. By ignoring our Being.

    Lifting Out of the Water

    I have learned to operate on fumes pretty well…for a time. And then, I suddenly wake up to discover that I am off course. I realize need to attend to myself, to re-commit to the self-care practices that I know reliably feed me. And, my hull needs painting! What I mean is: my office needs organizing, cleaning, and the disposal of no longer needed papers. What I mean is: I am longing for connection with myself – space to be with my inner world in an unstructured way.  See the view from a bigger perspective.  I need to put myself “on the hard” for a bit.

    This act of pulling myself out of the water invites paying attention to what’s calling me now and discerning what are the few priorities toward which I really want to invest my energy. I want time to re-gather myself as I notice what’s true for me, and for my heart. To stop the energy drains from those familiar things that draw my attention in reactivity and habit. I want to organize myself around my commitments and purpose. To take the rudder of my own ship again. I’m taking a deeper breath and sensing the ground of my own anchoring into Presence just writing this!

    Have You Sprung a Leak?

    Perhaps you have your own version of a leak, or your own hull needs some fresh paint. Perhaps it’s an inner knowing that you need to take a Presence Pause in your life or work. To re-evaluate, re-assess or re-imagine what’s truly needed now, in the midst of this stressful time period in history, and within this precious moment of your life’s trajectory. I encourage you to sense in and name what may be arising for you as you read this blog, and to capture it somewhere for your own reflection. And to give yourself permission to put yourself “on the hard” if needed.

    Now, Adjust Your Sails

    • What might you see for yourself within these metaphors?
    • What’s underneath your own or your client’s water line that might need some attention or maintenance?
    • How can you create some space to lift yourself out of the water or onto the hard, or encourage your clients to do the same, in order to consider what course correction may most be needed in this moment?