What’s in your way?

You know the feeling. You have an idea or an intention, but you get stopped short.

Dog peeking under fence

Image used under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

It’s like there’s a boulder in your path, or a fence that keeps you from getting to the other side. You’re clear about where you want to go, but the barrier is between you and your goal.

Take a minute right now and think about something that’s important to you, but not yet achieved.

Spend some time in silence to get a sense of where you feel blocked. See if you can put words to the feelings or images that emerge.

You may find that the answer comes easily — or perhaps it takes a little more effort. Once you have a clear idea of what’s inhibiting your progress, you can do something about it.

For example, thinking about a project that I’ve wanted to complete, I realize that the plans and resources are jumbled up with all the other projects on my desk. I feel frustrated even before I begin. How can I start when I don’t even know what I already have?

In my case, it’s time to get organized. Instead of avoiding and procrastinating because of an unknown block, I’ll assemble the components of the project into an easily accessible system.

Taking the time to remove the boulder in my path is a wise and targeted investment in the ultimate completion of the effort.

Identifying, then tackling obstacles will free your energy and open the path to success.

What’s in your way, and what will you do about it?

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

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The full expression of you

A sign over my desk reads “The full expression of Pat.”  It’s a reminder to throw out the fears and second-guesses and just go ahead and be authentic.

Masks

Image by Ko. Used under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

What?  Be authentic? Give up all the masks and pretenses? Take the risk that I won’t  fit in?  Yes, because that’s when I do my best.

It’s taken a very long time to learn this. I’ve spent decades trying to be what I think others expect of me. The good girl who plays it safe.  The faux-extrovert who tries to blend in with the noisy crowd. The compliant one who hides her true feelings rather than take the risk of confrontation.

Seth Godin writes in the book Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable that to play it safe is actually risky. What the world needs is people who are willing to go out on a limb and be different—i.e., be a purple cow who gets noticed in a field of ordinary black and white cattle.

For me, the purple cow is, well, me.  I’ve spent my life feeling like I was from another planet, which is why I’ve had to try so hard to hide the full expression of myself. But with Godin’s blessing—as well as an unrelenting yearning from my heart—I’ve decided to throw safety to the wind.

If I want to be the Wizard of Ease, so be it. If wearing a silly hat and waving a magic wand will help me be a playful midwife for people’s dreams, then bring on the silliness.

Enough with fitting in with the crowd. It’s time to step into the full expression of Pat.

What will it take for you to be the full expression of YOU?

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

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So much easier if…

Rainbow

Photo by Wing-Chi Poon. Used under CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license.

Ever catch yourself saying “My life would be so much easier if ______”?

How would you fill in that blank?  Perhaps with one or more of these:

  • I had more money (or time)
  • My boss appreciated me
  • My kids would listen to me
  • My car/computer/whatever worked reliably
  • I could lose weight
  • I would just finish ______

Take a few minutes to write down your own list of “easier ifs.” Then reflect on how this list can inform you about where you feel unease in your life.

But don’t stop there. Rather than letting the “easier ifs” serve as excuses, use them as a call to action. Shed the victim mentality that says you can’t be happy until something else happens.

Try this: Use your list to spark a sense of empowerment. Next to each “easier if,” write at least one idea for how to resolve that problem.

If your computer doesn’t work, schedule time with someone who can help. If there aren’t enough hours in the day, take one action (like giving up a TV program) that will free up some time. If you’ve been feeling guilty about not finishing a project, consider deciding not to do it at all.

What will you do to take charge of the unease in your life, rather than letting it run you? Let us know what you come up with.

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

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The hum of contentment

Advice from the Princess of Ease:

Sleeping Princess of EaseFind something to purr about today.

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What’s your leap?

Today is Leap Day, that special day that happens once every four years, during the leap year. To be technical, February 29 is an intercalary day, one added to the regular calendar to achieve harmony with the solar year.

Track jump

Photo by Spwilliams13, used under CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.o Unported license.

By the way, here’s an easy mnemonic for remembering the occurrence of leap years—the year of the presidential election in the U.S.  But we’re not here to discuss the presidential election–enough of that already!

No, this is about springing into the next phase of your personal growth. Why not take advantage of February 29 to take a leap in your life or in your work:

  • Dust off a New Year’s resolution that didn’t get implemented
  • Ask your boss for the promotion you deserve
  • Take an adventure you’ve been yearning for
  • Clean the slate by forgiving yourself or someone else
  • Speak up about something that’s important to you

Today’s the day!  Just as Thanksgiving gives you an excuse to be thankful… and Independence Day gives you an excuse to appreciate freedom… let Leap Day be your excuse for bounding into new possibilities.

What’s your leap?  Tell us about it.

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

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Make it a (good) habit

We all know what bad habits are like. Those annoying patterns of behavior that we fall into, feel enslaved to, and that seem to happen unconsciously.

Cluttered desk

Photo in public domain

But good habits … ah!  They promote ease by taking away the second-guessing, the need to talk yourself into it, the requirement to put it on the “to do” list.

Like brushing your teeth. No need to put that on the day’s list of priorities; you just do it.  Or calling home when you’re traveling. Or whatever you do that’s habitual and serves you by making the task a no-brainer.

I remember the conclusion of a meeting in a colleague’s office late on a Friday afternoon, when group members eagerly departed for their weekend activities. The office-holder, however, stayed behind and organized his desk.

It was his practice at the end of each day to file all loose papers, schedule outstanding tasks, and generally leave his desk in a condition that would help him feel good the next time he entered his office.

This was not something he had to remind himself to do. It was a habit—a good habit—that supported his efficiency and effectiveness at work.

Seeing his commitment, I thought of the condition of my desk—strewn with papers and unfinished projects. My (bad) habit at the end of the day was to leave the mess just as it was, only to start the next day already feeling behind in my work.

Since then, although haven’t achieved the efficiency of my colleague, I’ve developed the practice of leaving a clean work surface in the middle of my desk. That way, I start the next project with available space. Upcoming challenge—the clutter around the edges of the desk!

What habit could you cultivate that would bring greater ease into your work and your life?

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

© 2011, Pat Daniel and wizardofease.com.
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