Saturday, July 21, 2012

One word...Gratitude

In my networking group the Lucky Ladies, we had a life coach join us on Thursday to help with goal mapping. It's interesting because throughout the morning hours leading to the meeting, I felt my thoughts becoming a bit unintentionally snubbish. A feeling similar to, "I know what we are going to do. I do SMART goal training with my clients in Power Fitness PDX all the time and have worked with life coaches before".  But when walking through the door, I pushed that feeling aside and made myself be open to any and every feeling I would experience in the 90 minutes.  The timing was perfect too becauseI had an epiphany the night before, and wanted to see if it would meld with what I was about to learn.

Have you ever mapped a goal before? Professionally or personally? It is one of the most rewarding and also challenging experiences if you truly dive into the "why".  Some of the professional goals I have aren't concurrent with my personal goals; they haven't been blending well and I've been trying to figure out how to keep my own internal peace.  With goals you want to think of the What, Why and your value system and as you create your action plan to make the goals happen.  It's easy for me to think "I want to create my own fitness studio" and "I want to create a line of workout DVD's", since they are goals that has popped into my head off and on over the last 15 years.  Some parts of them seem incredibly rewarding, but other aspects such as being the key command person, are daunting.  With contemplating my own goals, I wrote down everything I want to accomplish through July 2013.  Goals ranging from fitness writing, set childcare specific hours, bookkeeper for business,  to family vacation days every month.  One challenge of being an entrepreneur is your mind continues to think of new ideas, but when also a Mom who is the primary caretaker with a limited childcare budget, it can get tricky.  So I mapped, thought, dove deep into what I truly want out of my personal and professional life this next year.  And continued to think of one word- gratitude.

After goal mapping, we went through a Value Assessment. It is a list of 51 words ranging from Abundance and Accomplishment to Trust and Wisdom.  The objective is to see if your personal and professional value words meld together, creating a symbiotic balance to achieve your goals. For me, the word that continued to be my top was Gratitude.  And it resonated as the group shared what their words were, discussing means to find a blend of words to grow goals from.

I started writing on a sheet how and why I am grateful and the gratitude I have for my family, life, work, balance, etc.  The epiphany from the night before popped to the front of my brain like a movie on repeat...and it was this: 

Like many Moms, I have been struggling with how to blend my childcare hours with professional hours. This Summer we don't have childcare.  The kids are in a few camps, but mostly it's "Camp of Mom" while this Mom, moi, is working on a couple big business projects.  During this time I have been creating art projects, swim time, cannon ball challenges, play dates, adventure days, etc. I have also been fielding the sibling fights, Emerson tantrums of figuring out what being 4.5 years old is, and managing Shirey house domestic peace. I know some days my planned work time won't happen, which creates heavy anxiety. Because I put aside 60 minutes to work and write, doesn't mean Emerson and Makenzie have that same plan for their creative Lego time. When that happens, work is put aside, I play Legos and we go to the park.  We do this because I also don't want to miss a moment of partaking in their daily lives. 

I know, hard to have it both ways, but I have been struggling to figure out how I can. Having lost so much time of Emerson and Makenzie's fun daily life when both were sick, and knowing how fast time flies with them being little, I don't want the feeling 5 years from now aching for them to be little again.  I don't want to feel guilty that I didn't spend enough time playing Barbie's, listening to their creative songs, engaging in conversations when walking hand in hand, teaching them about health and living brightly. I already fee; this on some days when I am working, and I know I will feel like that deeper and deeper each year they age.  Every night as I look at their sweet sleeping faces, I remember their little rosebud mouths and chubby cheeks when tiny babies. 

My nontraditional schedule allows me a lot of playing with these two monkeys
Wednesday was a day when the work- balance wasn't in balance. No balance at all. The entire day while Makenzie was at camp, from 9:00-3:15, Emerson was flipping my 90/10 rule and was 90 % a pickle, and 10% fantastic.  When she was finally fine in the afternoon, it was after I had lost my windows for computer time to do bookkeeping and work.  Jack arrived home, I rushed to teach the evening TRX class. When I returned 90 minutes later, Jack and the girls were getting ready for a bike ride. Girls smiling, Jack asked me to run with him. I waivered with going upstairs to work for an hour, or run with my family. Running won and we set off to run to frozen yogurt.  Perfect Summer night, kids happy, and entire family is active.  We got to frozen yogurt and Jack and I took turns racing laps around the block, attempting to beat our times each lap.  The girls eating frozen yogurt while cheering us along. Emerson decided to join us for a couple laps.  I ran along side her, watching her strong body, determined face and visible joy. She said to me, "Mommy, I can do this. I am doing a sport with you.  It's like the See Jane Run race. I am fast like you."  Eyes welled with tears at how incredible she is. The words hit me again as if I was looking at a ginormous billboard spelling out, "YOU, be grateful and full of gratitude".  Earlier in the day my goal was to stay calm with E's meltdowns, get a couple work To Do's done, and feel good at day's end.  

Yet, at that moment, I felt incredibly grateful and full of gratitude.

Grateful I was given this opportunity to be in the moment and let go of everything but being with her running.
Grateful for a family that has so much fun together.  
Grateful for two daughters who only know how to feel strong, active, adventurous, eager for happiness, and full of love. 
Grateful for a husband who works hard and supports my goals and dreams in the health and fitness industry, encouraging me along the way to go for projects I initially thought were out of my reach.  
Grateful for the ability to feel OK with having less money, but more time with the kids. 
Grateful that my business has me working in the morning before anyone is awake and I get to appreciate the sunrise daily.
Grateful for a schedule that allows me to walk Makenzie to school daily.
Grateful for Jack and I emptying out ideas of what we "should" be doing, and creating what we want to be doing.
Grateful for laughter filled moments with friends as we laugh about everything and anything.
Grateful for my own parents and siblings who are close by and love my family as much as I do.
Grateful for the opportunity to do what I love daily in health and fitness, helping people reach outside of their comfort zone and owning their strength and even stronger bodies. 
Grateful to know I need to live in the Moment.
Grateful to have the feeling that if something doesn't get done for work because of a kiddo factor, it is OK and will be good because my kids will always win over work. 

Thus, when going over the values assessment at the Lucky Ladies meeting, the strongest word resonating with my gut was Gratitude.  Realizing that allowed me to throw out a couple old goals that I honestly, don't want.  Yep, I actually decided to toss a few that have traveled years with me, out the window. The DVD goal would pull me away from my family to much right now, and I realized wouldn't have me feel grateful, but most likely more stressed.  One of my new goals is to create quality mini videos similar to the fitness challenge I did.  Goal shift is acceptable because I am happy on various levels and immediately feel less stress.  I am trying to eliminate stresses, not create them, which is what some bigger professional goals would be at this moment. So I shared. I shared with the group how I am grateful.  I am grateful for some big professional goals that are coming to fruition, and for the grateful list I created to keep me focused to what is me.  As I shared, I felt lighter.  I felt excited. I felt joyous. I felt OK with throwing out a couple old goals.  Most of all I felt Grateful.

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I am probably out running, but I thank you for taking the time to share. I look forward to your additional input as this blog grows and evolves.
Erin Kreitz Shirey