Wed 31 Mar 2004
I am surrounded by gratitude this evening. I have just returned from the Leader’s Circle Dinner for the Thought Leader Gathering™ held at Craig & Patricia Neal’s home. What a wonderful experience of building community. Dinner, intimate conversation, and then the stringing of the beads. The stringing of the beads is like an extended check-in and a thought or question is posed that is in the room. Today the topic was "What are you grateful for?".
I am in such awe and wonder at the depth and soulful connection we all shared. From the gift of children (young and old) to the love and support of our peers and mentors to being different yet being more similar than different.
I am grateful for the amazing network of coaches that presented themselves to me last Fall as I engaged this profound evolution to soulful coaching and being at peace. For the past six or so months I have been working with four coaches simultaneously.- Yes you read it clearly – 4.
Jon Benfer who leads the Arbinger Coaches Network kicked my ass and rubbed my soul to discover how much I love my brother and all of those people I have stories about only to discover that it is really all about ME and about ME in relationship to the world. Thank You Jon. Now Jon is co-leading the Choice In Coaching program which is training me to use the Arbinger material in my coaching.
Clive Prout who works with me on the issues of the Bigger Game around "Bringing Soul To Work". He listens, confronts, challenges, and pushes me over with the art of a zen master. We grapple with issues of the Soul, Work, Intention and the integration of them all. Thank You Clive.
Jan Berg Who is a phenominal coach who I happened upon through my Corvus Peer Coaching Network. I am not her typical client, but I needed her to hold me, keep me sane, keep me focused, and let me meander though our coaching for two terms (6 months). I needed her as a life coach. She held me so reverently that in our completion call last week I described her coaching style as the "lick of a momma kitty." Her voice dialogue session with me was a real eye opener as well. Thank You.
Barbara McAfee is my voice coach who has been connecting my voice, my body and my soul in ways that I had forgotten about or never even knew. For 15 years I have been a 2nd Bass after being a 1st Tenor turned bari-tenor in High School. Barbara, through her grace, skill, training, and "Voice Yoga" has released this lyric baritone out of me. She has extensive training with the Roy Hart Theatre. I am now singing with the Apollo Male Chorus, a 109 year old male choir that is just a delight to be a part of. Barbara is AWESOME.
I have so much to be grateful for, but we’ll stop there today.
I am off for four days to be with myself without distraction at Gunflint Lodge up in the Boundary Waters. I am doing a little business retreat for myself and Working Intentionally™. Look for the results in the new WorkingIntentionally™ website scheduled to debute April 15th.
Mon 29 Mar 2004
This morning I awoke just shy of 6:00 – my new wakeup time with the sun! Yay! I was up and alive and on purpose. This week is one of working on the business. In four days I will be on retreat in the boundary waters where I will spend 2.5 days without interruption, distraction, email, cell phones, and alas kitties (they are my Greek Chorus, but they can be a terrible distraction when their environment changes).
Two weeks ago I had a similar Monday morning with the sun. I woke up to the sound of birds chirping. I’m going – let me sleep – I have double paned windows and a storm window, yet I still hear chirping – I think that means I am supposed to get up. Usually when I wake up early I go for a walk to the coffee shop about a half mile away. So I got dressed in walking attire but remembered my gloves were in the car and ventured down to the garage.
Upon entering the garage I open up the garage door – Now, I’m wide awake and know what I am doing and I hit the garage door button – Wait a minute – I’m not going for a walk am I.
Ok we are going for a drive to someplace else to walk – I still think I am going for a walk.
Well, every time I try to go somewhere specific I am blocked by a light, a stalled car, pedestrians in the crosswalk.
Ok, why don’t you just take me where you want me to go. And away I went. Onto the freeway, through downtown, left onto 394? Down and up the valley – turn right. Get off here. Ooooookay. Last time I was here was in a similar state of mind. Hmmm. Drive a little further and I am at Cuppa Java, a delightful coffee shop in the Bryn Mawr neighborhood of Minneapolis.
I walk into the place and it was JuMpInG! WOW! I mean, not that it was loud, actually the opposite. It was quite peaceful but just bouncing with energy. And it is a Monday morning! They were playing great music that they normally don’ t listen to. People were in a great mood. One of the sales people’s brother was in the newspaper. What a great place to end up.
So I go about ordering a croissant with jam and cream cheese and a dry cappucino and sit down for leisurely time on my cover story of re-laying out my website. That wasn’t what I was there for was I. The universe had other intentions for me. In walks this man wearing a jacket which has embroidered in it a very traditional Guatemalan design, one that I recognize. I’m going this is interesting. Apparently he too had an unusual morning. He too was guided to be here. He had just worn this jacket today for the first time to see what people thought of it. Well it creates the conversation starter that we need to engage our conversation. I share with him that if my recollection serves me that the pattern is one that they use on wedding blankets to signify union, connection, community. Interesting.
We have this fabulous conversation that lasts nearly two hours and finishes exactly with the amount of time I need to drive back across town without speeding to make my first coaching call. An amazing person, contact and next step perhaps in our mutual development, a cigar buddy, and a potential new friend. Exactly who I needed to meet.
So Today I go back to the coffee shop – this time not pulled but find it to be calm and pleasant and a great place to do some work that need my attention. After a leisurely hour I drive off, but instead of returning to the freeway I am pulled to the lakes via the back roads and I find myself on this thumb of a park that juts into Cedar Lake. Its magical. I grab my camera and walk around the shore. Its windy, its cold, and I am going "What am I doing here, I am not dressed for this." And as if being answered directly, the wind died down, the world slowed down and I could hear the tinkling of the ice. A magical sound. It is kind of like the sound of ice dropping in a glass on a hot dry day multiplied by thousands.
Sun 28 Mar 2004
Posted by Matthew under PersonalNo Comments
Upon my awakening from SAD (see Part III) I had discovered that my choice in housing was inappropriate (see newsletters) and I set forth the message of what I was looking for into the universe – set forth an intention. And it was answered – EXACTLY as I had requested.
Intention is a powerful thing. If you recall, in Part II all of the intentions that I had set forth in the summer came true dispite my ignoring my lifeforce for a year.
Sat 27 Mar 2004
March 22nd 2003 – (one year ago) Day after the Vernal Equinox, my foggy head lifted and I discovered that I had spent the previous 6 months (21st of Sept to 21st of Mar) in a medium depression without really knowing it. I have issues with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder – or as I like to say disagreement)
HELLO (knocking motion with my hands) I knew this from my experience in Tacoma, WA. My lifeforce even told me this the previous summer when it kept showing me lightboxes and articles on SAD. Did I listen – No.
For those of you unfamiliar with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), SAD is a real, chemical, neurological issue often triggered by the amount of light we receive during the day or more accurately lack there of. Well, in northern climates (Minneapolis is N of Milwaukee by a hundred miles or so, just enough of a difference for me) when the days start be less than half light, people with SAD start to get lethargic and depressed. However, upon return to 50% of days being light we bounce back with avengence.
Upon my awakening to reality I started researching for this year. I found a great company locally who operated on the internet. For more on SAD and a great resource for reliable light boxes goto Light Therapy Products.
What I use:
I LOVE my little Litebook. It is only 10oz and its light is produced by ultra bright LEDs (like the ones they use in stop lights these days) which means low heat and ultra portability. I take this little sucker everywhere. Its home is right by my computer monitor so when I check my emails in the morning I pop it on and by they time I’m done checking emails I am in a great mood.
I also have the SunLight Jr by Sun Box Co, which is also extremely small and portable but of the more traditional design with a high intensity fluorescent lightbox bulb. Its dimensions are 14.5" x 7" x 6" and weighs only 3.5 lbs. It is great for my Florida room early or dark morning coaching calls. It is also good for use while I work out on my rowing machine. Exercise and light therapy – I’m always perky after that.
Thank You – THANK YOU – Thank You! is all I can say for whoever discovered this was a solution to SAD.
The light treatments have saved me from a winter of depression and has allowed me to fully experience the growth that needed to occur this past Fall & Winter. Onward to see what has transpired.
Sat 27 Mar 2004
Posted by Matthew under PersonalNo Comments
It (my lifeforce / the field of intention / my BEing) was still present and has been all along, just I wasn’t listening – like most of us.
The continuing StOrY . . . (I have this thought of the Muppets and every time the Animal Hospital skit would come on – "the continuing story of a quack that’s gone to the dogs.")
You see, even in the ER I discovered I had no way home to Duluth (where my car was) and I just put it out in the universe that a way would be found to get me home – I didn’t even give it a thought, just an intention. Lo and behold a ride appeard, one of the nurses Janet -"Janet from another planet" (self proclaimed by the way) was getting off her shift and offered to drive me back to my car to meet up with Claudette. Claudette as it so happens is a Orthopedic surgeon at Mayo and was my angel in my distress and has monitored my progress ever since.
Which leads me to last year
Where else has this shown up? Well, prior to my accident I had sent out into the world (set my intention*) several ideas about what my purpose was in the Twin Cities to connect, feel the pulse, build community, and be a leader. Well, the field of Intention provided, because that is what is does best – creates, expands, shares.
Over the course of the year I have connected with the local community in several ways. From a nobody to a somebody in the MCA (Minnesota Coaches Association) in large part do to my mentor/colleague/friend L.A.Reding and her vouching for me. I have connected with amazing people and almost immediately became involved in the leadership. As such I was just nominated and elected to be the next president elect of the MCA. We are building a community of coaches to be proud of.
In another area, my intention around starting conversation circles manifested. People whom I found interesting in coffee shops, standing in line, at churches, at conferences, and in the MCA I invited to the circle. We engaged in conversations that mattered. We gather at my home twice a month now. Building community.
I have met amazing people in the Twin Cities. I feel I have an understanding of the Twin Cities, a pulse. ALL of my intentions were honored by my lifeforce.
My lifeforce kept being guided by my intention even though I stopped listening.
Sat 27 Mar 2004
Those who recall my move to Minneapolis recall that it came to me in a calling. 2002 was a powerful year for me. I reached a state of clarity and peace that I had never truly experienced before. Many would call this being in the "flow" Wayne Dyer in his new book Power of Intention would call it the field of intention.
When in the field you listen and the world speaks to you and you know it is true.
This is a state of peace.
A place of mindfulness and clarity. Perhaps even a state of inner grace.
I fell of the wagon, the intention or BEing wagon.
I’M BACK Now! REALLY!
Bigger, stronger, faster, clearer, and even more grounded than before.
I’m back to listening after falling off the intention wagon September 15 2002. I’ve finally become clear on when it happened and what transpired since. One of life’s messages to let me know that I had a lot more to learn. And I did. It has been and interesting 18 months (a year of confusion, followed by an amazing six months of incredible expansion, learning, grounding and clarity).
This next series of blog entries I will endeavor to share with you my discoveries and where they are taking me, now that I am back LivingIntentionally and WorkingIntentionally and truly understand what Intentionally means!
So, In the beginning . . .
There was Peace | BEing | Intentionality | Present
Then one day, Sept 15th 2002, to be specific, I participated in the North Shore Inline Skating Marathon. I’ve been skating since 1990 and can do it virtually blindfolded. I had been training for two months and had done two 26 mile practice runs in the weeks prior. I was ready. I was pumped. I was in the flow~~~~~ BEing present, very relaxed, very calm, very peaceful.
RACE DAY My dear friend Dr. Claudette Lajam of the Mayo Clinic and I drove up early (after only 4hrs of sleep, zero on her part). There were 2500+ skaters gathered here. AMAZING. I had never been to such a thing. People in supergirl outfits, teams, gorilla suits, and just run of the mill skaters, and the pros of course. We get up to the starting point, which is just mobbed with people, I would say nearly a third of the participants. Get our skates on and move our way to the front for our wave of skaters. Well since we were not "pros" we were midway in the release times.
When we got up to the line we discovered that all hell had broken loose with the control of release of the waves. It was pretty much whoever was lined up went. So instead of 100 skaters – 250 skaters launched at the same time.
The road was horrible – potholes, rough old asphalt with tar striping. Anyone who has skated knows these can be some of the worst imaginable conditions for skating. And we were starting the race on this surface.
The field of intention, my BEing, my lifeforce – told me to be patient and focus on skating and that it would be ok.
Well this is when I turned off my listening. I instead chose to listen to my fears. Not of competition mind you, but rather a older, deeper fear: Claustrophobia and fear of mobs. And we’re off!
I WILL MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
I WILL GET OUT IN FRONT.
I MUST GET OUT OF THIS PACK.
JUST ONE MORE SKATER TO GO.
My lifeforce meanwhile was still sending me message of help "relax, don’t try to pass there will be an opening soon."
My EGO, who was running on fear, only picked up the "there will be an opening" piece and the second there was a visible space,
I charged. . .
a tar stripe!
I literally went airborn. Claudette saw me go above the crowd (by this point I was so wrapped up in my internal conversation I had even forgotten that she was with me – I was so focused on vanquishing the fear)
I was so full of myself that I got up brushed my knees off and darted for the side for fear of getting trampled. I looked back and saw an ambulance and looked forward and guessed it would be a few miles before more help was available so I glided back to the ambulance – just to be sure. The only thought running through my head was "at least I don’t have to be in that pack anymore"
I passed out while sitting on the back of the ambulance while I fished around my mouth for loose teeth – found one! OUT!
I ended up with four crushed teeth, a snapped finger, seriously scraped arm and leg, and a 1/2 inch dent in my helmet. The EMT said that the helmet saved my life. That kind of impact would cracked my skull open for sure.
Thus began nearly 8 months of physical recovery work. And a serious doubt in who I was and what I was doing. My pain, my fear, my confusion shut down the source, my lifeforce speaking to me. I stopped listening. I was present still but not listening anymore.
It was still present and has been all along, just I wasn’t listening – like most of us.
Sat 27 Mar 2004
Posted by Matthew under PersonalNo Comments
Wow, what an amazing 6 months it has been. Sept 26th 2003 marked the beginning of the new journey that I have been on. March 27th 2004 marks the beginning of a new era. It is time to implement and share the wealth. It seems only appropriate to start a blog on this first day.
The story is long and the learning is broad. So perhaps this "Blogging" thing is the best way to relay the story. I recognize that my newsletter is not the forum for reminiscing. Those who are interested will follow the thread.
What has happened you might ask?
Well, to answer that I think I need to give you a little background.
Well in the coming blogs will be unveiled the story. It starts with a piece of mind.