Expanding & Aligning – Three Thoughts for Thursday – January 2023

Expanding and Aligning with Possibilities and Opportunities

As I write this, it is Tuesday, and I am in the moment, practicing letting go…I just drafted my thoughts for January on surrendering expectations and expanding possibilities and opportunities, only to fail to save the draft and to be forced to begin again.  Ironic?! Ouch!  Accepting the disappointment, frustration, and breathing deeply as I begin again…
January typically feels like the doldrums to me; a great letdown after months of holidays and excitement.  After several years of working on accepting January and on reframing in order to more fully embrace the month, I have noticed I feel pretty neutral and open to the month of January, open to the lessons that lie ahead, open to experiencing something different than feeling disappointed, let down, disoriented, by the hard shift to quiet.
I had planned to attend Fielding’s Winter Session for the Ph.D. program I am in, in person, in Santa Barbara for the first time in three years, and only the second time in my time as a Ph.D. student.  I boarded a flight directly to Santa Barbara, planning to make the conference my only focus. When the time approached for the flight to take off, instead, we were deplaned, and the flight was canceled as the Santa Barbara airport closed due to flooding. I quickly made plan B and made the necessary arrangements to change my flight to land in LA later that evening.  I was planning to meet my good friend from college in SB for an evening to catch up.  Instead, she offered to pick me up in LA, and we’d drive up the coast together. We made it to Camarillo before the roads closed.  Thankfully we found hotel rooms, ran to Trader Joe’s nearby, and spent the evening together. We’d still achieve the goal of conversation and time spent together.
The next day, the roads were still closed, so I made the tough decision to cancel the rest of my planned trip to Santa Barbara.  Alaska Airlines was willing to fly me back from LA, and a good friend in LA was ready and willing to host me.  We even got to go to dinner at a favorite restaurant. Originally, I was to fly back on the 12th, but then the airline decided to send me home on the 11th.  Truth be told, having wrapped my mind around leaving on the 12th, I was disappointed again.  Another situation in which to practice acceptance – acceptance of the circumstances and of the disappointment.
I arrived home, and we headed out on our annual trip to Suncadia for my husband’s birthday weekend.  We had a great time playing in the snow, tubing, sledding, snowshoeing, ice skating, swimming, and of course, going down the water slides!  On our final day, we headed to the pool before driving home.  My first trip down the slide entailed falling up the stairs and scraping up both shins and a knee.  I had the full “kid experience” of joy, disappointment, frustration, pain, and a choice to make – let an injury ruin my time or regroup and dive back into the fun.  I took a moment and felt grateful my kids could witness this experience of mom being in their shoes, of mom getting hurt and having to make a decision about what to do next. I took care of my wounds and returned to the slide to end our weekend with 25 trips down the slide in the books. I was also grateful to have the example of my kids, who are resilient and so quick to recover; they inspired me to jump back into the fun, too. I was again reminded of the importance of feeling all the emotions, accepting what is, and choosing how to go forward in each of these experiences.  I am sitting with gratitude for this January reminder that it doesn’t take the start of a new year to make a change, to choose a different path, or to show up differently.  Each season, each month, each week, each new day, and each breath we take presents an opportunity to start again.
So, this January, this week, this day, this moment, this breath, what needs acceptance?  What needs to change? What needs to be let go of? How will you move forward? Who will you become? How will you show up for yourself and others in a new way that will support your growth and honor theirs? What will you bring forth? As you inhale, pause, and exhale, how might you begin to see all the opportunities and possibilities for change? As the sun rises again, what does this new day offer and what will you do with the offer?

Quote I’m pondering:

In the game of life, what I’m solving for is regret minimization. . .I want the highest score in net fulfillment.”

~ Bill Perkins ~

What I’m listening to:

Optimizing Life for Maximum Fulfillment, Episode #237

The Drive with Peter Attia

Bill Perkins is one of the world’s most successful hedge fund managers and entrepreneurs, and the author of the bestseller, Die With Zero. In this episode, Bill unpacks the Die With Zero philosophy which challenges conventional thinking related to the balance between health, wealth, and time—the three variables important for fulfillment. Bill makes the case that we should strive for maximum net fulfillment rather than net worth (or even health). He argues that we need to optimize our life to have memorable experiences before it’s too late and that most people are over-saving and under-living. Bill also explains how one can apply the principles in Die With Zero to break out of “autopilot” and optimize their life to achieve maximum net fulfillment.

Peter and Bill discuss:

  • Bill’s upbringing, background, and first job on Wall Street [3:15];
  • A missed experience and feeling of regret that shaped Bill’s thinking [14:15];
  • Thinking in terms of time, and the relationship between money, time, and health [17:00];
  • Solving for net fulfillment and allocating your time based on the seasons of life [27:15];
  • How Bill thinks about risk, opportunity costs, and the difference between fear and risk tolerance [35:30];
  • Optimizing for fulfillment, finding purpose outside of work, and more [41:45];
  • Thinking about the order of experiences you want to have based on seasons of life [50:00];
  • Bill’s unique perspective on philanthropy and a more impactful way to give money away [54:45];
  • Applying the principles in ‘Die With Zero’ to maximize fulfillment [1:04:00];
  • How to break out of living life on autopilot [1:14:30];
  • When should your net worth peak? [1:18:00];
  • Taking calculated risks [1:21:30];
  • Bill shares a lesson from his incredible birthday [1:25:15];
  • How Bill’s philosophy has evolved since writing Die With Zero [1:34:00]; and
  • More

Don’t be surprised if Bill’s book, Die With Zero comes up again in a future post…

What I’m reading:

This book has been sitting with me and impacting me already with the ideas of aligning with what is and the direction of what is unfolding before me in order to increase resilience and joy in life. I have been inspired by the ideas of how I might accept, cultivate and make the most of what has been given to me rather than spending so much energy longing and striving for something else, perhaps something not meant for me at all. I’m curious about what might come from pausing, being present, aligning, and investing in cultivating all that I’ve already been generously provided; my new endeavor is acceptance, expansion, and peace.

Resonate: Zen and the Way of Making a Difference by Ginny Whitelaw

In a world of great noise, disruption, and dysfunction, it’s hard to be heard or know how to make a difference. But master the principal underlying change, and you can live your most significant, joyful, and resilient life. That principle is resonance, and Resonate is your guide. In these pages, you’ll discover

  • How resonance does everything
  • How you can become a more resonant being
  • How you can apply resonance to bring about change, from love and relationships, to goals and dreams, to large-scale social change

You’ve likely heard of “being on the same wavelength.” But prepare to be surprised by how pervasive resonance is, and how powerfully you can affect it. Resonance connects the inner and outer worlds, linking subjective experience and objective impact. It cannot be faked or fooled; resonance is a physical fact. But how we resonate is a choice, a condition we can cultivate. Combining the physics of energy transfer in the human body with physical practices adopted from Zen training, Resonate uniquely integrates how we can develop ourselves to change our world. Let Resonate show the Way.

You can sign up to receive my Three Thoughts for Thursday post as an email on the third Thursday of every month by clicking here.  If you’ve missed any of my Three Thoughts, you can find them all on my blog.
If you are interested or know someone who may be interested, I also offer leadership and emotional intelligence coaching and workshops. You can find more information on my website, or you can use this link to set up a free 30-minute introduction to coaching session.
In September 2022, I completed a year-long, quarterly series entitled “EQ and WooWoo” with my colleague and Spiritual Coach, Katie Kay. If you are intrigued and would like to learn more about this year’s series, Yoga, EQ & WooWoo, please email me or click here to see what we have planned with Hola House. This workshop series was designed to help you manifest action toward the year you want to live, the person you want to be, and the goals you want to achieve.  These quarterly sessions intertwine the use of Yoga, Tarot (and other WooWoo tools), and Emotional Intelligence to help you and your clients step outside the box in order to take your coaching and personal work deeper.
Also, in September, I hosted my first local, in-person event here in the Seattle area, Savor the Sweetness.  It was a fulfilling experience and event, and I look forward to hosting quarterly events for local women in 2023 – stay tuned and contact me for more information or to join the invite list!
I have the privilege of hosting the Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group for ICFLA.  Please stay tuned for another year of EI learning and growth as a part of these sessions.  You do not need to be a coach or a member of ICFLA to attend.
If you are interested in joining and co-creating these learning communities, please use the links above to find out more about ICFLA’s Emotional Intelligence Special Interest Group and the EQ & WooWoo Workshops. I hope you will come along for the journey!
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, and new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!
Wishing you a season of expansion, opportunity, possibility, and the courage to embrace and align!