Again, here are the leading questions that were attached to today’s challenge. By the way, I highly recommend taking this writing challenge yourself. It’s been a truly amazing experience so far!
Think about something you’ve done and accomplished. It could be this year or 30 years ago. Ideally pick one of your most proud accomplishments to date. What is it? Who were you with? What were you doing? What actions caused you to experience the success you did? How did it feel? Did it positively impact anyone else?
Another tough writing assignment – which really end up generating the best posts. I’ve always enjoyed being “forced” to dig into my own head and follow the journey down the rabbit hole. I find that the more self-aware you are, the better equipped you are to face life’s challenges. You end up spending less time trying to figure out why you feel a certain way when faced with something difficult. When you know more about who you are, what you like and what you dislike, it’s easier to make decisions. As Scott Dinsmore often said “If you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll never find it”.
These are some of the defining questions that went along with the task. I thought they might help to understand what I’ve come up with.
What are you excited about (personal or business)? What are you building or want to build? You know, the fun stuff in your life that you actually care about.
Side note: I know I missed the day 4 blog. I’m still working on it. No one ever said I had to post these in order. 😉
This question is a bit difficult for me to answer. I find that the answer is not as concrete as I’d like it to be. Maybe this is how writing will help me figure it out.
The first thing that comes to mind is from something that actually happened today. I was sitting at a doctor’s appointment with my father and my sister and I could feel my father’s tension levels rising as I quietly observed the interaction between him and my sister as they answered the doctor’s questions. Luckily, the doctor got called away for a few minutes to deal with an emergency just as I felt my father was about to “blow his fuse” and it was the perfect time for me to lean in to speak calmly to my father and gently diffuse his anger until he felt in control once more. This happened a few times, at various levels throughout the appointment and I realized, as we walked away and my father said “I like it when you’re there. You make it feel better” that diffusing tensions during difficult conversations is something I’m really good at. I had forgotten that. I’m a really good mediator!
At first glance, I find this challenge difficult. After listening to Abraham for as long as I have (is it 2 years now?), I have worked so hard to stop that nasty habit that we have of focusing on the things that displease us. If you’re not familiar with the Law of Attraction, it says that Like Attracts Like. Plain and simple. Once you drill down, there’s lots of really cool nuances to applying this Law of the Universe. But if I think about that in addressing this challenge, then I have to assume that the longer I focus on what makes me angry, the more I will attract thoughts and things that make me angry.
So I think I’m going to break the rules, and not talk about what makes me angry about the world.
Where do I begin? The day was August 26th, 1980 and my mother was in labour… haha! Just kidding.
Since I’ve been listening to the teachings of Abraham (as translated/channeled by Esther Hicks), I try not to focus too much on my past, although I understand that it provides a good context for people to understand where I’m coming from and why I am going in a certain direction.
For some reason, I always start introductions by saying that I am a single mother of a beautiful 6-year-old girl named Emma, although I’m not sure why. A part of me doesn’t like how it makes me feel apologetic, or that it sounds like I’m looking for people’s pity. Au contraire, I get along really well with my ex and his new partner (which makes things so much more pleasant). My child is not a spiteful, spoiled little monster whom I’m embarrassed to take out in public. So all-in-all, daily struggles aside, I feel like I’m doing rather well in that department.
In all seriousness though, I often have to stop myself from gushing when I talk about Emma. Ever since she was a baby I’ve always called her my little ray of sunshine. Generally speaking (that is to say, when she’s not grumpy and forgetting who she really is), she spreads sunshine and happiness wherever she goes. She’s truly a pleasure to be around and I’m quite proud of the person she is and the person she is becoming. In fact, I often say that I want to be just like her when I grow up. 🙂
So let’s create a timeline here. I finished my undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2003 and immediately started working for the Federal Government, here in Ottawa (Canada). The only reason I did that was because it was easy. During my summers off from school, I took temp contracts (it paid better than getting a job at Subway – which I tried and royally sucked at) and so when I graduated, it just felt like another summer and it was an easy routine to get back to. I just wanted to get paid. That’s your priority #1 when you get out of university (or College for those in the US). So that summer, I worked as an Admin in our Transport department and was fortunate enough to work for an amazing Director who saw something special in me and fostered my strengths. Although I don’t work with him anymore, that man will always be my favourite mentor. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth. I learned a lot about Leadership by watching him.
Two years later, he pulled out all the stops to get me a permanent position. Yes! A steady paycheck and a pension! Unfortunately, a career as an Administrative Assistant was NOT what I had studied to become and soon, I had to move on.
Fast forward 12 years. Though I spent many years as a Project Officer in a different department where I got to work on actual projects instead of taking care of someone else’s calendar and activities, I was “mapped” through an Agency re-organization, back into an Admin position.
I was devastated. Not only was this a demotion, it went against everything I had worked towards. I had left my favourite mentor to get out of this type-cast admin work. The last thing I wanted was to go backwards!
After panicking, crying, and screaming “WHY ME!?” out to the world, I sat back down, listened to some Abraham audios, and slowly started to remember that everything happens for a reason.
You see, ever since I had graduated, a part of me wanted to continue my studies. I loved the subject of Psychology but it was just such a broad field. I was never able to figure out which direction I wanted to go… or rather, I never ALLOWED MYSELF THE TIME to figure it out.
So, as I eased back into a meditation practice, and started to feel the calming effects, it became clear that this new boring job was my opportunity to re-evaluate my career. The fact that my job didn’t require any of my brain capacity was the perfect opportunity to think about and plan my next move.
Slowly, synchronicity began showing me that I already knew what to do.
An old friend who completed her Master’s degree in Counselling through an online program, came to town for some training and a long overdue visit. After chatting with her, I realized that an online Master’s degree was a possibility now. I decided to apply and got accepted but after my first course, I remembered that I had never wanted to be a therapist anyway. And so I found Positive Psychology and I found coaching. Both resonated with me deeply.
Following that encounter, Scott Dinsmore’s TED talk showed up in my Facebook feed. He had just passed away in a tragic accident and TED had featured his talk as a tribute. Scott’s talk resonated so powerfully within me and I was hooked. I am now one of Scott’s Living Legends and started this website and blog as part of one of his Challenges. This is how The Feel Good Soup was born.
Why start a blog?
Writing has always been a part of me. I remember receiving my very first journal on Christmas of 7th grade. It woke something up inside me and from then on, I faithfully kept journals for most of my life. I have a whole treasure chest of them! I actually attribute surviving my teenage years to journaling. I’ve always carried some form of notebook with me and if by chance I didn’t have one, I would use whatever computer or piece of paper I had access to when thoughts, ideas and/or emotions inspired me.
I also remember having a passion for writing stories. At the age of 15, I loved writing short stories. It started one afternoon at a friend’s house, playing a game. We said “Wouldn’t it be fun to write a story by each taking a turn to write a sentence, and see where it leads us?” We had it start with “It was a dark and stormy night…” and we thought it was the funniest thing in the world. Once again, a different facet of writing was awakened inside me. I still have a copy of that story stowed away in an old filing cabinet. After that fun game, I couldn’t stop writing; and my “short” stories started getting longer and longer. Unfortunately, at around 17 I stopped writing because the process had gotten too time consuming. I also have copies of those early stories stowed away. So the desire to write, that NEED to write has always called to me, no matter how hard I tried to silence it.
Why “The Feel Good Soup”?
Influenced by the teachings of Abraham, and by Live Your Legend, I’m trying to figure out how it all fits together. So far, I see that the one thing that connects it all, is the importance of feeling good. The word “soup” is from the Abraham soup… if you listen to Abraham, you’ll get this little inside joke but it’s also from a book I read as a child: “The Button Soup”. Mine was a Disney version of the Stone Soup story. Basically, after convincing Scrooge (yes, the Duck) that one could make soup out of a button, random individual ingredients are added to a pot of boiling water, slowly, one by one, to eventually end up with an amazingly delicious soup. And that’s one of the ways I see life. It’s all one giant pot of soup, and the ingredients we choose to put in it will make it taste good or awful. It’s our recipe.
I hope that over the coming days, weeks, and maybe years, you’ll learn a little bit more about me and what I’m about, and maybe even take something positive out of the thoughts I have to offer.
Thanks for being here. It means a lot to me!