Three Lessons in Simplicity

The dream was so enlightening I wanted to linger in it for as long as possible. I stayed still without moving a muscle remaining connected to my dream state for a few more minutes. When I finally turned to get out of bed, I made a solemn promise to retain the lesson provided by my nighttime experience.

My fascinating dream started in a panic. I was on a flight to Paris with a group of tourists, all strangers, when I realized I’d forgotten to bring any form of currency. Now in real life that would be something I could resolve, but in this fantasy world it meant spending two weeks in the City of Lights sans money for food, essentials and souvenirs.  My head began pounding with a nasty stress headache. The thing I wanted at that moment, even more than money, was an Ibuprofen, also an item left behind.

Feeling utterly miserable I started to wonder if I died. Oscar Wilde once said, “When Americans die, they go to Paris.” Did this mean I was going to spend all of eternity in Paris without a lousy franc?

Suddenly I had a one of those light bulb moments. I would ask everyone on the plane for a small contribution to sustain me.

Gaining my courage I stood up, announced my plight to the group and walked down the aisle collecting funds from my kindhearted flight mates.

By the time we deplaned, my headache cured itself and I had enough to at least feed myself. I don’t remember much more about the dream except that I was immensely happy with very little in Paris. I enjoyed the simplicity of existing on inexpensive meals and exploring every free venue in the city.

My three takeaways from my dream flight to Paris go like this:

  • If you need help, ask for it. Don’t try to go it alone. Sure I had to swallow my pride and look like a blonde bird-brain who doesn’t have it all together, but such is life. It happens, deal with it.
  • Make the most of the moment. Whether it’s a trip to Paris, or your kid’s soccer game be mindful of where you are. No thinking about the pile of unfinished work at the office or laundry at home.
  • Someone once said, “everything is figure-out-able.” Stay with your problem until you have a plan A and a plan B. Get creative and find some sort of solution.

Wishing you sweet and insightful dreams!

Change to The Future

Grabbing a magazine I stuffed it in my purse on my way out the door. I knew there would be a wait and it was an ideal time to catch up on reading one of the many periodicals delivered to my door. Full disclosure, I had to force myself to select this particular magazine.

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I hadn’t read an issue in months and I knew why. The publication converted from a typical shiny cover to a stock parchment with a different look and feel. Even the pages between the cover lost their luster.

As I began leafing through the periodical in search of an interesting article, I soon settled on one about an editor who attempted to conquer her biggest fear: performing stand-up comedy. By third paragraph I forgot about missing the tactical feel of the journal.  After reading three articles in the time allotted, I experience an “aha” moment. When I stopped to think about the untouched back issues piling up in my office, I realized I was avoiding change. Something that was no longer shiny, smooth and familiar was left ignored because it was different.

Having prided myself on being a change agent, I was faced with a reality causing me to examine some other areas of my life. Running through my memory bank I wondered, did I always drive the same route, hang out with the same friends and frequent the same restaurants? Had I stopped searching out the new and different?

choose change to future or same the past

At the end of my reverie I came up guilty as charged. I sighed and vowed to start changing things up in my everyday life.

Why do we avoid change? The answer is easy. It takes energy. It means removing ourselves from auto-pilot. I’ve read enough books about changing habits to know the limbic part of our brain doesn’t like change and would be blissfully happy to do the same things over and over again.

Brain cell

Want to change something in your life? Here’s the good news. There are only three parts to implementing change: desire, intent and persistence.  You must do the work; it doesn’t happen on its own.

Action, Changes, Things 4

 

Be like the editor who changed her behavior and ended up on an improv stage in a Dallas comedy house. Okay, perhaps stand-up isn’t your game, but you can experience and accomplish something new and different. So kick it up a notch or two and make your life more exciting.

Don’t try, just do. I did. Sometimes even a life coach needs some inspiration and I found it in the book: “The 52 Weeks: How Two Women Got Unstuck, Got Inspired and Got Going,” by Pam Godwin and Karen Amster-Young. Since breezing through this manual on moving forward, I’ve changed my hair style, revamped my wardrobe and as you’ve discovered by now, arranged for my blog to have a facelift.

Comfort Zone - Success signpost drawn on white paper

 

The process has been fun and invigorating. So what changes will you make in your life this week? Leave a comment and let me know. I encourage you to move out of your comfort zone and go where the magic happens.

P.S. A big shout out to Online Business Manager, Kippy Flur who gave Life on The Sunny Side a new look!

Why Life is Like Lasagna

Cooking lasagna

Confession: I am a foodie! Give me the French, German, Asia Fusion, Indian cuisines, I love them all. Recently while dinning at a new Italian bistro, my excitement mounted when I spotted lasagna, one of my all time comfort favorites. It made for an easy decision. Order in.

When the steaming dish arrived, my eyes were in for a big shock. Expecting layered ribbons of pasta sheets filled with creamy ricotta and a mouthwatering tomato ragu, I gave the waiter a questioning look. He just smiled and walked away. Once I sampled a bite, my mouth thanked me for a winning pick. Bingo! On my plate was a deconstructed lasagna, same ingredients, different presentation.

Life is a lot like that. Often when we create a particular goal, our natural tendency is to visualize exactly how the experience will unfold. Here’s the rub. It doesn’t always happen that way.

For example, my friend Larry was ready to climb the career ladder. When the timing was right, he applied for a promotion. Larry ended up deeply disappointed as the opportunity was offered to a colleague. During the same time frame, a more lucrative position hit the job posting board far surpassing the advantages of the so-called dream job. Larry told me he was so busy staring at the closed door; he nearly missed the noticing the career prospect. In haste, he made a last minute application. Human Resources reviewed Larry’s file, scheduled an interview and before my long my friend was offered the job.

This is a perfect example of what can happen when we establish preconceived notions. Larry considered only one avenue to moving up in his field and then nearly shut down when it did not occur as he thought. The lesson learned we can all profit from. Make it a practice to remain adaptable and release your attachment to how things should occur. Learn to embrace the unexpected. Stay committed to your goals,

believe in yourself

but remain flexible in your approach.

What does that have to do with lasagna? Well, a standard lasagna is labor intensive, especially Bobby Flay’s recipe (click here) which takes over 2 hours prep time and promises to make you a rock star. You can shortcut this process and create a deconstructed version in much less time. According to a post on the blog Not Quite Nigella,  food enthusiast, Lorraine Elliot, can make one in 35 minutes. The taste is the same, (well, okay maybe not to identical to the critically acclaimed Chef Flay’s version) only the appearance changes.

Keep that in mind the next time you plan your future.

Flexibility text concept

Your journey to the goal line may be much different than you ever planned or imagined. With a little luck, fate might hand you a deconstructed shortcut.