Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | March 25, 2023

Don’t Look Back

By Jan Miller Girando

As you travel through life there are always those times

When decisions just have to be made

When the choices seem hard, and solutions seem scarce

And the rain seems to soak your parade!

There are some situations where all you can do

Is to simply let go and move on

Gather courage together and choose a direction

That carries you toward a new dawn.

So pack up your troubles and take a step forward –

The process of change can be tough

But think about all the excitement ahead

If you can be stalwart enough!

There could be adventures you never imagined

Just waiting around the next bend

And wishes and dreams just about to come true

In ways you can’t yet comprehend.

Perhaps you’ll find friendships that spring from new interests

As you challenge your status quo

And learn there are so many options in life,

And so many ways you can grow!

Perhaps you’ll go places you never expected

And see things that you’ve never seen

Or travel to fabulous faraway worlds and wonderful spots in between!

Perhaps you’ll find warmth and affection and caring –

A “somebody special” who’s there

To help you stay centered and listen with interest

To stories and feelings you share.

Perhaps you’ll find comfort in knowing your friends

Are supportive of all that you do

And believe that whatever decisions you make,

They’ll be the right choices for you!

So keep putting one foot in front of the other

And taking your life day by day.

There’s a brighter tomorrow that’s just down the road.

Don’t look back – you’re not going that way!

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | March 23, 2023

Change is Inevitable, Growth is Optional

And sometimes I wish it were the other way around. Could we just for a day or so have Change be the optional piece and trust that Growth would be inevitable? I mean, really, we could grow just by default and keep change to a minimum. There is some appeal to that but it just doesn’t work that way.

The world around us changes constantly and so far we seem to be able to adapt. Not always easily, but eventually most of us ‘conform’ to whatever ‘new’ or ‘different’ shows up. We can go kicking and screaming into change or pause to assess how we want to ‘be’ with it.

When change within ourselves occurs it can be a subtle shift that we shrug off without much fanfare. When it shakes the ground we walk on, that’s a different story. Every time I lead a group through the 3 Vital Questions/TED* training/coaching I am faced with some level of resistance. It’s hard for some people to believe that changing the way they look at the world will change the world they look at. By the end of training, they get just as I did when I first learned that how I was seeing the people and places and events around me had a huge impact on my peace of mind.

When we are focusing on the joy, enthusiasm, excited anticipation of an event or outcome we are more likely to have a wee skip in our step, a smile on our face and the ability to see that positivity all around us. I keep saying that the Law of Attraction is always at work whether or not you believe in it. The proof is in the way that people, things and experiences just serendipitously show up when you think about them. And more and more ‘coincidences’ reinforce what you are believing.

Perhaps today you can look at one change that has recently happened or is happening around you and search for the growth opportunity. I’d love to hear the difference it makes to your wellbeing.

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | March 10, 2023

Leap And The Net Will Appear

It has been over twenty years since I encountered The Artist’s Way Program by Julia Cameron. I loved it then and went through it again twice more with friends. The way we were guided towards our creative expression has stayed with me and I credit the experience with igniting my passion for writing.

But probably more than anything the phrase “Leap and the net will appear” has stayed with me in so many areas of my life. Of course, I’m human so there are times when I am annoyingly indecisive or thoughtfully discerning. What I am grateful for is the inspiration to just do it. Take a chance. Be bold.

For several years after taking the initial course I published The Spirited Woman magazine. It was a small, newsletter style publication where I used quotes and personal stories to complement articles by the skilled and amazing women in my life. Every now and then, I go back and browse the old issues reading the material that is as relevant today as it was then. That’s when I am so grateful that I had the courage to take a chance. I knew it was time to produce the magazine and when it was time to retire it.

In retrospect, it was easy to leap. I was so sure in my heart that I was on the right path. All I needed was a nudge and that’s what I got from The Artist’s Way.

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | March 8, 2023

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should

Over the years there have been opportunities presented to me through various channels. For example, when a position opened up in our Municipality many years ago my husband very excitedly urged me to apply. He said ‘You would be so good at this.” I responded with “Just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.” I had no interest in the job and it made no difference to me that I was qualified and I might have been an asset.

There have been times when I did things I thought I should and was certainly capable of doing. I took on a volunteer role with a small organization because I loved what they represented. It turned out that I was a much better resource as an occasional helper than someone who attended regular board meetings and reviewed governance material.

Of course I could have taken on either of these roles and created value. What I knew was that neither of these or the other things I’ve turned down were resonating with my passions and what I wanted to give to others. Just because I am capable of scrubbing windows all day doesn’t mean I should be doing that if it doesn’t fulfill me in some way, and if it doesn’t bring deeper meaning into my life.

No wonder I’m thinking about this today. I am about to embark on a new adventure that is exciting and full of promise. At least I’ve been very enthusiastic until I realized today it might not fit with how I want to live my life or what I see myself doing. Yes, it will make money and yes it will help others. But that’s not enough. I know where I do my best work and where I make a difference. If this doesn’t fit then it’s time to take a second look.

Where in your life are you putting in the time while knowing the creative longing in your heart is somewhere else?

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 26, 2023

Reframing Challenging Moments

Sometimes personal growth work is draining. The worst part is when I discover that I’m the problem. The problem meaning that, as usual, it’s how I am interpreting the world around me that makes it so hard for me to feel at peace. Byron Katie says “It is what I am believing about the world that is the cause of my suffering, not the world.”

I’ve quoted this before on this blog and in my periodic newsletters. Tonight, I don’t like it one bit. I want it to be that someone else is the problem and they need to change. I have watched this Gabor Maté interview clip a few times and it is lightening fast at reaching my triggers. Yes, of course what I’m feeling right now is some anger and sadness. Yes, of course I know it is all about me and how I am perceiving the ‘other’. And yes I know all too well that the roots of these emotions have historical beginnings. I feel myself sitting across the table from this man whose work I have admired for two decades and not wanting to own my stuff. I want to make the other person wrong.

Yet, tonight I also feel the wisdom of surrender beckoning me into a place of acceptance and understanding. My friend reminded me a few days ago that the Law of Attraction is always at work whether I believe it or not. My clients have heard me say that more times than I can count. And I believe it. I just hadn’t put two and two together that my inability to accept and respect myself on some level is giving me those experiences in some painful ways in the world around me. Not everywhere but in enough places that I can’t ignore it. That’s Gabor’s message and I learned some version of this when my journey of self-discovery began 25 years ago.

So, I have more work to do and fortunately I have friends and colleagues who are very kind, empathetic and direct at helping me through these tight squeezes. I can see most of the cracks in the foundation of my thinking. Reframing the conversations and interactions can only help. While I may still want other people to behave differently, I am equally committed to doing my own work of healing to move closer to my desired outcome of living on purpose with joy and peace.

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 23, 2023

The Canary in The Coal Mine

In 1911 miners began taking canaries in little cages with them deep into the coal mines. These beautiful, tiny birds could detect the odour of poisonous gas long before a human. If the birds became ill, or died, the miners knew they needed to evacuate immediately. The practice ended in 1986 but the concept lives on. And I have thought often about the canaries in my life; the little things that start to fall apart giving me a clear signal that something is wrong.

My canaries might be impulses to overeat, binge watching of television, avoidance of tasks, negative self-judgement, decrease in self-care, etc. It used to take me days and weeks to notice these signals. With my new habits of paying attention I am much quicker at recognizing the change in behaviour. And that really matters because I want to live with honesty and kindness towards myself and others.

What canaries in your life are showing up to draw attention to a thought pattern or behaviour that isn’t aligned with your values? Make a commitment over the coming weeks to watch for the signs that you are not living in integrity.
Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 19, 2023

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 17, 2023

Whose in Charge of Your Self-Esteem Today?

Written April 11, 2011 and just as relevant today:

As you start your day, notice if there is someone that you are dependent on for approval or validation; someone who you hope will call, will thank you, will recognize you, will praise you; someone who will give you a nod in some way that will help you relax and feel good about yourself? Is there someone, even on some basic subtle level you are hoping will acknowledge the good in you?

It can be hard to turn off this need to have an external source value us if that’s what we know. And in the world we have created, that’s what most of us know. In the days of monasteries, religious people turned to God for proof of their worth. But for them, God was as much “out there” as “inside” so they understood that there wasn’t a human being on the planet who could determine how they measured up but rather a divine source both within and all around them.

For most of us, unless we are taught otherwise, our sense of self and our value as a person starts with the messages we receive in childhood and are built upon as we progress through school, recreational activities, clubs, groups and eventually the interactions we have as adults, both young and old. Sometimes we get so used to others reflecting back to us that we forget to make our own decisions about our merit. Sometimes we adopt these beliefs about ourselves and frequently can’t even remember where they came from. It happened to me yesterday as I took my daily walk and tried to figure out exactly who it was that told me that I’d never do anything that really mattered. I’d had that notion racing around in my mind after bumping into some resistance on a project. So I did what works – I went for a walk and talked to myself. I tried to pinpoint a time when I wanted to do things and got “shut down”. There were some spotty early memories along with the realization that I was always trying something new, something bold, something adventurous. I wasn’t afraid to reinvent or launch into things and I’m still not. But all this bravado is fuel for my inner critic who has been quietly (well, not always) piling up evidence of my shortcomings.

When I ask people why they don’t follow their dreams or even just their impulses there is always some belief about themselves that they can reference and of course it is limiting. There is always some past failure or admonishment from someone that they immediately retrieve from their internal library.  I love solving mysteries so I was really intent on reaching back into my past to figure this one out. What I learned yesterday was that while it is deeply empowering to be able to dissect the root cause, I was spending a lot of time digging up the past while the present moment was slipping away. And what I know about myself NOW matters most. I know that some things I do or try, will work. Some won’t. I know that sometimes I push through resistance no matter what anyone (including my inner saboteur) says and sometimes I stop when I’m doubted. I know that sometimes I am like a dog with a bone who refuses to stop when everyone else has given up and sometimes I’m the first to throw in the towel. And I know that sometimes, I do things that really, really matter.

It’s all part of growing into myself, accepting myself and facing forward.

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 11, 2023

The Time To Show Up Fully

“The time to show up fully for life is right now, whatever the circumstances.” Marianne Williamson

This is a quote from long ago and is as relevant this morning as anything I have ever read. Life is marching on and days and weeks fly by. Showing up for me today isn’t about facing into the wind and fiercely championing my intentions. Showing up today is standing on the shoreline in the early hours watching the micro movements of ice on Lake Huron and the changing colours of the sunrise.

It means being present, awake and alive. How will you show up today?

Posted by: Ms. Daryl Wood | February 2, 2023

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