inspiration

You really don't have time

It is becoming more clear to me all the time that we really don’t have time. You don’t have time to not do what’s most important, most fulfilling, and most affirming for your life. Look at all of the famous artists who have died in the first six weeks of 2016.

Several months ago, an REI co-worker and avid bike rider to everywhere, took a turn at a round-about too fast and crashed. He crushed vertebrae in his cervical spine leaving him paralyzed from the neck down. He made the conscious choice not to continue his life and was taken off life support. His normal functioning life vanished in an instant and he was gone within 2 days. I hardly knew him but his death affected me for weeks. I wasn’t quite sure why but time shifted for me.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

And earlier this month I found out that a life coach I’d worked with briefly in the past had chosen to enter hospice care after a 3 1/2 year battle with ovarian cancer. She gave a powerful talk at a conference of her friend, the writer, Patti Digh. It was shared on her Facebook page and I thought I’d share it with you. The link is here. Her name is Laurie Foley.

I’ve followed her progress on Facebook for those 3 1/2 years. No matter what she was feeling or going through on the inside she always came across with such grace and wisdom. She is a writer and able to convey her message so eloquently.

She had gone through various rounds of chemotherapy and I believe was in remission for a while. Unfortunately, her cancer came back with a vengeance, and incredibly quickly over the past few months. I think she realized it was going to take her life no matter what, but she is choosing how she wants the end of her life to be. Surrounding herself with the people she loves in an incredibly supportive hospice environment where she can be as comfortable as possible for her transition.

The outpouring of love for her on my Facebook feed is beyond beautiful. The lives she has touched with her work, her presence, and her willingness to be vulnerable and authentic with everyone in her life, honestly, has blown me away. This world will soon be losing a very bright soul.

One of her gifts to me is the reminder that I don’t have time. As Brene Brown has been quoted, “Midlife-When the Universe grabs your shoulders and tells you “I’m not f-ing around, use the gifts you were given.”

Do you think my co-worker had an idea the day before he crashed he would be gone in 48 hours? Do you think my coach friend Laurie had an idea that within 3 1/2 years of being diagnosed with cancer she’d be preparing to transition to the other side?

What are you doing right now? Are you present to it-completely present? Are you living your life your way?

I’m not kidding. You might think you’ve got the time. And you might. But then again, you might not.

Here is that link again.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Why I Write

I’m taking a Stream of Consciousness writing class. We show up, start with a short silent meditation, then our instructor gives us a writing prompt of a few words and we all sit and write furiously for 10 minutes. Pen to paper. Never stopping. Not worrying about structure or grammar. We just write. And I love it. My brain takes me on such a fun ride. I never know what it’s going to pop out next, but I just write it down and sit amazed at what shows up.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

This got me to pondering, why do I blog? Why do I sit down every week, come up with a topic and spend the time to write it, edit it, and send it out to the world? What is it I’m hoping to accomplish? What it is I want to share? What do I get out of it? Why am I really doing it?

Part of the reason is because I really love to read other’s blogs and newsletters. I’m a lifelong learner and a meaning maker. I so enjoy delving into a good piece of writing that helps me make sense of my own world. Especially if that piece give me a new and fresh look at a topic I either know well or don’t know much about. As much as they say it’s all been said before or all been done before, that doesn’t mean I’ve heard it or seen it. It may be new to me.

Like just the other day someone told me about a website that I didn’t even know existed. How cool that other people have known about something for a few years, or forever, but I had zero clue about it. That’s exciting to me.

I write to learn. To understand. To make meaning of my own life. Often I share it because it’s just fun. It’s important that we connect with each other and share common themes, struggles, problems, and the good stuff in life. It’s that shared meaning where we connect and feel like we are uplifting and inspiring to others as well as being inspired by others. It’s truly a community where we’re there for each other.

Maybe the bottom line to why I write is that I’m drawn to doing it. It gives me something I can’t put into words or even put my finger on. It’s kind of a mystery really. I like that. I like that not everything in life can be figured out. Maybe it’s just me creating something that no one else can create in the exact same way but me. And isn’t that enough reason to do anything?

What do you do just because?

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

Every Woman Should...

I lost my mother to colon cancer almost 9 years ago. I think of her every now and then at various times for various reasons. I thought of her this morning. When I was in college over 20 years ago, she gave me two framed posters that hung on my dorm room wall. They aren’t hung anywhere in my house today but I love and appreciate them so much I keep them and pull them out to read them every now and then.

I pulled one out today and I’m going to share it with you. Maybe you (or someone else) needs this.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

Every Woman Should…

know how to use a stick shift; a plunger; understand the difference between don’t tell a soul and don’t tell a soul I mean it; know her mind; change it; have protection handy; but not too handy; use special china; and special underwear for no special reason; over commit; come through; refuse to do it again; do it again; be able to discuss first and ten; have better things to do; set boundaries; go camping; grow something; dance crazy all alone; stare at a phone; get dressed in five minutes; be a princess; get over it; believe in the perfect man; get over it; read; walk; flirt; shock; listen; sing; thank God; be single and like it; a lot; raise a child; or not; see a wrinkle and be reminded of her youth; not her age.

Thanks Mom! You taught me so much.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

BIG MAGIC with Author Elizabeth Gilbert

I had the absolute privilege to see Author Elizabeth Gilbert a few weeks ago here in Bend. Back when I was separated from my first husband I read her book Eat Pray Love (about her world traveling journey of discovery and finding herself after divorce). Her writing style and ability to communicate with me on such a personal level, like I could just call her up for coffee and hang out at any moment, made her my favorite writer.

Her new book BIG MAGIC came out in September and I promptly devoured it (twice) in less than three weeks. That woman has some amazing inspirational power with me. So of course, when I found out she was going to come speak in my town, the day tickets went on sale, I was up at 7am buying one.

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

Susan Grace Carroll, Life Coach, Bend, OR

 

 

 

 

 

 

The evening of her talk I was so nervous I was like a giddy school girl about to see her crush for the first time in the same room. Butterflies in my stomach, sweat beading under my arms. Crazy really. And yes I loved her talk as well as the answers she gave to the audience member questions. She was funny, charming, and thoughtful.

But let me tell you about her book. It’s all about creativity and how we as humans are creative beings, period. It doesn’t matter what you create, how you create it, or if you ever sell what you create, you are creative. As a woman who grew up in a family who really never thought any of us was creative, I didn’t think I was either. I have no doubt that I am now. And my family is too.

I walked away from reading her book and hearing her talk with renewed inspiration for my own creativity and permission for it to look like anything and nothing at all. I learned that we create for the love of creating. Not for the final outcome or product. Not for whether or not it sells. And not for what anyone else thinks about it. It just doesn’t freaking matter. The only thing that matters is that if you want to create, you must. Your soul depends on it. You’re very being hinges on having that connection with that idea and connection with the universe.

I have so many underlines and tabs in her book my husband suggested I might as well have just highlighted the entire thing. I’m sharing just a few of her quotes from the book because they resonated so deeply.

The first page of the book she asks the question, What is creativity? And she answers, The relationship between a human being and the mysteries of inspiration. That is what her book is about. Your relationship to your creativity through courage, enchantment, permission, persistence, trust, and divinity. She shares stories, and anecdotes, and thoughtful truths from her own experience as well as the thousands of people who have shared their stories with her.

“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures. You can believe that you are neither a slave to inspiration or its master, but something far more interesting—its partner—and that the two of you are working together toward something intriguing and worthwhile. You can live a long life, making and doing really cool things the entire time. You might earn a living with your pursuits or you might not, but you can recognize that this is not really the point. And at the end of your days, you can thank creativity for having blessed you with a charmed, interesting, passionate existence.”

“Because in the end, creativity is a gift to the creator, not just a gift to the audience.”

“You do not need anybody’s permission to live a creative life.”

“Are you considering becoming a creative person? Too late, you already are one. To even call somebody “a creative person” is almost laughably redundant; creativity is the hallmark of our species. If you’re alive, you’re a creative person.”

“What would you do if you knew that you might very well fail? What do you love doing so much that the words failure and success essentially become irrelevant?”

“Anyhow— what else are you going to do with your time here on earth—not make things? Not do interesting stuff? Not follow your love and your curiosity?”

And possibly my most favorite sentence in her book, “What you produce is not necessarily always sacred, what is sacred is the time you spend working on the project, and what that time does to expand your imagination, and what that expanded imagination does to transform your life.”

A young boy of maybe 10 asked Elizabeth an intense question about drive and passion and being relentless in his pursuit of being a poet. If you could have heard the ferocity in his voice you wouldn’t have believed it was coming from this tiny young man. But her response was perfect. She said yes, having that drive, passion, and relentlessness would be helpful. And she really didn’t think he would have a problem with that. But, she said, please please make sure you are becoming a poet because you love it, not because of what others will think of your work, and whether you make it to the top. Because if that’s the only reason you’re doing it, you will be miserable. Your self worth will depend upon other people and you do not ever want your self worth to depend upon anyone’s opinion of your work. Do it because you love it. Period. That is the reward.

What do I know to be true right now?

Elizabeth Gilbert is such a fierce force for what is good and right in the world. I am so fortunate to have found her as a mentor. Even if I never meet her in person, she will continue to help guide me through her words.

Leave a comment on the blog below if you’d like.

If you think, “I know one friend who would really like this”, please forward it to them.

If you found this helpful, let me know. I’d love to hear from you. Coachwithsusan@hotmail.com.

~ Susan

Get Outside and Nurture Your Life

When was the last time you...

I was having breakfast with an inspirational friend the other day. She’s the kind of person that makes  lists of things she’s never done before but would like to do. It’s not a bucket-list really, nor a list of things she’s afraid of. It’s more of a list of activities that she has never done before but thinks would be really cool.   Pushing your edge Some of the things on her list include climbing a rock face, playing a game of polo, or going to an observatory to learn about constellations. And she even has plans to pay for a movie at the theater, then sneak into another movie after the first is done. Yes, I know this is illegal, but for the amount of money movie theaters make on tickets and food I’m guessing no one is going to be homeless after her once in a lifetime movie hopping ponzi scheme.

Her list even includes doing all of these things with a specific group of people. They actively do one thing on the list together, every month for the year. How cool is that?

While we were eating breakfast, this same friend asked me,

"When was the last time you did something for the first time?"

Oh boy do I love questions like that. I stopped to think. I thought for a bit. Then said, “I don’t know.”

We all have such regular routines in our lives. Doing the same thing day in and day out. How often do we spice things up or push our comfortable edge?

I bring this up because this friend of mine is having quite a fun life.

She laughs all…the…time. She loves to chat with others about their experiences. She’s super fun to be around. She draws you in.

She enhances life, and it in turn, is enhanced by her.

Isn’t fun and enjoyment something we’d all like to have more of in our lives?

She’s living proof it’s possible.

I took her advice and had a crazy dinner adventure at a local restaurant in Manhattan last week. First time for me. It was SO fun. I laughed and laughed and laughed. I have amazing memories.

Next I’m going to give a speech at my local toastmasters group every week for a month. Now that’s definitely pushing my edge.

You?

When’s the last time you did something for the first time?

I’ve got my list started. What’s on yours?

It would be so fun to hear what's on your list. Join the conversation on the blog by leaving a comment below, or email me, coachwithsusan@hotmail.com

I am grateful to be able to spend some time with you virtually today. Thank you.

As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.

Bloom On!

Seeds of Kindness Bloom and Bloom and Bloom…