Monday, November 17, 2008

Is It A Sign?!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have just completed a couple of big projects. One of which is the creation of a deck of 60 inspirational/guidance cards. I had them proof-read and last week I contacted my rep. at the print company to set up a meeting to get them printed. Instead of arranging a meeting I was hit with some surprising news; the company had gone into receivership just days before my call.

I was surprised to say the least and it left me wondering "What's the message here?" "Is it a sign?" Now, I truly believe everything happens for a reason, however, I also believe that we don't always know what that reason is at the time. This is where I am now, wondering why this 'block' has appeared just as I was ready to complete this project and where do I go from here?

As with everything in life, there are choices to be made and the choices are always made based on the perspective held. So, I can see this as a 'block' and perhaps a sign that this project was not meant to be and I need to give up and walk away.

Or I can see this as an opportunity to take another look at the project to see if there is something I have overlooked, something that needs to be done before it goes to print, or perhaps another printer will do an even better job at a better price. Or, perhaps there is someone I need to meet with to really launch this project on a large scale.

So often, when we hit a block in the road to our goal, we see it as a sign that 'it wasn't meant to be' and we give up. Yet rarely is this really the case. Often the block shows up when we are closest to achieving our goal. It's purpose isn't to stop us dead in our tracks, it's purpose is to give us the opportunity to double check, to see where there may be a weakness in our plan, or to find a more supportive resource (person, place or thing) that will really pull everything together easily and effortlessly. Instead of focusing on the block, focus on what you need to do to get past the block. If you were driving and something blocked your way, what would you do? You'd find another way!! Whether that meant going around it, climbing over it, tunneling under it, or even backing up to find an alternate route, you know there's more than one way to get where you are going so you'd just get there some other way.

The same applies for 'blocks' that appear in the path to your goals. There are other ways to get around these blocks, it's simply a matter of finding the alternate route. Before you throw your hands up in the air and sigh deeply saying "It wasn't meant to be!!" Take a step back and look around. See what opportunities this block creates, how you can benefit from it, where your plan may need a little extra support. In other words, stop looking at the block and start looking for the 'what'; as in "What have I overlooked?" "What do I need to make this a success?" "What else needs to be in place?" Don't be afraid to tell people you've hit a block, you may find the answer to your block comes through your conversation with someone else.

So as I ponder my choices, I know I will choose to see this project through to completion. I truly believe the deck I created hold messages that will resonate and inspire many, many people, so I have no doubt they will be printed and marketed. It's all just a matter of time and, of course, figuring out the 'what' which interestingly enough, is beginning to show itself.

So remember, don't use the blocks in your path as an excuse not to continue, use them as an opportunity to strengthen your plan and to see other ways to achieve your goals.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Relationship Worth Having

This month, my parents would have been married 48 years; I say 'would have' because dad passed away earlier this year (on Easter Sunday to be exact). It's hard for me to imagine spending 48 years married to the same person, yet I know my parents loved each other throughout their life together.

Mom is the daughter of an Irish father and an English mother. Dad was Italian; born in Treviso and immigrated to Canada when he was 20. Dad spoke next to no english, but managed to get a job, ironically, as an apprentice for my's father. A chance meeting one day in 1956, gave dad his first glimpse of the woman he would one day marry.

He managed to convince mom to spend time with him by asking her to help him improve his English. They would go out for long drives each week-end and while dad drove, mom would coach him. On those occasions when she didn’t want to go, dad would coax her to go ‘just out for a coffee’. Since he wanted to spend as much time as possible with her, he would often drive for hours before actually stopping for the promised coffee. He knew she was the one and just needed time to convince her. He eventually won her heart and they were married on November 26, 1960.

They were very different, yet it is as though their differences drew them closer together or perhaps it was their ability to support and encourage each other to follow their dreams. While they built a life together, they also maintained very separate interests. Mom was a classically trained singer, dad raced cars. Yet even though these interests were so diverse and often took them in very different directions, geographically speaking, they supported each other's dreams fully, celebrating each other's successes, encouraging each other when things didn't go quite as planned. They always made time to be together, as a couple, and as parents. Family was always the most important thing in their lives.

They were, to me, an ideal couple. Strong and secure in their love, trust, and respect for each other. They took time to be a part of each other's interests and between them had a huge circle of friends which meant there were always people at our home making it a wonderful environment to grow up in. Our home was 'the place to be' everyone was always welcome day or night often resulting in a mix of racing fanatics and musical afficianados. Odd, yet it somehow always seemed to result in everyone having a good time.

I think we get too caught up in the maddness of life, rushing through it with little time and little thought to give to each other. Is it any wonder the divorce rate is somewhere around 50%? Yet, if we would just stop....for a moment...and think "What is most important to us?...WHO is most important to us?" Perhaps we would see that the things and busy-ness we fill our days with isn't nearly as important as WHO we should fill our days with.

When I look at my parents relationship, I see it as the kind of relationship I strive for. They truly understood that it was entirely possible to have the best of both worlds ~ to follow your dreams and have a happy, stable relationship and family life. To them, it was always a matter of remembering and spending time with what was most important ~ each other.