Sunday, December 26, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Live With Intention

What do you think of this poem called Live with Intention

How does it make you feel?

Mary Anne Radmacher , the author of the poem, often has her profound writing quoted. Mary Anne has a powerful way with words and has written the following inspiring books: Lean Forward Into Your Life, Live Boldly, Promises to Myself, Courage Doesn’t Always Roar and May Your Walls Know Joy. Her latest book is called Live With Intention: Rediscovering What We Deeply Know.

In this latest book here is what Mary Anne has to say about her poem Live with Intention.

“This poem contains ten elements that summarize my ‘one thing.’ How I want to live my life. When I ask people to identify ten components that enliven them, that improve their day, that make their heart sing….consistently they identify things amazingly close to the elements in Live with Intention. I love that the word ‘intention’ has the ‘ten’ just build right in!”

If we do everything else but that one thing, we will be lost.
And if we do nothing else but that one thing, we will have lived a glorious life.
~ Rumi

“I take Rumi’s reference to the ‘one thing’ to mean the collection of elements, activities, attitudes, and actions that enliven and invigorate an intentional life.”

Mary Anne continues on in the introduction which focuses on intentions with the following:  “It is easy to grow into forgetting. Forgetting our personal priorities. Forgetting the things that bring us zip, verve, and fundamental joys. We roll into the habit of meeting the expectations of others, seeking approval by fitting in and, in general, responding to a status quo that is not resonant with our soul. How do we remember those things that have been set aside, disregarded, or positioned last on the ‘list’?”

“Rediscovering, reconnecting to your intentions….will restore, renew, and bring to the forefront the life that you long to live.”

How does one do that… “Observe your life. Watch how your days unfold. Notice what invigorates or inspires you. Pay particular attention to the things for which you have unbounded energy and excitement. Making a list of these things is especially helpful. Some things are so deeply embedded into our experience, it can be difficult to see them. Part of this observation process involves being aware of what tires you, burns you out in an undesirable way. Perhaps there are events in which you are regularly involved that seem significant, but upon closer examination, you find actually drag you down, rather than elevate you. Many discover that their most significant intentions get the least amount of attention. Oddly, the ‘one thing’ to which Rumi makes reference is often the last thing on lists of things to do. It is that proverbial carrot that is saved for a someday that hardly ever comes.

Do you know the one thing or the collection of things that together comprise the ‘one thing’ that invigorates all your actions and sets you on fire? If you know it, do you measure the activities and focus of your day by it? If you do not know it, how do you make decisions and what do you measure them against?

Over a period of a week or a month, watch how you make decisions. To what do you dedicate your time and attention? Learn from those things to which you say yes and those that receive your ‘No thank you.’ It is helpful to make notes on a daily basis. At the end of your observation period, you can draw certain conclusion. Categorize the events that both invigorate and drain you. Consider the balance between them and follow those threads to discover your intentions…your one thing.”

Do you already know “your one thing?” or are you still seeking?

If you are still uncertain and exploring, consider using Mary Anne’s recommendations to discover your intentions.

As we stand on the edge of entering into a new year, this too can be a most opportune time to focus and set some goals and make decisions on what you want to accomplish.

You might also want to write your very own personal and legendary proclamation for the new year. Here is an example of my personal statement for this past year: “This is the year of passionately embracing my soul’s creative calling.”

Cosmic Cowgirls is also offering a new session of Spark in January and March!   Sparking is a great way to set an intention and really give it daily attention and focus. You can learn more by clicking here.

I’ll leave you with a special new piece by Mary Anne that she shared on her web site.

She writes “This is from a new piece I’m working on. If it inspires you it’s a gift: download it and use it for any non- commercial use. The title of the poem is THIS IS WHAT YOU SHALL DO. I feel strongly that it may take a place alongside LIVE WITH INTENTION as a legacy piece of my life’s work.

The full version is going to be available as a time limited new year’s edition. I’ll keep you posted on that.

Sweetness in your days - THRIVE! Mary Anne

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Who Are You?

Who Are You?

This past Monday and Tuesday the fost-adoption agency I work for brought in a presenter for a two-day management training. We did some interesting interactive activities. I wanted to share some of them because I thought they might prove interesting for you to try at home with a family member or a friend. Additionally it can be interesting to try it in a group as well. The process can lead to some interesting discussions and realizations about yourself and those you know or think you know.

The first activity was to start off by pairing off with another person. Before we were given the question we would be asking we were to choose who would ask the question and who would answer. The question was “Who are you?” and one of the persons had to ask this question over and over for a minute, with the other person answering again and again, maybe with a different response, maybe repeating some answers. After the minute the partners then switched and went through the same process for another minute. Then finally they would switch back and forth for one more additional minute.

The next question we asked and went through the same process again was “When you are afraid who do you pretend to be?”

Following these exchanges we then gathered back into a larger circle and we then had to take turns standing behind our question & answer partner and introduce our partner as if we were he or she by stating the following.

Hi my name is: ___________

I am a ____________ person.

In order for me to feel safe I need ________________ from the group.

Later we did another rather fun activity. This one will require you to write down some simple answers and later I can reveal more about what your answers mean.

1) Write down your favorite color. Now list three adjectives for this color.
2) Write down your favorite animal. Now list three adjectives for this animal.
3) Write down the word “Night” and list three adjectives.
4) Write down the word “Water” and list three adjectives.

I will tell you more about what these mean in a comment to this post.  Be sure not to peek

Another very interesting test to take is the Human Metrics Personality Test

The results will tell you the following:
  • Your type formula according to Carl Jung and Isabel Briggs Myers typology along with the strengths of the preferences
  • The description of your personality type
  • The list of occupations and educational institutions where you can get relevant degree or training, most suitable for your personality type - Jung Career Indicator™

Share your answers to the questions above and if you take the Human Metrics test come back and share your results.

If you take the time to try the “Who are you?” answer and question exchange with a friend or family member share what came up during the exchange.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ ~ Letters & Prayers for Shiloh's Rite of Passage

On Saturday, December 11th an evening reception was held in honor of Shiloh Sophia McCloud.

Part of the ritual included the creation of a ceremonial treasure chest that was to include letters, prayers, and testimonials honoring our Chief Laughing Cloud.

If you already wrote something for this treasure chest please share with us or feel free to write something to Shiloh now.

If you attended the event perhaps share with us a taste of your experience.

Here is the letter I sent to be part of the treasure chest:

The only word that I could speak upon entering The Wisdom House gallery was "WOW!" I was in awe of Shiloh's art and then as I explored her journals and spoke with Mary McDonald I felt something stir in my soul. In the following months I would visit Shiloh's web site to view her art and to learn more about the Cosmic Cowgirls and when I learned of the Bountiful Conference in October 2008 I was drawn to attend.

The first time I heard Shiloh speak at the conference my response was again "WOW!" It was incredible to see that not only her art represented a "wowness", but so did the woman who created that art.

Months later while framing a print of Shiloh's to display in my home, one of my 3 year old daughters asked to see what I was doing. I turned over the piece of art and the one word out of her little girl mouth was "WOW!" I actually wrote to Shiloh of that experience because here again that word "WOW!" was coming from the mouth of a mere baby whose own young soul was stirred by what she saw.

My heart knew no other path than to become a Cosmic Cowgirl and over the course of the past two years as I have taken painting classes, Sparked, attended conferences, written blogs and articles and interacted with other Cosmic Cowgirls, I have also been blessed to have grown to know Shiloh more personally. I have been so incredibly impressed and inspired by this remarkable woman who is firmly grounded (while wearing her red cowgirl boots no doubt) and yet is also reaching for the stars and encouraging everyone in her presence to do the same.

I would like to share a poem/song called Remember Your Wow-ness by a writer who is also a personal friend of Shiloh. It is by Patricia L. Reilly and appears in her book Words Made Flesh.

Remember Your Wow-ness

Verse 1
Do you ever look up at the night sky and say WOW?
Well you're made of the same WOW-ness as the night sky.

Verse 2
Do you ever get lost in it's bigness and say WOW?
Well you're made of the same WOW-ness as the big sky.

Verse 3
Do you ever feel held by its darkness and say WOW?
Well you''re made of the same WOW-ness as the dark sky.

Verse 4
Do you feel the tug of the full moon and say WOW?
Well you're made of the same WOW-ness as the full moon.

Verse 5
Do you ever try to count the stars and say WOW?
Well you're made of the same WOW-ness as the night star.

Voice Choir
You are composed of the same stuff as the Milky Way.
You are an exquisite dimension of the Galaxy's development.
You are a space the Universe fashioned to feel its own grandeur.
You are an individualize expression of WOW. WOW!

Thank you Shiloh for all the "WOW" you add to our world and the Universe!

much love ~ Michelle Fairchild

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Mojo Monday ~ Character Strengths

It has been said that one of the secrets to happiness is finding ways to be able to operate in areas of strength as much as possible. One way to identify more of your strengths is to take the VIA Character Strengths assessment test. Researchers in a field called Positive Psychology identified 24 character strengths. The test they designed helps you figure out which of the 24 are your greatest strengths. The idea is that after you discover your strengths, you can work to improve ones you’re weaker at, but also play to the ones you’re stronger at.

You have to create an account so it will save your assessments. After you make your account, click on the test called “VIA Survey of Character Strengths” to take the test. It’s 240 questions long, but it goes fast, and I promise it’ll be worth it!

After you take the test, please share your Top Five strengths here on the Red Boa blog.

For the record, here are my top five:

1. Appreciation of beauty and excellence
You notice and appreciate beauty, excellence, and/or skilled performance in all domains of life, from nature to art to mathematics to science to everyday experience.

2 Love of learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums-anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

3. Perspective (wisdom)
Although you may not think of yourself as wise, your friends hold this view of you. They value your perspective on matters and turn to you for advice. You have a way of looking at the world that makes sense to others and to yourself.

4. Curiosity and interest in the world
You are curious about everything. You are always asking questions, and you find all subjects and topics fascinating. You like exploration and discovery

5. Gratitude
You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hallelujah as performed by K. D. Lang

This stirs the soul. What an amazing performance. The standing ovation and K. D.'s reaction at the end is so very touching.

hallelujah, halleluiah [ˌhælɪˈluːjə], alleluia [ˌælɪˈluːjə]

1. (Christianity / Ecclesiastical Terms) an exclamation of praise to God
2. an expression of relief or a similar emotion
1. an exclamation of ``Hallelujah''
2. (Music, other) a musical composition that uses the word Hallelujah as its text
[from Hebrew hallelūyāh praise the Lord, from hellēl to praise + yāh the Lord, Yahweh]

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cosmic Cowgirl Magazine

The Cosmic Cowgirl magazine was officially launched yesterday!  Woo hoo!
Come check out the wisdom, wit and wildness of the Cosmic Cowgirls magazine by clicking here.