How Are You Living by Design?

How are you living by design?

In 2009,  I took a few months to “be still” so I could “get clear” and then “choose well.” I started drinking fresh “live” juices as a part of my diet, I vacationed in Puerto Rico and was able to enjoy the company of great friends, wonderful weather and of course, salsa dancing.  I have been fine tuning my personal guidance system (PGS) and I am continuing to create the life experiences I desire.

Social media has continued to climb in usage from Facebook, to Twitter, to You Tube.  I’ve returned to embracing aspects of technology including Facebook and this blog as ways to stay connected.  As human beings we have the power of choice. We often forget that we have the ability to fully engage in life or to simply live our lives on auto pilot. I am choosing to “Live by Design.”

It’s been 10 years since I wrote my book, Why Struggle? life is too short to wear tight shoes and yes, I’m still meditating daily and still recommending everyone, (yes, everyone can benefit) take at least a minimum of five minutes (300 seconds) to be still…so they can get clear… and choose well. Here’s a quick meditation for you. This one minute meditation will remind you to BREATHE – http://bit.ly/8GQ5th.

If you are looking for stocking stuffers  or gifts for the holiday season, I’m offering several specials on my website, www.dontstress.net, for my book and cd.

I’m completing my program, “Live More, Stress Less” in a few weeks and will be offering this course as well as a few other programs live and virtual programs in 2010.  I am on Facebook and would enjoy connecting with you if we aren’t already connected you can reach me at facebook.com/barbarafaison.

Please share this blog with your friends, family, colleagues or organizations.  If you are interested in mini-workshops, group sessions or book clubs, email me at barbara@dontstress.net.   I also want to know what things you are doing to create the life you desire.

Remember to take the time to be still, get clear and choose well so you can Live By Design.

Be Accountable: Do You have AP’s ™?

Have you ever needed to do something and lacked the motivation? I have struggled with this in the past and often in the present. I would start a project and in the middle of it I would find something more interesting to do and move on to it before I finished. My I (idea) to I (implementation) ratio was very low.  It was around 5:1. I needed help. I had to find a way to increase my I:I. I came up with the idea of having an AP™.

An AP™ is an accountability partner. The AP is who you report to about the status of your project, idea or task to be sure that you are held accountable.  Here’s my example: I needed to recreate my script for my meditation cd before I could record it in the studio. My AP for this project was Wendy Y. She is one of my regular AP’s so I called her and told her what I needed to do and by when. The role of the AP is simple and specific.

The AP needs to know two things; 1. What needs to be done and 2. When it needs to be done. When I started using an AP™ my ratio was much better, it was 2:1.

Why did I need an AP? I needed to be held accountable. I knew that I couldn’t depend on motivation and inspiration to get me through, I needed discipline and commitment.  Knowing I had to call Wendy Y on April 29th kept me focused and I was determined to call her and say, “Wendy Y, I finished my cd script early.”  And I did. I often complete things faster when I have an AP involved.Why does this strategy work? Often time we are more accountable to someone else than we are to themselves. The AP approach works very well for me and I encourage you to try it.

There are three easy steps, here’s what you do:
1.  Who – decide who will be your AP™.
2.  What – decide what you need to get done.
3.  When – tell your AP when you need to have your project/task completed- be realistic.

What happens if you don’t get your project/task done by the timeframe you desired? Let your AP know the new timeframe, if you are still interested in completed the project/task.If things have changed, you can always find another project/task. There is always something to be done.Your AP can be different people based on what you are trying to accomplish. If you are on a team with people, you may choose to pick someone involved on that team. An AP is a great way to develop and enhance discipline around specific projects and get things done more timely.

Let me your thoughts by clicking on the comments and leaving me your thoughts.

What kind of friends do you have?

One of my life philosophies is – What you believe you achieve. What you give you receive. And who you spend your time with you become more like.  What kind of friends do you have?  Are they people who encourage you, love you and support you?

Yesterday I went to wash my clothes and my washing machine didn’t work.  Well, I’ve had some problems with it for a few months so it wasn’t a great surprise and it was 13 years old.  I called on of my salsa girlfriends, Bonnie, to let her know our plans for the Wednesday night Salsa might have to change since I would need to wash clothes. My nephew Byron is graduating with his MBA in Project Management ( I am soooo proud of him) and I’m leaving town on Thursday.

Before I could even finish the story about the washing machine… Bonnie says, “So you coming over to wash your clothes, I’ll be up for awhile.”  It was 9:45pm. Now that is a friend.

A few minutes later I was catching up with my friend LaVonda, who has become a new mother (she has adopted her 7 yr old niece and has her mother living with her) and mentioned the washer and she also offered to have me come over. Now that is a friend.

What kind of friends do you have? These are just two of the wonderful group of friends I have and I am so grateful for them.

As you are living by design? Ask yourself- What kind of friends do I have?  Tell me about some of your FABULOUS FRIENDS.

Barbara’s Last days in Barbados

       

My last few days were wonderful.  I took a few pictures on my way out of town and at the airport.
I learned a few tips for traveling to Barbados. 

1.  Be prepared to rise and shine about 6:00am.  God’s creatures (roosters, chickens, birds, etc) are up and want you to be up with them.

2.   Try the TeaTime creme filled biscuits ( they are cookies) and they are great with coffee or tea or alone.

3.   The flying fish was also great! Thanks for cooking it for me Geno.

4.   Take lots of pictures, the scenery is GORGEOUS.

5.    If you want to have a great tour experience contact www.customcaribbeanvacations.com and ask for
       Regenna London.

 

Barbara in Barbados – Day 4

Today we decided after the 5 hour hike we would forgo the gym. I actually said this about 10 times while we were lost in the woods yesterday. Geno kept saying, let’s wait and see. I was VERY clear, I was not going to the gym. I don’t think any of us really knew how tired we would be.  Just imagine being on your feet for 5-6 straight hours.  That is a long time.  My tooties are not used to that kind of activity.

    Today we had a light breakfast and I read and relaxed, Sandra and Kym, I did relax this morning.  😉 Geno has not allowed me to help do anything in the kitchen except get water and something to drink. We went to to downtown Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados.  I went to Woolworth…who knew there would be a Woolworth in Barbados. I found some cool earrings for $7.50 and $5.00.  We took pictures and came home and ate a nice lunch.  We will probably chill out for the evening.  Enjoy the pictures of downtown.

Barbara in Barbados – Days 2 & 3

Isn't this beautiful!

 

Day 2 – We all went to the gym and worked out.  It felt great to be back working out again.  My ankle strain has left me with very limited workouts, except SALSA.   We went to Brown’s beach for the afternoon and watched the sunset.  There were many families on the beach and Warren, Regenna and I enjoyed the weather and chilling in the water floats and the overall beach scene. The picture on the header is from Brown’s Beach in Barbados. 

Day 3- This was the most unexpected day.  We got up to go to a 6am hike at Hackertons Cliff. Regenna and Warren London and I got up and took our snacks ( trail mix, grapes, apples, water, and a few Little Debbie Oatmeal pies for Warren).  It all started out so well, we got there right on time as they were explaining the different hikes.  We opted for the Stop and Stare.  We figured it would be a nice easy hike, we could STOP and Stare and take some pictures along the way.  It was listed as a 3 hour hike.  It started out very nicely, we walked through some wooded areas that were very beautiful. Then we walked past some houses and moved to where the fun really started.  We entered a very wooded area that didn’t seem that different from the other area we just left.  About an hour into the Barbados forest we all started to wonder what was happening.  This was no ordinary hike.  We were climbing up what seemed to be mini cliffs.  Not what we had in mind.  Well, there were several times we all were stopped and joked that the guide must be lost.  We were right.  We were lost in the Barbados forest for about 3 hours.
                Working out in a gym doesn’t quite prepare you for climbing up rocks, grabbing vines and maneuvering around trees with ants and slugs. I felt about as close to Survivor or Lost as I would ever be.  The other 39 people on the hike were just as befuddled as I was about why we were lost.  Were there markers we should have seen?  Of course there were.  I don’t hike. I mean I walk trails sometimes but really hike, no.  I really didn’t know what to expect or know what to look for. I thought that was why we had a guide.
                About 3 hours after realizing that we were indeed lost we made it to what looked like the top of a pit.  Regenna’s husband Warren was a life saver for the hike.  He made sure that we had assistance and helped us in the steep areas.  I was pulling on a stick several times  that he held out to me to be sure I made it up some of the steep paths. Did I mention I don’t hike? Well, we made it to the pit and one of the guys helping the guide tried to convince me it was easy to get out and to the top. At that point I would have done just about anything to get out of that hole.  It was beautiful in the forest, woods, it wasn’t quite a jungle but it was as close to a jungle I would see. But I definitely wanted out.  He helped us all out with a smile and in the typical Bajan accent, “Wasn’t that easy.”  Hell no.  It wasn’t easy…it was a trip.
                When I came up out of the hole we walked over to an area to rest atop of a beautiful cliff.  It was breathtaking. But that was not even close to the end of the hike. We still had another hour to go.
My body was aching; we were now back in the 80+ degree weather of Barbados and still clueless about how to get to the car.  We all bombarded a local store owner for water, Powerade and Banks Beer (a local favorite) to help us on the next hour leg of our trip.
                At one point when we were nestled quietly in the forest waiting to find out which way we were going, I was standing very still and quiet with my eyes closed.  Regenna asked me if I was okay.  I told her I was praying.  She asked if I was worried.  I told her no, I was simply praying my prayers of affirmation.  I thanked God for the safety of all the hikers. I thanked God for the wisdom of the guide. I thanked God for keeping the hikers calm. I had a few more prayers for God. I am continuing to pray at all times, prayers of gratitude help me remember that am at all times a blessed child of God.                Regenna and I discussed what could be the lesson in being Lost in Barbados. I don’t know for sure but I am sure that being in the moment and knowing that I would be divinely protected had to be somewhere among the things I learned and experienced on my three hour hike that was six hours while I was visiting Barbados.
                After our hike we were all EXHAUSTED.  We came home, showered and slept the afternoon away. We woke up and Geno cooked flying fish, rice and peas, mashed potatoes and salad.  Yummy.  Flying fish is native to the island and it was DELICIOUS! We just lazied (real word?) around the house all afternoon.  My feet and body are so sore.  See some of the pictures.

We made it back to the top!