Jun 30 2011

See the world as a child again

Peggy McPartland
The really great stuff begins when we push beyond the edges of our comfort zone. 

Remember what it was like as a child? We didn’t over-think everything. We were constantly pushing our limits and experiencing every new thing wholeheartedly.

We experienced life fully as we jumped off the high dive for the first time, chased butterflies while laughing hysterically and made best friends in an instant.

But something happened along the way.

We began to believe that we needed to conform, be responsible and live our lives in a certain way. We took on the single-minded focus of doing what we thought we were supposed to.

What happened to our sense of exploration and creativity?

It’s still there! It’s just waiting to be set free.

Trust that you can push beyond your comfort zone and embrace your curiosity and inquisitiveness.  The fear that we feel as we do is only confirming that we’re doing something that matters. And isn’t that ultimately what we all want?

When we lose our fear of being wrong or being judged, we’re able move into a more meaningful life, one that’s filled with passion.

We do fail at times. We’re human. But isn’t that ultimately how we learn and grow and become stronger, better people?

That fear of being out of our comfort zone is simply part of the process. It’s how we relate to it that makes the difference. So embrace it. Know that it means you’re pushing the limits. Touch it and befriend it. Let it be the fuel that propels you forward rather that the stone that holds you in place.

Trust yourself. Listen to your heart. Laugh. Play. Explore.

And see the world as a child again.

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Photo credit: Digital Latte Photography


Jun 23 2011

Three things I learned from the Green Lantern

Peggy McPartland

Ah, the Green Lantern. Comic book hero and superpower. And not a bad role model! I found I learned a few things from the Green Lantern.

It takes courage to face fear.

A Green Lantern must have the courage and strength to overcome his fears.

We all find ourselves faced with fear many times throughout our lives. It’s not fear itself that’s the problem, but rather the lack of courage to face that fear. This is often where so many of us get stuck. We become paralyzed by fear and uncertainty.

We have great ideas but we’re afraid. We’re afraid of what people will think. We’re afraid to fail. We’re afraid to step out of our comfort zone. But that’s all so normal. It’s important to feel the fear and understand what it represents rather than being overwhelmed by it.

It takes courage to accept our fears for what they are – a message that we’re pushing our boundaries and moving out of our comfort zone. And that’s exactly where we want to be. We do have the ability to overcome our fear. Sure, it’ll be uncomfortable but if we face  it with determination and welcome what it represents, we’ll conquer it and be able to challenge ourselves in new and surprising ways.

We often have strengths that we aren’t aware of.

The ring never makes a mistake. It sees something in us that we don’t even see.

So often we’re unaware of our own strengths. They have become such a part of us that we no longer see them as anything unusual. Those around us can easily see things in us that we don’t even see ourselves.

Have you ever had someone tell you that they’d never be able to do what you do? It’s surprising to hear. We think, but can’t everyone do that?  It seems so normal, something we’ve never considered unusual and  think is nothing.

We often underestimate our unique strengths. Open up, trust your abilities and you’ll begin to see yourself in a very different way. Every one of us has incredible talent, passion and strength. We just need to get in touch with that and embrace those limitless abilities.

Community is powerful.

The collective willpower of the Green Lantern Corps can bring harmony to the universe.

There really is strength in numbers. There’s an amazing group of  bright, talented people out there going through exactly what we’re going through. Reach out to them. They openly and generously support and inspire each other. That sense of community is vital to our well-being. We’ll find more in the collective knowledge, experience and sense of purpose in the amazing people we surround ourselves with than we ever will alone.

Embrace the people around you, reach out, ask questions and share. It’ll bring a new sense of stability, balance and strength into your life.

Like the Green Lantern, when we pull together with the strength of the community we can accomplish amazing things.

Minus the cool green suits though.

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Jun 16 2011

Take a break from your career

Peggy McPartland

 

You’ve always dreamed of just throwing it all to the wind and taking off traveling but the fear of how it’ll impact your career continues to hold you back. It’s time to change that! Taking a break from your career will not only reenergize you, but will move your career in an entirely different direction when you return.

Last fall I met Betsy and Warren Talbot, the dynamic duo behind Married with Luggage. They sold their home and were in the process of getting rid of all their belongings, quitting their jobs and heading off to travel the world. I was so inspired by the two of them. It was astounding to know there was someone else out there with the same crazy ideas that I had!

And then they told me about Meet, Plan, Go!, a national event for those of us looking for inspiration and advice on taking a career break and traveling long-term! I couldn’t believe such a thing existed! Betsy and Warren were the hosts of the hugely successful 2010 Meet, Plan, Go! event in Seattle. I was so energized by the experience I couldn’t stop talking about it!

Meet, Plan, Go! brings together people who may have already taken a break from their careers to travel or those who only dream about it but have no clue how to go about it. I found  this to be an amazing on-line and in person community of supportive and encouraging people. It made the whole idea seem a bit less overwhelming.

They challenge the perception that we have to work our butts off until retirement and only then are we able to have fun. Instead of that delayed gratification, a break (or several!) in your career will change your perspective, open your mind and possibly even move your career in a different direction when you return.

Last week I went to the first informal get together for the upcoming 2011 Meet, Plan, Go! event in Seattle, hosted by Christine and Paul Milton, aka Bert and Patty. Christine and Paul recently returned to Seattle and their careers following their marriage and an extended honeymoon that turned into an 18 month trip around the world. They are inspiring, supportive, and  happy to share their experiences and encourage others to follow their dreams.

The national event will be on October 18, 2011 in 17 cities throughout the country.  It will bring together fantastic people who embrace the idea of fulfilling their dreams of travel and living life a bit less conventionally. This amazing community is a unique source of strength, inspiration and support.

It’s so encouraging to realize that long-term travel is a completely realistic goal and that not only is it possible to do, but there are so many people already doing it! That affirmation is life-changing!

If it’s always been your dream to leave everything behind and travel the world, this could be the inspiration that sets you on your way!

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Photo credit: Digital Latte Photography