Choice & Ripple Effect

“Just as ripples spread out when a single pebble is dropped into water, the actions of individuals can have far-reaching effects.”  ~ Dalai Lama

Colorful Ripple.jpg

The Oxford Dictionary defines choice as, “An act of selecting or making a decision when faced with two or more possibilities. The right or ability to make, or possibility of making, such a selection.”

Life just continues to amaze me! I’ve been gifted a course with an organization that I have been following for nearly a decade. The organization is revered and respected for their focus on and education regarding peace and nonviolence, Metta Center for Nonviolence in Berkeley, California.

In writing my intro for this course, I reflected on how I came to this moment. It all began in 2008 with an invitation from a fellow writer … the invitation was to a mid-week gathering for meditation, at a humble home in Santa Clara, California. This invitation would change my life, it would impact me in profound ways, and the ripples of that invitation, and my acceptance, are still reverberating and manifesting things in ways unimaginable, like with this gift.

These things in life are not coincidental. These things, and most things really, are cause and effect of choices, ripple effects of things I’ve done, choices I’ve made.

There is such power, such strength, such awareness, such freedom in choosing. This single act, this choice, creates a ripple effect of possibilities and outcomes for ourselves and others; we hardly know the far-reaching affects of our choices.

Reflecting, I took myself back to when I applied for acceptance in the course, and how I came to know of the course, etc. I began to follow a thread of connection, of choices (myself and of others). Amazingly, all of it, – the connections and relationships, the learning and growing – all of it is connected. One thing leads to another, which leads to another, and so on and so forth.

The lessons for me in this moment are the power of choice and the ripple effect on people and outcomes. The second lesson is about the impact of awareness of myself and others in every moment because of this limitless effect of my choices. The third lesson is about acceptance and forgiveness and that with my power of choice, I can make another choice (a better choice) every second.

Quite simply, the choice of my attitude, my happiness, my place in life, everything is a matter of my powerful personal choice.

 

http://www.servicespace.org

http://mettacenter.org

 

 

 

Figuring Out the Life-Work Balance Thing

“Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. ”
                                                                                                               ~ Robert Fulgham

 

The transition continues… what to do now?  Who isn’t at an age, and I mean any age, and not transitioning?  So, what to do now, or next, or then, or soon… In this time of global communication, incredible e-commerce where we can find anything we our hearts desire through the world-wide web: dinner take-away delivered,  market delivery of groceries, dog walkers for your pup’s mid day walk, selling wares, or learning a language, or getting a degree!

How do we find our groove and our rhythm for this balance of pleasure with family and friends and earning a living and creating income?

Driving through San Francisco with some twenty-somethings yesterday, we spoke about this life:work balance conundrum, and these guys have it figured out already!  Bully to those of us that know we need to earn a living, enough to live as we want and enough to enjoy, or learn what we enjoy, and to also just have fun discovering life.  And that in essence is what the discussion was about, working for a company that you could believe in, and still have time to write books,  kickback at concert festivals, sing and dance, and get your party-hat on, go to school, whatever! To grab the twenty-something lingo, the convo was dope and their living in the moment vibe was, too!

Over the weekend I had a small dinner party at my flat (which would later turn in to an 80’s dance party) and conversation began to swirl around life:work balance, how to achieve it, all the while downing copious amounts of yummy food and wine.  We’d imbibed a good bit before and during dinner, so the conversation was animated and somewhat passionate about not wasting time, or waiting to do the things we want to do. Some of the conversation went to work we’d done in the past  These friends were all about just jumping in and doing what they dream!  Do ‘it’ now, they said, don’t wait for anything, and it’s best to live fully and have no regrets!

I’m coming to a thought about this balance of life, and living, and working…  it feels like a portfolio of sorts; like when someone does a variety of things to earn a living coupling it with their passion or hobbies. With this sort of earning model there are streams of income: could be a mainstream job in an industry you like, could be earning some bucks from a pleasure like stained glass or writing, another stream maybe a multilevel marketing company, and still another could be an online business such selling through Etsy or teaching a language through a mobile app, or having that garage band.  Really in today’s world and with the use of technology, we can be more, do more, be more efficient, and have more time!  Those twenty-somethings are on to something for certain.

Back in the day, we used to term this type of employment as doing the ‘odd job’, which doesn’t have quite the wow factor and also minimized the potential of the income.  This portfolio employment or income idea, though not new, has a ring to it, it also has traditional connotations to financial income such as dividend income, etc.  What we’re seeing more of today are people working a job with a little ‘j’ and another with a big ‘J’, or working a job and running a business as well, or having taken their hobby or interest and also generating income from that as well. It has always been a key to financial health to have multiple income streams, and this portfolio employment or income idea, though not new, has a ring to it.

For me, as I transition, I’m writing, which is a pleasure.  Since I dream of living abroad and working, I’m also completing my TEFL Certification (Teaching English as a Foreign Language); I can satisfy a dream of living in various cultures learning about people and the world  and make a living and be a good global citizen.  Another potential stream of income is to teach English through a mobile application that will connect me with someone anywhere in the world for tutoring. The beautiful thing about all of these endeavors (writing, teaching English, and traveling the world) is that I can do them all from anywhere in the world!

Here are some solid connections for you that are helping me:

TEFLExpress – http://www.teflexpress.co.uk, which also, by the way, has a Groupon offer at the time I’m writing this entry, for their 160 hour course at an awesome discount!

Savant is a mobile app for teaching and learning English – http://savant.express.

I believe both groups of friends are on to something and not to far away from each other in the big picture… Enjoy life, first!  We all have to earn our way, so find a way to joyfully balance a life:work combo, perhaps with this portfolio income scenario, doing  whatever suits us by creatively using our talents, and satisfying our budget!

 

Freedom in Taking the Plunge

“Travel is like love, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end.”     ~ Pico Iyer

Here goes… I’ve been given freedom.  True, undeniable freedom to do what I want to do! No more reasons not to write, or walk, or discover, or travel, or simply be me.

Late March, on a Thursday at the end of the business day,  I left an unsatisfying job!  I didn’t feel sad about it, in fact my boss and I agreed, it was painful working together (we didn’t see eye-to-eye much).  My children are gone to university and wholly and fully living their lives.  I have simplified my life in the last many years and I have nothing holding me back financially… so, I have nothing keeping me, or holding me where I’m at, if I want to do something different, or be somewhere else, or…

So here goes.  It has been just a short while, since I was freed from my miserable job.  I’ve been diligently looking for work, diligently looking for the traditional job, the 9-to-5’er sort of thing… which doesn’t seem to suit me at this time in my life.  I’ve been having good and real self talk, and realize that the only thing holding me back from everything I want to do, is well, me.

So, I asked myself,  what the hell do I really want to do?  Funny thing is, at this point in my life and being alone in my flat with my dogs, I can have this sort of dialogue, out loud even, and no one cares – well I don’t care, so I’m having this loud, external dialogue and gaining clarity.  Great stuff is happening with this heart felt, deep dive of self discovery and this internal, and oft times vocally external, self dialogue.  I realize I can do what I want.  With this discovery came the talk, of course, of why I shouldn’t do what I want.  Mostly it boils down to a couple of things, society and culture (alright some of my friends and family) tell us at certain ages we should be in certain places, having acquired certain things, and that we should have certain behaviors (aka, act responsibly… yikes), and that, well, doing what I want or desire or heaven forbid, dream of doing, is not responsible and I shouldn’t do it.  Then, there are the voices of friends and family and me that say, why the hell not?  Why not go and do and be, what you want right now, there’s no better time to do just that!

Thankfully the louder voice(s) prevailed (this is when if the walls could talk they may have said, hey pipe down little lady)!  So here I am, taking the plunge and doing what I want, what I desire, and what I dream!  Writing!  Traveling!  Figuring out how I can work and live abroad, and where in the world to begin living this dream!  These past two weeks, I’m tellin’ you, I have been busy with all this self talk and discovery and gettin’ my sh#% together to make this happen…

I’ve learned over the last couple of years that it is a bit difficult to transfer with multinational companies (for which I’ve worked) to other parts of the world (just more economically feasible for them to hire locally).  A solution I came up with is Teaching English as a Foreign Language!  I can do this literally all over the world!  The best part is these courses for certification, are offered on-line and can be done anywhere one has internet connection and a laptop or tablet, etc! Check – I’ve got that figured out!  So, I got myself registered for TEFL certification which will take approximately 3 months to complete!  Got over the hump of what to do to eventually earn a living while living abroad!

Screen Shot 2016-07-14 at 11.13.32 PMThen, I’m sitting around my house or around my city, working on my laptop, writing and studying and I realize, what the what, I can actually be sitting and writing and studying, hello, anywhere I want to be!  So, why not be where I want to be, discovering what my heart desires, writing and studying and being – somewhere out in the big wide world!

So, here I go, taking the plunge! Just Doing It!  I’m goin’ for it, baby!  These last couple of days I’ve been narrowing down where to begin, understanding travel requirements and restrictions, visa requirements for countries and realizing the world is my limit! I’m doin’ it!  Done talkin’ and writin’ about it all, I’m taking the plunge… this lil’ lady is gonna see the world and meet her people!