Nancy Bishop's blog

My Three Sisters and Me

I have three wonderful sisters and all of them are nurses. I'm the only one that has not been drawn to the profession. Diagnosed at 19 with Type 1 diabetes, I have experienced the medical profession from the other side of the exam table. I am blessed to have had such wonderful treatment from both my doctors and nurses. I credit them for coaching me on how to live and thrive with this 24/7 illness for over 30 years. I guess you could say that I have had quite a medical education of my own.

Although I'm not a nurse, I like to think of myself as a midwife; I help people to deliver their dreams by coaching them through the process of self-discovery. The goal, in the end, is similar to the midwife who coaches the mother-to-be in delivering a healthy, viable baby that thrives.

We all need support sometime from someone who has the training and expertise to assist us in delivering our dreams and who can help us thrive.

What Do You Love about Life?

Many of us have have become experts at focusing on what we don’t like about our lives. We then become  victims instead of the co-creators we were meant to be. In this negative mindset, we look for and are dragged down by other people’s behavior or our own problems and frustrations. This pattern continues to repeat itself until we consciously choose to change what we are focusing on.

Instead of focusing on what’s wrong in your life try focusing on what you love about life. What do you love about life and living? Make a list and post it where you can see it. Keep adding to the list as you begin to notice more.

When you change what you are focusing on, you may begin to notice that you have more energy and vitality for living a life you love.

 

Lessons from the Lemonade Stand

Remember your first lemonade stand? I remember wanting to have a lemonade stand because it would be fun to do with my friends. We would make the lemonade imagining all of the thirsty people who would be stopping by for a refreshing cup. Later, we would ride our bikes together to the local store and each pick out a favorite treat with the money we earned. The satisfaction was in creating the lemonade stand and playing at being lemonade sellers. The money was secondary; a reward for our work.

What If you started creating from the mindset of play and just for the fun of it? Maybe then you could quench your thirst and take that long over-due bike ride.

Finding the Treasure in Your Complaints

We all have an inner critic that judges, whines, criticizes and complains. Have you ever thought about giving that voice inside an outlet; a way out-of-your-head?

What if instead of trying to ignore the inner critic, we turned to the voice and let it have its say and we listened with full attention? The question is, are we willing to listen long enough to the pain and misery or are we quick to shut this part of ourselves off in attempt to make "it" go away? We all know that what we resist becomes more persistent.

I know, you don't think the inner critic will ever stop, but the truth is, it has to. That is the nature of transformation. When our complaints and criticisms are transformed we find peace and contentment.

Our complaints hold the keys to buried treasure. The treasure has always been there. We just have to be willing to go deeper to discover it.

The Race You are Sure to Win!

 
Insist upon yourself. Be original. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
 
Growing up in a big family, there were six of us kids, meant you had to share everything. As second to the oldest, I learned that you can't always get what you want or keep what you have. To get noticed, you had to compete. 
 
Recently, my youngest sister stated that she always feels like she has to hurry up and get things done or that someone else might beat her to it. I commented that being one of the youngest in the family, she probably had that early experience of competing with everyone ahead of her. It's no wonder that she would feel the pressure to "hurry" up in her adult life.
 
We are all taught at early ages that we must compete to get ahead in school, sports, jobs, and relationships. It is this competitive mindset that often traps us. Instead of focusing on our own strengths and talents we spend endless energy comparing ourselves to others. We often feel like we are not measuring up. Most of us know that comparing ourselves to others puts us in a no-win situation. This limited, competitive mindset isolates us from others and ultimately from our own creativity.
 
What if we moved from a competitive spirit to a spirit of cooperation? What if we focused on our gifts and talents instead of comparing ourselves to others? What if there is enough of everything to go around and we won't get left out? Finally, what if we relaxed into the knowledge that we are "good" enough just as we are?
 
We all have things we want to improve or change about ourselves. There is a certain freedom though when we accept who we are and where we are as perfect for us, right now.
 
You don't have to go out there to seek approval. Instead, go inside and give yourself the approval you are seeking.
You can't run anyone else's race.  Why not focus on your own race? That's a race you are sure to win.
  

 

Find the Work You LOVE!

If you are home today thinking how glad you're not at work or, you're home because you don't have a job or, you have a job but you're really not LOVING it. Maybe it's time to take the next step to Find the Work You Love!

Your Next step is a CLICK AWAY.

Pay Attention to Your Insight for Clear Direction

Often, what initially seems like the worst news can be the very thing needed to get us to change direction from the path we've been on, and to forge a new one that is a clear path to living an authentic life.

Initially, we may not know even know what direction to go in. In this place of "not knowing" we enter what the Buddhists call "beginners" mind. This is the place where we don't have any answers and we are full of questions. When we are living in a place of questioning, we are open, curious and in a posture of receiving instead of being closed, resisting, or grabbing for the next best answer.

In my own life, I began feeling worn out and dried up from walking a path that was not my "authentic" path. One way that this began to show up was through my vision. My eyes started to become dry. I was told, after an eye exam, that I was suffering from a serious case of dry eyes. Of course, there are all kinds of explanations why physiologically my eyes might be drying out. My first responsibility was to follow my doctor’s recommendations: drink more water, wear my glasses instead of contact lenses and use eye drops. In addition, I also looked for the deeper symbolic message of what might be causing my dry eyes.

I realized that my eye problem started when I stopped listening to myself and started looking outside myself for signs that I was doing okay.  I’d lost touch with my own in-sight and intuition. Essentially, my “internal” vision was drying up.

The lesson for me was that in order for my eyes to heal, I had to change the direction that I was moving in. I'm now looking at my path with a softer gaze; paying attention to the signs that are appearing along the way. I have faith that as long as I remain open and curious, I will be walking a path that is authentic for me.

Oh, and as for my dry eyes, while on my way to my follow up appointment with my eye doctor, a hawk flew in front of my car. Since the hawk has such keen eyesight, I took that as a sign that things were going to be fine with my eyes. In fact, when I got to the eye doctors, he barely mentioned that my eyes were dry when 6 weeks earlier he was talking about prescriptions and possible eye surgery. My eyesight improved when I looked within to see what areas in my life were feeling “dry” and where I lacked enthusiasm. Once I had some clarity, I could take action to change the direction I was headed in.

How about you? What are some of the signs that you may not be moving in the direction that is right for you? If you find yourself "not knowing" ask for guidance from a trusted friend or professional that is trained in this terrain. Messages may also appear  in a dream and from your own intuition. Remember, we all move by taking one step at a time. Just take the next step and pay attention to your own in-sight about what is right for you.

Accentuate the Positive. One Thought at a Time!

"No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an unchartered land, or opened a new heaven to the human spirit." - Helen Keller

Depending on where you are living, you could be waking up to spring daffodils and birdsong or, you may be shoveling out from the latest snowfall. Whatever your circumstances, this too shall pass. Change is around the corner.

How can you make the most out of what is right here, right now? You may not be able to change your circumstances but how could you change your attitude toward your circumstances? What if you were to flip whatever you are telling yourself and re-frame it so that it empowers you? For instance, try removing the words, should, could, can't or never from your self-talk. Replace these with words that build you up rather than tear you down.

We are all engaged in too much negative self-talk. Just look around and you will see it reflected back in the world. The more we talk about the high cost of fuel, the economy, the flu, etc., the more we collectively feed the thought pool of lack and limitation. Wouldn't it be more fun to feast on thoughts and words that accentuate the positive in our lives? We can all do this by paying attention to what we think and say.

As thoughts come up in your mind, notice how you feel. You can tell by the way you feel if your thoughts are uplifting or taking you in a downward spiral of negativity. Watch what you say. Your words contain powerful energy. Whatever you say out loud acts like a boomerang coming straight back to you.

The point is, you have the power to choose in each moment which path you want to travel through life on. You don't have to go it alone. Find others who are stepping off the beaten path to support you. There are many opportunities to do this on and off-line. You could even start your own book club or meeting and invite others to join you.

If you don't know where to begin, start by checking out some resources on affirmations. Louise Haye has a wonderful book, You Can Heal Your Life, which is full of positive affirmations. You can also visit hayhouse.com for books and products that are uplifiting, and  that accentuate the positive.

This spring, plant new seeds of positive thoughts and water daily with affirmations. You can change your life. One thought at a time.

 

Rosemary is for Friendship

Sometimes when people are looking for solutions, I'll have them try something out of their ordinary approach. For instance, rosemary is the herb for friendship. If you want to create friendships, plant rosemary in the garden or bring a plant into the home. Symbolically, you are inviting friendship in.

If you crush a few of its leaves between your fingers and breathe in its fragrance, it is said to lift the spirit and soothe anxiety.

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