Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

Time to walk naked January 24, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 6:13 pm
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Read in inquiry. Don’t argue, agree, stomp, fight, shrink. Just consider and move from there.

I read this a couple days after someone told me they thought I was “one of those women who is more of a man.” This comment doesn’t offend me as through all of us courses masculine and feminine energy but did spark curiosity… what does that even mean? So I asked.

The response? My ambition, direct communication style, and my courage seemed atypical for a female. This individual meant it as a compliment, and I realized we send these “messages” to women and our daughters all the time.

Who I am in my spirit – who you are regardless of skin color, gender, love interest – is incomprehensibly bigger than the body that transports you, the origin of your birth, and the circumstance of your upbringing.

You are Beyond words.

People are always going to stereotype – it is our human brain trying to organize and make sense. And we get to decide if we’re wearing those labels or if we look bemusedly at their constriction, the itchiness of their fabric, the ill-fitting hemlines. Everyday, I do the work to shine bright and leave those ridiculous labels lying on the ground as I stride off with enthusiasm about what I’m up to.

And some days, that process goes well, and sometimes I realize I’m wearing that itchy garment around. And it’s all good and its all part of my life’s work.

If I could dictate anything; however, it would be that we take active, big, every day action to counterbalance societal messaging our children receive.

CLICK HERE:

 

Invent Adventure January 21, 2017

Filed under: thoughts become things,Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 12:47 pm
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I’ve come to realize that I’ve taken on, built in, said YES to so much in my life that finding space between the action required to support these responsibilities is a challenge.  And, I picked and love (most of the time) it all.  I chose to lead a manufacturing company, to give birth to a yoga business, to buy a second studio, to have children, to join boards, to get married, to bring home the second dog…  (This list could go on but you get my point).

Each of those endeavors hold varying degrees of meaning to my heart & spirit, but they all are positive imprints in my life.  And, when you string them together across a day, a week, a month, and a year; I am not different than you – the sheer busyness can be dizzying.  God Forbid an unexpected blip hits your radar.  How does one materialize the time to care for a child home from school or a leak in the basement?

So, we either fall prey to an undercurrent of stress or we learn, through disciplined self-teaching, to ebb and flow, to let go, to lower expectations, to go easy, and to breathe our way back to center.  And…  even then something is missing.

Adventure.  Adventure is different to each of us.  Helen Keller said:

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature nor do the children of man as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller 1880-1968

For me, adventure is new.  It is a hike on an unchartered path or a trip to an unexplored part of the planet.  It is swinging from a rope with Maya, dancing with my husband in the kitchen, playing basketball with Jack.  It is learning something new, taking a risk in a conversation, walking over the log instead of the bridge.  It feels like your brain and spirit waking up at the same time your lips curl up in the corners.

Adventure is waiting for you.  She is singing her mermaid song to lure you in.  And you will only notice her if you practice the art of the pause in your life.  Looking up from your task list and device to wonder what that distant sound is and then extending your pause to explore.  Following your instinct and curiosity.

My productivity & quality skyrockets when my life is infused with adventure.  And when my life gets too linear and task oriented, my output becomes less creative and inspired.  I get it all done, but that is not my measure of work well accomplished.

Seek adventure.  Thrill your spirit.  Lighten your heart.  Stimulate your mind.  Drive a new way to work, bicycle to the store, skip across the street, take the trip.  It matters.  Where will you seek adventure today?

 

Organize for peace January 17, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 5:29 pm

I saw a great quote today from Martin Luther King Jr:  “Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.”

It would seem that those who love to fight, create conflict, and wage war have a special skill in organizing.  They are masters at collecting people to their mission, engaging people in negative rhetoric, & setting fire to communications so it spreads wildly & rapidly.  Perhaps because they themselves are so passionate, they spark dark emotions & transform benign words into malignant ideas that rile, enrage, and unify.

The word yoga comes from the sanskrit base “yuj.”  This means to yoke or unify.  We think of it as a unification of body, mind, and spirit or a yoking of an individual with the Divine. Oneness.  And while these interpretations have created amazing growth & awareness in my life, it occurs to me that this may be a season for a broader view.

If our individual impact is truly greater when we are part of a whole versus a solitary force, then our yoga calls us to activate community.  This is more than being part of or belonging to…  activation implies mobilization of a shared vision.  And I might argue that our yoga community shares a vision of peace, inner strength, and vitality.

Imagine if the chambers of Washington DC & the street corners of our inner cities were grounded in peace, inner strength, and vitality?  Imagine if “yoga” was the path – a coming together, a union of unique and disparate views and beliefs committed to a better way?

Today, I may not have direct influence over the actions of those organized for adversity; however, I can take steps in my life to mobilize myself and my community to overpower ego-driven battles with heart-driven motives.  Imagine if we all did just one thing today?

 

What’s your gap? January 10, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 3:16 pm
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Several years ago, I started a daily gratitude practice.  Each day seated in sacred space or foot on trail, I would reflect heart wide open on the blessings of my life.  People, security, animals, freedom, flowers, health, big skies, challenges…  The whole mess of it – big and small, eternal and fleeting.

This practice transformed me.  I learned to see opportunity in challenge, to create peace in conflict, and to live contently and joyfully on the inside without needing external circumstances to align with perfection.  Not always but mostly.  And when I rolled off the wagon in the midst of an inner temper tantrum, I more easily witnessed myself and regained my footing.  Equanimity.

The greatest gift was a melting away of stress.  It wasn’t an elimination of it – effortful and intentional.  It just seemed to evaporate like it never existed to begin.  Again, not always.  You may still find me from time to time full tilt, but generally, stress debilitates my life less.  I shirk from the fear of failure less, and because I take more chances, my life is blossoming in fascinating ways that lights me up.

As I continued my gratitude practice on January 1st, I had this sudden flash of awareness.  My gratitude practice, while altruistic, was about me.  I viewed it through a lens of how it impacted my life.  And while this is all well, I sat curiously staring at this reality as a gap.

The gap in our life can be a source of frustration or a question mark of potential.

So in 2017, I’m shifting my gratitude practice to be about the subject of my gratitude practice.  Each morning since January 2nd, I have written my gratitude for the day in my journal and then taken connected deeply.   What does this look like?  For me, it looks like hands on heart, looking upward with a giant goofy grin as I radiate my joy, love, support, and appreciation into the world.

For the balance of the day, I repeat that outward pouring of my light and love several times; with intention to land my joy bomb on the heart of someone or something.

I love finding a gap; this question mark of potential.  It is the portal of what’s next in our life, and for me, 2017 is an exploration of deeper gratefulness.  What is your question mark of potential?  Will you play with it?

 

 

I intended to go to the gym, but…. January 7, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — laurajuarez @ 3:45 am

Admit it- you’ve said this.  Maybe not about the gym but about something relevant in your life.  I get it.  As one of your fellow earthlings, I also fall prey to the predator mind and her sneaky little tricks to keep you on the same, known, beaten down, been there done that path. (Just my way of making us all realize how ridiculously lame status quo can be).

So, in 2017, I’m taking my own advice.  Accept what is with grace and good humor, and move with enthusiasm into possibility.  Instead of banishing myself to the dark recesses of my mind or the bottom of a glass of red, I choose instead to look at my silly habits of sub-optimizing, chuckle, and decide.

There are no do-overs because today doesn’t happen in yesterday unless you’ve mastered time travel.  But there is the NOW.  The present moment.  And in this moment, nothing else matters.  I can do anything, be anything, think anything, create anything.  No baggage, no expectations, no prescribed roles.  Just me, my heartbeat, my gifts, and my dreams.  Same for you.

So what do you know to be true from a quick little whirl around your talentsphere  &  dreamscape?  I am a ferocious planner so I look at this question dimensionally.  For me, there isn’t an overarching THIS IS IT answer.  For me, there is a vision in many arenas of my life – impact with our planet, impact with my family, impact with my talents.  For me, learning, adventure, & working tirelessly to create a better way are non-negotiables.  What is it for you?  Write it down.

Here’s the dirty secret in all this hubabub about living the life of your dreams… you actually have to stop doing what doesn’t light you up and what isn’t working.  You can’t have it both ways.  You can’t fulfill all of your roles and expectations you have and others have of you AND step into your greatest contribution to the world.  (Actually this is not universally true as there are examples of breakthrough living but not enough to create statistical interest). You cannot keep up your time draining habits and forge a new path.  For me, repetitive work, data & labor intensive analysis, & endless tying out of analysis and communication loops – brain frying, soul sucking, heart wrenching.  Know thyself.  Get creative about how to limit, or at minimum, batch these requirements of your day.  What is it for you?

And then what are the time traps you give yourself to that you’re willing to, as Nancy Reagan advised, Just Say No.  (Think TV, facebook, candy smasher or whatever that ridiculous game is that I see people playing on airplanes).

What BUT are you committed to giving up?  Let’s all banish at least one & see what happens.  Choose Well.