May 2017 – Shining Means – 15

karenika.comThis card says: When I choose to shine, I remember that all things can be said in a kind way. That we do not treat each other with mean words. When I shine, I remember to show how much I care not by worrying but by loving and smiling and loving some more. Always choose kind.

Even though I’ve never picked the word “kind” for a One Little Word, I think kind is one of my life-words. A lens through which I am always aiming to live my life. I don’t have many life words. The three that always seems to come are: kind, loving and brave.

I want to be kind. I want to be with people who are kind. I want to say everything with kindness. I want to receive everything with kindness. I don’t want to worry. I want to love. I want to be there. I want to sit with hard things. I want to encourage my kids to be brave and not hold them back by worrying. I want to be kind and brave. 

And I fail at both of these all the time. All. the. time. 

And yet, I pick myself up and try again. 

And I will again and again and again until I can get it right more often than I get it wrong. 

Because word might come and go and people might come and go and projects might come and go but what will not ever go away is the way you make people feel and the way you feel around other people. And I want everyone around my to feel brave and kind. I want to exude it and receive it.


Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Living Intentionally 2017 – 21

Weekly Intention: I have travel and an all-day class this week. I have to go to work twice, to Nathaniel’s school once and to David’s school once. I have a social event. And then a four-day weekend with my in-laws in town. It’s going to be crazy and tiring. So here’s what I want: I want to be patient, slow, and present. I want to be kind to the kids, to Jake, to my in-laws. I want to remember the incredibleness of my life. 

Things I want to get Done: Here’s the list for his week. Not a really long one this week. I’ll have to brainstorm some more.

  • Work: more documentation: dashboards, data.
  • Work: spend time with the new team in Seattle
  • Work: make the trip to Seattle count
  • Vacation: write 2-3 ideas for the weekend.
  • Personal: Exercise twice this week.
  • Personal: come up with ideas on August art.
  • Personal: do more of glow homework.
  • Personal: A vegetable+protein with every meal.
  • Family: Family photos.
  • Family: Spend time with Jake’s parents.

This month’s intention is: May: Help others Shine: Ok now it’s others’ turn. It’s time to be the mirror to their light so it can reflect off of you. Think of ways big and small that you can help people in your life see their own light this month. Smile. Show them how amazing they are. Thank them.  Ok one more week passed and I still have made NO notes! what does this mean about me?

Ways to Shine this week:

  • One: Bold: I would like to see if I can connect a bit in Seattle.
  • Two: Open: Open to stepping up a bit more. Seeing what’s possible.
  • Three: Heal/Nourish: More journaling. A bit of sketching. Resting.

I am looking forward to: Seattle, my class, David coming back, 4-day weekend.

This week’s challenges: a really early flight to Seattle and a really late return. I will need a lot of sleep. A week without David means I will miss him so!

Top Goals:

  • Work: more documentation. connecting.
  • Personal: some more work on Glow. Eating clean.
  • Family: once all 4 of us are under the same roof again, lots of resting and laughing together.

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: remembering that i’ve got this. i can do this.

This week, I will say yes to: assuming the best.

This week, I will say no to: being anxious.

I am worried that:  something will happen to david or that he won’t have a good time. My flight to SEA will be delayed. My trip will be unsuccessful. I will annoy someone important. I will be so incredibly tired. I will eat poorly. I won’t do more of Glow. I won’t like the class.

This week, I want to remember: that all i have to do is show up.

Weekly Reflection 2017 – 20

How I shone this week: This week Jake was out of the country so I was alone with the kids. Most of the week, this ended up meaning that I worked in the evenings and tried to get ahead of my plans a bit. I got some work done but of course not as much as I’d hoped. I went to work a bunch, I went to Nathaniel’s school, I had coaching clients, I went to a party for Nathaniel and his classmates and then had a 1-1 with a friend and then went to a social event with parents from David’s school. I did math with both of the kids. I showed up. I tried. I also yelled and wanted to give up and felt hopeless at different times this week. But I got up and kept going and sometimes that’s the best shining I can do. 

Things I wanted to get Done:  I did a pretty good job on my todo list this week!

  • Work: I more documentation but I still have a bunch more, of course. I did some meetings and scheduled some more. I feel good about progress here.
  • Vacation: I made no new plans for memorial day. 
  • Summer: I did it! booked both camps for both kids! woohoo!
  • Personal: I did exercise, albeit for a short period. I did a ton of art, I finished OLW and ate some veggies though not as much as I would have liked.
  • Family: Made the eye doctor appointments (amongst many other appointments.) Didn’t go hiking just in case I would be unreachable. And we took family photos!

I celebrate: a long but productive week this week.

I am grateful for: my son’s teachers. his school. for all the experiences he gets to have.

I nourished myself by: some lovely alone time this weekend.

Reflecting on my worries: david, jake and nathaniel are all doing fine so far. knock on wood. they’ve all been having fun! I’ve eaten so-so and only exercised ones. I did journal a teeny tiny bit. Did A LOT of art. I am grateful.

I let go of: being able to get it all done.

Core Desire Check-in (bold, mindful, nourish, love):

  • bold: i booked a trip to Seattle, I signed up for a class at work.
  • mindful: mindful of the precious time left with my kids this week as they grow up so fast.
  • nourish: so so this week. 
  • love: i love so much and i think i did okay job showing that this week 🙂

What made me laugh this week: my family. they are my light.

What I tolerated this week: a lot of work this week. two summit days. just long long long.

My mood this week was: tired.
I forgive myself for: not going camping.
What I love right now: warm summer nights.

Here’s to a wonderful week twenty-one! 

May 2017 – Shining Means – 14

karenika.comThis card says: When I shine I am not thinking about tomorrow or yesterday. I am here, now, seeing the magic of this moment and all that it means to me. I am paying attention to the gifts of this moment and cherishing the facts that I am here now. I am remembering to live this very moment.

My word a few years ago was “present.” The whole point of choosing that word was to remember this one fact. To be here, now. 

This moment, right here, is so magical. In this moment, I am sitting on my couch with a blanket that’s warming my feet, some really comfy, soft tights that are colorful and listening to “I Bet My Life” by Imagine Dragons while I sip some coffee. David is in the other room, taking some alone time and Nathaniel is reading Calvin and Hobbes. Jake is traveling with his brothers and father. I am healthy. I am sleepy. I am content. 

There’s so much magic in this moment. This exact moment will never come around again. In fact, it’s already gone. I am in the next moment already.

And when I focus on what will happen three hours from now (I have to make lunches), or  two days from now (all-day work summit) or one week from now (David will be leaving for D.C) or a month from now (almost time to leave for Sydney again) or a year from now (both kids at the same school and David almost done with middle school!) I am filled with emotions that are related to that moment. My expectations, my worries, my focus changes. It’s not possible for me to hold on to this very moment and that other moment at the same time. 

It’s only when I am here, now that I can truly live this moment. Shining is only possible in this moment because it’s the only moment I have.


Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Books I Read This Week 2017 – 20

I started this week with The Book of Joy. This book is one I have to read again and again. Lessons here are wonderful. All of it thought-provoking. I am so grateful for these two amazing people and for a book that captures a bit of them.

I then moved on to Beartown which I knew very little about and in the end it ended up being a tough book to read. But it was very well done and I am glad I read it. Even though it was tough and sad.

I then picked up Ginny Moon which I also knew nothing about. This cute, sweet book was also frustrating at times and I wanted to kick some of the adults in it. But it was one I didn’t regret reading.

I had a lot of books checked out from the library but I wanted to read The Leavers even though it wasn’t next on my check-out list. This book is so layered and there are so many subjects the author tackles. But the one that resonated the most with me was about belonging because it’s something I grapple with a lot. I loved it.

I was so looking forward to Men without Women too since I love, adore Murakami. I love him. Have I mentioned I love him? Even though I don’t love short stories, I still wanted to see if I could like this. And while I don’t love all of the stories, I really liked several of them and I’ll take whatever Murakami I can get.

I am in this weird space where I have a lot of books checked out but many of them aren’t speaking to me so we’ll see what happens this week.


Books I Read this Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 13

karenika.comThis card says: When I shine, I listen with my whole body. I turn towards the person, maintain eye contact and hold them in our combined light. I do not focus on my reply or even on what I think about what they are saying. I focus only on them and on what they are saying right now. Right here. I listen.

This is one that I need to repeat 100 times. And I will still get it wrong. Listening means paying attention. It means hearing exactly what the other person is saying. Staying engaged with them and paying attention to their words, to the feelings under those words, to the facial expressions, the body and on and on.

None of which is possible if I am too busy thinking about my week or even forming my reply. If I am thinking,  I am not listening. I am not present. 

When I listen to respond, I am not really listening. I am not really open to what’s actually being said. As it is, we often listen with so many filters. The person says one thing and we hear something different. When you then add the “replying” to that, I’m really not listening.

There are rare times when I am not too busy thinking about my todo list or any other distracting thought. In those rare times, I’d like to at least listen with my whole body, mind and soul. 

And then when I can get good at that, I can work on getting better at doing in when it’s a time when I do feel rushed.

Learning to shine takes many, many, many days.


Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Nourish Me – 20

Mind:

  • I read: I read less than usual this week. Did some idle surfing but it’s ok. 
  • I learned: I still didn’t watch more of my class on Happiness but I did a lot of math with both kids.
  • I watched: I watched some TV this week finally. Not a lot but some! I also watched Glennon’s Soul Sessions speech. I’m still thinking about it.

Body:

  • Exercise: none this week except the hiking on Saturday.
  • Food: I had protein almost every morning. I ate a lot of salad. I ate some veggies. Things are getting better though I am still drinking too much coffee, not enough water, too much soda.
  • All the others: still doing ok on all other things. still love my new shiny makeup. 

Soul:

  • I rested: Had a few rough nights of sleep but feeling okay. I am frustrated with waking up in the middle of the night too much.
  • I connected: with new parents, old parents, and good friends. Good connecting this week.
  • I journaled: no journaling outside of here and the shine cards but I have some plans.
  • I made art: yes, i made some art! 

still slowly up-sloping here.


Nourish Me Week 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 12

karenika.comThis card says: I shine when I assume the best of other people and see what’s possible in every situation. This allows me to be in the most positive space when giving and receiving information. And allows me to approach conversations from a generative space as opposed to a me vs. you space which then allows the best of me to be.

I have found this to be true over and over again. There are two things here that are good for me to remember:

  1. People are resourceful and whole. This is one of the core perspective changes I learned when I did my coaching training. People do not need “me” to help them. They are whole and capable all on their own and can solve their own problems. What they might benefit from is my asking the right questions or creating the space for them to find their own answers. This assumption is important outside of the coaching/mentoring space because it helps me remember that there are many perfectly valid answers/paths through problems/life. So,
  2. When I assume the person in front of me has a valid perspective and when I assume they are good people, intending no harm, I am likely to be able to listen to them, hear their perspective, learn, grow and be grateful.

The combination of assuming people are all equally capable and equally wonderful, that allows for conversations that are generative, powerful and inspiring. Then I shine, they shine, we all shine.


Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

2017 Stories – 20 – Take Your Kid to Work Day

Take your kid to work day was a few weeks ago and even though I was scheduled to take each kid, David decided he didn’t want to miss school. Nathaniel had no such concern so off we went!

We played with this fun Android emoji thing first.

You make a face and it turns it into an emoji.

Nathaniel had quite a bit of fun with it.

He kept trying to stick his tongue out which I think wasn’t a setting they had.

Then he built a lego robot. 

He was very attentive.

putting on the axels I think.

Almost there.

And here we are. He then got to race it down a lego track.

 

Next up was Coding with Chrome.  

He spent time chatting with all of them.

He got to code this robotic arm to pick up the chess pieces you see in the back and drop them to the green bucket. He did it in record time and it was awesome!

Then he made some paper parachutes and put them into a wind tunnel to see how well they did.

And then we looked at the dinos.

I told him he had to do a different pose and this is what I got.

But of course he can’t help himself 🙂

Looking for fossils.

He was in such a happy mood the whole time.

We went to see a bunch of animals they were showing (from Africa.)

And finally we went back to the cafe to have lunch with my friend Ramesh who was here from Sydney and then had some ice cream (him) and coffee (me) before it was time to head home.

We took some photos together and you can see he really had fun.

And that was it for Take Your Kid to Work Day. All in all, I think we can call it a success.

 


Stories from 2017 is a year-long project for 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here.

May 2017 – Shining Means – 11

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means approaching the world in a collective way. In a way that assumes we are all in this together. That it’s not me vs. the world. It’s all of us together. We are one. Their suffering is my suffering, their joy is my joy. This allows me to be open + giving and to remember there are plenty of cakes to go around.

Oh this is one that I really remind myself again and again. We are all one. If they suffer, I suffer. If they rejoice, I rejoice. I have such a tendency to close off. To go into myself and assume that I am alone and get in my head.

What I’ve learned is that the way out of there is to help others. To show up and do what needs to be done. I have volunteered many times in my life and I always love it regardless of the task on hand. I love getting out of my head and doing something, however small.

Just like other people’s suffering is ours and we need to help fix things together, other people’s joy is also my own and i want to celebrate together. When good things happen to my friends, even if that exact good thing didn’t happen to me, I still want to celebrate. If it happens to her/him, it means it could happen to me, too. We are not each eating slices from the same cake so his/her slice will not prevent me from having a slice of my own. We each get our own whole cake. There are plenty of cakes to go around.

When I remember to look at fellow people as a people and remember that we are all in this together, then I shine.


Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.

Living Intentionally 2017 – 20

Weekly Intention: Oh man, interesting week this week. I have two relaxing work day where I might be able to actually get work done, two days of summits where I am going to miss a lot of meetings but hopefully connect with my teammates more. My good friend Evelyn’s book is launching. And then David leaves for a week to D.C and Nathaniel and Jake go camping for the weekend. And then I will be taking off super-early Monday to go to Seattle. So quite a lot going on. Physically long days Monday and Wednesday. Emotionally long weekend. My intention this week is to spend a bit of extra time with David since he will be gone all week next week. A bit more time with Jake since he was gone last week. And then make a decision about the weekend and whether I want to go camping with them or not.  Monday is full but not super full so my hope is that I can spend a lot of tomorrow working really hard both on my todos and on writing docs for work. If I can get that done, I will be on a positive cycle. 

Things I want to get Done: Here’s the list for his week.

  • Work: more documentation: metrics, roadmaps, modeling
  • Work: get closer to three team members i don’t know well.
  • Vacation: plan out next weekend a bit.
  • Summer: book rowing for david. 
  • Summer: find a camp for Nathaniel.
  • Personal: Exercise twice this week.
  • Personal: 15 minutes of art 4 times.
  • Personal: Do OLW May.
  • Personal: A vegetable with every meal.
  • Family: Family photos on Friday.
  • Family: Make a decision on hiking this weekend.
  • Family: Make eye doctor appointments. 

This month’s intention is: May: Help others Shine: Ok now it’s others’ turn. It’s time to be the mirror to their light so it can reflect off of you. Think of ways big and small that you can help people in your life see their own light this month. Smile. Show them how amazing they are. Thank them.  I am ashamed i have to write this again but I *still* forgot to write notes!!?! Can I do it this week, you think?

Ways to Shine this week:

  • One: Bold: I would like to befriend some people at work. 
  • Two: Open: Open to both going or staying this weekend.
  • Three: Heal/Nourish: Exercise, art, journaling this week.

I am looking forward to: our two-day summit.

This week’s challenges: long workdays are no fun. But the hardest challenge will be letting David go of course.

Top Goals:

  • Work: more documentation. connecting.
  • Personal: a tiny bit of journaling this week?!
  • Family: some just 4 of us time. some david and me time. 

I will focus on my core desires (bold, mindful, nourish, love) by: remembering that life is amazing just as is. i can relax.

This week, I will say yes to: slowing down. being present.

This week, I will say no to: worrying too much.

I am worried that:  something will happen to david. or nathaniel+jake. I want everyone to have fun where they’re going and to really enjoy the experiences they will be having. I want all of it to go well. I am worried i will eat poorly, not exercise, not journal, not do art. something has to change for everything to change.

This week, I want to remember: to kiss and hug and love my people!

May 2017 – Shining Means – 10

karenika.comThis card says: Shining means focusing outwardly. Showing people what full attention looks like and reflecting their thoughts + feelings without judgement. Being fully present in their light and letting them see it. Shining it back on them and celebrating them.

I believe everyone is amazing. We are all yearning to connect and be with other people. We are all suffering and trying to share in our common humanity. We are all walking each other home as the saying goes.

I believe that we make each other’s lives better when we show up and choose to be there for each other. When we reflect each other’s light back to each other. When I listen, truly listen and give the gift of my time and attention to someone else, then I am shining.

Then I am showing them how wonderful they are. I truly feel that I have something to learn from every person in my life and if I really listen to them, if I am really open to the gifts they are there to give me, I can receive them. I am grateful each time I choose to deeply connect. And I am even more grateful when I can see the good in each person. I am even more grateful when I can do something to show them their amazingness. 

Shining means creating the space to make this possible. Seeing and reflecting and showing and telling people about their light. 


Shining Means is a Monthly Project for March 2017. You can read more about my projects for 2017 here. You can read about the start of this project here.