Saturday, December 31, 2016

Guiding Star #5: The Hats

Welcome back to Guiding Star.  Here we are, in the middle of all of the gems and muck of our lives.  Isn't it sloppy and messy and wonderful?!?!  I know, some of you are grinding your teeth and grumbling at me under your breath.  It's okay.  I'm happy to be your guide to the life you know you are meant to live.  See, I'm not afraid of mud or rocks.  Or even words or failed dreams.  I've walked through that jungle many times and guess what - I'm still here!  You will be too.  Keep dreaming, keep writing, keep walking.  Just remember to wear comfortable shoes.

Today's exercise is one of my favorites.  I find it much easier than yesterday's and oh-so enlightening.  I hope you have a similar experience.  Today's exercise should lead you to a clearer awareness of how you see yourself, your responsibilities and your dreams. Knowing where you are, where you need to be and where you would like to be is crucial for your final Guiding Star plan.




Materials: For this exercise, you will need something to write on or in.  A journal, a computer, or scratch paper - doesn't matter.  The results of today's exercise will be seen by your Buddy.

Time: Start with 15 minutes, but be prepared to use 30 minutes.  As will all exercises, keep going if you are inspired and have the time.


The Hats Exercise

- List all of the hats you currently wear in life.  Hats?  Yes, all the roles and responsibilities that fill your days with light...and sometimes dark, heavy, yucky weight.

Example:
Wife
Husband
Father
Mother
Teacher
Caretaker
Brother
Neighbor
Attorney
Painter
Joy Giver
Chauffeur
Singer
Bread Winner
Lover

 - Are there any hats you'd like to be wearing that don't appear on that list? Write them down.

Example:
Lover
Friend
Artist
Rabble Rouser
Princess
Composer
Writer
Power Broker
Mover and Shaker
Community Advocate

- Combining both lists, order your many hats from the one that takes the most time and attention to the one that takes the least. It is likely that the hats on the second list will appear at the bottom of this list.

- If your list is longer than 20 hats, feel free to eliminate some.  At this point in the exercise, 10-12 is a the targeted number of hats. Start the elimination with the ones that feel crusty, tired, and outmoded.  Keep the ones that glow and sparkle.

- Now rank your hats in the ideal order.  Start with the one you wish received most of your attention to the one that you wish would received the least.  This is a dream list; tell the realist in you to go out for coffee while you are working on this list.

- Now for the fun.  Create a new list of 4-7 hats, merging those that must be on the list with at least one that you'd like to have on the list. Here's your opportunity to incorporate more of what you desire in your life.  Do it - leap!  It's only a list.

For Example: 

Maria left her position as a partner in a major accounting firm 2 years ago so she could be home full time with her 3 kids.  Maria and her wife, Beth, have a loving relationship. Beth loves her work, makes a good salary and is as involved with the family as is possible. While Maria organizes one annual fundraising event for her local ballet company, she still yearns to be more engaged with the world outside of her home and family. Maria's old list might have looked like this:

Mother
Chauffeur
Nurse
Teacher
Friend
Sad Sack
Advocate

Her dream list might look like this:
Lover
Dancer
Mover and Shaker
Traveler
Giver of Smiles
Clown

Her new list might look like this:

Mother - Let's face it, Maria's got to be a mother first. She's okay with that, in fact, when she takes time to breathe and reflect on her life, Maria realizes she LOVES being a mother.
Lover - Aha. What happens if Maria starts to view herself as a lover - of herself, her wife AND her kids?
Advocate - Maria does miss being in the workplace. This year she's going to hire someone to take care of the kids (including driving them to their activities) one day a week. She's going to use that day to work at her beloved ballet company, developing a program that brings dance to underserved communities.
Giver of Smiles - Maria realizes there is a small, but powerful action she can incorporate into her life which has the potential to transform her attitude, her life and the lives of people she encounters. 
Friend - Maria's wife has agreed to leave work early once a month so Maria can go out with a girlfriend. That's a reasonable goal for everyone.

Maria is well aware that not every hat will fit the way she envisions, but she's recognizing there are steps she can take to find more of what she craves in life.  This is exciting; Maria is actually looking forward to 2017.

- Tell your Buddy when you're finished.



Always remember:
Positive works
Keep it brief
Feeling stuck? One-on-one assistance is available at the discounted rate of $30/hour through February 1, 2017 (Click here to schedule a session).

Related Posts:
Find Your Guiding Star
Guiding Star #1: My Crystal Ball
Guiding Star #2: It Was The Best Of Times
Guiding Star #3: Can You Hear Me Now?
Guiding Star #4: The Shift and The Slogan


No comments: