I’ve been following Lauren for a while now, and love the poetry and prose that Lauren creates; and, though I’ve only been following Ahiri for a little while, I am truly blessed to have found Ahiri’s site, which is full of inspirational content. Both, amazing bloggers! If you’ve not yet checked out their sites, please do so. Thank you.
Alright, here we go. Rules first.
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.
How do you deal with regretful situations?
I don’t spend a lot of time in a regretful state today. However, that was not always the case. At one time, regretfulness was a state I spent a lot of time in; yet, I was unaware, which means there was quite a lot of pain. Today, if a situation occurs that feels not so good, I inquire right away, and if there is something I need to take action on, I do so immediately.
What is a joyous moment for you?
The birth of my two beautiful sons. Both moments that were completely joyous, and paradoxically so, stressful! They are amazing young men.
When you’re inspired to write, is it in a frenzy or a controlled manner, how do the words flow onto the page?
Depends. Sometimes the words just pour out; and they might start pouring out when I’m driving, which can be challenging! I’ve learned to take notes throughout the day as insights occur. At other times, the process is more gradual. Meaning, I’ll have a concept in mind, will pull up a document, and see if anything comes. Usually the words do come; yet, sometimes they don’t. I’ve learned both are okay.
What is the most important object in your life, and what significance does it hold for you?
Hmmm. I have some photos and artwork in my apartment, which all hold significance for me. Pictures of the boys, spiritual and devotional pieces, and then a piece of artwork a good friend of mine made for me. The significance is that there is a person or concept behind each pic or piece of artwork that I love, and they hold a special place in my heart.
Are you a coffee or a tea person?
Tea, please. 🙂
What would be your ideal way to enjoy a Sunday?
Meditating, writing, walking, enjoying time with people I love.
Name one hobby that you enjoy and why.
I love to write! Hahaha. Alright, something other than writing. Let’s see. I love to hike and work in my garden. That’s two!
Share a treasured memory of yours?
The one that comes to mind was a family trip we took in 2013 to the east coast. The boys were much younger then, and we spent 10 days in Philadelphia, Washington DC, and New York. As a west coaster, I’ve not spent as much time on the east coast, and I love it. We had a grand time.
Would you consider yourself an extrovert or introvert?
Both! I love people, and love being around people; yet, as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I have a deep internal life, which is very important to me. Meaning, I need time away from everyone and everything. Time to pause, breathe, and reflect.
And does this affect the way you write for your blog?
Oh, yes, absolutely. For me, internal processing, introspection and contemplation, the stillness and quietness of our beingness, is where creativity and innovation reside.
What’s your reason behind diving in the ocean of Blogging?
When the pandemic first started, I began to look for another creative outlet, as work at that time was a little slower (that, as you all know did not last long), and it had been several years since completing my graduate studies, and I was longing to write. Write about my practical experiences. Thus, blogging started for me. It’s been an amazing experience, and I love blogging more today than ever before.
The most favourite book of yours and WHY SHOULD OTHERS GIVE IT A TRY?
Ah! This is a hard one; I’ve read so many books. Hmmm. I’ll need to choose two. Here we go.
The Gita is one of the most profound books I’ve ever read and experienced. I use the concept experience intentionally, as the relationship to the concepts and content within the Gita to everyday life is profound. For me, reading the Gita is an experience of life, all aspects of life.
First, it’s a book I’ve read recently; second, because Isabel Allende is a master of language. The House of Spirits, though quite violent in parts, is one of the most elegantly written books I’ve ever read.
Tell us something which a lot of people think about you is true but actually isn’t that true
When people learn what I do for a living, working in Educational Leadership in higher education, they sometimes assume I followed the “traditional” pathway through school, which is not true. I spent 16 years in the private sector before going to University at 33, and didn’t finish my degrees until I was 42!
Which do you favour the most: Solo travelling or Group/Family travelling?
I’ve not done a lot of solo-traveling; yet that is now changing. As I wrote about in a post a couple of weeks ago, I have a three-year plan to visit places I’ve always wanted to see and experience – Europe, India, and Japan, which starts next year!
One of the most impractical imaginations of yours you wish could be somehow fulfilled?
I am living out all of my dreams and creating the necessary activity to realize the ones on my imaginations list! The one that comes to mind most right now, is living in another country. That will likely happen in the next 5’ish years; and, I would like that country to be India.
Is there anything you still regret for, that you’ve done?
I’ve worked through a lot of regret in the past 4 years; so, today, there is nothing that I am present to that I regret. However, I am always discovering new aspects of myself. If regret does arise, I inquire into the regret, and work through the pain, whether that be grief, sadness, remorse, or whatever other emotion may be there.
What are you: Mountain person, beach person or a forest lover?
Ha! All three. I really do love all three; and, I also love the desert. Each of these landscapes hold a different experiential promise. And, I’m lucky enough to have lived in all three environments for considerable amounts of time. Alright, now that that is clear, the beach is my absolute favorite!
Any moment/incident when you felt “Right now, I’m the luckiest one on Earth”
Right now! Seriously, I consider each moment precious, a divine gift on this beautiful planet, getting to type into this document about myself, acknowledging two lovely bloggers for nominating me for this wonderful award. Lucky, indeed!
What’s your next short term goal you’re working on?
Regaining more range of motion in my left shoulder. As I’ve written about before, I was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder a few months ago, and have been in PT since that time. It’s slow going, yet my range is much improved and the pain has subsided a bit, which is great.
Which is that place, you already have visited and wanna visit again?
New York City, for sure. Though I’ve been there before, it’s been a long time, and I would love to spend time there exploring all there is to experience. Growing up in Los Angeles, means I have a special place in my heart for large metropolitan cities; and, though I’ve not lived in a large city for, well, over 13 years, the diversity and cultural richness of larger cities resides in my heart.
Do you believe in ghosts?
I love this question, Ahiri! There is no way for me to not believe. Meaning, I have the visceral understanding today that we, as human beings, know so little of all that is knowable, so to not believe in ghosts would be folly.
As you all know, I don’t nominate individual bloggers for awards, as you are all inspirational and deserving. Therefore, I choose to invite each of you to respond to either Lauren’s or Ahiri’s questions if you would like.
Alright, have a beautiful and blessed coming week everyone!
Well, let’s start with this past week’s reflections, shall we? Good. Here we go.
Alright, so this past week, I’ve been reflecting a lot upon inspiration. What is inspiration, where does it come from, how can we get more of it, and what do we do if we run out of it. Very important questions. And?
Well, this week I’ve also been reflecting upon the creation of a new series. A series that can encompass a multitude of topics, and, yep, this is it, and inspiration will be the first topic.
Some of these developmental discussions will be longer, and some will be shorter. It will depend.
Alright, for this entry, let’s tackle the first question on inspiration. Ready? Good. Let’s go.
Where Does Inspiration Come From?
I really do love this topic, as it seems so simple, right? Inspiration, well, it’s all around us. Some people say they find nature inspirational, or other people in their lives, such as their friends and family, or coworkers. And, that is beautiful. Truely. Yet, there is something missing here. Do you know what it is? Hm.
It is the viewpoint. Meaning?
That inspiration does not live outside of you. Nope. It lives inside of you. We look outward and place inspiration onto other things and people, yet that inspiration comes from within. Always has come from within, and always will come from within.
Why does this matter to your development? Good question. Here is one, of many, reasons why.
When we know inspiration comes from within, we stop looking outside of ourselves for our own inspiration. Being aware of the source of our inspiration is important to our development, because when we fully realize that our inspiration comes from within, we are not bound to the changing tides of people and things. Simple. And?
Well, we know that change is inevitable. It is part of life. Yep. And, when we get clear on the fact that inspiration does not live in the changing world, that, in fact, it can be developed, and maintained, regardless of external circumstances, we become more powerful. Really.
Does that mean that we don’t ever feel down, or stressed, or sad? No, it does not. We are meant to feel all of our emotions; to feel them, know them, and learn how to talk about them.
And, yet, we can still find our inspiration even during the most stressful times. Why? Because even though we may consider a situation stressful, we know that our inspiration is always there. Waiting for us.
Alright, so what can we do to connect, or reconnect, to our own inspiration? I think there is one thing we can all do that will assist in making our connection, or reconnection, to our inspiration stronger. What’s that?
Make time for yourself. A must.
When we create time for ourselves, to be with ourselves, just for ourselves, we get to know ourselves better. And, the more we know ourselves, the more clear on our own inspiration we become. Really.
Next time, then, when things are really hectic, and you are feeling overwhelmed, stop. Stop doing what you are doing, and go for a walk, sit down under a tree and look around, or look up at the beautiful stars in the sky. Stop and just be.
For it is in this space, where your inspiration will find you.
I am always thinking about, learning about, and practicing leadership. Really. Always. It is such an important concept and practice. Yes, professionally, and even more importantly, for me, in every aspect of my life.
Well, that’s what we’ll look at in this new series. There are so many questions to look at and discuss when it comes to leadership. Seriously. So many. Here are just a couple.
Why is leadership such an important concept?
Why is it so important to practice?
Why is it important to understand?
What are the types of leadership?
Why are there so many types?
What’s the right type for me?
How do I become a leader?
And? Oh, there are so many more.
Alright, in this first article, we are going to unpack leadership as a concept and practice. Ready? Great. Let’s get started by defining leadership. Yep. here we go.
Alright, we now have an additional concept in this new definition. Leadership in this definition is also associated with a particular set of characteristics. Yet, which ones? Hm. Confusing.
Well, let’s assuage some of our confusion by unpacking these definitions, shall we? Good. Here we go.
Leadership as Leading People
Right, so leading people. Yes, yes, that is a part of leadership. Or, as I usually like to write, one piece of a whole. The whole you ask? Good question.
The whole of leadership as a principle and practice is a system. And, like all systems, it starts with each of us. The way we think and feel about leadership; our hopes, dreams, goals, and objectives. Yep, all of them.
In fact, all leadership starts with leading oneself. What does that mean?
It means that the way we treat ourselves, the principles and values we believe in, and the way we practice those principles and values are exactly how we lead.
Some people think that you can lead your life at home one way, and then lead your life at work in another way. Not so. Believe me, I’ve tried it. It just doesn’t work.
How you lead at home is the same as the way you lead at work. They are one.
Some of you right now might be thinking, as I once did, that’s not true; I have a set of values at home and a different set of values at work.
However, I am inviting you to consider that, in fact, believing that we hold different values at home than we hold at work is mere confusion. And?
That confusion will seep out into all that we do.
We can call that discord. And, that discord will confuse you, yes, and everyone else around you. Really. And, with confusion comes tension, disagreement, and disengagement.
Well, getting clear on your principles and values is a start. As is understanding why you treat yourself as you do; meaning, creating an awareness of yourself for yourself. Important. Then?
Let go of the principles and values that no longer serve you, and create new ones. We are creative beings first, and leaders second. All of us. Create symmetry between the self you are at home and the self you are at work.
You are one person after all. Create the leader you know yourself to be. One step at a time. Then?
Creating leadership symmetry
What are your hopes, dreams, and aspirations?
What do you value and why?
Why are you the person you are today?
Why do you do what you do?
Create symmetry between your personal life and your professional life. As was aforementioned, they are one and the same anyway. Time to connect the two. There is tremendous power in this conceptual and practical example. And, then?
Well, with symmetry and practice, you will lead people. And, you will lead them from a space that is centered and clear on what you intend to create.
Leadership as a Position
Leadership is not a position. Director, supervisor, and manager are a position, or even better yet, are a title.
Leadership is a philosophy and a practical way you live your life. Every aspect of your life in fact. If you think about leadership as a position, then?
You will create separateness between leadership and other aspects of your life. And, as we’ve just discussed, that leads to confusion and disengagement. You from yourself, and your team from you.
It is inevitable. People know when we are genuine and authentic. They can feel it, they can see it, and they can hear it. Simple.
One of the reasons people struggle in leadership is they are not clear on who they are as a human being. Listen, it’s not a demerit. I once had this same issue, and?
It’s hard. Very hard.
When you are not clear on who you are, how can you be clear on who your team is? You cannot. It’s just not possible. What is possible?
Get clear on you
Why are you a leader?
What do you value in leadership?
What types of leadership do you associate yourself with?
What kinds of impact do you want to make in this world?
What change do you want to create?
I could go on. Well, and we will, in future posts. For now, know that there are two things at this stage that are critical.
Understanding your leadership style.
And, we will cover both of these topics in the next two articles. Now, let’s take a look at leadership as characteristics.
Leadership as Characteristics
There are many places to look for and find lists, articles, even whole books on leadership characteristics. And?
Well, it is important to understand these characteristics, yet it is just as important to understand that these characteristics are a product of what leaders believe and think, and how they act.
Meaning, that understanding characteristics are only as good as actually developing a relationship with yourself, and understanding how that relationship will translate into your personal leadership style.
Here are a few leadership characteristics I think are pretty important.
Know there are many more. These are the ones I’m most present to now, and the ones that I’m always present to actually.
Leadership as Life
I prefer to think about and practice leadership as another part of my life. A very important part of my life. Really.
If we think about leadership in regard to taking care of and leading ourselves through life, and then expand that to include the other people in our lives, it’s very important.
Let’s close this first installment with a few quotes, shall we? Good. Here we go.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” – John Quincy Adams
Inspiration is an important part of leadership. And? Well, the leader must first find their inspiration, as we’ve discussed, and, then? It will go out to everyone else. Fun.
Ah, yes, collaboration is such an important leadership characteristic. Difficult, and yet so much fun and so worth the process.
I am fond of saying to the team I work on something like, you know we chose to institute the collaborative model we use today. It’s not the easiest way to do things, yet we believe it is the best way.
Lao Tzu makes a lovely point here about influence. When a team is rallied around a common purpose or goal, it is infectious, and it is as if the leader simply disappears. In fact, each person on the team, in their own way, becomes a leader. Beautiful.
Alright, we’ve made it to the conclusion of the first entry into this new series on leadership. And, I am excited about continuing it with you.
In the next installment, we will take a look at leadership from the perspective of the self. It is, as we’ve discussed, where everything starts.
And, it is exactly where we will start again next time.