A Bright Day

I sit here in my home office on a bright sunny day. There are news crews outside my window where days before police officers lined the streets with comrades in arms from SWAT, US Marshall, State Police, ATF and FBI (and probably others, I lost track). The suspected bombers of the Boston Marathon had a shoot out with officers a couple of nights ago, and subsequently the final bombing suspect was captured in my neighbor’s boat the following day.

Suffice it to say, it has been one heck of a week when a wonderful traditional day of triumph and accomplishment in Boston turned to devastation, sadness and fear. A show of solidarity and community has been received from across the world to our little city with intention to overcome evil and fear that was inflicted on us, and felt across the US. There has been a tremendous outpouring of love and support to all the victims, many of whom are runners, were left without legs – the most devastating injury a runner could have received. There is a steadfast commitment to those affected by this tragedy that they will not be alone as they struggle to regain their “footing.”

Upon the capture of the suspect, our “shelter in place” order, was lifted and we were allowed out of our house. My daughter and I immediately went outside to thank all of the officers as they left their positions. It was heartwarming the number of people for whom this is just their job, to put their lives on the line for those they do not know. As we thanked the various officers, they thanked us back, for I guess just staying out of their way so they could do their job – trust me, there was no way I was going to interfere! The officers smiled and told us, “You can have your neighborhood back now. Sleep well tonight”.

I sit here on this beautiful day, which is very reminiscent of Monday, April 15, trying to make sense of this all and find some direction to heal the devastation I feel and embrace the healing being sent to all of us in Boston. I watch as neighbors bring coffee and breakfast to the officers standing guard as the crime scene, which is my neighborhood, is still being processed. I watch all the videos I can of the tributes being held across the state honoring the victims of this tragedy, the first responders and the officials that kept this disaster from becoming worse. I am so encouraged by the London Marathon being raced today.

I am just sad, and waiting for the sadness to pass so I may rejoice in all the good that has come from this terrible course of events. This is truly a week I will never forget, try as I might. I hope when the news crews leave, and the attention to my neighborhood dulls I will be left with a great sense of what truly happened this week. A community was touched by a terrible event and a world came out to say we are One Boston, we are Boston Strong and no one will stand in our way of living our lives as we wish and deserve. Terror will come and go, but love will result.

I have never been more proud to be from Boston as I have been this week. We may win sports competitions, but that each one of us has responded to this tragedy with love is what truly makes us a city of champions. We have a long road before us, longer than 26.2, but I know we will never forget these people healing and will continue to be by their side every step of the way. Pray for our healing, there is much before us. Time for me to go for a run.



Goals with Feeling

A short while ago I suggested to add a twist to the task of goal setting and affirming those goals (see Spending A Little Time in Bliss – January 2013). I now suggest you build on that and take this one step further.

Often times, when I set goals, I create an exhaustive list of things I want to accomplish. I create a series of goals and then break down the steps I need to take to reach them. These are specific and measurable and all the good things that goals are made of – right?

I have come to understand that when I set goals I am actually working towards a feeling. I am setting these goals with the intention of becoming something – and that by becoming something, or completing that goal, I will feel a certain way. Hmm, how did I not notice that concept for so long? (one of those aha moments!)

I propose to turn goal setting on its head. I suggest concentrating on how you wish to feel. That’s right, how do you want to feel each and every day? Sit with that for a bit and begin to brainstorm all the feelings you will have when you are living the life you wish to have. It’s cliché, but yet belongs right here, start with the end in mind. I want to feel________________.

Every choice a person makes, from the food they eat to the clothes they wear and the career they pursue is driven by a desire to feel a certain way. So truly, how do you wish to feel? Do you already feel this way a little, but want to have a grander sense of this feeling? Is there someone you admire who projects a certain feeling you wish to have?

I suggest you sit with this question for about a week or so. Really brainstorm about how you truly wish to feel. I recommend you carry a list with you and when something hits you, add it to the list, include how you don’t wish feel if that comes to you as well, we can work with that. Don’t worry about the number of feelings on the list, just put everything, silly or serious on this list.

Once you believe you have exhausted this exercise, begin to pare it down to 4 or 5 feelings. You will find that many feelings live within each other and can be encompassed into one feeling statement. I call this the desired state.

Now that you have determined your desired state, you can begin to set your course towards your ultimate desired state. This becomes your touchstone to determine your steps. Will doing _________ move me towards feeling___________? By doing __________ will I feel a bit __________ today? You may find out, as I have, that some of the goals you have been pursuing are not in sync with your ultimate desired state and can begin to re-assess if this is something which needs to be revised or entirely tossed.

I believe the process outlined above will both save you time, and provide greater direction in your life and the pursuit of your true dreams. I believe genuine happiness is a feeling that lives within the desired state.

What step can you take today to move you in the direction of the feelings you wish to experience?

Set your course!
Set your course!