Tuesday, February 24, 2015

On the Common Cold and the Law of Attraction

When I was a senior in high school, I received an award for not having missed a day of school in more than five years.  I thought it the stupidest award ever and secretly delighted that the day following the assembly was "Senior Cut Day."  I hadn't missed any days because I just didn't get sick very often.  My parents credited "Christian Science," their stated religion that they really didn't know all that much about.   To me, that simply shoved one more thing into the column "things that are Angela's that don't really belong to her."  Even my own good health had nothing to do with me!

I came back from Mardi Gras with the worst cold I have ever had.  In fact, it is not even the first cold I have had in recent memory.  I have had them a lot more recently and I realize how much I took my good health for granted.

Health is an area where my tender hearted feelings hate to say we have attracted our diseases and illnesses.  I have friends who have things they struggle with that make my cold look like the sniffles.  Just this year I was informed my ex-husband has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers.  Imagine telling someone he attracted THAT into his life!

I actually began the trip to New Orleans with a sore throat.  I missed two days of work nursing it and wondering why this was happening.  What I didn't know was that a friend who was also taking the trip and who was also suffering a sore throat had a co-worker who had a cold and who daily said, "I hope I don't give my cold to all you guys going to Mardi Gras!"  Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you co-attraction!  By the end of the trip we had indeed all received at least a little of that co-worker's cold.

I can't blame all of it on him, though, because as I said, I've had more than my normal share lately.  This cold saps me of strength, makes me cough uncontrollably and generally, makes me feel like a red "Biohazard" should be taped across my forehead.  It has given me a lot of time to sleep and a lot of time to sit relatively quietly and think.  First, when I've attracted something undesirable into my life, I think the first thing to consider is what it forces me to do.  A cold forces me to take better care of myself for a number of days.  I had to wonder, could multiple colds be multiple reminders to take better care of myself?  Which forced me to admit it has been more than a few years since I have really taken care of myself.  Somewhere around the end of my marriage, I began a path towards greater emotional maturity and happiness.  It was easily the best decision I have ever made.  Along the way, however, it is easy to become too attached to a person or an idea and then it is like time freezes.  Forgetting that attachment is NOT the goal, I set sleep, exercise or vitamins aside in pursuit of more of that person or idea.  I stop taking care of myself.

Today, somewhere between nap number two and three, I found myself crying about a very old emotional pain.   One I recognized very long ago and have never quite overcome.  For me, that is how it works.  Look to the obvious.  What is the undesirable forcing me to do?  Wait for inspiration.   It is time for me to clean up some very old biohazards in my heart.  I am ready.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Life is One Big Mardi Gras

While you read this, I will be at Mardi Gras.  In New Orleans.  Two things happened about a year ago this time.  First, I was just about the lowest I have ever felt.  You don't need the story.  You've heard the story.  What's important was I felt very low and I needed something to raise my energy.  To get me excited.  At the same time, I was becoming reacquainted with an old friend who, during the in between years, had begun making a habit of going to Mardi Gras.  She had an entire community of other friends who went too.  They wore costumes and threw beads besides only catching them.

In other words, I had the opportunity not only to go to Mardi Gras, but to go and be in the company of aficionados.  It is a bucket lister.  A unique opportunity combined with the chance to photograph one of the places on my top 5 list, one on my top 20 and another on my top 100.  Plus I get to visit with an old friend and make new ones!

I really want to tell you about it and I will, but right now?

I'm living it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Being Brave Enough for Your Dreams

In 2006 I began trading stocks.  It came after my father telling me I should give it a try for nearly 20 years.  I didn't because I had too much resistance to my father and, once I was interested in the idea, I didn't have the means.  Like rappelling, trading stocks has been significant in that it had so many more gifts to offer than simply capital gains or dividends.

After much baggage I don't want to talk about, I had about $6000.00 to invest.  It was taking a bit of a risk because it represented more than half of my savings, so I tiptoed into the pool.  I only invested $1000.00 and my first purchase was only $281.00.  Ten shares of the Walt Disney Company at a share price of $28.10.  I typed my limit order (I had been watching Jim Cramer's "Mad Money") feeling as if someone was watching over my shoulder ready to challenge my right to do this.  The minute it showed up as being in my portfolio, I stared at it as if the numbers would immediately spin up or down like a gas pump.  In other words, I was ridiculously naive.  The second stock I bought was a royalty trust, SJT (San Juan Basin Royalty Trust,) a friend owned and recommended.  

While I'm writing this, I went to Scottrade to look up some of the information I was going to refer to and found myself drifting away and researching my stocks.  That's how I feel about stock trading.  I love it.  I find it intrinsically interesting BEYOND simply the potential to make money.  You need something like that.  You need two or three things that you don't do for the money.  You do them because you love to do them.  You do them because your life would have less in it without them.  

Now keep in mind, it took me years to believe in myself enough to give it a try and even after I did, I had to have the money needed to do it.  Then you have a learning curve.

The third stock I bought was Rinker Group.  An Australian cement company publicly traded (in 2006) on the NYSE as RIN.  I don't remember exactly how much it cost or how many shares I purchased.  What I do remember was within a week of me buying shares in that company, it received a takeover offer.  I was so excited and scared at the same time.  It was like I had a lighted firecracker in my fingers and I had to do something before it blew up in my hand.  I took the profit and "rang the register."  Honestly, it couldn't have been much.  I think I only had one share.  My experience combined with Jim Cramer talking about buyouts and takeovers taught me my first lesson.  If a buyout offer drives a stock you are holding up, take your profit.  Even though I got out in the first week of negotiations, I watched the Rinker buyout.  At the time I was so obsessed with potentially making a mistake, I couldn't do anything but watch to see if it all had turned out in my favor.  Or at least I thought I had.  While researching for this blog entry, I just discovered there was more to the story than I ever knew.  After I got out, I watched what happened.  In a long ugly battle, Cemex company (Ticker Symbol CX) of Mexico bought Rinker.  The stock never climbed as high as it had at the point where I sold it.  The thing I didn't know until today was that Cemex lost an antitrust suit about the purchase and the purchase was declared invalid.

Think about that.  Although I made only a little money, I made money on a transaction that was erased.  When you are working with the law of attraction, struggling with letting go of the "how I will attract this money," consider that.  I made money on a transaction that was erased.  Now tell me you've fully thought out all the ways money can come to you.

That's a pretty good point right there.  Thank you universe for that.  I was headed somewhere else.

Eight years ago, I decided to be brave enough to try a dream.  Today, not only do I still trade stocks, I still love it and I have gained bunches of confidence because of it.  Consider this:  back when I bought those ten shares of DIS?  I couldn't tell anyone other than my close friends what I was doing.  The "who are you to be doing this" anti-self-esteem headwind created too great a drag.  Now I can talk with other traders and, mostly?  Hold my own.

My point was simply to encourage you to give it a try.  Be brave enough to attempt just one of your dreams.  See where it takes you.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Life is a Great Adventure

So far in this blog, I've focused on the shortcomings of my life.  I've done it (maybe) to help you understand that I understand.  I've done it (maybe) to show you where I began.  I've done it (maybe) because I know first hand how hard it is to let go of your stories.

I have been thinking lately of what I would like my life to look like, what sort of client I would like to coach.  I have been focusing on all of the things I myself have had issues with and overcome.  It has kept me focusing on the stories of my past because I felt I needed them to help people.  I suppose I felt I needed them for other people who may have had them to feel understood.  I need to move past that now.

Ironically, today I will still tell you a story.  You may not be able to discern any difference between this story and the earlier ones I have told, but it will make all the difference to me.

My life changed when I watched the movie, "Defending Your Life."  Albert Brooks' "little brain" dealing with his fears felt familiar and recognizable to me.  I suddenly felt imprisoned by my fears and in short order, I found myself divorced and wanting to do things that pushed my boundaries a little.

I don't remember how I heard about it, but I invited two friends to come with me to Murphy, California, and rappel into the nearby Moaning Cave.  It sounds more intimidating than it is.  Or at least to me it does.  You don't have to know anything about rappelling to do it.  You don't have to know about ropes or knots.  Other people take care of all that.  You just need to be able to follow instructions.  That and be able to first, step into a small hole that may challenge your claustrophobia and second lower yourself down through a large open cavern that may challenge your fear of heights.

There were people ahead of us, so after they geared us up, we had to wait a little while.  Just like waiting in any line for a roller coaster, I found myself vacillating between slightly nauseous and needing to use a toilet.  I was pretty scared by the time it was my turn to step into the hole.  I got lucky, though, one of my friends had some issues with claustrophobia.  I chose to be strong for her.  By the time we reached the large cavern, I had overcome my fears and thought more about how I wished I could rappel faster to feel wind rush past me.

I didn't mention before, but at the time, there were two ways to enter Moaning Cave.  First, by rappelling as we did or second by a large spiraling staircase.  As I lowered myself through the large cavern and wished I could move faster, I heard people on the staircase commenting about me.

"Look at that.  Look how high she is.  I could never do that."

I could picture myself in their shoes.  I could imagine walking down the stairs and believing myself too frightened and intimidated to rappel.  At the same time, there I was.  Rappelling.  Not only that, but realizing even while I was hearing someone else voice her fear, it wasn't that big of a deal.  All it required was overcoming a bit of fear.

Things that you do like that?  They give you self confidence.  For me at least, they have helped change my perception of who I am.  I don't exactly know how to do it and I'm depending on the universe to send me inspiration, but that's the type of coach I want to be.  I want to guide people through life experiences that leave them feeling braver, stronger, happier, somehow larger than they were before.  I don't want to tell you anymore stories of how hurt I was or how small I was.  I want to share moments of growth and confidence.  I want to help my clients experience moments like that as well.  You hear that universe?  I'm ready for inspiration.

Meanwhile, I will keep telling you stories here.  I'll keep banging whatever drum this that I'm drumming.  But they will be stories of all of the wonderful things that have happened.  No more of the stuff I've overcome.  Let's just leave that as:

I was born.  I grew.  I learned.