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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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How to Create Simple Habits and Daring Possibilities

Very often I write my posts on my desktop computer. I've created a quiet, comfortable "Linda space," complete with favorite colors, shapes, textures and images. Today, however, I'm taking advantage of this gorgeous fall day to write outside. Accompanied by my iPad and ceramic periwinkle-glazed cup of Earl Grey tea, the ever so slight breeze and rustling sound of the leaves set the stage for my weekly writing ritual.

Before me is a 40-acre woods, topped by a cloudless, blue sky. Ideas and possibilities abound. I'm grateful and happy being in this place.

I've been walking more lately. This is a good thing. My body and mind reap the benefits. The walks are about connection...connecting with self, with nature, and with my loved ones. They provide a pause in my day to reflect, move, and just be. Each walk has a beginning and ending point with no agenda in between.

Especially during this time of year, I look forward to seeing the autumn colors when I walk. This fall like the ones before brings a bold, awe-inspired, changing landscape. Bright patches of red, orange and yellow interrupt summer's greens. I never tire of the display.

It makes me think about the tension we have between establishing simple habits and pursuing daring possibilities. We have the need for both. There are times when we focus on creating basic routines. Getting back to basics helps us regroup and create a sense of calm and order. This is especially needed when the chaos and stress of life causes overwhelm. There are other times when we feel stuck by those patterns we worked so hard to establish. We might even begin feeling antsy or bored with our routines. At those times we start imagining possibilities. Thoughts about starting with “what if?” fill our minds.

While I recognize the pros for creating habits and patterns, to me this season is about transformation, thinking bigger, and being inspired by nature's display.

I glance to my left and notice a fiery-red colored tree. The sun illuminates the leaves, making the reds look even brighter. The tree took three seasons to change. The time for this magnificent reveal is here.

What possibilities are percolating? What changes might be possible? Is this your season?  I'd love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.





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Reader Comments (12)

What a wonderful way to pull together what seems like opposite ideas. To me, by having established habits we are creating space for daring possibilities. Habits anchor us to what is required, while possibilities can flourish as a result.

I share your enthusiasm for fall color and energy. It's one of my favorite times to walk throughout the year. I walk by a lake each day and renew.

October 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

I love what you said about the beautiful tree taking three seasons to transform itself into this magnificent display of color. So often I hear from my clients that they want to change a habit or transform a space NOW. I advise them to take the time to create a lasting new habit which supports their lifestyle or to enjoy the journey of transforming a space into the vision they see in their mind's eye. Then they will appreciate the change more fully.

October 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDiane Quintana

Wonderful to "hear" your beautiful voices!

@Ellen- I wonder if it's in the calm of the routine that are minds quiet enough to be able to think bigger. How lovely that you have a lake to enjoy and renew you each day. I'm glad that you too are appreciating the energy of this time of year.

@Diane- In this time we live of "instant" everything, advising your clients to slow things down to fully engage in the change process is especially important. Particularly with the changes we seek, they don't happen overnight. Being able to appreciate the process, make adjustments, and notice reactions, creates the space for those changes to simmer and become.

October 13, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I think changes happen when we take hold of an opportunity when it presents itself instead of letting it slip away while we think about it. I am in a stage of my life where I am taking action instead of waiting for something to happen, it feels good.

October 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJill Robson

Fall makes us see the world around us in a fresh way, a healthy habit in itself! Sometimes we are forced to think or behave in a new world because of an external change, and sometimes we have the luxury of contemplating and executing a bold new course. Either way, I find I grow and learn on the journey, which is always good.

October 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSeana Turner

Lovely to "hear" from you both! Exciting that I'll get to see you in person soon - Jill in Toronto and Seana in Connecticut. Woohoo!!!!

@Jill- The key word there is "opportunity." That comes in many forms. It sounds like you're in one of those exciting periods of active change seeking. How wonderful that it feels "good." I wish you all the best of success as you actively pursue new paths.

@Seana- One of the things I enjoy most about living in the northeast is that seasonal reset or "fresh way" to view where we are. In the best of situations, when we're open to change we do experience growth and learning. Like you, I fluctuate between seeking change and having to adapt to change that happens without my participation.

October 13, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

This is my favourite time of year and I'm especially enjoying the fresh air and beautiful sunrises these last few weeks.

I'm intrigued by what you're saying here. I often find that once I get used to a system, I get bored with it and feel a need to do something differently. Looking forward to exploring this further.

October 13, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

@Janet- Ahhh….the colors AND the "fresh air!" It IS a wonderful season. The habit conversation is interesting. We spend so much time talking about establishing good habits and routines. Those habits can yield positive outcomes and can reduce some of life's daily stresses. However, as you've identified, over time, we can become bored, almost restless, by doing the same things all the time. I remember once talking with someone who told me that she thrived on change. She always looked for different ways to do things…like taking a new route to work every day, or rearranging her furniture regularly, or taking a new class.

Perhaps it's a matter of mixing up "some" routines with trying new paths or opportunities. For me, I like certain routines for the basics (like getting dressed, organization of my spaces, etc..) but am always learning new things and considering other ideas. One seems to support the other.

October 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

Yes! Sometimes I need a big change to shake things up, but other times it's as simple as renaming my categories, e.g. "Do now" instead of "Do today" and "Do ASAP" instead of "Do soon."

October 14, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Janet- I like the range you have for change…recognizing that sometimes making a small change is enough to re-energize us.

October 14, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

I often encourage my clients to make decisions that enhance their current season of life. This discussion makes that concept crystal clear. I also am fascinated by the trees as they change color. New adventures await!! Glad I found this post on POBC!!

October 23, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterOlive Wagar

Hi Olive- Happy to know that you found this through #POBC. Janet Barclay is such a great connector. I just saw her and heard her speak at the POC conference in Toronto. What a treat! It sounds like your clients are fortunate to have you in their lives to help guide them as their "seasons" change. Enjoy the shifting season.

October 25, 2015 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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