Comfort Zone

Willa isn’t fond of getting in the water—at all. It takes courage even to get her paws wet. So when she stepped out of her comfort zone and into Lake Cascade, we were proud of her and happy for her.

Comfort Zone is defined as “behavioral space where your activities and behaviors fit a routine and pattern that minimizes stress and risk.”

Remember when the training wheels were removed from your bicycle? Or the first time you swam without water wings? Trying new things helps us expand our borders.

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Casting Shadows

On Mondays, we drop Willa off at The Lodge for day camp. One afternoon when I arrived to pick her up, the sun was at just the right angle, allowing me to capture the sign’s shadow on the wall.

Just as every object casts a shadow, every person casts a shadow—both physically and figuratively:

  • Physically, our silhouette against a lighter background.
  • Figuratively, our influence.

Our figurative shadow (influence) falls on those around us. Our words and actions affect those in our sphere of influence. In Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth I wrote, “Never underestimate the influence you have on others.”

What kind of shadow do you cast?

©TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Broad Shoulders

On the seventeen mile drive between Darby and Hamilton in Montana, there’s a totem pole carver who does exquisite work. When I stood back to admire his creations, in my mind’s eye, I imagined the “weight” on the shoulders of the “person” on the bottom.

You’ve heard it said—or maybe even said it yourself—“No problem, I’ve got broad shoulders.” Meaning, I have the ability to take criticism, accept responsibility, or carry another person’s burdens.

When people ask about my role as a transformational life coach I respond, “I won’t walk in front you. I won’t walk behind you. I won’t carry you. I will, however, walk beside you.”

How many people are you carrying on your shoulders?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Can DEW Attitude

There’s no doubt about it; I have a CAN DEW attitude! When I wake up in the morning and look at my ta-dah list, I think, Yes I can!

When Len and I eloped those many years ago, we both said, I DEW. And we have, for thirty-seven years.

When meeting people, we often ask, How DEW you DEW?

When our son was growing up, we knew if we said DEW as I say, a demand was less likely to be complied with than a pleasant request preempted with a “please” and a smile.

I like DEW better than do. To me, it seems friendlier, more amicable. This from the person who intentionally spells refridgerator with a “d” because it looks nicer.

Do you have a can dew attitude?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

I Stress, Eustress, We Stress

The first weekend in May I attended Hedgebrook’s Vortext Writers Workshop on Whidbey Island (off the coast of Seattle). Many of the breakout sessions took place at the Whidbey Institute, home to a giant gong—approximately six feet in diameter!

To stand in front of a gong that’s just been sounded—especially one this large—is an incredible experience! The vibration is deeply settling, while simultaneously euphoric.

In my experience, eustress is similar to the vibrational bath from a gong. Considered “good stress,” or stress from the anticipation, or experience, of pleasurable events, it envelopes us.

Eustress can share some physical symptoms with bad stress, such as a racing heart, but our body processes eustress as positive and releases endorphins, making us feel good.

Distress, or “bad stress” is associated with worry and anxiety, and it stems from concerns that your physical or emotional well-being is threatened. Distress can arise when you’re grieving, or more commonly when you’re having problems at your job or in your relationship. Your body processes distress in a negative way, and it can cause some nasty side effects, such as headaches, stomach problems, insomnia, and anxiety attacks.

Eustress or distress—what was your most recent encounter with stress?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Training for Warriors

I’m fond of the Zen proverb, “The obstacle is the path.”  When something blocks my way, it’s an indicator of what my next steps should be. The obstacle is the teacher—the guidepost. Repeatedly encountering the same obstacle bears significance.

In Paulo Coelho’s book, The Warrior of Light, he writes:

A Warrior of the Light knows that certain moments repeat themselves.

He often finds himself faced by the same problems and situations, and seeing these difficult situations return, he grows depressed, thinking that he is incapable of making any progress in life.

“I’ve been through all this before,” he says to his heart.

“Yes, you have been through all this before,” replies his heart. “But you have never been beyond it.”

Then the Warrior realizes that these repeated experiences have but one aim:  to teach him what he does not want to learn.

What do you not want to learn?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

In this technology-intense era, we can send an email around the globe in a nanosecond with the mere push of a button.

I don’t receive handwritten letters often, so when I do, they’re extra special. During my sabbatical, I received physical correspondence from a few people. One package winged its way across the pond from Wales!

People sent mail to my Boise address and then Len brought it to me when he visited Darby. It was so much fun!

When was the last time you sent or received a handwritten letter?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com