One Minute Musing: Traditions

The Dodgers, my Dodgers won last night in game 1.  I watched with my son, my brothers in different states watched with their children, just as we had watched with my mom and dad and our parents had watched with theirs and generations of Dodger fans in my family had watched before us. I remember baseball always being a thing in our family.

Rabid fans? No.  Solid fans? Yes.

My son was fascinated at how engaged I was in the game – he typically watched football while I half pay attention while doing something else.  This time, I did nothing but watch and he was intrigued.  I realized I hadn’t passed this tradition on quite like I had wanted.  He didn’t know he needed to root for Blue.  He didn’t know the names of our players or anything about the team.

So, we talked about it and I shared my memories of laying on the floor in my grandparents living room coloring or reading while my Grampa watched the game and alternately cheered and jeered with disgust at the boys in blue.  And how I would watch the games with my parents and we went through a drought time when all we could get was Northern California TV so we had to watch the A’s and Giants and hope for an odd broadcast of a Dodger Game; pre-cable era TV was feast or famine.

Traditions are important when they are important to you. This one is important to me and I think I’ll keep it around a while. Go Blue!

 

photo jun 20, 8 27 31 am

Jennifer Murphy Life Coach

I am a certified personal and executive coach ruthlessly focused on helping people live awesome lives.  I spent a large chunk of my life pursuing other people’s ideas of success and while those experiences were sublime in some cases, they weren’t the “more” I was seeking and I just never felt full. In 2011, I made the commitment to live life on my terms and everything changed. The life I love today was created and I am here to share and teach you exactly how to do the same for yourself.

I am founder of No Limits Life Empowerment Institute as well as a working glass artist, Reiki Master, Partner in Shaman Grocer in Iowa City, and Co-founder of the Midwest Reiki Festival.    My favorite time is spent doing anything soccer related with my aspiring world cup soccer player, 10-year-old Alexander.  I am also a pretty big fan of gaming (PS4) with my partner Craig while solving the world’s social problems. Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

Who is the Coach on Your Field?

I sat there listening to them scream at their players, berating their efforts, directing them and distracting them.  *Caution it’s about to get petty*….They had the look of high school about them with matching outfits complete with t-shirts pulled tight against their post baby pooches familiar in the kind of mom who lost the weight but isn’t in shape. *you were warned*   Their kids were exasperated and other parents got up and moved.  My son leaned into me to whisper, “gawd that’s annoying, I am so glad that isn’t you.”

Am I being judgmental?  You betcha.  I own that completely. 

I own that I probably shouldn’t care about the ridiculous outfits.  It isn’t something that needs to occupy real estate in my awareness. Nor is it any of my business. In reality, I thinks it’s cool to just be who you are.

But we all have those moments of petty judgment and being slightly (or more) bitchy.  So I release that, apologize for my thoughts and any pain they cause.

What I cannot let go it with is the constant distraction as they tried to “coach” from the sidelines.

Allow me to go a little deeper with this and let’s see if we can’t figure it out. 

I invested, took another job even, to commit my son to a Futbol Club for soccer.  Club soccer provides a professional coaching staff, discipline and training beyond what any parent coach can provide.

Example from practice recently: it was hard for me to sit in my sideline chair as my son was disciplined and made to sit out for a time because of, what I later learned, was his disrespectful behavior.  In the moment, I decided to trust the coach. I am glad I did.

This club is entrusted with the most precious thing in my life and I am asking him to invest in himself by playing and learning as hard as he can.  And I am asking the club to return that investment to him.  So why would I get in the middle of that?  And why would these parents feel like they need to?

I think the moment of clarity around this actually happened prior to this particular experience with these parents.  During the first game of the day, our staff coach had argued a little with the teenage referee.  He said, “these guys are u9 and this is a teaching experience, let’s cut a little slack and teach instead of penalize.”

So yeah, lighten up mom – all of us. Yeah, me too.

It is also a real metaphor for life. 

Where are you in your own growth pattern?

Do you think you already know it all?  Are you placing too many “should’s” on yourself?  Are there too many directors in your life? Do you need to figure out what mistake you made and learn how to never do it again? What lesson are you learning right now, what lesson is spirit teaching you?

A good coach helps you figure that out – whether you are on the soccer pitch or the field of life. My coaches helped me and continue to help me see the lessons before me and how I can get better at being me. If you want to keep leveling up, keep doing more and being more – you have to know where your direction is coming from. An awareness develops and the growth in inner confidence and the inner guru voice helps when those moments of sideline commentary appear (and sometimes that sideline commentary is the voice in my head) – I can decide, I get to choose whether I pay attention or not.

So where are you in your growth pattern?  Are there external voices you need to shut off? Are there patterns or lessons that keep repeating that you need to cut off energy to? What different action do you need to take now to move to the next level in your life?

If you aren’t sure, I can help you if you take the action of accepting my invitation for a complimentary 30 minute confusion to clarity strategy session.  We’ll get clear on what you want, what holds you back and talk about how you can move past it. Click here to accept.

Learn more about Life Coach, Glass Artist and Creator of The Art of Living Dangerously (un)Program,  (and get free stuff) Jennifer Murphy at www.nolimitslife.guru

5 Ways my Mom made me the Mom I am Today (and why that’s a good thing)

The lovefest for moms that shows up for moms each Mother’s Day others day is a wondrous thing.  Among the “my mom is the best” and “I wouldn’t be the person I am without her” messages there is there a certain authenticity missing?  Yes, we have this day to take a special time out to honor our mothers and that is appreciated.  But is the vapid public “you are the best mom” enough? What if you took a moment to think it over and truly share with your mom the impact she has had?

This inspiration comes on the heels of a gift from my son on this mother’s day.  He created a book in his second grade class where he answered prompts about what he loves about me as his mom.  I was inspired by his insightfulness.  One of my favorites was where he shared that if he could buy me anything, he would buy me a workshop.  He knows my penchant to create and he sees the monthly struggle to maintain my studio, he wants one I don’t have to worry about. That’s paying attention.

For a moment I wondered where he got this thoughtfulness, then I realized, it is from me. This is the kind of attention I pay to people, and he is learning it. So where did I learn it?

I learned from my mom.

This inspired me to think of the other things I learned from her and I came up with 5 big ones.

  1. Work hard.

My mom was my first boss in the professional environment.  She managed the grocery store I started out as a trash hauler and stocker with in our small town.  I wasn’t cut any slack for being the manager’s kid, in fact, I think she expected more.  My mom worked hard and simply expected me, and everyone else to pull their weight. I learned my first lessons on work ethic from my mom.

  1. There is no wrong spiritual perspective.

I grew up in a very spiritually open environment.  My parents allowed me to attend any church I wanted to as I grew up. As I attended vacation bible schools with friends I was exposed to lots of different opinions. In my home we discussed these experiences and spoke more in the metaphysical realm with crystals and rocks, guides and a more direct route to the universal creation spirit.  My mom taught me that God is everywhere, not somewhere.

  1. There are idiots among us.

It may sound harsh, but it is true.  I learned that it was okay to not like everyone.  I learned that not everyone makes good choices in their life and that I don’t have to tolerate those who don’t in my life. There are idiots out there doing dumb stuff, I don’t have to be one of them; watching others be ridiculous is lesson enough.  She taught me to be smarter than may be asked for in any situation, rise above it and be the person I can be and find my own way.

  1. Your kids come first, and it’s okay to resent that once in a while.

We didn’t have a lot growing up.  We just didn’t.  My dad was a construction worker in a small town with weather that could sometimes wreak havoc on a work schedule.  When mom worked, it was often for lower paying jobs that asked for a lot from her.  With three of us wanting food, clothes and activities both my parents did go without.  At the time I didn’t get it.  I didn’t get what they gave up to keep ballet shoes on my feet, cheer bloomers on my butt, skate boards and soccer cleats on my brothers and more.  I do remember times of my mother despairing about not being able to do or have something she wanted.  And that was okay.  It was okay to be honest about that.  Because even though she didn’t always like it, she put us first and she didn’t lie to herself about not always liking it.

  1. Be who you are.

My mom has always just been who she is.  In the face of push back from her family, societal expectations, even her own self judgement, she always comes back to being who she is.  This hasn’t always been a happy road for her.  But she is.  She knows at the end of every day that she is just who she is and she can feel good about that.

Each of these things that are true about my mom are things I have carried as lessons for me.  I have adapted and learned and these things have shaped me in the mom and person I am today.  Being a mom isn’t like the movies or the magazines or the ideas we have about being a mom.  It certainly isn’t like the picturesque portrayal of motherhood we want to show on social media at times.  Being a real mom is about being real, the good and the bad and my mom has shown me what a real mom is and does.

So because I am crappy at actually saying these things to her, I am writing them and hoping they will inspire you to share your truth with your mom in whatever way feels best for you. Write your mom a letter, a message, an email or give her a call or visit.  The cool thing about most moms, is no matter what  you do, she’ll love you for it as much as she always has.

Jennifer Murphy lives in passionate pursuit of the Art of Living Dangerously through her work as life coach, artist, writer and single mother.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

It’s not a Someday Kind of Thing

When you place things on a someday list, kiss them good bye.  Someday has such vague energy it is impossible to pin down and so it won’t get fed.  It won’t get fed by you and it won’t get fed by anyone you might receive from. You didn’t invest in it.  And when you don’t invest, the universe won’t either.

Ever have moments of throwing caution to the wind? The “Oh screw it, let’s do it!” kind of moments when you power through your fear like a boss and capture the energy of the moment and do something that excites you.

I am a big fan of those moments, those moments of adrenaline and joy and excitement and a little thrill of “yes please!”.

Watch for them.

Life is not a someday kind of thing.

It is a live it now while you have this moment kind of thing.

Live it now, live it dangerously.

Learn the Art of Living Dangerously.

Jennifer Murphy, Art of Living Dangerously embraces the now through her work as a coach, artist, writer and single mom.  You can learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru 

Have You Heard about The Art of Living Dangerously?

A few years back I started something I didn’t yet have a name for and I didn’t care to name.  It was referred to generically as my new life. I have since learned that I was learning the Art of Living Dangerously.  And I want to share it with anyone who is looking for a new direction in life, the how for their big vision, or know that there is just something more for them and really truly want to figure out what that is and how to get it.

I have been there, I get it and I want to partner with you to move through it and start being the person you know you are.

 What if you enrolled in an un-program?

An experience specifically created to expose you to a wide variety of techniques and approaches where you can choose what works and ignore the rest.  What if you had an experience that assumed you were smart enough to apply what you need most or at least be willing to try?

The Art of Living Dangerously is that Un-program.

It is about experiencing tools and techniques and then using them to create the life you want. That’s right, this is about the life you want to create –nothing less.

I’ll partner with you to confront the limiting beliefs you hold inside blocking you from stepping into the life you intellectually know and understand you can have, but are not sure how to achieve.

Whether you know what you want and are not sure how to get there or you fall into the other category of not knowing what you want, but ready to do what it takes to find it and be it, The Art of Living Dangerously experience will co-create it.

Allow me to be upfront with you – it is an investment.  You’ll need to truly commit to this creative process and it requires a correlating resource investment.  So yes, as I have done with my coaches over the years, you also need to put your most precious resources of time, money and energy on the line for yourself.

Feeling brave and ready to take the deep breath and the step?

Go ahead and click on this link to learn more about the program and the investment and how to see if you are a candidate for one of the first five people I am willing to run this program with.

This is new, I don’t have it on my website yet, you can only get information via this link.  If it isn’t for you, cool. But if you know someone it is for – share it.

Other ways to learn more about The Art of Living Dangerously:

1. Sign on for my monthly virtual series where each month I will share a tool, technique or interview about the Art of Living Dangerously.  Do that here

2. Follow my Blog

3. Follow me on Social Media: on my website, click the links at the top of the page (or here’s a hint: they are in my bio at the bottom of this note!)

4. Schedule a Confusion to Clarity Strategy Session and get 30 minutes of my undivided attention for zero of your dollars.

5. Stop by my website and grab the complimentary tools I have for you to explore.  More are coming in the next few weeks!

6. If you are in the Cedar Rapids Iowa Area, join me for a workshop I am hosting at Illuminations Healing Arts Center on May 18 from 6:30 -8:30p for a mere $25 per person.  Register by clicking over to their website www.illuminationshealingarts.com then click on scheduling.

177Jennifer Murphy is the universe’s foremost proponent of The Art of Living Dangerously sharing it through her partnerships with people who want to live as themselves, her glass art, writing and single parenting a pretty amazing 8 year old soccer player.

What to do when you feel froggy! 

You jump! 

We get impulses, a need to let something loose and then we judge it. We judge it and we find it lacking. We decide that we simply can’t! 

Because my goodness what would “they”think? It is totally irrelevant who “they” are – you know who that means in your life. 

My question is this: why are you letting “them” rule your life? 

A few years ago I found myself in a position of having checked every block, achieved every success and cultivated all the external trappings of what “they” considered success. 

And it felt like complete Shite.  Utter crap and nonsense. 

And I was totally confused! What the heck “they”? I played your game…what did I do wrong? 

It was simple, there was this voice inside me telling me there was a path that was just mine, all mine. I didn’t have to play by “their” rules. If I really listened I could see that their rules actually well and truly sucked. 

I was feeling froggy and decided to go ahead and jump. I jumped into my life. Mine. 

And it feels awesome. I don’t have to do anything the way “they” do it. I can do it my way. 

So embrace that froggy feeling and jump! If you need a little boost of encouragement to make that happen, join my Art of Living Dangerously free event on April 27th. Register on my home page http://www.nolimitslife.guru

Be this guy, he jumps whenever his frog croaks and carves his own path every day!  

 

Jennifer Murphy lives dangerously embracing her froggy as she partners with people who want to forge their own path and say no to “them”. Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

5 Techniques Smart People Use to Say No

Ever wonder if there is a spring in your behind?  If you find yourself bouncing up from your literal or figurative chair every time there is an opportunity to say yes, sign up for something or be “the one” that does something, you just might.

The spring is not your friend if you find yourself chronically overbooked, overworked, too tired, not getting things done or otherwise not too pleased with all of your “yesses”.

Smart people learn to manage their spring and stop letting their spring manage them.

Smart people have control in their lives, are not chronically over whelmed and triple booked. Smart people can make time for the things they really want to do in life. 

Ready to be a smart person and say no when you need to? Good.  Here are 5 ways:

  1. Pause and let another spring in the rear say yes. This may seem manipulative, but try it.  Chances are there is another competitive spring butt type in the room just hoping they will beat you to the punch.  Let them.
  2. Check your schedule – Where would you fit what you are about to spring up and grab? Like an overfull shoe rack, you may have to give up one to fit another (gasp!). What will you have to give up and is it worth it?
  3. Know what you are saying yes to – you may not be the best person for the job. Just because it needs to be done, does not mean you are the best person to do it. The right person may be sitting in the crowd with the expertise or experience to get it done in half the time and, as hard as this may be to admit, better than you can.
  4. Is it exciting? Are you tingling in joy to tackle it? If you are dreading it, feeling disgruntled or even mad a having to say yes, you may need to learn to say no.
  5. Understand what is important to you and only say yes if it aligns to what is important. This is one I see clients struggle with a lot. It is easy to say yes to everything if everything is important.  But not everything is equally important is it?  Maybe you just haven’t taken the time to really think through that.

Understanding what is truly important, aligning life to those important values and activities and then living by that alignment is key to saying NO with empowered energy.  Saying no allows space for that just right person to learn their lesson or provide the needed service.

My Align Your Life Boot Camp is targeted at this very issue and helping you get to the foundation of what matters and live your life in a way that gets you to your authentic yes and authentic no on just about anything. To learn more, head to my website and look at upcoming events.

I encourage you to get smart, find your No and empower your life in a way that makes you and those around you stronger for it.

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, artist and writer cultivating courage and alignment through partnering with others.  Learn more at http://www.nolimitslife.guru

15 Easter Eggs 

Why 15? 

I bought a carton of 18. I placed them as carefully as possible in the pot of water to hard boil. I let them cool in the water then gently placed them in a colander to dry. 

And three friggin’ cracked! What the heck eggs? 

Being me, I found the metaphor. No matter how careful we are, sometimes things don’t hold up under the pressure, extreme circumstances or even gentle treatment. Sometimes what we think is the best path to our idea, is simply a path to an experience. 

We ended up with 16 brightly colored eggs as my squeak insisted one of then cracked ones would be fine. Choose your metaphor for that one. 

 

Think about what is happening in your life. Despite all your carefuk handling, are you still finding cracks? Go ahead and enjoy and learn from the experience anyway. It will lead you to a bright colored collection! 

Jennifer Murphy is an artist, life coach and writer who collects experiences every day. Learn more about her at www.nolimitslife.guru

 

8 Lessons from my 8 Year old: Embrace your Youth

My kid is an inexhaustible source of wisdom and hilarity for me.  I adore having his perspective in my life.  These 8 little lessons are certainly not all I have taken from my time thus far with him, but they are lots of fun!

  1. Sing with abandon. All the time, no matter who you annoy or how inappropriate it might be, because it will absolutely make someone in the room smile.
  2. Trust your gut. If that person seems scary, stay away from them.
  3. Be confident. Own your skills and tell people about them.  Start sentences with “I am really good at…”
  4. Never admit you are tired. You can totally overcome it if you really want to. There is always time to sleep in the car.
  5. Stick with what you love. Macaroni and cheese for dinner every week, why not? If you love, why deny yourself.
  6. Give presents for the pure joy of it. Making a gift and giving it to someone with pride that you made it for them and watching them receive it knowing you made it for them and they love it for that reason alone…priceless.
  7. Question Everything. Always ask why, understand your motivation, the real reason behind the request, action or change. Get the insight.
  8. Say I love you to the people you actually love. ALL THE TIME. At random moments laying on the couch, when you are in the bathroom pooping, stop mid-song and holler it out, say it A LOT.  They love to hear it.

There you have it folks! 8 things my 8 year old has shared with me as life lessons.  Ways to embrace your inner 8 year old boy and enjoy the energy of youth.

Go for it!

If you are looking for ways to shift your perspective, join me for The Art of Living Dangerously, a Free virtual series, every month beginning April 28th, 2015.  Click here to learn more and register.

Jennifer Murphy is an artist, writer and life coach who single parents a pretty spectacular 8 year old boy she calls Squeak.  You can learn more about her at www.nolimitslife.guru

Thank Goodness My Kid is Not Talented and Gifted

Warning: Strong, possibly offensive language, but absolutely 100% authentic in nature.

“Mommy, there is this class at school in a special room for talented and gifted kids and I don’t get to go” squeak shares with me this morning.

My authentic reaction is as follows (all internal and occurs in roughly 5 seconds):

WHAT THE FUCK????!!!!! What do you mean he wasn’t included? And why the hell are they still calling it that in this age of political correctness and bullshit about “not labeling” kids and “everyfuckingbody wins”.  Those fucks…I am going to call them, no I am going to post a Facebook rant (cause that always works), no I am totally going to go down there and demand they change the name of the fucking program immediately!!!! He is totally talented and gifted…and goddamn it pisses me off that he is questioning that because of this stupidity.

Yeah…that is exactly how I felt in that moment. EXACTLY.  And in retrospect, as I think this over in a more practical way, I think my “irrational, kick some ass for making my kid feel bad kind way” self has a few decent points in there.

1. The label sucks. “Talented and Gifted”…seriously?  The basis for this program, as I interpret it from my son’s explanation, (without obtaining any further information from his teacher or the school), is academic.  And I think that is awesome. I do think if the kids are excelling academically they should be given ways to further challenge themselves. Please, continue programs like this.  But let’s be specific on that.

On the way to school this morning I asked my squeak what he thought talented and gifted was and asked him to list all the ways a person can be talented and gifted.  His list included: sports, art, music, being nice to people, sharing AND THEN academics.

In an age where we tell our kids to include everyone, that we are all special and all that other touchy feely stuff…why take a group of kids and tell everyone else that THOSE kids are talented and gifted.  Guess what? Every single one of those kids are talented and gifted.  I work in their classroom every week and I can tell you that I observe talents and gifts every single time.

Can we perhaps find another way…academic challenge course or something smarmy like that.

2. Facebook rants will not help anything. Nope Facebook rants against the system are not the answer. Sure, they will sway a few folks to my side.  My side that says we should stop letting the schools program our kids through labeling and testing and curriculum.  The side of me that is soooooo tempted to get him in a home schooling program and put him in his own talented and gifted program.  But that is a feel good solution that is all about me and my ego, not about focusing on the real issue.

3. My kid is pretty amazing and he needs to know it – and that’s my job. The real issue is that my kid needs to be able to see labels like talented and gifted as only that. Labels. Labels that don’t define who a person truly is and has the potential to be in this world. I haven’t seen an office in my years of work in the military and corporate world that had a sign hanging outside of it that says “ I was tagged as talented and gifted in the 2nd grade” and that is why I am such a raging success today.

Nope, I hear way more stories of people with amazing parents who supported them and loved them and encouraged them.  Or stories of people who had crappy parents who transcended the experience to become kick ass members of society.

So here I am hours later and I am actually glad he isn’t labeled talented and gifted. Because I can support him at his authentic pace, in whatever interests he chooses to pursue: sports, art, music, gaming, hunting, fishing, or whatever he gets passionate about and decides to unleash his innate talents and gifts upon.

I can settle down from “killer mama bear” mode back into “Evil Mo who tells her kid that TV turn off week is actually mandatory and the entire world has to do it” and keep working on homework, encouraging research on tigers, playing robot boxing games, experimenting with a new cookie bar recipe, shopping at the Co-Op and letting him know he is loved.

We will have these moments with our kids.  The moments that try our own mettle as parents and make us question whether we are doing a good job, or damaging our kids or doing the best we can. Think about what you want them to learn: are they to be a victim, or are they to be courageous and be who they are actually capable of being: amazing little humans who will grow up to be amazing big humans?

I am really working on the latter.  I will fall short, I will react some days instead of responding.  But I will always love him.

Do you have any stories like this?   What have you done in the face of incredible outrage on behalf of your child and your own doubts about your skills as a parent? Comment below.

Remember, you are okay.  Keep doing the best you can, your kids just need to know you love them and you are willing to fight for their highest and best good.

Jennifer Murphy is a life coach, writer and artist and single mother to the most amazing 8 year old ever! She specializes in partnering with people to find the courage to live their authentic callings. Find ways to connect with your best authentic self at http://www.nolimitslife.guru