Spring Refresh : Purpose and Authenticity

SO. MANY. DISTRACTIONS.  The lives we lead have us constantly like. . .


Checking the FB twenty times a day to be greeted by eight notifications that friends-of-a-friend left a comment on the same picture you did. . . parties to plan. . . sweat sessions to keep your booty in shape. . . the endless list of to-dos that helps you to feel like you accomplished something in the day. . . tummies to feed. . . episodes to watch. . . people to see. . . distances to span. . . Carpool Karaoke. . . dust in the ceiling fan. . . family drama. . . “Wait. What day is it? AH! I have to bake something to take to the meeting tonight! Maybe I can pick something up on the way.”

You know the rhythm. It’s anything but routine. Almost every LifePlan I facilitate starts out with an overall objective: I would love to find balance.

Dig a little deeper and it doesn’t take long to see that Purpose is the root of Authenticity. If we know why we’re here, the driving force getting us out of bed each morning, then the break of day is refreshing and we can breathe deeply as the stars shine brightly in the night sky. The “balance” we seek is really about investing our time, energy and resources in the things that align with our Purpose and letting go of the rest.

After drawing up my Four Helpful Lists for this quarter, I shone a spotlight on my Purpose. This. This is why I want to bring all of me to the work I do. This is why I want to get involved. This is why I take time to refuel, renew, explore and grow. This is why I love on the people in my life.

Recently, I let my Purpose fade to gray. I was distancing myself, curling into a ball and preparing myself for any emotion that might accompany a cross-country move. Surely a heartfelt investment in this Colorado life would make the goodbyes more painful. Was it the right response? I can say with great confidence, “no,” but it’s how I responded. Now that we know we’re here to stay, it’s time to lace up the proverbial running shoes and get after it again. It’s time to shake off the things that hold me back.

When our Purpose is intact, when we have a deep-seated understanding of why we were created, it simplifies things. It boils everything down to what truly matters. In the end, the things that are no longer important don’t deserve a single line in our script. Paul makes it plain:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sad down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

Why get caught up in the things that limit us, that paralyze us from living a life on purpose? Comparison is an ugly trap that leads down a dark, dark path. Procrastination doesn’t get the work done. Self-doubt drains every ounce of energy from our veins. Chasing after the mediocre and mundane is exhausting. Pride makes it all about us and leaves a disastrous wreckage of hearts in our wake. A lack of discipline hinders true growth. Fear accomplishes absolutely nothing. If we don’t understand the why, our being is calloused by everything that holds us back.

On the contrary, “going confidently in the direction of our dreams and living the life we imagined” (thanks, Thoreau) frees us to run hard after what matters most, to foster relationships that are rich in love, to come alive in our work, to see the beauty that surrounds us each day, to laugh deep belly laughs, to serve those in need, to be a voracious student of knowledge, to value physical health, emotional well-being and spiritual maturity.

Before another day of 2016 passes by, seek to understand your Purpose. As you live it out each day, you might be pleasantly surprised at how little effort is required to be authentically you!

LifePlan Toolbox

Now is the perfect time to update your Life Dashboard.

  1.  Starting with your Life Pathway, familiarize yourself once more with your Life Purpose, Vision and Strategies. This is where you’re headed! Don’t lose sight of what’s on your heart! If there is something that needs to be changed, this “GPS” is not written in stone. Recalculate your route.
  2. Move over to the Vital Signs. Do these still make sense? If not, change it up! Once you know what needs to be full for you to live out your Life Pathway, assess where you are today. Is each item a green (healthy, thriving, doing well), a yellow (caution, needs attention) or a red (bleeding, not healthy, shriveled and in need of immediate attention)? How “full” is that dot? Is it optimized or depleted. Move it to the correct spot on the spectrum.
  3. How about those things that can hold you back? Distractions. The things that will stop you in your tracks, leaving you paralyzed. Do the items on your Risk/ Obstacle Pyramid still make sense at this time? Make the appropriate updates and do a “gut check” on the red/ yellow/ green status of each.
  4. If you’re not checking in with your LifePlan Dashboard on a daily basis, get back into the routine! This simple panel is so rich and will help to keep you on track as you live out your beautiful purpose!

Spring Refresh : Taking Inventory

First, it only seems appropriate to share an update since my last post. . .


Match Day Letter_Edit

We are still pinching ourselves.  Staying in Colorado means that we will be able to put down roots and continue to invest in our family and friends.  What a gift!

Here in Colorado, we’re expecting temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s all week, the daffodils are in full bloom and the cyclists are out in droves.  There’s something about the return of sunshine (especially after that crazy spring snowstorm) that reassures us summertime is just around the bend.  Before we break out the swimwear and pitch tents under the stars, there is often a desire to “clean house” (be it literally or figuratively).

There is one particular space in our home that desperately needs my attention:


What you can’t see are the items that are stashed away to the very back of these shelves.  Preparing a cup of tea starts with pulling out a layer of cups and lids, skewers and vitamins before I can even access the tea boxes.  Each time I open the door, there is a fair chance that a lighter or roll of tape will fall out with a loud crash to the floor (if I am able to move my toes out of the way fast enough!).  Conquering this space needs to happen sooner than later.  As with any organization project, it will start with an assessment of my inventory:

  • Is this helpful, valuable, often utilized? (Right)
  • Is this item rarely used, empty, easily replaced? (Wrong)
  • Where in the world did this come from?  What does it do? (Confused)
  • What items are running low that I need to add to my shopping list? (Missing)

With the trees in full bloom, I’ve had conversations with a number of women who are sensing that it’s time to align with their goals and make progress toward their Life Vision.

Similar to the way we might begin organizing the rooms of our home, the LifePlan process employs the question, “Where Am I Today?” to take inventory on our lives.  Looking at the Life Domains (Personal, Family, Career, Church and Community), we create a detailed list:

  • What’s right?
  • What’s wrong?
  • What’s confused?
  • What’s missing?

These four helpful lists are the starting point for a journey that ultimately leads to the action items for What’s Important Now.

Maybe you started out the year with good intentions of maintaining New Year’s resolutions.  Maybe your resolve is waning, maybe you’re still running strong.  Either way, the first quarter of 2016 is behind us and it’s time to get moving in Q2!

Carve out some time this week to create your own “Four Helpful Lists” and see what themes rise to the surface.  Does the direction you are running make sense?  Maybe it’s time to realign your goals to invest your time, energy and resources into what matters most.  If so, don’t delay!  Let’s rediscover our purpose and start living this day with fresh focus and strategy!

LifePlan Toolbox

*For those of you who have already completed your LifePlan, it’s time for a scrub!  Your LifePlan comes alive when you take the time to check in on a daily basis.  To keep it relevant, conduct a full review (scrub) each quarter.  Throughout this series, I will share some additional thoughts in the LifePlan Toolbox to guide you through your quarterly scrub!

  1.  Start with your Objectives.  What do you hope to accomplish in each of your Life Domains over the next three months?  If you struggle to find the words, go ahead and leave the objective blank for that Domain and then move on.  You can always come back to it!
  2. Four Helpful Lists – don’t sell yourself short here.  Don’t let distractions in.  Find a time when you can think clearly without interruption.  Have fun with it!  If you are getting serious about your Career, get dressed as though you are going to an important interview or giving a presentation.  Find a place that feels professional to you.  Maybe it’s in the lobby of a downtown hotel.  Maybe it’s at a table in your favorite coffee shop.  If your focus leans toward Personal, find a space that is part of your Replenishment Cycle.  Would you feel most inspired as you sit near a river in the mountains?  Do you need to think over this list as you paint or crochet?  Has it been a crazy start to the year?  Maybe you need to brew a cup of tea, slather on a layer of lavender lotion and snuggle up with your favorite pet in a comfy chair.

Next week, we’ll explore the “middle” of your LifePlan!  If you are struggling with how you should scrub a specific portion, I would love to hear from you.  You are likely not alone, so I can be sure to share insights on a particular point with the rest of the crew!  You know where to find me:  deanza@hearttochart.com