The Friday Spark – Fresh Starts

This week’s creative spark is from Filling The Well, Spirited Nourishment for Creative Trailblazers, Simple Ways to Sprinkle a Little Soul Into Your Daily Life by Suzanne Vadnais Monson

Fresh Starts

In our normal everyday lives things happen that help us step back and see with fresh perspective. We are given a gazillion chances to begin again. Let this Sparker be a catalyst, a lively reminder to notice the mysterious synchronicities happening in your world.

What amazing thing happened to you when you locked your keys in the car and had to ask for help, or stopped to pick up the piece of paper blowing along the sidewalk that turned out to be a thought-provoking page torn from someone’s journal, or turned on the radio just in time to hear a song so loaded with significance it brought tears to your eyes?

The amazing truth is that every moment noticed is an opportunity to start fresh. Seeing, pausing long enough to actually take something in completely, is the recipe for fully engaging in our lives.

It is easy to get lost in the details of our days and become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks and responsibilities. To gain some fresh perspective, try this exercise for seven days. Write the following affirmation on a slip of paper: I carry fresh awareness everywhere I go.  Post it somewhere you will notice it a couple of times a day. Go about your day as usual with this one change: stop whatever you are doing at three different predetermined times and look around. What do you see? What do you hear? Is there anything that piques your curiosity? Check it out!

At the end of the day take note of three things you noticed in a journal. Simply jot down what happened when you paused. At the end of the week review your notes. What strikes you when you review your notes? The gift of fresh perspective is often easy to see after some time has passed. You may notice that pausing helps you move through a challenge or pulls you out of a rut. Or maybe you notice how much a little break helps you energize and refocus. Give it a try and see what’s waiting for you to discover.

Sparkers – Filling The Well © 2006 Suzanne Vadnais Monson for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers, all rights reserved.

Let us know how you like this Sparker. Tell us about your rituals for managing change. To read more Sparkers by Suzanne

Connecting with the ground of being – A personal retreat as a business strategy


A retreat is often thought of in the context of a spiritual
journey but it can also be a powerful tool to rekindle passion, commitment and
energy in your business. In a busy schedule it’s a guaranteed way to slow down
and reflect. A client of mine made it a
habit to schedule a three day retreat every quarter. What an inspired thing to

In thinking about a retreat for myself, I pulled out one of
my favorite books; Synchronicity, The Inner Path of Leadership by Joseph Jaworski.
He recounts his story of creating the American Leadership Forum. He describes
the ease and synchronicity that happened when he was in the flow and connected
to his passion, what happened when he fell out of sync and then his journey
back. He describes two forms of commitment
necessary for success; the ground of action – as entrepreneurs we are very good
at this one, we know how to make things happen – and the ground of being. The
ground of being is about being a part of an “unfolding, generative process” –
deeply connected, aware on many levels and following your bliss as Joseph Campbell would say.

One of the traps that can get us disconnected from the
ground of being is the trap of overdoing. Like many entrepreneurs, I’d been doing
a lot of over-doing and my ground of being was getting ground down. I was
over-ripe for some down time and decided to give myself four days to slow down,
re-connect and renew.  I didn’t go to a
fancy retreat center (although that’s a wonderful option) – I created the
experience in my home and you can too.

In many ways my retreat experience surprised me.  Part of me wanted to “do” the retreat. I had a
whole list of things that required re-evaluation, decisions and direction. I originally envisioned doing values work,
brainstorming and mapping out the goals for the year ahead. It isn’t that those
things aren’t perfect for a retreat but they wouldn’t give me what I was most
hungry for. The simple guidelines that follow helped me get what I truly needed
– a reconnection to the ground of being.