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Life Makeover for the Year 2009

Week 38 – Stretch, Grow and Find Joy!

September 21, 2009

Greetings!

I’m very excited to be sharing “A Day for Women” with Dr. Chris Northrup on Saturday, October 17th in Boston, called “Creating a Life of Health & Happiness.”  Grab a girlfriend, your mom or sister, or a group of friends and spend the day with us as we talk about how to transform your health by transforming your life, and how to use pleasure and joy as a self-care strategy.  Chris and I will also enjoy a dialogue together and take your questions about the pitfalls and pleasures of practicing good self-care.  For more info visit here

This week I’ll be supporting the Newburyport Literary Festival along with Dr. Keith Ablow, author of “Living the Truth” on 9/23 during our evening dialogue called, “Meeting of the Helpful Minds.”  Keith and I will be talking about our books and our work as self help writers.  For more info visit here

I have a lot going on this fall, so be sure to check our schedule page here

Have a great week!

Love,
Cheryl

p.s. – Need a little Divine Direction?  Use the “Touch of Grace” button on our homepage here.

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Topic of the Week

Stretch, Grow and Find Joy!

Yesterday I participated in a fundraising golf tournament with my mom and dad, some of my brothers and sisters, and my husband, Michael. It was a beautiful, late summer day with bright sunshine, a gentle breeze, and plenty of excited players. Although I’m not a golfer, I too, was excited to spend the day outside in nature with my family.  That said, I wasn’t excited to golf.

As Michael and I drove to the club, I felt nervous and edgy.  Lost in thought, I remembered a time, long ago, when I took lessons and was asked to leave the course my first time out because I was taking too long.  Now I was expecting the worst, imagining all the things that could possibly go wrong and strategizing about how to handle them.  

As soon as we pulled up to the course, my nervousness escalated.  I felt intimidated by the serious looking golfers (most of whom were men) who had already started to play.  Fortunately, my dad (who was running the event) scheduled our group to tee off last.  Smart man, my dad.  Without the pressure of holding people up, we had an absolute blast!  Here’s what I learned:

1. Say “yes!”  When presented with a new opportunity that challenges you to stretch outside your comfort zone, make your default position a resounding “yes!”  Sure you can weigh your options, see if the opportunity makes sense, or spend time determining whether or not you’re qualified to participate, but do yourself a favor and work your way backwards from “yes.”  Start with the assumption that all will be well and look for what’s right about making the decision to do it.  

2.  Keep an open mind.  Once you’ve decided to engage in a new activity, temper your tendency to prejudge the experience.  Show up open, with a clear heart and mind, and be willing to step into the role of student.  Since I’m often in the position of teacher, it’s a challenge for me to shut off my know-it-all mind.  Instead, I naturally look for what I already know as a way to feel comfortable, and I certainly don’t ask for help.  But I’ve been growing :-).  As soon as I heard my brother-in-law, Walter (a really good golfer), give my sister Lisa helpful pointers, I invited him to coach me on the next hole.  And I became coachable.  I listened carefully, and did what he told me to do.  I allowed him to correct my stance, the position of my arms, and the direction of my club.  As a result, I ended up with one of the best shots I’ve ever had in my short history of golfing!

3.  Surrender to the experience.  I don’t know about you, but I find that the older I get, the less interested I am in overanalyzing or judging how an opportunity might play out once I’ve decided to go for it.  I say “yes” and surrender to whatever happens.  Over the years, I’ve wasted too much energy trying to control a situation to keep myself safe. Time and again I find that if you let go, trust in the inherent goodness of the Universe, and show up present and ready, you give yourself the best chance of experiencing joy. And I’m all about joy these days…

Every day we’re given opportunities to stretch, grow, and experience something wonderful and new.  It might be a chance to have a delightful, brief conversation with a stranger, or an opportunity to use our creative muscles in a new way at work.  How often do you see them?  And how often do you say “yes?”  If this seems like a foreign concept, I invite you to take this week’s challenge.  When you do, please visit my Fan Page on Facebook.com/cherylrichardson and tell me what happens!

Take Action Challenge

This week, look for one opportunity to stretch outside your comfort zone in the pursuit of joy.  Say “yes!”  Keep an open mind.  And surrender to the experience. A great life commands courage, risk-taking, and a willingness to be vulnerable.  Are you ready?

Life Makeover For The Year 2009 (sm) is written and produced by Cheryl Richardson. If you have any questions or comments, or for reprint permission of this newsletter, please email: cheryl@cherylrichardson.com. © Copyright 1999-2009. Cheryl Richardson, P.O. Box 13, Newburyport, MA 01950. All rights reserved.