Room To Breathe

Hello my fellow Project Butterfly partners!

Well, I am sitting here writing at my kitchen table, smiling at some beautiful pink tulips given to me by my awesome neighbor, Gail. We’re trying to “ward off” the sense of doom associated with yet another major snow storm that arrived yesterday. I have an additional 8” of snow on top of the 40” that fell in January. Two more storms slated for later this week. It’s hard to find room to breathe in this onslaught by Mother Nature!

Our Project Butterfly mascot, the one I shared with you last week is again buried in snow, surrounded by piles of hip-high banks.  Maybe it’s hibernating? After reading my friend Vicki Flaherty’s excellent blog post on Sanctuary (click here to read it), I decided that being housebound or snow bound can be, if we allow it to be, a great time to pause and reflect.  I spent time reflecting yesterday on what my best future might look like – thank you, Vicki, for that gift of encouragement.

In that spirit, I want to share with you what I learned by focusing on my Ideation strength.

My most favorite line from my Insight Guide for my Ideation strength was this:  Because the printed word feeds your mind, you frequently generate original plans, programs, designs, or activities.

That is so true!  This strength manifested itself this week in a variety of ways.  I’ve polished a publication on learning circles for my colleagues Darrel and Hazel, I’ve worked on a business plan with my brother, and I’ve help craft a presentation associated with an exciting cloud-based program with my business partners at work.  I also delivered a Strengths presentation with some new content, and was delighted at how well that went.  I love to create things in writing.

Here are a few notes I made as I practiced the 2% solution (2 minutes a day): 

“I had a blast brainstorming with ABP on how to drive more business through creative marketing ideas.”

“Loved refining the AWB presentation we’re working on – nailing the value proposition and crafting our executive message.”

“I had an excellent email exchange with a client about how learning and managing her strengths has helped her be more successful as an individual, and a better teammate as well. The Holy Grail!!”

I was at my best this week when I delivered a Succeed With Your Strengths workshop with 13 awesome leaders from a local tech company.  I get great joy out of helping talented and committed people understand what makes them unique, and determine ways to better leverage that knowledge for the success of the team.  This is what I do best, and it felt wonderful to be at my best.

What about you?  What did YOU learn this week?  When were YOU at your best?  We’d love to hear about your journey.  We’ have had some add’l folks join us on Project Butterflyclick here to look at their word choices and strengths in the comments section! Welcome! I know we’ve got some folks who are walking silently beside us, and that’s okay, too.  I want to acknowledge you and congratulate you on your hard work.  Stay with us!

Next Week’s Project Butterfly Activities:

  1. Pick a new strength, statement from your Insight guide, and focus on it
  2. Look for times when you feel frustrated – was one of your strengths violated?  When someone takes a hammer and smashes one of our strengths (often done unintentionally because they have different strengths than we do) it hurts, is frustrating, and discouraging.

Part of our success plan includes paying attention not just to what went well, but what didn’t, and why.  Consider capturing when you’re feeling misunderstood – what strength was violated, who was involved, and what was the outcome?

Can’t wait to see your thoughts below!  Here’s to building a sanctuary for finding room to breathe, for following the strengths path, and for becoming totally awesome!  ONWARD!

4 thoughts on “Room To Breathe

  1. Hi Maureen,

    I enjoyed reading the publication on “Learning Circles” on linkiedIn. Since I am very interested in training / e-learning, this article really piqued my interest… I will investigate the other links in linkedin and on W3 to gain more information on how I might get involved with LaaS – Learning as a Service.

    Thanks
    Marie.

    • HI Marie! I’m glad you found that article I wrote on Learning Circles – isn’t that a good idea? It fits right in with your goals and I’m glad to see you TAKING ACTION! :-) Keep up the good work! Maureen

  2. I love that, even though we have never met in person, I can envision you writing at your kitchen table with a bouquet of pretty pink tulips centering you, offering you hope, inviting you to breathe. How great that my monthly post fed you some inspiration (I am envisioning you at the kitchen table after all, and, instead of eating food, you are gobbling up ideas!) – I love how we do that with each other.

    I have to confess that I started out on the right track with my 2%. I wrote my intention and focus phrase in my little Project Butterfly notebook and kept it on my desk. The only entry is on Tuesday when I noticed that I felt connected to life, having a clearer sense of purpose, after starting my day with some sanctuary time.

    I believe in sprinting at the end of a race if you still have some energy left, so I’m catching up now on my Project Butterfly commitment…looking back over my week. Here’s what’s coming up for me: I was honoring my values when I set aside time this week to connect with colleagues that I haven’t talked to in awhile, when I stepped away from my desk at lunch a couple times this week to lift weights, when I planned a birthday dinner next week for myself with some girlfriends in Washington DC (one being a friend from high school, another a college roommate), when I let go of the need to have a pretty presentation and decided to focus on having a meaningful conversation with one of my stakeholders. I see how these actions and my intention behind them represent my honoring how I value relationships and health.

    I think I’ll stick with Connectedness again this week. The phrase that resonates today is:
    “…your life is more meaningful and you are happier when you can dedicate yourself to something of importance…”

    • And I am sitting here imagining you “sprinting” – writing in fast motion in your notebook! :-) I love that visual!

      Your connectedness is indeed showing up – look at you celebrating your BIG birthday with friends all over the globe – – I love it!

      I will gobble up ideas whilst you repast with your peeps. Love your quote – and determining exactly WHAT Is “something of importance” is something we all must do, n’est pas? (I’m reading an Agatha Christie book with Poirot … little french phrases are popping up out of nowhere!)

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