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Has it been a week since I last blogged?

Last week just seemed to fly by and the weekend ended up being particularly busy.

On Saturday I had the Blog Design Workshop.

Many thanks to Jane in Shaylyn for the idea and the space … and much thanks to Laura on Saturday for all your help setting up.

We had the usual technical hitches setting up and had to change rooms … this all happened before the participants showed up … so it looked like all was perfectly organised.

This was my first blog design workshop and I wondered if I’d get through all the material … I did … and everyone left with a newly designed blog.

I really enjoyed it and I’ll let Pam (another blogger , friend and participant at the workshop) tell you what she thought of it all.

There’s Paul (Pams husband) and me chatting before the workshop started.

It was a wonderful relaxed and informative workshop -with Liz teaching us how to blog via WordPress.com (yeah, I know I can already blog via Typepad but I needed one that is free to use for work and Paul knew nothing!)

We were joined by father and son team – Phil and Dennis,  from the new Kidscafé Youth Centre, Ballinamore, and we all learned how to set up (and indeed we did set up) a blog each! Liz is a deadly teacher and made it all so easy and answered all our questions. Well done Liz and thanks for a super afternoon. We learned loads and will be sharing it all with our students come September. Thank you!

On Sunday I was up at 8am and took Coco for a walk … she saw 2 sheep loose and ran to say hello … much to their delight … not!

I called her back … and she came … good Coco.

I was relaxing in the afternoon reading the papers when my good friend Anna Legge dropped over and said she was taking me to lunch at the Mountain Tavern … past Aughnashellin … yup … up the  mountain.

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I laughed because every time Anna has me in the car and we go to the Tavern for food … it’s been shut.

I actually refused to get out of the car when we got there … and told Anna that it would be shut.

She said ‘wanna bet?’

‘Sure’ says I ‘ A million euro’

So … now I owe an extra million euro to my expenses!

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We had a lovely lunch … all organic and I’m pretty sure all the vegetables and salad are from their polytunnel next to the tavern.

After lunch Anna decided it was time for one of her Mystery Drives along the back roads of Leitrim.

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I love them as we end up seeing places and landscape that I’ve never seen before … and this drive was no exception.

We stopped at the waterfall and it was running very fast for the summer … but then we have had some big rain.

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It is always beautiful.

Here are some shots … can’t you just imagine yourself relaxing there?

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Anna then took us to a pub that still has its front grocery shop … it was in Ballinagleara  … and we stopped to read more papers.

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We then spent hours wandering the back roads … getting to dead ends … reversing back on tiny roads so tractors could get by … trying to herd a donkey …

Yes … you heard right.

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these are the safe … off the road donkeys

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we obviously needed Mags … animal whisperer … along

We came across a donkey that had escaped it’s grazing … I tried to coax it back … but it ignored me completely.

As we went higher the views just make you so happy.

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We ended up at another waterfall …

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yes folks … we travelled the country side

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…. and I was interested to see the turf cut and stacked on the mountain.

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Anna dropped me home at 9pm … a lovely day thanks Anna.

At 11.30pm that night I was interviewed by Paul (on 1105-107FM in Dublin).

Marie Bradley had mentioned me to Paul as an interesting person to interview … thanks Marie.

We had a lovely chat for about 20 minutes about:

  • Life Dreaming … the free workbook … and the whole package that Marc and I are developing to launch in late 2009
  • LizBiz and blogging … I raved about how much I love living in Ballinamore and Leitrim … and how I have so many lovely readers all over the world … thanks folks.
  • Why I came to Ireland
  • Surviving and thriving in the recession … I told him about how I’m bartering my skills and time for things like massage (thanks Marie you are the best masseur) and coal and stuff. I also said that with my consultancy business being so badly affected … I was really taking time to look at all my skills and how they might make money … more on that later.

It was great fun … I had let people know fairly late on Facebook that I was doing the interview … and Derek and Lynda streamed it live in America ... gotta love social media folks.

Surviving and thriving in the recession

It’s a challenge ... no doubt about it.

And an opportunity.

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Friends have been great at helping me brainstorm a pile of ideas:

  • I’m available to babysit over the summer period … particularly the Festival. You know I love kids … and even better … they like me. Ring me on 9645443 if you want me to sit on your children!
  • I’m going to see if I can do some more Blog Design workshops in Carrick and Dublin.
  • Sending some information to the Cavan and Leitrim VEC’s about the training I do
  • Developing a Training Info Pack and sending it to some national charities
  • Still sending in tenders for work … I have 2 or 3 to do this week
  • Have applied for social welfare while money from the consultancy is non existent
  • Can develop peoples resumes and help them name and define their skills
  • Will develop and design a blog for a family, business or community group/club
  • Can walk dogs … or maybe they walk me!
  • Continuing to develop Life Dreaming and SKIL2 with Marc ... that will have long term payoff
  • Can teach swimming … I used to teach swimming for people aged between 4 and 60+ … I can also help ‘fix’ people swimming styles so it’s easier to move through the water.
  • Still available to barter my skills and time for … other skills and products
  • If you’re a business then I can help streamline work processes and help you think strategically about the future.

Not a bad list off the top of my head.

See … what I ‘ve realised is that it’s easy to get into a rutto only see yourself in a certain way.

Not having contracts for my consultancy has forced me (because it’s often external circumstances that start change in our lives) to relook at myself and what I can offer … and … it’s starting to be fun to think of new ways of earning money.

My Dad said to me many many years ago when I was a girl

‘ I don’t really care what work you choose to do … as long as you do the best you can. If you want to be a hole digger … then dig the best hole’

He’s a wise man is my Pa.

Every job I’ve every had … from cleaning peoples houses … to tending bars … to developing a major training plan for St Vincent de Paul Ireland … I’ve given it my best … and always enjoyed the people in the process.

Now … the bills and debts haven’t gone away … they are actually growing.

What I know is this … I am doing everything within my power to earn money and reduce expenses … and stay happy and content in the process.

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All the things that are outside my power … I give up to the Universe … or the deity of your choosing.

In the Life Dreaming Treasure Chest that Marc and I are designing … I have created a Resource Wheel … which is pretty darn useful to me at the moment.

I took it out yesterday and had a look at what I was using and what I needed to draw on … was very pleased to se how many internal and external resources I was using … I really do use all the tools I create for Life Dreaming.

It acted as a kind of checklist … just in case I had missed anything.

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what you see when you look at things differently

So this week I keep developing ideas and ways to earn money as well as spend time with friends … write this blog … and walk Coco.

I send you big wishes for abundance and prosperity this week.

slan

Liz

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I took Coco for a 1 hour walk yesterday to one of our favourite places … the meadow at the back of the convent … one of the few places close to town where she can safely run around.

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you can see the canal from the meadow

I decided that I wanted to take photos of the small features of the landscape … get really close up.

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It got me thinking about how important it is to see the forest and the trees and the leaves … in my work and life.

The forest for me are the core values that drive everything I do and am … the larger landscape and vision I have for my life.

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The trees are the dreams I have for the next few years … SKIL2 … Life Dreaming … getting fit and healthy … being a part of Ballinamore … seeing my family in Singapore & Oz … leasing land to build my own natural build home … go to Paris etc etc

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The leaves are the day to day … week by week … activities that move me towards the dreams … the myriad details that need to be done and researched and organised.

Quite literally … the blades of grass … the grains of sand.

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This week is a Leaves Week for my work… lots of details … lots of learning … lots of discipline (in a fun kind of way) … steady and consistent progress and work on … SKIL2 & Life Dreaming & getting Fit and Fab.

And when I feel exasperated and too caught up in the leaves (I call it the trenches) … I’ll sit back … take a few deep breathes … and remember why I am developing the two social enterprises (Trees) … what I hope to achieve with them globally (Forest).

It all links and you need to create and reflect and plan and action on all three levels … or you’ll just get really confused and frustrated.

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There’s no point in imagining a great forest (values) and trees (dreams) … if you aren’t prepared to deal with the leaves (the actual work of making it happen).

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And … there is nothing more frustrating than getting caught up in the day to day actions of life (leaves) … if you have no real idea of what your dreams (trees) and values (forest) are.

That’s what I started thinking as I was taking all the close up photos … yup … I’ve got a brain that doesn’t stop.

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Coco meanwhile was being Zen Dog … and just being in the moment.

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I think her forest, trees and leaves are all the same thing.

If this was my default expression and feeling … I’d be a very happy person.

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I sat in the meadow enjoying looking at the detail of everything … the small things … and then looking up as Coco came gamboling straight at me with a stick.

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She had a great time and so did I … win win … and … she came back when I called her … good Coco.

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We bought 2 ice creams and gave one to Dee in the Forge … Coco loves visiting her.

Now it’s Monday … and I’m off to immerse myself in a pile of SKIL2, Life Dreaming & Getting Fit and Fab … Leaves.

Have a great week.

Slan

Liz

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It’s a gorgeous Friday here in Ballinamore.

After the cold and wind (gale force stuff) of yesterday we now have a lovely sunfilled day.

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William popped in to put up the coat hanging piece that he made and gave me … as you can see … there’s no room for coats.

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We sat for a while over a cuppa and chatted about living simply & happily and simple/small house design … our dreams for building our own homes.

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I love living in my cottage … and am blessed with the best neighbour Mags … and now new neighbour William … and still miss my old neighbours Lynda and Derek.

Living in town now for 29 months has meant that I got to know people and feel part of the community.

This blog has really made me feel a part of Ballinamore … I write and photograph … and then people ask me to cover stuff … off to the art exhibition opening tonight.

I was reading some of my older blog posts and came across this one written in Feb 2007 … just over 2 years ago … and the blog was only a month old.

It’s powerful stuff and I felt like another reader … rather than the writer.

Life Dreaming has formed a core part of how I live and dream and plan my life … for nearly 30 years now.

When I wrote the Feb 2007 post … I was about to run a Life Dreaming session in Dublin.

It never happened for a range of reasons … but the Life Dreaming workbook got written and designed … and I put Life Dreaming on the back burner until a month or so ago … when I gave the Life Dreaming workbook away for free (download your copy from the top of this blog).

What I’m trying to say is that I hold to a number of core dreams (develop Life Dreaming with my brother Marc … build my own home … build SKIL2 … blah blah) … the timeline just shifts to meet changing circumstances and opportunities … it’s about being flexible and resilient.

So … here is an excerpt of that post … Feb 2007 … how time flies.

Life Dreaming from the Frontline

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If life throws so many unexpected things at us – what’s the point in dreaming?

Very good question.

Like most people, I’ve had my share of life’s knocks.

How I’ve reacted and dealt with them has formed the woman I am today.

Have you ever looked back on your life and seen those events and moments that ended up being signposts for learning and major decisions?

That moment where … if you’d made a different choice … your life would have taken a very different path?

One moment for me happened when I was 21 or 22.

The man I had been living with went to Sydney from Perth to start a new job and I was to follow a few weeks later.

One morning I opened a letter from him that said he didn’t want me to follow him to Sydney.

That’s the last I ever heard from him (and he had cleaned out our bank account and taken everything we owned with him – including all my books – big bummer).

When I finished reading the letter I lost it for a few minutes and then realised that I had – no money, no job, no place to live and hadn’t finished my degree (oh yeh, and the man I thought loved me had disappeared into the mist) – pretty much bottomed out.

That’s scarey – really scarey.

It all felt way too big to deal with – just too hard. Why me?

I remember so vividly – a question rose from inside me – what do you want to do ?

Stay down and find it just too hard – or – get up and take some control of your life?

From that moment on I vowed that I’d always find a way to get off the floor – find ways to live the life I wanted and not the life other people might want for me – not to just float along.

I found a strength and determination that I had never really tested. I drew on the deep love and support of my family and friends; finished my degree; and got on with living.

Over the years (more than 25) I’ve done a lot of work with communities and organisations in West Australia & Ireland.

I’ve worked with them to reflect and plan their futures – to define their purpose, values and needs – and translate them into real and enduring actions.

I’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with thousands of people on 2 continents.

I get to see passion, purpose and power in action – in places and with people that society has given up on.

Life Dreaming first happened as a result of a woman nagging me to do them. I was working with communities and she wanted me to translate the tools I had developed into a series of workshops for women.

I’ve never had a problem saying No – and that’s what I did.

She obviously never took No for an answer – so a small battle of wills happened over a few months.

Obviously this woman had been sent by a persistent universe because one day I said Yes.

We had the first Life Dreaming in her home in 1992.

If you read my Home Sweet Home blog in Jan (07) or clicked the lizbiz button at the top of the page – you’d see how my values inform everything I do.

For Life Dreaming workshops I wanted to create spaces of beauty and relaxation where women could reflect, laugh, plan and make some choices about their next steps – about making dreams a reality and believing they could do it.

Will all my dreams come true?

Sorry Judy, you’re back in Kansas.

Life Dreamings paradox is that in choosing to have some influence over the choices you make about your life – you also can develop a talent for attracting and thriving on the unexpected.

At the core is a clarity about what drives you and what you value – and that forms the lodestone that helps you make decisions amongst a plethora (or dearth) of options.

So, if life throws us so many unexpected things – what is the point in dreaming?

For me, life without the power to dream – and achieve some of the dreams – is a life with no power, passion, purpose, meaning or celebration.

As this is the only life I remember, I want it to be full of fun, beauty, generosity, and sheer delight – and I want to have a part in shaping it.

It’s that simple -and yeh, that complex.

Reading that post again just reaffirmed why I do what I do.

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Writing this blog over the last 2 1/2 years has been so much fun … and it helps me think through and clarify ideas that would only wander around in my head.

And all you wonderful readers … and my delightful commentators … make me want to write … about things that are important to me … and all the great stuff that happens here in Ballinamore.

Thanks for reading.

Slan

Liz

p.s And here’s Coco contemplating the universe … or not …

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p.s.s

It’s been a busy and happy day dear reader

I had a lovely lunch in Smyths with Dee … love their vege soup.

Then spent 3 hours working over in Eamonn and Noleens garden centre. I want to get as much hands on experience as I can in gardening and plants. I had a great time sorting all the plants … it delights the designer in me.

Apart from the last 5 minutes (when it bucketed down with rain) I had a great time in the sunshine.

Came home and spent the last 3 hours updating a series of posts I did in 2007 on sustainable building and living.

You can read all about it on the page at the top of this blog.

I spent a while today finding and uploading (and referencing) some good photos … and added the sites from this weeks Simplicity post … and a few more I found in my ramblings this afternoon.

I’m off for a shower now and am out to the opening of a solo art exhibition down the street … will have photos tomorrow.

I’m missing the big GAA dinner dance tonight but have a photo spy there who will send me some photos.

Have a lovely weekend.

slan

Liz

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photo by Eddi on flickr

Happy Saturday to you.

So how’s it all going?

Feeling excited and enthused about life?

Exploring new ideas and ways to engage in the world and your community and family?

Or … sitting in a slump dump of despair because it’s just all too hard … or maybe … too comfortable?

photo by Eddi on flickr

Your choice.

I read a great article in Copyblogger this morning at 7.00am (I have to put down the time because … it’s Saturday … it’s 7.00am … I’m Liz the Loller) and here’s a few quotes …

And if you look back over most of the time we human beings have been on the planet, you realize that it’s in our nature to be entrepreneurs.

In most times, most people created something valuable, then arranged to exchange that for something else.

... today’s version of self-reliance is unimaginable luxury in comparison. You’re highly unlikely to get eaten by a saber-toothed tiger, if you get appendicitis it probably won’t kill you, and if you need to figure out how to do something, you can tap into the better part of human knowledge at any public library.

great ideas Because in the emerging economy, the means of production are between your ears.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t (necessarily) about making physical things any more. The value you can create now comes from your own wisdom, perceptiveness, style, intelligence, flexibility, and creativity.

Even if you’re making an object, it’s the design and intelligence you put into that object that make it valuable, not the physical molecules.

In every market, you win by offering people what they want and need.

The winners in the new marketplace will sell information, road maps, digital tools, education, and entertainment—often, all contained within one product.

The human being is an inherently creative, flexible, resilient creature.

You are an inherently creative, flexible, resilient creature.

The times may well get worse before they get better. But compared with a lot of history’s darker moments, this one’s pretty comfortable.

Spot on.

I think we need a counterinsurgency of positive + practical + value driven people … and I’m doing my very best to be part of it all.

Roll on the Revolution.


photo by Eddi on flickr

Here’s something I wrote to a woman I talked with this week.

She belongs to an organisation in a rural community and I had rung her to talk about something else … and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to see if she was one of the revolutionaries … and she was.

They have a sign in their office that says

Doom & Gloom Free Zone

So … here’s an excerpt of what I wrote her

WARNINGthere is a lot of strong positive language in this text … look away if you want to stay in the slump dump



photo by Eddi on flickr

It was a real pleasure talking with you today.

We covered quite a bit in our conversation and this is a brief sense of the key points as I remember them:

  • your organisation can (and probably already is) a community hub a place to build skills and confidence. … it’s a central point for people to be informed … to have their say …to get support and connect with others
  • i believe that organisations such as yours have a huge role to play in sending out positive and practical messages to the community … ok … we are in a  recession and that’s a challenge … it’s also an opportunity
  • a few years ago people talked about being Cash Rich and Time Poor … now? It’s reversing and we are more likely to be Time Rich and Cash OKthe challenge will be to see what choices we make to INVEST our time (hopefully better than we invested our money)  … how can we use our time to support ourselves … our families … our community.
  • I believe that we need to explore old and new ways to be together as a community … learn from the experience of our elders … utilise new social media to connect, engage and enthuse people … change all this negative self talk and draw on the real power that resides in each of us and the community … to build and celebrate who and what we are … to barter … use LETS … make thrifty cool … sooo many ways and ideas …
  • Become the Celebrating Community organisation … the practical good news and ideas place … a place to inspire and support community

What we’re seeing globally is a huge moan fest (and rightly so … we need to understand what happened) … a belief and sense that it’s all too hard … that we’re powerless

Pardon my french … that’s bullshit.

We have to be careful that we don’t become what we believe … a huge negative self fulfilling prophecy.

If we can develop negative self talk and beliefs … we can do the opposite … develop positive self talk and beliefs and then link them to practical actions that benefit individuals and their communities.

Let’s reframe it all and think about everything we have and can develop that isn’t always about money.

We have intelligence + imagination + resilience + creativity + passion + persistence + so much more …

I send you big wishes for the continues success of your organisation.

If you want to join my revolution … sign up today


photo by Eddi on flickr

Requirements?

  • a belief that you have the power to make a difference
  • a passion for living your values in a practical & positive way
  • lots of great ideas
  • a love of listening + talking + connecting with positive and practical people
  • a willingness to take some risks and leap into the amazing unknown
  • a wish to help and support others in this amazing revolution/evolution
  • a need to have fun in the process … this is a revolution that reveres a sense of humour and perspective
  • the knowledge that it won’t be easy … and … we have the capacity and tenacity to make the changes … make the difference

photo by Eddi on flickr

Can’t wait to hear from you.

Have a wonderful weekend

Slan

Liz

p.s I loved these photos I found by a woman called Eddi. The photos are displayed within Commons License copyright. Go visit her site and enjoy the images.

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Morning folks.

At least this morning I got to get up at my normal (for me) early hour of 7.30am.

Yesterday I was up at 5.30am (after doing that thing where you wake up every hour to check what time it is!) and I gotta tell you folks … I’d prefer to be coming home than getting up at that time.

I was catching the 6.45am train to Dublin to conduct 7 interviews for a client.

Thanks Dee for getting out of your bed and driving me to Dromod station.

You’re a star.

Here I am looking unbelievably cheerful for that hour of the morning.

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And the cold and dark station … by the way there’s a great little transport museum here … well worth a visit … no … not at 6.45am.

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Busy but very engaging day interviewing workers and managers in a major national organisation for a strategic review.

When I got to the building where I was doing the interviewing … I realised it was across the road from where I used to live before I moved out of Dublin … lovely to see my old apartment … the basement one on the right with the panel of windows.

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I’ve always wished/attracted/found apartments by rivers or canals … the last 4 places in the past 13 (lucky for some) years. This is the view I used to have from my basement window.

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And … I chose to enjoy the 40 minute walk in the freezing cold … so many people to watch … city folk sure walk fast Paw!

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I love visiting cities … and … I love living in a small rural town. Best of both worlds.

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You know folks … it’s a delight to interview people who say ‘I love my work and the people here”.

I always say that there are 2 key factors to personal and professional motivation … SKILL & WILL.

If you don’t have the skills … no worries … we’ll find a way to build them up.

If you don’t have the will … then let’s explore whether it’s internal (attitude/self talk) or external (environmental factors).

If you just can’t be arsed … don’t waste my time.

When people tell me they are ‘stuck’ in a work place I ask them to explore what they might be able to do to ‘unstick’:

  • explore what facets of the job you enjoy and focus energy on them … when we are in a negative space we often filter information to ‘prove‘ that there’s no sunshine and heaps of pig manure … we magnify the crap and minimise the sunshine … there is always something that’s working or we enjoy … go find it!
  • explore what facets of the job are bothering you and then see if [a] you have the power/energy/influence to change them … or … [b] they are outside of your power/energy/influence. If [a] then develop a strategy for change. If [b] … let it go. Too many people spend time worrying about things that they have no power or influence over.
  • explore how much of the situation is about your attitude and self talk ... and decide whether you want to change them. Personally. .. I do this a lot. If I find myself moaning too often then I see if I can change my attitude about the situation or person.
  • if all this fails … leave the job. You are not chained to it … you can leave. And yup … you can face the consequences of that decision … a sense of freedom/fear/elation … less/more income … people thinking you wonderful/crazy. You make the decision and you work on the next steps and the next steps … and so on ……………..

Ultimately my dear dear reader … you have no power or control over other peoples reactions.

Stop spending energy on what you have no power over … you are not a gerbil in one of those wheely things.

Your fundamental power resides in your capacity to decide and choose your attitude and actions in any situation … and just get on with it.

Where was I?

Oh yeh … in Dublin interviewing bright and motivated workers and managers … heaven on a stick.

Back on the 7pm train ( as I was waiting a woman came up to me and said ‘ I just walked past you and had to come back and tell you how much I love your coat … it’s so cheerful in these gloomy times. ‘I smiled and thanked her … that’s why I bought the coat 5 years ago … because it’s really bright and cheerful and we have quite a few gray days in Ireland … it makes me and other people smile)  and in Dromod just after 9pm.

Adrian had sorted a lift for me with his folks … thanks Mary (a lovely lady and one of my regular readers … morning Mary) and Joey.

Went to Mags to get my house key … she had kindly looked after Coco pup.

Walked in and the dogs were jumping all over each other having a great time … Coco kind of looked at me as if to say ‘ yeh … hi Mum … having too much fun with my friends … talk to you later’.

Slept well last night and up again for a busy few days doing about 10 phone interviews for this contract … all really interesting.

My Life Dreaming workbook is being downloaded all over the place.

My new SKIL2 KM/Chaos/Complexity mentor in Australia just did a post on Life Dreaming on her blog … Thinking Shift … I’ll be interested to see if I get more downloads today.

Better get the fire going … it’s freezing today and I want to be warm.

Have a good one folks.

Slan

Liz

p.s. I tracked this company down after reading about them on one of the many sites/blogs that I rss to my igoogle page.

They create and design really lovely pieces of furniture from Cardboard … and they are in Paris.

They are called les Cartonnistes … have a look at their site for a visual treat.

Fab … add them to my growing list of reasons to visit Paris as a present for my 50th birthday year.

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You’d think that living in a small rural town ( in the County with the lowest population density in Ireland)  might be a little … isolated?

Surely I’d meet more people living in a city … people who could support my social enterprises?

Well wonderful (and deeply attractive) reader … you’d be wrong.

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Living in Ballinamore makes me deeply happy … it has become the core of my sense of peace and contentment …  and having that core … allows me to make leaps of imagination and risk I might not take if I lived somewhere else.

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Small is good.

I am surrounded by the best neighbours and friends a woman could ask for … people who look out for me (and I them) … people who (rarely) bat an eyelid as I talk about Life Dreaming and SKIL2 … they take delight in what I do … even if they aren’t quite sure what it is!

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And … Ballinamore has broadband.

It enables me to write this blog … email my brother Marc in Singapore as we develop Life Dreaming and SKIL2 … email family, friends and clients … research and learn online … connect on social networks …

It connects me to people I would never have met.

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Here’s an example of the serendipity and synchronicity that happens for me.

A woman left a comment on this blog yesterday.

Kim had read about Life Dreaming on Marcs blog and downloaded the workbook. She wanted to thank me for giving it away free (just click on the Life Dreaming button at the top of the blog for your free copy).

I read every comment people leave … and if the person has a blog or site … I go visit … it’s just neighbourly.

I visited Kims site and was fascinated by what she did … knowledge management lecturer and consultant … a Masters in Chaos and Complexity Science … an interest in empowerment of individuals and communities …

A kindred spirit.

I emailed her and introduced myself.

I told her about SKIL2 and asked her if she would be my SKIL2 KM/ Chaos/Complexity mentor … because what I’m trying to create in SKIL2 is an online learning space that captures and shares the complex and chaotic elements of workplace learning.

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Yeh … there’s a teeny tiny challenge … my learning curve is vertical folks.

She replied this morning that she’s love to be a SKIL2 Mentor … very cool.

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I now have SKIL2 Mentors in … design (Marc) … learning technology … computer coding … social media … KM/chaos & complexity … Joomla … global mentors that I found by wandering online and visiting heaps of sites and blogs … and then asking people to help …

My motto … you don’t ask you don’t get (and my other one is … moderation in excess … and excess in moderation)

Kim has a lot of great plans and she wants to use my Life Dreaming Workbook to focus and refine them … and every time someone says that the workbook is useful … I feel delighted and humbled.

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So … from reading Marcs blog … to leaving a comment on my blog … to me emailing Kim … to her replying … a connection of mutual benefit has been made.

I love how that happens.

I also love how many wonderful … complex … creative … and value driven … people there are in the world.

OK … the economy stinksand … there are literally millions of people who have hope and confidence and the guts … to create the lives they want to lead.

A life and a community that is not driven by doom and gloom.

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A life and community that has a belief and hope in its capacity … and audacity … to create amazing enterprises … to look out for their neighbours … to value the kindness and courage and sheer bloody persistence that’s in people.

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A life and community where people are prepared to try new (old) ways of living … barter … cooperatives … community gardens … skill sharing … recycling

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That’s not just my dream … it’s a reality… it’s so very doable.

So … I get to live in a great town … and … meet people around the world online who encourage and support me … as I hope I do for them.

Doesn’t get much better than that folks.

One more cool thing … Sharon (Cannaboe Confectionary) ... emailed me yesterday to say that some of my readers had gone to her site and ordered chocolates to be delivered … to other countries.

Some lucky people will soon be eating the chocolates … and all because they were online … read my blog … and linked to Sharon’s site.

Now … Sharon has a quality and value offering … and … she has a site that lets the world know about it … and she links to other sites and blogs.

That can only help create new customers.

By the way … if you’re an enterprising Ballinamore business and want me to link your site to this blog … leave me a note.

And … no … I don’t charge anyone to promote their businesses … that way I can write about who I want … and … I believe very strongly in our small Ballinamore businesses.

Did I tell you that Coco had me out of bed at 7am … on a Sunday … that’s why I’m writing at 8.30am!

Back to bed for a read and a cuppa.

Slan

Liz

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I love days like today … and I have a lot of them.

I had plans and they were open to any serendipity that happened through the day.

Coco pup had me out of bed at 7.30am … gone are the days when I wouldn’t get out of bed before 11 am … or later.

I had brekky and caught up on a pile of emails … some with my brother Marc as we plot the Life Dreaming adventure … some with readers of my blog … then checked all the rrs’d sites and blogs that I read … over a dozen or so on a range of topics.

Talked with a client in Dublin and organised my trip there for next week.

Time to get some fresh air and take Coco to Lock 5.

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The sun was beaming down … even though the wind was very chilly.

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It felt like the first real day of sunshine and I wanted to immerse my self in it before the clouds came along … as they will.

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We had a great time … me strolling along enjoying the sun … the sound of the birds … that lovely sparkle on the water … and the first baby lamb.

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Coco just going demented (she’s like the anti zen … or maybe a living zen) and running up and down … going really still if she saw a sheep or bird … then she runs and runs and runs … smiling all the way… I just love her … the sheer joy she lives … makes me laugh out loud.

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Back for lunch and a quick hello to Dee and Mags.

Dropped in to Therese Hamill … my good friend and neighbour for a cuppa and a lovely chat by the fire for an hour or so.

Then took Eoin Hamill for a treat as his two older siblings are away on holidays … we had a lovely time over fizzy drinks in the Supavalu cafe.

We debated all the words we want to hang from the trees in the Sunny Funny Garden … lots and lots of words will be there.

Home again and I took Coco for another walk … then some work … and now I’m writing the blog.

The clouds gathered this afternoon … as I predicted.

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And now for some excellent news.

My favourite maker of cakes and chocolates … Sharon Sweeney (Cannaboe Confectionary) has opened an online Chocolate shop.


Now folks … Sharon has a wonderful range of handmade chocolates full of ganache that she makes herself … and she already delivers locally.

  • The milk choc – one filled with an orange flavoured ganache and the other a whiskey or brandy (whatever is handy) ganache.

  • The white choc – one filled with a Irish cream liquour ganache and the other a coffee and whiskey ganache (I call it an Irish coffee flavour).

  • The dark choc – one with a mint fondant and the other a rum ganache with a raisin. The chocolate itself is Belgian.

All you lovely people who don’t live in Ballinamore ( and I’m so sorry you can’t live in this little piece of heaven … come visit) can now order Sharon’s chocolates online.

She currently has two boxes available and I’m sure she would put together a bigger or different mix if you asked real nice.

Really … do yourself a great big favour … and treat yourself to her chocs.

If her chocolates were a person … I would be in love … forever … a devoted relationship … I would never stray.

Sharon’s Chocolate Shop

Go visit her site to see amazing photos of her decorated cakes and chocolates.

And more lovely news (life is just full of good news) … a wonderful reader and fellow blogger … Anne Richards … emailed to thank me for the Life Dreaming Workbook.

From Anne’s blog

She wanted to send me a donation for the workbook and we had a funny time sorting that out … many thanks Anne.

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Anyway … I suggested that she use the money to buy a few bees and call them Liz Biz Bees.

Well … she took that idea and grew it.

She and her husband are now going to name a whole new hive (they lost 3 hives this winter) … Liz Biz Bees … how cool is that?

And there’s more … she’s registered Liz Biz Bees as a website and will be telling the story of the hive as it grows … how bees do their job … what makes them happy … and sad … what we are doing to kill bees … they are literally disappearing … how bees are a sign of health or illness on earth.

The hive has 60,000 bees … unbelievable.

Anne has invited me and the Sunny Funny Garden gang to name some of the bees … and I think we’ll invite locals … school children … and Liz Biz readers … to choose a few names for ‘their’ bees.

Jeez … there’s 60,000 after all … and a lot of them look alike.

Check out Annes blog and read about her passion for bees.

I’m very excited as I’ve always wanted to learn about beekeeping … and  the Liz Biz Bees Hive will now teach us all online.

Photo from Anne’s blog

We’ll be able to follow the seasons and the development of the hive … and ask questions along the way.

Magic happens all the time on this blog and through Life Dreaming … it even sends me into a bit of a spin sometimes … how the serendipity and synchronicity of it all brings people together … how ideas develop ... how things can become a reality with the support of people you’ve never seen … and all from the computers of people like me living in small towns and cities … remarkable.

Finally Finally … just had a lovely visit from Miriam. She told me that there are still a few places left on the Build Your Own Wind Turbine course starting in Ballinamore next Thursday. Go to their site for details.

I hope your week has been going well.

I have to go deal with the dirt fairies and goblins that crept in since I cleaned on Monday … it’s war… and I’m losing.

Slan

Liz

p.s. This photo of Coco cracks me up. She is obsessed with flies and birds … I think she believes that flies are just small birds … I wish.

Anyway … she will climb over anything (including me) to watch a fly on the wall … and then chase it round the room … she looks at me to kill the fly … and then she eats it … a kind of posh survival of the fittest.

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Yup … that is Coco balanced on the back of the couch …staring down a fly … mad dog… kinda takes after her mother.

p.s.s – was walking down the street today and sighed as I walked past the Moo Bar sign … then later in the day I was walking down the street again … and Brent was taking down the sign … sigh … all gone.

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