Galloping to Greatness • Lubbock, Texas • 806.795.7555 • Margo@GallopingtoGreatness.com

Margo’s Blog

Aug 062015

Creating New Paradigms

Wow! I was looking at some of my stuff today and realized that I haven’t written a blog post in FOREVER! I have absolutely no excuses and offer no apologies. Somehow, it just didn’t get done.

So….I thought today might be a good day to get back into the swing of things and get my motivation on.

Some of you know that I recently retired from my long time job as a vocational rehab counselor. The truth is, I’ve worked for someone else since I was 16 and now I find myself free to do what I please. This is a good thing for me, but I find I have to form new paradigms for my life, especially now that I have more time to devote to my business.

I’ve had to do this many times in my life. When I’ve changed jobs, moved, finished school, started a new job, lost someone I love. Change always requires a new way of being in the world.

So for now I’m feeling my way though this retirement thing and this being an entrepreneur thing. Both are completely new territories for me. I confess, I haven’t found my new paradigm yet, but that’s OK.

What I do know is that the fun is in the adventure. I’m creating a new place in my world and in my way of being in the world. The possibilities are limitless. Like shopping for new shoes, I’ll keep trying things on until they fit.

Mar 302014

Should or Could?

Last weekend I found myself with a little extra time. I had a long list of things I wanted to accomplish during this rare occasion so I jumped right in and got started even though I really didn’t feel like doing it. The longer I sat and tried to work, the more frustrated and tired I became. I was uninspired and felt like I HAD to do this right now. I kept thinking that I have so little time to devote to my business I shouldn’t waste this opportunity. So, like a good little soldier I attempted to push through and get it done.

It was a colossal mistake. The harder I tried, the worse it got. Nothing was working out like I wanted. The work I was completing was terrible and I was unhappy with the results. My frustration grew and grew, but still I carried on trying to force the flow of creativity and inspiration.

After several hours of this madness, I finally threw in the towel and walked away. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true. I read, I watched TV, I took a walk, I sat on the patio and contemplated the vastness of nature and the universe. I played with the cats. I gave myself a pedicure. I stopped thinking about work and my to-do list and allowed myself to just BE.

Once or twice during that time the little gremlin in my head told me I shouldn’t be wasting my time. It told me I should be doing something productive for my business. But, guess what? I took the advice of the great Tony Robbins and turned my should into could.  I COULD work on my business, or I COULD read a book. I COULD write my blog, or I COULD sit on the patio and enjoy the warm spring day.  I COULD get a lot accomplished, but I CHOSE not to. Instead I chose me.

It’s interesting how that works. Suddenly I was operating from choice. The guilt melted away along with the have to’s, should have’s, and gotta get it done’s. In stepping back and recognizing that I have a choice, the space opened up around me and I began to relax and enjoy the day. Wow! What a difference! I woke up the next morning with so many inspirational ideas I couldn’t write them down fast enough. I felt amazingly refreshed and ready to tackle anything that came up. Everything flowed.

By opening up that space and giving myself permission to chose, I was able to honor me. I was able to let go of all the self induced pressure to get things done. I COULD have, but I didn’t. It’s that simple. It’s amazing how one little word can change everything.

So, today I’m going to ask you……what would happen if you turn your shoulds into coulds?

Jan 052014

2014 The Year of the Horse

Wow! What an auspicious year! As I crawled in bed on New Year’s Eve I was excited and looking forward to stepping into the New Year and all the new possibilities it would bring. I could hardly wait to begin. I fell asleep thinking of all the many things I wanted to accomplish and envisioned them done. Sadly, when I woke up on New Year’s Day my back was full of knots, my neck and head hurt and all I could think was ugh, what a way to start the New Year.

As I got up and made my way to the kitchen for my first glass of tea (it’s always iced here in Texas), I began to ask my body what on earth was going on. What was it trying to tell me? The answer was surprising. The little voice in my head kept saying go into the magic room. You see, I do have a room in my house that has never been used for anything else other than magic. It’s where I go to meditate, do yoga, read cards, whatever strikes my fancy. It is a sacred space that I created years ago just for me. It is filled with treasures big and small that I have collected over the years and learned to utilize in my life, things like crystals, statues, essential oils, herbs, books. The list goes on and on.

As I walked into the room I had an overwhelming sense of coming home. It was then I realized that I’ve hardly even walked into the room for a very long time. The last couple of years have been so busy, that I somehow forgot it was even there and available to me any time I needed to step back and take a breath, or to momentarily disconnect. I walked around the room, just looking at the things it contained. I picked up a few things that called to me and contemplated their place in my life and how they came to be here. I remembered the gifts they were to me and the time I used them every day. I picked up my drum and began to play. I rummaged through my oils and opened each one to inhale the scent. I sat in silence for awhile just breathing and enjoying the feeling of peace washing over me. I could feel the knots in my back begin to loosen and my shoulders begin to relax.

Ahhhh, thank you body! Now I understand. Even though I eat fairly healthy, and exercise (not as much as I should I admit), I have been so wrapped up in trying to develop my business while taking care of the day to day necessities that I forgot the most important thing: taking care of my beingness. I forgot to allow myself the time to sit quietly and connect with my higher self and spirit. I forgot how sometimes small rituals can change the energy and create a flow. I forgot how important it is to allow myself time to just BE, without any agenda.

Holy Cow! It’s the one thing that I KNOW above all else. It’s the one thing that I encourage people to do all the time. It’s the one thing that is essential to my well being. But, I forgot.

As I walked out of the room I could feel the change in my body, my spirit, my energy. Creative ideas were flowing and I couldn’t make note of them fast enough. I felt a sense of well-being, a sense of connection, a sense of peace. Yes, I think the Year of the Horse will be a very good one indeed. I just have to remember to stay connected to me.

What can you do to stay connected to you?

Oct 052013

The Art of Being Perfect

For most of my life I felt a strong need to be perfect. I wanted to please other people and wanted them to value me. My mother was always worried about “what the neighbors would think” and she inadvertently instilled in me the need to live up to the standards of other people. When I attempted to rebel I was made to feel guilty or wrong somehow. As a result, I spent years worrying about what other people would think of me.

When I moved out on my own, I was reluctant to allow anyone to come into my home unless it was spotless. Even so, the whole time they were there I would fret over whether or not they would see something out of place, or a bit of dust I had missed in the corner. I always felt I was being judged (although that was far from true). It certainly wasn’t an enjoyable way to spend time with friends.

When I went to work, I was terrified of making a mistake. When I did, I felt humiliated and wanted to try and explain it away in defense of myself. I was sometimes argumentative and difficult, all because I was worried that I wasn’t good enough unless I was perfect. The funny thing is, I was always very forgiving of others. Somehow, I just couldn’t be forgiving of myself.

One day about 20+ years ago, after the ending of a disastrous relationship, I made up my mind to do everything I could to heal myself. I devoted my time to learning anything and everything I could that would lead me to peace and healing. Strangely, one of the first lessons I learned was how very difficult it is to try to be perfect. It takes an enormous amount of energy and is a huge drain on the spirit.

The truth is, we are human and we are not meant to be perfect. It is our flaws that make us beautiful. It is our vulnerabilities that allow us to connect deeply with each other. It is our differences that make us the unique individuals that we are. In embracing and honoring our not so perfect selves we are set free to share with the world our beautiful gifts and talents. We are relieved of the burden of stress caused by worrying about what everything else thinks. By accepting our imperfectness, we allow ourselves to truly live life, to be present, to enjoy, and to revel in the realization that by being imperfect we are perfect.

I never mastered the art of being perfect. And I’m so glad I didn’t. In letting go of the need to please everyone else and worrying about what everyone else thought, I learned to like me. I learned to embrace my imperfectness and to laugh at my mistakes. I found peace in the fact that I can be who I am without fear of judgment. And I learned that other people’s opinions are theirs and theirs alone and have nothing to do with me.

So, I ask you: Where in your life are you trying to be perfect? And what would happen if you could let go and be who you really are?

Aug 092013

Who is a Caregiver?

Most people identify with the word caregiver in some way or another. The word itself evokes images of devoted children taking care of elderly parents. Some identify it with parents or more commonly, parents of children with special needs. Others think of paid professionals who come to the home or work in skilled nursing facilities. There are a few who see the word as a description of those who care for rescued animals and still others who think of environmental warriors attempting to care for our big beautiful planet and all the living beings both plant and animal that reside here. Some immediately think of doctors, nurses and therapists. All of these are correct. They are all caregivers.

What I find interesting, however, is that no one realizes that we are all caregivers. It doesn’t matter if we have someone else or something else to take care of. Our primary responsibility is to take care of ourselves. In order to function in the world even on a primitive level, we must care for ourselves first.

Our ancestors spent a great deal of time focusing on food, shelter, and safety. Today we take most of those things for granted in this country. But we still must care for ourselves if we are to step forward and share our gifts and talents with others. We cannot be expected to care for anyone or anything else if we cannot care for us. When our energy becomes depleted, we become tired, sick, depressed. How are we to take care of anyone else when that happens? How effective can we be? What contributions can we make when we are exhausted or ill? What light can we shine in the world when we are angry, resentful, and feeling lost?

Taking care of you goes far beyond basic needs. It encompasses mind, body, and spirit. It means allowing yourself to get plenty of rest, to eat healthy food to keep your body energized, to set aside time for introspection, prayer, or meditation. It means doing things and being with people who make your heart sing with joy. Taking care of you in whatever ways you require should be your number one priority.

So next time you hear the word caregiver, think of yourself. Be your own caregiver first. Love and appreciate you. Then step out into the world and share your time and attention with others.

 

 

Jul 042013

Who would you call?

I read a quote the other day from Steven Lavine. It went like this: “If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call to make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?”

That got me thinking about my life and how quickly time passes. As a child it seemed I would never grow up. Then suddenly I was. Even at 20, 30, 40, it seemed like I had all the time in the world. Life was just really beginning as I grew into myself. I lost people of course. Some walked away, some moved away, and some left the planet expectedly and unexpectedly. But still, I carried on secure in the knowledge that I had time.

The truth is that we don’t know how much time we have and we can take nothing for granted. Life is busy. Lots of things get in the way. But most of the things that get in the way aren’t really all that important. We put far more value on our schedules and to do list than is warranted. Especially today with all the technology and conveniences available to us you would think we’d have more time. But all these things just make life more complicated and we don’t even realize it.

When is the last time you whiled away an evening just sitting on the porch talking to your family, friends, and neighbors? Most houses don’t even have porches anymore. A testament I suppose to our busy lives. Even home builders recognize that we no longer treasure those special moments of connection with the people around us. We have privacy fences to cocoon us in our small little worlds where we feel safe. We have more interaction with the television and the computer than we do with our friends and neighbors.

I think we always believe that we can do it tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll make time after we take care of all the things on our list today. Tomorrow we can squeeze in a few minutes, just not today. Tomorrow we can……But what if tomorrow never comes? Does it really matter if the house doesn’t get cleaned today, the car doesn’t get washed, and the email doesn’t get sent?

So, I’ll ask you: “If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call to make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?”

Jun 042013

Life is such an amazing adventure.

Don’t believe me? Not many of us are famous or spend our lives doing daring feats. Adventure conjures up visions of climbing mountains, sailing the seas, exploring jungles and finding lost civilizations or traveling to exotic lands.

Most of us would say we live ordinary lives where nothing special happens. Just like everyone else we go about our day to day business trying to make a living. We find little snippets of happiness here and there. Sometimes we have mini-adventures, vacations and trips. Or maybe something unexpected happens that thrusts us into a world far outside our comfort zone. We love and we lose. We laugh and we cry. We live and learn. And in the process of living our lives we too often become complacent. We fail to see what’s really all around us every day. We get caught up in the mundane details that each day brings. But have you ever really taken the time to look at your life? How did you end up where you are right now? Life rarely goes from point A to point B. There are hundreds or thousands of twists and turns.

Someone recently asked me what I wanted to be when I was five years old. I had to stop and consider my life for a moment. Most certainly my five year old self could never have imagined most of the experiences that have led me to where I am now. At five, ten, fifteen, and even twenty, I imagined a life far different than the one I’ve had. And in looking back I realize that my life has been an amazing adventure. I’ve never travelled to exotic lands or sailed the high seas, but I’ve seen the beauty of each day. I’ve seen the best and worst of human nature. I’ve made good choices and bad ones. I’ve met amazing people and had interesting conversations deep into the night. I’ve sung and I’ve danced and experienced gut wrenching heartbreak only to find joy on the other side. I’ve loved and lost and loved again. I’ve made mistakes and taken a few wrong turns. But those wrong turns taught me lessons I would otherwise not have learned and shown me things I needed to see.

Our lives are like a tapestry. They’re woven together from thousands of small experiences, relationships, and choices. We hang them on the wall of our memories, a beautiful testimonial of our adventures, both good and bad. Today, I invite you to take a look at the tapestry of your life. Ordinary is not always as ordinary as it seems at first glance. What amazing adventures have you experienced?