Filtering by Tag: path

“Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better… I do believe I have been changed for the better. Because I knew you…I have been changed…For good.”

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better… I do believe I have been changed for the better. Because I knew you…I have been changed…For good.
— Stephen Schwartz, Wicked

This past weekend, I traveled to Boston for my 10-year college reunion. 10 years?!?! Crazy! It was nostalgic to be back on campus, re-visit the studios I spent hours of my time working in, have a drink at the local watering hole, and see all the new facilities the school has to offer. Even though it has been 10 years and the school did look different, it also felt the same. There was an energy and comfort of being back at a place I considered “home” for a pivotal part of my journey.

In the evening, there was a performance (typical Emerson College) and a dance party (even more typical Emerson College). I spent the night dancing and singing with old friends and some new additions. It got me thinking of the song “For Good” from the show Wicked. I remember using many of the lyrics from this song as I signed people’s yearbooks during senior week (I know…crazy musical theater kid). As I listened to the song on my drive back, the lyrics hit me even stronger. There are people who aren’t as big a presence in my life now as they were in college, but they will always be a part of my story and who I am today. There are people in my life now that have a huge presence that weren’t even in my life 10 years ago, but I look forward to how they continue to help me write my story.

People come and go throughout our lives. Sometimes not always in a happy way, but it is important to remember that everyone we meet has a purpose in our lives. If we are open to receiving what they have to offer us, even if our time together is short, it will be meaningful. Relationships can also change over time, and that is OK. Just because your relationship with someone may not be as strong as it was in the past does not mean that it is not important. If we can approach these shifts with understanding, love, and openness we can then continue to find space for the relationship in our life, even if it takes on a different shape.   

The next few days as I continued processing what was an amazing weekend, I realized the expectations I had for myself by my 10-year reunion. Of course I would be married, have at least 1 child, be successful in my chosen career, and maybe finally be able to give back a donation to the school that actually had an impact. Though none of those expectations have been met to the extent I had hoped for, I wasn’t bothered by it. In that moment, I realized how much I have grown in the last 10 years. The younger Stephanie would have gotten depressed and felt like I had failed. I would have compared myself to all the friends I reconnected with who did have some of those things and wondered what was wrong with me. Instead, I stepped back and gave thanks for all the amazing adventures, opportunities, jobs, and people I have been blessed with since that graduation date. I realized that what I have now is actually much more than what I could have ever imagined 10 years ago. Maybe the path hasn’t always been completely straight or even a noticeable path at times, but it has been the perfect path for me.

I am so happy and proud of how much all my college friends and I have accomplished in just 10 years (now it doesn’t seem like that much time at all). We have all grown into wonderful, kind, impactful artists, parents, activists, and voices in the world. I can’t wait to see what another 10 years bring for each of us! Emerson College is more than just an institution. It is a place where I, among many other enthusiastic students, was challenged creatively, academically, and personally. “So much of me is made of what I learned from you.” There is not a day that goes by in my life that I am not utterly thankful for being part of such a beautiful community.

 

Do you need guidance and support navigating the shifts of your path? I would love to help you through your process! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

“There is no ‘right’ way; find ‘your’ way.”

There is no ‘right’ way; find ‘your’ way.
— Stephanie Simpson

I've always been fascinated with people's stories of how they got to where they are. I find it interesting to learn about the different pathways they took, the opportunities they had, and the choices they made. To be honest, when I was younger many times I was interested because I wanted to know the steps they took to get where they were so that I could do the same thing. If it worked for them, and I could do what they did then I would succeed too. 

As an educator and coach, two of the most frequent questions I am asked are: "Am I doing this right?" and "Can you just tell me how to do it so I can get the good grade/reach my personal goal.” These questions are being asked by students and clients of all ages. My response is always the same: “There is no right way and there is no wrong way; you have to find your way.”

When facilitating a dance class, my students can be be frustrated by this response, but they do end up letting go and begin to actual engage in the process. They begin making their own decisions, trying different things out, problem solving, collaborating, etc. I find the most enjoyment watching this process. Then I get to see their final product, which in many cases is way beyond anything I would have "told" them to do. Now, I realize as we get older and my clients are applying to colleges or making career/major life changes, there may be more at stake than choreographing a short dance study, but my advice stays the same.

We have been told our whole lives by other people what we should do and how we should do it but what do they really know? They are basing it on beliefs they have learned from others or their own beliefs. There may be a “typical” track that one takes to get from point A to point B. For example, if you want to become a doctor, you typically want to get into a high academic college/university and make sure you have a solid transcript in order to get into medical school. Is that to say if you don’t accomplish this “track,” you won’t become a doctor? No, not at all. Is it guaranteed that if you follow this “track” precisely that you will get the outcome you want? Again, nothing is guaranteed.

We are all individuals. We have different backgrounds, different passions, different wants and desires. So it is only natural that our stories and pathways are also going to be different. When you finally release yourself from the idea that there is a "right" way to do something or get somewhere and you begin to believe in yourself, in your ability to make decisions to create your own beautiful story, that is when you find "your" way. And you know what, that is the best way. Making decisions that resonate with your authentic self whether that is the "more typical" path or not is always the correct decision for you. Your path doesn't need to look like the person’s path next to you. In fact, it shouldn't. 

I still love hearing people's stories, but now I listen with a different lens. I love them because I love hearing the many ways people have found happiness and purpose in their lives. Each person you meet has a story and his/her story is inspiring. Take the time to ask and listen mindfully. And don’t be afraid to share your story because it, too, is inspiring and perfect.

 

Do you need help finding “your way?” I would love to guide and support you through your process! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min discovery call and to hear more about packages.

 

"The key element of an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself. Even if initially undertaken for other reasons, the activity that consumes us becomes intrinsically rewarding."

The key element of an optimal experience is that it is an end in itself. Even if initially undertaken for other reasons, the activity that consumes us becomes intrinsically rewarding
— Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Last week during one of my middle school dance classes, we were talking about pathways. When I asked the students to tell me what are some examples of pathways in life, one girl answered “the pathway to a career.” Though not the answer I was looking for, she was absolutely correct. I was looking for more tangible pathways like hallways, a staircase, or a dirt road. My student’s response stuck with me. I started thinking back on my pathway to a career, and oh boy has it been curvy, sometimes filled with diagonals, other times seemingly random, but without all the twists and turns I wouldn’t be where I am now and who I am now.

This week I would like to focus on the “Flow Theory.” Flow is a state of consciousness that needs to be obtained in order to feel genuinely satisfied in an optimal experience. Optimal experiences are sometimes thought of as being major events like a performance or a game or getting the job you always wanted, but really our entire life should be one optimal experience. Csikszentmihalyi, the creator of the Flow Theory, identifies eight major components:

-       A challenging activity that requires skills

-       The merging of action and awareness

-       Clear goals

-       Timely feedback

-       Concentration on the task at hand

-       The paradox of control

-       The loss of self-consciousness

-       The transformation of time

We have all experienced Flow at some point in our life. When was the last time you said “time flies when you’re having fun?” Think about what you were doing and see whether the 8 components were present. Most likely they were. It’s easier to experience Flow when we are involved in a task that means a lot to us, for example working on a big project at work or preparing for an audition, but it is harder to reach that Flow state when we are involved in more mundane tasks. And lets be honest much of life is filled with mundane tasks that are necessary to get through in order to achieve that greater goal.

So how do we make it easier to obtain a Flow state with mundane tasks? First, we need to make sure we are fully engaged and being present in the task. We already know mindful listening is a good technique to help with being present. Second, even the most mundane tasks can be fun. It’s about changing our mindset about them. We have many tools to help us with that, positive replacement being one of them. Maybe we make getting through an inbox full of emails into a game? Third, we need to limit the self-talk that becomes distracting. Here’s where our trigger words come in handy.

At times, we may seem lost and that our path is turning into a dead-end or keeps going in a circle. It’s at these times when we need to trust that there is still forward motion. By staying engaged, being present, and trying to maintain a Flow state, that sense of “lostness” will dissipate and be replaced with fulfillment and purpose. We are all capable of achieving this. We have the tools and the skills. Now, we just need to use them to create our practice.

 

Are you ready to live a more fulfilled and purposeful life? I'd love to help you create your practice! Email me at steph_e_simpson@yahoo.com to set up your FREE 30 min complimentary coaching call!

ONE WEEK left to sign up for the workshop I will be running on Oct 24th - Manifesting Your Dreams: pushing beyond your fears and obstacles. Email me to reserve your spot!

 

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