Lessons Learned

Andrea Chilcote, Erik's Hope

Has this week held any challenges for you?  Read more, as Andrea shares lessons learned and her thankfulness for grace.

by Andrea Chilcote

Gratitude is a subject I have written of many times before. It never gets old. Today I am grateful for lessons learned.

In this week that held many challenges for many people in my life (and I’m betting some of yours too) – illness, strife, imbalance – I am thankful for the grace around me. That grace surrounds all of us.

For most of the week, I had the privilege of working with a diverse group in a unique experience designed to create personal insights, which led to personal transformation. (And just so you know, it was not always comfortable, tidy or easy).

No one had any idea of what the experience would bring before it began. They didn’t know what would appear before them next.

And that begs a question, what happened to you this week? What tested your mettle? What triggered your survival instincts? And, what triggered your ingrained patterns of behavior that might not serve you today?

Today, I am personally grateful for the full range of experiences I have collected in my life. (That is not easy to admit). Each has transformed what follows.

Do you seek transformation? If you experienced difficulty in the last several days, ask yourself these two questions:

  • For what is this experience a metaphor in my life?
  • What can I release that is no longer relevant?

We are either on this earth to grow in consciousness and reap the rewards of doing so, or it is a random existence in which some get lucky and others get by.

I’m betting on growth, over the lottery. How about you?


This post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a blogger. Enjoy it!

The Myth of Balance

Andrea Chilcote

This week, join Andrea, as she shares some perspective on the idea of “balance” and “what matters most” in life.

by Andrea Chilcote

Remember when we used to talk about balanced lives, especially work-life “balance?” Well, perhaps we still do, even though most would admit the idea of “balance” is really an ideal, even a myth. For me, a life well lived consists of constant prioritization of what matters in the moment.

I’m planning for a workshop I’ve led many times, though not so much in recent years. (Wondering why not, and why now?) It’s called “What Matters Most,” and its purpose is to identify and examine core values. At the same time, the week has consisted of talking to people who lead very full lives – yet still they say they seek “balance.”

The demands for our time and the need for our service are never-ending. We know the way to be in charge of our destiny is to declare what’s important, what matters most (what we value), and then prioritize. A simple concept, not easy in practice.

Personally, I seek to constantly prioritize the things that are most important, and this does not always produce “balance.” While I am certainly not perfect in my practice, I seek to invest my time in ways that feed my goals or my soul. It’s a moment-by-moment choice that builds a habit – a habit that gets tested when the big decisions come along.

Before you say yes or move forward on some task, request or chore, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does it give you a sense of joy, fulfillment or accomplishment?
  • Do you feel satisfied that you left someone in a better place (without manipulation or control)?
  • Are you doing or giving out of pure love?
  • Is the value of your service greater than its cost?
  • Is this the highest and best contribution you can be making at this time?

If you answer “yes,” perhaps balance is irrelevant. If you answer “no,” your personal balance, that of giving and receiving or sowing and harvesting, may need consideration.

That’s a balance I seek to strike.

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This post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a blogger. Enjoy it!