Work? I Thought I Was Playing!

The practice of bringing one's soul into the workplace is not typically encouraged in our American corporate culture. Your soul, or higher self, must be heard in every aspect of your life in order for you to be happy. After twenty years working inside several of America's leading Fortune 500 companies I understand at a very deep personal level that this message is long overdue.

In each of the five strategies I draw upon my experience, theories of human potential including mindfulness awareness practice, and the actual lives of two inspiring self-actualized individuals. Living proof grounds ideas gathered from my life experience including people I have met, my corporate experience, executive coaching business, and theories I studied in the field of transpersonal psychology (a form of psychology that combines psychology with spirituality).

I interviewed two friends of mine I have known for many years. Kate Coughlin and Jennifer Raymond are walking the warrior's path boldly and beautifully. Female leaders like these two are rare finds. They have self-realized and further self-transcended (reference Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory). Kate and Jennifer express their passion through their work and life by sharing their gifts with their community. I hope that you find, like these two women have, that by integrating your work with your life, work becomes synonymous with play. You can be true to yourself and make a living too! One day you too may say, "Retire? Why would I want to do that?"

"Everyone has a gift … if you find out what that is and offer that back to the community, that is a full life." – Kate Coughlin (personal communication, May, 2003)

Re-ignite your passion and bring it to work using these five strategies.

1. Put Values ​​in Action

Recognize and begin acting on your values. What are your values? These are the things you love, your passions. You might ask yourself, "What would I speak about if I was offered one hour of primetime?" (Levoy, 1997, p. 6) A great way of discovering your values ​​is to look at your peak experiences. Peak experiences are "the most wonderful experiences of your life, happiest moments, ecstatic moments, moments of rapture, perhaps from being in love, or from listening to music or suddenly" being hit "by a book or a painting, or from some great creative moment "(Maslow, 1968, p. 6). The descriptive words you use will say a lot about what you value. Maslow said, "Since my feeling is that people in peak-experiences are most their identities, closest to their real selves, most idiosyncratic, it would seem that this is an especially important source of clean and uncontaminated data; ie, invention is reduced to a minimum, and discovery increased to a maximum. " (Maslow, 1968, p. 103)

"Try not to become a [person] of success, but rather try to become a [person] of value." – Albert Einstein

A 20 year case study, authored by Srully Blotnick, of 1500 business school graduates showed what happened to those who wanted to make money, group A, versus those who wanted to pursue their passion, group B (Albion, 2000). Group A included 83 percent who decided to go out and make money so that they could enjoy life, and Group B included 17 percent who decided to pursue their passion. Of the 1245 that chased the money, one became a millionaire. Of the 255 that chased their passion, 100 became millionaires. I also read that the validity of this study was in question. If this story is even close to reality – given these results why aren't more people following their passion? Fear, financial security, a lack of trust, and lack of self-knowledge, are major factors I have found through my experience that cause people to take the safe known route.

"I have sought to pursue ways of making a living that are in total conjunction with my belief and that further my passion and my desire to serve the world."

– Jennifer Raymond (personal communication, May, 2003)

2. Follow Your Intuition

"I trust my inner knowing, my gut. I have not given much credit to the critical mind, it's talking, but I say" thanks for sharing, I don't want to hear it ", because I have a greater respect for my inner gut. " – Kate Coughlin (personal communication, May, 2003)

To follow your intuition, first begin by developing your intuition. Tracking thoughts and training the mind is a way to open up to opportunity and open up to life in the present moment. Once you become aware of your thoughts, you can make choices that align with who you are at a deep level. Both Kate and Jennifer have no televisions because watching TV not only wastes their time, it throws them off center due to the content and speed of information. Moving too fast makes it difficult to see what is right in front of us. Mindfulness training, such as meditation practice, develops our ability to be present in the moment. Focusing on the breath and watching your thoughts come and go is a great place to start. An important point to remember is to simply sit, because ultimately that is enough (Suzuki, 1988). Other mindfulness practices include communing with nature, journaling, art, music, and poetry.

A renowned meditation master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, stated, "Mindfulness and awareness always complement each other. Mindfulness is like a microscope … The
function of the microscope is just to clearly present what is there. Awareness is seeing the discovery of mindfulness. So mindfulness and awareness work together to bring acceptance of living situations as they are. "(Trungpa, 1976). Thus, by developing a mindfulness practice we become more aware.

Thoughts manifest themselves in one's body as emotions. Meditation masters believe that emotions are energy produced by thoughts. Meditation allows one to become aware of how the thought manifests in the body. Our bodies also have an inner wisdom that
communicates to us. Are we listening and making conscious choices, or following a familiar pattern? At a crossroad we may take a right turn because we have gone right before. This path is well known, comfortable, and safe. What would happen if we stopped a moment to consider our options? We could check with our inner wisdom and pay attention to our deep desires. It might be as simple as taking a left turn this time instead of a right turn.

3. Be Courageous and Bold

Walking your path may not be popular because it is your unique path, so you may not find a lot of supporters at first. What do you rely on to keep you going? When things get scary, you may tend to run back to the path you know is safe. Our natural instinct is to run away from things that frighten us. Going into the fear during meditation provides an opportunity to transform fear into wind horse, or energy, a motivational force that moves us forward.

"Every response to a call necessitates a leap of faith and is done without knowing the outcome." – Gregg Levoy

Imagine potentially living your dream. Maslow found that we "tend to evade personal growth because this too, can bring another kind of fear, of awe, or feelings of weakness and inadequacy." He went on to say, "Every one of our great creators, our god-like people, has testified to the element of courage that is needed in the lonely moment of creation … The moment of fright is quite understandable but must nevertheless be overcome if creation is to be possible. " (Maslow, 1968, p. 61) We might be saying to ourselves, "What if I do that, then this might happen." The "What Ifs" in life can stop us as if they are actually happening. As Mark Twain said, "I've had a lot of problems in my life, and most of them never happened."

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." – Goethe

4. Recognize Your Passions

"Even if the 5 billion people who inhabit the earth became millionaires, without inner development there cannot be peace or any lasting happiness. Happiness is the most important factor for good health." – Dalai Lama

What makes you happy? What is it you love? As Kahlil Gibran said, "work is love made visible." (Gibran, 1987)

Begin to notice what brings you joy. Give yourself permission to follow your heart. Your life has a purpose and the universe is dropping you clues all the time. If you gather the clues, and notice the commonalities, your purpose will be revealed. Watch your
creativity expand as it is sparked by a sense of purpose. Amazing synchronicities happen when you follow your passion.

"I feel that if one follows what I call one's bliss – the thing that really gets you deep in the gut and that you feel is your life – doors will open up." – Joseph Campbell

5. Start Serving Others

"What you have to offer in a small way is the best joy you've got … Find your gift and start giving it in the little ways you can. Not everyone is going to get it, and not everyone is going to receive it, and that is okay, but it doesn't stop you from looking for ways to give it. " – Kate Coughlin (personal communication, May, 2003)

Kate was surprised when Stanford University offered her a position to start their dance and yoga program during an informal interview as she was simply expressing her passions. She built such a wonderful community at Stanford it was difficult to leave when a family move was needed. What did she do? After struggling to find her place within her new community, she searched for a place to offer her gift, and opened her own yoga studio. Within one year she had 500 people walking through her doors.

"What gives me joy right this minute is a kitty sitting on my lap. A little girl brought this kitty to me after finding her stranded on the roadside starving to death. Mother Theresa said, 'We can not do great things in this world, we can only do small things with great love '. That's what this kitty is, a small thing I have done with great love, and I feel blessed to have followed my passion, and know what my passion is. " – Jennifer Raymond (personal communication, May, 2003)

Jennifer is passionate about her love for animals. She has expressed her passion in a number of ways, teaching vegetarian cooking, writing cookbooks, speaking nationally, working with Dr. Dean Ornish author of "Reversing Heart Disease", and starting a non-profit spay and neuter program. She is bursting with energy.

Both of these strong women are inspirational leaders in their communities due to their passionate devotions, Jennifer's love for animals, and Kate's love for integrating body, mind and spirit. They have transcended self through service.

What you care about most, your passion, happens to be the gift you were meant to share with the world. Once you offer it there is no need, or desire, to retire. As Jennifer put it, "think about the word retire, to shrink away from, I don't want to shrink away from any of this!" Jennifer lives in "heaven" on 17 acres on the coast of California with her dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and husband (personal communication, May, 2003). Kate has similar thoughts, "I don't see myself retiring, why would I want to do that? It's not a job I ever want to stop. What I love is what I am doing, giving and receiving, watching people grow, interacting and delighting in life. " (personal communication, May, 2003)

By following these five strategies you will bring out your true nature, reveal your passions, and make work such an integral part of your life you will have people scratching their heads wondering how you get to play all day! I dare you to be true to yourself and live the life of your dreams.

"Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined."
– Henry David Thoreau

References

Albion, Mark, (2000). Making a living, making a life.
Dalai Lama, (2001). Live in a better way: Reflections on truth, love, and happiness.
Gibran, Kahlil (1987). The prophet.
Levoy, Gregg (1997). Callings: Finding and following an authentic life.
Maslow, AH (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.).
Suzuki, Shunryu (1988). Zen mind beginner's mind.
Trungpa, Chogyam (1976). The myth of freedom and the way of meditation.



Source by Donna Karaba

This article is brought to you by Kokula Krishna Hari Kunasekaran! Visit Website or Follow back at @kkkhari

Oh The Places You'll Go & The People You'll Meet – Playing Golf In Rural Mexico

Ever since we arrived in Ajijic we keep meeting new people in everyday settings from all over the world. On the golf course, in particular, we have met many golfers in a regular pickup game. We don't make bookings here although one can. As a double we are always able to get off the first tee within minutes of arrival and always have a caddy which is a novel experience on its own. It is a sight to have eight people standing on the green at once and every caddy giving very precise line and speed putting instructions. They take their putting expertise very seriously!

One pair of regulars we have played with several times is Keith and Martin. Keith is a 76 year old distinguished looking gray-haired Col Saunders with a white goatee. A very happy, overly friendly chap with a banter that puts me to sleep between strokes. Turns out old Keith was a former test pilot and an aeronautical engineer who was on the original design team for the F18 fighter jet, Canada's premier war machine (and the jet we heard land and take off thousands of time living along the airstrip in Baden Solingen Keith spent his sunset years teaching aeronuatics at Annapolis, America's premier naval officer training university.

His buddy Martin seems to be always asleep. And it is no wonder having to listen to Keith for four hours, fours days a week. Martin always wears a seedy, western straw hat and has the facial skin of saddle leather from a lifetime of being in the open sun. He always seems slightly dazed and plays like he was all alone on the course.

Turns out Martin was a shepherd. . . of sorts! He had just got out of the business by selling his 97,000 acres of prime grazing land in Wyoming His acreage ran from 3000 feet to 12,000 feet and along its southern edge was over 30 miles long. I just can't get my head around those numbers! Thirty miles!

It was all that rosy as the size of the estate would suggest, however. A few years ago the price of wool dropped and when he had his sheep sheared he offered the shearers all the wool in exchange for the shearing instead of paying them and they turned him down. The wool sat in storage for a year and a half till he was able to liquidate the wool at a break even price.

It also took him three years to sell the ranch. In the meantime he and his wife set up a B and B at their ranch and ran a winter snowmobiling operation. They had to bring in all the produce, supplies and clients from the main road six miles away by snowmobile! SIX MILES. When Martin described this phase of his career he lit up like a roman candle exploding with all the little money making schemes he cooked up. Apparently they were booked almost solidly from Nov 1 till the beginning of April. Thirty four clients every night! And they were the only two running the ranch, providing 2 meals a day and providing all the fresh linens.

Martin twinkled when he explained that he sold all the gas for the snowmobiles. . . .. AND he ran a bar, open all day! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

He confided that he finally sold the B and B for a million and the sale price of the 98,000 acres was undisclosed. But it was sufficient to buy a luxury three bedroom condo for his kids to visit in Manzanillo on the coast and an estate here in Ajijic still large enough to graze his former sheep herd for a least a day or two.

When Ann asked Diana, his watercolor artist wife how she felt about the movie Brokeback Mountain, she exploded with delight. She felt the movie had been made on their ranch it was so much like her former homestead. She swore they used their truck and that it had the same license number. It must have been the moving experience of a lifetime in ranch country Wyoming after years of hard labor and many ups and downs to see their homeland come to life so lushly on the giant screen. They raised three children in God's country and sending them all to university. I know this to be true. Martin and Diana know what hard work is. When they offered the ranch and / or the B and B to each of their children. They all declined. As Diana said "They watched how we worked and they did not want to do all that when they had university degrees"

Donald, another golfer also packed up and left the far wide open west. He sold his building materials and hardware store in a small town in North Dakota ten years ago and moved to Scottsdale Arizona and retired. They lived there for eight years and as he described it, he and his wife woke up one morning and talked about their life and that they only had a limited number of years left to enjoy. They talked about their life in Scottsdale. Everything was so clean and so safe and everyone was the same age and had the same republican beliefs and the same Christian outlook. Life was too perfect. But they decided they needed more and packed up and moved to Ajijic, just off the main street where they hear the traffic all day and night and how a young neighbor plays his radio at a unbearable blast, but that they have never felt happier and more alive than living here in Mexico.

Narciso, is an old man. Narciso was my caddy yesterday and lugged my monster bag around the course without any sign of weariness. He offered up clubs and advice with a cheerful manner. His putting advice was unerring. On two occasions early in the game I chose to go with my read on a put to my regret. On the 8th hole, a high tee overlooking a par three green 150 years away, as is common on this hole, I offered Narciso the opportunity to take a shot. He willingly accepted and I offered him Ann's club since I am lefthanded. He said "No, I will try it lefthanded" "Do you play lefthanded narciso" I asked. He laughed and said "never before" and promptly dropped it on the middle of the green.

This prompted some talk about his golf. Narciso plays with a handicap of ZERO! He caddies because it allows him to play golf at the course free. Last year he came second in the three day Caddies tournament in Los Angeles and is departing shortly to compete again this year.

As a seventeen year old boy he left Mexico to make a life for himself in the USA. He worked as a janitor for ten years and then became a caddy at the Beverly Hills Golf Club and spent the rest of his working life as a caddy. He loved caddying for Joe Pesci and nobody would caddy for Sylvester Stalone, for that matter nobody would play with him! He married, became an American citizen, had 4 kids and now waits eagerly to turn 62 when he becomes eligible for a California pension of 700 $ per month. He is 57 now and looks 70. All those years in the blistering sun have aged Narciso and for that matter most Mexican men who work out of doors, way beyond their years.

Narciso has worked hard all his life as a caddy. What does he have to show for it? Well, he loves golf, he loves his work. He is happily married and while most of his children are married and living in America he has a young ten year old daughter living here in Ajijic. Is this enough to show for a life's work? Yes, of course it is, but his hard work has also resulted in his ownership of five gorgeous three bedroom homes here, in a town that is experiencing a housing boom. Two of the homes are for sale, one is for rent and we may rent it next year and he lives in the fifth.

This morning I went out for a very early round of 18 holes as Ann was committed to her aqua aerobics class. I joined up with Rick an athletic looking handsome man who turned out to be gentle as a lamb. I couldn't guess his age but he lives in Ajijic after living in Los Angeles most of his life. He plays 18 holes every morning at 7 AM.

We chatted amicable enjoying each others company and sharing personal stories and interests. After I told him I had been an educator he explained the he took over where I left off. Rick was president and CEO of Marvel Media formerly Marvel comics which under his stewardship had become a moviemaking behemoth and a Dow Jones superstar outperformer. He listed many of the films he produced most notably the Spiderman Movies starring Toby Maquire. Here was this softspoken gentle man who could just as easily have been my caddy as the CEO of a media giant playing golf without any pretension, without any entourage.

Here was a guy that was in the same league financially as Donald Trump yet led a quiet lifstyle in a small town in Ajijic. When he is in LA he rides his bike 15 miles every day before going to work. Rick expressed concerns about environmental issues in Ajijic and in America, about the growing gap between the rich and the poor in America, about the foolhardiness of Bush's No Child Left Behind charade. I can only imagine what this man of action is able to do with his untold wealth and enormous skills and passion. It reminds me of the gap between old time entrepreneurs still lingering like Donald Trump, Conrad Black, and the men behind Enron and the new age entrepreneurs like Buffett and Gates and so many silicon valley billionaires with their remarkable contributions towards the injustices around the world.

When you step up to the tee on the first hole in Ajijic you never know who you will end up playing with … nor who will be your caddy!



Source by Jerry Diakiw

This article is brought to you by Kokula Krishna Hari Kunasekaran! Visit Website or Follow back at @kkkhari

Work? I Thought I Was Playing!

The practice of bringing one’s soul into the workplace is not typically encouraged in our American corporate culture. Your soul, or higher self, must be heard in every aspect of your life in order for you to be happy. After twenty years working inside several of America’s leading Fortune 500 companies I understand at a very deep personal level that this message is long overdue.

In each of the five strategies I draw upon my experience, theories of human potential including mindfulness awareness practice, and the actual lives of two inspiring self-actualized individuals. Living proof grounds ideas gathered from my life experience including people I have met, my corporate experience, executive coaching business, and theories I studied in the field of transpersonal psychology (a form of psychology that combines psychology with spirituality).

I interviewed two friends of mine I have known for many years. Kate Coughlin and Jennifer Raymond are walking the warrior’s path boldly and beautifully. Female leaders like these two are rare finds. They have self-realized and further self-transcended (reference Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory). Kate and Jennifer express their passion through their work and life by sharing their gifts with their community. I hope that you find, like these two women have, that by integrating your work with your life, work becomes synonymous with play. You can be true to yourself and make a living too! One day you too may say, “Retire? Why would I want to do that?”

“Everyone has a gift…if you find out what that is and offer that back to the community, that is a full life.” – Kate Coughlin (personal communication, May, 2003)

Re-ignite your passion and bring it to work using these five strategies.

1. Put Values in Action

Recognize and begin acting on your values. What are your values? These are the things you love, your passions. You might ask yourself, “What would I speak about if I was offered one hour of primetime?” (Levoy, 1997, p. 6) A great way of discovering your values is to look at your peak experiences. Peak experiences are “the most wonderful experiences of your life, happiest moments, ecstatic moments, moments of rapture, perhaps from being in love, or from listening to music or suddenly “being hit” by a book or a painting, or from some great creative moment” (Maslow, 1968, p. 6). The descriptive words you use will say a lot about what you value. Maslow said, “Since my feeling is that people in peak-experiences are most their identities, closest to their real selves, most idiosyncratic, it would seem that this is an especially important source of clean and uncontaminated data; i.e., invention is reduced to a minimum, and discovery increased to a maximum.” (Maslow, 1968, p. 103)

“Try not to become a [person] of success, but rather try to become a [person] of value.” – Albert Einstein

A 20 year case study, authored by Srully Blotnick, of 1500 business school graduates showed what happened to those who wanted to make money, group A, versus those who wanted to pursue their passion, group B (Albion, 2000). Group A included 83 percent who decided to go out and make money so that they could enjoy life, and Group B included 17 percent who decided to pursue their passion. Of the 1245 that chased the money, one became a millionaire. Of the 255 that chased their passion, 100 became millionaires. I also read that the validity of this study was in question. If this story is even close to reality – given these results why aren’t more people following their passion? Fear, financial security, a lack of trust, and lack of self-knowledge, are major factors I have found through my experience that cause people to take the safe known route.

“I have sought to pursue ways of making a living that are in total conjunction with my belief and that further my passion and my desire to serve the world.”

– Jennifer Raymond (personal communication, May, 2003)

2. Follow Your Intuition

“I trust my inner knowing, my gut. I have not given much credit to the critical mind, it’s talking, but I say “thanks for sharing, I don’t want to hear it”, because I have a greater respect for my inner gut.” – Kate Coughlin (personal communication, May, 2003)

To follow your intuition, first begin by developing your intuition. Tracking thoughts and training the mind is a way to open up to opportunity and open up to life in the present moment. Once you become aware of your thoughts, you can make choices that align with who you are at a deep level. Both Kate and Jennifer have no televisions because watching TV not only wastes their time, it throws them off center due to the content and speed of information. Moving too fast makes it difficult to see what is right in front of us. Mindfulness training, such as meditation practice, develops our ability to be present in the moment. Focusing on the breath and watching your thoughts come and go is a great place to start. An important point to remember is to simply sit, because ultimately that is enough (Suzuki, 1988). Other mindfulness practices include communing with nature, journaling, art, music, and poetry.

A renowned meditation master, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, stated, “Mindfulness and awareness always complement each other. Mindfulness is like a microscope…The

function of the microscope is just to clearly present what is there. Awareness is seeing the discovery of mindfulness. So mindfulness and awareness work together to bring acceptance of living situations as they are.” (Trungpa, 1976). Thus, by developing a mindfulness practice we become more aware.

Thoughts manifest themselves in one’s body as emotions. Meditation masters believe that emotions are energy produced by thoughts. Meditation allows one to become aware of how the thought manifests in the body. Our bodies also have an inner wisdom that

communicates to us. Are we listening and making conscious choices, or following a familiar pattern? At a crossroad we may take a right turn because we have gone right before. This path is well known, comfortable, and safe. What would happen if we stopped a moment to consider our options? We could check with our inner wisdom and pay attention to our deep desires. It might be as simple as taking a left turn this time instead of a right turn.

3. Be Courageous and Bold

Walking your path may not be popular because it is your unique path, so you may not find a lot of supporters at first. What do you rely on to keep you going? When things get scary, you may tend to run back to the path you know is safe. Our natural instinct is to run away from things that frighten us. Going into the fear during meditation provides an opportunity to transform fear into wind horse, or energy, a motivational force that moves us forward.

“Every response to a call necessitates a leap of faith and is done without knowing the outcome.” – Gregg Levoy

Imagine potentially living your dream. Maslow found that we “tend to evade personal growth because this too, can bring another kind of fear, of awe, or feelings of weakness and inadequacy”. He went on to say, “Every one of our great creators, our god-like people, has testified to the element of courage that is needed in the lonely moment of creation…The moment of fright is quite understandable but must nevertheless be overcome if creation is to be possible.” (Maslow, 1968, p. 61) We might be saying to ourselves, “What if I do that, then this might happen”. The “What Ifs” in life can stop us as if they are actually happening. As Mark Twain said, “I’ve had a lot of problems in my life, and most of them never happened.”

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – Goethe

4. Recognize Your Passions

“Even if the 5 billion people who inhabit the earth became millionaires, without inner development there cannot be peace or any lasting happiness. Happiness is the most important factor for good health.” – Dalai Lama

What makes you happy? What is it you love? As Kahlil Gibran said, “work is love made visible.” (Gibran, 1987)

Begin to notice what brings you joy. Give yourself permission to follow your heart. Your life has a purpose and the universe is dropping you clues all the time. If you gather the clues, and notice the commonalities, your purpose will be revealed. Watch your

creativity expand as it is sparked by a sense of purpose. Amazing synchronicities happen when you follow your passion.

“I feel that if one follows what I call one’s bliss – the thing that really gets you deep in the gut and that you feel is your life – doors will open up.” – Joseph Campbell

5. Start Serving Others

“What you have to offer in a small way is the best joy you’ve got … Find your gift and start giving it in the little ways you can. Not everyone is going to get it, and not everyone is going to receive it, and that is okay, but it doesn’t stop you from looking for ways to give it.” – Kate Coughlin (personal communication, May, 2003)

Kate was surprised when Stanford University offered her a position to start their dance and yoga program during an informal interview as she was simply expressing her passions. She built such a wonderful community at Stanford it was difficult to leave when a family move was needed. What did she do? After struggling to find her place within her new community, she searched for a place to offer her gift, and opened her own yoga studio. Within one year she had 500 people walking through her doors.

“What gives me joy right this minute is a kitty sitting on my lap. A little girl brought this kitty to me after finding her stranded on the roadside starving to death. Mother Theresa said, ‘We can not do great things in this world, we can only do small things with great love’. That’s what this kitty is, a small thing I have done with great love, and I feel blessed to have followed my passion, and know what my passion is.” – Jennifer Raymond (personal communication, May, 2003)

Jennifer is passionate about her love for animals. She has expressed her passion in a number of ways, teaching vegetarian cooking, writing cookbooks, speaking nationally, working with Dr. Dean Ornish author of “Reversing Heart Disease”, and starting a non-profit spay and neuter program. She is bursting with energy.

Both of these strong women are inspirational leaders in their communities due to their passionate devotions, Jennifer’s love for animals, and Kate’s love for integrating body, mind and spirit. They have transcended self through service.

What you care about most, your passion, happens to be the gift you were meant to share with the world. Once you offer it there is no need, or desire, to retire. As Jennifer put it, “think about the word retire, to shrink away from, I don’t want to shrink away from any of this!” Jennifer lives in “heaven” on 17 acres on the coast of California with her dogs, cats, birds, bunnies and husband (personal communication, May, 2003). Kate has similar thoughts, “I don’t see myself retiring, why would I want to do that? It’s not a job I ever want to stop. What I love is what I am doing, giving and receiving, watching people grow, interacting and delighting in life.” (personal communication, May, 2003)

By following these five strategies you will bring out your true nature, reveal your passions, and make work such an integral part of your life you will have people scratching their heads wondering how you get to play all day! I dare you to be true to yourself and live the life of your dreams.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”

– Henry David Thoreau

References

Albion, Mark, (2000). Making a living, making a life.

Dalai Lama, (2001). Live in a better way: Reflections on truth, love, and happiness.

Gibran, Kahlil (1987). The prophet.

Levoy, Gregg (1997). Callings: Finding and following an authentic life.

Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.).

Suzuki, Shunryu (1988). Zen mind beginner’s mind.

Trungpa, Chogyam (1976). The myth of freedom and the way of meditation.



Source by Donna Karaba

This article is brought to you by Kokula Krishna Hari Kunasekaran! Visit Website or Follow back at @kkkhari

Oh The Places You’ll Go & The People You’ll Meet – Playing Golf In Rural Mexico

Ever since we arrived in Ajijic we keep meeting new people in everyday settings from all over the world. On the golf course, in particular, we have met many golfers in a regular pickup game. We don’t make bookings here although one can. As a double we are always able to get off the first tee within minutes of arrival and always have a caddy which is a novel experience on its own. It is a sight to have eight people standing on the green at once and every caddy giving very precise line and speed putting instructions. They take their putting expertise very seriously!

One pair of regulars we have played with several times is Keith and Martin. Keith is a 76 year old distinguished looking gray-haired Col Saunders with a white goatee. A very happy, overly friendly chap with a banter that puts me to sleep between strokes. Turns out old Keith was a former test pilot and an aeronautical engineer who was on the original design team for the F18 fighter jet , Canada’s premier war machine (and the jet we heard land and take off thousands of time living along the airstrip in Baden Solingen) Keith spent his sunset years teaching aeronuatics at Annapolis, America’s premier naval officer training university.

His buddy Martin seems to be always asleep. And it is no wonder having to listen to Keith for four hours, fours days a week. Martin always wears a seedy, western straw hat and has the facial skin of saddle leather from a lifetime of being in the open sun. He always seems slightly dazed and plays like he was all alone on the course.

Turns out Martin was a shepherd . . . of sorts! He had just got out of the business by selling his 97,000 acres of prime grazing land in Wyoming His acreage ran from 3000 feet to 12,000 feet and along its southern edge was over 30 miles long. I just can’t get my head around those numbers! Thirty miles!

It wasn’t all that rosy as the size of the estate would suggest, however. A few years ago the price of wool dropped and when he had his sheep sheared he offered the shearers all the wool in exchange for the shearing instead of paying them and they turned him down. The wool sat in storage for a year and a half till he was able to liquidate the wool at a break even price.

It also took him three years to sell the ranch. In the meantime he and his wife set up a B and B at their ranch and ran a winter snowmobiling operation. They had to bring in all the produce, supplies and clients from the main road six miles away by snowmobile! SIX MILES. When Martin described this phase of his career he lit up like a roman candle exploding with all the little money making schemes he cooked up. Apparently they were booked almost solidly from Nov 1 till the beginning of April. Thirty four clients every night! And they were the only two running the ranch, providing 2 meals a day and providing all the fresh linens.

Martin twinkled when he explained that HE sold all the gas for the snowmobiles. . . .. AND he ran a bar, open all day! Nudge, nudge, wink, wink!

He confided that he finally sold the B and B for a million and the sale price of the 98,000 acres was undisclosed. But it was sufficient to buy a luxury three bedroom condo for his kids to visit in Manzanillo on the coast and an estate here in Ajijic still large enough to graze his former sheep herd for a least a day or two.

When Ann asked Diana, his watercolor artist wife how she felt about the movie Brokeback Mountain, she exploded with delight. She felt the movie had been made on their ranch it was so much like her former homestead. She swore they used their truck and that it had the same license number. It must have been the moving experience of a lifetime in ranch country Wyoming after years of hard labor and many ups and downs to see their homeland come to life so lushly on the giant screen. They raised three children in God’s country and sending them all to university. I know this to be true. Martin and Diana know what hard work is. When they offered the ranch and/or the B and B to each of their children. They all declined. As Diana said “They watched how we worked and they did not want to do all that when they had university degrees”

Donald, another golfer also packed up and left the far wide open west. He sold his building materials and hardware store in a small town in North Dakota ten years ago and moved to Scottsdale Arizona and retired. They lived there for eight years and as he described it, he and his wife woke up one morning and talked about their life and that they only had a limited number of years left to enjoy. They talked about their life in Scottsdale. Everything was so clean and so safe and everyone was the same age and had the same republican beliefs and the same Christian outlook. Life was too perfect. But they decided they needed more and packed up and moved to Ajijic, just off the main street where they hear the traffic all day and night and how a young neighbor plays his radio at a unbearable blast, but that they have never felt happier and more alive than living here in Mexico.

Narciso, is an old man. Narciso was my caddy yesterday and lugged my monster bag around the course without any sign of weariness. He offered up clubs and advice with a cheerful manner. His putting advice was unerring. On two occasions early in the game I chose to go with my read on a put to my regret. On the 8th hole, a high tee overlooking a par three green 150 years away, as is common on this hole, I offered Narciso the opportunity to take a shot. He willingly accepted and I offered him Ann’s club since I am lefthanded. He said ” No, I will try it lefthanded” “Do you play lefthanded narciso” I asked. He laughed and said “never before” and promptly dropped it on the middle of the green.

This prompted some talk about his golf. Narciso plays with a handicap of ZERO! He caddies because it allows him to play golf at the course free. Last year he came second in the three day Caddies tournament in Los Angeles and is departing shortly to compete again this year.

As a seventeen year old boy he left Mexico to make a life for himself in the USA. He worked as a janitor for ten years and then became a caddy at the Beverly Hills Golf Club and spent the rest of his working life as a caddy. He loved caddying for Joe Pesci and nobody would caddy for Sylvester Stalone, for that matter nobody would play with him! He married, became an American citizen, had 4 kids and now waits eagerly to turn 62 when he becomes eligible for a California pension of 700$ per month. He is 57 now and looks 70. All those years in the blistering sun have aged Narciso and for that matter most Mexican men who work out of doors, way beyond their years.

Narciso has worked hard all his life as a caddy. What does he have to show for it? Well, he loves golf, he loves his work. He is happily married and while most of his children are married and living in America he has a young ten year old daughter living here in Ajijic. Is this enough to show for a life’s work ? Yes, of course it is, but his hard work has also resulted in his ownership of five gorgeous three bedroom homes here, in a town that is experiencing a housing boom. Two of the homes are for sale, one is for rent and we may rent it next year and he lives in the fifth.

This morning I went out for a very early round of 18 holes as Ann was committed to her aqua aerobics class. I joined up with Rick an athletic looking handsome man who turned out to be gentle as a lamb. I couldn’t guess his age but he lives in Ajijic after living in Los Angeles most of his life. He plays 18 holes every morning at 7 AM.

We chatted amicable enjoying each others company and sharing personal stories and interests. After I told him I had been an educator he explained the he took over where I left off. Rick was president and CEO of Marvel Media formerly Marvel comics which under his stewardship had become a moviemaking behemoth and a Dow Jones superstar outperformer. He listed many of the films he produced most notably the Spiderman Movies starring Toby Maquire. Here was this softspoken gentle man who could just as easily have been my caddy as the CEO of a media giant playing golf without any pretension , without any entourage.

Here was a guy that was in the same league financially as Donald Trump yet led a quiet lifstyle in a small town in Ajijic. When he is in LA he rides his bike 15 miles every day before going to work. Rick expressed concerns about environmental issues in Ajijic and in America, about the growing gap between the rich and the poor in America, about the foolhardiness of Bush’s No Child Left Behind charade. I can only imagine what this man of action is able to do with his untold wealth and enormous skills and passion. It reminds me of the gap between old time entrepreneurs still lingering like Donald Trump, Conrad Black, and the men behind Enron and the new age entrepreneurs like Buffett and Gates and so many silicon valley billionaires with their remarkable contributions towards the injustices around the world.

When you step up to the tee on the first hole in Ajijic you never know who you will end up playing with…nor who will be your caddy!



Source by Jerry Diakiw

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