My heart said what I wanted to say

The other day, Dave and I were going for a drive just to catch up and hang out. He has been so flat out starting a business that at times he must wonder if it’s really worth it? He has been putting in crazy hours, dealing with the highs and lows that each new day brings. He has taken care of 3 redwood trees worth of paperwork to get a US company set up and to be honest I watch him and I am in awe of the amazing job he is doing. It takes someone talented, dedicated and faithful to do what he is doing, and he seems to be doing it brilliantly.

As a wife of an entrepreneur, it’s sometimes hard when due to the business’ demands the relationship becomes a far away after thought that grasps tightly to the few moments you get to capture when the stars align, the winds blowing the right way, the moon is blue and you are there, just the two of you… alone. These moments can sometimes be daunting. Thoughts that run through my mind is how do I make the most of this rare moment?

As Dave and I were cruising down the 101 the other day, it dawned on me: This precious moment shouldn’t just be about the facts and events that have occurred since the last time we caught up. It’s about sharing my heart’s thoughts that sound weird coming out sometimes, but create a bond together in such a short amount of time. Here I was talking about my mundane things that had filled my week. How I had cleaned the house, unpacked some boxes from our move and completed my uni assignment. But then a heart thought interrupted my run sheet of facts. What my heart wanted to say was ‘Dave, I think you’re doing a really good job, and I am proud of you. I know this is a time where time is lacking, thoughts other than work are few, but thanks for being my Husband and making this time out of your mayhem so we can spend some time together.’

Too often in the past I held back from saying something like that because my first thought is ‘well he already knows that’ and secondly ‘it sounds kind of cheezy’ (yes I am not the best person when it comes to affection).

However, when those words from my heart came out of my mouth, not only did Dave’s face light up and chest went out, I felt that bond that was created, that although sometimes I feel as though I am an after thought, I really do love this man and it’s these precious moments together are worth it.

Do you have a spouse like this? Does it sometimes feel like your time together is as foreign as meeting a stranger? Although it can feel strange, make the most of your time together.

What does your heart want to say? When is a time in your relationship that you decided to let your heart do the talking? What did you find happened for you and your relationship?

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Silly Passionate Lovers

Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly.
– Rose Franken 

You may have experienced love like this before. As you read this quote, you probably have a stupid grin on your face like I do, as you think about all the weird, quirky and silly things you share with your loved one.

Today I found myself in an amusing situation. A friend asked me “How did I come up with a ‘pet’ name for Dave?” There was an awkward silence as I thought…”How did I come up with that name?!”, and then all the memories came flooding back of the day that one word just ‘stuck’ and didn’t go away. We laughed about it, thought it was cute and wham! A ‘pet’ name was created.

Then there are other moments that you share when it’s just the two of you, things unfathomable to the outside observer. To most, we are probably ‘The Kuhns’ – Amber; a live wire who keeps things….fresh (as I like to call it. Others may call it interesting.) 🙂 Dave; a well-educated man who knows what he is talking about and balances the relationship. Then there are ‘The Kuhns’, when it’s just the two of us, which is probably closer to the truth. Dave; a well-educated man who knows what he is talking about, balances the relationship but also sumo wrestles me and gets great joy out of toilet humor. Then there’s me, Amber; a live wire that keeps things fresh and creates new animal characters who come to life at any given time, especially to win an argument… yep, definitely silly. However, when it’s the two of us, it makes sense (most of the time!) 🙂

It’s in these moments that we let go of our inhibitions and what’s the ‘sensible’ thing to do. Love was created for passion but also being able to be silly. It’s these things you share that bond you together.

What are the things that you and your loved one share? The things that bring a stupid grin on your face and thought in your head “I hope no-one is watching!” Hold onto these precious moments. Just like passion, it’s these silly moments that count!

The joy of a soul mate…

“Can miles truly separate you from friends….If you want to be with someone you love, aren’t you already there?”

– Richard Bach

I was thinking about this quote, and to some extent, I agree. Though largely I disagree.

Two months ago I moved from Sydney, Australia and I have been living in San Francisco with my husband Dave, and his business partner, also called Dave. (Dave squared as I like to call them). It was two months ago that I left my family and friends and went to a place where I knew no-one.

I am more than grateful for technological advances such as Skype, where at a moments notice you are back in the familiar living rooms, having face to face time with the ones you love.

The past two months have been an exciting, scary, exhilarating and joyous time. To be honest, it has been one of the best things I have ever done. From learning new cultures and idiosyncrasies, finding my way around while driving on the other side of the road to changing my name from “Amba” (as the Aussies would say it) to “AJ” so I am not asked 3 times in an awkward introduction what my name actually is.

On the other hand, it’s been a time of looking at friendships new and old and seeing who has ‘stuck around’. For those of you who have lived abroad, you will know this time that comes. The people who you thought would be around forever and would be in contact each and every day seem to be distracted with their day to day lives, and if you’re not there with a thumb in their diary, you become an after thought.

Then there are the wonderful surprises, which are the people who you thought were good acquaintances but you never realized the impact you had on these people. I have had 3 or 4 of these moments. Be it a Skype call, emails back and forth or just a note “I’m thinking of you”. These have been such a beautiful thing in my life over the past two months.

Then, thirdly, there is a soul mate. This is where I can agree and disagree with Richard’s sentiments. Yesterday at 11:00am there was a feeling inside of me that I haven’t been able to experience over the past two months. This was the time that I saw my bestest friend walk through the arrival terminal at the airport. She was no longer a smiling face on my computer screen, no longer an email or words on a page. There is something about that moment when you are face to face and in the flesh that can’t be replaced or bridge those distant miles. There was never any question about the distance and whether the friendship would sustain itself. There is that quiet contentment that through thick and thin, moments of joy and moments of sadness that there is someone in the world to walk this road with you. How nice it is all the more when you’re walking side by side!

There really is nothing that can replace human contact is there? Although there is technology and ‘social networking’, there’s something magical and I think irreplaceable about being face to face with the ones you love.

Are you caught in the (inter)web of social media contact? When was the last time you reached out and contacted a friend who is living away from you or meet up with a loved one face to face? Who is walking this life with you side by side?


A soul mate is…someone whose way of viewing life is not necessarily the same as yours but complements yours, so that there is not a compromise, there is a complement.
Paul Robear

Courage

Quote

‎”Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow'”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

Have you whispered quietly those 5 simple words, “I will try again tomorrow’?

I have coached many people who have to pluck up the courage to speak those words when they talk about their life goals and dreams. I find this especially true when you are just starting out in a new journey and it takes a few attempts to get it right. Maybe you have decided to change careers, pursue a new relationship or repair a broken one. Whatever your task I know it takes courage and determination.

Do you look at those around you who are further down the path of experience then you and think they have the courage of a lion? That there is no other way they could have got to where they are today without the fierce roar inside them? I can guarantee that at some stage or another those people whispered ‘I will try again tomorrow’.

Life isn’t about how many times you get knocked down, it’s about how many times you get back up! If you are feeling defeated and as though you can’t go on, take a moment to gather your thoughts, dust yourself off and believe in those 5 simple words ‘I will try again tomorrow’.

You are a ‘Beautiful Thing’

This week I heard a song by US band Gungor –  Beautiful Things

If you listen to the lyrics it speaks of the distinction between staying who you are in the same old circumstances, and the transforming power of God which takes our chaos and turns it into a ‘Beautiful thing’.

“All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You”

Have you ever thought “How can something good come out of the chaos and pain I am surrounded by?”, I know I have.

For me, this song makes me look at my life, which is at times so chaotic that I don’t know which way is up, and at other times so mundane that watching the grass grow seems like a fun afternoon activity. My life, which reaches the giddy highs of joy, laughter, friendships and relationships and other times crashes to the lowest of lows with sorrow, fear, sickness and a feeling as though I have really made a mess of it all. Whatever pace I am going at or how I am feeling, I always come back to the question of how can something good come out of what I am going through right now?

The bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:17 “…that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (New Living Translation)

I have found that when I try and live my life in my own strength, my plans don’t succeed. All that I try to do to make right seems to fall apart at the seams. However, when I allow God into my life and circumstances my chaos and pain seem to work together to create a ‘beautiful thing’.

If you’re wondering how to receive this ‘new life’ because the one you are living at the moment seems like it’s spiralling out of control, may I suggest you look more into the life God wants you to live. One that He created for you, and you alone. What are the promises in the Bible that speak life into your situation? Do you know who Jesus is? Have you handed over the reigns to your life over to him?

Have a look at your circumstances that surround you at the moment and try and find the good amongst the pain and chaos.

When I grow up, I want to be a…… (Part 2)

Part 1 of the post ‘When I grow up, I want to be a….’ I talked about the differences between our passion as a five year old which we so enthusiastically proclaimed, versus our passions as an adult and how we have either put them to the side to make a living, or we are too fearful on how to take steps to actually pursue our passions and dreams.

Have you been thinking about what is stopping you from pursuing your passion? Are you like me and come up with excuses as to why it’s not possible? Here is a small list just to get you thinking whether or not you are making the same excuses I did:

  • My passion couldn’t be a ‘career’. It’s just something I enjoy doing on the side.
  • I am the sole provider of my family at this point, I don’t have the time or resources to be able to do what I love.
  • I can hardly focus on things I need to do today, how can I focus on things I want to do tomorrow?
  • I don’t have what it takes to do something I love, I will just stay here in my comfort zone.
  • And probably the least significant but the most detrimental…. I need to refresh my Facebook page over and over again just incase I miss what’s going on in someone else’s life! I don’t have time to live a life of my own?!
My encouragement to you today would be to have a look at what is in your world right now that is something you love (other than Facebook!)? Is it talking to and encouraging people? Is it a night course you are taking just for a creative outlet for you, but deep down you would love to do it full time? Are you volunteering your time in an activity for a certain group? Whatever it may be, think about how can you make this passion your career.
How did I make the change? How did I go from office admin to pursuing my dream of being a speaker and life coach? Well some simple things that I have done to follow my passion are:
  • I have started this blog site. For me it’s actually a big step. I’m not much of a reader or writer (I actually consider myself far from it) but I know that this is a great way to communicate to the masses (and individual) about the passion that is on my heart to do life well.
  • I have studied a part time course for a year on Speaking, Writing and Leadership
  • I am currently doing my diploma in Life Coaching
  • I have taken opportunities to speak to crowds as big as 1,600 people encouraging them towards their goals
Some of the above steps have been easy, and others… well quite hard. But all it took was a step.
Have you forgotten what you wanted to be when you were five? How about you take some time now and think back to what  your answer could have been. Alternatively, what is your heart saying now? Do you know what your passion is but you just haven’t pursued it?
Here’s some small practical tips for this week:
  1. Identify what your passions are – What did you want to be when you grow up? What do you love doing if you could do anything at all?
  2. Identify excuses – What are you telling yourself to think you can’t follow your passions? Write these excuses down and go through each one to figure out how to overcome these excuses.
  3. Start thinking about how you could pursue these passions – Who do you need to contact to help you? Is there a course you need to study? What is in your world right now? What are the steps towards stepping out and making your passion something you do everyday?
  4. Give realistic timelines – It’s all good writing what you need to do, but it’s more important to put a time line to it. Make some short term and long term goals. If the idea of setting goals and timelines is a scary or foreign to you, remember that “goals are just dreams with deadlines”.
I would love to hear how you go with making your passion your career! Feel free to share any further comments or helpful tips that you discover along the way.

When I grow up, I want to be a…… (Part 1)

Don’t you love the eager answers kids give when you ask the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?“. You get responses like, “When I grow up I want to be… a FIREMAN! an ACTRESS! a DOLPHIN TRAINER! an ASTRONAUT! a NURSE! a HAIRDRESSER!” the list goes on.

I remember when I was asked this, I always thought it was a rhetorical question. “When I grow up a want to be a…. a…… aaa…… (ok is this where you finish my sentence and tell me what I want to be when I grow up)”. I had no idea what I wanted to be. I thought “can’t we just focus on the task at hand of recess, big lunch and how many times I can swing around the monkey bars?”. I guess I just wasn’t career oriented.

What was your response to this question when you were five years old? Would it be something wild and imaginative that you didn’t know how you were going to get there, but you knew in your heart of hearts that you were going to be the best at that profession or life calling this world has ever seen? Were you going to follow your hearts desire? Like most people in my grade, maybe you wanted to be the best marine biologist, just so you could have the closest relationship to every dolphin under the deep blue sea and get to hug every single one and name them all flipper? Did you follow that dream?

Today, if I were to ask you “What do you want to be when you grow up?” what would you say? Would you say that you wanted to do the same thing today as you did when you were five?

If you answered “no” to the question above, what changed?

“Well Amber I chose the profession I am in because ‘it pays this bills’, or ‘my life didn’t turn out the way I planned'”. When you go to work each and every day do you smile on the inside and know this is what you were created to do? I know I was a late bloomer when it came to knowing what I wanted to do, but when I figured it out I knew I had to change from where I was in my current career and for the first time in my life start pursuing my passion.

When I finished school, I went straight into full time office administration. The reason why I did this? Because the year before I finished school a relative sat me down at Christmas dinner and told me that “there’s good money in being a Personal Assistant”. Her words to me were, “You just have to work your way up from office admin and in a few years you will be on really good money as a PA”. I thought, “Really? Good money you say? Oh well, I never really knew what I wanted to do so I may as well give it a shot”. Consequently I set about working my way up the ranks to become a PA. Within a few short years I had not only reached my goal, I had exceeded it becoming an Executive Assistant.

I say all this, because although I made it to the goal that was put out before me, did I enjoy the journey and where I ended up? Did I smile on the inside knowing ‘This is what I am made to do!’?

My answer to this… Most certainly not! I was a good personal assistant, though I stood in awe of those who did an even better job. For me however, it didn’t make me feel as though I was using all my strengths and putting my God given talents into practice. To be honest I got so much joy when I got to speak to people one-on-one in the lunch room. I loved coaching them through their struggles and triumphs. Or when I was out with girlfriends and I got to encourage them to build strong foundations and personal goals, and move forward instead of backwards. Surely this kind of thing couldn’t be a career, could it?

When I realised that my passion was speaking to people and life coaching, I didn’t drop everything and pursue it with all my heart immediately. I actually baulked at the idea. I thought “as if I could just talk to people and encourage them. I couldn’t possibly leave the security of a well paying job and just step out and do that. How do I know that is genuinely what I am passionate about?” This was me facing the fear of stepping out and doing something about it! This fear is so natural when you start to face the unknown. Like a five year old though I knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to be the best life coach this world has ever seen!

In my next post, I will go through some practical steps on how to over come excuses and get you thinking about how you can embark on your own journey to pursue your passion. Are you ready to start doing what you love!?