Everyday Alchemy: Discover the Extraordinary in Every Moment

Alchemy:(n.) The power or process of transforming something common into something extraordinary. Hi! I'm Sarah Robinson, Business Coach and Resident Alchemist. Welcome to my Blog. My mission is to bring the powerful magic of Everyday Alchemy into the daily lives of Life Adventurers everywhere (especially those with an entrepenurial bent!). Let me know how this resonates with you-I am fascinated! Email me: sarah@everydayalchemy.com. Visit my website at http://www.everydayalchemy.com/

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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Saying Yes

I am writing today's post while my son takes his nap. He is three, so while he is awake he is a full time gig. I tried sneaking onto the computer yesterday and he immediately found me. "See Blast Off. See Blast Off," came his insistent command. He is obsessed with all things related to space at the moment and my husband regularly visits the NASA website with him to watch video's of rockets blasting off. He also knows that the shuttle is in countdown mode again and can't understand why it stubbornly sits on the launchpad. Well, my husband has been out of town for four days and I get impatient while watching various space vehicles fire off into the sky.

So, yesterday I said "No." My rationale being that I am busy trying to impact the world with my coaching, I do not have time to waste looking at the NASA site. A pitiful excuse I admit, but it's the truth. This morning, when I thought it was safe, I attempted another covert internet operation. I was discovered within 60 seconds. Again came the "See Blast Off. See Blast Off." As the word No was forming on my lips, I looked into my son's eyes. I could see his passion for these visual space odysseys-the passion that drove his insistent tone. I suddenly admired my pint-sized Neil Armstrong. With that kind of drive and passion, the world is his-if, and a big if it is-if his silly mother encourages him to keep asking for what he wants, instead of squashing his requests because it serves my personal agenda. So, I said "Yes!"

He hopped up onto my lap and we spent a most enjoyable hour watching space crafts, driving a moon buggy across Mars (a very cool thing indeed!), meeting the crew of the new space shuttle and all kinds of fascinating things I would never have gotten to see if my son hadn't shown them to me. What a lesson. Saying "No" to what life offers us because it is expedient, easy, and a lot less trouble can be a knee-jerk reaction. But, when we say "Yes!" with passion and drive-wow! We get to see the heavens through the eyes of a three-year old.

An extraordinary moment in my life. Look for the chance to say "Yes!" today, even when it would be easier to say "No. Who knows what visions await you!

Find Something Extraordinary In Today!
Sarah

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The trouble-makers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status-quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify, or vilify them. But the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
~Apple Computers

Find Something Extraordinary in Today!
Sarah

Sunday, July 17, 2005

More Recommended Reading

Okay, I admit it. I am a book junkie. Reading is and always has been one of my very favorite hobbies. My husband says that the house could burn down while I am reading a book and I would never notice. Anyone trying to have a conversation with me while I am engrossed in my latest find is always frustrated at my lack of engagement. The two books I am currently reading are no exception. I cannot be trusted to open them if there is something I must be responsible for - like my son or not burning dinner. And, I must confess, reading them has taken precedence over making timely posts to my blogs.

What books have a found so fascinating? Glad you asked! (Clicking on the title will take you to Amazon.)

Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince
Before you gufaw, let me tell you that for a long, long time I wrote these books off as fluff. I mean how good could they possibly be? Well, I am here to tell you that they are all that good. J.K Rowling's latest installment rivals Goblet of Fire (Book IV) as my all time favorite-and I just got it yesterday! Though these books are technically for children, there is much for grownups to learn about life in them as well.

A Whole New MindAs many of you know, I am an avid fan of Fast Company magazine and Dan Pink has written some of my favorite articles for them. I am just three chapters into it, but this is an incredible read for those who are looking for more evidence that Right Brain Skills will lead the way in our ever-changing world market. Creativity, Mr. Pink argues, cannot be offshored and therefore the demand for it as a job/life skill will only continue to grow. Hence, the latest business trend - MFA's are becoming a more preferred advanced degree to an MBA.

The thing I love about both of these books is they give me, and any potential reader, a different way of viewing the world. Maybe all books do that for me and that is why I love reading as much as I do.

Find Something Extraordinary Today!
Sarah

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Power of Alchemy in Life's Darkest Moments

I sit at my computer today riveted and torn between the news of Thursday's bombings in London and the impending arrival of Hurricane Dennis at my back door. One, a disaster of man's own making and the other a disaster designed by the forces of nature. We as human being had no chance to prevent the loss of life in London on Thursday. And, having lived through the destruction of Hurricane Ivan only 10 months ago, there is only so much we can do to prepare for the onslaught of wind, rain, flooding, loss of power, lack of water, etc. that inevitably come ashore with a Category 3+ Hurricane.

As a Life and business Coach, I have to ask myself how on earth coaching and Everyday Alchemy can have any bearing on disasters of such monumental proportions. Though it can be easy to throw up our hands in a surrender to powerlessness, I advocate another route. Find our place in the disasters of life. We are not always handed smooth waters for sailing and now is as good a time as any to figure out how we want to respond to life's storms. Using the Essential Elements of Everyday Alchemy as a structure, here is how I am keeping myself anchored:

1) Accept Responsibility, or Not. Here's what I am responsible for - praying for peace and the families of those injured or killed in Thursdays bombings. Taking whatever outward steps necessary to express my heartfelt concern for them - be it through phone calls, emails, or simply a prayerful conversation between me and the Power I Know Is Greater Than All of Us. I am also responsible for getting off my duff and preparing for Hurrican Dennis's arrival. There are windows to board up, horses to secure and evacuation routes to plan. I am NOT responsible for guessing the outcome of the storm or for finding someone to blame for Thursdays Violence.

2) Defining and Defending My Integrity. What kind of person do I want to be thruogh this storm? Someone who has prepared myself and my family well enough that I am available to help those who are not as fortunate as I am. I also don't want to be the kind of person whose heart does not ache for the citizens of London.

3) Check My Assumptions. Am I assuming my husband will handle certain aspects of our preparations without checking with him? Am I assuming my elderly neighbors have someone to help them get ready? Am I assuming that there is nothing I can do to help London, so I will do exactly that-nothing?

4)Consider My Choices. Am I choosing to be in a frantic, bad mood as I get ready for Dennis or can I choose to make it as pleasant an experience for all involved as I possibly can? Will I choose to over-react to the destruction that will probably come, or can I survey it while looking for solutions? How am I choosing to respond to my feelings about the bombs in London?

5)Pay Attention. It is easy to ignore the needs of my three-year old little boy while trying to make sure all bases are covered. Will stopping for a moment to read him a book really cost me so much? What can the images of London on the television teach me about myself?

6)Get Into Gratitude. Wow. This one could take all day. I'll make my Gratitude List tonight.

7) Secure My Spiritual Core. When disaster swirls around me, I find great comfort in my spirituality. Does it prevent disaster? No, but knowing that a Higher Power is lookng out for me sure makes me feel better. And, if something terrible happens, my spiritual core is what will get me through it.

8)Play To My Strengths. I don't cook well under pressure, so I bought lots of convenience food at the store today. I am really really good at compassion, so I can check on my friends in London and on my neighbors. I know about all kinds of resources both groups may need and I can get them connected.

9)Seek Wise Counsel. In this case CNN and the Weather Channel are the best Wise Counsel I can think of. Oh, and our local Emergency Management Office. I do not ignore wise council or argue with them in the face of impending natural disaster.

10)Protect My Priorities. My son is my #1 priority. He does not need to see bloody images on the television set-how frightening that would be. I will also protect him at all costs - including leaving behind my treasure horses if necessary to evacuate.

So,there you have it. Everyday Alchemy in the Face of Danger and Disaster. Hopefully, I've given you some ideas of how to use them when you face your own inevitable storms. As always, let me know if I can help you.

Find Something Extraordinary in Today (my son's fingers in my hair)!
Sarah

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Element #6: Get Into Gratitude

The unthankful heart... discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
-Henry Ward Beecher

If today stinks, make a list of all that you are grateful for. I don't care if you don't feel like it-of course you don't feel like it. Do it anyway. You'll find the extraordinary in the stinkiest of days.

Make Today Extraordinary!
Sarah

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Integrity Becomes An Essential Element

As many of you know, the whole concept of integrity is becoming increasingly important to me both personally and professionally. After all, without integrity, how can we possbily expect to live and work in a world we love. So, after much thinking and writing, I have officially added Integrity to the Essential Elements of Everyday Alchemy-so now there are ten rather than nine.

Here are the new and improved Ten Essential Elements of Everyday Alchemy:

1. Accept Responsibility, or Not.
2. Define and Defend Your Integrity
3. Check Your Assumptions.
4. Consider Your Choices.
5. Pay Attention.
6. Get Into Gratitude.
7. Secure Your Spiritual Core.
8. Play to Your Strengths.
9. Seek Wise Counsel.
10. Protect Your Priorities

Hope you get a great deal from pondering this new Element!

Discover Something Extraordinary Today!
Sarah

Friday, July 01, 2005

Another fabulous message from the Universe! Check out Thoughts From The Universe at the TUT link to left!

Have Magical Day!
Sarah
In time and space, Sarah, if you just look for what's right - in others, in relationships, in yourself and your journey - you'll always find it.

Same, same when looking for what's wrong.

Tallyho,
The Universe