As I wrote in my last post, I learned some very powerful
lessons from the life-changing experience of caring for my dying father and I
wanted to share some of them here.
I admit it’s an exercise that’s equal parts (1) grief
therapy, (2) creative tune-up, and (3) compulsive teaching (I’m always looking
for ways to connect the dots through story and example).
But it’s also an exercise that comes from the heart. Caring
for my father opened a doorway to my heart and now it wants to be more involved
in everything I do.
Over the past few weeks, as I’ve been paying more attention
to what my heart has to say, it’s telling me that after a long dry spell, it’s
time to get back to writing. Even if I still don’t feel like it, I know it’s
right, so here I am.
I found that listening to my heart is actually a good thing. Like
many entrepreneurs, I spend a lot of time in my head. Thinking about strategy,
planning next steps, tracking my progress, and making adjustments. Do you do
the same thing?
Even though most experts say we make decisions emotionally,
then try to back into the logic, I believe that the inner voice I hear in my
decision-making most of the time still comes from my head. Why do I think so?
Because when I specifically ask my heart for advice, it sounds and feels very
different from what I’m used to.
I did some work a few weeks ago with Randall Krause, a
colleague of mine who runs Hym-la (Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Los
Angeles). Over the phone he took me through an amazingly simple but powerful exercise
for directly asking my heart for advice on an issue I was struggling with (or
rather, my head was struggling with).
Within minutes, an answer came to me that I hadn’t thought
of, yet felt really good to both my heart AND my head. Confusion gone, ready to
When your heart is engaged, you can often get a more
complete picture of what you need to do. It’s like getting a second opinion
from someone who can evaluate the situation through another perspective.
What areas in your business are you struggling with right
now? What are you confused and feeling stuck about? What decisions are you
holding back from making?
Take the situation out of your head for a moment and ask
your heart to chime in. It might seem strange to think your heart could have an opinion about your business, but if you’re stuck, what’s the harm in asking? It’s no different really than phoning a friend or
business contact for advice, then listening to what they have to say. And because your heart wants the best for you, you might get some really interesting and relevant answers.
You may have to put yourself in a different environment
(outside in nature, for example) and/or get help from a coach or teacher to connect with your heart. But there isn’t any real magic to it except the true willingness to do so. Be patient, be still and wait for the answers to come.
So it’s been more than 4 months since my last blog entry and Where I’ve Been In April my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. With no options except chemotherapy, and with a very small It took me a while, but as soon as I could delegate, I am so blessed to have a spouse who fully supported my I was prepared to be in California for the whole summer, What I wasn’t prepared for was my father’s rapid deterioration, It wasn’t until a week later, when I was back home in Delaware, that all the emotions hit. A piece of music, a thought, an image (like the one on the right of him carrying me as a baby that I found in an old album) would trigger a rush of tears. It was obvious I needed to devote some time to But I also felt compelled to figure out where I go from For example, some Where I’m Going From So that’s why I’ve been laying low here on the blog and on After thinking through a lot, I’ve put some goals on paper Some things in my business I’ll be re-starting, some things I learned many lessons both during the experience and in the Stay tuned…
I thought I owed you an explanation. I’ve gotten several emails from people
wanting to know if I was okay. Had I abandoned the Smart Networking blog? Had I
gone into witness protection? What was going on? Well, here’s the story…
He had never smoked, but according to Uniting Against Lung Cancer, 10-15% of
cases occur in “never smokers.” And because no reliable early detection
mechanisms have been developed – unlike mammograms or colonoscopies – the
mortality rate is higher than any other cancer.
chance it would reverse the disease anyway, and knowing how excruciating it had
been for my mother who passed away in 1995, my father declined treatment and chose
to live out his remaining time – the doctors said six months — at home under
fulfill, or put on hold all of my business obligations, I flew to San Francisco
in May to take care of him full-time. I knew there wasn’t much I could do
except keep him comfortable, but it was important for me to do SOMETHING.
decision. While I was away, we spoke every night, texted all the time, and saw
each other every other weekend when he made the cross-country trip to be with
us. The hospice chaplain said I was an angel for my father. Well, my husband
Chris was definitely an angel for me.
expecting a slow and steady decline, but nothing I couldn’t manage. Before I
left home, I even suggested to one of my Platinum Level coaching clients that
we could meet out there for her one-day intensive session, which appealed to
her since she had never been to San Francisco.
and the accompanying physical, emotional and mental toll it would take to be a
primary caregiver in such a dire situation. When he passed away the day after
Father’s Day, just two months after the diagnosis, not six, I was too exhausted
and still had too much to do to really grieve.
my own healing.
here. I felt forever changed by this experience and it just didn’t feel right
emotionally or intellectually to simply jump back in and pick everything up
where I had left it in May. I had discovered gifts I never knew about and I
wanted to re-examine what I had been prioritizing in my life.
things I made time for because I had a deadline even though I felt no joy in
doing them. While other things I was more passionate about I tended to push off
or neglect altogether because of lack of time, and lack of urgency (i.e., no
deadline). That’s a totally upside down way to live!
my email newsletter these past few months. I did remain active on Facebook as I found it escapist and therapeutic to
interact with my online friends, even for just a few minutes each day.
for the coming months, and while I haven’t figured out everything I want to do or how everything fits,
I feel I’ve gotten back on the path at a really good spot. One I can feel
totally happy about as I look ahead.
I’ll be dropping, some things I’ll be changing up, and some new things I’ll be
aftermath that I am bursting at the seams to share in the hopes of helping those wanting to leap
to the next stage of their business and personal growth find their strength,
their motivation and most of all, their truth.
So it’s been more than 4 months since my last blog entry and
Where I’ve Been
In April my father was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer.
With no options except chemotherapy, and with a very small
It took me a while, but as soon as I could delegate,
I am so blessed to have a spouse who fully supported my
I was prepared to be in California for the whole summer,
What I wasn’t prepared for was my father’s rapid deterioration,
It wasn’t until a week later, when I was back home in Delaware, that all the emotions hit. A piece of music, a thought, an image (like the one on the right of him carrying me as a baby that I found in an old album) would trigger a rush of tears. It was obvious I needed to devote some time to
But I also felt compelled to figure out where I go from
For example, some
Where I’m Going From
So that’s why I’ve been laying low here on the blog and on
After thinking through a lot, I’ve put some goals on paper
Some things in my business I’ll be re-starting, some things
I learned many lessons both during the experience and in the
Copyright © 2008 - 2013 Liz Lynch