Archive for growth

i don’t need dirt to be a gardner

Posted in random with tags , , on January 28, 2011 by afuntanilla

“So you plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers”

I read this in a piece somewhere a long time ago and it always stuck with me. If you know me, you know I am no gardner. I have no interest in the field, so to speak, and truth be told, when I ever do get flowers, they die from lack of needed attention. I LOVE flowers, I’m just not very good at tending to them. even though I don’t dig around in the dirt I am very much my own kind of planter. I’ve been planting particular seeds now for about 3-4 years and today was one of those days where I could see the growth of those seeds. It struck me when I wasn’t looking; I was completely absorbed in what I had been doing, and yet the absorption was exactly how I was able to see the growth. I was teaching a new investment class to a group of seniors. I was so absorbed that I forgot my SELF; forgot about how I looked or what I would say or worried I would leave something out or misspeak…I was just doing. At one point, as I was writing on the dry erase board and feeling excited about the class and topic/discussion, I said, “AHH, I LOVE talking about this stuff!”

As I went along, it dawned on me just how well i knew my subject matter and how much more articulate I was than even 1 year ago, not to mention 3 years ago. I also noticed how comfortable I felt…like I belonged. If there is one main thing I truly struggle with, its that…feeling a sense of belonging. In my profession, I do now feel like I belong. I feel legitimate. I am smart and educated through “books” and also thru life on the “street”. Believe me, it has taken a loooong time to feel like I belonged in this profession and I feel like I have definitely earned it.

After class was over, several people thanked me and a few asked “Will you be here next week? Can we talk more next week?”  One gentleman in the class is someone I know from previous encounters. He stayed after everyone else had left, gave me a big hug and smile and said how he was happy to see me again and that he enjoyed the class. I was filled with joy; a smile on my face and a hop in my step as I made my way thru the parking lot to my vehicle.

It was quite a cool morning.

p.s. i’m still running. gonna wait til i have a race in mind to talk more about that….

a potato story and a little more….

Posted in 40 mile run, motivation, photos, road with tags , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2010 by afuntanilla

I used to feel very uncomforatble in taking up any space. I used to behave as though i didn’t “deserve” to take up any space or “have a voice at the table”.  I used to be extremely shy when people offered me things and of course, I never asked for anything.  A couple of examples for better illustration;

Back in early 1990’s, i lived in San Francisco with 2 great friends. Well, one already great friend, Alec, and another person who grew to be my best friend,  Holly. Holly had just moved in with us. While she and I shared many commonalities, we also shared many differences. One difference was in the whole cooking arena. Me and my little self didn’t know how to cook and rarely ate at home unless it was something very simple. So, one day, Holly & I were in the kitchen and I was about to eat a simple baked potato I had made for myself. She, on the other hand, was making a huge pot of Jambalya. (She is from a small town outside of Baton Rouge, LA, so the girl knows how to cook some Jambalya! ) Here’s what was said in kitchen.

Holly: If you wanna wait, this Jambalaya is gonna be ready in just a bit”

Me: (feeling all awkward & uncomfortable), “oh…um…no, I’m just gonna eat my potato”

She looked at me incredulously. Why the hell would someone chose to eat a baked potato vs homemade Jambalaya? Well, what she didn’t know then was how much I DID want the Jambalaya, but I was so queasy about accepting the offer that I simply could not do it.

Present Day – When I go to her house, I practically beg her to cook for me, we eat off each others plates and often crack up at the potato story.

Other examples of how i didn’t feel comfortable taking up space are simply those many times I have been with mutiple people at dinner tables or work functions or anything where people are gathered and sharing ideas. I would often remain quiet..very quiet because I always felt what I had to say was so trivial and stupid. And when I did speak up, i often felt like people just looked at me and when i was finished, simply moved on with their conversation. So…that did not help to give me confidence.  I felt invisible. I felt ridiculous for even being there…

Fast Forward to present day..this past Friday,  I was invited to lunch by some managers in my office. They wanted to take me to lunch and get my ideas on work stuff. So, here I am, at a table with 4 men, who wanted my input. Not only was I more than happy to give my input, but i felt totally comfortable and like i totally belonged right there at that table.

I bring these things up because as i was sitting yesterday morning  being quiet and reflecting, i had these realizations of how much I have grown over the years. And it feels freaking awesome. The whole feeling like i belong…..i didn’t even think about it at the lunch meeting. It was a non-issue. I only thought about it upon reflection. How great is that!

And now, here I am, totally putting myself out there to people, to companies, as I prepare for this epic birthday run. Asking for support…wanting to share a story so deeply personal…but wanting to share because I hope to have impact…to inspire….if i can inspire just 1 person, my life is valuable. period. If i can inspire 1 person to take a risk, to push themselves just a litte more, my life is valuable. period. If i can help to fill bags for children who have so little, my life is valuable. period.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. You make it worthwhile.

And now a few pics from the weekend runs;  bridge along Silver Comet Trail –

One of my favorite sections of trail…so dark because of all the lush green overhang…

Little Tunnel…

It was a bit humid…

A pretty good week capped off with Sunday double of 14 miles in a.m. and 4 in p.m. Drank some Coconut Water for first time. Not the greatest tasting drink, but it sure did help w/ replenishment. For those who don’t already know, coconut water is the purest form of electrolyte replacement. Go get yours!

Getting more and more excited about the birthday run. Have lots of ideas and will be sharing more info and details as I get some things up and running, so to speak.

Train hard. Train Smart. Push beyond what you think you are capable of…FIND OUT!!!