On letting go and letting flow

Hello Dear Readers,

I hope that September is treating you well and that you are your loved ones are healthy and safe. For those that face the start of school, and some of the anxieties that are likely to crop up, I hope you are taking deep breaths and centering.

For those that are enjoying the unofficial last week of the summer before Labor Day, I wish you a last lovely week. Labor Day typically signals the end of Fall for many of us, with schools starting around that time. For me, it has always felt like “the new January” because I have always loved the start of a new school year. New notebooks, a new school outfit or two and the freshness of a new set of subjects to learn.

For me, I have been contemplating a change, specifically a “sunset” to regular posting here. I have spent 3 years producing regular content here. For one year I posted every single day! (And for most of that I was working full time…) In total I have produced 720+ pieces of content. This blog began as a test for me. I love to write. And I wanted to see if I could produce consistently, on a challenging schedule. Mission accomplished.

While I do not strive here for news-worthy New York Times quality journalism, my goal is authenticity, personal learning and growth. I have been so grateful for the support of this community at WordPress. I have not been reading as much of your work lately, as I turn attention toward finding more sustainable income for my family. And I know you will be generous in understanding how that goes…

I have been neglecting the task of working on my professional website and producing consulting and coaching resources that will help launch my business and help my clients. And as I have been letting go of old files at home, and culling my library, it occurred to me that it’s time to decrease the “open channels” so I can go ALL THE WAY in this endeavor.

After every sunset, there is a sunrise. And new opportunities on the horizon…

Rather than making offers to potential clients, I have been staying stuck in indecision mode about what is next. When I listened to my soul and got really honest with myself I admitted I love to teach, coach, and develop curricula around the needs of an organization or department. Writing is breathing to me. So I will “pitch” myself for projects in that arena also.

It is time to make offers every day to those may need what I have to offer. Rather than applying for jobs with descriptions that are only 50-60% aligned with my strengths and interests, why not create offers for potential clients that are 90-100% aligned?

Short answer: because it is scary. Because it means rejections are inevitable. Sales people understand that there is typically a ratio of 10-30 “nos” for every yes. And yet, I am confident and driven enough to use those “nos” as fuel. Each one gets me closer to a new client.

I see so many managers, directors and VPs that are leading in tough times. In normal times, the best ones do a lot of coaching of employees. Now, they are barely able to keep their heads above water, and development coaching has fallen by the wayside. They also need support, and are not always getting it if companies have had to let go of L&D staff and internal coaches to cut costs.

I see employees who need and want support for their own development, given that their roles may have dramatically changed in the past 6 months. And I see companies that are so stressed and stretched that they are not able to assess emerging needs beyond getting through the current daily challenges. External perspectives can help.

As I brainstormed what I will offer, I recorded a few videos of myself talking through what I can do. Suddenly an explosion of energy bolted through me as I saw how I have been holding back due to fear. No more. I am ready.

This blog will stay live temporarily as I figure out how to archive and possibly re-write my favorite pieces for short LinkedIn articles. And occasionally I may not be able to help myself from issuing political commentary once in a while when I need to save my husband from my wrath and yelling at the news. You knew that yoga teachers are not the calmest people, right? We tend to teach what we most want to learn. 😉

This is my love letter to all of you. You are a wonderful community. You have engaged with my content in meaningful and helpful ways to me. I am ever in your debt in terms of your contribution to my growth. As winter emerges and business cycles for my industry typically slow at some times of the year, I hope to return to being a more regular reader of your work. In the meantime, stay safe and healthy.

Much love and “mil gracias a todos”

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Research resources

Hi Friends,

I know I made a commitment a while back to a series on clinical trials and on resources for those who might be considering participating in a research study. I am working on collecting resources, but frankly it is taking time to evaluate the sources I have found.

Most of the resources I have scanned so far are podcasts and news sources. The ones that are targeted toward clinical research professionals are pretty dry and a little difficult to endure (even for me). The ones that are more “mass media” related tend to dumb down the research in ways I do not believe are helpful.

I am enjoying “Short Wave” by NPR as a science podcast generally. They report on the COVID situation of course, but they also report on a broader range of topics. I especially appreciated their coverage of “challenge trials” and the ethics of people volunteering to exposed to the virus. In a relatively short time, they manage to convey useful concepts that may help non-scientists understand important principles.

Short Wave
A snippet from the site of Short Wave

I continue to hunt for better material, or might just start creating material on my own if I cannot find sources that serve. I am never one to re-invent a wheel so scanning the landscape was my first part of this project.

Be well. Feel free to ask any questions here if you imagine you would have if you would consider volunteering for a research study. That way I will know what your doubts and fears might be and can better speak to what comes up. Thanks!

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

Trials and tribulations

Hi Friends,

I have been wondering how best to use my expertise and skills to be of service during the COVID-19 situation, and brainstorming ways to put my experience to good use in a new job.

Offering yoga online has been very fulfilling, and it has allowed me to contribute to keeping a small business running that had to close acupuncture operations for 2.5 months. I love getting to know my students better and the Sunday (Re)treats have been my favorite.

It has also occurred to me that clinical trials are running for treatments and for vaccines to help save lives and stop the spread of this infection. I have 12+ years of experience as a clinical researcher, and I am good at explaining technical concepts to non-scientists in a way that makes sense. Mission taking shape…

Web MD coronavirus picture
Photo credit – WebMD (COVID-19: What You Should Know)

I have noticed that Universities have difficulty explaining clinical trials to potential participants in ways they understand. Many of their resources are text-heavy and use a lot of technical terms. It is a chronic problem for the informed consent process as well, which is required before volunteering to participate in a trial.

In service to helping people understand which trials might be the best fit, I am considering a series on de-mystifying the clinical trial process. It may be a matter of curating the best content that is available and sharing it. I am strongly committed to advocating for participants who may be confused and want clarification of their questions.

The ACRP (Association of Clinical Research Professionals) explains that with the pandemic looming large at hospitals, many trial sites are not recruiting participants and face the danger of not completing their enrollments. This could have devastating effects on the development of other life-saving therapies outside of this virus.

My questions are these:

  • Have you ever thought about volunteering for a clinical trial?
  • What are your reservations about participating in a trial?

For now, since the biggest question people seem to have for the news media on vaccines and trials is: why will this take so long? I am posting an info-graphic from St. Luke’s which nicely summarizes the process. I’ll be back later this week or next to follow further in bite-sized stories if there is interest in this topic.

phases of a clinical trial
Credit to St. Luke’s Cancer Clinical Trials Center for this graphic

Stay well and safe. Wash your hands. Wear your mask. Be kind.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Saturday Share – Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam

“The world is my family”, originally comes from the Upanishads, ancient Sanskrit tomes. In this time of a global pandemic and near-universal lockdown, it has salience in that we’re truly all in it together – East, West, rich, poor, black, white, brown, Hindu, Muslim, young, old – and the only way to overcome, recover, heal […]

via Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — random rants ruminations ramblings

I have a growing interest in Sanskrit because of my studies of yoga. This blogger had a beautiful translation and discussion of this message that we can all appreciate at this time.

Enjoy!

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Saturday Share – 10 Eye-Opening Writing Rituals from Great Writers — Victoria Ray

The author should die once he has finished writing. So as not to trouble the path of the text. Umberto Eco The truth is (social distancing or not), I am still a very disorganised author. How could I publish so many books? 🤨 I don’t know. That’s why I’m diving in into some rituals of the greatest,…

via 10 Eye-Opening Writing Rituals from Great Writers — Victoria Ray

For those of you who would like to establish a writing routine during quarantine, my friend and writer Victoria Ray has pulled together a few ideas for you.

Cheers & happy weekend,

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

Be the wordless person in the world for a moment (re-post)

***I am working on a separate writing project. I also went back to read some January 2019 posts. My writing can often give me reminders and clues to what I need to do now. So I’m re-posting an edited blog in that spirit.**

I borrowed the above title from a line in a guided meditation. I wish I could remember which one so I can properly attribute it. It reminds me that building more space into my weekly time for reflection and writing my own work is more challenging than I thought. I am seldom the wordless person. I have lots of words. And I share them freely.

new journal - be bold
My brand new journal, given to me as a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law.

When you write “morning pages” in your journal, you are the only one who can give yourself praise for getting your work done. Social media and the clicks and likes can be an addictive little “hit” for affirmation. As a writer, I write every day no matter what. It is like oxygen for me. But I am susceptible to that buzz that comes from others receiving the work well.

I am comforted to know that there is brain chemistry and neurobiology behind this, of course. Those clicks and likes produce a little hit of dopamine in your brain, and because we are social creatures, approval is important to us at a primal level. There is nothing wrong with that. It is very natural. Please have compassion for yourself if you worry sometimes about what other people think. Being part of a tribe or pack was how the mammals of today survived.

As a person who loves words, and who loves the ease of publishing that blogs can offer, it is even harder for me to be the “wordless” person. I joke to my husband that this blog is my little soapbox, so that I can express my ideas freely without subjecting him to all of my opinions.  So he is grateful that it exists. 😉

Some days, I am better off going into observer mode rather than writing publicly. It is like meditation, noticing what is going on in my body, and in my mind, while not attaching to it. Emotions come and go, as thoughts do. Ideas float through and sometimes I want to grab a pen. But I sit, and allow things to flow through. My ego-ic mind can be quite impressed with my thoughts sometimes. But my higher self, the watcher, just observes and allows. No thought is better than another, they just are.

Is it challenging to be the wordless person? Heck yeah, more than I ever realized.

Cheers,

cristy@meximinnesotana.com