Busy. Busy. Busy. From the 1990’s into the new millennium, that’s how one would describe Liz Byrne. Twenty-four years working on Wall Street in positions with more and more responsibility. Business travel, long hours, and raising a daughter alone Liz was in a constant state of doing. Today Liz, however, is the author of the chapter “Just Sit Down: A Premeditation Routine,” in the newly released Pearls of Wisdom book. So how did this chronically busy woman finally take the time to just sit down?
About three years ago, Liz, along with many of her Wall Street colleagues, was laid off. She had given twenty-four years of her life to the financial services industry. It was where she grew up. Her job defined her. Everyone around her had jobs. So the next logical step was to find a new job.
Liz found a job in the medical field. A field she had no interest in. It was also at this time that she discovered coaching, soul counseling to be exact. During one of her sessions, she was asked, “What do you want to be?” Liz replied with, “I like managing projects, and people, I don’t really see myself in the medical profession, or as a school teacher, I’m just not sure what I want to be.” Her counselor then shared what he wanted to be: joyous, happy and free. Liz got it. Her initial response was all about doing, but how would she figure out what she wanted to be?
Liz realized she had to stop. Stop doing. She realized to find her true being she needed some time and space. So the first thing she did was quit her job. That got her the time. And for her space, Liz bought a comfy chair for her bedroom. Here she would watch the sunrise and journal. Though she was making strides to her self-discovery, she was still doing. She went to the gym at a set schedule. Meditated for the right amount of time each day. Even though the activities where soul supporting, she was still doing them, doing things. Then one day something different happened. Liz went for a walk on the boardwalk near her house with no time frame for returning. She stopped and chatted with friends. She picked up shells on the beach. At that moment she had given herself permission to stop and relax. It was from this place that she began to discover her true self.
“As I was examining my life, all aspects of it – work life, personal life, relationships, my spiritual self – this was where I was able to find my true being – and this is how I discovered that I wanted to be Happy, helpful and creative. Because what I did in this examination was I looked at what things brought me the most joy and satisfaction in my life. How do things make me feel? I looked at my feelings! My reactions, my emotions. I looked at how I felt when I was doing things that I enjoyed – and the feelings that kept coming up for me were – happy, helpful and creative feelings were the ones that resonated with me the most. It was in the examination of the specific moments in my life that I was able to discover this.”
Liz then started to begin each day with the words “I am happy, helpful and creative.” She worked with the feelings that accompany these words and soon enough what she should be doing to support her being, became very clear. It started with a writing class. Some volunteering and fundraising. These paths lead her to her mission.
Liz’s mission now is to teach people how to find their true being, their sense of true self. Liz developed the STORY process to do just this. STORY is an acronym that stands for Stop, tag, objectify, revise and yes. It is a process to use when you are confronted with negative emotions. You stop and take note of what’s going on around you. You tag the emotions you are feeling. You objectify what’s going on by identifying the people, places and things that could be eliciting this negative emotion. Next you revise. You can choose in any given situation to change your emotion. Try on something new. Now we say yes. Yes to the new feeling you have chosen for yourself. *
Liz re-invented her life in a mere three years. What are you waiting for? Stop doing and determine what you want to be. Sit down and investigate your STORY.
SOUL Survey Questions
- How do you stay focused and motivated?
First – I believe in my message of learning how to be and in my process called STORY. I know there are many people who can and will benefit from incorporating this into their life and I want to be of service to them. Also – I am uber organized from my corporate days! I always have a business plan – usually going out a few months with very specific tasks for the upcoming month.
- How do you deal with naysayers?
This is still new to me – so the only “naysaying” I have encountered was a few people responding to my blog entries. But my feeling is – hooray – they read it and it moved them to comment! All opinions are good ones – as long as we are conversing on this stuff. I also had many people, family and friends, who thought I was nuts when decided to take time to stop. I just knew in my heart that it was time for me to make a big change in my life and I let them know that that was what I was going to do!
- How do you blur the lines between work and play?
I actually don’t blur the line much at all. When I work, I work, and when I play, I play. I always (well almost always…) have good chunks of time allotted for pure fun and relaxation. The only way this gets blurred – is in conversation with people during my down time. I love to talk to people about their feelings and emotions and how they can be their best self. So I’ll talk to anyone about that at any time!
* To learn more about the STORY process visit Liz’s website http://www.lizbyrne.com/