The Conductor Finally Sets Down His Baton

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Introducing June's Author of the Month, Kyle Elliott. Kyle and I became fast friends working at San Francisco State University. After going through what I'd call a self-worth crisis, we both read Shauna Niequist's Present Over Perfect, and realized we needed to change our lives if we wanted to feel nourished and fulfilled in our day to day's. This led to Kyle leaving his job and going full-time as a Career Coach, a very successful one. You can click the link in his bio to set up your own consultation! 

It is amazing what a year can do for someone. I barely recognize either of us from where we were at a year ago. We are much happier, joyful, and always filled to the brim with lattes :)

Hello! I’m Kyle Elliott – a friend of Jayme’s and the founder and career coach behind Through my work, I help people navigate career and life transitions. I also help them find happiness. I love coffee (if you couldn’t tell), writing and eating the same thing at different restaurants. I also love sharing my whole truth; as such, I share this story with you so you may sit with me in my journey to slow down and find silence – something that is becoming a little easier for me each day.

The conductor keeps waving his baton faster and faster and faster.

The orchestra produces more and more music to keep up. But really, they just want to slow down. They just want a break. They just want to pause. They just want to breathe.

The conductor has been waving his baton for far too long. He won’t slow down. He won’t take a break. He won’t pause. He won’t breathe.

The conductor’s passion has allowed the orchestra to produce truly beautiful music.

The conductor’s passion has also drained the orchestra. They are incredibly tried. They are exhausted. They want to slow down. They want a break. They want to pause. They want to breathe.

The conductor is my compulsions. My need to keep going and going and going. My impulse to work on projects at 2 o’clock in the morning even when I’m exhausted.

The conductor is afraid that if he stops waving his baton and producing music, he won’t be able to start again.

While this has allowed the conductor to produce truly exceptional music, he has also exhausted the orchestra.

The orchestra is my drive to succeed and the music is my output — work, work, work.

The music that the orchestra produces is exceptional, but they never get to enjoy their music. The orchestra is exhausted. They just want the conductor to slow down so they can enjoy their own music. They just want to breathe.

They want the conductor to wave his baton a little slower. The conductor doesn’t even need to stop. He just needs to slow down so the orchestra can experience the music and catch their breath. So they can experience the music. So they can enjoy the audience and not be overwhelmed by the loudness.

The orchestra wants to push the conductor off the stage. They want to tell the conductor they are tired and out of breath. They want to end the busyness. They want to reap the rewards of the music they produce. They want to experience silence.

But they can’t push the conductor off the stage. They can’t gather the courage. So instead, they keep playing faster and faster.

Until someone in the ensemble stops playing.

And then another person in the ensemble stops playing.

And another person in the ensemble stops playing, until eventually only one person is playing.

The conductor notices, so he waves his baton faster and faster, with the hope that the audience won’t recognize members of the ensemble have stopped playing.

People in the audience do notice. It has become a solo performance. But to the conductor’s surprise, the audience starts clapping and cheering. They appreciate the show. While the ensemble was good, the soloist is even more beautiful. He is able to shine without being drowned out by the other members of his orchestra.

The conductor is in awe – he recognizes that he can slow down. That he can take a break. That he can pause. That he can breathe.

So the conductor sets down his baton and enjoys the music.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

Social media is funny.
I post the lively, fun, usually out and about moments.

But in reality, I work a nurse's hours.
The majority of my days are spent 12+ hours working with little to no breaks and usually rushing and overlapped events until I come home.

And if I let it….

That's what my life becomes. 

To do lists, frantically running around, getting things done, sending emails, scheduling and hosting meetings...becoming a tapped out person with an underwhelmed soul.

SO. With that said…it sounds simple...but I just wanted to add FUN in my life. 

I know, so simple right?...But I live in extremes. I am either having the time of my life or I am so buckled down I forget that I have a life outside of my career(s).

So, I bought a pink glittered notebook with blank pages and no lines. 

And every day, I color out my day. 

My art and handwriting are not cute, at all by the way.

And surprisingly it still has been my favorite daily ritual.
Adding fun was inspired by yet again, Present over Perfect.

Before handing off the book Present Over Perfect to a friend, I re-read some of the chapters I highlighted, and this "candy throwing" page resonated with why I decided to add some no lines, overly dramatic glittery notebook fun into my daily ritual.

Because I want to throw candy...and not just at designated candy throwing times:

Existing in August

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

*My blog is going through a face lift, keep with me y'all.

"I know when you are prioritizing yourself and when you are giving too much to others"... As my mentee / friend was speaking life into me this Summer...

One of the most common phrases in my industry of higher education, especially in Student Affairs, we say, "We don't exist to our family and friends in August". Eluding to the fact we are spending hours upon hours and weeks in a row working with no time off. I am not exaggerating when I say we are working from sunrise to the wee hours of the night...again, typically with no time off.

And talking to my dear friend A, who is in their first professional position, they said, "*$@% that. I am going to exist in August. I am going to exist to my friends in August. My life is not going to disappear in August"...

And as the last 6 teams I've prepared for some type of training in their essentially "summer camp" for 10 mos role, I can't believe I just didn't do that....exist in August.

It's so unheard of. It's almost all the best ways possible.

I've been in conversation in and living in this theme for the last year or two of peace, feeling whole, creating space, experiences over things, and all these mantras that without a doubt have instrumented my life into what it is...

But existing in August?

Now that certainly is about to be a challenge.

....I wrote the above the last week of July...Because I wanted to see if I actually kept my word...and although not exactly to a T, I do believe I created more time than I normally do to live life in August! AND you best believe I am going to celebrate that.

Existing in August:
Oakland least 4 times in August!
Oakland's First Fridays
San Francisco's Pro Soccer Team - Deltas

HA. K from Boston visiting!

Read through some books, wrote, and blogged

Reunited with Bae over Berkeley and challenges!

SLAY: Hip hop party for LGBTQ+, POC, and Allies
Ending August with D's goodbye party

Be your own negotiator

Thursday, June 30, 2016

People comment that I am busy. I always say, no my life is full. You can read why I say full instead of busy: BUSY IS A SICKNESS. A mentor told me we are constantly negotiating. We negotiate our relationships, goals, priorities, values, and so forth.

And because I love to say yes to TOO many things because I love so many people and projects, I have to negotiate my year, ahead of time.

Last week, some of my friends and I sat on Google plus at midnight my time and did some early life negotiation brainstorming. So, hopefully this is helpful for you too and chances are if you're still reading, it is because you need to negotiate.

I won't go into what I'm dreaming up for this next year, but I will show you how I negotiated this past year.

Home team:
WHO is your home team/tribe/squad? What relationships take precedent this year?
It sounds gross to write down your most important relationships, but for me, it's a visual of who I should be intentional about reaching out to. Every person's home team is different. I tend to have about 8-12 people on my home team. Some years I've had 4 and some I'd have closer to 20.

These are short (3 mos to 5 years) and long term goals (5 years and beyond). Finances. Family. Career. Etc. They should be measurable or it should have a feeling associated to the goal like success, respect, joy, freedom, etc.

DAILY, what is important to you? These are little things you do every day to work yourself up to the big picture.
A goal of mine was that I pray every day. So, I make room every single day to pray and write down prayers of family and friends. Sounds simple, but I stick to it because at the end of the year, I want to feel I have had a fruitful prayer life centered around those I care about!
Your priorities, if done consistently will achieve your goals. Both long term and short term.

FOCUSES ON ENERGY AND PRESENCE. How do you see yourself living your life? Are you focused? Carefree? Loving?
This past year, it was important I lived my year in peace despite needing some "quick" answers to some of my bigger life questions.

Skydiving. Zip lining. So many concerts each year. Farmers markets. These are less occurring experiences, maybe 1-2 turns into a hobby. But these are experiences because they will give you thrills. If you plan to make these experiences regular, they won't be thrills to you. They are a hobby.

Once you've finished editing your list, it's time to start adding these into your calendar. Maybe you are go with the flow. I think I'm both, I love to plan ahead, but knowing everything doesn't work out the way it is suppose to. But for me, what is the point in negotiating what's important to you and not following through? So, get organized, schedule things in advance that can be.

...this is A LOT of information. So, I pick a few to focus on and if I happen to work on all the others, great. If not, I won't beat myself up. Granted, I am still working on this as I WANT TO DO EVERYTHING.

So, hopefully this is helpful for you. This list doesn't happen in one hour at a coffee shop or out in nature. This takes awhile to craft and will evolve throughout the year.

So, start somewhere and stay consistent with it. Life is never perfect because people aren't. So, start negotiating the life you want and everything else will fall into place even if it's not the place you expect it to.

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