Originally posted August 5, 2014
This One Time at
Band Camp…
(actually, 10 days at jazz camp…)
For the last 2 weeks, I had the honor and pleasure of being a part of Chicago Jazz Philharmonic’s 6th Annual Summer Jazz Academy.  (It was my 5th year!) 
Everyday, Monday through Friday, 8:30am – 5pm, over 110 students from across Chicagoland came together to make music, experience a variety of dance, art, writing and music classes, be exposed to a variety of professional performances, and have a ton of fun.
People continually ask me why I do it…’It sounds like a lot of work.’  And it is!  I could write a manifesto about why I am a part of this organization.  I won’t go into that now, except to say that I learn so much each year from the amazing and inspiring students, faculty and staff.
(CJP Jazz Academy 2014 L. Picchietti – Click on to see some cool video)
Bottom line…am I exhausted at the end of each day? YES!  Does it take me away from building my business for two weeks? YES!  (But I did take many client calls during camp!) Are there 100 other things on my to-do list that don’t get to-done’d? YES!  Do I care? NO!
Why?  Why would I choose to put so much of my time and energy into these two weeks?  Because, to be honest, I actually do it for me.  Spending time with the students, faculty and staff fuels me.  It energizes me to the core.
We get so caught up in the doing of our lives…we have post-it notes reminding us to call the dentist; tones on our phone reminding us about that 1:30 meeting; supervisors reminding us that the report is due tomorrow; significant others reminding us that we have plans with friends and/or family this weekend; and notebooks and phone apps to check off all of our to-do’s!  No wonder so many people are exhausted.  We are no longer human beings, we have become human-doings!
That is why I ask my clients, what fuels them?  What excites them, makes them laugh like a toddler, or allows them to recharge?  Many of us have gotten so far away from being, that we don’t even know what fuels us anymore.
Last month on HOLY SHIFT!, Barb and I discussed how to identify what fuels you.  Ask yourself these three questions:
1.        What are doing now that fuels you?
2.    What did you use to do that fueled you or recharged your batteries?  (This is where the question comes in…what did you do as a kid that made you giggle?)
3.    What have you always wanted to do but were afraid to try?
You can listen to the show and topic in its entirety here at HOLY SHIFT! for a more in-depth explanation.
It’s interesting how we treat our vehicles better than we treat ourselves.  We make time for regular check-ups (oil-change), annual maintenance, and we keep fuel in the tank, often the high-octane kind!  Yet, when it comes to ourselves, we put off our own maintenance (doctor, dentist, etc., appointments), we physically fuel ourselves with junk that is not at all nourishing, and we completely forget to fuel our souls.  The Jazz Academy fuels my soul.  The students are brilliant and totally crack me up!  Everyone involved teaches and inspires me.  It’s not about creating world-class musicians, although we will have several sprout from our program.  It’s about learning how to communicate, cooperate, take risks, build confidence, mentor others, forge new friendships, improvise in music and in life; and understanding that you can strive to be whatever you want to be, regardless of what others tell you.  By the way, that’s not only for the students, it’s a great reminder for all of us adults as well!
I know exactly what fuels me and I choose to incorporate as much as I can into my daily life.  Leading worship as a singer fuels me, spending time with family and friends fuels me, facilitating trainings and workshops fuels me, experiencing new things fuels me, working with my clients fuels me, traveling fuels me, and being a part of the CJP Jazz Academy fuels me.
Find out what fuels you and choose to make that time for yourself.  All the other areas of your life will be more fulfilling and satisfying when you spend time fueling up!  And by the way, this is the only time you have permission to top off the tank!!
Here’s to fueling your bliss!
Lesley Picchietti, CPC, ACC, ELI-MP
© Inspire Bliss Coaching and Consulting 2014
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