- Don’t take anything personally. Your aunt really does think your blue jeans with the rips and tears are stylish. And while your Mom is still trying to feed you ham even though you have been Vegan for 5 years; it’s just her way of saying “I love you.”
- Don’t be contrarian. You may and probably are right about your point of view. You even have the facts to back it up. You may find all the materialism bourgeois (had to look up how to spell that)…AND, they are doing the best they can given what they know. Save it for deep conversation over craft beer.
- Sing Christmas songs. Even if you are Jewish; a bunch of those songs were written by Jews. Singing Christmas songs and a very small number of Hanukkah songs lifts your spirits and puts you in a better mood. My house is full of songs and humming and Christmas candles…hard to be grumpy with all that Christmas spice.
- Give. I am not talking about presents here. I am talking about generosity of your spirit, energy and love. Appreciate your local mall employee, postman or woman. Give to the homeless on the street. Send a check to one of those direct mail solicitations for a charity you trust. Bake some cookies for your neighbors; give your employees extra time off. You get the picture.
- FIVE APPRECIATIONS PER DAY! (Please either sing that or at least sing it in your head:) Ok, here is your stretch challenge: Appreciate 5 different people per day until Christmas. Acknowledgment and appreciation both empowers and fills up the other person, it also enhances your mood, and bolsters your immune system. Move over Vitamin C!
- Maintain your exercise routine. Ok, sounds a little like your Personal Trainer, and we all know it can be a nutritional blood bath out there. Keep doing what you have been doing…yoga, running, cycling, boot camp, walking. By simply maintaining your routine, your mind and body stay sane.
- Do one project you have been putting off. We all have some time off and more space in our schedule during this time. If we are not present, the two weeks go by and we are not quite sure what happened except eating and lounging. Pick ONE project you have been putting off and complete it during this time. Create support from your family and make it fun! You will feel SO good when it is complete!
- Buy yourself one small indulgence gift. Even if you are financially strapped, buying yourself one indulgence gift has you feel special and important. Make sure you spend appropriately to your current conditions, and remember: the act of living and being abundant draws abundance to you.
- Appreciate the miracles. This is the season of miracles, no matter what your spiritual or religious beliefs. Begin to look for and appreciate the miracles of the season. Whether it is the parking place you score at the mall, or your son or daughter coming home for the holidays…let the miracles warm your heart and inspire your wonder.
- Say No. OR Yes. Check in with yourself before saying no or yes. If you really are overwhelmed and need some space, say no. If you want to and feel like you “shouldn’t” for no good reason, say yes. Be present to what is really your higher self and does no harm to others. Choose because you choose.
- Love the one your with. Make sure and show up for the people that are most important to you. Especially the ones that live with you or are your closest peeps. It’s easy to put on the glitz for everyone else out there. Connect with your intimate friends and family and celebrate them in a way they “get” it. PS…’cuz they put up with you all year.
- Put cookies and milk out for Santa. For those of you with younger children, of course you will! And if you are single, or your children are older or don’t “believe” anymore…do it anyway. FOR YOU. There is simply nothing like believing in magic to light up our lives. And while I’m at it…watch at least one great Christmas/Holiday movie this season. Crying is good medicine.
I am a Jewish girl raised in Texas. In the 70s and 80s. I like jewelry. My mom loved her bling, my Dad managed a department store with a jewelry department and I was raised enjoying my jewelry accessories. I had pieces of jewelry that I wore religiously for decades.
And in the span of 18 months I not only lost my most precious pieces of jewelry once but twice. In exactly the same way…I was traveling to Asia and set it somewhere and was not present. My jeweler’s wife actually said to me…”you are too busy thinking of all the things you got to do, slow down.” Ouch.
I lost pieces that meant a lot, were given to me by special people, things that are irreplaceable for many reasons. And for months, I couldn’t talk about it without feeling loss, shame, stupidity, and anger (at myself.) All of these emotions are still present, just more muted now.
And add to that inventory, two pairs of lovely sunglasses, a fitbit, and I am sure something else….
When I say “on the way to enlightenment”, I truly mean, I am on the way, like the first brick on that yellow brick road. And the lesson this affords me is not “lost” on me. I am shedding a skin, like when a snake sheds its skin for something new. I am shedding the past, just not how I thought it would look.
This all began as I let go of the core transformational business of the WorldWorks Trainings (loss number 1 was the night I finished my last Third Weekend for those of you that know what that means.) I am clear it was the best choice for me and as I look back it was how I identified myself. It was my baby, and my value in the world was very much tied up in that accomplishment. So…
Lesson #1: You are not your job, past accomplishments, reputation, successes or failures. Identifying with your past will only hold you back. Your past gives you experience, confidence (you are still alive) and possibly clarity…not much else.
Lesson #2: The universe will keep serving up the lesson until you surrender. I would never have imagined repeating the same lack of being present twice. And clearly I hadn’t learned the lesson that the universe is so graciously providing for me. Surrender early or pay later with penalties and interest.
Lesson #3: Stripped of your persona, you are left really looking at who you are and what you are made of. I have gotten to really see who I am recently, some of which I like very much and will continue to be…some of which I don’t and am working on transforming. As a transformational leader, this is both humbling and invigorating.
Lesson #4: Always go back to the basics. The basics for me are: come from Love as often as possible, be responsible for my life, my results, my choices and my interpretations, and give and contribute. Oh, and be authentic, especially when I don’t want to be.
Lesson #5: Allow people to support you. I have not always been good at this and not sure I really am good at it yet, but I know it works. Allowing support in any way that it comes takes clarity, power, and trust. You are creating it all anyway, so you might as well accept what you are bringing to you.
I wish for you enlightenment without losing things…and I am fairly confident you have lost plenty. Whether that be love, someone you love’s passing, a job, a house, a homeland…that you navigate your loss with grace, dignity, love and trust.
My losses recently have been material, much less confrontive than losing my mom’s mental capability to dementia. This too has been a loss…one that is bitter in its heartache and sweet in its innocence. And so I bless the moments with her and my family, my wife, my boys, my friends, my clients, my students and keep walking one yellow brick at a time down the road toward enlightenment, reminding myself of the beauty in the walk.
I watched the movie “The Post” last night. If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about the publishing of The Pentagon Papers by The Washington Post and The NY Times in 1971, basically exposing the Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations for lying to the American people about the Viet Nam War. It was also, the beginning of the end for Richard Nixon as President.
In the movie, the editor Ben Bradlee and owner Katherine Graham have to make a decision between publishing the information or caving to the government’s gag order. They choose to publish, which was their integrity.
- firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values: incorruptibility
- an unimpaired condition: soundness
- the quality or state of being complete or undivided: completeness
I have always had integrity around “wholeness”. Especially being whole with ourselves. I talk about it in my trainings all the time. It is from the Latin meaning soundness, wholeness, completeness.
And I LOVE, incorruptibility! Those journalists in the early 70s were not corruptible (especially Danial Ellsberg who leaked the info) by the government or even the threat of jail time and financial devastation.
I believe the students walking out of schools this week and last month are incorruptible in their vision and cause. Agree or disagree, they are standing for what they believe without regards to the consequences of their actions. Flashback: The civil rights movement, the women’s suffrage movement, the 60s peace movement.
There’s something about integrity in this way that is powerful, potent, transformative. When we see people standing in their own integrity (and everyone’s is different), even in the face of danger, failure, rejection, ridicule, harassment, betrayal, and in the extreme, death; something moves in us. We pay attention, turn our head, respect their courage, pray for their safekeeping; whether we agree with the subject matter or not.
I believe what moves us is our own longing for our integrity. I am not saying you are “not” in integrity in your life. And if you have ever been completely taken over by something bigger than yourself; a vision, purpose, mission, you know what making choices out of your integrity feels and looks like. You chose based on the wholeness and incorruptibility of your vision and mission. Nothing else would do. Your power came from within and was potent and clear.
So, my first question for you is, where might you be “out” of integrity for you? I am not referring to the agreements you have made out in the world that you may not be keeping. If you have broken agreements, clear them up, be responsible, handle it with the person or people impacted. If you are a graduate of transformational work, you know how to do this and why it is so important.
And, where might you be “out” with you? Perhaps it is your self care. Are you eating well, exercising, meditating, going to yoga, maintaining your prayer practice? I have been a commitment to my health for many years, however, I know in my heart when I am cutting corners, selling out, or being lazy.
Maybe you are “out” in your relationships, romantic or family/friends. Are you not speaking with honesty, authenticity? Are you withholding your love and appreciation because of some hurt or resentment? Are you being the parent you want to be? Or the son, daughter or sibling you want to be?
How about your career? Are you longing to be engaged in your passion? Maybe it’s art or coaching or your invention that could shift an industry. Maybe your integrity is about elevating your department or expanding your small business.
Is your integrity calling you to take a stand in your world? Oprah’s magazine has been focusing on this for the last two months. Love that woman! Are there ways for you to speak up, stand up, volunteer, add your voice or talent in the community around you?
What are you being called to be and do? There is a sign in our trainings that gets bigger every day: WHAT AM I PRETENDING NOT TO KNOW?
What would your answer to that question be?
If there was something about Mary, there is definitely something about integrity! What is your incorruptible stand in your life? What is the always flashing neon sign of your life? What do you want it to be? And …when they are the same, that is true peace.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”Melody Beattie
I was talking to one of my coaching clients the other day and I brought up “gratitude.” Interestingly, he had a NOT so wonderful interpretation around gratitude. I was inquisitive about that, and as we dug further, he explained that he always felt like gratitude was around being grateful for what you have IN CASE IT WENT AWAY. In other words… he should be grateful that his family is still alive and healthy, he has achieved success, etc. because it’s still here.
His view was more from what I call the context of “scarcity”… like he “should” be happy that he hasn’t lost these people, places or things for which he is grateful, sort of. The energy around it was a little like…” waiting for the shoe to drop and so glad it hasn’t.” In other words, from a fear based place.
This is a nuanced conversation because I believe that gratitude IS being grateful for what is in our life, however I think there is a more powerful way to experience gratitude.
What if gratitude was being in total acceptance of what you have right now in this moment with a full heart? For those of you that have done the WorldWorks Masters Course…it is the Mastery Principle of “have what you have.”
Fully accepting means just that…you fully accept. No “it’s great but it could be a little better”, no “I am grateful, as long as…”, no “I would be grateful but they aren’t.” You know it is authentic acceptance when there is full surrender. Your body feels no tension and you experience a fullness, wholeness, and for many, authentic joy.
I am not saying you shouldn’t have goals, accomplishments and a vision for your life that you are committed to creating! Quite the contrary, that is the juice that fuels you forward. AND gratitude plays a very important role in you achieving your vision. From authentic gratitude of what is, you have infinite space to create what isn’t!
If any part of you is resisting what is…what you resist persists and takes up the space that your future goals and dreams require to manifest.
Try this: When you want to be in gratitude and notice that you still have resistance to someone, something or some situation, start with “Thank you.” Several years ago I was turning a corner and tapped the car in front of me. I got out apologizing and letting them know I would cover any damage their car may have had.
The man looked at me, in the eyes, and said, “Thank you.” I again said I am so sorry and I will handle any damage. He looked me in the eyes again and said, “No. Really. THANK YOU.” And then got in his car and left. It was very clear to me, he was experiencing something I had an opportunity to practice. He was experiencing true gratitude. WOW!
Start with “thank you” even to yourself. Then perhaps you add “thank you for my morning coffee”, “thank you for my vibrant health”, “thank you for my mom calling me every day because she loves me”, “thank you for this traffic teaching me patience and kindness,” and on and on. Try it for 7 days and see what your experience is. I would love to hear about it.
Whether you do a Gratitude Journal or prayer or simply “think” gratefully, allowing full surrender and acceptance of what IS, will open up avenues of joy and happiness, beauty and grace.
So feeling blessed by you all,
I really love writing a New Years Blog, because I really believe that many of us look at the turning of the calendar as a new beginning and a new moment to create the next year. And what most of us do, unless very present and conscious, is commit to the new year and at the same time bring the same person we have been being right into the next year.
So as the calendar turns over tonight…this year I decided to look at 2017 as the template for who I get to be to create an extraordinary 2018!
First Lesson to carry forward: BE UNATTACHED!
For me its about being “unattached vs detached”. Unattached is letting go of attachment for me, while detached is disengaging. I first ‘got’ this when right after letting go of the main part of my transformational business, I lost all of my most important jewelry and a few other items.
Losing the physical items represented the attachment I had to when I got them, who gave them to me, how long I had them, when I wore them…And the spiritual lesson was…I am not what I did, what I own, what my title was, and frankly, how much was in my bank account.
I have gotten to reconnect with who I am without any of the stuff, titles, and recognition that seemed to define me previously. When I am not being run by my ego, I must say that the experience is freeing. And has provided me with the opportunity to create, redesign, innovate and risk.
I recommend that you take on “unattachment” without the drama of losing things, or people in your life. Perhaps whatever is occurring in your life is occurring exactly as it is supposed to for your bigger life lesson or for some glorious result that will occur in the future…whatever is coming is as good or better!
Second Lesson to carry forward: IT’S OK NOT TO WIN!
This one will drive those of you that are competitive crazy. And please hear that I am not saying give up, be a wimp, and don’t stand for yourself and others. I am saying…maybe I don’t have to win an argument, win a contest, win a discussion. Yes, it is about not having to be right (that hasn’t worked ever), it is also about allowing, giving space, keeping quiet, seeing how the situation unfolds. This is also not about losing. I would never advocate selling out on yourself, the people you love or your integrity or principles.
When I can get off myself and “walk in the other person’s moccasins”, I find MY OWN PEACE. Yes, you are right most of the time…yes, they would probably benefit by seeing it your way, AND what do you want to create in that relationship….being closer or further apart?
Third Lesson to carry forward: ACTUALLY BE PRESENT WITH YOUR PEEPS.
I can thank my mom for this lesson and my kids. My mom has recently been diagnosed with dementia. She has been forgetful for awhile, and this year she has had a significant shift. She lives in two different worlds..neither of them are unpleasant gratefully. Now, I only have my own peace when I am simply with her wherever she is. Fully present and connected, enjoying whatever moments we have together. She’s happy as a clam most of the time; it is my breakthrough to be loving, present and joyful, no matter how “fascinating” the conversation gets.
My boys, Aidan and Levi are a demand that I am present. For those of you with children, you know this well. There is no pretending, faking it, half assing it, dialing it in with them. And while I don’t always like their method of letting me know I am disconnected, they always nail it.
So this year, I have been and will continue to work on being fully present when I am with them and others. I am fully aware that these lessons are not new to those of you who have embarked on a transformational journey. They were not new to me. Knowing them and experiencing them in my face are a bit different and I am so grateful for the reminder, (I do miss a few pieces of jewelry still…).
As 2018 begins, there is much occurring in our lives, our communities, our country and our world to be thankful for and much to be at stake about. The natural disasters and fires of 2017 reminded us that no one is exempt from heartache and devastation. And nothing heals like the outpouring of love, support and generosity.
I invite you to begin 2018 with kindness in your heart, courage in your spine and wisdom in your soul as we CO-CREATE our lives together!
With much love and gratitude.
Happy New Year,
I get these “Notes from the Universe” on most days and the other day this was my note:
The top 10 spiritual ways, Lisa, to make friends, find love, trim down, shape up, defeat boredom, discover your purpose, make a fortune, and shine your light:
- Get quiet.
- Start anywhere.
- Lean into it.
- Open your heart.
- Keep busy.
- Schedule play.
- Ask for help.
- Don’t look back.
- Give more hugs.
- Feel gratitude.
I thought….hmm…those pretty much sum up some of the major life lessons I have learned, mostly from participating in transformational trainings and leading trainings.
Now, they all make sense, and of course we could just “go do them,” however “living” a lesson is different than being aware of a lesson.
So, I thought I would take each “way” and give you my life learned lesson with each one.
Get quiet. Well, the easy one here is meditate. Get quiet and go within. Within the stillness there is beauty, peace, space, and freedom. I believe that; however, I am an inconsistent meditator. Pretty lousy at it… fall asleep, think about my to do list, wish it were done.
Now, don’t get me wrong…meditate people! Use support, Deepak Chopra, Transcendental Meditation, Headspace, there are many. And “get quite” for me also means, stop and be present in the moment. Think before you speak sometimes. Be clear on your purpose when you speak. Be a great listener. Ask great questions. Be interested vs. interesting. Listen to the sounds of your child play, sing, laugh, sleep. Take a walk in nature WITHOUT your headset in.
Perhaps in the quiet, life sings its melody and God/The Universe kisses us gently.
Start anywhere. Yes, yes! Do something! Write a blog 🙂 Try network marketing, go to a yoga class, ask the cute one on a date. This is sometimes the hardest thing….just to do some THING. So, get honest with yourself… what do you want to be or do that you are not acting on?
Write it down and then write down 5 things (not big ones necessarily) you could do to START. And then pick one and do it… and tell a friend, coach, mentor that you are going to do it so they support you in being accountable. Then do the next one… and don’t stop until you’ve done all 5!
And then you’re off…
Lean into it. I have always assumed I knew what lean into it means and there is a little voice In my head that has always said… “well, you think that’s what it means.” So, here goes: Go towards your fear, rather than away from your fear.
In the transformational work I train and coach, I have always said, “be a heat seeking missile for what you fear most.” Lean into it is a little like that but not as scary. I appreciate that it means move toward the uncomfortable. Have conversations that are out of your comfort zone. Go for the job/client/girl or guy outside your box. Lean into your sadness or grief, feel it, it’s OK to hurt. And have compassion with yourself for all of it. If you haven’t read author Brene Brown’s work… please do. She gets this big time.
Open your heart. For me, this one is top priority. And by far for some of us, the most challenging and threatening. The only reason any of us wouldn’t open our heart (who doesn’t love an open-hearted person!) is our fear of being hurt, rejected or abandoned. I know for me that’s why I’m still afraid to be vulnerable. I remember when I was in my first transformational course and my heart broke wide open. I felt so much love I thought I would burst. Now I feel it with my kids, my family, my friends and so often when I am training and coaching.
Open your heart is about being loving when you don’t want to, feel hurt, or find it easier to judge or shut down. Being generous with yourself, finding compassion as well as strength to have the tough, honest conversations.
Challenge: Ask yourself, especially when you are triggered…”Am I being open-hearted right now?”….Unlock the door to your heart (you have the key.)
Keep busy. Ok, overachievers… be careful here. Remember there are important times to “get quiet.” My life lesson here is… HAVE A PURPOSE AND A PLAN. Have a purpose means that there is something you are up to that is calling you forward in your life. After the basic survival needs, this is what keeps people alive. We all know of couples that have been married 60 plus years and when one spouse dies, the other often dies quickly. They lost their ‘purpose’.
Your purpose may be raising amazing children, inspiring your family, leading your organization, making a difference, transforming the community. What moves you, keeps you excited, motivated and willing to overcome obstacles? I think you have one that you are already living or you are avoiding moving into that purpose. Everyone on this planet has a unique contribution and gift that deserves to be unleashed…are you aligned with yours? If not, find a coach, workshop, mentor to support you.
The plan part is simple; once you are clear on your purpose…create a plan and strategy to make it happen. Don’t be in “hope” that it will fall from the sky into your lap. Use the “ #2 start anywhere” and put yourself in motion. You can always adjust your plan.
Schedule play. Thank goodness for this reminder. We are a serious lot. This is way bigger than going to a Lakers game! What lights you up…snowboarding, tennis, golf, flying, fishing, salsa dancing, bird watching, hiking, kayaking…?
I AM NOT CONSIDERING VIDEO GAMES PLAY HERE!!!! Don’t get me started on the level of addiction our culture has with technology and video games. Play is freeing, fun, exciting, joyful. Video games are stress inducing and stimulate the same part of the brain as drugs. Enjoy them if you must, and I ask you to limit the time, especially for your kids.
Play allows you to excite your unconscious and stimulate create juices… that’s why Google and Apple and many organizations have basketball courts and other “play” stations on their campuses.
If you are overwhelmed with busy-ness, then schedule your play. We all need it! Check out famous TV Producer Shonda Rimes Ted Talk on this:
Ask for help. This actually goes with being vulnerable…asking for help. Just because you ask for help does not mean you are weak or helpless! Asking for “assistance” is brave and giving. It takes courage to ask and whoever you ask gets to contribute to you, which makes them feel better. You may ask for help when you really don’t know “how” to do something.
I believe the most courageous way to ask for help is when you can’t “see” something. It may be that you can’t see yourself and asking for feedback can best serve you. Or you are in the middle of a situation and can’t see from an elevated place; others can give you insight and perspective.
Ask for help/support when you are up to something big! The synergy of many minds, talents and energies can enhance your project multifold. People love to support you when you are passionate and inspired! Go for it.
Don’t look back. In our trainings, we use the analogy that life is like a sailboat. If you are sailing a sailboat, you cannot sail your boat by standing at the back of the boat and looking at where you have been. You must stand at the front of the boat and steer your boat where you want to go.
Too often, I notice people hanging on to the past, either being victimized by the events of the past (or the people) or hanging on the great life they used to have. NEWSFLASH: You cannot change the past. You can learn from it, be “bigger” than it, accept it and even be grateful for it.
So, just like the boat has to have a “back” to remain afloat, your past made you the unique, extraordinary human being you are today. Accept it and keep your energy moving forward.
Give more hugs. Yes, you open-hearted amazing you, give more hugs! I would like to expand this one! I challenge you to give more hugs to you.
Not only physically hug yourself (yes try it…especially all you big, manly men), hug yourself emotionally. Literally, say nice things to yourself.
In her extraordinary book, “You Can Heal Your Life” author and thought leader, Louise Hay who recently passed away, says to look yourself in the mirror and say, “ I love and approve of myself.” Why, because most of us don’t. Our negative self-talk manifests in doubt and disease.
Have compassion with yourself. Most of the time, you are doing the best you can given what you know. And your increased “hugging” of you will expand to the increased “hugging” of your loved ones. Emotionally, spiritually and physically.
And HUG OUR PLANET. We know the data and statistics. We are using up Mother Earth at an alarming rate. Do the “doable” things. Rigorously recycle, move from plastic to paper or glass, elect officials that are committed to doing something. Be a consumer for companies that support our ecosphere. Hug on!
Feel gratitude. We left the best for last. I love that it says “feel” gratitude not act grateful, speak gratitude…actually FEEL gratitude. In feeling gratitude, it is impossible for you to be a victim, or judgy, or grumpy.
Love flows right out of gratitude. In gratitude there is space and flow.
I often talk about the “Monsters of Mediocrity” being guilt, blame and resentment. And the anecdote to those are what I call the “Habits of Happiness”, personal responsibility and gratitude.
Practice feeling gratitude when you are most upset, angry, frustrated and irritated. Try it in traffic, or at work, or perhaps that magic dinner or bedtime with you kids.
Many people recommend a gratitude journal at night or in the morning. And during the day, take a moment to feel grateful. Perhaps it’s the electricity that works in your home or office (think Puerto Rico), or the health and well being of your loved ones (think Las Vegas or Texas), or that you are reading this blog and must be so darn happy to get to the end of it.
I want to acknowledge Mike Dooley and his “Notes from the Universe” in inspiring this blog. If you want to sign up for the Notes.. go to www.tut.com. The Notes are free and are a wonderful way to feel gratitude.
You may have wondered why should I use a training or a coach to forward my life? Can’t I get what I need from books and the Internet?
While there is an amazing amount of information that books and the Internet can give you, books and the Internet are not LIVE people giving you instantaneous feedback and support on how you are showing up or what might be missing.
If you have kids or pets…you may have experienced the immediate feedback (feedback is simply information coming back to you) they give you when you do something they like or don’t like. We are actually creating feedback all the time, however most of us don’t notice or connect with it in an empowering way.
A coach as well as a transformational coaching environment will give you the opportunity to see yourself in ways that could not be seen before. Coaching and interactive participatory training like WorldWorks are an immediate source of support, feedback, discovery and breakthrough for you.
Coaching and transformational workshops:
- See what you can’t see because you are in IT
- Have you see what you couldn’t see by revealing your world view, patterns and blind spots
- Open up possibilities and ideas you hadn’t known were available
- Give direction and support in taking on new behaviors
- Create an accountability structure to keep you on track
- Remind you of your inherent talents and greatness if you forget
- Continue to challenge you to grow, expand, and accomplish extraordinary results
This is not only true for the beginning of your transformation and self-development, its always true once you have begun a life of growth and expansion! I have been coaching and training for 25 years and I have two coaches!
No great leader, extraordinary athlete, amazing visionary EVER did it on his or her own. Give yourself the gift of utilizing coaching and a transformational coaching environment to catapult you into the future you envision.
We would be honored to support you in your inspired life!
Transformation has become the new buzzword. No, not the transformation of molecular biology – but transformation of us as beings. You hear it thrown around in advertising campaigns and in a host of different seminars and it is now popping up with regularity in titles on bookshelves at any Barnes and Nobel.
But what is transformation?
I define transformation as: a shift in the way that I relate with myself, with others, with my world, with my circumstances, obstacles and conditions.
In other words, everything in my life is technically the ‘same’ (as much as that can ever really be the case!), but out of a SHIFT THAT I HAVE HAD WITHIN MYSELF, my entire world shifts and the people and things in my life seem to be different. Sometimes when people do transformational work, they are initially amazed that everybody around them seems to have altered. ‘No, really, my mom is being different – I swear she wasn’t like this a week ago!’ ‘No, you don’t understand – my husband has never been this affectionate and loving with me – never – not even on our honeymoon.’ And it is true, people around you do alter, but it is out of the shift that has occurred within you.
Now here’s the tricky part of transformation. Sometimes all of us want transformation without being willing to do the real work.
For example, let’s use the WorldWorks trainings, since that is where I train and I think a great example of holding to the integrity of transformation. The design of the WorldWorks trainings are that you be a person who can declare a goal or accomplishment and then reinvent yourself to accomplish whatever it is that you set out to do – without your circumstances, obstacles or conditions stopping you. Most people set goals and then achieve those goals if the circumstances are favorable or if no significant obstacles hinder them. Leaders are people who impact our world and operate in another way – they accomplish goals DESPITE obstacles, conditions or circumstances. Through the process of the trainings, you have an opportunity to be a person who can deliver in any and all situations and live your life.
Sounds great, right? But let me give concrete examples of where it gets a little sticky. Over the past years, I have been repeatedly asked why WorldWorks doesn’t announce ‘future’ trainings or give dates for the next three trainings that are planned. Why? Because it is consistent with transformation. Believe me, even members of my own family have been shocked when I didn’t give them dates for a ‘future’ training. First, there is only NOW. That is all that exists. That is a lovely concept when you are reading Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now; but when it comes to our lives, all of us would like to plan things out and fit things in when it is convenient or there are openings in our schedule. The problem is – your schedule is then the determiner of your life. Essentially, I am looking to my calendar to see when it would be convenient or fit in to transform my life. Other people, look to their wallet to see if they cash or credit is there to enroll. Others look to their boss to see if they can get the time off of work or manage to work it into their school schedule. And others look to a husband or wife to give them permission. Whatever you look to outside of you – that is what is determining whether or not you can do whatever it is that you want to do – whether it the trainings, go to Fiji or start a new business. Most people look to their circumstances to determine what will and will not work. Transformation is declaring it and then having it happen, without looking to our circumstances, obstacles or conditions. In other words – having it happen anyways – no matter what.
Here is where it gets even better – whatever stops you consistently in your life, stops you everywhere. So, if you never have enough time for the things that you want to do, then when it comes to enrolling in the trainings, you will consistently use the excuse that you don’t have time (great to look at what do you have time for? Hint – look to your work for what has become the ‘priority’). Because that is the circumstance that has power over you. If you consistently look outside of yourself for permission from your boss, your husband or wife – then you consistently look outside of yourself for someone else to have the power in your life. You are not trusting yourself and your own power. If you never have money for what it is that you would like to do, then, at some level, you must not believe that you deserve to have money. Let’s be clear – there are infinite ways to generate money, but if you have a belief about yourself like ‘I don’t deserve money,’ or ‘I can’t make money’ or ‘It’s too hard’, then money will continue to be a challenge for you. Think about it – Pet rocks, Chia pets, Shamwow – not ideas that involved rocket science, but money-makers. The capacity to generate money is always there – as limited or unlimited as the capacity within us to generate ideas.
So, in other words, you need to have a breakthrough to even get to, or a series of breakthroughs to make it through the trainings. In having a breakthrough in whatever stops you, that breakthrough will serve you the next time that any circumstance or obstacle presents itself. The more that you practice being bigger than your circumstances or obstacles, the more you realize that nothing ever needs to stop you (think Leadership Practice, for those of you currently in the game or Senior LP’s). But the journey along the way isn’t necessarily comfortable. By definition, transformation isn’t comfortable. There is an old saying: The directions on how to get outside your box are on the outside of the box. Essentially, you need to get outside of your comfort zone — outside of your current set of circumstances, obstacles and conditions. What’s another name for inside of the box? Our comfort zone.
Each time you bust through your comfort zone and the beliefs that were limiting you, your comfort zone expands and you have access to what before was unavailable within you. When I was in my Leadership Practice, I believed I was incredibly busy. I had a full-time job as a Creative Director for a fundraising firm. I had a boyfriend and was also refurbishing a Victorian house in Annapolis, Maryland. I was attending guest events and working with my Leadership Team on a community service project as well as enrolling people I cared about in the work of transformation. Life was pretty packed. There were plenty of times I was short or snippy with my coach because I couldn’t see how I could possibly EXPAND MYSELF to make space for more people or things. He kept pushing me, and I kept pushing myself beyond each of the times that I thought I couldn’t possibly fit more in. Guess when the breakthrough usually occurs? When you are at the edge of your breaking point. That is why it is called a BREAK-THROUGH. Now I have three full-time careers, two children, a husband and a significant volunteer role on a Steering Committee for an Association. I would have thought you were crazy if you said that I could do all of this when I was a participant in the Leadership Practice. I expanded my box by repeatedly challenging my beliefs about time or myself in relationship with time.
So when I am enrolling someone and circumstances, conditions and obstacles present themselves, I am actually excited because the person has the opportunity to really begin the work of transformation and show themselves that they are bigger than any of the obstacles that usually stop them. Guess what? The same circumstance that presented itself prior to the Introductory Course will come up again when it is time to enroll in the Experience and continue the work of transformation. Again and again it will rear its ugly head during the Leadership Practice. Until finally, you do not see it as something that stops you. It is there and still presents itself – but you GIVE IT NO POWER.
For those of you on the path of transformation – in the WorldWorks Leadership Practice or a graduate of the Leadership Practice – remind yourselves: to keep transformation alive, you get to continually challenge your beliefs about yourself and your circumstances. You get to commit to doing things that you really want to do without looking to your calendar, wallet, boss or anything to determine if it is possible. Then the magic: CREATE IT OCCURRING BEAUTIFULLY. With nothing being sacrificed or lost in the process.
For years, I have had a few notebooks of quotes and inspirations. Something I have carried so long, it has no author or attributable source, says it beautifully (if anyone finds the person I can credit, please let me know):
“In the breakdown moment, the very thing you have feared, resisted, denied will stand before you, shaking its finger in your face and sticking its tongue out at you. It will show you things about yourself that you refused to see or acknowledge. It will tease you, taunt you, push you, pull you to the verge of breaking down. In fact, that is its purpose. In the breakdown moment, your defenses break down. Your fantasies shatter. Your excuses fail. Your resistance erodes. In that moment, when there is nothing standing between you and the thing you fear the most, you will be forced to step into your greatness, because that is what life is demanding of you.”
I met with my Financial Adviser the other day and as I looked at my retirement portfolio (there will be no retiring anytime soon folks!), it was exactly where it was one year ago. For those of you that have investments, especially in the stock market…you know what I mean.
The market had a great first half, then a terrible third quarter, then back to pretty much January 1, 2015. As I reviewed my year, ha! No surprises…it was the same for me! Not to say I didn’t grow, have some darn good times, make a difference, see my sons blossom…all that occurred. And I am grateful, so grateful for every blessing, healthy day, time with my family, student, LP, SLP, graduate, training, all of it.
As I reflected…which in my life must be quick with a new puppy…I started thinking about the New Year and how we as a culture approach the changing of the calendar.
The term calendar itself is taken from , the term for the first day of the month in the , related to the verb calare “to call out”, referring to the “calling” of the new moon when it was first seen.
That’s perfect, …”to call out.” Because what we are calling out is a new moment, a blank canvas to create on, a new direction! And most of us really do approach the New Year that way. We think about what we want to accomplish, achieve, take on, create, shift, change in the coming year.
Our goals, “resolutions”, declarations, secret talks with ourselves are both tangible and intangible. Whether it is losing weight, getting in shape, buying a home, saving money, starting a business, creating a relationship. Or the internal desires; less stress, more balance, mindfulness, coming from love, or my declaration of coming from gratitude no matter what the conditions are that I have created.
Did you know that the most Googled search in the few days before the New Year was “how do I reduce stress?”
So, no matter how much we “know” that each moment is a blank canvas, that we can create something new at any time…this time of year beckons us to commit and take it on!
Now here’s the kicker! Even though we have new found motivation, focus and even that after Christmas sugar detox to support us, for a high majority of us, we slow down, or we falter or we get lazy or give up or just stop. Not always, but far too often.
Why? Its not that we aren’t amazing people or that we “didn’t really want it anyway”. It’s because we have to be INSIDE/OUT. What’s Inside/Out? Along with a great little movie by Disney and Pixar, Inside/Out means that anything we want to create in our life on the outside (money, abundance, relationships, success, health) requires a shift on our inside. Even less stress or balance requires a shift in our relationship with our circumstances and life situations.
Most human beings want something to be distinct or different in the New Year, but the only thing that changes is the calendar. Most people don’t “call themselves out” of their previous thinking or historical paradigm. So the ball drops in Times Square but they don’t shift or change the way they look at themselves, other people or their world.
The “motivation” or new energy ebbs and we are left with pretty much the same way of looking at life and living life.
Inside/Out requires us to reinvent ourselves. That generally sounds cool however is sometimes uncomfortable and disconcerting. The thinking, being and behaviors that got us to where we are today (as good as that has been) cannot get us to a truly unprecedented future.
When you shift the insides, the outsides shift. If you want to change your life, change your conversation (or the way you look at, view and interpret your life.)
But how? Through a transformational experience! You have already had many of these, for example: You got married, had children, got divorced, someone died, you almost died. All of these life events wake us up to a new way of being and living. Some are amazing and joyful, some are hard and heartbreaking.
However, to continue to grow, evolve, expand and create some kick-ass results, find a way to shift your Inside! Whether you dive into something that scares you like pole dancing, writing a book, starting your business, adopting a child or you throw yourself into a Transformational environment like WorldWorks (www.worldworkstrainings.com) find an experiential way to shift your Inside!
If you are a graduate of the WorldWorks Trainings, we have many ways for you to have an Inside shift, from graduate workshops to volunteer staffing.
And for all of your family and friends that are “up to” making their New Year’s Resolutions happen, share with them the idea of Inside/Out. I invite you to support them in transforming their Insides through the Intro, Experience and the Leadership Practice.
Our Inside/Out Intro starts next week, January 13. That week is my 29 year Intro anniversary…oh my…and thank goodness someone took enough time with me to “call out” my future. And the rest is my Her-story.
Inside/Out it is then! May your 2016 be glorious, joyful, abundant, healthy and spectacular for you and those around you! And come play Inside/Out with us!
With deepest gratitude,
According to Martha Beck, having a breakthrough isn’t the tricky part, it’s living them. In the August 2014 of Oprah, Beck describes the way of cementing those breakthroughs into place:
“This is the tricky thing about breakthroughs: Many aspects of the experience may feel unpleasant, both before and after your thinking changes. As a breakthrough nears, you might feel intensely trapped, seeing no way out – which only makes sense; if you had a way out, the internal pressure wouldn’t become sufficient to spur you toward change. After the breakthrough, the work required to sustain it in the face of life’s audits…can be insurmountable.”
What does Coach Beck say about how you maintain a breakthrough?
- Deliberately focus and build on it
- Journal and meditate about your experience
- Discuss it with friends
- Find books and videos that resonate with your new thinking and insights
- Eliminate whatever threatens to becloud your vision
And Beck reminds all of us, “Hold tight to your breakthrough, because once your eyes have been opened, trust me when I say that it will not feel good to close them again.”
Sounds like LP to me.