Sunday, February 23, 2014

Now is the point of arrival.

The time I started writing this:  11:11am Sunday Morning 2/23.

I've been writing a little bit this morning, and took a break to watch Super Soul Sunday.

I'm always inspired by traditionalist who have gone awry - Oprah, the former reporter who has changed the world by asking better questions.  Deepak Chopra, former doctor who has changed the world by asking different questions.

I felt compelled on this commercial break to write this to you and share this moment that just literally brought me to tears.

When prepping Oprah and her team on coming to India to interview him, he said, "When you arrive in India, just go with the flow.  And remember, now is the point of arrival."

Let me repeat:  "Now is the point of arrival."

His expansion on that thought is what brought me to tears, and I'll paraphrase hoping to do it justice as he was far more eloquent in his languaging:

In our modern culture, we are so consumed with our points of arrival.  What's next? What's ahead? Where are we going?  We're so preoccupied with what is ahead, that even when we get there, when we get to that point of arrival, we are instinctively programmed to look upon that moment that we've been anticipating, almost to disregard it, and continue forward thinking to what is beyond that.

What brought me to tears was the validation that we are all living for something that may never be.  How sad.  That makes me so truly, deeply and sincerely sad on the inside.  I can't think of a better word, just sad.

So to shift that way of thinking, by focusing on 'now' as the point of arrival, you are giving yourself permission to be present in this moment.

For example, as I'm writing this, I'm thinking about when I'll send it, how I'll promote this post, etc.  So I'm consciously shifting my thoughts to the music I'm listening to in my earbuds, energizing yet calming - no words, just music.  I'm thinking about my fingers touching each key on my little keypad attached to my ipad.
(I have no laptop.  I run my business from my ipad and phone and occasionally my desk top when I feel the need to use a mouse.)

So to wrap up, I'd like to challenge you with something today.  Right now.  Enter in the comments below what you are doing at THIS exact moment.  What are your feet touching?  Are your legs crossed?  What do you see to your immediate right?  To  your immediate left?  What is your internal mood?  

Friday, February 21, 2014

How to know if it's 'growing pains' or is it 'just not right'?

Last year, I brought some people into my life.  It didn't feel 'right', but I know that as you move through a growth phase, it's kind of goes hand in hand with feelings of nervousness, being uncomfortable and general awkwardness.

What I know now, that I did not know then is that your gut telling you something isn't 'right' is a totally different feeling than nervousness, feeling uncomfortable and general awkwardness.

Here's how I know the difference now:
  1. If I find myself questioning the outcome, looking past the situation or circumstance to the results - it's growth related nerves etc.
  2. IF, however, I find myself questioning myself, the experience, the people, and instantly find myself altering something about ME to fit, THAT is my gut piping up to tell me, 'No way Jose.  Let it be.'

Here's an example of questioning the outcome:  Getting ready to give a speech.
Even the thought of that makes my stomach do flip-flops!
When I'm preparing for a presentation, speech, to teach a class or even run a small, intimate group workshop - my nerves are haywire!!  Why?  Because I want it all to go 100% smoothly.  I want the people to walk away transformed, enlightened, energized, and chomping at the bit to take action!

Yes, I'm also terrified that the stage will collapse, the mic won't work, the slides won't turn, my heel will break half way through and my fly will be down the whole time while I'm talking with spinach in my teeth - but I KNOW that's just nerves.

I'm not questioning myself internally, I'm questioning external components of the situation.

Here's an example of #2, questioning yourself: Signing a contract.
When I'm getting ready to do business with someone, there are tons of emotions flying around: excitement, nerves, anticipation, coupled with tons of energy!  Then there's that moment, before hands shake, before pen goes to paper, that you either move forward without hesitation, OR, there's a moment of pause.

That small moment can feel like a shiver going through you making you stop in your tracks - if even for an un-noticeable moment.  It can be a small voice popping up saying 'what if', a replay of a conversation you had with someone earlier sharing their 2 cents you chose not to fully hear at the time.  It's something coming to the surface from within you making you look inward, into yourself, making you question the decision as a whole.

And it's SMALL.  But it's that moment of pause that is NOT nerves, awkwardness or being uncomfortable - it's your GUT telling you, 'something just ain't right here'.
{Yes, you can tweet that!}

It's small, but remember, your gut is not necessarily trained to be loud yet.

So here's where the rubber meets the road.

For me, the good news is, I'm getting better at discerning the difference.  And even if I missed it initially, I'm getting better at recognizing it even after the fact and then taking action to make it 'feel right' again for me.

And the other side to this is that my GOALS, my reason WHY I need to continue to move forward on MY journey have become so intensified lately that I'm honestly 100% unapologetic about who doesn't make the cut in my journey.  So it's all good.  I'm not worried about hurting feelings.  I'm only concerned with what is going to 'feel right and best for me!

As I said in an earlier post, the one rule I set for myself when fully embracing this journey was "if it doesn't feel good, don't do it.'

What's an example of a time you've had that gut check?
Do you have any tips for knowing it's your gut vs nerves?

Share below!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Being Transparent In My Business

In yesterday's note, I briefly touched on the transition my business underwent this past summer, and how I decided to be open about it rather than hide behind the scenes while I shifted gears.

I got some great responses to that note!  ( Have I told you how much I LOVE your feedback?!!)

Being transparent in business is not easy.  In fact, it's the polar opposite of how we're 'trained' in traditional business.

In my working experience I found that busy was valued over productive, conformity valued over originality, and perception valued over reality.  (I'm trying to shed my cynicism, but I know it's apparent here.)

Working for yourself, the reverse is not only true, but necessary.
Busy doesn't pay the bills, being productive does.
Conformity is for the masses, originality is separates one corner store from the next.
Perception is false, being your real self is what connects people to one another. 
My point is, that's a lot of unlearning to do.  You may look at people in your particular field and see the people at the top and work yourself into a frenzy emulating their every move to be more like them than the person you are today, so your business will finally take off.

What you're missing is that THEY went through a painful, awkward and uncomfortable journey - just as you are.  You just didn't know them "when".  They weren't on your radar, or probably anyone's radar, because honestly, who wants to watch a train wreck in slow motion?!  You know the feeling, watching that awkward scene in a movie, and you're brought right back to your first dance at a new school when you thought it was casual, like your old school, but it was really dressy and you showed up in jeans and then went home devastated begging your parents to change your school first thing in the morning.  (Or was that just me?  Bueller?!)

My other point is, it's not just YOU going through this unlearning, this shedding of the familiar skin.  Anyone who has grown up in the traditional workforce has these habits, behaviors and traits to shed, to unlearn and to outgrow.

SO - why hide?!  Why PRETEND that you've magically figured it out?  Why lie to yourself and say that you're the only one who didn't get the memo?

That's where the transparency comes into play for me.  I tried the 'fake-it-till-you-make-it' thing.  It never felt right.  That's why when I rebranded, redefined and relaunched my business as what it is today, I told myself to always follow one rule:  If it doesn't feel good, don't do it.

For me, pretending, doesn't 'feel' right.  So I don't' do.  I'm, by nature, honest to a fault.  In business, yes, I do temper that.  I don't use my business as a platform to talk about every nitty gritty detail in my life.  That's not what I'm saying.

What I am saying is that my business is evolving and I'm 100% OK with showing you that.

Be yourself first.  Don't worry what anyone else will think about you, because guess what, in some way, they're wearing jeans to the dressy dance and that's all they can think about!!

PS:  Maybe for the dance, I was the only one who didn't get that memo.  So, here's your memo:  you're not the only one who is figuring it out!

ASK.  Be honest.  Be transparent.  Be vulnerable.

There is so much beauty in finding other souls who are right where you are.  That's where the real transformation happens.