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Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Mine was perfection, meaning that it included the people I love (minus one sick grandchild and her parents), amazing food prepared by my chef nephew and my sister (at whose knee his passion was quickened), easy traffic to negotiate and a sparkling clear sky.
And now it’s the day after, and I’m not a shopper. I’m using this morning to debrief the Evolving Consciousness Community Cruise I attended and spoke on in early November.
The biggest takeaway was spending time with some truly remarkable men and women. I also used the days at sea for my own personal retreat sorting through old journals and recording quotes and feelings experienced in the last 30 years that I had faithfully recorded.
From the event itself, here are a few of the highlights and recommendations I’d like to learn more about and/or pass on to you.
- Speaker Bhava Ram inspired me to learn more about his breathtaking journey of healing from a broken back and terminal cancer to otpimum health and vibrancy. I downloaded his book Warrior Pose, a riveting account of his story that held me rapt for several days till I completed it.
- I’m inspired to learn more from his teacher, Emmett Miller, and will subscribe to his podcasts for more enlightenment.
- I put a reserve on the book Grain Brain recommended by a fellow passenger. Reading the amazon synopsis affirmed its importance.
- I’ve also reserved the downloadable version of Proof of Heaven about an MD who was brain dead for 7 days and is now a believer in near death experiences.
- I want to learn more about the Higgs Boson God Particle discovery. I’m sure that now that it’s on my list, it’ll pop up in conversation or as a lecture soon. That’s how these things work, right?
- A couple of memorable quotes that reinforced my own belief system: “Eating junk food is the equivalent of vandalizing our spirits.”
- Einstein’s quote: The intellect has little to do on the road to discovery. There comes a leap in consciousness, call it Intuition or what you will, the solution comes to you and you don’t know how or why.”
- “The best exercise is the one you do.”
I told my goal buddy that I didn’t have too many notes to record, but after re-reading my list, I see I got more out of it than I thought. I’ll use the last bullet point as my motivator as well as any feedback that you might provide.
My physical therapist*, that’s who!
I told my weekly support team that I’ve been spending five minutes a day crawling around the gym in my building to re-align my back and that it was working beautifully. I’ve been feeling terrific and wanted to share it with them. After all, they’ve heard me complain over the last several months. Speaking of crawling one’s way back to health…
One of my support team members said, “I love that you’re assuming a posture of humility in your quest for excellent health.”
The other team member acknowledged supportively that I would do whatever it takes to get better. “You’ll do anything as long as it’s in alignment with your beliefs.”
Somehow their words seemed symbolic of everything that’s happening in my life. What advice have you received lately, and how does it align with whatever else is going on in your life?
*I was referred to Kima Wellness on 22nd Street by a blog reader of mine. She proclaimed that the one of the founders of that company solved her back issue and kept her out of surgery. This woman commuted from Newtown, CT to Manhattan three days a week (a feat in itself) to be healed by this wonder woman. That was all the urging I needed. I made an appointment.
Preparing for my Soul Proprietor Community call recently I included words from Ecclesiastes (aka Simon and Garfunkel’s Turn, Turn, Turn) which says, “there is a time to refrain from embracing.”
We live in such a to-do culture that when things aren’t happening fast enough, i.e. in our time frame, you may get frustrated, annoyed and may even think you’re failing. It’s so uncomfortable, in fact, that many people fill in the ‘free’ time by shopping, over-doing, paying too much attention to someone else’s business (literally and figuratively) or fill-in-the-blank default behaviors that are counter-productive.
What if you just refrain…from embracing? What if you simply let go, allow the world to revolve without pushing it a degree or two yourself and wait and see what happens. Breathe, clean a closet. Just be.
This morning’s reading in my daily meditation book includes a quote by Lin Yutang whom I had to google to find out who he was.
Besides the noble art of getting things done; there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of the nonessentials.
Here’s a challenge for you–Will you let go of pushing an outcome, just for today?
I had a glorious 24 hours with my Mastermind Intensive group Sunday-Monday. We gathered at a member’s home the afternoon of the 8th to create vision boards, have a potlluck and reunite after the summer. I was as much a guest as everyone else, basking in the warmth of our members and soaking up female togetherness in such an intimate environment. Monday was our all-day session in Westport where I took charge and continued the process of helping these unstoppable women to realize their visions.
On Sunday afternoon one of our group said something that struck me. We were all gathered in the pristine white, screened-in gazebo in our hostess’s backyard. This particular member was sitting crosslegged on the cushioned window seat looking totally at peace. She told us how grateful she was to be in such a safe, loving and nurturing environment. And that she wished she could have this intimacy and safety more often.
What struck me about this was that, for her, it was the exception.
In that quiet, unspectacular moment I had a big AHA. I realized that safe, loving and nurturing environments have become the norm for me.
Five to seven times a week I attend a fellowhsip where I walk into unconditional love, respect and support.
Three times a week I speak to an accountability partner (aka good friend) about whatever next step I’m taking in my business.
Every Tuesday morning at 6:30am I speak with two of my spiritual buddies about financial serenity.
Every Thursday at 6:15am I take a call from a woman wanting that same financial serenity.
I meet with my own Mastermind Group once a month to offer support to each other.
I have a regularly scheduled call with my siblings once a month to offer love and support to each other and to catch up on our news across the miles.
Most important, I have weeded out the energy vampires who would quickly undo the benefits I’d received from the other environments. I am a free woman!
And that’s what it takes for this soul proprietor to stay peaceful, productive, serene and joyous.
I wanted to show a new friend and colleague the entrepreneurial community I recently joined. It was a 10 block walk from where we’d had lunch. After 3 blocks she paused and asked if I would mind if she reneged on the decision to visit In Good Company. The heat was extreme, and she’d have to walk back 10 blocks where I’d get to stay for a program there in air-conditioned comfort. I wholeheartedly agreed with her demonstration of self-care and hugged her goodbye.
Of the half dozen people signed up for that program I’d enrolled in, only two showed up. I was really glad I had, because the class on Bonding and Rapport in Business was excellent. The instructor made no fuss about the low attendance. He treated us with all the respect he would give a full house, which of course demonstrated bonding and rapport more than anything he might have said. Plus, I benefited supremely when he had a raffle for his irresistible free offer of a DISC assessment, which I had a 50% chance of winning and did.
I’m curious to hear how you handle this kind of weather condition or any extreme situation in your business/life. Do you ever use it as an excuse to take a pass? Do you always show up no matter what? How do you take care of yourself? Please comment and let me know.
“I’m killing myself!”
“I’m going at breakneck speed.”
I recognize that these expressions are intended to demonstrate some kind of value in the marketplace, or on the domestic scene, but from the ‘taken-out-of-context’ perspective, read what these words are expressing.
Is this really what you want in your life? Is this the message you want to be putting out there and hearing yourself say? Does it sound familiar?
Right now I’m none of the above, and I’m okay with it. I consider myself to still be in transition from the end of a marriage two years ago and relocating to New York City last fall. Although I’m one who enjoys having a full plate, I’m learning to be with the peace and open space that being “not busy” creates.
I’ll never forget meeting a woman with a cast on her foot. When I asked her what had caused the injury, she said that for weeks she’d been saying, “I need a break! I need a break!” Walking out to her mailbox one morning, she tripped on a pebble and broke her ankle.
What message are you affirming to the Universe, and is it the one you want heard?
In my spiritual fellowship, where meetings are the primary source of connection and inspiration, I’ve often heard this expression: If you’re too busy to go to meetings, you’re too busy.
Does this apply to you?
I’ve been in NYC for seven months now and had my first up-close celebrity siting on the subway this morning. I recognized Christopher Palu, one of the finalists from Project Runway- Season 10, a design show I have avidly watched since its inception*. Anyone who watches any of these reality shows knows how close you feel to the contestants. We watch them not only demonstrating their talents, but also in their hotel rooms eating breakfast, quibbling with each other and dissing the competition.
But I refrained from greeting him by name in the subway.
I should have said what was on my mind. “I think you are amazingly talented, and I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated watching your creative process during the season you were on Project Runway.”
Instead, I was trying to be a cool New Yorker, accepting that celebrities walk amongst us, and giving him his space. I said nothing.
Why I regret it is, like many other business owners and ordinary citizens, I question my gifts on a regular basis. And then I’ll receive an email, like I did this weekend from a former client letting me know that she appreciates what I’ve contributed to her life. She wrote:
You never know where your face is shining. I just tossed a Mary Oliver book back in this basket (in my bathroom) and the books rearranged themselves to show your face. Made me smile. You’re sandwiched between Rumi & another Mary Oliver. Good company!
And I feel lifted up and re-energized. Yes, I would have survived another day without that input, but it was like a booster shot that added extra zip to my spirit for the day.
I want to go on record and encourage each person reading this today to share a good word with those you admire. Let them know. Say something positive to someone who has inspired you, touched you or made your life a bit brighter. Some of that karma may find its way back to you. And how would that feel?
It may be a little Pollyanna-ish, but I’ll cop to that and advise this anyway.
*At first I rented the DVD’s from the library to get caught up on the years I missed. Now, not being the owner of a television set, I download the show from iTunes when it’s in season.
You never know where inspiration and motivation will strike.
For me it was late Friday in a new chiropractor’s office staring at a sign on his wall. Under the emboldened saying were the words: “Five Dangerous Words to Say” and above that were the words themselves:
“Maybe it will go away.”
It doesn’t matter what the IT is. In this wellness provider’s office, it was body pain. But, no doubt, you’re familiar with that thought pattern even if it doesn’t land you in a health practitioner’s domain.
“If I don’t do anything,” it says, “it may get better.” And sometimes that’s so.
Last night, as my computer sputtered and stalled in the Outlook phase of my deskwork, I insisted, “Maybe it will go away.” The dreaded thought I continued to have after I abandoned ship for the night was that what I really needed wasn’t the new monitor I bought and installed last week, but a whole new system. Perish the thought.
This morning, however, I sailed through my inbox leading me to believe it was a connection problem and that everyone in my building was sucking the Time Warner cable lines dry at the same time. I won’t choose to dig deeper until the pain is too great and I have to.
You get to pick your challenges and where to check your foundations. You can sail along in your work/personal life for a long time without feeling the pain. But at some point, it catches up with you, and demands your attention. As it has with the back/leg pain I’ve been enduring for a while now. I know I need to look at the greater system and stop applying bandaids.
Where else that applies in my life is directly addressing issues as they arise and not sweeping them under the rug. It’s seeking out and going to a new doctor, asking for the contract IN WRITING, gently confronting the issue at hand IN THE MOMENT and not hoping it will go away. I’m not 100%, but I’m moving towards the goal of living in the moment, addressing reality and dealing with what is now.
I’ve had accountability partners, aka goal buddies, for years. It’s what keeps me on track on a daily basis.
I also have a Mastermind group that I’ve been part of for a couple of decades. That’s a monthly accountability structure for the bigger things I want to achieve in my business.
Add to my support systems a coach to whom I speak twice monthly. She’s where I sort it all out and remember what’s important to me and why I do what I do.
It’s the goal buddy relationship that offers the dailiness of entrepreneurship for me. The others are the bigger, wider views. My goal buddy is the on-the-ground, day-to-day ‘combat’ colleague and ally for getting it all done.
What I’ve illustrated here is the sheet (actually a manila folder) I use to track our commitments. I write down hers and mine with a check box next to each to house that satisfying gesture of completion.
If you enlarge the image you can see the variety of tasks we commit to each other–some as simple as ‘organize family receipts’ or others more demanding like ‘develop first three topics’. What’s important about organizing family receipts is that NOT doing it–sorting through my annual collection of personal purchases–was taking up way too much room in my brain. Sometimes our commitments to each other are as menial as that one, but need to be done.
Here are some questions and answers for establishing a successful goal buddy relationship. Between the two of you work out these pieces of the connection:
- How often do you want to check in with each other. My current goal buddy and I usually speak 3x per week. I had one partner with whom I spoke each weekday first thing in the morning to state our goals and around 5pm to acknowledge completion of them.
- Who calls whom? We switch off with each call. I’ll call her today at 11am. She’ll take the responsiblity for our next appointment on Monday afternoon.
- How long are the calls? Usually 5 minutes, sometimes less if either of us states at the beginning, “This’ll be just a quick check-in today.” Sometimes we chat for 15 minutes.
- What do you choose as goals? We both have a working knowledge of the other’s business and visions. Ninety percent of our goals are right on course with creating the futures we each desire. Ten percent of the time, like organizing receipts, the goals are set to get rid of obstacles blocking our creativity.
- What’s the benefit of having a goal buddy? As I mentioned earlier, it’s having someone to talk to regularly (isolation is a huge issue for entrepreneurs) to get through the dailiness of life. Left to our own devices, who wouldn’t rather watch the next episode of Girls or Downton Abbey? Being held accountable by someone you respect and admire is a beautiful thing. You might cut yourself the slack, but you’d never want to disappoint your cherished collaborator.
- How do you find a goal buddy? Ask around. You want someone as committed to her visions as you are. Water seeks its own level. Try on a partner for a week or a month and then re-evaluate. You’ll know quickly if it’s working or not by your progress, your happiness level and your gut.
The reason I’m writing this blog post today is because someone in my Community asked me if I could recommend anyone to her. As I was reviewing my notes from my Mastermind Intensive, one of our members needed to find an accountability partner (same thing, by the way) as her goal for our next meeting. I thought about these two women and what a great match they’d make and offered it up to the two of them. The one who asked first was thrilled and upped the ante by asking, what’s the best way to work this connection. Hence this article.