Archive for July, 2008

Are you letting your doubt stop you from enjoying life?

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

For the last eight years I have had the luxury to think about the human process. As a life coach that’s what I do. I get to listen to others share their challenges and to share in their triumphs. We’re all on this journey together. From this work together I have had the opportunity to become clear on some of the bigger challenges that we all face. It seems that no matter what we do or what we think about, there is doubt to some degree. We can’t wait for that perfect time when there seems to be nothing in the way. If we did we wouldn’t do anything. Living with doubt is a concept that can be empowering because it keeps us on our toes. Too often we let doubt stop us and prevent us from taking that next step in our life.

Doubt can drive you nuts at times and cause you much anxiety, but over time it doesn’t throw you off course as much. Perhaps you’ll get to that place in your life when the doubt is minimized or barely perceptible. But to eliminate all doubt before taking the next step will result in a life that is unexplored and unfulfilled.

Think about your life and how you let doubt stop you in the past. What would have been different if you went for it? What’s preventing you from going for it now? Having doubt also indicates that you are thoughtful and insightful. It prepares you for the unexpected and unpredictable. In the long run it is what makes you more successful and fulfilled.

Be thankful for your doubt but don’t let it stop you.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

LIVING IN PRESENT TIME

Monday, July 28th, 2008

What keeps us from being fully present with life is our resistance…resistance in the form of thoughts that our minds dwell on. It’s the resistance that inhibits us from experiencing personal freedom. I’ve had a yoga practice for many years. Quite often what happens in class is a reflection of my whole life.

When I feel like I don’t want to be there, (in class) I feel that way in the rest of my life. No matter what I’m doing, I’m thinking about something else.

This time around and it’s been many years, I have very little resistance. I’m there. There’s nothing else to do. I get more into it. I’m more aware and notice subtle things that I never noticed previously. It feels good. Yet it’s not like there is a dramatic moment…just being in the moment. The mind slows down for a while.

I’ve slowed down. After I leave class, I’m more peaceful and able to live in present time. It takes commitment…it doesn’t happen overnight..but I am focused. This time around it’s been five weeks. I just do it. It’s part of me.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

FOCUS ON BEING A BETTER CONNECTOR.

Monday, July 21st, 2008

One thing that happens as a life coach is that you become curious about people. You become curious about their challenges as usually what they are up against is similar to your challenges.

This morning we met a couple at the coffee shop who felt that their time on Kauai, after seven years, was over. The reason they felt this way was that they weren’t meeting people who matched their ability to connect. In their mind the conversations seemed to be somewhat superficial.

I told them that I used to feel that way but over time I was able to get to that deeper level of connection. I find more and more people that I can connect with So what’s happened? Did I change or did the people change?

There is no question that I have become a connector. I have worked on it. I take the time to make the connection. Actually it doesn’t take much longer to make the connection. It’s perhaps slowing down a bit.

We have the ability to transcend what’s on the surface and find common ground with almost anyone. It takes commitment but is rewarding.

What most of us want is the ability to connect with others. That’s the good news. And sometimes they just don’t know how to do it. They are so excited about what they are into that they either want to share it with you or convert you. Either way they are not listening. Active listening is the key to connection. If someone feels a certain way, be curious as to what its like to feel that way. Put yourself in their shoes.

For the next week focus on being a better connector.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

SEE THE MAGIC

Monday, July 14th, 2008

The other night I was reminded of why I love Kauai. We were having dinner with our good friends, Anthony and Heather enjoying every minute of our meal together. We were on the deck with the mountains in the background taking it all in. And then we saw it; an incredible rainbow with vibrant colors. And then we saw the second part of the rainbow. There it was a double rainbow that we saw right from our house.

I thought about the magic that exists that we are unaware of, or not open to. Thats our challenge. To stay open; not let circumstances get us down so we aren’t able to see the beauty that surrounds us. To stay open so that we can enjoy what we are doing at this moment.

Look for the magic. I always ask myself, ” I wonder what the highlight of my day will be?”
Why not do that with wondering about the magic? What was the most magical moment that I felt yesterday? Asking these types of questions, definitely changes your vibration.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Creating an Attitude of Sanctuary

Saturday, July 5th, 2008

When I was in law school, playing handball was a way of breaking up the day. This continued for a number of years even after law school. If I had a busy day in court, I would go the gym afterwards and play a few games. It was fun, engaging and a release from whatever stresses I was feeling. While I was there, I thought of nothing else but the game. The court was an enclosed room approximately 15×40’ in size with no ventilation. Every wall was in play. There weren’t many of us that had the stamina to play the game. I was pretty good at it, but when I played Bud Dillon, I met my match.

He could move as quick as I could and had the endurance to stay strong throughout the entire match. When I think of Bud I am reminded of his attitude. He was always enthusiastic and optimistic and had a twinkle in his eye and zest for living. What really amazed me about Bud was that he was 62. I didn’t just play handball with Bud. In a way Bud was one of my first mentors.

I think back to the person I was when I played handball with Bud. I had a lot of concerns. Could I do it? Would I pass the bar? Would I be successful in my career as a trial lawyer? Would I meet that special person? Many years have passed since those days. I look back on what I’ve learned.

It wasn’t exactly what Bud said, but he modeled the importance of attitude. It didn’t depend on the circumstances of his life. It didn’t depend on whether we were at war, or who was President. Nor did it depend on the economy. In each moment we get to choose our attitude. No one personifies this message better than Victor Frankl. In Man’s Search for Meaning, he shares his story of how he found meaning under the most horrendous conditions in a concentration camp. He never knew if he would live another day. Everything was taken away from him but the last of the human freedoms, which is the ability to choose one’s attitude under any circumstances. Frankl, who became a well-known therapist, should be a model for all of us.

That’s our challenge; to get up when we’re knocked down. To remain hopeful in the middle of the storm. As Bud and Frankl modeled, regardless of how severe the storm, we choose our attitude. What goes a long way is a good smile and a hearty laugh.

Bud would say to me that you have the potential to learn from everything that you do and from everyone you meet. That’s certainly been my experience. On many occasions after a hard fought game we would sit in the coffee shop and talk. He would tell me about his newest idea or the latest book that he was reading. It was Bud who suggested Man’s Search for Meaning, and it was Bud who got me interested in metaphysics.

I have found that as the years have gone by, I have experienced more changes than I ever thought I would. It’s the changes and learning new things that keeps me excited. It’s also going deeper into the daily practices that I have been committed to. With that comes a curiosity about what each day will bring. There is a simple practice that just takes a minute, which I have previously written about, that has changed how I look at each day. In the morning, I ask myself, “I wonder what the highlight of my day will be?” By asking myself this question I approach the day with curiosity and wonderment. By doing this, I create a positive expectation of how I want my day to be.

Bud was an example of keeping fit. He also let me know that age is just a number. How you feel about that number is another story. We give that number too much meaning. Taking care of your body is essential to enjoying and living a fully conscious life.

Too many of us are so wrapped up in our careers and other responsibilities that we don’t pay attention to our bodies. It’s only when we have something go wrong that we start to give it attention. Think of your body as a source of pleasure that needs to be nurtured. Self-care has to be a continuous practice. Thinking about self-care as a spiritual practice, is a great way to reframe how you relate to your body. Eating consciously is a choice we make. Bud would always talk to me about diet and supplements. As we age our bodies become more sensitive. We need to pay more attention as to what we put into our bodies.

Creating sanctuary should be an important part of your life. Sanctuary can mean many things. I think of sanctuary as a consciousness, in which I am able to separate myself from my concerns in the rest of my life. I feel renewed. It is a sacred moment. Make the space for sanctuary in your life. Make it a way of life.

Meditation and yoga have been a life-long sanctuary for me. Even when I was a busy trial lawyer, I made time to meditate and practice yoga before going to court. Not only did I feel better, I was more present. I have been a serious practitioner of yoga for 12 years. With each year, instead of thinking about aches and pains, I think about how much more flexible I am. And that pertains to how I see my entire life. I’m excited about tomorrow. There are many other ways to create sanctuary in your life. The dance classes that Annie and I go to each week have become a sanctuary. Playing music and writing also provide sanctuary and many magical moments.

Getting away gives you a new perspective and opportunity to see your life from a different vantage point. Kauai has been that place for me. It not only benefits me, but also my family and all those who come into my sphere.

You can’t do it alone and why would you want to. When we think back we realize that we have been blessed by many mentors and teachers, although we didn’t recognize them as such at the time. It was like that with Bud. When I would worry about my law practice, Bud would always say, “Don’t worry, things will take care of themselves.” Another thing Bud would always say was, “Appreciate the little things, appreciate the moment.”

I think of the all of the struggles and moments of joy that have led to this moment. As we age consciously, we have the wisdom of experience. We have perspective. We have learned from our mistakes and finally get it right. We accept that “this” is our life and are grateful for it. We have an extraordinary capacity to experience greater joy and love in our life. We make our life way too complicated. It’s the smile or warm greeting from our pet. It’s the connection with a kindred soul. It’s the taking the time to watch a sunset or walk in the woods. This is what real freedom is.

JOURNEY ON

MARK
JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com

FILL UP YOUR LIFE WITH CONNECTION

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Whatever I call it, Life Coaching, Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, the challenges of my clients are the same. They are tired of the struggle. At the heart of most struggles is the ability to connect with others. When there’s connection in your life, even the most mundane task can be fulfilling.

So many people I run into have told me that is what they want; more connection, but they don’t have people in their life who they can connect with.

Here’s what I tell them. Make it your intention to connect with others not just those who you know and like. If you go to the bank call the teller by their first name. If you bring your clothes to the cleaner connect with the person behind the counter.

What I find fun is calling people with name tags by their name. Just this one little thing can make a big difference.

The checker at the grocery store is a good place to start. Let’s put it this way. If you want more connection in your life, be interested in the other person. Make it genuine. I remember when I was an attorney I was pretty good at engaging the other person. But it wasn’t from the heart like it is now.

It was where I started. Eventually that became a genuine interest and curiosity and is one of my strengths. I look forward to it. When I go the health store…it’s not just to buy something that I need but an entire experience.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow,JD, is an Executive and Life Coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former successful trial attorney for 30 years and musician, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. He also publishes, Letters on Life, an inspirational ezine. Signup! http://www.inspirepossibility.com


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