Archive for October, 2008

Keep the energy up

Monday, October 27th, 2008

What do you do to get going in the morning? Today I did what I like to do…started with my morning program. Meditation…yoga and a little tea afterwards…but I still feel like my energy is dragging. So how to get out of it. More caffeine is one way….but it depletes the rest of me and I feel jittery the rest of the day.

Getting stimulated naturally is another way. Moving usually seems to work…whether its exercising or dancing or walking around in the brisk air. Make sure you get that cardio in.

I have been creative lately with creating more movement in my life. If I need to drive to town I’ll park a few blocks away so I’ll get in a little exercise…or if I’m really up to it I’ll ride my bike….It’s a beautiful day for that. There’s one more thing that usually works…some uptempo music…..

There always is a time of the day when you are dragging….how you get out of it can make a big difference in the quality of your life and in your level of wellness.

By staying energized there is an extra benefit…it’s the best thing you can do to reduce stress.

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

Fortunately, you don’t have to do it alone

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Fortunately you don’t have to do it alone. What makes the journey exciting and fulfilling are the people you meet along the way. It might be years later when you realize the significance of a particular meeting. Even though someone might have changed your thinking about how you see the world, you might not even remember their name or what they looked like. I remember such a meeting.

When I was in my twenties, there was a café in Sausalito that I frequented, which we called the “No Name.” It had an intellectual “air” about it that was different than most cafes and bars. It was not uncommon to see many of the regulars smoking a pipe and quoting Alan Watts, the famous philosopher and author of that era, who lived in one of the house boats.

Quite often, when you walked into the café, you would notice several people engrossed in a game of chess. On many occasions I was one of them.

One day a stranger whose name I never got, so let’s just call him Mr. X, engaged me in conversation and said to me: “It’s all energy.” At the time I didn’t know what he was talking about, but for many years I kept thinking about that meeting and the significance of what he said.

In today’s culture think of the number of books that refer to the concept of energy. Most prosperity books integrate this teaching into their message. It goes like this. “thoughts are things…which are a cluster of cells coming together. Cells are electrons and protons vibrating at different speeds which attract to them a similar vibration…of a similar thought. Many of these concepts, which I first became aware many years ago, have become integrated into the language of mainstream society.

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

Get over it!

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

You are having a perfect day. It’s beautiful outside and then you get home and get back to work. You can’t get on the internet. So you do what you need to do to make it work again and it still doesn’t seem to work. So then you call your ISP.

The person you talk to is new on the job and can’t seem to help you. And then you go to pay your credit card bill. Of course there is a mistake that you called about last month that still hasn’t been cleared up.

You feel yourself start to get annoyed when you again have to call the company and go through the whole procedure of identifying yourself and explaining the problem. They say they’ll correct the problem on your next statement but of course they said that last time.

While I’m waiting on the phone…I’m listening to some good reggae music on ITunes….I’m smiling and it’s still beautiful outside.

TAKE THE TIME

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

I slept in a little later than usual. i still made my yoga class. I feel better about myself when I start my day with yoga and meditation. And I feel better in general. There is the world of external reality and our inner experience of that world. It’s only when we can transcend our thoughts about that outer world that we begin to experience that peace that we long for.

Whether it’s a life coaching session or executive coaching session my message is the same.How you start your day sets the tone for the day. My body responds well to yoga and it sets the tone for the day. As I make decisions throughout the day, I make them with more ease. I feel more of a freedom in the way I move and hold myself.

Last night I went to an important business meeting. I took just 5 minutes to center myself by meditating. Not only was I more present, I enjoyed myself the whole evening.

Take the time for your inner work. It’s difficult to become fulfilled without doing it. Make it part of your life just like flossing. Think of it this way. Flossing your teeth is your external reality. Mental flossing is your inner experience that affects everything else.

It’s ok to cut yourself some slack occasionally…but is it worth it if it affects your experience of
life.

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

Changing your Mindset

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Let me tell you about the life coaching session that I had recentlywith let’s call him Bill. We all have limiting beliefs about life that hold us back. We are reluctant to challenge them. So we stay stuck in a box and live a life of mediocrity.

Bill believed that he wasn’t very good with money and that he could never get ahead of the game. He had accumulated a substantial amount of credit card debt and even though he was making payments of over $3000 per month, the principle sum that he owed stayed the same. Not only did he feel a certain amount of shame, he was defensive about discussing his situation and accepted that he couldn’t do anything about it because his credit rating was low. He felt hopeless.

Finally after much exploring and prodding he was able to find a lender who loaned him the money that he owed at a substantially lower rate.

Even though he still owed the same amount of money, his attitude about money and his self esteem immediately changed. He was smiling and optimistic about his future.

There are many assumptions that we make about our lives that are just not true. Challenge them to see if they are the truth. Sometimes they are but usually you’ll find that all you need is a shift in attitude.

So for Bill his next inquiry is to look at other areas of his life, where he might also be making false assumptions and to examine them one at a time.

In your own life, take a look at one of your false assumptions. What shift in attitude could you make that would change how you feel about the situation?

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

A Voice for Optimism

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

My journey of the last nine years has led to many conversations some of which have been inspiring, and others a little disconcerting. There is a voice of concern and resignation that I have been repeatedly hearing that seems to be louder than the voice of hope. Many are concerned about the global and planetary challenges that we all face. At the heart of these challenges is an uncertain future. During an election year these concerns are exacerbated. Although I wrote about this earlier in the year, since that voice is getting louder I felt that it deserved revisiting.

The media bombards us with information most of which is negative. When there is an event or tragedy somewhere in the world, within seconds we are aware of it. It’s difficult to tune it out. This negativity, which is constantly reinforced, colors how we perceive our personal reality and the challenges that we experience in day-to-day living. We wonder how we can find fulfillment on a personal level when there is so much suffering and uncertainty in the world.

Lately I have been hearing a louder voice of those who are in the camp of the pessimists. They’ll rattle off the war, the economy, the environment, and our dwindling resources as justifications for their feeling the way they do. They’ll also say that it’s worse this time. When one tends to focus on what’s wrong and isn’t working, they will always find a litany of reasons to justify why they think the way they do.

I am in the camp of the optimists. No matter what is happening in my life or in the world I believe that there will be a better day. In fact I don’t think we have a choice but to be optimistic. This is so, even when there is so much suffering in the world.
I think back to the sixties. Not only did our country seem stuck in a senseless war in Vietnam, our country was hopelessly polarized. There seemed to be little hope. What made matters worse was that we were on a collision course in the bigger cold war with the Soviet Union. Numerous pundits and leading edge periodicals predicted a nuclear holocaust. I remained optimistic. This is what I wrote in a poem back then:
“Should there be a day when the visionaries of peace stop loving, then the prophets of doom will have their day of gloom.””

No matter what is happening, we don’t know how things are going to turn out. No one knows the future. Things are never as bad as they seem. Feeling pessimistic or hopeless doesn’t help things. Remaining optimistic does. Researchers estimate that we think over sixty thousand thoughts in a day, some of which are positive and others negative. The question is which one do you focus on. There’s a Native American Story that reminds me of this human dilemma.

A grandfather is discussing with his grandson a tragedy that just occurred.
The grandfather says, ” I feel like I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One is an angry vengeful one and the other is a peaceful loving one.”
The grandson then asks,” Which one is going to win?”
The grandfather replies, “The one I feed.”

I recently viewed Al Gore’s latest talk on climate change, which he presented at the TED Conference. I found another voice of optimism. While he laid out the disturbing environmental challenges before us, and the crisis in democracy that we faced, he suggested that we reframe the challenge by seeing the challenge as one that motivates us to action. He urged us to reach inside of ourselves to tap into a greatness that we never knew was possible. He went on to ask, “How many generations before us have had the opportunity to rise to a challenge that is worthy of our best efforts-a challenge that can pull from us more than we thought was possible?”

Imagine approaching your whole life in this way. What will the challenges be in the future that are worthy of your best efforts? Think of the challenges along the way that have helped you get to this point in your life; the challenges that have inspired you to surpass what you thought was possible in your life.

There’s one habit or pattern that most likely will get in your way of thinking this way. Once you have a better handle on it, you’ll feel freer and more optimistic. There’s always that voice-that voice of doubt or judgment- that limits what you think is possible in your life. I know that voice well.

It’s powerful and has been reinforced by a lifetime of negative conditioning. Here’s what I do to try to become free of it. As soon as I notice that I am thinking negatively I catch myself by talking to that voice. In coaching we refer to that voice of judgment as your “gremlin.” I suggest that you give your “gremlin” a name. I call mine Ralph.

The sooner I recognize Ralph, the sooner I am able to break free from the hypnotic spell he has over me. I remind myself that this voice has nothing to do with what’s really going on today; it’s an old habit that I adopted consciously or unconsciously many years ago. By just recognizing and noticing Ralph I am able to break free of the hold he has over me. This enables me to reframe what I initially considered a problem into an opportunity and create an empowering future.

I don’t think we can get enough inspiration in our life. It takes a conscious effort to live an inspired life. Nature has been a great inspiration for me. Sometimes it’s getting together with a dear friend or reading a great book. Sometimes it listening to music or watching a great dancer. We each have our own way of getting there. A big smile always helps. When you are living an an inspired life, no matter what the challenge is, it’s much easier to remain optimistic and to see the possibilities around you.

Share your voice for optimism by sharing this message to those in your circle.

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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