Archive for February, 2009

ALLOW YOURSELF TO EXPERIENCE THE GOOD

Friday, February 27th, 2009

When Les came in for a life coaching session yesterday, he was frustrated which surprised me. 2008 was a fairly challenging year for him. Because of the challenges Les reached a new level in his self-confidence. He had a health challenge that he overcame and was swept up in the stresses from the economic turmoil. As the year came to a close, not only had Les recovered from his health challenge, he was prospering in his business.

He was extremely optimistic for 2009. In many ways, Les was experiencing more good than he had experienced before. He was experiencing more financial success than he ever had, was in a better relationship than he had ever been in before, and proved to himself that he was resilient.

But he had a breakdown. The place he was living in had many problems and the landlord was slow in addressing them. I couldn’t believe how frustrated he was. He seemed to have forgotten all that he had accomplished in the year before which were significant.

Why was that? Les was now experiencing the land of abundance and well-being which was new territory for him and frightening. In some ways he was about to sabotage himself. So he had a collision while backing his vehicle into his driveway which contributed to his frustration. It set him back several thousand dollars. He was about to embark on a wrong strategy to make himself miserable.

Les wasn’t used to things going good in his life. He didn’t know how to handle it, so he created new things to get upset about and he was doing a good job at that.

As Les left the session, he had a new perspective and awareness of what he was doing. He realized that what he was getting upset about was small potatoes in the scope of things. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that Les’s VOJ or gremlin was rearing its head.

I’m sure you can relate to some of Les’s challenges. To a certain degree we all can.

There’s no better time than now to choose happiness. Allow yourself to experience the good in your life. Smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday and JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to find joy and meaning in the midst of change. A former 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. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he
shares his message that we can make our life an exciting journey of discovery. He publishes the inspirational ezine, Letters on Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in the fall of 2009. http://www.inspirepossibility.com. 415.453.5016

TAKE THE TIME FOR SELF-CARE

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I have been noticing that in our coaching sessions this week, whether they are pertaining to life coaching or business coaching, the focus is the same.

Most people that I work with seem to have increasing challenges as they are affected by the national mood. While they remain optimistic, it still effects them on some level.

And some also have personal challenges dealing with other stressors. It could be a difficult relationship or a significant illness of a loved one.

Some not only have the responsibilities of a wage earner and business owner, but also the responsibilities of a care giver.

They are stretched in many directions.

In our calls, I always ask them about their self-care. It’s so easy to get lost in all of the responsibilities that you have, that you forget about yourself. You forget to take time for what nurtures you.

In normal times you should have a proactive self-care program. When you have more challenges than usual then you should increase the amount of time that you take for yourself. You are always going to have challenges. You can’t get away from it. Perhaps what bothers you now won’t bother you in a few months, but there will always be something else that comes up that concerns you. So life won’t stop. But you can develop a plan that will help you find more joy and meaning in your life.

Perhaps you think that you’re too busy…that you don’t have time. What you’ll find is that when you take just 10-15 minutes in the morning before rushing out of the house, your day will go smoother. When you take time for a meal, you’ll experience a deep sense of relaxation the rest of the day. If you take the time to read an inspirational magazine or book before falling asleep you’ll sleep better. It’s taking the time for yourself. It not only becomes a habit, it becomes a way of life. You couldn’t imagine your life any other way. It’s a choice. Choose happiness.

Smile…laugh a little bit more than yesterday and journey on

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to find joy and meaning in the midst of change. A former 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. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he
shares his message that we can make our life an exciting journey of discovery. He publishes the inspirational ezine, Letters on Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in the fall of 2009. http://www.inspirepossibility.com. 415.453.5016

A reminder to remember

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I saw an old friend yesterday, lets call him Carl, at Unity. Calling him an old friend doesn’t accurately describe our relationship. I’ve known him for over twenty five years. He really wasn’t someone who played a big part in my life–just one of those many people that you run into every three or four years and when you do, you talk at a certain level. Somewhat superficial— it never really flows…at least that was my experience until yesterday.

Was it me or was it him…or perhaps a combination of the two? What started out as a polite hello, ended up with a full-on connection. An hour later we said our good-bye and I am sure we both left with that feeling that you have when you have touched another’ soul. You want more and at the same time you feel complete. Yet I had the feeling that we would be more involved in each other’s life. We’ll see.

In the meeting, Carl reminded of a conversation that we had over 20 years ago that made a profound difference in his life. I had shared with him a workshop that I had just completed. Carl was inspired to eventually take the workshop. Although it took him a while, it totally changed his life and he was grateful for my willingness to share my experience with him.

I was touched knowing that I made a difference in his life. And had I not ran into Carl that morning, I would have never known about my gift or remembered our meeting. I wonder how many other profound meetings that I have forgotten about. So think about. How often do you hold back, rather than share what’s on your mind? It’s that smile or gesture or kindness that can make all of the difference in someone’s life.

It’s “you being you” that makes a difference in the world. Don’t let someone dissuade you from expressing who you are. Smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday and

Journey ON

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to find joy and meaning in the midst of change. A former 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. Whether coaching one-on-one, speaking to groups, or leading a retreat, he
shares his message that we can make our life an exciting journey of discovery. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with other experts Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. He publishes the inspirational ezine, Letters on Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change will be released in the fall of 2009. http://www.inspirepossibility.com. 415.453.5016

ENJOY WHAT IS

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

It’s been an interesting winter. For most of it, we have been concerned that there will be water rationing as it’s the third straight year with less than normal rainfall. And in the last few days, we’ve had a major storm. Now the focus has shifted from drought to possible floods. A few years ago we had major floods when the town was four feet under water. We’re always wondering about the tides. When it’s a low tide the water backs up and overflows the banks of the creek.

So isn’t that the way our lives are quite often. We worry needlessly rather than flow with what is. We can’t control the weather patterns or the tides. It’s our work to enjoy what is. I know that the creeks will be flowing today. And there are a few waterfalls that will be raging. It’s quite exciting. And that is the way it is. If you like the rustic quality of living on a creek there is always the danger that it will overflow. If that concerns you then you choose a different place to live. But what attracts me is the charm that makes me feel whole and the mountain that is lush with picturesque beauty and wildlife.

It’s our choice. Each moment we have the choice to choose happiness. Smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday.

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former 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. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational way. http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Avoid the News in the Evening

Friday, February 13th, 2009

For a long time now this habit has been such a part of my life that I don’t even think about it. It’s a positive habit that will help you eliminate a great deal of stress.

That’s your relationship to the media. Make it easy on yourself. I’m not saying to stop watching television. You can certainly minimize it. But don’t watch the news in the evening. Think about the hook. To get you to watch their coverage, the networks have to have a hook. That’s how they survive. You watch their coverage and the advertisers try to hook you with their products. And let’s face it….most people react to sensationalism. It gets their attention.

And it get’s yours. Then think about the advertisements. What are they usually about? Usually antidepressant’s. Drugs about sexual function are a close second.

So don’t watch the news in the evening. Anything you need to know, you will find out about in the morning. And if it’s that important someone will call you or text you. And what can you do about it anyway?

Instead of watching the media, take the time to reflect on how your day went. I often thinking about what was special about this day? What did I learn? It’s a great way to sandwich the day. You start it with the morning program wondering about what the highlight of your day might be. And you end it by thinking about that special moment. It’s a great practice. If I’ve restless in the evening and and am tossing and turning, I’ll go back over my day focusing on those highlights.

In the meantime…smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday.

Journey On

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former 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. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational way. http://www.inspirepossibility.com

IT’S ALL UNFOLDING IN PERFECT ORDER

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Have you ever said, “I’m wasting my time?” Maybe at least once? What does that really mean? And can we really waste time? Don’t we really learn from everything?

Perhaps when comparing the past to what we know now, we might think that we could have avoided some of the steps we took and some of the wrong turns. It might have been a bad relationship or a mistake in trusting a friend. It might have been selecting the “wrong” major in college or a dead-end job.

There have been times in my life when I was very productive and other times when nothing seemed to get done. Both were necessary for my growth and evolution.

I don’t think we can waste time. To think that assumes that we know are ultimate destiny. Just about everything that I have done or experienced when looking back at it, comes together like an invisible web. But it’s only looking back with hindsight that the web begins to become visible.

Trust that it’s all unfolding as it should. Everyone you meet and every experience that you have is all grist for the mill. You learn from it and it contributes to who you are today–even the so-called negative things.

We keep repeating the lessons of the past until we learn them and then we are ready to move on. It took many relationships to become clear as to what I wanted in a soul-mate. With each one, I learned more about myself. That’s the purpose of our life’s experiences. With each one we learn more about ourselves and what is important to us.

It’s a lifelong journey of discovery. Enjoy the journey. Happiness is a choice that you make each moment. And remember to smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former 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. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational way. http://www.inspirepossibility.com

THE NEED TO BE RIGHT

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

What about you? Do you have to get in the last word? Perhaps that’s not a challenge for you. But perhaps the need to be right is. The need to be right is what gets in the way of our connecting with others. No matter how much work we have done on ourselves it’s always a challenge.

Perhaps it’s even more challenging when we have done the work because that need or pattern is so well disguised that we don’t even recognize it in ourselves.

We might be an expert or someone with a title that we assume gives us license to have the most dominant or respected voice.

Don’t worry about it because we are all guilty of it in some form or the other. For some people that needs show up in wanting to be the “coolest one” in the group. Just recognize it. Be aware of how it affects your ability to connect with the other person.

I recognize that there might be situations where the need to be right is appropriate. Even so it’s important to respect the other person’s perspective.

Sometimes I have learned to find humor in that need to be right. My wife, Annie and I, make a joke about it when we recognize that tendency in each other. She might tease me by saying, “Yes you’re right. You are better than me.” Do you think that’s the real underlying reason we have the need to be right? It’s our need to prove that we are ok. It’s our need to prove our worthiness….something to think about.

Smile…laugh a little a bit more than yesterday and Journey On

Mark

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former 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. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational way. http://www.inspirepossibility.com

6 Secrets for finding more joy and meaning in the midst of success

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

You might have your own definition of success. Success is more than making money. Success is more than being recognized in a career. It’s about being happy. It’s about liking who you are. It’s about having loving relationships. But if you are successful in a career and don’t have time to share your success with loved ones, you are missing out on one of the joys of life. With your busy lifestyle, you wonder how you can find that balance.

1. How you start your day sets the tone for the day. If you start the day in a hurry it’s extremely difficult to slow down. What I have seen is that most people wake up in the morning–rush out of the house, trying to make an appointment or deadline. Underneath their concern that they won’t be able to get it all done, is an underlying anxiety. Perhaps you feel the same way. You sometimes wish you had a magic wand that could make things different.”

Although there is no magic wand there is a morning practice that if implemented can change your life. After you wake up and before you do anything else, take 10-15 minutes for reflection. Perhaps you already have a meditation practice. If you don’t, just sit still and pay attention to your breathing.

After ten minutes or so, begin to focus on what you are grateful for. Perhaps there might be only a few things that you can think of in the beginning, but once you make this part of your daily practice, you’ll realize how blessed you are. By focusing on what you are grateful for, you shift your focus from what’s wrong about your life to what’s right. It’s an amazing practice, which has the power to transform your life.

Then by wondering about what the highlight of your day might be, you create a positive expectation as the day progresses. Briefly scan what you have to do during the day with that focus in mind. Of course you’re always open to those pleasant surprises… those moments of grace that uplift your spirit. It might just be for a moment or two but you are totally present in that moment.

2. Learn how to recognize and know your VOJ. The VOJ is that voice of judgment that drives you nuts. You would give anything to silence it for a few minutes. The sooner that you can recognize your VOJ, the sooner you can become free of the hypnotic spell that can last a lifetime if you don’t do anything about it. Doubting and self-criticism become the norm. But the doing is a different type of doing. It’s just noticing when the VOJ raises its voice. Simply by recognizing it, you break the spell. I have found that giving this voice a name is most effective in breaking the spell. I call my VOJ, Ralph. This is a lifelong challenge so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen overnight.

3. Self-Acceptance is the next secret. Let’s be honest with ourselves. There are certain things we can’t change about ourselves. We can’t change who are parents are. We can’t change our country of origin. We can’t change all of the injustices in the world. We can try. But we can change, although challenging, how we think about ourselves and our circumstances. And we can change, although challenging, how we think about our bodies. Even though we are our own worst critics, our work is to accept those things that we don’t like about ourselves. It’s the acceptances of these attitudes and beliefs that is so freeing.

4. Introduce positive self-talk (VIP) into the conversation. Now that you are more familiar with those voices and patterns that have been running your life, it’s time to listen to a new voice that needs to be nurtured and cultivated. It’s a voice if honored and respected can change how you think about yourself. I call this voice your VIP. It’s the voice of Inspiration and Praise that we don’t listen to or hear enough. That voice, that I call Buddy is my inner champion. When I think that I shouldn’t have felt the way I did about something that happened or that I shouldn’t have acted in a certain way, Buddy sends me a few words of encouragement. He says to me, “you’re doing great. You handled that well.”

It takes conscious effort and resolve to cultivate your VIP. As you learn to trust and listen to it, how you feel about your life will shift.
Our work is to create more points of light that inspire us and make us feel good

5. Make time for the Jollies. So here we are again with another new phrase. No I haven’t lost my mind.
We all have our share of challenges that concern us from time to time; some more challenging than others. Some of us feel overwhelmed by all that we are faced with.
Even though life might be like that for you, there are still a lot of things that have given you joy at one time or the other. They might be little things that you have forgotten about.
Lately I have made time for tennis. I forgot how much fun playing tennis is. The same thing for dancing. Going dancing is always a lot of fun especially as I get better. The Jollies is taking the time to do what gives you joy. So when I say make time for the jollies…I mean make time for what gives you “joy.”
Those things that you have to do or that you are concerned about, don’t go away. Even when your “to do” list has plenty of things on it and you still have loose ends in your life, still make time for the jollies whatever they are for you. In the beginning it might take effort, but it wlll have a profound effect on the quality of your life.

6. Smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday. Most of us are too serious. I was certainly that way. Once you accept those things about yourself that you used to be embarrassed by, there is no question that you will be lighter.
And isn’t that what it’s all about–becoming lighter.

When I was younger I thought about becoming enlightened. Enlightenment was the carrot that kept me going on my spiritual quest. With family and career my focus shifted. Even though I stopped thinking about enlightenment it still popped up from time to time. So I have come up with my definition that works for me. It means to “lighten up.” When you do, you have less stress, better health and more fun. I’m not suggesting for you to go out there and perform standup comedy, but see what happens if you tell a joke once in a while. Becoming more playful is a worthy challenge and a gift to all who are in your presence.
JOURNEY ON

MARK

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former 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. His articles reflect this journey in an inspirational way. http://www.inspirepossibility.com


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