Archive for March, 2009

Are you on automatic pilot?

Monday, March 30th, 2009

In a life coaching session with let’s just call him Les, I have noticed that Les continues to have a myriad of excuses why his life isn’t working. Not only does he have excuses, he has medical experts that validate his reasons for not following through.

Whenever we discuss Les’s challenge, his standard reply is that I don’t understand. Afterall, medical experts for years have agreed as to why he acts the way that he does.

Les’s conduct is predictable. I will say that even though his responses are predictable, they have a unique quality to them.

When Les asked to reschedule a missed appointment, the only time available was in the evening. Les was reluctant to commit to this time because he doesn’t like to go out in the evening. I suggested to Les that this is exactly what he needs to do….change his patterns. Try a new approach to the way he lives his life. Change his morning routine. Instead of driving somewhere close, that he ride a bike or walk to his destination.

In my own process I have found that changing routines and breaking patterns gives me a feeling of personal freedom. Fasting once or twice per year for days at a time, gets me in touch with my relationship to what I put in my body. I recently just completed a fast. I got off caffeine and dairy and haven’t gone back to it. It’s been a month. I know it won’t be forever. But stepping back and noticing what’s habitual is a great way to get out of automatic pilot and become conscious again.

In the meantime, don’t forget to smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. 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 regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your Life. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Finding Joy and Meaning in the Midst of Change. 415.453.5016 http://www.inspirepossibility.com

Developing a Regular Practice

Tuesday, March 24th, 2009

Whether it’s yoga, dance, a sport, a musical instrument, any hobby or vocation, you are not in any position to judge what it’s about until you give it a reasonable chance to succeed.

For example I have been practicing yoga for many years. For quite sometime I went to an early morning yoga class, M,W,F. I was quite pleased with my progress and saw myself improving over time. That’s what kept me at it. It hasn’t always been fun especially when because of a conflict I could only go twice a week. There is no question that I feel better when my practice is regular. But if it’s only once or twice a week, it takes real effort and the progress is slow. In fact there really isn’t any progress because I can’t improve on my practice going at such an irregular pace. i perhaps maintain the status quo and it’s better than not doing it at all. But there’s so much more to experience.

When I go to class just one more time so that I’m going three times per week, I notice the improvement. I can do more things than I could the work before.

Same thing in tennis. If I play once in a while, I have no idea of how good I can be. But if I play 3 times per week then I can get pretty good.

Once you make your activity a regular practice you begin to experience moments in which you know what the particular activity is about and what it is to reach a higher level of proficiency.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. 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 regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your 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

ARE YOU PLAYING IT TOO SAFE?

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

I like to go to the movies. It’s not that often that I get totally involved with the characters. I saw The Great Buck Howard the other night. I gave it a 9. The protagonist, Troy, drops out of law school to work for Buck Howard, a mentalist. When his father finds out that he had dropped out of law school, he tries to convince him to go back. But Troy pursues his his dream and follows his heart to become a writer.

It takes courage to follow your heart. Quite often it’s not the safe thing to do and you experience the ups and downs of trying to make things work financially. But you do have the potential to experience more passion in your life. i left a safe law career to pursue the work that I am doing now. It’s been an exciting adventure and certainly has gotten me out of my comfort zone. Of course I don’t have the external security I once had. But I am on a path that keeps getting more exciting each day.

So it’s a choice that you have to make. Do you want the security of a safe career or the adventure of being a trail blazer. I have tended to be the trail blazer type, but I have also gone about it in a practical way. I like to think of myself as a practical mystic. “Reach for the sky but at the same time be grounded.” When I have the basics covered, I am more willing to step out and go for it.

How do you think about your life? Are you playing it too safe? Or perhaps you are being too foolish at times? And maybe there is a balance.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, Executive and Life Coach, Visionary Speaker and Inspirational Leader, has a unique background. Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. 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 regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your 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

How do you get inspired?

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

When you feel inspired, what is possible in your life seems unlimited. You have a “can do attitude” and things that might ordinarily bother you, don’t seem to get in the way. You have a confidence and knowing that everything is going to be ok.

I am sure that most of you have experienced this state and are familiar with what i am saying. So if that’s the case, the bigger question is how do you get inspired.

I am also sure that each of us has our own strategy to get into this state of being. I have found that how I start my week goes a long way in creating the mood for the week. I have also found that having a Sunday ritual is a big element in creating this state. My week seems to go better and I have created an expectation now that this will be the case. The Sunday ritual is different for each of us.

For several years I have been going to New thought churches such as Science of Mind and Unity to give me that spark. While it is true, that sometimes I don’t find the services stimulating or inspiring, it is the time afterwards to connect with community that I enjoy. This seems to work for me. Perhaps for you it might a more traditional church. My wife, Annie has a different ritual. She goes to a regular dance class Sunday morning that gets her humming in the right mood for the rest of the day and sets the tone for the week.

I have also found that reading inspiring books in the evening before falling asleep gives me a certain sense of peace.

When we feel inspired there is less uncertainty and a knowing that you are on the right path.
And at the same time there is a feeling of “walking in freedom,” that effortless quality that you feel when life just flows.

I’m not suggesting that you completely overhaul your life. But what is one thing that you could integrate into your life, that would inspire you? What would you have to change to make this happen”

In the meantime, smile and laugh a little bit more than yesterday. And
JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, Executive and Life Coach, Visionary Speaker and Inspirational Leader, has a unique background. Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. 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 regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your 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

Planting Seeds of Possibility

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Life’s seasons are amazing and always full of surprises, some of which you are not prepared for. I always look forward to the winter rains filling up the creeks. There’s nothing more soothing than taking a walk in nature in the midst of rushing water on the way to a cascading waterfall. And yes in our busy lives it’s important to take the time to enjoy these special moments.

This winter has been fairly mild; so mild that there was concern about a possible drought, which is certainly a contrast to a few years ago when we had the many storms and floods. Just about when we had given up hope of any rain, the late storms came and the creeks and reservoirs began filling up. The trails have been glorious.

But then I think back to a few years ago when we were in the middle of a major storm. Like many challenges that we face in our life, you sometimes wonder if it will ever end. You also know that after the storm there is a sense of calmness, clarity and beauty. You feel lighter.

Spring is perhaps my favorite season. As spring approaches I notice the first wild flowers, the blossoms on the fruit trees and the abundance of birds in the trees. In the evening, the sky is clear and I notice the many stars and the brightness of the moon.

Spring is a time of new beginnings as we ready ourselves for the spring ritual with its sense of optimism and hope. As you think about what you want to harvest, you pull out the weeds and prepare the soil for planting. Think of the weeds as the limiting beliefs that clutter your mind, and the seeds that you plant as ideas in the form of possibilities in the garden of your mind.

How you cultivate your garden determines your harvest. Sometimes you’ll pour seeds right from the package onto the soil and at other times you follow a systematic plan of planting every few inches. Some seeds and we don’t know which ones, emerge from the darkness toward the light and become healthy plants that nurture us in many ways. Not only do they provide food for the body, they provide food for the soul. From the darkness there is a miraculous process that gives birth to creation. That’s the way it was for each of us. We emerged from the darkness of the womb to the light of the day.

What we harvest in the future from these seeds becomes our destiny. This spring let us be inspired by the ritual of spring to think bigger–to think about what we can plant that will transcend our normal way of looking at spring. Think of spring as a time of possibility. Be sure to plant some seeds that won’t have to be replanted next year, that will grow and can be harvested and enjoyed by future generations. We are talking about creating a vision. What we stand for now, determines the future for ourselves, the generations to come after us, and the planet earth.

Sometimes an inspiring poem says it all. This poem, written in 500 B.C. by an anonymous Chinese poet, is most poignant. Enjoy the poem.

The Harvest

If you are thinking a year ahead,
sow seed.
If you are thinking ten years ahead,
plant a tree.
If you are thinking one hundred years ahead,
educate the people.
By sowing seed once,
you will harvest once.
By planting a tree,
you will harvest tenfold.
By educating the people,
you will harvest one hundredfold.

We educate with our ideas. We lead with our vision. Imagine there’s a movie screen, the movie screen of your mind that connects with the universal mind of the world. Imagine you have a magic power that can influence the way people think. You can empower the world to think differently. What do you want them to know? What is your hope for yourself, your community and the world?

My hope is that we all will share our vision. When enough of us share the same vision and commit to it we can create an unstoppable force of possibility. We want to experience love and that sense of connection. We long for peace on the planet and want to see an end to world hunger.

When we feel connected to each other, to nature and to this empowering presence, we know we are not alone. From this place of knowing, we know that what is possible in our lives is unlimited. As spring unfolds it is my hope the seeds you plant renew your sense of hope and optimism. May you be inspired by this journey. By “you being you,” you make a difference.

As you Journey On, make your life an exciting journey of discovery.

Mark

Mark Susnow, Executive and Life Coach, Visionary Speaker and Inspirational Leader, has a unique background. Throughout his life, Mark has always made a practice of taking a leap of faith whenever he heard the call for something more. His life has been an unfolding journey of discovery. 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 regardless of our life’s circumstances, we can find more joy and meaning in our life. He is a sought after speaker and coauthor along with Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy and other experts in the book 101 Great Ways to Improve your 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

HAVE FAITH YOU ARE ON THE RIGHT PATH

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

When i talked with our good friend Les who you might feel you know by now, in a life coaching session yesterday, he had a concern. Yes he has been incorporating some of my ideas into his life. But he felt that sometimes they worked and sometimes they didn’t. One of my ideas was for him to meditate.

Les was somewhat sporadic in his approach in that he really didn’t make a commitment to the practice. If he did it one day and he felt good afterwards he did it the next. But if he didn’t feel good the next day, it would be a while before he would meditate again.

I pointed out to Les that he hadn’t really made the commitment which is what you have to do in the beginning, until it becomes part of your life. Then you do it because it’s like mental flossing. You floss because you know that it goods for you. Let’s say with flossing that the dentist tells you still have a problem. What do you do? You find out how you can tweak so it works better. You are committed to the process for your self-care.

Meditation is like that. You might want to reevaluate you practice. Sometimes just a subtle shift in your approach makes the biggest difference. But we can’t be attached to the results like Les was.

Have faith that you are ON THE RIGHT PATH….give it time…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

SHARE YOUR GIFT OF YOU BEING YOU

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

In the last blog, On the Path to Mastery, I wrote about what happens when you transcend the plateau.(going beyond when you normally stop) It’s only when you do that, that there is the potential for mastery and the potential for magic in your life.

There is another reason to keep taking a step forward and going beyond where you normally stop. You have a unique gift that makes the world a better place. By your sharing this gift of “you being you”, you make a difference. You have no way of knowing the number of people who may have impacted in a positive way by the expression of your gift. Sometimes that expression is “nothing more and at the same time nothing greater” than your presence.

How many times have you been invited to a birthday party and on the invitation…there is a note…”no presents please, your presence is the gift.” I still secretly like to get presents I have to admit, but more important is the presence of my friend especially as I go on in this journey.

It’s feels great to be acknowledged for making a difference. Even though we make a difference in peoples lives we aren’t always acknowledged. For example I have been writing my ezine, Letters on Life for over seven years now. On numerous occasions, many years later, I’ll receive an acknowledgment from someone letting me know that what I wrote made a difference in their life and that they always felt better after they read the article. That’s the way it is. While people are quick to criticize us and slow to acknowledge us, it takes faith and courage to keep putting it out there.

Buts what you do when you are flowing with the currents of life. Make your life an exciting journey of discovery. Smile…laugh a little bit more than yesterday and

JOURNEY ON

MARK

friend 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

On the Path to Mastery

Friday, March 6th, 2009

During our life coaching session yesterday with let’s call him Carl, Carl was concerned that there wasn’t anything he was excited about in his life. His life seemed flat. He would try something and then after a while decide that he didn’t like it. And because this has been his pattern for so long, he was reluctant to try something new unless he heard bells ringing and trumpets blaring.

I explained to Carl that no matter what he does there are going to be moments when his enthusiasm wanes. That’s the learning curve. We have a sense of commitment and sometimes excitement to learn something new but after a while we reach a plateau. It’s no longer fun and we feel stuck. We make a decision that it’s not for us and stop. Then we try something new and come back to the same place with the new thing. It goes on and on until we change our relationship to the plateau.

As George Leonard the author of Mastery encourages…”Learn to love the plateau.” Learn to love that stuck place. On the other side of the plateau is where mastery occurs. When I started going to Salsa classes I reached that plateau. I felt like quitting. But I also was inspired by many of the other dancers who started at the same place I did. I kept at it and then went to the next level. It became fun and once it becomes fun, it has a life of its own.
What I suggested to Carl was that it didn’t matter what he did, as long as he did something. Then in the process of doing, there is the possibility that something great can happen. Carl also felt that he didn’t have any friends. I suggested to him that in the process of learning and being involved is where i have made most of my friends. Years ago I began the study of Tai Chi. In the class I made three life long friends and none of us still do the Tai Chi form that we learned. But out of the doing, something greater occurred.

Put yourself out there and transcend the plateau. 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 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 THE INWARD JOURNEY

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Perhaps more than anything, we would like to be free from our negative thinking. Those thoughts color every experience that we have and everything that we do. That’s the way it was for lets call her Melissa when we spoke yesterday in our life coaching session.

Melissa who has a litany of reasons and stories as to why she isn’t happy, isn’t much different from many whom I come in contact with. Her story why she isn’t happy is very believable and she is very convincing. At least she has convinced herself that her reasons are justified. It’s tempting not to be convinced of her logic. Her thinking the way that she does is a regular habit that she has become accustomed to. She has, like many of us, had years of practice in thinking this way. When she projects into the future she doesn’t see a way out.

That’s the challenge for Melissa and many others like her. How can one find joy and meaning in this changing world? It’s changing in the sense that there’s very little that we can count on. Our institutions such as government, religion, education and health care that at one time we were able to count on, have failed us. We don’t know where to turn. We are searching for new answers.

Those answers are inside of us. The lasting freedom that we are seeking is an inward journey. It’s not going to be obtained by accomplishments in the material world. Yes those accomplishments might give us a temporary high. but then it’s off to the next new thing.

We are looking in the wrong places for a quick answer to our suffering. The journey of awakening takes times and patience. It’s a matter of being still. I remember in Paulo Coelho’s, Alchemist, the protagonist searches the world for lost treasure. When he becomes an old man, he learns that the treasure was buried in the backyard of the house he grew up in.

Take the time to look inward. Make the choice. Choose happiness. 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 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

THERE ARE NO DELETE BUTTONS IN LIFE

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

We all want to find more joy and meaning in the midst of change. We have to learn to let of go of what might have been.There are no delete buttons or replays in life, but you can wonder. You can wonder, “What if? You can wonder what it would be like if you didn’t make the decision that you did?” I can think of numerous decisions that I made that altered the direction of my life.

It might have been saying yes to an invitation or saying no to an offer that looked too good to be true. When I said yes to my friend Kent’s invitation to visit him in Loveland, Colorado, it led to my meeting my wife Annie. Since that moment my life has been remarkably different. I could have easily said no and stayed in California. And then it was saying yes to a career change…from being a trial lawyer to a life coach. I gave the security of a successful career to seek a new path. Yes I miss the great lifestyle it offered me and often think about it. But I’ve become the person I’ve always wanted to be and it keeps getting better everyday.

That’s all anyone can ask for…that it keeps getting better everyday and more fulfilling. Life becomes an exciting journey of discovery. I have often written about how you start your day sets the tone for the day. Asking empowering questions is a big part of that. As I begin my day, I wonder about what the highlight might be.

By asking the question in this way, there will always be a highlight. As I’m writing this entry, I am wondering what the highlight might be during the rest of my day. I know something good will happen. I just have to be open to seeing it when it occurs.

In every minute in everyday we make a choice. Choose happiness.

But in the meantime….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


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