Archive for March, 2010

Stay open to the Synchronicity

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

As I wrote in the last blog, curiosity is one of the most powerful resources that you can use to change your attitude about life.

Let me give you a few examples from my own life and from those close to me. Here we go.

My son graduated from college and grad school, only to be greeted by a labor market that as we all know is currently restricted. At times he gets discouraged. I suggested to him, rather than being discouraged, to be curious as to the work environment in which he will be involved in during the next few years and to be curious about the nature of the industry. Also to be curious as to whom he will meet during this period. In the process he can look forward to this period in his life with much anticipation and curiosity. Who knows you can meet some lifelong friends or lifelong partners.

For example: I remember my brother’s first job—it took him a while to get it—he had gone on many interviews prior to landing it. Fortunately he didn’t get these other jobs because a whole chain of events occurred at the next job that changed the course of his life. It was there that he met his wife and mother of his three children. Life has a way of surprising us that quite often we can’t anticipate.

A spur of a moment trip to Colorado many years ago, led to my meeting my wife. Had I not taken that trip, I wouldn’t have met her. And the number of things that had to fall in place were numerous for me to end up there. You never know how it’s going to unfold. Stay in the game.

As we stay open to possibilities, synchronicity becomes the norm rather than the infrequent occurrence.

Journey On

Mark

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes will be released May 1, 2010.

Become comfortable with not knowing

Friday, March 19th, 2010

As I wrote in the last blog I would explore in greater detail the power of curiosity. In many ways it goes hand in hand with how we explore our imagination.

What I find interesting is that when one worries, they imagine the worst case scenario. Think about it for a second. Imagine something that you worry about. If nothing comes to you, stay with me here as I’ll share with you a situation that is real common with some of my life coaching clients. They overly concern themselves with money. They project into the future that they will run out of money. If things are going well, they worry that it won’t stay that way. And if things aren’t going well, they worry that they’ll even get even worse.

When one worries they have a strong belief that they can predict the future. Quite often that worry is just a habit that has been with us for a long time. The truth is that we don’t really know what’s going to happen down the road. But we have a need to know, so we latch onto something which is familiar…a familiar emotion that’s been with us most of our life.

The first step in breaking free of this emotion, is realizing that you can’t predict the future. No one can. Once you accept that and become comfortable with “not knowing,” you can play more with your imagination and imagine a future scenario that is greater than anything you can imagine right now.

Being curious as to what that scenario is a fun exploration. Try it and see what happens. I’m excited about my book, Dancing on the River—Navigating Life’s Changes. I’m curious as to what it will lead to. I’m curious as to who I will meet in the process of letting people know about my book. I’m comfortable with not knowing. I’m curious as to what I’ll learn about myself.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes will

THE POWER OF CURIOSITY

Monday, March 15th, 2010

I was talking with my friend Jeannie about what we get to do as life coaches. We get to share what we think about and what we feel is most important in our lives with others. And that’s what I try to do in my blogs and in my newsletters. My thoughts keep evolving.

In the last blog I shared with you six insights that have the potential to change your life. Since I sent it out, I have been thinking about the power of curiosity which I briefly commented upon as one of the six insights. I thought I’d take the time to explore this concept in greater depth and give you a few examples of how I use it in my life.

If you remember I suggested that as you start your day that you wonder about what the highlight of your day might be. What this does is get you thinking about the potential for good in your life. You’re curious about might happen during the day.

You can make this a practice in almost everything that you do. I remember when I was a trial lawyer. There were plenty of moments when I faced a difficult situation with a lot at stake or when I was in the presence of someone who was just unpleasant.

And then one day a light bulb went one when I was in the middle of a deposition. I realized that I chose to be there in that this was the work that I chose for my career. And this situation would be coming up again and again as long as I was in this line of work. The circumstances weren’t going to change. So the only alternative was for me to change my attitude.

On this morning, the other attorney who I’ll just call Dennis was particularly rude and insulting. Rather than getting plugged into Dennis’s energy, I was curious about why he was the way that he was. I was sure that this was his MO–getting into arguments with most of the people in his life. I even felt sorry for him, and grateful that I wasn’t like him. I also realized that in each moment that I had a chose to be firm but not reactive.

Finally I suggested to Dennis that we take a break and talk off the record. I asked him what was going on with him–after all my client was just an innocent victim.

Dennis apologized and invited me to lunch. He told me how much he hated his job. To this day, we have maintained a relationship even after I transitioned into becoming a life coach.

It’s the same thing with worry. When you think about it…isn’t worry an irrational belief that the worst will happen? Rather than worrying, be curious as to how it’s all going to unfold. Not only that, be curious as to how your life could be if everything worked out better than you expected.

These are just a few ideas that we’ll explore further in the next blog.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes will be released May 1, 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com

Six Insights for a More Joyful Life

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Wherever we are in life’s evolutionary cycle, we eventually come to the same realization. The outward journey of seeking success is only temporarily fulfilling. Finding joy and meaning is an inner journey. On this journey we cultivate an empowering attitude, which is a reflection of a life decision that we make to be happy and to enjoy life in this moment. We have discovered that our enjoyment and appreciation of life is not dependent on what might happen in the future. It takes a while to come to this realization, but once you do, you have the potential to awaken to a rich inner life that is more fulfilling than you can imagine.

It is my hope that by integrating the following six insights and practices into your life, you will know what it means to be Dancing on the River.

1.How you start your day sets the tone for the day. If you start the day in a hurry it will be extremely difficult to slow down. Most of us rush out of the house in the morning trying to make an appointment or deadline. Underneath the concern that we won’t be able to get it all done is an underlying anxiety that won’t go away.
You sometimes wish you had a magic wand that could make things better. Although there is no magic wand, there is a morning practice that can minimize much of that anxiety. 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 in a quiet place and pay attention to your breath.
After meditation begin to focus on what you are grateful for. Perhaps there are only a few things that you can think of in the beginning, but once you make this a daily practice, you realize how blessed you are. By focusing on what you are grateful for, your focus shifts to what’s right in your life, rather than on what’s wrong. It’s an amazing practice, which has the power to transform your life.

2. Develop the practice of Curiosity. I didn’t realize how powerful of a concept this could be until I integrated it into my life. Here’s what I suggest to get you going. In the morning, after expressing gratitude, reflect upon your day wondering about what the highlight of your day might be. By being curious as to what that is, you’ll create a positive expectation as the day progresses. No matter what is happening in your life, rather than worrying about the outcome, be curious as to how it is all going to unfold. By being curious, you’re also open to those pleasant surprises—those moments of grace that uplift your spirit.

3. Learn how to recognize and know your VOJ. The VOJ is that voice of judgment that drives you nuts. You know it. We all do. You would give anything to silence it even if just 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. But the doing is a different type of doing. It’s just noticing. I have found that giving this voice a name has been effective in breaking the spell that it has over me. I call my VOJ, Ralph. This is a lifelong challenge so don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice anything immediately.

4. Self-Acceptance is the next practice. 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, although we might try. But we do have the potential to change how we think about ourselves and how we think about the circumstances of our lives. Even though, we are our own worst critics at times, our work is to accept those things that we don’t like about ourselves—that dark side often referred to as our “shadow.” Once you accept those things about yourself that you don’t like or are embarrassed by, you will feel lighter and freer. 
And isn’t that what it’s all about–becoming lighter.

5. Introduce positive self-talk 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 has become 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, my VIP sends me a few words of encouragement, by saying 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 shifts.

6. Make time for the Jollies. So here we are again with another new phrase. No I haven’t lost my mind. 
We all have faced our share of challenges that at times seems overwhelming. Even so, there are many things that have given us joy at one time or the other. They might be little things that we have forgotten about.
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,”
 even if you still have loose ends in your life and your “to do” list is full. It took me a while to figure this out, but there will always be “loose ends” and uncertainty. If you always wait for the perfect time to begin something new, you will never begin. The only perfect time is now.

So there you have it—There’s only one thing left to do. Enjoy the journey and make it an exciting adventure. of discovery. This blog has been adapted from my forthcoming book, Dancing on the River, which will be released on May 1st.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive and life coach, who inspires others to believe in themselves. A former trial attorney for 30 years, he integrates what it takes to be successful in the world with the inner wisdom unfolded to him through years of yoga and meditation. Mark’s new book, Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes will be released May 1, 2010. mark@inspirepossibility.com


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