Archive for January, 2012

REFLECTIONS ON WORRY

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

My friend and colleague Mary O’Neill is today’s guest blogger. I know you’ll enjoy her perspective on worry.

“Some of my biggest disappointments never happened.”
~ Mark Twain

“I’m a recovering worrier. I am. I don’t always like to admit it, yet it’s true. I’m not sure if I was born a worrier or if I acquired a special talent for it along the way!

I’ve recently come to really recognize the futility of my worrying. It gets me nowhere, it’s not useful and in fact it restricts my ability to relax and drop into myself, which is usually where the answer to what’s troubling me can be found.

Recently I found myself worrying about the future, which is what most of us worry about – an event that has yet to take place, some worrisome thing that has not even happened – and may never. I was even defending my worry! I was using phrases like “yeah, but what if that plan doesn’t work?!”, or “suppose x, y or z ( I can fill in almost anything here!) happens?”, or “what if this person does that?!” My friend Cin, who was very patiently listening to me, said, “How about playing the ‘what if’ game in your favor?”

“The ‘what if’ game in my favor?”, I asked. “Yes!”, she said. “How about asking, ‘what if I won the lottery?!’, or ‘what if I met the love of my life?!’ or ‘what if everything worked out even better than I’d ever imagined?! I laughed out loud! It felt so much better to imagine great possibilities rather than dreadful ones.

It’s a choice. I saw that so clearly in that moment!

So now when I start to worry, well, first of all I commit to naming my habit. “Look at that!” I say,” I’m worrying again! Isn’t that amusing!” That creates a much needed distance between me and my worry. I’ve even given my worry a name. I call my it “Stella”. I don’t know why I chose that name, yet it works. “Come on in, Stella”, I say. “Have a seat. Let’s talk”. Now I treat worry like an old friend. My friend Mark says he calls his worry “Ralph”. They’re very good friends, too!

The point is, like Mark Twain said, “Most of my biggest disappointments never happened.”

So why worry? It’s certainly not helpful and its definitely not fun. Instead, when you find yourself in a worry pattern again, see if you can lighten up around it. Give it a name, invite it in, make friends with it.

With practice, I believe you’ll discover that your worry lessens. It likely will show up again, yet you can choose to have a brand new relationship with it!

This month’s practice:

Notice any tendency to worry that you may have. We all do it, yet we’re not always aware that we’re on auto-pilot with it. Next time you find yourself worrying, just observe it. Name it. “Oh, look at that! There I go again! I’m worrying!” Don’t judge yourself for worrying – that only makes it worse.

See if you can observe yourself from a neutral place and then watch what happens. Does that help you lighten up? Relax a little more? Create some distance? Any one of those positive outcomes – and even more –are possible. And relating to your worry like that is far more likely to help you access your inner wisdom – the place where your best solution undoubtedly lies.

ABOUT MARY

Mary O’Neill is known for her unique ability to open the minds and touch the hearts of her audiences. Her dynamic, upbeat and content-rich programs, have helped thousands of participants pave the way for more successful, productive, and high functioning relationships.

Mary’s two decades as a licensed psychotherapist, enable her to provide great insight into the understanding of how people and teams function and how they can co-exist more harmoniously and successfully.

Mary is masterful at helping people easily grasp and resolve the often challenging communication and interpersonal issues that arise among work groups everywhere.

CONTACT MARY: mary@maryoneill.com

THE GIFT OF LEARNING

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Let’s face it. There are some things that we are not good at. No matter how hard we try, we never excel. We barely get by.

And of course, the corollary is true. There are some things that we have always been good at. What we did with these natural inclinations and talents was up to us. It is quite often said that talent only takes you so far. The real mastery comes with how we develop these skill-sets and what we learn from them. Do we bring them to the next level or do they just languish? I have always found that it’s a lot more fun when you are good at something.

To get where we are in our life at this time, we had to do a lot of things well. We made many good decisions and have developed many talents and skills that have served us. More important is what we have learned from them.

In many ways these natural inclinations were gifts. When you think about intelligence, athletic ability or musical talent you realize that you were born with these qualities. When you focus on these gifts, you develop a sense of what your capabilities are and how you can use them as a springboard to what’s next in your life.

Each experience and person you have met has contributed to who you are today. In the process you have developed the most important tool and skill of all. You have developed the gift of learning which in itself is a great skill. However many others have never developed this skill. For them it is a means to an end. Give yourself the gift of learning. It’s exciting, challenging and fulfilling.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

HAVING A CLEAR PURPOSE

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Do you ever wonder if you are here on this planet to do something great? Perhaps at times you wonder what your calling is. So you listen for that call. If you are blessed, you get that call and when you do, you are ready.

When I was younger I got my first of many calls. It was to be a lawyer, one who crusaded for social justice. That was my calling for years. It gave me a purpose which was the main focus of my life, until…it no longer was. In those years that purpose made it easier for me to say, “No,” to the many distractions that I faced on a daily basis.

Today I have a different purpose which is to make a difference in the lives of others——to motivate them to get them excited about the possibilities in their life.

When you have purpose you have clarity as to your focus. This focus enables you to avoid the trap of superficiality. You can say, “No” to the latest trend or fad. You can say, “No” to what gets in the way of your becoming the person you want to be.

It’s also easier to not get down when you are having a bad day and or you are disappointed. You know that tomorrow is another day——a fresh start with new determination.

As you keep your focus on what’s important, the distractions don’t get in your way. You notice them, but keep on doing what you have to do. Along the way, you notice that you are passionate about living.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

BE THE SEEKER

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

There is a favorite expression of mine,”Take the step that’s in front of you.” That gets us there. Quite often are focus is on the end of the road. From this limited vantage point, the terrain looks difficult which contributes to our apprehension about getting there. It’s not unusual that the difficulty that we think we will be facing contributes to our giving up.

When you focus on what is directly in front of you that next step is manageable. You know that there is nothing that will prevent you from taking it…ONE STEP AND THEN THE NEXT.

Imagine being at the bottom of a steep incline; when you look up you notice the steepness of the trail. But when you break it down into separate steps, the slope of the incline is neutralized.

So you take that step and then another. Of course there will be difficulties that get in the way, but you don’t let them stop you. You pick yourself up and continue on your journey. You are determined. Soon you are near the top and you sense what’s there. You are reminded why you began the journey. You know how satisfied you’ll feel from completing the task. You are ready for the next challenge. You are a seeker-the journey brings you alive.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

WHAT’S POSSIBLE?

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In the process of writing, ideas come to me that later become my way of preferred thinking. They actually become more than that in that they become a way of life. Without actually sitting down and taking the time to focus on these ideas, they would just stay in my mind and clutter my thinking.

One of these ideas is to ask ourselves and others, “What’s Possible?” This inquiry is much different than asking ourselves, “What’s the likelihood of that happening,” which is somewhat limiting.

When we ask what’s the likelihood of that happening, we are asked to make a judgment from a limited perspective. We don’t have all of the information and resources that we’ll have at a later time. We don’t know what will be possible once we have more information and more capabilities whether those capabilities are mental or physical.

But when you ask, “What Possible?” you open the door for the creative process to be a bigger part of your life. And the creative process is unlimited. From one idea comes another. In any creative process, one idea leads to something new that’s never been done before. In the process you create something that is an expression of your unique “You.” It can be a work of art, a new product or a new way of seeing your life.

Imagine your life as a creative work of art, as an unfolding expression of what possible.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

DECLARE THAT YOU WILL DO IT

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

In a life coaching session yesterday with our good friend Carl, we discussed Carl’s taking the next step in a book project that he has wanted to complete for the last two years. There is no question in my mind and in his that he can do it but he hasn’t committed. After much give and take, I got Carl to commit to writing an hour a day. And then Carl backed off from the commitment and said that he would try and that he would give it his best shot.

Carl was already creating an excuse not to complete the project. I once read that trying is failing with honor.

When you say you will try, you carry around with you a twenty pound weight which makes life more complicated. It’s an extra burden and loose end that doesn’t have to have uncertainty tied to it.

Instead imagine completing the project. Instead of saying you will try, say you will do it. Just for a second stop reading and say out loud, “I will do it.” That’s it. How did that feel? Once you make that declaration you know that it will be done. That declaration has enormous power behind it.

Not only will you complete the project, you will do it with integrity. Not only will you feel better because the project is completed, you will feel better about yourself.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

JUST FOR TODAY

Monday, January 16th, 2012

Just for today, focus on how blessed you are. All you have to do is look around and open your heart and be open to feeling connected. There’s nothing more empowering than touching the heart of another. We all want to feel connected.

Connection is not a matter of time. When you connect with your heart, body and soul, it happens in an instant. You are reminded how good it feels to be alive.

Connection transcends titles, race, gender, age and anything you can think of. From this bond of connection anything is possible.

You don’t have to wait. There’s nothing that you need to do but to allow yourself to be totally alive in this magical moment.

This moment with its challenges and possibilities; this moment with its complexities. You are better for it. You are fully alive totally immersed in the present moment.

Just for today, live in this presence. Let tomorrow take care of itself. It will whether you want it to or not.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

THE FUTILITY OF COMPLAINING

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Some of us are complainers. For those of us who are, we’ll always find plenty to complain about. It’s the same with worriers. They will always find plenty to worry about. It’s their ground of being from which they see life. For them life is a struggle. The complaining or worrying reinforces in their consciousness what they are concerned about or what they don’t like. The likelihood of the situation escalating or continuing is high. Complaining about it won’t make the situation better. Quite the contrary.

We know from our work together that what we focus on expands. So if we want to change the circumstances of our life and how we feel about them, then we need to focus on the life we want. And rather than complain, develop a plan and take action.

Ask yourself what you would really like to change. If you aren’t sure what that is you don’t need to look any further than what you are complaining about. Rather than complain, imagine what it is that you would like to be different. See it in your mind. Make it real in your consciousness. Think about it in the morning. Think about it as you fall asleep. And then let it go. And along the way,

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

FINDING JOY AND MEANING IN THE MIDST OF UNCERTAINTY

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

The end of the year and the beginning of the new is a time of transition. We think about what we’ve accomplished and all that has occurred in the year just ending. We think about our relationships, our careers and our health. We look forward to the year ahead wondering what’s in store for us. We know from our work together that the future involves venturing into the land of the unknown with all of its uncertainties. For many of us, this uncertainty is not only anxiety provoking but at times stifling.

We might set goals for our careers, our relationships and or our wellbeing to help us move forward. In the beginning of the year we have good intentions, but at some point on our journey into the future, we get disconnected from what our intentions were in the beginning of the year.

It’s not unusual that at some point we experience more than our share of obstacles. We’re not always prepared for what life throws at us. We notice that lifes currents seem swifter, and the waters deeper. There are those moments when we feel that we’re in over our head and that our life is spinning out of control. You might be wondering how you can stay afloat in the midst of this uncertainty.

The simplest answer is to adopt a more enlightened perspective about what the future might bring.
“The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”
John Schaar

What if, in the future we are creating together, our focus is on creating wellbeing? What if we’re able to smile in the midst of the tears and the uncertainty? There is a model we can follow. In the tiny Himalayan country of Bhutan, “Gross National Happiness” is more valued than gross national product.

You might think that this is impractical in the rapidly changing and complex world that we live in. Even so, we can choose to be happy. Let’s look at what we can do that will support us in making this choice.

1. Start the day by taking time for quiet reflection. It sets the tone for the day. If you want to experience peace and wellbeing, then take time in the morning for quiet reflection before you do anything else. Just taking 10-15 minutes for reflection acts as a shock absorber to buffer you from life’s concerns. When your shocks are not functioning properly every bump in the road is intensified.

After meditation begin to focus on what you are grateful for. It’s an amazing practice which has the power to transform your life. By focusing on what you are grateful for, your focus shifts to what is good in your life, rather than on what is wrong. It also shifts your focus from what might be or what might have been, to what is (the now.)

2. 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.

3. Self-Acceptance is the next practice. Let’s be honest with ourselves. There are certain things we can’t change. 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 life. Once you do you will feel lighter and freer. And isn’t that what it’s all about–becoming lighter

4. 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 which, if honored and respected, can change how you think about yourself. It’s the voice of Inspiration and Praise (VIP) that we don’t listen to enough. 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.” As you learn to trust and listen to this voice, how you feel about your life shifts.

5. Make time for the Jollies. 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 even if you still have loose ends in your life. It took me a while to get this, but there will always be “loose ends” and uncertainty. If you always wait for the perfect time to begin something new or to be happy, you’ll 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.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive & life coach and thought leader who inspires others to believe in themselves. He is passionate about life being an exciting journey of discovery. His enthusiastic and inspiring keynotes on change, leadership and connection thoroughly convey this message to his audiences. 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. He is the author of Dancing on the River…Navigating Life’s Changes. Give yourself the gift of coaching and make an investment in your future.

BEING REAL

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

I am excited to introduce you to one of my good friends and colleagues Jeannie Campanelli. She is our guest blogger today.

“The days fly by, sometimes so quickly that we forget to breathe consciously. To stop and be still. To be fully in the moment. We forget to do the rich practices that can deeply alter our quality of life.

One of the deepest practices is to simply rest in the heart and notice what is present. In the heart, you may discover a vibration that is actually painful to feel.

The invitation is to fully be with this vibration, without attaching a story to it. This becomes part of a larger practice to get comfortable with the discomfort of pain in your heart. It’s natural to do our best at ignoring this pain, but if you give it your steadfast attention, a doorway into the deep will open.

If you mostly live in the realm of the mind, you know what it’s like to ‘try’ to control what you’re thinking and, consequently, feeling. You’re familiar with the severe voice of your inner critic. You know how to pretend that all is well when it honestly isn’t.

What habits have you developed to help you pretend? Do you grab something to eat even when you’re not hungry? Talk a lot? Focus ‘out there’ on everybody else but ignore your own needs and desires? Do you move through your “to-do” list with ruthless efficiency? Watch television instead of interacting with your partner?

What do you do to protect your heart from feeling the pain – and also the joy – of truth?

When you work hard to feel good, you are submerged in an addiction. And like any addiction, it can take away your vitality along with your ability to get to know ALL of you.

Inner confidence is about accepting whatever feeling arises, without any ‘shoulds’ or ‘shouldn’ts’. In the heart, there are no stories.

Practice welcoming every vibration you discover in your heart, and you will experience freedom. Thoughts fall away, and all feelings that are present actually lead you home to yourself. You remember who you are. This is the doorway into the love and peace that this season celebrates.

Practice:
Today, find a creative way to remember to stop. Breathe. Rest in your heart. Notice what’s there and fully welcome it – even if it doesn’t feel good. Be tender, kind and gentle. In this place, beyond the surface, beyond circumstances, relish your aliveness.

In the spirit of being complete and not finished,

With love,
_________________

Jeannie Campanelli, Ed.D, CPCC, is deeply committed to sparking the hearts of women and men to experience an inner confidence – that sense of wholeness, aliveness, and serenity that comes from deeply knowing yourself, fully accepting the lightness and darkness of being human, and living freely by standing in your own truth.

In her coaching practice, Jeannie leads groups and works one-on-one with an international clientele.To find out more about Jeannie, please visit her websites, www.innerconfidencecoaching.com and www.coachingcircles.ca

Take action by setting up a complimentary consultation today.


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