Archive for April, 2012

BE THAT PERSON

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

There are so many labels that define us and how we think. It’s difficult to get beyond those labels. When I was a trial attorney, at times that was all people wanted to hear. They didn’t want to hear that I was also a musician, that I was into meditation and yoga and all of the other things that were important to me.

If we let those external labels and opinions define us, then we limit what is possible in our lives. What we think we are capable of changes from time to time. We build on little successes. Over time we experience a different realm, one in which we didn’t know was possible.

We learn to trust our internal guide that lets us know that we are going in the right direction. But when we listen to other people, rather than paying attention to our internal guidance, we limit what is possible in our lives. We stop. We don’t follow through.

Once we let the external labels of limitation define us, which are usually determined by a set of guidelines that pertain to the average person, we get shoved into a box that is difficult to break out of.

As we navigate our life’s journey, we progress into a world in which what we’re capable of is totally different that what we thought at one time in our lives. It’s exciting.

I’ve been referred to as a dreamer by some and a visionary by others. You are not defined by your past. Today is the first day of your life. Decide where you want to go. Decide who you want to be and be that person.

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 GETTING STARTED

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Perhaps you are a procrastinator. You wait and you wait and finally get to it when you’ve run out of excuses. We’ve all had this tendency at times. Even when you get to it, you resist letting it go thinking that there is always something else you can do.

When we’re finally done we realize that we spent more time thinking about completing the project than it actually took to do it. What were we avoiding? Was it the fear of failure or were we just a little bit lazy. Maybe a little of both. Usually once we sit down and begin the project it goes quicker than we thought. But it’s just getting started where the resistance is.

Every month I write a monthly ezine. I have many excuses why I keep putting it off——the most common is, “What am I going to say?” Eventually I get to it. I start with an idea and once I sit down and begin the process, although challenging, I enjoy the process. That’s the way it is almost every time.

Doing taxes is another example of putting things off. I spend more time thinking about doing them than it actually takes to do them. Once I begin I get it done in less time than I anticipated.

What I’ve learned to do is to break down whatever project I’ve been working on into segments. Today I’ll get this segment done. And then tomorrow I’ll do the next segment. When I was a trial lawyer I also prepared in that way. I broke it down. On this day I’ll get this done and then the next day, I’ll go on to the next segment.

Once you get going, there is a sense of accomplishment afterwards. But it’s a process. Learn to love it because tomorrow there will be something else that needs to get done.

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.

SMALL STEPS

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

When Carl first contacted me for life coaching, he had a list of what he called problems. Although Carl referred to these situations in his life as problems, what was really true was that Carl’s experience of life was different than what he wanted it to be.

We discussed his concerns about his relationship, his finances and his career which just about covers it. Depending on the last email or phone conversation, Carl’s emotions shifted much like a ping pong match ball.

I suggested that he make a small change in the morning. Rather than rolling out of bed and having a cup of coffee, I told him to just sit for five minutes. Not too much to ask——not too much to integrate into the morning.

In essence it was just a small shift in how he started his morning. Think about it. There are 1440 minutes in a day. Just change what you do in the first five minutes. That was just the beginning. It was suggested that he increase this time one minute per week in silence before he did anything else until he reached 20 minutes.

Carl noticed that he was calmer and that when he faced a so-called problem he was able to see possibilities that previously he was unable to see.

Over time, Carl noticed that not only was he less frustrated, he began to look at what was possible. And then I asked him to think about what his life would be like if what concerned him turned out better than he expected.

Perhaps you are familiar with the expression, “A journey of a 1000 miles begins with the first step.” Those steps might seem small, but they make a big difference in what’s possible in your life. And those small steps are much easier to implement.

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 ARE YOU MOST RESISTING?

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

You will not be able to expand what is possible in your life
until you transform your relationship to resistance.

A constant theme in our work together has been that there is no better time than now to take the next step in our lives. But quite often, for various reasons, we resist taking that step. We think about other things we could be doing, or about why what we are doing now isn’t such a good idea. Before we know it, we’ve lost our focus. In our daily lives, we experience resistance to some degree., although we might not recognize it as such. To a certain extent, we resist being fully present with life. The gateway to transforming our lives is not giving into this resistance. That’s our work. It’s a challenge worthy of our best efforts.

Researchers have reported that the average person has approximately 60,000 thoughts in a day, some of which are about why they don’t want to be doing what they are doing in the present moment. These constant thoughts get in the way of our being fully present. Although we can minimize this tendency to a certain extent and for brief periods of time, we can’t turn off our minds.

Resistance shows up in almost everything we do. A big one for me is going to the gym. It was at the gym a few years ago that I noticed a quote that spoke to me and I think will speak to you. It’s message can be a guide to overcome resistance. As you read excerpts from this quote think of the workout as a metaphor for life. The form of the workout doesn’t matter.

“WHAT IS A WORKOUT?

A workout is 25 percent perspiration and 75 percent
determination. Stated another way, it is one part physical
exertion and three parts self discipline.
A workout makes you better today than you were
yesterday. It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind and
toughens the spirit. It prepares you to meet life’s challenges.
A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity
and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it. A workout is a form of rebirth. When you finish a workout you do not simply feel better, you feel better about yourself.”

After the workout I always feel better and am glad that I completed it. Resistance is pervasive. We might resist having a conversation about a conflict that we have with another person. Quite often we never have that conversation and go on with our lives, sitting on unresolved feelings that get exacerbated throughout the years. By having that conversation, we begin the healing process. Sometimes we might resist beginning something new. Rather than venturing into new territory we live with the status quo.

Many of us will do almost anything to avoid life’s unpleasant emotions. Doing nothing doesn’t protect us from the uncertain river of life. There always will be something that concerns us. That’s the nature of the mind—that’s the nature of life. We can’t avoid fear and anxiety. They are natural emotions that are a component of living. Until we change our relationship to resistance by not letting our fear and anxiety stop us, we’ll watch the river of life flow by without us. And the feeling of being separated from the flow of life can even be more stressful.

Embrace your humanity by welcoming all of your fears and emotions. The mystic and poet Rumi, in the Guest House, so eloquently expressed it in this way.

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

We can use our imagination to help us transform our relationship
to resistance. However many of us use our imagination to explain the significance of the resistance that we do have in our lives.

It could be a relationship, an appointment or a project that we are working on. Because we have resistance we make up a story why and what it means. It goes something like this.

“I really didn’t want to do it. That’s why I didn’t follow through.” While there might be a part of us that isn’t fully committed, quite often it’s nothing more than the usual resistance that we experience in everyday living. As a consequence, we easily give up on what really matters to us. As Rumi would suggest, “Welcome the resistance. It’s part of being human.”

Don’t let it stop you. Like clouds, our emotions and feelings are changing and moving constantly. If we give in to every transitory feeling that we experience in the moment we’ll never get anything done. When you have resistance, just notice it. And then continue on your journey. It will be there again.

I still struggle with resistance. I have meditated since the seventies and still there are mornings when I don’t feel like sitting. But I do it anyway and feel better afterwards.

Let’s come back to our original question. What are you most resisting?

Commitment, discipline and keeping your word to yourself are the antidotes to resistance. If you give in to your resistance you are missing a great opportunity—an opportunity to grow and evolve and become the person you have always wanted to be.

The challenge is not to give up on your dreams and visions of the future. It’s having the courage to keep your heart open as you envision a more peaceful world.

You know I love to hear from you. Let me know what is going on in your life and what you are most resisting.

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.

GETTING READY TO RECEIVE

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

You wake up in the morning and say to yourself, “This time I’m going to do it.” The “It” can be various things. It might be meditation, yoga or taking a walk. Yes all before you start work whatever that might be. Yes it takes discipline, determination and perseverence because there will be times when you don’t follow through. Yet you know that tomorrow is another day.

I’ve been consistent with meditation and yoga in the morning throughout the years. I feel better when I start my day in this way. I don’t just feel better internally but I feel better about myself. I know that I am putting myself in a position to enjoy the day more. I am putting myself in a position to be more productive and more receptive.

I am being true to myself. I am curious about how the day is going to unfold. Rather than worrying needlessly about how the day might unfold, I wonder about what the highlight of my day might be. It’s a great practice. I’m doing that now. I think about what I know I have scheduled. What might the highlight be? Perhaps that highlight might be something that is totally unexpected at this present moment. But I am open to whatever that might be.

I’m ready to smile because it makes me feel good.

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.


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