Archive for December, 2012

We Can Experience a Wholeness Beyond Words.

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

At this time of year, many of us reflect upon our lives. Where are we at this point in our life? We look at our careers, our relationships and our sense of well-being. Unfortunately, too many of us reflect upon our goals and what we’ve achieved, rather than looking at our life in its totality. Do we smile? Do we laugh? Are we excited about our lives?

Quite often we see someone and they seem beautiful. But when we take a closer look and look at their individual features we notice the imperfections. At times that is all we see.

That way of perceiving others, quite often is our world view. We notice the imperfections rather than the beauty in our everyday lives.

We notice the imperfections in ourselves. We think about our failures and our disappointments.

We are much more than the individual parts. There is a wholeness in the way we relate to the world. That wholeness can’t be expressed in words or images. It is a feeling and energy that transcends physical form. It it a wholeness of being that we feel in every cell. We feel it when we live life at its fullest.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

GETTING FREE FROM THE TUNNEL OF WORRY

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

I know very few people who wished they worried more. Most of us would give almost anything to have a successful strategy for reducing worry. When we worry it’s almost as if there is a hypnotic spell cast upon us. It’s all consuming and limits our ability to see the opportunities and possibilities that currently exist. It’s as if a huge cloud gets in the way of our seeing the sun and the light that it can give us.

Most likely this limited way of thinking has been a habit for quite some time. Our imagination runs wild and our mind conjures up various scenarios none of which have a happy ending. We can’t imagine any other possibilities. I know because I was like that and I didn’t like the way this mindset made me feel. Fortunately that has changed over the years.

Many years ago I had a big discovery. When I focused on what I was grateful for after meditation, I noticed that over time I became more optimistic. Even when I thought about some of my concerns I didn’t get plugged in as much. Rather than focusing on what could go wrong and what I didn’t like about my life, I focused on what could go right and what I like about my life. I focused on the good stuff. As my gratitude practice evolved, I noticed that I worried less.

This was just the first step in helping me overcome some of my limiting beliefs and disempowering ways of thinking. Focusing on what I was grateful for, helped shift my attitude. This change in attitude was just one aspect of my overall strategy to reduce worry. Over the years, I noticed my own tendencies and those of many of the people with whom I worked as an attorney and as a life coach. I discovered three important questions to ask yourself when you feel yourself excessively worrying. I have found that these questions have the potential to shift your focus from one of worry to one of possibility.

The first is, what is the worst that can happen? Remember worry is an irrational emotion. Quite often when we excessively worry, we feel as if we are forever stuck in a long and dark tunnel with no end to it. There is an acronym that reminds me of this truth: F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real. When you worry, you can’t see clearly and you distort reality. You only see one possibility and not only does th tunnel seem darker, there doesn’t seem a way out.

I then ask myself, “How likely is it that what I’m worrying about will actually occur?” This inquiry gets me out of the irrational mode. When you are in the irrational mode you usually imagine the worst-case scenario. This inquiry forces me to detach from what I’m feeling, even if just for a few seconds. Once I’m feeling calmer, I’m ready to explore the likelihood of the particular thing I’m worrying about actually occurring. Usually I come to the conclusion that there is little likelihood of it happening.

The next inquiry I have found quite powerful. Ask yourself what the result would be if everything went your way. Very few of us consider this possibility. Even imagine things working out better than you expected. When you allow yourself to fully explore and imagine the possibilities of everything working out in your favor, with the same intensity of emotion that you have when you worry, before you know it, you’re out of your funk and excited again.

More often than not I am pleasantly surprised. We have no
way of knowing what is going to happen in the future, yet for
some reason when we worry we think we do. In the process
of training our minds to think more positively about the possibilities
in our life, life becomes less of a struggle and more of
an exciting journey of discovery. Since we know what it’s like
to dance on the river, we welcome what’s next.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LIVE COURAGEOUSLY?

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

You probably know this already and have heard it on many occasions. that worry doesn’t get the job done. Yet many of us, let our worries get in the way of our experiencing life fully.

Courage is one of the key components in getting on the positive of change. Facing our fears and moving forward is an act of courage. When living life From this perspective, everyday becomes an opportunity for us to be courageous.

When thinking about the possibility of making changes in our lives, we focus on the obstacles and what can go wrong and as a result stay stuck in our comfort zones.

When we live life from this limited perspective, we won’t reach our full potential. Our work is to be the very best we can be and, from this place, live life fully.

It might be taking the first step in a new relationship. It might be initiating a new business relationship. It might be beginning something new. What all of these endeavors have in common is that in some way, we are sharing ourselves. Our work is to express ourselves fully.

There will always be challenges in our lives, but what’s most important is whether our challenges and problems have us or we have the challenges. If they have us, we won’t do anything but worry and complain.

Embrace the challenge, move forward and live courageously.

Celebrate and 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 and Discover the Leader Within.

SAY GOODBYE TO DOOMSDAY SCENARIOS

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

In a life coaching session yesterday, Carl, who many of you know by now, complained about a new problem that he had. He tried to convince me that this time it was different. Carl was so obsessed with this concern that was all the thought about.

We will always have challenges in our life. They’re to remind us that we need to look deeper at what’s really going on. So much of the problem is in our imagination. Usually when we have a challenge our mind envisions the worse case scenario which usually includes an image of our life spirally downhill. We say to ourselves, “What if this happens?” And it goes on whether it’s a financial challenge, a relationship challenge or a health challenge.

Here’s a suggestion. After you catch yourself trending in this spiral, take a deep breath and ask yourself, “What is the likelihood of that happening?”

Usually you conclude that it is not very high. Yes there might be an outcome that you’re not excited about, but it’s not going to be the doomsday scenario that you envisioned.

Here’s the final step to transform how you think about your problem and to get on the positive side of change. Play the “what if” game, but use your imagination and imagine the outcome exceeding your expectations. Ask yourself, “what if what concerns me turns out better than expected?” Ah——what then. Allow yourself to go there and to be in that exploration.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL?

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

In our quest to get on the positive side of change, many of us struggle with the ‘concept of success.’ I say ‘concept’ because success means different things to different people. One of the big problems that many people experience is that they latch onto a definition of success that is defined by someone else’s standards. The most common standards are related to career and financial success. How much money do we make and what have been our accomplishments in our careers?

The problem with this standard is where do you draw the line. How much money do you need to make before you can say that you are successful? And even if you make this amount, you might find other reasons why you don’t consider yourself successful. Success is a consciousness, not defined by what you do in the world.

It’s an inner state. So why not create you own standard for success. It is living from your highest values defined by you. And you can live from this state every day when you see your life from a much broader perspective.

When you think about how successful you are consider how you take care of yourself. Do you eat healthy? How are your relationships? Are you continuing to grow and evolve? Do you truly enjoy life? How often do you put a smile on your face?

Are you a person of integrity who means what they say and say what they mean? If you are, you are successful.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

LETTING GO OF PERFECTION

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Last week at the local coffee shop a friend said to me,” Hey the new Leonard Cohen biography is great.” I’ve been a big fan of Leonard’s for years and have found his life intriguing. Two of my favorite songs that I’ve learned to play are Suzanne and Hallelujah. So it was a no brainer for me to pick up his biography and begin reading. I haven’t been disappointed. I’m halfway through.

Yesterday I received an early Christmas card and there was a quote.

“Ring the bells that still can ring;
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Anthem, Leonard Cohen.

That need to be perfect keeps many of us stuck in our comfort zones. As a result we become stagnant, resistant to trying anything new because we focus on the imperfections in our life. We avoid “change” as if it’s the plague.

As a result we’re hesitant and sit on the rivers edge as we watch the river of life flow by without us. Our focus on perfection gets in the way of our experiencing life fully. We don’t notice the little things or chance encounters that have the potential to get us excited again.

Get on the positive side of change. Jump in the river, play in it—— you are going to get wet anyway.

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 and Discover the Leader Within.

THE BIRTHDAY CARD

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I got the invitation. It was an invitation to one of those birthday celebrations that signify that you are embarking upon a new era. This symbol is easily recognized by the zero after the first digit. I remember when 21 was the big one to celebrate. It meant that you were legal which gave you new found freedom. Then it was changed so that 18 was legal and you could experience the new found freedom that you didn’t know that you had. Sometimes we wait too long.

Then I hit 30. From that point on the birthdays with the zero as the second digit became more significant. They became a time for reflection. Where am I in my life? What have I accomplished? What am I most proud of? In what areas of my life am I disappointed or struggling.

No matter what we are doing or what phase we are currently experiencing in our life’s journey, our challenge is to get on the positive side of change. With that in mind, what changes do we need to make, if we want to experience our life as an exciting journey of discovery? How can we make our life more of a celebration? What can we do to let more joy in?

This has led me to celebrating with friends each new birthday, especially the ones with the zeroes as the second digit. A few years ago I got a great card for one of my birthdays. It was the perfect card for where I was at that time in my life. It was what I needed to be reminded of at that moment.

From that moment on, I was inspired to look for the perfect card for each person with whom I was invited to celebrate. This practice has become a ritual that I look forward to. There is a magic in this process. It puts my attention on the greatness that I see in the other person. It also gets me in touch with the greatness that I see in myself.

I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re wondering what card I chose….here it is..

“I would rather have a mind opened by Wonder than one closed by Belief.”

STAY CURIOUS AND 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 and Discover the Leader Within.


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