Archive for February, 2013

Getting on the Positive Side of Change—Defining Moments

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

When you discover and honor your true nature and core beliefs, your life will be more consistent with the self you want to awaken.

What really matters to you? Until you know what’s true for you, it will be difficult to live a fulfilling life.  That’s what our journey together is about.  This exporation has no ending, because as you experience different phases in your life, what’s important to you also changes.

Discovering your core values is a lifelong quest.  Until you connect with y9our authentic self, you will nevver connect with these values.  It’s like turning on the light switch when the electricity is turned off. Connecting with your authentic self turns on the electricity…Living from you center connects you with your authentic self and core values. In the last few blogs you have been given tools and strategies to connect with that center.

Let’s build on that. Take a few moments to think about your life.. Think about your values, what you are doing and the people in your life. All of your past experiences, the people you have met and the choices you have made, contribute to who you are today. Without any of them  you wouldn’t be the person you are today.  Your core values and beliefs about what is possible in your life are a reflection of these past experiences.

When you take the time to reflect upon your life’s journey, you’ll discover key moments from the past that have contributed to who you are, what you stand for and clarity about your life purpose.  Sometimes these moments were in response to life’s challenges when you arose to the occasion. At other times you answered the call of a yearning inside, which ultimately determined your character and destiny.

I refer to these times as defining moments. Identify three of them in your life. Those moments that you can fall back on to remind you what you really stand for. One of them  might be a decision.  My decision to begin meditating was a defining moment in my life. My decision to make a career change  from trial lawyer to coach, speaker and author was a defining moment. Making the decision is the beginning of a new journey. Are you ready?

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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 on the Positive Side of Change—the Power of Curiosity

Monday, February 25th, 2013

In a life coaching session the other day, a client had submitted a proposal to the CEO of a nonprofit. A month had gone by  and even though she made attempts at setting up a meeting, she never heard back from him. She initially interpreted the lack of communication  as an indication that he wasn’t interested. In our coaching session we discussed other possibilities for his lack of response. Finally a meeting was set up, and in her mind there were a myriad of possible outcomes. In that meeting he apologized for not getting back to her. Not only did he have a family crisis, he also was involved in discussions regarding potential budget cuts, he explained to her.

Because she was familiar with the eight principles of Getting on the Positive Side of Change, the day before the meeting she expressed her curiosity as to how the meeting might go. We even discussed the meeting turning out better than expected. I’m happy to report that is what happened. The meeting was way beyond what she thought could happen. She’s excited.

Being curious as to what might happen, gets you out of the fear mode of fearing the worse case scenario. It also gets you out of the negative thinking that so many of us practice more than we would like. With curiosity you started to consider possibilities and opportunities that you wouldn’t consider previously before. What are you curious about.

JOURNEY ON

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Living on the Positive Side of Change—Curiosity

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

You have been introduced to meditation and the power of gratitude. After I have meditated in the morning and focused on what I am grateful for, I wonder about what the highlight of my day might be.  This simple practice helps me cultivate curiosity into my life.

Being curious is such a power thought process. Here’s what you do. Briefly scan your day to remind yourself what’s on your agenda.  After you have done that, as your day progresses, be open to seeing the good in every encountner that you have.  The highlight might be something unexpected and it might be a little thing. We tend to overlook what at first glance might seem insignificant  This practice will open you up to a whole new universe.  It might be a smile while you are waiting in line at the bank or the grocery store.  It might be a thank-you from someone.  It might be a greeting from a pet.  Hopefully, by the end of the day, you won’t be able to make up your mind as to what the highlight was because you’ll have two or three great choices. What at one time seemed like a mundane task, becomes something that you look forward to.

For the next week integrate curiosity into your morning as you begin the day and see what you notice. The important thing to take away from this is that there is always a highlight. It just might be different than what you think. Be open to that new possibility.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY

MARK

Mark Susnow, is an executive-life coach and recognized 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.

Discover your Inner GPS—the Gift of our Imperfections

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

In yesterday’s blog we discussed what you can do to reduce worry in your life. It’s a daily practice. 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 of life, we welcome what’s next.

Eventually there is a turning point, when most of our thougths are on what’s right, rather than on what’s wrong.  But until that time occurs, we continue to place too much emphasis on our imperfections and what might go wrong.  No matter what we are doing, there are always two voices.

The first voice is the one that is noticeable or heard by someone else.  The other voice is our internal dialogue, the Voice of Judgment, which is only heard by us.  You probably have heard this voice numerous times and wish that it would stop.  You think to yourself, “If you only knew what was really going on with me you wouldn’t like me.”  A variation of that voice that I am sure you know is, ” I’m not good enough.”

We all have our share of wounds and scars.  We can’t avoid them.  We feel flawed like there is something wrong with us.  All we see are our imperfections.  Yet with all of our imperfections we are still able to create beauty and good in the world.  Within every imperfection there is a gift.  As we dance on the river of life and live on the positive of change, we discover the essence of that gift.

Since I’ve been an executive-life coach, what has become increasingly noticeable is that we are all complex individuals with many paradoxes and competing passions. You are in good company.

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.

The Positive Side of Change—The Reduce Worry Process

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

I’ve found from my years as an executive-life coach, worry is one of the biggest challenges that most of us face. In previous blogs you were introduced to the benefits of a daily gratitude practice.  I’ve found that expressing gratitude on a daily basis helps me to overome my tendeny to worry.  I know this tendency places me in good company.  When I feel myself worrying excessively there are three questions I ask myself.

The first is, “What is the worst that can happen?” Remember  worry is an irrational emotion.  There is an acronym that reminds mo of this truth : F.E. A. R.: False Evidence Apppearing Real.

I then ask myself, ” How likely is it that what I’m worrying about will happen?” This question 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.  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, your’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 beomes 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 

The GPS of Change—Create your own Definition of Success

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

You were introduced to the concept of cultivating your inner GPS. In previous blogs we discussed two of the principles, Meditation and Gratitude. As we discussed by focusing on what we are grateful for, we begin to shift our focus on what is working in our life. Over time, we notice that we are generally happy and appreciative of all of the blessings in our life.

But there is one trap that we have to learn to recognize so that we can avoid it. That trap is our tendency to compare ourselves to others. If you have read this blog before you know that I was a trial lawyer for many years. I was in a profession that ranked you by your wins and losses, how much money you made and who your clients were. The problem was that no matter how well your were doing in your career, there was always someone who was doing better.  Comparing yourself to others, which many of us do, makes you miserable.  And there’s no ways of knowing what’s really going on with the person with whom you are making the comparison. For all you know, he or she might be wishing they were in your shoes.

I got over it.  I created my own diefinition of success.   Here’s what I came up with: It’s more than making money.  It’s more than being recognized by your peers in a career. It’s about liking who you are.  It’s about being happy. It’s about having loving relationships. If you are successful in a career and don’t have time to share your success with loved ones, you are missing out on one of the joys of life. As I continued to focus on the iiner work, my expanded view of success and what’s possible became integrated into my belief system.

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 

The GPS of Inner Change——Focus on what you like about yourself

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

More on the GPS of Change…..Yes gratitude is powerful.  You now know that by focusing on what you are grateful for,  you have the ability to shift your your thoughts from what is not working in your life to what is working.  My gratitude practice has evolved over time.  At the end of my meditation practice when my mind is still,  I express gratitude for the health of myself and my family, and the love that is in my life.  A few years ago, I began expressing gratitude for the qualities and attributes that I possess that enrich my life. 

Until I made a conscious effort to notice these qualities, I didn’t realize how these qualities were truly gifts and blessings. Most of us don’t take the time to appreciate the many gifts that we do have.  By taking just a few seconds to express gratitude for the Qualities and attributes that you like about yourself, you expand your capacity to appreciate life. YOU might not have a senses of what those qualities are for you. To give you an idea, I’ll share a few of  that I appreciate.  I express gratitude for my curiosity, my ability to connect with others, my faith and my ability to laugh. I could go on an on and so will will you once you begin this practice.  Just begin with a a few to get you going.

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.

Positive Side of Change—A Simple Technique for Changing your Thoughts

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Getting on the Positive Side of Change is an ongoing day to day challenge. If you have the right tools, you have a head start. In the last blog in this series, you were introduced to the power of gratitude.  It took me a while to get this concept. At first it seemed like I was sugar coating what was bothering me. And in spiritual circles you are taught to be grateful.

When we have a problem our tendency is to focus on it. At times that problem consumes us and we project into the future. If this problem continues  then what. Before we know it, we are in a bad mood and all we see are more problems.

By focusing on what you are grateful for, you shift the focus from what isn’t working in your life to what is. For example, instead of thinking about what you didn’t accomplish, think about what you did accomplish. Be grateful for that.

What I”m suggesting is that after meditation, focus on what you are grateful for.  Come up with at least ten different topics. You might want to begin with your health and the love in your life. When you think about it, there is love all around you. Be willing to receive it even though it might not be from a particular person. When you do this, it’s so liberating.

In that situation I express gratitude for the love that is in my life. If I would like more friends, I express gratitude for my ability to connect with others. If I would like more business, I express gratitude for my ability to attract clients to me. This little technique that is so powerful only takes about 30 seconds.

Remember what you focus on expands.  You attract to you what you think. I think you get the idea.

In the next few blogs, we’ll continue to focus on gratitude…this practice has changed my life.

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 Language of Love

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

William James

We look to relationships to satisfy this craving. It’s our natural state to be loving. Unfortunately with the busyness of our lives we forget what that natural state is. There is nothing better than a great relationship. You feel that you belong. You feel empowered. You feel an incredible aliveness. But ultimately we have to learn to have a great relationship with ourselves. When we do, it enriches everyone with whom we meet.

We live in a relational world. At a fundamental level what we all want is to deeply connect with others, but we’re not sure how to do that.  Successful relationships transform our families, schools, institutions, governments and the world we live in.

When you connect with your heart, body and soul, connection occurs in an instant.  Connection begins with you, by your awakening to your true nature as a spiritual being having a physical experience. It’s “a knowing” that you are connected to a power greater than you.  Connection is a path and like most paths, there will be challenges along the way.

The good news is that connection can be cultivated. Before I embarked upon my coaching path I was a decent connector when I wanted to be, but I didn’t consider it one of my strengths. This has changed over the years.

My first coach gave me a new way to look at connection, which has been instrumental in my cultivating the awareness that I have now. From that moment on, I became increasingly aware of how much I liked to connect with others.

The ability to connect with others opens up a whole new world. Connection transcends stereotypes and judgments,creating fertile ground for a new dialogue, a dialogue not constrained by history, but open to common ground for a consciousness of possibility. By connecting, you make the ultimate gift to yourself and to others. It is when we give of ourselves that we receive the ultimate joy.

Our bigger challenge is to receive from others. Many of us find it difficult to be supported and to let others do thingsfor us. This might seem like somewhat of a paradox, but whenwe give to others we remain in control. It’s only in the act ofreceiving that we give up control and allow ourselves to bevulnerable. It is in that moment when we feel the most connected to others. By receiving the gift from another, we are making the ultimate gift to them. Until we allow ourselves to receive this gift, we won’t be able to experience the depth and intimacy that we are seeking.

Let me share with you a few strategies that I have found effective in cultivating more connection in my life. After meditation, I express gratitude for the gift of connection that I have with others. Perhaps in the beginning of this practice I didn’t feel or believe it totally. But over time I’ve noticed that my ability to connect has become a strength. I’m certainly more aware of the connections that I do have.

Being curious is invaluable. In some ways, I’ve transformed being curious into a fun game. Whenever I go to a gathering, I’m curious with whom I’ll connect. With so many of us asking the same questions, I’m curious about what I might learn when I connect with them. In the last few years I’ve expanded upon this practice. Before I left for a recent trip for Kauai, I wondered about with whom I would have the best connection. This set the tone and kept me curious during the whole trip. The synchronicity was amazing.  We reach a time in our life, when those remarkable meetings seem to occur more often.  Synchronicity then becomes the norm, rather than the infrequent occurrence.

Each time that I experience one of those chance encounters that provides a missing piece to the puzzle, there is a thought that deeply resonates within me. It makes greater sense to me now than it ever did.  As we continue to evolve, we attract to us our tribe of kindred souls.

We are the source of the connection that we crave, which is fueled by our ability to come from the deep place of love within. Unfortunately too many of us are looking to find love outside of ourselves—it’s an inside job that has its own language.

The language of love is the most powerful language on the planet. In the English language, some of our deepest feelings can’tbe expressed in words. We can look to the Greeks for wisdom.

Two friends touch each other’s souls but are not lovers.The Greeks refer to this love between friends as Philos.

The special love that we share for our family is differentthan any other love we experience. The Greeks refer to this love of family as Storge.

Spiritual love, or the love that is God is referred to as Agape.

The physical love, when lovers embrace, is referred to as Eros.

The language of love is an acknowledgment of a person’sessence and their inner beauty. If we are not comfortable withthe more accepted language of love, it is important to createour own language; a language that acknowledges others, theirgreatness, their gifts and their blessings. By becoming morecomfortable with this language, we open the doors to deeperintimacy.  We begin the process of fulfilling the deepest craving that James refers to. Perhaps you have your own language and way ofexpressing it.  Perhaps it’s with your eyes or your smile.  Let’s be open to finding new ways in which to do that.

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.

Positive Side of Change-More on Meditation

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

Getting on the Positive Side of Change is a lifelong journey. At times it’s a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As discussed in the first blog on this series there are eight tools and practices when integrated into your life create a shift so that your attitude toward change has shifted. No longer do you fear change, but you embrace it as an opportunity, as an adventure and as possibility.

We discussed in the last blog the importance of meditation. My practice has extended over forty years. It’s the one constant in my life. No one can take that away from me. lt’s not like a job or a relationship or a world event, each of which is unpredictable.

Meditation is the first thing I do in the morning. Not only am I calmer, I have greater clarity. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist at Harvard and other researchers, have found that the biological age of long-term meditators was consistently less than their chronological age. I could go on and on about the benefits of meditation, but suffice it to say that when I don’t meditate in the morning I feel like something is missing.

Let’s look at the next practice to help us get on the positive side of change, which is the practice of gratitude. In this blog I want to leave you with one thought and we will pick it up in the next blog.

“In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy.” Albert Clarke

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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