connection

You can’t Run Away from It!

Friday, January 29th, 2016

Ah, that alone time—sometimes you cherish it, sometimes you want to run away from it. Although you can’t run very far without it being with you. The truth is that it’s always with me. In that aloneness, you experience a oneness with all of life, much different than when you’re feeling lonely. When you’re lonely, and disconnected, all kinds of thoughts pass through your mind. You know them—thoughts about the future, about the meaning of what happened yesterday or many years ago, all taking you away from the moment.

When you’re alone and feeling the solitude, cherish the moment. Your mind—uncluttered, free from thoughts that take you away from this moment.

This solitude— feel it all the time, even in the midst of a crowd, even in the midst of the uncertainty in your life. Just being with this moment—no need to go anywhere, or to think about something else. Embrace the aloneness, the solitude and the fullness of life.

If you are familiar with my work, you know I strongly believe that how you start your day sets the tone for the day. With that in mind, begin your day with meditation, and carry the solitude with you as you go about your day.

So there you have it.

Walk in freedom—until next time

Journey On

Mark

“I’m called to inspire others to reignite the spark inside of them that has been dimmed by years of hard work and struggle.”

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive and life coach, inspires others to experience more fulfillment and success in their life. A former trial attorney for 30 years and musician, 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. For more information, www.inspirepossibility.com

When is the Perfect Time?

Monday, May 11th, 2015

If only we knew what we do now, back then. It worked out, didn’t it, maybe not exactly the way we had hoped, but we got through it. And not only got through it, but in some cases exceeded our expectations.

The trap or habit that many of us fall into, is to condition our happiness and fulfillment on external events occurring sometime in the future.

We find ourselves saying, “When this happens, things will be better.” You know how it goes. You probably know some people who are masters at postponing their happiness. They always have an excuse as to why their life isn’t working. The circumstances in the future are very rarely going to be in perfect alignment. That something we are waiting for to happen might not ever occur. And even if it does, we might find that what we thought was important has also changed.

Your circumstances are perfect today, right now. Whatever was going on in your life, got you here to this moment in time, right now; even things you didn’t like.

That day in the future often referred to as “Someday” is here right now. Make the best of it. When today is over, it’s forever gone. You only have this day once. Don’s waste it by thinking that some other day might be better.

“At times our own light dims, and is reignited by the spark of another person.”

Journey ON

Mark

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

People Coming and Going

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

We have one of those people Coming. He’s a guest blogger. Welcome Alan Harris.

How people come and go in and out of people’s lives… sometimes a mirror of what is going on, or not privately.
We have our inner and outer beings. The captain voice informing the crew about the pending protocols outside our head. Quieting the monkeys running amok, as charming and amusing as they are, takes a lot of energy, especially in times of stress or overload. Where’s the zookeeper?

Anyhow, when there is quietude everyone gathers around in peace and harmony and converges. Meditation and reflection, sometimes full engagement in whatever one is doing in the present is a reminder to pay attention in the moment.

So people have stuff going on. I know I have friends who disappear from time to time and then reappear. Sometimes their personal stuff has them turn away from people they know well, and other times they turn towards them. We pay attention and help when we can, and try to not let our own stuff blind us to the needs of others, within reason. Then compassion helps to focus the mind.

We feel more connected to people when we feel that we share the same human experience, good and bad, and that compassion is the key to understanding.

When I have a friend who acts out of resentment or insecurity in a way that is hurtful or rejecting, I feel a connection even if the other person is unaware of it or breaks off their connection. Because understanding that some people cannot find that quiet place allows me to not react in kind but to hope that they find peace.

Too often I hear people verbalize self doubt and blame themselves for ‘creating’ something negative that happens to them, as if they are responsible for how they are treated by another. Sometimes that may be the case, but more often it is the simple fact that the person who thinks that way is lacking compassion and forgiveness for themself and piling on and supporting preexisting negative self views. I wish I could be more mindful of that in times of stress and self doubt.

The thought occurs that reaching for wherever one put that key of compassion, for oneself as well as others, might open a door to a better place.

Just sayin’…

That’s all!

Regards,

Alan
For those of you who don’t me. I am an unrepentant Tao Prankster raised in Socal, lastly from Kauai, father of 2 lads, and current Marin resident. Surfer, photographer, tennis enthusiast, and seeker of truth and beauty in all things.
Regards,

Alan Harris
awaveman@me.com

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

The Three Secrets to Life

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

Most of us, if not all of us, have wondered from time to time what the secret to life is. We have thought, talked, and read about it and listened to our share of spiritual teachers looking for the answer.

I have to admit that it has been challenging to limit this inquiry to just three insights and practices. I didn’t just come up with these answers in a heartbeat. Over dinner with the help of my daughter Savanna I made some progress.

Let’s begin. A big smile is huge. It’s a universal language. When we first meet someone many thoughts cascade through our minds. At a certain level we size up the other person. We want to know who the other person is. Are they a kind person? Can they be trusted? Our first impression goes a long way toward satisfying our curiosity. We look for clues and yes we can be fooled at times. Most of us would agree that a genuine smile goes a long way toward relieving tension between people. When we feel it from our core, we radiate and transcend our physical being. It’s contagious and compelling.

When we smile we usually are happy. And even when we are not at our peak, smiling has the potential to change our mood instantly. I wondered if there was an explanation for this phenomenon.

Some time ago, when I was preparing a program on stress reduction, I came across an article on the science of smiling. It was one of those articles where the author was unknown. “Smiles, frowns, and grimaces were once seen simply as expressions of feelings. Increasingly, scientists are realizing that facial expressions precede feelings and play a role in generating them.

How does this work? One theory suggests that when you use the “smile muscles” at the corners of your mouth, you change the direction of the blood flow inside your face in such a way that it causes the temperature of the blood to drop. This cooler blood enters the region of the brain known as the hypothalamus and causes the release of chemicals that can suppress pain and help a person to feel better.

Cooling the blood may promote the release of endorphins, which, decreases pain and gives you a lift. In short, smiling instructs our brains to feel good.” The implications are enormous. Medical science recognizes the effect that stress has on illness. Could smiling more be the key to health and wellness?

I’ve written about this next insight on several occasions and there is a chapter in Dancing on the River that explores this concept in more detail. How you start your day sets the tone for the day. When you start your day with calmness and focus, there is a greater likelihood that your day will be less stressful. And the corollary is true—when you start your day anxious and in a hurry, you’ll hurry thru the rest of the day playing catch-up. You never do catch-up for what you are trying to catch is an illusion. At the end of the day, most of the work gets done, but you are exhausted because of the stress you felt throughout the day.

If you have been following the work that I do you know that I am a big believer in having a committed daily spiritual practice, which allows you to connect with your center. The exact form is up to you. There are two key words here—committed and practice. When you are committed to a daily practice, you discover your center. When you don’t live from your center, the difficulties in your life seem much more challenging. It’s like driving your car without shock absorbers. Every bump in the road is magnified. Eventually all you see are imperfections. And that’s the way are lives are when we lose connection with our center. The other word is practice. You need to do it. Some days it’s easier than others. I have been practicing meditation and yoga for years, yet I still experience resistance to practicing on some mornings. But I do anyway and usually feel good afterwards.

The third insight is that life is cyclical. Just look at nature’s cycles. As I write this article in the middle of summer, I am fortunate to harvest all that I’ve planted. And nature keeps on giving fruit from the trees that have been here for many years. In the fall, the leaves fall listlessly to the ground; by winter the trees are barren. In the spring we plant the seeds anew and begin a new cycle.
That’s the way our own lives are. Our circumstances and moods change from time to time which contributes to the cyclical nature of our own lives. Some years are smoother than others. There is much uncertainty in life’s unfoldment. When we integrate these practices just discussed into our lives, we are more apt to embrace the inevitable changes on life’s journey as opportunity, as adventure and as possibility.
So there you have it. See what happens. Smile and laugh more. And take time in the morning for your morning program and notice your stress levels decreasing.

Perhaps you already have a practice that works for you. Congratulations—keep practicing. And if you haven’t yet begun, it’s not too late. Let me know what you discover.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

The Magic of Connection

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

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

“You are great, wonderful and the person I’ve always wanted to be with.” Those sweet words remind you that you’re special, you’re appreciated, you’re loved. It’s our natural state to be loving. But with the busyness of our lives we forget what that natural state is and how to be it. There is nothing better than a great relationship. You feel you belong. You feel empowered. You feel an incredible aliveness. Ultimately you have to learn to love yourself and when you do, by you being you fully immersed in your natural state, grace everyone with whom you come in contact with. It’s our nature just as it is the nature of the rose to blossom and to spread its warmth and sensuality. When you are fortunate enough to be in its magnificence, your senses come alive.

We live in a relational world. On a fundamental level what we all want is to deeply connect with others, but we’re not sure how to do it. 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. That’s when you experience “a knowing” that you are connected to a power greater than you are.

Connection is a path and like most paths, there are 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. Over the years I’ve worked at it.

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. Connecting is the ultimate gift to yourself and to others. It is when we give of ourselves that we receive the ultimate joy.

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.

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. I’m also curious about what I might learn when I do connect with them.

In the last few years I’ve expanded upon this practice. Before I leave on a trip, I wonder about who I’ll have the best connection with which sets the tone during the whole trip. The synchronicity that occurs is amazing. We reach a place in our life, when those remarkable meetings seem to occur more often. Synchronicity then becomes the norm, rather than the infrequent occurrence.

A thought deeply resonates within me each time I experience one of those chance encounters that provides a missing piece to the puzzle, a thought that makes greater sense to me now than it ever did. As we continue to evolve, our tribe of kindred souls is ready to meet us, in a place open to possibility, unrestrained by judgment.

By becoming more comfortable with this language, we open the doors to deeper intimacy. We begin the process of fulfilling the deepest craving within that James refers to. Perhaps you have your own way of expressing it. Perhaps it’s with your eyes or your smile or an open heart that is ready and able to give and receive new ways of expressing that love. Begin your day with that openness by acknowledging yourself. Look in the mirror, smile and say, “You are great, wonderful and the person I’ve always wanted to be with.

You know I love to hear from you. Let me know what’s up for you. Feel free to pass this article onto those in your circle. If you haven’t done so already, become a fan of inspire possibility on Facebook.

Journey On

Mark
Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Something Wonderful is Happening

Sunday, January 11th, 2015

I’m curious what that might be. Maybe it’s finding a new purpose or maybe it’s a new start or maybe it’s just a sky with unclouded stars. Whatever it is it’s going to be magical. I know it. I can feel it.

What if we start this year with that in mind? We’ll need daily reminders. We’ll be challenged. There might only be a few of us who will take this on. Perhaps you want to join in. You can make it an exciting adventure.

We’re usually ambitious in the beginning of the year. Quite often we have New Years resolutions. You know them. I’m going to lose so many pounds, or make a few new friends or create more success in my career. I’m going to have more intimacy in my life. I know they’re more. Resolutions can be powerful, but, by themselves, just a good idea.

Some of us might begin the year with particular goals in mind. The more ambitious will even write them down. Researchers have found that people who write down their goals have a much greater likelihood than those who don’t write them down of reaching them. But I don’t think achieving our goals is going to satisfy that deeper longer of something wonderful happening.

What if this year we forget about resolutions or goals? What if we stay focused on something wonderful happening, even though we might not know what that might be? Perhaps that is even more ambitious, trying to reach a place in our hearts and souls, we can’t exactly describe.

But we know how we want to feel. We want to wake up in the morning excited about beginning our day. We want to experience that deeper place inside in which a great beam of light bursts into a radiant smile. We want to feel that place inside in which our joy becomes expressed with a magnetic twinkle in our eyes. Yes it might not be what we anticipated in the beginning of our journey, but a way of being that is much more fulfilling. Even with all of life’s loose ends and uncertainty.

There will be the usual obstacles and challenges that come up, including being disappointed and feeling let down at times. Some of these obstacles will be fueled by the 24/7 media, which reinforces in some peoples minds, how difficult life can be today. If we give the media too much attention, we’ll probably get discouraged too. Even so, we stay focused on our life being wonderful in this moment and then the next.

We are making a statement about how we want our experience of life to be which becomes our stand. It becomes our truth, which might be different from the picture that we had at one time. As we learn to let go of the way we want things to be, and learn to celebrate what is, then we’ll have more glimpses of what that something wonderful can be.

We can’t do it alone and why would we want too. There are many kindred souls along the way who are walking in freedom. There are many great teachers out there who can light the way for us to see.

A few years ago, one of these teachers, Michael Beckwith, shared his teaching on visioning, which I have found to be an inspiring and empowering reminder of what’s possible.

I am ready, willing and able, to accept and to allow, more good than I’ve ever experienced, imagined or received, before.

To help support you in this year’s journey and beyond, try it on, in the form of an affirmation and see how it fits. Sometimes you need to break it in, by wearing it until it becomes part of you. I’m going to wear it this year. I already know it’s going to be a good fit.

Another vision of something wonderful happening, is my new book, Loose Ends: Learning to Love Uncertainty. It’s in the developmental stages and I’m looking for readers to get feedback from.

Welcome to the New Year. You know I love to hear from you. Please feel free to pass this letter onto those in your circle.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Rediscover your Magical Playground

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

There was a time when you didn’t worry about yesterday or tomorrow. You were totally engaged in the moment. Do you remember what that was like? Many of us have fond memories of playing at the playground. There was the swing, the slide, the seesaw and the sandbox. And of course the other kids. Once you felt safe, you let go and forgot about time. You weren’t concerned with what you had to do “afterwards;” you didn’t even think about “afterwards” or tomorrow. You were in the moment. Nothing else mattered. You can be there again.

For some of us that playground might have looked different. It might have been the park or the street in front of our house. There was always a game that you could play that was played before by other kids. If there wasn’t a game you liked, you used your imagination and made one up, including the rituals that went along with it. Because it was your ‘magical playground,’ you were in your own world, with your own set of rules.

Then one day you grew up and the game got more serious. In this new game, there was a new set of rules that put more emphasis and importance on results, money, rather than on fun and play. You worried about the loose ends and uncertainty in your life. You worried about tomorrow, and whether you were good enough to make it, whatever making it meant for you. You forgot about the magical playground. It was just a distant memory.

In this new game you created a story. You believed that because of the demands of this new game that you didn’t have time for play but it actually works the other way. When you make time for play and what’s meaningful for you, you’ll get better results in the bigger game of life. You’ll struggle less and be more fun to be around.

When you’re excited about one aspect of your life that enthusiasm spreads to your entire being. People pickup on it, even though you might not be aware of it. Our passion and enthusiasm is contagious. People want to be around you.

We use our imagination all of the time. When we worry we drive ourselves nuts by imagining worse case scenarios. There’s a better way use our imagination; a way that is exciting and fulfilling—a way that empowers us.

We rediscover a magical playground for our lives today. We dream again. We are happy. We are courageous. We have vision. We believe our lives will turn out better than we expected. Yes that might require a stretch of the imagination, but why not stretch it. Just for fun take some time now and imagine that your life has exceeded your expectations. Imagine, who you become in the process and, the different parts you get to play. In truth you have been doing this all along. As Shakespeare wrote in As you Like It.

“All the world’s a stage.
And all the men and women merely players.

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts.”

Whatever stage we are on in our life journey, each of us has already played many parts in our life and I’m sure we’ll play many more. Each role has its unique set of rules, language, rituals and costumes. I’ve played lawyer, musician, father, husband and athlete and now I’m playing wise elder.

Are you ready to create the next part? If it is—then

IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO ENTER

On the entrance to your magical playground is the following:

“To dream – again. To dare – again.
To feel enjoyment and happiness – again,
or for the first time.
To realize – Ah, this is living —
This is the stand I take!”

What then? Please feel free to pass this onto those in your circle. You know I like to hear from you. Let me know what moves you.

Journey On

Mark

Please join me on the Journey On radio show and listen cutting edge thought leaders blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

What Calls You?

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one.

That was the call that the social activist and musician Harry Belafonte heard. Millions of people were dying because of the famine in Africa. By 1985 he knew he had to take action and reached out to Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. In collaboration with Quincy Jones and fifty other musicians, who left their egos at the door, they created the single, We are the World, which has generated over $90 Million to address the famine in Africa.

I remember how moved I was when I first heard the song. That memory has lingered and just recently I decided to learn the song on the piano so that I can sing it, come together and share it with others. In the process I’ve thought about how profound the lyrics are.

Coming together doesn’t have be on the global scale that it was in the creation of We are the World. It can be on a personal level. But with our busy lives we don’t make the time to come together on any level and we don’t take the time to listen to our inner voice. Yet we each have a yearning that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Our challenge is to rethink what our priorities are and create an environment that is conducive to listening to the deepest yearning of our souls. That’s the greatest gift you can make to yourself and to others. We each have unique gifts to contribute and a unique song to sing. We all long for peace on the planet. Finding peace inside goes a long way toward creating a more peaceful planet. So does answering that call from within.

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, somewhere will soon make a change
is how the second verse begins.

That’s also how some of us lead our lives. We wait for the circumstances of our life to change, rather than taking the initiative to create the positive change that has the potential to transform our life and the lives of others. And in our interpersonal relationships, we wait and wait, hoping that the other person will eventually change. We don’t look at what we’re doing to contribute to this unease.

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free.

I love singing this line. We all are so fragile that it’s important to let others know how much we care. People are much more vulnerable than we realize and no matter how much it seems they have it together, let them know that you care—a smile goes a long way. And a phone call is great. You make a difference. We make a difference.

But if you just believe, there’s no way we can fall.

Simple truths can make all the difference, but they are often the most difficult to accept and believe and to integrate into our lives. Believing that something is possible is 80% of getting there. There is nothing that can replace having faith that you’re being guided. There is nothing that can replace your faith that you can do it. There is nothing that can replace saying to yourself,
“Yes, I can.” There is nothing that can replace answering the yearning inside. So what calls you?

Enjoy the Journey

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to live ethically and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Soul-Mates

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

We love to talk about relationships. In fact the topic can dominate an evening. Most of us would agree that relationships are tricky. When we are in love we come alive. We wonder about the depth of our connection. From time to time we are intrigued by the notion of whether we are with our soulmate. And what does that exactly mean? There is definitely the closeness and the intimacy. But does that make them our soulmate or just a kindred soul? We are in a relational world and the more we are connected to ourselves,the more we feel connected to others.

Our recent guest on the JourneyON radio show is an expert on this subject. Susan Allison, the author of Our Spirits Dance gives us some insight into these questions. Susan has written several books about relationships. You can listen to her insights on the show by visiting…http://www.blogtalkradio.com/journeyon. Her insights are invaluable.

In fact all of the past JourneyOn shows are archived and downloadable as a podcast. Be sure to listen.

“What a worthy adventure we are on. Our job is to enjoy it, to be ethical and to live life fully.”

Journey On

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

Mark Susnow knows change. He is an executive-life coach, life-discovery guide 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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

The Path of Relationship

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

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 things for us. This might seem like somewhat of a paradox, but when we give to others we remain in control. It’s only in the act of receiving that we give up control and allow ourselves to be vulnerable. It is in that moment when we feel the most connected to others. By receiving the gift of 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’t
be 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 different than 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’s essence and their inner beauty. If we are not comfortable with the more accepted language of love, it is important to create our own language; a language that acknowledges others, their
greatness, their gifts and their blessings.

By becoming more comfortable with this language, we open the doors to deeper intimacy. We begin the process of fulfilling the deepest craving that James refers to. Perhaps you have your own language and way of expressing it. Perhaps it’s with your eyes or your smile. Let’s be open to finding new ways in which to do that.

Have fun

Mark

Please join me with my cohost Ralph Marston on the Journey On radio show. blogtalkradio.com/journeyon

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. In his prior career, he was covered by the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.


Signup for our Email Newsletter

...and get inspired every month!

Close this popup

Would it be helpful to discover the self-defeating habits and limiting beliefs that are preventing you from living the life you really want? As a thank-you, you will have access to our Self-Assessment test.