inspiration

This Adventure called “You”

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Wherever you are in your life journey, you eventually come to the same realization. The outward path of seeking success and what you might call “happiness” is only temporarily fulfilling. Finding joy and fulfillment is an inner journey.

I ask many of my coaching clients to complete the following sentence. Life is……………… How they complete this sentence tells me, and them, how they see their life. Some complete it by saying, “Life is hard, or life is a struggle.” For them that’s the way there life is, and will be, unless they shift their mindset.

I’ve chosen to complete the sentence by declaring, “Life is an adventure,” which has become an empowering affirmation of life’s abundant possibilities. It’s also been a bold challenge, reflective of a philosophy of living cultivated over the years, one in which you know you have the choice to keep smiling and to enjoy life’s amazing journey even with it’s inherent loose ends and uncertainties. And yes there will still be disappointment and heartache. Developing this mindset takes practice and determination that eventually will become a habit if you stick with it. It’s a challenge worthy of your best effort. Try it for a month and see what unfolds.

On this journey, you’ll discover that your enjoyment and appreciation of life is not dependent on what happens, but rather on the meaning you give to what happens. It might take a while to come to this realization, but once you do, you awaken to a rich inner life more fulfilling than you can imagine.

Perhaps some of the following insights and practices can help keep you focused on cultivating this new paradigm.

1.How you start your day sets the tone for the day. If you start the day in a hurry it will be extremely difficult to slow down. A suggestion. After you wake up and before you do anything else, take 10-15 minutes for meditation or reflection. Also take some time to focus on what you’re grateful for. By focusing on what you are grateful for, your focus shifts to how blessed you are, rather than on what’s wrong.

2. Develop the practice of Curiosity. After expressing gratitude, reflect upon your day wondering about what the highlight of your day might be which creates a positive expectation as the day progresses. The key here is that there always is a highlight. You get to decide what that is.

3. Learn how to recognize and know your VOJ. The VOJ is that voice of judgment that drives you nuts. You know it. We all do. You would give anything to silence it even if just for a few minutes. The sooner that you can recognize your VOJ, which in coaching we call your gremlin, the sooner you can become free of its hypnotic spell that can last a lifetime if you don’t do anything about it. But the doing is a different type of doing. It’s just noticing. By just noticing you wake up from its hypnotic spell. This is a lifelong challenge so don’t be discouraged if you don’t notice anything right away.

4. Self-Acceptance. There are certain things we can’t change. We can’t change who are parents are. We can’t change our country of origin. We can’t change all of the injustices in the world, although we might try. But we do have the potential to change how we think about ourselves and how we think about the circumstances of our lives. Even though we are our own worst critics at times, our work is to accept those things we don’t like about ourselves—that dark side often referred to as our “shadow.” Once you do you’ll feel lighter and freer. And isn’t that what it’s all about.

5. Introduce positive self-talk into the conversation. It’s time to listen to a new voice, a voice if honored and cultivated can change how you think about yourself. It’s your VIP, the voice of Inspiration and Praise that we don’t listen to enough. The voice that says, “You did great, good job. You handled that well.” Let it in. Honor it.

6. Make time for the jollies. So here we are again with another new phrase. No I haven’t lost my mind. All of us have faced challenges that at times seem overwhelming. The Jollies is taking the time to do what gives you joy, even if you still have loose ends in your life and your “to do” list keeps getting bigger. Don’t wait for the perfect time to let joy in. There always be “loose ends” and uncertainty.

I hope I’ve given you some insights as to how you can more fully enjoy this adventure called you. It’s the only one you have.

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 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.

What are Problems?

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Many of us get annoyed by every day inconveniences. But they are not problems.

Think of what some of our ancestors had to go through. Some didn’t have food to eat. Some experienced financial ruin. Some had life threatening illnesses. Many of these illnesses have been resolved through many amazing people and breakthrough technology. Think of the all of the diseases that have been eradicated. Think of what it was like during the great depression.

When you’re productive, what seems like an obstacle is there to challenge you to dig deeper to come up with solutions. So when you’re bothered by something, try a different approach. Is it really a problem? Can it be resolved by changing your thinking?

Ask yourself what the truth is of your current situation? Is this a real problem or just an inconvenience? Is it a thought that keeps occupying your mind? Here’s a challenge. Instead of the word problem, use the word challenge. Don’t you think that shift suggests possibilities that are doable.

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.

Enjoy the Dance and Don’t Resist the Chocolates

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

I have frequently thought about what I want my children to know about life. Since we all have an inner child, this is my message to all of us.

Dear Ones:

Things change. You have to prepare yourself so that you can flow with these changes. The average person today has six or seven careers. The divorce rate is high. Friendships change. You might have a falling out, someone might move away, or pass on. And of course there are health challenges along the way.

The currents on the river of life are constantly changing; they are affected by many unforeseen forces. You can’t live your life being afraid of these changes, because by avoiding them you are not really living. You’re also not living when you waste your time complaining about others.

What worked at one period in your life might not work at another time. Rather than developing career skills, you need to develop life skills that will enable you to thrive in any situation.

Living a successful and fulfilling life is not an accident. Successful people have goals and dreams. They have faith. They know that at the darkest moment there will be a light that illuminates their path. They know that they are not alone and that there is a power greater than they are. When they live from their center, they have access to this power.

Life happens. No one gets a free pass. Although life might not seem fair at times, it is still good. We have a choice. The meaning we give to what happens is a choice. Saying, “Yes” to life and dancing on the river is also a choice. Enjoy the dance.

There is only one you. You are unique and special, maybe a little eccentric at times but that’s a good thing because it means that you question things and know that there’s more inside to explore. Although its hard to resist doing, don’t compare your life to others; who knows what’s going on with them. And by the way, it’s also hard to resist chocolate so go for it.

Keep exploring the river. The nature of rivers is to flow but when you stay stuck in the mud of your past, your flow will be blocked. You’ll never make it downstream where you’re able to explore the part of the river that is full of infinite possibilities.

The river has always been and always will be. Where it takes you can be an exciting adventure of discovery if you flow with it. But there still might be one thing in the way that can get in the way of that flow.

Which is taking ourselves so seriously. Laugh at yourself. Laugh at how hard you try and laugh at how out there you can be at times. Yes that even means believing in miracles. Ok, I’m not talking about the Red Sea stuff, but I am talking about exceeding your expectations of yourself. Imagine your life becoming an exciting journey of discovery. What if you declared that to be true for yourself. Ah, what then?

The best is yet to come! As we become elders, or move in that direction, and we all are, we’ve learned how to enjoy life more. We appreciate the little things and accept the things we can’t change. Although by now we’ve all experienced our share of pain and heartache, our capacity to experience joy keeps expanding.

With that in mind, I would like to remind you that for the past year I have been cohosting with Ralph Marston the JourneyON radio show. Almost every week we have been privileged to have various thought leaders, many of whom are authors, bless our show. All the shows are archived if you wish to listen to them.

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.

Stories we tell Ourselves

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Do you remember your kindergarten teacher? I don’t remember much about mine, except her name and the stories she told. Since then I’ve had many more teachers and mentors who have all contributed to who I am today. We learn from all of our experiences and from everyone we meet, some more significant than others.

Although we don’t always remember their name, we usually remember the story they told us. When you are a writer, you’re always looking for that story or insight to share. It’s a gift when you hear such a story. So it was with delight when my youngest daughter, Savanna, was visiting last week and I experienced such a moment.

As our conversation evolved she shared the following story that speaks for itself. Like life, there are many variations of the story—stories that have the power to shape our life. The most powerful being the ones we tell ourselves.

A son and his father were walking on the mountains. 
Suddenly, the son falls, hurts himself and screams:
“AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”
To his surprise, he hears the voice repeating,
 somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” 
He receives the answer: “Who are you?”

Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” 
He receives the answer: “Coward!”

He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?”
 The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.”

And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!”
The voice answers: “I admire you!”

Again the man screams: “You are a champion!”
The voice answers: “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand.
 Then the father explains: “People call this ECHO, 
but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do.”

Our life is simply a reflection of our actions and what we tell ourselves.If you want more love, create more love in your heart.
If you want more competence in your career, improve your competence. This relationship applies to all aspects of life.
It gives you back what you think and believe. It gives you back everything you have given to it.

YOUR LIFE IS NOT A COINCIDENCE. IT’S A REFLECTION OF YOU!

As I shared with you in the beginning, quite often we don’t remember the name of the person who tells us the story, even though we remember the story. Savanna and I attempted to determine who wrote this one. We searched the internet (I sure wished we had it when I was in college) and found the story, but the author was unknown. Whoever he or she is, we want to thank them from the bottom of our heart for the gift of their wisdom.

Life is for giving, loving, teaching, learning and sharing all we are and will ever be; our joys, our sorrows, our triumphs and our disappointments. And of course, our smiles.

As the father in the story reminds us, what we tell ourselves becomes our story. Sometimes the story gets old. If you don’t like it, create a more empowering one.

You know that I love to hear from you. What is the story you have been telling yourself?

“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.


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