inspiration

The Ultimate Relationship

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

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 empowering words remind you that you’re loved and appreciated. We all want that. 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 in it. There is nothing better than a great relationship. It reminds us of what’s possible. You feel you belong. You feel empowered. You feel an incredible aliveness.

But it begins with ourselves. Ultimately we have to learn to love ourselves, including our imperfections, which are a big part of who we are. Once we do, it’s easier to accept the imperfections in others and to connect and embrace them.

Then we blossom. It’s our nature, just as it is the nature of the rose, to blossom and share our warm sensual essence. When you are fortunate enough to be in the magnificence of the rose, 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 go about doing it.

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 the 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.

The ability to connect with others opens up a whole new world. When you connect with your heart, body and soul, connection occurs in an instant.

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.

Connection is the ultimate gift to yourself and to others. When you give of yourself, you 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.

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 for the entire trip. The synchronicity that occurs is amazing.

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. Synchronicity then becomes the norm, rather than the infrequent occurrence.

Fueled by our ability to come from the deep place of love within, we begin the process of fulfilling the deepest craving within that James refers to.

With that in mind, 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 and invite them to become part of the Inspire Possibility family. If you haven’t done so already, become a fan of inspire Possibility on Facebook.

Enjoy the journey.

Mark

The Soul of Uncertainty is coming.

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive-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

The Gift of Patience

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Here it is—February. The time has gone by quickly. It seems that will all of the technology at our command, there’s more going on that occupies our minds.

It’s also easy to become distracted, constantly focusing on the next idea or next thing, rather than focusing on what is in the moment.

What’s true is that, even when we’re not in a hurry, we don’t like to be inconvenienced…like waiting in line, or not getting service quick enough, or being put on hold. It’s a bigger list and you know how it shows up in your life.

It’s a fact of life. Life if not always going to happen at the pace you would like it to. It has its own rules. You might have a plan to make your life better, but it’s implementations doesn’t happen overnight. What makes it easier to integrate that plan into your life is learning patience.

You’ll have many opportunities, everyday in fact, to practice developing this mindset. Whenever you are waiting in line, or put off in some way, which as we know is quite often, just notice without judging. What i mean by that is to leave your story behind…your story as to what it means.

Perhaps you notice the quality of your breath. Perhaps you have a conversation with someone, a conversation you wouldn’t have had otherwise. Or perhaps you think about something that puts a smile on your face. Perhaps you notice the sky, the shape of the clouds, the freshness of the air Somewhere there’s a gift. Be open to letting it in.

Walk in freedom—until next time

Journey On

Mark

What Calls You?

JOURNEY ON is a blog dedicated to personal and professional development. Mark Susnow, an executive-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

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

Charisma and Other Stuff

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

Most of us have had the experience of being in the presence of someone who exudes a powerful energy that draws you to them. You’re not quite sure what it is about them. You could be anywhere— and it’s not unusual to even feel this energy before you actually physically see them.

When you actually do notice them, the look is not always the same—as they say, one shape or style doesn’t fit all. Most of the time we think of this energy, this presence, as charisma.

I have been intrigued by these subtle energies and often wondered how we can create more of it in our lives.

We would all agree that energy is a good thing. We feel better when we are energetic. We’re healthier, able to enjoy ourselves more, and able to get more done in less time. And when we’re with another person, we’re able to be totally present with them.

But charisma can be misused. We all know those people who are just plain charismatic no matter what they do, some of whom can be destructive.

But that’s not us. So let’s talk about what we can do to create more energy in our lives. Some of you might already have integrated some of these suggestions into your lives. Perhaps there are one or more new ideas you can take away from this discussion.

1. Exercise: I’m sure you’ve heard it many many time…there’s a reason…It definitely increases your energy.
2. Breathe: Everyday get oxygenated…take some deep breathes…too often during the day, our breathing gets shallow which usually occurs when we’re stressed…deep breathing will help you with minimizing your stress.
3. Daily Practice: Have a daily practice— meditation, Tai Chi or Yoga all create prana or chi, which is another word for life force. And it’s all about life force, isn’t it?
4. Develop a connection with a higher power: A morning practice, like meditation, helps you connect with that power every day which sets the tone for the day.
5. Diet: I’m sure you’ve heard this before. Eat lots of alive fresh food, such as fruits and vegetables. They all contain, lots of water and many of the nutrients our body needs.
6. Passion: Find something you are passionate about. You’ll naturally be energetic and enthusiastic which carries over to everything you’re doing in your life.
7. Awareness of your Environment: Which includes the energy in your house and where you work. Some refer to this as Fung Shui, a Chinese philosophical system which harmonizes one with their surrounding environment.
8. Notice your rhythm and cadence: The phrasing of your words—the way you move. Subtle, but powerful.

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.

Cultivating the Buffer

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Very rarely does checking the news cheer you up. Yet we check it anyway. Do you ever wonder why? It’s a habit and it’s a distraction from our day to day life. We want to escape for a few minutes…hey it’s better than more severe addictions.

Yet with more media outlets, which includes our various digital devices, we have more distractions than we ever have had before. We also have more temptations to take us away from our more immediate problems. And it might just be the boredom that we experience from not having a purposeful life.

Back to the news for a second. Think back in time when an external circumstance, which was in the news, upset you…I’m sure there was one and there will be another one after the current one.
So what does this tell you? Perhaps the thing…that whatever it is you are looking for, is not out there…it’s inside of you and needs to be nurtured every day…that’s where the work needs to be focused.

With that in mind take time, everyday, to build a buffer that helps insulate you from the stresses of the day….that buffer, which becomes a pillar of strength, prepares you to handle whatever comes up during the day…Rather than dread what might happen, you’re looking forward to it—knowing that a highlight awaits you.

Create the buffer by staying focused on the moment. And then the next moment. But it’s not easy to do. Our mind wanders, in the beginning just notice when your mind wanders off to something else.

That’s where the morning program comes in….meditate, be grateful and wonder about what the highlight of your day might be.

Until next time,

JOURNEY ON

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

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. 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. Contact him for an initial complimentary session.

WHY NOT? I’M GOING FOR IT

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

I often suggest to those I work with as a life coach to go back ten years in time and ask yourself a few questions. It’s really an inquiry. What have you been disappointed by? Or maybe it just didn’t work out the way you had hoped. The other more important inquiry is to ask yourself, “What have you been surprised by?” I mean surprised in a good way—perhaps a way that has exceeded your expectations that you had ten years ago.

A familiar theme to keep in mind, is that with what we know now, and from where we are standing at this moment,it is impossible to imagine what is possible. Said in another way, when your confidence is at a low ebb, seeing a way out seems daunting. When your confidence is high, you say to yourself, “Why Not? I’m going for it.”

I remember when I first got into backpacking. We prepared for the trip, made sure we were in good shape, and had the proper supplies. We would read about the hike in travelers guides, it’d difficulties, what to bring, what to look out for. And then we began. From where we were at the trailhead, there was no way we could experience all of the beauty and majesty that awaited us. It was only when we got higher and left the clutter and negativity behind, that we could experience the beauty of the moment. There is more for you.

JOURNEY ON

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

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. 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.

It Can be Easy and also have Great Value

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

How we make decisions is an interesting exploration. Many of us make this process more difficult than it needs to be.

Let’s face it. Some of us, not you of course, can even make choosing a movie into a big deal. For example. You’re home in the mood for a movie, but what movie? Each of us approaches it slightly different. At first you might search the free menu. Then you search for the movies that are more current, most of which require you to pay a small fee. So you go thru the process. Perhaps you finally select a movie. Or perhaps you can’t make a decision and decide to do something else.

This little example is a microcosm of how we make decisions in our life. We go through a process of weighing the pros and cons. Some of us might have a mindset that if its free, it’s not worth investing the time to watch it. It’s already been done. We want something more current. The bigger and more important question is: “What is the criterion for which we give value to things.

If something comes easy to us, do we take it for granite and not value it as much. Quite often that is what happens with some of our most primary relationships—we take them for granite and don’t give them the attention they need. We’re already looking in a different direction, looking for our next challenge, perhaps wondering if we’ve overlooked something.

Our lives are like that. Some of us struggle with what we really want. We question what we’re doing in our careers and in our relationships. We question what really matters. The truth is that we have more choices than we realize, although it might not seem like that in the moment. The process of discovering what they are can be an exciting adventure. And fun!

It’s time to adopt a new mindset. It can be easy and have great value.

Journey On

“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

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. He is the author of Dancing on the River:Navigating Life’s Changes and Discover the Leader Within.

Break the Habit of Negative Thinking

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

Like most people I’m sure you hear that voice—the voice of judgment, the inner critic that keeps repeating some version of the theme that you’re not good enough, or it won’t work. I think of this voice as your VOJ.
You would give almost anything to silence it. At times it feels like a hypnotic spell has been cast upon you.

The good news is that you can break the spell by starting your day differently. What I discovered and keep coming back to, is that how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day!

If you start your day in a hurry, most likely you will be in a hurry all day long. If you begin your day being centered, you will better able to handle what comes up. Sure there will be those moments, but they won’t throw you or if they do, not for as long.

Integrate the following practice into your life. When you first wake up in the morning, sit for five or ten minutes in silence and then slowly focus on what you are grateful for. This practice shifts your focus from what isn’t working and what you don’t like about your life, to what is working and what you do like. This simple practice goes a long way toward breaking the hypnotic habit of negative thinking. If you don’t break the habit, before you know it, you begin imagining worse case scenarios.

The sooner you can recognize your voice of judgment that in coaching we refer to as your gremlin, the sooner you can move beyond it. Perhaps counterintuitive, all you have to do is to notice. That’s it. What helps is to give it a name so that you’re somewhat detached from the feeling. I call my gremlin Ralph. This simple practice of just noticing is profound. Don’t judge it. Don’t beat yourself up. Just notice it and then say, “Next.” Try it for 30 days and see what happens.

This practice is a great first step to becoming a more positive person. Consistent positive thinking, not only changes your outlook on life, but it also empowers you to see opportunities that previously you would not have looked at. And more importantly life seems less stressful.

If you are curious to find out how I can make a difference in your life both personally and professionally i invite you to contact me at 415.453.5016 or email me at mark@inspirepossibility.com. I also design programs and trainings that support organizations in creating a more fulfilling and productive culture. http://www.inspirepossibility.com.

Journey On

MARK

“At times our own light goes out, 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.

Three Life-Changing Strategies

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Most of us, if not all of us, have wondered from time to time if there is a secret to life. We have thought, talked, read and listened to others wondering the same thing. This is what I’ve come up with.

Let’s start with smiling. A genuine smile is contagious and compelling and goes a long way toward relieving tension between people. When we smile we usually are happy. Even when we are not at our best, smiling has the potential to change our mood instantly. There is a scientific explanation behind 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. Increasingly medical science recognizes the effect that stress has on illness. Could smiling more be the key to health and wellness? The good news is that it doesn’t take anymore time.

I’ve written about this next strategy on several occasions and there is a chapter in my book, 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’ll 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. 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 lives. Some years are smoother than others. As we know life is full of uncertainty. When we integrate these insights and 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. Try it on. See what happens. Smile and laugh more—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. You’re on your way. Keep practicing. Let’s have a discussion as to what works for you. If you haven’t yet begun, it’s not too late. If you are curious to find out how I can make a difference in your life both personally and professionally i invite you to contact me at 415.453.5016 or email me at mark@inspirepossibility.com. Be sure to visit my website at http://www.inspirepossibility.com. I can also design a program or training that will support your organization in creating and sustaining a more fulfilling and productive culture.

“At times our own light goes out, 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.

Redefining Success

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

It’s time to move forward. Most of us, if not all of us, would like to be more successful but we struggle with what exactly success means. What contributes to this struggle is that we usually define success by someone else’s standards or our own stricter standards. And usually we are our own worse critics. I struggled with this mindset for years. No matter what I did, I didn’t consider myself successful—there was always the, “Yea, but look at what they did. I’ll never be as good as them.”

Within each of us is the key to success, which is our attitude about how we see ourselves.

IF we are always trying to live up to some external standard we’re always going to find it difficult to be satisfied. There are many great people in this world that can do some things better than us. Yet when we look at ourselves and explore our own unique greatness, we find that there are some things we can do better than them.

If you wish to be successful, then think of yourself in that way. Focus on your gifts and unique talents. You are already successful. You have unique gifts and talents. Share these gifts and talents with others.

“At times our own light goes out, 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.


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