Archive for the ‘Environments’ Category

I returned from San Diego, where I attended Money & You, late last night.  Several people have asked me if “I had fun”?  That’s not exactly the right question.  While yes, there were times when we were having fun, there were many more times when we were stretched, perturbed, moved, and running through the entire gamut of emotions.  The right question is “what did you get out of it?” And the answer is too long to put in one post.

The M&Y methodology is not about lectures.  Participants are run through a series of games and debriefing where the learning comes from their experience coupled with some strategic lessons.  It’s a total learning environment which accelerates learning by “appealing” to the right and left sides of the brain at the same time.  [What would the world be like if that’s how our children were taught in school?  While you’re contemplating that, it’s the reason that many home-schooled children excel, because for many that’s the environment instinctively created by their parents.]

One of the ways we learned was by trying and failing….and then trying and failing again, until we got it right.   ————>   Failure = Learning   <————  Of course, we already knew that didn’t we. 😉  https://glimmers.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/commit-to-failure/

Many (most) of the lessons learned at M&Y are based on the principles of Buckminster Fuller.  I know some of what Bucky (as he is affectionately known) taught, but these last few days were like walking through a portal into another world, and have added yet another layer to what I hope to read and learn this year.  And share with you, as I will also in the ensuing days, share some of my take-aways from the most interesting experience that was Money & You.


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Passion is the driving force that has you doing things without any thought to whether or not you will fail.  It’s the force that compels and inspires you to go after your dream, to commit and follow through to taking action and making changes.  It’s what causes photographers to stand on a rocky ledge to get that perfect shot, actors to go from audition to audition in search of a role, writer’s to withstand countless rejections and keep on writing.

My first two “assignments” from the preliminary work prior to The Passion Test and in Your Heart’s Desire start out by asking basically the same question:  Think about all the areas of your life and list the top ten passions or priorities.  Each asks you to write it down  with slightly different phrasing, but essentially the exercise is identical.  And…very similar to coaching homework assignments I use with my clients.  Essentially, tap into the major focus areas of your life and state the most important element that would make that area perfect.  Those focus areas, or environments include (with slight variations– not all of these are included in each program or coaching homework):

Relationships (family, friends, peers, close colleagues)
Your surroundings (home, car, nature)
Your body, health and physical appearance
Your Self (skills, strengths, talents, character, the “essence” of you)
Your Spirit (connection to the universe, spiritual practices, faith)
Your Memetic environment (ideas, learning, beliefs, what you read and watch)
Networks (Professional Connections, Community, Social Networks)
Travel and adventure

Most pundits say (and I agree) that the first step to change is embracing exactly where you are today.  So start with where you are and then (in the areas you choose from above) decide which of the areas are your top priority to change?  What are you finances?  What shape are you in?  What do you like about your self?  What puts a smile on your face?  Where does your creativity show up?

Next, for each of the areas you are choosing to work on, write down what you want to change…in other words: how you intend for it to be. Take relationships as an example.  It may be that you already have a great relationship.  Still…what might it look like if you kicked it up a notch? Or perhaps you don’t have one, or have one that could improve.

Sonia says to write three powerful and very clear intentions.  The Passion Test asks me to list ten items, beginning with the phrase “When my life is ideal…” and to phrase them in the present tense.

I recognize that for many, that may be easier said than done.  What I know to be true (thank you Oprah) is that while many people can easily whip off a list of clear desires or intentions, there are an equal amount of folks who haven’t got a clue.  Many of the clueless (no judgment intended here) know very clearly what they DON’T WANT, and that’s a great starting place too.  But there are a large number of people who are totally blocked from telling themselves the truth about their life.  For those folks, I offer the following questions to begin tapping in to what you want for your life:

What brings you great joy?  What are you doing in those moments when you feel happiest or your heart swells to overflowing? When are you at your most creative?  What are you doing when ideas flow effortlessly and time just zips by? Is there a particular topic you like to read about?  Talk about?  Watch movies about?  Internet surf to learn more about?  Do you have a hobby you are passionate about?

I write my intentions/goals for the year annually.  I’m going to update mine, and I’ll share them with you when I do.

Anthony Robbins says “Passion is the genesis of genius.”  Isn’t it time to find yours?

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I wish, like Brian Johnson, I could take off the time to head to Bali, or somewhere equally divine and exotic, to spend my days meditating, writing, exercising, reading and working through programs. [Brian has just returned to the US after taking a year off to work on his Philosopher’s Notes.] Or maybe I don’t really wish that, because truthfully, I’m not the type of person who sits lazily on the beach.  I’m the one that’s tracking down obscure museums, used bookstores that have old editions of books that I love, quirky people and places wherever I am.  But I digress.

Several folks have emailed me with suggestions of how I should pursue my quest [I almost feel like I should have written My Quest.]  I have recommendations to start and end my day with Joe Vitale’s Zero Limits DVD,  Centerpointe’s Holosync Meditation CDs or Chunyi Lin’s Spring Forest Qigong.  It’s been suggested that I dive right into Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits, Jack Canfield’s Success Principles, Janet Attwood’s Passion Test and Sonia Choquette’s Your Heart’s Desire.  And of course, I have an entire bookcase full of books, CDs and DVD programs, not to mention all the live programs out there.

I’m going to decide where to begin later this week.  But first I’ll do what I always do when starting something new…prepare.

I’m a great preparer.  I like to ensure that I have created the optimum setting for anything I pursue.  I set up all my environments for success: create physical space, mental space and space on my calendar.  I make sure I have the right “tools” (when I joined the gym my husband asked if that meant I needed to buy all new gym clothes…I hastily said “no, I have what I need”, but the truth is I did buy new sneakers, and I’m still looking for the perfect gym bag.)

For My Quest, I am going to create a perfect space for introspection, meditation and creativity.  I have several places in mind…a corner in my bedroom with a window and lounge chair…a corner in my living room where I can also set up a mini fountain (I love the sound of water) with a cushy chair and ottoman…or perhaps I will set up an entire room upstairs in an unused space that overlooks the tree tops.  (I’m liking that idea a lot!)  I guess I had better get to work on that (in between clients and exercise classes.)  😉

In the meantime, if you have suggestions for programs/books/retreats, send them my way.

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What if you were surrounded only by those things you used and loved? Things that were beautiful and made your heart sing?  Clothes that lifted the spirits and made you feel great.

Most of us have far too much.  I know I do.  My closets are crammed and overflowing, and I’ll bet there’s things in mine (and yours) that haven’t been worn in years.  There are items hiding in the back of my pantry that probably need carbon dating.  Things in the cellar and attic that I don’t need, don’t want, and probably a few that I have no idea what they are.  There are items I received as engagement gifts that I’ve never used, and never will.  Books I’ll never read. Magazines I keep for what reason?

The interesting thing is that when you eliminate the clutter, the unnecessary and unbeautiful, it frees you up in more ways than just space.  For me, it releases stress, increases energy, and even enhances creativity.

Give it a try.  Eliminate 5 non-essential things each day, starting now. Look around you, what will go first?

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Creating a Support System

When I set out to blog on a daily basis, and to make changes to other areas of my life in the ensuing weeks and months, I know that I had to have support.  It’s something I tell my clients on a regular basis. 

My mentor, Thomas Leonard, along with his R&D team (which I was a part of) created the 15 Frameworks which are paradigms that people can come from. One of those was Self-confidence can be arranged.  That paradigm of arranging to get what you need can be extended to other parts of life to get what you need, whether it’s support, self-confidence, love or acknowledgement.  It’s about not relying on yourself–or chance–to get what you need.  Instead, you can set up the support structures you need, and design the situations that will help support the changes you want to make.

In this case, I designed two environments:  1) I went public on my blog, and 2) I emailed a number of friends and asked for their help in several ways:

“First, I’d like your support.  That can come in the way of emails, an “atta girl” message, or any way you see fit to encourage/nudge me along. Second, I would love it if you’d comment (on my blog), and/or join me in the challenge (on your blog)”

The same thing can be done when you’re looking for more love or acknowledgement.  Just decide what it is you want and need, and who you want and need it from.  Then let those people know exactly what you want, and how often. 

That can look like telling your family members that you need to have them tell you how much they love you each day, and even providing them with the words you need to hear.  Or it might be telling your boss and co-workers how you would like to be acknowledged.   

This might feel funny at first, but as everyone gets into the request, you’ll find that everyone genuinely enjoys supporting you, and you’ll enjoy the results.  I know I do! 

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Yesterday was my birthday.  We spent a laughter filled day in Manhattan, window shopping, eating, people watching, eating, watching the Soho Artists Parade (more about that…with photos…at another time), exploring art galleries, hanging out (and eating) in Little Italy, and more.  It was a very full day.  And the birthday month continues today with Dim Sum with friends and a street festival in Red Bank.

What also continues today is my introspection on the coming year.  I’m going to go through the environments of my life and choose how to make them even better.  The easiest one is my Physical Environment.  We know that our physical environment often reflects what’s going on inside of us, and conversely changing our surroundings can change how we function.  Just think about how you feel when you clean a closet, or organize the garage.  There’s a sense of pride and freedom, and a freeing up of energy.  Several years ago after I moved things around in my office and added some whimsical decorative touches as well, I found that not only did my productivity increase, but my creativity as well.

So, with that in mind, here are the five things I choose to change in my physical environment this year:

  1. I want more beauty and things that invite the senses to take notice. To that end I am going to have more flowers, scented candles, whimsical objects that make me laugh, and much more music.  I already have a good music CD collection, and yesterday I added some wonderful violin music to the collection.  I am going to play it more. 
  2. I am going to use my living room more.  Even just for me to sit and read in it.  It’s called the LIVING ROOM, not the company room.
  3. I am going to gift, freecycle, ebay or just plain dump half of what I own.  Okay, so maybe not actually half, but we have way way too much stuff.  And I’m beginning to think that it’s time begin thinking about Rightsizing in a few years. I don’t want to be frantically trying to decide what to get rid of then.  So each week I will throw out a minimum of five things so that eventually I am left with only things I love and use.  (I am allowing myself to make books the exception to this one…)
  4. I am going to repurpose my dining room.  I have a lovely and traditional dining room complete with antiques and a chandelier.  But how often do we actually use it other than holidays?  I haven’t quite figured this one out yet, but I will find a way to make the dining room take on new life.  Maybe as a reading room?  And it needs to have more whimsy.
  5. Not yet sure about this one…but it may be that this year, I am going to have more fires in the fireplace.

What about you? 

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