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Archive for the ‘Making Myself Over From the Inside Out’ 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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I’m getting ready to head off to San Diego later this week, to attend the Money & You workshop.  As part of the preparation, I had to complete the DISC profile, and I’ll be getting the results at the seminar.

Over the past 30 years, through her programs, her organization has shown many successful entrepreneurs how to discover untapped markets during turbulent financial times such as these. Many of her graduates discovered new business strategies after the 1987 market adjustment, the recession in the early 1990’s and during the high-tech bubble a few years ago.

The program is experiential, and in three-and-half days, we’ll learn 44 hours of Entrepreneurship and how to become a business leader.  If you do the math, you’ll recognize that this is immersion training, with each day going for more than 12 hours.  I’d better pack some energy bars!!  I don’t know what to expect, but I’ll be sure to write about it after the trip!

Meanwhile, here’s a video interview of Jack Canfield discussing Money & You that I dug up!

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I read somewhere that four out of five Americans are unhappy with their lives, and especially with the work that they do.  Just surveying the people around me, I can see that even if it’s three out of five, it’s all too true.  And it’s not even that they are not passionate about what they’re doing…they are downright unhappy and frustrated, and don’t believe that anything can change their circumstance.

That makes me crazy!  Change is always possible, regardless of your circumstance. The key is to 1) know what you want, 2) eliminate any obstacles (actual or imagined,) and 3) choose to take action.  My experience with clients tells me that folks can get stuck and any one of those three steps.

Knowing what you want means knowing what you value in life and tapping into what you’re passionate about.  Before our call last night, my friend Janet Attwood, co-author of Passion Test, asked me to email her the 10 things I was passionate about, starting with the phrase “When my life is ideal, I am… “

Last night on the phone with Janet, she had me refine my statements to separate what I want from how I can get it, and then compare their relative importance to me until I came up with the following top five:

  1. When my life is ideal I am living a healthy and balanced life..body, mind and spirit
  2. When my life is ideal I am laughing a lot…traveling, playing, and collaborating with my friends and family
  3. When my life is ideal I am enjoying my creativity in collaboration with others
  4. When my life is ideal I am taking time off to nourish my mind, body and soul
  5. When my life is ideal I am feeling, giving and receiving love from my family and friends

I’m still going to play with these until they are exactly right, but they are close.  And I just might share Janet’s number one statement “Being in the moment and loving what is.”

The interesting thing about the Passion Test, is that it’s not about “finding your passion” in the sense of making money, or becoming famous, or any number of things that people think that they want.  As I do with my coaching clients, the Passion Test asks you to dig deeper, and figure out why you want those things…what would having more money or being famous allow you to do?  (It’s like the story of the CEO and the Fisherman.)

The next thing she asked me to do is to come up with what she calls “markers” or “signposts” that let you know when you are really living your passion.  These are the things that happen when you are living your passion full out.

She said it’s important not to think how you will achieve those markers, just to write them.  So, for example from my number 1 entry above, my markers might be:

Others remark on my state of mind and ask for my advice on how to achieve it;
I wake up peaceful, happy and energetic each day;
I am able to run up and down the stairs with no effort.

That’s as far as we got…but the book is on it’s way here, and I’ll be working through it — creating my markers, vision board and passion pages–when I am done with Sonia’s book.

In the meantime, I think it would be helpful to also revisit my values with the TruValues assessment.  And because I appreciate your sharing my journey with me, I share TruValues with you here.  Because when you live your life in accordance with your values and your passions, you won’t be one of the four out of five that lives in frustration.  And I want that for you.

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I took a “Saturday Stretch” class today.  At first it’s slightly uncomfortable, but then it feels really good to stretch out the kinks and body tension from a week of sitting on the phone or at the computer in my office.  Stretching is really good for the body…elongating those muscles and opening up the joints is so important to improving muscle control, flexibility and range of motion.

And so it is with getting out of your comfort zone and stretching yourself!  At first it may be unfamiliar and uncomfortable, but as you stretch it feels really good to be growing in new ways.

What I am NOT talking about is just filling your mind with new information.  While I’m a big proponent of reading and adding to your memetic environment, that’s not stretching yourself.  What I am talking about is doing something different.  Trying new things.  Being open to new opportunities.

For me, taking on “My Quest” is a stretch, perhaps not so much with the subject matter, but certainly for the public way I’m going about it.  For you, it may be something entirely different, such as:

Getting into conversations with people you ordinarily don’t talk with
Learning to play the harp or speak Chinese
Going to a concert or movie by yourself
Going to a personal growth seminar if you’ve never been to one
Getting a coach [of course!] to make huge shifts in your life  😉
Registering with an online matchmaking service
Training for a trek to the North Pole (as my friend Raymond Aaron did!)

The result of stretching yourself will of course depend on how far out of your comfort zone you go.  But even a small stretch is likely to give you a sense of achievement, self-confidence and satisfaction.   And the more you stretch, the less you’re likely to experience fear of change and the more you are likely to want to stretch and grow even more.

Your idea of what is possible for you will likely stretch as well.  What might that lead to for you?  If anything is possible…what will you do?

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My hair's not perfectI’m not perfect.  (And have never claimed to be, except maybe to my children when they were young.)  So I’m not sure if it’s flattering or funny that I’ve received several emails from people reading this blog, saying something along the lines of “it’s such a relief to know that even you aren’t perfect.”

No, I’m not…and I would never want to be.  Seems like way to much to live up to; not to mention dull.  Imagine always having to be perfectly dressed, coifed (I’ve always loved that word) and made up.  Always having to be utterly correct.  Never saying an even slightly bad word. Never slouching.  Never grouchy.  It would be like being the always sunny Southern California of people…I think the sameness would be boring.  I like a little rain.

If I thought I was perfect, I’d never want/need to grow.  Never need to learn anything new.  Never want to be better at anything….or at life.

If I thought I was perfect, wouldn’t I always be right?  How exhausting would that be?

Perfection can be paralyzing. Seeking perfection means always looking for what’s wrong.  Imagine if you were building a house, and refused to move in until it was perfect.  You might never move in.  What might you be more willing to attempt if you didn’t have to do it perfectly?

Without needing to be perfect or do things perfectly, it’s easier to take risks, be creative, be fearless.  I can freely admit that I am TERRIBLE at meditating.  But getting better thanks to my dear friend Stephen Josephs who is coaching me along (and told me not to try to meditate perfectly I might add.)  Still, I admit that even with the guided meditation in the Zero Limit DVD I am listening to morning and evening, my mind is impatient and wandering, counting down to when I can stop and get on with whatever is next.  I’m working on it.

Not being perfect is what makes us all unique and interesting instead of Stepford People.  So go be your beautiful, imperfect self.  And that’s just perfect.

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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):

Financial
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)
Fun
Career
Education
Creativity
Travel and adventure
Possessions

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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Thank you to all who recommended books, websites and programs.  (Keep the recommendations coming!)

I’ve decided to begin with the Joe Vitale “Zero Limits” DVD mornings and evenings, “Your Heart’s Desire” by Sonia Choquette, and Jack Canfield’s Effortless Success CD Program.

For those who know me, while I’m not exactly a multi tasker (I focus on one thing at a time as I am working on it), I am someone who likes to read multiple books and tackle multiple projects at one time.  I think doing that allows me to let my subconscious digest what I have just done/read/heard/seen as I work on something else.

I’ve also scheduled a call with Janet Attwood for next week to do the Passion Test with two of my friends and partners (Bobette Reeder and Guy Stickney), and as I mentioned earlier, at the end of the month I’ll be attending DC Cordova’s Money and You, and my dear friend Cherie Clark will be coming along to support me (or kick my butt if she feels I’m not digging deep enough.)

I know it seems like a lot (too much?) but as I tell my clients, if it’s too much, scale back…there’s no harm in experimenting.  And perhaps I’m mistaken, but I think that I already work with a lot of the material, so (false expectations?) I’m thinking that I’ll zip through some of the material having already done it.  I’ll let you know.

One of the things I’m curious about is how (or if) I’ll integrate the new awarenesses and knowledge into my life.  Up to now, much of my knowledge has come from my upbringing and life experience.  Yes, there was a lot of personal growth work in my coach training, and yes, I’ve read a lot of books.  But most of what I’ve learned from those has been affirmation of what I’d already learned, with a few tweaks.

Full Disclosure time:   I’m a firm believer that you can only take things so far with seminars, assessments, books etc.  Learning is one thing.  Awareness another.  But taking action is the part most people fail at, and the reason that coaching succeeds.

In a way, I am viewing you, my readers, as part of my support system.  Writing my thoughts and experiences here, knowing that you’re reading, will certainly help to inspire action on my part.  And of course, I have the most supportive system of friends anyone could hope for (keep that encouragement coming…)

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