Affirmative Prayer: Imagine a World Powered by Gratitude

What if, just for today,
I feel grateful for everything in my life?

I’d start with the obvious:
My health, my home, my friends, my family.
My wonderful work, my bills all paid.

I’d move on to everyday joys:
My cat chasing a wad of paper,
The crisp, cool autumn air,
This delightful cup of tea,
The way the sun streams into my office,
My comfortable chair,
And my fabulous stereo.

I’d contemplate all the gifts I feel honored to offer the world:
My love, my enthusiasm, my centeredness,
My clear thinking and my insightfulness.

I’d revel in the gifts I receive from others today:
Their love, their generosity, their kindness,
Their encouragement and their patience.

I’d thank God for the gift in what I consider “challenges:”
A misunderstanding and disagreement with a friend,
A seemingly missed opportunity,
What looks like self-sabatoge,
Yet another headache or heartache.

I’d thank God for showing the face of God
All around me and from within me.

If I thought of anything for which I didn’t know
how to feel thankful, I’d feel gratitude
for the opportunity to see from a bigger perspective.

Until I could.

And then,
I’d feel profound gratitude for this incredible privilege
to be here now, alive on this planet,
contributing what I came here to give.

And then,
I’d do it again tomorrow.


What are you grateful for today?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Spiritual Clarity: Changing the Channel

On a recent teleseminar with Sonia Choquette about her new book, “The Answer is Simple . . . Love Yourself, Live Your Spirit,” I heard her say several times, “change the channel.”  Referring to more consistently choosing to live our spirits rather than our egos, she reminded us how to know the difference.

When we live from our ego, we need to control, be right and defend.  We choose from fear; feeling contracted, small and ineffective. 

When we live from our spirit, we’re loving, patient, intuitive, creative, open and courageous.  We feel expansive, confident and effective.

So, when we notice we’d like to change the channel to spirit, how do we do it?  The quickest way: do something we love, with bonus points if we’re moving our bodies and/or getting outside!

I keep a Top 12 list of things to remember to do each day to keep me feeling great, keep me living from spirit.  I have all my clients do the same.  Each person’s is unique.  Mine includes snow shoveling this time of year – I love snow and I get to move my body and play outside.  Many people do not like to shovel snow, but some love to hike or take their dog to the dog park, two things I don’t like and don’t do!

What’s on your Top 12 for Spirit list?  Write your list, post it where you’ll see it and you’ve created an easy way to change the channel any time you’d like!

Marketing Coaching: Elevator Speech Worth Riding More Elevators!

I’m 49 years old, have been self-employed my whole life and have avoided the “what do you do” question like the H1N1 virus!  Until last week, if I found myself in a situation where I had to answer the question, I’d reply, “I’m a business coach” and change the subject.

The irony: since the early 90s, I’ve taught other self-employed folks how to talk about their work from a client-centered perspective, rather than talk about their credentials or job title.  

And, I let myself off the hook.  I rationalized that it took too many words to really describe the value of business coaching, much less the spiritual variety I offer. (I had other similar rationalizations for my previous businesses.  You would think I might have noticed the pattern!)  

I rationalized that I didn’t meet my clients at networking events.  My clients tend to hire me after they read something I’ve written or heard me speak at a meeting or conference.  So, they knew about me – I didn’t need an “elevator speech.”  Has anyone ever actually met a client on an elevator?!?

Well, last week, I decided once and for all that I wanted an elevator speech anyway.  Because I wanted to be in integrity with this.  Because it would help me understand exactly the value of what I offer.  Because my own business coach and mentor challenged me!

Of course, in that powerful decision moment, all the stars aligned and it tumbled out of me.  

“I teach business owners clarity and confidence about themselves and their businesses so they’re happier and more successful.”

I feel so excited to tell you what I do!  Since I wrote that, I’ve asked several people to ask me what I do, just so I can say it and refine it!

What allowed it to tumble out of me now, after it had eluded me all these years?

First, I used a new verb.  In the past, I’ve used the verb “help” instead of “teach.”  I’ve been owning the teaching aspect of me more since I took the Strong Life test.

No surprise, the test indicated my strongest life role is Teacher.  I love to teach.  I get excited about teaching.  Another role in the assessment is Caretaker, which reminds me of “helping.”  I don’t like the idea of Caretaker.  I don’t feel strengthened by the thought of helping like I do by the thought of teaching.  This may seem like a small distinction, but it’s been huge for me.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I am excited about teaching at the level of 9.  Helping feels like a 4 to me!  No wonder I wanted to avoid the conversation . . .

Secondly, over and over and over again, my clients tell me that our work together gives them clarity and confidence.  That’s important to them.  They love to keep working together because they value on-going clarity and confidence.  Yet, that never seemed like the bottom line to me.  Usually, my clients want to get more clients and make more money.  A former stab at an elevator speech for me might have sounded like, “I help business owners get more clients and make more money.”  Yuck!  That’s a 3 for me on a scale of 1 to 10.

It’s a true statement.  Yet, so cliché.  And, it doesn’t say how (via clarity and confidence).  And, many other coaches promise the same.  How does a potential client discern?

Third, “ . . . clarity and confidence about themselves and their businesses . . . ”  People often come to me thinking the business is the issue.  They aren’t usually aware that all business problems are people problems.  As my clients gain clarity and confidence about themselves, the business issues are naturally addressed as well.  So, my new elevator speech addresses where they think the problem is (the business) and where I know the solution is (the business owner).

And finally, as I have worked with so many clients, I’ve noticed they want to be happy and successful.  They don’t actually want to just make more money.  They want to make it in a way that feels good, fun and meaningful to them!

Now it’s your turn.  How can you use my clues to create or tweek your elevator speech until you cannot wait to ride more elevators?

Post yours in the comments section here.  I’d love to share lots of examples on a Thriving Coaches roundtable.

Self Improvement: Getting Beyond Habitual Conditioning

Consciously choosing is one of my core values.  So is loving kindness.  Yet, in some situations, I’d like to respond to someone with loving kindness and I instead hear myself defending my ego or reacting from programmed conditioning.  In these moments, I realize how automatically and ready are my ego and my conditioning.

To go beyond these ingrained habits, I use one or all of my “Choosing” tools:

  • As often as I remember, I affirm, “not my will, rather Thy will.”  This reminds me to choose from God/good consciousness.
  • In tough situations, before I speak, I take a breath.  This gives me a moment to actually choose a response rather than habitually and automatically reacting.
  • If I do react, I apologize and ask for a re-do.  This allows me to consciously respond even after I’ve reacted.
  • I actively listen for inspiration and guidance.  And, I follow it, even if I don’t fully and logically understand it.  This accesses the inspired path, rather than the habitual one, because I already know where it leads!
  • I remind myself to allow grace and miracles.  This chooses for me far greater outcomes than I ever could have imagined.

If we don’t consciously use choosing tools, we react as we’ve always reacted and get what we’ve always gotten!  Feel free to use my tools liberally and I would love to learn and try your tools, too . . .