How Might We Not Take Fear Seriously?

I’ve worked with several clients this week around moving through fear. Fear of making the wrong decision. Fear of being in romantic partnership with the wrong person. Fear the money will run out. Fear of hiring the wrong person. Fear of not getting everything done because the business is growing so quickly.

And, here’s the fascinating thing about the content of the fear. The specifics of what we are afraid of don’t matter. It’s best if we don’t engage with the content.

I can hear you now, “But I must hire the right person.” Yes, absolutely. And when were our best decisions ever made from fear?

So, if you’re experiencing fear right now (or sometime down the road), don’t engage with the content. Simply notice you are having some fear thoughts. A few dark clouds of the mind.

How Might We Not Take Fear Seriously

Isn’t it clear that these dark cloud will be moving on soon?  As with
the dark clouds that wander through our mind from time to time . . .

Allow them to dissipate and move on. When your mood is once again light and hopeful, then revisit whatever decisions need to be made. You may even be pleasantly surprised to find that, at that point, no decisions do need to be made or that the decision is obvious.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

How Do We Stop Overwhelm?

In the past week, I have had so much coming toward me, from so many directions that I completely bypassed overwhelm and went right to surrender. Several of my coaching clients also have been startled by what seems like chaos.

More than 10 years ago, I wrote a self-study coaching e-course, Steady in the Wind. We may need that course right now! I’m going to dust it off and share more with you next week.

In the meantime I offer you this.

When I am still and present with these vibrant beauties, all is well . . .

Radical Stillness

Breathing deeply,
I allow myself to move toward stillness.

Ah, the irony,
Moving toward stillness.

This awareness of how much
I am programmed to move and do
When my heart and soul call me to slow and still.

In the stillness,
I feel my heart beat.

In the stillness,
My breathing deepens.

In the stillness,
My mind chatter drops away.

In the stillness,
There is no lack, no longing.

In the stillness,
I am One with All that Is.

In the stillness.
In the stillness.

(Excerpted from my forthcoming book, “Strong from Within: Simple perceptions and practices for transforming crisis into clarity and purpose”)

How to Free Ourselves from Innocently Self-Created Prisons

Last week I posed the question, “Do we need to know our purpose to be happy?”

This week, I had planned on sharing the process of learning my own purpose. In light of the controversial sentencing in the Stanford rape case and the tragedy in Orlando, it feels more relevant to share how my purpose might relieve some suffering.


My purpose: Inspiring and urging us to freedom from our innocently self-created prisons so that we may be more fully ourselves and make our unique contribution to the planet.

Let’s back up for a moment. What is an innocently self-created prison? Our own thinking that causes our own suffering.

Maybe we are hating the “haters.” Maybe we feel victimized. Maybe we engage in us and them thinking. Maybe we feel less than. Or hopeless. And, the list goes on . . .

I found it heart-wrenching to read the long letter from the survivor in the rape case. And, I read the whole letter because I wanted to bear witness to this courageous young woman stepping out of the victim prison into making a unique, impactful contribution to the planet.

What innocently self-created prisons might you notice you’ve created this week?

I faced this question head-on in 1994 when my 25-year-old boyfriend died of a morphine overdose by his own hand. My shock and grief was so intense that I wished I had died with him.

At one point fairly early in my grief, I had a clear and lucid moment in which I knew that his death would either take me under or make me stronger. I consciously chose life.

I recognized I could bring to the planet something from him. In thinking about his greatest attributes, I realized that he was the most unconditionally loving person I knew. I decided in that moment to be more loving myself from that day forward.

Today, I recognize that love is needed in both these tragedies.

It would be so easy to judge, blame and make wrong. And, it’s almost as easy to see the self-created prisons that led to these crimes. It’s also probably easier to focus on outrage than it is to step out of a self-created righteous prison to make our own unique contribution right now . . .

Do You Need to Know Your Purpose to Be Happy?

It turns out you probably do need to know your purpose to be happy.

In an informal survey of fellow Yale graduates at their 25th class reunion, Adam Leipzig, a former Disney Executive and currently the CEO of Entertainment Media Partners, discovered that 80% of his classmates were unhappy with their lives. 80%?!?

I decided to do a bit more research. Maybe those privileged Yale grads were an anomaly.

The Harris Happiness Index surveyed 2,345 American adults in April 2013 to find that 1 in 3 Americans considers themselves very happy. In 2011 – 2012, Gallup found that worldwide only 13% of employees are engaged at work. In the US, the number was higher at 32%.

So these stats leaned a bit more toward happiness, but not much.

Here’s where it gets interesting. What Adam Leipzig further discovered: the 20% who were happy knew something about their purpose.

He believes you can learn your life purpose in 5 minutes and he takes you through the process in his TedxMalibu Talk.

I don’t know if that 5-minute process would work for me because I had already learned my WHY in 2013 through Simon Sinek’s, Learn Your Why online course.

That process takes 7 – 10 hours, the course costs $129 and you need your coach or a colleague to guide you through the process. And, having my WHY articulated has been life changing for me. It serves as a compass and daily decision-maker for me.

If you’d like to know more about Simon’s process, start with his Ted Talk.

Before I listened to Adam’s talk, I had never linked happiness and knowing my purpose. As I look at my own life and the lives of my coaching clients and students, I see that there is a very real link. When we are in a low place, our purpose guides us out. When we are feeling most fulfilled, we are more fully living our purpose.

So what about you? Do you have a sense of your purpose? If so, I’d love to hear about it . . . If not, do you suspect you’d be happier if you did know?

What Would You Like Different? Consistency Outshines Perfection.

One of my coaching clients is making big life changes. She’s taking on new work with only people she likes. She joined a new spiritual community. She’s making progress toward her ideal weight.

Recently we had a wonderful coaching conversation about the disempowerment of heading toward perfection. Since perfection is an illusive ideal, we end up feeling bad about ourselves for never getting there.

Instead, if we move toward consistency, we tend to champion ourselves more. “Well, even though I’d love to walk every day, I DID walk 6 days this week and 24 days in this past month. Hey, I’m walking again!”

What Would You Like Different?  Consistency Outshines Perfection.

I’m in a steep learning curve myself right now – learning how to connect with more of my ideal clients on LinkedIn. For years I’ve thought it was possible, but I didn’t know how. So I’m taking a course and dedicating an hour a day to my studying and implementation.

I’m not nearly as proficient as I’d like yet, AND I’m making progress almost every day! I love paying attention to my consistent progress.

So, what about you? What would you love different in your life or work? How might you allow consistency to work for you?