Last week I invited you to consider the concept stop driving start thriving. I shared that many of us spend our life so busy doing - the endless to do lists- and non-stop thinking - we neglect to notice how we are being. And it costs us....
We end up losing sight of why we are here, what's important to our well-being, and ultimately what brings us joy. We are repressed and depressed, anxious and stressed.
What are you noticing? Tell me here.
This week as we celebrate the 4th of July...freedom, independence I've been asking myself what it means to be free.
Am I free? Are you free?
Here are some tidbits I came up with...
1. Does freedom exist inside of us or outside of us?
2. Is it really our circumstances that bind us - make us feel trapped - or is it our mind?
3. Why do some people thrive in the most unbearable of circumstances and others collapse?
4. Is the ultimate experience of freedom the ability to choose our mental perspective?
5. Does being free mean being unafraid?
As you consider the above I encourage you to stay open and willing to see all angles.
If you wish to know what I believe...
Last week I talked about engaging with your council, meaning what is your method and frequency of communication.
How is it going? Feel free to email me and share.
As you continue to develop and engage with your council, I invite you to take pause. We are half way through 2017 and it's a great time to stop and reflect. Or as I say in my book Reclaiming Joy, it's time to Stop Driving and Start Thriving.
What do I mean?
Many of us spend our life so busy doing - the endless to do lists- we neglect to notice how we are being. In fact we invest next to nothing in being because we are spending so much on doing. My friends there's a cost to excessive spending on doing without investing in being.
What's the cost?
We end up losing sight of why we are here, what's important to our well-being, and ultimately what brings us joy. We go through the motions. We end up broke and depleted physically, energetically and sometimes emotionally, financially and spiritually. Our health, relationships, bank accounts and work suffer. We live in "should'. We give up.
Is this how we are meant to live?
No way. What I am noticing more than ever is that many people don't realize excessive thinking is part of the "excessive doing". In fact it's the thinking that puts us in this endless cycle of doing (should's).
Really? Tell me more.
As you many of you know, I meditate daily. And yes, I still "suffer" the afflictions of the mind. I am human. Yet, because I have made meditation a daily practice now for almost 20 years, I have developed a powerful habit.
The ability to discipline my mind and thereby redirect my attention from the negative (seeming obstacle ) to opportunity (positive possibility).
It's such a sweeter place to live. And at 41, this is how I choose to live.
Why Am I Sharing This With You?
Part of it is selfish. It's not fun interacting with anxious, stressed, negative people.
More than ever humanity is suffering, mostly by their own hand because there is no mental discipline. Stress, anxiety, anger and fear are at an all time high. And yet we still engage in the habit of turning on the TV to watch the news.
Part of it is self-less. I believe we are all meant to thrive. It saddens me to see so much suffering and I feel the need to do my part by helping people wake up!!!!
Unfortunately, many people still do not have a daily meditation practice and yet they want life to be better, different. You know the saying- we are what we repeatedly do? Well, here it is. It is unrealistic to expect our life to change when we won't change our habits.
Why Invest in The Habit?
Gaining control of your mind is the one habit I suggest you invest heavily in.
I see this trend of stress, anxiety and fear increasing. For such an advanced society, we surely have failed at what I feel is the most important aspect of living well- the ability to control our mind.
When we allow our mind to take control, the stress, anxiety, and fear separate us from others. We become a society of me versus you. It shows up globally, in our boardrooms, classrooms, kitchens, bedrooms, and everywhere in between. Living this way is anything but thriving babes.
This week my invitation for you is to: Stop Driving Start Thriving:
1. Stop. Notice how much you spend doing by allowing your mind to create drama, story, separation, negativity...obstacles
2. Stop. When you notice your mind engaging in the above, invest in being...re-frame it to how this experience is one of: learning/growth, connection, positivity...opportunity
3. Stop. Observe the results...how do you feel...are you being peace?
4. STOP making excuses and commit to a daily meditation practice
5. Stop. Celebrate as you cultivate your new habit of mental discipline...
There is no magic pill to ease the mind. You must make meditation practice part of your daily routine to help you cultivate the habit of mental discipline. In this way, when the stress, anxiety, anger, or fear hits, your habit will kick in and re-direct your mind from obstacle to opportunity. In a word: Thriving. It's all a mind game this life. Those of us who get this, thrive...laughing all the way home to our grave.
A quote for you:
"To develop a reliable routine, a golfer has to decide to follow it and practice it time after time until it becomes an ingrained habit that will show up no matter how much pressure he or she is under. You can be sure that under pressure, you will find out what your dominant habit is." -Dr. Bob Rotella, Golf Is Not A Game of Perfect
Last week I talked about the "criteria" for creating your council.
Have you made/ tweaked your list of who/what?
I'd love to know where you are at with this. I understand it takes time for some of us to accept the notion that perhaps we need/want support. Feel free to email me here and tell me how I may support you.
This week I want to share some suggestions on how to engage with your council.
This includes method and frequency of communication. By breaking it down to small, manageable steps, you are creating a foundation for your success.
Assuming you have your list (it doesn't have to be final/complete), think about the following:
Method: How will you engage with your council? Will it be in person, phone, email/text or some combination? Think about the ways you prefer to engage. Be open to new ways. More than ever it seems people crave high touch connection- meaning in person or via phone. I know I do! And yet sometimes a morning text from a member of my council totally uplifts and inspires me.
Frequency: How often will you engage with your council? Certainly this will depend on who makes up your council. For example, if part of your council is a mentor who is helping you write your first book, and you have a deadline to self-publish in 6 months, clearly the timing will dictate frequency. I have a variety of support I give and receive on a daily basis before my day even gets started such as reading from my gratitude book (remember I said books are great assets to your council) and sending/receiving a check in text to/from a member of my council.
As you consider the method and frequency by which you will engage with your council, remember to be flexible. Play with it. Explore. Have fun. If it starts to feel like work, pause then connect back to why you are doing this in the first place. Your why will always drive your inspired action. And if your why doesn't make you cry, meaning, it's not powerful enough to keep you moving forward, revisit your WHY.
Last week I invited you to explore creating your council, an on-going practice I use to keep me on the positive, play filled, purpose full and prosperous path. Say that 5x fast!
Have you started considering who may already be this for you and what kind of support you receive / want more of? I'd love to know here.
This week I want to talk about the "criteria" for creating your council. Before I do, keep in mind your council will likely be between 5-10 people. Some of these people may be friends, acquaintances, or even paid mentors, coaches, etc. Usually it is not a family member.
You may also decide to be available for someone else's council to offer whatever it is you are gifted at. Usually this is what winds up happening as we commit to the process.
These are the 3 criteria for ALL people on your council:
1. Proven Success:
People who are already having success in the area you want to create/improve. For example, one of the areas I mentioned was physical. If you are looking to improve your physical health, find the person who is already radiating extraordinary physical health. If you are looking to start / improve a business, find the person who has done / is doing it.
People who will help you find your truth: what you want/what gets in the way, no matter how hard, without holding judgment. They are able to do this because presumably they have gone through what you are going through and are now successful. They have been able to reach success because they have overcome similar obstacles and therefore understand, value and appreciate the absolute requirement for non-judgment. This doesn't mean the person will condone negative behavior. They will call you out. That is the point!! However, they will hold up the mirror with compassion, loving-kindness, support and wisdom to empower you.
This is why I don't suggest a family member for your council. It's usually very hard for family to be completely objective. Note this doesn't mean you can't talk to family! It simply means you have people in addition to your family who you reach out and listen to. Maybe you learn to filter what you tell family if it doesn't always serve to divulge all.
You want people on your council who have the time & energy to support you, when you need it. In addition, here's where books and paid mentors/coaches come in handy by giving you the extra boost. For example, maybe you want to develop your spirituality and deepen the connection you have with yourself. Perhaps the person who would be on your council isn't accessible right now for whatever reason, or you don't "yet" have this type of person in your life. Reading a book (see my reading list here) or perhaps hiring a mentor/coach who specializes in this area would be of service to you and keep you moving forward.
Based on the criteria above, start making and/or tweaking your council list. If you have questions, let me know here.
Next week I will share more about how to engage with your council.
Want to REALLY Thrive? Befriend books.
I am an avid reader, often reading 3-5 books at once. And I still read the physical copy. There is something sensual about the look, feel, smell, and touch that is important in the transmission of the message.
Over the years I have suggested countless books in my work with clients, leading workshops, and over dinner with family and friends. And for years people have been asking me to suggest a reading list!!
I feel reading is (including audio books) is an important part of success in life.
Why? Books are teachers/mentors -- they are written by people. As role models for our children, I also feel gifting our children with books to read such as the ones listed below, prepare them for life.
While there are so many wonderful books I have read, this list I have created is a powerful starting point. As with most things in life...we must take the first step on the journey and realize it will lead us to the next step. As you peruse the list some titles may be familiar, others maybe not.
My suggestion is to choose the one book which speaks the most to you. Start there and see what happens. I will say when I like a book I often keep that author in mind for future. Also, I tend to read a variety of books at once. Meaning, if I am reading 3 books, one might be spiritual, another business, and yet another pure pleasure. The variety of books I read support my desire to be agile, open, and balanced...living a whole-listic life.
Here's the List (not in order of preference by the way):
1. The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran ... Ahhh...the universal curriculum
2. The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav ... Indeed...understanding personality + soul
3. Dear Lover by David Deida ... Game changer...about all things sensual, sacred, sex
4. The Wisdom of Yoga by Stephen Cope ... Yum...a guide to extraordinary living
5. The Serving Leader by Ken Jennings/John Stahl-Wert ... Powerful actions to transform business, team, community
6. The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo ... Enough said
7. Untethered Soul by Michael Singer ... The real deal, simply stated, on how to live
8. The Tao of Leadership: Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching Adapted for a New Age by John Heider ... Practical wisdom for how to be the best leader, however it is you lead
9. Zen In the Martial Arts by John Hyams ... Life changing Zen principles for mastering discipline in your life
10. Reclaiming Joy by Stephanie Filardi ... The culmination of my 40 years seeking, reading, living into a 4 step curriculum for living happy, healthy...free
Interested in a book group/discussion on any of the above? Awesome! Contact Me Here.
Last week I invited you to revisit the garden of your life and prune it. By pruning your inner garden, you begin to simplify your life and amplify your energy so you are able to focus on that which brings you JOY.
Are you pruning? What are you noticing? Tell me here.
This week I invite you to think about a practice I have found essential over the years to help keep me on the positive, prosperous path.
What's the practice?
I call it create your council...otherwise known as the practice of putting together your network of support.
These are people who help you be and become your best self--they amplify your energy by being who they are and allowing you to be who you are. They hold up the loving and truthful mirror for you without judgment.
Why is it important to have a council?
Three main reasons.
1. We are not meant to go it alone.
2. It is in relationship with others where we grow the most.
3. We all have blind spots we aren't aware of that keep us...stuck.
What kind of support does a council give?
All kinds- physical, mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual.
How do we choose these people?
Great question. I will outline criteria next week.
In the meantime, start considering who may already be this for you and what kind of support you receive / want more of.
If this is new to you, begin to think about the type of support you desire.