Give Your Gifts to the Fullest

You were born with a unique combination of gifts that nobody else possesses. When you choose to use those gifts for the betterment of everyone around you, you optimize your own sense of fulfillment and enhance the energetic frequency of every being and situation you encounter just by freely expressing your authentic self.

Give Your Gifts to the FullestLooking to increase your sense of joy and constructive impact in the world? Here are some questions to help you identify your unique mix of gifts and talents so that you can spend less time struggling and resisting and more time JUST BEING YOURSELF.

  1. What do you like to do? Our talents usually show up as things we enjoy doing—those things that we become so immersed in, we lose all track of time. For some it’s singing or teaching. For others it’s hiking or accounting. Notice what you like and do more of it.
  1. What are you good at? Are you good with numbers or great at building things? Do you excel with a paintbrush or a spreadsheet? In what areas do you excel? Focus your energies in your areas of natural aptitude.
  1. What do people come to you for? When people recognize talent, they ask for more of it. Maybe people ask your advice on relationships. Or maybe they come to you seeking a shoulder rub. Being of service is a great way to share your talents and gifts.

Showing up with authenticity to live on purpose produces a life rich in meaning. You are a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. You are the only you we’ve got. You are a precious natural resource not to be taken for granted. The world is aching for you to show up fully. FIND YOURSELF AND BE YOURSELF! As Oscar Wilde once advised, “Everyone else is already taken.”

What will you do TODAY to better recognize, embrace and express your exquisite authenticity?

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Lasting Happiness Springs From Within

Have you ever found yourself over indulging or over working in the hopes of making yourself feel better? Did either work for very long? Did each sometimes make things worse?

Lasting Happiness Comes From Within

Lasting happiness is a byproduct of a deep sense of equanimity and joy that originates within. Relying on stuff, external circumstances or third-party approval for sustainable happiness is a slippery slope, bound to disappoint. Here are two keys for cultivating life long contentment and joy.

  1. Get to know yourself.

The only hope for finding peace in this life—not just comfort but deep abiding peace—is to be insatiably, fearlessly curious about myself.

Not just the attractive ways I show up—my kindness, compassion, wisdom, generosity, and humor. It is important for me to acknowledge those things, but it is not enough. I need to be endlessly inquisitive about all of it, especially the unattractive habits—my insensitivity, impatience, obsession, bitterness, anger, anxiety, and despair. I have grown the most and found deep abiding peace only by embracing the ugly parts as well: appalling thoughts, speech, and behavior. It all matters and must be considered in the mix—the good, the bad, the pretty, and the ugly. All of it acknowledged with courage, compassion, and love. This concoction of disparate and dissonant motivations and behaviors is what it means to be human.

We are all capable of the full range of human motivations and behaviors; none of us is exempt. Refusing to see any part of it, lulling myself into oblivion by clinging to an incomplete, distorted Polly Perfect self-image always leads to my undoing. The greater and deeper the denial, the longer and harder the fall because that which is denied will wreak havoc. Maybe not today or tomorrow. But the longer I look without seeing and hear without listening, the more I stand to lose.

The great irony is that I’m the only person fooled when I deny the full truth of how I show up. I broadcast it through what I say and when I am silent. Through the actions I take and the times I fail to act. Through what I cherish and what I reject. Through what I long for and what I fear. I am the only one kept in the dark by living a life of denial about myself.

One of the greatest gifts I can give anyone is having the honesty and courage to see and share myself fully so that we both might benefit from our shared insight, compassion, and good humor—failures, resilience, victories. We are here to help each other grow by sharing without reservation the only thing we have to give—our authentic selves.

  1. Fall in love with yourself.

One of the problems with not taking care of ourselves is that the effects are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work, and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day fifty pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else.

Bottom line? It’s not just okay to fall in love with yourself. It’s essential.

It all starts with embracing the amazing and liberating possibility that the love of your life just might be YOU. Many people tell me it feels selfish to think in those terms. That we are supposed to love and care for “our neighbor.” I remind them we are also supposed to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Many of us would end up in court or prison if we treated our neighbors the way we treat ourselves.

We cannot share anything of lasting value with others by giving from an empty well. When we learn to treat ourselves with love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude in each and every moment, then, and only then, will we find ourselves able to be of genuine service to others.

It is interesting that those who learn to fall in love with themselves are actually less likely to behave selfishly. Their joy and peace are contagious. They show up in their families, workplaces and friendships with a spring in their step and a zest for living that carries them, and those around them, forward in new and exciting directions.

What does falling in love with yourself look like? Remember the last time you fell in love with someone else? How did you treat the object of your affection? You probably thought about him a lot, paid attention to his needs, and treated him as if he mattered. Because, to you, that person did matter; he mattered a great deal. In fact, you probably became downright obsessed with every aspect of your beloved.

Falling in love with yourself looks just like that: paying attention and treating yourself as if you matter. Because you do; you matter a great deal. You are a unique cocreative expression of the Divine. You are the only you we’ve got. You are a precious natural resource not to be taken for granted.

When you fall in love with yourself, everything else finally falls into place. This transformation arises from a fundamental shift in your head and heart. Once love transforms your relationship with yourself, it can’t help but transform your personal life and work in ways that will exhilarate you. Your more constructive personal energy will automatically transform every being and situation you encounter. You will, by your very presence, quite literally, transform the world.

In every situation, love yourself enough to pay attention to every aspect of your life. Respect everything you are experiencing—what you are thinking, feeling, deciding, saying, and doing. Determine whether the energy underneath is love or fear. If it’s love, you are probably on your authentic path. If it’s fear, demonstrate compassion for yourself. Foster gratitude by reminding yourself that everything is an opportunity. Then further neutralize the fear by bringing curiosity to bear. Explore every aspect of the situation, especially your internal landscape, and identify all of the opportunities available to you through this unique experience. As with any new skill, practice will help this way of being become a healthy new habit—your automatic response to every situation.

When you chase it, happiness can prove elusive. When you give up the chase and turn your attention inward, you’ll find happiness waiting to greet you with open arms. Figure out what you want, understand whether it’s fueled by fear, transform any fear into love, set your intention, and then get ready to receive it, because it will happen. 

What will YOU do to invite greater happiness into your life TODAY?

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Living in the Realm of Infinite Possibilities

Have you ever noticed that when you’re worried about something, all you can think about is your problem?

Then sometimes, out of the blue, someone comes in with a fresh perspective, and your supposedly UNSOLVABLE problem suddenly has DOZENS of potential solutions?

You can be one of those “fresh perspective” people. In each moment, you create the kind of world you want to live in by the thoughts, beliefs and feelings you choose to fuel yourself with. Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!

You can limit your possibilities, constrict your world and SURVIVE in the realm of WHAT’S WRONG by only seeing obstacles, or you can multiply your options, expand your world and THRIVE in the realm INFINITE POSSIBILITIES.

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People who live in the Land of Possibilities are sought after visionaries and problem solvers. They still encounter adversity like anyone else but they are more efficient and effective at transcending perceived challenges and setbacks and helping others do so as well.

When you focus on finding the opportunities in challenging situations, you identify better solutions much more quickly—while having a lot more fun!

One of my favorite techniques during my 30 years as a management consultant was that, when you have a seemingly unsolvable problem, go back and reconsider what you started by rejecting at the outset. Identify all the possibilities that you didn’t really consider because you thought they could never work or that you would never do them. When you look at your self-imposed limitations with fresh eyes, an open mind and a renewed sense of insatiable curiosity, you often find the secret solution that’s been evading you.

You access your own inner brilliance by letting go of any limits. When you unleash your creativity by using your imagination to consider the most ridiculous, fantastic, out-of-left-field ideas, one of them will inevitably spark a new idea that will provide the answers you’ve been seeking.

What IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBILITIES will you PLAY WITH today?

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Creativity & Self-Expression, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When Life Hands You Lemons

At 18 years old, Bob Cox was a young, promising hockey player. He worked hard, practiced often and had dreams of one day playing hockey professionally.

Then one day while riding his motorcycle, he lost control and took a nasty spill. During the accident, his left arm was severed from his body just below the shoulder.

When Bob awoke in the hospital, the doctors told him that the damage was too extensive and that reattachment was not an option. At 18, all of his past dreams for his future were shattered.

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Grateful to be alive, Bob remembered that EVERYTHING—even an unexpected and painful experience—IS AN OPPORTUNITY. With a constructive mindset, Bob committed to learning how to live with only one arm. Though he knew that the ice was no longer a viable field of play, despite pain and setbacks, he still had a passion for athletics. So he took up golf.

In time, Bob developed his very own, very powerful golf swing. Today he’s regarded as a top player, competing professionally and helping amateurs and pros alike perfect their game. He also helps organize events for the Special Olympics, helping young people achieve their own “impossible” dreams.

Had Bob never lost his arm, he wouldn’t have discovered the unique opportunities that now shape his life. His “misfortune” became the path to inspiring others to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and step into their greatness.

How will YOU make lemonade from life’s lemons TODAY?

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Faith, Hope & Spirituality, Intuition & Intention | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Never Too Late To Turn It All Around

There’s an old myth that holds a lot of people back. That myth is that if you don’t start off on the right foot, you are doomed for failure.

While starting on the right foot can be helpful, it is certainly not the only determining factor for success. In fact, it is not even the most important factor.

Far more important than how you start is how you finish.

r2g-p5-ai7-Old-Medal-webHistory books are full of stories of people who seemed destined for failure, but somewhere along the way they turned it around and finished victorious. Every day, many times a day, individuals and organizations of all types are faced with what seem like insurmountable obstacles. But how they rise to the challenge is EVERYTHING.

The key to recognizing that every perceived obstacle as an opportunity in disguise is your choice of core energy. When I became serious about uncovering the roots of my own consistent frustrations and disappointments, I finally realized that there are two fundamental types of core energy: love and fear. When I examined the primary energy underneath any thought, feeling, word, or deed, I found love, fear, or some combination of the two.

Love is constructive and moves you forward. Fear is destructive and holds you back. Love is the author of truth and reality. Fear is the author of lies and illusion. At first, I didn’t always recognize them as love or fear because they didn’t always show up in my life with those specific labels. I found the terms to be nebulous, tricky, and easy to misunderstand. With awareness, persistence, and unflinching honesty, over time I was able to recognize love and fear masquerading under lots of other masks.

In trying to get a more concrete grasp on what constructive core energy might look like, I realized I understood its opposite, fear, much better because I had fueled myself with it for so long. With mindfulness and curiosity, I recognized that the many faces of fear could be synthesized into a four-part pattern that captured the most common guises in which fear showed up in my relationship with myself—contempt, judging, shame, and lack. I then employed one of my favorite writing technologies, the Microsoft Word thesaurus function, to find their opposites—respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude. With the help of the insight and clarity provided by those particular attributes of love, the light dawned, and I began to make real progress. Focusing on these four constructs helped me more easily answer the eternal question in every situation: “Is this what unconditional self-love looks like, and if not, what would bring me closer to that intention?”

The Many Faces of Love and Fear

The formula for making constructive core energy a way of life is simple to explain. In every situation, love yourself enough to pay attention to every aspect of your life. Respect everything you are experiencing—what you are thinking, feeling, deciding, saying, and doing. Determine whether the energy underneath is love or fear. If it’s love, you are probably on your authentic path. If it’s fear, demonstrate compassion for yourself. Foster gratitude by reminding yourself that everything is an opportunity. Then further neutralize the fear by bringing curiosity to bear. Explore every aspect of the situation, especially your internal landscape, and identify all of the opportunities available to you through this unique experience. As with any new skill, practice will help this way of being become a healthy new habit—your automatic response to every situation.

In summary, figure out what you want, understand whether it’s fueled by fear, transform any fear into love, set your intention, and then get ready to receive it, because it will happen.

Whatever your circumstances, love, respect, curiosity and compassion reveal and advance the highest good for all, in all, through all. And an attitude of gratitude fosters a life of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace and joy. Constructive core energy generates the optimal winner’s mix of discernment, perspective, flexibility, creativity, persistence and a whopping dose of humor. 

Every time you encounter a seeming challenge, quiet your mind, relax your body, open your heart, connect with your soul, respect and release your fears, embrace love, set your intention and step boldly into your greatness. Whatever path you choose, you will always finish a winner.

What MINEFIELD will you transform into a GOLDMINE with a shift in your energy today?

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Advancing Your Authentic Agenda

Ever invest an entire day (week, month or year) answering emails, reading reports and fielding phone calls only to end up feeling you didn’t really accomplish anything.

To make progress on the things that really matter to you—and not just spend all your time managing mindless minutia—you must be:

  • clear about your goals,
  • skilled at prioritizing the related tasks and
  • rigorous about minimizing the many distractions that could divert you from your authentic path.

r2g-p5-ai4-Really-Important-webHere are a few tips to help you in this process.

  • Slow down before you start.

Taking 5 minutes (or even ONE) to get centered before starting your workday will improve your productivity by at least 30%. Set a timer, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Once your time is up, dive in.

  • Refocus on your TRUE goals.

It is easy to get caught up with all of the expectations placed on you by others. Take a few moments to write down what you would like to accomplish this year, this month, this week, this day, this hour. When you structure your tasks around your core values and priorities, your work will feel more meaningful.

  • Remove distractions.

Remove or turn off all the things that will create distractions for you. This could be
your electronic devices, the TV, the dishes or a small child. Either remove the distraction or remove yourself so you can focus on the tasks at hand.

  • Maybe email can wait.

Opening your inbox can feel like stepping into a firefight. You can quickly become deluged with others’ expectations and demands. Many find that taking time to accomplish a few steps toward their own priorities before handling correspondence helps them feel happier and more productive throughout the day. Or conversely, some find that a strict 15 minute perusal of email for true emergencies first thing in the morning allows them to release anxiety about potential calamities, so they can focus on their priorities knowing that disaster is not looming elsewhere.

  • Keep your commitments.

Many of us are diligent about keeping our commitments to others, but have little or no respect for commitments we make to ourselves. Breaking commitments to yourself sends a message that you and what you value doesn’t really matter. To change this demoralizing and self-sabotaging habit, learn to set small “baby step” goals, complete them, appreciate your progress and give yourself a pat on the back. After a short while, your empowering new habit of baby step/gratitude/celebrate/repeat will help you make real progress toward the life you dream of living.

  • Stay tuned to the universal frequency.

A plan uses your current intuition and logic to discern where to go and what to do next. The key is to respect your plan while staying open to the Universe for additional insights. Rigid adherence to your plan can be just as undermining as disrespecting it totally. You will learn over time how to recognize the difference between fear-fueled procrastination and love-fueled percolation. When in doubt, set an intention for greater clarity, then relax and go about your business. Without fail, the Universe will respond.

What will YOU do to clarify, honor and advance your authentic agenda TODAY?

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The Illusion of Failure

Have you ever tried something and felt you failed? We all have. The more important question is “How did your response to that valiant attempt and perceived failure help you become wiser and stronger?”

When baby chicks are hatching from their eggs, they almost never break the shell on their first tap. They must peck over and over again to get the first crack and then continue until the shell falls away. If chicks never tried or gave up after the first “failed” attempt, their species would have become extinct ages ago.

Chicks’ repeated “failed” attempts at freedom allow them to develop the necessary strength and persistence to sustain life outside the egg. Like the butterfly who doesn’t benefit from being cut out of its cocoon, if chicks receive “help” in breaking free, they will die shortly after hatching because they won’t have the opportunity to build the strength they need to survive.

The Illusion of FailureIn your attempts—large and small—it’s essential that you give yourself wholeheartedly to the task at hand, knowing that you may not reach your goal on the first (or even fiftieth) time.

In your perceived failures, you’ve already gained more glory, strength and character than if you had stayed in your comfort zone, wishing, wanting and waiting for another safer day.

There is no success without experimentation. And, by its very nature, experimentation includes the unknown and unpredictable, so it means being willing to try things that may not turn out the way you hoped, expected or planned. Just have the courage and faith to take the next baby step in whatever direction seems best.

The sooner you eliminate all of the paths that don’t lead to success, the sooner you’ll find your authentically glorious path to greatness. Courage isn’t a lack of fear or complete assurance that all will go well. Courage means being willing to dare and fail greatly, knowing that every experience, however painful, is an opportunity to increase wisdom and compassion for your self and others.

Failure is an illusion. There are no such things as mistakes or failures. Only things I tried that didn’t deliver the result I expected in the way and time I hoped. But some of my greatest learning experiences have come from what looked like my greatest fiascos. Sometimes, years after the event, I can see how things not going the way I planned proved a better path for revealing and advancing the highest good for all, in all, through all.

And so it is.

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Posted in All My Blog Posts, Curiosity, Respect & Compassion, Faith, Hope & Spirituality, Force, Flow & Baby Steps | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment