One of the great things about re-invention is that I get to re-connect with a lot of people I’ve enjoyed working with in the past. Yes, the current re-invention is driven by necessity: I need to find new ways to put more flow into my current cash stream. But that doesn’t mean I have to be a dull boy about it. Quite the opposite.
First as a driven man seeking the truth and diving into the mysteries of the unseen, while trying to make sense of our social landscape, my mind, emotions, and spirit have experienced more than a decade of conflict, desire, purpose, passion, failure, disappointment, hope, despair, faith, love, and a multitude of others. I feel good about these experiences, and I feel good about who I am, and I feel particularly good about the spiritual wisdom that I have been blessed with and how it seems to magically channel through me in moments of inspiration when I work one-on-one with someone. Discovering the richness of life is to have all of these experiences, to have all these emotions, and to experience conflict and achievement. As I've done this work one-on-one, it has been echoed time and again this past year that people want what I have to offer. As I've tried repeatedly to prepare, as I would normally in any business endeavour, my attempts have come up short. This January 2007 as I shared new conversations and inspiration to new people, their words echoed again the same request. Instead of trying to prepare, I recognized with their feedback, that it is in the moment - In Spirit - INSPIRED. With this realization, the steps have begun and I will show up and I will speak in interactive conversation style to small groups who are seeking the same inspirational insights that have blessed so many of these past conversations. As my audience empowers me with their focused attention, the gift of spirit blesses all of us with exquisite bits that will bring more juice to life. How do I know? So many testimonials from people who have experienced it. And I am grateful to be able to do that which brings me greatest joy. Without an audience, without inspiring and uplifting, without speaking and letting this power find its way into the world, I feel dead, useless, and unfulfilled. It is my calling to inspire and see you bring fulfillment into your life.
We spend a lot of time talking about who we 'want' to be. Social change lingo is permeated with phrases like 'walk your talk'. But as we commend ourselves in our healthy aspirations to be the best we can be, we must also continually check in with who and where we actually are in our development as human beings. In other words, we have to know and accept who we are in order to become who we want to be.
So who are you? The first step to improving your relationship with yourself is to really examine your relationship with yourself. Take stock of how you perceive yourself. Simply, take a good honest look in the mirror of your mind, and describe what you see. Of course, in any self-exploration exercise where deeper truths are being uncovered, the reflex for self-judgment is inevitable. The point here is NOT to render judgment; it's simply to get to know yourself a little more deeply than perhaps you knew yourself yesterday.
1. Take a self-inventory Ask yourself, "Who am I? Why am I here?" Either in a journal, or a private document, or speaking into a dictator, depending on how deeply you get into it, try and set aside at least half an hour to brainstorm. Try completing the sentences:
i. When I think about who I am, what comes up is .. ii. In order to sustain myself, I need … iii. My values are … iv. What I dislike is ... v. For the future, I hope for … vi. I'm afraid of … vii. I want to…
Hold current issues in your life – specific relationships and events – in mind as you answer these questions. The key to this exercise is to be as honest as you can. Notice what you're proud of, and not so proud of; what comes up that is hard to admit, and what maybe goes against an idea of who you want (or don’t want) to be. We all have growing to do in some way or another, so, just for this exercise, let yourself be just as you are.
2. Try out a personal/professional coach Some people have a gift and a passion for helping others succeed in their lives. They make themselves available to be used as tools for self-discovery, goal-planning, and decision-making. Having an outside person listening and reflecting your personal exploration can be tremendously valuable. Coaches have a great reputation for listening for 'blind spots' and often specialize in overcoming barriers to personal success.
3. Try out a psychotherapist Distinct from most typical coaching, a session with a therapist is usually less about reaching a goal and more about more clearly seeing things as they are. Today, the classic idea of the ‘head shrink' is no longer what therapy is about. We've learned that our individual personalities are quite unique, and our complex thoughts and emotions are not reducible to textbook psychological disorders. There are however, some patterns and tendencies that seem to be just part of being human. A skilled therapist understands this, and can help to guide you into a deeper understanding of just who you are (and perhaps how you got that way!). This can be a very freeing and energizing experience, and do good things for your relationship with yourself.
4. Find a new 'edge' Our lives can become quite routine and comfortable. If we have our routines really well set up, it's not uncommon to develop a false sense that we have it ‘all figured out’. A lack of humility only makes us slow and inhibits our ability to respond to the unexpected. It's good to be in touch with your 'edge'. If you're a closet musician, go to a weekend voice workshop or take a music lesson; If you've been neglecting your body, try a yoga class or rock climbing, take a dance class; Test your brain with a mind-puzzle or learn a new language; Test your interpersonal edge by interacting with strangers; volunteer at a soup kitchen; take a writing or public speaking class; express your ideas in an online forum; address an unspoken/underlying issue in your most important relationship; Make a slightly higher risk investment than you're used to; Write a letter to the government; See if you can sit still and quiet for 10 minutes or longer.
5. Reward yourself The fact that you're even reading this shows that you care about yourself, that you want to improve your relationship with yourself and presumably with the world around you. Show yourself that you care by treating yourself to something you really enjoy. Allow yourself to relax whatever self-imposed restrictions you've placed on yourself for what you're 'allowed' to do or have. Take a break and fully enjoy whatever indulgence you decide upon, whether or not it's 'too' expensive, or full of calories, or not on par with your regular sustainability standards. A healthy relationship with yourself is the foundation any approach to sustainable living.
For some of us who grew up with siblings we have vivid memories of how our parents handled fighting. Some of us remember always being the one who was blamed; others remember everyone being punished regardless of who the instigator was and some of us remember our parent getting so angry, the fighting only escalated. Over the years, I've often heard adults say they still hold a grudge against their sibling. What can we do to ensure our children grow up respecting and liking each other?
There aren't a whole lot of behaviors that test our patience as a parent more than temper tantrums. If we're over tired, over scheduled, or over worked, it's often the last thing we want to have to deal with. Some children have them on occasion but many children have them regularly.
A common theme over the past 20 years has been how much children have changed from when we were growing up in terms of how they show respect. I know that for the most part in the 1960's, anyone in a position of authority commanded respect which included parents, teachers, police officers, principals, bosses, coaches and anyone else we viewed in some way as a person in authority. We in fact were taught to "obey" and do as we were told; no questions asked. Many of those people did command respect but unfortunately many of them abused their position of power and felt they were licensed to say and do whatever they wanted simply by virtue of the position they held.