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Archive for the ‘daily inspiration’ Category

Today’s my 42nd birthday. According to Douglas Adams of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the answer to “life, the universe and everything.” The real conundrum, though about this answer: what is the actual question?

That’s a little bit of what my life is: a search for meaning, for purpose, for answers. Since my path is transparency and authenticity, I’d like to “WholeSpeak” with you – to share with you some of my growth over the past year and beyond… and, if you’re in a stuck or growing place, I hope it might provide a little insight or inspiration.

From Being a Starving Artist to…

…So, things are going really well. This year I finally broke 6 figures in my business. But that really doesn’t make me jump for joy. I’ve always valued happiness and fulfillment over money. After all, I’m a theatre artist as well as a coach: self-expression and truth are of the utmost importance. Yet, a few years ago, I had to come to terms with the fact that I didn’t know enough about business, and that I was $30K in debt from simply under-earning. And I was frustrated and depressed that the world didn’t seem to appreciate what I had to offer. I won’t tell the whole story since this is a long email anyway, but I finally really did the inner work, shifted, and in 2 months’ time had like 8-10 clients a week – during the two weeks of Christmas and New Year’s!! Soon after, I started paying for a lot of coaching so I could make my results grow and be consistent.

All told, it took me around two and a half years to pay off $40,000 ($30K plus another $10K in coaching programs – I spent much more than that, actually, but used a small inheritance from my grandfather’s passing). The truth is that every online program launch was about paying off my debt more quickly. Sigh. And this summer it was DONE! It’s amazing to now have money in the bank. I can choose to upgrade my lifestyle to what excites and fulfills me more.

In sum: a few years ago I just wanted to pay my bills by doing my own work. Two years ago I had my sights on paying off my debt. And now that it’s done, the question is: what’s the life I truly desire?

Tired of Not Practicing My Art

For the past few years I’ve sacrificed my theatre work (doing only small, side projects, instead of big creations like I had been doing) in order to have a real business. But I chose this from a place of higher guidance, because I got the clear message that growing my coaching business would not just be financially smart, but also transform me… and it has. Yet, I’ve also felt like a poseur in my theatre community; it’s been hard on my ego.

I’m ridiculously impatient. I want to do everything *now* – theatre, workshops, writing 4 books… you get the picture. Plus, I became single again this year and am now dating… and want to find that one extraordinary woman… which takes focus too! So what’s next, and aligned, for my life and business?

What’s Coming Up Next

Yes, I’m a kickass coach (I’ve been doing it 17 years – I sure hope so, by now! 🙂  ) and people love my online trainings. But what excites me the most? Live group workshops. It’s where I shine. As well as speaking, performing, and creating theatre.

What this means is (drumroll, please)…

  1. Greatly reducing my private coaching practice, or possibly leaving it. Note: if you want to work with me but have been waiting, now’s the time. Yes, I’m a little scared to declare that! Much still has to unfold. Also, I’m not sure of the fate of my online programs (see below).
  2. Leading live events and workshops. Whee!! …Honestly, I get a little scared about marketing these, because I know my community is international – for which I’m ridiculously grateful!! Yet, will they fly out for something that I’m deeply called to create? I know, though, that the transformation that happens live is unparalleled, so it’s simply gotta happen.
  3. More theatre, performing and live speaking. While I love helping others shine, I need to more fully claim my own voice!
  4. Being far more provocative. The truth is that I’m a provocateur. Example: I recently bought the domain name “UnconsciousBusiness.com” (which would have the tag line “Business as Usual”) to create a parody site. I feel so strongly that the world needs to be transformed and uplifted – and I MUST speak my full truth, and deliver my true message.
  5. A new platform. My work is going to shift away from mainly public speaking (although it will likely still be a subset of my work), directly into the deep transformations that happen when people work with me… personal power, self-love, authentic and expansive self-expression, deep connection, and more.

I’m dying to share the details, but feel I need to keep it inside to cook a little longer before I reveal it publicly. What I can tell you, though, is that my framework is that transformation can be FUN. Imagine personal growth workshops where you have more fun than you thought possible, while growing incredibly in a safe space. Stay tuned.

A few key things I hope that are conveyed here:

  • You can create change in your life anytime. It’s accessible… when you’ve truly had enough of things staying the same… and especially when you choose to get help from an expert who really resonates.
  • Positive change (in business or in our personal lives) can happen really quickly – especially if we do the INNER work first. Otherwise we end up just blocking ourselves.
  • Live Your TRUTH! Listen to the experts… and then follow your own path.

So, there you have it. Thanks for reading this whole thing – I know it’s long. I’m hoping that sharing my journey may be helpful for yours. What steps would you like to take to be more true to your own calling and path? Please speak your truth, and inspire others – share your comments below.

I just returned from spending an amazing 3 days with 75 other top coaches at an intensive retreat in San Francisco, the Conscious Business Playground. I went knowing that we would be examining common practices engaged in by those of us who participate in conscious business (as a coach, practitioner or entrepreneur), and seeking to uplevel industry standards. I thought that I was already doing pretty well in this arena, since authenticity is a must for me, but I wanted to learn.

And I did. Boy, did I! So, I want to humbly share my experience.

Now, I won’t name all the names in the room for confidentiality’s sake, but you’d know many of them – all quite big names – business coaches, wellness coaches, relationship coaches, and personal transformation experts. And we covered many deep topics – both for our internal growth and how we do business – that contained room for all of us to grow.

For example, we discussed how newsletter marketing isn’t working so great these days, because trust has eroded in the entire industry. Most people just assume they’ll be marketed to, and not given actual value, so they don’t bother to open their emails (and thank you for opening this one!!).

If you read my posts from time to time, you probably know that I always strive to be authentic and real. It’s a super high value for me, to speak honestly, and as one human to another. However, when I really dug into it this weekend, I realized that a subtle energy of lack, and mistrust in the Divine, pervaded my motivations. Sure, my business is going very well. But I realized I was, on some level, wanting to control things. Like, if I didn’t use particular marketing methods that everyone else does and which I was taught (such as the format of sales pages, for instance, which I just dislike in general), I feared that people might not join my trainings – no matter the quality of my work. This subtle fear and mistrust surely gets conveyed energetically – and also means that, on some level, I perhaps haven’t been trusting the universal flow of energy, or my own value.

Shifting this, now, is already leading to a significant deepening of myself in relationship to my business… I seek to become even more conscious about every aspect of my business, at a higher level. To hold every single thing I do in highest consciousness, surrender and trust. And to make sure that I am likewise appreciative and fully respectful of you, and your path, too.

Why is it so hard to keep our consciousness raised around our businesses?

A big part of the problem, in my opinion, is that we emulate what others are doing. That’s not always a bad thing: I believe it important to know the path well-traveled, because it’s likely that it has worked for others. And, if we want do do things our way, it’s essential to know what works in order to deviate from it. Instead of reinventing the wheel, or trying to drive on triangles or cubes, we can make the wheel our own.

Another problem: for fear of things going badly, we can become risk-averse… and then we stop innovating, or even cease doing what we truly love.

This strain of thought may bring to mind certain newsletters or interactions that felt salesy or manipulative. However, this is the problem with trying to grow: it’s easy to critique what others are doing that feels out of alignment… but much harder to really look at our own stuff. 

So I pose to you, if you’re willing, an inquiry – the same questions I am asking myself:

  • What aspects of my business don’t feel aligned?
  • What practices have I learned from others that don’t totally feel right?
  • What would I like to make my own?
  • Knowing that making mistakes is part of the path, what seemingly risky ideas do I simply want to try, in order to make this path truly mine?

One of my other huge takeaways from this weekend was my deep desire to continue to forge collaborations and be in community. So I would truly love to hear your responses. Would you be willing to share some of your reflections?

If so, please comment below, so that we can all learn together. Thank you – your sharing will inspire and move so many others!

I hope my reflections and lessons I’m learning are helpful for you. May we all raise our consciousness further – in our personal lives and in our work in the world – to create the planet on which we wish to live.

I had the great fortune to spend the past few weeks in Bali, and wanted to share a little about my journey – and some insights that might be of service to you – for your business, for public speaking, with networking, or in your life.

Why Bali? Well, I was going to go to Detroit… and decided Bali sounded better. No, really: I was headed to Detroit to see my sweet baby nephew Luca and for a business workshop, when I realized that what I truly needed, and hadn’t had for quite sometime, was a vacation – a journey both outer and inner. And I desired a blend of the spiritual, adventure, and culture… and chose a destination I had always wanted to visit. It’s *amazing* how something that feels so far away can become yours so quickly.

One other qualifier: I desired a place I would enjoy going as a single man. I completed a long-term relationship this spring with a woman who was wonderful, but we had to admit it just wasn’t serving either of us anymore, despite our best intentions. While I’ve done a huge amount of healing and growth work during the past several months, and am in a truly wonderful place now, this would be my first time doing a long solo vacation in many years.

And… the past 3 weeks were utterly magical. I meditated and prayed in traditional ceremony in temples throughout Bali, seen incredible performances, and much more. It was also a process of inner growth: when I felt lonely, I realized I had left the Divine Flow, and remembered to return to it. Much of my trip was taking trust, and committing to the divine flow of energy in life, to an entirely new level. When I was truly in a place of trust, things flowed, I always met amazing people, and my cup truly ranneth over.

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How does this apply to public speaking?

In two ways, actually. First of all, our public speaking fears often arise when we don’t feel or trust the flow of an event and its energy. It’s easy to become afraid (either before or during an event) – afraid of what might happen – or to feel out of control by thinking that things are supposed to go a certain way. They generally don’t. That’s just not what life is. Lesson: let go of any preconceptions of how a speaking engagement (or, really, anything in life) “should” go. Instead, notice what is actually present. Know that everything is truly just fine – no matter what it is – and do what is called for in the moment. Then you never need fear again what could “go wrong.”

Second: we are never alone. Trusting the flow of life brings true connection. If you haven’t heard me talk about it, I totally geek out on connection; I’m a little obsessed by it. Because we’re never alone. We can be present with ourselves. There is Divine Source with us always too. And there are many other people around who are available to connect with – if we open to them. But we must begin by connecting with ourselves. Then we honor ourselves and have an inner foundation from which to relate to others.

And as far as getting clients is concerned… Connection is the heart of networking. True connection must be made – not superficial banter – in order to make contacts that become clients, referral partners, and friends (which I find just as valuable). If you haven’t heard my talk on networking, I bring a very unusual perspective on it, and am speaking about it on an upcoming interview.

I’ve now returned to the US, with a great tan, but far more importantly with a greatly enlivened spirit. Now that I’ve connected inwardly, and had an incredible journey, I’m renewed to be of service again. I’ll be leading a private training next week in LA, then have a trip to Colorado. Note: If you’re in LA or Colorado and want in-person support, email me to get just 1-2 session times available in either location.  

And, check out the offerings below for some great support and free resources.

EVENT: The Abundance in Business Telesummit

MY TOPIC: The Art of Connection: How to Make Networking Enjoyable, Meaningful and Profitable
Money isn’t the root of all evil. In fact it’s simply an exchange of energy. It’s essential to realize that being compensated in full for your work is part of the spiritual law of giving and receiving. Zahra Efan has brought together a series of experts who will help you if:

  • You think money isn’t “spiritual.” (You can’t share your deepest gifts with the world if you can’t pay your bills!)
  • If you’re feeling ‘not good enough,’ ‘not ready yet,’ or wonder ‘where do I start?”
  • You would appreciate an approach to business that integrates Divine Wisdom

Zahra’s experts, including myself, invite you to take this step now, not only for yourself… but for the world that is calling you to share your gifts.

Register here – yes, it’s free: http://zahraefan.com/cmd.php?Clk=5107983

You will love the grounded, earthy and inner transformation that will guide you…
before you jump into taking tons of action. (Take the right steps – not just random ones!) The result will be less overwhelm, more income and a life and business filled with ease and abundance.

Oh! And something else important: when you register, you get instant access to the Abundance In Business eBook: get it here

Get Your Niche On!
Look, here’s the deal: it’s far, far more difficult to be successful or attract a stable client base if you don’t have a niche. I work with clients all the time to help them clarify who they truly seek to serve – and spend time with – and to make a real mark in the world. Finding your niche is essential. Yes, I know you can help everyone. But there isn’t exactly time to. Where do you want to make your mark? Who do you deeply and truly want to serve the most? It takes time to find a niche – and most coaches and practitioners need to narrow their niche far more.

One of my very favorite coaches in conscious business – who specializes in niche-finding – is Tad Hargrave. If you don’t know him, please check him out. He’s doing three free 90-minute webinars (the same one 3 times) on finding your niche:

http://marketingforhippies.com/events/

Some of what he’s covering:

  • six reasons most people avoid niching (and why they’re not true)
  • the nine biggest niching blunders
  • four simple steps to identifying and honing your niche
  • lots of real life niche examples
  • how even something like yoga (that can help everybody) can be niched a bunch of different ways.

I find Tad to be totally down to earth (his business is called Marketing for Hippies, after all!), and some of my clients have worked with Tad and adore him. He’ll also be discussing an upcoming course on honing your niche, which you can check out here: http://nichingforhippies.com/

One last note on connection: Strategic Alliances

My friend and colleague, Tara Butler Floch, is putting on an exciting free webinar called “Savvy Strategic Alliances – 6 Steps to Creating Fun & Profitable Partnerships with Other Professionals.” This webinar will:

  • Talk about the 6 savvy steps to creating fun, profitable partnerships with other professionals
  • Dive deep into the first step of the 6 step process which is all about how to assess and choose the right professionals with whom to partner PLUS give you an interview guide to help guide you through the process
  • Discuss the common challenges entrepreneurs have in choosing the right partners

I have partnered with Tara, and I know this will be totally juicy – and inspiring. Sign up here: http://www.broadviewpreneur.com/strategic-alliance-call/?ap_id=wholespeak

No matter what, remember: connection, with yourself and with others, provides meaning as well as makes for good business. Take a peek at these great offerings to support you. And no matter whether you’re on vacation, at home, or in a networking event, trust that you are being guided forward on your path.

Most professionals and entrepreneurs who need to give a presentation, talk or speaking engagement will do some degree of preparation. Unfortunately, they prepare the wrong way! Many focus on their content, trying to get every word perfect, maybe making tons of last-minute changes. And others “prepare” by procrastinating. Finally, some will just look at their notes and mumble through it… but that also doesn’t prepare you adequately.

As well, I often get calls from people who get nervous when they speak. Or I get asked to help them craft a talk. Or they want to know how to speak “off the cuff,”  and to not be worried too much about what to say.

These are all signs of a lack of knowing how to prepare.  So, here are some important elements to keep in mind.

Know the core of your message. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter if you mess up  a little, or find the perfectly nuanced phrase. Simply stay in touch with the central idea or transformation you are trying to convey, and that’ll keep you on track.

Focus on helping and serving your audience. Place your attention on how you can be of service. Make it about them – not about you. This is your intention. When our intention is about being of service, rather than about our own desires, it can help us relax.

And, more than anything… warm up! It’s absolutely essential to have a great warmup routine. You wouldn’t run a marathon without a lot of stretching as well as eating right beforehand, would you? The same goes for speaking. Here are several elements to a good speaking warmup.

  1. Warm up your body. Stretch, move around, and practice body language like gestures and facial expressions. Speaking is a full-bodied act!
  2. Open up your voice. Do vocal warmups, enunciation exercises, diaphragmatic breathing, and more, to find the full power of your voice. Practice using different vocal dynamics.
  3. Warm up emotionally. What do you need to do to feel ready? To take care of yourself? To be present? It’s essential to have your heart in it, and to feel good.
  4. Get in the game. This would also be called your “mental” warmup, and could be done in part with the aforementioned focus on serving your audience. You can also do affirmations. I teach mindset shifts to my clients, and these are also helpful.

And, once you’ve done all of these, you can finally apply these to your presentation, and practice your talk. Remember that 50-80% of communication is nonverbal. So, focusing on everything but the words may also help it go well. Also, last-minute text changes tend to throw you off, not help; it’s  more important to get comfortable than get the words totally perfect.

If the above are a mystery about how to do them, keep an eye out for the Claim Your Voice training – it’ll make it all really clear.

What surprised you from these ideas? Or, what are your own ways you warm up for a talk? Please share and comment below.

Are you sick of feeling lack about money, and not knowing where to get enough clients? Or, perhaps you know… and yet it still feels like a struggle. There are honestly numerous reasons why holistic practitioners, coaches, and other conscious, spiritual entrepreneurs who are trying to really do good work in the world find themselves stuck and under-earning. One frequent issue: we are not aligned in our truth. This may show up as…

  • Using marketing or messaging techniques that feel forced, fake or salesy… because that’s what you’ve been taught or see others doing
  • Not having identified your heartfelt niche or calling that really excites and motivates you to move forward
  • Not standing in the true power of your work – which means you may be undercharging, or simply undercutting your value through unconfident nonverbal communication (so that others aren’t compelled to hire you)
  • Energetically not attracting clients who really would benefit from your work – and who you just love!
It’s absolutely essential to step into our truth. Into our power. And into absolute integrity.

This can feel like a really personal issue… that must be dealt with in whatever way. So I encourage you to ask yourself some deep questions, such as:
  • What feels really alive in your work in the world? What do you love?
  • Are there business-building techniques (ways of finding clients) you’ve been taught that don’t really feel good? What are they?
  • What’s really missing for you in your work?
You have the choice to be in alignment. It requires A) letting go of that which doesn’t feel right… and B) getting any help you need to step into what is your true path, and to be compensated well for giving forth your greatest gifts. If you’re working with the wrong mentors, it just won’t work. And you’ll know when you find the right ones, because it’s a much easier Yes (even if you feel resistant)… and they get you. The right ones don’t try to force you to conform to a prefabricated system, but make sure that it works for you. Overall, the questions boil down to this:

What feels out of alignment? And what help do you need? 
Please share, and write in comments below.

Blessings to you and to all of those who need your sacred work!
Jonathan 

P.S. It can feel really vulnerable to speak your truth on something like this. And yet, if you do, I guarantee you’ll be speaking for 100 people who read this and don’t write anything. And you’ll inspire them to be okay with where they are at, too. You aren’t alone. Please share!
 
P.S.S. If you’re really ready for a breakthrough, and want to get out of the rut, I’m forming an affordable “thriving practice” group to address these issues, and also work with clients privately on all of the above. Email me to express interest in the group, or set up a time for a complimentary breakthrough session, to find the option that’s right for you.

Have you been feeling a little… wacky… as of late? Lots of change is afoot now. I’ve noticed a lot of wild energy and mood swings happening everywhere – often very positive, and at other times just bizarre. Sometimes I’m feeling just incredible, and at other times I feel all over the place. Really weird! I wanted to get a sense of who else was going through this, so I just took a poll on Facebook, and almost unanimously found that people currently feel like they’re switching back and forth between being really centered and pretty off-kilter. Have you noticed yourself experiencing any of the following?

  • Vacillating feelings and moods (like, sudden bursts of fear or hope), or changing your mind repeatedly
  • Intense interactions; those around you negotiating dramatic issues, or even family members facing life-threatening illnesses
  • Increased feelings of doubt about your work, relationships or other important matters

Yes, it’s not just you. I’m here to tell you: you’re not crazy. And you’re not alone. (And if you’re not experiencing this at all, be aware that others might be.) This is the 2012 change energy at its peak. It’s here. So… what do we do with this??

Here are some exercises. These are great to help transform nervousness around public speaking into confidence – and also help us maintain our center in the rest of life.

  1. Get in your body. Stretch, exercise, jump up and down… you get the picture.
  2. Ground your energy. Send roots or cords into the center of the earth. Often. And, if it’s your cup of tea, upon Divine Source or the Universe from above, so you’re centered between heaven and earth.
  3. Witness the ride. If you use any sort of awareness techniques, like Vipassana, this a good time! Don’t be attached to huge fluctuations. Know it may keep changing for a while. If nothing else, just take a lot of deep breaths and focus your attention there.
  4. Postpone making big decisions. Since a lot is moving all over the planet right now, and it’s affecting everyone, you may want to wait until things have felt consistent for some time.
  5. Smile. Get some perspective, laugh a little, and know we’re on a roller coaster. Have a little fun with it, if possible. 🙂

Hopefully these will help. If you’re dealing with this too, keep breathing. And stay compassionate for your friends and family. We’re all in it together.

…Been experiencing this? Please share, and leave a comment below.

Routine is great. No, really: if we had to reinvent the wheel every single day, how could we get anything done? At home, we brush our teeth, eat breakfast, get out of bed… and that helps us function. And at work (even if you work from home), we go through our days doing what is needed.

Over time, though, we can start to lose passion about what we’re doing. When everything gets too set, it becomes a drag.

What if life could become a creative act, wherever you go? And even if you work for a large corporation – or even if you are an entrepreneur who works out of your basement – can you imagine if your day was infused with creativity and aliveness, while still being productive?

ACTIONS: 

  1. Let yourself vocalize today. Sing a little… make funny sounds! Dance, even – give yourself more expressive freedom to bring more aliveness to your day.
  2. Optimize your workplace performance by acting – playing a role – of someone who does your own job more efficiently, is even better, and has far more fun than you normally do! See what happens.
  3. Join me at the Creativity in Business Telesummit.

Had to tell you about this: I’ll be a featured speaker at this incredible online event, Oct 22 – Oct 31, 2012. It’s for entrepreneurs, leaders, executives, managers, learning and innovation officers, facilitators, trainers, OD and HR practitioners, consultants, coaches and others who want to be more innovative, adaptive, resilient, and expressive in the changing world of work.

Register for free: http://bit.ly/QzG6oS

Transformation and productivity have never been this much fun before! Wanna join me?

Recently my focus has simply been on self-love. Loving myself during my mistakes. Loving myself while I continue on this interesting human journey, with all its aspects. Loving myself, with compassion and care, as much as I do my clients, friends and colleagues.

Why is it so much easier to love others than ourselves? Although, anger and other negative emotions toward others are often a reflection of how we feel toward our own person. Interestingly, we often have the hardest time with those we know the best – spouses, coworkers, great friends… often can be the ones we’re also frustrated with. And, the one we know best of all (and, sometimes, understand the least) is ourselves. We judge ourselves, punish ourselves, and worse, for actions that we might have much more easily forgiven in others. Or, at least, in a small child who obviously would have known no better.

The step toward self-love can begin with witnessing and curiosity. Rather than just judging something you did, view it as if an aspect, or part, of you, was responsible for that. Imagine if the part who did an action you judge, or had a feeling with which you struggle, was a child. Would the most loving treatment be to yell at her or him? Would that help your inner sweet, innocent one feel safe?

Action: Write down a list of how you’d like others to treat you. Then, take an inventory of how you’re actually treating yourself. Begin to notice any gaps. And when you have a strong feeling, notice where you feel it in your body… and imagine as if that is part of you that needs to be heard and wants honoring and expression. Send a message to yourself, like…

“I hear you.”

“I care about you… and about what you’re experiencing.”

“I love you.”

After trying this, please note any experiences below.

This is a reminder that the Universe wants you to be successful, in all aspects of your life. Truly. All it wants to you do to get there, first, is to take the next step you need to open and grow.

Yes: The Universe – All That Is – wants you to be all  that you truly are, and to express it in the world.

We get discouraged. We feel alone. We think that it’s too hard, or that we are unsupported.

But this is simply forgetting. Support exists all around us. When we feel down, alone and depressed, we close down our energy, and isolate ourselves. Yet all we have to do is decide to Open, and to become aware of the radiant spark in all life, in all places, in every moment. And to let that guide us.

I write this to myself, both for the years in the past when I was really stuck, and for those days I am struggling. I write this to all I have own who I want to feel better. And I write this to you. Keep this for those days when you need it.

Because you’re not alone. Not really. Just walk outside. Walk down the street, and look at the faces of those you pass by. Choose to be present, and aware. Follow the subtle path.

And it will take you, organically, down the path that will lead to success. A new path – the one you feel inwardly – not that which society or others have declared. Truly being present and opening will be the win you have always wanted. Ongoingly.

Then, write your experiences below – please share.

 

Ahhhh, procrastination. It’s so easy to put things off – just…a little… more. Soon. It’ll happen. Right?

But of course there’s a deeper reason why it’s not happening. Very possibly fear. Fear of failure. Of being rejected. Of doing such a bad job that the ground opens up and swallows us whole. Hey, it could happen.

But it probably won’t. In fact, the only true failure is not doing anything at all.

Action: Whatever you need to do – whether it’s a phone call or a new project, or even exercise – do it badly. Just try it. You’ll learn from the experience, and the next time will be better.


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