the inspiration blog

Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

I’m in Boulder, Colorado for a week, where I’m starting development of a new one-man show. I did one of my graduate degrees here at Naropa University, and returned  to work with an old friend and collaborator. It’s my first new solo theatre piece in a good while… and so exciting to be diving back in!

At the same time, it’s also scary and intimidating. I always take on topics where I don’t have all of the answers. My last show was about Jewish identity, and my new show is about being a man. Pretty big topics, which can become quite overwhelming.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed whenever we’re doing something new – because we don’t know the twists and turns of the path. When we’re still trying to figure it all out, we can feel swept away or off-course. And it’s hard to see the destination when we’re mid-river. When we don’t know how we’ll get there, it’s easy to hesitate, question what we’re doing, and procrastinate… or even give up out of self-doubt.

The fact is, if we’re doing something new, we seldom have a map of how to get to our destination. At best, we can follow others’ advice or strategies; yet, we have to take the journey ourselves, and make it our own. This is true with our businesses, and our lives – whenever we set a new goal, it’s always an adventure – which sometimes feels like stumbling around in the dark. Yet, there’s always a flow to it.

This is also true with public speaking. Even if you’re giving the same signature talk for the umpteenth time, every time you do it is different. Your audience is different… the room or surroundings likely change… and current events have shifted. In sum, the energy will be unique every time. 

Which is why it’s essential to be present. (Tangential reminder, if you haven’t heard me say it before: presence is the art of being fully present.) If we’re present, and open, and listening, we can feel what’s needed next. You might slightly change how you word what you say… or you could change the delivery. If you’re tuned in, and going with the flow, it gets easy. If you resist and try to force things, you may drown; but if you let go, the river will take you where you want to go.

Going with the flow means trusting you can handle anything that happens. In other words, you don’t need to have any fear or nervousness, because you know you can deal with whatever arises. 

Whether in regards to a speaking engagement, with our businesses, or in other areas of life, things seldom go just as we plan or as we expect. But in that moment when the river changes course, we can listen inwardly, look outside to what is going on, and tap in… and we can do what that moment needs.

For speaking, of course, a fair amount of preparation is needed. It’s essential to have a wide toolset to draw upon, so that you can adeptly handle anything that happens. And it takes skills and practice… which is what WholeSpeak coaching and workshops are for. Stay tuned for announcements of some powerful workshops happening this year.

When times are challenging, what do you do to get back in the flow? Please leave a comment and share.

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Happy New Year! Today’s typically the day for discussing resolutions. We all know there’s a trap in saying we want something… and yet it not happening. So let’s discuss another term that often traps us: potential.

Right now, “potential” is one of my least favorite words. I have so many big dreams for what I want to do with my life’s purpose and work in the world… that it can start to feel like a burden after a while. Feel familiar? I’ve also experienced this with dating. We can feel a lot of love, connection, commonalities, and potential for a life together… and yet find ourselves struggling due to whatever dynamics are present. The potential is real, but is not what’s at hand.

Focusing on potential keeps us stuck in possibility – and can even prolong suffering. While it’s good to dream, it’s very different than actually choosing to take action and bring something into reality.

Similarly, we may judge ourselves as not having potential, talent, or the ability to do something… even though we actually can! It’s often our beliefs about ourselves that get in our way. In this case, our perception of potential is a negative and limiting trap.

Whether it’s in reference to yourself, a relationship, a job, or anything in your life, here’s my suggestion: forget about its potential. Instead, decide what you actually want to happen. To create.

Here are a series of steps that I’ve found to be helpful:

1)   Examine your current circumstances. What do you want to change, or bring into being?

2)   With that in mind, look at what you’re willing to take action on in the immediate future. Don’t think too far off. And your goal can be a stretch, but make sure it feels exciting, and not too big that it weighs you down. (You can always do this exercise again in the future with bigger goals – so just what truly feels like the next steps right now.) You may want to go into meditation, and ask Source to provide you with insight – but also really listen inwardly as well. What choices make your body and energy feel lighter and freer?

3)   Acknowledge outside circumstances that are beyond your control. Know what you absolutely can’t change. Often, this is another person, unless they want to and are ready. Note areas that feel intractable… and look at steps 4 and 6 to make sure that’s true.

4)   Figure out where you need help – and then research and utilize outside resources. Find out where you need assistance. There may be more possibility for bringing things to fruition than you currently realize, and we need help with areas where we’re not experts (unless we want to take a really, really long time). This could mean reading a book, looking into a loan or grant for personal or professional uses, or getting support from a coach or professional, among other things.

5)   Make an action plan – and do it! Get as specific as possible, with small steps that are doable – not big goals that are intangible. There’s a difference between “get a job” or “get a client” and “go to 2 networking events this week, and follow up with new connections.” And if that’s too hard, simply researching networking events is a good step – or even turning on the computer. Break it down into whatever feels doable.

6)   Get help with your blocks. Nothing to be ashamed about here – we all have them. Whether with a therapist, healer, coach, or perhaps a skilled friend who knows you well, let go of the illusion that you can do it alone. We all need support.

7)   Celebrate! Even taking little steps is a big thing if you haven’t been doing them. Give yourself little rewards, and be kind to yourself.

You may think of other steps you need as well; this just a template that I hope you find useful.

Now, the truth is that I’m really writing this for myself. And hopefully it’ll help you too. I’m committing to doing this with my life. Want to join me? (I’m pretty busy with other projects, but if there were sufficient interest, I’d consider starting up what I call an Inspiration Team – so that we can do it together. This isn’t a pitch; I just like to be of service.)

What would you like to create in 2014? I’d love to hear about it, and to hear your thoughts on my pretty unconventional take on potential.

Please leave your thoughts below in a comment. Blessings for a joyous, prosperous and wholly fulfilling 2014!!!

Every single thing we say matters. It doesn’t matter whether we express our thoughts to our loved ones or the grocery store cashier: at any moment, we have the potential to help others or to harm them. And, of course, this includes how we talk to ourselves: it’s essential to really love and support ourselves as if we were our best friend.

And… bringing our message to the world is also incredibly important. Public speaking is not only how we can change more lives at once – it’s also the highest paid profession. And an incredible means to keep creating greater livelihood, dependably and consistently.

When you are in touch with your message, that is part of your life purpose, you are fulfilled. And, so is your bank account – a pretty nice benefit. Why? Because when people see you, and see your message, you receive in return. This is just how it works. You can receive as much as you give.

While I don’t normally use this forum to share other resources, I’d like to let you know about a free training you can attend, to learn how to write a powerful presentation that’s life-changing… and even income-generating. Just click here to register, to hear the live call or the recording.

You’ll learn powerful tips for making any speech, for any occasion, be more transformational

Are you ready to be your real, authentic self? Want the shortest path to being authentic? It comes down to one simple thing:

Stop doing everything you’ve ever learned to do to be successful.

Woah!!! What?? Am I serious?

Pretty much. The dealio is that we’ve learned particular ways to act in the world – basically as survival mechanisms. And we think we must do them or we’ll die. (OK, that’s not totally true: much of the time they’re so deeply embedded that we don’t need to think about it at all. It just happens.)

But our true, authentic selves lay beyond these mechanisms. Which means that we have to de-program ourselves from what-we-think-we-need-to-do-to-survive/manage/cope/win. We have to stop following what everyone else is doing… and even stop rebelling (which has its own limitations).

When we start to let go, and get present, we then can start to find who we really are.

At least, that’s my 2 cents. What’s yours? Comment below!

(And if you haven’t yet, join me on The Authentic Entrepreneur Speaker Series!)

There is a door. Large, heavy, even foreboding. Impenetrable. Many have tried to enter; only a few have been able to master the door’s secrets. Yet the solution is simple: those who have passed through have each possessed the key.

The key looks neither unusual nor uncommon. It is simply a key. And opening the door is not complex – but it cannot happen without the key.

When someone desires to open the door, they have a task: they must copy the key. And so they go off to the locksmith, who provides many choices of keys. They vary in shape, size, color… some even have writing on them, “Do Not Duplicate.” In the end, no matter the appearance, they will all be used the same way: to open.

The look of the key doesn’t open the door. It’s the skill of the locksmith who crafts they key. All start out blank, an open possibility.

We cannot blame anyone else when we cannot open the door. Because our hands are the ones that shape our keys. Many paths lay open to us, and while the keys look different, there is only one door.

Generally, it is easier to shape our keys after someone else’s. There is no shame in that; others are quite happy to help. We can choose to do it all by ourselves – but it may take much longer.

We are the key.

And we are the door.

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.

Oh, boy, am I lapsed on my dear blog, which I love so much. And yet I’ve had to make hard choices recently, as my schedule has become loaded with amazing projects, around which I pursue on a daily basis. Yet The Inspiration Blog has daily remained on my mind. So I think I can simply start to share some of what’s going on.

Since it’s been a hard choice to put it aside temporarily, let’s talk about that. How do you go about making a difficult choice? Here’s one possibility:

Do what you love.

If it’s in your heart, it’s calling to you.

But there’s another possibility:

Go where you need to grow.

If something is unfamiliar – if it’s your edge – that’s a good place to start. The comfortable always beckons for us to return there – but won’t take us anywhere new. Your soul needs new experiences to move forward in life. It thirsts for it.

Action: The next time you’re unsure of what to do, choose what’s most unfamiliar, and be patient with yourself.


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