the inspiration blog

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration

You may have recently seen me announce a 3-day workshop in November called WholeSpeak Core Intensive: Speak with Power and Presence. I was looking forward to leading this transformational event that teaches my proven methods to transform fear and nervousness into presence and confidence, as well as all public speaking essentials, with the support of my fully-trained WholeSpeak coaches. Having coached public speaking for decades, I know the power of the WholeSpeak Method: it not only teaches incredible skills – it also consistently changes lives.

And yet, I’ve had a hard time putting the word out. Every time I went to do it, I stopped in my tracks. Inside, the message was “No. Wait. Not right now.” While I truly was looking forward to a transformative 3 days, another part of me was saying no. As difficult as it was, being a man of my word who is committed to follow-through… I finally listened. I called the venue, all of my WholeSpeak coaches, and those who were thinking of coming, and said: the intensive will happen later, but not now.

What happened? Well, here’s the truth: recently I’ve felt like I haven’t fully living my purpose, and I can’t keep doing that. Let me briefly explain.

I’ve known since a young age that I’m on the planet to create transformation: all of my work (be it theatre, coaching, workshops or my writing) is for that purpose. Now, when people get help from me with public speaking, they’re definitively receiving professional skills… and also are stepping more fully into their authentic, fully alive selves.

However, primarily coaching public speaking has felt off-target… like a disguise for what I really do. All of my being is screaming for me to step into more overtly offering my work as intentional personal transformation, not solely as a professional development skill.

This isn’t new: I have taught performance-based workshops focused on personal growth since 2006, even before I founded WholeSpeak. And my Masters’ theses for both of my graduate degrees even helped me create a unique theoretical foundation, as well as a methodology.

I call this body of work “The Performance of Your Life.” It excites me to no end… and includes many teachings that are so dear to my heart, like workshops on Presence as well as the Art of Connection. There’s a lot more to say about it later… this email is really not intended to market it. I just wanted to come out and say what’s been going on.

Even though I’m known for being up-front and very open, sending this out (instead of just not saying anything, and quietly canceling it) was a scary choice, but felt important to do. During the past several years, I haven’t had a single “failure” (although my earlier coaching years were another story). And yet, I teach my clients to embrace failing – because taking risks is how we grow. Ironically, in this case, postponing the workshop was the bigger growth opportunity: it would have been better business-wise to do it as planned. But I made the difficult choice to risk disappointing a lot of people, and to heed the calling of my inner voice.

Note: if you’re in my community because you want to find confidence and unparalleled skills in public speaking, do not worry: that will still be offered, through coaching, workshops and online trainings. It’s not going away, and I’ll announce new opportunities for learning this soon.

And, if you were looking attending the November WholeSpeak Core Intensive but hadn’t been in touch yet, please email me back. There are other training options available (like coaching, online trainings, and small groups), and we’ll find the right one for you.

So, that’s my news… and now, I’d like to ask you:

What are you doing that isn’t feeling aligned? Are there aspects of your work you’re really done with?

What do you love that you aren’t doing? What calls to your soul right now? 

And, is there a way you can celebrate risk-taking and “failing” more?

I’d love to hear from you. Would you answer one or more of these questions below as a comment? Share, and join me in being “out” what what is really going on – and get support.

Warm wishes,

Jonathan

I’ve been going, going, going – both outwardly with all of the activities I named above, and also with deep inner work. While I do my best to also simply enjoy life, I also am constantly on a path of personal and spiritual growth.

While I think I’ve been doing fairly well at staying centered and not rushing, apparently I needed to slow down even more: yesterday I sprained my ankle. And this morning, my neighbor called me to tell me that I have a flat tire on my car. Hmmm.

Luckily, my ankle isn’t too bad – after all, my coach training program starts in mere days! But it was a message to look at how I’m operating.

It’s easy to subconsciously hold the belief that moving quickly, to grow our businesses, means that we have to be stressed and anxious, or even have a packed schedule. This really isn’t true. In fact, most people procrastinate a lot (which is really a block that can emerge due to various reasons, such as fear that we won’t succeed, the fear of rejection, or out of perfectionist tendencies). and don’t use their time well. Or, we can waste time Web-surfing or on Facebook – which feels as if we’re productive, when in fact our minds are just busy.

In fact, creating extra space, and slowing down, is a form of self-care that allows us to really get things done. This nurturing of the parasympathetic nervous system lets us prepare to take action. That’s right – it’s actually a functioning of the nervous system. We need down time in order to then be ready for action (or, a the sympathetic response). Incidentally, with speaking, publicly or otherwise, a pause functions the same way: we need silence to be able to hear the words better. And we need to take a pause to get ready to really move. Sometimes this is a moment; sometimes it’s a year of self-development and preparation, or focusing on other things.

Assuming you’re ready to get things moving sooner, are a few suggestions, to implement if you’re not doing them regularly:

  • Meditate. Do whatever practice works for you, or even just contemplate the sky.
  • Go for walks in nature. Nature energy rejuvenates, and provides space for action.
  • Move your body. Get out of your head, and just enjoy kinesthetic movement – be it dancing, exercise, heightened bodily awareness while doing the dishes, or other somatic techniques.
  • Laugh. Or, cry. Take breaks to just feel and express what’s needed.

By taking these moments to slow down and get present, you can then get ready to really move into action, and use your time more efficiently when working… and make sure you’re spending more time fully enjoying your life.

As for me, my ankle is already getting better – but, long-distance healing is very welcome. I can’t take those walks outside for a bit… but my dish-washing includes a new dance move!

How do you want to slow down? What works for you? Please comment below.

slow-downnnn

 

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you likely know I’m pretty obsessed with authenticity. Because I just can’t deal with people who feel really fake, or entrepreneurs and businesses that use scheming sales tactics, yet still attempt to label their efforts as “real” or “being authentic.” Ugh!

The thing is, those tactics used to work. But they don’t much anymore, because we’ve seen them in too many places. See, anything that’s a you-can-do-it formula will eventually become… formulaic. People see through it, even though the most well-intended, heart-based entrepreneurs fall prey to it. Whether it’s the tactic where the seller crosses out a bunch of prices and offers a really low “sale” price, or where they give a presentation that feels manipulative, the false premise is that they must do this in order to be a success.

And this simply isn’t true.

You can be YOU – the real you – and succeed.

I used to think, for example, that I couldn’t bring my whole self to my work. Like, when emailing my community I strived to be “professional”… and in doing so, I hid part of myself. What if they found out that I’m not normal?? Finally, I decided to have a “coming out” party… and announced to my list that I’m a deeply spiritual person. (Gasp!) And that it’s an essential part of my work (I’m an empath and an intuitive – so I deeply feel what’s happening with a client, and also can tune into what’s most aligned for them with their voice or with creating a thriving practice). This was scary. And you know what the big response was? Very little. Except that, the more I brought my real self out, the more I began to attract ideal clients. Cool, huh? The same goes for you. 

Authenticity is not…

A formula. Not that formulas are evil (not reinventing the wheel can actually save you a lot of time!), but you must adapt them to fit you.

A particular way of speaking. Any style dictated by someone else will not be your true voice.

Your habits. This is a tricky one: something may not feel authentic or “natural,” but that may be because it’s asking you to grow. This is true, for example, when I’m teaching clients empowering ways to breathe to support their voices more fully, or when expanding vocal dynamics.

Real authenticity is…

Being humble…and also in your power. It’s giving an offering from your heart, and doing your best, without trying to prove yourself.

Simply being present. You don’t need to talk in any particular style to be authentic. The less you try to be authentic, the better.

Staying open. If you receive your audience, or the other person, and honor them, you’ll more truly know how to respond in a real way.

Letting go. We’ve learned so many habits and patterns that go far beyond how we speak. It’s about our emotional makeup and our thoughts. And when we learn to release these, and find our true voice, we find our authenticity.

More than anything, authenticity is a path. In my experience, it takes time, and practice, and simple techniques, to release what isn’t truly us – so that we can let the golden sunshine of our true selves shine forth. And when you do, you’ll feel more at peace, more alive, and will become the true agent of change you were born to be.

And this is when your clients will come – and when your business will flourish. Because you’re just being you. Yes, business skills are necessary, but they’ll sign up because they experience the real you.

For me, authenticity is about frequent self-examination. Not in a scrutinizing, negative way, but in asking myself questions, about my behavior and how I feel internally: How am I showing up? Am I following my true path? Do I feel in integrity with how I’m speaking and interacting? Am I following formulas that aren’t me, and what might feel better? …While this sometimes may be a bit much, I am dedicated to embodying what I believe.

How about you? Other thoughts on authenticity? Please share your experiences, and leave comments or questions below.

Yours,

Jonathan

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?

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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