Sing It Loud, Sing It Proud!

We are all born as musical entities. Some of the first communication between parent and child is in the form of a melody. For some cultures the music is more a part of who they are than others.

We are all born as musical entities

When a woman of a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, goes to the jungle with other women, and together they pray and meditate until you get to “The song of the child.”

When a child is born, the community gets together and they sing their song. Thus, when the child begins his education, people get together and he sings his song. When you become an adult, they get together again and sing. When it comes to your wedding, the person hears his song.

Finally, when your soul is going from this world, family and friends are approaching and, like his birth, sing their song to accompany it in the “journey”.

In this African tribe, there is another occasion when men sing the song. If at some point the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, take you to the center of town and the people of the community form a circle around her. Then they sing “your song.”The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, it is the love and memory of his true identity. When we recognize our own song, since we have no desire or need to hurt anyone.

Your friends know “your song”. And sing when you forget it. Those who love you can not be fooled by mistakes you have committed, or dark images you show to others. They remember your beauty as you feel ugly, your total when you’re broke, your innocence when you feel guilty and your purpose when you’re confused.

Tolba Phanem, African Poet

In our American culture, the music is not always so clearly a part of our lives. Not to the extent of the example above, anyway. One memory keeps me enthralled, however. When I worked as a respiratory therapist, part of my job was assisting with problem deliveries. I was there for over 200 births!

Some were fine; nothing to write home about, but occasionally, the baby was in trouble and had to be put into a NICU or Natal Intensive Care Unit. The therapists on night shift (including me) used to fight to go to the NICU on our lunch hours to help hold the babies. There was a nurse who ran the NICU that I loved to pieces. She had spent over 20 years as a military nurse (yes, she was in Korea in a M*A*S*H* unit, was tough as nails when it came to dealing with all of us and the doctors, but hand her a problematic infant and she was all gooey and mush.

She told us that there were studies done that proved that babies at risk did better, got stronger and went home with their families sooner when they were held, rocked and sung to. So that’s what we did. We held the tiny tykes, we rocked them and we sang to them. Anything was fine, any melody, any words, they didn’t seem to care, but they did respond to the human voice and closeness and they did thrive.

What are you listening to?

We all have a personal DJ playing old scratched records with commentary that have the volume turned way up so we can still hear our Original Song under all the noise. But in straining to listen to it, we still hear and process the scratched and warped sounds, too.A word here about your Original Song, each one of us has one. We were born with it. The lyrics and the cadence are the basic rhythm of who we are and who we become in our lifetime. No two songs are the same, although they can be similar.

The phrase about marching to a different drummer is more profound than we think.Just as with your favorite album that gets scratched because it’s played so often, during the process of growing up, socializing and being human, a lot of noise is recorded and laid down over the master track on the record of your life.

Sometimes there’s harmony, sometimes it’s just scratches and odd sounds. The problems arise when we listen to the noise instead of the master track. It’s so easy to get lost in a counter rhythm which is actually someone else’s song they want us to sing instead of doing it themselves.

Are you living on Oughta-Pilot or are you truly following your own dream? Are you singing your own Original Song or a parent’s, teacher’s or friend’s?Sometimes we’re distracted by a complete stranger’s song that we resonate with.

When we can’t distinguish our own any longer, it’s possible to mistake another’s melody for our own and we dance happily to it for a while until one day we wake up and realize that there’s just that “something” that’s missing from it and we begin a new search.And then, one day, we meet someone or hear someone who shows us how to polish that scratchy old record until the noise is not so distracting.

It never really goes away, but once we can hear the first few notes of our Song once again, it’s so much easier to hear the rest of it and ignore the scratches and the dust specks.Are you ready to polish your record? I have some great stuff to minimize scratches and bring out the beautiful notes of your Songs.

What is your Original Song?

What is your Original Song? Can you still identify it if you hear it? Or are those old records that your personal DJ playing in your head all the time so scratched and warped that the original melody is completely obliterated? You may think your song is gone, but I assure you it is not, Listen for it intently when you’re faced with a choice. It’s there. I promise you. And if you think you’ve forgotten what it sounds like, let me sing a few bars for you to remind you sometime. I’ve been given the gift of hearing your Song.

Of course, it may not actually be a song, but instead what I call your Original Song is a metaphor for your life’s path, It could be if music is your dream, but yes, I can uncover what you were born to do and I do it with several tools I have developed as well as those I’ve found that are complementary.

Let’s schedule your Personal Discovery Session where we can explore this more in depth.

Partnerships Of Excellence

Partnerships Of Excellence – not just for business anymore

I am an only child. I am a solopreneur, I do a lot of my work alone. Well, sort of.  You see, I have built Partnerships of Excellence to help me out.

What are these Partnerships of Excellence and how do they happen? I define PE’s as relationships where others who do what I cannot do well out of natural ability and love of the task working with me in a relationship for mutual gain.

Loosely translated that means I find people who love doing the things I’m less than effective doing, create a relationship with them and enter into a partnership where my skills help them and theirs help me.

Here’s an oversimplified example: You have those people who are amazing at writing and do it as effortlessly as breathing. The writers can’t balance their checkbooks to save their lives. They would go in search of people who love balancing checkbooks and don’t give it a second glance since it’s so easy for them, but can’t write a sentence that makes sense.

These two hook up to create a Partnership of Excellence and both win — the writer writes and the checkbook balancer balances checkbooks.  Both are happy and both are much more effective because they’re doing what they love and what is natural for them instead of agonizing and pushing to complete tasks they hate and which take twice as long because they’re so repugnant.

Here’s another example: Think of this in a relationship – One of you loves to cook, DVRs hours of The Food Network for your day off, and writes up menus in your sleep, but hates to clean the house. The other is an unapologetic neatnik and would rather clean than do almost anything else but can’t boil water without burning it. Do you see where this is going?

Partnerships of Excellence. They work.

In business, these are critical. You cannot and should not be expected to do everything well; why waste your time doing what frustrates you and stresses you out? Don’t you have tasks you just HATE to do? Of course you do. Finding others who enjoy doing those same nasty tasks and offering to do the things they hate to do, providing you’re better at them,  is just good sense.  All it takes is a conversation to find out where assistance is needed.

So take inventory of what needs to be done and see if there isn’t someone you know who can do the things you don’t do well and needs and WANTS what you can offer.

One caution – this has to be a PARTNERSHIP, the pendulum has to be perpendicular for it to work. Ethics and fairness must play a factor.

Scarcity Mentality in Abundant People

Tracking The Trends

One of the things I like to keep track of is trends. I see patterns and trends in almost everything. I don’t do a whole lot with most of the ones I see, but I just watch them with interest.

One of those trends is among those speakers and so-called gurus who are so often telling you they’ve made it and you can, too, if you just buy their products and attend their workshops yet obviously slant their materials to push you into a quick fix sale.

In the interests of ethical authenticity, I advocate you buy MY products and attend MY workshops, but I am the first one to tell you I’m still working on my million dollar idea.

The trend I notice, though, is how many of them don’t last. I get hundreds of weekly emails, very few of which do I pay attention to any more, unless I specifically know the person sending them knows what they’re doing.

When I see a “recognized expert” who touts their six and seven figure income, yet has sales, blog and website copy that comes from a scarcity or fear-based mentality and pushes buttons that feed into even more scarcity and negativity, I know they’re only going to be around for a few months, maybe a few years at best. I’m sure you’ve seen the ones I’m talking about – those that offer something for sale/download and to get to the site you have to go through nine screens of “Wait there’s more”, “You’ll only see this once” or even, “If you miss this opportunity, you’re losing money”.

There’s Only Enough For Me

What is scarcity mentality? It’s the belief that within a given population, there’s only so much money and if it doesn’t make its way into your pockets, you’re going to starve or some silly thing like that.

Kahil Gibran writes: “to be thirsty when your well is full is a thirst which is unquenchable.”

I’ve seen this ideology most clearly up close and personal as a traveling artisan. It’s amazing to me how much time and energy is wasted by festival vendors who think the only way they’ll have a successful event is to get every single person in their booth to buy from them. They complain and carry on when they think no one is listening about the customers who are looking at someone else’s goods, or – oh, perish the thought – carrying a purchase they made elsewhere!

Are You A Sock Lady?

The ultimate demonstration of scarcity mentality was always the sock lady. Have you ever been to a flea market or festival where there’s one booth, usually a huge corner booth, with about a thousand pairs of socks, some underwear and other miscellaneous clothing items that’s usually run by a single person who never smiles and is always looking for one more sale to make his/her day complete? A sock lady can be male or female, but the attitude is always the same.

I began noticing sock ladies about 10 years ago when my husband and I were learning our vendor skills by trial and error at festivals and flea markets where we set up. This particular vendor was a very small, Asian woman, with a well-worn visor over her gray hair. She never smiled, never had anything good to say to anyone, especially the other vendors. When you’d ask her how things were going, she’d always tell you things would be better if only the weather was better, the crowds were thicker, it wasn’t so far from payday, if only…

And all this while she was accepting handfulls of cash from customers buying dozens of pairs of socks at a time!

We had the “interesting” experience of setting up next to one of these people at one of the events we were at and vowed never to again. Not only did it make the 6 hours we were there seem an eternity, listening to the person gripe and carry on, but the feeling that there should be more sales and a dissatisfaction with what was before us, spread throughout the booths closest.

When we started out, my husband and I were happy if we made our booth fee back and could pay for dinner on top. We were really happy idiots having the time of our lives just being out in the fresh air and dealing with the people. We had an almost child-like innocence in those days that made every set up an adventure and every sale a gift. We weren’t making money hand over fist, by any means, but the ultimate goal was to have fun.

That was also when we learned that when we focused on the money we would make (as in we have to make $200 for rent or counting the cash box early to see if we made enough for x, y, or z) our sales instantly stopped and we had a horrible time.

But everywhere around us were sock ladies whining about the weather, the cost of something or some other problem instead of focusing on being of service to those who were buying their products.

This “Sock Lady Mentality” of scarcity is also apparent  to me when I see some of the emails and ads online. If you’re selling anything – information, workshops, or coaching – any time you focus in on the money aspect, you lose. We all want financial abundance. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing, but it doesn’t need to be the end result. There really is more to life.

There IS Enough To Go Around

The biggest lesson I learned those many years ago was that just because you don’t have what someone is looking for at the moment, by offering to be of assistance and even perhaps referring them to someone else who can serve their current need, when it’s time for that person to buy what you offer, they will probably think of you and your service first and purchase at that time. And it’s not just with a selling relationship. All relationships have abundance and scarcity sides to them. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Give and Take”?

The cycle doesn’t take that long and the benefits are huge. When you think there isn’t enough to go around, you set up a palpable energy that will ensure that thought process is true. And if you’ve proven it once, you hold onto the experience and prove it over and over again, citing the original experience as dogma.

I’m very conscious of this paradigm when I’m onstage or beginning a new coaching relationship. There has to be a time when you’re exploring possibility, setting the parameters and creating the framework for going forward that focuses on abundance, not scarcity. I see and hear my peers talking about The Law Of Attraction. All the furor over this “new” idea makes me smile. It’s really just the Law of Cause and Effect in a different guise.

Don’t be a sock lady. Enjoy what you’re doing, focus on the goal not the process and you’ll not only enjoy the journey, but so will others around you!

Everything Unlike Itself

Or why is this happening to me?

Even though it’s only mid-January, this month has been full of interesting observations. I’d like to share a few of those with all of you!

It’s been a belief of mine for quite awhile now that when you choose something big to do, be or have, and then you live in that possiblity, everything unlike what you have chosen shows up first. The fashion in which you deal with those challenges that occur determines how soon you will realize your ultimate choice. Does that make sense? Let me give you an example.

About 30 years ago, I wanted a safe place to live and raise my daughter. I always have believed in Visualization and things like Mindmaps, Treasure Maps, Vision Boards and the like so spent a lot of time with my daughter finding just the right attributes and putting one of these together that we could focus on to create our ultimate home. Within a month, we’d been evicted and living in an emergency shelter in Gilroy, California! Not what I’d had in mind at all. But I had not come to the level of wisdom about the process at that time, and got caught up in needing to “survive” as well as the drama of the whole event. Did not do well in handling the situation, I admit, and it just continued to get worse because all we were focusing on was what appeared to be happening. We got caught up in the “little r” reality of day to day happenings. We lost sight of our dream and it was never seen again.

Six years ago, I decided to try the home thing again. But this time I was older, I was wiser (I like to think) and I was ready for whatever showed up. I focused on what the bigger picture was instead of the little stuff.

This time, the home we were renting was foreclosed right out from under us. While I was on bedrest with a broken leg, we had to pack the house and find something, which turned out to be a motel for 6 weeks hubby, myself and the dog! What was different, however was we didnt give up on our vision. Regardless of what things looked like, we kept believing in what we had asked for. We weren’t sidelined.

What I’m saying is this – we are such funny creatures as human beings. I don’t know why we do what we do to ourselves, but I’ll leave that up to the philosophers and psychologists. We have such deep-seated beliefs that we cannot have what we want without a struggle that we go to great lengths to create those barriers to our own happiness. Once we take responsibility for the beastie that shows up to scare us and rattle our complacency, we begin to learn that creating dreams IS possible, that it doesn’t take trauma to integrate a change.

If working on your dreams is something you want to do, we can talk about that. Book an appointment for an Insights Session today and let me know you’re interested in the DreamBuilding program.

“Wait” Is A Four-Letter Word

How many times have you had to put your dreams on hold because you had another so-called “priority”? And how many times have you thought that you had a shot at finally being able to start that business, learn how to paint that painting, begin working on that album or anything else you’ve toyed with doing only to have to put it away once again because “the time wasn’t right”?

How many times have you had to —— W-A-I-T?

You think you finally have worked hard enough, long enough and sacrificed enough to be able to coast for a while and work on your dream and WHAM! something happens and you have to pack away that precious that you just took out of its protective wrap, lovingly dusted off and set out to grow.

Don’t ya just hate it when that happens? I know I do.

For a lot of us this is a syndrome we are more than familiar with and some of us have even become resigned to the process. But what do you do when the dream takes the lead;  when your dream refuses to be pushed aside any longer?

How many times have you thought to yourself, “When is it my turn?” as you watch your family grow, your significant other pursue their passions and there you are, still holding your breath while you, and there’s that word again, W-A-I-T.

So frustrating, so gut-tangling, so demeaning! W-A-I-T-ing. Yuck!

Ok, so why do you do it? How does waiting to follow your passions serve you? I suggest it must somehow or you’d find a way out of it. When you get to that point when, as a dear friend of mine put it, you “reach that point up with which you will not put”, change happens.

So what are you, gulp, W-A-I-T-ing for? When will you begin? What’s the payoff to avoid taking the plunge? This is your passion we’re talking about, not someone else’s! How long have you secretly nurtured this dream? And what have you done to call it to you and keep it in existence?

Aha! That’s more to the point, isn’t it? It’s very easy to keep a dream at arm’s length, wishing it would happen to you, wondering what it would feel like to experience xyz, but all the while doing what you’ve always done because it’s safe or because you can’t bring yourself to step off that precipice. I’m going to share something with you… it never is easy. Your dream will never come to you while you do what’s safe; in fact, I don’t believe it will ever come to you at all! You have to take action, make a break with status quo and make that leap of faith.

Planifest Your Future

Here’s a new word for you — “planifest”.  What is planifesting? As the Created Life Dictionary defines the term, it means to create a structure or a plan of action that calls a dream into being. When you planifest a dream, you begin with your vision of the dream already created, manifested and real and you look backwards to see what you did to make it so.  Once you know what that looks like, you create benchmarks that will ensure you do the rest of the steps and after a bit, voila! Your dream is before you.

This also means that you can see the smallest step necessary to get the process started and take it. You don’t have to do everything at once, you don’t have to have the end result just plop right into your lap (although I love it when that happens – it does sometimes!)

So let’s shift what it means to W-A-I-T. Let’s see….

Wisely contemplate

Accumulate data, experiences and build expectation

Invest in yourself/investigate options

Take action

Sounds better, doesn’t it? How about reframing the experience of W-A-I-T-ing into one of preparation, study and forethought?

I mean, face it. Sometimes you have to do things that are less than exciting. And sometimes, others in your family need to be given priority. That’s life. But you cannot and need not surrender who you are and what YOU want.

Dreambuilding for Someday

Just do a little more research into what it will feel like, smell like, sound like when your dreams become tangible. Do some dreambuilding.  For example: My daughter dreams of being a chef and someday owning her own restaurant. She spends her days reading cookbooks, planning meals and trying recipes. We have an appliance store here in town that has beautiful kitchens already set up. We took a picture of her the way she will be someday and now she can keep that in front of her to bring it into focus.

So my friends, dream on and dream big. You get to set the parameters, you get to set the stage.

Happy W-A-I-T-ing!

Five Ways I Will (NOT) Screw Up 2020

This meme started by Andy Wibbels (@andymatic on Twitter), and an incredible blogmaster. He’s the author of the GoBlogWild blog. It first started circulating in 2009 (that I know of) and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it. Sounds like it’s time to get it going again.

So here goes:

Five ways I will not screw up 2020

1) I will not stop just short of success – I have had a habit in my life of bringing brilliant ideas to life, busting my hump to make them happen and then just when they’re on the brink of becoming reality, I find another bunny rabbit to chase. I will follow through and complete at least one idea all the way.

2) I will not try to do everything myself – This year I will learn to ask for help when I need it and give up the ego that makes me think I have to do everything myself.

3) I will follow my heart instead of my head – My head is where my Oughta Pilot lives in the voice of my mother telling me to do this or that. My heart knows better and I need to trust it more.

4) I will create a plan and stick to it – one of my mentors had me do a 3-month plan. What a tough exercise for an entrepreneur – I tend to like to chase bright and shinies, but the first week has worked so far and I’ve gotten a lot more done.

5) I will work the tools I’ve started, re-evaluate them and discard the ones not working – Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and all the other social networks where I have created profiles. Too many, I fear, since it takes me so much time to manage them all. I will choose the top 4 performers and work them effectively.

So, that’s my five, want to play and add your own?