It is an honor to bring to you today my most recent video interview from SuzannahTV
where I speak with Founders Lisa Abramson and Vanessa Loder of Mindfulness Based Achievement
These are two high achieving women who are passionate about bridging business and technology with mindfulness and personal growth. The road to enlightenment was not always so easy as they had to feel the stress, fear and confusion that often precedes breakthroughs to finding an "Aha Moment" in our careers.
In this interview you will hear:
- The leaps of faith each of them had to take in leaving their high potential and high paying jobs
- How following the formula of success did not lead to happiness
- Tools to "Lean In" without burning out
- The typical challenges found in high achievers
- Amazing shifts that happened from creating "Goal Boards"
If you are interested, they have an online 6 week course starting this month and you can find out all of the
details about the course here
As always, thank you for being a part of this community and please forward this on to anyone you think it could benefit.
You've made a decision, taken action and then...crickets. The change that you want to happen just doesn't happen.
Why is that?
Today I bring to you a video interview where I may just be able to help you answer that. In my new video series called SuzannahTV
, I will be interviewing experts in various fields who can help you with your career development.
In this interview, I speak with Dr. Leslie Carr
who is a licensed clinical psychologist and relationship expert. She has just launched a new eBook called When Change Takes Time
. I recently caught up with her to discuss what this means for us in our professional development. In this interview, you'll learn:
- Ways you unknowingly create your reality based upon your beliefs
- How our culture over-emphasizes our biological tendencies
- Why formative experiences in our lives create limiting beliefs
- Steps you can take to shift limiting beliefs
Enjoy and as always, please share if you found this to be helpful!
We would rather be ruined than changed. We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die." - W.H. Auden, Anglo-American Poet
Yesterday I watched a particularly eye-opening episode of Super Soul Sunday
where Oprah interviewed best selling author Steven Pressfield
on the topic of resistance.
In this episode, Oprah was inquiring about the book "The War of Art
" which is about how to overcome the obstacles of ambition and how to reach the highest levels of creativity. (I have not yet it read but it is now at the top of my list). As you'll see in the video clip below, Steven talks about how there is a natural force in our lives that he calls "resistance". He says it is just as natural as the force of gravity. It is what stands between where we are now and reaching the next level of our soul's evolution.
The reason this concept struck me is because it is exactly what I have been struggling with lately. I have felt for some time now that it was time for me to take on the next challenge. I have felt called to have a wider impact and to step into it. But I have been resisting. Big Time. Resistance has shown up for me in the form of excuses:
- "You'll get around to creating that online course when your client load slows down."
- "Is it even worth the effort to create a membership site to create community amongst people and provide resources? Who is even interested in that?"
- "A web show? How are you going to make money from that? Seems like a waste of time."
- "Well, if you are going to do a web show interviewing people, you have to hire a professional video team. Where are you going to find them? And do you even have time for that?"
On and on it goes. Resistance.
And I have fallen prey to it. Deciding that the excuses were right and made sense. And yet the inspiration to create and build and grow keeps showing up with equal force. So there I am stuck in the middle of these conflicting forces pulling me in two directions.
It has left me torn. Stuck. Sound familiar?
When I heard Steven say that the more important an activity is to our soul's evolution, the more resistance and fear we will feel
, I knew exactly what was happening to me. Every fiber of my body is trying to stay in my comfort zone. Because the next level of impact for me means scaling my business to include online courses, membership sites, videos, webinars, etc. All ways that I can be of more service to more people. And ways that I create a lifestyle and schedule that works for me.
It would mean me playing a bigger game. It would mean me fully exploring my potential even though I am not entirely sure of the steps. And even though I could fail.
And yet I am presented with one question. One big juicy question. Do I believe in myself?
The answer is yes. Perhaps not an emphatic jumping up and down yes. But instead a quiet and resolute yes. Yes, I do.
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing. From this hour, I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines." - Walt Whitman
So here I am dedicating time to write to you. To write for you as much as I am writing for myself. And after I finish here, I am creating my first online course on Udemy
. I bought a lapel microphone and camera tripod on Amazon to record web shows.
Navigating that space between where I am now and my soul's next evolution is what Brene Brown calls Daring Greatly
Will you join me?
A client with whom I share the opinion that The Alchemist
is one of the most influential books ever written, recommended that I read Warrior of Light
which is the manual companion to The Alchemist.
As my kids were running around me playing Superheroes with each other, I picked up the book and started flipping through the pages. One of the passages caught my eye as it perfectly encompassed the mindset I see in my most successful clients. I wanted to share it here with you:
A Warrior of the Light carefully studies the position that he intends to conquer.
However difficult the objective, there is always a way of overcoming obstacles. He seeks out alternative paths, he sharpens his sword, he tries to fill his heart with the necessary determination to face the challenge.
But as he advances, the Warrior realizes that there are difficulties he had not reckoned with.
If he waits for the ideal moment, he will never set off. The Warrior requires a touch of madness to take the next step.
The Warrior uses that touch of madness. For - in both love and war - it is impossible to foresee everything." - Paolo Coelho (Warrior of the Light)
I have learned so much about people in my work and what distinguishes "Warriors" from the rest of the pack.Plain and simple it is mindset. My clients who thrive control their mind. (Warrior)My clients who struggle let their mind control them. (Victim)How does one cultivate a Warrior mindset?
It takes practice and dedication. In my opinion, there is nothing more important to learn or cultivate than the skill of controlling your mind.
I have by no means mastered this art but I can tell you that I have committed myself to practicing it daily. Here are a few places you can start to cultivate this Warrior mindset:
And finally a quote to live by:
- Embrace failure - (Read The Talent Code for science behind this)
- Commit to a decision before you know everything you think you need to know
- Never stop educating yourself (The library is my best friend)
- Strengthen your faith
- Treat every occassion as an opportunity to learn and grow (Especially the hard occasions!)
- Do not be paralyzed by your weaknesses but instead make the most of your strengths
- Practice gratitude daily
- Be a slave to your dreams and not your fears
- Align yourself with faithful companions who can make you stronger
“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
You might think that the answer would be one of the below:
- Financial Stability
- Personal Growth
Those are all deemed as very important by employees but the number one thing that clients tell me that they want is meaning.They want to feel that what they do is connected to who they are.
That their natural talents and their skills will have an meaningful impact on a company/product/cause/person.
We all want to matter. To feel that what we do matters.
It's not happiness per se, it's feeling fulfilled. Feeling meaning is what we really want.
This is why I am officially launching Corporate Training & Development
services to my business.Why this matters to you:
- Want to know how to better engage your employees?
- Want to feel that what you do reflects who you are while staying at your current company?
- Want to know how to manage your time more effectively so that you can focus on the work that matters to you and will have an impact?
- Want to learn how to communicate more effectively so that you don't have tension on your team?
I've created a training and development curriculum for your workplace that brings out the best in each of you and in turn improves the bottom line.
This curriculum was designed and inspired by having spent the last 6 years with inside look at the mindset of both the engaged and disengaged employee. It was created to meet the needs of every level of the organization because each of us matter. Programs to support a company "culture of meaning":
1. Company Workshops
- One hour workshops designed to further your employee's skills in professional development on topics such as productivity, effective communication and authenticity at work.
2. Executive Coaching
- O ne-on-one customized and ongoing coaching program dedicated to help you achieve personal and professional goals as an objective sounding board.
3. Leadership Training
- 6 month one-on-one program designed to maximize leadership potential, establish an inspired company culture and improve employee retention. Who is this for?
These programs are ideal for companies who:
How you can help:Create introductions
- Value building company culture and developing their leaders
- Are looking to grow their toolbox of skills in professional development
- Want to maximize employee performance and retention
- If you are connected to anyone who could benefit from these training programs, please pass on my information and website
. Ideally, I'd love to talk with Human Resource teams and/or Executive team members looking to grow their company culture.
Thank you in advance and look forward to talking with you!
All of my best,
Last night I attended a talk by Jack Kornfield
at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
. Jack is a leading Buddhist teacher and one of the first people to introduce mindfulness to the west. I have admired him for some time so it was great to hear him speak live.
He talked about something that had been on my mind lately so I took that as a sign that I should write about it today. I believe in the collective conscious and know if I'm thinking about it, there are others out there that are thinking about or feeling the same thing. It's about embracing our true nature. Fully being who we are.
The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." -Joseph Campbell
I can tell you that this is a lesson that has been presenting itself to me almost on a daily basis lately. It has shown itself in both beautiful and difficult ways.
As many of you know, I recently did a talk for Stanford University on How to Create Your Personal Brand
. The experience was so wonderful for me because the team at Stanford was so incredibly skilled at executing this presentation. I had talented people designing my PowerPoint presentation, writing scripts for how the flow should go, creating marketing strategies leading up to the event, directors working on the video, etc. My job was to create the content and deliver it well.
It was to embrace my true nature and my talents and everyone else did the same. Normally, I'm fumbling by myself making an ugly PowerPoint presentation, racking my brain trying to figure out effective marketing strategies, etc. It made me think of a symphony, every instrument plays such an important role yet each role is so different. It is the combination of sounds that makes for an incredible piece of music.
You see, that's it.
So many times I'll be playing the violin and looking over at the drum player thinking to myself, "She's so good at the drums... Why can't I play the drums like that? I could never play the drums... The drums are so much more important and valuable than the violin... Maybe I should learn how to play the drums instead..."
And on and on the inner critic goes.
But I'm not supposed to be playing the drums!!! If I did, that would throw the whole orchestra off!Why don't I embrace the violin and become the most incredible violin player?
As Jack Kornfield said in his talk last night, we each incarnated into these bodies and these personalities. Our bodies are like rental cars. We are borrowing them for a unknown amount of time and then we turn them in.
So take your car out for a spin and see what she can really do. Embrace your nature.
Get in the game.
You wishing you were someone or something that you are not is doing a disservice to the rest of us.
And most importantly to yourself.
I want to hear your instrument. It is what makes my instrument sound better. It is what makes the music of life sound so beautiful.
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown
This morning I had an epiphany. I was given the opportunity to "get it". To have a peek into understanding the bigger picture. I have my four year old son to thank for that.
I had told my son yesterday that we were going to go to The Exploratorium
today with his Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt and cousins. I had shown him the video of the place on the iPad yesterday to get him excited for what was to come.
Then when he woke up this morning, I told him we weren't going anymore.
The look of disappointment on his face broke my heart. I got it. I knew how he felt. He had anticipated the day going one way and then the rug was pulled out from under him. There was nothing he did wrong or that he could have done differently. It was completely out of his control.
He was disappointed.
And that feeling sucks. In my opinion, I think that might be the worst emotion to feel.
But that wasn't my epiphany. I already knew that. I'd already felt that. I can remember many occasions growing up feeling disappointed for not getting what I wanted and throwing an absolute fit over it. (Sorry Mom and Dad!)
My epiphany happened later as I was given the opportunity to raise myself above the situation and dare I say, understand God/Universe whatever you want to call it.
You see after I told him that we couldn't go, we went upstairs and I put on our favorite song Can't Hold Us
and we danced. My 1 year old daughter and I spun around in complete joy to this song. We ate ripe summer peaches. We ate pancakes. I told them that instead they were going to go a Bouncy House Indoor Playground today with their babysitter. I found a library story time for us to go to together when I got home this afternoon.There were new reasons to be joyful everywhere we turned.
But my son couldn't see it. He sat in the corner and pouted and glared (yep, that move came from me!). He stayed attached to what wasn't.
Listen, he's 4 years old so don't for a second think I'm expecting him to behave any differently. I am writing this for myself more than anyone.
We sit in our grief, regret, sadness, anger, disappointment from the past when there is joy available to us NOW. It's everywhere. We make a CHOICE to not see it and instead sit in what did or didn't happen to us in the past (the past includes one minute ago).
What he couldn't see was the bigger picture of WHY we couldn't go. There were a lot of reasons that I changed my mind. The biggest of all was that I had to work today. I thought I could take the day off but I now have a great opportunity in front of me that I have to dedicate time to.
Is it more important than spending time with my family? Not when you look at it at face value but when you look at my responsibility to support him financially, it is.
There is always something bigger at play. We just can't always see it.
That is why we have to trust. Have faith that there is a reason. That our disappointment may just be the greatest gift ever given to us.
I don't know what will come of this opportunity for me but maybe it will bring great success which will enable me to be able to take him on the vacation of his life. Maybe he had to sacrifice going to the Exploratorium today in order to be able open the door to something so much bigger and better.
Maybe he sacrificed today so that I could write this blog post to you all today and that will in turn affect one of you in a positive way. The truth is, I don't know. But I trust. I have faith.
I want to acknowledge setbacks, notice how they make me feel and then redirect my awareness to the joy that is everywhere around me. In my morning latte.In the song that stirs my soul. In the unabashed laugh of my daughter when I spin her around. In my son's air kiss to me from the window as I drove away.
Everywhere there is joy.
Everywhere there is disappointment. It's up to you which you choose to notice.
There is a theme I have been noticing lately. Both in myself and in my clients.
It is practicing patience.
We want what we want NOW.
The dream job. The partner. The success.
Now. Now. Now.
And why shouldn't we? Everything else we want we get immediately.
Amazon has same day delivery.
We watch an entire tv season by streaming it on our computers in one sitting.
What we want, when we want it.
All of this is wonderful.
Except...How is it hurting us otherwise?
While technology allows things to come to us more quickly, what about experiences?
The experience of love?
Websites like match.com have built a business around this. Want to meet the love of your life? Find them NOW by scrolling through a database to choose from. You could be on a date with them tomorrow!But can you expedite love?
Can you speed delivery a sense purpose?
And what about success? Can that be overnighted to you?
To answer these questions, I turn to one of my greatest teachers, yoga.
I've been practicing yoga for 12 years now.
And this week, I was able to do a pose for the first time.
It's called Crooked Sage or Eight Angle pose. (Pictured below via yogaposes.es
- not me in the picture!)
I would say that 12 years is a pretty long time to achieve something.
Could I have done this pose in my first year of yoga? Probably not.
It took a whole set of experiences for me to lead up to it.
I had to build strength. Confidence. Determination.
I had to fall down countless times so that I could know exactly what felt right and wrong to get myself up into the pose.
There was no way for me to get into this pose unless I practiced patience.
Unless I trusted that everything comes in due time.
And what about if we look to the greatest life teacher of all?
“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” - Lao-Tzu
Nothing in nature happens immediately.
It is all a process.
Things are nurtured. They take time to grow. There are cycles. Seasons.
How do you apply this to your life today?
How can you practice patience today?
To me, the answer always comes back to trust. Faith.
Walk the path one step at a time.
Do the work.
Trust that what you are meant to discover or achieve or experience awaits you.
It just can't be delivered via Amazon Prime.
“Success is a function of persistence and doggedness and the willingness to work hard for twenty-two minutes to make sense of something that most people would give up on after thirty seconds.” - Malcolm Gladwell from Outliers
I've had my iPhone for a few years now and while it still "works", it's broken.
During client meetings it rings even though I have it on silent.
It multiplies my voicemails.
It says that I have text messages when I actually don't.
The list goes on.
But I've gotten used to it.
It still bothers me.
But it's what I know.
My husband reminds me (a nice way of putting it) daily to get a new phone.
I know I should.
But there are other reasons I haven't yet.
There are so many steps to getting it replaced. I have to upload all of my photos on to my computer. I have to call Verizon and check my plan. I have to make time to go to the store. I have to get a new case.
2. Not convinced it will be that different
In my mind I'm thinking, will a new iPhone really be THAT different? Yeah, it won't ring when on silent but it will eventually do that so what's the point?
Not only am I thinking about how much it will cost but if I'm really honest with you I'm actually waiting until I've "earned" a new phone. I've set milestones that keep shifting until it's okay for me to splurge and buy a new phone. Or I'm waiting for my phone to completely die where I don't have a choice but to get a new phone.
I know that all of you are bright enough to see the parallels with how you view your career similarly to how I'm viewing a new iPhone.
The human mind fascinates me.
The web of stories that we create for ourselves to keep ourselves "safe" from change.
But I can speak from experience that with each experience that I have walked away from that was no longer serving me, amazing opportunities opened up to me.
And each time I was scared.
Each time I had excuses why I should keep doing what I was doing.
Each time I didn't know if the next thing really was going to be better.
But as I look to people's careers whom I admire, I see a similar trend.
They are constantly evolving.
They are meeting with people, challenging themselves, engaging in new activities, learning and trying new things.
They see each new challenge as an opportunity for growth.
I believe it's time for me to "evolve" my iPhone and trust that it's time, it will be different and that I deserve it.
Last night I went to a Mumford & Sons
concert. (My FAVORITE band!)
As I sat there at the Greek Theater in Berkeley watching the sun set over the Bay Bridge and San Francisco listening to the music and feeling the energy of everyone around me, I felt pure joy.
What gave me even more joy was watching the lead singer of the band.
He was so in his element. Singing. Playing the banjo. Playing the drums.
As he sang one of my favorite songs, "Awake My Soul", I thought that is exactly what that song calls us to do. Awake our own souls.
I turned to my best friend and said, "Can you imagine him doing anything other than what he's doing? Could he ever be a lawyer or an investment banker? This is so what he is meant to do."
She said, "Don't you think that someone with that level of talent would have such a strong burning desire in them to perform that they couldn't do anything but this?"
I answered, "I would hope so but I don't think that is true."
And then I thought of all of the clients that have sat across from me over the years.
The aspiring filmmakers, artists, writers, chefs, designers...I've seen how this desire to create is literally fighting to come out of them.
And instead of embracing it, they fought it.Fears, doubts, "shoulds", rational thinking & obligations all stopped them.
I am not bound to win but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed but I am bound to live up to what light I have." - Abraham Lincoln
What happened to that "burning desire"? It had nowhere to go.
So it manifested itself into anxiety, anger, depression.
How did they deal with these emotions?
They numbed the emotions - eating, shopping, drinking, you name it.
In every winter's heart lies a quivering spring, and behind the veil each night waits a smiling dawn." - Kahlil Gibran
Think about yourself and others that you work with.
How can you cultivate a culture of embracing the creativity that is inherent in each of us?
If you do nothing else, support someone you know who has a dream.
Connect them with someone you know who could help them.
Help to create an environment where they can express their creativity.
Because you never know if there is a dormant rock star amongst you.