Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Photo Shoot

It was a  Wednesday morning.  The day of my first professional photoshoot. I’m sharing this is because I made a powerful, conscious shift.

I’ve been exploring a new direction in my coaching practice. You’ll here more about that in the coming months. There is change-work for me to do. Continued success requires a new way of thinking. 

I like to think of things in terms of values. What’s important? How do I want to show up? As I explored those questions the answer was simple and clear. Powerful. Successful. Aligned. That’s what my inner state needs to be.

I needed photos taken for my new website. I wasn’t looking forward to the experience. I hate having my picture taken. Oddly, it was a significant hurdle. It was also my first opportunity to step out as an expression of my new brand.

I worked with my coach to choose the photographer, we chose the one whose work is best.  I found the idea of him intimidating. At his suggestion I put together a playlist that supported the right mood for the photos. I did a lot of visualization work, often with the music playing, so that I could reframe the fear that came up. 

I had a good sleep the night before and a quiet morning that day. Before I knew it the car was packed and I was heading out to the studio. Tom, the photographer was laid back. He made me feel comfortable, but kept things high-energy. 

We talked about the qualities I wanted to bring out. We added Fun. My butterflies turned to excitement. I was ready to go. I was just goofing around. Listening to my happy, energetic music. Expressing what the  brand means to me. I got some instruction, and, we laughed a lot.

I shifted by working on being powerful, successful and aligned as I moved though my day to day life.  I focused my spiritual practice on exploring and expressing those qualities. It is a great example of how spiritual work can help us with very practical things.

Have you had an experience where spiritual practice, or focus, has helped you with a practical goal? I’d love to hear about it.

Connect with Brian

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One Step Forward

  Sometimes we need to allow one door to close so that another can open. It is just as important when we are moving into a new way of living as it is when we are trying to release an old behaviour.

Once you’ve set a goal, reflect on what the goal represents. What part of your life will the goal shift? How much energy you are still using to support your old ways?

We all have limited energy to work with. Recognize, and honour your limitations. Focus on the important  things and use your energy for them. If what you’re trying to accomplish is significant you won’t have enough resources to focus on old behaviours.

Career changes are a great example. Particularly for entrepreneurs. I am currently rethinking my coaching practice. I won’t have the time, or energy,  to run both practices for ever. I’ll need to cut ties with my old business so that my new one can flourish. 

Doing that can also be a powerful way to create a success mindset. At some point you must burn your bridges. By letting go of the security they provide you create a deep need to get to the next step. If you manage the inevitable stress you will push into your new reality.

Giving up security can be difficult. You may loose some relationships that you value. If your change is  profound enough, you will have to shift too. Let go of the old you and be ready for a time of uncertainty. This identity crisis will allow a new you to step out into the world. 

Significant change requires you  to transform. Every area of your life will be impacted. Consider the impacts before you start to shift. There will be surprises along the way,  but at least you’ll be ready for what you can see coming. 

Do you agree that cutting yourself off from the security of where you were is the best way to push yourself froward?

I’d love to hear why, or why not.

Connect with Brian

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Developing Your Character

A good  life depends on good character in all of your dealings. It is the little day to day slips that lead us into bigger trouble long-term. How do we maintain the best character possible when the Universe is challenging us to develop?

Good character, caring for ourselves and others, being ethical and big picture focused, is a process of ongoing growth. Evolutionary periods are times when character slips are most likely. We can get us angry, lash out, make questionable compromises. If these slips become habits they can set us back significantly. 

Ifa divination makes it easier to avoid the pitfalls. But, even without it, you can recognize a growth phase, and be extra cautious. 

You will feel pushed whenever you start to grow. Things will go sideways with disturbing regularity. You’ll react strongly to things that normally wouldn’t bother you. You’ll feel stressed. But challenges provide opportunity for growth. Rise to the occasion by putting everything you’ve learned into practice.

Keep doing the things that are good for you even when the intensity turns up. Don’t let your self-care fly out the window. If you get overwhelmed by the pressure focus on moving forward, looking at the big picture, and thinking long-term.

Sometimes a crisis demands your undivided attention. That’s fine for the short-term. But, avoid going into over-drive and pushing blindly forward. Resolve the immediate crisis, then take a step back. Get your legs underneath you. Return to equilibrium.

Once you’re grounded find a long-term solution that works for everyone involved. Good character is always about creating win-win situations. 

It is crucial to cut out the noise from people who are panicking. They aren’t doing anyone any good. You may have to cut some of them out of your life. Sometimes good character demands that of us.
Our times of greatest crisis are opportunities to strengthen our character. Eventually, we are able to move gracefully with whatever life throws at us.

Do agree that our greatest challenges provide our most powerful growth? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Importance of Empathy

2015 is a year for empathy. It’s a time to sit back and listen to the people around you. Take in what they’re saying. Understand the undercurrents behind their words. That way you can hear their needs. Empathy leads to win-win situations. 

To do this, start from a calm foundation. A peaceful state quiets the noise in your head so that you can tune in. Clarity allows you to sense what they are communicating with intonation, body language, and even energy. 

Breathing is one of the best ways to create the ideal state. Focusing on breath we ground ourselves and open our senses. If you feel calm and expansive you got it right.

Always breathe from your belly. Pay attention to your breathing. Make sure it is as low in your body as possible.  Once you’e moved your breath down, deepen it by filling your lungs. Then slow it down as much as possible. Make the out breaths longer than the inhales  to add to the calming effect. It can be a very subtle way to become more empathetic.

Empathy can be particularly challenging in group settings. When lots of people are trying to get their point across, speak last. Practice your breathing. Listen to every person as they speak. Sit, attentive, interested, with an open mind. You’ll get clear on what’s really going on with the group.

When your turn comes, take your time. Allow everything that you’ve learned  help you to figure out what to say. Communicate your needs, or opinion, in a way that aligns with the best interest of the whole group. You’ll get amazing results. 

It can be tough to have empathy. During heated debates, it might seem almost impossible. In family discussions it can be tricky because everyone is pushing each other’s buttons. Do the best you can. The smallest step in the right direction will help everyone. 

Have you had positive experiences using empathy and active listening? I’d love to hear about them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time to Make it Happen

There are times when life demands that we move in a way that we’re not comfortable with. For some of us that means being quiet, thoughtful, or contemplative. For others, being more outgoing, courageous, and bold, is in order. 

These times are powerful growth periods. Trying on a new behaviour will set you up for success. The Universe will only demand that you expand your self-definition. It is important to balance your weak spots.

This year I need to get out into the world. It will be a time to be forceful, to make things happen. That isn’t natural for me. It’s hard for me to ask for what I want. I’ll have to address that over the course of this year.

I will have to push out of my comfort zone and explore things I’m uncomfortable with. I won’t suddenly become an aggressive go-getter. That isn’t who I am. The price for my success is balancing my reserved nature so that I can start to play a bigger, more public role. 

I will enjoy a great deal of what is coming. But, sometimes my own insecurities will try to stop me from doing what needs to be done. I have the tools I need to deal with these moments of crisis. 

This kind of year has its challenges. It can also can be extremely satisfying. You can launch in a new direction finding exhilaration along with balance. 

If you want to accomplish something that will require growth on your part, expect some turbulence along the way. Recognize the things that are going to be challenging. Then put resources in place to help you move forward in the most powerful and balanced way possible. Face your fears, and doubts, and keep going.

Have you ever knowingly moved into a phase that demanded huge shifts, and growth, from you? I’d love to hear your story.

Connect with Brian

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Opportunity and Stress

There are times when creative energy runs powerfully. It can be overwhelming and stressful. Manage the inflow to benefit from the opportunity that hides just behind it.

Creation is a violent process. Think of the big bang, the explosion that started the universe rolling. Here on Earth, new land is created by volcanoes. When we evolve it can also be explosive. Shifts can be so strong that we get lost.  

Sometimes the energy brings a powerful awakening. It is about inspiration. This can also be tricky. You can get so caught up in a new dream that you loose touch with reality. It is the energy of extremism. 

In either case, calm down to bring yourself back into balance. Look at this powerful moment through a different lens. At the heart of the explosion is almost limitless potential. It’s Ok to wonder what you’re supposed to do with it all.

The first step is taking a unbiased look at what’s in front of you. There is no reason for you to act on every opportunity. In fact, you shouldn't.

From the perspective of the Universe creating, all opportunities are good, and all possibilities equal. At the highest spiritual level that is true. Here in our lives, not so much.

To truly benefit from this powerful time you need to partner with the creative process. Take a look at each opportunity that shows up. How beneficial will it be for you in the long term? If something doesn't look great, move on. More possibility will always come. If you find something awesome put it on your plate and get moving on it.

The size of your plate is important too. If you take on too much you probably won't succeed. Fill your plated with as much as you can handle. Don't over do it. That way you can get everything this energy is meant to bring you while staying strong and healthy.

Have you ever found opportunity hiding under intensity? I’d love to hear your story.

Connect with Brian

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

That Time of Year

It’s hard to believe that winter festival time is already here. This year has flown by.  It brought a lot of positive movement for many of us. 

As we shift in to high gear for the holiday season I’d like to remind you that it wasn’t always this way. For most of our history winter celebrations were more contemplative. People took time with close friends and family in a very intimate way. 

People also saw it as a time for quiet reflection and planning for the year to come. Rightly so. For most of us, at least in the Northern hemisphere, the days are short, the weather cold, dreary, even down right freezing. What do you want to do when this type of weather arrives? Find a warm cave and stay there! That’s exactly what the traditional winter festivals were about. 

Gather together in the warm, safe, indoors. Be more introspective. Think about how the last year has gone for you and those you love. Consider the things that you might have done better. 

Candles and lights are also an important part of this winter ritual. They remind us that Spring will come. The light will return. In fact, it already has. As soon as we cross past the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the days start to get longer. These celebrations provide us with hope. The sun will indeed return.

However you celebrate this time of year, take a little time out of your hectic schedule to think, to contemplate, to simply be. Allow this powerful time of year to push you inward. Discover what might lie in store for you as the New Year begins. 

All the best of the season to you, and yours, and my wishes for a fabulous 2015.