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Archive for the ‘Uncommon Living’ Category

On Vulnerability, Strength & Courage

November 8th, 2010

A whole bunch of stuff collided over the past several days that will shape my future blog posts. And, if you think it’s all gonna be upbeat, it’s not. But it will be the truth.  A quality that seems to be in rare quantities these days.

As you probably know, I launched 5 Emergency Steps to Getting Unstuck on Friday. And in my pre-launch and launch emails, I talked about feeling scared and nervous. For me, I’m always “raising the stakes” I’m playing for and if something doesn’t make me feel scared and nervous, I question whether I should do it. And part of my commitment to you is, and always will be,  to tell you the truth about what it is like to do the things I do.

But I got pushback.

Apparently, saying that I am scared and nervous – admitting it out loud in front of God and everybody, is 1) a bad marketing practice 2) makes me appear un-coach-like and 3) is off-putting. (Oh and several people sent me “editorial suggestions” for my sales page.)

This is all really fascinating feedback considering the fact that last week’s blog posts were all about living a connected life and that vulnerability is at the very core of connection.

So here is my position: I will continue to be vulnerable. I will continue to raise my stakes. I find that by doing so, I actually feel stronger and more courageous the next time around. It’s like exercise that way I guess. The more you exercise a muscle, the stronger it gets and the more it can do.

If living and working this way means that I am not cut out to be a coach, that’s fine with me. I’ll find another way to make a living. There is nothing, NOTHING, that is worth giving up my want, my desire, my freedom and my ability to be and to say exactly where I am.

What do you think? Do you think coaches should always appear a certain way? Do coaches who admit fear and vulnerability attract less business than those who put on their public happy face?

More On Living a Connected Life

November 3rd, 2010

This 20 minute video from Dr. Brene Brown is a MUST WATCH. Unless you have no interest in living a connected life. 🙂

I watched it once. Then watched it again with pen and paper. Trust me, you are going to want to make notes. And please don’t “save this for later”. Later never comes.

Would love to hear your responses and thoughts about her research. 🙂

On Creating a Connected Life

November 1st, 2010

Because my house, and mostly my life, is populated with those who possess the characteristics of ADD/ADHD (myself included), I’ve been reading up on the subject a bit. My latest book is Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell.

It is an awesome book and I HIGHLY recommend it for anyone who thinks they might suffer from a bit of ADD.

Lat night, though, I dove into a chapter that I found so relevant, so bright and inspiring that I just have to share it with you.

According to Dr. Hallowell, living a connected life is the secret to making life healthier and more joyful. Don’t know about you, but I want all of that I can get. 🙂

Here are the 12 elements of a connected life he puts forward for our consideration:

1. Family. This is the core connection. Without a connection here, there can’t be real connection elsewhere. I do like this note of his: “If you have conflict in your family, that means it is connected. The opposite of connection is not conflict; it is indifference.”

2. Friend & community. Without meaningful relationship, our chances for experiencing a joyful life are not very high.

3. School or work. If we feel welcomed and treated with respect in these arenas, and have one or two friends, we will thrive better and if we don’t.

4. Activities. by finding & engaging in a few activities (ie NOT work) that we really love, it increases our chances of building joy, confidence, and self-esteem exponentially.

5.  The arts. Engaging with music, painting, literature, movies, dance, theatre, etc. can great a connection with deep inner. joy

6. Groups, teams, organizations. Belonging to a group of some kind with a purpose outside ourselves give us a personal sense of purpose and a feeling of being needed.

7. Pets. Pets develop our sense of empathy, love and understanding – and being understood. 🙂

8. Nature. Being connected with nature feeds us strength, joy and inspiration – and gives us a wonderful playground.

9. Ideas and information. Dr. Hallowell says that this is about feeling comfortably connected in the world of ideas and information. Fear and shame are the great underminers here. There should be no fear or shame in any learning environment. Period.

10. The spiritual world. Acknowledging and connecting with whatever we believe is beyond ourselves.

11. The past. Our heritage, our traditions, the stories of our ancestors give us a clearer understanding of how and why we are right here, right now – infusing every moment with deeper meaning.

12. Ourselves. Knowing and loving who we are exactly as we are feeds our connection with ourselves and allows us to move out into connecting with the world around us.

I know some of these are stating the obvious, but I’ve never seen them pulled together in this way in support of living a rich, deep life full of meaning, joy and purpose.

So that I don’t overwhelm myself, I’m going to print out this list, then slowly and effortlessly expand my capacities in each area. I’m guessing you will hear about my progress. 🙂

What say you? Do you agree with these 12 areas? Would you add any? Take away any? Are ideas leaping out at you for engaging in particular areas?

You know I am fascinated by your thoughts. 🙂

The Ship Burning Never Stops – Lesson #3 from My Live Event

October 4th, 2010

Right in the middle of my event in Atlanta, right when I was the one teaching and leading the conversation, it hit me.

“Oh my god. The ship burning never stops for me.”

I actually stumbled in something I was saying because that thought hit my brain so hard.

(If you are wondering what I am talking about with this ship-burning thing, here is the original post where I wrote about it: http://escaping-mediocrity.com/uncommon-business/burn-the-ships/ )

For me, burning ships is about raising the stakes I am playing for. It’s about pushing myself to the edge and beyond of what I think I am capable of. It’s about taking risks again and again and again.

And what I realized in that moment of epiphany is that ship burning is not an infrequent, well-timed, well-thought-out event. At least not for me.

It is how I live. Every day. All the time. (Okay – not every single second because I do need to catch my breathe and rest – but I think you get my point.)

That is the only way I know how to make this journey of escaping mediocrity.

And yes, there are times when I wish I could cough of the pill of all this awareness and just live in blissful, passive oblivion. But those moments are few and far between and usually come when I am extremely tired or when my feelings are hurt.

But what I know, deep down in my soul at this very moment is this: Now that I know the thrill of watching the fires burn and turning to face lands unknown, I can’t imagine living any other way.

What about you? Is there a way you live now, are now, that you wouldn’t give up even if you could?

A Missive from Cliff's Edge

September 14th, 2010

I’m scared. And nervous. And excited.

The blood is starting rush to my head and my stomach is queasy.

And I’m starting to dance around a lot because I’ve got the jitters.

But mostly, I just can’t wait.

I’m standing at the edge of a cliff, ready to make the biggest leap of my life.  I’ve prepared for it. I’ve worked for it. I’m ready for it. (Well, some moments I feel ready for it. Other moments I think ” What WERE you thinking?!?!?!”)

For me, this is where raising my stakes has led me; the culmination of burning my ships.

My job between now and leaping is to go through the steps in my mind. Envisioning each step along the way. Each move. Each twist. This is how Olympians prepare. It’s also how Tony-award winning actors prepare.

It makes the difference between breath-taking and also-ran.

I’m all in.

Creating Irresistible Presence begins in Atlanta on 9.23.  You still have time to join us.
http://www.irresistiblepresence.com

The Rest in Between

September 7th, 2010

I did something extremely unusual this weekend. I took practically all three days off and spent time outdoors with friends and family.

With my live event just a couple of days away, it was tough to pull myself away. At first.

Then I got used to not being glued to my laptop and I discovered I LIKED being disconnecting and resting. And now that it is time get back to it, I find that my mind is fresh and I am far more creative. And I appreciate what I do for a living all the more.

It’s like music. The rests – or quiet parts – between measures or phrases are just as important as the measures and phrases filled with notes.  It takes BOTH to make music.

So if I have any sway at all over you and the choices you make, I HIGHLY encourage you to find the rest in between. then you and the rest of the world will be able to hear the music only you can compose. 🙂

I've Lost My Edge

August 17th, 2010

I realized it last night. I’ve lost my edge around Escaping Mediocrity.

Between flying to Russia twice in a month and getting my first ever live event off the ground, I’ve let my commitment to Escaping Mediocrity get soft around the edges. And it shows.

My message is muddy. My blog posts don’t have their usual oomph. And I’m just not feelin’ it.

But that is going to change.

Here’s what I am thinking – and I need to know if you are in cuz I don’t want to do this by myself.

I am going to pick a day in the very near future and declare it Escaping Mediocrity Day.  And I am going to prepare for that day like I am preparing for a safari to Africa. Because I want it to be like that. Exciting. Adventurous. Traveling in new and unknown territory.

And I’m going to blog about it as it unfolds.

Now before I do all that, I REALLY need you to tell if you are ready, willing and able to do this with me, so share your thoughts with me. If it is a GO!, I will start our planning so we can all have an amazing day.

I await your comments with baited breathe!!!

On Making Tough Decisions

August 11th, 2010

I’ve heard it a lot lately – in emails, DMs, phone conversations, Skype chats – “I am having a really tough time making a decision about X.”

Heck – even I get stuck making decisions!

So I thought I would share the best tool Martha Beck taught me when we *think* we don’t know what to do. I love it because it taps into the deep wisdom our bodies hold that can circumvent our very smart and very conflicted brains.

(As a side note, many actors refer to their body as their “instrument”. It must always be kept in tune and in touch for it to operate properly. This exercise does exactly that!)

It’s called The Body Compass. And if you’re thinking – “yeah yeah, I already know that.”, do yourself a favor and re-visit it with a fresh heart. 🙂

Step 1. Think of the most joyful moment of your life.

Close your eyes and really put yourself into that moment. What do you see? Who was there? What do you smell? Anchor it into your senses. Now, scan your body. Where does that supremely joyful feeling live? Really nestle down into it’s place of residence like a big down bed.

Step 2. Think of the most heinous experience of your life.

Do everything you did in Step 1 to anchor it in your body. What do you see? Who is there? What do you smell. Once it’s vividly technicolor, scan your body again. Where does this complete and total yucky, nastly feeling live in your body. Now you don’t have to nestle down into it, but do make a note of it’s address in your body and what it feels like to be there.

Step 3. Summon the decision you must make.

Visualize each of your available options in turn. Breathe into the details. What will that option look like? Feel like? And when you really are “in” that option, where does the feeling it gives you “live”? Is it a nearby neighbor of Joyful or it camped out near YuckyMcNasty?  Don’t let your brain get in on this conversation. This is about tapping into what your body knows.

I’m guessing that one of the options in front of you lives in Joyful’s neighborhood. And, if I were you, that is the option I would choose. 🙂

So my challenge to the tribe is this: try this little exercise on a decision large (like should you move) or small (like what should you have for dinner) and let me know how it goes. As always, I am fascinated by what you teach me. 🙂

Love,

Sarah

P.S. Yep – it is a shameless self-promotion for the Creating Irresistible Presence Preview call TOMORROW (Thursday). I’ve got awesome teaching to share, a seat at CIP to give away and another trick up my sleeve, so I do hope you will join me! http://bit.ly/CIPPreview

Escaping Mediocrity Isn't for the Faint-of-Heart

August 3rd, 2010

This post will be short. With the 15 month old mini-turk running all over the place, my time to focus on writing is pretty limited.

But I did not want to miss checking in with my tribe because you all rock SO much. 🙂

This is thing I most want to say: Escaping Mediocrity isn’t for the faint-of-heart. And once you open the escape hatch in one area of your life, you’ve opened the hatch on all areas of your life.

With the hatch open and the course for your heart’s desire, your way may be clear but there are no promises that the way will be easy, fast or simple.

My life at this moment is a perfect example.

I need to do work on my live event, Creating Irresistible Presence. September will be here before I turn around. I also have a Preview Call to prep for and this blog post to write. And a fair number of emails to reply to. My business is growing – which is great! And yet the timing isn’t exactly ideal.

See, back in early summer when I announced my event, I had no idea when our adoption would actually take place. Russian adoption is a very last minute “hop on the plane now” kind of thing. So I had a choice.

1) I could out my life and my business on hold while I waited for an invitation from the Russian government

or

2) I could move ahead with the things I felt called to do, especially in my business, knowing that if and when we got “the call” I would find a way.

Obviously I chose Door No. 2. 🙂

And today Door No. 2 feels hard. But what I know is that this feeling will pass and I will get the things done that I need to get done. Maybe not perfectly and maybe not in the time I would like, but they WILL get done.

So, I screw up my courage and my faith (again!) and put one foot in front of the other.

My question for you today is this: Is there an Escape Hatch you are afraid to open because you don’t know HOW it will work out? What exactly are your choices? Write them down in black and white so you know what your are choosing between. Then make the very best choice you can – for today and for the rest of your life. 🙂

When It All Happens At Once

June 25th, 2010

If one more thing happens this week, I may go screaming into the streets.

It’s been a JAM-PACKED week for me. Getting Creating Irresistible Presence off the ground, organizing the 30 Days to Irresistible Presence blog series, and some very big stuff happening on the personal front that I can’t share just yet.

It is all amazing stuff.

And it is all happening at the same time.

And I am afraid I am going to drop something very important. Or that I will fall down.

And don’t tell me I won’t, or it will be ok, or nothing will break. And to take a deep breath.

Cuz I know all that and I am still scared.  And overwhelmed. And uncertain.

But here is the one thing I am NOT: alone.

I have my tribe. I have my inner circle. I have my family. And they will see me through. They will hold certainty for me when I cannot.

And what I know beyond a shadow of a doubt is, this too shall pass.

So I am keeping my eye on the prize that is right in front of me. Doing the do’s I know to do.

And that will make all the difference.