Nothing Comes From Nowhere, Everything Comes From Somewhere

When you find yourself upset.

Or out of sorts.

You may often feel that it came out of nowhere and now you are just feeling off.  Know that nothing comes from nowhere.  Everything comes from somewhere.

 

This morning I was feeling off.  I called a friend and together we started sorting where the feeling came from.  What previously had seemed like a hazy blues, all of a sudden crystallized into a real list of things I was upset about.  People had changed plans on me the previous week and I had gone south with that, deeming them flakey and comparing them to friends I have that are not flakey.  I also spoke to almost all of my immediate family over the weekend, and it got me thinking about how much I miss them and missing them hurt some.

 

I kept finding things.  Some more real and realistic, others more dramatic in the style of what-is-my-life-for?!!  Once all my unspecific thoughts had been verbalized into specifics, I saw much more clearly what I could and would do something about, and what I could dismiss as my mind playing tricks on me.

 

So.

 

When you find yourself upset, there was something real that started it;

a disappointment, a bummer thought or something that hurt your feelings.

 

Ask yourself:

 

Something happened.  What happened?

Who was it in regards to, and what do I need to talk to them about?

Is there anything I can do about the situation or am I ready to dismiss it?

 

All in honor of setting you free.

“We are freedom seeking beings…” (Abraham-Hicks).

I believe that.  So keep fighting yourself out of prison and find the thoughts that started your blues, your funk or your upset.

 

Let me know how you do.

 

Love always,

 

Jo

 

Nothing Is Wrong – You Are Just Missing Information – Or Inspiration

What if nothing was ever wrong?

All there was to it was that you were missing information.

Once you put that information in, the playing field of your life changed.

 

Knowledge is power, and for the sake of this conversation, your personal power.

I don’t think most people relate to their issues and problems like they are missing information.  More like something they have been afflicted by or burdened with.

 

I lead a workshop yesterday and it was so fun and so great.

The people were so smart, engaged and engaging.

My job was easy.

 

Today – was “just a regular day”.

I should have put it in my book yesterday that it was likely I would feel blue today.

I often have that kind of come down after a public event or performance. Just like women should put PMS in their calendar because it is pretty predictable that they’ll feel off.   I didn’t put it in.  So I thought something was wrong.  With me.  And the world.

 

Nothing was wrong.

I was missing two pieces of information.

The entry in my calendar of my predictable “feeling place”.

As well as something to focus on next.

 

So I went online and I watched an interview a friend just gave, scheduled an interview with him myself for my streaming show.  I went on to inspiring myself by informing myself about new ideas, his and other people’s in this plethoric cyber universe.

 

So if you think something is wrong, see if there is a lingering question.  Something you feel unsure about that you need an answer to.  You feel out of sorts.  There is nothing wrong with you.  You are sitting with an unanswered question.  There is something that wants to get known.  After that, the tools are at your fingertips for filling in your own blanks; Google, TED, Wikipedia (!), or a good friend.

 

Let me know how you do filling in the gaps of information and inspiration.

 

Love,

Jo

 

 

 

 

Is Life Short or Is Life Long?

Is life short or is life long?  What is your vote?

Mine is that life is long.

And that there is plenty of time to do what you want to do.

Because it is the length it is and I can’t do anything about that.

So might as well relate to it like it is long.

That is the thing with things you can’t do anything about.

Better learn to love them because they are there, whether you like it or not.

For example – it is really hot in San Antonio this time a year.

Good thing I like hot weather – but if I didn’t, I would arm myself with yet another pool pass or buy shade sails, or get a night job so I would sleep through the hot days.

Take exercise.  It is not like we can skip it (as much as we try).  Keep looking till you find your favorite workout (many New York friends’ favorite is Patricia’s IntenSati – check it – it is so great and so is she).

Or your mother-in-law.  The woman that gave birth to your husband.  The grandmother of your children.  Find a way to love her if only for those two things.  No one says you have to love her as much as you do your children, but she is in it for the long haul in this your long life.  Don’t let your gray hairs over her shorten yours.

I love the thought that life is long.

In fact, I love thinking any thought that frees me up and gives me more room to breathe.  Especially around the stuff I have little or no control over.

You have multiple choice today for your responses:

You strongly agree.

You strongly disagree.

You’d like to talk more about it.

Love,

Jo

PS.  If you’re worried that your body will conk out whether you believe life is long or short, check out Dan Buettner and team on TED who study the world’s “Blue Zones,” communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age:

 

Rich Poor People and Poor Rich People

This blog post is in fact dedicated to you.

You who asked me this morning if my last blog post was dedicated to you.  It wasn’t.  But this one is.

 

We essentially spoke about poverty of spirit, of quality of life, and of the depth of your relationships.  When you choose to measure your life in the quality of your relationships, even should you be of meager means, and they are good – you are rich.  Even for those of you who are struggling in your relationships, but keep fighting for them, have seen the true wealth that lies beyond the squirmishes you’re in.

 

And then I have people I work with who are extraordinary wealthy.  Good people.

It takes something to build this kind of wealth.  Often in business politics, they have learnt to bite their tongue and not say what they really think for fear of blowing a deal.

 

What happens though, over long days and many years, they get used to this way of relating to their own needs, opinions and convictions.  As something to be put on the back burner for a more appropriate time.  The problem is that tomorrow never comes and the same behavior spills over at home, with the wife, and the friends.  Who in the end do you become?  When you have practiced a behavior that effectively has become who you are?

 

So.

 

Wherever you are.

Reclaim your voice and tell them – let them deal with the real you.

Fix your relationships or find a new tribe.

Don’t settle for anything less than genius for your life and whom you share it with.

 

Love,

Jo

Marriages and Money Made In Heaven

There’s Craig and Jim of Craig’s List.

Sergey and Larry of Google.

And Bill and Paul of Microsoft.

 

Marriages made in heaven that have yielded remarkable results.  I have been thinking about it and how with certain people meetings sparkle – and others are flat.  Finding your tribe and the people you want to play with in business can be as important as picking a mate in life.  It is the equivalent of driving a car on the right octane fuel.  The car will go on most of them, but more or less optimized.

 

I had a breakfast meeting this morning with an utterly brilliant person.  He was a ponderer to my activator.  I would say he definitely belongs to my tribe, one I have collected that exists world over.  Conversation was easy and expansive.  Meetings like these leave me with a feeling that any project is doable.

 

So what to look for when you seek your tribe?

 

People that share your values – that is a given.

Look for people with complimentary characteristics.

If you are a person that springs to action, pick a strategist.

If you are energized, find a calming counter body.

If you are a visionary, partner with a pragmatist.

 

Go design your team, your tribe in your own ayurvedic way to achieve a perfect balance.  As we can’t be all things to all people, surrounding yourself with a team that collectively make up for what you lack, is one of the smartest things you can do.

 

Are you partnered with people just like yourself?  Or with your perfect counter balance?  What characteristics complement yours? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

Love,

Jo

 

 

 

Jung’s Get Rich Quick Scheme

Jung said that criticism has the power to do good when there is something that must be destroyed, dissolved or reduced, but it is capable only of harm when there is something to be built.  My take on that is that mavericks building empires spent very little time tearing themselves down and instead kept their focus on making money and building their brand.

 

At a recent speaking engagement I did, I was asked to throw my hat in the ring to be a speaker at TED, San Antonio, and a video clip of a previous talk was requested.  I went on a search for something to submit.  I thought about what Jung had said when I reviewed some coaching clips I had done for BusinessWeek online, and I thought, “yuck, I sucked”.  I even drove this point home for myself by viewing some of my colleague’s videos as well and comparing them as so much better.  You get the picture.

 

Now, while I am sitting there, judging myself harshly, I didn’t for a second acknowledge that I in fact were looking for clips because I was suggested as someone to speak on TED X.  Or that the recent impromptu interview I did for the camera at a charity dinner got a lot of attention.  Or that over a thousand of you now have read and some generously commented on this blog.

 

How about a big cup of shut-up-mind to all the self-criticism??  Who cares if my growth as a speaker is in public view?  Who is counting anyway?  Except me – so busy keeping a polished front up.  So whatever.  Let it all hang out.  Focus on what is working.

 

Talk to me.

 

Love always,

Jo

I Have A Thing For My Doctor

I went for my first check up yesterday, one week after the fall and break of my arm.

 

Doctor Bustamante slapped the X-rays on the light box and exclaimed that if all his patients looked like me, he’d be a very happy man.  It is perfect, he said, perfect.  You will heal 100%.  But, he continued, I am only as good a surgeon as I have good a patient.  I am simply a guide towards healing.  You do the work.  Without you, I am nothing.  And I thought – wow.  He is a philosopher orthopedist.  He completely gets it.  He is like Coach Doc!  I could have used those very same words in regards to my own clients.  I just tip them where I see a good tipping point in the direction of their dreams.

 

He went on to talk about the surgeries he has learnt that he likes to do, and those he doesn’t.  Dr. Bustamante likes fixing knees, shoulders, arms like mine.   He sent his wife to his colleague for her bunion surgery.  I haven’t done bunions in 10 years, he said.  I could, but I don’t want to do it.  Again, I was blown away by this man’s self-knowledge and what he was willing to acknowledge about who he was.  I walked out of my appointment grateful for his skill but also the contribution of his own thinking.

 

I too have started to learn and acknowledge what I am and what I am not.

My friends call me Tinkerbell and that sums it up.  They tell me I fly in, spread fairy dust, and fly off.  What that means, practically speaking, is that I your greatest hired gum.  I am not an empire builder.  I will carry through a project to brilliant completion.  I will never earn a gold watch in a company.

 

One way to tell who you are and who you are not is to confront the question of what you are willing to pay the price for.  This does not mean that you are giving up on “being all that you can be” – rather that you are being what you are meant to be.  Which is yourself, in all your spending glory, and so uniquely that, that nothing can compare.

 

I promise you, hand on my heart, that you get way more leverage doing shoulders and knees if bunions aren’t your thing.

 

Is there anywhere you are going against your own grain in the name of growth…?

Are there places where you have strayed from your true nature because of what you think you ought to do…?

 

Let me know.

 

Love you,

Jo

 

 

Broke My Left Arm On Friday And What I Learnt From It

I broke my left arm on Friday.  I had just come back from picking up Sami from school and started to prepare lunch.  Up on a stool and into a cupboard above the fridge to get some apple cider, I was on my way down and my knee got caught in my skirt.  I couldn’t get my foot down on the floor, fell, and broke my fall with my hand. And thus broke my arm.

 

My previous plan had been to write a blog called “Let Go.  Move On”, building on another post I had written (you commenters remember) about always moving forward.  I might still weave some of those thoughts in, since some of them seem appropriate right now!

 

The minute I looked at my arm that my hand was dangling off of, I thought, “I just broke that.”  Clean break all the way through.  The next thought and each deliberate thought after that was to deal – and deal beautifully.  I was alone with Sami, so I had to act quickly in case I’d faint.  I grabbed a salad bowl, filled it with ice with my well hand and thrust my left arm in there.  With the right hand I called 911 and fed Sami snack.  Next, I aligned sitters and luckily for me, neighbors seeing the ambulance started pouring in, so I asked them for what I needed in a bag for a hospital stay.  I didn’t feel much pain, but I knew I had to manage shock.

 

The rest is procedural.  Got to the hospital, got evaluated, spent the night, had surgery, spent last night – and now here I am, about to get discharged.

 

What I want to leave you with is my thought process through all of this.  I told myself, someone who has to manage my own drama often – that there will be no drama around this.  I will deal and I will be great.  So I proceeded to joke with the EMS guys, doctors and nurses, gave reports to near ones about the facts of what was happening (no drama!).  And when I felt apprehensive before the surgery, I reached out  to friends and one came to sit with me to reassure me beforehand.

 

I was amazed at the aftermath one decision to be great yields.

How so much of what we experience in life has to do with attitude.

I forever honor you or anyone who makes that decision every day of your life.

 

Written with both hands (=the beginning of physical therapy) and with love always,

 

Jo

 

 

 

 

Admin Will Never Make You Rich

When I start my day’s tasks, I veer towards admin.

“Let me just get this bill out of the way.”

Or

“Let me put that call into the energy company.”

 

Let me dot some I’s and cross some T’s in other words.

 

It is safe.

It is measurable.

It is comfortable.

 

Now.

 

Admin will never make you rich.

At best, it will make you an overpaid administrator.

 

Instead…

Start with what matters the most.

Client contacts.

Follow ups.

Double backing and saying “hi” to people you haven’t talked to in a long time.

Thinking deeply about how to scale your business.

Thinking equally deeply about what in your business you do the best.  Focus on that.  Scale that.  There’s your biggest leverage.

 

That’s for the pure business advice.

In terms of your personal evolution –

When you go to sort paper clips, be highly suspicious that you are avoiding something else.  A challenge, something new, something scary.

Tackling that will make you feel good and proud.

 

So….

 

  • Start with what matters the most.
  • Investigate any resistance or avoidance.
  • Go do it anyway.

 

 

Comments?  Questions?  I am all ears.

 

Love always,

 

Jo

 

Paradoxi and Dichotomies…

There is so much advice to be had in the world.

Good advice and bad advice but if that was all there was to it, life wouldn’t be and feel so complex.  If life wasn’t so deep and multi-faceted, and after some reflection, you could probably fairly easily distinguish which advice is the true one for you in that moment.  But what about when two contradictory pieces of advice seem equally true.

 

We are supposed to be compassionate, but shouldn’t be pushovers.

We need to be understanding of others, but we know we need to take a stand for ourselves and our own beliefs.

We are supposed to be in charge, but also live and let live.

Live and learn.  But design your life.

Be a great listener.  Speak up.

Don’t be a glutton.  Enjoy what life has to offer.

Clean up after yourself.  Don’t waste your time on household chore s– take on bigger things and hire a maid.

Life is short.  Time is all you have.

Don’t take on too much.  Don’t play small.

Stand by your man.  Be a liberated woman.

Be sensitive.  Be a man.

 

How to navigate all of these pieces without losing your mind?

To not get lost amongst it all, I wonder if we shouldn’t look at the word “should”.  Anywhere we are “shoulding it” might be the piece to let go of.

One dictionary definition of the word “should” refers to conditionality.

And that is exactly how it feels.  There is this thing you “should” do, or else…

(something quite undesirable happens).

 

This is not to say that we should (!) live to avoid all responsibility or anything that remotely could be painful.  Rather that we make the choice of what we do with both our hearts and our minds, as a “should” seems to be mostly a decision of the mind.

 

I am reading a book where the emotional mind is likened to an elephant and the rational mind its rider.  The rational mind sets the path and the direction while the emotional mind provides the energy to move them both forward.  However, if the emotional mind refuses to do something, it simply casts the rider off.  Conversely, if the rider ignores the needs of the elephant, the path ahead will be a very dry and lifeless one.

 

See if you can balance the two.

And stay out of the “should” forest.

 

Write back and let me know your thoughts.

 

Love,

Jo