do it different

Looking. Photo credit:


Funny, how what we teach can very quickly become what we need to practice ourselves.

Last week, I told several clients: “do it different this time” as they navigated situations that were triggers for them. Instead of going to their default mode of worrying, hiding, or numbing out I asked them to become aware of their go-to responses and try something else.

Today, I need to think along those lines as I encounter obstacles and delays in multiple directions, from the printer not printing, to cleaning dog poop because the dogs decided to go inside (because it snowed), to filling in travel visa application forms that are impossible to fathom.

Over the last 5 or 6 hours I’ve observed myself talking to customer support at Canon and the guys at Cox & Kings Global Services (C & KGS), Keeping in mind how I usually behave after long wait time on the phone: irritable/impatient/anxious and trying, really trying to do it differently this time.

First, as I waited and then as I spoke to customer support with both companies, I did the following things differently:

  • I relaxed my body and let go of the squeezing
  • I didn’t multitask whilst on the calls
  • I took my time explaining and listening to customer support personnel
  • I decided to drop 3 things from my to do list (including writing this post)
  • I reminded myself that if the travel visa took longer to get or that if, I didn’t get it, it would not be catastrophic.
  • I breathed in and connected to my center

By the end of the calls my printer was working, but the application process had come to a standstill. I need supporting documents that I don’t seem to have.

I have taken the next step by contacting the consulate with regard to the visa and hope for a positive outcome pretty soon. As part of my do it different mindset, I will be waiting without anxiety, squeezing or impatience.

That is how I am doing it differently and it seems to be working. How about you, are there situations in which you would like to do it differently? Can you catch your default reactions in time? I would love to hear about your experiences, struggles and successes alike.


Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga nailed it. She made us feel good as we watched her spectacular halftime performance at the Super Bowl.

She sang, jumped from the roof,* sang some more, danced and leaped off again. It was exhilarating to watch. I wanted more.

Then, for a moment, my mind flickered back to President Trump’s inauguration speech. I had hoped that he would surprise us and show up presidential and inspire us.

It didn’t happen, at all. Instead, I smelled a strong whiff of Emperor Palpatine.

I don’t think that Trump wanted us to feel bad.

I think what he really wants is, perhaps for the Twitterverse to love him. He maybe going about it the wrong way.

But both Gaga and Trump are inspiring me today. Gasp! What Trump inspiring? Yes!  Stay with me a minute and keep reading.

Trump and Gaga have achieved incredible success and we can learn from how they did it, to make good happen in our lives. Here are 6 good ways to get started.

1 Have a specific goal with specific results. Trump: president. Lady Gaga (Super Bowl): to make us feel good. Keywords: goal and results. Write down a specific goal or dream and the results you would like to see.

2 If you want something you have to go for it 100%. There is no holding back.  Gaga wanted a “never done before” spectacular show and she made that happen by jumping and spider crawling through the air. It was the daring that caught us all. Keywords: daring, innovative. What can you do today that is daring?

3 Trump was an outsider, a joke when he started his bid to become the Republican Party nominee. Now he’s POTUS and the joke’s on us. It takes time, energy and money, people. Keywords: focus, determination: keep your eyes on the prize.What can you do to keep your dream moving forward today?

4 Lady Gaga has her fans and Trump has his fans. They help maintain the momentum and keep the engine moving forward when things get tough and are there to cheer the wins. Keywords: support, have people who love you around youLook around at your crew, do they stand with you for your dreams? It may be time to prune energy drains and recruit people with vision and skills.

5 Whether we like or dislike Trump or Gaga, they are who they are. They accept who they are. Keywords: Self-acceptance, self-confidenceDo you accept who you are? If not, this is a great starting point to dive deep and find your good self.

6 One percent inspiration and 99% perspiration. There are no two ways about it- we’ve got to work hard and keep at it until we achieve what we set our minds and hearts on. Keyword: hard workAre you willing to put in the extra creativity, work, and energy to make your goals real?

Is there something that you want to make happen? Reread the list above and get your ducks in a row. You can be unstoppable and achieve what you dearly seek to achieve. You may feel like the underdog: outmatched, under skilled. That you don’t have enough money or that it’s simply too late, but as President Trump and Lady Gaga exemplify, you can still make things happen.

Who inspired you today? What was it about them or what they did that motivated you? Truly, remember it’s never too late to start getting fit or get your dream job or find yourself in love with life!

Looking within

Deep Within Your Sacred Space by Jan Amiss Photography

How often do you think to yourself: “I need to meditate?”

We’ve all heard celebrities going on and on about the benefits and I know you’ve read articles about mindfulness and how it can improve your life exponentially. But seriously, how often do you think, ” I need to meditate” Or “I need to listen to my inner voice. “

What does it mean to you when someone says to “look within” or listen to your  “inner voice” and “inner knowing?” What exactly are you supposed to be looking within for? How will you know when you are within?

Not knowing what to look for or expect, sadly,  are some of the reasons that keep many people from meditating.

We imagine that when we sit down to meditate, that somehow, magically  all the chatter that fills our heads will subside and serenity will cascade over our senses. That we’ll plug into the cosmic ocean and become the all knowing, all loving person under all the mundane, messy parts that are all too familiar to us.

We imagine that it will look and feel like those new age images of rainbows and waterfalls making problems and difficult situations dissolve into the light.

It could be like that. That is possible, but mostly it isn’t and that is why we give up.

What I have learned about looking within or meditating is that at the beginning (and the beginning phase can be a long time, years even) it is about our relationship with our many selves, time, and death.

Before we go any further, let me ask you, what is your relationship to yourself these days? To the self that feels lonely? Or the self that doesn’t feel good enough? The optimistic self?  Do these selves clamour for your attention? Are you kind to yourself? Do you listen?

How do you feel about time? Do you find yourself running out of time? Burning a candle at both ends? Are you living in the moment or watching as time flies by?

Last, but not least, our oldest and most faithful of friends. The only one, you can be certain, will be with you in the end: Death

These three aspects – our relationship to ourselves, time and death – influence the state of our daily consciousness. They may appear in different guises in our conversations but if we were to distill these conversations their signature would be very apparent.

When we meditate or look within, we are looking into ourselves. Invariably, we encounter feelings and thoughts about ourselves, we can either ignore or listen to these feelings. These thoughts and feelings are the ones that can and do disrupt our inner and outer life. They turn our world topsy turvy by inflating or deflating our ego’s narrative of what our lives are supposed to look like.

And because this narrative feels impossible to overcome, listening with an attitude of loving kindness is an apt approach to apply. The relationship to ourselves is a lifelong one, it influences all the other story lines we’ll ever experience, so we have to become good listeners, gentle guides and caring friends to ourselves.

Love, compassion, kindness and all the qualities that we seek to experience, including fulfillment, wisdom and prosperity – arise as by products of the process of looking within or meditation and our unfolding inner understanding.

That is what meditation or looking within offers. The possibility to become whole ourselves, make peace with disparate parts of our psyche, our past and blossom like that rare bloom of our dreams.

Meditation or mindfulness, practiced regularly and intentionally creates traction and momentum giving us much needed positive feedback loops. This in turn gives us inner equilibrium which allows calm, patience, and understanding to develop. We begin to recognize ourselves as beautiful, thoughtful, caring beings capable of generous and heroic deeds.

It is my hope that you enquire within regularly and that your inner voice speaks kindly to you and guides you home.