This is the second time I’m quoting Seth Godin this morning. And it’s only 9 am. The first time was at 4 am (I was coaching a client on the other side of the world). We were talking about “lizard brain”. Mostly, I’ve been thinking about “big plans” and how the lizard brain LOVES to shut ‘em down. So I wanted to write about it. And then I received THIS in my inbox.
I cannot, EVER, top this.
In all its reprinted glory, I give you what Seth Godin scooped from my brain:
Make Big Plans
…that’s the best way to make big things happen.
Write down your plans. Share them with trusted colleagues. Seek out team members and accomplices.
Shun the non-believers. They won’t be easily convinced, but they can be ignored.
Is there any doubt that making big plans increases the chances that something great will happen?
Is there any doubt that we need your art and your contribution?
Why then, are you hesitating to make big plans?
Oh yes, yes, yes. And if you don’t know yet what those big plans might be? I still have a couple ofPay-What-You-Choose Clarity Sessions (usually $200 for 75 minute session). Email me your reasonable offer and away we go. Getting you super clear on your big plans…and executing them.
Happy Love+Joy+Clarity Day, y’all!
Well, maybe you’ve noticed all the red hearts and cards floating around today. “LOVE”! Chocolatey, spicy, colourful and kissy. Whether you’re in love or not, it’s hard not to appreciate a dazzle of hot pink in an otherwise drab and gray month.
So, Valentine’s Day = the LOVE piece.
That leads me to “JOY” (love has that effect on me). Am beyond thrilled to introduce the little eBook that’s been in my heart: The Joy Pages. Inspired by my Mom’s beautiful mantra “don’t postpone joy”, my hope is that it inspires the same in you. Go ahead and get yours by subscribing over there in the pretty right hand column. (Don’t you dig the branches spilling out where they have no business spilling out? As Carrie said when she designed it: “I love the idea of joy that will not be bound by sidebar delineations.” What a fabulous metaphor). Please take some time with the exercises, enjoy it and spread it around. With huge thanks.
And finally: CLARITY. I A-D-O-R-E clarity. For me, clarity is the birthplace of genius. Oh, it’s elusive all right. It taunts, it teases, it dances just out of reach. And yet. YET. It’s there…ours for the taking. So let’s get you some, shall we?
My Clarity sessions are 75 minutes of mojo-revving, heart-stopping goodness. We. Get. You. Clear. On the thing that wants answers. On the decision that wants to be made. On the business that wants to be born. On the relationship that wants to be released. Clarity. Forget about crystals. We’re talking about diamonds here.
NORMALLY this session is a steal at $200. Today’s the day you PAY-WHAT-YOU-CHOOSE. (I also A-D-O-R-E choice). So, this February 14, email me your reasonable offer and a few words about the “issue” that is begging for clarity. I’ll fall in love with you and then will send you a link to my calendar and some hellaciously juicy questions and away we go. Conceiving clarity together.
If it’s not for you, please invite someone you love to take me up on this offer. (They’ll need to act fast…I have a limited number of spots available.)
Happy Love+Joy+Clarity Day. I know I, for one, am happy.
This week, I was stumped. Am writing an eBook reallllly close to my heart about Joy. It’s inspired by my mother, whose beauteous maxim was “Don’t Postpone Joy”.
I had already called Fear out and told it I was going through with my eBook(s) whether it liked it or not. I believed we had an understanding. I’d write, it would show up and I’d write in spite of it. Push on through.
Besides, what’s easier for me than writing about Joy? I know this like the back of my hand. And it’s in honour of my Mom’s approach to life. (Also known to me like the back of my hand.)
So I wrote up a neat and tidy outline for the free eBook that looks like it’s going to be really truly valuable, and then…nothing. NADA. White space. Blank page. Staring moonily back at me. Blink, blink, blink goes the cursor.
I get up, shake it off, make some tea. I coax, I cajole, I get coached.
I back up. I surge forward.
I try a role call of saboteurs who may be trying to stop me. It doesn’t seem to be the “this is gonna suck, sucka!” or “who do you think YOU are to write about joy?” varietals (because, as my bud Leslie said and Rock Star Pam confirmed, I AM an expert on joy).
And the Words. Will. Not. Come.
Still something else.
February 14th (launch date) creeps closer and closer. And closer still.
Then Carrie (who is designing the stunningness that the eBook is becoming) asked me this:
I also wondered if your mom had a favourite flower we might slip in somehow, or a particular colour that made her smile. Your intention, alone, makes this project special… but if there are other little details we can stitch in, do say.
I immediately respond:
My Mom had sublimely eclectic taste (friends LOVED our homes because they were fun and lived-in). Art everywhere (nothing “valuable” just lots of pieces from travels…none of which “matched”) Massive colour (like salmon-coloured walls) though she searched her whole life for the perfect “butter yellow” wall colour for her kitchens (never found it). Yes flowers…the showiness of hibiscus and the subtleties of lily-of-the-valley. Trees were huge for her (we have a commemorative one in her name on the beach that reads: Brenda Geisler – Lover of Life and Trees – Requisciat in Pace – she was proud that she knew Latin!) and made sure she planted several in every home we lived in (and there were many). Coffee, fall macintosh apples, good cheese, a mohair blanket I knit her, good books tat could take to her to far-away places she couldn’t afford to visit herself, and bubble baths, and heart-to-heart hugs (she would actually get pissed off if you didn’t touch hearts in a hug or look into each others eyes when you clinked glasses in cheers).
Didn’t spellcheck, didn’t reread, didn’t edit. Just pressed “send”.
Then I cried. Blubbery, slobbery and completely. My husband walked in and gave me a hug (heart to heart, of course). Didn’t try to dry the tears, just knew they needed to be released.
And boy howdy, did they ever.
I sat down to write The Joy Pages that same day. Easiest thing I ever wrote. (Still not entirely sure how it’s all going to look once my beloved editors have their way with it, but I know it will be purposeful, useful and from my heart.)
For me, the stuck wasn’t fear as I had assumed after all. (Fear has such fabulous PR that it gets the credit for pretty much all stuckness). In my case, it was profound sadness masquerading as fear that had its grip on me. And not surprisingly, it’s bloody challenging to write something useful about joy when sadness is holding down the fort.
Fear is your lifelong lover and will show up, time and time again. I continue to say we ought to all move forward in spite of it. And that may look like getting clarity around whether it’s fear or something else. Then dealing with THAT accordingly.
Am learning that the enemies of fear are: love, joy and clarity. This Valentine’s Day, those will be my gifts to you.
Today is the day I get over myself. Today is the day I actually begin to WRITE the eBooks (PLURAL) that have been dying to be expressed from my heart for a long, LONG time. Not plan, not research, not outline, not hem and haw. Actually WRITE.
(Hear that? It’s the collective sigh of my inner circle.)
And today’s not just the day because my type-A excel spreadsheet tells me so. Oh, I can ignore IT. No, today’s the day because that right there on the left is what I pulled over to the side of the road and HAD to write in my notebook on the way home from the gym this morning.
I am scared. That what I write won’t be very good. That no one will care. That I’ll have wasted my time. And so much more.
Fear sucks…doing nothing is far worse.
What’s keeping you awake? What is dying to be expressed from YOUR heart?
There. THAT thing. The thought that made your stomach do a back-flip. That’s it. Now go do it.
PS – And hey, if you haven’t subscribed to my blog, please do so in that handy-dandy box at the top right…you’ll get blog updates right to your mailbox as well as news about the eBooks as they become available. They’ll be about JOY and finding your THING. Topics near and dear to my heart that I think you’ll totally dig.
I love running my own business. I love calling the shots. I love being able to focus on what I want AND turn on a dime if that’s what I choose. I love the support structures I have in place. I love picking my clients, picking my projects, picking my partners. I am accountable and responsible for my actions and outcomes. Liberating.
I love being the boss of me. In life and in business.
Last night, I was cutting out some French words to be used as flash cards for my daughter’s reading. I had asked her teacher for this resource earlier in the day and he complied, giving me handouts with words of varying length and instructing me to glue them onto construction paper (for sturdiness) and then cut them out.
I settled in on the couch, intent on the task while sipping my shiraz and absent-mindedly watching husband and daughter wrestle. It looked like fun. After a time, I noticed I was starting to get a blister on my thumb and my hand was beginning to cramp. I had been at this for a good 25 minutes. I was growing weary and a little agitated. Only half-way through the pages. The laughter of husband and child started to grate on my nerves. How come THEY get all the fun while I get all the drudgery?
I looked down at my perfect little piles of perfectly cut paper.
And stopped. Then this thought bore down on me:
Who the hell cared if the words were cut along the dotted lines with surgical precision?
How neatly they were cut would have zero bearing on my daughter’s ability to read “salon”. Who was REALLY calling the shots here? And if it was ME, why was I being such a tight-ass about LINES for the love-a? And what was all this type-A crap costing me?
I was being the world’s worst boss.
I chuckled at the absurdity of it all and proceeded to hack up the rest of the pages in minutes and joined in the wrestling fun.
Sloppily cut and perfectly fine, no?
Who are you cutting along the lines for?
My invitation to you: hack ‘em up. It feels goooooooooooood.
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A dear friend and I were working out at the gym earlier this week, talking about husbands, children, belly fat and joy (not in that precise order).
She mentioned that she had just read somewhere that happy people become successful, whereas unhappy people rarely do. It was 6 am and neither of us were in the mood to debate how scientifically-significant that statement was. Intuitively, I know this to have some truth, so I nodded knowingly.
She turned to me and asked, “but, how does one BECOME happy”? I thought about this a moment, my coach-like spidey senses abuzz with the opportunity to ask her about her beliefs. Which I shut down and replied:
I think it starts with gratitude.
And so, we went on our merry, separate ways. I proceeded to be annoyed about some of the days downs (working around a child who’s been home sick for days), and grateful for the ups (new client, offer of speaking gig, child’s fever broken) .
It’s the other basic, yet massive things that I forget to be grateful for.
My reminder today came from another dear friend’s Facebook update. Cath is a reporter for the Toronto Star and has been doing incredible things and covering incredible stories in Haiti.
On the anniversary of the quake that devasted the country, she wrote these words:
Big, terrible day in Haiti. Voices of survivors singing hymns still wafts into my window. Be grateful for your families, jobs, homes and friends.