If you're like me and considered to be a late bloomer, there's good and bad news... The good news is all those additional years of experience have gleaned invaluable wisdom and strength. The bad news... you're late!
So how to tackle this one? The truth will always set us free and my truth began very young in boarding school when I was noticeably the only 14 year old boy whose voice hadn't yet broken and not a single hair on my legs! It was devastating self-esteem decimation!
It doesn't get any worse than being 15 and finally visiting the luxuries of home on a brief reprieve from school, only to be greeted on the phone by "Hello Melanie dear, can I speak to your mum please!" Melanie being my very feminine oldest sister! You get the picture.
On to college in the States (then an 18 year old young man with full hormones intact and maybe requiring a quick shave once a month) and time to declare what to do with my adult life. It seems to me there are two types of people in the world;...
I recently had an illuminating session with a couple who have strongly opposing views of the world. Or so it seemed...
The question of the meaning of life comes up at least 3 times a day in my coaching work with clients these days. Maybe it's the current spate of natural disasters and global tragedies and seeming randomness and injustice of it all, but the question keeps coming - Why?
Far be it for me to be the authority on such matters, but I do believe that part of my role as coach and voice of reason is to help others make sense of the world around them. To that end, the matter of life's purpose must be readily accessible to all of us, rather than remain a perpetually ambiguous existential dilemma.
One Good Reason
We all need a good reason to leap out of bed in the morning...
A reason to smile,
Someone to serve,
A cause to fight for,
An object for our affection,
A task to strive for,
A purpose to fulfill,
A gift to bring to the world.
At the root of most all presenting problems that bring people in to seek help, anxiety is the culprit!
Ask any therapist, family physician, healer, astrologer, tarot reader or psychic and they will likely concur that the underlying catalyst for unrest is anxiety.
And yet, it is so misunderstood.
For 10 of my 20 years in the field of personal development, I specialized in anxiety disorders. Impressive? Well, what does being a specialist actually mean? It certainly commands respect and credibility but what really is the secret behind being so special in a particular field?
What creates a specialization is experience. That's all. Nothing more, nothing less.
Consider this: The Cheesecake Factory specializes in 50 kinds of cheesecake, even though they have over 10 pages of other appetizers and main dishes on their menu (and portions that could feed half of Ethiopia, but that's another post!) So why cheesecake? Because it's a very popular dessert and for years, all that was on offer was...
Were you one of those kids who had to ask to be excused at the dinner table? I bet you're still looking for permission to be happy, make more money, please your boss and speak your truth. Do yourself a favor... excuse yourself!
It's tough living in our heads. Self-validation feels so corny and unsatisfying compared to full fledged approval from our friends, family and cohorts. I see so many people seeking approval from those they barely respect or admire and I wonder what on earth motivates them?
If you don't care for the poor soul you are seeking attention from then at least allow them the right to scowl at you, dislike your fashion sense, hairstyle, recent blog post or updates on Facebook. What's the worst that could happen? They think you have lousy taste? They wouldn't choose that halter top from BCBG, let alone put it together with the skirt from DKNY?
We seem to have an acceptable double standard when it comes to taste and style. We reserve the right to reject advances from...
All it takes is a momentary vision for entire new frontiers to unfold before us. An instant captured, a glimpse.
This is all available. It has been for millennia. But you cannot go it alone. You must be invited, courted, guided.
I found such a guide and in the coming weeks, I will share my journeys with you.
There are days when all we see is what we know. Trapped in one-dimensional thinking, we cannot reach beyond our stretch, nor feel beneath our sensory cave. On these days, I ask for more.
This is what I heard...
A journey is a glimpse into what could be. The "work" is experiencing the reality where we can actually live it.
These are the poignant words of wisdom I recently received in guidance, as I diligently forged ahead through the Amazon of my over-intellectualized mind. How refreshing to know that there is another way to see, another way to think and another way to be. But, we can only get there through image-making.
It's probably why we are all so obsessed with movies that...
Our yearning to belong stems from a deep longing to be...
Am I alone in craving to feel more connected? probably not. Am I off track to be constantly looking for more personal interactions with friends and family? I doubt it. Is anyone out there blogging about it? Who knows?
Here I go...
I had an intimately powerful experience this weekend. Indeed, I had no idea that intimacy could have power. I always associated intimacy with vulnerability and softness. Not so.
If you've ever had the gift of "immersing" yourself in the care of trusted friends, there's a strength in surrendering to their collective wisdom. We don't see ourselves as we are. We barely see ourselves as we'd like to be. We see only our limited idea of who we are. That's the gift of friendship. Assuming you have friends you can trust.
How would you know?
Over the decades, my idea of friendship has chopped and changed... A friend is someone who tells you the truth; a man who treats you like a man; a woman who reflects...
Beware your inner Saboteur: he's that little bugger who will pull your own rug out, just as you take your final step of the victory lap.
It doesn't make sense, right? The stunning Super Model who has the world in the palm of her hand while she destroys herself with bulimia and a string of abusive boyfriends. The entrepreneur who throws away millions in a reckless wager in Vegas.
How about the recovering alcoholic with 20 years sobriety under his belt who relapses at his 20 year high school reunion?
They all have one thing in common... sabotage!
The origin of the word comes from 'sabot', a 17th Century french shoe worn by peasants who would throw them into the gears of machines to willfully destroy them. Sounds like a Provincial version of throwing the toys out of the pram!
Of course, we've become more discreet in our destruction these days: Failed diets, blowing the retirement money, playing hooky, flirting with the waitress in front of the wife or rejecting the only partner who...
Wishing your good mood would last forever is a bit like keeping your favorite haircut at the 'ideal length' without it ever growing out!
Why are we subject to such fluidity of emotions?
It's not important. Don't worry about it! You see, you can't stop your thoughts, can you? Well, guess where your moods originate… unconscious thinking!
I know, it's a cheeky paradox, but it's the truth. Your moods, feelings and emotions all stem from thoughts flying through your head at any given moment; some you are aware of and most you are not. Just as a seed must always precede the fruit, there is a crucial step in-between. Let's call it the 'trunk.'
If the seed represents our thoughts, the trunk represents our moods or emotions and the fruit is the manifestation of our actions, then it's clear that...
I recently had the privilege of teaching undergraduate scholarship students at USC in one of my flagship coaching courses known as "Mastering The Competitive Edge".
Through generous donations made by the Latino Alumni Association (LAA) of USC, many of these young Latinos have been given the opportunity to become the first generation in their families to attend University and become true leaders in their communities.
Of the thousands of students I've been blessed to facilitate over the years, these scholars touched me with their self-awareness, ambition, humility and desire to make a real difference.
My mission was to prepare them for life beyond academics, fraternity rushing and Trojan rallies. To provide them with life skills and augment their tool kits, so they'd be ready to tackle the workforce by storm. My sense is that if there is to be a demographic to defy the statistics of unemployment and reduce the 1 trillion dollars in outstanding student loans in the US, this would be...