One of my favorite TV experiences is the Oscars. The magic of this evening is getting a glimpse into an elegant, coveted world that brings the best of the best in film to be recognized for their exceptional work. The often touching acceptance speeches give us a window into the real person behind the actor…and the inspiration and meaning that crafts their work gives us a window of hope for our own lives.
As this year’s winner for Best Actress, Michelle Yeoh, said, “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities. This is proof that dreams — dream big, and dreams do come true. And ladies, don’t let anybody tell you, you are ever past your prime. Never give up.”
Her words were so poignant and resonant. In my own work, I seem to be constantly hearing the voice of the inner critic in almost everyone I speak with, including my clients that question and doubt their belief in themselves and their possibilities. It’s as if their dreams have ceased and their fears have stepped in to take control.
Just this week, one client who has achieved so much, who started from scratch and has built an enviable business, said, “I feel I need to reinvent myself, but don’t know how”. The irony being she’s already reinvented herself twice, so she’s perfectly capable of doing it again.
The message I heard behind her paralysis of self-doubt, is that her previous dream has faded or shifted and now she gets to ignite a new dream…a new dream backed with a belief in herself and an opportunity to take action in the direction she now desires…
It’s too late for me
I’m running out of time
I should have done it years ago
I’m too old
I’m not good enough
I have responsibilities and people at home to care for
I want a change but who am I kidding
I’m afraid of failing
Declaration of Deficiency by Women
My client’s declaration of deficiency by women, even successful women, is not uncommon. And it’s often masked and spoken in different ways with thoughts like:
And the list of negative thoughts, words or excuses goes on and on…
All too often women have played small, silenced their voices and held back their growth. Their goal to build a brilliant business or professional life, with the personal freedom and impact they so desire, seems too far out of reach.
They believe it’s an achievement destined only for a rare few.
In the end, the feeling of “being lost” that so many women have is a detriment to everyone and everything. If the condition persists no one and nothing will benefit from their brilliance.
Worse, it is a deeper detriment to their own souls because they’ll never get to fulfill their purpose, expressing their abundant talent and sharing it with the world.
So what tools can we use to shift gears and get back to our dreams and possibilities?
It’s important to understand that our inner critic will always be there. It’s actually a natural mechanism that’s in place to protect us from the unknown and the uncertain…protection from things that can create upheaval, pain and turmoil.
But it’s also the same force that prevents us from achieving our true desires. Convincing us “there’s no way” and stripping us of our courage.
When we hear our inner critic we perceive it as weakness or a lack of confidence to forge the path to our dreams.
In reality, it’s not a personal weakness, but just a function of our minds that we all experience in varying degrees.
In the end, it comes down to how we cope with our inner critic that separates the “lost” or “stuck” from the “successful”.
I personally talk to my inner critic. Hear what it’s saying, recognize it for what it is, and then gently command it to step aside. I tell it, “I’m ready, I’m good enough, and I’ve got this”.
This process is powerful because you’re seeing it for what it is and putting it in its place, while you take back control of your life. It serves to diminish its power over you.
Another coping method I use to still my inner critic is to journal daily.
My journaling is a stream of consciousness that allows my inner critic to surface when it’s most vocal. I write out its questions and concerns and then respond just as if we were engaged in a conversation sitting across the table from each other.
I never perceive my inner critic as me. Yes, it’s a constant intruder in my life, but I’m very aware not to let it get in my way.
My inner critic does force me to assess my risks and determine my best next move, aware of all the possible outcomes. But I simply choose not to succumb to its drama and demands to play small.
While its opinions do provide me some value, allowing me to check in on my desires and make more informed decisions, I never pay the high price it wants of me. Self-doubt is just too damn expensive. The cost to my happiness and success is just too much to bear.
When we’re feeling stuck, or less than or unsure, asking ourselves questions is one of the most powerful tools we can use. It’s something that is also a constant in my life. A wonderful question I ask myself is “What is a dream and goal that really feels true and current?”
In the end, we never achieve fulfillment in our business and life when we don’t honor our true purpose and desires.
Acting to attain our dreams amidst the fear, self-doubt of our inner critic is a courageous move. Being all that we are and want to become is the brilliance we earn by quelling our inner critic.
So Ladies, if you think you’re past your prime, I can guarantee you, You’re Not! You get to live your life your way and become all that is in your heart to be.
Quote of the Week:
Ladies, don’t let anybody tell you, you are ever past your prime. Never give up.
~ Michelle Yeoh
There are two main objectives to your flagship email.
Build connections. Make offers.
I’ve seen a lot of emails making offers. But without the requisite building of connection.
People send an automated email often devoid of personality and thoughtful ways to build rapport. It’s an inadequate way to check off a “to do” on your list…a “to do”, that if done properly, has the ability to build treasured relationships and become a huge asset in your business.
When did our communications become so disconnected? When did they become vehicles of taking without the effort of giving first and adding value before we ask for something? When did caring in relationships become so non-existent?
When we send an email we’re in a relationship with someone…the person on the other side of the email. This person has opened themselves up to hearing from us, agreed to pay attention to us, and is willing to receive our value and offers. Our communications reflect a relationship, a relationship that has a beating heart, a life. Not to be taken advantage of.
Think of the romantic comedy You’ve Got Mail. It’s a story of a budding online romance between two people that initially are unaware that they are business rivals. The online connection builds and builds to a fevered pitch and is instrumental in the [spoiler alert] happy ending of the film. The email relationship takes on a life of its own.
It’s the same with your email communications. Think of it like a virtual romance. It’s an important, practical tool that has the ability to build caring on both sides…between people who know, like and trust each other.
We’re not talking about communications being perfect in their writing and construction. We’re talking about communications being meaningful and relevant.
Marketing and Sales are the lifeblood of your business. You won’t have a business without them. And in our modern, pandemic wrought times, our relationships are very much developed virtually. Email is a vital digital tool that can enhance any prospect/client relationship, if handled thoughtfully and effectively.
I suggest you do your due diligence and be clear about who you’re speaking to, what you’re communicating about, and write with understanding and compassion even when making offers.
If you do so, you’ll stand out from the crowded, often disconnected space and give your prospects every reason to contact you when they’re ready.
With heart and brilliance,
In my online dictionary Commitment means:
the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. “the company’s commitment to quality”
a pledge or undertaking. Plural noun: commitments “I cannot make such a commitment at the moment”
an engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of action. “business commitments”
Our ability to make any kind of meaningful difference in the lives of others requires commitment.
To live authentically, to be true to ourselves, we must be present, vulnerable, open and honest. This takes commitment because it’s not always easy.
To be connected with others we must reach out, share, give and be available. This takes commitment because it’s not always easy.
To make gains in our businesses and grow exponentially we must be focused in the right ways, take the right steps and learn as we go…failing and pivoting on the path to greatness. This takes commitment because it’s definitely not easy. In fact, it’s one of the most challenging decisions we make…to stay in the game of growing and scaling a business despite setbacks, obstacles, overwhelm and just plain life getting in the way.
But if you really want to build a business or enterprise that leaves a lasting legacy, one that you’re proud of, commitment is non-negotiable.
Every great leader, not only demonstrated courage and resilience, but had an unwavering commitment to stay in the game…no matter what.
Unfortunately, what I see happening too often with women entrepreneurs and leaders is that convenience trumps commitment.
That despite our deep desires and the rigor we put into our work, there are a thousand things we will put ahead of our dreams that stop us from staying the course. Things such as:
…the needs of others
…the need to be perfect
…putting off hard choices and decisions
…delaying the hard things that have to get done
…fears and insecurities
…stories and excuses
It’s not convenient to be committed. It’s not convenient to say “no” to other people’s agenda. It’s not convenient to harness every resource we have to take massive leaps and stake everything on what we claim we want.
It’s not convenient to be “all in”.
But our dreams and high impact goals won’t happen without commitment, without our ability to fully focus on what’s most important to us, put that first and stick with it no matter what story or excuse rears it’s inconvenient head.
If you want an assessment of whether or not you’re truly committed, there’s a great book titled The 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership which says “that commitment is a statement of what is”. You know what your commitment is by the results you get. If you look at yourself right now, whatever you have is what you’ve been committed to. So if you want something different than what you have, change your commitment.
Because you’re worth it.
You deserve to live the life you want and thrive in your business.
Think of your commitment today. Are you living a committed life or a life driven by convenience?
Only you know for sure.
Quote of the Week:
I am resolved to write, write, and write. Nothing can turn me away from a path I have definitely set myself to follow.
~ Anaiis Nin
With heart and brilliance,
Bronnie Ware, a longtime Palliative Care Specialist who cares for people in the last 3 to 12 weeks of their lives, documented the regrets of the dying.
Their #1 regret is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me”.
I’m sure you can share a collective sigh with me when you hear the sadness in that…a sigh of despair for the dying with no more time, a sigh for yourself that is shaded by the fear that “I hope this won’t be me”, or an even more defiant sigh that signals “I vow this will not be me”.
But the reality is most people will acknowledge this tragic truth and still likely end up dying with the same regret.
In my work, I vow to support women in reaching a business and life of fulfillment and freedom and not regret…living a life that is at least “half a shade braver”, borrowing a phrase from poet and author David Whyte.
I know that’s the better choice for me…to live a brave, fulfilling life.
Is it for you?
This also brought to mind an obituary I read recently on the actress Cicely Tyson, who died at the age of 96 after a lifetime of playing roles on stage and screen that were her civil-rights statements. Roles that she shaped into acts of advancing human rights.
As written in The Economist, “defiance came naturally, as a black woman in a world where black misery was largely ignored and black beauty dismissed. Consigned to a typing pool when she left school, she walked out, declaring that God did not intend her to bang on a typewriter for the rest of her life. In search of a modeling agency, a path that saw her face in Vogue as well as Ebony and Jet, she sent her photos all over New York, and did not care when her mother threw her out for it. Hired in a small way in the late 1950s for feature films and off-Broadway, she soon put her foot down. There were roles she approved of, and roles she would rather starve than take.”
Ms. Tyson lived a brave life. A life dedicated to rising above the obstacles inherent in systemic racism that were put in her way, breaking the stereotypes of roles given to black actresses and showing that she, through her signature defiance and choices, would find a way to show the strength and true values of her race while at the same time fulfilling her own dreams.
It’s not an easy path, and yet for those committed to living a life true to themselves, it’s the only path.
A path filled with clear choices and courageous action.
This is what I call living life “half a shade braver”.
Quote of the Week
People living deeply have no fear of death.
~ Anaiis Nin
With heart and brilliance,
If you were to put a value on your business day, what would it be?
What relationships did you build? What did you sell? What did you create?
Did you spend your day focusing on the essential things that will really grow and scale your business?
Let’s see how you’re doing today. No judgement here. Just your own honest assessment of your activities and how they relate to your priorities.
Did you surf the internet and spend time on social media?
Did you advance a profit project?
Did you spend time thinking about changing something on your website?
Did you build a new relationship?
Did you spend time organizing and reorganizing?
Did you secure a new speaking gig?
Did you attend countless meetings with no real result to show for them?
Did you engage in sales conversations?
You get the gist.
If your priorities aren’t on answering at least one, if not all, of those second questions in the affirmative, then the value of your business and the time you put into it is being seriously jeopardized.
You wonder what’s a $10 activity vs. a $1,000 activity? Or one of even far greater value?
It’s too much time endlessly spent on sweating small details instead of time mostly spent on strategic, impactful initiatives.
Nothing except those initiatives is valuable enough to establish and grow a sustainable business.
Converting a qualified prospect, market expansion, creating breakthrough brand messaging, getting in front of your ideal audience, selling value and innovation, etc.
These are the activities most worth spending time, energy and resources on.
These are the activities that will get you to where I know you want to be.
Moving forward…not stuck where you started.
Moving forward…not frustrated and disillusioned.
Moving forward…not languishing but growing.
So, I’d like to suggest that you track your priorities and your activities, hour by hour, for a week and put a value on each activity.
See if you’re spending your time as profitably as you could.
Are you ending each day in the red or in the black? How does it add up for your week?
This exercise will provide awareness on how you’re valuing your time.
And with that awareness will come action.
Identifying and executing on your most important initiative for the day.
The one item that if completed and you still do nothing else, will have the greatest impact on your ultimate success
With heart and brilliance,
In my work and life I choose stretch goals that I’m really committed to. That is how I learn and not just grow, but leap. Stretch meaning daring, wildly ambitious objectives that are inherently, extremely challenging and require a new and different approach to bring them within reach.
For instance, I’m committed now to writing a book. I’ve given myself through 2022 to complete it.
If you’re wondering why that time period, in my mind I’m going from zero to stretch, which seems daunting and scary.
I’ve never written a book. I’ve written thousands of business communications, newsletters, blog posts, letters, thoughtful emails, relationship building notes, etc.
But I’ve never written a book.
Let alone a book that I want to be proud of. A book that is important.
A book that gives tremendous value to the reader and fully expresses my “Big Idea”.
And I’d love for that book to be a New York Times Bestseller. (That’s my ego speaking, but I do love The New York Times!)
So, the stretch for me is to declare and commit to writing a New York Times Bestseller book, that adds tremendous value to other peoples’ lives and is completed by the end of 2022.
I’ll share a secret. I’ve thought about this for years. Without commitment. And here’s what happened.
Thinking is good but thinking without action, it accomplishes nothing.
Nor does your inner critic.
What do I want to write about? Where do I start? How do I do this? Can I do this? Am I capable of doing this?
You know, that mean inner voice that seeks to keep you out of danger but puts you down in the process. Your inner critic.
And that also leads to NOWHERE.
So finally, I figured out what I must do, like every other major goal I’ve ever achieved:
Know in my heart that I really want to do it.
Make the actual decision to do it.
Hire any help I may need to do it (like a book coach or editor).
Endeavor to make it New York Times worthy.
And then get it done.
Okay, so my path forward is now clear, but it’s still a HUGE Stretch.
So, I want to break it down even further. What will actually put the stretch within reach.
Twyla Tharp, one of America’s most prolific choreographers, wrote in her book The Creative Habit, that she gets up at 5:30 am every morning, throws on her sweats, hops in a cab, and heads to the gym for a 2-hour workout. She’s done this every single day of her adult life.
She explains that in her lifetime of creating brilliant, original work, her habit is not the gym practice, which is what you would think because of her profession.
Her creative habit is actually hopping in the taxi. It’s this habit, this consistent practice that sets the stage for her commitment. Because she knows if she does this, she will follow-through with her gym practice AND she will be primed to create her masterpieces for the stage.
Now that’s brilliant! That makes sense. That really puts the stretch within reach!
Anne Lamott, famous American author, also wrote in her book on writing,Bird By Bird, that what’s important is the act of sitting every day, at whatever time you deem, for however long you commit, to just do it. With no expectations. To get through writer’s block or overwhelm or anything else, just sit and put words to a page. She uses a metaphor of a 2-inch frame. When we think we’re stuck and have nothing to say, just imagine you only need to come up with words to fill a 2-inch frame. It’s a start, it’s a step, it’s not a masterpiece.
That’s also brilliant!
In both cases if you think about it, what we’re talking about is the Minimum Viable Commitment.
Now the minimum viable commitment doesn’t sound sexy or like we’re really invested in anything. But it works!
For me, I know that I will only be 100% accountable to myself, if I create a space where there are others showing up at my invitation. If someone else is counting on me, I will be there. No questions asked. No excuses, distractions or unproductive feelings will interfere. No matter what, I will be there.
So I’ve formed a daily Writing Circle and invited others who I also know are interested in writing to join me on Zoom at 6 AM EST. We just wave and write. We don’t talk. I don’t coach or consult. It’s just a space I’ve created to not only support myself but others who appreciate the benefit of the action and space.
This is my minimum viable commitment. Because I know if I do this… I will write that book.
If you think you have a book in you and would like to join us for our wake-up Writing Circle, please reply to this email and share a little about your project or intention.
I’ll get back to you with further details.
Whether you have a book in you and want to join us, or if your thing is not a book and you want to accomplish it, I invite you to find a process that will get you to the finish line.
Quote of the Week
Life is a process not an accomplishment.
With heart and brilliance,
Successful companies, large and small, understand the significance of a powerful brand. This note is not for them it’s for you, the world of individual players. Those who need to be the “CEO of Me”.
Your Personal Brand follows you around like your shadow. It’s essentially your value and your reputation. It’s critical that you make it count.
You can look to others for inspiration but you can’t copy because You Are The Brand. Any attempt to be someone you’re not will lead to a place you don’t want to go…brand confusion and potential brand extinction. It just won’t serve you.
In today’s massive global, digital world with everyone vying for attention, and a secure position in their careers, what is the leverage that helps keep you unshakeable? What separates you from the rest?
Skill and credibility aside, there is a very important aspect of your personal brand that many overlook. An authentic brand emanates from the inside out. It starts with your purpose..the purpose that emanates from your soul. I call this your soul purpose or your soul line. In other words, it’s the very thread of passions, desires, attributes and personal values that drive and sustain you. It’s a big part of what makes you, you.
I find that many go about the process of creating a personal brand backwards. They start with the external, identifying an image they may like or a tag line or message that’s snazzy, often losing sight of who they are. They may consider what the competition is doing and adopt a similar brand out of “brand worship” thinking it’s a recipe for success. Instead of being unique to themselves, they develop a brand that is truly distant from their powerful selves.
That’s dangerous thinking. Because the fact is You are Not Your Competition. You are You.
Your brand must derive from you.
And in this day and age of mass competition and commoditization it’s important that you define yourself not only within your organization but outside of it as well. It’s important that you nail your brand.
So how do you do this? Here are some tried-and-true suggestions:
List your passions.
List your talents.
List your skills.
Focus on your noteworthy distinctions and consider what is remarkable about you. Pay attention to what people ask or come to you for.
Create a narrative that is authentic to you, articulating your story. This includes how you add value.
Craft content and information that is rich, relevant and valuable on a consistent basis so you become a trusted source.
Lead in your area of expertise. Take a risk and make your thoughts known. Share your big idea and contribute. And do this as a regular practice.
Don’t forget to claim what you truly desire. Your Personal Brand supports that goal.
I cannot stress enough how important this is in order to stand out from the crowd because remember, your brand must derive from You.
With heart and brilliance,
On Turkey Point there is a historic lighthouse. It’s in northern Maryland and it’s from the 1830’s.
It occupies a beautiful point of land on the northern reaches of the Chesapeake Bay with eagles, hawks and falcons flying over.
The last keeper of Turkey Point was Fannie Mae Salter, who took over her husband’s duties in 1925, thanks to the personal authorization of President Calvin Coolidge. For 22 years she served and managed this navigational aid to maritime pilots at sea. Fannie Mae served until 1947 when she retired at age 65.
The thing about Turkey point, is that it had the most women lighthouse keepers than any other lighthouse on the Chesapeake Bay.
Women have made their mark in so many ways. There are many of these stories that are unknown to most.
I’m always on the lookout for these remarkable moments in history. They deserve to be paid tribute and to be known and remembered.
Because they underscore the incredible realization that we, as women, are powerful beyond limits. There’s nothing we cannot do even during times when it was unheard of.
Here’s another story…an archeological site where it’s been proven that women governed over 4000 years ago.
Last month,CNN reported there was an archeological site unearthed in Southeastern Spain that implies that women probably held political power in this society during the Bronze Age – ruling the area 4,000 years ago.
This is clearly in sharp contrast with earlier views of the civilization.
Objects belonging to women, such as bracelets, necklaces, earlobe plugs and silver diadem, were discovered in the tomb that sat below the governing hall of the palatial building.
This is evidence that the El Argar society was organized around complexes which had a political function and “women formed part of the political elite in the highly hierarchical society”.
A final story I’ll share today…
According to Smithsonian Magazine, during the 1918 flu pandemic, “the virus disproportionately affected young men, which in combination with World War I created a shortage of labor”. “This gap enabled women to play a new and indispensable role in the workforce during the crucial period just before the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women suffrage in the United States, two years later.”
Women stepped into the workforce in unprecedented numbers in roles previously held exclusively by men, like manufacturing and were able to enter fields where they had previously been banned, like the textile industry.
At the conclusion of the war, women represented 21% of all gainfully employed individuals in the U.S. Women’s increased presence in the workforce was due to the confluence of the pandemic with the war.
Another note of interest, this vital surge of women in the workforce led to women demanding equal pay for their work, helping to garner greater economic power and advancing women’s rights.
Women have been behind the scenes AND on the front lines forever, governing politically, stepping into essential roles and doing the critical work when men have been called to war.
As we turn this corner in the pandemic and look ahead, it’s important to call forth the power and unwavering dedication of women that will remain a beacon of light in both our history, our present and our future.
With heart and brilliance,
“Let the problem dictate the right answer.”
I read this phrase in Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene M. Schwartz.
It’s a simple rule not only in advertising but in the much larger scope of marketing overall.
Its context in the book is the failure of formulas to apply to different specific situations. Schwartz writes that, “…each and every formula is simply the written solution to a particular problem that occurred in the past. Change even one part of that problem and you need an entirely different formula.”
More plainly put, no two problems will be solved in the exact same way. It’s a brilliant way of approaching every problem our prospects or clients face.
Yesterday we were discussing the concept of providing value in our marketing; our email communications, our print and advertising, our media, our sales processes, etc.
Luca recalled a great example of providing genuine value when he relayed a segment of the film A Miracle On 34th Street.
During holiday shopping at Macy’s, a little girl asks Santa for a toy that Macy’s doesn’t have. Santa sends her over to Gimbel’s – a chief competitor of Macy’s – to get the toy. What creates real hubbub at Macy’s – management disgracing Santa for his actions of referring their customers to their competitor, turns out to become a regular practice for Macy’s. The customer being so impressed with the customer service advises the toy department manager that she will be their customer for life.
Helping the customer get what she wanted, even if Macy’s couldn’t sell it to her directly, solved a real problem for a mother looking to provide the perfect holiday gift for her daughter.
This is true value in marketing. Garnering long-term loyalty from a customer rather than follow a formula of trying to persuade the customer to buy something close to what she wanted or something different even, just to make the sale.
If you follow this formula, it’s not letting the problem dictate the answer. It’s using your prescribed answer to push the wrong solution onto the customer.
It’s not a good recipe for value. And it’s certainly not building long-term loyalty with your marketing.
The real lesson in the Macy’s example, is the longevity of the relationship…which is built because of effective and genuine marketing.
Even if Macy’s managed to provide something that might bring contentment and joy, it still doesn’t likely have the same outcome. It becomes transactional vs. transformational.
In the quest to really understand the desires of the customer and satisfy the customer vs. the company, you turn a transactional relationship into a long term, valuable transformational relationship.
Business owners understand intellectually what providing value is and yet so often we start from the place of what are we offering to hook someone into it. It’s a backwards approach. And unfortunately, it doesn’t really work which is why marketing and selling can get a bad rap. The approach seems one-sided, not emerging from the place of starting with the problem to arrive at the best solution.
If you follow this one simple rule in all of your marketing, you will be off to the races. And it likely won’t take more than a few people observing that you’re doing something differently and sincerely.
With heart and brilliance,
As we begin to emerge from life in lockdown, I’ve noticed that our small steps towards regaining emotional and physical freedom become cherished, profound experiences in our lives. Whereas before they might have been just a nice afternoon spent out and a fun experience, there now seems to be a deeper meaning.
The Japanese style tea house was built in Japan in 1953 before being shipped to New York and exhibited in the courtyard of the Museum of Modern Art. Eventually it found its way to West Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Today the historic site and museum is positioned on a hill brimming with energy and alive with incredible natural beauty.
Although the Shofuso was always notable to me, on this early pandemic-era outing I saw something entirely different this time.
For the first time I saw what an incredibly powerful ecosystem it is. The garden is a brilliant network of essential independent and interdependent parts. A waterfall feeds the pond garden, bordered by blooming cherry blossoms, azaleas and camellias. Koi fish swim lazily as their stunning colors dazzle visitors into feeding them, while the geese take this opportunity to sneak a few mouthfuls themselves before returning to their nest tucked safely on the pond’s small island. The whole scene, best seen from the house veranda, brings the space full circle…forming a fully functional and exquisite ecosystem.
As I took in the splendor of the Shofuso, it was suddenly easy to see how crucial each aspect, each defining element was to the whole experience. An experience of abundance, beauty, richness, tranquility and life. Remove just one element from the ecosystem, and it would change entirely.
Quarantine has caused each of us to become insular. Focused on our immediate home environments and a little part of the world that we could control, despite a world that has been out of control.
Our personal ecosystems are essential…our overall happiness, productivity, creativity and connection. If we’re amidst chaos, clutter and confusion, our world can become stressful, unhealthy and unsatisfying. It becomes far less supportive of the harmonious life we want to create.
And if we look beyond the physical to our relationships, our health, our work, our finances, our spirituality…that along with our physical space contribute to our personal ecosystems…we can see that they are all essential, independent and interdependent parts of our lives. Together they form our focus, shape our thoughts and create the conditions, moments, and experiences that bring so much fulfillment to our own lives.
My newfound perspective on the Shofuso has become the elegant model upon which I am basing my personal ecosystem. Working to create a life where all aspects work in harmony to bring me peace, joy, and abundance.
I encourage you to reflect on your own ecosystem, and how you can enable it to thrive.
If you think about the practical aspects of creating a fully functioning ecosystem, it starts with awareness and focus around 3 essential components:
Reflection – What matters and what are the current dynamics of your situation?
· What do you want your ecosystem to represent? · What elements of your current ecosystem are supporting you? · What elements are life-sucking?
Understanding – Are these elements synergistic or noncomplementary?
· Which elements are working well together? · Which are conflicting or dissonant? · What choices can you make to alter the dynamics so you can create your own Shofuso?
Execution – What are you willing to actually do to create, sustain and renew your own Shofuso?
· Which elements do you get to build anew or re-do? · Which elements are you primed to dismantle? · What are you doing next and when?
In the end, we want our personal ecosystems to reflect the inner life that is important to us. Is your current ecosystem supporting you in this way? If not, how can it?
Quote of the Week
Our personal ecosystems are powerful when we remain aware of what matters most and align our thoughts, actions and words with who we choose to be.