August, 02 2005
Don't be scared!
I often encounter our old friend, "fear", when I am talking with my clients. Sometimes a fearful situation seems to be natural and actually, I've been told that a fear is very real like the following example -- "I am afraid that I might lose a lot of money by doing such and such." Seems legitimate, right? And sometimes, it is very irrational but the person still feels the same emotions. It doesn't matter much which it is. Fear, in all forms, colors and shapes, holds us back. It might keep us from burning our fingers on a hot stove, but then we could do that without fear -- it's hot -- keep your fingers out of the way. Common sense. When we allow fear to interrupt our thinking, we shut down our creativity. When we allow fear to intrude on a journey, we take another path. While fear may have started as a helpful element, it no longer has a use in our lives. That's right -- NO FEAR!!! When we feel our stomachs tightening, our brething changing, our skin going either hot or cold, it's best to get in touch with the origin of the fear and take steps to eliminate the fearfulness. I'm not kidding. Living without fear opens our eyes and our hearts. It allows our brains to move into action and we can therefore be our best selves. It isn't necessary or desirable to let fear guide us. It is good to recognize when the fear is upon you, but it's best to catch it in the bud and do whatever it takes to move our of fear. Roosevelt said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Truer words have never been spoken.
July, 25 2005
Lance's Latest Triumph
I wqs glued to ESPN on Sunday morning as Lance Armstrong rode his astonishing final finish laps through Paris and down the Champs Elysee. I cried as they played the National Athem. I rejoiced in the pictures of him with his perfectly beautiful children. I love champions. I love the way they have juxtaposed hard work with opportunity to land on top. I like the way they think out loud and speak precisely about their achievements with both pride and humility. I like the way I feel when I am watching them: I feel unstoppable too. I admire their confidence as much as I respect their talent. I believe like they believe for just an instant. It's not that I don't believe that I can accomplish certain tasks -- I do. I'm a believer from way back. It's just that in the everyday world of friends and colleagues, we let so much get in our way: negative thoughts and that old reality stuff. For most of us (me and the people I see most frequently) -- we could do more. We could imagine higher. We could carve out a minute or two out of every day to extend ourselves to someone or something that might make a difference. We could trust more that our powerful thoughts would bring powerful conclusions. We are ALL champions in the making. Maybe we won't have an electrifying example of our prowess like the Tour de France, but we have our own mountains to climb. Lance reminds us at the end to let our glory shine through.
July, 19 2005
Are you melting too?
Oh, it's so hot here! The service station owner and dozens of others I have encountered today all mention the heat. They say, and I tend to agree, it's the worst summer EVER! Haven't I said that before? Isn't July often miserably hot and humind. I was out at 6 a.m. this morning enjoying the pretty green of the backyard and watering the thirsty plants and it was quite wonderful but I had to remind myself that later on in the day, it would be unbearable. I was right. So what? What could fall more in the category of something that we can not do anything about than weather. Hot, cold, rainy, dry. In most parts of the country weather is a topic because it is usually so lousy. And here's the thing -- we resist the weather as if it does some good. So it's hot -- sweat a little or a lot, adjust what you do inside and out, and live your life without the resistance. Is that possible? You bet it is. It's our job to adjust ourselves to what is -- not make what is different. So many things that we rail against are not about "them." It is about US. In situations like weather, we immediately feel powerless when in fact we have all the power we need: we can take responsibility for what we do and how we do it on hot days. In this country we have good air conditioning -- cars, houses, stores. So we believe that we must go on as though life is just as it was but sometimes we need to adjust. Living a great life means living with full power -- being the best that we can be. I want to thank all of those who told me today how hot it is -- they are right -- but neither they nor the temperature can usurp my power or my devotion to being all that I can be. I'm having a good ole time doing some writing, spending a little time with my granddaughter and being responsible for me. Am I hot -- I hadn't noticed.
July, 11 2005
I will admit to watching more television than usual latelyand, for once, I'm glad because I saw two incredible challenges. The first was the Women's Final at Wimbledon and the second was the dance match-up final on Dancing with the Stars. In each situation, the last competition brought out the best in each of the finalists and, to my mind, the winner may not have been "better" but was so completely determined that she was not going to be denied. I love sports and I like competition. And while I know that you need an enormous amount of talent as well as hard work to be at Wimbledon, the TV show demonstrated that you needed to work hard and really, really go for the win (That was true of all the competitors) but the one who won came from last place to finish first. What a feat! And what I know for sure is that in each situation the person who wanted to win the most did. To my mind, Linsey Davenport, who lost the match to Venus Williams, was so superb that it's still amazing to me that she lost. Yes, she wanted to win and was passionate in her play, but Venus wanted it more. John Hurley was really, really good as was his partner Charlotte and they danced so beautifully on the final night, but Kelly was fiery and believed that she could do it even though nearly everyone thought Hurley would be the victor. So what's the point? It's that we are in challenging spots all the time and our thoughts may do us in way before our talent and hard work let us down. It may be that we need to keep going until the very final second -- Don't ever give up in our minds. And when a thought passes through that seems to limit us, dig even deeper to go for the win!