Advancing with Effervescence

Effervescence is our true nature. It’s in every cell of our being. Whenever we find ourselves heavy or stuck, it’s so vital to return to the effervescent, vivacious, enthusiastic energy that is at our core.

What does it mean to lead with authentic effervescence? First of all, it can’t be faked. We all feel suspicious of the faux version; that icky over-exuberant forced peppy variety. “Fake it until you make it” does not apply. What I’m talking about, is going deep within your being and accessing the energy that is bubbling there and then leading with easy vitality and freshness…ALIVENESS!!!!

This week, ask yourself, What evokes my full hearted sparkle?
Here’s my list.

• Being true to myself, engaging in what makes me come alive.
• Daily spiritual practice: meditation, yoga, walks in nature.
• Taking care of my well-being in every way.
• Honoring my unique values.
• Focus
• Courage
• Living my purpose.
• A really good night sleep.
• A grande soy latte as I walk along the Seattle waterfront to my office.
• Sunshine on the water.
• Kevin
• India
• Generosity

What’s on your list?
Photo courtesy of Byrne and Flickr

Retreating into Becoming Un-Stuck

Many different courses are possible!

I feel stuck.   Stuck is really hard for me.  One of my highest values is freedom.  I feel stuck because I am holding on to strategies, which need to change.  I am holding on when what is really needed is to let go so something new can emerge.  As I tighten my grip, the intensity (and drama) escalates as I try to ward off the winds of change, which are in fact here to ultimately release the stuck place.  Crazy right?

A friend of mine reminded me of this fantastic sailing tip that is of great support in getting through intense situations.  It is simply this:  When a big gust hits and you are getting blown over, the last thing you want to do is pull the sails in tighter.  You need to remember to let everything go… and, here’s the cool part, simply allow the boat to right itself and choose a new direction.  If you have ever done this little maneuver in a strong wind you know it is a loud, sheet snapping affair that can seem pretty chaotic and it DOES WORK!!!!

So much of our lives are subject to unpredictable change. (Obvious newsflash, I know.)  It is no longer the kind of world where you can be successful just by focusing on strategy, hard work and having great people around you.  All this helps, for certain AND you can still get in big trouble if you hold on too tightly.  When the huge billowing gusts of change blow through providing what is intended to be welcome relief and fresh inspiration, you gotta be able to let go and allow your boat to right itself.

Once your boat is upright, choose a new course. There you have it…you are now un-stuck!

Wow…wouldn’t that be a courageous approach?

Advancing across Edges

Rose opened fully in the sun.

How did the rose ever open its heart
And give the world all its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light
Against its being,

Otherwise, we all remain
Too frightened.

— Hafiz

Between the two inner realities of “Who we are.” And “Who we are not, yet” there is an edge.  This edge is the dividing territory between the bud and the rose.   Once we have crossed over our edge, the rose becomes the reality of “Who we are”.  We stand in our new full-bloom splendor full of confidence, stunned by our beauty and wonder, What was all the hub bub?

To evolve into the leaders we are capable of becoming, we must become adept at journeying across our edges.  To use Hafiz’s imagery, we’ve got to find a way to journey from bud to rose.  Our edge is the place where we stop, gripped by fear. We are tempted to stay in the reliable, comfortable, status quo of the tight bud that never opens to it’s full potential.

To bloom we must recognize when we are at an edge.  It is immensely valuable to understand the specific nature of the edges we you are up against.  In this way, the emotional intensity of the edge doesn’t scare us into believing that…”Oh no, this is not meant for me.”  In fact, at our edges, it is pretty much guaranteed that there will be inner saboteur voices that demand, in no uncertain terms, that we stay a bud.   Please remember with equally firm conviction that these voices are not your Truth. With consciousness of the edge, we can discern the saboteur voices and support ourselves in crossing the edge insuring success.

Techniques for crossing over:

  • Champion yourself with encouragement and gentleness.
  • Call yourself forth with fierce remembrance of your burning power.
  • Find the part of yourself that has the resources to cross and have that part get it done.
  • Forbid yourself from crossing. (I mean it, tell yourself you are not to bloom, you don’t get to change…you will be surprised how much energy you can muster.)

May we shine forth sun upon each other as we gracefully cross over our edges from bud to rose.

Retreating and Advancing in Good Company

30 Amazing Women-Seattle October 2010

It’s miraculous, what becomes possible when like minded female leaders gather in conversation about things that really matter.  Success is always accelerated by good company.  I’m often asked, How do I choose amazing women to bring into my circle? Here are the selection criteria I use to gather 30 Amazing Women here in Seattle for my quarterly events:

-Does she have wisdom and compassion, a sense of humor, a great laugh, spirit and soul?

-Is she outraged at injustice and indifference?

-Does she want to make a difference and does her leadership have a profound impact?

-Does she have a sense of community, faith that it matters what we do?

-Does she care about the well-being of others beyond her own, for values that are being lost?

-Has she grown through her difficult times?

-Can you count on her?

-Will the circle be a sanctuary for her?

(Inspired by the writings of Jean Shinoda Bolen)

What would you add?

P.S. Are you a big YES to all of the above?  Please know that you are warmly invited to attend my upcoming “30 Amazing Women in BLISS” Event in Seattle?  Click here to register:  30 Amazing Women Event on March 7

P.S.S. Registration closes on February 28 and the seats are going fast.

Retreating Inward to the Bliss of the Heart

Step 1– Digging out the roots of suffering: We’ve all got a few limiting root beliefs that arose from wounds we may have long ago forgotten.  These pesky “bliss thieves” keep affecting repeating scenarios over and over in our lives.  Unfortunately, we can’t easily discover our own root wounds and without the catalyst of suffering we don’t often even try.  It’s like operating on our own head. Not so easy.

When with the help of an insightful executive coach or teacher, we identify one of our root wounds and its resulting limiting belief, it’s stunning to look back and see the circular pattern of behavior that repeatedly yielded results that strengthened the belief.  We can see how this pattern unfolded over and over causing progressively more intense suffering and shaping our lives with predictable precision.  Once identified and healed we shift toward creating fresh new beliefs that have us literally, rewriting our script.  So, first agenda item:  Identify and shift limiting root beliefs that are causing repeated suffering.    Time well spent?   Absolutely.

Step 2–The journey inward: Get established in BLISS!  From where does bliss arise?  For me it emerges from the joyous ease that arises when I’m at my best.   Bliss springs easily from a state of contentment.  It flows from knowing that I am safe and protected.  Bliss arises from knowing that I have the courage to face whatever challenges are before me and that I am equal to these challenges.   We attain mastery as we move beyond occasional, accidental visits to the land of BLISS and really plant our flag in this treasured territory.

In the yogic philosophy of Vedanta, bliss is the 5th Kosha or sheath at the heart of our being.  To arrive at bliss, we move progressively inward through the onion-like skins of our physical body, breath, mind, intellect and then at the very heart of who we are…we arrive at bliss.

May we each find our way inward and become established in the bliss at the Heart of our being.

May we become fearless in the center of this joy and happy not only in happiness but in difficulties as well.

This Valentine’s Day, I wish you the bliss of the Heart.


Flickr photo courtesy of qthomasbower under the Creative Commons License

Retreat to Advance with Honor, Ease and Bliss

Mountain Rainbow

My theme for 2011 is… the year of Honor, Ease and Bliss. I’m writing from Sun Mountain Lodge.  So far so good! Here’s where I’m going with these 3 attributes for 2011:

Honor: Honoring my Self as in honoring the great Divine energy that dwells within me, others and everything. This means treating my physical self, as the container of this Divine light, worthy of respect and love. Am I leading in a way that honors the people, places and things that surround me? Am I honoring them? Are we honoring each other? It’s a great word, honor.

Ease: Approaching everything with ease. Being a student of ease in the midst of activity. Breathing easy. Yes, even in business, EASE is the watchword.

Bliss: Great joy, perfect happiness. A state of spiritual blessedness. Bliss as in “follow your bliss” or “Blissed out.” I have a hunch that bliss will have me show up as a turned on leader who draws from a wellspring of vibrant energy and enthusiasm. Bliss as in genuinely existing, for the most part, in a heart flowing with love

So, these are my 3 words. It’s only been 2 weeks and I stand amazed. Just last night, after a perfect day of skiing, I watched the moon rise over the mountains while lying in bed by a roaring fire, looking out over a snow covered valley…in an exquisitely beautiful lodge room wrapped in a soft cashmere shawl…eating chocolate. (That’s the truth, I swear.) Although the quest has been challenging at times and it’s already required great discipline…it is reaping splendid rewards.

What are your 3 attributes of 2011? Don’t miss out on the synchronicity and growth that leading from this clarity will bring.

Click here to register for: “An Opening to 2011” Reflection & Intention Sessions and Download the FREE “An Opening to 2011” Worksheet. Registration closes Jan 31 so now is the time.