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The Benefits of Using a Great Coach in a VUCA Environment

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The Benefits of Using a Great Coach in a VUCA Environment

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This blog is provided by David Goldsmith of 7 Paths Forward, LLC. (www.7pathsforward.com) It is a companion to his interview as a part of the WBECS (The World Business & Executive Coach Summary) Interview Series that is featured on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future. David’s interview aired on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, titled The Benefits of Great Coaching in a VUCA Environment.

 

VUCA stands for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. It’s a term that comes from the military to describe conditions during war. The current pandemic has highlighted and accelerated the disruption that leaders were already experiencing in their organizations. Now when we talk about VUCA more people have a first hand experience of what we are talking about.

The world is volatile right now. Everyday things change. We don’t know when and if things will return to how they used to be. This creates a lot of the uncertainty that we are all experiencing. Just as we think we know how things might be, we learn new things and our view changes rapidly. Sometimes we experience this change hourly! It’s a lot to keep up with.

It’s hard to imagine a time when things were more uncertain. When will children go back to school? How long will we work from home? Will there be further waves of the virus? How will we deal with those? What does “normal” look like in the future? How will this affect organizations? What kind of work will there be? What do we want to keep and preserve from the disruption?

The complexity has only increased. As a leader you had your OKRs for the year. How do you accomplish those goals with your workforce configured very differently? How do you get these done when your workforce is facing childcare challenges and experiencing a level of stress and personal disruption previously unknown?

The pandemic has also been a great example of ambiguity. We are watching governments manage a public health crisis and an economic crisis at the same time. There are no easy or right decisions. Every decision has consequences. And you never have enough information to make a decision. You have to choose and then be prepared to update your decision very quickly!

Coaches help leaders grow and develop and handle more complexity. Great coaches help their clients do this more efficiently and with deeper results. A simple example is inter-city trains. In many parts of the world you can take a train service from city a to city b that might take ten hours. Or you can take a high-speed train that makes the trip in six hours. The high-speed train is usually more comfortable and gets you there significantly faster. Both options get you to your destination.

During this pandemic we are finding that leaders are making time for their coaching sessions. However, many times these sessions are shorter. A great coach can efficiently work with the client to identify the issues, help them develop actionable insights and help them get on with their VUCA challenges.

To deal with these VUCA challenges requires a coach who has the experience, skill and insight to customize their work to provide what these leaders need now. They must be agile, insightful and armed with a large toolbox of skills and approaches. ​They must themselves be comfortable in a VUCA environment.

When you have to make a complex decision without enough information, you need a coach who can lean in to the conversation, help you understand all four of the VUCA elements and then help frame the issue so that the leader can make their best decision. And the coach is standing by ready to help that leader adjust (because they will need to).

Leaders also need great coaches who can work with a variety of narcissistic, defensive and emotional clients. All of us are dealing with a far greater level of conscious and unconscious stress. Leaders are behaving in ways that are unusual and often surprising to themselves. They need a coach who isn’t fazed by this and in fact knows how to utilize this new behavior to help the leader accelerate their growth.

Our current environment is a great example of why leaders who want to grow, develop, and thrive need to work with a great coach.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

About the Author

A pioneer in the coaching industry, David Goldsmith was Chief Operating Officer of CoachInc.com and past President of CoachU. He has staged many innovative conferences on coaching and was the first to showcase coaching research almost 20 years ago. He co-founded the Foundation for Coaching which has now become the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. he has also co-founded Accelerating Coach Excellence, a program dedicated to helping coaches get to the heart of client issues in less time.  David is an active coach working with senior leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs around the globe. He has also coached many of the leaders in the coaching profession helping to grow the impact of coaching worldwide.

Using Adversity To Strengthen Relationships – With Charlie and Linda Bloom

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Empowerment
Using Adversity To Strengthen Relationships – With Charlie and Linda Bloom

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Marriage counselors and best-selling authors, Charlie and Linda Bloom recently joined me on Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit to talk about their new book, That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. This was Linda’s second visit and what a delight to now know Charlie, too. They are in a unique position to help couples heal in a profound way because they understand the challenges in a relationship from the perspective of counselors as well as from the perspective of a couple who had to face the pain in their own relationship. They shared much hard-earned wisdom with us. At base, their story is one of two people finding the courage to be vulnerable, to look deeply at their own behavior, and to truly change within themselves to become whole and a worthy partner while also healing their life as a couple. It is much easier to point a finger and assess blame than it is to acknowledge our own role in the conflict and grow where we need to. They say it isn’t about finding the perfect, right person. It’s about working through the differences and accepting who the other person is, especially in the ways they are not like us. Healing takes skills, courage, time, patience, forgiveness, non-attachment, empathy, compassion, and commitment. For more helpful information, listen to this show by clicking here.

Dr. Paula’s Tip of the Week

My Tip from my e-book, 33 Tips for Self-Empowerment is: Walk the Labyrinth. Find a Labyrinth in your area, indoors or out, and walk it. Before you enter it, say a prayer asking for what you want to release and receive. As you walk into the center, you will release what you no longer need. In the center, you will hear answers from your Higher Self, from God, from the spiritual realm. As you walk out, you will be lighter and move more into your true self. The Labyrinth is created through sacred geometry and as such, it holds energy of a very high and positive spiritual nature. No negative energies are allowed to enter. You can get answers to questions and solutions to problems that are causing you pain—emotionally, mentally or physically. When you walk the Labyrinth with others, the sacred space helps you heal relationships, find mutually acceptable solutions, and create closer bonds. Couples, families, friends, or any team or group can choose to walk the Labyrinth together with a specific purpose in mind. When I was with a group of life coaches who were trying to build a business together, I led our group on a Labyrinth walk to help create a team. Although the business partnership didn’t work out for several practical reasons, the friendships we developed did. Twenty years later, I can still call any of them, and I’ll get a call back within the day.

Dr. Paula’s Silver Lining Story

My silver lining story for today is about a small writing group I was in a number of years ago. One member left the group to move to a new city. When she moved back several months later, the relationships within the group had changed. She, however, was expecting to assume her old role. She was very angry when her expectations weren’t met and started disrupting the meetings. We walked the Labyrinth in an attempt to solve the problem and redevelop the group closeness. We then wrote about our experience in the Labyrinth, which was followed by an open group discussion. Not all problems can be solved to everyone’s satisfaction, and she chose to leave the group permanently. My silver lining was allowing myself to let go of my fear of speaking my truth in what had become an extremely tense and unpleasant relationship.

This is what I wrote after walking the Labyrinth:

What’s the boundary between the self and the group? Does responsibility for individual growth have to be subsumed into the will of the group? What does it mean to be part of a group and still an individual? Do I not speak because it might hurt someone else? What about survival of the self? And what about projection? What is reality and what is in my head or a dragon from the past breathing revenge, competition or hurt? Learnings and re-entry are painful. Everything changes. So the cards are thrown up in the air and they land in some new configuration. Are we not all entitled to continued growth and development? How do we work it out? It’s rarely pretty and easy and harmonious. All groups go through discord to reach true intimacy. Are we willing to risk that? Am I willing to risk that? Life is too precious. Learning is too sweet to do it any other way. So the words must be spoken and hurt gone through to reach the other side. 

Marian Stephens’ Story

I was so moved by what Linda and Charlie Bloom offered that I immediately read their book. They give guidance on how to prevent having a breakdown or a breakup in a relationship, and instead, having a breakthrough. I just got married six months ago, and we are nowhere near having a breakup. I have been struggling, however, with how to handle conflict and the overwhelming emotional response I am experiencing with working on healing my mind, body, and spirit. After listening, I realize that if I cannot change some of my behaviors, I will cause more and more damage to the relationship with my husband that I cherish with all my heart.

Linda Bloom found herself feeling that she was the victim of her relationship and circumstances, and I find myself identifying with her in so many ways. I truly was never in the wrong in my last relationship with an abusive man – he instigated fight after fight that ended in physical and verbal violence until I walked away. The problem is that I have been unknowingly positioning myself as the victim every time I have conflict with my husband; using words such as “you should, could, always, never, only…” It’s true that I very rarely start an argument, but I find myself quick to anger and unwilling to take a moment to walk away, catch my breath, and look at my own behavior when an argument arises. It is so much easier to blame and seek an apology from my husband, which he is all too willing to give me because he does not want to hurt me. If I feel vindicated, I never have to deal with the pain of looking in the mirror and taking responsibility for my actions. But, I know in my heart this is untenable and unfair to both of us. Part of my work in healing must be meditation to learn to quiet the storm of anger that rages in my mind when conflict arises–actual conflict with others and the conflict I feel internally when reconciling and working through the past.

In this episode, Dr. Paula asks what relationship you want to heal. I want to repair my relationship with my oldest son. Our entire family is giving so much effort to facilitating this, and he is not responding. We were on vacation at the beach this week, and he got so angry with me that he exploded and told me he will not come back to live with me until I choose between him and my husband. So, this is my new relationship challenge, and I am somewhat at a loss. I am going to continue to learn and grow and apply all of that to my parenting challenges, and, impart what I am learning to my children so they can navigate the hurt and anger they are feeling, too.

Dr. Paula’s Coaching Response

I recognize how much you want to heal your relationship with your son. You must remember, however, that there are two people in this relationship and both people must want to have a healthy relationship for that to happen. No one can create a healthy relationship with another person by themselves. That your 18-year-old son wants you to choose between him and your husband is not an appropriate request, or in this case, ultimatum. Some things you can fix and some you can’t. This is very hard for a mother to acknowledge, but as you noted in the last blog, you have to be selfish and take care of yourself first. Your son should not be allowed to destroy your relationship with your husband or your other children. He needs to learn his place in the family and you need to have the strength to let him know he is not in charge. We all have challenges and disappointments in life. Learning what we can and cannot change is part of being human. Your challenge here is to keep strong boundaries with your son, recognize the legacy of abuse that he learned from his father, and heal the emotional pain that this relationship is causing you. You may not have control over creating a healthy relationship with your son, but you do have control over your response to him and his demands. That’s how you take back your power, heal and create a healthy relationship with yourself.

For more shows on Healthy Relationships:

FREE CHAPTER, THE ULTIMATE CREATIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESS, FROM MY BEST-SELLING BOOK, NOTHING BUT NET

To learn more about my unique process that removes hidden blockages, helps you solve your most challenging problems, and achieve success with ease and speed, sign up for my newsletter and receive the chapter as my gift: sign up here

CONTACT DR. PAULA TO SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLEMENTARY 10 MINUTE PHONE CONSULTATION

Dr. Paula, The Life Doctor, has helped thousands of people improve their health, wealth and relationships through writing, coaching and speaking. Contact her today to get started on your personal journey. Recently Dr. Paula Joyce, PhD was honored as one of the 16 Best Life Coaches in Dallas.

Cell: (214) 208-3533

Email:  paula@paulajoyce.com

To learn more about Dr. Paula, please visit her website at www.paulajoyce.com.

To hear more shows from Uplift Your Life: Nourishment of the Spirit, please click here.

20 tips to be an (even more) awesome parent

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Empowerment
20 tips to be an (even more) awesome parent

25558447.jpgIn this edition of LIFEadvice, life coaches Kim Giles and Nicole Cunningham share their top 20 tips for being a better parent.

Before we get into our top 20 tips, we want to caution you to not get overwhelmed by the long list. You don’t have to master them all this week. You might want to just work on one thing each week, or go through the list and pick two to practice this week. We are going for small steps of progress at a time.

The truth is, parenting is one of the hardest, most guilt-producing challenges on the planet. No matter how hard you try, you may always feel like it wasn’t good enough. So, don’t even try to shoot for perfection, just shoot for a little growth every day. Also, remember some children are a lot more challenging than others, and cut yourself some slack if you have a challenging child.

Here are our 20 tips to be a more awesome parent:

1. Teach your kids that all human beings have the same value and our value can’t change.

Make this the everyday language in your home. This will help all of you to be bulletproof, avoid judgment and have more confidence and self-esteem.

2. Trust yourself.

You are the only one entitled to know what is right for your child. Listen to your gut daily and follow your instincts.

3. Trust them and let them be different from you.

They will choose their perfect journey and it may mean making choices you wouldn’t make or approve of. When this happens, honor their right to be different from you and still have your love and admiration for the good soul they are.

4. Give lots of validation and praise on the right things.

Don’t praise their appearance, performance or property as much as you praise their kindness, honesty, love and other admirable qualities. Help them see those as who they are.

5. Do not compare yourself or your kids to others.

Teach them we are all incomparable and on a totally unique journey, so it makes no sense to compare.

6. Help your child learn to problem-solve.

Instead of solving their problems, ask questions like “Well what could you do? What options do you have?” until they figure out how to solve things on their own. Teach them to brain storm and to trust themselves that the answers will come, if we just keep looking.

7. Take care of yourself.

A happy parent is an awesome parent, so have a life and activities outside of being a parent (if you need them) and don’t feel guilty about that. The more fulfilled you are in life, the more balanced your parenting will be. Don’t make the kids your entire existence or you will lose yourself when they grow up.

8. Let most stuff go.

Choose your battles carefully, ignore garden variety annoying kid behavior, don’t create drama by getting involved in every little thing. Work on having thicker skin and more patience by trusting that things will work out.

9. Practice what you preach.

Kids lose respect for adults fast when we don’t do the very things we tell them they should do. Don’t yell at them for yelling, for instance. Watch the things you say and make sure you are teaching by example.

10. Let them fall, fail and be disappointed.

Your job is to prepare them for life in the real world and protecting them from all sadness does not prepare them. Let them make mistakes, forget things, lose things or fail now, while you can use the experience to teach them how to deal with emotions and the tough stuff of life.

11. Ask questions and listen more than you speak.

What your child needs from you most is to know he/she is important, valued and good enough. Spend time asking lots of questions about what they think, feel, see and experience. Help them have a place to process emotions and experiences, without advice or lectures. Just let them think things through and figure things out on their own. It takes more time, but it prepares them to be capable adults.

12. Treat them with respect and get respect back.

If you disrespect your children and what they think and feel, they won’t respect you either. Respect must be earned by modeling mature, kind, respectful behavior yourself.

13. Have one-on-one dates with each child regularly.

And do #12.

14. Work on being happier, more fulfilled and content yourself.

The single greatest thing you can do for your family is work on your own self-esteem and fulfillment in life. A happy parent is more patient, loving and wise.

15. Talk about uncomfortable topics often.

One conversation about sex, drinking or drugs won’t do it. Kids need to know you are a comfortable and safe place to discuss the hard stuff of life, all the time. If you aren’t comfortable, seek some professional help yourself.

16. Do one thing at a time.

Don’t try to help with homework while you cook. Do homework first and give them all your attention, then make dinner. You will not only make them feel important, but you will feel less stressed, too.

17. Limit screen time for everyone — even you.

Too many hours a day looking at a screen isn’t good for anyone. Plan outdoor activities and interact with real, live people daily.

18. Apologize and show them vulnerability.

When you make a mistake, react badly or lose your temper, own it and say you’re sorry. Kids learn great life lessons when adults are vulnerable and humble enough to apologize and then try harder. Don’t expect them to improve themselves if you aren’t, too.

19. See parenting as your classroom.

We often believe it’s our job to educated our children (which it is), but it is also their job to educate us. Your children are the teachers who will facilitate your greatest lessons in patience, forgiveness, tolerance, self-control, love and trust. See every parenting moment as your perfect classroom today, and you will be amazed how much more mature you behave.

20. Learn about your child’s core fears and values.

These are the factors that drive all their behavior. When you understand what they value most (people and connections, tasks and performance, things and money, or ideas and beliefs) you will understand their key motivator and your best leverage for discipline. Understand their core fear (either failure or loss) and you will understand their trigger and what brings their worst behavior out. While you are at it, learn about your own fears and values too, so you can understand how you are different. This level of understanding about each other is a game changer.

Also remember — you don’t have to be a perfect parent to be the perfect parent for your child. You may mess up a bit (we all do), but choose to believe it’s the exact way that they are supposed to learn, for their perfect journey to unfold. Trust that things will work out, and be patient and loving with both of you.

You can do this.

8 ways to cope when life is impossibly hard

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Empowerment
8 ways to cope when life is impossibly hard

Question: I have a very serious illness that no one has ever heard of and I find it extremely devastating and lonely. What can someone like me, in my position do?  I’ve struggled with this for over 30 years and this is impossibly frustrating and miserable. You have no idea. Do you have any advice for dealing with this?

Answer: Many of life’s challenges are impossibly hard and painful. Many of these problems have no answers, solutions or remedies. They are painful and they are going to stay painful for a long time. In this situation, with no escape available, your options are limited. You have control over very little.  For the most part, all you can do, is work on choosing your attitude and mindset inside the challenge. Vivian Greene said it best, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Here are 8 suggestions to help you dance in the rain (and find joy and peace) despite an impossibly hard challenge:

  1. Buddha said, “It is your resistance to “what is” that causes your suffering.” It is your wishing and wanting things to be different than they are, that is the real cause of your pain. You have created (and attached your happiness to) expectations about how your life should look or feel. The problem is life rarely meets our expectations, and most often takes you in a direction you never saw coming. So, now that you are here, how much time and energy are you going to waste wishing you were somewhere else?  All this time and energy is wasted and painful. You will suffer less if you stop resisting and choose to accept this path as the right one for you.
  2. Trust there is order in the universe and purpose and meaning in all things. Choose to see the universe as a wise teacher, who knows what it’s doing, and whose ultimate objective is always to serve you and your growth. This would mean every experience you have is here to facilitate learning and make you smarter, stronger, wiser or more loving. This means things don’t happen to you – they happen for you.I know, during times of intense suffering, it is difficult to believe your misery is here for a positive purpose. (And I cannot prove to you this idea is truth – though you can’t prove it’s not truth either.) But I do know from personal experience, that choosing to trust there is a positive reason, a painful experience is here, does make me suffer less.

    I first learned this from reading about Viktor Frankl, who during intense suffering in the concentration camps of World War II, found if he chose to believe there was meaning in his suffering (that it was here for a reason) he not only suffered less, but also felt motivated to rise and get through the suffering in the best possible way. He said “Suffering ceases to be suffering [at the same level] the moment it finds meaning.”

    If you choose to see the universe as on your side and working for you, instead of against you, and if you choose to believe every experience is therefore the perfect classroom journey for you – you will find more peace in spite of the difficulty.

 

  1. Focus on this present moment only. If you try to process the weight of the coming years of loneliness or pain you might have coming it will crush you. It is too much, too scary and too discouraging. So set that weight down. Focus only on this present moment or hour. Get through this hour choosing to be a positive and happy as possible, What can you do at this moment for yourself to relieve pain, create joy or just distract yourself. You have great power in this moment to choose your mindset (it is actually the only time you have any power of choice). Use that power to chose loving feelings towards yourself and others. Use this moment to experience gratitude and count your blessings (no matter how bad things get there are still things to be grateful for.) Create a life of happiness, kindness, service, joy and fun, one moment at a time.

 

  1. Find a passion project. During times of trail or suffering we can often find ourselves unproductive, stuck and feeling useless. It helps a great deal if you can find a passion projects of some kind that makes you feel fulfilled, productive or accomplished. Even if it is just a journal or blog, a puzzle or a scrapbook. What could you do with your time instead of wallowing.

 

  1. Allow yourself limited pity party time. It is natural during times of suffering and challenge to feel self-pity, sadness and grief. You should feel and experience these emotions and not try to suppress them all the time. It is actually important you give yourself time to feel these feelings and have a good pity party or cry, just don’t live there. If you feel these emotions coming up today give yourself a limited amount of time (like an hour or 20 minutes) to deep dive into the negative emotions and cry if you need to. Giving yourself this time is an important part of the lesson this experience is here to teach you. You will also find you actually feel better after a good cry. I believe it gets some of the pain out so you always feel better after.

 

  1. Lower your expectations around what you can do. When you are going through an impossibly hard experience at least half your brain power and energy are being used to process the trauma of the situation. This doesn’t leave you with enough band width for all the other tasks or interests you usually do. Go easy on yourself and expect less. Give yourself permission to have a messier house or get less done. Be realistic with the energy you have and say no to things you know will wipe you out later.

 

  1. Give up envy and wishing you had someone else’s life journey. It is really easy to find yourself in a place of envy when your life is hard. It does seem unfair that other people get lives that seem easier than yours, but dwelling on this does you no good and in fact, will make you feel even worse. Remember, their journey isn’t over and all of us will face some challenges sooner or later. Remember this journey (though painful) is the right one for your soul, or you wouldn’t be here. Trust the universe knows what it’s doing and that growth is its purpose. There are amazing lessons, knowledge and strength to be gained from your journey, and though you would rather not go through this to gain them, there will be a benefit down the road.

 

  1. Use this experience and the unique knowledge (on the human condition and suffering) it is giving you, to bless the world in some way. Your misery can often become your message. If you suffer with chronic illness you can show others how to cope in a positive way. If you are a single mother, you could help newly divorced women handle their new realities with more joy. If you lose a loved one, you can be a resource to others who are suffering grief. There is always a way to use what has happened to you to make a difference in the world.At some level that is why I write this column every week. My journey has not been an easy one at all. I apparently signed up for many hard classes in the classroom of life, and have experienced suffering on almost every level. I tell you this only because trying to use my challenges to help others, helps me. Most of these articles are full of practical ideas, I have actually used, to get me through hard times. When you can make your suffering useful to someone else, it helps.

     

There is nothing I could write that would take away the pain of your suffering, but I do believe you can lessen it, at least to some degree, by using these 8 ideas.  Every day is another chance to practice choosing joy, peace, happiness and laughter in your life, and you don’t have to do it perfectly, just keep making progress.

You can do this.

Choosing the Best Surgeon, Be Your Personal Trainer, Yesterday and Today

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Empowerment
Choosing the Best Surgeon, Be Your Personal Trainer, Yesterday and Today

If you require an operation, the surgeon you choose could be a life or death decision. But how do you know how to find the best doctor for your procedure? Anything can go wrong and often does, so you attention to this major detail is mandatory. Cynthia Brian will help you research the best of the best.

A new year brings new resolutions and the top goals for any new season have to do with fitness. Whether you want to lose weight, get stronger, or fit into that size 8 again, you can turn up the burn by becoming your own personal trainer.

2017 is almost in our rearview mirror and many people are shouting “hurray!” Cynthia Brian will review her 2017year and offer a sneak peak to the excitement for 2018.

Make your final tax-deductible donation today! Charities need your help! Through December 31, PayPal will add 1% to all donations made to benefit Be the Star You Are!® charity that brings you this radio broadcast through PayPal’s Holiday Campaign Donate page and the PayPal app www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/1504

Happy end of 2017 and hello to 2018!

StarStyle® is celebrating 19 years of continuous weekly broadcasting. Find out more at www.StarStyleRadio.com

Listen at Voice America Network: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/104298/choosing-the-best-surgeon-be-your-personal-trainer

Shift. Shine. Inspire.

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Empowerment
Shift. Shine. Inspire.

It was such a pleasure to have Viviana Lahrs Gesyuk and Tahil Gesyuk, founders of Heart Source in Berkeley, as guests on SacredExploration (November 30), sharing their experience and wisdom about creating extraordinary relationships. We usually think of issues around ‘shining bright’ as an individual challenge or fear. But, one of the things that came up in our discussion was that even couples can be afraid to experience unknown levels of happiness, ecstasy, and prosperity. Naturally, before the couple can achieve new levels of experience, each of the individuals within it must own their own ability to shine bright. Following is a blog written by Viviana in 2016, illuminating the journey around recognizing the fact that we are all free to shine bright:

Shift. Shine. Inspire.

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Who will give me permission to shine? My whole life, for as long as I could remember, I had this ever present, unseen, unconscious feeling that I had to have permission from something or someone to let myself be seen, to shine, to get big, to follow my dreams and create and do what was my calling. Yet I didn’t quite know what my calling was or know that I was even waiting for permission.

One day about 9 years ago I was sitting in a huge hotel auditorium in Burlingame. I was a real estate agent and attempting to build my small empire of real estate sales. In this two day seminar, we were being shown how to manage our lives, our business and, most importantly, how to bring in clients, keep clients and make them happy. We learned minute details like what color our flyers should be for maximum visibility, how to make a weekly schedule to have successful time management, what kind of questions to ask… some good stuff, yet I found much of it boring. Then, on the last day in the last hours, we got to what lit me up. You know that time of a big seminar when the presenters invoke inspiration, joy, and hope? Tucked in the side flap of our folders was a card with a poem on it. We were asked to get that out and read it. In that moment, as tears started to build in my eyes, my body took a deep breath in and out, and I was inspired. I felt a bell ring and I resonated with it. This lit me up! This is what I wanted. This feeling. This knowing that I could shine and that I was allowed to do so. I had permission! I didn’t need to wait for anyone to tell me it was ok. And not only was it ok, but that by me shining, others would have permission, too! You mean that I can help others shine? I can give them permission? Whoa! This is good stuff! This is what I want in my life.

Fast forward almost 9 years. Here I am. Tingling energy rushes through me now as I write this, simultaneously experiencing that moment of aha 9 years ago and feeling where I am today and seeing where I am, how far I’ve come. Tears of gratitude. I am sitting in my Berkeley kitchen with inspiring music running in my living room while I work on my laptop. My beloved, Tahil, partner in life and business of nearly 6 years, doing his work in our bedroom. We are about to open up a new workshop center that is all about heart based workshops and trainings that offer skills and resources for having more love and light in life and relationships. I am sitting in front of people daily to inspire, influence, and offer them support in creating the lives they want. I do this through teaching yoga, writing our book, coaching clients and creating a center full of inspiring offerings for healthy, vibrant, love filled lives. And this lights me up. This feels good. And it’s my life.

I took the path that came before me, one hint, one poem, one therapy session, one coaching session, one yoga class, one training, one breakdown, one breakthrough, one aha, one decision at a time. It wasn’t an easy path. Much muck was waded through with old defiant patterns dug up, dissected, and eventually loved and let go. I let go of a lot. And I’ve learned so much. There is so much gratitude. It’s not easy to stand up to old grooves of family patterning and social stigmas. And I did it, still often looking around for permission… Can I do this? Really it is OK. I am doing it. I give myself permission. I do it. And so it is.

And so now, here I write, here I stand. Shining.

What was that poem that I read nine years ago?

You probably know it. If you do you know it, you know that it never ends to inspire. If you haven’t, let me introduce you. Either way, enjoy:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Thank you for reading this post. I am honored to be seen in this way. And in whatever way you are inspired or whatever you notice when you read my writing or this precious poem from Marianne Williamson, I welcome you to share, write to me, post a comment. For when we share, we allow a piece of us to shine, be seen and inspire another.

Shine bright. Love fearlessly.

Much love and light,

Viviana

Viviana is a therapeutic yoga teacher, life and relationship coach, workshop facilitator, and co-founder of Heart Source. Her passion is supporting your self care while holding space and presence for growth and change. She teaches how to access and learn from the darker times in life for more resources, balance, and choice now. She weaves neuroscience and holistic body-mind wisdom to help you rewrite unwanted patterns and live in your full expression! To learn more about the offerings at “Heart Source” in Berkeley, please visit www.heartsource.center. Tahil and I are super happy and excited to shine here and offer space for others to shine even brighter.

Note: Since the time of Viviana’s blog, she and Tahil got married! Talking about shining bright!

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How to Run a Profitable Business as a Creative Entrepreneur by Hemda Mizrahi

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Business
How to Run a Profitable Business as a Creative Entrepreneur by Hemda Mizrahi

Rob Fortier

Business Coach Rob Fortier joined me on “Turn the Page” to describe what it takes for creative entrepreneurs to run a profitable business.

After his guest appearance on my show, Rob offered three additional strategies and related tactics for owners of new or growth ventures.

MAKE BOLD CHOICES.
During the interview, we discussed that success starts with adopting a business-owner mindset. Part of that, as an entrepreneur, is asking yourself and considering: What am I willing to do or give up in order to get what I want and reach my goals?

Are you willing to be brave and step out of your comfort zone? Are you willing to think bigger than you ever have before? Are you willing to take risks even though you might fail?

Action steps to make bold choices:

* Make a list of five bold, positive choices you’re willing to make for your business.
* Identify which one of the five will have the most significant impact on your business.
* List five moves you will make to take action on that bold choice.
* Decide what you can stop doing or give up to create more opportunity for your business.

KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE.
During the show, we discussed how important it is to define your target market. Who are the purchasers and consumers of your products or services?  Who do you want to be serving? Many creative entrepreneurs are tempted to say “everyone!” No matter what you do or how good you are, your work is not for everyone. The person who buys a $20 poster at the local discount store might not be the same person who’s willing to spend $1,000 for an original painting.

The last thing you want to do is waste your valuable time and money marketing to the wrong people. The more specific you can be, the better.

Questions to ask yourself when determining your target market:

* To whom do my products or services appeal?
* How old are my customers?
* What do my customers do for a living?
* Where do my customers shop?
* Where do my customers or clients hang out (online or in person)?
* How much are they willing to spend on products or services like mine?
* How often do they purchase my product or service?
* What is their yearly income?

ENERGIZE YOUR MONEY.
During the interview, we talked about drawing a map that guides your business toward financial stability. This process involves learning to do what I call “Energizing Your Money.”  As an entrepreneur or business owner, it’s vital to look at your attitude about money and what you’re saying about it. Many people have a love/hate relationship with money: they love it when you have it and hate it when they don’t!  Do you often say that you are poor and that you can’t afford this or that?

Strategies for Energizing Your Money:

* Replace “I can’t afford it!” with “That’s not something I’m choosing to invest my money in right now.” How does that change things for you?

* Take a look at what you’re spending your money on. Decide right now that you will stop perpetuating the scarcity mentality. Start living from a place of abundance and sending that positive message out into the world. Developing a positive attitude around money will affect the choices you make.

* Choose to INVEST in YOU and your success as a creative entrepreneur by honing in on what you need to run your business rather than just SPENDING money.

* Money is meant to flow in and out, back and forth.  Don’t clutch onto it for dear life.  When you spend it, wish it well and send it on its way. When you earn it, welcome it and give thanks.

* Don’t be intimidated by money. Ask for money you’re owed for work you completed.

Rob advises, “taking any action in your business is better than taking no action at all. Don’t wait for amazing opportunities to come to you. Go out and create them. If you want to create for your own enjoyment, you’ve got a hobby. If you want to create so that you can serve the needs of others, that’s a business!”

He suggests the following resources for further guidance: “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield, and “Selling For Fun and Profit: Take the “Icky” and “Scary” Out of Sales,” by Hugh Little.

Ready to go even further to ensure your success as a creative entrepreneur? Read Rob’s free workbook, available at www.RobFortier.com, and purchase a recording of his talk at a business telesummit: http://www.unstoppableprofitsrockstarcreatives.com

Listen to my conversation with Rob.

Hemda Mizrahi

The Martial Art of Business by Luis Vicente Garcia

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Business
The Martial Art of Business by Luis Vicente Garcia

Business is an art that requires discipline, persistence and skills. One of the main ideas we need to learn is that we need to increase our performance and motivation in order to achieve peak performance.

Martial Arts are systems and traditions of combat practices, which are practiced for a variety of reasons: self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, entertainment, as well as mental, physical, and spiritual development.

What could you obtain when you combine the principles and concepts of Martial Arts with the idea of improving your business and creating an environment to promote peak performance?

You get “The Martial Arts of Business”

In this incredible show I interviewed Winston Price, who is a master martial artist and personal trainer but also Senior Executive Producer on the VoiceAmerica Network. As such Winston is the executive producer and co-creator of my own radio show ‘Performing at Your Best: Mindset Evolution with Luis Vicente Garcia‘.

Winston brings together the intense discipline he has learned through the Martial Arts with the skills he has learned in business and marketing where he inspires, motivates and helps maximize the opportunities of the people he trains and coaches.

Join us in the inspiring and idea generating interview and learn how to apply the concepts of Martial Arts into your Businesses!

Winston Price and Luis Vicente Garcia at VoiceAmerica Network
On Winston Price:

Winston Price, Senior Executive Producer, has over 20 years of marketing, advertising and public relations experience. He began his business career in 1995 and is a graduate of Indiana University Bloomington. [Connect with Winston on LinkedIn HERE]

Winston also is a master martial artist and personal trainer with over 25 years of knowledge and experience. Winston runs his own school, Internal Magnification Martial Arts, where he focuses on helping people reach their personal goals of health and fitness via At-Home personal training with martial foci of Taekwondo, Tai Chi Ch’uan, Hapkido and Ba Gua Zhang.

As a senior executive producer for VoiceAmerica, Winston utilizes his skills in business and personal training to help new and existing hosts maximize their opportunity with the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network by supporting his hosts with the complete business and personal aspects of creating and developing their show.

Winston believes that each host brings their own flavor to the Network.

By properly coaching and motivating his hosts, they are able to produce THEIR show with THEIR style and THEIR passion being at the forefront of every broadcast.

I AM BECAUSE OF YOU

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Empowerment
I AM BECAUSE OF YOU

What a powerful statement Deepak shares with us in his 21-Day Meditation Series. I am so grateful to be able to reflect on this with you. WE ARE ALL INTERCONNECTED. I have always pondered what that truly means and I believe it stems from the fact that we are all united by the goodness that lies within each of us, traits such as kindness towards others, compassion, love, and a need to be accepted. We cannot align with the true self and demonstrate peace, harmony and reconciliation unless we are able to go within and with a quiet heart, recognize the equality among us. We cannot view life with an “us vs. them” mentality. This will only segment us from others.

Today, I ask you to open your awareness to see how alike you are with others. Reach out to others with a smile, handshake or offer to assist to rejoice in humanity.

When turning inward, you can bring about peace by:

1. Quieting the inner turmoil. Take a few deep breaths and release all the self-limiting beliefs that enter your mind. Focus on the silence.

2. Seek to expand your awareness by looking for the solution within yourself and free of the dispute. This requires having faith in your true self and intuition to guide you to the solution. You create peace from within, from the silent core of your being. When you recognize this, you will free yourself from negativity.

Tune in with Kristin every Monday at 7am PST to Intentional Living

“If Your Beliefs Are Limitless And Ever-Evolving Then Your Life Will Be Too.” – Oprah

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Empowerment
“If Your Beliefs Are Limitless And Ever-Evolving Then Your Life Will Be Too.” – Oprah

Are you ready to learn something truly powerful? It only takes one moment of conscious awareness to shift the entire course of your life. I am living proof. My “Do It All, Do It Perfectly, and Never Let Them See You Sweat” mentality took me to a perfect storm situation in which I was deeply grateful to be able to make a conscious choice to change the way I lived my life. Over time, my life has evolved into a life of true abundance and it all started with awareness and a conscious choice. You can do it too.

According to Oprah, “Your personal power is not about what you do in your life, it is in how you live within.” I could not agree more. This belief changed everything for me.You hold the key to your natural gifts and unlimited potential to succeed; all you have to do to unlock the door is to believe in yourself.

Deepak reaffirms this by saying all we have to do to achieve personal power is align our core beliefs with our true self. You can do this. I believe in you fully! Let’s unlock that door together. A simple shift from self-criticism to self-acceptance can begin the transformation. What can you do today to show yourself you are worthy, loved, secure, and fulfilled? Just one simple act, start small. Journal about each of the core beliefs (I am worthy. I am loved. I am secure. I am fulfilled.) and how they are progressing. Simply observe without judgment and be kind to yourself. We are planting seeds right now and like a garden, we need to nourish it. Let expanded awareness take care of the rest. Realize this journey to activate your true self takes time and is not easy. I am here to support you in any way I can.

Tune in every Monday at 7am PST to Intentional Living

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