Honor Yourself!

April 20th, 2009

Only you can decide which star shines brightest, which pair of angel wings you wear

 

Only your heart can hold the gift of forgiveness, for all whose lives you share

Only your voice can break through, the silence and be heard

Trust each choice you make, to bring your heaven to your life

Honor who you are

Honor who you are becoming

Trust life in its brilliant unfolding

And change will take you fast and far

Honor who you are

Only your life can be the gift you intend it, to give so graciously

And grace opens our eyes, and our hearts and our voices, allowing us to see

The brightest star is yours to find, deep in your heart longing to shine

The wings of the power to carry you home; are the angel wings you call your own

Honor who you are

Honor who you are becoming

Trust life in its brilliant unfolding

And change will take you fast and far

Honor who you are

Honor your deepest knowing, embrace your sweet unfolding

Reach for the dream that is growing inside; awaken your heart to the gift of your life

Honor who you are

Honor who you are becoming

Trust life in its brilliant unfolding

And change will take you fast and far

Keep following the brightest star

Change will take you far

Honor, honor who you are

2009 Inquiry Questions!

January 7th, 2009

1. How would you spend your ideal day?

2.If you knew you couldn’t fail, what would you do?

3.How important is it to you?

 4.What is the cost? What is the benefit?

5. What would you dare to dream if you knew it would come true?

6. What is having your dream worth to you?

7. What is not having your dream costing you?

8. What is preventing you from having your dream?

9. What resources do you have that might help you achieve your dream?

 

10. How do I limit myself and how can I stop?

11. What are my values, and how do I live those values on a daily basis?

12. What are my top 10 goals for 2009?

13. How can I make sure I achieve those goals?

14. What will I stop doing?

15. What will I start doing?

16. How will I know I have accomplished my goals?

What Stands Between You and Your Dream?

October 13th, 2008

Originally posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2008

“You are entitled to the dreams for which you are willing to sacrifice. What sacrifice stands between you and your dream?

We dream our dreams. Some we make reality. Other dreams fade and are forgotten. Some dreams give energy, and some take it away. Some take us to places we never imagined, for better or worse. If we focus too much on our dreams, we don¹t notice the beauty and mystery that surrounds us right now.
But a beautiful dream accomplished is a deeply satisfying thing.

Your power comes from pouring your heart and soul into a worthwhile endeavor. Your power comes from your downtime, your reflective time. The ultimate is to gain your power from love, and to keep full of love during the setbacks. There will be setbacks, no matter what path you walk.

To get a lot out of life, you need to be courageous. To be a courageous person, you need to believe in yourself.”

What creates a high performing team?

October 13th, 2008

Originally posted on Wednesday, February 6th, 2008

Our answer: shared vision, trust, and open communication.

The importance of communication is to get everyone involved in an organization to recognize how they fit into the system as well as the importance of their role/contribution to the greater whole. In an optimal organization, everyone would be aware of the importance of their role and how it creates an effective system, which, in turn, creates a healthy organization.

In examining the hiring paradigm, for example, we have identified that a shared vision is often missing, which in turn, creates a gap between one’s perception of why they are being hired and the reality of their role and responsibility. For example, often in an interview, someone will be told they are being hired because of their creativity, innovation, and diversity, but in reality, because of the underlying structure of an organization, they will fill, and be expected to maintain, the same role as the person before them. Thus, a new hire’s actions are being influenced from co-workers and the underlying structure of the organization, which affects their behavior, work output, and ultimately feeds back to creating actions that are incongruent with the goals of the organization. So the limiting factor, which prevents the organization from moving forward, is the lack of a shared vision… and more importantly, the expectation and awareness of that shared vision.

Recently, our team shared a very unique group process. We took the opportunity in our meeting to learn about each other and how best to work together…exercising the essence of feedback. We began by individually sharing our MBTI types, learning styles, lifestyles our personal “shadows,” vulnerabilities, teamwork histories and role preferences. From the beginning we were open with one another, which created a well-balanced perspective and understanding. This proved to be a productive meeting that not only established the spirit and focus of our team, but also created an underlying trust between us to be candid and honest with ideas, thoughts and perspectives moving forward.

The diversity of our group has turned out to be one of our greatest strengths– providing a balance of skills, resources, personalities, and experiences. While we don’t have a lot of actual group meeting time, because we had established our roles and responsibilities during the first meeting, there is a sense of shared trust among us that has helped us to be strategic in our approach and process…and most importantly, a shared vision.  As Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. stated, “A moment’s insight is sometimes worth a life’s experience.” This quote captures the essence of our team process—Our shared energy, trust and understanding has proved to be the most important element to becoming a high performing team.

Leading From the Heart: A Look into “The Four Agreements”

October 13th, 2008

Originally posted on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Has society affected us to the point that we have learned to live our life trying only to satisfy the demands of others or live by other people’s standards because of the fear of not being accepted or good enough? By introducing the theory of ancient Toltec wisdom, in The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of our discontent by innovatively engaging the reader in a process of seeking a deeper truth—one of claiming our personal power.

The essence of the book focuses on our way of life. From the time we are born, we develop a belief system based on what other people tell us. We learn to live our life trying to satisfy other people’s demands which are often ruled by cultural norms, family norms, and societal norms. Everyone wants to tell us what we are all about. We even go to the point of rejecting ourselves for not being perfect. Ruiz identifies this as domestication–the process of conforming to societal norms. He suggests that most people give themselves away because they don’t believe in their own true self. They let other people judge and manipulate them until they suffer and no longer know who they are. Why? Why don’t we have the courage to look at our own beliefs, look for our own individualism, and identify that we have a purpose? It’s because we are not aware and present.

By revealing the source of our self-limiting beliefs, Ruiz stimulates a need and desire for the Four Agreements. One must be ready to break the agreements that deplete our energy and adopt four new agreements that will help us transform our life so that we may become truly connected, aware, and present.

The first agreement is to be impeccable with your word. This encourages one to speak with integrity and say only what you mean. It is essential to avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. We are challenged to practice this agreement in each moment. So often people say something they wish they would not have, or regret not saying something they should have. Our society thrives on gossip, and often it is the method in which we retrieve new information.

The second agreement suggests we don’t take anything personally. As Ruiz talks about, it is easy to take things personally because we are so critical and judgmental of ourselves. Often we lack self-confidence and become very sensitive and aware of other people’s perceptions and we rely on what others think and say about us. This prevents us from identifying how we really feel as well as making choices based upon our own evaluations and beliefs.

The third agreement advises us to not make assumptions. Ruiz suggests that our lives would be completely different if we accepted this one agreement. We must find the courage to ask questions and to express what we really want. Additionally, we must communicate with others as clearly as we can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. In our society, we make assumptions and judgments about everything and everyone.

The fourth and final agreement is to always do your best. Under any circumstance, we must simply do our best to avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret. Growing up, we are taught to do our best in everything we do, but rarely, do we actually honor it. Furthermore, we seldom asses our lives frequently enough to make changes to improve and grow.

In probing into each of these four agreements, one might question their validity. Didn’t we learn these principals in kindergarten? Many of us would like to believe we follow these agreements daily, as they are simple and common principals we should strive to live by. However, as Ruiz points out, these principals actually challenge us daily. They challenge us in the way we interact with people, they way we decipher what to believe, our trust in relationships, and the accountability to ourselves.

Ruiz calls his book “a practical guide to personal freedom.” WhenI picked up the book and first glanced at that saying, I immediately made an assumption thinking to myself “yeah right—it’s just another one of those books on the shelf.” However, after I read through the book I realized I had already broken the third agreement by judging the book by its cover. As I reflected on the four agreements and the message, I recognized it really is a practical guide to personal freedom. It is practical because the agreements are principals that we have known all of our life but for many of us, we have never recognized how often we dishonor the agreements and how integral they are to our personal life.

I ask myself, what if we all were fully aware of the four agreements? Would we really be different people? Would the values of our society and culture change? Perhaps. But more than that, I think we would finally have the courage to look at our own beliefs and how they affect our lives—how they often inhibit us from becoming present. There is a lot of fear that is connected with the inner journey because we are going to learn some things about ourselves that we wish we didn’t know. But it is the inner journey from which the courage to change can start to emerge. By aligning ourselves with the four agreements, we are working from our hearts, the origin of our integrity. Once we have the courage to lead from the heart, the center in the human self where everything comes together, we will come to know who we really are.

Personal Leadership… what is it and how does it apply to me?

October 13th, 2008

Originally posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007

Personal leadership is the desire of an individual to take charge of his or her own life. Personal leaders realize that leadership is not a position or title, but an outlook on life and their role in the world. The best way to describe personal leadership is to discuss some of its desired traits. Like most things worth having, these do not come easily to a person. On the other hand, living a philosophy of personal leadership does not require a magical formula. Nor is it available to only a few. It is actually available to most but what it requires is a commitment to balance, a sense of purpose and values. If personal leadership had a motto it would be this, “Before I seek to change or motivate others I must first learn to change and motivate myself. I must first become the change I wish to see in others.”

Personal leaders have a game plan for their life. Call it what you will…personal mission statement, life strategic plan, setting of goals or a personal punch list…it is all about giving your life direction or establishing a clear path. Unfortunately, most people live their lives like a raft floating in the ocean. They bob up and down, left and right, over and under, depending on the tempest of the sea. They become victims of circumstances and allow time to make decisions they are unwilling to make for themselves. Personal leaders, however, are absolutely convinced they have a great degree of control over their own outcomes and circumstances. They are not about to leave their future in the hands of “time and chance.”

The sea change they look forward to is the one that occurs when they have learned something new and decide to now make it a part of their life. Just like an athlete needs a game plan to excel, so does a personal leader. A mental break-through comes when we take the vague ideas and goals rolling around in our head and put them on paper as a personal mission statement! When done correctly and reviewed often it has the potential to magnify our focus and increase our desire for achievement at a higher level.

Piper