What Should I Do?

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First, stop using the word should anywhere, ever. This implies that there is a “right” answer out there, that you don’t already own it, and someone out there has it for you. It also suggests the answer will comply with everyone else’s agenda around the topic. Shoulds are the work of Resistance. Shoulds are the work of self-doubt. Shoulds crush confidence. Just stop.

Instead, the question is, “What will I do?”

This is really about decision-making.

Our lives are the compilation of all the tiny decisions we make every day, all day. The decisions we make string together to form who we think we are inside of the lives we lead. We get really practiced at making some decisions, depending on where they fall in our lives.

Coffee or tea. Salad or sandwich. Left turn or right turn. Hit the snooze or get out of bed. Call today or tomorrow. Walk in or stay in the car. Ask the question or assume you know the answer. Give the hug or be too tired. Have the conversation or put it off again. Steak or chicken. Broccoli or rice. Stick with the plan or invite spontaneity. See problems or see possibilities.

One of the most meaningful distinctions in my life is between problem-solving and decision-making.

Decisions are powerful. Problems are non-powerful.

Decisions create action. Problems stop momentum.

Decisions create possibilities. Problems pulverize possibilities.

This is all about perception and perspective.

Depending on your worldview and how you “see” the circumstances in your life, situations will occur for you as problems to be fixed, or choices to be made.

Recent example from Real Life:

Earlier this month, I had 17 women coming to Daniel Island from all over the country for a 3-day Retreat. I had been planning this for months. Playlists, classes, sessions, meditations, special guests, extraordinary food, photographers and women I was ecstatic to be with and was thrilled for them to be with each other. It was going to be a magical and transformative weekend.

The day before the retreat was to start, I had to make the decision to cancel the event due to Hurricane Irma.

Done. Over. Bye-Bye. Not going to happen. The DAY BEFORE.

It was no one’s decision but mine. There were vendors and 2 of the participants in airplanes, in the sky, flying to Charleston at the time I made the call.

It was a decision. A trillion zillion things went through my mind in about a 60-minute span of time. And to be honest, it was heartbreaking. My obvious first concern was the safety of everyone.

Seeing this as a huge, gigantic problem to solve would have annihilated any chance at sound, clear, calm, focused decision-making.

I got on the phone and made 17 phone calls. Then rescheduled the entire event for January 18-21, 2018.

As it turned out, September 7th and 8th were spent pivoting in the moment, making decision after decision, and creating new possibilities with 6-7 other ladies from the original group -- 2 that flew here on the 6th and a few local attendees. We shifted, made other plans and had an extraordinary experience together. It wasn’t the Retreat. It was the perfect group, at the perfect time and was meant to be exactly what it was. It was beautiful and magical.

Because that’s the way it happened.

It wasn’t supposed to be any other way.

Hurricanes are moved and dominated completely by external forces: the wind, the temperature of the water, high pressures and low pressures and internal pressure. They are impressive forces of nature that make a lot of noise, can cause so much terrible damage and destruction, and don’t last.

A woman in her power is also a force of nature.

She is a leader who uses her voice with strength, builds up everyone and everything around her, and her impact on herself, and her environment, can cause a ripple effect that will last for generations.

 

That’s what we do.

 

{You. Matter.}

 

Love,

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Game of Confidence

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I have a short quiz for you. Choose the one set of statements that is most true.

A). Confidence is a belief that comes from deep within. Some people are born with it. It comes more naturally to some people. In order to do something hard, difficult, uncomfortable or risky, you need to have confidence first.

B)  Confidence is a practice. No one is born with confidence. It is not a belief but a habit developed by keeping promises to yourself and others. Most importantly, by keeping promises to yourself.

Take a minute to think about this………………………………………………………..

This may have a been a little tricky. Both seem to have merit and popular belief would have A be the more true choice.

But it’s not. B is the real truth.

As Margie Warrell said in her book, Brave, “Too often women overestimate the risks and underestimate themselves. Only by doing the very things we’re afraid of can we come to realize how little reason we ever had to fear. The only way to build confidence and courage is by acting with it.”

The way to build confidence is by taking action. Making small, micro-decisions every day and acting on them.

Some easy, right in front of you examples are:

  • Waking up when you say you will
  • Eating what you say you will
  • Not eating what you say you won’t
  • Exercising when you say you will
  • Talking to your spouse in a loving manner
  • Being with your kids in a way that has them feel loved and supported
  • Not letting the meeting go over 15 minutes like you communicated

 

There are literally hundreds of ways each day to build confidence through all the tiny actions we take.

Confidence is a muscle. It has to be used and flexed in order gain strength. It also has to be stretched and stressed, which is how real strength is formed in any muscle. What can happen when we get to the point of stretch and stress? We cave. It’s too uncomfortable. Too hard. Too scary. It hurts.

Confidence is a practice. The people that seem like they are naturally confident have actually just developed the habit, the practice of confidence. They know how to make a commitment to themselves and keep it. When things get tough, they have enough practice, and developed enough grit over time, to push through because they have experience of what’s on the other side.

Conversely, the more you break commitments to yourself, the less confidence you will have. If you are waking up late every day, heading for the sugary snacks by 10:00 am, rushing around stressed because you start the day behind, the habits that are formed are distrust, fear, hesitation and doubt.

Is that the way of being you want to create? My guess is no.

Confidence is not some magical star-like quality only a few special souls are blessed with. It’s not something you have to wait for in order to be the version of yourself you want to be. Like it’s out there somewhere and you just don’t have it yet.

There is no “out there” and there is no point to get to on a dial where you think, “AHA! Now I have confidence!!! Now I’m good enough to go do that thing.”

It’s the reverse. You don’t need confidence before taking action, before doing the work, before doing something that’s hard.

You build confidence by DOING the hard things first, despite your feelings, emotions and moods.

Confidence is created. And it can be created by you.

Now. Because that’s all there is.

{And you MATTER}

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What's Hangin'?

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Walking around my neighborhood last week, I noticed some things about the trees. This is not an unusual exercise for me, as I have walked this loop hundreds, if not a thousand, times, stopping to examine every element of nature along the way. It has been a constant in my life over the past twelve years, and I would even say has saved me on several occasions.

A moving meditation. Either with my favorite music or without. Depends on the intention.

Walking this walk both speaks to me and heals me. Soothes me and drives me. Emotions quelled. Plans made. Energy built. It has inspired me at every level.

Sometimes, the birds stop me. Or the exotic lowcountry “scoon,” a cross between a squirrel and a raccoon. It’s a big grey squirrel that wears a black mask. And they’re not very scared of people. Or maybe it’s the trees, or the wind, or the sun, or the flowers, or the clouds, or the way the landscape has changed over the years. Maturing and transforming. Hopefully, I have followed the lead.

Last week it was the spanish moss hanging from the trees.

This moss is one of the most beautiful, haunting aspects to our special part of the world. It hangs and sways with mystery and history. Like each strand has an intricate story to tell about the past and could tell us many secrets about the present, if we would only take the time to listen.

When I stopped to let my beloved Jack sniff the base of the tree (he’s my precious pup), the moss dangled over my head, letting go of these questions which drifted down into my awareness:

What are you allowing to hang from you?

Is it decoration or is it feeding you?

Did you invite it, attract it, or did it find its way to you and you never bothered to let it go?

Is it serving you?

Are you a good host? What are you a host for? Should you host this at all?

If this thing overgrows, will it smother you?

Will you miss it if is gone?

What are you willing to let go of to be lighter?
 

Miracles from a walk.

{You matter.}

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The Art of Disappearing Soap Reading

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Early one day…

 

Me to my teenaged son:  Any ideas for a topic for my post this week? I’m torn between having nothing to say and not being able to decide on what to say.

Him:  Really.

Me:  Give me some good 17-year-old teenage boy wisdom.

Him:  (pause. smirk. laughing…) NO. I can’t say that. But it is really funny.

Me:  Oh sure you can. I’m your mom. You can say anything. And you are funny.

Him:  Really, no. You don’t want to hear it.

Me:  Fine. You don’t have to help me in my despair of nothingness.

Him:  Why not just be honest and say that? Show up as a powerful demonstration. (His parents must be coaches or something?)


 

Later that day…


 

After a productive day of calls, planning for my upcoming Retreat next week (so excited!), and taking care of general life things like school forms and bank forms and all the forms, I naturally…go take a shower. Because maybe divine intervention or Liz Gilbert’s Big Magic will hunt me down in there and the last tiny bit of our favorite Zum soap which is now in that ooey gooey mush ball state will form into the perfect inspirational shape as a sign from the heavens.

Yeah. That didn’t happen. But I’m pretty sure I got the last use out of that pebble of soap. (Note to self - add to the never-ending grocery list.)

But as I sat myself down at my computer to show up in my commitment to creating, something did happen. {Do. The. Work}

As it always does. {Have Faith.}

Why not just be honest and say that?

How often to do you do that? Really just show up powerfully with radical honesty and responsibility without fear of what people will think?

This is not a license to be a jerk. It’s living an adult life and communicating to another human being with intention, clarity, focus, authenticity and love.

 

It’s a stand you take from a place of owning your life, not being a victim to it.

 

So, my despair of nothingness (which totally doesn’t exist) turned into an awesome conversation with my kid, which turned into a malleable pebble of disappearing soap, which turned into these pearls of magic:

  • Pay attention. You can learn anything from anyone at anytime.
  • Be patient.
  • Do the work.
  • Have Faith.
  • Be honest.
  • Be real.
  • Be powerful.
  • Life is always unfolding and we are always creating.

 

I always have something to say. And so do you.
 

Use Your Voice.

 

{You Matter.}


 

Love,

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Lessons from the CEO of a billion-dollar tech company

This week, I was able to sit in a conversation with the CEO of a billion-dollar organization. It was part of a meeting with Ontocore’s Power Group in Utah. We spent a morning in his executive board room listening to his experience of coaching (the company is a client of Ontocore) and the impact it has made on his personal and professional life.

His demonstration of leadership, commitment and humility was awe-inspiring. It was an extraordinary conversation with a stunning human being. A moving, life-changing experience for everyone in the room.

At the end of the day, we heard from his brand-new-on-the-job (about 10 days into her new role) Executive Assistant. This young woman exemplified everything this company stands for and her testimony was also a brilliant demonstration of creation. On her resume was the statement, “I am a necessity.” She is powerful, talented, devoted, loyal, confident and humble.

This was a meaningful, inspiring day.

And, there was this total solar eclipse thing going on in the background.

 

7 lessons from the day:

 

Commitment is the difference, that makes the difference.

 

Coaching shapes a leadership development muscle.

 

Leadership is a personal transformation.

 

How you occur for yourself IS your way of being.

 

Coaching gets a person to a place of being able to handle anything. “I am the difference because of who I will be in it.”

 

Really experiencing commitment with someone opens up the possibility to be free.

 

Tools work – A baseball bat. A hammer. A club. The results of the impact depend on who the person is being while taking the swing.

 

Bonus lesson ::  

 

I MATTER.

 

With gratitude and commitment,

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