Thursday, February 18, 2016

In all the reading I've done, I've never found a description of the notion of your personal vibration that resonated with me. I just stumbled across these words in a chat that, for the first time, made sense to me. I feel like it's basically saying, "Change your thinking. Change your reality." At the same time, it's saying that we're all connected at a basic energy level; something I believe.

"Every object has its own electromagnetostatic field of conciousness. Attracting atoms of the same vibration and repelling atoms of different vibration.

So if you change your own vibration significantly enough you will see movement and replacement with different vibration. Likes attract likes.

The electromagnetospherical balance is the foundation of the universe. Change your vibration and everything has to change too!" ~The Unified Mind

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

I'm starting a Crush of the Week ‪#‎COTW‬ practice where I pick a new thought leader every week and study their philosophies during the week. I'll share bits and pieces of what I learn. I'm sure my list will change over time....I'll update it as I go. Here's my initial

  1. Howard Zinn
  2. David Suzuki
  3. Eckhart Tolle
  4. Dalai Llama
  5. Thomas Friedman
  6. Stephen Greenblatt
  7. John Gottman
  8. Deepak Chopra
  9. Marcus Buckingham
  10. Gabby Bernstein
  11. Gretchen Rubin
  12. Ray Kurzweil
  13. Michio Kaku
  14. Stephen Covey
  15. Stephen Hawking
  16. Malcom Gladwell
  17. Daniel Quinn
  18. Desmond Tutu
  19. Nelson Mandela
  20. Pema Chodron
  21. Helen Hayes
  22. Neil Donald Walsche
  23. Neil Degrasse Tyson
  24. Carl Sagan
  25. Hans Rosling
  26. Plato
  27. Steve Jobs
  28. Brene Brown
  29. Simon Sinek
  30. Jane McGonigal
  31. Elizabeth Gilbert
  32. Dan Gilbert
  33. Lao Tzu
  34. Wayne Dyer
  35. Ralp Waldo Emerson
  36. Ghandi
  37. Mother Teresa
  38. Martin Luther King
  39. Hilary Putnam
  40. Derek Parfit
  41. Thomas Nagel
  42. John McDowell
  43. David Chalmers
  44. Marth Nussbaum
  45. John Searle
  46. Saul Kripke
  47. Daniel Dennett
  48. Jurgen Habermas
  49. Maya Angelou
  50. Mastin Kipp
  51. Dacher Keltner
  52. Noam Chosky
  53. Lynne McTaggart

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Change Formula

It doesn't matter what I'm working on, I see the process for creating change to be the same. It's what I call my formula for BLOOMING:

knowingness  + ritual  +  action

Knowingness. The key to any successful change is to start with data about where you are and what you want. I call this knowingness.

When I coach people, I take them through a process of defining their personal wants: who & how they want to be, what they want to do, what they want to have, and what they want to feel. Once they have this #knowingness, they have a place to start.

When I coach teams, I take them through a process of discovering their individual strengths and how their individual strengths help or hinder the team so that they can create better interactions.

When I work on programs as a Change Leader, my mission is to get everyone to become a fanatic about the To Be state they are trying to achieve. This knowingness of where they are trying to go helps them understand all the things that have to change to get there.

Ritual. Once you have #knowingness, you can start to identify the rituals, practices and processes you need to put into place to get what you want.

With people, I explore daily practices, habits of thinking, interactions with others, and rhythms. We also delve into their belief system so that any new rituals align and are supported by what they believe.

With teams, we examine current interactions (what works and what doesn't), how team composition affects those interactions, and implement proven process steps to improve the results of the teams' interactions, with special focus on the specific strengths and weaknesses of that team.

With programs, there are two filters I apply to any Change undertaking.
  1. How do I equip a project team understand and own their role in identifying and facilitating change? In any sizable project, it's virtually impossible for a single Change Lead to successfully identify all of the project's impacts. Projects are successful when it's project members understand that each of them should be always wearing a "Change Lead Hat" and contributing to the overall project change plan.
  2. What levers of change need to be employed to ensure that stakeholders progress through the change curve at the appropriate pace from project inception to implementation to adoption & sustain? The goal is to create a Change Plan that accounts for the end-to-end process and succeeds at getting impacted stakeholders heads, hearts and hands around why they should make a change.
Action. This is the fun part. It's putting all the work into play. Trying it out. Seeing if it works. Making it work. Iterating. Getting results.

And then moving onto the next change.....   :-)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Don't Let Sunk Costs Undermine Your Future

I woke up this morning thinking about sunk costs or rather how sunk costs can get in the way of progress. Have you ever taken that first step in a effort to change only to have your head fill up with all the reasons it's not going to work? Among those reasons is the fact that you've done it that other way for so long and you made quite an investment (money, time, energy) in doing it that other way that there can't be any chance that this new way will work, so you should just quit now. In accounting, we called all of those investments made in the past sunk costs. I see past habits as part of those sunk costs.
If you have set your sights on a new destination, you can't let sunk cost play a role in figuring out how to get there. You have to throw out all of those habits and attachments to your past investments. They're irrelevant to your new path regardless of how important they were in your old. They'll only slow you down and may even stop you from getting to that new place.
So, the minute you find your thoughts wandering in the Land of the Past, stop it. Just focus on mapping your future.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

How My Cat is a Reminder Of How I Want to Show Up

Sometimes, when I'm working hard, on my laptop, 10 tabs open, focused on a goal, I'll find myself irritated that my cat is walking on my keyboard, sitting on my notebook, or entwining herself among my legs. My first instinct is to push her away so I can just get DONE with the stuff on my list.
Then I realize, I love that she comes to me for attention. I want her to keep doing it and if I push her away when she asks for attention, she's not going to come to me anymore. I will become the person that pushes her away; not the one that gives her love.
Psychologist, John Gottman, calls these interactions bids for emotional connection. Each bid can be reacted to in a variety of ways but they boil down to 3 simple categories:
  1. turning towards - receptive & reactive
  2. turning away - ignore
  3. turning against - aggressive
Each of our relationships are like this. In every interaction, we are defining who we are to the world and so, what anyone can expect of us.....and it's so important when we do this "contracting", we know what we want because we might just end up pushing the cat away when it was the laptop that should have been closed.

For more information of Gottman's findings, check out this article.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Structure is Important in Times of Change

An acquaintance of mine tells a story about how she was on the verge of leaving her corporate job and explore a new life when her barista gave her more than a cup of coffee. He offered these words of wisdom, "Structure is important in times of change." Those words have remained with me and continue to prove helpful.

When big changes happen in your life, they disrupt the habit of life. Sometimes, without that old list of things to do dictating your days, it's difficult to figure out the right new list of things to do. That's not to say that you won't find a way to be busy. It's just figuring out the right busy. So where do you start? I have long preached that you should start with your wants. Who and how do you want to BE? What do you want to DO? What do you want to have? Thanks to Danielle Laporte's The Desire Map, I'd add asking yourself what you want to feel.

Start with these simple lists and you'll find some goals. Once you have these goals, you can start figuring out what needs to be done to achieve them. Then, you can start chunking up your days accordingly so that your days don't become a slide into non-purposeful doing. Even unstructured doing should take place within a structure.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Beautiful Bravery is all around you.

How different would your work environment be if you paused for a moment and tried to see each of your co-workers as brave warrior of life? Beyond all of the office politics, who are they, really? I bet if you saw just a kernel of the REAL person, your interaction would change. Bravery comes in many forms and when I look around and try to find it, I'm amazed at how much of it there is. You don't EVEN need a viral video to see it (LOL). Beautiful bravery. Look for it.

You are not here merely to make a living.

"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand." ~Woodrow Wilson

I find this sentiment to be quite lovely and one that resonates deeply with me. Each of us play our part in this world. It's your job to contribute the beauty of your uniqueness. beYOU! ‪


Sunlight or clouds. You choose.

I had a realization one day on a plane as we were preparing to land. We were moving from the spot above the clouds where the sun was shining brightly into the cloud layer. It came to me in an instant. Your whole view of the world could change in just in a few feet. You could believe the world was sunny and be right. AND you could believe the world was grey and cloudy and be right. So, if those truths exist simultaneously, I can choose which one I want to live with. I imagined myself suspended in the clouds, peeking my head above the clouds to find sunlight and then leaning down into the clouds. Sunlight. Clouds. Sunlight. Clouds. The same was true when I looked at the ground. Some places were sunny and others were dark. I could choose to go to sunny places. So, where will you choose to be today? Sunlight or clouds?

Insatiably Curious & Rarely Bored

I keep waiting for LinkedIn to list curiosity in their skillset listing. I know it's something I value in employees. And it's not because I think those employees are more likely to come up with creative solutions. I find that people full of exuberant, insatiable curiosity not just at work, but in life, just feel more fun to be around. Maybe it's because I believe curiosity their curiosity is a basic indicator that they care. If you stop to ask a question, to wonder why, dive deeper, be driven to understand, it feels like you're honoring someone with your time, energy and mental bandwidth. I also think that curious people are a lot more likely to be engaged more, interested, and seeking & finding connections.

Maybe I'm not objective on the topic because I consider myself insatiably curious. I'm not saying it doesn't come with its drawbacks. (Here's where I say sorry to all of those close to me for the unending questions!) I've wished more than once that I could wonder less but I'm thankful that my curious brain is rarely bored. ~Michele

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Applying the Concept of Relevance to Achieving Life Success

I remember in the early days of the internet when the concept of relevance was preached as a key contributing factor to becoming successful in the medium. I think it's also an important factor in being successful at life. I'm not saying, by any means, that you should define yourself by whether others find you relevant; rather you should define who you want to be relevant to and purposefully devote energy to creating that relevance. Assuming that you've already got a grip on identifying key people in your life, as a change manager, the first step I would take in becoming relevant to someone else is to determine what motivates them and how they "hear" those motivations. I'm reminded of Gary Chapman's The 5 Love Languages. Once I understand how they hear, I can frame up the topics that are important to me to share in a language they understand and hear. Sounds like work, right? It is. Just the same way it's work for all of those websites trying to figure out how to appeal to their target customers. ~M

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back To Who I Am

Somewhere along the way, I lost the essence of me. I miss me. I know what it's like to bloom in my existence and I'm determined to find my way back to who I am. I'm starting now. I'm starting with a place that I know is a very real place for me. It's the place where I start eliminating the shoulds that have sneaked into my life making my life a list of things I should do, not a list of things I want to do. The end result is that the state of my life has become something I don't truly own deep, down inside because it doesn't feel like me. I don't connect with it. It's become something I manage but not something I'm immersed in. I can think of a lot of reasons for it but they don't matter. What matters is what's next.

The first thing I'm going to do is give myself permission to spending some time on regrouping....figuring it out, asking myself some questions and giving myself some answers. Ground rules: Trust my gut. Honor my wants. Remember it's okay.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Get the Blooming Juices Flowing

You might be thinking that happiness is BIG topic and there's no easy way to know how to create a happy life. I'm here to tell you that IT IS EASY. You just have to chunk it up. The beBlooming Program takes you through each component of the formula, step by step.

There are 3 tracks to the program: beYou, beTogether, and beParents.

Everything starts with you! So, the beYou track is the "prerequisite" to the other 2 tracks. Knowingess is the first step of the beYOU program. Knowing who and how you want to be, what you want to do, and what you want to have is the basis for everything else in your life.

So, let's start with some exercises to get the juices flowing! I've found that the best way to capture my thoughts is in an old fashion paper journal but use whatever works best for you.

Make a 30 minute date with yourself. 30 minutes isn't hard. I know you can do it. Actually, only YOU can do it. Spend 5 minutes less a day getting dressed. Spend less time on fb. Whatever it takes. YOU CAN squeeze it in. After all, it's your life we're talking about.

Start here. For a worksheet of these questions, click here.
  1. How purposefully are you living your life?
  2. List 5-10 things you value in life
  3. What would you try right now if you knew you would never fail at it?
  4. What did you used to do that gave you energy that you don’t do anymore? (hobby, talent, relationships)
  5. What traditions are important to you?
  6. How is your life the same or different than you expected it to be?
  7. How is your true self (the way you feel about yourself right now) the same or different than how others perceive you and the same or different than the person you want to be?
  8. List the things in your life that expand and contract you. The things that give you energy or drain you. Trust your gut, your first reaction.
  9. If your life was exactly the same 5 years from now, would you be okay with that?
  10. Who expects you to be somebody?

I'll be back! In the meantime, #beBlooming.

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Will Not Assimilate

Make no mistake. I've lived the life where I ran from thing to thing; my list of things to do impossible to keep track of, balls in the air falling with no hope of being caught, tired, on empty, life happening to me. I got really familiar with the concept of not enough: not enough time, not enough energy, not enough me, not good enough. I told myself that I didn't have time to figure out how to be different. But there wasn't any way to change, right? 

Let me disabuse you of this notion.
This thought is like a disease eating away at your life.
This practice of believing and behaving is abusive. It's self abuse and it's what we're teaching our kids.

It's all a lie.
Everything is a choice.
Even the things you think aren't realistic.
The continuance of your very existence is a choice, so everything beyond that is a choice. All the things you define as realistic are just rules you've chosen to make up about what you should do and the way you should live.

This thought is so deeply ingrained in our framework for life that it's like an IV stuck in our vein, numbing us.
It keeps us brainwashed, thinking we should do what everyone else does.
It's keeps us on the treadmill, striving for mediocrity, hiding behind sameness, afraid of taking chances, terrified of being different.
It allows us to hide behind the feeling that we're doing the right thing, like we're doing what we should do.

It has NOTHING to do with happiness.

What it doesn't do is make you own your responsibility for your life. 

I find that this belief is addictive. It's easy to be pulled back into it, to feel overwhelmed, to feel busy, to let the judgments of others about what I should do or how I should live creep into to my brain.

But I will not assimilate.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It's All or Nothing

You can't be in a committed relationship 95% of the time. When you've committed to someone, it's for a 100% of the time. All of your behavior and decision making should be with consideration of your significant other. Remember, you're in this to create a life together. Yes, you can make mistakes but you don't want to make the sorts of mistakes that say, "I'm going to just do what I want." The minute that you feel yourself thinking that, you are behaving as if you are single, like your actions do not impact your partner, like your partner's feelings don't matter. And if you persist in this vein, eventually your partner will hear you saying "Don't have expectations of me" or "You shouldn't care what I'm doing." and they will begin to treat you the same way. Do yourself a favor and call it a day.

But if you are determined to win forever with them, try to remember back to a time when THEY were what you wanted. Remember the thoughts. Remember the feeling. And instead of doing what you want to do, start first with, "Hey, what do you think about this? I want to get your input."

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Live in This Spot

I reserved this spot for you. This spot in my head and heart. I saved it for you. I gave it to you. You wanted it. You took it. You inhabited it. I wove you into my brain. Having you there gave me comfort. It made me feel relevant. It made me feel needed. It made me feel valuable. And I want to know that you care about having the spot saved for you. I need for you to say you want it and show you want it and make me feel you want it because if you want to be in a relationship with me, it's your job. Your job is to want, to strive, to ache, to do whatever it takes to occupy this spot. I want you to want to be there more than anywhere else.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Another brick in the wall

In relationships, we often build walls between us and the ones we love. Those walls are made from solitary bricks representing the hurtful moments, the ones that create doubt, the ones that sting, the ones that say, "I don't believe in you" or "I don't love you.". They are usually hurled during one of those nasty, heated arguments flooded with all sorts of emotion.

They often feel like they came from out of nowhere, rocking the foundation of what you thought your partner thinks of you.

One thing is for certain. They can't be unsaid or unheard.

Those hurtful bricks float in the air once they are hurled, like bubbles waiting to pop, slowly descending until they find their place in the wall. And it we're not careful, the wall will get taller and deeper. Times fills the cracks like mortar. Eventually, you can't see over it, crawl over it, walk around it and you are lost to each other.

In any good relationship, you have to work purposefully at removing the bricks from the wall.

I find that when something is so hurtful, it ends up as a brick in the wall, I carry it with me beyond whatever discussion is at hand. So, I cut up cardboard "bricks" and whenever I feel like I'm "carrying around" a new brick in my head, I write that feeling down on the brick. This allows me to not continually mull it around and to get back to it when I'm not feeling as emotional. 

If I revisit "the brick" at a time when I'm calm, and coming from a place of love, I find that I can either chisel away at the brick or remove it altogether. I do this by presenting the brick and telling my partner what I heard. I only use the bricks when something was said that has long lasting detrimental effects to how vulnerable I can feel in my relationship. The brick serves as a signal to my partner of how important the topic is to me. What I've discovered through this process is that the odds are fairly high that either I've misunderstood whatever my partner was saying, I've misunderstood the degree of to which she meant it or I after the conversation I can put it in the "forgiveable" pile. 
Identify a brick and break down the wall.