Life… What’s the Point?

Life… What’s the Point?

Existentialism Personal Growth self development

I’ve been fascinated with the mysteries of life for quite some time, and I’ve heard many theories about the question, “What’s the point of life?” Some people never give this question much thought – they live their lives, happily unaware or unwilling to see that there might be a deeper reason for being in the world.

I was like that once… until I woke up. To myself. And to Life. You could say I took the red pill that Neo chose in the Matrix. I realized I had been living on autopilot, and I became aware that I was hungry for a more expanded world view.

There are many in the world who would argue that the point is simply survival of the fittest. Our sole purpose is to live as long and as well as possible, and procreate to leave a legacy by way of a lineage. I don’t buy it.  What’s the point of that?

Others insist that the point of life is to be successful and happy. For some that means generating as much wealth as possible, for others it’s about living simply and being content with what they have. I can appreciate this view but it doesn’t tell a complete story for me.

Abraham Hicks says that we exist in order to create expansion and joy. That is, to continually find ways to grow, and create joy in the process.  I love the notion of finding joy in the process, rather than only at the end of the game (that never really ends, by the way).

There are also folks who will tell you that the point of life is to serve others, and to contribute to the world. The problem with this view is that if it’s the only purpose that we have, we risk living our lives exclusively for others, and never truly expressing ourselves, our needs, our desires, and ultimately our creative identity. We become what others want of us, not our authentic self.

I believe that we are eternal beings having a human experience, so the essence of who we are lives on after our physical body dies. If this is true, then we chose to have this human experience and I believe we chose it in order to experience the process of remembering our true identity. This core identity, the higher self, derives inexplicable pleasure from the process of re-membering ourselves as the true creators of our experience that we are.

Learning how to create our human experience consciously, while we’re in it, seems like the most outrageous adventure to me!  Swoop up to the meta-view with me for a moment. It’s like the earth is a magical play and we are each playing the lead role in our own play. I can tell you that life is so much more fun when I see it this way.

How about you? What do you think the point is?

And are you living it?

Drop me a line and let me know!

Until next time, be free and wild,

Sue

Invite Your Soul on to the Board

Invite Your Soul on to the Board

Business Leadership

Whether you are a business leader or a business owner, there’s an important team member that needs an invitation to the board meetings of Me, Inc.  That wildcard who must have a seat at the table is your soul. It’s the difference between chasing fulfillment and realizing it, throughout your life.

Imagine for a moment that an aspect of you had a grand plan for your life before you were born. There was a desire to have certain experiences and grow as a person in specific ways.  We might call this your soul theme. And you, whether you’re consciously aware of it or not, created it and are now living it out.

Of course there’s free will
and chance, choices and serendipity, but deep down,
your soul is on a mission.

For one person, their soul theme might be about confidence and empowerment, for another it could be compassion or forgiveness, and for still another, a soul theme could be about power and authority.

It’s useful to know your soul theme, because you’ll be working layers of it all your life.  You will be experiencing the opposite of it first, each time you transform and grow into a new version of that theme.  In fact, your soul is relishing in the process every time you work yourself through another layer… whoop!!  Unfortunately, it doesn’t feel very good while you’re in it and just before you break through. But on the other side? Glorious!  And then life goes on and encounter the next edge of the theme to work through.

In our career and business planning, it behooves us to have our soul at the boardroom table.

Here are some of the questions you might like to engage your soul-level-deeper-knowing about:

  1. What is the pattern of the challenges that have been running in my work life?
  2. How is this affecting me personally?
  3. What is it that I really want instead?
  4. How can I create what I want and still have the satisfaction of progressing on my soul theme work?

It’s always easier to have these discussions with someone else, whether that is with a loved one, friend or a professional. When looking for answers from the soul, it helps to find a quiet place where you can really tune in to your body, your emotions, and your memories. The wisdom is all there within you.

Ultimately your happiness and satisfaction depend on getting your soul’s input as you move forward. So go ahead, call a board meeting for Me, Inc. and give your soul a seat at the table.

Until next time,

Sue

5 Keys to Leading from Heart Consciousness

5 Keys to Leading from Heart Consciousness

Business Leadership self development

I believe that every person is a leader, regardless of title, rank or position. You are certainly a leader of your life, within your family, and among colleagues and peers, if not formally in your role at work. And there comes a time in a leader’s life when they must ask themselves, “Am I leading from the highest possible consciousness level?”

As we evolve into a more awakened species (yes, believe it or not, we are on track with this!), we are experiencing even greater polarity between the light and the dark consciousness on the planet. It’s not that there is necessarily more war, violence, terror and evil than at other times in history, it’s that we have more contrast now, and more instant media exposure.

So what’s a leader to do?

Practice more Heart Conscious Leadership.

I firmly believe one of the best ways to make a positive contribution in the world is to evolve yourself. As the famous quote goes, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” As you grow, learn, transmute and transform, you become a model for others to do the same… you call others forth into the next best version of themselves.  And you are creating an energetic ripple, like a pebble in a pond, which emanates to others you may not even come into contact with. As you grow yourself personally and professionally, you are raising the collective energetic… it’s quantum physics.

Heart-conscious leadership is connecting, perceiving and making decisions from the heart, rather than solely from the mind.

Leading from heart consciousness results in being more centred in one’s own skin (and truth), a feeling of being more fulfilled, and a greater connection with oneself and world.

Here are 5 ways to lead from heart consciousness:

  1. Inner Alignment.  You are aware of your deepest drivers of behaviour: your core values, beliefs and needs, and you honour those essential drivers by taking action that is aligned with them.  Your choices, decisions, and words reflect your values and beliefs to those around you.  When you are aligned and congruent, you model your values to your friends and colleagues through your behaviour.
  2. Serving the Common Good. Competition, scarcity and lack are aspects of fear-based consciousness. Your efforts are focused on cooperation. You see the win-win-win solutions and work to create more balance and harmony between people and between humanity and nature.  When you’re focused on the common good, you recognize that there is enough for everyone when the resources are distributed in a more balanced way.  You engage in initiatives that impact the good of all, rather than being beneficial to the few.
  3. Trusting the Flow of Life. You operate with an underlying trust and empowerment that allows you to be at ease with uncertainty. You have developed strong mental and emotional health, so that you’re not easily ruffled by unexpected events.  You know how to control your thinking so that in a crisis, you avoid being overcome by negative thoughts or feelings.  You have nurtured a faith in yourself and in life so that lead with joy, purpose and grace, no matter what arises.
  4. Connecting to Inspire. You are able to genuinely engage with anyone, building relationships and deepening trust.  You adapt your communication approach to match the preferred learning style of the other person, which results in inspiring, compelling and persuasive conversations.  Heart-Conscious Leaders use their advanced connection skills to build cohesive teams and inspire others to join the cause.
  5. Collaborating and co-creating. As a Heart-Conscious Leader, you build networks based on shared values and triad relationships.  Connecting people based on shared interests, missions and values, you recognize that your mission is too large to accomplish alone, and that the strongest teams and communities are based on the three-legged extended net.  The triad net, the strongest, most powerful human system, has very little, if any, hierarchy.

We are living in chaotic and disturbing times, and what’s being called for now is for us to step up and into the next best leadership consciousness possible. It is time for Heart-Conscious Leadership.

Until next time,

Sue

How to Get Un-Stuck and Create Momentum

How to Get Un-Stuck and Create Momentum

Leadership Personal Growth self development Uncategorized

It’s inevitable, really. At some point everyone experiences being stuck. It may be that you’re unable to move forward on your dream, or are stuck on a particular project, or you might be totally stuck in life. Whatever the stuck-ness is that you’re experiencing, you can shift it now to create momentum towards what you want.

If you’re ready to get moving, let’s get to it!

  1. Get Excited! Take some time imagining the details and connecting with the meaning behind what you want. Why do you want it? Be sure that what you want is reflecting your highest truth and is not influenced by others. Without a reason, there’s just no point. This is your opportunity to understand why this thing that excites you so much is truly compelling for you. Then notice how your MOTIVATION changegetting un-stuck winnie the pooh
  2. Start with Small Steps. Find the tiniest first step that you can take immediately. It might be to look something up online, or to buy a book, or to find those old notes you made and re-read them. Whatever is the smallest step you can take right now… do it! Then notice how your BELIEF changes.
  3. Celebrate each Action and Result. Before moving on, take a moment to acknowledge your accomplishment and feel good about what you’ve just done. If you want to celebrate the milestone, go right ahead. Then notice how your APPRECIATION of the journey changes.
  4. Action Several Steps in a Row. In a way that is appropriate for you, build up the size of the action steps and the rate at which you are taking action. You might take several tiny steps first before taking a larger step, or you might take several steps in one day! Aim to advance your progress as you go. Then notice how your CONFIDENCE changes.
  5. Follow your Rhythms and your Intuition. There is powerful wisdom in your body and when you follow it, your timing and inspiration will lead you to successes like never before! Your body has natural rhythms, so trust when it’s time to do certain tasks. And follow your internal nudges and ideas. These will guide you to resources you wouldn’t find otherwise. Then notice how your TRUST in yourself changes.

That’s it! It’s about focusing on the final outcome while taking action on the immediate next step.  You don’t have to have it all figured out. You don’t need to know the rest of the steps… they’ll reveal themselves to you in perfect time.

Join me on the 2016 NLP: The Secret Sauce to Success Summit where I’ll be discussing specific tips and tactics for shifting from stuck to progressing on your dreams! It’s free. And you’ll have access to 11 other expert interviews. Just sign up here.

Until next time, be free… and wild.

Sue

Mindfulness leads to Joy and Productivity

Mindfulness leads to Joy and Productivity

Health & Wellness Leadership Lifestyle

We are hard-pressed to find a leader, an entrepreneur, or an employee who doesn’t want to be more focused, more productive, and less stressed. We live in the most fast-paced, over-stimulated, multi-tasked time in history. And focus has never been so challenging!

In fact, during 47% of our waking hours we are thinking about something other than what we’re doing. Another way to look at this is that roughly half the time, we’re not actually focused on what we are doing. Half the time!  We won’t bother speculating on why that is, however we might surmise that if we could change it, we would.

Mindfulness is the solution.

Mindfulness is the mental state achieved when focusing one’s attention on the present moment. That means we’re not focused on the past, reviewing events, analyzing what’s taken place, or feeling bad about what’s happened.  And we’re also not focused on the future, planning our next steps, imagining what if, or feeling worry or anxiety about some future possibility.  Mindfulness is having your full attention in the moment, on whatever you are doing, feeling, saying or hearing right now.

There are many ways to practice mindfulness, one of the most common being meditation. And while thousands of corporations around the world are offering mindfulness training to their employees, there are so many different approaches, that there is still much confusion about what it is.

The benefits of mindfulness at work include

  • Improved mood and morale (increases positive emotions and reduces negative emotions)
  • Improved productivity (increases focus, changes brain regions linked to learning and memory)
  • Better teamwork (fosters compassion toward others, enhances relationships)
  • Reduced sick leave (boosts the immune system)
  • Reduced stress

The simple approach to Mindfulness that I teach is mastering the combination of relaxation and awareness, so that the mind can remain focused, clear and present. This is a skill-building process.  Learning the skill of deep relaxation and the skill of heightened awareness, while training the mind to enter these states at will, provides us with a powerful asset.  Imagine what’s possible when your mind is able to remain calm and focused, regardless of what is going on around you and what you are experiencing.  That’s the beauty of mindfulness.

Here is a simple exercise that can help you right now.  It’s called Pausing to Breathe. It takes just 2-3 minutes, and even that will be challenging for many of you.  Begin by putting your pen or your device down and turning away from any screens.  In a comfortable seated position, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath.  Proceed to take 5 deep breaths in and out, while you keep your focus on the breath.  Notice how it feels as the air passes through your nose and mouth, how it fills up your lungs, then how it moves out as your lung push, and the feeling of the breath passing your lips or nose on the way out. Use curiosity about the breath to keep your attention on it.  And ignore distractions for the full 2 minutes.  If your mind wanders, as soon as you notice it wandering, then bring your attention back to the breath.

Do this Pausing to Breathe practice several times a day and you’ll feel refreshed, centered and more focused.

And if you would like to bring mindfulness training into your workplace or group, let me know.  I’d be happy to discuss possibilities with you.

Until next time,

Sue

How is Your Energy Intelligence?

How is Your Energy Intelligence?

Energy Health & Wellness Leadership self development

Everything in the universe is made up of energy.

Your body, the chair you are sitting on, and the air you are breathing are all forms of energy.  Science has long been studying physical energy such as those in the diagram below, and yet there is another energy that isn’t as well understood… our own body’s energy and that of those around us. Your acumen with this energy is your Energy Intelligence.Energy Intelligence includes the metaphysical - often missing in standard forms of energy diagrams

What is it that you are picking up on when you meet someone and you instantly feel repelled, or attracted?  What are you noticing when you walk into a meeting and the air is thick and you know there is a conflict and strong emotions present. And what is it that you are gauging when you know that you feel drained of energy? When you’re feeling “high energy” what is that?  What is it that you are perceiving in all these cases?

“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
– Nikola Tesla

This is energy of a different kind. It is a metaphysical concept that some call a vibe, chi, an aura, or an energetic field.  We call it the Human Energy System and it includes the energy body of each person and the energy of the inter-relationships between people and groups of people.  This energy system has a huge impact on our health and well-being, as well as our ability to function day to day, so it is in our best interest to learn how to tend it well.

There are ways to recharge your energy system when you feel depleted. There are ways to strengthen your energy system so it is less affected by others. And there are ways to utilize your energy system to provide you with information, healing or general well-being. There are also ways to transmit your energy intentionally to others. The first step is to begin noticing your own energetics, and knowing when what you’re sensing is yours or someone else’s energy. You’ll soon be on your way to honing your own energy intelligence.

A few years ago, when I was recovering from burnout, I had completely retreated and minimized my contact with people because I was so energetically depleted and I needed to be alone to recharge.  Each outing into the world of people required a much longer time period alone to recuperate my energy system. With the help of some gifted healers and coaches, I was able to stop the energy leaks in my system, and learn how to allow my system to receive energy from others so that I could create a balance of energy out and energy in.  As an empath, I had unconsciously shut down the receiving flow in order to protect myself from unwanted energy from others. I had been operating with a one-way flow of energy with other people, always flowing out to them.

Our energy system is simultaneously receiving and radiating energetic information. And our ability to allow universal energy to flow through our human energy system is key to harnessing our power as co-creative beings.  Physicists will tell you that all matter is energy, vibrating at different frequencies. The basic element of reality is consciousness manifested into energy.

What are you using your energy to create right now?

There is a new intelligence awaiting your discovery… energy intelligence.

Let me know what this article brings up for you… Questions? Curiosities? Skepticism?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Until next time,

Sue

 

My life is awesome… why am I not happy?

My life is awesome… why am I not happy?

Business Leadership life balance Personal Growth self development

If you’re reading this line, then something struck a chord with that headline. Why aren’t you happy? There’s something amiss, and only the deepest part of you knows what it is.

You’re living an amazing life. Career, family, home, social, travel… This is the stuff dreams are made of. It doesn’t get any better than this, they say. You’re living large and working hard. There’s lots of love, laughter and people in your life.  You’re driving a nice car and proud of the neighbourhood you live in. You’re a success at work and continue to grow your net worth.

So what’s the problem?

You’re feeling disconnected and antsy. There’s a part of you that is dying inside because it’s not being heard. You’re longing for more meaning in what you do, for deeper connections with others, for a greater purpose in your actions.  It’s not enough anymore to fit in, catch up, or win against others. That yardstick isn’t important anymore.

It’s time to listen to you soul… your wildfire within.

Whose definition of an awesome life have you been living? You were probably doing what you were expected to do. And now you’re here, but this dream didn’t originate from you. You need to question the cultural norms and beliefs you’ve adopted and create your own definition of ‘awesome’.

Usually what’s missing is more meaning, in one of these ways:

  • Feeling you belong
  • Knowing you’re doing your part and truly making things better
  • Feeling a sense of purpose, or deeper meaning to your existence

Finding purpose and meaning is a life-long quest. So start now.

Life is a much more exciting adventure when we’re seeking answers to these deeper mysteries.

And along the way on your quest, it’s important to know that you can be happy at any time, in any circumstances, with the right skills. I call this the happy-anyway strategy and it relies on a practice of conscious focus on your thoughts, as well as mind-body state management techniques.

It is incredibly empowering when you realize that you can assign ANY meaning to ANY situation, simply by choice. When you master your thoughts, you master your emotions.

And this is the paradox of life:  Accepting what is, while simultaneously wanting something more.  You might as well be happy while you’re working it!

Why Do You Want Money?

Why Do You Want Money?

Business Health & Wellness Leadership life balance Lifestyle Personal Growth Profitability self development Uncategorized

Why do you want money?!?  Sounds like a silly question, right? Like, duh! I want money because…

How did that sentence end for you? What was your first thought?  To be happy?  To relax? To buy X? To do Y?

The fascinating thing about money is that everyone wants it, but most people don’t know truly why, or are unclear as to what it will actually get them.

Money makes the world go round

Money happens to be the vehicle of exchange in our society, and is required in order to pay for shelter, goods and services. And so, while many of us might wish that we didn’t have to deal with money, that fact is, is that it’s a necessity.

In my experience working with clients on success and fulfillment, many people are chasing more and more money believing it will make them happy, but this is a trap. Research has shown that once a person has their basic needs met, there is no correlation between more money and more happiness.

You can, in fact, train your brain to be joyful and happy regardless of your money circumstances, but that’s a blog for another time.

Joy and happiness can come indirectly from what money can help you do, be or have, but if you are not clear on what those specifics are, then happiness will elude you.  In fact, if you are chasing money for money’s sake, you will never have enough. The acquisition of the money will feel empty, without some meaningful outcome that will bring you happiness.

Now, there are always money stories that we’re carrying that are not serving us.  These need to be released and healed.

And there are always fears and doubts around money, no matter if it’s about having too much or too little.  These need to be released and healed.

Regardless of whether you are wealthy or poor, whether you have an abundance mentality or a scarcity mentality, whether your money situation is up and down like a yo-yo… unraveling your relationship with money in order to create a healthier one is life-long work; the layers run that deep.

The first task is to get clear on the impact that money will have on you. And to understand what you want to do with it to improve your life and create happiness.

What’s important to you about money?

The key question to uncover the meaning of money for you is:  What’s important to you about money?  When you uncover the deeper nuances of this question, you will know precisely what you want to create in your life with money in order to reach optimal levels of happiness and joy.

So, go ahead… Find your money-happy!

If you’d like to explore this further with us, our Money and Meaning Mastermind group starts in Aurora, Ontario on February 8th, 2016. Contact us to see if it’s a fit for you now.

And leave a comment to let me know what you find out about yourself.  What did this bring up for you?

Until then, be free… and wild,

Sue

Who Are You When You Retire?

Who Are You When You Retire?

Business Lifestyle Retirement self development

Well it was bound to happen. The boomers are booming. Statistics Canada reports that a full one third of working Canadians will retire in the next 5 years. More and more of the business owners I meet are wanting to plan how they are going to exit their business as their retirement approaches, and they are wise to be planning ahead!

The main question for a business owner is, “Do I want to sell it, close it, or pass it on to a family member?” And the decisions and action plans are different depending on this overall objective.

Yet the bigger issue that would-be retirees face is what they are going to do, or be, once they retire. Because our identity is so connected to our work or business, it can be difficult to feel confident in our own skin when we are no longer in the work world.

Who am I when I’m not working?

Planning for retirement has traditionally involved financial and lifestyle changes, however there are other self-awareness and psychological issues to address as well.

Here are 4 important issues that need attention as you approach retirement…

Connections, Groups and Affiliations

It’s important to have communities and interests that you love outside the home BEFORE you retire, so that the sudden abundance of time can be filled in part, with things and people you are passionate about.  If you’ve been working so hard you’ve forgotten what you’re passionate about, then you have more self-exploration to do in preparation for retirement.

Productivity and Impact

Knowing how you want to make a ripple in the world after your work life ends is also important.  We can fill our retirement days with fun and leisure but at some point, we’re going to feel the itch to be productive.  This might be in the creative arts, or it could be through volunteering, or perhaps it’s the legacy you leave by being a caregiving influence in your grandchildren’s lives.

Align your Intimate Relationship

Long before you reach retirement you will need to create a shared vision with your spouse or partner. Inevitably your individual dreams are going to differ, and, there is always a way, if you’re willing to find it, to have those dreams to harmonize into a joint future that you can build together.

Freedom to Be Whoever you Want to Be

When the expectations of the work world are behind you, and you’re facing the final phase of life we call elderhood, what is it that you need to give yourself permission to do, be or have, that you never allowed yourself before?!  Will you be that eccentric renaissance man, or that cheeky, tell-it-like-it-is hip grandma, or will you simply wear something previously considered ‘outrageous’ and walk around town not caring two hoots what anyone else thinks?  Why would you do this?!  For the sheer joy and freedom of expressing your true nature!  And because we live most of our lives conforming to other people’s rules about right and wrong, and the final third of our lives is the last chance to shed all that and finally be who we really are!

So, dear Wild Ones, I ask you this:

What is it that you need to let go of in order to be free to enjoy your retirement?

Post a comment here and let me know your answer. Or contact me for a conversation about how I can help you create more Meaning and Fulfillment.

Until next time, be free and wild,

Sue

How Do You Grow: Part 2 of the Traps of Scaling Business

How Do You Grow: Part 2 of the Traps of Scaling Business

Business Culture Leadership Profitability

In Part 1 of this blog, we introduced the scenario that many business owners face once they are through the initial start-up phase and are generating momentum… and that challenge is scaling business effectively and sustainably.

We’ve addressed the first two traps to scaling: neglecting profitability and neglecting culture.  Let’s look at the other 3 common pitfalls of the rapid growth phase of business.

Adjusting to Market Changes

The marketplace has changed since you successfully launched with your unique proposition. Customers are more savvy and demanding, and your customers have innovated to bring new features and services that rival yours. When Yellow Tail wine was introduced in 2001, it was the first blended wine to offer a more complex flavour experience that was still pleasing to most, an economical and everyday wine experience. It enjoyed tremendous success until competing products of equal value joined the offering, and Yellow Tail needed a new strategy to continue to compete.

Question to Action: What is your next move to reclaim your competitive advantage while meeting customers’ needs in a unique way?

Different Strengths are required from your Management Team

Your management team includes you, as the CEO and Founder, and one of the most common pitfalls of rapidly growing businesses is the loss of control.  As you build out your extended team in the business, you and your managers need different competencies and strengths than when you launched. You will need to be effective at delegating, coaching and holding accountability in order to ensure you are aware of action and progress, and your direct reports are clear on their responsibilities.  You will also need to increase your capacity for complexity, removing yourself from detailed hands on activity, and overseeing more diverse activity, and provide more of a visionary role in anticipating future needs and mobilizing resources to address these. You and your management team may grow with the business, or you may not.  It might be time to make changes in the team now so that management capacity will carry your business successfully into the future.

Question for Action: What leadership strength gap in you or your team is hurting the business right now?

Business Operations cannot handle the Volume or the Complexity

Operations and systems is what most people think of when thinking of scalability challenges. You may reach the limit of the capacity of your manufacturing equipment, or your labour hours, or your processes and IT systems cannot handle the load as business grows.  Perhaps you need to finance the purchase of new capital, or you need a larger facility, or your distribution channels need to be expanded.  Or possibly you need to do a hiring blitz, revamp the process flow of documents through the office, or make improvements for efficiency. You took great care in choosing your operating model before you launched, and it’s important to revisit that regularly to keep it working optimally.  Often the biggest problem is not knowing where the true problem lies.  You may need to call in the expert team such as an Advisory Board to troubleshoot for you and develop the best solutions. Talk to us to find out how our Expert Advisory & Implementation Team can help.

Questions for Action: What one thing, when resolved, would have the greatest impact on your business’ ability to grow?

There is nothing more rewarding than building a business from the nothing, into a thriving and profitable workplace, making a positive difference in the world. And we want you to be aware of the potential pitfalls so you can maximize your chances of success.

How are you navigating these scaling challenges in your business? We’d love to hear from you so leave us a comment below to join the dialogue.

Until next time, be free… and wild,

Sue