What You Should Always Take

I came across this section in my upcoming book, “Live It!” (avail. Oct.). The original title of the book was “Take It!” and this section aimed to clarify what we should take (what is ours not others’). Enjoy!

WHAT YOU SHOULD ALWAYS TAKE

1. All opportunities put in front of you that resonate with you (connect to your soul and heart) You always learn more from the opportunities you take (even and especially if you fail, remember, we learn more from failure) than by not taking a chance.  By not trying you miss all the learning that occurs when taking chances.  Fortune favors the courageous and brave.  Not making a choice IS A CHOICE, a choice devoid of any courage or learning.  NOT making a choice is always the worst option as others then make their own choices, benefitting themselves.  If you don’t make a choice you lose the insight and self-actualizing benefits of trusting yourself.  Taking charge and making choices leads to feeling in charge of your life.

2. Life as a great game of exploration and adventure!  Doesn’t that sound like a great way to see it, instead of a great series of problems, hurdles and disappointments?

3. You always need to get clear on WHAT you want and WHY you want it Once you know what you want, life becomes so much simpler as you can choose powerfully and quickly and not look back with guilt.  This is your #1 quest in life, “What do I want (for myself) and why?” Once this is clear, a multitude of “difficult” or even seemingly “impossible” situations can be dealt with from a place of empowerment and certainty. That’s an amazing way to live!

4. The present moment as a gift.  Another name for a Christmas or birthday present is “gift”.  That is what the present moment is; a once in a lifetime gift never to be experienced again.  All of our power of decision and choice must necessarily occur in the present moment (since we can’t time travel yet).

The word decision is derived from Latin and means, “To cut off all other options.Much of your daily practice should center around being present to all the beauty of nature and the wonderful people around you.  Get out of your head and into your heart!  Any time we worry or are apprehensive (Fear), we are DEFINITELY NOT PRESENT!  In the present moment is where all action can occur.  Most people spend much too little time in the present moment.  We go back to the past and feel guilt or anger, or we think of the future, which is good if we see it as positive.  Many people simply dream of a better future.  A dream without a plan and action is simply a fantasy.

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A Cottage Frame of Mind

        Last week I had the pleasure and privilege of renting a cottage in the Haliburton area.  The weather was rainy. Regardless, it was still wonderful as only a place far from the hustle and bustle of city and regular life can create. As with most vacations it took a day or so there to get used to the new place and change in routines on all fronts. Isn’t that why we go away on vacation? To change the routine, see new things, people and experience life through a different lens.

             Some insights from the cottage came to me today and I thought I would share them with you.

 Mother Nature: Without the distraction and sound and visual pollution of the city, amazing sights and sounds are right there and spectacular. My first night there was amazing as the power of a thunder and lightning storm created a Halloween sound and visual landscape. One lightning strike was so close and powerful that my trusted Riplee dog launched onto the bed with me! The pitter patter of rain on the leaves and roof is something to behold.

 The stars at night are absolutely breath-taking and very visible.

The air is completely different (nights cooler) leading to sounder and deeper sleep.

Food:  Eating becomes one of the central themes of the day as one removes most/all regular tasks and responsibilities. Preparing and sharing a meal with your family is a great chance to connect.

No Cable TV:  As much as I’m a minimalist in terms of what I consume on television, once at the cottage, the only indication of civilization was the background radio station playing classic 70’s-80’s music harkening back to those glorious musical generations. Watching an older DVD of “The Great Escape” for the first time on a 13 inch TV has its own quaint appeal. The lack of cable TV also opens up the time for board and card games with much merriment. I was fortunate to have internet so I could still stay in touch with the Olympics (my little obsession) and a couple of coaching calls. I have always dreamed of coaching from a cottage, that dream happened this week and was amazingly motivating for me to get my own cottage-type place soon.

Miscellaneous:  One other interesting tidbit was that I had brought my laptop in the hope of doing some writing on my newest “Motorcycle Chronicles” (working title) book. Although I did ride into Algonquin Park, I DIDN’T feel like writing at all! At first I was worried I’d lost my writing touch. Then I realized (and reframed the experience) that this was what was meant to be and I enjoyed the writing break. Maybe my current writing location (dining room) environment is part of my “being a writer”.

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The Crying Games (Olympics Edition)

                       I’m not going to lie, I’m an Olympics junkie, there, I said it. From when I was a child and the Olympics came to Montreal in 1976 I have had a fascination with the level of competition, camaraderie, come-from-behind human stories and pageantry that is the Olympics.

                      At my high school the Olympiads were a great time for me even thought I wasn’t the fastest or strongest but always gave my all. I used to dig long jump pits in the back yard and dream of beating Bob Beamon’s incredible 29 foot record.

                      So this week as I was feverishly putting the final touches on “Live-It” I was watching all the events with moderate to high interest. Truth be told, the Track and Field events are by far my favorite (they begin Saturday Aug. 4th). Still, I was hooked.

                       Particularly on Wednesday night when the men’s 2000 meter 8’s rowing was on, Canada was in 4th place for the first ¾ of the race. Then at the 1500 meter mark, they hit the turbo boosters and moved up to finish in 2nd place for the Silver medal.

                       I was literally crying of joy as the emotion of the team and the power of their teamwork and resolve pushed them to the podium finish. I was imagining what it would be like to train day in and day out in the heat, cold and dampness day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year and then be in “the race”. The race against all the best in the world, knowing I was also one of the best in the world. Wow! Exhilaration, pride, joy, appreciation, freedom and empowerment would course through my veins. All these emotions are the best we can ever feel (All #1 on the Emotional Scale).

                      Then my STUMPS showed up, he pointed out the irony of my sitting on my couch alone crying at the performance of a bunch of strangers I don’t even know. I told him to be quiet and enjoyed that release that comes from bawling your eyes out from joy. You should try it, all you have to worry about is having a box of tissues and your ego-based pride judging you. I say go for it, get into that incredible vibration of pure emotions. Once every 4 years this happens, there is still 1 week, don’t miss it! Who knows you may enjoy the crying games!

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Milestone Celebrations

      A few weeks ago, my cousin got engaged, congratulations cuzmonious!

      As he told me the wondrous news I was so excited, I didn’t know what to say so I said what most people do, “When’s the wedding?”  He replied by telling me that he had planned the engagement for a few months and just wanted to breathe and savor having successfully posed the question and received a “yes” answer.

This little interlude is very telling of how most of us live life. We work hard and diligently and succeed at the milestones we set for ourselves. Do we savor the moment and all it took to get there? Do we relish our victory and share it for weeks to come? No we don’t. We are already focusing on the next milestone.

I believe this is a derivative of how pride is seen as a deadly sin. I’m sorry, but if you worked hard and reached a goal, you should be proud and celebrate and savor and share it for as long as you want to! I think where it’s a sin is when we let our ego get the best of us coming from insecurity.

One of the key things I do with coaching clients is have them celebrate and relish their achievements and really start celebrating more. Life is too long to only celebrate the “big” moments like weddings, graduations and new jobs.

I challenge you to celebrate a minor milestone and share and savor it all week.

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How to Get Market/Date Ready

Reader Question

This week, I thought I’d share a question I answered for one of our readers.

QUESTION: “I’m still upset/heartbroken over my past relationship(s). How (and when?) do I get “market-ready” to date?” JC

Frank: The simple answer JC, you’re ready when you are ready! What’s the rush anyway? That being said, everyone is different. You are ready when the idea of going out with someone new is very appealing. Too many people the fear being alone and then start dating coming from a lacking place. Anything coming from fear/lack is not a good perspective and will attract other fearful/lacking people.

When you’ve done some inner work towards getting to know and love yourself you will be ready. Many people don’t love (or even like) themselves and look to a relationship to fill up what they are missing. Two low self-esteem people do not a good couple make! Inadequate + inadequate = More inadequate! And they trigger each other’s unresolved “baggage” together making a mess.

When you become single after a relationship (never mind a heartbreaker!) you need time to get to know what the new (and improved), latest version of you likes and wants. Many people right out of a relationship feel rejected, dejected, unworthy (unworthiness is #21 on the ES). They feel less than complete and feel lost. A good way to soften is to look for all the gifts the relationship gave you, who YOU became because of it. You are VERY aware of what didn’t work, flip that around to what you do want. So, if you felt your last partner was “controlling”, you could say, “I’m looking for someone who values freedom (#1 on the ES) as I do.”

A certain amount of grieving must occur to process the emotions. Be gentle and enjoy exploring your “new” very different life. Reconnect to old and make new friends and hobbies/passions. Don’t look immediately for a partner as then the dreaded “rebound” relationships occur. Do the right thing and take some time to be curious about all that is possible. Most people look at what they lost instead of what they gained from their separation. When coming from lack you attract others in lack.

Good luck and please let us know how it goes!  

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Get Some Bugs in Your Teeth!

       As I drove my amazing and beautiful dog (Riplee) to the groomer yesterday, he did what he always does on any and ALL car rides. He gets all excited and sits next to the rear door window and puts his head out of the car as we zoom around city and highway. If you’ve seen the movie “Ted” my conversation with him below will seem similar…lol!

I had an imaginary conversation with him and thought it might give you some insight! Enjoy!

Frank: “Riplee why do you put your head outside the car while it’s moving?”

Riplee: “Woof!”then, “I love it because it feels like I’m flying! Also, I get to see the world zoom by! It’s really exhilarating and makes me feel alive and like when I was a pup!”

Frank: “But, isn’t it dangerous?”

Riplee: “Not really, I have good balance and only my head and neck are out. Besides even if it is the thrill is worth it! I’m also so excited because I know we are going somewhere and no matter where that is I will have a blast as people fawn all over me because I’m really cute!”

Frank:  “What about the wind, doesn’t dry your eyes?”

Riplee: “Yes, that’s why I pop into the car then put my head out of the sunroof to change things up!”

Frank:  “What about bugs hitting you?”

Riplee: “Couldn’t care less, it’s soooo fun to ride! People always point and smile at how much fun I’m having! I especially love the squealing little boys and girls, they don’t hold back and show their full appreciation!”

Frank:  “Wow, that sounds so fun, here, you drive, I want to try it too!!!!”

Riplee: “No way, sucker, YOU’RE MY DRIVER!”

Life is short, get some (metaphorical) bugs in your teeth this week, I double-dare you!

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Tips to Practice Abundant Thinking

From my upcoming book, “Live It! Your Courageously Authentic Life” (Available on presale in September):

1. Decide and commit immediately to start to think abundant thoughts then do it. Put a penny in a jar for every positive thought you have (a forced easy saving method, hint spend the savings on something nice like a trip!)

2. Actually count (and record/journal) your numerous blessings right now, and start being grateful (Appreciation is #1 on the ES) for all the amazing things, people and experiences in your life.

3. Stop thinking and talking about what you believe you DON’T have. Instead, focus on creating the circumstances that you do want. Develop your passion, interests, knowledge, and skills in areas that will help you achieve more.

4. Replace “could’ve”, “should’ve” and “would’ve” with “I want” or “I will soon have”. Begin visualizing and feeling what it will be like to have it (tell your mind the “How” and “WHEN” is not your responsibility).

5. Don’t feel guilty (Guilt, #21 on the ES) for wanting / desiring. It is your personal choice to strive for happiness for yourself and others.

6. You can want, but NEVER create specific expectations. Having expectations leads to disappointment. Be “committed” yet not “attached” to a particular result or outcome.

7. Create zero expectations of what you will receive. Do not automatically assume that you will receive anything. Just know that anything and everything is possible and invite that abundance into your life. Be abundant (generous) with your emotions  and time with others, be appreciative, passionate, free and loving.

8. Be mentally prepared (but not focused) on worst-case scenarios. Know that in the right emotional state you can and will handle anything and everything the world (recall, like an ocean) will throw at you and this easily. If you meet your goals, it will add to the happiness you already enjoy; if not, it doesn’t matter because you are happy with what you already have.

9. Eliminate thinking the world owes you a living and that you deserve to receive what you want. Everything you receive in life is a gift. The world doesn’t owe you anything, but its abundance is capable of giving you anything and everything you desire. Give more, expect less.

10. Remember the universe is fair, you must give to receive but NEVER give EXPECTING to receive.

11. Stop feeling cheated, and like a victim (Powerlessness, #22 on the ES). This is a scarcity perspective. Take control and responsibility of your life (and by extension) your own happiness.

12. Know that your past does not equal your future, and your current unfavorable situation does not have to last if you choose to make it better. You are not your condition or circumstances, but YOU ARE your thoughts. Take 100% responsibility that your past thoughts and choices have lead exactly to where you are. Once you do you will feel in control of (and love) your life (empowerment, #1 on the ES).

13. Accept and plan to make mistakes. PERFECTIONISM equals and leads to PARALYSIS. Don’t beat yourself up when you do; regard mistakes as moments on your learning curve that will help take you to new heights. Learn from them and move on. Our hardest knocks teach us our most important lessons in life. We learn many more lessons from our failures than our successes, ask any sports team!

14. Think of a physical reminder that will help you keep your thoughts on track. Every time you feel you are drifting back to thoughts of scarcity, perform your little physical action to realign yourself with abundance. You could click your fingers, snap a rubber band on your wrist, or simply join your thumb to your forefinger as people do in meditation.

15.  Develop a mantra that you repeat every morning and evening or whenever you need a boost. An example I use is, “Every day and every in way the universe gives me more than I need!” 

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Take That Shot!

In searching for a topic worthy of the newsletter this week, I borrowed from my newest book all about not only accepting but embracing your truest self, warts and all. It is called “Take It! Living and Loving a Courageously Authentic Life.” Which will be available nationwide in September.

Wayne Gretzky (hockey Hall of Famer widely considered one of the best hockey players to ever live) said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. It seems so obvious in sports but is also extremely applicable to our lives. What are the devastating and life-limiting side-effects of NOT TAKING (ANY?) SHOTS?

THE COSTS OF NOT TAKING A SHOT

  1. You miss all the opportunities (because you chose not to take a shot)
  2. You miss the learning and growth of trying, failing and persevering to take shots.
  3. Your ego gets to smugly hide behind a carefully crafted lie, “If we did try we would succeed!”
  4. The world doesn’t get the benefit of your “shot”, whatever the impact that would be it is certainly more than not doing anything.
  5. You don’t inspire anyone else to take shots around you. Those who regularly go for it inspire others by their actions (the main concept in Take-It!).

“Be the change you want to in the world.”  Ghandi

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Summer 2012: Your Best Ever!

As I was preparing my men’s circle last week I created a few questions to get the men pumped up about their summer of 2012. Well, we are 2 days in with 88 days to go and what will you do to make this a summer to end all summers?

            When I coach, I often use little “tricks” (techniques) to shift the perspective of my clients, which allows them to come up with new, fresher and more empowering viewpoints on their existing challenges. One of those is the future or past time warp where I have them see their situation from the future as if it has already happened.

Here is the question I had them share with the group, I urge you to try it yourself!

“It is September 1st, 2012 and the summer of 2012 turned out to be my best summer ever! I really grabbed my life and did _________________ and  _____________________ and ________________ and __________________ . I also visited ________________ and _________________ .

I had 2 major challenges this summer, _______________________ and ____________________ . I overcame these challenges by _______________________.

I’m really proud of myself.”

 

Hopefully that really brought you some clarity and inspiration in terms of what you want for yourself this summer. All I will add is have fun, the summer solstice is but a brief visitor! Have a great summer.

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3 Questions to Ask Yourself When Others Doubt Your Small Business

      In the theme of my upcoming seminar on “Expanding Your Business and Prosper” this week I share with you some questions to ask yourself when others doubt you (I know that never happens to YOU right? Haha!1.    How might you be doubting yourself?It’s always easier to blame others, the government, the economy, the competition than looking into ourselves. Focus on what you can control (what YOU do, not anyone outside you). Be honest with yourself, do you really believe in yourself and what you are doing? Is your mission powerful and inspirational for you and others. A weak mission statement can really hurt you and your business. If you doubt yourself so will others. Doubt is #13 on the ES (Above worry and below disappointment)

2.    What are your concerns about stepping out of your comfort zone and creating your business? It’s always helpful to get specific about how your thinking may create a mental environment of self doubt. Is your language weak, do you beat yourself up for mistakes? Running a small business requires vision and persistence, to ensure you have those you must really love what you are doing AND believe in it.

3.   On a Scale of 1-10 (1 Not Committed at all to 10 Fully Committed), How Committed are you to success in this business? Successrequires commitment. Before you see any results. This is a difficult concept for many new business owners, and is one of the key aspects of entrepreneurship that my clients and I work with in coaching.

By looking within, we usually make the connection between what’s showing up in “other people” and how it is always a mirror to what’s inside us. Once you truly “get” that YOU are responsible for everything happening, you get a rush of freedom moving like a deep cleansing breath through your body. “Aha, it was me all along!” When you realize this, you suddenly have choices about what you prefer to think, feel and attract. Remember, “thoughts that are emotionalized are magnetized!” Our new choices cause the Law of Attraction to match us up with entirely new people and experiences. Often, co-collaborators pop out of the woodwork.

As you consciously and deliberately change your vibration (a skill anyone can practice) you’re no longer a match to “doubt”. And surprise, others don’t doubt you!

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