Is today a good day to be a Warrior?

Category : Inspiration

To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other. ”
(Carlos Castaneda)

“The spirit listens only when the speaker speaks in gestures. And gestures do not mean signs or body movements, but acts of true abandon, acts of largesse, of humor. As a gesture to the spirit, warriors bring out the best of themselves and silently offer it to the abstract. ”
(Carlos Castaneda)

” The spirit of a warrior is not geared to indulging and complaining, nor is it geared to winning or losing. The spirit of a warrior is geared only to struggle, and every struggle is a warrior’s last battle on earth. Thus the outcome matters very little to him. In his last battle on earth a warrior lets his spirit flow free and clear. And as he wages his battle, knowing that his intent is impeccable, a warrior laughs and laughs. ”
(Carlos Castaneda)

How to say No in Giraffe

Category : Changing perspective, Inspiration, Transforming your relationships

Photography By Myles Aronowitz/Lush Photography

Photography By Myles Aronowitz/Lush Photography

Last week we were wrapping up an amazing panel discussion called Evoking the Goddess. I was the moderator and after a steady start the panel really came alive, with heart felt testimony and inspiring stories. The audience was leaning forward with good questions and insights, really adding to the inspired energy in the room.

We had planned for an end time of 9:15pm, and because one of the panelists had to be elsewhere right after the event I was feeling a sense of urgency to end on time.

I probably allowed one or two more questions than the time allowed so when another person in the audience said “Can I ask one more question?” My answer of NO! didn’t contain a whole lot of kindness and compassion.

My office mate Mike Murphy (a long time student and teacher of Non Violent Communication) was sitting right near the person who asked the question. He heard someone justifiably comment to her that my response was not particularly gentle (paraphrasing).

The next day Mike and I were talking about the event. He relayed his experience on the exchange and then dropped this gem on me.

He said, “Do you want to know how to say No in giraffe?” I knew something good was coming.

We have four foot giraffe in our office because the giraffe is the symbol of Non Violent Communication. It has a 26 lb. heart, observes from above the fray, has no natural predators etc.

“You speak from your own needs, so the answer to the question in Giraffe would be about what you as the moderator needed”

Wow.

Feel the difference between these two:

Q – Can I ask another question?
A – NO!

or

Q – Can I ask another question?
A – I need to wrap this up now because we have panelists that have time constraints, but there will be ample time for discussion after we finish.

With NO! it can have so much collateral damage. With stating my needs, that’s it. Everyone is whole.

For more info on how to speak in Giraffe go to http://www.cnvc.org/

2012- Time for the Shift

Category : Changing perspective, Inspiration

I love the fact that 2012 is here. We can talk about this great opportunity for a shift in consciousness without people saying “2012 is just an arbitrary year on the calendar.” Because now we have the foolproof answer to that line of thinking. I have been responding with “OK, maybe, but its THIS Year!”

This is the time for the Shift.

I feel it all around. National politics is begging for a mass wake up call. Old ways of doing things are moving from simply ineffective to glaringly ridiculous. There is no believable media to tell us how we should think anymore.

And there is a guy in Denver who is “not supposed” to be an NFL quarterback, making even marginal football fans jump out of their seats with amazement.
Tebow is manifesting wins right before our eyes. He is helping shift our idea of what is possible. He has a grand stage, and some really powerful allies. But basically what we are seeing is his belief played out in action.

Is this the year of the Shift? We get to either believe it or not.

Lessons from the Masters

Category : Inspiration

John Wooden passed away this week at age 99.  When reporters talked to former players of the greatest college basketball coach of all time, you could feel how much more to them he was than a coach.  He was a teacher of some of life’s deepest and most important lessons.

I was lucky enough to have a coach like this.  My high school football coach was Jack Davison.  He graduated second in his class from Princeton and could have pursued any number of lucrative professions, but instead became a history teacher and football coach.   99% of the players who played for him consider him, after their fathers, the most revered man in their lives.  He wore a little cap and football pants with no pads as his everyday coaching uniform.    Gruff, incredibly intense, and impeccably fair, his pregame speeches are remembered almost verbatim 25 years later.  Emotional roller coasters about teamwork, destiny, focus, and perspective.  High school students with virtually no exposure to spirituality had no trouble recognizing  that we were in the presence of a true master.

We had a 25th reunion of a championship team a few years ago and he came.  He wasn’t even going to speak to the group (“this isn’t about me, ” he said, in the gravelly, humble and wise voice of his)  but was convinced to.  Starting slowly with his characteristic profound pauses, he gained steam.  He didn’t talk about the stars of the team or the victories, but instead about how disappointed he was for the guys that didn’t play much or had gotten hurt.  He single out a gutsy team that came a few years after us that had come back from a 0-4 start to finish 5-4.  Championships didn’t matter to him, finding your heart did and still does.

Let’s hope there is still a pipeline of John Woodens and Jack Davisons developing in our world.  We need them.

Emerson on Resilience

Category : Inspiration, Leading your career

“If our young men miscarry in their first enterprises, they lose all heart.  If the young merchant fails, men say he is ruined.  If the finest genius studies at one of our colleges, and is not installed in an office within one year afterward in the cities or suburbs of Boston or New York, it seems to his friends and to himself that he is right in being disheartened, and in complaining the rest of his life.  A sturdy lad from New Hampshire or Vermont, who in turn tries all the professions, who teams it, farms it, peddles, keeps a school, preaches, edits a newspaper, goes to congress, buys a township, and so forth, in successive years, and always, like a cat, falls on his feet, is worth a hundred of these city dolls.  He walks abreast with his days, and feels no shame in not “studying a profession,” for he does not postpone his life, but lives already.  He has not one chance, but a hundred chances.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Coyote

Category : Changing perspective, Inspiration

When looking at an arising situation in our lives, it is easy to label it a problem,  conflict, or dispute.  Doing this automatically brings negative energy to the situation and reduces the chances of a good outcome.  When we do this we usually put ourselves as the good guy and the “other” as the bad guy, cause, or foe.  This judgment nullifies the other’s truth and makes it hard to evaluate options effectively, since most of the energy is spent justifying our own side.

We see this all around us.  The person arguing with the supermarket checkout clerk, complaining about the boss, or going off with road rage.  How often does this reaction get the person what they want and a good outcome?  Not often.  The flip side is the person who consciously looks at things as “situations”,  seeing into both sides without judgment.  They are able to calmly figure out what actions to take that lead to the outcomes they want.

In its simplest form this is illustrated by the concept I call “Coyote”.  When the Coyote finds himself caught out in the rain he doesn’t waste one second of time and energy lamenting the fact that his day has been inconvenienced or finding out who caused the rain,  he simply starts evaluating options with no judgment.   It is a beautiful thing.