Created: Thursday, 23 January 2014 14:14
To Eric, the offer of money was a signal that his father had given up and was giving his resources away. To me, it was a blessed sign that our father is feeling secure in his own finances, and that he has forgiven his son for not being the boy or the man his father thought he should be. If Eric had been born 20 years later I'm sure they would have discovered a syndrome he fits in to. In his era the only label was lazy.
There always was much more to my brother than that. Having grown up beside him, I will say the fact that Eric created a situation for himself where he only needs a small monthly subsidy is more than I had hoped for. I let him out of the dog house long ago. My father took a bit longer.
Eric was reluctant to accept the money. He didn't ask for a handout. He is challenged in many ways, but he isn't greedy. I assured him I thought it was a good thing and almost a gift to his father to accept it. It is a fence mender.
My mother passed before we were able to make more than a superficial peace with each other. It's a blessing to find deep peace and acceptance before people pass. This last year has been a powerful year of family healing. We don't know how much time there is on our clocks. This healing is an important step in laying the groundwork for a proper good-bye when that time comes. My heart is happy.
Created: Wednesday, 22 January 2014 14:14
He greeted me by apologizing for getting off the phone so abruptly in our last conversation. (It had been clear he wanted to get off quickly, but I hadn't taken offense.) Our conversation shifted to our appreciation of "proper goodbyes."
The conversation then went to Elizabeth Kubler Ross' emphasis of the importance of being aware of and attentive to small good-byes when losing loved ones. I understand that one. Some of us get to say a proper good-bye at the final moment. Some of us don't. Kubler Ross noted and valued the little good-byes that lead up to the last moments in the dying process. It's important that they don't go unnoticed.
Phone calls, life cycles, even with blog posts, conscious endings are always a good idea.
Have you noticed the line we recently added to the blog posts? In some ways, you can think of them as proper good-byes. Before we added that element, it was difficult to see where one post ended and another started.
Practice patterns - like proper goodbyes - with the small stuff and you'll have them available for the big situations.
Created: Tuesday, 21 January 2014 14:01
One of my readers shared this quote from Martin Luther King Jr.
I love that quote and appreciate being reminded of it. I marvel at people like King who speak at great personal risk. I salute and bow to those who change how we think and behave in the world.
Of course, not all of us have a destiny as big as Martin Luther King Jr. Not every truth shared has global implication. It's easy to undervalue the significance of the small sharings compared to King's powerful dream.
Your voice matters, even in a small scale.
Yesterday I shared an observation that I had thought might seem minor and obvious. I told a friend that since I backed off on how much time I spend on my own excellence and creations, I feel freer to marvel at others'. While I was speaking specifically about my delight in watching the remarkable athletics in the Broncos championship game, in general, not having to be the one who knows and does all the time has increased my receptivity. I am enjoying and emotionally sharing more in the wins of others.
My friend spent the next ten minutes exclaiming about how important it was for her to hear that.
Share your big dreams and your small observations. That is the ticket for staying vibrantly alive. It also is the ticket for helping others stay alive.
Created: Monday, 20 January 2014 03:04
I predict an upsurge of births in Colorado in nine months. Why? Not because marijuana is legal here now, but because the Broncos won the playoffs and are going to the Superbowl. Seriously - there's a connection between teams winning and birthrates.
Bob and I aren't making any new Roses, but he is a much happier man due to the win. Judging from my dreams last night where I joyfully celebrated the win with John Elway for several hours, the experience enlivened me, too.
This might be the first football game I've ever watched from start to finish. I marveled at how embodied and viscerally engaged the players were. I delighted in the spirited victory dances after great plays (that look a lot like my own dance community expressing their joy.) I imagined being in such a high-stakes, intense game. They play to win, and in the process, they can lose it all suddenly.
It was sweet to see Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning in a shower of confetti, looking peacefully contented over the win. It was touching to see Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady looking like he wanted to evade interviews and have a good cry. It was exciting to see Broncos' VP John Elway looking marvelously exuberant.
My work is far less intense. I don't have a stadium of people watching what I do. I'm not on national TV with commentators evaluating every move. I'm unlikely to suffer a debilitating injury from one false move. But still I relate to these amazing athletes putting everything they have on the line for something that matters deeply to them.
Bob and I won't be turning the Bronco win into a bundle of joy arriving next fall. But the inspiration from watching other people live their excellence inspires me to live mine more fully.
How about you? How can you live your excellence more fully? What might you be giving birth to?
Created: Friday, 17 January 2014 03:11
The Denver Broncos' quarterback Peyton Manning recently broke all kinds of records. It was fun to hear the sportscasters gush over him like he's superhuman. In some ways, I think he IS superhuman - not for the records he has broken, but for his ability to maintain humility and balance despite being seriously competitive and incredibly successful.
In a recent game, Manning went up to the Houston Texan's player JJ Watt and said:
- You got me good on that last one.
JJ Watt responded by asking,
- I didn't hurt you, did I bro?
Manning was fine - he just wanted to communicate his respect for Watt's skill and speed. Way to SpeakStrong!
So often, seriously competitive people are too consumed by their own power drives to show that kind of grace. So often, people see that kind of acknowledgement as weak. It takes a big man (or woman) to succeed. It takes a bigger one not to let it go to their head.
Created: Thursday, 16 January 2014 17:13
When I couldn't get my chiropractor Ray to lighten his adjustments, I stopped seeing him for about a year. When I returned, he seemed much more receptive - and less inclined to blame me for "resisting."
But I still was unable to get him to respect my desire to focus on the adjustment. Ray just likes to talk. I have requested more meditative, focused care many times.
Recently Ray had three people in ahead of me, and the conversation was intense. When they finished and I was on the table, the previous client asked about sudden death syndrome. Ray responded while adjusting. It felt frenetic and unfocused. I sat up and said,
- I'll wait until you finish your conversation.
Ray ended the conversation and focused on me. But he still wanted to chit chat.
The next time I saw him I was able to speak with him privately. I painted a picture of the environment I like to receive care in. I compared chit chat during treatment to chit chat in intimacy or meditation. He resisted, of course, and told me I'd have to remind him every time because he has so many people and so many different energies that he can't be expected to remember. I told him he was making my point for me - that was the very reason he needed to pause, however briefly, to tune in to who is on his table.
He heard me. The adjustment was deep, settled and magical. Some joints moved that had not moved before.
The time after that, Ray refrained from chit chat with me, but for no reason I could discern, he directed the chatter with the woman ahead of me to a discussion of The Museum of Torture. Since there were others in the room, I addressed that in a later email. I noted,
- I know you recognize the invocational power of words. How did that topic contribute to her or my experience?
He heard me.
Here's the thing. I've been seeing Ray for ten years. It took that long to make these points clearly and for him to hear me.
I've been sailing through conversations that previously were challenging. And that makes life much sweeter, not just in my chiropractor's office.
Created: Sunday, 12 January 2014 17:45
My revision of my communication style types is taking much longer than I anticipated. I expected it to go quickly because I've been teaching the information for years. It's taking longer because I'm not looking at the communication styles from an objective, academic perspective. I'm living each of them and speaking from its voice. I'm dancing with each Archetype as I write.
For example, to describe the Visionary style, I embody the Visionary. If I've been working with plans and details and facts and focus that are the domain of other styles, it requires a significant toggle to shift into a whole different style of viewing the world.
For example, I might write on the Visionary lesson and later come to realize I was coming from the Clarifier mindset. I see what was invisible to me at the time - instead of being playful in my writing, I list playfulness as a quality.
The night before last I had an emotional melt-down and a hissy-fit in the wee hours of the morning. I experienced it as new energies wanting to be lived, not just described. I trust those eruptions and end up stronger once they settle.
I had planned to launch my SpeakStrong Method Made Easy eCourse next week, but it's not going to be ready. It's really true - some things can't be rushed. It's also true, good things are worth waiting for.