You Can Master the Art of Making A Life and A Living

Over the past several weeks I have been sharing with you about the very real, very human challenge many people, maybe even you, wrestle with, how to make a life that allows you to have a life?  To work and earn a living so you can take care of your family AND invest in your personal needs and wants too. All without feeling like you are forever frantically chasing a never-ending to-do list.

Maybe you are:

  • Worn out from the mad-dash of trying to get it all done.
  • Neglecting what calls from the marrow of your bones and that hurts with a deep steady pulsing ache
  • Stuck in “I don’t know what” or “I don’t know how” but know something needs to be different.
  • Fearing, secretly (or not so secretly) who you are, so you try to wedge yourself into a form meant for someone else and therefore are holding yourself back. Or feel like a fraud.
  • Know you need to slow down but can’t find “the breaks”.
  • Striving to prioritize so you’re not wasting time on things that drain you and exhaust you and trying to find time for the things that make your life rich, zesty and splendid, but never quiet getting there.

Bottom line you want to know how to bring in the real materials of your life- the people and things that matter to you most and all too often can drop to the very bottom of your to do list-  into your daily experience. But you’re stuck at HOW?

I can help you answer that question. So you feel as if you can float unfettered without feeling untethered to soar to new highs in your life while remaining grounded in the real materials of your life.  That you are willing to risk letting go of what is familiar, what’s “right” and do what you must in order to live into a promise you made to yourself. Perhaps to do even what you deeply fear so that you live into the promise of your true north.

Honestly I am super excited to help you resolve lingering questions or worries that hold you back from focusing on your Big WHY and bear hugging your inner geek, so you can make a life and a living that matters in a deeply personal way. My new program, Mastering the Art of Bringing in the Real Materials of Your Life into Your Daily Experience will help you find your answers and begin to make a full zesty life.

Who is this program for?

  • Smart, busy professionals ready to make the shift to getting the right things done so they make a life and a living.
  • People committed to crafting a well-edited life that ensure their ability to craft a full, rounded, enriching experience in the world.
  • People who are extraordinarily committed to their success and well-being and are open to being held accountable by a coach.
  • Folks who are ready to be sparked to take action they might not otherwise.

What will you get from the program?

  • Make tangible progress on projects that allow you to make a life and a living.
  • Loosen the stifling grip of fears and move forward despite what unnerves you.
  • Become clear about where your natural strengths and your passion intersect so extraordinary things can happen because you make decisions in alignment with these and without fighting your nature.
  • You’ll edit out what siphons off your energy, so that what is in your life are those things and people and experiences that nourish and challenge you.
  • The important aspects of life — areas that may have frustrated you for years – become visibly and measurably better, as you build a toolkit to prioritize and improve those things that make a life fulfilling.
  • Real, concrete, unwavering support and honesty in service of your goals.
  • Nine private 1-hour coaching sessions and unlimited email support in between the sessions.
  • Tools and resources you can use again in the future.

If you want to get on the fast track to making a rich, zesty and profoundly satisfying life that includes both professional success and personal fulfillment, then I’d love to be your guide. I’d love to have you be part of the beta test group helping me to make this an extraordinary experience. I am taking 9 people in the beta test.

I said I would offer you the chance to get on the phone with me start answering your questions . . . Here is your chance to request a complementary Making A Life Discovery Session with me. I am offering a limited number of these sessions. During the 30-minute session we will do three things.

  1. Create a clear vision about what a shift to making a live and living would look and feel like for you.
  2. Then we will explore obstacles that are getting in your way from making this shift.
  3. Finally we will outline the next steps you can take to move forward, including this program. (Should we choose to take a next step together we’ll be a little longer.)

Request your complementary Making a Life Discovery Session now here.

One last note, because I am beta testing this program, I am offering it at $800. I expect the full price to be closer to $1400. Also, I’ll periodically ask you for feedback.

You Don’t Have to Be Defined by Work Alone

Many people, maybe you, are no longer willing to let work alone define you. To push aside the most important people, interests, activities and things to you – the real material of your life- until one enchanted day in the future when there is time, or things feel more secure. Yes, the current economic crisis might have made you cautious about leaving work at work, but to do your best work, you need to feed the other parts of your life.  Those are important elements in feeling what you do matters. If are having trouble doing that you might even be resentful of who and what is in your life because there is no time for you- everything else hogs it all up.

Fundamentally you want to make a life that enriches you, your family and your community.  When you enrich yourself you consequently enrich those around you and even the world at large, because you can bring a greater depth of purpose and meaning to what you choose to do.  You crave to have a well-edited life that ensures your ability to craft a full, rounded, enriching experience in the world.

But how do just that?

Well first you have to believe you have earned the right to do take some time for yourself so you can sink into the real materials of your life.  After all people rely on you, at work , at home, in your community, in your social circle, people need you and your time and attention NOW. Right? Can you really afford to slow down and invest some time in your wants and needs? You might even be thinking, “Geez, if you could see my to-do list I am not sure you would even ask me this question.”

Taking time for yourself- your wants and needs- might feel greedy when so many people are relying on you. But get this, that is the very reason to find the courage to claim time for yourself.  You must edit out what siphons off your stunning life force, so that what remains in your life are those things and people and experiences that nourish and challenge you. When you do you restore the precious wellspring of energy that gives you the nerve and oomph to do what only you can do. When you don’t invest this time you are in danger of being resentful, fractured hollow version of who you are trying to be. And then how much use are you to the people who rely on you!

Wrestling with questions or worries that hold you back from focusing on your Big WHY and bear hug your inner geek, so you can make a life and a living that matters in a deeply personal way can be a lonely, confusing and complicated task.

  • Just what would making a life and a living actually feel ,look and be shaped life?
  • Could I be courageous enough to fall in love with my inner geek?
  • Can I really make space for the real materials of my life, in my life?

I would love to help you start answering those questions in concrete terms that point to actual steps you could take  so that you can sink some guilt free time into the fullness of who you are and what you crave to have in your life.  It sounds grand I know. In a way it is, these can be expansive questions.  Once you start delving into them, you will also need to make choices about what to edit out so in the end you are left with a crystal picture of what matter most to you. That’s when having a person in your corner with an open compassionate ear, who will partner with you to create a no B.S. zone to in which you can reflect and decide how to move forward can be your greatest resource.

Let’s get on the phone to start answering your questions . . . I am offering a limited number of complementary Making A Life Discovery Sessions. During the 30-minute session we will do three things.

  1. Create a clear vision about what a shift to making a live and living would look and feel like for you.
  2. Then we will explore obstacles that are getting in your way from making this shift.
  3. Finally we will outline the next steps you can take to move forward, including a new program I’m rolling out in just a couple of days. (Should we choose to take a next step together we’ll be a little longer.)

Book your complementary Making A Life Discovery Session now, just use this link.

Your Work Should Matter and Feel Like It Too

You are a success. You have figured out what to do in order to move up the organizational ladder, stay employed or start your own business, during a crazy unsettling few years. You may have figured out how to make you inner geek your best asset, delving into your strengths and deploying them with great skill. You work miracles everyday as you figure how to do more work with fewer people and fewer resources. You should be proud of your triumphs. After all you worked hard and made some sacrifices along the way.

You put up with commutes that absorb time you could be spending on something you enjoy (unless of course you enjoy long drives with lots of traffic) like finally taking painting classes or rekindling romance with your beloved.  Plus you might also be juggling your work with taking care of the family or your parents- not to mention your volunteer work. Could be that you spend your entire weekend on household stuff done because there is no time during the week (or when there is, you are too tired). Your days feel crowed and sometimes down right chaotic and, oddly enough, like something is missing. If you could just get to the bottom of your to-do list you might have the time to think about what that mysterious thing is.

My hunch is it may not be more money, or a bigger office. But that you wish to feel in the fiber of your being that what you do matters. That the impact of your work does not stop with a dollar amount or another plaque on the wall. That it is meaningful and contributes to the greater good-whether you work for pay or not. Moreover that part of that greater good is you and your needs.

 

Meaningful work is not in a job title- no matter what that title is- or how highly a position is regarded by others. Meaningful work is personally defined and experienced. It is the ways in which what you do enriches the world.  Jobs that provide enough money to support your family and afford you the wealth of spending time puttering in your garden or unscheduled play time with your kids are deeply meaningful. As is being a neurosurgeon who may have less time outside of the bounds of work, but is able to fulfill a personal mission to enable the health of others. The same can be for how you move through day, the way you interact with people and how you spend your time outside of work can be routes to meaningful work.

It is easy to put off doing the things that provide the foundation for how you can best contribute to the world, because you think or secretly believe/hope that a miraculous day in the future will arrive when you stop and take the time to do those things (or figure out what they might be in the first place). Magical thinking. There is always going to be something clamoring for your time, attention and skills,- like your smart phone that just announced an incoming email, or rang the alarm for a project reminder.

The escape of daydreams and wishful thinking is delightful and I even venture to say necessary. Dreams, hopes, wishes that can give you something to hold on to on days when you just think you can’t take anymore. They are a spark- a starting point. Not and end in and of themselves. You don’t write a wonderful book like Love in the Time of Cholera (Thank you Gabriel Garcia Marquez for introducing me to Magical Realism), with just a hope. But you have to start then and decide where to spend your time, mind and heart.

Are you are done waiting for some enchanted day in the future, are no longer willing to live to work and ready to start feeling on a more visceral level that what you do matters in a deeply personal way?  That requires digging in and being absolutely clear  about your BIG WHY, a clear unwavering vision of what you crave most ardently and is deeply rooted in the real materials of your life.  It becomes a promise to live into.  The promise becomes a reality when you skillfully use the gifts and strengths of your inner geek in service of your Big WHY.

Previously I said that I have been working on a new program I believe will help you resolve lingering questions or worries that hold you back from focusing on your Big WHY and bear hug your inner geek, so you can make a life and a living that matters in a deeply personal way. Things like:

  • Just what would making a life and a living actually feel ,look and be shaped life?
  • Could I be courageous enough to fall in love with my inner geek?
  • Can I really make space for the real materials of my life, in my life?

Later this week I’ll be offering you the chance to get on the phone with me and start answering these questions in clear concrete terms.

You Are Here to Enrich the World

The best way I know to do this, to enrich the world and make a living, is to do is make a life, as well as a living.

Making a life is when you invest in all the important aspects of living, that includes having an income, while embracing what feeds your soul, enriches your experience, nurtures your ability to mature and cultivate wisdom, makes you smile, laugh, and cry. It is a full-blooded, full-bodied journey that unfolds overtime.  Making a living is just that, earning an income that supports your ability to feed, shelter and cloth yourself and perhaps those you care for too.  Both are important, but in this go-go-go world it is easy to be swept up making a living and forget to make a life.

I want for you, for all people, to uncover the joy of your heart and soul and bring that forward so that it is the true north for all you do. So that it infuses through the whole of your life. In the moments when you are not as free to act as you would like it steers you forward into the fullness of its promise. Not that everything is easy, sunshine, but that the “hummingbirds in life” -those tiny miracles and amazing, brilliant insights that you might miss if you don’t pay attention- come to you and you revel in the pleasure of small moments with a sense of wonder. That the challenges you confront are approachable and inspire you to reach to grow to expand.  That you unabashedly fall in love with yourself and what you do.

I have yet to meet the person who says in all seriousness, “I want my life to amount to a hill of beans” or the only thing written on their gravestone to be “She was a fine worker”. But I have met plenty of people (and even been one), who get snared by always doing the “right thing” rather than the best things.  You do the right things because you want to create a good life for yourself, your family and community You want to feel what you do matters, beyond a paycheck, that there is room for the real materials of your life and you can be calm in a chaos prone go-go-go world.

Ultimately you want to make a life that enriches you.  When you enrich yourself you consequently enrich the world, because you can bring a greater depth of purpose and meaning to what you choose to do.  You crave to have a well-edited life that ensures your ability to craft a full, rounded, enriching experience in the world.

But how do just that?

What might getting the right things done , so you can “make a life” that enriches you and the world, look like?

It is a shift to figure out in real, personal terms what “making a life” would be. What might it look, feel, smell like and be like for you? Not me. Not your parents. Not your colleagues. Not your friends. You. What you would be doing differently? What would you keep the same? How would you think, act and speak? How close are you now to your “making a life”? What would give you the courage to bridge that gap? Do you even think it is possible?

So many of my clients struggle with these types of questions.  I want to help you start answer these questions in clear concert terms quickly and with as much grace as possible. Later this month I am launching a new program, designed to  help you begin to master the art of making a life and a living.  Stay tuned for details.

How to Standout from The Crowd: Fall in Love With Your Inner Geek

Not too long ago I attended my 25th high school reunion.  Let’s just say it was not without a tad of trepidation that I went. My tribe tended towards the geeks and freaks, smart kids with interests and styles not necessarily in line with “The Crowd.”   My people: The kids writing for the school newspaper, check. Early gamers, check. Science girls, check. Theater people, check.  Artsy folks, check.  Taking advanced placement classes, check. Throw in a few folks on the track team, check. For Pete’s sake while most other kids were working at the local store or restaurant, I was a museum docent. . . . at Higgins’s Armory. Some of us were labeled pretty early on, and it just stuck. A friend of the family asked me once, after seeing Pretty in Pink, when the story of my college experience was being released?  You get the picture.

Growing up can be so awkward, for everyone involved.  As I grow older the more deeply I understand I that pretty much everyone has an inner geek, as well as, an inner critic.  And it can be so darn easy to get sucked backwards in time to that sense of uncertainly- even when you are a full grown, fully functioning and successful adult. To feeling like you don’t fit in. Or people will never get you. Or that it is somehow wrong to stand out from the crowd because of the amazing oneness that is you.

Hence my inner monolog about going to the reunion: “Will I recognize anyone? Will I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb? Will people slip into old cliques?  Will we try too hard to impress each other? Or will people have grown into their skins?” It took me a while to grow into my skin and my personality. I sure hoped everyone else had too.  But just in case I did not know anyone there or my worst fear were realized, I arranged for reinforcements and went with a high school friend. After all, who wants to make a potentially awkward or unsettling trip by them themselves?

So off we went my friend, who was infinitely more hip in high school than me, myself and my inner geek to the reunion.  And reunited we did. It was absolutely lovely to see people. You could see the promise the potential hinted at in high school and how it had grown into something rich and full for people -especially in those folks who had in one way or another fallen in love with their inner geeks. I am delighted that my fears were not realized and for the most part people seemed to have grown into themselves. That might actually be a life long process. But the point here is you have to start and continue the journey.

You hope that by the time that high school is long over that you do indeed grown into the best parts of yourself. More importantly that you learn to embrace the whole of yourself- even those bits that you might not like quite as much as others- so you are not fighting nature.

Your Inner Geek is Spectacular

So here is what I think. Each of us has a spectacular and singular constellation of skills and strengths, experiences and quirks that make us just a little different from the rest of the crowd. In someway we all have a “geek” inside.  That’s got to be good since “geek is the new sexy” seems to be a reoccurring theme in contemporary life. When you embrace your “geekdom” you stop struggling against what is not changeable or trying to be someone you are not. Then you find there is more you can do and that you can do it with less effort.  You develop a greater sense of mastery over your talents.  You can nurture what you want to develop more of and mold what you do have to its fullest expression, without apology.

“Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”  ~ e. e. cummings  author, painter & grammar rebel

All of this starts with knowing your worth and value- what you bring to the table- and celebrating what is unique about your abilities thoughts, perspectives and experiences.  When you do you can also can muster up your courage and move forward especially when that feels scary.  And the cherry on top of this is the nagging self-sabotaging voice in the back of your mind (you know you have an inner critic- we all do) you are able to tune out it’s yammering.

Your Inner Geek Makes Dreams Come True

You might even realize a life long dream, like my client Talamieka Brice, who with her husband, Charles, launched a photography and graphic arts business this year.  Brice Media is a growing business with several national contracts and a snazzy new 2012 American Graphic Design Award.  That did not happen overnight, but from finding the courage to stand out from the crowd in the best way.

Talamieka came to me feeling squashed, burnt out and on edge, knowing that she wanted to step out in a bigger more personal way with her work, but not sure how. Or when. For 6 years she had worked at well-respected hospital creating gorgeous in-house designs for magazines, newsletters, posters and other company campaigns. In her spare time she and Charles, were building their dream, Brice Media. Building it through fits and starts of effort. But not a sustained focused approach.

Talamieka knew she and Charles had the artistic talent. But there were questions.

  • Could she push past the doubt and negative thinking that habitually crept-up and swept the rug out from under her feet over and over?
  • Did she have the smarts and strengths to run a business? Could she make the scary leap from the safety of a salaried position? What would that take?
  • Could she craft an intelligent plan to move Brice Media from an idea to a storefront?
  • Would that nagging voice in the back of her mind ever stop yammering?

The biggest hurdle, getting out of her own way- this was a key focus of our work.

Talamieka began to fully and unabashedly embrace and celebrated her “inner geek” and all that makes her, HER.  Look at her shine as brightly as the flower in her hair.

Once this shift started she could see herself as both artist and business owner, and begin acting as if she had already lived into the full promise of being a “successful artist and business owner”. She could look past the feeling like an awkward 10-year old girl and step into living as if she was the vibrant, smart creative businesswoman she is in truth.  During our work she built upon her “geekdom” and stretched in to projects, like narrowing down her target audience to invite in the clients she can best serve- always a scary prospect for business owners. Having the necessary and challenging conversations with Charles her partner in life and business to ensure they mapped out a plan to launch their business in a way that made the most of each other’s signature strengths and interests.

She followed what was calling from the marrow of her bones.

What does Talamieka say about the transformation she undertook? “Now I am clear and focused 95% percent of the time instead of 10% of the time. When I get off track I can get right back on. Working with you gave me 20 years of my life back, by clearing away my negative thinking and self-doubt. . . . helped me embrace and accept myself. To truly live on the highest level unafraid. You can’t put a price on that.”

Lots of folks wrestle with these questions. I’ve been thinking about what and how we can go through the very real and human challenge of bear hugging your inner geek- more over how to do that with  as much grace and perseverance as possible. Over the coming months I’ll share more of my thoughts on this and welcome yours.