How to Live a Simpler Life without a Walking Dead Apocalypse

The Walking Dead - Season 2, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Greg Nicotero/AMC - hills_amcWhen I watch the excellent Walking Dead series I’m drawn to living a simpler life.  The urgency of making your homestead zombie free is obviously simple.

I’m drawn to the simpler life of surviving and of finding shelter, food and safety in these stories.

Have you ever had this thought?  I think it would be easier for me to thrive in a post-apocalyptic setting then in today’s society.  Perhaps it’s the fresh start and the level playing field.

Could I actually be sick and tired of personal development and self-actualizing?  Or is the appeal really the opportunity for a complete life do-over?

Maybe it’s because I think as a coach I would be a very natural and valuable leader in such a post-apocalyptic scenario.  What about you? Ever find yourself longing for simpler living?

What do you find specifically appealing about making a fresh simpler start?  Is it, living a simpler life or the crystal clarity about what really matters?  Survival is clear and simple and it’s obviously practical.

How many aspects of your current life can you say really matters to you?

I don’t know about you but I’m not going to dropout completely and go raise chickens in isolation. I’m also not going to wait for the plague to wipe us out so I can fight zombies.

I think it’s more courageous to fight the zombie-like aspects of the lives we’re already living.  Really how much of your current life brings you vividly alive?

So what choices do you have if you crave the clarity and meaning of a simpler life?

You could start by asking the following questions and honoring your responses with action.

What could I drop or cut out of my life today that would make it much simpler right away?

What areas of my life are too unclear to even choose a new direction?

What choice might clear things up for me?

What doesn’t much matter at all that eats up my time and attention?

What really matters where I’m pretending that it doesn’t?

The truth is life is as simple or complicated as we have decided it needs to be.  You can decide to make a fresh start right now.  Answer those questions and take one small action towards simpler living.

If you really can’t wait and want some radically fearless help then go here and ask for it.  As your  life coach I’ll be your fearless partner in this life as well.

Making a Fresh Start

making a fresh startAn important part of your life or business is crying out for a fresh new start. There’s something magically freeing about wiping the slate clean and beginning new again – but we often waste that magic by stopping short of completion.

Some question their inherent capabilities after repeatedly failing to produce a desired result. Yet life coaching has taught me that there is nothing wrong with you, your capabilities or with starting over. What’s usually lacking is the faulty process that you’ve used. After this five-minute read you’ll know an effective process for making a fresh new start and successfully completing.

A fresh start comes ready made with fresh hope that this time things will turn out better and they will, if you’ll use this process that focuses your fresh start energy for maximum advantage.

You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call ‘failure’ is not the falling down, but the staying down. Mary Pickford

Many folks attempt geographical fresh starts.  Others get excited with the newness of a fresh relationship.  Some get their kicks from cracking open a crisp new book.  At least half of us have started diets and exercise programs dozens of times. With every fresh start we blindly hope that this time will be different. By why should it? Making a fresh start alone doesn’t guarantee different results.

But increased awareness while working a different process will produce different results. The necessary ingredients are awareness, commitment, action, frequency, redemption and completion.  Answer the question(s) next to the ingredient to work this process.

1) Awareness. What part of my life would most benefit from a totally fresh start? What realizations have I come to from my previous attempts in this area? If I’ve truly learned these lessons, then what do I intend to do differently this time?

2) Commitment. Why is the decision to commit to this change the most important commitment I’m making this month? (If it’s not important enough to drive eager involvement for at least a month, then you may want to choose again.) Looking forward 30 days, how will I feel having successfully followed through to completion? Write out a celebratory script in full five-sense detail. If you aren’t really fired up on day one, it likely doesn’t have enough energy to sustain your focus.

3) Action. What are three small steps I can take in the next three days to jump start my momentum? Take them one-a-day over the next three days.

4) Frequency. That leaves 27 days, looking at where I want to be on day 30 and back planning, what are 14 possible actions I could take? Take one of these actions every other day. You can change the specific actions once you get going. But if you begin with a pool of actions to choose from you will have increased your probability of success significantly. Frequency is often the missing ingredient in a faulty process.

5) Redemption. We cannot go back in time but we can stop the energy drain of past mistakes by arriving at a place of higher self-regard. Redemption, in this case, is the act of fulfilling a pledge to ourselves that we’ve failed to fulfill previously. By making amends we repair our own self-esteem and prove that we are competent to life. What specific end result would be self-redeeming and make me very proud?

6) Completion. Here’s where you claim the prize (benefit of your main completion) for following through. Imagining this prize is what created the desire for a fresh new start in the beginning. Make sure that this prize is meaningful and valuable to you. What prize will enthusiastically hold my focus for 30 days?

There are no limits to the number of times you can start fresh. You can completely start anew over and over again. Inspiration doesn’t deplete itself. It’s a naturally renewing resource.

Come alive to your greater glory – commit to starting over today.
You can do it and you’ll be glad you did.

Can you allow your core magnificence?

What would it take for you to allow your natural magnificence?

What if the only thing stopping you from a glorious and joyful existence is your own self-judgment?

What do you think might remain if you could totally drop all judgment of you?

Does the eagle curse himself when he misses the rabbit or drops a fish?

Might you experience the truly magnificent being that you are in the absence of all self-judgment?

From where does all this judgment of you originate?

Do you really think you brought it with you into this world or do you think you picked it up from others?

What if everything you’ve ever imagined was wrong with you is really a magnificent aspect of you trying to shine through?

What might your life be like in the absence of all judgment?

Would you like to experience that?

Contact me and I’ll show you an easy and joyful way to become the magnificent being that you are.

Ready Or Not – Here I Come

They call me intense.

I think that’s because I go deep and speak up, whether that’s comfortable for you or not.

Admittedly I’m a handful, especially if you think you aren’t ready to face the real stuff. One coaching client described working with me like diving into a cold lake. Our work together can be both invigorating and chilling, in all the right ways.

I like the way I am and I like others who can accept me as I am. Since I like me so much, I’m able to accept and champion you.

If you blow smoke or make flattering, inauthentic comments I’ll call you on it.

Being appropriate is the death of individuality.

I’d rather you express your wild, untamed self and join me in pissing all over cultural appropriateness.

If you want to play the game of appropriateness go work for the State Department or lose yourself in a big corporation.

But if you want to be real and make some money from your realness, you want a coach like me who will tell it like it is.

I like getting down and dirty into the messes of life. I thrive in relationship messes because that’s where all the growth comes from. Everything is a relationship.

It’s my way, to challenge you, with a smile on my face.

I love the way I am and I love the way you are, however you are.

I love how you are, as long as you are the real you. If you don’t know what that means – you’re faking it.

I love how you push my buttons because the resulting understanding is life’s greatest gift.

Happy Valentines Day my friend, May you be deeply loved and appreciated for who you truly are.

Leveraging Your Deepest Wound

We’ve all been through hell in one way or another. I’ve lived 60 years and I’ve met one person, a 30-year old woman who told me nothing bad had ever happened to her. Just two months later her husband ran off with a co-worker.

Stuff happens. You know by now that it happens to all of us. Some think that our experience was so beautiful, before we came here, that we wanted to visit Earth just for the contrast.

Well folks, for now I’ve had enough contrast. How about you? Are you ready to return to bliss?

I think the doorway to bliss runs straight through the pain and understanding offered by our deepest wounds. Whatever that profound life experience was for you, you would be well served to leverage it so that you could benefit from it.

Normally when we say “it’s all good” – it’s after a big hurt when we are coming to terms with a disappointment or an outcome that at the time was devastating.

You’ve paid the price why not claim the prize?

The wilderness constantly reminds me that wholeness is not about perfection…. I have been astonished to see how nature uses devastation to stimulate new growth, slowly but persistently healing her own wounds. Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness–mine, yours, ours–need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life. Parker Palmer

Parker Palmer is a very wise teacher. He understands the value in devastation.

How about you? Are you leveraging the gift of your deepest wound or are you still running from its pain?

We don’t have to hit bottom to really learn these big lessons but it certainly gets our attention.

You could be leaving gold on the table. If this idea appeals to you just ask these three questions.

What’s good about my wound?

What has it enabled me to see that I could never have seen without it?

What message might I see if I dared look?

Why Ask Why?

Frequently I run into life coaching clients who desperately dig to understand why they do or don’t do certain things.

They can see that these things aren’t working well so they reason, that if they understood their motivation, then they would cease repeating the wayward behavior.

Yet knowing why you persist in a behavior that’s not good for you won’t necessarily stop you from doing it.

I’ve coached lots of folks who did manage to understand that why and they still kept right on digging. They saw the real reason but didn’t accept it as the truth that it was.

Often things look too simple to be true. But they are.

So when faced with a recurring challenge it’s often fruitless to understand why. Why? Why is it fruitless?

Because the quest isn’t worth the prize. It often costs too much in expended energy for it to be worthwhile.

Often the quest for why will lead to a whole series of downward spiraling questions. Why am I like this? What’s wrong with me? Why is this happening to me? Why?

The quest for why often turns your attention and energy to more of what you don’t want.

The way to get what you want is to turn your attention and energy on what you want. Light that up!

So the next time you’re tempted to ask why, instead ask; what do I really want? Then ask, what would be likely to get me what I want? What could I do now to move just a little closer to what I want?

Then do that thing. You’ll be happier and much more productive.

Success Via Authentic Connection

I believe that the more we express our authentic uniqueness, the more likely we are to enjoy fulfillment, prosperity and freedom, …in a word success.

I believe that authentic expression counts for more than hard work and more than knowing the right thing to do.

Since success is based on the expression of your authentic uniqueness, what causes you to feel safe enough to express authentically?

What causes you to confidently express original thoughts?

In what environments are you more likely to take a stand?

You and I were meant to do something very special.  That’s why we are so unique.

But what if, in order to come into our own, we could not stand-alone?

What if your most beautiful and most valuable expression of authentic individuality, just couldn’t be reached by going it alone?

What if a certain part of you, (the most confident and strongest part) only emerged in deep connection with others?

What if the special music you came here to sing could not be sung solo?

If these words speak to you are interested in cooperative, authentic connection, let me know.

Is Your Inner Child Still Running Your Life?

At six years old, I was a wild little rascal who liked to try out studio wrestling moves on my unsuspecting friends.  I was fearless back then in an untamed kind of way.  But gradually my wild spirit got crushed in my upbringing.  em-adn-les

My Dad believed in the scared shitless variety of psychological punishment.  One time he got me good.  He had a friend with a black sedan pull up the drive way and told me they had come to take me to Morganza, the local reform school.  I believed him and I ran away and hid out I the woods until I thought it was safe to return.

Our conditioning is the cumulative affect of our upbringing and all the applied thoughts that shaped our version of who we think we are.

I’ve talked with hundreds of coaching clients about their upbringing and the norm was a general beating down.  We were not celebrated for the special beings that we are.  Often we were not encouraged to go for our authentic greatness but instead cautioned to play it safe.

Even then, as five and six year old children, we tried to make sense of this irrational parenting so we made up explanations.  Often what we made up had us feeling less than capable.

But those events really only had the meaning that we interpreted them to have.  The good news is that now we can go back and give those events new meanings that serve us well.

Now we can honor the little person within so that a stronger and wiser self if running our lives.

Your Inner Child As Hero

It truly is remarkable how you’ve turned out in spite of your upbringing. Look at the four choices we have in any challenging situation.  We couldn’t really remove ourselves because we were dependent on them.  Change wasn’t an option either.  Try working with an alcoholic parent to change your relationship.  Good luck there.

Acceptance wasn’t even a concept I could fully understand until my forties and many adults never learn it.  What was left?  Resistance, but even our resistance was thwarted.  It never got full expression, so the only thing we could do was to swallow it and turn it back in on ourselves.  As a result we made a series of false conclusions to try and make sense of things.

That’s why we need to write a whole new story about our childhood.  Your inner child is still influencing your capacity and in many cases right up to the limits of what you set for yourself in first and second grade.

But your inner child was and still is quite courageous.  Don’t you think it’s time to honor his or her courage?

Now You Know Better

As adults we are responsible for our destiny and that includes any and all needed adjustments on how we recall our history.

Truly, as tragic as it was, our parents did the best job that they were capable of at the time.  But now that you know better, it’s time to write a new life story.  It’s time to tell the truth to yourself about your remarkable capabilities.

Have a dialogue today with that little guy or gal (who is still within affecting your results) and allow him or her to understand what happened.  Talk it all through.  Explain that you made it all up in order to make sense of the world and now you know better.

Essentially recondition your conditioning.

Give it new meaning.  Give a new meaning that serves you well.  Here’s how to do that.  Your story needs to be strong enough to heal the little boy or girl within.

Give Her What She Needs Most

Imagine a spot where you sat and pondered in your home when you were six years old.  I sit with Little Tommy on the back porch steps and talk with him while he sits on my lap.

So sit with your little gal and talk with her.  Ask her what she needs.  Really get into imagining that you and her are sitting in a place at the home where you grew up.  Invite the dialogue;  she’ll welcome the opportunity to get it all out.

Don’t judge her, just give her all the time she needs to say everything that comes up.  If you cry, that’s very good, just let it all flow.   Some folks do well setting the scene and then writing out the questions and answers.  After she says what she needed, that she didn’t get back then, your job is to reassure her that all is well now.  Then give her what she needs to feel whole.

Tell her that you’ll give her the support, recognition, celebration or encouragement that she missed out on all those years ago.

Assure her that you will love her and acknowledge her and give her all that she needs.  Give her a closing hug and be sure she feels like she can come to you to talk things through any time.

Your inner child is still setting limits and running your life.  You might as well give her or him a new script to follow because you are the creator of your destiny.

How To Extract Your Waiting Wisdom

You are smarter, more capable and far better off than you think you are, but only when you decide to connect to your deep well of waiting wisdom within. istock_000003366515xsmall

Your greatest wisdom exists deep within because as you age layer upon layer of false assumptions, comparisons, judgments and the opinions of others are piled on top of it. For an exploration of this nature you need the proper excavation tools to dig past all of that outside junk.

Yet your beautiful, powerful mind is so protective of past conclusions that you have to resort to trickery so that your conscious mind can step back and allow your inner wisdom to emerge.

The key to authentic business building is to operate more and more consciously and less and less mechanically.

When we look to others to supply our wisdom we are often in misalignment with our own original potential.  By going deep and extracting your own wisdom you automatically have increased the probability of success.

My greatest service as a life coach, coaching new business owners is selecting the right tools to guide the inner journey so that my clients can find and express their authentic selves.

The right tool will facilitate high performance by raising self-understanding, self-esteem and personal effectiveness. This allows us to access wisdom and other resources that normally remain hidden from our consciousness. Without digging deep this wisdom does not normally show up in our behavior.

One of the most powerful tools I use in this work is sentence stem completion.  I first read about it in Nathaniel Branden’s book The Six Pillars of Self Esteem.  Sentence stem completion is most effective as a tool to facilitate understanding, liberate self-expression and activate self-healing.

Sentence stem completion rests on he premise that all of us have more knowledge than we are normally aware of – more wisdom than we use, more potentials than typically show up in our behavior. Sentence completion is a tool for accessing and activating these “hidden resources.”  When we intensify awareness, we tend to generate a need for action that expresses our changed psychological state.  Nathaniel Branden

Sentence Stem Completion Instructions

1). Begin with an uncompleted sentence stem in the area of your exploration. Here are some possibilities that have served my clients well.

If I really wanted to achieve this goal  …
When I apply 10% more consciousness to my activities …
If I truly wanted to create my own unique product I’d …
My most powerfully productive business decision this quarter would be to …

2). Repeat the stem each time out loud and then jot down the completion. Some feel more comfortable working with a tape recorder and then going back and transcribing. It’s the speed and lack of self-judgment that lowers repressive barriers and allows the wisdom to emerge. This is a rapid-fire exercise — do not sit and stew over answers. Just say the stem and complete the sentence as rapidly as possible. No pauses, the game is to answer quickly one after another. Don’t worry about the validity of what you’re coming up with while you’re doing it. Just complete each sentence and then again.

3). For each sentence stem keep adding completions as fast as possible. Work with the same stems for seven days in a row. No pauses to think in between. Just write. Each stem must be a complete sentence. Stems may be repeated on different days but on any one day, all stems need to be different. Complete at least six endings for each stem, each day.

4). At the end of the week reflect on what you’ve written. Allow yourself to be surprised about what you’ve written.  At the end of seven days look at all of your completions and select the top three you are willing to act on. This wisdom may need further refinement but it will beat the root of your most optimum and effective actions.

Here’s the good news.  The wisdom you seek is seeking you.  Your internal guidance has been trying to get your attention to shine a light on your optimum path.  You willingness to go deep and bring it forth will definitely accelerate the process.

Wisdom serves as widening of perception and somehow allows us to see situations and intentions in a new light.

This new light expands possibilities so we don’t jump to limiting conclusions based on past experience.  Instead we are emboldened to create our very own brave new world.

Daily Decision Strategy

Making decisions is essential to success. Without a decision, we cannot follow through and complete.

This truth seems so basic and obvious.  Why then do so many get so hung up in daily indecision?   I’m sure you know that completing priority items is optimum.  But decision making requires courage and sometimes we’d rather distract ourselves than choose.

The Daily Decision strategy works well on the tail end of the Go Direct strategy. Understanding and using the Daily Decision strategy causes one to quit second-guessing and to complete.

This strategy is not used for momentous career and business decisions.  It’s best used for daily personal productivity enhancement.  If you find yourself questioning what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day – this strategy is for you.

The marketplace pays us for completions.

Daily Decision Strategy Steps

1). Choose two, and only two, important things to complete today.
2). Identify what completion looks like so you’ll know it’s complete.
3). Schedule a time (I use one hour per item), set a timer and remove yourself from all other distractions (turn off email, phones, etc.) until complete.
4). Choose only things that meet these criteria:  A) You are eager bring your best to it.  B) Its completion inspires you.  C) Its completion creates progress for a greater objective.
5). Complete both items in the time allotted.

Inspiration and eagerness are vital to completion because obligation is resistance and you can’t complete something while fighting it at the same time.

Understanding Decision

Strategies are often deceptively simple to follow but laden with hidden blessings when followed.  Often these energetic blessings provide greater value, in the form of well being, than the completion itself.

But there’s a downside as well.  When we talk a good game but don’t follow-through on a strategy, we create unrest and self-doubt.

Actually using the Daily Decision Strategy brings forth five powerful energies, all directed for your greater greater good.  Yet it’s impossible to enjoy the five following energies without first making a decision.  Declaring what you want is essential.

1). Energy of Decision – Decision expands possibilities through trial and error.  Increased mistakes lead to more options, which create more opportunities, which always lead to greater freedom.  Decision making brings determination, resolve, boldness and a fixed purpose, which is built right into this strategy.

2). Energy of Commitment – Your commitment is your pledge and promise to fully engage in what you say is important to you.  Commitment is your assurance that you can trust yourself.  Clients new to coaching will often over-commit.  While you are getting the hang of this strategy, it’s important to promise less and to fulfill every promise.

3). Energy of Accountability – Accountability proves your responsibility or your ability to respond.  When we tell our intentions to another, we’ve stepped our game up a notch.  We’ve decreased the possibility of failure simply because another person is aware of our plans.

4). Energy of Self-Honor – Holding oneself in the respect of high regard brings a scared element of esteem along with the characteristics of integrity and courage.  Without honor we betray our original blessing of capability and we feel the shame of non-action.

5). Energy of Completion – Completion creates integration between you and your desires. Completion is conclusion, fulfillment and fruition, which are necessary to recognize your own competence to life.

Using the Daily Decision strategy will boost your objectives forward while increasing your joy and fulfillment.  Feel the natural power in decision, commitment, accountability, honor and completion and you’ll no longer question what you’ve accomplished at day’s end.

Decide.  Commit.  Be Accountable.  Honor Yourself.  Complete.