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What Do I Say? What Do I Do? – WHAT DO YOU MEAN? 1

Why this blog? What do I mean by writing it? Well, this is my way to get in communication with you… to engage with you in a way that makes a real practical and spiritual difference in our lives. This is where we open a conversation of possibility, one that inspires you! And, when you ‘invite’ me to do so, I will joyfully (and gratefully) light a fire under you and MOVE YOU TO ACTION! I’ll light the fire… YOU take the action!

Yes, you read that correctly… I will GRATEFULLY be your catalyst for mastery, excellence and joy! That’s my passion; having the opportunity to empower you to be, do and have everything for your greatest good! You get your choice of miracles (which makes me smile inside and out). And, for giving me the gift of passion and possibility, I thank you in advance. Truly. You are about to make a huge difference in MY life – as I will in yours.

How do I do that? (Seriously, do you really care as long as I deliver?) Ok, I’ll tell you…

I have one proverbial foot in the practical ‘real’ world and one in the spiritual ‘woo woo’ world. I am bilingual! So, as I take you on a “MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR” (thank you Beatles!!!) of questions, processes, ideas and more, I will be reminding you of who your really are and what you already knew…

That’s my job. Your job is to participate – fully, here and with those around you. Sometimes you’ll have a question. Sometimes you’ll be engaged in someone else’s inquiry. Play full out – that’s how the game is won!


WHAT’S SANDYE LINNETZ DOING???

Happy April! It’s been a while so I thought I’d give you a What’s Sandye Linnetz (That’s ‘Auntye’ Sandye to many of you) Doing? update. There are two opportunities for us to connect in the very near future. Do us both a favor… come learn, play, network and reconnect!

APRIL 21-23 in Monrovia, CA

Ladies AND Gentlemen: Is it time for a relationship Spring Cleaning? Want to spiffy up your love life and get your romantic house in order? There’s still time to register for the RELATIONSHIP SUCCESS REVOLUTION with Dr. Debbie Morehead – and live that “happily ever after” – the life you’ve heard so much about. I’m the guest speaker on Sunday and you won’t want to miss what I have to say about “Straight Talk” – How to do it and the difference it will make in your relationships! Learn, laugh and get ENERGIZED.

Register for the Relationship Success Revolution Live Event!

Relationship Success Revolution Live Event Registration

RELATIONSHIPSUCCESSREVOLUTION.COM

And then, on May 4th in Escondido, CA, it’s time for the Multicultural Women’s Network. This group is HOT! Check out this non-profit network of very cool, professional women from all walks of life– you’ll love the vibe! Get empowered, connect and reconnect. Join the facebook group and grab your ticket for the next meeting… where I am the guest speaker! Most of you know me as a no ‘BS’, straight talking Accountability and Mindset coach and that’s what you’ll be getting from me on May 4th; Straight Talk… how to ASK for what you want and need (in a way that actually gets it for you)!

Mark your calendar and alert the media! It’s time for us to ‘hang’ and get back into communication. I’ve missed you!

 


Saying Good-Bye and Letting Go

letting-go

Over the years, I have become a master of letting go and saying good-bye. I’ve done it with a wide variety of loved ones, possessions, places, projects and events; even books, movies and ‘things’.

Here’s what I’ve found: Even after I’ve made the initial decision to let go – a process in and of itself – the final ‘good bye’ – especially when its necessity is a result of something sudden or shocking – can be quite challenging. I take the challenge because I need closure. Closure is vital for me… probably for you, too. And that final good bye… that’s one powerful way to get it.

Knowing that I’m going to get a whole lot more of whatever it is that I resist has me consciously working to accept the way it is – however it is. I don’t have to love it; I just have to get it. When we fight the changes, resist the way it is and ignore the need to let go… BAM! We’re stuck with it forever. Yes, it’s another one of those muscles to work out, but so worth the effort!

There have been times when I’ve had to release and rerelease (sometimes multiple times) before I’ve truly let go and am ready for my final good bye. I’ve found that rituals and ceremonies help – even if they are short and informal. Turns out it’s not weird at all, ceremonies and rituals are more human and far more ubiquitous than you can imagine.

In fact, recent research suggests that rituals may be more rational than they appear. I love ‘em! Even the simplest of rituals can be extremely effective tools in the letting go process. Rituals performed after experiencing losses – from loved ones to lotteries – actually alleviate grief, and rituals performed before taking on high-pressure tasks – like speaking in public – can actually reduce anxiety and increase confidence. What’s more, rituals appear to benefit even people who claim not to believe that rituals work. True story, check ‘em out…

When Morgan, my terrier, was about to be ‘put down’ I held her lovingly in my arms but I didn’t cry. It was only weeks later – when the carpet she’d destroyed was being replaced – that I broke down and cried like a baby. “Take the stupid carpet back”, I screamed, “I just want Morgan back!” My ‘good bye’ took the form of my screaming that she meant far more to me than carpeting ever could!

The Watts riots ended and we celebrated (a bit apprehensively) with prayers. It was over, that was good – but we lost so much. Praying together felt good.

The World Series was over and the Cubs finally won!!! After the shock came the joy and celebration – we toasted our good fortune.

I hadn’t smoked for over three years before my ‘just one – just this once’ became a habit renewed with a vengeance. Then, seven years from the day I first quit (easy to remember ‘cuz it was on my birthday), I decided to say good-bye to cigarettes for good. I took what was left of my last pack, tied it up with a pretty pink bow, and presented it to my two adult children as my gift to them. Together we created an impromptu farewell ceremony; breaking each remaining cigarette and throwing them into the trash. Bye bye…

When my father died, we all helped to bury him. It helped that I had had months before his death to ‘be’ with him and then hours in the hospital to hear that he loved me and to say my good byes. But it was throwing the shovels of dirt on his coffin that made it all so real so final and so complete.

Mark was killed in Viet Nam. His body was never found. I never got to say good-bye.

Whenever my ‘ex’ and I threw a party – which we frequently did – there was always the traditional ‘post party assessment and appraisal’. When the last guest left and lights were out, we reviewed the evening – who was there and how it went. It was our way of saying, “the party’s over it’s time to call it a day”.

As I packed up the last of my personal belongings and carried them to the car, I looked around at the parking space that was no longer really ‘mine’. The moving van had left almost 30 minutes before and, though I knew I could still beat them to my beautiful new home in the desert, I did want to get a move on!  I wasn’t prepared for the rush of emotion as I took one last look around the place I’d called ‘home’ for the past 5 years. Moving to the center of the empty room I ‘thanked the space’ and took a few moments to remember… I whispered, “good bye townhouse formerly known as mine” and Sandye left the building

The movie ended. I clapped, picked up my purse and sweater and headed for the door.

We have endings all the time. Happy endings, sad endings, sudden endings, inevitable endings, endings that offer us relief and some that send us into a tailspin of stress, shock and upset… and, in every instance, we have rituals for saying good bye.

My good-bye rituals always include an actual “good bye”.  I like to use my words…

And now, because this is the last of the Motivate and Activate blogs (at least for a while):

I close my eyes and remember some favorite ‘call moments’. And then I say aloud:

This blog’s for you. I love you. Good-bye for now…

 

 


How Do You Know When ‘The Party Is Over’?

respect

Is the fat lady singing? Did the curtain close? Did you hear the final bell? Has Elvis left the building? Are the lights are out? Truth is, in our hearts, we know when the party is over, but sometimes we just don’t want to leave!

There are beginnings and there are endings. We like both to be ‘happy’, don’t we? Well, sometimes they are and sometimes, not so much. The journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step… and ends with the last. It’s easy to identify the first step, right? But after that any one of ‘em could be last. How the heck do we know when to quit? (If you’re thinking that maybe you should have determined that BEFORE you took step one, BAM!!! You got it. Hang with me, though, we’ll get to that.)

Whether we’re talking about a relationship, a job, a work of art, a business or a project – whether it was fun or not – whether you reached your goals, or not… stuff ends. When it ends and how it ends – that’s what matters. That’s what determines how you feel about it as it ends and when you look back on it.

It’s like cooking fish… You should probably stop cooking the fish when it is just shy of done or it will overcook – and it’s probably time to call it quits just shy of having to call it quits (aka when it’s no longer a choice; not your decision).

And, my friends, herein lays the brilliance of having a plan and goals. Backed with a commitment to succeed, your plan and goals are your roadmap and the destination for the journey. You know where you are going and you have a plan to get there. I mean, seriously, how will you know when you get there if you don’t know where you’re going? And how will you know if you’re lost?

When Motivate and Activate was launched in November of 2015, I made a one-year commitment to writing a new blog and leading a one-hour, group coaching and conversation call every week. I wanted to “reach the masses”, and I wanted to eliminate everything that might block people’s participation. So, I made it inexpensive ($50/month). I scheduled the calls midweek and after dinner so that they wouldn’t interfere with anyone’s work, date night or family dining time. ‘Sharing’ was optional. All of the calls were recorded so, if missed, they could be listened to at one’s leisure. See, I had a plan.

And, along with my trusty Wing Woman Extraordinaire, Tracy, we set goals. We would consider the program to be a work in progress until we had at least 50 members. It was fully expected that 100 people would be enrolled by the January of 2016… and that we’d have to split into segments and add more weekly calls so people would have a chance to get some one-on-one with me. I had visions of special interest groups, live workshops and gift cd sets.

Short version… that didn’t happen. The ‘fish fried’ for six months without the anticipated numbers, but my commitment was for a full year – and I couldn’t/wouldn’t abandon those who had enrolled. I had followed my plan and, although I LOVED the journey, I never reached the destination. Elvis had left the building. My heart told me the fish was fully fried.

Was the program a failure? NO WAY! It was awesome and I’d be thrilled to do it again. (In fact, I will, when I can figure out how to monetize it.) Did I quit? NO, I took it to completion. Did the party end? Silly question, all parties end. But, to answer the question: SURE, the party ended… but that didn’t make it any less of a great party!


MY OFFICIAL RESIGNATION

i-resign

 

I, Sandye Linnetz, on the approach of the 67th anniversary of my birth, am hereby officially tendering my resignation as a grown-up.

I have decided that instead of living my life as an adult, I would prefer to live the life of a 6-year old again.

I want the world to be new every day!  I want to go to McDonald’s and think that it’s a four star restaurant.

I want to splash in fresh mud puddles….and run through raindrops.

I want to look into the mirror and see a Princess.  Pour tea from an empty pot. Let my imagination take me everywhere.

I want to think M&M’s are better than money because you can eat them…and think peas are the medicine to cure anything.

I want to go hiking and exploring and search for “instresting” things.

I want to tap dance in the middle of department stores and sing along, at the top of my voice, with every song I hear.

I want to smile at strangers who look nice and have someone hold my hand when I cross the street.

I want to lie under a big tree and eat icy cappuccino bars with my friends on a hot summer’s day.

I want to return to a time when life was simple… when all you knew were colors, smells, community helpers and the beginnings of the multiplication table, but that didn’t bother you, because you didn’t know what you didn’t know and you didn’t care.  Besides, Mommy and Daddy knew every answer to every question you could possibly ask, anyway. All you knew was to be happy because you were blissfully unaware of all the things that should make you worried or upset.

I want to think that life is fair.  That everyone is honest and good.

I want to believe that anything is possible and that miracles do happen. I want to wear magic shoes.

I want to be oblivious to the complexities of life and be overly excited by the little things again.

I want to live simply.  I don’t want my day to consist of rushing, paperwork, computer crashes, money worries, politics, gossip and illness.

I want to play in the sunshine and have naptime with my trusty teddy.

I want to enjoy trees and flowers and mud and worms and soaring birds and shells and sticks and rocks and lady bugs. I want to play dress-up.

I want to play – side-by-side – with my grandchild and godchildren and nieces and nephews and almost-relative-type kids as they grow and flourish and discover life!  I want to dance at their weddings and play with their offspring.

I want to “be” with my mother, my children, my family and my bestest friends… giggling, laughing, sharing, loving and being loved. I want lots of really fun playdates!

I want to exercise my creativity, my brain and my body.  I want to doodle and scribble; to make stuff! I want to learn new ways to put words together and write my name in big block letters and do collages. I want to go running, listen to loud music, splash in the tub, play games, shop for toys and eat with my fingers.  I want to travel by boat and plane and train and car and visit cool, new places and old friends…and none of it alone!

I want to believe in the power of smiles, hugs, justice, a kind word, truth, peace, dreams, love, creativity, imagination, mankind and G-d.

I want to play “make people MAGNIFICENT!” and share the gifts I have and my joy for living.

So….here’s my cell phone.  Take my ipad, my lap top, checkbooks, my wallet, my car-keys, my credit cards and my files. I am officially resigning from adulthood.

And if you want to discuss this further, you’ll have to catch me first, cuz, “Tag! You’re it”!

Oh, wait. I don’t have to resign… I already do all of this cool stuff!

Sandye Linnetz, this is your life!

 

P.S. Except for the parts about McDonald’s and the M&Ms…these are my goals for the next 67 years, too!


Let Go And Let The Miracles Happen

let-go-of-the

 

This isn’t one of those gooey diatribes on “if you love something, set it free”. This is about what is possible when you let go of your attachment to an outcome… when you detach yourself from the picture you painted of the way it ‘should’ be and let the way it is – right now, in this moment – be exactly just right! This is about letting go of the if onlys and what ifs and embracing the IS… with all the joy and gratitude you can muster up!

Let me share a story with you…

The 92-year-old, petite, well-poised and proud lady, who is fully dressed each morning by eight o’clock, with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied, even though she is legally blind, moved to a nursing home today.

Her husband of 70 years recently passed away, making the move necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home, she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready.

As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator, I provided a visual description of her tiny room, including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window.

“I love it,” she exclaimed, with the enthusiasm of an 8-year-old hugging her new puppy.

“Mrs. Jones, you haven’t seen the room – just wait.”

“That doesn’t have anything to do with it,” she replied. “Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I like my room or not doesn’t depend on how the furniture is arranged… it’s how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it.

It’s a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.

I’m practicing to be her when I grow up! Her level of non-attachment is inspiring. Her joy and satisfaction is not about the circumstances of her life, it is about what she makes those circumstances mean… and she makes it ‘all good’. When life gives her lemons, she celebrates ‘the shipment arriving at her lemonade stand’!

I have a client who has been pretty much estranged from his semi-adult son for years. On a coaching call with him – about a year ago – I could hear that something was ‘off’, so I asked him what was going on… His son, he told me, had called (a rare occurrence) and, using language that would embarrass a truck driver (apologies to all truck drivers) told him to fornicate himself to death and never never never even attempt to make contact again. “It’s my son. My only child and he hates me. What can I do?”

My advice was simple: Keep loving him. Expect nothing from him. Send him a short, simple and very clear text. Tell him that you love him… you always have and you always will – no matter what. Let him know that you will sadly honor his request. And let him know that you will always be his father and be there for him – if and when he’s ready.

It took a while, but my client relaxed into the role of ‘absentee father’. He continued to send simple cards at holidays and birthdays (just signed love, your father who will always love you) – no emails, no letters and no calls.

He chose to love his son no matter what the circumstances of that relationship looked like… and relaxed into the way it was. Letting go of the way he ‘wanted it to be’ and detaching from his ‘story’ about the way it was ‘supposed to be’, my client had literally opened up the space for a miracle. Then, last week – after almost14 months of silence, the prodigal son called.

There was no mention of the previous call. No arguing. No anger. The conversation ended with: “I’ll call you next week on your birthday, Dad.”

Here’s one of my favorite aphorisms from Werner Erhard: “Life is a rip off when you expect to get what you want.  Life works when you choose what you got.“

 


PROCRASTINATION: THE GAP BETWEEN INTENTION AND ACTION

 good-ideas

Do you know what happens when a procrastinator has a good idea? Nothing! And when a procrastinator has a great plan??? The same thing… NOTHING!

Personally, I am full of good ideas – you have them all the time, too, don’t you? Coming up with a great idea is fun, exhilarating and exciting. I’m a virtual treasure trove of good ideas for myself, for my clients, family and friends. I even have them for the occasional stranger and, of course, for our government officials and presidential candidates!

And, because I’m a coach, I know that every ‘good idea’ has to be backed up with a great plan. With my years of practice, I’m great at coming up with good plans, too -interesting ways to implement my good ideas

BUT, it’s only when those good ideas and great plans are backed up with commitment, intention, attention, FOCUS and ACTION that anything really happens. Unless I’m truly ready to implement – and committed to having results – it’s an exercise in futility and ‘reasons’ gathering.  Without them, a good idea is just a good idea and a good plan is just another good idea. And that, my friends, is why ‘good ideas are a dime a dozen’!

And the biggest block to achieving results? PROCRASTINATION!

PROCRASTINATION IS THE GAP BETWEEN INTENTION AND ACTION.

Procrastinators are magnificent at gathering reasons. When I am in procrastination mode I can list a score of reasons why something I’ve intended to do hasn’t happened yet – or never will. What I can’t do when I’m in that mode is get results. And, while I know that procrastinators (including yours truly) don’t get anything done, it’s knowing WHY we procrastinate – why we have that gap and, of course, what to do about it, that really matters. So, let’s go there…

Welcome to the world of the ‘What ifs’! When we project out into the future… wondering and worrying (making up sad stories about everything that could go wrong) we stop all forward action, create the ‘gap’, and set ourselves up to fail. The more we dwell on the what ifs, the bigger the gap and, the bigger the gap, the harder it is to build a bridge to get to the other side. We give up before we even start.

AND YOU CAN’T WIN IF YOU DON’T PLAY!

Are you ready to close the gap? Ready to have results instead of reasons? Seriously, ARE YOU REALLY READY? Did I hear a resounding YES??? This is not a someday thing, it’s a NOW thing. Let’s do this…

  1. Share your COMMITMENT! This IS going to happen because you won’t put up with anything less. You won’t stop until it’s a done deal. You are ready and willing to do whatever it takes to get your intended outcome. Make the commitment real by ‘casting it’ in the proverbial stone. Declare it out loud!
  1. What’s your INTENTION? Describe it out loud; write it on a sign, tell someone who will hold you accountable. Say it over and over. Picture it done. Remind yourself of your big WHY… why is this important to you? Intend to win!
  1. Be deliberate about what you say and don’t say, what you do and what you are avoiding doing, what you notice around you and what you’re thinking. (If your thoughts aren’t supporting you, notice that and replace those negative thoughts NOW.) Channel your ATTENTION onto everything around you that can be called into play to support you. Close the gap. Reign in the resources!
  1. FOCUS on your objective. Let your natural instincts lead you (or google your brain for a roadmap). Stay focused. Stuff is going to come up (it always does), notice it and get right back to your objective. Close the gap. Let nothing distract you. Be the postman who delivers… no matter what!
  1. Take ACTION (not ‘later’, not ‘when you know more’, not when you ‘feel ready’, not when you think you can). Do it NOW!

You have lots of good ideas… lots of plans… now close the gap and get the results!


It’s RAINING resources… Find ‘em and REIGN in yours!

resources

There is always so much around us – all the time – stuff that begs to be discovered and used by us…. And, so often, we simply don’t see it; or if we ‘see’ it we don’t realize that it’s ours for the taking. There are opportunities we miss, experiences we avoid, people we don’t engage with and ‘no’s’ that stop us – instead of inspiring us. What if it’s true that everything we ‘need’ is right here – right now? What if you actually saw your world that way? What if you stopped ‘seeking’ stuff and let the ‘finder’ in you take charge? What if your awareness was so BIG and so broad that you recognized the resources around you and used them? Are you smiling yet?

Years ago, when I worked and coached at a wonderful company called Process Prodigy, my focus was on creating systems to make our clients’ lives easier and their businesses more profitable. The systems were the proverbial ‘giving them the fish to eat for a day’. But of even more value was teaching them to recognize and reign in resources that they didn’t even know they had. Now they could “eat for a lifetime”!

Our clients learned how to delegate when there was seemingly no one to delegate to, to use systems to get more done in less time, and generally how to create a better life and build a more profitable business using whatever was available! First, of course, though I’m not sure that I realized it at the time, people had to learn to “see” and identify the resources around them.

And it was that ‘history’ of mine that led me to this blog… to identify the ‘steps’ I’ve used to become aware of the amazing resources I have. Now it’s time to share some of them with you!

  1. As usual, the first step is AWARENESS. I expect to find resources, so I’m constantly looking for them, open to them and noticing possibilities and opportunities at every turn of my head. It might be a penny on the street (walked on and over by countless others), a for-sale sign, or a new acquaintance that ‘knows somebody who knows somebody’; all are potential resources. All are on my radar.
  2. Although I hesitate to use the term ‘think outside the box’, it is what I do. I take little at ‘face value’ and ponder (there’s a word we don’t use very often) what else could that be used for or what else could that mean?
  3. It’s formulate the questions time! I know that my brain, my always busy mind, is my GREATEST RESOURCE so I use it – I ‘google’ it – with a barrage of open ended, positively formed questions and wait for the answers to start flowing. They always do…
  4. I love the California lottery slogan, “you can’t win if you don’t play”… so I play! Commonly heard from my lips: “Let’s give it a shot! Let’s make it happen! Sounds good to me! I’m IN! Let’s do this thing!”
  5. ASK!!! I don’t hesitate to ask – anyone… anything! I ask for help. I ask for suggestions. I ask for what I want. I ask for what I need. It’s amazing how supportive Universe and its inhabitants can be! Asking gets me so much! might be the perfect parking spot or (and I swear this really happened) a huge discount on a new car…sometimes it’s a new client, much needed information or a date. It’s even gotten me the mentor of my dreams!
  6. NO isn’t the end. It is not a stop sign for me. I see a “NO” simply as an opportunity to get creative and try something else. There is no failure for me. When something doesn’t ‘work’ I get inspired and fired up. There’s always another way…
  7. I VALUE the resources I have and I’m GRATEFUL for them all. It’s not unusual to hear me thank my car (who’s name, by the way, is ‘Coach’) for getting me safely and comfortably from place to place. The people in my life are amazing. I know it and I let them know it, too. Even when I am feeling ‘technologically challenged’ there is gratitude for all that technology affords me.

Money, time, people, ideas, tools; all the resources I have… I am grateful and humbled by their magnitude and magnificence!

Want more? Are you ready to create your own system for reigning in your multitude of resources? That’s the topic this week on Motivate and Activate, your source (make that RESOURCE) for weekly Coaching and Conversation. (More info and registration details at: http://www.whatdoisaywhatdoido.com)

 

 


What’s your SQ (Stranger Quotient)?

dont-talk-to-strangers

What’s your SQ (Stranger Quotient)? When you pass someone in the street, walk into a mixer or enter into a crowded elevator do you speak? How likely are you to engage in conversation with the clerk behind the counter, the artist at the fair or the person standing next to you in line? Up until very recently my SQ has been embarrassing low (I know, hard to believe, right?). I’ve watched enviously as people around me effortlessly connect with strangers. How do they do it?

I’m not shy. In fact, most people would say that I am wildly outgoing. And, much of the time, that’s absolutely true. More often than I like to admit, however, I am not the bubbly, friendly, confident people-person that I seem to be.  There are exceptions but, although I am almost always comfortable and gregarious in front of a large audience, the prospect of talking in small groups or with individuals I don’t know makes me a nervous wreck!

I’ve always envied people who can confidently strike up a conversation with a stranger. Whether it’s at a party, a trade show or standing in a line at the post office, there are those among us – maybe YOU – who eagerly engage in small talk with strangers. What a gift!

Although I haven’t yet figured out where my debilitating discomfort comes from, I do have my theories. It’s possible, I suppose, that it’s a direct result of the ‘stranger danger’ that we were all warned about as children. But, as a child of the 50’s and 60’s… it’s not likely. Back then it was considered courteous and kind to befriend someone new. My grandma was constantly bringing home a hungry stranger she met on the bus! And even today I know people who just seem to make new friends wherever they go. How do they do it? What’s stopping me?

Okay, I often say that ‘understanding’ is the boobie prize (unless, of course you use that understanding to change or create a new behavior that works for you). So, I decided to officially give up the ‘why’ and move directly into the HOW. How could I be the person who enjoys meeting and talking to someone new; someone who’s ‘brave’ and willing to start a conversation with a stranger… and feel really good about initiating it?

That’s actually the question I posed to myself as I started my month long adventure on the road – traversing across America. There was almost an obsession on my part to meet and greet, to interact and to connect with the proverbial strangers in my path.

Serendipitously, I was travelling with an expert in the realm of ‘talking to strangers’. My friend, Marita, is wildly gifted at engaging ‘newbies’ in conversation, so I decided to observe and copy! Here’s what I learned:

  • Start with a smile! (It makes them and you feel more at ease.)
  • Comment on something you have in common… might be the weather, the locale or the current situation.
  • Be interested. (Ask a question and LISTEN to the answer.)

It was astounding to me that it could be that simple, but it truly was.  And the result??? Nothing short of terrific. By connecting with the strangers around me I was ‘gifted’ with insights (most people really want to talk to you), information (about my surroundings and great restaurants) and (dare I say it) joyful opportunities (to meet foreign travellers and hold a Big Horned Owl on my arm) and that I would have otherwise missed.

Turns out that there’s great value for all parties when ‘stranger danger’ disintegrates. When’s the next party? The next trade show? The next mixer? The next social gathering? Bring it on… I am SO ready to engage!!

 


Are you a SEEKER or a FINDER?

seeker-finder

There I sat, cross-legged on a pillow in the living room of a new friend, with a dozen or so other ‘new friends’ talking about A Course in Miracles. He asked us what we wanted. A woman near me told us all that that was a hard question. He laughed and asked again.

The answers started coming at him fast and furiously… love, connection, peace, joy, spirituality, purpose… With each response people smiled and nodded and added more. Having heard most of the things on my list already mentioned, I said ‘a peanut butter and jelly sandwich’. People laughed… he smiled gently at me and asked, “What will that get you?” Ah ha! I wasn’t trying to be a smart ass and he sensed that, so he asked me to say more. It didn’t take me long to realize that it gave me comfort and security. Heads nodded furiously… they wanted comfort and security, too.

Interesting, he said, that we all know exactly what we want and we all want the same things. He went on. “Where can you get all those things?” Without any hesitation we simultaneously pointed to ourselves. “Oh, so you even know where to get what you want. And when can you get it?” The word NOW resounded like a chorus – as if we’d been rehearsing that answer for years.

“You all want the same things. You know where to get them and you even know the best time to grab them. So what’s stopping you? Why aren’t you living a life with all of what you want right now?”

Simple. We were ‘seeking’. I know for myself, that I was still scurrying around looking for evidence that those things even existed. Maybe, if I could prove to myself that they were real and available, THEN I could reach out and grab some. For many of us the seeking is the best part of the game. Personally, I love being a detective. Besides, if I found all I was looking for, the game would be over, wouldn’t it? Then what?

Finders don’t need to collect evidence; no proof necessary. Finders have no doubt about whom they are, why they are here or what is available. And here’s the cosmic joke: When we transform from seeker to finder we will finally be available to participate, consciously and wholeheartedly, in the greatest gift we’ve been given (get ready, joke coming)… which is the life we are already living right now!

Try this on: Give up looking! Pay attention (I mean REALLY notice!) all that stuff that’s all around you – right here; right now. You don’t have to become a spiritual sage (unless that floats your boat), but imagine a life free of the seeking; a life of natural knowing. (Cuz, hey, if I understand it correctly – and I think I do – all that good stuff is true, anyway!).

What if you gave up the struggle and insecurity of trying to ‘find’ and ‘become’ and just let yourself lean back into the universe and ‘be’, instead.  Can you imagine being the best you possible, living your highest potential for the good of all (pimples, warts and all), just because you’re in love with life and committed to sharing the joy?

Seek and ye shall find? Find and you can stop seeking!

 

 


“If Only I’d Known…” Forsaking Feedback Is Foolish

feedback

It could have been as simple as asking, “How am I doing?” and then adjusting to the response, but I didn’t do that. No one complained and there was more than an occasional compliment, so I just kept on being as I’d been and doing as I’d done. I’m a firm believer in that old adage: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, and I didn’t notice anything that was broken.

If I eat the wrong things I get ‘feedback’ in the guise of a stomachache or extra tight jeans. If I screw up on my computer I get an error message, so I know I have to do something different if I want to get my result. There was no error message from the ‘head office’ and I didn’t think to ask how the producer thought I was doing. No one took me aside to offer any suggestions about my work and no one criticized me. In retrospect, maybe assuming that meant everything was ‘hunky dory’ wasn’t in my best interest.

I was ‘co-starring’ on a cable TV show. I’d been ‘Sandye Stewart’ of the ‘Family Fun Store’ on the original Shop Television Network. Every day I worked with Pat Boone, Juliet Prowse, Richard Simmons and literally dozens of famous folks from Miss America to Soupy Sales (who I ‘shuffled’ with on national TV). My hair, make up and wardrobe were ‘handled’ and I had the use of a chauffeur driven limo when I needed it. Oh, and I was pullin’ in some major bucks!

After almost two years on the show my contract was not renewed. Whaaaaat? I didn’t love it there – it was pretty boring most of the time – but not renewed???? What had I done to deserve getting dumped? And how was I so blind-sided in the process?

I understand that others see me differently than I see myself – at least I ‘get it’ on an intellectual level. And, I guess it follows that others also see what I  ‘say’ and what I ‘do’ with a different perspective than mine. Maybe if I’d known that the producer thought I came across as too short, too ‘smart’ and too Jewish (Really? I wasn’t about to do anything for him about that!), I could have worn risers in my shoes, requested bigger hair and dummied down my delivery.  Maybe I could have saved my career with heels and smaller vocabulary. Who knows?

A little feedback would have gone a long way in this case. None was offered, but perhaps more important, I didn’t request that any be given. Feedback is evaluative or corrective information about an action, event, performance (hmmm), product or process to the original or controlling source (in this case, me!). It might be praise or it might be criticism, but either way, it’s a gift that is given to someone to let them know how they’re doing.  There might be a clue about what can be done to improve, but that would be icing on the cake. First and foremost, feedback is a thermometer – a gauge of how others view you.

There’s only one way for me to gauge the impact I have on you … that’s making a request for the gift of your feedback. And, believe me, it is a gift – a wonderful gift – and it would be GREATLY appreciated. Some of you think I don’t care what you think about the blogs, the topics, the calls, the What Do I Say? What Do I Do? website or the face book group. Well, I do care. Some of you are kind and caring and don’t want to risk hurting my feelings. I can take it. And some of you just didn’t think about sharing your thoughts. I am sincerely asking you to think about it. Be the real friend – the one who will tell me when I have spinach in my teeth. Your feedback is crucial to my growth and success and I am sincerely interested in it. So… feedback, please.