Silence is Golden – Week 22A

Silence is a relief for someone who talks for a living. It’s so much more than this, but one of the greatest benefits of taking 1.5 days of silence last weekend is that I got to rest my mouth. As I rested my mouth, I realized that my mind started to rest as well.

I work with my mouth Monday through Friday. From 8 a.m. in the morning until 5 or 6 in the evening, I’m coaching clients. To be precise, I use a hybrid of coaching and consulting with clients of all ages across the United States and abroad. When I’m coaching, I listen 3/4 of the time and talk 1/4 of the time. When I’m consulting, I talk 3/4 of the time and listen 1/4 of the time. In my current role I do more consulting than coaching, which means I talk A LOT during the week.

Silence is a relief for someone who helps people solve career-related challenges all week long. Everyone I speak with has a gap between where they are and where they want to be. I wonder what would happen if I asked each of my clients to sit silently with me during our 50 minutes?

I did this once. I had a session with a client who was really stressed out. We started the call with some deep breathing to help her (and me) get grounded. She started talking and I soon had an intuitive hit that we really should be on the call in silence. I recommended this to her. We each set our phones down, but stayed on the call. I think that 45 minutes was the best coaching I’ve ever done. Silence was a risk then. It was non-conforming. It’s not what you do for an entire coaching call. But it worked. It shifted my client. It shifted me by being more daring and experimental in my approach.

Another awareness I had in Silence is that I go missing during a lot of my daily activities. When I prepared food and cooked in silence, I was there. All there. I wasn’t mentally or emotionally ahead of planning, chopping or sauteing; I wasn’t ahead of the aroma of chopped onion sizzling in olive oil, or the texture and taste of my salad and butternut squash ravioli with tomato sauce and basil. I was in the slow lane, the savor zone. I was connected with my surroundings and myself.

My sits were longer. I was pulled by the urge to answer a text. I talked to my cat, GiGi, accidentally. But she liked our silence better.  Winter in Minnesota is a good time for silence. So is any place and any moment.

I think Emerson’s teachings about self-reliance we’ve been reading. How are we to know the power which resides in us if we don’t know Silence? How are we to listen the “absolutely trustworthy seated at our heart” if we fill our lives with sound and motion?  How are we to know “what we must do” if we pay more attention to “what the people must think?”

It is definitely non-conformist to practice silence in a world overflowing with noise.

Silence is where we meet Consciousness and build self-reliance. In silence every truth is true.

Bionic Woman – Week 22

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TWO TYPES OF FALLS

I wrote about a FALL I took two weeks ago at the top of my son’s driveway. It was a blunt force injury; the kind that happens when you stop the backward fall of a 115 pound body with your hand and your wrist hyperextends as you land with a thud.

In any given Minnesotan community we’re seeing a lot of people wearing casts. A record number of bones were broken after an ice storm followed by heavy snow. Roads, sidewalks and driveways turned into ice rinks. I’m grateful I only broke my wrist because it could have been much worse. I know someone who fell on the ice three days ago, hit his head, had a stroke and died. From Og Mandino, “I live this day as if it is my last. And if it is not, I shall FALL on my knees and give thanks.

SPA ON MY MIND

My surgical experience happened Tuesday, February 26. I walked into the Clinic after listening to my guide, Nancy Ottinger’s Marco Polo’s recording: “I know everything will go well and your healing will be rapid and perfect. Your wrist will work perfectly well when this is all said and done. So, take care, be brave and let me know if I can do anything for you as always.” I was so grateful for her message and support which helped attune my “world within” setting up a positive vibration that set the stage for the whole experience.

I liken it to being at a spa with drugs, because when anethesia takes over and all care is cast to the wind. Apparently during surgery I had a pleasant dream, because I woke up smiling, turned my head toward my left arm and happily realized it was over.

What I like about the MKE teachings, including Og Mandino’s Scroll 5 message, is that we are in charge of our moods, “Inside me is a wheel”, he writes, “constantly turning from sadness to joy, from exultation to depression.” He then goes on to apply the law of substitution. “When I feel fear I will plunge ahead.” Nancy’s words helped me plunge ahead into the unknown.

BIONIC POWER

With the good surgeon’s skill, the new inner appliance making my left distal radius bone strong again, and support from the MKE community and others, I now consider myself a reincarnation of the Bionic Woman.

With all the tools, practices and support at our disposal, we are all bionic. Carry on, plunge ahead and do your sit.

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Keep Calm and Do Your Sit – Week 21

I was so pleased to get a postcard from my guide Nancy O., which reads, “Keep Calm and Do Your Sit.”

If you have a question, sitting is the answer.

If you’re having a hard day, sitting is the ancedote.

If you don’t know where to turn, sitting is a good idea.

If you’re happy, sitting will amplify it.

If you have too much to do, sitting will revive you and give you focus.

Sit.

Sit.

And sit again.

Sit every morning.

Your life will change.

Keep calm and do your sit.

Subby is the Body – Week 19

As a career and leadership coach I’ve noticed a pattern with my clients. If he or she knows it’s time to leave a work situation that isn’t right for them, but they overstay, something will happen. They’ll miess up on an important project, for example, and put their job at risk.

This is true in daily life as well.

Many people (especially women) that I know, and who I coach, are overextended. They know they should,  a. Put on the brakes, b. Say “no” more often, c. Get more sleep, d. Put boundaries around their job and home life, etc., e. Take time to do things they enjoy, f. Meditate, g. Get to the gym, h. Take a vacation, etc. But they don’t.

When I broke my wrist last  week, I immediately realized it was my body’s way of allowing me to do a-h above. Since the incident (falling on ice), I’ve talked to a surprising number of women who were over-extended and had an arm or leg injury that slowed them down.

The fact is, Subby (our subconscious mind) will ALWAYS get us what we want, but we have to take the lead so it happnes in a manner that causes us to flourish, rather than suffer.

Do you need to do a-h above, but can’t seem to get around to it? Don’t make your body do for you later what you can do for yourself now.

Grateful for all Things – Week 18

A couple things happened recently that changed the pace of my life.

My son had a big challenge, so I rose to the occasion and “camped out” at his house for a week to support him while he got back on track. At the end of that week, I also slipped on the ice while cleaning the snow off my car that was parked at the top of the driveway, fell and broke my left wrist.

A friend of mine is going through chemo. I compared our challenges and put myself on The 7 Day Mental Diet.

This evening I would like to rip off the splint and use my arm and hand like I’m used to doing. Instead, I’m going to be grateful that I have a left arm, left hand and five working fingers, that I didn’t break my right hand (I’m a rightie), that my body will heal and that I learned a lesson I’ll share in my next blog post. That lesson has been trying to get my attention for a long time. I bet you’ve had similar, “Learning the hard way” experiences. When the body speaks, you have to finally listen!

Squash & the Law of Relaxation – Week 17HJ

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Photo credit: gimmesomeoven

Reading the 7 Laws was added to our MKE homework this week. The 7 Laws are:

  1. Law of Substitution (we can’t think about two things at the same time).
  2. Law of Relaxation (mental effort defeats itself).
  3. Law of Practice (with practice of the correct things we improve).
  4. Law of Forgiveness (we must forgive everyone in order to clear the channel to the Divine).
  5. Law of Dual Thought (attaching feeling to a through we want magnetizes it).
  6. Law of Subconscious (when an idea is accepted by Subby, Subby makes it happen).
  7. Law of Growth (whatever we think about grows and what we forget about diminishes)

Lately I’ve been enamored with butternut squash. I peel it, scrape out the seeds, cut it into little pieces, toss it in olive oil, put herbs d’Provence, sea salt and cracked pepper on the mixture and roast. It’s basically desert, without the sugar.

This morning I attacked the squash with a peeler. I was truly battling to get the damn skin off the squash so I could cut it up. I was struggling! Suddenly, the Law of Relaxation came to mind. I realized as I was going to war with this root vegetable, I was also straining mentally to get the job done. It occured to me then that the Law of Relaxation may apply to peeling vegetables. So I took a deep breath, cleared my mind of tension and relaxed my thoughts. Soon, I was peeling the squash gently and it was going much better. I learned that with less effort, I could peel it like an apple. I enjoyed myself so much more. It was no longer combat; it was pleasure.

I’ve also noticed recently that I grip the steering wheel pretty tightly when I’m driving. Now I’m wondering what other ordinary daily activities I accompany with a strained mental state?  I’m going to be on the look out for when I’m exerting more physical force or mental energy than is necessary to complete task, whether mental or physical.

I believe the Law of Relaxation is going to change my life by bringing more joy and ease to it.

I remember when I was being trained as a personal coach, the instructor would walk by me as I was coaching someone and say, “Soften your eyes”. He was teaching me the Law of Relaxation. I was straining too much to really be connecting with the person across from me, and it affected my ability to listen deeply.

I realize now that when our minds are relaxed they are receptive, and receptivity is magnetic! We don’t have to fight for our DMP, we just have to visualize, believe and gently repeat it, with enthusiasm. Even enthusiasm should not be strained. It is a natural outgrowth of our connection to Spirit.

How about you? Are you putting more mental or physical effort into things than is really necessary? Or do you approach most of your daily tasks with a relaxed mind?

Below is a photo from a Martha Stewart article. It shows no sign of any battle having occurred. This is how I want the scene of my squash cutting to look like.

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Photo credit: Martha Stewart

Peace be with you. Remember, your vegetable peeler matters less than your mental state.