Stringy-haired Mentors, Wrinkles & Imperfection: On the Nature of Real Success

dalai-lama-imperfection-in-oneself“The World Changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.” — Armistead Maupin

 
Some of my colleagues on Facebook asked me why I posted the photo of myself in double casts, with bed head, in my jams. I was messed up in that photo because of a recent minor procedure to alleviate carpal tunnel and couldn’t move my hands much. It had taken me five minutes just to brush my hair into the tangle it ended up, but I felt good about myself. And even though my hands are still messed the hell up today and it’s taken me ages to type this (even with the aid of voice dictation), I felt and feel good about my body, my capabilities and myself. And that’s a message I wanted to share.

“Be your life ever so screwed sideways from how anyone else might look at it, you have a choice in how you choose to see and experience it. That choice is yours every single day.”

I used to hang with a number of guru-style business and leadership Coaches who projected an “I’m perfect, be like me” image to the world. They had dazzlingly white smiles, drove Porsches, had trophy spouses and never messed up…at least not in public. They never posted a social media update that admitted to any kind of failing, bad day, off patch, or learning process — all of their updates, their websites and sales pages painted them the perfect guru. These folks spawned a whole lot of students and mentees who ran themselves ragged trying to duplicate their success. Many failed and quit their businesses. Many needed therapy to deal with the burden of stress their businesses or corporate positions had become. A few succeeded, under enormous stress.

Trying to be perfect is hard. It can kill you.

When I looked behind the curtain of that seemingly perfect success, all was not as it seemed. I saw an army of assistants helping these business owners, their harried and sometimes angry interactions with these helpers, crappy personal relationships, divorces, blowups with their business partners and even falsified financial results. They certainly weren’t telling their followers that it took an army to achieve what they had. Their businesses were carefully constructed façades, behind which, like any good movie set, could be found any number of hidden structures that created the final effect. You never got to see the real magic-makers, only the final, polished product.

Which isn’t real.

There are plenty of genuinely authentic teachers, coaches and business leaders out there. Whatever their past, they will admit to their current-day flaws readily and publicly. When they mess up, they will own up, and apologize where necessary. When they learn a lesson, they share it and and teach from their learnings. Genuine teachers are warm and welcoming, authentic coaches that get it never make you wrong, and all revel in the divine imperfection that life just is.

Anyone who looks too perfect…probably isn’t.

And for me, those are not mentors I want.

I want somebody who shows me their stringy hair…stringy because they stayed up all night nursing their sick kid, partner or pet…and learned a valuable leadership lesson they have to share before a model-perfect clean can be effected.
I want someone real enough to admit that they made money before when they were all shiny and new, but not so much this year, and are going to have to take a second job to make ends meet. Someone who is honest about it, unashamed of where they are, and wants me to know the valuable lessons they learned.

I want to hang out with people that are real, not plastic.

People who value wrinkles, bad days, pajamas, imperfection and last year’s fashions, the fact that folks are really trying and need a break, who see the beauty in sweat, honestly-earned grime and the kind of heaving your lungs do as you crest a hard-won summit.

I will ask then, as we breathe together, what can you tell me, from a down dog with a split in the seam of your yoga pants, your hair in a frazzle and your careful notes scattered?

When the software fails and the line goes dead and the suit doesn’t arrive and the makeup artist is late, what exudes from the depths of your soul when you have to improvise from scratch?

That is what I want to absorb, to learn, to know.
That would be Real. Genuine. Authentic.

That you share and I share imperfectly together, helps us become greater than the sum of our parts, experience and separate intentions. These are experiences I desire. And the point is…We are not separate, not alone, and our seeming imperfection isn’t real at all.

We are whole and perfect, just as we are.

This outer shell Western culture has so come to value, is so much tinsel and glitter. And all the frantic machinations we go through to remain young, create a false front for ourselves and appear the image of success are wasted energy. There is no such thing as Perfection. There is only an illusion called Perfection, and our harried, scrambling, joyless and unconscious dash to create our lives as this illusion. Which, when you look at it, is madness.

Wake up.

I can teach you a lot, I can coach you superbly well around creating a beautiful second life and a movement that helps and heals the world, that leverages you in such a way that you feel delicious and make a huge impact every day. But I am a damn sight from Perfect.

I am not Perfect now, and I never will be. I’m okay with that.

It doesn’t mean that I won’t clean up, put on nice clothes and do my hair. I like doing those things because they make me feel good and let others know that I care about myself. And I will still keep finding things that can get better, and working on myself to become more comfortable in my life, to give more and be my best self not only for me, but for all I meet. That is worthy work for all of us.

I made a promise to the Dalai Lama to keep coming back and helping sentient beings rise to full awareness, until all are liberated. I’m stuck for a few lifetimes in this thing, so I want to make darned sure I’m doing my best, and helping everyone I know to do the same. Because most days, I need a boost from my dear sweet Tashicat to remember I need to stay Present myself. And to remain Real. And to refrain, no matter how tempting it is, from putting up a false front to make myself look good. Because that is illusion, and only leads to wasted time and energy.

Stay Awake, my friends. Stay Real, no matter how it looks.

Cultivate a fondness for wrinkles, bed head and early morning my-guard-is-down Truth.

Stay strong, be happy, and remember that you are Enough — Just As You Are.

Peace Is Not A Zero Sum Game

I am sitting in a department store dressing room dog tired and checking messages for respite. My friend Joe Newberry‘s words inspire as they often do – thanks Joe. Yes, today has been hard. This year has been hard. Shootings. Terror. Hatred. The radio, tv and internet says this is our “new normal”.

I say bollocks.

Joe as many, spoke of things needing to change. And we know that the greatest changes have been wrought by small groups of people doggedly determined to stick to their agenda. The times are dark indeed in many ways my friends. But as ever, it is always darkest before the dawn.

The Light is coming. We can change this, we really can.

Attitude is 99% of the engine behind transformation. Winter Solstice is coming, bringing the light back to our frozen, huddled masses. The season of hope, neighborliness and good cheer approaches. And like Scrooge after his transformation by the spirits, I resolve to keep the Spirit of Christmas in my heart and actions every day of the year.

Will you join me?

Your good will, and the determination to stick with it is all it takes for any of us, all of us, to turn the tide. Letting go of the little things, resolving to be a helper, and spreader of love in your part of the world help too. Be the example you want your children and friends to follow. Be the avatar of true forgiveness, grace and love expressed in the world that you want to see and feel surrounding you. If we all pull together, it won’t be hard.

Hot cocoa, anyone? With whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon? As warm as that thought is, let that be the feeling you send to others and *you’ve got this*.

We’ve got this. We really do.

I refuse to endorse or believe anything different. Not one of us can afford the luxury of a negative thought right now, and that includes self-hate and putting yourself or anyone else down. There is only room for beauty, wonder, love, tenderness and helping each other out.

Crisp cold air, the scents of sandalwood and amber, puppies, kittens, chocolate, coffee, deep green redwood forests, convivial chat over a good meal with friends (see Raman Frey for this), the color purple…these are all things that make me feel yummy and help me keep that good feeling going.

What are some of yours?

Make a list and make a point of getting some of these into your day, each and every day. Let go the small stuff and resolve to keep returning your mind and heart to what feels wonderful, especially when people and situations you dislike appear. Breathing deeply helps you let go.

Treat others as you want to be treated, and let their reactions be their business. Don’t make it yours. Renember, you have a well of yumminess to draw upon.

Keep it up. You’ve got this. We’ve got this.

A peaceful, happy and joyous season to you… ❤

Thanksgiving and Saving The World

What Thanksgiving Has To Do With How You Can Save The World…

BEST WAY TO Start an Evolutionary Movement? SELL A BOOK. Best way to Sell a Book? PROPOSE – DON’T WRITE IT – FIRST

teacher-globeWant to change the world? Write a book about how you do that in your own life and business! Then, talk about it to everyone you can reach. Business owners who do this gain a lot of credit and increase their reputation, can sell their own books at their talks, use them as “better than a business card” and as a manual to help their ideal audiences to transform themselves and their world.

Awesome, right?

But where to start?

Authors in the know never write a book first though, we write an outline to propose the book to a publisher, then get on contract and get paid to write it. After the paycheck, comes the writing. That’s if you’re going the traditional publishing route. Which not everyone is anymore, and for good reason.

I’ve been away in Tucson, Arizona at the lush Loews Ventana Canyon Resort and Spa with the delightful Getrude Matshe, author and TED Talk creator who helps AIDS orphans in her native Africa. Getrude helps other authors get started and I went to take in her “How To Write a Book in 40 Hours” program. It was fantastic.

And like Getrude’s, my next book will be self published.

There are a lot of reasons to self-publish, one of the biggest being that self-publishing is now quite easy, and about equal in clout to traditional publishing but a LOT less hassle AND…you get to keep all the money. Unlike self-publishing of the past, POD or “print on demand” publishing means you don’t have to suffer a garage full of boxes of books from minimums traditional publishers make you buy, either. Awesome, right?

If you are still thinking about traditional publishing however, I can tell you that the most important thing you can do to convince an editor to float you a contract is to have a tight book proposal. Here’s an excellent soup-to-nuts tutorial on how to “make editors drool” with your book proposal.

And take a tip from me. My last book, Everyday Bliss For Busy Women: Energy Balancing Secrets for Complete Health and Vitality was accepted by the publisher largely because of the gigantic, pimped-to-the-max marketing plan I had created.

So word to the wise, create a kickass marketing plan well in advance of presenting your proposal to the publisher.

Or, you could simply shortcut all of that and self-publish with an easy platform like Amazon’s Create Space, retain total creative control and keep all the funds generated.

What’s the change you want to catalyze in the world? How are you using your life and business to do that? Write about it, influence others and start your movement to help and heal the world. We need you!

 

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Once we’re finished with all 6 trainings, you will have  a whole month to review them, take notes and indulge in the delicious transformative processes.  We’ve travelled to awesome places and done amazingly transformative processes in learning the 6 Levels of your unique Comfort Code. Satisfying your own needs at all 6 levels is what enables permanent transformation. If you skip a level, you won’t be able to make the change you want, and your transformation won’t be permanent.

Why “Comfort” Code? Because everyone I’ve ever worked with to transform their lives has said they don’t need to be a millionaire, or run a marathon, or be a celebrity – they just want to be comfortable – in their lives, in their bodies and in their interactions with others.

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