Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category
adapted from Alan Cohen
When a woman in the Bembe tribe of South Africa knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child.
They recognize that every soul has its own vibration, expression, and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.
This song is sung at every important event of the child. When he or she is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song.
Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at their birth, and they sing the person to the next life. In the Bembe tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child.
When a person acts irresponsibly or unjustly, he is placed in the center of the village, alone and unfettered. All work ceases, and every man, woman and child in the village gathers in a large circle around the accused individual. Then each person in the tribe speaks to the accused, one at a time, about all the good things the person in the center of the circle has done in his lifetime. Every incident, every experience that can be recalled with any detail and accuracy is recounted. All his positive attributes, good deeds, strengths and kindnesses are recited carefully and at length. The tribal ceremony often lasts several days.
At the end, the song is sung again, the tribal circle is broken, a joyous celebration takes place, and the person is symbolically and literally welcomed back into the tribe.
The tribe recognizes that the proper correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment, but love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire or need to do anything that would hurt another.
A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it.
Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you have made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.
I’ve been doing the Body For Life program for two weeks and I’ve lost 6.5 pounds so far. While I love these result, what I love even more is the process. Every night, I answer four simple questions before I go to bed. These questions have applications far beyond an eating and exercise plan and would be great questions for you to ask yourself on a daily basis as you move toward what you want most in your life, whether that’s health and fitness, love and romance, money and success or what ever else you can dream up.
Four Questions to Ask Yourself Every Day:
- What are 3 things that I did great today that helped me move toward my goal(s)?
- What is one thing that I can do even better tomorrow?
- What are five things I can do in the next 24 hours to move me toward my goal(s)?
- What are two things I can do in the next 24 hours to support and encourage others?
While it is great to simply ask yourself these questions, it’s even better to actually answer them – every day! And while it’s great to answer them, it’s even more powerful if you WRITE down those answers. So grab a pretty journal and get to it! And if you miss a day, don’t sweat it. Just get right back on the next day. And please pop back and let me know what you think and how you’re doing!
Listen up! Life happens! The only people who don’t have problems are dead people. I guess they had some problems that got them dead, but they aren’t really suffering them any more. I don’t mean to be callous, just direct.
We have this distorted idea that happy is a destination and that life shouldn’t be so hard. I know I get caught up in that. Every time I think my life couldn’t possibly get any harder, it does. Mother Teresa said, “I know God will never give me more than I can handle. Sometimes, I just wish he didn’t trust me so much.” Well, I hear ya sister!
Some people think that happy people are happy because they are lucky, rich, thin, in a good marriage, have perfect kids, are successful, etc. But, those are just circumstances. Happy people are happy because they choose to be happy. They realize that no matter what is going on in their life, that they can overcome it, learn from it, bear it or just plain be with it AND find some things to be happy about at the same time.
You are not your circumstances! You are you and your circumstances are your circumstances. Put them back into perspective and remember that you ARE greater than your circumstances and act accordingly!
You’ve probably heard it said that you are the sum total of the 7 people you hang out with most. So who do you hang out with most? And, do you like who you are and who you are becoming in that company?
If you want to lose weight, hang out with healthy, fit people. It makes it easier. If you want to be more successful, surround yourself with people who are MORE successful than you are. If you want to be in a fulfilling marriage, hang out with other couples who represent that for you.
Conceptually, this sounds great. But, I think it’s harder than it sounds. I know that the people I spend the most time with actually are my children. When they were little, it was hard for my brain to keep from turning to jello sometimes. As an entrepreneur, I spend most of my time working with clients or in pursuit of new clients. I have to make a conscious effort to put myself in environments that stretch me and to surround myself with people who propel me forward.
Here are 7 Ways to Create a Powerful Peer Group:
1. Be at choice about who you spend your time with. Of course there are important people who you are in relationships with that may not serve your vision of who you are becoming. Choose when to spend your time with them and how much time and energy you want to invest in that relationship. I’m not going to stop hanging out with my kids. But, I am intentional about that time. I love to play games with them, help them with their homework, make meals, go to the movies and just hang out with my kids. But, I don’t play Xbox or WOW with them. You get the idea. I also love my extended family dearly. I come from a long line of women who love with food – lots of delicious food. If I am watching my diet, I need to plan ahead when I attend a family event. It’s also true that I love with food and make regular attempts to kill my loved ones with enchiladas and cheesecake. They need to plan accordingly and enlist my support when they come over.
2. Bring the people in your current peer group up with you. So, in the case of my family, especially my immediate family, I am not going to stop eating with them as a long term solution. But, I can enroll them in eating better with me. Now, I have a peer group that supports me. You can do this with your office staff, your management team, the Little League moms or any of your other friends.
3. Join networking and business development groups or start your own. My favorite business development group for Women Entrepreneurs is The Association of Women Entreprenuers. I am inspired by the motivational and inspirational speakers. I love the mastermind groups. And I cherish the friendships that I have made with like-minded women in pursuit of MORE.
4. Join or start a mastermind group. Be intentional about who you choose to mastermind with. Look for people who compliment you and stretch you. Many coaches and consultants offer the opportunity to mastermind with them for a price. If this is your next teacher, then the price is generally worth it. You can mastermind with me, if you are so inspired.
5. Attend conventions in your field. Conventions are a fabulous opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals who are moving in the same direction that you are and conventions generally offer progressive educational opportunites in your field.
6. Pursue a credential. Most credentialing programs give you education with a peer group, or tribe, built in. One of the tribes that I am proudest to belong to and most stretched and fulfilled by is my CTI Leadership Tribe. My coaching certification, CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach), also admits me to an amazing, international tribe of coaches and leaders. I continue to be inspired and grown by these associations.
7. Join an association of professionals in your field. As a coach, I belong to The International Coach Federation and The International Coach Federation in Los Angeles. I know I am among “my people” when I attend any ICF event. Know your tribe! If you are a designer, hang out with other designers. If you are a realtor, work with other realtors. These collaborations make us all better at what we do and help us to serve our clients better by bringing up our whole industry.
Whatever you do, do something. You’re success depends on it!
Okay, I’ve got your attention!
Seriously, though, this is an important question. So take a minute and think about it. What underwear are you wearing and what do they say about you? Nobody’s looking and you don’t have to tell me, but it’s in your best interest to take a look. Your underwear probably say something to the effect of:
- “I’m just a love machine!”
- “Tonight’s gonna be a good night!”
- “I’m a very sensible girl who values comfort and practicality.”
- “Wow! There are some things around here that need some attention!”
- “Underwear! What underwear? This outfit can’t tolerate panty lines!”
- “I am a plain, basic, Wal-Mart kind of girl.”
- “Only the finest and the best are good enough for my delicate parts.”
So, now that you’ve checked yourself out, you are probably wondering what my point is. My point is that most people want some sort of change in one (or more) of the following top three areas of their life: weight, relationship/romance and money. And, to actually affect change in ANY area of your life, you need to change your identity. Your identity is who you think you are and what you think you’re about. It drives every decision from what panties you wear to what you eat to where you shop to who you hang out with to how you spend money, etc. You get the picture. So, if you want to get rich, but you are busy living the Wal-Mart lifestyle, you are having some kind of identity crisis and Wal-Mart is probably winning.
Think about what you really want and who you need to be to get it. And, now think about what kinds of things that girl does! When you weigh 20 pounds less, I bet you wear different panties and shop at different stores. When you are in a passionate relationship with the love of your life, I bet you wear different panties and eat different foods. When you’re rich and famous, I bet you wear different panties and read different books. You see! It all starts with the panties! Do you need to go change yours?