Archive for January, 2010

Follow the leader: a game for adults

January 21, 2010

I have been accused of being a leader. The word has been tossed my way enough lately that I stopped dodging it and let it splat right in my face. Why am I a leader?

First, I gathered all the other words that people say defines a leader.

… inspiration, imagination, vision, mission, goal, courageousness, inspiring, fair minded, competency, honesty, listener, analytical thinker, ambitious, enthusiastic, wisdom, belief in others, calm, team builder, communicator, know self, relationship builder, confidence, optimism, dedication openness, creativity …

I guess people call me a leader because I possess many of these qualities. I’ve always been creative, goal-oriented and a natural communicator. The rest of these characteristics are a result of being stubborn, nosy and a know-it-all (or if I don’t, I learn.) Leadership qualities aren’t innate can be learned.

In the past few months, I’ve studied a local leader – in professional sales training, in a procrastination workshop and in his radio interviews. Tom Cox teaches leadership to CEOs and business owners, but that’s not what intrigues me about him.

Tom’s manner, listening skills and astute questions are magnetizing. He seems poised and fearless. Tom seems flawless except that he uses his flaws to educate. When Tom explains the importance of systems in his life, he first illustrates his life without organizational tools. He says he lacks discipline and is easily distracted. Plus, he succumbs to bad habits. To combat these destructive traits, he studies systems, leaders and successes. He interviews leaders, blogs about their systems and shares their successes so WE can improve.

This is where our traits intersect. I also covet the lessons of leaders, healers and innovators. I put courage in my heart and fear the icebox. Most importantly, I am honest and transparent about my faults, weaknesses and doubts. I will tell a room of strangers that I struggle with frustration and negative thoughts.

Yet, like Tom, I’m not complaining. I’m sharing to grow; to be educated and to educate. I learn how you battle negative traits, mimic your successes and then tell others. I set goals and fail. I set them again and make it.

We need leaders in families, groups, religion, government and work places. Even born leaders must work to improve themselves and their habits. You and I can both be great leaders if we do three things.

1) Be stubborn as hell. Tom recounted how Winston Churchill had a terrible stutter and was told to seek work that didn’t require talking. But he was stubborn as hell and look what happened.

2) Study yourself. Who are you? Who do you want to be? Where do you need the most improvement? Can you learn from events in your life or do you taint life experiences with unnecessary judgments?

3) Seek knowledge in others. As babies we learn by watching, listening and imitating. Why do we stop? Regardless of your leadership level, there is plenty more to learn.

Thanks Tom, for leading by example.

True love: Can you love without judgment?

January 19, 2010

A week ago my yoga teacher read “Be Awake” by Anthony DeMello and I cannot get it off my mind. I will include the piece later, but want to paraphrase.

Real love is seeing a person, object or reality as it is – without judgment. This made me question how I love people and myself. Do I love you as you are? Or do I love you for who you were or who you could be? Am I withholding love until something or someone changes? Do I love the idea of me at a younger age? Who or what do I love honestly?

Too all of us: I am sorry for loving you as I wanted you to be. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you for who you are in this moment.

That said, I still pray for miracles in our lives. I can love you now, yet see a need for change. My brother, for example, has already pawned all of his Christmas gifts. I am not surprised as this is pretty traditional behavior. I love him though. In another reality, he could be a functioning adult. But in this reality, he is not. All I can tell my family is don’t let him break your heart (or push your buttons). Loving him is enough.

Some months back I changed the way I love myself and my life. I wanted a job, money for the bills, a thinner body, peace for my husband … and so on. But I realized that the only way to embrace each day with love is just do it. I love the day for what it is – a journey, a possibility and a moment that belongs to me. I am grateful that things are they way they are. What I thought was not a perfect life really is a perfect life. With my judgment removed, life is complete and without fault.

Of course my life has room for improvement, goals and knowledge. But first I must love myself as I am in this breath. It is so much easier to love others from this place of comfort with myself. I don’t need you to be better for me. I don’t need you to fix me (or my situation.) All I ask is that you try to love me for the perfect person I am today.

“Be Awake” by Anthony DeMello

“Everywhere in the world people are in search of love, for everyone is convinced that love alone can save the world, love alone can make life meaningful and worth living. But how very few understand what love really is, and how it arises in the human heart. It is so frequently equated with good feelings toward others, with benevolence or nonviolence or service. But these things in themselves are not love. Love springs from awareness. It is only inasmuch as you see someone as he or she really is here and now and not as they are in your memory or your desire or in your imagination or projection that you can truly love them, otherwise it is not the person that you love but the idea that you have formed of this person, or this person as the object of your desire not as he or she is in themselves.
Therefore the first act of love is to see this person or this object, this reality as it truly is. And this involves the enormous discipline of dropping your desires, your prejudices, your memories, your projections, your selective way of looking, a discipline so great that most people would rather plunge headlong into good actions and service than submit to the burning fire of this asceticism. When you set out to serve someone whom you have not taken the trouble to see, are you meeting that person’s need or your own? So the first ingredient of love is to really see the other.”

Searching for career, yet finding myself

January 11, 2010

The only way to get what you want, is to know what you really want.
And the only way to know what you really want, is to know yourself.
And the only way to know yourself, is to be yourself.
And the only way to be yourself, Larque, is to listen you your heart.
I do, ~ The Universe.
(sent from Mike Dooley)

This printed email has been on my computer for at least two years. However, I only recently feel like I know myself enough to know what I want (somewhat).

Months of unemployment triggered a treasure hunt for answers. What are my passions? What do I want? Who am I really? Do most people have answers to these questions?

It doesn’t seem like it. It seems like if we all knew what makes us happy, then that’s what we would do (or eat, or listen to, or think).

When I lost my job, it was difficult to listen to my heart because my brain kept saying “oh shit, what am I going to do?” I had to start with what I knew – what I dislike and did not want. I had to start analyzing my thoughts and actions – were they judgmental and why? Even harder, I had to dig deep to find out who I am – strengths and weaknesses.

This work would probably help just about anyone. Unfortunately, every day life keeps us busy enough that we don’t take the time to really listen to our hearts. (At least I didn’t.)

Career Coach Sean Harry co-created a workbook Career Crossroads: Finding Your Perfect Career. It could have been called Life Crossroads: Finding Yourself. The process he’s licensed applies to both. ARMS: Assessment, research, marketing materials, and strategy.

I thought I was pretty self-aware. Possibly I was only opinionated and loud. As soon as I admitted I didn’t know it all, even about myself, I began learning. The more I studied me, the more I wanted to know. The more I want to know.

I can’t take credit for the jewels uncovered in initial digging. In fact, this is a bit of a testimonial for coaches. Social Media Coach Joshua Waldman saw my true niche talent before I did. Sean often reminds me of strengths I’ve overlooked. Business Coach Noah Waldman helped me transform, literally, by sending head trash to the dumpster (where it belongs). The path to these great coaches began with Sales Coach Jeff Schneider who believed in me, and that was enough.

As thankful as I am to these guys, I will admit that I did all the dirty work. I mumbled to myself as I walked mile after mile; “What do I want? Where do I see myself? What is God’s plan for me? What are the solutions I bring?” (on and on until I almost ran over a gal walking her little dog). I made lists. I read books. I watched videos. I listened to webcasts. I wrote and wrote. I pushed myself. And I’m continually repeating the process.

Now I feel as though this work, if I keep doing it, will lead to the ideal life. That is what I want. Not just the perfect career or even the perfect body. I want to know the best Larque from every angle. If I know her – and become her – I will naturally be my best at everything.

Sissors and glue: The impact of our stories

January 5, 2010

Ever met someone you feel you were meant to know, or somehow know already? Possibly a person from a forgotten dream. That happened today when I met Dave Jarecki owner of Breakerboy Communications.

Not only did I immediately feel connected to Dave, he turned out to be someone I’d like to know for a long time. Our discussion lingers.

He seemed to have answers that were intended for me. He also had two killer name ideas.

Yet what’s resounding is our short discussion about stories.

Dave and I both suppose that stories are what separate and unify people. My story makes me different and connects me to the world. Dave and I talked briefly about why this is so important to writers and business owners.

Knowing your story is if utmost importance. I have had time to revive my passions during my eight months of unemployment. I’ve thought about “my story” from the viewpoint of a jobseeker, sales person, networker and wife. I’ve explored ideas, positive and negative, about who I am and what I want. I reconnected with family I haven’t seen for years at my grandma’s funeral.

I still don’t know my story completely because some chapters are buried and some are unwritten. I know that what’s important to me looms over the Columbia River, smiles as we pass and sleeps in my bed. My husband (family), climbing mountains and meeting people are the basis of my story. I love to hear a trickling creek and new story.

When we meet, and meet again, I want to hear a tale of your life. My husband would tell you that I’ll talk with someone in the checkout line 20 minutes.

If you don’t know your story or are not comfortable with the story you know, then you’ll probably never share with me. Maybe you need help discovering your story because it lives in dusty corners of your mind.

That’s why I want to help people – and businesses – find their voices and tell their stories. I thrive on it. It’s a treasure hunt.

This is what drew me to Dave. His work is about “cracking the code of your story.” His personal story of digging (strangely absent from his website) explains why the business is named Breakerboy.

I aspire to do work like Dave’s – call it brand development or storytelling. I’m on the path. When we meet, I hope you are ready and willing to tell me your story.

Thanks Dave. (Where the hell do I know you from?)

Lights, camera, success! Mind movie = rave reviews

January 2, 2010

Today I am creating a mind movie to guide me in this new decade and my new business.

I know visualizing my destination is crucial to easing my stress and worry about “how” I will get there. I also know that if I can’t see my success, I won’t know it when I have it.

I have read a lot about visualization, starting with The Secret a couple of years ago and in every positive attitude-building book since. Yet for some reason, I have not implemented a good practice.

Friday I had my first experience with muscle testing (applied kinesiology) and guided EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques). My session with Pointman Consulting was specifically to help me move forward with my business without fear and old contradicting beliefs.

Despite being very open minded about these practices, I was still surprised when the invisible weight lifted. My coach Noah led me through a visualization exercise that filled me with a comfortable warm and tingly energy. At the end of the session my subconscious said “make a mind movie” in which I see, hear and feel my desired goal.

So today I need to make a short movie of me using my creative skills in marketing, sales and writing. What does it look like? Well, I am enjoying my work and making plenty of money to pay bills. I feel excited by challenges and satisfied as I help other small business owners achieve success. I work hard, but balance life with exercise and time with my husband. People meet me and are eager to work with me. I hear them saying I am such a great help and positive spirit. People congratulate me on my new adventure. Everyone I meet has a gift for me: wisdom, connections, education and means of making money. I feel so secure and stable that I bound through the days in happiness and love. I don’t get tripped up on the little stuff.

Yep, that’s my movie. This is who I am. Magazines publish my articles. I have extra money to buy the SLR camera I’ve dreamed of since their inception. Great ideas pop into my head for business owners and other clients.

I’m not an expert at mind movies but this is fairly simple. Imagine what the goal looks like, feels like and sounds like. The Secret and many websites provide guidance and examples. Another example of mine is that instead of saying “I must loose 20 pounds,” I imagine how I look and feel at this weight. When I go to bed and when I wake up, I visualize myself looking thin and fit, exclaiming how great it is to wear my old jeans and hearing people say how I look great. I support this vision throughout the day by banning negative self talk.

Start the decade off right with a movie of your own. Since you are the star, the superhero, you can achieve anything you imagine. As Napoleon’s Pedro would say: “All your wildest dreams will come true.”