Monday, May 10, 2010

Practicing the Dances of Life!

One of the things I have learned is that all of life is a dance and sometimes I am great a it and sometimes I am not. As a former gymnast, I learned some dance when I was young. I love dancing even today. It is a way to feel totally expressed, full in one's self and a way to be present with another human being. Dance as in life means working together with life's partners and those who cross your path on a daily basis.

For those who are professional dancers there is much practice. Whether one is an engineer, doctor, artist, parent or whatever, a large amount of time is devoted to practicing techniques and learn to do the job well. When I look at the dance of communications with other human beings there are few trainings teaching how to be present authentically as one's self in the moment to gracefully glide with the partner you are in the communication's dance with. Many courses teach techniques and tips that amount to mostly knowing how to get one up on the another or have great come backs. I find though that if you communicate from just that place it will fail pretty quickly. It is like learning the moves and not learning to implement authentically.

What if life period was a series of practices?!?! Nothing was ever perfect 1000%. How would you live your life? Practice allows one to fail, not do things right, learn to recraft you are doing to have the results happen. Practice allows for celebrating the small steps of mastery you gain. Practice allows for us to learn many ways to do things too!

I own a design and marketing company. I have to practice so many things on a daily basis to grow and develop myself. There are many new programs to learn, printing methods, marketing trends, web design tips and so on. One of my favorite things is to see what needs to happen, what is missing and on goingly practice and create what is possible. There are situations I am really great at handling and others that I am horrible at! It is the places I am horrible at that I am committed to growth and development in. What if like children, human beings could be hungry all of the time for the wonder and fun of learning?

One of the things I love to practice is how to just be present in a situation. To really be in the other person's world and listen to them. Gosh, we are all built like little machines! We can be counted on to react the same way every time we are in the same or close to the same situation when we are not listening...really listening.

For instance, even though I have trained for years in ontological conversations and dialogue, if someone really yells at me all of my reactions will come up. I will cry, feel ashamed and so on. Old patterns come flying out of the woodwork. It is an area of my life I am training myself in. Building some muscle in. I am gaining some ability to stay present in the moment and realize none of this has much to do with me. It is a place in life where I am still learning the communication's dance.

Where are you learning the communication's dance in life? Where have you gained mastery? What is the next level you are looking to develop? Where do you fail consistently? What training do you need? Are you creating the training or busily being a complaint about it all?

In the previous blog post I shared about integrity. Well having integrity is about creating an empowering context in any situation with our word. Where do you not feel empowered or inspired when you communicate? Where do you not feel heard?

Here is a simple practice and a place to start....
Make a list of all of the places in your life you do not feel heard. Sit with it for a couple of days. Then make a list of all of the general things about life you do not like to listen to or about. Let that sit for a day. Then make a list of what you hate listening to from your friends, colleagues and family.

Now....sit and compare the lists. With a highlighter mark what looks the same on each list? I find whatever I hate listening to may be something I myself am doing! I can either be a persistent complaint about it or do something to move it forward. What I get upset with others about just may be something I have no muscle in handling either. When I notice what those things are, I then have to look and see if I am committed to creating a shift in how I handle it. If I do then I get to work to train myself and learn to dance in settings like that! How awesome!!!!!!!!!!

Be kind to yourself while in training. There is no perfect. No one has mastery in this. We are not born with manuals that tell us how to be human. Being is learned. Whether we are fast learners or not...what is guaranteed is that we will learn, gain some mastery, slip up, make mistakes, want to quit, keep going, repeat the past or invent the breakthroughs we need to for transformation to occur! We get to choose!

In the meantime...all there is to do is have fun with it all...' is magic!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

When One's Cup Runs Over!

A good friend gave me this cup recently. The word that runs around the top says Integrity. Her reasoning for the gift was that this word comes up whenever she thinks of me and the personal training and development work that I do. It is a word I hold dear and I was very touched at the gesture.

Integrity is a funny word. I grew up with a different definition of it than I have today. That definition was filled with judgements of right and wrong, assessments and memories of not ever quite able to measure up. That definition allowed little love to flow and no one could ever have felt honored or heavens forbid, able to make a mistake!

Many if my clients in my marketing company speak of how the company has much integrity. Sometimes I wonder under which definition I hear the assessment and at other times I have to invent or create from make up how I am hearing what is being said to let it into my heart!

These past few months have had me embracing and wanting to run from the practices of what this word invokes. Everyone from others to myself have called my integrity into question from many moralistic perspectives! In those moments, I have to root myself to the earth and remember I may not be what is being spoken. I have to look at whether there are embellishments, projections and how others see me. I have definitely learned the fine art of granting grace and forgiveness for some of what I have heard! Funny...having integrity means you can grant those! Interesting! Forgiveness nor grace can be fully granted if one is coming from a moral perspective. Otherwise one is just full of crap.

I love the definition I have been swimming in for the past several months in my Power and Contribution Course with Landmark Education. It is simple though not easy. the definition is loving and gives room for one's human capacities, strengths and weaknesses. It grants forgiveness for mistakes and the ability to clear up communications when the opportunity presents itself. It allows one to determine what is within one's personal integrity and not how someone else thinks you should be. There are no woulda's, coulda's, shoulda's because if I am standing there, there is no accountability. A man who led one of my courses once said if there is blame, shame or upset, you are not being accountable for something. Okay! I understand that! If I am standing in the idea that I create my life, there is just owning self. And for me most importantly, I get to determine and own who I will be. That is all I really can own!

INTEGRITY....Hmmm??? The definition I work with now knowing there is no perfection to be had in it all. Integrity is a practice. Sometimes one practices and fails. So let's see what the definition I use is...."Nothing hidden, being truthful and honest. Doing complete work, working from an empowering context. Doing very well what you do. Doing it as it was meant to be done or better, and without cutting corners." Okay...well this part seems pretty straight forward most of the time. Boy oh boy though....the part that gets me a fair amount it holding it all in an empowering context! How can one mess up and be empowered by it! LOL! Now that is where I am training and developing myself!

In other terms....Integrity is Honoring One's Word! Not like a moral judgment however. Like "doing what you know to do. Doing what you said you would do and on time." Okay....I get this part!

Now here is another part I get stuck in...."doing what others could expect you would to do even if you haven't said you would do it." Now...I am not a mind reader! How the heck do I know what others expect??????? Hmmm???????? Pondering this one. I kind of get it and damn...I feel I fail everyone in this section! LOL!

"and saying when you are not doing this as soon as you realize you won't be doing it or won't be doing it on time." Got this part too. I can let you know when I can't get it cone and remake a promise!

So what do I do with the areas I am not good at....PRACTICE! FAIL! PRACTICE! FAIL! and you know what else....Hold it in an empowering context!

No one has 100% integrity. No one! But when one practices it, stands in it, holds it like a beautiful possibility to live life in, incredible things happen in life! Magic happens! Abundance happens! Love happens!

So why might all of this occur??? Because there is room for all of who we are as human beings to flow, live, dance and play! We can be alive in the possibility of life not being handled but being one incredible journey unfolding moment by moment!

So....PRACTICE! My next posts will be about ways to practice and some practices to put into place I have discovered!