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In my communication, courses and coaching you’ll always hear me talk about energy and it’s direct link to our potential and personal leadership. One of the inputs into our “system” that creates our energy is our senses—what we see, hear, smell, taste, etc. When we sense things we create awareness, and with continued awareness we create conscious living. Here’s the kicker…science proves to us that the more conscious we are the more likely we are to reach our full potential. That’s an equation I’m always interested in!

I’m sure you’ve had many unconscious moments daily, as we all do, like driving from point A to point B and not really remembering how you got there…what roads you took, etc. But, you know you got there, right? Well, the key to reaching our potential and living more purposefully is to slowly lessen the amount of time we are unconscious…just going through the motions.

Here’s a simple way to knock the senses back into your life…Pay Attention!

You can decide how you want to do this, but here are some easy examples.

  • Become very aware during your drive today. What is the temperature like? What kind of car is driving in front of you? Can you see the person driving through their rear view mirror? Are they male or female? Are there stickers on the car?
  • When you arrive to your location, who is the first person you see? Make eye contact with them and smile. Can you sense their mood by the tone of their voice, facial expression, movements or attire? How do you feel on this day? Are you excited to get your day going? Are you hungry, distracted, sad, happy, etc.?

Why would being aware of these things help us become good leaders? I’d love for you ponder this on your own, but here are some opportunities that may have shown up for you from this simple exercise…

  • If the car in front of you accidentally hit another motorist and took off you could be an eye witness and potentially help the victim.
  • If you noticed it was a bit cooler and you didn’t have a chance to look at the weather report, you might have run back in the house to grab a sweater for your child, protecting him/her from the on-coming cold front you didn’t know about.
  • If one of your employees was having a bad day, which you were able to sense by their eye contact and tone of voice, you could be a part of helping them to move forward positively in some way.
  • If you realized that you were not feeling excited about your day, you could take a few minutes to take personal responsibility for yourself and choose to shift your thoughts and emotions so that you could feel lighter and have a more successful day.

Living consciously is habit we can cultivate slowly, but the outcomes can be hugely impactful for ourselves and for those we lead.

I’d love to hear about your awareness aha moments! What opportunities showed up for you? Please write to me below. Sharing is caring!

It’s your life. Lead it well.

Namaste…Monique

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I love it when Spongebob gives me blogging content! It just so happens that this episode about the Magic Conch (or consciousness) is a fun way to teach kids (or anyone!) about awareness, tuning into positivity, and having unshakable belief!

Just yesterday my son and I were watching a program on TV about Einstein and how he seemed to be able to access other realms of possibility…a universal pool of ideas and opportunities available to all of us if we become open to receiving that knowledge (a.k.a., being more conscious!).  Certainly, the study of Einstein’s brain showed that he had significantly above average mathematical, visuospatial, imagery and synthesis abilities. But, for those of us with a more average brain, how do we help ourselves out? Can the “Magic Conch” help? 

Absolutely!

Many of you may have seen an image like the one below which depicts the tip of the iceberg we would see if we were cruising on very cold waters. What we normally wouldn’t see is the enormous iceberg which continues for miles below the tip, outside of our view or awareness. That’s a great representation as well of our consciousness (or Spongebob’s Magic Conch). We can only tap into its vast knowledge if we are aware of it.

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This Spongebob episode in particular provides a funny metaphor for problem solving and how the Magic Conch can help guide the way.

Spongebob’s Magic Conch takeaways…

  1. Get on the right frequency. Squidward represents the frequency of negativity or low consciousness (challenges).
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  2. Tap into the universal source–the 90% we don’t normally see (like the iceberg). The Magic Conch represents that “answer”; the frequency of high consciousness (solutions).
  3. Have unwavering trust and know you will receive what you need (info or resources).
    The Magic Conch said to Spongebob and Patrick “Do nothing; wait.” They did just that, happily, and the resources they needed just fell out from the sky! That’s how the universe works too.

I bet you can think of  a time when this has happened to you. Would you share it with me? 

I find that one of the best ways for me to access this pool of knowledge and inspiration is by going on a walk. Walking puts me on that high conscious frequency every time. I always get my best ideas that way. For others, their Magic Conch can represent meditating, praying, chanting, singing, running, or day dreaming.

What’s your Magic Conch?

Namaste,

Monique

Change S_ cks!

September 6, 2011

Change is good. Change happens. Expect change. Yada, yada, yada!!

Change sucks!!!

There, I said it, so you wouldn’t have to.  However, I would encourage you to say it just as passionately. It’s freeing! In fact, acknowledging change as “not always so great”, is probably the best first step to leaning into it and feeling more comfortable with it.

We talk about change all the time, yet when we need to make a critical change in our lives, it doesn’t feel good, or easy. Nor is it always obvious. Sometimes, the need to create change hits us like a tornado– completely unexpected. Most change happens around us daily, forcing us to shift ever so slightly or change our perspective in order to “deal” and keep living. But, when change effects us directly,  it’s down-right difficult, and sometimes very painful. Change is hard. And as we all know from past experiences, anything that causes us to grow is hard.

There are different types of change, and even the change that makes us tingle (the really good, exciting kind), causes us to connect to a place deep within that allows us to say good-bye to something or someone. Sometimes it is with a part of us (i.e., habit, career, relationship) that doesn’t serve us any longer. That departure can be bittersweet…both sad and exhilarating. With change we always expand, even if we don’t sense it.

We can deconstruct change for hours, as there are many kinds–both good and bad. But, since the average person has a negative view of change,  or simply feels uncomfortable enough to describe it negatively, I’m choosing to focus on the kind that truly tests us. It’s the monster that consistently shows its ugly head and laughs at us. Get me? The one that tells us “you’re never ready,” “you’re not strong,” “you’re not worth it,” “you’re comfortable”.  Let’s be clear about something…the monster sucks, not us! We can quiet that monster through our choices, however.

Some of the signals that show up time and again to advise us it may be time to make a change include sadness or depression, a feeling of not having any passion or purpose, frustration or anger, lack of energy or motivation, and/or exchanges with others that are not fulfilling, or creating happiness in our lives.

Here’s the thing, too…most of the time we know deep down the change must come, but we don’t want to face it. We agree with the ugly monster instead of feeling the fear and doing it anyway.

What is the worst change can bring us which we are already handling and experiencing?

How much longer are we willing to live without that foundation of joy, happiness and positive growth (if that’s the case)?

Here’s the next important thing…we always have a choice. We are making choices all the time. But, are we making them consciously?

We have a few choices to make when it comes to change. As long as we are consciously choosing one of them we are owning our decision. When we do this we are not powerless.

Our choices as I see them…

1. Choose to continue with things as they are. Here, we decide we are not ready to take any steps toward change. Tip: own your decision to do nothing and don’t feel badly about it. It’s okay sometimes to do nothing. There is still power in this decision. Here, we can keep our eyes and hearts in the moment and try to be open to new things; more positive things presenting themselves to us.

2. Choose to take small, calculated risks. Here, we are choosing to live higher up on the “shift” readiness scale. Tip: each week decide what small step you can take toward making the change happen. Don’t allow fear to get the best of you. Celebrate your successes; forgive the set-backs. 

3. Choose to go all out. This is Internal Armageddon! Here, we decide to become that person the monster fears. We look in the mirror and say, “Today I choose to own my power fully, take that bold step forward and deal with the consequences!” To be clear…this doesn’t necessarily mean we are making a huge change. It can be a very small one that has been extremely difficult to make. Change is different for each of us.  Tip: write down what you expect to happen and be ready for the unexpected. What scenarios have you not thought of? Draft a pact with yourself; date it, sign it, and stand by it!

Change is hard. Yes, it is. But, no matter what your choice, you can grow within your decision by continuing to be conscious about it. When the path is difficult we can journal, or have a conversation with a trusted friend, family member, therapist or coach. Even your pet can fill these shoes!

Change sucks…sometimes.

Here’s what I know for sure…living and choosing consciously softens the blow that is change and quiets that ugly monster within us.

As always, may you enjoy purpose in the process. 🙂

Namaste,

Monique

Projecting Happiness

May 12, 2011

It occurred to me today just how easy it is to project onto others our disappointment and unhappiness as well as blame and guilt. The sad part is that I saw how quickly it can happen without the slightest pause; mostly unconsciously.

Today it almost happened to me with my children. Scary! Yet at the same time it wasn’t scary because I cherish these moments of awakening. On an almost daily basis I speak with others about living consciously and understanding the patterns that we continue to live with. There’s no question that we pass along beliefs, expectations and our own patterns to others, especially those we are close with. Yet, if we make a concerted effort to see our patterns– our default tendencies, then we can stop the past from reliving itself in the future, from generation to generation.

Yeah, I know, you want me to tell you what awful thing I almost did, right? Okay, I’ll spill the beans.

This morning wasn’t the smoothest “get out of the door and off to school” morning. My son’s pants didn’t fit right (and we couldn’t find any others!), my hair wasn’t doing its thing, my daughter refused to stop watching SpongeBob to brush her teeth, my bacon caught fire in the microwave, and then my son topped it off by turning on his X Box when we should have already arrived at school. We were super late!

As is certain, however, they were both mad at me for rushing them and being “mean.” I should have been laughing, really, but I was seething in that moment deep inside. To make things worst, they wouldn’t even look at me or speak to me in the car.  Seriously???

I’m laughing now as I replay the entire scene in my head as it is the kind of classic example that I would give in one of my workshops. I was so angry, and I also was feeling sorry for myself. “How could my children treat me this way; I didn’t do anything. Poor me!” Interestingly enough, I’ve had similar mornings where this kind of scenario wouldn’t have phased me at all. Thankfully, the advisor in me spoke loudly inside before I spoke out to my children, potentially projecting the following, “How dare you be mad at me! What did I do to you? I should be the one ignoring both of you! You were both mean to me! etc….”

Scary, right? Yet doesn’t this happen all the time? What if I hadn’t had the uber conscious moment to understand what I was about to do and say to them? My projection would have taught them that it’s better to blame and make others feel guilty and sad instead of just dealing with my own emotions and shifting to higher, more productive thoughts…thoughts that would help the reactive emotions subside, ultimately not affecting my children and others in their path that day (or mine for that matter!).

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m human. I do project, probably more than I’m aware.  But what I know for sure is that being more conscious is a way of life; a way of life I am choosing to follow.  Challenging? Yes. But, worth the work.

I read this today which made me feel more secure in my desire to stop negative patterns from holding us back:

Your happiness does not depend on what others do, but only upon your own vibrational balance. And the happiness of others does not depend on you, but on their own vibrational balance, for the way anyone feels, in any moment, is only about their own mix of energies.

More on this concept of happiness and what we can both internalize and project onto others…

The greatest gift that you could ever give to another is your own happiness, for when you are in a state of joy or happiness or appreciation, you are fully connected to positive Source energy that is truly who you are. And when you are in that state of connection, anything or anyone that you are holding as your object of attention benefits from your attention.

What if you can’t choose happiness in that moment?

Well, then, do the next best thing:

  1. Be AWARE of your emotions
  2. ACCEPT them for what they are (Your own mix of energies!)
  3. CHOOSE to not project them onto anyone

When you feel ready to shift, tap into the happiness in the new moment, for each moment provides us with an opportunity to feel different and great.

What might you be projecting?

Stop the pattern.

Namaste,

Monique

Are you caging yourself or being caged?

The second half of The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon gives us some great food for thought. I enjoy the metaphors sprinkled throughout the book, because they help to create a visual that can act as cues to remind us of when shifting our energy (or removing ourselves from negative environments) is essential.

Since Halloween is drawing near, I decided that I would use the months of September and October to practice ridding my inner and outer surroundings of the “negative dogs” and the “energy vampires.” By the time October 31st comes around I’ll be ready to celebrate the success of this challenge.

Truth be told, however, we don’t need an occasion like Halloween to practice these techniques. The dogs and vampires surround us daily, and relinquishing them of their power on a daily basis is where the mastery lies.

So, what’s all this dog talk? Here’s the story from The Energy Bus.

“A man goes to the village to visit the wise man and he says to the wise man, ‘I feel like there are two dogs inside me. One dog is the positive, loving, kind and gentle dog and then I have this angry, mean-spirited, and negative dog and they fight all the time. I don’t know which is going to win!’ The wise man thinks for a moment and he says, ‘I know which is going to win. The one you feed the most, so feed the positive dog.’”

We all have those voices inside barking at us all day. Which one is more productive and energy building, and which one makes us foam at the mouth (practically!) and sends people running in the other direction? I bet I don’t have to answer the question. It’s kind of scary to see yourself as a dog on attack, but many times that’s exactly how we act toward ourselves and others. Yikes! So, let’s heed the wise man’s advice and FEED THE POSITIVE DOG!

Joy, the super positive Energy Bus-Driver also refers to another creature we need to watch out for. She explains:

“I call the people who drain your energy Energy Vampires and they will suck the life out of you and your goals and vision if you let them. They will cause an engine leak, make your ride miserable, or even worse slash your tires.”

I never thought of these “energy suckers” as vampires before, but the visual is very powerful. We all know who these people are, don’t we? Sometimes we call them Debbie Downers, or Sore Losers, Wet Towels, Buzz Kills, etc. Humorous, yes, but true. When we are in our “flow” and feeling great, one of these vampires comes along and drains us of our energy through his/her complaints, accusations, depression, etc. Sometimes, we are the vampires. Yes, looking in the mirror often can be enlightening. We all have a shadow side and many of the things we see in others that make us feel uncomfortable are the very things we do to others unconsciously.

So, how do we not become the negative dog or energy vampires, and how do we avoid getting the energy sucked out of us from other negative dogs and energy vampires?

One way is to increase our self awareness, or consciousness. Take your dog on a walk; WALK THE TALK. Here’s what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of FLOW: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, has to say about leading your energy through consciousness:

“A person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside,’ just by changing the contents of consciousness. We all know individuals who can transform hopeless situations into challenges to be overcome, just through the force of their personalities. This ability to persevere despite obstacles and setbacks is the quality people most admire in others, and justly so; it is probably the most important trait not only for succeeding in life, but for enjoying it as well. To develop this trait, one must find ways to order consciousness so as to be in control of feelings and thoughts.”

He also said:

“But no social change can come until the consciousness of individuals is changed first. When a young man asked Carlyle how he should go about reforming the world, Carlyle answered, ‘Reform yourself. That way there will be one less rascal in the world.’ The advice is still valid. Those who try to make life better for everyone without having learned to control their own lives first usually end up making things worse all around.”

Yes, folks, it all starts with us.

And, Joy, our super positive Energy Bus driver tells us that these are the final rules to creating our Energy Bus (continued from my last blog):

6. Post a Sign That Says No Energy Vampires Allowed on Your Bus. That’s right, just don’t let them in! Tell them to stay away. And, if you are the vampire, you’ve got some work to do.

7. Enthusiasm Attracts More Passengers and Energizes Them During the Ride. Do you want to be on the Debbie Downer bus or the Bob the Builder bus?

8. Love Your Passengers. The heart acts as an emotional conductor and radiates how you are feeling to every cell in the body via the heart’s electromagnetic field; this energy field can be detected up to 5 to 10 feet away. What are you attracting? Do you want to attract love or fear?

9. Drive with Purpose. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get to where you need to go? Drive your bus with purpose daily and more people will come along for the ride.

10. Have Fun and Enjoy the Ride. In the end, isn’t this what life’s all about?

No Energy Vampires Allowed!

More and more, what matters to me is enjoying the process, not the end result. Finding joy and living energetically in the moment can provide us with millions of meaningful moments along our journey.

While common sensical, The Energy Bus provides us a story that we can relate to. We encounter individuals on a daily basis who have either given up, or who are fighting way too hard. Sometimes, we, ourselves, are those people. Author, Jon Gordon, gives us 10 simple steps to gain more control of our lives, raise our energy, live with heart, and allow the flow of life to bring us joy again.

We can choose to be energetic and happy. The choice always begins with us.

Halloween doesn’t need to be every day. That’s really scary! Let’s get rid of those nasty dogs and vampires and get a move on!

Enjoy your ride!

Monique

My Relaxed Book Club will discuss selections from books I feel help high-achieving professionals continue to develop themselves and work on their personal leadership leading to more fulfilled, balanced and successful lives and careers.