Start Before You Are Ready

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I just got back from spending a few days in Boston with my tribe of transformational coaches and creatives.  I’ve only been a Rockstar on a Mission since March and a Wildflower since September but I barely recognize the quiet, questioning version of me who wondered whether investing in these coaching communities could catapult me out of my comfort zone and into my contribution zone.

I know now it was the only thing that could.

I’ve spent years lost in cyberspace, investing in online programs that promised all kinds of incredible results from the comfort of my couch. I eagerly downloaded all the modules and organized them in binders and convinced myself that doing that was the same as doing the actual work.

It wasn’t.

You have to change out of your pajamas, take a shower, and get out and meet people if you intend to save the world. Because you just can’t do it in isolation.

The evening before I invested what seemed like my life’s savings to become a Rockstar, I cataloged every single program I had invested in for the last 30 years.  As impressive as this list was in length and depth, I became painfully aware that I’d kept most of those experiences and the wisdom they afforded locked in a virtual vault somewhere inside of me.

One I had apparently lost the combination to.

I realized my success could only come from cracking the code and sharing what was inside instead of keeping this treasure tucked away.

It also meant shedding the safety of my invisibility cloak and showing up in full Queen regalia, ready to Own My Throne.

As soon as I stepped into my Rockstar role, I began to crack the code. I gave myself one year to play full out with a group of others committed to doing the same.

We would leave no stone unturned as we dived deeply into the beliefs and stories surrounding our resistance, fears, and ability to move forward.

It hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t been pretty. And it certainly has not been for the faint of heart. It has taken a lot of time, money, and, in my case, airplane tickets to far away places.

But eight months into it, I’ve done things with my tribes that I could have never done on my own.  I’ve led my own Tapping Into Your Wellpower retreat, I’ve led tapping circles at other retreats, I’ve led my team on a scavenger hunt at the Natick Mall, and I’ve gone to the pyramids of Teotihuacan where I learned sacred ceremonies to harness air, water, earth, and fire. I have spread my message from coast to coast and met shamans, healers, artists, mentors, coaches, and collaborators of every kind.

I share this not to boast but to tell you if you want to change the world (by first changing yourself), you can.

You just can’t do it alone.

And frankly, why would you want to?

There are so many fascinating people who have done what you want to do.  Learn from them. Take advantage of the their vantage point – even if they are only a few steps ahead of you. Study what works and what doesn’t.  Give yourself the gift of their guidance even as you chart your own course.

And by all means, start before you are ready. You’ve heard me say this before but it’s worth repeating.

There will always be a hundred things you think you need to know or do or accomplish before you start.

You don’t.

You’re stalling.

You’re scared. Believe me, I know.

The truth is you can’t know or do or accomplish many of those things that loom large until you start. You can’t fully appreciate how Facebook Live works until you do a Facebook Live broadcast. You can’t know how you will host a retreat until you host a retreat. 

What do you want to do by when?

Set a date.

Tell the world.

Then get to work.

Let the goal pull you forward instead of allowing your fears to hold you back. Let the excitement of publicly committing to your goal burn through your fears and be the catalyst for taking easily executable action steps. These steps will help you establish a steady rhythm of fear-busting moves that combat analysis paralysis.

And let me share one more little secret.  Getting there can be as thrilling as arriving. It’s all about the journey, the climb, the road to redemption.

When I announced my Tapping Into Your Wellpower Retreat I had no idea who would come, how I would coordinate all the moving parts, or what I would offer as a follow-up.  I only knew I was committed to doing whatever it took to make it the best retreat I could.

Because I had enrolled in a Retreat Blueprint program, I had an idea of what was necessary to run a successful retreat. But because I had never actually run one myself, I had to become a marketing machine, an event planner, a customer service rep, and anything else that was required. As if by magic, becoming all that activated my super-powers.

Who you become along the way determines how deeply and richly you can celebrate once you reach your destination and how confidently you continue to move forward.

When my retreat went off without a hitch, I celebrated like it was 1999. And when no one was watching, I danced around my house to my favorite celebration song. And then I headed to Mexico to embark on a scary, new, life-changing adventure.

So please, as Goethe suggests, Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

I’d love to hear about the magic you are conjuring up. Please let me know in the comments below so I can cheer you on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whatever You Think You Can Do, Begin It!

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Our Tapping Into Your Wellpower Retreat is just 9 days away! I’m so excited to be spending a day at the Rickert Lodge in Bellevue with such fabulous new friends.

It takes courage to commit to spending a day doing a deep dive into those areas where most people are content to stay where it’s numbingly comfortable.

Up until now, I’ve attended retreats. Lots of them. This time I’ll be leading one.

It’s a gigantic leap but one I’ve been preparing for all summer.  I’m thrilled to put my spin on the lessons I’ve learned from hanging out with some of the best teachers in some the world’s most beautiful places.

I have grand plans to host future retreats in the places dearest to my heart like Santa Fe, St. George, and Monterey. But for my first go round, it makes sense to stay local and start small. I’ll get through 1 day and work my way up to a week.

I couldn’t ask for a lovelier setting than the Rickert Lodge in Bellevue, Iowa. It’s close to home but far enough away from my normal work environment that it feels like a get-away.

The biggest challenge has been to pick just one theme for the day. I remind myself it has taken me a lifetime to integrate the various teachings and experiences I’ve had.  As tempted as I may be to throw a little bit of a lot of things into the ring, the last thing I want to do is overwhelm someone coming to me in search of tranquility.

So I will teach something I love (tapping/EFT) that I know can make a profound difference in the lives of others in a very short time.

Today I said to a co-worker, “This is what it feels like to realize a dream.

And remarkably it feels like another day in paradise. A day where dozens of creative decisions and compromises must be made, people surprise or delight me, others challenge me, and the dogs still demand a walk. (Because they know the walk puts it all in perspective.)

This is the beauty of stepping into your well of power and owning your throne. It forces you to be a better version of yourself. Putting together this retreat has proven the Goethe quote to be true.

The moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, power and grace.”

All kinds of things came into alignment as soon as I committed to hold the retreat. I have become more of a business person than I ever thought possible for a creatively quirky individual. Incredibly, I now have a YouTube channel, an active Instagram account, and have done several FB Live segments.

Upleveling is oddly disorienting until you realize this is what you were born to do.  Then you understand that there really are no mistakes, just learning opportunities, and no matter how steep the learning curve, what’s on the other side is usually worth it.

Doing the necessary hard work is really the only way to appreciate the magnitude of what you are able to manifest.

There is still time for you to join me at the retreat. We have the perfect size group for this kind of transformational work (20 people), but there is always room for you if this speaks to your heart.

Contact me if you are interested in attending or would like to host an event of your own and need a little nudge to make it happen.  Click on the Retreat tab above for all the details.

 

Vision Quest

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The topic of today’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series is perspective.

Hopefully the Get Stuff Done & Have Fun 21 Day Challenge has prompted you to view what’s fun for you to do as something that’s also essential for you to do.

The 5-10 minutes it took to do something creative, thoughtful, or fun as part of your daily challenge most likely colored your whole day with a dollap of delight that just a few days ago you may have determined you didn’t have time for.

Think of all the joy you would have missed just last week alone!

By now you could be seven days into the challenge.  Even if you are only a day or two into it, how has challenging yourself changed your perspective?  What is possible for you now that you didn’t think was possible last week?

Here’s what I learned is possible for me.

I am smart enough to deal with IT issues by calling the help desk and patient enough to stay on the phone as long as it takes to resolve the issue. While this is anything but fun for me, it does give my inner geek a thrill to reconfigure my whole internet setup so that it runs faster and with less downtime. And there is a badge of honor that comes with surviving the on-hold hell of being transferred and re-routed and explaining your situation succinctly to each new agent.

Ironically, every time I uplevel my business or upgrade my skills, it’s as difficult as the first time. Sometimes, even more so because I assume I know what I’m getting into and the learning curve will be easier. But not having been at this level or having dealt with the difficulties that come with playing in a bigger arena, I can’t know what I don’t know until I’m faced with not knowing.

That’s where beginner’s mind is most helpful.

And tech support.

Since I got my first MacBook Pro in May, the Apple Care people have become my new BFFS. Yesterday is was the WordPress Happiness Engineers.  Today it was my foreign friends at Netgear who spent the morning teaching me about modems and routers and secret reset button that you press with a paper clip after entering a special code. (Not disclosed in the instructions.)  Tomorrow I suspect the people at Mail Chimp will be welcomed into the fold.

And what a curious fold it is!

“It takes a village” is all I can say.  To build a dream, create a life, find a tribe, or manifest a vision. It takes a pit crew. The kindness of strangers.  A treasure map. Some perspective. And a few good dogs snoring and farting freely at your feet.

Let me know in the comments below what you are dreaming up and how I might support you.

 

 

Rules of Engagement

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Today’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series topic – engagement – takes last week’s topic of Showing Up one step further. Because if you were at all impressed with what happened when you showed up and were present, you’ll be blown away by what happens when you show up and engage with others.

How many of you who are reading this – or any number of blogs – have left a comment? If you haven’t, what stops you?

  • You don’t want to take the time or go through the hassle of figuring out how to actually leave a comment?
  • You’re reading it from a location that doesn’t lend itself to responding?
  • You think you don’t have anything to share?
  • You assume other people will respond so you don’t need to?
  • You prefer to keep a low profile and keep your opinions private or anonymous?

I certainly have used every one of the above reasons for not engaging with someone whose insights have totally shifted my way of thinking, saved the day, rocked my world, or even irritated the heck out of me.  So I totally get it.

I once read a blog post that challenged readers to engage by essentially calling us out as a cyber-stalkers. A bit harsh? Maybe. But I had to admit, I could be a bit more involved in the communities I was claiming to be a part of.  I posted my first comment that day on that blog.

Carolyn See’s book, Making A Literary Life, hints at something similar. She suggests we write a “charming note” to someone we admire in the industry five days a week , every week, for the rest of our lives.

Now that’s a tall order, but I bet you can write a charming note, send a quick email,  leave an encouraging comment, or, at least very least, “like” something once a week.  Just this morning I responded enthusiastically to an email from someone who consistently sends out great content. It made me feel as good as it’s bound to make the recipient feel.

This easily executable action not only helps another person feel appreciated. It allows me to be seen as a player, a contributor, an influencer or expert in my field. I really cannot afford to miss an opportunity like this to engage.

But Penny,” you argue, “it’s easy for you. You do this all the time.”

Oh, not so.  I’m a strange mix of an extroverted introvert.

If I know my job is to be the Hostess with the Mostess, I will play the part with gusto. It does takes practice, however. And I’m going to need a long stretch of silence and solitude to recover from that enormous output of energy.

But I’ve learned this.

Until you’re all in, until you do that thing that you think you cannot possibly do, you’re never going to succeed – even on your own terms. Because your success depends upon you showing up and engaging with others as only you can.

You cannot hold back.  You have to put your whole self in. Whether you shake it all about is your business.

How do you do that?

Let me share what I call my Rules of Engagement:

  • Suit up.
  • Show up.
  • Share.

Until you apply these rules of engagement with other human beings, no one is going to see and respond to your light in the way you long to be seen, felt, or heard.

I guarantee this will make you feel vulnerable. So we’ll talk about how to work with your vulnerability in next week’s Sunday Summer Stretch Series.

In the meantime, let me know in the comments below (or send me an email at penny@wellpower.com if that feels safer) what you’d love to be – or already are – known for, seen as, or valued and respected for.

For example, I’d love to be known as the go-to expert in transformational coaching. I’d love to be valued as someone who *gets* you and helps you unleash that certain something that makes you, you!

Now it’s your turn.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

Also, head over to my YouTube Chanel, subscribe, and catch today’s video on Engagement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Through Discipline

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From fireworks to parades to hot dogs, apple pie, and baseball, many Americans will find a way in the next couple of days to celebrate the freedom this country was founded upon.

With the need to be free hardwired into our operating systems, it’s the rare person who willingly gives up that freedom without a compelling reason. Yet, to achieve almost anything worthwhile, sacrifice is usually required. At the very least, discipline is demanded.

Think about the last thing you wanted to learn, do, or achieve that you knew nothing about. Chances are you did not just do it and become an instant expert.

Say you want to get in shape to run a 5k race in October. If you’ve never run anything but late, then you’ll need a strategy, a training schedule, some dietary guidelines, and basic structure in order for your plan to succeed.

Too often we’re seduced by the idea of easy.

Now I’m all for things being easy, but the things that really matter usually do so because of the time, effort, and discipline required to call forth our commitment and courage. When we can conjure up those characteristics, then unlikely allies and opportunities also arise and ignite a spark we may not have even known was in us.

This summer and fall I am taking on a couple of things are way beyond my skill set. I’m making a video series called Sunday Summer Stretch Series (watch today’s episode here) and hosting a retreat in September called Tapping Into Your Wellpower. (Watch for details posted here this week.)

I refuse to let the fact that I currently don’t have the expertise I would prefer to have to boldly go where I have not gone before stop me from heading in that direction. I have traveled enough to know there will be rest stops, restaurants, and resources along the way. Consequently, I trust I will be okay.

If I let the reluctance to start because I have no guarantees I will succeed stop me, I’d never get anywhere. And, oh, the places I would like to go!!

To me freedom is always hard won. While I’ve never fought for my country as some of you have, I fight daily for my dreams and the privilege to help you realize yours as well.

I’d love to hear how you are not just celebrating your freedom, but finding it through discipline and exercising it by stretching your skill set this summer.

Tell us all about it in the comments below. (Accountability does wonders!)

 

 

 

The Learning Curve

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It’s that time of year when students of all ages are graduating on to bigger and better things. In my family alone, we have three graduations in as many weeks.

After a couple of decades of being out of school, my sister just completed her Master’s Degree in Student Leadership.  Her daughter is finishing her last week at SCAD and will be heading out to California to start her creative career with a hat maker. And my nephew just graduated from Illinois State University and is on his way to Wyoming with his girlfriend to experience a summer working at Yellowstone.

Oh, the thrill of the open road and a new chapter!

This is the promise of new beginnings. Anything is possible.

The reality is that new beginnings are available to us at any time, although we sometimes need a little pomp and circumstance before we’re officially ready to roll.

I prefer to start without the fanfare.

I tend to launch before I know what I’m getting into.

Because if I knew what would be required of me to do half the things I long to do, I’d never do them.

It’s too daunting.

The learning curve is too steep.

If I knew how ridiculous I would feel prior to feeling fabulous or smart or trendy, I would never conjure up the courage to connect or create in all the ways that really light me up.

If I knew how much time, energy, and effort would be required to learn something people half my age were born knowing, I’d be tempted to use the “I’m too old for this” excuse.

But it’s that attitude that ages us faster than anything else.

The thing is, before we can get there from here, we have to go through the I-have-no-idea-where-I-am-or-what-I’m-doing place.  No one talks about this place because once we get where we’re going and know what we’re doing, we often erase limbo land from our memory.

It’s human nature to want to forget our ineptitude or gloss over the obvious errors in our thinking or the epic failures we didn’t anticipate.

But these often make the most memorable stories and become the beginnings of our greatest adventures.

Countless success stories start with the adventure that went awry, the chance meeting that wouldn’t have happened if all had gone as planned, or the random recalculating of  an accepted hypothesis that resulted in a scientific breakthrough.

There is an urgency about getting to the Promised Land, wherever that may be. We want to start out making top dollar. We want to instantly become an internet sensation. We want everyone to know our name. We want to succeed in business without really trying.

But there is a necessary learning curve. This is that magical time when we are humbled and frustrated and overwhelmed and filled with uncertainty that’s only occasionally sprinkled with awe and amazement and enthusiasm about what’s possible.

It’s this grace period when we get to fly under the radar, make mistakes, and hone our craft before we get pummeled by public perception.

It’s when we realize how lucky we are not to have our dreams realized before they are fully formed.

I recently came across a book titled “What’s In The Way, Is The Way.”  This echoes the idea we’ve been tossing about in my coaching program that the life we’ve lived so far, with all its trials and tribulations, has provided the precise experiences we need to succeed.

Whatever impeded our journey informed our journey and placed us in the perfect position to offer the unique contributions we can today.

So, graduates, as you saddle up and ride off into the sunset, remember it’s the detours, flat tires, the missed turns and the learning curves they afford that hold the real gifts.

I have no doubt you will get to your Promised Land with the flair and finesse that only you possess. Just remember to embrace with grace the path that leads you there.

I’d love to hear what you are graduating from at this juncture in your life. Please leave your comments, insights, or advice for fellow graduates of all kinds in the comments below.

 

 

Do the Necessary Hard Work

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Although I love the sentiment behind the notion that if you conceive of an idea and believe in it, you can achieve it, putting it into practice is another matter entirely.

There are many things I’ve been attempting to do lately that I believe are possible.  I’m just not sure they are possible for me.  Take this whole video making business.

The software and other equipment involved in making cutting edge videos, tantalizing trailers, and professional promos seems to be widely available and easily accessible to the tech savvy segment of the population. I am not yet part of that population.

It’s not because I don’t want to be. When I attended the Blogher conference in San Jose a few years ago and was called a girl geek, I was secretly thrilled. While some guys might go to Jared or Tiffany’s to win the affection of their spouse, my guy goes to Best Buy and brings me home a MacBook Pro (another technological leap for this perpetual PC user).

I have the enthusiasm. I have a quirky kind of intellect. I even have the tools.  At this point I just can’t figure out how to make all these things come together in real life the way they do in my imagination.

But I will not give up. I am determined to figure this out. I vow to stay curious and open to new ways of doing what I love – even when I feel like I will never get the hang of it.

It took me 3 weeks to make this 3 minute video. I have 4 more in the wings, waiting for me to learn the technological wizardry required to resurrect them from the scrap heap.

As frustrating as it seems when I’m in the midst of any learning curve, when I emerge on the other side, I am ecstatic.

So to celebrate this small victory, I’ll share the next episode of  A Penny For Your Thoughts with you. I’d love for you to share your struggles – and especially your small victories – with me in the comments below.

Click here and it shall be revealed….

https://spark.adobe.com/video/OfNeMUAxDDsFd/embed