Our current society is based on one and then the masses. There are rating systems, popularity contests, gurus and their followers. The culture has taught us to doubt ourselves and to look for answers and expertise outside of ourselves. We believe that there is just one top position and that is what we should strive and fight for. Our belief is that we need someone else to tell us how things work or that we are worthy. We have lost trust in our self and our self-knowledge.
Feminine Leadership is a style and a viewpoint. It is not anti-men. It is not part of any religion or belief system. Feminine Leadership is new, or actually, an old way to approach the world. Feminine Leadership teaches us to know our internal power release our need and desire for ratings. This style of leadership helps us to come back in touch with our strength, inherent power, and unique talents. In trusting ourselves and expressing our unique voice, we can then be a more collaborative society. We would stop competing on one aspect and would instead learn to recognize and respect our unique gifs and how they come together for the whole.
Eliana Gilad has been learning to trust her inherent power for more than 20 years. The columniation of her learnings will be a series of books called Miriam’s Secret based on the biblical figure who prophesized Moses’ birth. In the first book, Revealing the Ancient Wisdom of Feminine Leadership, Eliana explores what Feminine Leadership is and how all of us, men and women, can benefit from this point of view.
For years, Eliana has focused on Voices of Eden which is a living experiment to connect and express our inner voices. In uncovering, releasing, embracing, and sharing our unique voices we can come together. Through Voices of Eden and her books, Eliana helps us to reconnect with that inner knowing, with the intuition we were born with and to learn how to use it to make our lives more joyful and free.
Listen in to this eye-opening discussion and learn how it can change how you see the world.
As a recovering Type-A, it is unfortunately easy for me to give 110% to a project I believe in. Which is fine when it is short term, but lately I have become involved in a project which has given me the opportunity to work ten hour days, seven days a week and I don’t see this changing any time in the near future. Initially I noticed a lot of my old Type-A issues coming back, being short with others, being frustrated when things didn’t move as quickly or easily as I wished, and being overwhelmed by the enormous number of projects and tasks. It made me wonder if I should be involved. But then I realized it was not a matter of being involved or not. It was a matter of determining how I was involved.
In the past I would have become caught up in the chaos and stress of the situation. This time I realized this opportunity to be a true test of all I have learned and preached over the last few years. Could I be the eye of the storm? Instead of being caught up in the chaos around me, could I keep my calm, patient focus? For the last few years I learned to be calm and flexible in my coaching business. I learned to adapt to changing schedules. I learned patience for my clients’ differing rates of growth. I ensured I had sufficient Melissa time throughout the week to protect my health. Now I am excited at the opportunity to maintain that easy-going way while I am in the midst of a whirlwind of activities.
If you read The Power to Choose Joy post, you know that everything is a choice. Right now I can’t always choose what needs to get done, when it needs to get done, or how much needs to get done, but I can choose how and if I complete tasks. Most importantly I can choose how I perceive the work that needs to be done. I can use words like overwhelming and stressful. Or I can choose to see this time as exciting and growing. I can allow my dedication to the project to take away from my personal health or I can choose to find ways to maintain healthy de-stressing habits throughout my day.
There are three secrets helping me through this time. First is awareness. I need to be aware of how I am feeling and thinking. When we are busy it is easy to not be consciously aware of our experience. Awareness needs to be a priority. Second is choice. Stress usually comes from a feeling of powerlessness and being the victim. When I become aware that I am stressed, I find out what I am feeling the victim of and choose an action or new belief which will stop the feeling of powerlessness. Finally and powerfully, is releasing focus on outcome. I want the project I am in to succeed but I am not focusing on the results of this week, month or year. I am not focusing on how a specific project or task may or may not turn out. Instead, I am focused at doing the task at hand joyfully and to the best of my ability. I trust that things will be completed when and how is best to move us forward and release any of my or others’ expectations of the “right” way or timing. Want to release your stress right now? Stop focusing on the what-ifs and how will this turn out, and instead focus on the task at hand.
Look at your own business or the company you work for. What are you days like? How do you feel throughout the day? Are you taking the time to be aware of how you are feeling? Are you choosing the best experience for you? Are you focused on outcome or the experience? Try to be aware, choosing joy, and focusing on the moment and see how your workday, and your success, improves.
There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle. – Albert Einstein
I love the coincidences of the universe. These coincidences may seem random and unconnected but eventually if one puts the pieces together great insight and support can be found in these coincidences. The coincidences I am talking about are the times when we say, “Isn’t that weird?” or “What are the chances?” or “Wasn’t it lucky this happened?” Over the years I learned that these are not coincidences but Spectacularly Perfect Events (SPE) as I call them, sent to guide us down the right path. My recent SPE involved a giraffe.
As some of you might know, I had a life changing experience in Peru working with a shaman (native healer). I learned that shamanic practices can be a great way for me to access my unconscious when I am stuck, and a great way to find release. Over the last few months there has been a lot of transition for me and I was at a point where I needed some additional guidance and insight. I was referred to Kathleen Rude, a local shamanic practitioner. In working together, she said there were three animals guiding me right now. One was the giraffe.
There are many symbolic messages from the giraffe. At first, I thought the giraffe’s message for me was my ability to have higher perceptions, a higher vision if you will. But there are two other symbolic messages from the giraffe. One is tied to communication. The power of the giraffe’s neck symbolizes strength in one’s own voice and words, while the length of the giraffe’s tongue symbolizes the ability to speak eloquently. The other message is how the giraffe’s long neck symbolizes taking a risk by sticking one’s neck out. Telling the giraffe story is, in itself, utilizing the symbolism of the giraffe as it is trying to write clearly about my experience and also a big risk for me to share it. I thought the giraffe’s message was encouragement for my writing and the book I have been trying to complete, but it took me somewhere else.
Last month’s I Hate Sales! blog was inspired by a chat with Robert Terson. In that meeting, he inspired me to pick up the phone and actively connect with previous clients in order to generate more referrals. This is a challenge for me. I don’t want to feel I am harassing anyone. I love to receive referrals but I assumed they would all come on their own. Together we found ways to ethically and comfortably reconnect with my clients and contacts. As I walked to my car after the meeting, sitting comfortably on the dashboard of the car next to mine was a stuffed giraffe. I took this SPE to mean, yes now is the time to stick my neck out. Now is the time to proactively reconnect. Robert’s suggestions and advice were something I should pursue.
But I think my version of sticking my neck out and the universe’s was different. I did start incorporating some reconnection and outreach work, but I did ninety-nine percent of it while hiding behind a computer. I was still stuck in the “I don’t want to bug anybody” syndrome. In the meantime, I looked into resurrecting my book and finding ways to create online programs. But these did not move smoothly. I didn’t have any energy to give them. I didn’t have clarity about how these projects would actually improve my practice. I felt they were things I had to do and I felt stuck. I was using logic and fear instead of using my intuition and it was holding me back.
Luckily I reconnected with author and sales guru, Stacia Skinner. After catching up, she generously talked to me about the need for sales calls. The passive receptivity of the internet has blocked us from one-on-one connection, that connection which is the foundation of coaching work. Picking up where Robert left off, she walked me through ethical and focused sales scripts I can use to make true connections with prospective clients. What I noticed is that although the idea of cold calls were historically terrifying to me, I felt more energy rush into the idea of making the calls than I had in the past four weeks of trying to write my book. The energy was here. The resistance was to projects I was using to block my direct connection with my tribe. I felt in the flow when I thought of actually authentically and directly reaching out to these individuals. To confirm I was headed in the right direction, the giraffe appeared at the end of my conversation with Stacia. I told her about the side business my husband and I created whose mascot just happens to be a giraffe. We decided on the mascot animal months before he appeared in my shamanic experience, showing he was already at work before I knew it. The journey of my giraffe-centered SPE was directing me to the next step for my business, giving me the strength to risk sticking my neck out, and helping me get back into the energetic flow.
Where are you feeling stuck? What do you feel you need to do but just can’t seem to put the energy behind it? What Spectacularly Perfect Events are pointing you in a different direction?
It seems many business success stories are told the same way. The story starts at the pivotal point where the right investor, economic issue, resource, or other element pops into place launching a billion dollar business idea. If I were to share my friend Camilo’s story this way, it would start out: From out of nowhere, Camilo Ferro received a call asking him to join fifteen other Linked In users in San Francisco to meet President Obama. A few days later he was shaking the President’s hand. This chance meeting soon opened doors of which Camilo could only dream. Pretty amazing story, huh? And it is true. But when success stories are told this way, it can often lead other entrepreneurs to doubt themselves, doubt their business model, and wonder what they are doing wrong. Why are these chance meetings and incredible opportunities not coming to them? The problem is not with the entrepreneurs. The problem is with how the story is told.
Camilo’s story is amazing and true, but it is much more than a single pivotal point. What I think is the truly amazing part of his story is how for the past four years he has move forward with a new business concept even when progress was slow and resources were thin. His story is one of passion and persistence, belief and determination. His story is one that I believe can uplift other entrepreneurs who may be currently experiencing a lull or setback.
It is November 2008. The economy is in a downturn. Just two years out of college Camilo has already experienced the collapse of one company and is in the midst of watching another closing its doors. His car is going to be repossessed so he is rushing to move his things to a new apartment he can afford on his unstable income. He asks a friend for a plastic bag to put his cooking pots into for the move. As she hands Camilo the bag, he thinks about how bad these bags are for the environment but how frequently we use them. Then two thoughts strike him. First, could the bags be made out of more environmentally friendly compostable material? And second, if these bags are reused so frequently, if are viewed multiple times, why hadn’t anyone ever thought of advertising on them? That evening Camilo sits down and writes a letter outlining the concept behind The Plastic Bag Solution and having heard it was a way to ensure ownership of a concept, he mails the letter to himself.
Then nothing happened for six months.
In the meantime, there is a lot going on in Camilo’s life, the closing of a business, looking for a full-time sales position, working as a server at Gino’s East, and trying to pull himself out of the financial hole he is in. But absolutely nothing happens to The Plastic Bag Solution concept until May of 2009 when he resurrects the idea and contacts a patent attorney. Then nothing happens for another six months as once again, his focus is placed on trying to make a living. 2010 starts and a website is finally born. It is the first tangible expression of The Plastic Bag Solution. A few months later he had the first meeting with a supermarket chain, but nothing comes of it. April 2010 the first advertising client signs, while Camilo works full-time as membership sales for an athletic club. December 2010 Camilo loses his sales position and instead of trying to find a new job, he takes the risk to focus on The Plastic Bag Solution full-time. This is a difficult choice as it means no income and no health insurance. But there is no question in his mind that this is what he had to do. So two years after the concept, Camilo only has to show a website, one client, and no paychecks. It is another nine months later, almost three years after the initial idea, that he receives the call from Linked In. But even the Linked In trip is not the fairy tale it appears to be. Although his airfare and hotel are paid for, Camilo has no suit and no money to buy one. He has to buy a suit and his meals using credit he doesn’t know how he is going to pay off.
Since that time, there has been progress and setbacks and amazing opportunities and delays. One day he spends his time making calls which are never returned. The next day he is flying to Washington to meet with Illinois Senate members and House Representatives. One day he is helping Chicago or Philadelphia write ordinances to ban plastic bags. The next day he is trying to find enough money to replace his bicycle, his mode of transportation, which has been stolen for a second time. Camilo admits it is a battle every morning between following his passion, his desire to help society change for the better, and his desire to have a steady safe income. For the last two years, his passion has won the battle. In talking to Camilo, I noticed a few themes which keep him moving forward.
Focus on your passion. I believe a pivotal change in Camilo’s business was when he decided to dedicate himself to the business full time. He took the risk of investing himself one-hundred percent into his passion. He released himself from distractions and focused solely on his dream.
Ask. One of Camilo’s strengths is the willingness to make calls, ask for help, and take risks. Not all of his efforts pay off, but without his willingness to reach out he would not have received free assistance to file his patent or seed money from friends. We do not receive what we do not ask for.
Follow the path wherever it leads. I have found the path to success is rarely a straight one and things rarely turn out as we expect them. Having an openness and trust to follow the path which aligns with our passion can eventually lead to big dividends.
My hope is in sharing Camilo’s story you can be inspired to follow your own passion, you can weather the ups and downs, and you two can make the difference you are meant to in the world.
My husband and I were lucky enough to take a few days off of work so we could have a relaxing cruise on the Chain of Lakes. One day we met up with a friend and his children. The kids wanted to go tubing behind the boat. My husband and our friend took turns driving the boat. I was named designated spotter. The spotter’s job is to watch those on the tube and let the driver know if they want to go faster, slower or stop, or if they fell in the water. The spotter is responsible for the safety and well-being of those on the tube.
If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you should know that I am a recovering Type-A. Part of being a Type-A is also a strong tendency to multitask. I am one of those people who talks on the phone while typing on the computer and also planning my next week’s worth of work. Another tendency for this recovering Type-A is the desire to help other and ensure every job is being handled correctly. Multitasking and sticking my nose into others’ jobs are not good skills when it comes to being a spotter. For the safety of the tubers, the spotter needs to be singularly focused on the tube, singularly focused on those riding the tube. This was a challenge for me.
When we first started out, I instantly became distracted by how the driver was driving, what the other boats were doing on the water, and what the other passengers were doing on our boat. My stress level went through the roof. But the safety of the tubers drew me back. If I was not watching them, no one else was. I relaxed into my sole task of watching those on the tube. I released any desire to try to control or be involved with the other things going on around me. That was not my responsibility or job. I had to trust the driver to do his best. I had to trust the other boaters to be courteous. I had to trust the other passengers to take care of themselves. Those were not my concerns. My one and only concern was the safety of the tubers.
This was a really amazing experience for me on many levels. I noticed how the distractions around me affected my ability to be a good spotter, and how releasing the other tasks to others freed me to do my job better. I learned how I needed to trust those around me to do their part. I needed to release the responsibility I felt for making the whole “project” work well and focus on ensuring that my part of the whole was executed as well as a I could. And I noticed how my stress level went to zero as I only did what I was meant to do.
Where in your business do you need to be more focused? What distractions do you need to release? What team members and partners do you need to trust more to handle their part? Where do you feel stressed and how can focus and trust lessen that stress?
Are you ready to release control and find power in being a Type-ME?