Can You Hear Yourself?

Can you hear yourself?

Or are there too many people, ideas, opinions and agendas roaming around in your head. I bet some are pretty loud. Even the ones that are not loud can be so persistent that it hurts.

So turn them all off.

Yup, every one of them. Your family, your work associates, your boss, your partner, your parents and your kids. Don’t forget to turn off the TV, the computer, the radio, the iPod, iPad, iPhone and iDistractions.

Are you with me? I thought so!

OK, so how do you do it?

Here is how: Stop. Sit. Breathe.

Do not be fooled by the simplicity. And do not be worried if all the noises don’t turn off right away.

But if you keep doing this, a little bit every day, one day without any effort or pressure or difficulty, you will find a moment of stillness. No noise, no one else.

And in that moment you will be able to truly, deeply hear yourself.

Start now.



Sometimes The Best Way To Teach Is To Get Out Of The Way

People often ask me to teach them how to meditate and so I always prefer to give simply the most basic instruction necessary.

In my classes, what I am doing instead of teaching how to meditate is giving you the opportunity to experience it. Holding the space to make it easier or even possible. And I think that counts for a lot.

It happened today when I was leading an Aikido class where a third of the class was made up of black belts who have been training for many years longer than me (talk about intimidating!)

Instead of trying to “teach” them something, I demonstrated a series of familiar techniques and created the opportunity for the experience of vigorous training.

All the students trained according to their own capabilities and the result was a tremendously satisfying class.

Often times when we are in charge of a situation, we feel inclined to instruct to such an extent that our words become a mandate.

This is especially true for me if the person that I am instructing happens to be my teenage daughter. I really really want her to get the information I am giving her so she can learn it already!

But just like the meditation classes and the Aikido class, my best teaching is not teaching at all. It is a thousand times more effective if I give her a few guidelines and hold the space for her to safely experience it on her own.

This is an exceptionally ripe opportunity for paying careful attention to what my intuition is telling me – often it is telling me to Stop Talking!

It can seem unproductive to only give the slightest amount of instruction, but in reality all the words in the world are not nearly as valuable as just doing it.

So maybe you have a situation in your life like that – a child, an employee, a co-worker or a student. Maybe instead of teaching them how to do something, just give them a few choice guidelines and lots and lots of space to safely explore, experiment and experience it for themselves.

Give it a try.


eatin’ da frog

One of the things I love in life is simplicity and effectiveness. When something starts even moving towards gettin’ complicated, I try to find a way to keep it simple. Maybe that means looking for a different way to do things or maybe that means breaking down the task into small manageable pieces.

So here is what I did the other day when I was feeling completely overwhelmed by all of my projects and demands.

I sat down and wrote out everything that needed to be done. Everything that was taxing the back of my mind as well as the little to-do tasks. Getting it out of swimming in my head and on to paper. (Yes, I still work primarily with pen and paper!)

That is the simple part.

For the effective part, I did a quick sort of what needed to be done now, next week, later and never – love those ones. And get on it.

Then here is the secret trick. What I call eatin’ da frog. I read a saying many years ago that I have never forgotten, “Eat a bullfrog first thing in then morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day!” hahaha

So my next list is the “frog” list. And yes, I write “Frog” at the top. This list is those handful of things I really really resist, hate, can’t face, can’t stand to do but know I must.

And I simply will myself forward to one, just one, of those things each day. That’s it. Simple. Effective.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!