Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Bigger The Fall, The Bigger The Bounce

Every year I write The Thanksgiving List and call my closest friends and tell them specifically why I am thankful for them that year. After Thanksgiving I do another sort of list- one about me; what I'm thankful for about myself. This year it includes realizing how far I've come since the sucky summer of 2002. It really struck me when I was having dinner with one of my best friends the week before Thanksgiving and we got into a deep conversation about how our lives are so different then what we expected 10 years ago. It was a great evening, one where you are listening and laughing and inspired by the fact we're old and wise enough to have a real adult conversation.

When we were saying our goodnights she was giving me a compliment that she wouldn't have made it through her ugly divorce if I hadn't been so supportive and great with her. I took the compliment in but then found myself realizing I wouldn't have been able to impart such wisdom (all modesty aside) if I hadn't already gone through rough times in my own life. Only because I've had such a big fall do I know it's possible to bounce back even bigger and better.

When you believe in the power of the bounce you do not fear failure the same. I am in no way encouraging the Universe to send me more shitty times, but I know I wouldn't be the same person without living thru the ones that have crossed my path. When you lose the person you loved most in your life, at least you know you are capable of big love. When you leave the job you once let define you, you know you are more then what your business card says you are. When you face financial challenges, you know what is really valuable to you. When you see your path and know you are headed in the right direction, you have compassion for those who haven't found theirs yet.

The only way to lose in life is to never make a move and stay stuck. Because if you play and fall, no worries, lean into the bounce and keep your eyes open for an even better place to land.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are You Living A BIG Enough Life?

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, valuable, but small. And sometimes I wonder... do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave?
I love this quote from You've Got Mail. If you weren't listening closely you might have even missed this gem; it is not a huge scene in the movie but boy is it a golden nugget. Do we live small lives because we like them or because we haven't been brave? 

I know for myself I haven't been brave enough to live my biggest life. Deep down I know I need to be braver and bolder and more daring in almost every aspect of my life. The weather this time of year is a reminder of how nice it is to be cozy and tucked into our comfortable homes and lives. But is that the way we want to spend our life?

Ponder: Do we let ourselves be fully expressed? Do we say how we feel? Do we love with full abandon? Do we take the adventures we long for? Or the biggie: Do we live out our dreams?

My guess is that for most of us that would be a big fat NO. Well what are we waiting for? How dare we not live up to all our greatness?

I know when you have kids or a demanding job- or both- the time, money and energy factors are obvious convenient excuses. But really, what is a better example to our children, co-workers, family and friends then to be living a big bold life?!

Having lost people I loved when they were in their prime- or whenever I attend a wake/funeral- I often remind myself how lucky I am to be alive and there is no real obstacles in life just different paths to get us there. But I continually give up that inspiration for the comfort of complacency and smallness (yes, I get irony of my last post being about my height hugeness).

Well, I -and by this I mean you too- don't have time to waste. Life isn't guaranteed as it is, so we better get cracking. For starters I am going to commit to not saying no to anything just because I am afraid. I will take the fear on that lives only in my mind (this means no lion taming but any mental fear) and say fuck you fear!

Anyone with me? How big of a life do you want to take on? What can I do to support you? And this is not because I am nice, but because I might need your big brave shoulders down the line :)

Wishing you a big HUMONGOUS life, and one for me too!

June 26, 2012: Dedicated to Nora Ephron who lived a BIG (and valuable) life! ... RIP

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Is Your Vibe More King Kong or Koala?

                                          King Kong                         Cuddly Koala

I am 5 11 1/2 and so not only am I taller than the vast majority of women but taller then most men too. The funny thing is when I am by myself I completely forget this fact. When you only have yourself to compare to you are the standard, you are the norm, you are what you say you are. So if you asked me how I picture myself, I would say I'm cute and cuddly like a koala bear. And even when I am with other people and realize my height I mostly still feel this is the vibe I give off.

Yet sometimes I forget how to others, and depending on situations, I can be more like King Kong. And if you don't know me not just my height but my personality, wit, and enthusiasm are often BIG. And I will admit if I am mad or feeling annoyed my anger and sarcasm can be just as big. Most of the time I love living in a world were I can be "looked up to" and heard... but in certain situations I know I intimidate some people. You'd think that our comments would be the same as if said by anyone else. Not so. Recently one of my good friends, who is a tiny power house, shared that even though she is a petite 5 2ish she can tell when her energy is giving off a bullying vibe. So it isn't just our height that gives off a dominating energy, there are several factors that mix including force of personality, our tone, how our body moves, etc.

When I was a kid I hated when my Mom bugged me about standing up straight. But as an adult I am so grateful she did because I think our posture and how we carry ourselves really makes a difference in how we feel and how others perceive us. Recently I was producing an interview conducted by author Tahl Raz with non-verbal behavior expert Joe Navarro and one of the things that really stuck out was him talking about how the energy we give off really speaks volumes more then anything we say. He used an example in customer service and the difference between when you can tell if someone greets you with real enthusiasm or is just blahly doing their job. Even without saying a word if someone faces you, gets up, walks briskly over, and then warmly greets you with a smile it makes a huge difference.

The eye contact, posture, tone of voice, pace we move... everything that our body signals to others is part of our communication. Just the other night on Oprah's Lifeclass she was talking about the same thing in a different context. She was recalling when Toni Morrison was sharing the important question: do your eyes light up when your child walks in the room? Our loves, our customers, our fellow human beings all react to the energy we bring to a space. People, especially children, notice if we notice them. What energy do you emit? Notice what you bring to the room first, and then what energy you leave people you encounter with. Are you engaged with them, bored, hyper, intimidating, flirty, hostile, relaxed, charming? If it's not what you thought it was, or intended- you have the power to change your energy.
Get going and give off some good vibes today :)