Archive for October, 2009

Month Journal Entry from Maria – October

October 30, 2009

October has been a month of connections and happy, unexpected opportunities. I had the great honor of being able to spend a little quality time with Greg Reid, author of “Three Feet From Gold” recently.  He reminded me of the power of persistence.  Especially in these economic times!  I had to ask myself – where are you stopping short?  Are you willing to give up just three feet from YOUR gold? Now that’s something to ponder! It’s truly worth it to consider this and make the necessary adjustments going into the new year – starting with newfound conviction and focus.

Additionally, I had a very interesting and unexpected conversation with powerhouse Les Brown last week.  It’s an amazing thing when the Universe sends these little unexpected gifts.  The question usually is “Are you really ready to speak your truth?  Oh yeah? Well go girl go, he’s right in front of you!” And so I did!  But more than anything the point I want to share with you about this surprise encounter were his words to me.  “Maria, it is my honor and a blessing to be in your presence”. So I ask you this….do you feel that way when you are with others?  Do you and can you express that level of generosity to others you know and those you don’t each and every day? I was so touched by his level of wealth.  Yes, that IS a version of true wealth! The ability to acknowledge, to see and recognize another human being is so precious and generous.  We keep forgetting that wealth goes beyond money, dinero and cash.

Now, dove tail into spending a day in Caroline Myss’ workshop here in NYC at the Jacob Javits Center.  I just love Caroline!  She’s been my constant teacher and inspiration for the past 13 or more years.  There were so many amazing things that came from that experience. Going back to an earlier work – “Invisible Acts of Power” she reminded all of us that random, discreet acts of kindness and generosity cost nothing. Absolutely nothing.  There is no need for fan fare or a 3 piece band to herald in your “niceness”. (By the way, I consider this to be the handbook for being a human being.  So if you haven’t read it, please do!) It is your duty as a participant in this human race to touch others; in words, deeds and/or gestures. That’s exactly what people like Les Brown and Greg Reid have done for me this month.

My last musing for this month is simply this.

Am I perfect at being kind and generous all the time?  Not a chance!

I didn’t much like it or feel exceptionally kind when someone hopped into the cab ahead of me that I hailed the other day during a rainstorm.  My words and thoughts were not “nice”. In truth they were quite colorful shall we say.  But…I’m learning, growing and changing.  Just like you.

Don’t give up!

You’re only three feet from your own vein of gold!

Smart Leaders Honor Their Teachers: No Matter What!

October 8, 2009

Any smart and savvy leader knows that they cannot and did not achieve their success alone.  Yes, they usually have a team behind them.  That team must be phenomenal; motivated and laser like focused to achieve.  But today, I want to take this a different route. 

A leader does not become a great leader without the tutelage and guidance of the teachers they have had in their lives.  Too often previous teachers are treated as if they were old model T-Fords that have been discarded and left in the side of the driveway.  Little regard is shown while the newest model or teacher; all bright and shiny captures attention and garners accolades.

I’ve heard many people talk about their past teachers with disgust and distain blaming them for their mistakes and lack of success.  The comments range from quite personal attacks on their character, morality or physical stature.  To deep seeded resentments of feeling abandoned or left behind.

What is important to know is that each teacher; no matter if the experience was perceived as good or bad was placed in your life for you to learn a specific lesson.  Some of those lessons are technical:  systems, methods or operational techniques.  Other times they are lessons of integrity, personal power or spiritual connection and responsibility.  In other circumstances they can be lessons in what you need to resolve within yourself. Let’s face it, most of the time it’s the last one.  Which is the part many people don’t want to deal with.

The avenues and options for learning are limitless when you really think about it.  Each person has a customized curriculum for learning; of which they are usually completely not aware.  So the experience is highly individualized.

In “Awakening the Mind, Lightening the Heart” the Dalai Lama tells us that you are never to become angry with your teachers.  It represents the highest form of arrogance and disrespect.  These are very serious conditions and emotions.

I would like to offer a way to reframe something that may have occurred for you in one of these special relationships in your life. 

  1. First, not every teacher will or can fulfill all your requirements.  It is unreasonable for you to believe they can.  And it actually doesn’t matter why.
  2. Second, often times what you have been taught becomes foundational – so you may not see fruit “YET” but over time it will come in one way or another. 
  3. Third, when you cannot see what the lesson is on an emotional or spiritual level, wait for it.  Eventually it will be revealed to you.  But to do so, you must drop your resentments and anger to see what that truth is in your life.

Smart leaders honor their teachers no matter what.  They drop their need to make them “wrong” or “less than” and appreciate whatever has been taught via that relationship.

For me personally, I would like to take a moment to honor some of the teachers who have helped me to be here today. Not one of these people is perfect.  Not one of them could possibly give me ALL the ingredients I needed to unlock who I am or who I will continue to grown into.

In sharing this list; I am attempting to show you how they actually become an interlocking puzzle pieces that make up the whole.  And I will admit to you, that some of these lessons were QUITE painful until I stopped resisting.

  • Martha – who has helped me to learn to surrender and be courageous.
  • Caroline – who showed me that being brass and a bit ballsy on stage isn’t a bad thing!  It’s just the truth of who I am.
  • Donna – who showed me that you can actually be feminine and powerful in business. They are not exclusive.
  • David – who showed me what my true potential is and to trust myself no matter what
  • Marianne – who taught me that love is the baseline for ALL healing, change and shift in the world.
  • Liz – who helped me find my voice in my business
  • Stephanie – who helped me realize great stories, my stories, are my greatest teaching vehicle.
  • Ed – who told me to stop taking like a “coach” and express myself more authentically in the world (insert Texas accent here)
  • My father – who has taught me patience, acceptance and compassion for everything in my life
  • My mother – who taught me that it’s ok to be different than everyone else- and how to make a mean pot of spaghetti sauce! : D
  • And many many others!
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