Archive for January, 2010

Gifts from Unexpected People & Places!

January 28, 2010

This is my time each month to share pieces of my own personal journey with you. My hope is to allow you a peek inside my process. Often times I know that you may feel like “so called experts” have got it all going on. But the truth is this – we’re all still learning and growing too.

I was finishing up with one of my executive clients this afternoon when the buzzer rang. “Strange, I wasn’t expecting any deliveries today” I thought. “I’ve got enough books from Barnes & Noble to keep me busy for several weeks right now!” It was a complete surprise.  I’ll tell what it was in a moment.

As you probably know, each month I record a 30-minute lesson for my private clients on the most important inner tools they need to master success and be a “take no prisoners and make no excuses leaders in this world.”  This past week I delivered a lesson on The Law of Receiving. Sounds good right? After all don’t we all want to receive more? The cool thing about teaching these principles is that I get the hyper speed, deep intense, curl your toes lesson myself.  Sometimes for me, it feels like I’m going through a wind tunnel and my legs are out from underneath me. “Grasp the concept and hold onto it on a deeper level than you ever knew it before Maria” seems to be the message. So I want to share my own personal epiphany.

The buzzer sounds again and I actually think “do I even bother -it’s probably not for me”. (Note to non-urban dwellers: this happens when any delivery person wants access to one of our apartment buildings. They just buzz anyone in hopes of entry.) As I wander into the kitchen, half ignoring the last buzz, I start to think about what I was reading this morning.  It was a line from “A Course in Miracles”: The decision to receive is a decision to accept.”  Sounds good right?

In that very moment……..Buuuuuuuzzzzzzzzzz……..the buzzer squeals again.

I walk over to the intercom with annoyance to zap the delivery guy into the building, telling him to come to the 5th floor. The elevator takes forever. I’m still wondering what the heck it is. I’m impatient because I have a busy afternoon. Tapping my foot. Rolling my eyes a little bit. That dentist appointment later is bugging me.

The elevator door opens and what emerges?

The biggest bouquet of wildflowers and roses you’ve ever seen.  Sunshine in a vase! My mouth gaped open and I felt embarrassed at my own annoyance.

I plucked the card and read it. It was from someone I least expected. A gift which reminded me that things often come from unexpected people, places and usually at times when we least expect it. But the timing is always perfect! This one was especially good.

Often times we’re distracted with our own stuff and we miss the gifts we’re meant to receive. Other times we have a list of rules and guidelines about how and when things should happen. I mean, let’s face it, it’s a playbook that we’ve designed ourselves. Too many rules and regulations become conditions and the real gift is often missed because it didn’t look the way we expected it to.

  • What is distracting you from seeing what you truly want?
  • Will you turn away the flowers (or other gifts) that are brought to your doorstep today?
  • Or are you willing to look beyond your own contrived beliefs of what and how it should be and allow yourself to receive?


  • When will you let go of your grip and just accept what is just bursting to be given to you?

Those were the questions I asked myself this afternoon as I allowed myself to enjoy this beautiful and unexpected gift.  Good thing I decided to answer the door! <wink>

All That Glitters is Not Gold: Bright Shiny Object Syndrome

January 21, 2010

Have you ever felt like there was a landslide of opportunities that all of a sudden appeared?  You look left and you can choose to take the opportunities on that pathway.  Then you look right and there are other choices.  But in front of you, just in front of your nose, there is a basket full of other opportunities.  They all look exciting – each is a beautiful shiny gem.  Each gleam with possibility!  You are blinded for a moment in sheer amazement at what’s before you.

This can be especially powerful if you have just come out of a dry spell when nothing in your world seemed to be moving.  We’ve all experienced being in what I like to call the “incubation” period where you are regrouping and reconsidering much of your business and personal life.  This is the precursor to having a major shift.  It’s the time when you are making decision about what you really want and desire.

During a session with a client recently, she was saying things such as:

“This door has opened for me….
That person called me to be on a TV show….
I have an editor banging on my door….
There is an opportunity for a new product off shoot and packaging idea….
But I also have this chance to collaborate with another professional woman to launch another arm of my business…..
I was thinking I could do…..and maybe I could also start…”

After a deep breathe, we both laughed.

“Wow” I said, “you’re going to be really busy again. “Again” being the operative word, as her previous pace nearly put her in an early grave at 38 years old.

Is this what you want?”  There was a long pause.
“No, I want my life.  But I also want professional success. I love my work! How do I balance this?  How do I choose when I want to do all of them?”

The most important thing to know is that there are always a lot of opportunities in front of you.  It’s just a matter of being open to seeing them.  There is never a shortage.

There may be times the PAUSE button may be on while you regroup and rest.  As a culture we underestimate the importance of this period. So you will never miss out on anything – really truly, you can’t miss out! The opportunity may reappear in a different form later down the line. It’s all about being courageous enough to take it when it arrives.  So stop rushing around like a chicken with your head cut off.  That’s just a scarcity mindset rearing its ugly head.

However, what’s important is that you’re ruthless about how you decide to spend your time.  Be sure what you choose to do is in alignment with your goals – short term and long term.  But prioritize!

While some projects may seem fun or interesting if they are not in alignment with your end goal you might want to pass on them and focus on what will get you where you want to go.  The only exception to this is if your gut is telling you it’s something you really need to take a look at.  You never know what can come of it.

Keep dreaming but stay focused on your goals otherwise you’re liable to get distracted by all those bright shiny objects around you!

Truth, Transparency & New Values for Business in 2010

January 7, 2010

Over the New Years holiday I was able to watch some TV.  Not a favorite pastime of mine but occasionally I will watch.  Truth be told the thing I enjoy most about it are the commercials.  Yes, it’s true.  I absolutely love a great commercial!

I’ve noticed a trend.  Have you?

Dominos Pizza launched a new campaign showing the feedback from a real life focus group.  One woman scrunches up her nose and says “the crust tastes like cardboard” and another comments included “the sauce tastes like ketchup” and “there’s no love in Dominos pizza.” The CEO Patrick Doyle appears and basically says ok, this isn’t easy to hear but there comes a point when change is necessary.  The rest of the commercial outlines what they are doing to upgrade the good ole pizza pie and ultimately take back their market share.

Here’s the long version posted on You Tube:

Is the commercial only about taking back their market share or is something bigger going on here?  Before I answer that let’s look at HSBC Bank.

Depending upon where you live, you may or may not have seen the HSBC “Soapbox Baby” campaign. This commercial talks about the values of their clients.  Perched directly behind the speakers is a large picture of a baby and a very obvious connection to a person’s value of family coming first.  “Helping understand peoples values helps better meet their needs” is the closing statement.

There is a shift is the consciousness today.  And the advertising world is picking up on this. The kind of “heavy hitting marketing, fear based yet paint it all rosy, smile when the world is falling apart and their product stinks” is over.  Yes, I am being very direct.  The era of misleading advertising and misaligned values are over. Now people are asking a much deeper question: What’s important and what do I really need/want?

Leaders of business are being asked to realign their values with the values of their clientele (and within the organization) Somewhere we lost that.  Somewhere we got stuck in the 80’s notion of greed being good and nothing and no one but the bottom line is king.  Somewhere along the way we forgot that our families are important.  Our relationship with others are key.  In the light of the past 2 years that has all changed.  Even a pizza company is coming forward and saying “we have a problem, we hear you and this is what we’re going to do to solve it.” They did not sweep the negative comments under the rug.  They were transparent. The call from the public during the past scandals has been about the cry for transparency.  Now a pizza company is taking that stand.

The rules of business have changed.

The individual’s level of awareness has opened up.

The values of business are shifting.

Nothing is ever going to be the same.

We’re returning to a consciousness of truth, transparency, integrity and well, an infusion of the realignment of the values we care about. This is the blessing of the past 2 years.  We’ve all found out what’s really important to us.  Now we vote with our money based on these values. We choose to work for organizations because of them.  We seek communities with greater intention of this commonality.

How are you purchasing products and services these days?

Is it more important for you to resonate with the company or the person you’ll work with than in the past?

Do you look for signs of truth, integrity and transparency?

Are their social causes important to you?

Could this be a sign of a spiritual revolution in business?

Or perhaps the evolution and return back to our true selves as people connected to one another on a deeper level?

Look beyond the surface and there you will find the truth.