Archive for February, 2010

Monthly Journal Notes: Are You Feeling the Void?

February 24, 2010

Here we go!

It’s time to wrap up the month of February with my personal journal notes for the month! Thank you everyone for your feedback and telling me that you enjoy these little missives that I share with you.

It’s Chinese New Year! Where you aware that it began auspiciously on Feb 14th?  My many years of working in Asia has made this part of my own celebratory calendar each year.  I absolutely love it! Why? Because it is a beautiful ritual; it calls for each person to review past behaviors and decide what’s really important.

Ok it’s also a time when I allow myself to enjoy the awesome food of the holiday too!  If you don’t know this about me yet, I’m a total foodie! : D (Dim sum anyone!?!?!)

I share the importance of Chinese New Year with you because I see that so many people are actually doing this; mostly unconsciously.  What is it that they value? What is important to them? And they are actually realizing their own importance. It’s all an extension of what’s truly valuable in each of our lives and within our self.

The visual I get is that I am standing in a doorway.
Behind me, is the old me. The person who has experienced great highs and great lows in her life.  It’s the Maria who has spent so much time carrying unnecessary baggage and fighting battles that never really existed except in my own mind.  I call those my “Don Quixote” moments – battling imaginary windmills! LOL

In front of me, through the doorway, is a giant void.
Darkness and black.
Nothingness that sometimes is frightening for a few seconds.
Other times it feels peaceful.
Then in those special moments there is a wave of exhilaration.

I’ve spent the past few weeks looking back over my shoulder and realizing that I am no longer that person.  Then looking forward and wondering what’s actually in that field of possibilities.

So many clients, friends and colleagues have shared this very similar feeling and experience recently.  They are dropping things that no longer serve them and recreating the boundaries of their personal and professional lives.  They have expressed that while the void seems, well, void.  There is an excitement for what’s to come.

Are you there too?

We are all experiencing a rapid transition from old paradigms to a new beginning.  We are about to enter what I have come to realize is the “Spring” within the Cycle of Change. Where new ideas, new passions, beliefs and ideals begin to emerge.  Also new, wonderful ideas begin to sprout from the fertile soil of our minds.

That void may feel uncertain and strange. But it’s all part of the process of learning to trust what is within rather than looking outside our self for security. For me, taking a walk on the snow-covered beach recently helped me tremendously to remember this.  It reminded me that in all of this rapid transition, there is peace, if I choose to embrace it.

What are you choosing?

A Lesson from Winnie Ho: The Art of “Being” in Business

February 15, 2010

Winnie Ho is a petite Chinese woman in her late forties who works for a large company in Hong Kong.  I would regularly go to Hong Kong to work with our vendor base – Winnie was my partner at these meetings helping me to navigate language and business pitfalls.

On one particular trip I was in a fully distorted arrogant state.  Just 31 and doing my best to pretend I knew it all.  We’d been given the bad news that something I had wanted to do with a specific vendor was no longer possible at the price that had been agreed to. In front of the vendors management team I simply said “no, the price is nonnegotiable” and walked away from the bargaining table.  I was the customer after all.  Full of my own self-importance I refused to budge an inch.

Later in the office that evening Winnie, her boss Estella and I were going over the situation.  I was really mad.  I couldn’t go back to the head office with this news. It would cost us a lot of money.  I continued to explain this to Winnie & Estella.  Then Winnie tells me that they are willing to hold the price if I am willing to accept an increase on another project that had not been confirmed as yet.  That would help both of us to get what we wanted. Fair enough.

I was livid.  There was no way I was going to do that and let her know in my very animated manner that this was completely unacceptable. Allowing me time to express myself, she then quietly and gently walked up to me and placed her hand on my forearm.  Which caused me to quiet down immediately.

She tilted her head and said “Maria, the world is round.” Smiling at me. “Do you understand?”

“What is she talking about?” I thought.

I paused and responded “Do you mean to say that what goes around comes around?”

Winnie shakes her head no. “The world is a circular place Maria. Where you choose to enter the circle is a reflection of your character.”

This made the pit of my stomach fall to the ground.  My mouth gaped open. “Where do you choose to enter the circle here?” She smiled and walked away.

The lesson that Winnie taught me is that one must look at who we are being in the world and enter from a point of giving, understanding and compassion.  Rather than only thinking about getting what we want. It is the ability to enter the circle from an attitude of abundance being on the “offensive” rather than entering the circle in a state of lack and self-serving which is a “defensive” stance.  No partnerships or relationships can be built on defensive sand. If they are, they are unhealthy and lack stability.

This bit of wisdom has stayed with me for more than 15 years.  I hear her sweet words and feel her warm smile.  It is at those times I am reminded to consider who I am being in the world.  Realizing that the words I choose and the actions I take are a reflection of my character.  In the Chinese culture the word “character” means values and the metal of which you are made.

Where do you choose to enter the circle today?

Fearless Leaders Create Dynamic Futures

February 11, 2010

Over the past few days I’ve had the great opportunity to speak with some amazing entrepreneurs and executives who are launching some very exciting and cutting edge work.  Some are in the field of communications – wow, what an exciting place to be right now!!!!  Others are in film and TV. Additionally executives from a major advertising company was amongst this group.

We had some time to talk about what has spawned this creative burst in them, their businesses and their approach.  One told me “I finally realized, What am I waiting for? I mean really, WHAT AM I WAITING FOR?” We all laughed.

The next said “I had to get past all the garbage and negativity around me to realize that what I wanted to do IS important.  I was standing much too close to it to see that. I wasted so much time NOT thinking that it was important to anyone but me.”

A client I had been working with for the past year piped in; “What I wanted is probably and most definitely not going to be in the context that I thought I wanted for the past few years. Once I got that, then all of a sudden everything around me started to look different.  Like, hey, that idea you have deeply protected inside your heart really can happen and it can be in a bigger expression than you ever dreamed.”

What if IT was possible?
What if IT was ground breaking?
What if IT was the vehicle that created financial security for you and others around you?
What if…… (fill in the blank with your thought)

My Questions for you today are:

What the heck are you waiting for?!?!?!
Isn’t it time you got past your fears and trepidations about your next great idea?
To share critical words that my friend Les Brown said to me a few weeks ago “Your time is NOW!”

Join me for on
February 17th
@ 8pm EST / 5pm PST

For a new, inspirational and informative teleclass
Click here for your Video Invitation

Dare to Create Unique, Revolutionary Businesses that Matter and Stand Out in a Crowd!
How to Break Free from the Cookie Cutter Model Mentality!

Do you have a BIG IDEA that you are just waiting to unleash into the world that would do the same thing?
Something that you know you should be doing but aren’t?
Why not?

Because the World is waiting for YOUR great ideas, talents and gifts!
Stop holding back!


No more holding back!
Fearless business leaders are creating dynamic futures.
Will you join us?