“What are my unique set of gifts?” “How can I use them to make a unique contribution in my company or community?” “Is it possible to follow the guidance of my inner voice as I explore what’s right for me?
Whether you are searching for greater meaning in your current job or looking to transition into a whole new job or career, know that you are not alone in asking these deeper questions.
Accepting the challenge to explore what is most true for you can prove essential to doing something that you truly love and living a more fulfilling life.
In my coaching programs, I offer a unique and personalized approach that will help you build your personal brand from the inside out. Together we will uncover and enable your true gifts to shine through everything you do.
The intention of our work together is ultimately to help you cultivate a more authentic presence, one that will resonate more powerfully with others and attract opportunities that are in greater alignment with what’s unique to you. Additionally, I will support you in following your own inner guidance as you take on a new set of responsibilities in your current job or start a new career.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to learn more.
What clients are saying:
“Helped me discover the gold within myself” — Matt Sloane – Coach and Artist
“An amazing ability to really see me and the deeper message I want to bring to the world” — Sarah Kowalski - Alaya Coaching
“The process was both energizing and inspiring” — Cara Jones — CEO/Founder Storytellers For Good
“His work is both very deep and very skillful while being highly practical.” — Annette Segal — The Valiant Group
“Helped me to achieve clarity of goals, distilling down to the ones that matter most and leading to a healthier and happier state of mind.” — CEO/Founder Mobile Software Company
“A rare combination of integrity, compassion, brilliance, wisdom and humility” — Deborah Rossouw - Professional Speaker & Coach
“Gentle compassion with a powerful presence.” — Steve Leibman - Human Resources Executive
“Helped me to clarify my message, let go of distractions that were not serving me, and help identify and articulate the unique value my work offered….and to have fun while doing all of that.” — Tara Mohr - Writer, Professional Speaker, Coach
Lately I’ve been on the verge of a shift. I’ve experienced a lot of them over the years – new living situations, new careers, new relationships. But this one is different. It’s like there’s a part of me that’s about to burst through and experience the world differently.
The possibility of what it can be like feels liberating. There’s no more fear of what others will think. No more shakiness in my body. No more second thoughts about what I’m about to say or the decisions I’m about to make. It’s just an expression of my truth with confidence and ease.
I’ve always referred to this state as ‘expanding into my full power.’ Each person may have a different image or experience of what this can look like for them. I’ve often seen it as my warrior self who’s finally ready to take center stage.
The Missing Link
Recently, though, this image has felt incomplete. In fact it’s left me resisting this new experience. But isn’t this what I’ve always wanted? To have the warrior stance? To experience a greater freedom of expression wherever I am?
I decided to explore my resistance and see what was up.
Eventually what came to me was a bit unexpected. It wasn’t that of an action hero waiting to pop out of my chest. Instead it was the image of a vulnerable side of me that was finally ready to show itself. It was like a little boy knocking on the door and wondering when it was safe to come out.
And with that image I suddenly realized what had been missing all along. I had been just expecting this superhero figure to burst on through at any moment. He would be a strong, confident and powerful presence. But I forgot about the little boy who would need to accompany him. I would need to create a safe space, so to speak, for him to step out and join the rest of me in the journey.
I can tell that this little boy has been waiting for just the right conditions to finally show up. He’s a part of me that has been hiding for many years. A little boy that’s full of love and compassion but worried that, if he fully shows himself, others could put him down. That if he really expresses his full truth and vision for the world, he would get trampled on and never come back out again.
The Magic Key
When I talked to this little boy, he told me that what was needed to fully accompany the rest of me on this journey was just one thing. Love. But not just love for others, but love and care for him. He wanted me to be kind to him even if I didn’t do or say things perfectly in my work, with my friends or in the public realm. And in return he would give me the permission to move forward with a powerful strength and presence. I would be able to speak my truth with compassion wherever I was. I would be able to contribute my gifts and bring them out more fully into my work, on a public stage and in a way that was bigger than I had ever imagined.
It was a huge revelation to finally see this: that what’s going to allow me to fully stand in my power is to be kind to the part of me that wants to burst on through and love. Not to go out and ‘fight’ or ‘resist’ the imperfections of the world, or within myself. But to love them all, while also expressing my truth with a powerful and compassionate presence.
And what this little boy wanted from me all along was just to make sure that the conditions were right for him to more fully stand with me in this journey. To be kind to him, and all the other parts of me, in the midst of the beauty and wonder of life’s imperfections.
What are the parts of yourself that want to be more fully seen and understand? What do you feel it will take to more fully expand into your power?
A while ago, I heard a teacher ask a group of students to consider four conditions that can bring about greater happiness in our lives. They included:
- Building up our tolerance for ‘what is’ and becoming more aware of our resistance in that moment.
- Building our capacity to re-center ourselves in the midst of difficult or unexpected situations
- Having a big enough story to hold all of life.
- And…gently holding our expectations
Each of these can be a very rich topic of discussion. The one that caught my attention the most was how we hold our expectations. It’s certainly a relevant topic for this time of year, but I find it an important discussion for anyone who is setting new goals and intentions as they build a new business, transition into a new career, or take on new responsibilities at work.
The very act of setting goals can bring about greater stress, anger or frustration in our lives, particularly if we don’t ‘see’ them manifest quickly enough or in a way that we had originally expected. Ironically, this feeling runs contrary to the very end results we were intending to create — greater peace, joy, freedom, or <plug in your favorite state of being>.
So how do we work with the expectations that inevitably show up?
For many years I’ve explored ideas around the power of our thought energy and the conditions needed to apply it more effectively in our lives. I would find myself wondering why some people seemed better at manifesting their intentions than others. I would even notice the judgment within myself when I couldn’t manifest something quickly enough, or even at all. Wasn’t it just a matter of putting my thought energy on and visualizing the desired outcomes? Why did some intentions seem to work and others didn’t? Over the years I’ve been asked similar questions from many of my clients as well.
There are many ideas, spiritual insights, and even scientific data now to help us understand what makes a conscious intention eventually take root and manifest as reality. I may, in fact, save some of these discussions for another blog topic. For now, I’d like to offer a different approach to thinking about it, one that may lead to greater happiness overall.
In exploring this I find the practice of “gently holding our expectations” to be an important ingredient. What is it that could bring about this ‘field of gentleness’? How could we build the capacities within ourselves to do this? What practices could help us to cultivate this?
Over time I’ve developed three helpful practices for myself and many of my clients. The practices have certainly required focus, diligence and patience, but the results have proven quite helpful and often times unexpected in their impact.
Additionally, these practices haven’t lessened the enthusiasm for bringing about the intended outcomes or the energetic power behind expressing them. It’s just that the outcomes, and expectations around them, haven’t played such a dominant role as they once did. And ironically, the state of being that we were intending to create – peace, joy, a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment — occurred from the cultivation of that quality of gentleness.
Here are three practices that I’ve found helpful.
1. Being grateful for ‘what is’
The first practice is about being grateful for everything, even for the painful moments in our lives. It’s all these little moments that are often the gatekeepers to a new reality waiting to be experienced. When we acknowledge their existence, feel their presence (without attaching to the story surrounding them), and yet understand their importance, new insights and experiences can open up for us.
I recently re-read a book called “The 12 Conditions of a Miracle” by Dr. Michael Abrams. In it he describes the concept of gratitude. You’ll notice in his language many connections to the power of our thought energy.
“Affirmations channel the power of positive thought forms from the confines of the mind into the world where they can set real changes into motion. It all comes back to the great law: Like attracts like. When you focus on the good, letting your thoughts dwell on all the great things in your life, you will attract even greater good. When you lift your thoughts to a higher level of solidarity by putting them into words and verbally affirming your good, you greatly facilitate the process. The mindset that underlies this process is called gratitude.”
Abrams then asks us to think about a gift we recently gave to someone who really appreciated it. And then think about a gift we gave to a different person who took the gift for granted. Which person would you want to give more to? He equated this to the Universe as well. Why would we expect the Universe, God, Spirit to feel any differently about its gifts to us? As he states,
“Divine intelligence generally won’t go too far out of its way to provide for you in a miraculous way if you are negative and complacent about the gifts you have already received.”
There may be some magic behind the scenes when this Law is applied, but there’s certainly no magic to actually doing this as a practice. Just a lot of focus and commitment. There are a lot of ways to develop this practice which are well known to us all – gratitude journals, sending hand-written thank you notes, giving thanks before dinner…the list goes on. I find that choosing something on a daily basis, particularly right before or after we set our intentions, can soften the field of expectations around us and help us to be open to all that we receive.
2. Being kind towards ourselves
I recently heard the phrase, “The secret of the heart energy is that it performs miracles not with force or will, but with ease and kindness to ourselves.”
After putting forth new intentions it’s common to feel emotionally invested in the outcome. It’s easy to try and “force” or “will” something to come true, even in very subtle ways we’re not always conscious of. The idea of “gently holding our expectations” can sound like a nice theory as we become frustrated or angry that things aren’t turning out the way we had originally intended.
An ongoing practice of being kind towards ourselves can be a powerful way to create a softening, or gentleness, around our expectations. There’s a number of practices that can help with this. I find that using some type of mantra, prayer, or self-love journal on a consistent basis can be quite powerful.
One practice, for example, is called a loving kindness prayer, which is a Buddhist meditation. You can generally do this for about 5 minutes in the morning or anytime throughout the day when you’re feeling the need. Here’s an example you can say to yourself over and over again for a short period of time.
May I be filled with loving kindness
May I be well
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I be happy
If you want to do the complete meditation you can then say it for other people in your life and then for all beings on the planet. There are a number of versions of it that you can find online.
If you haven’t used this meditation before it can initially seem a bit overly simplistic at first. That was certainly my first reaction — how can four little phrases change the way I feel about myself and my perception of others and the world? Over time, though, I gave it a try every day and saw a difference. When I integrated it into my intention setting practice, it took a life of its own. If you’re curious, give it a go for a few months and see what comes up for you. The results are often subtle but profound.
3. Cultivating qualities that accompany our intentions
What if all the DOING in our lives was actually secondary? Even the outcomes themselves. What if the most important thing was how we went about BEING? And the most important part of setting intentions was actually cultivating qualities that we brought into the very experiences we were setting out to create?
I’m posing this question for a number of reasons. The first has to do with what can naturally happen when we do put thought energy into motion. It can be very easy to get so focused on the exact experience we want to create that our minds go into hyper-drive. Thoughts can easily come in like, “Everyone knows that I’m trying to build this business now. What if what I’m setting out to do doesn’t work?” or “Will I really be able to launch this project successfully?” This mind chatter doesn’t indicate that there’s anything wrong with us. It just means that we’re human and this is a part of what our minds currently do. And part of that human experience is to get attached to some degree to the outcome we’d like to create. With this attachment comes an element of control which actually makes the intention setting process more fraught with expectations and thus becomes less effective.
When this happens, and I’d say that it happens more than we’d like to admit, or are consciously aware of in the moment, I recommend thinking about the qualities we’d like to cultivate in ourselves along the way. If your intention is about cultivating qualities in the first place then even better.
Do you want to cultivate a quality of ease in your body, confidence and strength as you’re getting out there and promoting your business, or trust in your own innate wisdom as you’re taking on greater leadership responsibility at work? What one or two qualities would you bring into your life to create the changes you’d like to see?
Ghandi certainly didn’t say “Do the change you want to see happen in the world.” He was very explicit in saying “Be that change.” This takes a lot of practice and patience. And like a plant, you never quite know when it’s going to start growing. But it needs a lot of tender loving care along the way to get it going.
It All Started…
Ok…this may sound a little out there but…here goes.
I’ve been playing with time.
It all started one day a couple years ago. I was getting worried about my business. Where would I find my next clients? Would I have to go back into the corporate world? If I did, would I feel like I lost my freedom? Would all spark of joy and passion drain from my body? Oh my God…it all comes down to getting new clients!! Dramatic I know but the mind can be a funky thing.
For two weeks I panicked. I slipped back into my old work patterns and my self-care was almost non-existent. I cut my daily meditations short or skipped them altogether. I didn’t go to yoga or do any exercise. I started setting up meetings with anyone I could think of in my LinkedIn profile. I didn’t return my personal emails and almost lost touch with friends. I skipped meals and found myself going to bed at 2am. I was exhausted.
Fast forward in a ‘not so good way’
And all the while my life sped up. And not in that ‘flow’ kind of way where we lose our sense of time and it’s exhilarating, but the other kind of speeding up. The one where it feels like you’re hurling through the world and it’s hurling itself back at you, over and over again.
It all seemed to be going endlessly out of control. The more emails I sent out, the more appeared in my inbox, particularly spam. The more business calls I made, the more people called me out of the blue for what appeared to be random requests. The more meetings I set up, the more scheduling conflicts and cancelations I had.
I was confused. I was ‘getting out there’ and looking for new business. I was doing all of those marketing outreach strategies that I had always been told to do…that I had encouraged my clients to do! Why was everything suddenly exploding on me? Whatever business I was creating turned into busyness. Everything seemed to be going a million miles an hour but nothing seemed to be getting done.
Hitting the Pause Button
At one point I saw in my mind’s eye a massive ball of energy that was starting to spin out of control. I was both the ball of energy and the one spinning it from the outside. Every movement I made, email I sent, meeting I set up, was all part of that spinning ball. The more busyness I created, the faster the ball went and the more the external world seemed to throw itself right back at me.
I paused and for the first time got curious about what was really happening. For a brief moment of what felt like total freedom, I stopped judging myself. Then it clicked. What if I was actually able to control time, or at least my experience of it? And not only that but what if the flow of experiences that were happening to me were actually stemming from me?
Anything was better than the state I had gotten myself into. So, I started to play.
I decided to speed everything up for a few hours just to see. Everything intensified. More emails, more calls, more cancelations. Was I going crazy? Was this really true? And at that moment I decided I had enough. I finally slowed down.
I got up and went to meditate for an hour. I canceled a bunch of meetings that didn’t feel right. I took the rest of the day off. At first, it was extremely painful. I felt like I was going through a detox program as I sat in stillness. So much mindless chatter. Wow! How did all of this accumulate so quickly after years of meditation? I felt restless and embarrassed that I had even gotten to this point. Work habits that I had spent years ‘getting rid of’ were suddenly back and as big as ever.
But I was determined to understand what was really going on. If I could create an outer world that looked as if ‘random’ events were bombarding me, and time was speeding out of control, then maybe I could create a more natural flow of experiences with an adjustment to my inner world and more attention and care to myself.
So I kept at it. I sat down and wrote out my intentions for the next six months. I canceled more meetings, said no to more requests, and said yes to the ones that I sensed were more aligned with my intentions. I took a day off from work and spent the time cleaning my place, my car, and giving away stuff I didn’t need. Very painfully I got back to my daily and weekly self-practices and exercise routines again. I cleaned out my email and called everyone back who contacted me. I finally attended to myself and put more care into others. I let go of the fear of what would happen next.
A New World Revealed
After a couple days, it happened. My outer world changed. My email communication returned to normal, the right people were coming into my life, and I was actually getting things done with less effort. Time no longer felt like an enemy that needed to be managed. I felt more at ease and more rested.
The intensity of that flow experience certainly didn’t last forever. It was almost as if I was allowed entrance into the experience for the sole purpose of knowing that it was there and could be accessed at any time. But the potentiality of it at any moment was very real. To this day I continue to live into the questions that came out of that experience. I continue to experiment.
Could it be that the more we attend to our self-care and act from a place of inner guidance, the more flow and synchronicity we experience in our lives? What if our natural state is really one of ease and grace? What if the invisible life force flowing through us is just waiting for us to surrender to its care and guidance?
What if, in doing the internal work on ourselves, we really could play with time?
“What is my unique contribution and vision for the future?” “How can I more effectively integrate that into my life?” “Is it possible to follow the guidance of my inner voice without succumbing to the powerful social and cultural pressures to live another way?
Whether you are a social entrepreneur building your own business, a business professional searching for greater meaning and purpose, or an organizational leader working to inspire your team around a collective vision, know that you are not alone in confronting these questions.
Accepting the challenge to explore the answers that are most true for each of us can prove essential to both our professional and personal growth.
The idea of a personal brand, of course, has many definitions. I will be using my monthly newsletter and blog as a way to explore it from the perspective of our inner world — one that helps us to gain greater clarity around who we are and how we’re here to serve ourselves and others, and to do that with a sense of freedom that allows us, and our work, to take shape in new and unexpected ways.
What I have found in my own experience and that of my clients is that uncovering and integrating our unique purpose and gifts more deeply into our lives and learning to cultivate our own inner guidance are key ingredients to developing a more magnetic personal brand and leadership presence.
Ultimately, this form of personal branding is not about how to project the perfect image to our audience, but rather how to tap into a personal power that we each have that comes from allowing our core essence and gifts to shine through everything we do. It is an approach that works from the inside out. The more we become conscious of our inner world and build the courage and resilience to live from a deeper, more loving place within ourselves, the more our outer experiences can change and align with our personal vision.
Of course, I am very much a student of this work. The idea of becoming more conscious of my deepest intentions and consciously attracting that which is aligned with my highest good is a lifelong journey for me, as is the very nature of coming to a greater understanding of that very idea.
As I continue to develop my own coaching practice as well as other new ventures, I will be sharing my own personal stories and insights of what it means to me to cultivate a personal brand from the inside out and the impact that bringing our full presence into the world can have on ourselves, our communities and the world around us.
My hope is that you will also feel inspired to share your thoughts, ideas and experiences as well, as we co-create a newfound acceptance for our authentic selves and each other.
I was recently a guest on a radio show called, Reality Sandwich, hosted by Jay Kumar. The show explores the epic shift that humanity is currently experiencing as we awaken to the emerging global paradigm of Wholeness, individually and collectively. The description of the show segment I was on is below.
Show Title — “Becoming a Conscious Business Leader — How to Live Your Values and Awaken Your Purpose” with Ryan Rigoli and Miriam Karell, of Three Point Vision.
Show Description — Business Leaders in the 21st century are becoming awakened and aware of the importance of integrating consciously driven values and aligning to a higher purpose as prerequisites for success. Guests, Ryan Rigoli and Miriam Karell discuss the importance of being authentic to your values and driven by a higher purpose in order to become the next generation of conscious business leaders.
You can also listen to the full interview with both Ryan and Miriam here: Full Radio Show
I recently heard a quote that was given by Randy Pausch, a Professor who gave a talk called “The Last Lecture — Achieving your Childhood Dreams.” In his talk he said, “Taking risks is like jumping off a cliff and building your wings on the way down.”
If you’re an entrepreneur, you probably know this scenario well.
It takes great courage, dedication and kindness towards oneself to move along this path. There’s a movement into the unknown that can be both exhilarating and terrifying. A force that drives you forward that is often beyond comprehension. When asked what you do and why you do it, words aren’t always the first things that come to mind. It may just be a deep feeling, a sense, a knowing that’s waiting to be expressed but hard to convey. (more…)