Everything listed under: Create the life you want

  • Managing Multiple Doorways in Various Stages of Development

    The following is an excerpt from Chapter 10- The Dance of Unfoldment in Michael Hoffman's upcoming book, Natural Way of Being:

    With the Dance of Unfoldment, when a doorway to something new opens, step into and explore it. Take it as far as it can go. Typically, a doorway will unfold for a while and then hit a point where it requires time for something further to develop. Then you can leave it in a place that you can return to and let it incubate for a while.

    Even after this first doorway opens, continue your practice of creating the conditions for unfoldment. If you are open to it, while your first doorway is still unfolding or developing, a new doorway will open. Step into it. That's right, you are going to get more than one horse in the race and step into multiple doorways. No more applying for one job and waiting to hear.

    This managing multiple doorways approach becomes your practice. Over time, you will have several doorways all unfolding at different stages at the same time. Your practice consists of: taking doorways as far as they can go, stepping into new doorways, and going back to previous doorways when something new breaks free.

    This the rinse and repeat step. You are continually reaching out, creating connections, and stepping into doorways. It is a numbers game. You are leveraging your situation while maintaining your intention. You rely on the abundance of multiple doorways to produce the unfoldment of your intention.

    At first, fear of overwhelm may appear. This approach is different than a linear way of working- it is multi-directional. You may have been conditioned to work with one project until it is done and then move onto the next project. At this juncture you may think, "What if several things open up?" Or, "What if I get both jobs?" Or perhaps, "What if several people like me?"

    In business, we call this a "good problem." Although it may feel awkward and uncomfortable, you ultimately get to pick the best doorway. Or perhaps you end up going with parts of several doorways. It is only your linear mind and its limited thinking that worries about too many good things happening at once.

  • Letting Go of the Outcome

    The following is an excerpt from Chapter 10- The Dance of Unfoldment in Michael Hoffman's upcoming book, Natural Way of Being

    When we take intentional action to initiate the dance of unfoldment, it is essential to let go of the outcome. We live in a results-based culture and obviously getting results has it place. Your boss or team leader wants results, right?

    But with the dance of unfoldment, we are interacting with many things beyond our control. And when allowing things to unfold, we are not going to try to control or force things to happen outside of ourselves to get specific outcomes.

    Instead of forcing outcomes, we are going to learn from the outcomes that unfold. We might say, "Wow I did not see that one coming," and then change our approach. Our next intentional action adjusts based on what we learned from the previous outcomes. So you learn from the outcome, but never take responsibility for it. Rather, you take responsibility for your intentional action. 

    Accordingly, instead of evaluating yourself on the basis of outcomes, you are going to evaluate your intentional action. Ask yourself, "Was there anything else I could have done to create connection in that experience?" Or perhaps, "Did I give it my all?" And, "Did I allow things to unfold or did I try to force things?"  

    We cannot afford to take it personally if a possibility does not unfold. The outcome is not entirely about us. The people we collaborate with in a potential possibility may get excited at first, but then as it takes time and effort to develop it, they may lose interest. Yet many of us feel rejection and a sense of failure when a collaborative possibility does not actualize itself. We get discouraged and then cease exploring other possibilities for months or even years. 

    Once you let go of the outcome and detach from taking it personally, it is exciting seeing which possibilities actually develop. You merely keep nurturing the various possibilities and watch which ones unfold. You may be surprised as to which ones take off.

  • This is what I choose to create

    It takes courage to choose what you want to create in your life. One of the hardest things about offering a clear intention is to make a firm decision about what you want to create. Making an intention is deliberate and well... intentional.

    Don't get me wrong, there are a lot possibilities to consider and it is vital to create an intention that is in sync with what matters to you and what you are drawn to. But after asking yourself the right questions about what is important to you and what the possibilities are, there comes a time to commit to what you want to create.

    It is saying, "Of all the things that I could unfold in my life this year, this is what I choose to create." This is the essence of a clear intention.

    But what if it is wrong? We often put off making a decision or hedge our bets because we are afraid we may pick the wrong thing or that the thing that we do pick will fail. And then we will be responsible. And what if we can't get ourselves out of it? The self-imposed pressure becomes overwhelming.

    And remember, not deciding is deciding. Our culture has become passive and we tend to just accept whatever happens to us. Of course, if we do not have a clear intention, what happens to us is usually a different version of the same old thing.

    And lastly, once you commit to something, you will have to take action. It is moving from the conceptual to the actual. When your intention opens a door, it becomes time to engage. It is both exciting and fear producing once your dream and vision starts to become real. "It was fun to think about, but now the person wants to know if I want to put a deposit down."

    So, out of all the possibilities and abundance that life has to offer, what is that you choose to create for yourself this year?

  • Crossing the Great Water

    The I Ching or Book of Changes uses the metaphor of crossing the great water to teach about change. Likewise, an old Zen teaching describes a point in the change process when you are in the middle of the river you are crossing and can see both the river bank or life that you left and the one that you are moving toward. This time of year offers that same opportunity.

    Hopefully winter and the holidays has created some time and space for you to disengage from your life in 2015. This detachment creates clarity to see your old life objectively. It is an opportunity to observe your life as it was without being defensive.

    You can ask yourself what was working and what was not working. You can ask: What are the things no longer serving me? Are there things that are complete and that I have nothing more to learn from? And, what are the next natural steps to take with the things that I have been developing this past year?

    Then as you look to the river bank that you are moving toward, you can ask yourself: What are the possibilities that are coming into view? What am I drawn to as I get closer to the bank? What is important to me? And finally, What do I really want?

    The value of this time is that you can see both banks. This allows you to understand how the bank you left relates to the bank you are moving toward. You can see the natural progression of moving from the wisdom of the previous bank to the possibilities and doorways opening in the bank you are moving toward.

    So take advantage of this unique vantage point. Soon the previous bank will be out of view and you will be subjectively involved with the new bank and not be able to see the forest for the trees.


  • Keep Going...

    Personally, it has been a rough week. I can feel that this is the time in the creation cycle that I have given up on projects in the past. And in others, this is when I have forged forward and soon found success.

    And I am not alone. Any great success has numerous set-backs along the way. On a graph, success often looks like a gradually ascending series of peaks and troughs. Sometimes a series of set-backs happen back-to-back. This is a time many of us give up.

    In his timeless book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill tells the classic story of a young man who had his vein of gold in his newly excavated mine disappear. After searching for a short while, he quit and sold his equipment to a junk man. The junk man consulted a mining engineer and soon found the lost vein of gold three feet from where the previous miner stopped. He extracted millions of dollars of ore from the mine.

    Further reflection reveals this tendency to give up just before success to have an internal basis. The set-backs are often more of a distorted perception than reality. Many times there is nothing unnatural going on.

    Rather, we are tired and discouraged. Success often requires us to swim upstream for an extended period of time. People may be telling us that we are crazy for following our dream and should come back to reality. We are exhausted- both physically and emotionally. We have been investing our energy and resources with little return for a long time.

    And then one morning we wake up and say to ourselves, "This is never going to work. I need to get back to reality." And we quit- often, just 3 feet from striking gold.

    Navigating through this is the greatest value from coaching and mentoring. An experienced mentor can give you an accurate assessment of your situation. When it applies, she can say, "Keep going, these set-backs are natural."

    So please consider keeping going. I know I am. Or at the very least, before you throw in the towel, consult with someone with experience (like the mentor or mining engineer) to get an objective view of your situation.

    'Cause there's gold in them thar hills...