A Year of Undiminishing and a New Map

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THE POINT:  It has been a year since my last blog post. A confession, of sorts, to be sure. During that time, in addition to co-conspiring with others to design their lives and businesses, I have been taking my own advice to "undiminish" in my life and business, too. This post is kind of a "highlights reel" of significant moments of this journey. By reviewing the year in this way, I've gotten to see how lots of seemingly little steps actually have added up to good progress. Whether my journey mirrors back to you your strengths or challenges, or your own progress or possibility in-the-works, I hope it inspires you to bring more of your love to life! Our world certainly needs as much love as we can bring, now as much as ever. 


In late Spring, a year ago, I became present to a way in which I'd been choosing (unknowingly, of course) to be a martyr in my life. Ouch. This awareness helped me to shift my attitude and invite new possibilities, in both my personal and professional life  — from belonging in family and being in community, to getting to ask for help, being supported and taking my work to a higher level. The following highlights show how this attitude shift has influenced my business development over the last year, culminating with the first release (here) of a new "visual map" for the journey of "liberating the point of you" and "bringing your love to life." 

SUMMER: the season of "expansion"
Last summer (2017) I Invited client-friends to join me for a day at the beach, which also was my first photo shoot for my own business. This was even a bigger deal, because I let myself be photographed being the dancer I had been denying for 30 years that I am. (Note: I was a professional ballet dancer, and gave up my career in my early twenties due to a repetitive back injury.) Several of the photos from this day now represent me and my work on my website. BIG THANKS to Amy DailedaTracy KoslickiHeather Wheeler, Serra Hadsell and your families for a fun play day .... and an extra shout out to Serra for helping me to "get in the picture" in my own life and business (yep, that's her Point of You)


In late summer, I applied for trademark of my "R|LOVE|ution" logo (as it's written on the legal documents). Nine months later, at the beginning of June, the official registration papers arrived. YAY! Have to admit, I love seeing the word "rEVOLution" (with "LOVE" highlighted in it) just under the banner of "United States of America." It seems the federal government took an interest in this, too. Just before the mark posted for final "public review," LinkedIn informed me that my profile had shown up in seemingly simultaneous searches by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Postal Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.  Think maybe I'm on their watch list now?  

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FALL: the season of "realization"
Last Fall (2017) I started playing a little with Instagram as a platform for sharing insights and inspirations and pearls of wisdom from daily client sessions (now also shared on the Living It page of my website). If you scroll through, you'll see my trials and errors exploring visual ways to share what it means to "liberate the point of you" and "bring your love to life." If you've worked with me, you'll see that I'm slowly but surely bringing more of "me" into the posts ... just like I'm always suggesting we all do. Yep, living it! Guess which ones are most liked!

Also last fall, I began reaching out to clients to ask if you would share your Point of You stories on my website (now live on the Our Love Matters page). These stories share personal experiences of working with the Point of You, to get out of our own way and create the possibilities we most desire in our lives and businesses. If you haven't read them yet, I hope you will! BIG THANKS to Amy Daileda, Heather Wheeler, Serra Hadsell, Troy Ismir, Eve Bernfeld, Annie Cattabriga-Alosa, David Davidson, Aziza North, Kathryn Hefner, Carter Cox and Cheryl Greathouse for saying "yes!" and responding so quickly. By sharing, you give others a chance to see themselves in your stories and be inspired to lead lives they love, that bring their love to life, too! For those of you who haven't responded yet, it's never too late!  Share your story here (PW: yourlovematters). 

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In late Fall I travelled to Jackson, WY, for the sole purpose of being in community with an extraordinary group of client-friends who all live and work there. The highlight was a brunch, where women who have worked with me shared their personal experiences using the Point of You — becoming aware of their own "resist-stance" and shifting their attitude and energy to "realize" new possibilities in their lives and businesses. This was my first experience "just being" in a community of women who came together because of the possibility I stand for, and it was both magical and humbling. These women, many of whom know each other very well, got the chance to know and respect each other on an even more deeply authentic level, and the LOVE in the room that day was palpable in a way many of us said we'd never experienced before. BIG THANK YOUs to Kate Brennan, Carter Cox, Hannah Hardaway, Lyndsay Rowan McCandless, and Francesca Weikert for sharing your stories and modeling the possibilities you stand for with with such bold grace ... and EXTRA BIG THANK YOUs to Josi Stephens and Sofia Lindroth for sharing your stories and hosting me and this brunch in your home. 

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WINTER: the season of "transformation"
Throughout last Winter and into this Spring (2017-18) my primary focus was on figuring out how to communicate and share my work more broadly. In early Spring I submitted my "idea worth spreading" at the TEDx Portland Community Ideas Booth. Admittedly, I struggled for the entire four-week submission period to figure out "the point" for this audience. "Diminished me" offered plenty of justifications for giving up. Although my talk wasn't selected this year, "just" challenging myself and actually showing up to express my idea to this audience (in only 90 seconds!) was an extremely valuable exercise and a big personal win. And ... it gave me the courage to reach out to the "chief curator" of the event and ask to meet for coffee (in the works). There's always next year! 

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SPRING: the season of "emergence"
The TEDx challenge also nudged me  along in my effort to communicate, more specifically, the inherent structure in the work we all do together ... and what, exactly, it means to liberate the point of you and bring your love to life. The result is a new visual map that, I hope, will help all of us — whether already doing this work or just beginning to explore it — to better understand how to walk this path and be more empowered and intentional in doing it. 
Here's a brief intro (with images below): 

At the center is the POINT OF YOU — your "how" at every step of your work. 

STEP 1 - SELF-AWARENESS: the Point of You reveals the possibility we resist and deny ourselves. With this new awareness we SHIFT our ATTITUDE and (re)claim our SOVEREIGNTY. 

STEP 2 - SELF-EXPRESSION: the Point of you reveals the possibility we seek. With new found sovereignty, we SHIFT our ENERGY and bring this possibility in PARTNERSHIP, instead.

STEP 3 - SELF-REALIZATION: the Point of you reveals the possibility we stand for. With sovereignty and empowered partnerships, we SHIFT our DIRECTION and step up into our LEADERSHIP, by living and modeling the possibility we stand for, in community. 

Going forward, I plan to share real life stories (here and on a variety of social media platforms) that demonstrate how we can use this transformative approach in all aspects of business and life design. 

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SUMMER: the season of "expansion"
In closing, this summer, I'm putting myself out there in ways that felt impossible last summer, and I'm co-conspiring in bigger ways than I've allowed myself before. I attended the 8th Annual World Domination Summit, with a thousand other passionate purpose-seekers and change-makers, who are "committed to living remarkable lives in a conventional world." (More to share, separately). And ... I've just started co-conspiring with writer/editor Sarah Hackley to help me bring my first book to life and with visionary strategic-marketing powerhouse Melissa Kunde to help me scale up. 

Eight years ago this month, I was a day or two away from dying due to complications related to anorexia. Since then, each year, I've been learning how to allow myself pretty basic possibilities ... from the right to exist and be nourished and be loved, to being valued, having space, being seen and getting to belong in community. It's been quite a come-back, if I do say so myself, and this year has been quite a year. I'm excited (and a little terrified) about the BIG possibilities I can see on the horizon. My hope is that you get to feel this way in your life, too ... and that, in some way, my work and my story help to inspire you to keep exploring new possibilities to bring more and more of your love to life! xo

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The Brand Evolution of My Revolution

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THE POINT:  As we "undiminish — growing and expanding in our lives and businesses — it's common for our branding to start to feel outdated. With ever greater clarity about the possibility we bring to the world, it's important to allow our brands to evolve and communicate more powerfully, too. It's particularly rewarding for me to get to co-conspire with clients to develop their first brands and/or to rebrand. With this blog post, I officially launch my own refined logo/branding. If you're curious about the brand evolution of my revolution, a bit of the story is shared below. I hope it inspires you to keep believing and following your heart, too!  


Ten years ago, my life pretty much turned upside down. My (now ex) husband had returned to Munich, Germany, where he's from, and we had decided that I would not be joining him. (Side note, we are dear friends today, for which I am very grateful!). Understandably, my employer at the time assumed I would be moving back to Germany and had written me out of the next fiscal year's budget. To be fair, as much as I admired the company and respected the people in it, I was unhappy in my life in general ... and manifested "losing" a marriage and a job in one fell swoop. 

Shortly thereafter, my Dad was visiting me, and I recall saying, "I don't know who's life I've been living, but it definitely hasn't been mine."  He responded with a question that helped me set out on a journey I could not have predicted would lead me where I am today. That question was: "What do you do, that you love so much you completely lose all track of time?" I led him down the stairs into my basement and showed him multiple large fashion sketches hanging there, that I had done 10 years earlier (now 20 years ago!) and said: "I've always gotten happily lost in drawing and working with fabric." With his encouragement — ok, he basically dragged me onto the bus — within 2 hours we were standing in the middle of a student fashion exhibit at the Art Institute. 

I already have one design degree, and wasn't inspired to go into debt $75k for another. It turned out a program had just been started at Portland Community College by the passionate and committed artist, teacher and leader, Eileen Celentano. She and I met to talk about classes and the local fashion market and get to know each other — the beginning of another dear friendship. I ended up taking a bunch of classes at PCC and started finding my joy, again. One day early on, Eileen asked me if I'd like to teach a 3-hour sales and marketing segment in her product development class, and I jumped at the opportunity. This segment turned into a full class, that became a prerequisite to the product development class. In hindsight, I now can see that developing and teaching this class was the beginning of my business.  

During this time, I also was given an unusual opportunity to learn how to make tutus in the Oregon Ballet Theater costume shop and ended up working there for a year — a perfectly timed possibility to reconnect with my ballet roots and reclaim a significant part of me that I had closed off years before.  At the same time, I consulted with a couple of local fashion designers and other creative small business owners, helping them to build their businesses. I found myself needing a business card, so my first step into branding was a new email address — creativebizconsult@gmail.com — and a graphic that communicated the essence of what I was doing ... helping creative people get all the "gears" of their business working well together, so they could be more successful. Although my approach has evolved significantly, essentially, this is still what I do today.  

 My first business card, branded with an email address: creativebizconsult@gmail.com (2009-10).

The workbook I'd created for the fashion sales and marketing class eventually morphed into a "Business Clarity Questionnaire," that helped clients identify their "point of view" and then integrate it throughout all aspects of their business. It was starting to feel like I was onto something, and I wasn't having any luck finding meaningful employment (in Portland in 2009-2010), so I decided to take a bigger step and more fully develop a brand for my approach to helping creative people design and build their own businesses.  

My first business name was Flaunt Consulting, and the tagline was "Own it. Bring it. Live it."  A key message was that creating and promoting a successful business requires us to "show up" fully with our own clear, bold, empowering point of view. A writer-friend, Ellen Galvin, expressed the idea well in the title of an article she wrote about my work back then: "Don't Hide Your Talents, Flaunt Them."  The article was selected for the launch of a new high profile women's business magazine, that never actually launched. The fact that her article had been selected, though, was highly motivating and gave me a much-needed boost in confidence, at that time.  

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 My first business name was Flaunt Consulting.  The "gears" of my first business card were replaced by interrelated layers, inspired by flower petals unfolding and peacock feathers opening fully (2011-2013). 

5 years ago, I abandoned my business altogether. As much as I loved helping others to grow their businesses, I never felt like I got to do as much or go as far as I was capable of. (Note: focusing on "doing" rather than "being" was a big part of the problem, and I hadn't figured that out, yet.) I remember feeling like I was living under a wet blanket in rainy Portland, so I decided to move back to sunny California and return to my professional roots in the Silicon Valley, with the hopes of joining another entrepreneurial start-up team that was thinking big and going for it!  

Although I did some interesting project work, I learned (the hard way) that my broad experience and skill set weren't what recruiters and employers were looking for. Through this experience, however, I also learned one of the most valuable lessons and pillars of my work: The primary reason I hadn't been fulfilled in my own business was that I hadn't let myself "be" in my own business the way I had been helping everyone else "be" in their businesses. I realized that the "point of view" is also the "point of you" ... the revolution we are here to bring to the world, first and foremost by practicing what we preach. I recommitted to building my own business, and shortly thereafter my brand evolved to Revolution Business & Life Design, with the tagline "Liberate the point of v-you" (view + you).  

 In late 2013, the name of my business evolved to Revolution Business & Life Design, and the tagline became "Liberate the point of v-you."  The visual was intended to communicate the unfolding and interconnectedness of all our choices along our journey of evolution, that all revolve around a single point.  

Over the last 4 years, my understanding of the possibility I stand for and share has continued to expand; and with greater clarity, my brand is evolving, again, into a visual representation that (for me) more powerfully communicates what I have been "trying" to say all along:  

Each of us has our own unique form of "love" to bring to the world, because of who we are and our life experiences. I call this love the Point of You. It turns out, this love is not only what we stand for. Unbeknownst to us, it's also what we're seeking and denying ourselves in our lives and businesses. Whenever we struggle and feel resistance, we're denying ourselves this very specific form of love and respect. In my view, our revolution begins by liberating our "love" (the Point of You) for ourselves, first, so we truly can share this love with others ... by leading lives we love, that make a difference and love us back.  

The new logo makes me giddy with joy! It excites and scares me in the best way, inspiring me to "show up" and create even more possibility for myself and others.  After all, don't we each need — and doesn't the world need — all of the love we each have to share (and receive), now as much as ever? 

Vive la revolution!  xo

 Launched July 2017.

Second Steps with Grace & Grit

Two weeks ago, I was invited to have a conversation with women's health and happiness advocate, Courtney Townley, for her podcast: Grace & Grit. It turns out, she and I have many shared core-life-experiences — including professional dance backgrounds and bouts with anorexia — and we definitely are in the same tribe when it comes to wanting to help empower and support people in leading healthy, fulfilling and inspiring lives. She asked me a little about my journey to my life's work, and then we discussed how we each uniquely get in our own way and how I see we can get out of it, by getting over our own self disrespect. Give a listen and let us know what resonates with you, what you take away and if you have any questions or suggestions!  

For me, this podcast interview was a big second step — the second opportunity I've been given to open up and share my personal journey and work in a format other than face-to-face. Previously, I hadn't really thought about the specific challenges of second steps. Then it hit me that Courtney's business and podcast name describes the experience beautifully. 

First steps are inherently shaky and tend to reveal all of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. If these vulnerabilities bring up any of our own self disrespect, it's easy to become narrow-minded about the experience, focusing on the details of what we did and forgetting why we did it in the first place. If we lose the point in this way, there's a chance we'll write off that first step as a failure and deny ourselves a second step. 

The first time I listened to my first podcast interview (written about in First Steps and Vulnerable Self Respect), I felt proud. Quickly, self-criticism and "constructive" criticism from others kicked in, and my heart sank. When I listened to myself repeatedly say "um," "ya know" and "wow," and laugh a little nervously, I felt embarrassed and even a little ashamed.  

Then I remembered that these imperfections are not the point. The possibility I share with the world can help us get out of our own way, so we can enjoy being who we are and making a difference in the world. The point of doing anything isn't to be perfect; it's to show up and share the possibility we bring ... and learn how we can get even better at it. From this more self-respectful, open-minded state of being, we more naturally embody the grace to learn what we can learn from that first step, and the grit to get back up, brush ourselves off and take a stronger second step ... and third step ... 

As Courtney so passionately models through her own life and work, when we let ourselves move through our vulnerability with a little grace and grit, we discover just how strong and empowered we are capable of being. Thanks Courtney!  

First Steps and Vulnerable Self Respect

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About a month ago, one of my clients, Troy Ismir, asked if I'd be a guest on his podcast, to which I immediately replied "sure!" When he emailed me to follow up, (I later realized) I put off committing. This possibility felt exciting, humbling and terrifying, in that order, and I'd gotten temporarily stuck in the terrifying part.  It's one thing to learn, use and share somebody else's work. It's quite another to develop and put our own work out there — especially when it asks people to think about themselves and possibilities in a fairly provocative new way.  

For the past 4 years, I've been diving deep into the process of learning what my work actually is and developing a language that delivers and describes it in a relatable and empowering way. It's been, and continues to be, a journey of exploration into new territory, falling down (sometimes hard) and being willing to get back up, keep learning and keep going. Last year, I started getting the clarity, positive feedback and confidence I'd been seeking, and feeling a stronger pull to begin putting myself and my work out more broadly. This podcast interview with Troy opened the door for me to take that first step.  

“I’m afraid, but I’m not more afraid than I am willing.”
~Annie Cattabriga-Alosa

As you'll hear, Troy and I both had a lot of fun recording the podcast two weeks ago, and it went live on iTunes last week (embedded below). It's easy to be critical of my "ums" and "ya knows" and other idiosyncratic speech patterns. And yet, with vulnerable self respect here, I am proud of (and grateful for) this interview! It's a first step, and that, in-and-of-itself, makes it great! It also has given me the chance to see exactly where I am (strengths and weaknesses) and to identify specific ways I can "undiminish" in this next phase of expansion.  And, it could make a difference for someone out there, exactly as is.    

Firsts that truly challenge and empower us to grow are exciting and scary. When faced with a similar challenge a few years ago, client/friend Annie Cattabriga-Alosa, said: "I'm afraid, but I'm not more afraid than I am willing." I LOVE this! When we're willing to show up with vulnerable self respect to create a new possibility, both for ourselves and others, I believe we always will make a positive difference in one way or another.  And what better time for first steps, that allow us to expand and grow, than springtime!  

I would greatly appreciate your feedback about the content, in particular. Does it resonate? Do you have questions? Do you have suggestions? If we haven't already worked together, are you curious and/or interested? Would you share it with others? Why or why not?  Please let me know. Thank you!  xo~Kim

To Find Your Voice ... Speak Up

Whether we are building our own businesses or not, I observe that we each have a unique voice to bring to the world — a perspective to contribute. I also see and experience that we often struggle to clearly express that perspective and to find that voice. We choose not to share, because we can't seem to say it as well as we'd like. We resist speaking up for fear of embarrassment or being misunderstood and rejected. Admittedly, there are times when it is best to be quiet. And yet, when we cave in to our resistance to speaking up, we're missing the opportunity to figure out the point, to find our voice and to make a difference ... because the only way to actually do all of this ... is to speak up. 

At its core, the co-conspiring work my clients and I do together is about finding and expressing their voices. Of course, I'm working to find and express mine, too!  And to be honest, every time I hit "publish" on one of these blog posts, I cringe. And I know, the more we allow ourselves the chance to express, the more clear and impactful our messages become. 

Last week I intended to write another post and didn't. Instead, I found myself driven to write a letter to one of my Senators (The Honorable Ron Wyden), in response to an email survey he sent out. Then, I felt pulled to make a story suggestion/request to the Washington Post. Really? In both cases, diminished me said, "Who do you think you are?" and "You don't really know what you're talking about." I chose to write them anyway. With each one, I almost abandoned ship and chose not to send them, after taking precious time to write them (as I've done multiple times in the past). And in both cases, I sent them off with the following pep talk:  "What the heck. I have nothing to lose. I'm challenging myself to think and learn and grow. And, maybe it will make a small difference."   

I was inspired to write these letters by an article (written by Kathryn Schulz) in the March 6, 2017, issue of the New Yorker : "What Calling Congress Achieves: It's said to be the most effective way to petition the government, but does it really make a difference."  For me, the historical context made the current information particularly interesting. Bottom line: Yes, calling matters, and a personally expressed letter still has the most impact. 

Although I feel very vulnerable sharing, below are the two letters I wrote (unedited, although I was pretty tempted to make a few changes!). Perhaps they will inspire you to give yourself the chance speak up in your life and your business, too.  Even when it's not perfect, the act of writing and sharing is what is most important.  And I genuinely believe, one way or another, caring enough to do so makes a difference.  

Letter #1: 

March 8, 2017

Dear Senator Wyden~

I just took your survey and am following up to say that I chose "Stand up to right wing republicans" as my choice, 1) because it's impossible to choose just one of the issues on that list as most important (sorry, I know that's not helpful), and 2) because I know you know that standing up to right wing republicans means more than just saying no (as you demonstrated to all of us at your Oregon City Town Hall a few weeks ago, which I attended). 

I'm deeply concerned by the overall (in my opinion) dismissive/self-serving/arrogant approach of right wing republicans, and I'm tired of witnessing people getting caught in useless fights that sometimes seem to go no deeper than the "names of things"  ... e.g. for or against Obamacare, or the EPA or the Department of Education, etc.  I want for "us" (the corporate "we" of democrats and independents and rational republicans like McCain and Graham) to communicate about specifics related to these topics that are relevant to all citizens and to define solutions in ways that "most citizens" would naturally get behind, whether republican or democrat, because they address and solve relevant needs. I would like to see legislation crafted and shared with citizens in ways that party affiliation becomes irrelevant ... and empowers "citizens" to get fired up and united behind specifics, not just "titles."  

Aren't we seeing this with the "Obamacare" fight today? People don't want to lose their "specific" coverage.  Honestly, I don't care if the healthcare solution ends up being a refinement or a replacement of the ACA, IF the "alternative" successfully addresses the real healthcare needs of our citizens and is RESPECTFUL and INCLUSIVE and JUST for ALL.  The same is true for education, the environment, immigration, etc.  I'm sick of a President who needs to create "losers" so that he can get his "winner fix."  I'd like for "us" to be able to ignore his ridiculous outbursts and attempted distractions away from him, and stay focused on 1) continuing to demand release of his tax returns and an independent investigation into his administration's relationship with Russia (as well as inquiries into his psychological fitness, per concerns expressed by a growing community of psychiatrists, per "Psychology Today"), and 2) most importantly, connecting and finding the "middle way" between the extremes and proposing and "promoting" legislation that bridges the divide and rallies "citizens" at a grass roots level to stand up and speak up "for" a specific new possibility, rather than just against whatever one party or the other is proposing. 

The work I do (and developed) helps people to understand what the point of their lives is ... and how to "live" this point throughout their personal and professional actions.  The point of bringing this up is that, Christians tell me my work is right out of the bible, Buddhists tell me my work is right out of their readings ... and so do yogis, etc.  The point is that I (rather accidentally) found a common language that speaks to "being human" and helps people, regardless of their religion or any other personal identifier.   It seems to me that #45 spoke plainly to real/everyday concerns and (unbelievably) won this election.  And it seems to me that Bernie Sanders gained such a powerful/committed following doing the same thing.  Why can't we find a voice/platform with specific solutions that ignites the vast middle?   If I could help explore how, I would volunteer in a heartbeat! 

This is a loose and rather hurried bit of communication ... and I'm choosing to hit send anyway, with all due respect.  If responding is of value to you, I would welcome a response.  If not, I completely support you in spending your precious time focused on what IS most important!  

Thanks for communicating with your constituents and asking us what's important.  And thanks for all you and your staff and volunteers are doing every day to fight for what you believe is right and possible.  I'm very grateful for you all!  

Sincerely,
Kimberly Dawson, Portland, Oregon

Letter #2 (via email form to the Washington Post)

March 9, 2017
Subject Category: Journalism
Subject Subcategory: Story Ideas/Article Suggestions

To Whom It May Concern:

I'm a Portland, Oregon, resident who has become a HUGE fan of your publication and app since the election. Thank you for all you're doing to keep us informed, objectively, and in a timely matter, during these chaotic times. 

Something that I think would be incredibly helpful, in addition to your reporting, is to provide informational "graphics" (at least conceptually), that help us more easily "see" and understand the difference and impact of the legislation being proposed these days ... from healthcare reform to termination of the EPA and the Department of Education, etc! 

For example, re: the republicans' newly proposed ACA replacement plan: can a "graphic" (or some other easily understandable form of comparison) be created that shows what ACA currently provides and what the new plan provides, and shows the impact of the difference? I know this isn't easy. AND, I feel we as citizens need to understand these proposals in terms of how they will directly affect us and others, individually. For example, with the ACA replacement plan ... compare coverage/costs of the ACA with the new proposal for people at different ages ... at different income levels ... etc. How can you (the media) give citizens even better "tools" to speak up with informed and powerful voices ... to be able to be specific about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in this legislation ... and to rally "for" something specific rather than just against something "overall" ... which is getting us nowhere. 

With Americans engaging in citizenship in ways most of us never have felt so inspired (or frantic) to do til now, is there not both a need and an opportunity for the media to consider how information needs are expanding/being redefined? I went to a town hall 3 weeks ago and the main question everyone had was how we can get involved, other than by calling our representatives, writing postcards, signing petitions, sending money and marching ... and otherwise "fighting against" what we don't want? How can we get behind what we do want? I think one of the biggest challenges is that we don't know enough to be able to communicate specifics of what we do want or even what else is possible in a coherent and impactful way. I'm hoping respectable media organizations like the Washington Post can helps us. If you know of other sources providing this already, I'd love to know about them! 

Thanks very much for your consideration!
With sincere gratitude for all you do,

Kimberly Dawson, Portland, Oregon

* Note: The Washington Post published a related story 4 days later (Monday, March 13th):  "Affordable Care Act revision would reduce insured numbers by 24 million, CBO projects." It pretty much delivers what I requested in my letter.  I'm sure they were already on it.  Hopefully, if nothing else, my letter felt like support for the way they chose to provide this information. No harm done, either way.  

 

Discipline, Motivation and New Possibility

"I need to be more disciplined." "I don't have the discipline." "I lost the discipline." No matter how we say it, not having discipline is one of the most frequent reasons I hear for why we're struggling to manifest what we want in our lives.  What's up with that?  

It seems to me, when we focus on "lacking discipline," we're missing the point. The point is to focus on the bigger possibility we're inspired to experience. It's this possibility that motivates us to take action ... and be disciplined.

Here's a simple illustration. I have a client whose Point of You phrase is "suck it up." Not surprisingly, she has achieved significant business success, in part, because she has the discipline to suck it up and do what needs to be done to succeed. She's grateful for her success and, with free time now, finding herself unmotivated unless she's pushing herself, even to do things she enjoys and says she wants to do. She was feeling like she lacked the discipline to do it, of course, because her diminished state of being says she just needs to suck it up.  

As we explored some specifics, we realized she was focusing on "whats" and "shoulds." "I should do yoga. I should reach out to this person. And I should clean up this pile of jewelry, that's been sitting here for a week." What possibilities was she creating for herself? To go to yoga. To make a phone call. To clean up. What was missing from these "to dos" was the inspiration that comes from "why" you'd choose to do any of them. Here's approximately how our conversation unfolded:  

Me: "Do you like your jewelry?"  
Client: "Yes, I love my jewelry.  I own lots of beautiful jewelry!"
Me: "Oh, do you get to enjoy it when it's in a pile on your table?"
Client: "No, I don't.  I'm just reminded that I have to clean it up."
Me: "What new possibility would you have, if you organized your jewelry?"
Client: "I could admire the beauty and remember I get to wear each piece, too."
Me: "Oh, so you get to organize your jewelry to give yourself the possibility to appreciate and enjoy its beauty every day?"  
Client: "Yes, I do!"
Me:  "Do you still feel like you need discipline to do this?"
Client: "Hah, funny, no I don't.  I'm actually excited to do it!"   
Me:  "So your diminished state of being tells you to suck it up and use discipline to push yourself to do things.  Your undiminished state of being invites you to create, feel grateful for and enjoy — "to drink up" — the possibility of beauty in your life."
Client: "Yes, I get it!" 

I love my work! I get to help people get to the point, see new possibilities and live inspired lives. One part of my business that used to feel like a "have to do" was invoicing ... until I remembered the point ... for all of us to get to experience the ultimate expression and value of our unique existence. What better way to allow myself this possibility, than by connecting with the people I'm grateful to get to work with, recalling and appreciating our latest uncoveries together, and allowing myself to request and receive payment from them? Can you see, if I'm not inspired to do invoicing, then I'm completely missing the point? Now, I'm motivated to keep up with invoicing, not because I "have to" (which, technically, I do), but because I "get to."  

If there's something you say you want to do, and you're struggling to find the discipline to do it, consider that perhaps you're missing the point. Ask yourself what possibility taking this step would (begin to) give you. Does this possibility excite you? Maybe even scare you a little? Will you give yourself this chance? I'm seeing, that when we focus on possibility, and let ourselves be inspired by it, we're more likely to discover the motivation — and the discipline — that's been eluding us.  

"That's the Story of My Life"

Have you ever said to yourself (in frustration), "That's the story of my life!", when you felt like something was happening to you, yet again, that somehow always ends up happening to you?

I'm seeing, in the work I do every day, that what we are experiencing in that moment is the "story" of our lives, just not in the way we think.  It's a self-disrespectful, self-defeating story we accepted as truth, early in our lives, that our subconscious minds keep manifesting for us, and our conscious minds have been fighting against, ever since. 

I invite you to consider, whenever you feel the frustration of "the story of your life," you are experiencing the diminished side of your Point of You ... getting a glimpse of the possibility you (unknowingly) deny yourself, the possibility you are always seeking and the possibility you most want to bring to others.  When you become aware of this, you will begin to see that the "story" of your life doesn't have to be written the way you've been writing it, and you may rewrite it to come to a more rewarding and fulfilling ending. 

In the "story" of my life, others always tell me:  I am too much.  I think too big.  I get too excited. I move too fast.  I work too hard.  I expect too much.  I take on too much.  I want too much.  I need too much.  I think too much.  I feel too much.  I care too much.  I say too much. And on and on ... too much.

At the same time, in the "story" of my life, I feel and believe:  I am not enough ... even when I do and give everything I can possibly do and give.  And the plot thickens. When it feels to others like my energy is turned all the way up, it feels to me like I'm barely turned on. Unless I'm giving my all, I'm not doing enough, so I keep turning up my dial.  

The "story" of my life always ends the same way:  I am too much.  Therefore, I need to go away ... to disappear.   

In my youth, I was one of those kids who excelled at everything, and I learned to be ashamed of it.  While I wanted to strive to be my best, when I was the best, I was disliked for it. I felt others' pain from "not winning," and the way I responded to this vulnerability was to punish myself, before anybody else could.  Although I received full scholarships to top ballet companies, graduated co-valedictorian in high school and was named the outstanding graduate in the college of communications, I never allowed myself to believe in, nor acknowledge (much less enjoy) my capabilities. My "story" said I didn't deserve them, no matter how hard I worked, because my success hurt others.  

Early in my career, I worked in top tier leading edge companies, that gave me plenty of room to be all I could be. My "story" told me I was never enough, so I worked myself to the bone.  In hindsight, I was promoted early and often because I was capable, but I didn't know it. Impostor syndrome kicked in. I blamed my employers for expecting too much of me, when it was me expecting too much of myself and not allowing myself to see (with vulnerable self respect) how capable I actually was.  When others criticized my "success," I once again felt "too big" and started pulling back. 

From this diminished state of being, I began seeking employment in smaller and smaller companies of all shapes and sizes. I chose organizations whose missions spoke to my heart and my head and where I felt like I could make a meaningful difference by giving them all I had to give.  And my too big "story" returned.  There was so much that I could do and wanted to do, that I never thought I was doing enough.  My heart wanted to help them grow in the ways they said they wanted to grow, and I also needed them to get bigger, so there would be enough room for me. Even though I did make a difference — individuals, teams and companies always grew and experienced greater success than they had before — inevitably I didn't fit, so I'd either choose to leave or be asked to.  

Last year, I finally learned (the hard way) how I keep living this story and manifesting this ending and how to start writing my story differently:  My greatest vulnerability is not "not being enough." It's being more capable than I allow myself to believe, putting myself in relationships that don't have the capacity for all I "am," and then disconnecting from (and disrespecting) others by over-trying to do enough.  

With this awareness and my Point of You, I'm rewriting the "story" of my life. 

What I stand for — in my non-marketing-speak truth — is for each of us to get to liberate and live out the fullest expression and value of our one-of-a-kind existence.  To fulfill on that deep knowing that we are more than we have been allowing ourselves to be.  To get over our vulnerable self-disrespect — with vulnerable self-respect — and bring the possibility to the world that we are here to bring.  

In the new story of my life, I no longer deny myself this possibility.  In fact, my work now begins with allowing myself this possibility, in order to share it with others.  My new story calls me out of the shadows and invites me to get out in front and lead my life to the fullest and help others to choose the same.  When I feel like I'm not being all I can be, I can turn up my dial, step up and choose to create more possibility for myself and others, without railroading anyone.   

While the story of my life may look a little different than the story of your life, my work has shown me that each of us has our own unique stories of self-disrespect. If you listen to your story, you can start to see the possibility you are here to bring, the reason that possibility has been eluding you, and how you can rewrite your story to manifest the ending you most desire.  

 

 

Betsy DeVos Just Showed Me I'm Here To Teach

I just received the news of Betsy DeVos' confirmation as U.S. Secretary of Education.  It feels like my blood is boiling and I'm going to throw up.  I'm aware that this news is triggering my diminished state of being.  A part of me feels like a "victim" and wants to make the Republican Senators (and everyone else responsible for this appointment) my "enemy" ... and a another part of me knows I can choose to "be undiminished" in the face of this news ... to feel my vulnerability without losing self respect ... and uncover new possibility.  Tears are welling up in my eyes.  

Calling out to all Educators, Parents, Community Members, Citizens~
The rules of the "game" for ensuring quality education for all students in the United States just flipped 180 degrees. The current Republican leaders of our country believe that private, profit-driven schools are the best way to educate our children.  Although I disagree with this premise (with all my being!), it is now pointless to "just" fight against it.

What we can do together is show up and co-conspire, to ask and answer the question: 

How can we combine our collective wisdom and creativity with these new rules — with full integrity and respect for our children, first! — to bring revolutionary new possibilities for every single one of our children to receive a quality education, that empowers them to "be" and "become" all that each is fully capable of being and becoming in their lives?  

Wow.  I was just overwhelmed by emotion as I typed that.   I am uncovering something deeply personal right now, and I'm going to be vulnerable and share openly:

Like my father, whom I respect greatly, who holds himself to the highest moral standard of anyone I have ever known, and who managed California's Department of Education for 12 years, and ...

Like my talented and giving mother, who helped her students discover their own personal gifts and inner strength in every piano lesson she ever taught, and ...

Like my wise and generous sister, who has shown up her entire adult life to support educational organizations in raising funds and developing powerful initiatives, that create opportunities for our children to learn and grow and thrive ...

I, too, care passionately about education!  I am uncovering in this very moment, that education is the issue that touches me more deeply than all others ... and that I want more than anything for all of us to get to respect our gifts, passions, capabilities and vulnerabilities and be allowed the full potential 1) to learn how and 2) to bring ourselves to the world in the most empowered, meaningful and productive ways.

This is who I am and the work I do every day.  I "teach" ... 1) how to feel our vulnerability without losing self respect (in a world filled with vulnerable people, feeling disrespected and disrespecting each other, to try to find self respect), so that we can 2) get out of the painful status quo fight against "what is," and instead focus our wisdom and creativity on using what we have in new ways that create revolutionary new possibilities.  

This blog is being written in real time.  In reading it, you have witnessed my actual process of practicing vulnerable self respect to remain undiminished and see the new possibility my fear and anger are actually showing me — rather than getting caught up in these emotions and being diminished by them.  The nomination of Betsy DeVos started distracting me today from the point of my life.  I easily could have gotten lost in emotion and wasted precious energy and time. Instead, I consciously converted my anger and frustration into both a new understanding of the relevance and point of my work and a new possibility to step up, more intentionally, as a teacher ... which both scares and excites me!  

Does this (re)solve everything. Of course not!  It does help me to reground in purpose and shows me next steps I can take to move forward and make the difference I can make.  And that is the Point.  

We all are here to teach each other.  What possibility are you here to show us?  

 

What's the Point of YOUR Resistance?

 Women's March, Portland, Oregon, January 21, 2017

Women's March, Portland, Oregon, January 21, 2017

Yesterday morning, I listened to 15 minutes of NPR coverage and struggled not to break down in tears. 4 hours and two clients later I still was trembling. My email inbox was filled with petitions to sign, requests for money, calls to make calls, invitations to write letters, pleas to show up and protest, and fear-filled outcries for help.  With most of my days spent in session with clients, I'm struggling to keep up with it all ... and feeling guilty, inadequate and diminished for not doing all that's being asked of me.

It's difficult to feel this vulnerable and still choose not to give in to "being" powerless.  To choose not to allow my diminished state of being to cloud my view of the possibilities right in front of me, today, right now. To choose vulnerable self respect and redirect the energy of fear and anger toward creating new possibilities for connectedness, rather then deepening the chasms of division.  And to step up and connect and "be revolutionary, with new possibility" to make a difference. 

While my subconscious (diminished) state-of-being cries:  "Who do you think you are?  What do you have to say of any value?" ...  my conscious (undiminished) state-of-being is now replying: "What are you waiting for?  Get over yourself.  It's not about you. The possibility you see and bring has never been more relevant and more needed than right now.  Step up!"  

YES, I will make the phone calls I can make.  YES, I will give the money I can give.  YES, I will keep saying "NO!" to discrimination and hate.  And, this is only the beginning. Clearly, the rules of engagement have changed.  I need, and get, to step up with creativity, commitment and courage, to get out of this painful status quo, by connecting and co-conspiring to bring forth (and help others bring forth) revolutionary new ways for meeting today's challenges ... and so do you. 

One of the amazing women I get to work with, Heather Wheeler, stands for all of us to "bloom with nature." We had a session this week to work on her new website.  Her message of "reintegrating human nature" is powerful.  "Humans have forgotten ... we are a part of nature. Nature will survive without us. We will not survive without nature."  One of the pillars of her work is reconnecting our lives with the guiding principles of an old growth forest, and one of these principles is related to disturbances — like fire. Yes, wildfires are destructive.  At the same time, Heather's Point of You reminds us that fires are a natural part of a growing and evolving forest, and they do make room for tremendous new growth.   

The events we're experiencing in this country feel to me like a devastating, out-of-control wildfire.  I realize for others it may feel like a controlled burn.  Either way, we do need to make every effort to put out the fire.  And, what I most want for all of us to see and embrace is, we also need (get!) to be defining and manifesting what can and will grow up in place of what is being burned.  That, I am owning more fully, is up to each and every one of us, not just those we've elected to represent us. 

What opportunities will the current "destruction" give rise to?  In my view, it depends upon whether we get caught in the status quo fight of "us" against "them," or we choose to undiminish, show up, connect and co-conspire to develop and deliver the possibilities we stand for and are driven to create.  The game has changed.  And this change brings both opportunity and responsibility to step up and lead our life's revolutions.

I also had a powerful session this week, with an extraordinary young man, who's Point of You phrase is "separate yourself."  Diminished = disconnecting from self and others.  Undiminished = separating yourself from (getting outside of) the status quo fight of extremes, with new thinking that bridges and connects the core desires of extreme perspectives in new ways.  Is this a little daunting for him?  Yes.  Does he have what it takes to be able to do this?  Absolutely!  Will it take courage, trial, error and resilience?  Yep.  And what better way to "resist" what's happening today, than to speak a less polarizing, more unifying, alternative voice.  What better time than now?  

Today, so many of us are asking ourselves "how can I be part of the resistance?"  "What can I do to make a difference?!?"  What I have uncovered in my life's work is: what we each stand for in our lives, what we each seek in our lives, and what we each deny ourselves (and others) in our lives, is the same thing — a possibility I call the Point of You.  In my worldview, your life's revolution is to liberate the Point of You, by embodying this possibility yourself (first) and then modelling and sharing it with others.  We can't all be all places at once.  We can resist powerlessness by staying focused on the Point of You and stepping up in bigger ways. 

Today, right here and now, I'm putting myself out there more openly, to inspire (y)our resistance, with revolutionary new possibility.  My hope is, individually and collectively, we will choose to "be" and manifest, from the ashes of this firestorm, the love and beauty we want to see in this world ... starting in our own lives and communities. 

Join my revolution, and let's co-conspire to bring your revolution.

Spread the word!  Do you know people who are inspired to get involved and are missing their Point?  Please pass along this post and introduce us!  I'm happy to have a conversation and provide a taste of liberation.  Text, email, Facebook ... however you choose, I look forward to connecting!

Then watch for invitations: 1) to receive blog posts via email, 2) to join a new Co-Conspirators Facebook group (for our eyes only), 3) to share your Point of You and Revolution on a new Book of Revolutions page (in development), and 4) share your liberation and revolution via my new PodCast (in the works).

Thank you!

 

 

 

Your Stories: Amy Daileda - "Express Your Vibrant Nature"

  Amy Daileda , Designer, Vivid Element

Amy Daileda, Designer, Vivid Element

When Amy and I met, she had a successful hat business called Daisy Rock, and she was feeling the desire to “do” more.  She had designed a few skirts and tops and was considering re-branding but wasn’t sure.

We “uncovered” that her point of you phrase is “be little.”  Amy LOVES the tiny details, and her life and designs are filled with this love. The beauty of nature’s shapes and colors — from tiny flowers to stars and planets — are her passion, as well as limiting her impact on the planet, by growing much of what she eats in her own garden and riding her bike everywhere (rain or shine), and by hand-dying eco-friendly fabrics and incorporating the beautiful leftover pieces (the scraps often thrown away by others) into many of her designs.  To Amy, it’s the tiny details that make something truly special.  The greatest value is found in the tiniest of elements.

 The first time we wrote Vivid Element at our re-branding beach retreat.

The first time we wrote Vivid Element at our re-branding beach retreat.

The first time we wrote Vivid Element was during a work retreat at the beach. After a couple hours of brainstorming, the name hadn’t come to us yet, but we could feel we were close. We went to the beach, to just “be” in nature … and then breakthrough!  There’s a Serbian proverb that, for me, perfectly captures the possibility that Amy stands for:

“Be humble for you are made of earth. Be noble for you are made of stars.”

Amy is by nature incredibly humble.  It was the nobility part, we discovered, that she denies herself … the way in which she unknowingly diminishes herself.  Her self-diminishing became apparent when we moved into the re-branding work.  While today, she fully resonates with her new brand name and tagline — Vivid Element: Express Your Vibrant Nature — at that time, from a diminished state of “belittling herself,” it was scary to own it. And she almost didn’t.

She brought three potential new business names to the BizDesign Group she participated in.  She liked Vivid Element but still was leaning toward something that felt safer.  Of the group, only one person (who had just rebranded with me, too) picked Vivid Element, and the others picked the one she was leaning toward.  To her credit, she realized this result was surprisingly disappointing. Secretly, she had hoped they would pick Vivid Element.

In hindsight we see that she didn’t feel confident picking the name for herself and was hoping others would “give her permission” to choose this more bold name. They didn’t pick it for her because she wasn’t fully showing them her own vibrant nature, yet.  Hah!  She realized that the “safer” name didn’t excite her, where as Vivid Element did!  She chose to let herself “be humble and be noble.” With this bold choice she models for all of us how to have the courage to undiminish and step more fully, with humility, into our own nobility.

 New Vivid Element branding on tags. 

New Vivid Element branding on tags. 

In her own words:

“Getting to the heart of what matters to me, and changing my business name and branding to more confidently communicate it, was a huge step forward to my business and my creativity.  For me, Vivid Element is a constant reminder to express myself as boldly and fully as possible.  It’s great to have a new business name to grow into, instead of one I’ve grown out of.”

Kudos to Amy for liberating her point of you and leading her life’s Revolution!  To see how she’s “living it,” check out her website, follow her on Instagram, and sign up for her newsletter … and be inspired to express your vibrant nature!

Be ... In ... Love

BeINlove.jpg

What does it mean to "be in love"?  When we hear that phase, don't most of us think of romantic love?

In a session a couple of weeks ago, I heard this phrase in a beautiful new way, as in ... "a state of being" ... IN .... love.  Immersed in love.  Surrounded by love.  Existing in a state of love.  Choosing to "be" love.

What happens to you when you allow yourself to "be" in love this way?   I've been playing with this and have noticed I immediately feel less tense.  My face, eyes and chest soften.  My perspective shifts.  I breathe.  I feel less stressed.  More open.  Less disconnected.  More clear.  And more hopeful. 

This little pearl of wisdom reminded me of a first-time meeting I had with someone who was in one of my circles, yet very deliberately was choosing not to interact with me when we all got together.  While I had undiminished (mostly) to a state of being compassionate and understanding (by "getting over myself" and realizing this wasn't about me ... part of my own Point of You), others in the circle felt very uncomfortable and began pressuring her to "get over it."  When she secretly asked me to coffee and said she wanted to propose something, I got nervous.  While I knew in my heart this was an opening and a good thing no matter what(!), I felt surprisingly unsafe, and "diminished me" instantly started creating stories.  After wrestling to recover "undiminished me," I finally found my tool.  No matter what, I can "just be love."  Ah, suddenly I felt totally at ease.  Safe.  Empowered.  Hopeful.  It turns out she wanted to apologize, to let me know what had been going on for her, and to ask for understanding and forgiveness.  I got to see that, indeed, her distance hadn't really been about me.  And she got to see that she'd had my understanding and forgiveness all along.  And we both got to "be" in love, together (smile).

What if we all had the awareness to choose and practice existing in a state of love?
When we feel frustrated ... choose a state of being in love.
When we feel hurt ... be in love.
When we feel embarrassed ... be in love.
When we feel angry ... be in love.
When we feel misunderstood ... be in love.
When we don't understand others ... be in love. 
And when we encounter others not being in love ... draw the line ... and ... be in love.

I'll admit, this will take committed practice and presence! 
I'm in ... love.  Are you? 
Let's co-conspire! 

Your Stories: Annie Cattabriga-Alosa — "Embody Your Divine Feminine"

  Annie Cattabriga-Alosa , Mother/Creatrix, Divinia

Annie Cattabriga-Alosa, Mother/Creatrix, Divinia

Annie Cattabriga-Alosa and I met in a strategic marketing class I taught for independent fashion designers at Portland Sewing.  She had decided to shift from designs with more of a costume focus to everyday clothing and had just re-branded from Annieland to Volacious: Fit to Fly. At that time, what she said she stood for was to fearlessly go after your dreams, and she was doing just that.

After the class, Annie joined my very first BizDesign Group.  She was always upbeat, with a “keep-your-chin-up, can-do!, I got this” energy.  Then one day, tears.  Beautiful, revealing tears.  The ones that show us, if we know what to look for, exactly what the self-defeating beliefs are that are holding us back.

In our first 1:1 session, we uncovered her point of you phrase:  “indulge your self.” (To this day, she probably will cringe when she reads this … smile.)  The possibility this phrase represents is to “accept” rather than reject, your self.  With this awareness, Annie began to see how she’d been doing everything she’d been told to do, so that she would “look” professional.  While she had succeeded fully at looking professional, “looking professional” wasn’t the point.  All of her efforts at “should-ing” were not manifesting the nourishment and fulfillment she desired.  In fact, this approach was sucking the life out of her.  The nourishment she most needed was to indulge her self … to listen to her own creative heart and inner wisdom.  To stop following a path of “should’s” and start creating a path of “get to’s.”

Rewind a bit:  Before Annie and I started officially working together, we met for coffee, just ’cause.  In conversation, she shared something that felt extremely vulnerable to her:  “I love to sing,” she said, choking back tears then, too.  Fast forward:  After uncovering her point of you, the nourishment she most desired was … to get to sing.  And, of course, that felt self-indulgent and unacceptable. I remember saying, “Annie, what your business (& life) needs most right now is for you to sing.  [Pause.]  No, I’m not kidding.  [Pause.]  Are you willing to nourish your self and then see what new possibilities show up for you, that you cannot see from this diminished state of being?”

She was willing.  And a few weeks later she showed up at our session with the words to a song she’d written and a simple recording of her singing it.  My turn to cry.  I was blown away.  The song, titled “See Me,” is all about busting through her painful status quo to create new possibility — by indulging her self — and there she was, modeling it courageously.  Below are the first verse and chorus:

See Me

I’ve been down this road before.
It only leaves me wanting more.
Well somewhere along the way, yeah I led myself astray.
Forgot who I was living for.

Oh somehow I got confused.
Was only trying to please you.
Pushed so hard for so long, without knowing what was wrong.
To my heart I must be true.

So see me.  
I’ve been hurt and I’ve been broken but my heart is bustin’ open now.
Just see me.
Well I’m scared but I’m not hidin’ ‘cause my soul is gonna shine and I am free,
To see me.

By singing, she “got” how she’d been designing what she thought stores would want rather than what she really wanted to design.  Giving herself the freedom to sing had helped her to see new possibility for her designs.  It also helped her to understand and let go of big fears she had been experiencing in her personal relationship.

In planning and prepping for her wedding, another huge ah-hah was uncovered.  We call it “the generosity of receiving,” and this understanding began to open up a whole new way for her to get to“be” in the world.  We saw that Annie unknowingly defeated herself not only by “not accepting” her self (not being receptive to her own wisdom and gifts), she also had a hard time accepting gifts from others.  This, too, felt self indulgent.  It was fine to give (and give and give and give) to others.  It was not fine to let others give to her.  By denying herself the right to receive (diminishing herself), she was denying others the right to give to her (diminishing others).

This big breakthrough led to another huge realization.  The more Annie “indulged” her self, the more her brand, Volacious, stopped resonating for her.  Why?  Because Volacious was conceived from the diminished side of her point of you — having to push hard to go out and get your dreams — and the point of Annie’s revolution is actually the opposite.  The point is more about trusting and receiving our inner vision and wisdom, and being in sisterhood.  It was less about the pursuit of our dreams, and more about allowing their possibility into our lives.  We also got that Volacious, and the idea of “chasing your dreams”, was all masculine energy and was reflective of Annie’s self denial of her own feminine energy.  With her new brand, she undiminished!  After multiple brainstorming sessions and her own deep work, Divinia was born.  The postcard (pictured below) showing her new logo and look says:  “We embrace the mystery of our divine feminine.  We manifest our magic.  We are the Divina.”

WeAreTheDiviniaPostcard.jpg

In her own words:

“I believe every single person contains both masculine and feminine energies, and if we are human, we are a creation of the divine. This means, in my opinion, divine femininity is an intrinsic part of us ALL (although sometimes it’s easy to forget). There’s a way back to our innate feminine gifts that the world needs so much right now. I see this possibility for myself, and for everyone. I’m on a personal journey of connecting to ancient ways of being a woman, and finding expression and balance of my divine feminine and divine masculine energies. I’d love for you to join me.” 

After several twists and turns, including a move to a dream farm in Bend, OR, Annie and her husband got the most unexpected and wonderful news.  She was pregnant.  With twin girls.

Everyday I get to witness extraordinary journeys of undiminishing.  And frequently, what we think we’re moving towards isn’t our final destination … it’s just the next guidepost we can see from wherever we’re currently standing.  Annie’s journey demonstrates this so beautifully.   All the co-conspiring we’ve done, focusing on her business, turned out to be both all about her business and not about her business at all.  Ultimately, embodying her own divine feminine was preparing her to be the mother of twin girls. No matter what she chooses to do with her business and how it evolves, the point of her revolution is crystal clear … and she’s living it!

Much love to you Annie, Sage, Loey Swan and Zara Myth.

To be, or to do to be? That is the question.

ToBeToDoFigures.jpg

Here's a pearl from one of today's sessions:

To be, or to do to be?  That is the question.
To get to be, or to have to do to be ... enough, loved, worthy, accepted, valued, respected, helpful?

We are do-ers.  We get stuff done!  We are there for our family and friends and clients.  And we can never do enough.  As always, there are both diminished and undiminished aspects of our doing.  Our feeling of not doing enough stems from the deeper not being enough.  We really notice this diminished state of being when we feel helpless ... because there's nothing we can do.  From this diminished state of being, we numb the pain of feeling helpless by doing anyway ... anything and everything we can ... and end up exhausted.  And from this place of exhaustion, all we can do is be ... exhausted.  

What if we started with being?  What if being is enough?  What if being is our greatest value?  Being present.  Being connected.  Being compassionate.  Being at peace.  What if we let being be effortless ... and let doing rise up from this state of grace?  Of love.  Undiminshed.

To be, or to do to be.  Both choices lead to "being" ... one because we "be" there, and the other because we exhaust ourselves to the point we get there.  Which route will we choose today?

An Air Conditioner and Self Respect

A few weeks ago, my partner and I had a conversation about where we thought the new window air conditioner should go.  The electrician was coming in a few days, and we needed to make a choice.  We talked about options and easily agreed on a location.

The evening before the electrician was coming, my partner asked me: "Where are we going to put the air conditioner?"  I looked at him pensively and said: "Didn't we decide that already?"  This reply annoyed him and he replied: "Why can't you just answer the question?  Why do you always have to answer my question with another question?"  Suddenly, we were arguing.  The subject was no longer the air conditioner.  The subject was now my lack of respect for his question.  We were no longer on the same team.

Why didn't I just answer the question?  Because I didn't feel safe.  His question triggered my own self doubt, and in this vulnerable state of being, I subconsciously tried to protect myself by retreating—by not answering the question.  Subconsciously, I felt disrespected by him and fell into my own state of "self-disrespect," and from there my reaction disrespected him.

Why didn't he just reply with, "Yeah. I know.  I forgot.  Can you remind me?"  Because he didn't feel safe. My reply triggered his own feelings of shame for not remembering.  In this vulnerable state of being, he subconsciously tried to protect himself by lashing out—by making me wrong instead.  Subconsciously, he felt disrespected by me and fell into a deeper state of "self-disrespect," and from there his reaction disrespected me.

This may seem silly, but substitute another subject from your own personal or professional life, and haven't you also experienced similar conversations, that turn unexpectedly into confusing misunderstandings and arguments?

Why does this happen?  Here's what I've been witnessing in my own life and the lives of my clients and the people around me:

#1 We are unaware of our own (subconscious) self-disrespect patterns.
#2 We don't know how to have respectful compassion for our own vulnerabilities.
#3 We assume that the disrespect we are feeling is caused by someone else, so we throw up a wall and disconnect to protect ourselves.

How can we shift it?  Here's what I've been working with in my own life and with my clients:

#1 Become aware of when we feel "emotional discomfort" of some kind, and recognize this as a sign that our own self-disrespect button has been pushed (whether pushed by someone else or not).
#2 Get present to our own fear or shame or other version of pain, have compassion for ourselves, and choose to be vulnerable, without needing to be disrespectful or belittling of ourselves.
#3 Reconnect, by respectfully asking for understanding and compassion and sometimes also forgiveness.

My partner and I applied this ourselves, in the situation about the air conditioner.  We chose to rewind and replay it.  Here's about how it went:

"Hey, I know we talked about this but, honestly, I forgot where we decided to put the air conditioner.  Can you remind me?"

"Sure. We decided to put it in the window by the garage in the living room.  Is that still good with you?"

"Yeah. Great. I'll make a note for the electrician."

"Perfect.  Thanks!"

From fear and doubt, to compassion.  From shame and blame, to self-respect.  From fighting and disconnection, to connection.  Happily back on the same team.

We each have very specific ways in which we disrespect ourselves. Listen for what you want to blame others for, and you will find your own pattern of self-disrespect.  Once you become present to it, you can choose to "be" self-respected instead (and respectful of others' vulnerabilities, as well) and stay connected.

Setback Or Leap Forward? We Get To Choose.

I wrote the title for this blog post more than 2 years ago and never actually wrote the post.  It is so perfect to have found it again, just now ... when re-framing yet another potential setback into my next leap forward.

For the past couple of years, I've been trying to share more openly the experiences of my own journey.   To model "liberating my point of v-you," knowing that it's not only about me—it's about all of us. And with the exception of face-to-face interactions, I've been "living it" under cover.

My biggest excuse for not sharing has been that I haven't had time. True, I've been fully booked with clients, yet I also let myself believe a "business coaching" business is not what I'm most inspired to build—that I'm more inspired by helping others to build their businesses.  As I write this now, that sounds ludicrous.  It's so obvious that this belief and choice are coming from my own diminished state of being someone who doesn't get to build her own business. Someone who belongs back stage, not center stage.  Someone who needs to "get over herself" (note: my point of v-you phrase is "get over yourself.")  And deeper still, it's coming from a subconscious, self-defeating belief that I am someone whose existence hurts people and has no value. Whew. Yeah, that's the deep stuff of anorexia that almost took me out.  Of course this subconscious belief is not true and definitely is not the point!

Looking back over the first 20 years of my professional life, it feels like I yo-yo'ed through my career — going out into the world to fill one predefined role, successfully contributing, gathering experience and insights, "losing myself" in the work, then leaving with the hopes of finding myself again—on continuous repeat. And despite significant successes and accomplishments in each role, the sense of "losing myself," while trying to "find myself" through my work, felt a lot like failure.  In hindsight, while I'd failed to find my complete self in each role, I had uncovered important pieces of "the point" of what I'm here to bring.  And after each supposed setback, I had regrouped and put myself out there again, and actually had made a leap forward, towards making a difference and more fully "being" in the world.

Since starting my own business, the yo-yo-ing has continued, yet has shifted.  The journey has been less about finding myself and more about learning not to abandon my self and my work:

Four years ago I abandoned my own business for the first time, when I moved back to California with hopes of joining a start-up team in the Silicon valley (where I'd grown up professionally).  I remember feeling like I had been "living under a wet blanket," and I wanted to return to the "sunny side of the street," where I'd experienced my greatest sense of success and where people in businesses get to think big.  Reality: these Silicon Valley businesses were no longer looking for the "me" I had grown into, or, more accurately, I didn't know how to "bring" me to them then. I didn't know the point.  I worked on a few projects doing whatever was needed and felt the life being sucked out of me, again.  I sent resumes daily and heard nothing back.  I felt like I didn't fit in anywhere.  Feelings of hope and possibility turned to hopelessness and failure, again.  Another reality: my greatest strength never has been fitting into one position in a business.  It's been seeing "the point" of the whole business and knowing how to design, build and orchestrate all of the parts to manifest it, on the one hand, and seeing how individuals' self-defeating beliefs get in the way of their potential, on the other.  It's so clear now how I was limiting my own possibility by trying to fit all of me into positions that were too narrowly defined for my greatest strengths.  I'd given up on my own work, because it felt pointless ... because my diminished state of being wasn't allowing me to do my own work for my own business.  I was unknowingly denying myself the very thing I stand for.

With this insight, I turned what felt like a huge setback into another leap forward.  After 8 months in California, I returned to Portland, Oregon, started my first BizDesign Group, built up some 1:1 clients and stepped into my new brand.  I was meeting clients all over town, and to grow, I needed an office where clients could come to me.  I signed a year lease in a really cool new creative space (after getting over the fear of putting down roots and not being able to disappear).   Three months into the lease, I was asked to leave.  I couldn't believe it.  I'd finally given myself the chance to step up and "show up," and this felt like another huge setback.  Reality: the space wasn't working well for me, after all.  Many things promised in the lease had been taken away, and I had just been set free.  [Note: this is when I originally wrote the headline for this post.] Although this triggered my "I have to disappear" state-of-being (and a lot of tears), instead of abandoning my self and my work again, I "got over my self-defeating self" and manifested a much better place to be, that perfectly supported significant growth of my business, and the growth of my clients' businesses, for the next year and a half.  (See Hatch.)

During this year and a half of growth, one of my clients began to grow significantly.  We went from working together 6 hours per week, to 15 hours per week (as an employee), and early this year I agreed to 30 hours per week to manage operations.  My goal was to take my work to a new level within a quickly growing company.  While my brain thrives on the challenging complexity of a rapidly growing company(!), I quickly began losing myself again.  My "doing" (and doing and doing) overwhelmed my "being."  And while I'm good at doing a lot, I was "doing" too much and "being" too little of what I'm best at being, and this wasn't making anyone happy.  Once again, I'd lost the point.  I got the hard lesson that working in this capacity in someone else's company isn't a good fit for me and what I'm here to bring.  And, no surprise, the initial takeaway was "failure."

But after a few weeks back focused on my own work and reconnecting with both previous and new clients, I feel like me again.  It feels so easy and natural, and I've gotten empowering new insights and clarity! Yes, it's a bit daunting and scary to face replacing 30 hours per week income overnight, but it's also invigorating!  I have the time to write blog posts and post on Instagram and share the extraordinary stories of our revolutions together ... and to think big, again, about the possibilities of my own revolution.  And, surprise, my work is not about building a "coaching" business.  The point is to create possibility for myself and others to manifest our own greatest value through the fullest expression of our existence.  And to that possibility, I'm recommitted.

Clearly, I've reached another big juncture in my own journey ... a juncture that "diminished me" easily could have turned into a debilitating setback.  Reality: I get to take a grand leap forward, and I'm choosing to let myself.

How Is Your Subconscious Mind Limiting Your Potential?

I recently read a post by Bob Nease on FastCompany.com entitled: Your Brain Is On Autopilot More Than You Think—Here's How to Wake It Up.  Subtitle: "It isn't that we're making bad decisions. More often, we aren't even aware there's a decision to make."

The following bit of info really grabbed my attention:  "Of the 10 million bits of information that each of our brains process each second, only about 50 bits are devoted to deliberate thought—in other words, 0.0005%. (...) That means (...) our brains leave it up to our unconscious to make the vast majority of choices about our behaviors."

Wow!  This backs up what I'm seeing in the work we do together every day, namely that:
#1 Our most painful vulnerabilities live in and, when triggered, control our subconscious minds; and
#2 When we're in this fearful "state of being," our subconscious minds see only limited possibilities and potential; and
#3 This limited view of possibility subconsciously directs choices we make in our lives and leads us to manifest our deepest fears coming true (and/or a lot of fighting against it happening).

For example, I've become aware that my subconscious mind tells me that I'm never doing enough to be of enough value to have a right to exist, and I don't know what I'm doing anyway, so I just need to go away.  This leads me to "over do," in an effort to "be" enough, and ends up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy, because others don't want to have to do as much as I do and/or because I run myself into the ground.  It leads me to choose not take care of myself and then resent that I don't get to.  And it leads me to choose not to give myself space to "be"—physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually—which makes me feel "too big" and makes me not want to eat in order to feel smaller.  Fortunately, I've become aware of these self-defeating and self-limiting belief patterns, so when they show up, I now can see the possibility to make more self-respecting choices instead.

"Liberating the point of v-you" means we get to bring our diminished states of being into our consciousness, so we can "get over our self-disrespecting-selves," see new possibilities that have been right in front of us all the time, and make conscious choices to manifest our greatest potential, instead of our greatest fears. And that's the point.

Whenever we feel frustrated, disrespected, misunderstood, disconnected, etc., our subconscious minds are self-defeating. Our "point of v-you" is the key to unlocking our own subconscious pattern of self-defeating-decision-making.  It shows us exactly how we get in our own way and how to get out of our own way.  And, this is actually the possibility we're most driven to bring to the world.  When we show up and bring our talents, skills, experience and leadership, to manifest this possibility for ourselves and others, we can make a difference.

My point of v-you offers the possibility to "get over our (self-defeating) selves" and realize our greatest value and full potential.  What does yours offer?