Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Power of Creative Change

The most powerful influence in your life is change.

No matter who you are, where you live in the world, or what you're doing, change affects you.

Although change isn't always in your control, you need to effectively harness its power and make change an ally in your life.

Here are a few critical truths to support your efforts.

Change is a vital and natural quality of life.

Everything in and around you is in a constant state of flux. Change is relentless.

Some things change in a moment, while others take eons to shift. Yet all forms are in some way evolving, fluctuating, vibrating, transforming, expanding, contracting, or deteriorating.

Since the core and pervasive theme of life is change, any time you resist change, you push against the natural flow of life. Your resistance is counterproductive, and may eventually create unhealthy consequences for your body, mind, or emotions.

In order to sustain health, happiness, and ease, you must learn how to release resistance and move with the current of change.

You can only change yourself.

Whatever you do, you cannot make someone else change. The desire and motivation for change must come from within.

Since you can't change others, the focus must be on yourself.

At first, this orientation may seem selfish, especially if you haven't devoted much time, attention, or energy to you. However, by changing yourself, you have the opportunity to become healthier, happier, and more fulfilled.

Your dedicated investment in yourself will then significantly benefit your own life, as well as all the people around you. As you give more to yourself, you will expand your clarity, capacity, and effectiveness to give authentically to others.

You can create purposeful life changes that last.

Although everyone encounters difficulties when they try to change, the most relevant challenges (e.g., habits, memories, inertia) originate and operate within you.

Therefore, by overcoming these limiting behaviors and other self-defeating patterns you can create the changes you desire.

As you know, you cannot expect a different result from the same routine that has led to your current dilemma. For a real breakthrough, you need a different paradigm--something new!

An important step in this new direction involves a "map" we developed in 1984--the Creative Change model--that has guided thousands of people to make practical, systematic changes in all aspects of their individual and organizational lives.

Successful change starts from the inside.

For intentional change to be effective and long lasting, you must begin by establishing a foundation for yourself with your core values and purpose. Then, you will be aligned with or rooted in these values and purpose as you work on your assessment, future image, barriers, plan, action steps, and support.

With this alignment in place, you will feel a compelling energy ("pull") from the future as well as an inspirational energy ("push") from your values.

When these two energies work together, you are purposeful, your efforts feel more joyful, you creatively adjust your actions as needed, and you take steps with ease in the midst of challenges you encounter along the way.

To learn more about how you can deliberately and successfully harness the power of creative change, go here and request my free article, Journey of a Lifetime.

Take charge of your change!

Love and Peace,
Dave


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Laughter is the Sun . . .

Last night, I enjoyed a wonderful performance of the commedia dell'arte masterpiece, The Servant of Two Masters, at the Yale Rep.

While I was completely delighted and entertained, the play received mixed responses from the audience. Some people said the performance was too silly, lightweight, and not much of a play. Others laughed heartily at the slapstick, puns, modern references, and physical comedic devices.

Vive la différence!

Although I respect the varied tastes people have in humor, as with anything, I'm concerned about the mood that persists in the world today.

Along with the constant reminders of doom and gloom, the media seem to portray depression, anxiety, and fear as expected consequences of contemporary living. And, the primary relief available comes in the form of prescription medication with serious side effects!

What about other truly natural ways to build your immune functioning and help you develop resiliency in the face of life's stressors?

One effective way involves laughter.

Over 30 years ago, in Anatomy of an Illness, Norman Cousins chronicled his use of funny movies and tapes to provoke "unquenchable" laughter, reduce pain, and eventually restore his health. Since the era of Cousins' mind-opening self-care strategies, many medical researchers have found empirical evidence for the connection between laughter and various measures of healthy functioning.

As Dr. Lee Berk, a self-described "hardcore medical clinician and scientist" says, " . . . there is an intrinsic physiological intervention brought about by positive emotions such as mirthful laughter, optimism, and hope." By actively engaging in these emotions, you make lifestyle choices that will have a significant impact on your health relative to prevention and treatment.

Cousins claimed that, as a young boy, he had "set out to discover exuberance."

With these provocative findings in mind, you might reflect on the following questions:
  • What are the sources of exuberance in your life?
  • In what ways do you cultivate laughter, smiling, silliness, optimism, and related cheerful experiences in your daily living?
Then, consider how you might consciously change your day to include more opportunities for mirth.

Here are some ideas to get you started:
  • Cut out and post your favorite cartoons in a common space at work
  • Ask others (e.g., coworkers, family, friends) to join in developing a comedy file
  • Create a Mirth Masters group to share funny stories, jokes, puns, or riddles
  • Set aside a "Comedy Hour" with your family for films, games, etc.
  • Share the day's funny experiences with a friend or family
  • Keep a journal or blog of your positive, inspiring experiences
  • Nurture relationships with people who like to play
  • Read articles and books that support you (e.g., Happy for No Reason by Marci Shimoff)
  • Check out sites such as www.humorproject.com
  • And more . . .
In these and other ways, you will develop your own sense of humor, and allow for more joy in your life.

Finally, the words of Bengali master Rabindranath Tagore suggest an important place to begin:

"The burden of self is lightened when I laugh at myself."

May you begin and end each day with a smile in your heart!

Love and Peace,
Dave

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Enjoy Your Dream Vacation!

With the arrival of Spring just ahead, you may be looking forward to a break from winter weather and a refreshing vacation somewhere.

Even if you can't afford a wonderful trip to a posh resort, you can still relax your body, calm your mind, soothe your emotions, and revitalize your energy.

And, you can experience all these benefits, without any hassles or expense, whenever you wish.

Here's my simple exercise, Your Dream Vacation, to help you on your way.

Basic Exercise
Read these five steps first to orient yourself. Then, play with the process:
  1. Sit in a comfortable chair and relax. Remove your shoes and glasses if you wish.
  2. Relax more, and take three slow, deep breaths. Be deliberate as you inhale and exhale softly.
  3. Now, the next time you inhale, raise your arms up and put your hands behind your head. You can interlace your fingers or not.
  4. Exhale, lean back gently, and look out and up with a "soft" gaze. You can remain in this posture as long as you feel relaxed--a few seconds, several minutes, or more.
  5. Enjoy!
As you can see, you're performing a physical action that's familiar and natural, just with more attention.

Once you've mastered the Basic Exercise, here are some ways you can enhance and deepen your experience. Try as many as you like:
  • As you exhale in Step 4, allow a sound (e.g., ahhh or mmm) to come from your open mouth.
  • If your physical movements are limited for some reason, imagine yourself going through all five steps with as much detail as you can. As research has demonstrated, your whole bodymind will respond as if you are actually engaged in the process!
  • Make your setting as restful as possible. Put on relaxing clothes, lie on a couch, hammock, or chaise lounge, have a drink nearby, or add music. Then do the Basic Exercise.
  • Repeat the Basic Exercise with this extension. After you've leaned back in Step 4, close your eyes. Now, imagine yourself on a favorite vacation or in a place you have always wanted to visit. Allow yourself to experience all the pleasant physical sensations of this delightful, imagined paradise . . . colors, textures, smells, sounds, tastes, temperature . . . your feelings and your thoughts. Let yourself be. Smile. Relax as long as you wish.
  • Practice the Basic Exercise in the environment of an actual vacation. While there, find a spot where you won't be disturbed. Then, complete the five steps, as you fully experience--absorb--the qualities of this setting. Repeat as often as you desire. In this way, you will create and powerfully strengthen the connections between the posture, your bodymind, and your rejuvenating vacation. You will be able to relive the entire experience whenever you imagine.
With the Basic Exercise and the enhancements, your primary aspiration is to have fun as you play with Your Dream Vacation.

Bon voyage!

Love and Peace,
Dave

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Discover Your Possibilities . . .

Remember how you felt the last time you found something you had lost?

You were probably relieved and excited to recover what was missing.

In most situations, your possession wasn't actually "lost" or "missing." You just didn't know where it was, where to look, or how to find it.

This same insight applies to your HeartVoice, the authentic self or expression of the Divine that inspires you.

Although you might not be aware of your HeartVoice at this moment, you haven't lost or missed this essential characteristic of being. You only need a way to realize the Truth that has always been present.

All my HeartVoice activities share this orientation--to reconnect you with your authentic self--and then engage this connection in different applications. These contexts include whole-person healing, legacy development, and organizational consulting.

HeartVoice Healing Program
About ten years ago, I realized the need to go beyond conscious and subconscious actions, thoughts, and beliefs to the deeper, transformative source of change--energy.

With this perspective, I integrated the exercises, practices, and processes of my Creative Change model, which had evolved for more than 25 years, with ancient and modern energy healing methods. Then, I added some new tools and skills I developed.

This new system formed the basis for HeartVoice Healing.

The three interconnected phases of this Program represent an innovative progression of healing that you can take on according to your own pace and your specific needs for support.

The phases, Remembering Your HeartVoice, Loving Your HeartVoice, and Expressing Your HeartVoice, develop your self-awareness, self-acceptance, and self-expression.

Living Your HeartVoice Program
Your connection with your HeartVoice opens the doorway to a new paradigm or ways of being, doing, and having in the world. You truly discover your own possibilities for inspired living.

With the cultivation of this core connection, my purpose in the Living Your HeartVoice: Your Inspired Legacy Program is to help you enjoy an inspired, living legacy every day.

The three components of the Program involve Designing, Building, and Sustaining Your Inspired Legacy. In these processes, you deliberately engage your values, purpose, aspirations, and choices to establish an inspired legacy for yourself and for others now, and in the future.

HeartVoice Corporate Consulting
Your values, purpose, aspirations, and choices reflect your individual or collective (organizational) HeartVoice.

Thus, HeartVoice Corporate Consulting focuses on core values and compelling future directions to help organizations experience the inspiration and skills necessary to make creative, meaningful, and sustainable changes and overcome their barriers to success.

In all three contexts, you reclaim your awareness of your HeartVoice, nurture that deep connection, and create new possibilities in some inspired forms of individual or organizational expression.

Aspire to be inspired!

Love and Peace,
Dave