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Being Skeptically Open

“There is a saying in the Tibetan scriptures: “Knowledge must be burned, hammered, and beaten like pure gold. Then one can wear it as an ornament.” So when you receive spiritual instruction from the hands of another, you do not take it uncritically, but you burn it, you hammer it, you beat it, until the bright, dignified color of gold appears. Then you craft it into an ornament, whatever design you like, and you put it on.”

― Chögyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism

I re-discovered this quote this morning, after writing a very similar, although far less poetic, guideline for a workshop I’m facilitating this afternoon. This quote embodies FLOW and the state of navigating the balanced peak as well as the notion that knowledge must be APPLIED, molded, tested, conformed, and explored to suit our own needs.

It also demonstrates that flow is everywhere we are, we just have to look.

Photo by Robert van der Sluijs on Unsplash

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DC Start-Up Week 2020

Thanks for attending my DC Start-Up Week Presentation.
>>> Here is a copy of the presentation.

Staying connected.

First – Email me directly to enter the raffle for my book, Applied Flow: Stop Burnout. Be Awesome.

Please note: I will NOT be adding you to my email newsletter – because I get WAY too many newsletters and imagine you do to. I might send you a follow up note now and again – if it’s annoying just tell me. It’s cool, I 100% get it and I’ll remove you.

>>> Link to the book on Amazon – Nerd Alert: there is a psychologically related reason it is priced at $5.01

If you want to keep up with my writing and other projects…

Professionally the best way to reach me is LinkedIn. Please send me a note in your connection request. Not only am I more likely to accept your request, later on we can quickly remember that we met during DC Start-Up Week!! #oldpeoplememoryhacks

You can also follow this blog and if you like nerdy cartoons, find me on instagram.

Upcoming Events I’m Excited To Host…

+ October 1 – Creative Mornings Field Trip – Finding Your Unique Flow
Register with Creative Mornings

+ October 31 – C.Anon – Collaborative Fiction Workshop
Link Coming Soon on Eventbrite

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6 Things Tony Robbins Does In His Virtual Workshop That Are 100% Worth Copying

Love him or hate him, Tony Robbins knows how to put on a show. I recently watched, well more like participated in, a 5-day challenge he hosted and found myself fascinated not only by WHAT he said but HOW he said it.

He Executes Really Really Well.

Many of these concepts, we all may know – but probably aren’t DOING as well as he does or with as much confidence. Granted, he has a lot of practice, is a voracious learner and has a machine behind his work. Still there are a lot of things even solopreneurs can all do. As I prepare for my own DC Start-Up week presentation, below or six things I am keeping in mind.

Continue reading “6 Things Tony Robbins Does In His Virtual Workshop That Are 100% Worth Copying”
+ Lego Knight versus Sneaker

“An I for an I” – Separating Intention and Impact.

I first heard the term “micro-moments” from Arianna Huffington a few months back during Power to Fly’s 2020 Diversity Summit. It immediately reminded me of how companies like, SYPartners use “micro-actions” to mitigate “micro-aggressions.”

When Less is More 

As an entrepreneur and process geek, I’m always looking for the minimal viable product, i.e. the MVP, the smallest iteration that will move the ball forward. Also, as a Gen-Xer, it reminds me of Tori Amos’s amazing album, “Little Earthquakes” and mitigating long term risk – all good things.  Putting this into practice lead me to create this tool for my clients, colleagues and family, which I call.

“Swapping an I for an I”

This tool refers to unpacking the gap that often exists between “I-mpact” and “I-ntention.” It’s a useful device in moments of conflict where offense has been taken, either by you or the other person.

Continue reading ““An I for an I” – Separating Intention and Impact.”
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Tribute

In 2018, I was wrapping up a project with Howard University alumni. It was my first time working with a group from the HBU and I was impressed. In was also the same summer that Black Panther hit theaters. Full disclosure, I was the “president” of Haverford’s comic book club my senior year, which I’ll admit was the best gig ever. So it’s not unusual for me to make it to the opening weekend for most comic book movies (even the bad ones). Still,

The Black Panther premier was special.

Continue reading “Tribute”
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Job Hunting Flow

There are a lot of reasons why the job hunt drains us of energy and in worse case situations lead to burnout. The FLOW LIST from – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyis research – creates flow.

It can also identify what blocks flow.

For example:

  1. Lack of Clarity. A lot of job seekers are not clear on what exactly the role they want is. The clearer you can be, about what it is you want to, the title, the location, the activities – the easier it is to find that role.
  2. Poor Skills/Challenge “Fit.” Looking for a job requires salesmanship. Most of us never trained to be sales people. The good news is being good as sales – requires the same skills as being a good friend. Good friends, connect, communicate and have each others back. Most of us want to be a good friend – so reframe the job search as an opportunity to get good at being a friend
  3. Lack of Feedback. OMFG — this one really gets me. Ghosting by companies and recruiters is real. many HR companies are too scared for legal reasons to offer feedback. Honestly, only the very best companies are brave enough to do this. People who don’t give feedback are jerks, that’s on them not on you. That said when you do get feedback, be grateful and if it’s useful, adapt.

That’s just three of the nine principle of Flow. If we walk through the other six (i.e. Distractions, Ego crushing, Lack of Control, Lack of Focus, Lack of Care ect.), it’s no wonder that most of us hate job hunting. All that to say,

Continue reading “Job Hunting Flow”
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Your Flow Personality

In Chapter 6, the Shape of Emotions, I wrote about 5 Flow Personality types I found that people gravitate towards.

Why Your Flow Shape Matters

Understanding our Flow Personality can give us a quick intuitive snapshot into the hidden assumptions that may be blocking our flow, collectively and as individuals. It is especially useful for identifying friction points and misunderstandings – and help us unpack that also elusive concept of “fit.”

Continue reading “Your Flow Personality”

Exclusive

Let’s unpack the word, “exclusive”  We tend to think exclusive = special. Like diamonds. 

Except as you probably know diamonds are valuable because of manufactured scarcity, (see also De beers cartel). Exclusivity is a marketing tools — used to create a feeling of excitement and/or a false sense of importance to train us to spend money. 
We all want to matter, to feel important — the funny thing is

the quickest way to matter is to give value and to make others feel included, important and welcomed.

#mindfulMBA

p.s. if you enjoy nerding out on mindfulness, business and etymology – DM your email address and I’ll add you to the launch team for my newest book. 

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5 Habits for an Anti-Racist New Normal

“When the dust settles, I wonder if I will actually change?” 

A non-black POC friend recently mused on Facebook. After weeks of emotionally charged posts about the marches and protests – this time feels different, but then it always does.

Another friend, a black designer, admitted she is less hopeful. “I’m tired. I’ve been here so many times, I can’t get my hopes up.”  The struggle has been going on her entire life. 

When things break down, and I think the dumpster fire that’s been 2020, counts as a breakdown, we can either return to business as usual as soon as we can – or we can try something new. In The Happiness Hypothesis, American psychologist Jonathan Haidt notes, “There is a window of time – just a few weeks or months after [a] tragedy – during which you are more open to something else.” 

What can we do before this window closes?

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Pebble in the Shoe

I’ve been walking a lot more since “quarantine”, partly because dog parks are closed, I need to exercise, and get out of the house. On one of my recent walks, I had a small pebble in my shoe. It was only slightly uncomfortable so I didn’t bother with it.

Not surprisingly, I got a blister and have been dealing with the annoyance for the past week.

It’s a decent metaphor about endurance, grit, decision-making consequences, and taking quick action.

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Free Yoga

One of the ways I access and practice EQ/Mindfulness is through a regular yoga and meditation* practice. Obviously, doing yoga in a studio under the guidance of an instructor – is great. Sharing energy and community has benefits for the relational nature of our brains, that neuroscience is starting to document. I suspect you can probably feel it – without needing MRIs to document it.

However, making it to class is simply not accessible for many folks, both in terms of time, accessibility, schedule and money. I love community and donation-based classes, like Yoga to the People – but again those are often limited to Urban centers. Fortunately, some of the best yoga teachers have classes on YouTube. Below are some of my favorite resources. 

They are worth checking out even if you have a regular practice and even if you’ve watched them before. Four years into teaching, revisiting old resources reveals nuances I missed the first few times.

Check out these channels – and when you are ready – set aside some time** to go down your own rabbit hole.

YouTube Yoga

More Terms to Explore:

Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Meditation, Chakra, Tibetan Singing Bowls

* Meditation, technically is part of “Yoga” – however in the U.S. we head yoga and think of the exercise – which is why I’m clarifying it.
** I like to set a timer so that I can mindfully explore. 

Mindful Job Hunting.

After a few months of searching (for a job, new client, date/love), have you ever felt, thought or said, “there are just nothing out there” – no good job, clients, dates, etc.

That’s totally normal*

I struggle sometimes with “mindfulness” and the woo-woo-iness of it all. My dad’s in construction, and at heart, I’m a bit skeptical of the woo. Recently, however, I came across this example from Deepak Chopra – which helped me make sense of the new age-y idea of how our inner world is reflected in our outer world.

Chopra shares this story.  In ancient times, a hunter in the east might go to his shaman to help with his hunting. He would not complain that there was no game in the woods, because of course there was game. Instead, the shaman would help the hunter look inside himself for that was driving away game, preventing him from finding or even seeing the game – perhaps holding him back from going as far as he needed to go.

Applying this to today. Think about what it is that you seek that perhaps you don’t have right now. If there is no doubt it exists, what shifts in yourself can you make to see that which is hidden?

Notice how your doubts, fears, energy may be driving away that which you want most.

Slow down, create space, manage your energy and open up.

Bon courage.

* based on my very unscientific non-random sampling.