Millennials

Learning from Millennials

Insights from Millennials

I read a blog post  from Huffington Post recently that solidified my thoughts on the wisdom of youth and evolution of the collective unconsciousness. Today’s young adult generation “Millennial’s”, to a large degree, realize intuitively something that took me many years to learn and that is that Boomers got it all wrong with the workaholic consumer driven behavior that we adopted in the eighties. I will not repeat the full list of Millennial insights discussed in the blogpost, but a few really resonated with me.

The first is “Do what you want”. I still struggle with this. I still try to do what I think “I should be doing.” I want to give back and strive to do it, but frankly, giving back by using the core energies that I have used for so long that I feel like I’ve used them up and no longer suit me, is just not cutting it. I find myself doing some things that I hate. This is draining and makes me feel the same way that I did when I was in corporate. I know that I either need to reframe the way that I am doing this particular thing or simply not do it. Seems pretty simple right? But I question whether many boomers really know what we want to do as opposed to what we think we should be doing.  I have a client who tells me that I am the voice in her head, and this amuses me because I wish that the voice in my own head was the voice that she hears. Unfortunately for me, the voice in my own head tends to sound an awful lot like that of my parents.

I suspect that most Millennials were raised by a higher level of consciousness from their boomer or Gen X parents than Boomers were from their “Greatest Generation” parents. The guilt, fear and scarcity that we were raised with is still paying dividends all these years later. Perhaps for Boomers to do what they want – rather than denying our needs – we have to finally reparent ourselves.  I thought that I had, my actions recently however – tell me otherwise. Wasting a day of the few that I have left is simply not in my best interest.  There are ways of paying it forward that do not drain me.  And frankly, I do not need to be paying it forward all of the time. I did not leave too much on the field of play in the first half of my life, so having fun now is okay.  So “do what YOU want to do” is my new motto and I encourage you to adopt it as well.

Millennials and technology

Another item on the Millennials list of “givens” that stuck out to me is to “Embrace Technology.”  This is something which I have always thought that I was naturally good at.  But in retrospect, I find that I was doing it with preconceived notions on what “effective” and “legitimate” uses of technology constitutes. I was basing this on the tools with which I’m comfortable such as  personal computers and laptops, but not smart phones, social media, and leading edge inventions coming out of modern scientific knowledge today.

Over the weekend, I discovered (via an email from Integral Enlightenment) a set of software from iAwake Technologies designed to improve the  quality of your mediation experience.  This is technology that I have seen and even played with to a certain degree.  Last Christmas, my wife gave me a product that used bio feedback to improve your mediation experience.  I have tried it, but found that staring at a computer to see that my pulse and breathing was in harmony with what it should be was not really effective for me.  My respiration count and resting heart rate are already under control.

The technology from iAwake, however, simply uses entrainment of the brain to deepen the meditation experience.  I am using this twice a day, for forty minutes each time.  I have never been able to meditate for that length of time prior to using this technology.  I have found that is is now almost effortless to hold my mantra in my mind, and I am no longer beset by hundreds of thoughts during my meditation.  This has resulted in deeper meditation and less impact “off of the cushion” by stress.  There is a reason Zen teaches “after enlightenment- laundry.”  It is because we can re-enter the world after a mindfulness practice easily and proceed to do the laundry of the 21st century.

Is this cheating?  Maybe.  But who cares.  I am sure that with discipline, I could get to the quality of meditations that I am getting immediately from this technology. To be fair – I am trained in primordial sound meditation from the Chopra Center and have practiced meditation for most of the last two years. But not to this level of quality.  SO, which is of greater value? Spending a couple hundred dollars for technology or spending years of training?  A Millennial would simply just buy it.  I did as well, and it works.  Oh, and by the way, I also love Pinterest.

How about you? Do you struggle with the voices of “Should” and “Should Not!” inside your head? Do you meditate? Do you feel leveraging technology to enhance a spiritual practice to be cheating? And if so – is that OK?

Turning 65

I have spent the last few years trying to convince myself that turning 65 was a non event. It turns out that God has a tremendous sense of humor. A few weeks ago, I, like many other boomers turned sixty-five. They say that sixty five is the new fifty, and while I still believe that, the excesses of the past come home to roost. In my case, it was centered in the lower back, which has been an issue for years but suddenly became much worse.

My spring of heavy functional exercise caused four lumbar discs to bulge and produce something that I never heard of before – parathesia. My body felt like my cell phone was on vibrate at different points in the pelvic area and down each of my legs. Normal essential and routine bodily functions were being impaired – this was a definite wake up call. Something was very obviously amiss and so I set about identifying the cause. I had an x-ray and then an MRI and to quote my doctor, the results were “not awesome.” The good news received, oddly, from a surgeon, was that I did not require surgery.

Taking a lesson from past health issues and modern medical failures, I decided to care for myself rather than expecting a medical miracle courtesy of my primary care physician. My process included a combination of diet, exercise, acupuncture, chiropractic care, medication, essential oils, meditation, EFT, PSYCH-K and therapeutic massage. Now, six weeks from this milestone date, things seem to be getting better.

What I have learned from this experience so far is that there clearly are new rules for the second half of life. First, we must be smart about how much functional exercise we do and perhaps more importantly, how we do it. Poor posture and poor technique may be survivable in early life, but a lifetime of bad habits regarding lifting and posture will have a profound affect as the shadows lengthen. Second, there is no easy cure for chronic health conditions. I used ten techniques to begin to change my condition. I will add yoga and reflexology to the mix to bring it to an even perfect twelve (call me superstitious!). Included in this mix were twelve professional traditional and nontraditional caregivers – four doctors, a chiropractor, a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, a PSYCH-K practitioner, a personal trainer, a yoga instructor, a reflexologist and my own self coaching (my wife and I are, after all, health coaches).

An important take-away from all of this is that work life balance emerged as a particularly important aspect to be resolved. The twisting of my back quite frankly told me that I could no longer stand the approach that I was taking in a number of areas of my life. To that end, I have begun to change my approach to be more in line with my core values of loving wisdom. The x-ray showed that my spine suffers from scoiolosis, which was new news to me. Interestingly, it is bowed to the left – or to the feminine side of my body. This leads me to believe that the discs that were bulging are related to childhood trauma and the need for grounding. I was left with the realization that I was angry and needed to do something about it if I wanted to feel better.

Upon reflection, what I came to understand was that my core values of loving wisdom, which I discovered previously using the Taylor Protocols Core Value Index, were hidden throughout much of my corporate career. At that time, I relied heavily upon my (arguably inferior) values of powerful knowledge. I tended to just “show up and drive” and placed a far greater value on “facts” over “feelings.” Western society identifies these as the more “masculine” (and often more important) values, while viewing loving wisdom as more “feminine” (and so, necessarily, weaker). I realized, as I started working with people in the business world in my current role, I had inadvertently returned to drawing more on these inferior values that are not core to my essential being. This led to denigrating and limiting who I am and how I “show-up” or behave in a given situation.. I was angry that I had regressed to this older way of being, so out of keeping my essential reality, and the truth was coming out in increasingly aggravated health issues.

This reflection upon and clarification of who I am and how I need to show up is both freeing and empowering. I have begun to tweak my branding ever so slightly to reflect these changes. I’m also now using the full suite of tools and techniques at my disposal including PSYCH-K, EFT and my extensive knowledge of both Christian tradition and eastern wisdom, and its confluence with the quantum reality of our existence.

When I started this practice, I was committed to combining these modalities and teachings into my offerings. But, as I attempted to explain what I do to my referral partners and the general market, I watered down my marketing too much. The result was that I began attracting business that was outside my target market and not in line with my goals. I was attempting to fit in, when I need to fit out. I am an outlier. I do not fit in and the genius of this is that is precisely why people hire me. They want my loving wisdom and outlier perspective. I’ve recommitted to making this available. So in turning 65, it is time for my authentic self to be present in my practice with no apologies. I have come to realize that for me life begins at 65.

How about you? What music is still inside you – and are you ready to play it out loud?

Multi Level Marketing

Multi-level Marketing as an onCOREventure

Lately, I have begun to work more closely with Multi-Level marketing (MLM) people through my membership in BNI. I have to admit, I have previously held a negative bias about MLM.  This perspective is rooted in an experience with one MLM in particular which directly affected a friendship. These friends unfortunately “drank the Kool Aide” and started pushing their conversion story to how they, and of course we by extension, could become wealthy beyond belief. At the time, I attributed this change in demeanor to the MLM scheme, but I’ve come to realize that it was my friend’s specific behavior to which I was reacting, not the MLM theory in general. Understanding this difference has removed the bad taste I once held for what can be a very profitable business tool.

For people in the second half of life, who are looking for an interesting way to spend their time and are passionate about something that could be woven into an MLM business, this type of structure is ideal. Many folks are often already set up for success in these types of ventures as they typically already have a network of friends and business associates from which to draw participation. Additionally, this network often shares similar core values and interests that play well with the MLM company marketing strategy for the products in which they are interested., If this sounds like you – then a company built around MLM is well worth considering.

Recently I watched a video in which the distributor of an MLM’s products discussed how people working for corporations are in fact working in a pyramid scheme. If that is true – why do so many people downplay the opportunities for success in the MLM world as nothing more than a pyramid scheme? I think the answer is simple. They have bought into the “American Dream” of working for forty hours a week for forty years in the hopes that this will allow them to retire comfortably at a reasonable age.  The unfortunate truth, which most of us who are well into the second half of life already know, is that the American Dream is really the American Nightmare. Retirement is simply no longer a safe bet for most people in their forties and fifties.

As indicated in my last blog, I have been working my way through a period of reflection and intense business delivery focus over the last six months, and now am operating in a more focused way on my original goals.  I strive to help people create the life that they were born to live, in the second half of life. My philosophy is counter-cultural to the American dream of retirement as being focused on recreation, travel, intrusion into adult children’s lives, and perhaps a part time retirement job befitting of the slow moving, overweight image of the typical American.

My view of retirement rather is one of moving away from the corporate world with its endless struggle to fit in to the mold of the company by keeping your head down and your mouth shut. I believe we need to “fit out” (be individuals-not drones) by keeping our heads up and truly listening to what other people need …and by trying to help them if we can.  I believe that our network of friends and family is the real measure of our net worth. We need the support of others, and the best way of getting to this is by investing in relationships before you need to cash them in.

So, if you are interested in promoting things like weight loss challenges and products that provide alternative paths to healing and beauty, such as natural cosmetics, or if you are drawn to nutrition products or handmade jewelry, etc., there are many MLM companies out there. If you are passionate about one, or more, of them, check them out. There is a list on Wikipedia that can get you started.

As a member in a BNI chapter and a professional coach, I work with many people in MLM. I’ve learned that there are different personas and core values that are very successful with the structure and processes for each company. If you wonder whether you have the core values and skills necessary to be successful in an MLM environment, we offer an assessment which will help you understand how you personally would do best in approaching a network marketing system in order to be successful. Check out your results here.

Leveraging these results, we will then have a short conversation which will give you either the confidence to go forward with a network marketing company, or perhaps the incentive to look at something else. I have found that the core energies you use to figure out if something is a good fit are often times the exact energies that stop you from implementing the processes that the MLM company wants you to pursue in order to be successful. This can be tricky to navigate and we are here to help you with this process.

Multi-Level Marketing is not for everyone, but many people earn thousands of dollars a month in this fashion. Many more, unfortunately, earn nothing. Understanding what you want, and at your core who you are, can make the all the difference.
How about you?  Are you interested in Multi-Level Marketing? Do you feel your interests, core values, and capabilities are in line with MLM principles? We’d love to hear your MLM story or work with you to take the next step in discovering your path to success in the second half of life.

Pink cancer ribbon

Cancer

Cancer – a word you do not want to hear from your doctor

When my wife was diagnosed with cancer twenty months ago, we immediately began to research both conventional allopathic treatment and alternative options, along with how to prevent recurrence. For her breast cancer, it was clear that conventional treatment was the best path forward and so we followed it.

But we also realized that it was essential to change the stress factors in our lives if we wished to attain – and maintain – true health. And so we did this with intensity and great success – for a time. But, as often happens, life interfered. Family drama reared its inescapable head. While I put my business on the back burner for three months, I also returned to my original focus for the business. Cancer gets your attention; however treatments and test results that show an over ninety percent chance that the cancer will not recur, work to lull you back into the matrix.

Cancer and stress

Cancer makes other people treat you differently; which can increase stress (stress, incidentally, can lead to more Cancer!). Many people were supportive, many more were afraid for themselves and shunned us in fear of having to face their own inevitable mortality. A few people even processed the cancer as a weakness and allowed (subconsciously – I hope) their darker natures to take over, directing negative thoughts and energy toward us.

It is clear from my research, which, as a certified holistic health coach has been extensive, that cancer is dramatically affected by both food and mood. It was easy when cancer was the blaring voice inside of our home, to follow the advice from our mutual health coaching training. Be happy. Live in the now. Eat organic, seasonal, local food, a plant based diet, drink lots of water, exercise and get good sleep. Surround ourselves with happy supportive people. But as we heal – so also do we become over-confident, forgetful of the lessons Cancer so recently taught us. In that recognition of our human tendency to gloss over issues of the past is the realization that true health is an ever present, evolving force in our lives. One to be constantly considered, attended to, and managed. True health will not survive our typical autopilot mentality. We must instead actively cultivate it.

Cancer and the persuasion to care for yourself

Cancer gives you permission to be selfish. It forces you to live in the present and be radically mindful of even seemingly small choices. But cancer in the more distant rear view mirror, coupled with societal pressure to un-selfish, takes us back into the dysfunctional matrix in which western civilization has been spinning for so long.

In the second half of life, we are going to die. Cancer is a real possibility, as are heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer’s (to name but a few). All are increased by stress, an acidic diet and inflammation. Stress is caused by not living in harmony with our core values. Inflammation is mostly caused by the food we eat. To be truly well – we must address and manage both of these primary aspects of disease generation. There are other causes of disease; toxins, viruses, and bacteria, but our immune system is designed to fight them when we are not being stressed out; when we are truly well.

In our personal journey towards wellness, we have  found that living in harmony with our core values is a primary need for us both, as we are our family unit. We have also found that laughter, community, and good food that works for our bodies is of vital importance to our ability to sustain true health.

How about you? What is your path to true health? If you wonder what your core values are, and what you need to do to live in harmony with them, get started with a free assessment. Do it today, and in the words of a small boy in Star Trek, Insurrection. “Remember Data, you need to have a little bit of fun every day.”

You are not broken

Many people are stuck in victim energy or see others as victims – what if we were not broken?  We choose to remain broken, it is a way of being a victim and not needing to take responsibility for ourselves.  We become our disease.  Oh, I can’t do that – I have cancer. Or we become our limiting belief – I cannot dance, I have two left feet. We can transcend our broken beliefs by channeling the divine through us as was taught by Jesus when he said the kingdom of God is within you. I have been working with John Craig on a new video series. This series of his is an experiment as it is for me.  Working with John has been a gift to me and I hope to produce more work with him in the future.  This first experiment on my part with video has been very enlightening to me.  As photographer I have never liked being in the picture.  This video has allowed me to realize that the potential for this medium is one that I have been ignoring. Enjoy.

 

Simplify – Mavericks, iOS7 and the iPhone 5s

I have not been blogging for the last couple of months, and I feel freed from it.   My coaching practice is focused on busy executives that either need to get out of their current gig and start their own venture – or look at their current gig and change their “stinking thinking” about it.  I came to realize that most of these people at not searching the Internet for advice on where to go to find that.  Very freeing – that thought. No need to write to them.  They are not there.

I have also become every busy with my own practice, and find that I find people, the old fashioned way – by meeting them.

But, on the way back from a client site on Saturday morning, I dropped my iPhone 4s which was still running iOS6.  I do not use a case, because I like the ease of using clean glass for my interaction with the phone and the cases have always hindered that. The two year old phone has been dropped so many times, I was actually surpassed when it cracked – but still worked.  It did reboot.  But I figured that eventually I would be affected again by a hanging chad or chard.

So, I had to upgrade.  Off to the ATT store and back with two new iPhones – my spouse came into 2013 with me and we retired the three year old iPhone 4 as well.  Net net, both phones were fully operational from backups in less than two hours.  Only because I had to do them sequentially.  I was, frankly amazed by the improvement. I still miss, Steve Jobs, one more thing showmanship, but I gotta admit, I am becoming a fan of the results of refining the already superior products that are in play.

I figured, since I had upgraded the phones faster then I thought I would, why not get the new MacBook Pro and try out Mavericks.  Yes I could have upgraded one of our existing machines, but I wanted to try something – a pure Mac environment – no Windows – no Microsoft Office and its constant stream of problems and slow update processes and slow performance – no Chrome and its memory hogging – no Parallels.  Just iWork, the OS and native Mac apps.

Mavericks blows me away.  The changes are small – tabbed finder windows – a form factor and resolution that forced me into full screen mode, which easily allows me to move from clean app to clean app. 16 GB of memory and a solid state drive and blazing speed. I have not used iWork extensively yet, but I use a word processor to type text into a document.  I use a spreadsheet to create simple models and I use presentation software to create simple presentations that I project from my iPad.  And for those people stuck in Windows trying to figure out how to use Windows 8 – they can open anything I share with them.

So I am going to blog going forward on one thing – a love from my past of technology and my reclamation of my photography avocation in a simplified way.  I am culling down all of my unused camera gear, and I am getting rid of extra apps on my devices that I do not need and excess computing power that sits idle. And I am going to do so whenever I feel moved to do so – blog that it is.

For the few readers that were riveted by my postings over the summer on wellness, I looked at what I was writing and realized that I was working on my own issues and not aware of it – which is why I stopped writing when I realized what I was doing and fixed the underlying inflammation issue.  I sought out three caregivers and they all told me the same thing – I was angry.  This has lead me to get rid of the things that make me angry – both in my attitude and in my life.  Ultimately that is leading to getting rid of excess stuff and relationships and ventures that do not work for me – sort of following my own branding.

There is a line from French Kiss spoken by Meg Ryans character Kate – “Happy – smile. Sad – frown. Use the corresponding face for the corresponding emotion.” Words to live by. The new MacBook Pro, Mavericks, iOS7 and the iPhone 5s, a simplified environment – Happy Face. It is not a vineyard in the south of France, but it is not South Bronx in the seventies.

I am also not paying someone to edit my posts.  So if you find a typo – enjoy the experience. What is the point of this post?  That we need to be authentic, We need to simplify and we need to say yes when we mean yes and no when we mean no.  I think that Meg was actually paraphrasing that line, which I believe is attributed to Jesus.  In fact the next part of it – anything else comes from the evil one – in my theology that means the crazy voice inside of my head my ego.

Launching Your Second Career as the New Retirement

“You can do it alone. But it’s going to be so much harder.”

It sounds somewhat harsh, but author Jennifer Egan hits the nail on the head. Launching your second career venture is not a solo practice, even if you are a solopreuneur. It takes a village to launch your efforts. There is a side benefit to this village: people live longer when they have the support of others, and often the work relationships from corporate go away after you leave the corporate matrix. Creating a work-life balance after leaving your day job requires some creativity as you build your “new retirement” life.

In all probability, launching your venture will require skills that you do not have. When we work for large organizations, there are other people that can be influenced to do what is needed. When you go out on your own, you either have to buy that expertise, develop it yourself, or barter for it.

How do you decide what to do and what to buy? How much of your time are you willing to invest in learning new skills? How much enjoyment do you get from doing so?

When I started this practice, I had the luxury of not needing to live on the proceeds from the business. I am now cash flow-positive from the practice and am in the position to see a clear path towards where I want to go. As I have been mentioning in the last few blogs, it comes down to a question of balance.

I am the type of person that works well in the undefined state of startups. One of my quirks, though, is that I need to understand the framework for the environment, the questions, as well as the tools. Some of those tools are software, some are techniques, some are assessment in the practice area of our business.

In my youth, I rebelled against traditional education. I am, to a large degree, self-taught. Lately, I have been amazed that I have chosen the formal education path over self-teaching more and more frequently. I have taken two formal coach training programs – one in ICF Core Competency Coaching from iPEC, and one in nutrition theory and wellness coaching from IIN. When it came time to learning Quickbooks, I opted for a community college class. To learn how the subconscious can be reprogrammed I took two PSYCH-K training courses.

I have done this because I realized in my first PSYCH-K course that I am an experiential learner. Looking back at high school and college, I aced any class that I showed up at. Simply being exposed to the information allowed me to learn it and master it. So self-teaching for me was dependent on being in an environment where I could learn empirically.

In corporate America, I had ample opportunity to learn from those around me in this way. Self-teaching worked because I had a feedback mechanism where I could collaborate with and observe other people around me. When I left that environment, I no longer had that support or that energy.

There are a variety of ways to get support from others. Peer networking groups, like ICF-PIttsburgh for coaches, are a logical place to go for that. Community College courses, university certificate or advanced degree programs, seminars, distance learning courses are all ways for connecting in person or virtually. Meetup groups are another place to find support. In Pittsburgh, there is one for co-locators where people support one another in looking for a supportive fashion.

It is easier to make decisions on what to make, versus what to buy when you have others to bounce ideas off of. It is also easier to find them when you get out of your home office and talk to others. One of the best decisions that I made was to join a BNI chapter, because it forced me to show up once a week bright and early at seven in the morning,  and it forced me to look for people to refer to others, otherwise known as referral marketing. That got me to network in other places. I, like most people, will work harder for others than I will for myself.

That being said, in launching your effort, I have found that having some type of support system is best. I have also found that others often want to help you succeed, and that people will often help you. You simply have to show up and ask.

New Rules are Needed for Work-Life Balance

We are scales.

Not the digitalized platform in which many of us fear. I mean the traditional, two-sided scale. It’s common sense; when one side is more heavily weighted, the device is thrown off balance. We work the same way.

Work-Life Balance is the key driver. From what I have learned from the last few months, new rules define second stage solutions for retirement years.

In my last entry, I focused on the need for balance and meditation – to be centered. While I work with people at the early stages of the second half of life, I have the advantage of being far enough down the road to know where the physical changes hit that show up screaming at you, “BE SMART!”

When I was in my late forties, things changed. My eyesight got to the point where I could not fake it, and I had to wear glasses. I felt old for the first time. Joint pain started at different times, and I just felt worse than I used to. I gave in and got the glasses, and I started working out with less gusto and more care.

Then in my early sixties things dramatically changed again. I fell on uneven ground carrying a camera and tripod in icy conditions. I fell again on black ice with a camera and landed flat on my back. My days often involved an extra unwanted dosage of pain. My skin did not have the depth and translucency of the past. Because of that, I got more radical with my diet, as I have talked about, and my health took a turn for the better.

Then, my wife’s illness, other family issues, increased efforts at launching my own venture, and falling back into the ways of the first half of life for business rules all hit at the same time.

These restrictions could not dominate my life if I wanted to live a long, healthy, happy life. It was time to turn a new leaf and allow myself to take on some new rules.

So, what exactly are these new rules?

  • The need for balance
  • More time for recovery
  • Sleep
  • Be true to your own agenda

Balance is always important, and our health depends on it. But as we get older, I have found that our bodies punish us faster if we break this rule. I was told in my youth that you had to be enjoying yourself fifty-percent of the time while you worked or you were in the wrong job. I am following the rule to find enjoyment in the entirety of my ventures, or find another way of doing them or different ones to do.

I got into this lifestyle so that we could eat well and have a comfortable home environment, and that I could be creative. For the last month, l was working fourteen-hour days and not taking the time for meal prep or other nurturing activities. This double whammy of not balancing my activities between masculine activities and feminine activities and eating food of questionable quality was a disaster for me.

Older bodies take more time to recover. Allow for it. Take an afternoon nap if you need it. While I do not do this, I find that I feel much better if I give myself an afternoon mediation session before starting dinner prep. And doing the prep rather than eating out or ordering in puts better food in our bodies.

Sleep sounds simple. It is more than the time for it, it is the prep for it. Being active late at night makes it difficult for me to sleep. This means that evening classes and teleseminars that I schedule have to allow for time into the next morning to recover. My spouse is younger than I am and gets up early. That means I might have to stay in bed when she gets up, on occasion, in order to get the rest that I need. We all have different needs. We are responsible for determining what they are and holding to them.

This leads to the last item. Be true to your own agenda. The first half of life is combined into two parts: preparing for adulthood and getting our offspring to adulthood. Second Stage Solutions are about OUR needs. This is not narcissistic or selfish thinking. If at this point in our lives we do not meet our needs, we are going to become diseased and put more burden on others. Our hospitals and care facilities are filled with people with all of the diseases of our times. Why not do what makes us happy, and eat good food so we do not get sick? To me, this does not sound like such a bad plan.

I am not telling you to be selfish; I am saying to give back in a way that is onCORE with who you are. So for me, being a caregiver to my spouse while she is still in the workforce is part of who I am. Practicing photography, editing, and using my own work is part of who I am. Understanding new technology trends and applying them is part of who I am. Coaching others is part of who I am. Writing is part of who I am. Teaching is part of who I am. Learning is part of who I am.

So my second stage solutions for me is to balance these in such a way that I feel natural and comfortable. Tomorrow is September 1, in my mind the start if a new school year. Time for new rules. Time to balance the scale.

Inflammation – It’s the Environment, Stupid!

What do cancer, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s all have in common? Besides being words that we hope never come out of our doctors’ mouths, there’s something else; inflammation. Our bodies environment is hot, fat and crowded. Makes you cringe a little, doesn’t it? The standard American diet has been cited by the six doctors that we quoted three weeks ago. They all point to inflammation as a common cause of these diseases of the second half of life. When I think about the effects of inflammation, I am drawn to Death Valley.

I began looking at my own body’s environment when I read the book “Wheat Belly“.  Within this journey, I found that as I cut out my consumption of wheat, and then cheese, things dramatically got better. My thinking got clearer, my joint pain lessoned – in places like knees, and fingers, and the like.  Believe it or not, you can survive without those greasy grilled cheese sandwiches. In fact, you’ll thrive. As I completed my coursework for IIN, studied scores of diets, internalized all of the work on how our diet can improve our health and either prevent or reverse the diseases listed above, I started to become very smug.  I started to believe that I was eating really well.  Then, I contracted one of those pestering ear infections, and for the last three months have struggled to get back on track, from a health perspective at least.

In the afternoon (or late evening, as I sometimes think of it) of our lives, our toleration for mistakes is lessened over that of our earlier years.  I read the “Honeymoon Effect” and listened to the person that started this journey for me – Bruce Lipton – talk about the effects of stress and cortisol on the environment in our bodies.  I commented on this two weeks ago, and I thought, Fine, I just need to relax a bit, and simple awareness will make all of this angst go away.  To a point it did.  But not completely, and certainly not authentically.

I started to meditate more and slow down, but I was on deadline for a number of things.  I did not really focus on it.  I did not mediate as if my life depended on it.  For those of you that prefer the term “prayer” to “meditation” – feel free to substitute.  I remember when I used the “prayer” term – I would turn things over to God, but then take them back.

Here is the dirty little secret that I rediscovered over the last few months.  Encore Entrepreneur – or Entrepreneur – same thing.  One thing is in common to both.  In 1994, I had the pleasure of listenting to Michael Gerber (the author of the E-Myth) speak about the midset of the typical small business owner.  One day, you wake up and you realize you are working for a tyrant.

It does not matter if you are working fourteen hour days for “the man,” for your own thing, or for your cause.  If you are working fourteen hours and you are not having fun with at least half of it, you are probably building up cortisol, which is making your body hot, and not in the glamorous way. It is inflaming it, and it does not matter what food you are eating – you are going to feel bad, maybe even awful.  If you are working fourteen hours a day but living onCORE and in harmony with yourself, then spending the day in Death Valley might not be all bad.

Plein Aire

I can choose – I could be in the “death valley” of business – wandering around, bitching. My mindset: “Damn, I am in death valley, and life sucks.”

Or, I can grab a camera, since I cannot paint, and get up in the early morning light to enjoy the day, even if that camera is metaphorical.  If you have followed this blog, then you know that I identified this a few weeks ago, and here I am still writing about it. Well I did title that entry – Remedial.  And I guess that I am still remedial.  At the time that I wrote it I thought that I had the answer.  Maybe I did, but I left out a real daily centering every day.

One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Wayne Dwyer, has told the story that he would get frenetic – as I have gotten recently with the challenges of launching a business – being “in the world”, so to speak.  He would question another of my favorite teachers Deepak Chopra, and Deepak’s answer was simply one word – MEDITATE. Wayne would say some thing along the lines of, “But Deepak, don’t you think…” And he would simply say, “MEDITATE!”  For me, the food is one thing, and it is very important, but the real answer is to center myself daily, – so I can be IN the world and not OF it, in the famous words of St. Paul.

 

Time Management – Calendars for your ventures

Whether it’s for a business or our personal lives, we can hardly get through a day without checking our calendars. Time is money and time management is critical. We buy calendars with beautiful pictures representing each month, or we keep ourselves virtual with the use of calendar applications on our phones and computers. Calendars are so vital that Mac products are automatically equipped with this calendar app. The fact is, absolutely no one can run a business without a good calendar management system. As of late, we have been frustrated with synchronization between iOS and our Mac and Windows computers. Last week, we talked briefly about the use of back office, cloud-based tools, and how to set-up email and a quick website in the weeks before that.  We will return to the back office tools after we evaluate PayPals solutions entirely.  This week we are talking about calendars, and because there is a wealth of information on the Internet, we are not reinventing the wheel. Rather, we are pointing to a site that we found through a great resource for people launching an onCOREventure – Open Forum from American Express.

In fact, this resource is so cool that over the last twenty-four hours using very little effort, we moved our primary calendar to Google Calendar, and found an online sign-up mechanism for both clients and potential clients to sign up for sessions through our website that we have begun testing. We expect this tool to eliminate the use of coaches console for our practice and allow clients to manage their own calendars with our practice.  Note: In fact by the end of the next day we had the feature live on our website, fully integrated into our production calendar system.

Since we use iOS devices and not Android, we like the idea of apps that live on the device.  That being said, even tough the Apple-supplied apps for Calendar and Contacts are subpar, we were pleased to see that there are a variety of calendar apps available for iOS, and I had one up and running in five minutes. We use CalenMob and opted for the paid version for increased functionality. Since I already migrated my iCal information to Google, I did not grant the app access. Frankly, with this app and with Google calendar, there is fortunately no reason for me to use Apple’s calendar.

On a roll, we experimented with another app – Contacts Sync.  One of Apple’s dirty little secrets is that contacts disappear, are doubled, tripled and in once case multiplied by ten.  Phone numbers go away.  It was so easy to get my calendar into Google, I figured why not get my contacts into Google, and this little tool had them synchronized in five minutes.  Now the cool thing is that Google seems to be pretty good at not actually losing information on my contacts – and with this tool, I can always overwrite the Apple contacts with Google’s. I was also easily able to delete the duplicates in my Apple contacts using the tool, something that I can never seem to remember how to do on my Mac.

The more we use Google’s cloud services, the more we like them.  and with apps on iOS and things like open-source tools on cross platform PC’s Linux and Mac environments, life seems to be getting easier and more affordable for new ventures to get their technology in place.