Promises of grand things

Reading the affirmations on shampoo, conditioner, skin care product and other containers, you’d think these ingredients hold the key to eternal life.


Wow, all that in an 8 ounce bottle?


Sounds irresistibly good.


What more could we want?

Please understand: I have items in my home that make these promises (otherwise, how would I know about them?). I’m not claiming to be opposed to them nor dismissing the creativity and appeal of marketing plans. Most products and services need them.

I’m simply pondering the fact that we’d still have all of these wonderful qualities right at hand if there weren’t bottles, tubes, jars, pouches and countless other containers proclaiming their presence. We already include them in our nature. It’s a matter of paying attention and accepting them, exercising them, sharing them with others.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to spend a week discovering the source of all this goodness and taking a hiatus from thinking it comes from something outside ourselves? I’m thinking we’d make some useful discoveries.

Until next time,



Umission: supporting you having a wonderful life

What an honor to have been selected as Umission’s Person of the Week.

Here’s to freedom,


“Solutionaries” — an excellent subject presented with naturalness, freedom and focus

Here is a TED talk that’s got everything good going for it:

I love the way Zoe expresses her passion for her subject with calm clarity, vision, humor, originality and assurance.

What else keeps you watching her presentation?

Until next time,


“Celebrate your freedom from self-consciousness!”

     I’m offering a 2-hour Mini-Course, co-sposored by the Camden Public Library. “Celebrate your freedom from self-consciousness!” on Monday, July 2, 2012, from 2 to 4 pm, in the library’s Jean Picker Room.
     If you’re ever in a situation in which people are watching you — presenting to a group, playing a sport, performing on a stage, or even just standing around at a party — and you feel awkward about it, come discover ways to address and eliminate that discomfort. Find tools to redirect your energy, get your thought off yourself, appreciate your audience, and feel a sense of calm assurance, poise and naturalness.
     In honor of Independence Day, this mini-course is offered FREE of charge. I would appreciate knowing how many visitors to expect, so please RSVP with the number of guests you plan to take on Monday, July 2nd, from 2 to 4 pm:
     Hope to hear from you soon and to see you there!
     Until next time,

Overcoming inertia

Sometimes I wonder why it’s so difficult just to get about doing certain things. Posting to this blog, for instance. I’ve had the best intentions, of course, to offer pithy suggestions, ponder some new viewpoint, or stir up my readers to think about things in a different way.

For the past week, though, when I’ve said, “I need to post to my blog,” I haven’t done it.

What’s with that, anyway?

in-er-tia : a property of matter by which it remains at rest or in uniform motion in the same straight line unless acted upon by some external force

Hmm. The “same straight line” of not doing it has resulted in more of itself: still not doing it.

So what has impelled me to overcome that inertia? It’s not a bunch of promises. Nor is it a fresh invigorating attitude. It’s action, my friends. Nothing fancy. Just action.

Profound? Perhaps not.

Easy? Not until it’s done.

Simple? Of course.

Doable? Always.

Until next time,


Is this you?

I hope not. But if it is, take heart. There is a way to quiet your mind, calm your nerves, settle your body, control your message and (I’m not kidding) be yourself when you are in front of an audience. Did I mention that you can actually ENJOY the experience, too?

My 5-week Free Your Talents class, “Presentation Skills for Professionals” still has some spaces available. I hope you’ll enroll right now. Here are the details:

Thursday evenings, 5:30 to 8:30 pm, beginning May 10, 2012. Lord Camden Inn, Camden, Maine. Value: $650. Regular price: $350. Spring Special: $250. A $50 deposit holds your place in this fun, stretching, informative, practical, freeing class. Now’s the time, friends. Take this class. Write or call:; 207-230-0272.

You can change the way you feel about being in front of a group. Save money, time and energy by practicing the principles I will teach you in class. 

Learn to be yourself while people are watching.

Yours in freedom and clarity,


Attention! Attention!

Getting and holding your audience’s attention is one important thing that makes your presentation a presentation (and not just another rehearsal).

Here’s a helpful clip on this subject. I wish I could find the name of the man who is speaking so that I can give him credit directly.

Doesn’t he come across in a natural, uncomplicated way? I like watching him and I like listening to him. I hope you do, too.

What are some ways you have garnered your audience’s attention — and held onto it?

Until next time,


In case you haven’t heard . . .

My Free Your Talents Mini-Course is on its way:

You can feel comfortable, relaxed, natural and confident when you stand before an audience. On Sunday, April 29, 2012, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm., at the Lord Camden Inn in downtown Camden, Maine, I will teach a “Free Your Talents” mini-course. This two-hour session will explore the principles of confident communication and how to implement them naturally and effectively in your life.
If you seek freedom and ease in presenting ideas or abilities to others, come join us on April 29th. Admission is $10 for the public, $5 for Chamber of Commerce members, so bring your friends for a fun and informative session.
Please contact me at 230-0272 or to reserve your place in this fun and informative mini-course.
Free your talents: be yourself while people are watching.
Hope to see you on April 29th.

“I didn’t quite expect to see someone so articulate.”

Although I don’t advocate air travel in the buff, here’s an intriguing story about a man who is not ashamed to bare all for the sake of protest:

I love his sincere statement: “I’m not ashamed of my body.” How many people are that unselfconscious about their bodies even when clothed?

The anchor’s remark about being surprised that John Brennan is “so articulate” reveals (!) one thing: it is typical in our culture to judge people by the way they look.

With that in mind, I encourage you to learn from John Brennan’s calm focus for your next speaking engagement.

While you’re at it, I also hope you’ll dress appropriately — just a notch up from the way your audience is dressed. (If they’re wearing nothing at all, for instance, please don a scarf or a tie.)

Until next time,




Why the papers wouldn’t stick

This weekend I’m performing as Narrator for a collection of Australian folk tales to be performed by a group of children. To make the outside of my script look cheerful, I took a glue stick and attached several colorful pieces of artwork to the front and back of the paper folder holding my script. Throughout tonight’s dress rehearsal, the glued artwork kept falling off the cover. I’d had the foresight to take the little glue stick along to the theatre, just in case a touch-up was called for, so I’d slather on some more. Smart, huh? However, the same problem kept recurring.

Imagine my surprise to hear these words from my 8-year-old daughter after rehearsal: “Mom, I’ve been trying to tell you: that’s not a glue stick; it’s sunscreen.”

No matter how careful, diligent and thorough you are, if you’re not focussed on and present with your task in the moment, all your cleverness will be in vain. For a presentation, you might do great research, practice your talk over and over, and find the perfect suit to wear the day you present. But if you didn’t note the correct date and time, or weren’t paying attention when you were told who your audience would be, you might find yourself wondering why in the world no one showed up — or why the wrong people did.

Pay attention. One moment at a time.

Here’s to glue sticks!