Unselfconsciousness

This video makes me smile.

As you watch it, you might ask yourself a few questions:

Are these people doing what they’re doing “perfectly” or are they willing simply to do it and have a good time?

Are they polished, flawless and impressive? Or happy, free and focussed?

Do they appear to worry about what people think of them?

If they make a mistake, do they look fretful or do they just move forward and get on with the dance?

Can you approach your next presentation with the same openness and joy these people embrace?

(Answer: yes, you can.)

What have you done lately that expresses freedom, confidence and connection?

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.

RENEWS     RESTORES     REGENERATES     REVITALIZES     REFRESHES

Wow, all that in an 8 ounce bottle?

LONG-LASTING     ENERGIZING     COMFORTING     PROTECTING     SOOTHING

Sounds irresistibly good.

POWERFUL     INSTANT     DEEP     PROVEN     CONTROL

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,

Beverly

 

It’s not about the driveway

My friend, Geri, and her husband had a big problem in front of their house: a buckling driveway. The asphalt was all choppy, bits of it popping up, a real mess. They phoned a concrete and asphalt specialist to repair the damage. He came, looked around and said,
“You don’t need a driveway guy. You need a tree expert. That tree over there is causing all the havoc here.” Indeed, the roots of the grand tree were desperately seeking space, and the only thing they could do was upset the driveway.

In relating this story, Geri said to me, “It’s interesting, isn’t it, Beverly, that the thing that’s growing is the thing that causes the upheaval.”

Her words gave me pause, and provided courage and strength as I navigated a particularly difficult life issue.

If something is stirred up, goofed up, messed up, nasty, icky, horrible, hard to deal with, I’m guessing there’s something alive and growing that’s causing the upheaval. I hope you’ll take a look at this possibility. Growth is a good thing, even as it breaks up what seems immovable. Keep growing, friends.

Onward,

Beverly

Who determines how well you perform in front of a group?

“I’m fine talking to people I work with; they already know my flaws so it’s no big deal if they see me goof up. It’s when I’m in front of strangers that I freak out.”

“Give me a group of people I don’t know; they’ll never see me again so I don’t really care. Make me speak to coworkers and I fall apart; they’ll hammer me!”

“I don’t mind talking to an audience of under a hundred people; once it gets over 100, I’m a nervous wreck.”

“Big crowds don’t bother me; hey, I can’t even see who’s out there. But if there are only 10 or 20 listeners, I get all fidgety, sweat like crazy and can’t remember what I want to say.”

On it goes. People can be amazed that other folks don’t share their specific worries regarding audiences. It all boils down to this question: “Do your listeners actually determine whether or not you can feel at ease, clear-minded and capable?”

(Answer: They don’t.)

Beverly

 

F E A R

The muscular man strode to the front of the room. His buzz cut hair, piercing blue eyes and no-nonsense manner reminded us with each presentation that he meant business. A Viet Nam veteran a generation older than most of my other university public speaking students, he always seemed a bit distant and harsh. I was a little scared of him; the other students generally avoided him.

On the flip chart he wrote four bold letters in a vertical column:

F

E

A

R

Looking at each of us before he spoke, he breathed deeply. Then, in military manner, he told us that he was sure we had experienced fear. He affirmed that he, too, had known fear, giving several vivid examples from his time in service. Not clear where his speech was leading, I glanced around at his fellow students and saw unsure, sober faces.

“Now, I’m gonna tell you what fear really is,” he barked:

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

His tone softened. His voice quieted. He explained that fear cannot govern us if we don’t let it because it isn’t true; we need to look beyond fear to find strength; we can feel loved rather than be afraid.

When he returned to his seat, the silence that had minutes before been one of trepidation had become one of trust and assurance, comfort and amazement.

False evidence no longer appeared real.