The Importance of Daily Ritual

Just realizing, again, how important it is to have daily ritual.

I think I don’t really have one, but in truth, I do.

I really want, desire, long for… a better one. Or the discipline to at least follow that desire and do what I must in order to align with what I want.

I awake in the morning. And not every morning, but it is getting more frequent, I remember to think about something grateful or good the moment I’m aware that I’m awake.

I’ll get up, because once I am aware that I’m awake, regardless if my first thoughts were a blessing or not, my mind is turned on. And I can lie in bed thinking or get up and do. I prefer doing so I get up.

I use the bathroom. Go downstairs, make coffee, do any evening dishes. Sometimes feed the cats. Sometimes get a load of laundry out of the dryer. Sometimes stamp loan documents.

I return upstairs to my office with coffee in hand and peek at email. Read my daily blessing from Angela Peregoff, Abraham’s daily inspiration and Tut.com’s daily Notes From The Universe.

I try not to get captivated with Twitter or Facebook or other emails, but I usually do.

I put on workout clothes to prepare for my morning walk.

During summer months, I visit with my girlfriend as she readies for work. We say goodbye. During non-summer months, I get the Honeybee to school.

While I wait for my walking buddy to arrive, I peek at more emails, look at my task list, daily planner and HighRise.

And here’s what I wish I could change about my morning rituals…

I want to spend some quiet time, before even looking at my computer, to do Remembrance (a ten minute sufi practice introduced to me by Mark Silver).

I want to write something every morning. I don’t care what. Just open Word and begin typing. I have a lot to say. I just have a hard time allowing myself to say it. I usually always feel satisfied after I write first. Like everything else from here on out will be fun and even easy.

But instead, I walk and then return to my office and the day has already begun. The client calls are scheduled, or I’ll be spending time with technology helping a client create her new place on the web. Or on another Mobile Notary Tale.

What got me thinking about daily or morning ritual?

In the Unconventional Guide to Freelancing, the very first thing Charlie talks about is time, energy and attention. He calls it TEA. I wrap it all together in a nice little package and call it Focus. I think he puts TEA first because it’s that important.

What is my focus? What do I want to focus on? Where do I want to stream my energy? What will I create today? What am I giving my attention to? Because wherever I put my focus, is what I end up creating.

If I let my day begin me, I run randomly along. I can trust that I’ll be productive, but without understanding the interconnectedness of each of my tasks, I just blindly do, and end up feeling a little lost. Tired even. I end up putting more energy and effort into the doing. Forcing outcomes. Not much satisfaction here.

If I choose to be in charge of my focus and with compassionate discipline, deliberately begin my day with ritual that supports me, everything about what I’m doing changes.

If I choose to feel good first, being in quiet time with any good vision for my future, pre-pave a few segments of my day with trusting that my attention will grab onto how my clients inspire and expand me, how my life is inspiration and expansion and that I, in fact, inspire myself… and follow follow follow that, everything changes.

So I begin again. I know what I want to do, what I must do to align with what I want. But will I do it?

A Monday Morning Prayer

Today looked like much of my regular morning ritual, except instead of walking, I chose writing. And I put Abraham on Youtube as I prepped a post for publishing.

After I deliberately choose to make feeling good my first priority, I became inspired and thought this prayer and created this post.

“not one of you have been separated out” (~Abraham)
the Love of One God is available to every one of us.
in fact, by our mere created bodies and being here, together with our brothers & sisters, it is validation of God’s approval of exactly who he created in me.
just as i am.
it is my choice to see it as God sees it.
you as whole & complete and the perfect Son of God
me as whole & complete, the perfect Daughter of God.
and so it is. amen.

There is still time for my walk. I will go now. And when I return, I will do Remembrance. And then enter into each task with a happier heart.

  • What does your morning or daily ritual look like?
  • If you don’t currently have one, how might your life be different if you did?
  • If you’ve already joined me in the mystery of figuring out how to compassionately be a deliberate creator, what really works for you?
  • And are you challenged by knowing what you must do and wondering if today, you will do it? How do you help yourself do the things you really want to do?

6 Ways To Stay Optimystical (And Not Go Insane) During Your Webification Process

Optimysm. Sanity. Presence.

You want a web presence. For that special thing you offer our world. For your business. It’s a big deal. And staying sane through the process of creating it is too!

Not only is your sanity important, but so is the short-term goal of getting you launched.

Here are six ways to help you stay optimystical*, sane and true to you—during your webification process.

  1. It’s never finished. All of everything is a constant evolution. Shoot for 20-70% completion and help yourself to let go and move forward. We can get caught in perfectionism, others and our own. Seriously, it will never be 100% complete and not 100% of your audience will be sending you Bravo’s everyday. If you are spending time in perfectionism, it’s distraction 100% of the time. Shoot for increments of improvement. Start with 20%. Work toward being done at 70%. If it feels risky for you to do this, that’s good. Grand slams outta the park on the first pitch rarely happen. (For more on this 70% idea, please meet Mark Silver.)
  2. There is no right way. Or a more right way to do it. There is only right for you right now. This often boils down to saying yes to what is presenting right now. Instead of waiting for the right information or figuring anything else out. Be aware of what and who is showing up, what you want and then respond which means ask for what you need and want.
  3. It’s all personal. Every last bit of it. If this is your first time creating a web presence of any kind, be prepared for your stuff to come up. How do you do with freaking out? You might have a few. What does your support system look like? It’s just a very personal process.  So what’s your plan for taking care of yourself when it gets personal? Have a relationship with your designer where you are comfortable enough to do that. To feel your way through it. Some bravery, tenacity, clear intentions. Rally your support team to blow off steam or check in with them on what their web creation process was like for perspective.
  4. You’ll know by how you feel. Whether you are choosing a web designer, looking at your first few design compositions, or even when you read a sales page… the opportunities to check in with yourself are endless. Simple as it gets: if it feels good and you get excited, then it’s for you. If you feel anything else, you have to commit to ask more questions to get clear or just move on!
  5. Remind yourself often of what you are committed to and why you are spending time on web stuff for your biz. Be clear and on purpose with your self. When the surprises that make life interesting pop up, knowing what and why you’re doing it is a huge anchor and source of guiding light along the way. Whether you are erecting your web presence for the first time or working ongoing web-related projects. This often times is about coming back to a kind of positive affirmation about trusting ourselves, affirming our worth and the personal value of understanding we are all creative at the core of our essential selves.
  6. Remind yourself often how good you’re doing. If you don’t have a web presence and want one and you think about it, give yourself credit. It’s a step. If 8 weeks ago, you didn’t have a blog presence and today you do, give yourself credit for it. Today, right now. If you write a blog post today, give yourself credit for it. Over and over and over. Wherever you are with the webification process, I cannot drive home the importance of having the skill to be able to acknowledge yourself for what you are doing. Especially where technology is concerned. It’s easy to feel stupid and that you don’t get it as well as others. Zip that shit up by reminding yourself that you’re here, today, facing in the direction of what you want.
*Original post inspired by Danielle LaPorte. More about that here.

3 Beginning Blogging Mistakes To Avoid

When you’re just starting out on the web, getting your blog or web presence thing happening, there are three really important pieces you’ll want to keep your eye peeled for.

Most people get frazzled just thinking about the technology part (the pieces that are actually getting easier and easier). We get so distracted thinking about all the parts we don’t yet know or think we need to know before we can get started, that we actually forget about the planning.

But one of the three keys to creating a great web presence is being able to answer the question of what you do and who you do it for.

Mistake #1: Not Planning

Planning your web presence is knowing who you are, what you offer (exactly), who your audience is and what problems or challenges you help them face.

Think of it like this, from now until infinity, you’ll be asked over and over again by everyone you speak to, to answer in 15 seconds or less, “What’s in it for me?” and why/how you are different from anybody else who does a similar thing as you (coach, artist, writer, teacher).

So knowing yourself and knowing your audience is vital. And the real growth edge for your web presence.

The one person I know who most fluently teaches this vital piece of the planning aspect is Mark Silver from Heart of Business. In fact, he has a free download called the Business Heart Toolkit that will help you answer these nichey questions. He calls it (your 15-second answer to the “What’s in it for me?” question) the ‘Who-Who-What’ statement. And his approach really works!

The thing to remember as you dive into something like Mark’s process for planning your web presence is this motto: Progress, not perfection.

I have found that everything is born in bits and pieces. So, you won’t hit it out of the park on your first try. Mistakes, experiments… that *is* creativity. It’s all fluid and constantly changing. Even what we understand, process and create today will seem different through the context of tomorrow.

So if you pick anything to begin doing for your web presence, like immediately… (because you want to get in on this blogging thing, or you already have a web presence for the cool thing you do ) it’s write!

Pick two hours a day and write your content. Do one blog post per week. The more you do the easier it gets. Keeping in mind that you are simply talking to people.

Mistake #2: Missing The Point Of What Your Content Is For

You don’t have to be a brilliant writer. You just have to be able to help people with the problems they have. You just need to be able to connect and talk to people. All content is “is something that’s going to help somebody else.”

And the key to writing powerful content is to write the same way you would talk to people.

To create and keep an amazing continuous fountain of blogging ideas flowing right to you is to look right into your life at the very conversations you are having on a daily basis.

Whether you are talking to peers, customers, or prospective clients… look at each conversation as a potential blog post topic.

I sometimes will use an entire conversation as the basis of a blog post. And I look right at what my clients are asking me about as potential post subjects.

Let the inspiration come from the market or your life experience. Look around and see what others need or ask yourself what you need and write about it.

Mistake #3: Not Getting Support

And finally, because we are entrepreneurs or being entrepreneurial-ish, we also think we need to do it alone. We have to be the designer gal. And the copywriter gal. And the code guy.

The most avoidable mistake and yet the one we make most often, is trying to be everything alone. But there are people out here that want to help, so you don’t need to try to do everything yourself.

If you’ve only got two hours a day, don’t spend it learning code. Write!

And do some networking. It’s so darn easy now with all the Social Media tools. If you are a kind person who really wants to help others, there are a lot of other people who are waiting to help you.

Hello? (waving enthusiastically)

Technology is the facilitator. It *is* becoming easier. It has too. It must keep moving in this direction or it will become extinct.

And with the help of others who want to help people like you, you won’t have to wear all those hats. Finding the right support is easier than you think.

Just like taking that next step… toward blogging and your web presence. You don’t have to be an expert writer. Just an expert at understanding your people, and what you help them face.

Best of ’09 – Workshop or Conference

Best of ’09 is a series of posts inspired by Gwen Bell’s The Best of 09 Blog Challenge. It’s a challenge designed to help me write more and rediscover more grateful moments in my 2009! Hopefully, 31 posts in 31 days 😉

Workshop or conference. Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?

Best Workshop

Best workshop was Mark Silver’s Business Momentum six-week teleclass. Mark believes in nurturing the heart to sustain and build a business. So much goodness came out of this course. Mark even turned it into a one-year course because the content is so meaty and totally worth the investment of my time, money and energy.

For me, my online business success hinges on whether or not people connect with me when they visit and read a blog post. Mark’s class helped me get clearer on who I serve and what I do for them and apply it to my web content and how I write in general.

His class was also unique because of the opportunity to meet and partner with others. By meeting together in pre-assigned partner sessions, we leveraged one another’s brilliance to grow, understand and stretch in new ways. Applying what we were learning in class with Mark and actually working on our personal and business messages.

Best Conference

Best conference was Esther Hicks in San Diego. And this will be short and sweet because I think if you are interested or curious enough in the Law of Attraction, you will find your own way (or your way finds you!)

I’ve talked about this throughout the year on my blog. About how I had a desire to make a commitment to myself to understand more about it this year. It’s definitely unique approach to life and overall I feel, helped me reframe most of the bumpiness of my 2009 year. And who didn’t have bumpiness!

I’ve talked about many big things I’ve learned this year while exploring Law of Attraction. One I already kinda knew but get at deeper levels now is My happiness is up to me. It’s a choice. And I’m practicing everyday at choosing it over and over and filling my nows to the brim with it!

Until tomorrow…

Permission To Write

Or How To Scare Yourself Write to The Edge

I’ve noticed this thing, it’s in me and a lot of the wonderfully creative ambitious women I talk to everyday, this idea that we need permission.

Permission to be ourselves. Permission to follow our hearts & dreams. Permission to receive and allow in the giving from others. And when it comes to your technology and getting your blog on, spattering your web pages with words, with the juice of your heart and giving yourself permission to write. Permission to call yourself a writer.

Mark Silver from HeartofBusiness.com is pretty much rockin’ my world these days because I’m participating in his Business Momentum class. One of the things I love about Mark is how tender he can be at giving instruction about how to do things better, especially when it comes to writing.

Writing is soooo personal. I think this is why it’s also so scary. But at the same time writing can be so liberating, but it’s a freedom you cannot discover until you push through the insanity of needing permission from yourself first to do it.

In this week’s class with Mark, he was layering on the tenderness, giving us feedback on one of the most important aspects (for me) of writing which is using your words to reach your customers. Layer upon layer, reminding us never to stop… keep reviewing this process he shares in the class, keep circling back and answering more of the questions he asks. Don’t give up… keep writing.

And it just struck me so clearly… that this process is about the activity of writing, not the outcome of it. The more you write, the better it gets and if you have your vision focused on “being done or complete” with the writing, well those are directions to insanity.

I’ve learned a lot in the last three years about writing. More so in the last year, when I’ve had the opportunity to meet amazing people who have supported my writing growth, sometimes intentionally, but not always.

Havi Brooks from FluentSelf.com helped me give myself more permission to be more me and allow that through in my writing. After 20 years of corporate service, my writing was primed for stale and emotionless marketing messages. What I saw (and felt) after reading a post from Havi was the freedom of self-acceptance in all her writing. She gave herself permission to insert silly quirks and special Havi-isms into her posts and her personality shines brightly. I thought, “I want to do that!” and so promptly opened up a Word doc and began typing.

Charlie Gilkey over at ProductiveFlourishing.com, well I just can’t shut up about this guy. He’s an awesome coach and now dear friend whose wisdom I absolutely cherish (even for his ripe old age of 29, or is it 30 now… can’t remember only that he’s having his Saturn Return which I like to scare him with). Charlie has seriously been my #1 fan this year. Helping me look at writing for my blog in ways that really help me throw my sails up.

Here’s one of the juicy ones from the awesome sauce that really helps me step up to the edge and take the scary right out of writing. He says, In the beginning, your blog is your primary product. It’s ok to just focus on that… making your blog a product. And, every single time you sit down to write, it’s an investment worth at a minimum, what you charge a client for time with you during a session. It has the same exact value!”

So consider what you charge for a moment, especially if you’re a coach like I am, and now imagine every time you press publish, you’ve just earned your hourly coaching rate! Magic, isn’t it?

Naomi Dunford is a Marketing Genius with a potty mouth. Gotta love it. Naomi tells it exactly like it is. And she’ll tell you in a way that absolutely splits your sides with laughter… and sometimes even your heart open to her real genuine humanity. Yes underneath all that Sailor Genius is a very big generous heart and it shows up in her writing all the time. Reading a Naomi post is another way I put some gas in my car and race up the publish button in WordPress.

If you are new to the blogging world, just beginning to figure it out or actually considering what it would be like to “get in” and start doing stuff with it, don’t miss Charlie Gilkey’s latest posty gem called Becoming Yourself and Growing Your Blog. You’ll see that I riffed off of him, sorta got psychically imprinted with the style of his post, of which he stars along side of other starry persons I’ve already mentioned here (paragraphs just preceding). The real moral of his blog post is right in the title, but I still insist you head on over and read it immediately.

But before you go…

I’d love for you to consider what habits you have that end up scaring you away from writing. Is it something you think about yourself, your ability? And have you ever wondered how to make it fun instead?

  • How do you scare yourself away from writing?
  • If you had permission amnesia, what would be different for you about your writing habits?
  • Can I nurture my writing by introducing more fun and therefore more posts?

To be on the web for your business and do that thing you do, you must be committed to writing. So here is to playing more. To loving more. And to writing more!!!

I was inspired to write this post by the fourth principle of fun in @BoxofCrayons‘s short video below.