Life, marketing and sales made easy

Amongst the many wild theories I am known to expound at length any time someone or something sets me off, is that everything is easy, and in many cases, things are far, far, far easier than they seem.

People seem to like this idea. They take enough interest to stay with me as I fizz with enthusiasm, and tell some of my stories of when this has been the case for me.

The vision of Project Flow Days

Dining room, Cobham Hall

We did our first Project Flow Day on Saturday, a glorious day, filled with sparks and flashes of inspiration, of vision, and of seeing how those projects could be easy, too. For me, being in that beautiful room, with those beautiful people, being part of that flowering of life and purpose, was in itself a vision come true – I’d seen it, experienced it, in moments of daydream – to the point that I surprised myself when I remembered I had not actually lived such a day before.

Relative speed

I was also surprised when someone pointed out to me how quickly the day had come to fruition. “You were only talking about it three weeks ago, as an idea, and now here you are!” My head tilted to the side as I considered this. In my world three weeks is a long time, but their surprise that something could happen so quickly triggered curiosity in me. How had it happened? What made it so easy?

Well, it just was easy. We set a date, my co-host Dave Kibby called someone he knew who had a stately home library for hire, and we started inviting people.

First Project Flow Day, Library, Cobham Hall

What is it for you?

I already knew the idea captured people’s attention, because for the few weeks before, I’d been asking everyone I met: “What is it for you? What is that you know in your heart you need to be doing?” and seen their faces go pale, or light up, or their mouths drop open. I knew people knew what they wanted and needed to do, I was pretty sure the offer of space to do it would be attractive and I knew, deep down, it was a good thing to do.

And as soon as we started talking about the day online, people started taking notice, sharing it, talking about it, and then they started booking to come.

Vision unfolding

From there, what? My vision was of a day of space, for people to work on their projects away from their everyday lives. The plan of how the day would unfold came to me complete, easy. It took me five minutes to write it down. I had some thoughts of what to say at the start, about how life is easy for me, and had a chat to my friend Stuart, who knows about these things, about how to introduce Dave so that his genius and vision would flow easily from there. All easy.

Endless examples

I was going to talk here about other examples, of similar moments of ease, but I won’t, for now. There’s just one more point I’d like to make: for me it’s passion, excitement and clarity of vision that fuels my choices of what to do. It’s that light in the eyes of another that tells me “Yes, this is it, this is the next thing, this is something that will make a difference.” When I feel that, I don’t even need to think “how will I do this?” – it simply unfolds.

With thanks to Lucy Whittington for her wisdom on “doing your marketing Thing”.

The New Universe

These last few months have been a time of huge personal growth for me, letting go of the last of fear and hesitation, guided and supported and challenged by two exceptional coaches: Dave Kibby, and Saskia Clements,

Part of the learning over this time has been of interdependence, and the realisation that two are more powerful than one, many are more powerful than two, and developing the skills to harness and revel in that possibility. I knew this before, in my head; now that learning has reached my body and become an integrated part of who I am.

There came a time a month or so ago when I found myself asking a question: “once we’ve got to that point beyond fear, and are looking at a world of truth, of destiny, of following our true path, what then? How does the world look different from here?” It’s a question I didn’t immediately get an answer to. In fact, it’s a question I couldn’t immediately get people to understand.

Bit by bit, however, the answer is emerging; I get snatches of phrases, glimpses of visions, exhilarating, exciting ideas of how things might be. I see, long term, a world without money, as everyone contributes their unique part with joy. Resources stretch and expand because people only take what they need in the moment, trusting tomorrow for tomorrow, like the lilies of the field.

I see health as distinct from medicine, focusing on the delights of the human body in its flexibility and strength. I’ve been working with Martha Grover at Joie de Vivre, London, on effortlessly creating a body that moves easily, and is a source of joy; and here has been the reinforcement of a truth I’ve suspected, that everything is so much easier than we have believed it to be.

Things can be easy, effortless, if we only open ourselves to that ideal.

Every aspect of life has a new vision in this new universe. I know I’m only just beginning to see. Just running the thought experiment gives me a deep sense of satisfaction, of purpose, that we might have the vision ready when the world as a whole steps forward, and asks how we would like things to be.

Today’s imagining: The beginnings of education in the New Universe… in audio format here, because it’s time I speed up my thoughts, to keep pace with the changing view. (Right click and choose Save link as… to download)

Adventure – managing the gaps in the action

One of the things about adventure is that while the action, when described, sounds exciting, a lot of the time there’s pretty much nothing going on at all.

Joan of Arc waited around for a year for Robert de Baudricourt, governor of Vaucouleurs, to give her the men-at-arms she was commanded to wait for before presenting herself to the Dauphin, the King – and by any and all standards, hers was a fairly exciting life.

We’re used to our stories being distilled down to their essence – a 22 minute sitcom; a 90 minute movie – that’s the most effective way for us to consider those stories, and integrate their relevance into our lives.

The trouble with that is, we get to thinking that action happens in a continuous stream, one event after another, with no waiting, uncertain, perhaps doubting, in between.

I tend to take my action in the inspired form: I get a clear sense of what is needed, and whether it delights me or fills me with dread, the result is the same – I do it. That’s the easy part. More challenging are those times when the voice inside me, clear as a bell, tells me “there’s nothing to do, do nothing”, or simply goes quiet and I’m left twiddling my thumbs, a menace to myself and others, searching for something to fill the time.

I’m getting better at it. Sometimes, now, I can go easy on myself: stare out the window at the glorious view; listen to music; watch a film. And at other times? Well, let’s just say I’m working on it, masterpiece in progress, hoping the artist, whoever that might be, can repair the chisel damage that happens when I have a go at sculpting life myself.

To generate greatness, significant actions are few and far between – that’s what I’m learning – and the less I keep myself busy, or thinking, or planning, or trying to do it all myself, the clearer the voice inside me, the one that dictates those significant actions, becomes.

(By the way, for inspiration, I recommend Mark Twain’s biography of Joan of Arc – he spent 14 years researching and writing it, and considered it his best work)Product Details

Why do people keep saying there are only six senses?

Why do people keep saying there are only six senses? It is time to open our minds much broader than that, and acknowledge the vast range of things we sense beyond sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch – and whatever sixth sense the speaker happens to be considering at the time.

What about the sense of where our bodies are in space, without reference to sight? What about the sense of our bodies moving? What about the sense of another person’s mood, even if they’ve left the room before we enter it? What about the sense that it’s about to rain or thunder, or the exhilarating sense of imminent lightning?

What about the settling we feel in our bodies when we have a cat sitting moulded onto our knee, or after we’ve finished a bout of laughter? What about our sense of direction, however that works? What about the prickle of premonition or deja-vu? What about pain, in its myriad forms? What about hunger, what about thirst, what about knowing we need to exhale?

What about our sense of space, or of order? What about the sense of rightness, of certainty? What about our sense of justice? What about the sense of intuition or the sense of logic? What about the sense that a loved one is with us, even when they are a long way away, or no longer in this world? What about the sense of belonging, and being loved?

Some of these things could be rolled in together, but none of them come under one of the five standard headings, unless we stretch those headings beyond “sense” as well. And there is more, so much more…

There’s the sense that we have been holding ourselves back for many, many years because in language we acknowledge limits to our world that do not need to exist.

What would you sense if you took an expanded moment of freedom to breathe into? Is there something there for you that your body, in its most intelligent sense, has known for a long, long time, that your mind did not?

What about the feeling of love for another? Where does that come under the headings of the big five?

And our other emotions: fear, anger, joy, excitement, peace, happiness, grief… ah, yes, grief?

These things we feel in our bodies, but not with the sense of touch, taste or smell. These things we feel in our hearts, our tight muscles, our headaches, our expanded arms; the lifting of our chest in anticipation; the bowing of our shoulders in pain.

In describing our world we can limit it, it’s true; but we can also open our view, widen our horizon with a few, deep, heart-chosen words.

Soul of a Nomad

I wonder what it is that makes me happiest when I’m wandering from place to place.

The flow of the road or the waves or the tracks brings a sometimes ecstatic joy to my heart, which rises in a soaring movement in my chest that is an expression of pure joy.

The view through my car window of a familiar and unfamiliar landscape: sunshine on brilliant green foreground hills against a backdrop of thunderous sky; light through autumn leaves in a glowing, glorious display of colour; the sparkle of sunshine off water; the shifting pattern of cloud as the road worships a rising moon; the glimpse of a long snaking train as we round a curving bend, the transient view of the engine like the promise of infinity – all these things combine into one truth: that all that matters is that the view keeps shifting, keeps changing.

It is the constant change, the truth of now and the unknowability of the future that makes me feel so at home in the journey.

This week I’ve stopped and taken rest with some wonderful old friends. This, too, is part of the shifting view. I love to connect and reconnect, to ask the questions that only seem to get asked within a limited time-frame – the bigger questions of health and happiness and life.

The potential frictions of people living together are suspended when the visit is closely finite; an impertinent question brings a moment of surprise, the head of the person questioned pulling back a fraction; then comes the moment of magic: the eyes shift focus to a point not in the room; there is a pause of sacred anticipation, and then the answer comes, fresh, true, honest, enlightening. Reality may change or not from that moment, but somehow, their hearts and mine are touched and altered by the space of honesty and truth that is outside our normal, everyday experience.

For me, the epic journey requires being at the level of land or sea – it cannot be made by air. Perhaps it requires the physical connection the the medium of travel: up and down with waves or landscape. Perhaps it is that our eyes have evolved to make sense through a horizontal view, that looking down on something makes it unreal, unrelated to ourselves and our lives.

I recall the two great Australian train journeys I have made, one with each of my children at the sacred age of twelve: the Indian Pacific with my son, Perth to Sydney and with my daughter, the Ghan, Adelaide to Darwin, with a side trip to the nowhere-ness and everywhere-ness of Uluru.

I still have the sense with me of endless desert, not empty as I expected, but always dotted with scrubby trees, points of curious interest on which to momentarily rest my eyes  before the train whisks me on to the next view; that magical pattern allows me to be in two places, two worlds, on two planes at once, with the rich added dimension of the spirit of my children accompanying me. I am here on earth, and I am floating in the world of my imagination, free and connected simultaneously.

I look at my business card now and see it gives no location: there is no physical address, no country-based phone number; it is a virtual homing beacon, with web address, email address, Skype ID. With this I can be found and not found anywhere in the world. For the person wanting to connect, it doesn’t matter where I am, or rather, there is the illusion I am always in the same place… which I suppose, given that my heart is my home, is the truth.

My heart, in connection with the hearts of others: that’s home.

The Illusion of Control

I had a great conversation with my good friend, Yvette Lamidey, The Business Locksmith, on Monday, one of those conversations where prophetic things get said; we both heard Oracle statements for our futures.

In amongst a wide range of subjects, the idea of control of life came up. It’s an idea we like to cling to, that we can directly manipulate the objects and events in our lives, that things are stable, that the possessions and people we live with now will be with us forever.

But actually, we know that isn’t true. We know that things are temporary, that even the ground beneath our feet is less stable than it seems.

So what is going on here? Why do we ignore the evidence, and keep holding on tightly to what we know? Perhaps it’s the devil we know… that the things we can’t imagine look more frightening than the things we can. Perhaps it’s that we doubt our ability to handle something new. Perhaps it’s just the energy that it takes to run a hundred different scenarios, pre-planning contingencies, exploring the “what-ifs”. For lots of different reasons, it seems simplest to assume what has happened before will happen again, the same action will produce the same result… but we know, deep down, this isn’t always true.

So what then? What’s the alternative?

How about this? What if we were to surf life, moment by moment; watch the waves with a sense of the direction of movement, and trust in the thrill of the ride? What if we were to allow the roller coaster of emotions to freely move through us, bringing vivid experience, a continuous rush of beautiful, wild life, exhilarating?

There’s a lot to let go of to do this. Loosening the grip on possessions is the first, looking at everything we have around us, everything we hold in our hands, as a momentary thing that may or may not continue into our future. It requires letting go of thinking ahead with rigid expectation, of the sense of disappointment when things don’t go as planned, of judgement, comparing this moment to what it might have been; and then, once these are let go, living life this way consists of simply looking around the moment we have with wonder.

It also involves letting go of people: letting go of the picture we have of who they are or ought to be, and letting them be who they actually are, in the moment. None of us stay the same; we change powerfully from moment to moment: sometimes serious, sometimes sad, sometimes playful; but always, deep down, we are always love. We just bring that love in different forms, moment to moment.

It’s that truth that makes it safe to trust life, in the moment, and let go of the illusion of control.

(Thanks to inimitable Thinking Coach Dave Kibby: I can no longer tell which ideas are yours, and which are mine…)

Peaceful ready, versus impatient ready

Sometimes when we have a sense of big changes happening, of huge new things to come for us, we can get furiously impatient waiting for them to happen – this is what goes on for me, at least: I start looking for signs, for evidence of progress, for the next step on the ladder to climb.

I’m beginning to realise this isn’t the way it works. The way life flows now, progress isn’t linear, it doesn’t follow a clear, step-by-step pattern. When things happen, they appear out-of-the-blue, in a way I could never have imagined or planned for – but the fact that they do happen is not a surprise, because I’ve seen them in visions beforehand.

So why the impatience? When I’ve seen so much evidence of life unfolding in this way, why don’t I just trust it, why don’t I have faith? – because patience isn’t impatience’s opposite; the opposite of impatience is faith.

Today I’ve come to see this in a new way, to look back over my life and see that it has often been in the quiet moments that great things have come.

There will be no evidence of progress, and I have to be okay with that.

So today, despite extreme temptation to impatience, I am calm, peaceful, trusting.

Great things are coming, and I’m peacefully ready.

Are we ready for greatness?

Are the problems we’re wrestling with too small?

Just as our fears shape us with their negative contours, so, too, the challenges we choose to conquer define our lives.

What questions fill our minds during most of our days? Is it

What will I make for dinner tonight?
When will I find time to tidy my desk?
Am I going to be late for my next appointment?
How will I make conversation at the family dinner on Sunday?

Is it

How can I motivate myself to go to the gym?
What car do I aspire to next?
Does that person like me?
or Is my best friend’s brother having an affair, and should I tell his wife?

Or is it

How can I use my enormous, God-given talents to change the world, to create a vision that no-one has conceived of before, and then live it into reality?

If we have to eat a little more simply, or live in a more modest home, would that matter if we were significantly changing the world?

When J.K. Rowling was asked how she found time to write Harry Potter, she answered (apologies if the quote is not 100% accurate – I’m open to correction) “I didn’t clean my house for four years”.

What are you going to not do, so you can do what you have to do?

Joan of Arc was 17 when she answered the call, left her home and led troops into battle for something she believed in.

Do you feel your purpose rising in your chest, undeniable?

Is it time for you to answer your call? I think it’s time for me to answer mine …

To get you in the mood for greatness, try Katy Perry’s “Who am I living for”


Experiential learning

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way we learn and grow – in particular, about the power of story to transform in a way that learning a step by step process doesn’t.

Why is this?

The answer I’ve come up with – whether it’s true or not – is that experience, actual experience or through reading or watching the experience of others, happens in the whole body, whereas learning a process happens in the mind, and only slowly translates into new action, if it does at all.

I’ve learned lots from books over the years, and gradually I’ve been able to translate new ideas and new processes into the way I live my life.

It’s the stories I’ve read or heard, however – the anecdotes in the self-help books, the real life stories told from the stage, the mystical metaphors of Harry Potter and other vibrantly alive fiction – that have made the biggest, fastest change.

Continue reading

Finding your Flow

Today I’m working on part two of my online course, Flow Your Book, and thinking about all the different ways people find their Flow.

For me personally, there are two ways it happens – it can be my own creative projects, usually writing, when I can go into that state where six hours later I look up and have to work to get the world back into focus. Or it can be sharing ideas, listening to someone who is speaking their truth.

That’s the magic of the work I do, every day – spending time with people who are in that space, who stay in it from the moment we connect to the moment we say goodbye, and hopefully beyond.

I don’t know if it’s just me, if it’s just that my eyes have recently opened, but there seem to be more and more people around me speaking from their hearts. It’s magical. It has a completely different feel to the way things were in the old life, where work was done for money and we were told people wanted to know “What’s in it for me?”

My new world isn’t like that – people give from their hearts, freely. Money might change hands, but that is no longer the central point; what they do and what they say comes from who they are.

I want to take this chance to say thank you to my inspired, inspiring clients, all of whom are living and speaking their truth through their work:

Lucy Whittington,

Dave Kibby, who speaks about the nature of reality,

Dr. Linda Mallory,, for calm, connected and conscious parenting

Dave Gammon, gorgeous storyteller, regaling us about the ups and downs of dating in middle-age – I’ll update this with details when his new book is released

Sam Russell, The Facebook Oracle,

Dion Johnson, helping people love their paid work,

Sarah Christie, beautifully eloquent on the subject of compassionate leadership,

Thank you all. Working with you is a dream come true.