I don’t know if it is true for you, but whenever I do not want to face up to something, I get super busy. The problem with being distracted by too many to-dos is that what is truly happening to me physically, psychically and/or emotionally is that swept under the rug only to emerge later—usually in a crisis situation. I began to notice this right after our oldest boy, my step-son, passed away from injuries he accrued during a motorcycle accident. My family and I were stunned at first—immobilized. Then shortly after the memorial service I found I was filling up every minute of my day with errands, projects and impossible deadlines–anything to keep me from experiencing the full impact of what had just occurred.
Loss often does bring forth a sense of zest—a period of over-activity as a way to bring more “life” into an existence that feels like death warmed over. And this is all well and good unless it keeps one not attending to their sorrow. Luckily, I recognized what was happening early on and did what I needed to do—nothing. I purposefully went on long walks, meditated and listened to orchestral music with my eyes closed. I built an altar in Ryan’s honor filled with flowers, seashells, poems, photos and remnants of past gifts he had given me. I keened, I rocked and swayed to the music of my tears, I prayed for his soul. But mostly I had whispered conversations with him, asking that he say hello to all my previously deceased friends and family and give me the strength and inner peace to live with his loss.
Even now some nine months later I have the overwhelming sense that I have taken on too much. And when I do, I immediately stop what I am doing, have a heart to heart talk with Ryan, and wait until I am in a quiet place in my heart—where I can make sense of the pull of being overly busy to the point of distraction and unease. I sing, I dance, I go for walks—anything to bring myself to a place of stillness, groundedness, centering.
I don’t think there’s anything I hate more than making cold calls. And yet it’s responsibility of every business owner to do just that. What it actually means is presenting myself through my voice alone. After all, the person on the other end of the phone line has no idea how nice my hair looks, how perfect my makeup is, and what a cute outfit I have on. I suppose that’s the best thing about cold calls – you can even make the many her yoga pants or pajamas should you desire.
It’s also asking for people whom you don’t know to put their trust in you and/or your product, which means one had better project an air of self-confidence or they’re doomed. Yet more importantly, at least in my experience, I also want the person at the end of the line to get a fairly good idea about who I am as a human being. I want them to hear in my voice my capacity to be kind, easy to work with, professional but not rigid, and fun to be around.
I know that I’m all those things but sometimes my nerves take over and when they do, I can sound like a complete idiot. Not useful when I’m trying to make a deal! So I do what I’ve always encouraged my children to do and that’s rehearse. I practice what I’m going to say; I time it and then slow the speech down so that I don’t sound as if I’m in a rush but rather glad to take the time to call that specific potential client.
I also practice creative visualization. I put my imagination to work by seeing myself calm, easily accessible, positive, and friendly. I also see in my mind’s eye the person on the other end of the phone line enjoying our conversation, wanting to know more about whom I am and what it is I do, and agreeing that this cold call is the best thing that could’ve happened to them so far that day!
And, of course, by the time I’ve made two or three cold calls, I’m usually on a roll. The secret to making cold calls is the more you make, the more you want to make. And the more you want to make cold calls, the more business you will generate.
I am pleased to announce that my newest book, Soul of My Voice, is now available at Lulu.com. Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. This text was written as a workbook/journal to accompany my first book, Soul of Voice published in 2016. However, Soul of My Voice is just as effective as a stand alone book, chuck full of essays, poems, quotes, photos, writing prompts and mandalas. Happy reading (and writing, and coloring, etc.)!!
Often it is said that people get what they least expect, but I’m not so sure that is true. It’s been my experience that when I expect a certain situation to turn out either poorly or fantastically, I get what I expect. The same is true with my clients for if they expect to not get well, they usually don’t. However, if they expect to feel better, to experience wholeness, and to find some peace of mind, they usually do.
Perhaps the real issue is how can one turn their negative expectations into a positive mindset. Rather than say “I could never do that. Who do I think I am? I’m such a loser!” Instead, “I think I’ll give this a try. I have the courage, determination and discipline to see this through. I am a winner!”
Power resides in expectancy for both good and bad. Our assignment is to expect the best life can offer, to never be satisfied with anything less than just that. Positive expectancy opens the way for success, victory and miracles. It produces an energy that can either build us up or bring us down.
I suggest we meet the challenges of life each day by declaring “I can do that! I can have that! I can be that!” And not be surprised by the changes we see in our lives for the better.
Whether it be solving a problem, meeting a challenge, or making a decision, it is important to make the most creative choice possible. In other words, one should attempt to choose a path leading to a positive win-win conclusion. This isn’t always easy, especially when we become closed-minded and want nothing more than our own way. I’ve found this particularly present in couples counseling. More often than not the two agree to come into counseling only to prove that they are right and the other person wrong.
However, it’s been my experience that the best solution, action or decision comes out of a third thing. Finding that third thing takes an optimum amount of creativity and just plain old playfulness. When we are creative, we give ourselves permission to rely on chance, serendipity and silliness. In fact, through humor many wonderful ideas burst forth from the imagination—the psyche, if you will. Possibilities abound and as a result, one has a sense of freedom to explore and find deeper meanings in the process.
For example, say I want to go on vacation where there are many historical structures and museums to discover and wander through. I want to go with my significant other, but he or she wants to go someplace warm and lie on a sandy beach. We could argue back and forth until one or the other of us gives in, but that is hardly what I would call a win-win situation. We could also opt to not go anywhere since we cannot decide. But that is what I see as a lose-lose situation, not much different from choosing to take separate vacations. I mean, both people get to do “their own thing,” but not together.
After some long talks and research (good old Google), a creative solution can manifest—one which not only satisfies both parties, but excites them as well. This very situation came up for my husband and I; I wanted to go to Europe and he wanted to go to a sunny beach. (I’m sure he was thinking of some Caribbean island although he was never specific.) Where did we end up vacationing?
Now these kinds of things take time and effort as well as creativity to produce. Yet, in the long run they are worth it, especially if both parties can approach the issue with a sense of play, good humor and creative energy. It is almost like rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time for one must hold their own while at the same time giving in. The answer is to be seriously goofy and goofily serious at the same time. Tricky stuff but it can be done as long as one commits themselves to finding a third way with an attitude of joy, excitement and abandonment.