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2012 has been a year of accelerating shifts, change, and evolutionary opportunities, many of which have been less than positive. This year (granted, the past few) has been rife with unsettling and chaotic if not tragic events both collectively and for many of us, personally as well. Inevitably it seems that the negative makes a more profound and lasting impact on humanity than the positive.

Lest we despair, it helps to remember that just as the sun cannot shine without casting shadows, even the darkest days are not wasted. They provide the contrast required for us to recognize light and consciously seek it.

There is no more fitting a time to explore this theme. As I write this, the northern hemisphere is in the midst of the winter solstice when daylight is in shortest supply. So it also seems timely to explore the shadow side of life, to learn how [click to continue…]

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Reflections on Beginnings, Endings, and Duality

Prince William and Princess CatherineOkay, now that I have your attention I won’t make you wait.  What could these diverse celebrities possibly share at the moment other than the media spotlight?  Plenty when we look below the surface glitz and shiny bright lights of media coverage.

They are all experiencing very public, highly publicized shifts.  Yes, like so many of us, they are quickly and powerfully shifting.  Bigger still, the fact that their shifts are promoted and known to the point of global awareness is no accident.  These players are in the international spotlight – some consciously, others not – to bring laser focus to a critical realization we all need to have as we shift into being our authentic selves.

Sure enough, they’re not all shifting in the same direction nor with conscious intention, but their shifts have one major characteristic in common.  It’s a characteristic we all share, in fact, it’s a defining characteristic of who we are.  That characteristic is [click to continue…]

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In any process of learning, growth or change, it’s terribly easy to get caught up in the illusion that you’re becoming “more”.

We send ourselves to school to get titles and degrees – to acquire knowledge and develop the intellect.  We comb the far corners of the world to explore, see or experience more.  We strive in our jobs and careers in order to become richer, promoted faster, or accredited and known in the process.  We save and scheme and plan for a bigger house or more luxurious car, to live in a better neighborhood, or to send our kids to superior schools.  Elite athletes train to break records, celebrities vie for more time in the spotlight and press than their peers, and politicians must outdo their opponents in fund-raising and face time to even get in the game.

Such is the metaphor for success in the modern world: climb, rise, move up, escalate, soar, transcend.  Most days it feels like if you’re not advancing, you might as well not even get out of bed.

This is a serious pitfall for any seeker, because [click to continue…]

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I’m on a quick business trip to New York for the umpteenth time over the past twenty years to teach a marketing seminar I’ve been leading for the past ten.  Truth be told, I’m in New York an average of three visits a year.  That probably makes for close to sixty or seventy trips in my lifetime.  After so long these jaunts have become pretty routine and with so many under my belt, they all blur together.  When held in New York, my seminar is always booked at the same location in Midtown Manhattan, so I end up spending a lot of time there specifically, without venturing uptown or downtown much or elsewhere in New York.

Still, with that many visits to the same place I’ve had ample opportunity to explore the city in bits and pieces, often working in a Broadway show, trip to a SOHO restaurant or Upper East Side boutique, a visit to a museum or, after September 11, 2001, even a ride down to where the World Trade Center had once stood majestically anchoring the south end of the island.

When I first started traveling for business two decades ago, every destination was a new realm to be explored.  That’s the kind of traveler I am – leave no stone unturned, get off the beaten path, find the hidden gems and soak up every moment of experience through total immersion.  Given the choice between lounging, resting and eating or squeezing-in one more new sight or experience, I opt for the squeeze-in every time. Each moment of a journey to a new or favorite destination is a treasured one since, as a traveler, I’m always journeying with the knowledge and awareness that “this time could be the last time” I’m at a particular destination, so I’d better make it count.

But in the past year or two I’ve [click to continue…]

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