27 March 2008

Chapter Four: Role-Playing: The Many Faces of Ego

This week’s webclass focused on the many roles we play. I know that when I question clients and workshop participants about who they are, they list their roles and titles. We have become so attached to the many roles we play in a lifetime. Yet, who are we when those roles are no longer valid? This is part of the retirement or downsizing crisis – the job is gone and so is the title or role; and our identities were wrapped up in those roles. The roles, the job has become our sense of self.

"What really matters is not what function you fulfill in this world, but whether you identify with your function to such an extent that it takes you over and becomes a role that you play. When you play roles you are unconscious. When you catch yourself playing a role, that recognition creates a space between you and the role" (p. 90).

“So people who are out of touch with the power within or the place where all power resides, the aliveness itself, consciousness itself, then they feel a sense of lack. Why are they not in touch with it? Because they are not present. They are not in the present moment because the present moment is that entry point into that place of power within. If you are not present you don't realize that there is a source of power within and then you feel that you need to get secondary power from someone or some situation or other people. Then the ego plays roles to manipulate the environment and other people to get what it thinks it needs not realizing that all the thing it thinks will give it the power that it seems to lack, all that is already within you, if you could only be present in the now.” ~ Eckhart Tolle, from “A New Earth” WebClass

Common roles people play, especially women, include working woman, stay-at-home mom, female seductress, nonconformist artist, cultured intellectual, world traveler, etc. You also assign roles to others and then treat them accordingly. (How you speak to the janitor may be different from how you speak to the chairman of the company.)

~What roles do you play at work, home, or in the world?
~What roles do you assign to others?

My question to you is who would you be without those roles?

It is not too late to join in the conversation and create a new earth. Go to Oprah.com and join the webclass. If you have not read the book, you can still join in the class. At Oprah.com there are resources to help you in remembering who you really are, letting go of your ego identity and creating a new earth.

Also, if you are new to the webclass, you can access the archive of the previous classes -- on video, audio, or written transcripts.

Next week: The Pain-Body!

We are spiritual beings having human experiences!

24 March 2008

Conversation Week 2008

Conversation Week 2008 is a celebration of the power of conversation to change the world. Hosts will convene face-to-face, small-group conversations with friends, neighbors, and strangers. The goal is to empower people worldwide to convene a meaningful, respectful discussion in their community. For more information on Conversation Week 2008, check out the Conversation Café.

Social networking, such as blogging is one way that keeps conversation flowing in the virtual world. When you get together with friends in real time, what do you talk about? Are you having awesome conscious shifting dialogues, or meaningless chit chat? Are your conversations infused with lots of mind-stretching questions? From the Conversation Café, here are a few of the Top 50 questions that you can use to shoot into your conversations this week:

~What can we do to reduce or eliminate violence in the world?
~How can intangibles like values and beliefs tangibly contribute to solving the problems of our times?
~What have your found works to open another's mind to what you have to say, especially if they think they already know?
~How do we shift from "Me" to "We" on both the local and global levels?
~How can we take responsibility for making a better future without making others wrong?
~What kind of leadership does the world need now?
~How do we create a culture that is inclusive of all people and beliefs?
~What does compassionate living look like to you?
~What do you hold so dear that you would give your life to it?
~How can you, as Gandhi said, be the change that you want to see in the world?
~What helps you have energy and hope in these times?
~What do you most want for our world? What would it take to bring that about?
~When you look back at the end of your life, what legacy would you most love to have left the world?

Just a note: To have a great conversation, you need two critical components: the speaker and the listener. We have had plenty of practice with the speaking part, however the listening part tends to escape us. To listen does not simply mean to just sit quietly until the other person stops talking so that we can have our rebuttal.

Listening is a skill, an art; a lost art. Listening means using not just your ears, but your entire body. It means setting aside your agenda and judgments while the other person is speaking. When you are focused on what you are going to say next, then you are not really listening; you are rehearsing your lines.

Go out and have a conversation, and remember to listen.

Have a purposeful conversation!

23 March 2008

A Purposeful Moment for Tiny Tips

For those women and men who already know their purpose and it involves other people, Bootstrapper has come up with 100 Tiny Tips to Create and Maintain Loyal Customers.

Some of the tips I give two thumbs up; like Meetup, Facebook, LinkedIn, Xing, and Elance, just to name a few.

Be prepared to hang out there for a couple of hours!

Here's to making purposeful connections,
Coach Carolyn

19 March 2008

Chapter Three: The Core of Ego

As we continue through A New Earth, we look at some key points to Chapter Three and the core of the ego.

"Anything that you resent and strongly react to in another is also in you."

“What we react to in another we strengthen in ourselves. One of the things the ego needs to survive is reacting against other people. What you react to in another you strengthen in yourself…”

“What we react to most strongly in others and what we most strongly condemn in others is usually something that we also have, a trait that we also have but that we are unconscious of in ourselves. So when we, for example, become upset if we encounter somebody who is very greedy, or we could become upset about somebody who is dishonest, no matter who, the force of your reaction usually tells you that something in you that you need to look at.”

Question: Who in your life do you consider an enemy? What lessons and blessings have you to learn from that person?

“Whatever you fight, you strengthen and what you resist persists.”

Complaining is one of the egos favorite strategies for strengthening itself. Every complaint is a little story the mind makes up that you completely believe in… Some egos that haven’t got much else to identify with, they can survive on complaining alone. So the continuously you are condemning other people, you’re continuously criticizing, condemning or judging negatively situations that you’re in, your surroundings, other people.”

Question: Who would you be if you did not complain? How would your life be different?

It is not too late to register for the Webclass at Oprah.com. Just sign up and join in the conversation. You can also revisit past episodes in audio or video. Take part in creating a spiritual shift in consciousness across the globe.

Live in the moment,
Coach Carolyn

13 March 2008

Chapter Two: Ego: The Current State of Humanity

Hopefully you have had the chance to watch, listen to, or read the transcript of Class Two/Chapter Two of the A New Earth Webclass. In Chapter Two, Eckhart talks about the ego; but Oprah and Eckhart began the webclass with a moment of silence. Silence is something that many of us are not comfortable with. Just stopping and listening to our own breath – this can cause some people to go nuts! We must be wired and attached to something – mobile phones, blackberries, iPods (unless you are listening to A New Earth Podcast).

One of the things that the ego does not align with is silence; because as Eckhart says, it is taking attention away from the thinking mind which feeds the ego. I have said that stopping is a spiritual action – taking the time to just be.

Being aware of your surroundings is also difficult for some of us. How many times have I had to grab someone who was about to get run over by a car because she was so engrossed in her phone conversation or her blackberry messages?

So, if we cannot be still and silent or aware of our present moment, then how do we manage to have engaging relationships? Do we really know who we are relating to? Are we really aware of what we are eating during our lunch breaks? Or do we talk on the phone while shoveling food into our mouths? Especially here in New York, I see this all the time.

What would it be like if we just went out to a park and sat? No mobile or wireless devices, no distractions, just be? I do this at least once a week – my artist date. After having that time with myself, then I can think, analyze or create.

My challenge to you is to set aside some time in the next few days to just be. Go to a park or some other quiet place where you can have no distractions. Just notice your surroundings. Notice the sounds, the smells; take it all in and then let it go. Don’t label it, don’t judge it. Just be with it.

Share with us what the experience was like. Was it difficult to just be? Were you itching to react to the vibrating mobile device in your pocket? Could you turn it and everything else off for the time?

Stay in the moment,
Coach Carolyn

11 March 2008

Awakening to Life's Purpose

The Becoming a Woman of Purpose Meetup Ladies got together last Sunday to discuss A New Earth. There was lots of discussion, even from those who has not yet read the book. That is exciting!

One of the things we discussed was Eckhart’s starting question: “What does life want from me?” A few of the women had been asking the question the other way round, of course – what do I want out of life? Yet, Eckhart says that this is the more profound question. When asked in this way, we can let go and relax a bit more, trusting that the Divine will show up with just what we need to do in this life.

For myself, I know that my mission is to equip, empower and encourage women to live lives of inner peace, passion, purpose and prosperity. What I don’t know is how that will play out from day to day – and that is the exciting part. I trust that the Divine will lead me exactly where I need to be at exactly the right time to fulfill my mission. And this changes from day to day. (the Divine knows that I have a very short attention span!)

So if you are struggling through life, perhaps it is because you are not allowing the Divine to guide you to where you need to be, but you are trying to fit into a space that has not been made to fit you. When I feel that I am struggling, I know that I am also not trusting enough. Not that I won’t take any actions; believe me, there is always something to do. When I can take time to stop and listen to what is going on inside of me, then I can hear the inner promptings and know what I am to do next.

Are you allowing the Divine to guide your life, or are you afraid to give up the control and let go? What comes up for you when you ask, “What does life want from me?”

Live in the moment and awaken…
Coach Carolyn

08 March 2008

Celebrating Women’s History Month with Blogs, Wikis and Facebook

One of the most loving ways we can honor one another as passionate women of purpose is to support other women bloggers. Blogging has become a medium that allows women to be strong and out-spoken, yet still remain true women. We are allowed to show our authentic selves and truly shine.

For me personally, a whole new world has opened up as a blogger, and in particular a woman blogger. Since my work is directed towards women, this is especially wonderful for me. Though in this country, women have made terrific strides and advancements, I do feel we tend to take that for granted.

When a woman is in the forefront or up for any leadership position, do we support and encourage her; or do we tend to try to tear her down? Why is it that strong men are considered strong, yet strong women are considered bitches? And how have we as women perpetuated that belief?

“Old woman,” the young woman asked, “What is the heaviest burden a woman has to bear?” And the old woman answered her, “Young woman, the heaviest burden a woman has to bear is to have no burden at all.”

This month, as we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us reflect on how far women have really come in this world. Yet, let us not forget how hard it is for others.

Some of the issues the United Nations and International Women's Day have focused on include the following:

~ About 25,000 brides are burned to death each year in India because of insufficient dowries. The groom's family will set the bride on fire, presenting it as an accident or suicide. The groom is then free to remarry.
~ In a number of countries, women who have been raped are sometimes killed by their own families to preserve the family's honor. Honor killings have been reported in Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and other Persian Gulf countries.
~ According to UNICEF, 100 million to 140 million girls and women have undergone some form of female genital mutilation. Today, this practice is carried out in 28 African countries, despite the fact that it is outlawed in a number of these nations.

One way to honor other women, especially women bloggers, is to support the work of the W Magical List of Women Bloggers. It has been for me a labor of love and a tremendous honor to connect with so many women who share themselves unselfishly.

Remember in this world of love and abundance, there is enough to go around. There is plenty for each of us. We receive more blessings when we can share our blessings in gratitude. I am extremely thankful for all the women of the W Magical List, and to those who have yet to join the conversation.

Two women I want to acknowledge because I am in such deep gratitude for their initiative, their love and their support: Valeria Maltoni and Toby Bloomberg. Without these two ladies, the conversation would not have been given the wings to fly. I toast you both.

And to all the women I have been graced to connect with, on the wiki and on the W List Facebook Group. Peace and blessings to you all.

If you haven’t yet done so, please take a moment to join the wiki for the W Magical List of Women Bloggers and add your name and blog. Also, come join the W List on Facebook. And when you arrive, look me up and I would honored to be your friend.

Here's to honoring women...on purpose!
Coach Carolyn

06 March 2008

Chapter One: The Flowering of Human Consciousness

Okay, by now I hope everyone has had a chance to either view or listen to the first class of the Oprah and Tolle A New Earth Series. You can go to Oprah.com to listen or download the class.

One of the things we talk a lot about here at Becoming a Woman of Purpose is our thinking; that is, our limiting beliefs that contribute to the thoughts we have – what Tolle calls the voice in the head or our conditioned thinking. These thoughts were conditioned by our past, our childhood, our upbringing and by the culture we were raised in. all of those things contributed to the condition of our thought processes. When the awakened process begins, a lot of the old voices in the head, the old thoughts still come up.

For myself, the old voices constantly came up, especially in situations where I had to do something new and different. Now, as I begin to awaken, though the conditioned thinking still comes up, I have techniques to keep them in check and keep myself from being controlled by them.

How have you managed your conditioned thoughts – the inner critic or the voice of doom?

Please share your AHA Moments here and help your fellow sister (or brother) on the journey. You can also join the online discussion board at Oprah.com.

Keep flowering,
Coach Carolyn

04 March 2008

From Boob Graze to Meme…On Purpose!

One of my favorite movies is The Holiday starring Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Cameron Diaz, and Jack Black. I use this movie to illustrate important points relating to living life on purpose. Hey, whatever works, right?

Well anyway… Jack Black’s character Miles is a hoot, as you can imagine. He’s my favorite. Gotta love him! Miles and Kate Winslet’s character Iris, are out having a bite. No, not of each other! Stay with me, now. So, when Miles reaches for the soy sauce, his hand accidentally brushes against Iris’ boob. And he announces to those within earshot, “Accidental boob graze!” I’m laughing as I write this.

Well, when I first met the lovely Ann Handley of Annarchy (you have to say that very loud with a booming voice: A N N A R C H Y! Makes a difference, huh?) last summer here in the Bigger Apple, we were having our picture taken and whoops! Accidental boob graze! Well we howled! Now, she doesn’t know I’m telling you this story. But being that you are my dearest friends, I feel I must since she has tagged or memed me.

Like Ann, I don’t do memes very well. I always forget to do something. But, I will give it another try.

Four Secrets About Me

1. I love movies from the 30’s and 40’s. Someone once told me I should have been born then. But then I couldn’t blog because blogs didn’t exist. Duh!

My favorite of that era is The Women. But the only purpose those women had was to stab other women in the back! I have evolved.

Yes, The Holiday is from this century. I can be flexible when the occasion calls for it!

2. I am an HSP – a highly sensitive person. So I can’t do violent and scary movies, loud noises, crowds, and airport security. Traumatic! And I live in New York City. Go figure!

3. My first job out of college was on a telephone complaint hotline – for the city. Okay, so now you know!

4. I had no intention of reading Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth. But Oprah said I should. Okay, she said everybody should.

Now, none of these are really secrets. They are just well hidden, highly covert, in your face facts. Living in New York isn’t nearly as traumatic as these memes are. So, Lady Ann, my boob graze sister, here’s to you!

Oh yeah, this is the part I forget – who do I get to mess with next! Actually, this is the fun part. I am rubbing my hands with a decidedly sinister look on my face. But it’s wasted cuz well, you can't see me. Damn!

Well, I cannot allow this sinister look to go to waste, so here goes! My Mogulette sister, Carmina Perez; my Positivity sister, Kirsten Harrell; my Beautiful Chaotic sister, April Groves; my Café sister, Towanda Long.

Hey, I am a woman of purpose, so I have a lot of sisters!

Have a boob graze... on purpose!
Coach Carolyn