Thank you for meeting me here for the last time…I have moved on and I hope you’ll join me and my new blog at tanyageisler.com.
With love, respect and great appreciation,
Thank you for meeting me here for the last time…I have moved on and I hope you’ll join me and my new blog at tanyageisler.com.
With love, respect and great appreciation,
I am all about starting, launching and getting going. Propulsion thrills me. Velocity thrills me. “Your best you. Starting now”, remember?
So, while I’m a big starter, I’m also pretty fascinated by those who are big FINISHERS. Enter the fabulous, inspiring and über-cool Dyana Valentine. Her motto? “Helping self-starters self-finish: one project at a time”.
She’s been on my radar for a while, though it wasn’t until she issued a challenge that I decided to say “howdy”. Her challenge : 40 Days of Our Bodies – a commitment to tending to our bodies for 40 days and noticing the shifts that arise.
I decided to jump on in with committing to 40 days of yoga. No small feat, right? Hatha = hard. Here’s the kicker though. I LOVE yoga. Making room for a daily practice is a challenge, yes, but I started to feel that I was cheating myself out of the substance of this exercise…kinda like a vegan giving up liver and onions for Lent. So I looked a little deeper and I didn’t much care for what I saw…which is precisely when I discovered what I had to do.
On October 3rd, I decided to give up the smokes. FOR GOOD. Yup…that’s right. I had been smoking “socially” for the past two years (again). It pains me to type those words: inner monologue goes something like “you should have known better”; “how can you coach people towards self-care if you weren’t walking the talk”; “yucky stinky” and so on.
But self-imposed judgment doesn’t ever work too well with me (which is why I hadn’t managed to REALLY quit before). Here’s what does work for me:
Am on Day 20. Half-way through Ms D’s challenge…and 20 days into a new and freer chapter in my blessed life.
What do you need to be finished with so that you can get started on your new path?
What a fabulous word…it’s succulent, sexy and yet somehow soulful. Yes, I am a sucker for alliterations, but I do love this word and its ambiguities. You can’t utter it without inferring “yes” and yet, the inherent question is “what do you need to say yes to in order to succeed?”. Early morning musings after a late night, to be sure…but I do wonder…what is success to you? To some, it may be all about the benjamins. For others, a spiritual renaissance.
While I am still blissfully defining and refining my own version of truth about success, I do know that by all accounts, last night’s Coach Buffet in Montreal was indeed a success. How do I know? I saw it in the faces of the clients and coaches, felt the energy in my scalp and toes, and read the glowing feedback forms from everyone involved.
There is no one secret to success (just google that and you’ll see that there are ostensibly 106,000,000 secrets). But for Coach Buffet, there were 3 very good reasons…none of them a secret:
So, I leave Montreal this morning, unabashedly basking in the glow of success for a job well done…and excited to refine for Toronto’s Coach Buffet on November 17th. We do hope you’ll come out, hungry for possibility and even, if you can imagine, just a little bit more.
You’ve been here often enough to know that I am ALL about gratitude. For rejoicing in the many gifts that I’ve been given and hopefully spreading that gratitude around. So, of COURSE, Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays of the year. What’s not to love? Cool crisp days, warm cozy homes filled with the smells of sage and onion stuffing, wine, family, autumnal decorations and a festive note in our hearts.
Here’s the problem. We gorge. We overdo it. Too much stuffing. Too much wine. Too much pressure to pull it all off. Heck, even too much family (yup, I dared say it….now please read on for the reframe). What I mean here is that it’s a hectic, crazy blur. Look outside your window right now…do you see any life? NO, because everyone’s on their couch rubbing their bellies with the phones turned off and watching the Seinfeld marathon on TV Tropolis. It was all too much to handle.
There must be another way. A softer, more moderate display of our gratitude for what we all have in abundance. Other ways to tell family that we love them and that we care: more frequent (and shorter?) visits. A little less butter on the turkey skin (uh-huh…1200 calories per serving…we did the math). One less bottle of wine. A little more chatting and one less side dish.
I am grateful for much…and choose to tune into it all on a daily basis, rather than binging on it over one weekend in October.
And now, I’m off to make a sandwich and see what the gang in Manhattan’s up to these days…but will leave my phone on in case family wants to talk.
Last week, I was contacted by a coaching colleague who was drumming up interest in a concert that she is putting together on October 13, 2009 in support of the Toronto Boys to Men program. Julie likes to play “full out” and I believed her when she wrote about the performer that was headlining the concert: Scott Kalechstein. She wrote that she saw him in concert over ten years ago and described that experience as such:
“The room was ALIVE, VIBRANT, In MOTION. The LOVE. LIGHT and LAUGHTER was magical, healing, profound.”
Sorry folks, but those are some of my trigger words (others are: yoga retreats, equality, kittens, Loire Valley, Lauren and Greg, popcorn and Donna Karan, but I digress). I had to speak to this man. Some due diligence first. A quick peek at his website revealed that he had performed for Deepak Chopra, Byron Katie, John Canfield and many others. Now I REALLY had to speak to him. I tried to e-terview him, but he would have nothing of it. He wanted to talk to me. In fact, he wanted to SING to me.
We chatted for a while about who he is and what he’s all about. He is a very funny comic, a laid-back Californian, an intuitive coach, a scarily talented song-writer and performer, and a fiercely proud father and husband. I asked the dopey question: “are [wife Venus and daughter Aysia] your happiness?” and was pretty pleased when he replied: “No, that’s called family. Happiness is an inside job”.
And here’s what he’s about:
I’m about looking fear in the face and saying “Excuse me but you lie. You’re not the truth”. And I do that in my own life and for others in my coaching, comedy and music. So I do that and I am that.
What has been your most thrilling performance to date?
It would have to be the first time that I did stand-up comedy because I was intimidated by that form of expression. I was going on the stage that Dana Carvey and Robin Williams had been on. In fact, I opened for Robin Williams. I had so much fear and so afterwards, I was so proud of myself. I was high on that for days. This goes back to my commitment to not let the fear take over or be the truth about me.
What is the most thrilling performance that you’ve YET to do?
I imagine it’s about making songs in the moment…this is likely what’s most unique about me and what I’m able to create. I have a vision of being on Oprah and her saying “I’ve heard about you, do your thing” and there being tears. Lots of them…and joy.
You have enjoyed a fair amount of success…other than sheer talent, what else can you attribute it to?
I’ve been performing full-time for 20 years. I didn’t set out to do this, I just started writing songs. After college, I started to become fascinated by personal growth and while I was still just writing songs for myself, they became part of my expression. I had no real thoughts about sharing it with the world. That wasn’t the intention…the intention was on the personal growth. And given that that was my prime focus, the music was pure expression and therefore it was all just easy and flowed.
The real work has been in TRUSTING enough to let it be easy.
You’re a man of words AND actions. Whose words/actions do you admire?
Barack Obama’s actions and words in a fear-based society is pretty inspiring. There’s a kind of superglue regarding the amount of people stuck to keep things the way they are. But he’s putting in a lot of energy to change that. It will take time to manifest his vision.
Is there fear in creating the in-the-moment work?
Sure…my ego says this may be tough, but luckily that’s only one voice in the choir…before it used to be the director of the choir.
What is one word that governs all that you do?
JUST ONE WORD? Naw…I need more!
Peace, love, ease, power and joy.
And out came the guitar. I was treated to the Scott Special: an in-the-moment creation centered around the words peace, love, ease, power and joy. It was magical to behold. This guy is seriously skillish and I was completely sold by song’s end. It was poignant, soulful, resonant and pure loveliness. I wish I had have recorded the call.
I get why he would rather sing than be interviewed.
What would you like the world to receive from you?
I’d love to know that I’ve helped people to have fun, find joy, refuse to give in to fear and to see how easy life can really be. It can flowing down the river rather than furiously paddling upstream.
I’d also like people to stop searching for the next thing. Make fun with right NOW your priority, because there will always be something else on the list.
Have fun today…it may well be your last day.
I am disappointed that I’ll miss the Toronto concert (I’ll be at Coach Buffet in Montreal) but if you are in Toronto on the 13th, you may want to check him out. It will be a unique experience…there will be laughter, love and motion…just like Julie experienced 10 years ago.
Every once in a while, you meet a really bright spark that you know will become (if they haven’t already) a really big bonfire…the kind everyone wants to warm up by over great conversation and maybe even some beers. I met such a spark on January 26, 2009. Her name is Carla Langhorst and she was the most welcome rush of warmth and energy in an otherwise cold and gray room (I do disdain networking functions…or at least…did back then…now I’ve found a way to make them fun).
She introduced herself as a “self-employed consultant” and at the time, I didn’t realize that this was a big shift for her to introduce herself in that way. Over the past months, I have reveled in her progress, her success and her friendship. She is a woman to watch. Here’s why:
I wanted to write about her because you know how I love to talk about people who step into their greatness. I also like to write about people who are tapped into their values. And I wanted to post about her today (September 30, 2009) for two reason:
Here’s some insight that she shared about herself in an e-terview.
You are someone that I admire…who do you admire and why?
I admire my best friend. She is a rock. She is one of those people who knows herself, knows what she stands for, and lives up to it every single time. She believes in being good. She is rather quiet, but she shines because she is comfortable with herself and is extremely happy because of this. I think that it is probably easier to be happy when you are being true to who you are – and she pulls it off better than anyone.
You are an idea tester. What is the greatest idea that you’ve come across (perhaps one that you wish you had have come up with) and what might you have done differently?
The greatest idea? It is so tough to judge as it depends on the criteria of a great idea. I generally judge ideas on how they fit the people who want to push them forward. Often an idea doesn’t fit a person’s salary expectations, the number of hours they want to work, or their own strengths.
But to just judge an idea on its own, you have to know what the criteria of best is. If the criteria is money (which is the traditional view of a “good” idea), I would say that casinos are great. I wanted to own one since I was 10. How would I do it differently? My casino would go after a different niche – women. All of the men serving drinks would wear revealing clothing, and the night entertainment would be significantly different. Instead of free cigars, maybe free manicures. I haven’t narrowed in on a name, but maybe Cougar’s Palace. If the criteria is giving back, a neat concept, cool technology, or promoting sustainability, the best idea would be completely different. I think that to figure out what is the “best idea”, people need to start with what is important to them. (ed note: DING DING DING!!!!!)
Was there a moment in your life that you can say “turned it around” for you (life, business or otherwise?)
No. There are many. I think that life is full of paradigm shifts. The key is that each one should bring you to a new (and better) viewpoint. Not to say that you can’t take a step back every once and again. I took a step back last week. But the key is to keep striving for the next viewpoint and turning bad times into learning points. Everyone has good and bad moments, that’s the charming part of life.
One paradigm shift that sticks out in my mind was when I first met you. Everyone at the networking event didn’t seem that interested in speaking to an unemployed graduate student. I kept having playbacks in my mind of headhunters telling me how many companies were on hiring freezes and the job offers I was getting were 50% below the offers given before the economic downturn. And the shift hit me. I had been in sales, I believed in the product which was me, why not sell that and become self-employed? That’s the exact moment you walked up to me and introduced yourself. I responded, “I’m Carla, and I’m a self-employed consultant”.
What is the one word that guides all that you do?
“Fun” was my first reaction. I basically live each moment, and fully enjoy each moment. I figure I only live once – and if that is the case, I should have no regrets. But you really can’t have fun, or at least appreciate it, without the other – connection with other people. And I think the strongest connector is giving to others and caring about others. So I try to make sure that that is central in things I do.
What are you always giving away and what does that give you?
Anything I can really. I make it a priority to do one good turn a day. This can be as simple as smiling at a stranger, telling a woman on the street that she has excellent shoes, or something more involved such as pushing someone to a homeless shelter in a wheelchair for 2kms. I find that I give 30% of my time away to people. In the end, most of my clients are a result of having done a good turn somewhere else in my life. I think the important thing is not expecting that or taking it for granted.
Beyond the launch of smallbusinesssolver.com this month, what’s next for Carla Langhorst?
I wonder that myself. I do have a dream to write a second book during a 3 month backpack tour of South America. But that is 2 1/2 years out from now. Right now I want to focus on smallbusinesssolver.com. I want people to know about it as I think that it is going to help a lot of people out there, but I also want to make it better. I know that there is a ton of potential for this tool, and I want to get it there. Imagine if the percentage of small businesses that fail was reduced to 25% – how much more creative and competitive would Canada be? How much better would the world be if a country with so much potential could flex its creativity muscles? I think that I’m going to keep coming up with ways to do that. Why not have a dream?
On her first day of MBA classes, the professor said: “Live like you’ll die tomorrow and learn like you’ll live forever”. Carla was listening…and so should we.
I am enjoying a wonderful birthday today. And why wouldn’t I? I was feted by my family over the weekend, and both my husband and I have booked ourselves off for the day. First order of business? Latte…then moksha yoga. Deliciously hot. Our instructor kicked off final savasana today with a famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt. It spoke to me (and not just because I was bathed in sweat) and I wanted to share it with you.
It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.
“Citizenship in a Republic,”
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910
For my birthday, I ask that you be kind to yourself too…and know that it’s okay to come up short time and time again.
Off to feast on oysters for lunch now. Yup, it’s a good day to be me.