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You very likely have been invited to attend a meeting to be part of a team whom will be shaping and guiding a new and exciting project.

5066522398_4e12b4ea24Invariably, within the first 15 minutes of the meeting, either the person conducting the meeting or one of the eager participants will quickly identify the project’s “low-hanging fruit.”

Once the low hanging fruit has been identified, rapid consensus is typically built. Fairly quickly a plan is created around the low hanging fruit, outlining easily achievable targets and goals that require little effort. A safe way forward that keeps the apple cart in tact – no upset necessary.

In contrast, consider being the eager participant who pronounces that you’re interested in walking out onto the thinnest branches of the fruit tree. Out onto the thinnest branches of the tree where the fruit is the juiciest, the freshest and the most extraordinary.

Might the branch break anointing you with splinters in the most uncomfortable places? Absolutely.

Might you only manage to pick one or two pieces of fruit from that thin branch only to drop one of those beauties on the journey back to terra firma? Absolutely.

Might you pick the most succulent, rich and physically nourishing piece of fruit ever picked? Absolutely.

The choice is ours every single day – stay firmly grounded to that which is safe and easy, or climb a little higher onto more arduous and unstable footing.

Climb on up – the view is spectacular!

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7471115@N08/5066522398″>USBG Fruit Tree Capitol</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

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Sing it sister!

Your big dream. Full of possibilities. Full of your perfectly, perfect brilliant self.

During Bobby Kennedy’s 1968 presidential bid, George McGovern introduced the candidate to a group of supporters in South Dakota by quoting from the Impossible Dream lyrics.

Afterwards Kennedy asked McGovern if he really thought his bid for presidency was impossible. McGovern was quoted as saying, “No I don’t think it’s impossible. I just wanted the audience to understand it’s worth making the effort – whether you win or lose.”

Your big dream’s time is now. Your impossible dream is worth every single heart pounding ounce of your effort and your brilliance. Free that dream of yours that’s been resonating in your heart and mind with full bravado!

Go left young woman!

Today I started my day on the left foot – intentionally.

Prior to any foot leaving the bed, however, I read Seth Godin’s blog as I do most every morning. Seth is my go-to, daily-dose-of-business and making great art mentor. I also read Gary Hollander’s blog, which has become part of my morning ritual. Gary is providing a beautifully moving insight into love and loss as he poignantly writes about the life and death of Paul, his partner and husband of the last 30 years. Both men’s insights have been and especially this morning, provided the grounding to intentionally start my day on the left foot.

Instead of getting out on the right side of the bed, I got out on the left side with my left foot hitting the ground first. I was surprised at how physically different and tense I felt. My brain was frantically sending me the message of “wrong side, wrong side, mistake, mistake.” While at the same time there was almost a force field of comfort physically urging me to get out of bed like “I was supposed to do it.”

And the beauty dog was not about to be party to any of this left foot experimental malarkey.   As I tried to turn left with Chandler on our morning walk in opposition to our established pattern, Chandler refused because this is how we are supposed to take our morning walk. So right we went.

Despite my best efforts to change up my patterns in the pursuit of seeing or discovering something new, the dominant patterns persisted. My brain kept insisting “this is how you do it, get back in line, don’t make waves.”

In Seth Godin’s new book (which is an extraordinary read), It’s Your Turn, he introduces the idea that change creates tension and tension creates change. It’s the ability, as Seth says, to “liberate yourself from being right.”  Providing yourself with the freedom to be wrong, to test out what is uncomfortable, like going left instead of right.

In Seth’s change creates tension, tension creates change model, he points out that we each have the opportunity to be the individual who makes change. He says, “We seek the change that is interesting, the change for the better, and most of all, the change that connects us to someone else. This is the freedom to make change, and the willingness to seek out the tension it brings.”

Tomorrow I will continue to look for the opportunities to lead with my left foot. To find the tension that provides the freedom to take my turn. A tension that leads to meaningful and important change.

“It’s Complicated”

I distinctly remember the first time I uttered those words to a colleague. In my head, I had lulled myself into thinking it was the polished, sophisticated, “I’m the expert” response.

The moment my “It’s complicated” hit the air, I was instantly sorry.

The words were greeted by a nearly imperceptible eye-roll and one-word retort: “Really.”

“It’s complicated” has become code for:

  • Bless your heart, you’re just not very bright.
  • Your skills and experiences are not important, nor valued – I am clearly so much more important, more intelligent than you.

“It’s complicated” has become the great deflector and collaborator killer. When we’re asked for an opinion or a point-of-view in which we’re feeling uncomfortable or an itsy-bitsy ounce of vulnerability, it’s the easy go-to response.

When we want to mark our territory in a meeting where our ego just can’t get out of her own way, or we think we need to impress others, or we’d rather control than collaborate, out trots “it’s complicated.” (For dramatic effect, start with a heavy sigh, give a push back from the table and then deliver your most stern “it’s complicated.”)

And, if you’re feeling an idea is too scary, too risky, too involved, making you too uncomfortable “it’s complicated” is your go-to death knell.

Ready to experience all the potential the perfectly, perfect you has to bring to the world?

Ditch “it’s complicated.” She’s not your friend.