2 The Heart of Speaking

Radical Self-Trust: Answering Your Call to Adventure!

A Holy Fools Day Conversation with Patrick O’Neill

Today’s my favorite holiday–partly because I got to make it up!

But even more celebratory, it’s a special day that invites you to answer the Call to Adventure and take an inspired action that your soul is asking of you.  

Holy Fools express what indigenous peoples call Original Medicine. You are formed for a singular purpose for which you have gifts and talents that are nowhere else duplicated. And if you don’t express those gifts, they are lost to the world for all time.

I first learned of this profound but simple teaching from cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, with whom I had the privilege of studying for over ten years.

Angeles left the earth plane five years ago and Patrick O’Neill, with whom she co-taught for 20 years, is continuing her great work. Both of us feel the best parts of ourselves were gained by osmosis by sitting so close to Angeles for so long.

I reached out to Patrick to mine his deep wisdom on the subject of:

Patrick shared so much wisdom in this conversation about:

  • The call of the Fool to step into a larger identity of who you are and what is possible
  • Meeting the Call to Adventure with a holy YES! as you step out of certainty into possibility
  • Nourishing the innocent part of yourself in a world that would turn you into a cynic
  • Practicing self-worth, self-love, and self-respect to manifest from a place of optimism and creativity
  • Interrupting the self-critic, the monster within that is the true enemy
  • Detaching from an identity based only on what you can do for others
  • Remaining deeply connected to the inner world as you move through the outer world
Posing questions at the end of the call are members of our Transformational Speaking Online Community applying Patrick’s insights to their own journeys.

I hope you’ll love this conversation as much as I did!  For more, I recommend Patrick’s book The Only Certain Freedom: The Transformational Journey of the Entrepreneur.

Here he shares his own Hero’s journey of leaving behind the cutthroat but lucrative public relations world to take a new and unknown path.

Patrick connects the processes, pitfalls and triumphs of his story to ancient myths that will leave you nodding your head in recognition.This is a book to turn to again and again in times of confusion. It just might give you the courage to commit to a new dream, as it did for me!

Our world is changing, one voice at a time. Your voice is needed, and I’m hoping the inspiration you receive from my conversation with Patrick will call forth the courage you need to speak your truth, follow your dream, and take that first fierce step into the unknown.

To saying a Holy YES! to the Holy Fool within you!

Realigning Inner Drive with Outer Doing: How Soul and Ego can Partner Up!

Everywhere I’m hearing about the intensity life is serving up these days. I’m feeling it . . . are you?

The times we’re in have me primed for a Soul Reset to look at life through an inspired lens. I’m much more inclined to align my inner drive with my outer doing when I’m guided by wisdom, poetry and beauty instead of, say, the daily news!.

So for a download of the good stuff, Danielle LaPorte has rallied a whole crew of her wise and witty friends to contribute to LETTERS FOR RENEWAL: 30 Days of Courage, Conviction, and Hopefulness.  It all starts September 1, and… it’s FREE. Registration is open:

DANIELLELAPORTE.COM/LETTERS

____________________________________________

When it’s time for renewal, the quiet voice of your Soul needs big space. . . first, to whisper what’s needed to get real and get rest, and next, to shout to your Ego about what needs to change!

Ego gets a bad rap. In spiritual circles, we’re told it needs to be the servant. I disagree. I believe it needs to be in conscious partnership with your Soul to reveal its potent gifts.

The Soul needs Ego, or physical form, for expression. Yet when Ego leads, your true self gets left behind and there is nothing authentic to connect with. When Soul leads, you may find that people don’t “get” you because your true expression is not yet fully embodied.

We need both Soul and Ego in full partnership – that’s what my friend and Transformational Speaker Chuck Roppel calls the dance!  When Soul and Ego are in balanced partnership, you are able to connect in a genuine and meaningful way with yourself, with others, and with what Life is asking of you.

To bring them into harmony, I invite you to enter into a dialogue between these two essential aspects of yourself in support of a fulfilling and sustainable experience of living.

A good question for Ego is:

“What am I failing to do because I am afraid people will judge me? Would you be willing to support me in doing something where the outcome may be uncertain but where I can grow my presence in the world?”

A good question for Soul is similar:

“What true expression am I not putting out into the world? What stops me?”

When I teach Transformational Speaking™, I applaud the Comfort Zone that most people seek. The comfort zone is essential because it reassures our Egos that we have our credentials and professional persona in place and are safe. But we don’t want to stop there! What makes us memorable is the HomeZone®, that place of inner alignment and trust where we share the truth and emotions of the stories that matter. In the HomeZone, we support not only our Soul’s expression; we also make a juicy and cherished human connection with our listeners. We need both Soul and Ego in full partnership – that’s the dance! Ego thinks; Soul feels. Whether it be speaking, writing, or business, your art is flat if it comes only from Ego. When your Soul is speaking, your expression comes alive and Ego supports you by giving it form.

Here’s how I see the contrasts. Read across the two columns and circle from 1-10 how you most typically function.

Would you like to align them in true partnership?

Ways to Strengthen Your Ego

Ways to Strengthen Your Soul

As you enter into this time of renewal, invite both your Soul and your Ego to become trustworthy partners to bring your full self forward, fully integrated and alive. Your Soul will find fuller expression, and your Ego will find itself in support of a higher purpose.

Enjoy the dance!

This exploration of Soul and Ego is one of many exercises included in my course,  Transformational Speaking Online.  You have within you a potent voice for change – and a message and a story that you and only you can communicate. In this robust 8-module Online Academy, I’ll help you connect with your deepest calling, the message you were born to share, and support you in speaking from that place of true alignment. I call it the HomeZone™- because it is where you come home to your true self. Join us!

Original Medicine – your expression to the world

This is the time to shine in the light of our
medicine and speak our truth.
The elders say we are the ones we have
been waiting for.

Give yourself and the world the gift of stepping
into the full experience of your power, presence
and magnificence.

Original Medicine

Indigenous cultures call this gift our Original Medicine.

It is a teaching that has two distinct parts.
* You come to this earth with gifts and talents nowhere else duplicated
* If you don’t express these gifts, they are lost to the world for all time

In teaching this perennial wisdom, I’ve discovered a third truth:
Original Medicine fulfills our deep longing to know and live our purpose.
Without its expression, we never feel quite whole.

 

Original Medicine

 

Discover your personal Original Medicine in the first module of Transformational Speaking–Online. It is the foundation for all you do in service to the world.

 

The Giving of Love Is an Education in Itself

heartAs speakers and leaders, loving people into their magnificence is one of the biggest gifts we can bring to those we serve. So when I work with a client on a new talk, I send them off with the words of Eleanor Roosevelt:  “The giving of love is an education in itself.”

When taking the stage, it’s so easy to be absorbed in what we’re about to say, or in centering ourselves to alleviate fear, we forget to focus on those who will be listening to us. Continue reading

The Power of Your Untold Story

“Wherever you are is called here, and you must treat it as a powerful stranger . . .”

The above line, from the poem Lost by David Waggoner, touches me each time I hear it. So often where we actually are in our lives represents the story we don’t want others to know. It may reveal that we’re not on top of our game where our culture would have us believe we are supposed to be. It may not show us in the best light when we want to impress those around us. It may expose a broken heart to even more vulnerability. So we stuff the truth and pretend it isn’t real or important, forgetting we’re all members of the Scar Clan. Continue reading

A Raucous Holy Fool’s Day to One and All!

April 1st

Holy Fool’s Day

April 1 is the day to find your voice, speak your truth, and shake things up.  Forget the pranks and silly antics of April Fool’s Day. Become a Holy Fool!

Each year I remind you that this is your day to speak out.  Here is last year’s post to inspire ideas for the outer expression of your inner Holy Fool.

Comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell talked about the archetype of the Holy Fool. The Fool is the most dangerous person on earth, Campbell explained, the most threatening to all hierarchical institutions.  He has no concern for naysayers, and no one has power over him (or her). She is not limited, not stoppable, nor controllable. She knows what she has to do and is doing it, no matter what. Continue reading

Get Your Spark of Madness on For Holy Fool’s Day

April Fool

Holy Fool’s Day

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams

Lately I’ve been applying the above words from one of my favorite philosophers, Robin Williams, to the art of transformational speaking. Most of us tame our madness to fit into what others expect and never use our inherent spark to become the wildly unforgettable speakers and change artists that are needed in these times of shocking transformation.

I suggest you no longer try to lose or suppress your spark of madness and instead give it a voice on April 1, which I have renamed Holy Fool’s Day. This festive and often annoying holiday suggests we play tricks on others with a jovial spirit and once we’ve duped them to yell with delight, “April Fools!”

Yet comparative mythologist Joseph Campbell talked about the archetype of another kind of fool: the Holy Fool. The Fool is the most dangerous person on earth, Continue reading

Don’t Sanitize (or Dramatize!) Your Story: A Lesson in the Power of Real Emotion

Omega Institute

Omega Institute

When teaching at Omega Institute last summer, I received a poignant reminder of the power of expressing our emotions as we speak. A woman in my class moved us all with her heartbreaking and heart-opening story. First we learned of the medical error that led to her loss of the child she was carrying, and then she shared her journey of healing that led her to Rwanda and a profound experience of forgiveness.

When Tina finished her story, we were in a place that was beyond words. Those are the rare moments where as speakers we must be willing to inhabit the stillness and allow ourselves to feel rather than fill the space with words. She stood in silence. As her coach, I did the same.

How often we step in to try to comment on the indescribable. Continue reading

A personal message from Gail…

Many of you have written to ask where I’ve been, am I okay, why haven’t I been in touch, and even to say you miss my occasional newsletters.  Thank you!  It has been a fallow time in my creative life as my outer life has been taking my full energy.  But the seeds of new experience have been planted that I trust will bring a rich harvest.

The irony is not lost on me that my attempt to upgrade my website and become social media savvy to communicate more regularly was a big part of what shut me down! The process was agonizing and I haven’t written since the new site went live last spring.  At the same time, 2011 was full of “firsts” including an amazing trip to Peru, where I was able to connect more directly with the indigenous wisdom that informs my work. Lynne Twist and I developed a new workshop Fundraising from the Heart: The Soul of Money, the Soul of Story, which we presented at Stillheart Institute in the California redwoods (coming soon on video).  My two-day introductory workshop in Vancouver for 25 people sold out in a week, so I returned for a second one.  I also had the honor of coaching the seven Social Venture Network  innovation award winners for the award ceremony at the Philadelphia conference in October. Their world-changing stories, all so different, reminded me once again that when we know our medicine and our message and answer the call of our hearts, we get out of our own way and serve the needs of our changing times. Continue reading

Responsibility for Your Impact

What Happens When Women Wake Up?

What Happens When Women Wake Up?

Years ago in my intensive studies with cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, she spoke of “responsibility for our impact.” That teaching has stayed with me as I’ve observed how easy is it for others to perceive us in ways that can be contrary to how we see ourselves. Being responsible for our impact requires that we remain vigilant to the expectations we create. For example, when we are given the speaking platform, the invitation confers a level of authority that gives our words great power. And on a personal level, when engaged in a glorious “what if . . . ?” co-creative surge that comes and goes like a hot flash, others may be making plans while we are moving on.

It is time to recognize the power we hold. It is time to clear those sabotaging voices that tell us we’re not enough. We would be wise to heed the advice quoted by a recent client: “Don’t compare your insides with everybody else’s outsides.” Continue reading

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