speaking

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

2012: Your Life is Speaking – What Story Will it Tell?

Foretellings from many cultures point to 2012 as the time when we pass from an old world and way of being to a new time on planet earth.  While we can recognize the economic, political and cultural turmoil around us as fundamental to this dynamic shift, and ultimately a good thing, it’s easy to shut down internally to try to ride out the storm. We want change, in fact for those of you reading this, you are likely one of those working for change. And now that it is happening in so many of the fundamental systems on which we have built our way of life, there’s a tendency to say, “Wait a minute. Not so fast! I haven’t learned how to keep up!”

sepia clockIt is no longer possible to stabilize our lives by managing time. Consider how we speak of time. Make time. Spend time. Save time. Invest time. And, of course, Time is money. The alternative is to learn to feel time and to manage our energy. When I say “feel time” I’m speaking of recognizing and respecting the internal currents that for each of us constitute a rhythm that allows us to operate from our wisdom and knowing, even in the midst of crisis and volatility and outer demands. It changes at different stages of our lives and, when we ignore the needs of our bodies, we risk showing up without a full heart. Continue reading

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