Communication skills, that is.

How talented are you at communicating, especially with those you interact with most? As we’re already in the holiday spirit, now is the time to surround yourself with those you love. Even those that drive you bonkers, but that you love no matter what. Knowing how to set boundaries and serve those nearest and dearest to you is definitely an art, not a science. However, here is some helpful guidance I’ve received that has positively impacted my interactions, both personally and professionally, as well as made them all the more pleasant and energizing. …


Versus ‘I Have To’.

For me and so many, December is a time of reflection, celebration, and preparation. Reflection of a year near completion, celebration of all the magic this year has brought, as well as preparation for the year ahead. ‘Date With Destiny’ is a tremendous anchor for Dakin and I, to bring awareness to the values that have served us to-date, while also taking the time to select the desired outcomes and motivations that will serve us in the new year. …


Instead of ‘calling out’.

Recently I came across this article describing a college Professor’s course which includes a module on how to create a culture of ‘calling in’ rather than ‘calling out’. It really resonated with me, this idea that instead of publicly shaming and humiliating others, more often than not from behind a screen or at a distance, we aim to take a stand from a place of compassion, curiosity and ideally inspiration. Besides, research shows that shaming is counterproductive and can actually make people more resistant to change. So why do so many still do it?

Professor Ross says, “I think [calling out] is also related to something I just discovered called doom scrolling. I think we actually sabotage our own happiness with this unrestrained anger. And I have to honestly ask: Why are you making choices to make the world crueler than it needs to be and calling that being ‘woke’? She believes “the antidote to that outrage cycle, is “calling in”. Calling in is like calling out, but done privately and with respect. It’s a call out done with love. That may mean simply sending someone a private message, or even ringing them on the telephone to discuss the matter, or simply taking a breath before commenting, screen-shotting or demanding one “do better” without explaining how.” …


A pause for thanks, for Jojo.

As a kid, Thanksgiving was about food, family and fun. I was blissfully unaware of the effort going into the impeccable table setting, every morsel of deliciousness, logistics of bringing everyone together, meaningful traditions, or even the dynamics ensuing amongst varying family members. Ram Dass said, “If you think you are enlightened, go spend a week with your family” (see Dakin’s post on Ram Dass books to consider). Well, here we are. Some people are unable to spend the time celebrating with their families today and others perhaps don’t want to. …


What you live by and will make happen, no matter what.

“The strongest force in the human personality is the need to stay consistent with how we define ourselves.” — Tony Robbins

Identity is a set of beliefs and rules that you use to define yourself and that other people use to define you. Your identity influences people more than anything you say ever will; think ‘actions speak louder than words’. How do you define your identity? What core beliefs, rules or intentions are tied to your identity? What will you make happen no matter what, because it is core to who you are?

People are not their behaviors. There is something more core to who they are and what they stand for. It is their ‘core intentions’. Core because they always occur. The identifier always finds a way to make it happen no matter what. Core intentions are things that you will always deliver on, no matter what else is going on. You will always find a way to feel/experience/share these aspects of your identity. They are not things you’re interested in, will try or want to make happen, but already and always do, no matter what. Core intentions are a part of your identity and how you define yourself. They are attached to your soul and your identity as you see it. …


And a stimulus for your own evolution.

Norman Vincent Peale, who popularized the concept of positive thinking, said “There is only one group of people who do not have problems, and they are all dead. Problems are a sign of life, so the more problems you have, the more alive you are.” He also advised if people didn’t have any problems, they better get on their knees and pray for some. Our partner, Tony Robbins, is similarly known for saying “Your biggest problem is you think you shouldn’t have them. ’Cause problems are what make us grow. Problems are what sculpt our soul. …


Don’t let affiliation blur humanity.

Stronger together. Teamwork is the dreamwork. We stand together. America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. Or is it? When did we lose sight of our humanness? When did it all become so black and white? When did social media take over and influence the way we’re interacting with one another? When did news become just noise and journalism mostly theatrics (see here on why the news focuses on ‘what’s wrong’ and not always what’s factual or accurate)? When did it become good vs. bad or maybe even evil? …


Whose dream is it though?

While on vacation (see Dakin’s post on The Importance Of Vacation) I’ve taken a lot of time to savor this dreamy life and to also reflect on this past opportunity-rich year. In looking back it’s easy to connect the dots of what has guided me here and it’s also effortless to see what aspects have served me most. One thing I wish I had perspective on sooner in my career and personal development though was the ability to distinguish between what was authentically aligned with my dreams and desires versus what was coming from societal or external pressures.

As a society, we’re so focused on what others think about us and as our partner Tony Robbins distills down, everything ultimately comes down to two basic human drives inherent in everyone, the fear of feeling not enough and unloved. Just think about it, we worry about how people interpret us all of the time and from a very young age. We worry about what people think about our appearance, relationship status, profession, wealth, political preferences, and so much more. We instinctively want to be accepted so we’re not ‘voted off the island’ or out of the community. Industries like fashion, cars, plastic surgery and the many other material things have made trillions of dollars on our need for external approval. It’s quite a comical game actually. But it’s real and often tough to distinguish between one’s personal genuine preferences and one’s personal preferences influenced by what we should like, do, say, etc. …


How to truly honor another’s human experience.

One of my guides and coaches, Paula Mallis, is the founder of WMN Space in Los Angeles. I recently went through her virtual WMN circle facilitator training and was struck by the simplicity but profundity of the circle’s structure and guidelines. At WMN Space, the circles offer a guided facilitation to help women shift an old pattern into a new story. One of the key takeaways for me, especially as a supporter of our founders and people throughout my life, was the importance and power of offering suggestions rather than giving advice.

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What does it mean to not give advice and instead offer suggestions? It means that instead of saying “you should do this or that’’ from a place of superiority, that you come from a place of curiosity and share your experience or whatever you’re inspired to connect on based on the other’s expression. Giving advice feels like ‘ego’, as if “I know better than you and here’s what you should do”. It does not allow us to acknowledge the other, to give them the dignity of owning their own process separate from us. By bringing it back to “me” and my knowing, it blocks or interrupts their own process. Whereas offering suggestions is curiosity-driven, coming from my personal experience and what has positively impacted or served me, and offering that maybe it will help another, take it or leave it. Offering suggestions is not so defiant. In sharing what has worked for me, maybe helpful or not, it allows the sharer to stay in their heart and feel supported and connected rather than move into their mind by feeling defensive or detached. YPO shares a similar structure in their famous forum meetings, as you’re only able to offer up personal experiences in response to someone’s share, using “I” statements and never “you shoulds” . …


School is great, but an education is better.

As a lifelong learner and someone who is incredibly passionate about educating our current and future generations, I’ve been in “school” in one form or another most of my life. I wholeheartedly believe the proverb, “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” Education is not only empowering; it’s necessary.

The power of teaching is unmistakable, in my opinion, but the form in which we’re all being taught is rapidly changing and for good reason. With personal investments in companies changing the landscape of how to better educate and inspire students around the globe like Higher Ground and Mystery Science, and having been on my high school Board since 2012, I believe in education. …

Gabrielle Sloss

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