Planning for marketing success
Written for 1000 Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketer, coach, author and mum.
27 March 2018
You can’t build a house without a plan, so why would you operate a business without one? Many people will jump into a business and just start, these people form the majority of the 70% of businesses who fail in their first 5 years. Imagine if you just started to build a house without a plan. What a mess – nothing would join, rooms would be odd sizes, windows wouldn’t fit. If you don’t have a plan for your business what is it making your business, look like?
Failing to plan is planning to fail. This is true for your business and the marketing within your business. If you just start placing facebook ads and writing content all over the place – you are taking a scatter approach and probably reacting opposed to be proactive with your marketing.
Where do you start. You start at the basics – your customer, your products or services and what makes you unique. Basically, who is your customer, what will they buy and why buy from you.
Then you consider your strategy. Business & marketing goals, branding and resources are your consideration here. Simply, what do you want to achieve, how will it look, who will do it and how will you pay for it.
Next is campaigns. Communication and promotion of your business and what content will you use. So, where will you be seen and what will you say.
If you are creating campaigns, backed by strong strategy and supported by strong research – the result is your ideal client will find themselves in your sales funnel. Once in your funnel you can move them closer to making a sale with you. Using personalisation, customer service all while using automations.
Regularly reviewing each step is important. Are you making enough sales, do you have enough people in your funnel at any one time? Are your campaigns reaching your audience? Is your strategy hitting the mark or do you need to teak it? Are your products or services desirable? Is the customer who buys of you your ideal client?
For many people planning is a time consuming, arduous task. It doesn’t have to be. Find support, learn, outsource to others. Go for growth in your business. Achieve success. You deserve it.
Written by: Simone Glassom- Pick
It’s mayhem, choose your subjects, know your path, find a job your school career is ending and you MUST know what you are doing. Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram, parents, teachers, peers, career expos, work experience opportunities aaaaaaaaaaahhhh.
“It’s all too much” Charlie muttered “I have no clue what my PASSION is or what I want to do or study MY BRAIN IS EXPLODING!” The problem for Charlie was not only making the choices but the additional stresses that those created. Tertiary education meant a financial burden and the stress of getting it right, knowing that this was it, a chosen life path was just too much. Not knowing made Charlie feel lost, self-confidence a thing of the past. “I don’t know myself. Where is that upbeat happy, self-assured person, that used to be me?”
Beep, Beep “Oh NO!! Now I am being bombarded by more terrifying information. To add to my issues the job I choose now may not even exist in a few years, it may be done by a robot, my job replaced by artificial intelligence. Now what?” Charlie groaned, as did the rest of the crowd of equally disillusioned school leavers.
“Hey, what you all looking so downhearted for?” Sam said walking up to the group, relaxed and happy. “Why aren’t you feeling the pressure?” “Aren’t your parents asking you to decide on your future?” “Have you been in class lately?” the group exploded.
“I am excited!!” Sam said. “Life is a huge adventure, the choice I make today is not going to be carved in stone, it is what is right for me now, in the world as it stands now. What I choose to learn or study now will always add to who I am and give me a knowledge base to work from. It will never be a waste. It’s a good start in the direction I am going right now. I cannot possibly know what my options are going to be in two years or five years’ time.”
“The world is different now and you don’t have to think of your career choice as a life choice. In fact, you can’t. Think about it. How many times have you had to make alternate plans?”
The group suddenly came alive and they all shared stories of different times in their lives where they have had to adjust or go with the flow. “Don’t you remember that time that we spend all week planning the weekend and wanted it to be just right and how disappointed we were when we couldn’t get a ride to the venue? We ended up going to another great event instead and all agreed it was for the best and were glad that we hadn’t let it get us down but just figured out a new plan.” “My Dad told me of his big OE and how they made all these plans to travel in a certain direction when suddenly other opportunities came up and the direction they were going actually wasn’t going to work out so they changed their plans and had an amazing time”
Sam smiled at them. “Exactly! I am looking forward to seeing how my journey pans out. I have been learning a lot about myself, who I am and what my purpose is right now and I know I will be able to take that knowledge and repeat the process again and again. We will all have to do that. I have learnt so many new things on the side trip I took to help me figure out my career path have gained so much self-confidence and a new perspective of what is possible. I can breathe knowing that when the path I choose is no longer right I have the ability to reassess and seamlessly change careers. It’s just like learning to ride a bike, once you know how you can do it any time you like.”
The penny dropped! The group was excited and the mood was electric and filled with enthusiasm; the ideas flowed freely. “Life is no longer the same, it is totally a big journey and an adventure.” “It’s actually pretty awesome!” “Wow I feel so much better like a weight is lifted off my shoulders when I think of it that way!” “Hey we can do this!”
“Yup” Sam giggled “don’t let this process scare you, our ‘Liventure’ is just beginning. We just have to look at it differently”
“We know that we have been able to change direction all our lives in different ways and challenged ourselves to learn to do new things all the time. So actually, this may seem a big deal but it’s actually no different” Charlie grinned.
Sam smiled, sharing this information and giving them a new outlook had really helped the others. “So now you get it. Once you go through the process once and learn the tools to assess the right path for you right now, you will live your life as you should in our future world—seeing career choice and change as a normal part of life, just a part of an exciting ‘Liventure’.
I Am Dying, Therefore I Speak Truthfully
by Robert Rabbin
Cogito ergo sum is a Latin philosophical proposition written in the 17th century by René Descartes in his Principles of Philosophy.
It is usually translated into English as I think, therefore I am. This proposition became a fundamental element of Western philosophy. I remember reading Descartes by flashlight, under the covers so as to not disturb my brother, in eleventh grade. I haven’t thought of him since then. Until now. For whatever reason, his proposition came to mind as I was searching for a title, and the spine, of this article.
Thank you, M. Descartes, for catalyzing both the title and spine.
Ego morior ergo ego loquor veroo. “I am dying, therefore I speak truthfully.” This has become my fundamental philosophical and existential proposition. This proposition has become embedded in me, everywhere, in every nook and cranny. It not only lives in me, it lives me.
I am dying. Often, when we hear someone say this, we think they have maybe a few months, or weeks, or days — maybe even hours. Death, as an event, will soon be upon him or her who is dying. But death is not only an event, it is also a process, one which begins at the very moment of our conception. From the first spark of life, death is also born.
Life and death go hand in hand as secret lovers, one more visible than the other, but both equally bright and real and playful. Most of us live only with death as an event, and we are usually shocked or saddened when this occurs.
For me, death as a process has become stunningly vivid and present. With each breath I take, with each passing second, I feel death as a process surround me, enter me, flow through me. It announces itself, quietly, yes, but emphatically too. I live with this constant knowledge, or knowing, that I am dying.
I don’t know when death as an event will occur, but living in death as a process tells me that my living now, my living today, my living in and at this moment, should be as if the event were at hand.
Robert, you are dying. In a moment, you will be dead. Now what? What do you have to say, now, with your death upon you, with nothing to protect or acquire, with no more time to fulfill desires, to chase things or run from them?
This is a time of reckoning. This is no time to bluff the house. The house always wins, doesn’t it? Now, what’s your play? This is what I hear, moment to moment. You are dying and now death is upon you. What’s your play?
Speaking, to me, is more than what we say, verbally and non-verbally. Speaking Truthfully, the work I offer to others, is more than effective, inspiring stage skill and craft; it is more than being able to communicate to others in a truly rousing manner.
Speaking, and Speaking Truthfully, are both the total sum of who we are, from the deepest unknown to the mundane to the cosmic, fully and authentically expressed. Yes, if there is something we can all agree on with respect to life, it would be that life is creative and expressive. Life creates and it does not hide its creations. They are spread out in numberless dimensions and are uncountable by any means.
And we, my dear, are that life. Now, Robert, you are dying and death is upon you. What is your play? How big, how real, how magnificent, how stunningly present are you going to be? What kind of ambassador of life will you be now?
The world primal means essential, fundamental. I want to speak the language of my primal self. I want something more essential, more fundamental, and closer to life than all the influences I’ve been shaped by, than all the words and ideas I’ve collected. I want another language now, to speak truthfully as I am dying.
I want only what is wild and utterly free, dangerously so, that inhabits me, as life, now that I am dying and as I die. Freedom. From all the influences and suggestions and taboos and prohibitions. I want freedom. Life is free. No Buddhists, no Jews, no shamans, saints, or sages, no love and light, no be good, do good — none of that. No prescriptions, however sacred and ancient. That’s all made up. I don’t want that.
I don’t want security or safety, not now. I don’t want to be liked or understood. I don’t care about a legacy of good deeds. I just want life — pure, unfiltered, galactic and gigantic and free and wild and so gorgeous. Oh my. I can’t even breathe, it’s too beautiful. I don’t want peace and silence and happiness. No. I am glad to know I am dying, that death is upon me.
Without this certainly in my bones, my life would be just a hallucination. Let me speak truthfully, with life providing the dictionary, the grammar, the syntax. No one else.
I am dying, and therefore I speak truthfully. I want to. I want to. What is your play now, Robert? How big? How small? How real? Tell me. Show me. This is life, asking you.
Time for action
Written for 1000 Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketer, coach, author and mum.
27 March 2018
There is no time like right now to get started. Imagine if you had started ‘that thing’ when you thought of it what your life would look like right now. What is stopping you from starting? A whole bunch of excuses.
Have you ever really, really wanted something so badly that you couldn’t sleep. You had waves of excitement going through your body. Maybe you can’t tell anyone about it – it is a great big surprise. I get it when I know I am working on something that is so closely aligned with my why – I get shivers. It feels right. I am motivated through all the excuses.
If you are putting off doing something, then your why is not big enough. If your why was big enough you would have already started it. You would have already put in heaps of action. Do you have a goal in business or life that you are looking at and wondering why you haven’t moved closer to achieving it? How aligned with your why is that goal. What do you have to do to achieve it that scares you, will stretch you out of your comfort zone. What barriers and excuses do you need to overcome.
Try this. Break that goal down into steps. List everything you need to do to achieve it. Starting at the date you want to achieve the goal – work backwards putting deadline dates next to each goal. Now add those actions to your planner or calendar or task list or whatever you use to keep focused.
Start today – do the first thing. Then the next and the next. Bit by bit working ever more closely to your end goal. If you put in effort every day before you know it you will have achieved it. Winning!
If you struggle to keep n track – maybe you need find help. Join a mastermind or accountability group (or both). Even pull together other friends in business who will support you, help you grow and importantly call you on your excuses.
The goals give you clarity. The action steps keep you focused. Your support keeps you accountable. Soon you will stop and bask in the enjoyment of goal achievement. Of how some effort and plenty of action has moved you to a different place in your world. A better place. A place where you are aligned with your why.
~ BIO ~
Rachel Allan has been a business owner for 13 years, and a mum for 6½ years. On her business-and-baby journey she has learned a lot about life, business and herself. While it has not always been an easy ride, it has been fulfilling. She feels a strong calling to share her discoveries (and the wisdom of other parents and experts) with you in this new book, When Business Meets Baby.
Rachel’s inspiration is vibrant 6½-year-old daughter Sophie, who has her own busy little life with school, dancing and friendships. Rachel is honoured to be Sophie’s mum, and she is also an author, integrated marketer, entrepreneur, and property investor. From 2007 she has shared her journey with her business and life partner Craig.
Be the strong, empowered woman who grew and birthed a baby. Be the brave woman who took a leap of faith and started a business. Allow balance into your life. Allow joy and happiness. See how success will follow.
If you would like to discover more about Rachel and the services she offers, visit her at www.rachelallan.com.au.
Mindfulness in Public Speaking
by Robert Rabbin
If you are a public speaker — and we all are, because I define public speaking as speaking with anyone other than oneself — I wonder if you practice mindfulness while you speak.
If you do, you are a rare species indeed. Let me explain.
I first encountered mindfulness in 1968 when I began studying aikido and zazen. Mindfulness is basically paying attention to what is happening, as distinct from what you think is happening. This is a very useful skill in the dojo, so as to not get your bones broken during an aikido training session. Be present, or get hurt.
I followed up this introduction to mindfulness in another way, during a month-long Vipassana retreat, in Madras, India, led by the renowned Burmese teacher Satya Narayan Goenka. The retreat was a 24/7 hell of paying attention to one’s breath and to every movement within one’s mind and body. We were discouraged from sleeping more than a couple hours a night. Are you kidding me?
I managed to stick it out for the whole month, but I couldn’t get away fast enough. Then, barely a few weeks after surviving the hell of Goenka’s retreat, I walked into the ashram of one Swami Muktananda, a meditation master and living embodiment of mindfulness, of present-centered awareness. I ended up living with him for 11 years!
I left Muktananda’s ashram in January 1985, but by then the practice of mindfulness had become my life.
Mindfulness refers to our capacity to see, understand, and relate to what is actually happening, rather than what we think is happening. Essentially, the more mindful and aware we are, the more real and authentic we can be.
How does this connect to our speaking? You’ll agree that every time we speak, we produce an effect in the minds and hearts of our listeners, our audience. They will think and feel something, and maybe even be inspired to do something, all as a result of our speaking. These are the effects we produce every time we speak.
Now, I ask you: do you produce conscious, intentional, purposeful effects when you speak, or do you produce random, what-the-hell-did-I-just-say, hope-for-the-best effects?
Mindfulness in public speaking refers to our capacity to produce conscious, intentional, purposeful effects when we speak. So, how do we do that?
I had always been a good, effective speaker, though I was an unconscious competent. That is, I was not consciously aware of how and why I was a confident, competent, often inspirational, speaker. One day, I decided to become a consciously competent speaker, so I could help others become more authentic, effective speakers. I deconstructed my style of speaking.
I looked closely and carefully at how I spoke. I made a few pages of notes.
From that beginning was born Speaking Truthfully, the work I have done for the past 12 years. My approach to public speaking is unique, precisely because of my lifelong cultivation of mindfulness. I discovered that my prowess in speaking was largely due to the fact that I melded mindfulness with speaking in real time.
I realized that most people are completely unconscious when they speak. They do not have conscious awareness of what they say and how they say it while they are speaking. Of course not, we’ve never learned how.
Yes, we all have acquired language and learned how to use it in a rudimentary fashion. But we’ve never learned the science, art, and skill of authentic public speaking the way I do it and the way I teach it.
What do we have to work with? Two things: what we say, and how we say it. What we say is called content, our message, the words and perhaps images we use to communicate information and our points of view. I’ll leave that alone for now, as that is in itself another article.
Information is important, yes. However, information is giving out; communication is getting through. Often, it is how we say what we say that gets through.
What, then, are the various elements we have at our disposal to use in a mindful way? We have our inner state of being; our psychological, emotional, and spiritual dimensions. Are we speaking our truth and showing others who we are? Does our presence alone, in and of itself, say something important? Are we spewing ideas and beliefs that do not reflect our inner truth, our heart, our authentic self?
Are we suppressing our emotions so as to appear, well, emotionless? Are we selling some fabricated persona that we think might make a good impression?
The speaking instrument also comprises our actual physical body and the many ways we can use it mindfully to support our speaking. We have our posture, our gestures, our facial expressions. We have our movement on a stage, or in front of a room. We have the strength with which we say our words, the volume and degree of projection. We have the rate and pace of our words. We have pauses and silence.
We have a light in our eyes. We have our smile and laughter. We have our softness and tears. We have our shakti, our life force.
We have the degree of our connection, to both our own self and to our audience. Are we hiding and pretending, or do we show up fully transparent and vulnerable? Do we make natural, sustained eye contact with people, so as to facilitate human connection? Are we speaking with confidence and self-assuredness, or are we speaking timidly, undercutting our credibility with self-doubt?
And, where are we speaking from? From a rehearsed, prepared script that lives in our mind, or from a deeper and truer place within us? Are we simply venting or ranting, or are we speaking with awareness of each word as they arise from our creative source and center?
These are some of the many elements a truly conscious, mindful speaker uses to produce conscious, intentional, purposeful effects. And the mindful use of our speaking instrument is also a means for us to tell the truth of who we are, to live authentically and fearlessly, to fill the space in which we are speaking with the depth and beauty of who we are, not who we think we should be or who others want us to be.
Bottom line? Mindfulness in public speaking requires that we show up, plant our feet on the ground, look people in the eyes, and tell the truth. No hiding, posturing, pretending. No deception, half-truths, or statements we don’t believe. If we speak truthfully and mindfully, people will listen. Our life will glow. Our work will thrive. Our heart will sing. Our spirit will soar. We will be a blessing to ourselves and to others.
Igniting Our Innate Confidence
by Robert Rabbin
In public speaking — and we are all public speakers, since public speaking is speaking with anyone other than oneself — a lack of confidence will always undermine our credibility.
No one wants to listen to a timid, tentative speaker. But before we even stand up to speak out, we have to have the confidence to do just that.
How many times have you suppressed what you wanted to say, only to spend the rest of the day kicking yourself? How many times has an opportunity come knocking on your door, only to leave when the door was not opened? How many dreams have not been actualized because they were not spoken into reality, because we did not have the confidence to do so?
There are two kinds of confidence: one is earned, one is innate. Earned confidence comes from education and training, or from years of experience. Innate confidence is an attitude of mind, a choice to be fearlessly expressive independent of other factors. Innate confidence is a self-blessing to speak our truth at all times because “I am entitled to speak and to be heard.”
Each person is born with the exact same right to self-express. Authentic self-expression is an indwelling presence and brilliance that can only be dimmed by self-betrayal, as in self-suppression. We have to own this right, choose this right, exercise this right. It is ours. It is yours.
When people lose the cabin pressure of confidence and begin to spin out of control with anxiety, fear, and self-doubt, it is because they have forgotten to choose confidence. Why? Fear of judgment, their own or others’. We are afraid that we are not good enough, or not entitled to speak. We are afraid of taking up space without someone’s permission.
Essentially, we do not have confidence in our own being and the inherent right to full self-expression that is ours from the beginning.
Here’s is a simple and foolproof way to instantly dissolve fear of judgment and restore our confidence. All our fear of judgment comes from ordering people on a vertical, hierarchical axis. For example, we might order people according to income or net worth, looks, weight, organizational position, and so on. Our fear of judgment comes when we rank people above us on our self-created vertical axis.
We give people who we locate above us more right than us to speak, to offer their views, to express their opinion. Their opinion is more important than mine. If they don’t approve of me…
However, if we turn the vertical pole on its side so it becomes horizontal, suddenly everyone’s judgment becomes just an opinion, ordered equally on the same plane. Suddenly, judgment becomes opinion. Ours is as valid as another’s. We all have our opinions, all are equally valid and true as an opinion.
It seems simple enough, but you might still wonder, “How does one get into this ‘horizontal’ state of mind?”First, realize that the vertical axis is supported by a single thought, or belief: “I am not good enough.” There are any number of back stories to this single thought, each one a reason or justification to elevate others above us, because “I am not good enough.” Where does this thought come from?
It comes from a decision we make about our worthiness and goodness in the wake of an awkward, embarrassing, or hurtful experience. First, we have an experience, about which we make a decision, which becomes a belief, or a self-fulfilling prophecy of our own inadequacy.
Understand that all the reasons one gives oneself to justify elevating the opinions of others above us are made up by us, are given life by us, and are authorized to keep us in the prison of self-suppression and doubt by us. We simply must choose confidence, and with this confidence we can dis-create our own creation. Choose self-confidence, just as you chose self-doubt.
Try it. It works!
Here’s what one of my workshop participants said, “Oh my God! My whole life, I’ve believed that what other people told me about me was truer than what I told me about me! I thought because they were older, or smarter, or more experienced, they knew better. I get it! All of I have to do now is say ‘Thank you for your opinion’.’They are not the boss of me, or my thoughts. I can be as confident as I want, as a choice. Only I can cause me to lose confidence!”
Turn judgment to opinion and never lose the cabin pressure of confidence again.
What is really holding you back
Written for Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketing consultant, author and mum.
8 March 2018
How often have you wondered how someone does everything they do? Have you ever stopped to think about how you show up in the world? Maybe others wonder how you do it? Most people achieve what they do because they are so connected to their purpose. Desire drives them.
If you are not achieving what you want to – or feel like you are not living your life to its true potential. Who do you think can change this? Who has the power to make your life better?
Your life won’t get better while you sit on the couch complaining. Nor if you sit there dreaming about what your life could look like. There is no magic fairy dust you can sprinkle and become the person you want to be.
You need to change. To do something differently. If you continue to do the same thing repeatedly you will get the same results. Do something differently. Make a change – as small as it seems, you will set yourself on a different path. The best time to start making your life better is today. Life moves so fast. Before you realise a week has gone by, a month, a year. Imagine if you had made the change a year ago – what would your life look like today?
Many people do not make the changes because they are stuck in the past. There is a story telling you not to make the change – you have tried in the past to have a successful business, lose the weight, have a fulfilling relationship. Stop living in the past. Press the reset button and start again. Learn from your failures but don’t let them shape your future.
Maybe you are stuck in the future. Always thinking about the things that could go wrong. Over-thinking the outcomes, always dreaming. Making the dreams bigger and bigger – becoming more and more unattainable. Stop dreaming and start doing. Be present in your life. Enjoy the small things in your everyday life. Your children. Pets. Partner. Friends. Nature. Coffee. Those everyday things which help you stay in the moment. By slowing your mind, you make magic, your fairy dust moments!
Who do you think has the power to make your life better? Do you get it? It is you. You alone can have the power to create a life you deserve. To serve the people you need to serve. You go this. There maybe times where the craziness of life catches up to you and you feel slightly out of control. Just refocus, press reset and go again. You got this. Keep telling yourself that. Change your thinking, make new habits. You got this.
Don’t set yourself up for failure. Remember those big dreams you had sitting on the couch. The bigger, bigger vision of your future you had while daydreaming. You are not going to get to your end goal overnight – remember no fairy dust! If you break down your dream or vision into goals, and then actions you can take every day. Making small changes for a larger impact.
Start today, be present, you got this and make small changes for large impact.
Understand the only person who has control of your future is you.
Tall Poppy Syndrome:
Dream Big Dreams And Share Your True Heart.
by Robert Rabbin
Most of us have a governor on our capacity for full authentic self-expression.
A governor is a device that “automatically regulates the supply of fuel, steam, or water to a machine, ensuring uniform motion or limiting speed.” The governor we have inside us automatically regulates the supply of shakti, life force, in order to limit our ability to speak truthfully, to disturb the Universe with our primal presence and cosmic roar. In Australia, this governing device is called tall poppy syndrome.
My first direct experience of this tall poppy notion came one morning in a workshop I was leading, shortly after I moved to Australia in 2005. I wondered aloud why a few of the participants danced so delicately around an issue they wanted to discuss. They did everything but speak plainly. I encouraged them to speak more boldly and directly.
In our subsequent conversation, they said they had learned to not be bold or direct. They said that it wasn’t right to speak out too loudly. They didn’t want to stick out, or stand above others. They told me about the tall poppy syndrome, which I’ve come to understand as a kind of cultural suppression of creative self-expression.
The tall poppy syndrome is a topic that showed up in every one of my workshops in Australia, over the course of almost six years. It is a fire-walk that many have to take in order to break the hold of this socialization, their learned reticence to stand up, stick out, and speak brilliantly, powerfully, passionately, authentically!
When I asked one of my Australian friends to give me her definition of the tall poppy syndrome, she said, “Let’s not get too high and mighty, let’s not get too carried away with ourselves. We don’t want anyone getting too full of their own talent or accomplishment. If they do, why we’ll just cut them down to size. We’ll have no tall poppies in our fields!”
Another said, “Australians are carrying a national consciousness of unworthiness, stemming from our roots as a convict colony. When one of us tries to move into the bigger world, to dream a bigger vision, we briefly project all of our personal unmet ambitions onto him. When it turns out he is human and experiences a moment of failure, or is in our eyes somehow not good enough or undeserving, we pull him down justifying our own choice not to have at least tried to expand our horizons. Just like the elephants tied to the chains who don’t realize they are bigger than the chains, we are recreating our convict history via our tall poppy syndrome, believing ourselves to be prisoners simultaneously worshiping, fearing, and resenting the ones who break free.”
And another friend talked about the “cultural cringe, a peculiarly Aussie malaise, a leveling attitude that seeks to keep people chained to mediocrity: in thinking and doing and dreaming big dreams — but most of all, in speaking. We’re just not supposed to speak up. That would be big-noting and arrogant. That’s for the Americans.”
What a tragedy! To own our innate right to express our voice and vision, to exercise our intrinsic right to fully express our own aliveness and beauty and genius and creativity and wildness as only we can, is not arrogant or self-centered, but natural.
I think of how natural it is for children throughout the world to exult in discovering their creative and expressive powers! Once we can make a sound, we start gurgling, humming, singing, crying, wailing — wow, look, we can make sounds! Once we can crawl, and then walk and skip, you can’t keep us penned in! And then, we can draw! We can create with color, with pencils, pens, crayons, paint — on everything!
And then, to the dismay of all grown-ups, we realize we can make music by banging with this on that! The poet Derek Walcott surely wrote this line for children, and anyone, in the throes of discovery: Feast on your life!
Expressing our self in uniquely creative ways is natural. It is the feast prepared for us at the moment we were created. And it is also natural to want to be appreciated and recognized for our creative expressions, for they represent our very essence of being! Look at the gleam and glow of any child as they rush to show a parent or teacher their picture — all excitement, joy, and pride!
The only — I repeat, the only — appropriate response is overwhelming appreciation and encouragement. If we in any way ignore, disparage, or dismiss their work, we do the same to them, we will have hurt and wounded, perhaps fatally, their self-image and self-esteem, their enthusiasm and joy, their confidence and courage.
Since I have always been interested in the transformative power and inspirational potential of public speaking, I began to extrapolate this tendency to underachieve.
If people were guarding against authentic self-expression and self-censoring heartfelt sentiments, if people were aiming for the lowest common denominator, if people were afraid to be vulnerable and transparent, to connect intimately with others… what happens to people’s soul? How would this cultural leveling mechanism restrict and repress a person’s urge to rise above mediocrity?
What happens when you begin to speak in unauthorized, powerful, poetic, passionate ways? What happens when your speaking sets you apart, because you are clear, confident, compelling? What happens when you begin to speak the unspeakable, which rocks the status quo, or which gives shape and texture to new possibilities, new freedoms, new solutions?
What happens when you speak dreams and visions from other levels of consciousness, from other dimensions of being? What happens if you question a public official’s rhetoric?… Hey, that’s enough!
Stop right there! Who do you think you are to say such things? You have gone far enough. Now be quiet, mister, or you are going to find yourself in a world of trouble.
In a Sydney workshop, one woman told of standing in front of her class, I guess she was about seven years old, to show her picture. Everyone had been told to draw snowflakes. This woman proudly showed a picture of multi-colored snowflakes, not a single one was white! How original! How imaginative! How colorful!
Oops, no. The teacher had apparently lost too many important brain cells. What happened was that the teacher raced forward, grabbed the picture, held it aloft and began almost screaming: “Look at this! Children, look at this! This is wrong! Snowflakes are white. Everyone knows that! Have you ever seen colored snowflakes? No! Now go back to your seat and do this over, and do it right.”
In the midst of this public shaming, this poor little girl just then and there decided for all time: I am not good enough. I can not draw. I am stupid. I will never again dream, imagine, or do anything different.
These self-limiting decisions in the face of life events are the beginning of what I call diminished capacity, which is the major, if not singular, cause underlying our inability to lead truly authentic, happy, creative lives of intimacy and originality.
Once we shut down and close off, we are cut off from the very life-force we need to be whole, to be powerful, to be passionate, to be productive, to be successful in whatever way we want.
The tall poppy syndrome, especially as it pertains to speaking, is not proprietary to Australia. It is universal. Every society and each culture has sought to regulate speaking with bribes and intimidation. The antidote? Confidence.
Confidence is a choice to accept, own, and fully use our intrinsic, inborn, factory-installed right to fully express ourselves in whatever way we want, any time, any place, no matter what. We all have to learn to speak our truth from the depths of our being, heart to heart and eye to eye. We all have to transform diminished capacity into ferocious and fearless speaking and truth-telling.
This is where and how we connect with our life-force, how we inspire ourselves to dream big dreams, to take on unimaginable projects, to bring forth fire, and to learn to love the Earth. This is how we fulfill the promise of our life, how we share our true heart, and seed the world with soul-seeds of beauty.
Written for Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketing consultant, author and mum.
8 March 2018
The only way you can have balance is your life is to define what it means to you. You need to act to make changes in areas you feel unbalanced in. Make the choice for a better life. Create a new path today!
After I had my daughter I spent two years living in a pressure cooker, feeling totally out of control. Stressing every day about food, money, work, being a mum and not even thinking about looking after myself.
Life just doesn’t have to be that way.
I assessed three areas of my life – my business, my general life and my self care.
I realised in business I was just simply wasting my time doing things I was no longer passionate about, weren’t providing a financial return and were time consuming. I started being smart with the use of my time and energy. I focused on the core part of our business – the part which was making money.
I put importance on systems in my house. Making the domestic tasks easier. Cleaning, cooking, shopping, washing. I encouraged my partner to step up – who did!
I put myself first – most of the time anyway. I take time to re-energise myself, filling up my cup so I can continue to serve others, either my family or my clients. I look after my health and wellbeing.
Here is some specifics on the changes I made:
Once you start controlling your life you will be able to make decisions and choices around how you spend your time – you will even find little bits of time for yourself.
Due to the changing nature of life, your children and business, achieving balance is not consistent. Some days as hard as you try it will just not work, just press reset and start again. The only time for concern is when you can’t set reset, or you can’t see an end to the ‘thing’ which is causing pressure.
Remember to breath, be present with your children, focused on your work. Enjoy life. Understand why you are doing this. Focus on the big things and let the small things look after themselves!
Who are you?
Written for 1000 Ripple Effects by Rachel Allan, marketer, coach, author and mum.
13 February 2018
When was the last time you asked yourself “Who am I?” Really truly explored ‘you’. Your history, future dreams and how you show up in life today?
Everybody has a story, a journey they have travelled, learnings they have made, history. Very few people have led a ‘privileged life’, we all have stories of sadness, of absolute joy. Too many people have seen the extremes of violence and felt desperation. Seen the effects of illness on loved ones, and themselves. Suffered loss they never felt they could move on from. This is your story, your beliefs, possibly even your anchors, holding you in place, unable to move.
These experiences are what have shaped you to be the person you are today. They don’t have to define your future
When was the last time you dreamed of a better future for yourself? Do you wish for happiness, fulfilment, clarity, freedom, or balance? You are not alone – most people do. You can change your story – and you can start today!
The journey of self-discovery takes a lifetime. It takes a lifetime because you always change and grow. This is good, this is what you want to happen. What is holding you back from starting? Do any of these sound familiar:
Think about what scares you? Why does it scare you? How can you face the demon? What will motivate you to work through the bad stuff? What does fear look like to you?
Poor body image, lack of self-worth, lack of confidence, all come from lack of self-love. When was the last time you loved yourself? Wore jewellery or clothes which made you feel great. Exercised or had a massage to make your body feel great. Laughed, orgasmed – releasing the natural feel-good drug of oxytone.
When was the last time you celebrated being you?
Remove negative words from your language. Replace negative speak with positive affirmations. Remove people from your life you do not believe in you. Stand tall and back yourself. Be your own personal cheer squad.
When was the last time you dreamed of your future – and then plotted how you were going to make your dream a reality?
Stepping away from the noise and busyness of life, enjoying the silence, being in your mind, is important. In fact, meditation and mindfulness are key to self-discovery. Slowing your mind, allowing sub-conscious thoughts to filter through. Reduces stress, allows for problem solving and connects you with your mind and body.
Where do you start on your journey of self-discovery? How do you find out who you are?
Self-discovery is a journey of a life time. There is no easy fix, no magic pill or fairy dust. It is constant – as you evolve and grow, you will receive new insights about who you are. The more you understand about yourself the more empowered you are going to be.
A clear self-understanding will bring renewed confidence, awareness, and strength. You have a purpose. You find happiness, fulfilment, clarity, freedom, and balance in all areas of your life.
What difference can you make to the world, yourself, your family and community? How are you going to show up?
I am going to blog and document the journey of creating 1000 Ripple Effects across the world.