Lisa Robbin Young

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When you look at your life and work, what awareness can you develop this week around the problems you're trying to solve and the responsibilities you're taking on?

What problems aren't yours to solve? What responsibilities aren't yours to own?

Where are you making it too hard for yourself? 

Where are you looking for the easy way out instead of doing the work?

This isn't about placing blame or beating yourself up, this is about developing an awareness so you can make the needed changes to see a more balanced and successful life.

Share your thoughts in the comments or shoot me an email. I love to hear your feedback!

One of my favorite songs of all time, I think it is one of Billy Joel's most underrated pieces. It's a powerful, melancholy, yet hopeful tune. You kind of yearn to know how it's all going to turn out. I sang this for an audition once with an Irish accent and it got me the part in a musical. It was also the song I auditioned with for "Duets" - but Lionel Richie backed out of the show, so I never heard back on my audition. *sigh* Such is life, I suppose.

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"Why do you blog so much?'

It was a valid question. And I tried to be open to where the truth laid within me.

Silence.

Not because I was unwilling to answer, but because the tears started choking me.

I mungled my way through some explanation about how it's an outlet for me to talk to people in the hopes that what I'm sharing will actually help someone.

Because that's where all my hope lies: that the crap I endure from day to day (and the good stuff, too), will somehow help someone else have a better time of it while they're on this rock we call Earth.

My coach and I have a deal: I am ruthlessly honest, and try not to go against everything she says (since I'm an 8 according to the Enneagram), and she plays it straight and "spicy" with me - never letting me off the hook for something. She helps me see my world through different eyes (a good coach is NOT a 'yes man'!).

Most of the time I love her, but in this very bare moment, I'm feeling cornered, and really want to hate her for a minute.

I guess it's a good thing she's also my friend.

It's hard to hate a friend who tells you the truth in love.

"Well, maybe it's not serving you to do a blog series."

My "yeahbuts" start emerging, and we have a nice deep discussion about profitability, giving too much away, and finding the patterns in my offerings.

It was probably one of the most difficult (and necessary) conversations in recent memory, complete with stamping my feet and an "I don't wanna" at least once (okay, maybe twice) during the call. Especially since the thing I didn't tell her was that this series felt truly divinely inspired as a way to open up to my more spiritual self... that piece of my True Self that has been lurking and shimmering in the background for so many years.

All at once, I felt like it was an affront to a very spiritual decision I had made, to create a very public, very spiritual thing (at least for me at this stage in my journey), that I felt called to do in a matter of service, to you.

Who ever "you" may be. And that was precisely the point my coach was making (and I needed to hear it).

My business, as of late, has been a hodge podge of all-0ver-the-map stuff. Quite frankly, that's the way my life's been, too, for so many years, that I'm not sure I know another way of being.

"What is it that you do, Lisa? What is the theme?" she prods.

At this point, I really just want her to tell me because I'm tired. Funny how that works.

When we let ourselves reach that breaking point, and stay there long enough, something beautiful emerges.

I got pouty and stamped my feet (okay, that's not the beautiful part). And in exasperation, it poured out of me:

"I'm so sick and tired of hearing the excuses! From clients, from would-be clients, from people who've never even tried. People are so much more capable than they believe, but their excuses get in the way. Why can't they just see that?"

Or something like that. Seriously, I felt like I was channeling that answer from either some place way beyond me, or some place deep within me - which is probably the same place if you examine it truthfully.

In order to get to the truly delicious stuff, I had to be willing to do the hard work of listening to what I didn't want to hear.

It's kind of like eating your veggies, I guess.

You've sometimes got to do the thing you don't like, because it's good for you. I've done this before, so I'm no stranger to it. I'm starting to think it's part of the truth of life.

"Before the truth 'sets you free,' it tends to make you miserable." - Richard Rohr

After conversing with my coach, I had the the angel/devil discussion going on in my head. One telling me to bag the series, the other telling me to tell her to get bent and do the series anyway.

Neither happened.

One thing I'm continuing to learn on my impatient journey is the power and value of being willing to wait - which is still incredibly painful and difficult for my forward-motion-craving self.

So I sat in the space between those two options for a day.

The series did go on, and I did not tell my coach to get bent.

Because I needed to hear that perspective. I needed to be willing to let those words fall into my brain and swim around. I needed to be willing to check back in with myself and face the possibility of cranking out a useless blog series, and ask myself if I was still willing to do it anyway.

And yes, dear reader, this series was one of those things I couldn't NOT do.

Because in my conversation with my coach, for the first time in my adult life, I fell into complete resonance with what I feel like I'm supposed to be about in the world (more on that in a future post), and got even more clarity about the doing of it.

For someone like me, that's a big deal.

Which brings me to today's prompt for your consideration:

Part of coming to terms with who you really are, and meeting your True Self, is being willing to go down that road.

I mean really willing. Like, "I don't care if it hurts, or is hard, at least I'll be feeling something real for a change." THAT kind of willing. We don't always enjoy parts of the journey. Heroes face very challenging opponents, get banged around a bit, and I've never once seen that happen and have the hero say "Hot Damn! That was fun! Let's do it again!"

No, being willing to throw yourself into the fray is tough stuff, my friend.

But it is where you meet your True Self. It is where you learn what you're really made of. It's where the milquetoasty among us lose out and stay with their pablum, never knowing their true capabilities.

It's not always rocky, but I can pretty much guarantee there will be some rough spots along the ride. So the first question you must ask yourself is "Am I willing?"

Are you willing to struggle for a purpose - rather than needlessly?

Are you willing to stand in the raging waters and feel them rush about you - maybe even push you around a little until you get your bearings?

Are you willing to hear what you don't want to hear because it's good for you and will help you more than any "yes man" ever could?

If so, you just might meet yourself along the way.

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If you're ready to dig into the heart of what really motivates you, eliminate self-sabotage, and live an inspired life, consider enrolling in an upcoming "Essential Why Workshop" and build your own Noble Empire.

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It's all well and good to strive for excellence, but excellence is about more than just putting in your 10,000 hours. Those hours need to be focused, deliberate practice. Without that, you'll be hard pressed to reach the full potential of your undeniable gifts.

Be warned: you can spend 10,000 hours of your life on anything, and just because you get good at something doesn't mean it's the thing you're supposed to be about in the world. I've spent thousands of hours doing things that I don't enjoy (and I got pretty damn good at them, too), because I thought I had to. I'm really good at a bunch of things I have no interest in, and that I know are not part of my great work on this planet.

If you're interested in digging deeper into finding your own great work, have a look at Stephen Cope's book "The Great Work Of Your Life: A Guide for the Journey to Your True Calling" on Amazon. If you've already got clarity on your calling, and you're ready to launch into creating a plan of deliberate practice, take a peek at the Get Your Year In Gear program. It just might help you create the space you need to do the things for which your future self will thank you.

This week in rehearsal, the most enjoyable song, by far was this one. No, this is not the Selena Gomez version with the new lyrics. Ahem.

The original song was written by Mel Levin around 1961 for the animated Disney film 101 Dalmatians. This is a bluesy big band arrangement written by Dr. John in the 1990's when Glenn Close played the title character in the live-action version of the movie. Enjoy!

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I couldn't keep this one to myself.

My brilliant designer and friend Rhiannon Llewellyn was charged with designing a page for all 60 inscriptions from The Secret Watch so I could convert them into a beautiful downloadable format. She unleashed her creative genius and, well, it was too good to save for just those of you that bought the book.

Here's the first installment. The rest are forthcoming. Isn't it gorgeous?

secretwatch-faith

 

It's not easy to take a bunch of words and make them pretty. I think it's one of Rhi's ninja skills! If you'd like to share it, feel free. That's why it's here. Pin it, or pick up a PDF copy below.

Download the PDF version of the Faith Inscriptions

And yes, it's like crack: the first one is free, the rest you can only get when you learn more about the book.

[Editor's note: when we migrated to the new site, a lot of great posts got lost. Slowly, I'll be digging them out, updating them, and reviving them for your inspiration. So if this post feels strangely familiar, that's why.]

This past year, I've been not-so-covertly working with Karl Staib on his twitter parties. He's been helping best-selling authors like Danielle LaPorte and Jennifer Louden sell more books and reach new audiences through a blend of teleclass and tweet chat that he calls twitter parties. My role is to manage the conversation on twitter and award prizes to the participants at intervals throughout the party, while he handles the interview and conversation on the phone.

Basically, I get to play fairy Godmother, talk to people and give away free stuff. Tough job, huh?

A while back, he did a twitter party for Barbara Sher, author of "Wishcraft". On the call, she was talking about a client who wanted to sing. Barbara told her to sing. When the client expressed her concern about her weight being an impediment to her singing success, Barbara simply told her to "sing fat". She followed that revelation with this comment:

"There are a lot of fat singers."

Indeed. (more…)

I was working with my awesome beta testers on my new Get Your Year In Gear program, and a lot of questions came up about toxic relationships, setting boundaries, and cutting ties with people - especially family. The biggest question I got, though, was around dealing with people you can't just walk away from.

This was my response to them, and it felt fitting to share it with you.

Incidentally, I'll be opening the doors to the Get Your Year In Gear Program soon. If you're not on the mailing list, you might miss open registration.

How could I not sing this song as the end of the year approaches?

Reminder: These are my "audition" videos -meaning they're meant to give you a tastes of what I'm working on. They are NOT the final recordings.

This is the last video I'll post before the 300 songs in 2013 begins. Wish me luck! Happy New Year!

 

Got big dreams? Hold fast to them, and don't be afraid to pray for excellence. Many times, visionary creatives have lofty goals and ambitions, but we're met with staunch criticism when we share them. This forces us to either stop sharing, or aim lower.

Don't be that person. Instead, when things are getting to you, watch this video:

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It's not enough, though to watch a video, or pray for God to make you good at something. You must also do the work. What are you going to do today to move yourself closer to your dreams?