Can You Hear Me?

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.”

William Hazlitt


Bed In via Wikipedia

(image via Wikipedia)

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

The fifth Chakra, known as the throat Chakra, is associated with speaking and expression.

Now you might be thinking, what the hell is Nina doing talking Chakras? Good question. Not even close to my expertise. Stay with me…

On Saturday, I was in an intense session with a massage therapist who is working with my Chiropractor to figure out why my neck, shoulder and upper back are in so much pain. In fact, I have not really slept in two weeks. Yes I have disc issues, but they are easily treated with through my Chiro, Energy Healer, Therapist and Pilates.

During the session, my awesome massage therapist Peter said… “Something is up with your fifth Chakra.” You are struggling with being heard, or speaking your truth. I’m like, me? Seriously?

And then it hit me, not only have I been struggling with some situations in relation to expression, but my heart has also been so heavy witnessing the injustices of the world, and in particular the intense negativity on social platforms. And I have not spoken up enough about how I feel. As the great Martin Luther King so brilliantly said… “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

What was so interesting about this session, is the evening before, I was awakened at 12:30AM, to passionate protesters marching down my street, for the 5 or 6th time in the last two weeks. I went to the window, and began to weep. The weeping quickly turned to straight up balling me eyes out.

Now it’s beginning to all make sense. My heart is aching for words I have left unsaid, but even more, for the fact that these beautiful and passionate young people, are up at 12:30AM, marching in solidarity, chanting what sadly have become recent trending hashtags #handsupdontshoot and #icantbreathe. I was both sad and inspired. Needless to say, it moved me beyond words.

It also happened to be World Aids Day on December 1st, which brought up a lot of emotion for me, as I thought about marching in protest on Washington DC with ACT UP in the late 80’s, early 90’s. And we were angry. Our chant was “Silence equals death.” A life changing time indeed. And almost a bit eerie that the messages are not all that different. Being seen and heard. Wow.

As humans, we all have a core need to be seen and feel heard. And when we are not, we begin to crumble. This can be expressed with anger, resentment, physical alignments or simply withdrawing from society. If protesters felt seen and heard would things be different? My heart thinks so.

We can take this same thought, and apply it to businesses, as business is life. Do we feel seen and heard? Does our team really feel seen and heard? Do our clients really feel seen and heard?

I can tell you from experience, team members and clients leave our businesses because the answer is no.

So now I have some intense work to do on getting to the bottom of my pain, and maybe you do too.

Love + Awesomeness-

Changing Tracks

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge. – Eckhart Tolle

 Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening. Enjoy.

Change. It’s one of those things that is always tossed around as inevitable yet so many still try to avoid it, whether we are conscious of it or not. I recently experienced something that made me really stop and think about how we many times fear change, or see it as such a negative thing it almost paralyzes us.

This is what happened.

When the new iPhone iOS7 came out, from my perspective, it seemed as though everyone hated it. Typically when Apple launched as new iOS, people got so excited. Including me. New features. New toys. Awesome, right? But with iOS7, all I heard was what a nightmare it was and be ready to have a ton of time on your hands to relearn how to use just about everything. The issue that stuck out most to me was the changes in iCal, which basically runs my life. Every move I make is on iCal, even trash day.

Life has been a little upside down and nutty for me the last several months, and the last thing I needed was my iCal messed up. Seriously, in my mind, if that happened, I would have to crawl into a hole, for real.

The update could wait. It was too dangerous and scary. At least that is what I thought, based on all the noise on the social web. So I waited. And waited. Until…

Facebook launched the new app called Paper, which is actually a really cool & new way to experience Facebook. But, I had to have iOS7 to get it. OMG. Are you kidding me? So it happened. I decided it was time to update my phone. The thoughts running through my mind were crazy. But I took the plunge. And pressed update…and waited.

What comes next is truly where the lesson was for me. After several months of fearing the update, fearing losing all of my information, fearing not being able to use my lifeline called iCal, I turned on my phone and to my total disbelief, it was awesome. Everything was essentially the same, only a bit more awesome looking. More intuitive. More seamless. More new. That was it.

In business and in life, we can see change as negative, or we can see it as opening up more space, creating new opportunity, creating more awesome. Whether its making that long overdue change in your team, systems, or programs, whether it’s a relationship that’s run its course, not all change is negative. Once we accept that, it is truly amazing how much time we can save and awesomeness we can create.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

Choice and Change

Choice & Change

“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.”

Seth Godin


Choice and Change
Here is the audio version of this post. Background music (snoring) compliments of Zen Louis Kovner. Thanks so much for listening.

I work with small business owners every day, myself included, and one of the themes that runs through nearly all I work with is the challenge of making the choice to make a change. Whether it be a change in systems, strategy, people, resources, planning, whatever. Sounds like a simple theory, but not so simple to commit to and ultimately execute.

One of my favorite Seth Godin quotes is… “You don’t run a punch press or haul iron ore. Your job is to make decisions.”

As a small business, whether it be one person or 10, in order to create awesome and achieve our dreams, we have to get really comfortable with making decisions. And that begins with a choice to do so in order to get the change we are seeking.

We are so good at over complicating things. But it really is as simple as making a choice. If we want to change the outcome of our efforts, we have to look objectively at what choices we are making, every single day.

There is so much freedom that comes when we accept the fact that we have a choice. It also totally freaks people out because when we accept that, all the responsibility for the outcome comes back to us. Ugh!

Here are a few examples I experience on a daily basis, do any of these sound familiar?

  1. You want to increase referrals and you are a service business? Create a referral program and embrace referral platforms such as YELP.

  2. You want to increase holiday traffic and reservations, try an inbox marketing campaign like my buddy Benjamin Jay did at the Hair Loft ltd (check out our Facebook chat about it from November 11th)

  3. You want to have a happy, healthy culture? Get rid of the bullies and tantrum throwers.

  4. You want to get out from the day-to-day and begin to work on your business vs. in your business? Begin making the decisions today that will allow you to transition from worker to leader.

  5. You want to build relevant social platforms? Wake up a half hour earlier, stay up a half hour later, or find someone in your world who is passionate about it and create meaningful content, and share it.

  6. You want more time to do the things you love? Make time. It’s a choice.

So I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. We all have the power to make choices. The key is in making the decision to choose the action that will ultimately get us to the result and change. I see it every day. It’s not easy, but it can completely change the way you lead and manage your business, and in the end, help you create more awesome.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)