Archive for February, 2010

Open Space

Early in my consulting days, I was anxious to gain all the credentials I could to make myself more attractive to clients. One of the most significant programs I took was called Open Space Technology (OST), a technique developed by Harrison Owen. After organizing thousands of conferences for clients, Harrison began to notice that the best conversations and the most significant connections were made during coffee breaks and lunches. He began to wonder how he could create a conference that was, in essence, on great big break where the conversations that needed to happen had space to occur. Hence he developed Open Space, essentially a space for participants to come and to express the topics they believe needed to be discussed. It is a system which gives voice to the people attending.

At a deeper level, and as I discovered during my OST training, open space is also about opening space within ourselves, allowing the conversation we need and want with self to occur. I still remember the moment I realized that this was what Open Space really meant – it was one of those great AHA moments. And as I realized this I also recognized just how much of my inner space was clogged and cluttered with the many responsibilities I had assumed and the multiple doings I was engaged at. In fact it was hard to find space to actually open.

The idea of open space came up over coffee and muffins yesterday morning as a group began their second ME FIRST day. I was sharing the idea with them and as a result the conversation continued well into the morning. Instead of following the preestablished agenda, I simply opened space and allowed the conversation to go where the participants took it. interestingly the agenda was addressed just the same, albeit in a different order and fashion than I had believed it would unfold. Isn’t that just perfect! Set the intention, pay attention and be in no tension, and everything follows.

The important thing I have noticed about open space, as it applies to you and me, is that it is an exchange of energy, releasing what no longer serves us (should’s, have to’s, must do’s and limiting beliefs) and replacing this with all that is in our greatest good (wants, desires and intentions). Understanding this exchange is vital, for if we clear space without understanding what we want to replace it with, the space will fill with anything and this anything  may not be in our highest good, it may simply be a back wash of what we have released.

Open space is also the space we create through ME FIRST – identifying time dedicated to re-acquainting ourselves with who we are now and who we want to become. This work simply can’t happen unless we take the time for it. And the good news is, it doesn’t require a lot of time, just moments or minutes of being, quiet, breathing, emptying, looking within. It is all perfect!

Until next time…


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I have been less than attentive to my blog of late and feeling somewhat guilty for my behavior. Now how does that serve me? I began to ruminate as to why I started a blog to begin with. Yes there was that pressure things my colleagues and clients telling me that, “You have to have a BLOG”.  

As I write this I am aware that I don’t like the word blog, it sounds too much like Blah, and that is simply not very inspiring. Anyway I stored the blog ideas on my shoulders where I carry all my should’s (did you ever notice that should is the root word of shoulder?) until one day I simply broke down and asked for help. That was a break through moment, asking for help, and once I did, it happened rather easily and effortlessly with the help of a friend, Alyssa. I did receive a lecurette at the time on the importance of having a regular presence on my blog, which I am now wondering if I failed at.

Oh PHOOEY! I just want this to be fun, so here I am today with a momentary rant. I release all the should’s, yep that feels better. I am signing up to make the blog FUN – another shoulder release. A deep breath – there we are. So what’s become clear to me lately (and you)?

Tonight I am profiling at AWE (Alexandria and Area Women Entrepreneurs). I love that this is happening on our Valentine’s Celebration, after all our logo is the flying heart.

The challenge in profiling is to understand what your audience wants. Does the audience want to know more about me and how I arrived here or do they simply want to know about the business or do they want a smidgen of both. I think I will go with door number three, a little of both. I only have 20 minutes however, so I want to be scarce on the details.

Saturday we leave on our first road trip of the season – five days in Burlington and Kitchener, Ontario. The tour is designed as a networking, book promo, business building opportunity. A colleague of mine has planned an “Evening of ME FIRST” in Kitchener. I love these evenings, inviting attendees into the ME FIRST conversation and hearing their views. It is challenging and exhilarating as I never know exactly what will show up. The following day I am participating in a Company-of-Women event in Burlington. This is a first for me and a way to become acquainted with this organization. We also have the opportunity of visiting with friends and playing a little – you have to have that fun quotient.

On our second roadSIGNS teleconference call this past Monday, I was gifted with a new idea. One of the participants who is about to retire coined the phrase ‘Re-Wirement’ instead of retirement. I always viewed re-tirement as a hyphenated word, designed to convince Jim that leaving the corporate Pharma world three years ago was simply putting on new treads. I think he secretly had hoped to put his feet up or to play hockey everyday. (I know he loves his current job!) Back to Re-Wirement – sounds like a possible book title to me!

Everyday is a new learning and a new opening. As 2010 began I set an intention for expansion, personally in terms of how I show up in the world, and business wise, with roadSIGNS. I want to attract new possibilities and opportunities that I have not imagined in the past. And I see the SIGNS everyday that this is happening. My clients feed and fuel me and my imagination. Doors are opening. What has become clear is the power of INTENTION!

Well this doesn’t feel blah – maybe this blogging is not so bad after all. I simply need to relax and have some fun and be in a conversation with each of you. Let me know what you think and what is becoming clear in your life. 

Until next time…


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I just finished my workout. I had planned to walk outside late afternoon but I found it just a bit too cold. I have been on an Isagenix cleanse day today, a weekly ritual I use to keep myself tuned up and healthy. I am always cold on these days making the outdoors even less appealing. Forunately I have my trusty treadmill, and while boring, I managed to get lost in an Ester-Hicks tape.

Our season of ME FIRST Retreats kicked off last Saturday. For the next 2 months, we will have an event, either retreat, workshop or speaking engagement, every weekend. I love the energy this creates around me – it keeps me focused on my purpose.

A topic of conversation this past Saturday was, are we divorced from or married to ourselves. It came up toward the end of the day as we set our final intentions for the following days.

You might ask, how can I be divorced from myself? Here are some of the tidbits that arose during our conversation:
– falling prey to the self-critic’s words and letting him/her override all that is perfect about us
– living by old belief systems that no longer support us in who we want to be now
– a lack of self-worth and self-respect
– failing to acknowledge our gifts and strengths and how we contribute to the world.

As you can imagine, being married to oneself is the opposite:
– holding oneself in unconditional love and high regard
– calling in our heart or angel voice to over-ride the voice of the self-critic and letting him/her feed us instead
– acknowledging ourselves daily as a way of being in gratitude for all that we contribute to others
– making space for ourselves on a daily basis – ME FIRST time.

It is a great discussion!

A few years ago, a friend of mine Kerry Messer wrote ‘The Wedding Vows’, a piece I published in my first book, roadSIGNS – Travel Tips for Authentic Living. I recently reviewed these vows and made a few slight tweaks. Here they are:

I vow to hold myself in unconditional love and high regard.

I vow to live by my values, my call to action and my ‘Tick” –my Personal Guidance System.

I vow to remember that I am the best ME I can be today and that tomorrow I will be an even better me.

I vow to listen to and trust my intuition under all circumstances.

I vow to follow my heart and spirit wherever they might take me.

I vow to be intentional and to believe that I am worthy of all that I intend.

I vow to surrender my need for control and to let God’s will drive my car through this life like she has in all my past lives.

I vow to be gentle and understanding of myself when I make mistakes.

I vow to forgive myself with grace and ease.

I vow to wake up every morning walking into the day remembering there is only now. 

I vow to remember that I can’t change the past or pre-determine the future, but I can make the best choices for my higher good in the many moments of today.

I vow to take care of my body and health as if I was carrying myself as a fetus.

Until Next Time,


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