Tara Sophia Mohr | Playing Big

Tara Sophia Mohr, Playing Big. Find Your VOICE, Your MISSION, and Your MESSAGE.

What’s Next with Weekly Practice

In April, I began our weekly practice series on the blog, each Monday sharing a simple practice that we can use to bring more peace, alignment, joy – you know, all the good stuff – into our lives.

I’ve loved doing this series because one of my most foundational convictions is that we can change our lives from the inside out. And, I’ve learned, we can often do that through small shifts that only take a few moments. But that does require awareness and intention. That’s what the Weekly Practice series has been all about.

And you all jumped in with me with enthusiasm from the very first week – reading and listening to the posts, writing us with your insights and responses, and sharing in our Weekly Practice Facebook group. Thank you for teaching and inspiring me and my team!

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be taking a pause from writing new Weekly Practice posts so that I can focus on some other writing projects. (But you’ll still hear from me on other topics!)

I’ll also periodically send a check-in email with reminders of some of our past Weekly Practices because they are always good to revisit – and in our busy lives, we no doubt need to be reminded to use the practices again.

For this week, I invite you to go back to one of the practices that was particularly meaningful to you. You can review past Weekly Practice posts HERE, or in our Facebook group HERE. Pick up a favorite and use it again this week, deepening your relationship to it.

Sending love,

Tara





a poem for you

You can listen to this poem in audio, too. Click the player to download an mp3 file.

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The Last Day

There was the day I realized

that I would end wanting more.

 

That I wouldn’t lie in a hospital bed

or some other deathbed

saying: I completed it.

 

I would lie panting for more,

reaching, still hungry.

 

Not because I had left things incomplete,

or made some mistake, but because

this is the way of the living.

 

After  that

I  knew I was not here to finish it,

to consume it, to become satisfied.

 

It would be more like the carousel,

when my son goes on and I stand

at the rim, and it passes

in a whirl, in a blur.

 

And I catch whatever colors I can,

and his smile always     always

pulls out of view too fast.

 

It will be like that.

It will end like that.

 

So there is no need to try to hold it.

There is no need even

to cup my hands.

 

– Tara Mohr

 

For this week, walk through life knowing you can’t hold it. What is it like to walk through life without hands cupped for holding on to, grasping, possessing? What is it like to let everything pass through an open hand?

Join our weekly practice Facebook group HERE.

 

Chrysalis Time

What should we do in the in-between time, when one chapter of our lives or work has ended and the next one hasn’t come into being yet?

This is chrysalis time. Perhaps you’ve heard the metaphor before: in between being a caterpillar and becoming a butterfly, there is the chrysalis.

This is the stage of old things giving way, the stage of goopy mess, of being neither caterpillar nor butterfly. It is the time of being something in an undefined, transitional, un-presentable state.

{Cocktail parties are very difficult to attend during this time.}

Chrysalis happens inside a cocoon. It is a time of retreating into shelter so that transformation can happen in a protected place. It is a time when privacy and boundaries are needed. (And if you don’t allow them, your psyche will create them for you in unconscious ways – quitting, flaking, sabotaging relationships.)

Chrysalis time comes to all of us.

So what can we do during chrysalis time?

Know it for what it is. Name it as chrysalis time.
Know it is normal.
Know it is universal.
Know it is temporary.
Allow the cocooning but be mindful it doesn’t turn to isolation.
Have compassion for all the ways it is hard – the disintegration, the waiting, the discomfort.
Remember you can’t rush the process.
But remember you can help the process.

Let’s talk about that last part – helping the process.

We can’t control the timeline of a process of becoming. Sorry, ego. Sorry, planner brain.

But we can accelerate the process by surfacing, facing, and bringing into the light what is happening in us.

In conversation or by writing, we can articulate what no longer fits, letting the words make it clearer to us. In the same way, we can start to articulate what we want and what seems to be arising in us now.

And this is so important, and I see women miss this all the time. We can articulate the little we do know about what is next. So often I talk with women who think they don’t have a vision unless they have a 100% clear and complete one, the kind they feel they could explain to some skeptical observer or put into a business plan.

But I have never met a vision that showed up that way (and I’ve met a lot of them, talking to women about this for the past ten years).

Visions for what is next – your next creation, your next job, your next way of moving through the world – don’t arrive fully formed or with a how-to plan. They come through fragments, whiffs, energies in the body.

In chrysalis time, there are big blanks in our picture of the future, but there are also always words and pictures and ideas we can access about what wants to emerge.

If your vision for what is coming next in your life or your work is 95% blank, articulate the 5% you can see – the little fragments, the faint intuitions, the general direction.

As you surface that 5%, you accelerate its coming into being and prepare the ground for the next layer of clarity to emerge.

If you are in chrysalis time, this is your work. All of it – the acceptance, the compassion, and the proactive inquiry into what is emerging.

If you are not in chrysalis time, think of someone in your life who is. Send this along to them if you think it might help them.

And if you’ve been judging someone in your life (or yourself) as being lost or lazy or unclear or flighty or slow, take a second look: maybe that person is just in chrysalis. Love them, even if it’s a little harder to do that now with their cocoon shell there. They will be bolstered by it.

Love,

Tara


 
 

Confidence of the Ego, Steadiness of the Soul

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been thinking about how we often confuse confidence of the ego with steadiness of the soul. Here’s how I experience the difference between these two:

Confidence of the Ego

Confidence of the ego is boosted only by things that come from outside of me, like how I’m seen by others.

Confidence of the ego likes numbers (money numbers, audience size numbers, 1st place, etc.).

Confidence of the ego is fueled by the hunger for outer information to heal an inner fear/suspicion that I’m not okay.

Confidence of the ego is insatiable. It always needs to be reaffirmed, and it has no real memory of past validations or accomplishments.

Confidence of the ego is a little touchy, easily threatened, doesn’t like things that challenge it.

Because it depends on others’ estimations, confidence of the ego forces its host to conform to the trends and values of her particular time, place, culture.

Steadiness of the Soul

Steadiness of the soul is fueled by purpose, by the deep-seated desire to service.

Steadiness of the soul is willing to go forward not because of “me” but because of a devotion to values, energies, purposes that I feel need my hands and mind and feet to work on their behalf.

Steadiness of the soul stems not from others’ responses to me, but from a genuine knowing of myself as an expression of the divine. I’m worthy not because I’m better than but because I’m made of divinity, just like everyone else.

Steadiness of the soul is not so much willing to fail, as it is in understanding that there is no failure; there is only reality revealing itself in interesting ways.

Steadiness of the soul slows down to fully experience the journey on the way to the outcomes.

This week’s practice is to move more into steadiness of the soul.

How?

Remember you aren’t supposed to know how to do it all, or do it all well, by yourself. Since you are human, there is room for asking for help, of people and of the divine.

Shift your focus away from how others see you, and back to who you want to serve. Holding them close in your mind and heart. Do your work to help them, not to be celebrated by anyone.

And remember the why, the deepest why, behind the work you are doing.

What do you notice happens when you do your work with the steadiness of the soul?

Love,

Tara


 
 
Let us know how your weekly practice is going! Join our private Facebook group to share about your experiences and insights.

[weekly practice] go find out.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that sometimes we talk about business, strategy, technique – our effectiveness in the world. And sometimes we dive into the domain of the soul, spirituality, the inner life. And we talk about that nexus where life brings both together.

Last week we were in fairly metaphysical territory, and so this week I want to lean way over to the other side of things – the earthly, tactical side.

Here’s my challenge to you, for this week’s practice: Pick something in your work that failed, and go get feedback about it. Real feedback, from real live people. At least three of them.

All of us who are entrepreneurs have had failures – times when we’ve put something out into the marketplace and no one bought it. All of us who are creators have had failures – making art or publishing a piece of writing, and no one responded to it or it didn’t resonate with people in the way we’d hoped.

And if you work inside an organization, you’ve had other forms of this experience. Perhaps you’ve shared an idea with your team and no one responded with support or enthusiasm. Or you pitched a big new project to your boss and it was turned down, for unclear reasons.

Often in our pain about these experiences, we just shut them away. Sometimes we avoid the people or product or idea that was involved. Sometimes we search for an explanation of what happened and, in our own minds, make one up.

Rarely do we do what I believe is the thing to do.

Go find out what happened.

Pick up the phone and talk to five of the people who knew about this thing and didn’t buy. Did they get the information about it? What did they think it was? Is that aligned with what you meant to communicate about it? Did they think it was for people like them? Did they want it? You need to know all of this.

Or, if you are inside an organization, write a note to a few of the team members whom you shared that idea with, who never jumped in. Did they even hear your idea? Did they understand it? Did it appeal? Was it politically dangerous to go for? Go learn what was happening.

This is what makes the failure productive. This is what makes it not a waste of time.

But to do this safely, so that our hearts and morale come out intact, you’ll need a kind of protective suit, and that suit is your mindset. You’ll need to look at feedback in a particular way – not as information about your worth or your worthiness, but rather as information about the people giving the feedback.

You seek this feedback not to decide if you should be an artist or not, or if you are good at your career, or if you measure up to some standard, but rather to gather data on the preferences, priorities, and needs of your stakeholders so you can be more effective with them. That is it.

So this week, recall something that failed. Go get real feedback on what happened from the people it failed with. I’ll honor our practice by doing the same with a recent “crickets” moment in my business.

And then let’s use what we learn as we create our next thing.

Join us over in the private Facebook group to share what you discovered.

Love,

Tara




P.S. Remember the Emerging Women Live conference I shared about earlier? Great news! Our special discount has been extended through July 31st. I’m not speaking this year, but the lineup is phenomenal. If you would like to attend this one-of-a-kind women’s leadership event, register here and use the coupon code TaraMohr2017 to receive $300 off the current ticket price.