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Archive for August, 2013



when i first started coaching over 12 years ago, i faced a paradox that so many coaches and healers – or really anyone with a service, skill or product to offer – face: being a great coach and healer is only part of the deal; i also need to find people to pay me to get coached and be healed.

this is also called “sales and marketing,” 😉 an arena in which i have felt, particularly in my early years, perpetually in the slow lane and honestly, quite wary of. (although these days i can’t throw a mouse without (gently) hitting one of my friends who is somewhere between genius and savant in the field.)

for me, it was truly depressing to realize that being an excellent coach doesn’t automatically mean you’re set with folks lining up at your door who want to pay you to coach them. marketing and sales more important than my craft? considering that was almost enough for me to throw in the towel.

i was resistant at first because i didn’t want to stretch to learn something new.

after i got over that hurdle, i had to stare down the popular belief that taking money for healing isn’t spiritual and generally means you are a bad person.

after i healed that uncomfortable soul contusion, i uncovered another zinger, which is more like my friend Lisa Fabrega puts it: “that marketing is slimy, smarmy and manipulative. many entrepreneurs try to avoid it. we say, ‘it feels inauthentic. i don’t think it’s fair to manipulate someone into giving me their money.’”

i had to look at this new dragon in the face and ask, “is it inherently true that when there’s money changing hands there’s manipulation present?”

i think the main cultural reference point that defines what we think about sales and marketing (at least, it’s true for me) comes from era of charlatans and snake oil salesmen, and then rapscallions of early advertising, figuring out how to push people’s buttons to get us to buy something that we don’t need – or is even harmful – but is touted as something without which we’d be in danger or is “all the rage” and vital to our keeping up with the Joneses.

(amazing hair tonic! night fears begone!)
early ads

in our individual and cultural DNA, we’re wary of being conned. we equate advertising – or selling something – with being sold a bill of goods, our weak spots preyed upon for someone else’s nefarious gain; getting tricked out of our hard-earned money and left a fool.

under this ethos, as a coach, i worry if i charge for my services, or charge too much, i’m conning some poor sucker out of his money. and as someone looking for coaching, i worry that parting with my money makes me a fool.

it’s only fairly recently (at least to my eye) that there’s been a shift in the prevailing winds, in which marketing could be reframed as means to authentically offer a service to a group of folks who are hoping and praying for exactly what you are providing; that sales could be re-understood to be a blessed rubber band that connects you to exactly the right-fitting people; that spending money could be re-considered to be investing in yourself, with returns that come less via monetary interest, but via YOU, as a happier, healthier person, having the extraordinary experiences you want most. following this possibility, “investing” – aka spending your hard-earned cash – can be a win both for the person spending the money and the person receiving it: both get confirmation that they are WORTH INVESTING IN. often, the larger the investment, the bigger the breakthrough and the longer the lesson lasts.

we are – at least, for sure i am – catching up to the idea that getting invested in and investing in ourselves can be a sacred, squeaky-clean honest set of actions that creates nothing but win-wins; that both the spender and earner can feel like they got the best deal. {tweet it}

my friend Stacey (who’s the creator of Holistic MBA, a program that trains coaches and healers in marketing and sales through methods that don’t include selling your soul to the devil), told me, “i see selling as offering a resource that someone who didn’t know about before. when you present the resource the other person has a choice to take it or leave it.”

so as the cultural tide turns, we then have to turn our scrutiny inward and ask ourselves (to paraphrase Stacey again, who’s one of those business/marketing/sales savant friends that surround me), “when i’m selling something, am i truly conning someone into buying something they don’t want or need and that may harm then? is the thing i’m offering actually of value, useful and worthwhile? could it change their life? is my motivation to be of service?”

in the quiet truth of my heart, i asked and asked … and came to the place of knowing from tip to toe that my offering is in fact of tremendous value. i can say without doubt that whomever i work with, their life will change dramatically for the better, for good.

so, then, if we are a fit – if what i’m offering is what they truly want –  i’m actually doing them a disservice by NOT offering them my shizzle and presenting it in the most appealing, clear way possible. in fact, i have an ethical responsibility TO offer it. and in fact, i have an ethical responsibility to offer it at a price point that allows me to walk my talk, live what i’m teaching, thrive and not burn out; and that has the buyer stretch into a new level of believing they are worth investing in.

“otherwise,” Stacey reminds, “you ain’t gonna have a business because no one is going to understand your message.”

so, how do you know if the coach/healer/service/product you’re considering investing in is pure of heart, clean of hand and not a flim-flam con-artist? here are 8 hopefully helpful questions to activate your own Knowing and clarify your conviction to leap into their arms:

  1. does their offering have you start to see things for yourself that you’d not considered possible before?
  2. does their process for taking you from where you are to where you want to go, seem “workable” to you? (you know, “6-pack abs in just 6 seconds” likely ain’t “workable”)
  3. do you feel like they “get” YOU and see YOU?
  4. do you feel more expansive and more confident in yourself as you consider their shiz?
  5. will this investment put you or anyone you care about in major harm? (most $$ investments i’ve made that were worth it felt a little – or a lot – painful, but didn’t stretch me or my fam into financial damage).
  6. do they walk their talk? are they a shining example of what they are teaching? and, in their BEing, do they inspire you to step up into your own version of what they are offering? (or, do they seem so perfect and untouchable that you feel you’re a lowly nobody, if only you’d be lucky enough to touch the hem of their garment?)
  7. and then, mind aside, does your BODY feel like you should invest with them?

i’ve made some bad “investments” on my path, to be sure. (my dear friend Elishia calls it “life tuition.” it’s true, some breakthroughs are more expensive than others and some lessons last longer than others) but after each one (after i lick my wounds), i ask myself, “what worked about that? what would i do again next time and what would i do differently?”

and then next time i’m keener in my hearing of my YES and my NO and more congruent with what’s a great use my of money. so the 8th question to ask yourself is,

8. how you can hone your intuition and sharpen your inner Knowing through the scrutiny that’s only possible with hindsight?

and in case you ever waver, you are more than worth investing in, friend. always.

best, LiYana

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PS: about the whole walk-your-talk thing … i’m excited to be featured TONIGHT in the Healthy Passionate Woman’s Summit, a dive into how we can stop being last on our own to-do lists. Mary (the host) and i will be discussing what i would say to a woman who is holding back or doubting her ability to discover and unleash the healthy passionate woman inside her. one of my favorite discussions! Grab a seat here.

PPS: my friend Stacey? well, she and her business partner Carey are offering their Holistic MBA Core Training Program, but only for another couple of days. Stacey is one of my best friends, Carey is a former client and both are luminous geniuses in the arena of getting the hang of sales and marketing while remaining the authentic, scrupulous healer/coach you currently are. it’s a phenomenal program, one i wish i’d been able to cut my teeth on, in my own early days. Check it out here.

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Soul_Spirit

listen close: we’re playing this game of You forgetting Me, so that we can have the joy of Remembering again.

listen closer: even when You forget You are Loved, I love You. there’s no where You could go where I wouldn’t have a mad crush on You. there’s nothing You do that could loose my longing for You.

there’s not a single moment when I waver.

You think no one could love You – this broken apart work-in-progress. You are oh-so-wrong. (and I’m not above calling You names to get My point across).

I’m your SoulSelf. I don’t dwell just in high, righteous places, I also inhabit your underworld, your beneath, your broken, your ugly, your not-enough, your sad and sagging.

without Me, your high, your bright, your vivacious, your sass and your sauce become bent and hollow.

I Am You. the Divine doesn’t look like something out there, over there, someday. it looks like You. now. at this very moment. partly stumbling, partly flying.

You think it’s going to take a thousand prayers, a hundred workshops, a score of selfless acts and a dozen strings tied on your ten fingers (and two toes) to help You remember.

but listen close: it takes a single second to fall back in Love with YourSelf. [tweet it]

that is Grace. that is My face. that is Our way.

You will ReDiscover Me through your body.

You will ReCover Me through your feet planted innocently on the earth.

You will ReCall Me through the feel of the wind on your face, the smell of new rain, the curve of your lover’s hip, the sound of bubbling excitement, the taste of truth.

and thus You will ReMember YourSelf.

listen close: my invitation is Now. and every Now after that one.

listen closer: my invitation is not just to Come Home, it’s to Become Home.

things will not be perfect then, but You’ll never feel truly lost again.

now put that in Your pipe and smoke it (and inhale),

Love, Your SoulSelf

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soul-rocks

brought to you by your SoulSelf’s patron, donor and sponsor,

LiYana

PS: to add Your words, and i wish with all my heart for ’em, comment below.

PPS: a must check-out: soul-sister Sera Beak’s book Red Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story that inspired this memo.



perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “what age would you be if you didn’t know your age?”

my answer is 26.

it’s been 26 since I was about 30. and I’m currently 40.

not that I want to be 26 again. no way. let me say that again, hell no, no way, no how.

PickUpSpeedeven though women are considered to be in our prime around age 26, my 20s were pock-marked with self-doubt, body-loathing, soul-angst, punishingly hard work and deep pits of dark despair.

so saying I FEEL 26 indicates zero desire to BE 26.

I simply feel youthful in body, fresh in outlook and humbly committed to returning again and again to beginner’s mind. I feel like I have the body and spirit of a 26-year old with the experience, wisdom and Soul Knowing of my full 40 years.

last spring, during our interview for my Mentorship Program, I asked a potential participant, Tamara, “what lets you Know that i am the right mentor for you?” she replied that she “just Knew” and also because of my age. she explained that she resonated with the fact that I was an older woman, rather than one sporting an obviously youthful brand.

so when she told me my “older woman” status was a perk in wanting me as her mentor, I thought, “holy shit. I AM an older woman aren’t i?” I may feel 26 inside but I’m really, truly, freakin’ 40.

by definition, doesn’t that mean I’m over the hill? my best years are behind me? time to hang up my short skirts, buy arthritis cream in bulk, wave goodbye to epic love (and epic orgasms) and sigh audibly with relief that this old dog doesn’t have to learn any new tricks?

it seems we women have nary two choices as we advance in years:

1.    accept with defeat the age you are and get on with looking and feeling past your prime, over-ripe, useless and invisible; or

2.    accept with defiance the age you are and rush furiously toward punishing diets, exercise and perhaps plastic surgery to fool everyone into thinking you’re 10, 20, 30 years younger than you are, when you Just. Plain. Aren’t.

there’s got to be a better road to walk than one that has us coast into an atrophying mind, a snuffed-out sexy spark and a body that’s sadly sagging southward.

there’s got to be a better row to hoe than one of being so afraid of aging we’ll inject ourselves with toxins, snip our bits and suck it in until we pass out.

if I look around, I find very few models of women who are doing anything aside from choice 1 or choice 2. I don’t see very many examples of a woman advancing in years while redefining through her Living and Being what it means to Grow Younger.

my mentoree, Tamara? she’s fit, fabulous and 50, and she recently interviewed me for her upcoming summit, Purpose-Full Living. one of the topics we delve into is Longevity with Purpose.

check out what Tamara’s pulled together, here.

this is a rich conversation, and I’m glad to be in on it, with my words and through my very Life.

for many of us, the Big Three-O, Four-O or Five-O (and on and on) are big freakin’ deal check-points. if you pass, you give yourself permission to be a worthy human being that has “made it,” whatever that elusive “it” is.

when I turned 30, I couldn’t check anything off my list of lofty life goals. nothing. it was not going as planned. I was so far off the mark, I hunkered down and got ready for a whopping mid-life crisis, so sure was I that it would be all downhill from 30.

and as I got closer to 40, I noticed the same check-point fears rearing their heads. even if 40 is the new 30, both of those numbers are enough to strike abject fear into any female, if even for a hot minute.

but.

every day after my 30th birthday, my life kept getting better and better. the farther I got from my 20s and 30s the more I liked and enjoyed myself, felt fulfilled in my work and knew my relationship wasn’t about to go poof! in a strong wind.

I was staring down 40 when I first saw this performance by Ginger Rogers  while she was in her 80s.  in it, Ginger salsa-dances like a 26-year old, partnered by her GRANDSON. watching it inspired me – no, inspired is the wrong term; perhaps “galvanized my commitment” fits better – to keep dancing and glorying in the sensuous celebration of the body, each year I go forward.

Screen Shot 2013-08-13 at 1.40.07 PMI’ll just stop there for a second. go watch the video and keep in mind Ginger (of Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers, dancing duo extraordinaire from last century) is *#!!&** 80 years old.

if it keeps getting better, every day, every year, every decade – and I have evidence that is can and does – then 80’s looking pretty sweet.

what about embracing the age you actually are, yet deciding that you’re forging a path of gracious health, ever-expanding mind and a fit body that’s as sexy as you say you are?

what if we, as a cultural collective, invested in women as we age, rather than tossing women out when they pass some arbitrary expiration date?

what about deciding you ARE the role model you’ve been looking for?

so, now, your turn:

if you’re a woman feelin’ your age (which you probably are at 20, 30, 40, 50, 80 and beyond), I’m curious what you’re looking to redefine? in what ways are YOU BECOMING the role model you’ve been looking for?

contribute a verse to this conversation below, hot mama.

LiYana

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