let’s clink glasses to the softly powerful among us

Sometimes people confuse a light touch and soft voice for… ineffectiveness… shallowness.

We’re so used to the big hammer and bright light—the hard line, the go-go bro culture.

All those movies with the fast cars and suitcases stuffed with cash…. James Bond style.

All those rah-rah coaches sweeping over the stage, telling you how to live. We think that that’s playing the Big Game.

So if you show up softly or as just quietly efficient, you’re passed over.

And while we talk a whole line about the power of “feminine” energy, we still look to those who are stronger, bolder, and harder, and we frankly run after them for guidance, forgetting ourselves and our own unique inner power.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.

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every pony does not need to ridden

I got as far as downloading the Clubhouse app to my phone, and my fingers froze desperately over the fateful “tap.”

ME: Ah crap, I’m thinking, not another social media platform. They’re like ice cream flavors of the week.

OTHER ME: But my friends are there! All these interesting movers and shakers are there! It’s my medium too—all talking, I whine. I’m missing oooouuuutttt. Please. Pleeeeease.

ME: Stop it, Summer.

Friends, I had a MySpace page. It was very hip and cool, and just by using the words hip and cool, you know exactly how old hip and cool I am.

But then came Facebook like a steamroller, and we all became Facebook.

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Beautiful little pieces

Just as we’re all taking our first collective breath and feeling like things are finally actually changing, so many of us wobbled and fell. 

It’s like we held an extraordinarily hard yoga pose for so long that as soon as we got some permission to move, we collapsed.

I’m not sure what crazy drama is happening right now in the actual or astrological heavens, but this last week or so, I’ve seen more melt-downs and falling-to-bits-moments in my family, friends, and clients, than in a long while.

Knock on wood (and Flow!) that I’ve been the post holding the fence, the pillar holding the roof, and I’m grateful to have been.

But it’s made me reflect on why and where this ability to maintain course comes from.

I want to share one thing I’ve done to keep my mind feeling clear and relaxed, even amid the chaos. I urge you to do this too. It takes just 5 minutes. 

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The struggling coach

I’ve worked with a tremendous number of coaches over the last fifteen years.

Life coaches, business coaches, health coaches, creative coaches….you name it.

Each has decided to shift from their old career into something new and more meaningful, like my friend Annie.

Annie’s 48, works in an office for a company supplying environmental cleanup services, and is totally sick of what she’s been doing in her work for the last seven years.

Both her her kids are in college. It’s an empty nest. Did I mention she’s also divorced? And she just can’t fathom having to drive the hour back and forth to work each day doing something that leaves her bored out of her mind for the next ten years til she retires.

So she chose to become a coach.

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hey, sweetie

On allowing love.

I had a really interesting thing happen a week or so ago. Maybe you saw the subject line on my email that lit up the fire brigade: “Hey sweetie.”

Let’s just say, I’ve been calling my Flowdreaming contacts, students and friends by terms of endearment for….a long time, but not forever.

In the beginning, I wasn’t intimate or affectionate. I wanted to be seen as professional. I was also less secure in myself, so I tried to never rattle anyone, offer any political views, or do anything I thought my detract from my main message: “Learn to Flow; it’ll change your life.” It was a good justification for trying to shield myself from being disliked.

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Where will you be in 3-5 years?

Where will you be in 3-5 years?

2020 was not just a hard year for many, but it’s made a moulding impact on us.

We changed behaviors. We changed routines, structures. We modified relationships. We placed boundaries on friendships and family that never were there before.

And above all, we adopted a feeling of “just put this off for awhile”: our haircuts, nails, fine dining, trips, seeing family, weddings, funerals, housekeepers, gyms, going into work, going to school….you name it, there’s probably been a “pause button” on it at one time or another.

It means that I’ve been, and am continuing to, condition myself to not do things.

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2020 gave us gifts (here’s what they are)

2020 gave us gifts. Here’s what they are.

I’m sitting here wrapping up work for the year, planning on taking a few weeks off for the holidays. I feel like before I go, I want to send you all a note about this year. This crazy, crazy year.

Like you, I started 2020 dreaming up big things for myself and others. And like you, I found myself stuttering and swerving as more and more fear and ridiculousness swung my way: COVID-19, the California wildfires and unprecedented number of hurricanes, the fight for BLM, and a near miss with the breakdown of democracy in the U.S. Unfathomable. It’s as if the Universe rolled up all it had and tossed it to us: “Take that, Americans. If you don’t learn from this, I don’t know what it’s gonna take.”

And learn we have.

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The pattern master

The Pattern Master

(Another long but good article on why we bother with personal growth.)

I’ve been sending my book manuscript out to agents lately. I wrote what I thought was a rippin’ hot pitch letter and included the juiciest bits of my writing samples.

I’ve had just four replies, all rejections.

Then, last night I was lying in bed watching “(Un)well,” a new TV show that explores all kinds of alternative therapies. The first show was about essential oils. And it struck me: they were explaining things that I already knew about, that I already “got,” there was nothing new here. But they were acting as if I’d never heard of oils before and was clueless about the whole exciting and dramatic industry!

I realized in that moment that my pitch letter has been falling on deaf ears. I’ve been acting like every potential agent already knows all about patterns, blocks, and personal growth. I’ve been approaching them like they’re insiders, long-timers. They’re not. Most of them have barely heard of Tony Robbins. They’re probably wondering what the hell I’m writing about.

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The Flower That Grows Too High Is The First To Be Cut

There’s an old saying that the flower that grows too high in the field is the first to be cut.

In other words, don’t stick out.

Which is also saying, “Don’t be seen.”

Except that being seen is exactly what you’re striving for. Everything you offer to the world is something you’ve made, written, done, carved, studied for, put together, etc. You’re wanting an audience for it. You want clients for it — customers, admirers, readers, viewers, consumers. You want people to share it with.

You say you try to be seen all the time. “I write newsletters! I speak on stages! I get in front of the room to read my latest proposal to the team. I stick my hand up in meetings and I even have a gorgeous website to showcase myself on.”

But is that enough? Because at some point, you back down. You give up. You slink away and say, “I tried and they rejected. It always happens.”

And that is that. You grow no taller than the flowers around you. To go any further would be too risky. Something would be put on the line. The bigger flowers are right: you are not good enough.

Ooof. That hurts.

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I made the mistake of spending too much time on my phone last night—swipe swipe swipe

I made the mistake of spending too much time on my phone last night—swipe swipe swipe

I sniffled into my pillow around 11 pm, miserable and thinking that we are all gonna die, starve, or be homeless. (Oh my god, I know, I know better.)

So I totally get your feeling of sliding between two crazy poles of fear and calm right now. It’s like an army has invaded our country, except it’s made of the people we love and the viruses they harbor. Now what? You can’t fight that with a missile.

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