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The SeamLess Life

Isuue #13, October 26, 1998

The Benefits of The Seamless Life™

When someone says, "Here are the benefits of this to you," you probably immediately have a sense that you're being "sold" on something. After all, it's salespeople who learn to describe benefits clearly, as ways of convincing you to buy. Way before 20th century sales training taught us that "benefits" were a way to sell ourselves and others, there were other meanings for the word "benefits." Some of the earliest definitions for "benefits" were "godsend," "blessings," "serve." And, as we're using it here, "benefits" meant "well-being."

So, we're not selling you here on reasons to embrace The Seamless Life™. We're sharing with you the blessings that we and our clients have received from following this path. (We started listing these because we believe that every entrepreneur needs to be able to articulate how what they do serves their clients. In our identifying your core Needs. You've gained insight into your core Values. And you've been truthful about and cleaned up the irritating things you've been putting up with: You've begun to weed your garden, so to speak. When you've completed these 3 reflections and taken action on them, you've cleared the space for you to begin reaping a bit of the harvest that's available. Here's what we've learned can happen.

1. You Are Clear.

Working with your Needs, Values and cleaning up your irritations lets you get much more selective about what and who you let into your life. You gain clarity about what's really important to you -- which affects how you choose to respond to things. You naturally begin to shift out of the "grass fire" and crisis manager way of living your life. You're really clear that you DO have many more choices and options than you'd realized. You pay attention to what you do, how you do it, with whom, for how long. You set limits and take responsibility for what you let into your life.

You've become crystalline clear about the now-unnecessary behaviors, ways of being, or beliefs you've been carrying around as excess baggage. You are really in tune with the internal signals you have which let you know when something is "right on" and in synch with your Needs and Values, and when it's not. You naturally now are sensitive to the very signals you'd once ignored -- and so you take actions that honor these signals. This is your intuition getting better and more available to you. You have a felt sense of what's right for you -- and you're able to just act on it naturally.

Because you're so clear and acting so intuitively, so naturally -- your decision making speeds up dramatically. You are very clear about what's right for you and what's not, so you can trust your instincts You rely on much less data as a way of knowing what to do. Because you've cleaned out so much of the life chatter and clutter, you've got extra capacity available to sense and know just what's right for you, and how to act on it.

2. You Experience The White Canvas Effect.

The painter Peter Max once described his gift as an artist this way: "The discipline I have is to just walk into the studio and be in front of the canvas with no agenda." He knew how to let go of what was on his mind. Without anything predetermined, he just stayed present to himself and to the blank canvas, moment by moment. He just allowed each stroke to emerge, stroke by stroke--and a work of art emerged from the canvas. Emptiness and blank space were preferable to the clutter of his preconceptions and prejudgments.

Something similar happens when you begin to create The Seamless Life™. Your white canvas is your life. You begin to reinvent yourself. You've cleared away the chatter and clutter -- the excess baggage of non-useful behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, and ways of being. So your canvas is clear and receptive to new artistry.

You now can select the texture, color, and style and redraw the canvas of your life. You examine your beliefs, feelings, and convictions. You re-select those you want to continue to live from--and in re-choosing you also recommit to them, with a great deal of new-found energy and joy this time around. After all, it's your decision. You're the painter this time around-- not your family, others' opinions, or a culture, life history or circumstance. Many things earlier might have been drawn on your personal canvas when you were young, vulnerable, unaware of what was being created. Now, you're the artist. You're letting the art of your life emerge through your own hand.

How can this be--that you can start afresh? Lillian Hellmann in her autobiography called it "pentimento." Back in the days when canvas was valuable and scarce, painters reused the canvas. They painted over the earlier works, ones they saw as not their best, not in synch with who they were today as artists. Sometimes, faint traces of the old works would appear in some kinds of light. But it was the new work that was most visible, most real. That's how your life will be. You've given yourself permission to begin anew.

3. You are Light on Life.

No surprise than when you're clear and recreating yourself, you also lighten up! More laughter, more humor shows up--you are able to put things into perspective. Better still, you're able to look back and laugh are your own foibles, your own silliness. Things you thought were tremendously serious matters you now see as simply things to be handled and taken care of. Or, things to learn from.

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

You are a living, breathing, walking testament to Richard Carlson's book. You "don't sweat the small stuff" -- and you know that "it's all small stuff!"

You understand the value in looking into your own life from the long-view. You've also a sense of the power as well as value of coming from intention. The next step is for this to become contagious. Passing around this same generosity of spirit you're now willing to claim for yourself to others is a very helpful idea.

Richard Carlson, in Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, calls this looking beyond behavior. He says,

"Wouldn't it be nice if we could try to extend this same loving-kindness toward everyone we meet? Wouldn't we live in a more loving world if, when someone acted in a way that we didn't approve of, we could see their actions in a similar light as our own, or our child's, offbeat behavior?"
Not excuse or approve of negative behavior, but simply adopt the perspective of giving others the benefit of the doubt.

You start by seeing them as "innocent" vs. as "guilty." The result of this is that you feel compassion rather than judgment. Look for the innocence in the behavior. Give another at least as much leeway as you give yourself.

See how "the small stuff" given up in this way can pay off big!

You can do this because.......

4. You are Resilient.

A couple articles from now we'll be writing a long piece on resilience. Basically, your ability to be resilient is your ability to be sturdy. Like a sturdy tree, you're also limber--you can bend and not break in the face of strong winds, even hurricanes. When adversity occurs--you treat it as a natural part of life. You don't panic, you don't break. You find ways to bend, flow, and grow.

You may even experience some fascination and wonder at your ability to be resilient. You'll notice how you're able to do this in the face of circumstances which would have broken you a bit before. We think this is because you not only become resilient, but you're able to observe your own inner and outer working with a great deal of detachment and clarity. You've developed an inner observer, and this ability to notice yourself responding to what occurs give you a great sense of inner strength, and of being in tune with the universe, something greater than yourself.

5. You Refocus Your Vision, Your Efforts.

Once your daily clutter is gone, you just have more space. More space for yourself. More time for reflection, for growth. Your life just begins to have a sense of spaciousness about it.

With all this space and simplicity, you begin to see that you are enough. What a sense of relief this can be. No need to do more, have more, be more. You're out of that race.

This lets you shift your focus. Instead of worrying about the small stuff, about the clutter and chatter, you turn your attention to the bigger picture. And to the YOU who is emerging, the YOU you are becoming. To what's important to you in the long-term. To whatever the bigger picture is for you: Your long-term, your connections to others and to your spirit. To what you want you legacy to be from your work and your life.

You can then turn your attention to what is right action for you--those things that will be in alignment with the life and the self you want most to create.

6. You Feel Gratitude.

Finally, you have a recurring sense of gratefulness for what you have been given, for who you are. You have stopped striving, stopped struggling. You may even feel a sense of awe in the face of how much you have, how much you've been given. How much is yet possible and available to you that you can reach for easily and gracefully.

You've done the work, you're on the path. You deserve the benefits -- they are yours for the asking. The bottom line is The Seamless Life™ is about uncovering and unconcealing what has been there all along. This quote by Eknath Easwaran says it clearly:

"People do not have to become something they are not.
They need to learn only who and what they really are.
"



Contact us with questions or suggestions.
Sherry can be reached at sherry@sherrylowry.com.
The Lowry Group, Austin, Texas USA,
Website: www.sherrylowry.com.

Ph: 512-527-0097

Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at http://www.sherrylowry.com/book.htm.




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Text © Diane Menendez & Sherry Lowry, 1998, 1999. Part of the original Sideroad.
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