I am at the Conversations Among Masters (#CAM09 on twitter) Coaching Conference in Branson Missouri this week. It's a change for me, because I am a participant instead of a presenter. An elite group of international coaches have been invited here to further the conversation about how, as coaches, we can make a difference in the world. The first full day of the conference offered delight-filled moments and inspiring dialogue. First, being around 140 other Master Coaches is a mind expanding atmosphere. It's like the biggest mastermind group I could imagine peopled by minds and hearts that are working at incredible levels. I am honored to be among my colleagues to soak in the wisdom, energy and love that is rampant. It reminds me how important it is to surround yourself with people and ideas who help you grow and evolve, instead of being a lone ranger.
The first presenter, Stephen Josephs, author of Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change, captivated us with an interactive presentation where we inquired into our stories and roles. We were asked in groups to look at where our self emerges through our roles and where we are submerged in a role. Where are you bringing your heart and soul into a role, and where are you letting the role submerge who you really are? He also shared some meditation & breathing practices and exercises he uses with the executives he coaches, designed to bring ease, energy and love present. I am reminded how slowing down, being present and grounding myself always make me feel more focused, less stressed and able to accomplish more effectively. Is this how you've been feeling? Is there an practice you should be including daily?
When he spoke of love, he gave us a smile exercise. It is so simple to shift feelings by intentional actions. Smiling is something we all can do and actually has been documented to make us healthier. Stephen taught us to bring a smile all the way into our body and then expand it so that that is what is present. He also had us find tight places and bring them present and fill them with the smile. It was quite amazing to feel what happened when this was done! You know, I sign all my correspondence, "Hugs and Smiles" I hope when you see this (or me) it is a reminder to put a smile on your face and bring the healing qualities that come from this to yourself.
In the afternoon, Yakov Smirnoff, a Russian comedian and University Professor, took us into the depths of laughter and love. He shared poignant and hysterical stories of his life, including consulting with President Reagan and his movie career. Throughout, he wove through the question of how to bring more love and laughter into our lives and the lives of our clients. As you can imagine, this was a wonderfully interesting inquiry. He shared the story and a film clip of a couple who had been married 75 years. When asked the secret to their bliss, she said," he makes me laugh."
He said,"she laughs." The perfect combination of performer and audience! My husband, Bub, believes, "If you are not enjoying yourself, you're doing it wrong" and his ability to find the humor and share the laughter with me has sustained us for 31 years! How fortunate I am to have a soulmate like him.
Smile on purpose more often.
Try meditating and bring your smile all the way into your body; into your stomach and liver and lungs and heart.
Find someone to laugh with!