The Words Will Find You

Andrea Chilcote, Erik's Hope, White Wolf

by Andrea Chilcote

Do you want a simple way to tap into your very soul’s wisdom? Take dictation.

Several years ago, my colleague Karla Boyd shared a practice for accessing one’s personal vision or purpose. It has remained a staple in my toolkit, and I’ve expanded it to situations in which I need to access my intuition or help other tap into theirs. Sometimes I even use it for deciding what to write about in these posts.

Here’s the process. First, write a question that’s on your mind or in your heart. You can imagine you’re asking the question of your own highest and best self, or some other wise person, present on earth or not. Examples would be: “What do I need to be happy in my job?” or “How can I communicate advice to my teenage son?” The best questions are those tough questions that can’t be easily answered using our logical minds.

Then…just write. Write the answer in a stream-of-consciousness format, without stopping to judge the quality or validity of what you’re writing.

Early on, I was amazed at the insights that came – even as I puzzled over where they came from. Then a few years later I attended a life-changing workshop led by renowned writing teacher Natalie Goldberg. Goldberg has revolutionized the practice of writing and she teaches a similar process for accessing the heart and soul. She’s a purest about insisting that her students hand-write their work, and write continuously for 10 minutes without stopping. She says it doesn’t matter if your inner critic tells you what you’re writing is garbage – keep writing!

The results are truly amazing, and in fact I used the technique while writing the passages from Erik’s Hope in which the character “White Wolf” counseled my dog Erik. I wrote as if I was White Wolf himself, and was often astounded by how eloquent and smart he was…so much so that I now consult “him” on a regular basis.

Here’s a recent example. I was struggling with how I would open a meeting in which the stakes were high and asked (wrote), “White Wolf, of what shall I speak?”

Here’s the answer I received:

Andrea, speak from your heart. Speak the truth and that truth will be heard by all who need it. Be present as you teach, and the words you need will find you. Above all be kind. Be in gratitude for what you have now and for what will be. Treasure each moment. Be the light.

Even though I haven’t shared the details of that meeting, I think you’ll agree that White Wolf offered sage advice. He never lets me down. What I needed was not an opening speech, but rather a reminder to adopt the right state of being – truth, presence, kindness, gratitude and light.

If you believe, as I do, that the answers are inside of you, try this method of accessing them. As White Wolf says, the words will find you.


 

This post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger. Enjoy it!

Acts From the Heart – Inspired Action (2014)

Act-from-the-heartThis Valentines’ week, Arthur and I received a surprise in the mail from our friends Jeanette and Larry. It was a sweet and simple Valentine card. I was so touched by their gesture – and reminded that Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to romance. It’s a time to express our feelings and share our hearts with the people we care about.

We don’t see Jeanette and Larry nearly enough. But that act from the heart – the card – reminded me of the happy times we have spent together. And it reminded me that our relationship is alive.

Enjoy this “re-blog” of my account of another friend’s “acts from the heart.”

by Andrea Chilcote

I just returned from lunch with a dynamic woman who I admire greatly. She owns and manages a thriving business, juggling multiple priorities in work and life. Her secret? The relationships she builds and nurtures.

I‘m fascinated by how she makes time to do the things she does to build trusting, sometimes life-long bonds with customers, vendors and employees, (not to mention while caring for an active family and supporting philanthropic interests). She does the small yet high-impact things I think about yet often don’t follow through on. She forges personal connections by genuinely acknowledging the trials and triumphs of her colleagues’ multi-faceted lives.

Whether it’s a piece of welcome information or advice contained in an otherwise mundane email, or a greeting card celebrating a small accomplishment or sharing compassion, my friend takes inspired action. It’s inspired because she has true empathy and concern for those her business touches. It’s not a technique … it comes from the heart. If you’ve ever had the urge or feeling to offer comfort or congratulate, but either shied away or gotten too busy, take a lesson from Jane. She feels the need, then acts. Impeccably.

Here’s the real secret. This woman knows, instinctively and with absolute congruence, how to balance her desire to nurture and care for those around her with getting her own needs met. She is absolutely transparent — who you see is who you get. She passionately and candidly shares her stretch goals and desire for growth. Her approach is the very definition of win-win, and, once again, it’s not a technique. It’s who she is.

And guess what? Like begets like, and others strive to help her. Jane has an army of people committed to her business’ mission that aren’t on her payroll. And there are smaller benefits too. When the inevitable minor problems of business life occur, the “funds” in the relationship bank serve as a comforting cushion, and no one overreacts.

So many people ask for help, yet have no cushion from which to draw in the relationship bank. Others give without considering their own needs, rendering those needs unmet and success elusive. One without the other is unproductive.

It’s no longer a secret. Act from the heart. Share of yourself openly while declaring what you too want and need. You might be surprised at what follows.

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David Kadlubowski/The Arizona Republic
President Jane Spicer displays some of her headcovers at Daphne’s Headcovers in Phoenix.

And, if you would like to know more about Jane Spicer, check out her business website: www.daphnesheadcovers.com.

Is It Better To Be Right or Kind?

Andrea Chilcote

With Valentine’s 2014 on the horizon this week, are you seeing yourself and your life experiences (and perhaps another’s) from a heart-centered perspective? Below, Andrea explores life’s challenges from a heart-lens perspective and asks you to consider how you choose to respond.

by Andrea Chilcote

This week, I’m reminded of the question, “Is it better to be right or kind?”

There are versions of this question. A client reminded me of one several years ago, as she was experiencing a conflict at work. She asked herself out loud: “Is better to be right or effective?”—and concluded that while the ego may beg to differ, “effective” was the only path in that situation.

Think about a time you were sure you were right about something large or small, but another person (or group), held an opposite view. I’m not talking about politics, religion or the stuff of conversational debates. I’m talking about taking a personal stand on a perceived injustice or criticism, someone else’s way of doing something, or any irritation that irks you in the moment but is insignificant with perspective.

I have one. Yesterday I felt compelled to express annoyance to my husband for changing virtually every setting in my car’s XM Radio. His response was that I had given him the wrong instructions for finding the channel he was seeking.

At first, I presented the logical argument. My instructions were “right,” and I had evidence in the text message explaining the step-by-step process. (Not to mention I was the one offering help for which he should have been grateful!) But something possessed me to stop, fortunately, and spend three minutes correcting the set-up.

Why is this so hard? At least part of the reason is that we have difficulty discerning between the things we can change by taking a stand, and the things that don’t matter. And, defending the things that don’t matter actually does matter in that we make mountains out of mole hills, as my Dad used to say.

It all matters to our ego. So we have to check in with our logical, objective-thinking self and ask: “Can I influence change here?” If the answer is no, stop. Influence rarely occurs as a result of telling (absent asking), and that’s especially true when telling involves making the other person wrong.

We also need to check in with our heart. Some motivation or unmet need on the part of the other person is driving whatever is making us crazy. Through a heart lens we see this, and the choice to be kind becomes viable.

As you choose your responses to life’s challenges over the next several days, consider these questions:

• Can I influence change (or will my response serve only to inflame)?
• What choice will bring peace to my heart (and perhaps another’s)?
• How can I be kind to myself (and thus spread the resonance of kindness)?

“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

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This post appeared originally on The Spirited Woman where Andrea is a weekly blogger.