Choosing your parents – conversations for Mother’s Day

As Mother’s Day, UK, awakes us, have you ever wondered why you chose the mother you have? Indeed reflect for a moment on your parents that formed your earliest memories and greatest conversations and without whom you might not have become who you are.

As I open my own life to new ideas this year, I ponder on the original programming in my mother’s womb and my younger years; wishing today to celebrate the happiness endemic in my childhood; and share with you wonderful insights into why choosing my parents was a really perfect way to get started that has led me to who I am in the world today!

My father was a gentleman, a truly remarkable influence on me. He lived very much in the moment while honouring his past and using his instinctive wisdom. I remember his conversations with me were always in a positive manner, especially when I was in a difficult time in my life. So whether it was challenging homework aged 16; rescuing me when left high and dry getting home from a party out with my friends; or a shoulder to lean on when my marriage broke down, he would seek to help me “be” and ask “what can I do to help?” He never ticked me off – or let me off. A subtle balance of trust, love and authority, he figured strong in my life, allowing me to be ME!

He adored my mother and for 64 years they were very happily married until he passed away aged 91 years. He and my mother taught me to be strong, courageous, always kind, loving, and conscientious. They created a home of conversations and laughter – an atmosphere in which to enjoy life yet to stand up and be counted; to always contribute what natural gifts we had inherited and grown; and to seek to serve others as best we could be. If only all family life across the world could be so!

For me, ‘my very being’ is about living an in-the-now experience, and loving living about which my parents were always great examples. I know that this formative experience lies within all I do whether with my friends and family or with my clients in the corporate land of UK business. Our parenting experience is where it all starts. The conversations we had, the love and celebration that founded our growth.

My wonderful mother is a stunning 93, alert, fun, caring, great grandmother and “mummy” to me and my brothers and sisters. She has always been a great conversationalist and continues to hold an inspiring space for all of us; and allows me to “be ME” as she has always done. She has always treated me with respect, encouragement and commitment to whatever I have done.

In my latter years, I have led a very different path to that maybe desired by her, I have laid my own journey into an entrepreneurial business world she doesn’t quite understand yet she joined me onstage aged 90 years to present to 150 corporate women without hesitation; I got divorced which is alien to her religious traditions yet she doesn’t let that upset her; and she always loves and supports me even when she’s worried when I take risks and seek higher goals that are unpredictable. She is caring and concerned yet trusting I will “be” alright. She blesses me whether I make mistakes or create success.

I do believe we choose our parents, I chose very wisely and I am so thankful for that. As mother’s day is a sharing opportunity, I make time to be aware that many men and women don’t have the loving gift and fortune of the life I have had from mine. They have helped me lay down how I now create my world at work and at play. I learn so much in this reflection today.

Everyone is ‘some mother’s child’, let’s not forget that without mothers we’d never be born…yes, I acknowledge that fathers play their part in the creation, however nature’s delivery gift is given to us women.

My daughter is now a wonderful yummy mummy to my two grandkids; she also teaches women to give birth in the most natural and gentle way, respecting their body and emotions as nature intended. I know she and my son chose me and I thank them for that honour and pleasure.

Thank you to all mothers across the world for the life you give; and to my mother especially today and her legacy to me to be a strong courageous woman in 2011.

Expansion and contraction – the natural ebb and flow of life and business?

Expansion and contraction – the natural ebb and flow of life and business or are we forcing the issue?

Summer breathing as June passes the Summer Solstice, and here in the UK, we enjoy the wonderful heat and the expansive noise of England winning through in the World Cup, during a time of daily contraction of our financial power in a budget geared to collective restraint, I wondered about the power of our own natural reserves?

Swirling despair or growing pains?

Everyone I know is experiencing swirls of despair and exhilaration, no day is the predictable day we expected. The past is past. The future is ours to grow. And one person’s point of view can be positive or negative over the same situation depending on their nature, their life experience and their current status. Naturally we all perceive the world differently, we are all different, yet we are also the same; living breathing human beings. When we are facing tough challenges (as the world is right now) we polarize to our core point of view and find obstacles and limitations around us.

Why do some of us face each day with energy and vivacious capacity to smile regularly even when the chips are down? And others become despondent and cynical about possibilities and strains that don’t fit now, don’t adhere to our expectations born of past promises! We have a world that needs re-order at a fundamental level, expanding collaboration and contracting chaos. We have choices, many on a daily basis about survival, growth and the future for our children – and our children’s children. We are all connected and inter-connected. What we do right now affects everyone eventually in the whole world and for generations alive when we are gone. We are all connected – yet do we believe that really? Everyone is some mother’s child; we all are born of human stock.

Choices – yours or mine? Do we believe and own our own choices that connect into the collective responsibility – especially in our own families or communities or workplaces when there are so many disagreements, negative behaviour and possible abuse? Can we be open-minded in conversation and listen to everyone, holding their perspective with our own? This is especially relevant to bringing new conversations together between men and women, within women’s group and within men’s groups. Gender confusion still lies at the heart of broken relationships and abuse.

Do men and women face these current difficult times differently?

I believe we do – yet one gender is not better or more right than the other.We need an ‘and/and’ mind shift to create a world together not an ‘either/or’ world of separate parts. Men and women are both responsible and both need to be engaged in the foundations and a new start. There are many different approaches that build society and economic reform together – these approaches economically, politically, socially and spiritually differ in core roots of maleness and femaleness, the yin and yang of life and energy. The former male energy builds strong direction, provider drivers and tenacity of mindful, clever ‘brainy’ ideas – while the latter female fuel, underpins the life force of relationships and community coherence, brings emotional and mental intelligence in a pre-packed integrated package. Although some women are tougher, more masculine than others, some are gentler more cautious, less confident, all women want their lives to honour life and common sense prevail. Women have enormous untapped talents to bring a balance future to our world.

Together men and women are more powerful. Separately we fight for airspace, not listening to the other’s need.

We rival each other for position on a past plan headed for bankruptcy and social disorder – when we now have a choice to co-create a new future. Here is an example of a new way of thinking and being.

A new style together

I had the great pleasure to join a wonderful community in Geneva last weekend for ‘Friends of Humanity’, a foundation set up by Graziella Zanoletti CIO (Chief Inspiration Officer) of Elite Rentals. Graziella’s great success in the commercial world is now partnered by her great passion to give back to many good causes in less developed countries such as India, earthquake suffering in Nepal, South American rainforests and children in Tibet. 100 people gathered to hear the news on these projects and to come together, men, women, and their families adding back many £1000s by being part of this intention.

I met many extraordinary people especially my host Fabienne Feldman, helped to run this amazing event. We watched and joined in with likeminded people to gather together, hold magical conversations, listen to wonderful music and song, chatter about life and purpose and those projects on display; we eat fabulously well yet abundance for all and enjoyed the wonder of the day – it was an example of people coming together who didn’t know each other and who now form bonds across the world… from Boston to Goa, from London to LA… proving that communities can so easily come together in harmony for a common purpose across the world.

I explored with Graziella the nature of a new approach to “business, life and giving back” when we met last month for our first Magical Conversation at Fabienne’s home. Integrating commercial success, building personal and collective wealth, giving back, creating social cohesion and sustainable communities – bringing social enterprise into main stream business ethics – these are core to our conversations and those of many other female conversations I experience…and with many wise men too who feel tuned into this new multi-streamed way of being, business and life. How do we each measure up to these intentions in our own life?

Magical Conversations are about ‘life’ and business and society – about truth and trust, respect and relationships, humanity and prosperity – and becoming more keenly aware of what matters to others as well as our own. Everywhere I go, wise men and women are speaking with their hearts as much as their heads…and allowing their inner spirit to guide them more times than not. The nature of magical conversations is to embrace expansion and contraction in all we do and not get out of balance in our own lives and in our world. It is being aware of where and how one needs to expand effort and operate at a level of financial viability – consistently contracting efforts where obstacles appear, adhering to rules and regulations, “and and” being our mantra in expanding in relationships, respect and trust in our lives and in our businesses. It’s about exploring a common reason for giving back, feeding and educating those in the world less well off, both in developing countries – and more importantly, lovingly, at home in our own communities.

“It’s not so much about what you do, it’s about the loving you put into the doing that counts” Anon

How can we mend the world when we are not mended (healed from the inside out) first? This all starts at home with love… with loving yourself, your closest friends and family and community first.

Like breathing in and breathing out, expansion and contraction underpins our life force. Masculine and feminine energies do similarly ebb and flow; male dominance is necessary for strength and getting tasks done while the feminine energy flows, nurtures and heals the cracks so that communities can gain sustainable results. Together this alliance of men and women brings abundance in the true gifts of our natural life to be self sustaining for all members. Get to know your own natural gender nature and recognize different perspectives are valid too. It’s the ‘common purpose’ of conversations, built on trust, that includes all points of view, which will help our future come sooner.

Our ‘BIG SOCIETY’

We have a long way to go in the UK, our political leaders talk of a ‘big society’; many male CEOs talk of attracting women into the top positions, mixed boardrooms leading better; many communities, public and private make noises about community cohesion. I applaud their words, the rhetoric, the opinions…. however I don’t believe we invite all the right people to the conversations and listen well enough?

I don’t yet see enough evidence that the best, most aware, intelligent, experienced women are invited to really, truly, openly explore ‘what women want’. Maybe they don’t get noticed or don’t speak up enough. We’re in a world that doesn’t allow women to be women, to grow naturally, be business women and mothers, to grant that life’s natural family pressures are accounted for without marginalization financially or limitations in job prospects.

If we keep going round the same old arguments and propositions, guess what we get the old emerging again. We need to explore more, the new awaits us on the horizon of our awakening to possibilities without judgment and favour.

Magical Conversations count

We can’t create a ‘big society’ based on the old blueprint of business and life separation (the male plan that has traditionally separated ‘making money’ and ‘life’ into two camps)– there are more core principles of evolution to be explored (a female plan for business would combines ‘making money’ and dealing with ‘life’ issues).

My invitation to YOU I now implore my sisters, women of all types, generations, creeds and cultures to put aside the past and grow strong views on ‘what women (and men) really want’ and join our brothers, all kinds – tough guys and gentle giants – in the conversation of co-creation – and magical conversations.

Welcoming 2010 with Wisdom

Socrates says ‘Wisdom starts with wonder’ and what wonder do we see ahead. 2010 opens up in London with a blue sky and a bright outlook. For me this year brings new hope, potential opportunities for men and women, for business and social enterprise, for communities everywhere, a possibility for happiness and abundance. I have often been accused of a naive optimism and a child like wonder about human beings and their natural capability and courage to overcome all obstacles and find happiness!! I don’t intend to change! The new year for me holds a wonderful sense of world scope for change and maybe a touch of magic. For those who are willing to look with wisdom, insight and radical innovation – looking forward and not getting stuck on the past solutions, rules and restrictions, there are endless possibilities, economically, socially..even politically with a UK election on the agenda!

However the world is a tough place and many people have had a challenging 2009, and I believe we have to work together to make a difference. Now our choices and responsibilities move into a higher consciousness about life and work. It is time to strive with collective and personal intention to co-create a new way of being, a healthier way of working and a far more inclusive society that embraces positivity, abundance and collaboration.

I offer a few intentions that I and my team are commited to deliver to help create a balanced sustainable enjoyable wealthy healthy world – one that our children may enjoy and inherit!

Our intentions for 2010
1. To help build a sound economy where men and women of all ages, creeds, dispositions and personalities, and co-create a new way to sustainable measurable growth
2. To embrace social responsibility within the work culture of the UK and create work cultures that enable people to thrive personally and professionally rather than just survive
3. To reduce all stress and ‘bad behaviour’ at all levels of business, from boardroom to shop floor, that causes demotivation and unhappiness at work and so improve both employee satisfaction and customer service and loyalty in one move!

In order to ensure these intentions come into being, we have a few key values that need to be embedded; honour, respect, trust, encouragement, happiness, love and true collaboration; Let’s…

Honour all human beings, men and women equally, for their natural talents, and build a true meritocracy.
Respect men in current leadership positions as providers, operation and solution finders and show them how happiness and work together can generate results that count
Encourage women to grow and flourish in business as females using their full range of skills, their natural empathy, business flair and collaborative skills
Build business teams to embrace and trust both masculine and feminine attributes in the business mix, teams that value male and female needs, and ensure both integrate to deliver the best service and best profits.
Co-create business communities in the corporate global world and in the entrepreneurial world that collaborate, communicate and connect across sectors, to share resources, knowledge and best practice building magical conversations that deliver results for the long term care of our planet!

In 2010 I invite you to join our magical conversations that we are starting across the UK this year; conversations across boundaries, bringing corporate leaders, philanthropreneurs, researchers, academics, leading experts, wise mentors, ‘sisters’ and ‘brothers’ of all diverse groups, to explore, reflect, review, align, innovate and embed a new language of loving practice that sets a higher consciousness about life at work.