Promotion with Integrity is Clear-Sighted

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The Tereshchenko Diamond. Photographer unknown, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Famous Diamonds.

 

Being clear is easy. We are born clear. Becoming brave enough to be clear in our promotion takes unlearning fear.

Promotion with Integrity is courageously clear-sighted. Consider these questions:

  • How many times have you stood in your truth as you promoted your work?
  • How many times have you stood up for your truth in promoting your work?
  • How many times have you caved?

Never, I hope. But if you have caved in to promoting your work using something other than your whole truth, you are not alone. I have too, but when I call upon all my powers, I have the courage of my clairvoyance. I can unlearn untruth.

Clear-sighted is what “clairvoyant” means.  Clairvoyance you may think of as the power of a only a few, but that’s simply not true. Clairvoyant people have the courage of their clear-sightedness. As Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers said,

Speak your mind–even if your voice shakes.

Steps

  1. Notice that we can see much more than we often allow ourselves to see, including about our work: we can see
    • what work we really do–and what we don’t (even if we wish we did)
    • what feels right in promoting our true work (and what nauseates us)
    • the intersection “where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet,” as Frederick Buechner put it.
  2. Write what you see about yourself, your work, and the world. You don’t have to show it to anyone. Sometimes it comes with a lot of emotion. Write it all out. Edit the crap out of it but not the good stuff. Allow yourself to notice what the good stuff is.
  3. Allow yourself to share what you see. Build up to the courage of your clairvoyance.
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Bachelor Button. Lightly cropped. Image by Bruce Stradling uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons.

 Meditation

 Please rest your physical eyes. Close them or let them drop their gaze. Tune into your “third eye,” the one in between your eyes, in the little space between your eyebrows. You can touch it, massage it, press on it to get clear where I mean.

Allow all your stress to stream out your third eye.  As you feel that stream slow to a stop, allow white light in to your third eye, clearing and cleansing your sight. Let the stream of white light go out of your body where it goes. (You can notice where it seems to want to go, it’s interesting. You can ask me what I think it means in a comment to this post or an email.)

Now send white light back out your third eye. Beam it like a lighthouse. See in front of you the landscape of your work. Just survey it with your strong white light, back and forth slowly, detached from what you observe with your clear sight and x-ray vision.

You don’t at this moment have to do anything else. After you complete the meditation, if you are moved to action by what you saw, great. If you are moved to write about what you saw, do. If you want to show yourself a specific problem (related to promoting your work perhaps), do the meditation and allow the lighthouse-type light to shower on the landscape of what you thought was your problem. See what you see and you will see the problem in a new light.

Phone Chat

Join us for a free chat by telephone on this topic, including a guided meditation:

When: Monday, August 1, 10am-11am

Where: Entirely on the phone: 641-715-3276.  When prompted, enter this code: 187944#

The call will be recorded and the soundfile posted at the top of this post just like we have all the others in our series. No RSVP needed.

Guest Post by Jessica Abel: Face the music: you need a business model.

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Sign up for Jessica Abel’s blog here.

“Mastering your art form is how you become a great artist. It is not how you become a professional.” –Jessica Abel

There’s a lot of great writing out there. There’s no reason for me to hog your attention.  I’m use some of our bi-weekly posts to draw your attention to writers I want you to know about. Jessica Abel is one. She’s author of the graphic novel La Perdida and the comics documentary Out on the Wire. She works with creative people to implement tools that help them actually make their work instead of just dreaming about it. She offers: Get a free worksheet to discover how you can work smarter and with less anxiety, here .

You’ll see immediately why the wisdom of her no-nonsense, witty, clear post grabbed me:

I hear so many aspiring cartoonists, writers, artists, audio producers, and other creatives saying something along the lines of: “I’m hoping to really master this art form so that I can achieve my dream of becoming a professional _____.” But mastering the art form, finishing work that is at a professional level, this counts for maybe 40% of what it means to become a professional…whatever.

Mastering your art form is how you become a great artist.

It is not how you become a professional.

Another 20% of what you need to do is develop systems for getting your work finished and producing new ideas and new works. (That’s what we do in the Creative Focus Workshop).

And that final 40%? Learning how to run your work as a business. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. It’s another job, as hard and as important as making the work—if your goal is to be a professional (i.e. to make a living by doing your creative work).

I recently read an article in the Atlantic, “The Secret Shame of Middle-Class Americans”by Neal Gabler, a well-known, well-paid writer who came out in this article as deeply in debt and frighteningly financially unstable. The shocking teaser of the article—“Nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency. I’m one of them.”—is that this is a man with an incredible resume including books, TV, journalism, who has found himself in the position of eating eggs for days because he can’t afford groceries.

But what really got me in this article was buried deeper in: why he made bad decision after bad decision with his finances. He simply never really looked at them. He never projected forward and thought through whether his work activities added up to the kind of income needed to buy a house and put two kids through expensive private universities and grad school. “I never figured that I wouldn’t earn enough. Few of us do.” I. e., I will be middle class in the future because I appear to be middle class today. I can sell this book to a publisher, therefore it will sell well, and therefore my finances will be on an upward trend forever.

Jessica’s post can be read in its entirety here.  A gracious thank-you to Jessica Abel for permission to share her work with you.

Abundance Manifesto

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A single white feather closeup. Image by Joao Estevao Andrade De Freitas. Uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Chris73.

There is nothing I do not already have that I want.
Attempts to make me want what I do not have, I do not want.
I am open to what I have.

“The language of love today is extremely solitary. It may be spoken by thousands (who knows?), but is defended by no one. It is cut off from the mechanisms of power. When language is thus dragged by its own force out of the current, deported outside society, all that is left is for it to become the locus, however small, of affirmation.”*

RAISING CLARITY has fewer blog subscribers than we did a year ago. We are telling more truths. We have a core of soul-colleagues who recommend us, join our events, and pay us for services. But we are not The Next Big Thing.

I think this has to do with the abundance problems we solve:

  • rushing and calling it importance

  • working beyond capacity and resisting noticing it

  • injustice and where it comes from.

These things keep us from flow, though they are not yet on the radar.** They impoverish us yet are cut off from most abundance-talk.  Noticing them in ourselves is how I know to have abundance right now. This is because noticing stops them.  Subtle causes spare us work: RAISING CLARITY addresses the subtle causes of scarcity so far upstream of visible problems that “just” noticing them restores flow. The work is to notice them.

I’m tired of fighting. What do I do?

  • Stop RAISING CLARITY.
  • Give up the blog.
  • Try to think like other people.
  • Flow with the abundance-talk mainstream.
Stop fighting myself.
Give the truth.
Trust my audience.
Cut a clearer beam on the radar, redirect the mainstream.
Boldface truths.

 

PS: If you are reading this on Monday, July 18, please know yourself invited to our free phone chat from 2-3pm Eastern on honest self-expression in promoting your work, the latest in our series on Promotion with Integrity. (You can certainly tell it is working for me!) If you miss the phone chat, the recording will be published at the top of this post– most likely within the first hour after the call.


*Roland Barthes, Fragments d’un Discours Amoureux [fragments of love-talk], 1977, page 5, my translation and excerpting.

**This is usual for me, to be ahead of society to such point I feel like an alien, albeit a useful alien. It happened for example with adaptation to climate change. Harbinger of subtle signs, that’s me!

Fundraising for Fledglings

Stork fledglings. Gerwin Sturm took and uploaded this image to Flikr. Accessed via Creative Commons Search.

I’ve spoken to two people recently about how easy it is to fundraise for start-up organizations or projects–fledglings.

It’s easy if you stay organized and focus on “just-enough” and “just-in-time” funding sources.

How to know what those are? Read on. This post may be useful to those in more mature organizations as well.

There are basically only three things to remember in order to have the money you need, when you need it:

  1. Think in chunks: break down your organizational or project lifecycle into manageable chunks. Here’s a great post on how to do that, in exquisite detail, if I do say so myself. For start-ups, three months is a good chunk. For larger or teenaged organizations, six months is a good chunk. For mature organizations, you need to learn to think in annual terms, not less. But hey! If you’re a fledgling, don’t think like this now. It’s too much too soon = too hard.
  2. Know how much you need for your next season. (Not this season. That’s basically a done deal. But by starting to use this method, you won’t come up short in any season.) Timeline everything and stick to your timeline.
  3. Ask for funding as part of your everyday work, all the time. Make it normal to ask for support. How you ask for support will vary greatly. Here are some tips:
    • larger donors need more relationship-building, no matter how wealthy they are, because they are investing significantly in your work
    • smaller donors need less relationship-building but give smaller donors as much as you possibly can because they are your base
    • events lose you money unless you research how to do them carefully + the event costs are donated + you aren’t paying staff
    • people will give you money to do your work, period, without any frills or folderol or fancy anything. You can always reward them with fancy stuff, but the most important thing is to thank them at least twice: when you ask, and when they give, which are clearly not always going to be the same thing
    • you already know everyone you need to know to start asking. I know you think I’ve only worked with wealthy organizations–the opposite is true.
      • If you want more ideas, start with this article. (Here’s the title: “Prospect Identification: You Already Know All the People You Need to Know to Raise All the Money You Want to Raise.”) It will cost you $3 for a PDF sent immediately to your inbox. OR you can subscribe to the journal whence it came and get their entire archive of articles FREE. This will be the single best investment of your fundraising career. I don’t get a percentage of your subscription. I suggest subscribing to the Grassroots Fundraising Journal to everyone raising money. PS: All the handouts in my fundraising trainings come from their archive!

Fundraising training with me is a thing. I do it! I’m proud to be doing it next this September for the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia, day-long. I make it affordable, so please contact me if you’d like to know more.

 

Promotion with Integrity is Self-Expressed

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Elbaite, a type of tourmaline. Rob Lavinsky’s image uploaded from his site irocks.com to Wikimedia Commons.

Here is the recording from our free phone chat on this topic as promised below. Click on the link above to hear it.

Promotion with Integrity is aligned. With all our parts. It is

This post–about self-expression–might sound like the most obvious truth: promoting our work expresses who we are. But so often it doesn’t! So often, it expresses a false self we create because we think it will make us seem more attractive. Sometimes we shut down right when it’s time to shout out:

here I am!

How to get the word out about our work more freely?

Steps

  1. Be your own best healer, friend and ally. Take a genuine interest in why you may be blocked in your self-expression of your work. (Because that is what promotion is!) Tell the truth to yourself first and foremost:
    • Is what’s holding your promotion back a basic survival fear–like that you will die if you stick your neck out? Get grounded.
    • Is it a fear of being thought weird, over-the-top, or crazy? Or are you bored with your promoting? Get juicy. 
    • Do you feel you don’t have the right to promote your work? Find your innate solar power.
    • Have you forgotten why you do your work in the first place? Reconnect with how much you love your work: it helps you love promoting your work.
  2. You’ve figured it out. Breathe a big sigh of relief. Then breathe again. Begin to notice how you breathe when you think about promoting your work and deliberately calm your breathing. Then decide it can be different this time and while breathing calmly, make one promotional promise to yourself and keep it.
  3. Experiment with the idea of speaking publicly about your work. If it helps, write out what you would say. Would someone publish it? (I might! Send it to me.) If you already speak and write publicly about your work, challenge yourself: what new forms of self-expression want to come?
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Purpurea. Uploaded to Flikr by the amazing Swallowtail Garden Seeds, licensed under Creative Commons.

Meditation

Notice the “throat” of this flower. Imagine that’s your throat. Breathing in goodness from the Earth, you pull up the power and right to express yourself about the work you do that you love. If you’ve never done this kind of meditation, just pretend you know what I’m talking about. You do!

Now release that Earth energy through your throat–however it flows: purely, violently, courageously, musically. Feel the sun on your petals, blessing your voice.

Feel the very air receiving you.

Continue to pull Earth support up and express your work out. Make sound. Notice that your sound fills the space and how much space is left for everyone else. You have something important to share. Are you sharing it? Change your sound til it feels aligned. Keep pulling, keep freeing your voice, keep receiving the gift of spacious reception.

Phone Chat

Please join us one week from for our free phone chat on honest self-expression in promoting your work. We’ll also offer a guided meditation echoing the one above.

There’s no need to RSVP. You can join the call at any time during the hour. The guided meditation takes place about halfway through the call. And the call will be recorded if you can’t make it. The recording will be added to this post, up at the top, soon after the call is ended.

Date: July 18, 2016

Time and Duration: 2pm Eastern, for one hour

Cost: Free

Call-in number: 641-715-3276

Code: 187944#

 

 

Melting

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Image by J. Felias, via Morguefile.

Try this the next time you

obsess about trying to be a better person:

1. Consider that you have no permanent qualities anyway.  Your infinity is showing.  Just be infinite.  Melt.

worry about something changing:

2. Consider that the best thing you can do is lay in wait for it.  Watch and dissolve.

get pissed off at something:

3. Consider that it will soon disappear. Will being pissed off disappear? Could it now?

 

 

 

 

I Depend on Your Full Power

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Sun power. Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Muthamizhvet, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

We are often guided to use threat as a promotional device:

If you don’t use my help, you could end up [insert catastrophe here: sick. unprotected. dead. behind the times. embarrassed at how little you know.]

But that doesn’t work for me.

Everyone I work with is wise. They could not even see my wisdom were it not for their own.

The wisdom I am needs welcome.

It needs resonance. It needs neighbors. I was struck by this again during our last Promotion with Integrity phone chat. People on the call commented on how wise others on the call were, and thanked me for bringing them together. The humility required of a leader who does this also struck me: this is what people want, not my brilliance or strength.  (The call recording is at the top of this post. Join us for the next call at 9am today, July 4th–or come back a bit later in the morning for the recording and on the topic you’ll find here.)

My soul-colleagues do not need me.  They might need to become comfortable with risk. They might need honesty, or to hear the clarion call of intuition. The house of RAISING CLARITY makes it comfortable to receive those things– through me and through themselves.

There is no selling you your weakness. There is only selling you your strength magnified appropriately, truthfully, securely.

Telling Truths

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Garden Path. Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by and uploaded to Flikr and Wikimedia Commons by Drew Tarvin, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Truth frees.*

Lies bind.

It can feel very good to tell a truth. It feels like coming into alignment with yourself.

That’s because the energy it took to repress the truth was energy you diverted from its natural flow.  Un-diverting means your energy can  now flow back–into its natural channel.

The truth is less work.

Which truth? Any truth? Yes, but not all truths give equal relief.

Practice telling a truth and see. You can tell one here if you like. Once you’ve told it in one place, it is easier to tell it again and again.

Then see what next truth wants to be told.

Then try another.

I’m doing this myself. Here–and elsewhere in my life. I think it’s time. It’s getting close to Harvest, Summer shows me its fruits of flowers I grew from seeds way back in Winter, in ground prepared at Fall. If I don’t like what fruits I see, up to me to change not just the seed–but the ground itself I prepare.

Telling the truth clears away obstacles to seeing more truth.

Life is too short and love too compelling to maintain a lot of complicated paths.

Promotion with Integrity is Loving

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Emerald stone after cutting. Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Irvin Calicut. This image has been cropped, and was accessed using Creative Commons Search.

This soundfile is the recording of the free phone chat promised in the post below. Enjoy!

The shocking thing about promoting your work is that it’s loving.

That’s easy to forget, amid the fear, boredom, and weakness we can feel when we approach promoting our work. But we’ve worked through these in the first three posts of our Summer 2016 blog post series “Promotion with Integrity,” and found the antidote to each of them inside you: safety, creativity, and power.  (Click on the colors for each post.)

 

Now we are at the mid-point in our series, the core. “Core” is Latin for “heart.” We have come to the heart of promotion with integrity: Love.

Why do our work at all, and why promote it, if not for love?

Love of

  • our work
  • ourselves
  • our purpose
  • our families we support with our work
  • our clients, patients, customers– “soul-colleagues,” we call them.

The heart of the matter is love. HOW you show love is your business. (Literally!)

RAISING CLARITY is safe space for love. Active love. Clear love. Loving abundance.

How you show love is also your brand. Remember and clarify: your purpose was love in the first place, and will be love in the last place.

Why not promote with love right now?

Steps

  1. Take love “time-outs”: Make a note, create a reminder, stick something where you’ll see it to remind you to re-center in your heart before you take a big leap at work or in promotion.
  2. You Are Love: you don’t have to find it or invent it. If you can’t remember where you put Yourself, don’t worry. Worrying you aren’t loving “correctly” can pull you farther from loving. Instead, notice what you are feeling. Confusion. Or despair. Or lostness. Or stress. Hang out for two seconds, three seconds, four seconds, and feel your heart softening.
  3. Write a thank-you note. This is such delicious selfishness it’s easy to forget the one you thank gets something out of it too! Gratitude opens our hearts. For a fun gratitude practice, see our post here.

Phone Chat

We will offer a free Loving Promotion telephone session for an unlimited number of participants. Here is what you need to know to join us:

Date: Monday, July 4th (Note: This call will be recorded if you can’t make it because of the holiday–or for any other reason! All our chats are recorded. Click on the red, orange and yellow words at the top of this post. You’ll find chat recording soundfiles at the top of each of pages they take you to.)

Time and Duration: 9am for one hour

Cost: Free.

Call-in number: 641-715-3276

Code: 187944# (you will be prompted to give this code once you call the call-in number)

Purpose: To help you include your heart in promotion with integrity. Integrity means “wholeness.” Love is CORE to great promotional…

  • buzz
  • relationships
  • ethical practice, and–
  • what else? you tell us. Every phone chat is participatory. You’ll be positively shocked when you hear yourself! (That’s a pun.)

Meditation

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“Nature Gave Me a Heart.” Image by and uploaded to Flikr by Tony Alter, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Just for a little while, forget everything except love. (You can have it all back. No worries.)

Just think about love–whatever and however it feels like to you. Wallow in love.

Let it fill your mind and cells. Take your time.

Now, in the simplest, most natural and obvious way, see yourself sharing your work lovingly. Take your time.

Do this as often as you want to. See yourself promoting your work–inspired by love.

If you like what you see, try it!

Ideas: Write a love-letter to your favorite client or clients. Publish writing about love–even describe what you saw when you tried this meditation.  Consider how you can integrate love in a product or service of yours–actively, overtly, consciously?

Feel free to write in a comment to this post and tell us what you learned, what you did, what you saw.

Love!

Consider Me Muslim: Post #23 in Our Series, What One (White) Person Can Do

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A close-up of Rumi’s tomb in the magnificent mausoleum within the beautifully preserved monastic enclosure now a museum in Konya, Turkey. Image by Ahmed Nisar uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.

Being an ally means I take “other people’s” problems as my own.

Being a pacifist means I don’t talk or write in violent, or even divisive or comparative terms about anyone.  I mostly write from within what I describe–healing or harmful.

Being a contemplative, I practice non-attachment to views, including to my own.

Being abundant means I know manifestation comes first from seeing differently.

Being abundant also means I know how we see “others” is a fractal of how we see ourselves. To change the limitations we set on others, all we need do is undertake the huge work of changing the scarce, small, fearful ways we see ourselves.

Being a clarity-raiser means I try to distinguish between the distinctions that matter and the ones that don’t:

  1. There is a furor over Leonardo DiCaprio being shortlisted to play Rumi–the Persian-descent, Turkish-born, Sufi Muslim spiritual leader made famous in English by Coleman Barks. Casting an actor without connection to Rumi’s culture and faith cuts deeper than just whether or not #Rumiwasn’twhite. Subtle distinctions* become important:

2. Some kind  people have felt it better to de-emphasize that the Orlando shooter was a Muslim. What this blurs however is NOT how Muslim his crime was but how American it was: impersonal, isolationist, homophobic, made uniquely possible by American gun laws. Practitioners of almost every faith knows that our faith not only can be but has been interpreted as urging us to violence. Islamophobia is behind both emphasizing and hiding the shooter’s Muslim-ness.

What one person can do is distinguish distinctions that matter. Our post is to help you do this–and to blur mine: when it comes to Islamophobia, just consider me Muslim. When it comes to racism, consider me a person of color. I am ally enough for that already, and in all my actions, and at all my subtler levels, try to write, think, speak and live as if I were the “other.”


*What are now “subtle” distinctions may one day be so obvious we will not believe they were ever in question. Many things we take for granted now are like that if you think about it: slavery, women’s voting, the right to free public education, the right to free public healthcare…