July 20, 2010
On the surface, this is just a gimmick, and a fairly predictable one. It might even be cliché. Singer, songwriter, artist, pop star Jewel goes in costume to a karaoke bar. What will happen when she finally gets on stage and sings?
But when I watched the video, I didn’t just see the surface. I don’t know if the originators of the gimmick intended any deeper meaning, but I saw one. It probably came from me – from my own experiences, values, worldview, and way of being. I work with people to uncover their natural gifts and talents and develop them so they can live and work authentically. I help people free themselves from the boxes and cubicles other people try to stuff them in and overcome their own limiting beliefs. I help them reconnect with the core of who they are, their individual combination of abilities and perspectives and beliefs and values. I help them find their inner genius and set it free – thank you Barbara Sher for defining genius for all of us as what we were born to do and can do especially well.
So when I saw Jewel dressed as “Karen” in a business suit and a fake nose, I saw a symbol of people who force themselves to fit into corporate guidelines and corporate dress codes, uncomfortable with some aspect of who they are (the fake nose) because it doesn’t match other people’s standards for how they should be. She became the shy, self-doubting, repressed woman uncomfortable with her own inner genius – maybe even a little afraid of her own inner genius.
This really cool thing happens when the crowd senses Karen’s insecure vibe. They become a chorus of encouragement, chanting, “Ka-ren! Ka-ren!” as her friends try to get her onstage. They want her to try. They want her to succeed. They are on her side. That’s the way it is when people find out someone wants to stretch her wings but is a little unsure. Close friends and family might tend to dash her hopes – in her “best interest” – but people who don’t know her so well believe she can do it, and definitely believe she has the right to try.
When Jewel starts singing in her Karen costume, you see the magic. It looks like she reaches way down to her toenails when she sings. I believe she reaches way in when she sings, too, to her core self, where her innate gifts and well-developed talent and comfortable self-acceptance all reside in alignment. She’s not “performing” in a showy way, and she’s no longer holding back being Karen. She’s being Jewel.
It’s definitely hokey to say, “Inside every Karen there’s a Jewel waiting to shine.” That’s an oversimplified exaggeration. But I think inside every person there is a core self, with natural gifts and talents, that can shine when that person learns comfortable self-acceptance, lets go of the restraints, and starts developing and expressing the core.
Want to set your inner genius free?
July 11, 2010
I’m a skeptic by nature, so when I see lots of classes (tele- and otherwise) offered on how to grow your lists – on social networks, for your newsletter, for your blog – I have lots of questions. Then I read an article or excerpt and hear the techniques, and my skepticism grows. What’s the benefit of adding someone who falls for that technique?
People with strong reputations say it’s all about the numbers. But I’m pretty sure the list of subscribers for someone with a strong reputation is a lot more responsive than a quickly grown list built by “techniques”.
Seth Godin’s recent post on fans, participants, and spectators confirms my skepticism. The stats he shows for conversions are a little dreary. But he offers a solution.
July 9, 2010
Early in my quest for a new career I joined a group that is now called The Changing Course Club. It helped me get clear about what kind of work I enjoy most, which I now understand to mean the kind of work that suits my natural gifts and talents and my natural way of interacting with the world. I was helped enormously by all the articles, e-books, recorded workshops, and teleclasses and webinars that were available through the program. But most of all I was blessed by meeting a supportive tribe of people, widely varied in their backgrounds and interests and talents, but surprisingly singular in their humanity and dedication to seeing other people grow.
Top of the list is Ken Robert. Ken was in the first class of people trained in the Profiting From Your Passions career coach program offered by Valerie Young, who also created The Changing Course Club.
Ken settled into a groove for over a year posting fantastic stuff at MildlyCreative.com. He’s tried out different formats and written a lot about struggling to decide what fits and does not fit the theme of that blog. It’s not surprising, because Ken has a lot to say. That’s because Ken has a lot he sees. He’s an explorer. He explores human nature by reading, through conversation, and through observation, but mostly these days through participation. He sketches, he plays music, he’s taken to writing poems, and he finds powerful photographs and music videos and tells the world about them.
Yesterday Ken announced he’s growing again. Instead of deciding if something fits the theme of Mildly Creative, he’s starting a new blog where the theme is “Ken” – or more accurately, “things that interest Ken”. Now, whenever he’s intrigued by something and wants to pass on his observations, or curious and wants to encourage a discussion, he knows the topic will fit the theme.
Thank goodness he didn’t spend a lot of time making things “just right” before launching the new blog! Click over and welcome him to his new home.