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I originally created the Vocal Presence Path for public speaking.  Thanks to some bright and amazing clients, I eventually realized that it expands Leadership Presence, helping us to Speak Soulfully when it counts in every corner of our lives.  Then, while writing my first book, I ended up walking the Vocal Presence Path in order to help unleash my writing voice.  And now, because we’re all dealing with the effects of the time change on our instruments (ourselves – body, mind and voice) we’re going to take a walk on the Vocal Presence Path to see if it will somehow help us adjust.

Imagine that it’s Monday night, two days after the time change.  It’s 10pm and you are WIRED (or maybe that was me).  You spend 4 hours trying every trick in the book that you can think of in the middle of your foggy, groggy (yet can’t sleep) state.  Finally, you fall asleep at 3am and sleep for a few hours before getting back up.

Now imagine that, despite the insomnia, you have to interact with other humans today!  In fact, you have to speak in public at a networking meeting.  Unfortunately, your brain (and your body) feels like a big, creaky pile of … mush. What do you do?

Step One – Release the Soul Suckers™.
In the midst of my own time-change, insomnia-fueled brain fog, all I can remember right now is that the Soul Suckers always have some sort of “not enough” theme.  (Maybe that’s good – people who come to my workshops can’t possibly remember everything after a first introduction … maybe I can channel what its like for clients.)  They’re saying things like,  “You haven’t had enough sleep to go to the networking meeting.”  Hmmm… they’ve definitely tapped into a kernel of truth with that one.  I think they’re also trying to tell me that I’m “not enough” to handle the 30-second networking intro when I’m less than 100%.  But in the middle of processing the thought, I drift away and want to shop online.  Interesting – they are almost easier to release in this state because they take up too much energy to maintain.  (Energy that I just don’t have to spare today.) Let me see what happens if I move on to Step Two …

Step Two – Root in a Sense of Purpose™.
Sense of Purpose … Hmmm… What’s that again?  My head is just simply not working as it normally does.  So today, I’m finding myself far less intellectual and wise when it comes to this step.  I feel visceral sensations – a warm pulse in my gut and I can feel the bottoms of my feet really connecting with (almost melting into) the earth.  Ooo!  Values.  There’s something about Values with this one.  What value do I want to honor today?  Authenticity?  Play?  Connection?  I can’t choose.  Decisions are too hard.  Oh yeah!  There’s also that “calling in an Ally thing.”  That feels easier.  I’m going to imagine that my friend Emily is standing behind me with a hand on the backside of my heart.  She’s super-smart, wise and clear.  That feels do-able.

Step Three – Embody What’s Important. 
Okay.  At the moment, I’m slumped in Relationship Engagement A (Avoid).  Huh … I feel like I need to slump right now.  I’ll bring myself into B (Balance) when the meeting starts (right now, I’m actually choosing to conserve what little energy I’ve got for the things that matter on my schedule today – clients and networking).

Step Four – Breathe Life into the Experience
While there are four ways to Breathe Life into an Experience, I don’t feel like going into a lot of detail is appropriate (or possible) at the moment.  Let’s just say I’m integrating a lot of spaciousness – fully embracing the silences.  I am not rushing and I will not rush today.  I will take a nice, deep, Nourishing breath as I begin speaking to the group.

Step Five – Energize Yourself & the Space
(Just so you know, I’m laughing hysterically in a public place right now.)  My Soul Suckers are back.  They’re saying, “Energize???!!!! You can’t energize shit right now.”  Oh … I feel a moment of clarity.  This may just be where the jewel of wisdom is buried in this otherwise (hopefully) humorous post.

Energy is not the same thing as effort.  I don’t need to effort the space.  I couldn’t even if I tried.  I can, however, use the energy of the others in the room.  I can breathe their energy in and send it back to them as I speak.

Step Six – Connect (truly, madly, deeply) with Others
I’ve got this one!  I’ll make luxurious eye contact with people in the room to ground myself.

Step Seven – Take People Along for the Ride
Okay.  It’s probably going to be a groovy ride today, not a wild roller coaster.  That’s for sure.  Let’s see … maybe if I knew where I was taking them… How can I give something?  What’s happening that’s of value here?  What do I want you (and the people I’ll meet in the networking group later today) to know?

It is possible to create from anything and everything, including a version of yourself that feels less than 100%. Whether you have a newborn baby turning your world upside down, or a head cold, or you’re also reeling from springing forward (or all of the above) … Show up from where you are, connect with others and all shall be well.  You are enough, exactly as you are.  By showing up fully from where you are, you teach others around you (including your newborn baby) that they are enough too.  Everyone and everything is enough.

All my best,

PS: Believe it or not, things went surprisingly well.  In some ways, I was a better version of myself in this state than I am on a normal day.  I felt a sense of surrender, freedom & flow.  My focus was very much on giving, and that felt great! (and moved a few people emotionally along the way.)

Are You Ready for the Next Step on the Vocal Presence Path?
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