Top Ten Things I Learned from My Garden
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widely published across the Internet and has experience in every kind of
writing. She is a published poet and maintains two major writing
websites. In addition, she has 3 major manuscripts pending with
publishers, thousands of articles on the Internet, and has won the
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- Writing coaching
- How to journal and
how to benefit from it
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- Master's and Ph.D.
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- EVERY TYPE of
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descriptions, training manuals, emails, memos, resumes, etc.
- Press releases
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- Ghost-writing and
PR for others
- Marketing and
It is your web copy
that sells you; not the bells and whistles, not the graphics, not the
links. Web copy is NOT the same as ordinary copy-writing.
The individuals who write the "copy" are THE most respected
employees in an advertising and marketing firm. Whoever writes
your copy needs to be present at every meeting and involved in every
corporate decision. See Susan's Top Tens on this subject.
has published over 250 Top Tens and her articles appear all over the
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not surface. Her nuggets of knowledge serve as resources in the
fields of personal and professional development, coaching,
communication, emotional intelligence, marketing, Internet marketing,
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The Top 10 Relationships Between Crisis and Success
Category: Life Skills (BL149)
Originally Submitted on 10/26/2001.
We've all heard the Chinese symbol for
crisis consists of "danger" and "opportunity."
While crises can be devastating, they can also be a catalyst for
success. At this time in the history of the U.S., it might be good to
take a look at this relationship and the possibilities from different
points of view.
Therapists and coaches look for that
entry point where "change" is possible -- where they can pry
the client loose -- so they will quit doing what they've been doing so
they'll quit getting what they've been getting. A crisis performs this
function, devastating and horrible as it is. What will we do when we
find ourselves there? How will we be there for our clients when we
find them there?
1. Facing your own mortality (or the
death of a loved one) has a profound effect on the psyche.
Immediately following a devastating crisis, you are
open to change in a manner, and at a level, and with a speed that
simply doesn't occur otherwise. We are in a sense "wide
open" and what happens next ... depends. Some people make it
through alone; some make it through with good help; but therapists and
coaches know that a client in a crisis is in a unique position to be
"reached." It is a time when much good can be done, and also
much harm, as Freud pointed out.
2. It forces us to reevaluate everything in our life
-- loves, hates, values and problems.
After the terrorism attacks, do you have
the same degree of hatred for your job or are you glad you're not
working with the mail these days or weren't working in the Twin Towers
on the 11th? Do you still value making money more than anything in the
world? Does a traffic jam seem like such a big problem?
This weeding and culling, sad as it is,
can allow room for growth and success, focus and determination in new
areas. What worked before isn't working any more. What do we do next?
3. What was important before is no longer important.
If you lose your child in a sudden
accident, does it matter so much any more whether the living room gets
painted beige or ivory, or whether it gets done next month or next
century or even at all? Does it matter if your sister has a law degree
and you don't, or that you're 15 lbs. overweight?
4. It puts things in perspective.
Awful as this is to say, if you now stand
a chance of contracting anthrax and could die tomorrow, instead of
living the next 30 years in good health, as you formerly 'knew' you
would...would you put more emphasis on things important to you? Would
you strive for success with more determination seeing that eternity no
longer stretched out before you with the certainty you had just 2
months ago? Would you spend more time with your loved ones? Would you
stop to smell the roses? Would you put off healing your relationship
with your mother another day longer?
Success, of course, means different
things to different people.
5. You have a powerful lack of fear once you've
mastered the worst thing that can happen to you.
We tend to alter our sense of what is
risky and what is not, and our success is often in direct relation to
our tolerance for risk. Like any great power, this one must be used
6. The bifurcation point: you either die or reemerge
better than before the trauma. Transformation is yours if you make it
through to the other side.
This is probably the same stuff from which the myth of
came (present in several cultures over time)...you burn up and rise
again reborn from your own ashes. Not always; some don't, but some do.
The possibility is there.
Biologist Ilya Prigogine, who won the Nobel Prize in
1977 for his theory of dissipative structures, demonstrated that it
works for the emotional system as well as biologically. Such a
transformation can be likened to breaking a bone in your arm.
"Once the bone is healed," says Gene Landrum, Ph.D.,
"it is virtually impossible to break it in the same spot because
it heals stronger than before the break." Peit Hein wrote:
"What doesn't kill you outright/Only makes you stronger."
Those of us who have gone to the brink and stared into the abyss know
what this is about. In a sense, we have come out through the Other
7. When you face a bifurcation point, you must come
to grips with the condition or pay the ultimate price.
"Either fear or tenacity will win
out," says Landrum. "Some people facing such a transition
point crawl into a bottle or worse. Others go off the deep end and
strike out against society. Others...use the shock to create and
innovate." It generates, in its way, a massive energy which can
be used for good or for ill, to create or destroy.
8. Prigogine began his work as a means to combat the
depressing Second Law of Thermodynamics which says that all things burn
up in a kind of heat death (the Phoenix again).
In his "Order Out of Chaos,"
Prigogine concluded, "Every artistic or scientific creation
implies a transition from disorder to order. Life emerges out of
entropy [chaos] not despite it...It is out of chaos, turmoil, and
disorder that higher levels of order and wisdom emerge, thus if the
creative thinkers have less mental stability...they also experience
higher levels of mental connectedness, complexity, evolution."
9. Trauma, then, throws us into chaos. We lose our
moorings and set sail figuratively, only it is done TO us, not BY us.
It is then that a person can find, or lose
himself. Tossed on unknown seas, Shakespeare, Frost and Emerson, all
of whom lost their beloved sons, produced some of the greatest works
in the English language; and Horatio Spofford who lost his fortune and
then all his children, wrote the profound hymn of peace and
is Well"; and Dostoevsky, who lost his father and his mother
between the ages of 15 and 17, and spent 5 years in Siberia, wrote the
psychological novels that informed Freud; and Tesla, who suffered 5
nervous breakdowns (if, in fact, he was ever stable), discovered the
mysteries of alternating current and the induction motor.
10. Many geniuses, great composers, artists,
entrepreneurs, writers, military strategists, leaders, ministers and
reformers whose work enriches our lives experienced catastrophic traumas
in their personal and professional lives that might have destroyed
The lives of Shakespeare, Disney,
Napoleon, Balzac, Mozart, Picasso, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Kahlo,
Dostoevsky and others were littered with losses and catastrophes.
Their visits to the bottom seemed to lead them to the top.
"Negentropy emerges out of
entropy," said Prigogine, or intensity comes out of adversity,
and when we hit a wall we are never the same. We either become more
than we were, or less. It is indeed a bifurcation point.
Let's watch to see how we as
individuals, and we as a nation, emerge from the crisis of September
11, 2001 and be inspired and do what we can to help one another. Will
we, too, find the empowerment that exists in crisis?
About the Submitter: This piece was
originally submitted by Susan Dunn, M.A., Clinical Psychology, Certified
Teleclass Instructor, Momentum Coaching, who can be reached at email@example.com
or visited on the web.
Susan Dunn wants you to know: I'm a coach; your success is my business.
The original source is: Sigmund Freud, M.D., Gene Landrum, Ph.D., Ilya
Samples of Top
10 SIGNS OF A PLEASURABLE RELATIONSHIP
TOP 10 WAYS TO UNDERSTAND
CHILD WITH NATURALIST INTELLIGENCE
TOP 10 WAYS TO KNOW YOU'RE
*TOP 10 THINGS A LEADER CAN
SAY IN TIME OF CRISIS - everyone's favorite
THE 10 THINGS I'VE LEARNED
FROM MY GARDEN - has also been widely published on the Internet.
Susan's articles have appeared frequently in the IdeaMarketers network.
Here's one of her featured articles.
IdeaMarketers.com - Where The Net Comes for Content
Top 10 Things to Keep in
You Clean Your Computer for the New Year
- Go through your
emails and find names of prospective clients who slipped away.
Follow up on these. Remember ... it takes an average of 7 times for
someone to 'bite'.
- Get your ezines organized - delete some, store others.
Also consider these questions: What issues brought the most
response? Which issues produced the most click throughs. Remind
yourself what was successful and do it again in the future.
- Check your ezine statistics for trends. This should be
done at least twice a year. This is crucial. Check the overall
picture for patterns and trends. Is there more response at a
certain time of year? For instance I'm a coach, and offer many
e-courses. There's a great response in the fall--back-to-school
time. If this is your first year of looking at the data, store
what you learn to compare with next year.
- Check your ezine statistics for patterns. Did a lot of
people join in a certain month? If so, figure out why. Was it some
promotion that you did, an article your wrote, or a press release
that made it into the local newspaper?
- Let your
emails jog your memory. Ask yourself if you handled the person
well. Was your response to them timely? Did you secure them as a
client or not? What were the reasons? Did they refer people to
you? Do you know how this person found you - ezine, referral,
search engine, etc. Act upon your knowledge.
- If you come
upon emails that you let drop through the cracks, follow up on
them. It's really never too late to thank a referral, answer
a question about an article, etc. If you have a small business
or practice don't be in such a hurry to delete. If you have
memory enough, leave names and messages for several months til
you're sure you're "through" with them. Email contacts
are very hard to come by.
- Get your email organized. Set up folders for certain
subjects and people. Keep a list of names and e-addresses for
at least 6 months.
- Check our your website statistics, too. What pages
get the most visits? How about click throughs? Where are the
visitors coming from? If you need to, write down what you
learn. Make graphs, charts, compare.
- Refresh and update your website. As small as removing
a service or product no longer available. As large as redoing
the whole site. The Internet moves fast. A total redo once a
year isn't too much. However, if you believe that search
engines find your site by length of time on the Internet, you
need to keep that in mind, too.
- Don't forget to reward yourself for this necessary bit of
housekeeping, and be sure and put into use all the market
data you will have discovered in the process.
About the Author
Susan Dunn, M.A.,
Clinical Psychology, inspires her coaching clients to know
themselves better, value themselves more, and succeed. She offers
e-courses and teleclasses on various subjects. Visit her on the
web at www.susandunn.cc.
Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOME RESPONSES TO SUSAN'S TOP 10s:
read with relish your Top Ten "things a Leader Can Say in a Time of
Crisis." I found this a very powerful, profound, and sensual
article. Beautifully written. It made a lasting impression
on me regarding running a business with feelings." -Marshall
had a light bulb moment early this morning when I read this from the
Daily Top Ten for Personal Use from CoachVille. I am so
interested in this subject. I would love to schedule a free
initial consultation." -Lynn G.
too, am a clinical psychologist and naturopath with heavy emphasis on
neuropsychology and PNI, so I'm always alert to neuro research and
knowledge. You're so right in your various points ... I, too, like
your emphasis on the positive in the top ten, and I enjoy reading them
when they arrive from you." -Dr. Edward B.
only been a subscriber to Top Ten for a few months now, but I have
appreciated and noted your regular contributions. They have all
been rich with insights and tools one may put to immediate use. I
save them all. Today's piece on crisis was wonderful. Your
synthesis of information, understanding, and perspective was rich with
personal meaning for me, and triggered a personal response. I felt
that I wasn't just reading words on a page -- somehow I entered a space
of dynamic comprehension that was dimensionally alive. I
felt a shift as I was reading. Thank you." -Julieanne
compliments and thanks for your Top 10 list. To be honest, when
these things seem overly wordy, I just skim through them. But I
read the entire email with yours. It just seemed uncommonly
articulate, informed, and useful. Readable too,
thankfully!" --Danila S.
am a member of coachville.com and get the Top Ten lists ... and am
compelled to write you. I want to thank you for all of your
contributions. Your thoughts and knowledge span the breadth and
depth of many interesting issues and facets of life .... Just
wanted you to know that you are appreciated -- and read word for
word! Thank you." --Lou P.
name is Dale Eller, and I am the executive director of the Pennsylvania
Burglar and Fire Alarm Association. I am writing to request your
permission to reprint [your Top 10] in our association's monthly
newsletter, 'The Bellringer.' The newsletter is sent to
approximately 150 alarm dealers across the state of Pennsylvania."
the Artisan Top 10. Can you send me definitions of all four types
as well as more info on the Keirsey Temp sorter? You are the
best." -Mike K.
a Leader Can do in Time of Crisis: This is one of the most useful
and meaningful Top Tens I've ever read. Thank you for your
work. It's definitely a keeper." --Dan Q., corporate
HAD TWO ARTICLES FEATURED IN THIS ISSUS
(Check out her popular gardening article at the bottom)
Self-Help & Personal Development Channel
December 6, 2001
IdeaMarketers.com - Where The Net Comes for Content
sponsored by LocateACoach.com
you'll find the best in coaching
by Susan Dunn
"In all cases, emotions are humanity's
motivator and its omnipresent guide."
--Lewis, Amini and Lannon, MDs
"A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a
sense of wrong, a homesickness, a love sickness. It is never a thought
to begin with."
-- Robert Frost
When we're stuck, and can't seem to make a decision, we need to keep
in mind our expressive language. Poetry is the language for expressing
emotions, as we know, and Frost expresses so eloquently the difference
between a "thought" and a "feeling". We need to sort
out what we THINK from what we FEEL, because our feelings are what best
guide our decisions. We can gather all the thoughts, facts and data in
the world, but we'll never have enough data for important decisions, or
even unimportant ones, and ultimately we have to rely on our gut
A feeling is "a lump in the throat"--a bodily sensation
first, and when we get in touch with how our body is reacting to the
situation at hand, we have a touchstone for what's really going on. We
can ask ourselves, "How would I feel if I took Plan A?" or we
can envision ourselves doing Plan A and see how our body reacts, or we
can ask, "If I did Plan A could I sleep at night?"
Good decisions are values-based and our feelings guide us to a
solution that works for us. The really important things in life are
"never a thought to begin with".
We can check out student-teacher ratio at the daycare, and check the
credentials of the teachers, and look at the curriculum, and do the
white-glove test for cleanliness, but the bottom line is -- how do we
feel when we walk in the room, and how will your daughter feel when
she's left there all day?
We can look at the attire of the job candidate, check her references,
assess her grammar, put her through a stress test, and read her resume
carefully, but the decision of whether to hire her or not is going to be
based on that nagging feeling in the back of our mind that it just isn't
a good fit, or that inexplicable 'something' that tells her this
candidate is exactly right for the job.
In order to make good decision, we need to learn to recognize our
instincts, and to trust them.
About the Author
Susan Dunn, M.A., Clinical
Psychology, inspires her coaching clients to know themselves better,
value themselves more, and succeed. She offers e-courses and teleclasses
on various subjects. Visit her on the web at www.susandunn.cc
. Email her at email@example.com
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We need our emotions in order to make good decisions.
is ruining my life!
Despite the efforts of the slimming industry to make more money
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Will You Be Remembered?
Motivational article about leaving a positive legacy. (340
Sometimes fishing for quiet is more enjoyable than fishing for
Top 10 Things I Learned from my Garden"
Wonderful things can be learned in the garden and not just about
flowers, bugs and fertilizer.
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