Nice & Kind - What's the Difference?

This morning I was reading Tiago Forte's most recent blog and felt the draw to share with you the first two points on his list of “Surprising Insight from My First Mastermind.” It seemed fitting to follow my last email to you, as well as for the energy we are in right now.

The New Moon on Monday opened us to new intentions, new approaches and a prompt to initiate new actions. The Sun remains in Cancer until Saturday bringing to light and energizing Cancer related topics, behaviours, challenges and opportunities.

A reminder of points in my last email...

A water sign, the sign of Cancer rules emotions, feelings, and moods. Our intuition, sensitivities and emotional expression (and those of others). Cancer rules giving and receiving support, caring, compassion and empathy.

On Monday, the same day as the New moon, the collective north and south nodes changed signs bringing a new focus and flavour to the next 18 months. The last time that the NN was in Aries and the SN was in Libra was Dec 2004 - June 2006 if you want to reflect back on that time in your life.

If you know how to look at your Astrology chart, you can also look at the houses of Aries and Libra to gain insight into what and when influences will be at play for you in the upcoming year and a half. Alternatively, we can look at this in your next 1-1  with me.

In brief, Aries and Libra are on the axis of me and you, self and partnership with the North Node (collective direction) in Aries. So relationships, challenges or ways we feel out of balance and disharmony, will be catalysts, opportunities and prompts for us to get true to ourselves.

Ultimately over the next 18 months we want to be looking for win-win outcomes and solutions with us being honest with ourselves. Taking on or tempering our own initiative and boldness, and bringing the independence of Aries to the relationship.

We will all be called to stop compromising or building resentment for tolerating in order to keep the peace. We will be building a strong sense of self without compromising the relationship. Having for ourselves (and allowing others to have) clear boundaries and identity, and treating each other with healthy respect.

You being a kind, caring and conscious person, I think you’ll appreciate this. Perhaps to see how far you’ve come, to gain some liberating insight, or simply to recognize your values and beliefs of what’s true for you. Which may or may not be the same as what is shared here. 

Tiago Forte's Blog

"1. The difference between being nice and being kind

As we took turns sharing our goals and challenges, one of the other entrepreneurs quickly identified that I had “people-pleasing tendencies.” I had never thought of it this way, but he was absolutely right. I’ve always been the type of person who bends over backward to please people, accommodate them, and come off as a “nice guy.” Sometimes in a healthy way, but often in a dysfunctional way, by ignoring or minimizing my own needs in order to satisfy the needs of others.

I can trace this tendency far back into my past and could see in how many ways it had limited me. The trouble with repressing your own needs is that they don’t go away – they fester. Sooner or later, it all boils over in the form of angry outbursts or passive-aggressive resentment.

My entrepreneur friend pointed out a subtle but incredibly powerful distinction for us people-pleasers: sometimes when you’re trying to be nice, you’re not being kind

It’s kind to tell people how you truly feel. It’s kind to surface what doesn’t work for you, early and often. It’s kind to assume people can hear the truth (or at least your truth). But this isn’t necessarily going to mean you come off as nice. Sometimes you have to choose.

Usually, by the time I finally reveal a longstanding blindspot, there are multiple areas of my life where it is manifesting itself. And this was true in this case: several areas of the business that had seen lingering, chronic problems suddenly snapped into focus. I knew I needed to have some frank conversations that I’d been avoiding or downplaying for too long. It was time to choose being kind over being nice. "

Owning Your Uniqueness

His second point I like for the way it illustrates the benefits of not only being clear on who we are and our strengths, but the positive value of us owning it. Giving ourselves the freedom to move into personal mastery and giving space to others to be experts in theirs.

You've heard me speak before about the Aquarius influence at play, and us recognizing and owning our individuality and gifts and seeing how they then play out to better the whole. His second point provides a nice example.

"2. Creative collaboration isn’t the same as people management

Another helpful distinction for me was to realize that there are two sides to my relationship with the people on my team: a creatively collaborative side – all about ideas, insights, experiments, and imaginative breakthroughs – and a people management side, which is about evaluating performance, measuring progress toward goals, and navigating conflicts.

I had assumed that as the CEO, I was supposed to have all the hard conversations. That’s what a leader does, isn’t it? The problem is, I’m not good at having hard conversations, nor any of the other responsibilities involved in management. They leave me incredibly drained even when they go well. Basically, I was running around the business doing all the stuff I’m not good at, leaving no time for the areas where I excel! Not exactly the formula for a thriving business.

I had assumed that I had to master both the creative collaboration aspect and the people management aspect, but a friend disabused me of that notion. Why spend years trying to master something I have no natural affinity for, while the business suffers and flounders in the meantime? 

I could instead separate these two aspects, giving all the people management duties to our new COO, Monica Rysavy. We’d already been moving in this direction for some time, but on my first day back, I made it official: she would run the business day to day, leaving me free to explore new creative frontiers, which is not only what makes me happy, but is also best for the business.

We moved all my direct reports to her, which frees me up to have a purely creative and collaborative relationship with each person on the team. Rather than holding back my feedback for fear of damaging the creative flow of ideas, I can step fully into my role as the thought leader and visionary creator that I fulfill best."

Read the rest of Tiago Forte's Blog

In my own efforts of organizing my thousands of thoughts and notes in a way that doesn’t stifle my visual thinking and creative flow, I came across Tiago Forte’s book

Building a Second Brain

CODE and PARA methods jumped out at me. These systems supported some of what I’d already been doing with my physical files, and took me to the next level of greater refinement. It's always a work in progress. His new book The PARA Method is coming out August 15th if you're interested. (I'm not sure he's into metaphysics - great timing as you'll see when you read on).

As I initially created Focus & Flow along with my other courses, I had no idea I was developing my own body of work. The insights and resources I garner listening, watching, reading and learning from thought leaders like Tiago Forte come to the classroom with me.

Focus and Flow reaches so far beyond the Numerology calculations and applications it started with back in 2014.

It's very special knowing some of you were part of my classes way back then. It takes time to integrate and as you do, it's amazing all the benefits it brings.

New series starting soon

Cosmic Support to

Bring Order Out of Chaos and to Organize & Plan

Messy Desk

We have Virgo moon energy to support us tomorrow (Thursday July 20) and into the weekend to bring order out of chaos and efficiently organize and plan.

Virgo rules synthesis and will help you to see how the pieces fit together. Mercury the planet of communication will be having an extended stay in Virgo between July 29 and October 4th. With Mars in Virgo now until August 27 you may well feel very motivated to create order, find focus and create structured routines for your information management as well as your health and wellbeing. You might also feel like calling in a professional organizer.

We are all bombarded with so much information,

how-tos and opinions for achievement and growth. It's become quite overwhelming for many, lots of people are at breaking and burn-out point right now. There's great hunger for a calmer, flowing, more satisfying life.

I hope this read has been helpful for you to step back and take a look at where you are, and to see what you believe and need. I hope this serves as a compass and catalyst for your own peace, alignment and order within you and your life.

So let's leave on the note of being kind to self, kind to others and not letting the perfectionism of Virgo take us away from that.

Wishing you all the best always. Enjoy our glorious summer sun,

Your creative collaborator,

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