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I’m all for eating, praying and loving, but…

February 28, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I’m all for eating, praying and loving as much as anyone, but today’s Elizabeth Gilbert event had me eating the inside of my cheeks, praying for the warm up acts to end and feeling a little less than amorous. If you’re going to feature an author like this one at the last half hour of a four hour ordeal, tell me ahead of time, ok?

Sheesh!

Before I go any further, I must clear myself of  an ingrate’s guilt that’s mounting in my chest because: 1) the event was free of charge;  and, 2) it was a benefit for breast cancer, specifically Memorial Healthcare System’s annual “Breaking the Silence” event.

Even though I had some issues with how the day was organized, I was happy to share the experience with 1,000 other (mostly) women. I will say that the person presenting the “yoga portion” of the program must definitely practice what he preaches. He was so mellow that I was fantasizing about paint drying on a wall. (Please remember that I have the patience of a gnat.)

Onto the nectar of the dry, parched flower of a day, Elizabeth Gilbert. This Eat, Pray, Love mega-bestselling author had  things to say that impressed me. I want to share some of them with you before I waste all this space with my curmudgeonly remards.

 

Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert

Ms. Gilbert was funny. She warded off inevitable questions at the pass by letting us know that she did marry her Brazilian lover. The one she met in Indonesia. (Wouldn’t you like to say that?) She also assured us that although she wrote about some very soul stirring and life changing moments in her book she was just like the rest of us. The moments of our enlightenment are just that, moments, she said. They come and go and we must indulge them when they visit.

Elizabeth Gilbert doesn’t meditate everyday, she doesn’t keep a rigid schedule of exercise, but she does advocate 20 minutes of silence a day. Or at least all noises shut out except for cat purring. She calls it her “silence bath” yet claims that some people call the practice as napping. Either way sounds delicious to me.

She also used the visiting analogy when addressing genius or the mystical part of us that comes a courting in our flourishes of creativity. She advised that we keep up our hard working momentum so that we don’t miss these visits. 

Another morsel that resonated with me was her reference to the importance of remembering “to thine own self be true.” Next to “love thy neighbor as thyself”, that’s one of my favorites. She did add her special trademark when she ended her program with “to thine own self be kind.”  

Elizabeth Gilbert speaks very much like she writes. Amusing, eloquent, engaging, she comes across like someone you’d love to see a movie with and go out and talk about it after. Her globetrotting life has been quite full and adventurous but she reminded us to not covet what we see in other people’s lives. We’ve all been there, but we mustn’t stay. Our own works in progress needn’t be measured against others. Something in the order of the how we-all-put-our-pants-on-one-leg-at- time theory

We can look forward to a new book by Elizabeth Gilbert about marriage. We heard the back story of how this book almost never came to be and how listening to her gut caused her to trash a few years of writing, miss her publisher’s deadline and return with a better version after offering to relinquish her advance. Now she can’t wait for us to read the new book and neither can I!

I have to say, I give a special measure of kudos to this author for the deal she made with her publisher for Eat, Pray, Love. Can you imagine having a fully funded year divided evenly between Italy, India and Bali? What a coup! Luckily, Elizabeth Gilbert did a fine job of taking us with her.  Thank you for that.

And now for some Elizabeth Gilbert trivia:

Did you know that the movie Coyote Ugly was based on an article she wrote years ago about her experience as a mixologist at the infamous New York bar? A former barkeep myself, I was especially dazzled by this point of trivia. 

Cool. (not the movie, her contribution)

I’m a little tired so I’m sure I’m forgetting a lot of what she said but I am glad that endured the three hour prelude of programming that preceded Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk.

I’m in admiration and can forgive myself for missing a beautiful beach day, sort of.

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The economy snuck up and took a bite out of us today

February 27, 2009 at 7:39 am

The economy took a bite out of us today. And, it left some nasty teeth marks in my department. I had to say goodbye to my very special colleague, Paola Fernandez Rana, the one who’s been my partner in publicity crime for the past six years.

It’s a terrible loss and I’m still sitting in front of my work pc in shock.  Which can’t even be a fraction of the shock and sadness Paola’s experiencing.

Here in the HCI publicity department it was always Paola and I against “the world.” Thank goodness our self esteem was inordinantly high because we were often shielding ourselves from the prevailing mistrust of our craft. Intangibles are not the most favored aspects in this house of hard numbers, bottom lines, and books. Not able to be  qualified is our smoke and mirrors publicity magic, but its effectiveness is a certainty.

The important thing is/was – we know that.

So, off I go into the netherlands of bookdom without my counterpart and double are the tasks that I must perform. The good news is that my loss is your gain and the fine publicity skills of one Paola Fernandez Rana are now up for grabs in the free and public marketplace.

Paola’s worked with the best. Tavis Smiley comes to mind. Even more impressive bestselling authors. Names escape me. An employee of Doubleday, and numerous other prestigious NY publishing houses, she knows how it’s done.

If you’re thinking about increasing the exposure or launching your book, I highly recommend you get a hold of Paola and get her to represent you. She’s tremendously respected in the field and has the  skills and contacts that you want in a publicist.

Take my word for it. I know her. I worked side by side with her. She’s the creme de la creme.

Paola, I’m going to miss you too much. If tears could stain a computer screen, then you’d see my sadness.

May your new freedom bring you to higher heights than you ever imagined.

And, for the rest of out there, contact me and I’ll hook you up.

Have a good weekend.

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Mr. President, I think we have the perfect (literary) foil…

February 26, 2009 at 5:30 am

No kidding, President Obama, I think we have the perfect adjunct for your economic stimulus and recovery plans. How about this: Blue Collar & Proud Of It: The All-in-One Resource for Finding Freedom, Financial Success, and Security Outside the Cubicle.

If that title doesn’t speak to the times, I don’t know what does.

The only catch is that you’ll have to wait until May to put this book in your hot little hands. But, by all means, don’t let that stop you from clicking on the pre-order button from you know where. (there goes my involuntary inner publicist)

In the meantime, feast your eyes and brain on what Joe Lamacchia has been building for years. When you visit his website, you’ll see that this is nothing new for him.  For years he’s been talking about the value of jobs that don’t necessarily require a college degree. These are the same jobs that might just be recession-proof, or at least recession-resistant. (Did you know that over 500,000 students drop out of college every year?)

Joe owns his own $2 million-landscaping company in Newton, MA, right outside of Boston and never attended college himself.  He suffered from ADD and poor grades in school. His mission is to change the prevailing mindset about blue collar jobs and he’s repeatedly spoken about it in high school assemblies and at veteran meetings. He’s become the go-to guy on the subject for NPR and major daily newspapers.

I see a lot more of that in his future.

You all know by now how I feel about letting the cat out the publicity bag too early, but this one deserves some sneak peeking.  The book includes trademark HCI inspiring stories and devotes  an entire chapter to a directory of schools, apprenticeships, and postsecondary training across the country.

And, remember, all that talk about energy and the environment? Joe Lamacchia talks about the emerging “green collar” careers which stem from (no pun intended) the blue collar sector.

We’ve got a lot in store for Blue Collar & Proud Of It.  It’s another gesture of hope packaged in a book jacket. We’re trying to identify the best location for its launching thinking about non-traditional book event places like the oldest carpentry school in Boston, maybe some kind of factory. If you live in and around Boston, got any ideas?

There’ll be op ed stories to place, bi-line articles to strew around the media and lots of  energy focused on national tv venues. Oprah can you hear me? (Maybe if I do that enough times she will)

For all those kids out there who just never felt like they were cut out for college and the rest of us who’ve sat on our white collar laurels (huh?) all these years who’s jobs may not be so secure (an understatement). This book may speak to a lot more people this year than it was originally intended for. So, close your eyes, roll up you sleeves, and tell me what color you see?

I’m guessing it’s somewhere in the family of blue shades with a little green around the edges.  Carpentry, plumbing, trucking, solar panel installation, roof repair, water conservation…the list goes on.

Mr. President, I think we have the perfect (literary) foil!

blue-collar-proud

Joe says: “It’s time to restore pride in the skilled trades. After all, we are America’s backbone.”

joe

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When NLP and dating converge….what?

February 24, 2009 at 5:34 am

I promised that I would follow up on yesterday’s post about my boffo weekend in Orlando attending Richard Bandler’s “Persuasion Engineering” seminar. Well, here I am still vibrating a little from overexposure to hypnotic suggestion. Let me qualify, that would be happily overexposed.

If I can’t overdo something then what’s the point?

Kidding aside (which is hard to accomplish post two scrumptious Belgian beers), spending time at Bandler central was not just 72 hours of bliss, there was some learning in there, as well.

Persuasion Engineering, as you probably construed, addresses matters that apply to the wonderful world of sales. Before we close any sort of sale, we must first be persuasive. In NLP your ability to do this has a lot to do with observation of both your subject’s behavioral patterns and your own. It really pays to first learn what your own patterns are before playing with a real sales subject.

Without regurgitating the entire text of Richard Bandler’s books, Get the Life You Want, Richard Bandler’s Guide to Personal Trance-formation, and, oh yeah, Persuasion Engineering (written with John LaValle), it goes something like this:

It’s in our best interest to identify where our subject “lives” in a spatial way. When he/she talks about what they love or what they consider a satisfying purchase, we need to watch for cues. Where do the eyes go. What area are hand gestures being made. How does the skin color change.

Then we must watch the cues for the opposite experiences. Things that were less than satisfying or even agitating. It’s more than likely that eye focus and gesturing will fall in a different place.

Once we figure out  where different kinds of reaction reside, we can better “place” our suggestions in places that our subjects will respond to in the ways in which we like. This may sound manipulative, but nobody ever said that selling was anything but. How you infuse your selling exercises with integrity is between you and your conscience.

There’s much, much, much, much more that goes into reading energy and body language in a sales scenario or any kind of communication situation at that.

As I watched Richard  and his ace speaker/trainer, John LaValle present the tenets of NLP as applied to the sales environment, I kept getting flashes of Jess McCann’s formula for successful dating.

Based on tried and true techniques from the sales arena, Jess McCann’s book, You Lost Him at Hello, is pure NLP. And, after checking with her today, she assured me that she was unfamiliar with NLP. (It’s pretty clear that sales training techniques “borrow” a lot from Bandler’s work!)

Leave a date at the height of impulse. Make sure you “model” the communication habits of your dating partner. These are but two qualities that Jess’ power-sales dating and  Richard Bandler’s “Persuasion Engineering” have in common.

It’s all about kind and gentle manipulation. Taking control of the situation with such subtlety that your subject won’t know what happened to them. Close the deal with a buyer and “close the deal with any guy you want.”

I did have some personal attention at the seminar and was one of those people who was called to the stage to sit on a high chair and have my arm hang in mid-air as I was hypnotized by Richard.  Apparently, the smile on my face was telling. Especially when widened, and widened again, and then again, on command.

I have great respect for Richard Bandler’s work. I appreciate his dedication to teaching how to never be bound by self-imposed limitations. I admire his devotion to possibility. Even in a not so happy economy he instills confidence. “Make yourself indispensable.” And, if  bread lines are in our futures, “go into the business of making the best bread.”

I highly recommend experiencing at least one of Bandler’s live workshops. I know you’re going to buy his books, but take time out to work with the master.  And, whether you’re selling something or out there trying to reel in your one big soul mate of a fish, this NLP stuff might get you there a little faster.

Yes!

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I’ve been Bandler-ized in Trance-Sylvania

February 23, 2009 at 7:48 am

I know. Bandler-ized, Trance-Sylvania. It’s looking like I’m resorting to sensationalism to get your blog attention.   Maybe so. The real gist of tonight’s post which is called today, tomorrow (follow me?) is really a base touching effort to report in about my trip to Richard Bandler’s seminar, “Persuasion Engineering” in Orlando this weekend. The problem is, the Academy Awards start in twenty minutes. So, this post will be followed by another that will do justice to my trip.

Suffice it to say that being “Bandler-ized” is divine and “Trance-Sylvania is where he lives. And, it’s great to be an invited guest to his neighborhood.

For now, I’ll leave you with some photos to tide you over until time permits some fair (not necessarily balanced) reporting. Enjoy the Oscars. Go Sean Penn!

Joanne McCall, my publicist colleague who works on Richard Bandler's books with me. Lucky us!

Joanne McCall, my publicist colleague who works on Richard Bandler's books with me. Lucky us!

The real reason I go to Orlando: "Nile," the Ethiopian restaurant on International Drive. If you require silverware for your meal, stay home!

The real reason I go to Orlando: "Nile," the Ethiopian restaurant on International Drive. If you require silverware for your meal, stay home!

img_0773

Organic lettuce growing in Vashon's backyard garden. Yum!

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