Browsing the blog archives for January, 2013

Wake Up Call! – Your Inner Compass


Chaos invites your inner compass to be revealed.

None of the other guests were at the party – I’d arrived well after the appointed time and wondered if I had misunderstood! I was told that the timing was fluid and others would arrive in the next hour or two! I could feel my negative reaction to the chaos around me.

I could have chosen to be captive to the chaos but instead chose to focus on why I had accepted the invitation.

Practicing some deep breaths, the chaos of my hosts gave way to my expectancy of seeing friends and family I hadn’t seen in a while.

The result was that when the other guests arrived I delighted in their presence and stories. I had a new appreciation for choosing to see beyond the chaos and being reminded of the compass of relationships that bless my life.


In the midst of chaos:

  • Practice a deep breathing exercise

  • Invite awareness of your inner compass

  • Choose to experience that compass in the now

Notice how your uncluttered inner compass invites you to be grounded in what matters.

Share a story about your inner compass  here.

Claim Your Authentic Voice – Click here to read

Take Charge of Your Life – click here to watch the video

Have you chosen your word for the New Year yet? Click here

Give a gift of A New Way to Be Human this holiday – available at Amazon, B&N and your local Indie book store.

Click here to watch the book trailer for A New Way to Be Human

Join Robert on Twitter and Facebook

©2013 Robert V. Taylor

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Tips to Claim Your Authentic Voice

Robert V. Taylor

This blog first appeared on Huffington Post, January 23, 2013

I once believed that my voice was insignificant. Surely no one was that interested in my story or the way it shaped my views. It was a way of living with a half-script of my life. The Universe needs the fullness of your voice and the human family thrives when we each claim our voice.

Choose to be a participant rather than a victim. Victim-hood is not pretty or life-giving. It feeds on dullard choices and creates a cycle of spiritual, emotional and intellectual poverty. We become bystanders to our own lives. Instead of nursing victim-hood, life invites us to be full, active participants.

It begins with knowing that in the many elements of your story – the wonder, shame, regret and joy – ancient wisdom and Universal spiritual truths are revealed. Over many years I discovered that holding all the aspects of my story together allows new light to be shone on their interwoven circle of truth.

Instead of allowing others to define or diminish me I discovered that my story and voice are a gift. They connect me with unexpected people because our authentic stories offer a meeting ground. When I claim my voice the connecting stories reveal that my story is never just about me. It is about our need of one another.

What will you give your heart to each day? It’s all too easy to allow the day and its demands to define you. Choose instead to be expectant about the day. I begin each day with a simple reminder of the word I’ve chosen to be my guide for the year. This year that word is Awe.

I remind myself and the Universe that I am aware and open to awe in the day ahead. It may be in the dancing light of sunrise the beauty of a small park I pass by or the sight of a flock of birds. Or awe might be discovered in the wisdom a stranger, the kindness of a colleague or the playfulness of my Labrador.

Awe is present at the end of the day when I take a few moments to name the awe that I have experienced, marveling at it and giving thanks. The awe of life that I give and open my heart to becomes a blessing on the day that is ending.

How will you greet and embrace the day? In my work I’ve discovered that my own voice is shaped by making a mindful intention each day. Years ago I woke up on one of those numbingly grey and wet Seattle days and a torrent of complaints spewed out of my mouth. This was not like my usual enthusiasm for the day. My spouse calmly said, “Wow! Perhaps you can create your own sunshine today?”

It’s all too easy to allow negative thoughts, anxiety or even fear of the day to be overwhelming. On those days we become strangers to ourselves and others. As I remind myself each day of my word for the year I offer an intention to be awake, aware and open to the goodness of others and the day.

Celebrate time! I may have no ultimate control over the flow of time but how I view time is life-shifting. Time is a companion to be celebrated.

Having coffee with a friend or talking on the phone to a cherished person in my life is something I view as a feast in my day. Choosing to let go of looking at my smart phone or tablet is a choice to be present to the moment in those feasts. I’m able to enjoy or luxuriate in the feast at hand.

Celebrating time as a companion is a choice about letting your authentic voice enter the flow of life. My gratitude is expressed each day for time serving others or being with friends, family or colleagues. It might also include celebrating time for creativity or time alone. Each becomes an expression of celebrating the rhythm of the Universe.

In each of these four ways I am reminded of how essential my authentic voice, along with that of others, is to being alive and human. How will you live a full-scripted life by claiming your authentic voice?

Post your comments below or directly on the Huffington Post site!


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Wake Up Call! – Choosing Delight


Delight presents itself to me in unexpected moments of being present to life.

I did not expect a trip to buy a wok to remind me of delight. The sales clerk, a woman in her mid-seventies, asked if I enjoyed cooking. She was radiant in telling me about her new husband and his love of cooking. “When I get off work I can’t wait to just be with him over a meal before he goes to his night shift” she said.

I remembered a season in my life when delight was less present than in the choices I make now to be present to delight each day.

The sales clerk exuded a playful joy about simple moments of delight and pleasure present in everyday meals and conversation. I was reminded that the ordinary tasks and rhythm of life are where the Universe grabs my attention.

The result is a renewed focus on welcoming and naming delight as a choice for life. Whether in my dog’s playfulness, a friend’s good news, an unexpected phone call, a wise word from another or watching the sunrise, delight fills me with gratitude for today.


Choose delight:

  • Invite yourself to be present and aware of it each day

  • Name and give thanks for the daily experiences of delight

Notice how your life is enlivened by choosing the circle of delight each day.

Share your story of delight here.

Take Charge of Your Life – click here to watch the video

Have you chosen your word for the New Year yet? Click here

Give a gift of A New Way to Be Human this holiday – available at Amazon, B&N and your local Indie book store.

Click here to watch the book trailer for A New Way to Be Human

Join Robert on Twitter and Facebook

©2013 Robert V. Taylor

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Word for the Year

After reading Robert’s invitation to adopt a word for the year, I immediately thought I’d like to do that too. I considered some of the suggestions, but none resonated within me. Rather than become anxious about it, I decided to remain open and trust that my word would manifest itself.
On New Year’s Eve I decided to post a message on Facebook. As I wrote, “May God be our compass in 2013,” I instantly knew that “compass” was the right word for me.
I’ve decided to devote more time to develop my spiritual and physical well-being. Several days later I received a call from the school district from which I retired nearly two years ago. They asked me to consider a long-term sub job. Easily motivated by a bump in income, part of me was already calculating how much I could earn. However, the part of me that doesn’t want distractions from my desire for more wholeness allowed me to tell the caller I needed to think about it before giving an answer. The pressure was on since they would be conducting interviews the next two days. I hung up and felt conflicted. Many years ago, I lived hand to mouth. At times that has caused me to be preoccupied with having enough money. Coincidently, my stepdaughter called and we talked about the prospect of my returning to a full-time job. As soon as I started telling her about my word for the year, I knew I had to decline the offer. My “compass” steered me in the right direction. I felt at peace with my decision and haven’t second-guessed myself as I had been prone to do. Thank you, God, for being my true compass.

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Wake Up Call! – Responding to Surprises


A surprise that upends my plans reveals what grounds my life and choices.

I recently flew to a speaking engagement and emailed the organizer to say I was in town and inquired if there were in any further details I needed for the event. The response was a curt email telling me the event had been cancelled! I was annoyed and disappointed.

I could have chosen to allow my annoyance to fester but instead wondered what was presenting itself to me through this surprise.

A dear friend was available for dinner that evening and our catch-up time was a feast. I left that city with the annoying surprise making was for a surprise of delight.

The experience has resulted in my reflecting on how different my response was from what it might have been at one point in my life. I was reminded of the gift of choosing not to give power to the annoying upending surprises and instead be mindfully awake to the gift revealed in the circumstance.


Respond to upending surprises:

  • Acknowledge and express your reactions

  • Be awake to the veiled gift in the surprise

  • Choose to embrace the gift

Notice how your compass shifts when you diminish the power of the annoying surprise and become present to the gift.

Share your story of responding to surprsies here.

Have you chosen your word for the New Year yet? Click here

Give a gift of A New Way to Be Human this holiday – available at Amazon, B&N and your local Indie book store.

Click here to watch the book trailer for A New Way to Be Human

Join Robert on Twitter and Facebook

©2013 Robert V. Taylor

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To change your life in 2013 choose a new word

Robert V. Taylor

This first appeared on as an opinion piece December 30, 2012

The New Year is an invitation to enliven your spirit and life rather than making another burdensome resolution that will quickly be consigned to dust. Choose a word as your guide or mantra for the year – a word that reflects your yearnings or takes you to the edge of your fears.

Your chosen word becomes your pathway for experiencing a new way to be in the year ahead. My resolutions from years past filled a closet with wistful longings as easily abandoned as the cheap pronouncements with which I had made them.

Eventually I gave up on the obligatory ritual and enjoyed the peace that ensued from avoiding unrealistic self-inflicted pressure.

But something was missing.  Like many who I have worked with over the years, the start of a new year kept presenting a nagging invitation to re-examine and recalibrate my life. Acknowledging the importance of ritual in our lives, I wondered if a different possibility existed to embrace a new year.

In conversation with a wise friend we discussed the importance of language and the inherent power revealed in the nuances and interpretations of a single word.  In that moment I wondered about choosing a single word to focus on for a year. It was a liberating moment of almost giddy glee!

In the intervening years a few constant themes have emerged in my conversations with those who embrace this practice.  People describe a desire to move beyond resignation about their life and choose pro-active steps that enliven their lives. The willingness to go to the edge of your fears because you know that is where the journey to the center of your heart and spirit is most often revealed. Appreciating that cultivating your imagination, playfulness and heart space is a journey of spiritual growth.

How to choose the word can be a predicament and a richness of blessings.

If the New Year is an invitation to new growth and a deeper appreciation of how we choose to be in the world the word chosen becomes your mantra, compass or theme by which to respond to the invitations of life.

Openness, balance, compassion, delight, creativity, expression, time, love, friends, goodness, gratitude are among the words that I and others have selected in years past.

Choosing the word is not unlike trying on shoes or gloves for the perfect fit.  As you try on several words you instinctively know the one that appears to invite you into its presence.

This matters because choosing a word for a new way to be in the year ahead is not a passive activity. You will make daily choices to be present to the word and in the process it will become your truth-meter, challenger, comfort, friend and companion for twelve months.

Those who use this practice often put the chosen word on their refrigerator, nightstand, dashboard, vanity, desk, office door or even screensaver as a reminder of the choice that has been made. Many choose to speak their word out loud at the start of each day, perhaps over their first coffee, in the shower, on their commute, between appointments, at a store, exercising, cooking, readying themselves for sleep or in prayer and meditation.

In each of these ways you avoid enclosing the chosen word with your predictable understanding of it. Instead, you allow it to percolate and surprise you as your engagement with it reveals new insights and truths.

When I first embarked on this practice I wondered how steadfast a companion I would be to my chosen word. Like others, I have shared my word with a trusted friend or mentor, inviting them to hold me accountable to be present to how the word shapes my experience of choosing a new way to be.

The endless repetitions of old conversations and the negative energy that we unwittingly allow into our lives frequently derail the year long journey with the selected word. Awareness of these realities allows you to identify, name and detach from them in order to allow the spaciousness of life-giving energy to be present.

Appreciation and thankfulness are markers of the yearlong journey with your word. When you express daily or weekly gratitude for the insights of your word you begin to notice the seemingly small ways in which you embrace and make life-affirming choices.

Choosing a new way to be in the New Year with a specific word may not have the sweeping grandeur of a short-lived ephemeral resolution. It will be a choice of slowly revealed substance that deepens your appreciation of yourself and others.

It’s a choice I keep making with anticipation each year. As I prepare to greet my 2013 word – Awe – I expect it will be a source of surprise, renewal and new discoveries of how to be.
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Wake Up Call! – Gratitude for Mistakes


Expressing gratitude for the mistakes of my life is an invitation to be renewed.

Although I practice intentional gratitude each day I was surprised by the insistent urge to use the last weeks of 2012 to focus on specific people to be grateful for. I began with gratitude for those I love, for the people in my life who have died, for those I’ve met on the book tour. One day I woke up thinking, “This is the day to give thanks for the mistakes I’ve made this year.” It felt like work!

I could have chosen to ignore this but instead saw it as an invitation to shed light on the journey.

I wondered if I’d be tempted to fall back into a long discarded habit of berating myself. Allowing the mistakes to percolate, I discovered that in my learning’s from them my mind was filled with images of those who have walked and worked through them with me.

The results have included tenderness to me and amusement about mistakes that have not harmed others. My gratitude for the love, challenges and delight of those who have been my truth-bearers is abundant. An abundance of gratitude made possible by my own missteps and mistakes!


To be grateful for mistakes:

  • Allow the mistakes to percolate and greet you

  • Be present to what you have learned

  • Enter into gratitude for those who have journeyed with you

  • Be tender toward yourself

Notice how the mistakes invite you to new appreciation of yourself and the life-giving circle of others.

Share your story of gratitude for mistakes here.

Have you chosen your word for the New Year yet? Click here

Give a gift of A New Way to Be Human this holiday – available at Amazon, B&N and your local Indie book store.

Click here to watch the book trailer for A New Way to Be Human

Join Robert on Twitter and Facebook

©2013 Robert V. Taylor

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