Live by a Greater How!

At the wide-eyed age of twenty, well before the Internet and armed with only a telephone book and rotary phone, I purchased my first airline ticket to fly across the country to begin interviewing for jobs after college.

Never having bought a plane ticket, I wrote down everything I thought I could possibly say or be asked.  Just when I thought I had it all under control, the young lady on the other end of the line asked me the one question I had never thought of.  “How would I like to fly?”

“I’m sorry.” I replied. “I’m not sure what you mean.”

“Would you like to fly first class or coach?” She clarified.

“Oh! I didn’t even know I had a choice.  What’s the difference?” I asked.

As she explained the seating options and the price difference for each class, the decision was quite easy for a young college student on a budget.  I chose coach.

As I hung up the phone, pleased with my first ticket buying experience, I couldn’t help but notice that there was a greater unanswered how.  That “Greater How” was the manner, quality, state or way I could choose to be and experience myself as I traveled.

Considering the “Greater How,” I opened my journal and wrote at the top of the page, “How would I like to travel?”  Within seconds, I wrote down the words effortlessly and joyfully, then comfortably and playfully.  Gratitude, appreciation and enthusiasm soon followed, along with wonder and curiosity.  Last but not least, I wrote safely.

On the day of my flight, with my “Greater How” asked and answered, I packed a few of my favorite snacks, a good book, a neck pillow, sleep mask and a couple compilations tapes for my cassette player.  Settling into my window seat, I knew I was flying in a class all my own.

*****

How would you like to travel through your life?  How would you like to experience yourself as you go about your life?  Could you consider the possibility that you can choose how you wish to experience life?

Copyright 2009 Rob Gruber

Present Life Mastery Coach

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See the Fundamental Similarities in All of Us

While stopped at a traffic light at a busy intersection in the city of Los Angeles on a late Saturday night, a young bearded man wearing a blue flannel shirt walked between the stopped cars holding a sign that read, “Please help me.” Walking up to the right side of my car, I rolled down my window and handed him a few dollars. Thanking me, he turned to the truck to my right. As he turn and looked into the truck, he stopped in his tracks.

For what seemed to be a frozen moment in time, the two men locked eyes and recognized the uncanny resemblance they had to each other, down to the very same blue flannel shirt. The young bearded man in the truck, seeing this young man that could be his twin asking for help, rolled down his window, reached into his wallet and handed him a large wad of cash.

The young homeless man, taken aback by such a generous gift, tried to give the money back, but the young man in the truck insisted he keep it.  As the homeless man finally accepted the generous gift, the light turned green. They quickly shook hands and the young bearded man in the truck drove off into the endless sea of traffic.

The three of us were changed forever.

*******

If you came upon a stranger that looked exactly like you needing assistance, would you help? I imagine you would. I know I would. I would find it hard to turn down a reflection of myself.

But now imagine that a complete stranger that looks nothing like you asks for help.  What would you do? I know you already know your answer. But before you commit to that answer, imagine taking a second to see all the fundamentally similarities you share with this imagined stranger.

From this place of fundamental similarities, would you be more inclined to help?

Now imagine that you practiced this in your everyday life. How would your life be different if you began today to first recognize all your fundamental similarities with everyone you encountered you before you recognized your differences?

I can tell you that if you can master this, seeing the fundamental similarities first, you may never get around to seeing the differences.

With Love,
Rob Gruber

Present Life Mastery Coach
Copyright 2009 Rob Gruber

Perspective – Seeing Through the Eyes of a Child

While assisting a local preschool program for children in an economically challenged area, I had the rare opportunity to see through eyes of a child that had so little but saw so much.

It happened on their lunch break. That day, I was in charge of handing out small, brown-bag lunches to ensure they would each have a least eat one nutritious meal that day.

As all the children carefully emptied the contents of their bags, I noticed one boy ever-so-gently pull out an orange, lift it to the light of the window and exclaim, “Wow! This is the most beautiful orange I have ever seen.” He then turned to me, holding his orange with both hands to his chest, and said “Thank you! Thank You!”

Taken aback by his gratitude, I was barely able to muster up the words, “You’re welcome.” My heart felt as if it was about to explode. I can honestly say I had never experienced such a genuine expression of gratitude and joy before in my life.

As I regained my composure, I noticed he didn’t eat his orange. Instead, he wrapped it with a paper towel and put in his backpack.

Curious to know why he didn’t eat his beautiful orange, I asked him why.

Looking me straight in the eye, he replied, “I love my grandmother very, very much and I know she has never seen an orange as beautiful as this one. So, I will bring it home to her and we will share it together.”

I can honestly say that I have never looked at an orange or a small child the same way since.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber

Awaken Your Inspiration!

Within all of us lies something quite magical, loving and uniquely our own, we need merely to awaken it!

About five years ago, I picked up a magazine featuring a series of articles on some of the world’s most creative minds. Just as I was finishing the last article, it occurred to me. All of them had one thing in common. They all had their own very unique way of getting their inspirations out of their heads and into the world in a moment’s notice. One designer went so far as to resurface his workspace with a blackboard type material.

Inspired by his genius, I decided to cover the walls of my workspace with artfully hung, clusters of dry erase boards. I cannot begin to describe the sense of freedom and assurance I have felt since the moment I hung my first board. Over the years, I have filled my boards with anything from gibberish and doodles to bouts of inspiration that have profoundly changed the way I look at and love my life.

You too can Awaken Your Inspiration!

1. Open up your journal and write a love letter to your inspiration, inviting it to take a more active part along your path of growth.

2. Develop a way to take notes and record what your inspiration is telling you throughout your day. When I’m not in my workspace, I carry a pen and pad.

3. Schedule a time to meet with your inspiration each day. The morning works best for me. Find a quiet space, close your eyes, relax your breathing and imagine your inspiration coming forth in anyway it feels comfortable. Once you feel it is present, have a conversation with it. When you are finished speaking with it, thank it for coming and invite it to visit or stay with you throughout your day. (I’ve also had a great deal of success working with my inspiration, when I am doing things that require little thought, like washing the dishes or brushing my teeth.)

4. Listen to the many subtle and loving cues you are receiving from your alignment with your inspiration.

“Wisdon that remains in the mind as an idea, rather than being incorporated into the tapestry of who we are, cannot change us.”
– Joan Borysenko, Guilt is the Teacher, Love is the Answer

Copyright 2008
Rob Gruber Life Mastery Coach

Interested in being coached toward a life of Self-Mastery?
Email me at rob@iwishicouldtellyou.com!

Assistapants Unite! – We First Technology

At the end of a workshop I recently attended, one of the instructors expressed her sincerest thanks to the assistants that were occasionally asked to participate in some of the lessons, by whimsically saying, “I would also like to thank our lovely assistapants for all their wonderful assistance and participation. Thank you.”

While I realize this in not a word, I think it should be. So here’s a humble definition.

Assistapant – someone that assists another’s growth through active participation.

This is so much more that just showing up, instructing, leading or telling others what to think or do as students listen and try to imagine the implications. This is experiential learning, where teachers, assistants and students work as one to co-create an environment where everyone grows, students developing awareness and teachers and assistants developing mastery.

An Inquiry

What if you became an assistapant to those you love? What if you took a more active part in their growth and grew in the process? How would your world change? What could be possible?

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber  Life Coach

i wish i could tell you

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

I was having a wonderful conversation with a colleague over coffee about coffee, something we both dearly love and attempt to give up from time to time, when she shared with me something quite profound. With sincerity and joy, she looked me in the eye and said, “I’ve spent the last thirty years of my life playing around with my coffee, only to find I like it best black.”

I chuckled and replied. “Congratulations.” We raised our cups to each other, sipped our selective brews and then I respectfully inquired. “Why’d it take so long?”

She sincerely replied. “Social Conditioning. I was taught from a very early age to always want more and never be satisfied, that the status quo was “a status no.” On my quest for the perfect cup, I have ordered every drink on every menu and modified them whenever I could, priding myself on being high maintenance. When I couldn’t get them to modify it, I added sugar, cinnamon, or nutmeg. You name it. I did it. I was never satisfied, until last week, when a coworker of mine went on a coffee run for the office and mistakenly handed me the wrong cup. I took a sip of what I thought was my coffee and, to my surprise, found exactly what I was looking for all those years, a simple cup of hot, black coffee.”

“All that from a cup of coffee?” I asked.

“All that and more,” she proclaimed. “Realizing my quest for the perfect cup was just the tip of the iceberg. I took a personal inventory of all my predominant thoughts and discovered that many of my resistant thoughts were given to me by society. Wanting to live my own life and have my own unique thoughts, I now make a conscious effort to stay present, listen to my heart and see things for what they truly are instead of how others have led me to see them, recreating myself in each and every moment. I thought it would be hard, but once I got into it, I couldn’t stop. Now, I can’t imagine living any other way.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber Co-Active Life and Wisdom Coach
i wish i could tell you

Let Go to Grow

On one of the few days it rained in LA, I decided to take the Number 2 bus to meet a friend. By the time the bus came, I was completely soaked. The newspaper over my head and the palm tree above were no match for mother nature.

As I stepped into the damp and musty bus, I felt the tension of the standing-room only crowd. I paid my fare and found a place to stand next to a well-dressed, old man that was seated comfortably with his eyes closed as he held a cane in one hand and an umbrella in the other, making him the only dry passenger. At the next abrupt stop he opened his eyes, sat up and looked to the front of the bus.

“We’re at Genesee,” I said. He nodded and continued to look forward.

A moment or two later, the last passenger boarded, a beautiful but frail, elderly woman that was having a little trouble getting on the bus with her broken umbrella. Grumbling from the back of the bus could be heard as she struggled to quickly pay her fare and secure a safe place to stand as the bus driver abruptly closed the door and pulled away from the stop. And stand she did, at least for a bit, as the perfectly healthy passengers clung to their seats dedicated to the elderly and disabled as if they owned them. Unitil something amazing happened. That sleepy, old man sprung up best he could, cleared his throat and said, “Excuse me, my dear, this seat is open.”

Recognizing his caring soul and the fact that he needed a cane to stand, she replied, “That’s so sweet, but you don’t have to give up your seat to me.”

The elderly man replied, “My dear lady, it was not mine to begin with.

Taken by his chivalry, the elderly lady smiled, took the seat and said “Thank you.”

Nothing was said by them or anyone else on the bus until a few stops later, when the elderly gentlemen pulled the stop cord and proceeded to the front exit. All eyes were on him. The entire bus was silent. He turned slowly to look back at the elderly woman and nodded. She nodded back, blushed and looked down to find his umbrella at her side.

“Oh, you forgot your umbrella.” she said.

He smiled and said, “No, I didn’t…enjoy” as he proceeded out of the bus and into the rain, welcoming each and every drop.
______________________________________________________________

“It was not mine to begin with.” – the old man on the bus

What a wonderful statement that led me to the question. “What is really mine to begin with?”

Think about it. What is truly yours? What did you come into this world with? What will you leave with? What is not transient? What remains without change?

Consider Your Thoughts.
What thoughts are uniquely yours? Aren’t many of your thoughts given to you by others? Could you consider giving up thoughts that don’t serve you and sharing those that do?
Your Actions.
Are your habits your own or did you learn them from others? Could you let go of the bad habits and share the good ones?
Matter.
Could you begin to let go of your attachment to things? Could learn to share those things that serve you and let go of those things that don’t?
Energy.
Could you realize how much energy it takes to possess things? Could you better use that energy to live more fully in the present?
Life.
Could you begin to see the gift of life you are and share it with others?

Over time you may realize little is ever really yours, and that what matters is rarely matter.

Copyright 2007 Rob Gruber iwishicoudltellyou.com i wish i could tell you

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