Angeles Arrien

The Four Bones of a Transformational Speech

Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, author of The Four-Fold Way, teaches there are four bones to which we must pay attention if we are to remain fully present in our lives. As in life, so it is in speaking! Here are the four bones:

1. First, the wishbone. That is where our vision resides, the place of dreaming and re-dreaming so that we live the life we came to live. When you’re developing your presentation, what is the vision you hold of what is possible because you choose to show up? A transformational speech begins with knowing the new story you want people to embrace and act upon. So exercise your wishbone as your very first step to a transformational speech. What is the outcome you wish for that makes all the energy of preparing and delivering a presentation worthwhile? Continue reading

The Three Faces: Staying Alive to Your Life and Your Speaking

This month I am experimenting with You Tube and not just writing but also talking to you about the three faces, an African teaching I learned from Angeles Arrien. It is said we stay alive to our lives if each day we express the three faces. The first is the face of the child, the face of wonder and curiosity, imagination and awe. The second is the face of the young lad or young maiden seized by passion and creative fire. The third is the face of rude magnificence, the face of the elder with its wisdom, and yes, often its fierceness. ( I tell a favorite story about the face of rude magnificence as it showed up in me in Switzerland in my book Transformational Speaking.) Continue reading

Responsibility for Your Impact

What Happens When Women Wake Up?

What Happens When Women Wake Up?

Years ago in my intensive studies with cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, she spoke of “responsibility for our impact.” That teaching has stayed with me as I’ve observed how easy is it for others to perceive us in ways that can be contrary to how we see ourselves. Being responsible for our impact requires that we remain vigilant to the expectations we create. For example, when we are given the speaking platform, the invitation confers a level of authority that gives our words great power. And on a personal level, when engaged in a glorious “what if . . . ?” co-creative surge that comes and goes like a hot flash, others may be making plans while we are moving on.

It is time to recognize the power we hold. It is time to clear those sabotaging voices that tell us we’re not enough. We would be wise to heed the advice quoted by a recent client: “Don’t compare your insides with everybody else’s outsides.” Continue reading

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