Sparking By Number Part I. Thriving Through the Difficulty

1 - Almost a 1This is as good a time as any for me to come out of the closet as a person who lives with a lot of darkness. Whether I was born this way or became this way in my childhood I don’t know. I have had to do a lot of exploring as an adult to try to figure out the most efficient way to create a life full of joy and meaning, even though the Black Cloud comes to visit me pretty regularly. Sometimes I feel ashamed about this. A part of me believes that by this point – having been thinking about these matters for something between thirty-five and forty years and coaching others towards peak performance for more than 25 years — I should be able to EASILY be Sparky all the time! That is not my experience, however. If the approach I harangue you all about regularly :) is anything, it is my own practice to worry less about the fact that I am not “Living on the Nine Line” all the time (thanks to Elly Wood and Sebastian Gaertner for that wonderful phrase), and focus more on how best to move relatively QUICKLY from anxiety/fear and other forms of low sparkedness, towards something better. In terms of my “Spark Number” – my sense of happiness, energy and possibility — I do still see “2” and “3” multiple times a week. It is unusual, however, for me to go much more than an hour without being able to get back to an “8.” I will note that I am writing these words informed by seven consecutive weeks that have been among the most challenging I can remember. To be honest, I don’t really “Wait for the Eight.” I AIM at the eight. And I do it very intentionally, step by step. I am going to start sharing my own thoughts about “Sparking By Number” here this weekend. If you would like to know precisely what steps I suggest for different spark numbers, feel free to write me here with questions or at

Spark On!

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Shimmering Possibilities: How To Choose Your S.O.W. Title

Photo credit: Astrid Jirka

Photo credit: Astrid Jirka

Here are the (lucky) 13 possible titles that came to my awareness during the course of my life in the past seven days. I am mulling over them at this hour to select one for this week’s Story Of the Week.

Hint: I do NOT choose the “catchiest phrase” for my S.O.W. I choose the title that I think can best connect two or more of the significant developments from my week that I want to remember. Once I have put together the Significant Developments with a fitting title, I get clear on my Big Juicy Question relating to that and I note two or three moments of GLEE and one moment of Story Material. Then I press record.

Love Tea

I Want to Eat Your Skin Like A Raw Almond

Pizza Is The Gateway Drug

Dangerous Driving This Weekend

The Noodle Queen

Bed in a Box

I’m On Fire In at Least One Arena

I Long to Pamper You and Your People

Bums Live From Slice To Slice

Chilled Mug

You Should Consider Steel Socks

There is No Such Thing As Too Much Honey

Fresh Breath Through Pickle


Speaking of “thirteen” on Friday the 13th …

Little known fact: my mom sang in a twelve woman a cappella ensemble known as the “Triskaidekaphobians.” 

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Objects In Mirror May Be Even More Beautiful Than They First Appear


Photo credit: Astrid Jirka

The question for the Sparker is not just the hackneyed: “do you see the glass as ‘half full’ or ‘half empty’?” but “Can you look at a glass when it is sideways and see something interesting and beautiful rather than seeing something that needs to be righted?”

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