The Better Question: How? Vs. Why?

Life is always giving us lessons, generally in the disguise of pain and suffering. It helps to notice the learning in the midst of the pain, since awareness can lessen both the duration and severity of our despondency as well as capture the learning. Though we do not like repeating our lessons, we also do not like suffering, so generally we appease our pain by seeking pleasure or distraction. Alcohol, drugs, TV, sex, food, gossip and activity keep us not only from feeling the anguish yet also from the awareness.

That is where the better question can assist us. The “Why” question keeps us spinning in our mind sorting out details. This tends to victimize us, magnifying the distress because we cannot fully know why with certainty. When we ask ourselves why something happens, we are usually comparing it to what we wanted to happen and what would have been a better result for us. This keeps us from fully accepting what is and thus keeps us unhappy.

The better question is “How.” How did I create this? How does this serve me? How do I go forward with my learning from here? How can I accept this without bitterness? This is the more courageous path. It is not easy to face these questions, yet they will allow us to rise above our circumstances and make gains in our enlightenment.

BE –asking

Light at the End of the Tunnel!

I want to give you hope this morning as I reflect on the last few weeks. I have four boys ages 22-14 years old all with their own differences. Parenting adolescents can be a difficult job, while I have no experience parenting girls, I do know a thing or two about male adolescence. My 17 year old in the last few months has become extremely pleasant to be around and our relationship enjoyable.

I say this, to give us all hope, for it has been years that it has been very difficult living with him in this stage. Teenage boys go through a distinct immersion of emotional change during this time that includes anger directed towards adults, defensiveness, secrets, tension and some unexplainable non-working choices. My oldest boys went through this stage, one for a period of 4-6 months, the other for about 6-8 months.

Life circumstances such as separation, divorce, stress, difficulties at school, all create more drama and lengthen the process, it seems, of young men emerging from the boys we once knew. One of the things I think of as my youngest now goes through a very “angry at mom” phase is that he is coming into his own.

Teens are becoming brilliant and stepping into adult life; they need to carve out an identity and create meaning for themselves. The synapses of the brain are growing and changing to be able to understand abstract concepts and higher level thinking and problem solving. Adolescents are learning how to own their choices and their power to make them. When I focus on these things and I look at the wonderful young men in my life and our relationships, I can live with tolerance and understanding seeing the light at the end of the turmoil tunnel.

Being with a teen through these challenges is difficult, understanding is fleeting, patience is stretched, boundaries are crossed, emotions get heated… and underneath it all is a young, whole, capable adult is emerging in his brilliance! It is a marvel!

BE- patient

Fear and Awakening

The last month or so I have been resisting some things in my life that I am not happy about. How this shows up in my body is physical symptoms in my digestion and in tension that causes back aches. This of course creates greater resistance and irritation with everyday chores and responsibilities. Today I was reminded of the principal of surrender… one of those life lessons that comes up… and the principal of higher good.

I watched a short film called “A Monk’s Awakening” from Spiritual Cinema Circle, which reminded me never to surrender to fear. Never run after anything or try to escape anything is the lesson of the film. Of course if the universe isn’t timely… it also isn’t subtle. I got confirmation of this message in a Ralph Marston message today about seeing the positive possibilities that always come from what we think may be a negative and a message from the Universe to just be who I am and stop striving.

Hmmm… Uncle already! I get it… so here it goes… I am happy and blessed to have lost one financial support… I can now be open for many others! I am happy to have my son making his own choices and having the opportunity to live the consequences!

Where can you surrender to what is and see the blessing of a situation that at first blush… seems negative? What messages is the universe sending? What in your physical body shows up? What awakening and opening is available to you?

BE- Awakening

Love and Gift Giving

Happy Valentine’s Day! Today, I was reminded of a Christmas story that bears remembering on this day of love. Remember the little drummer boy? He had no gift to bring the infant king and so he felt ashamed at missing the opportunity to give… until he realized he had his drum and his gift became playing his best! He played his best song… He played it the most enthusiastically he ever played before! His gift was his best… a gift of himself. Risking rejection, he played his heart out!

What if giving our best is all that is required of us to give the best gift possible? Can you give better than that? If I know my purpose, and I am living it to my fullest, giving my best me to the world around me, is there anything of more value that I have? I think not. So many times I find myself holding back on people. I don’t say what I want to say, I am content smiling. When I enthusiastically play my best song, live my purpose and give my best, when I risk rejection and throw my heart out, I connect with others! I make a difference! And so do you!

You have something amazing in you to give to others! You have a great purpose in being here and a gift to give! You are magnificent! You are amazing! Chocolates, flowers, gifts… they are all nice, and giving yourself… That’s giving your best and will make the most difference to your sweetheart today… and to the world.

BE- your best you!

Excellence Vs. Perfection

As a recovering perfectionist, I am amazed at the many opportunities I have to share my learning as I face this giant. Today, I had the privilege of assisting a student of mine with this daunting monkey. So here is some of what I have learned.

When I first walked into the martial arts studio, I wasn’t too excited to learn about fighting. I signed up that day for classes based on one phrase in the byline of my sensei’s information book: The Art of Personal Excellence; Excellence became one of my values that day as a new martial artist. So did my commitment to creating a distinction between excellence and the daunting illusion of perfection that had been haunting me.

More than 20 years later, I am just as committed to excellence in myself and my students. I want to clarify here what excellence means in contrast to perfectionism.

The striving for perfection is the striving for the illusive “one right way,” making others wrong or inferior. It sets us up for elitism and self righteousness. Striving for excellence however brings us and others towards empowerment and greatness. Perfection isolates us in having to do it by ourselves without help, excellence leaves room for the collaboration of others.

In perfection mistakes are not allowed. In excellence mistakes are opportunities. The idea of perfection creates fear, while the idea of excellence creates excitement. The pursuit of excellence leads to learning and growth while the attempt at perfection leaves one stagnant. The pursuit of excellence promotes acceptance and risk. Perfection creates safety and comfort in what is known, and judgment of what doesn’t conform.

Results are just results and opportunities in the pursuit of excellence. Perfectionism however, ties the results to self-worth. Perfection is a destination, is done on auto-pilot and is tied to image building. Being in the pursuit of excellence is a spontaneous, purposeful journey of self discovery. Join me in the Art of Personal Excellence creating a personal purpose for yourself, breaking the chains of perfection and jump on the train of possibility!


Big Game Day

Today is the big game that everyone looks forward to all year. Folks gather around big screens, in homes, hotel lobbies and bars to watch the Superbowl. People who don’t even enjoy football, watch for the newest commercials, wonderful half-time shows and entertainment value. We spend all of this time preparing food and fun for a great time! I have a wager on the game today and I am excited to spend time with friends.

It got me to thinking… this week I have helped a number of people prepare their life purpose. Through doing that, they have found meaning and direction and several have finished applications for college on their way to their Big Game. Now that I am clear on my purpose and helping others find theirs I realize, this is my BiGGer GaME! So what’s your “Big Game?”

Are you waiting to watch the “BIG GAME?” or are you playing your own “BIG GAME?” If you want to get clear on your purpose and vision and get started playing the Big Game you were meant for… I’m hear to help! Call or email me now! In the in between, have fun today and



San Antonio Leadership 2010

Dear Leaders:

It is my pleasure to invite you to Leadership 2010 – San Antonio Texas!

Here is some information on Leadership…

What Leadership takes is to have a BHAG which is a Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal!
…What’s your BHAG!
…What’s your dream!

What I can tell you about leadership is that it is excellent fun and adventure with people you can really relate to… other leaders and winners in their fields… and the experience of creating amazing results all in the context of fabulous leadership, coaching and teamwork!

It will change your life… that is my promise. You get training in the core distinctions of leadership in an experimental hands-on seminar, then 10 weeks of individual and team coaching to accomplish a team service project to internalize the key distinctions of leadership and create an experience of what is possible with vision, leadership and teamwork.

After 9 weeks you come back for more training and internalization of what leadership distinctions were learned/ created and prepare for what is next in your life, and how to use this in preparing for a future… living the distinctions of leadership and the art of amazing possibilities.

Dates: Jan 16-17 weekend 1 and March 20-21

Leaders don’t wait! Check out these fabulous, experienced coaches at Resource Realizations:
We can help get you to your dreams, accomplish those BHAGs, creat a life you love and get over the rest!

I look forward to being with you all soon in San Antonio!


Leslie Gunterson C.P.C.
2010 Leadership Coach

If You Don’t Love What You Do…

…change it! If you don’t wake up in the morning looking forward to your day then it matters not what your doing… in my mind, that’s not success. What can you do that you absolutely love? What jump starts your passion? What can you get excited about? That’s your dream and vision.

What small steps can you take to move in the direction of creating the life you really life? Why small steps? Because each step we take toward something we love is giving us emotions such as hope and something to look forward to. The joy is in the journey creating something we love long before we get there.

Likewise, waking up to dread and hopelessness robs us of hope and something to look forward to. Our day is lifeless, boring and more like and existence than I life. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the length. I have lived both of these scenarios and can leave you with this blessing…

…may you live all of the days of your life!