Dr. Liara Covert

Breathwork Psychotherapist
Mindful Breath Workshop Facilitator 

Sunshine Coast, Queensland 


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Caloundra Community Centre
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Entries in connection (12)


Deepen depth of character

Character deepens with experience.  Perceived (physical) pain and (mental) suffering build character. When things are not going the way our ego wants them to go, we are invited to step back, find patience and understanding. We can stop identifying with pain, see beyond it.

Radiance happens based on the attitude we hold when everythng is going our way or, at least in the direction that feels right or less painful. We navigate the waters of pleasure and pain until we move into calmer water.  As we travel this journey, increasing synchronicities arise.  Events unfold and give us information we did not even consciously know we needed, guide us to options to help us help ourselves, options we were previously unaware.   Acceptance and surrender in practice, is allowing intuition to guide us and trusting ourselves fully.

The perfect example is my recent atlas re-alignment. It was through connecting and engaging with friends that led to that atlas-related referral. For this process, I consulted an individual who helped me gain deeper insight into myself, as well as how to feel into the interconnectedness of my spine, joints, breath and the rest of my body on a whole new level. I now have more detailed understanding of reasons for my posture and breathing that extensive breathwork training had not itself given me.  However, in trusting in that path and completing that training, I was being prepared for what was coming next. A friendly reminder we are always being preapred for the unforeseen.

Similarly, this process led me to a dentist who is now assisting me to piece together a puzzle about my son. Emoional, physical and other symptoms are all related to energy flow.  What we see is always guiding us to see what we are not yet seeing. Recent life experience teaches me that it is the degree of connection and engagement we nurture in our relationships that catapults us to precisely what the soul requires to love on a whole new level. Wisdom of connection is timeless.


12 Dimensions of Success

Over the years, I am repeatedly asked for steps or advice to assist people to feel more fulfilled or attain greater success   This guided me to create the inspirational mentor interview thread and inspirational mentor articles to encourage connection, dialogue, encourage transparency so more people gain insight from unique paths.  Over 5000 self-development articles exist here. Contact us to submit article topics and seminar ideas. We appreciate all your valuable contributions.

In addition, I also offer workshops where I explore the process of optimum living in more detail.   This draws on insights of my 13th book now in process. Take your life to a whole new level by participating in one of our group events in 2019.  The life shifts you experience speak for themselves.  I share huge shifts I have experieced as the result of healing unconscious patterns, shifting perception, and retraining the mind.

For now, as a gift to yourself, ponder these 12 dimensions that shape your experience of success:

1. Clarify your version of success

Be as detailed as possible. Its sets the stage for the journey. Notice little is accomplished with tears alone or complaining about where you are not or, being frustrated about what you are not doing. Get practical: look at multiple life areas: personal, professional, spiritual, community, and others.  (Refer to: Self-Disclosure: Changes from Within for sample questionnaires). Where do you ideally envision yourself? What do your loved ones say? What are you willing to choose or what drives you over everything? What if you could be a pioneer? Do what your heart years for? What is it that truly stretches and inspires you? What do you wish more than anything else? Maybe this takes shape as a bucket list: things 2 before you leave this world. Next stage make three columns in terms of priorities (A=short term, B=medium term, C= someday)

[***during my workshop, I reveal my lists, how visiting 65 countries and doing unique and daring things has happened as well as what remains for me to create, manifest and download to translate in this world] 

2.  Empty the Mind

While reflecting on your response to the above, empty the mind of negativity. Do a brain dump of what limits or prevents you from moving forward.  We tend to adopt beliefs of people in our midst, unconsciously decide what is and is not good for us, all unconsciously before taking action. Write all examples of self-defeating or self-sabotaging thoughts running through you that discourage you, echo self-doubt, cause you to feel unworthy or to forget everything is possible. Take a close look at beliefs you are allowing to run you.   Every time you lie to yourself, decide to call yourself on it. Grow aware of the lies. Its the only way to transcend them.   Jot down examples where you transcend your own self-sabotage.

3.  Think less, Feel More

Following the title of one of my ebooks, I invite you to feel your way to your own solutions.  If money was not an obstacle, if your perceived doubts and mental clutter dissipated, how would you feel the way into new contributions to this world? What does this revised version of success look/ feel like? Imagine no limits, being heart-centred and service-driven. You can create your own fairytales by feeling the way into blessings and all that uplifts you. Notice the focus on feeling energy shapes your life. Allow yourself to feel the way into optimum living, well-being, and clarify new peak experiences. Create a new point of reference for yourself. Raise the bar higher. Why tell yourself you must work toward intermittent peak experiences? Why not instead convince yourself everything is part of the same peak experience you fragment with the mind?

4. Access hidden genius

Regardless of your evolving vision of success, inviting external guidance helps expand awareness so you reclaim inner power.  Mentors, coaches, inspirations, teachers,  all empower you to recall what matters, encourage you to push the limits of your talents and access your hidden genius.  This is about listen to the heart more closely. As you shift your understanding of what is possible and go for it, do what people do not expect, you have no reason to give up.  Sometimes people seem to stand in your way as if to discourage you. Take note of who does this, how it makes you feel. Do not allow them to hide you from your larger self. Remind yourself these are projections of your shadow. As you make the shadow conscious, self-defeating patterns no longer control you. You laugh at your genius.

5. Align with your Soul

Although we may identify what it is that nurtures and energizes us inside, we are often conditioned to talk ourselves out of things.  It can seem hard to take the steps necessary to be true to yourself, listen to intuition.  To live in harmony and inner peace, your thoughts, beliefs and actions all align.   As you grow aware of how you hold yourself back, it hits you can retrain the mind. Affirmations, mantras, meditations and other techniques assist you to feel what it is to be authentic.  Then, step back from what you are doing, and recognize how authentic you feel where you are.  You know better than anyone how you feel. Be brave: listen, act on the heart. 

6. Connection

Sometimes blood relatives support and encourage us in our heartfelt pursuits.  Other times, they discourage us, do not understand ius or, cannot relate to our motivation. We each choose who to listen to or ignore. Edna Buchanan echoes: Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Most of us know what discomfort or restlessness feels like.  It is part of our journey to grow more discerning of external opinion in relation to our own intuition.  We choose role models and mentors. Be like Alice from Alice in Wonderland, who says, Sometimes I believe in as many as 6 impossible things before breakfast! (See Transform your Life: 730 Inspirations) Maybe nobody has done what you dream? Who inspires you to connect  with yoruself and the world in ways nobody has done before?  

7. Build confidence

Some where along the journey, we come to believe we are inadequate or do not have what it takes to realize our true potential. On some level, this invites yo uto get in touch with the undelrying reasons for your fears so you can access more of your own innate fearlessness. Identify events, experiences, conditions that ingrained your fear.  Where do you recall becoming a coward? Make this conscious and change the energy. 

8. Deal with fear of success

Deep down, you may fear people may be jealous of you if you realize dreams.  You may already have examples of where those you encounter do their best to criticize you and tear you down.  This draws attention to issues of self-worth, superiority and inferiority and the underlying fear of vulnerability.  Now is the moment to get in touch with yoru shadows on a whole new level.

9. Be congruent

Incongruence is allowing yourself to live and act based on fear.  Congruence is acting based on love. As you act from a place of love, you grow aware of a Soul purpose.  Act from this place, and what you offer the world is service-oriented rather than (ego) self-serving. You trust yourself more deeply and people and opportunities in the world naturally show up.  Synchronicities are easier to see.  As you grow aware of unconscious blocks and clear up what is out-of-alignment in your life, your evolving vision can manifest with much more ease.  You understand the energy flow behind change and dreams happen/ manifest quicker.

10. Follow intuition

You may find yourself intuitively drawn to focus time and energy into endeavours that do not make conventional business sense, but resonate and strike you as something that is part of a larger picture or transformation. You may also feel criticized for listening to your heart and not following the status quo.  You may feel called to download or share what feels daunting to you.  Freedom means feeling hiow you want to feel and knowing it feels perfect.  It means wearing what you want to wear, expressing what means the most without fear of persecution, punishment or repercussions.  Sometimes followign dreams, leads us to leave country of birth, entourage or environment to a more suitable place to allow freedom of self expressions.  This is a reminder that what and who you need always comes to you.  Its up to you to take the next step.

11.  Exercise the imagination

Notice the imagination has no boundaries but those you choose to create. You may brainstorm or free draw that which comes to you about yourself.  Have no preconceived ideas of the meaning.  Allow that to arise within you later. Notice Thomas Edicon was inspired by something to create the lightbulb.  he nearly flunked out of primary school and was repeatedly told he was stupid before later being called a genius. Some people believe Alexander Graham bell downloaded the idea for the telephone from the ethers in a dream.  It takes courage to  stand up for what you feel is right.  Yet, if you do not believe in yourself, why would anyoen else?

12. Do the unthinkable

Seize this moment to design the world you imagine existing in.  Go further than simply thinking up a career change, new relationships or environments that match ego desires. Challenge yourself to re-imagine the world from the inside out.  Imagine no karma.  What is unfolding as you are Mastering Time? The building blocks are love and compassion rather than fear and anger. Go further than simply being the conductor of the Sunrise and Sunset like in The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. As co-creator, all is possible.

The power of the universe will come to your assistance if your heart and mind are in unity. -White Buffalo Cat Woman


5 hints you are on the right path

Its common to wonder whether you are getting anywhere.  You may have a vision of where you see yourself, a message you wish to convey, or be working on a project and feel impatient or confused about the results.  Ponder these ten hints everything is unfolding perfectly

1. You are increasingly honest with yourself

The more you express how you feel, right where you are and what you want or not, the more you begin to see the power and vibrational energy of honesty in action. The universe is always listening. It is a soundboard that echoes back your feelings and emotions in different forms.

2. You grow more open and receptive

In modern day, we are bombarded with messages, opportunities, mail and advertising.  Notice how often you say to yourself you keep receiving what you never asked for and do not want.  Step back.  Reflect again.  Whatever you ask for is always given. You have a role in co-creating everything that enters your scope.  You decide what to notice and how to respond.  Imagine how your experience shifts as you choose to notice what is helping or could help you rather than what is lacking, frustrating or confusing you.  

3. You notice more synchronicities

Everything you need (i.e. people and opportunities) are ever-present.  Whomever and whatever shows up in your radar appears for a purpose. What is it about striking up conversations with strangers who have relatives in the place you are moving to or, have familliarity with something you wish to learn about? Just happen to notice an opportunity that resonates with your soul? 

4. You speak as if its already done

When you are confident and visualize details of your vision coming together promptly, this cannot help but present itself to you.  You must believe  in yourself before anyone else will (including the universe that co-creates with you).  Things come together as the result of taking more responsibility for your actions, perception and growing aware of everything you choose not to see. If ever you allow doubt to cloud your vision or imagine any possibility other than a blossoming vision, then you are creating a very different kind of experience.  Being in harmony with yourself is about thoughts, words and deeds being all in harmony. Focus on wellness, optimum functioning and trust heartfelt intuition at every apparent curve in the road. 

5. You make the most of whatever happens

This is about choosing to love rather than to fear, to connect with people rather than detach or disconnect.  It is about making the most of where yo uare, being spontaneous, laughing more, seeing the best possible outcome, even feeling joy at an outdoor event in a rainstorm while drenched.  All events can be felt as stepping stones to a higher vibrational perception of wherever you are.  When you seem to get lemons, watch what happens as you choose to make lemonade!


Interview with Paul Dunn

As synchronicity strikes again, I am delighted to share this conversation with Paul Dunn. I am grateful to our mutual friend, Allan Pease for connecting us, and also indirectly, Barbara Pease for her valuable guidance.  Allan is of course, your co-author for the book, Write Language.

Paul, Allan puts us in touch because he tells me you are an expert in, "communicating what matters in ways he is not." Unlike Allan (who echoes power is the palm of your hands), he highlights you are a master in connecting with people through unseen acts of giving. How you evolved into a luminary is to be our focus.

Sure! Well, Allan and I go back so many years. Here is an interesting inside story: I wrote the book originally called, “Write Right”. Allan loved it so much, he approached me because he wanted to buy it. He only changed one word in the book. I said, "Fine!". He offered to put my name on it.  The rest is history. We have had a long association. Allan is the doyan of the speaking profession, not just in Australia, but also in the rest of the world, and an amazing human being.

Absolutely! Allan has presence.  He is an excellent teacher because he gives personal attention. Now, I am drawn to you because you empower people to make their own decisions about connection.  I relate as I guide people to act on what makes them feel most alive.  This often involves finding courage to face fears, change self- perception and/ or path.  

In what ways has the trajectory of your life changed? After all, you have been involved in so many things. You not only describe connections.  You also guide people to innovate while creating new habits, impact and connection.  

Well, if we were conducting this interview in the B1G1 office in Singapore, the word connection would be right above me.   Connection is particularly meaningful now in this age of disconnection. Kids are often more connected to their phones and texting than to their family.  They forget about more natural connections.

So very true. These days, so many things exist to hijack our attention - phones, Internet, other technologies. Love that you imply we need to disconnect from these and focus on the natural world to recall the feeling of deeper connection.  So, how did you get into your line of business?

To connect the dots, I think my life is one of amazing luck, actually.  I grew up in a tiny village of Dover in the U.K.  My dad was a miner.  I went to study in London. At 21, I was headhunted. I became one of the first 10 for HP in Australia. This is before most people reading this were born most likely. That was amazing to be able to hang out with Dorians of the electronic business as it was then, not the computer business.  Bill Hewlett and David Packard, and learn about all those things they felt was part of building a great company. Hewlett-Packard (HP) launched the computer thing. I was running that then. I loved connecting. I started one of Australia’s first computer companies in 1973. It became incredibly successful in its day. At one stage, it was doing 23 million. Not that it’s about the money, by the way. It’s all about the way you can add value to the people you are very privileged to serve.

Now, it grows clear that a sense of connection is not only about physical places and people. It's also about intangibles. It touches on intuition.

Yes. I think that wherever we are, we need to realize connection is the result of critical moments in our life… pivotal moments when we made certain decisions without thinking.

Tell us more...

Okay.  Picture it: one day, in 1980 I was asked to a seminar in Brisbane where I was living. I was literally dragged to this event to hear a speaker named James ("Jim") Rohn.

Jim Rohn echoes a version of true success must be attracted not pursed.  Love that idea. 

Well, while I was asked to go hear Jim Rohn speak, I was overseeing over 150 people. What did I need with a seminar? I had no idea even what a seminar was. Then, my response to the experience surprised me: I was absolutely transfixed. It was like a time tunnel. "Wow!" I thought to myself. "That’s what I can do, I can speak and move audiences to new levels of understanding." I called my colleagues to let them know I was leaving.  They thought I was kidding!

You were clearly listening to your intuition, ready to step outside your comfort zone.

I never looked back.  In April 1st,1981 I left HP and created the Results Corporation. By Dec 23, we were serving 23,000 small businesses in Australia and the world. In 1992, I morphed that to focus on the accounting profession. Not that I am an accountant, but I thought they need to wake up and still do, by the way.  I had this crazy idea of saying, look if you are being honest if you had to say what you do, what would you say? They said, “We report on history.” And I replied, how much better would it be if you were able to totally flip that and be able to help select clients create history? So, I launched Results Accountants Systems.  We had the privilege of working with over 17,000 accountants worldwide.  They absolutely loved it.  Life-changing for them and certainly life-changing for me.  In 2000, I sold that, went to live in France, ostensible to retire.  That was challenging for me. So in 2003, I started speaking again.  

Love that retirement is increasingly a transition for people to forge or discover new kinds of connections.

That's right. Making connections never stops, but how we view them and how conscious we are, changes.  Now, in 2006, I was at an event in Bangalore, India, as a participant, not speaking at it. A friend asked me to dinner.  We went to a sad place called the Taj Mahal. I met Pastor Silva. I asked him what brings you here? Story of connection. Silva said, 4 years ago my church asked me to go to this island. I initially went to Sunday school 18 months ago, with 12 kids. I saw the 2004 tsunami. We did not have too much time. Let's play a game--- run to higher ground. We watched the church and parents of these kids washed away in the tsunami. We spend the last 18 months with the kids. It took 4 months to get off the island.  We wandered in India looking for somewhere for a place to live. After a while, we found a place, but now it's getting pretty critical. We need to pay for shelter, for the kids to go to school, pay for their books, food. It cost $3000. He said, "your friend, who introduced us, is helping." Then I said, "if you or anyone from here heard this would have said what I said- it's fixed. Done."

What an amazing, life-changing story! Invites us all to recall how it feels to empathize, to imagine vividly how it feels to be in another person's shoes.

Yes. Imagine this: 4 months later, Pastor Silva went to an email café, and emailed me in broken English. He sent me some photos, 4 actually. The first was a long shot of the tiny house. The second shot was a one room place, where kids were eating food.  The third showed the 12 kids doing their homework with their new school books. The fourth shot changed everything for me. The photo showed they had written Paul Dunn Home in tall letters about a foot tall outside the home.

That kind of connecting is like a skipping stone on water. It happens between the words, between emails, between the lines. It's a feeling of appreciation that knows no time or space.

Connecting is felt here for sure. 

What did you realize at that pivotal moment?

At that very moment, I realized something deep. If you had asked me just before that point, what is business about, I would have said, well, my whole life has been running on two things;  adding extraordinary value to the people you are priviliged to serve and having fun. I never worried about the numbers. They seemed to come anyway.

Curious how so many people are taught to be preoccupied with numbers and forget the power of connection. 

Hmm. Well, at that moment, I felt there is a literal obligation that we have to do whatever we can help others who, through no fault of their own, are in different circumstances than ourselves. 

It feels like the deeper revelation about connection is about selflessness.  Does this remind you or any peers or mentors?

It's kind of like with Richard (as in Sir Richard Branson). Go back 9 years ago and you ask him, "What's your thing?" He would’ve said: "to get up every morning to disrupt industries that need disrupting and have fun doing it."

Talk to him now, and he says the same two things as well as to make a real difference in this world. When you get that third piece, it's like the RAS (reticular activating system).  You know about that from Allan and Barbara Pease and the cool brain research that is presented as part of their latest book, The Answer.  

Yes. Love that Pease book! Also get great insight from Richard Branson's Autobiography, Losing my Virginity (How I survived, had fun and made a fortune doing business my way).

Even without reading that book, you notice the universe has this interesting way of making us aware of other people who have the same revelation we do. Consider the example of cars as well. As soon as you buy one, all of a sudden, you see the same vehicle everywhere. They have always been there, but you just did not notice them before.

Yes! I love the car analogy. Seeing a particular vehicle is also something that happened with increasing frequency to me before it entered my own experience. Love the revelation that part of you cannot feel whole without connecting to something larger than yourself in an altruistic way. Does anyone else stand out to you as shaping or deepening your sense of connection?

Indeed. Another person who came across my radar was Masami Sato.

What a lady! What a story! She is really onto something cutting edge that connects on a universal scale. I invite everyone to read her book Giving Business: Creating Maximum Impact in a Meaning-driven World.

She was someone I was mentoring at the time.  During our mentoring session in 2007, she got this amazing idea: She said, 'I am imagining a different world. Can you imagine this- every business transaction relates something great in our world.' Like what? I said. Well, like you go buy a plasma tv from Harvey Norman on account of who you want better vision. If you bought that, how about someone who could not see could get the gift of sight? I went oh wow!  Imagine having a cup of coffee and while you drink it, and a kid gets life- saving water? Imagine someone buys your book. and a tree gets planted. I replied- that is the best idea I have ever heard. Can I be your mentor for the rest of your life? That took my understanding of connection to a whole new level.

This B1G1 vision feels truly like one of the best ideas ever. It's about giving life to and grounding interconnection on a massive scale. How did this idea take shape on a practical level? Where does the project stand?

Well, it took us 3 years to figure out how to do it and we founded the company as B1G1. So far, the business owners or businesses that are members of B1G1, we have created 161,000,000 giving impacts in our world. That is on track to be 1.6 billion.  We call these smiles.

B1G1 is one of the most extraordinary ideas I have come across as well, and it crosses my radar due to hearing about you. Funny though, it's not necessarily something everyone has heard about. It presents a vision of success that involves a lasting connection. What does success feel like where you are sitting?

It's certainly not about what you have around you. It’s not about shiny objects. Its about something bigger.

How about expanding on this...

Three years ago, on Sept 23, the United Nations (UN), Paul Polman (from Unilever),Mary Robinson, and Richard Branson was there. Branson said, "This is the first time the world body acknowledges something really important: governments are not the bodies that change our world, its businesses that change our world. That’s why I am here-- to launch the Sustainable Development (Global) Goals. 17 targets we have to hit as responsible people by 2030 to eliminate poverty and recognize diversity on this planet.

This reminds me of when I was one of the original founding members of the Space Generation Forum (SGF). Youths from across the globe attended UN meetings and lobbied with the intention of supporting the peaceful uses of outer space and earthly uses of related space technologies. We spoke about focusing more attention on using technology to benefit sustainable development and the issues listed on the global goals mentioned above. Larger global impact requires a collective shift in priorities.  

New connections are definitely happening in different arenas. 

It feels like more people are experiencing a change of heart or awakening to a new way of seeing this world.  We see new kinds of cooperation emerging.

That's right! B1G1 gets down to grass roots. At that level, it's very interesting- redefining success as a race. On the way, I see other things, I spoke to a woman on the Sunshine Coast, where Allan is. By all accounts, she is very successful. She works in real estate. She found B1G1, and had a transformation. She realized as passionate as she is about real estate, I need meaning and purpose in my life.  It's this sense of belonging.  In fact, one of the things I am very privileged to do is do TedXtalks. One of the great things about doing TedXTalks is meeting other speakers. I met Brene Brown. Her talk, The Power of Vulnerability has over 23,000,000 views.

Love Brene Brown! Listening to Shame is another of her life-transforming talks.

Brown says connection it's why we are here.  Itis what gives meaning and purpose to our lives.  That underscores this human need we have to do this. There exist some brilliant books about this. For example one of the best: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari.  It normally talks about how we came to be here. Connection is really the key to it all, I think.

Agree whole-heartedly. It’s a revelation I have had in my own life. 

That you refer to Brene Brown is another synchronicity.  As the result of watching her Ted talks, like I have read all of her books. I really respect the work she does: she brings very sensitive issues into the public sphere and encourages people to feel comfortable with subjects we typically hide from ourselves. 

That's right. 

She echoes connection is deepened through being open and transparent. So, you raise the topic of Belonging. In Brown’s book, Daring Greatly, she goes into this is a lot of depth.  She says it takes courage to connect and connection somehow makes us feel vulnerable.  Although people are widely taught to fear vulnerability, Brown says "what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful." She reminds us strength is found in talking about what evokes discomfort because we feel free. She talks about  belonging as related to something that enables us to feel part of something greater than ourselves. This enables us to feel lighter too.

That is it! It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about all that and more.

It’s a feeling, I am getting, a vibe off you related to this B1G1 project. It's heart-warming and heart-opening.  Many people have not yet able to put their fingers on what they seek or crave. Yet, they feel something is missing in their lives, something they are still hoping to figure out. 

In this light, what makes you feel most alive? It may be more than one thing.  This would give readers a bit more insight into the real Paul Dunn, get to the heart of you, what drives you.

Look at the physical things I do. Connection, meaning and purpose could come from going to the gym every morning because you are connected to yourself. You cannot connect with others until you connect with yourself. 

I feel enormously lucky. I am to talk with an audience of businessowners in Perth this week. How amazing is it, how privileged is it from me, to get on stage and be able to take a group of people from a particular level of understanding to a new level of understanding.  The only way you do that is by connecting with them. It’s as simple as that.  The funny thing is, Allan Pease, whom you mentioned earlier, knows all about this.  Very few people can connect with people like Allan does.  One thing that is very interesting- speakers have to be aware of this---you are there in front of a group, you are a God if you like, people are looking up to you, I never think about it that way. Yet, then, you are in a hotel room all on your own. Unless you are connected to yourself, you are lonely. Just look at entertainment industry...

Who are your other mentors?

Ron Taki was an early mentor. He said, "Paul, you really should speak." I said, "Really?" "Yes!- Do you get butterflies?" I said, "Yes." I love that he taught me the secret is to get butterflies flying in formation. It took me 32 years to get the butterflies flying in formation in my head. Until recently, I would be in front of a reflective surface, talking to myself, for them for them for them! Several times. So that I could get the focus off me and onto them. 18 months ago, I was sitting at a table and the heavens opened. The two kids were here. I was catching up with email and I was invited to watch a 3 min video from Norweigan govenment. It opens on a pure white environment. Huge guy walks on from side of screen. He is the ultimate Harley rider. His arms are covered in massive tattoos, nose rings. He looks scary. On left hand side of screen, no judgement involved but this is the only way I have to describe it- an eccentric woman enters.  Other women enter. Everyone starts hugging. Nothing sexual. Ministry of Diversity presents message. We all are one. That’s it. That day, I realized when I was saying “for them, for them, for them," I felt I was distancing myself from my audience. Now I say, "for us for us, for us...." This acknowledges I am part of this learning process.

Fabulous story! Butterflies are a universal symbol of getting in touch with what enables us to fly. The government of Denmark did something similar in a video entitled All That we share.  More countries are getting on board as well, getting involved in unifying initiatives.

Wherever I look, these days, there is that stuff. It's about the tiny little things. In Singapore, for instance, the MRT train arrives , takes me to the office very efficiently. When I used to take the bus, I would always smile. They would start the whole process. Just imagine for a moment if everyone smiled at everyone else. For me, its what we are here to do.

How would you relate this back to B1G1 and the evolution of business?

B1G1 takes this to a slightly different level. How great is it that we can do some kind of transaction, and not need not be monetary one. It could be meeting each other or, each time I send you an email, a kid gets access to education.  What’s great is to understand, yes, we can connect one-on-one, and then, through all sorts of other mechanisms, we can connect with people and impact the lives of people we are never going to meet.

Extraordinary! The B1G1 slogan: Connect, create impact and see things differently stands out to me. Where did this come from?

Great question. Look at what we do not do. We do not use the word charity. Back in early 2000, when Masami had this idea, we said "okay, let’s look at this non-judgementally." Charities kind of do that. We realize though, that in every poll you see, almost everybody has either had a bad experience or knows of someone who has. We realized we had to do things differently.

And how do you do that?

We talk about the joy of giving.  Among our projects, you never see faces of emaciated children meant to evoke guilt. You never us use words like donate.  You never see our B1G1 business members saying “a percentage of our profits go there.” You never see a chief executive presenting a big check to B1G1. As the result of us, a kid got access to education. We are about giving smiles.  For example, you will see things like, “As the result of doing business with us, we protected Orangutan habitat." There are 600 or so projects (the board rejects 9/10 by the way) are pretty high impact projects people can get involved in. This allows us to be human.

I noticed earlier this way I was speaking at an accounting conference in London. 6500 Accountants. Accountants and businesses like to be at the forefront of what is being disrupted. They like to be  at the cutting edge.  I was asked what is the next best thing? People is the next big thing. Xero is a big thing. They came out at their conference with artificial intelligence but point out humans produce that. Their new Hash Tag- “Human.” We are getting it.

Why is this getting this wider 'human connection' important?

Recall the global financial crisis. That was a watershed. Look at what's going on in parts of America or other parts of the world. We ask, 'is that stuff really happening?' As we see this is not just happening to one person, that we are all affected, we really are getting it.

Has anyone in particular had a profound impact on your understanding of the human connection?

Neale Donald Walsch.  In his books on Conversations with God (not religious book as you likely know)...

I have read them all. They are brilliant! The conversations cover topics of universal relevance. 

Yes. Well, I have spent time with Neale in Ashland, Oregon. He is a “We are one” sort of person. In essence he says, sadness is just so we know what happiness is. The reason we look at a landscape and see mountains is so we can also see the valley, tell the difference. It is very interesting to see how we look at things and very difficult sometimes not to be judgmental, incredibly difficult.  I think once we get that all of these things exist for a reason, if just we become aware, oh my gosh-what is the lesson? What is the gift?

Asking those kinds of questions changes how we see ourselves. Seeing everything and everyone as a blessing does change the way we see the world and function in it.

By the way, I love that your TedX Talks echo the deep joy that is felt from sustainable giving.

You have seen them? Really? Wonderful!

Another thing that stands out in your talks,  is how you present information. You state that you do not intend info presented to be judgemental. You simply offer data for audience reflection, so they reach their own conclusions.


How do you see a domino effect happening? B1G1 is expanding. You also speak about small and large businesses  in your talks and which are taking steps to do greater good. Do you see we have to have tsunamis and global crisis or harmful situations for people to wake up to the power of connection?

No. I think adversity simply occurs. We do not have to have tragedy. Look at B1G1. Recall the term 'hockey stick' if you look at growth in things. People are also talking about topics now they did not used to discuss openly. 

That is encouraging. It's as if people are finding courage to explore reasons behind their personal and socio-cultural taboos, why they adopt and adhere them.

People only ever do what they are ready to do. I also am in awe of how women do things. It doesn’t mean men do not do equally great things but men have to work at it. Women are able to show us some interesting things. Thankfully great changes going on in that area.

Indeed Women are more emotional in nature and we are seeing them in more leadership roles as well as in pivotal roles in the background.  We each have a part of play in creating connections.

I see great changes occurring in the world over as the result of deeper connections.

One last question- what kind of advice or insight would you like to leave with our audience to invite people to view themselves and their lives in a new way?

Wow! Well, there are so many things, no one thing. As we back track through this interview, we see many things. I have this book called Gratitude journal. Every day begins with this and ends with that. This ability to be grateful and at the same time as curious about everything else, underpins everything. You realize you are just a tiny speck somewhere. But wow! How great is it to actually be here experiencing this life.

Also, what else amazes me, when in B1G1, we go on study tours, we look at the impact is what is happening. It absolutely amazes me. You see kids in the direst of circumstances and they are smiling. There was this one area in Kenya where they had visally-impaired (blind) kids. “Sam Well” is 14 was kept in a room by his parents until he miraculously walked and found this school. He reached out and found my face. I say to him, Sam Well, how do you deal with this apparent disability? He says “What disability? I see the world, experience the world...by the way, would you like to hear me play my keyboards?" So, he gets them out and does the Stevie Wonder thing. Look at where he is coming from. He says "I am here, I am grateful." That is a great lesson.

What it echoes is that the simple things in life mean the most and so often these are overlooked.

Exactly. I call this The Power of Small.

Love your message that small business can make a mighty difference in the wider world. It's like the size of our heart grows based on getting involved in projects that touch lives. I feel your message is to cherish every moment and everyone in some way.  Thanks for sharing these life-transforming stories and revelations with our audience.

You ask me questions I have not been asked and I express responses spontaneously in ways I can never offer again in exactly the same way.

Invite our readers to research B1G1 and other individuals and projects mentioned in this article. We each make a difference by connecting with the wider world. This begins by deepening the connection with ourselves. Why we exist hits us when we awaken to see the world differently. 

As Marcel Proust echoes: "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes"


5 key points on connection

Notice restlessness and discontent are symptoms of disconnection. This goes deeper than the physical disconnection you feel when your mobile phone, computer, internet or other technology is not working on your terms. Maybe you are feeling a range of confusing emotions that disturb peace of mind in relationships or other aspects of reality? What can you do to feel more at ease?

Consider retraining the mind, that is how and what you see as your reality. What happens as you shake up your sense of who you think you are and review discomfort from a different point of view? Ponder these five points about connection. How do your emotions and understanding of what is happening in your world change?

1. The nature of intimacy in your relationships mirrors love, acceptance, intimacy with yourself 
2. No one thing or organism exists on its own (we share the same water, air, light, etc.) 
3. No thing or organism acts on its own (everything is interconnected energy flow)
4. Every organism is a process understood by its actions (motion of allowing or resisting)
5. The behaviour of all organisms is only understood in relation to its environment

This said, reflect on fear, guilt, shame, anger and other examples of emotions you are feeling in relation to specific situations. How are these emotions pointers to another way of being more authentic (or living a mroe authentic life)?