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    Happiness Summit got me shaking in my boots! What to do when you’ve got fear?

Happiness Summit got me shaking in my boots! What to do when you’ve got fear?

When most people have fear, they shake in their boots. Well for me, when I have fear, I shake my hands. : )

This weekend I was so honored to speak at the Happiness Summit. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much to Tetsu Takeshita for inviting me to speak among this panel of amazing people!

And ladies, there were only men on this panel. Whaaat?! Ladies, seriously, get a chance! Get out there and speak as much as you can! That’s my message for you.

The really fascinating thing is that I was speaking in Japanese. Now, I speak Japanese–I live in Japan. It really shouldn’t be a big deal about speaking Japanese in front of a Japanese audience. Huh-uh! Oh man, I was so scared! Throughout the week I had my Japanese coach, Masafumi Matsumoto, who was awesome in helping me, supporting me in my language and making sure my grammar was great. But up until the day before I was thinking, “Aw man, maybe I should just cancel,” because giving a whole entire talk about happiness and these amazing tools that I thought are going to be so useful freaked me out! I was so scared.

But I did a couple of things. One of the things was that I shook hands. I shook hands with everybody online before attending the event. I went to the Facebook Page and I was like, “Hi! I’m Soness! What would you like to get out of the event?” I wanted to connect and really find out what they wanted. So first, I went out and shook hands.

And then I got to the event. I met these people in person. And some of these people shook my hand! They […]

By |June 20th, 2013|The latest|0 Comments

Three Lessons from Having a Concussion

Do you know the song, ♫ “You spin me right round baby, right round, like a record baby, right round, right round… ♪”?
Anyways. That’s how my world feels like this week. Everything seems to spin if I don’t have one central focus point.
So there’s a couple of things I’ve been learning from this concussion-world-spinning thing.
One. Have a focus point. Without one central focus point, my whole world begins to spin.
Sometimes I feel like my world is spinning on an everyday basis, even when I don’t have a concussion. Because I don’t have one focus point. My day becomes a blur of tasks, meetings, running to and fro, and it can get overwhelming. But when I do have one focus point, I do tend to be able to concentrate and get to where I need to go in actually a more direct manner.
Two. Ask for what you want. I can’t believe how many times I’ve been frustrated on behalf of elderly people. I’ve heard my pregnant friends complain that they can’t get a seat on the train. But what I found out over the past week is that if you go to the silver seats and you actually ask somebody and say, “Excuse me. I hit my head, and I tend to get dizzy very quickly if I’m not holding on to something and have a focus point, may I please sit down?” They’ll give you the seat. But I have had one case where the boy didn’t give me a seat. He pretended that he couldn’t understand me. Later on, I pulled his earphones out of his ears and asked, “Why didn’t you change with me?” And he said, “I couldn’t hear you.” Anyways, the […]

By |June 14th, 2013|Blog|0 Comments

1,320 Steps to Work from the Beach

“I wanna work from a beach!”

I’ve heard this all my life from my mom. Now I have my own mantra.

“I wanna work remotely from a beach.”

Maybe I would like to add to that a number and a mission statement, but for now, let’s keep it simple.

If you had the opportunity would you take it?

I live 1 kilometer which is about 1,320 steps to the beach. But I don’t take my work down there.

The beach for me is my sacred playground. I run alone. I like solitude. I try not to answer the phone while running.

But today, before I started running, I got a message that the Show-N-Tell book translator could only talk for the next 10 minutes.

We Skyped and I made some business decisions on the beach. I felt like I was living that mantra: working remotely from a beach. Glad I wore sunscreen today!

I still won’t check messages while running. But maybe just before or after I’ll schedule some working hours down by the beach regularly since it is my dream.

What’s your dream work mantra?

By |May 23rd, 2012|Blog|0 Comments

Tired to Energetic in 3’44”

“Are you feeling tired or energetic?” I surveyed the seminar.

24:1 in favor of tired. I did the same poll for 43 seminar attendees after a long day at work 41:2.

“Everyone please stand up,” as the music volume began to increase, I requested. Politely, and curious, they all complied.

“Nod your head,” I sweetly directed. Leading the group into a clapping, shaking, shimming frenzy, including the salarymen.

Less than 4 minutes later I took the same poll, “Are you feeling tired or energetic?”

Move your body, move your mind.

When can you take a few minutes to reinvigorate your body and mind in your busy day? Can you get more flow that way?

By |April 27th, 2012|The latest|0 Comments

Reading Deprivation = Harvesting Seeds

They say all things begin with a seed. An idea. A source from which inspiration grows. My seeds remain unharvested. What happens with disregarded seeds?
My voice. I have a sore throat. I know what this can lead to. My first day of Reading Deprivation (no books, magazines, media, news, social networking)… and now I can’t talk. I vow absolute silence until I’m healed. My voice = my biggest asset. So much for my plan of calling everyone in my iPhone and Skype rosters! What do I want instead?


The Head Gardener has been asking me for weeks from 9,000KM away, “Have you collected the Aas Gao (Morning Glory) seeds?” No. “Have they turned brown?” Yep. Like, um, 3 weeks ago.


Too busy. Got stuff to do. Gonna (fill in the blank) right now. I want the Head Gardener to come back and do it for me. Everything is so much easier when someone can do it instead.


Reading Deprivation. No books. No media. No social networking. Email once a day after noon. What do I do instead?

First thing (without being asked by the Head Gardener) I picked the seeds from the skeletons of Asa Gao buds ready to sleep for the winter. Easy. It took 15 minutes. I enjoyed plucking them from the crispy case and finding the seeds. I put them in a pretty “strange English” envelope and labeled them. I enjoyed being in the garden. I collected ideas. Ready to grow my next project immediately.

I did that project + 3 more. Things I’ve never done before. I’ll tell you more about that next time.
What was I doing that was so important that I couldn’t collect these itty bitty seeds to sow for next year? Am […]

Reading Deprivation Week. What would Socrates say?

Books stare at me. I stare at books. Often I miss the point.
Socrates said that nothing should be written down; we should pass on history and philosophy by word of mouth lest we forget how to remember.
We wouldn’t know what Socrates had said if Plato had not taken notes.
Have you ever felt like there’s too much noise? Maybe you’ve been busy or can’t seem to get a chance to hear your own voice?
Mind Fasting:
This week I’m again teaching and practicing Reading Deprivation for week 4 of The Artist’s Way+ in Tokyo. It’s a week to sit in the juices of creativity, listen to what is around me, and engage in dialog.
I’d love to have a dialog with you! Please call me or Skype me as I’ll only be checking my email once a day.
Did you know that Tim Ferriss of The 4-Hour Work Week doesn’t read the news and only checks his email once a week? Leo Babauta in Zen Habits has 20-minute email ninja secrets too.
What would you be able to create if you could listen to the world around you?
In the meantime, leave a comment. I’ll get back to you next week. Even better yet, call me :)

In a bottle. . . It must be better

Water. Our natural resource comes from a bottle. What else comes from a plastic PET bottle? Listen up, Seven-Up, as I find out.

Water is more expensive in a bottle. In fact, water in a bottle is more expensive than gasoline. How is that?
And now:  Earphones in a bottle?

So basically, anything in a bottle can gain more profit.

I think I’ll start bottling my blog and my smile in a bottle. Maybe then I’ll start bringing in the big bucks!
What unusual things have you seen in a PET bottle for sale? What would you bottle up and sell? I’d love to hear! Leave a comment!

By |October 20th, 2011|Blog, The latest|2 Comments

Expanded Awareness

Do you feel like a horse with its blinders on–only able to look straight forward? Wouldn’t you rather receive all the information that you need around you like a Samurai?
I share in this video talk with The Artist’s Way+ in Tokyo the secrets to Expanded Awareness allowing you better problem solving, absorbing new content faster, and Jedi Knight awareness.

What could you do if you could get into Expanded Awareness at any time?

The Naked Presenter–I can see your underwear!

I see London, I see France, I see your underpants!
You’ve been given the advice to calm your nerves before speaking to “imagine your audience naked.” Why not create a presentation where everyone is naked–being authentically you. Garr Reynolds in his book The Naked Presenter encourages us to create relationships with the audience like hadakasukiai (everyone naked and on the same level with no ranks).


In Reynolds’ book The Naked Presenter, he clearly teaches through simple steps how to present with impact.

Speak to your audience as in a conversation. Get rid of the TV shopping approach.
Give them a “Why?’ to begin your presentation. For those of you who are familiar with Bernice McCarthy’s 4-Mat method, this is the first component to reaching of your whole audience.
Zen. Be here. Right now.
Show your passion. I call this State Elicitation. If you want your audience to have a change of state, you have to embody that state.
Present yourself. In the early age of PCs, I remember my teacher saying WYSIWYG. What You See Is What You Get. Your audience looks for that in you. Additionally, your sound. Only 7% of communication is through words. 38% is through tonality (how you say it). 55% is your physiology.
Punch! Use storytelling to bring punch to your presentation. I remember a time when I used storytelling in a …

The Naked Presenter teaches familiar concepts in a clear way. Reynolds focuses on the presentation rather than hiding behind wordy PowerPoint and demonstrates how to keep those simple as well (check out Zen Presentation).

If you want to become an authentic presenter, get The Naked Presenter. And practice the techniques by speaking every chance you get.

You can find the link to this book on Amazon Japan […]

By |October 17th, 2011|Blog, The latest|2 Comments

What’s Your Plan… B?

Moving to Chigasaki beach to surf, I became a runner. The surf is often flat.
When your plans don’t turn out the way you expected them, what do you do instead? Whine or run?

By |October 6th, 2011|The latest|0 Comments