This is part two of the Wisdom of Paula series. If you haven’t read part 1, it’s not necessary to understand this post, but you might like it.
Five minutes ago I knew I had to write this article.
I was in a meeting helping a new business and the founder was pitching tag lines. The general feeling in the room was that the business hadn’t really built a solid foundation by first identifying it’s customers and testing the product, so conversations about tag lines seemed meaningless. There were thirty people in the room and no one wanted to say it. I used to be one of those people, until I met Paula.
I decided to break the ice and speak up. It felt awkward, but right. All of a sudden the room went from boring to alive, people stopped checking their phones and the conversation became useful. The elephant had been spoken about, and now the real conversation could begin.
Talking to Elephants
I don’t know what growing up in Poland is like, but I know that I didn’t grow up with anyone like Paula. Where I grew up, we placed a high value on politeness. That means if someone asked for your opinion and what you had to say would hurt their feelings, you didn’t say it, even if it’s what they need to hear. Even if it’s a six ton elephant in the room, you don’t talk about it.
Paula loves talking to elephants. She speaks to elephants in the room like she’s a business consultant being paid 10K an hour (and she could be). Her honesty is wonderfully refreshing. As our friend Mike Hrostoski put it once, “her inside and outside experience is identical”. That’s the truth. She would make a terrible poker player.
It comes from is an acute awareness of her inner experience. So much of her attention is tracking what’s happening in her body that when she’s asked for feedback, the answer is so clear and present that it would be crazy not to say it. She can access her intuition by being tuned in to what’s happening on the level of feelings and sensations.
My Favorite Editor
I’m the luckiest writer on the planet.
We sat down last night to edit one of the books I’m writing, and I was so blown away by the accuracy of her feedback. I kept thinking to myself “am I just agreeing with her because I love her”? It was amazing. She has such an intuitive feel for what works and what doesn’t, because she’s going straight to the wisdom of her body and she speaks to it. When something works, ecstasy. When it doesn’t, agony. It makes my job incredibly easy.
She is also a master of this as a teacher. We often do workshops where we put people in positions to give reflections to each other. We love playing with sexuality, attractiveness and repulsion. You want to see a man’s mind get blown? Have him stand in front of Paula for five minutes and ask her to give him feedback on what she’s noticing. She’s like a truth machine, and I’ve been around a lot of women who are good at this. I may be biased (I am) but she’s the best. Hands down.
She has been a huge inspiration in my life and the level of authenticity that I’ve been able to show since meeting her and vastly improved the quality of my relationships.
I’m a lucky guy.