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COACHING & BUSINESS TOOLS Package Your Gift (The #2 Mistake Most Life Coaches Make) Paint Your Own Masterpiece (Coaching the Coach)



In the world of personal development and business, we hear a LOT about “focusing on your strengths,” but this is TERRIBLE advice.

Your vision or mission or dreams should never be limited by your current strengths! Think about it; are the strengths you had at 15 going to be what serves you at 50? No. It’s no different now. By focusing on your strengths, you’re focusing on your comfort zone, what you already know, or what comes naturally, like a talent. But, if what you want is something BEYOND where you are now, then your strengths are irrelevant. You can use them to help you get to where you want to go, but, ultimately, in order to get somewhere else or become someone else, beyond where you are now, you are going to need to learn and stretch and acquire skills and strengths that you don’t currently have. So, stop holding yourself back by telling yourself you can only do what you’re good at. Get out there and learn and grow and change the world! Joeel & Natalie Rivera, Publishers


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INSPIRATION & GROWTH Banish the Dark Clouds & Seek the Sun Buddy, Can You Paradigm? The Anatomy of Attachment, Part 2 Let Your Light Shine What’s Age Got to Do with It?

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HEALTHY LIVING The Unsavory Ingredients Hiding in Your Favorite Foods Is the Grocery Store Hypnotizing You?

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FEED YOUR SPIRIT A Heartbeat to Remember Finding Awe Through Inspired Living

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PUBLISHERS Natalie Rivera Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed.

EDITOR Lisa Cedrone

CONTRIBUTORS Natalie Rivera, Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann, Alan Cohen, Kate Pennell, Gregg Sanderson, Lotus Josiah Seng, Ashar Mohammed, Rena Greenberg, Mary Boutieller, Noelle Sterne, Ph.D., Juliette Jones

© Copyright 2018 Transformation Services, Inc. All rights reserved.


Package Your Gift (Avoid the #2 Mistake that Most Life Coaches Make)



(Avoid the #2 Mistake that Most Life Coaches Make)


By Natalie Rivera

In the last issue of Transformation Coaching Magazine, I asked “IS COACHING DEAD?” The answer is NO, but it HAS evolved. If you haven’t already, read it to find out how to avoid the #1 mistake most life coaches make… which is that they try to coach everyone! (Hint: The answer is niche coaching!)

Results-based coaching allows you to stop wasting your time trying to convince people to want life coaching!

In fact, as coaches, we’re asked this by all types of entrepreneurs. More clients or customers means more income in your pocket. And, the answer, of course, has many facets, however it really comes down to avoiding the #2 biggest mistake most life coaches make, which is selling “coaching” (or any other service or product for that matter)!


Successful life coaches do NOT try to explain what The #1 question we life coaching is or are ALWAYS asked convince people to is “How do I get more want coaching. It’s exhausting, and it doesn’t work. coaching clients?”

Nobody wants to buy “coaching” (or another widget). Nobody.

They want to buy RESULTS! You see, people don’t buy coaching. • They don’t buy programs or services or products. • They don’t want information or to be told what to do. • They never pay for things they SHOULD do. • They only pay for things they WANT or NEED. • People pay for things that solve their problems or provide valuable benefits.

They pay for results.

What do you do?

I’m a life coach What does that mean? Well, eh, I help people reach their goals Compare that to… “I help people discover their life purpose” Like I mentioned in my last article, offering vague general coaching sessions doesn’t motivate potential clients to sign up. But now I want to take it even further and point out that if you’re marketing “coaching” itself, no one will ever even find you. You see, no one searches for a “life coach”—in fact most people still don’t know about life coaching. As I already mentioned, focusing on a specific niche helps you be able to stand out and find your ideal clients. But, having a niche isn’t enough because people are still not out there looking for a coach. The solution is to offer a coaching package that clearly achieves a RESULT the client is looking for—whether that is to lose 10 pounds, make a career change, or discover their life’s purpose.

So, let’s look at what it would take to create a results-based coaching package.

FIRST, WHAT IS A COACHING PACKAGE? Many life coaches make ANOTHER mistake—they offer 1-off coaching sessions. The problem is that someone may sign up for 1 coaching session, and even if it goes fantastic they may get busy and fail to ever book another session. The truth is that a one-at-a-time coaching session model doesn’t work. You spend all your time chasing clients. The solution is to sell a coaching PACKAGE, which means clients are purchasing 4 or 6 or 10 coaching sessions at once. You can ask them to pay up front for the package or pay per session, or even monthly, but that’s not what it important here. What matters is the COMMITMENT. By requiring clients to commit to a certain package of sessions, it ensures they are invested in actually following through with the coaching process. Single sessions of coaching do not accomplish anything. Coaching takes time because no matter what you’re coaching is focused on, you’re helping your client accomplish a goal, which isn’t reached overnight. Unfortunately, many coaches stop here. They sell a 3-month coaching package, but it doesn’t sell. The reason? It doesn’t offer a specific result. The clients see “3 months of coaching”, but they’re left thinking “whoopdie-freaking-do, 3 months of coaching for WHAT?”

NEXT, WHAT IS A RESULT? The answer to the “for what?” is the result. Think about it like this: • Your NICHE is like the category or focus of your coaching. • Your TRIBE is the specific people who are your ideal target market within the category of your niche. • Your RESULT is the outcome that those clients will receive from coaching, which fulfills a specific need that those specific people have.


And how do you know what result they want? By understanding their problem. So, for example, one of our colleagues coaches retreat leaders. Her niche is transformational travel (aka retreats that people attend for personal growth reasons). Her tribe is retreat leaders (who teach and coach the individuals who join them at the retreats) and the outcomes she offers include teaching them how to design, market, fill, and execute transformational retreats.

AND LAST, WHAT IS YOUR GIFT? Most coaches focus their coaching on a niche that they have experience in. For instance, perhaps you had a problem in your life that you overcame or solved or a skill or expertise you acquired. Now you want to help others do the same. The good thing about coaching on a topic you have personal experience with is that YOU UNDERSTAND THEIR PROBLEM and you know how to solve it because you’ve already gotten the result for YOURSELF. You become part coach, part guide, part mentor. What result have YOU gotten in your life (related to your niche)? Not sure what your niche is yet? Check out last month’s article… but for now, ask yourself, what have you overcome or learned in your life that, if you helped someone else navigate the same journey, you could save them time, money, or pain? So, imagine if you could coach someone to get the result that you have gotten for yourself. What impact would it have on THEIR life? THIS is the result you are offering.

The specific way that you can help your clients is your GIFT.

It’s based on YOUR unique experience. Packaging your gift not only makes you a more effective coach, it also makes coaching more meaningful and purposeful. And, it makes it easier to get clients!


YOUR RECIPE FOR SUCCESS So, the next thing you have to determine is HOW to get your client the result. What is your recipe for success? Creating a coaching package is about writing this recipe. It’s like developing a curriculum that you use with your clients to help them achieve the desired result. In order to create a coaching package you have to determine how many sessions you’ll need, how much time it will take, and a lot of other details I won’t get into here. But, the most important thing is the recipe because it’s what allows you to transfer the result you got for yourself to someone else. You may be wondering—I got the result for myself, but how to I teach it? In order to teaching what you know or guiding a client through a journey, you need to identify the PROCESS you used to get your results. How did you do it? What steps did you take? What else was required or needed? Once you identify this process, you can be confident you will get your client the result they are looking for. Let me tell you a little story… When Joeel (my partner in crime) and I first started out with coaching we offered general coaching. We began focusing on our first niche—life purpose coaching—which was more gratifying and easier to market, because it was a niche. We found that most of the time the people seeking to find their purpose were entrepreneurs, and so we began offering entrepreneurship coaching, ultimately helping them create businesses that were in alignment with their purpose. It was great, but we still struggled to the get the clients we wanted and it felt like it took a lot of effort to explain what we were offering. And then we went to a conference where we learned the lesson I’m sharing here—that people want RESULTS, not coaching. Here’s the story. We’d been meeting people all day, many of whom seemed like our ideal clients—new or as-

piring entrepreneurs. But, no one seemed interested in finding out more about our coaching. One conversation went something like this: a woman asked us the classic question “So, what do you do?” And, Joeel responded “we do a lot of things” and proceeded to tell her about our entrepreneurship coaching, publishing company, speaking, and on and on… and we totally lost her. She said “oh, that’s nice” and walked away! I was confused, how could she not get it! Now, part of the problem here was that we had a terrible “elevator pitch” at the time, which is a topic I’ll save for another article. But, ultimately the problem is that we were focusing on what we did, rather than telling them the results we could get them. This happened to us all day and until someone asked us what we did again and Joeel blurted out, “we help people follow their passion and purpose and take that idea and launch a fully developed businesses in 6 weeks.” Her eyes lit up and she grabbed us by the arm and introduced us to someone she worked with. We barely said a word and she was selling him why he needed to work with us. The funny thing is that we knew we had a habit of starting businesses in just 6 weeks, but to be honest, at the time we had no idea how we did it. Serendipitously, we happened to be at a conference where we were learning how to identify the PROCESS we used to create success in our niche so that we could teach it to others. And, so, by the end of that event we had reverse engineered our success and created a program that would allow us to walk our clients through the same process we used to build our businesses, in 6 weeks.

REVERSE ENGINEER YOUR PROCESS (RECIPE) So, based on your niche and the results you can get your clients (that, most likely, you experienced yourself), the question you need to answer is: HOW did I get these results? Here’s a quick brainstorming activity to help you begin writing down your recipe: Imagine going back in time and talk-

ing to your younger self—before you overcame your challenge, transformed, or learned what you know now. • What words of advice or wisdom would you tell yourself? • What strategy, tool, or insight could you share that would offer your younger self a short cut? • How did you do it? • What steps did you take? • What else was required or needed? (A certain belief? Behavior? Change? Skill? Action? Tool?) In order to identify your process, imagine starting at the end result and working your way backwards to identify what you had to have, understand, and learn (the ingredients) and what you had to do (the step-by-step recipe), in order to go from where you were when you begin to where you are now. Once you identify the process for accomplishing the results you got, you can turn it into a coaching curriculum (a package!) and guide your clients through this process during your coaching program.

YOU ALREADY HAVE THE INGREDIENTS FOR SUCCESS: RESULTS (You’ve gotten results for yourself.) + YOUR GIFT (You unique wisdom, experience, or expertise you can share.) YOUR PROCESS (Your step-by-step curriculum for achieving the result) YOUR RESULTS-BASED SIGNATURE COACHING PACKAGE

+ =

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER INTO YOUR RESULTS-BASED SIGNATURE COACHING PACKAGE It’s a “signature” coaching package because it’s something unique to you! It’s you’re the gift you can offer your clients, neatly packaged with a bow! It’s the greater purpose behind being a coach! And, because you are easily able to identify and explain the RESULTS you get your clients, you no longer have to try to convince anyone to want coaching. Instead, you tell them the problem you can solve for them and they automatically “get it”! Now, sometimes it is challenging to identify your ideal coaching niche, your gift, or your process. Odds are, you’ve reached the end of this article and haven’t yet had your “eureka!” moment. It’s okay.

Building a successful coaching business doesn’t happen over night.

Finding the right niche can take weeks, months, or even years. And, as you can see from our story, it often evolves over time. But, I do hope that the steps I laid out in this article will help get you started identifying the results you can offer your clients—your gift to them! More importantly, I hope you can see why creating a results-based signature coaching package designed specifically for your tribe of ideal clients within your niche is the key to building a successful coaching business. Now, get out there and give your gift to the world! Your clients need you. This article is an excerpt from the online course “Create Your Signature Coaching Package”. If you want help identifying your niche, gift, and process and create a results-based signature coaching package that sells itself, find out more at www.Transformation-Academy. com. We want you to love your package, so we’re offering this course for only $47 this month! Enter LOVEMYPACKAGE when you check out.

Ignite Life with Natalie Rivera

Natalie Rivera is a firestarter, speaker and entrepreneur. She is passionate about empowering others to GET REAL and live authentically. After a decade of living a life that wasn’t hers and developing Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Natalie let go of everything and completely transformed. Through her journey to healing she rediscovered her true self and greater purpose—to inspire others to transform their lives. Natalie “retired” from the rat race at 24, put herself through school as a freelance designer, created a non-profit teen center, and later created Transformation Services, Inc., which offers motivational speaking, curriculum development, life coaching, event management, and publishing. She is also the Publisher of Transformation Magazine. Visit


Paint Your Own Masterpiece (Coaching the Coach)

COACHING THE COACH by Terez Hartmann


As we each embark upon the ever-evolving journey of coaching, leading, mentoring and elevating our fellow human beings using a diverse array of tools, I believe there is a universal, core principle that all great coaches share in common: They embody what they teach and lead by example. You have chosen this path at a time in history when demonstrating productive authenticity and providing living examples that thriving IS possible has become more valuable than ever before. Along with the incredible opportunities and blessings afforded to us via 21st century technology, you and I—like our clients—are also bombarded by terabytes of data each day that can either move us rapidly toward or away from who we truly are and what we truly


desire in just a moment’s time. With this being said, holding the high ground by continually “coaching the coach” to keep yourSELF in a space of clarity, focus and excellence can and will positively impact more lives that you can possibly imagine! Whether you have started a new coaching business or have always been in the business of being a catalyst who revels in igniting lives, it is my intention to share words, ideas, stories and fuel to help you do whatever it takes to BE a light and keep YOUR fire burning bright for the benefit of ALL. Here’s to allowing YOUR success, living life on FIRE, having the courage and audacity to thrive no matter what, and to helping others claim and express their luminescence so that together we can continue to light up the world!

This piece (also a song) was inspired by many personal events of my own life. It is my belief that any and every experience can provide color and texture that can be channeled to transform your life and self in powerful, productive ways, it’s simply a matter of perspective. May “Color” speak to the artist in you. Sometimes you’re in a moment That can feel monochromatic Or even in a pointed place That can seem so dramatic What if instead of black and white You saw all things in shades of light With everything meant to invite The artist inside? The color of time, the color of life Every shade is beautiful Just a different ray of light The color of hope, the color of dreams Every shade that you perceive Is just another path to lead To a work of art like no other And a beautiful world filled with color What if there was no good or bad Only what you choose to choose? One day the vibrant fire of red Then the depth of ocean blue? No matter where you are today Just use the colors to create The masterpiece and broader view Of the shining facets of you With the color of time, the color of life Every shade is beautiful

Just a different ray of light The color of hope, the color of dreams Every shade that you perceive Is just another path to lead To a work of art like no other And a beautiful world filled with color Will it be yellow like a sunflower? Or purple royalty? Magenta, orange, silver? Or the brightest shade of green? And with the changing canvas Of every brand new day You get to choose the colors That you will use today So paint with… The color of time, the color of life Every shade is beautiful Just a different ray of light The color of hope, the color of dreams Every shade that you perceive Is just another path to lead To a work of art like no other And a beautiful world filled with… Color!

THE BOTTOM LINE ON COACHING THE COACH: Regardless of the colors that time and life may present to you, may you always remember that it is YOU who holds the brush, YOU who selects which colors to use, and YOU who decides HOW to use those colors. So…


ALLOWING YOUR SUCCESS with Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann

Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann,“Your catalyst for all things Fab-YOU-lous,” is the author of Allowing Your Success!, a proud contributing author of Transform Your Life! book one and two, a professional Keynote Speaker/ Workshop Facilitator, Singer-Songwriter/Recording Artist, “Allowing Adventures!” & “Savor Vacation” Facilitator, and true Renaissance Woman, and Visionary. She keeps her fire lit by embracing and promoting a lifestyle of “Allowing,” and by using creative expression to elevate and ignite the human spirit, a passion that she shares with her husband, soul-mate and creative partner of over 15 years, John Victor Hartmann. Together they share “Allowing TRUE LOVE” workshops and experiences designed to help others attract, allow, and maintain extraordinary relationships, and create custom jingles and voice-overs in their studio, THE Creativity Express. Visit:


A Heartbeat to Remember

A Heartbeat to

Every heartbeat represents God’s intention that you have a purpose in the world and a reason to be alive. By Alan Cohen While checking out at a grocery store I noticed that a cashier had an unusual tattoo on her forearm. “What is that tattoo?” I asked Ciani. She smiled. “It’s a copy of the EKG of my grandmother’s last heartbeat.” Suddenly the checkout process faded to background. I wanted to hear more.

“I loved my grandma very much, and I was with her in the hospital at her last moment,” Ciani went on. “As a memory of our connection, I asked the nurse for a printout of her EKG, and I had it turned into a tattoo. Whenever I look at it, it reminds me of her and I feel close to her.” 10

As I drove home, I couldn’t get the image out of my mind. It jogged me to consider the value of one heartbeat. Our heart beats about 100,000 times per day and 34 million times in a year. We generally go about our business taking our heartbeats for granted. Yet I’m sure that as Ciani sat with her grandma on the threshold of her passing, she and her family would have given anything for those heartbeats to go on. In that moment one heartbeat meant everything. One day all of our hearts will stop beating, but while they still pulse we would do well to count them all as precious. Every heartbeat represents God’s intention that you have a purpose in the world and a reason to be alive. While many of us believe we are here to achieve a notable act or make lots of money, our real mission is based on the quality of our relationships. At the end of our life it is not our time in the office we will remember, but the meaningful moments with our family and loved ones.

Let’s tell them, “I love you” and do things to demonstrate that love while they are with us. You might believe that there are things you have to do that are necessarily boring or annoying, and you just have to put up with them and wait until you have some free time to enjoy yourself. Yet if your intention is to live fully, you can turn any situation into a platform for aliveness through connection. During a shuttle bus ride from an airport to a rental car outlet, I found

the van driver to be delightful. This woman was super welcoming, upbeat and helpful. She joked with the customers and made the ride a pleasure rather than drudgery. I was so moved by the driver that I sent her manager an e-mail complimenting her. The next time I arrived at that airport I encountered the same driver, and I told her I had sent a positive note on her behalf. Hearing that, she lit up and told me she had printed out that e-mail, framed it, and hung it on the wall of her home. The e-mail took me but a few minutes to write, but its effect extended far beyond words. A Course in Miracles tells us that the quickest route to enlightenment is to make the most of our interpersonal connections. While being with people can be annoying, it can also be exhilarating and healing. A Jewish friend of mine went to the airport to pick up a revered rabbi who was giving a presentation at the local synagogue. As the two were driving toward the exit of the airport parking lot, the driver was try-

ing to decide whether to go through an automatic toll payment lane or a lane staffed by a person. The rabbi told my friend, “Let’s go through the lane with a person. The Creator gave us each other as gifts to enhance our lives, and we must never miss the opportunity to connect.” The next time I went back to the grocery store I asked Ciani how she liked her job. “It’s pretty good,” she answered, “but sometimes I get bored.” “Is there any way your job could be more exciting?” I asked. She thought for a moment. “Not that I can think of. It just is what it is.” I told her that I was really impressed by her story about her tattoo and I wanted to write an article about it, hopefully to inspire others to value their meaningful relationships. I asked her if I could use her story for that purpose. “Now that would be exciting!” she replied.

When we do things meaningful to us, we set into motion a ripple of positive events that moves everyone it touches. Ciani’s grandmother loved her immensely, which stimulated Ciani to get the tattoo as a memento. I was touched by seeing the tattoo and inspired to write about it. The idea of the article uplifted Ciani and suddenly her job become exciting. Perhaps you reading this will inspire you to value your relationships and express your love to someone or take a mundane situation and lift it to soul reward. A Course in Miracles tells us that when you do an act of kindness, it may go on to touch thousands of people you never even meet. Behold the value of one heartbeat.

GET REAL with Alan Cohen Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the bestselling A Course in Miracles Made Easy. Become a certified professional life coach through Alan’s popular Life Coach Training beginning Sept 1. For more information about this program, Alan’s books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit


Banish the Dark Clouds & Seek the Sun

By Kate Pennell


Not long ago we had visitors from England. It was a time of the year when it was anything but sunny there, and they loved to be outside in the Spanish autumnal We want to grow tall and strong; rays. They just soaked it up with smiles on we want to flourish. If we have people in our their faces. But it was more than the weathlives who strangle us like vines, we need to er; they needed some sunlight in their soul. put some distance between us and them. They take our sunlight and can smother us with their need or their poisonous seeds. It sounds dramatic, I know, but have a think Sunlight gives us warmth and light. about your relationships—then write down We’re not plants, but we also need this to some notes. fter meeting with these people do grow. I need warmth and light in my life, you feel nourished or drained? Do any of don’t you? Not just physically but in my them feel like miserable rain clouds (negarelationships and the situations that I find tivity), storm clouds (aggression, anger, dramyself in. ma), or smothering vines? It is doubtful that you will be able to give and receive light and warmth with these people. Seek sunlight.


When we’re in a relationship that produces constant negativity, it can be like we’re living under a heavy, dark cloud. Our situations can feel far away from light and growth, shut in. However, unlike a plant, we have the option to move. 12

DITCH THE MUNDANE Things can catch at us and snag

us like brambles. We can become caught in the mundane drudgery of life. It can get us down, like damp, cold, foggy weather that gets into your bones and wears at your resistance and health.

Living under a dark cloud is hard on the soul.

Life can feel to be “always winter and never Christmas.” In The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe the Narnians had to wait for someone else to break the cycle, whereas we don’t. Aslan’s arrival is always good news, but we can choose to change our own situations. Those changes can be physical changes: If you’re in a soul-sucking job, change it if you can. Sometimes just planning our exit strategy from a situation gives us the energy we need to maintain our own light in the darkness. As we begin to take steps, the brighter our light becomes. Take the course, do the research, create a dream line and a plan.

In other situations, I appreciate that we cannot just up and leave; we’re currently rooted too strongly. The same goes for some relationships. Here our changes need to be internal, and these can be just as powerful. Our situations or relationships may not change but rather we change within those situations or relationships. If we wait for our happiness, our fulfillment, to come from outside of our selves we will be waiting forever. By empowering ourselves we can find our own happiness and fulfillment that can then flow out from us into the places and people we touch.

THE POWER OF CHOICE Having a negative or positive

mindset is a choice. To be bitter and begrudging or to forgive is a choice. To react emotionally or responded with wisdom to a situation is a choice. We have so many choices and can use the power of these choices. It all starts with us choosing to leave behind any victim mentality, choosing to be responsible for our own lives, and choosing to seek out sunlight. There is both power and warmth in that light.

Permission to Launch with Kate Pennell

Kate Pennell, English and slightly geekish, is a coach and dream catalyst who lives in Spain with three kids, various furry creatures and a patient husband. She loves nature, creativity and seeing people discover what truly makes them come alive. Kate provides the people she works with permission to launch and helps them begin to fly as they were made to. She teaches, encourages and connects with fellow travellers across our global village. Find out more at


Buddy, Can You Paradigm?

By Gregg Sanderson

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. —Viktor E. Frankl That Space is your BS1—Your NEED. A paradigm is the BS through which you view, feel and act in life. We all go through life subject to our personal paradigms. Some are supportive and propel you to happiness. Others less so and hold you back.

OLDYour PARADIGM BS claims all the bad feel-

ings are caused by outside circumstances beyond your control. You must learn to live with them, work through them, control them or avoid them. In other words, the old paradigm is Stimulus > Response. To get a different response, you try to change or remove the stimulus. If you get 1 2


upset when I do that, you must get me to stop doing that. Not always an easy thing to do. Thus, we have a society of victims. Here’s the paradigm shift. Change your BS (remove the bell clapper2.) Then you won’t get upset when I do that, and you won’t get bent out of shape trying to

make me stop doing that. Much easier.

NEWStimulus PARADIGM > BS > Response. All

the bad feelings are the results of BS. The needs aren’t part of you; they’re programs in your emotional computer. You can “upgrade” them and break the emotional attachment. The result is happiness and peace of mind. The new paradigm is stimulus triggers “BS programming,” which creates response. Physical pain tells you something in your body is out of harmony with its natural state of health. It’s time to get the healing to restore health. Emotional pain tells you something in your BS is out of harmony with your natural peaceful state. Upgrade the BS to restore peace of mind.

BS = Belief System. Did you think it was something else? Well, maybe. See last month’s column about the analogy of Quasimodo

As a computer would run any program that’s loaded into it, you can load a more positive program into that great computer between your ears. Then you feel better and everything works better. When you change the program to remove the bell clapper of need you don’t get tintinnabulation; you get peace no matter who pulls the rope.

Get this: THE ONLY THING THAT CAUSES UNHAPPINESS IS NEED (BS). That’s a tough pill to swallow, and it will take most of this book to fill in the details. You’ll soon see how your needs keep you stuck in justified misery and how easy it is to get out of it. Think about what happens when you need money. What are the results from a need for money? • •

You fear losing what you have. You envy those who have more than you do.

• • • • • • • •

You see others as either threats to or potential suppliers of your need. You alienate the people closest to you. You occupy your mind worrying and scheming to get more. You squander what you have. Seeing others with more lowers your self-esteem. You are never at peace when the subject comes up. Always needing more keeps you from enjoying what you have. You do destructive things to get more.

What if you don’t need money? Suppose you hit the lottery. That changes a lot, doesn’t it? • • • • • • • •

You don’t have to manipulate or control, because you have enough. You’re not afraid of losing. You’ve already won. It doesn’t matter how much somebody else has. You have plenty. You can enjoy people without thinking about what you can get from them. You’re closer to your loved ones because you don’t compete any more. Your mind is free to enjoy what’s happening. You make better choices. Your self-esteem isn’t affected, because

• •

it’s OK if somebody else has it, too. You’re always at peace, because you have enough—and you can enjoy it. You’re more likely to act in your own best interests, since you have enough.

Does that sound reasonable? Of course it does. All you have to do is upgrade the BS of lack with BS of enough. I once went to a recruiting meeting for a multilevel marketing company. One of the women claimed that she got her pleasure from helping other people get rich. Not so. She got her pleasure from her recruiting commission. Her need was so obvious, few in the room believed her. The energy of her BS repelled exactly what she was after. Another consequence of unsatisfied need. Think of the last time a pushy salesperson tried to “help” you. Were you more or less inclined to buy what they were selling? Of course, you’ll still do what it takes to get money. Maybe you didn’t win the lottery, but if you feel like you did, the second bullet list will hold true. If you don’t believe me, try this: Re-read those lists above, only instead of money, think of sex. Imagine acting

out of a need for sex and then from a position of satisfaction. Every single line still holds true. Try those lists with a few more needs. Can you think of a need of yours that caused a breakup? I’ll bet you can think of one (or more) of your ex’s. Think about a need for attention, approval or agreement. Same thing. Everything on both lists still applies.

NEED is an acronym. It stands for: Never Ending Expectations & Demands It doesn’t only make you feel bad. It has its effect on the rest of your world, too. Next month we’ll show you how BS controls your life, and what you can do about it.

Happiness is BS with Gregg Sanderson

Gregg Sanderson is author of Spirit With A Smile, The World According To BOB. He is a licensed practitioner in the Centers for Spiritual Living, and a Certified Trainer for Infinite Possibilities. His earlier books were, What Ever Happened To Happily Ever After? and Split Happens—Easing The Pain Of Divorce. His latest project is the New Thought Global Network, where subscribers can enjoy the best in New Thought presentations from anywhere at any time. You can see it at




The Anatomy The Anatomy of Attachment, Part 2

of Attachment In the beginning…childhood attachment styles set the stage for the development of long-term relationship patterns. By Lotus Josiah Seng

The security of a commitment along with healthy attachment create positive inner work models of self and others based on both clients’ own internal functioning and the outside world—models without significant distortions. Unsafe attachment leads to dysfunctional coping strategies, limited ability to mentalize and problematic relational functioning.


these early relationship patterns are reactivated and influential. The extent to which the coach and the client create a relationship with attachment can 18

impact how positive the outcome of the coaching objectives will be. This is significant because the bonding in the relationship forms the basis for the transformation. For people with complex trauma or challenges, the process of attachment serves as actual therapy, and this process works the same way when coaching relationships are created. Therefore, the pressure in recent years for coaches to work short-term and problemoriented—which has increased sharply since 2010—is not a constructive development. For this three-part series, we will look at relationships and attachment styles of children and adults in parts one and two and then translate them to the coachclient relationship in part three. My goal is to explore the aspects of the client-coach relationship in connection with healthy boundaries, and also to look at how codependency issues form in a relationship and how to avoid having complaints filed against you as coach when a coach-client relationship is perceived as unsafe.

Part 2 ATTACHMENT STRATEGIES ARE THE VISIBLE BEHAVIORS THAT WERE DEVELOPED FROM THE NEED TO HANDLE STRESSFUL SITUATIONS, AND 70 TO 80 PERCENT OF CHILDREN’S ATTACHMENT CATEGORIES CAN BE PREDICTED KNOWING THE CAREGIVER’S ATTACHMENT STYLE. In 1985 an interview was conducted (Main, Kaplan and Cassidy), which furthered the body of research on attachment. Adults in a semi-structured interview (Adult Attachment Interview, AAI) were asked to recall and discuss attachment experiences. When assessing their answers, the content of the stories was not central, but, rather, the current mental representations of those previous experiences. Through this methodology, the researchers gained access to the unconscious layers of mental functioning.

Basic charts of self and others based on early attachments experiences are stored in the so-called “procedural or implicit memory.” This memory contains implicit relational knowledge that is shaped in the first years of life, before the development of language. It’s where daily life automations, the reactions we show without consciously thinking about them—our “bodily reactions”—are stored. The AAI shows how adults store information about their attachment figures. The quality, quantity, relevance and style of adult responses all were evaluated. Quality reflects the story based on truth and what can be sub-

stantiated. Quantity says something about the completeness of the story. Relevance refers to the ability to stay with the topic, and style refers to the ability to use clear and comprehensible language. It has been found that people who can not coherently think about their own attachment experiences have insecure attached children. Seventy to 80 percent of children’s attachment categories can be predicted with the caregiver’s attachment styles as measured by the AAI. The AAI also charted four attachment styles.

Attachment Styles in Adults: Four Patterns 1. Autonomously attached

adults (corresponding to the safe-attached child from the “strange situation test” in Part 1, which appears in the February issue) can reflect on their experiences with adherents, having access to emotional informa19

tion about the attachment. They can keep enough distance to evaluate their situations—even when it comes to painful experiences—without sacrificing, denying or stabbing the details of their effects. 2. Avoiding attached

people (corresponding to the anxiously avoiding child in Part 1) devalue the importance of bonding experiences or idealize the family of origin. They deny the impact of past traumas and emphasize their own possibilities and self-reliance. They often seem to recall little of their early experiences and the associated emotions.

From Linear to Circular Parent/Child Relationships

At first, the process of attachment seems to be characterized by linear development; if the parents are caring and sensitive, the child is securely attached. Traditionally, psychoanalytic theories mean that the child internalizes an image of a caregiver capable of confining conflicts and fears. In this way, the child develops a 3. Occupied structure that allows for the confinepeople (corresponding to the ment of conflicts and fears. Schematianxious ambivalent child in Part 1) over- cally proposed: estimate their former attachment experiences. They are hardly loose from negative emotions about their parents’ shortcomings. They use an excess of details and the story often becomes chaotic. Their confidence in their own possibilities is small. They are hyper-alert But the theory of the underto signs of support, acceptance and lying processes of adhesion has develapproval or rejection, and tend to give oped further. With the development meaning to others’ behavior against this of the AAI, the actual events of childbackground. hood were released and became the indicator of safe or non-secure attach4. Dedicated attached adults do not process their ment, indicating the extent to which trauma. Their ability to reason logically and the way someone is able to reseems to be disturbed. In their role as flect on past events and relationships a parent, their traumas become visible and think about the impact on current in the form of sudden, sometimes in- functioning. This introduces the concomprehensible and bizarre, emotional cept of “meta-cognitive ability.” The step of looking at what expressions that make their behavior has happened to watching how it is whimsical and unpredictable for their reflected and spoken is of great imchildren. The unpredictability of the reportance. It means that someone actions is probably the basis of disorgawith a traumatic history can be scored nized attachment reactions (from Part 1) as “safe” and it implicitly means that in their children. change in the perception of experi-


ences is possible. What has happened can not change; how it is felt and thought can change and, thus, also the impact of the event(s) on later life.

“OLD PAIN CAN BE SO SEVERE THAT WE BELIEVE THAT THOSE FEELINGS CAN STILL HARM US. WE ARE AFRAID WE CAN NOT STAND STRONG OR WILL GO CRAZY. WE KNOW ALL THIS BUT IT’S A WELL-KEPT SECRET: OLD PAIN CAN BE A PART OF US AND WILL NOT HARM US.” This is what psychologist Tanya Bonner, developer of Past Reality Integration Therapy, discovered in her research. Knowing what we feel makes it possible to regulate and influence triggers and impulses, which enables us to experience our own actions effectively. The British Clinical Psychologist Peter Fonagy (1997) introduced the concept of “mentalization,” a mental function that enables children (and later adults) to portray the inner world of others in terms of mental states such as emotions, intentions or attitudes. In part, the behavior of other people is felt to be meaningful and predictable. Exploring the inner world of others is inextricably linked to the meaning of their own experiences and may also be of great importance in developing the sense of self-esteem. This is about the ability to grant a “mental state” to

others, apart from their own psychic reality. Fonagy also speaks of a “theory of the psyche,” a “theory of mind” that enables us to understand the intentions and moods of others. He sees this as a circular process—not as a linear process. It is not the behavior of the mother in response to the child’s emotions that is decisive, but her interpretation of the meaning of the child’s emotion. It is her image of the child and of what it represents and her perception of the child’s emotions as threatening or not; this is what she returns to her child by her own response. Schematically proposed:

In this case, the meaning given to the child’s behavior is decisive. The emotions of the child are a threat to the mother when they act as “trigger” for her own unprocessed traumatic experiences of fear, abandonment, anger, etc. The mother loses the ability to see the child as her own personality, apart from her own emotions. Therefore, the meaning the mother gives to the child’s behavior will form the basis for the child’s perception of self, that is, for the child’s developing feelings.


to regulate his affections. This child learns: what I feel is horrible, and it will be difficult to contain his feelings. The reactions of these mothers arise from their own inner work models based on the unconscious experiences (stored in procedural memory) of their own attachment experiences.

In Summary Attachment strategies are the visible behaviors that were developed from the need to handle stressful situations. Alone, they do not indicate psychological health or emotional dysfunction. The attachment system is only activated in situations that are stressful or threatening. Under stress, old “coping” strategies, either the non-reflective internal work models or inadequate metacognitive capabilities, become visible. They produce psychical dysfunction whereas the client can no longer direct his or her own emotions and behavior, which can result in disturbed interpersonal relationships, as well as conflicts with others at work or in intimate relationships.

The mother teaches the child to ultimately take control of his emotions by the (nonverbal) communication of her understanding of his mental state. A missing mother who finds her child whining without seeing that it is hungry or hurt or afraid, does not acknowledge his emotional condition, We will dealve into the client relationship even if the child gets to eat or an oint- in Part 3 of this series. Stay tuned. ment is applied on his buttocks. This child learns: I am a whiner, and he will minimize his emotional reactions. A preoccupied mother recognizes the child’s emotions, but if this causes strong emotions within herself, she will not be able to teach the child

Map. Your. Future. with Lotus Josiah Seng, Ph.D. Lotus Josiah Seng, MA., Ph.D., is a Certified Change Management Professional; Certified and Associated IWCA Master Coach; Master Expert NLP; Certified Expert Lean Management Practitioner; CSSB. She is the owner of ETSbyLotus, LLC, a coaching, mediation and consulting firm with offices in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and New York. Currently, nine coaches are affiliated with the firm. Lotus has developed two 15-step methodologies 1) “The Mecca of Your Mind©”; and 2) “Mapping. Your. Future.©” for personal growth, career development and improving relationships. Both are infused with the concepts of utilizing the strengths of the left and right side of the brain. Lotus and her team work as a coaches and mediators with couples, siblings, families and executives to foster personal growth, improving relationships, and all aspects of communication. For more information email: lotus@ or follow Lotus on Twitter at EtsbyLotus or Instagram at Sheswalkingwithwings.



The Unsavory Ingredients Hiding in Your Favorite



Hiding in Your Favorite Foods By Ashar Mohammed What makes jellybeans shiny, why does packaged bread stay fresh for weeks, and which condiment should you save for dessert? Here is the scoop. We live in a time of information overload. Facts are at our fingertips. Any day, any time we can learn more and find deeper truths about things that are important to us. In the past decade or so, food has become a hot topic of conversation in many circles: where it originated, how it is made, varying alternatives, which recipes suit certain foods best, and more. Why? Because food is fun! It’s part of our everyday lives. Food gives us energy and brings people together.

Food, in a sense, is life. Or at least part of it. And, as is true with many things in life, there are often some hidden, disturbing truths. Food is no exception. Sometimes food has secrets, especially foods that many of us consider favorites. They are sometimes sweet, sometimes an occasional expensive treat, and sometimes even full of childhood memories.

SHREDDED CHEESE IS MORE THAN JUST CHEESE. Our grandmothers would probably balk at the laziness that is shredded cheese. (Or jump for joy at the genius of skipping such a muscle-heavy preparation step.) But did you know that shredded cheese is mixed with cellulose to keep it from clumping? Cellulose is refined wood pulp. That’s right. Eating pre-shredded cheese means you’re also munching on itsy bitsy pieces of wood. No wonder I once heard renowned cook Ree Drummond say on her TV show, “The Pioneer Woman,” that it is practically a crime not to shred your own cheese! She’s just trying to save us from wood pulp…and bring a little exercise routine into the kitchen. Since I learned this, my arm muscles are stronger!

to label meats containing the substance. THERE IS SOMETHING NOTSO-SWEET IN OREOS. I will confess that my college days were full of Oreos. Dipped in milk, topped with a dollop of peanut butter, or crushed into a batch of homemade brownies, Oreos were staple in my life. But there is something I (and I bet you) didn’t know about Oreos, specifically that perfect crème filling. Retired nutrition consultant Alissa Helton shares with HealthyWay that “The main ingredient in Oreo filling is the commercial version of Crisco!” No wonder it’s so smooth! Why is this ingredient a concern? Helton has the scoop: “Crisco or ‘vegetable shortening’ is highly processed and made from ingredients that are typically genetically

YOUR BUTCHER MIGHT BE GLUING YOUR STEAKS TOGETHER. “Meat glue” is a white, powdery substance that can be used to stick two pieces of beef together. It looks just like marbling in the meat, and it’s ideal when a butcher needs to do something with the scraps he’s got laying around the table. The good news is that it’s not thought to be dangerous, although some consumer groups are pushing supermarket chains

It’s easy to turn a blind eye to the ingredient list on our favorite foods, but knowledge is power. Take a peek at the list below and see if one of your favorite foods is hiding a secret you may not know. 22

modified (soy and palm fruit which, incidentally, are not vegetables), and it is hydrogenated (hydrogen is bubbled through the oil at high temperature to make it solid at room temperature). “The end result is a food-like product that might have made for good soap and candles in 1911, back when the meat industry controlled the price of the critical lard needed for soap and candle making, but is hardly suitable as a food source today!”

Which means, yes, if you’ve eaten a fig, you have also eaten a wasp… or what once was a wasp. It all begins with the pollination process. There are both male and female fig plants, and in conjunction with the fig wasp they participate in mutualism, meaning that they rely on each other to exist. When pollinating begins, a female wasp enters a female fig plant, breaking off her antennae and wings in the process. There she births her larvae and BREAD OFTEN CONTAINS dies because the structure of the plant L-CYSTEINE, WHICH IS MADE doesn’t allow her to exit. The fig plant diFROM DUCK FEATHERS. gests her body, and the remaining wasp L-cysteine is an amino acid, and protein is now part of the fig fruit. it’s an essential preservative; it’s one of the reasons that your store-bought bread lasts CHOCOLATE IS BREAKING for more than a week, while your grandma’s HEARTS. home-cooked loaf starts to turn green after I’ve long been a chocolate lova few days. It’s often made from duck feath- er—and I know some of you can relate. ers, cow horns, hog hair and even human But there is a long-standing concern hair. Of course, by the time it’s added to when it comes to sourcing in the chocoyour bread, it just looks like a nondescript late industry. Most of this worry is based liquid, but still—you’ll probably wish that in the raising and harvesting of cocoa you didn’t know about L-cysteine the next in West Africa. In and of itself, that isn’t time you make a sandwich. a bad thing. Sourcing ingredients from There is such a thing as synthetic L- their prime location is part of our global cysteine, by the way, and you can often find economy; however, what should not be it by looking for Kosher-friendly foods. part of global economy is human rights abuses. According to the Food EmpowWASPS PROBABLY LOVE erment Project, the chocolate industry is FIGS MORE THAN YOU DO. marked by child slavery. Arthur Gillett, cofounder and head I know. My hankering for a of research for HowGood, an independent candy bar is disappearing at the thought, research organization that aims to detertoo. So before you buy your next chocomine the overall sustainability of food, late treat, do a little research. There is shares: “There is a digested queen wasp in amazing, high-quality chocolate availevery open pollinated fig.”

able—just look for fair trade chocolate, and you’ll know where to begin sampling the good stuff. AVOID THIS SEAWEED. Not everyone loves to read labels. Especially when they’re full of generic food terms, unpronounceable additives, and other mysteries. But, pause with me now, and walk over to your freezer. Grab a container of ice cream and glance at the ingredient list. You probably see milk and sugar and ingredients specific to the flavoring, but do you also see carrageenan? This is a popular setting agent in desserts like ice cream and gelato. Now, where does carrageenan come from, you ask? It’s derived from seaweed! According to Sally Morgan, a holistic physical therapist and cancer survivor, carrageenan has been linked to a number of illnesses including cancer. So, if you’re being mindful about cancer prevention and aiming to avoid potentially harmful ingredients, do your best to find an ice cream that does not list carrageenan in the ingredients. JELLYBEANS DON’T SHINE BY THEMSELVES. Jellybeans are appealing for a few reasons. Talk about fun colors and amazing flavors! And that shiny coating is pretty tempting, especially with that first bite when you crunch through and experience the soft “jelly” explosion. But did you know that that shiny coating, often referred to as shellac, is derived from a bug? That’s right, shellac, the same composition that makes floors extra shiny, is made from a Southeast Asian bug’s resinous secretion. I’m sure I’m not alone in


saying that bug secretions aren’t usually on MAYBE SAVE THAT KETCHmy list of favorite things! UP FOR AFTER DINNER… Was ketchup a childhood staple ARE WE NUTS? for you? Is it still your favorite dipping Peanuts are legumes, which, for sauce? Well, it’s no wonder! Abraham those of you who don’t have advanced deKamarck of True Made Foods, a company grees in biology, means that they’re closer that aims to naturally sweeten its prodto peas than to walnuts. Other than Corn ucts with sweet vegetables, revealed that, Nuts, which we all know aren’t nuts— “cup vs. cup, ketchup has 21 more grams right?—everything else that we call a nut is, of sugar than vanilla ice cream. Three more specifically, a tree nut. servings of ketchup (3x tablespoons) has RANCH DRESSING IS A COUS- more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughIN WITH WHAT? nut (12 g).” Well, they are not true cousins! Armed with that information it However, if you compare the ingredient lists looks like I need to find myself less sugof most commercial ranch dressings and ary ketchup or perhaps research a new sunscreen you will find that titanium dioxide dipping sauce to fall in love with. I’d is in both. Actually, titanium dioxide, which much rather eat my allotment of sugar in is derived from the metal titanium, is found doughnut form, thank you very much! in many items we use daily, because its white pigment is very bright and, thus, very IF YOU’RE GOING TO EAT appealing when it comes to presentation CHIPS, THESE ARE YOUR in things like paint, medicine, food, paper BEST BET. If regular Fritos are a favorite of and skincare products. The safety concerns yours, don’t be alarmed. Jasmine Himes, of titanium dioxide, especially as a food ina fitness instructor and nutrition student gredient, are controversial. We are sure to says, “Fritos have always only had 3 inhear more about this in the years to come gredients…corn, salt and oil. That makes as emerging research is presented. them my chip of choice.” Yes, back to the COFFEE CREAMER IS MISSbasics! And in this case, the basics are ING ONE IMPORTANT INGREquite delicious. DIENT. Time to meander back to the re- DOES KOMBUCHA LIVE UP frigerator. Find your favorite coffee creamer TO THE HYPE? Have a friend who is conand scan the ingredient list. Is something stantly guzzling kombucha, claiming it’s missing? There is on mine! There is no like a “healthy” soda, but 10 times betcream listed! No real, true cream in the ter? Before you jump on the kombucha coffee creamer? What gives? No wonder bandwagon, take into account this inPinterest is full of “make your own coffee sight from nutritional therapist Nichole creamer” recipes, and my grandma always Eliason: “Kombucha contains beneficial opted for basic cream and sugar.

probiotic bacteria for the gut microbiome, but its yeast-like strain can cause individuals with mold exposure illness or fungal infections to experience systemic inflammation and elevated liver enzymes. It can also worsen symptoms of post infectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) due to adding to the overgrowth in the small intestine. To define ‘healthy food’ it all comes down to bio individual needs.” So, although kombucha can be beneficial to your gut, it isn’t necessarily for everyone. WRAPPING IT UP Did this list make you questions one of your favorite foods? That’s okay! Just because you have some behind-the-scenes information on a food you love doesn’t mean it has to be blacklisted from your fridge or pantry. Everyone deserves a little indulgence on occasion. With this new knowledge, all you need to do is monitor how often your favorite food finds its way onto your kitchen table. Let the stories behind chocolate, ranch dressing, kombucha, and more lead you to find balance.

Give your purchases a little more thought, dig into those ingredient lists, and share what you find with those around you. Being a more educated consumer is better for us all.

Pursue Your Freedom with Ashar Mohammed Ashar Mohammed is Nutritionist, Networking Business Coach, NLP Practitioner, Life Coach, and the author of Home Work Out Bible and Healthy Eating. After earning a MBA, Ashar worked in business for his family and on his own for 13 years, until becoming a coach in 2015. Now pursuing his true passion, Ashar has helped thousands of people around the world to achieve their freedom—freedom from disease, freedom of time, and travel and financial freedom. For more information, visit his blog at


Is Your Grocery Store

Is the Grocery Store Hypnotizing You?

• By Rena Greenberg

If you think you can’t be “hypnotized,” it’s important to realize that hypnosis is an everyday experience in our society. Do you ever wonder why you often spend more than you expected to when you go grocery shopping? The grocery store industry is a multibillion-dollar business, and food industry executives understand the power of subconscious influence—whether they call it hypnosis or not. Be aware—they are not using hypnosis in a way that serves you. The food industry is doing its best to make sure that shopping is a hypnotic experience. Food companies spend millions of dollars each year researching human behavior, and the grocery store industry has figured out how to get us to spend more money each time we run into the store to “pick up a few things.” Have you ever noticed any of these little hypnotic influencers?

• •

placed at kids’ eye level. • The “sales” at the aisle ends are typically paid advertisements and not really such great values. • Prices are often doubled on goods and then offered as “Buy One Get One Free” deals. Why am I bringing this to your attenGrocery store carts have become tion? Because if you think you can’t be “hypbigger and bigger over time, so notized,” it’s important to realize that hypnoyou never quite feel like your cart sis is an everyday experience in our society. is full. Did you ever notice that? The issue really is whether you can The flat shelves that used to be at master self-hypnosis. Are you able to prothe checkout have mostly been gram your own mind to do what you conremoved, making it much more sciously want to do? That’s easy to answer. difficult to remove something Do you have the results in your life that you from your cart at the last minute. are longing for? Bright-colored items and enticing Are you happy? Peaceful? Feeling smells are placed in the front of completely nurtured in your relationships? the store to make you “feel good.” Is your life’s work fulfilling to you? Are you “Happy” music is played in most healthy? Are you at your ideal weight? Are stores, accompanied by bright, yet you doing the things you say you want to do? soothing lights. Both are engiAre you financially free? neered to make you feel cheeriIf you can’t answer “yes” to these er—enticing you to shop more. questions, be gentle with yourself . . .it’s a The most common items people process. Be true to yourself if you want to buy are milk and bread. That’s live the life of your dreams. Take steps to why they are placed at the back get on the right track, become aware of how of the store. This way you have to companies and industries are trying to sepass all the multicolored, tempt- duce you, and then use hypnosis knowingly ing canned and boxed food items for your own benefit. to get to them. The candy at the checkout Awareness is the first step counters and the boxes of sugary toward change. cereals that have toys in them are

Love Life, Live Happy, Live Healthy with Rena Greenberg Rena Greenberg, a Hay House author, can be reached at Her weight loss and gastric bypass hypnosis success has been featured in 150-plus news stories including USA Today, Woman’s World, The Doctor’s, CNN, Good Morning America and Nightline. PBS stations nationally aired Rena’s show, “Easy Willpower,” in August 2015. Her wellness program is sponsored in 75 hospitals and 100-plus corporations. She conducts hypnotherapy sessions with people all over the world on Skype.


Let Your Light Let Your Light Shine



As winter continues it’s chilly path forward, we find ourselves maybe staying a little closer to home, feeling warmth in familiar surroundings, wondering when the buds of the trees will peak out again. It is during this time of year that I find myself sitting in pools of sunlight, marveling at the strength of the sun and it’s ability to transform so many things. Recently, I attended a weekend yoga workshop in which the central theme of the weekend was “storytelling.” Stories were woven in and out of each session, one connecting to another in the most unexpected ways. During the weekend, we were asked again and again to come back to the stories we tell ourselves—those that limit us and those that open doors of presence and truth, those that have been with us “forever” and those we’ve picked up along the way. And we pondered how those stories have affected our lives. What story do you tell yourself when you approach something new or challenging? What voice or theme from the past either encourages you onward or draws you down so that you want to hide? If you have been “on the path” for a while, you might know your background stories—the ones playing on the reel of your energetic or emotional memories. For me, I have peeled back multiple layers of my life’s story, like a detective peering through the muck trying to figure out what is true and what is not. My background story tends to be that I am not good enough; it has been there since childhood. And as that story played out in my life, it only made me try harder, yet I continued to question whether I was


really good enough—to be loved, to be accepted, to teach, to stand in the truth of who I am at the core of my being. As Marianne Williamson said in her powerful poem titled Our Deepest Fear, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” And then it happened, at the workshop… the “ah ha” moment of truth, as my story played out again. In a room full of teachers, with an accomplished teacher at the helm, I was called to the center of the room to demonstrate an assist I had done with another student. And oddly enough, I felt unsure, inadequate, as I stumbled through my words. I remember thinking that I didn’t know as much as the lead instructor did…I wondered if I would look foolish, standing up there with all those other teachers in the room…called out as it were. I got through it and sat back down, and no doubt it wasn’t as bad as it felt for me, but I was stunned by the story of “not good enough” that I was again feeling in my heart after all these *#)#* years! How utterly exhausting. And then I looked at the teacher in front of me and I realized that, yes, there will always be someone who knows more than me, just as there will always be someone who knows less than me…and that knowing “more” or “less” is not what is important. What’s really important is that each time I show up, each time I bring forth my experience— the times when I’ve felt whole and the times when I’ve stumbled, the things I have learned and questioned and wondered about and lived through— those wholly authentic expressions of my life are what make me real and whole and enough. The culmination of my life has brought me here, today, and that is what I have to offer the world. And all of the things you have experienced and felt and known deep in your heart are what make you who you are—fully human and uniquely brave and certainly worthy.

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON SAID, “OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS NOT THAT WE ARE INADEQUATE. OUR DEEPEST FEAR IS THAT WE ARE POWERFUL BEYOND MEASURE. IT IS OUR LIGHT, NOT OUR DARKNESS THAT MOST FRIGHTENS US.” And later in her poem, she says, “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” I read somewhere that it takes great courage to love yourself and believe in yourself, even if it takes a lifetime. Let’s all start now. So I come back to the question: What stories have you been telling yourself and are they still true? Are they reflective of who you are, or just some background noise that you’ve forgotten is still playing? You see, stories have an important role in our lives. They connect us to our past and to the thread that winds it’s way through all of humankind. Stories can fill the ache in our hearts and remind us of who we are, so let’s remember them and speak them often. But what is so powerful about storytelling is this: What we tell ourselves matters. So why not be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous and enough? With love and light, may you always know that you are enough! Namaste’.

The Yoga of Life with Mary Boutieller Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at:


What’s Age Got to Do with It?

What’s Age Got to Do with It? It is never too late to be what you might have been. —George Eliot By Noelle Sterne, Ph.D. Can you believe you’re already (gulp) ____ years old? Do you feel it’s too late to do that secret something you’ve always dreamed of? Do you keep repeating that you’re too old-tired-sickweak-set-in-your-ways-disorganized-undisciplined-busy-uneducated-rusty-fearful-fat-thin-poor-far behind . . . ? Or maybe you’ve bought into the subtle beliefs that so many people catch like the flu. They all start with “You get to be a certain age and . . . • You’re supposed to think only of retirement. • You’re supposed to look forward to retirement. • You’re supposed to get all kinds of ailments. • You’re supposed to live quietly, meekly, resignedly. • You’re not supposed to even think about doing many things, much less break new ground. • You’re supposed to wail, “It’s too late!”

Well, you do not have to accept such contagions, especially today. 28

The number of older adults in the United States has grown to “unprecedented” numbers in our history, and they’re more healthy, educated, and active than ever before. In fact, the number of older adults was predicted to double from 2000 to 2030; centenarians have increased since 1990 by 53 percent! (“A Profile of Older Americans: Highlights,” Center for Elders and the Courts, National Center for State Courts,

OLD DOESN’T MEAN FOLD Contrary to our society’s insidi-

ous view, growing older doesn’t mean inevitably growing frailer, weaker, sicker. A few years ago, Connie Goldman and Richard Mahler published a myth-busting book called Secrets of Becoming a Late Bloomer. In the foreword, gerontologist, author, psychologist, and visionary thinker Ken Dychtwald gives an encouraging command:

The antiquated view of maturity as a period of stagnation and decline must be replaced once and for all with the reality that the latter part of life is an exciting time of growth, productivity and newfound pleasures—if we know the secrets of becoming a Late Bloomer. (p. xi) In Brendan Gill’s book, aptly titled Late Bloomers, he profiles 74 well-known and history-changing people from every area of life. All had one thing in common: they “bloomed” late. Surprisingly, it was an advantage:

The lateness is every bit as significant as the blooming. . . [I]t has to do with the moment in time at which we discover. . . some worthy means of fulfilling ourselves. . . If the hour happens to be later than we may have wished, take heart! So much more to be cherished is the bloom. (pp. 10-11)

A few of Gill’s (equally surprising) examples: Harry Truman, Paul Cezanne, R. Buckminster Fuller, Julia Child, Ed Sullivan, Charles Darwin, Pope John XXIII, Edward VII, Mary Baker Eddy, O. Henry, Mother Teresa, Miguel Cervantes, Jonathan Swift, Charles Ives, Edith Wharton, Sir Alexander Fleming.

Could it be that late bloomers flower bigger?

ORDINARY PEOPLE Maybe you’re saying, Yeah,

yeah, these are all famous people, talented and brilliant, not ordinary like me. Okay—here are two examples of “ordinary” people. At 64, when many people are ready to throw in the towel, spread it on their couch, and pick up the remote, Bill Weinacht (who incidentally did daily spiritual reading) resumed running. He’d stopped for 50 years. When he began again, he started to amass state medals and went on to world events. In Japan, he finished first place


in the 100 and 200 meters and set a world record. He was 76. Then Bill had triple bypass heart surgery. After four months (would you believe?), he was running again and winning more medals. At 84, he competed in the South Florida Senior Games (Kathleen Kernicky, “Still on Track,” Fort Lauderdale SunSentinel, February 4, 2001, p. 3E). Another—a friend of mine started tennis lessons at 32, “not an early age,” she admitted, to begin any sport. “I practiced six to seven hours a day, competing with teenage stars. Somehow my age or any idea of what old was didn’t stop me. When I finally retired, I had a reputation on the circuit, three shelves of trophies, and a scrapbook of full of clippings. I had fulfilled a lifelong dream.”

BARRIER BREAKERS The barriers and stereotypes are

breaking up and making news. Actors James Earl Jones at 82 and Angela Lansbury at 87 starred together in 2013 in a touring production of Driving Miss Daisy (http://news. Clint Eastwood at 87 continues to produce and direct stellar films and in 2013 said he dreams of making films for two more decades ( news/eastwood-says-hed-love-directingage-105-210648052.html). A woman in my town has a tremendously successful public relations and marketing firm. She’s just begun to think about retiring next year. Her age? 90. In June 2013, a man named Sy Perlis set a new world record for weightlifting.


He started lifting only at age 60 and had a pacemaker implanted in 2013. He still looked 60, broke a world record at 91, and now at 95 he is still bench pressing amazing weights ( com/watch?v=3Xw5ub_FlCA). The world’s oldest yoga teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch, with hundreds of students in New York City, teaches regularly and travels extensively, and recently published a new book—she’s 99 ( On her Facebook page, she says, “In my head I’m still in my 20s, and I have no intention of ever growing up” (https:// In the fall of 2012, awardwinning novelist and author of The Caine Mutiny, Herman Wouk, published another blockbuster, The Lawgiver. He was 97 (http://www.nytimes. com/2012/11/13/books/herman-woukon-his-new-book-the-lawgiver.html?_ r=1&pagewanted=all&). In 2016, he published another, The Sailor and the Fiddler ( legendary-author-herman-wouk-has-anew-book-out-at-102/). He was 100 and at this writing is 102. Almost daily, headlines herald citizens over 80, 90, 100 who’ve gotten married, stopped robbers, formed a band, had milestone birthdays. When we remind ourselves of such “late” accomplishments, we may find it easier to plunge into a third business at 48, crack the books in a university degree program at 52, or lace up our running shoes at 64. But most of all, we may need to change our mindset.

AGELESS PRINCIPLES How? To accept and visualize what we desire. Jesus put it this way:

For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. (Mt. 25:29) These words are often quoted (with frustration at the apparent unfairness) in relation to coveted material wealth. But what they really point to is consciousness. When we believe and feel we already have what we want, we will have it. When we believe we don’t have it, we not only won’t get it, but our focus on the lack takes away what little we have. We attract what we believe and think about. So, if you have faith and feel that you already have what you desire—your specific dream; the energy, health, verve, and enthusiasm for it; the means; the mental acuity; the persistence—you’ll be shown the steps to take. And even little by little, you’ll experience what you’ve dreamed of. Then you’ll realize, with relief, joy, and gusto, that there’s no such thing as too late. In the essay (and affirmation) “It is Never Too Late” (in Always in God’s Presence:

Stories of Answered Prayer), Unity writer and teacher Martha Smock says this: “It is never too late to let go of old ways and begin again . . . . What has gone before—age, years, doubts, or self condemnation—none of these things can deter or dismay us when we live and act on faith” (pp. 5-7). More wisdom: With a title that can be a continuous mantra, Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra proclaims:

You are much more than your limited body, ego, and personality. . . . In reality, the field of human life is open and unbounded. (p. 7)

Remember the child—or adolescent or young adult—you were? The one who felt, and knew, that life is unbounded, endless, exciting, and filled with all possibilities?


So—make a little list of your dreams now. No one else has to see it. As you write it, picture and feel yourself confident, alive, eager. 1. I would like to begin ___________________________________. 2. I would like to resume/continue __________________________. 3. I would like to complete ________________________________. 4. I’ve always wanted to __________________________________. 5. I’ve always wanted to __________________________________. 6. I’ve always wanted to __________________________________.

Whatever you see and judge in the mirror, that child is still yearning to express. As you muster the courage to unleash and enunciate your dreams, everything in your life will support and sustain you. Take a step: clear out the spare room, enroll in a course, dig out your paints, wiggle into your tights. Repeat the stirring words of poet James Dillet Freeman: “Dare to be what you are meant to be and do what you are meant to do, and life will provide you the means to do it and be it” (quoted by Joel Garfinkle, Dream Job Coaching, “Dare to Be Great,” If you’re blooming late, so what? It’s never too late to reshape your thoughts, correct your words, take the first steps, and activate the life dreams you crave. You and your dreams are already provided for. Age has nothing at all to do with it.

Late bloomers flower bigger.

Trust Your Life Now with Noelle Sterne, Ph.D. Noelle Sterne, Ph.D. (Columbia University), author, mainstream and academic editor, writing coach, workshop leader, and spiritual counselor, has published over 400 writing craft and spiritual pieces, personal and academic essays, poems, and fiction in print and online periodicals and blog sites. Publications include Author Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Children’s Book Insider, Funds for Writers, InnerSelf, Inside Higher Ed, New Age Journal, Ruminate, Thesis Whisperer, Transformation Magazine, Textbook and Academic Authors Association Blog, Two Drops of Ink, Unity Magazine, The Writer, and Writer’s Digest. In Trust Your Life: Forgive Yourself and Go After Your Dreams (Unity Books, 2011), Noelle helps readers release regrets and reach lifelong yearnings. In Challenges in Writing Your Dissertation: Coping with the Emotional, Interpersonal, and Spiritual Struggles (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2015) she helps doctoral candidates complete their degrees. Noelle is finally rounding the completion corner of her first novel. For more, see Noelle’s website:


Finding Awe Through Inspired Living

Through Inspired Living by Juliette Jones

The real magic of life is found in the essential nature of who we are and the expression of our innate creative capacities in fulfilling ways. I have an inclination to look at life from outside the box, guided by inner vision and reliance on metaphysical law. An escape from the box, in this case, is about replacing collectively accepted, structured ways of thinking with spacious, often previously unseen approaches to self-discovery, opportunity and problem solving.


“I know nothing with certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”–– -Vincent van Gogh

The cosmos is an intensely creative place. It creates from its own energy, spinning through subatomic realms, through galaxies and beyond. As human beings, we are suspended somewhere in this mix, absolutely united in the great dance of creation, made out of stardust to become instruments of consciousness and creative power. In this environment, inspired living exists in the realization of a deeper self––the real magic in the essential nature of who we are and the expression of our innate creative capacities in fulfilling ways. There is a holy intelligence that underlies the whole of creation. To think and feel is to exert the power of creation itself. Emotion is energy in motion, and thought gives shape to energy. The extent to which our thoughts and feelings form our experience of health, prosperity and the dynamics of practical life is a discussion taken up today at the leading edge of both science and spirituality, but is best realized in the laboratory of our own beings. In present-day vernacular, we often hear the expression “awesome,” especially as related to things that seem rather trivial. However, I like hearing the word because daily living is awesome, and the universe is unfathomably awesome, although this sort of awareness tends to escape our focus in daily life. An experience involving real awe is not always comfortable. It’s mind-blowing and can bring us to our knees, set us apart from others, or move us beyond established conceptions of reality. It often makes room for expanded awareness, and that’s what makes it significant as an element of inspired living. A powerful inner experience of awe can initiate dynamic transformation of the mind and, ultimately, lead us into greater dimensions of self-knowing and wholeness. I know several people who traveled from Florida to witness the 2017 total solar eclipse in its path of to-

PHOTO CREDIT: “Earthrise” taken by Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders on December 24, 1968. Source: NASA

planet was a glimpse of divinity.”

tality. One of them was moved to a powerful state of awe, followed by what he described as a first-time experience of spiritual realization. I personally didn’t witness the event but made it a point to tune into an NPR cross-country radio broadcast and listened live as the moon passed across the sun. The reaction of I met Dr. Mitchell through crowds ranged from gleeful to sacredly somber, and, on that particular day, the a guest at a fledgling New Thought evening news was actually inspirational. church I had founded in Fort Lauderdale, FL. He was gracious to consent to speak at our first fundraiser luncheon. Good Fortune Afterwards, when I thanked him, he In 1991, I had the good fortune recounted a life-transforming moment of meeting Dr. Edgar Mitchell who, at that took place as he stood on the the time, resided in southern Florida. moon and looked back upon the earth. The world immediately recognizes his His words are paraphrased below: Looking back at Earth from the name as the pilot of the Apollo 14 missurface of the Moon, I experision and the sixth man to walk on the enced a moment of awe, a momoon. Before becoming an astronaut, ment of overwhelming ecstasy– Dr. Mitchell had been a test pilot with an –a glimpse of divinity. That small impressive command of both engineersphere in the vastness of space ing and aeronautics. was home to everyone we love, After retiring from NASA and everything we have ever known, the Navy in 1972, Dr. Mitchell comeveryone who has ever been. pleted another stellar mission, having Looking at the Earth from that launched––along with cofounder Paul perspective deeply transformed Temple––the Institute of Noetic Scimy mind and prompted my studences, a nonprofit group dedicated to ies in consciousness. The men advancing the conscious evolution of who went to the Moon were techplanet earth through the study of how nicians, but this experience af“beliefs, thoughts and intentions affect fected all of them. They returned the physical world.” (Dr. Mitchell made as humanitarians…and more. his final journey out of this world in February, 2016, on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing.) In our present era, only a few human beings will travel into space

-Edgar Mitchell

“My view of our

to have an epiphany or reconceive their purpose for being on Earth. Clearly, it’s a road less traveled. Long ago, it was said that certain knowledge was not of this world. Departure or retreat from the world has long been a hallmark of spiritual practice, as has taking a long journey as a quest for enlightenment. It appears that space travel is more than a technological accomplishment, but a chapter in the escalating awareness of our own nature and place in the universe. Perhaps that feeling of infinity that we experience when looking at the stars reminds us of where we originated.

“To look out at this kind of creation, out here and not believe in God is to me is impossible. It just strengthens my faith. I wish there were words to describe what it’s like.” -John Glenn

“We are all astronauts on spaceship earth.” -Webbo Ockels, Astronaut, European Space Agency

Juliette Jones is a Venice, FL-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings. Email her at 33


Transformation Coaching Magazine March 2018  

This month, explore your gift and find out how to package it so you can sell it to others (aka, create a signature coaching package). Learn...

Transformation Coaching Magazine March 2018  

This month, explore your gift and find out how to package it so you can sell it to others (aka, create a signature coaching package). Learn...