If You Want to LET SOMETHING GO You Have to
STOP HOLDING ON!
If you’ve ever struggled to let something go, forgive someone, or move on, then you really need to hear this because there’s probably a misunderstanding going on. A lot of people think that if they’re going to let something go or they’re going to forgive someone, that they simply need to be ready to get away from it, like “I am done with this. I’m pushing this away. I am rejecting this. I’m moving on” It doesn’t work that way. Let us tell you a little story. Imagine there’s a monkey holding a coconut. It has a hole that’s just big enough for the monkey to stick its hand into, and inside of this coconut is something that the monkey wants. So, he puts his hand in and he grabs it. He holds it in his fist but because he has his hand in a fist he can’t pull it out of the hole because the hole is too small. But, what he’s learned his life is if there’s something that he wants he has to hold on to it, and so he keeps holding on to it. But, then he gets his hand perpetually stuck in this coconut and he can’t ever get what he wants. This is often what happens with people who are trying to let something go. They want to move on but they can’t because they’re holding on to it. So, how does this happen? Because what you resist persists. Every time you say “I reject this person” or “I just can’t take this”, all of those sentiments contain within it see of resistance, so what’s happening is instead of letting something go you’re actually holding on to it. Letting something go or forgiveness is not about pushing something away, it’s about letting it be. It’s about finding a place of acceptance because when you say “you know what, I really don’t like this person but it’s okay that they are the way they are” or if you say “you know what, I know that this situation isn’t right for me but it might be okay for other people, so I’m just going to focus on something else.” Do you see the difference? There is acceptance in saying “regardless of the situation, I’m okay. I don’t need to fix this.” And, when you do that, all of a sudden the dynamic changes because you’re not holding on to resentment, you’re not holding on to bitterness or judgment or
COACHING & BUSINESS TOOLS Are You Charging TOO LITTLE for What You Do? It’s Not About the Website Blue Ocean Thinking and Opportunities for Growth Commit to the Inner Journey The Power of Synchronicity The Drama Triangle
4 8 10 14 20 30
INSPIRATION & GROWTH The Secret To Happiness And Then What? The Yoga of Truth Suffering Starts With “J” Dance Outside the Lines
16 18 24 26 28
FEED YOUR SPIRIT Profound Mysteries at the Edge of the World
PUBLISHERS Natalie Rivera Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed.
EDITOR Lisa Cedrone
CONTRIBUTORS Joeel A. Rivera, Alan Cohen, Natalie Rivera, Leon VanderPol, Kate Pennell, Jo Mooy, Terez “Firewoman” Hartmann, Mary Boutieller, Gregg Sanderson, Arielle Giordano, Lotus Josiah Seng, Juliette Jones
© Copyright 2018 Transformation Services, Inc. All rights reserved. http://www.TransformationMag.com
the need to be right or for the other person to be wrong or for there to be a solution to the problem. You just accept that it is. By finally getting to a place of acceptance, you’re no longer fighting what IS and your hand relaxes and you’re able to pull yourself out of that thing that you’re stuck in. So, remember that to let something go you have to let it be. Joeel & Natalie Rivera, Publishers
Are You Charging TOO LITTLE for What You Do?
Are You Charging
Too Little for What You Do? Learn How to Determine Your True Value & Charge What Youâ€™re Worth!
By Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed. I have worked with and trained tens of thousands of life coaches, as well as people in countless other services businesses, and almost all of them have one thing in common.
Most life coaches belief that people won’t pay them for the their services, and if they would pay, it wouldn’t be much. If you’ve ever felt this way, you’re not alone—it’s a common concern, but it’s also a signal of a deeper underlying problem that’s holding you back. It’s fear...Fear is holding you back. Fear of rejection, humiliation, not being good enough, not being able to get results for your clients, not being worth the money. These are all real fears and I get it. Fear is holding you back.
The biggest obstacle for most coaches is that fear of not being worth it. And, so they don’t charge what they’re worth. But the truth is, most of them don’t realize just how valuable they really are. And, what’s sad is that fear keeps so many life coaches from allowing themselves to live their purpose, which really upsets me....
it to them, and yourself, to face your fears. I want you to know your value so you can reach the people you are meant to reach AND get paid what you’re worth.
Owning Your Value
1) First, I want you to think about the niche you focus on in your coaching and what life experience you had that lead you to want to coach people in that area. If you don’t have a niche yet, think about what challenge you overcame, how you transformed your life, or what expertise you have—these things would make a great coaching niche! So, pick an area of your life that YOU experienced something that now you can help someone else through. 2) Then, imagine going back in time and talking to your younger self—before you overcame your challenge, transformed, or learned what you know now. 3) Think about the pain or challenges your younger self was going through. 4) Think about what additional struggles you know are still to come for them. 5) Now imagine you can coach that person, like a mentor or guide. Imagine you can show your younger self EXACTLY how to solve their problem and get out of that pain or through that challenge sooner.
How much would that have been worth to you? Almost priceless, right? Now, imagine you could offer your client a shortcut or the key that unlocks their healing, transformation, career advancement, relationships, or whatever
If you believe in what you do than it is your MORAL OBLIGATION to share it with others.
If you do not put yourself out there, you are withholding a valuable service that could transform people’s lives. You owe
it is you can offer. Or, imagine you could offer them a shortcut to the knowledge you’ve accumulated over a long career or
through years of learning a skill.
How much would that be worth to them? How much money and time would it save them? Don’t you think there are other people out there right now that are not only willing to pay for the transformation you can offer but who are willing to do whatever it took to achieve the result you have gotten? Almost everyone I’ve ever asked to do this exercise says “yes”! But, they are struggling to get clients. Why is that? It’s because they’re not putting themselves out there. They’re afraid for all of the reasons I already mentioned and so they hide. They don’t reach out to the people that need them, and when the do reach out they’re not communicating the results they can get for them.
So, here is the solution to GETTING CLIENTS AND GETTING PAID WHAT YOU’RE WORTH:
1) Get clear about the RESULTS you are able to get for your clients 2) Reach out to those exact people who need what you have to offer 3) TELL THEM exactly what you can do for them and the VALUE of the results 4) Charge them according to that value
It sounds pretty simple, but where most people get hung up is those last two steps. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to go over next.
Determining Your Value and Setting Your Price
One of the hardest parts of selling product, or especially a service, is setting the right price. In some cases, the pricing is pretty strait forward because your price is dictated by the market. But, in many cases, especially with service businesses, prices vary widely and depend more on perception than anything else.
What it really comes down to is setting a price that captures the true value of what you are offering, while at the same time taking into account the budget of your customer. But, ultimately the most important factor for pricing is the value that your customers place on your product or service. But, it’s not even the value they place on what you sell that matters, it’s the value they place on the OUTCOMES they will receive because of their purchase. The following quick activity will help you identify the true benefits your clients will receive by hiring you, as well as what they will lose out on if they do not.
First, Brainstorm the Benefits:
• Will your clients receive a return on their investment or any other financial benefit? (This would apply, for instance, if you were an entrepreneurship or career coach.) • Will they receive anything else that is physical or tangible that is not financial? • What pain do they have now that will be relieved? • What weight will be lifted? • What problem will be solved? • What limitations will be removed? • What meaning or purpose or empowerment will they experience? • What emotion will they experience?
Then, Brainstorm the Loss (if they DON’T work with you):
• What does it cost them NOT to do business with you? • What does it cost them NOT to get rid of their pain or solve their problem or make progress? • What literal expenses will they incur?
• What emotional weight will they have to continue to bear? • What will continue to hold them back? • How much longer will it take for them to accomplish their goal? • What negative repercussions would they experience 10 years from now?
After considering the answers to these questions, what is the result you are offering them WORTH TO THEM?
The goal is to identify a dollar value. At first, go with what you genuinely feel it would be worth.
Then, do some market research to identify what other similar businesses are charging for a comparable offer. If there is a wide range of prices, ask yourself where in that range you feel what you can provide falls? So, your final price can be set based on the combined factors of market price and the true value of what you offer.
Last, Communicate Your Value:
Once you identify the true value of your product or service, you’ll use this in your marketing materials. All of the answers to your brainstorming questions above helped you identify what your client truly wants and needs. You can use these answers as a list of results or benefits of your coaching! Another effective way to express the value you offer is to ask specific questions that point in the direction of the results you’re offering. For instance: • How much would you save in (time, money, or frustration) if you understood or experienced (fill
in the blank with the results your program provides). • Imagine you had (fill in the blank with the solutions you offer) and it helped you (fill in the blank with the results they’ll experience). What would that be worth? I hope now you see that there really is true value in what you can provide through your life coaching (or whatever it is that you do). I hope you can see that the next step is to find the people who need you and TELL THEM the results you can provide!
Great, Now RAISE YOUR PRICE!
So, there’s one last thing to note—whatever you decided on as a price, consider raising it even higher! Yes, HIGHER! The reason why may surprise you. Of course, I believe you deserve to be paid well for what you do because what you do MATTERS. But, charging more for your service actually helps your CLIENTS. That’s right! Research has shown that the more someone pays for a service that is intended to HELP them, the more they get out of it. Think about it—have you ever signed up for a program for FREE and then either not taken it, not followed through, or not taken it seriously? If you had paid $1,000 for that same program, do you think you would have committed yourself to making the most of it? The same thing happens with life coaching or other “helping” servies. If you under charge, your clients will not be INVESTED—literally or emotionally—in their own results. This means they receive less benefit and you receive less referrals. So, if you really want to make a difference in the world you first have to put yourself out there and stop hiding, and then you have to charge what you’re worth!
Transformation Coaching with Joeel A. Rivera Joeel Rivera is a visionary creator, coach, speaker and serial entrepreneur. He is a former psychology professor with Master’s Degree in Counseling and Education and is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology, with an emphasis on happiness. Joeel infuses a deep understanding of the science of psychology and human potential into all of his programs. He has worked with thousands of organizations, INDIEpreneurs and life coaches who are committed to mastering the power of their mind and creating their destiny. He has almost 40,000 students from 170 countries around the world. Visit http://www.IgniteLife.me and http://www.Transformation-Academy.com.
It’s Not About the Website
It’s Not About
The Website By Alan Cohen
A young entrepreneur came to me complaining that she was having trouble completing the text for her website. “Where is the roadblock you are hitting?” I asked Barbara. “It’s the About Me page,” she answered with a contorted face that told me how painful this process was for her. This is the page that most entrepreneurs get hung up on, the very one I have had countless coaching sessions to help clients get posted.
“Do you have any doubts about presenting yourself to the world?”
“Well, yes…” she answered sheepishly. “I question if I am really qualified and if I am worth people paying me for my services.” “Got it…Now let’s put the webpage aside for the moment, and look deeper,” I suggested, knowing precisely where we were headed. “Who taught you to doubt yourself?” “My father was a newspaper editor and highly critical of me, especially when it came to English. Even beyond that subject, there was nothing I could ever do that was good enough. If I did a project with 99 percent excellence, he wouldn’t compliment me on my achievement. Instead, he would criticize me for the deficient 1 percent.” “And even though you have grown up and moved out of your father’s home, his voice still lives in your head, constantly banging at you for never being perfect.” “That’s right.” Nearly every person I have ever coached has voiced some variation on this theme.
“So your current challenge with your About Me page is just one more instance of a theme that has been going on for your entire life.” “It is so.” “Then let’s reframe this: You are now being presented with an opportunity to finally break free from this lifelong oppressive voice within you, implanted long ago by your father, that has debilitated your progress in ways far
more serious than the website.” “If I could do that, it would be tremendous!” she answered, her face lighting up for the first time since we met. “Then let’s do a role play,” I suggested. “I will represent your father. I won’t say anything, but I will give you a chance to say to him what you wished you could have said when he criticized you as a child, or when his judgmental voice chides you as an adult.” Barbara sat up straight, looked me in the eye, and spoke firmly. “Dad, I know you love me and you want the best for me. But I can no longer live under the whip of your criticism. Every time I did something as a child, or an adult, you found something wrong with my action and with me. Your judgments have kept me small for my entire life. I am not willing to live with them and allow them to impede me anymore.” Then came the tears. “I am a bright woman with a good heart, strong skills and a significant contribution to make. I want to do that through my new business and other avenues down the road. I know I can do this, and I do not need your permission to live the life I choose and to create a successful career. So I now release all the dark criticisms I have borne for so long, and I step with confidence into a richer life.” Barbara’s tears had cleared and her eyes shone. She looked like an entirely different person than the one who had complained about her inability to complete her webpage. “How do you feel now?” I asked her. “Freer than I have felt in a
long, long time.” “And how do you feel about setting up your About Me page?” “Ready,” she answered with a smile. “Totally ready.” A long silence ensued. Barbara’s eyes lit up as she said, quietly stunned,
“It wasn’t about the website, was it?” No, it wasn’t about the website. The website was directing Barbara to look inward for her answer. Her block was about self-image, self-esteem, selfconfidence, attitude, beliefs and expectations—the factors that make or break any endeavor. The business and relationship situations in your life do not have a life or reality of their own. They are reflections of your psyche, the images you hold about yourself projected onto the screen of the world. As James Allen brilliantly stated,
“We think in secret and it comes to pass. Environment is our looking glass.” Situations that bother us are not curses. They are arrows pointing us to places in our mind where we are holding illusions. When we can identify the illusion that is causing us pain, we are ready to discover the truth the illusion was covering. When we do, we are free. It’s not about the website. Or the relationship. Or the job. Or the money. Or the world. It’s about waking up. When we do, everything changes.
GET REAL with Alan Cohen Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including the forthcoming The Tao Made Easy. Join Alan in Hawaii this December for his life-changing seminar Transformer Training to develop your skills and/or career as a teacher, healer, or leader. For more information about this program, Alan’s books and videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit http://www.alancohen.com.
Blue Ocean Thinking and Opportunities for Growth
Think By Natalie Rivera
& Opportunities for Growth
Imagine you are floating in a beautiful, clear blue ocean... This ocean represents the industry that your business is in. Now, imagine you are floating in a red ocean, muddied from the bloody battle of overcrowding and competition. The difference between the blue ocean and the red ocean is that in the red ocean, the majority of companies in an industry battle each other for the same, limited fish, while in the blue ocean, a single or a small number of companies serve underserved populations or even create new groups of customers—new fish.
What makes some companies able to float in a blue ocean and avoid the red ocean is a unique, creative way of differentiating. But instead of creating a new product or service or other innovation that replaces existing offerings in your industry—which is what many innovative companies do, like what Uber is doing to the taxi industry—it’s DISRUPTING it—a blue ocean company seeks ways of finding new areas of the ocean that aren’t so muddied with new fish that weren’t, previously, consumers of the industry. A blue ocean company doesn’t look at its competitors within their market to get ideas of how to differentiate by out-performing, over offering, or un-
There is no competition because they’re not competing for the same fish or offering the same options.
derpricing the other companies; instead it looks outside of its own industry for opportunities and insights. Instead of doing a better job at what everyone else is doing, they do something completely different and add value that no one else has thought of. They take advantage of the fact that most organizations within an industry have group think and they are all distracted with trying to beat everyone else in the same game.
Blue ocean companies create a new game. They don’t remain within the confines of industry convention and structure or stay trapped doing things the way “it’s always been done.”
Example Blue Ocean Companies
Tesla Motors is a great example of a blue ocean company. In 2003, they decided to innovate into an areas where there was no competition. Other car makers at the time were making “compliant” cars, meaning the were making hybrid cars to show they were meeting the government’s mandates to be working on “green” technology. Sales of these products were low because they weren’t terribly good and the benefits did not outweigh the extra costs of the hybrid models. Tesla decided to go a different direction and create a 100% electric car, which had been done before. But, Tesla did what others said was impossible. They overcame most people’s arguments against electric cars—they’re slow, they don’t go far enough, and they’re ugly. The Tesla is a sports car. It is fast, goes over 300 miles in between charges, and is sexy too! In fact, recent tests show that Tesla has faster acceleration than Lamborghini and Ferrari! You might be thinking my, “industry doesn’t have a blue ocean.” Ford, GM, Toyota and the rest of the big car companies didn’t either, but they were wrong. They allowed industry norms to hold them back: • They were held back by the notion of the money they thought they would lose if they made electric cars that took sales away from their gas cars. You see, car dealerships and manufacturers make so much money off the repair costs of cars that they don’t want electric cars to replace internal combustion engines because electric cars have extremely low maintenance costs. • They were held back by their assumption that there was no market demand for electric cars because of the objections people had to them—slow speed, poor range, and ugly aesthetics. • They were held back by the powerful established influence of the oil industry who didn’t want the car industry to disrupt their profits due to gas-powered engines. And so, they all continued to compete in the red ocean of the auto industry,
refusing to see the possibilities. Elon musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla, created a blue ocean for electric cars. And, his innovation has planted the seeds of disruption for the entire industry. Not only did Tesla invent an electric car that meets all of the needs of a car driver and avoids the pain points of older electric models, they pioneered the technology of autopilot. Along with other companies, like Google, cars that can drive themselves without any human intervention, and do so with many times greater safety than human drivers, are already on the road. In the near future, autopilot vehicles will be replacing traditional drivers, including those who drive taxis or large commercial trucks. And next, they’re coming for average car drivers. As autopilot cars become more accepted into society, many people will choose not to buy a car at all because an individualized form of public transportation will have arrived. The blue ocean that Tesla created may not always remain blue, which is why ongoing creativity, future anticipation, and innovation are needed in any business that wants to remain successful in the long term. You might be thinking, “I’m not Elon Musk and my company isn’t playing at such a large scale.”
companies to get doctors’ accounts. ZocDoc created a blue ocean for the industry. They made an online app that makes it possible for patients to book their own appointments online or on a mobile device. The doctors’ office staff can also access the app to book appointments and change availability. It’s a blue ocean because they created a new market. Instead of their customers being the doctors’ offices, their customers became the patients themselves. They were no longer competing with the other companies in the appointment scheduling industry. So, how did they come up with this idea? First, they flipped the industry’s pain points. They identified what existing customers found challenging, frustrating, or unsatisfying about the current options available to them. In this case, the scheduling software was very expensive, it had to be installed by professionals and staff had to be trained. So, they sought out to solve these problems by offering something different. Because their new program was accessible in the cloud and didn’t have to be installed on computer systems, and because it was user friendly and simple and didn’t require training, they dramatically reduced the costs and solved both problems. Second, the flipped non-customers. Instead of creating the new program for existing customers—the doctors themselves—they created it for the patients. Doing this created an entirely new market for their product.
The good news is that the blue ocean mindset can applied to any business, whether You, too, can adopt you’re an insurance company, a blue ocean mindset business a maker of widgets, a doctor, for your Ask yourself the following quesor a life coach. tions that other people in your industry are No matter what industry you are in, you can start thinking like a blue ocean company Let’s look at another example: the ZocDoc App. Doctors’ offices all use scheduling software that the receptionists use to schedule appointments for patients. The program is installed on the computer systems in the office and there is fierce competition among software
not asking: 1. What are the pain points my customers experience? What inconveniences are they experiencing and what needs are not being met? 2. What are the alternatives to this product or service that non-customers are choosing instead and why are they making that decision?
3. What standards in my industry could be dramatically raised to add tremendous value and attract customers to buy from me that would normally have overlooked my offerings? 4. What standards in my industry could be dramatically lowered and still meet the needs of my customers while lowering my costs? 5. What standards or elements in my industry could be completely eliminated or replaced, dramatically reducing time, cost, or other negative factors? 6. What elements or factors could I create and offer that my industry has never offered? 7. What are companies in other industries doing that is differentiating them or creating new markets and what insights can I glean from them? When exploring the answers to these questions and generating ideas for potential new areas of growth within your own blue ocean, it’s important to test the idea against the following criteria, to ensure it is viable. 1. Is it useful to the prospective buyer, meaning did you or can you test demand? 2. Is it able to be executed without confusion or resistance, meaning can customers understand this new offering simply by reading the tagline? 3. Is it able to be priced within range of the target audience and also be priced for maximum profitability?
Of course, there are many other If your idea meets these 3 criteways of going outside of the “normal” life ria, you’re on the right track. coaching industry’s offerings. • For many years, the first coaches who Creating a Life offered “virtual” life coaching had a Coaching Blue Ocean blue ocean because everyone else In my business, Joeel and I crewas still meeting only face to face. ated our first blue ocean as life coaches, • Then the next coaching blue ocean and we’ve continued to apply this stratwas group coaching, and the first egy to all of the other aspects of our busicoaches who started to meet with ness. groups through teleseminars and The key to creating a blue ocean later webinars reaped the benefits of life coaching business is focusing on a life their uniqueness. coaching NICHE that YOU are uniquely • Combining “teaching” or consultable to serve. ing with traditional coaching was If you identify a specific result another revolutionary idea (and still is to some degree). This has been the you can offer your clients—a differentiating factor that has transproblem you can solve for formed my business.
them because YOU have The final quesitons solved this problem for your- are: • What NEW innovations are on the self—you will have a blue horizon that could be applied to life ocean. coaching (or whatever you do)?
This an be a challenge you overcame or even an expertise you can teach to others. If you offer a very specific form of life coaching based on what you, uniquely, can provide because of your unique life experience, then you’re automatically in an ocean all your own. Why? Because your ideal clients can relate to you in a way no one else can duplicate.
There is no competition when you’re selling yourself.
• How could you do something radical that no one else is doing?
Be bold. Be you. Be BLUE. Of course, there is a lot more to successfully creating a blue ocean company than I’ve covered in this article. If you are interested in finding out more about how to implement blue ocean strategy, visit blueoceanstrategy. com and read the books on the topic written by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, professors of strategy at INSEAD, one of the world’s top business schools.
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 http://www.transformation-academy.com.
Commit to the
Inner Journey Commit to the Inner Journey
(to Be a Great Life Coach)
You must come from a place of â€œknowingâ€? to be a great transformational coach.
By Leon VanderPol I had a conversation last month with a few coaches on the question of what it takes to become a great transformational coach. Interestingly, most of the ideas presented had to do with skills or techniques the coach could possess or offer. And while this is partly true, I think the most essential element was overlooked. Here is what I believe makes a great transformational coach:
You need to commit deeply to your own transformation. This is the one factor that separates the true transformational coach from the pretender. If you desire to become a great transformational coach, it’s worth reflecting on this question: How deeply am I committed to my own transformation? And not just to surface level change, but to true transformation? Some years back I moved through a long period of intense inner transformation. It was tough—as transformation always is— replete with great uncertainty about myself, my work and my place in the world. But because of the level of commitment I had to the journey, when I now teach transformational coaching, I come from a place of knowing, which provides a quality of wisdom and depth to the work that simply cannot come from one who has not made the journey. A personal inner commitment essentially says, “Nothing else is as central in my life right now than becoming the person I know I AM, so that I can do the great work in
this world I know I am here to do.” You may be busy and have many responsibilities in your life, but when you make your transformation the center of your life, something essential shifts, and it’s permanent. You gain an insight and wisdom into life that enables you to become a way shower for others. More than anything else, it is your experiential understanding of a profoundly intimate and intense journey into the nature of being that will make you a great transformational coach. People will come to you because they see this in you.
know that you are a true way shower, and not a dabbler. If you are dabbling in your transformation, always busy, busy, busy, and giving it very little of your attention—what is the result? Oh, I didn’t have time to meditate today. I didn’t have time to explore the depth of my being. I know it’s important, but I just didn’t have time for it.
What is the result of dabbling in your own transformational process?
If you do not commit to your own It’s worth looking honestly at how committed you are to your own transformation, transformational process. Are you comhow can you make mitted or are you dabbling? There will be a noticeable shift that request of in the orientation of your mind and freof your being when you commit another person? If quency fully to your own transformation. you do not commit, how can you know To become a great transformational what it takes to coach, above all transform? else, commit to True transformation takes incredible commitment. And you can make your own transsure you are aligned to that because you formation. have done the same for yourself. You will then understand what transformation means and asks. You will understand what it takes to renew your commitment day after day. And when you speak from this place, people will listen. They will know that you know what it takes; they will
When you do, you will create an impermeable foundation of knowing that enables you to sit with others through their own transformation, and to be a beacon of possibility for them in a way that few others can.
Transformational Coaching with Leon VanderPol Leon VanderPol is the Founder & Director of the Center for Transformational Coaching. He is the creator of the Deep Coaching Program a coach training and personal growth journey designed to help people gain the capacity to support others through profound inner growth and transformation. Visit the Center to download your free report: How to Make a Living As a Transformational Coach—12 Key Considerations as You Build Your Practice
The Secret To Happiness
THE SECRET TO
HAPPINESS How to find 5 things to be thankful for today.
By Kate Pennell How we start and end our day can have a powerful impact on our wellbeing and productivity. Protein breakfasts, exercise, cold showers—all recommended things we can do. However, my suggested steps towards better well-being are mental rather than physical, and they don’t require any changes in your schedule. I think it’s safe to say that most of us would like to feel more content in our lives, less stressed and anxious; we would like our lives to have more energy and meaning. With the pressure of all that we have going on—finances, family, health, 24-hour international news—and a job in there somewhere—it can feel as though it all drains the life out of us. That’s what negativity does. It’s like a leech. So, by upping our positivity, we can start to build ourselves up from the inside out.
“Counting your blessings” is an old practice, but the oldies may still be goodies. Now it is called “positive psychology.” “What positive psychology endeavors to do is to make us flourish in our life,” says Daniel Tomasulo, Ph.D., writing at Psychcentral. com. https://psychcentral.com/
Here are five ways to look for things to be thankful for. I call them the 5Ps:
Although it may feel as though people = problems, we can find someone to be thankful for. Maybe just someone who smiled at you today. My daughter is 14 going on feisty and her and my husband clash. Daily. Even though it upsets me, and I have to grit my teeth when I think, “Why did he say that? Now she’ll go nuclear!” I have to remember that he cares. He is desperate to be a good dad; if he says the wrong thing sometimes it’s better than being indifferent. Even though they cause me stress, I can be thankful for his heart and good intentions.
When my bankroll is Start Well, getting small, Finish Well Finishing our day by being thankI think of when I had none ful sets our mind on a positive setting while at all. we sleep. As your day draws to a close to-
Count your blessings instead of sheep.
Yesterday was such a frustrating day for me, I felt like I spent most of my time waiting for other people to arrive or get back to me. At the end of the day, I had no satisfaction. I felt I had accomplished nada. We all have days like that from time to time. Yet even when we are chasing our tails—or someone else—we can still be one step closer to our goals and our desires. Progress comes through process. I so often just want to skip straight to the progress part, but there is always value in our process and something we can be thankful for.
Where have you been today? Did you really see it? Never underestimate the power of beauty to lift us. Personally, I know that nature is one of my soul foods. I need it. Even in a crowded city I can see beauty: the sky, the flowering weeds, someone’s window box. Beautiful architecture can inspire us, even great graffiti, or a pleasant coffee The present is all we’ve got: the shop or a comfortable car. past is gone and the future is yet to arrive. It doesn’t benefit us at all to live like the Roman god Janus, constantly looking into the past and the future, we’ll miss the present because we are not being present. Letting go of the past and the need to try and control the future is very freeing. We can then live in expectancy.
5. Be Present
The key is to look and intentionally see and experience what is around us. 3. Problems
Yes, you read that right. You can be thankful for problems or, rather, the challenges and opportunities that can come about because of them. Problems have solutions. Challenges expand us and make us stronger. Sometimes a problem can remind us how far we’ve come. As Bing Crosby sang:
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” —Matthew 6:34
day, take a moment to think of things you are thankful for. Joeel Rivera, publisher of Transformation Coaching Magazine, psychologist, life coach and trainer, goes one step further. The first thing he sees when he wakes up in the morning is a note that says,
“What will I be thankful for today?” It sets his mind to be looking for the positive things in his day. That sounds so much more wholesome, more soulnourishing than a lengthy to-do list and international (bad) news. This is not about being Tinkerbell: just think happy thoughts and we’ll fly. No.
It’s about retraining our minds, little by little, to not focus on the negative but to see the positive in our lives. Doing that will provide the energy and impetus for us to move forward, and it will nourish our souls. It takes away negativity’s loud hailer.
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 https://permissiontolaunch.website/.
And Then What?
“The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you.” ~Stephanie Perkins
By Jo Mooy My previous article in the May edition of Transformation Coaching Magazine entitled “Now What?” brought unexpected messages, texts and emails into my inbox. Many were from women I’d never met. Apparently, the “Now What?” article was a catalyst that triggered action, and many who read it decided to ask for more advice. One woman wrote she was starting a new direction in her life but didn’t quite know how to proceed. The questions offered at the end of the May article (Where am I in my life? What do I want to be doing this time next year? What compels or motivates me? Where do I want to be spending my time? Will that fulfill me?) caused her to review her direction, to reflect on what she really wanted, and then to make a decision on what she really wanted to do. Another said the article hit home because she’d been ruminating on self-blame. “What’s wrong with me?” she asked. “Why am I feeling this way? Am I burned out? Is it because of retirement? Do I have value anymore?” These are all typical questions that an individual goes through when pondering
new directions in life. In this woman’s case, the questions caused her to review her bucket list, take stock and go forward with confidence that nothing was wrong with her. In the end, she felt she’d be okay with her decisions. “Now What?” actually has a secondary part to the practice that’s called “And Then What?” When all the self-assessments and reflections on the questions are done, it’s typical to start contemplating the very worst scenarios we can imagine. It goes like this: If I do such and such, then this might happen, and the whole thing I’m contemplating will fall apart. Notice the emphasis on the word might. An uncontrolled imagination has a tendency to make things bigger or worse than the potential result. The “And Then What?” practice allows you free reign of your worst fears. It asks you to imagine the worst-case scenario that might happen if you choose a course of action. Give your mind or imagination the freedom to conjure anything it wishes. When you have a terrible scenario in your mind, then ask, “And Then What?” Allow the imagination to again roam over the wild scenarios you can create. With each “worst case” presented in your mind, ask the
question, “And Then What?” This means if the worst case you can imagine happens, then what will happen to you or to the situation? So you again give the mind or imagination free reign to take each worst case to its finite end. Each time, the worst scenario comes up ask, “And Then What?” Eventually you will run out of the worst-case scenarios and the things you thought “might happen” disappear or are so minimized they’re not even worth thinking about. At that point in the practice nothing is left to worry about. At this point, you’re left with a place of release, along with freedom and an acceptance of what is. The worst case no longer has a mental or damaging charge around it. It has no power to derail you or what you wish to do with your life or the scenario you’re working on. Try this practice on anything that gives you stress or anxiety. No matter what it is, think about it, create the worst condition in your mind and ask, “And Then What?” My experience says, that whatever you thought could or might have happened ultimately will dissolve into nothingness. You’ve disarmed and released any negative emotion around it and you’re allowing it the freedom to be what it’s meant to be.
Conscious Living with Jo Mooy
Jo Mooy has studied with many spiritual traditions over the past 40 years. The wide diversity of this training allows her to develop spiritual seminars and retreats that explore inspirational concepts, give purpose and guidance to students, and present esoteric teachings in an understandable manner. Along with Patricia Cockerill, she has guided the Women’s Meditation Circle since January 2006 where it has been honored for five years in a row as the “Favorite Meditation” group in Sarasota, FL, by Natural Awakenings Magazine. Teaching and using Sound as a retreat healing practice, Jo was certified as a Sound Healer through Jonathan Goldman’s Sound Healing Association. She writes and publishes a monthly internationally distributed e-newsletter called Spiritual Connections and is a staff writer for Spirit of Maat magazine in Sedona. For more information go to http://www.starsoundings.com or email email@example.com.
The Power of Synchronicity
Nothing builds confidence, strength, trust and belief in your business and life... 20
Synchronicity By Terez Hartmann
...more than your own personal experiences of synchronicity. 21
Like any entrepreneur and business owner, I’m certainly no stranger to lists and action plans, but I have noticed more often than not that even the most calculated strategy pales in comparison to the perfect-place-withthe-perfect-person-at-the-perfecttime-type outcome that ALWAYS occurs as the result of synchronicity. For example: • After a string of “character-building” romantic partnerships and doing what I needed to do to “get out there,” when I think back on how I met my husband, there is no way I could have arranged the details any better! I was singing at an outdoor bar during a time he happened to be driving by with the windows rolled down! Or when and how our first kiss went down: It was utterly magical! • After “pounding the pavement” over several weeks and getting way too close to “rent due” day, I was offered a five-night-plus per week music gig that came to me via a phone call my musical partner received at the end of a show around 2a.m. I was even asked if I could start THE NEXT DAY! Talk about an answered prayer! After my husband and I decided it was time to welcome a new feline friend into our home, we visited several adoption centers and sent countless e-mails to breeders to no avail. One day, a kitten literally showed up on our doorstep and made herself at home—just after we had jokingly said, “Perhaps a kitten will just be dropped off on our door step.” • After spending countless hours and many weeks researching multiple publishing options, Staci B., the editor I had just started working with, just-so-happened to connect me with a publisher (which at the time I did not even know existed!). This person believes that authors should maintain creative control of their
work, is incredibly flexible, beautifully like-minded, phenomenal with followthrough, passionate about my book, and truly the IDEAL fit for me! Once again, synchronicity totally trumped all of my best efforts!
The fact of the matter is that each of us has our own collection of stories that have played out in our lives and, when we really pay attention, it is amazing to note that synchronicities can even occur on a daily basis! HOW do we open ourselves up to deliberately experiencing more of these occurrences? Here are some of the things I’ve discovered in my own journey:
1) USE THE POWER OF AUTHENTICITY: GO TO THE HEART OF YOUR DESIRE.
Sometimes we get too caught up in that which we think will lead us to what we want, rather than focusing on the big picture and end result of what we‘re really searching for.
Don’t get fixated on a specific job, opportunity, or client and make THAT the goal, when what you’re really looking for is a feeling of security, enjoying what you do with your time, and/or having the kind of income and time that allows you to live a life you love. When you focus on the heart of your desire and make THAT your goal, you open yourself up to the IDEAL vocation situation.
2) USE THE POWER OF TRUST: REPLAY “THE TRUST TAPES” BY RECORDING AND REVISITING YOUR OWN EVIDENCE.
In the book, ALLOWING Your Success!, I discuss two ways of Allowing success which are: 1) feeling good, and 2) believing it is possible for YOU Though there are many great stories and examples of synchronicity in action, nothing builds confidence, trust, and belief more than personal experience. Monthly, weekly, or even daily, take a few minutes to write about times that synchronicity and great results happened when you were simply enjoying your journey. By doing this, you get to revisit the good feelings you experienced (meaning you get to feel good NOW!) and compile evidence that reinforces the belief that synchronicity (and hence, having what you really want!) IS possible for you!
Feeling good AND believing is 2-for-2 when it comes to Allowing YOUR Success, baby!
3) USE THE POWER OF HARMONY: STAY IN INTEGRITY WITH YOUR CURRENT BELIEF/STRATEGY— FOR NOW.
When it comes to experiencing synchronicities and ALLOWING your success, it is an overall good move to stay in integrity with your current beliefs and follow through on a strategy that makes sense to you right now. I’ve noticed that when I feel that I really do need to do “x” to get “y,” NOT doing ”x” or doing something else that doesn’t feel feasible to me rarely nets good results. In those cases, I go ahead with my strategy, but keep myself open to the possibility that the things I truly want can come to me in a multitude of different and more joy-filled ways.
When I compare the two it is easy to see that keeping an open mind is well worth the trade-up: Strategy Work/effort Can be fun Mixed bag—people plan, God laughs! Destination-fixation
Synchronicity Ease and flow! Always fun! Always the perfect place, perfect time, perfect people, etc.! All about enjoying the journey!
Success in business or any other area of life all boils down to some variation of Enjoying the journey. When you allow yourself to enjoy NOW, live deliberately, and open yourself up to events and connections that make life feel like the awesome, magical adventure it was meant to be, isn’t that the stuff that true success is made of after all? Perhaps there’s even a little synchronicity at work right now…
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: http://www.TerezFirewoman.com
The Yoga of Truth
By Mary Boutieller Have you ever had the experience of saying something and then knowing immediately that what you said wasn’t exactly right or correct or true? When it happens, you have this gnawing feeling that isn’t easily dismissed, and that feeling may stay with you for a while. This can happen for many reasons, especially when we are trying to express something, and the thing we say just doesn’t come out the way we intended. Often our comments are well-meaning and part of a larger commentary, but still—what do we do when this happens? How do we handle a misstep in our communications or actions? I ask this because this very thing happened to me recently. I was teaching a yoga class and trying to spark the idea of joy into my students’ practice. It was going really well, I thought, and then I said something like this: “If you are coming to yoga class without any joy, what’s the sense in that?” I might have even said, “What’s the point in that?” It was indeed part of a larger context and sort of made sense in the moment, BUT I knew immediately that it was not correct. The resonance of that statement was definitely off kilter, not accurate, and not true. There was a clear dissonance in the “feeling state” of what I said. But, because of where we were in class, I didn’t stop the class to correct the statement. Instead, I went home and pondered over it for the entire week, until I taught that group of students again. At the start of the following week’s class, I talked about the statement and about some of the insights I had gained as a result.
INSIGHT NO. 1: No matter what state you are
in—bring yourself to yoga. You don’t have to be any certain way in order to practice yoga. I have both taught and practiced yoga in every emotional state possible—bone tired, grieving a loss, mad, happy, sad…you name it—and my practice of yoga has given me a safe place, a healing haven, where I could cry, laugh, be silly, be angry, be tired, and it was all okay. Some days, my practice consisted of simply breathing or staying in savasana; other days it would be a vinyasa practice for two hours until I got all the stress off my body and could breathe again. So, you don’t have to come to yoga only if you are joyful. You come to yoga to explore your inner world, your thoughts, your body, with love and acceptance and compassion for where you are in the moment. Someone said, “It’s not about holding back, it’s about truth.” And, the truth is that yoga is so much more than the poses we do in class. • It is about finding your honestto-goodness self, and then letting that be enough. • It’s about exploring who and how you are in the world—how you feel and how you act and what you do that makes you amazingly you. • It’s about taking responsibility and breathing; it’s about living a real and authentic life to the best of your ability, one spectacular day at a time.
Be willing to be vulnerable, to be broken, and to find wholeness in the process of “coming clean” after a misstep. But know that on any given day, your “best” may be different. Sometimes my 100 percent is not as “strong” as on other days because I’m tired or funky or in pain, and that’s okay, too. All we can do is bring our full selves to the table—or to the yoga class—each and every time.
INSIGHT NO. 2: Another insight for me was that
I knew I had to “come clean,” as my own conscience, my own spirit, wouldn’t let me brush this one under the rug. Rationally I thought, “Oh, no one even heard me, or noticed, or thought twice about it.” And how many times do we know we should say something, but it’s uncomfortable and we just kind of let it slip away? Sometimes it’s hard to apologize for a misstep, or to own up to a mistake, or to say something that is difficult to say. We just do our best to speak with open hearts and an over-abundance of compassion and humility. We consider our words and we look to do no harm, and then we jump off the proverbial
bridge and say, “Here I am, warts and all, and this is what I have to say.”
INSIGHT NO. 3: Once I said what I needed to say
to make it right, all of the stress around it went away. There is a beautiful Zen parable that speaks to this holding on to things. Here is a shorter version of the story: Two traveling monks reached a river where they met a young woman. Wary of the current, she asked if they could carry her across. One of the monks hesitated, but the other quickly picked her up onto his shoulders, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other bank. She thanked him and departed. As the monks continued on their way, the one was brooding and preoccupied. Unable to hold his silence any longer, he spoke out. “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women, but you picked that one up on your shoulders and carried her!” “Brother,” the second monk replied, “I set her down on the other side,
But, it is necessary for us to speak our truth, even when it isn’t easy.
while you are still carrying her.” I wonder how much time and energy we waste postponing the inevitable or avoiding that which we know we must do? How long do we carry around a burden that isn’t necessary to hold onto? Maybe it’s because I am getting older, but I find myself speaking my truth more and more. It’s not always as gracefully as I’d like, but still it is the truth as I know it at the time. And, then I forgive myself for the foibles. I do my best to let go and forgive, even when I’m the one messing up. Which brings me back to our practice of yoga. Bring your full self to whatever you do. Be willing to be vulnerable, to be broken, and to find wholeness in the process. Some of our most wonderful insights come from those times. As Paulo Coelho, author of The Alchemist, said,
“Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.”
Come from that place, and you will always head in the right direction.
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: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.
Suffering Starts With “J”
Suffering Starts with “J” You can argue over which way to mount the toilet paper or remember that feeling good feels better than feeling bad. By Gregg Sanderson So far, in past articles, we’ve shown how the only cause of suffering is needy BS (Belief Systems). The way out is to change it to better BS. From “Not OK” to “OK.” Easier said than done? Not really. It’s easy to do, once you get through the obstacle course. You’re loaded with limiting BS to overcome to get anywhere close to Unconditional Love. Now that you know a happy life is just a matter of changing your BS to “It’s OK,” how come you haven’t done it yet? You haven’t recognized the effects of the “Three ‘J’s” — Justassoonas, Justification and Judgment. Put them all together and they spell “Jerk” (a little poetic license here), which is what you become if you think they’ll make you happy. Me, too.
I’ll be happy justassoonas… …I graduate …I move out …I have a girl friend (boy friend) …I get my degree …I get a good job …I get a promotion …I get married …I have kids …I make more money …the kids move out …I can dump this loser …I get married again …I retire …I get to Heaven …I reincarnate into a better life.
The big problem with the justassoonases is they always change, so what happens? You graduate and still aren’t happy, so you get a job and still aren’t happy…and on and on. Ken Keyes says,
“If you can’t be happy here and now, what makes you think you’ll be happy ten minutes from now. Or ten years from now?”
The only happiness is NOW. As long as you can change the unconscious BS that makes you feel bad, it’s always within your immediate grasp.
“I have a right to be miserable because.…” “…I had an unhappy childhood.” “…Mommy didn’t love me.” “…I could never please my father.” “…I didn’t have a father.” “…I don’t get no satisfaction.” “…I was bullied.” “…I have a lousy job.” “…I didn’t get promoted.” “…It’s a bad economy.” “…My ancestors were slaves.” “…My ancestors owned slaves.” “…I’m gay.” “…I’m straight.” “…I’m poor.” “…I was pampered.” “…I’m not good looking.” “…I’m a sinner.” “…I’m unlucky” “…I have ADHD” “…I had poor toilet training.” “…All I think about is sex.” “…All you think about is sex.” “…God hates me.” “…You left me.” “…I’m not perfect.” “…You’re not perfect.” “…My kids aren’t perfect.” “…The government isn’t perfect.” “…Nobody’s perfect.” “…Life sucks.” No doubt some of those justifications produced a chuckle. I’ll bet one or more reminded you of somebody you know. Chances are somebody was also chuckling and thinking of you. Remember, the BS is UNconscious.
Justassoonaz points to the future. Justification draws from the past and present. Judgment is here and now. It’s the heart of most BS and if your goal is Unconditional Love, judgment must go. This is most difficult because it’s held in such high esteem. You make your conscious judgments, every day in everything you do. They feel natural and innocuous. You judge everything somebody feels, thinks, says and does. When you judge with your emotions, you have to prove your position is the right one, and also that any other is wrong. Furthermore, you judge the person as well as the thought. For example: “My way is right. Yours is wrong.” “My religion is true. Yours is false.” “My political party is good. Yours is evil.” “My opinion is good. You’re uninformed.” “My music is good. Yours is noise.” “My laundry detergent is good. Yours is bad.” “My grammar is correct. You’re uneducated.” “My lifestyle is fulfilling. Yours is stupid.” “My kid is an angel. Yours is a devil.” “My manners are correct. Yours are Neanderthal.” “My diet is healthy. Yours is pathetic.” You get the idea. There’s a simple way to identify the judgment based on emotional BS. You are into judging if, when you encounter an opposing view, you feel irritation, anger or fear. If you judge yourself, you can add guilt and worry to the mix. If any of
those feelings show themselves to you, you can be sure it’s because of your BS.
Let’s look at one item that causes conflict in many relationships—the tissue issue.
You know for sure that the right way to mount the toilet paper is so it comes over the top rather than out from under. You partner believes otherwise. After a minor skirmish, you assert your authority and mount it “the right way”—over the top. Then you get a cat that likes to play in the bathroom. It only takes one episode and you mount the paper the other way. When you change your BS, you realize it still performs its function just fine. You learn that its presence is more important than its presentation. Remember, we’ve defined Unconditional Love as the emotional acceptance of what is. If “what is” doesn’t fit your BS that says how it should be, you’re into judgment. You seek out the company of “like minded” people. Of course, you don’t have a society of “over the top” TP mounters, because nobody cares that much. How about religion? You have the sprinklers vs. the dunkers, among many others. Or politics, where you’re informed, they’re uninformed, and rare the twains shall meet. Unconditional Love sees beyond the self-righteous BS. You don’t have to make other people wrong to feel good about yourself. Except for those who spell “judgment” j-u-d-g-E-m-e-n-t.
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 http://www.newthoughtglobal.org.
Dance Outside the Lines
By Arielle Giordano Are you willing to dance to a new rhythm in your life? Stepping into the zone of the unknown can trigger fluctuations in emotions, moods, thoughts and feelings, and it creates an experience that is uncomfortable. Why? Because you are moving out of your comfort zone!
Commit to move beyond your comfort zone and boundaries...
within and let it move you forward. Patterns, conditioning, the past and beliefs are going to surface, but you can move through them and any resistance to change. Be aware and conscious of the knowing that speaks subtly and softly Are you ready to find comfort in through your body, and find the openyour discomfort? Life can turn upside down ness and softness in your heart. in the blink of an eye: a new job, relationship, career, marriage, divorce, location or house. Yet, however disruptive the event is in your life, you always have the ability to respond by being open and fluid, rather than closing up and tightening with fear. When a new space opens, there is a physical response and it’s okay to feel it in your body.
Changing life experiences and stories can push us into a shell like a tiny turtle retreating.
When you are okay, you are As adults, we often become open and able to listen to the knowing fearful of freedom and dancing our own 28
,,,and learn to find comfort in discomfort. dance. However, remember that you get to choose to be okay when it comes time to make a shift in your normal, routine ways of doing and being. You can set yourself free and let go of old stories, patterns, conditioning and beliefs. Let life take hold as you flow and grow. Adopt a way of being that sets you free to be and move into what is fresh and new. Dance, twirl and swing outside of your boundaries. Can you transform your “Someday” into Sunday? Dancing outside the lines is an invitation and opportunity to step into a new you! This may feel scary, but know that is okay. Be flexible like a newborn baby exploring the world and awakening and seeing something new every day.
Outside the Lines Children naturally play in their innocence. They do not question anything or judge anyone. Children are carefree and do not worry about what other people think or how they look to the world. As a child, you likely enjoyed every moment and had fun. Being childlike, you did not hold back your thoughts, feelings and actions. You always told the truth to yourself. You even broke the rules. As a child, you were taught to always paint blue skies, grass
green and trees with leaves. Were you also told to always stay inside the lines when coloring? Life is overflowing with possibilities; donâ€™t conform to unimportant rules. Dancing, coloring and painting inside the lines stifles your creativity and may even stop your progress toward achieving your full potential. Set yourself free to reach new possibilities in your career, relationships and artistic endeavors.
Dance from the inside out. Explore and engage in being new and fresh. Are you ready to step up and take a risk? Dance yourself free and embrace your creativity and play! Set the stage and step into what is next on your path! Let whatever is inside of you outside the lines. Dance into the mysterious and embrace your dreams!
Dancing from the Inside Out with Arielle Giordano Arielle Giordanoâ€™s new book, Dancing with Your Story from the Inside Out, was released in March 2017. With a Masters of Arts and Masters of Education, Arielle is an author, professional dancer, inspirational speaker, certified Essentrics/Aging Backwards instructor, and workshop facilitator. She enjoys sharing her gifts and talents with an authentic style rich in the grace of dance, psychology, philosophy and the expressive arts. Her career includes: provisional psychologist, guidance counselor and substance-abuse therapist. As a Lead Faculty Area Chairperson and Faculty Member for College of Humanities at the University of Phoenix, she inspired students with her creative gifts. She also writes for Tampa Bay Wellness, We Woman and Transformation Magazine.
The Drama Triangle
By Lotus Josiah Seng
In Part 1 of this article, we examine how repetitive role-playing can keep clients from forming healthy longterm relationships. Have you heard of the Bermuda Triangle? It’s a mysterious 500,000square-mile section of the Atlantic Ocean bound by Miami, Bermuda and Puerto Rico where many ships and airplanes have disappeared without a trace. Unexplained circumstances surround many of the incidents, and theorists have suggested everything from aliens and sea monsters to time warps and magnetic anomalies. 30
The mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle often come up in my mind when I am confronted with another triad: the Drama Triangle, a model used in interventions to spot common relational dysfunctions. By understanding the dynamics of this trinity, it’s possible for coaches to bring to light and then help eliminate the mysterious unhealthy behaviors and subconscious drivers that sabotage relationships.
Let’s start this discussion with an example, and then we will analyze the individual components of the Drama Triangle.
THE NEVERENDING DEBT
V.J. grew up with a single mother named O.J., who had several relationships with men she selected
based in how they could advance her life and help her escape poverty. V.J. had to adjust not only to the dynamics of these different relationships, but he also had to deal with his mother’s alcoholism and the effects the disease had on both of their lives. O.J relied on V.J., and V.J. served as O.J.’s crutch. As a result of this dysfunctional relationship, V.J. developed a confused concept of what a healthy relationship entailed. Throughout his years into adulthood, V.J. had girlfriends but he avoided marriage. Similar to O.J., he dreamed of escaping the life he knew growing up. V.J. looked for a woman who had the potential to become successful, and eventually he married a smart, accomplished, beautiful woman, and they had children. At the same time, O.J. made it clear in her actions and words that V.J. had to prioritize
her at all times; he was in debt to O.J. just for being her son. Fast forward: Now a middleaged man, V.J. is still unable to maintain a long-term healthy relationship. He plans his escape out of one relationship and jumps into another, leaving his exes emotionally drained, confused, hurt and embarrassed. Each partner was accomplished, caring and attractive—yet vulnerable. V.J. prefers women who allow him to play around and who will support him financially. His decisions appear narcissistic, pragmatic and opportunistic. Like O.J., his motives boil down to securing a stable financial home base. Then, as soon as he’s safe, he disrupts the situation by inserting O.J. into his relationship. They are a package deal. O.J. manipulates V.J. to always put her first, while V.J. simultaneously manipulates partners to get what he needs. When confronted with his behavior, V.J. turns the tables and makes his partners doubt their own sanity. V.J. and O.J. are addicted to the Drama Triangle.
THE SCIENCE OF THE DRAMA TRIANGLE
When a relationship drains all of your energy, it can be caused by the destructive pattern of the Drama Triangle, which occurs both in personal and professional relationships. There are three distinguished roles in the Drama Triangle: Rescuer, Victim and Prosecutor. (See figure on the following page.) Most of us are neurologically programmed to play all three roles. Depending on the context, we will consciously or unconsciously choose one of three roles. For instance, many people like the role of victim because is a convenient way to draw attention to themselves. After playing the role of a victim, they often turn into rescuers, then persecutors. A Drama Triangle takes place with only three roles, so when there are more than three players, several people play
the same role. Moreover, the Drama Triangle is not static; it is in motion. The players move quickly and reactively from one role to another; in other words, they swap between roles. Assuming these roles can undermine a healthy relationship, but you can help clients break through the drama pattern with the right approach. Developed by Stephen Karpman, the Drama Triangle is a practical interpretation of Transactional Analysis (TA), which was introduced by Eric Berne in the middle of the 20th Century.
TA is defined as: “a system of popular psychology based on the idea that one’s behavior and social relationships reflect an interchange between parental (critical and nurturing), adult (rational), and childlike (intuitive and dependent) aspects of personality established early in life.”
Here are two examples of TA.
Example 1: V.J. starts a relationship because he desires sex and a roof over his head while he is playing the role of entrepreneur (or working a job as he calls it). Unsuccessful phone calls, meetings, traveling to foreign countries, and then add a frustrated partner who’s suffering from this lifestyle. During the honey-
moon phase it’s exciting. New imprints, exciting stories, but after a while it turns into a burden and V.J.’s success rates are questioned. Meanwhile, O.J. leans on V. J. because her social security check is insufficient to fund her alcoholic habits. V.J. is reminded by O.J. that she gave birth to him, so he owes her. V.J. either moves her in or gets her an apartment close enough to maintain the tightknit relationship. The new partner, who simply wants to rescue him, gets fed up when V.J. can’t commit. He expects total loyalty but is unable to reciprocate. V.J. needs to hustle to care for O.J. He often doesn’t pay child support because in his mind the mother of his children makes enough money. Whenever he “blesses” his kids with his presence, in his mind it equals the care, love and financial contribution made by the children’s mother. When the kids achieve, he’s the first to brag and claim he’s part of their success. He doesn’t see any reason why he’s financially accountable for his own offspring. When confronted, he blows up. How dare anyone question him! He must care for O.J. He carefully plans his exit out of a romantic relationship when his kids move or O.J. needs more support. Or he seeks another victim for his lifestyle when his current partner signals she has had enough. He complains about his current partner to a new prospect, and/or tries to feel better about his desperate situation by rescuing O.J. and/or the new prospect from her ex, teenage kids or whatever the scenario is. He ghosts his old partner and starts a new life with a new partner—and the cycle starts again. Example 2: A corporate manager collects data from many departments. She has conflicts with the engineers, the office manager, the assistant, etc. She has control issues in her professional world, as well as in her private life. During a personal effectiveness training program she attended, several groups had to work together on team building. The majority of the group suggests ways to improve the collaborations this manager complains about. De31
spite the fact that the group has excellent suggestions, the manager claims she has tried it all before. She is desperate; nothing works. She counters each suggestion with an example of why it would not work. The group starts to feel helpless. She asks individuals and the group as a whole for help, but she never accepts the help nor is she willing to try any of the suggestions. She’s all by herself. Nobody can help her; nobody loves her.
and advice; or • a partner who’s sulking because you haven’t done what he or she was hoping for.
The Rescuer tries to please, help and rescue the victim. He or she acts as a protector, a knight in shining armor. The rescuer is the one who strives to restore the equilibrium by: providing advice and/or offering solutions to problems. The rescuer steps in and claims to help the victim out. “Just do what I say and everything will be fine.” The rescuer feels important, Now let’s define the specific good and nice. When a rescuer is conroles in the Drama Triangle. fronted with skeptics or rejection, he’s taken off guard.
ROLES IN THE DRAMA TRIANGLE
Characterizing a person with the word victim doesn’t sound sympathetic. He or she sends an implicit message of suffering. The victim wants you to feel she needs to be rescued. Or he is subjected to the attacks of the persecutor. In a wider context, the victim can be the one undergoing change, struggling against the change, or the one whose equilibrium is disturbed. Examples include: • a friend asking for help; • a coworker struggling in conflict with another coworker asking for help
The prosecutor is also the receiver of help. This was the case in Example 2. The group tried to encourage the manager to make changes and look at the problem from different angles, but the manager pushed back and did not have enthusiasm. The manager cannot have a breakthrough, and the rescuers feel responsible to continue providing suggestions, solutions, etc. Can you see the close similarities between the prosecutor and the
victim? There’s only one main differentiating point. The prosecutor unconsciously objects to and rejects suggestions and advice with comments such as: • “You really don’t understand my situation.” • “It’s easy for you to say that but in my situation.” • “I tried but it didn’t work for me.”
The underlying message to these responses is: “Yes, but…” and that means “No.” The prosecutor may not always respond, and by the prosecutor not acting, not changing anything about his/ her situation, the rescuer experiences and feels he/she has not done enough to solve the problem. The rescuer reacts to the prosecutor’s role by making more efforts to save, help and bring up more solutions. Initially rescuer is motivated by care, love, commitment or involvement but sooner or later these feelings turn into irritations, helplessness and eventually exhaustion. Now we know the problem. The victim or prosecutor is stuck in the cycle of drama with the rescuer. Next month, in part two of this article, we will address how coaches can help to break through this barrier and get clients on the road to healthier relationships.
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; and 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, five coaches are affiliated with the firm. ETS’ team has more than 25 years of accumulative experience as licensed meditators and certified relationship, cognitive behavior therapy, NLP and change management coaching practitioners. ETS’ team consists of C-suite executives who serve as mentors for peers in several industries. The ETS team works as coaches and mediators with companies, couples, siblings, families and executives to foster personal growth, improve relationships, and foster all aspects of healthy and effective communication. ETS’ objective is to inspire leaders and influencers to discover their uncovered potential. Lotus’ vision stems from her solution-focused coaching philosophy. She created the Map. Your. Future.© interactive game and methodology using neuroscience to tap clients’ unique strengths. Her 17- and 18-steps plan results in a creative visual map based on critical thinking and an analytical process towards (shared) goals, missions and objectives. For more information email: lotus@etsbylotus. com or follow Lotus on Twitter: EtsbyLotus or Instagram: Sheswalkingwithwings.
Profound Mysteries at the Edge of the World
Death can open the gate to a part of us that is not transitory and reveal an illumined vision of who and what we are, which inevitably awakens us a new view of our earthly sojourn. by Juliette Jones Each of us must find a way to live with the certainty of physical death and to be with the idea of dying. In the modern world, where our Western culture has largely lost touch with the mysteries of superconsciousness nature and our cosmological roots, death is portrayed almost exclusively as the Grim Reaper. In the past 30 years, the hospice movement has made positive strides to bring the subject of death into the open and to promote a more enlightened view of death and dying. Still, the material cultural archetype remains such that many people wish to avoid the subject of death and find even the idea of death threatening or frightening.
“Love and death are the great gifts given us. Mostly they are passed unopened.” - Ranier Maria Rilke 34
The repression of death awareness is unhealthy and robs people of real life and the opportunity for human growth and spiritual development which, in turn, paves the way for many forms of social pathology. Denial, while it clearly serves as a protective mechanism for what the ego is not ready to face, requires a tremendous expenditure of energy that might have purpose in other ways. Spiritual genius has always encouraged the pursuit of truth as a path to wisdom and spiritual insight. Sooner or later, most of us will encounter the death of something or someone we love. A willingness to be with the truth of death, which can bring profound grief and psycho-spiritual suffering, could shatter the limit of what we feel the ego can endure and bring us face-to-face with the transitory nature of the purely human experience. Yet, if we are willing to be open to this unacceptable state of affairs, it is possible that we can be shown something beyond what the ego perceives as the limits of reality.
“We have no idea how deep the connection between us and reality goes.” - Gregg Braden For those willing to walk this path, death can open the gate to a part of us that is not transitory—to a greater reality of self hidden behind space-time and form—and reveal an illumined vision of who and what we are which inevitably awakens us to a new view of our earthly sojourn.
My first encounter with physical death took place early in life when I came upon the death of a deeply loved pet. When I reached out to touch her soft fur, I found the shell of her body had turned hard and cold. In despair, I called out for my father, who rushed to my side and immediately assessed what had happened. “Where is she?” I begged to know. His eyes were soft but penetrating, as he responded, “I don’t know.”
Although I didn’t realize it at the time, what took place was an authentic “Buddha Moment,” as it set the stage for an integral part of my course in life. I was shocked to hear that my father, who clearly knew the answers to many important questions, could not answer the most important question that I sensed I would ever ask. I found myself making a vow that I would someday come to know the answer to this mystery. My childhood was filled with lucid dreams, paranormal events and numinous transpersonal experiences, all of which contributed to the foundation of my spiritual view and life path. It was my great fortune to have a mother who realized the nature of such experiences, as she came from a family line where second-sight and other varieties of supernatural insight were commonplace and accepted as a natural part of physical life. Through her, I came to understand the value of having someone with gnosis to assist in processing and integrating transpersonal experience. Anthropologist Hank Wessel-
man believes that each of us has a biological-energetic “program” on our DNA—on our genetic “hard drive,” so to speak—and when this program is “double-clicked,” higher functions coded into the personal mind-body matrix can be awakened. When this happens, conscious awareness expands dramatically in response, allowing us to experience that direct personal connection with the sacred realms that define the mystic. According to Dr. Wesselman, there are a variety of ways this “program” might be triggered which include the following: • Congenital ability (present from birth) • Transcendent experiences (e.g. Near Death Experience) • Life crisis, serious illness or trauma • Lucid dreams • Visitations • Fasting • Sleep deprivation • Hyperventilation • Temperature extremes (e.g. sweat lodge, fever)
• Intensely physical experiences • Sacred sex • Entheogenic experiences
“A willingness to approach edges, to live on the edge, will increase the probability that a person will approach a spiritual edge: the intersection point between the world of matter and the world of spirit where extraordinary breakthroughs in consciousness can occur.” - Thom Hartmann 35
Four decades after making my childhood vow, I found myself in the employ of hospice as a clinical spiritual counselor. By that time, I had spent most of my adult life reading, studying and traveling as a spiritual seeker. At the onset of my career with hospice, I didn’t realize that the people I was destined to serve would become some of my greatest teachers. The bedside of the dying is a sacred intersection at the edge of the world. It’s a place where the dimension of time shortens, then disappears—a place where the veil between this world and higher dimensional reality waxes, often opening and closing before the final curtain. Staged in this humble setting, remarkable experiences take place. Angels deliver messages (literally), powerful mind-rocking synchronicities shatter weak explanations of “coincidence,” and visions reveal information the dying individual could not possibly know which can be objectively corroborated. This and much more occurs.
BEFORE DEATH EXPERIENCES
The International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS) has published a PDF brochure titled NDE’s and Nearing Death Awareness (NDA) in the Terminally Ill (https://iands.org/ resources/support/seriously-or-terminally-ill/ndes-and-ndas.html), which gives a solid clinical description of what is called Nearing Death Awareness (Callahan and Kelley, 1992). I think there should be a clearer distinction between the phrase “Nearing Death Awareness” and the experience that precedes the permanent cessation of physical life. I
realize there is clearly overlap, but some of this experience could be better differentiated by use of the phrase “Before Death Experience,” or BDE. A BDE would almost universally include the manifestation of a deceased relative or a sacred being, either in a lucid dream or a fully conscious etheric vision. The figure beckons the individual to come forth into the next world. This might be through a gesture, telepathic message or strong transmission of profound love. This experience is extremely common and, if you ask any hospice nurse, she (or he) will tell you that she has heard this many times.
“The mention of angels is inclusive in Scripture. Depending on the Bible translation searched, these celestial beings are referred to from 294 to 305 times in the Bible. References to angels occur at least 116 times in the Old Testament and 175 times in the New Testament.” - Bible.org BDEs and other types of transpersonal experiences, once integrated, are likely to mediate grief or the fear of death. Recent surveys have shown that as many as one in two of us has encountered an involutionary
transpersonal experience at some point in our lives. As the conscious “Transformational Community” grows, the life-limiting superstition of materialism will consequently lose ground.
“Once I experienced that [transpersonal experience], it started to profoundly change the nature of my life, and after that of who I thought I was…Until then I had identified with that which dies, and as long as you identify with that which dies there is always fear of death because it’s the fear of cessation of existence. I realize now that although I didn’t know the form that I would take after death, I knew that there was something about the essence of my awareness that was outside of death.”—Ram Dass
Mind. Body. SPirit. with Juliette Gay Jones Juliette Gay Jones grew up in Michigan where she knew every tree, rock, animal and flower in the universe of the family backyard. As a writer, public speaker, New Thought Minister and clinically certified spiritual counselor serving hospice for over 20 years, she exercises her passion for research and progressive self-realization. A strong interest in the magic of theatrical arts eventually led to a Master of Fine Arts degree from Michigan State University. “The stage is a place where the invisible can appear.” She also holds a Ph.D. in Pastoral Counseling. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. 36
This month we'll dive into how to make sure you're CHARGING WHAT YOU'RE WORTH for your services and how to develop BLUE OCEAN THINKING (whic...
Published on May 17, 2018
This month we'll dive into how to make sure you're CHARGING WHAT YOU'RE WORTH for your services and how to develop BLUE OCEAN THINKING (whic...