Personal & Spiritual Growth

Here is a list of a few concepts from a new book about personal growth and spiritual process that I plan to publish by the end of this year, that covers some of what I teach in numerous workshops and share in my Life Coaching. As the book nears publication, I will post the information here and on my social media pages.

• The seven elements of essence
• Respond rather than react
• Influence rather than control
• Unconditional compassion rather than unconditional love
• We use 90% of our brain to keep us believing we only use 10%
• Embrace rather than comprehend
• Service rather than self-serve
• Understanding rather than judgment
• Embracing our essence rather than following our enculturation
• Lifestyle versus career
• Friendship rather than isolation
• Natural rather than normal
• Power rather than force
• Curiosity rather than fear
• Depth rather than shallow
• Understanding core beliefs rather than simply patterns
• Change rather than resistance
• Listening rather than talking
• Flexibility rather than rigidity
• Imagination rather than willpower
• Open-minded rather than dogma
• Living rather than dying
• Performance rather than trauma/drama
• Embracing rather than surrendering
• Optimism rather than pessimism
• Reverence for life rather than irreverence
• Responsibility rather than avoidance
• Essence rather than ego and personality
• Support rather than dominance
• Planning rather than worry
• Creativity rather than stagnation
• Transcend rather than circumvent

 

Circus Tightrope Walker

PROVENCE, FRANCE: 2013 vacation with Penny

Through many experiences, I have long believed that our imagination is greater than our willpower. Countless years ago, when I began my career in counseling, I was guiding a young woman who was experiencing a lack of meaningful relationships. During the process of learning more about her background, she mentioned that she was a tightrope walker in a well-known circus.

A tightrope walker is also acknowledged as a funambulist. “Ambulate,” comes from the Latin root meaning “to walk.” “Fun” comes from the Latin funds for “rope.”

I was curious about how she managed to keep her balance on an extremely narrow cord stretched high above the ground. She said that she used her imagination rather than her will power. She would imagine the cord being much wider allowing her to walk on it easily.

I asked her if she imagined the cord as wider than it was, why didn’t she step off the cord and fall? She said that believing it was wider gave her more balance and stability. When asked if it worked with the height of the tightrope, she said that it did. When she imagined the rope on the ground rather than high above it also encouraged confidence and balance.

I used her example of embracing imagination rather than willpower to support her with developing meaningful relationships.

When the therapy was successfully completed, I visited the circus and watched her performance. I did not miss the significance that her performance was without a safety net.

How to Survive the Loss of a Love

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Many years ago I had a curious experience. In my private counseling practice in Phoenix, Arizona. I was talking with a young woman who was anxiously sitting on my couch and who had recently experienced loss of a love relationship when it ended. She appeared inconsolable.

In the midst of her sobbing, we both were drawn to a thin paperback book that seemed to leap out of the bookcase several feet away across the room and landed on the floor face down in front of the coffee table by the couch. It was too far to have simply fallen out of the bookcase.

I thought of the significance for a moment as we each gazed at the book and in turn, looked questioningly at each other.

Although I had no idea what the book was I then said, “If I were you I would take that book home and read it.”

She just stared as I got up from my recliner and walked to the book. Intrigued, I picked it up and turned it over to read the cover and then I turned it around so she could read the title, “How to Survive the Loss of a Love.”

Whatever you think caused this specific book to spring out of the bookshelf and land nearly at her feet just when she needed it the most, suspend your judgment and nurture an open mind. Opportunity can happen when you least expect it. Frequently in unexpected ways when you have the courage to embrace it.

Needless to say, she took the book and left. In anticipation, I waited for her return the following week for our next session.

Redirecting Our Subconscious

In my 46+ years of professional service, I have observed a number of common patterns shared by numerous individuals. Patterns may be common; however, the individuals are anything but common. You might think of it this way. A significant part of you wants to create an effective resistance designed to slow your positive momentum. How is the best way for this to happen? Who knows you with the greatest accuracy and depth? Who knows your greatest fears and triggers? Who knows your inner secrets? Who knows what makes you feel ashamed or insecure? I believe that your subconscious knows all of this and much more.

When I am working in a Life Coaching partnership with an individual with demonstrable progress, I am not surprised that frequently resistance develops. There are a number of reasons that this happens. Depending on several diverse factors beginning in our infancy, we are enculturated. This includes parenting, schooling, societal values and beliefs, training and life experiences.

Our subconscious, which I believe is inherently supportive, evaluates our desires and life goals primarily based on literal interpretations of our thoughts and feelings. It develops a process to carry out what it believes we want without consideration of the accuracy or the long-term effects. For example, if we experience threats to our sense of vulnerability in childhood, we may tell ourselves that we will avoid interpersonal intimacy and vulnerability to avoid the painful hurt. Our subconscious may protect us by creating patterns of inaccessibility, irrational reactions, diminished self-esteem and other distractions. The result of this could be a lack of quality relationships, which then may reinforce lower self-esteem.

Our subconscious specifically creates an approach tailored uniquely to the individual. Over the years, I have found that this approach is incredibly effective and incorporates an intricate series of processes. The more complex the individual, the more complexity in the process.

I believe that a conscientious and quality Life Coach requires a thorough “detective” strategy to uncover the intent and approaches created by an individual’s subconscious. The individual is educated about these discoveries and given meaningful steps to change the patterns, which redirects the subconscious. Since this is not a therapeutic process, the goal is to utilize this information to make the necessary changes of the patterns and to continue the positive momentum without unnecessary focus on the psychological factors.

The Day The Earth Stood Still

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In 1951 when I was in elementary school, I watched movies during lunch along with a five cents bag of popcorn. One movie was The Day the Earth Stood Still. The film was one of the first science fiction genre that focused on humanity rather than extraterrestrial violence.

It was only recently when I  read “Farewell to the Master,” that I realized the movie came from a thought-provoking story written by Harry Bates in 1940 and how different the movie was from the original story. A decade later the story was made into a movie called, The Day the Earth Stood Still. The movie’s impact on me was monumental. From that day on, I changed my perspective about ‘aliens’ and referred to extraterrestrials as ‘friendlies.’

You might be asking yourself what this has to do with life coaching, the primary emphasis of this site. Well, it is about perspective. During my many years of providing counseling and then life coaching, it became clear that a person’s perspective could make all the difference in their achieving success, fulfillment, joy, abundance and a well-balanced lifestyle.

I am sure that you have your own examples of how changing your perspective made a difference in your life. I remember years ago when I was the executive director of a mental health agency in Southern California and two women walked into the office just before closing. One woman was obviously in great distress and sobbing. The other woman, unable to calm her friend down, decided to bring her for some mental health support. She shared how her friend’s house had just burned to the ground with everything she owned and how devastated she was.

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Life Coaching Tip: Balance, Order, Rhythm & Harmony

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Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony. ~Thomas Merton

We have been enculturated to establish two separate personalities. There is the ‘work you’ and the ‘not at work you’ who is everywhere else. I believe that it is wiser to become who we are, our authentic natural self wherever we are. We derive a great deal of meaningful, fulfilling pleasure and success by being more natural and integrated.

Here is a list for you to practice at both work and other areas of your life for a more balanced lifestyle.

  • Avoid perfectionism.
  • Set and enforce boundaries guilt-free boundaries. Learn to say “no.”
  • Avoid over-commitment.
  • Define your situation.
  • Embrace rather than react.
  • Create a schedule.
  • Find your own balance.
  • Have a back-up care plan.
  • Develop a strong support system.
  • Plan and prioritize.
  • Influence rather than control.
  • Encourage a wider perspective.
  • Respect your private time.
  • Stay closer with nature.
  • Outsource wherever you can.
  • Develop flexible schedules.
  • Devise creative ways to sleep, rest, eat and exercise.
  • Have a social life.
  • Practice mindfulness.
  • Set manageable goals each day.
  • Get personal and professional support.
  • Treat your body the best way that you can.
  • Do not obsess.
  • Learn what you can control and what you cannot.
  • Love, care and nurture your mind, body and spirit.
  • Recharge your emotional and physical batteries frequently.
  • Use technology.
  • Avoid interruptions.