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Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

The Problem With [Most] Male Polarity Coaches [Introduction]

Polarity coaching | Love Coaching

One of the things I have noticed about the current conversation around masculine/feminine dynamics and masculinity, in general, is just how threatened some men teaching polarity seem to be by certain things.

Notice I did not call them leaders - just people teaching these dynamics. There is a flavor to the way they teach it that reminds me of a born-again Christian who was recently baptized, or someone in a 12-Step program in their first few months of sobriety. Or a recent convert from one religion to another, or like somebody engaged in partisan politics who feels that the other side is evil even when they agree with their proposal. Or somebody who has recently found a transformational path - be it meditation or a community or a weekend workshop - and find it to quench a thirst that they've had for decades - and can’t stop talking about it and are hounding you to go.

This is understandable. As humans when we find a solution to a problem that we suffered from that may not have even been articulated previously we engage in it with a certain zeal.

The problem is there is an even greater need for clear, powerful, centered, principled men and the masculine these days. Feminine women are craving it - and the world is crying out for principled leadership, a commitment to truth, and is longing for depth.

And that last part is the real challenge here.

Make no mistake: men who are two-dimensional in their approach to masculine-feminine dynamics [meaning they lack depth, understanding of context, and when to powerfully lead and when to be more in flow, and the ability to calibrate to what is needed when and with whom] are the loudest voices in this domain. But you can engage in polarity without being polarizing.

You can be clear without being a dogmatic fundamentalist. We are all evolving all the time. What is the nature of personal evolution? The increasing capacity to take on an ever-increasing number of perspectives. To understand. To be able to argue from the other side and only then to show why you disagree with it. To honor it and then offer a better approach. It’s clear that these dogmatic, fundamentalists are in reaction. They are in fear. You can tell by their reactivity and their deflection. You can tell by their lack of tolerance for dissent.

You can tell by the things they are triggered by: Prince, conversations around gender identification, and their assertion that the trappings - the costume - of masculinity [beard and boots] are the answer. If they were really certain of their own internal masculine core - what I am calling a Column of Iron and Light - they would not be threatened by any of these things.

They would know it does not matter what someone wears. Don’t mistake reactivity and contraction for clarity and warriorship.

They are not offering a new, emergent path. Rather they are offering a 50s style approach because it makes them feel safer in chaotic times. That is also intrinsic to the nature of evolution: when we are under pressure, we contract and regress. We go back to stable structures that give us comfort. But that is not what we need right now. What we need is a new path that provides a better option that addresses the current chaos, and provides clarity in the face of it without denying or deflecting the realities of our current, complex times.

What we need are more Evolutionary Gentlemen.

Continue with Part 1 of The Problem With Most Male Polarity Coaches »here«

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Purpose, Service, Offerings, Path, Upcoming NLP Training

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I’ve been in this business a long time. Over 18 years now. But recently someone I knew and followed me on social media reached out to me and was not even sure if I even still engaged in one-on-one work.

Of course, I do. Of course, I am.

But that indicated to me I needed to reach out to you and just review the past and mention an upcoming training as well.

-

At some point, I was called to purpose in a way that had me know in my bones that there was nothing for me to do but be in service of others evolving.

Engaging in it professionally began in 2004, and while it took me a couple of years of making all the mistakes one can make in this particular business I finally figured it out or “cracked the code” if you will in 2006 which was my first 6-figure year in this business.

After 18 years and after guiding well over 500 clients through 6-month programs, I thought it might be time to re-introduce myself as a lot of people following me here have only seen a slice of my work as my focus shifted to relationships and relating and I have received a lot of feedback lately around how people perceive my work. Many - an odd number - think I only work with men. And recently someone called me a “relationship expert”. I openly laughed at that and responded: I am not sure there even is such a thing as a “relationship expert”.

Also, hilariously, a client I recently signed from here on Facebook reached out and asked if I was even still in this business. That cracked me up.

So to correct and clarify the record I’ll list off the phases my business and offerings have gone through over the years, and then ground the whole thing in how I was called to purpose at a certain point of my path - while briefly illuminating some milestones along the way.

✨2004-2006 figuring out how in the heck to make it an actual business. Even though I had been a sales trainer for Tony Robbins, I quickly figured out that the relationship between client and Guide is too intimate to simply bolt on a sales system from some other business - which is where most coaches and those teaching coaches how to build their business get it wrong.

✨2006-2008 and to the Present: offering comprehensive Personal Evolution - with three phases to that structured - yet formless - 6-month program. What do I mean by that? The Phases 1. Healing and Clearing, 2. Education, self-esteem, sense of self, navigating your interiors, etc., and 3. Integration and ad hoc application were always the same regardless of the context, just sometimes called other things. But the form - what was handled in each phase - is entirely dependent on the outcomes drawn out of the client. It is purely in service of those.

🔥At one point I signed 49 clients in a row to 6-month programs [no one said no in that stretch] so I figured it was time I systematized my sales system - or reverse-engineered it is more accurate.🔥

✨2008-2014-ish I added teaching coaches and holistic practitioners how to build their businesses. The best part of my sales system is ~98% of the people I work with report it never feels like sales because it is entirely outcome-based. More on that another time.

🔮But if you think that personal evolution is not part of building your business you are … mistaken. Clearing out negative imprints and beliefs about money and spirituality, working on your worthiness of receiving, clearing fear and anxiety, and perhaps shame are all critical for your business success. So we always start there because then when we implement business strategies in Phase 2, it moves with so much more velocity and ease in your nervous system.

✨2014-2018 I did a few corporate gigs for small personal development companies - both designing coaching packages for them and teaching their team how to sell them ethically using my system.

✨2019 my attention turned to relationships, so-called “polarity”, and … well, what a clean, healthy, and evolved relationship would look and feel like.

It clearly began as more of a critique of the complete stuff I saw out there in the space. So many unclean and unhealthy principles that were clearly coming from a place of regression and for most relationship coaches - clearly from their wounding rather than from a place of vision and emergence. And as a die-hard romantic, I felt there was simply a better way.

Some of you may have seen my 4-part series on my website critiquing polarity coaches (especially the male coaches).

✨Along the way I designed and facilitated 5 NLP Evolutionary NLP Practitioner certifications - all 7 months long - in 2006, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2022. Why “evolutionary”? Because to me, all work we do is better served by understanding Integral Theory - Quadrants, Levels, Lines, States, and Types. So both stages of ego development and emotional and moral development a la Graves, Gebser, Kohlberg and Gilligan, Wilber, et al - or simply verticality (or stages of depth if you prefer that metaphor) is critical to know what your client needs when, in what order, for what outcome.

But in terms of rapid transformation healing your past reducing triggers and clearing trauma - including generational trauma - there is nothing more efficient, elegant, effective, and holistic than processes like Time Line Clearing, Parental, Core Transformation, sub-modality shifts, and the like.

And therein lies another misconception about my work. While yes, I have been a certified NLP Master Practitioner and trainer since 1995 [29 years now], I do not identify as such.

I am an Evolutionary Guide™ (which transcends but includes “coach”). I accelerate evolution. Your evolution. But it also means I work within an Integral framework.

My work is best suited for people who have already done a lot of personal development - perhaps in weekend workshops, etc, and even therapy, but want more intentionality around their outcomes with more effective approaches.

ANYWHO ...

I am also offering another Evolutionary NLP Practitioner Certification training. This will be the 6th.

It is designed for coaches, healers, practitioners, professional communicators, and humans who just want to massively accelerate their personal development within a container - and with logistics designed - for integration.

It kicks off in just a few months.

You can see full details for the NLP training (including curriculum, logistics, and an extensive FAQ section here: https://evolutionarycompanies.com/nlp-training

If you want to have a complimentary 30-minute initial conversation with me to see whether it makes sense for us to work together in service of your outcomes, you can just go ahead and schedule that here: https://calendly.com/evolve-co/30min

Wishing you only good things. Always.

In Your Service,

McClain

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Cults | Also: Practitioner and Coach Categories and Types

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Someone asked me if I had watched "The Deep End" - the documentary about Teal Swan. I had never heard of her. I watched the trailer and as soon as I heard her speak, I knew she was full of sh*t. Took me 5-10 seconds.

Then I had someone tell me the kinds of things she has people engage in and I was disgusted. after stating what I saw as the positive purpose of the exercise, I broke down for the person the dynamics and meta-structures of what she was up to in those instances and why one should not do that to participants, and how it is actually counter-productive.

But this is not about her - it is about cults and cult-like communities in general, many of which are far worse and include a lot more systemic pathology. And the exposure of some of them in recent years ... has me thinking about cults and coaches and politics and just how and why people fall for these people, be they gurus or politicians. Which got me thinking about the transformation industry in general.

I try to spend as little time as possible thinking about the coaching and practitioner industry. That might seem strange since I have been in it for so long (full-time since 2004), but honestly, the more I am exposed to it, the more I find myself recoiling. Maybe it is what I perceive as a lack of depth in the industry, or - as a meme one friend sent me the other day said, “God, please give me the confidence of a 25-year-old life coach”. But in contemplating it - and in noticing trends over the 30 years I have been engaged in transformational communities, I have distinguished a few “types”.

These are off the top of my head, so I am open - and welcome - any feedback, comments, or additions. Or for you to share your own experience in encountering these or other categories of “coach”.

✨✨✨✨

🔮The Regurgitator: they parrot the thing they just read, heard, or learned in a workshop and they get it all over everyone. Very little precision, and it often feels very gross (vs subtle) and like a blunt instrument. A lot of projection may be involved. You can contort yourself to see how it fits, but it really has little to do with what is happening for you or your desired outcomes (if they even asked you about that). They also have little apply-to-self or self-reflection. 

🔮The Mentor: they have vast experience in one area and teach others how they succeeded (sometimes often after a lot of trial and error or at least one major failure).

🔮The Technician: They are very skilled in a very narrow area - one modality - and it is the only lens they view things through, they are, however, very competent at that one thing.

🔮The Mindset Master: They really have one primary tool: linguistic or perspective reframes. “If you just think about it differently, you’ll feel better”. While this is true - and critical for day-to-day happiness and an integral part of developing facility with self, the problem with this one is if used as the only tool - or over-applied - it often steps over somatic feelings and emotional build-up that will need to eventually be cleared out - and in doing so they stack up in their body and may lead to a massive meltdown of sadness or depression later on. The deeper thing needs to be addressed and often goes unaddressed so they are engaging in bypass or what I heard recently may be termed as “toxic positivity”.

🔮The Synthesizer: they consume all forms of personal development and likely have for some time and then come up with their own version that is an amalgamation or an integration - or new material entirely that builds on what came before. They are also very good at pulling from that experience and applying it at a more individual level for people - choosing the approach or modality that will best serve them in the presenting context at that time. There is both depth and breadth.

🔮The Guru: This one seems to have deep spiritual knowledge and has adoring followers. Their followers' eyes glaze over when they talk about them as if they are under a spell. Sometimes it is unclear what specific value they bring or if the followers integrate the teachings into their lives. People often fall in love with them and at some point, their illusions are shattered and they become very disillusioned. As much as they were in love with them is the degree to which they will now have disdain for them.

The benefit, of course, is the feelings of community and acceptance the student experiences with other followers and the shared experience. Until, of course, the inevitable descent into pathology or cult-like dynamics. Over 80% of them seem to engage in sexual misconduct at some point.

I have a theory that the larger a transformational community becomes, the more it tends toward pathology even if the leader is pure in intention, teaching, and their own personal ethics.

🔮The Scam Artist: This speaks for itself. Some of them just see a way to make money and do not even see themselves as scamming people, but are usually very entitled, charge above market rates for their services out of the gate with little experience, and may even encourage a “wish list” purchase, etc. (like a dominatrix or escort would), including tools for their business they could and should ethically purchase themselves. Often they do month-to-month agreements instead of extended offerings because they either do not have the energetic capacity to hold someone over several months, or are not competent enough to continue with a client beyond the quick sale of the 1-month agreement. Maybe it’s a side gig. One of many. They also get a dopamine hit from being in a position of authority in someone’s life, no matter how fleeting or temporary that may be - and they often come from that place, not from a place of serving their client in achieving their outcomes.

They don’t last long, thankfully.

🔮Professional Scam Artists: Megachurch preachers, Trump, et al. Grifters and con artists all of them. Praying on the old and the feeble-minded.

🔮The Hobbyist: “I give my friends advice all the time, I may as well get paid for it!”. Enough said.

✨There is also the therapist turned coach, which is always interesting - and of great value for some.

✨And on the other end of the spectrum, the young sex worker turned coach (but in a different context). The challenge there is they bring a lot of the dynamics from their previous offerings into the business of coaching and that does not translate well professionally or inter-personally. They essentially have to re-learn business.

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If you are interested in becoming a clean and skillful practitioner (or a synthesizer) attend my next practitioner certification training. Full details about that training are »here«. If you are curious about working with me one-on-one, schedule an initial conversation »here« to have a conversation and we will discover if we might be a fit or not.


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Agreements for Healthy Relating | Agreement 1: Truth Over Comfort

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The Agreements

From Chance to Wisdom 

In my experience, there are four agreements that are necessary as foundations for any healthy relationship regardless of the context - meaning it doesn't matter if it's a professional context, if it's friendship, or if it's sexual, intimate, and romantic.

In fact the more intimate it is the more important I think these agreements are, but unfortunately - and paradoxically - the less likely someone is to actually be willing to have the conversation that’s required. That's for many reasons, most of them self-esteem issues are at their source and fear-based.

Let me explain: If we are attached to the hope that someone will like us, to the degree that it becomes a need for their approval and therefore induces fear in ourselves, and/or we have scarcity around whether or not we will actually find somebody who is a fit, or whether or not we can find someone else if a relationship does not work out, we have a tendency to overlook things that we know are important to address because if the person doesn't like us then we may take that personally in the case of a self-esteem issue, or we don't want to set up any barriers to them liking us or connecting with us.

But in doing so, we skip over critical foundational steps - and virtually assure we end up with someone who is not a fit or find ourselves in a conflict without the agreement reality as to how we find our way out of it and get back into connection.

So we ignore wisdom in favor of the immediacy of false connection - so as to not "rock the boat". At its worst, of course, this borders on codependency and external validation and that a path that if you continue down that road leads to frustration, heartache, and worse.

However if we have an abundance mindset - a certainty that there are plenty of people out there who might be a fit for us - and fit is more important than not being alone - we understand that it's easier to find somebody who's a fit that it is to deal with the frustration and challenges and eventual heartbreak of someone who is not a fit, and we are internally validated in terms of our esteem for ourselves, then we choose wisdom over chance.

The reality is we are actually choosing wisdom and communication over something much worse than chance: predictably negative results.

When do I lay out these agreements?  On the first date.

Some people may fret at this moment - and they are worried it is too late - they already skipped over these agreements and find themselves in the quagmire of shoulds and implicit agreements and unstated yet clear expectations you never agreed to. That can be an icky and frustrating place.

But don’t fret: you can transform any relationship - or “reboot” or - or start over from scratch and begin to date someone again - you can use the agreements as a way to transform friendships - I have. I have used the agreements and the conversation around them to bring years-long friendships back to life.

We’ll talk about skillful means - how most effectively to do that - after we lay out the agreements and flesh them out fully.


The Agreements

Four Foundational Agreements For Healthy Relating

  1. We tell the truth and we hear the truth and we value truth over comfort
  2. We do not hold anyone accountable to agreements they have not made
  3. If we are upset, we make a request (for a new agreement)
  4. We accept that we are responsible for our own experience and our own emotions.
    1. Make no assumptions
    2. Don’t make anything up

Let’s examine each of these agreements fully.

Agreement 1:  Truth Over Comfort

The first agreement is that we tell the truth and we hear the truth and we value truth over comfort. 

The “comfort” might be our own, or it may be the comfort of others.

Here is an excellent standard: if we are afraid to say it - or afraid that somebody can’t hear it or might take it personally - that’s probably the very thing that should be said. 

And as I am sure you have experienced, the longer we delay the telling of that truth, the bigger it becomes in our mind and the worse it will be when we tell them - for the relating, for our internal anxiousness around sharing it, and for them when they find out how long we delayed; telling the truth brings relief for all without delay. There may be broken agreements to clean up - something we will address later on in this book, but that aside, telling the truth should increase intimacy and connection. 

Hearing the truth - if done openly and spaciously - always will.

Telling the truth is not an excuse to be a jerk.

There is a popular theme in some circles where someone is a jerk (that is a technical term) and they finish it off (or begin it) with “I am just speaking my truth”.

That is not in alignment with the spirit of this rule - because most often “speaking your truth”  is just being self-indulgent. The spirit of this rule is to increase intimacy and to increase connection. Thus, we want to tell the truth with skillful means - meaning in a way that honors both ourselves, yet delivered in a way the other person is best able to receive it.  As well as caring for the relating or the relationship - the 3rd entity that is created by the synergy of the two of you.

Why is this so important?  Relationships begin to die in the unsaid.

The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence; the grass is always greener where it is tended to, cared for, and nurtured.

If there is enough unsaid in the relationship, you are not even relating to the human in front of you anymore - you are relating to all the stuff you have not said, or do not think you can say - and that shows up as being distracted, shut down, simply not present, or simply being silent. So instead of relating to the dynamic and vibrant human in front of you, you are simply in your head about … all the things. 

That build-up - that residue - kills true intimacy.

And yet, telling the truth and hearing the truth are - at the very least - very different sets of capacities. 

That can not be overstated - and as I have said over and over again, communication skills are physical skills that take practice - and these component skills definitely take a lot of practice.

To start with, telling the truth can take a lot of courage. Hearing the truth takes openness and, at times, a willingness to hear feedback and truths that are difficult to hear. 

And the list goes on - on both sides.

But imagine telling the truth about something - something you are scared to share about yourself - and having your partner thank you, express gratitude for trusting them to share it with them, and acknowledge you for the courage that it took and to express that they trust you even more now - and to do it without judgment - with love and acceptance. 

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From Conflict to Connection

fight-fuck From conflict to Connection

From Conflict to Connection

If you are fighting, you should probably be fucking.

If you are a man in a hetero-normative relationship here is an inside tip: if you find yourself say “WTF?” because your woman is picking strange fights over little things, she’s not well-fucked. She may not even be aware that the static and tension in her body is her need to run sexual energy - and it needs to be about her pleasure, not yours.

The more feminine she is on the spectrum - from masculine to feminine - the more accurate this will be.

First, context is important as is the sequence. And there are a few dos and don’ts.

If you find yourself in conflict over something you consider silly - like you keep dropping your dirty underwear or socks wherever you please - the worst thing you can do is say: “you just need a good fucking” as a retort. This will lead to a bigger fight. Don’t be an asshole and … be an adult: pick up your own socks. Put your dirty underwear in the washer or the hamper or wherever it is you need to.

Pick up after yourself.

Don’t expect her to take care of you in any way - in fact, leave everything a little cleaner than you found it in the kitchen and the bathroom. She will be grateful and she should not have to pick up after you.

The healthiest relating is one where two autonomous yet complementary adults come together to create more than two.

Relationships are a quantum affair; 1+1 does not equal 2. It either equals less than 2 (conflict) or it equals more than 2 (synergy). And the degree of turnon and sexual desire in the relationship is a good sign of the degree of health and vitality in the relating.

Think about it: it is the unstated, the secrets, the unexpressed, and the built-up negative patterns and residue that get in the way of your desire for each other. This is why when you get all that stuff out of the way, connection and desire are restored or return to your dynamic.

But, let’s take the socks.

Pick them up. Take responsibility. Thank her for expressing her frustrations - this will encourage her to tell you the truth more. Ask her if there is anything else that she is frustrated with that you do.

Listen.

Hear the feedback and get it handled.

Then wait a bit.

Maybe 10 minutes. Maybe 10 hours. Depending on your dynamics. Then put some attention on her. Acknowledge how beautiful (or courageous or brilliant or … how much she excites you because of the way she embodies her femininity … something you authentically appreciate about her).

Whatever your way in, make love to her in a way that shows your enthusiasm for her, your desire for her, and focus on her pleasure first. Believe me, if you are focused on her pleasure, she will be more hungry and grateful for you than you could ever hope - and this is doubly true if you are good at playing her body like the heavenly instrument that it is.

As we have already talked about, getting good at sex - which takes communication, knowledge of physiology, and shame-free space, curiosity, and openness to explore the other’s body and desires - is critical for the long-term health and vitality of your relating, and as stated above, desire is a good barometer of the health and vitality - and the amount of truth being told and the amount of intimacy and safety - in a relationship.

AND … if you are a man in a hetero-normative relationship, sometimes your woman needs to get fucked until her eyes cross.

If you know how to hit her spots, you’ll find that you can occasionally toss your socks in the kitchen sink and she may just shrug it off because she’ll still be blushing/flushing from thinking about how you ravaged her and gave her otherworldly pleasure just a few hours ago.

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