Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Is Your Relationship To God Wrecking Your Relationship With God? (Part 2)

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Be sure that you've read Part 1 » here «.

[Note to the reader: "God" is used throughout as a signifier to point to wherever you put your worship. It could be conventional religions as I will mainly address, but you could just as easily replace it with Gaia if you "put your worship" there--if the environment is your ultimate concern. or you could replace it with polytheistic beliefs such as Hinduism. Or maybe you put your worship in the Universe, consciousness, or Community. Consider that whatever your ultimate concern is, the concepts in this article can apply to that thing as "God" for you. Doing this will allow you to get the most from this article. -Jason D McClain]

 

As I asked in Part 1:


"...was Jesus really born of the Virgin Mary? Was Lao Tzu really born as a 900 year-old man? Is the earth really resting on the head of a giant serpent (or the shell of a giant tortoise)? And of course, the subject of great debate most recently it seems: is the Earth really only 6,000 years old? Are these facts—with belief in them required to enter into the afterlife? Or are they gorgeous and useful poetic metaphors pointing to a greater truth in a way that people at the time could accept, pointing to Divine power?"

These metaphors are a testament to the belief in stunningly powerful, mystical, and magical forces embodied in "Spirit". Stories told to the good common folk of those eras. Metaphors they could relate to. This was useful and good—in fact, it could have been no other way at the time. However, the vast majority that count themselves among the world’s religions have lost touch with this simple wisdom: that metaphors of their spiritual traditions do indeed hold tremendous aesthetic value and inspirational mythopoetic beauty, however, they are not the Truths themselves.

Nor should they really matter when discussing spiritual merit. Would we say someone was not a good person if they acted with love, grace and charity all of their life, dedicated to the service of others, but rejected the idea of the Virgin Birth? Of course not.

Sadly, focusing on the details of the metaphoric stories as a basis for “faith” rather than the individual relationship with the Universal Truths results in losing access to Divinity and Spirit. Ending up, in turn, hopelessly (and endlessly) arguing over details of form and presentation-details of stories told long ago so that simple people could easily have access to God. These arguments aren’t just friendly disagreements or intellectual debates engaged in among scholars; they have split families and divided congregations--and sent nations to war on too many occasions for us to want to list here.

The fact that this is so, and that is springs from traditions that were and are meant to free the spirit, spread love, and acceptance, and give hope to the hopeless, is no less than tragic.

So that we can attempt to avoid the same pitfalls, let us set aside what is “true” or “false” about these mythopoetic themes and focus instead on the more personal and individual experience. This is what is relevant for our discussion that is focused on the context of personal evolution.

For that, we need to address not the truth, but the utility of our relationship to the Divine--"to" vs. "with." This “to vs with” business is not just fun with prepositions. It has a very practical impact on our internal life and emotional experience.

The manner in which we relate to anything determines its meaning and importance in our lives. Whether that thing is a significant other, a new career opportunity, a rainy day, traffic on the highway, and/or yes, even “God”. Perhaps we should even say In fact, especially God—not because that is accurate, but simply because of the impact that our personal relationship with God has on our real-life happiness.

Let’s take traffic.

We have all experienced traffic on a highway. How do you relate to it? What is your interpretation of it? Do you view it as a waste of time? A hassle? An increase in vehicular pollution? Or perhaps you see it as a welcome break and use it to unwind on your way home listening to relaxing music or an opportunity to listen to a favorite book on audio? The obvious point is that how you “hold” this experience we call “traffic” in your subjective world will give rise to a specific and tangible emotional experience around it, or what we will call an “atmosphere”.

 “It is never the thing itself, but rather your relationship to it”.

Knowing that let’s take it out another level: it is not just how you relate “to” traffic that will determine your experience. While this is true, we could take one more step and realize that we are not just in traffic--if you are in your car in the middle of traffic, you are the traffic. You are at the very least a component part of it as a whole.

Think about that the next time you are cursing the traffic you are in.

You can see what we have done there, and you are likely already familiar with the importance of and the ability to “frame” your experience described in the above paragraphs. This is nothing new. Most of the wisdom traditions teach that how you interpret an event will determine your emotional experience around it—and with regular practice, you can discipline your mind to interpret your experience in a way that leads you to have the emotional experience of life that you desire. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

And yet, when we get to the context of God—we go all whacky. As if it somehow no longer applies.

Just as we examined if your relationship to traffic serves you, we will examine the same of your relationship to God.

I was with a client and we chased the source of his "issue" to a particular construction he has of God—and God and spirituality is very important to him.

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Ego And Self-Esteem | Personal and Practical in Business

This is taken from the Evolutionary Sales course materials. This is no ordinary sales training.

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Self-Esteem. Ego.

There is no greater core component to your degree of success or failure than the evolution, expansion, and strengthening of the above. There are several reasons for this, but as a refresher: there are two aspects to your self-esteem:

1) Self-Efficacy 

and

2) Self-Respect

Or:

1) knowledge of your competence 

and

2) The feeling you are "appropriate to life; deserve a good life”

Or:

1) Value in the marketplace

and

2) Your Divine worth as a settled matter

Or:

1) Practical 

and

2) Personal

Or:

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Is Fear Useful? Emotions, Motivation, Identity, and Freedom

A few days ago, a student of mine - a graduate of the Evolutionary Sales course -- asked me if fear could be useful.

Below is my response. 

--

Of course fear *can* be useful. Anything is useful in *some* context.

And in any situation where we are discussing intra-personal matters (our relationship with ourselves) the question is: "do we need to use negative emotions for their usefulness-or is there a way to get the same outcome with a method that creates harmony rather than dissonance and dis-ease?

I think the answer is pretty obvious.

This does occasionally come up with clients around motivation; they are not sure how they will motivate themselves without anxiety. In that situation we have to work with their meta-program around motivation; are they motivated toward vision or away from pain. I have it that it is not a wiring thing (we are "just that way" but a matter of choice, training, and conditioning).

Having said that, if you remove fear and replace it with nothing in terms of motivation, then you will run into problems of ... well, "lethargy" is not quite it, but you get my meaning I trust.

Going into this deeper, let's distinguish what we mean by "fear". I see the following:

1) Fight or flight where your body is in physical danger (rational fear)

2) Fight or flight where we are not in physical danger (irrational fear)

3) Anxiety around not knowing how to do something and we are forced to do it (like land a plane when you are not a pilot and lives are at stake).

4) Anxiety or panic when we imagine some performance situation going poorly (presentations / public speaking, approaching someone we are attracted to, etc.)

#1 and #3 are fine. In fact, #1 is critical for our survival; it can be life saving.

#2 is an invention of our mind and is created by a combination of a lack of facility with self / lack of skill at navigating our interiors and insufficient self-esteem. It is also usually resulting from a gestalt of fear that can and should be cleared out of our past.

#4 is pretty straight forward: it is imagining a future event with a negative outcome. And since that future is a fantasy, imagining it not going well is ... well, silly. It may not be conscious- or it often is. If you imagine giving a presentation and having your notes fall to the floor or everybody scoffing at you, then you will have anxiety (and other emotions). However, if you imagine it going well -- that everything is going to be fine and you make that your internal representation of the event -- imagine that "movie" then you will feel much, much better.

I am not personally motivated away from pain - it has almost no impact on me because of the life I have had; I can deal with pretty much any level of pain. I have also systematically cleared out fear, anxiety, anger, etc., etc., etc. And having worked on my ego structures for nearly 25 years, there is almost nothing that I am not certain I can handle, so it is simply ineffective for me personally. In general, I am future oriented, vision oriented, and "toward" motivated.

I have often found though, that you have to resolve the fear, guilt, shame, etc., before you can take the necessary steps you need to take to get the thing done you need to get done, so how about we skip the negative vibrations in our nervous system, and find ways to motivate ourselves without the blunt instrument of fear? And as we imagine how much more spacious we feel, and how much cleaner and clearer our vessel / channel is, we can live our purpose even more fully because our vehicle (body/mind/spirit/nervous system) does not have dissonance in it that needs to be calmed.

When you realize that you are unborn; when you meet the face you had before your parents were born- the pure Witness, then life becomes lela or play and you can thrust yourself into it with full gusto because you realize that you can't really die.

At that point you have disidentified from that which you *think* is you, but is not really you and you have identified with the ever-present Witness. You have become God.

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The Evolution of Evolution | Expanding Your Capacities

Often I am asked just how what I do as an Evolutionary Guide -- assisting others in evolving how they relate to themselves and how they relate to events (ego and emotions) -- has any real practical applications particularly in business. It is a fair question. One that, to me, has an obvious answer: always, daily, in every context. But let me be specific:

What causes people to be less productive and to suffer emotionally and decide to give up on their dreams and desires—to simply not “go for it”? 

Many things, but some of the more salient points would be:

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1. Taking things personally

2. Extrapolating out negative futures from limited data

3. Focusing on the problem(s) rather than solutions

4. Staying on course for too long after they know they need to adjust because they are afraid to admit their mistakes

5. Self-doubt

6. Fear

7. A lack of efficacy in communication

8. … 

… the list could go on and on and on. 

Likewise, their opposites--which we could sum up as simply being free and moving with confidence, efficacy and velocity--are all sourced in the same place.

What do they all have in common? The degree to which we experience any of these things is determined by our “stage” of development, which in turn determines how we relate to ourselves and / or how we relate to the events around us. It’s the “place” we react from and interpret through. 

There is no more important “soft” skill that one can develop than their capacity to witness--the capacity to objectively examine a situation, an event, or a thing, or even themselves from outside of themselves which, in turn, is developing the capacity to dis-identify from any thing, situation, person, role, project, opinions …again, the list goes on. And therefore, there is no greater developmental endeavor one can engage in than personal evolution--increasing our capacity to not only witness, but to take on an ever-increasing number of perspectives. 

This will even translate to learning “hard” skills more easily because you can throw yourself into the endeavor with great fervor, and without all of the self-consciousness that stops so many people from trying new things. You will be inclined to take on greater responsibility, ask for what you are worth, be willing and able to understand another’s perspective -- while maintaining your sovereign right to disagree -- communicate with greater ease and skill, employ greater agility and flexibility in your projects, and …well, be happier.

It’s simple: if you judge yourself when you are ineffective at something--experiencing embarrassment and even shame--that’s going to get in your way of trying new things. It will seem “risky”. The more you limit yourself the more you live in the world of saying, “That's just not me”. And the world of me/not me becomes increasingly limited, and it is the world that most people live in.

The nature of evolution is evolving just as our relationship to evolution has been evolving from biological to mental and emotional to spiritual -- to bio-technical.

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, believes we will be able to upload our entire brains to computers within the next 30 years or so. That will certainly change things, won’t it? But this is not a piece about the coming Singularity--no doubt an “event” that many long for, others fear, and still others will see as a sign of the coming rapture, and many have not even heard of. 

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The Top 6 Mistakes Coaches Make and Their Solutions (Part 1)

The Top 6 Mistakes Coaches and Practitioners Make (And Their Solutions) Part 1


It is stunning how many coaches and practitioners are competent at what they do–yet struggle financially, mentally, and emotionally around their business. In fact, even though coaching is a $2 Billion business and growing, most coaches never make more than $25,000 per annum – and many end up doing it as a hobby or giving up and ceasing their contributions entirely.

There are reasons for this. I have identified the top 6 reasons–and their solutions-that I have found in my experience in my own business as well as observing those who still have a “practice”.

1. A Lack of Integral Thinking: “Money and Spirituality are in Conflict”

We were taught for thousands of years that to profit was bad—and there is a good reason for that. For thousands of years one had to pillage, conquer, enslave, and exploit to acquire wealth. While there was a time when one could only profit by exploitation and manipulation or by inheritance or plunder, this has not been accurate for well over a century. With the rise of the services industry, you can offer your deepest contribution to the world – your deepest gifts – and profit as a result of what you have given – not what you take.

The truth is, it is not only possible to come from service and contribution in a “for profit” environment–that is to live a purpose-filled life–but also to profit well from it and to live prosperously. It takes some personal work–being mindful of your thinking, cleaning out your unconscious imprints of guilt and shame, and parental imprints about money are usually a good start—to constantly be of service while building sufficient esteem for your self to recognize the value you are bringing to another’s life and to have them provide that value monetarily in exchange.

It also takes a lack of attachment to “closing that deal” and being more focused on service and “opening relationships”–and much more.

Actually, I have found what can be provided to our clients’ lives is priceless to them. Fees are insignificant when weighed against what the work we do in their lives will make possible. It is not a commodity. It is a gateway to greater freedom and happiness. We can live a spiritually oriented life—and integrate free-market, service-based principles into that.

By doing so, we integrate our spiritual and our financial life – and integration our culture desperately needs—and allows us to flourish spiritually while prospering financially.

2. Lack of Skill: Sales and Marketing

We have all had negative experience with sales people. Not sales professionals, but sales people—that is, people who want to “close a deal” rather than open a relationship. Most sales trainers teach techniques with little regard for a philosophical base or grounding. I do not support that.

I used to think sales was a dirty word – because I saw so many sales people doing icky things. That was until I realized that until I could influence people to take action in their lives I could never really do much good in the world.  You can only be a positive agent for change if you can inspire others to move beyond their current thinking—the thinking that has them in their current life situation and has stopped them from being fully free and thriving; from having the life they desire and deserve.

Therefore—If you truly want to do good in the world, it becomes your duty—yes, your duty—to assist others in overcoming their limitations. That means learning to sell and market your services in a compelling way that comes from service and contribution while combining that with powerful tool of influence.

You must gain those skills if you want to make a difference and be prosperous.

While it may be hard to swallow at first [took me years to accept] you must be a sales professional first—that is you must be able to inspire your prospective clients toward their own expanded vision of their life and future—if you want to live your purpose and prosper. You must use a sales system that is in alignment with your holistic values, but use a sales system you must.

3. A Lack of Sustainable Structure: Service, Sustainability, and Packages

Once you are coming from service and contribution, you begin to consider what would best serve the client.

Most practitioners have session-by-session practices or monthly packages, but they do not have comprehensive packages that have stages and phases in them. How many people out there have dabbled here and dabbled there and never really bucked down and did the deep work to reveal greater depths within themselves? I have found most clients approach their personal development this way: “Well, I have tried this and I have tried that…but I never really got what I needed”.

Would you go to a chiropractor once – or for a month – and expect your posture to be transformed permanently? Of course not. Would you go to the gym and hire a physical trainer for one or two – or even a half dozen – sessions and expect your body to be transformed? Of course not.  And yet we assume that when it comes to the context of change and transformation with the mind. We can affect profound change in just a session or two, sure, but the client’s entire life will not be changed or certainly not changed permanently. For that, we need stable context and continued work – at least 3 to 6 months. But we also have to create those packages so that they unfold in phases.

The best thing you can do as a coach or a practitioner is to find a way to create a compelling 3-stage or 3-phase offering that allows the client to reveal greater and greater depths or to attain greater and greater heights. For a massage therapist, this may mean something like:

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