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Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

The Myth of Self-Sabotage [Webinar]

The Myth of Self-Sabotage [Webinar]

When:  Wednesday, July 16th @ 6:30pm Pacific
Where: Online Webinar. »Register Here« 

Cost: Yep, it's free
What and Why:

The Mythology of Self-Sabotage


Self-sabotage is a huge focus of pop-psychology and in the world and business of personal development. We devote time to workshops, read books, self-examine, consider it part of our necessary shadow-work perhaps, and yet still we are often left confounded by behaviors that seem to undermine our greatest aspirations for ourselves and our highest vision or our life.

We set a goal, or declare some new way of behaving or declare an end to some way we have been behaving and how long does it take to break our "promise"? Anyone who has ever tried to stop an old habit or start a new habit has experienced this--be it the smoke from a cigarette, a fatty or sugary food we should not eat, or the affections from someone we know to be as toxic for us as deeply inhaling cigarette smoke. Or, how about starting to go to the gym? Or maybe it was some New Year's resolution that you resigned from after about a week.

Or ... maybe it was saying you would not yell at people in traffic any more. Or engage with more compassion and empathy. Until that one person who ...

Or maybe it was something bigger with more at stake: a new high-paying position, a new career path, or finishing that book you've always said you were going to write, and yet your behaviors did not occur in alignment with the simple and clear steps you know – consciously -- it will take to accomplish the thing you said you would (or wanted to) accomplish (or be, do, or have.)

So most of us have begun to reduce this to some inner-enemy--some saboteur running around and setting charges on our bridges, and undermining the soiled path we are trying to walk on, having us stumble into those pitfalls.

You know: that part of you that you have probably cursed in your mind, under your breath, or even out loud in frustration.

The idea of an inner enemy is one way of relating to this phenomenon—and it is a valid and generally accepted way of relating to it. But is it an effective way of relating to it? Is it really true? Does labeling it in such a manner give us access to resolving the problem?

Most of us are aware that how we relate to something in our awareness will produce specific and predicable results both mentally and emotionally. And will even shift our "reality". The power of positive thinking and the Law of Attraction are both commonly accepted in personal development communities and among individuals interested in developing themselves. Yet these concepts are often misunderstood, misused – and underused.

Our thoughts do not create reality, because we do not experience reality directly—we experience it through perceptual filters and we interpret—and then we generalize those interpretations making meaning or creating beliefs. However our thoughts certainly create our reality--how we interpret reality will lead to our experience of reality. Objective and subjective; exterior and interior. That is to say, how we interpret what is happening "out there" will create our experience of reality "in here" and it certainly creates our immediate emotional experience and what we make that mean through generalizations and the creations of beliefs about the world, ourselves, people, etc., leads to what I like to call our "emotional atmosphere".

How is this most often done? In language; in our linguistic structures--descriptors and labels.

In this way, while our thoughts do not create "reality" with a capital R, it does--absolutely--create our experience of reality.

As clarifying example, most of us know that we can relate to the same event in one of two ways: as a "crisis" or as an "opportunity". We know that doing so will create different solutions as we will approach it differently.

Circling back to this idea of an "inner enemy", what results does that labeling of this phenomenon predictably produce? It creates a "me vs the other", us against "it" or "them" mentality which leads to tension and separation which in turn produces even greater internal dissonance.

The best thing about this way of relating to the phenomenon is this: it is not true; we made it up. The reason that is the good news is that given we made it up, we can create another way of relating to this phenomenon that is useful; a way that gives us access to resolving the confounding behavior that keeps us from attaining the heights we desire with the velocity and ease we wish for?

The answer is incredibly simple and elegant—both in the mathematical sense as well as the aesthetic. The process for resolution of this phenomenon involves getting into communication and into relationship with those parts of us that are out of alignment, find out what their positive purpose is, take that up to the highest/deepest level and integrate it from that place. It can be a fairly profound experience that is deeply healing, and allows you to create greater and greater levels of inner harmony within your Self.

Simple? Yes. Easy? Well, that depends on the skill of the Guide. That last paragraph above encapsulates and summarizes a process that can take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on the depth of the problem, but it is virtually always successful at realigning that part of you that is ... well, out of alignment.

Take your "inner-enemies" and turn them into your most powerful allies.

Find out on Wednesday, July 16th @ 6:30pm Pacific
Where: Online Webinar. »Register Here« 

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

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. 

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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 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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The Top 6 Mistakes Coaches Make and Their Solutions (Part 2)

The Top 6 Mistakes Coaches and Practitioners Make (Part 2)

In Part 1 we discussed the need to integrate money and spirutality, and how to better serve your clients's needs in a sustainable way.

What’s next? More nuts and bolts to build on the philosophical grounding and mindsets we established in Part 1.

4: Having only one stream of prospects

Most coaches and practitioners rely solely on word of mouth and word of mouth is good. In the 21st century marketplace there are hyper-empowered and talkative people. This is good for you. However, it is not enough. Make a decision now to take control–to be the locus of responsibility–for the success of your business. While word of mouth is critical, it is only one of at least three prospect streams the successful coach or practitioner must establish for themselves. What are those three?

•Formalized referral systems [two of them]

•Speaking engagements and free evening talks

•Word of mouth

Referral Systems

•An affiliate program with a percentage or fee for referrals; offer to pay a commission – a generous one.

•Write a referral clause into your client contract stating that if the client is happy with your services that they then agree to refer two people to you for a complimentary exploratory session. While you never want to be heavy handed about this, it does set their intention and focus their awareness on a more formal approach to referrals. And wouldn’t you rather pay them than pay for advertising (online or otherwise)?

Evening Talks | Introductory Talks | Speaking Engagements

These are the bread and butter of filling your practice and keeping it full. When you give talk make it explicit in your marketing and in your introductory remarks that you are there for two reasons:

1.     To provide value to their lives–first and foremost and;

2.     To market your services and/or products, course

Say this at the beginning – in the first three minutes – and let them know you will be revisiting what is available to them at the end. And then at the end of your talk, pass around a signup sheet for them and next – and this is critical – if they expressed interest, initiate contact with within 24 hours with an initial email beginning the sales flow process of your sales system.

Word Of Mouth

Consider this a great backup and occasional unexpected icing on the cake when those unintentional or random referrals occur. And occur they will. Sometimes they come from something you posted online or from a referral you were unaware of or a former client you have not contacted in a while.

If you do this, and you consider them in this order of importance, you will always be in control of your flow of clients and prospects–and they will flow in. Your sustainable prosperity will follow.

5. Failure To Leverage Contact Points And The Opportunity They Hold

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Mistaken Identity | The Larger Self as Spirit | Expansion of Ego Until It Dissolves

Whatever you think you are -- you are more than that; whatever and however you identify yourself, you are far more than that. The problems with identification are many -- whether it is identification with/ as your gender, your nationality, your sexual orientation, your finances, your social reputation, your career, your role as a mother/father, your political affiliations, you religious beliefs, your competence or skill in a certain context, etc. -- to identify with any of those things will create problems if/when they are taken away or are shaken at their foundations as you will experience a very real identity crisis. But the "why" it creates problems is because it is not really who you are -- and to identify with it is *at least* selling yourself short.

In the face of such a crisis there are only two directions to move from an ego perspective -- expansion/evolution or contraction/regression. There is no neutral. You can expand to incorporate the new information/circumstances, or you can dig in, regress, and solidify (which requires engaging in some degree of self-deception).

Who you are is none of that. Who you are is Spirit. If you want to identify with something, identify with yourself as Spirit. 

Which every breath - breath out your lack of self worth that has you play small and identify with something less than your full birthright and breathe in the fact that who you are is ... all of it. 

Who you are is the Witness. 

And rest in that, smilingly.

Nothing else really matters. Anything else is chatter. What remains are the ego and self-esteem practices to engage in that have you experiencing the gap between what you think you are (identification) and what you really are -- Spirit manifest.

Let go of the small you and become a full-time God/Goddess. It is your birthright.

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