Dr. Rosie is interviewed by Psychologist Dr. Nick Fortino on the topic of spiritual intelligence. They discuss faith and transformation among other deep spiritual topics, and Dr. Rosie gives a look into what her transformational coaching sessions consist of.
Posts Tagged ‘Transformational Coaching’
Global Warming, Cancer, Human Trafficking, Wars, yes, even COVID…. Sometimes it’s really difficult to hold the spiritual truth that all of what’s happening in the world is in service to supporting and empowering each and every one of us into higher states of consciousness.
I’ve heard and read this perspective hundreds of times: that we come back over and over again – frequently into the same spirit families, to help those we love to grow themselves consciously. The point of growing ourselves consciously is that it enables us to experience and express greater degrees of love, kindness and generosity.
The Wisdom of the 2×4
You might remember in my 1st book, Self-Empowerment 101, I share that sometimes it takes a giant wake-up call for any one of us to wake up and realize the truth: that you, me, each of us is 100% responsible for our own lives. And, in taking responsibility for our own lives, we begin to consciously choose to act in accordance with our highest truth, our highest good and our highest contribution to the world. Wake-up calls are brought to you by the kindness of Mother Earth, your parents, your partner, your children, your religion, your country, your body and so many more beings, seen and unseen. These experiences are sometimes horrible, horrendous and outrageously scary and painful. Here’s the deal: they are meant to be that in order to get your attention.
. . .
Clarissa, a very good friend of mine, suffers with incredible pain in her joints. It also just so happens that she consumes a large amount of specific foods that are known to exacerbate inflammation, which in turn, exacerbates pain and discomfort, especially in joints. Clarissa continues to ignore the possibility that it’s what she is eating that is causing the pain. And, so, her body deteriorates and will continue to do so until she begins to take responsibility and experiment with changing her diet. In the meantime, her body is giving her not so subtle wake-up calls in service to her willingly choosing to be responsible for all of her life-including how her food choices affect her health. How many 2×4’s will it take, and how bad do they have to get, for Clarissa to wake up and take responsibility? Who knows, but I think it’s safe to say that many of us are just like Clarissa, choosing to ignore our bodies’ wisdom.
The wisdom of the 2×4 can also arrive through the words of a friend, a mentor, a guide, parent or even a child. My friend Sheila shared how, through most of her life, she struggled with not fitting in, feeling insignificant and incompetent in the world. After some time of knowing Sheila, her mentor said to her, "Sheila, you’ve struggled so hard to learn the language of the culture around you. But they don’t speak your language. Your first language is art." Sheila shared that she melted into a pool of bliss as she allowed the felt-sense of the truth spoken by her mentor to seep into her being. This was a joyful wake-up call for Sheila to allow herself to express herself in the world through her first language-art.
Our First Language – Communicating with Mother Earth
So many of us ignore the signposts and neglect responsibility for all the changes that are occurring on this planet. Like Clarissa’s body, Mother Earth shares with us when she isn’t doing well. Some of us ignore the signs and continually act as if there isn’t any problem. Others take it very seriously. And even others of us are hearing the resonance of the Earth and harmonize with her in the eternal language of love.
Whether it is the body of Mother Earth, our own precious body, or any animal or person on the planet, how we treat ourselves and each other reflects the level of consciousness and the level of responsibility we willingly own. And so, if we are not yet conscious of the degree to which we are acting from ignorance and neglect of our first language of being, we will get a wake-up call that could be either subtle or startling-depending on how well we’re listening!
Bottom line is that every thing, every being, every mind, body and spirit is divine and sacred. And we are all here to serve the process of elevating consciousness for each other. We – including Mother Earth, signed up to do what we can to grow awareness of how we be in the world, which is either the extension and expression of love, or the expression of fear of loss and lack.
As a transformational coach, I’m here to serve you – consciously, and in so many ways, unconsciously. You are here to serve me – consciously, and in so many ways, unconsciously. Mother Earth is here to serve us all; so are our pets, our plants, & our computers – all of it.
As parents, friends, children, we want to encourage loving kindness in others. The Earth, I believe, wants the same and has given us her body, as we give our bodies to be utilized for the same – in service to growing wise, loving, and kind beings.
We all die in the end, either having fulfilled our mission or with the acceptance that we did the best we could. Most of us will choose to come back to try again and again and again.
There is so much wisdom, love, and generosity of spirit growing on this planet-yes, even now. So many people are waking up to how they’ve ignored and abused their own bodies and how they’ve ignored or abused others. Little by little, we are waking up! Inevitably, there will be a happy ending. Our own dedication to the process will make it so! Isn’t that great to know?!
An embodied memory arose last night. The memory was of being at the pool when I was ten years old. Cold after swimming, with a towel wrapped tightly around myself, I stood alone, shivering. Throngs of people were around me, but I was isolated and frozen. Nowhere to go, no one to be with. I sank deep into an abysses from which I believed I would never transcend.
As coaches, therapists, spiritual healers and the like, though we are aware of the depths of experience the majority of our clients carry, we do not realize that in order for them to transcend the abysses, a paradigm shift is required.
Transformation itself requires a paradigm shift. It requires that there is somewhere else – a different context, a different reality, a different dimension or realm into which we will emerge. Without the knowing of that "opposing" paradigm, we can’t empower our clients, or ourselves for that matter, to empower themselves through a transformative process.
Because we wouldn’t have anyplace or anyone to transform to, or into. We wouldn’t have a context within which such a paradigm exists. We have to know that a paradigm exists beyond our current fear-based, limited, and constrained paradigm in order to transform.
I’ve been noticing lately that my current paradigm limits my capacity to even know that the impossible is possible. I understand that my current paradigm of limitations and constraints is based on the past, on my lineage as a woman, my religious upbringing, and my family’s beliefs. My current paradigm is based on the country and the region I was born into. My current paradigm also includes the consensus view of reality as well as the collective consciousness.
In my eyes, my work as a transformational coach requires me to keep stretching my own capacity to experience what is beyond my current paradigm. Did you know that? Do you practice that too?
I devote myself to noticing and acknowledging limiting beliefs and interpretations – many of which had never occurred to me before today. As I cultivate awareness of such patterns of thinking and believing I become more competent at choosing to let go of those patterns, for no other reason than they don’t work for me anymore, and they are not in alignment with my highest truth and my highest knowing.
Circling around back to the embodied memory of being ten years old, alone and frozen; I want this young beautiful child, who resides within me, to know and experience that her heart’s desire to be embraced within a home that is always loving, always kind, always compassionate, always joyful is here for her now. I want her to know true connection with people that are loving, generous of spirit, and who adore her in all ways. I want her to emerge from the abysses and enter into the light of innocence, creativity, and the freedom to be the fullest expression of her essential self.
Currently, to this end, I’m pushing through barriers that have limited my willingness to bring greater degrees of beauty and peace to my property. The same is true regarding bringing greater harmony and balance to my physical body. I’m noticing the attachments to identities to whom I experienced myself to be in the past. I’m noticing that as I untether myself from those identities, I’m then aware of another reality, a paradigm, that is ready for me to embrace. I know I’m no longer that old me. I’ve moved beyond that – almost.
A Dilemma Arises
When I imagine turning away from the way I’ve been perceiving myself and my reality, I experience a sense of abandoning the past, a disloyalty to that past. It has something to do with that lineage of living life with the fear of perpetual defeat, bitter disappointment, and a failure to thrive. It is a life of Suffering, Settling, and Surviving.
The choice-point for myself and for all of us is this:
Do I choose to remain faithful and loyal to a paradigm that will not allow what is infinitely pleasing, or do I choose to journey towards what can only be expansive and inclusive of all possibility for me and for the world?
Nisagardatta wrote a book called I AM THAT. I know I am that which he speaks of, and as I untether myself from what I am not, I effortlessly experience that which I am. David Hawkins says that all there is to do is let go of anything that isn’t aligned with your truth, and you will arrive at your heart’s desire.
It is my heart’s desire to bring myself to this moment, to this edge, to this paradigm shift, so that I can continue to empower and support others to do the same.
Will you join me here?
If you’re a coach, check out my Transformational Coaches Consultation Group.
If you’re an individual looking for a coach, email me to get started!
Spiritual Immersion â€“ Taking the Plunge Podcast
As I announced last month, I have a new podcast dedicated to Spiritual Immersions & guiding people to take the plunge themselves. Here’s a part of the transcript from Episode 101 describing my personal experience. I hope you enjoy!
I want to share with you a little bit of my story and what gives me the inspiration to do these podcasts. I’ll also share some of the things that show up for a lot of people as they go through a spiritual immersion process.
So, I am 68 years old and my first spiritual immersion process started when I was about 17 years old. I’ll share more about that another time, but at that age I had no support. There were no therapists to talk to or spiritual guides. There was only me, basically, and my parents, who wouldn’t understand something like that. Their level of consciousness and awareness couldn’t, as far as I knew, accept or support me through such a process.
I was pretty isolated and alone through this. I believe this type of experience is normal for a lot of people in their adolescence. I was suicidal and had no way of handling that but to live with those feelings and thoughts. But over a couple of years, thing got better inside me as I transitioned and focused on things like boyfriends, going to college, getting married, and having children.
The next time that I found myself in a spiritual immersion process was when I was in my 30’s. I was a therapist working in Nova Scotia in the field of recovery. I had just broken up with a boyfriend. And because I hadn’t dealt with the grief of a divorce and separation from my children, the breakup from this particular boyfriend put me in a tailspin. This time I was in it for about a year. It was most intense for about four months. I was in physical pain, though there was no reason for such pain, medically speaking. I also cried a lot. Eventually it softened and within the year I was kind of back to myself. I didn’t have any understanding or support around this, other than it seemed to be a very deep grief process, and so that’s how I handled it.
The third spiritual immersion opportunity began about 12 years ago. I started to have anguish, a lot, and anxiety and energy that didn’t have a place to go. And so I felt like I wanted to move and jitter and jiggle all the time. Sometimes I coughed, a lot, and I spewed, feeling like I was vomiting though there wasn’t anything I was throwing up. It was an energetic vomiting. And, because I had been exposed to breath work therapy and other indigenous practices and healing modalities, I was comfortable with the fact that my body was telling me it’s letting go of energies and things that it doesn’t need anymore. So I gave it room to do what it needed to do. And then, I got a calling.
At the age of 58, I got a spiritual calling to quit the work I was doing. I had been facilitating a coaching training program in Silicon Valley, at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. I’d been doing that for almost 10 years. I loved it. I was successful and I was really happy. But, I was called to something else. I didn’t know what that something else was, but I just knew that it was going to be very exciting, prosperous, and, it felt like I was going to get famous from it. So I stopped the training program and moved full time to my home on Orcas Island. My plan was to live here until I got called to wherever and whatever was going to be next.
The day that I finished the training program and settled myself back into my little nest on Orcas, I sat in my desk chair anxiously waiting for the phone to ring. It didn’t ring. No one called and nothing happened. And so, the bottom line is, my clients disappeared, and the financial stability disappeared. I was in a panic because nothing was showing up. I’d experienced callings many times before, so I knew the drill, if you will, of how such things fall into place. This time was different.
If you want to know more about my direct experiences with callings, my book The Unholy Path of a Reluctant Adventurer, talks about the many callings I’d had and how I followed them. I became very familiar with the process of having a calling and following through with it, including crossing the Atlantic Ocean on a sailboat. Go figure!
So I waited. And, because I knew that this was what it was â€“ a calling from the Universe – and I knew that this was big work that would be coming my way, I realized that I would have to begin looking at things differently. I had to begin to turn to my faith towards my higher power, my higher knowing, my highest truth. I had to begin to train myself to make choices from that place, as opposed to making choices from the consensus view of reality, which told me to go get a job, go do this, go do that, get busy! This was my fear talking. I knew it was time to turn away from fear-based thinking and turn into myself. And for me, that was the beginning of my next spiritual immersion process.
Now, an important thing here is that I’m calling this process a spiritual immersion process versus a spiritual emergence process.
The reason I make that distinction is this:
The term spiritual immersion is something I thought I made up. I don’t know that I did but I thought I did. And, the reason I made it up was because for me, I witnessed myself taking baby steps â€“ incrementally taking myself down the path of knowing myself fully as a spiritual being having a human experience. That’s different than what is considered a spiritual emergence process, where there can be sudden changes and an element of emergency to it sometimes.
Generally, there are more challenging indicators that show up in a spiritual emergence process. The body is doing things and feeling things and sensing things energetically. There may be a spiritual presence, or a sense of possession, or kriyas â€“ spontaneous energy processes. Something is happening in the body that needs attention. And, it needs attention in a way that will take you inevitably into a spiritual immersion process. However the symptoms, if you will, or the indicators, are attempting to get your attention. And if it’s a spiritual emergency then your attention is needed immediately, and you need the support of either people who know how to be with spiritual emergencies or you’re probably going to want to go into a medical facility where you can get some support that way.
So there’s all kinds of ways spiritual emergences happen. You can emerge like you’re a flower. Or there’s emergencies where things are happening quickly and you need the attention that you can get quite often, as I mentioned already, that may take you to a medical facility. These things happen in the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic realm.
Spiritual immersion, for me, is the step-by-step process of making only one incremental choice at a time to align myself with my highest truth and my highest knowing. I’m making the choice to step onto this path of self-discovery. It’s a collaboration, a partnership happening. Though you may be experiencing the nudge from the Universe, your are empowering yourself to grow, learn, and discovery your full potential in all ways!
For me, I’ve been gifted. I feel like it’s a gift to experience this spiritual immersion process incrementally. I’m at choice to take the steps myself. To say to myself, "Okay, I have to train myself to be with this in a way that is going to help and support me to grow myself into my fullest potential. I have to train myself to stop avoiding and ignoring what isn’t working anymore. I have to train myself to practice walking my talk." The nudges from the Universe can sometimes feel like a two-by-four, so I’ve learned to listen and respond as best I can to keep aligning with the nudges.
So then what most people are afraid of, in such a process as spiritual immersion, happened to me: bankruptcy, a second divorce, isolation, and a lot of emotional and physical purging. I wanted it to be over ASAP! However, as I began to take the steps to self-discovery, in relation to my spirit self, I started to dance with God, if you will. I started to learn how to dance with God, how to learn to dance with myself as God, to learn to dance with myself as this Divine Oneness that I said I was. Though I would talk the words, I wasn’t walking or in this case dancing my talk. So, even though this process that I hoped would be over in a matter of months, and has lasted now almost a decade, has evolved into just an exquisite relationship with the Divine Universe within me. I feel so blessed to have come to know myself and Spirit to the degree that I have. And, I know now there is so much more to learn through direct experience â€“ not just reading and writing about it.
Something else people are afraid of is that they will lose momentum and become a depressed couch potato. That’s an option some people may choose. For me, when I wasn’t on the couch resting and going through some pretty uncomfortable moments, I was very active, and I still am. Being outside is critically important as part of this spiritual immersion process. A couple of hours a day, at least, I had to walk. I continued to work with clients, I did a lot of writing – I think I’ve written like 11 books in this time period. I went to Russia and Bali and did some retreats. So it’s not as though I was doing nothing and that life sucked. Life was very, very, and continues to be, very creative and inspiring.
My spiritual immersion process is a never ending relationship with my Divine Self. Challenges continue to be part of my life, they continue to press into what I need to attend to for myself, what I need to change regarding my beliefs, what I need to focus on, what I need to train myself to do regarding how I choose to choose what I choose. I continually train myself to focus on my highest truth, my highest knowing what my essential nature is, as opposed to, what I should be doing because people tell me I should. If I feel afraid I examine my fear and see that it is based on a context that has never worked for me. As best I can I move towards what I know to be true â€“ that I’m loved, that there is no hurry, and that I can’t do it wrong. You can’t do it wrong either.
Everyone will have their own unique experience. So, what I’m sharing with you in these podcasts will be what I found most valuable to discover as I continue to go through this discovery process. I’ll share specific books that have been my teachers, such as, A Course in Miracles, a book called Oneness, transcribed by a woman named Rasha, and many books by David Hawkins.
Having worked in the field of recovery for almost 10 years, I use the recovery model with just about every single person, whether it’s a spiritual immersion process, or whatever their life issue is. Quite often, there are addictive patterns in place that need to shift. I find this especially true in this process of spiritual immersion. Addictive patterns need to be looked at so they can be seen for the value they bring to one’s life. If they are no longer useful, then it’s time to let them go. Easier said than done, right?
How long such a process takes is very personal. We are working on physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and energetic levels. We are detoxing from cellular memory, from traumas, emotions and patterns that have been with us probably for lifetimes. They’ve come through our ancestors, through our own past life experiences, or parallel life experiences – all kinds of things show up in this process of spiritual immersion. It gets to be a wonderful adventure. Sometimes I didn’t want to be on this adventure, but inevitably, it’s been and continues to be an exquisite knowing of me in my fullest potential â€“ so far!
So my intention with these podcasts on spiritual immersion: taking the plunge is to support and empower you to be with yourself with a lot of compassion and kindness, and to know yourself through this process, and to let you know that you’re not alone, and to know that there are sources out there that will support you. These supports won’t make the process easier. They just may make it more comfortable to know you’re not alone, even when it feels like you are. But you’re not! You get the picture.
To hear all the episodes in this podcast, Spiritual Immersion: Taking the Plunge, click here.
I’m not at all afraid of the COVID-19 virus. I’m healthy, I live far away from people and as an introvert, I am happy being reclusive. In my perspective, the virus that is a greater problem in our world is the Fear Virus. It spreads so much more quickly. It’s already worldwise and exceptionally contagious, and it destroys lives in ways that are so much worse than the COVID-19 virus.
I don’t know about you, but my life experiences have led me to be highly susceptible to catching fear from others. Some would call it PTSD, but all I know is that once fear hits me, it TAKES OVER. In fact, once I’ve got that Fear Virus in my system, I have to focus all of my energy on bringing myself back to well-being and whole-being. I’ve gotten better at it with age, so I wanted to share what I’ve used against the Fear Virus with you in hopes that you, too, can overcome it. So here are some things to consider regarding the Fear Virus.
Symptoms Of the Fear Virus
Symptoms of the Fear Virus include anxiety, dread, despair, depression, as well as feeling powerless, hopeless and helpless. Other symptoms include the desire to distract yourself from your everyday life with unhealthy substances, with medications, or with activities such as gaming or shopping. You may be addicted to what the Fear Virus triggers in you, so you may find yourself glued to the TV or other sources of media that exacerbate trauma-drama in your life.
You may find yourself wanting to sleep more in order to avoid being in the discomfort of fear. Sleep and rest is important, however, if it is in service to avoiding and ignoring yourself, it becomes another element of the Fear Virus.
Life feels unmanageable if you are infected with the Fear Virus. Sometimes the symptoms get so scary that it’s not uncommon for people to want to just give up and die. I’ve been in this place many, many times. And I’ve survived, and to a larger degree I thrive, regardless of the presence of this Fear Virus.
What To Do If You’ve Got the Fear Virus
Drink plenty of water.
Go outside if you can and immerse yourself in nature.
Read religious or spiritual material that is uplifting and inspires you to reach for the next best feeling possible.
Run, jump, exercise. Do activities that allow you to release any pent up energy. Activity also increases endorphins which brings calm to our bodies.
Do something life-giving. Pet an animal, water a plant, smile to people or to yourself.
This may be the time to create a meditation practice. A meditation practice is any form of focused attention on something other than the thoughts and feelings that have infected you. This can include focusing on love and light, imagining life without fear, or remembering a time when you experienced innocence, freedom, and the joy of being you.
Use writing, drawing, painting, movement, toning, music, or any other form of creative expression to express what is inside. You aren’t looking for pretty or perfect here; you are looking for a way to release and purge the energy that needs to get out. This would be similar to having to vomit or poop out stuff that isn’t making you feel your best. But this is more fun.
Be with yourself! As much as we want to distract ourselves from the terrible, horrible, no good stuff that we think may be happening in the world, we have an opportunity to be compassionate with what we are having to be right now. Loving-kindness goes a long way in healing from the Fear Virus.
Laugh, play, and enjoy the company of people who are not infected with the Fear Virus. I find children and pets to be really good companions when I’m stricken with the Fear Virus.
I find that work helps me feel productive. When I’m coaching, writing, or creating, I experience a sense of purpose and meaning that I’m contributing to something greater than myself. And, at the same time, I have to balance work with play, rest, and meditation. The practice of balance really kicks fear in the butt!!!
Watch movies that are uplifting and make you laugh. And watch movies that make you cry â€“ these are good to help get the feelings out when it’s just too scary to be with them any other way.
Get support. Reach out to people who can hold you and support you through this Fear Virus. Coaches, therapists, ministers and spiritual guides, AA, and other fellowships â€“ these all have the capacity to empower you to heal yourself from this Fear Virus. And, fortunately, we have the technology to meet with others online through Zoom, Facetime, Skype and a myriad of other virtual formats, so there’s no fear of contracting the COVID-19 virus on top of the Fear Virus.
Natural remedies also help boost our ability to be immune to the Fear Virus. Among other vitamins and supplements, I use ASEA Redox Molecules. Personally, I find it highly effective to boost my immune system against all viruses and bacteria, and it also supports my mental and emotional functioning so that I can minimize the degree to which I internalize fear and anxiety.
Pay attention to your eating habits. Foods such as sugar may reduce one’s immunity to fear. Notice which foods might even trigger fear in you.
Gratitude is a huge booster to our immunity to fear and other challenging emotions. Sometimes it takes focused attention to come up with things to be grateful for. I started with being grateful for my teeth. Then I was able to be grateful for my fingers and toes, for my ability to laugh and make other people happy to be themselves. The list of gratitudes can be endless, and that’s a very good thing. When there isn’t anything else to do, list all the things, people, and experiences you are grateful for.
It’s easy to re-infect yourself with the Fear Virus by allowing fear-based thoughts to hang around. The collective field of the energy of the planet is especially fearful right now, which only means that it’s easier than ever for the Fear Virus to enter your space â€“ and you might not even know it. Shield yourself by creating positive affirmations, putting up images that bring love and light into your space, and playing music that is calming and peaceful. All of these can assist you in not re-infecting yourself.
How To Avoid Further Exposure to the Fear Virus
Stay far away from environments where the news has been on, or any electronics have been tuned into pandemic information. For some of us who are highly sensitive people, we can feel the fear when in the same vicinity as fear. Bring calming and soothing elements to your environment. I have a koi pond that brings me back to myself as soon as I peer in and see the beautiful beings swimming about.
If you are going to be on social media, YouTube, or other sites where you have potential exposure to fear, be very particular. You get to decide what media you expose yourself to. Choose lovingly.
Breathe In the Love Molecules
Perhaps we can’t avoid the Fear Virus, however, we can strengthen ourselves because of it. We can become more conscious of our susceptibility to fear and how we live when we are in fear. We can become more kind and compassionate in our hearts to ourselves and to every other person on the planet. Breathe in the LOVE MOLECULES. They are in every breath we take. They are the ones that will sustain us until we are strong enough to reach towards thriving.
If you are looking for more support in this unprecedented time, I am available for individual coaching, or, you may consider this group program coming up:
When Life Gets Scary: Living Creatively With Uncertainty
This 6-week Webinar with Margaret Lindsey, MFA & Rosie Kuhn, PhD, will provide a platform upon which you not only get to connect with others and play, but also develop creative practices that will empower you to live consciously with the ever-changing realities of life. We will focus on 6 elements of what’s really happening when life gets scary and uncertainty fills us up with stuff we’d rather not think about. We will focus not only on the scary stuff, but also on the brilliant, light and loving stuff, because that’s also part of who we are as creative beings.
6 sessions: 10-11:30am, Tuesdays, April 7th â€“ May 5th $150 for all 6 sessions
With the COVID-19 phenomenon in full swing the world as we know it has turned on it’s axis, at least when it comes to our orientation towards work, money, and the fear that we are going to Hell in a hand-basket! So much of what we’ve focused on, and has been effortlessly available to us, is at least for a while taken out of our reach. Some of us have free time on our hands that we are happy about. Others, not so much.
So many of us are home, wondering what to do with ourselves. I hear a lot of people share that they are cleaning out their drawers, closets and refrigerators. Some people are playing games and engaging with their partners and children. Forced solitude can be a very good thing to boost our hearts’ desires while we take care of our physical bodies.
Some of us are caught up in anxiety and fear of the worst case scenarios. That’s easy, especially if the news is playing in the background and people are sharing the possibility for terrible, no-good things to happen.
It’s easy to drop into angst, anxiety and despair! It’s easy to feel oppressed and out of control. It’s easy to fall into the abysses of feeling this is HELL and there is no way out!
I got an idea! Let’s play a game! No, you don’t need cards, a board, a pencil or paper. You just need to sit comfortably or lay down all snuggled into your favorite blanket. Or you can be outside in the sunshine. All you need is to be somewhere where you are relaxed, quiet and undistracted.
First, this is the easy part: Feel what it’s like being you in the midst of this quarantine. Feel all those things I mentioned above: anxiousness, despair, hopelessness, alone, uncertainty, . . . and the list goes on. Feel the experience of constraint and loss of what we all took for granted. Feel the disappointment of giving up your work, vacation plans, and gatherings with your favorite people. Feel the weirdness of all the closings and cancellations of everything we just assumed would always be there – libraries, schools, sports events, our fellowships and religious celebrations . . . WOW! That’s a lot to be with!
As I’m writing this my heart is palpitating and I’m really uncomfortable. I don’t know about you, but it’s scary being inside me right now!
Thunderdome, the Movie
I didn’t see this movie, Thunderdome, however I can only imagine upon watching it that I’d be feeling a lot of what I’m experiencing right now with the impact of the COVID-19 virus upon us all.
In the song from the movie Thunderdome, Tina Turner sings, "We don’t need another hero. We don’t need to know the way home. All we want is life beyond the Thunderdome…. Love and compassion, their time is coming…."
Beyond the Thunderdome
Okay, the second part of our game – this is the good part.
Again, using your imagination, feel what it’s like being outside this circumstance of quarantine. For example, if you could pop yourself out of this reality of doom and gloom – the Thunderdome, and instantly find yourself in another reality, what would you feel? Imagine no longer being constrained, contained and constricted. What would that experience be like for you?
In this game, I find I have to work really hard to get myself into an imaginary state beyond the reality that is being foisted upon me.
As I imagine myself outside the Thunderdome, slowly something shifts. Some of what I feel is, safe, free, liberated. I feel trusting of those around me. I feel relaxed and hopeful. I feel playful, with a renewed sense of innocence. I’m smiling and I want to hug everyone. I want to celebrate life, joy and love!
Believing is Seeing
Our logical and skeptical reality tells us that we need to see the changes in order to believe that good things are coming. However, every spiritual and religious tradition tells us that we need to first believe it to see it. Actually, Einstein and the field of Quantum Physics champion the same principle. So, the practice of feeling the goodness of what we believe is coming, such as freedom and the reason to celebrate, assists us in believing what we can’t yet see, and will actually create the catalyst for such a paradigm shift.
Do you get what I’m saying here? We don’t need another hero. We don’t need to know our way home. We only need to feel the goodness, the light, the love and the freedom that is, now and always.
As a skeptic, you might poo-poo this, and I wouldn’t fault you one bit. My own personal inner skeptic is alive and well, too. However, I trust Einstein. I trust Buddha and Jesus. I trust all the spiritual teachers, enough to, if nothing else, bring positivity into my reality in order to offset the collective fear that doesn’t do me any good whatsoever!
I’m up for this game. How about you?
Regardless of who you are, the career path you’ve taken, your family, or the spiritual path you are on, inevitably you will meet something really scary and realize that you cannot escape one of our greatest adversaries â€“ uncertainty. Uncertainty brings up feelings of powerlessness, loss, and vulnerability. It scares us into withdrawing from the growing edge of our life, opting instead to hold back until we feel more brave and confident.
In fact, there are numerous circumstances these days that are triggering the experience of uncertainty. The COVID-19 virus pandemic is just the latest, and it’s impacting everything and everyone on the planet. That’s a pretty big deal! That means that whatever you are experiencing emotionally and physically, there are a few billion other people who are feeling exactly the same way. In effect, you are not alone!
Those of you who read my offerings know that I like to get deep down into the nitty-gritty of life as it is. I don’t pull punches or sugar-coat. So here we go: Uncertainty, and the fear that arises from it, and all of the worry and the actions we take because of it, well, that’s just a big fat be-with! So let’s talk about this for just a bit.
The Wisdom of No Escape!
Whether you like it or not, uncertainty ceaselessly follows us until we succumb to the realization that we cannot escape it. Nobody gets out of life without experiencing uncertainty at some point! The COVID-19 virus pandemic is a great example. In general, each of us lives with a sense of knowing that we have at least some tools, skills, and wisdom to be with uncertainty – until that uncertainty is bigger than what we’ve experienced before, as in, when life presents you with something scarier and more powerful than you’ve ever known. Most of us will prefer to shrink away, but I’m saying that all this means is that the skills and tools you already have may simply need an upgrade!
Many of us live with uncertainty everyday, for example, all First Responders are on constant alert for intense situations to arise. Parent with children of any age also live with uncertainty relating to the well-being of their children. Having the knowledge that some uncertainty is to be expected generates courage to adventure into an exploration of ourselves, revealing what we already know: that we are already powerful, courageous and adventurous! That is what has gotten us this far in our lives! However, when situations like COVID-19 pandemic occur, we are being called to expand our bandwidth to include more of ourselves and live into the uncertainty differently, trusting that some benefit awaits in the aftermath.
Each of us is being brought to the brink of reality as we knew it. Existential questioning of who we are, what’s the point of life, & what matters most, is on the minds of almost everyone. It’s kind of a wake up call where we are required to be fully present to the human/spiritual dilemma of being with uncertainty. Fun, right?
I know you want to say that you didn’t sign up for this. And maybe you didn’t. Maybe you were drafted into this situation against your will. Regardless of how you got here to this moment, you and me â€“ we are all in this together. It requires moving beyond hope, beyond trust, and to some degree, needing to take a huge leap in faith.
Just What Might Be the Learnings to be Had Through Such Uncertainty?
Any life circumstance has the potential to take us to the edge of our comfort zone, and even to the edge of reality as we know it, which makes us feel exposed and vulnerable. This CoronaVirus may be here to teach us some really amazing stuff about ourselves, whether we contract it or not. For one thing, we might learn to be with the HUGE questions: Am I going crazy? What did I do to deserve this? How do I get back to the old life before this all happened? Why me and why now? These aren’t rhetorical questions!!! Like a 2×4 hitting us upside the head, these questions need our attention, and uncertain times bring them to the forefront of our minds!
Moreover, times of uncertainty invariably bring each of us to experience feeling powerless, helpless and vulnerable. Yet most of us spend our entire lives creating invulnerability so we don’t have to be with uncertainty and vulnerability. So the COVID-19 pandemic brings us into ourselves perhaps like nothing has before, especially for those of us who have never been in a war zone, known 3rd world poverty first hand, or been in a natural disaster. As such, we are being given a gift of self-discovery. What do you do with that, you ask? Well, we can fear it or we can embrace it and own our vulnerability!
Powerless, Hopeless, Helpless: Getting to the Heart of the Human Dilemma
Truth is, we are Spiritual Beings having Human Experiences. Remembering this is essential to being with uncertainty. Accepting and surrendering to the fact that our humanness sometimes cannot protect us from feeling vulnerable is a very big deal! And, it’s only just a part of adulting ourselves where we cultivate wisdom and stop denying and ignoring the absolute truth of what is being experienced by each of us in our humanness and our spiriutalness. Realizing that, although the journey is scary, it is essential to our spiritual growth, empowers us to be with what is as it is, and dig into ourselves â€“ not for answers or solutions, but for the direct experience of what is truth. This process of being with uncertainty requires that we exercise the muscles to be with the exploration of the experience of our powerlessness, helplessness and hopelessness â€“ that’s the truth! That is a lot to be with! And there’s more!!!
Being With the Big Fat Be-With
Circumstances such as the COVID-19 pandemic create opportunities for Self-Realization, which is just one step in the process of awakening. Another step is Self-Actualization, which is required to integrate our body, mind, and spirit.
It’s interesting to notice that, thinking does not require one to actually experience humanity and fully engage to one’s fullest expression of self. In order to participate fully in this human adventure, you must first be present to the direct experience you are having. This is something most of us avoid. However, we can’t take action by changing thoughts, feelings, and behaviors until we have the direct experience of knowing exactly what it is we are experiencing. Again, most of us avoid this practice of being in the moment in the direct experience of their lives.
I’m finding it fascinating the degree to which my thinking has changed within the last week. I’m asking myself questions that I really want answers to, such as: What’s really important to me right now? Who am I in the midst of a possible cataclysm? If this is the end of life as I know it, how do I want to be me as we all move forward?
And, the most challenging be-with these days is that there is no safety net! Your bank account, your education, your corporate status, your religious upbringing, how wise you are â€“ nothing will provide a safety net for any of us. We are all on a level playing ground. I think that’s good to know. I can’t outsmart this CoronaVirus, nor can anyone else. It’s a matter of common sense and a matter of a Divine Plan. And, how we be with this big fat be-with is very, very personal.
So, all of the Survival Mechanisms that we’ve put into place, consciously or unconsciously, to avoid, distract, and deny what we know is true â€“ that we are powerless and helpless over this CoronaVirus and other things â€“ have to be recycled, revamped, or retired. Why? Because they are not working. Right? Most of us take on our survival mechanisms as young humans, when we can’t comprehend the things that are happening around us. Rarely do these survival mechanisms continue to benefit us as adults. So we have an opportunity to upgrade our skills and tools for uncertainty right now, and maybe, just maybe, on a Big Picture level, the COVID-19 pandemic is trying to give us this message!
When we realize the degree to which we live in fear and stress, while thinking that it’s normal, we can hopefully choose to catapult ourselves out of this paradigm of fear and dis-ease. Perhaps this COVID-19 pandemic could create a healthy paradigm shift? I believe that is a huge possibility!
So what is this healthy paradigm that doesn’t require us to live in fear and stress? Acceptance of what is. Yes, there is serenity, peace, and empowerment after acceptance and surrendering our powerlessness. Surrendering our will and our attachments to beliefs and desires that are part of a bankrupt fear-based paradigm is perhaps what’s being asked of us right now. We are in the midst of a potential paradigm shift which requires us to exercise, stretch and strengthen those muscles that allow us to engage with life in the current moment, as opposed to putting our heads in the sand. In this new paradigm where fear does not control one’s thoughts, feelings and actions, gratitude is ever present: "Oh, Creator: I am Grateful for the Way that it is!"
Unseen Support: Guides, Angels and More: We Can’t Do It Without Them
Every spiritual and religious tradition requires the belief in the unseen support that is always with us. It’s required in order for us to reach beyond our limited human capacity to allow council with those who have unlimited wisdom, love and support for us.
There are thousands of ways to converse with the unseen: writing, contemplation, meditation, prayer, creative and expressive movement, and art. Immersing oneself in nature, playing with children, laughing with friends, visiting people who would love your company. Reading inspiring works, learning to love what is â€“ all of these are salves for the soul. As we are confronted with such uncertainty, we need to bring light and love into our lives in the ways that lets us know we are so much more than our circumstances!
Now is the Time
The interesting dilemma is that in times like this, we look to hope and we look to the future for peace and serenity. However, we ignore our present lives when we do that! We ignore the precious "I" that is experiencing humanness in this moment. We ignore the exquisite experience that is here to be lived, not to be ignored.
Yes, this is a time of uncertainty. Yes, this is a time to look beyond our fears of survival. Yes, this is a time of an end of life as we have known it to be. And, yes, this is a time to discover and experience the truth of your being that so desires to be acknowledged through this time of uncertainty. My hope is that you can now see that there is so much more being offered to us than fear and uncertainty in this moment. I invite you to step into some quiet time with you. Be with what’s showing up for you beneath the fear and uncertainty, and perhaps this big fat be-with will provide you with wonderful and unexpected gifts.
I wish for you wellbeing and whole being!
My local newspaper recently asked me to write something that could perhaps reflect some peace amongst all the current public angst that is occurring. What with the COVID-19 and the state of political affairs, we are being pushed to be with ourselves in a way that is very new to so many of us. So I wrote down this conversation, which for me is at the heart of all the angst in the world.
A Coaching Session
Bob (not his real name) – What do I do with the angst I feel about the really scary situation in our country and the world? I’m exhausted, wrung out, it all feels so hopeless and I feel like the situation will never get better!
Rosie â€“ What would you like to have in place of the angst?
Bob â€“ Um. I don’t know! Well, I want the political situation to change, and I want this virus to go away so I don’t experience this angst, this anxiety or this hopelessness anymore.
Rosie â€“ I get it! And, that doesn’t answer my question. What would you like in place of the angst?
Bob â€“ Um. I don’t know! If the virus goes away and the political environment changes, then I’ll change; so I want it to change. Aren’t those things the source of my angst?
Rosie â€“ No. Your response to all of that is sourced from within you. Politics and the virus just tickle/trigger you into angst. But my question is still on the table, Bob. If those things didn’t trigger you at all, what would you experience?
Bob â€“ Why is it so important for me to know what I’d feel if I didn’t feel angst?
Rosie â€“ It’s important because, so many times people want change, but they don’t know what they want the change to be. They only know what they don’t want. Generally speaking, Bob, you won’t get what you want if you don’t know what you want. So figuring out what you want is really important to having what you want. Does that make sense?
Bob â€“ Gosh! I’ve never given that much thought before. Yes, that does make sense. Well, I guess I’d be calm. I’d feel less fidgety. I’d breathe easier. I’d be more relaxed.
Rosie â€“ Great! So what you want is to experience more calmness in your life. You want to be more relaxed and breathe easier. Did I get that right?
Bob â€“ Yes! That’s right!
Rosie â€“ So Bob, if you were calmer, more relaxed, and able to breathe easier, what would you have then?
Bob â€“ Peace! I’d experience more peace in my life. Huh! I never thought about it that way. What I really want is peace.
Rosie â€“ Excellent Bob! Thanks for sticking with me on this. This is important stuff. So, peace is really what you want.
Bob â€“ Yes.
Rosie â€“ And, you don’t have peace because the virus and the political situation is what it is. And, that triggers you into feeling angst.
Bob â€“ Yes. Angst, frustration and fear. I feel a lot of anxiety, powerlessness and hopelessness. Like I’m out of control.
Rosie â€“ So the source of your angst is an underlying sense of powerlessness and hopelessness – being out of control?
Bob â€“ YES!
Rosie â€“ So, Bob. This is a big question: How do you be with powerlessness, hopelessness and being out of control?
Bob â€“ Man, Rosie. You ask a lot of questions. Well, what I do is I worry and I obsess about how terrible things are in the world. I drink, eat, play video games – I distract myself from my angst and from feeling powerless.
Rosie â€“ That makes perfect sense, Bob. That’s what most people do. They worry and obsess, maybe get angry and scared, and do whatever they can to distract themselves from feeling the hopelessness and powerlessness that’s inside. No one wants to admit powerlessness, though it is the beginning of the end of angst. When we admit the truth of how we really feel, we experience empowerment, and at the same time we feel our true feelings. It’s pretty scary stuff.
Bob â€“ Doesn’t admitting that I’m powerless mean that I’m a victim? I don’t want to admit that! Then I’m gonna feel really depressed!
Rosie â€“ Nope! Admitting powerlessness doesn’t mean you are a victim. It just means that in this moment, in this human circumstance, you don’t have control or power to make things different in the world. It is a universal conundrum among human beings â€“ to be powerless over a situation and not want to admit it. And, even if it did mean that you were a victim, the source of that too is that you are powerless over your circumstances.
Bob â€“ Well, for me, admitting that I’m powerless means that life sucks and it will never get better. I feel as though the world is going to Hell.
Rosie â€“ Yep! That’s what it feels like for a lot of people. It’s such an uncomfortable experience. And most of us just want that feeling to go away. So, we do what we can do to ignore and distract ourselves from those feelings and from all the thoughts that are, in essence, the source of our angst.
Truth is, Bob. The world has been doing what it’s doing for millions of years. There have been only short periods of time when there wasn’t some atrocity occurring on the planet. It’s just doing, and we humans just keep doing what we do over and over again. And most of us perceive it all as just plain sucky! We, you, have an opportunity to shift your thoughts so that you have a lot more peace in your life and a lot less angst.
Bob â€“ So you are saying that the source of my angst is the thoughts that are going on in my head?
Rosie â€“ Yes.
Bob â€“ But, it’s what’s in the world! It’s in the news, it’s everywhere, that the world is getting worse everyday! How am I supposed to stop thinking thoughts about that when it’s TRUE?!
Rosie â€“ That’s a great question, Bob. First of all, it only means that wherever the world is going, you are powerless to have it go anyplace else. That you aren’t in control, and that you are powerless to make it any different. In this moment, I want you to hear the truth in what I’m saying. You are powerless in this moment to make a difference in the world.
Bob â€“ That doesn’t make me feel any better, Rosie. You are supposed to help me get out of my angst not get deeper into it.
Rosie â€“ I totally get it, Bob. But if you aren’t able to acknowledge the absolute truth of how it feels to be you with angst and hopelessness, we can’t get you to the next step. No one wants to openly feel and admit that they feel what they feel. It’s crazy, because you are feeling what you feel. Admitting it â€“ why not?
Bob â€“ I get it Rosie. I just don’t like it!
Rosie â€“ Bob, I totally get that too! I never like admitting what I feel. But if I don’t, I can’t change what I ignore. Does that make sense â€“ that you can’t change what you ignore?
Bob â€“ I get it, Rosie. And, I don’t like it!
Rosie â€“ So, now, the next step is for you to be with the Big Fat Be-With: That you are powerless and helpless to make the world different from what it is!
Bob â€“ I don’t want to be with that!
Rosie â€“ I get it Bob. You don’t want to be with the Big Fat Be-With – that you are powerless in this moment with the way things are. So, you are at a choice point. You can choose that, or you can choose to continue to do what you are doing already, feeling the angst and ignoring and distracting yourself with food, beverages and video games.
Bob â€“ What’s the point in that?
Rosie â€“ Great question, Bob. The point is that you can empower yourself to choose to do what you’ve been doing and have the results be what they’ve always been. You can choose that because you don’t want to be with what you don’t want to be with.
The other point is that you, Bob, are in a dilemma! You have some choices, and you don’t want to choose. What would you have to be with if you chose either way?
Bob â€“ JEESH! These questions are really bugging me! Okay! If I have to choose, either way, I’d have to be with how really sad and bad I feel for failing to make a difference, feeling hopeless, angry and insane!
Rosie â€“ So, whether you choose to admit powerlessness, or keep on with the angst and the struggle, you’ll have to be with failure to make things different in the world.
Bob â€“ YES.
Rosie â€“ That’s big!
Bob â€“ YES!
Rosie â€“ So you have an answer to your question – how to deal with the angst. And, you have some choices that you don’t want to choose, you have some truths that you don’t want to accept. And, Bob, you also have access to peace, if you want.
Bob â€“ YES!
Rosie â€“ Beautiful! So now what?
Bob â€“ I don’t know what to do?
Rosie â€“ YEP! And, you don’t have to do anything. The world will keep on doing what it has done, people will keep on doing what people do, and you will keep on doing what you do until you decide you want something different – enough to actually do something different.
Bob â€“ YEP! I don’t like it, but I get it! I’m at choice to keep on keepin’ on with worrying and being righteous, and powerless, focused on how bad the world is getting. Or I can start to truly admit the degree to which I’m powerless over people, places and things. And, I can give up thinking that I need to change the world. I only need to change me. I’m not ready to do that yet. Maybe someday!
Rosie â€“ I totally get it. Take all the time you want. You, like the world, will unfold as you do! There’s no hurry!
Bob â€“ So, Rosie, is there anything you can suggest I do?
Rosie â€“ I can suggest a lot of things Bob. If you don’t want to feel the angst, turn off the TV, stop listening to the news and stop focusing on what’s wrong in the world. This will help a lot! It’s not mandatory that you watch the news. If its stressful for you, then do something that alleviates the stress â€“ aside from eat, drink and game. Start looking at what’s good in the world. Notice the beauty around you. Walk in nature more often. Take time to be with the people you love.
The final thing I suggest is to notice when you are in a state of peace. Notice what it is that brings about that peace â€“ the thoughts you are thinking, the choices you make, the people you are with, the activities you are engaged in. When we notice when we are in our happy place, we actually become more at choice in making that happen more and more frequently. Easy â€“ right?
Bob â€“ That makes sense. I don’t know how good I’ll be at doing any of what you suggest, but at least I have some thoughts about this. I feel a little better. Maybe I’ll come and talk with you again after I’ve digested some of this for a while. Thanks Rosie!
Rosie â€“ You are so welcome, Bob. Anytime you are ready, I’ll be here for you!
I’ve experienced some really great accomplishments lately, and I feel good about these accomplishments. Now the question is, do I want to do more? All sorts of thoughts rush in before I can even complete the question â€“ do I want to do more? And the bottom line is this answer, "I don’t know. I’ll have to see what shows up!"
The dilemma that arises pits my judgments of myself, based on accomplishments, productivity and proving myself worthy in the world, against my spiritual principles, which distills down to "be fulfilled in expressing love, joy, fun and only do what is infinitely pleasing!"
From a spiritual perspective, I can see myself as a clean slate, and, as well, this moment as a clean slate. I can choose to bring to this moment whatever it is I want to bring into this moment. Truth is, the only thing that exists in this moment is what I choose to bring into it. Discerning exactly what that is, could be tremendously helpful. And so the discernment process begins, in service to answering the question: What do I want to do?
You know as well as I do that this question has many levels and is highly complex; given all the domains within which we exist; karma and other external influences. How do I know what it is I want to do, and how do I know with certainty that I’m doing it for my own pure reason and nothing else? Truth is, in this moment, I can’t know.
To a large degree, life coaching is directed toward specific circumstances, wants and desires; for instance, the desire for a long term relationship, a healthier body, more money or a fulfilling career. Often the coach works within the problem-solving paradigm, brainstorming with their clients to find the best fitting assignments to assist the client in getting what they want. As effective as this is, looking into the bigger picture can be more valuable.
What we want in our current life â€“ the one we experience in this moment, is in service to a more Universal Human Desire. My experience is that by un-concealing my Universal Human Desires and my existential reality â€“ I live, therefore I question my reality â€“ I begin to engage more directly with my core, essential self. I’m then able to make choices that profoundly affect all areas of my life. Having a thinking partner to distinguish all of this is super helpful and empowering in order to get me to my truth and nothing but my truth â€“ SO HELP ME JESUS!!!!
Here Is an Example of What This Might Be Like
My client, Carolyn, has been working on some core issues for a very long time. As an amazingly courageous woman, our explorations always cut through veils of resistance, emotional debris, and beliefs that no longer serve her. Over time, she exercises and stretches herself in support of coming to a place of well-being that she never knew existed.
Carolyn starts out our most recent session in a big harrumph: "I’ve lost my customary defense against negativity. It’s making me feel depressed, and it’s scaring me. I’m losing my sense of ambition. I’m over sixty years old and I’ve got to continue to build my career, but I don’t even know what I want anymore. It’s unsettling. I don’t want to build my practice. I have nothing of value to offer. It’s all downhill from here. Heck, I don’t even know who I am. I have no intrinsic value."
"What if this were true?" I asked, "That you have no intrinsic value?"
Carolyn closed her eyes and felt deeply into this experience. "It makes me feel depressed. My heart hurts and my body sags. I feel physical pain. It feels really uncomfortable."
I was feeling into my own felt-sense of what it’s like to be without intrinsic value, and felt a similar experience to Carolyn. I acknowledged her and her experience, then asked again, "And what if you had no intrinsic value?"
Carolyn again went inside and disclosed: "I feel empty. . . . I feel nothing." After a long pause, she exclaimed, "Wow, feeling this way, I don’t think I’ll ever want to do anything else ever again. I feel at peace. There’s no longing, no worry, no struggling; it feels wonderful. Stillness!" She allowed only a brief moment in this stillness before she went on, with some urgency, "How am I supposed to live life after feeling this quality of being? There’s no need to get anything done!"
I asked, "What is it that you think needs to get done?" Carolyn replied, "I should be effective, making money, be like everyone else. I should be connected, not a weirdo who sits around and meditates all day."
I hear Carolyn connecting into her current, fear-based paradigm of should’s and shouldn’t’s. What I want for her, in this moment, is to perhaps create new pathways to this emerging paradigm she’s just beginning to acknowledge. Softly and slowly I speak, "Come back to that place of peace and stillness. What value does making money and being like everyone else have for you? How do these ways of being serve you?"
C: "I’m doing things that make me valuable to others. I’m afraid they won’t like me â€“ that they won’t want anything to do with me if I don’t."
R: "And if that’s true, that they won’t want anything to do with you, what will that mean?"
C: "It means that they will reject me."
R: "And if that happens, that they reject you, then what?"
C laughs: "That will mean I have no intrinsic value." she says. Then she sighs, relaxes back into stillness.
R: "Tell me what has intrinsic value to you? What’s important to you?"
C: "My husband Sean, he’s important to me. My grandchildren are very important to me. My work with my students is also really important to me. . . . Oh, so . . . . I don’t have to do anything that I don’t want to do. I don’t have to do things to try and please other people. I can create a life based on what I choose as meaningful â€“ not what others choose for me!"
R: "And, as you say this, what’s it like for you in this moment?"
C: "I feel relaxed and still connected to my life. I can acknowledge and be in this state of peace and still function in the real world, doing what matters to me. This feels really good!"
Carolyn started out this session wanting to get more effective, more productive, and to focus on what’s hers to do, which in her mind was to get more clients, make more money, and make sure she is being appropriate in order to remain likeable. When she began expressing a sense of depression, an unsureness or sadness, I picked up on the fact that something isn’t right. My experience is that we need to explore what’s not right, what’s missing, what needs to shift, so that Carolyn, all of my clients, and myself too, are in alignment with our heart and our sense of true intrinsic value.
What Carolyn did was quiet herself and discern what is true for her. Like most of us, she was thinking about herself, what to do and how to be, based on her context about herself, the world and the people in it. She was assessing based on what she believed to be of value to the world, such as being of service, care-taking, making money, being successful, and being powerful. Her strategy was to then figure out how to fit into those truths.
Questions that can arise within each of us â€“ especially me in this moment: "How much money can I make without being considered selfish and inconsiderate? How much power can I have without being considered abusive? How much money do I need to make before I’m considered successful? What level of leadership do I need to attain before I am respected?" These are underlying conversations going on in our heads constantly. Only through mindful, intentional discernment can we realize the master we are serving.
Few of us are trained to be comfortable in this nebulous environment where our humanness and our spirituality meet, and to actually be in this arena. We talk about being spiritual but rarely are we aware of the experience of being it. It’s a pretty scary territory to navigate â€“ at first.
Look at Carolyn’s experience. She found herself through the experiences of emptiness and nothingness only to settle into stillness and peace. After only a few moments of stillness she popped into worry: "How will I ever get anything done if I’m so content here, in this place?"
Carolyn is no small potato. She is a high functioning, highly educated, and highly trained individual in the field of art, humanity, and spirituality. I’m like Carolyn in many ways. We are both at the threshold of a new frontier. The fact of the matter is, in every session we have had together, she traverses another undiscovered territory of awareness. She keeps levelling up! As she does so, she becomes more fluent in the languaging of her own being. I’m not meaning the verbal languaging but the nonverbal experience of being, which has gone unacknowledged for maybe lifetimes. And the great thing for me is that with each of my clients as they level up, so do I! We all traverse this territory of our human-spirits together. Sometimes we do this consciously and sometimes it’s unconscious, but we are doing it just the same.
So, to summarize this: Knowing and living in my intrinsic value is challenging work. Doing only what I love and that which is infinitely pleasing goes against everything I’ve been taught. Figuring out what is infinitely pleasing is just one aspect of living in peace, love, and my essential nature.
Stay tuned for what’s next in the continuing saga of how the paradigm shifts!
I finished a painting this past Sunday. That’s nothing new. However I felt like I’d worked hard all weekend. I was exhausted. And come Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I woke up looking forward to a nap! "But there’s so much to do! And I haven’t done enough to deserve a nap!" I admonished to myself.
Thursday, however, I awoke with ACISTE PRESENTATION POWER POINT knocking on my brain – trying to get itself onto paper before I was out of bed! (I’m presenting at the upcoming ACISTE Conference next month. This power point presentation had to get completed.)
I had to put aside my usual morning practices to get this power point happening. Since opening the floodgates, more writing, podcasts, paintings and clients are knocking down my door wanting to be attended to. Sometimes that’s how it works.
Blocks to Productivity, Creativity, & Flourishing
Mental exhaustion, expectations that ideas are going to come on-demand, and looking for inspiration in all the wrong places, doesn’t make it easy for intuition to express itself. For me, these are the main contributors to blocks in every area of my life, which includes finances and love!
You see, when I look for what I "should" write about, talk about, what I should paint, and what I should coach to with my clients, I’m usually looking in all the wrong places. It’s when I stop looking, and just joyously anticipate, what wants attention shows up automatically, and things roll along pretty effortlessly. Apparently, I’m in good company: some of the most famous inventors and scientists have shared that it was during a nap, taking a walk, or petting the cat, that revelations and inspirations came to them. When least expected in the least likely place – that’s where creation flourishes.
Cultivating a Listening for and to Intuition
With my coaching practice, beginning early on, I would get a hit about my client – an intuitive something coming in from who knows where. Though it occurred to me to ignore it, more often than not, I began to follow the intuitive something or other. And it always – and I do mean always, led me to some remarkableness that couldn’t or wouldn’t have been revealed if I ignored it. My clients always benefit from the daringness to follow my intuition.
Since those beginnings, within every single one of my sessions, some felt-sense or intuitive hit arises, and to follow it usually takes me out of my comfort zone. And, it has empowered me to greater and greater degrees of mastery in my work. I’ve come to trust that, when I trust myself to follow this something that seems indescribable, I’m led to empowering my client in ways that hadn’t occurred to me before that moment.
It’s a little unnerving to continually lean into the edge of my comfort zone, yet the evidence of growth for me and for my clients cannot be denied. And, it is always an adventure that I can joyously anticipate, even today, 20 years later.
Stop When There’s Nothing to Do: Take naps – Rest your mind.
Sometimes, things that we have no consciousness around need to shift. Sometimes, there is an incubation period that needs to be respected so that what needs to emerge has its full term to come to ripeness.
Too often, in our fast-paced society, we are reprimanded for allowing productivity to take the time it takes. But the truth is, it takes the time it takes for any creation to come into its fullest expression – just like the Powerpoint presentation this morning; I’d started the whole damn thing nine months ago, and it took until today for it to birth itself. A lot more work needs to happen for it to come to its full maturation, but it is in the world, getting the attention is desires.
When we respect and allow the natural timing and flow to occur, it will be crystal clear what needs to be done, what needs to be said, what needs to be created. We become more aligned with the Universal flow of Divine Timing and Divine Order. I tell you with complete confidence that life is so much more fun and fulfilling when we practice turning over our will to something greater.
Paul McCartney’s song "Let It Be" reminds me over and over again, especially when I’m in a hurry to finish one of my many projects, that I’m not in charge and I’m not in control, no matter how much I want to be. When I surrender my resistance to things being what they are, as opposed to how I want them to be, I can always discover something on my To-Do list that is ready for some advancement, effortlessly. More and more I can allow myself to anticipate with joy that something is ready to pop. My only job is to listen for intuition’s calling and then respond accordingly. It has been a practice worth cultivating. You might find it fun too!