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I was so thrilled! Walking through the garden section at Home Depot, I noticed that all of the plants were on sale. Yep, that is actually thrilling to me, a mountain gal at heart, living in the Sonoran desert.
My family and I just bought a new home and I had previously lost all of my houseplants to a bug invasion in our prior home. UGH! Heartbreaking.
I couldn’t wait to pepper our beautiful new home with some much needed vibrant green life!
That day I tentatively took home a 5 ft. fig tree.
I’ve never taken care of a fig tree before, it looked very delicate, but figured I could learn.
I placed it by the window, gave it a decent size pot and sprayed it with mist every few days. At first it didn’t like being moved and dropped a lot of leaves. Eventually it began to thrive... no more dead leaves. Phew… home safe and I became the proud new keeper of an indoor fig tree.
A month later, vacationing in San Diego, we went walking to the beach.
What did we pass?
A HUGE fig tree. This fig tree stood 20 feet tall and each leaf was a robust beautiful green. Unlike my tree, which had a decent amount of leaves, this tree was so thick with leaves you could not see through it to the other side!
I had no clue fig trees grew that much. I was completely blown away.
Such it is with plants. They grow according to the environment around them. Plants reach their potential when the external circumstances allow for it.
What I've learned after becoming a coach is that the majority of people subconsciously believe this to be true about their life.
“Once the conditions are right I’ll…..” Fill in the blanks. "Yes, but...." The external circumstance is the escape goat when something isn’t happening right.
The truth about being human
is that we reach our potential when
our internal environment is first enriched.
I know plenty of people with handsome external riches and yet they still are not living fulfilled or happy lives. I’ve seen people in poverty with happy hearts because they embrace what they do have.
What allows you to wake up feeling amazing and moves you towards your potential? What inner thoughts, feelings and fears move you away from your potential?
Making a positive inner-shift and internally enriching our life
allows us to live at the level of cause in our life.
Fears and negative thinking place us at the level of effect.
Internal enrichment occurs when we align with our:
Coaching is one of the most a powerful life enrichment paths. Coaching is a spiritual chiropractic treatment, aligning our inner world in ways that enhance our outer world.
What is so powerful about coaching is that coaching meets us wherever we are at.
Coaching then: 1) introduces us to new wisdoms within the mind, 2) strengthens the intuition of our body and 3) is plentiful fertilizer to the heart because coaching honors what we value, not what someone else tells us we should value.
Enriching our inner-landscape is a complete life enhancer! We can grow ten times more when our internal world is in sync, balanced and empowered through the integrated nutrients it needs.
In Service to your Life Purpose.
Laurel Inman, PCC
Founder / Senior Faculty IICT
Ready to learn more? Start here.
ALLS RIGHTS RESERVED (c) 2018
The other day I accidentally deleted an entire morning of work.
I realized fighting it wouldn't do anything to undelete my work.
I didn't want to let it go because I needed the work to get done.
So, I chose to fix and move forward!
This simple categorization is a great tool! Have a client that is fighting, or pushing, against a situation to identify if they need to move into fixing it, or forgetting it and move-on. Simple.
However, just like any basic tool, if we skip over the human element, a tool will fall flat or lose efficiency.
With this tool there is a surprising key element to applying this tool that can be easily overlooked. In coaching, if we help our clients move through this key element, they will have more grounded results.
The key element? Grieving.
When I realized I lost all of my hard work by my own human error, my face flushed, I felt hot, angry and in disbelief.
I wanted to fight it, stamp my feet and have all my work return!
I took a deep breath. Sunk into the reality. Allowed my upset to move through so I could be present enough to fix it.
This is a small scale example. What about bigger losses, conflicts and inner-fights with ourselves?
Same principle. Once we allow ourselves to grieve, allow the emotion to move through, then we can return to presence, choice and intention.
Application: When you notice your client is stuck in fight, help them first grieve, allow the emotions that surfaced and then, when they are ready, help them move into action with a heart at peace.
Laurel Inman, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty
Have you ever made a mistake and had someone get upset with you? You are left feeling empty and regretful, yet you didn’t mean to do it.
In my early twenties, I walked into the main office of my new apartment ready to drop off rent. Long story short I forgot my wallet, which was going to make me late paying my first month’s rent and deposit. I felt horrible. This was not how I wanted my first impression to go. I was going to live there for crying out loud!
The woman, whom managed the place, paused to look at me and said with a smile, “Sweetie, if this is the worse thing that happens today we are all in pretty good shape.”
I immediately exhaled and smiled back. “So, true. Thank you.” I said and left at ease.
Grace is one of the best things we can both receive and give to another stressed out human being, or to our stressed-out self. Grace fills up both the giver and receiver, bringing ease into stressful situations.
I now love giving the gift of grace wherever I go. Today the dental receptionist messed up my appointment so I missed a very much needed, overdue teeth cleaning.
Instead of getting upset, I chose to pass the gift to her, “If this is the worse thing that happens today we are all in pretty good shape.” I could feel her immediately soften and let herself off the hook. “Oh my gosh thank you.” She said. I smiled. We rescheduled.
For grasping grace in your life, consider:
How would the world be a brighter place with grace readily available whenever we needed it? In what ways would you like to start giving grace to others? In what ways can you give more grace to yourself? How do you give grace to your clients, customers, friends, family or strangers?
Laurel Inman, PCC
Founder / Senior Faculty at IICT
How to identify if your coaching message
is specific enough with one simple step.
One of the biggest reasons coaches in private practice end up not making a lucrative income is when their marketing is too flat. As a seasoned coach, and now coach trainer, that struggled for years to start a successful practice, I inform my students of a huge professional challenge:
Coaching is beginning to break through into public visibility. HOWEVER, we are still at a cocoon stage in our profession, generally speaking of course, that people do not readily recognize they need us until they see what we do. To contrast: People do wake up in the middle of the night and think, “That’s it!” I’m going to go find a counselor first thing in the morning.” People don’t yet wake up in the middle of the night and think, “That’s it! I’ve had it! I’m going to hire a coach the second I wake up.”
Mark Silver, my favorite business consultant and owner of Heart of Business, puts it this way (paraphrasing):
Imagine. You are in a busy downtown subway. You are standing there. All of the sudden you hear someone yell out your name. “(YOUR NAME HERE)!” What would you do? You would turn your head to look. Even if they are calling for someone else of the same name, you look.
This is the heart of effective marketing, especially for coaches.
Consider, our name is our identity in ways. When we call out to our future clients, and we call to them at an identity level, we can bridge a powerful connection.
Here is a quick and easy way to get to the heart of what your future clients identify with so that you can easily bridge to them. Once you are connected, then your services become a beacon of hope.
Consider: If my client is up late at night worrying, and they decided to Google for help, what would come after they word help?
Help, my house is infested with ticks!
Help, I’m going through a break-up and was cheated on!
Help, my step-son hates me!
Help, my employees are fighting!
Notice the title of this article was not, “Help, my son is rebelling and I’m at my wits end!” Only those parents experiencing a rebellious daughter would turn their heads. Instead, I spoke to those like me, that had experienced, or are currently experiencing, a bump in coaching business growth and are most likely as frustrated as I was by this.
Now, what are your clients being kept awake at night from? Worries, frustrations, concerns? If they reached out to ask for help, what would they be asking your help for? What resources or articles are they seeking?
Identifying this helps you show up at the other end of their search. They called for you!
You may wish to do this for a single program you offer or for your entire business offer.
Answer your client’s call for help, speak to their heart’s and your future clients will thank you! You are in this profession to empower people. Let’s get you to your destination with a huge smile on your heart.
Laurel Inman, PCC
The Institute for Integrative Coach Training
Founder / Senior Faculty / Professional Certified Coach
This weekend we covered the Nine Levels of Development, The Transformations of each Ennea-type and the Symptoms of Integration.
Symptoms of Integration include:
A: Surprisingly, no! Some of my best sessions took place when I was going through a challenging time in life. Coaching, helping another person be their best, helps us be at ours.
There is a myth and assumption that every life coach or therapist must have the perfect life. Yes, training gives us tools to help optimize our life. However, life is still going to be life, even after training. As the Taoist say: “Before enlightenment, walk to the well, gather the water. After enlightenment, walk to the well, gather the water.”
What is the pre-requisite to being a good coach then?
Good coaches carry 8 key traits.
All of the good coaches I know have gone through some life transformation, or personal Hero’s Journey, are on the other side of the challenge, now turning around and helping others on their path.
If you could have a message that would help other people lead a better life, what would that message be? How do you want to deliver it?
Ready to begin using your life, gifts and expertise to help others? Let us know. We show you how.
Meditation practices have been garnering much attention lately, even in the corporate worlds, not just the monasteries. Meditation helps us gain emotional balance, access a deeper knowing about how to handle the stress in our lives and gifts our bodies a break from the day-to-day grind.
The mind can be anywhere, but the body is always present. Meditation brings us back out of our minds and into the present moment. “Back to life, back to reality.” As the Soul to Soul song goes.
A key reason why awareness and presence are so powerful, healing and restorative for people, is that they help us to eliminate fantasy and return safely to reality.
Fantasy and illusion trump people’s success. To see truly is where our true power lies.
Mastery Tip of the Week: Do one thing each day to give yourself quiet time, allow yourself to return to reality, undistracted and note each enthralling benefit.
You may even look for the following symptoms:
The energy behind feeling and being grounded is truly empowering!
I plopped down on my bed with a much needed sigh. It was the first quiet moment of the day week.
My son’s fish had a white fungus growing on its face. The garbage bill was double what it was suppose to be. We just moved and my daughter refused to unpack her 10 boxes, which she thought looked better in the hallway. My to-do list was leaving page one. Fridge was close to empty and the internet wasn’t working.
Ever had a week like that?
Feeling the stress of the week, I asked myself, “What is on my heart today?”
Besides listing all the things that felt like an uphill battle, I sank into my heart and the most profound guidance came to me.
“Allow what is on your heart
to be informed by what is in your heart.”
I immediately jumped into self-coaching mode. “What does my heart have to say about these stressful two weeks?” “What wisdom is in my heart to help me now?”
I gave space and allowed answers to percolate. I wrote down my answers. I felt ease. I felt peace. I smiled. What was in my heart, showed me that what is on my heart is nothing more than passing problems that are temporary and resolvable.
The Course in Miracles teaches us this: “You have taught yourself what you are, but you have yet to allow what you are teach you.”
Coaching questions for this week:
When we are little, it is fun to play with boxes. As an adult, the thought of being placed in a box becomes less appealing. When I first heard about personality profiling I wanted to call BS. This article explores the natural resistance to being "placed in a box" and thought of as "predictable."
“The good thing about a skeptic is that they consider all possibilities.” - Thomas Mann
As I sat before my mentor, she looked at me inquisitively.
“I’m a Type 5.” I reported with frustration in my tone.
She could sense my tension and waited patiently for more. I decided to divulge.
“I just don’t think people can be boxed in to stereotypes. People have free will and everyone on this planet is so unique. I just feel typing people limits them and could even be used to cast premature judgment.” There I said it.
“Ah.” She nodded. “It’s not that your concerns don’t have truth to them. At what point does any asset become a liability?” she asked me.
Ironically, and true to my type the Type 5 “Truth Seeker”, I went home to investigate my skepticism.
That was over a decade ago. What fascinates me, as I look back, is that a bigger truth about personality typing was revealed to me. However, it did not find me through any sort of logical-neatly packaged conception that was my preference.
I sat in meditation one morning a few weeks after I fervently rejected being typed. That morning a bigger, more meaningful answer came to me.
It is not the person that is so predictable, but their ego is.
Ego is predictable, because ego is developed through a series of reactions that create patterned responses. We call these our defense mechanisms or conditioned ways of being. Not to be confused with our hard-wiring that we are born with.
The Enneagram, one personality soft-ware tool, teaches us that part of our human work is to overcome the limitations of the personality and our conditioned responses. Therefore, when we use any personality assessment as feedback and as a short-cut to see our blind spots, we save years of fret, wonderment or banging our head against the wall.
The Course in Miracles teaches us we do not have to learn through pain alone. We have the option of learning from love (think positive lessons versus negative). I now celebrate the opportunity to learn through positive pathways, new awareness’s and my favorite, short-cuts to evolve out of ego and into a completely new possibility of my choice.
When we are no longer bound and constricted by our past conditioning, we are free to reach those new heights we've been drooling over and aching to experience deep down.
Next Article: Read Which Personality Test Is Actually Better? COMING SOON!
Do you know how you give your power away? Many of us don’t know, or we would be masterful in every area of our lives readily, without trying.
Last month I was with a group of friends. We were out for our weekly rock climbing excursion. On the way down we spotted a new climb on our tick-list. It was a pinnacle that shot up about 70 feet. The only way up was to climb and set up an anchor at the top. The only way down was to repel.
I had climbed this towering pinnacle before, but never as the lead climber. We pulled over. As we approached the climb we looked up towards this towering beauty with the question, ‘Can we pull this off?’ We were all relatively new to lead climbing.
Nobody wanted to attempt it just yet. I checked in with my gut. Felt plausible. I checked with my heart… “yes!” it said. I checked with my head and knew, “If I’d climbed it before, I could do it again.”
“Ok.” I told my crew. “I’ll lead it.”
Nervous, but positive and willful, I got my gear primed to go.
There is an ancient teaching of the Toltecs. They teach us that we are born into the world as a victim. We are dependent on our parents to support us, shape us and eventually deliver us into adulthood. Some of us remain a victim, even though we have aged into adulthood. Do you know some of these people?
Warrior, they teach, is the next phase needed to remove ourselves from victim and to step into our power and take a stand for our life, community, family, values and/or what we are passionate about in the world.
As I began my ascent, I began to realize I could master this climb from a place of certainty and grace, or I could back down if needed. Either outcome, I decided, was my warrior taking care of the best possible outcome: the safety of my self and my crew. My victim was placed aside the minute I chose, “yes”.
Warrior therefor, is an ingredient leading us towards mastery.
As I climbed around the corner, leaving the safety and certainty of the ground I felt empowered. As I neared the top and realized one fall would entail a 15 ft drop, I began to shake with nervous avidity. I focused myself and continued to breath through the fear. I reminded myself, ‘This is possible. You’ve got this.’
Reaching the top with one last push, I reached the summit, shakes and all. I quickly tied into an anchor and secured the top belay that would allow everyone else to come up. I felt exhilarated and free!
As Susan Jeffers states in her work, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, “Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness.”
My question to you, in what areas of your life do you feel stuck, or pinched off? What could mastery in this area look like if you weren’t pinched off? What does your inner warrior have to say about taking your next steps towards a new enthralling possibility?
Ready to take on a bold new career move than entails empowering others and yourself to step fully into your Best Self yet? Learn More HERE
It all started with rock climbing. My climbing partner and good friend of mine were enjoying a new climbing spot on Mount Lemmon, high above the other climbs we’d accomplished in the months prior.
Upon the vista, all was silent and reverent. We were each perched about 20 feet from each other on this newly attained rock face. Mathew then pointed to a scenic and well-known climbing area off in the distance, far across the valley from our spot. A place I’d never been.
“See it?” he kept pointing. “Those are the Ravens.” He smiled broadly.
“Maybe.” I kept trying to figure out which group of rocks he could be alluding to. There were so many.
“Right there.” He pointed with more vigor this time to the exact same spot. I gazed over the valley and all the possible rock faces. Hmmmm. “Not seeing it.” I reported. He kept pointing.
Then, we both looked at each other and began laughing heartily. We mutually realized that from where I was sitting, there was no amount of pointing that could possibly be effective.
I scrambled down to his vantage point and voilà, the Ravens appeared clearly. What a great perspective shift!
To see a new perspective, we must shift from where we are at to a new vantage point. This is true physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
“How Laurel, does this relate to problem solving” you might be wondering? This lesson is perhaps counter-intuitive when it comes to facing problems. Typically, when problems surface we want to get rid of it, react to it and/or run. Fight, flight or freeze.
Yet, this lesson in perspective invites us to move closer to the problem, or challenge, in question. In other words, when things are unclear the only way to gain clarity is by getting closer to the problem, not moving away or pushing against it.
The teaching is in fact inviting you to examine your relationship to addressing the challenges in life that naturally arise from being human. What is your relationship to challenge in relationships? In professional dynamics? In your relationship to health? Or, to your own personal development work? Where are you afraid, where perhaps you need to lean-in instead of backing down?
The closer we get, the better our vision.
The better our vision, the more aligned our choices will be with our values and our vision.
Ready to learn the principles that drive successful outcomes? Coach training is more than just empowering others, it is also about leveraging empowerment principles in our own lives and then turning around to help others do the same.
Laurel is the lead instructor for the Certificate in Integrative Coaching. She is a mother of 3, rock climber and mosaic artist. Learn more about what it takes to take on private clients and be an Integrative Coach HERE.
I’m sitting bright-eyed in the lair of my Sociology class. I’m 20 years old and have a budding crush on my instructor, whom was probably twice my age, if I were to guess. But everything he said illuminated my thoughts… he seemed to exude a rare wisdom.
My fantasy of wisdom and illumination came to an abrupt halt one morning. He completely stumped me.
“Your new assignment is to write a 3 page essay outlining a time in your life that you experienced racism personally and to describe how this impacted and shaped your life.”
The assignment was given a few weeks after we were taught that the majority of Caucasians in the US do not experience racism, or even perceive it when it is happening to others.
My class was comprised of a variety of ethnicities. Those of you that know me, may know my ethic background consists primarily of Irish, German and Cherokee. On paper I’m listed as “Caucasian”.
This was the perfect assignment for me, I thought. I’ve never experienced racism, until my Sociology class! By his own teaching, the probability of Caucasians having a racist story to personally reflect upon would be low to none. Being that he knows this statistic, demonstrated to me that he banked on Caucasians flunking the essay.
I wrote my quirky essay, which brought in “Stars Upon Thars” by Dr. Seuss, alluding to the racism existing within this very assignment.
I sat down in class feeling a bit glib the day our papers were to be graded and handed back to us. As mine surfaced to the top of his pile, he looked stern as he approached me. He held out my paper in front of me and with a halfway smile said, “C for Clever.”
What did I learn?
Not turning in anything was a strong consideration. However, taking no action would have resulted in zero credit and brought my GPA down. That was not an outcome I desired though.
Being rude in my essay was another consideration. After all, how dare he put any of his students in a position to fail an assignment. Yet, that was not an outcome I desired.
I once heard that our third reaction to something is always going to be the best reaction. I’m not sure where the idea stems from, but it did help me find the Goldilocks alternative of “just right.”
I decided to take the middle road, turn in an essay, use my creative resources and attempt to bring to light the challenge and conundrum before me. While I didn’t get an A, I was very pleased with my “C for Clever.”
What in your life calls for a creative stand to be taken? If “C” stood for “Challenge”, what would you do differently to make the world a better place?
About the Author:
Laurel Inman, PCC_, is the founder of the ICF accredited Institute for Integrative Coach Training. Laurel helps professionals in the 20s and 30s create health in their finances, relationships and career track. She is a mentor coach, coach trainer and believes we all play an integrative role in leaving the world in better condition than we found it.
Have you been in a session and felt stumped, like you were unsure where to go with your next question?
How about being in a session that seems to be going nowhere, or when a session appears to go in circles and we as the coach feel lost? I call this the circularity trap.
Circularity feels like we’ve become a dog chasing it’s tail. If feels as if the client is heading nowhere in particular. When circularity is happening, we are stuck looping with our client and not fully able to serve a higher outcome.
Here are three steps out of this tiring loop.
Step One: Recognize it.
Notice any of the following:
Steps Two: Reclaim the session.
Stop the client, at an appropriate time. Confirm the session agenda is still the agenda. If the agenda isn’t clear then now is a great time to firm up the agenda from here on out.
Coaching Key: When there is no clear start, there is no clear stop.
Step Three: Trust in the goal.
When we are newer at coaching, circularity can throw off our confidence. You may need to take a moment to remind yourself to trust in the coaching process and our training so that we can be fully present again. Remember, when we are sitting in self-doubt, we have actually left the client.
Keep in mind circularity in coaching is a very easy trap to fall into and typically results from not honing the agenda as clearly as we thought we had. Sometimes this is because the client unintentionally discovered a new agenda. Sometimes it is because we could have spent more time exploring the agenda and its relevance.
Regardless of the reason, when we observe the looping and reconnect to the desired outcome, we establish forward movement. When we have forward movement, we are in the wonderful flow that we cherish about coaching.
About the author:
Laurel Inman, PCC, is the founder of the ICF accredited Certificate in Integrative Coaching through the Institute for Integrative Coach Training, an affiliate of Prescott College since 2012. Laurel is the author of Eating With Heart, coaching women of all ages to break free from emotional eating, reclaim their health and gain lasting peace with healthful eating and spirituality. She is a business mentor, mentor coach, coach trainer and believes we all play an integrative role in leaving the world in a better condition than we found it.
“And therefore, all of those for whom authentic transformation has deeply unseated their souls must, I believe, wrestle with the profound moral obligation to shout from the heart—perhaps quietly and gently, with tears of reluctance; perhaps with fierce fire and angry wisdom; perhaps with slow and careful analysis; perhaps by unshakable public example—but authenticity always and absolutely carries a a demand and duty: you must speak out, to the best of your ability, and shake the spiritual tree, and shine your headlights into the eyes of the complacent. You must let that radical realization rumble through your veins and rattle those around you.
Alas, if you fail to do so, you are betraying your own authenticity. You are hiding your true estate. You don’t want to upset others because you don’t want to upset your self.”
~ Ken Wilber
How often have you felt the silent pull of your heart and yet... held back from following through? What is the cost of disavowing this very integral part of Self? What would it take to step out, trust and follow the wisest parts of yourself?
This past Monday was Martin Luther King Day. Can you imagine a "United States" without his vision or the fire that came from his heart? It wouldn't be so united. How long would it have taken someone else to step into warrior with a vision of peace, equality and justice?
Not all of us are called into such broad activism and rightly so, this world would be a mess.
For some of us following the heart's passion is simply smiling at a stranger that looks saddened, or volunteering to help at-risk teens. For others it is transforming a dysfunctional department within a struggling organization, into an empowered team with sustainable business protocols.
For me, it is helping one client at a time lean into their heart more fully so they wake up each day with a smile on their heart and a willingness to bring their Highest-Self into the world.
With a smile,
A question I asked myself when I was first learning about coaching, which believes we all have our own answers, was this… “If I have all of my answers, then why do I ever feel confused?”
What I learned was powerful.
You may not have all the answers right away when a problem arises, none of us do when it comes to bigger issues where consequences are at stake. For example, “If I follow my heart, my family (or spouse) will look down on me.” “If I quit the job I hate, how will I make ends meet?” "If I head in a new direction, what might happen?"
Those bigger questions, when brought into a coaching conversation, are game changing. In this regard, the coach helps us look deeper into ourselves for the soul-utions we seek. Once we are asked the right questions, new openings become possible.
Coaching is so powerful because the questions become the keys that unlock new possibilities, and then we realize we did have the answer, we did all along. This is why coaching feels magical, yet is practical. It feels miraculous, yet is grounding. So, without the key that unlocks the door, we stay stuck by the illusory closed door.
Once the question has been posed, our brain sets out to answer it and our heart can jump in to pour forth it’s knowing that is rooted deeper that we’ve ever known prior.
Now, this is a concept worth exploring…
You have heard of hackers, right? All of the sudden your computer no longer works and is wigging out from a “virus” sent out. “Thanks hacker,” you think.
Wikipedia’s rendition of a hacker is: “someone who seeks and exploits weaknesses in a computer system or computer network.” I would like to add, “and then subsequently does damage.”
Now, have you heard of a white-hat hacker? A white-hat hacker is also a skilled “hacker” that knows how to navigate internal systems, however, for the greater good. The intent is to protect a system from future damage or fix damage that has occurred. The white-hats are hired for both prevention and damage control.
Our egos are like the hackers that create breakdowns and limits. Our heart speaks and the ego says, “No, silly, you can’t accomplish that. You don’t deserve it anyway.” The egoic self wears us thin, can break us down, or keep us thinking in loops, cycles or limits. Or, how about when your ego says, “Wow, you really blew that. Good luck ever landing that gig again.”
That is where a coach comes in. We do not buy into the ego stories that run viral. We are the white-hat hackers to the limiting beliefs we’ve kept in place far too long or keeping us at arms length from a major success. What keeps us small is our ego structure and defense mechanisms, which act like a buffer to the external world. We may be so enmeshed with our believe structure that we don’t identify it without an external person offering a pattern disrupt and helping us question our “limitations”.
"It is not how far down the rabbit hole do you wish to go.