This week we are looking at a great article on the power of coaching. Many highly successful people love coaching. Here are some quotes:
Oprah: “I remember the very first time we had a life coach on the show. She shared with our audience a list and, literally, in the audience women booed her when she said put yourself at the top of that list. [What she meant was] put yourself at the top of the list and nurture yourself, honor yourself, stop the crazy mind chatter in your head that tells you all the time that you’re not good enough.”
Bill Gates: “Everyone needs a coach. We all need people to give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”
Start working with a life coach today. Start here: https://www.integrativecoachtraining.com/hire-a-coach.html
Successful Professionals Hire a Life Coach
Can you guess what Oprah, Serena Williams, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Jackman, and Bill Gates all have in common? Aside from being some of the most successful names the world over, these celebrities have all worked with– and exalted– the services of a life coach.
Read more here:
I love it when science backs up what ancient spiritual traditions have been teaching for thousands of years! We are seeing more and more of this in neuroscience and quantum physics research.
Today is a client resource on choosing gratitude and how it shapes the brain. Enjoy!
I also wanted to say Thank You for a great year!! The school will be closed Dec. 15th - January 5th for the Holiday Season. I have enjoyed all of your comments and thoughts on the topics we've explored together. Thank you for being a reader and I look forward to the New Year with you!
Happy Holiday Season everyone!
Coaching Tip of the Week:
Gratitude Rewires Your Brain To Be Happier:
Read More Here
Have you ever attempted random acts of kindness?
Two weeks ago I came across a GoFundMe page. I read about this young couple's challenge with cancer. I had never met them, but I decided to donate anyway in hopes that my small contribution to their large medical bill dept would be of some relief. And, if enough people do the same, their medical bills would be taken care of so that they can focus on healing the cancer, or preparing for goodbyes.
We all add up and it does take a village. Even though our definition of village is shifting, as society emphasizes technology, we still make an impact.
Today's resource is a reminder to pay it forward.
Coaching Story of the Week:
Bookstore employee writes this on Facebook after “little old lady”
shocks everyone at the register.
This week we are continuing the theme of looking at what your clients may be up against in their life.
Today we explore depression and anxiety. But aren't those therapy issues? Sometimes, yes, when either is showing up because of past trauma or abuse.
Yet, sometimes anxiety comes from fear and depression comes from lack of alignment with our Truest Self. When I faced my truth, through coaching, both faded for me naturally.
I've seen so many clients and friends experience depression or anxiety only because they are out of touch with something important to them, or true for them.
This is where integrative coaching comes in. As coaches, we help our clients locate their truth, values and their needs so that they can illuminate a new path to take action to meet those needs and lead a fulfilled life.
Coaching Video of the Week:
This Could be Why You're Depressed and Anxious
In this moving talk, journalist Johann Hari shares fresh insights on the causes of depression and anxiety from experts around the world -- as well as some exciting emerging solutions. "If you're depressed or anxious, you're not weak and you're not crazy -- you're a human being with unmet needs," Hari says.
Last week we looked at culture and how it may be impacting our client's view of themselves, their abilities, fulfillment and even self-worth.
This week we take a look at the buzz-word "privilege".
I saw a video of a race. Everyone started at the same line to race to the end. Then the referee instructed things like: "OK before we begin, I want everyone who had a free college education to take two large steps forward." Those that qualified did so. He kept adding to the list of privilege before the race even began. There were some people that barely had a race to run because they were already so close to the finish line before any running was done, because of the life they were born into. The question is: How fair is this race? (view the full 4 min. video below)
Take a look below at some of the challenges your clients may be up against when it comes to geography and gender, brought to you by Bill & Melinda Gates.
Coaching Resource of the Week:
How Geography And Gender Stack The Deck
(For Or Against) You
Let's continue our exploration of fulfillment... what happens when our culture, or lack thereof, shapes our relationship to life or blocks us from the feelings of fulfillment we seek?
I say "lack thereof" when it comes to culture because I grew up feeling as if my culture was nothing more than Walmart intentionally putting family-run businesses out of business and materialistic holidays.
I was originally born and raised in a small town in Southwestern CO. In CO my best moments of fulfillment came from the mountain streams and chasing butterflies. In the big city of Tucson, AZ I felt isolated and alone. CO had a culture of ease and outdoor life. AZ had a culture of... well, I wasn't sure besides the big city Targets and McDonald's peppered all over the place.
I now see culture much differently. I still live in Tucson but have grown beyond the material city pollution. Besides the hundred cookie-cutter big box companies, each location is rich with culture if you seek it out. Different places, different things.
Traditional culture can be sought out, like visiting Peru to experience the rich foods and traditions cherished by the people. Other cultures we are born into existence over time and have just come to be without much well thought out intention behind them. These unintended cultures have created myths.
What happens when our culture has default settings, myths, that keep us stuck? This week's resources takes a closer look at this side of culture. Is any of this impacting your client's life? Most likely.
Coaching Video of the Week
Cultural influence, cultural myths and connecting fully to your life:
This week we are exploring the distinction between "happiness" and "fulfillment". Simon Sinek notes that happiness comes and goes. Yet, fulfillment stays with us.
In coaching, we are helping our clients seek fulfillment and not just happiness.
Personally, I feel happy when the stars align, yet fulfilled when I live a life aligned with my values and accomplish what I set out to accomplish. How about you?
I hope you enjoy today's resource!
Watch Simon Sinek as he discusses how happiness comes and goes,
but fulfillment lasts:
My friend and mentor, Sandy Hogan, spoke to me about how to best handle missed opportunities when we do not listen to our calling and "wake up one day to realize the bus has left the station and I'm not on it." These are called regrets. The following is her advice on dealing with these regrets.
The Steps to Dealing with Regrets
By Sandy Hogan
#1 - "There is a benefit to regret. You won't let it happen again. Disappointment helps the ego to understand the value of your gifts to life." In other words, you are disappointed because you care and value what passed.
#2 - "The clearer you are, the more willing you will be to take the step." As we examine our disappointment, we become more clear what we value.
#3 - "Allow yourself to grieve dreams unfulfilled. Grieving and remorse may also act as a reset and adjust the calling in a more appropriate way that is in alignment with current resources. For example, I could have been a tightrope walker in my 20s. I'm now a tightrope walker between aging and saging in my 60s."
#4 - "Nature never wastes anything if you don't hear the doorbell the fist time, spirit will come around and next time ring it twice. Spirit doesn't give up. We do."
#5 - "Examine your commitment levels." Maybe you were not ready to commit yet. What might you need to say no to in the future, in order to say yes to something greater?
#6 - "To relaunch your hope, answer what is immediate today. See your life as a gift today."
Reflecting on Sandy's wisdom reminds me of how powerful it is to place the mind in allegiance to the heart. Many people live in their head and then wonder why they worry. Well if the answers are in the heart, of course life would feel worrisome, we are looking in the wrong place for our answers.
What is your heart calling you to do?
What will it take to follow it?
We've spent the last two weeks on our calling. We covered the Top 10 Reason's People Don't Answer Their Calling and then The 7 Steps to Answering Your Calling. This week we look at the question: What if I feel called but I'm apprehensive? How do I know I'm truly being called to something greater?
These are questions many of us grapple with. I hope today this exploration sheds light on your truth.
As my friend and mentor Sandy puts it, "Develop your hearing-aids". Below, I've captured Sandy's advice and further reflections for our Answering Your True Calling series.
Sandy's advice on Answering Your True Calling:
"Listening to the small callings is an invitation for hearing the bigger calling. Listening to the small along the way, in day to day life, prepares the path and grows our faith so that by the time the bigger calling shows up we are ready."
"Not all callings are paid. You may feel called to clean up the neighborhood you live in, or start a community garden." You may feel called to pay for the elderly woman's groceries in front of you. Not every calling, is a calling for fame and fortune. The most unfortunate missed callings are the one's that show up daily and are the simplest to fulfill.
"What is at stake by not listening? What is the worse thing that could happen?" What if you took a risk to find out? What if it became an adventure or you became a detective following the clues of your life more closely to see where they lead you? Sandy asks us to reflect further, "How much does your personal comfort prevent you from answering?"
"What if I feel called, but fear it is the wrong number?" Sandy notes this as a common fear and then adds, "First, there is no wrong number. What seems like a dead-end or an off-putting idea, or conflicting ideas ruminating... are all indicative of the true calling that will emerge when it is ready." Again, listening to the promptings you feel now, paves the path for your future.
"To access your calling consider who in life you admire? Then look at what qualities they embody. You may feel impressed by Maya Angelo, so look at the qualities she embodies. Strive to embody the qualities of Maya Angelo versus trying to measure your life against Maya Angelo. These qualities are a reflection of your calling. Be careful to not be called into a persona. A true calling is authentic to you."
I believe we are all called to something greater. When we don't listen, we feel it. It becomes the empty feeling in the heart. Then we attempt to cover that empty feeling up with ice-cream, TV, other people's ideals, texting, etc. etc.
The question to look at is, "To what is calling me?" To explore this, I invite you to keep a "Calling Journal" for one month.
After asking Sandy last week about the top 10 reasons that people do not follow their calling, I asked her, "What advice do you have to overcome these?"
Sandy said, "Even in the Bible it talks about the time in each boy and girl's life when it is time to give up childhood and cleave to their spouse. This message goes beyond growing up to get married. Metaphorically it alludes to us growing up and maturing through cleaving to something greater than ourselves."
She continued, "What are the conditions in your life that get you to say "yes", "no", or "maybe" to that which is greater than you?" In other words, what is it you need to take that next step to the next chapter?
Below are The 7 Steps To Answering the Call so that if your calling is calling you don't hang up the phone!
#1 - If you are called, the means will show up. This requires trust. Trust in yourself and then extending faith to the bigger picture that is unfolding in front of you. Participation is your choice. Make it a game of "choose your own adventure" and see what happens when you follow it!
#2- We each have a patch of grass to attend to in our lifetime. Many people get lost in the fear before starting, or give up too soon. Know that you have a patch a grass. Will you tend to it? Or, sometimes we judge other people's mission and avoid our own. Tree huggers are often made fun of. Yet, thank goodness they exist because without them, we wouldn't have clean air. Every person's purpose is unique contribution to the health of the whole system, including yours. This leads to #3.
#3 - If we all attended to our own calling, the world, the planet, work environments and even taxes could all be positive. Humans have sorely overcomplicated human life. We don't need a science report to prove this, we just need to go fill out a tax form. This over-complication need not be. I firmly believe that if we each step into our life purpose we would not be seeing such unnecessary over-complications. Your life's work will be a gift to many.
#4 - Go within so you don't go without. This is a more advanced spiritual key to life. Each of us has an inner guide. It calls us to take that next step, talk to that person, or to do something differently. When we are out of touch with this element of ourselves, we are losing out. In such a fast paced world, many people are disconnected from themselves. Us coaches experience this almost daily. As we provide the space for people to reconnect with their passion and purpose and take concrete steps to bring their gifts to life, they experience their life in a whole new way. Furthermore, the coaching space is often the only time a client may have taken to go within to learn what they are truly capable of. We just aren't taught how to do this growing up. You can start by creating a practice of listening to your intuition.
#5 - The inner-game, leads to outward-gain. When you follow your calling, it is paramount importance to clear the fears. Fear blocks us from what's possible. Keep in mind this simple Sufi teaching anytime fear comes knocking. "Fear is only half of a message. It tells us what we do not want. Your heart has the other half of the message - of what you do want." If you feel fear, thank it for what it is telling you that you don't want. You can even create a plan to avoid something negative happening. For example: If I have a keynote speech and I don't want to be laughed at, I'm going to prepare way in advance. Then, the important part. What is it you do want? Identifying this is important. It will enable you to take steps in the right direction.
#6 - Start small. One step at a time. In the rock climbing world, we have a saying, "Start off slow... go, go, go! Start off fast and you just won't last." What is one simple thing you can do to follow what is calling you? Big or small. It need not be a huge feat. It may just be one phone call, or one gift to a stranger. Listen to call ... let it guide you.
#7 - Get mentored. There is no reason to go it alone, or re-invent the wheel. Finding a mentor may feel daunting because we are no longer raised in a society that has elders to guide us as we mature, or to develop our potentials and wisdoms. We now have more olders than elders to be here for us. The good news is that coaching is the next phase in personal evolution, the new elder of our times. In coaching, the coach takes us into learning to our Highest-Self; the you without the fears, defenses or self-doubts. The confident, strong, powerful, wise You. No other modality does this. Seek out a coach, or community mentor, that resonates with you and be amazed how much farther you will get!
By Sandy Hogan
Reflections by Laurel Elders
#1 - "I am afraid to give up security."
#2 - "Why me? If I can do this, so can anyone."
#3 - "This has already been done before. Why do it again?"
#4 - "Who would pay me for this?"
#5 - "What a ridiculous thought."
#6 - "If (fill in the blanks) were no object, then I would do it."
#7 - "I'm too busy."
#8 - "I don't have the means to make this happen?"
#9 - "How can I sustain my energy if I head in a new direction?"
#10 - "The last time I listened to my heart, I got burned."
Do any of these stop you in your tracks?
Which one has the most grip?
Have you noticed the common thread above? Fear. Worry. Doubt. When we experience a negative emotion, remember that negative connotes "absence of". Something is missing.
What do you need to follow you're calling? What is calling you that you are brushing aside? What will it take for you to face your calling?
For me, it was "I'm too busy." Yet, the truth was, all I needed to do was rework my priorities. And now 7 years later, the school is here. I felt called in 2009. It took me 19 months to answer. 19 months! I argued, doubted, ignored. But the calling wouldn't give up. (read the full story here)
Sandy says, "The good thing is that our calling doesn't give up on us. But, we often give up on it."
Is there any area you've given up? The good news is that it is never too late.
The above are a list of great questions to reflect upon, so that you can get clear and own your life!
Next week we will look at the flip side.. what to do when you feel stuck from following you're calling. For now, reflect on the questions above.
The reasons we are here and "why" we wish to empower others is what motivates people to work with us. Simon Sinek is the pioneer that brought us to look at the "why" behind the "what".
Sometimes our "why" is obvious. Other times nebulous. If you are very clear on "why" you are here to be of service to others, is your "why" showing up in your outreach? If you are not clear, what would help you get clear?
Simon noted that people and companies that started with their "why" had a much better connection to the community they served, than those that do not.
This is a huge deal if your goal is to: 1) deliver authentic services with integrity and 2) grow a sustainable successful business/company!
Today's resource is an article about when it is good to "why". Enjoy!
Read the Simon Sinek article on when to "why" here:
“Which is it?!” My client asked me, with a combination of passion and frustration.
The classic question was surfacing of just how much responsibility we should take in creating outcomes.
There is a spiritual principle being taught. It states that we are 100% responsible for every single thing that happens to us in our life. 100%?! What about the dog barking at 3 am? What about my daughter rebelling? I created those?
In today’s exploration we are going to unpack this teaching and see just where those lines are drawn.
First, let’s make a distinction to save semantics from interfering.
The distinction I’m offering is to view “responsibility” through the lens of:
Response – Ability
Second, we are living in a world with other people and those people have free will, just like us. Taking direct ownership for other people is a burden we need not carry, nor is true.
Are we responsible for their choices? No.
Are we able to respond to their choices in ways that help things go right? Yes.
Third this “spiritual teaching” can have a negative impact on us.
To be 100% responsible for everything that happens to us, including other people’s choices, is a heavy burden to carry.
But to be 100% response-able to respond to any situation that arises, including the barking dog at 2 am, is the birthplace of our personal power.
We do not have "control" over others, but our choices do indeed influence outcomes.
When we become more self-aware of our response-abilities we become more masterful at helping things go right.
When I was growing up in the 80's and 90's, seeing a therapist or a pastor were the two primary ways we could get guidance on handling life’s hardships. In current times, this thing called coaching is now on the scene, providing yet another option to choose from. Pretty cool! Yet, often misunderstood in its newness.
Because the formalization of coaching is only a few decades old, it is considered still in its infancy compared to psychoanalysis, which dates back to the 1930's with the work of Sigmund Freud, et al. According to Dr. Kimberly Key, in her article “How the Evolution of Psychology Gave Birth to Counseling”, Willhelm Wundt opened the first psychology lab in 1879, using introspection. She goes on to say, “Psychology has generally been defined as treating mental illness and counseling psychology was born to address mental health issues.”
But, what if we still want help in life, help reaching a new potential, help understanding our relationship to our life, but we don’t need therapy or aren’t struggling with a mental illness? Then what? That is where coaching steps in. Coaching is here because there was a missing piece to psychology. This is full self-actualization of the human. If psychology models were based on what is wrong and helping people get healing and help, then coaching helps us focus on what is right, our gifts and strengths and building an amazing and masterful relationship to one’s life by self-actualizing. Counseling helps clear the weeds, coaching helps plant new seeds. Both have their place according to the need of the individual.
In essence, counseling, aka therapy, is perfect if you need emotional healing, or facing issues that have become bigger than you can emotionally handle.
Coaching is perfect when you have come to edge of all you know and are ready to reach an entirely new level in your life. In other words, when you are ready to self-actualize.
Hope your September is going great! This week I have a fun-hearted resource for your library. If you are an Enneagram enthusiast, this is a must have.
If you use the Enneagram and want a fun and light-hearted resource that is also client friendly, then you will want to add the Millenneagram: Guide For Discovering Your Truest, Baddest Self to your library.
The author Hannah Paasch puts a modern spin on this very ancient tool, helping you quickly connect to your underlying motivations, fears and inner-most authentic self.
Thank you coach Tabitha for finding this little gem.
Have a great week!
Last week we looked at trust in ourselves by trusting our gut instincts and intuition. This week I came across an article by the Harvard Business Review on trust that has been lost in business.
I felt this would be an important resource to share, especially for us business owners.
The Harvard Business Review (HBR) is conducting a five part series on trust. As always, they deliver!
Here is one statistic that struck me:
"Creating trust, in contrast, lifts performance. In a 1999 study of Holiday Inns, 6,500 employees rated their trust in their managers on a scale of 1 to 5. The researchers found that a one-eighth point improvement in scores could be expected to increase an inn’s annual profits by 2.5% of revenues, or $250,000 more per hotel. No other aspect of managers’ behavior had such a large impact on profits."
"Trust also has macro level benefits. A 1997 study of 29 market economies across one decade by World Bank economists showed that a 10-percentage-point increase in trust in an environment was correlated with a 0.8-percentage-point bump in per capita income growth."
Again and again we find that emotional intelligence has an impact on: bottom lines, connection to the client/customer and happiness at work and home, to name a few.
Below you can access the full HBR series on trust, its importance and how to foster it.
The Trust Crisis:
This week I've posted an excellent resource on integration and the brain! I was fascinated to hear how the concept of integration applies somatically, to the brain and body.
Hope you have a great week!
Last week we dove into one of the 9 domains in life, the spiritual domain, as we explored the spiritual aspects to our potential.
To me spirituality is the recognition that there is much more to life than meets the eye and much more to you than you believe to be true. However you define it, spirituality connects us to that which is greater than ourself.
This week we are continuing on the "more to life than meets the eye" theme. We are covering one of the most powerful coaching skills that is also perhaps one of the least talked about or intentionally developed. This is intuition.
Being an atheist the majority of my young-adult life I used to brush away intuition without a second thought. Until, one day my mentor invited me to reconsider handing off 50% of my own wisdom. What!? Was I really missing that much in life by disavowing my inner knowings? But isn't intuition non-rational and therefore unreasonable?
It turns out intuition is a short cut because we are always picking up on information around us. It turns out, yes I was missing out on way more than 50% of what life had to offer me and I had to offer back. It also turns out that intuition may be non-rational, but it isn't irrational. It often shows us more truth than the confines of logic alone.
As a matter of fact, I'm only where I am today because I followed very key, non-rational intuitions that I had.
If you are on the fence about the role of intuition and the power of human capacity you won't want to miss today's video!
Extraordinary Knowing: Science, Skepticism and the Inexplicable Powers of the Human Mind,
by Dr. Elizabeth Lloyd Mayer
I had mentioned a few weeks back that I was interviewed by of my favorite yogis and fellow coach, Paulette Bodeman, author of the Breakaway Girl: Secrets of a Tantric Yogi.
The interview was focussed on the spiritual aspects to potential and is hot off the press!
Furthermore, Paulette is pioneering this "breakaway" into your potential concept. I am very excited about her approach! Do you have a defining moment where you broke away from fear and followed your heart?
Coach Beth Davis said it best, "If you are experiencing resistance, you are still making decisions with your head."
Enjoy today's spiritually empowering perspectives!
Ok, I'm going to give my age away. I'm recalling Cindy Lopper's song called True Colors after writing this week's article. Too funny! Cindy Lopper was 80s I'm thinking.
This week we are exploring how we can default into judging others when they are being reactive. Here is another perspective to consider.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “When the going gets tough, that is when a person’s true colors show.”
In fact, when the going gets tough that is when a person’s level of development shows. In fact, their true colors are what is hidden beneath the reactions, the trigger and the defense mechanisms.
Maya Angelo said, “When we know better we do better.”
Yes, even adults can throw tantrums. Our chronology does not guarantee maturity. There is a difference between growing up and waking up, as Ken Wilber puts it.
As I grew up I began to notice that there were many more olders than elders in the world. So, I sought out elders to learn from.
The ancient Toltecs taught that there are three milestones to a person’s development. We come into the world as a “victim” (or dependent on our guardians). We can then individuate and step into our own truth as “warrior”. Then, if we choose to continue to self-develop, we can move into “master”.
Through an integrative lens we can identify a pivot point on this journey of self-discovery.
In order to get out of victim, one must step into their power through their inner warrior.
Once in warrior there are two milestones that bridge to master.
The first is destructive, if we stay there too long. Yet this milestone is needed to grow us out of victim.
The second is constructive, yet if we stay there too long can keep us from moving to master.
The first is victim-warrior.
The second is warrior-master.
In integrative coaching we help people traverse the milestones of self-mastery by taking them from where they identify they are stuck and into the next milestone. We do this by introducing them to the master already within, their true colors.
The true colors within each of us can inform our own self-development. This is what the Course in Miracles means when it says, “You have taught [yourself] what you are, but you have yet to allow what you are to teach you.”
Development is a personal choice. Not everyone wants to develop. It takes work and dedication. Yet, the rewards are where the miraculous resides!
The next time someone flies off the handle, remember, those are not their true colors. They are doing the best they can with the resources and self-awareness they have access to. Remember, within every person is a master awaiting to awaken.
To be amazed by humanity, invite nothing but excellence in others.
Our wonderful instructor, Dr. Kristen Truman-Allen, conducted her dissertation on Metaphor in Coaching. Metaphor is a powerful tool to activate the brain, anchor in an insight and engage create solutions (especially for those with more linear thinking approaches to life).
Today's resource is an NPR podcast on how the brain process metaphor. Enjoy!
Coaching Resource of the WeeK:
By Laurel Elders, PCC
IICT Founder / Senior Faculty