Sometimes the TRUTH hurts [Part 1 of 5]

 

It occurred to me recently that I’ve been so focused on sharing the benefits of Mastery, that I’ve been a bit quiet about…. well, me.

I also know that there are many lessons to be gleaned from my journey that might be helpful as you navigate the waters of discovering your own authentic path.

This week, I’d like to share more about my own journey with you – in 5 blog posts!

Let’s begin. With some TRUTH…

My journey to the business I have today, the coaching and training practice that I have today, and the leader I now am has been paved with lots of joy and celebration, but also many heavier, harder and downright gut-wrenching moments.

The bumps in the road have sometimes felt like massive mountains with difficult, risky cliffs to climb. These cliffs have taught me so much. About who I am. And what I am actually capable of…

Particularly in these last two years, I’ve taken the road less travelled and I want to share with you some of those experiences.

These are the kinds of stories that aren’t easy to tell. But they are stories that must be told. Because they represent Truths about Entrepreneurship and Leadership that are important to hear.

It all starts with the moment, about 20 months ago.

I realized it was time for me to change my messaging. I had been moving steadily along for about 10 years as a business coach. I was serving hundreds of clients each year in my programming, and people would come to me to help them build their businesses through better marketing strategies and transformational inner work.

And WOW, did I see a lot of businesses grow. But at that moment, I realized that that the reason my clients businesses (and mine) were growing so beautifully was only maybe 30% about the marketing techniques I was teaching and 70% about the ways that I was teaching my clients how to coach & facilitate masterfully, how to yield massive results for the clients, how to create community, and how to lead with integrity.

The marketing was simply a happy support in building their business. The heavy lifting of income generation and client generation was being done by how they were showing up for themselves and for their clients and how they were leading clients towards results.

And of course instantly, I knew that this was my brilliance all along. I knew that women were coming to me to learn marketing, but once they were in, they were learning what 99% of the industry hadn’t yet articulated: how to be amazing at what you do, and how to continually evolve as a human being as you do it.

And I felt totally on fire to offer more direct opportunities for practitioners to learn this.

And…

It also felt terrifying to change my messaging.

For one thing, I already had a very solid clientele and following based on my old messaging and programming.

Would people even be interested in the new messaging and programming? Would they… would you… “get” it?!?

But my challenge went so much deeper than that. Because this wasn’t just about changing my messaging.

It was about changing something far more essential.

Click here to read Part 2!

 

Help Your Clients Get off the Wheel of Sabotage

One of the worst feelings in the world is seeing that a client is engaging in self-sabotage, yet not knowing, as the coach, how to guide her out of this behavior.

When a client is engaging in self-sabotage behavior, it can look like:

  • Client has stopped taking actions toward her goals
  • Client is taking actions that are actually moving her backwards instead of forward
  • Client is in a place of fear, shame and self-judgment
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    My First Bra (& how it relates to coaching)

    Plainly put: I grew boobs before most of the other girls in my grade.

    But I was in denial. I wasn’t one of those girls who wanted to grow up quickly. Even at a young age, time felt precious to me and I didn’t want to get any older any quicker.

    One day, early Autumn of the sixth grade, my mom came into my room without knocking. She was carrying a white plastic bag from the discount store, Marshalls. Very unceremoniously, she dumped the contents of the bag onto my bed. It was three bras…all white…looking pretty intimidating to me.

    “Time to start wearing a bra,” my mom told me.

    My mother and I had never had a conversation on the topic before. The foreign objects on my bed, in combination with the matter-of-factness of my mother’s voice felt shocking to me. I felt intruded upon, slightly under attack, maybe a little ashamed… and definitely wanted to have nothing to do with those bras. And wanted to have even less to do with my mom at that moment.

    I eventually wore one of the bras to school (& total hilarity ensued; that’s a story for another day), but why am I sharing this story with you?

    Because this was a GREAT example of what NOT to do when you are working with clients and wanting to Create Awareness for them.

    Creating Awareness is a vital coaching skill and coaching competency.

    Part of your job as a coach is to support clients to become aware of certain facts, ideas, notions and steps that they can’t see themselves. But HOW you support those clients to become aware makes all the difference.

    The truth is that my mother was right. Looking back now, I can see that in terms of how mature my physical body was, I was long overdue for a bra. It really was time.

    But while my body was ready, I personally needed to be invited to do so in a way that honored ALL of me. I needed maybe for my mom to create some tenderness and intimacy around the topic first. I needed maybe for her to ask my permission to talk about something sensitive. I needed for her to ask me how I felt about it and what was right for me.

    These are all components of the Creating Awareness skill you want to be using with clients.

    You may have an insight or piece of information that is TOTALLY vital for your client to hear. You want to be very, very VERY intentional about how you deliver that piece of information, how you create that awareness.

    It will make all the difference in the world in terms of how open or resistant your client will be to the new information, how they feel about themselves as they take in the new information, and how they trust and feel connected to you.

    So next time you are Creating Awareness with a client, take a moment to think about how you want to do it!

    The Struggle with Time

    Here’s the straight up truth: One of my biggest struggles…er, I mean opportunities for learning…in this lifetime has been related to Time.

    Especially when my business first started getting busier, it felt like there was never enough time. My schedule would be packed. I’d start seeing clients early in the morning till late into the afternoon. There would barely be time for a lunch break.

    I was exhausted and overwhelmed, and felt like a slave to my schedule.

    As my business grew even more and I transitioned to a smaller private practice and more group work, I eventually got my schedule straightened out, but the struggle with time still felt pretty pervasive.

    It wasn’t the insane client schedule anymore. Not it was figuring out how to be a mom AND run a business…AND have time with Jon…AND maintain friendships….AND have time for myself.

    And I was noticing my clients were similarly struggling with Time. Whether they were parents or not, it seemed that many women often felt they didn’t have enough Time, were running out of Time, were challenged to make Time.

    And none of the “Time Management” strategies seemed to really be working for them…or for me.

    Yes, the Time Management strategies would help me get a lot done….but they didn’t ease the feeling of constant pressure and running to catch up with Time.

    This is when I realized that what needed to shift for me (& my clients) was our beliefs about Time. Our Relationship with Time.

    When your relationship with & beliefs about Time are misaligned, there is really no way that Time is going to work well for you.

    Here is what I learned as I started exploring my own Relationship with Time and also exploring with my clients:

    Most of the time, our beliefs about either the Universe, our own self-value, or Authority Figures get projected onto our beliefs about time.

    In other words, in many cases, our relationship with time is really just a mirror for our relationship with either the Universe, our self-value or authority figures.

    If you believe the Time is in control of you, chances are you believe someone or something else is more powerful and controlling of you.

    If you believe there’s not enough Time, chances are you believe that the Universe offers scarcity more often than not.

    So, if you’re struggling with Time, or working with clients who struggle with Time, in addition to the Time Management Tools, you want to work on the inner pieces. Here are some questions to start with:

    –What are my beliefs about Time?

    –What did I learn (or not learn) from my parents or guardians about Time?

    –What kind of relationship do I have with Time?

    And – this is important – just so you know….I haven’t yet 100% mastered this Time thing. It’s something I work on a lot and make forward movement in, and then sometimes take a few steps back in. Didn’t want display any kind of Myth of Perfection here because that won’t serve you at all!

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this one. Enjoy!

    Quickie Coaching Tool

    I had a private session earlier today with a client who also works with a healer.

    She was telling me that she was feeling so much pressure because the Healer had intuited something for her to do – to go to the beach for a week – but she just couldn’t figure out how to make that fit with her life.

    Every few days the Healer would check in to encourage her to make those beach plans and keep her accountable.

    The confusion and the pressure were really causing frustration and fear.

    My client shared all of this with me, and I asked her: “What is your inner wisdom telling you about going to the beach for week?”

    She paused for a moment and then she said, “My inner wisdom is saying that it makes no sense to go to the beach for a week. I can go for a day here or there over next few weeks.”

    So, I asked: “Does that feel like your Truth?”

    And she answered Yes.

    Next, I shared the following with my client: No matter how amazing and intuitive any coach or healer or anyone is….YOU are ultimately your best and true-est Authority. You know better than anyone, any professional, if something is aligned or misaligned for you. Trust yourself.

    Then, I also shared: There is always more than one pathway or action to create the results you want. Going to the beach for a week may be ONE way to create what you want….but there are other ways. Don’t let anyone ever tell you there is just one way.

    This is one of those things in the coaching and transformation industry that I feel SO passionate about, and that’s why I’m sharing here: We are all wise; I am positive of it. But we NEVER, EVER know better than our clients. Our job isn’t to tell them what to do. Our job is to hold space, create awareness, support clients to be seen and heard, connect them to their own wisdom, hold them accountable to their desires, work with their fear and resistance….and even OFFER suggestions. But never dictate actions. Ever. Period.

    Would love to hear your thoughts!

    4 Tips for Effective & Transformational Exercises

    One of the things people ask me most when they come to me for support on facilitation and curriculum techniques is “How can I create more effective transformational exercises?”

    I love teaching about this because knowing how to masterfully craft exercises that move your participants is KEY to co-creating results and deep learning.

    Yet, too often teachers and facilitators don’t quite get it right.

    And when you don’t get it right, your exercises come off as trite, too surface oriented, misplaced or just plain weird.

    There are a lot of components that are necessary for an exercise to work REALLY well, and this includes a very important piece about how you set up your curriculum throughout your workshop, class or retreat.

    We’ll get to Curriculum Development soon, but for now, I wanted to share a few tips on what you can do within the exercises themselves to make them more powerful, more effective, and more moving.

    These 4 tips are truly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to crafting exercises, but they should get you started:

    1. Activate at least two different levels of Learning & Processing

      In a previous article, I shared about the 4 Levels of Learning and Processing. In any full curriculum you create, you want to make use of all 4 learning and processing levels. But in any single exercise that you lead, you want to include at least two of these different levels so that deeper transformation can be harnessed and integrated.

    2. Set up an emotional journey

      How do people learn most effectively? Well, think about the Hero’s Journey for a moment. In every powerful Hero’s Journey, there are the actual events that are taking place (this can be compared to the content & information shared in your exercises)….but there is also an emotional journey that is happening for the Hero.

      If you want your participants to really be moved by an exercise, then not only do you need to evoke emotion, but you need to go beyond evoking just ONE emotion. For true transformation to happen, you want to weave a variety of emotions into any given exercise.

      For example, when I craft exercises, I may lead my participants through anger to grief to joy. Or perhaps from frustration to surprise to celebration. The variance of the emotional experience keeps participants present, helps activate breakthroughs, and allows for emotional integration of the content to happen.

    3. Make use of metaphor and body wisdom

      The absolute most powerful and effective exercises for workshop, retreat or class participants make use of metaphor and body wisdom. Simply put, this means crafting ritual and ceremony into your exercises.

      The language of ritual and ceremony speak not only to the mind, but to the body, to the heart, and to the soul. I always like to say: Before there was therapy, there was religion. And before there was religion…there was ritual. Ritual acts as a potent and physical metaphor for desires and wishes. Enacting ritual and ceremony goes deep to embed new patterns into the psyche. It is also a really wonderful way to harness the energy of the group itself, as ritual is often made more powerful through community.

    4. Lean in and demonstrate

      Really transformational exercises often require participants to do things out of their comfort zone – things that may at first seem or feel strange or foreign, or things that evoke emotion that they are not comfortable with. One of the keys to supporting participants to be willing to go to the depths with you and not feel weird or confused on it is for YOU, the facilitator, to be fully 100% present with what you’re asking participants to do and model it for them FIRST.

      When you model, you not only demonstrate for participants the nuts and bolt of HOW to move through an experience, but you also demonstrate the focus, intention, emotion and passion with which to be present. This makes such a difference in how an exercise will be understood and experienced.

     

    Would love to hear how these tips are landing for you. I’ve literally got 100’s more when it comes to exercise and curriculum development, but these are some of the first ones to think about.

    Some of my Facilitation Blunders (3 Case Studies & the tools I developed from them)

    It’s true that I’m known as one of the best workshop, ritual and retreat facilitators in the industry, but what you probably don’t know is this: In my nearly 20 years of facilitating (& training others to facilitate!), I’ve made tons of mistakes. Not just little mistakes, but real biggies. The kinds that are cringe-worthy and the kinds that I’ve shed some real tears over.

    But that’s how I’ve learned and that’s how I’ve developed so many of my facilitation tips and tools.

    I decided it would be fun to share 3 Case Studies with you on mistakes I’ve made and the facilitation tools that came out of them.

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