Moving out of Limitation

In Celebration of my New Coaching Credential!

“The sort of coaching that fosters effective innovation and judgment, not merely the replication of technique, may not be so easy to cultivate. Yet modern society increasingly depends on ordinary people taking responsibility for doing extraordinary things: operating inside people’s bodies, teaching eighth graders algebraic concepts that Euclid would have struggled with, building a highway through a mountain, constructing a wireless computer network across a state, running a factory, reducing a city’s crime rate. In the absence of guidance, how many people can do such complex tasks at the level we require? With a diploma, a few will achieve sustained mastery; with a good coach, many could. We treat guidance for professionals as a luxury . . . But coaching may prove essential to the success of modern society.”

This quote from a recent issue of The New Yorker magazine in an article by Dr. Atul Gawande-- a surgeon who decided to try having a coach observe him in the operating room and make suggestions for improving his performance-- demonstrates the increasing presence in our world of coaching as a major learning tool and way of life. 

I’d like to welcome you to the world of coaching and invite you to celebrate its presence in our contemporary lives by trying it yourself at my special summer rate below. If you have friends and colleagues who want to make a change in their careers or the overall quality of their lives, this is a wonderful opportunity for them, too!

Join me in the world of coaching-- and make the changes that will open your lives to new possibilities and rewards!

                                        ∞ SPECIAL OFFER! ∞ 

             TO CELEBRATE MY NEW COACHING CREDENTIAL-- and to let you

             or someone you know who’s committed to making a career

             or life change now, I’m offering two summer specials (see below)

             that are 40% off my usual rates if you sign up with me by September 15th!

1)   MAKE THAT CHANGE NOW! - Two hours of coaching per month with email support between sessions. By phone, Skype, or in-office (El Cerrito, California, near Berkeley). Includes body-energy awareness techniques to enhance the coaching experience. $180.

2)   THE BODY-MIND COACHING PACKAGE! - Two hours of coaching per month with email support between sessions AND one hour of touch-based work with body-energy experiencing. [Note: the bodywork session is in-office.] $215.

             Yes, I want to sign up for Eve’s summer special coaching and/or body-energy experiencing rates!   This offer is good through September 15th. For a free consultation, please contact Eve at eve@kailaslifecoaching.com.

Everything’s Connected-- Looking Outside the Well!

Below is a rerun of a blog post of mine from a year ago that I'd like to share again on the topic of connection.  Have you got the outlook of the toad?  Know anyone locked into a limited and unproductive outlook like the frog?  Enjoy this story!

One spring evening when I was a freshman in college hanging out on campus, I met a stranger from another country who told me there were four phrases that were indispensable for getting you through life. Occasionally several of them float through my mind, but one is always there-- “Everything’s connected.”

It’s a universal spiritual principle that all of life is connected-- and you can easily notice it in the realm of the physical world of the planet, as well. For one thing, all of the living and non-living aspects of the world are connected in our dependence on the earth and the air and the sun for our existence. For another, when we come together to work in a common cause or to celebrate, we can feel the energy that connects us all. And yet, so many of us cut off our awareness of this connection, often because it seems easier simply to see things from a smaller perspective.

There’s a story about a frog at the bottom of a well always looking up at the small circle of sky at the top of the well. A toad at the top of the well urges the frog to come up outside the well and see thTe grandeur and the bounty of the world. But the frog refuses, not wishing to change her mind about what she already knows is there.

The people I see for coaching usually come with a particular goal-- for example, a career change. I ask them to write down three goals, which surprises them when there was only one thing they wanted to change. Often, they find their other goals have more to do with increasing their sense of well-being, having more quality time with their families, or committing to completing a creative project. They’re often amazed that these different change areas are really connected-- that if they’re looking for work they love, they might as well also make sure they’re building in time to play with their children each evening or swim daily or write a chapter a week in their new book.

Everything’s really connected! Just climb up out of your well and see all the possibilities around you. Create your dance that touches everything you want to do and become! Feel the all the possibilities that weave into your expanded reality.

Claiming Your Authentic Voice-- & Finding Friendship and Connection!

I just saw a phenomenal movie last night, The King’s Voice-- an incredibly acted vision of a man in public life with a stammer whose overwhelming desire is to speak clearly and authentically.  That he is the second son in the royal family of England who becomes its unlikely king just before the outbreak of World War II makes the achievement of his goal all the more remarkable.  The story of how he does so is the story of his evolving relationship with his speech therapist, Lionel-- an undauntable coach who challenges Bertie to sing, dance, shout, and ultimately repair the traumatic disconnections of his earlier life by creating a healing bond of friendship.  

            So when the historic moment arrives, Bertie (now King George V)-- looking only at Lionel’s encouraging face and prompts, speaks to all the people in the British Commonwealth by radio, and is able to say what he needs and wants to say to hearten them for the perils and trials ahead. 

            In my blog post of December 9th, I shared my insight that a key ingredient in creating successful relationships is active engagement.  In a healing relationship, one person-- the teacher, the therapist, the coach-- will usually need to take the lead initially in positively engaging the other.  As The Art of Possibility expresses it, “The practice of giving an A allows the teacher to line up with her students in their efforts to produce the outcome, rather than lining up with the standards against these students.”   

            In this way, Lionel aligns himself with Bertie as a friend who fully believes in Bertie’s ability to speak clearly and express himself as the person he truly is.  No one else fully understood the forces of custom and history that crippled Bertie’s voice.  No one else was willing to stand with him against these forces and champion his speaking his own truth.  In standing up for his client, his king, and his friend, Lionel came forth as the new force of truth who allowed Bertie to shine (and smile). 

            In wishing you all a Very Happy Holiday Season, I’d like to wish you a new year filled with joy, confidence in your own voice, warm relationships, and success defined in your own terms! 

                     Eve 

              Join in the Discussion! 

  • What has made you hold back from speaking your truth?
  • Who has helped you speak clearly or find your own voice?  How did they do so?  
  • What is the quality of your relationship with these people?
  • What is it to be a friend to someone?

Designing Relationships to Bring Forth Positive Outcomes-- Part 1, Schools

Were your elementary school days as uninspired as mine?  Except for my first-grade and seventh-grade experiences, which were out of country, my elementary school classes were traditionally designed, meaning that everyone was supposed to do the same things together at the same level.  This boring and unimaginative style guaranteed that teachers and students had a distant relationship to each other. 

          That made it easier for our teachers to hold a win-lose perspective that assumed some students wouldn’t or couldn’t learn and would probably fail.  This, in turn, set up a losing dynamic for these kids that followed them all the way through high school. 

            The difference in classes I attended in Portugal and Japan was huge!  The teachers at these schools were, as you might expect, curious and interested about the world.  They were creative in setting up relationships with each student-- and were genuinely excited about motivating all of us to learn and explore-- a new culture, the parameters of science, the connections between history and literature.  In some way, each of us in these classes were encouraged to make contributions and discoveries that led to incredible group bonding and connection.  These teachers knew the value of giving student “an A” (see my earlier blog posts on this topic) right at the start by holding the positive attitude that each of us could and would learn if we were inspired to do so. 

            This encouraging educational experience may well have fueled an ambition of mine in my early 20’s to create inspiring learning opportunities for children in public schools.  At the time, there was a lot of drive in this direction by futurist and human potential leader, George Leonard (author of Education and Ecstasy), and Harvard educator, Robert Cole.  I was also fortunate to have intuitively chosen to get my master’s degree and teacher training at Bank Street College of Education in New York City-- a unique center designed to bring forth the best in children through training teachers in child-centered educational philosophy and techniques of engagement.

             I experienced the impact of this training when I was placed as a student teacher in an elementary school very much like the one I’d gone to as a child, although with a good percentage of immigrant students.  The teacher assumed that most of these more limited-English-speaking students wouldn’t and couldn’t learn, and just wanted them to pass and move on from her classroom.  In a totally uninterested way, she assigned me three completely unmotivated, 10-year-old Puerto Rican girls to teach the basics about life in Kenya.  With the Bank Street philosophy that almost everyone can become motivated to learn if you reach out and find a place of connection with their interests, I gave the girls “an A” in my mind immediately and looked for how to engage them.

              It was immediately clear to me that Daisy, Anna, and Solia had no idea where Africa was, since they only barely understood where they were in the United States. So I started by having them consider the needs and interests of all children everywhere (e.g., food, shelter, family, games).  Then they began to get intrigued about what was unique about life in Kenya, and where it was.  A shining experience in our work together was our field trip across Central Park-- only two blocks from where they lived and went to school, but a universe away from their daily lives-- to visit some travel agencies I’d contacted on 5th Avenue specializing in African tours.  The girls had made up a list of questions about Kenya with great enthusiasm, which they asked with growing confidence as they saw the interest and respect in the eyes of the travel agents. 

            We re-crossed the park to go back to school, loaded with colorful posters and brochures about Kenya as trophies of their triumphant trek to the other side of the city.   I could see the pride in their faces and the swagger in their walk at having prepared well to talk with adults who had cared to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for travel and other cultures with them.  Learning had come alive as new ways to relate with adults in the wider world who saw them-- not as marginal students-- but as young people wanting to explore and go forward.  It was so wonderful to see the power of this positive, affirming attitude in lifting the girls’ self-esteem and expanding their horizons!

             If you, too, want to design the relationships in your life to bring forth positive outcomes, I invite you to join me for a special, end-of-the-year tele-class-- “Creating Life Satisfaction-- ‘Giving an A’ to New Possibilities!” on Wed., December 8th, at 9 AM Pacific Time.  In this lively, interactive experience, we will explore the value of holding the intention to find the best outcomes in our interactions with others.  For more information and to register, please go to http://www.kailaslifecoaching.com/?id=presentations

                                          Join in the Discussion! 

  • What’s a memorable relationship you designed that created a positive outcome in your life? 
  • How have you grown and learned through engaged relationships with others at school?
  • What does it take to engage with someone in a positive way?

Building Life-Enhancing Relationships -- “Giving Each Other an A”!

This past week, I was really charged up with the combination of participating in my Stanford University alumni reunion and reading the book, The Art of Possibility, by Rosamund and Benjamin Zander.  

            One aspect of this book that struck me at my reunion was the part the authors call “Giving an A.”  By this they mean allowing people and experiences to be what they are and could be-- not limited by your own expectations.  Most people I met at my reunion said that this one was the best ever, and I agree.  My feeling is that every successive five years when we come together, we allow more of ourselves to be seen-- not just the parts of us that appear to be successful in the world.  At this reunion, there was definitely a sense of trust that who we are-- and what we’re doing that’s opening us to who we are-- was of interest to others.  In the context of having graduated from a very competitive university, this more open way of interacting with each other constitutes major personal growth! 

            At earlier reunions, more people interacted from the “measurement” perspective of “what grade did you get?” that was the norm during college and “how well are you doing?” that was prevalent as people were starting to activate their careers.  A number of years later, my classmates and I have grown into the “possibilities” perspective that sees people as whole and evolving.  There’s so much more energy and authentic connection when you relate in this way!  We’re not limited by others’ expectations of how we should write or take exams, how many trips we’ve taken or how much we make a year.  We care more about how fulfilled and expansive each other’s lives have become-- and are becoming. 

            “When you give an A, you find yourself speaking to people not from a place of measuring how they stack up against your standards, but from a place of respect that gives them room to realize themselves . . . This A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into.” (The Art of Possibility).  Isn’t this the essence of how to create and sustain life-enhancing relationships-- whether with your soul mate, the store clerk you see every week, a casual acquaintance on a subway, or even someone whose political views you don’t understand at all?  It’s also the essence of how to create value from any new experience you embrace. 

                        Join in the Discussion! 

  • What are some relationships you’ve given an A to in your life?
  • What’s been of value to you in these relationships? 
  • When have you given an A to a huge step forward in your life?  What opened for you because you did this?

Everything’s Connected-- Looking Outside the Well!

One spring evening when I was a freshman in college hanging out on campus, I met a stranger from another country who told me there were four phrases that were indispensable for getting you through life.  Occasionally several of them float through my mind, but one is always there-- “Everything’s connected.”  

            It’s a universal spiritual principle that all of life is connected-- and you can easily notice it in the realm of the physical world of the planet, as well.  For one thing, all of us living and non-living aspects of the world are connected in our dependence on the earth and the air and the sun for our existence.  For another, when we come together to work in a common cause or to celebrate, we can feel the energy that connects us all.  And yet, so many of us cut off our awareness of this connection, often because it seems easier simply to see things from a smaller perspective. 

            There’s a story about a frog at the bottom of a well always looking up at the small circle of sky at the top of the well.  A toad at the top of the well urges the frog to come up outside the well and see the grandeur and the bounty of the world.  But the frog refuses, not wishing to change her mind about what she already knows is there. 

            The people I see for coaching usually come with a particular goal-- for example, a career change.  I ask them to write down three goals, which surprises them when there was only one thing they wanted to change.  Often, they find their other goals have more to do with increasing their sense of well-being, having more quality time with their families, or committing to completing a creative project.  They’re often amazed that these different change areas are really connected-- that if they’re looking for work they love, they might as well also make sure they’re building in time to play with their children each evening or swim daily or write a chapter a week in their new book.  

            Everything’s really connected!  Just climb up out of your well and see all the possibilities around you.  Create your dance that touches everything you want to do and become!  Feel the all the possibilities that weave into your expanded reality. 

               Join in the Discussion! 

  • What was an experience you’ve had where you felt in connection-- with your deeper self, with others in a shared experience, with the world around you? 
  • What is the value of feeling that everything’s connected?
  • What is the risk in feeling unconnected?

Risking Rejection -- Opening the Door to What You Really Want!

My blog post last week, “Your Dream Rejected-- How This Can Work for You?”, triggered a lot of conversation on the internet.  I was impressed by the acknowledgement that when and only when you agree to risk reaching out with your desire and passion for the work you want, the book you want to write, or the way you want to live will there be the possibility of a door opening toward your dream.  

            Autumn Wagner’s comment about being persistent with her job-seeking calls was that she realized that “I could not get to the yes’s without going through the no’s . . . Rejection is indeed evidence that you are putting in the effort and energy needed to achieve your goal or dream.  When I start getting rejections on my first novel, I will congratulate myself for having finished the manuscript!”  

            I feel that Diane Conway, author of What Would You Do If You Had No Fear?, gets to the core of the issue when she says:  “The only people who never get rejected are the ones who refuse to take risks.  Not risking is permanent rejection.”  

            Of course, being ready to risk rejection works best when you’re committed to going for something meaningful for you or living out your purpose in a way that expresses who you are.  When you really want something enough, it doesn’t feel like a risk to put yourself out for it.  Rather, it feels like an opportunity to live out something vital from within yourself.  

            As acupuncturist Julie Rose commented:  “Gabriel García Marquez took One Hundred Years of Solitude to 56 publishers before it was published in 1967. It was awarded a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982. That’s vision and determination. 56 rejections!”  Did he feel scared, upset, nervous, and maybe some days, just plain reluctant to subject himself to possible rejection by publishers?  No doubt.  But what strength of conviction he had in his work and in himself to keep going forward towards the fruition of his writing dream!  

                    Join in the conversation! 

  • What is it that would come alive in you if you risked the possibility of rejections? 
  • When has the possibility of rejection stopped you from going forward? 
  • What do you need to know about yourself to commit to risking changing your  career and/or the way in which you live?

You Can Always Change Your Mind

Most of the people I see for coaching want to make changes that seem enormous to them, and therefore almost impossible to imagine accomplishing.  And yet, there is a drive, a dream, a desire inside them pushing to be heard and acknowledged.  So they come for the support coaching offers in opening the dream.

            Which is great!  But one of the big, often-unacknowledged steps in manifesting new, large desires, is exploring your attitudes towards how you live your life-- the habits you acquired that keep you stuck and unable to move forward. 

            The coaching exercise, “Perspectives,” is often used to help people explore different choices or options they can make.  However, I also use it to support clients in investigating the nature of certain attitudes or habits. 

            For example, Matt, a soft-spoken man in his 40’s who wants to set up a family-run business after years feeling stultified as a corporate manager, wanted to explore his attitude towards “working outside the box.”  The perspectives he chose to “inhabit” were “The Critic,” “Mountain Climber,” “10-Year-Old,” and “Dolphin.”  As I guided him through each perspective, I encouraged him to stand in different places, close his eyes, breathe, feel the sensations in his body, and visualize his internal energy level and “environment.” 

            Exploring each perspective in this way guided him to choose the perspective of “Dolphin” for its playful feeling combined with a purposeful way of interaction with its pod or family for the good of all.  He was amazed at how he could really feel the contracted body sensations of his internal “critical” attitude about working outside a corporate structure-- as well as the expansive sensation in his breathing and belly with “Dolphin.” 

            He realized that his new “Dolphin” attitude gave him energy for taking action on his dream, though he was scared of working outside the relative haven of the corporate “box.”  The “Dolphin” perspective supported both the purposefulness he feels in his commitment to his family, and felt good, physically and emotionally-- excellent intuitive reasons for his new choice!

                              JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION!

What’s your attitude towards making a change you really want in your work or lifestyle?

Does this attitude support your going forward and making this change?

What’s an image that helps you get unstuck from an attitude that’s no longer helpful to you?

Looking for Your Truth

"The pull into the truth of things is very strong.  Often the only way to resist it is to deny what we are seeing, to pretend our lives do not have to grow or change.  Yet when we do this, our spirit, which doesn't know how to pretend, keeps moving."  (Mark Nepo,   The Book of Awakening)

I love this quote because it's so undeniably true.  You only have to think ofsome choice point where you decided, or not, to move forward towards something that you really wanted to do or become.  If you let yourself go with the energy pulling inside you towards this new direction, letting yourself explore and feel the new experiences, something powerful emerged-- as when you were a crawling baby irresistibly drawn to pulling yourself up on the bars of your playpen to standing, seeing the world from wide new vantage point of your full height.

During a coaching session today, I asked a client-- a woman who has raised a family and is going through her first professional training program-- to take a leap, physically, towards her new direction in life.  She did-- & had the breakthrough realization that even more than becoming a professional paid for her work, she wanted to become "an expert."  Her heart's desire right now is to become masterful at the work she really wants to be doing-- & to let nothing stop her from this goal.  This is her truth now-- & it is leading her beyond unskilled service to others in her family and community into a new realm of commitment and knowledge so she can help others to her full potential through her chosen work.

It took her many years of life experience before she was ready to acknowledge the truth of her longing.  Now she literally feels inside herself that this is exactly the right time to commit to her dream.  She has cleared the path of her particular obstacles-- fear of not knowing enough to begin and fear of what others in her life will think-- and is going boldly forward.  It's a thrilling time for her to experience and a privilege for me to witness.