shaman coach

Shamanic Coaching

We are all descended from shamanic cultures. Shamanism, as a spiritual practice has existed across the globe, in hundreds of cultures, for tens of thousands of years. The shaman's way of healing is part of your spiritual birthright.

As a life coach who has spent the past couple of years doing a deep-dive into shamanic healing, I find the two practices dovetail perfectly.

What is a shaman / shamanic healing?

The word shaman comes from Siberia and loosely means "one who can see in the dark." In shamanic cultures, the shaman was responsible for all aspects of life. A shaman might divine the right time to plant crops, help solve interpersonal issues, and conduct healing.

Shamanic healing is the healing of body, mind, and or spirit with the help of a trained and initiated shamanic practitioner. The tools a shaman may use vary widely, but usually involve trance work where the practitioner communes with helping spirits to determine the cause of an issue and repair it.

I have personally experienced deep healing during my training and work with other practitioners. I have witnessed others transform literally before my eyes. This is body, mind, spirit healing on steroids.

So how does this fit in with coaching?

Solutions-focused and transformative life coaching dovetails well with shamanism. I strive to combine the two to help my clients create the best possible results for themselves.

First, in both shamanism and solution-focused coaching, I am not the person doing the work. Coaching is best when the coach knows when to step-aside and allow the client's natural brilliance to shine through. We start with the assumption that the client has all of the solutions, we just hold space and commit to processes that allow those solutions to emerge.

We are not in the advice business.

Likewise, a shaman strives to be a "hollow bone" a conduit for spirit. He or she likewise steps aside to allow healing to occur. He or she sets powerful intentions, then steps aside to allow spirit to work.

Combining the two

In my work as a coach, I usually do not enter a deep trance journey with a client over Skype - though I certainly could if they wanted. But there is a stepping aside. I am constantly guided by intuition and a deep connection with my clients' spirits.

One of the things that sometimes surprises people about coaching is that the coach doesn't do the work. Working with a great coach who's a good fit for you is a transformative experience. You will change your life, and you will change as a person.

You will gain a sense of clarity that you might not have thought possible.

Every client is different, so it's difficult to describe the transformation you'll go through when you engage a coach. I think it's safe to say that you'll change for the better.

If you'd like to experience the power of coaching with a coach trained in core shamanism, contact me.

2 how to overcome fear of failure

How to overcome fear of failure

It's important to understand how to overcome fear of failure to live your best life. In a recent survey with group coaching clients, I discovered that the number one concern that people wanted help with was overcoming the fears that hold them back.

The fear of failure is a big one.

The fear of failing often holds people back from living the lives of their dreams. It keeps them from making positive life changes. It keeps people from going for goals.

Techniques: how to overcome fear of failure

Here are four methods I've used personally and with life coaching clients to tame the fear of failing.

1. Make friends with the fear

Your feelings, especially the negative ones, have three purposes. They want to protect you from something, provide something for you, or prevent something from happening to you. How do you know which it is? Make friends with your feelings.

Let's say you feel some fear around some issue in your life. One thing we might do is to push the fear down. This never works, because your unconscious mind wants something. It's going to get your attention somehow. That feeling will push up against or manifest in some other way.

Instead of pushing the feeling down, welcome it like an old friend. This may sound weird, but welcome it up, and it may dissipate. Your unconscious mind goes, "OK, he or she got the message, I can relax now."

While part of you is feeling the pain, you can talk to it in your mind. Have a little conversation. First, thank that part of you for bringing something to your attention, and ask what that part wants for you.

You will get answers back (whatever comes to mind first). Often, this may be something like - "to keep you from being embarrassed." In this case, the fear is trying to protect you from feeling another negative feeling. What you're frightened of are your feelings.

Sounds crazy, but we all have this to some extent.

So you can thank this part for protecting you, and ask if it would be willing to let you choose your actions for yourself.

In the end, if you make an enemy of parts of yourself, you will not be working efficiently. Find a way to cooperate.

2. Innoculate yourself against fear

One of the most powerful fear-dissolving tools I have at my disposal is inoculation. The more you teach yourself to move towards the thing you fear, the less fear becomes an automatic reaction.

The way to do this is to frequently do things that are safe, yet cause you some concern. It's all about stretching your comfort zone.

Social activities are perfect. Have a little stage fright? Buy or rent a karaoke machine and invite some friends over. Scared of heights, spend a couple of minutes on a rung of a stepladder where you feel a little nervous.

Again, do things that are safe. It also helps to start small. Having a panic attack because you did something you weren't quite ready for

3. Dive into the source of the fear

One of the tenets of the Sedona Method, a system I love, is that all the fear in the world has no more substance than a soap bubble. When you touch a soap bubble with your finger, it just pops.

Fear is a feeling, but it has no substance. It can feel like that sometimes. It can feel very physical.

Take a minute to turn inside and imagine diving right into the center of the emotion. Go deeper and deeper and deeper. What is there? I think you'll find that the feeling suddenly becomes less real.

4. Feel the fear and do it anyway

This is a title of a book by Dr. Susan Jeffers, and it's a good one. Dr. Jeffers offers a lot of solutions to help push through fear.

But you can feel all kinds of things and still get into action. The fear itself is only an impediment if you make it one. You can be afraid of a roller coaster, and still get on it. You can be afraid to fail and still make the goal and push towards it.

5. Do some risk analysis

Risk analysis can help in mitigating fear. It's not the most powerful tool here because it most takes place in the neocortex, while fear comes from the deeper parts of the brain.

However, it can impact your beliefs and ideas around fear.

To do some risk analysis, you first look at the thing you want to do where fear is holding you back. Then you could look at the things that could go wrong. You look at the impact those things could have realistically. Then you look at ways of mitigating those risks.

Let's do an example.

Let's say I'm afraid of starting a new group coaching program because I am afraid of failing.

What could realistically go wrong? Well, I could have nobody interested in signing up for the group.

What would I lose, realistically if that happened? I could lose all of the time and money I put into developing the coaching program. The big thing I'm frightened of is that I would feel like a failure if the coaching program didn't do well.

How do I mitigate the risks?

  1. Control costs and time investment, and look for ways to leverage any resources I create later.
  2. Test market the coaching program and make adjustments. If I don't get enough signups, I'll take that as a lesson learned instead of a failure.


The Online Coach

The Online Coach – Life coaching online

Is coaching with the online coach right for me?

There are a lot of reasons why people come to a life coach. It's a $2 billion industry and growing. In the U.S., there is only one life coach for about every 15-20,000 people. Depending on where you live, there may not be a life coach near you. You may want to consider the online coach solution.

Here are some reasons to consider online coaching:

You have a busy schedule which makes seeing a life coach in person hard

Most of us are incredibly busy, juggling family, career, interests. An online coach allows us access to life-changing coaching at our convenience. Whether over Skype or telephone, a good coach should be able to help you drive more life satisfaction, create important goals, and stay on track.

Seeing a coach in-office means taking time, usually during the day. There may be a commute, parking, etc.

You're more comfortable in your home/office

Some people enjoy talking to the online coach curled up in a comfy chairs wearing their sweats. No big deal. The magic of technology makes this entirely possible. Coaching over the telephone or voice or video conference has become hugely popular.

Reducing anxiety by talking to your life coach in a comfortable environment is a good thing.

You can hire the life coach who is perfect for you.

There are all kinds of coaches out there - health coaches, wellness coaches, spiritual coaches, transformational coaches. You should be able to find one you resonate with and who specializes in what you want to work on.

You can have access to coaches all over the world.

Ultimately, it's about flexibility

Time, location, selection of coaches. What works for you? I believe that life coaching is one of the most powerful tools we have available for personal development. But you need to find a coach who resonates and works with you.

Some life coaches today work entirely online.

If you'd like to talk to me about life coaching, click here for next steps.

Carl Jung Shadow Self

Carl Jung Shadow Self and spiritual development

Carl Jung's shadow self concept is one of the most important aspects of my own spiritual development. Without surfacing shadow material from the psyche, true spiritual development is almost impossible.

What happens with a lot of spiritual seekers is that they pretend that the shadow material is not there. This is just repression. It makes us feel good to think were all light and love. But this is a mistake.

Every human being has the same capacity. We are able to have the entire range of human experience. You and  I, barrios some sort of pathology, have the same exact human capacity as both Hitler and the Dalai Lama.

It's a sobering thought. I'm sure if you're reading this, you'd much rather identify with the Dalai Lama. But again it's simply a capacity. You can feel love, you can feel hate, and you can feel everything in between.

What is the shadow self

When Carl Jung  took up the study of alchemy, he realized that the alchemists of old were writing allegorically about human spiritual development. And well certainly alchemists were trying to turn lead into gold, the real gold was in methodology for developing the human spirit.

The first step in alchemy, when you want to turn a base metal into something precious, was a blackening. This was a burning away of impurities.

In the same respect, in a spiritual development, the blackening refers to surfacing shadow material from the psyche. It's reaching down inside oneself and making the unconscious conscious.

The shadow  is all of those things that we are repressing about ourselves. It's the stuff we don't want to look at. But it's there.

The force that keeps those things hidden from us is shame. Shame is a powerful and destructive controlling emotion. But we use it often with the people we love the most.

Imagine the child, a boy who was crying. How often growing up were boys, like me, told, "boys don't cry?" I grew up in a generation where it was seen as not masculine to display emotion. So boys were taught to bottle it up. And I think we can see just how destructive that is in society today.

So we have these feelings, urges, desires that society or our parents taught us made us bad people. That's shame. But the problem is that everybody has these feelings. Were all different and feel them to different degrees, but there there.

And as Jung said, "that which we resist, persists."

the shame is often so overpowering that we can't even look at these parts of ourselves. We hide them away from our conscious mind and bury them in our subconscious.

In the psychoanalytic model, this is often the source of neuroses and psychological disease. These things bubble up. They don't stay hidden, and they don't go away.

Dealing with the shadow

so you know you have this thing we call the shadow, how do you deal with it?

You've been fighting with it your entire life. we know this doesn't work.

So the key is to surface and work with the shadow components. Identify them, make friends with them, understand them.

But there's a big misconception here. Many people think that if they surface their shadow all of a sudden they will become a serial killer. This is not the case. Recognizing you have angry or even hateful parts does not change who you are or change your ethics or make you act on them. On the contrary, these parts can be transmuted and by not fighting with them they're less likely to pop up in uncontrolled ways.

There is shadow work in shamanism. So we know that there are methods of dealing with the shadow self going back thousands of years. Our ancestors recognized this part. Sometimes they called these parts demons.

There is a method in Tibetan Buddhism, for example, in which one feeds one's demons. This ritual act transmutes the demons into allies and makes them less harmful. Again, fighting one's demons is the wrong approach.

So there are a variety of methods for surfacing and working with Jung's  shadow self. In this type of work is essential to becoming spiritually unified and operating from your core self.

So it may bear a little research, and practice on your part. You may want to find a shamanic practitioner, or a Jungian psychotherapist, or somebody well-versed in Carl Jung shadow self work. But if you're interested in spiritual development, this is the work you need to do.


difficult loving

Loving the hard to love

I have said before that if you want more love in your life, become more loving. It's really the only way. Because anything else relies on others, and we have little control over that.

But how about loving the hard to love? The difficult people in our life. The hard to forgive. This is certainly a challenge.

what if there's somebody in your life who's done you wrong, stolen your sandwich from the lunch room, called you fat, cheated on you? Do we love that person? If so, how?

Ultimately, loving is about self compassion

Learning to love and become more loving is about personal evolution. It is a part of growth. Including the difficult to love in that circle of people who we love is challenging for sure. But it's an incredibly important part of our personal development

Loving more, loving more fully is a path to mind, body, spirit development.

It's important to remember what love is. It's important to remember what love is not.

So what is love?

Love is acceptance. It is accepting others for who they are, flaws and all.

But let's talk about acceptance for minute. Acceptance does not mean that you lower your standards for how you should be treated. Acceptance does not mean that you do not offer help when it is appropriate to do so.

What acceptance means is that you accept the other even when their personal habits annoy you. You accept them and who they are even if they are mean, addicted, or hold beliefs different than yours.

This does not mean that you allow people to be mean to you. It does not mean you support their addiction. It does not mean you take on their beliefs.

It simply means that despite these impediments to being loved, you love and accept them.

Now I understand how difficult this is. It is very difficult for me to accept people who have been abusive towards me. But I'm working towards this, while continuing to protect myself from further abuse.

There is this kind of misconception out there that forgiveness means forgetting. This is just not the case. You can forgive someone, meaning you remove a lot of the negative emotional impact they had on you, and still not invite them over for dinner. You can accept that they are human being deserving of love, without welcoming their behavior that may be harmful towards you.

What love is not

love is not control. I had a spiritual teacher once used to say, "wanting to control is wanting to kill." This is a pretty extreme statement. But on some level it's true. If I want control over you, I essentially want power over your life. And while I would never actually kill someone, it is the same kind of impulse.

This is an important concept that many people miss in so-called loving relationships. A controlling romantic partner is often a sign of emotional abuse. Loving is not control.

Sometimes caretakers get this mixed up. As a parent I can tell you that this is a difficult line. There's a balancing act between setting boundaries on behavior, and wanting to control your children. I won't pretend that this isn't a difficult line to walk. As a parent I am always wondering when to give space and when to set boundaries. However, I feel like at least pondering the question allows me to be a more mindful parent. And loving my children is about accepting them in their own paths.

Love is not becoming a doormat. Loving someone and accepting them does not mean that you allow them to behave in harmful ways towards you. Again, this is about boundary setting. And sure, this is difficult. Romantic relationships can become entangled when people's egos take the forefront.

Love is not subordinate or absorbing. Ideal loving relationships develop all of those involved. Abusive relationships frequently have one partner subjugated by the other. One person begins to define themselves in terms of the other. This is ego absorption not a healthy blending of two people into one couple.

So how do you become more loving?

It takes practice.

First, it begins with self compassion. You must love and accept yourself even during moments of suffering. Especially during moments of suffering. When you feel angry, or jealous, or petty it is important to recognize but these are moments of human suffering. You must let go of judging yourself for having an experience that is common to all people. You must be kind and nurture your own emotional needs.

When you do this, you begin to grow in spirit. You begin to grow emotionally. You begin to self nurture.

You stop judging yourself

As the center of your own loving universe. You are then more capable of extending that love and acceptance to others. Once your ego needs are met you will take the hurtful actions of others less personally.

There are of course lots of ways to practice compassion for others. There is the Buddhist practice of imagining that everyone you come into contact with has, in one lifetime, then your mother. And so you develop a loving feeling, a compassionate feeling towards other living beings.

But it's also important to understand the concept that hurt people hurt people. When someone is unkind for hurtful is because they are hurting. People who feel whole, complete, and loving just don't hurt others. And so again, becoming loving can start with this compassionate understanding.

I think of someone who abuse me as a child. Now the torment that he caused me may be inexcusable. However, I know that it never would've happened if he wasn't tormented himself. I can feel a great deal of compassion for what he must've gone through. I can accept how painful his life must have been. I can accept him as a soul with a pure spiritWho is complex and suffering. I do not have to invite him back into my life.

And so loving the unlovable requires work. It's hard work. This is deep stuff that touches us at our core.

But I believe that is ultimately extremely rewarding. I believe that it's a force that propels us through spiritual evolution. I believe it makes us healthier in mind, body, and spirit.

quotes about overcoming fear

37 quotes about overcoming fear

Here are some of my favorite quotes about overcoming fear - one of my favorite things to help clients with.

1. "Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones."

Thich Nhat Hanh

2. "We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light."


3. "Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins."

Charles Stanley

4. “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

5. “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

6. “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

Frank Herbert, Dune

7. “Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”

J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

8. “Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second's encounter with God and with eternity.”

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

9. “Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it.”

Salvador Dalí

10. “Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.”

Søren Kierkegaard

11. “Don't be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel's Game

12. “Is it useful to feel fear, because it prepares you for nasty events, or is it useless, because nasty events will occur whether you are frightened or not?”

Lemony Snicket

13. “You can't make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.”

Michelle Obama

14. “He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears.”

Michel de Montaigne

15. “I believe that every single event in life happens in an opportunity to choose love over fear.”

Oprah Winfrey

16. “Your fear is 100% dependent on you for its survival.”

Steve Maraboli

17. “Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

18. “Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.”

Fred Rogers

19. “Don't fear failure. — Not failure, but low aim, is the crime. In great attempts it is glorious even to fail.”

Bruce Lee

20. “Find out what a person fears most and that is where he will develop next.”

C.G. Jung

21. “I am very frustrated by fear of imagination, I don’t think that’s healthy.”

J.K. Rowling

22. “Most people want to be circled by safety, not by the unexpected. The unexpected can take you out. But the unexpected can also take you over and change your life. Put a heart in your body where a stone used to be.”

Ron Hall

23. “Move outside the tangle of fear-thinking. Live in silence.”

Jalaluddin Rumi

24. “Fear is a bird that refuses to fly, and each time she neglects to use her wings, she consents to the slow death of her destiny.”

Nadia Janice Brown

25. “That's the thing about fear. Death will kill you once, but fear kills you over and over and over, if you let it.”

Marcus Allen

26. “We fear violence less than our own feelings. Personal, private, solitary pain is more terrifying than what anyone else can inflict.”

Jim Morrison

27. “Success goes to the ones who do. Get up. Show up. Throw up if you have to. Do it afraid, but do it no matter.”

Toni Sorenson

28. “Of all the questions I have asked my readers this is the most important: What would you do if you weren't afraid? When you finally give wings to that answer then you have found your life's purpose.”

Shannon L. Alder

29. “Being brave doesn't mean you're not scared.”

Neil Gaiman

30. “You can't live in dread of something for long without beginning to crave it.”

Glen Duncan, The Last Werewolf

31. “Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause.”


32. “Let fear once get possession of the soul, and it does not readily yield its place to another sentiment.”

Leo Tolstoy, Sebastopol in December

33. “First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

34. “Mind doesn't work properly when taken intoa higher level where fear dominates the will.”

Toba Beta

35. “Do the thing you fear the most and the death of fear is certain.”

Mark Twain

36. “Love opens your heart, trumps fear, and paves the way for healing in all aspects of your life.”

Lissa Rankin

37. “Focus on beauty, not on fear dance with stress to let it clear”

Debasish Mridha

Are you ready for a powerful conversation about overcoming your fears and living your life to the fullest?

Click for your next steps

10 Best Life Coaching Blogs

Reading life coaching blogs is a great way to get resources or start your day. These sites can help you focus on the most important things in life, be happier, and start your day off right. They can change the way that you approach your whole life.

Relationship coaching blogs offer ways to deal with stressful relationships each day whether it be with our spouses, children, significant others or co-workers. With more than 85 percent of all relationships ending in failure, it is important to learn all that you can to keep your relationships healthy.

Life-coaching yoga blogs are also a great read because they help you focus on centering your mind and your body. Yoga is one of my favorite mind-body practices. It's great for your health

You can also read life-coaching inspirational blogs making sure that you have great examples to follow before you head out the door. When you are inspired by others you are more likely to make a positive impact in your corner of the world.

Top 10 Life-Coaching Blogs

Drawing on the inspiration of others is a great way to stay emotivated, here are the top 10 life-coaching blogs:

1. Read the Tiny Buddha

Lori Deschene draws on the knowledge of many other people for her Tiny Buddha blog. While this blog covers a lot of territory including yoga, minimalism, relationships and mindfulness, each post is designed to help you let go of the past and focus on creating a better future. Many Tiny Buddha inspirational posts feature writers from around the globe making it a terrific way to see the world as one connected place.

2 Learn from. In Pursuit of Happiness

Britt Reints bills herself as the Czar of Happiness. Her blog focuses on creating a lifestyle of happiness while doing more with less. She will encourage you to find happiness in your corner of the world by focusing on the things that matter most to you. You will find a variety of lifestyle advice on her blog with many relationship posts.

3. See Meant to be Happy

Ken Wert believes that happiness should be found one day at a time. His blog is designed to help you create happiness where you are regardless of your circumstances. This high school teacher encourages you to see happiness as a product of your thoughts, so he focuses on encouraging you to create new thinking patterns.

4. Study The Change Blog

Starting in 2007 when Peter Clemens found out that he was to be a father, he wanted to change the world one small step at a time so that his child could live in a better world. Now, he encourages others to tell their own stories of change, mainly through mindfulness, and share them on this blog. He still chimes in occasionally with wonderful thoughts of his own that are filled with practical advice enabling you to change your environment.

5. View The Skool of Life

Bradley Gauthier and Greg Hartle want to help you create a manual for your life. This blog will help you focus on finding meaningful work within yourself. When you do, you will be ready to celebrate in ways that you can never imagine.

6. Discover Finding Happiness

Every business executive needs to take time to read Todd Patkin’s life coaching blog regularly. He recommends easily implemented changes in your life and company that will empower you and your employees to reach new heights. If you are not an executive, then you will find terrific ways to approach your boss about topics that will enable their workplace’s to be more productive.

7. Appraise Marc and Angel Hacklife

Marc and Angel Chernoff have been providing the tools needed to identify and transform limiting beliefs on their blog readers sine 2006. With complete honesty, the couple tells you what they feel is working in their own lives and where they feel that they still need to grow. This blog encourages you to go on a journey through life with them.

8. Check Out Mazzastick

Egalitarianism and karma are two powerful ideas found on Mazzastick. It is Justin Mazza’s goal to helps people stop negative, counterproductive, default programming in their own lives by empowering them with conscious evolution. Justin spends many hours researching each topic before delivering it to you in practical ways on his life coaching blog.

9. Appreciate Marie Forleo

If you are tired of trying to live inside a box, then you need to read Marie Forleo’s blog as she believes that happiness starts when people quit trying to focus on just one part of their lives. On this blog, you will find a variety of topics ranging from fitness to hip-hop. By combining it all, this blog will encourage you to focus on everything that is important to you in life.

10. Live Bold and Bloom

Barrie Davenport encourages her readers to let go of the damage from negative relationships and step into living boldly. Each post on this site encourages the reader to take bold action. Barrie’s advice is radical, but it often takes a radical approach to empower change.

Finding time to read coaching blogs is not difficult when you make it a priority. When you naturally start feeling happier through applying the advice in these blogs, then you will find that you have more energy. Reading these blogs is an easy way to transform your corner of the world.

Midlife Coaching

Midlife coaching not crisis

If you're in or approaching that age, now may be a perfect time to engage midlife coaching.

You may be stabilizing your career, in transition with your family, or looking to get more from the rest of your life.

With coaching, you could make the next years the best in your life.

Personally - I'm finding my middle years to be the most transformative and rewarding. I love what I do, I have a great family, and I'm able to give back.

Good coaching is proactive, solutions focused, and helps you build a future in alignment with your core values.

The Midlife Crisis is bunk

The midlife crisis - an emotional crisis involving identity that happens at some "middle" age. Thing is - it's not real.

Research shows that the "midlife crisis" is actually a myth. One can go through a crisis at any age, and there's no special.

If you find yourself in actual psychological crisis, a good coach is going to refer you to a therapist. Coaching isn't therapy.

But if you find yourself looking to enhance life satisfaction - hire a coach.

The Midlife opportunity

For most people, the middle years are where personality is stabilized. Your core values are set. Your goals are going to be in greater alignment with who you really are. And this is an area where great coaching flourishes.

Many people focus on contribution at this stage in life. What can you give back?

This can be an amazing opportunity. And, with the help of a coach, you'll be set up for success and satisfaction.

How to start midlife coaching

First things first: find a good coach.

Of course I'd love to talk to you about being your coach. You can click here for next steps to set up a conversation with me.

If I can't help you, I'll refer you to a coach who can.

But get yourself a good coach you resonate with.

When you talk with your coach take an attitude of curiosity and willingness to explore. This helps you to get the most from your coaching.

Here's to your great life!


Personal development goal setting

5 steps to set powerful personal development goals

As a life and success coach, I love to work with clients on their personal development goals. Building up the self, in a really customized and individual way is truly powerful.

Personal developments goals can be used as a key to evolution. Where we can achieve even greater satisfaction, and serve a greater good by what we become.

Without goals, life can be like a rudderless ship getting dragged about by currents.

I've discovered a few keys I want to share with you.

1. Ask yourself this powerful question

What area of my life has the potential to have the greatest positive impact on all other areas of my life?

This is a focusing question, and I want you to spend some time with it. I want you to think about it in terms of life satisfaction

We are going to build a personal development goal around this area.

For example: You might think of some broad categories like money, career, relationships, family, intimacy, artistic expression.

Whatever works for you.

Now, if you were able to increase your satisfaction in just one of these areas - which one would have the most impact on the other areas of your life.

Maybe I set a goal around my career. Maybe I'm currently dissatisfied with my job. I know if I switch careers it will make me happier. That might impact my relationships, I'll make more money, and it will be better for my family.

2. Now ask this powerful question

What could I achieve in the next 6 months that would have the greatest impact on satisfaction in this area?

If you're not comfortable with a 6 month timeframe, you could go with 3. I wouldn't project too much farther than 6 months though.

OK - given your lifes, family, etc., what is a reasonable but powerful thing you could work towards in 6 months.

This is where you want to be specific, measurable, and achievable. "I will get a lot more money." Is not specific enough. "I will identify, apply for, and land a new satisfying job." is is moving in the right direction.

3. Now lets zoom in

We're going to ask ourselves another personal goal setting question:

Why is this important?

Why is this goal important to you? What would accomplishing it mean to you?

Answering this question will help you stay committed to the goal.

4. Plan

Now it's time for planning. One way to plan is to work backwards, from 6 months back.

Ask yourself:

What would I be doing right before I got this goal?

In the case of the new career the answer might be, "interviewing successfully."

Work back from there to today.

You may also get a sense of areas that need work. If you aren't great at interviewing, for example, maybe you'd seek some help or practice.

5. Execute

Now that you've got your goal and you've got your basic plan, execute.

Take action immediately - don't lose momentum.

Here's a post I wrote on how to get started and crush your goals. It's a great way to start.

If you feel like you'd like help with your goals, there's no greater tool than working with a coach. Click here to find out more.

your ego

No, your ego isn’t evil

Do you have a big ego? Small ego? Are you egoless?

Do you need to kill your ego? Is it the enemy? Does it keep you from reaching enlightenment.

To read a lot of spiritual authors these days, you'd think ego was the devil. In fact, I've heard the ego equated to devil by one author.

But what the hell are we talking about anyway?

What is ego?

Ego can be a hard topic to tackle, because there's not much agreement on the word. Let's take a look at a few definitions. Then I'll give you mine.

According to Freudian psychoanalysis, the ego is the part of the mind which mediates between the unconscious and conscious. It seeks pleasure and avoids pain, but tries to do so realistically. It takes the outside world into account.

In spiritual terms, the word "ego" has been used many ways. Generally it's used to denote one's sense of identity as separate from God, or the Universe, or whatever superior force you believe in.

Often, in common usage, ego is used as a synonym for an inflated sense of self-importance. "That guy think so much of himself, when he drives his ego has to ride shotgun."

What's my take?

Let's use a less confusing approach. Ego is your conscious idea of self. It's who you think you are when you think about who you are.

But here's the secret: No matter who or what you think you are - you're not that.

Ego is just a map. It's a collection of ideas, and a mere collection of ideas cannot possibly encompass all that you are.

Bit this doesn't mean it's a useless concept.

When is ego useful?

I don't know about you, but I have to live my life. I have kids to feed, places to go. If I spent my entire life as undifferentiated consciousness - I might miss a few appointments.

Let's look at ego as a part of you. I think that all parts of you have a useful purpose or intention. Yes, even the yucky stuff.

Imagine if I go to pick up my daughter's from school and the receptionist asks me a  question:

"Are you John Moore?"

"No, there is no I. There is a field in which the consciousness of this communication arises?"

"Um, hold on, I'm calling the police."

So yeah - sometimes having an individualized sense of self is useful.

The 7th principle of Huna is PONO - Effectiveness is the measure of truth.  I love that one.

When is ego not useful?

When self concept becomes a problem is when it becomes warped and inflexible.

Think of the narcissist and the sociopath as extreme examples. In less extreme cases, people become disconnected from others, and from the world around them.

You can see this in the warfare and the environmental destruction around us.

When self-esteem is very low, people tend to replace their individual identities with group identities. This promotes the problems with racism, nationalism, sexism, and all the other isms.

Keep ego flexible?

Wouldn't it be nice if you could change who you were? And wouldn't it be nicer if you knew how to do it the best way for each situation.

Psychologists call it being "role adaptive."

Between telling fart jokes, playing with my kids, and writing software for fun, I may practice a shamanic journey to the afterlife.

None of these things is inconsistent with who I am. None of them is in violation of my core values.

I can really enjoy sex AND really enjoy leading spiritual practices.

The key is allowing yourself the space to be who you are in the moment. Make sure to stay consistent with your core values.

Also, it is important to realize that you are always integrally connected to everything and everyone in the universe.

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