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Choose to Be a Beacon of Hope

Posted by on Dec 2, 2016 in Blog | 1 comment

hope-tulips_500aWhat does it mean to be a beacon of hope in these chaotic, disturbing and uncertain times?

You see, I believe in my heart that’s what you came here to do, but you may not always know exactly how to do it. Is it just about positive thinking, and refusing the seduction of fear? Or is there greater complexity to this thing called hope?

As someone dedicated to awakening your consciousness, you are part of an energetic force of goodness, truth and beauty on this planet. That may sound lofty, but I want you to pause and open up to the reality of that statement.

As we’ve been saying for 17 years here at Lucid Living, the world is in the midst of a profound process of change. We are shaking off centuries of a Patriarchal World Culture (PWC) that has taught us to operate from fear, using tools of competition, manipulation and control to dominate people and circumstances.

The structures of the PWC are crumbling, and from one perspective, this is a scary time to be alive.

At the same time, this is an extraordinary time to be alive. Your voice, your energy, your choices, and your emotional vulnerability and strength are needed as part of a crucial wave of consciousness leading our world into the light of a new paradigm of love and connection.

The key to that birthing process is HOPE.

We have our work cut out for us, made more challenging due to the problems associated with hope.

The first problem is that hope is widely misunderstood in our current culture. We hear catch phrases such as “hope is not a strategy,” which reduces hope to an impotent act of wishful thinking. Few know or understand the crucial role of hope in the emerging new world.

Hope is a powerful, creative force. Without hope, you would not initiate or create anything in your life.

Among the many definitions of hope, it is perhaps best to start with the awareness that hope is a genuine positive expectation. When you honestly expect a positive outcome, hope is present.

Unfortunately, many think of hope as something to reach for when you have a negative expectation. It is seen as a last ditch wish, or a prayer, for an outside force to intervene.

Real hope is a beacon of inspiration. It is a force of light and truth that gives birth to new possibilities and potentials. Hope lifts you into states of magical creation.

The second problem is that most of us have hope tied to circumstances. Our hope tends to ebb and flow depending on “how things are going.”

I’ve been thinking about this a lot since the recent U.S. Presidential Election. On one level, this was a political event. But I’d like to step outside politics for a moment and talk about it from the standpoint of hope, and the energetic shifts taking place in our world.

For more than half of the population, hope took a serious hit on November 9th when it became clear that Donald Trump would be our next president. (Similarly, another segment of the population would have lost hope if Hillary Clinton had won.)

On a personal level, as a passionate Hillary supporter, I was devastated. My usual hopeful outlook was aggressively eclipsed by strong feelings of shock, disappointment, fear, anger and grief, with a strong seduction to powerlessness.

In the last three weeks, I have been committed to staying emotionally present, surrendering to the full range of emotions that emerge when life takes a sudden turn in an unwelcome direction.

Trusting my emotional authenticity is the cornerstone of my spiritual practice. And yet, even with all I know and have experienced of its magic, it is still a challenging thing to do.

It is so tempting at a time like this to do one of three things:

  1. Choose some version of shutting down, disengaging, numbing out, despairing, despondency, cynicism
  2. Choose to linger in martyr, self-pity, powerlessness, blame and suffering
  3. Escape the pain with a superficial perspective shift – “deciding” that all is well, skating on the surface of emotions and clinging to false hope

The third choice is perhaps the most deceptive, because it appears hopeful. But so often it lacks the necessary insight and personal responsibility that gives birth to the substance and power of genuine hope.

I’ve heard from many clients that they are having a hard time “getting over” the election. I understand these feelings.

For many, the unsettled pain of this election has less to do with a temporary victory of a Republican vs. Democratic ideology. We’ve all experienced elections where our chosen candidate did not win.

This one is different. There is shock and a rising panic that perhaps we are heading in the direction of lost freedoms, decreasing safety, and the normalizing of bigotry and hatred.

Over and over I’ve heard friends and colleagues say, “I didn’t think this was possible.”

Beneath it all, I hear this terrifying concern: The Patriarchy is winning.

(And just to be completely clear: When I speak about the Patriarchy, or the PWC, I am NOT talking about men vs. women. I am talking about the distorted principles of competition, control and domination, which can be embraced by both men and women, that are characteristic of the PWC.)

Here’s what we need to remember: The emerging new paradigm is not about The Divine Feminine conquering the dominating Patriarchy. That would simply be another round of competition.

We need to move off the game-board of competition altogether. I think part of the job at hand is to stand back for a moment and become a witness to a miraculous unfolding: An old world is crumbling and there are many who are terrified to let it go, fighting for a way of life that is already obsolete. Some people are overtly clinging to the past. But even if you see yourself as someone committed to a new paradigm of love and connection, there is a part of you who is terrified to let go…

To let go of force and control… to let go of winning and losing… to let go of shame and disappointment and the rage of powerlessness.

The new world we are birthing does not need us to dominate and bully and force it into being. Instead, we must embrace it within, with all its mystery and chaos. We must face and forgive every last whisper of the PWC that lives inside us, and learn how to trust what we cannot see, yet we know in our hearts to be good and true.

And then we must bring the light of that transformation and forgiveness as an offering to the world.

It is time to look beyond what appears to be a victory of the Patriarchy, and hold firmly to a vision of the loving, cooperative, inclusive world of personal freedom and respect for all humanity that we seek.

We need to expect that world to emerge. We need to know it in our bones, without the evidence of circumstances.

We need to stand in HOPE.

Real, solid, transformative hope is found on the other side of personal responsibility. It takes courage to foster this kind of hope. It is messy and personal and an act of spiritual surrender.

It is time to remember what you came here to do, and more importantly, who you came here to be. You are one of the Light Bringers. The world is counting on the power of your genuine hope.

It is calling you to be both the Wise One, who is not derailed by mere circumstances, and also the Archetypal Fool, who steps out into the unknown, trusting what is unseen, daring to dream, to vision… and to hope.

Are you ready to dive into the substance of your personal responsibility and find the light within it?

Are you willing to become a shining beacon of hope?

Powerful Distinction Coaching Tip: Power vs. Strength

Posted by on Apr 29, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Do you know what your strengths are? And what about your powers? Can you clearly define them and lean on them in challenging times?

And what about your clients? How skilled are you at identifying their unique powers and strengths, and helping them find an effective balance?

We’ve been talking a lot about powers and strengths in the last few months here at Lucid Living. The world is at a critical point in our collective awakening. Each of us is called to harness our powers and use our strengths to move toward a positive future of dreams coming true.

It helps to understand the difference between the two:

A power is an ability. It is a feminine energy, a space of possibility and potential waiting to be made manifest.

A strength is a willingness. It is a masculine energy that fills the space with will.

When ability and willingness come together in balance, they are unstoppable.

For example, you may have a power of love. You may recognize yourself as someone with a tremendous amount of love to give, and a depth of wisdom about love out of many years experience. That ability to love is a power you have.

Loving is a strength. The actual act of loving another takes the will and intention to harness the power of your love and put it into action. It is a willingness to express your loving, which is a vulnerable act.

There are many with the ability to love who don’t balance that power by developing the strength of loving. And there are many who spend lots of time loving, but rarely take the time to expand the space of love within them.

A life full of rarely-used powers leads to frustration, resentment and dreams unfulfilled.  A life of overused strengths leads to exhaustion and burnout.

Begin to notice the imbalance, in yourself and in your clients. Where is life calling for greater balance

And just for fun, here are a few more of the many powers and strengths to think about:

  • The power of creativity and the strength of productivity
  • The power of imagination and the strength of will
  • The power of leadership and the strength of impact
  • The power of passion and the strength of compassion

Have fun assessing your strengths and powers, and looking for the balance in your clients!

Powerful Distinction Coaching Tip: Self-Discipline vs. Self-Control

Posted by on Mar 12, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

The feedback from last month’s Powerful Distinctions coaching tip was fantastic… so here we go with the next distinction in our series: Self-Discipline vs. Self-Control.

As a coach, part of your job is to help your clients create the healthy structures that move them in the direction their dreams. The energy to sustain these structures is called discipline.

For so many, there is confusion between discipline and control. Why does self-discipline work, when self-control does not? This seemingly subtle distinction will make a world of difference in the way you support your clients.

The problem with self-control is that it’s a dominating attempt to force yourself to behave.

Control fosters a state of separation. Whatever we try to control ultimately enslaves us. We end up in an internal battle of “good” and “bad” behavior, fueled by judgment and producing a full range of disempowering feelings.

When the client confuses discipline with control, she will bring the dominating energy of control to try and force herself to stay on track. She is attempting to “fix” something that she feels is wrong. The choice to control is often motivated by frustration, distrust, a sense of lack, and the demands of perfection.

This kind of control only “works” for so long. Your client will ultimately rebel against control, often doing more damage in her rebellion.

Ask any yo-yo dieter.

In contrast, true discipline is a beautiful resonance. It is one of the four sustaining energies that feeds and grows your creations.

At Lucid Living, we like to think of discipline as the healthy structure that supports your heart’s desire.

Julie Andrews once said, “Some people view discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.”

You can help your clients find this freedom by encouraging discipline that is a product of desire and choice grounded in preference.

Coaching Tip:  Listen to the energy behind your client’s motivation. Does that motivation emerge from a state of connection with self? Is it a joyful and passionate commitment to honor and embrace a sacred dream?

As you master this distinction and invite your clients into the realm of genuine discipline, you can set your clients free to fly.

Powerful Distinction Coaching Tip: Acceptance vs. Forgiveness

Posted by on Feb 5, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

At Lucid Living, we love to make distinctions. We find that the right distinction can have a profound impact on the client’s perspective, eliminating confusion and empowering new choices. Distinctions are necessary when clients combine two similar, but distinct, concepts into one definition.

We’ll post a new Powerful Distinction each month. We hope you’ll find these to be useful in your work as a coach.

So, we begin this series of Powerful Distinctions with: Acceptance vs. Forgiveness.

Here’s a scenario: Your client is upset. Perhaps she did something she was not proud of. Or maybe she is feeling hurt by someone else’s actions. Either way, she is eager to move ahead and “put the incident behind her,” but does not want to feel much about the experience. She says she “accepts it,” but she’s still feeling bothered by it. This kind of acceptance is not the same as true forgiveness. It is a mental band-aid that seeks to get past it without taking emotional ownership.

Forgiveness is a healing, transformative experience that involves feeling. As the coach, your role is to slow the process down so that your client can do the deeper work of feeling the impact (on herself or the other person), so she can forgive and ultimately create change in her life.

Acceptance sounds like this: “Gosh, I didn’t really know what I was doing. Oh well, it is what it is. Let’s move on.” Or it can sound like, “Oh, he didn’t mean to hurt me. Let’s drop it.” This kind of acceptance is a passive response.

Forgiveness sounds more like: “Wow, I am genuinely sorry I did that. I can understand why I did that and choose to forgive myself for my mistakes.” Or, “Ouch, your impact really hurts. I will stay with this emotion and really let myself feel it. And I can forgive you because I understand why it happened.” Forgiveness is a powerful place from which to make a change.

Working with your client on true forgiveness can awaken her awareness about what she is creating in her life. She can start opening up to becoming more conscious of what she is manifesting. Such a compelling stance to live from!

Coaching Tip: Notice where you allow your client to “get away with” acceptance, when forgiveness would actually be the more powerful direction to go.

Let us know how this is showing up in your work!

Every Great Story is Fueled by Gratitude (and a gift!)

Posted by on Nov 21, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Every Great Story is Fueled by Gratitude (and a gift!)

Have you been thinking about your Great Story lately?

Your “Great Story” is the larger story that is possible for you as you resolve the victim stories and overcoming stories that can divert your attention away from the sacred, miraculous narrative of your life. It’s the story your Soul came to tell.

Jeanine and I have been spending a lot of time in the last few months focusing on key techniques to uncover this story and bring it alive, and we continue to be blown away by the beautiful vulnerability and courage of our Great Story students. They are amazing!

One thing is clear: Every Great Story is fueled by gratitude. (more…)

A New Dream for the Modern World

Posted by on May 21, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

A New Dream for the Modern World

I’ve just returned from a fabulous week in New York.  Jeanine and I spent a few days in the city, engaging our passion for Broadway shows, before heading up to beautiful Lake George for The Bigger Game Expo.

The Expo was a beautiful and transformative event. I had the honor of presenting the opening keynote speech on Friday morning. I spoke about the extraordinary opportunity before us—the opportunity to consciously work magic together, and participate in re-enchanting the world. I talked about making a sacred crossing from the paradigm of separation into a new paradigm of connection, belonging and co-creation. (more…)

Why It Gets Better

Posted by on Feb 11, 2013 in Blog | 2 comments

Why It Gets Better

I’ve been thinking about the slogan of the It Gets Better Project, which was created in the aftermath of several gay teen suicides in 2010. Their ongoing mission is to bring hope to LGBT teenagers, to remind them that they are not alone, and to reflect models of happiness, success, love and fulfillment that await them if they can keep the faith through the brutal pain of their teen years.

At the time, I was overjoyed that this movement was emerging out of the rage of felt powerlessness, and I loved its potent, succinct message: It Gets Better.

Have you ever stopped to think about why it gets better? What is the higher truth that allows us to offer that message of hope to disenfranchised teens? (more…)

Diving Deeply into the Unfamiliar Senses and Emerging Ecstatic

Posted by on Feb 10, 2013 in Blog | 1 comment

Diving Deeply into the Unfamiliar Senses and Emerging Ecstatic

Wow! I am writing this in an altered state. I spent the morning skiing in my beloved Tahoe. I am up here alone and enjoying the days chillin’ on the hill. Most of you know I adore skiing- It’s no secret. This year has been challenging as there has not been much snow. It hasn’t been much fun. I feel like I have been skiing just because I have a season pass and felt like I should use it.

Today I feel like I have entered a whole new realm and want to share my experience with you as it relates to our conversation on the unfamiliar senses. First of all, the snow conditions have not changed, still pretty dismal. So I have been playing with ways to raise my enjoyment on the hill. I decided I was ready to listen to music while skiing down the hill. I felt comfortable enough to be in my own world without being able to hear those wild snowboarders coming up behind me.  I selected my favorite rock tune and asked I-Tunes to create a genius playlist for me. I was enjoying the solitude created by being in my own zone when I got the idea to explore the unfamiliar senses as I was cruising along. (more…)

Re-thinking Creativity

Posted by on Jan 23, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Re-thinking Creativity

I woke up this morning on fire about creativity!  My juices started flowing yesterday out of a fantastic conversation we had, as part of the Living In Enchantment teleclass. This particular call focused on the energies of WONDER and CREATIVITY.

Creativity is a vital part of living an enchanted life. So many of us cut ourselves off from creativity, in part, because we don’t really understand what it is. We have become brainwashed to think that creativity applies to the arts, and if you don’t think you are artistic, you may also think you’re not creative.

My favorite definition of creativity comes from Lazaris, my spiritual teacher for the last thirty-two years. Lazaris says, “Creativity is anything you do that inspires you.” This takes creativity beyond the arena of arts and crafts, and opens up countless avenues for creative play. All of life has the potential to be uplifting self-expression! (more…)

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