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Prosperity Through Purpose | Integrating Wealth and Fulfillment | 6-Figure Practice

"May you live in interesting times."-Chinese Proverb

We do indeed live in interesting times. We stand at a fascinating and precarious crossroads at this time in history.  And as with all such situations, there is an incredible opportunity right now to reassess, take inventory, and commit to integrating our wealth acquisition strategies with your deepest spiritual principles. To be of service--and to become prosperous as a result of, rather than instead of, such a commitment.

Those who are in the arts and who have holistic training have the greatest opportunity of all to do so.

I read recently that the vast majority of coaches and practitioners never make over $25,000/year. This is more than unfortunate. Frankly, it borders on tragic. Mostly because they either give up, or, worse, for a belief that it isn't possible to live comfortably and live their purpose. That is a sad waste of resources that could be applied to evolving consciousness on this planet. And it does not have to be so. Not only can you become prosperous as a result of living your purpose through serving others--but if we can, we must.

For some, the "how" is simply missing. For others, their beliefs about money or themselves--or their offering or service--is in the way. For still others, there is a combination of all of that.

Whether any of that is true for you or not, what is true in reality is that you can have a thriving holistic business in service of others leading to emotional and spiritual fulfillment for you, and ultimately, a better world for all. If you know how and do the personal work to get out of your own way.


This is a free mini-workshop for coaches and holistic practitioners of any any modality.

  • The 3 Necessary Components to to build and maintain a 6-figure holistic practice
  • How to sell without ever selling--coming from a place of service
  • How to structure talks and introductory workshops so that they practically write themselves
  • Ways to reveal and dissolve the beliefs you've inherited--or created--that are blocking you from success and fulfillment
  • How to create and organize a comprehensive offering to serve the client more fully
  • Other cool and incredibly useful stuff


What: Purpose Through Prosperity | Components for Your 6-Figure Practice
When: Wednesday, February 27th @ 7pm - 9pm
Where: SOMA, San Francisco »RSVP« for exact location

Why: To live a more fulfilled and integrated life.

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Resolution Evolution | Creating Your S.M.A.R.T. 2013

If you want to simply register for the call, go HEREHERE:
http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/O3N7012HI6UW9F9Chttp://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/O3N7012HI6UW9F9C

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That time of year has just passed when most of us have taken inventory. And many of us imagine a future that is somehow ... different from the past.

Sometimes it comes in the form of examining what we learned from the year we have just lived and experienced--and making plans for what we want to accomplish in the coming year.

Either way, we all know how it goes for most of us by the end of January. Or, heck, by January 10th ...

This is not some failure on our part; more often it is a matter of conflicting parts within us that are yearning to be understood, appreciated, and integrated. Still other aspects can simply be not being present to our internal representations and not understanding our unconscious organization of time and how to access that and maximize its power.

Essentially not understanding how to harness the power of our own mind.

And sometimes it is not knowing how to language a goal to make certain that the probabilities that it will become a reality are dramatically increased.

We'll cover all of that in this free tele-seminar.

What you will discover:

• How to create S.M.A.R.T. goals and outcomes
• Why resolutions rarely ever work--and how to make sure they do
• Understanding your unconcious organization of time
• How unconscious, internal conflicting parts can be brought into your awareness, honored, and integrated

• The art and science of Time Line Tharapy to create spooky cool results

Join us. It's free. 

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being exposed to this powerful way to manage your own mind.

Your future begins now ...

What: Creating Your SMART Future
When: Wednesday, January 16th @ 7pm Pacific
Where: On the phone and/or on the web

Register for the call HEREHERE:

http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/O3N7012HI6UW9F9Chttp://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/O3N7012HI6UW9F9C

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Creating Your S.M.A.R.T. 2013 | Teleseminar

That time of year is approaching when most of us begin to take inventory. Sometimes it is as simple as looking at our lives and making "resolutions" to change this habit or that habit.

Sometimes it comes in the form of examining what we learned from the year we have just lived and experienced--and making plans for what we want to accomplish in the coming year.

Either way, we all know how it goes for most of us by the end of January. Or, heck, by January 10th ...

This is not some failure on our part; more often it is a matter of conflicting parts within us that are yearning to be understood, appreciated, and integrated. Still other aspects can simply be not being present to our internal representations and not understanding our unconscious organization of time and how to access that and maximize its power.

Essentially not understanding how to harness the power of our own mind.

And sometimes it is not knowing how to language a goal to make certain that the probabilities that it will become a reality are dramatically increased.

We'll cover all of that in this free tele-seminar.

What you will discover:

• How to create S.M.A.R.T. goals and outcomes
• Why resolutions rarely ever work
• Understanding your unconcious organization of time
• How unconscious, internal conflicting parts can be brought into your awareness, honored, and integrated

• The art and science of Time Line Tharapy to create spooky cool results

Join us. It's free. 

You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by being exposed to this powerful way to manage your own mind.

Your future begins now ...

What: Creating Your SMART Future
When: Wednesday, December 12th @ 7pm Pacific
Where: On the phone and/or on the web

Register for the call herehere:

http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/JBBR735RCCR4LCZ3http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/JBBR735RCCR4LCZ3

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Resolving Your Past | Creating Your Future

Imagine having a tool in your toolbox that was so versatile it could resolve fears and traumas from the past--and could also create magical results for you and your clients in the future...

For years now, many people have asked me to teach and/or demonstrate certain NLP methods and processes.


This is the first in a series born out of me finally saying yes to that request.

After 17 years of being a Master Practitioner, there are really only about 5 main processes I use because of the scope of what they can address as well as the depth at which they work. In other words, they can handle pretty much everything and anything mentally and emotionally.

One of those is my own modified version of Dr Tad James' Time Line Therapy.

In this free 90-minute event I will demonstrate and teach the principles involved that make it effective as both a tool for resolution as well as how to create magical results in your future.

•Create magical financial as well as personal results in your future
•Resolve past traumatic experiences
•Dissolve habitual emotional
•Integrate the power of your unconscious mind, your self-concept, the law of attraction, and your unconscious organization of time to create futures


And so many other uses.


This is one of those "must-know" processes for effective coaches and practitions. Something you will want to have in your tool bag--even if you think you already know it, you will be enriched by learning this version of it--and the underlying principles.


Serve your clients and yourself more effectively. Start by RSVPing for this event and adding this to your tool box. Use the contact form here to find out the exact location.

When: Tuesday, July 31st @ 7:15pm
Where: Del Mar-ish, San Diego [RSVP for exact location]
Why: See above

In Service,

jason.the.mcclain

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Agreement Frames | Clean Relating

 

 

Participate in the ultimate on-line course for coaches and practitioners here.

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Integral Personal Evolution | An Evening Introduction

Increase your capacity to handle whatever life throws at you.

Imagine being confused when someone asks you if you took something personally. Authentically confused–as in, that interpretation is actually confusing to you.

Imagine being free–finally–from the opinions of others defining who you are.

Imagine when the sh** comes down in your life there is just the sh** to deal with and your mind is fully in service–it is your slave, rather than you being enslaved and imprisoned by your own mind.  

Being free from the emotions that enslave most people--and at choice--fully.

I do not mean just in a specific context, like relationships or finances or professional–personal evolution is not context dependent–but free at core level, such that your natural emotional responses are more free–in every context.

Imagine “reframing” being unnecessary–unnecessary because the reframe is the frame that naturally arises.

Our ego and our emotions evolve in stages. Greater and greater expanse. Ever-increasing levels of freedom. Wider and wider embrace of all that arises–moment to moment.

This is important to you because your stage will determine how you interpret events as well as your emotional reaction to it--before any re-framing can occur. In other words, it is what governs your relationship to interacting with the world and with yourself. 

Of course, this is only important if you interact with others–or yourself.

Let’s accelerate the process of movement through the stages--so we can play more, love deeper, laugh longer–and hurt for only as long as is necessary for us to learn what we must learn to deepen our experience of ourselves.

To unfold our depths; to reveal our Divinity.

And isn’t that what it’s all for anyway?

Because who we are is pure divinity. Pure Spirit. “God/dess” manifest. Yet our particular manifestation is often clouded.

As you touch your hand to your heart you may begin to feel Divinity waiting, wanting to come out and play. Release your Divinity; release the highest within you. Release--your inner god/dess.

Your Personal Evolution is the gateway. 

Yes, it will take the gristly and gritty work of building the muscles of facility with Self.  AND it will be the most valuable endeavor you have undertaken.

Let's explore this unfolding together.

 

What: Free Evening Intro to Personal Evolution | The Evolutionary Ego
When: Monday April 9th @ 7:30pm - 9:30pm-ish
Why? ::: You already know ... 

Where? In San Francisco. RSVP for exact location using the contact form on this site.


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Semi-Weekly Tips ::: You Are Responsible And Therefore At Choice

 You are responsible for the current state of your business.  Period.

 

Register for the ultimate on-line course for coaches and practitioners here.

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Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication Part 1

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 1: The Problem (1346 words. Average reading time: 6 minutes)

In the global marketplace of cultures, ideas, relationships, and business strategies, we can no longer say that there is one way to “do relationships” or that there is an “is-ness” to what form they should take.

 There simply is no global—or even local—consensus around relationships—if there ever was.

Whether we are speaking about arranged marriages still common on the other side of the globe in India, gay marriages—legal in some countries and some U.S. Statesegal in some countries and some U.S. Statesegal in some countries and some U.S. States or other alternative forms of relating from polyamory, or other non-traditional, non-monogamous relationship forms, we can certainly say that what is considered an acceptable form of relating is massively expanding in scope.

Whether you agree or disagree with those life-style choices, it is undeniable that the very idea of relationship is in evolution both morally and culturally.  Not to mention in practicality—in form.

And yet … 

And yet, most people still cannot seem to even navigate the waters of traditional relationships with facility and elegance.  Even many friendships are not always fulfilling and conflicts are rarely navigated effectively—if at all. Sadly, many marriages and intimate romantic relationships often hobble along until people are just in a habit, not a relationship. They’re still “together” on the surface, but the reality, truth, intimacy, and dynamism faded—or died—long ago.

They are in a habit, not an actual relationship.

There are certainly exceptions to this.  Both in relationships and in society as a whole. We have individuals and small “intentional” communities who have it as one of their stated values to become facile at navigating the waters of relationships—including  conflicts and misunderstandings that arise, as well as their internal, individual, personal emotional upset or “charge” that comes along with it—with skill, ease, and a good degree of elegance.

But even after more than 40 years of the rise and expansion of the human potential movement, these are exceptions, not rules.  Heck, they are often not even expected standards, let alone the rule.

But it could be so.  

We can all have fulfilling, harmonious relationships. Even in conflict, there are philosophical approaches as well effective communication models that, if take on, can fulfill on this possibility—and make it a reality.

So…what are they?

 First, let’s look at some of the common problems that arise. And then, together, we will examine some simple solutions.

 

The Problems

 

Many of dynamics within inter-personal problems and/or conflicts can be summed up thusly:

  • A belief that relationships are “supposed to take work” or “supposed to be hard”
  • Dishonesty. Dishonesty in at least two ways
    • Deceit—actual lying
    • Hiding the truth—not just of facts, which we will lump in with the above, but of our internal, subjective experience. Our process. And what is going on for us.
  • Blaming others for our circumstances or the situation AND
  • Failing to take responsibility for our part in a conflict or misunderstanding
  • Simply meaning two different things—or interpreting something in two different ways—that are in conflict unknowingly until the it causes a conflict explicitly and openly
  • An egoic need to “be right” put before a search for truth and accuracy
  • A lack of emotional choice or facility [being run by our anger, fear, anxiety, guilt, resentments etc.]
  • A lack of knowledge around how to effectively communicate through a conflict—a lack of a positive, effective, workable model
  • A lack of skillful means with those models
  • A collision of values/world-views that are in conflict

 

Why are people dishonest? Several reasons seem to occur most frequently:

  • We do not want to “rock the boat”
  • We do not want to hurt someone’s feelings by telling them the truth [even though, in reality, most people can handle the truth, it is the deception or the hiding that causes the true hurt once revealed or discovered
  • Fear—fear of being judged, fear of being alone, fear of being rejected, or just plain fear of speaking the truth directly.

 

Why do people blame others?  Oh, so many reasons, but a few common reasons are:

 

  • It’s just easier to point the finger outside of oneself than it is to take responsibility—even when oneself is more “to blame”.
  • We do not have solid enough sense of self to take responsibility without going into a state of shame—and therefore avoid doing so
  • We have fault and blame collapsed with responsibility


Why do people resist—sometimes at great cost interpersonally and in terms of intimacy—taking responsibility?

Sadly, people think that responsibility equals blame or fault, but they are actually separate matters. Responsibility really means just that—being able to respond.  To engage. To resolve. To accept your part in it.  When they collapse fault and blame with taking responsibility, they avoid it like the plague, lest they experience guilt and/or shame around it.  Unfortunately, the other person in the equation is often all too willing to assist the other in feeling guilt or shame for egoic reasons—or to extract their pound of flesh, their pint of blood.

While I certainly do not want to oversimplify these complex and multi-faceted issues, we could say that all of those items can boil down to one core cause: insufficient esteem for the self; a lack of healthy and appropriate ego development. Except in the case of actual physical abuse, there is no reason other than a lack of esteem for yourself—knowledge of your competence to communicate it and your belief that you deserve to be happy—to explain it. AND, in the case of actual physical abuse, if the individual is staying in that system—and therefore participating in it—we can trace it to the same core: a lack of esteem for the self; that they deserve better and take action to make it so.

Without boring you by vivisecting all of those problem dynamic bullet points let’s cut to the quick of it: we could trace all of the problems in relationships down to 4 basic common denominators, 3 of them completely resolvable, and the 4th, quite often possible to resolve:

  1. Anemic esteem for the Self
  2. Underdeveloped facility – both emotionally as well as communication skills
  3. Lack of knowledge of effective communication models or processes
  4. A collision of worldviews at the level of values

We will address solutions to items 1, 2, and 3 in Part 2. For a partial examination of the 4th item, I will point you to another article on that subject HEREHEREHERE on my legacy site.

 

 You can proceed to Part 2 of this article: The Solutions HEREHERE.

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Relationships: Elegent Navigation, Effective Communication, Part 2

Relationships: Effective Communication | Elegant Navigation

Part 2: The Solutions (1100 words, average reading time: 4.5 minutes)

[Part 1 can be found HERE]

 

I have a very simple approach to relationships, that avoids most, if not all, of the problems outlined in the interpersonal conflicts above. It is the philosophical grounding I take on in all of my relationships explicitly:

  • Realize—and accept—the fact that no one way of approaching relationships, communication, or conflict is the “right way”. That there is no consensus agreement or reality except that which you form with the Other. They are simply different styles…therefore take this on as an organizing principle and act accordingly: 
  • Give the other person the freedom to be however they want; to be self expressed free from attempts to control them or suppress them
  • Give yourself the freedom to be fully self-expressed—to be your authentic self
  • In the event that one person’s behavior upsets the other, the person who is upset makes a clear request to alter the offending behavior
    • If they accept the request, you now have an agreement
    • If they decline the request, you now know what to expect from them and have more understanding of each other’s approach to the world
    • Forge an agreement with the other that this is the way you will approach relationships and conflict

 

Simple.

It gives both parties maximum freedom to be themselves. It treats both parties like adults who are responsible for their own experience—and can express their needs. Everything is on the table and at face value. There is no second-guessing. There is no ambiguity. There are no guessing games or “game playing”.

And really, holding someone accountable to agreements they have not made—in the form of your unstated expectations—is simply unjust. It is also supremely arrogant, in that it assumes that “well, everybody knows that you should…” which can be translated at a deeper level of its assumption is “my way of doing relationships is the global standard”. 

Incredibly arrogant.

Your way of doing it may be more effective—and may even be more enjoyable for both parties if accepted by and engaged in by both parties—but it is not the only way to do it, and in the absence of an explicit consensus or agreement reality, you must create one.

As I said, it is simple. However, it is not easy.   

There are several things you must do and develop efficacy with for this approach to work and work well for both parties.  There is also a very effective way to communicate through those upsets before making your request (the last bullet point above). We’ll get to that in a few minutes.

First, here is what you must do:

Take on the recommended philosophical grounding and approach outlined in the bullet points above. 

Take responsibility. Don’t do it for them, or for the other person. Do it for yourself—as your esteem for yourself will expand and grow each time you accept responsibility. Your sense of self expands. It also has the effect of allowing people who are emotionally mature enough to follow suit and take responsibility for their part in it—rather than polarizing, blaming each other, and digging your heels in—to the detriment of the relationship and/or for the thin gruel of short-term ego inflation (as opposed to healthy egoic expansion, which occurs, again, by taking responsibility). 

Engage in as many other practices as possible to build true and healthy esteem for the self.  It is your immune system for your emotional life.

Make a firm decision to practice and exercise your facility with self.  At a bare minimum, know that even if your interpretations of what is occurring are mostly accurate, they are at least incomplete. Always look to include more information in your world-view. Expand your perspective.

More advanced practices to exercise your internal facility would be to consider:

  • How else could the events/their actions be interpreted?
  • Where else could the person be coming from?
    • What else—besides your disempowering interpretation/projection/guess—could be their motivations? Their intent? Their outcome?
    • What could their positive intent be?
    • Step into their shoes. What could their experience of you be right now? Is it positive? Neutral? Negative? What else is going on right now for them that is straining their resources?
    • What emotion is underneath their communication—and speak directly to and validate that before getting to facts and agreements

 

Take on a responsible and conscious model for communicating your emotions, expectations, and for requesting an agreement around styles.

All three of those can be addressed by one simple model—in 4 steps. For this, I borrow heavily from Dr Marshall Rosenberg’s work. Here is my suggested approach to communicate upset and negotiate an agreement:

  1. State the emotion responsibly [“responsibly” is explained below in step 1]
  2. Take responsibility for the unstated/un-agreed-to expectation
  3. Make a request
  4. Get an answer

 

Let me provide an example of the kind of language to accomplish this, mapped to the steps, with some guidelines. Let’s take an innocuous example of someone not calling you and they then arrive 20 minutes late [recommended language in bold]:

 

  1. I am noticing I am experiencing anger [or worry, or frustration, or ____________”… [not “you made me angry”, “It pisses me off when you do that”, etc. Not everyone would be angered by it. It is your interpretation and your expectation causing the upset—not some external force or person;
  2. That’s because I have an expectation that people will call if they are going to be more than  _____  minutes late…
  3. So my request is that from now on, if you are going to be more than _____ late that you call and let me know.
  4. Is that something you are willing to agree to…or not? [yes and no must both be fine answers, otherwise it is a demand/boundary declaration, not a request. Give them the freedom to say no]

This model can be used with any situation between two people where there is emotional upset present to elegantly and rapidly move through it.

And…to turn this in on itself, you could use this very model to get agreement around using this model. In fact, I highly recommend you do that.

How? Here is the model used to get agreement around the model:

 

  1. I am noticing I am frustrated by the way we have been communicating when we are upset or in conflict
  2. That’s because I have an expectation that it could be done in a way that would honor us both, while moving through it rapidly
  3. So my request is that from now on, when we are upset, we use this simple 4-step process when we are upset  [show them the model—heck, show them this article]
  4. Is that something you are willing to agree to…or not?

 

Simple.

If there is an actual agreement in place that was broken, there is another equally facile way to move through that…but I will save that for another time.

Some people have protested, “but this takes so much consciousness” or “so much awareness” or “but they should just know that…”

You have to choose for yourself if the relationship—intimate or friendly or professional—is worth increasing your consciousness and your skill. And it is a skill to navigate both your own interiors as well as the conflict using these approaches and models. Since it is a skill it will take practice—and give yourself the freedom to stumble until you become skilled at it.

What awaits you on the other side is fulfilling relationships based on clarity and truth—rather than assumptions and delusion—as well as the ability to rapidly move through conflict so that it takes just minutes, rather than days—or, frankly, never—to do so. AND these are approaches and skills that will serve not only you, but all of those around you in every single context and every relationship in your life.

Do it for yourself, if nothing else.

I think you’re worth it. I trust you do as well.

 

For more clarity and resources on the critical component of self-esteem, see Dr Nathaniel Branden’s work in general, and his Six Pillars of Self Esteem in particular. Here is an articleHere is an articleHere is an articleHere is an articleHere is an article to get you started.

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Motivation | Style, Structure, and Tasty Bite-Sized Morsels

One of the main challenges that small business people face—particularly solo practitioners or “solo-preneurs” in general--is the problem and the art of motivating oneself.

You are your own boss. If you have employees, then the game may be a little different for you as you have people depending on you.  However, if it is just you, there are often no external forces telling you that you must do any particular “thing”.  There are certainly exceptions to this—client deliverables, purchases that have been made, the general inertia of your business pulling you along at some point, but really, especially at first, it is an uphill battle for many on their own.

There are so many aspects to this problem of motivation that some never figure it out—or worse, they find solutions that compound the problem in the long-term because the “solutions” are ill-suited approaches. Ill-suited to them as individuals.

To really add fuel to the fire [or baking soda to the lack thereof] we have distractions, overwhelm, time management, prioritization, and the list goes on, and on, and on.

What works for one person in terms of motivation may or may not—and often does not—work for another. So it is with time management, goals, and the like. There is no one-size-fits-all or even a one-size-fits-most solution. Particularly for those who are more sensitive both emotionally and kinesthetically/energetically, many of the “take massive action” or “get present to the consequences if you do not” approaches create more internal dissonance, and if the tasks or milestones the individual is accountable for are not accomplished, this can lead to a build-up of that same internal dissonance, or worse, feelings of guilt or worse still, even shame, and with the principle of compound interest on the “debt” you have with yourself…well, we can see where it may and often does lead: overwhelm rather than accomplishment.

Even if it does not lead there for you, these levels of intense urgent styles of motivational techniques can cause a lack of balance at best, and at worst, hardcore burnout.

What is the solution? Custom design your own motivational strategy using a few basic principles and approaches.

 

Step 1: Discover Your Style

Find out what works for you at a base level. Since at least Aristotle was writing in the  300s B.C. we have known that humans are generally motivated in two basic ways or “directions” ::: away from pain or toward pleasure. Or both.

Stated in the context of goals and deliverables: away from consequences or toward a vision.

You will notice one creates leverage [and often contraction and internal dissonance] in your body—it pushes you. Compels you. Often uncomfortably. The other pulls you forward. It is expansive. It opens you and draws you toward it.

The danger is to judge one or the other. Urgency/away from/consequence driven motivation could be “bad” because it creates tension and dissonance. Vision is “good” because it is expansive. Or the reverse; vision/toward is “bad” because it does not create massive intense action, necessarily. Urgency/away from is “good” because it creates more instant [in some] results.

An additional component is style is how you like to be supported. 

This is also a critical component. While I am not an "accountability coach" per se, and never have been, quite often, clients ask me to support them in getting stuff done. Before I even begin such an aspect of our relationship, and since I can assume almost any style of coaching to serve them at this point, I ask them ::: how do you like to be supported.

No this before asking for external help--or be prepared to explore that inquiry with your friend, guide, coach, or accountability partner.

The truth is, whichever style works for you, as you become more aware, even now, at how you have created results in the past for yourself—when you found yourself simply motivated to accomplish what you wanted to accomplish—is the “good” style for you.

If an “away from” strategy works best for you, then create externally supported consequences to propel you forward. Engage a coach professionally, who coaches in that style. Or have a friend be your accountability partner—and someone willing to enforce uncomfortable consequences for/on you.

If this kind of approach has you feel overwhelmed, or has you feel like running from your entire support system [missing phone calls, not emailing them when you said you would, unaccomplished tasks building up, etc.], then consider the other approach: an approach that has you moving toward a larger vision. Toward a future you are creating. An approach that has you stay constantly present to the deeper meaning in the work you are doing; what your purpose of mission is, so you stay in the game. Plainly put ::: remember why you are committed to doing what you are supposed to do, in the grand scheme of things.  

As an example: you’re not simply “having a client session”. You are doing far more than that—you are helping someone have the life they have always dreamed of. And even greater or larger, you are contributing to the evolution of humanity itself—to a global vision of the Greater Good.

 

Mission. Vision. Life Purpose.

Whatever your style, be sure you use the one that best suits your sensibilities and produces the results for you, in your life, that you want produced.

 

Step 2: Make Your Tasks Bite-Sized.

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” –Anonymous

It is not an "event" is an unfolding process.

Make sure your expectations are realistic, and that your goals and outcomes are in stages, and a palatable size. Often, people set these wild expectations for themselves or they have their goal of “building a business” be a one-step process, rather than what it is: a natural process of growth we see all around us.

First, we crawl. Then we walk. Then we run.

You would not expect to go to the gym for the very first time and lift 300 pounds would you? Of course not. You would go, do a little to stretch yourself—just get a little sore—and then do a little more until you are at the level—eventually—you want to be at.

 

Nothing happens in one step.

And make sure the chunks are an appropriate size for your sensibilities—again, not someone else’s no matter how much of a “motivational guru” they are.

Allow me to give you a personal example. Nearly a decade ago now, I used to make 200 cold calls a day. However, I did not last long when I tried to declare or commit to making that many phone calls. Too large of a chunk.  So I tried blocks of 50. It was still daunting. Eventually, I got down to committing to simply doing blocks of 10. That was easy. In fact, it was so easy, I did another 10. And another. This little psychological game I played with myself made it easier and easier to consistently accomplish 200 calls a day.

Make sure your level of expectations (your workload, your milestones, and even your to-do list if you use one) are all designed to maintain balance, while consistently building and growing.

Slow, sustainable, constant growth and expansion is always preferable to short-term, over-the-top goals, as that is the sustainable, and more ecological [both emotionally and systemically] approach.

I will suggest one thing : make sure you always accomplish the most important or most pressing single task for that day. Just pick one. You know which one it is. If you want to do more, great. But commit to doing that one thing you know needs to be done today. If that “one thing” is too large a task, break it down into sub-tasks, and eat that elephant one bite at a time.

 

In sum, there are three major steps to “motivating” yourself.

  1. Discover The Style or “direction” that works for you. Are you motivated toward something larger or toward a vision? Or are you more motivated with consequences and pain?
  2. Set up systems and structures to support your style of motivation. Whether that is through a colleague, friend, professional, or with yourself is irrelevant until you learn what best works for you--both in terms of style and in terms of actual structures.
  3. Make sure your goals or milestones or “stuff” you wanna get done is not only realistic, but is also in the appropriate “chunk size” so you do not undercut or undermine the first two steps. And relax—you can always increase chunk size or workload as you gain momentum and a sense of accomplishment.

Above all, be  a scientist in the laboratory of your own life. Consider the above and the choices you make at first an experiment. Test it out. If you find, after some days, or a week, or more that the style of motivation is not working, be willing to be flexible and try the other style. If you discover you are seldom—or never--accomplishing your desired “things” to do, that’s fine. It only means one thing ::: you need to adjust the size or the scope or the chunks as appropriate.

Test. Adjust. Test again. Find out what work. Build on your successes. Harvest the lessons when you miss your target. Build upon that as well. Often, those lessons are even more valuable than accomplishing what you set out to do.

If you know where and how to examine the failures they are always more valuable than the successes and will lead to exponential success in the long run.

Have fun with it. Remember, it is your life. You get to live it as you choose.

 

In Service,

 

Jason The McClain

 

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The Need for Approval | Ego | Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter

[Originally written in August 2008]
 
Many people have read this piece and encouraged me to post it publicly. So, by popular demand... It is an email I posted to a client near the end of their completion of the Personal Evolution Program, and in it I address a need for approval, ego development, the purpose and motivation for personal evolution...and the distinction between self-worth and value, and more... Your self-worth is a settled matter if you will accept it as such. Enjoy.

::: :::

Now back to you.

I was thinking about the approval thing. But first--you have come a long way. So stop, take a deep breath, turn around towards the sunset and enjoy the vista. You deserve it. 
 
"The mountain we climb in Personal Evolution is a bit like a mirage while hiking/climbing a mountain. You could stop now and camp for the night--or say, "forget this", it and go back down the mountainside.
 
Buuuuutt, you can also see there is a reachable summit. So you choose to go further--yet...when you reach what you thought would be the summit, there is yet another summit that materializes out of the mist. And this goes on forever. There is no omega point except when you choose to simply stop and rest.
 
Each of us have that choice every day. For some, we still consciously choose to continue to deepen our depths--and plumb just behind them. There is no end or bottom to the depth, there are only unplumbed depths. For others, they have achieved a high enough peak, that there is no motivation--no real life reason--to climb the next.  And there are others I will not list in the interests of time. I choose--consciously--to evolve further when I should or must--that is when my business or financial or relational results are inhibited by some aspect of myself. Otherwise, I am pretty darned content with where I am at-BUT I still need to have constant attention on where I need to be for others in the context in which I want to move with greater velocity--or frankly, sometimes, ANY velocity. 
 
I urge you to make the same or a similar real world criteria as you become more and more comfortable with you you are...and as you come to full acceptance of yourself, there is a pitfall of not caring what others think--and disregarding their feedback. Care what others think in practical terms--and care deeply--as it fosters results. Do not care about their opinions and judgments of you on a personal level. That is--think about the practical results and adjust, but know that as an internally validated man, the matter of your self-worth is settled. The question of the value you bring to people and the world in this context or that context, well, that is never settled as it depends on too many variables [each individuals expectations and sensibilities, your skill and competence in the domain, your sensitivities/awareness when adjustments are needed, market forces, etc.]. But that is a separate practical matter. 
 
The personal: your self-worth, is a settled matter. It is...well, pick your preference/metaphor: it is good. It is priceless. It is worth-full. It is Spirit manifest. It is divine. 
 
As for the seeking of approval-that is obviously pretending as if your worth could be determined externally. It can not. Whether you realize it yet or not, you still have to accept the opinion of others--good, bad, right, wrong--to have their opinions matter. In other words, you have the ultimate choice still--even if you are not exercising it to as full a degree as you will enjoy in the future. 
 
But why even do this work? What does it make possible? Why spend the time, energy, and the--at times--grueling work of dis-identification, detachment, and internalizing validity when you notice it as external? Why forgo the feel good and the short term false ego pump of compliments? 
 
In a word: Freedom. Freedom from what? 

Freedom from the ebbs and flows of the opinions and judgments of others. Why is this important? So you can gather feedback, without the moral and emotional cloud of personal meaning. Here is the challenge with tying your valuation to another's opinions: you are not only cast about from one end to the other, AND the problem with that is that people react from and interpret through their stage of egoic, emotional, and values meme stage of development. There will be patterns and probabilities, and all feedback is valid for them, but there is only so much contorting you can engage in, and stay sane and centered, and more importantly, live authentically--true to yourself.
 
Additionally, believe me, as someone who has had people tell me I am a god [literally] on more than one occasion and at times, had people tell me I was an a**hole and the devil's spawn [literally] I came to realize that no matter what they say, the truth is somewhere in the middle, and their acknowledgments and their judgments are worth only one thing: getting specifics around those experiences [I did X Y and Z in A context and they felt B emotion as a result] for the purpose of adjusting my behavior for improved results. 
 
Their characterizations are worthless except as crude pointers to their stage of development because, again, we interpret through and react and respond from our stage of development And even then, I have to gauge how valuable it is -- determined solely by how large a percentage of people are at that stage and would react/interpret the same way. 
 
All feedback is valid--and everyone's emotional experience is valid as it is and to be left untouched unless requested otherwise. However, not all feedback is valuable
 
Now, what I can not say is where the line is between the idea that they are responsible for their own emotional experience--and you are not--and where you are responsible for your impact on others and the results you garner. That is a line I have yet to determine for myself after nearly a decade of inquiry. I do know that I tend to move more and more towards having room for the emotional reactions I create in others-sometimes by simply walking through the room, or making a benign comment about my schedule, or not noticing someone in a room I am in--having space for that and having them feel valid without my trying to adjust their experience is a skill I am still developing and only in the last year and a half feel fully competent at. And I get it right about 65% of the time. 
 
Circling back--the thing to remember is that you are already determining your own worth, by agreeing or disagreeing with those who assess you as good/bad or some variation. You still have to buy into their perspective. And since you are the ultimate decider, decide now, that irrespective of the value assessments they are making and the validity of the feedback, the matter of your self-worth is settled. 
 
We were told a lie as children--something about original sin. It is more accurate to say we were born with universal innocence. And imagine, the preciousness and the innocence of a blameless child. At your core...that is you irrespective of any behaviors that are not aligned--YOU, at your core, are precious and pure, and have a hologram of divinity that you are reflecting and projecting. 
 
To think otherwise is an error--a mistake--and nothing more. 
 
In Service and in Evolution, 
 
Jason
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NLP, Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Our Responsibility to Assist Clients in Self-Acceptance

somebody i met was asking me if NLP processes can change an identity layer as deep as sexual orientation.

Great question. Several ideas about it:

There are some aspects of sexual orientation that may extend into identity structures, but I am uncertain about the presupposition that there is where it lays--in fact, after seing hundreds of clients, for some people it creates tremendous internal dissonance when they finally admit to their desires because it is directly in conflict with their identity structures. In other words, I disagree with the presupposition in the question.


this guy is straight and very open-minded. i think he genuinely wanted to know about the range and reach of NLP. i did tell him that i did a training with richard bandler in 88 or 89 where he *claimed* that guys (terrified of aids) had begged him to "make them straight" AND he said that he did that!



Bandler may have in fact done that.  Again, lots of "instant research" in the early days. But if Bandler did it and was bragging about it, I would be even more hesitant. Bandler once bragged in a video I watched about installing a phobia in someone so they would stop sitting in the front row. Ugh. However, there is a documented intervention [Laid out in "Heart of the Mind", I think] where a guy was effeminate, and supposedly gay, married, but did not enjoy sex with men [or something like that] and there was an event where he was going under anesthetic, struggled, and was put under. This was somehow tied to the effeminate-ness and cleared and his orientation "changed" to straight.

Again, not sure the guy was ever really homo-erotically driven.


NOW, i am open-minded, so i said i think that there are aspects of person's 'taste' for certain things could be altered and very likely even the cues for arousal. i am also aware that there is a big difference between chemistry/attraction and a constructed identity--so yes an 'identity' could be shifted. BUT I don't really know if the primary gender attraction could change.



Yeah. I agree with you here.


thoughts?



Of course.

If someone came to me wanting to change their sexual orientation/gender attraction, I would probably decline to do so. But I would do it elegantly in this way ::: Get into communication wiht the part of them that feels like something is wrong with their desires [assuming consenting adults] and look at the guilt and shame that must be driving the desire to change and resolve that to make them okay with their mutually consensual, alternative, yet natural desires. Thereby sidestepping what I consider to be a questionable intervention.

To me, that is a more ethical approach, rippling out to areas in every aspect of their life, creating internal peace, and avoiding making change that is motivated in the ways this request for change likely would be.

It is not the thing itself [sexual orientation in this case] that is the problem, but the relationship to it the creates it as a problem.
And again, just because we can, does not mean we should.

Self-acceptance being one of the highest and deepest contributions we can make to our clients.

Jason

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Who [or What] is Your God ::: Transcending Religiosity Through Spiral Dynamics

Who or What do You Worship? The purpose of this writing is to lay out different “gods” or objects of worship as an outgrowth and/or expression of the mimetic stage [meme codes within values spheres] of individuals and groups using a rough sketch of the Spiral Dynamics model.

Be forewarned ::: this is serious personal evolution geek stuff.

I am also going to make the unusual move of saying the very premise of what I am about to lay out is inaccurate. That’s right. I am beginning by saying I am wrong in my assertion that there is an individual relationship between mimetic stage and what one “worships”. Why? Because we experience / interpret through and emotionally react from our stage of development—and an individual can therefore have an experience of a particular spirituality or spiritual expression that is the same religion and same “god” as another at a radically different stage and therefore experience it differently. However, I have noticed cultural clumps that gives us enough evidence to make these generalizations below for the purpose of engaging in this thought experiment. To understand some of what I will say in this writing, one must have an at least basic grasp of the Spiral Dynamics model. There are two summaries attached for your downloading HEREHEREHERE and HEREHERE. Source ::: LINKLINKLINK. Review those before reading further.

My favorite way of representing Spiral Dynamics comes from Dr. Claire Graves himself: The memes are “degrees of activation of the nervous system”. These are not types of people but rather ways of thinking that are holarchically emergent within people. Having established all of the above as our foundation...

The status of the world today is precarious.

All we need to do is turn on the television or spend a day reading the New York Times, WaPo, The Wall Street Journal, Instapundit, or google news, to see some article about humans attempting to force their value system—often expressed through religiosity—onto others. Whether you are a Israeli having to worry about your existential existence while others in the name of Allah want to push you to the sea, or a secular humanist fearful of the Christian Right in America and some Nation States in Europe, or you are a secular Jew shaking your head at the expansion of settlements deeper into “Palestine”…or you were a New York Resident who watched the twin towers fall you are probably--to varying degrees—aware of and worried about religious fundamentalism and its perilous impact on the global web of life.

But there are other forms that are not as obvious and are more popularly accepted and advocated in today’s media and the latest social mimetic in vogue.

Regardless of which belief system you call your own, the dangers of religious fundamentalism are undeniable. In all likelihood, you just think it is the fundamentalism of the Other that is dangerous. But what of your own? You may or may not worship a traditional god, but there is a 98% chance you worship something—and have your own attachment and identification to it. Who or what do you worship? It may not be a god, a goddess, or a Great Spirit but it is something. Is it success, achievement, or the all-mighty dollar? Is it Gaia, Mother Earth, the biosphere? Is it the Nation State, government, or the democratic process? What do you surrender your mind to? What are you an activist for? Put your worship into? Become irrational over or about? Deny evidence to the contrary for/of? Once someone says anything is a settled matter—and are closed to debate or dialogue—and go so far as to say that those who do not agree should be tried and hanged, that, my friends, is religious fundamentalism regardless of the form of the deity. In fact, here is an organization advocating Nuremburg-Style Trials for Global Warming Skeptics.Nuremburg-Style Trials for Global Warming Skeptics. Lovely. Lovely example of fundamentalism, that is. Gaia as God/dess. Apparently we are going back to burning people at the stake for being heretics. Only the deity has changed.

 

Now that I have your attention, the rest of this piece will be a geek-out session of personal evolution and the emergent in spiral dynamics coupled with cultural clumps and the waves a particular god/dess or “deity” is most inclined towards.

Purple or “magic/mythic” will worship nature and the spirits in nature. The trees talk to Purple. So does the wind. They may worship the great Spirit or the Directions and their elements. Red worships power, respect, might, and most notably, blows things up in the name of Allah. Their “gods” may be the gang, the dictator, the Authoritarian State and so on. Blue/Conventional is likely to worship a Christian/Judeo god in a fundamentalist way—taking the bible or the Torah literally. Orange will worship the all-mighty dollar, success, status, and achievement, and/or hard science. Green will worship Gaia or Community or Multiculturalism and "Diversity" with great fervor and no regard for real-world results.

And thus ends Tier 1, where the “Momentous Leap”, as Dr Claire Graves called it, emerges and occurs. At Yellow, or Integral—the first stage in Tier 2, there is little or no “worship”, but rather an appreciation of all forms of worship and all metaphors [yes I said it] for the highest form of consciousness; what some refer to as “God” or Goddess”.

Having said all that, it is possible for someone to rise through these emergent stages in one of any of the religions or forms of worship listed above—but the way they interpret it moves from maniacal and fervent to literal to obedient to questioning to rejecting to appreciating it for its metaphorical value--yet having choice around it. And as one rises through those waves, stages, or levels of development in relationship to it, its grasp and its “Truth-ness” becomes less and less rigid and less and less fundamentalist and therefore less and less violent both physically and metaphorically. We hold our beliefs less rigidly and in relationship with them, our beliefs do not hold onto us quite so rigidly either. They lose their grip on us.

So…who—or what—do you worship? Each memetic stage in the evolution of values [another way of thinking about and representing SD] has its own fixation and spiritual expression. Is it God? Jehovah? Allah? Is it the Market? is it Gaia? Is it Community or the State?

Consider this ::: your view, while accurate and valid, is incomplete. It is partial. It must be. They all are. I look forward to a day when we can all truly appreciate the value and beauty in all beliefs while creating a stable and sustainable dialogue between all of them as we transcend our fundamentalism in all forms and create an Integral and integrated world.

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Living Consciously ::: Fulfilling Relationships | Values | Forms

One of the aspects of working on and in the context of personal evolution is that I am constantly in evolution in both senses of the word--"in it", as in exploring the context and in the process of my own personal evolution as well--because you see, it is never over. Our evolution, which is really about allowing the greatest depths of ourselves to unfold and manifest in the world, is never over--because our depths are infinite. If who we are is a manifestation of the divine--an outpouring of Spirit, and the Kingdom of God is Within [and I believe it is] than there is no end to uncovering, clearing, and allowing that beauty to unfold in the world.

And I never ask my clients to do anything I have not done myself and am applying in my own life. Period. As such, this post is a little more personal for me to demonstrate that.

After my divorce, and the year long self-reflection that followed, I realized that for the most part, what consistently happened in my romantic relating was a zero-sum type of dynamic. That at the end of my relationship with a woman, she was tangibly more empowered, more comfortable with herself, more fully embodied, and proud of her womanhood.

Partly because it was my constant practice to be sure she felt loved, had per positive qualities acknowledged somehow on an actual daily basis [not the same ones, but what authentically struck me in the moment as I appreciated her at some point], that she not only had a daily reminder, with full connection and presence of my love for her [and what I loved about her and why] but that she blushed with my acknowledgments.

It was conscious. Intentional. And the relating really cost me dearly. I was psychically drained, more dis-empowered, and frankly, less of a man by the end. It was, in fact, a zero-sum gamezero-sum gamezero-sum game.

It was not the things I was doing that drained me. They were rewarding to just do it. It was the lack of any reciprocal expression, I think. And I other things they did that I lacked facility around.

The contrast had never been so great than after my divorce--and the dynamics never so clear as in that marriage.

Now, I never planned it that way, but once I noticed it after the divorce, I ended up having a zero-tolerance policy for romantic relating that was not about synergistic upward spirals where both people were winning--and the relating was winning too. A triple win game. Both parties were winning--AND the actual relating was winning too. It is healthier for me to just be alone and fully empowered McClain-Ness than to be in unfulfilling and relating that ultimately cost me energetically. Although it took me a while to adjust to that, and sadly there was one relationship in which she ended up being drained...but it is all a process--and sometimes that is about the pendulum swinging the other way before it swings back the middle to finally rest upon the golden meangolden meangolden mean.

But back to zero-sum...

Let's face it--people who have little or no self-respect choose bad and even abusive relationships over being alone. Me? I would rather wake up alone, be in the company of just myself, than be in an unhealthy or un-fulfilling relationship. And I never have [and never will] just go from one relationship to another. Takes at least 6 months or so for self-reflection and the integration of the learnings before we can be responsible with another's heart, But that is all romantic...

Six years later, I am just now getting to really make sure that is generalized into all relating--not just romantic.

This is all part of how I have been consciously going through ALL of my friendships, free of sentimentality or attachment, and shrewdly examining if they are rich, dynamic, healthy, and fulfilling--or if they are just habits. And then explicitly ending the friendship or deepening and continuing the friendship with more connection, engagement, and intentionality. Regardless of how much I love the individual I am in the friendship with I may be ending. The relating must also be fulfilling. and one of the most important things for me that has the relating fulfilling is emotional engagement...rather than fear and detachment. But real engagement--yet also free of identification or enmeshment.

SOMETIMES that means me making decisions for other people when their relating with me is not serving THEM. I used to refuse to do so, thinking I was availing them of the growth opportunity to declare boundaries, make those choices themselves, develop confidence in communicating their needs, etc. But given that most people are deficient in true esteem for the self, and self-respect [part of which is demonstrated by drawing boundaries] is one of the core components of esteem for the self [along with self-efficacy] but I stopped doing that. I am now quite comfortable making choices for others when they continually demonstrate they incompetent to do for themselves--so long as it is about relating with me.

That is quite enough of the why and the what. But what about the "how" Jason?

It is all about values and forms.

One of the exercises I have clients do in Phase 2 of the Personal Evolution program [and occasionally in the professional evolution program as well] is a full life, all context examination of what is important to them [values] and how they would know if it were being experienced by them; what would they be seeing, feeling hearing, doing, and experiencing that would prover to them they were experiencing value X, Y, or Z? Conflict often happens in the form [which is why politicians are scant on policy papers before the election]. Values [freedom, security, justice] are things that everyone can agree on--we all want that. The HOW of carrying them out? Conflict arises sure as the sun also rises.

So in seeking friendships or romantic relating, it is not enough to express that "communication" is important to us. For some that will mean asking about your day. For others that will mean that if you are bothered by something, no matter how small, you share your internal process. Communication is the value, but the form is different.

Anytime we are upset, barring an unresolved event from the past or a pervasive self-esteem issue, we must look to values. So this becomes a tool for elegant communication to have your needs expressed [and met] as well. One that avoids conflict or having the other person be wrong. One that has intimacy and a deeper level of understanding arise.

But that is a story for another time.

For now, do this:

Take 3 major contexts in your life [romantic, career, community] as ask your self what is important to you in those contexts. You will know it is a "value" if it is conceptual, abstract. If you can put it in a wheelbarrow or touch it or smell it, it is NOT a value, but a form. To "chunk up" higher to the value, ask, "what's important to me about that?" If you are looking at forms, then it MUST be able to be put in a wheelbarrow--measured, touched, observed. If it can not, and it is an abstract value, then you can "chunk down" to the form by asking, "If I were experiencing _______ how would I know? What would I be seeing, feeling, hearing? What would my evidence be?"

I recommend 3 to 5 values in each context. And for each value, 3 forms or pieces of tangible evidence of that value being realized in the context.

The truth is that if you do this exercise, you might be terribly confronted by the relationship or the career you are in--or you will be relieved to have a conscious and explicit answer as to why you are not fulfilled--or you are drained, or their is conflict you can not understand.

If you are not in one of those context currently [you are single, or you are laid off, or looking for a gig] then this becomes a wonderful tool to overlay onto the person or organization. So you can consciously choose a relationship or organization that truly and consciously suits your values. Otherwise, the spiritual costs are immeasurable. No matter how great the compensation package, or how much chemistry, the spiritual costs of un-fulfilling contexts [where your values are not fulfilled] are immeasurable.

At the same time, be cautious that you are assessing others *through time*. If you only have a snap shot of them, and you are saying they do not suit you personally or professionally, you may be more living out a stage 1, low self-esteem ego game by being right and "justified" than by actually seeing a conflict of values, but that is also another story for another time.

Choose the conscious, fulfilling path. I beg of you, for you and for your Spiritual expression. while this may seem like a lot of work, it is even more of a burden--and more insidiously so--to be in unfulfilling contexts.

So, ask yourself ::: are you in a habit, or in a relationship?

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Development | Transformation | Evolution

There is so much good work being done in the world today. It is astonishing how many people are dedicating their lives more and more to helping others. The human potential movement has spawned organizations and individuals committed to bringing change to the world through changing the individual.

When Ghandi said “be the change you wish to see in the world”, he probably could not have imagined how many people would take up that call and attempt to make the world a better place by making themselves better people through self-reflexive observation and intentional changework.

As a result of the richness in the field that we can now experience, it is useful to distinguish among the many offerings. There are three basic approaches I have noticed, experienced, and participated in directly. They are: 1. Development 2. Transformation 3. Evolution. These are each useful in and of themselves. They are “good”. And yet they have limitations that come along with their benefits. Let us examine this together...

Personal Development is a huge and ranging field. Workshops exist for skill acquisition that are readily available in every major metropolitan area in the Western World, and Asia is quickly cathing on as well. Corporations, having long recognized that their only asset that increases in value over time is their people, send their people to workshops to accelerate that process—to increase their value.

You can attend workshops on money management, communication skills—be it negotiation, sales techniques, relationship models, etc.—health and fitness and well being, and the list goes on and on. What all of these workshops have in common is that they focus on one domain of your life. We could think of it as a vertical line—or multiple vertical lines—of development. When we acquire skills or we “develop” ourselves in this area or that area, we increase the level of that vertical line of development in that domain. Development takes time, investment, and persistence if we are to become developed in any particular area—in other words, to become competent in some area. Skill acquisition is necessary to be successful in this world.

We all want to be more effective at something, and most of us recognize the value, benefits, and at times...need...to acquire more skills. And yet, mere skill acquisition will not solve all that troubles us. We can have all the skill in the world and have those around us not like us, be miserable or demanding, and generally unhappy and unfulfilled. Development may be necessary, but it is only a partial view of what we need as humans. Why is that? Development is a one-dimensional experience—the increase of one vertical developmental line. Increased “heights”, if you will. Yet, human beings are multi-dimensional. Skill alone will never suffice. Out of this limitation arises “transformational technologies”.

A level that is deeper and more complex than mere development. Transformation is unpredictable and at times, instant. It does not deal with any one particular domain, yet it can apply to all domains at any given moment. How is this done? By bringing a different way of being to a situation, something completely new and wonderful can arise out of a "breakdown"—that is a situation where there is an outcome that has been blocked by some circumstance or another.

Frankly, transformation is very appealing in today’s marketplace. It promises instant results in any given moment and gives people tremendous choice, empowerment, and responsibility...leading to more choice, empowerment...responsibility, and this loop feeds on itself with often wonderful results. But not always... Transformation is often reliant on breakdown and breakthrough patterns. In other words, we have some breakdown...and through that, we get to experience transformation of the situation or the circumstances or the dynamics or in ourselves...or a “breakthrough”. This often orients us towards breakdowns. Being humans that we are, we can become attached to experiencing that cycle—or worse...identified with it.

I have actually heard seminar leaders who deal in the world of transformation say that “you will begin to look forward to, and at times even create, your breakdowns”. While it is useful to see “breakdowns” as an opportunity so we can be more resourceful around them, rather than submerged in a “crisis”...building in a mechanism that has people seek out breakdowns has obvious limitations and can be problematic--not to mention hard on the core of the being. At times even causing internal dissonance rather than resolving it.

And while transformation is certainly useful...it is only a two-dimensional phenomenon. Height and breadth, if you will, being that transformation can be applied in multiple domains. But again, this will not fully suffice, as human beings are multi-dimensional beings.

Out of this limitation arises Personal Evolution. Evolution is not very sexy. It is an infinite and life-time game. There is no goal to reach and no "journey" to complete. It requires a life-time commitment. Regardless of which stage you have reached or how much depth has unfolded, there is always another stage and a deeper level. However, evolution is also the most fulfilling, and most complete of the three. It trickles out to all domains, making transformation possible and accessible as well as the development of skills even easier. It serves the whole being. Evolution is about the ever-widening of identity. It is about ever-deepening, ever more complex, and increasingly expansive levels of order.

How does evolution occur? Evolution occurs when the current stage a person is at become inadequate to deal with their life circumstances. We may experience chaos, confusion, or at times, even disaster or tragedy. When this happens, there are two choices or “directions”: evolution or regression. If we evolve, what actually occurs is that our very Self—the core of our being—moves to a new level of order. There is a widening of Identity [capital I]. The Self becomes more expansive, deep, complex, and at times and certainly eventually, more open and more flowing. I stress, this happens in stages. It is slow. It is creeping. it is a process in the largest sense of the word.

However, it is something that affects all domains in your life. Relationships, money, sex, career, family, politics, health, value spheres, world views—all of it. When the very core of who you thought you were and who you truly are evolves, then your experience and the way you relate to everything around you also evolves. It can be no other way. And we all interpret the events in our lives through our current stage of development...it can be no other way. Personal Evolution is truly multi-dimensional. It has height, breadth, and provides--and at times demands--increasing depth. It is an organic unfolding of the core of the being. Exposing ever deeper levels. And in the process, the being experiencing this evolution...this unfolding...comes ever closer to who they truly are. They become closer to Spirit itself until that stage where all separation and what they used to call “God” dissolves and they become Spirit itself.

They become the divine.

If we pause there and we look back on this very piece of writing, we can see the process of evolution represented right her on this page. The evolution of the human potential movement. Out of wanting better results, we created personal development rising to a new level of order. Then we realized, consciously or unconsciously, that development itself was inadequate to address the demands of being human. Out of that confusion and chaos we rose to a new level of order and transformational technologies came into being. This was useful for some time for some outcomes and addressed more of the being...yet we bumped up against the limitations of this level of order soon enough. Out of the realization of those limitations, a new level or order emerged—personal evolution itself. Evolution of the person and the personal.

The organic unfolding of manifest divinity and our personal and internal manifest destiny. Evolution is there. Unfolding is there. Divinity is there. Will you participate in it...or regress?

We are faced with that choice literally every day of our lives. We all choose one at times and the other at times. The key is in choosing consciously...even now.

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