by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach & Spiritual Teacher
On February 13th, I had the joy of attending “The Power of Your Words” presented by Caroline Myss at the University of Victoria.
When I woke up that morning, I had no idea I was going to be at UVic by the end of the day. It was a completely unexpected and welcomed surprise. To me, it was a little miracle how everything came together and interestingly enough, Caroline lightly touched on that idea in her talk.
In essence, she said each day is a new day, a new start, a blank slate, and we get to choose our reality, and what we experience, and it starts with the words we use. We have no idea what the day will bring so why not nudge it in a good direction with our words.
I love that Caroline Myss said, “Words are our Magic Carpet!” I must be choosing some pretty good words these days!
I’m grateful to my best client and friend Linda for gifting me the ticket!
It was a big deal for me to go and I actually wore a dress, heels, and make-up to the event. I also decided to wear my rose quartz heart Christmas tree ornament necklace and rose quartz bracelet because it was the day before Valentine’s Day. More on that later…
Seeing Caroline Myss in person (from the balcony) was significant for me. Her book, Sacred Contracts, which I read around 2002-2004, explained so much to me spiritually and I even made my own set of Archetype cards from her list.
But more than that, I feel like I’ve been on a deep and profound spiritual journey of awakening and for the last year or so, it has been intense. Lots of crying, lots of letting go, lots of shedding my old ways. To help me through this process, I’ve been studying the work of Eckhart Tolle.
I’ve been searching for answers to the big questions of life and it’s been very emotional and some people told me that I was depressed and that I needed to talk to a therapist. Caroline Myss explained that people often confuse depression with spiritual crisis but we don’t have the language to express and articulate what’s going on with us, so the depression gets the attention, but not the spirit or soul. Both depression and spiritual crisis can show up similarly, but if you sense you need to find the meaning and purpose to your life, then that’s a clue that you might be having a spiritual crisis this time.
I thought, yes, that’s what I’ve been going through this past year: a spiritual crisis.
That’s good news!
Here’s my opportunity to push through into a whole new dimension of living life and I’m really excited about this breakthrough!
Instead of letting this spiritual heartbreak be my excuse to keep me unconscious, I’m going to use it to help me awaken into consciousness.
That’s the message that I keep hearing from spiritual teachers. Eckhart Tolle says the most important thing we can do for humanity is to be conscious and present.
And Caroline Myss explained that back in the 1960’s, with the introduction of nuclear weapons that can potentially destroy us, “we unleashed a darkness into the world.” However, around the same time, the world religions were also stepping up their presence. The East and the West were talking to each other and big changes were taking place. There was a counter force to the darkness that was also emerging. It’s like two sides of the same coin, one balances the other. In the midst of this darkness, there is also light.
At this point of the talk, this is where Caroline Myss really lit up! I don’t know if it was the stage lighting or something else, but I saw violet light surrounding her. It was like a purple, misty shadow trailing behind her movements. Violet is the most spiritual colour. It’s associated with the Crown chakra, our connection to the Divine, so I knew she was speaking Spiritual Truth.
That’s what we’re called to do. As generations living in a dark, nuclear age, we’re called to be the light!
This reminds me of Bruce Cockburn’s song, “Lovers in a Dangerous Time,” where he says, “You’ve got to kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight.” We are lovers in a dangerous time — lovers in the sense of bigger picture lovers of humanity, not necessarily romantic couples, as I once thought.
But how do you fight the good fight and shine your light when you’re living in fear and pain?
Caroline says there’s no archetype for people who have been wounded but have somehow moved forward, yet still have remained vulnerable. It’s an interesting mix — wounded, vulnerable, and strong. We’ve all been wounded one way or another, on a personal level and on a global level, and we’re really good at re-telling our victim stories over and over again.
But we can’t wallow in the victim role anymore!
Caroline said “Coddling doesn’t serve anybody.” We’re past the point of coddling each other through the pain. I’ve decided I’m not going to entertain those victim stories, either from myself, or my coaching clients, or my friends, anymore.
The better question is, “what strength is emerging” or “what is the gift?” It’s not about the adversity, or our history, it’s about how we respond from here that counts.
And this is what I got from Caroline’s talk: It’s time to retire those victim stories and poor word choices and step up in this critical time in history. Crazy world leaders, missile warnings, and natural disasters are the wake up calls!
It’s time we take our head out of the sand, or put down those distracting devices, or resist those numbing addictions, and instead, be present!
If you feel like you’ve been going through a spiritual crises, as I have, and you’ve been called to shine your light in this world and do something really amazing, then do it! The only one who is stopping you is you. You are in charge of your reality and it’s up to you! The words you say to yourself and out loud will create your path. Choose them thoughtfully!
And that’s exactly what I’m doing starting today. Hearing Caroline Myss speak affirmed in my heart that I’d like to join her and Eckhart Tolle and many others and be a spiritual teacher as well. I’m open to working with a mentor, if you know anybody!
And I’d like to put forth a new archetype, that I like to call Green Leaders, that represents people who have been through the trenches but have also emerged as conscious and awakened leaders with heart. Just because you’ve been through it, doesn’t give you the excuse to be miserable, and mean, or to fall back into unconsciousness. Let the adversity be your doorway to enlightenment.
Let’s define the Green Leader archetype together so we can enjoy Mother Earth for many, many thousands more generations to come! What do you think, Caroline Myss?
The title of this post is, “Don’t lose your heart.” That’s my message for today. Although things may seem bleak, remember, we’re still in the game. Don’t lose faith. Prayers are always heard and answered and miracles happen every day. Caroline finished her talk by praying, “May God hover over us.”
As I was leaving the auditorium, I grazed over something with my shoe. I looked behind me and it was my pink quartz heart necklace on the floor. I quickly retrieved it and as I was picking it up, a woman who saw me said, “Don’t lose your heart!” and she was stunned a little by what she said, so she said it again, “Don’t lose your heart!” and I said, “Noooooo!”
Talk about the “power of words!”
I believe this anonymous woman was speaking on behalf of the Universe in that moment. “Don’t lose your heart, Green Leaders!”
Thank you anonymous woman in the auditorium, and thank you Linda for the ticket, and thank you Caroline Myss for coming to Victoria! Come back anytime!
To further inspire you to be the leader you were born to be, here are four more traits to add to the list.
1. Many leaders are born in the month of January.
2. Many leaders are the first born in their sibling birth order.
3. Many leaders are above average in height and/or are considered tall when standing next to others.
4. Many leaders are left-handed.
Let’s talk more about these traits.
1. Many leaders are born in the month of January.
Because of how the school year is set up, kids born in January are often more mature and athletic than their younger classmates. Being the oldest in your class by up to 11 months in your early years can make a big difference in terms of development and can translate into lifelong leadership abilities down the road. One study suggests that even the NHL favours players who are born in the earliest months of the year – most notably, Wayne Gretzky, born on January 26th.
2. Many leaders are the first born in their sibling birth order.
First born children are more likely than their siblings to become leaders because they already have many years’ of practice on their belts. They’re also used to being looked up to by their younger siblings, both literally and figuratively, and they’re the first to go out into the world and report back to the others what they’ve learned. They also tend to be more responsible and protective in nature. They’re also known for being bossy.
3. Many leaders are above average in height and/or are considered tall when standing next to others.
Have you ever noticed that many leaders are quite tall? Being “head and shoulders above the rest” allows visionary leaders to see above the crowds and to focus ahead into the distance. Also, being tall allows the group to see the leader in the crowd from afar, as well.
Oddly, it has been observed that in 67% of ALL U.S. presidential elections, the taller candidate has won the popular vote, even before the days of televised debates.
If you look at evolutionary psychology, this makes sense. We may prefer taller leaders because our ancestors used height as one of the cues of physical formidability and when our ancestors had a big, tall, resourceful, strong, and formidable friend on their team to help them with their survival (like procuring food, shelter, and territory), they had a relative advantage against the elements and a better chance of living another day.
4. Many leaders are left-handed.
Although lefties make up 10% of the world’s population and have been historically shunned, being left-handed can have its advantages. Left-handed people tend to be more “right-brained” and therefore more creative. Growing up left-handed in a world that has been designed for the logical, right-handed among us, can be quite frustrating and challenging – just try using the wrong scissors – but this lefty trait can also make you more likely to think outside-the-box, to see things from a different perspective, to be more intuitive, and become a visionary leader.
What do you think of this list? Which of these traits do you have? As for me, I’m slightly taller than average for women and I’m left-handed.
These four curious traits of leaders come from my own observations and research and aren’t carved in stone. Most likely, you won’t have all four – though that’s possible – and if you do, please tell me, I’d love to meet you and ask if you consider yourself a leader as well.
I’m just offering this list to help you recognize your inherent leadership abilities and to see yourself as a natural-born leader (in case you don’t – yet).
If you by chance don’t have any of these particular leadership traits, don’t worry, leaders come in all shapes and sizes. Good leadership skills can be learned. These four traits just give you a bit of a head start.
Regardless of where you’re starting from now, whether you have zero, one, two, three, or all four of these curious leadership traits, and if you’d like to be a better leader in general, please contact me. I’d love to be your wellness coach and mentor.
Have you ever wondered why all of a sudden, more and more people are calling themselves coaches these days? Where were all of the Life Coaches, Spiritual Coaches, Career Coaches, Leadership Coaches, and Health & Wellness Coaches even 20 years ago, back in the 1900’s?
While there are plenty of socio-economic reasons that address why we’re big into coaching these days (which I won’t get into in this blog post), would it surprise you to learn that coaching has actually been around for 2500 years?
Although the modern coaching profession is booming these days with many people throwing their hat into the ring, the roots of coaching, as practiced today, can be traced, in my opinion, all the way back to Socrates and his Socratic Method.
I said, “the roots of coaching” and not “actual coaching” as we know it today, because there is ONE BIG DIFFERENCE that I’ll get to in a minute. So stay with me.
This Socratic insight dawned on me while I was watching the BBC TV series, “Genius of the Ancient World,” a show where historian Bettany Hughes investigates three giants of ancient philosophy – Buddha, Confucious, and Socrates.
“By daring to think the unthinkable, [Socrates, Buddha, and Confucious] laid the foundations of our modern world. I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that these men, who lived many thousands of miles apart, seemed spontaneously and within 100 years of one another, to come up with such radical ideas. So, what was going on? I want to investigate their revolutionary ideas – to understand what set them in motion. This time, Socrates,” ~ Bettany Hughes.
I had my own aha moment while watching the episode where Bettany travels to Greece to learn about wise Socrates, a man who lived 2500 years ago in Athens, during a time of tremendous upheaval and transformation.
I realized that during my coaching training at the Rayner Institute in 2015, I was actually learning a version of the Socratic Method! So, in my mind, Socrates was the first Spiritual and Life Coach! To me, Socrates is the father of modern coaching!
A little bit about Socrates
The son of a midwife and stonemason, Socrates was born in 469 BC and grew up in the suburbs of Athens, Greece, during a time of great social unrest.
Socrates believed that living a virtuous, happy, and flourishing life was within reach. He emphasized the importance of caring about wisdom and truth and improvement of the soul, rather than seeking status and stuff.
He favoured oral communication over writing.
He was all about asking good questions.
He also “played the fool” in the sense that he didn’t pretend to know more than the person he was talking with, which allowed them to have their own insights.
Socrates also said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Here’s a look at the Socratic Method in play
Fortunately, in case you missed the airing of “Genius of the Ancient World” on TV, you can still watch the whole video on YouTube.
The whole hour is very interesting but if you don’t have time to watch from beginning to end, I recommend starting at minute 24:42 when Brittany (BH) has a conversation with writer, Apostolos Doxiadis, (AD), who in effect plays the role of Socrates.
Here’s the 5-6 minute transcript:
Bettany Hughes narrating: “His Socratic method worked something like this – Socrates would engage someone in the street… He’d ask them an ethical question… The person would attempt to define the concept, but Socrates would find inconsistencies in their answers… They would be forced to withdraw their definition and to reformulate and refine their ideas… This process would spiral into a dizzying round of question and answer. Socrates likens his role to that of a midwife, who helps to nurture and deliver the thoughts of others. But it was never an easy birth.”
Minute 24:42. AD: “So, Bettany, I understand you’re here to do a documentary about Socrates.”
AD: Why are you making this documentary?
BH: “I can learn something more about Socrates and I can share that knowledge with the people who are watching it.”
AD: “These are big words – ‘knowledge’ and ‘truth.’ Shall we take one of them? What would it mean…? So what is this thing – knowledge – that you want to impart?”
BH: “In my book, knowledge is love of what it is to be human.”
AD: “So, knowledge is love?”
A.D: “OK. So, if you wanted to have an operation for an appendicitis, would you go to a woman who was full of love, but knew nothing about surgery?”
AD: “OK, So I would say that the definition of “knowledge as love” is not good enough. So, let’s try it again. Is there one kind of knowledge, or many kinds of knowledge?”
BH: “Knowledge is one thing…”
AD: “Take your time. I don’t know the answers to this.”
BH: “Maybe knowledge is one thing, but knowing is many things.
AD: “To know how the stars move and to know how the liver operates is the same thing?”
BH. “No, they’re not the same thing.”
AD: “Does the person who possesses knowledge in the big way know everything? Between those two, who is probably the best stone maker?”
BH. “Er… The one who…I don’t know! I give up, I give up!” I have to say that the one thing you’ve proved to me is that I know nothing.”
AD: “Ah, no, no. That’s me! [LAUGHTER]. I am the expert at making other people know things, but I’m no good – I know nothing and that is the only knowledge I claim for myself.”
Coaching and the Socratic Method
As you can see, a question leads to an answer, which leads to another question, which leads to an answer, and so on, and so on.
There are many similarities between the Socratic Method and Coaching but again, there’s a big difference, which I’m getting to…
Here’s a continuation of the conversation between Bettany and Apostolos, essentially describing the Socratic Method, with some hints pointing to the coaching process as well.
BH: “That Socratic method is fascinating and stimulating, but it is also infuriating.”
AD: “Yes, because it’s in an oral context, the way we do it, and Socrates famously believed in the supremacy of the oral over the written and that also stirs up the emotions. First of all, in his pretence of being the fool, the ignorant man, of knowing nothing. Yes, and because that is his tool, that he turns, in fact, against his friends – or opponents, as you may take it – and makes them admit to things that they don’t want to admit to, by playing essentially the fool, saying, ‘I know nothing, I know nothing. I can only ask you to tell me, because I know nothing.’ So, he laid an emphasis on the definitions, then on what he called “diaeresis” – division – of breaking down a problem into little parts, analyzing parts, analyzing it. And then, attacking each one separately and then trying, inductively, to group them back together into a more general concept.”
Did you catch the big difference between the Socratic Method and Coaching?
While both methods start off with a blank slate, and use verbal communication to exchange ideas, and are about asking good questions and listening to answers, and breaking down the topic into smaller parts, observing them, and putting them back together again in a new way, the spirit of the conversations are much different.
With the Socratic Method, it’s more of an interrogation rather than a conversation. It’s more of an argument where eventually someone will paint themselves into a corner. It’s a handy technique that lawyers, and detectives, and journalists use all of the time.
On the other hand, with coaching, the spirit is much more convivial. From a coaching session, you’re meant to feel safe to express yourself, to take something away from the conversation, to have more clarity, and to feel stronger, rather than feeling more lost, confused, and frustrated than you were when you started.
So even though Socrates wasn’t intending to create the profession of coaching, he did get the ball rolling, and over generations, just as children build on the ideas of their parents, coaching has grown from it’s humble beginnings, and has taken the art of deep conversations and introspection, to a whole new level.
But still, where would we be today without Socrates and his Socratic Method?
BH: “So, Socrates uses that to make people become aware that things they consider simple, and elementary, and basic, and that they know – they in fact don’t know. And what about the modern world? Do you think we could have the modern world without Socratic debate, without questioning what it is to be human and what it is to be human in the world around us?
AD: “Well, I think that the best way to accept, to find Socrates’ place in it, is to see that the opposite of the Socratic method, essentially, is fanaticism and dogmatism. And in that sense, the modern world very much needs an antidote to those things, at every level.”
Bettany Hughes narrating: “The Socratic method was cathartic. It got difficult issues out into the open and defined concepts with much greater precision. Socrates’ tough questioning, with his trademark irony, was conducted in public, causing a stir wherever he went. He was inviting everyone to seek knowledge of the human good, to identify fundamental truths. But people could only do this for themselves by constantly interrogating their actions and most deeply held beliefs. “The unexamined life,” Socrates said, “is not worth living.” Minute: 29:37.
Enter, today’s Life Coach, Spiritual Coach, Wellness Coach…
“Socrates might have been infuriating, but his tenacious questioning of what it means to be human still has absolute resonance. By stating that the ultimate evil is ignorance and that a good life is within our reach, he challenges us all never to be thoughtless,” ~ Bettany Hughes.
So that’s why I think Socrates is the father of modern coaching. What do you think? Let me know in the comments.
Like Socrates in ancient Greece, we’re also living in highly charged times and we’re still wrestling with the same questions about the nature of life and death.
If you’ve reached a point where you’re interested in examining your own life and exploring life’s big questions, consider working with me, Maria, a Wellness Coach. Feel free to email today! Let’s talk!
Did you know Eckhart Tolle mentions crystals in his best-selling book, “A New Earth, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose,” (2005)?
If you had asked me before I started re-reading this ground-breaking gem, I would have answered, “no, I didn’t know” but I was delighted to read about his appreciation for the mineral kingdom in the opening pages.
There’s more to crystals and flowers and people than meets the eye and I’m inviting you to dig a little deeper and tune into the essence of all beings. By becoming present to the here and now, a whole new world will unfold and new possibilities will emerge — which is super amazing! — and crystals, among all natural treasures, can help open those doors!
The old me would have skimmed over these particular paragraphs but the new me, the more present and conscious me, gets the beautiful connection.
In Chapter 1, “The Flowering of Human Consciousness,” Eckhart introduces us to the heart of his book as he describes a moment of transcendent transformation, the day flowers first blossomed on Earth,
“One day, however, a critical threshold was reached, and suddenly there would have been an explosion of color and scent all over the planet.” ~ A New Earth, page 1
That “critical threshold” is related to the “evolutionary leap” that people experience when they finally let go of their ego and pain body and live from their essence, their true and authentic self.
Remember the expression, “Stop and smell the roses?”
Flowers have always been inviting us to relax, be present, and appreciate the beauty of life, and when we actually take a moment to pause, be still, and focus on the wonder of the present moment, peace emerges.
“Once there is a certain degree of Presence, of still and alert attention in human beings’ perceptions, they can sense the divine life essence, the one indwelling consciousness or spirit in every creature, every life-form, recognize it as one with their own essence and so love it as themselves.” ~ A New Earth, page 4
Loving the essence. That was the clincher for me. That’s why I recently started re-reading a New Earth. I heard Eckhart explain this concept of divine life essence to Oprah on a recent SuperSoul Sunday. When Jesus said “Love your neighbour as yourself,” He wasn’t talking about loving people’s egos. Jesus was talking about seeing past the ego (which is just a costume), and loving someone’s essence, and loving your own essence, and recognizing how the essence of our beings are all connected as One in this great, big, living sea.
Oh, to live from my essence!
When I think of essence, I like to picture a pilot light, if that helps. From what I understand, when someone says, “Namaste” they are saying, “The divine in me bows to the divine in you.” In other words, the essence in me recognizes the essence in you. Essence is what you see when you look deep into someone’s eyes.
Isn’t that much better than dealing with someone’s ego? 🙂 Just remember that the next time someone annoys you.
The ethereal nature of flowers remind us about our true essence.
“…flowers would become for us an expression in form of that which is most high, most sacred, and ultimately formless within ourselves. Flowers, more fleeting, more ethereal, and more delicate than the plants out of which they emerged, would become like messengers from another realm, like a bridge between the world of physical forms and the formless…” ~ A New Earth, pages 2-3
By the way, this way of being, is available to us humans and we can be like messengers as well.
Eckhart continues to say, the flowers
“not only had a scent that was delicate and pleasing to humans, but also brought a fragrance from the realm of spirit. Using the word “enlightenment” in a wider sense than the conventionally accepted one, we could look upon flowers as the enlightenment of plants.” ~ A New Earth, page 3
And flowers are just the beginning! Crystals are here, too!
“Since time immemorial, flowers, crystals, precious stones, and birds have held special significance for the human spirit.” ~ A New Earth, pages 3-4
We as humans have been fascinated with crystals since pre-historic times. When the Greeks travelled and found dazzling quartz crystals in the Alps, they believed these beauties were actually a form of frozen water that would never thaw. They named them, “krystallos,” which means “ice.”
“The haunting beauty of the mineral kingdom is irresistible, so it’s no wonder that the human race has a long history of wearing and working with crystals. Historians and archaeologists have traced the use of crystals in healing and beauty rituals back to the earliest civilizations. And no wonder: They magnify personal and planetary vibrational energy. Our ancestors used crystals as mystical tools, energy generators, communication enhancers, and medical instruments. Archaeological digs show their use as talismans of good fortune and protection; as well as amulets, jewelry, and magnificent home showpieces.” ~ Excerpt from Crystal Therapy, by Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., & Judith Lukomski.
Perhaps you also have a fascination for rocks and minerals:
* Do you collect rocks and seashells whenever you go to the beach?
* Do you have fond memories of rocks and stones from your childhood?
* Do you have a piece of jewelry that has a special meaning for you?
* Do you by chance have a Himalayan Salt Lamp?
The Art of Contemplation
The next time you come across a crystal, sit with it and contemplate. Appreciate the stone without trying to own it. See past its outer form and tune into its inner essence. Let the crystal help you expand your awareness. Like a flower, it just might be a bridge on your journey of spiritual awakening and enlightenment.
“So when you are alert and contemplate a flower, crystal, or bird without naming it mentally, it becomes a window for you into the formless. There is an inner opening, however slight, into the realm of spirit.” ~ A New Earth, page 5
Tuning into a crystal is not a crystal reading in the sense of fortune-telling. Once your ego is out of the way, it’s more about how the crystals reveal wisdom and a sense of calmness, through timeless intuition.
“In the case of a flower, a crystal, precious stone, or bird, however, even someone with little or no Presence can occasionally sense that there is more there than the mere physical existence of that form, without knowing that this is the reason why he or she is drawn toward it, feels an affinity with it.” ~ A New Earth, page 4
Is Enlightenment Possible?
“Any life-form in any realm – mineral, vegetable, animal, or human – can be said to undergo “enlightenment.”” ~ A New Earth, page 3
But Eckhart asks,
“What could be heavier and more impenetrable than a rock, the densest of all forms?” ~ A New Earth, page 3
Yet, even rocks can lighten up and transcend their nature!
“And yet some rocks undergo a change in their molecular structure, turn into crystals, and so become transparent to the light. Some carbons, under inconceivable heat and pressure, turn into diamonds, and some heavy minerals into other precious stones.” ~ A New Earth, page 3
In each case, enlightenment requires,
“a discontinuity in its development, a leap to an entirely different level of being and, most important, a lessening of materiality.” ~ A New Earth, page 3
Enlightenment is just a matter of shedding the dark and heavy density (the materiality, including the ego) and moving towards lightness.
Ultimately, that’s how the Universe works!
We live in a dynamic universe and everything is always moving from formless to form to formless and from slow to fast, density to space, heavy to light, and from dark to light, through the ever expanding cycle of:
1) Rebirth * New Beginning (on a whole new level) * A New Earth! -> …
And on and on it goes from one age to the next. You can see this spiraling cycle of life as it’s constantly moving toward enlightenment, playing out everywhere! There are no beginnings and no endings and because everything is always moving and changing, there’s no sense in identifying with or being attached to any of it. The ego has nothing to cling to and so it dissolves, creating space for the present moment to arise. This is true, happy-go-lucky freedom.
So, yes, enlightenment is within reach and as we’ve seen with flowers and rocks, it’s part of the natural progression of the Universe!
Are you ready?
“Can human beings lose the density of their conditioned mind structures and become like crystals or precious stones, so to speak, transparent to the light of consciousness?” ~ A New Earth, page 5
We seem to have reached a time where more and more people are starting to awaken.
“What can you do, if anything, to bring about or accelerate this inner shift?” ~ A New Earth, page 6
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, at the beginning, somewhere in the middle, or at your tipping point, and if you’re reading, have read, or would like to read, A New Earth, and want to talk about your insights and ideas with someone who is open and present and a good listener, please feel free to contact me, Maria. I’d love to connect with your essence.
And if there’s enough interest, maybe we can start a book club!
I coach Green Leaders on living the life that lights them up!
You may be wondering what I mean by Green Leaders. Well, to me Green Leaders have heart and interestingly enough, the colour associated with the Heart Chakra, is Emerald Green!
Our Green Intelligence is about our compassion and heart-felt feelings. Green balances our spirit world with our physical world so we can relate to others with unconditional love and kindness. Green is also the colour of nature, healing, and new beginnings.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to do work that allows you to share from your heart, to be of joyful service, to contribute in a meaningful way, to make the world an even better place, and to inspire others to do the same?
To me, that’s what being a Green Leader is all about and I invite you to give yourself a chance and to throw your hat into the ring!
Here are 25 signs you’re an up & coming Green Leader:
You have a big heart and you care about people, animals, and our planet.
You have a creative and nurturing spirit.
You’ve been asking yourself questions like, “What’s my life’s purpose?” and you feel like there’s something really big out there waiting for you but you can’t seem to claim it just yet.
Your new ideas for change have not always been well-received or understood and people have bullied, criticized, and harassed you for being different, but you’re still determined to keep going.
You want to take on more leadership responsibilities at work but you don’t know how to communicate your intentions to the higher ups.
You care about environmental stewardship, and you’ve volunteered on a clean up crew like the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup with the intention of doing that kind of work more often, or even starting your own similar group.
You’ve been on a Green Committee at work or school and enjoyed discussing ideas on how to improve your organization’s Reduce, Reuse, and Recycling efforts.
You’re what they call a “Green Consumer” and are mindful of the environment when you make your purchases, taking into consideration things like how the products are made, what the products are made from, and how far they’ve travelled to get to you.
You’ve thought about voting Green in past elections but there weren’t any Green candidates on the ballot or you were afraid you’d split the vote.
You look for ways to save money and stick to your budget and it bothers you when you notice things like money and resources being wasted.
You can’t stand watching incompetent leaders be in charge and feel like you can do a better job.
You’re opening your own business.
You’ve been the first in your family, neighbourhood, class, or office to do something new and positive, paving the way for others to follow suit.
You’d prefer your personal space to be neat, tidy, and organized but you’re still surrounded by clutter because it’s hard for you to throw things out.
Although you have access to a car, you’re starting to choose to walk, ride a bike, take the bus, or join a carpool more often.
You’re looking to optimize your health and wellness, and practice self-care, but you find yourself over-indulging in unhealthy behaviours from time to time.
You’re interested in eating fresh, healthy, and organic food every day but you still order highly-packaged take-out dinners a few times a week for the convenience.
Spirituality is becoming more important to you and you may be drawn to yoga classes, learning how to meditate, the personal growth movement, reading self-help, leadership, and spiritual books, attending workshops and seminars, distance running in charity events, going to church, praying, etc.
You’re noticing moments of synchronicity, the interconnectedness of events that aren’t planned or repeatable, and it’s really cool!
You’re an advocate for social justice and believe that all humans have a fundamental right to health, wellbeing, education, clean water, nourishing food, safe shelter, and freedom.
You’ve been known to speak for those who have no voice.
You’re grateful for the diversity in the animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms of the world.
You marvel at nature’s beauty and enjoy camping, and nature hikes, and spending time outside in all kinds of weather.
You’ve witnessed an environmental disaster first hand and are now motivated more than ever to find solutions and create changes that will lead to a healthy future on a global scale.
Deep down, you’re optimistic about the future.
As you can see after reading this list, I’ve not painted the portrait of a perfect person or somebody who is better than everyone else even though they’re a leader because perfect is boring and more than that, perfect doesn’t exist, other than as a mathematical absolute. We’re all a work in progress and there’s always room to grow.
So, if you resonate with many of these qualities and you’d like to grow into your potential as a Green Leader and help make the world an even better place, please contact me, Maria. As a Wellness Coach, I can help!
Wellness Coaching Can Help You:
discover what lights you up so you can do more of it;
get clear about your life purpose and what you want to do as a Green Leader;
remind yourself about what’s already working;
uncover the hidden obstacles in your path;
figure out ways to blast through the obstacles as they come up;
I hope this blog post finds you well. I’m writing to let you know about what’s going on at Crystal Clear Coaching and my other wellness businesses these days. I feel like things are finally coming together and the foundation for what I lovingly call, my wellness empire, is in place.
I’m hoping that by offering different types of wellness services and letting my clients choose which approach they like best, whether it’s through mind, body, or spirit, I’ll be able to help people relax and have peace of mind. In their own way, all of these roads lead to wellness, and that’s my vision.
Through thoughtful questions and active listening, a coach can offer support in areas such as health, lifestyle, life purpose, relationships, business, career, and spirituality, etc., and can help their clients produce extraordinary, fulfilling, and sustainable results.
If you’re considering the idea of working with a coach, I’d love to offer you a free Crystal Mapping Session. Using the wisdom of crystals, Crystal Mapping is a fun and interactive way to chart your own course in life. You’ll get a taste of what my style of coaching is like and from there, you can decide if you’d like to sign up for a series of coaching sessions with me as well.
Supporting our own Stem Cell system is the key to good health and in my travels, I’ve found a new and unique aquatic-botanical product that supports our own release of bone-marrow stem cells. It’s a health supplement made from blue-green algae that comes from Klamath Lake, Oregon.
So, if you’d like to hear more about stem cell nutrition, to boost your health, to support your body’s own repair system, and get your hands on these supplements made by a company called, Cerule, please contact me, Maria, by email: email@example.com.
My training in the wellness field started in 2010 when I went back to school to become an aesthetician, so I have another business called Homespunspa Mobile Spa.
Since 2011, my team of aestheticians, spa therapists, and nail techs and I have done many, many dozens of spa parties in all kinds of beautiful homes, hotels, schools, and offices in the Greater Victoria area, including Sooke, North Saanich, and Lake Cowichan, and have met all kinds of wonderful people along the way.
So, if you’d like to host a spa party this autumn, just plump up those throw pillows and invite your friends over for some spa time, and we’ll do the rest!
The spa services at Homespunspa Mobile Spa are designed to help people relax and manage stress and if one to one appointments are more your speed, we also offer facials, manicures, pedicures, relaxation massages, and chair massages for individuals. Having a spa service at home saves you time and money and you don’t have to worry about driving through traffic, finding a parking spot, or hiring a babysitter.
As you can see, I’m passionate about wellness and I love helping people be proactive about their health. To further support my mobile spa clients and coaching clients with their health and wellness, I’ve opened an online store called Cruising into Wellness.
In store, you’ll find cruise wear, gemstones, jewellery, essential oils, colour bath pigments, tinted eyewear, Dr.’s Remedy nail polish, and so much more!
Please tell your friends about cruisingintowellness.com and if you’d like, make a purchase and I can bring your order to you at your next coaching session, mobile spa appointment, or spa party.
Check out my new wellness store and save 15% on the whole Medieval Thymes collection until September 30, 2017 @ www.cruisingintowellness.com.
And here’s a BONUS for being one of my clients! -> FREE SHIPPING!
For all of my Canadian clients, (Crystal Clear Coaching, Homespunspa Mobile Spa, and Cerule supplements), I’m offering free shipping on your first-time order of Cruising into Wellness products!
Just enter the discount code HOMESPUN at checkout!
Anyway, that’s my wellness empire 🙂 in a nutshell! Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in any of these wellness products or services. Hopefully, there’s something here that will help you.
Or, if you can think of anyone else who might appreciate what I have to offer, please forward my name to them. Thank you, I’d welcome your referral. I’m at your service.
A couple of months ago in April, as I was walking through my neighbourhood on what I call a wellness walk, I was thinking about the next steps of my career. I thought perhaps I’d like to take my wellness coaching to a new level and become a spiritual teacher as well. I got the idea from my 6th grade teacher, Sister Catherine, who appeared to me in a dream.
Funny how things like that happen. I was intrigued by the title, so I got a copy of the book, read it from cover to cover, and then arranged an interview with Scott, the author. We had a fascinating conversation and we covered a lot of ground.
I honestly had no idea that looking for a spiritual teacher was a thing, but it is, and it makes sense because more and more people are waking up and are searching for the answers to life’s big questions. On top of that, there’s so much out there to choose from than ever before in history.
How do we know what spiritual path is best for us personally to follow and
who do we want to walk with on our journey?
I’m grateful that Scott is leading the conversation on this important topic about finding a spiritual teacher because the road is not always straightforward. In fact, there are people out there who would gladly take advantage of unsuspecting seekers and lead them astray, causing great damage.
Scott, the author, genuinely wants to help people with the process of finding a suitable spiritual teacher. As a longtime practitioner of both Judaism and Buddhism, he has been on his own spiritual journey and has studied happily and productively with spiritual teachers for the past four decades. He is a committed proponent of serious spirituality in all forms and traditions and has also served as editor and literary agent for several spiritual teachers.
In his book, Scott gives guidelines on how to navigate these waters and how to work with the legitimate spiritual teachers of the world. Here is an abridged transcript of the first 30 minutes of our interview that took place in June of 2017 over Skype.
MK: I read your book and I really enjoyed it. I found it to be a very easy read – very quick and clean and just really easy to understand – and I appreciated that. What prompted you to write this book?
SE: Several things. The first is, there’s a lot folks out there who call themselves spiritual teachers and some come from within a religious tradition, some stand outside religious traditions. Some are called spiritual coaches, spiritual counsellors, spiritual directors, but whatever they call themselves, they can create a great deal of spiritual intimacy with the people with whom they work and they typically work one to one with folks, very much like a coach of any kind would.
SE: The difference though with a spiritual teacher, or coach, or so on, is, they get to see our vulnerabilities, they get to see our most urgent needs, desires, and wants, and concerns. And so if the [spiritual teacher] you’re working with isn’t very good, they can do a lot of harm. And if they are a predator, or a narcissist, or a sociopath, they can do terrible harm.
SE: The other thing is, it’s not always easy to tell a good spiritual teacher from a not-so-good one. If you were looking for a good car mechanic, all you have to do is see whether they’re good at repairing your car.
SE: But someone can be very charismatic, can speak very well, can have a lot of poise, [but] may in fact be a charlatan or a predator, [and] may pass themselves off as a spiritual teacher, so I wanted to help people protect themselves and wanted to help them build their own discernment. I wanted to help them learn to trust themselves and make good choices.
The Possible Ugly Side of Spiritual Teachers
MK: Have you experienced or witnessed anyone being influenced by someone who is a charlatan or a fraud, or anything worse than that? Have you seen that?
SE: Sure. In fact, that’s one of the sad things about the helping professions in general is that they have an unusually high rate of people who are charlatans, frauds, abusers, and so on. And that doesn’t mean that these professions are somehow inherently flawed, it’s because they attract those type of folks.
SE: Now the great majority of people in any helping profession — whether it’s coaches, therapists, counsellors, ministers, or spiritual teachers – the great majority, of course, are on the up and up.
SE: They will range from the wonderful to the terrible, but the fact is, the people who want to be exploitive are naturally going to gravitate to these positions because it provides them with people to exploit. And I’ve seen it over and over.
SE: Sometimes it runs the whole range. Sometimes it’s people who are just making mistakes or people who have (in terms of the spiritual teachers) a higher opinion of themselves than is reasonable, because it does attract egotists, but yes, there’s plenty of abusers out there.
SE: I did a previous book, a kind of prequel to this one. It was called, “Sex and the Spiritual Teacher” about spiritual teachers who go astray and have sex with their students or followers, and so it’s a common problem.
SE: It’s not common as in you should expect it all of the time. It’s common as in you might be left-handed or you might be colour-blind. The issue is that if we are not careful, if we don’t give the same kind of consideration to a potential spiritual teacher as we would with a new doctor, or new therapist, or new coach, or a new dentist, then we set ourselves up.
SE: And so we need to learn to build our own discernment. That’s what both of these books are about. And sure, I know cases where people did it, they lost their way, and I know other people who very deliberately went out of their way and have been, in some cases, exploiting people and lying to people for decades.
Spotting the Red Flags
SE: You’re a coach, you must know some coaches who are not very good and you probably know a couple of coaches who are charlatans.
MK: Reading your book really let me see that because my coaching teacher operated with integrity and I didn’t really realize that until I read your book. I looked at the signs and yes, he did. And then after that, I was introduced to another person who didn’t [establish good boundaries] and who pushed my buttons and asked for – you mentioned this in your book – asked me to follow their authority. [They basically said,] “Don’t think for yourself; I’ll think for you,” – that kind of thing, and they at one point did say that to me, “Obviously, how you’re thinking isn’t working, so you’re going to have to turn that over to me,” and I was dumbfounded by that…
“That is the surest sign of all that something is wrong. When somebody does not want you to be more of who you are but wants you to be less of who you are,” ~Scott Edelstein
SE: That is the surest sign of all that something is wrong. When somebody does not want you to be more of who you are but wants you to be less of who you are.
SE: Or, when they want something from you, whether that’s obedience, or sex, or flattery, or money. I mean obviously, if they’re performing a particular service, like a coach would have a rate for charging for what they do, and that’s perfectly reasonable… but otherwise, they’re trying to get something from you, and they’re looking out for themselves more than they’re looking out for you, [then] something is wrong.
MK: Sometimes it’s not so obvious and you’re caught up in it and those types of statements just wash past you, and you may see it in hindsight, or not. How does someone, if they’re speaking with a spiritual teacher, and they’re being vulnerable, and are expressing ideas and feelings that they haven’t told anyone else, are being authentic, etc.. How do you do that and learn and grow and still keep your wits about you, so you don’t get caught up in someone else’s trap or whatever. How do you do that?
SE: It’s a wonderful question. I’ll answer it in two ways, one of course is to read the book and I don’t say that in a silly way, that’s why I wrote a book. We write books, of course, because there are sometimes longer answers that can be most helpful. That’s why I wrote both “The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers” and the book, “Sex & the Spiritual Teacher.”
SE: But as a kind of general guide, I would say, apply the same principles that you would if you were beginning to date a potential partner. In other words, obviously, you would not throw yourself at someone’s feet, on a first date, or a second date, or a third date.
SE: In fact, if during that first date, [you thought] “Oh my God, this person is the one and everything feels perfect, I can’t believe how wonderful it is,” – if you were to ask a friend, “Oh this person just seems fantastic… this person seems perfect… should I throw myself at their feet?” your wise friend would say, “No, be very careful, have a second date.”
SE: So, it’s perfectly fine if you see these yellow flags or even red flags, you either – if it’s a red flag, if something feels wrong, looks wrong, sounds wrong – get away, back away, just as you would if you were on a date with somebody and you went, “I have a really bad feeling about this.” Trust your own body, mind, and gut, and heart. That’s one.
Building Trust with your Spiritual Teacher
Let’s imagine they’re all saying, “yes, yes, yes, yes.” Of course you wouldn’t then just run away. But you also wouldn’t necessarily run forward. The wise thing to do would be “OK, this feels really good, this feels really right,” so that bears having a second date. Having that good sense about a spiritual teacher, proceed very slowly, look at the other people who are around them, their students, or followers, congregants, or whoever it might be.
If things feel right, and the person is looking out for your best interest, things will continue to feel right, and then slowly the trust will build. There’s really no hurry about it, after all.
So, just as you would say, go out on a second date, go out on a third date, and slowly you’ll come to understand who this person really is and how you’re able to work with them.
But When Things Go South…
SE: But if something starts out feeling bad at first, that’s easy, you get away. If it feels good at first and the person is a predator or a narcissist, sociopath, or what not, by the time you’re on your third or fourth encounter, it will no longer feel so great. You’ll notice that something is wrong. It’s just a matter of exercising a reasonable amount of caution, not just with the other person, but with yourself.
MK: Interesting. Yes, and so, would that apply to a one-on-one relationship, like with a coach, and being in a group, like going to a Buddhist center? Would you say it’s pretty fair that they’re both an equal approach?
SE: I’d say, all of the above. And I would say that, too, for anyone who is in any kind of coaching role or any kind of spiritual role, including a Minister, or Priest, or Imam, or Rabbi, down the street. It’s just that when you’re simply sitting in a congregation, there’s not going to be as much intimacy, and there’s less vulnerability, less opportunity for exploitation, and so on.
Are they a Spiritual Teacher or a Spiritual Leader?
The answer is they could be both, could be more one than the other. The important thing has to do with finding your discernment, recognizing that vulnerability, and learning to trust yourself (just as you did) as opposed to letting someone else take over.
Practicing Discernment & the Vagus Nerve
MK: You’ve used this word “discernment” a few times and this word is new to me within the last year. I didn’t really know this word but I’ve heard it many times lately and it’s on my radar now. So what do you mean by discernment?
SE: That’s a wonderful question. First, let me answer it in terms of the body because the body knows. It doesn’t know everything but it knows a lot. If we pay attention to our body, it will tell us, not necessarily every time, but most of the time, if something is amiss. It will be tight or it will give us some kind of warning sign.
SE: Now, I’ve only recently learned there is an actual physical structure in the body doing that called the “Vagus Nerve.” That’s when our stomach tightens, we feel our heart in our throat, where we feel love, hate, dread. A lot of these emotions are actually a physical structure that we call, “Vagus Nerve.” So, it’s paying attention to that.
SE: And it’s not letting yourself be thrown to the winds, either by an idea or by the thinking brain. I’m not saying, “don’t think” by any means. I’m saying, “do think.” Discernment is also learning when to override the body with the brain. Just as you wouldn’t go out on a date and the person is really, clearly being obnoxious and nasty and your body might be going, “yeah, but they are so good-looking” and the brain is going to say, “doesn’t matter, get out.” The person is sort of striking their hand with their fist, saying, “I’m going to beat up anyone who gets in my way,” well, it’s time to get out no matter how good looking the person is.
SE: The other thing is developing your own ability to sniff out bullshit, whether it’s from a spiritual teacher or anyone else. To a certain degree, as we get older, that just gets better and better. I mean, there are things that might have fooled you at age 20, would never fool you at the age you’re at now. Some of that comes naturally, but a lot of it, especially for people who have never worked with a spiritual teacher before, they don’t have the experience to be able to make that kind of judgement. Especially if they’re new to the tradition, if the person is from another country, sort of thing.
SE: And so rather than trying to come up with a simple process, it’s a matter of just keeping yourself safe while you learn, while your own experiences teach you.
Are We in a Spiritual Age?
MK: Are you finding that more and more people are seeking out spiritual teachers and are entering this world of awareness and awakening?
SE: Good question. These things are cyclical. They go back to ancient Greece, there were spiritual teachers on the street corners, essentially selling themselves, [saying] “Here’s what I think, here’s what I believe, here’s what I can teach you.” Some of them were teachers in general who had spiritual components, some of them focused on what could be called spirituality today, and so there was a big market place of ideas at the time.
SE: [It’s called] an “Axial Age,” when [that type of thing is] happening. I pick out Ancient Greece, but arguably, it was happening in India, at roughly the same time, as well, and I don’t know if it’s a higher percentage of people than in the past that are actually building these relationships, that are looking for spiritual teachers, but I would say that, for instance, I’m in my sixties now and when I was young, the whole relationship that people had to the clergy and groups was much more limited in general – you joined a group, some kind of a congregation, went to services, you might have, (if you were very devout, or concerned, or what not), you might have received some counselling from the minister.
SE: And so, that was how the relationship tended to be defined. Whereas now we have a big marketplace of ideas, and opinions, and relationships because the Internet has made it possible for anyone really with a phone or computer to be able to access writings, videos, and sometimes face-to-face conversations.
SE: So, I don’t know if human beings have changed, but the ability to access these kinds of people and these kinds of relationships has changed.
Enter the Age of Spiritual Mashups
MK: And there’s so much more to choose from, like when you go to the grocery store, you have foods from all over the world that you could pick, whereas before, it was like, this is it. You can pick and choose and you don’t have to stay where you started. You have access to all kinds of things – there seems to be some overlap. People will start with one tradition and then kind of pick and choose from others and then create their own.
SE: That is part of the time we’re in and also, I would argue, that there’s something in particular, in North America, where we like to do these mashups. Partly, it’s because North America, for the past really 400 years, it’s full of immigrants, and we’ve always been taking in immigrants, and that’s what we do in North America, we mash things up.
SE: And so, we’re an ideal place for many different traditions to appear, to come together, to be re-made, and to intertwine. And that is what happens, of course, that’s naturally what happens, but we do it arguably more and faster, and with more wild abandon, 🙂 than most cultures throughout history!
MK: It’s accelerating!
“That’s what we do in North America, we mash things up. We’re an ideal place for many different traditions to appear, to come together, to be re-made, and to intertwine,” ~Scott Edelstein
SE: Yeah. Think of all of the places where you can get…what did I just see?… I saw Mexican Egg Rolls on a menu recently. I didn’t try them, but there you go. That’s a classic thing and we do it with spirituality, too.
SE: But that isn’t new. If you look at what we call “Tibetan Buddhism,” for example, we call it Buddhism, but it’s clearly a mashup. The historical roots are very clear. It’s a mashup of Buddhism that came North from India and what was the native religion of Tibet at the time – which was called, “Bon,” [spelled] B-O-N, and those two came together and created this new form of Buddhism, called “Tibetan Buddhism,” and that’s true with all religions.
SE: There are variances of Protestantism here in the United States where I live, where you would not find anywhere else in the entire world, and in Judaism, there’s an old rubric, an old metaphor, that says, “Judaism is like wine being poured into different coloured bottles. It’s the same wine, but it’s going to look different depending on the colour of the bottle that it’s in,” – and the colour, of course, is the culture.
MK: Oh, neat. Very interesting. I think there’s so much wisdom in the classics and if they didn’t have that inherent wisdom, they wouldn’t be here today. I wonder, do you think there’s a universal truth that all, or most religions keep up at the top of their list… is there one thing that makes them all kind of the same?
The Perennial Philosophy
SE: The answer I would have to give is “yes” and “no.” Let me give you both. There is something often called the “perennial philosophy.” Those words were, I think by Aldous Huxley who wrote “Brave New World” and a bunch of books back maybe about 80 years ago, 70 years ago. I hope I’ve got the reference right, I believe it was Huxley, and that does refer to that group of principles, ideas, relationships that permeate most world religions, and there are things that you would reasonably expect about love, concern, cooperation, the need for meaning, the need for belonging, those sorts of things.
SE: So yes, but… it’s a little bit like asking the question, can you trust a police officer? And the answer is, they are in a position of trust, and overall, we would do better to trust them than to distrust them all. But you still have to make your case by case judgement.
SE: Same as spiritual teachers and with religions is that for every religion that would say, “you can go to Christianity, you can go to Buddhism, you can go to Islam, you can go to anyone you want, Zoroastrianism,” and there will be lots and lots of people who say, “Oh yes, the perennial philosophy is, of course, the core of what we do,” and then you will find some other folks within that tradition who will say, “Absolutely not, the other religions are all wrong, the other versions of this religion are wrong.”
SE: That’s true with every religion. So yes, there is this perennial philosophy and then there are always these outliers who are denying the perennial philosophy in the name of that religion.
MK: I’m right and you’re wrong.
SE: Yes. Period.
MK: I’m wondering if that could be another way for someone who was looking for a spiritual teacher, to see how closely they embrace that perennial philosophy?
SE: That is a wonderful idea! If you don’t mind, I’d like to put, if there’s ever another edition of this book, I’d love to put that in. Yes. I think that’s great to add on top of the discernment. Yes, to be looking at how closely it comes to that. That’s wonderful.”
Well, readers, that was just the first half hour of my conversation with Scott Edelstein! As we explored this topic about spiritual teachers, I must admit, I felt a little like Oprah on SuperSoul Sunday.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking to find a decent spiritual teacher to work with, remember to:
1) Practice discernment, (listening to your body as you tune into your thoughts and feelings),
2) Notice how closely the people you are working with adhere to the Perennial Philosophy, and
3) Of course read Scott’s book, The User’s Guide to Spiritual Teachers: A Trusted Resource For Finding The Right Guide For Your Spiritual Journey, for yourself.
Ever since I was inspired to create the Crystal Mapping process and started doing these sessions with some of my connections, I have been astounded by the insights that have surfaced.
It’s not a crystal reading in the sense of fortune-telling; it’s more about how the crystals reveal personal messages from your subconscious mind, using your intuition as a bridge. It’s mind blowing to feel that energetic shift in the conversation!
“Hi Maria, I just wanted to say thanks for the last coaching session we had. I think it was an amazing session especially with the connection between what I was looking to create and the crystals that I picked! Let me know when should we connect next?” ~ Adi
I’m grateful that I’m able to help people find their way in life. It all starts with getting your bearings and figuring out where you are right now and where you want to go in your future. It’s like participating in orienteering games in the middle of the forest, except we use crystals as pins on your map.
I’d love to offer you a FREE CRYSTAL MAPPING session!
Using the wisdom of crystals, Crystal Mapping is a fun and interactive way to chart your own course in life on your own terms!
Here’s what you’ll gain in this valuable session…
We’ll create a crystal clear vision for your ultimate life so you know exactly what you want, where you’re headed, and what you need to do to make it happen.
We’ll identify crystals that will remind you to stay focused on your goals.
And you’ll leave our Crystal Mapping Session feeling renewed, re-energized, and inspired to finally achieve the changes you seek, once and for all, because now you have a CRYSTAL MAP to follow!
I still have some spaces left, so if you’d like a free hour with me to talk about whatever you want, please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m looking forward to connecting with you!
Gossip is a negative, malicious, and damaging conversation about someone else behind their back.
Gossip is not friendly banter, idle chit-chat, or a productive discussion about work-related issues.
To illustrate my opinion, let me tell you a little story about Cytisus scoparius. Chances are you’ve seen these stunning yellow flowers, otherwise known as Scotch Broom, in the spring, in open meadows and along roadsides, in British Columbia.
On the one hand, this tough and pretty plant improves soil, is a good erosion-control plant, and it can be used to make brooms, hence the name.
On the other hand, Broom is invasive, it prevents other nearby plants from thriving, it’s a fire hazard, it’s toxic to livestock, and its pollen is considered an allergen to some.
Did you know that this species is not native to North America? It was imported here in 1850 with the help of a Captain who planted it at his Sooke farm, just outside Victoria, B.C., to remind him of home.
Little did the Captain know, once established, Scotch Broom is stubborn and difficult to remove. On top of that, it’s an aggressive, invasive species that is well-adapted to spreading: a single plant can produce 18,000 seeds per year! It’s also drought resistant and is able to survive in harsh conditions. Since the 1850’s, with the help of human hands, Scotch Broom has spread across British Columbia and beyond and has caused considerable damage along the way.
You may be thinking, “What a jerk! That Captain had some nerve bringing Scotch Broom to North America! Now, I have allergies!
You may also be thinking, “What does Scotch Broom have to do with gossip?”
Well, ironically, to make my point about gossip, I’ve just told you a story that maligned the character of a person who isn’t here to defend himself. It just goes to show how easily gossip can find its way into any conversation. I know the Captain was not malicious in his intent when he brought these flowers across the pond and I don’t want you cursing his name every time you see Scotch Broom on the side of a road. Instead, what I want you to think of, is gossip!
I told you this story because I really want to illustrate how gossip is just as invasive and destructive in the workplace, as the Scotch Broom is on the North American landscape.
Although gossiping may seem innocuous and harmless at first whisper, it plants the seeds of disrepute and negativity in the workplace.
No organization is immune from it but tolerating gossip in the workplace leads to a stressful work environment.
One little, not-so-innocent story about some unsuspecting person can travel quickly from person to person and group to group. That little story can hang on for years and can seriously damage the reputation and livelihood of the victim.
I don’t know if you can think of anyone who has missed out on promotions or has lost a job because of gossip, but I do. Me. I know gossip was a factor (among others) in the decision to let me go from a government job I had years ago. Aside from the on-going office politics, one of my co-workers belittled me behind my back, to anyone who would listen, and that gossip changed the climate in the office and my manager’s opinion of me.
Gossip in the workplace can also create productivity issues. It’s a huge time waster. If employees are talking about each other and are running to the supervisor to settle their differences, nobody is getting any work done. If gossip is running your office, you can almost guarantee that productivity is suffering also.
Gossip also breeds distrust among co-workers, staff, and managers. People will start to second-guess each other and strained relationships don’t make for good teams. The distrust will lead to low morale which will then lead to staff turnover issues. Your employees – the ones you have invested in – especially the top performers who don’t have time for this nonsense – will find jobs elsewhere. Who wants to work in a place where everyone is unhappy and doesn’t get along?
10 TIPS AND STRATEGIES FOR A GOSSIP-FREE WORKPLACE
Keeping gossip to a minimum is one huge way to reduce the tension and negativity among your employees.
Whether you’re a business owner, manager, supervisor, co-worker, or the reigning office gossip, here are some tips and strategies for a gossip-free workplace:
Tip # 1. DON’T PARTICIPATE IN GOSSIP – EVEN AS A BYSTANDER.
By participating in negative conversations, you perpetuate gossip and you also discredit and dishonour yourself by association. Any participation in gossip will be viewed in a poor light and may cost you a promotion down the line. It also shows that you’re not a “team-player” like you said on your resume.
Tip # 2. HOW TO RESPOND TO GOSSIP.
If you’re constantly hearing gossip from one of your co-workers and you really don’t want to hear the on-going saga, here are some things you can say to get off the hook, out of the conversation, and stop the gossip in its tracks:
I feel uncomfortable talking about “so-n-so” in this way.
I don’t think it’s appropriate to discuss “so-n-so” while s/he’s not around.
Hearing you talk about “so-n-so” makes me wonder if you tell any stories about me like this when I’m not here.
If you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all.
Or, say something positive about “so-n-so” to turn the tables.
Tip #3. ASSESS THE CONTEXT
If you by chance catch wind of some gossip circulating around the office, assess the context. The gossip may be pointing to a weakness in the workplace that may need attention. Maybe employees are worried about a big change coming down the pike, for example. If that’s the case, having open communication, where everyone is in the loop, is the best way to handle the situation.
Tip #4. IF YOU HAVE AN OFFICE GOSSIP ON YOUR PAYROLL, talk to them in a closed-door meeting to find out what’s going on with them. Give them some attention and listen to what they have to say, so they feel heard. Forcing gossipers to explain themselves may shed some light on the situation. Once you hear their side, let them know that you will follow-up with anyone else involved, especially the person they are talking about. That alone may curb the gossip to a certain extent. Be sure to make it clear that at this point, the gossip must stop and that it is not tolerated at work.
Tip #5. DON’T LET YOURSELF BE THE SUBJECT OF GOSSIP.
Stay professional at all times, especially during office holiday parties because you never know who might be listening or watching. Keep your personal business to yourself and don’t confide in just anyone.
Tip #6. COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY.
If you have an issue with someone at work, tell them directly in a professional way rather than talking about them behind their back.
Tip #7. IF YOU’RE THE OFFICE GOSSIP.
If memories of past conversations in the office are floating in your head right now and if it’s occurring to you that you may indeed be the office gossip, think about why you feel compelled to talk smack about other people.
Are you trying to make yourself look better?
Are you trying to vent some frustration to feel better about yourself?
Do you enjoy the attention you get when you tell your stories?
Do you feel insecure about your own job?
Do you think you’re doing someone a service by exposing a flaw?
I’m hoping that once the gossiper sees how hurtful their behaviour is to others around them, they’ll change their tune to a more positive and supportive one in the world.
Tip #8. HAVE AN OFFICIAL NO GOSSIP POLICY TO DISCOURAGE GOSSIP.
Brief new employees on your no gossip policy when they are first hired and include “gossip” as a topic for discussion in a staff meeting. Let your employees know that gossip is not tolerated in this place of business and consequences of gossiping may include a written warning in their personnel file, a demotion, or they may even lose their job entirely.
I first came across a no gossip policy when I went back to school at the Aveda Institute and I must say, I was really impressed by their pro-active stance. I really felt respected by the school’s administration, like they had my back, and I really made a point of not engaging in gossip from then on.
Tip #9. FOSTER A SPIRIT OF COLLABORATION AND INNOVATION.
“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas,”~ Mary Curie
Ideas drive business. You’ve opened your business to solve a specific problem in the world and hired your staff to come up with ingenious ideas to deliver on that promise. Getting caught up in petty gossip prevents your staff from flourishing and from coming up with those amazing, out-of-the-box solutions that will put your business on the map. Let your employees feel safe to be creative, do their jobs, and wow your clients instead!
Tip #10. HIRE A LIFE COACH FOR YOUR STAFF.
A good life coach provides a safe place for people to express themselves. Instead of taking the passive-aggressive route of gossiping, employees can voice their concerns to a neutral professional who will help them work through their challenges in a constructive way.
Also, gossiping may demonstrate a talent for communication that has been mis-directed up-until-now and this person may in fact have the potential to be a great leader. Working with a life coach can really help staff members develop their communication skills in positive ways.
Allowing mean-spirited gossip to run rampant in the workplace can lead to a culture of distrust which will negatively impact productivity, morale, and loyalty. Managers should act quickly and not let gossip get out of hand. Pervasive gossip can be like Scotch Broom, and as it spreads, it will wreak havoc throughout a department, then the whole company, and will ultimately affect profits.
I’m sure you don’t want your company to be taken down by gossip, so make sure you nip it in the bud and refuse to tolerate it from here on out.
Because April is National Stress Awareness Month, I thought I’d talk about stress.
Most people report that they experience varying degrees of the following symptoms of stress:
Headaches / Migraines
Muscle Tightness/ Back Ache/ Stiff Neck
Insomnia or Sleeping Too Much
Sleep is Disturbed or Unrefreshing / Nightmares
Lack of Concentration / Fatigue / Lethargy
Proneness to Errors
Nail Biting / Hair Chewing
Significant Hair Loss
Depression / Anxiety
Anger / Resentment
On the Verge of Crying / Can’t Stop Crying
Confusion / Memory Loss
Desire to “Run Away”
Chain Cigarette Smoking
Drinking too much Alcohol / Drinking Alone / Abusing Drugs
Overeating / Under-eating
Diarrhea / Constipation / Nausea
Rapid Weight Gain / Weight Loss
Swearing / Irritability / Impatience
No Sense of Enjoyment / No Sense of Humour
Problems in Relationships
Often Get a Cold / the Flu / Allergies
Accident Proneness / Clumsiness
I’m noticing that most people, including me, tolerate their stress symptoms and keep going as if “not feeling great” is normal. It’s like we’re used to our headaches and sleepless nights and allergies and tense relationships and irritability and however else stress shows up for us. It’s just the same old, same old stress everyday.
I believe high levels of stress are lurking behind the scenes of many, if not all, illnesses, and chronic stress can lead to illness and disease.
The good news is, relaxation is the antidote to stress and practicing self-care is a big part of living a healthy lifestyle.
We can all make small lifestyle changes today – like quitting smoking, exercising more, fueling the body with more nutritious food, getting regular massages, establishing healthy sleep habits, speaking our truth, and working with a wellness coach – that will save everyone tremendous expense and suffering and can prevent chronic illnesses from showing up in the first place.
If you’re noticing how stress is affecting your own health and you want to do something about it before it gets any worse, please email me, Maria. I might be able to help you.
As a coach, healer, and author, I show people who are struggling with stress, how to relax and have peace of mind and I’d be happy to be of service to you. We have options!
Consider Hiring Me As Your Wellness Coach
Coaching allows us to become the best version of ourselves. It’s also a safe place for people to express themselves which is highly restorative.
Expressing your feelings out loud to a coach can help you attain catharsis and release.
“When you air your feelings, you lessen their pent-up energy. It’s like releasing air from a too-full balloon. Discussing your feelings gives you insights into the reasons for your upset, and can trigger epiphanies about solutions,”
~ Doreen Virtue & Grant Virtue, Angels of Abundance.
The above quote sums up the beauty of coaching in a nutshell.
With my thoughtful questions and active listening skills, I’ll help you, either in a group or one to one,
get clarity about where you’re heading,
uncover what matters most to you so you focus more on your goals and not distractions,
clear out the blocks that may be in the way,
get to a place of acceptance,
become more self-aware,
trust your intuition, and
take action steps,
so you feel OK, safe, enough, and above all, empowered to move forward.
Ultimately, I will deliver results including peace of mind.
Let me know by email if you’d like to release your stress. Ask me about booking your complimentary *Release Your Stress*Coaching Session and Consultation Appointment today!
I’m open to hearing from you. Please email me. Let’s work together to take stress out of your future.