Money, Success and Unexamined Beliefs

For Neil and I, one of the premises of our work as business and life partners is wondering individually, as a couple and with our clients, how do we limit our fulfillment because of the unexamined beliefs we have about ourselves, others or the world? The answer is usually shocking.

In relationship to money, I have some beliefs that have been recently getting some air time. One: what I offer, my gift, is not valuable (read: cannot charge for services). Two: I already have enough money to support my daily needs and more would make me feel guilty. Three: The prospect of making money with other people in the world suffering would be selfish. Where did these beliefs come from?

Lately, I have been listening to Edwene Gaines. She is a little older lady who talks a lot about God and prosperity. Here is what I garnered from her message, if your gift will bring value to the world and you can make money by selling it to people in need and subsequently offer that money back to people in need, one could personally have a hand in making the world a better place (read: Oprah). This brings number two unexamined belief into question!

I have a gift. It has taken me a long time (40 years) to figure it out. Little did I know that all of my life pursuits have been apprenticing me to this gift. I know that with this gift I can make the world a better place by helping people feel safe in themselves, who they are and what they offer the world and in turn help others feel safe as well. Now what do I charge?

Now that I am running my own business it is helpful to create a structure around the cost of my services. Since my perspective on money has never been to amass a great fortune (see unexamined belief number three), though I am not averse to this, I find the idea of charging money daunting. To me this means that I have to offer you something of value, but the value of my job as a coach is my perspective, not an actual deliverable, and what if you don’t like what I have to say, well then, why don’t you pay me next time…

I have discovered, through trial and error, that paying next time or offering free services does not create the relationship that I am looking for: long-term, committed and forward thinking/moving. I am committed to my clients, I am in it for the long-term and I am perpetually thinking and moving forward. I have discovered this has value. Again, what do I charge?

Another obstacle for me is add-on services. Clients keep asking me for a meditation CD and a DVD of somatic practices, or more information on requests, and other concepts that we cover in our sessions and at our workshop. From the outside when people ask for those tools to support their practice and future they mean it. Yet, I think oh they don’t really need to spend their money on that, I even offer them other places to get these resources, when they really want it from me because they trust me.

Recently, thanks to my enduring love and respect for my friend, I begrudgingly went to a workshop in Las Vegas called Speak to Sell given by Lisa Sasevich (thanks Cyndi). Lisa and her team helped me see I was not serving my clients by holding back my offer for more options to deepen their learning. She called it a disservice (see unexamined belief number one). A disservice! Can you believe it! Here I am hoping to offer value and choice, and I am undermining my own value by not offering support services for people who love me and want to learn more!

The more implemental benefit I received from this workshop was a plan. Here’s what you offer and the cost for people who are interested in learning but not too committed yet, and here is the, I am interested and committed but not sure if you are my teacher yet, middle ground offer and cost, and here is what I offer and charge to the person who wants to buy the farm! Not being from a business systems background, the model is so simple yet it eluded me.

Since I am secure with my gift and offer to the world, I am uncovering and revising my unexamined beliefs about money, and I now have a plan and know what to charge for my services, I have a sense that from here I can build a foundation that will serve other people, provide for my family and benefit the world. Want to uncover the underlying beliefs that keep you from reaching your potential? Invite perspective, the world needs your unique gift!

Pancake Recipe

In the past before I was a Mother and before one of my Mother job duties became sustaining my family by providing them with diverse, delicious and nutritious food, I really liked to cook. You may say, just feed them Mac and Cheese with some broccoli and call it good. But, alas, as my friends remind me, my standards are too high to serve and eat food that has been extruded, reduced to powder, shipped, stocked, bought and then rehydrated for dinner! I simply cannot do that when there are so many other delicious options and I am actually a good cook; though more recently I have been taking advantage of quick meals, especially at breakfast.

Breakfast is the worst for me. I have talked to friends who seem to not like making dinner, some hate making lunch, but for me it’s breakfast that I dislike. If it were up to me and it is to an extent, we would have greens and herbs with eggs or lentils or mushrooms or quinoa. I actually eat a variation on this theme most days. My kids however are not into it. I guess I never received the memo that tells me how to hold the line with my screaming child when they want toast for breakfast and I know we need to get to school, I need them to go to school and we do not have too much time to negotiate.

My daughter would actually eat lentils and greens for breakfast; my son, not so much. And he has me, all of us actually, when he screams we all move to rescue him merely to save ourselves, but this is not a sustainable or beneficial mode of operation. In order to avoid the conflict, I have chosen to make breakfast a little more simple, bread like (we are gluten-free) and with a sweet component, yet still incorporate protein and at least some fruit, it they eat it. I hear of families that eat vegetables for breakfast and I aspire to that goal. If anyone can offer me some suggestions I would appreciate them but for now we will stick to good enough and make sure to get veggies in at lunch and dinner.

Here is a slightly tweaked pancake recipe from my friend Rachel. You will need a vitamix for this one or another powerful blender (I am really into kitchen appliances!!).

½ cup Brown Rice

1/3 cup irish steel cut oats

¼ cup lentils (I use toor dal but you can use other lentils I suppose)

1 cup yogurt (I use goat yogurt)

Sprinkle of sea salt

2 tbs coconut oil (optional)

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. Let sit in the blender overnight. Its ok, it wont go rotten.

In the morning add:

1 – ½ tsp baking soda

2 eggs

½ c almond, hazelnut flour or meal (or any other kind of flour I have use purple corn flour before and made purple pancakes which my daughter loved and my son, not so much!)

Vanilla at your discretion (1 tsp or so)

Blend until smooth and incorporated. Then make pancakes. All other pancake toppings (like blueberries or bananas) and additions optional!

Enjoy, I hope this makes your morning a little easier and with happy children!




Counterbalance: Opening to External Influence

I just finished reading the book Poser by Claire Dederer. I read this book on the recommendation of a friend, who emailed me not once, but twice urging me to read it. I was going to ignore the first email, but when the second one came I decided I had better check it out! (Thanks Stacy!)

Toward the end of the book Dederer references a teaching by one of her yoga gurus Katharine Seidel about yoga being a counterbalance for how she lives her life outside of class. I liked the idea and thought that much of my life has been moving towards and striving for balance, with maybe a bit of striving for perfection; not a desire for societal perfection, but to be my version of what perfect would be at the time.

In this striving I used my ideal image of myself as the counterbalance to where I was and the motivation to keep moving toward the ideal. This worked for a while, but eventually I exhausted the boundaries of my internal story. At this point, I got stuck, my energy stagnated and I lived in a low level frustration or trigger. This pattern has occurred multiple times in my life. Each time I found a way to get unstuck and keep moving forward thanks to some amazing teachers, friends, mentors and coaches. I found that unless I explore myself objectively through external feedback I really have no sense of balance except that in my own mind which is not objective.

As I stated above, friends are also amazing sources of objective feedback, if we can listen. Recently, on Mother’s Day, I was camping in the mountains with friends. In service of maintaining balance and staying present with our kids, three of us decided to go for a run together. Upon our return, children and adults in various stages of milling around the morning campfire, asked about the run, which I commented “it kicked my ass”, which is partially true. To which my dear and very insightful running partner said that I just did not know what my limits were and that I reserved part of myself in case I needed any energy for something later in the day, week, or year. She told me that I did not know my own capacity because I never let myself stretch beyond the physical boundaries of what I think I can do.

Whoa! That certainly was concise external feedback. I trust her and it resonated with me. In the past I would have probably gotten defensive or triggered using my history to make the case that I pushed myself as I have done many crazy, burly, adventurous physical feats but she was right, I never called upon my maximum within this realm.

Immediately upon the recognition that I did hold myself back I started scanning for all the other ways that I kept myself from giving my all. I noticed that this pattern exists everywhere in my life. And I knew to find my edge I was going to need help and support.

To me this is the beauty of coaching, whether it is with a friend, mentor, family member or actual coach. Being with someone when they see you, you who has a tendency to underestimate yourself, and they can see how you are holding yourself back and offer feedback to help you grow. For me coaching is counterbalance. It helps me move beyond the walls I create for myself and see me different, new, growing.

If you would like to discover your full capacity and expand into areas you never thought possible.  Invite perspective, the world needs all of you, be the inspiration!

Sign up and follow me as I challenge other beliefs in regard to money in my next blog post.

Step Out of Your Story

Tonight is a full moon, a ‘super’ moon in fact. I can see the moon because I am in Petaluma, California the land of clear skies and sun. Petaluma is also the location of my chosen teacher(s) at the Strozzi Institute.

Tonight I had Strozzi Bodywork by one of my teachers who has an amazing ability to relate to me, believe in me and be just the right container to draw me out, literally out of my story.

Tonight I realized that I exist outside of the two dimensional world that I have created for myself in my mind. I exist in three dimensions, the body of me has mass, and it is palpable. I realized that I have been a story that I was telling instead of a living person. Tonight, I stepped out into freedom, into my livingness unconstrained by the boundaries I held for myself by the way I constructed the world in my mind.

For those of you that are curious, I know that I have mass when I weigh myself and feel the circumference of my arms, legs and torso. And within the form of my body, there is a way in which I recede from the boundaries of my flesh and live inside a smaller version of myself, as if I am still 6 on the inside and that is the capacity I allow myself to live within. After tonight, I now know how to access more range of self. In this I feel more grounded and able to access my gifts, my inner critic is quiet, and I move with grace.

Strozzi Bodywork is a combination of various body oriented mediums including: Feldenkreis (slow movement to reintroduce body parts to the mind), Rolfing (deep connection through unsticking fascia and muscles to increase fluid movement), Breath Work (various influences, addressing the connection to our breath and ability to feel our life), Polarity Therapy (moving stagnated energy to create a new sense of internal awareness and capacity) and Somatics (creating connection between the nervous system and the mind to shed light on what is tense and what is relaxed in the body). All of these modalities have foundations in the work of Wilhelm Reich. Strozzi Bodywork brings attention to our true capacity, our body, and helps us feel what it is like to be fully within our physical structure and experience our aliveness.

This is powerful work that can bring forward emotions and sensations that have been long blocked off because at the time they occurred there was no help, no capacity and no outlet for their expression. It is scary and freeing to experience long held blocks and realize that we have been limiting our capacity through thinking we are the story we create in our minds, when really we are so much more.

Strozzi Bodywork is based on trust between the practitioner and the client. Through this relationship, the client is able to connect to their body. I have been receiving this type of body work consistently for three years now and have seen and felt amazing results:

  • A rise in frequency of moving gracefully through change and transition,
  • An increase in my ability to predict and sense my triggers,
  • An exponential growth in my belief, value and confidence in myself,
  • And, a calmness and greater capacity to be and stay in connection with others and connected to myself, especially when emotions peek.

As I reflect on my path I wonder how I could lie on a table, fully clothed, be touched at various pressure points on the back of the neck, the hand, shoulder, shin, be asked to breathe deeply and rhythmically, and then after a short period of time (less than a massage) get off the table and feel, look, be a newer improved version of myself. And I see this same transformation in colleagues, clients and friends who have experienced this work.

As I move toward the future I choose, I am no longer a prisoner of my inner critic. That internal story that has helped me to survive until now is not useful to me anymore. In connecting purposely and deeply with my body, I can listen to a new voice.

If you would like to step out of your story and into a fuller, more capable, confident, satisfied version of yourself, invite perspective, and a body/mind upgrade! Say ‘YES’ to the life you desire!