Awakening to Radical Aliveness

For the last few years, well maybe 30, I have been all about finding what brings me to life and following it. From meditation to yoga, to climbing and onto my chosen profession, coaching. In the last few years, probably after tipping past 40, I am keenly aware that there is an end to my time here in this earth walk. Which makes me lean toward all things radical: from medicine to ecopsychology to development.

Over the years I have radically transformed. Much of the transformation has been happening in the background of my life. As I practice, I have been laying the foundation for shedding old habit patterns of behavior that do not serve me. My practices include meditation, yoga, getting into the mountains, communicating with integrity, growing and cooking food.

A practice is something we do with relative frequency that provides us with some benefit and perspective, though we often forget the benefit in the moments of struggling to keep up the practice! A practice is also something we do with intention, a wish for something more to be available to us through our practice.

I can drive people crazy with my practices. Meditating instead of hanging out with Neil. Planning months ahead of time for a mountain trip. Taking weekends and asking for help from the family to prepare, plant, tend and put to sleep my extensive garden. Asking the tough questions of family members and having difficult or taboo conversations for the sake of deepening our intimacy and growing together. All of these things, though difficult, ultimately reward me on my path.

And you ask, what does that have to do with me?

I have a dream in which all people are fully alive, effortlessly occupying the space that brings them the most joy and offering their gifts to the world. I believe there is a maturity inherent to this space that allows us to both be fully ourselves and allow others to be fully themselves without defensiveness. It helps us to sit in the fire when things are uncomfortable, to push and try things that are out of our comfort zone, whether those be physical, emotional or mental pursuits.

But what does all this mean? To be fully alive? Is it possible?

We believe it is possible but it takes a willingness to be touched and transformed by people, sunsets, movements, art. It requires a ‘robust vulnerability’ (David Whyte) to put your needs and desire out into the world. To make direct requests and be ok with ‘no’ as a response because simply asking directly will change the dynamic.

Radical transformation is dinner talk around our house. I realize this is not the case for all families. And that simply defining transformation can be tough. To us transformation means examining your internal self, deciding what you want to shift and then making moves to shift your behavior or transform.

  • Maybe you want to transform your relationships. Maybe your partner (children, parents, boss, etc.) get annoying after a while and this makes you feel a bit sad (mad or afraid).
  • Maybe you want to transform your job, body, or outlook. Maybe they don’t satisfy you anymore, yet you are not sure how to do that.

Let’s transform these experiences into something life giving, not life draining. As we only live once and to live a life at a deficit is underwhelming.

How can we help? This year we are offering even more ways to stay engaged in your development. No matter what the course, if you are open, all experiences offer you an opportunity to grow.

What is the point in growing?

“My life is already too full I don’t have time to grow anymore.”

When we reach a point where we don’t have time or energy to grow we have likely run into something so big and oppressive it has prevented us from moving forward. It is usually a belief, an illness, someone pushing against us, or a deep feeling (sadness, anger, fear) that we have no idea how to move with or past. There is a saying, if we don’t have our emotions, our emotions will have us! We can help navigate these challenges.

When we reach these points in life, where we have questions, maybe lots of them, but the answers that are bubbling to the surface are the same answers we have gotten for years and we have discovered that they don’t shift the situation! Then, we need to reach out for some help. One of our courses might be just right for you.

Are you ready to take a radical step in 2015?

As you move into 2015, what bold goal do you want to drop into? Is it to make more money, be at a job that is more fulfilling, parent in a way that feels life giving, attain a physical pursuit that has been needling you? Join us for a course. Practice something new. Start on January 30th and wake up your observer. We look forward to seeing you.

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Practical Transformation

Biologically, our species is designed to evolve. However, our culture says life can stay the same: botox, nips and tucks, hair color, Viagra. As you age stability becomes an assumption, you have earned it after all your effort, right?

Wrong. Actually life becomes more unstable: you are aging, there are things happening to you that you cannot stop, and you want to lead a life of purpose, but all too frequently your job and activities don’t seem to be filling that role anymore… If you try to stay the same, and block out the change that is calling, you risk not growing with the times and being left behind.

If you are enculturated to believe that you can eliminate change or disruption as you age, yet in reality, you have to evolve your perspective to live the life you desire, how can you continue to grow and develop to keep moving with the world, not in opposition to it?

At the Access Leadership Lab we call this practical transformation. A seemingly slow and long, yet at times remarkably fast, pathway to greater connection with yourself, your relationships, your work and the world at large. It begins by taking a step to learn about your patterns of thought, feeling and action. This will increase your awareness of who you are, notice how you impact others and sense how they impact you. Simply through your contemplation of these concepts, you begin to see things differently. This is called awareness or mindfulness. As a result, you begin change your actions, which has a different impact on others leading to a new output or performance.

The solutions you seek are there. You just need to find a way to tap into them. Each of you contain an enormous data base of experiences, sensations and emotions. You just need help pulling out the patterns from the data base so you can see which ones serve you and which ones don’t. This is big data people. (Check out any business magazine you see, it’s all the rage.) This is the goal of the Access Leadership Lab; gather objective data, conceptualize inherent patterns and make conscious choices, not biologically and historically driven ones. That is what practical transformation is all about finding solutions to unhappiness and worries, as well as desires and aspirations.

If you are on this path, then you understand that through this process of becoming mindful, you will occasionally come up against something you might not be able to solve on your own. A way of seeing the world that blocks you, it is so integral to who you are it feels impossible to move past. During times like these you need resources to help you see yourself and the subject at hand through new eyes. This is what we offer; tools, insights and practices that allow you to keep moving along your path to greater satisfaction in life.

We are offering various way to engage with us this year, 2015.

  • Monthly one-hour data downloads to give you different perspective on how to see yourself, your co-workers/children/partners as well as skills to practice in order to navigate challenging situations more gracefully.
  • Monthly four-hour workshops that also fit together as a year-long development plan. These session will be more interactive than one-hour sessions, require more participation and create a clearer pathway for practical transformation. Sessions will cover theory on challenging interpersonal topics, such as feedback and conflict, they will allow time for self-reflection and observation (the only way to really see and shift patterns of behavior) and preserve time for practicing the skills that relate to the theories we cover.
  • Lastly, this year we are offering our two-day deep dive into transformation, the Leadership Adventure Workshop. This course will illuminate patterns of behavior that keep you from attaining the results you desire, and give you actions and practices to help you create practical transformation in your life. Neil and I co-deliver this course. Our signature presence comes through in the way we care for and challenge you and your assumptions about how things are/should be. Throughout these two days we will support your practical transformation in a way that is digestible and attainable in your life.

Listen to your intuition. If it is saying “Hum, that sounds cool.” Join us for a workshop. If you think you might… do it, invite perspective. Our path is to help others live the life they dream about. Start now. Time is, well, it’s moving. Join us.