Blue Heron Visions
Spiritual Life Coaching
|Volume 1, Issue 4||
October 1, 2004
When you read the phrase “pursue expansion,” what images come to mind? Perhaps you see an explorer discovering new territories or a pregnant woman as she grows ever larger with the new life inside of her.
I found this phrase in a daily horoscope. As I considered the phrase’s significance, I realized that we, as spiritual beings, are all here to do exactly what the phrase says: Pursue expansion!
Before we determine how we can become pursuers of expansion,
we need to clearly understand the phrase’s meaning.
Expansion is “the act of increasing (something) in size or volume or quantity or scope.” Expansion also means “to add information or detail.” In both definitions, we see the idea of adding to or growing. Expansion is about thinking and perceiving beyond the boundaries we have set for ourselves. There are no limitations nor ruts in expansion.
Now, let’s put the phrase together. To pursue expansion means to follow forward with intention, energy, and focus toward the goal of growing or increasing ourselves in as many ways as possible, adding knowledge and detail to our daily experience in the Here and Now. Sounds like a glorious way to live, doesn’t it? But, how do we live that way?
Even though expansion is about extending ourselves beyond boundaries and thinking big, we only need to make small—in fact, infinitesimally small—changes to pursue expansion. The reason? Every change we embrace in our lives offers us the opportunity to see ourselves and our lives in a different way.
Here’s an example. Let’s say that you drive to work using the same route every day. Then, one day you decide to take another route. How much more focus and awareness do you experience as you drive that new route? How intently do you pay attention to road signs? In fact, you may even feel overwhelmed or excited or more alive because suddenly there are new sights, sounds, and challenges to face, resulting from a small and simple change. And, all the experiences you have while driving the new route expand your former boundary—“I always use the same route to go to work.”—and add detail and knowledge to your life because of what you discover about the route and about yourself.
Try this simple way to pursue expansion in your life.
First, examine your daily routines and list everything in your life that you see as a rut or a routine you do unconsciously. This list could include everything from when you brush your teeth to what route you take to the grocery store. Nothing in your life is too small to examine or to seek to expand.
Second, for each item on the list, brainstorm and decide how you intend to change or expand what you do. Perhaps you always watch TV before going to bed. You could expand that routine by deciding to read before bed one day a week.
Maybe your 10-minute breakfast each morning is a cup of coffee and a muffin. Expand your experience by getting up 15 minutes earlier and serving your coffee and muffin on your best china. Allow yourself to truly enjoy the experience of breakfast by taking time to taste each bite of your muffin and to savor each sip of coffee.
Third, consciously, add one change to your life, either daily or weekly. By committing to a change, you are choosing to expand your self-made boundaries and to add to your life experience. Even the smallest change brings new perceptions about you and your life because now you are consciously focused on what you are doing, moment by moment.
Fourth, pay attention and record your expansion experiences in your journal. Each change you incorporate increases your awareness, insights, perceptions, and ideas. Keeping a record of your expansion experiences enables you to remember them and encourages you to continue.
How might your life change this month if you decided to pursue expansion? :o)
While reading the other day, I came across this phrase: “Hoodwinked by shoulds.” Suddenly, I noticed that the word should is found in the word shoulders! I knew immediately that my Soul was sending me a message.
Like many people, I usually have a long list of shoulds in my life, such as:
As I was thinking about my should list, my Soul shared some interesting insights about shoulds.
After thinking about these insights, I knew the time had come for me to remove the shoulds from my shoulders. I discovered that an effective way to stop carrying the should burden is to reframe the shoulds.
In her book Soul Coaching: 28 Days to Discover Your Authentic Self, Denise Linn provides a great way to reframe a should list. She suggests that people substitute “I could” for “I should” and add “but I choose not to at this time” at the end of each phrase. So, “I should worry less” becomes “I could worry less but I choose not to at this time.”
Reframing my shoulds releases me from the burdensome requirements I was adding to my life and allows me to examine my choices from my Soul’s perspective.
What messages has your Soul been sending you? Are you listening? :o)
by Ellie Weiss, CEC, ACC, CMM
|This month’s Guest Coach, Ellie Weiss, shares insights about how we can make the best choices possible. Learn more about Ms. Weiss in “Meet the Guest Coach.”|
A choice is a decision-oriented process in which options are evaluated and one option is selected over others. That being said, where do we go from here?
We make choices every day that we live on this earth. Some are instinctive and require very little thought, just an action. An example is stopping at a red traffic light. We choose to stop at the red light because we have been trained to do so. We decide what to eat or drink, what to wear, where to go, how to get there. So we are making choices every single day, and most of the time we do not reflect much on those choices.
Major choices in our lives are another story entirely. Most times, we agonize over them, and unfortunately, sometimes paralyze ourselves worrying about those choices. Some of these are job, marriage, how to raise our children, where to live, etc. These choices paralyze us because we are afraid we will make the wrong choice. However, by making no choice, we are in essence making a choice.
We are also afraid of the consequences, the unknown and changes that may result from our choices. Uncertainty arises when we worry, “Is this the right choice for me?” “Have I made poor choices in the past?” “What will my family and friends think?” Choices initiate a change and change for some people is very, very difficult. It takes us out of our comfort zone into uncharted territory. Remember the famous quote by Franklin D. Roosevelt: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Take the fear out of a choice and the choice loses its power over you.
Here are three basic steps to make the best choice possible.
First, prepare for the choice by learning as much as possible about the choice. Do you know someone who has made the same choice and how did it turn out? Go on the Internet and find out everything you can about the issue. Something that I like to do is to make the decision hypothetically, and then live with it for several days. How does it feel? Does it feel right? Do you wake up glad you made the decision?
Second, weigh all of the options. How important is the choice on a scale of one to ten? Are there other options you have not considered? What are the pros and cons of the choice?
Take a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On the one side list all of the reasons you want to make the choice and on the other side list all the reasons why you don’t want to make the choice. What are the best and worse case scenarios?
Here is a game I like to play with myself. I ask myself what is the worst thing that can happen if I make this decision? As long as it is not life threatening and will not affect my family, I relax. Frequently, we become so involved in what can happen and take it to the extreme that we lose track of what is really important in life.
Third, trust yourself. Listen to your inner voice. If we quiet our minds, we can hear what our instinct and Soul voice is trying to tell us. Trust that voice; it will never lead you astray. Learn to accept yourself as the beautiful, wonderful creature created by God. God does not make junk and He made you, so how could you be less than perfect?
We second-guess ourselves frequently because we have been domesticated in our society to act a certain way and live a certain way. The part of us that we used to hear from when we were younger has been squelched by our parents, teachers, and ministers, albeit, very lovingly and with good intentions. But this domestication process has lead to mistrust and doubt of our own conscience or inner Soul voice. We are, on the whole, group animals, and it is important to us to be accepted by the tribe in which we live.
Deal with your limiting beliefs. These are things which may have been true at one point in your life, but no longer serve you. Acknowledge them as having been helpful and useful earlier, but now are holding you back from being the best “you” you can be.
Lastly, relax and remember you are perfect already. Put joy in your life and live in the moment. You only have this moment once in your life. Don’t let it pass you by because you are filling your life with worry and fret. Trust your instinct. It won’t let you down.
Most choices are not life sentences. Choices can be changed. You take a job and it doesn’t work out—so what! You’ve had a learning experience about what you don’t want in a job. If you view choices as learning experiences, it takes a lot of the stress out of making the choice.
There are many paths to get us where we are meant to be in this life. If the first one doesn’t work, as they say, another bus will be along in fifteen minutes... The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the ride you are having in this wonderful thing called Life. :o)
“Every choice moves us closer or farther away from something. Where are your choices taking your life? What do your behaviors demonstrate that you are saying yes or no to in life?”
– Eric Allenbaugh –
If you are a coach and would like to submit an article and be featured in the “Meet the Guest Coach” section, send an email to me at email@example.com, introducing yourself and indicating your article idea. :o)
Ellie Weiss is credentialed as an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF) and is a Certified Empowerment Coach (CEC) graduate of the Institute for Professional Empowerment Coaching (iPEC). She is a member of the ICF and the Philadelphia Area Coaches Alliance (PACA).
Ellie’s natural ability to empathize with, listen to, and motivate people has led people to seek her insight for many years. As a medical administrator for 20 years, with a degree in management, Ellie has encouraged staff members to grow personally and spiritually, as well as professionally.
She has been following her own spiritual path for the past five years while enjoying many clients’ growth to stress-free living in their daily lives.
Ellie offers both private and group sessions.She currently has coaching clients in the corporate arena as well as private clients. She is taking new coaching clients and you can reach her at 610-283-1078.
Additional information about Ellie Weiss is available on the ONIFY website at http://onify.com/index.php?P=Coach. :o)
CEC, ACC, CMM
“There is nothing worth more than this day.”
– Goethe –
What questions do you have about coaching? What challenges or situations would you like to discuss with a coach? I would like to start an “Ask the Coach” column in my newsletter. This column will NOT be an advice column. Instead, I will use coaching techniques to evoke insights into the questions submitted. (I will use the submitter’s initials only to maintain confidentiality.) Submit your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. :o)
|Editor’s Note: From time to time, I will review books that have profoundly influenced my life. I hope you find this feature helpful and enjoyable. :o)|
|Many self-improvement books have been written that discuss how we can create and manifest the life we truly want. Some of these books emphasize the importance of setting an intention. Others examine self-talk and positive thinking. Still others focus on universal laws or principles. Dr. Wayne Dyer in The Power of Intention: Learning to Co-create Your World Your Way touches on all of these concepts, as well as others, by placing them in relationship to a universal, all-pervading energy field or force he describes as the field of Intention. When we connect and are in harmony with this field, also known as the Source, “anything we can conceive of in our minds. . .can and must come to pass” (Dyer ix).|
To help us move from “thinking about intention to knowing intention” (21), Dyer endeavors to put a face—in fact, seven faces—on the field of Intention. They are:
These seven faces illustrate the principles by which the field of Intention, the Source, operates. Dyer proposes that when we align ourselves with these principles and act like the Source, we flow in the field of Intention. When we are in that flow, what we desire to create in our lives becomes reality.
In the final chapters of Part I, Dyer focuses on ways to connect, overcoming obstacles the ego uses to hinder our connection, and the impact our connection has on those around us. These chapters provide explanations, suggestions, and examples, many from Dyer’s own life.
The chapter on overcoming obstacles is extremely helpful and insightful. Dyer’s use of “The Match Game” is a useful tool that illustrates the importance of our inner speech and how matching our thoughts to those of the Source keeps us connected to and flowing with the field of Intention (63). In addition, Dr. Dyer’s “Seven Steps for Overcoming Ego’s Hold on You” (83) gave me some real “aha” moments. For example, Step 7 states: “Let go of your reputation.” In this step, Dyer explains that our reputations do not reside in us. Instead, they “[reside] in the minds of others” (86). So, when we place importance on others’ perceptions of our reputations, we disconnect ourselves from the field of Intention.
Since connecting with the field of Intention requires action, Dr. Dyer provides suggestions for implementing the ideas found in each chapter of Part I.
Part II of the book, which is called “Putting Intention to Work,” provides specific guidance for applying the principles of Intention in daily life. There are eight chapters that cover specific life situations, such as:
At the end of each chapter, Dr. Dyer gives a 10-step program so that we can practice applying the principles we have learned to achieve the stated intention of the chapter. The steps given are not complicated and provide ways to keep ourselves constantly connected to the field of Intention.
Part III, which consists of a single chapter titled “A Portrait of a Person Connected to the Field of Intention,” describes how a person connected to the field of Intention “might think, feel, and co-create” (ix). In fact, Dr. Dyer in the book’s preface encourages us to read the last chapter before we read the book to get an idea of how being connected to the field of Intention might impact our lives and the lives of others.
The Power of Intention is one of the most perspective-changing books I have ever read. This book showed me how I can see life and the people in my life and the world from the viewpoint of the Source. I gained a new understanding of the ego and how it uses self-importance to undermine my connection to the Source. I learned to a greater degree how important my thought life and imagination are to my flowing in the field of Intention.
Some critics of the book have said that Dr. Dyer is judgmental about alcohol, drugs (legal or not), and certain types of music because he believes that we experience lower energy levels when we drink alcohol, take any type of drug, or listen to particular kinds of music. While I can understand the point the critic’s are making, several times in the book, Dr. Dyer asks us to keep an open mind and be open to all possibilities while reading. I am sure as we progress in our practice of staying connected to the field of Intention we will discover what lowers our energy and causes us to disconnect from the Source.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. No matter what your beliefs are about God, the Universe, and Life, the information Dr. Dyer presents will expand your perceptions and enable you to connect, perhaps for the first time, to the power of Intention. :o)
“Can you change what is simply by changing the way you see it? I say a resounding yes. . . .”
– Dr. Wayne Dyer, from The Power of Intention
In the timeless Now,
In the spaceless silence