When you are on a path of growth for yourself, you are faced with challenges.
Like in Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey, it may appear that most of those challenges are external to you —people, circumstances, events, trials— but the solutions are often found within because the specific way these challenges present themselves to you are, also, unique to you.
As such, the greatest leverage you can have in altering the course of your life —and the challenges you face— is through the practice of Personal Sovereignty.
If sovereignty is the simple yet complex skill of making better choices for yourself and others in connection, then new skills have to be developed to discern and make these choices in a way that is supportive of the growth and happiness of all.
But before this can be done, one has to first face and resolve two kinds of challenges: those that live within yourself, and those you have with others.
Challenges within yourself are things that continually come up within you —perhaps even in multiple areas of your life. Limiting beliefs, emotional triggers, or a limited capacity to handle situations that are thrown at you— to name just a few. Challenges with circumstances are also usually challenges within yourself.
Challenges with others tend to be more familiar: those problems that continually arise between you and them. They can be inter-personal conflicts, deficient or ambiguous communication, or a lack of aligned purpose and values— to list some common ones.
My specialty is in helping you face all these challenges, and then support you in developing the skill of Personal Sovereignty so that we not only reach your initial desired outcomes, you also continue to move through life with the love, power, health, and happiness that you deserve.
Our work, then, is to chart a course: your own personal Path to Sovereignty. And on this path, you will develop six meta-skills:
1. Living consciously: Being actively and fully engaged in what you do and with whom you interact.
2. Self-acceptance: To not be overly judgmental or critical of your thoughts and actions.
3. Self-responsibility: Taking full responsibility for your decisions and actions in your life's journey.
4. Self-assertiveness: Being authentic and willing to defend your beliefs, choices, and needs when interacting with others, rather than bending to their will to be accepted or liked.
5. Living purposefully: Having clear near-term and long-term goals and realistic plans for achieving them to create a sense of control over your life.
6. Personal integrity: Being true to your words and your values.
The six meta-skills will be your compass on your journey.
In any quest, you need a map and course if you want to get to your destination, and in our work, it is no different; we need to understand where you are, where you want to go, what it will be like when you get there, and how you will know if and when you have arrived. We may need to change the route we take along the way, but the destination remains the same.
Phase One: Locating Yourself on the Map
What do you want to achieve or resolve in our time together such that you would feel like you have fulfilled your desires?
How would you know when you had that? What would you be seeing feeling hearing, doing and/or experiencing?
Here and now: What is currently happening in your life?
Obstacles: What you do think has been stopping you from achieving that?
A lack of a clear or aligned vision
Hard or soft skills that must be acquired
A lack of know-how or simply a missing perspective?
Phase Two: Setting the Course
Using what we have discovered in the previous step, we prepare and set a course and plan to realize your Desires. And while Phase 2 is always fleshed out based on the assessment of Phase 1, here are some examples of what Phase 2 may include:
Individual coaching and guidance
Using advanced techniques to dissolve personal or interpersonal blocks, limiting beliefs, and internal conflicts
Supporting a community of acceptance, openness, and honesty
Growing a culture of advancement from failures
Clarifying outcomes and aligning visions
Training involving increased facility with the self and increased skill communicating and relating with others
Developing any or all of the the six meta-skills mentioned above
Creating practices that support both short and long term growth
Phase Three: The Journey
In this phase we set off on the path, beginning practices, explorations, exercises, rituals, conversations. And as our relationship develops, the added resources that it brings to your life allows you to begin to experience your desires not only as something possible, but also as something that is real.
My goal, as your guide on the Path to Sovereignty, is to make myself obsolete. Phase 3 is about making sure the course we designed in the previous phase is effective and sustainable. We are not just getting you to your destination; we are also setting you up for future journeys. This can include:
Making adjustments to the plan or the route
Adding or subtracting coaching or training modules
Providing objective and ongoing feedback
Phase Four: The Journey is/and the Destination
As you reach your desired outcomes through our work together, you will realize that your life is filled with a multitude of inner journeys, each at different phases, unfolding at different rates, and going towards different destinations. Each will feel like a different ship sailing a different course.
This is normal: your life is a true and beautiful multitude.
As such, this last phase isn’t as much of a phase as it is the celebration of what you accomplished and the setting of a new course with your newfound knowledge of your inner and outer world as well as your newfound skills and abilities.
You were always free, but now you know the world just a bit better. From there you can life, explore, love and venture forth.
Ask yourself: “What do I desire for myself in my life?”
The first step on the Path to Sovereignty is simple: it begins with “I desire…”. You may not know the answer immediately or the words that come out may not be what you expected.
There is no wrong answer.
In fact, the practice of asking develops the practice of answering.
And this it the work.
Whether you are having nail-biting anxiety because you are not sure what is the right thing to do or whether you need someone to assist you in negotiating big life changes, or, you are one of the few who has realized that the only thing in they way of realizing your dreams is you, having a guide who is trained in multiple advanced communication and skills as well as someone who can bring multiple perspectives to bear on the situation ... and someone who has been in the trenches-- can make the difference between experiencing epic success, or struggling, epically.
What accelerates the process is having a guide.
Someone who will engage you in true partnership around your dreams and goals, so that you can realize them with a new level of fulfillment, and at a greater pace and more clarity than you thought possible. Someone who is an expert at listening, drilling into the core of your concerns and desires, and asking the right questions so you can clear your head to move forward in the next phase of your professional life with certainty and ease. Someone who can show you exactly how to handle difficult situations with skill, ease, and grace.
Someone who is an expert in assisting you in learning to manage your own mind, body, and heart.
On the importance of Authenticity to Recognize Real Needs
I believe what is crucial in this work is to recognize the degree to which we delude and lie to ourselves (and others), and to realize that even if this lying is, in a way, authentic, the real needs underneath often don't get met, and as a result we can remain stuck in a perpetual attempt to get the wrong needs met.
In other words, because of limiting beliefs, shame, guilt, or perhaps even ignorance, we might cover up real needs in favor of what we should need.
Unfortunately, when we are stuck in a cycle or web of unmet needs, it seems that all that we want is relief even when we know what is best for us, what healthy behavior that lead to more healthy behavior might look like. So on one hand, we have quick relief, and on the other we have little relief but long term benefits. When pain is high enough, it’s no surprise that people pick the first option. However, once we face what our real needs are without lying and deception, we also realize that each step we take towards long term benefit is also a step we take towards loving ourselves unconditionally.
So in a way, while lying and deceiving are authentic, there is a deeper truth around what we need that needs to be uncovered such that we don't go back to the unhealthy/destructive behaviors that are a response to wanting quick relief.
This deeper truth is that we are love, and that we need to live as love.