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Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London
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Insight Magazine featuring Ginger London

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  • 1. Insights magazine is now published quarterly. September: Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations With God July: look for our new PUBLISHED! magazine. Insights Bonus: Annual Superstar Showcase—Limited Edition All of our fabulous 2010 cover interviews, all in one place—ad free FREE when you Subscribe (1-year)We will private label Insights for you as your own publication! Circulation: 17,500+ Insights online, downloadable & available in Print. Enjoy on your Kindle & iPad! Insights Magazine is a member of Expert Insights™ Family of Opportunity Insights and PUBLISHED! magazines The Coaches Edge: Extraordinary events Write Away, Write Now!: Where writers and opportunity meet The Coach Exchange (tce): Coaching network and showcase venues Top Global Resources Directories: The best coaching and publishing has to offer www.getei.com Publisher: Expert Insights™, Charlotte, NC 28213 Publisher@GetExpertInsights.com All Rights Reserved: Reprint or use of any content prohibited without permission.
  • 2. Message from the Publisher, Viki Winterton:Message from the Publisher, Viki Winterton: Insights Magazine brings you leading experts in coaching and empowerment, sharing their wisdom, vision, secrets of success and personal defining moments of inspiration. We hope you will enjoy your new Insights. In this Issue: Marianna Lead, Ph.D., PCC, Author, Founder of the Goal Imagery® InstituteDiscover how a holistic approach better meets the needs of both coaches and clients. Page 4Jodi Orshan, Marriage and Family Therapist, Life Coach, Creator of The Parenting Pyramid Understand the process and benefits of proactive parenting. Page 10 Jean M. DiGiovanna, Founder of ThinkPeople® and Workshop University® Find out what it means—and what it takes—to “have it all.” Page 14 Ben Croft, Leading Business and Executive Coach Marketer Consider how strategic alliances can benefit your business. Page 20 Ginger London, Ordained Christian Minister, Author, Speaker, Life Coach Discover how life coaching and Christian ministry can be bridged and what makes a great Christian life coach. Page 26 Janet Leathem, Board Certified Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Learn to live a balanced life and promote optimum H.E.A.L.T.H. Page 35 Azzah, Psychological Counselor, Intrinsic Observation Specialist Explore who you are not in order to reveal who you are. Page 42 Bill Cumming, Executive Director of The Boothby Institute, The Coach‟s Coach How can loving kindness change the world? How can it change you? Page 48 Insights Expert Directory, Events and Resources Pages 56-59 Celebrating All the Experts Who Have Graced 2010 Insights Pages! Page 60 A special “thank you” to media personality, Stacey Chadwell.
  • 3. Marianna Lead, Ph.D. is a PCC as well as the Founder and Executive Director of the Goal Imagery® Institute. A Transformational Coach and Clinical Hypnotherapist, she is a pioneer in tapping the subconscious power of emotions and imagination for achieving individual and organizational goals. Dr. Lead was the creator and host of Life Coach TV, a popular primetime cable TV show in New York City, has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution, and has also designed and taught numerous courses at New York University. I: In 2006, you were the first expert invited to introduce coaching at the world- renowned Smithsonian Institution. How has the coaching industry changed since that time? ML: Overall, coaching has increased greatly in awareness and acceptance by the general public. It grew tremendously in its popularity and use by individuals and organizations. Internally, there is an evolution towards becoming more comfortable with dealing with our clients‟ feelings and accepting those feelings as part of their coaching experience. Until recently, in our zeal to separate ourselves from psychology, we often drew a line when a client would even mention a negative feeling. It would raise the red flag of crossing over into therapy, and as crazy as it seems now, we weren‟t supposed to ask our clients how they felt about something. But that has gradually changed over the last few years. I: We do talk about how people feel now, because it‟s relevant, as long as we‟re not diving into the past, right? ML: That‟s another conversation, but my argument was, if you can talk about your feelings to your barber or your hairdresser, why wouldn‟t you mention that to your coach? It‟s a significant part of the coaching experience now. I: As the popularity of coaching has -4-Photo by Beatrice Sniper
  • 4. increased, so have the number of coaching schools. With so many coaching training programsavailable, what lead you to create your own?ML: Because I‟m such an advocate of dealing with feelings in the coaching relationship, I came upwith the concept of Emotionally Charged Coaching™. I actually felt it was necessary to take a muchbroader, more holistic view of what needs to be taught in coaching school.I felt that no one was answering the question of how to deal with emotions in the coachingexperience, and as a hypnotherapist, I was very comfortable dealing with emotions. I understoodtheir relationship to the subconscious.There were a lot of schools of thought that developed in an attempt to integrate emotions intocoaching, including brain-based coaching, ontological coaching, and NLP coaching. Some of theseschools focused on the importance of thoughts, some focused on the importance of feelings, andsome focused on your sense of being and self-awareness.I felt that all of these aspects were equally important and needed to be integrated to create a trulywell-rounded foundation that united mind, body, and soul—to create a program that was trulyholistic.I: With coaching becoming more and more popular, why are so many coaches still struggling to findclients? Is coaching still an attractive career choice?ML: I definitely think it‟s still an extremely attractive career choice, and yes, it‟s possible to makegood money being a coach. What coaches need to understand is the concept of authentic marketing.Regardless of what school of thought you are following or what training you have, there is somethingvery unique about you as a person and in terms of your interests, your professional experiences, andyour skills. All of that tied in with your coach training experience is what makes you unique.As a coach, you need to take time—as much time as you need to take—to really understand who youare in terms of your professional self-awareness, so that you don‟t sound like everyone else.I: I agree. You want to have your authentic voice speaking.ML: What‟s interesting here is that when you develop that authenticity, even people who are shyabout offering their services don‟t feel so shy anymore. When you become fully aware of your gifts,you are able to naturally and authentically present yourself and what you are offering—instead of“selling yourself,” which is a negative concept.I: Do you also teach branding and marketing skills in your coach training program?ML: Yes, and I teach it throughout the course from the very beginning. Most other schools that Iknow of teach one class at the end of their training that is devoted to marketing. Usually it‟s a shortclass, and that‟s that. Then, their coaches are basically on their own.To really have an integrated sense of who you are that ties in with your training, your personality,your interests, your professional skills—all of you—is a process that cannot be taught in three or fourhours at the end of your training.Thats why I start teaching authentic marketing from the very first lesson, and it‟s woven into all ofour coach training. Throughout the seven-month training, our students are also learning to evaluateand re-evaluate who they are professionally and personally, so that when the course is over, they‟recompletely ready. They have no fear of offering their services and marketing themselves, and theyare ready to stand out from the crowd.I: What is your coaching philosophy, and what is Goal Imagery? -5- (Continued next page.)
  • 5. Marianna Lead, Ph.D. continued . . . “Goal Imagery® is a unique model that helps to synergize our conscious goals, our subconscious needs, and our true authentic core of being . . . We believe that the process of reaching a goal may be just as personally fulfilling and meaningful as actually attaining the goal itself.”ML: Goal Imagery is a way of helping organizations and individuals achieve their goals quickerand easier by tapping the subconscious power of emotions and imagination in combination withproven goal-setting strategy and project-management techniques.Goal Imagery is a unique model that helps to synergize our conscious goals, our subconscious needs,and our true authentic core of being. Essentially, Goal Imagery coaching combines traditionalcoaching skills with subconscious and holistic techniques. As a result, Goal Imagery coaching helpsclients to set goals, make decisions, and take actions that are completely congruent with who theytruly are at the core and essence of their being.We help people use their natural strengths, skills, resources, and creativity in order to achieve the lifethey desire. We believe that the process of reaching a goal may be just as personally fulfilling andmeaningful as actually attaining the goal itself.While traditional coaching tends to deal only with the present and the future, Goal Imagery coachingtakes into account the fact that most of our present and future challenges are based on our pastexperiences, on our culture, and on the way we were brought up. Goal Imagery provides the tools tore-evaluate, to readjust, and to reframe past experiences, to make achieving success and happinesseasier in the future.I: Since your training deals with the subconscious and emotion, does that mean you cross over alittle bit into therapy?ML: I hear that question a lot, because we, as coaches, are still not 100% confident and positive ofhow we are different from psychology, per se. Having said that, I always tell my clients and explain tomy new students that you can be therapeutic without doing therapy.I‟ll give you an example. Whether you take an acting class, a drawing class, or a dance class, it‟screative, it expands you, and it‟s extremely therapeutic—but it‟s not therapy. You can use therapeutictechniques and create a therapeutic experience without going into actual therapy.I: As someone who has played a major role in the development of an award-winning New York Citychapter of the International Coach Federation—and you served twice as the President—and assomeone who is very active on a global level, how important is it to be part of the coachingcommunity?ML: I think it‟s extremely important. Coaching is a constantly evolving profession—we never standstill. If you aren‟t involved in your coaching community, you‟re out of the loop.For those people who have difficulty getting out of the house—you can utilize the Internet. You canget on your computer, and if you belong to a large organization, you can constantly be a part of thatevolving community. For instance, I‟m very active with the International Coach Federation, and thereare newsletters, articles, research—there are constantly new resource materials available.In addition, it‟s also very important to stay connected to the coaching community for the purpose ofnetworking and referring clients to one another, because there so many different slices of the market,and every coach has their own niche, and more and more niches are surfacing every day.For instance, as a transformational coach I deal mostly with life and career challenges. Whensomeone needs to understand their finances better, I would probably refer them to a coach with a -6-
  • 6. financial background. When you belong to a professional group, it‟s always easier to get clients, tolearn more, and to grow professionally, and even personally.I: You donate your time to the ICF as a Credentialing Examination Assessor. What is the generalattitude now toward ICF accreditation, both for coaches and for people who are looking to hire one?ML: That‟s a very good question. Since coaching is not a licensed profession, unfortunately, virtuallyanyone can call themselves a coach; however, the public is becoming more educated and morediscriminating about who they‟re going to choose as their coach.Things like training, past experiences, credentialing, and certifications become the guide for a newclient when they‟re choosing a coach. As a matter of fact, that question and that answer feeds intomarketing for coaching: What are your credentials? What do you have to offer? How are you going tohelp your clients? Do you have a specific message that can relate your talents and skills?I: Does being an ICF assessor help you in mentoring your students to gain their credentials?ML: Of course. I have an insider‟s view, and since I‟ve been doing this for a few years now, I knowexactly how to train my students for the oral exam. It‟s not a secret that the exam is based on ICFcoaching core competencies. However, just to read them is one thing, but to live them as a coachwithin a session is a very different thing. Again, it‟s a process, and this process is not taughtovernight.I: For about five years you were the creator and executive producer of Life Coach TV, a popularprimetime cable show that helped the ICF in New York City greatly increase its membership alongwith public awareness of coaching. It also served as a model for other ICF chapters in the UnitedStates to create their own local shows. Where did you get the fantastic idea to create the show?ML: When I initially joined the New York City ICF Board ofDirectors—which was in 2003—there was very littleawareness of coaching outside of skill sets such as sportscoaching, acting coaching, and so on. There was a need tointroduce the idea of life coaching to the general public.As a board director, I felt it was my responsibility to bringall of my resources to the table. One of those resources wasmy acting background. As a Screen Actors Guild (SAG)professional actress and theater director, I knew aboutproduction, how to conduct an effective interview, and howto create an interesting and informative show that couldbenefit not only the chapter, but the coaching industry as awhole. The show dramatically helped in almost doubling ourICF-NYC membership—and it provided an opportunity forour coaches to connect with the general public and sharewhat they knew, how they coached, about their coachingstyle, and about their coaching niche.All of this really increased the awareness of coaching by thegeneral public, and specifically in New York City. When I leftthe board, I trained some of the board directors to take Photo by Beatrice Sniperover, and it‟s still alive and kicking under a new name.I: What a great testament to your work. What advice can you give someone trying to decide whichcoaching school to choose, and what are some key questions to ask when interviewing a school?ML: It‟s a very important decision, because it‟s anywhere from a six month to a two yearcommitment. Deciding where you‟re going to be for that period of time and who you‟re going to learnfrom is critical. -7- (Continued next page.)
  • 7. Marianna Lead, Ph.D. continued . . . Key Issues to Consider When Selecting a Coaching School Coaching Philosophy: Every school has its own approach and a specific coaching philosophy. You need to be in sync with that coaching philosophy if you want to become part of it. Usually this information is clearly defined on the school‟s Web site. Method of Training: Next you have to decide for yourself if you want to be trained on the phone or in person, or using a combination of these two methods. Questions to ask yourself include, “What is my learning style?” “How do I learn?” and “What makes learning easier?” Budget vs. Costs: What is your budget for your training? When Photo by Beatrice Sniper you interview a school, you must ask what is included in their quoted price, because I notice that many schools charge extra forthings like exams, certification, and learning materials. All of that adds up. Also, if you have to travelsomewhere, that also adds to your cost. There may even be an extra charge for some courses whenyou want to get their full training and become certified. These costs are often not included in theadvertised price you see on the Web site. Your cost may sometimes even double from what you thinkit will be. It‟s extremely important for you to understand what your complete and total cost is goingto be, and if that fits into your budget.Instructors and Class Sizes: Consider who your teacher will be and how many people are going tobe in each class. In coach training, small classes are critical. Needless to say, the teacher‟s expertiseand even their teaching style is even more important. If possible, I would recommend that youarrange a time to have a conversation with the actual person who teaches the course, not just withthe receptionist or with someone who handles sales for the training. If the school is large, this maynot be possible, but it‟s worth a try.How the Size of the School Affects What You Receive: Nowadays, bigger is not necessarilybetter. In fact the opposite may be true depending on a number of factors. Find out what the schoolactually offers in terms of how big or how small the classes are, who is teaching each class, etc. Don‟tlook at the size of the school, but look at what you are going to get as a result of your training andhow you are going to be trained.Alumni Support: What does a school offer in terms of follow up and support? Is there any marketinghelp for their coaches? Are they going to consistently support you when you are done with yourtraining? I think these are important questions to keep in mind and to ask.I: These are all very good points—especially about costs.ML: When I opened up my coaching training course, of course, like every other business person, Iwanted to be competitive with other schools that offered similar services, so I was trying tounderstand the pricing for a similar amount of hours and training. It was the most confusing researchbecause of that problem.I would see someone advertising themselves for $3,500, but when I dug deeper, I found that if Iactually paid for the whole thing, it would cost me $8,000, which is a huge difference. It was verydifficult to understand who‟s charging what and why, and to discern what the bottom line is—what Iam going to spend at the end of this.I decided to make it very easy to understand in my program and to make sure that all of mymarketing materials clarify that it‟s all inclusive, so people don‟t have to get a headache trying tofigure out how much it‟s going to cost them.I: What made you choose this arena for your life‟s great work? -8-
  • 8. ML: Every friend, every colleague I had told me I was crazy. They weretelling me there were so many coaching schools, why would I want to add “I want to knowone more? that [my students] graduate as capableI wasn‟t really sure in the very beginning, but what I always knew was that coaches, that theyI am a teacher at heart. Anything I know and am excited about, I want to can do what I do,share with others and teach them how to do it even better than I can. Thatwas my initial impulse—just to teach what I learned and to share what I‟m that they feel goodexcited about. Then I said to myself, “Everybody is trying to tell me that about offering theirthis is not a good idea, that there are so many coaching schools, and that services, and theynew coaching schools come along every day. Why would I want to have my feel confident theyown? Maybe we don‟t need one more.” can produce resultsBut as I was looking around and saw that everyone had so many different in their clients.ideas about what a new coach should know, I really felt that we desperately That’s the trueneeded a more well-rounded education where you wouldn‟t have to chose measure ofbetween the importance of thoughts versus feelings, or the importance of success . . .being versus the importance of doing. I wanted to create a truly holistic My studentsschool that would unite all of the above—plus, things that I‟ve learned andtaught at NYU and other educational institutions, such as Positive define myPsychology, Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP), and Emotional Intelligence. success.”I think when you finish any training, you are going to be attracted to some techniques more thanothers, and you‟re going to want to learn more about this or that, and that‟s great. But I think thatyou have to have an overview of all the tools that are effective.I: What is your definition of success as it pertains to coaching schools or the coaching industry?ML: I teach my own classes, which separates me from directors and founders of many schools. WhatI think is important for any teacher is knowing that your students really get it by the end of thecourse—I want to know that they graduate as capable coaches, that they can do what I do, that theyfeel good about offering their services, and they feel confident they can produce results in theirclients. That‟s the true measure of success—seeing the results from your students. My studentsdefine my success.And, to answer the second half of your question about success in the coaching industry—it‟s all aboutus helping our clients to reach their goals and dreams. Actually, that‟s how I came up with the namefor my institute. Goals represent consciousness since we consciously choose what we want toaccomplish. Imagery represents our feelings, the subconscious, and imagination. Therefore, GoalImagery represents the unity between conscious and subconscious—a truly holistic approach tosuccess.In closing, I want to offer your readers a $500 scholarship to my Goal Imagery Coach Trainingcourse. All they have to do is mention this interview. My Web site is www.goalimageryinstitute.com. -9-
  • 9. Jodi Orshanis the creator of The Parenting Pyramid, apractically perfect plan for successful parenting.Through her program, The Parenting Plan,parents can create a happy, successful, lovingfamily following three simple steps. Jodi is atrained marriage and family therapist, life coach,and parenting expert with over thirty years ofexperience.I: I have two little girls, so I‟m just dying to know,what does a parenting coach do?JO: A parenting coach works with parents, eitherindividually or as a group, to educate, mentor, andsupport the parents to better their parenting skills andthe level of enjoyment associated with parenting. Ittakes parents from where they are to where they reallywant to be.I: Why did you become a parenting coach?JO: I‟ve worked with parents as an educator,counselor, and therapist for a long time. I realized whatI ended up doing the most of was this incredible jointventure between me and the parent to help them beproud of what they were doing as a parent. With all ofmy experience and talents it was really a perfect fit tobecome a parent coach.It is my passion to educate and mentor people as theyare molding the lives of their children.I: What is The Parenting Plan?JO: It is a plan I developed for successful parenting.It‟s a model based on and very similar to a successfulbusiness model really.The Parenting PlanStep 1: Develop a Vision StatementTogether we determine the parents‟ vision statement.Each parent needs to understand and state the valuesand goals that are most important to them for theirfamily. This is the foundation of the individualizedparenting plan.Step 2: Assess Strengths and WeaknessesEach parent has to understand their own parentingstyle. We work with parents to determine what theirneeds and talents are along with the needs and talentsof all of the individuals in the family. Just as with anybusiness, families need to assess everyone‟s strengthsand everyone‟s weaknesses so that they can create anaction plan accordingly. -10-
  • 10. Step 3: Create an Action PlanWithin an action plan, we develop with parents the tools and strategies needed for success. Parentsget to learn and practice these strategies with coaching support.I: Why is The Parenting Plan so successful?JO: It‟s so successful because it is a plan. Most parents enter into parenthood with a limited set ofskills and knowledge and, truthfully, no real plan. A lot of parents say, “I love my kids with all myheart, I never want to hurt them, and I want to protect them from harm.” That‟s it—there is no otherplan.Most parents are reacting as they are faced with various parenting situations instead of beingproactive in their approach to parenting. Often the parents are going against their better judgment,giving in, and indulging their children with stuff in an effort to keep them happy and to avoid conflict.Sadly, this is all too common; the kids are running the family, and the family is running out ofcontrol. “Most parents are reacting as they are faced with various parenting situations instead of being proactive in their approach to parenting . . . the kids are running the family, and the family is running out of control.”I: What is the Parenting Pyramid?JO: The Parenting Pyramid is the shape and form of the action for your parenting plan. The Pyramidclarifies the family values. It empowers parents to set rules and limits, and it gives the parent creditfor all the special extras that are within the foundation of the Pyramid, which is that bottom base thateverything is built on; it clarifies the rules for actions and behaviors—all the rules for safety.The next level of the pyramid focuses onbehavior. It‟s built upon the first level. The rulefor this level states that you must be respectful ofothers along with all other living things and theland that we share with the world.Finally, the top level involves the things we like tohave and do in life that result in happiness andcontentment—all of our joys and all of ourpassions. These things are all placed in that littleupper box, and each level builds on the levelbelow it. So, all the activities and gifts andpossessions a child may want that are placed inthat top category must still all be safe for themand for their age, must be safe for others, andmust be respectful to the people and thingsaround them.I: What are the most common mistakes parents make when raising their families?JO: One of the most common mistakes parents make is they slip their “parent‟s say” down and relyon a philosophy that lets their kids say, “Give me, take me, buy me,” and hope that the children willthen appreciate their efforts and then learn to be loving, respectful, unselfish human beings.Let‟s face it, in reality, the “Give me, take me, buy me” philosophy just reinforces raising immature,selfish children. It is not a successful plan for parenting.I: Not everyone is able to have a two-parent home, so is this plan also successful for a single parent? -11- (Continued next page.)
  • 11. Name continued . . . “It is best to start early. That way parents get to be proactive in their parenting. It is always harder to change behavior patterns midstream, but it is never impossible.”Jodi Orshan continued . . .JO: This is gold for a single parent, because to have a plan really gives meat and a backbone to thestructure of the household. The Parenting Plan gives that extra needed support and strength toparents who are doing this tough job all on their own.I: Are there any other places you can apply the principles of The Parenting Plan?JO: That‟s a very interesting question because, in reality, the principles of The Parenting Plan can beapplied throughout your whole life: at home, at work, or within a community organization.It‟s always the most beneficial, in any situation, to follow these three steps:1) Define your goals and values.2) Determine people‟s strengths and weaknesses.3) Develop a specific plan of action to accomplish your goals and to do so with integrity.I: How long does it take to learn The Parenting Plan?JO: It really all depends on your starting point. Some families are very clear on their goals and othershave never really given it any serious thought. Some families have a solid plan, but it may need sometweaking, especially when a child enters a new stage in life or a new area of development. Otherfamilies, have—let‟s be honest—less solid parenting skills. It always varies. Each family has its ownunique needs and its own unique set of skills. -12-
  • 12. I‟ll tell you this: the plan is an active, fast-paced, participatory process. In between weekly phonesessions, there are homework assignments for the parents to work on. Your personal coach is alwaysavailable through e-mail for additional support.I: Who can benefit from The Parenting Plan?JO: I have worked with parents across the spectrum, from those with babies still in utero to thosewith adult children. To be honest, it‟s best to start early. That way parents get to be proactive in theirparenting. They have a plan and they can go with it. It is always harder to change behavior patternsmidstream, but it‟s never impossible.I: How do parents meet with you?JO: We meet through phone contacts. Anyone can contact me through my Web site,www.theparentingplan.com, or they can call the phone number that is on the Web site.I actually have an introductory offer that allows parents the opportunity to speak with me or with oneof my coaches by phone or using Skype for twenty minutes for just $25. We offer this option so thatparents can see if they‟re comfortable with this whole setup and want to learn more about TheParenting Plan.I: What would be your definition of success in regards to parenting?JO: Success in parenting is defined in two ways. First, you are successful if you‟re proud of the wayyour children have turned out. That‟s a long-term goal, but you can live it in your day-to-day life.The second way to determine parenting success is to assess the level of peace in your household. Thefact is, whenever you have a group of people living together, there are ups and downs, happiness andclashes. But if the general feel in your home is respectful and peaceful, it adds a true love in yourcoexistence—that‟s success by any definition.I: What are three fundamental key ideas that you could share with our readers to help them today?JO: First, define your goal. Know what kind of family you want to have and the values that will helpyou reach that goal. Also, learn some good, solid parenting skills. Know how to set a limit and keepthat limit. Finally, remember that you are in this is for the long haul. Parenting is not a true/falsetest, it‟s not multiple choice, it‟s not even a single-essay exam. It is a long novel, so just paceyourself and enjoy the ride.I: In what ways do you implement this in your life?JO: I am very proud and happy to say that I‟ve raised four beautiful, brilliant, talented children onmy own. They were fun and adorable children, but as the challenges went on, it just kept gettingbetter and better. Even the teenage years—while I feel gray hair appeared on my head during thattime—were actually quite a fun ride, and I am reaping the rewards of my efforts because, with thesechildren now as adults and myself now as a new grandma, life is just beautiful. www.coachjodiorshan.com -13-
  • 13. Jean M. DiGiovannais the founder of Workshop University®. Jean isa powerful facilitator, speaker, and certifiedcoach with a unique gift for helping people findtheir voice, speak their truth, and achievebeyond what they thought was possible. Shehas over twenty years of experience in training,consulting, and instructional design, and hasdelivered hundreds of workshops and seminarsin business and life strategies to Fortune 500companies, nonprofits and academia.Jean launched ThinkPeople®, a corporatecoaching and training business in 1998. Yearslater, she began running public workshops andseminars and colleagues began requesting herhelp with their own seminars. As a result,Workshop University® was born in 2004.Prior to founding ThinkPeople®, Jean served asa Business Operations Manager for CambridgeTechnology Partners, Nordic Region of Europe.She contributed to the company’s growth fromninety to over four thousand employees in nineyears, and from one location to over thirtyworldwide.Jean is a member of the National SpeakersAssociation and International Coach Federation,has spoken both nationally and internationallyand has been published in Boston Magazine,Mass High Tech, Trainers Warehouse and theBoston Globe. She was named one of the Top 10Coaches of Boston by Womens Business Bostonin 2007 and is a published co-author of Successis a State of Mind alongside Mark Victor Hansen,Les Brown, and Deepak Chopra. Outside ofwork, Jean enjoys art, travel, and the outdoors.She is an abstract artist, jewelry designer, andan avid Latino dancer.I: I want to start off by asking one of my favoritequestions: what is your definition of success?JD: That‟s a great question. Many years ago Ithought of success as achievement—acquiring things,achieving things—but I‟ve come to recognize over thepast decade that success isnt always about acquiringthings and achieving things; success is about makinga difference in the world—figuring out where yourtalents and gifts match what the world needs andfollowing that.I: What is the biggest misconception about success?JD: I think the biggest misconception is that successis a place to get to. We think of success and we think, -14-
  • 14. As soon as I get that beautiful home, then I’ll be successful, or As soon as I get that promotion atwork, then Ill be happy and successful.The reality is, success isnt a place to get to. Success is a way of being. To me, it‟s a state of mind.Its about thinking about success as being possible in every single moment—we just have to look forit.It‟s about examining how we relate to success; it‟s not so much about what success is, but how werelate to it. It‟s about asking ourselves, “Do I relate to success as something that I believe is far outthere, and when I accomplish this, that, and the other thing, then I‟ll get it? Or do I look at my lifeand my daily actions and consider what I have been successful in today?” That‟s really, I believe, amore powerful way to think about success. “Success isnt a place to get to. Success is a way of being . . . Its about thinking about success as being possible in every single moment— we just have to look for it.”I: What are some of the biggest challenges you‟ve experienced in achieving success?JD: There are many, and I continue to be challenged with maintaining success. One thing I didn‟tmention before is that success is really about how you measure it, not about how others measure it.What do you deem as successful, and how are you achieving results according to that measurement?There are three main challenges I have faced:Challenge #1: Thinking that I have to do it all in my own. Being an entrepreneur, its notuncommon that we as solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners feel the need to do itourselves.Challenge #2: Trusting that there are plenty of resources to go around. It can be difficult totrust that there are plenty of people to go around, plenty of business to be had, and plenty of moneyand wealth and abundance to attract. So often we think from a place of scarcity, and that can stop usin our tracks.Challenge #3: Staying motivated and focused. As a solopreneur, it can be difficult to staymotivated when we‟re sitting in our offices, working remotely, and feeling isolated. I think it‟s soimportant to continue to stay connected to our colleagues, mentors, and those in the community sothat we dont feel that lack of motivation and action that is needed to really move things forward.I: I agree with you. I liked the second challenge you mentioned especially, because a lot of people,will be attracted to you and your business simply because it‟s who you are. It‟s not just about themessage, because our messages will likely be the same, especially if we‟re in the same field; it‟s whoyou are that draws people to you.I cant compete with you, because you and I are going to say it and do it differently, and people aregoing to like you over me or vice versa for different reasons. Like you said, there are tons of peopleout there you can help. It‟s not just one person that you and I need to fight over.When we take on that scarcity mind-set, we lose out on opportunities to work together, to collaboratewith people in our field.How did you overcome the challenges you were facing?JD: A couple of different ways actually. It‟s kind of funny to me when I say, “I‟ve overcome thatchallenge,” because I continue to face it every day or every month, and it‟s more about rememberinghow to handle it. -15- (Continued next page.)
  • 15. Jean M. DiGiovanna continued . . .One of the ways I‟ve overcome the first challenge, the tendency to try to do it all on my own, is byrecognizing how much more fun and less stressful it is to actually work with other people—not only tohire people to work with you, but also to seek out mentors. The other thing that helped me overcome that challenge was learning to let go. We‟re attached to our business ideas, our passions, and sometimes we feel the need to control things. Its really when we stop and allow ourselves to let go of that control that we can bring other people in to help us. That‟s so critical to building a business, because I don‟t believe it‟s possible to do it all on our own. I: I agree. Not only that, but you get to brainstorm together and come up with even better ideas. JD: Exactly. You come up with things that you wouldnt have ever thought of on your own. Looking at the second challenge—trusting that there‟s plenty to go around—again, it‟s something I continue to practice. There are always things that come into my field of influence that trigger me, but it‟s in that moment when I actually say, “You know what? I just have to reconnect with the premise and perspective that there‟s plenty to go around,” that I can start to overcome this challenge. Coming from abundance also requires focusing on recognizing and letting go of past beliefs about scarcity. Sometimes those beliefs are so ingrained that we‟re not conscious of them. I‟ve done and continue to do work on my own self-growth and development. I‟ve always had my own coach, even though Im a coach as well, and I continue to grow in that area. When it comes to the third challenge—staying motivated and focused— a couple of things have really helped me. One is that there was one year when I just felt like I was feeling too isolated, so I literally ended up creating a mastermind group because that‟s what I wanted. “If there’s something The reason I bring that up is because, if there‟s something you need in you need in your your business that you‟re not getting, sometimes you have to just gobusiness that you’re not out and generate it yourself. Create mastermind groups. Find coachinggetting . . . go out and buddies that you can talk to every couple of weeks for the purpose of helping each other move through challenges. Work within an generate it yourself.” accountability partner whether it be a colleague, a friend, or a mentor.Another thing that has always helped me to stay motivated and focused is to actually work outside ofmy home office. I‟ll go to a cafe for several hours. I‟ll take two- to three-hour chunks of time becausewhat I find is—and again, it depends on if you‟re an extrovert or an introvert, and I am an extrovert—so often I am more energized when Im around other people. Even though I may not be talking tosomeone at the café, it‟s still helping me to get my creative juices flowing by just being surroundedby that energy.I: Those are great suggestions. Once you‟ve achieved success, how do you keep your momentumgoing and sustain it?Three Tips for Maintaining Your Momentum#1: Evaluate Your Inner Thought ProcessesAs soon as I become aware of something—for example, I may notice I‟m not focused, or my energy islow—I have a choice in that moment. I can choose to focus on what I‟m not doing or what I havent -16-
  • 16. done yet, or I can choose to focus on what I have succeeded in today and on what I haveaccomplished. What happens is that as soon as I move toward that place of acknowledging what‟sworking, I suddenly have more energy.#2: Pay Attention to Your Level of EnergyI call this my Alive-O-Meter. How alive do I feel about taking something on, and if I‟m not actuallyfeeling that energized, what‟s in the way? What is it about that thing or maybe the person I‟msupposed to work with? I really start to dig into that and get curious about it.#3: Learn to Love Your MistakesI know it sounds kind of funny, but we have to acknowledge that we‟re human beings, we makemistakes, and we fail. Those with the real power—and I would say these are the people whosucceed—are those who are able to look at themselves and their circumstances and ask, “How can Igrow? What did I learn? What am I going to do differently next time?”I: How can you still be successful in the face of everything that‟s happening in the world?JD: It is tough. There‟s so much negativity, there are so many tragedies, especially with so manynatural disasters occurring, and we, even as business owners, cant help but obviously wonder, Whatcan I do to help?The way that I handle it is by continuing to send what I can send; whether it‟s giving my time or mymoney towards something, I can send love and compassion to those areas of the world that are notdoing well.When things dont go right for me, I begin to start noticing myresistance. I have to ask myself, “What am I resisting here?” I have toget curious about it. Again, if we can actually start to work with ourresistance or our energy that‟s low, we can actually move through itfaster.It also helps me to remind myself, “This too shall pass.” I have toremember that this—whatever it is—is not the end-all, be-all. Yes, theeconomy may be challenging at times, but I need to assess how I cancontinue to tap into my gifts and talents and provide the world withwhat I‟m really meant to be doing.I: Is it truly possible to have it all?JD: I love that question. I get that a lot. I used to do a lot more lifecoaching, but now I‟m doing more business coaching. I would haveclients who would ask me that. I believe that “having it all” is truly amatter of perception. Sadly, many of us really don‟t believe it‟s possibleto have it all. Can I have that great job and the wonderful relationshipand the beautiful home and the great family? Can I have all of it?When we don‟t think it‟s possible, then we don‟t ever attract that caliber of “having it all” into ourlives.Having it all really requires a shift in our thinking, and this shift involves asking ourselves, “How muchdo I deserve? Do I deserve to have it all? Am I going to allow all of the success and abundance andmagnificence in my life? Will I allow it?I always challenge people to explore what they are not allowing, where are they getting stopped, sothat they can open that up more and move through that. Of course, practicing patience is very mucha requirement for this, and being patient is not always easy. But it definitely has helped me to remindmyself that I do deserve to have it all. It may not all happen immediately, but I‟m going to go takethe actions and the steps that are required to have what I really want in my work and in my life. -17- (Continued next page.)
  • 17. Jean M. DiGiovanna continued . . . “We go out into the world to become successful, but what can often happen is that we get caught up with what is supposed to happen or what we should be doing or what other people think we ought to be doing . . . The world needs to hear you and who you are, and that’s what people really want. It’s a lot easier than trying to be somebody else.”I: Sometimes it seems like what we perceive as “having it all” is not really what is intended for us, oris not what would honestly fulfill us in the long run. Sometimes life takes you where you really needto be and fulfills that for you, and then you think, Oh! I would have never considered that was what Ineeded, but it’s better than I ever expected.JD: What you just said sparked a thought in my mind that so often we get attached to some futureplan of what we‟re looking to achieve, and we miss out on those opportunities and those interestingpaths like you mentioned that are there and show up, and we wouldn‟t have even recognized them ifwe weren‟t open to them.I: Exactly. You mentioned earlier that part of what success means to you is making a difference.What can our readers do to make a difference when working at home?JD: One of the things that I encourage people to take on when they want to really make a differenceis to actually try on a new perspective. This new perspective involves asking yourself, “How can Imake the person in front of me successful? How can I make my wife successful or my husbandsuccessful? How can I make my boss successful? How can I make my mentor successful or mybusiness partner successful?” What I truly believe is that when we take on that perspective, we actually work and live that way of thinking. When we consider how to make the other person successful, we will automatically make a difference, because what happens is, as soon as you think about the other person and how you could impact their life or make life better for them, immediately your attention goes away from you and over to them, and there‟s no way that something positive cant happen out of that. It‟s a fun challenge to ask my clients to try that perspective at work and then also when they get home with their family, and see what shifts in their life. I: That‟s a great idea. What have been your greatest lessons learned that you can share with our readers today for achieving success? JD: There are several, and I‟m happy to share some. Lessons for Success 1) Just be yourself. This is one of the biggest lessons that I learned over a decade ago. Don‟t pretend to be someone else because, in the end, yourself will always catch up with you. We go out into the world to become successful, but what can often happen is that we get caught up with what is supposed to happen or what we should be doing or what other people think we ought to be doing. In the end, we‟re not actually aligning our true -18-
  • 18. self with our core values, and our soul kind of gets depleted and zapped. Our energy gets zapped,and then we wonder why.The world needs to hear you and who you are; that‟s what people really want. It‟s a lot easier thantrying to be somebody else.2) Life is too short to feel drained. Notice who or what is draining energyfrom you, and begin to look at how to shift that. Start doing what lights you up “Notice what orand brings you passion, because when you‟re in that state, you‟re going to who is drainingattract so much success in your life. energy from you, and begin to look3) If you don’t know where you’re going, any road actually will not getyou there. It‟s so important to set a direction, to set a clear intention of what at how to shiftyou want to achieve in the next month or in the next three months. Let that be that. Start doingyour compass. Let that be the stake in the ground that says, “This is what I what lights youwant.” Think about the future and the results you want to produce, and by doing up and brings youthat, you‟re actually propelling it toward you. passion.”4) Don’t go it alone. This is something I‟m continuing to get better at and amlearning so much about. I grew up learning to be independent and take care of myself, a woman inthe professional world, and I came to realize that I don‟t have to do it all on my own, and I don‟tactually want to. I encourage people to realize this too.5) Have fun. Laugh, see the humor in life, because life is too short to be intense and to takeeverything so seriously. Simply follow your passion in your work and in your life.I: Those are all wonderful points. I especially liked what you mentioned about authenticity. How cansomeone hold up a mask constantly? It would be so draining to constantly have to be that personthat you‟ve created rather than just being yourself—instead you can just be.How can our readers find more information or how can they get in touch with you?JD: My current business is called www.workshopuniversity.com. I help solopreneurs package theirexpertise into workshops and webinars so they can reach a larger audience.The other place to look is Launch Your First Webinar at www.launchyourfirstwebinar.com. This issomething I‟ve been focusing on over the course of the past year. I help people get their message outthrough the use of webinars. Those two Web sites are great places to find me and to learn more. www.workshopuniversity.com -19-
  • 19. Ben Croftis widely recognized as one of the world’s leadingbusiness and executive coach marketers, havingworked with thousands of coaches around the world.Since graduating with an honors degree in marketingfrom one of the UK’s leading universities, Ben hasworked solely on marketing for coaches around theworld, living and consulting in the UK, Australia, NewYork, and Buenos Aires. He has lead marketingcampaigns for coaches that have lead to multiplemillions of dollars in sales, his one event series aloneseeing 6,700 business owners registered to attendwith a marketing budget under $10,000.Ben’s specific area of expertise lies with seminars,event webinars, workshop marketing for coaches,strategic alliance marketing for coaches, and socialmedia marketing for coaches, for which he hascreated what is now the world’s leading course forbusiness and executive coaches.Ben is very much a practical marketer in that hisstrategies, tactics, and action plans are focusedtoward achieving the harder results of marketing,therefore generating high-quality leads that have ahigh propensity to turn into coaching clients.I: What is your story? You‟re twenty-eight years old and youcurrently live in Buenos Aires and, as I understand, you havespent at least four months in five continents over the pastthree years. How did you come to all this?BC: I guess I‟m in a fairly fortunate position in that straightaway from University I went into specializing in businesscoach marketing, and as a result of that, it‟s taken me allaround the world.It‟s an industry that is obviously fairly new, and there arevery few people in the world who have become specialistbusiness coach marketers, and as such, this has beensomething I‟ve been in very high demand for.I absolutely loved living in Australia. We started off travelingthrough many countries in Africa, leading ourselves to theMiddle East, Dubai, and then through to India and SoutheastAsia and into Australia. Then we came back around to NorthAmerica, and now we‟re in South America.We‟ve been very fortunate in that time to meet up and formstrategic alliances with many of the largest coachingorganizations as we passed through. For example, in Texas,we stopped by the ICF conference last year, and we‟ve beenable to meet up with lots of new clients and prospects.We‟ve gotten to a point now where, with our ownconsultancy, we‟re almost at capacity, and that, I guess, is -20-
  • 20. why we‟ve come to the point where we‟re able to put on the event that we‟ve got planned for July,which is the World Business and Executive Coach Summit.I: How did you get into coach marketing?BC: It‟s actually quite interesting. I got into coach marketing when I bumped into a gentleman at abar one time and got to speaking to him about marketing. He asked, “What have you been doing?” Isaid, “I‟ve just graduated from University. I‟m in that place now where I‟m looking for a job.”He said, “That‟s interesting. What did you study?” I said, “Marketing.”He said, “Oh, that‟s very interesting.” I asked, “Why is that?”He said, “I own the largest marketing consultancy in the city.” I said, “Oh wow, that‟s nice—have yougot any jobs?”He said, “No, I don‟t have any jobs at the moment; however, I know everyone in the industry, andeveryone‟s always coming to me asking if I know of someone in marketing, and I say that I‟m sure I‟llbe able to find someone for them.”We had a couple of drinks together, and I said goodbye and gave him my contact details. The nextday I was at a graduate recruitment fair, and I got a call from the same guy, and he said, “Hey, Ben,I got you an interview.”That interview was with a fairly well-known company, Action Coach, which is the largest businesscoaching company in the world.As a result of this gentleman‟s personal recommendation, I ended up getting a job and went straightaway into the deep end working for thirty business coaches. From there, I grew my career,specializing in business executive coach marketing.I: What is your biggest achievement in your marketing career?BC: I put on a series of events in Australia with a very limited budget. I lead the marketing for it, andwe ended up getting 6,700 business owners to attend, which at the time I believe was one of thelargest business coaching events ever in the world.Also, having my first book published this year, Social Media for Coaches, was a great achievement forme. I had the foreword written by Brian Tracy. That was pretty exciting.I think what is going to be my biggest and most exciting achievement will be when we launch theevent coming up in July, which will be the first personal event I‟ve run myself.I: Social media has been a big buzz for some time. You have the world‟s leading course on socialmedia marketing and business coaches. What would you say should be the starting point whenlooking to integrate social media into a marketing plan?BC: Most people are using social media to a certain level, even if they‟re just dabbling in it. Perhapsthey‟ve set up a profile and they‟re looking into it and they don‟t know what to do. That‟s the case forthe majority of people. It has only been in the past year or two that people have started to realizethat this is a mainstream tool for communication.The biggest problem for most coaches specifically is that they don‟t have a plan. They may have amarketing plan, and contained within that marketing plan is social media, and they‟re saying, “Weneed to find out about social media. We need to do something with social media.”What they don‟t do is they don‟t put together a social media marketing plan. In its simplest form, allthat plan requires is for somebody to do a situation analysis starting with where you are now—how -21- (Continued next page.)
  • 21. Ben Croft continued . . . many friends you have, how many followers you get, how many leads you‟re receiving currently, where your current situation is now—and then to define your objectives. You may not be exactly where you want to be and you might be saying, “We‟re here, and we‟d like to get this point now.” Once you‟ve identified those two points— where you are and where you want to be—you can then start selecting your strategy, your tactics, and your actions to make sure that the actions and strategies you‟re going to be taking are going to contribute to those goals. My strategies include setting objectives, measuring your results, and alsoselecting a starting point, but very few individuals I have worked with actually have a social mediamarketing plan in place. We‟ve worked with thousands of coaches in around the world, and I thinkI‟ve come across two so far who had a plan in place. I would say that would certainly be the startingpoint.Just get that plan in place because then you can measure and identify your progress. You canobviously then break that down into which of the strategies and tactics are working the best for you.It‟s important to pinpoint the best things that you are doing that are getting the greatest results.Where many coaches are going wrong is that they‟re trying to do everything, and they don‟t need todo everything. They only need to do a few things with social media to get some fantastic results.I: I‟m on your business and executive coaching group on LinkedIn, and I know that you give outwonderful information. You talk about how to be more strategic, and you offer a ton of informationnot only there but on your blog as well. I highly recommend anyone to sign up for your groups,because you know what you are talking about. And you‟re right, a lot of people don‟t have a plan, andyou know how to streamline it for them.We want to ensure our readers take away as much practical advice as possible from our articles. Thatbeing said, what can you say are the top three marketing strategies that should be integrated intoeveryone‟s marketing plans? “Good marketing in the 21st Century doesn’t require an epic budget . . . You don’t need a big budget of financial resources, cash in the bank, or investments. What you do need is time. Good marketing is all about time.”BC: I‟m a firm believer and a strong advocate of the fact that good marketing in the 21 st Centurydoesn‟t require an epic budget. You don‟t need a big budget, and I say that hesitantly, because whenI say “big budget,” you do need a big budget—you just don‟t need a big budget of financial resources,cash in the bank, or investments.What you do need is time. Good marketing is all about time, but if you invest your time correctly, youdon‟t even need to be investing so much time that it‟s overwhelming you.With that in mind, here are three strategies that I would say every coach should be using. And when Isay every coach, I mean every coach. -22-
  • 22. Three Marketing Strategies Every Coach Should Be Using#1: ReferralsReferrals will be always be your best strategy. Paul Simister conducted a recent study and publisheda report along with it. It‟s a brilliant study on coaching and the marketing benchmark. I‟m notassociated with him in any way, but I have to say that it was a fantastic study.His study showed that a large majority of coaching leads come through referrals. With that in mind,how many coaches have a really strictly defined referral process in place? Very few. So it‟s veryimportant to have a referral strategy in place. You can Google one. You can read books about it. It‟sgoing to be your number one strategy, so you need to be really good at it.Once you have a referral strategy in place, you can just keep implanting it, making it easy for peopleto refer other people to you, and making sure they know exactly what to do and the benefits of doingso. It doesn‟t necessarily mean you‟re going to be giving them some kind of commission, it can justsimply be that they get acknowledgement for their referrals.#2: Strategic AlliancesI‟ll talk more about strategic alliances a little bit later, but they‟re the most leveraged marketing youcan do. Find someone with the same target market as you and ask them to send a message out totheir database for you in return for a value-added piece. Build the relationship up with them to apoint where they are comfortable enough to do that. This strategy is going to be some of the bestmarketing you can do.You can spend weeks, months, or years going after a big database, or you can find someone whoalready has a database created. Of course, when they market to that database for you, it‟s going tobe a lot more effective than if you‟re marketing to their database yourself saying, “Hey, I‟m great!”versus them saying, “Hey, this guy is great!”#3: Social MediaI‟ve already talked about this strategy, and it is a given in this list.I: One of the biggest challenges for those in the coaching and personal development industry isfinding prospects who have a high propensity to convert to clients. Where is the best place to findtargeted prospects?BC: Again, one of the key strategies I work with my clients on is strategic alliances. You have todefine who exactly your target market is. Really, really define who it is: How old are they? What dothey do? You also have to find those organizations out there that have a very close, tight-knit fit withexactly who your target market is. Then simply go and build relationships with those organizations,and they will provide you with access to that target market.In terms of social media, there are somefantastic tools you can use. You can use thingslike Facebook Social Ads, Twellow, and TweetAdder. These are fantastic ways to findprospects and build up your network.But if you‟re looking to get direct access, reallygreat conversion rates, and a high level ofleads coming through, the best way to do thatis through strategic alliances.I: What is the best way to differentiate yourselffrom the competition?BC: The best way to differentiate yourself fromcompetition would be to create a niche for -23- (Continued next page.)
  • 23. Ben Croft continued . . .yourself and decide on a niche market. A niche could be a group of people, or it can be a specificproduct that you‟re offering. There‟s a lot of buzz around this, and the point that needs to be made isthat the more defined you are in who you are targeting, the more relevant you can be.For example, when you‟re marketing as a business coach, you may decide to write a blog aboutbusiness growth tips and tips for small business owners. For example, your blog title might be “SevenStrategies to Grow Your Small Business.”When you write a blog called “Seven Strategies to Grow Your Small Business,” all of a sudden, youare in competition with every other blogger out there, including people like Seth Godin, Jay ConradLevinson, Brian Tracy, and all of the big names. If you target it down a lot more and create a point ofdifferentiation and call it “How to Grow Your Toronto-Based Professional Services Business,” all of asudden, if you‟re a Toronto-based professional services small business—and you can narrow it downeven more than that such as “How To Grow Your Toronto-Based Small Business Law Firm”—immediately you‟ve got relevancy.If you are in that target market and you‟re one of those people, which is probably only 200 to maybe500 people in the world, you‟re going to read that. You‟ll think, “Wow! This is for me! I am a Toronto-based law firm owner. I‟m going to read this.” Whereas if it‟s small business advice on how to grow your business, there are millions of blogs on that. That change alone is going to give a great point of differentiation just because you‟ve claimed that niche. You can almost become Toronto‟s leading specialist for how to grow a Toronto-based professional services company. There are probably not many people doing it—maybe one or two—there may be nobody. You can become Toronto‟s number one business coach for professional service companies, and that gives you a massive point of differentiation and is going to draw a lot of attention to yourself. I: There‟s a lot of talk these days about the importance of defining standards in coaching—what are your thoughts on this?BC: Myself and some of the leading marketers in coach marketing are all eagerly watching what‟shappening as coaching almost commoditizes. What I mean by that is that more and more people aregoing to start seeing defined standards in coaching.Right now, some people say that coaching has almost been a Wild West of standards in terms ofpeople coming up with accrediting bodies. There are some big companies out there doing somefantastic things. People at ICF are doing some great things by bringing in standards, certifications,and regulations in an industry that needs regulating.As that happens, there will become expectations. When you get an accountant, for example, you getan accountant based on their tenure, their experience—it‟s almost like a commodity. Whereas withcoaching, it‟s so varied, and because of that, as it moves toward the point where people come toexpect that a coach is a coach is a coach, they start looking for points of differentiation to make theirdecision. Say you‟ve got three coaches lined up in front of you. If one has something about them thatis specialized in what it is that you do, you‟re more likely to go with that coach.Still, as we stand, there‟s far more demand than there are coaches, so we havent quite gotten tothat point, but as we move toward that in the next ten to fifteen years, we‟re going to see thatincreasing. -24-
  • 24. Going back to what we were talking about earlier, the importance of niche is so much more importantin regards to this, and it becomes so much easier to market your coaching business by having adefined niche.I: Your company is called Modern Methods Marketing. What is Modern Marketing in your eyes?BC: For me, Modern Marketing is all about relationships. It‟s taking the interruption out of marketing.Once upon a time, your options to market included things like telemarketing, advertising in thenewspaper, sending newsletters, and doing direct mail, all of which interrupted people‟s dailypatterns. Now it‟s all about relationships and conversations. Instead of saying, “Hey, I‟ve got this,would you like to buy it?” now it‟s “Hey, how are you? Tell me a little bit about yourself. Okay. . . tellme about what you‟re looking for.”Then once I know what you‟re looking for, I‟m going to go away and produce what you‟re looking for,and then I‟m going to come back and offer it to you based on what you‟ve asked for. When you comeback and offer what a potential client has asked for, they are more likely to say yes, and it alsomeans that you‟re in a relationship. You‟re in communication. You‟re finding out specifically what it isthey need and you‟re delivering it, versus interrupting them and trying to get their attention at apoint when they aren‟t ready to buy from you. It‟s a lot more expensive, quite frankly, and now, ifyou‟re doing it right, marketing is so much of a lower cost than it has ever been.That‟s Modern Marketing. It‟s all about relationships. It‟s all about building up communicationsbetween people and genuinely understanding their needs rather than having to guess and hopefullypigeonhole people into what you think they need; It‟s about finding out what they actually need.I: What do you think the number one priority should be for a business coach in terms of marketing?BC: The number one thing that a business coach needs to do in terms of marketing is to work outexactly where they are positioned in the marketplace. What is it that they are actually selling? Whatis their positioning within the market? They don‟t want to just become lost in the crowd.You‟ve got to realize that prospects who would consider bringing on a coach, most of the time, arenot out there actively looking for a coach. People don‟t go searching for coaches. If you actually lookat the number of search terms used around coaching, it‟s very low.What you‟ll find is that people are introduced to coaching, and they start forming a relationship withthe coach. They begin to realize how coaching could benefit them. The most important thing for acoach to do is to start building relationships. Start finding those people who have a high propensity toconvert to client, start building a relationship, and go from there. www.tinyurl.com/wbecs -25-
  • 25. Ginger Londonis an ordained Christian minister, teacher,author, speaker, and life coach. She is thefounder of Ginger London Ministries in BatonRouge, Louisiana.Ginger is the author of four study manuals: TheMaking of a Spiritual Diamond; UnderstandingYour Calling; Discerning Your Boaz for theSingle Woman; and Friends, Foes, and FellowChristians. She is a writing contributor of eighttopical articles and biblical profiles for thenationally acclaimed Women of Color StudyBible released in January 2000, and nowreleased Aspire: The New Women of Color StudyBible.Ginger is the owner of and life coach forEssentials for Life, a coaching ministrydiscussing the issues of life for victorious living,which includes conferences, individual andgroup coaching, teleseminars, and ministrytraining essential for helping individuals andgroups discover their strengths and abilities tolive successful lives and to experience work andcareer success.Ginger has preached and taught both nationallyand internationally. She hosted the televisionteaching ministry, “The Ginger LondonMinistry,” which aired for three and half yearson Cox Cable Faith Net Channel in Baton Rouge,Louisiana and surrounding parishes. She hasbeen an instructor for nationally acclaimedChristian leadership conferences and has overtwenty years of experience in helping peoplethrough ministry.I: How did you get started in Christian ministry?GL: It was an exciting journey for me. I becamesaved through Jesus Christ when I was a young girl,but it wasn‟t until I graduated from college aftercompleting my undergraduate degree that I startedlooking for something exciting to do with my life.I worked in accounting for several years, and then Imoved to New Orleans, Louisiana to take a job with alocal CPA firm. That was during the 1980s. During myemployment there, I realized that althoughaccounting was a good profession, it just wasn‟texciting enough for me. My clients in the CPA firmwere mom and pop clients who would bring in theirreceipts in a brown paper bag every month.After working there for some time, I discovered that Iwanted to do something more exciting. Apparently, -26-
  • 26. not only did I have that feeling, but I guess the CPA firm that I was working for was thinking thesame thing, because one day they called me in and asked, “Do you like your job?” Of course whenyou‟re asked that question you‟re going to say yes, but deep down, my answer was really no. I thinkthey sensed that I was unmotivated by the job, and so at some point they actually fired me. Theysaid, “This is not for you. You have to find what is for you.”I began to search, and I worked at a Vo-Tech school in Chalmette, Louisiana. At that Vo-Tech schoolwas a woman who would come by my desk, and she would say, “There is something more that Godwants to do with your life.”At that time, I wasn‟t as spiritually mature as I am now, and I didn‟t really understand what shemeant by what she was saying. I thought it was just something good.As we were preparing to close the year out and move into a new year, she came by and said, “Don‟tlet this year end and the New Year begin without rededicating your life to Christ. God has big plansfor your life. You have to get connected to God.”Again, I thought she was saying something nice. When the New Year came, I was at church on thatSunday. The pastor finished his sermon and was getting ready to do the altar call for prayer, and hesaid, “Wait. I want to say this. God is saying to someone in here not to let the old year end and theNew Year begin without rededicating your life. There is something big that He wants to do with yourlife.”I could have fainted because they were almost the exact words that the woman had used. Ihesitated. I looked down the aisle and I thought, That’s the longest walk in history! I finally got upout of my seat and walked down the aisle, and when I reached the front and sat in one of the chairsthere, I looked over to my right and there was an older lady sitting up front. There was a beautifulglow on her. She looked at me and she nodded, and she moved her lips and said, “Yes, it‟s you.”That‟s where my journey in Christian ministry began, because I became actively involved in thatchurch. It was through my involvement there that I discovered that I really enjoy helping people. Igot involved in the counseling ministry, the recovery ministry, and the new members ministry of thechurch.Even with all of that, there was still some searching going on. I went through cosmetology school,and it was okay for a while; I discovered that I was able to be creative when I was studyingcosmetology, but there was still something more.While I was involved in the church ministries, the pastor was teaching on the subject of fasting andprayer. One of the elders in the church said, “You should go on a seven-day fast and seek God‟spurpose for your life.”I literally fasted and prayed for seven days with only water and studying God‟s Word. I studied all ofthe Scriptures that were related to purpose, gifts, being predestined—all of those things, and afterthose seven days of fasting and prayer, I knew exactly what I was supposed to do.I went to the Pastor of the church and told him what I had discovered, and he surprisingly said to me,“I‟ve been waiting for you to come to me to let me know.”From that moment on, it was full speed ahead for me. I started teaching at the church. People werereally blessed by it, and I am still humbled by it. I kept thinking, Wow! Are they clapping for me?Then I started putting on events and people actually started coming.From there I went to Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma for my graduate studies in theology.It was there that I was able to harness all of my gifts and abilities and learn how to present them,how to package them, and how to use them to help other people live better. It was a shaping anddefining period of time for me, and it helped me to shape my gifts and talents. -27- (Continued next page.)
  • 27. Ginger London continued . . .When I came back home from graduate school in the mid 1990s, I started doing conferences. I leadseminars and workshops. People starting coming, wanting to know if I coached people. I had neverheard of coaching, so I had to start doing some research. That‟s how I got actively involved inministry and, for me, ministry is exciting, because the word actually means to serve people.I: What initially happened that made you aware of life coaching? GL: It all started when people began coming to me and asking me if I coached. Coaching wasn‟t a term that was used years ago in the Christian ministry realm. It was known then as mentoring. Most people would ask, “Do you mentor people for ministry?” or “Do you mentor people for spiritual growth?” People started coming and asking me if I coached people, but I didn‟t really know what coaching was. I said, “I‟m really not sure what coaching is. Let me find out what it is.” I went on to say, “I do mentor people.” When I started researching and learning a little bit more about life coaching, I understood what they were asking me. They were asking me if I could coach them in getting their business started or in discovering what their gifts were. They also wanted me to in work with them to see if their idea was plausible or if they could actually succeed at what they had in mind.In my mind, that was mentoring, but I guess they had some experience with coaching, and so that‟show I got interested in life coaching. From there, I started researching to learn more about lifecoaching. By that time, there were some Christian authors who were putting out books aboutChristian coaching which helped me tremendously. I thought, Great! There’s someone else in thebody of Christ that already knows what this is. I started studying what life coaching is all about fromthe Christian perspective.I: How is helping people defining how you are now doing your life‟s work?GL: It made me aware that some people need help with life problems, and some people need helpwith life purpose. It helped me to avoid placing everyone in one box. When you study counseling—and coaching is not part of the curriculum—you have a mind-set that people come to you with anissue that they want to work on.People started coming who didn‟t have issues; they had ideas. The more I learned about coaching, Iwas able to actually separate that or compartmentalize it in my mind: There are some people whohave life problems that they want to work on, and that‟s counseling. Then there are those who havelife purpose issues, or life purpose agendas that they want help with, and that‟s more appropriate forcoaching.It helped me to redefine my perspective of how I was seeing people, which was great for me. Notthat I thought that everyone had problems, but sometimes when a person is trained in counseling,when they sit down, they automatically zero in in on the counseling mode and it is easy to want to tryto fix everything, or to try to figure out what the issue is and where it‟s coming from. With lifecoaching, it‟s just an exciting time. It‟s all about the other person‟s agenda, and you‟re just excited toshare with them as they discover what that agenda is or realize that they have more strength thanthey thought they had and more resources than they may have realized.I: How does Christian life coaching help someone? -28-
  • 28. GL: Christian life coaching is an intentional focus on designing life as God intended it to be for thatparticular person. It‟s coaching from a godly perspective.Christian Coaching is about . . .Discovering Who You Are in ChristMost of the time—both for Christians and for those who are not Christians—people are trying todiscover who they are. The difference is that Christian coaching helps people to discover who they arein Christ. They‟re asking, “What does the Bible say about me being successful? What does the Biblesay about who I am and how God created me?”Demolishing Negative Mind-SetsChristian coaching helps people to demolish mind-sets that may be holding them back. There arenumerous Scriptures in the Bible that talk about having a right mind and what needs to be done totake on the mind to be successful and to be victorious. A lot of times people are bogged down in theirminds with negative, self-defeating thoughts. Christian life coaching helps people to demolish thosemind-sets.Empowering and EquippingChristian coaching empowers and equips people to be all they can be or all that God has createdthem to be. There‟s an interesting Scripture in the Bible: Jeremiah 29:11 says, “„For I know the plansI have for you,‟ said the Lord. „Plans for your welfare and not for evil, to give you a hope and afuture.‟” I think that sums up exactly what Christian life coaching does. It helps people to understandthat they have a hope and they have a future.You are equipped to do everything you were intended to do, and if not, you have the ability tobecome equipped to be all that you can be in Christ.I: A lot of us know what life purpose means when we‟re talking aboutlife coaching in general, but what does life purpose mean inChristianity?GL: In Christianity, life purpose means finding out who God created youto be and what God‟s plans are for your life. Christians realize that as itrelates to living we don‟t have our own agenda. We don‟t get to pick ourown passions and desires per se or schedule our own agenda, butinstead we seek God to find out which direction He wants us to go inour lives and what is it that He has assigned us to do.As a Christian, once I realize that, I can begin to equip and preparemyself to walk in those steps and to fulfill what God has purposed formy life. Until I do that, my life is somewhat unfulfilled, because I knowthat I‟m created in God‟s image, and that means that I have the abilityto think, to be successful, and to imagine. I have gifts, abilities, andtalents, and I can pull all of that together and begin to discover exactlywhat it is I am called to. Am I called to be a business owner? Is it mycalling to be a teacher? Am I called to be a housewife? Am I called to bea life coach? I have to start by asking, “What is it that God haspurposed for my life, and how do I live that out according to Biblicalprinciples?”Questions for Helping You Understand Your Life Purpose:#1: How am I created? We are created in the image of God.#2: How do I find out what my divine assignment is, or my calling, as some people wouldsay? The most important way to begin the journey of finding your purpose or assignment is withclarity—believing that your life has purpose. In addition, it means spending time getting to know -29- (Continued next page.)
  • 29. Ginger London continued . . . yourself and paying attention to the intricate and important details and experiences of your life. The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to discover your assignment or purpose. Ask yourself the question, "Who Am I?" Then enjoy the journey in discovering wonderful things about yourself. Other steps include:  Being clear on your core values and beliefs—these are the fundamental principles of your life that shape and define who you are.  Self-reflection—be sure that you are living a life that is consistent with your core values and beliefs.  Knowing your gifts and strengths—start using them daily; become clear about them and the things you are passionate about.  Finding opportunities to do what you are interested in or passionate about.#3: What is the stewardship of gift that I have? This is what God has given you that you areresponsible for. Are you gifted at teaching? If you are, you are responsible for making sure that younurture and mature that gift and that you don‟t mishandle that gift. Are you talented? Can you sing?Then it means that you have to nurture that gift and protect it, not abuse it or misuse it.#4: Am I positioned in the right place? I know what I‟m supposed to do in life, but am I in theright place, and am I targeting the right people? Am I making the right connections so that thepeople I‟m assigned to can actually receive what it is that God has placed inside of me? It comesdown to knowing your life purpose; for Christians, it‟s knowing what God has called you to do.I: How can life coaching be bridged into Christian ministry?GL: One of the ways it can be bridged into Christian ministry is for leaders in ministry to understandthat there have always been areas within Christian ministry that were functioning in some capacity ascoaching already.For example, in the church, we already have one-on-one sessions where people can come forcounseling or support. We also have groups that meet in the church. We have specialized programssuch as learning how to manage your finances. We have small groups. And we have products oncertain areas that help people. As the leadership in the church, we have to understand that wealready have some areas of ministry that are functioning in some capacity of coaching.To bridge coaching and Christian ministry, there has to be a foundation laid in the church. Thatfoundation has to start with the leadership, extend to the congregation, and then we have to find thepeople who are gifted or who have a desire to help other people.Those who are already doing life coaching—Christian coaching—need to educate ministry leaders onwhat life coaching is through a seminar or workshop style event. The leadership needs to understandwhat life coaching is even before putting the Christian descriptive to it.Ministry leaders need to understand what Christian life coaching is and how it aides ministry. Howdoes it help a ministry to become more relevant today, to reach more people, or to be able to makeavailable to people more resources, more support, and more encouragement?Next, we need to move on to the congregation. There needs to be some teaching in general to thecongregation members about what life coaching is so that they‟ll know that there‟s an area ofministry that‟s available to them to help them reach their greatest potential as individuals. They‟rewanting to seek out those who feel called to help people, and the church would call it The Ministry ofHelps. -30-
  • 30. Finally, we have to go to those people who are gifted at helping people and begin to train them to belife coaches so that they can learn the skills and the techniques—what they need to know aboutpeople—so that it can be an effective area of ministry and not just another area that we add toministry.Once the leadership and the congregation are on board, and the individuals who are called to helphave been identified, then we need to do what some life coaches do: If life coaching is new to achurch, they may want to offer sample group sessions. This can be done by selecting twelve to fifteenpeople in the church and letting them go through a predetermined number of weeks of groupcoaching, and then allow them to come back to the congregation and give testimonies about how thegroup coaching helped them.The same thing could be done with one-on-one coaching. Get some people to be part of a pilot group,let them go through a certain number of coaching sessions, and then let them come back and givetestimonies to the church congregation.Also, the church can host live events offering a particular teaching related to being successful in life,finding your purpose, opening a business, marketing your business—whatever it is—and it canactually become a coaching event. Do this so that people in the church can become more familiarwith this professional area of help.Those are the things I see that can be done to bridge life coaching and Christian ministry. Christiansare known for wanting to go to the church for help when they have a need. They go to the either achurch or a Christian organization first. If the church doesn‟t have the resources to help with theirparticular need, then they go outside of the church. If we‟re going to be as relevant as we should be,that‟s one of the areas to consider adding to church ministry.I: What makes a good Christian life coach?GL: The heart of a coach is important because, as Christians, we‟re told to love one another with apure heart; we‟re told to have a true heart before God. I think the heart of a coach is very important.When I refer to the heart, what I mean is, is there a self-awareness there? As a Christian life coach,am I aware of my own core beliefs? Am I aware of my own mind-set and what my strengths andabilities are? Do I know my limitations?Also important is how I perceive other people in my heart Do I see people as individuals who havethe ability to succeed, or do I see certain people as being draining, wearing me out, good for nothing,doing the same old thing, and as though they‟re never going to get anywhere? How do I see people?People can sense if you are pure towards them or if you‟re judgmental.I think the heart of a Christian coach, or any coach really, should be pure. There should be a lot ofself-awareness there. How you perceive people—what you think about people—is crucial to howyou‟re going to be able to help them. You have to be people sensitive.The skills of a coach are also extremely important. Even though we‟re in Christian ministry and weconduct ministry in a certain way when it comes to life coaching, there are sets of skills andtechniques that we have to learn in addition to what we already know. Part of that skill developmentwould include areas such as learning about human behavior, learning how to communicate usingpowerful questions, and active listening, which we do to some degree, but when you‟re coaching it‟s alittle different. I think a Christian life coach has to develop skills that will make him or her effective inthis area of profession.I: What are some key differences you see when coaching Christian clients versus non-Christians?GL: For me, the difference is seen in the coaching process itself. The techniques, the powerfulquestions, and the skills are basically the same. For me, it‟s more about the coaching process, or thecoaching relationship. -31- (Continued next page.)
  • 31. Ginger London continued . . .For example, if someone comes in wanting Christian life coaching, they will know beforehand that theChristian life coaching session will begin with prayer. Whatever we talk about during the coachingprocess, at some point Biblical principles will be applied, and at the end, we will close the session withprayer. That is because prayer is a fundamental principle in Christianity.That‟s basically the difference. It‟s just the process that the coaching moment goes through. When anon-Christian comes to me, that aspect is not forced on them. If they want prayer, I will certainlypray for them, but in Christian coaching, it is understood that I start with prayer, use Biblicalprinciples in the coaching process, and end every session with prayer.Also, some of the action steps for a Christian might be a little different than those for a non-Christian.For example, if a Christian comes in and they are struggling with a mind-set, not sure that they canbe successful, then that action step would probably include searching Scriptures that talk about beingsuccessful and about being predestined for abundant living. That‟s the difference right there: Biblicalprinciples and prayer would be included.I: What are the three most important personal tips that you can share with us about attitude?GL: Attitude is extremely important if you‟re going to be successful or live a successful life, becauseyour attitude is the way you look at things. It‟s your opinion, your reactions to people, what you thinkabout life, and what you think about God. Basically, it‟s your personal interpretation and the valuethat you place on others around you. Three Insights on Attitude  Seek out new information from a reliable source. This is a good place to begin to change your attitude. If your attitude is a little off-kilter or not framed correctly, you need to start connecting with people who are reliable sources so that you can begin to change your attitude and take on a different perspective, begin to see people differently, and respond to them differently in a wholesome manner.  New experiences replace bad experiences. Sometimes people‟s attitudes are not healthy because they‟ve had bad experiences in life, so they need to position themselves to have new experiences so that they can begin to master those attitudes that are resulting from the bad experiences.  The good outweighs the bad. The benefit of having a good attitude far outweighs the destructive behaviors that come with having a bad attitude. It is vital that our attitude to be right if we‟re going to be successful in life—if we‟re going to be successful as life coaches—because attitude, which is manifested in behavior, is conceived in our minds, so we have to make sure that our mind-set is rooted in wholesome thinking. There has to be a shifting in our mind-set.There‟s a Scripture that says, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” As I think in my heart—and heart issynonymous with mind—whatever I think in my mind, that‟s who I am. If I‟m mean-spirited, if I‟mbitter, or if I‟m angry, that is manifested in the way that I live, my behavior towards others, or how Irelate to other people.If I want my attitude to change, my mind-set has to change. I literally have to change the way Ithink, and that helps me to change how I relate to people and how I perceive people. I have to -32-
  • 32. cultivate an innovative way of thinking, and that helps me to actually change my attitude towards mylife and towards other people.I: What is one technique used in coaching that resonates with Christian ministry?GL: One coaching technique that really resonates with Christian ministry would be meditation.Meditation has been a practice in Christianity for years and years. More people are probably using ittoday than in the past, because people are so busy and so active that they don‟t take time to actuallystill themselves and to get some peace in their lives, if only just for a moment.Meditation is one of the things that I like that‟s used in coaching, and it‟s also a technique that‟s usedin Christianity. For myself as a Christian, meditation is a spiritual experience that paints the endresult of the promises of God on my heart. “People are so busy and so active that they don’t take time to actually still themselves and to get some peace in their lives, if only just for a moment. For myself as a Christian, meditation is a spiritual experience that paints the end result of the promises of God on my heart.”For example, God has chosen me, and I‟m going to be speaking to a large group of people and havingmajor events to help people. What meditation does is it actually gives me a visualization point, sowhen I‟m in that still moment and I am meditating, I am actually seeing, in the recesses of myimagination, myself up in front of the people. I visualize the event, and then I begin to meditate onthose Scriptures or the promises in the Scriptures where God has shown me that this is the plan thatHe has for my life. It helps to bring peace to my spirit.When I experience that peace in my spirit, I‟m not so anxious for things to happen. I can be excitedabout something happening, but I get into dangerous territory when I become anxious, because thenI start doing things out of timing, out of turn, and I start messing up the process. Meditation helps tocenter me, as we say in coaching; it puts me in a place where I‟m visualizing and framing in my mindexactly what it is that God has shown me that He‟s going to do with my life.Four Components to Christian MeditationVerbalization: As Christians, we are taught to make positive confessions about what it is that webelieve God for in our lives. When I am meditating, I will sit and verbally confess what it is that Godhas promised me. I will verbalize Scriptures that go along with those promises.Visualization: I actually begin to see what God has planned for me. Even though it hasn‟tmanifested yet, I can see it in the sprit realm or in my imagination; I can already see it happening.Internalization: I have to believe that what God has shown me about my life, I can actually obtain.If I don‟t internalize it, then it‟s just something that I‟m doing. I‟m just going through a cycle. When itbecomes a part of who I am, when it resonates in my spirit, then I am more likely to pursue thatdream or to pursue that goal. When I‟m meditating, I have to internalize what God has shown me. Ihave to believe it.Repetition: I constantly repeat this process in meditation over and over, and I keep repeating tomyself that I am successful, I am living the abundant life, I can do this, I can accomplish this goal.It‟s a way for me to quiet my sprit and focus on what God is showing me. Part of what happens whenI do this is that a rejuvenation process occurs. I become reenergized, I become excited, I encouragemyself, and then I stay connected to what it is that I am pursuing.For me, meditation is a technique that can be beneficial for Christians as well as non-Christians.I: Ginger, let me ask you a few personal questions. What inspires you? -33- (Continued next page.)
  • 33. GL: I get excited about helping people discover their purpose and then“It inspires me when launch out into that purpose. I‟m inspired when people have a desire topeople want to know know their life purpose, and then take the next step beyond that and say,why they exist, what “I know what my life purpose is. Now how do I accomplish my life their purpose for purpose?” That gets me excited. Sometimes when I‟m coaching clients in being here is, and that area, I have to catch myself, because before you know it I will have laid the steps out—do this, this, this, and this—I get excited for them. how they can find meaning in life. It inspires me when people want to know why they exist, what their When they are purpose for being here is, and how they can find meaning in life. Whenserious about finding they are serious about finding those answers, I get excited about helpingthose answers, I get them. When they accomplish every goal they set out to accomplish, that causes such exuberance. It gets me to a place where I‟m overly excited, excited about because I know that if they keep going in that direction, they‟re going to helping them.” live a fulfilled life.Then I begin to see the fruit of my labor. Whether they come for Christian coaching or for Christianministry counseling, when they take those steps, I begin to see the fruit of my labor, and that‟sexciting.I: How do you inspire others and change their lives?GL: I inspire others by helping to instill confidence in them; if they can believe they can achievewhatever it is they are dreaming about, if I can get them to a place where they can take ownership ofconfidence, then I can see where the inspiration comes from me and how that moves them into doingwhat it is they desire to do, or becoming the type of person they desire to become.If I can do something to help others take ownership of confidence, then that shows me that I haveinspired them, because when they believe they can achieve it, then I know I‟ve done a good work.From there, they have to take the next step. It‟s about helping people to take ownership ofconfidence, believing that they can achieve it, or even something more personal, such as wanting tosee a certain thing happen within their family. If they can take ownership of confidence and believethat their family can change or that they can do better in their job, that is how I see inspirationcoming through in others. The inspiration that I instill in others comes through and helps them toobtain confidence. Then it becomes about watching them as they progressively move and giving themconfirmation that they are going in a good direction.For anyone who wants to find out more, they can visit my Web site at www.gingerlondon.com. Theycan go to that Web site, read more about me, and see some of the things that I‟ve done listed thereon the bio page. There is also a Heart-to-Heart newsletter page, and if they‟d like, they can sign up tobecome e-club members and receive the monthly newsletter as well as updates on what‟s coming upand what we‟re doing. I am also on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn—all the social sites. http://www.gingerlondon.com/upcls.html -34-
  • 34. Janet Leathemis a board certified psychiatric nursepractitioner who studies women’s mentalhealth, including prenatal and reproductivepsychiatry. Her Master’s degree is fromColumbia University in New York City with apost-Master’s certificate as a nurse practitionerin adult mental health from the Sage Collegesin Troy, New York.She has developed an approach to promotingoptimal health that incorporates spiritual,emotional, and physical health using theacronym HEALTH: Happiness, Exercise,Amygdala (brain equilibrium), Lifestylechoices, Time management, and Hormoneregulation.With over thirty-five years of experience as aclinician, administrator, and educator, Janet’spassion is working with women and helpingthem to understand the link between thefemale brain, hormones, and mood disorders.She has a blog called Janet’s Health Café onFacebook, which is also found atwww.janetshealthcafe.com.I: What is a psychiatric nurse practitioner?JL: For those who may not know, a psychiatric nursepractitioner is a nurse practitioner who is aregistered nurse that has taken advanced study andclinical practice in a Master‟s program in psychiatricnursing, and by doing that has gained expertknowledge in the care and the prevention of mentaldisorders. Psychiatric nurse practitioners are legallyauthorized to diagnose medical problems, toprescribe medications, and to order lab tests—theycan basically manage a case for a patient.I: What clinical experiences have brought you towhere you are today?JL: I began my nursing career as a visiting nurse inNew York City where I had lower Manhattan as myterritory. This gave me my first exposure to womenof various ages, social classes, and cultures. Early onin my career, while I was making my mother-babyvisits, I began to observe some common threads inwomen‟s emotional responses during the postpartumperiod.Later in my career, I had the privilege as part of thepsychiatric consultation services at a largecommunity medical center, which handled 7,000deliveries a year, to design and implement aprogram to screen and treat women with perinatalmood disorders. -35-
  • 35. Janet Leathem continued . . . Another focus on women‟s health took place at the Veterans Administration where I was involved with the women‟s veterans program, especially with women dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder. There have been many clinical experiences that have provided a rich backdrop to understanding the emotional needs of women across their entire life span. I also worked for a number of years with older women and became acutely aware of the numerous losses that they experience physically, emotionally, socially, and even financially. A lot of times, people forget about our older women, but they really do experience a greater increase in depression than even women who are younger.I: I understand you have a three-prong approach to promoting wellness and reducing stress thatincludes components of physical, emotional, and spiritual health. Could you describe the componentsof your health plan?JL: Sure. I define this approach using an acronym to help people remember the things they can do topromote HEALTH.Promoting HEALTHHappiness: Happiness really comes from understanding your purpose in the Universe. PrincetonUniversity defines happiness as “a state of well being, characterized by emotions ranging fromcontentment to intense joy.” I like to think of happiness as the spiritual aspect of health, and itrelates less to organized religion than to the meaning of life. It really relates to the essence of whoyou are—a unique individual created by God. God says that since we were in our mother‟s wombs, Hehas known us. Just thinking about it, that knowledge in and of itself is tremendously empowering, tome anyway.It‟s important to define what experiences a person has that help them to have true happiness. It‟sdifferent for everyone; whether it‟s practicing your faith, keeping a journal or another kind ofreflective process such as prayer, buying fresh flowers, listening to your favorite music, or simplyenjoying nature, all of those things can help to nourish your spirit and in turn can promote health.You might ask why that happens. The point is that when you bring things into your life that create alasting joy, a very interesting physical response occurs. There is a gas called nitric oxide that isreleased from the lining of your blood vessels which increases circulation as well as the production ofneurotransmitters in the brain. You might remember that neurotransmitters are chemical messengersthat help to improve mood and help you to deal with life‟s stressors. It also increases endorphins inyour body, which are your body‟s natural morphine. That helps to dull pain and to increase feelings ofeuphoria.Another hormone, prolactin, is also released, which is often referred to as the hormone of bonding.It‟s released when a woman nurses a baby, has an orgasm, or even when you get together with goodfriends.Cultivating happiness is different for everyone, and it‟s important to find the area that works for you.Exercise: The American Heart Association recommends thirty minutes of aerobic exercise five timesa week. There have been a number of studies comparing the outcome of exercise versus Prozac onmoods, and the findings show that exercise is just as effective as Prozac for treating mild to moderatedepression. You can easily add extra activity into your day by taking the stairs rather than theelevator or parking at the far end of a parking lot. -36-
  • 36. Amygdala: You may not have heard of this before. It is an almond-shaped structure found in thelimbic part of the brain and is the major relay station for receiving information from the outside andintegrating it with information from the cortex and the brain stem.It‟s responsible for a lot of things: your appetite, your thirst, your sleep/wake cycle, your sex drive,your aggressive impulses, memory, body temperature, and the control of your menstrual cycle. Whena person is depressed, most of the limbic functions are disturbed.The amygdala also regulates the emotion and fear responses, and it analyzes threats in theenvironment and helps you decide whether you want to get angry, fight, run away, or freeze in yourtracks. It‟s also involved in the production of serotonin and norepinephrine.When a person is depressed, the amygdala is often found to be overactive. When the amygdala isoveractive, the depression gets worse. Controlling your brain and keeping it in equilibrium is a veryimportant part of maintaining your health.Lifestyle Changes: As the brain becomes overloaded with stress, it eventually loses its ability tocope or adapt. If a person is dealing with a lot problems, such as financial problems, a poor marriage,caring for a sick family member, social isolation, or anything really, this tremendous emotionalupheaval can lead to intense feelings of shame and guilt, hurt and sorrow, or even anger, just toname a few.This chronic overburdening of the brain, along with the hormonal issues, results in what has beencalled by some “brain strain.” We all know about straining our muscles, but this is “brain strain.” Bymaking some simple lifestyle changes, you can help to restore the balance.I‟ve already mentioned exercise as one important component. Another important issue is to look athow much time and energy you devote to the various aspects of your life, such as your life‟s work—whether you‟re a professional business person, a homemaker, or a mother—versus how much timeyou spend on your personal life. There needs to be time to recover, to renew, and to reflect onthings. These are just some of the lifestyle modifications that you can consider. Some other importantones include sleep time, nutrition, and time for friends.Time Management: It is critical to set goals. Daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals are necessaryin order to keep things in balance. It‟s best to write these goals down rather than keeping themstored in your head, and there need to be time limits so that you can evaluate your progress.Hormones: This includes not only reproductive hormones, but also the thyroid and the adrenals.I know that‟s a mouthful, but that‟s the overall rubric of how I would conceptualize maintaining goodhealth.I: Why do you think so many people today seem to be so stressed out?JL: That‟s a good question. I think basically we live in a really supercharged world today. I don‟tknow how you feel, but everything is hyperlinked, immediately accessible, and productivity-driven.Many people remember the days when we didn‟t even carry cell phones, let alone need to have asmartphone so we could have instant Internet access. All of this coupled with devices like theBlackberry, e-mail demands, faxes, and pagers means our brains are constantly on high alert.For women, there are often the additional concerns of juggling work, children, and maintaining ahousehold, coupled with women‟s hormonal issues of PMS, pregnancy, postpartum, and menopause,all of which can cause symptoms of depression and anxiety disorders.It truly becomes a biological challenge to your brain, which is really not equipped to handle theassaults of our modern culture, and that‟s basically what it is—an assault. The brain chemistrybecomes disregulated and needs to be stabilized. -37- (Continued next page.)
  • 37. Janet Leathem continued . . .I: Would you elaborate further on the link between the female brain, hormones, and mood disorders?JL: It‟s a pretty complex topic, and probably the best way to illustrate it is to use the menstrual cycleas an example; but the same principles apply whether you‟re talking about the postpartum period,menopause, or whatever.The menstrual cycle is an ever-changing hormonal environment so to speak. It‟s the result of anintricate dialogue between your ovaries and your brain. This conversation can occur according to avery specific timetable, and proper conditions have to exist in this communication cycle. Thecommunication begins, of course, at puberty, which is your first menstrual cycle, and that‟s the timewhen many girls first begin to report symptoms of anxiety or depression.To give you a better understanding of how the hormones all work in the cycle, I‟ll just briefly tell youabout the three phases. The first phase is the follicular phase, which is the first fourteen days whenmessages are sent between the ovary, the hypothalamus, which is in the brain, and the pituitarygland, which is also in the brain. These messages cause that follicle to develop and release an egg.During that time, the female hormone estrogen is secreted from these enlarged follicles, and whilethe estrogen rises in the first two weeks, the release of endorphins in the brain also occurs. You mayremember that endorphins are actually the body‟s natural analgesic, or pain killers, but they alsohave the ability to elevate your mood. All of that happens in the first fourteen days of your cycle, and then comes ovulation. During the ovulation phase, the rising estrogen levels signal the hypothalamus in your brain to turn down their secretions—kind of like a dimmer switch. As that happens, the estrogen levels rise abruptly, which tells the pituitary gland to release another hormone called luteinizing hormone, which causes the follicle to release its egg—that‟s ovulation. Timing is very exact, and it occurs within thirty-six hours after the surge of luteinizing hormone. Just before ovulation, there is also a rise in another hormone called progesterone. Progesterone is what prepares the uterine lining to receive a fertilized egg. It can also lead to mood stability, because the progesterone binds to what are called gabba- receptors in the brain, which actually slow nerve firing. It‟s during this ovulation phase that endorphins reach their highest levels, and then they decrease. Endorphins affect your appetite, thirst, breathing rate, regulation of pain, memory, learning, and your sexual behavior. They work with estrogen to switch off the hypothalamus as well as to help the brain to withstand the effect of stress hormones. You may have heard that exercise is good for you, and I talked about that a little earlier. Exercise releases endorphins, and it‟s a great way to take care of your brain at any time of -38-
  • 38. the month. Endorphins are also released with acupuncture,and that can also be used as a treatment method for “brainstrain.” This causes the prostaglandins to increasetestosterone, and that‟s another thing that helps to increase aperson‟s sex drive.The final phase of the menstrual cycle, the leuteal phase,occurs right after ovulation, and what happens is theestrogen levels just plunge, and it‟s really a time of emotionalupheaval. Decreased estrogen leads to estrogen withdrawalthat can actually feel like coming off a drug. The same thinghappens when someone who has been on a mood-alteringdrug withdraws. These reactions can lead to alterations inmood because serotonin and other neurotransmitters havebeen depleted by the process of estrogen withdrawal.This is why you often hear of people having a lot of moodswings during the last two weeks of their menstrual cycle.They experience things like irritability, anger, sensitivity,sadness, clumsiness, memory problems, carbohydratecravings, and decreased sex drive; all of those symptomsusually indicate that there is less serotonin available. As soonas menstruation begins, the estrogen levels start to riseagain, the situation reverses itself, and a person‟s moodstabilizes.It‟s complex how all of these things interact; it‟s a very delicate balance between the varioushormones and the different stages of the menstrual cycle.I: Let‟s talk a little bit about depression. Does a person have to look sad to be experiencing majordepression? And what are the common symptoms of depression for women?JL: A lot of people think that someone has to look really sad or be crying all the time to havesymptoms of depression. In order to have a diagnosis of major depression, a person either has tohave a depressed mood, which can exhibit as being sad, anxious, physically drained, or empty. Or,the other thing they may exhibit is a loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable. That term isanhedonia. One of those two things have to be present.For example, if a woman normally enjoys her job, exercises daily, goes out to lunch with friends oncea week, and then seems to have lost interest in these activities, there‟s a good chance that she maybe depressed. She doesn‟t have to look sad or unhappy to be experiencing major depression.Some of the other common symptoms include changes in appetite, sleep, fatigue, feelings of guilt, aninability to concentrate, and even thoughts of death or suicide. Women often report symptoms ofovereating rather than undereating, and weight gain rather than loss. Also, oversleeping is reportedmore often by women than insomnia, and an irritable mood rather than a depressed mood is moreprevalent in women.Another interesting symptom is chronic pelvic pain, which may indicate an underlying medicaldisease, but it may also indicate depression. Also, if you find that a woman has a lot of somaticcomplaints such as various aches and pains that really do not have a physical cause, she may alsohave depression.I: I‟ve heard that it is important to have your thyroid checked when you‟re having problems with yourmood. What exactly is the thyroid, what is the difference between an overactive and underactivethyroid, and how does it relate to your mood?JL: The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland that sits in the front of your neck below your Adam‟sapple. You shouldn‟t be able to feel it if it‟s normal. It has two lobes that are connected in the middle. -39- (Continued next page.)
  • 39. Janet Leathem continued . . .An overactive thyroid is called hyperthyroidism, and it‟s most often caused by something calledGraves‟ disease, or an overactive thyroid nodule. The symptoms include feeling nervous, moody,weak or tired, having a fast heartbeat, problems breathing, shaky hands, sweaty or warm skin,weight loss, or having more bowel movements. It‟s a very serious condition, because withouttreatment, hyperthyroidism can lead to heart problems, bone problems, and a dangerous conditioncalled thyroid storm.On the other hand, an underactive thyroid is called hypothyroidism. It is most often caused byHashimoto‟s thyroiditis, which causes the body‟s immune system to attack the thyroid tissue. As aresult, the gland cant make enough thyroid hormone. Those symptoms include feeling tired, weak,depressed, having dry skin, brittle nails, not being able to stand the cold, constipation, memoryproblems, having trouble thinking clearly, and heavy or irregular menstrual periods.You can see a lot of those symptoms correlate with the ones I talked about earlier in connection withdepression. Thyroid disease can affect your mood, primarily by causing anxiety or depression.The interesting thing is the hypothalamus in the brain orchestrates the thyroid function by secretingreleasing factors. The hypothalamus also orchestrates the menstrual cycle, the physiological stressresponses, body temperature, your appetite, and your sleep/wake cycle, to name just a few.You can see that all of these things are intertwined, and while thyroid levels should always bechecked to rule out any disorder, usually treatment with antidepressants is required for severe mooddisregulation. It‟s important that everyone remembers to ask their health care provider to check theirthyroid levels if their provider doesn‟t bring that up.I: I‟ve heard a lot about adrenal fatigue. What is it, how does chronic stress contribute to adrenalfatigue, and what can be done to correct it?JL: Science tells us that if you experience stress on a chronic basis, the tiny adrenal glands thatmoderate your stress response and balance many other hormones in your body will suffer. As theadrenal glands become increasingly compromised, women experience an increase in the dreadedexcess abdominal weight as well as a decreased immunity, lack of concentration, irritability,disruptive sleep, and ultimately pure exhaustion.You can see there are a lot of common themes that are developing between these different areas thatwe‟ve been talking about. Adrenal dysfunction can be healed, but a person really needs to decreasetheir stress load. Low blood sugar by itself puts stress on your body, and that can really tax youradrenals. The primary adrenal hormone, cortisol, serves as a kind of moderator in making sure yourblood sugar between meals, especially during the night, stays adequate.Going for long periods without eating makes the adrenals work harder by requiring them to releasemore cortisol to keep your body functioning normally. I would recommend eating three nutritiousmeals and two or three snacks that are well timed throughout the day as one way to balance yourblood sugar and lessen the adrenal burden.I don‟t know if you realize it, but there‟s actually a circadian rhythm to your cortisol cycle. It normallybegins to rise around 6:00 a.m. and reaches its peak around 8:00 a.m. Then, throughout the day,cortisol gradually declines with a few upward bumps at mealtimes. It doesn‟t go straight down, but ithas peaks and valleys in preparation for nighttime rest.It helps if you eat the majority of your food earlier in the day and eat an early dinner by 5:00 or 6:00p.m. rather than having dinner at the European time at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. Caffeine or gluten can beparticularly harsh on the adrenals, so try to stay clear of cookies, cakes, donuts, white bread, coffee,or soda.I: What insights can you share regarding the importance of goal planning for empowering otherstowards optimal health? -40-
  • 40. “No matter how busy you are, you must set aside at least thirty minutes a day as time for yourself . . . Honor your body’s request to step back for a moment and relax, instead of doing what many of us do, which is to just wind up and do some more.”JL: I believe that if you don‟t plan to hit the target, you never will. It‟s really important to take chargeof your life, because there are so many competing priorities, especially for women.No matter how busy you are, you must set aside at least thirty minutes a day as time for yourself.You need to be aware of and really tune in to your body‟s stress signals, and incorporate some typeof relaxation technique. Honor your body‟s request to step back for a moment and relax, instead ofdoing what many of us do, which is to just wind up and do some more.One thing I have found to be very effective is doing just two minutes of relaxation breathing; that willcompletely cut off the cortisol stress cycle and will help to restore your equilibrium.Also, consider any lifestyle changes that you may need or want to implement, and add just one eachmonth, instead of getting overwhelmed with all of the things you want to do. Many small steps willhelp you to eventually reach your goals.I: What life lessons have taught you the most about health and balanced living?JL: What helped me the most was when I had an episode of health problems myself. It‟s funny, yougo along with your life just the way it is, and then when you need to stop for whatever the reasonmay be—in my situation it was due to health issues—you really come to respect your body and all thedifferent parts of it. I think that that was a big lesson for me.The other lesson came for me when I made the decision to quit my full-time executive-level job afterthe birth of my second child. I did go back to work for a short while, but I was having to juggle a high-powered position, two small children, breastfeeding at work, and all kinds of things, and the lesson Ilearned was that I had to make choices and set my priorities, and so I did.Another lesson came a little further down the line when I was caring for my aging parents and againworking full time and caring for the household. All of this bombarded me, and I ended up having twoheart attacks, five stents, a thyroid crisis, and four surgeries, which resulted in my disability.All of these things came together to teach me a life lesson about the importance of living in abalanced way in order to promote good health. I hope that this at least gives an introduction to theincredibly intricate way that our body communicates—all of the different parts of it—to create ahealthy life. www.janetshealthcafe.com -41-
  • 41. AzzahWe met Azzah in central Mexico and wereamazed by her work. She travels the worldhelping people to release toxic emotions,leading them to more clarity and a deeperunderstanding of themselves and theirrelationship to life.I: Would you begin by telling us a little bit abouthow you got involved in this great work that you‟redoing?A: It started in utero.I: That‟s really early!A: That‟s really early—I decided that I needed to bemy parents‟ therapist. That‟s where it actually allstarted. By the time I was two years old, I had adegree—I had my doctorate.I: That‟s great! From there, how did it all expand foryou? I know you‟ve done a lot of studies and a lot ofhuman behavior and energy type of work all overthe world. Tell us a little bit about how it progressedfor you.A: It‟s my passion. It‟s my gift. I‟ve never thought ofdoing anything else but this, and life opened thisdoor for me to go through.When I was about nine years old, I remember goingfor a ride up in the Blue Mountains in Australia. Wewere standing at a lookout, and I could see all ofSydney.In one split second, a vision opened, and I could seemy life. I just knew that this was it. Something wascalling me. Some call it a “guardian angel” TheEgyptians once referred to as “Kar”—your soul‟sguardian. But whatever you call it, there was aforce—a life—calling me.Life called me to this earth, and there‟s myfingerprint, and every single person‟s fingerprint istotally different. That‟s amazing, isnt it?So it‟s my life. It‟s my calling. Something called meto be. It opened up and showed me my direction andthat was it.Joseph Campbell says, “Follow your bliss and everydoor will open.”I: That‟s my favorite quote.A: It‟s my favorite as quote as well. And he was -42-
  • 42. right, wasn‟t he? I agree with Joseph Campbell. “Everyone hasI: Where did that take you from the standpoint of the studies and the marvelous a differenttools that you‟re now sharing with people? way of getting to who theyA: First of all, it lead me to be a therapist for my parents, because they came out are. The way Iof the war in Russia—thirty million people did. They came out of that situationtotally shell-shocked. I learned how to bring my mother down out of trauma; I was teach is byher therapist. looking at who you’re not.”I: That is really an unusual situation—a role change.A: Yes, but I could do it, and it was easy for me. I just knew how. I grew up around AustralianAborigines, and for me, even though I‟ve studied so much and I‟ve had amazing teachers in my life,Australian Aborigines have had the biggest influence on my life.Basically, they say that the spirit of fear has come to teach you. Learn, respect the spirit of fear, andfind your soul‟s highest learning from the spirit of fear. Once you‟ve learned, that spirit goes away,and another one comes to teach you. If the spirit of depression has come, learn, and then it will part.It will leave, and then another one will come. And it goes on and on in this way.I: It‟s like your guidance.A: It‟s your guide—your spiritual guide. People think it‟s something outside of themselves, and maybeit is, but it‟s also inside of you as well, because all is one at the end. It‟s like your soul‟s calling andyour spiritual guide which is both inside of you and outside of you.I: It seems to have come to you very naturally, but for a lot of people, finding guidance to theirpurpose in life is more challenging. How do you direct people who are challenged by that?A: It came naturally to me because I grew up in the bush and I didn‟t have a lot of externaldistractions. We didn‟t have TV. I grew up in what they call an organic environment—on a farm withAboriginal people. I grew up surrounded by nature, so I was allowed to just be.I wasn‟t socialized like people are in the city, but it doesn‟t matter. Who you are is still there. Yourfingerprint is still your fingerprint. Everyone has a different way of getting to who they are. The way Iteach is by looking at who you‟re not—that‟s what I do.To me, that‟s vast, because to disconnect from who you really are is normal. To develop a big egoand a personality—which is the false self— in order to get away from who you really are is necessary.You cant look at your ego and not identify with it.I work by showing people who they‟re not. You‟re not the person who‟s worrying. You‟re not thematerialistic person who wants to show everyone your Mercedes Benz and your money. You‟re not allof these things that you think you are—that you‟ve identified with.It‟s like the story of the Garden of Eden. The nakedness—it‟s who you were before it all began. Findwho you were before you were born.In the Garden of Eden, they ate the fruit and became consciously aware of their nakedness whichlead to them being ashamed of it. We become ashamed of who we really are—the I that I am—andthen put on these clothes—all of these different personals—to hide ourselves. We get so accustomedto saying, “I am a psychologist,” “I am a therapist,” “I am an entrepreneur,” “I am . . . ”Whatever can be observed is not who you are. It‟s transient. It dies. What I‟m doing in my work isshowing people who they are not. Begin by paying attention to your thinking. Start with a belief: “Iam an entrepreneur. I am successful.” Then bring that belief back to its roots: You had to besuccessful to be loved by your parents or to be accepted in society. It was injected into your mind. It -43- (Continued next page.)
  • 43. Azzah continued . . . came to you. But that‟s not who you are. You can observe it from the outside. Observe how you feel, your opinions, and your beliefs. Observe your actions and your body‟s intelligence. Whatever is observable is not who you are. If you‟re looking at who you‟re not, who‟s looking at who you really are? Your life force is being fed by who‟s looking instead of identifying what can be seen, what can be looked at, and what can be observed. Who you really are—the looker—gets stronger and stronger, and you begin to identify less and less with what is observable. I: So it‟s really like a stripping away process of what we typically observe and identify with. A: Yes. For example, “I am intelligent.” When I don‟t identify with “I am intelligent; I have intelligence, and it‟s strong,”then I can use it appropriately, and it can be in action instead of me being identified with it inreaction. “Reaction depletes life force. Action creates life force— it creates your passion, your aliveness.”Reaction depletes life force. Action creates life force—it creates your passion, your aliveness. Itconnects you with, “I know that I know. I know that I am.” It connects you with the “I am” that is notobservable. It is the soul that never dies.I: It‟s actually about working with all of those parameters within yourself as opposed to the externalactivity that goes with being reactionary.A: Yes, and it‟s vast. Imagine if you‟re depressed. Depression—what‟s that? Depression is notconnected to the I that I am and identifying with your chemistry, with your body. Imagine if you don‟tidentify with it, and instead you observe it; then it becomes your teacher.I: I would imagine then, from what you‟re saying, that it strips away the fears that we normally have,because it becomes a learning experience. If you‟re looking at life‟s events—whether you perceivethem as positive or negative—as a teacher and as a learning force, that allows you to progress, andthere‟s no reason for fear.A: Exactly. Jesus says in the Bible, “Do not be afraid.” Paramahansa talks about fear. He said,energetically, if you can see auras, it‟s like being in a shower and coming out dripping wet. Literally,you‟re just dripping water. That‟s what happens with fear. It leaks your life force, which makes youmore vulnerable, which makes you be possessed more by fear.I: What kept you motivated and going to learn all of this? You said you‟ve had some really greatteachers, so you‟ve been motivated to learn a lot of different techniques and approaches to helpingpeople.A: My father comes from the Caucasus in the South of Russia. In the Caucasus, there‟s a way ofspeaking that is the same as it is in most ancient cultures. The old people tell you a story. You ask aquestion, and they‟ll tell you a story, and that story is pointing. It‟s like Rumi, the Sufi, pointing to themoon; you don‟t look at the pointer, you look at where it‟s pointing. -44-
  • 44. That‟s what it‟s like with these stories. The story is the pointer. You look at where it‟s pointing to.That‟s the way my father spoke. He was always pointing to something. I grew up trying to find whathe was pointing to, and that‟s my passion.I: It‟s almost like a metaphor, in a way.A: A metaphor, a myth, a fairy tale—they‟re all pointers.I: They‟re pointers that actually show you the pathway to your true self.A: Exactly. The true self is a universal law. All of these ancient teachings are universal laws. Time is auniversal law. Change is a universal law. The esotericness of all religions are universal laws.There are different beliefs—different roads. My father taught me that I had to find my own way toGod, and he encouraged me to research everyone‟s religion, everyone‟s way, and to find whatresonates with me.I: That‟s a very open way of sharing life with you. How are you inspired? What inspires you?A: To know that I know. There‟s a purpose for me being on earth. I wasn‟t put here for nothing. Weweren‟t put here for nothing. The food chain is a law on this planet. As humans, we‟re the highest onthe food chain, so what am I food for?I think we‟re all food for something. I think I‟m food forhigher consciousness. I have a purpose. I‟m not here toeat and watch TV and make money and be comfortable.There‟s something else. Once you‟ve got everything,then what?Experiences regurgitate themselves. “I went to thebeach, it was great.” That‟s just regurgitating. There‟ssomething else. There‟s a calling in your soul, and onceyou‟ve conquered the material world and you‟ve gotwhat you want and your ego is fed and everything‟sfine, then what? There‟s always something else drivingyou.I: How do you feel you inspire other people? You‟reinspiring me today.A: I think one of my gifts is making people successful.Success meaning being who you really are—that‟s theultimate success, isnt it? And bringing about yourpurpose on Planet Earth—contributing the gift that youare for the good of humanity. To me, that‟s the ultimatesuccess. “One of my gifts is making people successful. Success meaning beingI: That‟s really beautiful. All of our gifts are unique and who you really are . . . contributingdifferent. the gift that you are for the good ofA: Absolutely. And they‟re all necessary—they all make humanity. To me, that’s theup the one. ultimate success.”I: I‟ve heard it said that when you‟re not giving of that unique gift, you‟re really robbing the world.A: And you‟re depressing yourself. To go back to who you are, find the face you were before youwere born. Find the truth of yourself. It‟s simple. Get a photograph of yourself as a child, as young asone, two, three, four, or five years old, and deeply look at that child. Look deeply into the eyes of -45- (Continued next page.)
  • 45. Azzah continued . . . “Our habitual reactions are a product of our past conditioning, beliefs, and fears . . . Being slaves of our own feelings is a pathetic condition of humanity. We are not only accustomed to being in this state of slavery, but we are accustomed to justifying it.”that child and remember yourself.That will vibrate the “I that I am”—that calling, because there was something in you, in everybody,that was called to life, and it‟s still there. To get away from it, you really have to do a number onyourself. We all have our own interpretation about childhood. To not believe in yourself, and toidentify with the tragedy of your childhood and live that belief is really small, and by doing that youforget the calling that you are.I: That‟s such a great point. Could you share a few of the secrets that you use to help people reallyconnect with that inner self?A: To split away is very painful and shameful. We split through shame, because we‟re not acceptedfor who we really are. We‟re socialized. “You mustn‟t do that,” or “You cant do that,”—shouldn‟t,mustn‟t, don‟t, and cant. That shaming makes me feel like who I really am is not acceptable, so Ihave to see how to be.All of these parts of myself—my curiosity, my vibrance, my truth telling as I see it—all of thesequalities that I am had to go underground. There‟s a saying that every demon has the possibility ofbeing an angel. It‟s just life coming back on itself. To close the truth of yourself down in order to bewho society wants you to be—to be acceptable—is painful and comes through shame, and shame isreally intense.When you bring those things back up, the shame that put them there comes up as well, but you haveto realize that you‟re an adult now, and that shame belonged to a child. It doesn‟t belong to who youare now. Just bring those things up and empty them out of your physical self, because they lodge inyour body, whether it manifests as a backache, headache, depression—all of these things take placein the body. It all lodges energetically in your body and has to be physically released.Our habitual reactions are a product of our past conditioning, beliefs, and fears. They have become soautomatic that our response to anything that touches them becomes uncontrollable and “predictable.”Your mind reacts to a situation according to your programmed beliefs. We are offended, we withdraw,become violent, miserable, and “predictable.” Being slaves of our own feelings is a pathetic conditionof humanity. We are not only accustomed to being in this state of slavery, but we are accustomed tojustifying it when we are touchy, moody, aggressive, and so on.Once all of that is gone, I am able to reach a higher level of seeing and a different interpretation ofwhat my soul‟s purpose is. I can ask, “What was my soul‟s highest learning in that situation?” It‟s atotally different interpretation—otherwise, I‟m living the interpretation of my childhood and how Iinterpreted that situation then.I: Actually, to be able to express yourself through a kind of emotional reaction clears that out so thatyou can move on and see things clearer and see that inner self that you were talking about earlier.A: As soon as you see it for what it is, you‟re not identifying with it anymore. When a situationhappens where that reaction comes up, you‟ve got one or two seconds to make a different choice.And by doing that, history does not repeat itself.I: What would you say would be the most important thing for people to do to start down this path ifthey‟re just exploring this and they have the desire to truly find their true purpose and their true self? -46-
  • 46. How do they start?A: Start with one belief—one rigid belief. Or, start with a pattern that repeats itself such as, “I keepmeeting the same type of person,” or “I keep getting into the same type of situation, problem, etc.”Get ahold of something that reoccurs constantly, and then take a look at what you believe, wherethat belief came from, and then realize that it‟s not you.It‟s a program. That program, that mechanism keeps producing the same results. A machineproduces what it‟s programmed to produce. Your life is run by these automatic, always reactionary,programmed beliefs. Are you‟re going to die like that?Go to a cemetery and imagine what your life is going to be like if you don‟t release yourself from yourprogramming. In his inaugural speech, Nelson Mandela said it is our greatness we‟re scared of. That‟sso true, isnt it?It‟s your greatness you fear, not your shadow. He said that our “playing small does not serve theworld.” What do you think you can contribute to life by acting small? That‟s what we‟re scared of—ourgreatness. “This work is aI: So truly what you do is contributing so people will be able to discover thebigness that they have to deliver to the world. process of becoming . . .A: I help them see the truth of who they really are, and not identify with some To losecultural program they grew up in, which has been necessary. It‟s socialization— ourselves isof course we need it—but imagine using those experiences consciously as painful andopposed to identifying with them and assuming that‟s who you are. hard. To comeI: That‟s why, as you mentioned earlier, it‟s important to take an action back to who weapproach rather than a reaction approach. are is natural— it’s our nature.A: Exactly. We are made of energy. Transformation means transforming our All of life, all ofrate of vibration to a higher frequency. nature supportsThis work is a process of becoming, to enter another dimension of you being whoconsciousness where dense energies such as feeling victimized, lacking in you really are.”confidence, and using aggression don‟t exist. The breakdown of the presentframe of mind allows a higher frequency to emerge and presents possibilities that can guide us awayfrom destruction toward transformation.To lose ourselves is painful and hard. To come back to who we are is natural—it‟s our nature. All oflife, all of nature supports you being who you really are. http://azzah9.blogspot.com/ -47-
  • 47. Bill Cummingis a thirty-year coaching veteran known as The Coach’s Coach. He has been a coach,consultant, and trainer to CEOs and executive teams of healthcare delivery organizations,businesses, school systems, and nonprofit organizations ranging in size from startup tothree-quarters of a billion dollar corporations. Bill’s work focuses on creating inspiredenvironments where individuals can take responsibility for their lives and the organizationsfor which they work.In 1964, Bill helped found the Ford Foundation Project, which became a pilot for UpwardBound, a federally funded educational program that works to give young adults a leg up inlife. Bill has also worked tirelessly toward the transformation of educational systems inprisons. Specifically, Bill spent thirteen years as an adjunct member of the faculty at theCollege of Education at the University of Maine helping found the University’s Aspirationsfor School project. He is the founder of the Center for Responsible Education, as well as atwo-time elected chair to the Maine School Union #47 Board of Directors where he hasserved for six years. To date, Bill has worked with more than four thousand teachers incritical case studies in his courses, “Motivating the Unmotivatable” and “InspiredTeaching.”I: Let‟s start off by talking about the term unmotivatable.BC: Well, there is no such word as “unmotivatable” in the English language. We named that course“Motivating the Unmotivatable” for two reasons: because it attracted teachers tremendously, andbecause we wanted to address two issues. First, there is no such word as “unmotivatable,” and youand I cant actually motivate other people; all we can do is create an environment in which they‟remore likely to choose to be motivated themselves.I: What happened in 1979 that changed your life?BC: I had been doing work—or doing life, I guess. I‟m honored by the things that I had a chance toparticipate in, especially the founding of Upward Bound, but I went from there to being a YMCAdirector, and then I became the Corporate Responsibility Officer for what is now Key Bank nationally.In 1979, one of my children was raped. I want to fast forward to 2011—that young woman is now theCFO of an organization called The Transformation Center in Boston that helps returning troops fromAfghanistan and Iraq readjust to society using peer coaching. She‟s fine, but on that day, our worldas we knew it stopped. My child was standing in my kitchen bleeding, and I knew that she had justbeen through one of the most traumatic experiences in the world. I literally—if I had caught theperson in that instant—would have killed him.I‟ve spent my life doing things that are nonviolent and completely antithetical to that emotion thatarose, but there was no missing the emotion. Obviously, we took care of my daughter, Joy. Weimmediately went to the hospital, and there were police and social workers and all kinds of otherthings.For a period of a few days, I couldn‟t shake that desire. It didn‟t take me long to figure out that it wascompletely antithetical to everything I‟d spent my life being about, but it gave me a little bit of anindication as to where some of the violence in the world comes from.I started to study—some of it academic, but a lot of it just through what I was hearing going onaround me—about where violence comes from. To make a very long story very short, one day I hadthe television on and Phil Donohue‟s show was on.Donohue, in my opinion, did some great television before trash TV came along. He had a man namedNick Groth who ran the sex offender program in the state of Connecticut on his program that day,and three inmates were behind a theatrical scrim so you could see their body movements and heartheir voices, but you could never identify them; it was completely anonymous. -49- (Continued next page.)
  • 48. Bill Cumming continued . . .What I was struck by was what I didn’t hear: I didn‟t hear any of them blaming their circumstancesfor how they go to be where they were, which was in a maximum security prison, having beenconvicted of violent crimes.I cold called Nick Groth, and some phone calls are just meant to go through. It happened to be ataped delayed program that day, and he answered the phone, and we talked. He said, “There‟s onlyone way you‟re going to understand what I‟m doing, and that‟s if you come down here.”I agreed to come down to the maximum security prison in Somers, Connecticut, and while there werea lot of things that took place along the way, I will cut to the core of what happened. Nick introducedme to two groups. One was a group he had just started working with, and they had the usual litany ofpeople they felt were responsible for how they got there: mom, dad, the judge, the lawyer, the cop,and then we finally got to the victim—“If only she hadn‟t done that, I wouldn‟t have killed her.”At that point in the conversation, that feeling that I told you about that arose in my kitchen began towell up inside of me again. Either Nick saw that, or it was time to go anyway, but in either case it wasfortunate. We then went to talk with people Nick had worked with for a couple of years, and in thatgroup there was a person who, as a child, had been locked in a closet for ten days at a time. That‟swhere he ate, that‟s where he slept, that was the bathroom—you get a sense of that room. Thosewere the good times, because when the children weren‟t locked up, they were being raped andsodomized by the entire adult community.It was not hard for me to figure out how that man got to be where I met him in the maximumsecurity prison in Somers, Connecticut. What I didn‟t expect was that at the end of that first day—andthis was in 1979 when there weren‟t any video cameras around, there were no guards who couldhear, and Nick wasn‟t close by—this man said to me, “Bill, I am sorry that your daughter was raped.”I knew he meant it. I didn‟t know what to do with it, but I knew he meant it.It began to dawn on me at a very deep level that I had spent my life trying to do things that Iconsidered useful and worthwhile, and I just acknowledged to you that I have the capacity to kill (andyou‟ll notice I didn‟t put that in the past tense), and here‟s a man who committed violent crimes andadmitted it—he was not only convicted, but he admitted to me that he had done that—who wascapable of loving kindness.What really became clear to me in a relatively short period of time is that the capacity for everythingis inside of us. The question is, what do we nurture? What do we water?I began building programs that allowed people who had never experienced their value and worth inthe world an opportunity to experience that. But they could also experience the reality that inside ofthem is the ability to make choices that allow them to take charge of their own lives. That‟s whathappened, and that‟s what I‟ve spent the last thirty-three years doing.I: What did you discover about yourself, your daughter, and people in general?BC: I realized that one of the reasons people engage in violent behavior is because they think theyhave no control over their circumstances. Riots break out—not the kind that have to do with lootingand things like that—when people become overwhelmed by their circumstances and feel like theyhave no control, they will resort to almost anything, especially when it comes to protecting theirchildren. It‟s been said numerous times that unless we end the issue of world hunger, we‟re nevergoing to have a world of peace, and I believe that to be true.What I discovered about my daughter was that she was a lot more together than I was. She wouldtell me later that it was simply because she was a better actress than I am. She really was stoic inrelationship to this, and those days are a blur to me. All I remember is my white rage and wanting todo everything I could to protect my daughter, which I clearly couldn‟t do. What I discovered,therefore, was this incredible courage and fortitude in my daughter that I was astounded by. I alwaysknew she was a neat kid, but the fact of the matter was she was tough as nails. -50-
  • 49. “The capacity for everything is inside of us. The question is, what do we nurture?”I also found that no matter how much discipline you bring to the work that you do, there are going tobe things that bring up feelings that are elemental in nature. When you begin to look at whereviolence and damage comes from, you begin to realize that well people don‟t damage other people. Ifyou and I are in a good mood, we‟re going to treat each other well, generally speaking.If I‟ve had one of those days where I just lost my biggest client, a person I care about has been rudeand offensive, and I had a flat tire on the way home—it doesn‟t make any difference what thecircumstances are, but if it‟s one of those days where I‟m frustrated with myself and mycircumstances—I‟m much less likely to be loving and kind to those around me. If I‟m in good shape,I‟m much more fun to be around than if I‟m in lousy shape.One of the first things I do when I go to work with a group of prisoners is to acknowledge them forreaching the pinnacle of their success, because most of them that I‟m talking to are in the big housefor their state. I congratulate them for being successful at having achieved this particular benchmark,and I‟m not being sarcastic at all.My next question I ask is, “Is this what you set out to accomplish?” There‟s a lot of silence. What theydiscover is that I am not judging or evaluating them as people. I know that inside of them is thecapacity to turn their lives around. That capacity resides inside of all people. There’s no one whodoesn’t want to love and be loved and to know that their life has value and purpose.I: Basically, it‟s a humanistic psychology approach tool—unconditional positive regard as well asacceptance of prior behavior?BC: No. Holding people in high regard, positivity, all of that stuff is good—that‟s a step in the rightdirection. What I mean is showing absolute loving kindness the way you love a child, a loved one,etc., so that person knows they‟re cared for as a human being.The right words wont do this. It isnt about the words. It‟s about recognizing that the value andworth of those people is a given. As a matter of fact, some of the language that surrounds self-worthand self-esteem is so damaging to what I‟m working on that it‟s almost difficult to describe, becausepeople feeling good because something happened externally has nothing to do with it; I‟m talkingabout knowing inside of your heart that you‟re okay, no matter what happens today.Nelson Mandela went through twenty-seven years in a prison, and in the year following his releasewith his captor, desegregated the country. That capacity resides inside of all people. Viktor Franklsaid, “The last of the freedoms is to choose one‟s attitude in any given set of circumstances.” Hewrote that in a concentration camp, and the depth of our ability to do that is that deep. It‟s not as ifViktor Frankl is the only one who has that capacity.I: I fully believe in that. I raise my children to believe that you are in charge of your attitude. Youcant change what happens to you. You can only dictate what you decide, how you view it, and howyou‟re going to accept that in your life.BC: The problem is that not everybody grows up knowing that they‟re loved absolutely andunconditionally, so consequently, they may hear all those words, but if they have no experience thatthey‟re loved at that level, that place inside of them where their real value exists has never beentouched—those words don‟t mean much, which is why they‟re not particularly successful.A board member of a nonprofit organization that I was doing some work with happened to work forthe department of Health and Human Services. She said in a public meeting that she didn‟t believethat you had to hold people in high regard, and especially not hold them in a place of loving kindness,because she absolutely felt that some of the people she worked with were despicable, but sheprovided good services for them anyway. -51- (Continued next page.)
  • 50. Bill Cumming continued . . .In actuality, there were services provided, but what the people also got was a heavy dose of, “You‟renot worthy. You‟re not valuable. You have no significance.”Most of the doing-ness to solve the world‟s problems already exists. The issue is, we don‟t treat eachother well. We actually treat each other very poorly, and we need to be mindful of finding ways tonurture all that is good in people and to be mindful of operating with one another with dignity, grace,and loving kindness. That sounds simple, but it applies in every situation, not just some.A few years ago the federal government came out with a pretty important program, the title of whichis very telling. The program is called “The Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Program.” The reasonit came out is that three years ago, and for the next ten years forward, the federal government isreleasing 100,000 violent prisoners a year, and they know they havent had an impact on them.To call them “Departments of Corrections” is where the problem lies. You cant correct people intowellness. All of the successful rehabilitation programs have at their core loving kindness and choice.The ones that are about force and discipline may be able to modify behavior, but nothing happens atan internal level, so people go out and recreate the same problem. If you don‟t alter that core placein people—or if they don‟t alter it for themselves, more accurately—then nothing has really happened.I: What changed in the way you see and experience the world? BC: I used to believe there was right and wrong, and now I realize there‟s only “I used to wellness and unwellness. People who are well don‟t damage other people in anybelieve there way, shape, or form. If you‟re in a place of loving kindness, it‟s impossible for you to intentionally do damage. That doesn‟t mean that I don‟t do damage from timewas right and to time, I do, but that‟s because of moments of unconsciousness. wrong, andnow I realize We are trained to believe that some people are good and some people are evil. I‟ve there’s only read the source documents of about fifteen different major religions, and all of thewellness and spiritual traditions point to two things: love all people with no exception and grow in wisdom. I don‟t care whether it‟s in the Koran or the teachings of Buddha or the unwellness. Bible, that‟s the message, which means it isnt ours to judge. That‟s not to say that People who I expect people to be running around the street who have not had an opportunityare well don’t to do some work. I‟m not suggesting that we necessarily release all the prisoners.damage other I am suggesting that the way we work with them is absolutely antithetical to what people.” it is we say we want to accomplish. What changed in me was the way I saw the world.I: What is the connection between these revelations and the current problems in schools andbusiness?BC: In my experience, we keep looking to the wrong things to make the changes. At the moment,we‟re looking to change public schools by doing more testing. The testing is getting better; at leastnow we‟re testing the same student to see whether they learned anything in a particular year. In theold days, they used to test a particular grade level every few years. That‟s significant because it‟s likecomparing apples and oranges; there‟s no correlation between test results for an eighth grade classthree years from now and what‟s going on in eighth grade now.However, the core issue is, if youngsters don‟t feel well about themselves—and this has nothing to dowith being happy, it‟s about seeing themselves as valued and valuable—if they don‟t see themselvesas able to be responsible for their own lives and well being, they‟re not going to produce the kind ofresults we want to have produced.The reason Upward Bound worked was because it was created an inspired environment where peoplecould choose to take responsibility for their own lives and caring faculty were sought. When thegovernment wanted to take over the pilots that had been started—one of which was ours—theywanted to make it a remedial program. I and a number of other people said, “If you do that, you will -52-
  • 51. kill the essence of Upward Bound.”If you talk to anyone who runs an Upward Bound program now, they will tell you that the reason itworks is that often this is the first time youngsters have been involved with an entirely inspired groupof adults. Again, this is not to say their teachers in school are wrong, but we have to ask, “If theycant create an inspired environment and they don‟t love kids, what are they doing in this business?”Again, in prisons, unless we get over the notion that you can correct people into wellness, we‟renever going to be able to change things. By the way, you cant build prisons fast enough to take careof the unwellness that‟s bubbling up right now, and the reason is, we brought a lot of children intothe world who weren‟t really wanted.In all of our struggle for freedom of every single kind you can imagine, we‟ve forgotten the fact thatraising children is more important than any other job on the planet, and until that gets reinforced—not by some artificial, “It has to be a man and a woman,” or this, that, and the other, but by realizingthat it‟s got to be the primary responsibility of people in relationship to these young people‟s lives—very little is going to change. The way we‟re operating with one another needs to shift; it‟s not thedoing-ness.I: What does the word love mean to you now?BC: It‟s not that the word love means something different to me. There has been a lot ofconversation that you cant talk about love. For example, in most public schools, it‟s taboo.Superintendents say, “Don‟t talk about love—you‟ll get in trouble, lawsuits, etc.”Youngsters need to know they‟re loved, period. What I mean by that is the same thing I mean inrelationship to my own children: I want you to have a meaningful, productive, contributory, joyouslife. I don‟t want food or shelter to be an issue. I care about you as a human being.There is no scarcity of love. As a matter of fact, the more you do it, the more you‟re able to do it, andthe clearer you become in communicating to a person their value and worth in the world. We did ademonstration program for the Department of Labor last summer, and there was a youngster that Iwas interviewing for a spot in that program. About twenty minutes into the interview I asked, “Youdon‟t have the experience at all that you‟re already valuable, do you?” This was about a fifteen yearold. She looked at me and burst into tears because no one had ever said to her that her value andworth in the world was a given.People need to know that, and we need to stop being concerned about words and focus on intentions.Loving kindness is exactly what‟s wanted and needed.I: Loving kindness doesn‟t sound like much of a problem solver. Why do you think it is so important?BC: The majority of people don‟t see it as a problem solver because they don‟t experience it in theirown lives. It is absolutely a problem solver. If you want corporations to work well, have a team thatcares about each other and can tell the truth. If you want a school that functions well, have a facultythat knows that its opinion is going to be valued. Operate with dignity and grace and loving kindness.Loving kindness is a problem solver. The problem is that we don‟t hold it that way because we‟veheard about it for a long time, and we think it‟s something we cant get a handle on. That‟s not true.Consider any person who has ever moved from, “I don‟t matter, I don‟t value myself,” to “I domatter, and I‟m starting to produce results.” I‟ve asked thousands of people like that this question:“What was present at the moment you were able to make that transition?” The answer in every casebut one was that first, there was an adult who absolutely cared about them, and second, they beganto make changes that allowed them to take charge of their own life. When those two things happensimultaneously, all kinds of things become possible in people‟s lives.I: Do people have to work with you in order to understand this work? -53- (Continued next page.)
  • 52. Bill Cumming continued . . .BC: Not in my experience. What they need to do is look inside to see whether or not they can accessthat space of loving kindness, and then do everything they know how to do in order to stay in thatspace on an ongoing basis.Everything is a miracle. One of the things I discovered about fifteen years ago is that no matterhow well you may have thought out anything, you need to do self-care. Take some time every day torecognize that we live in a miracle. The fact that you and I are breathing is a miracle. The fact thatwe‟re able to communicate is a miracle.Everything is interconnected. Everything you and I do has an impact. Jane Goodall said, “It isntwhether you make a difference in life—everything we do makes a difference—the only question iswhether it‟s going to be positive or negative.”The only thing I control today is how I’m going to be. The question is, “Is the way I‟m beingright at the moment useful, productive, contributory, etc.?” It‟s absolutely possible. I see placeswhere this is bubbling up all over the place.What happened in Egypt was a group of people deciding that they wanted the world to be different,and interestingly enough, the next country where it was tried got slapped down militarily becausepeople began to realize that there was no way to stop a group of people who had decided thatenough was enough.I believe even though things look a little dark right at the moment that we‟re actually coming to aplace where people are able to see that Mahatma Gandhi and a few other people were pretty muchon target relative to loving kindness being the most important tool in the world. It cant bemanipulated, because it‟s either present or it‟s not.I: How do you stay optimistic in the face of a world at war and in chaos?BC: If we focus on what‟s not working, we can depress ourselves into next week pretty easily. Youhave to stay and see what the reaction is to the work that you‟ve done.The people who have been through the work I‟m talking about allow us to know that it‟s possible forall people to do that. If I focus on what‟s been accomplished as opposed to what hasn‟t yet, I‟m ableto keep my equanimity. Why wouldn‟t I look toward the positive in life as opposed to looking atwhat‟s not working?Norman Vincent Peale had a great notion—The Power of Positive Thinking. If you add The Power ofPositive Thinking to the incredible force of loving kindness, what you get is unstoppable; it willcontinue to have an impact on and on, just as it did in Egypt not long ago.I: You talk a lot about self-care. What do you mean by self-care?BC: A lot of people do things that are good for them. They run, they watch their diet, they dowhatever is constructive from their point of view. Self-care is getting focused every day on what thereality is in terms of the opportunity.I used to go to the ocean, and every time I went to the ocean, I automatically felt more peaceful, andI began to analyze what that experience was like, because I realized that I wasn‟t always going to beable to be by the ocean. The force of the ocean, unfortunately, has incredible power as demonstratedin Japan, and the fact of the matter is, that force allows me to recognize that Mother Nature, God, theforce of all of that—however you choose to hold it—is so much bigger than we are. It‟s mind boggling.The universe is expanding at 200 million miles a second. That‟s an inconceivable notion, but if I focuson the miracle closest to me, which is you and I talking, or the fact that I have three bionic parts inme—two artificial knees and an artificial hip— and I‟m without pain for the first time in forty yearswhich is a miracle to me, and if I recognize that everything is interconnected, then I can keep my -54-
  • 53. attitude in good shape, because I don‟t have any expectations about what other people do. I‟mfocused on how I‟m managing myself.Self-care is being consistent about managing myself and being disciplined in the way I go about that.I: Why is what we do with children so critical?BC: A lot of youngsters were born not because they were chosen or wanted, but because they simplyarrived as a result of other‟s activities. If a youngster does not feel valued, they begin to live out ofthat self-fulfilling prophecy.I have never talked to a group of prisoners who said, “Yes, as children, we were all well loved andnurtured and felt good and everything was lovely.” They have nightmare stories—horror stories.Don‟t get me wrong, it is not about blaming mom and dad. If those folks felt well about themselves,they wouldn‟t have done what they did. What‟s important is that we make sure that youngsters at theearliest possible age get into environments that are truly nurturing, creative, and inspired, because ifthat gets cemented early on, it‟s much more likely that they‟ll be successful down the road.I: What can people do to be part of the solution?BC: First, they can make a decision right this second that that‟s what they want to do, and they canwork toward being in place of loving kindness.Being in a place of loving kindness doesn‟t mean don‟t have standards, aren‟t thorough, aren‟t wellorganized, or that we don‟t do an inspired job. It means being gracious to yourself and focusing onthe things that you can do, and not necessarily on the things that you cant do.We started seriously working on the issue of world hunger about forty years ago. Bucky Fuller hadtalked about sustainability all of his life and, God rest his soul, he pointed to the direction that it couldtake. A lot of his thinking has gone into a great many solutions to end hunger; 45,000 people used todie per day, needlessly, of hunger and starvation. That number is now down to 25,000 a day.The entire death rate following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is going to be about 25,000, andI have absolute empathy for the souls that are touched by that and those that have been lost. Thatnumber seems so staggering to most people in that context. As a society, we need to look at somethings that we can actually solve today that have to do with persistent hunger and starvation thathavent been ended, not because we cant end them, but because we havent made the decision.Anyone can simply make a decision to be responsible for their own well being and to be in a place ofloving kindness toward other human beings. That will open up immediate doors for what the doing-ness needs to be; it will be obvious. http://www.theboothbyinstitute.org/ -55-
  • 54. Insights Directory of ExpertsJodi Orshan, Certified Life Coach and Eve Agee, Ph.D., Certified LifeFounder, The Parenting Plan. Coach, Medical Anthropologist,Judy specializes in parenting and family Best-Selling Author and Speaker.coaching. Inspiring you to create your most“I partner with parents to help magnificent life and make yourthem create the happy, healthy, successful biggest contribution.family that they always envisioned.” http://www.eveagee.com/index.htmlwww.theparentingplan.comSusan Guiher Agnès van Rhijn - Coach at CoheChange, France,Certified Coach, Speaker, Published Writer founder of the CoheChange International network.and Co-Founder of Thrive for Success, LLC CoheChange empowers individuals who wish to take ownership of their lifeAssisting entrepreneurs, small business owners and career, and helps organizations toand direct selling leaders who want freedom, implement ethical and sustainablepassion and success! Leadership and growth. http://www.cohechange.comhttp://www.thrive4success.com http://www.thecohechangenetwork.netRick Alvarado, CPC, ELI-MP, ECEP Dr. Sherry Buffington, Founder ofAssoc. Director, Education Service Center The CORE MultidimensionalInstitute of Developmental Coaching Awareness Profile® (CORE MAP)The IDC offers cutting edge coach training - far more than just assessments.programs and services for professional and They are systems for deep andpersonal development. insightful analysis.richard.alvarado@esc20.net. http://www.coremap.com/Dr. Candice Smithyman Karen Wright, Master Coach,Dream Mentors Transformational Life Founder, Parachute Executive CoachingCoaching Institute and helps you step into your leadership role withInternational Tribune of Christian Coaches confidence, and understand and embraceDiscover the Keys to Understanding WhatMotivates Your Christian Clientele what “High Potential” means… http://www.parachuteexecutivecoaching.com/http://dreammentors.bizDr. Sharon Melnick, Harvard Researcher and Yogesh SoodFounder, Productivity Mind Mastery will help you Managing Director, Aspectum ConsultingGet Out of Your Own Way when it comes to Managing President/Founder – SA/India Chapter ICFyour Time... and make your career dreams come true Become more profitable by operating in awithin days and weeks instead of months and years! customer driven way. http://www.aspectum.inwww.productivitymindsetmastery.com/Kim Avery JoAnne WardMA, Certified Life Coach, Certified Career Grow Forward Business ConsultingManagement Specialist, Speaker Empowering small business, nonprofitsLicensed Get Clients Now Facilitator and their teams to greatness!Coaches: Develop and deliver your signaturespeech http://www.Speeches2Go.com http://www.bizgrowforward.com/Ann Farrell CPCC, PCC, The Corporate Success Coach, Joyce Odidison , M.A & PCCFounder and President, Quantum Endeavors, Inc., Interpersonal Wellness Coaching ,executive & leader coaching. Inc (IWC®) Helping you find the link between yourEvery great coach deserves a great coaching personal wellness and the success ofbusiness! Let Quantum Endeavors help you your interpersonal relationships.build yours now!QuantumEndeavors.com Join the Peace At Work Day, May16th!Your CorporateSuccess.com http://www.interpersonalwellness.com
  • 55. Insights Expert Resource Center Where over 2800 coaches from around the globe and opportunity meet! www.thecoachexchange.com Your Tribe is Gathering... JOIN NOW FOR FREE!Committed to providing practical and impactful LeadingCoachesCenter.commentoring, training, tools, and coaching today Where top business, leadershipfor shaping the business owners of tomorrow. and executive coaches connect online to play, learn, contribute and www.solopreneurs.org advance together. Coming in June: PUBLISHED! Magazine Preview at: http://tinyurl.com/ publishedmag www.blogtalkradio.com/expertsinsights 12-Month Subscription-Advertise-Brand As Your Own http://www.getei.com/insights.html ~Until next month, wishing you success and creative Insights~
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  • 58. Superstars who have shared their wisdom and graced Insights Magazine Pages in 2010: Dr. TC North, Dr. Sherry Buffington, Dr. Kevin Fleming, Susan Guiher, Ford Myers, Helen Kerrison Dr. Joan King, Lisa Murrell, Linda Claire Plug, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, Peter Scherer, Gina Morgan, Milana Leshinsky, Kendall SummerHawk, Toni Reece, Michael Bungay Stanier, Rhonda Hess, Evelyn Kalinosky, Ann Farrell, Michael Neill, Jennifer Davey, Jennifer Wilkov, Ray Williams, Jan Kearce, Gary Henson, Dr. Judy Krings, Joshua Zuchter, Suzi Pomerantz, Viktor Grant, Dr. M. A. Greenstein, Dr. Conrad Milne, Kathy Esper, Susan Rae Baker, Dr. Richard Johnson, Dr. Relly Nadler, Jerry Moyer, Kathy Jo Slusher-Haas, Liz Cosline, Ran Zilca, Schelli Whitehouse, Paulette Rao, Angela Carr Patterson , Katherine Poehnert,Joyce Odidison, Tiamo, Suzanne Falter-Barns, Sharon Sayler, Marc Manieri, David Wood, Melinda Cohan,Lisa Bloom, Max Simon, Redia Anderson, Dr. Roxanne Howe-Murphy, Dr Matthew James, Jackie Lapin,Dr. Sharon Melnick, Diana Fletcher, Kathryn Troutman, Rev. Chavah Aima, Lou Bortone, Dr. Ann Deaton,JoAnne Ward, Sharla Jacobs and Jesse Koren, Donna Amos, Christian Mickelsen, Regena Thomashauser,Todd Newton, Kate Steinbacher, Bill Baron, Jayne Warrilow, Anne Wilson, Andrea Feinberg, Shayla Roberts,Kim Kirmmse Toth, Jane Perdue, Kim Ades, Michael Port, Dr. Cathy Greenberg, Marsha Wieder, Ali Brown,Dr. Candice Smithyman, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Jim Stovall, Cheryl Richardson, Michael Gerber,and Rev. Dr. Iyanla Vanzant. A special “Thank You” to media personality, the wonderful Stacey Chadwell!More about Insights Magazine: http://www.getei.com/insights.html

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