By Lee Neale
There is nothing particularly new or exciting about the following list. In fact, it’s little more than the mental laundry list that I stick on my refrigerator somewhere between the electricity bill and the pizza menus. Much of this is age-old wisdom, some reworked for the tech age. I’m sure most of it will be quite familiar. However, it’s always good to give ourselves a little reminder that happiness doesn’t just grow on trees; that it needs to be nourished with a little reflective day to day self-awareness.
1. Count your blessings daily. Focusing your energy on the good things in life brings more of them to you.
2. Learn to love yourself as you are. Perfection is an illusion. At every level of being we are in ceaseless flow and change. Embrace a lack of perfection and even revel in some occasional chaos. Crisis is Mother Nature’s way of saying hi!
3. Connect more deeply with your five senses. For example, when you are eating a meal forget everything and be right there with the meal: soak in the colours, savour the tastes, smells and textures. Feel the energy, warmth and nutrition as the food becomes one with your body. Thank the Earth for sharing this blessing.
4. Remember that true power lies within and not over others.
5. Compliment people on their positive qualities. Kindness shared is kindness received.
6. Happiness is a choice: seek out positive alternative opinions to balance out your worldview. There are an abundance of positively oriented news sites popping up all over the web.
7. Reflect critically on the true level of danger you are experiencing. Look out your window. Unless you’re living in a war zone, it’s likely you’ll see a pretty peaceful scene. That peace in the present moment is your reality: work with that, not the latest crime statistics.
8. The thoughts you go to sleep with have a big influence on your waking life. Visualising images of success, prosperity, happiness, generosity, love and kindness as you drift off into sleep, can have a profound effect on improving the quality of your day to day experience. Over an extended period, this practice can be a major life-changer.
9. Forgiveness: do you really want to keep carrying around the luggage of other people’s mistakes in your head? … NO, SO LET IT GO!
10. If you want to see more of something in the world, take responsibility for expressing it to others first. Want to see more tenderness then be kinder, more generosity then give more, more love then be loving. When you connect with these things within yourself, then you will naturally find them present in what is around you.
11. Make a habit of going out of your way for somebody. Even one small act of mindfulness can work wonders. The universe has an endearing habit of repaying you in unexpected and useful ways.
12. Time is the most precious gift you can ever give. Spend less time shopping for people and actually share that time with the person instead. Give them a laugh, a massage, a hug, an ear, cook with them or share one of their hobbies. No amount of luxury items can replace your presence in the eyes of a friend or loved one.
13. Praise and reward people for their effort and not for the success or failure of that effort. Especially children!
14. Social media is designed to enhance social life, not replace it. Balance social media time with real face to face interactions. Turn off the tech for a little while each day and be fully present with friends and family, especially at shared meal times.
15. Feng Shui your PC: shed psychological baggage by clearing your cyberspaces. How much mental clutter is lingering on your computer devices in the form of old emails, cached data, temporary downloads and unused files. Deep cleaning removes blockages from your online expression, which can stimulate more clarity, purpose and creativity in life.
16. Set aside time each day for just being instead of doing. Stop chasing the world. Sit still, relax, forgive, let it all go, be still and breathe deeply!
17. Spend time with animals, nature and children: they are treasure troves of wisdom on the art of being human.
18. Try to see life less as a problem to be solved, exploited or overcome and more of a mystery to be creatively enjoyed, explored and shared. In a word: PLAY!
19. Randomize aspects of your life to open up new energy and creativity. Do things that are out of character: take a different direction to or from work, explore different artistic tastes or food, try to consider different points of view.
20. If you can’t get to nature, bring it to you. Let more fresh air and sunshine into your living or working spaces. Bring in plants, play soothing music and spread delicious aromas.
21. Write a list of your very own happiness tips and stick them somewhere you can see them every day! Share them with your friends.
About the Author
Lee Neale is the founder of Shama Gaia. He’s an Australian-born sociologist, language teacher and Shamanic healer living in Japan.
Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.
Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to transform his life. Transforming ones life is not about changing it. While life is much about doing differently, the genesis of the transformation is about a person altering or transforming his belief or thought of who he thinks he is.
We tend to believe that our life is determined or influenced by people, places, things, situations and circumstance and that who we are is the mere accumulation of our past experiences but this is not so. Rather, it is our thoughts and beliefs that determine our experiences and life and also that we are completely and solely responsible for their creation. What we think and believe, especially about ourselves, determines our emotions and behavior in the world and it is our behavior that merely validates what we think and believe about ourselves. Furthermore, we believe or think that we know who we are in life but the reality is that we truly do not. Much of who we are really being we are simply not present to. Much of our life is spent in pretense and who we are really being is hidden from us.
Given that much of our life is lived in pretense, from the construct of ego, becoming present to that which is hidden, to who we are being in life, is absolutely necessary for transformation. It is in that which is primarily hidden from us that one will discover what is determining ones life, referred to here as ones self-limiting belief. The first component of the transformational process is for one to become present to the hidden thoughts and beliefs that have been limiting him in life and in particular to his self-limiting belief. It is in the being of the self-limiting belief that one will discover the primary constraint or barrier to his life, to him living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. We live life from who we think we are. Who we think we are forms the context for our life. Having the awareness or distinction of the self-limiting belief allows one the ability to not be it, to not have his life be merely the probable almost certain future from the past. Without the distinction of the self-limiting belief one will continue to create his life from the backdrop of this ideational barrier and as a result life will appear much as it did in the past.
Becoming present to that which has been hidden, to that which has been truly determining his being in life, allows one the opportunity to transform his life. Once one gets who he has been being in life, the second component of transformative process is for the individual to begin to create his life as a possibility. Once the distinction of the self-limiting belief is gotten, the individual is now able to truly create a new possibility for himself and his life. Getting the self-limiting belief creates the space or an opening for a possibility or possibilities to be invented not as a result or product of the barrier or constraint but from or out of nothing. It is only from nothing that possibility can truly be created. As with the self-limiting belief, possibility exists in language. Once one gets the language that he has been being, that has defined and limited him through being his self-limiting belief, it is at this point that he can begin to recreate himself through the power of his word. Who we are is our word. It is in ones language or word created out of nothing that one has access to possibility and transformation.
The technique described below is designed to assist an individual in becoming present to his self-limiting belief and in the process to create the space or opening for him to invent a possibility or possibilities for recreating his life.
1. Find a relaxing and comfortable space to sit in for approximately one hour. Arrange for this space to be free of any distractions. Just allow yourself to begin to relax. Become present to where and who you are. The use of therapeutic relaxation music can promote the development of a very profound sense of relaxation to enhance this experience.
2. Take a notebook and begin to write down everything that you believe describes or defines who you are. Let your mind wander and do not try to filter or block out anything. Just let whatever comes up about yourself, how you feel and what you think about yourself, to be written down. Who you think you are or that which bests describes you may appear in single words or short phrases. If in a group, share your description of yourself with others. Furthermore, make two lists as there will appear to be both positives and negatives aspects about who you think you are.
3. Sit your notebook down, close your eyes and begin to relax deeply again. Again, the use of therapeutic relaxation music will assist you in the process of creating a very deep state of relaxation. As you begin to move into a deep state of relaxation allow yourself to begin to drift back through time, back through your life, back through your adulthood, adolescence and into your childhood. Allow yourself to become present to how you were being, experiences, thoughts and feelings, through the various phases or stages of your life. Just become present to or notice what appears for you.
4. Open your eyes and return to work on your notebook. Take a look at what you have written and add anything that you became present to about yourself during the above mentioned relaxation exercise. Again, do not filter out anything but merely allow whatever there is to come to the surface, both the positive and negative words that best describes who you think and feel you are or were.
5. Once you have come to a completion of creating the lists, both positive and negative, consider that the positives of who you think yourself to be form the pretense of your life and that their design or function is to fix the negatives of who you think you are.
6. Allow yourself to become present to the negatives you have written down. Notice which one of the negatives best describes who you are, what you commonly believe and feel about yourself, what you have experienced in your mind in the past and even now. Declare the negative aspect that is familiar to you to be your self-limiting belief.
7. Place your notebook in your lap. Allow yourself to become fully present to the fact that what you have written is you, is who you believe yourself to be. Become present to an inauthentic way of being, the positive as pretense and the negatives as that which we hide from ourselves and the world.
8. Place the notebook into your past. If you are right handed place your notebook to your left. If you are left handed place your notebook to your right. Place the notebook approximately three feet from you.
9. Once you place your notebook into your past allow yourself to become present to where your notebook is in relation to your body, to your right or left. Allow yourself to again become present to that which you have written in your notebook is who you believe you are and that it exists to either your right or left.
10. Once you become present to who you believe yourself to be, to the description of yourself as you have written, allow yourself to become present to what now lies in front of you. Given that who you think you are is either to your left or right, become present to what exists in front of you is nothing, an opening from which everything and anything is possible and can be created.
11. Inside the nothing that appears in front of you, invent a possibility or possibilities for yourself and your life. Declare your possibility in language or word, of who you will take on being in life, for yourself. Furthermore, this declaration becomes your personal affirmation of who you will be in and for the world.
12. Repeat this exercise everyday. Repeating this exercise daily will allow one to continue to stay present to his self limiting belief so as to not be it and also to the possibility or possibilities that he has created and invented for himself and his life. Continuing this exercise will also allow the further possible unveiling of the self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief that one initially becomes present to may reveal even deeper meaning for who one is or has been being.
The exercise outlined above is about the work of the first two components of Transformational Counseling and one beginning the process of transformation. Once one gets the distinction of his self-limiting belief and creates a possibility or possibilities for himself and his life, the third component of transformation involves learning the process of enrollment. Enrollment is a powerful technique for allowing one to stay living into his possibility and out of his self-limiting belief. The fourth component of transformation is about creating a daily plan. The daily plan allows one the opportunity to continue to live into or generate his possibility in his life on a daily basis. The fifth component of transformation involves a commitment to stay in the conversation of transformation. It is in staying in the conversation that one experiences the nonlinear nature of transformation thereby keeping the process alive in his life.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC
“Creating Possibility for Transformation” Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.
- How to “Un-Do” Limiting Beliefs! (principlesofdivinepurpose.wordpress.com)
- Positive Thinking…’read about it one more time’ (khanyampumi.wordpress.com)
- 5 Ways to Overcome Limiting Beliefs (thechangeblog.com)
- Limiting Belief #1- (kyraadamo.wordpress.com)
- What’s stopping you? (dmcoachingblog.wordpress.com)
- Limits exist only in the mind – removing your Limiting Beliefs (mindandoneness.com)
- How to Master The Placebo Effect (zazenlife.com)
- How Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Health (secretsofthefed.com)
- Chatauqua ~ Birthing New Realities (shiftfrequency.com)
Copyright © Anagarika Eddie 2012. All rights reserved.
. . . The last time I looked, personal transformation was not on America’s top ten list of achievements. Success, family, happiness, friends, wealth, respect, health, religious beliefs or spirituality, satisfying work – these took priority. Our spiritual institutions follow suit with the most successful and prestigious requiring little of their flock as far as personal introspection is concerned. The prevailing ambiance is one of levity, music and celebration – seldom one of self-inquiry.
Permanent, positive transformations are not common; and usually result from flukes or untoward events of some kind; for example, serious illnesses, near death experiences, trauma, or accidents. These are about the only things we can count on these days to mystically alter our personalities. We try to be good, but it just doesn’t work. For some reason, humanity has always had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into a true spiritual life.
The positive aspect of these shocks and disasters that transform lives is that our previous fear and obsession driven existences are replaced by feelings of fearlessness and ease; a fearlessness, for some odd reason, that rarely involves dominance over others. Our new personality, having had its brush with death, now experiences a new bravery that courageously and easily accepts and handles whatever situation it finds itself in. We have been at the threshold of annihilation, and it was okay. Actually, it was extremely peaceful, and now, with the fear of death no longer hanging over our heads, we not only no longer fear death – we don’t fear anything!
The fearful ones, those afraid to face death or even the loss of material things, are the ones who overreact with violence. We seldom find the brave seriously indulging in selfishness; actually, we usually find them helping others in whatever capacity they can. They have simply stopped worrying about themselves in their newfound freedom, and as a result, have gained a greater capacity to see the needs of others.
Those who have had these near death experiences or spiritual occurrences will tell you that although they can’t express or explain what happened, they now find that the world has little to offer compared to that which they have been mysteriously exposed to. If we can believe what these people say, and they are very credible as well as consistent, we might conclude that there is more to life than meets the logical eye.
These transformed individuals have acquired a certain wisdom, a positive understanding that is perhaps not spoken of but ingrained into their new personalities. They believe that what they do in this lifetime will greatly affect their next existence which they now have no doubt is real, and although they attempted to be good and generous before their traumatic events occurred, it was all playacting and not coming directly from their hearts, for the heart is where the bank account is. Now they find that their bank accounts are no longer in a vault, but in a much more secure place.
If the natural compassion and generosity we express during our lifetime, without coercion or premeditation, affects the quality of our afterlife, what can we do to instill within ourselves a thirst to affect a continual personal transformation toward these virtues? How can we resist continuing blindly down roads of worldly accumulations and aspirations that are so subject to loss? Any personal transformation would indeed be a radical change for us, and probably the reason why few make the transition. Without the help of a harrowing event, that is.
What’s at stake is not only our contentment and happiness presently, but possibly later as well, after moving on from this earth. Much is written on this subject, some saying there are many mansions in heaven, and some saying that there are many realms to be reborn in. Either way, eternity is a long time – we might find ourselves in a mansion surrounded by our relatives for eternity! That could be interesting, especially if we can barely stand them during a three-day holiday! But kidding aside, we might want to end, once and for all, the common suffering and conflict we undoubtedly experience on earth.
So the questions come down to these: Will the security of things and relationships really make us happy? Has it made us happy so far, and if so, how long can we count on it to continue to do so? Then, we might ask ourselves, “Is there something greater, and if there is, how can we get in touch with that something greater without waiting for a traumatic event to occur in our life? Is there something we can do proactively in order to come face-to-face with that . . . something, while still living on this earth?”
And if we were successful in creating a personal transformation in ourselves, might this help change the world?
Anagarika eddie is a meditation teacher at the Dhammabucha Rocksprings Meditation Retreat Sanctuary and author of A Year to Enlightenment. His 30 years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Thervada Buddhist monk.
- Does the Near Death Experience invite us for a new spirituality, a paradigm shift? (epages.wordpress.com)
- God is Love by Anagarika Eddie (epages.wordpress.com)
- Letter to God: Anagarika eddie and Michael Clark on Interfaith Unity (epages.wordpress.com)
- Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and Meditation (realrest.wordpress.com)
- Consciousness, Transformation, and the Soul’s Journey by Frances Vaughan, PhD and Cassandra Vieten, PhD (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)
- How Near-Death Experiences Are Changing The World – Part 1 & 2 (evolutionarymystic.wordpress.com)
- Change (spiritualruminations.wordpress.com)
Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.
Success in recovery, or rather, staying in recovery, is dependent upon a variety of factors. For example, it appears that attending daily NA or AA meetings and staying in communication with ones chosen sponsor will definitely assist an individual in successfully implementing his recovery plan. Getting and staying committed to working the 12 Step Program also appears to increase the probability of the person staying abstinent from drugs and alcohol. While the above-mentioned elements of a persons overall recovery plan are crucial to his recovery, another major factor that will greatly influence an individual’s continued abstinence is how he is able to handle the breakdowns that happen in life.
Knowing about breakdowns, what they are and how to manage them, is absolutely necessary for one to stay committed to his recovery plan. Breakdowns are what brought an individual into treatment and eventually created the space for him to begin his recovery. Breakdowns also happen while a person is in treatment and will continue to take place after he leaves. Even after successfully completing a treatment program, breakdowns are almost certain to happen as one returns to the community from which he came. In fact, both the client and his counselor should expect breakdowns to occur after treatment. It is for this reason that knowledge of the structure of breakdowns and how to transform them is very important if not crucial for the individual wanting recovery.
What are breakdowns? Experientially breakdowns start to occur when an event or events happen that the individual believes should not happen or ought to happen differently than how they take place. As a result the individual starts to feel frustrated, angry, disappointed or even sad about what is happening in his life. Inside these types of emotions the person starts to become resentful, creating a story about the event and to which he will eventually begin to blame, be it other people, places, things, situations or circumstances for that which is appearing. A breakdown eventuates into a relapse when the individual believes that his experience is intolerable, feels inadequate with respect as to how to handle it and chooses to use drugs or alcohol to reduce the emotional component of that he is experiencing. In this case, a breakdown and ones inability to transform it leads directly to relapse.
Inside the work of transformational counseling, the process of enrollment will assist the individual in becoming authentic where he was being inauthentic and also allow that person to stay in his recovery. Enrollment is the third component of transformational counseling the utilization of which allows the individual to again move out of his self-limiting belief and back into being his created possibilities. When one begins to experience a breakdown he has gone back into being his self-limiting belief. Their will be the pretense of what is happening and that which is again hidden from him hence the created inauthenticity. The technology of the enrollment process allows the individual the ability to transform the experience by being authentic and as a result regaining his power and freedom through being his possibilities. Utilization of the process of enrollment as with transformation itself is a practice that requires a great deal of commitment. As with any skill the structure of enrollment is taught and it is in communication with the persons coach or even sponsor that its implementation is brought forth into the individual’s life.
The first component of enrollment has to do with recognizing when one is in a breakdown. The key to such awareness is to be found in how the individual is feeling about what is happening in his life at any one moment. There are many times in our lives where we do not stop to monitor or become present to how we are feeling. Sometimes we have a tendency to merely ignore or move away from how we are feeling about something or someone. Breakdowns have certain emotions attached to their design. Those most common are emotions such as fear, anxiety, anger, frustration and sadness. The first part of utilizing the enrollment process is to monitor ones feeling state, to become present to how one is feeling and to do so to the point that it becomes part of ones very way of being in the world. Learning how to stay aware of ones emotional state is crucial to being able to successfully transform the breakdown experience that is being created.
The second component has to do with becoming present to the story that the person is creating with respect to the breakdown. While the emotional state of the individual is very important to become aware of, listening to the story that he is creating is also equally of importance. Within a conversation of transformation, every emotion is created by a thought. When there are negative emotions present in a person’s life as he is experiencing a breakdown there are also corresponding thoughts taking place. The thoughts that are taking place will appear as a story in the person’s mind. Within a breakdown the story will be other oriented, involving external people, places, things, circumstance or situations. Within the structure of the story, inherent to it, will be the belief that the external events are the real or true cause of how the person is feeling. It is with these thoughts that the breakdown and inauthentic way of being exists, a pretense that it is about another, hiding what it is truly about. As mentioned above, blame and resentment will eventually result. Becoming present to the story is vital if one is not to impulsively act upon it and as a result bring its destructive consequences into existence with respect to his life. Becoming present or an observer to ones story is crucial to transforming a breakdown.
The third component involves becoming present to ones self-limiting belief, to the source, to that which actually created the breakdown. Becoming present to ones self limiting belief, to that which has determined ones life up until the process of transformation began to take place, is the first component in the process of transformational counseling. Even though the distinction of ones self-limiting belief will create the space for the person to begin to create his life anew, it does not go away, become fixed or get cured. The self-limiting belief, much like a virus that has appeared in the human body, continues to exist. As with any idea that we have or create about us, it is also a way of being. We be or exist by what we think and more specifically by what we think about ourselves. What we are familiar with is being our self-limiting belief in the world. It is familiar for us to think and feel that the world is more powerful and real than we are and furthermore, that it is something that must be controlled and even survived. We will eventually experience a breakdown given our sense of inadequacy with respect to the world as this is how we have been in the community in the past. However, once the self-limiting belief is again distinguished the inauthenticity begins to weaken or be dissolved.
The fourth component of enrollment involves creating a possibility inside the breakdown experience. This act of creation can be to invent a new possibility or enroll oneself back into a person’s previously chosen possibilities. Creating possibilities for ones life is the second component of transformational counseling. However, once we get it that we are being our self limiting belief, that the source of the breakdown is the self limiting belief and not that which the story tends convey, it is at that moment that we can generate a possibility to be at that moment, a possibility to stand inside given the breakdown experience. It is by generating a possibility by our spoken word that the experience itself will transform. The breakdown only happens because of who we are being. It is by causing a possibility to come into existence through our word that the inauthentic way of being completely dissolves and with it the breakdown itself. It is with the creation of a possibility that the person’s power and freedom are once again restored.
The final component of the enrollment technology is acknowledgement. Once the experience is transformed it is important for a person to get the victory that his possibility has made for himself and his life, to acknowledge the difference of such a victory. Acknowledgement is about getting how the created or invented possibility has transformed the breakdown from what it was to that which is truly a breakthrough for the individual, especially with respect to the event or experience occurring. Acknowledgement is about getting the power of our word for allowing us to transform breakdowns into breakthroughs, to once again become our possibilities. It is this acknowledgement that strengthens ones process of transformation leaving the person’s power, freedom and self-expression fully restored. Acknowledgement is about standing in ones possibility, celebrating ones power and freedom having given up being a victim.
The practice of enrollment will make a difference for the person wanting recovery. Applying the technology of enrollment will enable the person to transform a breakdown when it happens and as a result avoid the destructive and possibly even lethal consequences that would have happened as a result of staying in a breakdown. For the individual in recovery, staying in a breakdown only increases the chances that he will turn to drugs and/or alcohol to reduce the emotional component of a breakdown. Staying in a breakdown as opposed to being able to transform tends to lead to relapse. Clients at the Holistic Addiction Treatment Program in North Miami Beach, Florida are taught to distinguish their self-limiting belief, create new possibilities for their life and furthermore, how to utilize the power of enrollment technology. The success of utilizing enrollment and even recovery itself, especially in the early stages of sobriety, will necessitate the person staying in contact with his sponsor or counselor especially when breakdowns happen. It is only in communication with another that the individual will continue to be his possibilities in life.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC
- Metatron: The Law of Attraction (How & When it Works & Why it Doesn’t) (jhaines6.wordpress.com)
- Breakdown blues – what should you do? (forres-gazette.co.uk)
- Relationships / Family (cutie79.wordpress.com)
- Collective Consciousness (nicoleciccarelli.com)
- Breakdowns Broken Down (tomaplomb.blogspot.com)
Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC, All Rights Reserved.
Transformational Counseling is a process of assisting others to transform their lives. Transformational Counseling is a process of assisting others in their reinventing themselves, of creating a life that they love and living it powerfully. Transformational Counseling is a process of creating a space for others to get present to or become aware of their self limiting belief, to create or invent a possibility for themselves and their life that could not have existed before and to learn how to be in their possibilities as opposed to being that which has always stopped them in the past.
The development of transformational counseling has been the result of my work in counseling, psychotherapy, coaching, hypnosis, neuro linguistic programming, the work of Louise Hay and especially Landmark Education. To understand and be able to utilize the technology of Transformational Counseling with others, of being able to make a true difference in another person’s life, requires that one understand or get certain concepts or distinctions about what it is to be a human being and reality itself. While the distinctions of Transformational Counseling are initially presented separately, it is in their practice or communication with another that a true synergy is reached and it’s potential or power actualized for the client. For the counselor as well as the client the synergistic learnings that take place within Transformational Counseling is nonlinear in nature.
The clients that I work with are all experiencing a loss of power, freedom and full self-expression in one or many of the various domains of their life. The clients that I see are all being stopped in living a life that they love and living it powerfully. If they continue being as they have been being nothing will change, life will be as it has always been. They will remain stuck and unable to reach their true potential in life. The clients that I coach or counsel know that something needs to be different in their life but are unsure of what that something is all about, of what is not working, of what is missing, of what needs to happen. It is in assisting a client to discover or become present to that which has been causing their depression, sadness, anger, frustration, etc. and to learn how to create a new way of being that the work of Transformational Counseling is all about.
One of the fundamental distinctions of Transformational Counseling is that our thoughts are very important, if not the most important component of what it is to be a human being. We tend to believe that the external world, or what we commonly believe to be reality, is that which is truly important. As a result of such a belief, we are constantly engaged in trying to change something in the external world, constantly believing that this type of activity will bring us true happiness and contentment in our life. Within Transformational Counseling, it is our thoughts or thinking that is of immense importance to us and our process of living. It is our thoughts and thinking patterns that literally shape or determine our feelings, behavior, experiences and our reality. More specifically, it is our thoughts that we have about ourselves that tends to create or shape our experiences, that forms the background of our life and our sense of reality. It is from the thoughts that we initially create about ourselves that we subsequently develop into a belief about who we think we are, our self-image, of how we define our very being and it is from this belief that we live our life. A belief is merely a thought that we think is true or real, that expresses some sense of ontology.
Inside the conversation of Transformational Counseling it is also important to understand that we are truly responsible for the thoughts that we have, including and especially those that we have about ourselves. We literally invent or create all of our thoughts including those that we have about ourselves and with them our feelings and behaviors. To truly get our responsibility in how we create our experiences or reality is to also get how we create or invent all of our thoughts about ourselves and with it our reality. Reality itself has no meaning outside of what we give it. We are, as human beings, meaning making machines, beings that wrap meaning around everything in our life, including and most importantly about ourselves. Being responsible for our thoughts, getting it that we create them, is completely different from the experience of guilt or blame. It is not that we are to blame for our experiences but merely that we do create what we think about ourselves, who we think we are, how we feel about ourselves and how the world appears to us. There is a distinction between responsibility and blame or guilt.
What we tend to think about ourselves has at its core what can be referred to as our self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief is a thought that we have about who we think we are, that defines our identity at its core, a belief that was developed between the ages of three to six approximately. During this time frame in our journey through life something happened, an event took place and it is from that event that we developed or created a thought or belief about ourselves. The original event is not so much of importance as the fact that we created a belief about ourselves, a belief that has actually limited us in life. The self-limiting belief is a sense of inadequacy, an idea or thought that something is wrong with us, that something is broken. Once this self-limiting belief is created or invented we tend to live our lives as if it were true. Our self-limiting belief is a fundamental, core belief that we have about ourselves, about who we think we are, that creates our feelings about ourselves, affects our behavior and determines our experiences.
Our self-limiting belief affects our behavior in that we are constantly trying to fix it. For example, if ones self-limiting belief is that the individual is “not enough”, that person will constantly try to be “enough”, constantly be doing things to compensate for what or who they think they are. While an individual is constantly attempting to fix it, the self-limiting belief is also in the process of fulfilling upon itself, of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy, of causing the person to be “not enough.” Given the fact that ones self-limiting belief is hidden from them, from their view, we are not aware of its existence or its affect on our life, of its influence or impact on our life. Even though it is not true, not real, we believe it to be so and as a result the self limiting belief is that which keeps us stuck, keeps us living in the past, prevents us from living a life that we love and living it powerfully. Our self-limiting belief is in a very real sense our personal affirmation, an affirmation that is embedded in our “self talk”, an affirmation that determines how we tend to feel about ourselves, an affirmation that guides and determines our behavior in life, that defines our very way of being and how we appear to the world.
The first goal of Transformational Counseling is to assist an individual in becoming present to his or her self-limiting belief, of bringing it into ones awareness. It is this distinction or awareness of ones self-limiting belief that is crucial to his or her transformation. Without such awareness ones future will be as it has been, will be what can be referred to as the “probable almost certain future”. Without such awareness, ones future will merely be the past and even with a constant attempt on the individual’s part to fix the self-limiting belief, his or her life will merely be to continue with its fulfillment and actualization in their experiences and life. Awareness of ones self limiting belief can be gotten by the person experiencing its genesis or the originating event and with it the belief that the person invented or created about themselves at that time. An individual can also become present to the self-limiting belief by monitoring his or her spoken word. The self-limiting belief exists in our language, in the words we say or speak. Mirror work will also facilitate this type of awareness as ones self-limiting belief exists inside the feelings that one will become present as the individual observes his or her image. Regression can also be utilized to assist one in getting the genesis of his or her self-limiting belief.
Once one becomes present to his or her self-limiting belief, the opportunity then exists, possibly for the first time in the person’s life, to invent a possibility for his or her life, to begin to reinvent his or her life anew. An individual’s possibility is how that person will be in the present, free of the constraints or barriers of the past, a creation from nothing. Within Transformational Counseling, an individual’s possibility is a new or different way of thinking about himself or herself, of who they are, of who they will be. Like the individual’s self-limiting belief, a person’s possibility is a personal affirmation or declaration. Like a person’s self limiting belief, an individual’s possibility also exists in language, and once generated by the individual, will begin to create or invent his or her experiences and sense of reality through the power of his or her thoughts and word. Unlike a person’s self limiting belief, an individual’s possibility will allow him or her to create a live that they truly love and be able to live it powerfully.
The third component of Transformational Counseling has to do with the individual learning what Landmark Education refers to as the process of enrollment. Given that a person will either live life as his or her possibility or their self-limiting belief, there will be a tendency for a person to go back to or stay in his or her self-limiting belief. This is what is very familiar to us, that is, being our self-limiting belief in our daily life. Learning the process of enrollment will assist the individual in being able to get out of his or her self-limiting belief and back into their possibility. When we have a breakdown, we have gone back into being our self-limiting belief and as we do so will truly experience a loss of power, freedom and full expression that is from the past. It is in our breakdowns that we are being inauthentic, that the self-limiting belief becomes hidden again. The process of enrollment allows the person to become authentic about how he or she has been being inauthentic, to again become present to his or her self-limiting belief, and in the process to continue generating his or her possibility or invent a new one for themselves and their life.
The implementation or practice of Transformational Counseling with a client takes place inside a conversation about integrity. Integrity is simply planning your work and working your plan. Clients are encouraged to develop a written plan, a plan for their daily life. A written plan allows the client to take on creating or reinventing themselves and their life in a new way that supports their wellness. Implementing ones plan also allows them to confront that which has always stopped them in the past. As clients begin the process of fulfilling on their plan, of working it, of living the life that they desire, they will have a tendency to get stopped, to have a breakdown and as they do so will develop an inauthenticity, living life as they once did, from the backdrop of the self-limiting belief. It is in working with a client and his or her plan through the enrollment process that he or she has the opportunity to learn how to get out of their self-limiting belief and back into their possibility and truly transform their life. For the client the process of enrollment is the practice of continuing to experience a true sense of power, freedom and full self-expression. It is through staying in and working with ones integrity that a person will have the opportunity to stay committed to living a life that they love and living it powerfully.
The conversations that take place with a client are conducted within the language used through my personal training and development with Landmark Education. These conversations are done so by design. While it is important for a client to begin to act and behave differently, it is crucial that they begin to think differently too. The language used in Landmark Education is unfamiliar and tends to create a space, at least initially, of confusion. This confusion acts as a pattern disruption for the client, causing him or her to start to seriously question what is being said, the meaning of the conversation. It is through this confusion and questioning by the client that they will have the opportunity to become present to their very thought process, to that which has been the true cause in the matter for them, to that which has been creating their experiences and their sense of reality, especially as it applies to how they have been thinking about themselves, the basis of how they have been being and way of life.
As the client begins to live a life of transformation it is also important that the counselor or coach be very present to the client’s tendency to acknowledge or thank them for their assistance. As a counselor or coach I let the client know that I can not fix or help them, that they must do this work if they are to live a life that they love and live it powerfully. In my work with clients I make a stand for the client to assume total and complete responsibility with true empowerment as the goal. To step over the client acknowledging the coach or counselor is essentially the same as encouraging a client to use a blame pattern. As with blaming, thanking another for this type of work does not allow the client to truly get it that he or she is the cause in the matter and in both instances the client will not experience his or her true sense of power, freedom and full self expression. The client is truly responsible for transforming their life and it is vital to the process that they get this completely.
Transformational Counseling is an extremely powerful technique for assisting others in making a true difference in their life. For a client it is a gradual awakening to that which has truly been the cause in the matter, to that which has created and shaped their thoughts, feelings, behavior, experiences and sense of reality. To assist a client in being able to stand in their possibility, of being the possibility of “acceptance, freedom and creativity”, as opposed to their self-limiting belief, of being “not enough”, will allow that individual to live a life that they love and live it powerfully. When used in conjunction with other techniques, such as mirror work, positive affirmations, therapeutic relaxation music, self-hypnosis and NLP patterns, a space is created for a client to transform his or her life forever.
In addition to learning the fundamental distinctions and process of Transformational Counseling, it is also important for the counselor or coach to have an experiential understanding of this technology. To truly make a stand for a client and be able to make a difference for another will necessitate that the counselor have gotten his or her self-limiting belief, have invented new possibilities for himself or herself and also to have learned the process of enrollment. Being able to assist another in the process of transformation can only be achieved when the counselor or coach is in his or her own personal transformation. For me this journey started when I enrolled in the Landmark Forum. It was through experiencing the Forum and the curriculum that followed that the process of transformation began for me as a counselor and more importantly as a human being. Within the conversation of transformation we are merely human beings assisting other human beings to transform their lives, to live a life that they love and to live it powerfully.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC
Copyright © Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC. All rights reserved.
Transformation Counseling is all about assisting another human being to live a life that they love and to live it powerfully. Transformational Counseling is about creating a space for others to learn how to transform their lives, to live a life differently from how it was in the past, to truly create what they desire. Transformational Counseling is about assisting others in their getting and utilizing a powerful technology that will enable them to make a true difference in their life and in the lives of others. Transformational Counseling is about assisting another to become present to how they have stopped themselves in their life and in the process transform their way of being in the world. While comprised of a variety of distinctions that are important for understanding the process of transformation, the utilization of Transformational Counseling has five components that are crucial to its successful use with others and even with oneself. Transformational Counseling fully acknowledges the power of the human mind, of thought itself. The thoughts that we have are very important, if not the most important component of what it is to be a human being in that our thoughts are truly creative in nature. We are thinking beings that create initially from our thoughts. Everything that we do or take on in life begins as a thought or idea. It is very familiar for us to believe that the external world is that which is reality and that our thoughts are merely the effect or product of such a world. From such a belief we tend to give little or no real credence to our thoughts and thinking patterns as being the fundamental cause in the matter. As a result we commonly believe that in order for us to be truly happy we must manipulate or change something about the external world, other people, circumstances and situations. However, within the conversation of Transformational Counseling it is our thoughts that shape or determine our experiences, our feelings and behavior, our very sense of reality. Furthermore, it is the thought that we have or create about ourselves that forms the background of our life, the context or backdrop from which we experience life itself.
Transformational Counseling also acknowledges that we are totally responsible for creating our thoughts and most importantly that which we have about ourselves. Our thoughts are not the result of things happening to us, either from circumstance, situations or the behavior of others but rather it is our interpretation or meaning that we give to the events that makes them appear to us as they do. Events do happen including those involving others but fundamental to understanding our natural, creative process is that it is about what we do with the events, what meaning we give or make them out to be about that determines our experience. We are meaning making machines in a sense, constantly wrapping meaning around everything in life, people, places and things. The meaning that we give or create with respect to an event will determine the experience that we have as a human being and with it how we feel, the emotions that we have, and also the behavior that will eventually result. Every emotion that we experience and behavior that we cause is the result of thoughts that we create. As mentioned above, the most important thought that we create is that which is about us, the definition that we give ourselves and it is that which determines or defines our self-image, who we think we are in the world.
The first distinction necessary for one to begin to transform their life has to do with the existence of the self-limiting belief. Becoming present to the self-limiting belief is a process of getting what has truly stopped a person in his life, has stopped him from living a life that he loves and living it powerfully. Once there is the distinction or awareness of the self-limiting belief, of what has been driving a person’s bus, possibly for the first time in that individual’s life the opportunity or space has been created for them to begin to create themselves anew, to reinvent themselves, to be differently in the world. This creative act takes place with the inventing of possibilities. It is by taking on creating and living into a person’s possibilities that the individual begins to create a life much differently than how it once was before a conversation of transformation. Once possibilities have been created a person next learns how to consistently be or live inside his possibilities by learning the process of enrollment. Once the technology of enrollment is gotten and one begins to consistently apply it in his life, it is by engaging in the development of a Daily Plan and staying in the Conversation with others that the technology of transformation becomes fully realized and lived for the person. This powerful technology is applicable to both the one being assisted and the person doing the assisting and can only be fully realized when both are involved in the Conversation.
The self-limiting belief is a belief that we have about ourselves, about who we think we are in the world. The self-limiting belief is a belief that has affected if not determined our life in the past and shaping what we think, say, feel, and do in the present. Within the Conversation of Transformational Counseling, the self-limiting belief is a thought or idea that has its genesis between the ages of three and six. An event took place in the individual’s life, an event that the child believes should not have happened as it did and as a child the individual made a judgment or gave the event meaning. Given that for a child everything is about them, it is from this event and the meaning that they invented about it that the child also created an idea about themselves, about who they think they are in the world as a result of the event. The child next converts the idea into a belief, a belief that is all about their sense of adequacy, value or worth as person. A sense of something is wrong or not being enough is created. Getting the distinction of the self-limiting belief is crucial to the individual’s personal growth and continued development. If the individual does not get the distinction of the self limiting belief, if it stays hidden from them, of who they have been being, their life will remain as it has always been, as they will continue to be the person they think they truly are. Such a distinction can be gotten several ways. One way, for example, is to have a person begin to monitor their spoken word, to become present to what they actually say will eventually reveal the self-limiting belief. The self-limiting belief exists inside our everyday language, in the words that we say especially when reference is made about the self.
The second component of this process is that of creating possibilities for oneself. Creating possibilities is the process of redefining or reinventing oneself, of actually creating new language and words from which to begin to develop a new and more powerful, self-expressed individual. Once the individual becomes present to who they have been being in the world, to their self-limiting belief, a space is now created or opened up for them to literally say or declare who they will now be for themselves, others and the world. Such a process of redefining oneself is as simple as creating new words from which to begin to speak or refer to oneself as being. If an individual’s self limiting belief is that he is “not enough,” he could begin to redefine or invent himself as the possibilities of “acceptance”, “creativity” and “leadership” merely by declaring and intentioning himself to be these possibilities in his spoken word. Creating such new language from which to refer to oneself will become for that person his new self-affirmation. Committing such a self-created affirmation to ones spoken word will create a space from which the individual will have the opportunity to experience life differently, a life of power, freedom and full self-expression. Such a declaration is not merely linguistical but will begin to call forth action. Who we are, who we say we are, will eventually determine what we do and have.
The third component of Transformational Counseling is that of enrollment. Enrollment is the process of continuing to stay in ones possibilities and out of ones self-limiting belief. The process or technology of enrollment will be vital when ones starts to again experience a loss of power, freedom or self expression which is equitable to the negative human emotions of anger, depression, etc. When we have such an experience our past has again reappeared for us. Such reappearance is merely our self-limiting belief once again determining who we are in the world. Once again our self-limiting belief is driving our bus. The process of enrollment allows us to get the inauthenticity that we have created by again being our self-limiting belief. Enrollment allows us to get present to what we are pretending about the experience and what we are hiding. The pretense is always about another person, place or thing and with it there is the experience of some sort of sense of threat and blame. The story from pretense has something to do with the other person, situation or circumstance causing us to feel a certain way. Enrollment technology allows us to get that we created the pretense, a story, and furthermore what the experience is truly all about. Becoming present to what is hidden from us in the experience allows us to again make the distinction of our self-limiting belief and that which is truly creating the experience. It is our self-limiting belief that actually creates the breakdown due to the individual’s sense of inadequacy with respect to the situation, circumstance or interactions with another. Once we become present to that which is creating the inauthenticity we are able to give it up through enrollment and once again reinvent ourselves through the creation or even regeneration of our possibilities. Once a person does enrollment with himself the inauthenticity he created disappears and with it the individual’s power, freedom and full self-expression is once again restored.
The Daily Plan is the fourth component in the utilization of the technology of Transformational Counseling. Transformational Counseling is not merely about understanding the power of our thoughts but ultimately about action. We live in a world of action and for us to make a difference in our life as well as in that of another we must ultimately create through action. The Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life anew by assisting them in monitoring their day-to-day activities and behavior. As our possibilities will call forth action, the Daily Plan allows one the opportunity to begin to create their life differently by planning what they will specifically take on or do to create or bring forth their chosen possibilities in their lives. The Daily Plan is about making a commitment to oneself to fulfill on their commitments to fulfill on being their posssibilities. One of the fundamental elements of this structure is how will an individual measurably bring forth his possibilities into his life, how will he go about practically creating them for myself and in the world. The Daily Plan also allows one the opportunity confront his self-limiting belief as it arises in the fulfillment of his Daily Plan. Having a breakthrough with the creation of possibilities and especially with their implementation in our life will eventually create a breakdown and with the use of a Daily Plan will allow the person the awareness to again get back into his possibilities through enrollment and continue moving forward in his life.
The Conversation is the fifth component of Transformational Counseling and is about the self-limiting belief reappearing in ones commitments to his Daily Plan. While identified as the fifth component of this process the Conversation actually begins when one is introduced to the work of transformation. It is a question of whether or not one will stay in the Conversation to continue to do the work of transformation after enrollment has taken place. However, the Conversation is always about our communication with others. It is in the Conversation that we have the opportunity to begin and continue utilizing the technology of Transformational Counseling. There will continue to be breakdowns in life as we utilize the work of transformation. When we once again experience a loss of power, freedom and self-expression our past will once again reappear in our life and with it a breakdown. Staying in the Conversation with another person around transformation will give us the opportunity to become present to the inauthentic way of being that we have again created and experience another breakthrough. Processing the stories that we create in the pretense about others, situations and circumstance in a Conversation will create the space for us to get present to that which is also hidden from our view, that which is truly creating the breakdown experience. That which is hidden is always from our past and has to do in some manner with our self-limiting belief. The Conversation is about enrollment, enrolling ourselves and assisting others through enrollment. It is only in communication with another that we can continue to be our possibilities and with it stay in the work of transformation with another or ourselves.
There may be a tendency to want to leave the Conversation especially when one has first gotten or been introduced to the technology of transformation. The initial experience of power, freedom and full self expression is very enrolling and with this feeling of being touched, moved and inspired by our possibilities may led one to believing that no future work is really necessary. However, the technology of transformation is not something that you simply get but something that is constantly gotten. When not in communication with others inside the conversation of transformation there will be a tendency to stop doing the work and go back to what is familiar and especially to the familiar ways that we attempted to resolve breakdowns. It is the familiar that is the world of their self-limiting belief. As mentioned above, the self-limiting does not go away, it is there throughout our life. While the self-limiting belief will reappear in our life through a breakdown, staying in the conversation with another will assist us in distinguishing the inauthenticity that we create and once again empower us to get back into or create new possibilities for ourselves. Continuing the work of transformation by staying in the Conversation with others is not familiar and in many respects unreasonable. However, staying in the Conversation is crucial to our continued transformation as a human being living in the world.
Harry Henshaw, Ed.D., LMHC