Personal Transformation: Allowing the old ways of the caterpillar to dissolve.

In Personal Transformation, you go from being a caterpillar to become the butterfly you can be.

Finally free to spread your wings and reach for the sky!

Transformative change requires upgrading your values, belief systems, your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. You will likely have to learn new things and take risks.

If you are one of those courageous enough to create an unusually rewarding life, read on!


One of the transformative shifts you might be ready for is the one from Doing to Being.

Most of us have been raised to focus on our Doing – what is your contribution? What are you creating, achieving, earning? This is a great skill set and so important for getting by in our modern world.

But in terms of life satisfaction and joy, it’s only part of the picture.


The other side of the coin is Being, experiencing the world through your five senses in the present moment. Some people might put this down as hedonistic, and indeed, Being can be delightful. And in a balanced life, this delight enhances your health and immune system strength while charging your batteries to allow you to be even more effective when you choose to do something.

Rest, activity, and rest are natural sequences. Often, however, people are not going to their deepest source to rest.

Instead of opening to the very profound experiences of Being, many people accept poor substitutes such as stimulating experiences and entertainments.

Like junk food, these can leave them tired, depressed, and uninspired.

The most nourishing experiences of Being are also the most profound. They may be your peak experiences, but it’s possible to make these more accessible and part of your ordinary life. And no, entheogens and decades of spiritual practice are not required.

If you’re one who recognizes the value of learning even if it requires persistence and attention to detail, profoundly rewarding states of being are available. It is no harder than learning a musical instrument. This isn’t about taking a pill or having a flash of life-changing insight, it is about doing the steady practice required to transform from caterpillar to butterfly.


Perhaps you can allow yourself to take a break right now. To allow yourself to truly rest for a few minutes. If so, try this simple experiment:

Put your body in balance so that you can rest quietly, sitting, standing, laying down. Inhale and exhale through your nose. Touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Make the contact as light as you can while still feeling it – just a spark of sensation. Allow yourself to become totally focused on making the contact as subtle as possible. Feel and relax your tongue and mouth as you do this for a few minutes.

Stop when you get restless.

Becoming comfortable with Being, and resting from ceaseless Doing, requires clearing space and attention in your life to Be. Transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly requires that the caterpillar be willing to dissolve (literally). Ego dissolves when you deeply rest in the space of Being.

How do you rest in Being? What are your thoughts on this? Comment below!


Fight to preserve your relationship!

Face it, in any longer term relationship, conflicts will arise.  How you handle these will determine whether the relationship endures or goes down in flames.  This is true in romance, in the family and in business.  Become skillful
at fighting fair and avoid inadvertently killing off the good feelings at the base of any successful relationship.

The research says that relationships need 5 times as much good stuff as bad stuff for people to want to stay in them.  This means that the fastest way to improve a relationship is to decrease the bad.  You can’t avoid or ignore conflict – this will kill off the relationship also, so you have to get good at facing and resolving conflict in a way that is as painless as possible.

The most damaging attitude in conflict is disrespect – showing up in such behaviors as not listening, not validating, talking over, yelling etc.  The essential message to convey to your partner to keep conflicts less damaging is that you respect their viewpoint.  Simple but it may not be easy in the heat of the moment!

Want to build this skill and learn more?  Come to my presentation this Tues 4/17 from 6:30 – 8:30 at 600 Siskiyou Blvd in Ashland!

The Neurology of Change

Change and learning require your brain to develop new neurons and new connections. Understanding your neurology helps you manage your own learning more effectively, reducing frustration and increasing your success.  Check out this brief video on Youtube and subscribe to my channel!

The Ecology of Change

When you change, it impacts both you and your social system – for successful changes, make sure to assess the ecological impact the change will have in all these systems!  Otherwise you may be frustrated in your attempt to change and this will just drain your energy.  If a change you want to make has negative impacts in the lives of others, they may actively sabotage your efforts to grow.

Use Skill Power, Not Will Power

People sometimes feel badly that they do not have the will to stick to a change when actually they need more skill or other resources.  For best success, focus on building your skills and resources, don’t rely on your will to change!
Check out this video to learn more and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

The Process of Learning

Have you ever tried to change and encountered unexpected challenges?  Here is a short video about the process of learning.  The more you understand this, the better you will be able to predict what to expect as you learn anything new.  This prevents discouragement and frustration and will make you far more successful.

Check this out and subscribe to my Youtube Channel!

Using Focusing to unpack your feelings

Focusing is a simple approach developed by Eugene Gendlin for uncovering the meaning behind subtle feelings and emotions. Use it to increase your self-awareness.

Check out this short video and use Focusing to understand your subtle gut feelings and build sensitivity and wisdom!

Transform your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach!


When you build a more accepting internal attitude, everything else is easier.  Too many people have an internal relationship characterized by scorn and harshness.  Through practice, it is possible to change this.

We speak of having an “Inner Critic” who treats us with scorn. This sub-personality observes our behavior, and offers comments about how we should act.  It has wonderful 20/20 hindsight and is great at pointing out what we should have done. Often this is done in a shaming way that undermines our self-esteem.

To change, start by honoring the purpose of the Critic (to monitor and improve your performance) and preserve much of his/her skills of observation and analysis.  What needs to be updated is the delivery.  An Inner Coach makes comments on the same things that the Critic might, but the delivery is empowering rather than shaming.

You can begin making this change by simply affirming that you love and accept yourself despite the flaws noticed by the Critic.  For example, you notice that you forgot an important object at home when you left for work this morning.  The Critic starts to attack you for being absent-minded.  As soon as you notice your internal self-criticism, soften towards yourself. Affirm either silently or aloud, “I deeply love and accept myself even though part of me is absent-minded.” Or, “even though part of me is berating myself.”  Using an affirmation with these words will reconnect you to your self-acceptance while at the same time reminding you that this flaw is only a part of you.  Once you have softened in this way, bring the Coach in to notice what you might have done differently and brainstorm how to wire the new pattern in.

It can be a stretch to love yourself during your self-criticism. Even if it feels awkward or contrived at first, give yourself whatever self-understanding and support you can to become your own inspiring Coach.

Playing with this correction requires some vigilance both to notice your Critic when it shows up and to persevere with changing it.  This blog and other reminders are very helpful.  It is not so much that the ideas are new, but that we forget to do these simple practices. Rather than expecting to notice and remember every time, anticipate becoming distracted and forgetting.  What might be some reminders that would help you remember to be self-compassionate?  Some people leave themselves notes, some find journaling exercises a useful tool, or you may have some religious images that might help.  Personally, I find images of Buddha to be very useful reminders to be mindful and self-compassionate.

One of the things to keep in mind here is that you are changing a long held habit.  As with any other habit, you have to notice that you are doing it, stop, and then replace it with a more desirable behavior.  And you have to do that again and again until you have a new habit.  The sooner you start and the more persistent you are, the sooner you will have an inspiring Inner Coach rather than an Inner Critic.


If you are ready to transform your Inner Critic into an Inner Coach, buy my workbook of the same title or contact me for some personal coaching!

Becoming Your Own Best Friend

The most important and intimate relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. It is possible to have a self-relationship that is marked by love, compassion, appreciation and patience.  The best investment you can make in creating a wonderful life is working through whatever the issues are that have prevented you from having this kind of relationship in the past and practicing treating yourself well now and in the future.

Have you ever longed for a strong and reliable advocate?  For a steady source of wisdom and inspiration?  For someone who would truly have your best interests at heart?  Seek no further than your own self.

Let’s be honest about this.  Unless you create a relationship with an enlightened saint, no one else will ever truly understand your situation.  You will probably never receive consistent unconditional love from another.  Everyone else is more concerned with themselves and their own challenges than they are with you.  Others may love you and at times offer you care, compassion, kindness and guidance, but they will always be on the outside.  If their own life becomes sufficiently challenging, they will no longer be available to support you.
The sooner you face this reality, the sooner you will be able to organize your life based on the truth.  If you wait for someone else to rescue you or tell you what to do, you will become dependent on someone else and their agenda.

There is only one reliable source of wisdom, power and inspiration in your life and that is through yourself.

Connecting with your own source requires that you understand that you are a complicated being, composed of many different parts.  I liken this to a soccer team, where the ball represents what you ­do, and where the team functions best if all the players agree on the rules and the goals of the game.  The team captain or coach keeps the players working together and makes sure that everyone is treated with respect.

Ideally, the inner coach is the manifestation of your wisest and best, your “higher self”.

You may have encountered the idea of “connecting to your highe
r self” in the past.  In contrast, I encourage you to identify with your higher self – recognize that you are that, do not just connect with it.

Most people, when they feel emotional – particularly angry, sad or scared –  identify with the part of themselves that is feeling this way.  This dooms them to either managing the problem from that upset place or hoping that another person will help them.

An alternative is to remain firmly identified with your wisest and best, and from that position to offer comfort, perspective and wisdom to your more emotional and vulnerable parts.  Doing this requires practice.

Practice remaining identified with your highest understanding of the nature of the universe in the face of difficulties and emotional distress.  This is a common goal in spiritual practice – to remain centered and peaceful, to maintain the correct view, to have faith.  But what does one do to make this come about?

Using the soccer team metaphor, when upsetting things happen, the upset team member tries to steal the ball and pursue his own agenda.  He forgets the rules and goal of the game and forgets his team members and his coach.  In that moment, he is a team of one.  When a person in this condition reflects, and asks, “Who am I?” The answer is, “This upset team member”.   Instead we want the answer to that question to be, “My higher self managing and soothing this upset team member.”

In this situation, don’t be like most people and either get lost identifying with the upset or use distraction and denial to not feel.  Instead, act deliberately in a self-soothing way (with intentionally soothing internal dialog and images, and calming emotions and sensations).  It might feel odd or be difficult, but no one starts out being any
good at this.  Some people start practicing young, but no matter when you start, practice builds the skill of self-soothing and being your own best friend.

Your relationship with yourself is the only relationship you can count on to be with you to the grave. It is possible to identify with your higher self and to have a relationship from that space with the troubled human that you are channeling through. Those who have the most effective and satisfying lives pay attention to improving this relationship and maintaining their identification with their highest and best no matter what happens.

Want some help with this?  Contact me today!

And now, put your hand on your heart area. Feel the warmth of your hand on your chest, and the warmth of your chest on your hand.  Acknowledge whatever you are thinking and feeling and whatever is going on in your life.  Validate yourself; “It makes sense that you are feeling the way that you are”.  Deliberately give yourself some compassion and acceptance.  Breathe that in to your heart and carry it with you through the rest of your day!