Ask The Coach Blog Is Live

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Think Big at Sparkplugging.com
Well after weeks, or has it been months – 😉 – of big changes over at Wendy Piersall’s emomsathome… er… Sparkplugging CEO, blog network, the Ask the Coach blog is live!

Now if you don’t know what Sparkplugging means, here’s the definition:

Giving life or energy to an endeavor.

Love that!

If you have not checked out the new and – I think – improved version of Wendy’s network, I highly recommend that you take a few minutes [hours!] to see all of the great stuff going on over there.

I’m thrilled to be part of the Sparkplugging community and especially excited to be a part of the Ask the Coach team with two other amazing business coaches, Marla Tabaka of LifeMap Business and Life Coaching and Starla Sireno of Fearlessness Inc.

The three of us will be answering your business (and life) coaching questions and hopefully Sparkplugging – giving some life and energy to – your endeavors. But more important we’ll hopefully be showing you how to generate that life and energy yourself!

The first answer I tackled was from a handyman having a hard time charging for all of his hours. Check out How do I bill for all of my hours, and while you’re there, leave a comment.

How To Leverage Punctuated Equilibrium For Personal Growth

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Have you heard of the Term Punctuated Equilibrium? It’s the term evolutionary scientists use to describe a widely held theory related to evolution. According to this theory, evolution happens mainly in short bursts of rapid and sometimes massive changes that “punctuate” long stretches of “equilibrium.”

It’s also sometimes, and affectionately I’m sure, called Punk Eek! (I think it’s safe to say that those evolutionary scientists have a darn good sense of humor and maybe a bit too much time on their hands!)

Here’s the official Wikipedia definition:

Punctuated equilibrium is a theory in evolutionary biology. It states that most sexually reproducing populations will show little change for most of their geological history, and that when phenotypic evolution does occur, it is localized in rare, rapid events of branching speciation (called cladogenesis).

Got it?

This theory is not accepted by all scientists: Another school of thought embraces what they call Phyletic Gradualism (these guy s don’t have a catchy nickname) which states that evolution happens gradually and continually.

Here’s the Wikipedia definition:

Phyletic gradualism is a macroevolutionary hypothesis rooted in uniformitarianism. The hypothesis states that species continue to adapt to new challenges over the course of their history, gradually becoming new species… During this process, evolution occurs at a slow but constant rate; for this reason, it is known as “evolution by creeps” (as opposed to punctuated equilibrium, or “evolution by jerks”)

Phyletic gradualism has been largely deprecated as the exclusive pattern of evolution by modern evolutionary biologists in favor of the acceptation of occurrence of patterns such as those described on punctuated equilibrium, quantum evolution, and punctuated gradualism.

Note that this theory “has been largely deprecated,” meaning it is no longer accepted by a large portion of the scientific community.

And that makes sense to me, because in my personal experience and observation of others, personal growth and evolution seems to happen more like Punctuated Equilibrium than Phyletic Gradualism. And it makes sense that our personal evolution would follow a similar pattern as our macro or societal evolution.

There are times, most of the time in fact, when we are coasting along, making gradual, incremental changes in our lives. We are in a homeostasis or equilibrium state. There’s nothing wrong with this. In fact, these times are important because they allow us to rest and integrate and prepare for the next round of punctuation!

Because, once in a while, our equilibrium is punctuated by something that throws us into a rapid state of growth. It could be a job loss or a divorce, an illness or the death of a loved one. Or it could be something internal that just bubbles up to the surface ready to be acknowledged and healed so that you can move to the next level of your life.

So if you accept that personal evolution flows in a pattern of Punctuated Equilibrium pattern how can you leverage this knowledge to accelerate your personal growth? Here are some suggestions:

1. Learn to recognize when you are in a phase of equilibrium or homeostasis and when you are in a phase of punctuation or rapid growth.
If you want to leverage this pattern to accelerate your personal growth the first step is to become aware of which part of the cycle you are presently in. Begin to recognize the symptoms and signs of equilibrium and of punctuation. There will be physical, mental, and emotional patterns indicative of each phase. In general, if you notice you are having more resistant emotions than usual, it is a sign that you are either in or moving towards a period of punctuation.

2. Ideally, learn to recognize the signs that you are beginning to move from a period of homeostasis into a period of rapid growth.
A more advanced form of awareness provides you with an early warning system. You begin to recognize the signs and signals that indicate you are preparing to head into a period of rapid personal evolution.

3. Take full advantage of your time in the equilibrium state.
For leading edge thinkers, the equilibrium state is not a time for twiddling your thumbs. This is a time of integration, rejuvenation and sharing. During these periods of homeostasis you put into action the insights and new awareness you have gained from the last round of punctuation. This is also a time for sharing and modeling what you have learned with others. And finally, this is a time to truly enjoy and appreciate our life experience.

4. Don’t rock the boat of equilibrium.
This is a tough one for me. I was affectionately given a charter membership in the “Gluttons for Growth Group” while working through the Master of Intuition Program I was going through the Academy of Intuition Medicine. For some of you, like me, the equilibrium times will be the uncomfortable phase. If there is no crisis or upheaval or rapid growth happening, you’ll want to shake things up and jump right back into a period of punctuation. Don’t do it! Both phases, equilibrium and upheaval, are necessary for your personal growth. And trust me…your equilibrium will be punctuated without your help.

5. When your equilibrium is punctuated, ask for support.
Let go of the Lone Ranger approach to personal growth. It doesn’t work! When you find yourself in a period of rapid growth or approaching one, call in the cavalry. When you ask for and allow support into your life during these times of rapid growth, you can dramatically accelerate your return to equilibrium. It’s important to have support systems in place before you enter a period of punctuation. I just launched a new program, the Rapid Evolution Mentorship, for times like this.

6. Just say “NO” to the sweep it under the rug school of personal evolution.
During times of rapid personal growth, crisis and upheaval, it is tempting to do whatever you can to return to homeostasis as quickly as possible. During these times of potential growth, issues will most likely come up that are uncomfortable and downright painful. Sweeping them under the rug does not make them go away. It just causes them to go back into hiding and regroup for the next round. And when they come out next time you can bet they will be even more potent! And even if you are able to return to equilibrium it will be at the same level as before. You will not have stepped up to the next level in your personal evolution and will have, therefore, wasted the time you spent in the punctuation period.

7. Mine the moment for gold.
It is during these periods of upheaval and rapid evolution that you will find the true gold in your life. Carl Jung called this the “Gold hidden in the shadows.” During these periods of rapid evolution higher levels of personal awareness are available to you if you’re willing to do the work. In this case, doing the work means being willing to look at and explore whatever is coming up. When you dive into the underlying elements that are bubbling up from your subconscious mind, you will facilitate a faster return to equilibrium AND a higher level of personal awareness. In other words, you will bring that gold back with you into your next period of equilibrium. And that gold will help you create a better life for youself and for those around you.
8. Know that it’s all good!
This is a tough one for some people. Most of us want to claw our way out of those periods of punctuation as quickly as possible. A few of us slightly strange folks (yes I’m one of them) can’t wait to dive back into the punctuation. In reality the most enlightened approach to Personal Punctuated Equilibrium is to enjoy both phases. Think of it this way: At an amusement park you’re not on a ride the entire time. You walk around, grab a snack, wait in line, and then get on a roller coaster for a short, thrilling ride. Punctuated equilibrium works the same way. You need both of them if either of them is to be truly effective.

Both the periods of punctuation and the periods of equilibrium are necessary for our personal growth. And if you judge either of them as bad or negative, you will minimize your ability to grow and the overall quality of your life.

So enjoy all of it and always be ready for your next ride!

Submit Your Law of Attraction Coaching Questions For The Ask The Coach Blog

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The Universe is a wonderful place. Don’t you think?

In 2006 I took the entire year off from private coaching so that I could focus on my live events and product creation. As 2008 began, I realized that I missed the private coaching and that it might be time to do open up a few coaching spaces again.

Within a week of that thought, but before I had moved forward with any plans, my friend Wendy Piersall of Emomsathome.com, called me up to tell me about a new blog she is launching over there. It’s going to be called Ask the Coach and will be a place where her readers can submit questions to a Life Coach and get feedback via the blog. And she asked me if I want to be one of the coaches.

Well I’ve been working with the Law of Attraction and following my Inner Guidance long enough to know when the Universe is responding to a desire. So beginning in February, I’ll be answering Life Coaching questions over at the new Emoms Ask the Coach blog.

The primary coaching area I’ll be focused on will the Law of Attraction and its practical applications in finance, business, relationships, and parenting. But I will also field questions on conscious business practices, how to thrive in an “alternative” career, and more.

If you’ve got a question, give me a try. If it doesn’t fit, I’ll pass it along to one of the other coaches.

Now, since I’m pretty sure that once Wendy launches this site, there will quickly be a backlog of questions from her readers, I wanted to give all of you regular Evolving Times readers a chance to get your Law of Attraction Coaching questions in first. Shh. Don’t tell Wendy! 😉

Here’s how it will work. For now, until Wendy gets the new site up and running, submit your question directly to me at: info at edwardmills dot com. In your email, let me know how you want your name to appear and if you want a link to your blog or website included in the post.

I can’t guarantee that every question will be answered, but submitting your question now will certainly increase the chances!

Here are some guidelines for submitting your question:

  • Be concise: What is the exact question, block, concern, issue that you have? Often, just getting clear on the question will lead you to your own answer.
  • Give enough information: Unlike in a live coaching environment, I will not be able to ask you follow up questions. So it’s up to you to provide me with the pertinent information. I don’t need your life story, but I do need enough information to determine if there’s anything going on under the surface. (There usually is!)
  • Let me know what you’ve already done to try and solve the problem or move through the block: I don’t want to answer your question by suggesting something you’ve already tried. So let me know what you’ve tried and why it has not worked.

Here’s a simple question submission format you can use:

Clearly state your question/problem/obstacle: (One or two sentences should be plenty for this).

Provide pertinent background information: (Patterns you’ve noticed, beliefs you hold, emotions you experience in this situation, etc.)

How have you already tried to solve this problem? If so, how and why has it not worked?

How would you like your name to be displayed in the blog post and would you like a link to your website?

If you have any questions about the process leave a comment below.

I’m Not Sure Is Not Good Enough or Pay Attention To Your Fortune Cookie Fortune

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I don’t often advise my coaching clients to follow the advice of their Chinese fortune cookie fortunes. However, from time to time, there are some shining examples of fortunes that are right on.

Recently, I was doing a laser coaching sessions with one of the participants in the Enlightened Entrepreneurs Intensive. His passion is to compose and perform music full time and have that be his primary source of income. He has the talent to do so, however his doubts and resistance continue to get in his way. (Sound familiar?)

In the laser session he wanted feedback on a decision involving his current day job. An opportunity has come up that would allow him to be laid off and collect unemployment for six months or more. His income would decline slightly but still be enough to get by on. And, it would free him up full time to focus on his music.

As he explained the opportunity to me I could tell that there was something missing, something holding him back. So we explored it. After a short discussion, I asked him, point blank, “If you go on unemployment are you ready and willing to commit yourself to doing whatever it takes to grow the business side of your music during  the next six-months?”

He took a long time to respond, which gave me the answer – and when he did respond, he said, “I’m not sure.”

Well, in this case, I’m not sure isn’t good enough. Where do you think I’m not sure would leave him in six months?

More than likely, “I’m not sure” would leave him exactly where he is right now.

But then the he chimed in with another opportunity that he had been holding up his sleeve. “Well,” he said, “There’s another position that they’ve offered me. It would allow me to go down to four days a week. It would be much less stressful and pay about the same as wheat I’m making now. I’d be taking home about $300 less each month. What do you think about that?”

“It doesn’t really matter what I think about it.” I replied. “What matters is how you feel about it. So?”

“It feels better.” He said. “My body relaxes a LOT when I think about taking that route. It feels like a good transitional decision until I can get to that place you’ve been talking about it class. The place where I cannot NOT do my music business.”

So he left the session with a promise to think about it, meditate on it, and most important feel it out.

Literally 5-minutes later I got an email from him that said:

Ed,

While I was doing my laser session with you, I was eating some
chinese food.  After I got off the phone, I opened the fortune
cookie.  Attached is a copy of the fortune.  You may need to magnify
to read, but I think the message is pretty clear!  F**kin” trippy if
you ask me.  I usually don’t pay much attention to these… I’ll
still ask some internal questions….

Kirk

The fortune says “You will obtain your goal if you maintain your course.”

Free Enlightened Entrepreneurs Teleclass Today

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The first call for the Enlightened Entrepreneurs Intensive is this morning from 9:00 – 10:30 Pacific Time. I am opening up this call for anybody that wants to join us. Even if you can’t join the entire 6-month program (there are in-person meetings in the North SF Bay area) this 90-minute call will give you some great information and a lot of high-energy inspiration to help you bring your enlightened ways to the world of entrepreneurship.

If you want to join the call, head over to the Enlightened Entrepreneurs Intensive page and fill out the form at the top of the page. That will get you access to the call.

PCA Or Why I Love Coaching

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I love what I do!

It is still a bit amazing to me that I (finally) get to do what I love and get paid for it! It’s taken a lot of years of unlearning to get to this place and it feels great!

I get to work with incredibly intelligent, creative, insightful people. These totally awesome people pay me to encourage, support and inspire them to think bigger about themselves, have more fun and play more fully in the game of life.

But what amazes me even more, is how much I learn from THEM!

Yesterday I had a private coaching session with a client and he told me that he had come up with a new acronym for how he was going to approach his life: PCA.

It stands for Peace, Clarity, & Action.

Wonderful!

As soon as he said it I started seeing this incredibly fluid movement through and between the parts of the triad. Peace, Clarity & Action.

They feed off one another and support each other. If peace is lacking, go for clarity. If clarity is not available, take action, any action. If you’re overwhelmed with too much action, step back into clarity and/or peace.

They flow back and forth in a living, dynamic dance of energy.

Ideally, we want to have all three, Peace, Clarity & Action. But if one is missing, we can focus on another one, knowing that the shift will eventually lead the way back to the center of that triad.

And here’s the best part of this… The next time I travel, as soon as I get close to the airport and start to see PCA Parking lots, I’ll immediately think of Peace, Clarity & Action. And that’s a great thing, because, I don’t know about you, but I tend to cut it a bit close when I’m heading to the airport, and remembering Peace, Clarity & Action will be a very positive thing in that moment.

Life Coaching Gets A Plug On The Today Show

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Andrea Lee has a post on her blog about a segment this morning on The Today Show in which they included Life Coaching in their list of Great Gifts For Every Budget.

This can only mean great news for those of us who are Life Coaches. Andrea has some ideas about how we can leverage the probably spike in interest in coaching from this show.

Here’s what it says about coaching over at MSNBC:

Life coach:
Lately, everyone has a life coach — or a business coach, financial coach, relationship coach..  They too come in a wide array of prices.

  • High: Real life coach: The average fee for individual life coaching is approximately $100, according to the International Coach Federation. The recommendation is to buy a month of coaching, consisting of about three or four one-hour sessions. The ICF web site, internationalcoachfederation.com, offers a free searchable directory of its members with information to match you up with the appropriate coach to meet your needs.
  • Low: If what you just need are some coaching pointers. Life coach in a box: $19.  Designed by Carol Stanton. Forty-eight cards on spirituality, work, relationships, finances, recreation and health. Available at uncommongoods.com.

My only issue with the list of gifts is that the price point strikes me as a bit low for an average. But I guess I’ll have to trust the ICF on this one!