Pair #99 Oh, Behave!
We all want to be better.

It's a common thing in self-help and in therapy today to offer a variety of ways to be better - which actually boil down to not 'being' better so much as just 'doing' better.   "Chose!" "Decide!" "Manifest!" "Line Up!"  are all about doing better.

If you pick up a book to help you out with your desire to change, it might tell you that you 'are' a certain way.  For example, maybe you'll be labeled a victim, a reactor... as opposed to a leader, an owner.  You are encouraged to choose the better of the two and chose quickly.  Don't 'be' this way any more! 

Yet, how can you not be what you've just identified yourself as being?  This behavioral change is going to take a lot of managing and you are going to need to keep a close eye on your daily picks, managing what you think and how you act, watching what you do in order to measure how you are doing.

In my time working with people, coaching people in wellbeing and peace of mind and training coaches to work with others, I've become exclusively interested in another kind of change.  A change that is easy, natural, positive and sustainable -- precisely because it does not take effort to sustain.

That doesn't seem possible for some things does it?  You, me, we've all had experiences of trying to change and failing.  People around us have too. So I'm going to suggest that it's not that changing behaviors isn't useful; it's just the hard way.

What I've learned, especially through my work with the Three Principles, is that our behaviors follow our emotions and our emotions are the direct product of our thinking.

So whenever we are doing anything; we are only ever as good (behaviorally-speaking) the quality of our own thinking in any given moment.

In this paradigm, victim-hood is a outcome and not a personality type.  It is the outcome of a decision that is based on the quality of my thinking at any given time...

For example, if you call me and I answer, "Hello?" and the first words out of your mouth are "What the hell is wrong with you! Why do you do this to me everytime?!!!"

I might react in a number of ways. 

Indignant, angry, and reactive all spring to mind!  After all, I'm being victimized here. I've done nothing. Except answer my phone. Right? 

Well, this DID happen to me and I really learned something.  I heard the words and the anger and I was surprised and curious to see that my reaction was ... connection.  "Oh my," I thought, "he must be having a really bad day today."

Now, I'm no saint.  I'm perfectly capable of all the reactions under the sun. Ask anyone.  So why did I see this differently?  Had I been practicing thinking new and better thoughts? (I hadn't, just so you know.) Was I having a particularly good day? Was I meditating at the time and deeply serene? Was I really, really, trying to behave like a better person? 

None of the above. I just heard differently. I heard a human being speaking to me and it was obvious: He was in pain.

This is no behavioral change.

It is a change in behavior brought about by a new level of 'beingness' in me. At that moment.

This feeling of connection did not come from my advanced training in 'listening and reflecting back'.  It did not come from my positive affirmations. 

It was a simple moment when, literally without thinking, I was simply part of the dance. I was witnessing the ups and downs of all humans when we are caught up in our thinking and it was fine.

I understood we are only doing as well as we can, given the quality of our thinking in the moment. That is a place of deep, natural connection.

And I realize this is our most natural state. Not a learned one.

So all relationships improve, not when we choose to behave better, but when we focus more on our own deeper understanding of the nature of life for ourselves.

Pair #86 To change is human
Working in the field of transformative change, and talking to people about change everyday, I was reflecting on the nature of 'change.'

Here's our common definition of change: Change is bad.   Unless what you have to change is really bad, and then Change is good.

This idea that change, in and of itself, is a negative thing can be easily seen all around us. You'll find it in your own head too... what is the first thing you say when someone says "I've lost my job"?

I'm not suggesting that my first response to that would be "oh, how wonderful!". But I do notice thatthe first response is almost never, "Is that a good thing or a bad thing for you?"

Don't you find that interesting?

That default definition, 'change is bad' just kicked in. And we have other ways of viewing change.

In another of our operating reactions to life, the purpose of change may not in itself be bad, but the purpose of change is to get rid of what is bad (about me, the world, what happens to me). That's very interesting too.

It assumes that we can always know what is good and what is bad, make a clear choice and then kick in the change mechanism.

Now, I'll be the first to say that
I am always operating out of what I judge to be good and bad. That's just human.
(Not doing the dishes the night before and waking up to a dirty kitchen has got to be bad. Right?)

OK, so, totally true in my world. But it doesn't mean that it is in yours.

I'm not suggesting that it's all good and there is no such thing as bad. But I do think it is possible to become more philosophical and to see that we live within a bigger context called life.

Not everything that ever happened to us that we judged as bad, turned out to kill us. In fact sometimes, years on, it not only didn't kill us, it strengthened us in some way.

Which doesn't mean everything is good no matter what, but it does mean that everything contributes to life in some way. 

Or, everything is part of life.

Or... life just is.

Maybe time delivers us a fresh perspective, or distance shows us new vantage points, or we simply wake up, have a change of heart, or let go. However it happens, change happens.

Isn't that the same thing as saying: things are not always what they seem?  or There is no good or bad but thinking makes it so?

Since I'm not content with platitudes, here is what I'm reflecting on... if we could accept the nature of life is change, rather than certainty, wouldn't that make everything easier?

We could remain judging creatures, but begin to consider change natural, normal and perhaps sometimes welcome.  It opens up the possibility of not having all the answers all the time - and being OK with that.

I am going to share a story that was sent to me in a longer version and that I passed on this week, in a completely bastardized and shortened version.  You'll probably recognize it...

Two Angels.

Two angels are walking the earth in human form and are taken in by a very poor farmer and his wife.

Now when angels come into form, their powers become more limited, and only experienced angels are empowered to intervene in cases of highest need and emergency.

Anyway, when they wake up in the morning the farmer's only cow has died. The farmer and wife are distraught that their only source of milk and some small income has gone forever. Not only that, they've given most of what they had in provisions to their two house guests. They are destitute.

The younger angel, whose miracle powers are strictly limited, says to the elder angel - "How did you let this happen? They sheltered us for the night and gave us everything even though they had so very little. Surely you should have intervened on their behalf. Now they have nothing!"

He becomes very discouraged and also angry at the cruel misjudgment of his teacher.

As they set off down the road, the more he considers this wrong decision not to intervene on the part of his mentor angel, the more upset he becomes.

Finally after a long period of walking together the gentle elder said, "Things are not always as they seem little angel," for he had been receiving the silent snarls with kindness and understanding.

"Last night another angel dropped by, " he said, "it was the angel of Death coming  for the wife," he paused, "I gave him the cow."

This week on the show:  GET OFF YOUR OWN BACK
Friday, April 8th at 10 am Pacific

To connect with the show live you can call in or join via Twitter @NewMindset or #ANewWay
Pair #33  I'm unhappy, you're unhappy, sign here...
As someone who spent quite a bit of time supporting causes of all kinds, I can say I paid my dues to the "We're Pissed And We Are Not Going To Take It Any More!" Club.  If there had been an award points program for righteous indignation, I'd be a Life-Long Platinum Club card holder.

So this last week when the theme for the radio show was "Hot Pursuit of Happiness", it really hit me... I always assumed I needed to be unhappy about something in order to change it.  In fact, the more angry I was, the better an activist I felt.

I was wrong. 

It has not escaped me that we have not essentially changed much in any of the causes I campaigned for using my fists. That doesn't mean things haven't changed at all.  Women have more rights. In some places Gay people have more rights. In some places you can live without 'being disappeared' one day. And it doesn't mean that a picture of a starving child plastered on the news won't mobilize the sympathies and pocket books of millions of people for the right cause.

But we can do all of that, anytime we like without the anger.  We can change anything we want without being sad, depressed or upset about it.  We can do it because we want to. That’s enough.

As my friend Jacob Glass was talking about in his lecture this week: to teach happiness, we need to be happy teachers.  I think to teach peace we need to be peaceful people.  Jacob is right when he says that somewhere in the midst of devastation somewhere in the world, people are most probably not wishing and hoping that "that angry, depressed guy comes back to help us out.’"

Now I know that I can be part of the solution to any problem, anytime if I want to and decide to.

I think we can change the world. One mind at a time. Starting with our own.

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
There's no doubt in my mind that it's possible to create a future that is nothing like the past.  But not long ago I did not know that.  In fact I was down on all fours in my garden in my London home, in agony.

I had just lost I hoped I'd be with for the rest of my life.  (Yes, I did believe in princes, white horses and someone coming to save me!)

Those of you who know this story already, know that I reached a point when I looked back and all I could see was failure... this massive loss plus a long string of 'failed' relationships behind me and one person in the middle of it all: Me.

I knew in some way I was the problem, even though I wanted very badly to blame the person who had just 'abandoned' me, and all the others before him, right back to my own father. 

My Dad and I have a great relationship today, but when I was younger that was not the case, and for many years I treated my father as if he was my life-curse because he divorced my mother.  But even after therapy,  I had very little peace with my past and I seemed to be on auto replay.  Everything I'd tried up until that moment was more like an attempt to try to get a better past, then a step to create any real and lasting ability to move myself into a new future.

I have to tell you that what changed life for me was to decide to actually commit to personal change.  I had a series of wonderful personal coaches / teachers (Michael Neill, Bill Cumming, Debbie Ford, Byron Katie) who had a profound impact on my life.

So, it's ironic that today, I had a chance to look back today on my old life. I met someone who had a similar job and a similar relationship background and I saw the flashback of my own past.

I knew without a shadow of a doubt I made the right decisions to stretch into the unknown, to invest in myself through coaching, reading, meditating and questioning and then to absolutely leap into all that has made possible.

And how very important that has been.
Pair #14 Stop Looking Back, You'll Only Hurt Your Neck

© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.
The last couple of days I've had a couple of conversations about how I started my radio show and what my intent and core values are around it. I stopped to consider.

I thought I might share what I found because as I wrote my six basic principles I discovered a few things:
  • I have some stuff I do believe (pretty strongly, as it turns out)
  • It's been very interesting to write them down and see them staring back at me
  • writing them down gave me the chance to check and see if I really did believe them and operate out of them.
The radio show and most of what I do, whether it is working with people or teaching transformative coaching in Supercoach Academy, is all about the nature of change.  So these principles are really focused on how I think change comes about.  A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything implies change.  It became clear as I wrote down these things, that I have very specific ideas about what change is and where it comes from.  

Here are my ideas

  1. Personal change comes from thinking differently (not from anyone else's magic)
  2. People have everything inside them that they need already - there is nothing to 'get' - not love or anything else
  3. Wisdom is what you hear when you clear the noise in your own mind (no one else's wisdom will do!)
  4. When we clear the noise we always know what to do next
  5. Teachers can share what they know, but only testing it for yourself will tell you if it's for you
  6. Daily life doesn't change if we don't apply teachings in practice in our lives

I am not suggesting these ideas are true for everyone.  In fact what is interesting for me is to notice just how much I've built my radio show on these ideas and completely they are reflected there.  The website too.  

So I was wondering, would you like to share yours?  What are some of your Operating Principles that lie behind your business for example?  What about your ideas of what creates a successful relationship? 

When you have these, share them here (or with someone you love).
Pair #12 You Show Me Yours, I'll Show You Mine
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' each day on http://elesecoit.com"

Thank you.