Is our world in danger of collapsing?

tower-collapsingHow do we make sense of the recent US election result? What does it mean for the world order? I have been watching the views on the recent American election with interest. We have seen the full cycle of grief play out – denial, anger, sadness and eventually acceptance. It’s not surprising it was a great shock to many. If I am honest after Brexit and considering the year we are in, I wasn’t surprised by the outcome. And yet I respect that many are still in shock, reeling and trying to make sense of it. What helped me initially were these words by Thoreau: “If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.” The rest of this article shares some of the thoughts that came to me when I sat quietly and reflected on it all.

Those of us that are Colour Teachers know that 2016 is the year of the Tower. What does this mean I hear you ask? As human beings, we tend to like order and many attempt to keep the the world structured and steady; in a Tower year, all will tumble around you anyway. If you think about it that is what we have seen on a grand scale with both Brexit and a Trump victory.

If we use a building analogy, it’s as if just as you mortar the last brick in place, lightening strikes and the whole structure collapses. Here’s the irony, those fortresses or golden cages that have been created needed to come down so that we can truly build the new paradigm and this is the year we have the strength and fortitude to deal with it. Remember nothing lasts forever, regardless of how permanent it might appear. And that’s okay because if you take a good hard look, the walls of the fortress that you put up to protect yourself probably became more of a prison than a shelter. A Tower year reminds us to let change happen when it needs to, and gives us the nudge we need to go through with it. Of course it can be painful as we go through it and the trick is to hold onto one grain of truth that we can use to start rebuilding our reality once we have come through the other side.

So let’s consider what is happening on the world stage for a moment. There have been many marginalised voices that have not been heard for a number of years. They have made their presence known here. In the UK they rose up and said that they had had enough of the inequality which they perceived was being doled out by the EU institutions and those people voted for a new kind of relationship with the European Union. Similarly in the US many have revolted against the established order and the perceived cronyism and corruption that they see within the political elite. Take heed of the date of the presidential elections 9/11 no less – just recall for a moment how our world changed irreversibly 15 years ago. This date is significant as from a numerological perspective 9 refers to the end of a cycle and yes I realise in the US it would read 11/9.

When we have taken the time to reflect who knows what will emerge. However I firmly believe that order comes out of chaos. This could be the impetus that we need to bring about the change we so need to see in the world. I want to share the following article with you because it is the first thing I have read that actually makes sense of what’s happening. So I encourage you to have a read and see what you think for yourself – https://goo.gl/tpgHvJ

This is a chance for us to come together and explore what we have been ignoring for the longest time and start to embrace the underbelly of our collective shadow so that ego doesn’t win. So who’s ready to take some time to be introspective and heal up some of their own wounds for the sake of the collective consciousness so we can truly radiate love rather than fear?

John O’Donohue expresses some of the sentiment that I believe is necessary going forward if we are to heal our world. His poem is called Coming home to yourself:

May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released.
May your fears yield
their deepest tranquilities.
May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.

Myths around making money & how to bust them

money-money-money-1237912-639x443It goes without saying that money is just the flow of energy so if that’s the case why do so many small business owners struggle to do more than make ends meet? I have had a number of enquiries from potential clients about helping them with money blocks recently. If that’s you then I hope you find this myth busting exercise and the tips that follow  really helpful.

  1. You have got to have money to make money

What absolute bunkum! In many respects with the internet and technological advances, it has never been easier to set up a business without expending vast sums. What you do need is a moneymaking mindset. I had dinner with a serial entrepreneur last week and he explained how he made his money. He discovered a process that saved insurance companies £300 a time so they all bought it from him. He charged £299 for a solution which cost him 5p to make but it still gave the customer value as it was half what they had been paying.

Such a markup on a service or product may not be possible in your industry but no matter what the marketing funnel says, don’t be tempted to give away too many freebies. What does that say about the value you place on your own product or service?

  1. The cheapest deal offers the best value for money

Not that long ago I needed to do some marketing and someone I knew made me an offer I could not refuse. It all seemed incredible value and in some ways it was in that I paid considerably less than the going rate. This was because they were a start up business so it was a loss leader for them. Unfortunately the whole experience was rather ghastly. I had to go through a “middleman” so to speak to get to the person doing the work. This slowed the whole process up. I ended up getting emails and texts after 10pm at night and at weekends.  This is my switch off time normally so I learnt a lot about being clearer about my boundaries.  The final straw was that I got the wrong sized flyer and it took over 24 hours to get the right size which led to an increase of 30% in my printing costs because it became a rush job. The motto here is you get what you pay for.

This is so true for us personally too. This year we decided to move our daughters into the private education system. It wasn’t an easy decision as I am sure you can imagine and yet I have been quietly impressed by the school. The Friday before their first day, both their class teachers rang up to check if there was anything we needed. That to me is service beyond the call of duty and it is a reflection of the lengths staff members will go to reach out and connect and in so doing smoothen the transition.

  1. Don’t spend what you don’t have

No I am not about to encourage reckless spending and yet one thing I have learnt is that when I invest in myself then it allows the money to flow. When I started out, I said to myself that I wouldn’t allow my bank balance to go below a certain level. I still made money but it was a slog and that was because the choice I made may have felt safe but it was actually damming the flow. The effect was to put the brakes on my potential earnings. It was only when I let go of that artificial ceiling and actually started to invest in myself that I began to see a significant shift. I realised that I needed to undertake some training which was going to cost me around £3,000 and at the point I took the decision I had no idea where the money was going to come. Within a month of taking the decision I won a contract that more than covered the investment. These days I tend to work on the basis of investing about 25% of what I make into developing myself. It pays off because people can sense often unconsciously when you have new insights as a coach and so have more to share and they start knocking on the door.

  1. You need to buy into fancy systems to make money

So many people fall into this trap. They either end up spending a fortune to meet with other business owners once a month and pay a significant fee for the privilege or get seduced into buying software packages on the claim that it will take their business to the next level. The first system tends to offer a range of motivational talks and support from other members when you offer a new service; the argument around the second is that you are taking your business seriously and being more professional. Neither is a prerequisite to success but either can be tempting if you don’t think that you are enough in yourself.

Having outlined some of the common myths around making money, let me give you some tips on what does work. As with most things, it starts with understanding what is happening at the subconscious level. Here’s the thing when you were a child, you got told off by your parents if you did something naughty. As an adult, you become your parent. You punish yourself and the way many do that is by preventing the flow of money. How miserable do you feel if you can’t afford new clothes; if you feel you don’t have the means to go out? See how effective this punishment is now.

If you look at a course and think I can’t afford it; I haven’t got a spare £xyz then the likelihood is that you won’t do it. Here is the thing though your relationship with money is emotional. There will be certain expenses you never question or even feel you deserve. It is amazing what you discover when you go through your expenditure, log it on a spreadsheet and ask yourself if it is all absolutely vital.

Remember the adage you get what you pay for. The person who is running a weekend course has probably invested £1000s into their own training and so what they are asking is a fair price. If you can’t cut back on a lot, see where you can make savings and put aside a regular amount each week for a couple of months beforehand. That way you will raise the money for the course and making the investment will make you feel good about yourself and that will have a knock on effect on your business.

Others have a very strong work ethic. In and of itself there is nothing wrong with this however you are not a machine and cannot go on and on. Like a battery you will run out of juice and you can suffer from stress and exhaustion if you push yourself too far. Very often the driver for this type of behaviour comes from a sense of scarcity. If you had very little as a child then you may feel driven to provide for your family to ensure they have the security you never had.  So learn to pace yourself and take the foot off the accelerator before you have a nervous breakdown!

Finally it is okay to have spiritual values and make good money. That in itself will not make you a greedy capitalist. Become a conscious consumer, appreciate all that you have and you will receive more because you will be living in abundance.

Easy to say and hard to do you might say. It does require a shift in your mindset and this is where I can help. Using colour, which is a visual and kinaesthetic therapy, I can enable you to heal rapidly within a few sessions if you are ready. This is very powerful work as it accesses your deep-seated issues in an incredibly gentle way. Check out the reviews on my facebook business page to get a sense of the results that I have had. Not only have I seen amazing results for others, I have experienced them for myself. Because I believe in it so strongly, I am offering anyone who books a session by the end of September, 20% off the normal rate for an initial introductory session. So get in touch today to claim this offer.

What’s your relationship like with money?

money globeIn this article, Kate Griffiths explores why so many socially conscious businesses are not making good money and what needs to change to transform the world we live in.

Much has been written about money and I know my own relationship with money has changed significantly as I have gone deeper into my journey as a soulpreneur.  I believe I have gained quite a bit of wisdom around this topic and I want to share that with you to help you on your journey.

What I write here is inspired by many of the conversations that I have online with other entrepreneurs and yet I want to give a special mention to the Meaningful Work community, a FB group that I belong to as a thread in there really prompted me to blog about this topic.  Let me start by sharing some myths around money.

You are not truly spiritual if you ask for money for your products and services transparently

Part of the new paradigm has been to react against the greed and self-interest that twentieth century capitalism seems to have spawned.  So often in history we do get these cycles where the pendulum swings from one extreme to the other.  However I really strongly believe that being poor does not make you more spiritual.  We created money and that is part of our current reality.  There is a strong belief in many spiritual communities that to seek money is not being true to your values because the most important thing is to help others.  I contend that it is vital to walk your talk and first off you need to help yourself so that you are really in a position to support others.  If you are still querying this working hypothesis then answer the following questions honestly:

  1. How can you really be of service to others if you are preventing your own success?
  2. To what extent do you really believe that you can make a difference to others?
  3. What value do you put on your own skills?

This year the predominant challenge you will see emerging if you are beginning to do well financially will be around the area of self-worth.  It is absolutely critical that you clear any old beliefs in this area.

In essence money is merely the flow of energy so in essence the more you have, the more you can impact positively on the lives of others.  Having money is not the issue, what you need to consider is how conscious  you are around it.

Investing your money ethically

Recently my company became a limited company and when I informed my bank they told me that I had to open a new bank account.  I was pretty frustrated because nothing had changed in that I was still offering the same kind of work.  I did appreciate that the legal entity of my business had changed and that the bank was only responding to rules put in place by Companies House however I was champing at the bit rather.  This went from bad to worse in that I then discovered that the whole process would take around 45 minutes.  I could not understand why this was the case when I had banked with the organisation for many years and so they knew all about my financial history and had all my key details on their system.  The last straw was when they said that they could not give me advice on which type of account to open. At that point, I was fuming and explained somewhat tersely that I would have to end the conversation and that it was unlikely that I would be remaining a customer of theirs.

Later on I recognised that this was a great opportunity to find a truly ethical alternative as my business bank.  This led to a rich thread on Facebook in which many gave their points of view. As a result I discovered Metro bank, a truly ethical alternative.  It is the first new bank on the high street in the UK in the last 100 years and it invests its money into local communities and local businesses.  It really does put the customer first in that it is open 7 days a week until 8pm. Every branch has a business manager and it is rapidly expanding its reach beyond London.  So far so good.

Spending your money wisely

I am passionate about seeing every soulpreneur earn good money for their services because in that way we will raise the vibration of socially conscious businesses so that spirituality in business becomes the norm.  To that end I am on a mission to bring business into the soul.  It is not either/ or:  business is the life force of society: now it needs to become sacred.  I have started that process through my FB Community Sacred Soul Space and we now have an online directory of soulpreneurs where it is free to register your business.  Do take a look at that.  This is the first step to creating the purple pound.  It is my intention to spend my money with new paradigm businesses as much as possible.

I already do this in so many ways.  As a mentor, one of my jobs is to help those that come to me to make connections with others.  Only this week, I put one of my clients in touch with four other new paradigm business owners and I am eagerly awaiting to see what transpires.

To summarise, too often we simplify things as few people like dealing with complexity.  Actually what is needed here is healing on two levels.  At one  level it is about putting the soul back into business so that we create soulful organisations; and at another it is about ensuring business principles are enshrined in the heart of the soulpreneur.  Only then will we truly create new paradigm businesses.

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Kate Griffiths works with small business owners and leaders in corporates to enable them to grasp what the new business paradigm means so that they can apply it to their own organisations and benefit themselves and their teams by creating the kind of environment that has a positive effect on all who are part of it. 

 

 

Perfection: a winning business formula or not?

perfect imageBeing perfect is not only detrimental to your health it is impossible to achieve.  In this article Kate Griffiths explores why it is such a trigger for so many leaders and business owners.  She then goes on to offer an alternative, more life-giving approach.

In Transactional Analysis, there are a number of drivers that influence how you behave and one of them is be perfect.  I want to focus on that this week because of something that has unfolded in my learning of late with the intention of supporting you in yours.  For many years I worked in a corporate environment where the focus was on keep at the top of your game or be driven out.  It was ruthless in many respects and yet the organisation prided itself on having the brightest of a generation in its midst.  I left because I felt that it fed on people’s anxieties to ensure high performance and it was no longer a cost I was willing to pay.  It seemed to actively recruit A type personalities – adrenalin junkies who felt that they were only as good as the results they obtained from their last engagement.  As you can imagine the undercurrent of anxiety was strong.  Why did people stay you might ask?  Working for such a well known brand did mean that there were amazing opportunities to do projects that others would give their eye teeth for so for those of us that were ambitious, it seemed a small price to pay.  Or at least that’s what I thought at the beginning.

However when you are in an environment that seems to demand perfection, it creates an edge which seeps into other areas of your life.  I was reading an article that illustrated that point beautifully.  If you are a parent then the ideas behind it might prove to be really insightful.  Ask yourself how often do you place expectations upon your children and yourself ?  At the start of this week, we struggled to get through our early morning routine and it got to going to school time and I had forgotten to make the girls’ packed lunches.  I felt irritated and expressed that to them as we walked to school because it meant I had to come back and do it during my work time.   Children pick up on how we are being and reflect it back to us so being uptight and tense, desiring perfection will feed into their internal narrative and you know how powerful that can become inner critic.  Is that what you want your child to grow up with?

So what’s the alternative?  First of all it is important to understand what’s driving your need for perfection.  For many it is a feeling of not being good enough and here’s the kicker we tend to strive for this when we do not value ourselves sufficiently.  Relax into the fact that you are human, see if you can laugh at your failings rather than feeling bad about them.  And here is my big learning.  When you are driving yourself and others so hard with such high expectations something has to give and quite often there is an explosion of sorts.  The trigger could be as small as the example I gave of forgetting to make the girls their packed lunch.  Whatever it is, we show our irritation then feel guilty about it so in the past my next step has been to apologise and admit that I was wrong.  What if you said sorry thereby acknowledging your part in the mess but then also affirmed yours and the other person’s greatness?

Positive feedback given authentically is vital to the life blood of families and organisations.  Yet there is an art to it, it is not just about saying you are awesome and I am amazing too.  It only really lands if you can be specific with your praise.  For example this morning I acknowledged how well my daughter was doing with her exercises because she completed the repetitions even though it was painful and difficult for her.  I recognised all that too so she knew that I appreciate all that she is.

When you can do all this, you are staying in your power and you are modelling the fact that it is ok to make mistakes.  As you release negativity in thought, word and deed, you are creating space for great things to fill it including miracles.  Recognise that you are enough and more than that you do a great job.  You are so done with feeling small as it does not attract good things in.  In fact with this whole process, you are acknowledging that you are perfectly imperfect and this is a critical step on the path to building a life and a business that is aligned with your values and that is profitable.  If you want to find out more then do sign up for our two day Pi Programme on 27 and 28 January.  We have one more place available and I can promise that if you apply the 13 golden wisdom principles that we teach consistently your will witness a transformation in your life.

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Kate Griffiths works with small business owners and leaders in corporates to enable them to grasp what the new business paradigm means so that they can apply it to their own organisations and benefit themselves and their teams by creating the kind of environment that has a positive effect on all who are part of it.

 

There’s more to visibility than self-promotion

self-promotionIn this article Kate Griffiths continues with the theme of visibility that she started in last week’s post and shares ideas on how to get noticed in a good way.  Business owners, particularly those starting out are keen to get clients and be noticed so they focus on being visible but often in a way that is counter productive.  

If you look up the dictionary definition of visibility it states that it is the ability to be seen or the extent to which something attracts attention and gains prominence.  Small businesses rely on recommendations and referrals as a key way to growing their business.  Marketeers often teach clients that any publicity is good publicity because people will be talking about you.  This is a myth, let me explain why using an example of my own.  I had a hideous experience about five years ago when I was very new to the world of small business where I agreed to write an article about social media for Mums.  The editor felt that I needed to write stronger statements in my article so I did what I was asked and wrote something quite controversial.  It provoked a fierce reaction and the organisation got what it was hoping to achieve which was high engagement on its site however it did not do a lot for my reputation because readers, understandably, assumed that the views expressed were what I believed.  Furthermore when I needed it, I did not get the support from the editorial team.  To be fair to them, I had not questioned their motives sufficiently nor had we communicated how we would behave if the article went viral.

It was a great lesson for me in that my desire to be noticed overrode my sense of who I was becoming at that time.  Rather than writing my truth, I adapted my views to fit in with what someone else wanted.  I am not like the great chess players who think many moves ahead as they contemplate their next step, I tend to live in the moment.  I did not stand back and reflect on the potential impact of what I was writing and I paid the price.  It had many ramifications for me, few of them positive at that time.  It was probably about the last time however that I was caught out in that way and as the adage says you only learn when you find yourself in a place of discomfort.

In my experience what clients are looking for is a sense of innate confidence in what you are offering and a constancy in how you show up.  They want to get to know you to decide, especially as a coach or someone who works in the leadership development field, whether they wish to work with you.  They cannot achieve this if you don’t spend at least some time engaging on social media platforms.  Think about it how can they get a sense of who you are and what you stand for, if you rarely participate in conversations online except to post your latest offering.  That is not showing up.

And yes it is difficult to straddle all the platforms effectively.  At some point you need to make a choice about where you are going to focus your energy.  Will it be Facebook, Google plus or Twitter?  You can have a presence on all three and yet you still need to decide how you will engage in each medium, for how long each week and the extent to which you will automate that engagement.  This post is not going to go into the merits of the different platforms as Chris Ogle has written a very useful article on that so click here if you are interested in reading more on that.

For me what is important is that everything you do is aligned to your values.  Your focus needs to be on who you are becoming and to find inspirational places where you can be that and start to build your community in that way.  Yes it takes time and there is not necessarily instant gratification or sales.  That said it is a lot more sustainable in the long run because you start to build a following and people look out for your comments and posts.  It is why I set up my facebook group Sacred Soul Space because I wanted to create a place of inspiration for business owners where they could grow and be seen and supported by others.  Some amazing connections have already happened in particular someone drove from Watford to Oxford to meet another of our members; there are two based in the San Francisco Bay area who are planning to meet up; and others have got together through Link4Growth in the North and regularly get together.

In the new paradigm, doing business or your levels of visibility equate to the extent to which you give to others.  Generosity of spirit is a key value now and pays dividends although often unexpectedly in terms of how business comes to you.  In short just posting your own links in a forum or group and yet being notable by your absence 95% of the time, will not build your business.  We all buy from those we know, like and trust.  Being present in a mindful way is one of the fastest ways to grow your business in the long term.  I know this from personal experience.

I hope this article has caused to reflect on your own practices as a business owner and you get a real sense that visibility in business comes when you know who you are becoming.  It is all linked to who you are being.  I am available for a free 30 minute consultation if you wish to discuss any of this further and currently have one or two openings for new coaching clients.  I would love to hear your take on visibility in the comments below.

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Kate Griffiths works  with individuals and business owners to create more ease and flow in their lives.  Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining  what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  If you want to get free tips then ask to go on her monthly newsletter and join Sacred Space for the Soul

 

 

Why is increased visibility challenging?

visibilityIn this post Kate Griffiths explores some of the reasons why women business owners shy away from increased visibility and the big time.  It is a reflective piece that chimes with the season in that winter is about giving yourself space to breathe and take stock. 

Yesterday morning I had an inspiring time with Kate Codrington and a bunch of other women where we reflected on 2014 – in particular the moments we were proud of and what we would like to see more of in 2015.  It was an enriching time and it led me to ponder on a question which I want to share with you here as it was a theme that emerged from the group.  How do you cope with increased visibility when you have other demands on your time?

Many women have families and responsibilities at home.  We are not just talking about cooking and cleaning although these duties tend to be rolled into all of that.  Often it is the mother who holds the fabric of the family together.  She is there when her young children finish school to hear about their day and support them through the tough times in the best way she knows; to mediate when there are squabbles over the favourite mug, plate or bowl; bring in laughter and healing and extra love through cuddles when that is needed.  There is an expectation that she will keep on providing this constancy and love as and when required whatever is happening for her.  After all that is considered to be part of the job description.

No one has endless reserves of unconditional love, it is vital that each of us takes time to refill the tank.  That comes from having dedicated “me” time and yet if you are busy at work and home, how do you fit that in?  For many mothers, their entrepreneurial journey is into doing work that they love and there is an assumption in there that if you are passionate about what you do then you will find the reserves you need to be there for your clients.

This is a myth.  Dedicated “me” time means doing stuff for you; for your own growth.  Often this is then translated into time for personal development and whilst that is noble and can really support an individual’s growth and reap dividends in terms of what you can then offer your clients, I question how much it fills you up personally.  What struck me yesterday was that as people’s businesses have grown and I include myself in this to some extent; the focus has gone on to personal growth that supports the development of services for clients rather than on themselves.  This can lead to the resources that you have being stretched even further perhaps to breaking point.  Really that is about doing rather than being.

One of the best things that I have done this year is to take on a part-time housekeeper.  You could argue that it is a luxury but it means that I no longer spend any of my time cleaning, it is just about keeping the house tidy.  I can honestly say this is a great investment for me.  It means that I am much happier doing the ironing now and actually found myself ironing a duvet cover earlier this week which is a first!  It also gives me a bit more slack in my day to create with the extra demand for my services.  It also means that I can play with my girls on the days they don’t have after school activities.

All that said, there is more to life than work and what I realised as I listened to myself and the other women yesterday was that for many of us, we are juggling so many balls in the air that there is very little time for fun and quality time with those that we care about.  This is one of the biggest challenges as your business grows and especially if your partner has a demanding job too.  It made me realise that going forward, I want to take some practical steps which are to have a regular date night with my husband including the booking in of the odd weekend away with the support of family to make this happen.  It is much easier to relax when not at home faced with a mountain of chores that need to be done.

There is also a bigger theme here too and that is the theme of visibility.  Why is it that so many businesses do not reach their potential?  It is important to know your values as a business owner and make time for what matters.  That may mean getting clear about your boundaries and saying no to work that is not aligned to your values, something I did recently.  It is very empowering.  It could also mean being clear about your working hours and if demand increases, consider building a waiting list for clients.  Saying no to a client takes confidence and firm belief in your own worth and it can be very satisfying to have defined boundaries as well as being helpful for potential clients.

Beyond that for many there is a fear of success.  When you are more visible then you become more accountable.  Often people expect more of you.  There will probably be increased demands for engagement so you need to become much clearer about what is in scope and what’s out of scope.

All of this gets easier if you can tune into your inner wisdom to discover what your soul desires. That is at the heart of this particular conundrum and is one of the reasons that I started Sacred Space for the Soul, an online FB group with offline meet ups.  If you are involved in work that is making a difference to the world and could do with more sacred time, do consider joining us.

Alternatively you may wish to consider working with me one to one, as transforming people from the inside out is the focus of my work.  It is vital that you come to realise that you are already perfect and are in just the right place for you right now.  It is also why when we had the awards ceremony at Kate Codrington’s place yesterday where we determined what Kate’s certificate was for, I decided that mine was for being real.  For me the key to wholeness is sharing my reality so that you can see it is good to reveal your own humanity.

Kate Griffiths works  with individuals and business owners to create more ease and flow in their lives.  Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining  what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  If you cannot remember the last time you stopped and took time to relax then do check out Kate’s two day mindfulness course  at the end of November.

 

 

 

 

Death and rebirth: vital phases for any growing business

full stop & unity bottleIn this article Kate Griffiths shares a story about transition and offers strategies on how to manage it.  She writes from the perspective of a small business owner, where you are your business.  Daunting though change can be, remember order emerges from chaos  

In August I chose these two bottles when asked what represented where I was and where I was going in my business.  Why these particular bottles?  Probably in part because they are so contrasting and also because I had already been working with Unity, the clear one.  Interestingly, the black one is anything but black.  Have you ever noticed that about black that there are other colours hidden within it? In short the black bottle among other things represents rebirth along the lines of the phoenix arising from the ashes.  The kind of rebirth that is only possible when you have died to yourself. So we are not talking the small stuff here

At the time all I could see was the huge potential in the message and was very excited about what could happen.  Six weeks on, I can honestly say it feels as my dear friend Elaine commented this week as if I have been running at 100 miles an hour to keep up; and as is often the case, I have needed periods of time in hibernation to allow the process to unfold.  One of the things I am more conscious of are the symbols that have shown up to mirror this shift.  For example over the summer a bat flew into the house and circled around for a good ten minutes before finding the doorway out.  In shamanic terms, Bats signal transition.  If, like me, you live with other people then this kind of change doesn’t just impact on you, it also has major ramifications in their lives too!  Let me unpack that further for you.

Physical signs

Decluttering on a physical level is a great way to also release old patterns of behaviour and thoughts that no longer serve you.  In effect as you clear your space, then there is room for new ideas and thoughts to be cultivated.  Quite unprompted I have felt the need to blitz our living space and get rid of anything that we no longer need.  A boot full of stuff went to a friend of mine who runs the the local toy library; followed by five bags to the charity shop and another five to go.  We have also revamped one bathroom getting rid of an old chest that was falling apart and replacing it with a cheap storage unit that allows us to see the towels in all their colour.

Mental signs

During levels of upheaval you will probably notice additional levels of exhaustion so it is important to recognise even more strongly the need for self care.  For me that has meant little to no television in the evenings; less reading; more baths; massages along with meditation, daily appreciations, giving myself reiki and designing my own special routine as I go to bed.  A bedtime routine is key because it ensures that you are choosing what messages to send to your unconscious as you fall asleep.  Curious to find out more then check out our October challenge in Sacred Soul Space.

Emotional and spiritual signs

This whole area can offer the biggest challenges because often you have not been supported in being able to express your emotions.  A conversation with a client recently made me realise that it was important to articulate the emotional upheaval because it may well help you if you find yourself in a similar space.  I have included spiritual here because the two are entwined for me.

Taking a panoramic perspective, we are in the midst of a huge shift from the masculine form of power to a more feminine style of leadership.  What does that mean?  On one level it is about accepting that what is is and that means practising detachment and recognition that it is no longer possible to control any aspect of life.  The harder you try to control the outcome, the more stress you will feel.

As women, the more that we find our voice and step into our power, the more isolated our partners can feel if they have been used to taking charge.  There is a subtle shift in the relationship.  You no longer need your partner, you choose to be with them.  If your partner has been the more dominant party in the relationship, they are going to have to start redefining their role and that can be hugely challenging.  It can lead to denial, frustration and resistance.  It also means that you have to found additional resources of love, compassion and patience holding the space so that they feel safe.

Final tips on how to manage such a shift?

The main way that I have found which works is to have a clear idea of where you want to go.  Keep hold of the vision, don’t fixate on the hows.  Ultimately trust that you are in exactly the right place for you right now and be with whatever unfolds.  And remember out of chaos comes order.

To summarise it is important that you give yourself space and are especially kind to yourself during this time.  And remember as you embrace this change and see the positive in it, you will transform the way you experience it: avoidance just prolongs the agony.  It can also help to have the support of a coach especially one that understands first hand about what you are dealing with.

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Kate Griffiths works  with individuals and business owners to create more ease and flow in their lives.  Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining  what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  If you want to find out more about the power of colour then do book a colour taster session with either Kate or Elaine at the Herts Health and Wholeness Festival on Saturday.

Kate is also the co-founder of Art of Leadership, a consultancy which supports organisations with their leadership challenges in a very creative way.

 

 

 

Flow in business and life comes through connection

politenessIn this article Kate Griffiths explores why the flow state seems elusive to so many leaders and business owners by unpacking three myths many hold about connection.  She then goes on to share more about the new ways of doing business through sharing her approach to it all.

Connection is the cornerstone of every thriving new paradigm business.  You would think that as more people talk about this stuff, it becomes clearer and more people are getting it.  That is not my experience in part because there are some myths about what this is; and largely because so few people have a sense of their self-worth or have really experienced unconditional love.  Let me explore this further.

Myth 1: the belief that I have to be on 24/7

There are those that believe firmly that connection is about responding in a unique way to every comment that they receive on any post that they put up in the digital world.  They spend hours cultivating relationships with people that they consider to be established with a huge following in the hope that some of their success will rub off on them – they tell themselves they have lots to learn from these guys and that ingratiating themselves with these folk is a small price to pay for rewards like visibility.

This is really giving away bits of your soul one piece at a time; it is not connection.  It leads to fatigue on so many levels and it is not a game I will play.  I want to engage on posts that resonate with me at some level or where I feel I can add something of substance.  If you play the numbers game of quantity over quality the only one who suffers is you ultimately.  Remember it is quality not quantity that will get you noticed. 

Myth 2: connection for an ulterior motive

A few times this year I have really connected with someone through sharing similar ideas on a theme and they have felt the connection and invited me to be friends.  I have not hesitated as in each case I thought I had found someone with whom I could amplify shared ideas.  The promised conversation/Skype chat/ hangout (delete as appropriate) never happens and instead they start trying to sell their services to me directly or by sending me endless invitations to their webinars.  At that point I feel as if I am being spammed and it is hard to maintain the initial bloom of connection: it often withers and dies.

Conversely others cannot understand why you might reach out to connect just for the sake of it.  They are waiting to be spammed or at the very least feel that there must be a reason for your support, an expectation that they will purchase one or more of your services.  They feel a tad anxious and find it hard to see the opportunity for what it is and grab it with both hands.

What is happening here is that people are unable to trust the process and just enjoy the connection or build on the initial connection.  At some level they are still being driven by fear: fear that if they don’t use this opportunity to sell they will lose it.  Fear can also translate into an inability to trust in the goodness of another human being perhaps because they have little experience of that.

Myth 3: politeness is essential in any exchange

I have found especially in corporates that there is a tendency towards politeness whatever the nature of the engagement.  It kills any meaningful exchange because it becomes clear very quickly that it is just another mask that the real person hides behind.

There is confusion between politeness and respect.  Every interaction requires mutual respect to be meaningful and that can be held much more lightly than politeness.  Put it this way how much are you respecting someone when bound by the rigours of etiquette you feel unable to give them the direct, honest feedback they need to progress for fear of hurting their feelings?

When you boil it all down, you could substitute connection for unconditional love…no wonder it is so tricky.  How many people have ever experienced that?

I feel very lucky to include myself in that category because I have two gorgeous daughters who in their own way share with me and tell me that they love me and a husband who appreciates me on a regular basis: this makes me rich indeed.

But it doesn’t stop there.  When I was wading through porridge and my business was a relatively new concept, I had a mentor who believed in me.  She could see what I was becoming and gave me regular FREE mentoring.  The nurturing I received was my business lifeline and kept me going through some dark times.  I learnt so much from her unconditional giving – it gave me a model for how I wanted to conduct business with others.  So now I talk about loving people and their businesses into being.  The irony is that the more I give without attachment, the more I receive.  Imagine a world where everybody felt that someone was supporting their back – how great would that be?

It’s about being in it for the long game.  18 months after I had reconnected with my mentor, I made my biggest investment ever as a business owner.  I chose to make that investment with her, the person who had placed their belief in me.  This is how to create sustainable business.  Hanging out together, we ended up creating a programme together which is about to morph into something bigger and better this autumn, something I have desired for a long time and if you had told me this was going to happen even a year ago, I wouldn’t have believed you…..It is one of the main reasons I always have an initial conversation with potential coaching clients to check that there is a good fit and that I can really support them actualise their dreams; and also because I only want to work with conscious business owners.  In other words the vetting process works both ways.

To wrap up, what I am saying is that if love and integrity are the intention behind your actions, you will create a business that is sustainable. Implicit in all of this is the fact that this only becomes possible as you expand your self-awareness.  This is a prerequisite for success in the new paradigm.  The great thing is that if you are still flailing in the embryonic stages of your business, it doesn’t have to be that way.  Connect to source and your self and then others and you will start to experience flow.  In practical terms, if you are local I have just set up a monthly meet up, which is free.  You can book into the July Link4Coffee in Hitchin here – four people rebooked for the next one as soon as the last one finished that’s how good it is.  If you are ready to experience deep connection and allow your soul to reveal itself then consider getting in touch to join us for the next Sacred Space for the Soul gathering on Friday 27 June where the theme is connection.

Self-mastery: the key to transformation

every conversation mattersIn this article, Kate Griffiths explores the role that conversations play in the desire to bring a new way of being, working and connecting into common reality.  She also explains why it feels as if the shifts are not happening fast enough for some and what you can do about that if that is the perspective you are coming from. And the vital key in all of this is who you are being as that is what affects the pace of change the most.

This week I have been involved in a G+ conversation in which two people spent many hours unpacking the nuances within two words – empathy and sympathy.  A conversation sparked by David Amerland’s recent Sunday Read.  Part of me was in awe with their diligence and ability to keep on deepening the enquiry.  What struck me most was what would happen to the quality of our conversations if we all took that much trouble over each word we used?  Something worth pondering for a moment perhaps…..

Ultimately conversations are all that you have.  If you live by the maxim that every conversation matters, then the tenor of dialogue will change whether it is in a family or work setting.  It means that each of us has the power to influence just by who we are being not by our role in a given structure.  It has more to do with the type of network that we have and the strength of ties within it: the level of trust that exists.  It also means that the possibility of leaderless organisations becomes a reality rather than a theory.  As the old power structures start to lose validity, this then makes way for collaboration to take centre stage.  This is exciting because it is a key component of the new way of doing business and fundamental to finding a way out of the old “growth is good” model.

If you are a pragmatist, you might be thinking well that all sounds plausible and so why aren’t I seeing it in my reality at the moment?  There is a great yearning for the emerging story to become mainstream and for mass adoption of it to happen.  That all takes time and as the adage goes it is all about the journey rather than the destination.  That said why is it not as prevalent as it might be in society?  There are many reasons and yet first and foremost when we take a deeper look into systems theory, the first phase of any transition is chaos.  Looking from the outside, everything looks a mess and yet in every system with time, you come to a point of dynamic stability.  Then there appears to be order and yet there is still a sense that everything could move and change in an instance.

At a deeper level, it all has to do with trust.  You have to keep the faith that you are not a cog in the machine that you are a significant player in your system even though you cannot see the ramifications of your actions.  On a practical point for an entrepreneur that may mean saying no to work opportunities that whilst bringing the money in take you away from your passion and your purpose.  As Charles Eisenstein has said each and every one of us has a gift to offer the world and it is our duty to discover that and live out our purpose.

It can also be very lonely when you are carving out your own path.  As human beings we love to connect with others and that is positive.  Notice what happens though if this desire is taken to its extreme.  It stops being healthy and becomes more about the need to belong.  If that happens to you, it is very likely that you will be willing to do quite a lot to fit in, to be part of the group, to be accepted.  If you take an honest look at your life, you will probably find times when you did that.  The price is that you stop hearing that deeper yearning within which is all about your calling and being your own person.  For me a helpful metaphor is to see yourself as a flower whose essence will attract people in be they friends or clients.

Another reason why all this can seem so hard and insurmountable is the pace in which you operate; the busy nature of your life.  How much time do you give yourself for reflection?  There is so much information available via the internet and you are bombarded by it all the time.  This may be because you are afraid of missing out or because you have the seeker pattern in which you always look for answers in your external reality from books and others.  At some level though it probably has something to do with a lack of belief in yourself, that you are not enough.  The truth is that you have all the knowledge you need just so long as you connect with your own inner teacher.  Breaking that pattern takes courage and practice.

There is one more level of resistance that gets in the way of the new story taking centre stand that is worth exploring in all this and that is the desire for safety.  Consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  The first level is physical and is about having your basic needs met such as a roof over your head and food on the table whereas self-actualisation where you bring your whole self into all that you do is at the top of the pyramid.  So what does safety look like?  Many equate safety with money.  I have seen my own clients start to get stressed when they cannot see how they will continue to provide for themselves and/ or their families if they totally embrace the new.  If you get too low down the spiral then withdrawal from the stuff you love comes next as you shut down as a way to control and cope with the situation.  As a minimum this view can lead to conflict and potentially paralysis or lethargy, as one response to that lack of safety is to do work that does not spark the passion in order to pay the bills.  Therein lies the conundrum; you are still operating within the framework of the old paradigm.  From another angle, there is no amount of money that you can possess that will make you feel safe in the world.  Like so much our sense of safety or lack of it comes from within.

Shifts are also subtle.  Think about the butterfly that flaps its wings in China.  The changes in the air current there then lead to a tornado in the United States: an outcome that cannot be seen when the action is taken.  This is also a metaphor for the impact that you can have when you show up and engage in meaningful conversations.  It is quite liberating when you start to think about life like that because it shows that YOU do matter and just by being you are making a difference.  You are not in this alone either.  Be clear about what you want and then start moving towards it.  You may end up at C rather than B and your dream may evolve over time.  None of that matters it is about taking the first step and then keeping on keeping on.  In short the two things you need for self-mastery are persistence and discipline.  I would love to hear your thoughts about this below.

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Kate Griffiths works  with individuals and business owners to create more ease and flow in their lives.  Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining  what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  May is her birthday month she is doing a special offer on her time to think days – undivided attention for six hours that includes lunch – so book in before the end of May to receive that.

What’s your story? Is it about surviving or thriving?

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st ethelburga and gherkin_LGIn this article, Kate Griffiths explores how stories shape the world we live in; how some of them are ones that we consciously weave and others are much less conscious.  To some extent it depends on what you choose to believe.  A belief is just a thought that you have had many times so that you see it as truth.  She reminds you that what you focus your attention on grows. 

Let’s start with the juxtaposition in the image for this post.  You are looking at the Gherkin, a building in the heart of the city of London that for many represents money, power and certainly the old story of which I will share more in a minute.  However you are viewing it through the archway of St Ethelburga’s, a Medieval church that was destroyed in the IRA Bishopgate bombing in 1993 and then rebuilt and opened as a centre of peace and reconciliation.  For me this image represents two worlds colliding….

Let me explain further.  My mother was dismayed when I said that I no longer watched the news.  She felt that I would not be aware of what was happening in our world.  For me it was a conscious choice as most news whether it is what you read in the papers, listen to on the radio or watch on the TV, has a negative spin.  An unrelenting diet of this can lead to fear and ultimately a sense of hopelessness.  A belief that there is nothing that you can do to halt the destruction.

Interestingly, studies by neuroscientists have shown that our brains find it easier to remember negative information. This is all due to the functioning of the amygdala, a primal part of our brain located in the brain stem. The purpose of the amygdala is to be our early warning system for any danger that may be in our vicinity. It creates the fight-or-flight response we feel when we are afraid. This is to ensure our survival. This aspect of human nature is the foundation on which marketers like Bernays based their work.

In other words, this is what Charles Eisenstein and others call the story of separation.  It is based on the belief that we are separate individuals living amongst isolated individuals.  It condones self-interest and suggests that my self-interest is likely to be at the expense of your self-interest.  The narrative suggests that we live in a hostile environment.  The whole focus of life is survival.

When I reflect on that narrative, it leads to a deep sense of sadness and helplessness.  It causes so much pain and it is not a world that I want to be part of.  Doug Breibart described it in this way:

What does it mean when the hope and the promise of the #AmericanDream   stops two stations short of the Boomer generation,  just in time to decimate their savings and security and eliminate an entire job strata leaving nothing in substitution to provide salvation.

What does it mean when the Endangered Species Act is a light to the salvation of species under threat is threatened within a decade; while science reports global species disappearances on a monthly basis that maps to our own global extinction.

What does it mean when the greatest constitutional government, and democratic country in the world experiences its government brought to its knees, and its financial operations threatened with shut down.

Alternatively when I watch the trailer for the forthcoming film of Joanna Macy’s work, I am filled with joy.  Last year I bought a copy of Velcrow Ripper’s film Occupy Love and held a couple of viewings of it for those in my tribe who are keen to be part of the emerging story.  The numbers of people that believe that there is a new way of being are growing all the time and it is an energizing space to occupy.

Some of the key elements of this new narrative are that the whole purpose of our being here is to experience connection.  Real connection with others only comes when we have found a way to connect to ourselves and to source. We are meant to be in relationship with others that is one of the main reasons for our existence.  Everything we do to others we do to ourselves.  Every act however small has significance.  This is because we are plugged into the greater consciousness through the invisible divine energetic web of connection.  Each of us has a unique gift to give the world and the purpose of our life is to express our gifts.  Encompassing all of this is the view that everything is sacred.

Close your eyes and feel into both these stories: the story of separation and the story of connection.  Which one gives you hope?  Which narrative enables you to be whole?

For me without doubt, it is the second one.  There are miracles happening every day.  When you watch George Monbiot’s video about what happened when wolves were reintroduced into the ecosystem of Yellowstone Park, you will see they had a fundamental and positive impact not only on the wildlife populations and vegetation but also the physical geography in terms of what happened to the rivers.

Recently I explored what connection looked like with an amazing group of people in a workshop facilitated by Debbie Warrener.  A common thread in each story was that it came out of something unexpected.  In other words we need to learn how to get out of our own way then as Arundhati Roy writes,

Another world is not only possible, she’s on the way and, on a quiet day, if you listen very carefully you can hear her breathe.

Doug Breibart described it very well when he said

What does it mean when the eyes of the world are allowed to see, the ears of the world are allowed to hear, the voices of the world are allowed to speak; and a million small groups and collectives begin to connect and align and harmonise their efforts and contributions toward serving the needs and interests of a global commons. …..It means there is hope. 

You too can be part of this new story.  The first step is connection.  You can start this journey by embracing uncertainty and living on the edge of the known and creating from the unknown.  If you or your organisation wants to find out more then contact me and I will be happy to show you.  Also I would love to hear your thoughts below.

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Kate Griffiths works  with individuals and business owners to create more ease and flow in their lives.  Clients include conscious business owners and leaders who recognise that the old paradigm way of doing things does not work and want support in determining  what the new ways of doing business look like.  She is passionate about creating conversations that lead to change and has developed her own process to do that called connection through conversation.  The next one will be here in Great Offley on 9 May.  She also teaches 8 week mindfulness courses at Harmony in Hitchin; the next two start on Thurs 8 May in the evening and Mon 12 May in the morning.  If you prefer, get in touch with Kate to set up an initial consultation to explore working one to one.