Questions from some of my favourite skeptics
When I opened the Door of Curiosity wide so that I could hear the questions of some of my favourite skeptics, they shared with me their questions and concerns.
Perhaps some of these are your questions too, so I’m pleased to provide some insights.
If you have other questions, please know the door is always open!
I’ve made my compromises. Why bother?
What’s the point? We’re all going to die.
Life is secure as is; I’m making a good living. Why shake things up?
Why do it with anyone?
I’m fine. I’m doing all right. Do I need you?
My life’s pretty good. I’ve given up hope it can be better.
All of these are certainly valid thoughts and feelings. The bottom line: you don’t need to shake things up at all. There’s nothing inherently wrong with status quo. Yet there may come a time when you notice you’re feeling less satisfied with being “alright” and “fine”. In response to this feeling, you may start trying to feel more satisfied, less restless. If you’re like most of us, you’ll turn to solutions ‘out there’ — new purchases; more work, different work; change of house, change of spouse; maybe travel. Anything you do that creates busy-ness also helps you create diversion from the feeling of disquiet inside. It’s the stage after this, when no matter what you ‘do’ the restlessness won’t go away, that it’s time to journey within. That’s where the solution, the only solution, resides. This is the time for a life transition from busy human doing to fulfilled human being.
People are dying in the world and here I am complaining about my unhappy life.
It’s too selfish to focus on changing me.
Great if you don’t have kids or a partner, but I have to consider them.
It’s true: when we think about embarking on self-improvement, self-awareness, self-growth it can all seem, well, very “self”. But if not Self, then who? From my years of experience and training, I know without a shadow of doubt it’s impossible for me to change someone else. We only have the possibility and capability to change ourselves. The corollary of that is that it’s important, in fact imperative, for each of us show up fully in life, using all the gifts, talents, personality strengths, and wisdom we own. I believe it is through showing up whole-hearted in our world that each of us uniquely contributes to our world – whether that’s the world of our family, our community, our country, or our planet.
It’s unrealistic to live your passion.
Prove to me it works/ show me the evidence that it works/ prove it makes a difference.
The economy sucks. I can’t make money on my real passion.
How do you expect me to make dollars if I follow my bliss?
Ah yes… I see the popular marketing speak of “follow your bliss and the money will follow” isn’t ringing true for you. Good thing! Although the formula My Passion = My Income may be true for some, I believe for the majority these words ring false which may in fact stop people from pursuing their passions all together. The formula that’s true for me is this: Available Life Energy = 100%. Spend Mindfully. Passion (your unique purposeful focus) needs to be present somewhere in your life to some degree. Without a connection to knowing Who I Am and What is Meaningful To Me, there is an increased risk of feeling empty.
My Life Energy Wheel helps you assess what it is that you are doing, being or having that fuels you with Life Energy, and drains you of Life Energy. You’ll come to understand whether you have more in your life that fuels you or more that drains you. It’s not only realistic to live passionately in some area of your life, it’s essential for your optimum physical, mental and spiritual health. The field of Positive Psychology speaks to this. It is the scientific study of the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive.
It’s too hard to change.
Change is hard, yet it is not impossible. Think back: you have changed – many times in fact. You changed when you went from Student to Worker and perhaps again from Worker to Leader; changing again when you transitioned from Not In Relationship to Someone’s Partner; and you have changed from being Care Taken as a child to Care Taker of children or aging parents. Each of these changes, in fact any personal or professional change, requires that we leave or let go of the Old, transition through a period of Unknowing and Learning, to arrive at the New.
What makes change harder or easier is in direct proportion to the intensity of your feeling (emotion) connected to your Vision. Whether personally, professionally or organizationally, it’s about creating a vision that genuinely inspires. A vision that you can see and feel. A vision you can move toward rather than the image of what you’re leaving behind. I have purposefully and thoughtfully formed my Retirement Clarity program to set you up for success. It includes visioning, goal setting and aligned action planning, and top quality proof-of-strengths assessments.
Can I do for free on my own?
What can I get from you that I can’t get from Aunt Bertha?
Ah yes… Aunt Bertha. She’s one of the many “loving well intentioned” in our lives. Other L.W.I.’s may be our parents, our best friend(s), our best friend’s mother, spouse or other partner, etc. And, even though any one of them may be exceptionally skilled at helping others find their way in life, they’ll have a difficult time with you. Why? Because they care about you. They love you. They cannot hold the role of objective observer. For the same reason, deep personal growth and self-awareness is also an impossible task for us to do solo. That’s not to say that we can’t acquire grow at all. Not at all! There are many ways that we can aid our own personal growth.
Yet, it’s human to be both our harshest critic as well as our most lenient teacher: we can be hard on ourselves, yet we also are the first to let ourselves off the hook. Add to this, we all have blind spots: we’re so close to ourselves that we can’t see what we can’t see. Lastly, we tend to be deeply attached to our ‘story’. No need to look further than the spate of self-help books and videos: if it was all doable by self-teaching, there was probably no need for any more books after the first few hundred! Here’s a 20-minute CBC Interview Getting to the bottom of the self-help industry with Jessica Lamb-Shapiro author of My Journey through America’s Self-Help Culture.
Who are you to tell me I’m not living well enough and that things could be better?
What are your qualifications?
Are you going to use crystals and chanting?
Why do this exploration with Anna?
Glad you asked! The Retirement Clarity program I’ve developed draws on my experience, creativity, training, natural strengths, values and energy. Added to that, I deliberately chose to offer the best possible assessment tools to augment the program’s content. The individual coaching session and program fees reflect this. Online facilitation for groups is also possible; contact me for information. In both delivery models, this is what I bring to my retirement clarity work:
Experience. This includes my own purposeful career transition, my quest into the heart of Me, my discovery of my calling, stepping across my own Line of Courage, and living a meaningful life I love.
Creativity. In my experience and research, I saw the opportunity to create a combined head-and-heart program delivered in a blended model of facilitation, coaching and teaching. The result is Work/Life Clarity for youth, mid-career professionals and Retirement Clarity for those approaching (or in) retirement. The supplemental ‘heartwork’ and other reflective exercises deepen your learning, and also often include a creative approach.
Training: I consciously and joyfully choose to devote time, effort and funds toward the further development of my expertise. Specifically, I’m a certified facilitator of The Passion Test and Lumina Spark Personality Assessment, as well as a certified Retirement Coach. I have also studied for 2 years as an Energy Practitioner. Additionally, I have expert subject-matter mentors who inspire and teach me, and for whom I’m deeply grateful: Erin Caldwell, Ingrid Bergmann and Janice Parviainen.
Strengths: I have a warm and open communication style that puts people at ease and feel safe. I easily see potential, detect patterns and identify themes. I’m a natural listener who is highly intuitive and reads people well. Optimistic by nature, I energize and inspire others. My coaching approach is light-hearted, and very accepting.
Values: Authenticity. Creativity. Curiosity. Forgiveness. Gratitude. Kindness. Learning. Making a difference. Nurturing. Transparency. A power greater than me.
Energy: My unique combination of extroversion and introversion produces fast-paced optimism and enthusiasm blended with long, no-rush moments of quiet listening and reflection. One of the most common sentiments I hear from people is “I love your energy.”
How long are you going to get me “hooked” for?
I operate very transparently. There is no hidden agenda to ‘hook’ you into another program. Additional support is always available if and when you choose it. Program fees are discussed during the complimentary ‘cup of tea’ meeting, as are the other elements that contribute to our successful relationship such as your objectives, available time, commitment, openness, etc. A Coaching Agreement is signed before any program begins. I’m able to support the growth and transitions of people in my home city, Victoria BC and anywhere in North America via Zoom.