Trusting The Process: Reflections Before Training Begins

This post is part of a series I’m doing as I go through the transformational 9-month iPEC Coach Training Program.
Click here to learn more and read the other posts.

Note: As a prerequisite to the iPEC Coach Training Program, participants are required to write a book report on Energy Leadership by Bruce D Schneider. Bruce is the founder of iPEC, and Energy Leadership is the foundational theory behind the training. For those who’ve followed my blog, I based Why I Feel Good About The Election on the 7 Levels of Energy model which was outlined in this book. As I reread parts of the book for the assignment, I was energized to remember how unique this organization is. Here’s what I wrote:

For the last few months I’ve become more and more transfixed by deep spiritual growth. And to be honest, I’ve had a tough time writing (or talking, or being social in general) because all I can think about lately is stuff that I don’t understand yet; concepts that feel exclusively intuitive. Ideas like enlightenment and transcendence—nothing I’m confident to explain or confidently transmit to the people around me.

I’ve felt silent and disconnected. Blank and clueless—like somehow despite all the learning and development and transformation I’ve had lately I know less now than I’ve ever known. None of my opinions stick. Nothing I say feels accurate. My thoughts have no traction. It’s disorienting and confusing. I’ve been less able to relate to people in person and I have been scared I’ll lose my ability to relate to people through my writing.

But as I read through Energy Leadership and the 7 Levels of Energy I’m reminded about what drew me to this organization in the first place: range.

By range I mean it includes the full spectrum of human experience. This model is a simple roadmap that applies to anyone no matter where you’re at. It starts at experiences familiar to most people—everyday relatable stuff like irritation and anxiety and anger. Then it moves through perspectives we associate with mastery and happiness and success and making a difference in the world. And it ends at deep spiritual awakening; the kind of self-transcendence we associate with buddhism, ancient yogic traditions and ascended masters. This single model bridges the gap not just between different points on a single road, but between different paradigms. In this model, worlds that most of us have a tough time reconciling are now inseparable parts of the one human path.

In other words, no matter where you’re at in your life, this applies to you. There’s a spot for you here. You’re included. I almost forgot that this inclusion applies to me too. Remembering this was a relief.

The way this model works is simple. There are 7 Levels of Energy that range from low (Level 1) to high (Level 7). The lower your level of energy, the worse you feel and the more “real” and heavy your world feels around you. The lowest level, Level 1, is characterized by victimization. At this level you feel like everything happening to you is beyond your control. As you raise your energy, the weight of the world lightens, you feel better, and you experience yourself more as the creator of your experience. You regain control. Level 5 for instance is the level of opportunity. At this level you feel creative and energized and engaged. You are literally more yourself the higher your level of energy.

Surrounding these 7 levels are three concentric circles. The innermost circle is the circle of “Self.” In this circle it’s about me. I’m angry. I’m upset. I’m not getting enough of what I need. The second circle is the circle of “Self-Mastery.” This circle is about leveraging what you’re working with and optimizing it. Empowering yourself, accomplishing your goals, effecting change and mastering yourself and your environment. Here’s what Energy Leadership says about the second circle:

When you resonate within the second circle of awareness, you’re relatively happy and secure. You have a strong ego. On the chart, this equals a strong sense of self. This means you’re not afraid to be who you are. In other words, you’re comfortable in your own skin. Your focus is on having instead of needing.

The third circle is “Self-Transcendence.” In this circle it is no longer about you. There is no ego, judgment or assessment. You are one with the world around you. Here’s what the book says about the third circle:

You are flooded with absolute passion for all of life’s experiences and are able to tap your talent for being deeply creative. You have now touched the core of who you truly are. At this level you have the potential to manifest almost anything into your life in an instant. Most importantly, at this level you are able to consciously use any of the lower levels to your benefit.

Bingo. This distinction between the second and third circles resonated with me big time. For the last few years I’ve been working at self mastery. I’ve been working to be more productive, get the most out of myself, reach my potential, build a brand, and show up powerfully and effectively. I’ve been grinding to achieve this ideal version of myself. Familiar?

But recently all I’ve been able to do is stop, go inward, meditate, listen for my intuition, and relax the stimulus of distraction. I’ve taken time off from friends and activity and gone on long, quiet hikes or sat alone in my room and stared at the ceiling. No lie. I’ve been unproductive according to my previous standards. And in some way I like it. It feels true. I feel quiet and curious.

And also a tad paranoid. What if this state is incompatible with the iPEC training I’m about to start? What if I’m unable to get back into productivity / mastery mode? Will I have to postpone what excites me most (diving further into the circle of self-transcendence) in order to make it through this 9-month program?

No. Not at all. There’s room for my experience here. Not only that, but this organization and the model they use has a context for the edge I’m exploring. The third circle is where I want to go. With this program I’ll have guidance and structure that supports my deepest, most personal goals and intentions. That’s special.

It was a nice reminder that I’m exactly where I need to be.

Musical [side] note: I’ve been listening to my Big Vibe | Winter 2017 playlist on Spotify as I write (follow it for your own good. Best playlist I’ve made).

The song that resonated with me as I wrote this post was Yellow Brick Road by Rexx Life Raj. It’s the 15th song down the playlist. This lyric stood out in particular:

“Mentally I been ahead of the curve. Crazy how that shit’s a gift and a curse”

7 thoughts on “Trusting The Process: Reflections Before Training Begins

  1. Marissa Ginty

    Seems like you’re having what bentinho would call a valley experience – when you turn inward to integrate the expansion and raising of your consciousness as it becomes your new baseline. You’ll spring back higher than you were before coming into this integration phase, at least this has been my experience.

    Have fun in training 🙂 much love, Cory


  2. I can really relate with your thought processes that you have expressed in this journey and as you approach this new path. I love the bandwidth and space you give yourself for perspective while testing the waters out to see if it’s compatible with the new coaching path that is calling you. All so beautifully expressed and in perfect divine order. So grateful for your written expression in how it reaches my heart and others. You truly have a gift…Thank you Cory!


  3. Jen T

    Beautifully and vulnerably written. I wonder if you found, as I did, that bringing yourself back into the world in this rather intense, somewhat harsh environment (lots of humanity in that tiny-windowless room) and temporarily attaching to an external structure served as bridge between your practice of transcendence and connection to this (illusory) reality gave you tools to connect and share with others what you visions hold.


    1. Cory Katuna

      Hey Jen — interesting. This weekend was a big relief for me in a way. It was familiar. I felt like I ‘came back.’ It was energizing. But already I’ve started to feel a little distant again. What’s shifted for you moving back into your usual life after the weekend?


      1. Jen T

        Lovely Cory – I have a lot of voluntarily imposed structure in my life today coupled with a window into the unknown. The training weekend was slightly jarring for me – having spent many months in intense self-reflection and experimenting with the idea of infinite possibility – all the while conforming to corporate expectations. The class was an interesting bridge between the revlelations I am having and the calling I feel to guide others across the chasm. It was a harsh but expected re entry. The experiment of this coaching rubric is an interesting model for me – and one that i think gives us a way to translate (insofar as is possible) the connection of achieving the growth that we’re trying to attain and explain and share with others simultaneously.


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