Want Me To Coach You? I’ll Take 3 People for Free.

The iPEC Coach Training program is almost a third of the way through and it’s time for me to start putting what I’m learning into action. I’m officially taking clients—three of whom I’ll coach (5 sessions each) for free. 

I’m doing this for three reasons:

  1. I’ve never officially coached before. This is an opportunity for me to get some practice, build my confidence, and gain clarity on what kind of people I want to coach in the future.
  2. It’s likely that I will want to write about what I learn as I start coaching people. I’ll ask for the three people I coach for free to be open to getting written about on my blog. (Don’t worry—I’ll clear everything with you before it goes live.)
  3. I want to dive in. I want to jump off the cliff and “just fucking start.” 😉 It’s the fastest way I know to integrate what I’m learning.

So essentially, by being one of my first clients, you’re helping me out too.

BUT I’m not down to coach just anyone.

I actually want to make a major difference for the people I coach. That means we need to be aligned to a certain extent. So before you apply, understand this: I don’t care about solving your problems. In fact, I don’t believe your problems exist. I’m not interested in helping you make more money or become more productive or improve your relationship. All that stuff resolves itself automatically and effortlessly when you stop fussing with your external life and just do the inner work. I’m not willing to spend much energy convincing people of this. If this doesn’t resonate with you, good to know—it’s likely we’d be a bad fit. Let me know and I can refer you to another coach in my program.

I’m only interested in coaching people who are committed to doing the inner work. I’m interested in coaching people who are done with their own bullshit and determined to get out of their own way. I want to coach people who are ruthlessly honest with themselves; people who care more about realizing their true selves than defending whatever identity they’ve constructed. (I’m also interested in coaching people who aren’t quite there yet but genuinely want to get there.)

In other words—using iPEC’s terminology—I’m less interested in coaching for Self-Mastery (levels 4 and 5) than in coaching for Self-Transcendence (levels 6 and 7).

All that said, right now (before starting) I know less about coaching than I’ll ever know. I have a lot to learn. That’s where you come in.

 

If you’re interested, go to the “Say What’s Up” tab of my website and shoot me a message with your responses to these prompts:

  1. Put yourself into the future looking back after our 5 coaching sessions: What’s different now about the way you experience yourself and your life? Best case scenario. 
  2. How important is this to you? 

If I sense we’re a good fit, we’ll schedule a 30-minute introductory interview where we’ll get a feel for each other and decide whether or not to proceed. During these introductory interviews I will decide which three people I’ll coach (5 sessions over ~2 months) for free. If I don’t select you for the free coaching, there’s a good chance I’ll still coach you for a price. We can decide on those details together.


Photo by Jamie Katuna

Stop Giving Advice (and other takeaways from iPEC’s Mod 1)

Mod 1 is the first of 3 in-person weekend immersions over the course of iPEC’s 9-month coach training program. There were 29 of us in my training and hundreds more going through trainings around the world. Ours was led by two intuitive, bright, funny women named Sherri and Nina. So far I’ve had an exclusively positive experience of this organization so my expectations were high. And still, despite my positive expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. 

Here are three of my favorite unexpected takeaways from Mod 1:

1. I realized that the idea of becoming a coach could actually appeal to me.

I discovered that I never really understood coaching in the first place (if I had, coaching always might have appealed to me). I thought coaches were just self-proclaimed experts who made you pay for their advice instead of giving it freely. And I thought the people who paid for coaches were extravagant and not very resourceful. Why hire a coach when you could ask your friends or google it or just try harder? Why are people paying each other for information instead of sharing it generously? It felt like a backward system. I never thought I’d use a coach and I certainly never thought I’d become one. 

What I misunderstood was this: coaches—at least the coaches that come out of iPEC’s training—aren’t there to help you, solve your problems, or give you advice. That’s what consultants and therapists and mentors do. Coaches raise your energy so you don’t need help or advice anymore. They get you to a state where you’re effortlessly solving your own problems (or not perceiving problems in the first place). I love that. 

2. I noticed my energy rise.

I still don’t know what to attribute this to—but my energy (my attitude; my feeling state; my sense of excitement and clarity and creativity) rose noticeably. I went in feeling pretty neutral and open. Just blank; curious and receptive. By the end of day three I was lit up. Joyful and activated and alive. What the hell? I even found this in my doodle-notes looking back afterward:

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I wrote to Bruce D Schneider—iPEC’s founder—and asked him what it was about the training environment that raised my energy. Here’s what he said:

“It wasn’t the environment that raised you. It was a combination of a lot of things. I designed this to meet everyone exactly where they are and then take them where they want to be. Everyone is affected differently and at different times.”

He said Mods 2 and 3 will make it more clear. Looking forward to learning what that’s all about.

3. Giving advice is not as useful as I thought

This was particularly surprising. Early on in the training we got to see how worthless most advice is. And more importantly, we got a chance to feel how excruciatingly hard it is to NOT give advice—whether or not it’s being asked for.

Giving advice inherently validates and perpetuates whatever story that person is dealing with. Even if you give them a clever way to deal with their problem, you’ve met them on the level of their problem, thereby confirming the legitimacy of their problem and inviting further similar problems into their experience.

The alternative is to raise their energy to a level where that problem feels irrelevant, obsolete, or intuitive and easy to handle. The best tool we learned for raising someone’s energy? Ask them great questions.

Intuitively this is so clear to me—think about when you’re dealing with something tough and you tell a few people about what’s going on. The person who hits you with some immediate trivial “solution” is reliably the least useful conversation you’ll have. It’s the person who gets you thinking differently, reorienting the issue, questioning your approach and considering possibilities who makes a real difference. Isn’t it weird how quick we are to give advice despite how worthless it tends to be?


 

Here’s a quick video I shot about my experience with Mod 1, my stop-giving-advice discovery, and a few other thoughts related to my iPEC journey so far. Thank you Jamie for interviewing me and helping me put it together.

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”

What Am I Getting Myself Into?

In March I will begin iPEC’s 9-month intensive coach training program.

I don’t know what to expect. I don’t know how much work it will be. I don’t know what kinds of shifts are going to happen. I don’t know if I’ll like it. I don’t even know if I want to be a coach. This is a big commitment. What am I getting myself into?

But I’m excited because here’s what I do know:

I know that the people who come out of this program impress me.

The few people I know who have gone through it are a noticeable mix of grounded and visionary. They’re credible and awake. They’re curious and they produce results. They’re the kind of people I’d trust with big projects and sensitive personal explorations. They’re the kind of people I want to be around and be.

I know that iPEC feels good to me.

I’ve had a few one-on-one conversations with Bruce D Schneider, the founder of iPEC and author of Energy Leadership, and this guy is a rare breed. Remarkably intuitive, articulate, insightful and kind. He told me that one of iPEC’s missions is to become the “highest resonating company on earth.” In other words, iPEC is on a mission to be the best-feeling organization to work for, participate in, collaborate with, and even learn about from a far… in the world. How epic is that?

The way a company feels to work with is usually closely aligned with the way it feels to interact with their products or services. I just finished writing Get Out of Your Way (my ebook) in partnership with iPEC so I got an up-close-and-personal peek behind the scenes. Everyone is pleased as punch. I don’t know how many times I heard someone mention feeling lucky to be able to work their dream job. Plus they’re all solid and practical. I worked directly with Michael, their head of marketing, on producing the ebook and the best word that comes to mind to describe Michael and the whole process is this: effective. Clear communication. Practical, simple, supportive, done. I don’t know much about their training program but I know that the people who work for this company feel good.

I know that there is certainly some relevance here for me.

Based on the reflections I’ve been getting from friends lately, becoming some sort of coach or facilitator is something I will probably start moving into. My friend Darian recently reached out to me and said this:

“So I fully believe that you have created a market for yourself. That you could do a lot for the people who follow you just by offering consulting or life coaching, spirit guidance, etc. Whatever it may be. Someone – right now – needs your advice/help.”

More and more I’ve been getting requests or suggestions from people about co-leading retreats, hosting events, public speaking, consulting with teams, and helping folks one-on-one with whatever they’re dealing with. I’m looking forward to having the confidence and the skills to be able to say yes to these things.

I know that I’ll love being part of an international community.

My friend Claire will be going through the same program at the same time but in the UK. I love the idea of being part of this global program filled with people who are developing themselves in a specific way. I love knowing I’ll be able to talk to Claire and share insights and collaborate and scheme—knowing we’re on the same page despite being on different continents.

I know that it might be confronting and triggering.

My friend Mark who is now finishing the program recently told me this story about his first day: He walked into the room, looked around, and literally walked right back out. He had to give himself a pep talk in the hallway to get himself to walk back in. He said at the end of that module he knew he was in exactly the right spot. I love that. I love finding stuff that reveals hidden tension or resistance in myself. Because, like Mark, I know that if I go toward whatever feels triggering or confronting, I’ll grow in a way that’s important to me.

I know that whether or not I become a coach, these skills matter.

Do you notice how some people are like mirrors to be with? They reflect back to you your own brilliance and blockages and light and darkness, without much projection about what it means or what to do next or whether it’s good or bad. These are my favorite people to spend time with. Around them I feel free to be authentic and honest. Around them I can count on learning something about myself or about something that matters to me. These are the kinds of people I would want to build a business with or start a project. They add value and momentum and clarity to my life. And whether or not they’re operating like a coach, these are usually people who have developed their skills as a coach, and are therefore more effective communicators and collaborators.

I know something bigger than a coaching certification happens in there.

I’ve talked to a lot of people— program participants and iPEC employees— and from what I understand this is not just a coaching program. Not at all. But I’ll let you know what really goes down in that program once I start. What am I getting myself into? Wish me luck 😉


For the next 10 months, I will be writing 10-20 essays about my experience going through iPEC’s coach training program. I will tag these essays “iPEC” so you can find them all in the same place.

If you want to get an email each time I post one, either sign up on my blog to get email updates or sign up here to download the ebook and get put on the mailing list for the rest of my iPEC articles.