Integral eco-archetypal image

Integral eco-archetypal image
Integral eco-archetypal image

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Permission Granted!

Permission Granted
by fellow USM graduate and life coach, Christine Michel

Pretend you have a magic wand....Imagine all the good you could ever imagine for your whole life, your whole being, now hold the magic wand over your head.....and give it a shake....."Permission granted".....

You now have permission to be all that you ever imagined....To have all that your heart desires......To do all that you are called to do. When you give yourself permission to be your Truth, you no longer have to worry if you will "do it right", if you will "say the right thing", or make the "right choices", because from this place all the "right" doors open, the "perfect" words come forward, the "uplifting" thoughts appear.....

From this place you experience your All Good, you live a joyful life, your fantasies are reality (Real It I). When someone tells you to get your head out of the clouds, to come down to reality, to stop dreaming so big, you will simply smile and say inside "Thank you for sharing, I bless you and love you....and the Truth is all good is mine now and I say thank you, thank you, God." Pretty soon, as you practice the Truth, the Truth is all you will know and you won't even have anything other than Truth reflected back to you!I celebrate my good now and forever more!!!

Renewing your New Year's intentions!

A Message from fellow USM graduate, Tori Hartman:
January Is the Month of Renewal

Welcome to 2009!

I recently led one of my groups through a renewal evening.
We wrote down our goals and set intentions for 2009. In the midst of this , I stopped and glanced down at MY list. I was bewildered. It was the same list I had written down last year!
I looked up at the eager faces around me. Everyone was happy and pumped up. They appeared ready to run out the door to embark on their new lives.

I just sighed as everyone waited to hear the next step.

Pointing to the fireplace, I said, “We’ve got to burn this stuff – give it up. We already know what our intentions are. C’mon, look at your list. I’m guessing that you’ve written this down before. Like, last year? Are these the same goals you wanted last year?”

Every single person in the group reluctantly agreed.

How about you? Did you write down the same goals as last year?

For 2009, I offer you this question: What if we all renewed who we were and who we’d have to be in order to become our goals?

The idea that we are achieving something outside ourselves is false. We must realize that we must expand ourselves, where the true law of attraction is activated, to be big enough to house our big goals.

Imagine trying to house a tractor-trailer in a tiny garage!
We must expand our housing for bigger goals. Housing = Spirit. We have to be bigger energetically in order to expand and have the capacity to house our goals.

This month, we will renew our “real” selves. And it that idea, we will expand our capacity to attract love.

I created a daily contemplation to get us started. The free renewal meditation this month will begin to stretch you energetically to house your bigger life.

Set a powerful intention to expand and open yourself to spirit. I recommend the Spirit Guides Intention Kit for this. When you stand powerfully in that vast space with spirit, you open your capacity very quickly.

I also have a soft spot for the Open Heart Home Chakra Vortex. It’s simply stunning. If you’re attracted to it, the Open Heart Home Chakra Vortex will be very powerful for you. Hang it in your home or wear it!

Please let me know if you have any questions…
Much love,

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Maslow in his own words

Since I have quoted Maslow extensively, I thought it might be useful to readers to know how he views his own place in the field of psychology:

“Psychology today is torn and riven, and may in fact be said to be three (or more) separate, noncommunicating sciences or groups of scientists. First is the behavioristic, objectivistic, mechanistic, positivistic group. Second is the whole cluster of psychologies that originated in Freud and in psychoanalysis. And third there are the humanistic psychologies, or the “Third Force” as this group has been called, a coalescence in to a single philosophy of various splinter groups in psychology. It is for this third psychology that I want to speak. I interpret this third psychology to include the first and second psychologies, and have invented the words “epi-behavioristic” and “epi-Freudian” (epi = upon) to describe it. This also helps to avoid the sophomoric two-valued, dichotomized orientation, for example, of being either pro-Freudian or anti-Freudian. I am Freudian and I am behavioristic and I am humanistic, and as a matter of fact I am developing what might be called a fourth psychology of transcendence as well.” (1971, pp. 3-4)

~ Excerpted from "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" by Abraham Maslow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Resacralizing - more on Self-Actualization.

Abraham Maslow also inspired my own hero, the late Italian psychiatrist and founder of psychosynthesis, Dr. Roberto Assagioli. In Maslow's writings on Self-Actualization, he touches on something which is very dear to my own heart, and that is the notion of Sacralizing life! I recently completed a coaching session with a client whom I encouraged to give a name to her new beach cabin, which is smaller than any home she has ever lived in before. This was a way to
her living environment. Here's Maslow's thinking on this:

"Resacralizing. Resacralizing means being willing, once again, to see a person "under the aspect of eternity," as Spinoza says, or to see him in the medieval Christian unitive perception, that is being able to see the sacred, the eternal, the symbolic. It is to see Woman with a capital "W" and everything which that implies, even when one looks at a particular woman. Another example: One goes to medical school and dissects a brain. Certainly something is lost if the medical student isn't awed but, without the unitive perception, sees the brain only as one concrete thing. Open to resacralization, one sees a brain as a sacred object also, sees its symbolic value, sees it as a figure of speech, sees it in its poetic aspects.

Resacralization often means an awful lot of corny talk - "very square," the kids would say. Nevertheless, for the counselor, especially for the counselor of older people, where these philosophical questions about religion and the meaning of life come up, this is a most important way of helping the person to move toward self-actualization. The youngsters may say that it is square, and the logical positivists may say that it is meaningless, but for the person who seeks our help in this process, it is obviously very meaningful and very important, and we had better answer him, or we're not doing what it is our job to do.

Put all these points together, and we see that self-actualization is not a matter of one great moment. It is not true that on Thursday at four o'clock the trumpet blows and one steps into the pantheon forever and altogether. Self-actualization is a matter of degree, or little accessions accumulated one by one. (1971, p. 49).

~ Excerpted from "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" by Abraham Maslow.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


This is a continuation of the previous post on Self-Actualization. Here Maslow adds the rest of the steps towards self-actualizing behaviors or strategies. It is interesting to note that Maslow clearly emphasizes the dynamic and consistent aspect of the process, in his book "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature:"

"Fifth, we have talked so far of experiencing without self-awareness, of making the growth choice rather than the fear choice, of listening to the impulse voices, and of being honest and taking responsibility. All these are steps toward self-actualization, and all of them guarantee better life choices. A person who does each of these little things each time the choice point comes will find that they add up to better choices about what is constitutionally right for him. He comes to know what his destiny is, who his wife or husband will be, what his mission in life will be. One cannot choose wisely for a life unless he dares to listen to himself, his own self, at each moment in life, and to say calmly, "No, I don't like such and such."

The art world, in my opinion, has been captured by a small group of opinion- and taste-makers about whom I feel suspicious. That is an ad hominem judgment, but it seems fair enough for people who set themselves up as able to say, "You like what I like or else you are a fool." We must teach people to listen to their own tastes. Most people don't do it. When standing in a gallery before a puzzling painting, one rarely hears, "That is a puzzling painting." We had a dance program at Brandeis University not too long ago - a weird thing altogether, with electronic music, tapes and people doing surrealistic and Dada things. When the lights went up everybody looked stunned, and nobody knew what to say. In that kind of situation most people will make some smart chatter instead of saying, "I would like to be different, unpopular, nonconformist. If clients, young or old, cannot be taught about being prepared to be unpopular, counselors might just as well give up right now. To be courageous rather than afraid is another version of the same thing.

Sixth, self-actualization is not only an end state but also the process of actualizing one's potentialities at any time, in any amount. It is, for example, a matter of becoming smarter by studying if one is an intelligent person. It does not mean doing some far-out thing necessarily, but it may mean going through an arduous and demanding period of preparation in order to realize one's possibilities. Self-actualization can consist of finger exercises at a piano keyboard. Self-actualization means working to do well the thing one wants to do. To become a second-rate physician is not a good path to self-actualization. One wants to be first rate or as good as he can be.

Seventh, peak experiences are transient moments of self-actualization. They are moments of ecstasy which cannot even be sought. One must be, as C.S. Lewis wrote, "surprised by joy." But one can set up the conditions so that peak experiences are more likely, or one can perversely set up the conditions so that they are less likely. Breaking up an illusion, getting rid of a false notion, learning what one is not good at, learning what one's potentialities are not - these are also part of discovering what one is in fact.

Practically everyone does have peak experiences, but not everyone knows it. Some people wave these small mystical experiences aside. Helping people to recognize these little moments of ecstasy when they happen is one of the jobs of the counselor or metacounselor. Yet, how does one's psyche, with nothing external in the world to point at - there is no blackboard there - look into another person's secret psyche and then try to communicate? We have to work out a new way of communication. I have tried one. It is described in another appendix in that same book, Religions, Values and Peak Experiences, under the title "Rhapsodic Communications." I think that kind of communication may be more of a model for teaching, and counseling, for helping adults to become as fully developed as they can be, than the kind we are used to when we see teachers writing on the board. If I love Beethoven and I hear something in a quartet that you don't, how do I teach you to hear? The noises are there, obviously. But I hear something very, very beautiful, and you look blank. You hear the sounds. How do I get you to hear the beauty? That is more our problem in teaching than making you learn the ABC's or demonstrating arithmetic on the board or pointing to a dissection of a frog. These latter things are external to both people; one has a pointer, and both can look at the same time. This kind of teaching is easy; the other kind is much harder, but it is part of the counselor's job. It is metacounseling.

Eighth, finding out who one is, what he is, what he likes, what he doesn't like, what is good for him and what bad, where he is going and what his mission is - opening oneself up to himself - means the exposure of psychopathology. It means identifying defenses, and after defenses have been identified, it means finding the courage to give them up. This is painful because defenses are erected against something which is unpleasant. But giving up the defenses is worthwhile. If the psychoanalytic literature has taught us nothing else, it has taught us that repression is not a good way of solving problems." (1971, pp. 45-47).

~ Excerpted from "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" by Abraham Maslow.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Self-Actualization - Introduction

Abraham Maslow, one of the foremost spokespersons of humanistic or "Third Force" psychology was an eternal optimist and a philosopher of science. His thoughts and ideas about self-actualization, which inform the practice of Quantum One Life Coaching, are outlined in his book "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature:"

Behaviors Leading to Self-Actualization

What does one do when he actualizes? Does he grit his teeth and squeeze? What does self-actualization mean in terms of actual behavior, actual procedure? I shall describe eight ways in which one self-actualizes.

First, self-actualization means experiencing fully, vividly, selflessly, with full concentration and total absorption. It means experiencing without the self-consciousness of the adolescent. At this moment of experiencing, the person is wholly and fully human. This is a self-actualizing moment.This is a moment when the self is actualizing itself. As individuals, we all experience such moments occasionally. As counselors, we can help clients to experience them more often. We can encourage them to become totally absorbed in something and to forget their poses and defenses and their shyness - to go at it "wholehog." From the outside, we can see that this can be a very sweet moment. In those youngsters who are trying to be very tough and cynical and sophisticated, we can see the recovery of some of the guilelessness of childhood: some of the innocence and sweetness of the face can come back as they devote themselves fully into the experiencing of it. The key word for this is "selflessly," and our youngsters suffer from too little selflessness and too much self-consciousness, self-awareness.

Second, let us think of life as a process of choices, one after another. At each point there is a progression choice and a regression choice. There may be a movement toward defense, toward safety, toward being afraid; but over on the other side, there is the growth choice. To make the growth choice instead of the fear choice a dozen times a day is to move a dozen times a day towards self-actualization. Self-actualization is an ongoing process; it means making each of the many single choices about whether to lie or to be honest, whether to steal or not to steal at a particular point, and it means to make each of these choices as a growth choice. This is movement toward self-actualization.

Third, to talk of self-actualization implies that there is a self to be actualized. A human being is not a tabula rasa, not a lump of clay or Plasticine. He is something which is already there, at least a "cartiliginous" structure of some kind. A human being is, at minimum, his temperament, his biochemical balances, and so on. There is a self, and what I have sometimes referred to as "listening to the impulse voices" means letting the self emerge. Most of us, most of the time (and especially does this apply to children, young people), listen not to ourselves but to Mommy's introjected voice or Daddy's voice or to the voice of the Establishment, of the Elders, of authority, or of tradition.

As a simple first step toward self-actualization, I sometimes suggest to my students that when they are given a glass of wine and asked how they like it, they try a different way of responding. First, I suggest that they not look at the label on the bottle. Thus they will not use it to get any cue about whether or not they should like it. Next, I recommend that they close their eyes if possible and that they "make a hush." Now they are ready to look within themselves and try to shut out the noise of the world so that they may savor the wine on their tongues and look to the "Supreme Court" inside themselves. Then, and only then, they may come out and say, "I like it" or "I don't like it." A statement so arrived at is different from the usual kind of phoniness that we all indulge in. At a party recently, I caught myself looking at the label on a bottle and assuring my hostess that she had indeed selected a very good Scotch. But then I stopped myself: What was I saying? I know little about Scotches. All I knew was what the advertisements said. I had no idea whether this one was good or not; yet this is the kind of thing we all do. Refusing to do it is part of the ongoing process of actualizing oneself. Does your belly hurt? Or does it feel good? Does this taste good on your tongue? Do you like lettuce?

Fourth, when in doubt, be honest rather than not. I am covered by that phrase "when in doubt," so that we need not argue too much about diplomacy. Frequently, when we are in doubt we are not honest. Clients are not honest much of the time. They are playing games and posing. They do not take easily to the suggestion to be honest. Looking within oneself for many of the answers implies taking responsibility. That is in itself a great step toward actualization. This matter of responsibility has been little studied. It doesn't turn up in our textbooks, for who can investigate responsibility in white rats? Yet, it is an almost tangible part of psychotherapy. In psychotherapy, one can see it, can feel it, can know the moment of responsibility. Then there is a clear knowing of what it feels like. This is one of the great steps. Each time one takes responsibility, that is an actualizing of the self." (1971, pp. 43-45).

~ Excerpted from "The Farther Reaches of Human Nature" by Abraham Maslow.