Archive for category Mindfulness
The Astro Stuff:
The direction your life takes/ the areas you know least about… The North Node (of the elliptic path travelled by the Moon around Earth) moves into Leo at around 14:28 BST today.
The influence of your childhood and past life experiences… The South Node thus moves into Leo’s opposite sign, Aquarius. They will travel through these respective signs until 6 Nov 2018.
Image from http://www.southastrodel.com
Love, beauty, money and your human values…Today, specifically, the North Node’s transition is influenced by the inconjunct (150°) Venus at 0° Aries. ‘Inconjunct’ can be an uncomfortable or quizzical influence.
Healing, wounding, the healer, the wounded… Chiron, the centaur, who heals all but himself, is also considered inconjunct at 27° Pisces, whereas…
Focus, consolidation, reduction, organisation, boundaries, truth, time and karma… Saturn provides a sympathetic (not a word usually associated with Saturn) perspective as it trines (60 deg) the North Node at 27° Sagittarius, which is also where we find…
Treasures of knowledge in the cosmic mind… The Galactic Centre: the point around which our whole galaxy, The Milky Way, turns. It was discovered in Feb 1974, fittingly with the North Node at 27° Sagittarius and Saturn at the South Node.
Mother Earth, Gaia, nurturing and caring through death, transformation as well as (re)birth The goddess Ceres, at 29deg Taurus, squares (90deg) with the North Node. Lastly…
Untainted feminine energy, dutiful, strong and unyielding to no man… The goddess, Vesta, inconjuncts the South Node at 28 deg Cancer
What Might All This Mean?
- The North Node stepping into Leo heralds the opportunity to change your direction in life; specifically, in how you shine to influence those around you. But to begin with, it won’t be without its challenges. In the next few days, it will be better to account, especially in close relationships: where you are, how you got here before deciding where you want to be. Wait until Venus moves on, around mid-May before taking action. With Mercury in retrograde, this is a time to review, reflect, restart, renegotiate BUT not start anything new!
- Inconjunct Venus asks you to question your values around love and money and adhere to your basic human values. Can you have all? If so how? What might you change?
- The South Node in Aquarius asks you step back, detach yourself, and account for the patterns in your childhood (you attracted) which help and hinder you. Who were the greatest influencers in your childhood? (All influence operates in a bandwidth.) How has each influencer helped you? How has each influence hold you back?
- If you were to know, ask yourself the same of past-life karmic inheritances.
- You’re seeking answers to your future, you’re accounting for where you are, from the past. It may well be quizzical. If so, at least acknowledge that which you don’t know. Knowing you don’t know is a major milestone in finding out.
- This can be a time for healing. But for this to occur, acknowledge how you first attracted the wound to be healed. (I call this “sensitive accounting”.) Account for how you did this without blame to those who wounded you. OR are you the wounder? If so, focus on how you can become the healer.
- Before starting anything new, focus on what needs to end and transform, to enable this.
- Be thorough, organise your ‘personal account’ with yourself: where you are, how you attracted people and events that influenced how you got here and then meditate and contemplate where you want to be. Notice the barriers and step beyond them in your imagination to begin with. Saturn will help you and maybe, just maybe, in doing so you will unearth some cosmic learning on how to move on.
“The Lodges all shall know that I am he
Who searches loins and hearts, to oversee
All works creative, and all works that find
Treasures of knowledge in the cosmic mind;
And I shall give to each his rightful share
Of knowledge, weighing all his works with care.”
From The Message to the Hierarchy of Helios, The Restored New Testament : The Hellenic Fragments…, by James R Bryce
TO SUMMARISE… Spend a week accounting for all the answers you come up with. Reflect on the answers without apportioning blame, neither on others nor yourself. Contemplate how you want to (shine) appear to others. As we move into the latter part of May, take action – one step at a time.
One love, stay cool
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>14,000 followers)
The sun activates a powerful full moon today – so beware.
Today at 7.08am BST at its fullest. Not to be confused with with a pink/red/blood moon caused by a lunar eclipse.
According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the April full moon is known as the Pink Moon because it marked the appearance of a flower called the moss pink, or phlox. That’s likely a Native American tradition because phlox is common in North America and Siberia, as opposed to Europe. It is also called the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
The Astro Positions
Sun in Aries – the most assertive and aggressive signs, ruled by Mars, the god of war.
Moon in Libra – the sign of relationships and seeking harmony through balanced judgement.
The Sun conjuncts (less than 2 degrees) Eris, the goddess of discord, who magnifies emotional strife, where it’s needed. (Note: she brings the emotion, not the action or reaction to said strife.)
The Sun also conjuncts Uranus (less than 3 degrees), the Che Guevara planet, the god of revolution and unexpected upheaval.
(Note: The recent tragedies in the Middle East coincided with Sun starting to apply its energies to Eris and Uranus.)
Pluto, at 19 degrees in Capricorn, squares up (mid-point) with the Sun and Moon. Pluto is the god of the underworld: symbolic of death, transformation and rebirth or resurrection.
AND the Moon conjuncts Jupiter; the god of growth: knowledge, mentally, physically, materially, spiritually and in this instance, EMOTIONALLY.
AND the Venus (the goddess of love, beauty and money) in fiery Aries squares up with Saturn (the god of Karma, organisation, boundaries, focus and consolidation) – a tense angle.
ADDED TO WHICH: Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Saturn and (as of yesterday) Mercury are all in retrograde – giving the illusion of going backwards along their orbital path. All encouraging us to retrace and review past steps in our lives.
Indeed, a full moon is a time to RE-flect.
What might you infer from all this…
This is not a good time to start anything new (e.g. a relationship, contract, project and certainly a war – for which there’s never a good time.) Beware of the fractious energies that can be activated by Mars, Eris, Saturn and Pluto. Not forgetting the Sun is in Aries!
The emotional Moon may well be ‘magnified’ by Jupiter. Emotions may run higher: joy becomes ecstasy, warm becomes hot, becomes scorching AND/OR anger turns into rage.
Libra asks you to consider each significant relationship in your life – especially the one you have with yourself. Where is there balance and harmony? Where is there strife? What results as consequence of this strife?
THIS IS a good time to reflect and bring unhelpful habits, patterns and anything (that decreases the relationship’s life force) to an end. If you’re thus suffering internally, give these unhelpful habits zero energy. Instead – acknowledge you’re feelings of strife for what they are and practice persistent patience to allow your (emotional) body to heal itself.
Quick Tool to Deal with Strife: If you feel strong enough…. Every time you feel this strife, imagine putting in a bubble. Then imagine its opposite, serenity, and put that in the bubble too. Give the bubble a good shake and shine light from the base of your spine, up through your backbone, around the back of the skull and out through your Third Eye (like a shepherd’s crook) into the bubble. Shine this light to the count of four on each outbreath, seventeen times.
Overall, this particular Full Moon advises you reflect, reconsider, review and possibly renegotiate over the strife in your relationships. Practice persistent patience. Avoid allowing anger, shame, hurt or fear to control your actions.
I am personally going to wait until at least Mercury passes through its retrograde phase and gets back to where it is now before I start anything major anew.
On a worldwide (aka mundane) scale, this is a time for Messrs Trump and Putin to retrace their steps and renegotiate a lasting peace in the Middle East, indeed worldwide. It is also a bad time for war to kick off (as said earlier, there’s never a good time) as this would be a particularly devastating war for both humanity and the Earth.
One love, stay cool
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>14,000 followers)
About top performers: by definition, they are already at the ‘top of the totem pole’. They already set the benchmark, for what is acheivable through exemplary performance, in their respective organisations. They shape the belief systems about what’s acheivable. They thus have potentially far more influence than the management infrastructure who are trying to lead your company to greater success – through wisdom, carrot or stick.
(I’ll use B2B sales as an example, but I could be talking about executive officers, sports professionals, lawyers, managers, consultants, you-name-it.)
Top performers’ challenge to climbing greater heights is two fold…
- Top performers may struggle to find assistance from people, more experienced or better than they, to teach or mentor them in their sales performance. And although I can mentor salespeople, that’s not the line I usually go down, apart from maybe suggesting the odd reframe. I don’t mentor so much; I coach.
Mentoring and coaching are completely different and require, by and large, different (but not mutually exclusive) mindsets: expert/directive/intellectual and non-expert/non-directive/emotional – respectively. Top people benefit more from the latter because….
- A step change upwards in performance, for them, is not so much an intellectual challenge. It’s emotional. These people are smart. If their challenge was purely intellectual, they would have figured out what to do differently already – and be doing it. What they require, to step up, is someone to help them bypass the emotional blocks (the deepest of which they are unaware of) with which they allow to hold themselves back.
Change is a journey that’s two parts emotional to one part intellectual.
I’ve spent the best part of the last 18 years working with top performers, in global organisations, to help them express how to be 30%+ more effective. They figure the ‘what’ to do differently, to be 30%+ more effective, for themselves as part of the coaching process. What I do is equip them with the emotional framework to go do it – for that is what they require.
[That’s my guarantee, by the way. If you do the coaching, and do all the work assigned on time, you will become 30%+ more effective at whatever you are focusing on.]
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
Aries, the hot head of the signs ruled by Mars, hosts the moon goddess, Selena, in her full glory, in the wee hours of tomorrow morning. Not only that, Selena is at her most powerful, bestowing influence from her closest proximity in her eliptic path around the earth.
Passions may well run high tonight, especially if you have your natal sun, moon or rising sign in Aries. The lust-re of Selena will reach its zenith. Tonight is a night for hot love, hot lust but beware you avoid making it a night for blood-lust, metaphorically and literally speaking.
Those of you who have Mars in a prominent position in your birth chart, may well experience his power. Those around you will be subject to this power. Be careful that you avoid falling foul of your false-ego’s lust for martian power. Over exertion will go beyond the outcome you seek – and cause harm.
Reflect over the last six months, since March. Which situations or relationships have arisen to make you angry, resentful, hurt or wounded. Whom do you blame or still carry a grudge toward? Now, at the time of the harvest moon, is time to let these feelings fall to earth. Cast them aside and reap the harvest within.
The Blood Moon specifically facilitates the opportunity to look within and seek the nature of the fear that attracted these situations and relationships. For that is their purpose, to awaken you to the fear (not-love) within.
This is the nature of duality. We know something is wet because its not dry. We know something is oblong because its not curved. We know love by knowing not-love.
And when we see through the murkiness of our fear, we see the light, the love, within. We see more of our true nature. We take a step closer to our purpose in life.
Selena’s gift, from her Blood Super Moon’s station, awaits.
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
Posted by Doctapaul in Affirmations, Astrology, Astronomy, Blog All, Coaching, Fun and Laughs, Healing, Life's Changes, Love, Mindfulness, Myths, Personal, Pitfalls I've Fallen Into, Quirky Ideas, Relationships, Self Development, Self Help, Soundbytes of Wisdom, Tip for the Day, Training & Development, Visions and Dreams on July 31, 2015
Take a big step back a look at the structure of, and emotions in, your life.
How have you developed over the last two weeks?
How have you developed over since January, this year?
Include yourself, in mind, body and spirit….
Emotionally, where or with whom have you received (a balance with) what you give?
Where are you giving too much? Do you do so out of duty, fear or love?
Where are you receiving more than you give? Do you do so out of pleasure or fear?
Take another step back. Look at the big picture in your life. Consider the consequences of your fears. This is a good time (When is it not?) to switch out all the decisions you are making in life out of fear.
Ask Billie Holiday! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LOB_I7sgoI
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
An extract from my forthcoming booklet (working title), The Threefold Death: the changes you make to approach inner wakefulness.
Of Spirit Force…
I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume, behind this force, the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
Max Planck, 1917
Image courtesy of Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestial Science
The future ‘dies’ when it meets the present – which ‘dies’ instantaneously into the past. There is plenty of evidence to prove what has happened in the past. Statisticians, economists and scientists gather evidence to project what will happen in the future. Despite all the evidence, the past no longer ‘is’ and future ‘is not’ yet present.
The only moment that truly ‘is’, is the present. Yet there is no evidence that the present tense exists – by this I mean, as close as scientists get to it, the present tense cannot be experienced through our five senses; it thus cannot be measured. What scientists measure instead is the before and after effects of ultra-micro interactions in time and space: for example, proton collisions, using the Hadron Collider in Switzerland. The Present Tense – which cannot be measured directly – is termed by scientists as a singularity point.
According to The Big Bang Theory, the universe started with such a singularity point. We can measure to within a zillionth of a second what happened after its inception, but we are not sure what banged – and the question of ‘why’, what-banged banged, transcends philosophical, religious, mystical, spiritual, and metaphysical domains.
The same holds true for black holes and dark matter. Scientists know of their existence because of the effect they have on things that can be observed and measured. Mathematical theory suggests that time and space collapse into nothing, a singularity point, at the centre of a black hole.
Time and space emanate from singularity points and ultimately return. And what fills that time and space (according to Planck and the ancients) is but a projection of the universal mind – of which you are an essential part. Through your mind you project thoughts, speak words and commit actions. And…
You are governed by The Laws of the Light and The Law of Consequences which, collectively, invoke dharma (Divine will) and karma (consequences).
The Laws of the Light:
When you commit to a journey, in line with your and others’ consciousness needs, at the right time and place, what you need will come your way.
The Law of Consequences:
What you project (do, say and think) out to the universe, returns to you amplified.
You attract, in/from the future, everything that is complete as well as incomplete in your approach to achieving your goals in life.
- Completion: When something within is complete; you do, say, think, and feel things borne of the heart – love, light, compassion, patience, enthusiasm, and curiosity. You will have The Laws of the Light with you.
- Incompletion: Unchecked, will invoke things you do, say and think not borne of the heart but instead borne of anger, shame, hurt, or fear.
I shall focus primarily on incompletions.
Should you learn and act appropriately from future’s gift (‘present’), you ‘complete your incompletion’. The incompletion unifies with its duality and thus is no longer perceivable by the mind. Zero projection by the mind means ‘it’ no longer exists in time and space. ‘It’, your completed incompletion, dies into the Present Tense, your true nature.
Should you ignore (or remain ignorant of) your incompletion, it travels unacknowledged into the past only to resurface again in (or back to) the future. Why? Because your mind is still projecting this incompletion through your thoughts, words and deeds.
The most common example, I know of, is the troublesome relationships that we invoke, time and time again. Relationships that keep repeating until we learn what we need to learn about ourselves and then ‘do’ something different in our approach. I have fallen foul of this as much as anyone I know.
Incompletions (recap: the inner things in me that attract the outer things I allow to make me feel angry, ashamed, hurt or fearful) keep being reborn in my life until I transcend to become my true nature – the love, light, truth and gnosis: the chokmah or wisdom of the I-am, the Je-suis, the Je-su(i)s within – as one of the standing stones in a circle at Stonehenge. This is my purpose in life.
Paul C Burr
Facebook: Beowulf (>15,000 followers)
(An extract from my booklet, Quick Guide VII – A Top-notch, Sales-Relationships, Account Management Template)
The matrix implies that you may have the opportunity to add value to your sales propositions. The nature of this value may be intellectual and/or emotional. Furthermore, if your customer values ‘you’ both intellectually and emotionally, you meet the basic criteria to form a partnership with your customer. If your customer neither values your intellect nor you/your-organisation as people – then your products and services are probably viewed as not much more than commodities.
Let’s look some more into each of the four quadrants in the Customer Value Orientation Matrix.
- Transactional: In this quadrant the individual client tends to place value for money upon the cost of the product and service quality they are buying and little or nothing more. In a commodity sale, given the minimum criteria of quality required, the client will make their decision typically on the lowest cost supplier. They attach neither emotional nor intellectual value on doing business with one vendor over another.
- Intellectual: Over and above product and service quality some clients will value a vendor’s intellectual property, i.e. their expertise, wisdom, data and/or whom they know.
Case Study: Intellectual Value – IT Directors’ Network
I once sold worldwide best-practice research to IT Directors as part of a private club subscription. Over and above the value of accessing millions of pounds (£UK) of research, at a small fraction of the cost, many members joined to meet their peers face-to-face. They met informally on a regular basis to discuss ‘hot topics’ of their own choice. Members would share insights into major IT management issues. If nothing more, members shared solace amongst themselves that they all struggled with the same management issues.
- Emotional: In the UK, themes such as ‘Buy British’ or ‘our Customer Support is based in the UK’ continue to carry favour with some clients.
I have sold millions of pounds (£UK) worth of contracts by asking the client if they would help me to make or overachieve my sales targets at year end. In each case, I had a very close and trusting relationship with the client. They were willing and happy to bring forward the business simply because I asked for it.
Case Study: Emotional Value – A Surprise and Wonderful Contract of Thanks
I led a sales and installation project of a huge network of Personal Computers (PCs) to facilitate a new customer service support system for a UK national corporate client. My organisation was awarded Phase 1 of a two phase project. I was told informally that Phase 2 would probably be awarded to a competitor whose product was some 40% cheaper.
The client valued my organisation’s technical know-how and I assembled a top support team to make sure that Phase 1 was commissioned on time and within budget. By the end of our contract, the customer was delighted.
I managed to persuade my management to keep the support team in place, even though our contract for Phase 1 had been fulfilled. I was determined to ensure the complete project was a success. Specifically, I did not attempt to negotiate anything in return for this ‘extra resource’ commitment.
Phase 2 got underway. About half way through and to my complete surprise, I was awarded a further £3M worth of unexpected business. The client-sponsor was “simply delighted” with my organisation’s commitment to the project overall regardless that a competitor was supposed to be supplying the hardware for Phase 2. This was the client-sponsor’s way of saying “thank you”.
- Partnership: When a client values doing business with you from both an intellectual and emotional basis, you have the potential to forge a partnership.
A business partnership is to all intensive purposes a marriage between your organisation and your client. You’ll sit together at a common ‘planning table’. Collectively you’ll form ‘one team’. You and your client’s organisation will ideally have a matching hierarchy of values.
The partnership will sustain when it is built on pillars of passion, resonance, security and creativity. The pillars are cemented in trust and as long as their bedrock is sound, pillars can crumble and be rebuilt.
I once engaged with a global apparel manufacturer to ‘measure’ the value its major retailer clients placed on the various products and services it offered. It sold prime marque products at premium prices. It was very successful but had a mismatch of values with one giant retailer in particular.
The retailer placed little or no value on the various add-on services the manufacturer provided, such as: local marketing campaigns, TV advertising, electronic tagging, in-store merchandising and so on. The retailer’s mentality was ‘stack-em-high, sell-em-cheap’; a complete contrast to prime-product retailing. The retailer was more interested in selling the manufacturer’s ‘bin-ends’ and ‘seconds’. And so a deal was eventually cut but the prospect of a partnership never came to fruition. The retailer’s view of all suppliers was totally Transactional .
For more information on forging and sustaining business relationship I refer you to two booklets from my series of Quick Guides to Business…
Good Selling & Shine on…!
Paul C Burr
Extract from How to Sell Coaching.
Coaching is not mentoring. Coaching is not consulting. Coaching is not training. Coaching is not therapy – but it’s probably more akin to therapy, and the term ‘therapy’ is still struggling to find a foothold in corporate cultures where problems are seen as weaknesses.
Coaching is about helping people to make breakthroughs to improve their business or personal performance. The ‘coachees’ might already be at the top of the ‘performance tree’, they may be struggling, or (like most people) somewhere in between.
My value proposition is hopefully clear and simple. “I will help people improve their performance by 30% or more in a matter of weeks, and in some cases, days.”
My definition of coaching, addresses the issues that inhibits clients from making breakthroughs. These issues are almost always emotional issues and not intellectual issues.
Case Study: Me and My Comfort Zones
In my early years in sales, by and large, I got on very well with clients’ operations managers. When I met or presented to a client’s more senior management, I would do my best to make sure I was structured and grounded my proposals in facts and data. Nonetheless, I often felt nervy and that came across in my body language and in the tonality of my voice. Senior clients would often think to themselves, “Paul does his ground work and thinks things through but he’s uncomfortable at this level. If I’m going to take his proposals up the line I’ll need to involve someone more senior from his company”.
*** End of case study ***
Coaching takes people outside their comfort zone in a safe and secure manner; so that a client is okay if things don’t work out the way they want, the first time around. It provides the client with tools to learn equally from successes and setbacks – especially in the domain of relationships. (For a guide to forging excellent business relationships I refer you to Quick Guide III: How to Bridge the Pillars of Successful Business Relationships.)
I have found that business, and life for that matter, is all about relationships, relationships, relationships.
When there is no-one with the power of veto to stop what you’re trying to achieve, including yourself, then you cannot fail. You succeed.
Mentoring or consulting, on the other hand implies that you are dealing with an expert; someone who has first-hand experience of new areas in your line of business; experience that you do not have. They might, for example, have studied world-class practice in a new business model in which you wish to engage. They will be capable of identifying the gaps between where you are now and where you wish to be. They will be able to customise a business model that meets your precise needs to fill those gaps. They will transfer skills over to you to fill those gaps, so that at some point in time you no longer feel dependent on their input.
The outcomes for both coaching and mentoring/consulting are the same, improved business performance and improved personal skills. Both get you to do things differently, whether those things are old or new. But the processes of achieving improved business performance are different and often complimentary. Coaching primarily addresses the emotional journey (which is still often overlooked) involved in change, whereas consulting/mentoring primarily addresses its intellectual journey.
The two categories, coaching and consulting/mentoring, require different mindsets: non-expert and expert. The two categories each require a different approach as well, directive and non-directive. I’ll explain what I mean by ‘non-expert’ and ‘non-directive’ through the following case study and later, when I define what coaching is and is not, to a prospective client.
Case Study – Top 5 Global IT Firm, Managers as Coaches
I coached a European team of managers who were already equipped with/‘trained-in’ an oft used coaching technique (GROW: Goal, Reality, Options and Way forward). BUT, they were not equipped to help their salespeople ‘grow’ their performance by more than a few percentage points. Going for, say, 30% growth requires a much more profound approach.
It involves taking people though a structured process outside their comfort zone to do some things very differently, often things that in the past, have anxiety associated with them. This level of coaching is not a competence that coaches will pick up in a two/three day training course. It requires that they experience passing though their own anxiety barriers – so that they understand more fully the emotional journey that they’ll subsequently be coaching others through – by taking their own ‘medicine’ first.
Here are testimonies from the sales managers I coached, about what it’s like to be coached and subsequently coach people to increase their sales by over 30%. Some refer to specific tools and techniques which they hadn’t received in their conventional ‘coaching-training’.
Coaching requires a completely different mindset. When I use it the process gets an A* for managing poor performers.
Coaching isn’t an individual session; it takes place over a period of time to get to a solution. Using ‘2nd position’ (how to stand in another person’s shoes) has helped enormously. It’s made me face some of my own demons.
I took the material and applied it rigorously to coaching X. The meeting wasn’t easy! I faced my demons and got on with it. It’s not there yet but the mountain has moved.
I’ve used the ‘Success and Setback Analyses’. (Two tools that, respectively, ‘paint’ both sides of the boundary of, or limits to, the success we create for ourselves.) I’ve overcome my shyness… I feel I’ve moved out of my comfort zone.
I am more rigorous in the ‘Analytical and Process Quadrants’ (a ‘thinking preferences’ analytical tool) and it’s paid off.
I took away the ‘Being at my peak’ tool from our session and used it – it’s brilliant.
The ‘Being at my peak’ tool helps me synchronise with people.
I am more effective in how I use my time and am more prepared for important meetings.
First two sessions were particularly useful. I would not have gotten through that month without the self management tool.
When I do follow the coaching process it works and it fails (I fail???) when I don’t.
This team of sales managers, in a Top 5 Global IT Company, went on to receive an award for being the top performing sales branch across Europe within six months of participating in this endeavour.
*** End of case study ***
Note that, in the case study above, the managers focused on taking themselves (and thus learn how to lead others to do the same) outside their comfort zones. In the subsequent coaching of their people, the managers specifically did not focus on directing their coachees what to do – even though previously, the managers all had successful careers in sales. Instead, the managers coached their direct reports to explore the space beyond their ‘boundaries of current success’.
In a nutshell…
- Coaching implies a non-expert and non-directive approach.
- Consulting/mentoring implies an expert and directive approach.