Workshops & Events

Transforming Limiting Beliefs about Money

Money can feel like a taboo topic. We get so many stressful and confusing family and cultural messages in our lives that create underlying limiting beliefs and associated behaviours that cause even more stress or keep us stuck.  Often we are not even aware of the beliefs that form our hidden operating system that connects so deeply to our sense of worth, identity, safety and survival.  Without being aware of our own beliefs and thinking patterns, it is impossible to make lasting change and align our financial lives with our values and conscious choices.

I used to take months to do my taxes. It was a very stressful time and every day taxes were on my mind. I would think "I should be doing them", "they should be done by now", "it is too confusing", "something bad is going to happen".  One day,  I overheard my 8 year old daughter earnestly telling someone, “taxes are very important and very stressful for adults.  When it is tax time you can’t eat dinner at the table for a long time because that is where all the papers live, and it makes the adults very sad and grumpy.”  It was shocking for me to hear this from her perspective and see what a knot I had myself in and what it was costing me.

It was a good wake up call, and I turned to my practice of The Work to look at the limiting beliefs and fears that were running me. It was powerful, surprising, and profoundly helpful. When I look back now I can’t even figure out what I was doing all those hours, days and weeks. A stressful mind can sure drain time and energy, and block clear thinking.

As a coach working with hundreds of clients over many years, the issue of money often arises in my work with people from all walks of life - whether young or old, ‘rich’ or ‘poor’. 

Stress, suffering and negative patterns around having, managing, and talking about money can cause havoc in our lives and take a lot of time and energy, and limit our choices. It is good news that much of this comes from our thinking because it means you can build a better relationship with money, and yourself, in all of these areas by exploring those often buried beliefs.

Our stuck patterns around money are complex. They don’t usually shift by just deciding to do things differently. There is a lot of professional advice and resources out there to teach us to manage money, and many people have noticed that the best laid plans can be quickly overridden by the power of unquestioned fears and beliefs and the behaviours that come with them. The Work gives us a way to gain more awareness of our own beliefs, and tools to engage and shift what is stuck or limiting.

Free of our limiting and stressful patterns of reaction and avoidance, and more connected to our own wisdom and values, we can also make effective use of financial planners, systems for organizing our money and books that give practical advice.

If you would like to explore your limiting and stressful patterns around money - join me in this 6 week engaging web-class where you will learn the powerful tool of The Work and have the opportunity to illuminate and inquire into your own money stories.

How Do We Really Let Go?

For many of us we know (at least intellectually) that we would be happier, more connected and peaceful if we met life with an open mind and heart, if we let go of our painful and judgment thoughts, if we are present in the moment rather than dwelling on the past or fearing the future. We are inspired by books that point to this wisdom, and then often when it comes to the most challenging areas of our lives – our relationships, our kids, sickness, loss (or even sometimes that person we don’t even know who cuts us off in traffic) – we find ourselves caught in stressful thinking and reaction, and unable to genuinely let go and be present.

Fear, judgment, blame and attachment override our positive intentions, creating cycles of thinking and reacting that disconnect us from our own wisdom and compassion for others and ourselves. When we act from this thinking we create even more stressful outcomes and find ourselves stuck in patterns we can’t figure our way out of. The Work of Byron Katie is a powerful and accessible self-inquiry practice that gives us a way to identify and transform the thoughts and beliefs that cause suffering and keep us stuck. As a practice on its own or as a companion to meditation, yoga, journaling or other modalities, it can help cultivate a deep self-awareness and shift limiting beliefs and patterns that we may have carried for years or even a lifetime.

The Work gives us a way to deeply engage our own thinking, accessing powerful learning and insights, tapping into our own wisdom and opening space for new possibility, often in ways we are unable to see from our current thinking.

How do we find presence where we have lost it? Or ‘let go’ when we are so caught in our own thinking and reactions? The Work gives us a “how” that we can access for ourselves. Eckhart Tolle refers to The Work as a “laser sharp sword that cuts through illusion and enables you to know for yourself the timeless essence of your being.” After 16 years of deep practice I continue to be astonished by the profound insights and change I both experience and witness using these simple yet powerful questions to inquire.

I am excited to return to Hollyhock on Cortes Island from September 7th to 11th for a 4-day deep dive: Transforming Limiting Beliefs with The Work for participants of all experience levels. Held in natural beauty, fed amazing meals and with space to reflect, meditate, walk, paddle and have bodywork sessions, it is a perfect space for nourishing yourself and transforming what holds you back from full presence in your life, relationships and work.

“I don’t let go of my thoughts. I meet them with understanding and they let go of me.” – Byron Katie, Bestselling Author of “Loving What Is” and founder of The Work.


Transforming Limiting Beliefs with The Work: A deep dive at Hollyhock, September 7th-11th 2016


(first published in Hollyhock Life)

FAILING our way to the possibility of something new

In order to really explore and create something new in our lives or work, we need to step out of certainty, try something different and take some risks sometimes. Not a lot of growth happens if we only do exactly what we have always done, or only step into things we can guarantee will 'succeed.' This is true in our work in the world, for innovation process (where I sometimes bring this Work), and also in many areas of life and relationship.

In recent leadership training sessions and in my web-class in The Work@work, we have been spending time noticing all the places our thinking about failure causes suffering, keeps us stuck and limits us in both our professional and personal context. The more we inquire into 'failure' the more I am stunned by how deeply it runs and how limiting it can be. In a recent session, participants were noticing strong physical reactions as we started to really look at our failure stories, some of which are decades old. Powerful stuff. And good to have a way to work with it effectively and compassionately because these stories can stay with us for a long time. They don't just go away, even if we bury them they continue to inform our choices, actions and feelings until we get them clear.

We know sayings like “trial and error” is a way to learn, and many of us know about 're-framing' our failures or putting a positive spin on them. But in a culture so heavily focused on success and getting things 'right', most of us experience stressful responses to failing, carry painful stories of failure that can drag us down and can even be immobilizing. We also often find ourselves trying to avoid situations where we might fail, which can have a very limiting effect on our lives and work. It turns out the category of places we could fail can encompass just about everything.

The beliefs and stories we hold about 'failure' when it happens (the meaning we add) has a powerful impact on our experience of our own failures, and also how we are able to respond when others 'fail' – whether they are our children, our partners, our team members, our employees or our leaders.

Common patterns that flow from unquestioned (and often unconscious) limiting beliefs about failure include blaming others (or ourselves, or back and forth between both), withdrawing, giving up, excessive thinking to try to 'figure it out', avoidance of similar situations, numbing, procrastination, depression, addictions, fear of loss.. and many more stressful responses.

When these patterns of fearful thinking and stress kick in it also effects the chemistry in our body and our brain function as we shift to the a physiological fear based response. This can reduce our learning capacity and big picture and creative thinking, which is usually just what we need when we are wanting to step up into something new.

If we want to gain the benefit of our failures – and be able to genuinely process them, learn and move forward, it is helpful to use The Work to inquire into our own thinking about failure: our past failures, other people's failures, and our underlying concepts about what failure is and what it means to fail.

The Work gives us a way to directly engage the thinking that gets us stuck in the stressful response to failing or anticipating failure. To open our mind back up in the face of trying something new, and to open our mind up to learning and growth (and possibly also the less visible successes) when things do go the way we wanted them to or thought that they should.

How do you react? What happens when you believe that something you did was a failure?  When you are afraid you will fail? Or when you believe someone else failed? You can identify your thoughts and take them through the 4 questions and turnarounds of The Work, access the learning, shift your own patters, take whatever responsibility you need to, and find freedom from this life limiting concept of both “failure” and “success”.  

Trial and error comes with error, and the depth of learning we need now comes from both success and failure, from building our capacity for each, and also our ability to think outside of of the limiting duality of both. Doing The Work isn't just re-framing the thought, it is a way deeply shift your thinking patterns and open your mind to new ways of thinking and being.

Transforming Limiting Beliefs - The WORK in Estonia

I had the privilege and pleasure of offering a 3 day deep dive retreat in Estonia this summer working with an amazing group of people - many from Estonia, and other travelling from Lithuania, Sweden and France. It is so powerful when we have the opportunity of a retreat to really take the time to host ourselves with good practice, food, rest and company of others on the journey, and also gives the time and space to become aware of, and begin to work with, the deeper patterns that underly the places we get stuck. Thanks to my amazing Estonian hosts Piret Jeedas and Kati Orav and all who showed up with such curiosity, courage and friendship.

Beyond the Basics in Europe

Hosting ourselves, each other, our work in the world

I was invited by some amazing European colleagues and had the privilege of co-hosting a 3 day intensive training with 95 leaders and change-makers from more than 17 European countries this July. As always, it is as much an opportunity for me to learn and meet amazing people as share some of my offerings.

Alongside great conversation, explorations of complexity, power, approaches to working on challenging, complex problems over the long term, we took a morning to dive into the crucial area of hosting ourselves in the form of working with our own stuck places, fears and patterns.

In order to be able to fully step into the challenges we are facing - both the large scale, deeply complex issues like transforming our financial system, or poverty, or racism...and the seemingly smaller but sometimes also challenging areas of how we collaborate and work through our differences in our teams, families and communities - we need rigorous and compassionate personal practice to allow us not just to move through the places we get triggered or stuck, but to actually fully engage the learning that is available at that threshold.

It is always a powerful experience to sit in a circle of our colleagues and make visible the often hidden territory of our own shadowed thinking, and to hear the patterns and shared places we get stuck. It is a first, valuable step in bringing these patterns to light where we can work with them - individually and collectively. Noticing the patterns of belief about our own value or our own capacity to show up and do the work (“I don’t have enough experience”); our judgements and assumptions about other people or groups of people (“They don’t get it” “They can’t be trusted”); our fears of what will happen (“it will fail” “I will lose my job” “people will get hurt”), and also the big fears that can immobilize us (“it is too late” “the problems are too big”.)

And it is not enough just to see and hear the beliefs and patterns that are holding us back. We need to engage deeply and skillfully with them so that we can learn what we need to learn for our own evolution, and to allow for the evolution of our work in the world to come from new ways of thinking.

Ongoing good work to be doing together. And a powerful, wonderful and engaging 3 days with our European colleagues and friends at Art of Hosting, Beyond the Basics Europe.