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Fail – Forward – Fast! Celebrating a 21-Day accomplishment

This is the last post as part of a 21-Day challenge I’ve been participating in recently.  Fail – Forward – Fast!  Celebrating a 21-Day accomplishment…even if nobody is noticing or listening which has been my impression of my “publishing results.” 

More than anything else, this 21-day journey prompted me to confront some serious questions.  The biggest one, with which I’m still wrestling is “What do I want?”  That simple question has many, many layers of answers as it slices across many (most?  ALL?) areas of my life with its simplicity and stealth.   

On this 21-day journey I’ve been able to (forced to?) visit and participate in creating and doing some things (like making Tap-Along videos) that I told myself that I wanted to do as part of my business. 

I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to a bunch of quality people who are now new connections on LinkedIn.  I’ve been reaching out to connect with a message that included content something like, “I’m a former engineer turned mental health counselor.  I focus on helping Veterans & Responders reduce the impact of trauma they’ve encountered so that they, & their families, can live a better, happier life.”  

That “focus” is an aspirational one.  I’ve worked with a couple of Veterans and was able to help one in particular with the specific No-Reveal Trauma Technique™ that I’ve developed.  That was pre-COVID.  I’m looking forward to working with Responders.

At least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.  My drive, determination, and energy has waned over the last couple months as I’ve been pushing (too) hard to stay focused and make progress.  I’m looking forward to taking a break.  I think that’ll probably start with some changes that I anticipate are coming in a few days on the 26th.  Life has definitely been out of balance, and definitely not in a sustainable or healthy way. 

I need to step back and dig into that “What do I want?” question more deeply.

Life has shifted on several fronts recently.  The last roommate I had has moved out of my “other house” so now I can “reclaim all of my space” and start consciously building my life and arranging my space without any consideration given to “the others” since there is now only my cat, Little One.  She has been the only “friend” I’ve had access to on a daily basis for the last few years. 

Pretty much everyone else has fallen away.  Some of then have followed their political views off into the weeds and I’ve actively chosen not to follow them, but to rather let the connection fall away on its own.

This creates space for me to figure out who I am, what I want, what I want to “do” if I want to “do” anything. 

On one hand, some would say “I have a moral obligation” to use the gifts I’ve been given to help others.  I certainly used to feel that way.  I’m not so sure anymore.  I think part of me has lost faith in humanity after the damage done by the divisiveness of the political situation here in the US over much of the last presidential political cycle.  Bad behavior used to be unacceptable.  It was the norm for a while.  It seems like we are moving away from it again, which is a good thing.  Being nice to people is a value I respect.  I’m hoping more people will be embracing that again soon.

What I’ve been telling myself for the last 5-ish years is that I’d like to do a formal scientific study of the efficacy of both of the Tapping interventions I’ve created – 10xTapping™ and The No-Reveal Trauma Technique™.  AFTER taking some time off, I think I will probably start moving in that direction.  The other part of that overall plan is to write up the theoretical orientation framework upon which both of those interventions are based.  I’m tentatively calling it Emotional Charge Focused Therapy™, or ECFT™  I think that framework may end up published as a book as well.

There is a part of me that thinks (wonders?) if ECFT could be a disruptive force in the mental health world because that theoretical orientation framework explains the mechanism and underpinnings of how and why traumatic experiences drive behaviors.  It could be very disruptive in the world of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy because it will show the fundamental error upon which that entire field of therapy is built, and why it gets such poor result, in particular with trauma, especially when compared with Tapping interventions for trauma.

I’m tired.  It’s late.  I’m discouraged.  The good news is that I don’t have to make any decisions tonight beyond when this post is “finished” so I can publish it as the 21st post for the 21-day challenge…which is now complete!

Discerning my “Ideal Client”

The myths and lies we tell ourselves affect us in many more ways than initially meet the eye.  The process of discerning my Ideal Client has pointed some of those out to me along the way.

The biggest take-away I’ve gleaned from this journey is that >> I << am the only one who matters in this equation!  Not from an egotistical standpoint but from a quality of delivery standpoint.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been exploring this topic and there were two pillars that really stood out as significant in my journey.  First, in my master’s program for Clinical Mental Health they made it abundantly clear that we “must” agree to work with “any” client unless we were not competent to do so. 

For example, in addition to the basic Counseling training we all received, I have picked up some additional training along the way in order to increase my competence in the area of addressing Trauma and  PTSD specifically.  My 20 years of experience with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT or Tapping) has certainly added to that competence as has other “healing modality” trainings I’ve had over the years. 

The Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy training class clearly showed me why I DO NOT want to use those techniques with clients when I have much faster, gentler, and more effective interventions available to me like EFT.  As much as any class in my master’s program, that one showed me how screwed up and buried in accepting poor results as the norm the Mental Health Industry actually is right now.  There are some bright spots, but overall, it is my opinion that traditional mental health therapy is relatively ineffective when compared to what it could be by adopting newer, and “more modern” approaches and interventions. 

When it comes to helping people to heal from traumatic experiences Clinical Emotional Freedom Techniques (Clinical EFT) is among the most effective at providing rapid relief for clients.  EMDR is another trauma relief therapy that appears to be quite effective.  I am not (currently) trained in EMDR.  I worked with a therapist to try out EMDR as a client and wasn’t particularly impressed…likely because I didn’t have any traumatic content to address through EMDR.  So, I don’t hold my experience “against it” so to speak.

While I understand that as a licensed mental health counselor, my industry expected ethics says that I need to work with anyone I’m competent to work with. What I know is that I do MUCH better work in my areas of specialty, and interest.  I also work much better with clients with whom I “resonate.”  However, as I understand the ethical considerations, “not resonating” is not a sufficient reason to suggest a client move to a different therapist.

This is one of the considerations which is leading me to strongly consider shifting from putting myself out there as a Licensed Mental Health Therapist, to working as a Coach.  

There are several advantages to working as a “coach” rather than a Licensed Therapist.  First, since coaching isn’t a (state) licensed profession, I can work with anyone, not just people in Washington State.  Second, >> I << get to choose which clients I want to work with without running amok of any counseling industry ethical considerations. 

This is particularly attractive to me in this post-trump era.  Unfortunately, I’ve watched some of my friends who were “mildly republican” as far as I can tell, become full on conspiracy theorists and bigots, who have abandoned common decency in favor of “because it benefits me more this way, even if it means that I’m lying, and I admit that I hope I don’t get caught.”

I’ve also run into more very vocal, uneducated, and down-right science ignorant people who are espousing conspiracy theory crap that is blatantly false to anyone who has a science background or a college degree that included ANY level of critical thinking training.  They aren’t worth bothering with and attempting to bring back to the world of science and facts.

Those are the kind of people I don’t want to associate with or work with in a professional capacity, let alone a therapeutic capacity. I seriously wonder if many (most?) of them CAN be helped, or if they are so far down that path that it’s unlikely they will be able to return. In any case, I’m not interested in working with them, voluntarily, or by “ethical force.”

My ideal client is a college graduate, has accumulated sufficient wealth and income to pay me very well for my services, and is a “non-republican,” who does not believe in conspiracy theories, and does not support the general “bad behavior” which as become far too acceptable in the USA today.

That is why I will very likely be moving away from “licensed counseling” and toward coaching my ideal client using many of the things I’ve learned and used as a counselor.  I’m going to need to clearly understand where “counseling” ends, and “coaching” begins from a state license and regulation perspective.  I have no desire to run amok…any more than I possibly already have by publishing this opinion piece.

You’re welcome to leave a comment below. They are moderated and must be approved before they are displayed. I’m going to be reading each one before approving them. In reality, I doubt that this will be an issue because no one has left a comment yet in the last 20 days of this 21-day publishing challenge. Yup, not even a spam comment wanting to sell you viagra!

(BTW, I did choose not to publish some of what I’d written for this post. While it was great to get it “all out on to paper” so that I could vomit the ranting that has been pent up inside of me about some things, cooler heads prevailed and those rantings haven’t been shared. I’m tired. I haven’t proof read this. It is what it is. I’m done with it for now.)

Understanding the context makes all the difference…

For some, success can accurately be described as getting out of bed in the morning.  For others success is the decision to try again tomorrow

Accomplishment, when viewed from the outside, and without context, is virtually meaningless.

The gap between success and failure isn’t motivation but context.

This is my 19th consecutive daily post as part of the 21-day publication challenge for 2CCX.  On one hand that is a significant accomplishment.  I’ve posted 19 times and I know I can post twice more to reach the goal.  I’ve made a number of Tap-along videos to go with those posts as well.  Not every post, but many of them have videos. 

It’s been a struggle to continue to walk toward the “finish line” as I feel like this will kind of be a hollow victory.  I chose to engage in this 21-Day challenge for a couple of reasons.  First, the possibility of receiving some cool SWAG.  I’m not sure if I will actually receive it, especially with some changes that I know are coming, but having that possible “reward” was motivating.  The other reason was an internal challenge to myself to see if I have the stick-to-it-ivness to complete the journey to 21 days, especially as the certainty of the changes that are coming moved from a thought, to a possibility, to a decision, and an inevitability.  

I “kind of cheated” with this publication challenge, and I did that on purpose.   I knew I wasn’t ready to fully participate in publishing content that would be potentially seen by a wide audience and would “live on” for a long time.  I haven’t figures out enough of the details of my business “firmly enough” to know that putting the “intended challenge content” out there would not be a mistake.  So I decided to play along with a change from publishing on Medium.com to publishing on one of my websites.  That choice allowed me to participate in a useful way, and yet not get myself “wrapped around the axel” of having to produce REALLY good content of which I would be proud because of both the content, and the fact that I published it 21 days in a row.  I knew that bar was impossibly high because I haven’t even finished Module 2, and the Publishing content was in Module 3 (as I recall.)

So while on one hand I “failed” to meet the original intent of the 21 Day Publishing Challenge as defined by the curriculum.  On the other hand, this was a wild success in that I have not quit before making it to the finish line, even though I know that the content that I’m publishing really won’t matter when it comes to building my business. 

Where have you “participated with your own rules” in order to participate in something larger?  That idea is built in to thinks like 5K Run/Walk events.  Why not 21-Day publishing challenges? 

Do you think I “cheated”?  Leave a comment below. 

Who’s got your back?

That’s a really tough question to face for lots of people.  Unfortunately, being married doesn’t seem to help. 

Who’s got your back?

55% said nobody.

…60% of those were married.

Unfortunately, I was definitely in that 60% when I was married, and I’m still in the 55%.  The up-side is that I’ve become more self-sufficient and self-reliant over the years.  The down-side is that I’ve definitely become much more isolated, and while the pandemic definitely accelerated it, it was an existing trend. 

In another week I’ll be getting my second Fauci ouchie and a few weeks after that I’ll consider myself “protected” to a higher degree than before.  I’ll still be doing my part with social distancing, but I will be much less  concerned in general, and only mildly concerned when I’m around groups of others who are fully vaccinated. 

I’m hoping that some of the MeetUp groups I was a part of a few years ago will be starting back up and full of fully vaccinated people to socialize with again.  At a minimum, the seasons are changing, and better weather means more opportunities to enjoy the out of doors.  

Only time will tell how things unfold over the next year or two, but I’m hopeful that the worst of it is behind us, at least locally, and in-person social opportunities will become the norm again.  I’ve never had “enough friends” and I’d really like to start collecting  a whole bunch of them to enjoy interacting with over the next decades.

Informal survey: Who has your back?
Leave your answer in a comment below…

Just-in-case vs. Just-in-time learning

The difference between those two really hit home for me today.  I’ve been doing a LOT of Just-in-case learning over the years.  I’ve collected LOTS of information, and information products that “I might need SOMEDAY” and still haven’t needed yet! 

I’m going to attempt to be more focused on discerning what I actually need to learn how to do rather than simply gathering yet more information.

Danny Iny completed his LIFT event today and I was one of the virtual attendees.  Danny has a very poignant saying that he has printed on both Mugs and Shirts that he sent to us: “Life is Short.  Do stuff that matters.”

“Life is Short. Do stuff that matters.”

Danny iny

I need to do more things that matter to ME, especially that matter to me right now, rather than hoping that the outcomes that I might be able to produce someday will matter to me then.  I’ve been way too future and someday focused.  I’m 60 now.  I am very likely in the last third of my life if not the last quarter or fifth of my life.  We never know when our time will be up. 

I joke about how when my dad passed at 88 years old, I took over his life’s ambition – To be shot at the age of 101, by a jealous husband, as I’m climbing out the bedroom window!  While that may get a chuckle out of some people (and an eye roll from others) I go on to say that… If I make it to 101 I’m doing well, If I can make a husband jealous at 101 I’m doing great, and if I can climb out of a bedroom window at 101 I’m doing fantastic!  Then I go on to point out that I said “shot” not “shot and killed!” with a glimmer in my eye.

What’s your “life’s ambition?” Please share in the comments below!

A Universal Truth

I was watching a presentation today and Danny Iny shared a quote that really landed for me as a Universal Truth: “There is no situation that is so bad that you can’t make it worse by overreacting!” I believe this may be an extension to the original quote from Astronaut Chris Hadfield was about dealing with things in space that may not have included the overreacting part. 

“There is no situation that is so bad that you can’t make it worse by overreacting!”

Paraphrase of Astronaut Chris Hadfield

That quote is reminding me that there is wisdom in thinking through and exploring our choices, options, and possibilities – both good and bad – when it comes to the outcomes of making choices.  I’ve made some preliminary choices that are leading me down a path that will significantly change how and where I’m investing my time and money in the short term.  Life presented me with some great opportunities, and I’ve taken advantage of a particular situation that has provided significant benefit and possibilities.  What it didn’t present was a clear answer to some very important questions like, “Is this the right path for me to continue on, right now?”  It provided me with some very valuable knowledge and reconnected me with some experiences upon which I can rely as I move forward.  The direction of movement and the ultimate goal of that movement is still up for debate, unfortunately.  I had hoped that I’d have a clearer answer, and in a way, I do – this isn’t for me right now.

My twisted sense of humor has combined a couple of adages that make me smile.  The result is, “You can run over squirrels with a parked car!”  This twist combines the idea that you will make more progress toward your destination if you ignore all of the “bright shiny objects” or “Squirrels” if you happen to be a dog, plus the idea that you can’t steer a parked car.

The bottom line is another universal truth: If you are going to expect to end up at your desired destination, it will take maintaining your focus on moving toward that destination, by ignoring the distractions, while continuing to course-correct through the inevitable twists and turns that are a part of any journey.

I still like my twisted version better!  What Squirrels have you “run-over” lately on your journey?  Please leave your answer in a comment below! 

Ch…Ch…Ch…Changes…

I’ve been feeling that sense of unrest that sometimes proceeds breakdowns and/or breakthroughs.  I’m pretty sure now that breakthrough are coming, even if I’m not exactly sure what kind they will be.

I have a Louise Hay daily calendar and for today it says, “Today I feel reborn. I am free from the past, and I joyously welcome the new.”  I also ran into an awesome post on LinkedIn that was gone when I re-visited that tab in my browser.  It had a similar message about change and good things coming. (Note To Self: ALWAYS at least Like the post so it will show up in your LinkedIn feed and you can find it again!)

Today I feel reborn. I am free from the past, and I joyously welcome the new.

Louise Hay daily calendar April 15, 2021

I’m also participating in Danny Iny’s 3-day virtual LIFT program that started today.  I had a free coaching session with a wonderful woman named Kristin Vesa.  We have a surprising amount in common, which really helped her to understand where I was coming from during the coaching call.  She used to be an Industrial Engineer, while I used to be an Electrical Engineer, and as she said no one never REALLY stops being an engineer, our focus just changes, as do the problems we’re solving!  She did a great job of listening to the challenges and opportunities I have in front of me right now and gave me some very intuitive and great advice that will definitely help me move forward with my bigger picture objectives.  I hope I have an opportunity to build a friendship with her and plan to stay in touch even if I don’t join Danny’s coaching program…which I kind of doubt I will right now.

So that’s it for me today.  I would appreciate it if you would leave a comment belowWhat changes to you foresee in your near (or long term) future?