>Inspiring Your Authentic Week

> Seven Stages of Authenticity h1 a:hover {background-color:#888;color:#fff ! important;} div#emailbody table#itemcontentlist tr td div ul { list-style-type:square; padding-left:1em; } div#emailbody table#itemcontentlist tr td div blockquote { padding-left:6px; border-left: 6px solid #dadada; margin-left:1em; } div#emailbody table#itemcontentlist tr td div li { margin-bottom:1em; margin-left:1em; } table#itemcontentlist tr td a:link, table#itemcontentlist tr td a:visited, table#itemcontentlist tr td a:active { color:#000099; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; } img {border:none;}

Inspiring Your Authentic Week

How to get what you really want

Posted: 03 Sep 2007 04:16 AM CDT

The first challenge is to actually be sure of what you really want.  

Most of us are pretty confused about what we really want.  There are a multitude of forces at work – marketing, what we think significant people want for us, our own fears and addictions and what we actually want.

Billions are spent to persuade us that we want the latest car, gadget, perfume, fashion whatever.  Even if we studiously avoid TV, we will still be assailed by posters, print ads, junk mail, internet advert and more.  We may think we are able to filter out the junk but we are unlikely to remain unaffected by it all.

The influence of what we think other people think is also amazingly strong.  Sometimes this is particular people, especially parents, but also a sort of amorphous “them” or “normality” that we often subscribe to.  The flaw in this process is that we seldom actually know what these people want for us (even people we could ask), but this does not stop us projecting our perception of their fears, desires and addictions onto ourselves.

You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.
  – Olin Miller

Our fears, particularly around money, often encourage us to pre edit what we believe to be possible and therefore worth wanting.  So we actually avoid wanting what we really want because we perceive it to be impossible and would prefer to avoid the pain and disappointment of not getting it.  Of course this does not actually prevent us from feeling the pain and disappointment of not getting it.

Paradoxically our addiction to the anesthetics we use to numb out the pain of living a life that is not truly what we desire also holds us back from having our true desires.  Very often we create a life for ourselves that just about keeps the discomfort at bay, rather than seeking a life that is truly comfortable.  A bit like lying still on a bed of nails, because you know it hurts to move and not making the move to get off the bed of nails and find a nice comfy mattress.

The key to overcoming these forces is to listen to our heart, understand it, trust it and allow ourselves to be guided by it.  Our heart makes it’s views known through our intuition and communicates with us through our feelings.  

All of the emotions that we feel are communications from our heart.

The challenge is that, in our confused society, many of us were brought up in a way that taught us not to trust our feelings and to override our emotions, so we find it hard to now follow their messages.

To learn to trust and be guided by our emotions we must first sit with them and experience them without moving to dilute or mask them.  Next time you feel that tension, or that fear, or that joy explore it, observe it, engage with it, live it, ask it what it is saying and trust the answer.

Once we can be guided by our intuition we are ready for the next step in getting what we truly want.  When you can identify something you truly want, be it a loving relationship with a particular person, a particular way to make a living, a particular environment to live in, whatever it might be.  We must commit to that path.

Commitment means we are irrevocable, fearless, relentless, tenacious and yet we are also open to learning, changes and opportunity.  Commit to it openly and publicly, initially only with those you trust to be supportive until you have the clarity and the confidence to communicate more widely.  Once the commitment is made the plan and all that is necessary for accomplishment will become available and accessible.  

There will be further challenges and tests of your commitment, but if you are true in your desire you will reach your goal.

For a more detailed manual of personal transformation read Seven Stages of Authenticity – I had a text message from a reader last week which said “Reading 7 Stages again – had to tell you how inspirational it still is and how my life has changed because of it”  Get your copy www.sevenstages.net

Or come to Authentic Transformation Works a three day course designed specifically to help you to live the life you love.  www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

Or we could just have a chat on the phone and see what the best way forward is for you, whether it is one to one coaching or a course.  I had an e-mail from a coaching client recently who said “I’m delighted with the progress we made in our first session together. I’ve been going over my notes, digesting the information, making more notes, writing down ideas, I can’t stop thinking about it! I feel truly inspired. Thank you.”  Just reply to this e-mail and we can book a time for a chat.  No cost, no commitment.  For more of an idea about how the coaching works see www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/coaching.html

However you do it, do it.  You can compromise and you can settle, just never, ever settle for compromise.  

As soon as enough of us are truly living the life we love we will find that we are living in a peaceful and sustainable society.  So if you are not prepared to transform your life for your own sake – then please do it for the rest of us 😉  And please send this message to every one you know so that they can live the life they love too.

Have your say www.authenticinspiration.co.uk

Big love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

“Fear leads to hate
Hate leads to anger
Anger leads to suffering”
 
– Yoda

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Judgement and Acceptance

Posted: 28 Aug 2007 04:53 AM CDT

The most powerful of our conditioning messages are in fact the ones we barely notice.  The reason we barely notice them is because there is no contrast with which to see it.  

MC Escher (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mc_escher) is famous for his monochromatic drawings of impossible scenes, but his deeper study was of how white cannot exist without black.  How contrast is required to make things visible.

For example many people live their lives being chronically de hydrated, and say that they do not feel thirsty.  The reason they do not feel thirsty is because they have never been fully hydrated, they have never not felt thirsty.  There is no contrast so the dehydration appears to normal.

Enculturation is the process by which we learn the messages of the culture we are brought up in.  These messages are often subtle and usually totally pervasive.  They influence and affect our lives in so many ways and yet, because there is no contrast, we don’t even know that they are there.  Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is a fantastic book to turn your enculturation on it’s head.

Some of these messages are deliberate propaganda of the age.  Some are legacies of from previous generations and some are just habits of a community or society.

One of these messages, in our society, is the message of judgement.  That some people and ways of doing things are good and right, and other people and ways of doing things are bad and wrong.  The basic message is one of “us” our; tribe, nation, club, religion, political group and “them” their; tribe, nation etc.  This message of “good” and “evil”, of judgement, has been used to justify some of the most heinous acts history has known, and yet we persist with it at all levels of society.

Even though it is not usually visible there is an alternative to judgement.  Acceptance is the alternative.  If we can let go of our attachment to judgement we can learn to accept.  For me the first step on this path is the belief that, with the exception of a few genuine psychopaths, we are all born good.  That we are all here to contribute to society, to the environment and to evolution. 

Once we can accept this we can see that any damaging behaviour that occurs is the result of confusion often  created by the sort of conditioning that leads us to believe in judgement.  We can see that “different” is not better or worse, just different.

We can then go further and see that we are all one.  We are all on the same side, the same team.  We are all dependent for our success, survival and development on everyone else.  Whoever and wherever they are.  Whatever they believe in and however they behave.

The solution to behaviours we find frightening and damaging is not confrontation, it is collaboration.  

This is not to say that we must acquiesce to challenges, or not stand up for ourselves, but that once we have shown that we feel strongly about something and will not just be pushed around we have to move as quickly as we can to collaboration if we want a positive outcome

Make your personal breakthrough at Authentic Transformation Works – live the life you love – http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

Authentic Transformation Works helps you to:
Know who you truly are and be it
• Articulate your purpose
• Say your deepest truth
• Take responsibility for your feelings
• Shift relationships 
• Find a meaningful way to make a living
• Move from fear to love
• Connect with others on similar journeys
• Experience transcendent beauty
• Shift your personal, lifestyle, relationship and social selves 

Find your way to inspire authenticity in others at Authentic Transformation Advance – http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/advance.html

One to one authenticity coaching with Neil Crofts  – “I’m delighted with the progress we made in our first session together. I’ve been going over my notes, digesting the information, making more notes, writing down ideas, I can’t stop thinking about it! I feel truly inspired. Thank you.” – http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/coaching.html

Have your say www.authenticinspiration.co.uk

With love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Good to Great

Posted: 20 Aug 2007 03:44 AM CDT

Many of us are aware that the life we are leading is a compromise, but find it difficult to justify the investment of emotion, time and money to change because it is “not that bad”.  

There is no doubt that we in the so called “developed” world are incredibly fortunate.  We were born into a lifestyle that is on the whole relatively safe and prosperous.  What possible justification do we have for suggesting our lives are not blessed?  

There is a compelling genre of imperial propaganda that was designed to encourage subjects of the empire to work hard, do what they were told and not complain too much.  The British version of this is phrases like – “grin and bear it”, “stiff upper lip” and “that’s life”.  These expressions may have been conceived over 100 years ago, but their dismissive, controlling and limiting power still pervades the lives of many.

The reality is that we have an absolute responsibility, to ourselves, our friends, family and society as a whole to lead the very best, most passionate, most exciting, most inspiring life we possibly can.   No one is served by us playing small, being who we think other people want us to be and shrinking back.  NO ONE!

If we want to serve the world.  If we want to contribute.  We must stand up.  We must be true to ourselves, be everything that we can possibly be, give our energy to the world and inspire others by our example.   The moment that enough people are prepared to be true to their authentic selves society will be transformed to a place of love, compassion, care and inspiration.  

It is only our reluctance to stand for what we truly believe in that allows so many damaging things to happen.

Most models for personal transformation are crisis based – in that they need people to be in crisis (or they put them into a crisis) in order to create the circumstances for transformation.  Authentic transformation is different.  Authentic transformation takes us from wherever we are directly to the life we love.  From good to great – no crisis.

I call this attraction based transformation.  We articulate our authentic future, remove all of the barriers that stand in our way and let it happen.  With a minimum of stress, risk and upheaval, life can be transformed. 

Why would anyone waste another compromised day?

Authentic Transformation Works – three days that will transform your life:   “It was truly inspirational,, I can honestly say that it has clarified and shifted my thinking on just about every area that was troubling me.”

 http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

The Love Factory for Couples:  Transform your relationship to unconditional love.  “When I asked Neil for some support with my relationship with my husband of 18 years, I was really asking him to tell me how to connect. With a 1/2 hour phone call I was invited by Neil to step inside of my husbands world and connect with him from that space. It made a huge impact on our conversation and our relationship as in previous attempts to ‘talk deeply’ with him I was firing arrows with flames of my own thoughts/perceptions and expectations and they just kept bouncing off of his shield of ‘I have no idea what she wants’. Once I stepped into his world and understood his passions, his values and his perceptions I could then connect on many different strands and he felt an ease in talking and sharing and I felt part of his world merging with mine. I am still doing this and its working wonders!”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/lovefactorycouples.html

The Love Factory For Singles:  Find unconditional love, the single most empowering thing in life.  “The workshop really helped me work out what my true desires in life are and gave me sound practical advice on how to encompass these into my career, my life, my intimate relationships and the community I form around me.”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/lovefactorysingles.html

I saw a great quote yesterday – “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.”  Olin Miller

with love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

First man: sometimes I’d like to ask God why he allows poverty, famine and injustice to continue when he could do something about it’.
Second man: what’s stopping you ?
First man: I’m afraid he might ask me the same question
Anon

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Risk

Posted: 13 Aug 2007 02:44 AM CDT

Many of us find ourselves living our lives, or significant aspects of them, on a path that was not our intention, is not what we truly want and does not make us happy.  And yet we don’t take the steps and make the changes to live the life we love.

Our lives are our greatest creation, our masterpiece and yet so many of us, spend so much time just allowing them to happen rather than taking positive responsibility for crafting the most inspiring and positive life we can. – Why?

Many of us end up believing that life lived to what we perceive are the expectations of others is safe –  no matter how uncomfortable or stressful it is for us personally.

We end up believing, somehow, that changing from this uncomfortable life is risky, and that we are better off “grinning and bearing it” than taking the decisions and actions that will lead to change.

The reason that we believe these things is that there is a smothering blanket of propaganda that has evolved to ensure that we conform and stay with the programme.  And we tend to see change in the form of a single cataclysmic  leap which is only really true of enforced change. Whereas when we choose change it can be a managed process, where we can evaluate and plan the steps we take.  

Paradoxically, there is far less real risk in living the life we love than there is in living with the tension and stress of inauthenticity.    Tension and stress can lead to ‘heat of the moment decisions” and illness which in turn can lead to exactly the kind of enforced change that we were trying to avoid.

Transforming your life so that you can live the life you love is actually a way of reducing risk.  So if you want to be truly safe, it is time to transform.  We can evaluate every aspect of our lives by asking ourselves if we truly love all of them.  If we find aspects of our life that we do not love we can take the decisions and make the plans to change or transform them so that we can fill our lives with love.

If you are inspired to transform and feel you could use a little support read on…

Authentic Transformation Works – three days that will transform your life:   “It was truly inspirational,, I can honestly say that it has clarified and shifted my thinking on just about every area that was troubling me.”

 http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

The Love Factory for Couples:  Transform your relationship to unconditional love.  “When I asked Neil for some support with my relationship with my husband of 18 years, I was really asking him to tell me how to connect. With a 1/2 hour phone call I was invited by Neil to step inside of my husbands world and connect with him from that space. It made a huge impact on our conversation and our relationship as in previous attempts to ‘talk deeply’ with him I was firing arrows with flames of my own thoughts/perceptions and expectations and they just kept bouncing off of his shield of ‘I have no idea what she wants’. Once I stepped into his world and understood his passions, his values and his perceptions I could then connect on many different strands and he felt an ease in talking and sharing and I felt part of his world merging with mine. I am still doing this and its working wonders!”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/lovefactorycouples.html

The Love Factory For Singles:  Find unconditional love, the single most empowering thing in life.  “The workshop really helped me work out what my true desires in life are and gave me sound practical advice on how to encompass these into my career, my life, my intimate relationships and the community I form around me.”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/lovefactorysingles.html

Once we love everything in our lives we be living the life we love.

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

Debts are the shackles of our slavery. Twenty five years of indentured servitude to the bank forces us into having a job and leads us to believe that we have no alternative.

Neil Crofts – Authentic – How to Make a Living by Being Yourself – published by Capstone October 2003

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Wallpaper

Posted: 06 Aug 2007 03:23 AM CDT

What difference does the stuff we surround ourselves with make?

Energy and motivation are the forces that enable to us to accomplish everything.  If we are to achieve true happiness, or fulfilment, if we are to achieve our life’s purpose we will need all of the energy and motivation we can get.

One of the things that can contribute or drain our energy is our surroundings.  Offices of cubicles fluorescently lit and compressed by false ceilings and synthetic carpet tiles seem to be designed specifically to drain energy.  No wonder motivation can be such a challenge for many businesses.  

All of the choices we make about our where we work, our home, the tools we use to assist us and the things we surround ourselves with affect the energy we have available.  We need our surroundings and our things to inspire us, to energise us and to motivate us.

We need to carefully select only the things and the places that contribute and to shed anything that drains. 

As Chuck Palahniuk observed in Fight Club:  “You buy furniture.  You tell yourself, this is the last sofa I will ever need in my life.  Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled.  Then the right set of dishes.  Then the perfect bed.  The drapes.  The rug.  Then you’re trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you.”
Whatever we choose the reason for choosing anything is for the energy it gives us, not to adjust the impression that we make on others.  It makes a huge difference to our energy if we can keep our lives focussed only on the things that we need and make those things the best and most inspiring, to us, that we possibly can.  
There is a “new puritanism” that is emerging, in some areas, as a reaction against the consumerist excess of ‘Bling culture’ and is closely aligned to ‘Green’ ideology.  New Puritanism is judgmental and ostentatiously abstinent.  In this authentic lifestyle we are not looking to judge or to impose our choices on others, neither are we looking to deny ourselves – what we are looking for is a conscious design of our lifestyle where our choices are determined by what we love, what inspires us and what gives us energy.   It is more an authentic minimalism, where every element is carefully weighed for the energy it contributes, where overall cost is a function of price minus energy contributed, where we less is truly more.
One of the key design elements I seek to include in my workshops, both the public and the corporate ones, is that the venue is inspiring and aligned to the message of the event.  I know clearly from experience that both my own energy and that of participants is significantly affected by the character and feel of the venue.  Two days in a conventional conference hotel leave me wiped out, three days in an inspirational venue leave me buzzing.
Here are some of my favourite venues:  
http://www.sheepdrove.com/article.asp?art_id=75
http://www.hotelescaleta.com/
http://www.canpujola.com
Come and experience the magical and transformative power of inspirational places at one of these workshops:
Authentic Transformation Works – three days that will transform your life:   “It was truly inspirational,, I can honestly say that it has clarified and shifted my thinking on just about every area that was troubling me.”

 http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

The Love Factory for Couples:  Transform your relationship to unconditional love.  “When I asked Neil for some support with my relationship with my husband of 18 years, I was really asking him to tell me how to connect. With a 1/2 hour phone call I was invited by Neil to step inside of my husbands world and connect with him from that space. It made a huge impact on our conversation and our relationship as in previous attempts to ‘talk deeply’ with him I was firing arrows with flames of my own thoughts/perceptions and expectations and they just kept bouncing off of his shield of ‘I have no idea what she wants’. Once I stepped into his world and understood his passions, his values and his perceptions I could then connect on many different strands and he felt an ease in talking and sharing and I felt part of his world merging with mine. I am still doing this and its working wonders!”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/lovefactorycouples.html

The Love Factory For Singles:  Find unconditional love, the single most empowering thing in life.  “The workshop really helped me work out what my true desires in life are and gave me sound practical advice on how to encompass these into my career, my life, my intimate relationships and the community I form around me.”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/lovefactorysingles.html

When we surround ourselves with things that are made with love we can be with love.

with love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

The Ride of Your Life

Posted: 30 Jul 2007 12:58 PM CDT

One of the things that I find most exciting, most motivating and most inspiring in my work is the reality that we are making progress as a society. That it is possible that we are creating a fully loving, positive and sustainable society and every day and every decision that we make brings progress towards it.

I know that much of the evidence we see, especially if we believe the news, appears to point to terminal decline, but I believe that there is plenty of evidence of progress and potential.

On the whole I avoid current affairs in these mails but this week there is some real evidence of cultural transformation that I want to share with you. As you may know I am passionate about cycling.  I love the elegance, the simple brutality of the effort required and the complex interplay of individual and team effort and responsibility.

Cycling is a barometer of social change, like many of the things we are interested in.  Yesterday the Tour de France finished in Paris.  From the headlines you will probably already know that yet another Tour has been marred by doping scandals.  And yet if you scrape the surface and look beneath the headlines there are signs of transformation.

Ten years ago doping, a generic term for artificial performance enhancement in sport,  was more or less endemic to cycling.  The sport was run in a climate of fear with authoritarian team management and an effective ‘omerta’, or code of silence, around the culture of doping enforced by the bullying and isolation of anyone who transgressed.  Everyone was effectively complicit, the governing body of the sport, the race organisers, the sponsors, the riders, the media.  Even riders who did not dope did not speak out because of the culture of fear and fans accepted, implicitly, the culture and the practice.

It is hard to say that riders who doped at the time cheated, because although it was certainly against the explicit rules there was an implicit acceptance of doping.  The parallels to other areas of society such as business and government where dishonesty, cover ups and fear have also been endemic are clear.

in 1998 a team worker for the Tour De France was caught by customs crossing the Belgian/French border with a car full of doping products.  It signaled the beginning of a shift.   Society was becoming uncomfortable with dishonesty in food, government, advertising and business and was looking for it’s heros to be more believable as well.  

Cycling has been through nine years of transformation.  It has been painful for all involved, but this year the signs of breakthrough are clear, there is an emerging honesty within cycling and a willingness to challenge the dopers and bullies.

This year leading riders were actually excluded from the Tour de France, while it was going on.  Something that has rarely happened before.  Something that has been avoided to ‘protect the image of the sport’.  This year for the first time other ‘clean’ riders have spoken out and protested against the dopers, where in years gone by they have actually protested against doping controls. 

Most remarkably, this year teams and their commercial sponsors have shown a willingness to sacrifice success for honesty.  The team and sponsor of the rider who was leading the race with just a few days to go sacked him, mid race, specifically for dishonesty.   Cycling is on it’s way to becoming a clean, honest, supportive environment to be in, a transformation that will ensure it’s future.  It may only be one more year before we can truly believe that the athletes of cycling are honest and clean.

It takes tremendous will and courage.  It is uncomfortable and challenging and yet is is the only way to go.  For business, for government and for society in general.  It starts with a decision and progresses with every single decision we take.  The foundation is the courage and authenticity of every single one of us, with it we can create a society based in love and honesty if we decide to.

If you want help finding the direction and courage for your authentic journey here are some of the ways I contribute to others:

Seven Stages of Authenticity – THE guide book for your authentic journey 
“While many books ask the questions to help you relfect on your life this is the first that breaks it up into stages of where you might be at, and the best bits are recommendations of what can support you in each stage, whether it be a song, movie or book.  While just reading teaches and expands your mind, the experiencing it takes you even further.”
www.sevenstages.net

Authentic Coaching – a one to one guide for your authentic journey. 
“Thank you for a wonderful afternoon.  It was both challenging and magical.  Things started to happen the very next day.  I really appreciated your help and the way you work with love and compassion.”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/coaching.html

Authentic Transformation Works – three days that will transform your life.  “It was truly inspirational,, I can honestly say that it has clarified and shifted my thinking on just about every area that was troubling me.”
 http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

It may seem daunting now but once we make the authentic transformation life becomes a magic carpet ride.

with love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

I am running my own business, doing something I really enjoy and I rarely feel overworked, stressed or under pressure. We have all that we need.

Neil Crofts – Authentic – How to Make a Living by Being Yourself – published by Capstone October 2003

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Rites of Passage

Posted: 23 Jul 2007 04:13 AM CDT

During the last week I have been reminded of something that is often a challenging subject for people.  I have had strong reactions when I have written about it before and also in coaching and in workshops.  

It is that:  until we are prepared to take responsibility for our lives we cannot find fulfilment or happiness.

Responsibility in this sense is absolutely nothing to do with blame and everything to do with a proactive determination to move forward, to resolve issues, to focus on creating the life we love.

Our society is one of the only ones in human history not to have a rites of passage for adolescents.  Historically, the coming of age rites have been about the shift from childhood to adulthood, the giving of responsibility by parents and the acceptance of responsibility by the participants.

The closest many of us get to this is to get drunk for the first time – hardly a celebration of responsibility.

The consequence of the absence of this pivotal lifetime event is that a great many of us take years to fully accept the responsibilities of adulthood, some never do.  And that some parents fail to fully hand over responsibility to their offspring.

Parenting (as I am discovering) is the art of learning to let go gracefully.  There is a steady hand over of responsibility from parents to children from the moment we are born.  Our parents are entirely responsible for our lives in the early years and this too can leave issues that can be resolved later in life – if we are prepared to take responsibility for resolving them.

At some point – that responsibility has to shift from parents to offspring.  The challenge is that for many of us the hand has not been explicit and the consequences are myriad.  For example:

Blame – many of us prefer to blame others than to take responsibility for situations that we have, inevitably, had at least a share in creating.

Indecisiveness and approval seeking – many of us desperately seek approval from others before acting or taking decisions.

Childishness – bickering, fighting, posturing, temper tantrums are reversions to childhood behaviour that we all experience at times. 

If you recognise any of this in yourself it is time to act.  You might like to do this by making an explicit communication of your acceptance of responsibility to your parents, in a letter, statement or a ceremony of your own.

If you want help with this or other areas of your authentic journey here are some of the ways I contribute to others:

Seven Stages of Authenticity – THE guide book for your authentic journey 
“The book was instrumental in helping me get clarity as to who I am and what my purpose is. After months/years of soul searching it really helped me to pinpoint what being authentic means for me. This has changed my life both in terms of my work and how I live and has inspired me to be bold in pursuit of what I really want”
www.sevenstages.net

Authentic Coaching – a one to one guide for your authentic journey. 
“I don’t know what you’ve done to me but I must tell you that since our conversation, there has been a fundamental ‘shift’ in the universe. Since you pushed the little ‘authentically ON’ button life just has not been the same and I have not felt like this for 20 years, so much energy and inspiration there are not enough hours in the day.”
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/coaching.html

Authentic Transformation Works – three days that will transform your life.  “The workshop really helped me work out what my true desires in life are and gave me sound practical advice on how to encompass these into my career, my life, my intimate relationships and the community I form around me.”
 http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

It may not sound inspiring or glamourous, but accepting responsibility is the key to living the life you love.

with love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

Collaborators are people who are naturally on the same path as you are. They are people whose values and intentions are already aligned with yours so that by working together, you contribute as much to their objectives as they do to yours.

Neil Crofts – Authentic – How to Make a Living by Being Yourself – published by Capstone October 2003

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Money Success and Authenticity

Posted: 16 Jul 2007 05:35 AM CDT

One of the things that comes up, in my coaching and workshops, most frequently as holding people back from living authentically is the need to earn money.  Many of us have a strong belief that in order to earn enough money.  We need to sell our souls and suffer.

This is NOT true. 

It was a core piece of industrial era propaganda designed to persuade as many of us as possible to do the jobs that made others rich, rather than do something we found personally fulfilling.

It may have been more difficult during the industrial era, but today for you reading these e-mails there is little reason to sell our souls or to suffer.

When we are authentic we are more motivated, more passionate, more energetic and better able to use our core talents.  When we are all of these things it is inevitable that we will also be more successful.

If you have a job in business or in the public sector, there is a growing thirst for authenticity that can only be satisfied by individuals choosing to bring authenticity into their work.  There is every reason to be authentic at work and for our work to be fulfilling.  Being authentic at work will make us more effective as individuals, will enhance our relationships with our colleagues and contribute to the success of the organisation.

If you are looking to do your own thing you will, inevitably, be more tenacious, more committed and more decisive when you are being authentic.  Tenacity, commitment and decisiveness are all key success criteria for anyone doing their own thing.

Not everyone will appreciate the new, authentic, confident you of course.  There will be those, who lack self confidence themselves, who will find your certainty and commitment intimidating.  So, as well as learning to be authentic for ourselves it is also worth learning to be supportive of others and to help them to build their own confidence.

In fact I would go as far as to say that until we are authentic real success will be extremely elusive.

To succeed in life we need to have an idea of what success means for us.  For me, success is to live a life of fulfilment and happiness.  

Fulfilment is about contribution – making a positive contribution in ways that are important to us as individuals: to other people, to animals or the environment or artistically/spiritually.  We seldom achieve fulfilment simply by proving ourselves and competition is stimulating rather than fulfilling.

Happiness is about finding balance and love in how and where we spend our time and in our significant relationships.

In summary authenticity is absolutely the best route to success.

If you are not experiencing it already – how long are you prepared to wait before you find your success?

If you want help with your authentic project here are some ways I contribute to others:

Seven Stages of Authenticity – THE guide book for your authentic journey – “I read Stage 5 onwards and at the end I experienced such a sense of love and gratitude for the love and energy that you have put into it, that I wanted to thank you and share that feeling. You made my heart swell.”  www.sevenstages.net

Authentic Coaching – a one to one guide for your authentic journey.  “Thank you for your mentoring during the last months – 
I would have never thought that there would be such a positive change in such a short time.”  http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/coaching.html

Authentic Transformation Works – three days that will transform your life.  “Thanks, following years of confusion and emptiness I now feel I have the confidence and direction to change my life”  http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

If you knew for sure, that you could find happiness and fulfilment simply by taking the decision to be true to yourself – why would you delay that decision?  Want to chat about that decision give me a call, or send me an e-mail – helping people take that decision is what I do.
  
with love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

Show up
Be Present
Tell the truth
Let it all go

Harrison Owen – creator of Open Space Technology

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

From Fear to Love

Posted: 09 Jul 2007 01:46 AM CDT

Motivation is about where we choose to put our energy.  We have all experienced those times when we feel flat, tired and lacking energy.  Equally we have all experienced times of power, energy and focus.  At school many of us were accused of laziness ( I certainly was), when the reality is that we are simply unmotivated by what we were experiencing.

We are motivated both by what we fear and what we love.  As a society and as individuals we direct our energy (and money, which is just a means we have invented to facilitated the exchange of energy) towards that which we love and towards that which we fear.  

Another way to look at this is to look at passion and addiction.  When we are passionate we direct energy towards what we love, with addiction we direct energy towards what we fear.  When we allow our energy to be directed by our fears the consequences are seldom positive, when we allow our energy to be directed by love, the consequences are always positive.

War and conflict are consequences of fear directed energy.

Peace and sustainability are consequences of love directed energy.

People who are able to run their lives based in love and passion are also very powerful people.  And in many circumstances powerful people are intimidating to those who feel that they have a position of authority and actually lack the confidence to cope with these powerful individuals.  

This experience is very common in school between powerful children and insecure teachers and in the workplace between powerful individuals and insecure managers.  For many the answer is to get out of these places and to look for a different environment or to set up on their own.  

There is another alternative.  “Upwards Leadership”.

We tend to think of leadership as a hierarchical thing, it is not.  Leadership is the facility to define a path for others, it is neither a permanent nor general state, and it is certainly not about being appointed.  A leader is not always the leader and, recognising their own limitations, quickly passes leadership on when appropriate.  The greatest leaders are also great followers.  The greatest leaders create other leaders – not followers. 

Upwards Leadership is a subtle form of coaching that builds the confidence of those in authority positions to allow themselves to be motivated by love, rather than fear.  The keys to coaching upwards are to build the confidence of the other person by explicitly recognising their strengths and being supportive with weaknesses.  

To make this video Terra Naomi asked You Tubers to send in their videos expressing something that they thought would improve the world.  From Fear to Love take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlXlhFlHR8A

How much can you shift your motivation from fear to love?

For more of this thinking and to articulate your own life’s purpose join us for Authentic Inspiration Global a transformative and inspiring phone conference on 11 July 2008.
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/events_diary.html

To inspire and support others shift from fear to lovejoin the Authentic Transformation Advance 24-26 October 2006 (only 2 places left).  
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/advance.html

To make your own shift from fear to love join Authentic Transformation Works 21-23 November 2007
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

What kind of world do you want to live in?

Posted: 02 Jul 2007 04:31 AM CDT

Perhaps the most succinct and profound piece of advice for transformation was Gandhi’s recommendation that: “You should be the change that you want to see in the world.”

If we can follow this simple advice we can transform our lives, our relationships and our world.

As you read this it may seem blindingly obvious, and yet it bears repetition as we still seem to find it hard to do both as a society and as individuals.

 – Peace will never be achieved through defence and aggression, it will be achieved through peace.

 – Loving relationships with others will never be achieved through defensiveness and aggression, it will be achieved through being loving.

 – Fulfilment will never be achieved though acquisition and greed, it will be achieved by doing things which are, in themselves fulfilling.

Why do we find these seemingly simple principles so hard to follow?

Do we actually want peace, love or fulfilment?

I believe that our society is on the brink of a breakthrough.  The changes in the last ten years have been astonishing and it feels as though the change is accelerating.  In a sense we “need” the challenges we are facing in order to motivate us to find new solutions and learn the lessons.  

What we are learning is taking us to new levels of consciousness both as individuals and as a society.  What this means is that  more and more people are evolving their world view.  

Spiral Dynamics is a map of that evolution of human consciousness that came out of research carried out by Professor Clare Graves and has been developed by Don Beck, Chris Cowan and Ken Wilber.   According to Spiral Dynamics we are currently experiencing a huge shift from what is called “First Tier ” to “Second Tier” consciousness.  Many of you reading this will already have or be experiencing the sense of having reached the edge of our cultural map and of not finding the answers from conventional sources.

Part of the reason you subscribe to these messages, read books and discuss these things is because you are looking for answers that you cannot find from more conventional sources.

Seven Stages of Authenticity includes a very readable summary of Spiral Dynamics – www.sevenstages.net

Shifting to second tier consciousness is a huge challenge, we need to learn and internalise very different ways of thinking and being.  In many of my workshops we do an exercise where we role play all of the levels of Spiral Dynamics, participants find all the levels of First Tier consciousness relatively easy to role play while Second Tier is a big stretch.

The magnitude of the challenges we are facing as a society; war, injustice, poverty, climate change and so on reflect the challenge of shifting to Second Tier consciousness.  The act of resolving these challenges will also propel the balance of our society to Second Tier consciousness.  

A society based in Second Tier consciousness will be peaceful, just and sustainable.

For more of this thinking and to articulate your own life’s purpose join us for Authentic Inspiration Global a transformative and inspiring phone conference on 11 July 2008.
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/events_diary.html

To inspire and support others on their leap to Second Tier consciousness join the Authentic Transformation Advance 24-26 October 2006 (only 2 places left).  
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/advance.html

To make your own leap to Second Tier consciousness join Authentic Transformation Works 21-23 November 2007
http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

Through collaboration we can change the world.

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

3 Dimensions of Leadership

Posted: 25 Jun 2007 05:26 AM CDT

But before all of that I have an important message – if you would like to continue to receive these e-mails to inspire your monday please re-subscribe right away at www.authentictransformation.co.uk.

What is leadership,  who are our leaders and what kind of leader are you?

Like the rest of society the practice of leadership is rapidly evolving.  

Historically we have had the leader as heroic and authoritarian, the Churchillian mode of leadership.  The Churchillian leader steps in and through shear force of personality and confidence shapes the world.  These leaders are by definition rather vain and can be autocratic.  They need to sit at the top of the tree and to have obedient followers ready to carry out their command.  Churchillian leaders see the fundamental role of leadership as being to save others with their brilliance.

Churchillian Leaders focus on leadership downwards, they seek to place themselves at the top of whatever tree will provide a platform and to lead others from there.

The next evolution of leadership is the Legacy Leader, what Jim Collins calls Level 5 Leadership.  No individuals names here because the legacy leader is so focussed on the organisation they represent that they are seldom big enough on self publicity to become well known.  For Legacy Leaders   the fundamental role of the leader is service.  These leaders see service to their organisation as their legacy although their definition of “the organisation” is often limited to the share holders and the senior management.

Legacy Leaders lead both upwards and downwards.  To maximise the service they contribute to their organisation they will offer leadership both within the hierarchy and upwards to shareholders, politicians, the media or wherever they can influence things in favour of the organisation.

The latest leaders emerging both in business and society are Authentic Leaders.  The perspective and responsibility held by Authentic Leaders is far broader and deeper than that held by previous leaders.  They see their responsibility in terms of all life both in the present and into the future.  They see the fundamental role of leadership as empowerment, to enable everyone else to step into their own Authentic Leadership.  They are not concerned by the idea that those they empower might overtake them, in fact they would see this as the greatest success.

Authentic Leaders are not great believers in hierarchy and will work to empower everyone in their orbit whether they are nominally above or below in any established hierarchy.  The real difference is the third dimension of leadership that they add which is self leadership.  Authentic Leaders put great energy into understanding themselves their weaknesses and their motivations.  They recognise that Authentic Leadership requires tremendous self confidence and that self confidence is built on self knowledge.  Authentic Leaders put themselves on a path of continuous personal development seeking out learning from their own experiences and observations, from books and from individual teachers.

Everyone can be an Authentic Leader, Authentic Leaders do not need a hierarchy to lead.  Authentic Leaders simply take responsibility for issues they care about and set about resolving them.  They deal with the doubts and fears of others by building their confidence and empowering them to contribute to solutions rather than allowing their fears to hold them (and the project) back.

What will you lead?  How will you go about achieving your full potential?

Seven Stages of Authenticity is a self coaching manual written by Neil Crofts  that will help you to uncover your potential as an Authentic Leader.  See – http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/books/SevenStagesofAuthenticity.html

Authentic Transformation Works is a new workshop designed and run by Neil Crofts to help participants find the centre of their power so that they can be 100% confident in whatever they do and find inner happiness and fulfilling success.
See – http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

Or give me a call and lets see what other options might exist.

Have Your say www.authenticinspiration.co.uk

IMPORTANT NOTICE – If you would like to continue to receiving this e-mail please re-subscribe at www.authentictransformation.co.uk.  Where you will also receive it as a rather more attractive html e-mail.  I am moving to a different e-mail service provider and this seems to be the easiest way to make it happen.

With love

nx

neil crofts  – coach, consultant, facilitator
Authentic Transformation – join the evolution
talk – 07775 658534
write – neil@authentictransformation.co.uk
act – www.authentictransformation.co.uk

belief precedes reality

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Live the life you love

Posted: 18 Jun 2007 04:59 AM CDT

Many of us end up living a life of compromise.  It may be that we don’t love our job or some aspect of it?  Perhaps we don’t love our income level?  Or maybe we don’t love where we live?  Or we don’t love our bodies or level of fitness?  It may also be that we don’t love our relationship with our partner?

Why would we settle for any of these compromises?

In my own experience we settle for these compromises when we do not believe that we have a choice, and this usually stems from conditioning while we were growing up.  

The amazing, wonderful, inspiring thing is that in almost all cases we do have a choice.  We can earn what we need doing what we love, we can live in a place that we love, we can love our bodies and feel fit and healthy, we can have an unconditionally loving and supportive relationship.

And the main thing we need to do to achieve all of these is to not settle for compromise.

Here is the plan to live the life you love:  

1 –  In any areas where you feel you are compromising articulate exactly what it is that you truly desire.

2 – Identify what needs to change to achieve all that you desire.

3 – Identify the jobs you need to do to make the changes happen.

4 – Identify the sequence the jobs need to be done in.

5 – Do the jobs.

Is it really that simple?

Yes!  In most cases it really is that simple.  However – there are challenges within the plan.  For some of us articulating our true desires is a challenge because we have become so accustomed to compromise.  Or deciding on exactly what changes need to be made is a challenge, because this is new territory that we have little experience of.  For most once we have got past one and tow it gets a bit easier although deciding exactly what jobs is also unfamiliar for many of us.  Once we have done all of this creating the sequence and doing the jobs is actually pretty straight forward.

Overall the biggest challenge is to believe that change and particularly success is possible – but if we can hold the focus on what we truly desire, it will happen.  

The most important thing is to not dwell on the challenges and to just focus on the outcomes we desire.  If we sit with vision of what we desire for long enough, without being distracted or derailed by the fear of the challenges, the breakthroughs will occur.  You WILL identify the changes.  You WILL understand what needs to be done and in what order and you WILL make it happen and find that you are living the life you love.

If you want a big boost in pursuit of the life you love I have designed a wonderful new event called Authentic Transformation Works.  It takes place at the fabulous Can Pujola in Mallorca.  It lasts for three days from 21-23 November 2007.  I will take participants on a transformative journey that will bring clarity and confidence.  If you would like to find out more have a look at http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html, reply to this e-mail or give me a call 07775 658534

The on-line inspiration evening was a great success, except for the web based bit, so the next one will be far simpler and only phone based, so it will work easily for participants all over the world.  Articulate your life’s purpose in a two hour phone call for just £10 for more details and to book see http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/events_diary.html

If this guy can do it – so can you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9oxTy7KIAaA&eurl=

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

“The Real World”

Posted: 11 Jun 2007 04:13 PM CDT

Do you know what you are capable of?

Do you push the boundaries of what you think you are capable of?  And when you do, do you find that your judgement around where your limits might lie are accurate or do you find that when you get to the place where you thought your limit might be – you can actually go further?

In how many fields of endeavor have you sat right on the ragged edge of what you are physically, emotionally, financially, technically or spiritually capable?

Until you have been there – how would you know whether you are capable of going further?

Very often when I explain my ideas for Authentic Education (www.authenticeducation.co.uk) or about how authenticity can create a truly sustainable and just society or when I am coaching someone and we find that they have a purpose that is huge, people look at me and explain with great seriousness that “things just are not like that in the real world.”

And yet – clearly they are.

Many, many people continue to achieve and do things that are quite remarkable – in the real world.  Why shouldn’t you?  Why shouldn’t anyone?

There can be circumstances that make things more challenging – but that is no reason not to believe in your dreams.  It just means that you might have to be more creative and more persistent.  You need to believe harder.

In the end the choice is always between pursuing the dream or compromising.

Here is a girl who some might say is “too young and too naive” to know her limits, just going ahead and breaking through them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g8cmWZOX8Q

What are you going to do to amaze yourself?

If you would like some ideas, encouragement, challenge and support on how you might transform your life, erase any compromises and be the fully remarkable person you truly are then you might like to consider a new event I am running from the 21st to the 23rd October called Authentic Transformation Works.  You can find out more here  http://www.authentictransformation.co.uk/transformation/works.html

What do you think?  Have your say at www.authenticinspiration.co.uk

Looking forward to hearing from you.

with love

nx

This posting includes an audio/video/photo media file: Download Now

Advertisements

About Neil Crofts

Writer, coach and consultant on authentic business and authentic leadership. Neil has inspired and motivated hundreds organisations and thousands of individuals to their highest potential. Neil has written three published books and numerous e-books. Neil is a coach, facilitator and consultant helping people and businesses find their authentic purpose and use it to inspire and motivate them to be everything that they can be. Neil has raced cars, been self-employed, run a company and sold it, been employed by large companies, experienced growth and contraction at the heart of the dotcom boom, tried changing companies from the inside and from the outside as European Head of Strategy at internet consultancy/rock band Razorfish. Neil has been independent for over 10 years and delivered his Authentic Leadership message to a diverse range of business audiences including people at BP, Shell, Microsoft, Kraft Foods, MSN, Jamie Oliver, South Gloucestershire Council, National Blood Transfusion Service, KaosPilots Business School, Fashion company By Malene Birger, German technology company Eleven.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s