A story of an epiphany in process

I awoke this morning from a disturbing dream where I had a very uncomfortable interaction with some people with whom I had been trying to cooperate.  They had made a series of choices that I did not see as nurturing to them, and I was choosing to withdraw from helping them because I perceived that I was not being appreciated or valued by them.  As I lay in my bed in that beautiful state which I love between dreaming and getting up to start my day, I prayed and talked to God about things that were going on with me.

A friend texted me with a lovely message of caring, and I felt very grateful and even surprised that she was still thinking about a need I had expressed to her months before.  I had just been thinking about this need last night, but I felt somewhat hopeless about dealing with. The need has to do with healing my teeth and gums–my only health problem.

Reconnecting Nonviolent Communication has inspired me to be even more aware of my feelings.  We are usually dealing with the negative feelings which are, by habit, so hard to deal with.  But in this instance, I got deeply in touch with a sensation that I know I have felt before, but never so consciously.  The feeling of deep needs getting met.  I looked over the list of needs that the Center for Nonviolent communication publishes based on their research and the studies of sociologist Max Neef.  Here are some needs that were met:

Love: I define love as wanting the best for someone.  I sensed that my friend wanted the best for me in that moment

Support:  She had been keeping in mind my need for healing and when she heard of a dentist who might be able to help me, she let me know.

There was another need that was not listed as far as I could see. I feel somewhat uneasy about being so bold as to add another need…but I think that in this society where denial, procrastination, and addictions are so prevalent, this is important.

Intervention:  The need for someone to see that we are not taking the steps to meet our needs, and to encourage and support us to take those steps. In this case, I see my friend as gently helping me to stop my pattern of putting off taking care of myself and encouraging me to take some proactive steps.

After I experienced the gratitude, appreciation and love that comes from someone joyfully choosing to help me get my needs met, I had an epiphany.  I want to explore developing a coaching systems which I might call Needs-Based Coaching.

Well, I just looked up Needs-Based Coaching and it is already trademarked!  But it sounds like I am on the right track because this company with the impressive name, Achieve Global, has done extensive research showing that employees are more productive and effective when they get basic needs met while they are on the job.  Okay, sounds like a big part of my theory has been validated.

I’m looking at a kind of coaching which focuses on fulfilling needs by including the development of healthy community.  Ah, maybe it will be called community-based coaching. in a community-based way. I just looked up this term, and I found a marvelous document about Community Based coaching which really inspired me as I scanned it. Here is the definition:

Ken Cohen, a former Horizons coach in Idaho, defines community coaching as, “an adaptive

process tailored to unique community contexts to guide systemic change via participant

empowerment.” A simpler definition used by many is “a community coach is a guide who supports

communities and organizations in identifying and achieving their goals.”

Wow! As I read this, I got really excited because I remember how much I want to use group processes such as brainstorming to help people have fun finding solutions to problems.  I have been drawn to such practices ever since I worked at the Mail Box Station in Encinitas, California. I worked as the manager there for a year, and it was one of my favorite jobs working for someone else for a number of reasons.  I really blossomed in an environment where the owners trusted me to run the place.  The first owner was pretty ignorant of business, and so was I.  But I had a natural ability to pay attention to details and to love people, and those were strengths that were necessary in this business.  By the time the next two sets of owners came along, the business was thriving and they had reason to trust me!

The third owners were a couple who specialized in teaching creative problem solving. At age twenty six, I had not yet heard of such a concept. Or maybe the concept hadn’t registered in my brain.  I was drawn to this idea immediately, and wanted to learn more. I especially liked the idea that learning and solving problems could be fun, because I detested being bored by long drawn out meetings where people laboriously tried to work out problems.  My allergy to boredom in some ways has been a real motivator for me.

I realize as I write this post that I am rambling quite a bit. I am asking myself, “What am I trying to do here?”. The answer is…to show you how I deal with epiphanies.  I am letting you in on what I do when I feel inspired.  I am also working through this because I want to know for myself where this epiphany is taking me. I feel very grateful for the internet and for my wonderful blogging platform WordPress.com because I can do all of this real time. (I am now imagining video taping the process next time!)

I just called the Mailbox Station to see if they might need me to help them.  The owners that took over after I helped the business becomes prosperous wanted to actually work there themselves.  The couple was very friendly and loving, and when I heard the guy’s voice on the voice mail, I had good memories of the transition. Yes, I was disappointed to leave my job–but I wasn’t fired. I also went on to work for Cliff Durfee of Live Love Laugh where I really made quantum leaps in my growth including helping to produce Self-Esteem Seminars for the then not so famous Jack Canfield.

If you have stayed with me so far, let us go back to the path that I started on. Needs based coaching.  Looking at the list of needs in my Nonviolent Communication workbook, I see some that I do not get as much as I would like in my life. Play-Fun-Laughter.  One of the reasons I do not get these needs met is because I also have such great need another listed need:  Contribution to the Enrichment of Life.  I also spend a lot of time Choosing dreams/goals/values and then Choosing Plans for fulfilling one’s dreams, goals, values. One need not listed in that area I would add is: Carrying out the Plans for fulfilling one’s dreams, goals, values.

I know that the need for Play can be fulfilled while I am Carrying out the Plans for fulfilling my dreams, goals and values. But I forgot about how that happens. I could write a whole blog post about how I forget about what I am super passionate about because I go on to do something else I am super passionate about–but I have not yet made a list of all the things and how they can work together. I get close, at times…but I think it is time to make my holistic dream putting all my passions together.

I had heard of the term “multi-passionate people” several months ago, and almost invested in taking a course that could help me fulfill my dreams as a multi-passionate person.  I just found this website about coaching for multi-passionate people. The coach, Tia, uses the word “kick-ass life” several times on the site.  I, being raised in a family where my mouth was washed out with soap just for calling a bottom a “butt” normally have a hard time embracing such language.

But I am resonating with those words. I must come back to them and meditate on their meaning for me:)  I also am drawn to how she describes her and her coaching business.

“Hi! I’m Tia. Multi-passionate Sparklepants, Life Coach, Life Lover, and Curator of Awesome. I run this website featuring kickass inspiration to help you sparkle through life, no matter what!

Say YES to courage + connection, NO to shoulds + restrictions. You’ve got one life, baby, live it YOUR way.”

For most of my life, even throughout childhood, I have sensed that I am different.  I was shy as a child, but still I had such boundless creativity and passion when I was in a safe place. Fortunately my parents nurtured my gifts and I remember my dad saying over and over again, “You can do anything if you set your mind to it.”  But still, it has taken me 40 years since I first had the epiphany, “The only way you will be happy is to find something you love to do and then serve humanity with that,”  to really sit down and say, “What do I REALLY want to do” and not make excuses as to why I can’t incorporate the large number of passions I have into a career.

So, I started with the epiphany–coaching people to help them get their needs met. And there was the added idea–that the only way we can get our needs met is through healthy community.  Where do I go from here.  Brainstorming….

Create a coaching method that can focus on the individual and helping that person create the community where needs can get met, or improve the community that he or she is already a part of.

Get in touch with the strengths, assets, and passions of the person. Help person to define what they want to do, and help the person get in touch with their values and purpose so that the goal of what they want to do aligns with their values.

Coach the community or family of the person so that the whole community can come along side the person–and then hopefully each individual will want coaching for the same as above.

Then teach people how to coach each other in the community so that they can continue the upward spiral of helping each other meet all their needs in ways that helps everyone have fun, play and meaning.

Use such things as cooperative games, brainstorming, open space technology and creative problem solving. I just found as a free resource 101 Activities for teaching Creativity  and Problem Solving  I also found a website that has free resources teaching  “Process Arts” . Here is an intro to their website:

Ever since I participated in processes as simple as the “Feel Alive Have a Heart Talk” I have been drawn to processes–and I want to have as many as possible in my tool box so I can help individuals and communities fulfill their needs.

Well, I have spent about 2 1/2 hours exploring my epiphany. Time has stood still. I did take a brief break to talk to my daughter, call the Mailbox Station, and text my former husband and present friend.  I am now needing to interrupt my flow which feels like it is about done for now because I am going to meet with my friend Rich for our morning process of mediation, prayer and check in.

I would very much enjoy hearing your thoughts and feelings about reading this, and what needs of yours were met. Remember–you can find the list of needs here.  Thanks for being present with me:)






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