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I fall in love with people. This is a strange thing for an introvert to confess, because for the most part I prefer my own company in solitude, or alongside a four-legged companion. But when I do spend time with people, I do it deliberately and only among those with whom I really want to spend time…people I’m in love with.

Let’s face it, the holidays can be really intense. December is filled with lots of opportunities to be triggered: Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ōmisoka, Christmas, Winter Solstice, and New Year’s Eve. Something about the combination of family, obligations, politics, secrets, loyalties, gift buying expense and stress, alcohol, and unresolved tension creates a toxic cocktail for drama. And most of the time we are dealing with folks who don’t know how to relate skillfully or consciously.

I have a small square card placed on my desk. On it are these words, written in frank, block letters “Opt out of consensus reality”. This simple instruction has become my north star, a compass setting inside the maelstrom of narratives that exist in our collective mind. These stories can feel deeply personal, such as “I’m not enough”, “I’ll go broke”, or “I should have done that differently”. Or civilizational, such as “homework makes better students”, “drink more water”, “we need a growth economy” or “humanity is bad”.

This panel discussion features five coaches who each implement their own specialized approach to coaching by integrating various unique tools and methodologies based on their respective backgrounds. They will dialogue with each other and webinar attendees about how their coaching presence facilitates breakthrough learning in their clients. We will also explore ways to enhance the coaching environment through invoking the power of our clients’ presence.

‘What could be wrong with enlightened CEOs?’ my friend Ken wondered over his chai. ‘It could mean that all their power is used for awakening and good.’ We all sat quietly for a moment thinking over this new possibility. Then I asked, ‘Ok, so let’s take a hypothetical scenario here; what if the CEO is someone like Dick Cheney? What if teaching him mindfulness just assists him to feel less stressed and less conflicted about bombing a country?’ We all got quiet again… ‘No way!’ we suddenly chimed naively. How could meditation enable bad behavior?

The most memorable experience, perhaps, is located a short but beautiful hike away from the resort, at Thunderbird Ridge. There, bordering the property of Egan’s former home (where local shamans have located two spiritual vortexes), co-founders Kelly Wendorf and J. Scott Strachan have launched a horse-assisted self-empowerment program, Equus.

Dream denial comes in all kinds of forms, packaged seductively inside facts, rationalizations, statistics, or morality. I would hear things like, “Well, let’s just be realistic here. Banks don’t make business loans to companies with your cash flow.” Or “It’s even more expensive to take care of your own horses than just board them at a stable,” Or said for my own good like “Do you want to have all that responsibility?”…

Sitting across the table from Dr. Hoffman, I observed a very specific sense emerging in the space. It was a feeling of infinite possibility. I felt exceptional self-confidence and sparkle—not in him—in me. I felt, well, remarkable, as if I had super powers and could do anything I put my heart into. It then dawned on me that this was his gift—he saw, and therefore evoked, greatness in others.

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