Evolving on Purpose: Guidelines for Moving from Stuck to Resourceful


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Too often, we’re prone to over-react or miss opportunities.
In ThresholdArts Studio and our retreats, we’ve seen numerous examples:
  • Choosing relationships with people who may be attractive, but not a good match in terms of real availability (e.g., capacity for intimacy);
  • Overwhelm by the demands of a job, and feeling frozen in response to the over-bearing demeanor of a colleague or boss;
  • Being taken advantage of by a business associate who is out for himself.
Without a reliable way to alter your psychological-emotional state, it’s easy to  over-react or miss windows of opportunity, when we can actually influence the course of events.

Unfortunately, insight alone is not enough!  Time and again, we’ve seen people clarify what’s needed—what they’d like to accomplish, or even what they need to say or do—but then find they are completely unable to embody the desired behavior when it’s time.  As a result, the results not only fall short; people sometimes bring about results that are the opposite of what they want. Much of the cause of the inability to “embody a choice,” we find, is that instead of responding effectively in the heat of the moment, people miss cues, get flustered, use too much force or “selling,” or allow the other person to dominate the conversation.  This is an extremely difficult predicament.  Giving it your best shot, and still not producing the desired effect, is painful!

What to do?

It takes courage and a willingness to be vulnerable to examine what’s happening in these situations. With the support of kindred spirits, and a reliable way to perceive things from a “balcony” or “game box perspective,” you can quickly turn things around and alter the outcome.

People need a reliable method that enables a fast and effective shift of their internal state.  By fast, we mean less than 30-90 seconds.  Daily contemplative practice is helpful but often inadequate. 
When facing a boss, client or loved one and you’re triggered into a “fight or flight” response, it’s crucial to have a way to shift that immediately, in real time.   Otherwise, the moment passes, and with it, the opportunity to shape how things will unfold going forward.

The amazing thing is that
there is an easier way to take charge of these situations and shift your state from “triggered” and “off-balance” to resourceful and centered.  This approach is fast-acting and extremely reliable.  However, it’s counter-intuitive and may feel awkward at first.  This approach taps the wisdom of your body.  While there are numerous ways to do this, we rely heavily on an approach developed by Stanley Keleman and his colleagues at The Center for Energetic Studies in Berkeley, CA.

Using this approach, everyone in the ThresholdArts Studio has found that they can get unstuck and create better results.  For example, once he shifted his state, Joe, a seasoned sales consultant, could see that his client’s “resistance” stemmed from a pattern of manipulation by investors that was happening behind the scenes. As it turned out, the conflict between Joe and his young CEO client was not really between the two of them, but between the CEO and the investors who were planning to replace him.  Once Joe shifted his state from a rigid and contracted place to one of guarded receptivity, he was able to perceive and choose his behavior in a manner that was more appropriate to the situation.  Joe tapped into a broader and more effective repertoire of responses. In several practice scenarios, he was able to convey much more powerful and relevant invitations to his client.  But the key was shifting to a more resourceful state!

If you’d like to learn more about ways to respond appropriately to the situations in your life,  better perceive what is going on around you and, and translate that into better judgment and more effective responses, consider:
  • Joining us for The ThresholdArts Studio, an ongoing forum in the Bay Area for practicing what it takes for Form the Life and Work You Want.  The next session will be held on February 2nd.
  • Signing up for one of our retreats on beautiful Whidbey Island.
  • Downloading and practicing the approach described in Personal Agility:  Resources for When You Need It Most.
  • Sharing with us your stories, especially the challenges you face and the kinds of responses that are getting in your way. We’d also love hearing about the strategies and resources you’re using that enable you to shift your state in 30-90 seconds.  We welcome your partnership in this important realm of innovation!
  • Forward this newsletter to others who might find this useful. And thanks for spreading the wisdom!


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Proactive Change: What The ThresholdArts Studio is All About

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Why does effecting change in ourselves and our world frequently fall short of producing the lasting change we seek? If this question is unsettling, you are on the right track. Answering it requires a radical approach.

One of the core principles of ThresholdArts is that without a method to cease a repetitive cycle that no longer serves us, we will continue that behavior.

Events which are beyond our control, and propel our lives and choices in new directions, would be one way to disrupt an unhealthy behavioral pattern. but what if we proactively chose another way before a crisis occurred in our lives?

Consider the case of Bill, who arrives to a ThresholdArts session subdued and quiet. He has lived his life caring for others — his family, his church and his vocation – but recently, a serious accident has given him pause to consider the direction of his path, and how some of the habits and routines he has developed over the years are beginning to sap his vitality. Through a powerful group process, Bill is able to tune deeply into what is beginning to emerge in his experience.

By tapping into his creative impulse by bringing to life whatever change  is required, Bill goes home with more clarity regarding what he needs to do to live a life which serves himself and the world in a more energizing and sustainable way.

Like Bill, we each have the opportunity to shift and literally rewire the way we  think, about and engage with our emotions. Through a somatic method of recognizing your body’s reflexive responses to the events in your life,  you can better choose your own responses both to your behavior and the behavior of others, and rehearse healthy responses for the future.

But how does someone like Bill sustain the change? What kind of support does he need? Part of the answer lies in practicing this most resilient place in himself in a supportive community.. That’s why The ThresholdArts Studio exists. We invite you to join us on an the adventure of forming the life you want for yourself.

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