Board Principles and Dynamics (Part 1 of 3)

In previous posts, we’ve been exploring how conscious collaboration with the members of  Your Personal Board of Directors (Sage, Guardian, and Muse) helps you reveal and advance the highest good with equanimity in each moment. Equipped with an understanding of the nature and roles of each member of your personal board, in this post we begin exploring some of the common ways the members show up and interact.

If your board members could remain completely empowered by love in every moment, with deep and abiding respect for the full range of team strengths and perspectives, what a smooth and fulfilling life it could be. Your muse would apply its creative genius to producing a never-ending stream of potential opportunities along with a variety of possibilities for bringing them to life. Your sage would assess the options, mine them for deeper insights, and recognize relevant considerations to discern what should be pursued and when. Your guardian would serve as chief engineer to create, execute, monitor, and adjust the optimal plan for manifestation. No jealousy, no bickering, no sabotage. Just a love-fueled, collaborative journey to wholeness with a single objective: endlessly encouraging you with hope, possibilities, and empowerment to support you in revealing and advancing the highest good for all, in all, through all.

Board Principles and Dynamics

To achieve the more fluid and fulfilling life you seek, those are the board dynamics you are aiming for. Why does your board so often fall short of that goal, and what can you do to improve its functioning? Here are some additional insights to help you understand the elements of success, recognize when trouble is brewing, and employ the most reliable remedies to get things back on track quickly.

Gender Identity

In terms of gender, many clients sense the energetic gender of their board members long before they know their board members’ names. Remember, we’re not talking anatomy; we’re talking male, female, and androgynous energy. One way to think of it is that male energy is more left brain, female is more right, and androgynous is a blend. There are many books on the subject of energetic gender. You can read them if you are so inclined, or you can trust your intuition. If it feels male, it probably is. If it feels female, it probably is. If it feels androgynous, it probably is. Your gender identity has nothing to do with the genders of your board members. They can all be male, all female, all androgynous, or mixed.

Choosing Names

That is a trick subtitle: you don’t choose names for your board members. When they trust you and you are ready to connect with them more deeply, they will tell you their names. Honest. No, they aren’t named after your first pet, your most memorable teacher, or members of your family—beloved or reviled. They have their own names, generally with very relevant etymologies. Once you know their names, if you look up the meanings and derivations, you’ll find they hold great relevance to the roles they play and gifts they bring. Here are two quick examples in that regard.

Sophia: Wisdom

The first example is my client Sarah who, as is so often the case, knew the names of her guardian and muse as soon as we began exploring the personal board/gremlin construct. She sensed a third distinct energy and described it as calm and wise but gave no name. Throughout our session, in an effort to help her tap into her intuition, I would say, “I’m sorry, I’ve forgotten the name of your sage. What is it?” She replied, “I told you. I don’t know the name of my sage.” I repeated variations on this tactic a couple more times during our forty-five-minute session and received the same reply. At the end of the session, as we were wrapping up, I said, “In looking over my notes, I realize I never wrote down the name of your sage.” This time, she replied, “I have a name, but it doesn’t make any sense.” I encouraged her to ignore logic and trust her gut. She blurted out, “It’s Sophia. But I don’t even know anyone named Sophia.” I became very still. “Sarah, do you or does anyone in your family have ties to Greece (language, travel, origin)?” She replied, “No.” I told her, “Sophia means ‘wisdom’ in Greek. It’s the name given to the wisdom aspect of God in the Bible. Congratulations, Sarah, I’m fairly certain your sage just told you her name.”

The second example is my client Mark who also knew the names of his guardian and muse right off the bat. His sage’s energy and name proved elusive over a period of weeks. Each week, we’d check in concerning his sage, and he’d report his sense that he’d made no progress. We would re-establish his intention to be open to connecting more deeply with his sage whenever it was ready to reveal itself. Then we would focus on other coaching matters. Periodically during sessions, I would try the techniques I used with Sarah and others (“I’ve forgotten your sage’s name; I neglected to write down your sage’s name; etc.”). A number of weeks passed during which Mark had no awareness of the name. Then I received a midweek email from Mark, excitedly reporting that he had connected with his sage and knew her name. He said it was Sylvia. When he looked up the derivation of her name, he was blown away. Sylvia means “from the forest.” Beginning at a very young age, when Mark was upset or frustrated by life, he would escape to the woods near his home for comfort. He has always loved being in the woods, whether camping, hiking, writing, or just thinking. Mark’s sage had indeed introduced herself. She had been present in his life all along, leading him into the woods for solace.

Sylvia: Spirit of the Wood

Some clients know the names of their most dominant board member the moment we begin discussing the construct. Others know the guardian and muse right away because they have been listening to them bicker for decades. Some clients don’t know any names for quite a while. One day, when your board member trusts you, it will tell you. It’s like any other relationship that you hope will go to a more intimate level. As you prove to each board member that you are respectful, honorable, and committed to the long haul, they will each tell you their names in their own time.

It’s not uncommon to have one member’s name take longer than others. Often that member’s set of competencies is the one you least value or most fear expressing. Don’t expect any of them to tell you their names if your intention is to try to banish them the next time they pop their heads out of their foxholes by “going gremlin.” Be patient, don’t force it, and let your intuition tell you when it’s time. Meanwhile, just do all of the things you already do to build other mutually respectful, trusting, and fulfilling relationships. Before you know it, you’ll be engaging your board members in real-time, out-loud discussions and debates in the lobby of your favorite restaurant, boutique, or movie theater. They are eager to know you better too. They are just understandably skeptical about your motivations.

We Are One

In the Beginning

When you and your board members were born, everything was love and light. The minute you began encountering opportunities for fear, the love and light began to unravel. Because you were small, young, and fairly helpless, those initial fears had a big impact, and your board members developed a tendency to overreact to perceived threats.

Life gets even riskier as you get older. As you grow and mature, life presents even more potential slings and arrows, and you present an ever-larger target for them to hit. If your board members become focused on all the fears, they can erroneously conclude that everything is dangerous and the only escape is to keep you as small and invisible as possible.

In the next post, we’ll continue examining some of the common ways the members show up and interact.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2020 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

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About djwlifecoach

I am retired from 40+ years of helping individuals and teams build lives and organizations they love. One of the great joys of my retirement from professional practice is having greater bandwidth to donate my professional and creative talents to support and promote animal and social welfare charities. During my 30 years as an organization transformation consultant, I served as a senior partner in four of the world’s largest, most prestigious global professional services firms. In 2005, I took a five-year sabbatical to find healing and peace because non-stop work had taken its toll. My recovery from burnout led to finding my purpose guiding others on their journeys. As a board-certified coach, author, consultant, radio host, Reiki Master and EFT/tapping practitioner, I share hope, possibilities and empowerment with the world. 111419 DJW Sid CH Pet Corner Photo ShootI help clients achieve rapid, extraordinary, sustainable results by connecting who they are with what they do, a connection often lost through stress and the sheer busy-ness of daily life. Courageous self-awareness and unconditional self-love lead to honest choices based on priorities that nurture you and those around you on a journey to wholeness. Decades in coaching, consulting, change management, organization development, human resources and mixed media artistic expression honed my business sense, professionalism, creativity, intuition, leadership and communication skills. The result? Practical tools that help you become more insightful, creative, committed, productive and fulfilled. Even the most dedicated and hard-working individuals can shift from frustration to a sense of futility when their values, passion, work, and lives become disconnected. One of the problems with not taking care of our health is that the effects of ignoring it are often slow to show up. We continue to juggle family responsibilities, work and finances until we lose ourselves, waking up one day 50 pounds heavier in body and soul—no good to ourselves or anyone else. I love working with people who are ready to take life-changing action to make their dreams a reality. At each moment, you have inside you all the wisdom you seek to choose your life and your way of showing up. Limiting thoughts, beliefs and feelings can block you from moving forward. An absence of love and concern for yourself can result in negative head talk that holds you back with discouraging messages about who you are and what you can do. By listening and caring deeply, I guide you in connecting with your own inner wisdom. We identify the way you’d like to live. We determine what’s blocking you and release you from the hold those blocks have over you—unleashing the positive energy that will fuel you forward. Together we develop a plan to move you closer to your heart’s desire. My books, blog, radio show and signature coaching programs help individuals and organizations harness the transformative energy of love to turn unexplored possibilities into fulfilling realities and step into their greatness. What’s love got to do with it? Everything! My book, Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! (Hay House/ Balboa Press 2013) shares my story and the stories of 10 of my clients along with my signature Discovery Framework. For fun, I love reading, sewing, knitting, yin yoga, afternoon tea, opera and movies. I live in Williamsburg, Virginia with my spouse, Wilson Abney, and the cat who runs our life, Maisy Jane.
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