Sage’s Agenda on Your Personal Board of Directors

In the previous post we began 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. In this post, we take a closer look at the core competencies and role of the Sage.

The sage’s agenda and core competencies are summarized in figure 12 below. The sage places its primary attention on matters of the soul. When its core energy is fueled by love, it shows up as the eternal optimist: everything’s an opportunity to the sage centered in love. When the sage forgets the truth of a reality based in love and oneness and chooses instead to become a victim to the lie of an illusion based in fear and a sense of separation, its core fear is the same two-part core fear of your other personal board members: I don’t matter; I am powerless.

Sage's Agenda

The specifics of how that core fear manifests for the sage are aligned with the sage’s love-based qualities and attributes. Its goal, or utmost desire, is finding meaning and believing that everything has a constructive purpose. The specific fear that challenges that desire is nihilism: the possibility that anything—or worse yet, everything—is random and meaningless. The sage is especially susceptible to pessimism and despair.

The sage’s means, or preferred way of fulfilling its desire for meaning, is synergy, believing that maximizing collaboration always enhances everyone and everything. The specific fear that can test the sage’s belief in the universality of a synergistic path to meaning is discord: any form of conflict, friction, or arguing.

The sage’s gift, greatest natural aptitude, and most valuable contribution to every situation is discernment—a dynamic, in-the-moment blending of reason and intuition optimal for whatever’s at hand. The specific fear that undercuts the sage’s ability to demonstrate and contribute discernment is confusion of any sort: bewilderment, disorientation, or upheaval.

Sage's Love-Fueled Persona

The sage’s passion and chief delight—what brings the sage the most joy in life—is a sense of flow: a generous, effortless, gracious way of being. The specific fear that thwarts the sage’s passion for flow is any feeling of force: pressure, coercion, or bullying.

When any or all of the sage’s specific fears awaken the core fear that the sage does not matter or is powerless, it stops showing up as the eternal optimist. Instead, it takes on one of its many gremlin personas, including the bleeding heart, hermit, know-it-all, or zealot.

The sage’s initial passive aggressive technique to dissuade you from your chosen path is often a form of withdrawal. Denial and depression are the tools of the frustrated sage. The bleeding heart and hermit personas are most common in this stage. When passive aggressive techniques prove ineffective, as the fear continues to grow, the sage will switch to more aggressive tactics of annihilation: elimination of itself in the form of suicide (figurative or literal) or elimination of others through ruthlessness and murder (figurative or literal). The fear is so unbearable that the sage will do anything to make it stop, including employing force-based tactics that are antithetical and horrifying to its normal passion for flow. The gremlin personas of the know-it-all and zealot are common in this stage.

Sage's Fear-Fueled Persona

There is a simple remedy for breaking this self-destructive cycle, leading the sage out of its fear-based, sabotaging gremlin personas and restoring it to love and a sense of oneness. The key is to help the sage see the opportunity. Just a small glimmer of a possibility buried under all the fear and then the first baby step in the direction of manifesting that possibility is all it will take. Opportunity is the medium in which the sage thrives. Opportunity will cause the sage’s natural aptitudes and abilities to return, strengthen, and grow. When that happens, harmony and synergy with your other board members will be restored.

Whenever you start to feel pessimistic or melancholy, be alert for the possibility that your sage is shifting into gremlin mode due to fear. The equanimity scan shared in the 12/27/19 post can help you diagnose the root cause and return your sage to its more constructive persona.

One of the interesting and challenging realities is that once one board member becomes aligned with fear, the nature of the passive and aggressive tactics to which it defaults will increase the likelihood that one or both of your other board members will be pulled out of alignment in reaction to the first member’s antics. For this reason, it is especially important to form deep, intimate relationships with each board member and pay attention to the earliest warning signs that something may be amiss. A sage not quickly restored to love will result potentially in a much more complex task of working to restore two or more members with very different agendas at the same time.

Squabbling Board Members

When life feels like it’s running amok and gremlin voices are the only ones you hear, it is quite common to find that each of your board members has become afraid of different aspects of the same situation. It is possible to work with all of them at the same time by addressing each patiently and individually based on their particular orientations. It’s just more advanced work. It is much easier to always stay tuned to their distinct frequencies and address any fear-based anomalies in their perceptions before they grow to mammoth proportions.

In the next post, we take a closer look at the core competencies and role of the Guardian on your Personal Board of Directors.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in hardback, softcover and ebook

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Achieving Equanimity: Your Personal Board of Directors

This is the first of eight posts based on the principles shared in Chapter 6 of my book Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! These insights and tools will help you boost your ability to reveal and advance the highest good with equanimity in each moment by consciously collaborating with your Personal Board of Directors. 

You may say, “So far, the principles you share, Deborah, sound great in theory, but you’ve neglected to take into account the oppressive power of the judgmental voice in my head. Every time I start to break free from thoughts of self-imposed limitation and lack, that voice puts me back in my place by reminding me that I’m not good enough and never will be.” Good news! Help is on the way. Once you build a more constructive relationship with your personal board of directors—the sage, guardian, and muse depicted in figure 10 below—you will find that disparaging voice becomes less prevalent and less powerful.

Achieving Equanimity: Your Personal Board of Directors

When your board members collaborate respectfully, they leverage their vast collection of competencies, seamlessly drawing on your constructive core energy and feeding all of your senses in a balanced way. When fueled by love, your board members are capable of synthesizing their diverse strengths and talents into a whole that is much greater than the sum of its parts. They collaborate mindfully, respectfully, and artfully, ever-dedicated to their singular shared mission of encouraging you with hope, possibilities, and empowerment in every situation, encounter and circumstance.

When your board is working smoothly and constructively, as they were when you arrived in this world, they function much like a single-lever water faucet that seamlessly mixes hot and cold water to the optimal temperature for a variety of purposes.

When your board members are fueled by love, you can trust their mindfulness, imagination, discernment, and discipline to encourage you by fostering equanimity and facilitating your ability to reveal and advance the highest good for all, in all, through all. They do this by creating a moment-by-moment custom blend of competencies that varies based on the optimal mix for the opportunities in each life situation.

Your Personal Board of Directors

I am reminded of the teaching I heard from Deepak Chopra: EGO stands for “edging God out.” Based on the laws of algebra, if EGO equals edging God out and God equals love, then EGO equals edging love out. That’s precisely what happens when your board members become dysfunctional. When they switch to fear as their fuel instead of love, their shared mission of encouragement goes out the window. Instead of fostering hope, possibilities, and empowerment, they block your forward progress by focusing their energies on infighting, backbiting, and one-upmanship on a grand scale. In short, they keep you small because they believe that is what safe looks like. The answer is for you to get to know each of them intimately and coach them into a more expansive, love-fueled approach to life.

Awareness of your board of directors is not an indication that you have multiple personality disorder. The construct of a personal board is a useful device. Sorting your vast array of gifts, passions, options, fears, and coping mechanisms into three distinct though interrelated subsets reduces the complexity of understanding what’s going on in each moment and the specific path to finding greater equanimity.

A reminder: whatever pronoun is used, assume gender neutrality in all descriptions. It makes for smoother reading just to vary the use of masculine, feminine, and neutral pronouns than to constantly indicate female and male in every instance. While it is true that an individual board member may show up as primarily male or female, such designation refers to the member’s energetic signature, not its anatomic gender. Your board members may all be male, all female, all androgynous, or any combination thereof.

Board Members' Agendas

Each member of your personal board of directors has its own agenda and unique set of core competencies. The elements of those agendas are shown in figure 11 above and include the following:

  • Focus: Where each places its primary attention.
  • Love Persona: Their optimal constructive way of showing up when fueled by love.
  • Core Fear: Their lowest common denominator shared fear. This core fear leads each of them to forget the truth of a reality based in love and oneness and choose instead to become victims to the lie of an illusion based in fear and a sense of separation.
  • Attributes: Their primary love-based qualities and specific fears that can undermine those qualities, including their
  • Goal: Utmost desire;
  • Means: Preferred way of fulfilling their goal;
  • Gift: Greatest natural aptitude and most valuable contribution to every situation; and
  • Passion: Chief delight, what brings them the most joy in life.
  • Fear Persona: Their most common destructive ways of showing up when fueled by fear, also known as their gremlin personas or “going gremlin.”
  • Defense Mechanism: Their favorite passive and aggressive forms of sabotaging you. Typically, they begin to assuage their fear by using passive aggressive techniques to dissuade you from your chosen path. If those prove ineffective, as their fear continues to grow, they usually switch to more aggressive tactics.
  • Remedy: The nature of the first baby step that will begin to lead them out of their fear-based, sabotaging gremlin persona and restore them to love and a sense of oneness.

In the next post we take a closer look at the core competencies and role of the Sage on your Personal Board of Directors.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in hardback, softcover and ebook

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How to Assess and Restore Sensory Balance Real Time

Over the past 15 months I’ve shared the principles of Sensory Balance from Chapter 5 of my book Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life! Sensory balance involves feeding all of our senses in healthy, balanced ways so that no one sense takes over trying to fill voids it can never hope to fill. This begins with mindfully feeding our five outer senses, through which we celebrate our world, and it extends to intentionally feeding our four inner senses of creativity, vitality, spirituality, and belonging, through which we imbue our experience with meaning.

Now that you have greater insight into the importance of feeding all nine of your senses in balanced ways, you are better equipped to notice when any one of them would benefit from recalibration and what form that might take.

While it is possible to gorge or starve any of our senses, because sacrificing food quality while overdoing food quantity is a nearly universal experience, I will use it here to illustrate the spirit of my approach. One of the great benefits of embracing rather than ignoring or denying my habit of using food to fill un-food needs is that I now have an incredibly reliable barometer for when something is out of alignment within me.


My agreement with myself regarding eating is that I pay attention to the quality and quantity of what I am ingesting. If I find myself overeating, even healthy fare, when I know I shouldn’t be physically hungry, my promise is that I respect myself enough to be honest about what’s really going on. I stop and run a quick scan to see if I can determine what may be troubling me or where my life has gotten out of whack. What sense other than taste might I be starving that I’m trying to compensate for by overeating?

I also look for any evidence of the nutritional equivalent of plopping my child in front of the TV to avoid giving her my undivided attention. What strong emotion might I be avoiding by distracting, titillating, and lethargizing myself with excessive poor-quality food?

Whether you are overeating, overworking, or overshopping, the essence of the sensory balance scan is this: I love myself enough to pay attention. I respect myself enough to be honest about what’s really going on. I am curious about whether what I am doing will really help or, in fact, if it will just injure me further. I have compassion for whatever I find, and a commitment to be more supportive. I am grateful for the deeper insights and additional opportunities for growth.

Sensory Balance Scan

Figure 9 above provides a simple form to guide this process. As with the flow and core energy scans, the sensory balance scan consists of five steps, with each step grounded in caring enough about yourself to do the following:

  • Pay attention so that you notice quickly whenever you’ve drifted into a state of sensory imbalance due to starving and/or gorging one or more of your nine senses. Realize that gorging one or more of your senses is likely to indicate starving one or more and vice versa.
  • Invest your energy in assessing the root cause of the imbalance, paying special attention to any fear underneath what you are thinking, feeling, saying, and doing.
  • Determine what baby steps will strengthen the presence of love in your reality and restore balance to the way you are feeding your senses: quality, quantity, and frequency.
  • Hold yourself accountable for following through on your commitment to take action.
  • Assess your results and continuously refine and expand your action plan to maximize the presence of love and minimize the presence of fear, thereby restoring harmony and encouraging sensory balance.

Having gotten honest with myself, if the results of the scan indicate there is something significant to explore but I don’t yet feel able to go deeper, I demonstrate respect and compassion by not forcing myself. If I still feel that distracting myself with food is the best I can do with the love and light I have at the time, then I may go ahead and eat five pounds of raw vegetables. But I will have planted the seed and taken an additional step in recognizing unresolved fear inside me, moving myself forward on my personal journey to wholeness.

To thine own self be true

For more insights into creativity and sensory balance, read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in hardback, softcover and ebook

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How Belonging Fosters Meaning-Filled Relationships (Part 2 of 2)

In the previous sensory balance post we began a two-part exploration of how the fourth of our four inner senses—belonging—helps us imbue our experiences with meaning. Here are my additional thoughts on the sense of belonging.

Relationships have been the greatest teachers in my life. While often they didn’t feel helpful at the time, in hindsight I can see that they provided the sacred space in which I received my most difficult lessons about the true meaning of healthy boundaries. They were the classroom in which I learned how to establish constructive limits for myself and how to recognize when my “desire to help” was not fueled by core energy of love but by fear in the form of anxiety, self-doubt, avoidance, or arrogance.

I embrace authenticity and honor healthy boundaries

Across a variety of roles and venues—daughter, sister, parent, wife, mother, boss, subordinate, coach, friend—I had to be taught these lessons about respecting my own and others’ boundaries again and again before I began to see the light. These same advanced classes are the ones to which the Universe continues to invite me each day.

Don’t set your intention to develop more patience or better boundaries unless you are prepared to embrace the inevitable upheaval. We only become better at anything with practice. Practicing patience and boundaries requires doing so in difficult situations. It is the only way to get good at it.

I’ll share a few personal examples to illustrate. In the introduction to the Discovery Framework, I mentioned a couple of belonging-related hiccups I encountered on my way to writing this section of the book. These situations provided the latest in a series of ongoing moment-by-moment opportunities to deepen my own ability to live the framework, clarify my boundaries, and strengthen my commitment to my calling. They included two of my beloved cats being diagnosed with illnesses; my husband undergoing two surgeries in one month, with two more to come; and a rift in a long-term friendship.

So how did I fair? I remained on an even keel in handling the two cat-astrophes, demonstrating real progress in my ability to be fully present when I perceive my loved ones are in pain or danger. I didn’t even consider my past practice of spinning death horror stories in my head that would only serve to freak me out and block me from accessing my deepest wisdom. I embraced my responsibility for my cats’ diagnoses and care and continued chipping away at sculpting the framework chapters of this book. I remembered that all relationships are sent to us for a season and a reason. I practiced being here now, appreciating every moment life gives me with the furry family members I adore.

I appreciate every moment with my loved ones

I also did fairly well with my husband’s surgeries, trying to be supportive (love) without being intrusive (fear). I freely admit to a few times when I stuck my nose in and pushed my approach over his (disrespect). The good news is that I noticed my slips quickly (curiosity), didn’t beat myself up (love, respect, and compassion), apologized voluntarily (love and respect), and shifted my focus back to writing the framework chapters, trusting Wilson to manage his own healthcare.

The rift in the friendship proved the greatest challenge of the three for me. I did a bit of obsessing, which distracted and blocked me from writing and other happy endeavors. But I also handled it, especially the fear, much more constructively than I have such situations in the past. I applied curiosity instead of judgment in assessing what my friend and I each contributed to the rift. Over a period of months, I made multiple attempts to repair it. When it became clear to me that reconciliation was not in the cards, I released all of it with love and light and firmly but lovingly closed the door. For me to have pushed the situation any further at the time would not have been loving, respectful, or compassionate to either of us.

With deep disappointments, this release process is often iterative. When the pain of such experiences resurfaces periodically, I try to resist distracting myself with eating to excess, shopping until I drop, or working harder and longer. I set my intention to embrace my feelings with curiosity and identify the opportunity for even deeper healing within me. Sometimes there’s an aspect for which I bear responsibility that I’ve not fully accepted. Other times there’s an element of my friend’s responsibility that I’m still trying to carry. I focus my energy on embracing my own lessons and completely detaching from my friend’s lessons because, frankly, they are none of my business. I have enough on my own plate at all times to keep me constructively occupied. I remind myself that we each did the best we could with the wisdom we gave ourselves access to at the time. I foster genuine gratitude for the growth our relationship has offered me and release both of us into the loving arms of the Universe to move forward on our individual paths.

I am genuinely grateful for the advanced class in boundary setting and the opportunity to share it here (yet another silver lining). In the Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1 (The Message version) tells us, “… there is a right time to everything on earth.” The Tao rules of engagement for right relationships express this principle as, “When you come, we welcome you. When you stay, we do not hold on to you. When you leave, we do not pursue you.”

To everything there is a time and season

If the Universe feels my friend and I still have unfinished business, It will reopen the door when the time is right. If not, the time may have come for us to move on permanently because we are meant to learn our remaining life lessons through other situations and relationships. One way or another, we’re going to keep being offered the lessons until we learn them. The longer it takes, the tougher the lessons get. As we say in the practice of Reiki, “May I learn my lessons quickly and gently and help others do so as well.”

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in hardback, softcover and ebook

Explore Deborah's Book

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How Belonging Fosters Meaning-Filled Relationships (Part 1 of 2)

In the previous sensory balance post we completed a two-part exploration of how the third of our four inner senses—spirituality—helps us imbue our experiences with meaning. We now turn our attention to the fourth and final inner sense with the first of two posts on our sense of belonging.

Belonging: I connect and communicate. I enjoy meaning-filled relationships with myself and others. I know and am known.

Healthy boundaries are not about separation; they are about creating an environment that fosters constructive core energy. One of the greatest gifts we give others is not choosing to love them; it is having the generosity and courage to allow them to love us.

Relationships: The Doctoral Program of Life Lessons

If at this point in our exploration you’re hoping for a big dose of holding hands and singing “We Are the World,” you’re in for a disappointment. Relationships are not for the naïve or faint of heart. There’s a reason I cover this inner sense last. Relationships are the doctoral program of life lessons. Just when we think we’re starting to get the hang of living from unconditional self-love, the Universe raises the bar and sends us relationships. As challenging as you may have found this path so far, self-love is by comparison relatively easy to accomplish in isolation. It is much trickier in community with others.

Relationships offer the opportunity to recognize and transform any and all vestiges of unexamined fear within ourselves, thereby becoming even clearer channels for love and light at all times and in all situations. They are, in the words of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, “the refiner’s fire.”

Intimate relationships are loving mirrors. The adage of opposites attracting is based in part on the idea that we seek in our companions a way to complete the underdeveloped or unappreciated parts of ourselves. Now there is a formula for friction! You can choose to walk around feeling annoyed and put upon most of the time or, like the oyster, choose to embrace the irritant and set your intention to create a pearl. It’s up to you. You are the decider; what will you do with your precious gift of life? How might you find greater joy in your relationships if you weren’t so attached to tolerating them with resentment?

Relationships: Embrace the friction to create a pearl

Kick all thoughts of “fixing” others to the curb. Even if they let you do it, it is not kind. It robs them of their personal power and opportunity for personal growth. By forcing a situation on them that they may not be ready for, you expose them to a sense of failure and cheat them of the opportunity for authentic, organic growth that could have empowered them by unfolding in its perfect time. As with the man who thought he was making it easier for the struggling butterfly by cutting it out of the cocoon, it does not matter what you think your motivations are; the butterfly is still dead, and you’re the one holding the scissors. It is neither respectful nor realistic. You can’t make anyone change. Substantive, lasting change comes from within.

Share ideas and possibilities freely. Then completely detach from the outcome. When you find it hard to do so, your real opportunity is not to “fix” the other person’s life. It is to figure out what feeling you believe you’ll have, the one you won’t let yourself have now, once they get in alignment with your plan. Next, get curious about what fear is blocking you from allowing yourself to feel that feeling, just as things are. Finally, determine what truth and love-based reality you could substitute for your chosen fear-based lie and illusion to produce the desired feeling for yourself right now, without anyone else having to change anything else. If you are really interested in changing someone’s life for the better, focus on the only life for which you have been given both the responsibility and ability—your own. In the process, you will find that moods can be contagious. Your greater joy and fulfillment will improve the experience and opportunities of everyone and everything you encounter.

What kind of companion are you, and what type of people do you spend most of your time with? Honest, optimistic, encouraging people committed to mutual growth? Companions who share deep, meaning-filled relationships? People who lift one another up and help raise one another’s energetic frequencies when they are low? Or wet blankets, devil’s advocates, and downers?

Share hope, possibilities and empowerment!

Take great care in choosing your closest relationships. While we may have great love, respect, and compassion for others who are choosing to fuel themselves with fear, it is not necessarily optimal to expose ourselves to a constant diet of such companions. Yes, mindfulness can help you keep yourself clear, but a constant need to be on alert for attitude and mood contagion is exhausting. While challenging relationships present great learning opportunities, they are debilitating on a regular basis. Even the strongest among us needs a break now and then. Pay attention to what you are feeding your sense of belonging.

One of the reasons we become stuck in codependent, mutually destructive relationships is that we are resisting appropriate allocation of responsibility. When we choose to remain attached to the energy of regret and resentment, we entrap ourselves in a shame and blame web of our own making, unable to break free into self-responsibility and healthy detachment. Learning to bring to bear unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude produces the shift from a disempowering core energy of fear, reeking of “I don’t matter” and “I am powerless,” to an empowering core energy of love, emanating “I matter” and “I am powerful.”

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in hardback, softcover and ebook

Explore Deborah's Book

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Relationships, Boundaries & Belonging | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Spirituality Makes Life a Purpose-Filled Journey (Part 2 of 2)

In the previous sensory balance post we began a two-part exploration of how the third of our four inner senses—spirituality—helps us imbue our experiences with meaning. Here are my additional thoughts on the sense of spirituality.

Reiki is a form of mindfulness-based energy work focused on enhancing life experience in all areas.

Reiki is a form of mindfulness-based energy work focused on enhancing life experience in all areas. It reduces stress, increases relaxation, fuels creativity, and fosters healing. I liken Reiki to a form of energetic mindfulness meditation or prayer with the Reiki practitioner serving as a consecrated channel for the flow of spiritually guided Universal Source energy to support insight, healing, and empowerment.

Though as a master teacher, I offer Reiki meditation programs, treatment sessions, and classes that train and attune others in the practice of Reiki, my primary focus is “walking the Reiki path.” That journey is eclectic, intuitive, and trans-denominational. As such, my responsibility is to keep myself free of fear as a clear channel for Divine love and light. In that sacred space, I always, and in all ways, facilitate the revelation and advancement of the highest good for all, in all, through all.

While I hold great respect and gratitude for the Reiki tradition and symbols, for me, the “magic” doesn’t reside in either. The ability to facilitate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing lies dormant in each one of us from birth, waiting for the moment when we are ready to “remember,” reclaim our power, and step into our greatness. Invoking the Reiki symbols reminds us to employ the full range of abilities that always dwells within each of us. Every time we do so, we return home to our innermost truth of wholeness characterized by love, respect, curiosity, compassion, gratitude, faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy.

When we are free of all fear and aligned with love as our Source, our very presence raises the constructive energy of every being and situation we encounter. To that end, I begin each day with an affirmations-based daily practice. You will find the complete script of my practice in the appendix. I share it to inspire you to develop your own personalized daily practice through which you clear yourself of all fear, realign your energy and intentions, and dedicate yourself as a clear channel for love and light, with the commitment to learn your lessons quickly and gently and help others do so as well. You will also find more information about the art of Reiki in the appendix.

My life is a purpose-filled journey, not a destination.In December 2011, after much study, reflection, and meditation, I chose to become an ordained minister. As a spiritual celebrant, I am licensed to officiate at civil and transdenominational spiritual services of all types. It is my particular honor to preside over celebrations of major life milestones and transitions such as birth, coming of age, graduation, relationship commitment, home blessing, healing, and end of life. Serving in this way is a natural complement to the partner, teacher, and guide roles I already embody as a life coach, author, and Reiki master teacher.

I was sent to be the unique and precious Deborah Jane Wells cocreative expression of The Divine. I am not here to be an imitation of someone else. I am not here to fix you or turn you into an imitation of me. In the inimitable words of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.”

This way of living is the antithesis of the kind of selfishness many of us were warned against in our youth. This way of living involves taking responsibility. When each person focuses on aligning herself with love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude, the world will exist in a state of generous, effortless, gracious flow filled with faith, hope, prosperity, peace, and joy for all. While that may be my personal vision and mission, I also know it is very possible. I know it because as a life coach, author, and Reiki master teacher, I get to experience firsthand every day the dramatic transformation that unconditional love manifests in the lives of individuals who are becoming their own unique and precious cocreative expressions of the Divine. When love transforms your relationship with yourself, it can’t help but transform your personal life, your work, and the world. I know it. I see it. I live it.

When I remember who I am and Whose I am and focus my attention and intention on who I am being, what I think, feel, say, and do naturally aligns with the highest good. When I do not, it doesn’t. Before birth in human form, when we existed as pure Spirit, we knew this. Part of deciding to take human form involved agreeing to forget this truth for a time so that we could experience remembering it again as we made our journeys back to the wholeness from whence we came. All of the wisdom and courage we seek is embedded deep within our Divine Essence. Every time we choose fear rather than love, we strengthen the barrier between what we know at our core and how we are choosing to show up. Years of fear-based living can produce a seemingly insurmountable impediment to accessing our truth.

I am so much more than ENOUGH!

You may be skeptical, “If she believes all of this, how did she end up obese with a decade of severe clinical depression?” The short answer is that, when I forgot what I knew, it took me a while to remember. Otherwise smart people are sometimes slow to embrace emotional and spiritual truths. I’m living proof that academic excellence combined with considerable drive, intellect, and creative gifts does not automatically produce wisdom. In my case, I believe all that ability and accomplishment may have proven one of my greatest barriers. While I always believed that my gifts were Divinely Sourced and I had a robust spiritual practice for many years of my life, I still thought I was making it all happen and, most destructive of all, that my worthiness was based on the quality of my productivity and performance. When I finally encountered an external standard I could not figure out and could not meet no matter how hard I tried, it nearly destroyed me.

Being an overachiever, I tried overdoing a variety of things in a vain attempt to numb myself from the pain of failure and distract myself a while longer from finding the truth, which is that each of us is Divinely Sourced in love and therefore utterly and completely worthy in every moment no matter what we believe or how we’re performing. Many of the world’s great spiritual traditions share this same essential truth in a variety of ways: the Kingdom of Heaven is within.

I overworked—no vacations for years at a time. I overdid shopping, eating, drinking, and talking. I proved especially adept at overcollecting all manner of objects, my most impressive being a collection of more than two thousand Barbie dolls, complete with twenty different fully outfitted doll dwellings. That particular example was a failed attempt to recapture joy by re-engaging in a joy-filled aspect of my childhood. Because I needed to find some joy, I needed it desperately. By the time I donated my beloved Barbies and all my other collections to charities for auctions, I was hanging on to life by the skin of my teeth. My major challenge each day was to find a reason to go on living.

Sometimes, when we get stuck in habit, ego, or despair, we need to be worn down and broken open to get it. Fortunately, the Universe is more wise, creative, persistent, and loyal than I am, even on my best day. When I didn’t rediscover my truth via the first one million transmissions, the Universe didn’t give up on me. It just upped Its game and kept right on transmitting until I was finally ready to listen, remember, and respond with clarity concerning why I am here and how I choose to live.

The Universe sends endless reminders concerning who I am and Whose I am.

To help me gain greater clarity concerning what it means when I affirm that I know who I am and Whose I am, I developed a highly personal statement of intentions comprising selected affirmations that succinctly express my core values and purpose. I share it in the appendix to inspire you to develop your own intentions based on your values and purpose. Just as the affirmations themselves remain dynamic and open to expansion and refinement, so too does the selection of which affirmations are included in the statement of intentions.

My statement is posted over my desk, in my kitchen, and next to the bathroom mirror—places where I tend to linger over tasks and benefit from the opportunity to remind myself of my core beliefs and motivations. In particularly stressful situations, I recite a relevant item from the list. Other times I read the entire list aloud as an overall reminder. I encourage you to experiment with developing your own deeply meaningful intentions and ways of using them to support you on your journey to wholeness.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in print, ebook and

Explore Deborah's Book

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Faith, Hope & Spirituality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How Spirituality Makes Life a Purpose-Filled Journey (Part 1 of 2)

In the previous sensory balance post we completed a four-part exploration of how the second of our four inner senses—vitality—helps us imbue our experiences with meaning. We now turn our attention to the third inner sense with the first of two posts on our sense of spirituality.

Spirituality: I believe and trust. My life is a purpose-filled journey, not a destination. I am more than I appear to be.

I repeat here a point I have made throughout this book: I provide specifics from my own life and experience. They serve as illustrations to inspire you to find your personal path to wholeness. My specifics are not prescriptions. Nowhere is that more true than when I share my thoughts on spirituality. To keep the writing simple and smooth, I will not preface every statement with the qualifier, “I believe.” I respect all spiritual paths based in love, whether they use the word God or not. I benefit from all of them. Because you have chosen to read my book, I assume you are interested in knowing my particular perspective. Here goes!

My life is a purpose-filled journey, not a destination.

Spirituality is about believing there is more to life than what we experience through our five outer senses. That there is more to everyone and everything than we are seeing, touching, hearing, smelling, and tasting in any given moment.

Spirituality and religion are not necessarily the same thing. For some people, participation in a form of organized religion is part of how they demonstrate their spirituality. For others, it’s not. If you are one of those who carry painful memories of abuse you received in the name of religion, I invite you to free yourself from those painful memories now. Recognize that any damage inflicted was fueled by the perpetrator’s fear. Spirituality is about love and endless possibilities; it is not about fear or lack. Choose love, embrace the possibilities of spirituality, and release with love and light any past pain you received in the name of religion. Please do not keep reinjuring yourself and limiting your world by continuing to rehash past injustices. Many who have let go of that painful past relationship with religion and have embraced a broader sense of loving spirituality have found their way home to a spiritual practice that better aligns with their definition of spirituality based in love.

God is not a four-letter word. Though some advisors warned me that using that word or its synonyms in this book might limit the marketability of my message, I have opted for authenticity. Please do not get hung up on a specific label. There are many names for this Force, because It is beyond words. I use a variety of labels: God, Source, the Divine, Higher Power, Universe, Life Force, Creative Power, and Spirit, to name a few. The reality of God is so large, It transcends the limitations of any name or description I could conceive of. Substitute whatever label resonates most powerfully for you.

God is not a four-letter word.

God is everywhere, within and without, always paying attention, always fully engaged with everyone and everything, and smart enough to know when whatever we’re thinking or saying concerns Him/Her/It/Them. Thankfully, God is not dependent on us getting the words just right. God already knows it all. We are the ones who are figuring it out. Because God transcends time and space, nothing can limit Its power, including human constructs such as perceived barriers of language, belief, denomination, or spiritual institution. Though we sometimes elect to limit and separate ourselves through fear-based thinking, we are always one with everyone and everything, even when we choose not to remember or experience that good gift.

The great spiritual teachers did not come to earth as exceptions; they came as examples. They didn’t come to say, “I’m It, and you’re not.” They came to say, “I’m It, and so are you!” They came to show us a larger way of being, what’s possible when we free ourselves from fear and claim our birthright of love, creativity, wisdom, and power. Because God is love, there is no fear or scarcity when I remember that I am sourced in God. My Source is excellent, limitless, and reliable. I know who I am and Whose I am: a unique and precious cocreative expression of the Divine. To honor them and because you may also find their teachings supportive on your journey, in the appendix of this book, I have included a selected list of the spiritual elders who have touched my life profoundly in recent years.

Prayer is not about begging God to care enough about me to help me or do it my way. God’s full power and complete presence are available to each of us 24-7. A lack of interest on God’s part is not the problem. Our fear-based limiting beliefs are the only blocks to living all of God’s power and presence in each moment. Prayer and meditation are about being aware of when I have drifted off center, remembering who I am and Whose I am, realigning myself with the highest good, and recognizing where my chosen fear-based limiting beliefs are keeping me frightened, trapped, and small. It’s about transforming that fear back into its Source Energy of limitless love and then expanding my presence to encompass all that is possible when I’m centered in that love.

A great spiritual teacher once said, “I have so much to do today, if I hope to accomplish everything on my list, I must meditate twice as long.” In contrast, most of us are more inclined to say, “I have so much to do today, there’s no way I have time for meditation or anything else!” I used to say that myself until I figured out that I have all the time I need for the things that matter. My only responsibility in each moment is to discern what matters most right now, to focus, and to follow through. People from spiritual traditions throughout the world have long reported that regular meditation results in greater efficiency, productivity, and prosperity. It amplifies the benefits of living in a state of generous, effortless, gracious flow grounded in who you are being not what you are doing.

My life is a purpose-filled journey, not a destination.

Mindfulness and meditation are important elements in keeping myself centered and aligned with Source Energy. Paying attention and breathing. Any activity or lack of activity is meditative and restorative when I set an intention that it be so. Singing, walking, washing dishes, scooping cat litter, or doing absolutely nothing. While I sometimes engage in structured formal forms, meditation does not have to last for hours and involve uncomfortable postures to have a constructive effect. It just needs to happen, early and often. You will find a lengthier discussion of my thoughts on meditation in the appendix, including one of my favorite formal practices: written meditation, more commonly referred to as journaling. It also contains an overview of the free Oprah & Deepak 21-Day Meditation Experience™ programs and a piece entitled, “Tonglen,” which outlines a simplified form of Tonglen meditation.

The next post will share more thoughts on the sense of spirituality.

Excerpt from “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” © Copyright 2013-2019 DJW Life Coach LLC. All rights reserved.

Click here to explore Deborah’s book.

in print, ebook and

Explore Deborah's Book

Posted in All My Blog Posts, Faith, Hope & Spirituality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment