Thoughts on Memorial Day 2050

Memorial Day. Veterans. Wars. That led to more Safety. Independence. Overthrowing mal-intended regimes. Then the questionable side. US vs. Vietnam. Iraq. Power abuse. Resource takeover. Indigenous disregard. Destruction.

Remembering has a spiritual side, as in re-member-ing. Restoring previously missing parts. Lost parts. Wounded, traumatized parts. AKA Soul retrieval. On the road to healing, to becoming whole again.

The question: How will we remember COVID in 10 years? How would we wish our children and the next generations to remember this time? A turning point. Taken? Or another ignored message from earth. Message to earthlings. Come in, come in.

I respect the past wars and military service of my family and yours. It served a purpose. It was part of how our species evolved. Yet dontcha think – killing each other is so… over? Past stage? That lying, and stealing, and lying about the stealing, is no longer concealable? That people are more wise and see behind the false stories? That abusing power, whether it be for resources, or another person’s body, or some other way of taking advantage of those less powerful … ?

That it is time to make these things, things of the past.

How do we make this turning point turn for the betterment of the species? Continue reading

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Therapy is a big investment and not a walk in the park. It is often time-limited, and certain phases of life are great times to seek therapy. To make the most of this healing corridor, here are 7 ways to create a good therapy experience as a client.

1) Be real in therapy, be honest about how you’re feeling. Notice what is coming up – in your life, in the therapy sessions and the relationship with your therapist.

2) Set a clear focus in therapy, your ‘treatment plan’ it’s called. What you are working to change or improve? Revisit this plan often, stay on track. What would it look like to be complete? What would that give you? You should be able to see progress on this goal as you go along.

3) Keep a notebook, notepad or list of the things that come up during the week that would be relevant and useful to explore with your therapist. That includes conflicts, progress and wins, ahas and insights, big emotions and moods.

4) Take time during the week for homework and reflection. Try new tools like expressing yourself or asking for help. Try new approaches like meditation, working with thoughts, staying neutral or open with negative emotions and moods.

5) Show up to any tension or challenges that come up in therapy. You may need to challenge your therapist, too. How to do this? Try saying things like, “This felt strange to me last session”… “I wanted to discuss how therapy is going now”… “I’m finding I’m not sure how therapy is helping me / if I’m making much progress”… It’s often helpful to check in like this along the way. Sharing progress or things you’re noticing for the better – that’s also very welcome.

6) Plan ahead / share early on what you’d like to focus on. Bring this up early in the session, especially if it’s a challenge area. Often clients may wait until near the end of the session to ask questions or address important areas. Naming your ideas early on works better.

7) Take time for a clear ending. Bad endings and communi-cation break downs are more the rule than the exception in life. This can be true in therapy too, if you’re not careful. Honor your work and investment by having at least one session to end. This is an advanced skill in using therapy well. Even if you’re taking a break for now, it’s good to summarize and finalize this phase of your work.


The final session is where you review the therapy – what went well and what you learned. You can get and give feedback. When you’ve had a good experience and a good ending, you know you can come back any time things come up. Perhaps you’d like a tune up or refresher. That’s a great support to have in life. If you do hit a major challenge, you can get support right away versus needing to research again and wait for an appointment for weeks or months. Good endings in life build resilience, as often facing endings is a challenge, but pretty unavoidable.


When you have a bad experience or a less than satisfying outcome from therapy, don’t give up. You’re human, therapists are human. It’s usually not about bad intentions. This may have been an introduction from which you’ll create a better experience. Therapists are also learning how to be their best. It’s OK to see a new therapist. It would be good to note in the next round of interviews what didn’t work so well.

Think about it – when people hire coaches, they don’t stop after their first experience. It often gets better as they grow their experience, and learn how to hone that coaching container so it works best for them.


You may have heard the analogy of how pilots flying planes set their course. Once the course is set, they have to constantly watch and correct it as they go. Isn’t that wild? It’s not just “autopilot” after all. Good therapy takes conscious and caring input and feedback all along the way. Ideally, it’s an active collaboration. While it’s natural to hesitate at first, or feel shy when some course correction might be needed, it’s get easier. It can really deepen after those moments of redesigning or speaking up about something you need. Tweak away! Express your side of what’s happening. Share any needs that aren’t getting met or questions that have arisen. You’ll develop more skills to use in the rest of your more fulfilled and authentic life.

What else would be helpful to know about creating the best therapy experience? How has getting started in therapy been challenging?

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How to find a good fit with a therapist

Years ago in my work with cancer patients, I believe Michael Lerner* of Commonweal noted the trend, that people spend more time researching a new car, than they do finding their doctor. (*Resources below.) This article covers how to find a good fit with a therapist. Like landing a good car, it takes some work! And that work pays off big time. If you are new to this field don’t worry, you will get better with time and experience.

Wait, what do you mean time and experience?! Do I have to be in therapy forever? No, you don’t. But just think how it’d be without the stigma that still exists about getting support from therapy. Hmm, let’s see, consulting with a well trained teacher type with sophisticated healing and well being tools at the ready. And having an encouraging guide and mentor in your corner who knows you deeply and is available for you when there are challenges in life. And when you’re ready to take steps to be your best self.

What’s wrong with this picture being called a weakness? Topic for another time. Let’s just note the well known fact that people most successful in the business world usually have coaches, mentors and support teams all along the way.

I digress. Back to our discussion of best ways to find a therapist who is a good match for you.

QUESTIONS TO ASK Continue reading

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Review: So Good They Can’t Ignore You, Cal Newport, published 2012

Yet Another Great Book by Cal Newport

Cal Newport’s recent books inspired me to do a deeper dive into his earlier works. This one does not disappoint. Lovely to see evolution in motion. He started out working to figure out how best to study, to enhance his own studies (and playtime). He then shared shortcuts through books such as How to Become a Straight-A Student: The Unconventional Strategies Real College Students Use to Score High While Studying Less. In 2012, while finishing his Ph.D. at MIT he was researching this So Good book, while creating his own new work reality.

In all of his books, Newport does a great job of combining research study info. with real life stories and examples of success. As soul savvy readers know, success is not just about high salaries, though that’s great. It’s also about being able to choose beneficial working conditions, perks that matter. Plus, you need the ability to be balanced and fulfilled in love, creativity, leisure and the like.

So Good They Can’t Ignore You is a phrase Newport took from comedian Steve Martin’s recounting of how he became successful. Newport studies those who succeeded and those who didn’t throughout the book. His findings are surprising and instructive. Since the 70s, there was a new rhetoric in the career counseling arena, starting with Richard Bolles’ book, What Color is Your Parachute? Boomers ate this up, and passed it to their kids. Newport’s findings challenge these constructs, calling “the passion hypothesis” misleading, incorrect and even dangerous.


The book is a essential read, especially recommended for those starting their careers as well as those nearing retirement and looking to establish part time work realities. In other words, recommended for all. You’ll see what really works to increase success in his examples. Instead of passion, Newport names the term “career capital”, which is the building of your skills and expertise.

Building career capital not only takes time, as you’d guess, but it can be hard to grow Continue reading

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Equi-Luminosity Equinox Ritual

How was your September (2019)? In my sector there was an extended late summer for the month, only breaking last weekend with a little bit of rain. The leaf turning time is late this year due to  late snows and a wet spring. I’ve never seen wildflower season delayed by more than a full month as it was this year.

So with the topsy turvy world that continues to bebop in heretofore unknown ways, it was nice to catch the calm vibe of equinox. I’m a bit behind to get this to you readers, but never fear, the universe grants three weeks’ slack to the cross quarter day ritual observance.  Yes, I just made that up.

And it does linger again now, the sense of late summer – we’re back to that second summer weather. The light is still so brightly, blindingly slanted when you’re driving into sunrise/sunset. The sun’s warmth is tempered, more gentle, than the blazing peak of summer’s heat. And there is this quiet, this stillness I noticed – did you feel that? The colors, the depth of the textures; all combined to a create a calm call to the luminous.

In that vein, here is a brief audio to check in with your inner wise one for the next quarter. Three months or so until solstice, when the coming winter officially arrives. The current time marks the crossing into six months of the more internal side of weather and experience. A good time to stop, and call in / invitingly name what’s next.

To prepare:
Set yourself up for about 10 minutes of uninterrupted time (the Do Not Disturb sign necessary for some of you)
Light a candle, maybe incense or a cleansing smudge
Have paper or your journal to note any findings…
Outside or in, but if inside, you might bring a leaf in or some piece of nature to dwell near you

The audio is 7 minutes long. Take some meditation time to get still, and then listen to this.

After, make any notes of ideas and findings that came up.

Blessings to you and on the miles ahead. Amin, Aho.



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Survey says… Soul Savvy Update Summer 2019

Thanks to the people who gave feedback through the survey last month. My intention was to find out more about who is here on the e-list, and what you want to hear about. Also, if you did want support, what might that look like? How are people learning these days? It seems like things are changing in this regard.

I’ll share survey results and some other info and thoughts about what’s up, and what’s next. The survey is closed, but if you would like to offer any thoughts or feedback, just comment below or email me at soulbizsavvy at gmail.

SURVEY RESULTS                            

The short survey asked how valuable the newsletter was, and most found it medium to high value. In terms of frequency of emails very few wanted more content – most were happy with the once a month frequency. Emails aren’t getting the interest they used to – many people’s inboxes are overloaded. I tend to keep my subscriptions low myself, and if someone is emailing too often, or offering too many items for sale, they can lose me. I do recommend unsubscribing if you find there isn’t the value you need from anyone you are following, including me. There is an unsubscribe button at bottom of  all my email newsletters – no problem there.

I asked what you wanted to hear more about? Here is the interest list, highest to lowest:

# 1) Increasing creativity and aliveness, here here. Continue reading

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Managing Distraction to Better Work – and Live

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Book Review: Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, By Cal Newport, 2016 photo Dustin Lee, Unspash Recently reading Cal Newport’s recent book, Digital Minimalism, I followed up by reading his previous book, Deep Work. How much … Continue reading

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Digital Overload? Try Digital Minimalism this summer

Book Review: Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport, 2019

As I was walking out of the rec center today after a morning swim, I observed a dad and his two kids walking in. The first kid was running ahead of his kin, looking very excited. Second kiddo was tagging along ready to join in on the joy. Dad… checking his phone, calling ahead, Wait son, wait for me…

The scene reminded me of this book’s main point – that life is going by but often the screen is getting all the attention. Relationships of all kinds suffer from the “furtive glances” and distractedness that the love of screen time creates. This urge to check what’s become our appendage, often takes advantage of human psychology, and not in a good way. To address this, Cal Newport applies the concept of minimalism – “the art of knowing how much is just enough” – to technology today.

Newport’s not the originator or the first adapter in this wave of digital minimalism, but he’s gone beyond the realm of hacks that suggest taking Sunday off media is enough. He studied success for years, first supporting student success (while he was one himself) in his 2007 blog Study Hacks. Perhaps due to this study, he himself does not really use social media and has developed great focusing habits. He does writes essays/blogs you can access on his website,

A husband, father of three, and an associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, Newport is the author of six books. After the most recent one, Deep Work, (see Soul Savvy review here) he started to hear from readers about their colossal trouble with focusing in the face of today’s digital options and demands.

Demands is one way to describe it. Dopamine-fueled behavioral addictions is another. Newport shares some accounts from Silicone Vally whistle-blowers. Continue reading

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Client Quotes from the Field

The last article in this series discussed that perfect storm at the outset of coaching, where you have your goals and what you hope to achieve, alongside those “other” challenges. You likely could guess these challenges will arise, but at first they may be in the shadows or sidelines. Soul Savvy is a holistic, or soul-based coaching / growth container that will address them, but this approach is less than common. It’s all connected, and the shadows are part of that wonderful complexity of transformation. These might be seen as the positive side effects to the big picture shift, when you are achieving your most important steps toward increasing meaning and purpose in life.

The thing that amazes me in report after report from coachees is how fast the shifts can happen once there is honesty and accountability. When procrastination has dominated, small steps change the landscape dramatically. When the way forward gets a wee bit more clarified, SHWOOM! Actions slay the deadwood. The path is clear, and weeks feel like years of progress.

One of the main ways movement and momentum are maintained in coaching programs is via email, and what was called a session prep form, or as I call it now, Report from the Field. There are actions to take between sessions, or exploration/awareness practices. Here are some words from a 2nd session after the clarifying start up work in session one. Listen to this transformation already taking hold by session two:

How are you doing? “…doing great. Lots of movement. Lots of discoveries. I feel ready to roll up my sleeves… I think I did a lot!” What you’re appreciative of/grateful for: “That if I do the work I get the rewards. Even small actions pay off big. The clarity I have received.”

The unique thing in the Soul Savvy programs are the ways that certain old fears get faced. Continue reading

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Coachee Rock Star Stories, part 1

There is a new and exciting cycle here at Soul Savvy this Spring of 2019. New programs offer cutting edge support for moving into more of the person you want to be. Developing the new program gave me a reason to review past programs. I wanted to share some of the transformations that happened to past clients – how they started, and how they left. This first article will be some general themes, and then we’ll look at individuals. See if you can relate to any of the situations here. (Note: If interested, take action by Thursday 6/20 midnight MST.)

Several things are apparent as people start out. Even if it’s a clear-cut issue or problem they want to solve, say the primary concern, there are likely a few more that are also challenging them. It’s kind of like a perfect storm of issues at first.

Someone comes in wanting to upgrade their work, and it is also true that they have health concerns. A person wants to increase their income; then it’s clear they need help communicating and generally standing up for themselves – for example, with those who owe them money! A lightworker is clear about their passion and what they want to create, but realizes they’re drinking too much or eating poorly. A bloke needs to speak up to his manager about his workload, and alas, there are also old grief issues that keep him harping on himself, and not completely present with loved ones.

Yes, the perfect storm. At first the goal for coaching may look simple, straightforward. That is true. And, there are often connected and relevant concerns that will also arise and need to be addressed. A holistic and integrative coaching approach won’t leave you stranded when these common areas accompany your path of change.

Another quality that you can start out with in coaching is usually a type of intuition Continue reading

Posted in Goals, Intuitive Message, Taming Fear and Doubt | Leave a comment