Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2008


Bookmark and Share

12_polarbears_joh117.jpg 

I wrote this post in August 2006 and thought it was time to resurect it.

Relationships are found in every area of our lives. Even when we don’t realize we’re having a relationship, one is being experienced.

We have relationships with our boss, co-workers, significant other, siblings, parents, committee members, neighbors, and more. We also have relationships with money, health and food.

Managing relationships well can be the difference between a company’s making a profit or posting a loss and a person’s ability to weather personal storm’s at home. It can also be the difference between having a healthy respect for money and food and having an unhealthy obsession with both.

I returned from a coaching workshop in Rhode Island a few months ago on the power of relationships. It was titled, “Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching”. In this class we developed our skills for successfully looking at our own relationships and we then learned techniques for helping others develop their own relationship capacities.

One of the most interesting concepts I heard this week was, “In order to get to a healthier and more productive place, we need to give up our fear of conflict, turmoil and resistance.” ~ John M. Gottman

Even as I write that, my hand wavers a little. The idea behind this audacious statement is that where there is conflict there is a desire and opportunity to reach a greater understanding between people in business and at home. That’s not how we usually view interactions that tear at our current social fabric.  Yet dismanteling is sometimes what has to happen in order for the outmoded to transform into something greater.

Sam Keen wrote, “Sometimes what looks like a fight is only the fierceness of love.” What a difference of viewpoint. One can imagine how differently we might react depending on how we view confrontation. What else do we miss when we push the auto-pilot relationship button and only skim the surface?

In the workplace and at home, the three greatest saboteurs of strong, and healthy relationship dynamics are 1) the habit of blaming; 2) the habit of keeping secrets; and 3) lying.

Each of these tendencies keeps people separate from one another and never allows for a greater understanding to evolve between them. So much is lost when we over-protect ourselves and over-predict others.

When we eliminate the habits of blaming, withholding and lying from our interactions with others, we begin to become transparent with one another, and ultimately learn more about ourselves. Being vulnerable at this level is a life skill we need to re-learn.

Here is a wonderul book on developing our capacity for healthy relationships with ourselves and others:

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert (Paperback)
by John M. Gottman (Author), Nan Silver (Author) http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0609805797/wwwintegratio-20/104-9423782-7950333?creative=327641&camp=14573&adid=07SEGVRZ3M6GK1MMW8Q0&link_code=as1

Although the book title has the word marriage in it, the book’s premise is that all relationships are opportunities for a deeper and more aware connection between us.

Most of the concepts outlined in this book outdistance prevalent beliefs about what is true and what is possible in all of our relationships.

May your understanding of yourself continue to develop as the facets of your relationships with others are revealed.

Blessings ~

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Bookmark and Share

4x6_cave_bw_fs.jpg 
By Stacy Kamala Waltman
March 1, 2008

Would love to have your opinions, ideas and stories (books, people you know, reference materials, etc.) on actual examples of how to develop a successful business and infuse it with spiritual principles.

  • What are spiritual principles when it comes to running an effective business in this day and age?
  • How do we authentically survive as a sole proprietor or limited partnership of a spiritual business model that isn’t based upon greed and/or fear and competition in the business world?

There seems to be a lot of examples in both camps but very few integrated examples representing both sides.

Some of the questions I am pondering include:

  1. How do we compensate (or not) for referrals?
  2. How do we discount to those who appear to be in need and yet be fair to all?
  3. Are trade dollars the exact same equivalent of hard money or is there more leeway with trade dollars?
  4. When is it appropriate to give our services freely and when are we not being good business people to go down this road?
  5. How do we demonstrate charity instead of welfare?

I always liked to look at the interconnected angles to these questions and in this case, I love the wonderful analogy of the tree. 

As long as the tree is taken care of; it is watered, has sun, the bees are pollinating, the worms are irrigating, and everything is contributing to the well being of the tree: the tree will provide abundant fruit. 

As a result of being taken care of by an invisible web of support, the fruit is there for all to enjoy and be nourished by.  The tree does not give its fruit to those who are worthy ~ it gives to all ~ beggar, thief, holy person, and all sentient beings.

Because it is nourished by an interconnected system of caretakers, the tree will produce an abundance of fruit and if there aren’t enough beings to take the produce, the excess crop falls off the branches and onto the ground.

As long as there are enough creatures to take the grounded morsels and there isn’t too much excess that lies rotting on the ground, the decomposing fruit eventually re-circulates back to the tree as nourishment. 

However, if the tree were to hoard its fruit – waiting for only the worthy to taste it or holding back for those who could pay for it – the overabundance of fruit – its gifts – would rot and the tree would eventually suffocate- it would die from its excess.

In my business, I have looked at referrals and their contribution to my success and exposure as an opportunity to show gratitude for people who are taking the time to remember me and pass my spiritual business information along.

If someone refers a potential client to me and that referred individual actually signs up for one of my programs, I send the referrer a gift as a show of my appreciation and gratitude. 

I also have the following mechanism in place:  when I have six full paying clients, I offer two half price scholarships as well as one full scholarship.

In service to the community, I also write this BLOG.  The aim of this venue is that its contents may nourish some people in the world.  There is a cost to me in the aspect of my time and a small charge by WordPress.  

I also give free monthly talks.  Do I give too much?  I don’t know.  I seek a balance of serving all of the people who need my services regardless of their place in the economic pyramid and having the financial ability to participate in a simple yet abundant life.

Sometimes I have created a waiting list for those who couldn’t pay and when one scholarship program ended, it became time for another to fill the spot.

At this stage in my life, I am always looking for opportunities to give what I have in excess.  When I was 18 or 19 years old, Swami Satchidananda told me, “Kamala, don’t hoard the pens.”  At the time I was hand-drawing mandalas and coloring them in beautiful colors.  

Back then, (just a couple of years ago), I had very little in terms of excess and thought, “What in the world is he talking about?  He must think I’m someone else because I don’t have anything!”  I am still contemplating this teaching from this enlightened master.

Today, I feel my energy circulating by making a living and still having compassion for others by offering my programs to them at a level they can afford.

One of my favorite children’s books found offered on my website under Resources and then Children’s Bookshttp://www.integrationcoaching.com/resources.htm is:  The Quiltmaker’s Gift (Hardcover) by Jeff Brumbeau (Author), Gail De Marcken (Illustrator). 

You can also find it here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0439309107?tag=wwwintegratio-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=0439309107&adid=0QMAD3Y6Q3KBRAWA5J6E&

I love its story about the freedom of giving and the detriments of hoarding.

However, I’ve had some spiritual colleagues who have a different point of view from mine which are posted here (I don’t know how accurate any of their comments are):  

“When  I look at how some of the gurus like Gurumayi, Ama, Shree Ma, Gangaji, Maharishi, Swamini Mayatitananda and Sai Ma handle referrals to their businesses it was pretty much the same answer. They really heavily on word of mouth but they never compensate in any way for referrals.”

And this from another individual. 

“I think the issue of referrals is interesting. It never occurred to me to be compensated for referring business to a certain place. I have sent plenty of people to this business, but I do it because I want the business to thrive and the community to grow and the people to get benefit. And selfishly, if this business thrives, then I can continue to get benefit too. Building community is based on referral – I have referred my doctor, my dentist, my attorney, my accountant, etc, etc. I have never been compensated financially, but I have been compensated by the sense that the community is stronger as a result.”

What are your thoughts on these subjects?

  1.  How do we authentically survive as a sole proprietor or limited partnership of a spiritual business model that isn’t based upon greed and/or fear and competition in the business world?
  2. How do we compensate (or not) for referrals?
  3. How do we discount to those who appear to be in need and yet be fair to all?
  4. Are trade dollars the exact same equivalent of hard money or is there more leeway with trade dollars?
  5. When is it appropriate to give our services freely and when are we not being good business people to go down this road?
  6. How do we demonstrate charity instead of welfare?
  7. What are spiritual principles when it comes to running an effective business in this day and age?

Read Full Post »