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Discover Who You Really Are

illuminationIn mid-August, I attended a life-changing workshop. In just five days, I changed my eating habits, discovered what it feels like to be truly aware of my body, had a direct experience of being one with everything, and owned up to my having had one foot out the door of my relationship since it began. I also learned what it means to be fully present in each moment; the downside is that it has been a challenge to hold onto thoughts long enough to write about them, hence the big blogging hiatus.

Then again, had I written about my experience within a day or two of my return, how credible would my testimonial be? In 2007, I attended a three-day financial-mindset-improvement workshop where I acquired useful information. For at least three days after it ended, I claimed to be “transformed.” Except, not so much.

The key to change is something so simple and close to us that we fail to notice it. In fact, it’s with us all the time, but we can’t see it until we look into the right kind of mirror: the face of another.

Maybe you’ve heard it said that others are just mirrors of ourselves. Maybe you believe it. I had said it, myself, and believed it.

And then I experienced it. Completely.

Now, my wish is that every person on the planet could attend the Illumination Intensive or a similar workshop with a teacher who has trained with WarriorSage.

The work is done in dyads, wherein two people alternate between being the speaking partner and the listening partner. The speaking partner responds to, “Tell me who you are,” or another prompt, and the listening partner says, “Thank you,” (and ONLY “Thank you,”) when he or she has heard and understood the response. Dyads are confidential and consist of new partners every time, and each is approached as though it were the first, because each one truly is a new experience.

Every time I thought, “I couldn’t possibly have anything in common with that person,” I was humbled. Without exception, every person who sat before me presented a reflection of myself. And, I had the unique privilege of being witness to the full range of others’ emotions, from elation to grief, and sharing my own.

The staff created an amazingly safe space to “go deep,” and the love in the room was palpable. To ensure that everyone has an intensely personal experience, couples who attend the workshop are encouraged to steer clear of each other throughout the process, and they are not allowed to room together. My partner and I agreed to alternate between sides of the room each day and scarcely made eye contact until the last evening, when I said I realized I’d had one foot out the door, forever, and it was received with a simple, “Thank you.”

I don’t think I’ve ever been “all in” before. It’s pretty nice.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will receive EXACTLY NOTHING if you sign up for the Illumination Intensive or any other WarriorSage event. I am not an affiliate. Not yet, anyway. I intend to attend more events, and I would love to become a trainer someday, but for now, I am merely somebody whose has been rocked to the core of her being.

I hope you will treat yourself to this amazing experience. After you do, please come back and tell me who you are.

Be Excellent: Know When to Go Off-Script

In Goodnight Opus, the children’s book by Berkeley Breathed, the Bloom County penguin becomes bored with Granny’s nightly recitation of Goodnight Moon. When Granny falls asleep reading to him, Opus departs the text.

Departing the text takes him from the mundane to the magical. We can all learn something about excellence from Opus.

It is impossible to provide first-rate service to everyone if you are unwilling to depart the text. Call center and help desk staffers, read: if you are not brave enough to depart the script from time to time, you will ultimately irritate more people than you help.

A recent call to the DSL support line of a telephone and telegraph company in America went something like this:

My modem isn’t working. It had been dropping me offline frequently, and now it won’t connect at all.

If the power light on your modem is red, it means the modem isn’t working.

The power light has been red since I got it, even when it was working.

If the power light is red, the modem won’t work.

The modem worked for a few months, and the power light was always red.

The modem won’t work if the power light is red.

This is the second modem I’ve gotten from you. The power light on the first one was always red, too, even when it worked.

A red power light means the modem isn’t working.

After a few more rounds about the color of the light, the caller hung up in frustration and tried the “redial” approach to customer service. “Maybe if I get someone else on the phone…”

Similarly, a customer in a department store flagged down an employee to ask if they carried a particular product. After answering all of her questions with a string of I-don’t-knows, the employee pointed to a red phone and said, “You can call customer service.” Her response: “And if I call customer service, are they going to send you?”

Repeating a script that isn’t helping a client is no different than saying, “I don’t know,” ad nauseum. By adding just five simple words, you can open the door for stellar customer service: “I don’t know, but I will find out.” Then, proceed to find out, and keep your client in the loop.

Quality begets quality. When you strive for excellence in all that you do, others will take note, as Granny does at the end of Goodnight Opus. Upon finding her napping with a very satisfied look on her face, Opus believes that she, too, has “departed the text.”

What does going “off-script” mean to you? Are you willing to do it?