FeaturedYour Guide to this Blog

apple-touch-icon-114x114Greetings! Welcome to the RAISING CLARITY blog.

The purpose of this blog is to give you our work for free.

To Learn About Our Work: for individuals, choose Coaching or Mentoring. Organizations: choose Consulting or Training. About our philosophy and practice: try this and the posts. (Founder Beth’s bio is here.)

You can experience the expansive ways we think in these posts:

You can learn what we know in these posts:

and if those made sense to you, you could choose by season for more in-depth tools:

Finally, we also have posts that tell Stories, because some folks learn best that way.

Finding Your Self at Work: The Sixth Step: let it go


Could not resist: this is an unauthorized image from the Frozen during which sequence on the steps Elsa sings “Let It Go.”

So you would think this was the easy Step: letting go of all that yecch you figured out in Step 4 and acknowledged publicly in Step 5.  After that, surrendering to the Power you are learning to trust beyond capitalism’s race to insanity should be easy.

It’s easy if you’ve really done Steps 4 and 5. (And if you don’t know what we are talking about, start here with Step 1. The whole set of Steps are here.)

It’s not just easy because Steps 4 and 5 were agonizing. Though I bet they were! This whole series is somewhat agonizing: for me, it’s brave and scary to come “out” advocating recovery from capitalism as an illness when my professional practice is all about money and abundance. But it’s a vital recentering and a-RAISING CLARITY for me!

Step 6 is that we

6. Were entirely ready to have a Power greater than ourselves remove all these defects of character.

It’s easy now to surrender because we have removed what was in the way of trusting this Power. This is the Power greater than capitalism we explored and first considered surrendering to in Step 3.  It may be different for each one of us but there IS that Power for YOU. It’s that simple.

And we are capable of aligning with that Power now that we have taken the steps to remove what was out of alignment in us with it. It is Us. We have removed what was out of alignment in us with Us. We have stopped what I called “self-abandonment” in Step 4.

It’s that simple. And that challenging. I hope you will try it, Step by Step.

PS: At this halfway point in our series, I give gratitude to this website on the 12 Steps, useful to anyone with any addictive problem.

Finding Your Self at Work: The Fifth Step, admitting responsibility

big public steps

Estación de Llamaquique (Llamaquique Rail Station, Oviedo, Spain). Uploaded to Flikr and taken by Nacho, accessed via Creative Commons.


Once you’ve done Step 4, this Step is easy. I’m being sneaky, I know. Back in our last post, I told you Step 4 was easier than Step 5 was going to be. (Imagine how easy Step 1 seems now? Try it if you haven’t. You can find all the Steps here.)

In a way, they are both true: Step 4 was just quietly and privately taking your own self-inventory of how you caved in to capitalism’s insanity and abandoned yourself. Step 5 is telling other people about it but you’ve already done the quiet, private part. (In another way, those 12 Steppers are sneaky! They figured out to separate into two different steps the quiet private work of self-inventory and the public acknowledgement of how we caved.) Here is Step 5: we

5. Admitted to that Power greater than ourselves, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

Back in our last post, I promised you my list. Here it is, my start at feeling and acknowledging all I abandoned of my precious self to the Great God Money:

  • my self-esteem
  • my identity
  • my reason for existence
  • my intrinsic goodness, my worth
  • my knowing what needed to be done next for real (whatever made the most money, right?)
  • my friendships
  • my interests.

And that’s just a sketch, a start. While each of these items may sound abstract, for me to write it out to you, I had to feel it. Before you determine what yours are, feel it. Forage around in those wild gardens of the self and uproot some abandonment. Look carefully at it before you toss it on the fire. So that even if your words are the same as mine, what they represent will be intensely personal.

Notice that today (the day this post is publishing) is Thanksgiving. Work it! Tell people how you’ve noticed you caved into capitalism. You could really start a conversation at the table! I’m partly serious here: I am Thankful for this process in my life.

You can see how deep this goes. You can see now why we need to move this s–t out of the way in order to even know Whom or What to Trust. Remember: you don’t have to believe. You don’t have to hate on capitalism; I don’t! I’m just done with it running my life. Oops. I mean I am done with abandoning my life to it. And I know there is a path out of that self-abandonment. To stay on that path through the fourth and fifth Steps means I turn within to my own self-abandonment, “searchingly and fearlessly.” Or as fearless as I can be right now. I get more fearless as I stay on this path.

Finding Your Self at Work: The Fourth Step, self-inventory


The light at the top of those stairs! Tintinhull House, inside, staircase. Somerset, UK. Photo uploaded to Flikr by Elliott Brown, accessed via Creative Commons.

What did we do to put ourselves in this situation of dependence upon capitalism? We made our sanity dependent on something insane. (See Step 1.) We did that!

Then we realized we had become dependent, and we realized there had to be a way out. We can find our Selves at work, through work: the quest for money becomes the quest for abundance, and true abundance isn’t found by chasing anything out there.

Step 2 reminds us to choose higher joy–the joy that is in here, inside us. We are still seeking abundance. It’s just more direct to go straight to its source. (Believe me, I won’t leave you in the lurch. In this series and in any of RAISING CLARITY’s work with you, you aren’t being asked to abandon family and self and live in a cave. That’s not where all of this is going.)

Step 3 pointed out that since we had surrendered to capitalism, we could choose to surrender to something else that simply made sense and was in greater alignment with ourselves. And it pointed us in the direction of that higher, saner Power that we can trust to take care of us. Important to note: we don’t have to understand it completely and we don’t even to trust it completely. We just have to be willing to trust in it.

So now, suddenly, we turn our gaze away from that beautiful Power that still looks like it is “out there” somewhere and we look within, and we see–yecch. Yup, that’s the “searching and fearless moral inventory” of Step 4: we

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

Wha–? Why do this right now? Why is this the very next step?

It must be because it really is the next step. I am gonna guess that millions of addicts who have used this program successfully to kick addictions and live delighted lives are not wrong. This step must be just what is needed at this point to help us do the hard thing: trust. It must help us come into alignment with the Power we are flirting with surrendering to.

It’s so easy to think that Power is puny or at least less practical anyway than just having lots and lots of money!

But whom do we think is really the puny one? Us! Who feels less practical at the mere idea of trusting in a Power beyond capitalism? Us! Who needs to get into alignment with this Power? you guessed it…

This step calls us to evaluate all we have abandoned of ourselves. It must be time for this step. (It’s easy; in the next one you have to share your self-inventory! Eek! Stay tuned. In Step 5’s post, I share mine).

Another Way to “Structure It!”


While this is not the simple structure I suggest in this post, I loved that the artist was inspired by the same poem as I am inspired by. Image by and uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Todd Stedl (NefariousPhD), entitled and described by him: “Nested integral Apollonian circle packing, with exterior circle curvatures of -2 to -20; an example of an Apollonian gasket.”

He drew a circle and shut me out–

Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.

But Love and I had the wit to win.

We drew a circle that took him in.*

This well-known but seldom-contemplated rhyme is an example of structure that remakes the world. “Look” at it: your mind draws a small circle with a point outside. There’s a point firmly at its center, though. This center point forms the center of another, larger, circle now–one that includes the point outside the smaller circle. Do you see how powerful this is? I don’t just mean the structure itself. I mean what it means: you have remade the world by this simple act. You can easily think of someone to do it for—someone you’ve excluded from a circle, or who has excluded you from theirs. Someone with whom you want healing.

Go ahead and try it.

*The poem is “Outwitted,” by Edwin Markham, 1852-1940.

Peaceful P.R.



Lakshmi. Massive props to Dylan Meconis for allowing her powerful, accessible illustration(s) to be used within Creative Commons licensing for noncommercial purposes. I hope this qualifies! Here is her whole series of Goddesses. I love what she wrote about Lakshmi and this image; you can find it here.

I am shocked to find that I can promote my practice, RAISING CLARITY, while at peace.

The  way I learned to do promotion was frenetic. Scared I wasn’t enough. Trying to be something better, something people would want.

Then I gave up and stopped promoting. I like not advertising, as Michael Maher recommends in The Seven Levels of Communication, and won’t go back to advertising. But the reason for that is different from my reason for not promoting at all.

Not promoting at all was reactive. It was the other extreme of the pendulum swing: promote frenetically OR do no promotion “peacefully.”

But not promoting at all was a false peacefulness.

It was really hiding. And avoiding being known and seen. None of these are associated with true inner peace.

What guided me to this was true peacefulness. I woke up this morning and realized, “I can do this. I can promote my work and not leave this peaceful state. Ever.” (A few years ago, I woke up and realized I could do the work itself and not leave this peaceful state. My peaceful state is one reason folks hire me!)

The more peaceful I become within, the more I realize (pun intended) a middle ground between promote frenetically OR do no promotion “peacefully”: promote peacefully.  I plan to share this, peacefully.



Scope of Work includes Free Work from Us to You

scope of work1

This is our little “scope of work” button you see at the bottom of this page, for example.

This post tells you how to get free work from us. You have to actually want to work with us–that’s the only catch.

Whenever we start a project with someone, we ask a lot of questions so we know if and how we can help you, and how much we think it will cost, so we can tell you all of that, in detail.

In the course of  the questions, you get clarity–for free! And then sometimes, that’s enough for the moment. Why?

  • The scope of work process may reveal you don’t need us. (We definitely give referrals if we aren’t right for you!)
  • More often, scope of work may be enough for you for the moment because you learn you aren’t ready to make the most of your investment in us. And you learn how to get ready. That’s worth a lot.

If you click on the image above or the link in its caption, you will find at the bottom of the page you get to a further description of “scope of work.” Here is part of that description:

“Before we meet, we’ll ask you questions with no “right” answers, just YOUR answers.

Always we will want to know why you want to work with us—no matter how unclear you are. What’s missing, what you need, but also what you know and are already doing that is working. Because we start from what is working and all the clarity you already have.”

One final note: This “scope of work” process definitely is offered for consulting as well as coaching.

Structure It!

single snowflake

A relatively big snowflake crystal for its type, around 2mm. The ring of dots in the center reminds the photographer of a CD’s markers of data sector boundaries. A very unusual pattern. Image and my paraphrase of part of commentary by Alexey Kljatov uploaded to Flikr and accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Structure makes (nearly) everything better.

  • If you want to think better about a project, structure it.
  • If you want to improve a relationship, check out its structure.
  • If you have any problem except one,* take a step back from it and see its structure. Then fix it.

What does this even mean? What am I talking about?

Allow yourself for a minute to go within. Close your eyes, notice you are breathing. (You don’t even have to slow your breath down. That happens naturally.)

Allow yourself to see a shape. The first shape you see. Now allow it to become defined, more…shapely. (You are the judge of this.) Notice that your shape has both an inside and an outside.

Now see energy moving through the shape. Where is the flow of the energy smoothly moving? Where does it look stuck? Is its current fast, or slow? thick or thin?

If you have fun with this, you might even notice colors or other distinctions in the shape or the light you are seeing.

These four simple factors:

  • inside
  • outside
  • moving
  • stuck

give you a lot to play with when you “Structure It!” Prepare to be amazed as you read the rest of this post.

Return to the three examples starting this post: a project, a relationship or a problem. Choose one.

See it as a shape. Allow it to take whatever shape shows up. Just observe it. Really observe it:

  • what is inside?
  • what is outside?

Now see energy moving in the shape. Again, just allow it to move how it moves. Map it:

  • where and specifically how does it flow?
  • where does it get stuck?

What does this tell you about your situation?

What would you like the shape and the flow to look like?

Try altering the shape slightly first as you would like it to look. See if it responds. (You can tell it responded if you can easily picture the alteration without forcing. )

Does it feel better to you now? What does this teach you about your situation? Most likely, it gives you a very subtle but important plan of action. Try your plan of action.

If it doesn’t feel right yet, try altering the flow of the energy. Again, don’t force it. This will likely teach you even more about what to do within your situation. Try your plan of action.

This may seem weird, but it works. Try to suspend judgment about it, and try it out. That includes tryng out your subtle plan of action. It will shift your situation. One reason this works is that it simply helps you see things from a different perspective. Another reason it works is that it helps you see things from a detached perspective. Detachment doesn’t mean uncaring. It means caring deeply enough to look at the situation and your small self in it from somewhere wiser. In you. But not your small self.

Please feel free to respond with comments on this, including after you try it, here.

*The exception to structuring it is in the spiritual work of becoming One. In this work you understand that ultimately, you are One and so am I and so is your problem, project, relationship and the people in it. I have not found structuring to be helpful in this work. In fact, as a person inclined to structure, I have found it useful in this work to visualize pure light or dark, pure space or spaciousness and to visualize taking apart structure.

Anti-Racism Meditation: Post #16 in Our Series, What One (White) Person Can Do


I’m keeping this post super-short to encourage you to try this meditation. There are only two steps:

  1. Do the “Policeman Meditation” described in this post.
  2. Note your reactions. Feel free to censor them, but consider posting them here in a comment.

And later, read my reactions if you want to.

My reaction was to feel what the policeman felt at the moment this shot was taken. That is my point in asking you do this meditation and recording of reactions: that we, as (white) people, experience empathy rather than distance with this man and what he represents.

It is so easy for us to distance ourselves from him, his violence, and his whiteness. As people conscientiously anti-racist, we clarify racism in order to end it by contemplating closely the beings and behaviors that trouble us most. We find they resemble us. We also resemble them. Doing this, we come up with new solutions to a problem we see much better because it is in ourselves as well as outside. We embody the healing we seek in this world.

Dualism itself is a root problem. Dualism means seeing something as separate–as 1+1 rather than just 1. It would be lovely if there were a world of all bad people, bad motives, bad behaviors and then there was our world. But there isn’t.

What I observe  when I do the meditation are immediate, and frightening empathy with what I sense this policeman was feeling at the moment the picture was taken. I observe his

  • fear
  • overwhelm
  • dogged protectiveness of property, people, and turf belonging to people he has been assigned to protect.

One odd thing is that he is assigned to protect the people he has drawn his gun on.

Another obvious thing is that he clearly hasn’t the tools to protect at the level he is asked to. He can’t. What he is asked to protect is an idyllic (false) level of existence in which whites are safe from harm, like little children in a dreamworld.

He may have guns, but guns are inadequate to forestall violence; their presence inspires violence.

We have tasked the police with protecting our dreamworld. We are responsible for waking up and dismissing the guards at the gates to our dreamworld. There is nothing there to protect. And in an impossible position, many of us  do disgusting, abhorrent, insane things. Let us stop ourselves.

How I Love Those Good Friends, My Self-Limiting Beliefs

Many wise people tell us to change our self-limiting beliefs. But we don’t change anyone we don’t love. So make friends with your self-limiting beliefs and then do what many wise people say.

How to make friends? The way you cultivate any relationship:

  • go out for coffee, and listen
  • take a walk together, and listen
  • argue heatedly, but be sure you

above all,

  • listen. Be awed by what you learn when you ask what this part of you has had to tell you for so long! You didn’t just decide to be self-limiting! There was a reason: what is it? You find out by listening to this part of yourself. (Like we described in this post.) Sounds weird, but it works.

Take it as seriously as you take intimacy with any other person.

On the other hand, please don’t give in to the self-limiting belief. The point is to reassure it someone wiser is in charge now. This is the wise one listening. Calmly. Demonstrating wisdom, not needing to prove it.

Once you have done the work of listening, the self-limiting-belief-holding self will most likely disappear. A few sessions of friendship-building may be required.

And then you can say, Thank you, dear friend, for being there, keeping me safe in whatever way you knew, and for letting me go.

Finding Your Self at Work: The Third Step, Surrendering to that saner power


Bothell Cemetery Steps. Former pioneer cemetery, Bothell, Washington. Image by John Gately uploaded to Flikr, accessed by a Creative Commons search.

I think I am going to take these posts and these Steps three at a time so we don’t get overwhelmed. Then I’ll take a break from this topic for a bit. Today’s post follows after Step 1’s post here, and Step 2’s post here. In those first two, I took the steps of acknowledging the fundamental unworkability of capitalism in our lives and then allowed a glimpse of hope there is some power greater than capitalism that can help us actually live our lives and our work-lives.

What is that Power? In the 12 Steps, it’s consistently referred to as “God” and sometimes as a “higher power” or “Power.” We don’t have to name it that way, though. And frankly, I think there are many candidates, many forces much bigger than capitalism: Love. Our higher selves. Nature, Gaia, or Mother Earth from which all “capital” comes. Our ancestors. Any of these count as being (as Step 2 puts it), “a Power greater than ourselves that could restore us to sanity.”

My task I am setting myself here is not only to point out the numerous forces greater than capitalism but to locate one you can sanely and reliably surrender to to re-center and re-organize your life.

Surrender? What’s all this about surrender? That sounds pretty way out there.

It sounds way out until you realize you had surrendered to capitalism. Like God, you may not have called it that, but that was in essence what you were doing. (See Step 1.)

It is not only legit but essential to realize what we had surrendered to as part of this process, and then making a more conscious choice this time around.

Since we have surrendered before, we can do it again, this time consciously. Here is the language of Step 3 with “God” removed and the wording used in Step 2 inserted instead of “God”: we

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of a Power greater than ourselves as we understood a Power greater than ourselves.

I like that we don’t have to understand the Power perfectly. It reminds me of how in Step 2, I learned we don’t have to believe in the Power, we just have to be willing to believe. (See the end of this post.)

If we don’t have to believe in it, and we don’t have to understand it perfectly, will it work? Yes. I know and witness to you that there is such Power, and I don’t understand it perfectly and it works for me. And I definitely know I did not believe in it before I tried it. I built trust in it by using it.

OK, Beth, just what is this Power you are recommending?

Glad you asked. Well, of all the powers greater than ourselves listed at the beginning of this post (Love; our higher selves; Nature, Gaia, or Mother Earth; our ancestors), I’m going to choose one that’s apparently not even on the list: Clarity. Clarity is greater than capitalism–if you surrender to it. That’s why we bother to be RAISING CLARITY. It’s not G-d. It’s just a powerful Power if you take it seriously–if you build your life around it. (That’s why we built our practice around it.)

Clarity is self-reinforcing. It doesn’t matter how you get there. It’s not just that all roads can lead to clarity. It’s that clarity will light you on all roads!  If you are simply honest about your experience (as you’ve already had to be to complete Step 1), you will be surrendering to clarity. And you will be building clarity. If you meditate, you will build clarity which will then go outward into your life with you. If you pray, you get clarity. If you treat yourself and other beings the way you really mean to and hang the consequences, the consequences change and you experience greater clarity. It’s a win-win.

The qualities of clarity are luminosity, spaciousness, something that feels like emptiness until you get used to it (and then it still feels empty but you love it, it’s delicious).

Clarity includes, in my humble experience, ease of decisionmaking; awareness of circumstances and how to deal with even hard ones easily; crazy creativity and resourcefulness; cooperative power. And we need these when we stop surrendering to capitalism in order to replace capitalism’s high-risk, deceptively high-cost, addictive security with a gentler, truer, stabler security that starts with attending to your own emotions, circumstances, relationships, energies and resources. I don’t just mean your money; I mean your time, your relationships, your emotions, your circumstances, and your energies. These comprise (some of) your resources, just as they also comprise our challenges.

Finally, remember that surrender takes time. It takes time to practice, but it also takes time to work. Surrender, and keep surrendering, and remembering simply to attend to your own experience, cultivate clarity, and let it help you make decisions, find creative options and employ them, enjoy the finer things in life (the subtleties of your experience you will now notice), and become a person you and others like even more. Namaste.