Convincing Yourself Is the First Step–You Might Need a Frame

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Framed. Image by chedder uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Last week, one of our beloved soul-colleagues commented as we sat down to work together (in a phone session) that

“sometimes you need to convince yourself that what you’re doing is important”

and sometimes

“you need a frame”

and he felt that’s what meeting and doing homework with RAISING CLARITY provided.

I was so moved by the ease with which he described something I have a hard time describing: what I do for people, what RAISING CLARITY does for people. I asked if I could share it with you, and he said I could.

I also asked if I could share the website for what our soul-colleagues on this project are building: an income-sharing intentional community called Cambia that hosts a sustainability educational center called the Living Systems Exploratorium (LSE). Here is some juicy description of the community that includes the LSE; I also love this page about the culture being realized at Cambia.

What RAISING CLARITY does indeed is set aside time with you to discuss, refine and empower your work. We create a frame around your  work for self-reflection that helps you see clearly, with detachment and love. So you can change more easily and also so you can appreciate how beautiful your vision is and how amazing your accomplishments are to date. Even if you think they are small. Perhaps especially if, outside the frame, they seem small. After a while, you don’t need us to show you or help you, you are simply a soul-colleague building out your corner of the Beloved Community right along with us building out ours. And you can even pass on what you have learned about the importance of seeing your work truly with detachment and love to others.

Is this coaching? Is it consulting? Yes! It’s both. It’s why we’re changing the description of our work to interweave both aspects. Of course we do fundraising, promotion and Board training for organizations. And we do moneycoaching, life coaching, and healing the flow of abundance for individuals. But underneath there is one thing we do. And it’s described here. Thoughts on how to improve our description are always welcome!

 

Trumping Trump: Proposal for Beloved Community Accountability Group

npg-donald-trumpGreetings, Beloveds! It’s all very well for us to march…

If we want to be a FORCE for CHANGE, we need to remain ACCOUNTABLE for the NEXT FOUR YEARS.

RAISING CLARITY is creating an accountability group for the duration of the Trump Administration to anyone who wants help keeping personal promises during this time.  Below is our proposal. We’ll be announcing the group soon and promoting it widely but first we’d like to know: what do you think? Please tell us!

The Beloved Community Accountability Group’s purpose is to help you keep your promises to use the Trump Administration to BUILD your corner of the Beloved Community in whatever ways you are moved to do it.

Proposal

  1. The group is open to anyone who wants in, anywhere
  2. cost to join is on a sliding scale and negotiable
  3. members get space to honor pain and challenges without getting stuck in them
  4. members get support and accountability coaching for “big stuff” like new projects or more powerful existing projects AND “small stuff” like acts of solidarity with at-risk of-being-targeted groups, making friendships across political lines, dissolving hatred from your life, taking quiet time daily, filtering the news, responding effectively if you are targeted
  5. the group meets once/month by phone + in writing if desired (for example, via a closed Facebook Group)
  6. the group is small–10 people max, to be able to speak and listen to each other well
  7. participants can join at any time
  8. participants can leave at any time
  9. there is always an open group you can join, new groups are added as needed
  10. 10 max friends can ask us to facilitate their group
  11. anyone can take this idea and create their own group, with my compliments!
  12. I coach and facilitate each group but speak less than most participants; my job is to help members stay accountable to their vision of, and commitment to doing their “stuff” to build, the Beloved Community.

Are you in? Any changes you think we should make to the design of the group? Group(s) will begin in March.


Backstory: I began researching the Beloved Community in 2013. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is deservedly our most famous Beloved Community organizer. It’s believed Dr. King encountered in seminary the Beloved Community’s conceptual creator, philosopher Josiah Royce, who wrote that the Beloved Community works by redeeming betrayal through creative acts of reconciliation inspired by the betrayal. This calls us to such an outrageous reframing of ourselves that I believe it is why Dr. King (and I) fell in love with it. Details:

  1. The Beloved Community suffers betrayal on a daily basis. (The Trump Administration, for many, is just such a four-year-long betrayal. On the other hand, Trump was elected by people who also felt betrayed.)
  2. How to heal betrayal when it happens?  Any member can heal any other member’s betrayal! We are all, in different ways, betrayers and betrayed. The Beloved Community is universal and includes ALL humanity.
  3. When betrayal happens, “the community can find no reconciliation. But can it create one?” 
  4. “It is the traitor, and it is not the community, that has done the deed of betrayal. But new deeds remain to be done. These deeds of reconciliation are made possible by that betrayal.”
  5. “The world, as transformed by our creative deeds is better than it would have been had all else remained the same, but had that deed of treason not been done.”* THIS is our challenge. This is what our Beloved Community Accountability Group exists to support.

In other words, we use the Trump Administration to BUILD THE BELOVED COMMUNITY.


*I have changed Royce’s wording slightly. Source: Josiah Royce’s The Problem of Christianity.

Image: This beautiful, engaging Portrait of Donald J. Trump by Michael O’Brien is owned by the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Portrait Gallery and modified by Beth Raps using a copyright-free golden arrow.

WE give you HOMEWORK!

I found myself writing homework for five different clients last week and realized: wow! what fun! for me and for them!

RAISING CLARITY may be the only people proud of giving you HOMEWORK. I know, I know, you probably remember homework like this:320px-I_Don't_Know_ANY_of_This!

When you work with us, it feels like this:

320px-ChaliceWell(GB)QuietReflectionSignyou can count on your dollars stretching f-a-a-a-rther by us giving you homework that we review, often for free, in between sessions. Here’s an explanation we love:

I do not advise working with Beth if you do not want to work hard. Beth will do everything she says she’ll do and expect the same of you. She will guide you through a process of clarification which will give you and your group a clear goal and empower you to achieve it for yourself.

This is from our new-and-improved Testimonials page. It’s one of our all-time favorite endorsements: you will work smarter, not harder with us, and we promise you’ll raise clarity. You’ll gain focus, specificity, detail, depth, richness in what you came to us for.

2017 Needs Us BOLD

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Construction of the new Golden Horn Metro Bridge, in Istanbul. Image: Arild Vågen on Wikimedia Commons, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

2017 is a year to be strong and clear about where you stand. Us, too: I’m considering this as our new subtitle:

RAISING CLARITY: your practical and intuitive guide to peaceful organization of money, promotion and life

What do you think? Does that cover what we do, in your experience?*

I’m finally done being awed at the gifts I’ve been given to share (intuitive especially) and ready just to claim ’em and use them.

What gifts are you claiming? Be bold. What is your plan for using them?

The world needs us bold right now. And the New Year is time for change. You can feel it. If you can feel it, you can act on it. If you act on it even a little, you get help from the unseen. And you build your intuition. Try it. If you need our help, ask. Here is more on what we do. If you are serious, we will help you. We will figure out a price.


*We’re reorganizing the blog, too. If you can’t find something where you used to find it, let me know.

Buy One Hour, Give One Free: RAISING CLARITY’s Non-Bogus BOGO

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I love bogo. Image by Mark Morgan uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Our darling soul-colleague J (we’ll let you out yourself in a comment) suggested we’d reach our just-right people if we offered BOGO.  We’re doin’ it! It is now RAISING CLARITY policy that if you buy some our time, you can gift the same to anyone who’s never worked with us before.

This offer is non-bogus because it’s retroactive:

if you’ve ever bought an hour of our time, you can gift one

and it’s fractal:

if you’ve bought a half-hour, you may gift a half-hour. Or even 15 minutes!

Here’s how it works:
  1. Email us at bethraps@raisingclarity.com with the name & email address of the person to whom you’re gifting the hour. (It can be an organization or an individual. Coaching is what individuals want for themselves; consulting what they want for their organizations or projects, but you can let them choose.)
  2. We will send them a fancy, branded RAISING CLARITY email letting them know you’ve gifted them and initiating conversation about what they’d like to use it for. (We never start the clock til we know what we’re doing. Anything prior to that is free, considered “scope of work,” a fancy phrase for “figuring out how we can help.”) We cc you on the initial email.
  3. You can do this as many times as you like: one gift hour per paid hour, a gift half-hour per paid half-hour or even a gift quarter-hour per paid quarter-hour. (Our work is that good: you actually make progress in 15 minutes’ coaching or consulting. I have the testimonials to prove it.) Our rate is $100/hour unless you purchase 10+ hours at a time, which brings the rate to $80/hour–or you’ve negotiated a different rate with us.

Our (Model) Risky Business

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Tree bridge over the River Gaunless. (I like that it sounds a lot like “dauntless.”) “Casting about, however, one finds this splendidly adapted fallen tree, which has a handrail fastened on, and a rope across, to pull yourself up the icy bank on the far side.” Image by and  uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Andy Waddington, from geograph.uk, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

I’m reading The Path Redefined, Lauren Maillian Bias’ book for entrepreneurs recommended by the founder of Pipeline Angels (quoted in our “Money/economy book suggestion” here). It’s having an impact on me similar to The Seven Levels of Communication.  The author is unlike me in some ways (she wants to be a billionaire, she’s a highly successful serial entrepreneur, single mother of two small children, African-American, and probably still under 30) and like me in that she’s soulful and loves to help us explore really good questions. And she’s very, very happy with where her life is going! You’ll probably hear more about her book in an upcoming Recommended Reading post. (Here’s an excerpt.)

The good questioning exploration of hers I am reading now (early on in the book) is, what do you want to be doing in the foreseeable future?

Many authors ask us this. The way Bias helps us get there enchants me. Below, I summarize her exercise to help you see your “path redefined. Then I reveal my own. (Sharing my exploration with you is a time-sculpting device: make it count twice, and give yourself permission to give it more time.)

Bias says: Allow your “mind to wander without limits,” looking closest at possibilities “that seem most nearly impossible to attain but with the greatest potential rewards” and choose “the one path to the future that gets [you] most motivated and excited,” inspiring you to set “smaller, readily attainable goals” along “the exact path…[to your] lofty, aspirational goal.” She asks we check in with ourselves: “Will it have been worth it even if I fail?” “Once that answer is clearly a resounding ‘yes,’ the potential risks morph into rewards” (p. 24).

I love the way Bias nudges us into our big dream.*

As I did this exercise, I saw RAISING CLARITY on a cushion giving wise help to just the people who need her. There was no drama and not a lot of noise. There was a steady quiet flow in, and out.

Though I have never spelled it out and admitted it publicly, this is

  • the lofty aspirational goal that most motivates and excites me (having a lot of time to spend on each client, knowing just what to say to each, being a quiet space for each to be as well as to receive answers to questions, being a drama-free zone where we look at our own stuff as the Divine Curriculum rather than blaming anyone–others or ourselves, knowing when it is time to help, when it is time to listen, when it is time to let go of a client)
  • the one most nearly impossible to attain (only because it is hard to affirm in this business climate; I already have attained it, exactly! I now only want to increase the steady, quiet flow by an order of magnitude)
  • the one with the greatest potential rewards (making a living by (my own precise) design)
  • the one that gets me most motivated and excited (as a contemplative with travel, parenting, loverly, philosophic and activist commitments)
  • the one that will have totally been worth it if I fail.

RAISING CLARITY’s business model is to become so wise we can locate the exact right people for us to serve and give them the exact right help. Getting this wise will totally have been worth it even if I fail.  You can see how in today’s  hyperconnected, white-noisy world, it’s the one most nearly impossible to attain and as a business model, that it’s risky. Perfect! I love it!!!

Bias’ “go-for-broke” approach (combined with her obvious, astonishing business acumen described in the book) gave me permission–no, authority!–to claim it, and share it. Even though it is wildly different from Bias’ big dream! RAISING CLARITY are like this with you, too: supporting your model whether it is business as usual, or businessunusual.

Support us in having our perfect stream of clients; offer kind intention we succeed. Thank you to you who refer us! Support us by asking if we can help with something. We’ll tell you the truth–and refer you to someone who can help, if it’s not we. Support us sharing your big dream for yourself in a comment to this post.


*If you are paying close attention to the specifics of Bias’ exercise, you’ll notice I’ve omitted the “smaller, readily attainable goals” along the exact path. She’s right; these are important! I’ve completed: redefining abundance, learning to live with more spaciousness in my mind and schedule than most people can stand! And understanding those two are the same thing, for me. Also: learning to say no, learning to say “yes!” and negotiate payment for my work ever more directly, experimenting with rates, packages, and sliding scales. Learning it is safe to be popular (I’ve come a long way since last August when I wrote that post). Recently realizing I’m an entrepreneur because I’m a risk-taker and innovator, not simply a small-business-starter. Understanding my entrepreneurial drive doesn’t take me on the same path as others’ just means the word fits me that much more! And helps me see I have allies, and a book like Bias’ is written for me, too. Bias’ book reassures me it’s normal for me to sacrifice everything for my big dream! Even though my big dream is to be a billionaire of spaciousness and wisdom.

New “smaller, readily attainable goals” include reaching an order of magnitude more people by telling our story in new ways. Perhaps on their journey with us, they take a training or workshop with us, buy the book we are writing, subscribe to this blog, join our community. It’s my big dream that only a self-selected few end up visiting RAISING CLARITY on her cushion but that all gain discernment, help, and answers.

Frankly, I think ours is a business model others should risk!

We Take the Leap with You

Two bottlenosed dolphins leap out of the water at Roatan Island in Honduras. 2000 Roatan, Honduras

Leaping Dolphins. Two bottlenosed dolphins leap out of the water at Roatan Island in Honduras, 2000. Image by Zest-pk uploaded to Flikr, accessed via Creative Commons Search.

Greetings! soul-colleagues, loyal readers, and interested onlookers,

Now Hear This:

Our clients have shown us that RAISING CLARITY works with issues beyond your flow of funds: RAISING CLARITY coaching is effective with our clients’ self-development; family and relationship flow; and money flow. It works with children and adults.

Today is our Leap Day telling in new words what we uniquely offer YOU:

RAISING CLARITY

uses your challenges

at work, with other people, in your personal wellbeing

to teach you our rational, contemplative, and shamanic tools so you

  1. know yourself and your awesome powers;
  2. experience abundance not only of money but of time;
  3. collaborate with wisdom’s gifts.
Most people start with looking at what’s wrong “out there.” But we contribute to our circumstances–and that we can change.

Work with us for 15 minutes and you’ll see. (15 minutes will cost you $25.)

We start by taking the leap with you, teaching you our  tools and practicing them with you. And then, you’re done. It’s not forever. It’s just long enough.

1. Know Yourself and Your Powers

One of our favorite ways to show clients their superpowers is in the “dreamtime.” When dreamtime work is called for in a client session, we invite you to RAISING CLARITY’s spacious house in a kind of parallel universe you enter with your mind–and you leave with gifts. Each trip is completely unique and utilizes our abundant psychic ability as well as cultivating  your own abundance in intuition!

Here, you can: find powers you thought you lost, reclaim parts of yourself you didn’t mean to give away, try out alternative scenarios and regain your place on the pathway to your unique abundance each time. Wise guides from every era and beyond time and space can meet you here if you are willing. The house acts as an amplifier; we find clients see, hear, sense much more here than in everyday life. And there is no belief system you need to have before it will work for you: you already have it. We’ve found intuition is simply a natural, human ability. In fact, we’ve helped many develop their own locations in the dreamtime so they can use this intuitive “booster” anytime. For a fuller description, contact us  or see this blog post describing our dreamtime work. For testimonials, see here; the second and third testimonial concern our dreamtime work specifically.

2. Experience Abundance

Another unusual aspect of RAISING CLARITY is our knowing you are perfect, healed, whole, and have everything you seek. You would be surprised at how effective this is–unless you have worked with us before!

Taking this approach, we see quickly and clearly what looks like it is stuck in your way or stuck to you. We understand that it is not you. And once you understand that, you understand how to change things. The “it” that is not you includes the wounds you have experienced. We explore these as part of the wisdom curriculum of your life.  Some wounds we have worked with are of

  • poverty or extreme, unpredictable highs and lows of wealth and poverty
  • racism, which harms people of color and whites in different ways, splitting us off from ourselves and each other; in whites, there is a specific pattern of “armoring” RAISING CLARITY gives safe space to explore so we can begin to speak our racist fears, thoughts, beliefs, and other foolishness in order to reclaim our wholeness and become a safe space for others to reclaim theirs
  • sexual and physical violence
  • being old souls in young bodies
  • not being taken seriously because of the way we act, speak, think, dress, or come across to others.

You will be amazed at who you are vs. who you thought you were. You are already abundant! Stop hiding from yourself! and enjoy “peaceful progress with plenty of support,” as the last line of our very short video tells you.

3. Collaborate with Wisdom

Overall, RAISING CLARITY’s longest-lasting gift to you is that we teach you tools for thought. Get clarity and obstacles become things you can do something about.  You gain focus in the dreamtime. Then you redirect your energy and focus so they are productive. Things change; you change; and you own all our contemplative, rational and shamanic tools when you leave.

Many people have felt like they were going a million miles an hour and needed to pull off the highway to look at a map.

RAISING CLARITY clients take this as a sign to do just that.

You can change your thoughts and we can help you.

Work with us for just 15 minutes and you’ll see.

Thanks! to our soul-colleague Andrea Haynes of Abounding Spirit for a very helpful read of the first draft of this post.

Share My Joy! (and special retreat offer)

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Image courtesy of Omni Bedford Springs Resort and Spa.

Mudita (noun, Sanskrit): The joy experienced in sharing joy.

Share my joy at being invited back again to present my work at one of my favorite places on Earth, Bedford Springs Resort. The event is called “Be Empowered,” and it takes place Saturday, March 5th, from 9am to 5pm.

In fact, for $50 (if you register by this Friday, February 26th)* you can join me there for the day!

The presence of the divine Feminine is strong at Bedford Springs. I come as a luxurious treat for personal healing and professional inspiration. This is a place of deep rest and respite.

Be Empowered is the first of four events throughout 2016 you can find out more about by clicking right here.

At Be Empowered on Saturday, March 5th   I join Therese Jornlin and Angie Yasulitis in a program themed for Spring: be empowered personally, professionally, spiritually. You can find the agenda here, and some juicy details if you read on:

Therese opens the day at 9AM teaching us the depth of our breath, and helping us go there in both body and mind. I’m next on the agenda clarifying your true nature and the abundant resources that come with clarity about who you are, using both movement (to exquisite music by Baltimore-based Andrea Wenger and Ithaca-based David Radin) and my special gift of guided meditation in the “dreamtime” so you can see your true nature with clarity and claim the  abundant resources that come with clarity. Angie unifies the day by sharing her “FEAST” with us, bringing together financial fitness, exercise/nutrition, attitude, spirit/soul, and time for self-growth. The day culminates in a closing by Therese.

Please ask me questions if you need help deciding.* You can also call the Resort at (814) 623-8100 or click here.

Thank you for sharing my joy, now and throughout our RAISING CLARITY together.

–Beth

*NOTE: Registration for the day-long event is $50 until Friday, February 26th. Telephone to register if you are not staying overnight: (814) 623-8100. After February 26th, registration for the all-day event on Saturday, March 5th is still only $99. If you would like to stay overnight, see specially priced packages by clicking here. Overnight guests are invited to a reception on Friday evening, March 4th, at which I’ll also offer a (different) guided meditation. Questions about registration or overnight packages? Contact Dana Piccardo at the Resort, (814) 624-5615 and let her know you heard about the retreat from RAISING CLARITY. Questions about RAISING CLARITY, including more detail about what we’ll offer at this event? Contact us.

Scope of Work includes Free Work from Us to You

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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.

RAISING CLARITY Is A Shelter

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“Notley Fern Gorge: Shelter at start of walk. The track began by passing through this shelter. The sign on the left contained a map and useful information about the area. A short distance downhill, the track split to form a loop.” Image by and uploaded to Flikr by Cowirrie, located using a Creative Commons image search.

Most of what I write means in at least two ways. Our title today is no exception: you raising your own clarity is a shelter to you. And we at RAISING CLARITY are a shelter–for you and others.

Searching for our blog post images is always such a delicate dance of inspiration. I wait until I find one my heart responds to, like this one. And then I let my mind enter the dance so it can talk to my heart and figure out why I’m choosing the image. Usually, choosing the image helps me refine what I want to say. It is that important.

This image enlivens this post because RAISING CLARITY shelter is

  • lightweight yet sturdy
  • all-weather yet open–and if you read the caption (which I didn’t write, the photographer did),
  • gives you useful information about the path you’re on + a map
  • is there at the beginning and before the “loops” your path will take.

That’s good enough found poetry for me! Plus, it’s beautiful!

The way we shelter is by helping you build inwardly. Your own lightweight, sturdy, all-weather strength that allows you to remain that much more open to the vicissitudes and the vichysoisse. (It does feel like cold potato soup sometimes.)

Building shelter inwardly can take many forms. If you already have a spiritual belief, we help you practice it. Regularly, because that’s what a practice is–regular. It creates structure inside you. That’s what it’s for.

If you haven’t any particular spiritual belief, we encourage you to reflect on one and see if you did have one but you just hadn’t noticed and then we help you develop a practice to bring it into your life.

If you don’t want a spiritual belief, you still have a mind, and heart, and intuition. Those are plenty enough guidance. We help you learn to listen inwardly to these and filter out voices called “the world,” “other people,” “everyone says,” “everyone knows,” “I can’t,” “I never have before,” “I always,” “I’m afraid they won’t like me,” and others.

This morning in meditation we came up with this post in fact, struck by the realization that for us, there is no longer a “general public,” or a “normal,” or “the way most people do it.” This is because far from avoiding the world, we are so deeply in it we see into the world. We don’t feel weird anymore.

And when you look deeply into the world, you see there is no “everyone.” And thus no imagined majority you were in opposition to or apart from or so weird or poor or just plain different from. I’m not just saying “everyone’s an individual.” That’s boring, everyone knows that.

I’m saying we live and breathe and have our being within ourselves–and in community. If you look deeply into the world, you find:

  • families, natural and created
  • neighborhoods, local and virtual
  • communities, organized on just about any organizing principles sometimes simultaneously you can think of.

Community is a shelter. It’s not designed to immunize you against the world, but it is designed to protect you from its weather. That’s the kind of shelter we are and teach you to create in the world for your work–and inside yourself, for all your selves.

So there!