Enjoying your natural gifts

Published on September 26, 2006 by in Career Coaching, Mind Work


I often talk to clients about their gifts when doing career coaching. These are the gifts that were naturally bestowed on them by the powers that be whether they be some heavenly power, or simply their DNA. I was contemplating this topic today and here’s a look at my initial thinking.

1) What is a gift? Remember your last birthday present. Well, it’s also a gift. Think about the similarities. With your present you may have had no idea what was in it. You were curious when you opened it. And it was intended to make you happy. The intention of the giver was likely of goodwill and love. Could are god-given gifts be the same way?

2) What is talent versus a gift? A gift is often confused with a talent. A talent is a skill that you cultivated over time with practice. While you can have a gift and cultivate it, those that are gifted have to work way less than the other guy to achieve the same skill level. A gift is something that you have may or may not have done anything to deserve, or cultivate. It’s just something that you are. You don’t know why, or how. It just is. You are really creative. You may not do anything to be creative, you just have been that way all your life. Often because we are naturally gifted in some way, we often take our gifts for granted. I often hear “Oh, everyone has that same thing.”

3) What will you do with your gift? So, let’s say after some coaching you realize that you are gifted as a speaker. What will you do with that gift? Will you keep it? Do you want to swap it for something else like say…incredible good looks? Will you just keep it in the closet till you know what to do with it next like fruit cake? Will you wave your hands up at the powers that be and curse them for giving you this particular gift? Your gifts are yours and you can do whatever you want. You have the free will to do something or nothing with them. The only seed of doubt that may emerges is thinking about why they given to you? This is the only risk in the “do nothing” strategy. What happens if you never even dare open the box?

4) What to be careful of with our gifts? The only potential problem with gifts is when we let our gifts grow to mythical proportions and they start controlling your very being. We allow our gifts to define you. For example, let’s say you are a gifted debator. Will you let this gift start defining who you are and hold you hostage? If you are not debating, will you not be you? Do you feel bad when you aren’t your gift? This then moves your gift to being an obsession.

5) Is comparing gifts ever productive? It’s often easy to fall prey to comparing our gifts. Why did my brother or sister get the gifts I wanted? I wanted to be the skinny blond headed one? This line of thinking can be counterproductive. A more helpful approach would be embracing the gifts that you have and figuring out a way to fully express them to their highest potential and best use? So, maybe you are chunky and bald, but you are smart as a whip, and always surrounded by people that love you.

Gifts are presents. Cherishing and expressing them is just another way of loving and accepting yourself.

For more on this coach C.J. Liu

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As you know from my posts, my kids are grown and I have worked with hundreds and hundreds of frustrated people, coaching parents and kids about this very issue.

Some of the things that I have tried successfully:

When my kids were around 6 and 10, I decided to teach money management skills. This lesson worked really well with managing TV- and the beginning of the play station nightmare.

On Sundays, I gave the kids each 4 envelopes. They were labeled: Weekly, Long Term Savings, Lunch $, and Charity.

The kids were given a set allowance(depending on age and need). My dad always said that allowance is what you are allowed and has nothing to do with chores.  There was a bottom line amount that had to be placed in each envelope. The weekly money could be used to buy TV /Computer Time.

Certain shows cost more or less and some educational shows were free. The kids needed to learn how to budget their money and how they spent their time. The shows that I found absolutely horrid- obviously cost more.

I had a box, which they dropped the coins into. Of course I figured out how many hours I was allowing based on the amount of $. My kids felt in total charge of TV/Computer viewing. The benefits were amazing.

As to the other envelopes, my kids learned lots of lessons about putting off what they really wanted, making choices that impacted their lives.(ie. I let my son borrow from one envelope to get something he wanted sooner, with the stipulation that he had to put an IOU in the envelope. He later informed me that he was never doing that again! ( I believe that he borrowed $ from Weekly to buy a video game — there wasn’t any $ left to play the game!!)

As the kids got older, we just had a bottom line rule. No TV/Computer Sunday- Thurs- during the school year except if parents offered. They weren’t very happy about this but years of making choices had made them fairly discriminating TV viewers anyway.

Over the years, as I approached my kids with a new idea, they would usually be receptive. They got it that I was trying to give them some control over their lives and they also knew that they were my test subjects for ideas I would pass along to my clients!

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Transitional Jobs – 5 Simple Steps

Published on September 24, 2006 by in Career Coaching


Often times clients start a job search and get confused with the right place to start. Should they first start with finding their dream job? Should they stay in their current job while looking for another? Of should they find a transitional job?

A transitional job is one that you take if you are between jobs or you find that you cannont tolerate your current job anymore. It’s the job you take to make money so you can keep up with your expenses and buy time while you contemplate what you really want to do.

The problem with transitional jobs is that they often end up becoming the job. It’s like the guy you date after you break it off with a serious relationship, except you fall into just dating the transitional guy. So, here are some tips about how to keep yourself honest:

1) Create an expiration date: Make a commitment to yourself on when you want to leave your transitional job (e.g.- By Feb 15th I’ll have found my ideal job). Put a date in your calendar and remind yourself to ask yourself some hard questions: Does this transitional job still work? What have I done for finding my dream job? Can I let go of this job yet?

2) Decide your priorities: Will your transitional job be one in which you want to get your feet wet in a potential new career? Or is it purely about money? Or is it a bit by both? Be clear with your priorities.

3) Write a job specification: What do you want your transitional job to be? Be clear with exactly why you are doing the transition? Is it just about doing something mindless for a couple of hours a day? What don’t you want your transitional job? What types of places will you/will you not work in? What kind of flexibility will you need?

4) Commit to the long-term: With your new work schedule make sure to carve out time to find your dream job. Create a plan and routine that will give you some time to explore, research, network, and think about your longer-term career.

5) Cover your expenses: Create a budget and figure out how much money you need to support your monthly expenses. If you don’t know how to create a budget take a class on budgeting

The key is to establish clear boundaries with your transitional job and to keep your eye on the prize (your dream job).
For more information about the author see Career Coach in Seattle

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Susan Epstein, my friend:

What are your views on limits around television, computer games, video games, etc.? The rules at our home are: 2 hours of tv time Saturday, 2 on Sunday, only 1 on weeknights assuming homework and piano practice are done. Then, weekends only 3 hours a day are allowed on computer or video games combined. None during the week. I happen to think that’s a great deal. Naturally, my 10 year old son disagrees.

What is your experience?


Coach Christina

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Whatever your background and history with weight, food and body image, real change and real results are an inside job! It requires shifts in your thinking, feelings, lifestyle and more. It may seem daunting but keep in mind “if you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” To get some new result you must do things differently. Ultimately you must BE different in your belief system but it can be done, and is being done by my clients! See if you see any of your own situation in these cases:

· Client “A” has a 30 pound challenge that comes and goes. She used to have an alcohol problem and since she stopped drinking “A” has been yo-yoing that 30 pounds. Despite her best efforts it has always seemed to creep back on after a valiant and trying diet and exercise program. She is feeling discouraged and noticing that as she gets older the pounds don’t come off as easily. She comes to me baffled and concerned.

· Client “B” is obese and has “tried everything”. He is the only one in his family who is obese, though other family members have some challenges with alcohol and drugs. “B” is a high-powered professional with a very stressful work and many people depending on him. He could write diet books and has been to overeater’s anonymous, among other things – therapists, liquid protein fasts monitored by medical clinics, and “fat farms.” Nothing has worked long-term and he has revealed to me that he will stop at nothing to conquer this challenge in his life. He is beginning to show signs of health problems, including high blood pressure and adult-onset diabetes and he’s worried. In the past he got away with his yo-yo attempts to get weight off. Now his doctor has told him he absolutely must get this weight off!

· Client “C” comes from a family with weight problems. She doesn’t know how she will break out of the family “mold” but, despite high achievement in her very respected field she feels her life has little value or meaning – that she has not accomplished anything – if she doesn’t conquer permanently losing this 50 plus pounds. “C” always had a struggle with her weight but since having her two children, between the stress of her successful career and being a working mother her weight escalated and she is frightened she might never get it under control.

· Client “D” has been slender most of her life. She has always had great self-control and used to work out religiously. Over time her lifestyle changed; work became center stage and slowly she has let go of self-care and her regular healthy routines. Now, at middle age, 20 pounds have crept on and she wants to get them off, but she also knows that much of her overeating is due to stress and boredom. Many of her friends and family center their social activities around eating and food is an important part of her social life, as well as business social events. “D” needs support and is ready to do anything she has to to turn her habits around, but she’s worried about what will happen to her socially and at work.

Do you see yourself in any of these scenarios? Are you truly ready to have peace and sanity around your weight and body image? Does this challenge with food, weight-loss and dieting cause you an ongoing feeling of unhappiness – as though your life will only be what it’s meant to be when you have lost the weight and conquered the overeating?

Take heart! The truth is that all of my clients already have the answers inside of themselves and so do you! They’ve read all the books, been on all the diets and perhaps done therapy and gotten full thyroid screenings only to find out that there was absolutely nothing wrong with their metabolism.

On http://www.ferocecoaching.com you can read my own story: http://www.ferocecoaching.com/weight-loss-coaching I, too, have been there and I’m here writing because, while my story may not be identical to yours, what I have learned is that the solutions are a combination of tools and special “codes” to shift you on a deeper level — mind, emotions, body and spirit – for lasting change from the inside-out.

This is not an instant, “quick-fix” path. But if you are sincerely looking for a solution to last a lifetime then you have come to the right place.

Here’s what I want you to know right now:

-Even if you’ve failed many times before, you can still reach your weight-loss & weight-management goals! “The Past Doesn’t = The Future” (Anthony Robbins)

Shift your thinking to a life-long solution in which you aren’t on a “diet” you are on a lifestyle for life! Choose only those habit and behavior changes that you would be willing to live with for your whole life. Otherwise, you will experience your initial enthusiasm for weight-loss decreasing into gritting your teeth and eventually giving up.

More and more clients are reporting their success with the mind-body techniques we are using in their coaching sessions. These clients are truly ready for change. No matter what their stories and histories change IS possible – for them and for you too! http://www.ferocecoaching.com/alternative-health-coaching

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I have been aware for some time that I was on the cusp of a huge shift in my relationship with my 21-year-old son and 17-year-old daughter. They are grown and both live 3000 miles away from me.

My children are both full of confidence, driven and are stepping out into the world in a very big way. Here I am, life coach, fighting my mothering instincts to stop them, wanting to make them come home and do it “my way”.

I received some great coaching this week from fellow (sister) Feroce Coach C.J. We spoke about my needing/wanting to connect with my kids but at the same time support them in their creative journey into adulthood. I realized that I could have it both ways(at the same time).

My kids called last night. My daughter was telling me about different living possibilities she was considering in L. A. I did not say anything, but, “great! I’m glad things are working out.” She replied, ” Some of the rents cost more, but I am going to live in a safe neighborhood…..”

There you have it! My baby is growing up. She doesn’t need me to protect her. She needs me to listen.

Thanks- CJ!

Italy June 2006
My kids- all grown up!

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The Thought You Cannot Think

Published on September 12, 2006 by in Metaphysics


Is there a thought that you cannot think? Think about it. The problem with that question is that there is no way to know. Or is there?

My teacher, Goswami Kriyananda, used to ask us this question. He taught us that the thought you cannot think represents your karma. There are many nuances to the term “karma.” Kriya Yoga defines karma as the law of causation. This means that every circumstance in your life is the product of a thought, word, or action that you have taken (either in this life or a previous one). Karma is also a proclivity to think, act, or react in a certain way to a given situation. Now, in our culture, karma gets a bad rap. It has a negative connotation. But not all karma is bad. We have both harmonious and inharmonious pieces of karma that will fire in each lifetime. For the purposes of this blog, I’m focusing on the inharmonious karma because that’s where we all get stuck.

Many of us are stuck in a pattern of thinking and thus, we find ourselves re-creating a pattern of circumstances in our lives. If this is something that you have experienced, then it means that you are repeating a thought or belief about something, someone, or yourself. It’s time to think a new thought. And if you think that thought enough times with enough intensity, you will break free from your self-imposed prison of beliefs. True freedom is the ability to create anew without any predispositions about what is or is not possible.

But many of us have a blind spot on the horizon of our self-awareness. We simply are not aware of the thought that we cannot think. This is our blind spot. This is where a good friend, teacher, or life coach can help. We can shine the light on the blind spot so you can think a new thought and thus, expand the horizon of your awareness and your reality as a result.

Now, once you have identified the thought that you cannot think, you might find yourself stuck again. You may say (and many of my clients have said this) that you simply can’t think that thought because you don’t really believe it. For example, you can’t think that you are good enough to attract a great mate; or you can’t think that you are competent enough to get a better job; or, you can’t believe that it’s possible to do what you love and make the same amount of money that you are making in your current job. The list goes on and on.

Well, I have good news. The good news is that if you think this new thought enough times, it will turn into a new belief – even if you don’t believe it. That’s because beliefs are merely thoughts that we have thought (or adopted) over and over again. There really is no truth to them. Truth is just what shows up in your reality. So there is no independent body that sanctions which beliefs are true and which aren’t. You create your truth based upon your beliefs.

So you can create a new set of circumstances in your life by creating new beliefs about yourself and what’s possible, even when you don’t really believe it. But don’t take my word for it. Try metaphysical life coaching and see what happens!

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The New York Times today published a fairly lengthy (six pages online; is that lengthy?) abstract from the journals of the late Susan Sontag (whose Against Interpretation either influenced me more than I imagined 15 years ago or I’ve just lately been coming independently to the same conclusions).  In her journal, Sontag writes, in 1966, of an acquaintance asking her how she feels when she discovers

say, three-fourths through something I’m writing that it is mediocre, inferior.  I reply that I feel good and plow on to the end.  I’m discharging the mediocre in myself. (My excremental image of my writing.)  It’s there.

I want to get rid of it.  I can’t negate it by an act of will.  (Or can I?)  I can only allow it its voice, get it out.  Then I can do something else.

At least, I know I won’t need to do that again.

This is interesting not just for writers.  The fear of making a “mistake” paralyzes anyone and everyone who is considering a relationship or a career.  Even as I suffer from the same, human fear, I’m fascinated by its irrationality.  A mistake?  Based on what criteria?  Compared to what standard?  I’ve never met anyone who could articulate why taking a job that lasts three years and then ends, or a relationship that lasts fifteen months and ends, ought to or even could be framed as a “mistake”.  It seems to me a reckless yearning toward efficiency and perfection.  And utterly paralyzing.

Sontag’s view here will be most easily comprehended by writers who often don’t even begin to write (as others don’t even begin to live) for fear that the results will turn out displeasing to them and therefore be — wait for it — “wasted”.  But anyone should be able to draw the analogies with his or her own life.

How unfortunate, to have such a limited and impoverished view of how we spend our days.  A world of “waste” versus efficiency, notions of time well spent versus perceptions of a slip in the march of allegedly forward progress.  If we can’t consider the idea that all that we do is a learning and opening up, if our story is, rather, that by acting we can only expose our mediocrity, well, it’s best not to act at all.  At the same time, if we can’t feel in our bones that there is not, in fact, any hurry to get to a place (that there is actually no place called happiness to get to), we feel compulsively compelled to act.

Thus begins the inner war.   

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So I’m reading a book that I’m referring to a lot in my life coaching these days. And this is a book that has elicited many “aha’s” for me, which is humbling because after all, I’m a Swami, and shouldn’t I have learned everything? I mean, do I really need to read yet another book? Well, apparently the answer is YES.

The book is Ask and It Is Given by Esther and Jerry Hicks. And I understand the principles are similar to what’s espoused in the movie “The Secret.” Not surprisingly, both the book and the movie started showing up in my horizon of awareness at about the same time…funny how that happens…

The book outlines how to manifest your desires and more importantly, how to do it joyfully based on the “Law of Attraction” which is stated as: “That which is like unto itself is drawn.” Now this is nothing new and it’s what many of us teach in our life coaching along with other laws of the universe. But what’s so interesting about the teachings of this book is that it presents a very practical way of assessing how we’re doing with using the Law of Attraction as we strive to manifest our desired goals.

Here’s how it works…first, you use your thoughts to set the desired goal into motion. And you must continue to think those thoughts for the manifestation to occur. But you must also allow it to happen. In order to allow the desire to manifest, your vibrational frequency must match that which you want to manifest. The book uses an analogy of a radio: “In the same way that your radio tuner must be set to match the frequency of the broadcasting station you desire to hear, the vibrational frequency of your being must match the frequency of your desire.”

So, if you want peace, then you must feel peace – not just when you are imagining the goal but throughout the day. You need to be in resonance with the goal. In order to be in resonance to receive the desired result, you need to attune to it. You do that by invoking a feeling that is on the same frequency. And you invoke the feeling by thinking a thought that will elicit the feeling.

For example, if you want to manifest “joy” and “joy” is at 103.5 FM, but you are feeling “shame” or “guilt” and “guilt” is vibrating at 89.5 FM – then you are not in resonance with joy. To get there, you need to invoke a thought that will elicit a more positive feeling, which will help you move up the scale of emotion until you get to joy.

Your feelings are signposts or indicators of how you’re doing. The book calls this your “Emotional Guidance System.” What you are feeling from moment to moment indicates how close you are to manifesting your desired goal. This is because your feelings dictate your frequency of vibration and your frequency dictates what you attract due to the “Law of Attraction.”

Another major concept of Ask and It is Given is that there is this powerful, unlimited “stream of well-being” that is flowing through the universe. Again, this isn’t anything new but it’s a different way of presenting what some have called “Source” or “Brahman” or “God” or “Love.” Whatever the term, the stream of well-being is there and will always be there. And we are all connected to it. In fact, we are IT. But we don’t know it or haven’t experienced IT because we are out of tune or alignment with it.

I love when things that I read are in alignment with the mystical concepts that I studied. It just reinforces the idea that there is one body of truth and many ways to say it. In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he defines Kriya Yoga as self study, self discipline and “attunement to the indwelling Reality.”

We need to attune to the all pervasive energy (of “well-being”) that exists within us and around us by tuning our frequency to a higher vibration. And you do it through feelings. How practical!

Of course, like most of these books, the trick is in applying it. And for some, this is where “spiritual life coaching” comes into play. Many of us are stuck in the realm of theoretical understanding, or in the “mental body.” And as this book states, we need to know it by feeling it.

As I write this, I am thinking about what I am feeling. And I’m optimistic about the future. We are truly living in such an exciting time because the wisdom of the ages is becoming more and more accessible. We don’t have to trek to the Himalayas to find it; it’s at the local bookstore!

May we all be blessed with this wisdom that we will be an even greater blessing to others!

Om Sat Tat Om.

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131_3174.JPGFor some reason I woke up this morning at 3 am thinking about love, self-doubt, and karma. I was having a nightmare about a brake up with an x-boyfriend. I was dismayed by how much anger and negative energy I still had stored up about a relationship that happened 15 years ago. Why was this invading my dream time? It was something I thought I resolved awhile ago, or more appropriately just ignored and thought it would go away. Weird how the unconcious keeps you honest.

MY STORY: What really disappointed me is the way this relationship ended was how I thought that I openly hearted approached him with an apology with love and how the sentiment wasn’t returned. My intention was love. What I took away was self-doubt, anger, etc. That just seemed cruel and injust. For the last 15 years that was how the story ended in my book.

THE TRUTH:Well, I was contemplating this idea at 3 am this morning… I started really thinking about the true unfolding of the story. I broke up with the guy without a ton of notice and created self-doubt in him and likely whether my love for him was true. While he received and probably appreciated the love. It was too little, too late. Kind of a convenient part of the story I forgot in my rendition:) Upon reflection, I was expecting him to give me this story book response sort of like you’d see in a movie. What I realized that instead of the love loop I was hoping for, the only loop was self-doubt. The doubt I gave him came back to me and was not resolved until yesterday night, when I let go of the story and came to grips with the reality and the full picture.

So, last night I did a Buddhist prayer and sent him love..true love and asked for forgiveness ending the karmic circle of self-doubt and creating one of forgiveness and love (in whatever form that may take). Here’s what I now realize 15 years later. Love cannot be given with expectations. You give love with no expectation of getting it returned or returned in the same way it was given. My husband reminded me of all the love that my father had given me. While I gave back the love in my own way (operative word…my own ) it was probably not proportionate with the love I received. However,years later my father’s love for me pours out in the love I shower our children with… so it continues on. Loving someone means giving love with no expectations, no conditions on how it will be expressed back, or if it will ever be expressed back. This is true unconditional love.

So, why the heck was I dreaming about all this anyway? Oh… the joy of our minds. I was just pouring love into my child yesterday and thinking how it some times feels like an endless well. What my dream reminded me of was that I had to let go again of my story book picture of my child showering me with the same number of kisses, and just give love without any expectations. This is true unconditional love.

Namaste, C.J.

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