The Power of Intuition

July 6, 2012

This week’s featured encore is the debut broadcast of Lydia Mattison’s Empowering Space BlogTalkRadio show where I had the great honor of being her very first guest. Lydia’s art is in using guidance cards with coaching. It’s a call-in program so that you can experience the empowerment of coaching in this interesting format.

Despite some minor call-in challenges in the first few moments of the show, here’s what Lydia had to say about the event: “What a riot, but great fun!” It was fun, we had a great time together, while discussing a very enlightening topic.

Lydia and I talked about the power of intuition and ways to strengthen and develop your intuitive muscle. Listen to The Power of Intuition BlogTalkRadio interview here. Enjoy!

Who inspires me?

Synchronicity is one way that intuition appears in my life. I was working 60-70 hours a week in estate planning and I wanted to get out but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I met up with this woman who really inspired me. She was a multi-millionaire, very free, a beautiful charitable person. We were at dinner one night and she looked across the table at me and she said, “The talk we had the day before gave me more inspiration than the entire week I spent at Deepak Chopra’s center” – which by the way costs $10,000. I thought to myself, “Wow, one dinner with me = $10,000!” It was so inspring to me I thought, “I can really do this!” I’ve had many mentors along the way. Another person who inspires me and has mentored me is former International Coach Academy CEO, Bronwyn Bowery-Ireland. What an amazing leader and inspiration. Bronwyn can sense what’s going on. She’ll ask these questions and I’m not even sure where the questions are coming from – those are intuitive questions, they’re spot on, and they cause a shift in me.

My “Twilight Zone” intuition experience

A few years ago, I was spending New Year’s in Chicago with my sister. One of her girlfriends came to the house and we were having a nice dinner relaxing and chatting. All of a sudden I got this really strange idea in my mind and I said, “You know, Kathy, I think you’re going to leave your job in the coming year.” She said, “Oh I don’t think so, my daughter’s in college…” and while she was somewhat unhappy in her job, it was a good job, it paid well, there was no apparent reason that she was going to leave. So she was saying to me, “I think you’re wrong Karen, even though I think you’re usually so right. But if I were to leave my job, what date do you think would that be?” I told her not past March. Wouldn’t you know, on April 1st I got a call from my sister’s cell, “Kathy has something she wants to tell you!” Then Kathy got on the phone, “Yesterday was my last day at my job. I totally forgot about our conversation until your sister reminded me just now.” This is one of those times when I had a twilight zone intuitive experience!

What is intuition?

To me intuition is a gut-level feeling. I really am a subscriber to vibrational energy. We are all balls of energy. I can feel that something’s either totally right, or not right. BOOM, you know it. Or if I meet somebody and everything looks perfect, but if I get this weird feeling that something’s not quite right, and it doesn’t even come with a thought. There’s something coming through me that’s outside of my normal cognition. I know my brain is very strong, I really know that. I know it’s not coming from my brain. There’s something else that’s giving me information. Intuition is one of the greatest gifts of my life. Growing up, I was getting all these intuitive impressions and I didn’t know what to do with them. At first I totally discounted my intuition. I’d approach it empirically. If I can’t see it-taste it-touch it-smell it, then it’s not true. Here’s the funny thing that happened to me though…when my friends got in trouble, when they had decisions to make, when anybody wanted to do anything, they’d always call me, “What do you think I should do?” This was before I was a coach, before I knew not to give anybody the answers, “go here, go there, do that.” They’d come back for the next thing, because it worked. I was the only one not listening to me. Finally there was this AHA moment that everybody’s asking me these questions and I’m not listening to my own answers. You hear things like, “Let’s give this person a second chance.” Or, “Don’t go by your first impression, get to know somebody.” My first impression is my intuition and it’s usually right!

Why don’t we trust our intuition?

For me I had never been taught. Intuition is on the continuum of psychic power. I’ve heard a story about when psychic Sylvia Browne was a young girl. She was sitting at the dinner table and she had a disturbing vision where she saw one of her grandmothers as a skeleton, all her flesh melting off. And a week later that grandmother died. And she was so afraid because she thought that she had caused her grandmother to die by seeing her that way. Sylvia’s other grandmother had a high intuition and said, “Look you didn’t cause it, you just saw that it was going to happen.” And her grandmother took her under her wing and nurtured her and helped her understand the power she had and how to use it. I always go back to that story because I didn’t have anyone in my life that was ahead of me as a mentor until I was well into my adulthood. I learned to trust myself on the fly. For example my grad school roommate would tease me that every time I’d say, “I wonder how so and so is doing,” they would call me that night. I wasn’t even aware I was doing these things till she pointed them out to me. And then I started listening. I got a thought, I started listening, and things started happening. That’s how I knew.

As Lydia illuminated during our interview, every single human being has intuition. She explained, the reason why it’s important in coaching is because we believe every person has the answers to their own questions within them. It’s very important to help our clients learn to develop their intuition and to trust what’s coming up for them. It’s the questions that help us uncover more about ourselves. To expand yourself, ask new questions that will take you in new directions.

There’s another part to intuition that’s really important. There’s something about allowing, relaxing, surrendering, letting go…there’s something that happens when I let go and I’m in a more allowing space where the intuitive hits come up a lot easier. I can really relate to using the Doreen Virtue Goddess Cards and Cheryl Richardson’s cards. I use these cards as “an aid to the intuition of the uninitiated.” I usually take a tropical trip with my sister every year. She works with a lot of high achievers in mortgage lending and these guys are really “in their minds,” but they’re very intuitive because they’re in sales. They use their intuition, even though they don’t talk about it much. I would be with this group and my sister would say, “Karen will do these readings for everybody.” So I would take the deck of cards, shuffle them, be by the pool and everyone’s having some margaritas. I’d say, “Put 3 cards facedown and ask a question you want a bit more insight on.” All the time they thought I’d be reading these cards. I’d say, “Turn over the cards, ok that’s the current situation. This card says strength. What does that mean to you about your current situation?” And they’ll talk back with all this stuff and I’ll just repeat back what I’ve heard. They think that I’m really wise. They don’t even realize. It puts them in an allowing state. There’s no resistance. It’s fun, it’s easy, and they really believe that I’m doing this. It puts them in a place where they say what they’re going to say and they can hear their intuition.

How can we distinguish authentic intuition from vivid imagination?

Let’s say a person is in front of me and they’re smiling at me. I can look into their eyes and I can see if it’s a genuine and authentic smile or if it’s not. If I get a feeling, an intuition, a symbol or if a thought comes into my head, there’s a certain feeling that comes along with it, it’s intuition. The only way I know that is through the years I’ve learned to distinguish between the two. I’d watch the things that played out, and I learned to notice that my intuition has a certain quality of energy with which it comes to me. If somebody gives me a gift out of love or out of wanting something from me, it can be the same exact gift or given in the exact same manner, but there’s a feeling that goes along with it that I know the difference.

Exercise to develop your intuition:

Write a love letter to yourself. You will be amazed at what you uncover about yourself!

Lydia’s online radio show, Empowering Space – Your Hour of Power is a wonderful program designed to support people in making powerful changes in their lives and create the life they truly desire. I’d like to acknowledge Lydia for being a fabulous host!

I hope you receive as much joy from listening to this interview as I did in giving it. I know that its contents will serve you well.

The Qualities of a Magnificent Coach

May 6, 2012

In this 24 minute podcast, I was interviewed by Nicki McClusky of Nicki asked, “What are the qualities of magnificent coaches?”

You can listen to The Qualities of a Magnificent Coach podcast here.

Exquisite Listening

One of the qualities in magnificent coaches is exquisite listening. These coaches have a way of listening from the soul, for their clients’ values, their vision, their purpose. They’re listening for the person’s soul to speak, really listening to their words.

I asked one of my clients, “What is my greatest strength and hallmark of my coaching?” The reply was, “Listening. Karen when you listen to me, I know you see me at my very best. And you really know I can do anything I want to do, I have my own answers, and I’m 100% convinced.” I tend to think in metaphors – people are diamonds at the core and during the course of life, mud got caked on. A little splatter of wet mud, then it dried, and we added on another. And another.

People are essentially big balls of mud. 😉 When they come to coaching, they oftentimes don’t understand that if they washed away the mud, there is a diamond underneath. Instead they often fear once they chisel off the mud, that there will be nothing there.

So, exquisite listening and love are essential in a magnificent coach. A coach can effectively wash away the layers of mud. A magnificent coach needs to be absolutely convinced there’s a diamond inside that ball of mud. And when we do, the magic happens.

When we or our clients are not willing to go through self-development, it can get messy. We’re scared because we’re not presenting our best self to the world, how we like to show. Top coaches understand the process of self-development, and offer to bring the chisel and help dig in.

A magnificent coach needs to love and see people in their magnificence in the diamond. You’re a diamond miner.

Exquisite Selfishness

Ayn Rand wrote a book called, The Virtue of Selfishness. Really it’s about self care and supporting oneself. It’s funny because I used to think the whole idea of self care was a very good idea. Now I think it is ESSENTIAL…much more than just “really nice.” Self-care is as essential as needing air to breathe. It’s not the icing on the cake; it IS the cake. The pot roast. It’s really really really important. Top magnificent coaches practice self care and encourage self care for their clients.

This goes back to exquisite listening. Listen for self care strategies of the client. The beauty is that the client will tell us in many ways. I once coached a hospice vice president who was very directed, really smart, sharp savvy business woman who shared in our first meeting that she loved to write poetry. There was later a time in one of our coaching sessions when she was in overwhelm – as would be expected in any top executive position. And so I asked, “When was the last time you wrote a poem?” She replied, “Oh, it’s been so long.” So I asked if that might be something she would like to do. The beautiful part is that she started sending me her poems because she knew I was interested!

Whatever the clients’ strategies are, we listen to then, we acknowledge them, we utilize them to bring clients into their own balance or “selfishness.” It is so important to be able to help our clients to support themselves. Self care moves from way down on our priority list, up to the top, just like the air we breathe.

Exquisite Coachability

One other quality of magnificent coaches is exquisite coachability. One of the top qualities I’ve seen is when a coach is open to learning and coaching him/herself. A magnificent coach sees everything that happens as a gift, a lesson to be learned. I learn all the time from my clients. Other coaches whom I admire have asked me, “How are you doing this, Karen?” CEOs ask me these questions because they’re coachable. They know, as successful coaches know, we can always learn from people no matter who they are. I know I can always do something differently. I’m open to asking, “Is this working for me? Is this the direction I want to be going? How can I get there?” There’s a certain amount of humbleness. Mindset, curiosity, interest, without judgment.

I am always interested in what somebody’s doing and why. For me this isn’t about a skill set – exquisite listening is a MINDset – really seeing another’s true magnificence means really listening from the soul and having that vision. Everything we’re talking about here is mindset. The skill set, honestly – I’m going to say this publicly as the former ICA Chief Learning Officer – mindset is 90% and the skill set is 10%. Once the mindset is in place, the skill set will come. I’ll get the skills with this openness. I’m going to practice and choose to learn the skills. For me the focus has been on the mindset, which determines the motivation and vision.

My Coaches

Personally the qualities I look for in a coach is that he/she:

  • Has A Coach. They’re having regular coaching sessions, they’re clearing out their gremlins, they really value coaching. They’re gaining the perspective of being a coaching client.
  • Listens to My Soul. I have three coaches right now. I listen to people all day – in my session, I just want to talk in a stream. Then I take a breath and ask what they heard. They’ll respond with a Top Three list. When I’m all up in my head and into the doing and messed up and just confused and disconnected, I want them to listen to my soul.
  • Encourages Self Care. My coaches focus me and remind me of exquisite selfishness. I don’t want to do anything out of obligation, only what nurtures and nourishes me. And then I want my coaches to invite me to do it.

“What qualities do you look for in your coach?” Please share your comments below.

…are u listening 4 love?

February 2, 2010

Hello, Dear Coaches,

And Happy February! (Can you tell me where January went?!)

This is Kim, Karen’s assistant – and I’ve been given the “go-ahead” to share someone unique with you. Evelyn Glennie, is a Scottish percussionist, who happens to be deaf. I saw her perform at the Santa Cruz Civic Center a couple of years ago, and was both amazed and profoundly inspired. I was also really sad when the performance ended; her energy, her wit…and her inner beauty was such a gift to us all!

I discovered a video of her performing, teaching an audience “how to listen.” You can watch it here (click on the image):

Now, you and I know that effective listening is a really big part of coaching, and listening with your whole being (not just your ears) makes for a successful coaching session.

But, it also makes for a successful, happy life, doesn’t it?  We have to listen for love in those around us. If we listen intently we will discover that we are a lot more loved than we realize. But, there’s more; in listening deeply to those around us, we discover hundreds of opportunities (each and every day!) to give love.

Sometimes we need to really focus, and release all the distractions’ to really listen for love and discover those priceless opportunities to give of ourselves.

This Valentine’s month, giving and receiving love is our theme for the Be Inspired Now messages. If you have a special “loving” story to share, please feel free to add it in the comments section of the blog.

Again, I’m delighted to share Evelyn Glennie, on “how to listen.” It’s my loving gift to you, this second day of February.  It’s rather long (32 minutes), so settle in with a cup of tea, and enjoy!

As always, Karen and I are here to support you; just let us know how we can be of service. Thank you for all the opportunities to show you how much we love you!

Love,  joy and deep appreciation,

VA to Karen Cappello