SHIFT Happens

I am not sure why but this morning I have been thinking about the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”  I think at the Academy Awards they recognized the 75 th of anniversary of the film.  I remember P!nk singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Maybe that is why it is with me.

The characters …Scarecrow, Tin-man and Lion … were all searching for something.  Even Dorothy was looking for a way home.  These characters represent our Head, Heart and Body.  Scarecrow was looking for a brain. What the Wizard gave him was evidence of his already being smart with a diploma.  The diploma gave him the confidence to move forward.  The Tin-man was looking for a Heart, ways to connect with other people.  The Wizard again gave him evidence that he already demonstrated the compassion he was seeking. The Lion was looking for courage.  He wanted to be brave in the face of present danger.  The Wizard gave him a medal as evidence that he had already demonstrated courage and bravery. Confidence, compassion and courage.   Head, heart and body.

Dorothy, too, discovered that she had had the power to return home all along.  All she had to do was click her heels together three times and say …”There is no place like home.”  Like Dorothy we all  have  the power we need within us to make a change and make a difference.  We can demonstrate confidence, compassion and courage under certain circumstances but we may not be very good at recognizing our own strengths.  Think about a time when you had the confidence to make a change and the compassion and courage to make a difference.

BE the Wizard today.  Give someone else evidence that they already possess confidence, compassion and courage.  Do it by noticing for them what they may not recognize in themselves.  Tell them their own story from a different perspective.  They will smile.

Reviving PULSE.

After a couple of less active years where I was working for Parks Canada or just busy writing, it is actually fun to have a schedule and to interact with PULSE professionals again.  This morning I did my second 2014 webinar.  PULSE Professionals from Red Deer, Alberta and the Washington DC area as well as from Ghana in Africa joined the session to review the Five Stages of the Frame and the significance, the theory and the skills associated with each Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.

Here is the link to the recording.  If you have 40 minutes for a quick refresher it might be fun.  ( Ignore the right brain/left brain bit…. I think I got it backwards which will not surprise those of you who know me well and know that left and right have never been easy for me.)

If you have comments or questions I would be happy to respond.

I have new appreciation for CPR – Cardiovascular Pulmonary Resuscitation, having witnessed it in hospital recently, when the patient coded and the staff spring into action.  At PULSE it has represented Content, Process and Response; the three aspects of an exchange that influence the outcome and although it can be vital to maintaining relationships, it is not critical to life itself.  CPR PULSE style is used to save relationships and revive the space between people and not as a life saving procedure in the case of cardiac arrest.

I do hope that our PULSE will be resuscitated, that it will come back to life.  I hope we can reignite the flame for the FRAME that helps people have successful social exchanges.  It is still simple yet complex like all of us. Today I reviewed the Process in some detail.  In future sessions we will indeed look at the Content of PULSE, the theory behind it and the Response of PULSE, the heart of it, the skills that make it work.  Our purpose is to show its relevance in today’s fast paced, digital communications.  Lives are changed with one text or one email.  If we can use the PULSE Frame to inform not only face to face conversations but also these electronic methods of social exchange maybe we can create a gentle, honest, open , specific transaction that won’t cost us relationships but will work to improve them as we interact using the Frame.

The next session will be on April 4th :  PULSE Checklists.  I will present and review with you at least 10 specific uses for the PULSE Frame and how to gently shift it to your purposes.  The link is on our website on the calendar.

Hope you can join us.

I have been working on combining the two PULSE books today.  They both include some of the history of PULSE and some clear distinctions that make PULSE unique. I love the five stages and how easily they occur in regular conversation.  I love how you can watch the patterns emerge and people move through orientations to the past, the present and the future all the while shifting directions from away from the other,  to with the other and toward the other in a kind of dance that fills the space between them.  Each social exchange helps them define their own social being.

I write about the patterns as a structure to use when the exchange is difficult, when there is conflict or miscommunication.  It is also so helpful in everyday life.  Whether it is a face to face or a voice to voice or a text to text encounter really doesn’t matter.  Social interaction guided by good communication that furthers the social capital of the sender and receiver always contains the five stages, anyway.  They occur naturally.   Prepare, Uncover, Learn, Search and Explain.

Prepare for the social interaction by defining purpose, process, protocol, people.  Some times these are tacitly understood but if there is no clear understanding or assumptions are made that are not shared then things can go very wrong.

Uncover the circumstance that lead to the encounter … the past.

Learn what’s important about the circumstance  in the present and identify BEACHs to use as criteria for change.

Search possibilities for a future that will meet the criteria.

Explain a plan of action with enough detail to make it sustain able.

The guiding questions move us through past to present and future orientations when you need them .  The encounter map works to ensure that we use all of the directions.  People have an opportunity to move away, to move with and toward when the structure is followed.

Each stage has critical elements.  Mastering the elements takes time.  Learning to use the frame is a little easier.

In Prepare for example it is important to use GHOST – Gentle Honest Open Specific Talk.  It is important to be thorough and deliberate as you explain or have the other explain the rules of the game as you understand them.  This is where you take an Appreciative Stance and ACT AS IF the encounter will result in a mutually beneficial outcome.  The more you know about AI and how it works the better you get at Prepare. It is here that relational well being comes into play.

In Uncover it is important to listen deeply – with HEART – Hush, Empathize (feel their pain or joy), Attend, Reflect and Trust. Passive listening without judgement or bias, allowing the past to surface and sometimes change in the telling of the story with a different audience and allowing the shared title of the story to emerge. Emotional well being is important here.

In Learn it is important to prove that you are listening with POWER – Paraphrase, Open questions, WAIT, Empathize (name their pain or joy) and Reframe.  Social selves emerge as do rules for future encounters and redefining of past encounters as Beliefs, Expectations, Assumptions, Concerns and Hopes are shared, acknowledged and understood. Relational well being is again at play here.

In Search it is important to focus on creativity and possibilities and the future.  Patience is key as ideas are generated later to be vetted against the criteria of the BEACHs. Intellectual well being can make a difference here.

In Explain the other side of the brain, the analytical side is asked to perform as the details of the plan emerge and are tested to determine their sustainability. Again intellectual well being makes a difference.

Each stage requires levels of  intellectual, emotional, relational, physical and spiritual well-being.  More about that later.

Today was about remembering PULSE and the power of social exchanges.  It was about expanding that thinking to include not just conversation but any human social interaction that contributes to us knowing who we really are, or re-membering ourselves as part of a greater whole.

Remembering PULSE and RE-membering PULSE.

We are working on getting you back into the habit of PULSE.  Watch for a Newsletter next week and notice the changes on the website and join again if you can.  Making it membership based has been the plan for a year or two now and we are closer today.

Adding value for our members and adding to the list of those of you who read and learn is the PULSE 2.0 Purpose, to give you the courage to make a change and the confidence to make a difference.  The Process is to generate Products and Opportunities that help you gain the courage and the confidence you need to have successful social exchanges, when and where you need it.  The Protocol remains a gentle, honest, open, specific, talk approach, using PULSE to teach PULSE.  The People are PULSE professionals past, present and future with a shared desire to create the best social exchanges and build social capital for brighter futures.

Thanks for the member – ies. (smile)

What do you do on down days?  Some days it is just hard to get out of bed let alone your pyjamas.  Everything just seems a little off, a little chaotic.  The fifteen projects you have started at work and at home over the past few weeks are in a state of incompleteness and that’s how you are feeling … incomplete, dishevelled, off.

It’s a serious question.  If other people are depending on you it can put you further into the “just leave me alone” spiral.  Or it can pull you out knowing that you would disappoint them by not showing up.  Sometimes it is difficult to show up for yourself let alone others.

Here it is a sunny winter day in beautiful down town St Albert and I am sitting feeling sorry for myself.  How can that be?  Life is good.  I am doing what I love to do.  I hang out with people I love.  I have wonderful friends.  I have a great place to live and another to work and yet …..

The voice in my head is screaming JUST FINISH ONE THING AND YOU WILL FEEL BETTER.  I know that is true and still I mope from one unfinished task to another, bored and cranky.  Where is the antidote for down days, for blue days?  Sometimes I think you just need to move through them and hope the energy wave hits tomorrow.

Go play the piano…..

Tuesday February 4th, 2014 I will be broadcasting the first in a series of SHIFT webinars. It will be a 40 minute discussion of how the SHIFT model can be used to improve life experiences. is the URL

It will be a live broadcast that will be recorded and made available to you if you cannot attend.  We will be broadcasting each month on the 4th at 10:00 AM MDT.  Here is the list of topics we have created.

February 4th – SHIFT Happens
March 4th – PULSE in review
April 4th – Checklists for every PULSE conversation
May 4th – GHOST a way to speak and listen
June 4th – The POWER of deep listening
July 4th –  The PULSE Enneagram grid
August 4th – Intelligences – Ways of Knowing
September 4th – a Sharp Mind
October 4th – a Happy Heart
November 4th – an Independent Spirit
December 4th – a Fit Body
January 4th, 2015 – a Trusting Soul
The webinars are free to attend just enter the URL or go to the PULSE website events page and click on the calendar of events.  The link will take you to the webinar.

Hearts … the organ that keeps us alive or takes life from us. The thing we cannot see and yet we feel it everyday. Our language around heart is telling. Our hearts are bursting with pride or joy. They are broken by love and loss. All emotion is tied to our heart.
Yesterday my mum’s heart stopped … One breath she was here and the next she was gone. Code Blue.
My heart is heavy.

“Sit up straight” How many times have you heard that from parents and teachers? Today it sounds like good advice. It is not just about how you sit which is the physical wellbeing aspect of posture. It can also apply to all the other scales of wellbeing.
“Sit up straight” on the sharpness scale asks you to pay attention and be aware of your surroundings. Sometimes when I am reading my mind wanders. If I were to say to myself “Sit up straight” I know that the physical act of doing that would bring my focus back to the words on the page.
“Sit up straight” on the Happiness scale could be a reminder to choose happiness and not allow yourself to move into that slouchy, depressed state that is often easy to be in and difficult to get out of. When we “sit up straight” from the heart we can feel the lift that we get and it can make you smile.
“Sit up straight” on the relational wellbeing scale of independence is an invitation to take charge of the situation and make the most of the relationship you are working on. Don’t allow others to make decisions for you. Use your back bone to straighten the situation in your favour.
“Sit up straight” on the Fitness scale allows your organs the room they need to work properly and lets your back do the work it was built to do. Using the muscles in your back this way strengthens them and you in many ways.
“Sit up straight” on the Trusting scale is another invitation to pay attention to the “coincidences in your life, the unexplained, the miraculous. Trust that your intentions when shared are powerful and that we are all in the right place, doing the right thing.
The significance of good posture, of sitting up straight is enormous. So it for a day or two and see how much better you feel.
SHIFT will happen.

Last night I enjoyed dinner with 17 members of my family on the island on Kauai.  We have spent a marvelous week here together.  It has been good for body and soul to spend time in this beauty and with this company.  If I were to assess my wellbeing on the scales we have been talking about I would say that mentally I am relaxed and attuned to my surroundings so between my finger tip and my first knuckle on the Sharpness scale.  On the Happiness scale I am near the tip.  My heart is full of aloha, love dampened only by the fact that they are all leaving today.  On the independence scale for relational wellbeing I am also high.  I have just spent a week with people I love and who love me.  I feel related and hanging with family shows you how you relate to the world.  Lots of mirrors to look into comparing similar bodies and attitudes and it seems easier to appreciate them in others.  You can only know yourself in relation to others.  Today I know myself better than I did a week ago putting me high on the Independence scale of wellbeing.

On the physical wellbeing  FIT scale I am feeling relaxed and tired.  Physically  we have been active.  We zip lined one day and played at the beach in the waves every day.  I did aqua-size and we walked a lot.  We also ate well ….maybe too much. I feel great.  Closer to the tip on the Fit scale.  On the Trust scale for souls I am also high passed the knuckle on the thumb.  The Luau we attended on Tuesday was magical and reminded us of the importance of family.  The Aloha Spirit is all around you here.  The MC reminded us to look at the beauty and be as beautiful as you what you see yourself.

Today I move to the Big Island.  I will stay in touch. Aloha……


Here is the last digit in the five digit approach to maintaining your well-being on a daily basis.  The thumb in this daily ritual represents your soul, your connection to the collective consciousness to a deity or a faith that you share with others. It is very important to have a connection with something bigger than yourself.  These are the things that give your life meaning and these are the things that separate you from other animals, much the way your opposable thumb does.

On a scale from close to your palm to closer to your thumb tip where are you in your spiritual well-being?  How connected are you to the universe, to the almighty, to whatever you believe in?  It is a tough question and for me it has always been very, very personal.  I don’t talk much about my spiritual well-being.  I am often careful when I am teaching not to say things like “the Universe is unfolding as it should” or the universe will provide”.  Instead I say “Trust that everyone is doing the best they can with what they know”.

I do believe in a power greater than you and me.  I have been reading “Conversations with God” by Neale Donald Walsch for years… again and again.  It is a series of books that resonates with me.  Walsch writes his grievances to God and God answers.  It’s cool and real in a way that other things I have read are not.  I like the idea of a God that doesn’t judge, one that loves everything about human beings and who reminds us that we cannot fail, that we create our own lives through thought, word, and deed and that no one does anything they do not want to do at some level.

Thought, word and deed … powerful ways to define your life.  First you define what you want.  Then you talk about it and then you act as if it is already true.  Sound familiar.  It is a common message from many sources and that is the cool thing about spirituality.  Where ever you start you end up in the same place … connected to others and the universe.

Ways to maintain that connection include prayer and meditation, charitable acts and giving back.  All are good for the soul.  Connecting with nature and our fellow-man in a way that lets us see the worthiness, the blessedness and the holiness in others because we can see it in ourselves.  If you have ever watched “Secret Millionaire” on Slice TV you will know how Charitable acts effect the person giving as much if not more than they impact those receiving.  Watching that show is good for the soul.

I am confident that you have your own list of “things that are good for the soul”.  Mine includes music, babies, family and friends, sunsets and sunrises, a walk in a park or on the beach or just time to consider what I am grateful for.  Gratitude is key and very individual as well. The main element of a Trusting Soul is choice.  Choose to be grateful and gracious and watch what happens.

RENEW for Souls.  Release any anger or resentment.  It is poison.  Energize with meditation or reading. Nurture with nature.  Exercise by acts of kindness. WAIT.  Be patient … the universe is not finished with you yet.

Five frogs are sitting on a log.  One decides to jump into the pond.  How many frogs are left on the log?

The answer is five.  Although the one frog decided to jump he is still sitting there thinking about it.  I think of this story every time I feel a need to make a commitment to physical activity or physical fitness.  I am FULL of good intentions but the couch potato in me would rather put in a disk from my 13 season set of MASH programs a watch it in my comfy chair than go for a walk.  I have decided to be fit many, many times.

A Fit body is found on your index finger in on the SHIFT hand.

Sharp mind – pinky finger

Happy heart – ring finger

Independent spirit – middle finger

Fit body – index finger and

Trusting soul – thumb

Your index finger is the one you wag at people when you disapprove or are trying to emphasis a point. Like the finger print on that finger measuring levels of fitness is individual.  there are as many ways to get and stay fit as there are people in the world.  There are people who never really have to think about being fit.  They just are.  There are others who have tried every program and have never quite succeeded in reaching the level of fitness they are looking for and are never really satisfied with how they look and feel in their body.

Physical intelligence is one we sometimes ignore.  Our bodies have wisdom.  They KNOW things.  They know when we have had too much food or drink.  They send us messages to indicate any kind of over indulgence… and they send us warning messages too but most of us have learned to ignore those in favour of a good time.  They know when we have over exerted ourselves and when we should stop our extreme workouts and take a rest.

The best advice I have ever heard for Physical fitness is found in the RENEW.  Rest is essential.  We all need a daily dose of sleep.  Our needs vary but we all experience exhaustion when they are not met.  Energy is essential.  We all need a source of motivation and energy, a feeling of euphoria we get from participating in a game or a sport. Nutrition is essential.  This is another area where if we listen to our body we can learn what it needs as far as nutrition goes.  We have a wonderful system that can take what is needed from what is provided and eliminate the rest. Exercise is essential.  We need to move everyday or our muscles atrophy and we become weak. Walking or curling or swimming or shoveling or dancing.  It doesn’t matter.  You just need to move.  Water is essential.  It is the first medicine.  It is life-giving.  It is what keeps us alive.  We are made of water. Rest, Energy, Nutrition, Exercise and Water = RENEW.

Listen to your body.  Where are you on the fitness finger today?  Closer to the tip of the finger is feeling fit and powerful and in control.  Closer to the palm of the hand indicates a need to depend on other intelligences to get you through the day and back to where you can DECIDE and then act on the decision to move.  Bodies are like that.  Use it or lose it.

Trust your body to be there for you if you need it.  When you feel threatened it will respond with Fight Flight or Freeze to give you what you need to survive.  Treat it with the respect that it deserves.  It is your home.  It is wise and by listening to it and answering its requests of you, you will be able to improve your physical intelligence, your FIT body score.

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