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     Be the Eggshell or Be the Ball

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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Be the Eggshell or Be the Ball
(click for podcast) (8:19)

We see and hear it all around us, and feel it ourselves; so much anxiety, so much stress. Rush, rush, rush. Where is it coming from? We can point to so many different things, but in reality it’s far more ubiquitous and omnipresent. The more clients I work with and conversations with friends I have, a singular root cause becomes clearer.

It starts with an absurdly unbalanced cultural focus, focus, focus on the surface, and how things look; the appearance. As we move away from reading and look at pictures, as we move away from dialog and move toward special effects, there’s less and less emphasis on substance, and more and more pressure around appearances. Why must one aspire to be a fashion model, when one isn't a model?.

Values; the deepest part of who we are, don’t show on the surface, so they fall further and further down the priority list. Where once upon a time we were drawn to and identified ourselves with kindness, compassion, intelligence and humor, now "it’s all about" the fleeting, transience of what shows in a photo.

We take our cues from TV, movies, and the web, and this translates quickly to pressure for you to act like you’re supposed to act, to fill a role. Rather than listening to your heart or your gut for who you really are, you’re told to act like someone else, who’s supposedly acting the part you’re supposed to act. You see how far from a sense of authentic self this takes us?

And there it is: the inevitable emptiness within. The more we move all of our energy to the outer shell, the less there’s any substance within. We become like painted eggshells; pretty on the outside and empty inside. The more we become eggshells, the more fragile we become, and so easily broken. This is the anxiety, frustration, and disappointment that we go through.

The more substance we fill ourselves with, the more solid we become, the more unbreakable and resilient we become. When we’re solid, we can take the bumps, dents, and bangs that life throws our way and not shatter. So the secret is actually quite simple: we need to re-focus on our Inside, and not let the commercial drive to buy our way out of feeling hollow brainwash us. Keep in mind that old definition of crazy: “doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” Obviously, it’s time to do something very different.

Internal Illumination

Have you ever noticed that when you’re in a dark room, what’s going on outside the window grabs your attention? How about the converse? When you’re in a well lighted room you don’t see what’s going on outside as well, and it doesn’t distract you. This isn’t rocket science by any means. The less you’ve got going on inside, the more distracted you are by shiny objects. The more you’ve got going on inside, the less distracted you are by shiny objects. Obviously, commercial entities prefer you being empty and anxious, so you’ll be distracted by, and purchase their shiny objects, especially when they promise you happiness.

Again, how many times do we need to experience this not working before we see it as a failing strategy? How about when we look at each other? Do we see each other as shiny objects? Does this create the same dynamic where we want to “possess” the shiny object that promises happiness? Can we really “swipe” a human, and put them in our shopping cart? When building relationships becomes shopping for shiny objects, we experience the same failure again, and blame ourselves for our disappointment, anxiety, and frustration. It’s our fault because we “bought” the wrong “shiny object,” and now must go shopping again. Maybe we need to make that definition of crazy a mantra.

Our internal Self can only be distracted away by the external, if it’s not built up, and not sufficiently filled out. There’s our simple recipe: we need to focus on our internal environment, and fill it out. When we focus on our deeply held Values; what we truly care about, and work to bring our feelings, thoughts, words, and actions into congruence, we begin to glow from within. The more inside glow, the less external shiny objects are even noticeable, much less distracting. All the brittle, fragile, anxiety begins to melt away, as we become filled with substance.

The Ever-Present What's In It For You?
Imagine how you’d feel, if wondering what other people think about you occupied almost none of your time or brain space. Imagine how you’d feel, if your strength and confidence came from a place so deep within you, that they never even occurred to you; you just embodied them and went about your life. Imagine being so emotionally resilient that what once knocked you for a loop and took over your whole day now was just a bump in the road. Imagine how much time you could have back, if none of it was wasted on chasing what you can never catch, because it resides deep within you. Imagine how cool that would be.

You can feel better, be stronger, more resilient; where things don’t mess with you as much. You can literally extend your lifespan, as your telomeres aren’t getting shortened by the anxiety and stress of an invisible “rat-race,” that you never signed up for in the first place.

Discover the joy of turning the physical pages of a book, where you’re not rushing to sandwich the time in between the imagined rush of multi-tasking a hundred inessential things that our culture is barraging you to do and be. Rebel against “the machine,” and think about the things that really matter to you. Give yourself the time to re-connect with who you really are, under the latest fads, trends, and styles. You’re allowed to be your authentic self. Beyond feeling better, you’ll find that you’re more creative and interesting to yourself and others; certainly more interesting than an eggshell painted with whatever the media is shouting at you to be for the moment. It's not their turn, it's your turn to be happy. Let yourself be happy.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?  Want to grab your life with both hands and make it intentional and extraordinary? Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


February Special Offer:

Ah, Valentine's Day is here again, so I'm cutting the Couples Session fee in half for February. Learn more

And since not everyone is in a couple or dealing with any kind of partner scenario, so I have another special on the all new Dynamic Discovery Session in preparation for my new offering: "Own Your Life, Now!"

The first 3 people to call and schedule, get a Dynamic Discovery Session FREE. That's right: FREE! They're normally  $247.00, and still worth much more to you in life-changing ways. I can only squeeze in a few, so be one of the first three! Click to Schedule. or call me (number is all over website.)

After just one session my partner and I were able to move through conflict in a non-blaming and curious way, eager to explore how our innate differences worked in our relationship. As a psychotherapist, I would recommend this process to the couples I see for relationship therapy!" - Shari Levine, Licensed Marriage Family Therapist


Resource Links:

The Integram (TM) - the podcast series

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition

ianblei.com - phone friendly


Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets intentional design.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

Click HERE





Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
Fan Page
now on



Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Senior Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype





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