an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness; a model of consciousness, including
all aspects, for designing practical
paths of personal development and evolution.
Quick Links: jump to any section
in the background while you file, exercise, ride to work, etc.
Special Holiday Offers
scheduled for companies in
the SF Bay Area (both full and half day.) These are internal
workshops, so not open to the public. Depending upon time availability
and demand, we may attempt to schedule a public workshop in January. If
your company would like to discuss a workshop or a talk, please visit
menu page and/or
contact me for details.
of What Doesn't Serve Us
There comes a time when we need to look at our “tenacity,” and ask
ourselves if it’s really serving us. We hold on to stuff for a lot of
reasons. If all these reasons weren’t tangled up in each other, it’d be
far easier to see our path, and whether or not our current trajectory
makes sense. Unfortunately very little in life is that simple,
especially when we look at our emotional involvement.
Emotional processing rarely has much to do with logic. We casually
dismiss this as “the heart wants what the heart wants,” thinking with
our hearts rather than our heads, and so forth. When we examine more
deeply, our hearts are very often working with Values, Beliefs, Personal
Manifestos, and that sort of thing. This isn’t bad, but any time we have
a “narrative” directing us, we’re not fully engaged in the solution
Our internal narratives give us “rules” to go by, seeking simplicity and
ease. As rules, they’re often filled with “shoulds” that have little to
do with our true desires, and this is limiting. Instead of what we want,
we do what we think we “should” do, not really knowing where that
“should” came from in the first place.
The internal narratives that can run our lives are insidious, demanding,
and most importantly, take us out of that examining, problem-solving
mindset, and into the obedient activity mindset. We get caught in
habitual behavior, and stop thinking about our higher desires. It
becomes about maintenance and mitigating the negative, rather than
pursuing the positive. At some point we hopefully “wake up,” notice, and
the struggle to disentangle begins.
Attachment to Fantasy
That wake up call usually begins with seeing that what we’ve been
investing in doesn’t really exist. This is the heartbreaker. We’re
tossed into questioning everything: “What’s wrong with me?” “Why didn’t
I see this?” The answer is mostly well-intentioned projection on our
We like to see people’s potential, an organization’s potential, a
relationship’s potential, and this is very positive. The danger zone is
when we start seeing that potential as if it was already realized. When
we do that, we stop seeing people, organizations, and relationships for
what they really are in the here and now. That’s called living in a
fantasy, which is pretty hazardous. Even though our expectations are
fantasy, our disappointment is real. We’re also blind to things that
don’t fit the picture in our fantasy, so we ignore countless red flags.
Quick clarification here: I’m not talking about visualizations of your
own potential; a hugely different situation. You’re actually in charge
of achieving your potential, so visualizing it, then going for it makes
sense. In someone or something else, you visualize, then hope and pray.
So once we’re noticing the flaws in the fantasy, what keeps us there?
Remember those internal narratives? They’re filled with three phrases
that work like mooring lines to keep you stuck: “if only,” “should,” and
“I’ve already.” Let’s look at each of them and how they tie us to the
If only precedes a wishful thought, followed by “then” and another
wishful thought. “If only they didn’t do that, then everything would be
great.” “If only they’d do what they said they’d do, then we’d all be
rich.” “If only she’d tell me she loves me more often, then I’d know
it’s true.” Remember when I said the heart wasn’t particularly logical?
As equations, none of these stand up. The first variable is a fantasy,
thus the projected result of the fantasy is a fantasy. Unfortunately the
only solution here is the proverbial cold shower of hard recognition
that this is all fantasy, preferably said out loud, until reality pushes
fantasy out of the way and takes over. If only tends to be the most
emotional of our fantasy attachment lines, so awakening from it may hurt
Next are the “shoulds.” They’re complicated by all kinds of rules we’ve
created for ourselves, with a thick coat of “ethos” to back us up. “I
should be able to make it work.” “I should try harder.” “I should stick
with this even though it’s not working.” Once again, we add the fantasy
that we have control over other people’s actions, so if we stick to what
“should” be the case, it “will” be the case. You cannot make a
relationship or an organization work, because you aren’t the only one in
it. See the problem here? “Shoulds” create a fantasy of power that we
don’t have, which inevitably leads to anger, disappointment, and
frustration, but no solution.
Finally, “I’ve already” enters. “I’ve already put so much
time/money/effort into this.” We don’t even have a second half of an
equation here, because it makes no sense at all. The amount of
time/money/effort you’ve put in has gotten you exactly where you are. If
that isn’t serving you, putting in more will get you more of what you’ve
got not serving you. This is where a good investment counselor tells you
Act III: Reality Just Might be Better
Once we make the break with fantasy, we have opportunities we didn’t
give ourselves the option to see before. Now, instead of maintenance and
mitigating the negative, we have a blank canvas on which to paint. Sure
this is scary for those who subscribe to the devil they know being
better than the one they don’t, but that presupposes a devil, doesn’t
it? Here’s a new phrase that doesn’t necessarily invoke fantasy, and in
fact may be behind the vast majority of innovation in our time: “what
if?” What if you could pursue what excites you? What if you could
contribute on a scale you’d only dreamed about? What if you could be
Once you start with a vanishing point like that, your mind goes into
problem-solving mode to figure out how to make it happen. Following your
creative, excited mind is only blocked by “if only,” “should,” and “I’ve
already.” If only I had the time taken up by this bad
situation/relationship, I could find a good situation/relationship. I
should be able to make this bad situation/relationship be a good one.
I’ve already been in this bad situation/relationship for so long, I
might as well stay in it. Crazy, right? With a little guidance and
support, you can break free of these ties that bind, and soar as high as
Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
Come visit the
or better yet,
contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.
- Ian J. Blei
Holiday Special Offers! -
This month brings a pile
the "Kind Ambition" sale.
Regularly $15.95, I'm reducing the price to stocking stuffer level.
$10 a copy, and when you buy 10 copies, you get an extra copy FREE!
That's almost 40% off!
(While supplies last.)
the Holiday/Family Communication Triage Package.
entered the holiday season – which means great food, family - and old
stuff coming up that may be painful. So this package is particularly
for you if you feel:
- frustrated or upset at
- like you want
to tear your hair out or run away
- a desire for
things to feel better with your family
You’re not alone; the
Holiday Season is often a particularly stressful time. Family
gatherings spark family dynamics, and sometimes things get out of hand.
We’ve often got a lifetime of hurt feelings and unresolved issues
standing in the way of connecting
the way we want to connect.
“Ian is a true expert
regarding communication. He's fantastic at working with business units,
partners, couples, families and anyone to create deeper understanding
and resolve conflicts.." -
J.C., - HR Consultant
This comprehensive package
of coaching sessions, audio recordings, and tools regularly goes for
$355.00, but until January 1st it's only $175.00!
The Integram (TM)
- the podcast series
Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
ourselves, each other, and our relationships
KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
visit the Blog.
Ever want to create
characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were
Subscribe to the Integram
Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets
Institute for Integral Enneagram
on Sale for
Without Losing Your Soul
about you having
the tools to slide over to the
driver’s seat of your
Circumstances will always be
changing, seemingly thwarting
our plans, but we don’t have to be
thrown around by them. You can
charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.
is written for you,
as a practical guide you can
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
"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
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
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
-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
Partner/Channel Marketing Manager - Skype