Christie Tate proves that truth will set us free and enable the life we want in her best-selling memoir about radical, truth-telling group therapy.

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I was feeling jubilant as I finished reading Christie Tate’s book Group: How one Therapist and a Circle of Strangers Saved My Life.

In Christie’s best-selling memoir about her six and a half years in a small therapy group, she validates my purview that the experience of safely sharing ‘the truth and nothing but the truth’ will finally lead us to emotional freedom and the better life we desire. Christie’s personal journey to reach her ideal life and relationship meant breaking through highly challenging emotional blocks and barriers; perhaps more challenging blocks than many of us may face in our…

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Being a Life and Leadership Coach keeps me very curious about human behavior. I was eager to read What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing jointly authored by Oprah Winfrey and neuroscientist Dr Bruce Perry; especially because there’s someone in my life who experienced trauma from two main care-givers at a very early age.

Through deep dives into my own life experiences, and by helping others to do the same, I already knew that our adult behavior is strongly influenced by the beliefs and programming we soak up from those around us during our formative years.


Helping the homeless to transition to Tiny Home communities is a great example of this

Opportunity Village, Eugene OR

We can help others who have fallen on hard times by recognizing them as valued and respected fellow-humans in a practical way.

People often need to find a way forward to feel empowered, to feel safe and become enabled to make a worthwhile contribution to their local community; provided they are ready and willing for this step forward in their lives.

A small gesture may give people a glimmer of light which could radically change their perspective. A bigger gesture can enable positive change in their lives to happen quickly. For example the gesture of providing a community of tiny homes for the homeless.

Opportunity Village in Eugene, Oregon, was created by Square One as a village of the tiniest of tiny homes. This community is a group of safe shelters in which its occupants can feel safe and have a base they can call home. This is a heartening example of a much-needed, big humane gesture, made possible by…

Consider these five points

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Are you working really hard in your workplace but not being appreciated?

Consider these:

  1. Are you doing this job for yourself, knowing it feels ‘right’ for you no matter what others say or do? Be careful not to be a people-pleaser. You could be trying to please people in work, or pleasing your parents’ long-held expectations of you, or perhaps answering the expectations of your spouse.
  2. Love and appreciate your self, never wholly depend on others to do that. Receiving praise and gratitude is nice, but if we depend on others for our appreciation and value, we become co-dependent on them.
  3. Practice self-care and life balance. Do not over-work in an effort…

My mother’s final message did not require words.

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My duties as my mother’s only daughter became more intense in her 89th year, as we strived for her to continue living in her own apartment, albeit with daily visits from nurses, home helpers and me.

During the last 24 months Mum had survived a major hip injury and returned to her home. Together we had gotten through the rigors of intense and intimate skin therapy for her persistent psoriasis.

Much of my life revolved around Mum at that time. That meant letting go of some other aspects of my life, but I valued our times together during those final…

College Behind Bars documentary reveals the untapped human potential of the incarcerated.

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What happens if incarcerated men and women are given a second chance at life’s opportunities; in particular a better, higher education?

It’s been clearly proven that those who are able to access such an opportunity return to society as well-educated individuals with a new sense of integrity, compassion, worthiness and personal determination to live a better life. This was made clear in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary College Behind Bars. The four-part documentary follows long-term prison inmates in New York State who become graduates via one of the most rigorous and effective prison education programs in the United States — the Bard Prison Initiative.

Long-term prisoners in the United States enter their jail sentence having been labeled as a threat to society…

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We’re aware that stress wrecks our emotional well-being and greatly affects our physical health, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Simple breathing techniques are readily available to help us.

Fears and anxiousness - AKA stress - is sourced in our limbic system. That is the primitive part of our mind and body that originally evolved to keep us alert and safe from the likes of saber-toothed tigers. Now it’s gone too far. We’re living stressed lives 24/7 and there are no saber-toothed tigers.

In our efforts to escape internal stress, we’re dependent on distractions which become our addictions…

It hurts but we can move beyond that with more understanding.

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We can all point to people in our lives who are not doing the right thing; not doing the moral thing; not being responsible or loving in the way they act out their lives.

We can all say ”They should know better!” but are those others — or we ourselves — truly aware enough to be our best selves in every moment? Our internal programming often prevents us from being the person that we aspire to be.

My Eureka! moment

In 2004 I walked away from a thirty-four-year marriage that held memories filled with much joy, including the raising of three wonderful sons. Yet it felt right to leave. I had often been the object of my husband’s verbal abuse in that marriage. Two years later I remained challenged with truly wanting to understand why that abuse…

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I was intrigued to learn that after their menopausal age of fifty, female killer whales live a valued life for another 40 years. Yet their male counterparts reach the end of their lives around that first half-century.

In the Smithsonian magazine article about this, I learned the elder female killer whale lives on into her nineties, sharing her knowledge and life-long experience with upcoming generations. For example research shows that when salmon stocks are low, a female elder whale will lead a pod of younger whales to find the best food resource. …

With one simple, effective exercise

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When we are ‘OK’ with expressing our authentic feelings — no longer afraid or ashamed — we will be OK with others honestly expressing their feelings too. Thus we enable deeper, more meaningful relationships to emerge in any area of our lives.

However, if we bottle up our feelings because we’re afraid to let them out, they will finally burst out as emotional drama; such as uncontrolled rage, hurt, freeze, fight or flight.

The courage to be authentic

We can summon the courage to rise beyond self-judgment and beyond others’ judgments. We can express simply, calmly and honestly “This is how I feel, this is…

Janet Lesley Powers

Janet Lesley Powers, Life & Leadership Coach. Writing to nurture our Deepest Truth and Conscious Evolution.

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