Problems AND Potential

Our default thinking often circles and spins around our problems.

Focused on what’s wrong…what do I need to do to fix this…who can help me solve this problem…how can I help you solve a problem?

What is your dance with problems & potential?


Would you rather listen?


Problems and Business

Over the past five years I have struggled truly in business. Marketing is all over the map, although, regardless of the positioning, a theme through MANY marketing and business coaching programs & services I have accessed is that….business is here to solve a problem for you.

On one level, this makes sense and yet I have struggled with this. In my heart as a coach, fellow seeker & traveler I know I can’t fix you, nor your problem. Yes, I have learned, studied, practiced and become skilled in certain areas that can help you learn how to address your problems for yourself.


I don’t sell gadgets to help you cook better, faster or technology that will help you be better at organizing your day. I don’t sell products that are geared to alleviate any woes of the modern world.

I offer my services to support you to discover how to alleviate your own declared woes. Services designed to support you to liberate your potential. Services grounded in the information, knowledge and acquired wisdom designed to help you direct and or re-direct your choices of living, leading & serving.

Why? well, information and knowledge is power. Not a power that is to be collected & accumulated, rather shared, digested and mobilized. I have so many amazing teachers in my life that are a step ahead. And amazing clients who at one time are a step behind. In some ways there isn’t ahead or behind, rather a view point, questions, a piece of information that when we’re ready to hear, can reframe how we consider everything.

This notion of problem fixing has always rubbed me the wrong way.
In fact this also was a huge stone in my shoe of working in many acute care health settings. Yes, as a health care provider, we’re there when you’re most vulnerable and most in need of an intervention and healing space, offering spaces and activities to support you to return to a place of being able to care for yourself.

However, like in any life situation that moves beyond the acute, we/I must come face-face with not only our problem, but also our potential.

It’s in owning our potential we open up to seeing that yes as much as we each need support, we are also the ones who will be the problem fixers of our lives and the potential liberators.
— Cathy Saunders

Who doesn’t love solving a problem?

The danger of looking at any “thinking position” that is exclusionary in nature, is, we can miss much of what else is happening. The result, we could be stepping over a real solution!

As leaders & business owners in the industry of personal development and growth, I feel in my heart we can do a great dis-service if we position ourselves as “the one” to solve or fix anything.

Enter, the power of AND

A perceptual capacity to be able to hold the space for the and to be present, is paramount. This is a willingness to be with what we might define as a problem AND it’s inherent potential. The ability to be with and acknowledge the problem and open up to the potential. The “and position” of leadership brings in the dimensions of thinking & feeling; being & doing; speaking & listening; pausing and moving.

Thinking evokes feelings. Feelings evoke experiences. Experiences form the tapestry of our lives.
— Cathy Saunders

Heart: The Field Creator & Conductor of Experience

Often thinking is associated with the thinking mind. Potential, the heart. The terrain of feelings, emotions and sensations.

There is a lot of science that has been pointing to the power of coherence. A field of the heart.

Practically, when you walk into a room and you feel like you could cut the air with a knife, are you thinking or feeling?
What is conducting the information to your mind, in that moment?

Grounding in our hearts is for some of us a new and yes, scary place. We may have been hurt in the past. Experienced great loss and pain from opening our heart. And yet, it is a equally powerful allay for co-creating and engaging the dance of problems & potentials.

As leaders of our life & chosen arenas of service, we must be willing to dance with the head and heart of BOTH the problem’s we’re facing AND…the inherent potential.

Interested in learning more? Check out the amazing work @ HeartMath.

So why are we so focused on problems, to the exclusion of potential?

Neuro-science would offer we’ve actually evolved habituated grooves, patterns within our brain that most intelligently have us on alert for danger. This is a helpful reference when being chased by a bear. However, not all situations, circumstances or “problems” meet the bear criteria.

Design Specs to contemplate

Our bodies are directed by aspects of our nervous system. Some aspects are designed to get us activated; others, designed to support our relaxation. This is a very simple summation, however, it has always baffled me as to why we so highly prize one over the other.

Depending on the aspect of our nervous system that’s activated, we’re wearing a pair of distinct glasses. Let’s call these perceptual filters.

Perceptual filters

Some people have simplified a view that we either see the world through a lens of: the world is a safe place or the world is a dangerous place; you see through love or you see through fear.

My experience has been this is a helpful consideration when I am caught in the spin of my problem story… isn’t always enough to pull me up or out of its grip.

Breath and working with the body is a somatic pathway which immensely helps me meet those moments when the mind has taken over the body fully!

Body: The Tuning Fork of Experience

The body is a powerful tuning fork of experience. One that I know for me I’ve attempted to shut down over the years in some very clever and yet not so useful ways.

The body is a great conduit of our spirits. In this realm, problems are viewed as energy & information.

In fact, spirit as the “S” of ourSelf, is communicating I believe through our body, mind & heart (and some say also our gut!) all of the time. Energy and information is seeking our attention. And yet, we’re not taught how to listen.

The notion that the mind and body are actually different sides of the same coin goes all the way back to the origins of medicine.
— Jon Kabat-Zinn

When considering your thinking around problems & potential….

Engage your breath, consciously!

Why breath? The simple answer is to pull the mind out of the body. We’ve conditioned the body to become the mind through the repetitive unconscious loop of thinking and feeling, and feeling and thinking.
— Dr. Joe Dispenza

So…what’s the “so what here?”…consider,

What’s the cost of not being curious about “thinking”?

For me what I see again and again is a loop. A loop of judgement & limitation. A loop that perpetuates a chase of the “defined problem” and as a business owner seeking to define your “problem”. Honestly it’s a bit crazy making for me. I feel the call to stand inside of myself & with others in the space of AND.

In the space beyond right and wrong, there is a field. I will meet you there.
— Rumi

It’s here that something NEW can emerge. It is the space beyond, so often quoted by Rumi…This is a powerful quote to ground in when we’re engaged in the ME & WE dance…and in our dances with ourself!

How else might we view our “problems”?

If you’re not in an acute situation; in immediate danger, then, I would invite you to consider,

-What if your “problems” are actually potential seeking to be owned, liberated and or empowered?

-What potential is seeking to be known here, now?

Different doorways in

This is one thing I have most appreciated about studying and engaging astrology in my own development. It’s brought a perspective around challenges and problems that are just that. This more expanded doorway in has re-ignited my curiosity around what I deem as a “problem”….

-I wonder what is the potential here? for my growth & how I show up in the world?

This doesn’t mean it’s all flowers and daises. On the contrary. This line of inquiry has actually brought me face-face with some not so celebrated aspects of myself. Some deeply painful and others just plain yucky! Aspects that have been completely out of my awareness. It has required I own them and consider how else I might engage myself & my potential…rather then…how do I fix this problem?

Mind: The Great Story Maker

The mind is a complex and powerful tool of our human nature. As much as it’s a gift, it also can be our greatest potential to leverage…and some might say our greatest problem at times.

How much of our thinking is wrapped up in old “problem” stories?

I’ve recently reconnected with the amazing Work of Byron Katie, called The Work. Years ago I was introduced to her amazing work through reading, Loving What Is. In this book she shares her story of what might be described as a Dark Night of the Soul. From this extended experience, she emerged with a four question process that truly can transform suffering into peace. Through bringing curiosity to our negative thoughts. Meeting them as they are and gently being open to wandering and wondering about the degree to which they are truly, true.

Check out this great interview with Katie & Oprah here.

Called: Set Yourself Free

The Work offers an elegant and powerful process for exploring our thinking. The thinking that we each know well. The thinking driving our experiences of suffering, struggle and pain. Here is a link to the tools to support your exploration & doing The Work.

Interested in learning more, check out The Work Website, here.


In the field of personal development and human potential there is a mass amount of information, processes and science around the power of working with our minds, consciously.

Exciting times!

In fact, the lists is too long to mention here. What I would suggest is, if you’re noticing a default of thinking of “problems” that has you in a loop that’s creating a life less than joyful, it may be time to start courting your mind with love, curiosity and wonder.

Like a small child coming to discover a new X, meet your mind with that quality of…what are you? AND ground in the mature adult that you are.

Educate yourself, reach out and discover how else you might engage your thinking.

For starters…

Neuro-plasticity is an exciting field that has positioned each of us in the drivers seat of being able to work with (versus against) our minds. Developing our capacity to hold the “and” of focus and activate flow states are deeply empowering!

The book: Open Focus Brain: Harnessing the Power of Attention to Heal Mind and Body

Interested in what’s unfolding today about human performance + states of consciousness?

Check out this great book: Stealing Fire. Here is Steven Kotler (one of the authors) speaking about this book.

I am curious….

-What is your dance these days with problems and potential?

Leave a comment below!