When I’m mentoring clients, I always learn something new. I listen deeply as they share their experience; my mind grows still and the simple grace of listening without thought brings fresh learning, to both of us. I remain in awe of how powerful the stillness is in bringing forth insights, without asking for them.

Often times, when we start our session, the client may not know what they’re looking for in terms of their spiritual and psychological evolution. They simply tell me they want to go “deeper”.

As I listen from that deep space, I hear nuggets of their wisdom that they are unaware of. For example, Helen, who is a well-known coach, is a lovely, quiet spoken woman, who typically likes to remain in the background and is usually comfortable with that. Yet as she’s evolved in her understanding, she’s begun to notice that in her quiet approach to life, she sometimes feels like she’s invisible when she gets together with a large group of her colleagues.

“I know that I have impact when I coach my clients,” she told me. “I see them change into more confident, happy people who are able to move forward into a healthier productive life.  They tell me how grateful they are for the learning they’ve gained in our time together.

“Yet I often don’t feel heard or seen by my colleagues. This troubles me and I’m not sure how to handle it. On one hand, it seems like I should be able to rise above my insecure thoughts. On the other hand, I wonder if I should be doing something different.

“When I offered to do a podcast for a colleague, he asked me what I would talk about. I felt somewhat nonplussed at his comments, as the tone of his question seemed rather doubtful that I had anything to offer. I felt a little insecure about this.

“I know there are things I see that perhaps my colleagues don’t see. Yet they seem so confident in their articulation of the Principles and how they work that occasionally I’m not sure if I’m really ‘seeing’ or not.

“One of the things that concerns me is that I feel there are times they create techniques to help people find understanding rather than pointing them to their innate wisdom. If I mention this concern, my voice is ignored. I’m in a bit of a quandary. Do I stay still or do I continue to say what I ‘see’?”

I could see Helen’s face was tight with anxiety. “For starters, Helen,” I responded, “the fact that you’re able to tell me you felt a little insecure is wonderful. Your honesty and vulnerability in sharing this is an indication of your true nature, the light within you.”

Helen looked puzzled. “You’re telling me that admitting I felt insecure is wonderful? It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me. When I feel insecure, it seems that I’ve learned nothing about the Principles or I’m using them wrong. I can’t figure it out.”

Helen gave a great sigh. I wanted to give her a virtual cuddle over the Zoom platform as my heart went out to her in her dilemma.

“Yes, honesty and vulnerability are gifts from our soul, our true nature. When we’re gripped by insecurity and ego, there’s no way we’ll admit to feeling uncertain. Chances are, from that state of mind, we’ll be more inclined to prove we’re not insecure.

“You know, Helen, don’t be so concerned about how and what your colleagues are saying, even in regard to designing techniques to assist their clients. It’s far too easy to get into judgment about what you see, rather than doing the best you can with your understanding.

“When you stand in truth, in your deepest knowing, you’re a light for the world. People are attracted to the light, and the warmth of the light will draw them inward toward their own wisdom. That’s the power of being a light rather than a flash—a flash is here one moment and than gone the next. The light of wisdom within us is steady and consistent.

“The journey we’re on has so many different levels of understanding of the Principles. There are practitioners around the world now, all with different ways of ‘seeing’ and articulating their understanding. All these different levels provide learning to those who may be interested in the flash rather than the light; and that’s okay. We all have our own pace for learning. No one pace is right for everyone. That’s the beauty of learning to relax, not trying to figure things out, and just ‘be’.”

I paused for a moment as I saw Helen’s face soften, then she asked, “What was it like for you, Elsie, when you were first learning?”

I smiled as memories came to mind. “It’s been quite a journey, Helen. A bit of a roller coaster at times: as a matter of fact, many times I didn’t know which end was up. There were occasions in the early years, when I was asked by Syd to co-facilitate a weekend training, with one of the first psychologists, who had studied with Syd. I would share my story at the beginning of the session, then the psychologist would tell amazing stories of his journey and share the results happening with his clients. I was full of admiration at the way he could wrap the audience around his finger. I wished I had the same ability to articulate my understanding as well as he did.

“When I bemoaned the fact to Syd that I didn’t have that high energy charisma and articulation, he chuckled, and said, “Dearie, don’t forget; it’s the feeling that touches people’s soul. Just stick to the feeling.”

Helen was totally attentive to my story. “What happened, Elsie?”

“Syd’s words about the power of the feeling that emerges from our true nature struck a deep chord within me, Helen. I had experienced the power of that feeling holding an audience in silence during my first talk with a large group of mental health professionals. I had forgotten that for a bit because my mind was taken up by the flash rather than the steady light of that deep feeling.

“As time went on, I saw that the flash can turn into the light; actually, the flash and the light are the same energy; they are One. We just use that energy differently at different times of our journey. When I got a glimmer of the Oneness, my judgment of others who were flash and others who I felt were light disappeared. I saw we’re all doing the best we can, at any given moment. We are One.


Lori Carpenos · March 28, 2021 at 3:17 pm

Totally love this Elsie – thank you! I got teary-eyed reading it on a rainy Sunday in New England – a beautiful feeling – and so true!

    Elsie · March 28, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Ohhh Lori, thank you for your lovely comments. Your ‘truth’ meter is very sensitive to the beautiful feeling.

Stacia · March 28, 2021 at 4:48 pm

What a beautiful story with a beautiful message. Thank you Elsie.

    Elsie · March 28, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    Dear Stacia, thank you for reading my blog. I appreciate that and I love that you got the message. . .

sandra clapham · March 28, 2021 at 7:29 pm

Thank you Elsie, always so profound. What I saw was a flashlight and to keep the batteries charged by listening to the wisdom of the soul as best we can at the moment. So grtateful for your ongoing mentoring.

    Elsie · March 28, 2021 at 8:50 pm

    Dear Sandra, beautifully said. Poetic, even! thank you!

allan flood · March 29, 2021 at 4:05 am

Thank you Elsie. I recall way too much “flash” in the early years, more “light” in later decades.

    Elsie · March 29, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    That’s an interesting point, Allan. I think in the early days when some of us were more insecure about what we knew about the Principles, we were more ‘flash’ than ‘light’. . . Now adays we continue to have both. . . Such is the journey, all of us trying our best, one way or another. Thanks for sharing!

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