November 22, 2011

Cultivating Gratitude Through Understanding Stressful Beliefs

Earlier today, an unpleasant memory came up for me around the Thanksgiving holiday. Years ago, I had taken my mother out to dinner at an upscale restaurant. She was elderly, disabled, very overweight, and, seeing as she was widowed and living on Social Security, not particularly well dressed. I remember the looks the fancy suburban clientele gave her, and their stage-whispered remarks among themselves, and the deep anger and resentment I felt towards them; what gave those people the right to look down on someone less fortunate?

As this memory came to mind today, I also remembered and even viscerally felt the reaction I'd experienced at the time. It was upsetting me, so I decided to take a closer look. I asked myself, "What would I have to be believing if I were to be as nasty and snobbish as I perceived these people to be?" And what I came up with was this: the only reason anyone would resent the presence of someone like my mother is fear. How terrified those women must have been to encounter, in their glitzy sanctuary, the kind of person they would never want to become. What a scary reminder that circumstances can change and they might have seen their future and frightened themselves with it.

For the first time in close to 15 years, I felt compassion for them. And gratitude for my own hard-won clarity. Yes, it was hard-won. The work of self-inquiry is simple, but it is not easy. However, living with the burden of resentment has always been worse, so I invite you to this practice in order that you may experience the joy and peace of the season.

©2011 by Carol L. Skolnick. All rights reserved.

November 2, 2011

Occupy This Facilitator Until Dec. 31, 2011

The tides are changing here in my queendom by the sea. Old systems have been outed as no longer serving, new ones are taking their place amid some inner protesting. Fears of not fitting in or of displeasing others are giving way to the need to live and work with integrity. Call it a midlife crisis; I prefer to call it Occupy least 99%.

It has been more than a year, perhaps two, since I last facilitated a workshop, held a teleclass, or trained a trainer. I haven't been diligent about blog posts or newsletters, to say the least. That's because my work as a facilitator of The Work of Byron Katie has largely taken a back seat to some much-needed and long-ignored self-care (exercise and nutrition) and to my creative endeavors: painting, writing and performance. And because, even though I was a promotions manager and copywriter for many years...having done PR for celebrities, created print and web advertising for megacorporations, and composed entire catalogs full of merch...I've never really enjoyed marketing my own stuff.

While I still offer The Work, it has been quite awhile since I've worked hard to build awareness about my services, or to create more curriculum around what is essentially always the same process, wherever it's applied. Truth be told, I've run out of unique things to say about The Work; most of my insights, tips and tricks are right here in this blog, and needn't be endlessly recycled.

I don't see a problem with this turn of events; it's just the way things are. The problem, if there was one, was trying to fit myself into a little box of being a "this" when who I am was always more varied and variable than a "this." There came a point when saying, "This is my life's work" was no longer true; I was playing small and not developing my gifts. In doing so, I was doing a disservice to myself, and perhaps to the world.

So yes, I still facilitate The Work by request, and I still feel without a doubt that it's one of the most elegant processes available to sift through confusion and stuckness to find one's own truth. It certainly has been for me, and continues to be on an as-needed basis. I love staying in The Work by working with others, and, as they say in the 12-step programs, sharing my experience, strength and hope. I am grateful forever for this wonderful way of ours, this way of opening the heavy dungeon doors that, truly speaking, are never locked.

So there is more, much more, to come. I'm excited to let you in on it just as soon as it becomes clearer to me!

Meanwhile, I have had a special rate running for all of 2011, and the year's not over yet. I called it the "Prosperity Special" since I refused to feed the recent recession by calling it that. I have previously made this offer available only to my newsletter subscribers and on the Clear Life Solutions Facebook page, but, as I said, the tides are changing!

So from now until the end of December, you can still experience 12 hour-long sessions of laser-sharp inquiry and unlimited email support for $900, prepaid. (It's okay if the sessions extend into the new year but must be completed by February 2012.) That's a savings of $300 off the price quoted on my website.

Please contact me if you'd like a 20-minute consultation to see if it's appropriate for us to work together.

And why do this with me? Because I'm told that having me as a facilitator is helpful, eye-opening, unorthodox, and a lot of fun. And because it's the lowest rate I've ever offered to the public, and this particular package won't be offered again.

So let's occupy ourselves, 100%.

For more information about who I am and what I've been doing for the past 10 years, please visit