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OTHER ITA SITES:
An Interview with Debra Kahnen, Life Coach, International Speaker, Breakthrough
For the last 20 years, Debra Kahnen, R.N., N.D., has worked in the personal development field counseling and training people to connect with their true selves and their true desires. In that time, she has successfully assisted clients in removing "blocks" which have hindered their personal, professional, and emotional successes. Her specialty is her ability to assist clients in the process of discovering those emotional and mental blocks which have prevented them from reaching their goals. Her recently published e-book, Power of Clarity (available at http://www.lifedreamsmanifest.com/Power_of_Clarity_e-book.html), explores these issues giving readers tips for discovering what they truly want in life and how to fulfill those dreams.
Why and how did you become a Life Coach?
I always knew I was here to help people make a difference in their lives. Driven by my passion to help people, I have continuously grown and expanded my knowledge and abilities to better able assist people in improving their lives.
I started out as a nurse thinking it was a great way to help people. After realizing prevention is much smarter and more valuable than cure, I studied to be a naturopathic doctor. Even in natural medicine, which supports the body's own healing process, you cannot bring about optimum health without addressing the spiritual and mental state of the person. Optimum health is not just about physical health, because a person is so much more than a physical body. A person has to be in a positive state of mind and living a life in alignment with who they are at the core of their being.
I have spent 20 years in the personal development field counseling with and training people. I have helped many people connect to their core self and true desires. In addition, I have helped them remove unconscious blocks and develop new abilities necessary for success. Despite the fact each personís dreams and goals are different, the common result of my work is each individual begins living a happier and more fulfilled life.
I have a passion for helping people break through their personal barriers because I have been there. I know what it's like to go to seminars, get turned on, go out and invest a bunch of money and time, and fall flat on your face. I know what it is like to see others being extremely successful while you're still struggling. Sometimes the key to breaking through seems to be out of reach.
How did you become a Breakthrough Specialist?
It actually came about by my sincere desire to help people. Many programs exist to perpetuate the program rather than assisting the individuals in the program. I realized if I aligned my skills with the person's individual goals and dreams we could produce a breakthrough in a relatively short period of time.
Do you see a common thread with this issue of being stuck?
Yes. Most people deal with the effects, rather than the cause. For example, people often look at weight as a problem. Really it is just a symptom of something deeper. In a recent session a client stated, "When I felt better about the thing that mattered most to me, losing weight was not that hard. It seemed natural to eat the right things, instead of eating something that would not make me feel better." A person with weight issues who hasn't broken through their barriers could go on many diets and have many losses, but never deal with the real issues.
Throughout your work, you refer to "Cultural Absorption" as one of the most significant factors in every individual's emotional makeup. What is Cultural Absorption and how does it affect people?
Cultural Absorption is a process each and every individual experiences throughout their early childhood. It is the process by which humans develop their sense of the world. The unconscious assimilation of the cultural and familial environments in which children grow create the basis of individual world views, self-perceptions, and interpretations of events and people. Every human being experiences cultural absorption. How it manifests, however, varies from person to person.
The environmental and personal cues experienced both consciously and unconsciously give rise to a personal belief system. This personal belief system, which often goes unevaluated well into adulthood, can be both an asset and a liability. In some cases, these belief systems allow individuals to approach life with fearlessness, taking on challenges which lead to personal success and growth. For others, however, these belief systems can hinder progress based on fears and inaccurate personal assessments of oneís abilities, talents, and effectiveness.
Adults often find themselves living lives much different from the ones of their childhood dreams. While a child may dream of becoming a wealthy movie star, the mature adult may realize a life of working in a job that barely pays the bills while struggling to find free time to spend with friends and family.
How does Cultural Absorption Occur?
Children are sponges. They are in a hyper-receptive state. That is to say their brain waves are at a level making their minds much more receptive to stimuli than the mind of the adult. They absorb many things from the environment simultaneously including values, beliefs, attitudes, and emotional patterns, which form a viewpoint or lens from which to view life.
Many unconscious blueprints are set up through which the person then views life. These blueprints include information on how to treat family members, children, and friends. Other unconscious blueprints are set up and form the basis for determining if people are good or bad, trustworthy or untrustworthy; what it is Ok to have and not have; if money is good or bad, easy to make or hard; if you have to work smart or hard for money; if the world is a safe place or dangerous place; if feelings are something to express and work through or suppress and stuff.
Patterns of self perception and self esteem are also created. A very significant problem that moves into adulthood is whether the world is viewed from the inside out (trusting your intuition and being in touch with what you want) or if the world is viewed from the outside in (operating to please others in your environment).
The significant people in a child's life that influence them vary based on the familial and social culture in which the child grows. The paradigm of these individuals can be absorbed and lived or actively rebelled against - "I will never be like..."
How does cultural absorption affect adult life?
Because of the numerous variables involved in any given life lesson, it's hard to predict what will happen. The resulting paradigm is unique for each individual. Cultural absorption, in many cases, becomes the secret barrier blocking people from creating their greatest success. It is a belief system which limits what is acceptable in one's life. While it may not be clear what the personal barrier is, it can be changed.
Discovering which paradigms are created as the result of cultural absorption is a process specific to the individual. Often the affects of this paradigm are so deeply rooted in the subconscious mind, the adult doesn't realize it is there and they certainly don't realize the effects it has on their personal life, personal power, and personal success.
For those people who hope to improve their life situation and forge a path to personal success, the belief system created by cultural absorption may be slowing them down. This is not irreparable. Quite the contrary, by sheer will and honest introspection each and every person can remove the obstacles blocking the path to personal success. Besides offering seminars and personal counseling, my e-book, Power of Clarity, also serves to help people discover how cultural absorption has affected their lives.
How do you work with a client?
The first step is to establish what the person really wants. Most people know what they don't want, not what they want. For many people what they say they want is coming from their cultural programming, or cultural absorption, and not their true desires. This is such an important step and it is the reason I wrote The Power of Clarity. The purpose of this e-book is to get people to start defining what they really want.
Why is it so important to help your clients establish what they want?
We truly are creators in our lives. You know the famous quote, "When we commit to something, providence moves in"? Well, so do the "yea buts". "Yea but I don't have enough money." "Yea but I don't have enough time." "Yea but I don't have the right credentials." "Yea but I am not talented enough," etc. For many people the "yea buts" even stop them from even defining what they really want. My e-book was written to create an experience for the person that temporarily bypasses the "yea buts".
What areas of life is this process applicable to?
It works in all areas of life. I have helped people break through invisible ceiling with money, restore happiness in their relationships, restore balance and happiness with their families, and handle weight and health problems.
What advice would you offer those people who find themselves frustrated with their personal and professional lives?
I tell clients to ask themselves this question: Am I living my dreams or am I living a "suppose to" life based in my cultural programming? I think you deserve to know the answer and it is evident in your moods. Do you wake up every day excited about life, looking forward to your day? Or do you dread getting up everyday and can't wait until Friday? I ask clients to look at that as a continuum with the positive side, excited about the day, being a 10 and the negative side, dreading the day, being a 1. Where does my client rate life on from 1-10?
The closer the person is to 10 (excited about life), the closer the person is to being in alignment with who he/she truly is. The closer that person is to one (dreading the day), the more he/she is out of alignment with who their real person?
For more information about Debra Kahnenís work, please visit http://LifeDreamsManifest.com.
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