Communication, Relationships, Abundance, Self Esteem, Empowerment and Self Awareness.
What if you had the opportunity to obtain a better understanding of yourself through personal exercises, all from the comfort of your own home or office? I recently had the great fortune to talk with Sheila Radha Conrad about Life Mastery Skills, a program she has developed and offers through her website.
I was amazed how much information and support was provided on the site including free exercises to assist anyone who wishes to begin their journey inward. Upon speaking with Sheila Radha Conrad, I knew why she had chosen this route to reach people. This is a woman with an extensive background in Counselling Psychology; her wisdom runs deep and her spirit is generous, as you will see in the following excerpts from our conversation.
I really enjoyed your website and the exercises you provided. Can you tell us more about Life Mastery Skills?
Life Mastery Skills allows people to develop the practice of going inside to access their inner wisdom and their inner knowing. Usually, if we have a problem we go outside of ourselves to get the information that will help us, but this is how to go inside. Because, within each of us we really do know the answers once we learn how to access it. I’m sure because you have done this for so many years, you know that the secret is knowing the right question.
Yes, I thought that was very powerful. You addressed the questions we can ask ourselves, the inner dialogue.
I have been doing this work since 1974 and what I have discovered is; if people have the right question, they know the answer. They may not like what they know, they may not want to listen, but they do know the answer.
What I am able to do is assist people to be motivated, to look at what is the actuality. In other words; if a person knows the answer but is not willing to do it, I get that. So, how do I guide somebody so that it doesn’t become just another judgement of themselves? “Awareness without Judgement.” I stress this over and over again and I explain why… because when we judge ourselves we shut down.
It’s different for every person or situation but after we see enough times that when I’m not willing to give myself what I want, something begins to shift. If I don’t have to be wrong for that, or judge myself , I’m OK. It is just where I am at. I’m being gentle with myself, I can accept myself and even be curious”I wonder why I wouldn’t want to do what I believe would work”.
What bubbles up is an acceptance of where we are at; this allows for a softening and an opening. Before long (in this process of opening) the person says “All right, I will see what happens”, “I don’t think it will work but I will do it and see” and of course it does work, so their more motivated the next time. Then over time they recognize their resistance and before long it lasts shorter and shorter. It becomes a process of learning through self acceptance. There is a meditation exercise that shows us that the more we judge ourselves, the further we are away from the goal.
What I and other counsellors have learned is that regardless of the subject matter it is inner dialogue, our inner communication that determines our life. Whether it is the relationships we have, our health, abundance or self esteem; it depends on our inner communication, which is often silent. It takes a great deal of time for people to realize their inner communication is determining their life. Not only how they see themselves but how they see other people.
As a career coach I can be able to assist a client in marketing to employers, how to prepare a resume, provide all the fundamentals of job search, but looking at them as a total being it usually isn’t any one of those things as the major problem. It is their inner communication. What they are saying to themselves.
I have focused on three particular modules with respect to career: communication, self awareness and empowerment. If you are not aware, that you are not looking someone in the eye in an interview, using your example, you can give the employer the perfect information but your body language is saying everything. 90% of communication is through body language. So, if you body language or tone says “I don’t believe I’m going to get the job” or “I’m really not qualified”, that is what the person is going to go with. You can’t fool them. If people started focusing on what is their inner communication before going into an interview they would be able to see if they are in their power or not.
As you know, there is no where to go from self awareness. If that isn’t the basis I don’t know how we would make a meaningful movement or change from a situation. I don’t know how you could do it without being aware, it is intrinsic.
You have worked with individuals and groups. You are now able to communicate with a large number of people through this website, how did this come about?
People kept saying ” I wish you could replicate yourself” and I thought “how can I replicate myself?” That is how the website began.
Ever since I started this work I believed that most people have never been taught to live up to their full potential in life. We just weren’t taught. I wasn’t taught communication skills, I wasn’t taught the difference between assertive, aggressive or passive aggressive. So, I always worked with people teaching them what I knew. I never kept secrets, this is how it works, this how I do it for myself. I always felt my job is to teach people not to need me. That is how the name came to me, How to Master Life Skills.
I have always thought that if these things were taught in school and colleges many of us would be emotionally intelligent. We wouldn’t come from an emotional place and not understand why it didn’t give us the outcome we wanted, we would understand. We would understand the difference between when we were in our power and when we were power tripping somebody. Most people think that to be empowered you have power over other people; they do not understand you have power over yourself.
This is a practical approach, I’m a practical person, I don’t have to use spiritual or psychological language to teach what is true, and therefore no one has to be eliminated. The truth is always available to us, if we learn how to access it. That is really what I’m showing people, how to access the truth within and then what to do about it. It is not enough just to know. That is why my approach is ” awareness without judgment and actualization; you put it into action and then see the results.
This is one of my motivations for giving six free exercises, although every chapter has a free audio, the free exercises don’t come with their own audio. The only way you get an audio for each exercise is if you make a purchase. You buy a chapter for just $40.00, it is like $4.00 a session. I tell people don’t do more than one of these a week, but do them again and again. So you gain insight, if you do these exercises a year later, you will go even deeper. It makes it a living teaching.
It keeps teaching and giving as people go back in and learn a little more. It is not something you read or participate in, put it on the shelf and then conclude “this is the diagnosis of who I am.”
Right, it’s not static. Anything that is really living, is never static. If it only applies to you the first time and you can’t use it again and again then it’s not going to work. As we grow, where it takes us grows. That to me is what is exciting! The reason I know, is because I have used this with thousands of my clients before I ever did the website and I know the feedback I have gotten.
When other therapists or psychiatrists use it they would say “It is totally amazing to me, what is so helpful is that it allows the person and you as the counsellor to really be on the same page.” When people work with us that desire to please can be there in some way. They want to do what we suggest, but that doesn’t always allow them to be where they are. Sometimes unbeknownnst to them they are subtly rejecting themselves, this tool brings that back to reality. It really is also an assistance to people who are helping people.
I work with programs that provide career and life skills services as well as assisting individual clients and groups. This appears to be something that programs,students and clients could use quite well.
Yes, it is. My students downloaded the PDF and have a loose leaf binder in which to keep their modules. If you only want one or two modules then it wouldn’t make sense to spend money on the whole thing; but once you have bought more than two you save money. You get one free module by buying them all.
There are more people who are not going to go to counselling, than those who are. It is not that they don’t have difficulties. This is about making the world a better place in my way, if I can contribute to clarity and assist. That is the reason why I put on free exercises because even if you didn’t have any money, but you had the will, I wanted people to be able to take those six exercises and do them as many times as the wanted and gain more clarity. I chose good exercises that could really give people a reward, I didn’t want anything to stand in peoples way.
It has the potential for me to reach more people than I could physically reach. I mean, I live on Maui, so now there is a way in which I can really reach people and that is what motivated me. I am a living example that this works. I don’t know how many levels of reality there are, I believe that I co-create. If I had any doubt, when I’m in a down mood the world looks totally different than when I’m in an up mood and in a positive place. What I’m looking at hasn’t changed, what has changed is my vision. I know that, in every fibre of my being. I know that we have a lot of input into the way are life is and whether we feel fulfilled and satisfied. That is why I call them Mastery Skills, the exercises are simple but you need to put in the time and the effort to create a fulfilling life.
Sheila Radha Conrad’s website is Life Mastery Skills – check it out and embark on the journey to a more fulfilling life and a greater understanding of self.