When you hear the words “Personal Empowerment,” what’s the first thing that pops into your mind? What images does it conjure up? What words do you hear? And what emotions does it stir?
Years ago, I found myself thinking about it and wondered how I could begin to master this thing called personal power. Then, out of nowhere, a patient of mine presented me with a gift of three books. These books changed my life and set me on a path of not only unparalleled personal growth for my wife, Kathi, and I, but eventually led us into a partnership that has empowered and changed hundreds of lives!
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of personal power books, programs and gurus, all promising the tools people need to claim their power. The truth is, personal power is not an outside-in thing. It’s an inside-out journey. Maybe that’s why I was so attracted to the field of personal empowerment, which in the 1980’s, was known as metaphysics. It was in alignment with my chiropractic philosophy: Above, down, inside-out, the connection of universal intelligence with innate intelligence. Universal intelligence being the higher source (God) and innate intelligence being the physical expression of that source.
The first part of our journey was when we discovered Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and became master practitioners. This gave me an insight as to how to not only communicate with the outside world, but more importantly, how I can communicate with myself! It made me aware of how specific words and thoughts trigger my emotional reactions and by learning the best way to communicate and interpret my internal dialogue. This gave me the opportunity to change the discussion in my head and empower my thoughts and actions!
I’ve always had the ability to be in the right place, at the right time! I was looking for an opportunity to share this new-found knowledge! As the universe would have it, I was attending a chiropractic seminar and one of the presenters had his own program that seemed perfect for my continued growth, according to my wife – Inner Winners Challenge for Excellence with Dr. Chuck Ribley. After participating in our first program, what I realized was that I had all the head stuff and all the technology, but is wasn’t connecting to my heart. During that program, the connection started! I knew we needed to attend the second program because I felt that the first one made me aware of this phenomenon as I began to strengthen my head-heart connection. In hindsight, that connection was the missing link to true personal empowerment.
During that second program, as a participant, we used our NLP knowledge to help facilitate other participants. I knew I was on the right track! By the end of the third program (we brought all of our children to that program and to all future programs!), Dr. Ribley asked us if we would like to facilitate some of the experiential events the next program. We jumped on it!!! By the end of the fourth program, Kathi and I were partners with Chuck and Ruth Ribley in the Inner Winners programs. We had not only found that doing these programs were great for our continued personal growth and empowerment, but also a place to share with others the tools and techniques so that they too could use them in their life to awaken that innate personal power within.
Being a chiropractor has always been my first love, caring for and serving people. I found out that my second love was facilitating people to allow them to discover and claim their own personal power and to live the life of their dreams! These programs were beginning to take up a lot of our time, and time away from my chiropractic practice. We had to come up with some way to make both happen, and both profitable! One night, an innate flash came to me and it was the spark of a book that Kathi and I wrote, “Retire in Practice.” The book is a compilation of all the ideas we came up with to turn our chiropractic practice into a business instead of a solo-doctor practice. This afforded us the time-freedom we needed to travel with Inner Winners around the world. I never wanted to transition from a chiropractic practice to a personal power business, this was a way to have the cake and eat it too!
This is one of my favorite memories and a great example of how people’s lives can drastically change in a heartbeat when they connect with their personal power. A 16-year-old girl, Molly, was “dragged” to one of our programs by her mom. She was almost shut down. Two weeks prior, she attempted suicide by driving her car into a wall. She had a fractured pelvis and broken ribs among her injuries and she was on crutches. She also had no will to live. In the beginning she refused to participate, but by giving her time and space so that she could feel more comfortable, she slowly began to change. She smiled a little. She laughed a little. She cried a lot! All of her emotions that had been shut down were coming back! By the time we had our Firewalk portion of the program, something truly miraculous happened. Molly realized that she loved herself. She found her purpose and rediscovered her passion and personal power! She threw her crutches into the fire and proceeded to walk across the fire, un-aided, to the other side. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house! She affirmed that she was healed in every way! The best part of the story is when she went back to her doctor the next week, he read her the riot act and took new x-rays to see how much damage she had done to herself by not using her crutches! He was shocked when he saw the films – she was totally healed!
One of the most rewarding thing that has happened over time is that the field of metaphysics that we fell in love with in the 1980’s and had been mocked by the scientific community is now known as the field of Quantum Physics. Today scientists are proving the powers that your thoughts create! All you have to do is look at the works of Joe Dispenza, Bruce Lipton and Duncan Church, to name a few. People are taking quantum physics very seriously.
Laura came to her first Inner Winners after finishing her first college semester with a GPA of 0.9. She had been put on probation and was having second thoughts about a college education being the right choice for her. She lacked self-confidence, felt totally beaten down and was embarrassed and disappointed with how she thought she was. After going through several experiential events where the facilitation is about asking the right questions so that participants can discover for themselves the magnificence they have within, she began to create a whole new resourceful belief system about possibilities and opportunities for her future. Long story short, she went back to school and at the end of her next semester, her GPA was 2.9!!! What had changed in Laura was that she believed in herself, she found her power and took charge of her life! She learned how to be 100% responsible for the outcomes she creates in her life, and but doing that, she took control of her destiny!
As B.J. Palmer said, “you never know how far-reaching something you may think, say or do today will affect the lives of millions tomorrow.” When my patient, Dale, gave me those three books years ago by John Grinder and Richard Bandler (Frogs into Princes, Transformations and The Structure of Magic), little did he know the difference he made in my life, my family’s life and all the people I’ve served since then! Remember, personal empowerment in an inside-out job. It’s not about working on yourself. It’s about discovering who and what you really are and how much you have to contribute to the world. That, combined with passion, makes the impossible possible . . . always!
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