A few years ago Caitrìona and I started to integrate our various skill-sets. We were already excited about helping people make big changes, but something was missing.
We wanted to bring big picture thinking, and a natural ongoing awareness into people’s lives so that it stuck. “What is the most effective and accessible way to bring about authentic, long-lasting, positive change?” was the question that we were asking ourselves.
We had been teaching meditation retreats for a long time, and we are still impressed at how deeply meditation and mindfulness training can transform people’s lives. However, we also noticed that there are many people who are drawn to meditation, not because they are contemplatives or visionaries, but because they are natural introverts. They come to meditation for comfort.
If you are a natural introvert, meditation might actually not be the most direct way to make meaningful change in your life. In fact, it can hold you back.
Then there are others who find meditation difficult, even though they may be naturally visionary, and very much in touch with the power of their imagination, very driven, and very much aware that the deepest change comes from inside.
We knew there was something more we could do that would bring lasting positive change to a far wider range of people than we were reaching.
So we began experimenting. In addition to being Zen and Vipassana teachers of many years standing, we were Hypnotherapists, we were trained in NLP. We had already been bringing other elements into the meditation, to broaden the context and make it more applicable to everyday life. In addition, I am both an artist and a martial artist. I’ve taught non-violence in a range of settings over many years. There is no way I can avoid bringing these perspectives into the work.
What is Five Changes?
Five Changes is born out of the range of perspectives and skills we have developed over the years. It is a deliberate integration of skills for long-lasting powerful change. It works for anyone who is ready to get out of their own way, step into their unique brilliance, and live their life, not at 50% or 75%, but at full throttle.
By the way, it is far less stressful to live at 100%, because when you are in alignment, when the activity of your conscious and unconscious mind match each other, you tap into new sources of energy and creativity.
People ask what the Five Changes are:
- They are the Five Principles for Change.
- They are the Five different modalities that we have integrated.
- They are the Five building blocks that make up who we all are internally.
- They are the Five Precepts – the five guidelines for living with awareness and integrity
- They are the Five areas of your life where change happens .. in work, with family and friends, in romance, with physical and emotional health, and in your inner spiritual world..
I would also like to say that there are at least five things any one of us could usefully change in their life. But when you really change one of them, all the others will shift in unison. Because each of us is a system. The way we work in Five Changes is to look at the whole person, and to work with each person as a unique living inter-connected whole system.