Issue # 11 September 28, 1998
About the Author:
Sherry Lowry is a Austin-based
business coach who works nationally and internationally with executives,
manages, business owners other coaches,
psychologists and therapists. She brings experience to her clients as a
founder and developer of 7 businesses, including one non-profit organization,
as a consultant and trainer, and professional mentor. Co-leading group
telecalls (via regular telephone connection) and telegroup series is a
speciality....with other field experts on corporate marketing, using public
speaking as a marketing took, marketing with heart, and offers with Diane
Menendez special teleclasses for mental health professionals transitioning as
coaches. In 1996, Sherry founded and continues to host The Coaches’ Showcase,
a free theme-based telegroup exchange with some of the industry’s most
experienced coaches. Also useful is her online collection of The Lowry Notes -
free to the public at her WWW site. She holds two traditional graduate degrees
and has completed the Coach University curriculum. She is on the Board of
International Coach Federation and is a member of Professional Coaches’ and
Mentor’s Association and Texas Executive Women.
Sherry Lowry, MCC
Austin, Texas, USA
Web site: www.sherrylowry.com.
The Touchstone Adventure
This is the only sentence you will be asked to take on trust. If you will,
all else will fall into place for you:
"A wizard exists in all of us. This
wizard sees and knows everything."
-- Deepak Chopra
The Way of the Wizard
A primary reason to develop a SeamLess Life™ is to enjoy the simplicity and
trust that results when the strong and deep foundation of the essence of you
is in place.
There are indicators, flags, signals and cues that begin to surface in your
life when you are on this quest. They will, over time, begin to prove your own
Wizard is alive, well, and eager to help guide you. We think of these as
This week we're going to begin to introduce the concept of Touchstones,
which wizards know all about. What are they? Why are they important?
And....what have others said about the benefit of this simpler lifestyle we're
advocating that rejoice when the touchstones are active?
This can also be a bit akin to the type of alchemy (or transformational
process) that Deepak Chopra also speaks of in his "Way of the Wizard." We
will visit more of his thoughts on this, as well.
In the literal sense, a Touchstone is said to be:
1. a fine-grained dark stone, as jasper, formerly used to test the fineness
of gold by the color of the streak made on the stone.
In the more theoretical sense, a Touchstone could be considered:
2. a criterion or standard by which the qualities of something are tested.
Shakespeare elected (in "As You Like It") to bestow the name Touchstone on one of his characters who turned out to be a witty clown with important life messages.
We discovered touch*stone (as a noun) first appeared in traceable usage in the
year of 1530:
- a black siliceous stone related to flint and formerly used to test the purity
of gold and silver by the streak left on the stone when rubbed by the metal
- a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing
- a fundamental or quintessential part or feature
It has since become a synonym for STANDARD and, as such has also been thought
of as: a benchmark, criterion, gauge, measure, or yardstick. Related words
have been: to check, test, trial; barometer, scale; demonstration,
About the Author:
Diane Menendez, Ph.D., is a business and personal success coach. She has been
coaching since 1983 when she began the High Performance Coaching process as an
internal staff coach at AT&T. Since 1988 she has coached more than 250
business executives in Fortune 100 companies and has provided leadership for
company-wide efforts in executive and leadership development. Menendez’s
special niche in executive coaching is providing support to leaders of rapidly
changing industries who are committed to transforming their personal
leadership styles. She has successfully also transferred her skills to work
with entrepreneurs, other business owners, family owned business leadership,
and non-profit executives and their organizations. She created Results-Focused
Leadership Development, an intensive, creative and empowering process that
influences and inspires client to fully develop their leadership potential
while supporting their company’s mission and goals. Her passions are inspiring
the success of family business members, entrepreneurs and therapists and other
professionals in transition. Her www domain name, HeartDance.com, is an
expression of her belief that, "Our work can bring us joy as well as financial
rewards." Yes, that’s what she means -- real joy, enough to make your heart
Contact info: HeartDance, Cincinnati, Ohio USA, 513-474-1137
The importance of this for your SeamLess Life™ discoveries will be development
of your personal Touchstones. This will help you know more definitely when
your life is on Purpose and in alignment with your personal and
You can develop a Purpose/Vision set of Touchstones and possibly a
slightly different set that others may want to check in with in order to see
when the benefits of being in your life as an intimate other or friend, or
possibly as a client, begin to surface for them.
For example, let's say Clarity is a benefit to a client from doing business
with you. An indicator, signal or touchstone they may start to notice is that the
amount of time they need to make key decisions shortens. As your work together
helps them develop a clearer sense of their business purpose, and specific on-
target tasks and steps to advance this, they may need less data or less input
from others to come to useful, speedy conclusions. They develop more self-
trust and confidence and they grow their internal knowledge base -- sometimes
quite rapidly once they begin to gain expertise in using approaching, thinking
and tools you may introduce to them.
One of the ways you will be able to help them understand the benefits of your
collaboration as client/professional could be to establish with them in
advance what types of acts, events, or watchwords will be their signs or
signals they are gaining results. You can make this part of your service to
them -- and it will greatly enhance the commitment you both make to their
In this same regard, you can also collectively construct what will be the
warning signs they may be getting off-track instead of on-track. For example,
in working with entrepreneurs you may want to ask them to clearly define the
three projects they want to focus on for a specific timeline.
The indicator of off-trackness could be when that fourth, fifth or sixth GREAT opportunity
begins to present in your meetings with them -- it's probably time for them to
review and reanalyze their immediate priorities. It's not that these new
possibilities cannot be pursued. It's more a question of when and how, given
what they've already committed to as their most important next steps.
In The SeamLess Life™ approach,
you CAN have it all - just not simultaneously!
So, your Touchstones in this sense can also serve as
your litmus test. Because you've created them to be helpful aids
along the way, there is no reason to
resist attending to them. It's also comforting to watch them unexpectedly
appear as reassurances in your life - which they tend to do once defined.
Similarly, once your attention is on a particular topic, it's common for you
to start seeing articles, TV shows mentioning this, and hearing it come
forward in conversations with others.
Touchstones tend to want to serve you. Given the opportunity, they will
begin to communicate to you beyond the range of your normal receptivity once
you develop a loyalty to them. Much like intuition, usage of them and practice
with them radically deepens and expands your capacity to benefit from them in
Deepak, in "The Way of The Wizard" writes of the crystal cave
-- the privileged place inside the human heart. It is the refuge of safety where a wise voice
knows no fear, where the turmoil of the outside world cannot enter.
"In the crystal cave there has always been a wizard and always will be -- you only
have to enter and listen. The journey into the miraculous begins here. Now is the
best time to start. The way of the wizard doesn't exist in time -- it is
everywhere and nowhere. It belongs to everyone and no one. So....this is about
reclaiming what is already yours."
Over the next weeks we will continue to develop with you the Touchstones, and the
Benefits to yourself and to others that come out of this quest. We will also
create the paths for you to further identify your own Credo, by which you are
already living and can, more so, embrace in the future.
Next week: Issue #12 - Unearthing Your Touchstones
October 12: The Jumping Mouse
October 19: back to the regular bi-weekly series
Lucky Issue #13!
E-Mail us with questions or suggestions.
Sherry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diane and Sherry's book, Discovering Your Best Self Through the Art of Coaching, can be ordered at http://www.sherrylowry.com/book.htm.
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