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technique ENERGY WORK Everyone has a dream. In fact, most of us have several dreams. One of my clients wants to retire in the Bahamas and make seashell murals. Another, who lives in a compromised area of town, wants to steer her sons away from gangs and toward college. My youngest son wants to become a Major League Baseball player. I want to make enough money to continue paying for the baseball training. What about your clients' dreams? Understanding their goals and desires can greatly enhance your professional effectiveness. After all, a dream—a goal—is a fantastic reason to work toward wellness. In this column, I will first examine the nuances of goal setting, emphasizing the "rules of order" that will simultaneously support your client's overall life desires, as well as their healing endeavors. But I'm going to go beyond this mental exercise, because the subtle or hidden energy within a client might be in conflict with their obvious and stated goals. Without knowing it, a client might be silently sabotaging or working against themselves. If this is the case, you have to go another mile—a subtle mile. For example, I once worked with a client who said she wanted to become pain-free, but her family only tended to her when she wasn't feeling well. My client's pain level would go down after our work and then shoot off the charts once a family member came home. Finally, my client informed me that she didn't want to get well. She would rather be loved. In response, I guided her into a special subtle state called the "bardo," which I'll introduce here. There, she rethought her needs and desires. And guess what? After spending time in this state, she started having more pain- free days than pain-filled ones, no matter who was around. Goal Setting as a Sacred Practice By Cyndi Dale 94 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j a n u a r y / f e b r u a r y 2 0 1 7 A GOAL-SETTING FORMULA Before jumping in, let's agree on a definition of the word "goal." A goal is the object of a person's ambition. Other words for goal include design, dream, intention, objective, purpose, and target. The first person who taught me about goals was a former boss, the CEO of a public relations company. She shared a simple formula with me. In general, the most powerful goals are those that allow you to take AIM, or establish an intention described in these three ways: • Achievable • Important • Measurable I'm sure you ask a client what they want to achieve during your first meeting and request an update every time they return. You might need to help a client set goals that meet all three objectives. For instance, if a client says, "I want to decrease pain," you might ask what percentage of change would qualify as beneficial (measurable). If the expectation seems too grand, you might figure out what's doable (achievable). You could also ask them how vital this desire is (important). In order to guarantee that a goal is important enough to continually strive for, especially if the going gets rough, it must be holistic. It must be profoundly vital to the body, mind, and soul. It must stir someone on the subtle level, rather than only the physical. What do I mean by this? We are composed of more than physical energy—energy defined as information that vibrates. Subtle energy, which travels faster or slower than physical or measurable energy, is the framework for physical reality. Subtle energy takes its marching orders from our conscious goals, but also from deep emotions, subconscious thoughts, and others' energies, among other factors. When our client establishes healing goals that are soul-rich, emotionally satisfying, mentally stimulating, and practical on the everyday level, that client will remain motivated toward transformation. Our healing work will work.

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