If you know anything about me or my work, you know I’m a bit obsessed with this quote from the playwright and social activist George Bernard Shaw:
“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Last September, I launched a small group mastermind program for people who felt inspired to experience “the true joy in life” and be used by the creative potential of the deeper mind to impact the world.
What happened was a true delight, as every single member of the group found more freedom, more depth, and more fun in the uncovering and unleashing of their own unique voice in the world.
Here’s what we’ll be doing this year in that hope that I can help more people experience the same:
Part One: The Emerging Voices Intensive (Open to all)
Over the course of five days (September 9th – 13th), I’ll be working in a group intensive format to explore the nature of creative expression – what gets in the way, what sets us free, and what allows the creative spark to catch fire inside us and explode out into the world in ways we haven’t even imagined.
You’ll get a chance to put yourself on the spot and in the spotlight, sharing your writing and speaking in a multiplicity of forms through a variety of group and individual exercises. I’ll be feeding back to you throughout the week, not only offering you real-time coaching but identifying leverage points for you to focus on in developing your creative work going forward.
Part Two: The Emerging Voices Mentoring Group (Maximum group size of 8 people)
If you want to take things further, the Emerging Voices Intensive and mentoring day on the 14th of September will serve as your jumping off point for a six-month expansion and deepening process. If our first six days together serve as a catalyst for finding your own unique voice, the next six months are designed to find full confidence in your expression and help you transition from thinking about it to doing it or from doing it to expanding your reach and impact.
Through a combination of monthly assignments, group webinars, one on one mentoring with me, and two days back together as a small group on the 9th and 10th of March, 2020, I’ll be both encouraging and challenging you to find the hidden gears in your mind that will enable you to surprise and delight yourself on a regular and ongoing basis.
You’ll finish the group with a quietly unshakeable sense of confidence in your ability to do your work in the world, a completely new relationship with risk and reward, and a clear compass to guide you forward in whatever comes next.
“When asked how he created his epic marble sculpture of David, Michelangelo stated, ‘You just chip away at the stone that doesn’t look like David, and what is left is the sculpture.’
For me, Emerging Voices was a process of letting go and stripping away. Letting go of outdated thinking I was using to hold me back, and stripping away the misconceptions of who I thought I was. What is left is my voice.
Michael’s process challenged the way I had been thinking about myself and my relationship with the creative force. As a result, my own unique way of showing myself has been revealed not only to the world, but more importantly, to me.”
Here’s one of my favorite pieces from the final two days of last year’s mentoring group:
The Emerging Voices Intensive
(Open to all)
September 9th – 13th
Los Angeles, California or live steaming from anywhere
Cost: $5000 including five days of live training and pre-course webinar
The Emerging Voices Mentoring Group
(Maximum group size of 8 people) THREE PLACES LEFT
September 9th – 14th through March 9th – 10th, 2020
Los Angeles, California and online
Cost: $15,000 including eight days of live training, six interactive webinars, and three one on one sessions with Michael
“Before Emerging Voices I was like three separate, old, dull, beat-up, unusable swords that could barely cut through a piece of paper.
Then the Emerging Voices program, with Michael Neill as the blacksmith, put the three swords of my separate selves into the fire of possibility, where they were melted, pounded, and merged into something simple, beautiful, sharp and shiny – ready to cut through the bullshit, especially my own.
I emerged from the program clean and clear about who I am and what I’m up to in the world. And grateful for the humble hope of possibility that my ‘Voice’, or as Michael puts it “how God speaks through Karen”, might create something fit for the Smithsonian Museum after I’m gone.
But for me, a more appropriate title for this program would be ‘Merging Voices.’ The gift I received was a deeper feeling of self-actualization, or as Abraham Maslow put it: “Being independent of the good opinion of other people.” I saw that life is a whole lot easier, and a lot more fun, when I’m not trying to maintain separate personas.
And my writing, teaching, speaking, coaching, and business reflects that merging. It has become sharp, shiny, powerful, more-of-me, and especially effortless and fun. I’m so excited every day about where that is leading, and at the same time have the freedom of not really caring where it leads. After all, when you have your SELF, you’ve already got everything you need.
Life has a way of putting us all into the ‘Blacksmith’s Fire’ anyway. Challenge is inevitable – it’s how we grow to become sharper and shinier on this life’s journey. But when you enter the fire voluntarily, with others(who will inevitably become life-long pals) seeking the same thing and a trusted guide, the experience is both transformative and delicious.
So whatever word there is to convey something beyond “forever grateful”? That’s the one. Thank you, Michael. You did it again. “