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10 Things I Can Teach

Teaching is my favorite thing to do. I love learning, and teaching is a way to share that love with the world.

There's nothing better than an enthusiastic student. I love teaching, but I never actively seek out students. Perhaps I should.

Here are 10 Things I Can (and in some cases 'Do') Teach.

    1. Anxiety Reduction

    This is something I already teach, although it might be more accurate to call me a coach. A coach is just a teacher that also has to motivate and persuade. This isn't a formulaic skill like math or chess. There's a lot of individual nuance.

    In my opinion, modern therapy does a terrible job in this field because it's too mind-dominant. The mind is often the very thing causing anxiety, so asking the mind to untangle the knots that it tied itself in... well, it's not ideal. You can't outthink overthinking.

    There needs to be a whole-system approach. You cannot neglect the body. You cannot neglect diet. You cannot neglect time-management. And no, you cannot neglect mindset and psychology.

    I used to experience anxiety every day. Every. Day. I've tried every technique under the sun to get rid of it. Some worked. Most didn't. But I cracked the code. I know it's possible. I can guide people to the other side.

    Someone I met recently called me "as calm as a Zen cow." The methods work. :)


    2. Creativity

    My therapist told me I should be a Creative Coach. I loved the idea, but didn't see any way to market it.

    Friends say I'm a creative polymath. I have a decent talent stack because I've studied music, drawing, animation, poetry, creative writing, non-fiction writing, film, screenwriting, storytelling, and stand-up comedy.

    For a while I considered myself a "professional collaborator" because I was an editor for a blog, a lyrical consultant on an music album, an advisor to a painter, and a co-writer for a stand-up comic. All at the same time. I've been given high praise by my collaborators because I never try to change their vision into my own. I simply allow their own light to come through in a more pure form.

    Teaching children art is fun, but I'm more interested in adults who want to write that song, finish that novel, or paint that painting. Children just need to learn the skills, whereas adults have to break through psychological barriers to allow themselves to play and get creative. I'm good at cultivating this space.

    Being creative is also when I'm at my most joyful, and that tends to be contagious.


    3. Drums

    I'm pretty good at a few arts, but drumming is something I've been doing nearly my whole life. I was in the drumline at the University of Wisconsin, and have spent more time drumming than any other hobby.

    I know all the tricks. I know what works and what doesn't. I know how to practice. I love it.

    If someone wants to learn drums, I have all the technical knowledge, but I also have the enthusiasm, the passion, and the patience to help them learn exponentially faster.

    4. Meditation

    Technically, there's no such thing as "meditation". You can only "be meditative". But sitting alone in silence is the express lane to being meditative, so we'll call that meditation.

    Meditation coaches, experts, gurus... they're all a bit boring. I've never seen an enthusiastic meditation coach.

    I get it. On the surface there's nothing exciting about sitting in silence. But internally, it's the most life-changing practice I've ever undertaken. Once a student gets beyond the boredom, there's anger, sadness, grief, hope, fear, dreams, confusion, knowing. It spans the spectrum of existence.

    I've studied many techniques, and some will be more suited to certain people. That's where most meditation coaches fail -- they do one technique and teach only that. To make meditation a habit, it needs to be tailored to the individual.

    It's like if you're a bartender who only makes drinks with gin. The customer might not like gin, so make them a bourbon drink. Or make a non-alcoholic spritzer. Use your knowledge to give the customer what they want.

    Yes, I did just compare being a meditation coach to being a bartender.

    5. Breath Work

    This is related to meditation, but it's a different branch of the same tree.

    Take a moment to think: What's the most important thing in your life?

    "Breathing" is the correct answer, although I'll also accept "Heartbeat".

    Breathing is something we do every moment of every day, but how often are we conscious about it? Hardly ever. But if we practice CONSCIOUS breathing daily, we begin to "carve a groove" into our subconscious breath cycles. When life knocks us around with unexpected stress, we're more likely to slip into that deep, calm breath, which means we're more likely to keep our cool. And who doesn't like being cool?

    There's dynamic breathing, deep breathing, calm breathing. Many techniques. If breath is the thread tethering us to life, we should understand as much about it as we can.

    6. Time Management

    Life sucks when you measure it.

    Whether it's taxes, weight, or time, if you're counting, odds are something is wrong.

    Time is the most precious resource there is, but we have no idea how much time we have. Accidents happen. Life changes. It's like a bank account that could be empty any day.

    Most people don't manage their time well, or they put little thought into how they spend it. Time management is an obsession of mine, and I've learned how to spend it wisely.

    It's teachable.

    7. Fitness Planning

    There are personal trainers who've studied physical therapy, nutrition, and a host of other fitness related topics. They often charge a lot of money and they deserve it.

    But many people don't want or need an aggressive training regimen or a $275 per hour trainer. Most people just want to feel good.

    Fitness isn't difficult. Eat healthy and exercise. We all know how to do it. The difficulty is in persuading ourselves to do it. This is why we need a plan.

    I'm in good shape. Great shape, even. I'm not a fitness nut, but I've learned to incorporate healthy lifestyle choices and create easy-to-follow guidelines.

    I can custom tailor a fitness plan for individuals depending on their habits, hobbies, and goals.

    8. Screenwriting

    "Screenwriting is structure." William Goldman (writer of The Princess Bride) said that.

    You can get wild in a novel, but for a screenplay, there needs to be a firm foundation set in place. I moved to Hollywood after college to become a screenwriter. I've written several screenplays, and for a time I critiqued amateur screenplays professionally.

    I'm well aware of what works and what doesn't. Reading hundreds of screenplays will do that to you.

    The first step is to build a map of the story beats (what I call the "story spine"). Then we can get into the fun stuff.

    9. Creative Writing

    I love writing experiments. They're so much fun.

    Screenwriting has a structure. It's rigid. That's why it's such a relief to write outside the box.

    There are SO many different ways to write and INFINITE topics to write about. Teaching this has the added benefit of getting to experiment and play around with different writing techniques myself.

    10. High School Math

    I tested in the top 98% of students statewide when I was in high school. I'll be honest, I haven't flexed those math muscles in two decades, BUT...

    I'm confident I could dust them off and get back into the groove. I always liked it.

    Most tutors focus on the techniques and formulas of math, but they don't focus on the psychology.

    Math can be fun. Students need to be shown that. Everyone learns better with an enthusiastic teacher.

    11. BONUS TEACHING: Bliss Cultivation

    I work with clients to conquer their anxiety. A huge part of the process is cultivating bliss, but it's not a concept many people grasp. I'll try to explain...

    Anxiety takes up a lot of energy. Non-consensual energy, if you will. The limbic system goes haywire and begins firing off energy throughout the body, raising the heart rate, blood pressure, etc.

    When the client's anxiety begins to dissolve, it sometimes leaves behind an energetic vacuum. Energy that used to be taken up with anxiety becomes a void, and this can turn into depression if left unchecked.

    We need to know how to fill that void and what to fill it with. Every human being has their own unique bliss profile. There needs to be a plan in place for not only how to remove anxiety, but also how to cultivate bliss within the self.

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