Posts Tagged ‘personal transformation’


My experience organizing the recent seminars in Florida has been an excellent mirror and challenging pathway for my personal development. Each breakthrough and breakdown has been a gift of awareness about how I relate to my personal power. This has sharpened my focus on how I can grow by choosing to BE powerful at each moment.

I see inviting friends and acquaintances to the courses as simply taking a stand to offer personal transformation. This stand has invoked an array of responses. When the process naturally flows into someone registering for the course, it has been fun. When someone clearly knows they do not want to attend, then my experience has also been light and easy. BUT THEN, there are those who want the transformation they sense is possible, and yet, as might be expected, they feel there are reasons why they cannot attend. It is here that we both face looking inward to see who we are, what do we want to be, and what shall we choose.

When I am assisting someone to look inward, I have often wrestled with my own fears about how I am perceived when the other person is challenged by this process. At those times I have a choice. I can choose comfort, and drop this stand for the growth of the other, or I can be the change I want to see in the world by caring enough about the other person to courageously offer them a chance to grow- which of course means I am choosing to grow.

I took the Foundational and Advanced Course at the end of 2009. The personal transformation I have undergone has been a continually unfolding process these last two and a half years. Being a Satvatove course organizer has shifted my growth into high gear. In this role I’m certainly not always comfortable, but I am so obviously blessed to have this opportunity.


Satvatove Institute offers communication seminars founded in Transformative Communication. In these communication seminars you will have full facility to gain mastery of skills, techniques and principles vital to highly effective relating. And in the process you’ll get tools and realizations essential for knowing yourself, and for facilitating others in their journey of self-discovery.

The Satvatove communication seminars, ranging in length from 1 hour to 7 days, are dedicated to create a safe environment for courageous intrapersonal and interpersonal exploration. This environment is established through rigorous commitment to avoid subtle and overt blocks to genuine communication, and to cultivation of effective and powerful communication strategies. In these communication seminars, such as the 3-hour Relationships That Work workshop, the Foundational Seminar, and the Advanced Seminar Experience, you’ll get to refine your ability to distinguish between life-enriching and life-alienating communication.

This atmosphere of sacred space provides special opportunity to explore, in yourself and your relationships, what is authentic, and what is superfluous. You’ll experientially discover and uncover qualities in yourself that, till now, have been less than fully manifest and expressed.

“The Satvatove communication seminars have been a fabulous experience every time I’ve participated. The Foundational Life Skills/Personal Transformation Seminar for me was humbling and very enriching. I feel I could take it ten times and continue to benefit every time.
This has helped me be stronger and rooted in my path. The more I use and commit to these communication strategies, the more connected I feel to myself. For this amazing gift, I wish to share my deepest appreciation and gratitude for

your work and the opportunity to be a part of these communication seminars.”
– Mariah Rollins

My experience with the Satvatove Advanced Seminar was nothing less than amazing! I feel alive, happy, and brand new after having completed the course. I have reconnected with so many long hidden qualities such as assertiveness and self-confidence. I am definitely feeling empowered to speak out and let my voice be heard. … Even down to the smallest detail, every aspect of the course has helped me to grow. I have learned practical ways to continue to make positive changes in my life…and I feel incredible enthusiasm to achieve my goals. I have also learned the value of sharing honestly with others, and being real about who I am. To anyone who is experiencing frustration and unhappiness in their lives I would definitely recommend the Satvatove communication seminars
– Enid Sacasa

The 3-day Satvatove communication seminar absolutely was AMAZING! Taking this course is a decision that I will remember for the rest of my life as being life-changing!
– Tim Francis

The immeasurable value of this 3-day communication seminar became apparent within the first three hours. The principles are based in the truest nature of humanity as spirit beings … This course has awakened potential within me I forgot I had. I want more! I recommend the Satvatove communication seminars to everyone!
– William McLeod


Excerpts from Dr. David Wolf’s workshop, Transformative Communication: A Foundation for Powerful Living, at the Master of Influence event in Palm Springs, California, on November 5, 2010. Transformative Communication

is an approach to self-realization founded in ancient wisdom, innovative yet simple communication strategies, and breakthrough transformational methods. Join David and the 1300+ participants as you get a glimpse into the power of conscious living that characterizes the Satvatove experience.


“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world

is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.”

Marianne Williamson


by David B. Wolf

“What’s wrong with striving for material comforts and affluence, like a big house, a boat, or the car of my dreams?” This question was posed towards the close of a personal transformation seminar.

“Why would you endeavor for such things?” I responded. The ensuing conversation revealed that amenities such as those mentioned, as well as other tangible attainments such as a position in an organization, fashionable clothes, and a healthy bank account, were commonly sought to achieve experiences such as security, power, self-confidence and a sense of personal value.

A Weak Position

I commented that this sounds like a weak position. The essential message is “I am not intrinsically a secure, confident, valuable person. To experience strength, worthiness and specialness I need various external trimmings.” This consciousness indicates lack of essential faith in oneself.

Genuine faith in self is apparent in a lifeview that starts with being rather than having. This approach to existence knows that to experience fulfillment, contentment, joy and vitality, I don’t need to do or have anything. I am inherently fulfilled, content, joyful and vital.

Chasing Security And Happiness

It’s not that there isn’t activity, accomplishment and acquisition in the be-do-have paradigm. In fact, when living from being, my doing and having are imbued with potency, because they flow organically from my being. They are not separate endeavors, contrivances to obtain from the outside what already exists inside. Naturally if I am being the vibrant, trusting and confident person that I am, I will do what vibrant, trusting and confident people do, and have what they have, such as a life of adventure, satisfying relationships, and abundance. In be-do-have we live the truth that wealth is not about having more; it is about needing less. We choose security and happiness; we don’t chase security and happiness.

Reflection on our approach to life- for example have-do-be, or be-do-have- points to where our faith lies- in our spiritual essence, or in external objects and symbols. From a place of being we might acquire such objects or symbols, from choice and inspiration, not from need and fear.

Faith Is Inescapable

Our nature is to have faith, and how we live reflects where we place our faith. When we turn the ignition we display faith that there is not a bomb wired to the car. Each element of our lifestyle- e.g., diet, recreation, financial management, spiritual practice or lack of it- shows our faith, what we believe will provide us a life of fulfillment and happiness.

Our choice is where to place our faith, and we can consider this question with respect to inner being or external having. In the Bhagavad-gita Krsna exhorts Arjuna to “Be transcendental…be without anxiety…and be established in the self,” indicating that for a contented and fulfilled life, living from our transcendent spiritual core is the most reasonable choice. Epictetus said “The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things.” Such teachings move us to live from being, trusting that the externals will come my way; and even if that doesn’t happen according to my plan, I’ll be okay, and more than okay, because my security and value is a function only of what can never be destroyed. That is a worthy place for faith.


“I truly enjoyed the personal transformation life skills workshop. What really enforced the concepts were the role-playing and the games. The experience I felt while putting into practice what I learned is something I can draw on. I know these skills will only serve to enhance my work with my clients and my relationships with my family. Thank you.”

Norma Rivera BSW – Social Worker


By Anna Golson

From the Satvatove Archive:

Antoine, one of the editors of this newsletter, has been bugging me for months to write an article about a powerfully transformational and deeply touching event I had the privilege to participate in. On the one hand I have been trying to explain to him that it is impossible for me to write about it. On the other hand I know how important it is to write about what I have seen and experienced. The world should know about the place I have been and should see what I have seen.

Usually writing flows pretty easily for me. But not this time. I start writing, but after about two or three sentences my pen just goes on a trip of its own, scribbling on the paper images that got etched in my memory. The images of the building, the guards, and especially the boys; their faces, their expressions, their eyes. The way they struggled to maintain some dignity in those orange prison jumpsuits.

These boys were the participants in a transformational event I helped Marie conduct at the Alachua Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Gainesville, FL. The course was a somewhat modified version of the Satvatove Foundational Life Skills / Personal Transformation Course, stretched out to six half-day sessions to fit the boys schedule. The course was emotionally extremely intense and demanding. Marie would say the same. I’m not sure if either of us has completely recovered from it yet.

So, as writing things out on paper didn’t work, I tried it on my computer: Those hard and noisy black keys! That shiny bright screen! They are so perfect, so efficient, so much shouting at me, “Okay, what’s the job? Let’s just get it done!” But where I have been, in that prison, it is a place where things are not so perfect and efficient. Where things are hidden away that we don’t want to see, and the answers are not easy. There, the rules to get the job done are different.

When people ask me about the prison program, I’m at a loss for words. There were only two persons I could really talk to about it. Both of them are recent graduates of the Gainesville courses, and both have experience working in the correctional/prison system. I felt that they understood me. I felt that they do know those gray walls, the echo of the slamming of those big iron doors, the banging, the yelling trailing through the hallways, the hopelessness, desparation, and frustration thick in the air. And that hollow feeling in the heart.

One of the recent graduates of the Gainesville courses told me that a good definition of communication is the transmission of one’s internal images to another person. The better my communication skills are, the more accurate the sent copy is. So, both the sender and the receiver are able to look at the same picture. That is the perfection of communication.

I have been thinking about this in regards to this article. That this is what I’m trying to do; to convey the same images, the same feelings, the same experiences that I had during that week in jail. But how? How do I do that? How can I put into words what I have seen? All I have is a bunch of disconnected but powerfully vivid images that grab my heart every time I think about them. Images of:

The BIG and MEAN guard who by the third day was taking part of the processes, and who organized a competition amongst the boys to copy the drawings on some of our signs for him because he liked them so much…

The kids who almost jumped at each other during mediation, and Marie quickly had to break them apart…

The boys taking off their canvas, rubber-soled shoes to use them as erasers (because real erasers were forbidden)…

The guards who volunteered to demonstrate in one of the processes how to break through personal obstacles…

The boy who left the seminar because he was not used to looking at people in the eyes…

The kid who stole some paper (and risked severe punishment) to make us flowers…

The boys who were sharing their life stories for the first time in their lives…

The genuine eagerness they had to participate in processes…

Their realizations, their bright moments, and their frustrations. All the ups and downs of the roller-coaster…

The moments we cried, the moments we laughed, the moments we cried and laughed at the same time…

And the moments we were afraid to connect with the emotions that filled the space because it was too much, too raw, too frightening…

The big party at the end, when these hard-faced little rejects of society turned into giggly kids, stuffing as many doughnuts into their mouths as they could…

And the very end, when we left and the boys remained in their orange jumpsuits, with hands behind their backs in that world of no hope, no light, and no future, lining up and counting out as they left the room; “One, Sir! Two, Sir! Three, Sir!”, a routine we saw them go through countless times during the six days.

So did this seminar make a difference? I’d like to think so. I think, if nothing else, it left a ray of hope. A ray that there is a world out there that is not a jungle. Where there is sanity, hope, intelligence and opportunity. Where humans are made after the image of God, not after the image of animals. A world where these boys are given a choice. As one of them wrote on his feedback form (and all other feedbacks echoed the same thought), “Your course gave me motivation of what I wanted in life. Otherwise I might have forgotten my skills. But you made me realize what I was put on the Earth for. I’m very appreciative. Thanks.”

I also want to share about Marie, and her lioness-like fierceness to protect the seminar and the participants from all the obstacles that kept coming up at practically every moment, and at the same time her passion never becoming personal and damaging to anyone, neither the guards nor the participants. She single-handedly transformed the atmosphere that was everything but conducive for a seminar of this nature. By the last three days we were pretty much in our own world, that sacred space where real transformation can take place.

After the course we all went to the beach. We were floating in our tubes and being splashed by the waves. We were talking, about nothing in particular and everything in general. At one point Marie thought she saw a shark! She completely freaked out, and headed for the shore! I saw her in a split second turn into a frightened little girl, running for her life! That was one shark (if it was), not more then two feet long. I reflected on how many much bigger and scarier sharks she faced the days before with such intense braveness. But that is Marie: a fascinating and very real person with all the contradictions of being human.

by Anna Golson

From the Satvatove Archive:


I conduct Life Transformation Skills seminars. These seminars provide an environment for spiritually-based personal development. During one part of the training we ask the participants what are some tangible, material things for which people strive. Typically the resulting list looks something like this: cars, computers, a big house, attractive spouse, children, job, jewelry and vacation time. Then we ask why people endeavor for such things. The resulting list includes experiences such as happiness, security, power, intimacy, fulfillment, balance, love, vitality, freedom, strength, courage, joy and affection.

There Is No Intrinsic Connection Between The Things We Strive For And Our Experience

Next, by observing the two lists we consider whether there are persons who possess a large house, a big car and a prestigious job, but who do not experience much joy, power or fulfillment in their lives. Certainly there are. And we consider whether there are persons who experience an abundance of happiness, intimacy and vitality in their lives, although they don’t have the items on the other list. Clearly, such persons exist. The conclusion is that there is no intrinsic connection between the two lists. Although they sometimes overlap, there is no inherent causal link.


With reference to the three gunas, let’s look at the lack of innate correlation between the “things” column and the “experience” column. Tamas is a mode of inertia, where our consciousness clings to a paradigm that may be called Have-Do-Be. In this paradigm we think, “If I could just have $100,000 in the bank, a nicer car, a job with paid vacation…then I could do what I want to do, and then I would be happy, satisfied, appreciated, vibrant…” “If I could just have a nicer boss, then I would be content and peaceful.” In this mindset, our experience is dependent on having. The saying, “What profits a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his soul?” indicates the difficulty with this attitude.


Rajas is the mode of activity, where we adhere to the framework of Do-Have-Be. In this way of thinking we consider that if I could just do what I want to do, then I’ll have what I want, and then I would be free, strong, giving and vital. Our consciousness starts from the point of activity, and experience is contingent upon that.


Sattva guna corresponds with enlightenment. Sattvic consciousness is the natural state of the authentic self. Steady in sattva we live in the paradigm of Be-Do-Have. Fixed in this way of being, experiencing strength, beauty, security, intimacy, warmth, freedom, etc., is not dependent on doing or having. I don’t need to do or have anything to experience satisfaction, aliveness, courage, clarity, etc., because these qualities are who I am, they are my essential nature. It’s not that, in a Be-Do-Have paradigm, there isn’t doing or having. Rather, our doing and having assume full potency, compared with tamasic or rajasic perspectives, because what we do and have flow naturally from our being. They are not separate endeavors. To experience joy, closeness, radiance, and all other qualities of our self is not dependent on what we do or have. In Be-Do-Have, we naturally do things that bold, enlivened, successful people do, because our nature is bold, enlivened and successful. And naturally we’ll have things that powerful, confident, and trusting people have, such as abundance, rewarding activity and fulfilling relationships.

Personal Development Entails Uncovering Qualities of Our Self

Bhagavad-gita, presenting the essence of Vedic teachings, delineates a Be-Do-Have approach to life. In that book Sri Krsna encourages Arjuna to “Be free from dualities…be without anxiety…and be established in the self.” The process of personal development entails uncovering qualities of our self, our being, that have been covered, and fully manifesting them in our lives.

With one coaching client with whom I was working we specifically focused on him being patient and peaceful, qualities that were missing in his life, and which he wanted to cultivate. With earnest he connected with the patience and calm that are inherent to his being. During our next coaching session he described, with surprise, that his supervisor asked him to accept a position with increased responsibility, involving training others. She particularly mentioned that she offered this because of his patience and ability to be calm in stressful situations. Being patient and peaceful naturally resulted in acting in ways that patient and peaceful act, in this instance a more rewarding career activity, and having things that patient and peaceful people have, in this example an increased income. Be-Do-Have.

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