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Aesop, Grimm, and Mother Goose

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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Aesop, Grimm, and Mother Goose
(click for podcast) (5:24 min.)

It may be a generational thing, but it seems many fables and fairy tales from long ago aren’t being passed on as much. Many of them instilled values, life lessons, and thought processes that we’re not seeing as much these days.

 Maybe it’s not coincidence that compassion and consideration for others is taking a back seat to a kind of “me first” cultural shift.

One fable I’ve personally found very useful all my life is Aesop’s “Androcles and the Lion.” If you’re not familiar, I’ll give you the speed-bullet version.

Briton Rivière: Androcles and the Lion 1908]

Androcles, an escaped slave, encounters a lion in the woods. The lion is frightening and Androcles fears for his life, but rather than run or fight, he sees that the lion has a thorn in his paw, and is obviously in pain. Summoning his courage, he pulls the thorn and the lion roars in pain, but then feels the relief. Later when Androcles was recaptured, he was to be fed to the lions, and surprise; the lion he faced was his old friend. The lion was still grateful, and instead of eating Androcles, he came up and rubbed against him. The amazed emperor was curious and had to listen to Androcles’ story. He insisted Androcles be freed, as well as the lion. Two important lessons: compassion and gratitude.

The thing is, when someone is being aggressive with you, the natural instinct is to fight back. Unfortunately that usually just raises the bar, and the conflict escalates. This is where Androcles shows a higher mind approach; compassionate inquiry. Instead of meeting aggression with aggression, we can look deeper at why they’re taking this position.

Very often they have a metaphorical thorn in their paw. Removing the thorn is more likely to resolve the conflict than reacting to the aggression in kind.

So how do we do this, when someone is getting in our face? Step one of course is “hold your fire.” Take a moment and don’t react. This lack of reaction can throw them off for a bit. You didn’t do what they expected. You just got some power.

Step two is where the inquiry begins and we might start with seeing if they even realized consciously that they were being aggressive. You’d be surprised how often it’s unconscious. Just bringing it to consciousness might end the conflict right there.

If they were being intentionally aggressive, step three takes the inquiry to what they actually want. Now thinking has been re-directed to getting what they want, instead of the conflict.

At this point, you can suggest helping them get what they want. This further reinforces how unnecessary going aggressive was without pointing it out to them. That will just incite defensiveness, taking you both off course again.

In some cases the thorn was their belief that what they wanted wouldn’t happen. In some cases the thorn was something completely unrelated. It could’ve been anything from an argument at home to a sour stomach. By not engaging with the aggression, and being compassionate in the face of it, you bypass the conflict and get back to the real issues at hand. This saves so much time and emotional energy. It’s a genuine win-win scenario.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible? How your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?
Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.

     - Ian J. Blei


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He combines his extensive knowledge of integral theory, the Enneagram, and neuroscience, in a seamless way (truly a Grand Unifying Theory of Everything), and helps you apply this greater understanding to whatever matters to you. He helps you build the trellis which you can hang any flower on that you choose.." - P.R., - S.F.


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The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

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Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



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Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
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" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

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 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

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“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Director Pacific Development Partners




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