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Old Find-the-Gift Discussion

What did you learn in school? Discuss it here with Maia - All Posts

Maia Berens

I'm putting a comment to this post to try to give you an idea that it can be done.

Posted on: Dec 07, 2009, 12:21 pm

Heather Williams

I'm very excited about this site and eager to begin my online journey with you all.

I'm here under my own name, Heather Williams, instead of my author penname of Brittany Kingston. Hopefully that will clear up any confusion. I have many writing blogs under my writing persona and a couple of web sites as well. I also have a Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, and Myspace. Some sites are for my art, some for writing, the SHIVA site is for Spiritual Healing Inspiring Visual Art. You can reach all those links from my official author website and blog. I'll post the links below.

I look forward to seeing you all here.







Insided The Author's Mind Blog:

Official Inside The Author's Mind Web Site:



Posted on: Dec 08, 2009, 01:51 pm

Maia Berens

You got me into plurk. It looks really cool. Thanks. See you there.

Posted on: Dec 09, 2009, 01:00 pm

Crystal Dawn Church

Very cool Heather, I am curious about your picture that is shown with the Brittany Kingston that you? I will check out your sites and PLURK as well!  I am also excited for our journey together.


Posted on: Dec 09, 2009, 03:08 pm

Heather Williams

Yes, I like Plurk. I'm striving to reach 100 Plurk Karma points.

I have linked my Plurk to my Twitter. Every time I enter a Plurk it also shows up as a Twitter message too, so I don't have to double up on both sites. I did have it linked to my Facebook profile, however, it drove everybody else mad because every time I made a comment on Plurk it would show up on ALL my Facebook friends' profiles. Because I Plurk a lot, it became a menace for all my Facebook friends.



Posted on: Dec 10, 2009, 04:30 pm

Heather Williams

Hi. About my profile picture: Yes that's me. It was originally taken some years back. I was sitting on the steps of Gypsy Smith's vardo. Just for fun I added that image of me to a graveyard background. I kind of like it.

Posted on: Dec 11, 2009, 12:30 pm

Heather Williams

Hi Maia,

Did you get the file I posted for my first assignment? I uploaded it via the Hand In tool, but now can't find any record that I've posted it. I hope it got through. If it didn't, let me know and I'll try again.





Posted on: Dec 12, 2009, 02:24 pm

Heather Williams

Find the Gift

Although I did do this assignment not long ago, I enjoyed doing it again and taking a look at a slightly different aspect of my life. I find this exercise can be quite liberating. As well as getting events, emotions, affects on my life, etc., all sorted out, it gives me an opportunity to deal with any small issues I hadn't faced the first 50 timesI thought I'd dealt with it.

I particularly like the CURRENT PICTURE excercise too. I can see very clearly what the blessings of a situation really were when I set them out in a table of Positives and Negatives.

If I may digress for a moment....

Going back to what we discussed at our last online meeting - I think there was a comment about issues popping up when you're ready to deal with them.

That explains in simple terms why I sometimes have very disturbing memories pop into my mind out of the blue. It seems that sometimes an old memory will haunt me for days. I'll feel all those old feelings again and wonder at that moment why I'm right back there hiding in the dark like the child I was.

I do know, of course, why these strange little memories hit me seemingly out of nowhere. It's finally time to face those issues, or some aspect of them, wthout fear of the pain and heartache they represent. Something has changed in my life's experiences so that I can look back now with a more objective, more understanding eye. I can learn to see what it was about those terrifying times that have brought such depth into my life today.

I've learned to grieve for me. I've learned to forgive myself for being in that situation and not knowing how to get out. There was no blame on my behalf. I didn't deserve it. But I did experience all those things, and they've made me into the person I am today. I can face fear, sadness, emptiness, anger... all emotions, and know that they are perfectly normal. I am not afraid of feeling. I am not afraid of the depth of my feelings - and I feel very deeply. All my emotions go right to the core. I know this about me. And I know that it is not a character fault, it is a blessing.



Posted on: Dec 12, 2009, 08:17 pm

Crystal Dawn Church

for some reason I only get the option to hand in something in the journaling section? Any suggestions from the group?

Posted on: Dec 14, 2009, 06:38 pm

Maia Berens

I'd love to see your picture here :)

Posted on: Dec 15, 2009, 02:52 am

Maia Berens

I'm sitting here at my computer at 3 in the morning. Can sleep any more. We bought a new mattress and I think it might be too hard. I need to write my fears about money. What will I do if the mattress isn't good? I probably shouldn't have bought it right now. Extra money is scarce and it scares me to have such little bakcup. I'm afraid I'm a dunce at handling money but Bart's really not better and it would be too hard for him. I'm afraid to focus on it too much because I think I need to trust more. I find it confusing.I hate the thought of having to cut back again. I want to feel grateful. I don't want to feel scared. Right now I'm tired, a little worried and hungry and I can't solve any of it! Yuck! But it does help to write about it. So what's good about it? Well, everyone can relate to what I feel. That I know and since I teach and coach, that's good. At  least I can see where my possible negative programming and negative attraction comes from and it's good to get this out.

Posted on: Dec 16, 2009, 03:12 am

Maia Berens

Mattress solved. feeling good. so glad I have you lovely folks to communicate with - even if its only virtually.. Quantum physicists probably think it's always virtually. I'll have to go watch What the Bleep again.

Posted on: Dec 17, 2009, 06:14 am

Maia Berens

When anyone (including me) is in the middle of hard situations, it would be so lovely if we could just zip right over to what we learned and all the stuff of it - the bad feelings, the hard situation, the hurts, the illness, the screwed upness of the court system when it comes to protecting children and babies (our current situation) would just disappear or appear as if it were a bad movie. But I can't do that and probably you can't either. There might be more saintly people than I am who can. I don't know who they are. That being said, even though right now I have some very tough things happening in my family, I feel my little feeler trying to find something good out of it. I haven't quite succeeded - particularly the one with the baby - but I will keep working on it.

Posted on: Dec 17, 2009, 08:24 pm

Savina Cavallo

Maia, I am glad the mattress issue was resolved.....and you feel better.  Sigh, yes, I hear you about the money I've mentioned before, I don't have a plan for myself.  Fearful thoughts enter my mind but I too am choosing moment to moment to Trust....God?  Source?  I've never lacked, and I have intentions of creating an abundant (of all good) life as of now and into the coming new year.....moving to my own place, attracting good money doing work that satisfies me.....not just a job to pay the bills.....but, hell yeah, it's scary.  So I hear ya!!! 

Posted on: Dec 18, 2009, 07:00 am

Heather Williams

It seems that we're all going through a testing time at the moment.

Lovely ladies, there is strength in sharing our energies with each other. Sometimes it seems that when we're right on the verge of something wonderful, everything suddenly seems to get in the way.

Perhaps it is the universe reminding us that when we're about to receive special gifts, or reach a higher level of enlightenment, that we still have to live in the physical world and deal with all the same mundane crap as everyone else.

This seems so tiresome when we've all worked so hard, but don't forget to look up, take a deep breath, and soak in that wonderful energy we're sending each other from all over the world.

I'm not without my own hard times. Things will get tight around here next year as the Control Room at the Ambuance Station where my husband works will be closed by June. This means he will have to go back on the road as a paramedic - if there is a position available, or maybe look for another job. Tough at our age. So close to retirement.

I'm not worried. I trust that God/the universe has a plan. It will be revealed when the time comes. We'll get by. We always have. I don't see why this will be any different.

So... let's join hands across the world and send heaps of love and golden energy to each other during trials and help each other celebrate the wonderous times that are only a heartbeat away.

We're almost there, ladies. I can feel it. Something has brought us together and soon, after we've earned our wings, we'll all be able to fly.





Posted on: Dec 18, 2009, 01:41 pm

Crystal Dawn Church

wow~what a group of friends I have made! I just read everything that everyone posted and I am just so glad to be a part of all of this. I too feel like we are on the verge of something big. It gets me all excited just thinking of what is in store for us. I know I am blessed and I am using the "finding the gift" tool quite often in my life. My daughter wrecked her car on Friday on black ice here in the valley on her way to school. She was not hurt. She did not have her brother's with her, she only damaged a mailbox (and her car), but she is FINE! She is 18 so she got her first dose of "I am not immortal". I think the lesson was a good one to learn, and I am especially thankful that she was only shook up and not hurt! I am so proud of her and the way she handled everything. She has already went and put up a new mailbox for the woman, and even gave her a thank-you card for being so nice and helping her out of the car. She ended up rolling the car onto the drivers side and couldn't get out, but the lady whose driveway she landed in helped her climb out the back hatch. I am also proud of the way I reacted. I didn't get pissed that she wrecked even though I warned her that morning that it was slick. I just raced to the scene, gave her a big hug, and told her how much I loved her. It was quite shocking to see the car on its side and everything inside strewn all over. It was such a relief to see her beautiful face only full of tears not blood. So many horrible things could have came out of this situation. We, my daughter and I, talked for most of the day about all the things that we were grateful for. She realized how lucky she really was. It really put into perspective the petty little bullshit that I had been stewing about the days before the incident. 

Posted on: Dec 20, 2009, 12:51 am

Maia Berens

I'm so happy that I get to be involved in all of this. It makes me feel humbled and grateful. Hug your daughter for me too!

Posted on: Dec 20, 2009, 02:39 am

Maia Berens

I love you all so much!

Posted on: Dec 20, 2009, 02:40 am

Heather Williams

Oh that is just so cool. I'm happy your daughter was not hurt. Cars are only things, they can be replaced. People can't.

I'm so glad you had the opportunity to talk about all those wonderful things with your daughter. As parents we so often only see the dollar signs on the wreckage, not how lucky it is that nobody is hurt.

I've had similar experienced with my own two boys [now men]. Boy have they been lucky over the years! We can now all sit down in a spirit of gratefulness and laugh at some of their past escapades.

Posted on: Dec 21, 2009, 01:35 pm

Maia Berens

And I truly know they are grown up when they tell me about escapades I didn't know about like my son Matt saying, "Mom, remember the time I asked you if I could go to Magic Mountain on the back of a motorcycle (on the freeway about 40 miles at age 16) and you said no, well I did it anyway and it was one of the scariest things I ever did!"

Ah boys! Ah teenagers!

Posted on: Dec 22, 2009, 07:06 am

Gina Bendel

My experience with the "Find the Gift" exercise was honestly very tough when I had to switch from the negatives to the positive lessons / blessings...  but once I really gave it some soul-searching thought, I believe I could have come up with several more blessings I have received over the years and had an even more powerful New Story to tell.  I never imagined that the very first assignment I would do in You U would be so intense and I am thankful for it.  What a great tool that I will be using regularly! 

Posted on: Oct 27, 2010, 09:27 pm

Maggie Currie

My findings of the gift were very tough indeed.  But I did admit that I have turned my life around and indeed I am more independent than I was back then.  Once I allow myself (note the word allow) to be honest with myself it is so much easier.  This tool is excellent and I shall use it with my clients when it is appropriate.

Posted on: Nov 03, 2010, 10:46 am

Maia Berens

And you will be using it with the clients you take through YOU University, also.

Posted on: Nov 03, 2010, 04:36 pm

Crystal Dawn Church

the power packed into this program will blow you away!

Posted on: Nov 03, 2010, 05:35 pm

Crystal Dawn Church

This seemingly simple concept and exercise has truly transformed how I look at my life. I am also teaching it to my kids.

Posted on: Nov 03, 2010, 05:36 pm

Maggie Currie

I was looking at the journal entries from Maia and Kim Ades and since I have been asked to note the differences this is what I found:

Kim's posts are very conversational and covers several aspects of her day including work, cooking, clearing a cupboard and then having a drink and a rest.  All interesting stuff and written beautifully.

Maia's posts are equally well written but in a different style.  Maia is very matter of fact that this is how it will be, or this is how was.  

Both styles inform and entertain and I enjoy reading both.  I learn different things from each and they are obviously written with passion and understanding.  

I have no preference in the styles and enjoy the differences.

Posted on: Nov 06, 2010, 09:49 am

Maia Berens

Great work. Thank you. And a couple of things:

  • would you write these observations having to do with training and the journal engine on the wave rather then here. Let's stick to YOU University assignments and discussions here.
  • would you tell me what you learn from Kim and what you learn about life and what you learn about us as people from me when you read our writing

Posted on: Nov 07, 2010, 03:11 am

Teri Lizabeth Henderson

Wow, as for what I learned in school? I of course, learned math, english etc... but, more importantly, I think I learned some valuable life lessons.  I learned how to bond w/ my peers, how some people could be so cruel and others so friendly. I learned about friendship and team dynamics. I am sure I can think of much more in regards to school but, that's all I have for now.  Now, as for the Find-the-Gift Tool?  I have learned a way of taking my problems and looking at them in a different light. Which diminishes the anger, pain, etc... and replaces it with feelings of understanding and in some case's relief. I've learned that, there is more to each situation then I see at first. I will admit though that, I had a difficult time doing the exercise to begin with. When it came time, I was sitting there and trying to think of what situation to use the exercise with. I drew a blank. I know it is resistance and so I sat put ,until I came up with something to write about!

Posted on: Nov 26, 2010, 11:02 am

Maia Berens

Great. You know resistance is easier if it's just accepted. Have you ever heard "what you resist, persists"? It's true so knowing the resistance is there and doing it anyway is a way to break those old neuroconnections. I promise the resistance will begin to subside.

Posted on: Nov 26, 2010, 08:15 pm

Kel'e F

I realize it will be sometime before i become, completely adjusted to the way U wants us to do things such as writing our lives journeys on daily post. Well, for me today was very eye opening i learned that i will have to come from behind my wall exposing myself for all to see. I must show up and be comfortable and not afraid. I don't ever want to think anything is ever too hard for me however, i will need to open my heart and mind to this part of the journey. I will tell myself there is this way and this way only which will make the excepting of the process less overwhelming. 

Posted on: Mar 11, 2011, 12:13 pm

Kel'e F

we have a teacher who exemplifies that it all works out for our good in the long run of this life. we lead a life of many toils and turns, never to be taken lightly instead strengthen our being. something we should be willing to embrace irregardless of the scarred tissues, broken flesh and torched emotions. embracing our life for what it is will prove the best thing for us when its all said and done it will in turn be for our good. 

Posted on: Mar 11, 2011, 01:01 pm

Maia Berens

I very much appreciate what a challenge this is for you. I will keep it in mind and your YOU U family will begin to see who you are and support you to be comfortable. And you don't always have to be comfortable. You can be real and - do it anyway. It will get easier. I promise.

Posted on: Mar 11, 2011, 01:05 pm

Maggie Currie

Can't wait to see the real you when you come out from behind your wall Kele! It really isn't as scary as you think, I know I was the same at first.  

Posted on: Mar 12, 2011, 12:43 am

Gina Bendel

It really was difficult to be open and 'real' when I started this journey through You University Kele.  However, I was so ready and willing to discover my true self and to finally get to the healing I knew I needed, that it didn't take long to start opening up.  The wonderful thing is, I have begun to see life differently now...  I am much more loving towards myself and am making a positive difference to those around me because of this journey.  It's taking the little 'baby steps' and I promise you will notice the transformation you are searching for!  We are all here to support and encourage you along the way. 

Posted on: Apr 13, 2011, 10:50 am

Maria Sobrado

What did I learn using the find a gift tool?

I think the most important thing I learned is that for me re-learning is a constant. I know these things I understand them and still I am living them over and over again. My current picture is one involving finances and I have been in this place before. Each time I come away with less fear than I had before, this tool helped me remember that. It also had me take a look at what I contributed to my situation and to take responsibility for that, this is a hard nut to swallow. I know I can make different choices in the future and maybe this will be the time that makes the biggest difference moving forward. I believe that will be the gift and has been the gift in the past. While I started the exercise feeling overwhelmed I came away feeling less so, but not in complete bliss about having to do the work that is required to get me moving forward.

I am grateful for the tool and will use it each time I go into fear. I also feel like it's a good idea for me to re-read it, because doing that lightens me up as well.

Posted on: Apr 18, 2011, 02:12 pm

Maia Berens

this is going to be a very satisfying experience for me and you.

Posted on: Apr 18, 2011, 05:03 pm

Jen Rigg

I think the Gifts tool is amazing!  So simple, yet so effective. However hard this course becomes, I know that Life is a school :)

Posted on: May 18, 2011, 04:09 pm

Bart Berens

I am writing a discussion entry here because I am going through the U  university course and it is a requirment if I am going to get a A in this course.

I have done this exercise , some time past but I still had some thoughts and feelings when I just did it again. Am amazed at once again how differently  one can view past tragic events with the right colored glasses on and how important  it is to do so..

Posted on: Jun 27, 2011, 11:12 am

Gina Bendel

Great sense of humor Bart!  I am sure you want to get an "A"!       Yes, I agree that it is rather amazing the difference one feels when perceiving with the right colored glasses.  Glad we are getting the opportunity to "meet" you! 

Posted on: Jun 27, 2011, 04:57 pm

Maria Sobrado

Hi Bart! I bet you will get an A. I gave myself an A for effort, I guess it should have been an E! I'm looking forward to your discussions and insights!

Posted on: Jul 01, 2011, 08:56 am

Thabi Zikalala

Ok here we go, I hope I am in the right place because the other posts seem to be of a different nature. 

I have learned that I am sensitive right now because I am crying a lot.  The exercise has exposed a raw wound.  I am very clinical in my approach to life.  The way I operate is - this is what I want or need to do, do it and bang - before I even breath it is done.  So having to disect myself is new territory.  I am very happy to be doing it, but my first insinct was to sprint to the finish line.  I chuckled when I read that item about going through the course step-by-step as outlined.

Posted on: Aug 12, 2011, 10:24 am

Thabi Zikalala

Hi Bart, Maia mentioned that you have joined the team, if I remember correctly.  It will be great to have a male perspective.

Posted on: Aug 12, 2011, 10:28 am

Maia Berens

I'm quite blown away by your jumping right in before you have even told me you want to go ahead and discussing the details! Wow!

Posted on: Aug 12, 2011, 11:11 am

Thabi Zikalala

What I have learned is source of my resistance to marketing (there could be many)  - my mind is saying No because when I visualise business owners the majority are men. I live in a very partriacal society and it does matter how hard we work and women or how much we achieve, we are still expected to move over when a man show up. 

Could it be my niche is forming through this discussion?  Women owned businesses. To be comfortable coaching businessman, I will articulate for myself what I will or will not put up in writing and be comfortable with it because it is a choice I am making not the result of inability.

Posted on: Aug 14, 2011, 02:41 pm

Thabi Zikalala

I have learned that I am ready to give and receive love in a different way than before.  I have not been very accommodating of men because I did not have good role models and  it has always been 'it is okay while you are here but should you decide otherwise or not perform according to my expectation you are out the door'  Poor man!   I am sexual being and I have loved having them around but it has always been with reservations and now I know where it comes from.  Early experiences have left their scar. 

Well it is time to remove the scab.  I am ready and willing to truly love, warts and all and I expect the same.  You know what?  It will happen too.

Posted on: Oct 11, 2011, 11:48 am

Gina Bendel

You know what?  I suspect you are right Thabi!  

Posted on: Oct 12, 2011, 07:52 am

Thabi Zikalala

Thanks Gina, I love the support

Posted on: Oct 13, 2011, 01:26 am

Leanne Lloyd

What I learned in school that every negative has a lesson that can be learned from it. I have even had a pharmacist once tell me that exact same thing, when something happened like a flat tire on the way to work, or something that seemed like it should be considered bad or negative. She told me that she would step back, look at what had happened and ask herself, "what can I learn from this." It was something that stayed with me - for the last 4 years since she clued me in to that way of thinking. I have learned that I have been responsible for my situations by choosing or not choosing actions on my part. And before this YOU U - I was always of the mind that life was a constant evolving and learning state of being. School has helped to reinforce what I have learned in my journey and has given me the first stepping stone to the a happy life in school.

Posted on: Oct 24, 2011, 10:59 pm

Gina Bendel

Smart Pharmacist! 

Posted on: Oct 25, 2011, 02:00 am

Vicki Irene Baker

i realize we don't always want to look at negitive things as being gifts. Some of the hardest things that I have had to go through and come to terms with have had a silver lining so to speak. and that is what we forget to look for the silver linings that each dark cloud that covers our horzins has we only have to open it up and most of the time we do not we only see the darkness

After all who wants to think of the loss of their famiy as they know it to be a good thing. or the betrayal and cheating of a husband. and for awhile i was not ready to except, that but i am a better person now and I am growing and Lovng myself or trying to and learning in just one way of showing my self I love my self..

Posted on: Mar 16, 2012, 06:59 am

Maia Berens

Yes and staying stuck just feels so darn lousy!

Posted on: Mar 17, 2012, 09:15 am

Treasure LeRoux

I found the find-the-gift tool very challenging.  More so with digging into my past and finding one particular subject to focus on.  I know doing this project over and over will be very useful. It was easier to do the negatives vs what I learned. I am sure I can do the same subject over and over and learn more each time.  I will use this one again.

Posted on: Apr 14, 2012, 08:35 am

Maia Berens

You will use this over and over and over until you become an expert - as all YOU University Coaches become.

Posted on: Apr 14, 2012, 09:04 am

Nicole Horton

I am new to this portal...and just started the journey on All About Coaching.  Even though I am only on step 1, I do feel that I have learned some valueable lessons.  First and foremost, I have to not do things during the day that waste time, such as surfing the web and walking around downtown, so that i will have more time to commit to more important and worthwhile things that will pay off in the future, such as this process.  I believe that God pointed me in the direction to read an article that pointed out the cultural influence that affected some of the guys that I was exposed to, while living in the Bronx.  This has opened my eyes, to know that those guys may not have been able to "control" fully how they responded.  Also even though those guys still judge me for what happened when I was 13, years old (Train ran on me), I have to let myself off of the hook, because at the time, I didn't realize what consequences would come from this experience.  Also I notice that at night time, God has been giving me very positive affirmations, that are and can be used to renew and reconstruct my mind and thinking from  believing the lies I was told.... It feels very good to finally be at this point in life.  Im happy and excited to see where this will take me ....

Posted on: May 26, 2012, 09:42 pm

Nicole Horton

yes it was challenging but I had to keep digging until I did find the gift in past experiences. I like how my thinking seemed to shift and I can look at things from a new perspective / alternative.

Posted on: May 26, 2012, 09:43 pm

Maia Berens

So glad you're here. Would love to have you put your picture here too.

Posted on: May 27, 2012, 04:55 am

Maggie Currie

I am so pleased you have begun your life changing journey Nicole. Like Maia, I would love to see your face. I am excited to see where this will take you too.

Posted on: May 27, 2012, 05:24 am

Crystal Church

All of the things you write about here will definitely be addressed in your journey through YOU University.

Posted on: May 28, 2012, 10:17 am

Crystal Church

and sometimes the gift is not obvious.......I love that both Nicole and Francene both looked deeper to find the gift!

Posted on: May 28, 2012, 10:20 am

Maggie Currie

The purpose of finding the gift is not to look at the negative things as a gift.  It is to reframe the picture that you have of the negative thing.  For instance you mentioned the betrayal and cheating of your husband.  That is not a gift.  What is the gift is that you have discovered something positive in yourself because of this event.  You have learned that you are a strong person who will not tolerate this behaviour any longer.  You are not a doormat.  

So to reframe the negative thing - My cheating husband has given me the gift of courage and strength in myself.

My first husband mentally abused me for years and I just existed.  To reframe that for me - My abusive husband taught me that I am a strong woman who will not be manipulated by anyone any longer and who knows what she wants and goes out there and gets it.

All this will become more apparent to you as you progress through YOU U and all your questions will be addressed as you go along.

Posted on: Jun 10, 2012, 01:28 am

Vicki Irene Baker

I am going through the beginning again, this time as a coach in training and I a finding that I  have some of those pockets of resistance that, because of going through earlier i recognized, them for what they were and have addressed them. In other words I quite stalling in starting over  courses.

My husband , has talked about getting back together again. but his on again off again over the last 2 and a half years have taught me to be careful and trust only what I see hap pining in a positive manor and moving forward. I still love him but he no longer has the kind of control he once had I am growing and finding myself once more,

Six months ago I would not have felt the way I do now , I would have been disappointed and hurt by his lack of consideration. Now I know that is his resistance, to actually being held accountable for the actions he took.

Now I hold no expectations, that he will even try. What he says in words are not carried through with actions. And therefore I can not believe what he says. I maybe would like t believe him  but i have changed in the since that I know better.

I have discovered I am a capable woman and do not need to stand in his shadow  nor do I want to. I want a relationship on equal terms. I have also discovered that I can and do  confront him on issues that I would never have done before. will no longer allow him control over me the way he did , and true fully neither of us were aware of it but now that I am I will not let it happen again.

I know there are going to be times that I resist , but knowing that they wlill be there is the first step in eliminating them. .


Posted on: Jun 20, 2012, 09:37 am

Maia Berens

I like your new attitude? You might think about what you'd want in a relationship so that the next time he plays his game with you, you are clearer on what you  really want in a relationship. Just a thought.

Posted on: Jun 20, 2012, 03:58 pm

Crystal Church


Resistance was HUGE for me. It does get easier, but I spent a lot of time making a conscious effort to look at my resistance. I admire you for doing the same.

Posted on: Jun 20, 2012, 07:42 pm

Nicole Horton

Also its not that I was ignoring the relies from you all, but I just received the email notifying me that there were replies... :)

Posted on: Jun 24, 2012, 09:04 pm

Maia Berens

Thanks for putting your picture :)

Posted on: Jun 25, 2012, 06:37 am

Crystal Church

Love the picture too!  If you go into your settings in Haiku, you can adjust how often you receive mail notifications. My guess would be that it is currently set at once a week or something. Let me know if you need any help doing this.  :)

Posted on: Jun 25, 2012, 06:31 pm

Vicki Irene Baker

I think that some of the training i had as a young child is coming into play. As a young child I learned real fast that when my gram ma Minnie was watching me if I did something I was not suppose to to take my punishment then and not run away from her (she was disabled and could't walk fast or anything.) as it would be worse as then i would get it from my grandpa and my mom when they got home from work.

That is how I am trying to look at my feelings now. To put them up front and deal with them now and not wait until another time as it is only worse waiting to deal with them. I had been putting things off and trying to avoid them in many ways but find it is easier to take a look at them now and deal with now. I am hoping with time it will just become automatic and not such a effort as it is now.

Posted on: Jun 26, 2012, 08:55 am

Vicki Irene Baker

To define more of what I want in relationship with any one is something that I think would be great for me , not just with my husband, but with all my family, I know  I am the one who has to make things work for me not for them , I can only change my self and how I respond to what is happening.


Posted on: Jun 26, 2012, 09:05 am

Vicki Irene Baker

Being stuck is just plain lousy, It just keeps going around and around , no beginning or end. So moving forward may not always produce the things I want the way I want them but there is usually a reason for things to happen we just don't always fully understand them at the time, If we wait and listen the answere will come eventually.

Posted on: Jun 26, 2012, 09:07 am

Vicki Irene Baker

So i am Rephrasing i put my gifts,

like becaue my husband did what he did , my gift was to allow my self to be  me once more. That I was no longer in his shadow. That i was no longer so and so wife, but Vicki  a woman with a idenity all my own, who has, thoughts and feelngs and many atributes all on my own with out any of his help. 

that I am a highly capible woman, able to reach deep with in myself and use my own resources in order to make changes to and in my life.

That I no longer have to seek his permission but merely my own satisfaction on doing something..

Posted on: Jun 26, 2012, 09:09 am

Maggie Currie

You are amazing Vicki, you have gone from resistance to working through it and have come out the other side with a new view of YOU. Capable, resourceful and powerful.

Posted on: Jul 05, 2012, 07:40 am

Thabi Zikalala

When I started on my journey with You U, I dilligently did my assignments and finding the gift brought out the feeling of "is this for real?" but I worked at it because the desire and need to heal far out weighed my cynism.  I am grateful that was the case.  Today, something would happen and I'd say to myself "hhhmmm having this happen or this person is a gift" without applying to much thought into it.  Well, yesterday, it even went beyond being in my mind and a knowing smile and I just had to post on the gift I found and from unlikely quarters at that.  From people whose main desire is to shut me out - that is the East London Management.  Their fear is so pulpable you can touch it.  And guess what?  It made me angry at first and after a love letter, I just feel sadness for them.  Even as I write, I feel compassion towards them rather anger. 

So, what am I learning from Life is a School?  I am not a victim and by processing whatever emotions a situation brings, I emerge stronger, wiser and ready to live and share my gifts.  Yes I am also learning that some may not be interested in my gift and that is perfectly fine - it does not make my gift any less valuable, it only means different strokes for different folk.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012, 04:24 am

Maia Berens

Brilliant! Thank you so much for wandering back into Building 1 even though are in Building 10 and letting those who are at the beginning or their journey how valuable you find the tools right here in this building.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012, 07:43 am

Crystal Church

thank you Thabi, I am going to direct my students to this post!  Great stuff and perfectly timed.

Posted on: Jul 10, 2012, 08:13 am

Thabi Zikalala

I didn't wonder Maia, there is something unintentional about wondering.  I had to go there and thank you for acknowledging that I may not have had to.  I am glad to be of help to anyone on this journey, it is because of you and the other You U Coaches that I got where I am.  What I love about our tools is that one cannot help but want everyone to have what we have..  Love you beautiful lady.

Posted on: Jul 11, 2012, 02:16 pm

Thabi Zikalala

Pleasure Crystal.

Posted on: Jul 11, 2012, 02:17 pm

Carol Johnston

I have started to find within myself especially doing the self paced homework journal assignment that it is much easier for me to the gift in the here and now than it was trying to find the gift in the situation that was years old. I guess when I sit and really think this through that this would be because I was using old school methods then and couldn't see how there could be a gift in a situation where it wasn't me who caused that situation in the first place but using the find the gift tool in the here and now it makes a whole lot more sense.

Posted on: Aug 04, 2012, 12:16 am

Crystal Church

excellent!!!! this realization will be big for you and opens the door to finding many gifts that may have been hiding Carol. I am so happy for you and proud of you as well.

Posted on: Aug 04, 2012, 03:05 pm

Nicole Horton

The reason it may seem like I am getting to these a little slowly is because I have all of the email notifications that I received from you all, saved and I am going back and opening each one in order.

Posted on: Aug 05, 2012, 07:25 pm

Crystal Church

no worries. A response is not required when people give you feedback. You can respond, but you don't have to either. You can also just soak in the support and enjoy it :)

Posted on: Aug 05, 2012, 09:22 pm

Vicki Irene Baker

Thabi this gives so much encouragement that there will be a time that finding the gift in a situation will come almost naturally as we continue on our journey and the little changes in me that have already made a difference in me will soon let me see more positive aspects along my journey on a regular basis.Thank you

Posted on: Aug 21, 2012, 12:49 am

Maia Berens

It's truly a journey to YOU and can only happen over time as you do the work. (Thabi is dedicated! When you get to Building 5 you will learn how to write Love Letters. Thabi has written more then 5 people combined! Go for it, Vicki! You deserve it.)

Posted on: Aug 24, 2012, 04:09 pm

Thabi Zikalala

Thank you Vicki and you are so right, soon the positive aspect will come so naturally you will be marvel at it each the realisation hits you.

Posted on: Sep 02, 2012, 10:39 pm

Thabi Zikalala

I can so relate Carol.  We are so programmed to put things outside ourselves that at first it is difficult to actually look at a role in a situation or to even admit that what we for so long was bad could actually have some positive aspects in it.  It is great and wonderful that you have realised where and what has been happening, you just watch as the gift that is you unfold

Posted on: Sep 02, 2012, 10:43 pm

Thabi Zikalala

Thank you Maia

Posted on: Sep 02, 2012, 10:45 pm

Heidi Young

I can remember the 1st time that I did this exercise, I could not see the positives at all.  Coming back to this exercise after completing building 12 has allowed me to see my progress first hand.  I still had the apprehension at first but once I listed the negatives the positives showed up one after the other.  I love feeling the physical changes in my body when I switch from negative to positive.  The lightness of body, the lessening of tension in my muscles (especially my back).  This exercise literally opens my mind which is a gift in itself.

Posted on: Nov 19, 2012, 12:18 pm

Carol Johnston

Ho Thabi Its Carol here again. I can tell you now as one who has completed building 12 and redoing some of the earlier buildings until beginning of Decemberwhen I will do Commencement that I have indeed found the gift on this Transformation Journey. it was the gift of the real and authentic ME that I have been looking for in all of my adult years.

I am at peace, I am free and above all I am Unique and I am ME.

Me was the one little word that I chose at the beginning of the year to use and reflect on during this year. I have done that big time and are so very happy and proud of my achievements.

Posted on: Nov 19, 2012, 08:04 pm

Crystal Church

I admire you so much for going back through the program with new fresh eyes! You have used your time here more than wisely and taken everything and more from this program. It is FAB!

Posted on: Nov 19, 2012, 08:16 pm

Heidi Young

Wow.  I was very angry over a situation with my aunt that happened today, but doing this exercise has completely changed my perspective on the situation.  I can make the choice to ignore her calls and don't have to visit her if I do not want to.  I most certainly don't have to take on her negative comments, I am all about the positive now and nobody puts me or my daughter down.

Posted on: Oct 05, 2013, 01:58 pm

Maia Berens

I love that. That is how you change your life for the good. Fantastic!

Posted on: Oct 06, 2013, 03:43 pm

Juli Lynn Sneider

I did this just now and I feel somewhat better. Someone hurt me and I "put walls up." To some degree we must protect our hearts but at what point is hardening our heart more hurtful than helpful?

Posted on: Jan 02, 2014, 04:59 am

Maia Berens

Great and difficult question. I think it's case by case and person by person. This is a good thing to talka bout.

Posted on: Jan 02, 2014, 06:22 am

April Julson

So I just tried the Find-the-Gift tool and I'm usually pretty good at finding the positives in a situation. I did this exercise on one that has been hard to find positives for lately and it was in dealing with a toddler. :) I adore him, but sometimes he makes me feel like I'm going crazy! His mood swings and (lack of) sleep habits have been very difficult on me these past few years. This tool helped me realize that I was taking a victim attitude towards our situation of him not sleeping more than 3 hours at a time (a year and a half of sleeping only 45 minutes at a time!) until he was 2, his eczema and constant itching, and food allergies. I was holding onto the notion that he was doing it TO ME. His constant needs and issues leave me feeling overwhelmed most times and that makes me lack compassion for him and makes me disconnect. I also feel extremely guilty for not being more compassionate, losing my temper, and feeling like I need excessive alone time to reconnect with myself and get a break from him. 

I have a lot of work to do- and I'm still working on my positives. But I did learn that I only fail if I give up- and I will not give up on him or myself. Motherhood is about a journey and, as many issues as he brings to light, he has taught me patience, unconditional love, acceptance, and has made me want to be a better person. 

This tool opened my eyes to a place that I was feeling a victim, and after writing positives- It opened my heart in a beautiful way. I felt more compassion for him and MYSELF. I am also taking more ownership for my situation and working to change it. I look forward to revisiting this after a little more time at YOU U. 

Posted on: Jan 27, 2014, 09:07 am

Maia Berens

Fantastic! I just had a glimpse of the life of the little boy who has such an aware mommy - putting ego aside and working to heal so that her little next generation has more of what he needs.

Additionally, this is the advice I give my kids. Parenting is an experiment. We all do it the best way we can but no one knows exactly the "right" way. If your little guy chose you, then you will all your bumps and bruises is who he got. He's not a victim either - not the most horrible sense of the word nor the most spiritual. You are doing the best you can and working to improve!

Posted on: Jan 27, 2014, 10:55 am

April Julson

Thank you, Maia. Last night I was contemplating your message and I never thought about him choosing me and hadn't realized that I thought of him as a victim (as well as me being a victim) but you were totally right. That was so freeing. It seemed to be the right message that I needed to wrap my mind around the situation to get a better handle on being an observer of the entire situation. Thank you <3

Posted on: Jan 28, 2014, 08:04 am

Louis Mynhardt

I started on this exercise, knowing that it works and has worked for so many people in the past, yet there was this disbelief of "It won't work for my situation".

It didn't stop me, I waited to see where it will get stuck and grind to a halt. It didn't, in contrast it made turned this situation, that made my heart heavy, into a feeling of gratitude and took the heavy heartedness away.

I wasn't surprised but this, yet I was.  

Posted on: Apr 22, 2014, 02:54 am

Maia Berens

I'm so glad. Make it a way of life, and life will be much easier but don't worry about it, you will have done much work with this as you go and it will become second nature. BTW, I like the picture.

Posted on: Apr 22, 2014, 05:56 am

Madria Johnston

Hi I learned that I own my life. I take owner ship of everything that happens. I don't blame anyone for things that happen in my life. Once I care about people I am their friend. Until they show me they cant be trusted or don't need me. I have to stop that and work on fixing me and hopefully became a better person in the process

Posted on: May 23, 2014, 11:17 pm

Maia Berens

You already are a "better person". It's not about becoming good. It's really about all of your wonderful self hidden under the stuff from life. I love that you have written here and taken this so to heart.

Posted on: May 24, 2014, 07:08 am

Donna Keene

I did the Find-The-Gift exercise for the present situation I am dealing with at work. This exercise has helped me to see how many things are just temporary. If we never look for the blessing or gifts in what can seem like negative situations, we will always see them in the negative light. I have always believed that joy comes in the morning and there's a blessing after the storm. Using this tool on a consistent basis will be always be a great help. I have set an agenda for myself to use this tool once a week to help me with the ongoing job issues and some other issues I am dealing with. 

Old Picture: Working as the production supervisor and interim operations manager at my present job has become very stressful. There is ongoing drama in the environment that affects everyone’s work. I am now responsible for the layoff of 4 people.


-Makes my body tense up a soon as I get in the building

- Constant arguing and bickering among employees

-There are employees that aren’t productive at all.

-The stress is affecting my health

- I am still underpaid for all the work I do.

What I’ve Learned/Gifts:

  • I have been successful in managing this tough group on individuals.
  • I have gained respect and trust of all that work with me
  • This experience is helpful for my resume
  • The company would like to promote me to a regional manager position in 6 months from now
  • I have learned to work harder to reduce my stress and maintain good health and I take it very serious now.

New Picture: I am continuing to do a good job running my location, however I am ready to move on and seeking a new job. I am getting my health back and reducing my stress. I am focusing my energy on where I want to go in my personal business.


Posted on: Jun 01, 2014, 07:39 pm

Maia Berens

Great job. What are your thoughts and feelings about the exercise - the experience of changing the way you look at the situation?

Posted on: Jun 02, 2014, 04:25 am

Donna Keene

I see my situation as temporary and I know I don't want to be there much longer. I am looking elsewhere for a job working on my business in between. My current job is the means for my income and it provides for me but there's something more prp purposeful for me in this world.

Posted on: Jun 03, 2014, 05:18 am

Roseann Murphy

Oh, Donna, this is just wonderful...I am just beginning in this process and your post was just what I needed to see the "whole picture" of this exercise. I wish you luck in your day to day situation and wish you good luck in your search.

Posted on: Jun 03, 2014, 06:57 pm

Madria Johnston

I learned something today in my work life and personal life. I was at work doing my job. My boss tells me he has not fired anyone that I work with because I fight hard to keep them but today instead of doing their job they stacked off and want me to cover for them. I am all for coving people but its like they want me to loss my job and their. I had to take a step back  and ask myself is this a battle I want to keep fighting. When I got my first job someone was nice to me. She treated my like a sister. Her and her family taught me everything about work and ethics. I have helped people. There are somethings that I want to do to help people on a lager scale. One of my friends hugged me. His friend saw it. She looked hurt. How can people be with someone that can cause them so much pain. I cant do that to someone. Life lessons one you learn them you wont forget them

Posted on: Jun 03, 2014, 10:55 pm

Maia Berens

Sweetie, you are such a giving person. Is it possible that what that person taught you years ago needs some personal tweaking to fit Madria?

Posted on: Jun 04, 2014, 04:57 am

Madria Johnston

Maybe Maia never really through about like that

Posted on: Jun 04, 2014, 10:01 pm

Maia Berens

I suspect you will find more of what Madria thinks about things as you go through this process. Looking forward to working with you.

Posted on: Jun 05, 2014, 06:56 am

Roseann Murphy

I learned I am so easily offended. I anger more easily than I realized. I learned that I need more acknowledgement than I ever thought. I learned that by this time of my life I want to be validated and not be taken for granted. How I learned this, I am not certain, but I feel enlightened by the process. I realized that I have set aside my creative side and will not under any circumstances let it out until now. I found that I am not going to be "put upon" with such ease. I realized I have great fear and it stands in my way so many times. I also heard the voice of my youngest son (he is a young adult) He spoke to me about my fear years ago...and I only heard it yesterday...I actually heard him say the words and saw where we were standing.. I am introducing myself to me.

Posted on: Jun 21, 2014, 08:49 am

Maia Berens

This is wonderful (fyi: next time you post unless you truly want it to be in response to someone else, click on the + New Post button third line from the top on the left)


Screen Shot 2014-06-21 at 2.40.27 PM.png

Posted on: Jun 21, 2014, 02:42 pm

Roseann Murphy

Now I see the new post "button" and will use that to respond.

Posted on: Jun 22, 2014, 05:34 am

Roseann Murphy

Page 11 and 12 are very out of my reach.  I cannot write 4 or 5 sentences.  I truly cannot identify with this at the moment.  I did hear the answers at one moment  yesterday Sunday.  I told myself I would sit and write them..and then the thought was immediately gone.  I will peacefully walk away and print the I am not writing it on the computer and see if the truthful answers will come to the surface.  In order to do the "work" I find myself wanting to make up something to finish the step, but that will not be helpful.

I will listen..and the truth will come out of the is not that it is "dark" it is just that I have lived so long with my head down sort of plowing through..that I have allowed that area of truth to go dormant...I will wait..and then it will come..I am sure.  

Posted on: Jun 23, 2014, 03:00 pm

Maia Berens

I am sure too and I will help you get underneath this block. No worries and no fretting.

Posted on: Jun 23, 2014, 03:17 pm

Roseann Murphy

So grateful for the reply...You are so intuitive (we have spoken about this before) I am worrying and fretting...Keep asking myself what have I done..How can I have committed to this? All the difficult questions....I once opened my home to my brother and his infant son...while I was running the school and caring for my three children alone....I had envisioned years before the actual event...I had the picture in my mind of my brother standing with an infant at my front gate...asking to come in. That night a voice spoke to me and sail "what have you done...your life will never be the same again"...and it was not.. Why I wrote this now is a question...why did I go there...except for the fact that challenges are lifechanging and the moment my brother an his son entered our lives after years of separation took us on an incredible journey...This process is a roller coaster of thoughts.

Posted on: Jun 23, 2014, 06:09 pm

Madria Johnston

I was raised to respect older people. I had someone ask me today. Why should he or she respect someone if that person is not respectful to him or her. My answer was it is all about manners. When you get older you have earned the respect and everything that comes with it

Posted on: Jun 24, 2014, 08:30 pm

Maia Berens

I respect people in two ways. First, everyone is a child of God and so they are worthy of respect. But I also say, although I would treat someone respectfully because that's who I am, they kind of do have to treat me respectfully too. I think from having interacted with you some, that you will likely begin to reevaluate much of what you think is you and begin to find the REAL YOU.

Posted on: Jun 25, 2014, 07:04 am

Janelle Torucco

 It's something I being doing for many years. I know that every experience, painful or sour, thought me something and made me a better, stronger, smatter person.


YOU-U.Find the gift.doc

Posted on: Aug 01, 2014, 12:14 pm

Maia Berens

You are a super-student already. Love it.

Posted on: Aug 01, 2014, 12:25 pm

Rowena Smith

Find the gift.

I have learnt that through meditation too there is learning in every situation in life . I've also learned that I cannot be held responsible for how others act ,only for how I react and in any given situation.

Posted on: Aug 03, 2014, 12:11 pm

Maia Berens

Love seeing you both here together. And so you meet.

Posted on: Aug 03, 2014, 12:57 pm

Thabi Zikalala

Finding the gift works all the time.  What I have learned is power it has of dissipating anger or victim mentality.  When things don't turn out the way I expected I have a tendency to blame myself.  With this exercise I have just completed  I have come to realise that I blame myself because I make other people's behaviour about myself when it is actually a reflection of what is going on within themselves.  And guess what?  That will happen a lot.  I just need to get over myself, find the gift and carry that with me instead.


Major Tool 1 Findint the Gift - Now Its My Turn - 1.doc

Posted on: Sep 17, 2014, 02:13 pm

Thabi Zikalala

Finding the gift is cleansing because you have to take the event out of your head and actually scrutinize it. You also get to see if there is a flaw in your perception of things or behavior. That can be scary if holding on to the wrong perception is important to you. If that is the case, you will not heal either because you will be insisting on holding on to resentment.


Major Tool 1 Findint the Gift - Now Its My Turn - 2.doc

Posted on: Sep 17, 2014, 02:33 pm

Maia Berens

So I got notified. And I'm fairly certain that Tiana would not have. So what she and you will have to do is to look at the list of classes and see if there is anything new or you will have to shoot an email to each other after you write stuff and let each other know what page and where. I will keep thinking about how this can be solved but so far, I have no idea.

Actually, what I'll do for now, is to put discussion boards for you guys. Not sure whether I can do it until Friday.

Posted on: Sep 17, 2014, 06:10 pm

Thabi Zikalala

You might receive two of the same message because I cannot see the first one.

I will let Tiana know, thank you.

How do the bubbles with the caption "discuss here with ..." for Gina and others work?

Posted on: Sep 18, 2014, 12:37 pm

Maia Berens

what I did is add them to see what would happen. I am trying to work out a solution to this issue and have requested a phone conversation with the company to try and work it out.

Posted on: Sep 18, 2014, 03:14 pm

Thabi Zikalala

Got it. With the planned migration to Academy of Mine, this will probably be a mute point so I would suggest you leave it. If you change your mind about migrating, you will then have to address it.

I have sent Tiana an e-mail letting her know that I posted. Her FB involvement is sporadic at the moment, I am praying that she is fine. In the mean time I will continue working. If it so happen that I feel lonesome and/or in need of feedback/coaching before I can go any farther I will call on you. I am very grateful that you are so easily accessible.

Posted on: Sep 22, 2014, 06:47 am

Maia Berens

Yes. I don't know why she is so infrequently around but I am here and the migration will be some months away, I believe. I have learned over the years to do nothing before the i's are dotted and t's crossed to the best of my ability. I am here.

Posted on: Sep 22, 2014, 06:50 am

Thabi Zikalala

Do you have Tiana's contact details? I know that when she returned on FB things were a lot better in her life, however, I am still concerned about this sudden lack of involvement without a good bye. I am not sure if any of her family members would let us know if something were to happen to her. I think Lethu would try and get on my computer to locate my friends and notify them especially because I share my activities with him. Getting onto my e-mail would be his starting point. He'll have to hack into it but I'd be dead so he will be violating anything.

Posted on: Sep 23, 2014, 01:59 pm

Maia Berens

You made me laugh out loud. It might be a better idea to create a book or binder with important things you son might want or need after you die (and not turn him into a hacker) You are right about Tiana. Here's her contact info: [email protected] and phone is 719-502-0189. Yes. Her life seems possibly unstable right now.

Posted on: Sep 23, 2014, 02:04 pm

Thabi Zikalala

I had a book while in Benoni with significant people in my life and their contact details which got misplaced with the move but I will compile it again bit by bit. What I wrote iss funny, I did not realize until I read again now. Thanks for Tiana's information and for letting us know that we could chat after the call. Did me some good, I hope she feels the same.

Posted on: Sep 24, 2014, 01:45 pm