The Four Perspectives


I’m not sure why, but I’ve always tended to look at things from multiple perspectives – usually in groups of four.

I remember my father talking about the Mohegan Chief Harold Tantaquidgeon, who spent summers working on his family’s farm in Rockport, Massachusetts when my father was young, and how his signature was an “X” with 4 dots in the four quadrants. The “X” represented the four winds and the dots represented his ancestry – his 4 grandparents. Maybe this is where my ideas about four perspectives started?

I remember being consumed by learning theory that looked at four quadrants of perceiving and processing information, big picture versus detailed, active versus reflective, when developing training programs for ski instructors. I remember studying personality-profile programs that looked at four categories of personal behavioral tendencies when developing staff improvement programs for my engineering office.

I remember formulating a four-direction model for what I considered to be the primary components of health and wellness when developing therapeutic recreation programs for combat veterans. At opposite sides were the relationships of mind and body, nature and community. My idea was that if we helped folks learn more about mind-body connections while feeling the benefits of supportive community relations and feeling connected with nature, we will have helped them start to uncover for themselves ways to practice lifestyles of health and wellness. I still like that model, and often use it when I lead people into the woods!

Then my Yin Yoga teacher, Biff Mithoefer turned me onto The Four-Fold Way by Angeles Arrien PhD. Here, I found something that resonated with my life experience more deeply. Working from this research work, I formulated the structure of my work with Perspective Coaching. From my perspective, we live by learning, and we learn by living - seeing our lives from different perspectives, being open to change and learning, and learning to live authentically, having presence but with a kind heart. Here, we might find for ourselves ways to live happily and naturally as our true, joyful Selves.

So, here is a synopsis of what I do… my Four Perspectives model… and what inspires me!

VISION: I help clarify vision and life purpose. Using the metaphor of the rising-sun in the east, we work together to shine clarity on life purpose and personal vision. We look for truths. We look for guidance. We define support community. We honor the past but keep our eyes on personal intentions.

LEARNING: I help clients develop an attitude of learning, living a life that adapts to change, letting go of attachment to expected outcomes. Using the metaphors of the setting-sun in the west and flowing like water around personal challenges, we reflect, we learn, and we work towards our goals while not becoming attached to them. We live one day at a time. We learn about ourselves and the various aspects of our bodies. We learn to work through obstacles. We learn to transform our lives without judgment. We learn to let go when necessary.

INTEGRITY: I help clients live with integrity, with authenticity, and with discipline. Using the metaphor of air, of a cold northern breeze, we learn to stand with presence, rising up fully as ourselves. We learn to practice all aspects of being authentic: what we intend, what we think, how we behave, what we say, what we do. We do the work. And we practice. I help clients be accountable to themselves! I help clients be responsible – to respond with integrity.

LOVING - KINDNESS: I help clients live with a sense of wholeheartedness, being kind and compassionate, often beginning with themselves. Using the metaphor of the Mother Earth, we remind ourselves of her warm support for us, and our natural instincts to care for and support one another. I help people feel their natural thriving way-of-being through mutually inspiring and supportive relationships. I help people express their natural desires to serve others with an open heart. I help clients take care of themselves. I help people to live mindfully with more awareness of life as it happens!

I utilize the East-West relationship of living with Vision while Learning, and the North-South relationship of living (or working out or practicing yoga) with Integrity while being Kind. It’s about experiential education, relationship-motivated inspiration, and integrating lifestyle practices more in harmony with who you really are – or how you can thrive in your life - when you find balance between all of these Four Perspectives!

In everything I do, I look towards nature for inspiration and understanding. And I work with clients outside in nature whenever possible!

Whether coaching people through their life journeys, teaching people various aspects of yoga practice and philosophy, or training people to find their strengths and inner power and perform more effectively, I am here to be supportive, caring, and inspiring. Whether in-person or on-line, I work personally with integrity and kindness, hoping to inspire grand vision and deep learning!

About the logo… The logo is of course inspired by the four directions, or these Four Perspectives. It is also inspired by the image of mountains. The mountains are where I am most inspired - where I see and feel the higher perspective of my life. And of course, my life is built upon the shoulders of many mountains… beginning with the children of my four grandparents – my parents - and continuing with my many teachers and role models. I am eternally humbled and grateful to all of them and all of you!