Volume 5, Issue 18 | September 18, 2009
www.shift-it-coach.com | [email protected]



  1. A Note From Christina
  2. Events Calandar
  3. Article: Your Orientation to Life?
  4. Recent Blog Entries
  5. More Links & Resources



One thing that’s always on my Positive Aspects Map is my appreciation of the beauty of Canada’s west coast, where I have the good f0rtune of living. 

The weather was so nice that I slipped away for the awesome Grilled Seafood Salad at Milestone’s in the Inner Harbour (with this great view out the window).

With September now solidly in place, I’m hosting my online groups, filling the upcoming Graphic Coaching Clinic and working with my private coaching & facilitation clients.  Last week I hopped a ferry over to Vancouver to graphically facilitate a meeting and was met with this pretty dusk from the ship.  Things that make me go ahhhhhhh. 

The ferry ride is 90 minutes so it’s like having a mini-retreat in the midst of a busy day.  Kick back, have a tea and watch the passing islands.  Contemplate life.
Victoria Inner Harbor
Victoria Inner Harbour, Sept. Afternoon

Victoria Inner Harbor
Victoria – Vancourver Ferry Crossing – Sept. Dusk

Today’s article is a contemplation article for sure.  Been thinking a lot lately about ‘underlying orientation to life’.  What mine is … what clients, colleagues and friends’ orientation is.  Here’s some food for thought as you consider what your underlying orientation is to life and how that belief and vibration may be playing out … as like attracts like.


Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach

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Next F.R.E.E. Soothing Saturday Call: Co-host Jeannette Maw, The Good Vibe Coach Saturday, September 19th, 1-2:30pm Pacific: Join Jeannette Maw and I as we chat about all things LOA (law of attraction). Together we lay a foundation about what the Law of Attraction really is and how you can most effectively align with it for personal and professional satisfaction. Bring your LOA questions, queries and comments as we’ll be opening the lines and receiving emails from our collective communities. Going to be a GREAT call to get into the Soothing Saturday audio library! More Info and Online Registration

F.R.E.E. Webinar: Unleash the Power of Working Visually, Wednesday, Sept. 23rd, 4-5:30pm Pacific For coaches, consultants, facilitators, trainers and all those interested in learning more about the power of working visually with groups and individuals. In this educational 90-minute webinar I’ll explain the four main applications of visual work (custom chart work, graphic recording, graphic facilitation and graphic coaching)- and how adding these methods to your practice increases your efficiency, attracts clients and boosts your personal fun level. Due to huge file size, this webinar will not be recorded, so join us live for all the scoop. More Info and Online Registration

Merkley’s Manifestation Mastermind (online): Sundays, October 4 – December 20:To know about the Law of Attraction (LOA) is one thing – to strongly live in alignment with it is another.  In this 12-week webinar series (no travel required) you’ll learn practical, easy to apply processes to manifest what you do want (and stop attracting what you don’t!). Plus real-world instruction in using LOA methods, the internet and virtual teaming to build a successful lifestyle centered around your gifts and unique interest areas. Check out the new econ0my option! More Info and Online Registration

The Graphic Coaching Clinic: November 4-6, 2009, in Beautiful Victoria British Columbia, Canada:Did you know that 87% of your clients are visual thinkers and think best when visuals are involved?!  Add the power of graphic facilitation to your own coaching, facilitation and/or training practice.  Used in Fortune 500 companies for 30+ years, interest in these powerful skills is rapidly growing – and good, qualified trainers are rare.  Benefit from my 17+ years experience in corporate, not-for-profit and small business settings throughout North America and Europe.  This workshop attracts participants from across the globe – and no, you do not have to be an artist! 8 spots left. More Info And Online Registration


FEATURE ARTICLE: Your Orientation to Life?

(Now Recorded!) To Listen to My Audio of This Article, Click Here)

I’ve been contemplating a pretty interesting thing lately, at least I think it’s interesting.  I’ve been wondering about people’s underlying orientation to life … what their core relationship and association to living is. 

As a Law of Attraction practitioner, I know that like attracts like – that things of similar or fitting nature are drawn to one another. That we cluster.  Therefore, our basic orientation to life is a very powerful thing … probably one of the most, if not THE most, fundamental attraction factor in our life. 

So what do I mean by orientation?  I mean, how do you think and feel about life?  What is your natural tendency towards it?  Do you embrace life?  Do you fear it?  Does it bring up feelings of warmth? Security? Stability?  Do you trust your place and/or place your trust in it?  Do you think of it as a game?  Are you lighthearted or serious about life? Empowered?  Powerless? Just how do you feel about being here in this strange, weird and wonderful thing that we call life?!

Your Signal:
In Law of Attraction, the theory is that we emit a signal or vibration due to the habitual things that we focus on and feel. That we attract things that are a vibrational match to what we constantly beat a drum about - draw them to us like a big magnet.

Seems to me that one of the core things we can consider is what underlying signal about life are we putting out?  How do we really, deep down, feel about being here? About participating in life?  About being on this planet with its other inhabitants?  Because it’s that deep down (sometimes sub-conscious) stuff that really forms the base of our vibration. That can help explain some of why people are getting what they are getting.

The Enneagram:
There is a tool that I sometimes use in my coaching work with clients – called the Enneagram. You may be familiar with it … it’s a 9 type personality system who’s origin is linked to the Sufis (although there is some dispute about that).

Each of these nine types represents an orientation to life or worldview based off of early decisions we make as children (decisions often set before we had rational reasoning I might add).  Some authors call it our ‘core wound’ or our ‘fixation’ and its often built upon a cognitive error of some sort influenced by your early environment – i.e. thinking you are unlovable, or that your value is based upon how others perceive you (the two) or on what you do (the three), or that people can’t be trusted (the five), or are weak or unpredictable (therefore you either must live your life in fear (the six) or you must be the strong leader (the eight), etc. 

People drop hints (often without their conscious awareness) about their worldview through the language that they use.  When I create a client’s Life Map, I often hear (and then draw out) the exact language, metaphors and imagery they are using – so it can be mirrored back to them.  If their use of enneagram type language is really strong, I break out one of my enneagram books and assign it as homework – so they have a greater understanding of how they tend to think and feel and what we are working with as a starting point (what we will be SHIFTing if it is not serving them).


  1. The Reformer: The principled, purposeful, self-controlled, and perfectionistic Person.
  2. The Helper: The Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing Person, Possessive Person.
  3. The Achiever: The Adaptable, Excelling, Driven, Image-Conscious Person.
  4. The Individualist: The Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, Temperamental Person.
  5. The Investigator: The Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, Isolated Person.

  1. The Loyalist: The Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, Suspicious Person
  2. The Enthusiast: The Spontaneous, Versatile, Acquisitive, Scattered Person
  3. The Challenger: The Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, Confrontational Person
  4. The Peacemaker: The Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable and Complacent Person.
*Don Riso, Understanding the Enneagram

Identify Your Type:
I’ve known about the Enneagram for over 15 years, but it’s only recently that I have really, solidly and firmly come to understand (and appreciate) which type I personally am and the role that plays in my life – particularly from a Law of Attraction point of view. 

It’s not unusual to mistype yourself, especially if you are young and haven’t had the opportunity of seeing how things play out over the longer term. Or, if you are a person who hasn’t had a lot of time or aptitude to really look carefully at your inner world. 

Don Riso, one of my favorite Enneagram authors does offer an online test called The Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator, should you like to identify your own type.

The Virtues:
The thing that I really like about the Enneagram is that the good material about it points us towards what we can do to reach greater levels of satisfaction, integration and health in our lives.  If our type is based off of a specific erroneous fixation or wound, then the way out (the flip!) is through the cultivation of a specific ‘virtue’ … a quality or state that is the anecdote so to speak.  In Law of Attraction speak this is the state that we need ‘to find the feeling place of’ or ‘the vibration’ that we need to emit to make a SHIFT in our life and overcome our automatic or habitual tendencies. 



Passions (wounds)



The Reformer




The Helper




The Achiever




The Individualist




The Investigator




The Loyalist




The Generalist




The Challenger




The Peacemaker



An Example:
Well, nothing like using myself as an example and continuing my habit of self disclosure.  I am a 6 on the Enneagram – the Loyalist.  The fortunate part of being a Loyalist is that I’m dependable, friendly, responsible and generally get along well with people - endearing.  The unfortunate part is, due to my perceived interpretation of my early environment as being unstable, erratic, constantly changing, unpredictable (and therefore not particularly safe), I have a bit of a problem with fear and being a chickenshit!

The Six is an interesting type, in that there are two flavors.  One type of six is a ‘phobic’ – the type of person who is obviously timid, shaky and scared.  The other type of six is called a counter-phobic (that is what I am).  Their response to fear is to move towards it rather than move away from it … fight rather than flight.  Extreme athletes, daredevils, emergency workers, gangs … they are all examples of counter phobic sixes.  They don’t seem to be scared on the surface, but if you go down deeper, you will see that their reactions are coming from an anxiety about the environment and their ability to deal with it … they conquer it to make themselves feel better.

From the table above, we can see that the virtue (the quality to be developed) is, no surprise, courage.  Not the flashy courage of being a risk taker and reacting from an anxious place, but the real courage of knowing that one is ok in the world. Some of the more spiritual books also call this ‘holy faith’ or ‘holy strength’.  The kind of feeling place that you know life has your back, that there truly is nothing or no-one to be afraid of. 

So, in my Law of Attraction practices (a few that I listed out last issue), I am really focusing on ‘finding the feeling place’ of courage, strength and faith.  That action is great and all, but locating the calm feeling of the world being stable, secure, and safe (no matter what happens) is my current Law of Attraction homework.  The great thing is, as we find the feeling of things that are good but unfamiliar to us, it changes our vibration. It literally changes what we are a vibrational match to – things on the outside re-orient themselves to reflect the change in our worldview.

Recommended Resources:
Obviously in an article of this nature, I can only skim the surface and hope you get the point of why this kind of system can be useful - it helps you identify your good and problematic tendencies and points towards the solution that needs to be cultivated for greater health and happiness. 

A study of the Enneagram can go quite deep, depending on which authors you research. Here are a few of my favorite authors to get you started, if you are resonating with what I’m throwing down – wink.

Understanding the Enneagram, Don Riso

The Enneagram, Helen Palmer

The Enneagram of Passions & Virtues: Finding Your Way Home, Sandra Maitri

Once you have your type identified (or at least a likely type to start experimenting with) I invite you to do the emotional and vibrational work of finding the feeling place of your ‘virtue’.  What’s it feel like to stand in that kind of energy? What would life be like if you came from that worldview as a matter of habit?  What would your new story be if you lead with your virtue rather than your fixation?  I look forward to hearing your answers and having you experience your new energy state and all that it attracts!

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© 2009 Christina L. Merkley

You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Law of Attraction techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and spiritual-based businesses to create what you really want. And, trains other helping professionals in the visual way of working.  For more information visit: www.shift-it-coach.com


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Christina Merkley
The SHIFT-IT Coach

Christina Merkley is The SHIFT-IT Coach. Creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, she guides individuals, partners and conscious companies in defining and getting what they really, really want.

A teacher of Law of Attraction, she is also an expert in visual meeting techniques, strategic planning and visioning: having worked for such notable companies as BBC, Readers Digest Funds, eBay and Stanford University. After a move from San Francisco, she now lives in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada - where she maintains a vibrant coaching, facilitation and training practice.

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