Shift-it Coach Newsletter
Volume 7 | Issue 13 | September 2, 2011


Ahhhhhh, summer. My favorite season and its gone much too quick. Fall is on our heels eh ... at least here in western Canada ...

Christina Kayaking

Did get some summer relaxin' in these last few weeks. Did a kayak trip up North in the land of the killer whales --- Johnstone Strait with Out for Adventure tours. The weather sucked ... but we did see killer whales in their natural element. Gorgeous, powerful, sleek and strong. Amazing how nature adapts animals to perfection for what is needed.

Right now I'm writing the e-zine from a coffee shop at Manhattan Beach, California. I attended another great Allison Armstrong workshop (Understanding Women) this weekend. She's such a talented presenter and researcher with a wealth of information on partnership skills (applicable to romantic relationships plus all kinds of collaborative relationships). I really enjoy her work and appreciate her mission at PAX. Good stuff!

Also had a chance to see several friends and collaborators here, including Sheila Gillette, Jonathon Aslay and Beth Schneider. Lots of great conversations and re-connecting. Gotta figure out how to be down here for at least the winter months! The sun and vibe make me happy

My segment from the American T.V. show that Graphic Coaching was featured on is now available via video clip. So I've written this week's article about my journey with Graphic Coaching. We are moving into the third cohort of Graphic Coaches now ... with coaches from around the world learning graphic coaching skills to enhance their own client work. Check out Graphic Coach Certification for how to join us in 2012.

Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach



"I knew within minutes of starting my first training that graphic facilitation was my calling. Incorporating the tools you have developed is such a wonderful addition to the gorgeous conversations I get to hold with my clients.

Gina Lynette
Gina Lynette
Certified Graphic Coach®

I find that Graphic Coaching is incredibly helpful for people with autism, anxiety and histories of abuse. They see the pieces of their thinking come together in a structured, orderly way bringing clarity, reassurance and relief. Seeing the map and knowing the agenda in advance are critical elements for our success.

It is such an honor to spend time in this space – talking, dreaming, drawing, and guiding people through the process of identifying what works, what doesn't, what they love, what they don't, what they want, what they want to be rid of, and what steps they can take to allow it to all come to them – that I sit in awe that I get to do this work. It's a blissful life."

Gina Lynette, Certified Graphic Coach®
Nashville, TN


SHIFT-IT Online Group
7 Weeks: Saturdays, 10-11:30 a.m. Pacific, October 1 - November 12

Are you ready to make your SHIFT? You aren't alone - there is a massive shift happening and this one-of-a-kind online community supports you during your time of change. Get crystal clear about what is next for you. Overcome the limiting beliefs, self-sabotage and fears that have stood in your way. Get organized and make your leap with like-minded people from across the globe. All in my innovative 'graphic coaching style' ... includes my SHIFT-IT Kit® with 17 visual maps. Register Now.

* Note: this program is a pre-requisite for Graphic Coach Certification, combo package available.

9-Weeks Online: Oct. 17 – Dec. 14 (Webinars, Mon. & Wed. 12-1pm Pacific)

Now available --- get access to this leading edge training without having to travel. My foundational 'learn-to-work-visually' course now available online!

Over 87% of your facilitation, coaching, training and consulting clients are visual thinkers - learn powerful visual skills to boost the effectiveness of how you work with them. This 9-week online professional skills training thoroughly covers custom chart work, graphic recording, graphic facilitation and graphic coaching (the four main applications of working visually with groups and individuals) so you can add these powerful tools to your own consulting, facilitation, coaching and training offerings. Register Now. Early Bird Until September 16th!

* Note: this program is a pre-requisite for Graphic Coach Certification, combo package available.



(Now Recorded!) Listen Rather Than Read! Click Here

I was interviewed about my Graphic Coaching niche for an American T.V. show earlier in the year ... called Meet the Experts (see video to right).

While Arielle Ford and I didn't have time to go into it, many people ask me how I came to have such an unusual profession ... so this article outlines the evolution of Graphic Coaching and the path I took to create this my unique work and how I now teach others to do it too.

Early Background:
For many years I worked in both the United States and Canada as a 'graphic recorder' and a 'graphic facilitator', in corporate, governmental and not-for-profit settings. In a nutshell, both these roles use visuals to help groups understand each other and make collaborative decisions.

Always interested in personal growth, in 2000 I enrolled in coach training via The Coaches Training Institute and also became an Alchemical Hypnotherapist. While I enjoyed my facilitation work with companies, it required me to travel extensively (leaving little time for anything else) and to sometimes work with organizational mandates I wasn't fully aligned with. So I was on the lookout for an entrepreneurial venture that I could be morally congruent with and hopefully not travel as much (where people could come to me or we could work online).

Doing Focus Wheel Work With a Client

In coaching and hypnotherapy school I discovered that I was very popular with the other students ... they wanted to work with me because of the cool visual notes I took of their sessions instead of just the verbal way that the other coaches worked (as a professional doodler I just couldn't help but create visual summaries of the insights, ahhas and results that my clients came to).

Spotting a market opportunity, I tried for a while to convince other visual colleagues that they should develop "Graphic Coaching" ... as I was too busy to explore it more seriously. However that all changed on the morning of September 11th in 2001 as I awoke in my San Francisco home to the trauma of that infamous day. I was supposed to be in New York that week but a series of synchronicities had kept me away.

Watching lives being forever changed ... I made a vow that day to reorganize my life around the things that really mattered to me. To pursue what I was most attracted to, even if it seemed unusual or strange ... as life can be short.

Within a year I had moved back to my beautiful hometown of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada ... and set about creating a new life and livelihood.

I continued to do graphic recording and graphic facilitation work and concurrently developed Graphic Coaching --- developing my signature process and suite of 17 visual tools: The SHIFT-IT Graphic Coaching Process®.

The SHIFT-IT Graphic Coacing Process

There are so many ways that one can work visually with individuals, biz partners and couples --- using different processes and formats. In the early days I mostly did strategic planning hybrids ... helping people literally SEE where they had been (Life Maps), where they wanted to go (Personal Visions) and how to organize their steps to get there (Action Plans). Later my specialty honed into the area of resistance --- what I call "Trouble at the Border". Pinpointing and flipping the inner blocks, self-sabotage and wonky energy that prevents people from having what they desire.

The SHIFT-IT Graphic Coacing Process
Client Demo in Training Class
The SHIFT-IT Graphic Coacing Process
Young Client in Front of His New Vision

My practice flourished as word got out about my innovations and the results clients were getting (careers, jobs, raises, homes, partners, children, etc). I got emails inquiring about my work --- especially from other consultants, facilitators, trainers, coaches, etc who wanted to use my methods and tools themselves. So, after years of contemplating it, in 2010 I launched the first Graphic Coach Certification cohort, with wonderful coaches-in-training from around the world.

Cynthia Miller, Certified Graphic Coach at Her Private Training Learning to Draw Icons.

Certified Graphic Coaches Allison Crow and Jennifer Voss ... Developing Visual Skills.

Today Graphic Coaching is growing nicely, aided by the growing ranks of Certified Graphic Coaches. They work in a diversity of environments and specialty areas including: executive coaching, small biz & solopreneurs development, military, grief & bereavement, first nations, autism, eating disorders, relationships, social justice & youth, human trafficking, mind/body and weight loss, abundance, health and wellness, etc.

Each cohort brings a new group of fascinating professionals who are doing great work in the world … and doing it even better by learning how to effectively use visuals to help their clients SHIFT.

While it hasn't always been easy, I'm proud that I pursued my dream and have successfully SHIFTed my own work. And that I get to help others do the same. Its exciting to see the ripple effect as the work expands internationally.

The SHIFT-IT Graphic Coacing Process
Me in Front of My SHIFT-IT Templates

How to Draw Quick People!

Graphic Coach-in-Training
Melissa Blevins

How You Can Learn More:
If you'd like to learn more about Graphic Coaching and how to add its client-pleasing effects to your own practice, please check out Graphic Coach Certification ... the next cohort is now forming. Or, if you are client looking to be coached in the visual way … check out my coaching options and the Directory of Graphic Coaches for a qualified coach near you.

Now Recorded! Listen Rather Than Read! Click Here

Blog Comments: Thoughts? Reactions? Have something to add? Click here to leave comments and read those left by others.

For the full SHIFT-IT e-Zine Archives: Click Here

For the full SHIFT-IT Audio Library (mp3): Click Here

©2011 Christina L. Merkley

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

Author's Bio: Christina Merkley is The SHIFT-IT Coach. Founder of "Graphic Coaching" … Christina has pioneered the use of interactive- visuals to help individuals, couples and business partners make and manifest clear decisions about their work and lives. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she maintains a thriving coaching and facilitation practice and trains other helping professionals from around the globe in her innovative ways of working. For more information visit:


Ready for your SHIFT? There is a HUGE TRANSITION going on in the world today both at a spiritual and physical level. Many people are feeling the call to ascend to a crisper, cleaner and more soul satisfying life - are you one of them? Enlist me as your personal transition aid. Define your vision, bust through your interfering resistance and start taking action. Pioneering Graphic Coaching and Law of Attraction methods.

Coaching Options


Are you a helping professional with a creative bend? Are you intrigued with the visual way I work with my clients? I've trained hundreds of facilitators, consultants, trainers and now coaches, counselors, social workers, etc from around the globe. Learn fundamental graphics skills that you can use in your own work with groups and individuals. Come join the graphic tribe!

Training Options










Christina Merkley
The SHIFT-IT Coach &
Interactive-Graphics Mentor

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.

Full Bio


>>A Note From Christina

>>In Your Words

>>Events Calendar

>>Featured Article:
My Journey with Graphic Coaching

>>Connect with Christina

>>Blog Entries

>> E-Zine & Audio Archives


Via Twitter, Facebook & Youtube

Twitter @christinamerk

Facebook Fan Page



Looking for more rich, SHIFT-IT content? Check out my blog for recent ramblings, resources and general interest features:

Smartly Use Your Summer for Strategic Growth

Thrive Tips for These Accelerating Times

The Generosity of Memoirs

Yes, Count Your Chickens Before They Hatch

Soften The Sting of Betrayal

How To Create And Evolve Your Offerings

Lessons Learned from 10 Years as a Solopreneu


Click here to read the SHIFT-IT Coach blog.


Browse past issues here.

Listen to the ezine here.


The SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit®

SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit


Copyright © 2004-2011 Christina L. Merkley. All rights reserved.
60 Dallas Road Suite #15, Victoria, British Columbia, V8V 1A2 Canada

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional