What I learned condensing 25 years of work into one paragraph

For three days, I’ve been writing one paragraph explaining the essence of my work.

I’m writing an introduction for myself. Three sentences that capture essence of my work, but are concrete enough for newcomers to understand what I do. It’ll go on my Patreon page, this blog, and elsewhere.

(Instead of my typical posts about energy techniques, today I want to share another side: How to explain one’s original work. For me, that’s energy. For you, that might be something else. But it’s part of connecting with people who might love your work.)

I started with this, from my about page:

For over 25 years, I’ve been exploring biofield energy as a natural phenomenon, rather than a mystical one. I’ve been driven by one question: After a practitioner uses a ritual, visualization, or other method to engage their unconscious mind toward their goal, what happens then? I’m working to understand all the steps in the chain of causality between an intent in the mind and a change in the world. And I’m finding that each insight gives me more tools to create better healing techniques to help more people.

Not terrible. Some good stuff in there. But a lot of meh.

Simon Sinek has a wonderful talk about inspiring action. The thrust: Don’t start with what you do, start with why you do it — the core value or drive that underlies all of your work. (If you haven’t watched it, it’s very much worth your time.)

This is one of the main ideas I’ve been using to explain Healing Lab for the past year. I didn’t think of it immediately, but once I did, writing it was easy:

Why (core belief or value): Understand the world
How (differentiator): Techniques for observing energy (the seed for all later work, lets me explore the inner-workings of energy healing.)
What: Energy healing, manifesting, and more

(There’s also a deeper why — why is it important to understand the world — where I talk about scientific revolutions and the technologies they bring. But this is a short intro for people who might practice my techniques, so I’ll assume they also want to understand the energy they feel.)

Next draft:

​For over 25 years, I’ve been driven by one question: After a practitioner practitioner engages their mind toward an intent, what happens then? That led me to develop techniques for observing energy, to peek inside this invisible world and explore how energy really works. Those insights led to better techniques for energy healing, manifesting, and more.

Better. The old first sentence (“I’ve been exploring biofield energy as a natural phenomenon, rather than a mystical one”) told rather than showed, so I deleted it and started with my why, understanding energy.

But there’s a problem: Every practitioner senses energy at some level, whether that’s the color of an aura, the sense of an injury, or just “feeling the energy” of the person they’re talking to. “Techniques for observing energy” doesn’t convey the significance. Maybe “precisely observing energy”? But that doesn’t carry much impact, and everyone feels their method is accurate and detailed and precise.

I went more technical (just the 2nd sentence):

As a trained scientist, this led me to develop techniques for observing energy: To feel signature of each tissue in the body, to follow the pathways that energy flows through, and to become conscious of the ethereal muscles that drive energy, in order to explore the inner-workings of this invisible world.

I showed my partner, Jill. She said it was too much detail. And yeah, that’s basically a one-sentence paragraph.

I felt stuck. How could I explain the significance of this work, without explaining what it did? It felt impossible. I wanted to give up, pick one of the drafts I had, and be done.

And yet… That feeling of “it’s impossible” means very little. It comes when there’s no obvious way to repair the first solution I’d tried.

There’s a certain way I engage my mind when I encounter hard problems. It’s a bit like, I assume a solution exists, but it’s not among the avenues I’ve seen. And I take my focus off those ideas, and allow my mind to explore. I try to understand why the problem exists, and what the true problem is I’m trying to solve.

I’ve solved these seemingly-impossible problems enough times that this is reflex: Notice despair, notice that I’ve barely thought about the problem for one minute, and engage the problem-solving mental posture. It all happens in seconds now, because it’s a critical skill for exploring energy (and many other fields). But once upon a time, it was a slow conscious effort to explore hard problems. So I wanted to share the experience in a simple, concrete example, as a nudge for the next time you encounter your own seemingly-impossible problem.

I wrote to myself:

Talk about the time I’ve taken. That this isn’t just “I decided observing would be good.” This is 5 years of development, then a decade of improvement and redesigns as I used and tested sensory connections. Give a sense of how much has gone into this (rather than what it does on a technical level). Because most people with 25 years experience got some certifications and then did that system. They didn’t spend 5 years developing a technique.

After working through some resistance, I wrote:

For over 25 years, I’ve been driven by one question: After a practitioner engages their mind toward an intent, what happens then? For five years, I developed techniques to view the details of energy, then tested and refined them as I explored the inner-workings of this invisible world. I use those insights to develop better techniques for energy healing, manifesting, awakening the mind to energy, and more.

Better. But it feels incomplete. Somehow lacking energy inspiration. Let’s see if I can share the impact more:

For over 25 years, I’ve been driven by one question: After a practitioner engages their mind toward an intent, what happens then? Starting in the late 1990s, I developed techniques to observe the details of energy. Ever since, I’ve been exploring the inner-workings of this invisible phenomenon, gaining insight into the chain of causality between an intent in the mind and a change in the world. I apply those insights to developing better techniques for energy healing and manifesting, along with techniques for exploring energy even deeper.

I’m happy with that. I like how the last sentence brings it full-circle, back to exploring energy. And I like “the chain of causality” — that was in the initial paragraph, I had liked it then but not known where to put it, and it feels good to have it back.

Also on my mind: Why was this so hard? I think it’s a new way of talking about my work, focusing on the time invested and the overall idea rather than the technical details. It’s uncomfortable at first, but I think it will be good. And as so often happens, writing is the first step in teaching myself to speak more clearly, to connect with a broader range of people.

If you made it all the way down here, I hope you enjoyed this peek into my process as I figure out how to explain my work. Thanks for reading!



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2017-12-10T22:48:21-07:00December 2nd, 2017|

One Comment

  1. Mike December 8, 2017 at 1:43 am - Reply

    After more feedback and iterations from Jill, I have the final version:

    Since childhood, I’ve been driven by one question: How does intent in the mind create change in the world? I’d felt energy. But just as driving a car doesn’t teach you about the engine, guiding energy with intent didn’t show me how it works. Today, after a quarter-century exploring energy, I’ve learned to open the hood, see the specific ways energy moves and functions, and come to understand many of its mechanisms. I use this body of work to engineer new techniques for healing, manifesting, and exploring energy even more deeply.

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