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In the center of a sheet of paper, place a dot.  Now let’s suppose I can put a magnifying glass over this dot and when I do, the following pointers (which others may refer to as descriptors, words, etc.) appear: source, inner being, heart, soul, presence, God, Self, Life Force, Energy, essence, and the phrase “It is what it is.” I interpret this phrase to mean: “without judgment, without label, without criticism.” It just is.

Now, measure out from the dot, one-quarter inch and draw a circle at this one-quarter point around the dot. Along the line of this circle, write, in 8-point lettering, the pointers: ego, self-concept, comparative mind, problem/solution, good/bad, praise/blame, recognition/humiliation, pride/embarrassment, and winning/losing.

Now, draw another circle that is one-quarter away from the circle you just drew, and write the same pointers, this time in 10-point lettering.

Then, draw a third circle one-quarter inch from the circle you just completed, and write the same pointers, this time in 12-inch lettering.

So, we have a dot, encircled by three circles, one at the one-quarter inch mark, one at the half-inch mark and one at the three-quarter inch mark, each a quarter-inch away from the one inside it, each with the respective pointers in larger lettering.

Continue drawing circles at quarter-inch distances from the previous circle and continue to increase the lettering size of the pointers by two points with each successive circle until you reach the circle that has, perhaps, 72 point lettering.

The relationship between the dot and the circles

When I’m fully present in experiencing an event or circumstance, when I’m experiencing life from within my “dot” (my essence, my inner being, my heart, my soul, my true self) there is no “winning or losing;” only “is-ness,” that is to say, it is what it is. No judgment, no criticism, no humiliation, no fear, etc. There is only “presence” that allows for learning, which brings me right knowing, right thought, right action and right understanding which come from my inner essence. This is a place of honesty, sincerity and self-responsibility in relating to myself and to others, from a place of essence, authenticity and integrity.

Here, there is my wisdom mind, free of analyzing, comparing and contrasting, and intellectualizing – no ego, no fear or worry about the future, or resentment of, or resistance from, the past, no trying to “figure it out.” It just is; what’s so.


Now, in experiencing my life, in its every circumstance, the further I stray from my inner being and inner essence, from honesty, sincerity and responsibility, and move away, out from, my “dot,” that is, when I begin to separate from who I really am, that’s where my ego takes the reins and “problems” begin to form. And the further I separate from my integrity and my essence, the larger my ego grows and the larger my problems “grow” (hence, the increase in letter size).

The more I allow my mind and my ego-driven personality, and sabotaging self-concepts, and limiting beliefs and thoughts, to “grow” and pull me away from my essence, my honesty, integrity and responsibility, the greater I experience what others refer to as: loss, humiliation, anxiety, defeat, etc. which are all symptoms of ego identification.

The greater the distance with which I separate from my “I” and my essence, and allow my “little me” to take over my life, the more I feel loss, fear, resentment, and all those feelings and emotions that folks relate to “loss.” And the larger and more consuming the feelings and emotions seem to be, in taking up time, physical, emotional and psychic energy, and the more I deplete my reserves of joy, harmony, balance, peace, fulfillment and well-being.

In my coaching process with clients, I use this exercise with separate life areas: career and livelihood, intimacy and partnership, abundance and finances, health and wellness, personal environment and organization, spiritual and personal growth, relationships, friends and family and service to community.

Part of this journey involves guiding clients to take themselves through the experiences of their own lives and explore the nature of their relationship to their “dot.”  What’s getting in the way of their joy and well-being and how “large” or “small” do they view their problems and feelings of “losing.” And what effects does “losing” have on them. And, what or how, if anything, would they like to do, be or have to move in the direction of well-being, i.e., centeredness, on their “dot.”  Is it OK to be on the “edge.” out there, away from their “dot?” It’s their call.

This experience can often bring one to the desire for centering, helping one to see/understand/accept the importance of taking self-responsibility for their lives. Furthermore, this awareness can support movement into a proactive space of health and well-being and away from the blaming, victimization, martyrdom, and fault-finding behavior that is common in the “win-lose” scenario, out there, away from the “dot.”

Care to try it?

Some questions for self-reflection:

  • What word(s) do you use to define your dot?  How did you arrive at this (these) word(s)?
  • Where are you in the various life areas mentioned above?
  • What’s it like to be there? How so?
  • What are the forces that have been moving you towards your outer circle(s)? In doing this exercise, did you discover any forces that until now you were unaware of, i.e., blind spots?
  • When did you first become aware of the forces that took/take you away from your dot?
  • When did you first become aware of your dot?
  • Where are you in your dot or very close to it? How so?
  • As you sit and reflect on where you are in each life area, what thoughts, feelings, emotions and physiological sensations do you experience?
  • Are you OK where you are? Why or why not?

(c) 2014, Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. and True North Partnering. All rights in all media reserved.

I’m grateful for the opportunity to share this reading with you and I hope you find it insightful and useful.
Perhaps you’ll share this with others, post it on a bulletin board, and use it to generate rich and rewarding discussion.

What is the one thing that is keeping you from feeling successful, happy, confident, in control or at peace as you live your life – at work, at home, at play or in relationship? Maybe you know what that “thing” is…maybe you don’t. You just have a feeling that something has to change, whether or not you embrace that change. And how would that change support you to show up as a “better you?”

I’m available to guide you to create relationships that reflect honesty, integrity, authenticity, trust, and respect whether at work or outside of work. I support you to focus on the interpersonal skills that enable you to relate to others with a high level of personal and professional satisfaction – unhampered by personal inconsistencies, beliefs, “stories,” and behaviors that create barriers to a harmonious, pleasant, conscious, compatible, healthy and productive relationship.

I coach by phone, Skype and in person. For more information, 770-804-9125, or pvajda(at)
You can also follow me on Twitter: @petergvajda.