On Being Virtual — questions and ideas for expanding our reach
In This Moment
We’re getting closer to the launch of our new book, The. Best. Relationship. Ever. You can pre-order it at Amazon!
This week, I’m thinking about our immediate future, and shifting from a lot of one hour counselling / Bodywork sessions, to a focus on our residentials, training events, and online teaching through things like our Zen Life-Flexibility Program.
On Being Virtual — how we might proceed from here — the emergence of a new website paradigm.
A few weeks back, I wrote a post about our plans for 2013. They included our trip to Costa Rica, (we leave on April 1) and our return to Ontario. After June 1, it’s all up for grabs.
As you know, Darbella retired in 2011. I’ve been "doing my thing" since 1981, and have been online since May 1997. That’s ancient in web years.
I’ve developed the phoenixcentre website to give information to prospective clients (face-to-face and online) and to teach basic Bodywork.
The Phoenix Centre Press site is an information and sales channel for my books and our courses.
The Simple Zen Guy site sells and manages our membership program, Zen Life-Flexibility Program.
Lately, that program has been getting more attention (and members!), which leads me to do two things:
- to ask you all about what you’d like to see in online courses, and
- to mention a course that Darbella has written about, Chi Fusion.
Letters, we get letters
We’re pretty heavily indexed in Google. The image is a search for "blocked 2nd chakra," and we’re # 4 in organic search (this is really good, btw!)
Our areas of heaviest search are Zen, getting your life (or act) together, and Bodywork / Chakra searches. This, in turn, leads, on average, to several e-mails a month, asking for help or additional information.
The "problem" with the web
People, me included, expect most info on the web to be free. There’s a line of resistance to paying for stuff. This is one of the reasons I’m shifting my books over to only being available through online book stores, as opposed to through our "Press" site… I’ll still have pdf bundles available, but in general, we’re not in the printing business any more.
About Chi Fusion
A few years back, Darbella signed up for the "teacher training" part of the Chi Fusion training, to add another style of Qi Gong to her repertoire.
Chi Fusion is the brain child of Al Simon. He’s been on-line with his course since 2003. He was also kind enough to mention our Zen Life-Flexibility Program in his 10 year anniversary video – he really did a great job describing the program. xx people signed up as a result. Al has learned to successfully market on-line courses… he’s an inspiration for me!
So, two things
If you either like or are interested in learning about Qi Gong, Al’s basic course, Chi Fusion, is excellent. Here’s what Dar has to say about it.
One of the last places I expected to find an avenue for learning Qigong was online, but I am pleased that one day while researching Qigong on line I found an ad for an online program. The program I discovered was created by Al Simon and is called Chifusion Tai Chi and Qigong online lessons. At first I was skeptical about this training, but now I have nothing but praise for this type of learning.
One of the obvious advantages is that learning can take place at your own pace.Â However, what makes this program unique is the emphasis on tailoring the program to your own body and energy system. There is an excellent example of this type of learning in the free trial version of the program. Using a simple exercise, you are taught to experience the learning in your body. Many programs that I found previously have presented Qigong exercises in DVD format, and the learner simply does their best to follow the moves.
Al Simon likes to call this kind of learning â€œmonkey see, monkey do.â€
In a recent blog, Al presented the acronym, â€œECRAA.â€Â ECRAA means â€œexperiment, check results, and adjust accordingly.â€Â This is how the learning curve is presented in the Chifusion Online Tai Chi and Qigong program. You learn and practise movements, and then learn to work with your own body to make the moves work for you.Â Learning is customized specifically for you — whatever your learning style.
Often a Qigong practice comes with many rules for practice. An example might be determining the best time to complete your practice.Â I have read some very specific guidelines about when you should do your practice.Â When Al Simon is asked a similar question, he suggests that you try practicing at one time of the day. After a few days, try a different time and monitor your body for which one works best for you. If we pay attention to our bodies, we discover that we already know the best answer for ourselves and it may not look exactly like everyone else. This is true for all learning in the Chifusion program.
A Qigong practice can be done anywhere, and requires no special outfit or gear. In the Chifusion Program, practice sessions are generally about 15 minutes long, with a longer learning session once a week.Â All the information is available to you once you sign up for the course. I have found it well organized, clearly presented and easy to follow.
I highly recommend you check out the free introductory program. Iâ€™m sure glad I did!
Thing two, which is also thing one from the first list …
Any "I want’s" that we could develop into online courses?
Back at the turn of the century, I created a CD-R teaching tool on Bodywork. It’s still selling a bit, but the CD-R approach is outdated. I’m considering a Bodywork and Breathwork online "course."
I’m also considering teaching Bodywork in live workshops geared toward counsellors, just because nothing like what I do is available as, say, a 300 hour training.
Where’s he going with this?
Well, back to those e-mails. One woman recently wrote about having a quite tight and twisted body (at age 26!) I’ve been back and forth with her by e-mail, and she’s considering coming to Costa Rica while we’re down there, for some hands on work.
I sent her links to some of our free videos, and then kept thinking of other videos that might help her, but were either "not edited that way," or not filmed at all.
I’d love to figure out a format for Bodywork videos that you might find helpful, AND that I could set up to sell access to.
If you look at the page, these are the 8 topics from the Zen Life-Flexibility Program, shifted into topic groups. Rather than get 56 videos (7 different topics each day for 8 weeks,) this lets you pick and choose a "set."
Does this model work for you, regarding Bodywork?
For example, a "headache" section, a pelvic release section, and Chakra work section?
Others? How about videos addressing counselling topics?
We’re hoping to be able to set up a "side business" that could kind of run itself while we travel.
Anyway, this is what we are thinking right now, and I’d love it if you took a moment and emailed me with comments and questions. Or just click through to the blog site and either leave a comment or use the contact form there.
Back to more "normal" articles next week!