June 7

Ep. 21 – AVARA Model – 5 Steps to Feeling Better Emotionally

Lots stress, frustration or doubt lately? Discover a 5-step process to break you free of limiting MindStories, so that you can feel better emotionally.

A MindStory is what you tell yourself about life at the subconscious level. These are stories from the past, present and future.  Some of these MindStories are empowering and supportive of your life, while others are disempowering.

Our brain structures the rules by which we live our lives — in STORY FORM. To change them you need to re-write a new story from the ashes of the old one.


Topics Covered:


05:10 – Why you need to break down a limiting MindStory in order to re-write a new one

07:15 – An example of how to use the model to break free of procrastination

15:48 – Why you need specific, small ACTION steps to create a better MindStory





Explore Private Coaching. Apply for a FREE demo session to see if a coaching series is right for you. Hundreds of past participants have broken free of core limitations to finally create the life they truly want. http://form.jotform.us/form/41656145645155



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Below is a machine-generated transcript and therefore the transcript may contain errors.

In this episode, I want to introduce you to the AVARA model, a five-step process to feeling better emotionally right away. It’s based on the idea that a lot of what brings us down are what’s called “Bad Mind Stories”, so by turning those around to “Good Mind Stories” you can feel profoundly better. We’re often looking for our external world to change to feel better, like the economy, our personal finances, health, relationships, or the political situation. And when it doesn’t, we can feel helpless and frustrated. But what if the answer was within. Of course, we’ve all heard that… true change comes from within. But do you ever notice that’s so vague? What does that really mean and how can you take practical steps to do that? Well, here’s one way. See if it works for you. Hi, I’m Carla Rieger, and this is the Golden Age Timeline Podcast.

Now if you want to get a free copy of the fill-in-the-blanks AVARA model, so you have it on paper, it’s in the book, MindStory Inner Coach. Right now you can get the book and 2 audios that go with the book all for free. Just go to MindStoryAcademy.com backslash book-free or see the link in the shownotes. That’s MindStoryAcademy.com backslash book-free. The AVARA Model is a process that’s been honed on over 9000 coaching clients over 23 years through the MindStory Coaching Academy. It can help you break free of anything, anytime, anywhere, very quickly.

So, it’s one of our flagship models that we created and it helps you transform a limiting mindstory into a positive one. A MindStory is what you tell yourself about life, and it’s usually at the subconscious level, like below your awareness. And there are stories from the past, present and even imagining about how your future’s going to go. And of course some of these Mind Stories are empowering and supportive of the life you want, which I believe is the life you’re meant to live, while others are disempowering and sabotage your life.

So I’ll give you an example. I once coached two sisters. I worked with them both for about five years when they were in their forties and they had, you know, a similar upbringing. They even looked similar, but Kate had a hard time keeping a job. Whereas Andrea had her own successful company. Kate had a loving and supportive husband, but Andrea’s husband cheated on her several times. Kate was overweight with a bad back. Andrea was thin, physically fit. Kate was generally happy. Andrea was generally unhappy. Kate spent a lot of time doing creative projects. Andrea felt like she always had to be doing obligatory work things and didn’t have much fun in her life. So what was the difference? Well, they had totally different mind stories and Mind stories include many areas of life such as how worthy you are of things, what you can or cannot accomplish, how people should relate to you, how happy you can be, how healthy your body can be, how supported you are by life, like how lucky or fortunate you are or how unlucky or unfortunate you are.

That kind of thing. How much money you can make and so much more. So it’s different for different people. But in both the case of Kate and Andrea, we were able to change the story and their expectations of themselves in life and therefore it changed on the outside. So transforming those stories changes your life for the better in the quickest and most profound way you could ever imagine. Now, most people don’t bother to learn this massively useful skill and I think live a life of quiet desperation because of that. And it’s really such a shame when there’s so many tools out there now like, like the SAVARA model and going to teach you today to break free and rewrite your own life story. Basically. Now, according to neuroscience and positive psychology, we remember bad experiences far more than positive ones, but the truth is for every bad thing in your life, every challenging thing, chances are like a thousand things are going well if you really think about it.

And we just forget that like the primitive brain imprints negative memories to ensure your survival. For example, if you burn your hand, the subconscious mind will imprint that into your longterm memory. Make it easy to retrieve so you won’t do it again. But it won’t imprint the beautiful sunset because that’s not important for your survival. Now the downside is that all those bad experiences are at the forefront of your memory banks. For those of you old enough to remember there are these contacts you could have in your Rolodex and some are at the front and some are in the middle of summer at the back and that is a bit how your mind stores memories and so most people actually store the most negative memories of their life at the front of the Rolodex so they’re very easy to retrieve. The downside is that those memories influenced decisions moving forward.

For example, I had this client and she has as one of her forefront memories feeling humiliated in school by her teacher who showed her failing grade on a math test to the whole class as sort of an example not to end up like her. Why a teacher would do that, I don’t know, but that’s how she remembers it anyways. Now this made her avoid all classes where possible. That involved math after that. And she spent years exploring careers actually that weren’t right for her because she was really had a natural aptitude for math. But then when she learned to change her mind story on the math, move that memory to the back and bring a forward memories where she obviously was smart and could figure out lots of things when it came to math.

And so now she is the chief financial officer of a startup health tech company that’s just received a huge round of funding and she loves it. So the brain actually structures the programs in our subconscious mind in ‘story form’ so to change them, you need to understand the limiting story and then rewrite the more empowering one. You do that by breaking both down into their component parts. For example, to use the metaphor of a writer writing a novel, they must get clear on characters, scripts, emotions, setting, plot, theme, conflict to create a compelling story. And so that’s what you kinda need to do to actually change core ways of operating in the world. If you’d find there leading to a life you don’t want. Now, most people need to be more professional at running their own mind. Like you’re expected to be professional that say, running a business and not treat it like a hobby.

Yet the vast majority of people, they’re like amateurs at running their own minds, and I think they pay a big price without even realizing it. So that’s become our life’s mission at MindStory Academy to create a teachable system so that you can do it too. And in our experience of coaching people for decades now, up to 90% of what made the biggest difference were these mindset tools that we gave people. Because the truth is you can have all the strategies in the world for business success, but if your mind is full of doubt, confusion about how to make a decision or fear of success or fear of failure, you’re just not going to implement those strategies. We just saw it over and over again with people who could have been super successful and chose to let those subconscious programs get in the way. Now the AVARA model came out of combining all the coaching tools that I used with my partner, Dave O’Connor and all the tools he’d used for years.

And I brought a kind of feminine style to it and he brought a more masculine style to it and we found what we combine them, they were even more powerful. So you can use it if you’re confused about how to make a decision. If you’re doubting, you can achieve an important goal if you’re feeling overwhelmed, if you have any kind of fear or anxiety going on around growing your business or actually any area of life. But let me give you an example of how it looks it. There’s basically five steps and within the five steps are the five parts of the, of our model. So in step a is you just write down an issue. So what’s a problem in your life? You just described the situation with no editing. It’s just for your eyes only because sometimes, you know, you said this niggling feeling that something’s off, but you don’t really know what it is until you get it down on paper.

So I’ll give an example of a client that I worked with who wrote this down as her issue. I said I wanted to write my book this summer and the summer is already half over and I haven’t even started. I seem to find everything else to do except writing. Each time I sit down to get started, I feel totally blocked. I feel so lazy and distracted. I beating myself up every day. So that step a step B is separating the issue from the facts, which means you want to separate facts from your interpretation. So no adjectives or adverbs or descriptive phrases, just the issue without your feelings or thoughts about it. So in this case, the fact is that she’s not keeping to her agreement about writing her book this summer. Now step C is where you go through the five steps of the AVARA model from a limiting MindStory perspective, and you’re going to break it down into its component parts and then we’ll transform it in step D into the empowering story.

So the way you want to do the a and AVARA is called acceptance. So what are the limiting feelings, thoughts and meaning you are giving to the situation. So you’d express it like this. I am. And then insert the negative feeling because and then insert the situation and then I’m making this situation mean and that’s where you put in your interpretation. So here’s an example. I’m feeling stuck because I’m not sticking to my agreement with myself about writing the book this summer. I making this mean that I’m lazy and incapable of sticking to agreements with myself. So she wasn’t totally conscious of that going on. She just had this yucky feeling basically about how her summer was going. So then the second part of the AVARA model is vision. That’s the V. so what is your possible future a year from now if you live from this limiting mind story?

So she said, I still will have no book and I’ll feel like I’m never going to fulfill this dream and I’ll probably feel like a failure. So that’s kind of a, to give you a wake up call of how staying in a limited mind story can lead you to a future you don’t want. But you have to accept it first and look at it in detail in order to transform it. It’s the fuel for change. So it’s not bad that you have a limiting mind story. It’s like the raw gasoline you put in your car and then it has to go through this whole combustion process to drive the car. Right? So that’s what we’re doing here. Now the second a in AVARA is action. What action or inaction is taking place because of this limiting mind story while she says I’m procrastinating on getting started with my book, then the R in AVARA is called reprogram.

This is a recent event or experience that triggered this issue. And so it’s good to use present tense here as if you were there in the moment. So she says, I’m sitting at my desk and someone sends me a funny YouTube video to watch two hours later, I’m still looking at cute baby elephant videos. Okay, so the final and AVARA is a tension and this is the predominant self-talk that’s accompanying the mind story. This is all really important for creating the new or empowering Mind story. So she said, while my self talk is I don’t have any discipline, I must be afraid of hard work or maybe I’m afraid of success or failure. I’m just one of those people who says though, write a book and never does it. Now we go over to step D, which is the empowering version of this Mind story.

So now that you’ve broken your mind story down into its component, parts will transform it into this empowering story. So we go back to acceptance. What are more empowering feelings, thoughts and meanings you can give to this situation and you want to express it like this. I have chosen to be plus a positive feeling because, and a positive reason for that and a new meaning I could give the situation is in her case she said, I have chosen to feel confident that I can stick to my agreements about writing the book. Now why you say I’ve chosen to feel or I’ve chosen to beat, you’re not there yet, but it reminds you that you do have choice over your thoughts and feelings. And sometimes we forget that we feel like a victim to them. So you’re creating a new possibility is almost like your hacking out a new trail in the forest that you could go through and this is like ready a new neural pathway in your mind that if you focus more attention on it would grow and become the default way of operating.

So that’s a bit of the mechanics behind it. And then she writes a better meaning I could give this situation is that I just need some structure. A better meaning I could give this situation is that I just need to problem solve a little bit more in order to help myself get going. Like break the project down into small sections, have an editor to work with. So vision on the empowering side, what is your possible future a year from now if you live from this more empowering Mind story. So she says, I’ve completed by book is out in the world and it’s a best seller. Why not? Hey shoot for the stars. I’m getting great reviews. It’s building my business in wonderful ways. I feel so proud of myself is making a big a difference for people. Then action is the third part of the of our model.

What actions could you take to solve this situation from a more empowering mind story? So anything goes, so no editing, so you know you’d list like seven things if you can. You don’t have to do them all. But then later on I’ll ask you to choose one to three. So she said, well look at hiring an editor, do a flip chart process where I put all my book ideas up on the flip chart and then organize them in terms of a theme. Join a writer’s group, set a date for my book launch book a venue and vital bunch of people. So I just have to get it done in time. So she went on and on like that. Any idea goes. Then the fourth part of the AVARA process is reprogram. What is a similar event or experience that might happen in the near future where it’s playing out in a more empowering way.

Again, use present tense as if you are there now. So in the limiting version, she was talking about sitting at her desk and watching baby elephant YouTube videos for hours. So instead she says, as soon as I sit down at my desk, I turn off all programs and notifications and I start writing immediately. I feel so inspired and on purpose. And then attention is what might be your new self-talk from this more empowering perspective. And the way to do this is because you’re going to be training yourself in new self-talk. Some days if you make an affirmation that’s just, I feel empowered and focused to write my book, it’s hard for your brain to accept it. But if you do what’s called a progressive affirmation, then your brain can accept it more because you could be so incrementally small in those steps moving forward, it would still be true.

So she says ‘every day in every way, I’m increasingly staying focused on finishing my book this summer.’ So then the final step, includes choosing specific next actions and that’s where you’d write one to three actions you could take. Now to ensure this new empowering mindstory gets roots and creates positive results in your life…. action is very important. Action actually really helps write the neuropathway in your mind more potently. It helps build the new MindStory, so that it becomes a default habit in your life.

And it’s important to give the action items a date and delegate where possible. Most importantly, break down big goals into small steps so it feels easier to get started on. Getting started is the hardest part. Small steps over time equals long term success.

So she took two of the ideas she brainstormed on and broke each down to small steps. So one of them was about getting an editor to work off, so she broke it down to a really small step like – call my sister in law who knows a good editor.

Right? So that’s one small specific thing that’s easy to take action on, like, today or tomorrow, because it only takes a couple of minutes. If it’s like a big vague thing, like get an editor, sometimes it just feels a bit overwhelming to people. It’s like, Oh, where would I start? I think I’ll just scroll Twitter instead.

And the second one was — join a writing group — and she broke that down again into something really specific, which was to email her friend who’s in a writing group and see if she can join. As it turned out, she did everything on her list because she now had the motivation to do it. And in fact, the thing that made the biggest difference was she did book a venue for her book launch, which was five months ahead, so she was going to lose her deposit if she didn’t have the book ready on time. So she had to completely reverse engineer when everything had to be done by and because she had a schedule, she did it, so her brain could relax and knew how to solve the issue and a new way of being was born when it came to writing a book.

Then she was living from this empowering mind story, and was no longer living from the limiting MindStory where you literally cannot see solutions. Now, no matter what obstacles, she had the will and persistence to find the solutions. So try it for yourself and see how it works out. And if you have any questions, let me know.

As a reminder, you’ll find a fill-in-the-blanks version of the 5-Step AVARA model in our book, MindStory Inner Coach. Right now you can get the book and 2 audios that go with the book for free. Just go to MindStoryAcademy.com backslash book-free or see the link in the shownotes.

And the concept of a MindStory at the collective level is featured in the award winning adventure fantasy novel, Helio Tropez, in case you like to learn about MindStories through reading a story, you can also find that on the SHOP tab at MindStoryAcademy.com.

So that’s it for today…do ‘like’ ‘share’ and ‘subscribe’ if you haven’t already done so.

I hope that was helpful. Until next time, thanks for listening.


anxiety, fear, freedom from mind control, frustration, How to feel better, overwhelm, podcast, self-coaching tools, success tips, worry

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