What has this beautiful photo of Worthing beach got to do with brand growth?

Vicky’s thought of the day

Life is like a beach. If we look too far ahead, we may trip on the pebbles and rocks that have moved with the daily tide.

Vicky Vaughan

CEO, The Brand Surgery

Professional Marketing Competency: Behaviours: Innovative and Responsible

Activity Category: Formal learning

Activity type: Online Course

Weblink: https://www.centreofexcellence.com/shop/transpersonal-psychology-diploma-course/

Date: May 2022

Time: 1 week

What I expected to learn:

I expected to learn an introduction to Transpersonal Psychology, which integrates psychology and the spiritual aspects of human existence. It is through reading Dr Joe Dispenza’s books that I became interested in this subject. This course excited me to the extent that I applied to start an MSc in Transpersonal psychology and have been accepted by Alef Trust.

I am drawn to wanting to understand and improve decision-making – especially related to AI learning and organisational board member decisions; good and bad. We can use the best marketing and strategy methods in the world, however, when it comes to decision-making, we are at the mercy of the human ego and historical experience. When I hear of bad decision-making, e.g. the Post Office Scandal, which ultimately resulted in death, it frustrates me beyond belief and I want to do something about it.

The most important things I learned:

Transpersonal (aka Spiritual) Psychology studies a collection of spiritual and human development movements. The definition of Transpersonal Psychology is: “Concerned with the study of humanity’s highest potential, and with the recognition, understanding, and realisation of unitive, spiritual, and transcendent states of consciousness” (Lajoie, Shapiro, 1992)

I was excited to combine Transpersonal Psychology tools with Executive Coaching tools as you will see below. Much of what I learned was insights into my behaviour and actions.  As a Chartered Marketer, I think some people think we have thick skins and amde of iron, however, you will learn  that I am not! I am excited that the new skills will unleash further potential.

  1. Beyond the Ego: Having previously studied Transactional Analysis and Psychology, there are many versions of the term ‘ego’. The ego, which gives us identity, prevents us from getting into dangerous situations and stops us from doing silly things, also stops us from reaching our full potential. Transpersonal psychology attempts to go beyond the ego and stop our egos from holding us back. One way of achieving this is through shadow work.
  2. Shadow Work: I have started studying my shadow and now write a journal. Historically, I avoided unpleasant experiences and sensations. I would bat them away and focus on something more positive. Since learning how to work with my shadow, I have had some exciting epiphanies by writing down sensations and feelings, then studying what is at the root cause. Three things that have always held me back are:
    (1) I am not comfortable with face-to-face conflict or being publicly challenged – my mind goes blank, and I cannot think of an answer, then always think of the answer afterward. I have felt envious of people who are articulate and calm in stressful situations. Part of the problem is I feel under pressure to answer quickly and fear being judged. I am working on this!
    (2) Fear of rejection and failure prevents me from scaling, making sales calls, and promoting myself in a way that appeals to the right people. I am overcoming this by embracing the discomfort that arises when I do this.
    (3) I have a challenging relationship with money. I feel uncomfortable putting my prices up, chasing money, and quoting though through fear of losing the client. I am embracing this by practicing Profit First (Michalowicz M, 2017) and recently switched to a Profit First accountant.
    (4) Whenever I get stuck writing or making a sales call, I experience feelings of hunger or thirst, and head to the kitchen to make a cuppa and food. I now know that am distracting myself from completing important tasks.
  3. Shadow Intelligence is as significant as Emotional Intelligence (Whitener, S, 2022). While studying for the L7 Executive Coaching and Mentoring qualification, I learned about Johari’s Window, which is a method of inviting clients to be open to receiving behavioural feedback. Johari’s Window and Shadow Work combined provide a powerful tool to help us go beyond the ego. When I experience an uneasy feeling, I write it down, which helps me to understand patterns. Transpersonal Therapy sessions take many formats, including regression and achieving altered states of consciousness, which will be practised in the MSc.
  4. Projection: Freud says if we experience strong feelings towards others, they are a mirror of our own flaws (Psychology Today).  At Brahma Kumaris, where I practice meditation, they asked us to write down three people we admire, along with their traits, and 3 people who have traits that upset us. Then shared the projection theory. It was disturbing! So if I walk out of a meeting, when someone has upset me, I look inwards and focus on why I feel upset. Understanding Projection and Shadow Work provide a powerful development tool.
  5. Altered states of consciousness: The MSc is a practical and theoretical course, and students will be practising techniques on each other to enter altered states of consciousness to unleash our potential. I am both excited and scared about this.
  6. Positive psychology: I’ve always appreciated Jung’s belief that we are here to discover our innate potential and fulfil it, and I already use a version of his archetypes in my branding practice. Maslow’s techniques research the positive qualities, rather than the negative. We know that Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs demonstrates that we cannot reach our full potnetial until the other elements are achieved, e.g. feeling safe. Maslow says that Transcendence is the highest level of human consciousness and we can achieve this to feel safe.
  7. The world is becoming more spiritual: Research indicates that: Modern Britain is “spiritual” but not religious (Anon, 2013). Even if people do not consider themselves as spiritual, some believe they have a soul. I believe now is the time to start injecting some spirituality into marketing practices and brands. My website is focused on the brand soul. Brands contain a network of souls, and together we can make brand magic, focusing on unleashing the best of people, rather than selling through provoking fear. My favourite part of marketing work is enabling clients to find their true purpose and vision, which requires a degree of spirituality. I do find that clients are not interested in this work until they recruit staff who are not buying into their business. It seems to be that people discover spirituality if they are overcoming a problem, which is my own experience. The only way to get non-spiritual people on board is for them to see enlightened people grow and prosper. Jung says that enlightened people are in their third birth.
  8. New experiences and sensations: Spiritual moments should be celebrated. I used to be scared of them of spiritual sensations. When I go swimming and walk on the beach, I normally experience a beautiful glow all over. The glow hasn’t surfaced for a while, so I know I need to practice meditation and reconnect with nature. Sometimes I see unrecognisable faces and images when I close my eyes, and previously this has scared me. However, now I am harnessing this skill and writing down what I see, and hope to develop this skill to make sense. I often see my designs in my mind before I start working on them.

What will I do differently?

  • Meditate and Reiki daily. To date, work always seems more important.
  • Embrace all feelings, including negative feelings of discomfort, especially stepping outside my comfort zone, instead of avoiding them.
  • When I get a positive spiritual sensation, stop working and nurture it.

Action and next steps

  1. Generate increased revenue or find a sponsor in order to pay for the MSc.
  2. Keep practising shadow work. Determined to overcome the three areas which are holding me back.
  3. Read the Transpersonal psychology books to get a head start on the MSc.


  • Brown, D. (2019). What is Projection and How to Tell if it’s Affecting Your Relationships. [online] The Good Men Project. Available at: https://goodmenproject.com/guy-talk/what-is-projection-and-how-to-tell-if-its-affecting-your-relationships/ [Accessed 26 Jan. 2023] 
  • Dispenza, D.J. (n.d.). Scientific Research. [online] Unlimited with Dr Joe Dispenza. Available at: https://drjoedispenza.com/pages/scientific-research. 
  • Lajoie Honolulu, D., Hawai’ and Shapiro Honolulu, S. (n.d.). DEFINITIONS OF TR ANS PERSONAL PSYCHOLOGY: THE FIRST TWENTY –THREE YEARS. [online] Available at: https://www.atpweb.org/jtparchive/trps-24-92-01-079.pdf.
  • Michalowicz, M. (2016). Profit first : a simple system to transform any business from a cash-eating monster to a money-making machine. Opladen: Budrich Inspirited.
  • Nomadrs (2022). Is The World Becoming More Spiritual? [online] www.prnewswire.com. Available at: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/is-the-world-becoming-more-spiritual-301458427.html.
  • Roskams, M. (2022). Religion, England and Wales – Office for National Statistics. [online] www.ons.gov.uk. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/religion/bulletins/religionenglandandwales/census2021.
  • the Guardian. (2022). Non-religious are hardline, easygoing or spiritual, says UK thinktank. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/sep/23/non-religious-are-either-hardline-easygoing-or-spiritual-says-uk-thinktank.
  • the Guardian. (2019). Hotel booking sites forced to end misleading sales tactics. [online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/06/hotel-booking-sites-forced-to-end-misleading-sales-tactics [Accessed 12 May. 2022].
  • Theos Think Tank. (n.d.). A blow to the New Atheism? Britain is losing its religion – and becoming. [online] Available at: https://www.theosthinktank.co.uk/in-the-news/2013/10/19/a-blow-to-the-new-atheism-britain-is-losing-its-religion-and-becoming-spiritual-instead [Accessed 11 Nov. 2022].
  • Whitener, S. (n.d.). Council Post: Keep Your Shadow Under Control By Freeing Your Inner Light. [online] Forbes. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2022/07/06/keep-your-shadow-under-control-by-freeing-your-inner-light/?sh=2ac54b8cc911 [Accessed 3 May. 2022].
  • www.mckinsey.com. (n.d.). More than work-life balance, focus on your energy | McKinsey & Company. [online] Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/the-organization-blog/more-than-work-life-balance-focus-on-your-energy [Accessed 11 May. 2022].
  • www.mckinsey.com. (n.d.). Author Talks: How spiritual health fosters human resilience | McKinsey. [online] Available at: https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-on-books/author-talks-how-spiritual-health-fosters-human-resilience [Accessed 26 Jan. 2023].
  • www.psychologytoday.com. (n.d.). Projection | Psychology Today United Kingdom. [online] Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/projection.