Dr. Christine McDougall-Interview with the Positive Deviant Coach



1 Tell us something about Positive Deviants Network. What exactly are positive deviants?
Positive Deviants are those rare people who see the world differently. They don't see problems, they see the opportunity for solutions. They are creative, absent of ego, interested in service, have extreme morals and ethics, and truly walk to the beat of a different drum. They often feel isolated, misunderstood, or frustrated because few people 'speak their language' or 'get' their vision. I have a summary of their characteristics here. http://www.positive-deviant.com/positive-deviant-characteristics.html

Being a Positive deviant myself, I wanted to create a home for liked minded positive deviants to meet, share, break down the walls of isolation, and potentially collaborate on solutions for some of the world’s most wicked problems.


2 Why did you name your Blog Guinea Pig C?
Guinea Pig C was inspired by my life long teacher, R. Buckminster Fuller. Bucky created his own experiment, Guinea Pig B (for Bucky), to demonstrate that nature would provide for him if he committed his whole life to doing what was spontaneously arousable from within him for the good of the highest number of people. My blog is a much smaller experiment on how to live in integrity in a world that conspires to have you violate integrity. You can read more about my reasons for this here. http://christinemcdougall.com/wp/about/why-guinea-pig-c/

I wanted the blog to be a very intimate and frank expose of the trials I have at the emotional, spiritual and psychological level, as well as in the exterior world. Therefore I step into sharing my own vulnerability and humanity.


3 What do you mean by personal sustainability?
Personal sustainability is everything we need to keep ourselves sustainable and highly functioning, and always in integrity, so that we can share our best and unique gifts in a way that supports all of life. Given that every single human being has their unique voice, what is required to allow my sustainability is different than yours. For example, I need hard physical exercise, lots of outdoor time, 'float' time (contemplation without focus) and healthy vital food. Plus really rich heartfelt connections and deep dialogues. 

Another person may need more community time, more gentle exercise, practicing their art in different ways like painting daily. When we are disciplined around what it takes to maintain our personal sustainability our life is more vibrant, we show up in our full light, and we experience deep freedom.


4 Tell us about “The Constellation”.
The Constellation is a gathering of diverse and unique positive deviants who know that the most pressing wicked problems the world faces, or the requirement for major organisational change, cannot come from the genius of one. There must be a synergistic collaboration. This collaboration must lead by example, where how we work together as The Constellation is what we teach in others. We must live the model.  Therefore it is not a company, or a traditional partnership. It is designed around the medieval artisan guilds, like the stonemasons guilds that built the magnificent Cathedrals we still enjoy today, and the structure is one of Trust. The pathway is from apprentice to journeyman to master, and the cycle of course is then repeated.


5 What are your hobbies?
I am an ultra distance runner. This means I run marathons or marathons plus. I am particularly a fan of trail runs, meaning I spend time on trails and in forests. I have run 20 plus marathons and a dozen or so ultra marathons.  I am also a swimmer, having maintained my swimming practice for about 17 years, 3 times per week, about 3.8 kms per session. I swim all strokes, and find swimming really nourishes my quest for mastery, as swimming is such a technical sport. I love snowboarding, although given I live away from the beach, this is harder for me to do regularly. 

Snow boarding is where your feet are strapped into one board and you have to make it upright down a snow covered mountain. It is usually a sport of youth, or positive deviants.  The consistent theme is being outdoors, in nature, physically exerting myself and always working on some form of physical, mental and emotional mastery. My sport has been my spiritual practice. I get to experience myself in all my shades and colours, the easy days, the hard days, the "I want to quit' days, the, 'this is too hard' days. 

My other hobbies are adventure travel of any kind, and I know I am a very good baker. (Chocolate cake famous around the world).


6 Share your story in brief or some incidents which made you decide to become a coach.
My best friend, who is a Canadian living in Texas sent me information about this new profession of coaching in 1994. I had no idea what she was talking about, so I dismissed it. In 1997 I went to live in the US for love, and needed to make some income legally. My friend, Michele, advised me Coach University were inviting scholarships for international students. I applied and was accepted knowing nothing about what coaching was and simply trusting Michele. The big box of materials arrived, and step one was to hire my own coach. So I hired Michele. 

My first coaching session was where the lights went on. Oh..this is who I am...I have been doing this all my life. And from there it was full steam ahead. The relationship did not work, so I went home, and built my life around coaching. I was fortunate of the timing, the telecommunications industry had just opened up, and the internet was in its infancy. I was one of the first of 5 coaches in Australia (That I could identify), and in the beginning worked with anyone who had a pulse who could pay me. You could say the Universe conscripted me to coaching.


7 Tell us something about your e-book, "Speak the Truth-7 steps to radical truth with compassion
My ebook, "Speak the Truth ~ 7 Steps to radical truth with compassion" is about learning to heal relationships, take a stand for yourself, no longer play small, move beyond the anger, pain and frustration so common in relationship, uncover our own self deception and complicity and much more. It is an inner inquiry process designed to occur before you step into the critical conversation and is part of the bigger body of work called Dare to Care. In its most simple application, Speak the Truth creates a field of grace, allowing people to connect with heart and truth. It is an extremely powerful process.


8 Why have truth, authenticity and integrity become endangered species in our society?
Oh, this is the biggest and richest question. I am awaking every day to the value of my own work, which has always been built around integrity. For many years I did not give this work of mine the value that I now know it requires. As Buckminster Fuller said, Integrity is the essence...of everything that works. Why have we strayed so far for integrity and its components, authenticity, truth, courage, self awareness, etc? 

For multiple reasons...our marketing is about spin. We are entranced (by design put under a spell), literally, to buy and do things we do not want or need. Our politics is about lies and deception. We all know this is true, and yet we sit and watch this happen, hardly a murmur of complaint, until now. We step over our own self deception all the time. Our society is moving more and more into entitlement and blame. "I deserve" is endemic. Our systems and structures are designed specifically to be a win lose game, where a small group win and the majority lose. 

This of course is unsustainable, as is being evidenced by the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements, where people are finally speaking up and saying enough. At some level our systems and structures such as our economic system, political system, governance systems have been so well designed to keep the majority asleep at the wheel that it takes either 1. a massive differential between the haves and the have not's ..enough to incite a revolution or 2. enough people to wake up consciously and become aware of what is happening.

I suspect it is both of these that will cause the society breakdown and rebuild...a revolution by people who are tired of working themselves to the bone to support the wealthy to gain more wealth, and a critical mass of people to make the leap to a higher order of consciousness.

What I do know is that in its most simplest form, the practice of integrity at the personal, relational, systemic and collective level is one of the acupuncture points that will create a massive field effect in the direction of a better life for everyone. Many people are looking for the one big thing out there...when in fact the change for good comes from the one small (and hard to do) thing inside. Live, breath, act in conscious integrity. Which translates to ...we can no longer eat food, buy products, participate in work etc, without being consciously aware of all of the choices we make...where is the food coming from, at what cost in production, health for all involved (including the animals and land), ....we must be mindful of the whole chain of events that got this food to my plate. This is the type of integrity that is being asked of us. No less than everything.  Or...What are the components of my mobile phone? Where did they come from? At what price? 

I am of the personal belief that people are sick and tired of getting away with their own self deception and lies. They can't stand themselves for this. It is the path of low self esteem. They want to be held to their highest truth. But there are very few role models, and very little in reward, other than to sleep really well at night, to do this. The rich get richer by not practicing in integrity, by colluding with the corrupt systems. 

The world needs role models like Bucky Fuller to show them that not only can it be done, but you can survive and thrive if you do live life this way. This was why I started Guinea Pig C. To be, in my own small way, a role model. And to document the journey, the good and the bad.


9 Why do you call yourself a Firestarter?
I call myself a Firestarter and energy generator because I am great at getting people to start doing what they have held as a seed inside of them. I can be great at inspiring (in spiriting) people. I am also great at doing this in my own life. I am a 'right, let’s get to it' kind of a person. And a 'there must be a way to solve this" person. I am not so interested in talk. I like action. Movement...


10 Any future plans you would like to share.
Future plans...I continue to work on all of these projects, as they are all in their infancy at some level. I am ever more inspired to speak more on the world stage about integrity and the need for integrity. I want to burn the floor with people who are willing to stand up and say enough...and to take their power back from being under the spell. People who speak and act straight, no fancy webs of seduction, malicious manipulation. People who come from their own source enough to no longer need to be seduced by what they perceive as their own lack, be that love, acceptance, money, fame...

Therefore I ardently would like to grow my reach and readership, speak at more events, beat the drum in as big a way as possible, serve more leaders at a deep level... 
I tend to work more in the emergent moment than to have plans and goals. My daily prayer is to be used in service to the world in the best way that shares my gifts and resources with as many people as possible.

I would love to create a yearly gathering in a different location around the world, for a small committed group of people to come together for reconnection, reverence, rejuvenation, learning, community...sharing time together surrounded by beauty, great food..spiced with some adventure and deep dialogue.

And most of all to be an embodied example of living in deep daily gratitude, deep abiding reverence for life in all its guises, and to feel, at every moment, the abundance of universe
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Brief Profile
Christine is a Firestarter, Energy Generator and Chief Inspiration Officer at Christine McDougall

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