Shift-it Coach Newsletter
Volume10 | Issue 1 | February 7, 2014


I've hit a significant milestone with this issue ... my tenth year of publishing The SHIFT-IT eZine! Some of you sweeties have been reading this Zine for a full decade, bless your graphic hearts!

Whether you are a long time reader, or have recently found us, thank you for your interest and support!

My intention when starting this Zine was to do four things: hone my voice, further develop my 'it' and connect with folks who would be interested --- all while living on a beautiful island off the west coast of Canada. And, after a decade, I'm happy to report that all four are still going strong.

The first year I published early versions of what would eventually become my SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System®. Then I took what felt like a huge leap at the time, coming out with my interest in Law of Attraction and other meta-physical pursuits. All the while continuing to share useful info about a wide range of ways to shift groups and individuals, including deep dives about working visually.

It's been an exciting, stimulating, rewarding and challenging journey ... one that hopefully continues for decades more.

In this issue, I'd like to share some thoughts about very personal ways of using Interactive-Visuals --- with and/or for loved ones that are very touching, meaningful and even sacred. Very special and gratifying ways of supporting and honoring the paths of others.

Yours in SHIFTing IT,

Christina Merkley,
The SHIFT-IT Coach
and Interactive-Visuals Mentor



Steph Martini

Steph Martini
Certified Visual Coach

"As a real estate and business coach, I focus on the whole person; life coaching is a natural result. With a strong passion for expressive visual and kinesthetic communication, Visual Coach Certification (including its 2 pre-requisites) was a perfect pathway.

I love combining the myriad of SHIFT-IT tools into my practice and being empowered to spread Christina's vision while impacting lives at such a high level.

Her tools are fun, aesthetically pleasing and create powerful breakthroughs --- they literally "draw out" my client's beliefs, what serves them and what doesn't. Manifesting goals is just the beginning magic of what immersion in this work has created for my clients and I. Whether you are a Coach, Facilitator or Graphic Recorder these courses are well worth the investment in yourself."

Steph Martini
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A.
Real Estate & Business Coach (Keller Williams Realty East Valley)


7 Weeks Online: Feb. 1 - March 15, 2014
Video Webinars: Saturdays, 10-11:30 a.m. Pacific

Ready to SHIFT?! Only offered twice a year! My signature coaching system - gets you what you next want whether professionally and/or personally. Develop a clear vision, unravel your resistance ... and rapidly take aligned action. Practical real-world strategic planning coupled with leading-edge inner wisdom --- all in my innovative 'Visual Coaching' style. Join this supportive online course with other like-minded SHIFTers from across the globe, includes The SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit® with 17 visual maps.

Come as Late Joiner. 2nd Session is Tomorrow!
Full Details and Online Registration

* Note: Pre-requisite for Visual Coach Certification

* Repeater Option available for those who have taken this program before and want to refresh.

Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals (Online)
9 Weeks Online: Feb. 17-April 23
(Webinars, Mon & Wed, 12-1:00 p.m. Pacific)

This professional skills training (fully online) thoroughly covers custom studio work, visual recording, visual facilitation and visual coaching (the four main applications of working visually with groups and individuals) so you can add these powerful tools to your own process toolkit. This is the online version of my popular 3-day training (no travel required).

Act Now: Just 20 5 Spots Left!
Full Details and Online Registration

Note: also referred to as Graphic Recording, Graphic Facilitation, Meeting Graphics, Visual Meetings, etc. For an overview of Interactive-Visuals, click here for educational webinar.

Note: Pre-requisite for Visual Coach Certification

Repeater Option: available for those who have taken this program and want to refresh.

P.S. Dates of this offering won't work for you? Not an online person? A 3-day in-person version of this workshop is offered May 22-24, 2014 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (see details further in this email). Alternatively, you may book a Private Training customized for your unique needs at a date that works for you.

* Want More Info? Click Here for a complementary 90-Minute Educational Webinar, "Introduction to Interactive-Visuals".

Visual Coach Certification
10-Weeks Online: April 8 - June 10
(Tuesdays, noon-1:30 pacific, 10 webinars

Become a Certified Visual Coach®. For leading-edge coaches, counselors and therapists from around the globe. Add the power and innovation of Visual Coaching to your own practice. Includes advanced visual coaching techniques, use of my SHIFT-IT System® (17 visual maps) with your own clientele, instruction in the 'template-izing' of your own content into visual tools, plus marketing and biz development mentoring.

Full Details and Application Process

Visual Coach Certification

Don't Have Pre-Requisites? Last Chance to Get Them This Year!

Have Pre-Requisites? Apply for Certification by March 24th.

Two Pre-requisites: SHIFT-IT Online and Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals (or equivalent experience).

Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals (In-Person Version)
May 22-24, 2014 in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Fundamentals of Interactive-Visuals

Over 87% of your facilitation, coaching, training and consulting clients are visual thinkers - learn powerful visual skills to boost the effectiveness of how you work with them. This in-person, professional skills training thoroughly covers custom chart work, visual scribing, visual facilitation and visual coaching (the four main applications of working visually with groups and individuals) so you can add these powerful tools to your own consulting, facilitation, coaching and training offerings.

Reserve Your Seat: 20 12 Spots Left:
Full Details and Online Registration

Note: Pre-requisite for Visual Coach Certification

P.S. Dates of this offering won't work for you? Alternatively, you may book a Private Training customized for your unique needs at a date that works for you.

* Want More Info? Click Here for a complementary 90-Minute Educational Webinar, "Introduction to Interactive-Visuals".

Online and In-person Options

Christina Merkley has some availability in 2014 for customized Private Trainings and Apprenticeships and Biz/Life Coaching. Excellent if you desire a fast SHIFT or prefer tailored, premium attention.

Email [email protected] to book Exploratory Chat with Christina to discuss your goals and determine which package best for you.

Private Biz Coaching        Private Skills Training



To Listen Or Download Mp3 Version of This Article, Click Here

2014 was launched with a very special experience, the passing of my lovely Aunt Rose Mary, after a long illness ... just 5 days into the year. As such, I've been in a thoughtful state this past month, as my family and I come to terms with her passing, each in our own way. Part of my way is to write, share and pass along lessons learned.

I am a spiritual person and I had that in common with Rose Mary, having an opportunity to discuss our beliefs before she made her transition. Both of us are/were in the helping professions (she as a nurse with many varied experiences including maternity, emergency, hospice, psychiatric and group homes).

And I as a coach and business mentor, who increasingly works at very deep and personal levels ... discussing aging, legacy, death, and multi-dimensional experiences with my clientele (it puts the business coaching we do into its proper perspective).

SHIFT-IT Mini Retreat

One of my most cherished possessions is this Peanuts music box she gave me when I was around 7 (Lucy charging 5 cents for psychiatric advice, what a deal!). My Mom recently informed me that a colleague gave it to Rose Mary who in turn gave it to me.

I've always thought she saw into my soul things that would eventually play out in my life - that she foresaw the route that my life would take, even way back then. And I loved/love her deeply for seeing me so clearly and for being a supportive champion my whole life.

I had the opportunity to write Rose Mary's obituary and to further expand upon her life story by creating a "Memory Map" for her recent Celebration of Life gathering. In my working life, it's a privilege to map History Maps, especially Life Maps for individuals (it's a move in my SHIFT-IT Visual Coaching System). However, creating this Memory Map for my loved one upon the occasion of her passing, was a DEEPLY moving and precious experience. And the hardest map I have ever done (given the fear of making a mistake, and concern about how others, also in grief, would respond).

The Early Years
The Early Years

Continues Her Journey
Continues Her Journey
(their dogs with her)

Gathering Info:
The first step in creating the Memory Map was to gather the general info of Rose Mary's life. Significant dates (birth, school, nursing graduation, marriage, children's birth dates, moves, jobs, travel, etc).

The second step was to contact family, friends and colleagues and ask for memories they would like to share (indicating how they will be used --- i.e. they will be compiled onto a mural that will be used at the Celebration of Life). People won't necessarily understand what that means, but they share in good faith anyways.

Lay Out and Color:
The third step was to determine the size and layout of the mural. In this case, I decided on a simple journey/landscape motif, working left to right (and creating separate bands for memories (top area in blue), milestones and travel (middle area in purple) and work and geographical moves (lower area in brown). The size was determined by the size of my Neuland Graphic Wall (15 feet), which would house the mural at the Ceremony. For color, I opted for mostly cheery, bright and uplifting colors, as despite Rose Mary's health challenges, she lived a full life with rich experiences (and I wanted the color tone to connote that and to help uplift people viewing it).

In Appreciation of Rose Mary

Projection of Key Imagery:
One of the most difficult things to do in Interactive-Visuals work (whether its studio or live creation) is to draw something that others know well. When I encounter things like that, I usually research actual photographs and if it's a studio project (like this mural) I'll project the photos (with an old fashioned overhead transparency projector) rather than doing everything totally free hand. My uncle Mike, Rosemary's husband, is a talented photographer so I had the advantage of great pics from their travels together.

Take Your Time:
When I create a mural of any sort, it's not something I usually do super quickly (as my creative process takes time, it's a sort of slow dance). This mural took an especially long time. If you are the person creating a Memory Mural for a loved one, be prepared for it to take much longer than any of your usual work. Like any map, I have a different relationship to the initial content after I have spent days creating a visual depiction of it. In this case, I had an enhanced relationship to my adored Aunt and her life by having the honour of creating her mural. It's a deep, delicious, touching, sometimes sad integrative process. Be gentle with yourself and take your time - you are working on multiple levels of body, mind and spirit. And viewers of your map will be processing on multiple levels too.

Involve Others:
A Memory Map used in the context of a Celebration of Life is a family affair. I'm sure circumstances vary just as families do - however its my thought that its important to involve others in the creation of the mural to aid in their own integration process too (and not have all the pressure on you to make decisions). And to discuss ahead of time how the mural will be used onsite. Murals can be discreetly off to the side, or, in our case, used front and center ... as a backdrop to the main eulogy and to public story telling.

We also opted to interactively involve those present, by including little 'people cutouts' that folks could use to write their name on, and place on the timeline where they first met her. The range in our family varied from a Great Aunt in her 90s (from the generation of Rose Mary's parents) to a caring palliative care worker who met her in her last months.

In closing, I would like to express my thanks and love to our beloved Rose Mary for the supportive role she played throughout my life and for the profound experience she brought to me, through the creation and sharing of her Memory Map. This experience has touched me on a deep level that is part of the current SHIFT I am going through ... as I enter the back nine of my life. For me, this kind of sacred application of visual skills epitomizes the depth and juicy range of Interactive-Visuals work. And I know I now have another powerful Guardian Angel on my side to assist me on my unfolding journey.

A quet gentle woman...

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©2014 Christina L. Merkley

You can, as long as you include this blurb and a functional link to my site:

Author's Bio: Christina Merkley, "The SHIFT-IT Coach" and creator of the SHIFT-IT System®, is a Visioning and Strategic Planning Expert specializing in Visual Thinking and Inner Alignment techniques. Based in charming Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, she works deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what they truly want. And, trains other process professionals in her innovative ways of working. For more information visit: and


pursuing In the scheme of things, life is short. It's a shame not to live it in alignment with who you truly are. We have successfully SHIFTed to a life of authenticity, creativity and abundance that is aligned with who we truly are.

Let us assist you in doing the same via private mentorship. We specialize in individuals who need to get their 'special it' into the world (entrepreneurs, biz owners, team leaders, teachers, consultants, facilitators, trainers, coaches, therapists, visual practitioners, etc.).

We coach you to build/enhance your internal or external practice or small business (including identity/brand, biz basics, creation of effective offerings, necessary systems (tech and socio) and marketing & sales). As well as having a satisfying personal life of supportive family, friends and community. Stop splitting your energy - create a congruent life that truly works for you!

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Are you a process professional with a creative bend? Are you intrigued with the visual way we work with our clients? We've trained hundreds of facilitators, consultants, trainers and now coaches, counselors, social workers, etc from around the globe. Learn fundamental visual skills that you can use in your own work with groups and individuals. Come join the visual tribe!

Training Options



Christina Merkley
The SHIFT-IT Coach &
Interactive-Visuals Mentor

SHIFT-IT Coach, Inc. is a boutique training and coaching company specializing in visual process work for groups and individuals. Founded by Christina Merkley, pioneering Visual Facilitator and Coach, we work deeply with individuals, partners and conscious businesses to define and manifest what you really want. We also train Process Professionals from across the globe in our innovative ways of working. For more information visit and

Full Bio


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Visuals to Honour A Loved One's Passing

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Looking for more rich, SHIFT-IT content? Check out my blog for recent ramblings, resources and general interest features:

How to Conduct a Mini Personal Planning Retreat Over the Holidays

Neuroscience and
Working Visually

How Organizational Leaders, Consultants and Facilitators Can Use Interactive-Visuals

How Content & Process Professionals Can Use Interactive-Visuals

The Merits of In-Person vs. Virtual

Click here to read the SHIFT-IT Coach blog.


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Listen to the ezine here.


The SHIFT-IT Home Retreat Kit®

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