Jody Aberdeen, Author, Coach, Facilitator

Where Personal Growth Meets Personal Depth

There are two dilemmas that should bother every practicing coach out there today. They certainly bother me.

First, we help people to become “successful” in a sick, dysfunctional society that is actively destroying the natural world as we know it. 

How can we, as coaches, contribute to the healing?

Secondly, the vast majority of coaching philosophies, modalities, and creeds originate in a pre-2020 world that no longer exists.

The world is very different now.

We are very different now.

How can we coach effectively in the new reality? What practices and approaches still work? What practices and approaches are most needed now?

My style of mindset coaching aims to address these dilemmas in practice.

Roots and Branches Depth Coaching gets its inspiration from a rhetorical question posed by British mythologist Dr. Martin Shaw: might we trade some growth for depth?

This inquiry, and how I might apply it to coaching, led me to develop the Roots and Branches experimental mastermind. I facilitated two free groups in the winter and spring of 2022, and during that time, I was able to fully flesh out the distinctions that now make up the program.

In April 2022, a visit to a local environmental group’s permaculture walk made me see that that there were several major overlaps between the distinctions and activities I had created and the Permaculture Principles laid out by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. Far from being a mere farming method (which I thought was all it was), I saw that viewing personal growth through a permacultural lens was the missing piece I was looking for.

From there, my Depth Coaching principles felt like they were fully “baked”, and it was time to proceed with offerings.

The Unspoken Truth about Personal Fulfillment

By definition, personal fulfillment – the desired outcome of all personal growth – means “filling yourself up”. Being “full” means having everything you need.

Most goal-setting/goal-getting coaching programs – be they one-on-one or in a group mastermind – are designed to get those goals – and therefore yourself – “fulfilled”.

Only…it never seems to stop, does it?

There’s always some new goal to aspire to, something that needs fulfilling.

While there are some things in life that are like that – eating, bathing, money-making, exercising, etc. – it’s very easy to shift into a consumption mindset based on non-stop material acquisition, earning money far beyond what you truly need, all of which leading to an ongoing day-to-day feeling of “not enough”.

That’s how you get wealthy people who may have millions, but can’t stop working out of a fear that it’s “not enough” (all that money in the bank, but they feel poor).

It’s how you get people with so many eating disorders and bad injuries, despite themselves being some of the healthiest people you know, because no amount of “fitness” is “enough”.

It’s also how you get self-help junkies, moving from one course or coach to another to another, buying one self-help book after another, and still craving more, despite all of the “wisdom” and “techniques” that they’ve consumed along the way.

“Fulfillment” presupposes that a state of being “full” and “complete” is possible, but I’ve found that too many coaches ignore that the word “full” presupposes a limit, a point where growth and consumption stop, beyond which anything else that we achieve or “get” is a surplus.

Limitation, therefore, is an essential element of “fulfillment”, which means that it’s the limit that determines your growth.

Qualities and Benefits of a Depth-Based Approach

A depth approach, to my mind, has the following qualities to it:

  • A physical, non-mystical approach that begins with where you are and acceptance of truth and fact, regardless of our feelings and opinions about them.
  • A grounding in your immediate location and community and era.
  • An awareness of ancestry and history, as well as a mind towards multi-generational legacy in all we do.
  • A reintegration of awarenesses and practices in line with natural cycles such as the seasons and the ecological systems and species in your area. 
  • A marriage between your personal goals and dreams with the aim of contributing to your immediate community.
  • A cultivation of satisfaction, working within limitation, and wholeness and completeness.
  • Ending spiritual bypassing by being engaged with the challenges of the times.

As reported by participants in the experimental masterminds, benefits include:

  • Stronger mental and emotional resilience in these troubled times.
  • Hopping off the hedonic treadmill of neverending achievement for its own sake and being able to appreciate what you have here and now.
  • Ending procrastination on important goals by embracing a “hope free” context.
  • Relief from non-clinical anxieties and other states of cognitive and emotional stress.
  • Grounding and calm in the face of immediate, local, and global chaos and constant changes.
  • Thoughtfulness and a greater appreciation for your heritage, especially for those who believe they “have no culture”.
  • On the other side, a strong awareness of legacy and concern for the lives of people yet to be.
  • A sense of connection and belonging to the neighbourhood, town, and with in which you live.

The 12 Distinctions

  • What’s So: getting clear on the here and now reality that exists outside of feelings and opinions.
  • Ancestry: a non-mystical awareness of where your DNA has come from and how that history informs who you are now.
  • Shadow Work: derived from the works of Dr. Carl Jung, we look at those parts of your life that you’d rather not see, and connect the “personal” shadow with the “collective” shadow.
  • Place: we reconnect you to the physical place in which you live, encouraging you to observe and interact with your neighbourhood and its environment.
  • Hope-Free Context: we explore how beyond a certain point, “hope” can actually work against doing what’s needed to get to where you want to go.
  • Gestation: The Law of Attraction gets all the attention, but the Law of Gestation is visible everywhere.
  • Limitation: Since 2020, we’ve learned that we in the dominant Western culture are not so great at working with limits. How can we use limitation to our advantage?
  • Tension: The use of the social media and smart phone “spellglasses” have made us allergic to disagreement. We must practice bearing disagreement and mutually-exclusive ideas and beliefs so we can see each other as human once again.
  • Community: What does the neighbourhood, town, or city in which you live need most from you? How can you give it?
  • Wholeness: What if you, and your life, as they are right now, were enough?
  • Time: Recalling our ancestry work, we acknowledge the remarkable times in which we live and look ahead seven generations to the world that we want them to have.
  • Legacy: “You plan the vines; you don’t drink the wine” goes the saying. What legacy do you want to leave those who will be alive seven generations from now (approximately 2300 C.E.)?

Offerings (Special Debut Rates Until September 1st 2022)

  • A Pay-What-You-Can Zoom workshop that repeats once a month that provides a broad overview of the 12 Depth Coaching distinctions. (Minimum $10 per person or nothing at all).
  • Private Zoom mastermind groups of up to 5 participants which run for 12 weeks, meeting once weekly to help participants align their own goals within the Depth philosophy ($600 per 12 week cycle, or $50 per week per person).
  • One-on-one coaching, applying the Depth distinctions to your own unique life and experiences. ($800 per month, only 3 clients per month).

To inquire into these services, email

About Jody

I am an author, ghostwriter, podcaster, and recovering seminar junkie with experiences in modalities ranging from Landmark Worldwide and Proctor-Gallagher to Evolved NLP and Millionnaire Mind Intensive. I am a board certified NLP practitioner through Toronto-based Avalon Empowerment.

I hold a Combined Honours B.A. in History and English (Minor in Political Science) from McMaster University and was the former President and pledgemaster of the local chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

More than that, I have lived. I married my longtime high school sweetheart in 2007 and divorced in 2010. I have worked in a variety of industries from logistics and transportation and call centre concierge for American Express to bilingual government work and not-for-profit job training for youth with disabilities.

I dabbled once in TV commercial acting and earned two ACTRA credits by fluke. I also hold an orange belt in Shorinji-ryu karate.

I have travelled solo to the California coastline and on a week-long romp through Paris, France.

I rescued a dog and created my freelance ghostwriting career to help keep my promise to give her the best life. We’ve been inseparable since 2015.

I live in Dundas, a reluctant subsidiary of Hamilton, Ontario, since 1998.

You can learn more about me by following me on Instagram at jodyaberdeen.