About Tess

Tess Daniel's Story

How the Brilliance Game Came to Be

I Invented the Brilliance Game® Because I Needed a Context for Living Out My Creative Potential

I first became aware that I had a “potential” when I was in the fourth grade and my teacher made a note on my report card that I wasn’t living up to mine.

I felt angry and ashamed when I read her note. Angry because my home life was unsupportive and school was unstimulating, so how was I supposed to live up to my potential? Ashamed because I knew in my heart that living up to my potential was my responsibility, regardless of any inadequacies in my parenting or schooling.

I Realized I Was Wasting My Potential

I was a gifted, defiant tween. I hated being called out for my underachievement, but it didn’t occur to me to do anything about it until I turned seventeen, and my inner Spirit shook me with the realization that my life was mine and no one else’s, and that it was high time for me to start applying myself.

And so I did. I finished high school with straight A’s my last semester and graduated early. Then I went on to earn a BA in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley.

I Struggled to Find a Profession that Was a Good Fit For Me

I had enjoyed being a teaching assistant and writing tutor at UC Berkeley, and received a lot of positive feedback from my students, so I thought that the teaching profession might be a good fit for me.

To test my hypothesis, I took a one-year teaching job at a private French school, where I taught English. I enjoyed this job, and was good at it, so I decided to pursue a teaching credential in English from San Francisco State University (SFSU).

While attending SFSU, I felt excited about being a public school teacher. But then, during my student teaching assignment, I ran into a serious snag: I was passionate about creating opportunities for students to explore their fascinations and pursue their creative interests — but (I was told very firmly) this isn’t what public school teachers do.

I Blended Psychology, Kinesiology & Coaching

It wasn’t long before it became clear that a profession within the field of psychology would be a better fit for me, so I set aside my teaching credential and pursued an MA in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University (JFKU).

When I enrolled at JFKU, I did so intending to become an expressive arts therapist. Then, during my last semester of coursework, I encountered two new professions that, when combined, felt like an even better fit for me: life coaching and energy kinesiology.

After learning everything I could about these two new professions, and falling in love with both of them, I decided to shift my master’s program from the therapy track to the teaching track, and to obtain professional certifications in life coaching and energy kinesiology.

Despite My Success, I Still Wasn’t On Track for Living Out My Creative Potential

For fourteen years, I excelled as a creative projects coach and block-clearing specialist.

But then my inner Spirit shook me again. This time with the realization that despite my academic achievements and gift for helping people live out their creative potential, I wasn’t on track for living out mine.

I felt angry and ashamed when I had this realization. Angry because the professional organization to which I belonged had such a narrow definition of coaching that three-quarters of who I am didn’t fit in. Ashamed because I knew in my heart that living out my creative potential was my responsibility, regardless of the International Coach Federation’s inadequate support of my needs.

I had a new problem that I didn’t know how to solve: I needed a context for living out my creative potential. A context in which I could be my true self and express all of my talents and capacities. But no such context existed in the world.

I Created a New Life Coaching System: the Brilliance Game

I turned inward.

For six months, I spent most of my time by myself, journaling, meditating, and taking long walks in nature. I didn’t take on any new clients. I didn’t set any goals. And I didn’t think much about tomorrow.

Until one day while journaling, I felt moved to ask my Spirit directly for guidance. That’s when the idea for the Brilliance Game® dropped in.

I immediately recognized the Brilliance Game as a new life coaching system that would provide me with the beautiful blend of support and freedom that I needed to live out my creative potential. And I began to play the Brilliance Game with gusto.

My Friends and Clients Asked to Play

I was having so much fun (and getting such great results through) journaling with my Spirit, creating Life Games, engaging in Free Play — and other Brilliance Game activities — that my friends and clients became intrigued and asked if they could play. This led me to create a comprehensive curriculum for the Brilliance Game that I’m now rolling out, one program at a time, beginning with the Dare to Be Brilliant! program.

If you have a strong drive to live out your creative potential, but feel frustrated by inadequate support, then the Brilliance Game is for you.

The World Needs Your Brilliance. Come Play with Us!

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