Inquiry – The Path to Connection

Hi, Olivia here.
 
I had an interaction with an alternative healing practitioner the other day that I wanted to share with our readers. After my appointment it took me a little while to realize what had even transpired. The transformation of my experience of her and of the situation so beautifully illustrates how inquiry breaks down barriers between people and creates a path to connection.
 
When I walked into the room it was straight down to business. This was my first appointment trying a new healing modality and there was no introduction. No explanation of the process, of her background, or what I should expect. Nothing. She barely looked me in the eye before she started working. There was no attempt to welcome me or try to make me feel comfortable. No reassurance whatsoever. I found myself judging, “This person could use an upgrade in their bedside manner”.
 
At first, I was a little upset. I wondered if most people simply sit down and shut up and wait to be fixed, not caring about how or why this process worked. Not me. Being the type of person who loves learning and understanding how things worked I naturally started asking questions. I asked about the machine she was using, how it worked, the research and development behind it, where it originated, and where it was popular. I asked how she came to this line of work and what her motivations were for pursuing this career. I asked about her successes as a healer. I asked about the artwork on her wall. I asked about her property that she lived on. I asked about what mattress she slept on. I asked what religion she was. I just kept asking and asking. Purely out of curiosity and a desire to get the most out of my session and to connect with her.
 
We had gotten off to a rocky start but then something miraculous happened. Over the course of the two hours that we were together, in the midst of my incessant questioning, she softened. She began to smile more easily and even laugh. There was a moment where she looked at me, perhaps truly seeing me for the first time since I walked into her office, and took me in. She then began to ask me about my life and my background.
 
By the end of the session she was giving me tips on how to start my own business doing what she does. She even hinted that she had been looking for an apprentice. The amazing thing is that it was only upon reflection of the drastic change that I realized it was all thanks to inquiry. It’s become such a part of my life in such a short time that I don’t always attribute the miracles to it right away.
 
I cannot tell you how much inquiry has totally changed my closest relationships. My family and friends seem more relaxed around me. If I had to guess, I’d say they feel more safe. More loved, more heard, and less judged. However, this was the first time that I experienced how inquiry could change my interactions with strangers.
 
I used to play a game that Dr. Wayne Dyer said he played all the time. He would try to make everyone that he met smile and feel better than before they interacted. Honestly, it was a noble idea but I wasn’t always very successful. Something tells me that with inquiry as my new secret weapon this game of brightening the day of those I come into contact with will be MUCH easier.

Reflections from the Mountain Experience

Hi, Olivia here.

Inquiry Method hosted a Mountain Experience this past weekend in Rye, New York. This was not my first experience with Kyle as a teacher but it was my first Mountain.

I have been actively making personal development a part of my life for a long time. I’ve read books, listened to talks, watched movies and attended workshops and seminars on topics ranging from psychology to self-help, to spirituality. They all speak of the process of undoing – of cleaning up the filter through which we view the world by letting go of our emotional pain. The problem is that hardly anyone gives you a process by which to achieve this outcome.

What I witnessed at the Mountain Experience is that Kyle gives you a road map to cleaning and clearing emotional pain. I once heard Kyle describe his role as a teacher as being a guide. He said that he too has had to walk through his own pain, every single little piece of it, and it hasn’t been easy. He conjectured that this might have been his path so that he could map the way for others. Kyle said that he was a man with a torch leading people through the darkness and toward the light.

Attending the Mountain Experience this weekend it was clear to me that Kyle has an answer to the often unanswered question, “how do I get rid of my pain?” He showed me and all of the attendants that it is possible to release our sadness, anger, guilt, and shame. This is the first and perhaps most important step of living the life we want and I am profoundly grateful for how this process has begun to heal my self-image and my relationships. I am more confident, curious, and able to put beautiful attention on those I love.

Here are a few other reflections from participants in the weekend:


“Going to the Mountain Experience was an incredibly transformational experience. I arrived with confusion and mixed emotions and left with much more clarity and a better sense of how to make decisions and live life through love of myself and others. The great takeaway this weekend, for me, was realizing the power of self-forgiveness.

Kyle in conjunction with the great support of Peggy and Olivia, allowed me to really connect with myself all throughout this weekend. I’m very grateful for them and for sharing this time surrounded by such amazing people.”

                                                                                               -Mike


“The Mountain Experience has turned out to be the most precious gift I have ever given myself. My experience was deeply emotional and nothing like I have ever experienced. I was both moved and impacted powerfully and positively. I felt immensely safe, connected and loved all at one time. It was a journey of epic proportions in just four days and I left full of love.

At the end of the experience, I set meaningful intentions to make positive changes in my life. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the other participants this weekend and especially for Kyle. After this weekend I feel full of hope and see enormous potential for myself. My life is truly different since I have returned home.”

                                                                                               -Colleen


“Just returned from a truly transformative weekend at the Inquiry Method Mountain Experience! The change that Kyle Mercer and his team facilitated for each of the 15 participants in a span of just 3 days was astounding. I have been doing personal growth work for over 7 years with an array of mentors and organizations and the depth of connection, vulnerability, and transformation that I experienced and witnessed in this group is incomparable.

Personally, I had breakthroughs in areas I’ve been “working on” for years. Apparently, it needn’t be that hard. I feel lighter, more joyful, more present, and the mental chatter is significantly diminished — all without efforting.”

                                                                                               -Heather


“My first Mountain Experience was in 2001. This one was either my fifth or sixth Mountain Experience. I have found that every time I go I learn something about myself and I get cleaner. 

Up until now, I had been feeling a heaviness and burden as a result of my rules and ideas surrounding my role as a mother, grandmother, architect… and more. Kyle helped me release my labels and soften on my roles. As a result, I feel grounded and light and worthy of all the care and attention I want to place on me!”

                                                                                               -Kathleen


From all of us at the Inquiry Method team, we hope you join us at the next Mountain in Los Angeles, California, October 10-13. To read more about it or sign up click here.

Freedom From The Future

In Inquiry Method work we have often talked about and worked with letting go of the past and the liberation we experience when we learn how to do that.

We have also talked about and practiced freeing up our ego and how to lighten up on projecting and defending self-image.

We have also explored how to lose our drive and rediscover our flexibility and creativity.

I’ve been exploring a new frontier, letting go of the future.  Once I discovered it in myself I was shocked because it now seems so obvious, none of my future attachments, fears, ambitions were here now and none of the ones I have had in the past ever materialized the way I anticipated them good or bad.

Your future can be as much a trap as the past; in fact many people are more future oriented than past oriented.

For example, lets say you were interested in starting a business or growing your business; you might get attached to the future success of that business or project the future failure of that business, or both at the same time.  What does that do to your present expression and engagement, what does that do to your creativity and your objectivity…etc?

Try the same thing with meeting a new person and projecting the future of the relationship.

Take a look; what are your future attachments and how much do they take you out of the present?  See if you can discover in yourself the capacity to let go of the future.

You might say that I need the attachment to the future to be able to operate, but think about how you may have thought that same way about holding onto the past until you learned the skill of letting go. Remember how dramatically that affected your life?

 

 

Question & Answer: How to Begin Your Personal Development Journey

We are starting to do a series of blogs based on questions that have been sent in. The blogs will be created based on dialogue between Olivia and Kyle as he considers the questions.

If you have a question you want to be answered, please email us at info@inquirymethod.com

How do we begin our personal development journey? How do we begin to address those deep childhood wounds?

Consciousness, Letting Go and Altitude

The biggest challenge in the transformational process or the raising of consciousness within the context of Life at Altitude is the ability to recognize what is “I” and what is not “I”. It’s impossible to let go of something that you’re identified with. When someone I work with is identified with their emotional pain they can’t let it go because from the ego’s point of view, it would be suicide.

If I’m identified with my anger, “I am angry”, then I identify as that thing and my consciousness and my awareness are so focused on the anger that I can’t see anything else. In colloquial terms, it’s called “seeing red”. If I am looking at life through anger, as anger, there is no way to let it go. In Inquiry Method, when we’re working with something like anger or sadness, grief, loss or fear, we have to raise up the level of consciousness to, “I feel angry”. If I can get to the place where I recognize “I feel angry” then I am no longer identified with the anger and have, with a little bit of training or re-training, the capacity to let it go. That is the same for any pain or emotional trigger that you have. If you can get separate from it then you can let it go.

Beyond identification with emotions, we can also identify with a belief, idea, or self-image. Whatever self-image we are identified with is difficult to let go of or dis-identify with because we think we are that. Somebody who thinks they are a victim or believes in their victimhood rarely can get out of that mindset until they realize they are just playing the role of a victim. The same goes for when someone believes in their power, their authority, or their importance. It’s hard for people who have been very successful, such as CEOs or presidents of organizations, to let go of their identification with the importance of their station. However, each one of these titles can be a trap. Once we identify with some egoic position, like importance or lack of importance, it’s very hard to let go of – until we can raise our consciousness to the level where we recognize we are just playing a role or a game and that it is not us.

It’s the same with drive. We can identify with whatever drive we have. It is really hard to see myself or see things accurately when I am driven toward anything. It could be a drive toward relationships, toward love, toward money, etc.

The whole key of transformation is to recognize that A) you are not your emotions, B) you are not your thoughts, C) you are not your drives. By developing the skill and capacity to recognize the difference, we become more flexible and more able to transform our lives. We can lift our experience of life into realms that are beyond our current experience.

Your Life

Your life
A book
Author
And
Protagonist
Write it
So you can’t
Put it down
The end
Is written
You lose
everything
What matters
What you
Let go
The losses
The wins
How do
You write
Your story
Style
Pace
Rhythm
Mood
Insight
Wisdom
Tragedy
Comedy
Terror
Inspirational
Is
100%
Up
To
You
You are the
Author
The author-ity
On this story
You tell
To yourself
Make it
Fucking good


Written by Kyle Mercer

Inquiry as an Approach to Life

Inquiry Method™ is not just a technique for interacting with people or addressing deeper personal issues, but also an approach to life in general.

A while ago, I spoke with some teachers who had talked about our minds as ego and emotions. They referred to how our minds are constantly wanting to put things into the categories of good and bad, positive and negative. So, when we are in our minds, we are always interpreting everything around us from this quality of good and bad. When I heard that, I thought to myself that if I dropped the discernment between good and bad and stopped putting things into those categories, then my life would be neutral.

I thought I would test it, so I imagined that I would drop all good and bad and see if life would be neutral. I was very surprised to find that life was far from neutral. When I looked at it from that perspective of the elimination of good and bad, I was aware of just the miracle of life and even the miracle of existence.

The idea that, out of nothingness, all this appeared, that I even exist, the world exists, this planet exists, the universe exists is truly just an incredible miracle.

I began to understand the deeper, maybe religious or spiritual understanding, or even the practical understanding of the true appreciation, gratitude, and experience of life. This is what was so shocking from breaking the habit of putting things into categories of good and bad; I switched into having wonder, awe, and amazement for just being here.

Any time I remember and bring myself to that place again, I am stunned by the existence of my consciousness, the existence of life, the planet, plants and animals, things that happen, things that come into my life. Cars and cell phones, raindrops, everything starts to take on a quality of wonder.

Innocence and wonder are at the heart of the inquiry approach to life. We are so used to focusing on our wantiness and drives and feeling like there should be something more to life; Inquiry Method TM instead guides us to finding a quality of deep appreciation and acknowledgment in life. Because, when I am out of wantiness, neediness, and exchange, I can be present for my day without needing it to be different. And from that place, I can just be curious and engage in life with a sense of wonder.

Wonder is such a beautiful word that combines a sense of curiosity with a sense of awe; awe implying awareness of beauty, awareness of serendipity, awareness of magic, and even awareness of surprise about life.

Living a Desire Based Life

I recommend a life based on desire. But, how do we know what we want? How do we get to know ourselves?

To get to know your desires, you tap into your source. Get quiet, wait, and see what you desire. Don’t put your attention on your mind or your emotions. Just wait. And, some desire will pop up.

Try it now, ask yourself: What’s one thing you’d like to get out of today?

It’s not a thought, not a should, not a reaction to the emotional body. It comes from your source. Get quiet, and wait for a desire to pop up. This is the best way to tap into who you are.

You might be thinking that you don’t know. But, you can actually tap into what you desire. Just be patient, you can always find a desire somehow/someway.

Acknowledging desire goes against everything we’ve been taught, particularly for the feminine. But, my recommendation is to honor and recognize your desires. It’s an unfolding and opening process to acknowledge them.

Here is a great exercise for acknowledging desires:

Sit down and start writing them down. I desire… I desire… I desire… Or, have a friend do desire pulling with you. Either way, do it for 20 full minutes. Have them ask “What do you desire?” over and over and each time just say the first thing that pops into your head. Get really free with it, like nobody is watching or listening. Don’t monitor it.

It could be a donut or a coffee, but the farther you get into the feel of it, the more deeper things will come up. And, you’ll feel yourself connecting with your deeper desires.   

For instance, you can play with material outcomes. I desire a new outfit.  I desire a new car. I’d like a million dollars.

But, in Inquiry Method, I’d also ask follow-up questions about what it would mean to you or what it would feel like. That’s where you’ll start to feel the connection to your desires.

And then you can start to recognize and honor them – that you want to feel them, that you want to experience them.

On the other hand, you may find yourself starting to think you can’t have what you desire. That’s ok, too. Once it’s out there, then you can start to work with it. And, it’s amazing, the more you start to bring them out, the more they start happening.

Your desire starts to be a compass point. And as you stay present with it, the desires start growing around you. Just by putting your attention on it.

It starts to get you out of the cage. It’s not necessarily to the end of dissatisfaction, but more to a recognition of what is really true for you – a recognition of what you’d like to feel, or what experience you’d like to have.

Getting Humble

When I first began to work with my teacher, Kendrick Mercer (my father), I was in awe. The way he worked with people was amazing. He had a tremendous effect on them and their lives. His approach made people feel safe while he challenged their most closely held beliefs. He was strong and soft, his ideas were powerful and spontaneous, and he had some connection to a deeper truth. He saw deeper than others. He still does.

I wanted to be able to do this too.

As his son, I had an advantage. I understood him in my bones. My mind is also deeply curious about things and how things work. As we began to work together, I had to figure out how to do what he does.

Over time, I developed my understanding of what he was doing and my skills. As I began to coach and mentor more, I had to refine the process so I could get the results I was seeing my father get. It was a lot of trial and error.

The most obvious lesson that kept getting driven into me was that I got positive results more consistently when I was asking questions and helping the other person go deeper into themselves. I ran into obstacles when I began to assert, tell, teach, or make the interaction about me or my beliefs. My ego kept getting in my way.

Over and over I would have to backtrack from these assertions or ego and get humble and curious again, start asking questions, and then all of a sudden people would have breakthroughs, insights, and greater awareness. I just kept asking questions and letting my natural curiosity have its way.

This is how Inquiry Method was born.

Once I began to have some level of mastery of Inquiry Method, I wanted to start teaching others how to do it. I started teaching Inquiry as a coaching methodology, but it soon became apparent that it was more than that; it is a life approach, a philosophy, a position on life that leads to inner happiness. The tool of Inquiry opened the door to a depth that I have still not fully plumbed.

Now, as a teacher, I do sometimes assert and share, but it is from a different place. I am connected with a deeper source that is not my ego and so I can teach. This source is accessible to all of us, but we have to go through a barrier that is not easily seen. For me, it all started with Inquiry, with getting humble. In this way, I began to melt my ego and found a deep richer world within.

The deeper I go, the more I realize that Inquiry Method, in itself, can take you as far as you want toward happiness, effectiveness in life and business and in relationships, love, leadership, and parenting. It is a true panacea.

My intentions for Inquiry Method are these:

  • That it be easily understood and accessible.
  • That anyone who is interested can master it.
  • That it not be based on dogma or control.
  • That it inspires freedom and individuality, not conformity.
  • That it require no belief.
  • That it gives direct and dramatic results for the people that use it.
  • That it not be about fashion or trends but that it has a quality of timelessness.
  • That when people hear about it, and begin to practice it, it will resonate as truth on all levels.
  • That it not be about me as a teacher but be a philosophy and an approach to living life fully.
  • That it brings us closer together and inspire our courage and contribution.

What I want for you is to fully wake up to your strengths and to remove obstacles so you can lead a life inspired by happiness from within. To become effective in bringing your gifts and talents to your work and families and to enjoy your life, deepening in your capacity to live fully and receive all that life has to offer you.

Inquiry has the power to bring you all these things and more.


Come experience the power of Inquiry Method in person at our introductory course, The Mountain Experience. Read more here

Self Judgment

Hi everyone, this is Peggy. I want to give you a quick summary before we jump into the blog.

Today’s blog centers around a conversation and teaching that happened on one of our recent membership calls and is presented here with permission from the participant. It starts when Kyle asks participants to share one thing they’d like the group to know about them.

It’s about how when we hold judgments on ourselves, we often also take the egoic position of the opposite side of that judgment. And, consequently, we are pulled in two directions: one of judging ourselves for not being x and one that is proudly asserting that we are x. In this blog, we explore that tension and what we can do to free ourselves from it.

We invite you to read the dialogue and teaching below, or you can listen to the audio recording. The audio is a neat way to experience what the membership calls can be like and why coaching is helpful. We also find that often some of your own growth comes from experiencing the new awareness and growth of others.

To learn more about our membership calls, click here

Listen to the audio here, or scroll down to read the conversation and teaching.

Client: One thing I’d like you to know about me is that… I’m shy.

Kyle: How does that show up?

C: I don’t speak up sometimes. Sometimes I just hold back.

K: What’s behind you holding back?

C: Fear of judgment.

K: What’s the judgment you most fear?

C: I don’t know what I’m talking about.

K: Ah, you fear the judgment that you don’t know what you are talking about.

When did you first learn that one? How old were you?

[After the client feels into the original place/people this judgment came from, Kyle switches to some teaching]

K: When we have an existing judgment, i.e. “I don’t know what I’m talking about, “ our psyche puts on the opposite idea as a defense, in this case: “I do know what I’m talking about” or “I want to know what I’m talking about”. It’s not a defense in the moment, but it’s this idea that I’m supposed to do that other thing instead i.e. I’m supposed to know what I’m talking about. And, I start to hold that egoic position of: “I do know what I’m talking about”. And, I get attached to that idea.

And, it pulls us in two directions – we have this judgment on ourselves, and at the same time, we find ourselves attached to that opposite egoic position.

But, we don’t have to live in that tension.

I don’t know if you notice but when I’m teaching there is both a quality that I do know what I’m talking about and there is also a quality that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The heart of inquiry is open curiosity- a total willingness to be informed differently, it’s kind of like: Hey this is kind of my best shot at it.

There is so much freedom in having no position on knowing what I’m talking about, not that I do or don’t. Sometimes I do know what I’m talking about and sometimes I don’t.

At the Freedom Experience, we sometimes put these opposing ideas metaphorically in each hand. In this example, “I know what I’m talking about” would be in one hand and “I don’t know what I’m talking about” in the other. And we can see visually, that we get stuck in this duality.  I’m trying to repress that I don’t know what I’m talking about and simultaneously, I’m trying to amplify that I do know what I’m talking about. So, the hands/our psyche gets pulled apart. But, when we let go of the energy between them, the dualities come together (visually the hands come together). And, in this place where the dualities come together, it becomes a non-question- the whole issue of knowing or not knowing what I’m talking about disappears. It’s a non-duality, a non-question. I have the freedom to sometimes know what I’m talking about and sometimes not know what I’m talking about.

So, there are all these things like this. And, this is part of what we do at the Freedom Experience. We identify all these places of duality

  • “I’m not pretty enough” and “I’m trying to be pretty”. It has this duality and tension rather than just being.
  • I may be trying to be smart but that means I also repress or shutdown not being smart. I hold this open question/judgment: Am I smart or am I not smart?

So, there are all these dualities in these thoughts and beliefs that we hold about ourselves. And when it goes away there is this freedom from the struggle in between these dualities (and that’s why we call it the Freedom Experience).

Another judgment could be that “I’m too scared”. If you take the energy out of it, it collapses to “I can be scared or not scared.” And, then in any given moment it may be: “I can be scared or not scared, but I’m feeling scared right now. And, the whole resistance to it changes, it becomes “oh I wonder why I’m scared now, maybe I should pay attention.”

So, the more that we can identify these dualities and let all the energy out of them, there is more freedom to just be.

In the original example, once I let the energy out, knowing what I’m talking about or not knowing what I’m talking about isn’t even a consideration. It just doesn’t occur. It’s more “maybe I do and maybe I don’t.” Self-trust comes in. There is a deeper truth that comes in when I don’t have to know or not know. The more we get out of needing to know, the more we get into source.

Every time we can collapse one of those dualities, the more we are connected to source.


To read more about our members calls, click here 

To read more blogs on self-identity and ego, click here 

When is it about me?

We’re trying something new! We’re recording the blogs on audio in case you would rather listen to them. Click the play button to listen or scroll down to read the blog instead.

We’d love to know what you think of listening instead of reading. Email us if you feel like sharing.


I’m always growing and putting myself into situations to grow. Within that context, I was at an event last weekend and was struck with a new awareness. I was thinking about all the ways I’m hard on myself and there was a way that I understood it differently: I realized that I tend to take on other people’s view of me.

So, if I’m talking to Peggy and she says something critical or something that I take personally, I would think, “oh there is something wrong with me.” And I’d take it on. But what I realized, is that if you take everyone you know and if they all feel differently about you, what they each feel about you is not about you, it’s about them. If some people love you and some people hate you, the loving and the hating is about them.

Now, if everyone loves you and everyone hates you, you can take that personally. If all the people you know sit you down in an intervention and they say “Hey, I think you are making a big mistake here,” you should listen to that. If you are getting a universal reflection or broad reflection, or if you keep getting into the same relationships over and over again, or if you keep responding over and over again in the same way, that’s about you. But, if it’s isolated, if there is only one person who doesn’t like you, that’s not about you, that’s about them. And if there is only one person who loves you, that’s not about you either, that’s about them. That’s about their capacity to love.

So, the new awareness is, that an outlier’s views of you has to do with those individual people, not you. If you notice trends and universalities about how people view you, that you should take personally, these are all amazing things to bring to online group calls, coaching calls or events so we can coach about them.

That’s my thought for this week and that’s the blog. I hope you enjoyed it.

Love,
Kyle


Reminder: Only a few days left to get Early Bird Pricing for the Mountain Experience. Read more and register here