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.
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.
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
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
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.
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It has been so helpful to recognize I have a choice every moment.
Not about what is happening right now, but about my relationship to it.
My 3 choices are:
If I resist, I create struggle in me and around me.
In acceptance, I become neutral, but neutrality is a form of death.
In approval, I decide to lean in to what is happening.
I get behind it.
This is when the magic happens.
Approval is a powerful life practice available to you every moment.
I use the word practice to indicate it takes practice and you are never done getting better at it.
Try it right now, take something you are resisting either inside or outside you and get in approval of it, get behind it, get into it and see what happens. Let me know.
A teacher in India once said to me that the yogic path is not one of evolution but devolution. That we are not working to become more complex but more simple.
In devolving, we are not working on ourselves to be more, know more, think more, or do more, but to become truer to our simplest self. We are already whole and unbroken and completely worthy in every way for just being.
The work is shedding everything that is not us, down to our simplest self. Everything we have added trying to be worthy obscures us from ourselves and others. But, the simpler we get, the more source speaks to us. Life gets easier. We become more loving and more loved. Not because we got it right, but because we didn’t need anything extra, because who we are is inherently worthy, loving and loveable.
In simplicity there is little to plan or figure out, by being able to get quiet, do less, to wait and listen, we will have everything we need to know and do. Getting simple opens the doors to everything you already have, which is more than you will ever need or even yet realize.
I was teaching at the Mountain Experience and someone asked me about how they could learn to be better at self-care. I was in a feisty mood as a teacher that day and I said, “everything you do is self-care.” There was a bit of a stunned silence.
It is true. There is nothing you do that is not the most self-interested thing you can think of at any moment, even when you are giving yourself away, on some level you think it is in your best interest.
However, as we learn to live at altitude and recognize the levels of consciousness, we can see that by raising our level of participation, our understanding of what self-care is changes and becomes more rewarding.
If you decided to believe that your every action was self-care, 100% of the time, how would that change what you decided to do? How would that change how you perceived your level of fulfillment and satisfaction with life? How would you stay a victim of anything?
I am traveling today and I like to remember that people are good. I notice that in general that I tend to resent the person in the seat next to me on the airplane as an imposition and nuisance, usually making some judgments about them in some way or another. Without connection people are just objects in the field. However, now I make a practice of just saying “hi.” I rarely engage in long conversations, but I say hi and lightly connect. Inevitably this little connection humanizes them and I see the human behind the physical object. I can no longer resent them or make judgments about them because they are human beings now. We can do this all day long, turn people into human beings. It is amazing what a difference it can make.