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

Your True Intentions

A client recently asked me, “How do you form an intention from the heart?” The short answer is you can’t; it’s impossible. You can only discover what your intention is. Inspiration is not something we are in charge of, so the best we can do is to uncover and identify it. Like in Inquiry Method with the Mountain Experience, we just uncover intent, not form it. In other words, You cannot do anything that you do not want to do.

This idea is part of surrendering to oneself, surrendering to God, surrendering to life; however you want to say it, you have to just keep discovering. Opinion itself is actually pointless; we are just here to discover the truths about ourselves and you are going to be most powerful when you are most like yourself. You have to work to be in alignment with your authentic intentions rather than some kind of artificially driven intentions. The best you can do is be more like yourself.

We get taught that we are supposed to be different from who we are, but it’s about accepting who we are and discovering that from a place of acceptance. There are three points to this: resistance, which is non-acceptance; acceptance, which is kind of neutrality towards something; and approval, which is enthusiastic engagement towards something. And we can relate to ourselves in any of those three ways. We can relate to ourselves through resistance, or through non-acceptance of ourselves, we can relate to ourselves through acceptance, or through tolerating and being okay with ourselves, or we can work towards approval and approving who we really are.

Love,
Kyle

The Power of the Talking Stick

Following up on the last blog about the power of being real, I wanted to share an exercise that I give as an assignment to couples that I work with. You may have heard of it before. It’s called the talking stick exercise. The talking stick exercise is one of the most basic and fundamental and profound tools that we can use in relationships. And it goes like this: something comes up in our relationships, something we need to talk to about, and we tend to get into an argument or fight about. In other words, the situation usually tends to escalate in some way. Instead of allowing it to escalate, we should turn to the talking stick exercise. And this simply means that someone is going to be the speaker and someone is going to be the listener.

We give the speaker something to hold and this represents the fact that we are putting all of our attention on them and none on ourselves. In this exercise, whatever the subject is, we can fully hear someone out without formulating or generating our own response. And we can really understand what is going on in their insides; what they’re experiencing. So, we say to ourselves, “Alright, I’m ready to listen to this issue, whether it’s with money, with kids, whatever it is, I really want listen.” And then we have the speaker tell us anything they can possibly imagine about the issue and let them totally empty their tank about it. And then we pay close attention to what they are saying, without pushing back, without judging, without anything else, so that they get to fully get out whatever it is that is going on with them.

A great question the listener can ask at the end of the exercise is “Is there anything else you are feeling about this?” The listener can ask this multiple times to make sure the speaker has nothing left to say. Moreover, depending on our skill level, if we do not understand something, we can ask about it without pushing back. For example, this is like, “You mentioned this, and I don’t really understand what your concern is about it; can you help me understand what your concern is about that?” and go a little bit deeper. The idea is if we can allow somebody to be fully heard with no feedback, then solutions and answers and feelings of closeness and compassion will undoubtedly follow.

Once we are all completely done with this, once somebody feels like they have completely been heard and we feel like we completely understand them, we can either take a break and wait for an hour to let the conversation digest, or we might be ready to switch turns and hand the talking stick to the other person and essentially switch roles. Remember, this is not a solve-each-other’s-problems’ situation and it takes discipline to do this.

Finally, once both people have shared, it’s really helpful to give the issue some space. For instance, let the conversation sit until the next day and then continue with another talking stick conversation. You will be amazed at how the energy has shifted or at how differently you view the idea after hearing from your partner.

It’s very hard to listen to someone fully without completely understanding them. This is because we all have good will, we all have the best interest at heart, and want to ask questions. And it’s also very hard to not be moved after you yourself have been heard, because it can often be difficult to have to hear yourself out fully.

While it may be hard, once you have mastered the art of the using the talking stick, it is an incredibly profound, powerful, life-changing exercise.

Giving Self-Away

The subject of giving self-away could, and may eventually be, a book in and of itself; it is such a profound and meaningful subject. Giving self-away is a process that we do in our culture, with families and friends, and even with material things such as cars and money, and even concepts. It is a coping mechanism, and it is also a form of an attempt to materialize the self, to extend myself beyond myself into things and concepts around me.

Giving self-away is when I take part of my source or spirit, and invest it in something outside of myself. Meaning that I tie my well-being, happiness, or self-worth to something that is outside of my control or present experience.

When I give myself away, and tie myself to something outside myself, I may identify it as love, dependence, responsibility for, or accountability. It is often done out of extreme goodwill, the desire to help somebody else, a function of neediness or a lack of self-worth; but it is not the positive thing we make it out to be.

Imagine if you could take a part of your soul or spirit, and attach it to another person. Imagine a part of your spirit connecting to them, perhaps you can imagine with a thread or a string attached from your heart to the other person. In this arrangement, everything that happens to them, everything they do, say and experience feels like you are experiencing it with them. Even if you are not there, you may imagine what they are going through, and in this case, there is a hyper awareness and dependency on their experience for your well-being. At times, when things are going well for them, this may feel great. Other times, if they are suffering or challenged, it will likely feel terrible.

Now imagine they reciprocate, where they do the same and give themselves to you. When this happens, I call it entanglement. Entanglement is when I have given myself to someone, and they have done the same for me, meaning our well beings are now tied to the well-being of the other.

In our culture, we often view this as care or love; when my loved one suffers, I suffer. In fact, I have found in my work that the more compassion, or understanding that I can be towards someone, that can be more helpful. However, if it is given in the form of empathy, and the person is going through the emotional ride with them, it tends to diminish the help or support that is given. Because both people are now feeling the struggle and both need help in processing dealing with the struggle. Studies have demonstrated the dramatic difference on the brain between compassionate understanding and empathetic distress.

When I draw this diagram of entanglement during The Mountain Experience, it is clear that these entangled nets of giving self away and interdependence creates substances. When you have this web, you can see that if anyone is in an emotional reaction, it tugs at everyone in the web and makes everyone less present. Again, you often see this in families that when one person is struggling, everyone is in the struggle. In every example, it is clear that it is better to be empathetic than to actually be entangled with someone else’s pain. It is wonderful to be empathetic to understand someone else’s experience but it is not helpful if we are immersed in someone else’s experience.

While it is still viewed as a positive and loving thing, this act can have detrimental effects on both parties. When you give yourself away to another person, you tend to want to control that person. Because your spirit is attached, you have an emotional involvement in what happens with them. When they are not behaving as I wanted, I then tend to resent them or want to manipulate them. When I have given myself away and the person is succeeding, I either feel jealous, or feel that I am succeeding and start to take some of their energy or success from them. When someone else has given themselves away to me, I can often feel fearful or dependent on them. If they leave me, I am at risk, I may lose some of my own strength or capacity, or can become dependent, weak or needy.

Next week we will continue this blog and explore the effects of giving self away on relationships.

The Second Most Powerful Change in My Life

Okay, I know this sounds like a tease, because the title is called “the second most powerful change”. So, before we begin, I will tell you the first most powerful change in my life. The first is the change resulting from a combination of awareness and intent. The moment that I become aware that I would like to grow a specific aspect of my life, a great power is achieved when I combine that awareness with the intent to take action.

I realized that when I first become aware of a perceived shortcoming, there tends to be a phase of discouragement, hopelessness, or despair. This awareness can be viewed as a place where we can get stuck in the short, medium, or even long term. When we create intent, we create the capacity and ability to grow. With the use of intent and awareness, we can this a problem by developing a larger capacity of ourselves. This can mean finding more love, being more engaged and appreciative, or having more gratitude. Thus, this combination of intent and awareness is undoubtedly the most powerful change in my life.

Now, we will move on to the second most powerful change in my life (and it may be self-serving). The second: getting support (after I have found that combination of awareness and intent). This can be done in so many different ways, through so many different avenues. Personally, I get support in the form of coaching; in fact, I have between three and five coaches at a given time. I also just found an incredible yoga teacher, and he is becoming my aliveness coach. His coaching has put me in a profound state, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. No matter who you’re getting help from, finding someone to help you is incredibly powerful.

As we grow, help becomes more and more accessible. For example, when I started coaching, there were very few coaches out there. In fact, we thought we created personal or executive coaching. Now, there is a plethora of extremely powerful coaches available. That’s another thing that makes reaching out for help so great: the more people want it, the more accessible it becomes.

And this isn’t a self-promotion: it doesn’t matter if you choose me or someone else, though I do have specific skills to awaken people and help them make monumental shifts in their lives. No matter who, you can find a coach for anything: aliveness or consciousness, relationships, business, dating, physical fitness, or diet, among many others. There are an infinite variety of people that have experience and are available for you to utilize for your self-improvement.

If you look at my previous blog of dysfunctional independence, I express that we are a culture who think we have to do it all our selves. It is not what we used to do historically or aboriginally; we used to have teachers, guides, shamans, people that would teach us their great knowledge and skill.

I theorize that coaching works because of the unique and close connection between two people as wisdom and knowledge is being passed on. There is a transference, an energetic engagement that allows us to go to a much higher level than we can on our own. In addition, when we engage with a coach, there is a sense of accountability: we know that we will follow-through on what we said we were going to do.

The numerous benefits of coaching are immense, but minimally recognized. While we have made great progress, we are still only starting to understand all of its beneficial impacts. Whatever you want to develop within yourself, you simply need to first combine awareness and intent, and then find someone to help you. You do not have to stay in despair and frustration, and you can truly manifest and bring all you want into your life.

Wishing you great awareness, intent, and connection. May you have all that you wish for.