On Contemplation

I’m sitting here thinking about life at altitude and what practices are associated with it. Obviously, Inquiry Method is the primary practice associated with life at altitude, but there are other practices that are going to come out over the ensuing months that if included in your life, really support life at altitude.

You may have heard of meditation, and meditation is certainly a huge support to life at altitude. But, there’s another thing that is similar, but totally different called “Contemplation”.

You could say contemplation is another form of meditation, but it’s not quite the same thing. Contemplation is like meditation in that it’s a quiet solo process, and it’s better without any distractions and better with time set aside for it. But, meditation essentially means a singular focus. So, you can meditate on an object, you can meditate on your thoughts, you can meditate on stillness. So, meditating just means – singular focus. Contemplation is different.

Contemplation is also similar to Inquiry Method, but Inquiry Method requires a partner and contemplation is something you do on your own.

The difference between thinking about something and contemplation is that thinking about something often gets you into a loop of thoughts- like judgments, or if you are thinking about somebody- you may think about all your judgments or what you don’t like about them, or what the problem at work is. That would be thinking and it’s a closed loop- stuck system.

Contemplation is a meta-activity, meaning it is an activity of looking at something from a more separated point of view. So, like Inquiry Method, you get into a state of reflection and you’re looking at yourself from a higher level of consciousness, from a sense of inquiry and curiosity, asking “what’s behind that?” You’d be asking yourself: what’s bothering me about that, how can I get in approval of that, what am I not seeing about that, how am I creating that situation- so that you’re looking at the larger perspective of things. It’s amazing to get into contemplation.

Just sitting here this morning, there was something coming up for me. I could just feel that I was carrying stress and I was carrying some tension. And, with my willingness to go into contemplation and get into that higher level of consciousness, I was quickly able to see that there were two things going on.

  • One is that I had some stuff stuck in me that needed to be unpacked and emptied out. Things that I was holding that just needed another person’s ear just to empty out. Just to say “oh this is going on for me”. We just had a blog on emptying out, which is wonderful practice. You can read it here
  • The second thing I could recognize is that I had a block. I was noticing that I had more creative expensive energy than my mind would allow and so in my contemplation, I could see “oh, my mind is limiting the amount of energy that can flow through my body and the creativity and it’s just a little jammed up” and then that gives me an opportunity to start to look into what are the thoughts and beliefs and ideas that restrict that and create that kind of backed up feeling inside my body.

So, I recommend trying it out, try a contemplation practice. Get into a state of reflection and get to where you are looking at yourself from a higher level of consciousness, from a sense of inquiry and curiosity, asking yourself “what’s behind that?”

And, also see if you can discern the difference between contemplation and thinking. See if you can discern the difference between meditation and contemplation. And, really see if you can get into that higher level of consciousness; in the levels, we call it “Level 4 – consciousness towards yourself”. It’s the level of altitude which allows self-inquiry to happen.


We just started sending out daily prompts for contemplation. If you’d like to get these in your inbox each morning, you can sign up here: http://bit.ly/dailyinq

Read more about contemplation here

Giving Self-Away Part II

As introduced last week, this idea of giving yourself away can have negative effects on all types of relationships. Marriages have some of this quality, where two people lean on each other and are seen as co-dependent, rather than as two whole individuals relating to each other. This also often happens between parents and children, and creates a situation where the children are kept small and weak and not taking responsibility for their own lives. This can often happen between employers and employees, when there are games and patters and family like patterns in a business.

As we mentioned last week, you can also give yourself away to materials or large corporations. Surprisingly, this can even happen between someone and their money. One way to know if you have given yourself away to your money is by noticing how you react to certain events. For example, if you put money and the stock market and it goes down, your sadness can reveal that you have tied some of your soul or spirit to your money. The same applies in a business. If you feel like you have to serve the business, or if it owes you something or that it is a burden, you can tell that you have given yourself away to the business.

This is one of the most complex subjects that I teach in the Mountain Experience. I help recognized that they have attached to another person, then help them detach. And I see that when they recognize and take themselves back, they usually feel immediate relief.

One time, I had a coaching session with a woman who had just gotten divorced. We could tell that the event had clearly taken a part of her, and were trying to figure out why. First, I asked her if I had given herself away to her husband. When she said that she hadn’t I then asked her if she had given herself to her marriage. The woman started to cry as she realized that she had given part of her spirit to the concept of marriage, and she released the grief and the loss, she saw that she could be whole in her life despite not being married.

One time I had a young man who was about 30 years old. He came to me and told me that, for the past ten years, he had not been able to keep a girlfriend or a job. He didn’t understand why, because ten years ago he was a successful man with a girlfriend and a great job. He said, “it’s like a part of me died.” I said “interesting,” and asked him to reflect about what may have occurred ten years ago. After reflecting he shared that his grandfather died 10 years ago. I explained that part of him died with his grandfather, and he suddenly started crying. He could clearly feel it in his emotional body that something had died that day. As I worked with him to take his spirit back, as his grandfather did not need that part of his spirit, and he had taken some of his grandfather’s spirit as well. This young man regained his spirit. About two weeks later, he sent an email sharing that he had a great girlfriend and a new job, and attributed it to regaining his life by getting his spirit back.

These stories reveal our capacity to put our spirit in something else. They show that we need our whole spirits to feel whole. It also shows that it is surprisingly easy to fix, since we can actually take ourselves back from other people.

It can be hard to completely stop giving yourself away. Society has told us that it is a loving and caring act, as well as many other things that make it seem like a positive thing . As such, I am simply asking you to try. When I walk through the process, try to give yourself away then take it back, and see what it feels like. Normally, when people do this test drive, people get this on an emotional level. They begin to see that giving yourself away does not create healthy context.

As you go through your process you may want to explore, “who have I given myself away to?” It may seem difficult, but it can actually be easy to determine. If you feel great when they are in a good place, and feel terrible when they are struggling, you will know they have a part of you. If you feel the need to make sure they’re okay, or believe that part of you would die if they died, a part of you is attached to them. You can also tell if you have an ongoing fear about their well-being, need to control them, or a sense of resentment. In each example, you see the person as non-separate from you, and therefore feel what they feel.

Once you learn more about this subject, you can help in two ways. First, you will clearly feel more whole once you have taken your spirit back. But there’s also a second part; if you have this knowledge and know the symptoms, you can give others their spirit back. If you feel them attaching to you, you can learn to detach from it. This is not done by saying something to another person: they can just feel it. That’s because giving yourself away is beyond the level of intellectual understanding. It is not something you can write down, but something you feel.

Give yourself a chance to reflect on all of this through inquiry. What or who have you given yourself away to? What is the price? What is the perceived benefit?

Taking yourself back can be a life-changing experience.

Connecting with Source

One of the things that I do to touch in with source is I close my eyes and get quiet. This is a wonderful thing because the head is so quick and wants to jump in. Notice that, especially in conversation,  the head wants to jump in and fill the space. We are conditioned to fill space with talk, eating, drinking, mobile phones and  other distractions.

This is why people meditate, so they can learn to listen and create space and pay attention to sensation and the feeling of connecting with their source. Once mastered, it becomes an invitation for what is wanted. The more that we cultivate our ability to touch source the more we have this rich knowledge of what we want.

See how it feels to close your eyes and be with pause to take time to connect with your source.  Practice making space during different moments of your day. Enjoy making decisions from source rather than your mind. Watch how it opens you up to finding your truth and finding what is truly wanted.

With love,

Kyle

Death Bed Exercise

Whether it is within your business, relationship, family, or yourself, a wonderful exercise to discover your values (not just your immediate gratification, but your true values) is to imagine that you are lying on your deathbed and you have one hour left to live. In this visualization, imagine that you are lying there and with this sense of love and peace in your heart. When you reflect on your life in this scenario, whether in terms of business, family, a relationship, or yourself, what would have to be true in that area of your life for your heart to be filled with love and satisfaction?

Once you determine what would make you feel totally satisfied with that aspect of your life, write these details down carefully and clearly. For example, imagine your business: what kind of legacy would you have had to leave in this business to leave your heart filled with love and satisfaction as you lie dying? Imagine the same for your relationship with your spouse, your child, a friend, or even yourself: what would have to be true about this relationship for you to be totally satisfied and fulfilled on your deathbed?

It is a wonderful way to make this clear. Then use last week’s exercise on Planning, and use vision, strategy and tactics to create the intention to make this true. By doing this exercise, you may find that this feeling of fulfillment and contentment may occur way before your deathbed. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go to sleep at night with that feeling of fulfillment and satisfaction that you manifested something that was meaningful to you?

Go ahead, give it a try- what do you have to lose?

Love,

Kyle

Planning: Executing your Vision, Strategy and Tactics

In all aspects of our lives, planning is an integral part. Planning exercises are important in group settings, such as a couple, family, or for a business, and are equally crucial, individually. The objective of this blog is to help you recognize the power and meaning that can be created through the intention of planning.

The first element of planning is creating your vision. To create your vision, project a period into the future; for example, imagine yourself in one, five, or ten years. What do you want your future to look like? One beautiful application of this step is as a couple. Let’s say you are fifty, jointly creating a vision of what life will be in twenty years, when you are seventy. It is such a powerful process because as you create this beautiful vision together, you both become bonded and equally participating towards fulfilling this joint vision, which in turn creates beauty in the relationship. This visioning process can also be conducted in the context of a business. Or, you can create your own personal vision to motivate and inspire yourself to shape your dreams.

In support of vision, the next level of consideration is strategy. Strategy is the creation of the larger picture- specifically, what are some of the broad topics we would need to accomplish our vision? In the example of planning for when we turn seventy, we may intend to retire to Costa Rica and live in a beach house. In order to achieve this goal, we must make sure that our finances are in a certain shape, define how we would like to be with respect to our health, and describe what we need to do in our relationship to develop wonderful communication and intimacy. Just as we often do in a business or individually, we would define strategic objectives and goals to help us achieve our future vision.

The third level is tactics. Tactics are the day-to-day things that I need to start developing and acting on to fulfill my strategy. For example, planning a meeting to develop a financial plan with my financial advisor, creating a benchmark for required salary, scheduling couples counseling to develop our communication, or learning Spanish. Whatever we need to do to manifest our desired outcome.

In summary, there are three levels:

Vision: where we are, or I am, going.

Strategy: what major things have to get accomplished to get the results.

Tactics: what day-to-day activities are needed to fulfill our strategy.

Create a document with your vision, strategy and tactics and lay out a plan for yourself.

The next blog will talk about how to go deeper with creating that vision, and in view of creating your legacy.

Talk to you next week.

Love,

Kyle

Happy New Year!

What potential rests in a new year for you? Consider writing about what you would like to manifest in yourself and your consciousness over the next year. Areas of consideration: what changes or development would you like to see in:

  • Your emotional self?
  • Your mental self?
  • Your creative self?
  • Your connection with others?
  • Your relationship to self and,
  • Your relationship to life?

I recommend you take the time to sit down and write a paragraph for each area of consideration. Use this as guidance for preparing and developing your coming year. Find activities, books and other ways to develop in each one of these areas for 2018.

Life is so precious and we can take it so casually. Let us use this opportunity of a new year to get clear and create intention about calling in an amazing life.

Happy New Year!

With love,

Kyle

Inquiry Experience Weekend in Raleigh, NC: Inspiring Life at Altitude

For many years, people have asked me for an entry point into our work that is lighter and more accessible than the Mountain Experience. With the Inquiry Experience Weekend: Inspiring Life at Altitude, we have created just that.

In the Mountain Experience, we do deep work which may appear intimidating to some. The Inquiry Experience Weekend in Raleigh, NC, is designed to be light, fun, and safe, yet experiential, powerful, and moving. It is not intended to push into the deeper areas, but instead to learn and explore Inquiry Method™, to create a beautiful sanctuary, understanding, and connection over this two-day process.

Day One of the “Inspiring Life at Altitude Experience” will be about learning and concepts, Day Two will be applying the Inquiry Method™ work within both small and large group settings.

People are welcome to come and sign up for just Day One, and those who want to continue to develop the practical skills can join us for Day Two seminar as well.

For new people the Inquiry Experience Weekend will be a great entry point; for those who have participated in Inquiry Method™ before, it will be extremely enjoyable and useful. It will be a fresh, new, wonderful way to renew and recharge your Mountain Experience. We would love for you to come and bring a friend!

Tuition is $175 for Day One and $250 for both Day One and Two.
8:30 am Daily Arrival. Event: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm.
Mountain Experience graduates who bring a friend will receive half-price tuition.

 

Self Help

Books are great for opening the mind and seeing possibilities.  I often recommend books to people.  For people doing their inner work to grow my most often recommended book is The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer.  If you are trying to get started on a project or want to find and express your art (whatever that may be) into the world, The War of Art, by Stephen Pressfield is a must.  If you are exploring what it means to be a man The Way of the Superior Man, by David Deida is invaluable.  I have more, drop in and explore my bookshelves with me sometime… a great book is one of life’s treasures. Antifragile by Nassim Taleb is my current inspiration not only for the content but also his unique style of writing.

However….

No book can do the work for you.

I cannot count how many times people have told me after practicing some inquiry, that despite everything they have read and studied, all they have learned from courses, all the advice they have received, all the videos they have watched, all the inspiring Facebook posts, ideas they have thought up, that nothing so deeply impacts their life and their world-view than 20 minutes of inquiry: exploring their own depth without the obstacle of their mind.

Books can inspire us but it all comes down to what you do with the inspiration.

When you get inspired, the next step is to do your work and find your obstacles to manifesting your inspiration.  Do your work; there is no substitute.

What is inspiring you to do your work?

Fulfillment

The other day I had three of my clients here at my home for shared One-Days, where you share your One-Day with others and benefit from their contributions and insights. This is a powerful process. Because there is no script, I often get to discover new insights and aspects of Inquiry Method.

These three people have worked with me for a span of 3-12 years and been dedicated to their path of growth, so their lives are working really well. Their consensus check-in was that they were experiencing happiness and but also a continued desire to grow. As we went along, we discovered that happiness can be like an oasis in the desert. After experiencing so much struggle in life, it really is nice to rest there for awhile. However, it can be tempting to stay there and not look further.

We may wonder: why not stay if I have reached a place of happiness? It is certainly one choice but there may be a cost, we may develop a sense that our growth is now fixed, things may become stale and ultimately, we may not realize our true capacity.

I call this fulfillment; the result of our choice to continue to grow once we have gotten out of our struggle. Living from fulfillment means continually growing into what you are capable of; this is a different kind of happiness, a constant moving into a more expansive life. One could say it is unfolding happiness.

However, there is a cost to this approach as well. Risk.

The risk is in the unknown; it is not possible to explore your own fulfillment without risking yourself because you are always moving into the unknown. In truth, this risk is more perceptual than actual, because even failure encountered in the process of fulfillment only leads to the learning that creates more fulfillment. We can be so risk adverse that we avoid fulfillment.

I see this often in my work; the door is open to growing and exploring and in either condition of happiness or discomfort, we do not change. Once again, it is not so much the risk itself but the fear of risk.

From this perspective, any aspect of life can always get better. In a more fundamental way, it is perhaps useful to say that the purpose of life is fulfillment and that this feeling/experience of fulfillment is its very purpose

In what areas of your life are you in an oasis? Where would you like to experience more fulfillment? What are the risks you are unwilling to take to have your life the way you really want it?

 

Finding Your Purpose

Finally, you have found the definitive guide to finding your purpose.

I was speaking with a client the other day and a curious question (inquiry) arose in me. We were talking about finding purpose; something that is on many people’s minds and is often a misunderstood topic. What we really mean when we are looking for a purpose is that we are looking to find a way of expressing our love, that is the bottom line.

When we express love in any form we feel it…we feel love. So we are all looking for a way to best channel our love so that we feel more of it. If you want to find your purpose, find any activity where you feel that you are expressing your love. You can change your purpose every day if you like, you can be expressing your purpose every moment if you like.

I have specialized in mentoring for part of my day because the better I get at it the more love I experience. I am also practicing expressing my love through tennis, my relationship with my son, yoga, community, housekeeping, art, feeding the jays out front; I am surrounded by purpose, amazing!

You are surrounded by purpose; your purpose is to experience and express love, not just as a (write in your profession here) but all the time and everywhere!

It is so simple, so profound, start practicing your purpose today.