Question & Answer: Emotional Trauma Stemming from Childhood

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

Why does it seem that most of our emotional trauma stems from childhood?

There are a number of reasons, the most significant being, brain development. For the first 8-9 years of life, we are in the theta state. This brainwave pattern is the same as a hypnagogic state, meaning, under hypnosis. As successive brainwave patterns develop, we start to think abstractly which allows us to armor ourselves a bit to incoming thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. However, in our early brain development, especially before age 7, it’s like the child is under hypnosis. Young children have no defense for anything that they see, hear, feel, or experience. There’s no conscious capacity for defending or protecting themselves. Everything in that state is truth. Everything a child sees, hears, understands, or experiences goes in as direct experience of the world. Relationship patterns, who they are in the world, their importance, their relationship to other people, their value, their worth, their beauty, and the foundation for how they see themselves is developed during this time.

If you think about it, to a 4-5-year-old, parents are like these huge living Gods that can dispense pain, pleasure, approval, and disapproval. They are the source of love and the source of anger. They can predict the future. They can tell, seemingly by magic, that you’ve eaten chocolate. You have a little bit on your nose, but you don’t know that, so it seems like magic.

Our parents seem to be all-powerful beings, so when something scary happens or we get hurt, as a protection mechanism, we store the pain and begin to create coping mechanisms so that the gods won’t be angry. That little child tries to adapt itself to be in a relationship with these much more powerful beings without the protection of knowledge or understanding. To a child, the family is its whole world and as such, the child is profoundly affected by it.

That’s why I say that at the Mountain Experience, we are deprogramming people from the cult of family. Adults have abstract gods but children have living all-powerful, all-seeing, all-knowing gods.

Most of us also had parents who weren’t fully developed adult human beings. What I mean by adult, in the context of Life at Altitude, means fully developed human beings that no longer need anyone else to fulfill them. They are just totally available to the child. Most of us had parents that were coming from their childlike patterns as well, still trying to fix and repair their childhood issues. There was no way for them not to pass on those same misunderstandings and misbeliefs.

None of this work is about damning or putting down your parents. I’ve never met a parent that wasn’t doing their best given what they had and what they knew. If we get into damning our parents then we have totally missed the point. In the end, all the wounds and struggles we endured in childhood, if we can work through them, they can become our power, our gifts, our insight, and our love.

While working through these childhood imprints is crucial to living a Life at Altitude, it is far from the only work. It is, however, the first step to waking up to the altitude that we can all achieve.

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.

Love Day

Listen to the audio here, or scroll down to read the blog.

This is the Valentines day edition of the blog.

The topic today is a topic called I want to be loved. A lot of us feel that and have probably said that phrase: “I want to be loved.” It’s kind of fun to take it apart and examine that thought and that phrase and that belief.  

The first thing you can notice in the statement: “I want to be loved” is that it is set in the past tense. There is this quality (and I talk about it at the Matrix) there is this void –  something that we haven’t received. When we put it in the past, we’re basically saying I want to go back in the past and receive the love that I haven’t received; which makes a lot of sense because there’s a certain aspect or way in which we recognize that we would feel differently about ourselves, we might feel differently about life if we had received love in a different way or a specific way or differently at some point in our life.  There is this yearning to go back and repair that wounded one.

If we can let go of that, if we can heal that past aspect, we can actually drop the past tense to that. If we drop the past tense, we say “I want love” instead of “I want to be loved.” Meaning, I want to receive love or even I want to receive love in the future.  As soon as I say I want anything, I’m emphasizing the fact that I don’t have it. One of the definitions of the word “want” is lack of…, as soon as you are wanting, you’re not having. You can’t want and have at the same time. So, when you say “I want love”, you’re saying you don’t have love.

If we drop that aspect of lacking, it comes down to “I love” and that is beautiful. In fact, it’s the most powerful approach to love there is.

In fact, if somebody else is loving me I can feel or I can have somebody express their love to me and not feel the love. I’m sure we have all had that experience where somebody proclaims their love for us, but we don’t feel anything from it. Just having somebody else loving us actually never fixes the thing.  We can have all sorts of people loving us and still feel the lack of love or still be wanting love. So, really, the only way to experience love isn’t to receive it, but to be it or express it: “I love.”

Loving is the best feeling in the universe and it’s wonderful to seek out and find different opportunities for love.  It’s why I love to find a great book. “I love this book” that’s the feeling of love. “I love this movie” or “I love this thing,” or “I love this team.”  We all love to find things to love because it’s the best feeling. It’s why we yearn for the right person. It’s why children are so wonderful is just they all give us an opportunity to love, so I recommend healing up any past lack of love, I recommend giving up the idea that you lack love and spend the rest of your life looking for things and people to love, the more the merrier!

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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


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Stop Evolving

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.

Authoring Your Life

Most people think of their mind as their controlling mechanism. However I believe that when we examine it more deeply we find that the mind is rarely strong enough to go against our inner desire or when it does it is to our detriment. We think that thinking can or will override what our actual intention is or what we actually want.

In Inquiry Method we’re looking to derail the mindset that thought has authority over ourselves; in Inquiry Method the only real authority is our inner source, where our intention already exists even before we think about it. Sometimes our minds try to override our true desires and intentions with intellectual or mental intentions or actions. If we can identify these thoughts and set them aside, and look deeper, we can find out what it is that we really want on the deepest level and live our lives from that.

The Mountain Experience ultimately helps you liberate yourself to connect with your source. The focus of the Mountain Experience is on the emotional things that obscure and overlay the ability to sense into what we really want, our source.

It’s important to talk about what we mean by feelings when we discuss source. There are two kinds of feelings: emotional feelings and inner-knowing feelings. When we’re talking about inner-knowing feeling, this is about uncovering our true intentions and true desires and embracing them. Desire and intentions are intimately tied together.

In our culture, women, much more so than men, have not been allowed to have or express their desires; consequently, women in particular really need to learn to develop their own approval for their desires. Desire is the key to intention and is what we mean by authoring our life, a life built on our actual desire. When we’re really in touch with our authentic desires, not just the intellectual ones or the emotionally reactive ones we become powerful and manifest the lives we want.

Sometimes we confuse other people too, because we tell others that our desire is this when what we actually want is that. People often say one thing and then do something totally different when they are not fully in touch with their authentic desires. I encourage you to connect with your inner knowing and to become in alignment with your true desires. I invite you to use me as a guide to help filter through the noise to help you connect with your true self.

Love,

Kyle

Be

Be
Ready to be humbled
If you wish to grow
The capacity for love
And a heart that will be
Of service to life

Be
Ready to be humbled
If you wish to have
Friends who are true
And see you for who you are

Be
Ready to be humbled
If you wish to learn
More than you know

Be
Ready to be humbled
If you wish to know truth

Be
Ready to be humbled

Be

Poem by Kyle Mercer

Your Choice: Victimhood or Freedom

The worst position you can put yourself in life is victimhood. Victimhood means that how you feel, what is happening in your life, and your results of your endeavors are all outside of your control. Freedom, on the other hand, is the opposite of victimhood. Freedom means that you take 100% responsibility and awareness of your situation and inner reactions to things. Freedom comes from the ability to not only accept the unacceptable but to also approve of everything that is happening in life.

The power of approving everything that is happening in your life creates an entirely different interpretation of life that is profoundly impactful. When I am in approval of everything that happens in my life, when I am looking into why something is happening rather than focusing on simply the fact that it’s happening to me, I start to find a magical, serendipitous flow and I fill the capacity within myself to step into opportunities that I would otherwise be blinded to.

Just this morning, a friend was planning to visit me before heading off to the airport. But, due to traffic, they were unable to come by. However, instead of being disappointed, we can see that if they hadn’t made that appointment with me they would never have made it to the airport on time. So, we can either be bothered by life’s little foibles, or we can look to see how they are supporting us. And the further and deeper we look, the more abundance and support we discover in life.

Choose Freedom!

Kyle’s Process for Surrender to Life’s Challenges

Inquiry Method’s fundamental three step process for surrender to life’s challenges:

1. Change it. Go ahead. Change your circumstances.

… If you cannot change it or you decide not to:

2. Resist it & be unhappy.

Or,

3. Accept it & be at peace.