The Deepest Practice

I have clients who I have worked with as a coach for years and we explore and find amazing areas for growth, for release, and for understanding. The process of coaching, in a short burst, often heals or resolves an immediate issue, but in a longer term coaching relationship, what I notice, is that the client gradually develops a new way of seeing and being in the world that is profound, and there is no limit.

I’ve also noticed that the clients who eventually incorporate their relationship into their coaching get opened up to a whole other level of discovery and understanding. Couples coaching is amazing because its no longer just the client and I working with their own perception of themselves. When we bring in the person in the relationship there is a whole other level of reflection, accountability and feedback that we get to work with. This often takes things to the next level for both people and for the relationship.

Relationship, especially primary relationship, is one of the most challenging practices there is. If you notice, many deeply spiritual people go into monasteries, and they can develop a relationship with themselves or whatever they consider the universe or god. The giving up or renunciation of relationship, money or business, things that make life a struggle, may accelerate that opportunity to experience the transcendent or the spiritual.

Most of us, however, or most of you reading this blog, would be considered in the Vedic tradition as “householders”. Meaning that we are operating businesses, we are in relationship, that we are raising children. We have beautiful and challenging parts of our life to learn from. Business itself can be an amazing teacher and practice, as well as parenting. And, as many of us know, the direct connection with another person in a primary relationship can be a very powerful (and challenging) practice.

I put them in the category of practice, because we often think of them as something to meet our needs or fill our lives, but more than anything they require us to grow and develop ourselves, which makes it a practice. That’s why Inquiry Method is such a powerful tool for self-discovery, but also for developing, refining and amplifying relationships. The more you can bring Inquiry to any of your relationships, in particular, your primary relationship, the more you can practice discovering love, discovering connection, and discovering the capacity in yourself to open to one of the great challenges of life.

 


We are in the process of scheduling all of our coaching clients for the next 6 months. Email us if you’d like to learn more about coaching with Kyle on a regular basis.

Consensual Intimacy

In the same way sexual consent is important, in Inquiry Method there is a range of intimacy and the depth of that intimacy should also be consensual.

If the intimacy reached through Inquiry Method is nonconsensual, it can sometimes feel like a violation. That is why we like to set up containers or an environment or sanctuary in which to practice Inquiry Method.

Obviously, inquiry on a casual basis does not necessarily need to be overtly consensual but you want to watch very carefully as you are practicing asking deeper and more intimate questions to notice if your inquiry partner is responding as if they are being violated. Some people are harder tells and it is better to practice caution.

Consent in Inquiry Method is very simple. It can be as simple as, with a casual acquaintance, asking if they mind if you ask them a question: “Would you mind if I asked you a question?” In more formal Inquiry Method, we want to set up safe containers. We may ask someone if they would like to practice Inquiry Method together. Within that container, there are different levels of formally declaring sanctuary- from simply saying it’s my intention to be safe for you, to even repeating the sanctuary context from the Mountain Experience overtly. Even within a formal Inquiry Method container that is fully consensual, we may still find ourselves asking questions like – “Do you mind if I ask about your childhood?” or “Would you like me to ask questions to go deeper?”

You may find consensual based Inquiry Method to be particularly useful and poignant with children and partners. Watch your children when you ask them penetrating questions, and notice when you have pushed into a non-consensual boundary. Try it out this week, watch for any violation, ask for permission and see if you don’t actually get deeper connection and deeper opening when you practice safety and permission in this way.

Reducing Your Shoulder

A good friend of mine dislocated his shoulder at a retreat I attended last week.  A dislocated shoulder is very painful and scary; my friend had amazing composure and presence in his discomfort.  However you cannot, like in the movies, put it back in yourself, you need help.

I have been trained how to “reduce” (the term for putting it back in the socket) a dislocated shoulder but I have never done it, two very different things. We made a call and got additional professional instruction, which involved my friend laying face down on a massage table, supporting my friend to relax and let go, and then gently pulling down and rotating his arm back into place.  It happened easier than we could imagine. It dropped back in almost effortlessly, painlessly, to tears of relief and gratitude.

Inquiry Method is the same.  Inquiry Method works because we receive loving, skilled support.  It works because we are in connection. It works because we are held.  It works because we can deeply relax. It works because we can allow ourselves to return to our natural state.  Our being wants to return to wholeness.

We are never broken, but we may have some things dislocated.  If you want to reduce your dislocation, get skilled loving support. Put yourself in the position and location where you can resolve your dislocation and allow yourself to receive support.  When you resolve your dislocation you will experience tears of relief and joy as you return to your natural state of wholeness.

 

 

 


Looking for a place like this? Come to an event or schedule a call to talk through how we can support you

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.

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.

Storytelling

When I begin to work with a new coaching client, our first objective is to teach them how to open up to become the most coachable. I define “coachability” as “the ability to receive from other people”. As I talked about in my dysfunctional independence  blog, our need to be independent has made us less coachable. I believe the skill of coachability has been lost. Also refer to my vulnerability  blog where I discuss that vulnerability is “a willingness to be changed by somebody else”.

One of the obstacles to coachability can be storytelling. Whether I am working with someone individually or with a group in the Mountain Experience, people can get into telling stories. A story is simply someone’s mind and ego repeating what they have already decided about the situation. Monologues, storytelling, control the situation and are simply about sharing a viewpoint with someone else. To really make change and create vulnerability, we have to drop the monologue, the story, and make it into a dialogue.

Often, when somebody is continuously talking, I tell them to hold on. I explain that we are currently in a place of storytelling, which will get us nowhere. I suggest moving to a place of dialogue, where we can have growth and evolution.

As a small caveat, there is nothing wrong with storytelling in and of itself. It is a powerful way to communicate and share your experience with people. However, in the context in creating change through Inquiry method, it is simply ineffective.

With this blog, as I do with most of my blogs, I suggest simply keeping this observation in your mind. This can lead you to greater awareness. As you go through your week, try to notice when people are in dialogue and when people are in monologue. Look out for when they were doing it, and when it was working. Look out for it with your employees, with your family, with your friends, and most especially with your self.

Love,

Kyle

I Am Not My Thoughts or My Feelings

One of the powerful effects of Inquiry Method™ is practicing a separation to distance my consciousness from my emotional or mental body. We have a mental body/mental structure that provides our thoughts and our thinking, and we have an emotional body which provides the emotional content that we experience. For many people, there is no separation between these. We even speak of our emotions in terms of “I am angry”, “I am afraid”, rather from the conscious level, such as: “I am feeling angry”, or “I am feeling afraid”. The same goes for our thoughts, we start to think that we are our thoughts, that “I am this thought”, “I am this belief”, “I am this idea”, and through Inquiry Method™ we can distance our consciousness and examine these thoughts or feelings from the deeper part of ourselves; from the soulful part of ourselves.

The capacity to rest in our consciousness over our emotional reaction or over our mental thoughts, or structures, gives us a freedom to examine these thoughts and feelings more objectively so that we can receive the information they are offering. This is part of how we develop our consciousness and awareness through Inquiry Method™. It is a profound and peaceful way of experiencing life, once we remove our reactions from our thoughts and emotions.

… The catalyst for this blog was from a session that I was receiving coaching from Kyle, in describing how I was feeling I observed that I was having an out of body experience between what I was feeling and my thoughts. I suggested to Kyle that although I could recognize that I was feeling sad, I was more of an observer, and curious about the emotion rather than being pulled into my sadness. I was cognitively aware of my emotion; but was observing my feelings in the third person.

It was a scary feeling for me to feel disconnected between my emotions and my mind. And at first it was uncomfortable to navigate as an observer to my feelings. I now recognize the power that I will grow into as I evolve my capacity to distance my emotions from my thoughts, and welcome Inquiry Method™ as a path to this growth.

Manal

Stagnant Energy

What creates life, vitality, and productivity in any system, individual or group is the movement of energy.  When energy is moving –  things happen. Through leadership we direct this energy toward objectives that we deem beneficial.  As long as energy is moving things are happening.

When I work with a person, a company, a family, or a couple there are elements that are very similar.  In the same way a person has an identity, companies, families and couples have an identity that is more than the sum of the individuals.  This synergistic aspect of groups can work greatly in our favor but can also work against us.

The biggest problems occur when there is stagnant energy, think of a log jam in a river.  In systems like a person (people are systems), companies, families, and couples, stagnant energy creates a back up of energy that shows up and can be identified in each individual in the form of stress, anxiety, frustration, depression, suppression, worry…  These are all markers for stagnant energy.

When I work with an individual that is experiencing one of these markers we use the tool of Inquiry Method to identify and release these blockages and get the energy moving again.  The result is the feeling of excitement, flow, peace, freedom.  Just like a log jam breaking up there is a surge of energy, productivity, movement and then a return to balance and flow.

The same is true when I work with a business.  When we recognize that there is a blockage based on the markers (stress, worry, frustration, etc.) we work to remove the blockage and there is a surge of productivity, energy, engagement, etc… and then a return to flow and balance.

As a leader or manager using Inquiry Management and Inquiry Leadership your primary job is to identify this stagnant energy in the organization or in individuals and through inquiry and mentorship help to get the energy moving again.  This is a skill that can be learned.

When you recognize these markers in yourself it is a clear signal that you have some work to do.  Don’t walk, run.  The stagnant energy takes its toll on you; on your physical, emotional and mental health. In your company stagnant energy effects profitability, morale, employee retention, customer satisfaction, etc…  The longer it stays in your system the more damage it does.  Do your work, get some help, use Inquiry Method and get the energy moving again.  The breakthrough is exciting and liberating.  Being in balance and flow is joyful and nurturing.

Arthur & Merlin: The Power of Inquiry Leadership

As I have spoken before, the Inquiry Leadership model approaches leadership from the idea of mentoring and developing people. In this model the primary relationship between a leader and employee is as a mentor.

In this view the mentee is the hero and the leader is the supporter. I like to think of the relationship between King Arthur and Merlin. Merlin is the mentor, wise and knowledgeable but he is in the background, he takes no credit for Arthur’s victories but he is somewhat behind them. Arthur is the real hero because he has the courage to execute with Merlin’s coaching and support.

In the ideal Inquiry Leadership model the leader is mentor to all her/his direct reports, offering and giving support and using the inquiry model to elicit understanding and insight from the mentee (Arthur). This can proceed all the way down the corporate structure with your reports mentoring their direct reports.

In this model all leadership must come through the structure, you will be mentoring your reports in mentoring their reports.

When I am mentoring a CEO or other leader I fulfill this Merlin role for them. I mentor them on mentoring their reports. Everyone of us needs mentoring, we all can use a Merlin behind the scenes so we can be heroic and do our best.

In Inquiry Leadership I suggest that my clients set up the same pattern with their direct reports that I have with them, one hour a week where we ask questions, look into, explore, problem solve and refine, where we use inquiry.

When one of my clients has no problem this week I say “great!” now we can do some real work in getting better at something, “what part of what you do shall we work on refining, mastering?” Do this same thing with your reports, set up and maintain a weekly hour that happens no matter what.

A place to always start with your direct reports is in prioritization. I find that the thing that will create the most momentum in your company is in teaching and encouraging the right and most important place to use their energy. It is rare that, without mentoring, your employees will be using their energy in the most efficient way on the right priorities. By focusing their energy for the week you will be greatly focusing their potential energy, you may get 50% to 100% more out of them this week, and as an added bonus they will feel like a hero and their job satisfaction and enjoyment will go up.

Get great at growing heroes in you organization, be willing to be Merlin and take a back seat, encourage and coach an effective team. Through doing your own work and losing your ego you will start to drop into a wisdom and capacity that is deeper and more profound than what you now know. The Merlin in you will come out as you practice Inquiry Leadership. Stop directing and start mentoring.

Living Your Ideal Life

The other day a client told me that she was celebrating her birthday, and that when she tried to think of something special to do, she found that her regular daily routine could not be improved upon.

I feel this way too.

Each day is a construction of my ideal life. If I could imagine it better, I would do that.

How would you construct your ideal life? Do that.