Reflections from the Mountain Experience

Hi everyone. Olivia here. We just had a Mountain Experience this past weekend in LA at the hotel Erwin in Venice Beach. The first night we met on the beach for sunset and at lunch we sat at the rooftop bar and looked out over the ocean. It was the perfect supportive, beautiful, backdrop for the work that we were doing.

This is only my second Mountain Experience but each one that I’ve been to has had its own flavor. One thing, however, is consistent: profound safety is created and held by Kyle, allowing all the participants to drop into their vulnerability, and everyone emerges less burdened, more radiant, and more capable of responding positively to life’s challenges.

I felt so close to each one of the participants and am grateful to say that I believe all of them will be friends for life. It was a magical experience, one that I will not soon forget.

Below, read impressions from some of our attendees on their experience this past weekend.


Working with Kyle and Inquiry Method has helped me release a ton of childhood pain that had impacted my entire life. Now I feel lighter and more capable of being in relationship with myself and my desires as well as staying connected and intimate with others. -AP

The Mountain Experience this weekend was amazing! Kyle does an incredible job creating a safe space for everyone to be real and let the deep stuff arise that may have been hidden inside for years or decades. I have had such a healing experience working with Kyle and releasing emotional pain that’s been stored in my body for months or years, that I didn’t even know was there. I felt so connected to the people in the group and so inspired by their opening, healing and growth that happened right before my eyes. I feel so grateful for the tools and perspectives that Kyle shares. They have made such a difference in how I related to people in my life, how I show up in the world, my ability to slow down, trust others, surrender when I need to, and not be controlling of others, which has given me so much freedom. -Aimee 

This weekend was such a blessing and breathe of fresh air in my life. I feel inspired and lighter and clearer walking away from the Mountain Experience. Gathering together for 3.5 days was a game changer that will impact my life from here on out. Kyle has a gift that is hard to put into words. I’m thankful for his huge impact, and for everyone who was there who showed up and shared on such deep, powerful levels. It was a really profound experience. I feel like I can now let things go with more ease. -KH

So profound, such clarity now. The Mountain Experience with Kyle Mercer is different than anything else I’ve ever experienced. This has literally changed my life from this day forward. -JC


Feeling like you missed out on coming to a Mountain Experience in 2019? Keep a lookout for our 2020 calendar to sign up. We will be releasing it in the next couple of weeks.

Shedding Our Shells

The following is an edited transcription of a talk Kyle gave at the Freedom Experience that we just had this past month in North Carolina. This experience was all about discovering our roles, noticing our public and private identities, and letting go of our limiting stories to be able to move into a new phase of life. This passage is a metaphor that Kyle uses to illustrate the necessity of shedding our old lives in order to move into our new ones.


A crab eventually outgrows its shell. Because they can’t grow their shells they have to shed them in order to become a bigger crab. The crabs that haven’t shed in a while will sometimes have barnacles growing on their shells, and their shells are really thick and hard. These crabs have filled up all the spaces in their shell so they are jam-packed with meat. When you go to cook them, they are heavy and dense.

When crabs shed their shell they have to go underground as they start to form a new one. If you catch one at this phase they are light and fluffy, their shell is fresh and clean, and their shell is squishy and not hard yet. They are vulnerable. If you cook them and eat them they only have little strands of meat and little strands of muscle because it hasn’t filled all the way out into this new stage, this new shell.

That’s what it’s like when we shed our ego or our identity. Sometimes we come out of our old shell and we notice, “Oh I’m feeling really tender here and feeling a little exposed.”

I promise that a new image and a new identity will form and a new ego will form around this new space. And, even though there is more space to move into in your new form, there is going to be another point where even that new shell will need to be shed to make more space.

I think we should be doing this ego shedding annually or every two years because when you fill up all the space you just don’t fit in the same shell anymore. There will come a time when your shell limits you in pursuing the life you want.

At the Freedom Experience, we lead you through a process to shed your shell and free you up to have more ability to grow, to gain altitude, and more options in life.

Final Edits Before the Book Release!

Hey everyone! Olivia here. Kyle and I are reading his upcoming book cover-to-cover before we send the final edits to the publisher. We’re so excited! Finally, everyone can access his philosophies on the levels of consciousness in one place. A lot of personal development teachers tell you about the result you need to achieve. Few, however, actually show you how. That is what I love about Kyle and his teaching style. This book, “Life at Altitude”, not only tells you about Inquiry Method and its principles but also shows you how to apply those principles to your life.

The following is an excerpt from the book that spoke to me. It is about giving to yourself before you give to others. It is about true giving without expectation of return on your investment. I’m applying these principles in my life right now and it’s harder than I thought it would be but it’s also been a huge gift. It’s freeing me up to start putting beautiful attention on myself, my wants, and my desires and in turn be able to love others more fully.

I hope that this passage speaks to you on your life journey and that it helps you create a deeper bond with your loved ones and cultivate a greater connection to self.

Most people I work with initially have pretty empty reservoirs. They keep giving and giving, trying to give enough so that others will fill them up in return. This is the game we are all taught to play: “If you give enough you will get it back.” I don’t find that this game works very well and it is based on a false premise, the idea that others can fill you up.

In Life at Altitude, the new game is called “Fulfilled to Overflowing.” In this game, it is my job to fill myself up, to fill up my own tank of aliveness, to take care of myself, and to give myself all I need for a full tank of love and vitality for myself.

In this game, I take care of my needs, and I am not waiting for others to see my value and do it for me. I may do this by giving myself time, doing things that fulfill me, even asking others for what I need so that I can be filled. In doing so, I am taking full, 100% responsibility for my tank being full. This means not blaming others when my tank is not full. This includes the work you do at Levels I-III.

Once my tank is full, once my needs are met at Levels I-III, what happens then is my tank starts to overflow, and at Level IV I have more than I need of everything, in particular love.  From this perspective, I can give abundantly from my excess without tapping into my reserve.  I never have to tap into my reserve because I am always filling myself up with what I need.

Also from this perspective, what I give is a pure gift, with no recompense required. I am giving away my excess, and I don’t need anybody to fill me. This abundance and generosity is a truly glorious position to come from.

It takes practice and focus to do this; you have to be attentive to your own tank first. Our culture calls this selfish, but I have never seen anyone who is truly generous giving from an empty tank. When we give from an empty tank, we always want something back.

True generosity comes from filling your own tank and giving freely from the abundance of love you generate.

Breaking out of the cultural trap of giving yourself away takes courage and intent.

What is your first step toward “Fulfilled to Overflowing”?


If you are interested in being notified when pre-orders for our book go live click here!

Identity Traps

Hey everyone! Olivia here. This is a clip from our weekly Online Coaching and Teaching Circle. Once a week we get together in sanctuary, bring current issues and questions to the group, and have the opportunity to learn from and get coached by Kyle. Kyle takes questions from the group. Colleen was generous enough to let us use the following video so that we can all learn from her questions on one of these calls. In this clip Kyle explains what he calls “identity traps” and how to move away from labeling ourselves.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION:

Kyle: What’s the thought or the judgment that you have on yourself from up here (points to head).

Colleen: It’s that I’m not smart.

Kyle: I just came up with a new term for this. I’m going to call it an “identity trap”.

Colleen: It’s an “I am” statement, “I am not smart” so therefore I want to feel smart. How do I get it into the belly and into the Source and out of the head?

Kyle: In Source it’s irrelevant. “Smart” and “not smart” is irrelevant. “Not smart” is perfect for inquiry, a sense of wonder. “Smart” is perfect for figuring things out. When the judgment is gone there is no conversation about “smart” and “not smart”. When you really take “smart” and “not smart” and disappear it there is no contemplation of that… A child doesn’t go “smart”/”not smart”.

“Hey, do you want to play in the sandbox?”

“Well, “I’m not smart”.

It’s not like that. In the pure form “smart” or “not smart” is a useless consideration.

Colleen: With continually working on myself it gets there?

Kyle: The thought “I’m not smart” is laughable. That idea you go, “That’s laughable.” Sometimes I’m smart in this moment and sometimes I’m not. What is it that I want to do? Give me a situation where you would come up with, “I’m not smart”.

Colleen: At work, if there’s somebody and we’re doing something and I don’t feel equal with them I feel “I’m not smart” and they are.

Kyle: Again, it’s irrelevant. So, you and I are working together. Who’s the leader? You or me?

Colleen: We’re equal. Neither of us are in charge. We’re equal.

Kyle: So, we are in a partnership and we are trying to come up with an idea for something and you have a great idea. And I think, “I’m not smart because you had a great idea”. No, I say, “You’re really on this, this sounds AMAZING!” I would be happy, I would say, “Run with it!”… It makes no difference who’s smart…The more you do that the more inspiration comes. We always think we are supposed to be the leader.

There is a great video of a guy at a festival and he’s kind of a kooky dancer…and somebody jumps up and starts dancing just like this guy. Then all of a sudden there is a mass movement and all these people start flocking to dance like this guy and it turns into a mob. The whole premise is the powerful person isn’t the first kooky guy that’s dancing.The powerful person is the first follower. The first follower is the one that recognized the genius in the goofy guy and started dancing like him. They were the one that catalyzed the whole thing… I could throw out ideas all day long and then all of a sudden you say, “That one is AMAZING!” And I think, “It is? Alright, I got a good one!” There is not a right or wrong position in that. Sometimes the first follower is the most important position.

Even in a business I don’t necessarily want to hire for leadership. I may want to hire for consistency… I might hire someone who you point them in a direction and they go after that thing blindly and relentlessly…When we are looking at the “we” space it’s not about who came up with the idea but about what’s needed and wanted next…If we want to do this thing at work what do we need next?…You’re looking for what’s needed in the moment…


Is there something that you want coaching on? Do you want community and connection with more people who are on this journey? Join us weekly for the Members Online Coaching & Teaching Circle. We offer two different times, so choose the time that works best for you. You can join us Thursdays at 8pm ET/5pm PT or, starting Sept 10th, you’ll be able to join us Tuesdays at 2pm ET/11am PT. Your first call is free, click here to learn more and join us this week.

Reflections from the Mountain Experience

Hi, Olivia here.

Inquiry Method hosted a Mountain Experience this past weekend in Rye, New York. This was not my first experience with Kyle as a teacher but it was my first Mountain.

I have been actively making personal development a part of my life for a long time. I’ve read books, listened to talks, watched movies and attended workshops and seminars on topics ranging from psychology to self-help, to spirituality. They all speak of the process of undoing – of cleaning up the filter through which we view the world by letting go of our emotional pain. The problem is that hardly anyone gives you a process by which to achieve this outcome.

What I witnessed at the Mountain Experience is that Kyle gives you a road map to cleaning and clearing emotional pain. I once heard Kyle describe his role as a teacher as being a guide. He said that he too has had to walk through his own pain, every single little piece of it, and it hasn’t been easy. He conjectured that this might have been his path so that he could map the way for others. Kyle said that he was a man with a torch leading people through the darkness and toward the light.

Attending the Mountain Experience this weekend it was clear to me that Kyle has an answer to the often unanswered question, “how do I get rid of my pain?” He showed me and all of the attendants that it is possible to release our sadness, anger, guilt, and shame. This is the first and perhaps most important step of living the life we want and I am profoundly grateful for how this process has begun to heal my self-image and my relationships. I am more confident, curious, and able to put beautiful attention on those I love.

Here are a few other reflections from participants in the weekend:


“Going to the Mountain Experience was an incredibly transformational experience. I arrived with confusion and mixed emotions and left with much more clarity and a better sense of how to make decisions and live life through love of myself and others. The great takeaway this weekend, for me, was realizing the power of self-forgiveness.

Kyle in conjunction with the great support of Peggy and Olivia, allowed me to really connect with myself all throughout this weekend. I’m very grateful for them and for sharing this time surrounded by such amazing people.”

                                                                                               -Mike


“The Mountain Experience has turned out to be the most precious gift I have ever given myself. My experience was deeply emotional and nothing like I have ever experienced. I was both moved and impacted powerfully and positively. I felt immensely safe, connected and loved all at one time. It was a journey of epic proportions in just four days and I left full of love.

At the end of the experience, I set meaningful intentions to make positive changes in my life. I am overwhelmed with gratitude for all of the other participants this weekend and especially for Kyle. After this weekend I feel full of hope and see enormous potential for myself. My life is truly different since I have returned home.”

                                                                                               -Colleen


“Just returned from a truly transformative weekend at the Inquiry Method Mountain Experience! The change that Kyle Mercer and his team facilitated for each of the 15 participants in a span of just 3 days was astounding. I have been doing personal growth work for over 7 years with an array of mentors and organizations and the depth of connection, vulnerability, and transformation that I experienced and witnessed in this group is incomparable.

Personally, I had breakthroughs in areas I’ve been “working on” for years. Apparently, it needn’t be that hard. I feel lighter, more joyful, more present, and the mental chatter is significantly diminished — all without efforting.”

                                                                                               -Heather


“My first Mountain Experience was in 2001. This one was either my fifth or sixth Mountain Experience. I have found that every time I go I learn something about myself and I get cleaner. 

Up until now, I had been feeling a heaviness and burden as a result of my rules and ideas surrounding my role as a mother, grandmother, architect… and more. Kyle helped me release my labels and soften on my roles. As a result, I feel grounded and light and worthy of all the care and attention I want to place on me!”

                                                                                               -Kathleen


From all of us at the Inquiry Method team, we hope you join us at the next Mountain in Los Angeles, California, October 10-13. To read more about it or sign up click here.

Question & Answer: How to Begin Your Personal Development Journey

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

How do we begin our personal development journey? How do we begin to address those deep childhood wounds?

Consciousness, Letting Go and Altitude

The biggest challenge in the transformational process or the raising of consciousness within the context of Life at Altitude is the ability to recognize what is “I” and what is not “I”. It’s impossible to let go of something that you’re identified with. When someone I work with is identified with their emotional pain they can’t let it go because from the ego’s point of view, it would be suicide.

If I’m identified with my anger, “I am angry”, then I identify as that thing and my consciousness and my awareness are so focused on the anger that I can’t see anything else. In colloquial terms, it’s called “seeing red”. If I am looking at life through anger, as anger, there is no way to let it go. In Inquiry Method, when we’re working with something like anger or sadness, grief, loss or fear, we have to raise up the level of consciousness to, “I feel angry”. If I can get to the place where I recognize “I feel angry” then I am no longer identified with the anger and have, with a little bit of training or re-training, the capacity to let it go. That is the same for any pain or emotional trigger that you have. If you can get separate from it then you can let it go.

Beyond identification with emotions, we can also identify with a belief, idea, or self-image. Whatever self-image we are identified with is difficult to let go of or dis-identify with because we think we are that. Somebody who thinks they are a victim or believes in their victimhood rarely can get out of that mindset until they realize they are just playing the role of a victim. The same goes for when someone believes in their power, their authority, or their importance. It’s hard for people who have been very successful, such as CEOs or presidents of organizations, to let go of their identification with the importance of their station. However, each one of these titles can be a trap. Once we identify with some egoic position, like importance or lack of importance, it’s very hard to let go of – until we can raise our consciousness to the level where we recognize we are just playing a role or a game and that it is not us.

It’s the same with drive. We can identify with whatever drive we have. It is really hard to see myself or see things accurately when I am driven toward anything. It could be a drive toward relationships, toward love, toward money, etc.

The whole key of transformation is to recognize that A) you are not your emotions, B) you are not your thoughts, C) you are not your drives. By developing the skill and capacity to recognize the difference, we become more flexible and more able to transform our lives. We can lift our experience of life into realms that are beyond our current experience.

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.

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.

Your Life

Your life
A book
Author
And
Protagonist
Write it
So you can’t
Put it down
The end
Is written
You lose
everything
What matters
What you
Let go
The losses
The wins
How do
You write
Your story
Style
Pace
Rhythm
Mood
Insight
Wisdom
Tragedy
Comedy
Terror
Inspirational
Is
100%
Up
To
You
You are the
Author
The author-ity
On this story
You tell
To yourself
Make it
Fucking good


Written by Kyle Mercer

Templating your life

Once your heart is committed to something it’s easier to do it.

Here is a tool to help you commit to practices you want to incorporate into your life: Put it in your schedule and then just never argue with your schedule.

A study showed that you only have x number of willpower points per day. It’s why it’s easy to follow your diet first thing in the morning, but then after work you’ve expended them all, so at that point, it feels like pizza or beer is a really good idea. We only have a few points per day, so we expend them throughout the day, and then we run out of them towards the end of the day. So, the end of the day is not a good time to make a decision or make efforts.

Some of the guys who are into hacking life say they decide ahead of time what they are going to eat all day long so they don’t waste any willpower points on deciding what to eat. They say – I go to work at the same time, I wake up at the same time, I use the same toothbrush, etc. They save their willpower points for later in the day. They eliminate all these decisions so that they save their willpower points for things that are significant.

This is kind of like that. If you want to do yoga, put yoga in your calendar, and just do what your schedule says. Surrender to your schedule so it doesn’t take any willpower to go to yoga because it is in there the same as if you had scheduled a client. And you treat it like it is the same. I call it templating your life. Template your year. Template your life. Template a month. Template a week. Even template a day. You are pre-creating it so that you can just flow into it.

You don’t have to be in negotiation around things because you’ve created a structure. And it’s fine to change it, but change the structure, don’t just say “I’m not doing that thing today”. Meaning, if you don’t want to do yoga today, you either have to change the structure and quit saying that you go to yoga every day, or you go to yoga.  This makes it a container you can flow into and find your rhythm.

You don’t question your decision. You create a container and then you stick to it.