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.
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…
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You can’t change another person. That is one of the unfortunate, and yet universal truths. Sometimes, you can inspire another person to change. Being motivated is always impacted by the perception, “what’s in it for me?”.
On the other hand, there is one person who you are 100% empowered to change, and that’s you. In any relationship, whether it’s personal or in business, I like to tell people to take 100% responsibility. Take 100% responsibility for the business or 100% responsibility for the relationship. I am always looking to create a vision for a relationship that is inspired by the other person’s motivations or by adapting myself to what is or what’s true about the other person.
The most potent example of the first is a “want for us”. This is what I work with during a corporate or a relationship renewal. Whenever I’m in a primary romantic relationship with someone, I always like to whether it’s just for a vacation or long-term, come to a shared understanding of the “want for us”. Meaning, what is the want for us, what are we working towards together? When I can get clear about the “want for us” the relationship feels easy. When I can’t get clear about it, it feels hard or difficult. It’s even harder if we’re trying to achieve, experience, or do different things. In a case where we can’t come to a “want for us” or the other person is uninterested or unwilling to participate in a “want for us” in the way I want them to, the only other option is to accept them just the way they are.
That can sometimes be miraculous. Sometimes when I accept someone just the way they are, and get behind who they are, I find things open up and possibilities appear that never would have otherwise.
A relationship is always positive if we are oriented toward the want for us. Practice with your partner. When you wake up, before you go about your morning, discuss the “want for us” for the morning.
It could be, “Well I have a lot going on so let’s do our own thing and go our own way, but I want 5 minutes to have coffee with you and kiss you good-bye.”
The other person can say, “Actually there are some important things we need to get done. I would like help figuring out dinner so that I can go shopping for it and I’m also missing your attention. I’d like you to put your attention on me. I’d like for you to rub my neck and take some time for me.”
Then the other person may say, “I can get into that”, or not, but the goal is to get aligned.
So the want for us could be an overarching desire for your life together or it can be broken down into the want for the morning, the evening, or any of your time together.
Another example could be making decisions like buying a new refrigerator. Imagine this dialogue:
One person might say, “I want to buy the coolest refrigerator ever!”
And the other person might say, “I want to save some money. I’d like to spend under $300. I guess we better get aligned with what we are shooting for. Can we find a cool fridge for under $300?”
“Oh, I guess I hadn’t really thought about that. Are we running out of money?”
“Yeah, we don’t really have a lot of money this month, but we do need a fridge.”
“Oh, well maybe we could find a used one.”
Anytime we can get in alignment the smoother things will be. For example, you can decide on a “want for us” on vacation. If one person wants to relax and the other wants to go on adventures you should probably get clear on the “want for us”. Here is dialogue that could happen around that:
It can get really powerful when you go deeper, like, “I just really want this to amplify our connection to each other.”
The other person might say, “Oh I guess I hadn’t really even thought about that. I just thought we were going on vacation.”
“On the flight there let’s imagine different things we could do or different ways we could approach this trip so that it would amplify our connection to each other.”
Then, throughout the trip, when you go to do things, check in. “Should we go parasailing? Would that amplify our connection?”
“I guess not. It seems like the jungle hike would really achieve that.”
Anytime you can catalyze something around a “want for us” it’s really powerful. Anytime you step into any of these conversations it helps you clarify the relationship more and more.
The alternative to coming to a “want for us” is the choice to accept the other person the way they are.
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.
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.
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OK, here is my take on traditional holiday themes. You can look back at some of my other holiday blogs, but in general, there are two things that create most of the stress around holidays:
- Dealing with family
- Being a host
We cover dealing with family in past blogs, so let’s talk about being a host.
Most people think being a host is about making people happy. This is problematic because not everyone wants to be happy. People who want to be happy will be. People who don’t want to be happy, won’t be. So, we have to let that go.
Being a host means two things. It means offering and sharing things that you like with others and sharing your graciousness and goodwill.
The game about hosting is not about how other people respond but how you show up. How you show up in regards to what kind of host you want to be. My preference is to be a grounded, loving, generous, caring host who offers an environment, music, food, and gifts that I value and that mean something to me as a host. I imagine bringing people into a world where they can relax, where they can feel my relaxation and presence. I imagine creating an experience where they feel more than being served; they feel my ability to connect with them, and they feel an environment of safety and non-judgment. Why do I like doing this? Not necessarily because of the impact and result I get with others, but because I enjoy being in the role of and playing the part of Kyle as host. That’s where I get my holiday enjoyment. What kind of host do you want to be?
It has been so helpful to recognize I have a choice every moment.
Not about what is happening right now, but about my relationship to it.
My 3 choices are:
If I resist, I create struggle in me and around me.
In acceptance, I become neutral, but neutrality is a form of death.
In approval, I decide to lean in to what is happening.
I get behind it.
This is when the magic happens.
Approval is a powerful life practice available to you every moment.
I use the word practice to indicate it takes practice and you are never done getting better at it.
Try it right now, take something you are resisting either inside or outside you and get in approval of it, get behind it, get into it and see what happens. Let me know.
I am traveling today and I like to remember that people are good. I notice that in general that I tend to resent the person in the seat next to me on the airplane as an imposition and nuisance, usually making some judgments about them in some way or another. Without connection people are just objects in the field. However, now I make a practice of just saying “hi.” I rarely engage in long conversations, but I say hi and lightly connect. Inevitably this little connection humanizes them and I see the human behind the physical object. I can no longer resent them or make judgments about them because they are human beings now. We can do this all day long, turn people into human beings. It is amazing what a difference it can make.
Is simply noticing things, it is what we choose to bring our attention and
consciousness to. You have the power to choose what you become aware of
and what you give your attention to. This is one of your most powerful allies
in how you experience, evolve and construct your life.
The filters through which our consciousness sees the world, how you are
interpreting what you are aware of. Perspective limits and can modify your
awareness. Getting new, more expansive perspectives will powerfully
upgrade what you can do with your awareness and how you are able to
participate in your life.
Is the active part of ourselves, what we are present to, what we call agency;
our power to choose and act in alignment with our most authentic self.
Conscious behavior is in contrast to unconscious behavior. As we grow our
consciousness, conscious behavior takes over more of our lives and
unconscious behaviors are diminished, we feel more empowered and alive.
Is information that comes in from the outside as a result of our conscious and
unconscious behaviors. By bringing awareness to the feedback we are
receiving we get a mirror to the impact of our behavior and have the
opportunity to change conscious behavior, grow and change our perspective,
and possibly bring unconscious behavior to light.
Is a tool for working with feedback and exploring our own awareness,
perspective, and consciousness. It is also a way to explore relationships and
interactions with others without interference from our own perspective.
Inquiry can be a method for supporting others to become aware of their own
unconscious behaviors, beliefs, and perspectives. Inquiry brings light into