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.

Self Judgment

Hi everyone, this is Peggy. I want to give you a quick summary before we jump into the blog.

Today’s blog centers around a conversation and teaching that happened on one of our recent membership calls and is presented here with permission from the participant. It starts when Kyle asks participants to share one thing they’d like the group to know about them.

It’s about how when we hold judgments on ourselves, we often also take the egoic position of the opposite side of that judgment. And, consequently, we are pulled in two directions: one of judging ourselves for not being x and one that is proudly asserting that we are x. In this blog, we explore that tension and what we can do to free ourselves from it.

We invite you to read the dialogue and teaching below, or you can listen to the audio recording. The audio is a neat way to experience what the membership calls can be like and why coaching is helpful. We also find that often some of your own growth comes from experiencing the new awareness and growth of others.

To learn more about our membership calls, click here

Listen to the audio here, or scroll down to read the conversation and teaching.

Client: One thing I’d like you to know about me is that… I’m shy.

Kyle: How does that show up?

C: I don’t speak up sometimes. Sometimes I just hold back.

K: What’s behind you holding back?

C: Fear of judgment.

K: What’s the judgment you most fear?

C: I don’t know what I’m talking about.

K: Ah, you fear the judgment that you don’t know what you are talking about.

When did you first learn that one? How old were you?

[After the client feels into the original place/people this judgment came from, Kyle switches to some teaching]

K: When we have an existing judgment, i.e. “I don’t know what I’m talking about, “ our psyche puts on the opposite idea as a defense, in this case: “I do know what I’m talking about” or “I want to know what I’m talking about”. It’s not a defense in the moment, but it’s this idea that I’m supposed to do that other thing instead i.e. I’m supposed to know what I’m talking about. And, I start to hold that egoic position of: “I do know what I’m talking about”. And, I get attached to that idea.

And, it pulls us in two directions – we have this judgment on ourselves, and at the same time, we find ourselves attached to that opposite egoic position.

But, we don’t have to live in that tension.

I don’t know if you notice but when I’m teaching there is both a quality that I do know what I’m talking about and there is also a quality that I don’t know what I’m talking about. The heart of inquiry is open curiosity- a total willingness to be informed differently, it’s kind of like: Hey this is kind of my best shot at it.

There is so much freedom in having no position on knowing what I’m talking about, not that I do or don’t. Sometimes I do know what I’m talking about and sometimes I don’t.

At the Freedom Experience, we sometimes put these opposing ideas metaphorically in each hand. In this example, “I know what I’m talking about” would be in one hand and “I don’t know what I’m talking about” in the other. And we can see visually, that we get stuck in this duality.  I’m trying to repress that I don’t know what I’m talking about and simultaneously, I’m trying to amplify that I do know what I’m talking about. So, the hands/our psyche gets pulled apart. But, when we let go of the energy between them, the dualities come together (visually the hands come together). And, in this place where the dualities come together, it becomes a non-question- the whole issue of knowing or not knowing what I’m talking about disappears. It’s a non-duality, a non-question. I have the freedom to sometimes know what I’m talking about and sometimes not know what I’m talking about.

So, there are all these things like this. And, this is part of what we do at the Freedom Experience. We identify all these places of duality

  • “I’m not pretty enough” and “I’m trying to be pretty”. It has this duality and tension rather than just being.
  • I may be trying to be smart but that means I also repress or shutdown not being smart. I hold this open question/judgment: Am I smart or am I not smart?

So, there are all these dualities in these thoughts and beliefs that we hold about ourselves. And when it goes away there is this freedom from the struggle in between these dualities (and that’s why we call it the Freedom Experience).

Another judgment could be that “I’m too scared”. If you take the energy out of it, it collapses to “I can be scared or not scared.” And, then in any given moment it may be: “I can be scared or not scared, but I’m feeling scared right now. And, the whole resistance to it changes, it becomes “oh I wonder why I’m scared now, maybe I should pay attention.”

So, the more that we can identify these dualities and let all the energy out of them, there is more freedom to just be.

In the original example, once I let the energy out, knowing what I’m talking about or not knowing what I’m talking about isn’t even a consideration. It just doesn’t occur. It’s more “maybe I do and maybe I don’t.” Self-trust comes in. There is a deeper truth that comes in when I don’t have to know or not know. The more we get out of needing to know, the more we get into source.

Every time we can collapse one of those dualities, the more we are connected to source.


To read more about our members calls, click here 

To read more blogs on self-identity and ego, click here 

Cleaning up your messes

I’m a bit of a clean freak. Not in the way we traditionally think about it, but in keeping my life sanitary, or you could even say sane-itary.

There is a quality of having backlogs and things undone that can take you out of the moment and burden your present. I notice the more sane-itarty I am, the more I’m able to appreciate and be in the present, and be present with whoever I’m with.

One example of being sane-itary is not having a pile of unread trade journals on your desk, another example is that I, for the most part, keep my email inbox hovering around zero. Sometimes there are 10 things that are kind of bookmarks or reminders, but I regularly process all my emails. Being up to date with things like wills, insurance, home repairs, appliance repairs, car care, bills paid, letters sent, communication made, plans updated. For some reason, these kinds of things hover around you all the time as long as they remain undone in your mind. They clutter your mind. They clutter your energy field. They clutter you emotionally and mentally. Even a disorganized closet, unwashed clothes, or unmade bed can trigger the feeling that there is always more to do. Sometimes it takes an effort to sanitize these things, but it is great to get on top of them or to have some maintenance program to stay sane-itary.

Suggested Self-Inquiry: Make a list of all the things that you would have to do to get sanitary and start cleaning them up. Even just making the list is a step in the right direction, it gets it out of your head and into a context where you can address them.


To go a little farther on this topic: read this blog about shifting your life from doing to being and read this blog about blocking time.

Self-Care

I was teaching at the Mountain Experience and someone asked me about how they could learn to be better at self-care.  I was in a feisty mood as a teacher that day and I said, “everything you do is self-care.” There was a bit of a stunned silence.

It is true.  There is nothing you do that is not the most self-interested thing you can think of at any moment, even when you are giving yourself away, on some level you think it is in your best interest.

However, as we learn to live at altitude and recognize the levels of consciousness, we can see that by raising our level of participation, our understanding of what self-care is changes and becomes more rewarding.

If you decided to believe that your every action was self-care, 100% of the time, how would that change what you decided to do?  How would that change how you perceived your level of fulfillment and satisfaction with life? How would you stay a victim of anything?

Loving Myself To Sleep

A crucial part of discovering what it means to love ourselves is finding our capacity to step into our larger self, what I am calling going to a higher level or altitude of consciousness. To do this, we must step out of our emotional or mental self, and step into the part of ourselves that can love and embrace all of our flaws or struggles.

To master this capacity, it is helpful to find ways to practice regularly. There are two things that I have been doing that help me step into my larger self.

The first exercise is to practice loving. I do this by picking an object, a beautiful rock or a flower, or anything else that speaks to me. I intentionally choose something with slight imperfections. I start appreciating it, begin pouring my loving into it, recognizing the beauty and preciousness of it. This is the practice of developing your capacity for love. By recognizing that you can intentionally generate your loving and appreciation for something outside of yourself, you are developing that capacity within yourself. As you get better at it, you can start extending it to things around you all the time. Everything that exists is worthy of love.

The second activity for deepening the capacity for self-love can be done at any time of the day, though I do it at night. As I prepare for bed and get ready to sleep, I step into my larger self and hold myself in the same consciousness that I would hold a stone from the beach. I think about the person who has gone through the day, about what happened mentally, physically, and emotionally and then I just hold him in deep acceptance. In the same way that I can love a stone from the beach or a flower from the garden, I can appreciate this imperfect person in all his aspects. And thus, recognize the beauty of self by going beyond the judgmental part of myself.

This is a different process from what we do in the Mountain or the Freedom Experience. This is not so much about getting better, but more about practicing having unconditional love for ourselves. In a way, it is a step towards reaching the Want-for-Us level. While it is very hard to do if in a lot of mental pain, it is separate from letting go and self-acceptance. In fact, it is of a higher order. Practicing this type of self-loving will support the experience of altitude throughout your life.

To learn more about altitude listen to my podcast: Life at Altitude.

Time: The New Precious Commodity

Twelve years ago, when I would talk to people about coming to a retreat such as The Mountain Experience, the primary issue that came up was usually money. “How much does it cost?” they would ask, “Is it worth it?” Nowadays, the money tends to be a smaller consideration, and time has become the larger issue. Time is the new precious commodity in our lives.

We have created the idea that time is more valuable because we can make money, but we can’t make time. This is a misconception!

If we think about it, we can actually see that we make time every day. Just reflect on the phrase we use when choosing what to do with our day. We state that we “have to make time for lunch,” or, “can make time for so-and-so” or “make time for this event”. We are making time, all the time. If we distinguish something as important for us or to us, we find a way to make time for it. We may do so by deferring or letting go of things that aren’t as meaningful, or by trying to squeeze too many things into a short period of time. You may find that there are beliefs or ideas in your head about what you should do, and that they interfere with your ability to “make time” for what is important.

Try this exercise: write down the activities that you do for your happiness, well-being, and self-care. Write down another list of activities that do not directly serve you. Begin to put less time into things in the second list, and start to make time for the things in the first.  An upcoming blog will help you do this, and make it easier to create your life through blocking your time.

How many of you would like to come to the Mountain Experience of the Freedom Experience and are having trouble making time? What is in the way?

Love,

Kyle