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.
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.
Before we can manifest the life we want, we have to identify what it is that we really want. Most people’s ideas of what they want originate from their egos or identities or even popular culture. We often want things for the idea of things; we often want things that do not include the cost of having those things.
In my coaching experience, it is rare to have somebody come to me with a really clear idea about what they want. If they say, “I want a great relationship”, then we’ll start talking about what it takes to have a great relationship. Often times, however, people are not willing to do what it takes to have the great relationship. A simple example of this idea is wanting a boat. Lots of us want a boat, but boats are a lot of work and require a lot of maintenance and funding. They require working and being successful to a certain level that we can afford to have them. More often than not, most people who want a boat do not want the responsibilities that go along with it.
A lot of what we call “wanting” in our culture is more like fantasizing; it’s not taking the whole picture into account. When we really get to what we want, a lot of the time these things are seemingly not “A+ material” and require us to look into parts and places of ourselves that traditionally we have not been able to explore. These are things like wanting a great relationship—and wanting to put in the effort to get it—or wanting to be at peace with ourselves, or other thing like this. So, the first stage at getting what we want is by making clear what it is we really want. The second stage is to realize what has to change in you so that you can have what it is you really want.
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.
In order to talk about wanting, we must first talk about having.
There is nothing wrong with having. Having is fun; we have so much, so let’s enjoy it.
Wanting, however, is a huge problem. As soon as we want, we experience lack. Lack is a hollow feeling, an anxious feeling. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to want to have. They are in fact opposites.
Over 90% of our suffering is from wanting. Even if I “have” a pain in my back, 90% of that suffering is “wanting” it to end. In the moment itself the pain is not so bad; however, the fear it will never end is what causes the majority of the suffering.
Here’s an example. You are fine, content… then you pick up a magazine and see someone wearing a Cartier with a beautiful man/woman on his/her arm. All of a sudden you have a hollow feeling and some anxiety and now you are wanting, something is wrong, you need to fix it, you need money, how will you get it, no time to relax, get to work… Now, you are stuck with anxiety and a job you don’t love; consequently, you lose your freedom yet are still wanting…
There is nothing wrong with having; it is wanting that is the problem.
What wants are you willing to surrender so that you can have your life?