Kyle, you often describe yourself as a mentor, coach, and teacher. What drives you to teach others?
I have an interest, a passion, in exploring what it means to be human – exploring our capability to understand, access, and express truth. I’m driven to help others explore and expand their capacity, as well as pursue my own personal development. In fact, when I was a child, I would lay in bed at night practicing levitation. I thought if I was able to operate my mind in a certain way, I could do anything. I still believe that.
What do you mean when you say “understand, access, and express truth”?
I seek to understand what is really true about what it means to be human. Is there any other real question? The more we look at being here and having this experience of life, the more we can’t avoid this fundamental question.
Answering this question starts to unlock other possibilities. For example, what if I could have any superpower? Perhaps I would fly like an eagle and soar. When I think about all the possible superpowers one could have, understanding the meaning and purpose of life would be the ultimate superpower!
Since I became engaged in a yoga path, I have discovered that this exploration has happened through many cultures and philosophies. It’s clear that, as humans, we have the capability to awaken, to be enlightened, to gain a deep understanding of what’s really true.
When I mentor and coach my clients, I teach a practical skill to gain these insights and understanding, which I call Inquiry Method™. I have created a process that makes it possible for people who are interested in truth – discovering what it means to be human – and who want to access a deeper spiritual connection with their life.
If we can attain an understanding of truth and a deeper connection to our life, how does this help us?
Life flows more easily. There’s a clear reason and understanding behind what we do. We get out of our own self-concerned state and are able to participate more fully in what’s going on around us.
When you say, “life flows more easily,” that sounds like we’re on a path.
Yes, we’re all on this path, like it or not! Life is 100% supporting you to be on the path all the time. Life does that by pointing out places where you’re not in alignment with truth. Think about when a circumstance comes forward in your life and causes discomfort in some way (mental, emotional, or spiritual) or when life doesn’t have a sense of meaning or purpose. Many people avoid these feelings; they chuck them under the covers and suppress emotions.
Yet we walk a smoother path, with greater happiness and understanding, when we understand what it means to be human. Using Inquiry Method™, we receive those lessons in life – the circumstances, obstacles, or discomfort – and use them to become more connected with truth. Life works better.
Since life is full of obstacles, there are lots of opportunities for lessons!
Yes, and each obstacle is a potential guide to understanding truth. When something bad happens in your life and you react in an overly negative way, you can recognize that you’re not in alignment of truth. A way to enjoy an abundant, successful, happy engagement with life is being connected with the truth.
Whatever is going on in your life – if you’re unhappy, unfulfilled, or unable to overcome obstacles – this becomes a doorway to adjust your life, to make it the way you want. Any truth you resist means you’re not in alignment with your life, and you’re not functioning appropriately. In other words, if you haven’t accepted the truth of your life, you may be stuck in a negative emotion: stress, anxiety, worry, lack of sense of fulfillment, and so forth.
Also, there is a lack of effectiveness. If I cannot accept the truth of my life, how effective can I be? I have to want to know the truth first. Once we accept the truth, we have the potential to be effective in our lives.
What do you mean by “effective”?
To me, “effective” means there is flow and ease in your life. This is a bit farther down the road when people coach with me. I want folks to understand that it takes time to apply the Inquiry Method™ to your life. My style of coaching is not a quick fix. When I begin working with someone, I want them to be willing and prepared to make a commitment to a certain philosophy or approach that will enable them to refine their life.
Kyle, it almost sounds like you’re putting forth a challenge.
If you really want to study this approach, there is an underpinning and a deep, varied philosophy to follow. Pursue this and apply it to your life, and you will be 100% effective. You experience flow, ease, joy, beauty, enhanced relationships. You’re happier, and the people around you are happier. The longer you apply the Inquiry Method™, the better results you get.
And you can do all this without joining a religion or conducting weird practices! You simply subscribe to a philosophy offering a basic code and behaviors that make you more effective. As long as you are willing to apply yourself, you can use Inquiry Method™ as a set of tools to address, and overcome, every obstacle that comes along. The real value and success of my approach is using it all along your path.
Can you tell us more about how you view life as a path?
We’re all walking a path to higher consciousness, greater ease, and greater beauty. It’s easy to tell if we’re off the path – life is not working well! Life wants us to get on the path. In fact, life actually helps us get back on the path.
The longer we stay off the path, the more bushwhacking we have to do, to get back on. For example, if you keep using the same tools in a series of problematic relationships – and you continue to deny the issues – the more backtracking, pain, and suffering you’ll encounter as you get back on your path.
There’s some work to do this, which can be somewhat uncomfortable. It would be like letting your teeth go: not brushing, flossing, or regularly seeing a dentist. When you finally do see a dentist, there’s a fair amount of work to get you back to a healthy situation. Afterward, if you never brush again, you’ll be back in the original situation, with more work to do. On the other hand, if you continually address the well being of your teeth, you’ll be healthier and happier.
Many people don’t feel fulfilled with their life or simply are not happy. Why is it so common to feel like we’re not on our path?
Because you were not taught the path – you were taught the opposite. In the Western culture, we’re taught to ignore the internal signals about our path. This includes ignoring our intuition and denying our emotions. For example, how many parents tell their kids, “Don’t cry or I’ll give you something to cry about”? Unfortunately, we have been systematically trained and indoctrinated to ignore our path.
Now we are challenged to find our path, or recognize that we even have a path! This means most people are trying to do life “right” – following the doctrine or majority consciousness. (An example is comparing your body shape to models in magazines.) But you can’t do it TRUE and RIGHT at the same time.
Here’s my point: The longer you avoid pain and the message it sends to you, the longer you suffer. If you’re in pain, you have to change. If you’re in pain, you’re ready.
Kyle, for a lot of people, the “pain” relates to their careers. Many people struggle to understand their purpose, their contribution, or their next step. What are your thoughts about coaching on business or career challenges, not just personal issues?
Most of us spend a large number of our waking hours at our occupation. Generally, this is where we spend most of our creative, expressive time. It’s not simply a job, it’s our magnum opus – our great work. It’s our testament to what’s true and what we value most. If your work is not an expression of who you are, then you are wasting your time.
The opportunity to really express yourself through your work is precious. It’s exceedingly personal. Ideally, your business or your job expresses something that is true for you in your inner soul.
Are you proud of the work your organization does? Are you proud of your team? Are you willing to make your life a work of art? If you’re not, then you need to make a change. When I coach clients, we address all facets of their lives – both professional and personal.
I agree that work is an opportunity to express ourselves, yet how do we reconcile this with the goal – or myth – of work/life balance?
Here is the truth about work/life balance: Life is precious. You should spend every moment doing something that’s joyful. How can you perfectly balance your work activities and your life activities? Just do what’s joyful.
Family and home are extremely important, yet I find that many people are more committed to their work, because they don’t know how to be effective at home. When I coach business owners and executives, I ask, “Where do you feel you’re most intuitive, thoughtful, creative, and connected with yourself?” The answer: “At work.” They’re not connected to their family and home in quite the same way. They don’t know how to operate as effectively, with ease and flow, at home as they do at work.
If we don’t feel comfortable at home, where do we spend our time? At work. People become workaholics and spend long hours at work – longer than necessary – because they feel so uncomfortable at home.
When I coach these professionals, we look for ways to make home a blissful place to be, so they’re drawn to be there. In my coaching sessions, I create a safe, transformative space, where the issues in your life can rise to the surface in a way that’s manageable, so you can find practical resolution to those issues.
It sounds like you coach a lot of business owners and executives, is that correct?
Yes, because if you’re a leader, who can you turn to for insight and guidance? If you’re a CEO, who do you go to for wisdom and understanding, in a way that really feels supported and heard? Being a leader can be burdensome. Who do you talk to?
Leaders are taught to “go it alone” or read a book. You simply cannot work toward solutions – business or personal – singlehandedly. And book-learned knowledge is helpful, but it doesn’t solve the problem.
Kyle, do you have any final advice for the reader – whether they are a business owner, leader, or individual contributor – to make their work life more functional?
Here is the primary exercise I ask people to do: When you drive to work and sit in the parking lot, take a minute to check your thoughts and feelings. Do you feel any resistance about walking through the front door?
If you feel resistance, take another minute to think about this: What do you have to change to feel excited about walking through that door?
This is key: You must change what you’re resisting. You’ll be taking a risk, but at least you’ll be doing work you like and going to a place you want to go.
Of course, you can apply this exercise to any facet of life. Remember, you can be effective in your life. You can experience flow, ease, joy, beauty, and enhanced relationships. You can be happy!