Ego’s Trap

Attachment to the ego is the primary obstacle to our ability to lead effectively. When we assert our truth, opinions and assumptions – we are directive in a way that limits growth. Inquiry Method™ is a philosophy and a practice that cultivates the ability to set ego aside and to inquire into, ask questions, and employ natural curiosity in order to connect with deeper truths and insight. Using and growing natural curiosity about life and people will enable you to become an inspirational leader and will elevate how you live your life, how you do business, how you relate to others, and how you perceive yourself.

Great leaders are not so much attached to themselves and their success as to great ideas and inspiration. Great leaders inspire others toward a cause, not through devotion to the individual.

It is my intention that Inquiry Method revolutionize how we live our lives, how we do business, how we relate to each other, and how we see ourselves. In fact it has already begun.

Our Inquiry Management eCourse will lead you through the levels of participation, these levels parallel levels of personal development that are available to you and will be necessary for you to be able to fulfill the promise of this course. Traditionally we think of growing as accumulating things, in fact these levels actually become more available to you as you let go of things. The capacity to let go is fundamental to progression in Inquiry Method, each time we let go of something we open to new capacity and depth, we let more in.

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Recently, I received a question from someone that follows my blogs. The essence of the question was: “How do I love myself?

This is a really important and critical question at many levels of growth. How do we truly honor and love ourselves even when we are so clearly imperfect, struggling or having strong negative feelings? The capacity to love oneself is tricky because we have not identified which part of us is doing the loving and which part is being loved. Let us think about the question of self-love through the lens of the three aspects of self that we refer to in Inquiry Method™: mind, body and source.

If we think about loving ourselves from the mind or conditional love, this is coming from the ego, which generally comes through having accomplishments, meeting expectations, or achieving goals etc. That conditional love is not the kind of love that most are looking for or want. In many cases we may be matching up with an ideal that we or other people have set for ourselves. Conditional love will never satisfy that yearning for love, because it can be withdrawn at any time and it is based upon what we may be doing or what is happening right now, not who we are.

Another form of love that we associate with the body is emotional love or passionate love. Emotions are carried by and can be recognized in our physical bodies. Emotional love is a special gift that we get at certain moments in our lives; when we are feeling particularly inspired about what is happening right now, an experience, when in nature or beauty, or just in connection with this deep emotional love of being in life, with another person, or by ourselves. Essentially, it is loving towards ourselves for no reason. This emotional love is wonderful, but it is also transitory; meaning it cannot be held on to or manifested at will. Some may be able to practice connecting with emotional love through loving practices or loving meditations, but essentially it will still be transitory, like the weather.

The third kind of love is a love from source or soul; and this love is unconditional love. This love requires us to drop in to our larger selves, meaning that we have to step into that part of us that is larger than our intellectual nature (mind), or our emotional nature (body). This larger broader self or higher self recognizes the needs of the mental and emotional self and hold space for it. Meaning: loving unconditionally. It is not the same as romantic love or the emotional love, it is more like holding space and deep acceptance for the frailties in our struggles and in this experience of being human.

I practice loving from source when I go to bed at night, in particular, I will drop into that more soulful part of me and be there for the part of me mentally and emotionally that has gone through the day and suffered through the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” – as Shakespeare has said.

Of the three different mechanisms for self-love, the most relevant to the Inquiry Method™ is the love from source: the capacity to hold that larger, safer, non-reactive, nonjudgmental, unconditional love, that does not feel like passionate love, or pride, or self-esteem but is profoundly self-accepting.

As a bonus, the more we are able to discover and do this for ourselves, the more we are able to love and hold that space for others. I model this in the Mountain Experience, Freedom Experiences and the other experiences that I create. It is part of what draws people so much to those experiences, is having an experience where someone is holding that profound and deep safety and acceptance without judgment for another person. As you practice this for yourself, you will increase your capacity to hold that space and be that for others.



Self-Worth and Self-Identity

In Inquiry Method language we use the term Self-Image to indicate the complete way in which we see ourselves and how we perceive we are seen by the world.  Self-Image is then constructed of two parts:  Self-Worth and Self-Identity.

Self-Identity is my mental construct of self.  It is who I think I am, my roles, my culture, my beliefs, my abilities, my language, my appearance, my possessions.  The way we heal around our Self-Identity is to become aware that these things, this materialization of self, is not us.  That we can change or dis-identify with any aspect of Self-Identity.

This capacity to dis-identify is truly freeing, as I no longer think or feel that my Self-Identity is me, I no longer take it so personally nor do I need to expend so much energy trying to control it.  The less I identify with Self-Identity the less I am focused on the symbols of success and failure and the more present, process oriented, flexible and responsive to life I am.

Self-Worth is my emotional perception of myself.  My judgments about myself.  I am a good or bad person, there is something wrong with me.  I am too angry or very intelligent, lovable or unlovable, essentially worthy or unworthy.  The struggle with Self-Worth is heartbreaking.  It began with the breaking of our heart, our spirit.

Within our sense of Self-Worth is a series of judgments that some aspects of me are good and some aspects of me are bad.  As I disown parts of myself I begin to shut down critical systems.  As I make parts of myself unworthy I loose critical capacities that I need to fully live life.

To heal my Self-Worth I must go back and accept every aspect of myself that I was taught was unworthy and recognize the inherent worth of every aspect of myself.  In this process we discover and start to live from a place that everything arising in myself is worthy, has something to tell me.  Through the process of deep acceptance of self we recover and reconnect with the guidance offered by our emotions and Inner-Knowing.

As I heal my Self-Worth I begin to recover that worthiness, the self love and acceptance that is our birthright as human beings.  Each one of us is worthy in ourselves, is worthy of love and acceptance.  Each one of has deep gifts just in our humanity that are lurking just below the surface of our shattered Self-Worth.

Self-Worth is distinct from Self-Esteem.  Once we have our Self-Worth, once we begin to hold ourselves in worthiness in the world, once we begin to honor what is arising in ourselves,, we can tap into the artist or creator withing us.  Self-Esteem goes beyond our inherent inner worthiness, it is what we feel when we have been fully expressed, when we give our contribution outside of ourselves.  Self-Esteem is what we feel when we have done something well, job well done.

We cannot get to Self-Esteem without Self-Worth.  We must feel worthy as human beings before we can find the artist or creator within.  We must be able to break out of our Self-Identity to be free enough to express it.

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