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We’re talking about the tools and techniques to shift our state of being so that we’re better able to handle conflict in our lives.
We’re really talking about energy. We’re talking about going home at the end o f the day and having enough energy to be present with our after-hours work.
So many people I meet now are so busy getting ready for work, eating for work, driving to work, getting home from work and it feels like a 12 hour day. Even if they’re punched in for 8 hours and some more really, that drive time and getting ready rounds to 12 or 13 hours.
And when people are coming to me as clients they say “I’m depleted – I’m burned out – I grab something a watch a bit of silly nothing and go to bed – and that happens day after day”.
I think some people get to this point where it’s not enough. People say its’ not fulfilling and, so really, the work we’re doing here is to take a good look at how we use our energy.
And energy is a key. I once read an article that if we had this metaphoric number of 125 units of positive energy; we might relate it to will power at the beginning of our day. How we use it, misuse it, abuse it, let it drip away, like a bucket with a hole in it. Remember the old song from Belafonte – my buckets got a hole in it? – well I think our will power bucket and our energy of the day sometimes has a perpetual leak, and our energy is dripping out and sometimes pouring out.
We evolved this program around handling conflict or issues in order to permanently address ‘leaky bucket’. We’ve got to end the ‘leaky bucket”!
Not just for the sake of the bucket but for us to go home, having enough energy left, to have enough residual energy to stay connected to family, to children, to outdoor activities, to being contributing in community, to going out to, I don’t say line dancing, swing dancing, I don’t know what is the vogue right now, I heard the burlesque is back. We want to be in community with energy, we want to be home with our partners with energy, we want to be here with our family with energy and to just survival energy but energy that allows for participations.
Monika: Would you say there were some consistent factors that people do that is contributing to that?
coach john: That is the essential question we need to ask ourselves. Is this supporting me or taking something away? Adding to my life or taking something away? And as you’ve pointed out in our conversations – sometimes when you’re in the thick of it – you can’t see the forest for the trees. Sometimes, just for safety you’re gonna stay on the beaten path. Sometime we’re just too tired to explore a new way.
So energy is a big component of the success of our program and that’s to really stop and listen to what we’re saying about the situation. Are we throwing a whole lot of energy at something that doesn’t need it? Because some things need – as I said to you before if conflict in a situation could run from 1 to 12, well if a level 6 conflict we don’t need to throw both barrels, we don’t need to really load everything down. If it’s a level 2 or we can just kind of take our time to address it, maybe we could even invite to explore it tomorrow, or next week. At a level 12, our house is burning down, a Chernobyl kind of accident; yes we need to really “this is conflict!” But life is not Chernobyl, life is not a Tsunami, life is great things we read about like the Nepal earthquake just a year and a day ago, that’s not what’s happening most of the time.
Most of the time our conflict is a number of little things. We need to assign to them the appropriate response energetically. So if we’re going hunting, we don’t unload both barrels at a small sparrow.
I once did, going out hunting as a 12 year old, hunting game for Thanksgiving. There was a field grouse, a grouse in the forest and I pull up my shot gun and pull it. It knocked me right off my feet and there was nothing but pellets and Betty had to spend half the morning taking the pellets out before we could cook my little bird, you know. We need to discharge appropriate energy, to get a proper result.
So energy is a big key. We start understanding what adds to our energy bank and what takes away from our energy bank. We all have so much energy and that’s it. If it’s a day when your energy is a little lower, I think, as all people who need to husband resources, we want to manage our energy with a lot more care.
That to me is what I’m thinking. So when I mention “energy” to you, do you have days when it’s not unlimited? When you feel a little more constrained?
Monika: Absolutely, yeah.
coach john: And do you have days when you feel kind of magical, you’re kind of hop, skipping, it’s great.
Monika: sure, yes
coach john: and do you notice when you have those days when life is flowing, hopping and skipping like a day in spring in the forest; when you meet someone, your energy exchange is so much more, may I use the word “positive”? “up”?, available?, willing to take more risk? And you notice I didn’t once mention fear!
In that state of energetic presence, we’re able to enter into a conflict situation and fear dissipates, because our thought and energy is, I won’t say controlled as much as focused. Laser. We’re getting better results. We’re more engaged. We’re willing to risk going in there because we know we’re enough. We know we’re safe. We know we can ask better questions and we can not only be attuned to our energy but we’re not explosive. We’re not reacting.
We’re stopping, with intention and the practice, we’re just slowing it down, to go “hmm, that sounds like that’s a concern to you?” “Would you be willing to try this?” “Would you be open to exploring with me?” “That sounds like something we need to discuss, and I’m really not in a great space right now, I was up all night doing a project. Would you be open to set that off until next Tuesday?” “So we could re-form our need to be present in it?” And then when we are present with it, we can actually drop into it.
Monika: I wanted to ask you, because there are times when I feel that I’ve got something happening in me, where I’m feeling good, I’m feeling in my flow, you know where it’s one of those good days, and yet still, I might get to a place in myself, almost because the energy is flowing and I’m in a good space; I might meet a new area in myself, oooh! You had talked last week about exploring possibility. This growth starts to happen and suddenly I’m entering into an area of myself I never have before. There can be difficulty even with the expansion of the positive energy. How do you think we can deal with that kind of thing?
coach john: Well that takes on the majesty of our program. First of all, I’m feeling good, I want to take that risk, I want to know more. Or I want more meaningful purpose in my life, I want to have that little sparkle from doing something extra and yet I haven’t maybe done it before. I’m not sure if I can do it right, I’m not sure if I know exactly what to do. And little bells are going off, ohhh, a little fear, anxiety and doubt, it’s just natural, 60% of our brain goes there. The amygdala is sending off alarm bells to keep you safe. But at the other hand it does challenge you to second guess yourself.
And that’s how this process, worked on over time, allows you to align yourself to what you value and what you know intuitively is right. So you’re coming into the process at that time, of knowing that 1) you can back the truck up, as they say in the valley. You can step back into an early part of “what was my intention for this?” “What is my state of mind?”, “If this is a practice, and it’s not just flowing where I would like it to go, I have total to ease back a bit.” “I don’t have to push through it, maybe it has to be completed another day”. But I’m comfortable when I go into the conflict. Into the fear that is generated by that.
The uniqueness, the elegance, the subtlety of the heart-based process is the heart is a self-clearing, self-cleaning mechanism, so it overrides the pain and the fear, of the conflict and the fear. I want to say that again, it’s so important.
The heart is a self-cleaning, self-organizing mechanism, energetically, will clear, and will give you the courage, the strength, power, resilience to go into the pain, and through it!
7 steps down, and I’ll tell more about it in another conversation. You absolutely go through pain of the conflict and out the other side!
No more than 7 steps. Between 5 and 7 you go from the pain and fear of the conflict to a freedom, choice, unity, oneness in less 7 questions, 7 steps. And you can do that when you are being resourceful.
When you are connected to your resources, and you do that through energetically knowing you’re aware. And knowing when it’s coming up and it’s biting you in the face, that you’re not grounded. There is something sticky in you, like Velcro that you’re hooking onto, and you say, “Wow! What am I making up?!” And we teach in the program, we say “the story I’m making up about this conflict that ‘well, they should have known better”, “I expected Sue to show up and have her report done. I expected my parking space to be plowed. I expected Grandma to stay home this morning and not being on a hair appointment at 8:00 in the morning!”
I mean, so I start to hear the story, I’m telling myself, that’s keeping this conflict getting bigger and bigger! Have you ever noticed that? If people go home emotionally charged, by the time they are talking to the least person they can work with; probably their live-in partner, they could actually do something about it, they are the furthest away from the person who could. And by then the emotional energy is rising!
Then the emotional energy is way out here, and the problem wasn’t that big. But they’re talking to all the people who can’t do a thing about it. And of course, I don’t know if you’re like me, but from time to time I want to tune out. I’ve heard that story before. It’s repetitive. I think I’ve heard it 2 times now! “I thought we worked that out…” (fingers are tapping). “I thought we understood what we were going to do.” (impatience) and oh, you’re still THERE?, (a little judgment peeking out, you know) and I’m tired of hearing the same story and I know it’s going to be 20 minutes.
It’s not going to happen. It will be repeated 3 times because as they notice lessening engagement, the story amplifies to re-draw me back in. So, heh, this isn’t going well. It’s not going places, right?
That’s this whole thing about energy. How do I stay positive? Because at that moment, I’m thinking, okay, I gave you this, 2 nights ago. I’ve had 2 nights of going through this. I’ve done this. I’ve done that. I’m starting to sense that I’m not getting my needs met. And therein lies one of the bigger “challenges”, is that we need to make sure, that people in the conflict are hearing, or with ourselves, are heard first. Before we start saying, “Okay, now my needs are on the table as well.”
It’s a lot of compassion, a lot of empathy, and we’ll talk more about that next. About what we need to do, to open up the gate of exploration to stay in good energy. To stay positive we need to allow a lot of space for people who have been wounded, hurt and some of these stories have been going on for 20 years, 30 years? It’s not like they just happened last night.
When we’re coming into the conflict, we are not in our most resourceful state.
We have resources, but our ability to call upon them, to explore them, because our energy is being siphoned out, doesn’t let them rise to the top.
So energy is big!
Monika: What is it about providing that listening space for the other person’s needs? What effect is that having on the energy? The energy specifically, the flow of energy, how is that supporting that to happen, in the situation? To help remove the conflict?
coach john: That’s probably the biggest question that people ask me in relationships! “Okay, I’m gonna listen to her!”, “I’m gonna listen to him!”, “son-of-a-gun!” And it’s listening with an open heart. Listening with a sense of giving people space to vent, even if it isn’t totally true. People need a space.
When people start to be heard, not cut off. I’m using the word “deep listening” not just listening at the surface. Maybe saying “Wow, that sounds important”, “Mmm, I’m surprised that it touched you that way”, “I hadn’t thought of it like that”, “Wow, I can see that really hurt you, or touched you”, “I can see that would set off a lot of confusion” “I’m hearing that that really, really, deeply touched you, or hurt you, or left you not being valued, being acknowledged.” And it may not happen, in 20 minutes that that person has been fully able to vent.
The challenge in my older lifetime, how many lifetimes I’ve lives I don’t know but, it was I wanted to fix it, right away. “Okay, that’s simple enough” and of course, it isn’t.
That’s a challenge, because I’m not telling people we have perfection here.
We have a process by which, if you honour it, see it as just energy, we’re energy beings. Shaping, like shape-shifters, edge-walking at edge of energy. So you can see more. You can actually have that energy in a form that works for you. It’s in formless originally and now it’s in form. So we are just playing with the form of the energy, by naming it. You know, “name it, tame it and claim it”, or giving it form that we can manage by stepping back from it, so we have a wider perspective.
Energy is important and letting people energy be heard. Remember, it’s just energy. They’re using words to throw you into a snit or a fit. Some of the words may be, ugggh! They’re just words. It’s just energy. If you look at just energy you wouldn’t deny the energy of the sun. You wouldn’t deny the energy of the moon or the energy of the wind. You could say, “oh I don’t like the wind today, could you be a little less windy here, could you be windy over there”. You don’t mess with the sun, you say “ohh ahhh!” and you put some sun-guard on when you need to. But we do mess with people’s energy when they use words. We think we can start bottling up and qualifying, justifying or rationalizing.
I always liked the word “rationalize”, When you rationalize lies. We tell ourselves all these stories about energy that aren’t even true. And we put a lot of power in them!
So that’s the nature of letting people be fully heard, by changing our awareness, our perception, and the stories we have about it. And that changes the energy, to be manageable.
Please share a comment below.
How does using your energy to stay positive instead of letting worry and anger drain your energy work for you?