Session 3: How Do We Free Ourself?

How do we free ourselves? We may think we have issues outside but in reality, we have them inside—fears, insecurities, guilt, needs, etc. In this session, we address how these thoughts are keeping us from freeing ourselves and how to deal with those intrusive thoughts in our daily experiences.

Video Transcript

Dr. A: Well, welcome everybody and welcome to our conscious leaders forum. This is designed for everyone that wants to work on building their consciousness. Improving their ability to to move forward and really make a change and put ourselves in position to free ourselves. So, just as a review I’ll go over this each time, we’ve had more and more viewers, we’ve been doubling our viewership per the third one.

So we do this the first Tuesday of the month and so, it is that day, and welcome to the New Year. 2022 is going to be an amazing year for us and as we work on ourself and really focus on what’s necessary to change and grow ourselves to the point where we build what I like to call, internal stability and external equilibrium. Which means we start being able to handle everything that life throws at us and yet put us in position to build relationships and help foster those. 

It’s never been more important than it has in this crazy time of change that occurs, and just when we think it’s safe to go back in the water we have another variation occurring in our dealing with this pandemic and just life in general and so, we’ve created this forum. And what I mean by the forum, it’s really a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged and so this is specifically on how we build consciousness and both in terms of building transformational leadership for ourselves and the ability to guide others including our family, our community, and those that we lead.

So, with that today I want to really talk about “How do we free ourselves?” And it’s a great question because we have this egoic mind, this part of us that’s kind of channeled throughout all our experiences. From our early childhood, to where we are today and it really puts us in position where we deal with all these internal struggles and most of the things that we’re dealing with is to realize there are issues inside of us, basically we think we have issues outside, but actually we have issues inside.

There’s fears, insecurities, needs, wants, self-consciousness, embarrassment, guilt, these are all words that describe things that are going on inside of us. Guilt is not something outside, it’s inside . Yeah, we might be something outside that we’re guilty or feel guilty about, but it’s really how we address it. Because the reality is, all these things are things that have just got us going in here [gestures head], and it’s eternal experiences, that are in the way of freeing ourselves and developing, you know, basically spirituality, whatever that means for you, but it’s the ability to feel connected so that every day. I mean we had a massive— I’m back in Indianapolis for a few days with my family as we finished the holidays and basically had a massive snowstorm yesterday and it shut everything down, and everything was kind of disrupted, and yet rather than worry about all the things that were missing or the things we had to deal with. 

Instead to experience this gorgeous day on the water, with this— over a foot of brand new snow. It was gray and still snowing in the morning. By the afternoon it turned blue and it became an exquisite day and the family went out and basically did a little cardboard sledding. Took the dogs out, with the dog, our littler dog Scooby, it was actually over his head and he looked like a gopher going in and out. And turned it into a beautiful day and then we had a wonderful evening and made a fire and hung out together and played some games. So, it’s really that we have these things that are keeping us, or obstacles, that are keeping us from fully enjoying and experiencing life to the fullest.

So nothing else to do. It’s really about taking the rocks out and I’m going to use some analogies. I used a metaphor of rapids and water, calm water and then rapids to kind of give us a perspective. We’re going to actually talk about it again because I had many people comment on that. And then, once we go through a few of these slides, then we’re going to open it up for questions and to really comment, and go into the deep end of the pool so to speak.

[00:04:01] With that I just want to review these things because they’re things that we don’t normally think of that are very important, you know, we go to the physical gym and obviously any of those of you that are using the Habits of Health, we know how important the Habits of Healthy Motion is, eventually getting to the point where we’re working out or doing things to improve and optimize our physical conditioning but the same thing is in the mental gym. I just want to kind of set a stage for that and then we’ll get into some questions in a few moments here. 

So consciousness refers to the state of being aware of your thoughts and feelings, separate from being inside with them, and we’re going down the rabbit hole, which we’ll talk about. The more we’re self-aware, the more we can consciously influence our thoughts and feelings and respond in a resourceful way to help others. Because it’s not about just us getting internal stability and being able to cope with what life gives us, but also how we relate to others. 

We’re all in this pandemic together, and so some people are more frustrated, they more focus on the negative side of it and what we want to do is be able to help them, not through telling what to do, but by our own example of how we’re handling these things to show that even though it’s a crazy time and yes, bad things are happening, it’s also a time to reflect and take command of that so you can go through your day and become more aware and more augmented. 

So, you know, awareness basically— and I show this pot [refers to slide] with— a planted pot, a pot with plants in it, and in this, we’re aware of that, we become aware, we look at it and see it. Yet the reality is, we have all these sense organs, we have all these sense organs that are so critical. We see the plant vase, which we see. We basically hear the bird that’s chirping. We hear the cookies or smell the cookies baking. Lemon, we feel that taste, that bitter taste and in a hot plate we basically touch. 

And so the five senses are things we know they’re different than us, we can see them outside of us. But also it’s the understanding that awareness are our events, people, something happens, and we develop thoughts. We see thoughts of that and then our ego gets in there and interprets it and it can be feelings or thoughts, “What’s going on?” We may see something sad, but those things are not us also. We kind of think that in our inner world, this voice talking to us, that is basically us, and it’s not really us, it’s us interpreting thoughts. 

Thoughts are just like that potted plant. Our feelings are just like that feeling or sensing or feeling something else. These are things that are not us. They don’t identify us, they’re simply things that go on that are actually external to us and we, as the observer, see these things and we need to know not to get down the rabbit hole, which we’ll talk about in just a second here. 

So most of the time, 95 percent of the world, 98 percent of the time takes this and goes into the triangle. The drama triangle, where we’re either the hero, we’re the villain, or that we’re the victim. And that’s perpetuated throughout our world. It’s always looking for someone to blame it on, someone to point your finger at, and it’s never been more obvious than it is of looking at any of the news stations. You know 30 years ago, Huntley Brinkley and Walter Cronkite, they used to objectively report the news. Now, it’s sensationalized, it’s used to get to a vantage point, to judge people. And all these things are not serving us well because they don’t allow us to develop that internal equilibrium. 

We may feel jazzed by it, we may have that stress response, we maybe got in an argument at work with one of our colleagues and we feel energized by it. But it isn’t relationally healthy and it’s certainly not good for our own physical health. So with that, we project out to others, and if you look in terms of it as a filter, we— most of the times our ego thinks it needs to filter and rearrange the world in a way that we can deal with it. So, we see something, “What happened?” “What am I making meaning of?” In other words, we interpret to create a narration that makes you more comfortable with the way the world is. We try to make the world a certain way because it’s easier for us to deal with as humans and we all do that. Ten thousand years ago we were designed to basically deal with threats to us and every day was full of threats because we lived at a time when the world was very, very, very, very, dangerous. Lots of wild animals that could kill us, and poisonous plants, and insects and all these things could hurt us, so we used our limbic system or the amygdalas, which are these twin almond shape things inside our our brain, that would see danger and it would respond before we could even make meaning of it. 

[00:08:45] Today most of those threats are perceived threats, they’re perceived threats to our ego, and so what we do is we kind of take something that someone says and we’ll turn it into someone that’s a threat to us, and then we project onto them that “Why didn’t you talk to me?” You know “I said ‘Hi’ to you, why didn’t you talk to me?” And it could have been just that the person didn’t hear you, but instead we make it into this big meaning. Very important to understand that. The voice in our head are our thoughts and our feelings and there’s things we feel every day, multiple times a day, and most of the time it just doesn’t work out for us and we’ll talk more about that. 

What is it? This voice in our head? This mental dialogue? Basically it’s just feeling something. So if we look at this: you see a dog, and I showed this the other time because I think it’s really— it gives you a great example, so we see a puppy and we all go “Ah, isn’t that so cute?” We feel this warm, fuzzy feeling and yet right behind us, and there’s joy from that, and then right behind us, let’s say that basically there’s— we hear a rattle, a rattlesnake, right behind us. We immediately have this immense fear that occurs and that, if it was a rattlesnake, would serve us very well but the bottom line is, notice that most of the time, it isn’t a rattlesnake. It’s that your boss said something that you didn’t feel made you look good, it could be something your child said to you, that if I was disrespectful and all of a sudden we make a whole story about that. Which really isn’t real and even though the puppy is still there in front of us we’ve kind of fully got lost in this protective mechanism, which does not serve us well. 

If you think about it, the world, basically, is filtered by our ego. Rather than looking— and awareness is fully looking out— like right now I’m looking out on the creek and it’s gorgeous, blue sky, I can see the sailboats covered with snow, the water is extremely calm. And it’s a very blissful feeling to look at that, but you know, you might look at it and say “Oh, the boat down there, is it going to freeze?” And then we start building a whole story about, “Well, is it going to freeze?” So we take it and we filter it through ourself because we don’t— you know, is to say, we can’t really handle it. 

Think of it this way, our thoughts can create Eddies in our mind. If you look above in this creek, this is like a rapids, and above it you can see it’s calm and then what happens is the rocks begin to create disturbances and what you do is you realize these disturbances are things that I have inside, from my previous experiences, that create a mess and if we remove the obstacles and look and can see them and not try to hide behind the obstacle which are these rocks, there’s a way out, there’s a way to remove the rocks, and the rocks are these concepts we have about everything. 

We filter everything through our previous experiences rather than experiencing just “In the now” and that’s why so many people are really, either fixated about their past, and as I like to tell everyone: the best gift you can give yourself is stop trying to have a better past because you have no control over, or it can be the anxiety about things that could happen in the future. Either way, they create stress, they create all kinds of dysfunction and obstacles and allow us not to be calm and relaxed. 

So, as you navigate through this, and if you look at it and see, what happens is you have thoughts which create feelings and it’s creates these cognitive emotive loops where we have something going on and something basically happens and the next thing we know we’re down the rabbit hole with it, and we are not functioning at a very high level. We’re fully consumed with that. We’re going down the rabbit hole and you can see this guy in the kayak [refers to slide], that’s not where you want to go. I mean, obviously as a kayaker, if you’re really good at it, then that’s part of the thrill, but for the majority of us, what happens? We end up going down the rabbit hole.

I’ll give you an example, let’s say you’re at a party and there’s all these people all around, and in the corner there’s a tv, a small little tv, you know not very big, and you kind of walk over towards it and you’re seeing all the people, and then let’s say it’s your favorite football team is on, and then you get absorbed in that. Pretty soon you’re so absorbed into that little screen that that’s all you’re thinking about, and you’re looking at it and the room has gone away. You don’t see the people, you don’t see the other pieces, you don’t see they’re offering appetizers, you are simply down the rabbit hole focused specifically on the one thing. 

And that’s what happens when we have something dysfunctional happen that triggers us, we have a tendency to go down the rabbit hole, and if you’re down in that rabbit hole right, you’re there surviving. You’re not doing the things that are necessary to really thrive in it, you are ignoring everything around you and you’re basically— impossible for you to get out of the way. So what we want to do is, just like this little kid sitting there looking at the water [references slide], we want to get out and observe. 

That’s one of the key ways to do that, and the part I really work with our clients and patients and things is basically getting out and observing. Stop when you start feeling that icky sauce, that something’s going on, and you’re getting consumed because you think your boss is mad at you or your spouse is, you know, out doing something else and it’s time to stop and observe what’s going on and a great way to do that is through just becoming aware into the moment. You can do it, you can use even a mantra, just you know “I’m focused, I’m focused, I’m focused” and what that does, is it takes all this stuff that’s happening, all these conceptual things that’s taking you down the rabbit hole and you’re kind of getting out of the water and you’re observing. You can’t— when you’re in the water and you’re in that tumultuous rapids, you can’t help yourself. You can’t even give yourself good advice because you’re consumed with it and your limbic systems, and your ego are all activated, and so you can’t really make a response that’s appropriate there. So the thing to do there is, and you know I’ve created the technology called Stop, Challenge and Choose, it’s a great time to stop, get out of the way, get out of the water, take some deep breaths and observe what’s going on. Not allowing yourself to go down that rabbit hole. It’s so, so critical to do that. 

[00:14:49] With that basically, what we’re going to talk about is, how to get beyond. Free yourselves from this thinking mind, this cognitive, this monkey mind, it’s been called many things. Is there’s no one giant step to make, it’s a bunch of little little bitty choices you make through observing. One of the suggestions is, take 15 minutes a day and meditate. So when something’s going on, just spend the time to get conscious and what I mean by meditation, I’m not saying trying to fully quiet your mind, because in the beginning it’s very hard. People say “Well, I can’t meditate because I can’t stop thinking all the time.” Well, it’s not necessary you stop thinking, it’s necessary that you become an observer so you’re no longer a subject within this, whatever’s going on that’s negative, but now you’re becoming aware and fully present. 

That allows you to have separation. Once you know that you’re aware and just like that vase I showed you earlier. If we look at that, basically your journey is one of realizing that you have thoughts, which you’re fairly close to. You have emotions, which you’re a little further away from, and then you have form, which are the things that you see around you and you hear and you taste and you smell, the five senses. So, the idea is to be able to take all these and understand: none of them are you. You are not your thoughts, you are not your emotions, you’re not, certainly you know you’re not the form of looking at that water in front of me, but what it can do is it can now separate. So you can start having the time— and then also working with your clients, working with your family. It’s the ability to not engage and go down that rabbit hole, to be able to stay back and realize, “I’m having these thoughts but these thoughts aren’t real.” 

Most of the things we think, we make up in our mind, are not real. Same thing with our emotions, most of them are a response to something that’s going on. It’s something we think that’s a threat and it’s usually a perceived threat. So, what I love about kids, and just watching. I was watching them, we were skiing over the holidays with my family and I was watching the little kids, these little, little, little nippers, so to speak, and they were all just smiling, having fun and they’re going down pretty steep stuff, they have no fear. They haven’t conceptualized all the things that could happen to them and they’re not worried about their future, and they’re not thinking about their past, they’re simply in that wonder. And basically, we change our perspective when we become aware and look at everything with wonder, with that childhood curiosity, because calm waters of our mind are all around us. We know there’s no reason why we can have these huge mountains and rocks around us, but when we clear it out from our mind, it no longer has the influence.

 So, you know, again it’s about building this internal stability. Stuff’s going to happen to us. We’re going to have— we’re going to lose people in our life, there’s going to be bad things that happen to us. There’s going to be good things that happen to us. We want to be able to approach them so when an event happens, it’s how we respond to it that develops the outcome for that. And then, the other part is external equilibrium, that when we’re with other people, relational health is so critical, and the more we control our inner world so we’re in charge and we recognize that we’re the one making a mess. We’re a mess, we’re all a mess, and what we do is we work on that and recognize it to the point where we can now stand back and see what’s happening and handle it in an objective way.

So, with that, hopefully that was helpful and part of it was a review from last month, but it’s also some new stuff of how we helped free ourselves. So we developed that calmness, that beautiful lake around the mountains, so that the mountains no longer have that effect on it. So, I’d love to open it up for Q&A and Rach, do we have any questions?

Rachel: Okay, Michelle, can you come off mute and camera?

Michelle: Sure. 

Rachel: Perfect. 

Michelle: There we go. Hi, thanks for calling on me Dr. A. I asked my question early on about, you know, often I find myself not being able to stop. So, I’d love to Stop, Challenge, Choose. I want to be free. Sometimes I have these outer body experiences where I’m literally in the middle of it and I’m like “Why am I here? Why am I reacting? Why? How can I get in the habit of doing this, getting to the Stop?” And I had asked, you know, do you use meditation as your primary method to recommend that? And I guess my follow-up question to that, about meditation is, does it help you? I really do need to be a little bit more, routine about doing meditation and I’m curious to know from your experience, have you found that it’s helped you during the day, when you’re in the heat of it? When you see these external things coming at you, has meditation helped you to be more aware? Has it helped you to be more free? 

Dr. A: Yeah Michelle, those are great questions and so I would think of it this way, everything you have to do, the things that I’m talking about, are already there. Right? Those rocks are, and the rocks is a metaphor for the concepts or the experiences or the things you feel, and there’s so many things inside of us since we were little kids that we experienced and most of it we don’t remember. You know very— it’s only the tip of the iceberg that’s actually fully we’re aware of. 

So something may happen, you know, let’s say when you were in high school you were going out with a boy and and he had a yellow Mustang and 20 years later, you’re having a great day, and you’re going down the street, and you see a yellow mustang and all of a sudden you start feeling this icky sauce inside and you may not even recognize and coordinate because most of the time we’re just kind of sleepwalking through life, right? There’s so much going on, and we have an autonomic nervous system, we have the subconscious that allows us to do stuff because of habits, because of routines, and you know I spent a lot of time working and one of our key things we do is help people learn the Habits of Health and part of the Habits of Health is this ability to now control our internal world. 

We have a tendency to think that we need to fix it from the outside and that just isn’t true. The reason why anything bothers you— because there’s something inside of you and you know, basically, there might be some really big things in there that are in the way and we all have those. It’s like you got a big fish, right? You got them on the line and what you want to do is you want to handle them in a way where you calm them down, and you catch the fish, and you realize what it is and it doesn’t affect you long term. 

[00:21:01] So, meditation is something that requires practice because we have this continual dialogue, right? I talk about it as the inner roommate, right? We have this roommate. If you had a friend that wasn’t your inner roommate, and actually wasn’t your thoughts, you would fire that person for all the things they say to you because 99 percent of it isn’t even true, right? It’s stuff we make up. We make up stuff to try to create order to the world and we need to stop doing that. 

So, the first thing with meditation is, people have difficulty with it because they can’t quiet their mind and you’re not going to be able at first quiet your mind and, by the way, that inner voice sometimes is very helpful like this morning I had a meeting outside that’s why I was running a little late getting back, because the weather is so bad, but I said, “I need my keys, I need to make sure I’m driving slower, I got to watch about the curves because there’s ice on the road, and I got to check to see how the brakes are.” I wasn’t even using my car, I was using my daughter’s car because my car won’t run in this weather [laughing].

But rather than worry about it, that dialogue can’t help you so having that voice in there isn’t necessarily bad, it could be a good thing for arranging and building, like you said, the routines, right? But, for most of the time it does things that throw you off and it doesn’t want to be quiet, your ego wants to be in charge, so if you start meditating— it’s not easy, because it’s hard to shut up, and it’s not even necessary to basically shut it off, it’s just necessary to become aware of it. Just like that potted plant that I showed, when you can be aware of your thoughts and say, “Okay, this thought is coming by” and you cannot let it take you down that hole, but just actually recognize, “Oh, I’m thinking this,” and then ask yourself, “Stop, Challenge and Choose, I’m thinking this and why am I thinking that?” You know, what’s going on there? And once you have the ability to be aware— so self-awareness is the key to everything we’re talking about. 

We talk about building consciousness, so becoming self-aware that something’s going on, not reacting to it. Kind of staying on the shore, don’t let yourself go down into the rocks or the rapids and standing there looking at it and one thing, mantras are simply a way of taking all the stuff going on and simplifying it into one process. So, in other words, like looking at that tv in that room, is that, if you say something over and over again, what happens is your mind focuses on that and even though that’s not fully silent, it’s at least taking these 17 different thoughts going on and taking it down to one thought you’re having and that’s a great first start.

So, you’re not going to be able to, you know, very few people can just sit down and just meditate, and not think, and become fully present with no thoughts, but having the thoughts. So just working with that in the beginning is great and that practice, over time, that you can separate— when I showed this slide that showed the thoughts, the feelings, and the form. Is that when you can separate and become the observer, you know they call it the witness of— you’re the subject, and you’re looking at the objects, and those thoughts are objects too, and those feelings are objects too, and they’re things that are being responding to the experiences we’ve had in the past. 

So, what I find for instance, when I start feeling any of that icky— it’s like I’m in a meeting and there’s stuff going on and someone’s saying something which I don’t agree with or I think is wrong, you know, in my previous life in critical care basically I would tell them to jump and then they’d have to ask, “How high?” When they went in the air because it was a very much an up and down relationship. And the life now, as you move forward, especially with your kids, your family, your friends, and the people, if you’re a coach and you’re working with others, it is critical because we have a tendency to try to fix that. Fix and have the person think a certain way and change their behavior and it just doesn’t work. 

You can’t change anyone’s behavior, you can help them become aware of their behavior and then understand why it’s important for them to change in order to have better relationships with their kids, with their family, with their friends, in business, you know whatever success comes from psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility comes from being able to remove yourself from those thoughts, from those feelings, so that you’re in control. It’s the locus of control when you take full— That’s why we talk about in our leadership habits, about radical responsibility. Take responsibility, because when we take responsibility, we give ourselves back the power. When we give ourselves back to power, we have the choice to respond in a way that makes sense for the outcome we want. So, if I’m in one of those meetings and someone says something and I’m starting to feel it, what I’ll do is take my water bottle, open it up, take a drink, kind of feel that release, and then think that, you know, “What do I want to have happen here? What I want to have happen is, I’d like to have a discussion that leads forward to a positive outcome for everybody that’s at the table.” It’s not about me, my ego wants, “Damn, I want to be right and I want to show them I’m right and I want to convince them I’m right.” That has no value at all. 

There’s no value because someone— in fact, if you attack someone, that’s already— their ego is already involved in it and they’re in the drama triangle. You just perpetuate the same thing over and over again and the beauty is Michelle, when this happens and you respond by stop, challenging and then deciding “Okay, I’m curious. I may not—.” And here’s the other thing, it’s acknowledging that you’re hearing what the other person’s saying. It’s not necessarily agreeing, we all come from our own perspective and we may, depending on our beliefs— and I always talk about our values bring us together and our beliefs separate us, and never been more apparent than it is in the world today, and I am not ever trying to create some— to help someone else, or have someone else change their beliefs. I’m simply trying to understand them and put it in perspective, so that it doesn’t affect me in a negative way.

[00:26:39] So it’s a process, and like I said, it’s little baby steps, it’s microHabits, it’s doing these things— it’s why the Life Book is so important for people, because it allows them to go through a routine where each week or every couple weeks they’re working on these little baby steps that allow them how to take control. And I can tell you as you do this because I know, you know, even with skiing last week. I was skiing with a couple people that are better skiers than I am and rather than, in any way, thinking negative about this like, “God, what can I learn from this? How can I be open, curious, and learn, and learn better technique from them?” What you find is, you start laughing at your— the more you understand this, the more you start laughing— you know, before, what you would have done, because it was like you had this parasite inside of you, right? That says “No, I got to be right, I got to protect me, I can’t have them make me— they’re making me look stupid, or, they’re making…” It doesn’t matter what it is, but they’re basically— those things are nonsensical. There is no competition with anyone else, it’s only the growth we have inside with ourselves that really matters. 

Michelle: I love this so much. Thank you so much, and I just love the fact that, you know, for me to be responsible and for me to be aware, I actually have to do nothing. I have to just stop and yes, get out of the way essentially. So—[crosstalk 00:27:52]

Dr. A: it’s not, you know [crosstalk 00:27:53]

Michelle: And I think a mantra is going to help me so much with that. 

Dr. A: And, yeah, just think of it this way, people go to the Far East, they go get these illumination, and you know, gonna live in a hut for five years. None of that is necessary. What that’s doing is just boasting your ego, that you’re working on it. What you want to do is calm. Get the rocks out and it no longer has any effect on you. It’s not— you have everything you need to be internally stable and to thrive in your life, if you recognize that it’s an inside job. It’s about us understanding we have stuff that has happened, that you know, our program from 10,000 years ago was designed to have this mechanism there, that mechanism living in a society now, it’s not necessary.

You don’t need to do those things, you just need to basically decide what’s most critical to you and what’s important, and it all starts with becoming— the more you’re aware in the present moment, because you have no control over the future. We talk about leading from the future, acting in the now. Yeah, we put a plan together with what we think is most important to us and then that helps inform us daily of the things we’re going to say “No” to, the things we’re going to say “Yes” to, that lead us towards that. But as far as predictability and security of your future, we have none. It’s not in our grasp. The world’s going to go on, whether we’re here or not, you know. We’re here for a short period of time. So what you want to do is fully enjoy the time you’re here. 

Melissa: Yep, and stay in the moment. Thank you Dr. A. 

Dr. A: You’re welcome Michelle.

Michelle: Appreciate it. 

Dr. A: Yeah. All right, who else we got? 

Rachel: All right, we have Elizabeth. Elizabeth, can you come off camera? Are you there? 

Elizabeth: Yes, I’m here. I’m trying to, sorry. I’m sorry, my daughter hacked my account. Can you see me? 

Dr. A: Yeah, we can see you Elizabeth. Hi! 

Elizabeth: Hi, Dr. Andersen. I’m a little nervous and I’m hiding in the car because the kids are inside right now, so they’re loud. So, my question—

Dr. A: Before you start. Before you start, wait a minute, why are you a little nervous? 

Elizabeth: Because I’m talking to you and [crosstalk 00:30:07] I don’t know, and I’m sure there’s, I’m sure there’s hundreds of people on this call.

Dr. A: Well, that’s good though, you know the thing is— here’s the thing, they’re all gonna learn from what you say and so you add value to that and that’s what the forum is about. It’s about expressing what’s going on with you, to ask questions, and everybody gains from it and that’s why I love this kind of, this kind of format, because it allows you— and I don’t want you to be— I want you to fully express what you’re thinking because you know we— that’s one of the things that happens, we feel everybody’s judging us and it just doesn’t matter. We’re all humans and we all have all this stuff going on. 

All of us have these issues. I have them too and you know I’m getting better at it because I’ve now developed and worked and understanding that and making— and hopefully what we’re doing is making it so it’s available for you to use every day. So, I didn’t interrupt you, I just want you— I don’t want you to be nervous. I want you— I know the kid thing that’s a whole different deal, but yeah, keep them at bay while you ask your question, that’d be great. 

Elizabeth: Okay, um so my question is I started my health coaching journey a little over a year ago and it’s been a life changer, obviously, and so I’ve been growing and I have that open mind and I want to become that conscious leader. So, how do you go about that? I know they say, you know, the people you surround yourself by or the people you become like and surround yourself by, similar people, which is this community, but what happens when a significant other or a spouse is not on the same page? 

They’re not open-minded, they’re not willing to grow and not necessarily supportive in general because, you know, you’re a different person than when they met you. So I guess it’s hard for them to understand and if they have not been awakened like we have, I totally get it, but how do you do that? When it’s not like your group of girlfriends, where you can choose new girlfriends. How would you go about something like that? Would you just continue on your journey and as you grow, you know, people change, or?

Dr. A: Yeah, that’s a great question. So, Elizabeth, what I would say first is this, is you— congratulations, because you can just see, you know, looking back. I like to, I heard Bob Proctor say this years ago, but you know when you look back, you need a telescope to see where you were, right? Because so much has changed and actually, even though you may have a significant other or someone that’s very important to you, that hasn’t gone on this journey with you, and by the way, you can’t force them on the journey, what your behavior does over time is it allows them to see you in a light where actually you’re a better spouse because you’re able to cope with things they say and not get into an argument.

[00:32:49] So, I’ll just give an example, my mother and I. You know, for many years my mother, she would come visit me or I’d go visit her for about three or four days because we’re both very opinionated and that’s for the genetics, that’s where I got it, she’s Italian, a hard head and we would end up usually getting in the argument and over the last five six years since I’ve been working on this now, she hasn’t changed from the standpoint, she didn’t study this, she didn’t, but our relationship, you know, we just had the holidays together and it’s a very different relationship. It’s one of love and there’s very little confrontation, hardly ever anymore, because I’ve changed so much. 

And so, the bottom line is, you can’t change someone else’s behavior and even though you’d like to because you’re learning something, this is the one of the cautionary notes is you grow in your your ability to be more aware, and more conscious, and self awareness, and self regulate, you’re gonna change. And you know, what will happen is you’re— you know money doesn’t make you any different, just gives you more of what you had, what you didn’t have before, but you’re still the same person. The same thing here, as your consciousness increases, you know, your ability to respond to adversity becomes much enhanced, so you’re much better at it, and the person over time, if they love you, if they care about you, they’ll eventually come around. And it may just be naturally because you just don’t allow any of these events, or things people say, or they feel, or are act to, you don’t allow it to affect you in the same way. 

In fact you look at it as, “I make no assumptions, I basically don’t take it personally.” You know, even if someone shoots you in the head, it’s not about you, it’s about them, right? So, over time hopefully it’ll get better. Now with that, it is true that you want to spend more time around people that are on the same journey as you, so you know, I spent a lot of time with some of the top thought leaders in the conscious movement because we’re all working the same directions and we reciprocally mentored with each other. So yeah, spend more time with those people and reinforce. But the journey is one where you’ve now taken full responsibility, that you’re becoming more conscious and your ability to deliver that through your actions, not what you say, but what you do, will be highly influenced by this growth you’re doing. 

It’s like anything else, you know, if you’re— like for me skiing. I know if I— and I’m going to go heliskiing later in the month I know that if I’m not working out, I’m not going to be as good, and I’m going to struggle. If I’ve been working out, and spending the daily practice, I’m going to be better and be able to do it more effectively. Same thing with your conscious development. This work, this meditative work, this work of awareness, it’s going to help you become a better spouse and a better mother and all the things that are important to you, and a better conscious leader because now you’re realizing, transformational leadership is different than transactional. 

Transactional, there’s an exchange going on, right? You’re giving something of benefit to that individual, but you’re not actually building people. You’re simply— there’s an exchange. Transformational leadership is helping people become more aware themselves and work on their own growth, so they can become a transformational leader. So, the work you’re doing is helpful on multiple levels. First in the level of yourself, that’s where it starts and that’s why I named this particular one about, “How do we free ourselves?” Because that thought process, when we get down the rabbit hole because we’re thinking or feeling a certain way, it doesn’t serve us in a positive way. It stresses us out, it causes worry, it hurts our sleep, hurts our relationship with other people, how we respond to them, what we say to them. 

We’re certainly saying things because it’s coming from our opinion, which we’re not taking into effect, what it may mean to them. So this development from the inner work that you’re doing on yourself, realizing that most of the stuff that’s going on isn’t an external problem, it’s the mess that we are inside. We’re all messed up, and it’s because we live in a complex world, and the world, because of technology has become less interactive human connection and more technologically. That’s right, texting, you know, emojis are nice, but they’re not the same as sitting there looking at somebody and smiling or looking them right in the eyes. And because our world has changed so much, it’s become critical. 

And the other thing that’s happened which, Elizabeth, is so important, is the companies have been data mining us for now a decade and they’re basically going to control what you do, what you buy, what you think about, unless you become self-aware and realize that these are external things. And I can pick and choose what I want, but they’re not controlling my thoughts and my feelings. So it— you’re doing what’s necessary. The more you work on it, things will start changing in your world and, you know, I mean, I don’t know anything about your personal life, but I can tell you that there’s a point where some people, you basically acknowledge them, you know you say “Hi” to them, you’re kind to them, but you stop spending so much time with them because you need to know that the underlying structure that you put yourself in either makes it conducive to become more conscious or it makes it less conducive and you want to remove yourself from the fray. So, these external stimuli are mostly ones of love, and caring, and thought, and human interaction, and things that are positive for you.

Elizabeth: Thank you so much, that was, that was great. 

Dr. A: Yeah, you’re welcome.

Elizabeth: Thanks. 

Dr. A: All right, what else do we got? 

Rachel: All right, next up, we have Andrew. Andrew, can you unmute yourself, come on cam? 

Dr. A: Hey Andrew, you’re still muted. I can’t hear you yet. You gotta unmute. You got a great smile, but I can’t hear a word you’re saying. 

Andrew: [laughing] I’m so sorry, I was struggling a little bit with my ipad. Well, thank you so much for everything that you have shared. I feel like I’m receiving from a fire hose and I’m trying to interpret what you’re saying. I’m putting it down in my words, and this is what I have so far: your ability to be self-aware predisposes you to making conscious choice of your desired outcomes. Awareness creates thoughts that we interpret based on our worldview. So, the question Dr. A is, how can I be objective in my interpretation and judgment of how I filter reality? 

Dr. A: Yeah, I love that. It’s a great question and so you said one thing that I just want to make a little correction, you’re— so the world doesn’t create your thoughts, you create your thoughts and your thoughts are simply your interpretation of the world. So, if we look at the best way, is the way where we drop the filter, you don’t need a filter. In other words, your ego thinks you need a filter, it thinks it needs to make the world kinder to you, or make more sense to you. So we take what we see, what we smell, what we feel, what someone says to us, what we have an emotion with, and we interpret it in a way that keeps us what we believe is safe. 

[00:39:59] And yet reality is what keeps you safe. Reality is that you’re fully aware in the present moment of exactly what’s going on. The whole idea is to remove the filter and we— almost everything that— and by the way, our mind, our brain, the way it’s perceived and it is about creating habits, and so what we do is we use comparative reality. Comparative reality means that “Oh, I’ve experienced that before, I saw that before,” and before you even actually observe the whole thing, you’ve already reached the conclusion. You’ve made assumptions and you’ve reached a conclusion, and the conclusion is based on your past experience.

Now, what you want to do is get to the point where that self-awareness is that you experience everything without the filter, and I’ll give you an example, I’m in a room and I’m looking out at the corner of the room, and so the corner of the room, basically, if I really look at it in pure reality, the corner of the room goes like this [gestures with hands] but what I do, is I look at it, and because of my experience and knowing that this is a room, and it’s got it’s got rectilinear, where it’s a 90 degree angle, my interpretation is that that room is not the way I’m seeing it, but it’s actually different than that, right? It’s— I’m saying, “Okay that’s square, it isn’t really going to a point, right?” 

Just like, if you think about it, if you’re out on a train or you’re overlooking a pasture and you see a cow, right? The cow is like 500 yards from you, that cow looks this big [shows a small space between finger tips], right? Yet, you interpret it, know that it’s removed from you, so you know the cow is regular size. So that’s kind of weird, but that’s why our brain, and our mind, and our thoughts, do that. It tries to create experiences based on compared reality. So, you have someone you’re having a talk with, and we all have a tendency to do this, we basically— someone’s saying something, we go “Oh, this is what they need, this is what they want,” and we don’t even let them finish talking. We already know it all, and we’re telling them what’s going on, right? And “This is what you need,” and sometimes you might be right, many times you may not be right, and so the idea is to experience your present moment fully. 

So that’s why, you know, when I know sometimes— like when I’m driving in the car with my kids and there’s something gorgeous I’m experiencing and they’re on their phones, right? You know, they’re on their phones or we were coming down from the mountains the other day and it had been an exquisite snowstorm and the— I mean everything was crystallized and the early sunlight was coming through and it was just it’s beautiful, and they’re on their phone and basically, you know, and I’m not trying to tell them what to do, but I’m saying, “Guys, look around you,” you know, get away from this myopic short-sightedness of this stuff and look at an expansive, look at the world. 

What I mean by that is that we have a tendency, a bias from our own experience. The idea is for us to be fully aware and if we’re fully aware we’re listening to someone versus judging and can’t wait to start talking because we’re not taught to listen, ever. We’re taught to be respectful and not interrupt but that’s about as far as it went and the reality is, there’s so much magic in building our relationships with others, you know, the world is one big conversation. Our conversation was a conversation inside ourselves with a friend, or with your community, or giving a talk, or anything. It’s about communication and the more we become self-aware and fully present in the moment and experience it— that’s why very little is actually the content of what they’re saying. 

It’s the tonality, it’s their posture, all these things are important. To put it in the right context. 

So, you know, in consciousness it’s all about context. It’s not about content, it’s out— actually, know in the context what is going on? What’s happening in this conversation? What do I? How do I need to listen to it? Purely, from a reality— a good friend of mine, Jim Defner, who wrote the “15 Commitments”, basically he says, “Is it a video?” right? Another video camera taking exactly what happens, or are you interpreting and giving meaning to it? And creating your own story, right? And the more we stop creating stories, the more we’re fully aware. 

Especially when we’re talking to others. Whether it’s our clients, our coaches, our family, our friends, then it allows us to make the choice that’s connected to most reality. Robert Fritz, a great friend of mine, we wrote a book together, “Identity.” Basically, he talks about realities and acquired taste, right? The truth is an acquired taste, but when we can be truthful, and truthful about ourselves, because what we do— and to free ourself, most of the time when there’s something, when there’s a rock in that water that’s causing a disturbance, there’s something— it’s letting go of that rock, it’s actually letting go. Letting it just release, because we interpret it. 

We kind of— it’s like a compressing down like a coiled spring. We compress this stuff down and we hide it inside of us. When we do that, it actually creates an inflammatory state where anything that happens along that area, it triggers you and you don’t respond from a logical way, you actually get triggered that, “I need to protect myself here.” And most of the time one of those emotions will come out. Does that make sense? You’re muted again. 

Andrew: Yeah, that makes sense, absolutely, yeah and I think, what I got from it is, removing the filter and also experience the present moment that gives you a better picture of what is being, what is happening, and how your emotions are actually responding to it. 

Dr. A: Exactly, and your emotions— understand this, your emotions are actions, they’re internal energy. It’s— and really you know, one of the things that came a lot from Eastern philosophies and stuff because they spent years and years and years sitting and just experiencing, is energy management, right? And it’s an important part of the Eastern philosophy but it’s that we have these things that we repress and then when they come up, if we can sit on the bank and observe them we can allow these things to come up and release them. It’s all about release. 

[00:46:13] It’s not allowing these things, “Well, I’m not going to let that happen,” you know “I’m a man.” And then push that stuff back down. It’s actually sensing, releasing. As we release it and recognize it, that’s how we regain control, that’s how we really get ourselves back in a position where this stuff— because if you keep pushing it down, it just gets stronger and stronger inside of you and it what it does is it short circuits your ability to fully experience something because you hide from it. 

You know, I mean, I lost my significant other three or four years ago and bottom line is I, in ways, I suppressed it for a short period of time and then I allowed it to release and by releasing it, you know, and I know that she’s fully around me all the time and she learns from those examples and they’re wonderful examples and their joys versus, “Oh, I feel sorry for myself.” So, it’s really important to know that. It’s about energy management. People are tired, they’re going and getting b12 shots, they’re looking to get Red Bull because they’ve— when you suppress things inside of you, especially these emotions or something that’s happened, you haven’t fully addressed. 

It just robs you, it just robs you of your energy. The key thing is when you start sensing and feeling you become more self-aware. When one of those things come up you experience it, you sense, “Why am I feeling this way? What am I feeling? My feeling: hate, sadness, joy, what is it?” And then allowing it to come through, and actually your emotions are gone in 90 seconds. If you recognize them and let them go, right? That’s so critical. 

Andrew: It is. No, Dr. A I appreciate it. Thank you so much. Yeah, last two years, when you did “Ready to Rise,” immediately I jumped on the “15 Commitments of Leadership” and since then I’ve been practicing, understanding where the emotion is in my body and fully, and freely, expressing it. That way I’m able to grow and also allow the other person the benefit also of being, of growing. So, thank you so much.

Dr. A: I love that Andrew and you know the more you work, the more you work on this, the more joy will come into your own life, and the calm that cause calm state, that really— it’s we do these things to ourselves and [crosstalk 00:48:24]

Andrew: Yeah.

Dr. A: The more we start to you know, and it’s— the other thing, is this, we are so tough on ourself, more so than we are on anybody else, right? And [crosstalk 00:48:31]

Andrew: You’re right.

Dr. A: It’s time to love yourself and realize you have all the greatness you need inside of you and this stuff is just in the way and it’s fully— it’s not about going like I said in a cave, or going and meditating for five years, it’s about releasing the rocks. Getting the rocks out of the way so you re-establish the calm and it’s a beautiful thing and Andrew, I can tell you’re well along on your journey, and that smile is infectious, so thank you so much. 

Andrew: No, thank you. One last comment and then I’m done, so I practiced this principle just last month, I was told by a lead pastor and executive pastor that I worked on as an outreach pastor. They said they’re terminating my employment and my response to them was, “I accept it and I’m sorry that you’re making a very difficult decision, but I understand,” and both of them were completely red. They’re like, “Aren’t you angry?” I said, “Pastor, I was angry with you in the summer, and I told you while I was angry, but right now, I just feel sadness because of the relationships that I’m building amongst the people in the church, and also in the community with the police, with the chamber of commerce.” I said “That’s what makes me sad. But I accept you, I accept your decision, and I know it’s difficult and I’m gonna be taken care of. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to serve,” and I was so excited because that allows me to coach with my wife full time, and I was so excited and liberated. So, I’m done. Thank you so much. [laughing]

Dr. A: Oh and I love that look at the free look at the freedom I gave you and the way you responded was in a way that you actually empathize with them having to say that to you and that the why they got red faced is because they’re embarrassed in ways and the bottom line is, by taking that approach, your life— everything happens for a reason and as long as we experience it and that’s exactly how you’re doing it, you’re putting yourself on track to become more conscious, more aware, more doing the things you want to do, and that’s the difference between being a victim, taking full responsibility internally and then they decide to reach out and make help this decision make life even better.

Andrew: Yeah, thank you. Thank you so much, really appreciate it. All right, bye bye now.

Dr. A: Okay, who else? We got time for like one, one or two more. 

Rachel: We have Amanda. Amanda, can you come off mute?

Amanda: Hi Dr A. [crosstalk 00:51:08] Nice to meet you.

Dr. A: Nice to meet you.

Amanda: Thank you so much for your time today. I had actually posted a question. So, I have become a coach through Optavia for the past year or so I’m— I love my community and I’m so happy, and have grown so much personally. I love serving people in this way. I am also a mom of two, I have a four-year-old and a one-year-old. I’m also homeschooling my four-year-old. I find the challenge for being present with my little ones. I know it should be such an easy thing to do, and such a desirable thing to do, and I do desire it. I left my nursing career so that I could be home with them, but my challenge lately has been this desire to help people and be present with them at the same time, and then having the challenge to not raise my voice at them, you know, when they’re not doing— because they’re needy and they need us in these ages. And so not being, so being present with my emotions and how I can’t control them, but trying to guide them. What would you say, to maybe a young mom, a mom of young kids, I should say, in these concepts of being mindful. 

Dr. A: Yeah, well that’s a great one, and understand that their brains aren’t fully formed. Their ability— they see reality as reality, and it’s black and white for them. They don’t have the ability to process yet, that’s why— by the way, in this age it’s important to give them guidelines, so they need to play in the sandbox, right? So to speak. There needs to be guidelines on that, to protect them, to help them be integrated into society, you know. 

[00:52:47] Societal integration can’t be what we call it, it can’t be interjection. What I mean by that, you can’t give them a pill to swallow, right? To make them conform. It has to be a process, so recognizing their limited ability to really formulate, and express, and logically look at— that’s why by the way, kids are told 50,000 times by the time they’re five “No,” and we take this beautiful creature that’s full of happiness and joy and expression, feeling all the emotions and expressing them non-filtered and we start trying to put them in the box, in the in the sandbox. From the safety standpoint, yeah, you don’t want them sticking, you know metal forks into the socket and electrocuting themselves, but on the other hand we want to give them expression, that we let them process. 

So, the example is, let’s say you’re teaching them, they’re at the point where they’re learning how to read, right? So, they’re reading a basic book, a little illustrated book, and they’re learning “See Spot run,” right? Or whatever, and as long as they’re doing okay, then basically let them read. When they start making a mistake, when it is happening, they get frustrated, right? Cause they’re not doing it right. That’s the time to give them a big hug and a kiss and let them go to sleep. Don’t continue that, because that frustration becomes experiential for them, so you’re kind of — you are up one, down one, because you’re a parent but you’re also expressing and giving them the time. 

One of the things I learned early on, now my kids were a little older by the time I started this, they were like three and five, but I found when they would come home from kindergarten or school they would need us for about five minutes, right? They want to say something that happened in school, they want to know they’re the most important thing in the world, and you listen to them, and fully there for them and then in five minutes they’re bored with you and they’re off to doing something else, you know, tv, or reading a book, or playing with their toys, or whatever. So it’s knowing that balance and for you as a mom, part of it is projecting that, “I want my child to do the things the right way, and now that I’m learning this consciousness I’m learning how to,” you know, so you made the most important thing. 

You’re present for your children, you’re not working outside the home, you’re there for them, there’s nothing more powerful for them than that. That’s the first thing, the second thing is in this awareness, know that when they get frustrated, when their emotions come up, they’re going to be hard to handle because they’re immediately coming from a defense position, so that’s the part with just giving enough space, right? And then basically creating the guidelines where they can see, and also if they do need to be disciplined, it’s then understanding that these are not personal things— I know, growing up myself is that when you’re four or five years old or three years old, since you can’t interpret if someone tells you you’re stupid, you start thinking you’re stupid, right? Because you don’t have the ability, and that carries over all the way through your life. 

You know, self-worth, all those things, are there. So that’s the most important thing to avoid. That you’re creating an identity with them, of any of those things that are negative, you may say, “This was not— this was a poor choice,” right? But not, “That was stupid, you’re stupid to do that,” and so those two separations are— again, I know you don’t do that, but those are the two separations of the most important— and then also having the patience, because they’re gonna go sideways, right? They’re gonna, you know, on a plane I can’t tell you how many times, and it’s frustrating for the people on the plane, when there’s a little kid that maybe because they can’t pressurize their ear because it’s stuck, there’s a station tube, and they can’t equalize, and it hurts and they may be crying. They can’t express, “Oh, I’m hurting,” so you gotta allow enough in the middle, wiggle room, for them to express themselves, but know that they can’t take advantage, and take advantage of you. 

So, if they start crying every time they don’t get their way, you need to set some guidelines. So it’s kind of in the middle like that and your conscious work of development is allowing you to handle those situations, not in a way like you’re embarrassed because they’re crying in public, right? It’s simply, if you can remove them from that and then deal with it personally. So it’s really, you’re the one that is completely in charge and in control and it’s realizing that, “I don’t want to damage this young fragile creature, I want to help empower them, to take responsibility, I want to reward them when they do positive things, when they’re quiet or they do what they need to do, and that when they don’t, that there’s some consequence to that, so they start understanding that we want some semblance of order as they become adjusted to society.

But we don’t want to get matted and the key part for that for parenting is that you don’t get upset, right? Because if you get upset, you project something and they’re looking, you know, especially when they’re really young like that, you know being loved and cared for, and thought that they’re the most important thing is critical for their development and if they think, “Mom is mad and the saying nasty stuff,” and I’m not saying you’re doing that, that’s the key part, and then they will grow into being more rational. 

[00:57:49] But, you know, they did a study looking at secured attachment, especially when they’re very young. That first year, when the— usually the caregiver is the mom, it could be a grandparent or something, because of work, but it’s usually the mom. Secured attachment means that they sense that they’re loved, they’re cared for and that they’re secure in that relationship, is the key part for long-term success. And they actually looked at one-year-olds and they had them, studied them, and looked at the ones that secure attachment, you know, they’d be playing, they go away, they may cry for a second, and then they go back to their playing, right? And the same thing when they re-bring them back, those that were securely attached may recognize, hug mom, and then go back to playing where they are.

Those that have ambivalent, where they sometimes feel like they’re loved, sometimes they’re not thought they loved, when those kids came back they would cling to their moms, right? And then the third group were the ones from, unfortunately, from addicted parents, like addicted moms, and they would basically not even— you know, avoid them at all cost. So you’re doing the right things, it’s just a matter of putting that into balance and realizing, don’t take it personally, I know that’s hard sometimes. 

Amanda: Yeah, thank you. Definitely at times it can be personal, especially, you know, the disrespectful things. But I appreciate that so much and honestly, for me, working through my own frustrations that I can’t control them, you know, and I know that sounds so silly, I don’t want to, you know— but at the same time just guiding them, but not being so frustrated openly, because then I see it in my four-year-old, she gets frustrated, and then that blocks out all growth and emotion. So that’s what I’m working through. 

Dr. A: Yeah, don’t try to teach or be logical with somebody that’s frustrated, because they’re down, they’re in the rapids, right? They’re down the rabbit hole. When they’re there, it’s simply love and comfort, not agreeing with it, but just, you know, comfort and love in that circumstance and then— so they can then deal with it more. So that’s really important. 

Amanda: So thank you.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Okay, well we’re really out of time, if there was one other question we had, Rach, I’ll take one more question.

Rachel: Okay, Jeanette, you could come off mute. Here we go.

Jeanette: Good morning. Hi, Dr. A, how are you? 

Dr. A: Great. 

Jeanette: So my question is about the, What happened? What’s missing? And what did I want to have happen? And how to use that. I understand the first and the third question, but then I’m having trouble using the, What’s missing? part with myself and with my clients to help them out. 

Dr. A: Yeah, let me give you even one other step of those four questions, it’s actually four questions, it’s actually: What happened? What did I expect to happen? What was missing? and What’s next? Okay?

Jeanette: Okay. 

Dr. A: The whole idea of, and that’s called Upset Technology, that’s the— those four questions are part of the concept of Upset Technology and basically, what you’re doing, is someone is frustrated, they’re in the drama triangle. The goal is to take them out of the drama triangle through questions, through introspective questions, reflective questions, so what happened— they have an opportunity to say it. Not that you’re— you’re acknowledging that you’re hearing it. It’s not necessarily that you agree with what they’re saying, What did I expect to have happen? Gives you an anticipation of what they thought was going to happen in the world, right? In that circumstance. 

So these are questions that do two things. One is they have a calming effect on the person you’re asking the questions and second, they really give you more insight to what was actually going on, because when someone is frustrated and they’re really upset, they’re not thinking logically. They’re thinking from the emotional part of the brain and usually, 95 percent of the time it’s a victim mentality, they feel that something was— they were wronged, they expected something, it didn’t happen and they’re very frustrated. 

The third question, What was missing? Is that understanding of, “Okay, this happened, I understand what you thought was going to happen, what was missing that didn’t happen,” and then the last is What’s next? And the idea there, with what was missing, is that, “What happened there that caused you to be frustrated?” And so, how do we avoid that in the future? So, what you’re doing is, you’re allowing them to understand about going from the locus of control being outside of them, being the victim, to now taking back control and understanding, “Okay, if we could have it differently, what was missing and how can we change that?” And so you’re actually helping them take the locus of control back and take responsibility. That’s the whole idea there. Does that make sense?

Jeanette: Um, logically yes, but I’m having [crosstalk 01:02:34] 

Dr. A: Give me an example.

Jeanette: Let’s say that it’s Christmas Eve and my husband decides to go golfing but doesn’t say anything to me about, “I’ve got the day off and would you like to do something together.” Okay, so, I don’t know what’s missing.

Dr. A: Okay, so here’s the thing, you guys aren’t communicating, right? You’re not communicating and there’s a reason for that and there’s— and the reasoning is probably, and I don’t know, this is just an assumption, but the reason is because if he said that to you, basically, you would judge that and be unhappy and would create dysfunction. So, the normal tendency is for someone that realizes that the choice they want to make is not in the same, that you would want— that they just, they use— it’s easy, the path of least resistance is, don’t ask, just go do it, and then ask for forgiveness later. 

[01:03:41] So that’s a different thing, so that— and during that situation basically you need to find out why? Why would he rather do that, right? Rather than be home with the family, I mean there’s got to be a reason, and you can’t— remember this is not about— Upset Technology is about helping, it’s actually the person that needs this is you, not him, right? So you’re kind of mixing two things up and one is that this is a frustration you have and you’d like a different behavior from him. He’s not coming to you upset, you’re actually upset at him there, so it’s a different phenomena and that’s not the way Upset Technology is designed. So, in this case it’s at a time when there is no confrontation, is to sit down and say, you know, “I mean, I just want to know, I’m trying to understand you know, why would you rather do that?” I mean, and not from a judgment just from— again remember, the wonder questions. The curiosity is about, “I’m curious, I’m just curious, about why? Why that is,” and then start building the discussion that allows you to come to a common point. 

It’s— that’s not what Upset Technology is about. You’re the one that’s is upset, not him, he’s not upset, he’ll be upset, and by the way, if you try to change their behavior then they’re gonna get upset and then you’re gonna— and nothing good comes from that. So, it’s really this curious of understanding, so it’s really— that’s what you’re asking, in this case when you’re working with clients, or with coaches, or with other people, and they’re upset about something. They come to you, that’s when Upset Technology, those questions are appropriate. In this case, it’s really more of the behavior that you expected didn’t happen and there’s a reason for that and you need to figure out what that is. 

So that’s a matter of opening up. Open communication, so that you can understand that, because for whatever reason, he felt it was easier for him not to tell you and go do something than actually have a discussion about it. So, that’s where you have to build rapport and build honest, open communication.

Jeanette: And actually, that was just an example. I mean I’m fine with that, and it was actually fine, but you said something earlier that was really helpful to me about that. This is something that, in our relationship, the personal example that I’m okay with that has— I’ve gotten okay with it over time and I think it’s a matter of letting go of that rock. It’s, you know, I have other things that I do, so I just— he’s working, he gets a day off, he wants to golf and so I do my art and my Optavia business, and that’s all good. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of that rock but, um.

Dr. A: Well, also just understand this, what you’re looking for in a relationship is a co-commitment, not a co-dependency, right? [crosstalk 01:06:42]

Jeanette: Yes.

Dr. A: That’s the key part to building a healthy, sound, long-term, sustainable, relationship, is a co-commitment. That you realize there’s things that are important to him and he realizes things important to you and you find a common ground where you can allow each other to be independently happy yet come together because you want to, and [crosstalk 01:07:05]

Jeanette: That’s right.

Dr. A: That’s the key part. 

Jeanette: Yeah. So, I know we’re out of time but I’m still having trouble understanding the difference then. So, the What happened? What did I expect? What’s missing? What is the difference for a client? Let’s say a client is struggling with something, how do I know if it’s the same kind of thing as my example I gave or whether it really is a good time to use Upset Technology? 

Dr. A: Well, if you, if they’re upset, that’s the time to use it, Remember, the questions are really more— are twofold, one is to give you more insight into them, their current behavior, and the second is that for them to be able to remove the emotional. Come out of the drama triangle and start looking at logically, what did they actually want to have happen? What was missing? So, it could be just, well in your case what you’re saying it had been great if your husband had said. “Hey. I’d really love to golf today, is that okay?” Right? [crosstalk 01:08:00]

Jeanette: Yeah.

Dr. A: That’s what was missing. So, that’s the same thing with your clients, okay? If they’re in the drama triangle, it doesn’t matter why, then just ask the questions, you know “What happened?” And then listen, and what you want to make sure, that you’re not trying to fix them. You’re just acknowledging that you’re hearing what they say, because that’s the key part in the beginning, is that you’re playing the— you’re actually in the role as someone that’s observing what’s going on and then the questions of “What did you expect?” Because that’ll give you insight whether their expectations were realistic or whether they weren’t realistic. And then what was missing is “What would have worked for me, so this wouldn’t have been an issue,” and then, what’s next is, “Okay, how do I now, and the next time I’m in that situation, how do I respond in a way that that keeps me from going into the drama triangle.”

Jeanette: I understand. So I was making it too complicated. Thank you. [crosstalk 01:08:50]

Dr. A: It’s really simple. 

Jeanette: All right. 
Dr. A: All right, thank you. Thanks. Okay, so I ran over and thanks you guys for staying a little longer, hopefully that was helpful and we’ll, I’ll see you next month! Same time and same day. See you guys, have a great one. Bye, Happy New Year.

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