Session 5: What is Our Personal Mind?

In this fifth session of the Conscious Leaders Forum, we explore the concept of our Personal Mind, different mindsets, and empowerment.

Video Transcript

Dr. A: Welcome everybody to the conscience leadership forum. I’m Dr. A. I’m facilitating this and the way this usually works is I’ll either have a guest or I’ll have a little bit of a starting point to kind of give you a reference point. We’ll pick at a subject of things that are really important for us as individuals, as parts of family, as parents, as community members, as leaders in our community, as well as leaders in what we do for a living and so hopefully this will be something you all enjoy and we’ll have fun with it.

So, let’s get started. The first thing is just to kind of go over what a form is, to kind of set the format because during this, one of the key things that I enjoy is the opportunity to really have you ask questions and Rachel will be gathering those questions. So, as I’m talking through, if there’s something you say, “Wow, I’d like to know more about that,” or something that’s on your mind about consciousness, about yourself, about your self-awareness, about your mind, how you think, your feelings, then we’ll want you to then ask and then if your question comes up during then, we will then address that and I’ll bring you on live and we’ll have a discussion about it, which helps everybody, so make sure they’re not questions that are so specific to something individually about you that wouldn’t be helpful to others.

So again, it’s a place, a meeting, a medium, where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged and this is really about the human experience. Human connection, human thoughts, how we interact together, our relational health, how we think within ourselves, and how we can conduct ourselves. You know one of the important things in life is, events are happening, we’ve had a crazy week here— not just in our own lives but in the life of the world. I think everybody’s on alert right now and how we process that, what we can actually do about it is really important because our mental health is so critical and it’s one of the things that’s suffering so much in the world now. So this is a place where we can do that. 

Okay, I want to talk today about, “What is our personal mind?” Because we all have our own thoughts, beliefs, our values, the things that are important to us, and we have all the stuff going on and that stuff is completely invisible to everybody else, no one knows actually what you’re thinking other than yourself, unless you express that. So, we spent a lot of time with ourselves and I want to spend some time on this aspect of it which relates to consciousness, awareness which are critical but— so I just want to review consciousness. Consciousness refers to the state of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. Really important. 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 you know the world is really one big communication, isn’t it? Our life’s one big communication. Communicating with ourselves through the voice in our head, how we communicate with our family, how we communicate in work, how we communicate in business, how we just go out into the human experience, and how we interact is one big series of communications.

So, I want to kind of set the dialogue because there’s a lot of dialogue, mental dialogue, that goes on inside our heads and some of it is basically functional, some of it doesn’t function that well, so we want to talk about your personal mind. Let’s just take first, the senses. I went over this back in January, but I wanted to go over it again because I think it’s really important that we start to understand the input that comes, we have an awareness. Our consciousness is our state of awareness, of seeing or feeling or basically, as I’m going to go through the five senses.

The things that are easy to understand first is this, if basically we look at our sense organs, our awareness to the consciousness of the outside world. So, we have our inner world and then we have the outer world. In terms of the outer world, if we look at a plant vase, you know, we see that. If we look at a bird chirping, we hear that. If we look at cookie’s baking, we smell it. If we look at a lemon or drink– eat a lemon, we taste it, and last but not least, if we touch a hot plate, we basically touch it and we feel it. So, those are the normal five senses that— we have receptors and the receptors then take that information and, as a physician, I could spend a lot of time but it’s not really relevant and actually put that into how it goes through its process neurologically and then goes into the areas of the brain where we actually make it aware again.

Those are pretty clear, but what happens is we have a tendency for events, people, something happens in our life and then it comes in and it creates thoughts. It creates emotions, and feelings, and our ego processes. So, our personal mind is how our ego is. We’re brought up as little kids and our ego is the most important part because we have self-interest and it’s all about in that self-interest of the things that are important to us and as we move forward in life, then we become more important and cognizant of the things around us and the social introjection that can occur where we’re told what to do, and then basically how we process that information, and what ends up happening, it goes into our emotions we look at it, we look to, “How does this reference to ourself?” And it creates drama. 95% of the world is 95% of the time, or 98% of the time, in the drama triangle.

[00:05:16] So, in the drama triangle we project out. We look at something and, you know, “What’s wrong here?” You know, “Why is this happening?” And we judge it. We project it and then we make issues with that, and we label it so that our ego feels protected. The most important thing to understand: our ego wants to be in charge. Our ego wants, at any time it wants, to basically modify the outside world by how we think about it, by the meaning we give to it. So it protects us against threats. You know, 10,000 years ago our program was, everything around us could bite us, kill us, eat us, and we were designed, the lower area in our brain, the limbic areas, basically were designed to protect us. That instantaneously, without thinking, without this area this important area in here [gestures to head], it would just respond to it. So, our egos are like the twin amygdalas that are in the middle part of our brain, are like these neural trip wires, and they’re just looking for anything that can trigger you. 

Now, a lot of the things that could kill you 10 million years ago or 10,000 years ago are not actually here anymore. I mean right now a great example is what’s going on in the world, you know, the threat in Europe right now is real. It’s a real threat and it’s a real threat, but how can you process that if you think of it in terms of, “Oh my gosh, are we going to nuclear war?” The first question is, as you have this latest bit of information, how are you interpreting? “We’re going to blow up,” and you can take different sides of the coin. Your ego wants to protect you, so it looks at that threat, and you want to recognize it as a threat and we need to be aware and then ask yourself, “Okay, is there anything we can do, personally?” And personally, probably not, you know, obviously if you have a relative there, or you have some relationship, or something you can do, that’s great, but for most of us, we just have to take note of that and realize that in the scope of things that’s a far out picture that we have very little control of. 

If we process it inside and now our ego gets involved in it, we create a cognitive emotive loop and then we start thinking about it, and feeling about it, and then the feeling makes us get scared. Then we think more about it, and very rapidly, you may not sleep tonight because you’re thinking about what’s going on in Europe.

With that, what we want to do is understand how we control that. So, we have a filter of reality. As I mentioned, our ego, our personal mind wants to filter everything. It’s like it wants to create the “Truman Show.” It wants to create “Cinderella.” It wants to create a world where anything that’s wrong is outside of us and basically we try to fix that. We try to think the world should be a certain way and when that world is that way, we’re good, but unfortunately many times, since we have very little control over it, what ends up happening is we interpret it and then pretty soon we’re just stressed out about it. So, knowing that something is actually happening, what we make of it then is interpreted in a way that makes us more comfortable in the world around us. So, we want to configure the world in a way that minimizes the threat to our ego. Hopefully that makes sense.

So, really there’s two parts of that. There’s the filtered world and there’s the unfiltered world. If we think about that unconscious leadership, and what I mean by that could be leadership if you’re part of a team, or you’re building an organization, or you work for a company and you happen to be the leader, but it’s also self leadership. It’s understanding that the world, in an unconscious state, when we’re not aware of it we’ve programmed ourselves that the world should be a certain way and there’s only one way the world should show up. So, we’re reactive at the effective.

Second is a victim mindset. Happens to me. It’s happening to me. The world is— what’s going on in Europe, and I’m picking that because it is a pretty significant world event and it’s really hard to fathom that this, in 2022, that one individual could have that much effect on the whole world. I mean it’s just kind of what’s going on in North Korea. This isn’t a political show but it’s just that the ramifications of what can happen are spread universally. You know, a hundred years ago we didn’t have the internet. We didn’t have TV. We barely had, you know, electricity and telegraph but you couldn’t do too much with a tap, or a double tap, or morse code, so we didn’t know that much was going on, but now anything that’s happening anywhere in the world is on tv TV and if we use that, and are looking at that, and not filtering it to the reality of what actually, from the serenity prayer, “What I have access to. What I can actually do” We can be in real trouble because basically it could seem that the whole world is conspiring against me. So, that’s important to understand and in that state, you’re energized.

[00:09:52] The reason why people watch the news channels, and take your pick it doesn’t matter which one you watch, they’re all sensational and they create sensationalism because we like the buzz. It kind of makes us alive. “I’m really mad about that,” or, “I really have an opinion about that.” And so what it does is it charges us and we think that it’s making us alive and actually what it’s doing is it’s having horrific effects on our physiology, on our longevity, on our relationships with others. It’s creating anger and all these things which are not very healthy for us. So the other part is, you know, everybody’s always pointing the finger and they want to be right. That’s the unconscious world. That’s the personal mind if we’re left unabated. That’s the world from 10,000 years ago that you would basically live if you weren’t really going to work on this.

So, what we want to do is now create the experience of the world. So, “By me” [reference to slide]. The key word always is responsibility. When we’re blaming things on other people, it’s what they call in psychology, “The locus of control is outside of us.” It’s somewhere else. It’s not where we are and basically we’re blaming it on someone else and as soon as we take the locus of control outside of us we give away our power and we become powerless. We become a victim. So, the first thing is saying, “I’m responsible for all my actions, my thoughts, my feelings, and my behavior. I’m the one that’s fully responsible for that.” 

It’s really important because events are gonna happen. What’s going on this week is happening. Last couple years have been horrific with the pandemic. Those things are happening. So, it’s not that there’s not real threats, it’s not pretending that everything is Pollyanna. It’s actually just understanding as these things happen, “How do I respond to them? Versus react to them so that, “I determine the outcome which can move me forward in a healthier and a higher level of well-being for myself and the people I’m associated with.” It’s about taking responsibility, and also in these situations, it’s about being curious. It’s about sayin, “Okay, I want to learn from what’s going on. I want to learn and I want to become more.” 

So, basically, “Through me,” is the level of moving from your personal mind. When you’re working from your personal mind, you’re working from your orientation. In other words, it’s all about you. It’s about you being— moving into the point where it’s— you’re the orientation, you’re the center of the universe, to now, “through me,” this is when you start to see the bigger possibility now when you’re working collaboratively with others, you start to see the vision purpose of something bigger than yourself and it’s, you know, on a big mission, “How can I help be part of it?” Right? It’s actually moving on, “What am I getting from it?” versus “What can I contribute to it?” This is when we start to collaborate with others and this is the goal of moving from your personal mind to fully experiencing everything from your environment because if you’re sitting here looking out at the water and you’re inside here [gestures to head], worried about what’s going on in Russia or in the Ukraine and you have a gorgeous sunset and you miss it because you’ve now created this strong ego based, cognitive emotive loop, basically, it’s very, very unhealthy for us. It also creates a lot of emotional stress. 

So, if we kind of review that, the conscious state, you ask three questions: What happened? What’s missing? and What’s next? It’s as simple as that. It takes the limbic part out, you know, in your brain, here, [gestures to head], the emotional part. The part that gets you all churned up and it now turns it into logic where the prefrontal cortex is looking and saying, “Okay, in this”— let’s say you missed a meeting or you were late for a meeting or whatever it was, and then you could say, “Okay, what happened is, I didn’t leave early enough. The traffic this time of day. So, what was missing? I needed to leave early. I need to understand what’s next. I’m going to make sure I leave 15 minutes earlier, or 30 minutes earlier,” because what that does is that allows you to be in control and you’re more likely to get the outcome that you want.

In an unconscious state we’re always looking to see what’s wrong, you know, “Who can we blame him for it?” And, “How do I fix it?” So, it’s a very problem orientation. One thing really to understand the difference is when we take back the locus control, we become responsible. We create the creative process and the creative process allows you to bring into your life what you want in the reactive state, when you’re basically responding and problem solving, you’re really not creating anything. You’re letting life happen to you. Problems are being created and then you’re fixing them. Fixing a problem does not create anything, it just gets rid of what you don’t want. So that whole shift in orientation can be so important and so powerful.

Okay, so what has to happen? First of all, it’s a process of understanding that what we’ve had from the past, all the things we’ve learned, are all lessons. It’s kind of like putting on a lab jacket in your goggles and looking and being curious, right? It’s like, “Okay, these are the things that have happened,” you know, basically they don’t define who you are. They are simply things that you’ve learned from, from the past, and it’s basically now to focus on what you want to create. As soon as you change your orientation to the creative process you fully engage the pre-frontal cortex. That’s the executive centers that allow you to create, allow you to produce what you want, to the vision of things to become.

It’s like everything that’s great, that’s happened on this planet, you know, skyscrapers, electricity, they’re all part of the creative process. Where someone’s decided leading from the future they want they’re actually now bringing into being by knowing what they want to create and then that informs them to be fully present in the moment. In the actual time that we’re at right now during this forum. You know, “Am I fully present? Am I listening to what we’re talking about? Am I going to ask some questions? Am I going to learn from that?” Or, “Am I going to defend my position?” Okay, so really different orientation. So the more— and it’s going to take time, it’s not something you’re going to learn overnight, but over time. So it’s really— there isn’t one giant step. It’s not like, “Aha, I got it today!”

[00:15:43] All I’m asking for in the forum is to awaken you to the possibility that if, you know, “I start to become more self-aware, more self-con conscious, I’m more likely to self-manage myself.” And that’s where it all starts because when we can self-manage and we can grow beyond our current paradigm because whatever we’re doing, where we are right now in our life, and whether our life is tremendous, or you’re thriving, or whether you’re just barely surviving. It’s literally a result of your current thoughts, your feelings and your actions. 

What we want to do now is set a new— to grow. It’s not about fixing what’s happened in the past, about fixing yourself. It’s simply raising your hand and saying, “You know what? I’m going to start working on it” in these little baby steps. I like to call them micro Steps, where, “I’m going to start becoming more,” it could be as simple as you know, setting, you know— technology can be good if it’s used in the right ways. So if you’re busy in your schedule you can set your technology every hour that it rings and it gives you a signal that in fact a lot of the programs now and a lot of the different apps will actually do it for you, where it’ll say, “take a deep breath,” and why we want to do that, if we’re so caught up in the hamster wheel of our every day, we’re less likely to be aware of our body how we’re breathing, how we’re feeling, how much stress. 

There’s a balance between our parasympathetic and our sympathetic nervous system. That’s the autonomic nervous and that’s the one that controls us and when we’re stressed out and we have a lot of stuff going on, we’re in a high sympathetic tone which is very unhealthy for us. It means there’s a lot of catecholamines. There’s cortisol release. It may feel like you’ve got the rush while you’re at work, but it’s actually having a negative effect on your cognitive, on your thinking, effect on your heart, your blood pressure, your different organs, that stress response, and basically you’re stressed versus parasympathetic, which is their natural default.

Ten thousand years ago we were in a parasympathetic tone. We were very relaxed and calm, very alert, our vagal nerve controlled and our gut, our heart rate, our breathing was slow and the sympathetic was used only when something bad happened. Now, it’s the opposite. We’re in a very high sympathetic tone, very low parasympathetic tone, and it’s very unhealthy for us. So, it’s a matter of starting to maybe have those moments once an hour, you stop and sense, “where’s my breathing?” Most of the time it’ll be up in here [gestures upper chest] shallow breathing from up here.

What you want to do is switch and then go to deep breathing and you actually take an autonomic activity, done automatically, you don’t think about your breathing and you bring it to your consciousness which will give you first information, “Wow, I am stressed,” and it’ll also allow you to take over and kind of take control. It’s kind of like driving your Tesla that’s on auto and you get it in a hairy air, where there’s circles and stuff, man, you better take it off auto and drive it yourself. What we want to do is drive ourselves. To get ourselves back into that parasympathetic tone. Hopefully that’s helpful.

So basically, your journey through life, starting right now, you can decide and if you’re already on the journey. Congratulations. Hopefully this is helpful in giving you some insights. But basically, we hold our thoughts very close to us and they are not us, they don’t define us. Most of the time we’re making stuff up. We’re interpreting things to make meaning through our personal mind. Our ego. Same thing with our emotions and the form, the things outside us, they’re farther away and so what we want to do is get to the point where we understand our thoughts, emotions, go in about 90 seconds. Sense the emotions, be fully aware of it, and let it pass. So if we’re feeling anxious, and that’s a little bit from the basic emotion of fear, let’s think, “Okay, what is it?” Stop. Challenge. and Choose. “What is it I’m feeling? Why am I feeling it?” And then let it go, right? Don’t start repressing those, saying, “Oh, I don’t want to be sad. I don’t want to be…” and you push it down and it’s stuck down in there and until you release it, it’s going to be there. So the key thing is to take some deep breaths and start to center yourself.

I always love to show this slide because you know I was talking to someone the other day one of my favorite things when I’m out lecturing and stuff and I’ll be at a hotel and I have the window open and I can hear the kids out at the pool, you know, that sound of that childhood fun and wonder and you can hear the din of laughter and kids are playing and it just brings a big smile on my face because unfortunately we seem to think that when we grow up, we have to be serious about everything, and we lose that wonder and the spectacular part. That’s about becoming more open and curious and bringing back the wonder of just what things are. Not trying to figure it out, but just what’s going on and our perspective about being aware in the present which is so clear.

[00:20:15] So, I’m going to end with this. I like to talk about this slide because it talks about the state inside of us and then our state outside in relationship to others and as I met communication and our relationships with others is really our whole life. Unless you sail out into the ocean and do the globe challenge single-handedly, you’re basically always interacting with other people. So the balance between those things starts with us first becoming self-aware and then basically understanding when our relationships— curious, “Why is somebody thinking? Rather than saying, “No they’re wrong and I’m right,” what about being curious from their perspective? And it’s not about agreeing with what everybody says. It’s about acknowledging that you’re hearing their perspective and things like that. Right now, if we could have that going on, and not to get back into the world, but imagine if we could have the world leader sit down and be curious about the perspective and figure out ways that we can make it work. So, with that I’d like to open it up for Q&A. So Rachel, we got anybody?

Rachel: Yes, we do. Stacy, can you unmute yourself and come on camera?

Stacy: Yes. Oh, it’s not letting me come on video.

Rachel: Okay.

Stacy: Hang on.

Rachel: But we can hear you.

Stacy: Yeah.

Rachel: There you are. 

Stacy: Okay. Hi, Dr. A, how are you?

Dr. A: I’m great.

Stacy: Good, it’s so nice to talk to you! So I— here’s what I tell people for element number four because that’s the one that changed my life and I say it just like this, “It’s as if Dr. A took my face in his hands and said, ‘Stacy, this. This right here is what you need.’” And so once I got to Element Four and really started eating it up, it literally, Dr. A, changed my life. It changed what comes out of my mouth, it changed everything for me. So my question is, having made peace with some of the things, you know, that I used to let happen to me, I guess, how do I just keep that peace? I mean there’s still things back there that I’m still working through and they’re hard and it hangs me up once in a while. So I want, I just want to know that I have the wherewithal and the fortitude to just keep doing the, “By me” and the “Through me,” and leave the, “To me,” behind and some days that’s hard.

Dr. A: No. Listen, you’re human, okay? We’re human and it’s really important to understand that, is that our program, our 10,000 year old design, was designed to do exactly that. It was to protect you. See, the difference is, back then there were so many real threats. Now most of the threats are perceived threats. They’re things that we are giving meaning to that really, may not even matter, and so, you know, one of the things I like to talk about is most of the stuff we have in our mind, is made up. And yet we think it’s the source of all being. We think it’s the Bible of everything that matters in life and the reality is, most of the stuff we have in there is just made up. It’s not true.

So, you know, one of the examples I like to use is, let’s say that a couple are dating for months and they were out at a party over the week past weekend and the man was dancing with a friend, and a beautiful younger lady, and the girlfriend looked over and started thinking, “Oh man. He likes her. They’re dancing too close.” You know, it’s amazing what happens when you let your imagination go wild, right? [crosstalk 00:24:02]

Stacy: Yes,

Dr. A: So, they didn’t say anything. Rather than just say, “Hey, you know, I felt a little…” Being fully revealing and being fully honest.

Do you repress that and say, you know, “What I’m just not going to talk about it. I don’t want to go there. It makes me feel bad.” So rather than actually address what reality is, what’s going on, and be curious about, you know, “Were you interested?” Is you repress it. So then the next week goes by and on Friday, the girlfriend’s at work and she’s texting her boyfriend and he’s not responding. She’s texting him and basically— then she comes back, so she, by the time she gets done with work, in her mind her boyfriend is having an affair with this girl, right? That she met the week before. Okay? [crosstalk 00:24:42] Boom. Just having an affair, it’s going on and then she gets to the house and she walks in, ready to just tell him off, and the boyfriend was having a surprise party for her. [Stacy laughing] It was, you know, an important date in their life, an anniversary or something and so all of a sudden everything that she thought during the day, which got accelerated was wrong.

[00:25:03] It wasn’t correct. Yet, the next morning you’re using that as your source of the ultimate opinion. That your thoughts are correct. So, the first thing is to base ourselves in reality and that’s what self-awareness is and, you know, one of the key things is, one of my good friends, Jim Defner, talks about videography. It’s a video. If you take a video of something, that’s actually what’s happened in it. Everything else is an interpretation of that. It’s our story that we make up. So the first thing we have to do is be real, in that being self-aware, right in the moment is— don’t make assumptions, you know, just don’t make assumptions.

So that’s a key part and it’s something you got to work on because, you know, you’ve got a whole story that you develop which, in some ways, when you were young, may have protected you. You know, most people don’t realize this but by the time, until we’re about five or six, we do not have the ability to cognitively process. So everything we hear, we basically think is true. So that’s why, and we’ve all had stories of this, made it happen to ourselves, our parents, tell them, you know, “you’re stupid,” as a kid growing because you make a bonehead move. Rather than saying, which we know is politically correct now, that wasn’t the smartest thing you did right there, but not identifying it, with a person. When you’re five years old your dad says, “you’re stupid,” he’s the ultimate source, or your mom, basically, you start thinking you’re stupid and doesn’t take long for you to process that. That, “I’m stupid,” and then if you don’t address that moving forward, that’s inside of you and then you experience everything.

Trying— I wrote a book with Robert Fritz called “Identity” and we talk about that in the book. It’s about, there’s a way you are and that’s the reality, right? And then you create an ideal reality where you spend the rest of your life going to school, even going to Harvard, you may even win the Nobel Prize, but the bottom line is you still think you’re stupid because what would anybody that would do all that stuff, to make sure they graduate first in their class, and do all this stuff to prove they weren’t stupid, right? So that’s the whole thing here for you Stacey, is just to have that discussion with yourself and just say, you know what? “I’m moving forward, I’m going to be open, I’m going to be curious, and I’m going to grow up from each experience and when I start saying something like that,” basically, what is that based on? Is it based on reality? Or is it based on those thoughts? Because just like that girl, that her thoughts were totally incorrect the whole day but the next day she’s listening to it again.

Understand your thoughts are not you. You are not your thoughts. Your feelings are not you and your actions are the results of what you’ve decided in your paradigm you’re going to do, but all those things, and it’s not going to happen overnight. It’s going to take time but I will tell you, the more you take things without creating interpretation and meaning to them, and you take them to the point where, “I’m just going to be open and curious and learn from this,” the more you’ll start gaining control and it’ll become more and more and it’s going to take time. It’s something you do every day but just basically work on it and you’ll get better.

Stacy: Thank you, Dr. A. 

Dr. A: You’re welcome. 

Stacy: I appreciate you.

Dr. A: My pleasure. Okay.

Rachel: Great. So, next up we have Ruth-Ann. Ruth-Ann, if you’ll come on camera? There you are.

Dr. A: Hey, Ruth-Ann.

Ruth-Ann: Hi, can you hear me?

Dr. A: I can.

Ruth-Ann: Hi, Dr. A. It’s great to see you. I’m so thankful that you offer these calls for us. My question really is about helping our clients and our coaching partners awaken to this reality. Some of them are not in the Life Book no matter how hard we push it and I see them reacting to that. You know, I mean in that 95 percent, and I know they’re only going to get so far on this journey if they aren’t willing to wake up and take responsibility for that. So I thought maybe you could share with us some good questions that will help us guide them on that journey.

Dr. A: Well, one thing is, just so you know, this conscious forum is for everybody. It’s for your clients, it’s for candidates, people that, you know, that they don’t even know anything about what our mission is about, right? I wanted to create an outreach because there’s so many people that are struggling right now with all the things going on in the world. So this is a great thing for you to bring them, to say, “Hey, listen, come on in and join us. It’s once a month, it’s an opportunity to get your questions answered,” because what happens is, we all process differently and the first thing is to awaken.

You know, we talk about how important that is. If someone’s not ready yet and by the way, you know, as I talked about in the beginning, about our personal mind, if we have a very strong personal mind that the world should be a certain way and our ego— Ego is like a bulldog running right in the front of our thoughts and it wants to protect us from anything new. Change takes us out of our comfort zone and the ego wants to put you right back. It wants to be in charge and when you start getting out of your comfort zone, you start learning and growing, your ego thinks it’s going to die. He thinks it’s going to lose his job.

[00:30:00] So, there’s a powerful piece there and until someone’s ready— so the best way is to ask lots of questions. Be curious yourself and basically put them in a position where they want to learn more. Where they see that it makes sense and ask very reflective questions and not, you know, always talk about— don’t sell and tell, share and care, right? So, it’s just about insights and then asking questions for them to reflect on and people will come at their own pace. What they don’t want to do is be controlled. We’re in the most controlling time, you know, people want to go control what’s going on in the world. They want to control Covid, they want to control— people want to wear masks, they don’t want to wear masks because they want to be told and it’s just a time when we’re trying to control and the world has grown up and people don’t want to be controlled anymore.

So, think about their mind. Their ego does not want to be controlled. So, it’s about just loving on them, it’s about having fun with them, it’s about opening them up to the possibilities and giving stories. The best way is stories. That’s why it’d be good to get them on this call, because they could just listen and realize that, you know what, no one’s trying to tell them what to do. They’re not trying to fix you, we’re simply— would love— you know and I showed that slide at the end about internal stability and external equilibrium I can tell you, on the journey to consciousnesses as you become more aware and you’re able to see things and have more— you know, most people, if you think it’s a river of consciousness where most people are rigid, the world has to be a certain way, or it’s chaotic where they just respond to everything around them, they react to it.

What we want to do is create a window of tolerance where they’re able to adapt to changes and they see the benefit for themselves. You’re not trying to tell them and you can’t say, you know what— if you’re on the journey and you try to tell them before they’re ready? They’re just going to— their ego is going to just push you away.

Rufan: Yeah, I think that’s happening, yeah.

Dr. A: Yeah, so just understand that, and know that you’re on the journey and you become— that’s why I talk about self-leadership and transformational leadership. As you become more aware and you’re able to be more adaptable, you’re able to be more flexible, more psychologically flexible, you’re able to handle it, where you don’t need to defend, you don’t need to tell them why you’re doing it. You simply just become aware of their state and then ask questions to help see how you can help them. Period.

Ruth-Ann: That’s good.

Dr. A: Yeah. Cool.

Ruth-ann: Yeah. I mean I think it goes back to what I hear a lot is, it’s not about me. Like if I can kind of let their experience be their experience, and mine be mine, I don’t need— I want them to awaken so badly that sometimes I think it might be about me. More about me.

Dr. A: It is about you, and that’s good— that’s really important. See, that’s your consciousness. That’s you becoming more self-aware and that’s really important to understand because see when someone’s in the drama triangle, what you don’t want to do is engage with that and what they’ll see— because if they bring up and they come in something with drama and you ask them, “What happened? What’s missing? What’s next?” It defuses that. See? It’s when you take up and they go, “Well this happened,” rather than saying, “Well, what’s wrong?” That’s not the question you ask. You ask, “What happened?” And then you are curious about it, and then, “Okay, so what was missing there that you— what was your expectation?” Right? “What did you expect to happen?” or, “What didn’t happen?” and then all of a sudden you’re changing and what they’re going to feel is they’re going to feel this emotion they had and they’re all charged up and the limbic system is working. You’re like saying to them by those questions, “Let’s take a deep breath. Let’s go like this [takes a deep breath] and let’s figure out how we move forward so we’re open, we’re curious, and we’re learning how to handle that.” 

So, the next time that your client or your coach is in that situation they have more skills to be able to modify their behavior. They’re learning to Stop. Challenge. and Choose., and they’re starting to take command and as soon as that happens, there’s like this big sigh and this weight comes off and what they’re going to start seeing is, “Wow, Ruth-Ann is helping me grow,” and they’ll value that and they’ll want to spend more time, but while their ego’s in charge, right there at the front gate, right? And it’s going [alarm noises], right? You can’t say, “Oh!” You know, you’ve got to give it time.

Ruth-Ann: That’s great. Thank you, Dr. A.

Dr. A: Well, okay. Okay, who’s next Rach?

Rachel: All right, we have Kayla. Kayla, can you come off mute?

Kayla: Hi, Dr. A. [Crosstalk 00:34:35]

Dr. A: Hey, Kayla. How are you? 

Kayla: Thank you so much. So I kind of had a question for a doctor about the biology. So, I’m curious, I have a child like [crosstalk 00:34:42]

Dr. A: The biology! [laughing]

Kayla: I know. [laughing] Well, I have an 11 year old and he can get in that prefrontal cortex. He can get in that creative space really well and so I’m curious, does the limbic system, like is he aware of less dangers and stuff when he gets to that place?

Dr. A: Well, okay. Bottom line is though, think about at night, when he’s— how old is he, 11?

Kayla: Yeah.

Dr. A: Okay so, but think about the times when something does trigger him, right? So, we all grow. So, understand it has to do with— also you— it has to do with you, it has to do with family environment. You know, if you’re teaching this and they’re learning this, the kids that are brought— Well, let me go all the way back. At the age of one, they took infants and they had them with their moms and they would take them away. The kids would be playing with their mom there and they did a study and they looked at them, and they take them away. Some of them would kind of go, “Oh,” like this and then go. They would be gone, they’d come back, they’d say, “Hi,” and hug their mom and then they go back to playing with their toys.

[00:35:47] Some of them, they would take away and would start screaming and knocking you know upside down and then they would come back they’d cling to them all and then the third group is basically they come back and they stay away from their mom, and so what they found are the moms that the kid was normal were securely attached. Their mom or or their caregiver, it could be their grandmother, it doesn’t matter, but anyway, whoever they’re with when they’re really young, it’s called secure attachment they felt comforted, they felt normal, they felt secure, and so because of that, because remember we talked about ego versus with the point where you start becoming socialized and then become your authentic self, is that that transition takes time and it’s going to be different depending on what the environment is, right?

So, with the group that would cling on their mom when they came back, they would get ambivalent singles for them. Sometimes their mom would be loving to them, sometimes their mom wouldn’t be, and so they had— and then the third group were like drug addicts, and moms that just didn’t pay attention and were not good to their kids. So, why I’m saying that is, that development, when we’re born, because you know the size of the human brain is already pretty big in the head, is that we have our latent behaviors, or things that are genetically programmed but most of that stuff is learned, and we learn— the right side of the brain, the emotional, the comforting, the social, the loving part, when we’re in our first year and then we start learning the other stuff.

Until the time, about five, it’s most of that and then it starts going beyond it. Now, your son, obviously is brought up, assuming this, in a very loving family was not enabled but empowered and has reached a very comfortable level of balance, but take him at night, and especially with younger kids— so an example at night, if you’re reading remember when you were reading, teaching him to read, and he’s reading and he’s doing pretty good and all of a sudden he makes a mistake, right? And then he gets frustrated and that’s when you stop. You give him a big kiss and say, “good night,” because as soon as they get frustrated, even this child that’s your savant [Kayla laughs], so to speak, stop using this [gestures to head] they stop using this and they start using the amygdala, right?

Kayla: Okay.

Dr. A: So, it’s all a balance in that. If a child is in a well-ingested environment, doesn’t feel threatened, has fulfilled all their self-interest and can explore, that’s wonderful. So, now there are exceptions. So, if you ever saw “Going Solo,” something solo, it was about the young— I thought he was like 30 years old, he climbed the half dome, “Free Solo,” I think it was called, and this guy actually, with just his hands and his feet climbed half dome all the way up a thousand, fifteen hundred feet, without ropes, okay? And then a couple places he had to actually jump over and reach it. Now, if he slipped he was dead.

So in that case, yeah, that particular person was born with probably little baby amygdalas, because I gotta tell you the rest of us would be terrified! Just hearing, I saw you, your face, just hearing it. So, yeah, I think there’s exceptions where people may be a little more obtunded to the reflexes of the amygdala and threat, but I think as a whole, it really has to do with the environment they’re brought up in. Now, as I showed earlier in that slide, it doesn’t matter, whatever happened 30 years ago, happened 30 years ago, and this is one thing for everybody to really think of, stop trying to give yourself a better past, right? You’re here where you are, you know, what you want to do. Focus on that. Remember, our thoughts, feelings, and actions can be changed over time. It’s not that we have to rely or fix anything from our past.

I think you’ve got a well-adjusted son that basically wants to learn and grow and doesn’t spend much time— and also, and I hesitate to say this, but as we know between the two genders, women wear their hearts on their sleeve and they seem the limbic system is a little is not always and then there’s many exceptions and I don’t mean to stereotype, but, you know, guys sometimes, they’re just not quite as into that. You know, the touchy feely. You know, just right? Yeah, and I’m not going to go any farther than that because [unintelligible 00:39:59], and I honestly, I would say if you want to go back to biology, I would say that women have many more advantages in life than males do. So, I hope that that helped.

Kayla: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

Dr. A: You’re welcome. Okay, Rach, who else?

Rachel: All right we have Jennifer. Jennifer, can you come off mute and on camera?

Jennifer: Yes, I can. Hi! Hey, Dr. A.

Dr. A: Hey, how are you?

Jennifer: Happy belated birthday!

Dr. A: Thank you.

Jennifer: I hear you were in my neck of the woods and one day you’re going to stop by. 

Dr. A: Okay.

Jennifer: And we all know that you break the mold of stereotypes because you are one of the most caring, open, curious, in touch with your emotions persons that I have ever met in my life and I just want to thank you for being that mentor to me and for sharing this time with all of us. I’m not usually so emotional but I just love you

Dr. A: That’s a good thing! That’s a good thing. You’ve got me emotional too. [crosstalk 00:41:07]

Jennifer: I appreciate everything you got me. We’ve been through a lot of life together. So, I want to shift gears a little bit and just ask you this question, you know, I’ve been doing this work with you, and with Helen Irwin, for many years now and I’ve felt myself change pretty dramatically in my transformational consciousness and what I have come across is that with partners in both in my life, and in my business, and friends, I feel like sometimes I’m growing at a different pace and it’s something that I am consciously aware of, and I try to never be in that place where I’m making someone else wrong, but specifically when I’m growing, I’d like to hear your discussion about creating more of a curious and open conversations with our partners and life partners to help pull them into this kind of shift in paradigm.

[00:42:16] Where we’re not simply reacting to our environments. How do we— I mean, I know that modeling it is the first and best way to even teach our children how to, you know, create the meaning around a situation and you know, find the gains in all the gaps if you will, and I just recently read your book “Identity.” Oh my gosh. Mind blowing, but I’d love to hear just you talk, speak into me and all of us about how we share this in the best way with the people around us.

Dr. A: That’s a great— first of all, thank you for all your work and contributions, you know, your journey has been incredible and the things that you share, you know, in the chat and stuff you’re helping so many others, and so one of the important things is as we grow is— well it’s the definition of intrinsic motivation, right? Intrinsic motivation, find something we love, something we want to get better at and something we can share with others and relate to. I mean that’s the definition and that’s an intrinsic part of your value to yourself, your relationships, your community, and to the mission. So, thank you. I want to make sure I give you accolades for that because that’s important.

So, it really comes down to, most relationships are either about co-commitment, they’re about codependency. It really comes down to that, right? There’s a continuum, of course, of that but in relationships that are healthier, that are sound, there’s a co-commitment and, you know, I use that term in a way that commitment is what you’re actually committed to doing. You know, so again, going back, if you’re 50 pounds overweight you’re committed to being 50 pounds overweight. You may have these great, grandiose ideas that you’re going to be at a healthy weight and have a six-pack, but you’re committed to being 50 pounds overweight.

So, in relationships, a sticky wicket is where when you’re open and curious and want to grow and learn you’re evolving. You’re, I like to say that I think we’re put on this earth for a very short period of time to evolve as a human and to become all we can be and I think if you look at the humans that have really enjoyed their lives to the most and been the most fulfilled, involved, they’ve been on that and I think we start off, you know, like we were talking about with the child. When you’re young, you’re basically— it is about your ego and your self-interest and your ego is in service of your self-interest. As we evolve your ego becomes in service of our soul and so our soul is essence that we’ve now found our place, we’ve grown to be our authentic self and then we’re now moving through to be collaborative with others.

For instance, for me the mission that we’re on is not about me at all anymore. You know, one time I helped drive this in the beginning and I worked really hard and it was, my ego was in service of helping create something great, but I wanted the credit for it, you know, years and years and years ago now. I’m in a very different place when I’m looking to collaborate. That’s why people, like I brought Helen and Jim Deffner, because we want like-minded people that are all on that same journey. So, in your relationship as it sits, as you grow, you have to set realistic expectations on where someone else’s level is and so there’s greatness in everybody being at the— I know, very simple people, you know, that are basically not on this journey at all and I love them to death because they are who they are, but they exhibit the same values so I think it really starts there.

[00:45:53] It’s about principle-based values. If your values are the same, that’s what matters. If your values aren’t the same and you are very different, then there’s a codependency going on there and so I think it’s really important to realize if the values are the same but maybe the growth curve is different, that’s okay. You know, people all learn differently, as you said, and I think it’s okay for people to lag, you can still love them, but not to put expectations because you might want to have a, I’ll just take this example, you might want to have an intellectual discussion with Spock and Kirk, right? At a level where Spock is, you know, he’s so advanced and everything and Kirk’s talking from the human side of it and they could— they were great friends and yet Spock was very intellectual, frontal cortex and Kirk was strategic and had some of those, but it was more about the human experience and that was the beauty of why that co-commitment was so important. I think that’s important to not expect things that people are not interested in. If they don’t value it as much.

You have a prolific and an insatiable desire to grow consciously, right? And that fires you up. They get you excited. In the morning you can’t get enough of it. Well someone else, that may not be their highest value, and it’s about principle-based values. It’s about, “What do they value the most?” But they may love you to death and you have to take it for what that is, you know, ideally we wiggle our nose and we’d have the perfect world, but actually, you know, have really deep meaningful conversations where you can sit in a room with your significant other and talk for three days, right? And not anything else other than that, but our expectations have to be around our values and I think as long as you use that to base your relationship. If it is a codependency, then look for areas where you can sever that and then create more of a co-commitment. Does that help?

Jennifer: Oh my gosh. I love that. I just think— I just had like a breakthrough because, you know, it’s funny how one of my strengths is going through all this, I do understand myself as a leader so much more than I did before. All I could see was my weaknesses and now I can see that I do have many strengths and that I can lead in a way that is right for me and— but what I— when you are talking about that, you know, recognizing what’s valuable in others, I had kind of like a “Yellowstone” experience this past weekend. My dog cut his foot. I’m up in the mountains, I had to drive 45 minutes to find the country vet and when I walked in, he looked like a character from “Yellowstone”, okay? He had a handlebar mustache, a big belt buckle, and, you know, I was the assistant and I had a really interesting conversation with him and this guy, he lives a really simple life, but yet he knows who he is and he is a leader in his community, in his way, in his own divine perfect. Dr. Brooks, you know, way. He’s delivered babies in the community and he’s the vet. Do you know what I mean? So, I had that experience with him and I was like, “Wow, this is really cool.” 

This is an example of someone who understands their contribution to society and he does not like, like you said, he’s not desiring to, you know, his ego, maybe there’s some ego there because he knows who he is, but it was like, is it really cool. It was just one of those, simplicity is golden, kind of moments and sometimes when I’m growing with people that I partner with, you know, I think it’s really important for us to get this good gauge of listening and being curious about their motivations, and their values, and learning to kind of read that and also let them know, “Oh, I see this in you. This is really cool, how different you are than me,” or, “You are than other people,” So, it just made me when you said that this co-commitment thing is really cool and that right there it’s easy to find the similarities. Whenever you ask someone, “What are we co-committed?” Because that’s bringing us together, right? It’s not pointing out our differences and I think that that’s pretty much everything.

Dr. A: Yeah, and just to kind of tie in, well he has an ego, but his ego is in the service of his soul. See one of the things in the Eastern, they talked about like, Eckhart Tolle talks about, you’re getting rid of your ego totally. Well yeah, you want to get rid of the ego that makes you the center of the universe but you want your ego. Your egos in the service of your soul. The things that you desire and you value. You want to go after those with passion and there are things that are not about competition. There are things that are about you becoming a higher version of yourself and when we do that, and he’s fully comfortable in his skin, he lives up in the middle of nowhere and he’s got the things that are important to him, you know, and those are all intrinsic measures. That’s why intrinsic motivation is the key. When we’re in touch with the things that get us up in the morning, in the cares of our life, the things that we value the most, and we go after those and the key areas of our life.

[00:51:20] See, if you don’t go after one of the key areas in your life, then you’re giving it to someone else and so it’s really important for us, as we continue to grow, is to take all those key areas and put them in position so they’re actually organized on what matters most to you, at your highest level of values. That’s the key to true success in life and what I mean by success, it’s not extrinsic success, how much money you have, what your position is. It’s success in that you love every day of your life and you have high Internal Stability in External Equilibrium and you feel like you’re almost in a state of flow. Really, it’s like what happens to the top athletes, where they just become incredible because they’ve let all the concepts and all the stuff go away. It’s melted away. They’ve done the training and now they’re just fully in resident and that’s the goal for consciousness.

The goal for consciousness is to get to the point where you flow through your day, you know, someone said to me, “You know Dr. A, you could have fun in a post office,” and it’s true because bottom line is, it’s in wonder, it’s going back to your kids. Man, it’s a state of childlike wonder but as an adult, because as a kid, unfortunately you’re told what time you got to leave the playground, you’re told what time you’ve got to get up, you’re told what time you have to go to bed. As an adult, if you’ve now continued mastery of that wonder and that curious, but now you have full control over it, are you kidding me? It’s adult Disney World. 

Jennifer: Yeah, that’s right. 

Dr. A: Yeah. Awesome.

Jennifer: That’s right.

Dr. A: Okay, we have time.

Jennifer: Thank you. 

Dr. A: Good talking to you as always. All right, we have time for one more question.

Rachel: All right, we have Xena up next. You could come off mute. There you are!

Dr. A: Well look at that little guy.

Rachel: Oh, Xena, if you can unmute yourself.

Xenia: All right, there we go.

Rachel: There you go.

Xena: We’re having real life over here as we listen to you.

Dr. A: I see that! Hi, guys! [Xena has small children with her on screen]

Little girl: Hi.

Xena: Actually, it actually, it has to do with my question, you know, one of these things, element four, was just really, really powerful for me as I grew through my own journey and really becoming the creator and helping others become the best version of their selves, with an empowerment, and as we’re in this beautiful community we have the luxury of passing this into our children. Our children are very lucky and I know that that’s a mission of your heart. So, just to do this legacy, it’s justice, and to really truly change the world for the next generation because you’re looking at it right here. What would be the best way to instill this mindset for them?

Dr. A: Yeah, well I think you’re just doing it right now. I mean, you know, I love what you’re doing right now, it’s just exposure. To understand that, you know, the benefits that living this life has been for you to be able to be home with your child, children, to give you the opportunity to spend more time with them. To understand that you’re not there to— you’re their parent and want to set the guidelines so they don’t— they’re out of harm but you’re also treating them as a fellow human. You’re giving them the opportunity to be curious and understanding what’s going on and rather than just tell them do it because, “mom says,” you’re curious and, you know, “What are you thinking about,” and those— look at the smile on her face [referring to little girl on screen with Xena]. I mean it says it all, you know, just because we’re little and we don’t have the experience, doesn’t mean as a human we want to be careful, we want to be loved for, we want to be heard, we want to be involved, we want to be part of the family, and you’re doing all that. So, you’re doing all the right things.

Xena: Oh, thank you, Dr. A, very much.

Dr. A: She looks like a mini you.

Xena: Yes, she is. Thank you so much, Dr. A. 

Dr. A: It’s my pleasure. All right guys, thanks, it was great. It was a great hour. Enjoyed it. Rachel, is the one next month at one? Because I know that kind of was a little confusing because we had another course that was going on. Are we doing it at one or 12?

Rachel: The next one will be at 12. We’ll send out an email and it will be on April 5th. 
Dr. A: Okay, so as we leave today just really this is— this call is designed for anybody that your heart goes out to that you— either struggling or just wants to learn more, who’s raising their hand. They don’t need to be part of our mission, they can just be someone that you care about or love or you want to bring on and ask questions and, you know, we want to make this available to tens of thousands of people so we can help them take control, take responsibility, and take back control of their mind and put them in position to thrive once again in their life. So, God Bless you guys. See you, bye.

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