Preamble for today’s session:
Note: Going in today, I was concerned that The Ruminator would impede my progress, because of his tightened presence in my mind these past few days. So, I shut my eyes and let myself go into my chest to hear and feel what came from there. All the questions asked today had several voices answering and I did my best to focus on those closest to my heart.
Berel: Are measurable results being achieved using The Ladder?
Mario: Yes, I believe they may depend, in part on the intention or desired goal of the participants. My intention with the ladder was to understand & overcome my blockages. My awareness of the different parts of myself has given me the strength and self-confidence in objectively handling discussions and situations where I would have given in to my triggers in the past and let my emotions rule my reactions first.
Berel: Can the ladder be a measurable tool to be better in business?
Mario: Yes, predominantly on the aspects that touch communication. As a sales and marketing improvement tool, we can learn how to be clearer with our goals and visions. As a leadership tool, it improves self-awareness while promoting greater understanding of others, because it gives us the gifts of objective clarity and empowered empathy.
Berel: Have your behaviors changed?
Mario: Yes, my emotional reactions have changed:
- Some triggers have gone away forever, while others have weakened.
- I have learned the importance of saying no to certain projects that are a bad fit for me, whether due to time, current ability, or interest. Berel: You have to know what a good fit is.
- My discussions feel much less argumentative. I desire to understand the core motivation behind another’s point of view, more than the need to change their minds. It’s easier to let go when I see no room to teach, nor learn. It’s also given me clarity in expressing my point of view in terms they may better understand. Listening first is yielding rewards.
Berel: Are there still behaviors that you need to change?
Mario: Yes, Answering ‘what I want’ for myself and to others.
Berel’s Observation: This may be part of asking ourselves how to accomplish our goals and what processes will we follow to achieve them.
Mario: I feel I often get caught up in the how and lose sight of why I am reaching for my goal. In other words, I lose my motivation for accomplishing the goal in the details of the actions that need to be taken. I feel I need a strong purpose to accomplish something.
Today’s focus: The Meanings of Acceptance
Berel: What is your biggest gap right now?
Mario: Attaching Purpose to my goals.
When you find your purpose you will achieve your goal because you have a driving motivation.
What are three reasons you believe your purpose has not been revealed to you yet?
Why haven’t started serving your purpose?
Note: We started with #3 because there was a stronger emotional response indicating a stronger truth to be revealed. While fear and avoidance are part of ‘underserving’, they are not stand alone energies. The fear of a certain emotion leads to avoidance of an anticipated situation, but neither is as much a demotivating factor as feeling undeserving.
3-Feeling undeserving is under serving ourselves.
I grew up hearing sayings that there wasn’t enough to go around. eg: “Don’t waste your supper! Don’t you know there are starving kids in Africa?” I never understood how my full belly impacted starving children, but it felt like I was causing it. This only left me feeling undeserving, because so many people have less than me why should I have more? OR “I complained I had no shoes until I met a man that had no feet.” I know now, this was meant to inspire gratitude, but it wasn’t clearly explained to me as a child and left me feeling I didn’t deserve shoes. In general, I have learned to feel I don’t deserve more, since so many have less than I. I question if even I deserve what I have, much less to have more.
Question: How do you know that is true?
Answer: I don’t. I have no proof that there is not enough for everybody. I look for proof to eliminate the bad feelings I grew up with. I still often feel that whatever I am given is taken away from someone else.
Observation: I laughed to myself when this thought came to me: My understanding of the law of conservation of energy has become a belief and it’s conflicting with what I am learning about quantum physics and abundance.
Question: What part of you is creating this conflict?
Answer: I’m not sure, possibly The Martyr.
Note: I paused for a few minutes and suddenly heard it: The deeper emotion of sad, self-rejection from a small, soft and deceptively soothing voice saying “be careful you are getting out of your comfort zone, you’ll get rejected, and rejection hurts”. Then a s strong realization came up from a deeper place: This voice is only offering stagnation. It’s a big box of boredom wrapped in shiny paper.
Question: What do you feel physically?
Tightness in my solar plexus, a dull ache in my sternum, my heart feels very tight, and an emotion that wants to cry: rejection.
Question: What do you see and feel?
Answer: An adolescent me, alone, rejected, and not understanding why. I feel sad.
Question: What is the sadness?
Answer: A closed door, a loss.
Aha Moment: We have a biological need to go through the stages of mourning loss and rejection. It isn’t just drama. I often don’t permit myself to go through the feelings of sadness and anger to achieve acceptance.
Question: Is acceptance the highest place to get to?
Question: How are you so sure about that?
Answer: Acceptance is like fresh air: cool, nourishing, refreshing, and truthful. It has no limiting attachments or emotional anchors, is completely free and clean, is non-judgemental, it is life. Acceptance is a really beautiful feeling of bliss. It fills me with a sense of accomplishment.
Question: What is resonating as truthful about this with you?
Observation: The answer is in my heart, but there is glass barrier blocking the answer from coming up through my voice.
Question: Which part of you is putting the glass there to block the answer?
Answer: Not sure, possibly The judge.
Question: What is the judge afraid of? What has he got to lose?
Answer: With my laugh: His existence, of course.
Aha Moment: When I accept myself and everything as it is, there is no need for a judge.
Berel’s observation: You are the orchestra leader of all this drama and dynamics.
Question: Why do you tolerate this from yourself?
Answer: I’m not the leader, I’m in the audience. I’m watching.
Question: Who is the character in the audience just watching this unfold and doing nothing about it?
Answer: The passenger or Observer. I am being entertained by everything that is going on.
Question: Do you prefer to be entertained over having acceptance and power?
Answer: Yes and I feel shame about this part of me. It would rather be taken care of.
This feels like why I give the power to everybody else.
Note: A new energy surfaced: The incompetent. It is the force driving the inactive observer.
Aha Moment: When I get down on myself, I don’t recognize or consider at all I’ve done and all I have as accomplishments or competencies.
Question: The reason is?
Answer: I do not believe in their value. Yet, when I look back through my memories, I am in denial of their value. I am not accepting my accomplishments, I am denying them.
Question: What does this look like?
Answer: Like steam building in a large test tube, There is an excitement in seeing the steam build, but when I open the valve the excitement dissipates and I lose interest in the result.
Aha Moment: I do not value the results as much as the process. I like the challenges of the journey over the destination. Berel: “the journey is actually life” The destination is death. Accomplishment and results feel like closing doors and death. The only way to stay alive is to always be in the journey. Never look for an end. I would love to just be a starter of things. I’d rather be a catalyst than a reaction.
I do not want to conclude journeys, so I start new ones and leave the old ones unfinished.
Realization: This results in frustration and feeling overwhelmed. I end up with too much unresolved and incomplete things. They remind me that I stopped the learning process. That sucks, I do not like it.
Question: What are the payoffs/costs for continuing to do this?
Answer: The cost is a bad feeling. The payoff is I get to be irresponsibly curious without concern about or taking ownership of what I learn. I get the freedom of learning whatever I want from being a passive learner.
Question: Is that a totally bad thing?
Answer: Only if I listen to The Judge who focuses on the words: irresponsible & passive. Another voice is focusing on good feelings on being curious and being a learner.
Question: Why is it a good thing?
Answer: I get to believe I am a valuable resource with eclectic knowledge. That feels good.
The Judge is saying: Being an observer allows me to be a valuable resource, but I am not actively seeking to share and deliver and sell what I know. I am undeserving because I do not share this knowledge.
Question: Why can this be a good thing?
Answer: I can feel I deserve to receive more when I share what I already know.
Question: What more can I do of to feel fulfilled by this?
Answer: Question to engage people, Learn to understand, Teach/write to share what I learned.
Question: What makes this better?
Answer: Reaching out to share knowledge in both directions-help students and teachers-for me to grow more. Remind myself that I always have more to learn and that a lack of knowledge is an invitation to learn. Learning is the life, not death. Look at conclusions and accomplishments as parts of a bigger process, as steps on the journey towards more learning. Ask “What if?” Or “Have you considered..?” at every step.
Berel’s Observation: Remember that all the things you learn from projects that end well or not, become part of you, those learnings never die even though the project is over.
My Question? Why then, don’t I accept that?
Berel’s Question: Which part of you is asking that question?
Answer: The trickster, because it the answer feels too simple and incomplete. It’s a diversion from the real question and from the empowering truth.
Question: Is there part of you that believes you don’t accept that you have grown from all you’ve learned?
Answer: No. Absolutely not. I really only feel that I haven’t yet mastered certain abilities.
Berel’s Affirmation: “You are an infinite learner and teacher”
Aha Moment: My value is that I am always learning. I have been capable of learning. I am more than willing to learn; I’m driven to learn.
Berel’s Affirmation: “We love to satiate our curiosity.”
Conclusions: The potential benefits of acknowledging our achievements without first judging them is massive. Make a list of all the things I have done and then stand back. The realization becomes that I have done plenty of things with my life. I have been comparing myself to others who have focused on different masteries and I impose impossible competitions on achieving the same accomplishments as them without the benefit of their years of experience. It is unrealistic. It is much more gratifying to look at what I’ve done to fuel my self-esteem and then decide what may have value to learn further.
We are all differently knowledgeable and differently accomplished. We are all differently valuable.
The Ladder process is building my awareness of my own value and allowing me to be objective about my self-criticism and self-comparisons to others. It is revealing to myself who I am at my core, based on all my experiences and giving me new starting points to grow further.