We all have moments in our life where we have the experience we are exactly where we are meant to be. And it often feels like all the gears in life conspired to materialize that experience. It could be a chance meeting with someone you love. It could be the end to a long search for that teacher who is going to guide you down your innermost desired path in life. It could be a moment with the vast incomprehensible beauty of nature. Or perhaps even, a special message in the form of a song or prose …
I’m in gratitude to have had many of these moments. Firstly, with my Taekwondo instructors Lindsay Osborne and Maria De Rota. Secondly, it was with a special tree during sunset, one that I used to run past regularly in Centennial park Sydney. And often, daily, my encounter with falling leaves that remind me I’m in my flow.
But perhaps the one that resounds so significantly in my life now, was sitting in a training room with Carl & Ruth-Anne Buchheit, and Carla Camou. Both are trainers of Marin-Style NLP, and incredible change facilitators in their own right—continually pioneering, and integrating new understandings and stances into their framework.
More than three years ago, I sat in that room listening to what they had to teach with regards to facilitating change in clients’ lives. From the get go, the energy of their delivery seemed to slow time down. And a part of me knew that I was to continue this work as part of my life’s work. In particular, two assertions which set the tone for the training, and has set the tone for the past three years of my life. The first one:
“The objective of the Work, is to help the client come into infinitely greater levels of rapport with Self, Other-selves, and Life itself.”
This statement embodied something much more significant than what the personal development industry was promoting at the time. The statement focused on the importance of developing rapport with self, others, and the larger life that is. That is, the connection, collaboration, and creative potential that becomes available to us all—when we are no longer in conflict with all that life and other-lives entail. It presupposes the common-ness we share with the larger context called Life as we know it.
Meanwhile, most “change/personal development frameworks” and “coaching models” in the industry focused on getting results, and helping clients become the next Richard Branson. Often, this involves defeating yourself, crushing your weaknesses, and obliterating your excuses. Though it isn’t wrong, it is also a very different mode of operation. It is focused on overcoming self with the intention to achieve a specific goal. Often, this works in materializing specified external objectives (material gain, status etc.), however—that form of success often doesn’t feel good in the long-run. And hence does not self-sustain. Recalling from previous posts (The Art of Personal Change III – Doing the Best You Can, Always), that human beings only ever select the best feeling option on their menu—no exceptions ever.
And after all, recalling the fundamental premise (The Art of Personal Change I – The Premise for Ending the War Within) for this work …
If you are in an arm-wrestle with yourself, who is it who wins when one part manages to defeat the other?
In comparison, the Marin-style form of change focuses on the one thing that no one can take from you. The one thing that holds priority now, and forever. It also presupposes the unification of self, and the inseparable nature of All. As you may have guessed, I am of this resonance. Even prior to meeting Carl & Ruth-Anne, and Carla (and later, Michelle Masters too)—I trained (and still do) in the Martial Art of Taekwondo, which has its philosophical roots nested in Taoism, and the ancient Chinese text called The I-Ching. All of which focus on the flow phenomenon and the harmonization of form and function.
One of the clearest distinctions I learnt is between force and power. Force being the effortful and entropic process of creation, while power being the force of nature that requires little ‘forcing’. Rather, an elegant integration of flow, form and function. And as a result of that power, brings to rise the creational authority in every human being to bring to life what is most congruent to their heart. Which leads me to the second phrase (question) that was put to me in this training:
“What’s important to you now, that is still going to be important to you 10,000 years from now?”
“Wow!” That’s what I thought when I first heard it. It’s a big question, and not a common one to hear on a first date. It takes some contemplating. Initially, I was thinking things like; entertainment, food, surfing, and watching Netflix. No cigar of course. Because who knows what form life will take 10,000 years from now, for sure? My next thoughts were something like; contribution to mankind, the love I have for my family, and the love I have for the planet. Still no cigar.
The only thing the context of the question allows us to be certain of 10,000 years from now, is that there is a you. That is, an awareness of a version of Self that exists in that future.
Because you probably remember from a previous post—it’s not what happens or what we have in material that matters (though it is a cool thing we do)—it’s how we feel about what happens and what we have that matters (The Art of Personal Change VI – To Hold Dear). That is, our experience. And that experience, is a result of the meaning we imbue to the external events and resources that surround us. And that meaning we imbue, is a product of our relationship with Self.
I’ll clarify with a couple of examples.
If we relate to ourselves as being the creative directors of our lives, then all that life offers us, is a resource for our artwork called “my life.” If our relationship with self is that of being a peacekeeper, we will seek, promote, and maintain conflict in order to reinforce that relationship with self. Because if everything was at peace, there would be no need for a peacekeeper. So the stance of a peacekeeper, requires an equal amount of unrest to stabilize its existence.
This is the simple gist of how the relationship with Self materializes in our world, and our experience of Life itself. So the answer to the big question? What’s important to you now, that is going to be important to you 10,000 years from now? (and forever) …
Your relationship with Self.
At the time of hearing and understanding this, I was in awe. But little did I know that its essence was slowly being drip-fed to me, so I could truly grasp the depths of the principle. If you read my previous posts on Death, then you will understand that a lot of my world recently fell apart, to be re-arranged to create something new. Part of that, meant that my finances went to shit, my friendships changed, my business stalled, and the fire I had within my belly to “make things happen” daily and in every moment … went cool.
I would often sit on the couch all day and watch TV. Or, if the weather was good (which was almost every day), I would grab my surfboard and surf. In light of the doomsday economic forecasts the media was pumping out, the old me would be too worried about financial security, and making “something” of my life—to just “chill out” and feel okay. My pride would also disallow myself to be, what many would perceive my behaviour to be representing—a lazy unmotivated bum-hole.
But I had reached a point where that didn’t matter so much. The line that rung true no matter how things didn’t seem to go the way I wanted, was this …
“I have myself, and I have my relationship with Self.”
It was in that moment that I realized the spirit of the curriculum I was learning, and inheriting from my teachers. The world around me can go to sh*t no matter how hard I try. The people I care for in my life can end up somewhere I wouldn’t really want them to. That is not to say I won’t try to make a difference. But the point is, if that all fails … I’ll still have me. I’ll still have this relationship with Self. This illusive, but precious thing that no one can take away.
The Buddha said that the only knowledge worth having is the one that stays with you after death. This is what I believe he was referring to.
At the time of writing this, I am about to spend 2 months in the US, continuing my journey with this work. As a student, facilitator, and teacher. And how timely so, that I had come full circle with this fundamental assertion of Marin-Style NLP. Which is to come into infinitely deeper levels of rapport with Self, other Selves, and Life itself.
I hope that you have found resonance with the work I have shared to date, and perhaps—already traversing your natural path along this unending spiral of deepening rapport with self.
(Read the next post in the series – The Art of Personal Change – Money.)