The second conference of Supercoach Academy found us all in New York, New York. I would never have expected the warm energy and great vibes of the first weekend to have been surpassed, but alas, I was proven wrong. That has only happened once before, back in the summer of ’78.
Out of that warm and lovely feeling congealed several insights, which I’d like to share.
- If it looks complex and heavy, look in a different direction
When we’re looking at a problem and feeling heavy and stressed, we’re in the muck. We’re down in the dungeon with our problem. We’re not of much use in this state. If we wait, thoughts do what they do, and move along. When new thoughts enter, a new mood enters, and that same problem will look different.
If it looks simpler and lighter, you’re on the right track. Keep looking in that direction. Stick with that feeling.
(I’m intentionally keeping this point brief.)
2. Connection vs coaching
There’s no real “versus” here, but comparing the two is useful for me to describe my experience.
Sometimes, when I coach–and I think most coaches have experienced this–I get it in my head that I have to “help” clients. I have to provide value. Have an impact. Catalyze an insight.
All of this stupid thinking really gets in the way. It makes it harder to be present in a coaching session. And in coaching, presence is everything. When you can listen with little on your mind, a natural conversational flow leads both coach and client to a new place together. That’s when value, impact, and insight happen of their own accord.
This weekend’s theme was Connection. We did an exercise whose goal was not to coach but to connect.
This was useful for me, because instead of all of the bullshit that usually floats around in my mindspace, the goal was just to connect–I know how to do that!
My partner and I connected. When I was in the role of coach, the conversation evolved beautifully with an internal logic from a Mind much more capable than mine or my partner’s. In this space, I found an odd question come to mind. It came out of nowhere and was out of context from our talk. But I asked it, and it led to a productive discussion and new insight for my partner.
Where did that question come from? If I had been trying to think of a great question, I wouldn’t have come up with that.
When I played the role of client, my partner had a similar experience, where he posed an unusual question that helped me see something completely new about a circumstance that was giving me grief. For the rest of the weekend, I forgot about that problem.
Does that mean it was solved? Or was it ever supposed to be solved? So often, with insight, problems aren’t “solved” because that validates that it was, indeed, a problem. What I experience more often is that with insight, our consciousness jumps to a new level, and we no longer even recognize or are aware of that “problem” anymore. Was it ever a problem? I’m inclined to say no. Problems arise and dissolve as our consciousness dips and rises.
I’ll experience problems again. But now I know that I don’t necessarily have to do anything strenuous to fix them. If an action is required, I’ll know.
This is the potential that exists in pure connection. Genuine presence with another soul. On the first day, Michael said, “we vastly underestimate how much impact comes from connection alone.” We learned how right he was.
3. The Three Principles aren’t a tool to get us out of the lows of life
This one is pretty much the crux of everything else.
When I first started learning about the Three Principles behind human experience, they made an immediate difference on my life. It forever changed the way I see “personal” “development.” It relieved misunderstandings that were a source of stress.
It felt really nice.
Until problems kicked in again. 🙁
As time went on, I kept learning about the Three Principles, seeking to recreate that initial levity. I saw small glimpses and had small realizations, but not on the scale which I first experienced.
Since I was convinced of the truth the Principles point to, I knew I was missing something. I kept looking and learning.
Fast forward to last weekend. It became crystal clear to me that somewhere along the way I unconsciously started to believe that knowing the Three Principles was a magic bullet that would permanently prevent me from experiencing hardships.
I’m going through the trouble of pointing this out because I’m not the only person who does this. In fact, find me a person who doesn’t do this from time to time, and I’ll… I’ll… do something else that’s ALSO highly unlikely.
Whether it’s the Three Principles, a new relationship, spirituality or religion, or a practice like meditation or prayer, it’s easy to form the expectation that it will plant us on cloud 9 for the rest of our lives. We’re usually drawn to the new understanding, relationship, or practice because we initially saw the great potential and change it can bring. We think we’re supposed to continue existing in that newfound pleasure. We think if we’re not in that state, we’re doing something wrong.
But this puts us at war with ourselves when we experience the inevitable return to the realm of the human condition. In this realm, we’ll continue to get stressed, to get mad, to get upset and jealous. That continues as long as we occupy this human form.
The real magic of something like the Three Principles is not that it removes negative experience, but that it fundamentally transforms our relationship with negative experience.
We begin to see that we have the capacity to move through both peak and trough experiences in life with total peace. We can be super happy one day, and be thankful for it, and not need to try to capture it in a jar, like a firefly, which will eventually suffocate, lose its light, and die.
The next day we can be really upset, and move through it with grace. We can not mind that we’re upset.
This is freedom.
It’s not that we’re not tuned in to our emotions. In fact, I find myself more tuned into my emotions these days. I’m free to feel more because I’m not like a clingy boyfriend to the happiness that occasionally lands on my shoulder. And I’m not like a soldier who seeks to either annihilate or escape from negative emotions–those are welcome too.
When we are introduced to our divinity, we can develop the idea that we’re supposed to stop being human. More and more that seems like a pointless goal to me. After all, we’re going to be humans until we die. Why fight that fact?
A beautiful feeling emerges when we embrace our divinity and our humanity equally. We’re gods with bodies; human animals who’ve forgotten they’re god.
When I made the shift from expecting a consistent feeling of amazingness all day, every day, to knowing that I can feel anything with quiet and peace underneath, the feeling in my body changed.
I went from tension and stress–“I’m not supposed to feel this,” “I’m not doing this right,” “I must be missing something,”—to lightness, clarity, and simplicity. I had much less inner dialogue on whether or not I’m supposed to be feeling whatever I’m feeling.
That was new. That was what I had initially seen when I first learned about the Principles, and what I saw again so clearly last weekend.
It was a lovely weekend.