JULY 3, 2018

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At the Shift Network's 2018 Enneagram Global Summit, James Flaherty joined host Jessica Dibb to for a profound discussion about the many ways that Buddhism and the Enneagram overlap. They explore how integrating the Enneagram into a Buddhist practice allows us to come to it with greater openness and understanding. By giving us insight into the specific obstacles to our own awakening, the Enneagram can help reveal the trailhead to the particular work we are here to do, both on and off the cushion.

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MAY 31, 2018

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For many years now, I’ve been curious about time.

It started one day about ten years ago. I had left Yahoo! the previous year, just created my coaching practice, and was new to building a business. I had a number of questions running through my mind, the most prominent being, 'How could I find clients?'

Driven by a bit of anxiety, I slipped back into some very old work patterns and my self-care became almost non-existent. I cut my daily meditations short or skipped them altogether. I didn’t take walks or do any other exercise. I started setting up meetings with anyone I could think of in my LinkedIn profile. I didn’t return my personal emails and almost lost touch with friends. I skipped meals and found myself going to bed at 2am. I was exhausted.

Fast Forward Into the Fast Lane

And all the while my life sped up. And not in that ‘flow’ kind of way where we lose our sense of time and there's a natural ease, but the other kind of speeding up. The one where it feels like you’re hurling through the world and the world is hurling itself back at you.

It all seemed to be going endlessly out of control. The more emails I sent out, the more appeared in my inbox. The more business calls I made, the more people called me out of the blue for what appeared to be random requests. The more meetings I set up, the more scheduling conflicts and cancellations I had.

I was confused. I was ‘getting out there’ and looking for new business. I was doing all of those marketing outreach strategies that I had always been told to do…that I had encouraged my clients to do! Why was everything suddenly exploding on me?  Whatever business I was creating turned into busyness. Everything seemed to be going a million miles an hour but nothing seemed to be getting done.

Hitting the Pause Button

At one point I saw in my mind’s eye a massive ball of energy that was starting to spin out of control. I was both the ball of energy and the one spinning it from the outside. Every movement I made, email I sent, meeting I set up, was all part of that spinning ball. The more busyness I created, the faster the ball went, and the more urgent I felt about time.

I paused and for the first time got curious about what was really happening. For a brief moment of what felt like total freedom, I stopped judging myself.

Then it clicked. What if I was actually able to control time, or at least my experience of it?  And not only that, but what if the flow of experiences that were happening to me were actually stemming from me?

Anything was better than the state I had gotten myself into. So, I started to experiment.

Creating a Conscious Shift

First, I decided to speed everything up for a few hours, just to see. Sure enough, everything intensified:  more emails, more calls, more cancellations. Was I going crazy?  Was this really true?

And at that moment I decided I had enough. I finally slowed down.

I got up and went to meditate for an hour. I canceled a bunch of meetings that didn’t feel right. I took the rest of the day off.

At first, it was extremely painful. I felt like I was going through a detox program as I let go of the busyness. However, I stayed connected to my awareness & curiosity and began to ask myself: If I could create an outer world that looked as if ‘random’ events were bombarding me, and time was speeding out of control, then maybe I could adjust my inner world to create a more natural flow of experiences.

So, I kept at it.

I sat down and wrote out my intentions for the next six months. I canceled more meetings, said no to more requests, and said yes to the ones that I felt were more aligned with my intentions. I took a day off from work and spent the time cleaning my place, my car, and giving away stuff I didn’t need. Slowly, I got back to my daily self-practices and exercise routines. I cleaned out my email and called people back who contacted me. I finally attended to my real needs and then put more care into others.

I let go of the fear of what would happen next.

A New World Revealed

For the first time in a while, I experienced more stillness in myself, almost a sense of timelessness. And after a while, it happened: my outer world changed. My email communication returned to normal, the right people were coming into my life, and I was actually getting more things done with less effort. Time no longer felt like an enemy that needed to be managed. I felt more at ease and more rested.

Of course, it took many years for me to experience that level of ease and flow in a more consistent way. It was almost as if I was initially allowed entrance into what felt like a timeless state for the sole purpose of knowing that it was there, and could be accessed at any time if I chose to. The potentiality of it at any moment became very real to me.

To this day, I continue to experiment.

Could it be that the more we attend to our self-care and act from a place of inner guidance on what's most aligned for us in each moment, the more flow and synchronicity we experience in our lives?  That's certainly been my experience.

I invite you to start experimenting with your relationship with time.

What does it open up for you?

Ryan Rigoli is a coach, consultant and musician based in northern California. More of his writing and other info on his website

Embark on a deep exploration of your own relationship to time, success, and meaning on The Integral Path, a 2-day workshop in San Francisco. 

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MAY 23, 2018

stepping in podcastPCC graduate Kelly McGannon works in Washington DC, coaching and teaching mindfulness to leaders the US government. In this episode she talks with Adam about how today's political / cultural climate offers opportunities to have new kinds of conversations with each other—and with ourselves.

Resources from this episode: 
The Fisher King, Arthurian Legend
On Being, Krista Tippett

Learn the elements of a truly productive conversation in our three-day workshop Masterful Conversations.

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MAY 16, 2018

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At the times when the world has shrunk to its smallest horizons, when I have been most despairing, desperate, or alone, or when I have found myself working and pushing much too hard, it usually turns out that I have been living in thrall to one or more protective myths about life that I have carried from childhood.

Myth 1 – I’m not like other people

In this account I’m not really a person, while other people are. Others’ lives are complete in ways that mine is not. Other people know where they’re going, while I am lost. Other people made the right choices, while I stumbled. Other people aren’t as confused as I am. Other people don’t suffer as I do.

Underpinning this myth is a great deal of negative self-judgement, which fuels a sense of deflation, self-diminishment or self-pity. But it can equally be worn as a mask of grandiosity, in which I puff myself up with certainty and arrogance. Sometimes I bounce between the two poles, from deflation to grandiosity and back again.

Myth 2 – Death has nothing to do with me

Somehow I’m separate enough from the real world that death is not an issue for me in the way it is for others. It’s frightening but far-off, a rumour, something that happens to other people. Consequently, I need pay it little real attention. I can ignore what my body tells me, and what my heart tells me. I’m protected from seeing that my time is finite and that I have to decide in which relationship to life I wish to stand.

Myth 3 – A saviour is coming

If I’m good enough, popular enough, loved enough, successful enough, recognised enough, powerful enough, rich enough, famous enough, caring enough… then I’ll be saved. Someone – one of the grown-ups in the world – will see me and, recognising my goodness, rescue me from my troubles

And then I won’t have to face them any more.

This myth keeps me working really hard. Sometimes it has me try to save others in the very same way that I am desperate to be saved.

I know these are not myths I carry alone.

Growing up calls on us to see how these myths of childhood keep us as children, and to find that the that the protection they offer is little protection at all:

Myth 1 is the myth of specialness. It boosts our self esteem by giving us a reason for all the difficulty we’re experiencing. And protects us from feeling the suffering of others by keeping us out of reciprocal relationship with them.

Myth 2 is the myth of no consequence. It saves us from the burden of having to choose, or face the outcomes of our choices.

Myth 3 is the myth of dependency. By rendering us helpless it keeps us from taking on the full responsibility (and possibility) of our own adulthood.

I think we cling onto these myths because, as well as the explanations they give us, we’re afraid that if we face the true situation of our lives (we’re not so special, we’ll die, there’s nobody to save us) then our troubles will be magnified. But, as with any turning away from the truth, they come at an enormous cost. In particular they keep both our dependency and our hopelessness going.

And when we can learn to see through them, we can also start to learn how to grow up. We can find that the world has much less to stand on than we thought, and that we nevertheless have enormous ability to stand. We can discover deep sources of hope, courage and compassion which which we had been out of touch. And as we allow ourselves to step out of hiding and into relationship, we can discover that our capacity to help others – and to be helped by them in return – is far greater than we could possibly have imagined.

Justin is a Professional Coaching Course leader and founder of thirdspace coaching in London. Lots more of his wonderful writing can be found here

Begin a year of transformational self-development and dispel your personal myths. Join a free Meet the Leader Call to learn more about the Professional Coaching Course

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