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July

2011

 
Futility's Chase
                

Conscious Communication: bringing communication up from "auto-pilot" and reactive, to thoughtful, responsive, and above all, intentional.

Feature Article 

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Quick Communication Tip

Resource Links

 

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Futility's Chase
(click for podcast)

 

Back in High School I wrote an ambitious progressive rock anthem called Last Illuminations. Each movement addressed different facets of the same issue: what are you chasing? Why? What would be different if you had it? And what would be next? One movement, Futility’s Chase, really emblemized the theme.

How seriously I took myself back then! And how ironic that my life’s work has me asking clients the same questions today. Finding the real motivations hiding underneath our perceived motivations is at once a joyful “aha!” and disturbing “oh, man!” It’s a phenomenal cross-road where we can make a significant, life-altering shift. Just by raising our consciousness around the deepest of our motivations, we can see how irrelevant they are to our lives right now, in-the-moment.

So much of what drives our behavior is echoes and ghosts of our past that really aren’t applicable anymore. We develop survival strategies when we're quite young, and forget to question them when we grow up. We look back on our younger selves saying, “what was I thinking?!” about almost everything except these old strategies.

The survival strategies of our childhood become virtual parasites to our adult dreams and goals. These aren’t just any parasites, but brilliant and successful ones. A really successful parasite not only doesn’t kill its host, but convinces its host that it’s there for the host’s own good, and needs to be defended. These are the guys we need to root out of our hearts and minds.


Questioning Reality
By and large asking questions isn’t very popular. People prefer answers, and those who provide them are celebrated (regardless of the accuracy or productiveness of those answers.)

Questioning things is often seen as some kind of dissention. This gets defended against, and a questioning person becomes a problem person. Not surprising that if we get whacked on the nose with a newspaper enough times, we stop asking questions.

Unfortunately, this is the antithesis of growth and evolution, and just plain sad. This negative reaction to asking questions in effect trains us to make assumptions and projections, in place of those questions. When we don’t clarify what’s really going on, we start accepting the insulated version of our perception as reality. This means we miss a lot of what is actually real.


Inside Outside My Side Your Side
When you apply an Integral approach, you’re always asking questions, because you’re trying to establish how things interrelate from multiple perspectives. Seeing that reality is an incredibly complex, multi-faceted holographic composition puts you in a delightfully exciting place of constant discovery and amazement.

Having a placeholder answer filling up the space pales by comparison. Being “right” or making yourself be right in your own mind doesn’t win you anything except maybe a brief pause before needing to defend your assertion in the face of new information.

Let’s put it another way. How many times have you felt like someone wasn’t listening to what you were saying, because their mind was already made up and they weren’t going to let you change it with new information?! What if you're doing that to yourself inside? Would you be willing to listen to another voice inside of you, with another possible reality to offer?


External Illusions of Internal Needs
The Nine Mirages:

Pondering the concept of chasing after what we think we need, I had an image of the water mirages we see sometimes on the highway. As we approach, the water seems to disappear and reappear further down the road. It looks real, but it isn’t reality. Why and what we chase in life is very much like that mirage.

Some try to fix what’s already perfect.
Some chase connection that was never lost.
Some chase symbols of worth, when worth is inherent.
Some mourn what’s missing, when it’s really inside.
Some seek knowledge to become what they already are.
Some seek the safety that their faith would give them.
Some chase a plan that’s already in place.
Some press their will to be where they are.
Some seek the peace and love that resides within.

What they all have in common is chasing external illusions of what’s within; ironically ignoring the very things we seek.


Exit Strategy
The only way to get off the “hamster wheel” is to recognize what we’re doing (what are we really chasing) and re-examine our strategy. If we’re putting so much energy into something that isn’t real, (Futility’s Chase) maybe we don’t need to be so attached to it? How liberating would it be to dump that strategy, and develop one that brings a deeper, more sustainable sense of joy, well-being, and connection.

This is the magic of going from unconscious compulsion to conscious choice. When we really know what’s driving us at our very core, we can consciously slide over to the driver’s seat, and go where we choose, with direction, purpose, connection, and reality on our side.


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Quick Communication Tip

The Mirror Rapport

Part of what drives our communication style is our lens of perception; or how we take in and understand the world around us. The odds of other people sharing your lens of perception are small, so it follows that the odds of them using your communication style are also small. Nevertheless, most of us talk the way we talk and expect others to just understand us.

This is a little bit like expecting our house key to work on other people’s doors. Luckily we have two ears and one mouth, and if we use them proportionately, we can learn a great deal about other people’s lenses of perception. By listening to their words, how they organize their thoughts, and even their tempo, we can mirror this back to them, and increase our ability to build rapport.

Did you know that if you talk fast to someone who speaks slowly, they’ll most likely think you’re lying? Did you know that
people who talk fast are usually more visual and prefer headlines to details? Mirror and match the communication styles of those you are working with, and you’ll see a vast improvement in your ability to connect with them.


Want to learn more about how your communication can hold you back or catapult you forward?  Come visit the web site, or better yet, contact me and see how we can design a program to fit your needs and desired outcomes.


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Resource Links:


Conscious Communication - the podcast series

KG Stiles: "Conversations that Enlighten and Heal"
Ian Blei on Kind Ambition and the
Integram (TM)

Personal Life Media - "Coaching the Life Coach:"
Communication Excellence (Podcast Snippets)
Communication Excellence (full interview)


Interview Podcast for Evolutionary Radio w/ J. McClain

Kind Ambition -
2nd Edition now available

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

Character Driven - Ever want to create characters that were so believable, that people forgot they were characters?

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