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     Breaking Free of Language,
      Beliefs, Habits, and Stories

The Integram: an Integral Enneagram of Consciousness;  a model of consciousness, including all aspects, for designing practical paths of personal development and evolution.

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Breaking Free - Language, Beliefs, Habits, & Stories
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It’s not that we’re all sleepwalking, although a case could be made for a bit of this going on. Most of us have discovered a “survival strategy” whether we’re aware that we’re using it or not. It’s called “detachment.”  We tend to detach from whatever feels painful, and focus on other things. This isn’t inherently a “bad” thing, but it can be problematic. When our default is not taking in information, we miss things; often things that would have served us, had we been aware of them. Since the higher thinking that makes these determinations about value or opportunities isn’t involved in the process, (we’re detached) we don’t know what we don’t know, and don’t know what we’re missing.

In place of conscious, aware, mindful thinking, we tend to slip into auto-pilot and rely on our habits to run the show. Most of the time this doesn’t pose obvious problems. We’ve learned how to walk and chew gum just fine, so we can leave that to habit and focus on more pressing matters.

Where we do need to pay attention, are the places where our lack of direct involvement create insidious problems for us; problems we may not know we have, areas where we’re severely limiting ourselves without knowing it. So the first thing we need to do is become more awake, so we can even see what we want to improve.

The Twisted Knot
I listed language, beliefs, habits, and stories all together for a reason. All four are very tangled up in one another, which is what makes dealing with any one of them more of a challenge. The stories and beliefs we hold are in the language we’ve repeated until they’ve become habits. Our habits drive how we interpret things, thus how we see them, talk about them, and remember them. That drives the language that we choose, which further drives how those stories become part of our “reality.”

For example, if we’ve habitually become very polarized in our way of thinking, we’ll see things in that same black or white manner, regardless of how gradient they might truly be. This traps us in either/or choices, even if those are far from the only choices we have. This limitation is counter to free-thinking, which would have been more likely to bring solutions that serve us better.

Stories and language repeated over time become beliefs.  Beliefs become limiting habits. They’re always going to impact one another, so freedom is going to be more about untying a knot than a linear process. We’ll need to loosen up a piece here, and tug on a piece there, and in a while, the whole thing loosens up enough for us to escape the bonds and be free.

Of course this comes back to needing to be awake enough to recognize that we aren’t as free as we may have thought we were. The easiest way to see this is merely looking at where you want to be, what you want to be doing, and how you want that to look. Now look at how many times you’ve come up against the same barriers, the same obstacles, and the same issues while aiming for that future. It’s as if we’re in a bad dream; we think we’re opening a door to get out, and it merely leads to another room. This is the “box” we want to break out of to be free. This is the “box” we can break out of to be free.

Bars Made of Words
It seems that the bars on our cells are nothing more than words, strung together as beliefs that we’ve become habituated to accept as reality. Since we wrote those stories and bars of beliefs to begin with, we actually have the power to re-write them, and escape the self-made cells we think we’re stuck living within. 

Let’s look at how we impact our lives and beliefs with habitual self-talk. We’re filled with limiting language like “I can’t, I never, I wouldn’t,” and those “bars” often hide deeper held limiting beliefs and stories that are even more inhibiting; beliefs like, “I’m not enough,” or its close cousin “I’m not good enough.”

The work that Psychologist Martin Seligman has done with “Learned Optimism” at Penn State looks deeply at our internal communication. The bi-directional nature of cognitive linguistics makes it a very useful tool for us. Just as our thinking and perspectives affect our language, our language can have a remarkable impact on our thinking and perspectives. In short, we can change how we think by changing our language and how we describe reality to ourselves.

For example, the somewhat unconscious statement “everybody always does this to me” is an instant recipe for depression. This recipe includes pervasiveness, [everybody] permanence, [always] and personalization, [to me] each of which is an untrue component of a story/belief, that limits us and locks us in a kind of “prison” of our own making. 

What’s great is that our awakened awareness puts us in a position where we can completely reverse this cause and effect. In a more mindful, aware state, we can use our language in a non-habitual way. We can use our intention and attention in sustained, focused ways that break old limiting habits, and use our language to change how a circumstance affects us. This gives us far more options and choices. More options and choices is another way to describe freedom, and that brings us full circle to our desired outcome: Breaking Free.

Want to learn more about how to become the best you possible?
 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.

     - Ian J. Blei


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July 4th is the USA's celebration of getting out from under rule without representation.  As we fight for the right to live by our own choices, we forget that Habits have become our new dictators. The battle is far from over. 

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"...Ian has changed my life in so many ways and in all aspects. I have learned so much about myself, and grown into someone I never thought possible. This has translated into my work life, social life, love life, etc. Thank you Ian Blei!

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“Ian's unique, insightful approach helped me to identify the most resourceful parts of me, and to consciously use these resources every day at work and at home. I have grown several fold both personally and professionally, resulting in positive results, including increased productivity, a job promotion, and improved communication with colleagues, and with my wife!" - R.Q., - Kaiser Permanente


Resource Links:

Conscious Communication - the podcast series

Melissa Risdon's Raving Fan Radio Show:
Ian Blei on the
Integram (TM) -understanding ourselves, each other, and our relationships

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

Kind Ambition - 2nd Edition

Got Blog? c
ome visit the Blog.

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


Welcome to the Integram, where consciousness meets intentional design.   Enjoy!



The Optimizer
Ian Blei,
Director of the
Institute for Integral Enneagram Studies and
President of
Optimized Results



Kind Ambition

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Kind Ambition:
Practical Steps
to Achieve Success
 Without Losing Your Soul



Kind Ambition
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Kind Ambition is about you having the tools to slide over to the driver’s seat of your own life.  Circumstances will always be changing, seemingly thwarting our plans, but we don’t have to be  thrown around by them. You can be in charge of your choices and actions more than you might imagine - yet.


Kind Ambition is written for you, as a practical guide you can use right now.  It is a collection of  insights and actions designed to help you move forward and get more out of your life at home and at work.  The chapters hold to a formula of first giving you a new way to look at things, then offering you tangible Action Steps to try them out, and finally some things to notice when you do.





Kind words for “Kind Ambition”


"If you are interested in success, whether it is in running a large organization, a small business, or leading a satisfying life, you will find a right blend of rules, wisdom and wit in a digestible fashion that will serve to accomplish your objectives. The notion that kindness can be blended with ambition and made to work and serve the "bottom line" is enlightening, uplifting and satisfying."

-Steven Kiefel – CEO, Red Pill Media




“An easy to use guide for anyone who wants to achieve real  growth and success. His sensible and practical tactics solve age-old challenges with real, how-to solutions. Best of all, Ian lives his work!”

-Romanus Wolter - Author: Kick Start Your Dream Business
Success Coach Columnist: Entrepreneur Magazine
Radio Host: Syndicated Kick Start Guy Segment




" We all face obstacles in our lives and careers. Some of these come from within, subverting our conscious intentions. The  good news is: they can be overcome.  The techniques and processes found in this book will help you on your way."

-Margaret Heffernan – Author: The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's

 Manifesto on Business and What Really Matters

Syndicated Columnist: Fast Company Magazine




“A scientifically-based, spiritually-awake, (and smart and funny) guide to making the most of your life.  Ian Blei provides the know-how, the inspiration, the structure and all the tools you need in  this straightforward and inspirational book.”

     -Lisa Betts-LaCroix, Past President of SF Coaches
Star of Unapix film, “Dance Me Outside”




" Ian Blei shares his deep insights in simple and straightforward ways.  His work continues to inspire me whenever I feel I'm getting stuck in some area of my life."

-Roy King, III , Director Pacific Development Partners





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