People are different in nature. More inspired. More generous. More Open hearted. More compassionate. More visionary. And now, you can bring it all back home.
In nature, the assault of your senses that comes from hard work and challenging relationships abates, and you are left with personal honesty, deep feelings that range from violent anger to deep separation and loneliness. Those feelings are not emotions. Emotions are on the outside of you. Self Honesty feelings are internal. They are bubbles of truth.
Being truthful about those feelings is so important. As a business consultant and personal life coach for nearly 35 years with people from all walks of life, I have come to the experience that all human troubles are the result of these internal feelings that do not get reconciled.
We hate pain. Human nature does what it has to do to avoid pain. It parties, drinks, eats, sleeps, takes medications, goes to yoga, meditates, and works hard trying to avoid these feelings that might disturb their world. But these feelings are beautiful. They are bundles of truth, self awareness, honesty, in fact they are spirituality.
If you are angry, inside, then there will be events outside that will bring your anger outside.
Honesty is the gift of nature. I have found that when I work wth clients in cafe’s or offices their natural defence mechanisms are functional. One cannot expect truth to surface inside a room. It is counter-intuitive. Walls have ears. It is always an act. Offices are not safe places, our guards are up, we are functioning on the outside. We have goals, we have responsibilities, we think about what we say, we manage what people feel about us. This is the world outside us, the outer voices and they are loud because they have to be. This is the process we use to achieve and provide and make safe.
In nature, things are different. There are no walls to absorb our feelings or thoughts, it is therefore safe. In nature our feet are earthed and therefore we feel less interest in lies. In nature, we feel less responsible to the material world and more engaged in the inner world where these feelings really sit. I have found that most people, when immersed in nature, are honest with themselves and sometimes with me.
It is really a matter of trust. What happens in nature stays in nature. But do we trust that if we tap into and own our inner dialogue which may be in conflict with the image we portray to others, say angry versus in control, will that confession mess up our image, will it come up and stay up? Will that confession be a good clearing process or just mess us up?
These are very important questions. Firstly, self belief is often predicated on denial. I have witnessed this with entrepreneurs and musical artists all my career. The better the artist, the more successful the entrepreneur at dealing with confronting resistance and negative feedback, the more they are masters at denial. They deny things like: doubt, uncertainty, confusion, hurt, pain, insecurity … and by doing so, they affirm success. This is very much in keeping with neuro science – brain design – where it is demonstrated that a person will, if they do it long enough, convince themselves and others that whatever they think is their reality. This works positively and negatively. When working with indigneous people their belief that they are the victims of white abuse keeps anger boiling beneath the surface and leads to enormous personal and social problems. It is a self fulfilling belief that is reinforced. In contrast an artist will say to themselves “I am a total star” and in saying it, begin to believe it, and then nerves evapourate and performance escalates.
So, asking a person to take the lid off their dialogue for success or failure, is always biased by the possibility that being honest will destroy their self belief and in doing so, wreck their trajectory in success or seeking compensation. If one loses that “mask” of self belief and gets trapped in lesser “truth” can this lead to failure? This is why self honesty is so difficult. We are faced with the potential of losing much of what we’ve worked for.
And it is always easy for the coach to say “separate the inner dialogue from the outer” but confessions of inner uncertainty scream louder than any outer attempt to override it with “I’m on track” affirmation of self belief. So, this separation is a myth. Once confessed, the inner belief must be processed. If the structure is not made available to process the inner dialogue into a healthy outer dialogue, we must, naturally, stay in denial. It would be foolish to confess pain inside without the systems and structure in place to process it and transform it into an affirmative and positive statement aimed directly at success and painless living.
Adding another layer of complexity to life by being self honest, is most unattractive if the process of reconciling this depends on another individual doing an intervention with us, especially if, by the nature of that intervention, we could be wallowing in that confession for months at a time. Thirty years ago I did therapy and sometimes, a confession of inner turmoil would open the window for 3-6 months more of counselling. Each session lasted an hour, each week one session and in between sessions I was left hanging by my own honesty. Disturbed and in turmoil, unable to drive toward my goals, insecure and vulnerable in my relationships. It was the worst possible scenario. Inner honesty without the spontaneous guarantee that this confession would be put behind me instantly – or at least within the session.
This is why learning the structure to process inner honesty of feelings is absolutely essential to the willingness to confess and why I offer coaching sessions, in nature, that guarantee to clear any issues that percolate up. I also teach the discard process so that the individual who has, with courage, committed to inner clarity and self honesty, can self clear most if not all that surfaces.
By looking at walls in Zen for thirteen years I learnt to percolate stuff up, allow it to surface, stay detached from it, then allow it to release. This was fine in the Zendo, but it seemed to fail outside when the same issue came to the surface at work, the detachment was not so easy to practice. By bending my back in yoga for eighteen years more and more self honesty came to the surface until I learnt how to use the yoga to avoid it. That happened not because of the failure of yoga but because I am an entrepreneur, and having stuff bubbling up, when I’m in the midst of a deal, isn’t ideal.
Even in the Himalayas, where inner bubbles, packets of poo, bubble up more easily than anywhere else, it is important to have a process that transforms the baggage into a clear mandate for doing, being and living a great, vision driven life. And that’s where the discard form comes in.