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Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

The Self-Esteem Quadrophenia | Egoic Evolution in Stages and Quadrants

Over the years, I have written several several takes, applications, thoughts, and republished dialogues on ego and self-esteem.

In terms of personal development--irrespective of your motivations; no matter if the flashpoint is your inter-personal relationships or professional life--there is no single factor that is more important to the core of your happiness, your ease and flow, and your general thrival and expansion than your egoic development. From ego-centric to gender-centric or ethno-centric to world-centric to cosmo-centric.

Blah, blah, blah. Heh.

Below is a round-up of those articles to date.

Some are tailored to small business folk. Others are more abstract and theoretical. One is a dialogue about ego among me and my brilliant friends on facebook. All are important to you as you settle into the you that is expanding personally, professionally, financially, relationally...and yes, of course, Spiritually.

Where the rubber of possibility meets the road of reality [and sometimes leaves a mark] and whether it gains traction or not, is with this single point of access.

Yes, it will enable you to handle the crap life throws at you. Deal with the less visionary of the world. Regain your balance when you lose it, be able to draw boundaries, ask for what you know you deserve, and have the confidence in the truth that everything will be fine ... eventually. That you will learn, grow, develop, and thrive. Eventually.

And remember, while the distinctions are important, an ounce of integration is worth a pound of insight or knowledge. Build the muscle. Practice. Notice. Witness.

Okee-dokee. Enough of me waxing poetic. Here they are. From the divine to the practical. From the theoretical to the hard driving and direct. Have fun.

:::

  1. Self-Esteem and the Solo-Entrepreneur
  2. Evolutionary Thinking on the Evolution of Ego
  3. Quadrant-Based Model for Esteem for the Self
  4. The Need for Approval ::: Your Self-Worth is a Settled Matter

 

In Service and In Evolution,

 

jason.the.mcclain™

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Past, Present, Future; Our Relationship to Time

"it's okay to lose, so long as you learn from every game you choose..."

“If there is no future, and there is no past; if all we’ve got is right now, then…let’s make it last.”

"Remember your dreams because your dreams become the life you lead..." --Prince Rogers Nelson

Human beings have a strange relationship to time. We sometimes get stuck in moments and replay them over and over again. We often fail to live in the "present"—not hearing the person right in front of us. Some of us are so focused on our goals in the future we often fail to enjoy them when we attain them—rather, setting new, bigger, more impressive or more challenging goals without ever pausing to enjoy the view from this new height.

Then there is this idea that there is only “the now”-- which is certainly one way to think about it. At the same time, while the past and future may only live in our minds, so do so many other things. Does that mean they do not exist? Memories? Fondness for someone? Plans for our future? They are indeed “real” even if they are strictly intra-subjective experiences.

If we declared they were not, we would have to say things like intentionality, compassion, hope, and love, were not “real”. Are you prepared to say compassion is not real? Aside from the most dogmatic of scientific materialists, I know very few who are willing to support that argument.

What then is the most appropriate and useful relationship to time that we could cultivate, such that we accelerating our personal evolution? How can we use our internal representation of time for emotional choice and ultimately, emotional freedom?

The Past

The past, in the context of accelerating our evolution, is really only useful for two things: learning, and the storage of emotional states. It is a treasure trove of opportunities for learnings and therefore evolutionary advancement.

If, while we review past events, we simply ask two questions:

1. How am I responsible?

2. What can I learn? (that is positive or empowering about yourself or about the world)

...then our relationship to the past is a healthy one.

That is, it is one that supports increasing our spiritual depth and emotional freedom while building on "mistakes" (less than optimal choices) in a useful way. The first question builds esteem for the self as all responsibility does, so long as we are taking responsibility responsibly—that is free of shame. If we use it instead as an opportunity to shame ourselves or judge ourselves, then we have been irresponsible in this exercise and defeated the very purpose of it. The questions must be answered with a positive or empowering forward look. In the case of a “failure” or a negative event, or perhaps in exhibiting behaviors that are out of alignment with our values: what can I learn such that this will not happen in the future? Or, What will I do differently in the future?

In the case of “successes”: what can I learn such that I can continue to model this behavior? How can I increase my effectiveness even further? The Present People often speak of “staying present” or “being present” or “being in the now” as if we were somehow absent. We are always present—the question is, “what are we present to?”

Often when people are not paying attention to what is in front of them, they are paying attention to their internal representations. Their internal thoughts, fantasies, imagery, or internal dialogue. Building the muscle of mastering our minds such that we are present to what is in front of us when we need to be—fully present without atemporal or past-related thoughts—is one of the critical components of the game of Personal Evolution. There are times when we are not even aware of our internal representations. We must bring these into consciousness so they can be managed appropriately and responsibly. Once we become conscious of them, it may be necessary to use certain mental shifts and practices to “shelve” these thoughts to be dealt with later when it is more appropriate for our lives. Sometimes it is a matter of learning to simply quiet the mind through meditation. Or both.

The Future

Often when I work with clients and they are in despair, I elicit their internal representation of time and find it compressed. They are seeing perhaps only two weeks into the future and the events that are occurring in their present are unpleasant--and then it just goes black.

When we extend their sense of time out to include another 100 years these feelings often turn into convictions about what needs to be done--or at the very least, increasing ease.

The truth is that regardless of what is occurring—everything has a nature: it arises and passes away. Nothing lasts forever. This is especially true for human beings. In the greater scheme of things, or in the larger view, or with an expanded sense of time, as we literally zoom out, we become more emotionally free from whatever may be troubling us at that one moment in time. Once the events become objects in our awareness and we are no longer identified with them, we are free form them and can use the events for learnings and make more appropriate choices.

This practice is especially useful for fear and anxiety. The structure of fear and anxiety is that we are imagining some future event with a negative result or outcome. However, since we know that the future exists only in our minds [although in our subjective experience it is very real] then we can bring that imagined future into consciousness and change it to a positive one. Given that neither is more “real” or “true” than the other, the evolutionary master of their own mind will change the imagined future to a positive one and “live into” that—thereby aligning their consciousness around it. While a high level of facility is required, we can all build the muscle of a more responsible and useful relationship to time. Just like all exercise, at first It may cause soreness.

So we start off light. We increase the frequency of our exercise gradually. Eventually, we are lifting heavy weight indeed and are excited about how are new habit is transforming the way we experience ourselves and how we feel. And it is then, that we are becoming free.

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Self-Acceptance and the Insidious Error of Comparing Ourselves to an Invented Ideal

"Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment."

― Eckhart Tolle

Often, we make the mistake of judging where we are at as wrong or bad. "I should already have _________ by now." "I am over 40 (or 50, or whatever age) and by now I thought I would have ___________ " or "I am still __________ ing! What's wrong with me?"

Nothing. Nothing is wrong. You know where you "should" be at this point in your life or in your development and personal evolution? That's right: exactly where you are. Do you know why? Because you can't be any other place. To think that you can be is to engage in a particular kind of self-invented torture.

Most of us know that comparing ourselves to others is not very useful. There will always be someone better than us and there will always be someone we are better than at any particular thing or in any area of development or in a chosen context.

It is a meaningless comparison.

But we often compare ourselves to another "other". That other is an ideal self. One we invented and then compare ourselves to, and shame ourselves for not being. Which is really pretty silly--because we made it up! We invented this "other" to torture ourselves.

This creates misery for us. And yet, how do we balance the reality of the gap between who we are and who we envision ourselves to be/come without doing so? If we truly accepted ourselves as "perfect as we are" wouldn't we simply stop developing and evolving ourselves?

The short answer is "no". The longer answer is that the very question points to a lack of understanding of what true self-acceptance is and what kind of experience it creates.

Self-acceptance leads to facing reality--good, bad, dark, light, ugly, beautiful as the reality as it is. In doing so--in building the capacity to stare into the mirror and gaze at ourselves with an objective and clear eye-we build the capacity to dance ...

It is a very delicate dance--seeing where we are and accepting that, and knowing where we want to be and having attention on closing that gap and doing so without moral judgment. But once that dance is engaged in, it allows for even more rapid evolution because we are no longer delusional or in avoidance, nor are we resisting nor are we driven by a compulsion to be a "better person".

Instead, we accept the reality as it is, allowing us to more rapidly see what needs to be done, and because we care about results, we do it--we step into the gap and the gap begins to get smaller and smaller.

We stop evolving to get something and we begin to evolve for the sake of evolution--to be engaged in the unfolding, creating a better world for all.

And it all begins with self-acceptance.


Details for the next Introduction to Advanced Personal Evolution can be found »here«

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How Do You Face The Rain?

Here is a little gem for you. An insight and a practice. Watch this 2-minute video:

 

 

And you can download an iPad version »HERE«.

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NLP, Identity, Sexual Orientation, and Our Responsibility to Assist Clients in Self-Acceptance

somebody i met was asking me if NLP processes can change an identity layer as deep as sexual orientation.

Great question. Several ideas about it:

There are some aspects of sexual orientation that may extend into identity structures, but I am uncertain about the presupposition that there is where it lays--in fact, after seing hundreds of clients, for some people it creates tremendous internal dissonance when they finally admit to their desires because it is directly in conflict with their identity structures. In other words, I disagree with the presupposition in the question.


this guy is straight and very open-minded. i think he genuinely wanted to know about the range and reach of NLP. i did tell him that i did a training with richard bandler in 88 or 89 where he *claimed* that guys (terrified of aids) had begged him to "make them straight" AND he said that he did that!



Bandler may have in fact done that.  Again, lots of "instant research" in the early days. But if Bandler did it and was bragging about it, I would be even more hesitant. Bandler once bragged in a video I watched about installing a phobia in someone so they would stop sitting in the front row. Ugh. However, there is a documented intervention [Laid out in "Heart of the Mind", I think] where a guy was effeminate, and supposedly gay, married, but did not enjoy sex with men [or something like that] and there was an event where he was going under anesthetic, struggled, and was put under. This was somehow tied to the effeminate-ness and cleared and his orientation "changed" to straight.

Again, not sure the guy was ever really homo-erotically driven.


NOW, i am open-minded, so i said i think that there are aspects of person's 'taste' for certain things could be altered and very likely even the cues for arousal. i am also aware that there is a big difference between chemistry/attraction and a constructed identity--so yes an 'identity' could be shifted. BUT I don't really know if the primary gender attraction could change.



Yeah. I agree with you here.


thoughts?



Of course.

If someone came to me wanting to change their sexual orientation/gender attraction, I would probably decline to do so. But I would do it elegantly in this way ::: Get into communication wiht the part of them that feels like something is wrong with their desires [assuming consenting adults] and look at the guilt and shame that must be driving the desire to change and resolve that to make them okay with their mutually consensual, alternative, yet natural desires. Thereby sidestepping what I consider to be a questionable intervention.

To me, that is a more ethical approach, rippling out to areas in every aspect of their life, creating internal peace, and avoiding making change that is motivated in the ways this request for change likely would be.

It is not the thing itself [sexual orientation in this case] that is the problem, but the relationship to it the creates it as a problem.
And again, just because we can, does not mean we should.

Self-acceptance being one of the highest and deepest contributions we can make to our clients.

Jason

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