Evolutionary Blog

Distinctions to accelerate your personal and professional evolution

Agreements For Healthy Relating | Agreement 2: We Do Not Hold Eachother to Agreements We Have Not Made

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Agreement 2:  We do not hold each other accountable to agreements we have not (explicitly) made

Holding people accountable to agreements they have not made - by punishing them for not being aware of your preferences - is just one aspect of unclean relating. It is also fundamentally unjust.

How do they punish? By withdrawal and withholding.

Intimacy, connection, love, all those things. The things you are there to experience with them.

Sometimes they dress it up as "making sure you understand the impact". Oh, I understand. I understand what they are doing and I see the control game they are attempting to play.

And the degree of attachment and emotional enmeshment one has and external validation one seeks is the degree to which one will be controlled by these gimmicks.

Play a higher game. If your partner will not join you in that cleaner, higher game - will not co-create it with you - choose a new board to play on.

We do not hold each other accountable to agreements we have not made

What does this mean?  How does this occur? What are the indicators?

We’ve all done this. We’ve all had this done to us. Some more recently than others.

The word “should” is one huge indicator, and all-too-often we punish the ignorant - and for what? For not reading our minds? Fro simply being themselves? Sarcasm aside: how do we punish them? 

Most often by withholding intimacy and connection - while blaming them for that very choice we just made. It’s not pretty.

While there is something to be said for having an overlap in world-views and values as a natural fit, I have known people who grew up in the same small town, went to the same church, and still had different ideas, standards, opinions, and rules about how a relationship, a partnership, or marriage should operate in the day-to-day. While you may begin to intuit your partner's needs and desires, this only comes from a process of educating one another about our preferences.

No “they should have known” or “shoulds” in general. Not in Evolutionary Relating.

As an Evolutionary, we understand the difference between an agreement - or rule that we have both agreed to - an expectation, which is usually an unstated desire, and a standard, and/or a boundary.

To fully understand - and therefore be able to agree to - the 2nd agreement, let’s distinguish the difference among those four.

First, if you are upset by something they did or did not do, ask yourself, “do we have an explicit agreement about this”?  If the answer is no, then you can skip to Agreement 3 and decide if you want to make a request around this particular thing or not. If so, and if they agree - it then essentially binds both of you to a new agreement.

Bear in mind that the more rules you have in your relationships the less freedom of expression both parties will have and the more attention you have to have on those rules and agreements. And the truth is - if you are looking to bind someone to an agreement to limit their behavior in some way because you are uncomfortable with how they are - when no real harm is being done by their behavior - but you want to control them or you fear something happening - then you are trading self-expression and spontaneity (read: fun) for stability and safety. And there is a place you are not free emotionally if you want to control or constrict them in some way.

There is nothing wrong with that - just be aware that is what you are doing - and look deeper for the work you can do to allow yourself more freedom there, which will, in turn, give others the freedom to be.

But even if it hasn’t been communicated we still can’t hold that person accountable. If it has been communicated and the person agrees then it’s a new agreement And they can be held accountable.

But in terms of holding someone accountable to an agreement they have not made - it occurs all the time. So if you do not have an explicit agreement around something and you find yourself cutting them off or punishing them in some way - be it punitive or by simply withholding connection - you can reconnect again and take care of your own needs by simply making a request - and they then do not have to guess what your needs are, you are taken care of, and you can get back to connection and love - which hopefully is the primary purpose of your relating.

Hopefully.

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The Evolution of Evolution | Expanding Your Capacities

The Evolution of Evolution | Expanding Your Capacities

Often I am asked just how what I do as an Evolutionary Guide -- assisting others in evolving how they relate to themselves and how they relate to events (ego and emotions) -- has any real practical applications particularly in business. It is a fair question. One that, to me, has an obvious answer: always, daily, in every context. But let me be specific:

What causes people to be less productive and to suffer emotionally and decide to give up on their dreams and desires—to simply not “go for it”? 

Many things, but some of the more salient points would be:

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1. Taking things personally

2. Extrapolating out negative futures from limited data

3. Focusing on the problem(s) rather than solutions

4. Staying on course for too long after they know they need to adjust because they are afraid to admit their mistakes

5. Self-doubt

6. Fear

7. A lack of efficacy in communication

8. … 

… the list could go on and on and on. 

Likewise, their opposites--which we could sum up as simply being free and moving with confidence, efficacy and velocity--are all sourced in the same place.

What do they all have in common? The degree to which we experience any of these things is determined by our “stage” of development, which in turn determines how we relate to ourselves and / or how we relate to the events around us. It’s the “place” we react from and interpret through. 

There is no more important “soft” skill that one can develop than their capacity to witness--the capacity to objectively examine a situation, an event, or a thing, or even themselves from outside of themselves which, in turn, is developing the capacity to dis-identify from any thing, situation, person, role, project, opinions …again, the list goes on. And therefore, there is no greater developmental endeavor one can engage in than personal evolution--increasing our capacity to not only witness, but to take on an ever-increasing number of perspectives. 

This will even translate to learning “hard” skills more easily because you can throw yourself into the endeavor with great fervor, and without all of the self-consciousness that stops so many people from trying new things. You will be inclined to take on greater responsibility, ask for what you are worth, be willing and able to understand another’s perspective -- while maintaining your sovereign right to disagree -- communicate with greater ease and skill, employ greater agility and flexibility in your projects, and …well, be happier.

It’s simple: if you judge yourself when you are ineffective at something--experiencing embarrassment and even shame--that’s going to get in your way of trying new things. It will seem “risky”. The more you limit yourself the more you live in the world of saying, “That's just not me”. And the world of me/not me becomes increasingly limited, and it is the world that most people live in.

The nature of evolution is evolving just as our relationship to evolution has been evolving from biological to mental and emotional to spiritual -- to bio-technical.

Ray Kurzweil, director of engineering at Google, believes we will be able to upload our entire brains to computers within the next 30 years or so. That will certainly change things, won’t it? But this is not a piece about the coming Singularity--no doubt an “event” that many long for, others fear, and still others will see as a sign of the coming rapture, and many have not even heard of. 

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Intentional Relating in Community | Responsible Interpretive Rigor With And To Others

Some years ago I wrote some guidelines for an intentional community and what I felt would create the best convergence of wisdom and having a responsible "immune system" for a community for safety of those participating as well as the most freedom of self-expression possible, all while trying to maintain it as Evolutionary -- with constant upward spirals, part of which would certainly include plateaus in that "constancy".

Blah blah, blah.

Anyway, one of the rules I had [and hold] is that in a community with individuals engaged in personal development, where Evolution is present, it is our duty and responsibility to update our interpretations of others.

This is not so unique, and the need is obvious: people have brief interactions with others. "Snap-shots" of that person if you will. But they are brief and contextual. And yet, people then extrapolate out and assess [or judge] this person as X. They then share this interpretation of this person with others. Perhaps out of genuine concern. Sometimes just to gossip.

And those who are careful and responsible in their sharing may even say "I only interacted whit them in XYZ situation and you may have another experience of them", blah, blah, blah.

They may even check in with the person/interact with them to see if their experience/assessment/interpretation was still valid.

And right there is where we can improve this process.

The Evolutionary would check in to see where their interpretation was *no longer* valid. Observe first where we were (or could be) wrong or out of date--looking for difference rather than for confirmation--of and about their assessment.

It is uncomfortable and against human nature's tendency to go for familiarity, confirmation bias, safety, etc. but it is more rigorous in our own evolution and more useful for true human connection and more aligned with what I consider to be Evolutionary principles.

And we will be relating more accurately with the dynamic being in front of us, rather than the stale and static caricature of them in our heads.

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