Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Guys: On Staying in the Present

"The significant problems we face

cannot be solved at the same level of thinking
we were at when we created them."
~Albert Einstein~

This was part of a session with someone wanting to move to a warmer climate and having some stuff come up with the Kid about just exploring the options first.

The conversation started out entirely about moving (not included here) but quickly got to the usefulness of staying in the present.

GUYS: One of the hardest things for you to do, in general, is stay in the present. Your fear and your intelligence make you a superbly good neurotic planner, schemer, workaround artist. You know what we mean by that?

Client: Yes

GUYS: And that is the very thing you are trying to break away from by using this as an opportunity to do something you want to do, and dis-invest from the expectation, anticipation or desire to know what the outcome will be...then to systematically keep bringing your energy back into the present. Because what is in the present with you is what you want. See that's very clear, it's all over your energy. There's a part of you saying, "I just want to go, I just want to see it. I just want to know. It doesn't matter what they say, I just want to go." Do you have a sense of that?

Client: Yes, And I have not a clue where it comes from.

GUYS: Exactly.

Client: The Kid got all excited. "Oh let's go!! let's go!!, it will solve everything."

GUYS: What we're saying to you, the Adult, is - "don't bank on that". You as an Adult have already decided, and told her, "I don't care what you think, we're not packing up and moving."

Client: And it's also the Kid in me that's afraid of moving?

GUYS: Yes. Anything that isn't perfect is bad news to the Kid. To the Adult there is no bad news. You go and find out. If it's not what you hoped, you don't have to move there. That's good news, because if you don't go, you'll wonder if you should have gone, and wonder if there really was something special there.

This is really just a matter of recognizing that part of what an Adult can do is go there & find out. You don't have to guess. You don't have to trust. Although you CAN, ... you CAN guess and you CAN trust, ...but you don't HAVE to. Why? Because you can live with the consequences of your choices. And the reason that you're going is because you're really counting on that. Plus, you really stretch yourself. You understand? There's no way that you can lose by going, except if you let the Kid run the trip, or take over the agenda, and then let her drag you down into the muck.

Client: OK, it's very exciting.

GUYS: Think about this. Trying to organize, in advance, how to deal with this is the way the Kid would approach this. She thinks: "EEEEEK I'm gonna go there and I'm not going to know what to do. ...What can I do when I get there so that I'll know... I have to know that NOW!"

Client: Laughter

GUYS: Now notice, the Adult loves this, the kid hates this. As an Adult this is a hoot. You're thinking this stuff, completely committed to the logic of it, and yet it makes no sense based on what it is you're trying to do, within this context. So to have this kind of internal EEEEK-ing going on is a riot.

We would suggest to you that the kind of questions you could ask yourself have to do about being here and now. "What am I feeling? What am I doing with what I'm feeling? What do I want right now? And as the waves of feeling and information start to surface, notice which is the Kid and which is the adult. "How can I begin to tell the difference between the Kid feelings and thoughts and the Adult feelings and thoughts?" You could be doing that right now.

Client: And this is where it gets hard for me. So like, for example, the answer comes into my mind: I want to live where it's warmer and has warm water. So I could get that by living in Hawaii, or living in Florida or buying a hot tub.

GUYS: Yes, but you see, the question is, "what do I want NOW?"

Client: Uh huh.

GUYS: Now. In this room. This is not about Hawaii, this is not about warm climate. This is about what do I want ...

Client: RIGHT NOW?? I'd still rather be swimming in warm water!

GUYS: Would you rather be swimming in warm water than be here?

Client: Well, at this moment, no.

GUYS: That's what we're talking about NOW. We're not talking about some vague now that encompasses between now and Christmas.

Client: Not even between now and 10 o'clock tonight?


Client: I know, I know. You're drawing a line in the sand.

GUYS: All right, so right now you might want a drink a water. If you're sitting at your computer, and suddenly you go, "Now - what do I want right now?" "I need a stretch. Or I need to stop looking at this screen. I want to go outside for a bit." So, these questions the Adult is dealing with now, they're like little, itty bitty finite things. Very finite.

Talking about now. the Kid has no sense of this kind of... because.. all or nothing, now or never, on or off... So when the Kid thinks about now, the Kid is thinking about forever, so if you don't get what you want forever now, you will never have it. Which is where all that "oh my god, I have to do something... I have to do something right now" comes from.

Client: Damn! ...I should know this by now! I've been working on exactly this for a long time.

GUYS: Come on now, ..we know we make this sound extremely simple. It is extremely simple for us. But that's because we're not complicated in our vision by having been living with this Kid the way you have.... and processing information in this manner for as long you've been alive.

So it's very easy for us. It's the same as if you were to stroll up to Guadalupe and Montezuma, and meet a tourist there, and they ask you "Where's the Zia Diner?" You say "it's right over there." Now they've been walking back and forth and haven't seen it. But you knew exactly where to look for., Why? ...because you're very familiar with this territory. You're not thinking you might be lost, you're not thinking it might not be here, you're not thinking you've got the wrong map. You know this territory - there's the diner.

So for you, going to the Zia Diner is as simple as for us saying, "That's not an adult, that's a kid. You don't mean that, you mean this." And you're saying "Why didn't I think of that?" Because you think you might be lost. OK So we know this territory very well, it's crystal clear, it's like Guadalupe and Montezuma. All right?

Client: OK.

GUYS: how are you feeling? What's going on here? What do you want RIGHT NOW?"

Client: Well, right now I want to go pee...

GUYS: Excellent. So what might stop you from getting up to go pee?

Client: well, that it isn't urgent, that I'm taking up time, that I might miss something. I can sort through that.

GUYS: Can you see that this is the Kid ?

Client: Yes! [gets up and goes to bathroom]

GUYS: OK, let's continue right in this vein because it's so perfect. So, that's what would stop you as a Kid from getting up to go pee. What might stop you as an Adult from getting up to go pee?

Client: Well, umm, well first answer is nothing, but maybe

GUYS: Not What would stop you, but what MIGHT stop you? What might be going on in addition...

Client: If I was interested in something and it wasn't that urgent to go pee, and I had a preference to continue.

GUYS: Excellent, excellent. SO can you see that, what would stop you from fulfilling one want is another want that you want more.

Client: : Well that's what I think the Adult world is.

GUYS: So, not getting certain wants might actually be a choice because you have other wants that you want more. The Kid will look at the same scenario and think that not getting the "lesser" wants is a loss, rather than a choice. Kids are like that.


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