We offer coaching, counseling and therapy on exploring human consciousness,
resolving family chaos and building healthy relationships.
This is part 2 of a keynote speech that begins
Soulwork Systemic Coaching
The clarification and reconciliation inherent in each phase
of our systemic coaching, seemed to help people solve many physical
and mental symptoms - as if the symptoms of a disease represent old decisions that
can be re-decided! The following steps can be adapted to many specific symptoms.
However, for these steps to be useful, a person must want to fulfill
their relationship responsibilities.
The remission of physical or mental symptoms seems to be a
lesser benefit to a person than their finding and making decisions based on
a deep sense of life, or "integrity" or "Soul". (Many clients
have told us that a disease or problem was worth having to experience Soul.)
Most people consciously know their short-term goals, their
present relationships, their symptoms and many past events. Most people are
unconscious or unaware of existential conflict, identifications, limiting
identity beliefs, relationship bonds and early childhood trauma. However, all
these contribute to a sense of normality which people seem to use as a standard
when making decisions. The following helps a person redefine normal, in
alignment with their values, which seems to be a natural human way to fulfill life.
Here are ways that we can, if we choose, accelerate fulfillment!
Phase 1 - Motivation (Suffer all you want!)
Lack of motivation is an obstacle to making complex decisions.
For most people this is "suffering" - living the consequences of poor
quality decisions until a congruent decision is made to take responsibility for
life! Suffering seems to be a normal human way to motivate oneself.
Few people say "I'm living a
great life, my family get along fine and we're all healthy - please help me!".
In many societies, suffering is a normal way to build self-respect and
earn the attention of other people. Suffering is often perceived as
"sacred". Many people have told me that their suffering makes them
better people. I ask "How much suffering is enough?
How will you know when to stop?"
What is suffering? It seems to be an
existential dilemma, often associated with hopelessness or helplessness,
associated with one's sense of life. The work of Clare Graves
provided useful insights into this. Graves discovered that
people's values evolve predictably.
As our sense of life seems to be based on "What
is important?", Graves work allows a rapid assessment of a person's
values, and indicates the actions needed to evolve to the next level!
Here are Graves' "Levels", in their evolutionary sequence, as I
understand and interpret them today:
- My survival today is more important than anything
- Assisting the survival of our tribe (or family)
is more important than anything
- My personal power (or immediate gratification) is
more important than anything
- Our establishment (e.g.: religion, government) is
more important than anything
- My personal success is more important than anything
- Participating in our community is more important than anything
- Creating viable systems is more important than anything
- Saving our planet (or humanity) is more important than anything
We developed Graves’ concepts to encompass how people express Soul,
but that's another story. Let's get back to
suffering! Pain happens - suffering is optional! Suffering is a choice. If you
haven’t suffered enough, you can choose to suffer some more, but what is the
point of your suffering, if you can't enjoy fulfilling your life?
Phase 2 – Integration (Path of Gifts)
Internal conflict and incongruence are obstacles to making
complex decisions. After finding motivation, this phase is recognizing and
accepting parts of us. Parts express themselves by incongruence
- (E.g., a person becoming asymmetrical while saying "Yes".
Courteously accepting and acknowledging incongruence builds (and deserves) a
strong sense of trust. Parts can be
elicited, accepted, acknowledged and integrated until the person experiences
self as Soul.
Many soul paths (E.g.: desires, history, emotions, symptoms,
values and ego) can help a person find their basic identity, or integrity, or Soul.
Experiencing these paths provides flexibility at each step. I enjoy the paradox
that each path is often considered by many people to be a block to fulfillment.
For example, a common obstacle is when a person desires two things
simultaneously, which appear to be mutually exclusive. (E.g.: "I want love and
freedom; but if I have love I cannot be free, and if I am free I cannot have love".)
This type of conflict cannot be resolved at the level on which it is manifest
(typically as emotional beliefs).
However, many conflicts can be resolved by recourse to Soul
experience, which by its nature includes having both possibilities
simultaneously. Each conflict becomes a stepping stone to Soul. Each accepted
part seems to have a gift for the person, usually abilities
that were forgotten or abandoned in the past. (E.g.: A client may say: "Now
I remember my playfulness - this is the part of me that knows how to
play!"). Nothing need be lost forever.
prevents the experience of self as Soul. I know four (so far) Identifications,
each with a set of symptoms that allow diagnosis. It seems that about 10% of
North American and European people (based on work with clients and workshop
participants) live an identified life. Resolving "identification" can
manage symptoms and simultaneously help a person to find "Soul"
- Dead Person Identification - I am not-me,
I am sad in all contexts of my life
- Victim Identification - I am not-me,
I am angry in all contexts of my life
- Hero Identification - I am not-me,
I am fearful in all contexts of my life
- Dependent Identification - I am not-me,
I feel all feelings of my dependent
In old Hawaii, if a person died and was not acknowledged by
the family, the dead person's spirit was thought to be sad, and stay with the
family, usually within a child (dead person identification). Freud also
described identification with a dead person. A German
psychotherapist - Bert Hellinger - described identification with victims;
and Annegret Hallanzy developed a disidentification format.
During identification, it is as-if the person's true or basic
identity, was lost or hidden, and another identity could be expressed. Our
disidentification finds the person's true or basic identity.
Soul (I never met a soul I didn't love)
At the end of this Path of Gifts is a transcendent
experience that we call Soul. Soul is not a resource, (for example a
feeling of motivation), nor a part or partial personality.
Many people have described Soul experience in terms of integrity and
connection - a relationship quality in which all possibilities are
available as ways to express one's deepest creative integrity.
Such a representation can be a lasting internal guide, to evaluate
circumstances and help make appropriate decisions.
people had spontaneously referred to this experience as Soul, which
was at first a tribulation for me. I talked to some religious experts about what
Soul might be, and received enough conflicting information to drive me
back to physics. However, I wish to honor the wonderful Souls I have met, and
the word Soul seemed to fit well. On finding Soul, most people say that Soul
was always available, but it was deeply and DELIBERATELY hidden as a way of
coping with family and life stress.
I often ask people in Soul experience whether this experience
existed before the person – most people answer “Yes - of
course”. I have asked many times if this connectedness will continue after
the death of the person’s body – most people say “Yes, absolutely”.
Integration is complete when a person can choose "Soul"
as a basis for evaluating life - creating possibilities, making decisions,
for evaluating relationships, for changing beliefs, for resolving past
trauma and for choosing role models.
Finding "Soul" is usually an ecstatic experience.
A person's physiology becomes erect and balanced, with a peaceful high energy.
It is something like meeting a mentor who supports you unconditionally and
without criticism. Conversations with Souls are enlightening. I
have never met a Soul I didn't love.
Having found this basic relationship with self, a person
usually wants to share self within fulfilling relationships - Soul
to Soul. Past and present relationships can be reviewed as to how they could
have been different, if the person had always had conscious access to Soul.
Phase 3 - Evaluating Relationships
Relationship bonds may be obstacles to complex decisions. Relationships are
opportunities to fulfill our lives. We can use relationships to enhance our
contact with our selves, while valuing and supporting each other. In a
fulfilling partnership, one plus one can be much greater than two! During Soul to Soul
communication, a casual, everyday interaction can become a spiritual event!
During relationships, we can lose contact with who we are,
and search for substitutes. We may search for something or someone through
which we may feel complete. Often, people experience this loss of identity
as a "hole" that must be filled.
We may desire someone's assets ("I
want what you can give me"), we may express someone else's emotions
("I feel your emotions instead of my
own"), we may act dependently ("
I want you to fulfill some aspect of me"). We may emotionally bond ("I
connect to you in a way that changes my sense of self") and we may
share limiting beliefs ("To be with you I must believe that I am ...").
Relationship bonds can be resolved, particularly for important
relationships such as with parents, partners and children. Such bonds are
intertwined. If, when evaluating relationships, you can access Soul, you can
consult an always-loving, always-responsible, high-integrity mentor, to help
answer the question "How can I
fulfill my life during this relationship with this person?" Part of the
answer may be in "What can we learn together from our Soul-to-Soul
relationship?" Such answers are often profound.
Here I write primarily about partnerships. The same
principles apply to other relationships, such as family, teams and parenthood. I will describe
some ways that humans bond in partnership. The first two are ways that we can
further our fulfillment during our partnership. Bonds are ways to lose identity.
Shared Values (We value each other)
If what is important to me is important to you (e.g.: similar
views on life's purpose, working together, raising children), then we may
have a basis for a healthy relationship, free of unhealthy bonds.
If our relationship is important enough, I will make whatever is important to
you important to me! (E.g.: "Spending
time with your parents is not important to me - but I will make it important to
Sometimes, a single shared value can create powerful emotional
bonds, but may not include other important values. (E.g.: "Sexuality
is important to both of us – but that’s all we share"). It is often
enlightening for people in relationships to discover which values they share!
Shared Desires (We support each other)
Given a relationship based on shared values, sharing desires allows us to
support each other’s evolution. Instead of mind reading (E.g.: "If
he really loved me he would know what I want") or fear (E.g.: "If
I ask for what I want she might say "No!"). Although it may be
easier to let the other person guess what you want, or easier to avoid conflict,
saying what you want can provide a basis for mutual evolution. It may be
enlightening for people in a relationship to discover what each other wants!
Asset Bonds (I want what you have)
A desire to control a person's assets may represent a loss of
identity, replacing the fulfillment of developing some skill. Access to an asset
may be more important than creating a "shared values" relationship
with a person. For example, someone's wealth, knowledge, athletic prowess, musical
ability or perceived power may be more important than their personality.
Sometimes, mere "desire for association" with a person's assets is
enough to create this type of bond!
If someone has something you want, but you do not want to
create it for yourself, you may feign affection (E.g.: "If I
pretend to like you a lot, perhaps you will give me..."). Such assets
may be abstract (E.g.: power or status) or specific (E.g.: money or a skill).
Also, you may use your assets, or symbols of assets, as offers of this type of
bonding. (E.g.: "Look what I have!
If you pretend to like me, I may give you some"). Dissolving
Asset Bonds allows you to make clear decisions about contracts. (E.g.: "What
can I offer you in trade for your desirable asset?")
Identity Bonds (I feel FOR you)
Sometimes you may feel emotions FOR other people. This represents
a loss of identity, replacing the need to find and express your own emotions. For
example you might feel sadness FOR someone who has died (E.g.: dead friend,
aborted pregnancies), or fear FOR someone who does not express it (E.g.:
someone who acts fearlessly), or anger FOR someone who is unable to fulfill
their role (E.g.: a victim). In
some cases identification may result (see
Identifications) in which a person, usually as a child, expresses
the identity of another person, and cannot express his or her "own
identity". With most identity bonds, however, there is only the tendency to
express emotions FOR someone else in a single context. Dissolving identity bonds
helps you to decide how to express your emotions appropriately.>
If you realize that a person is feeling and expressing your
unexpressed emotions for you, it may be important to express your own emotions.
(E.g., if you are acting like a victim in some context, you may realize that
someone else is expressing your repressed anger.) Victims cannot express anger
- so by expressing your own anger you will cease to be a victim! Expressing
your anger, no matter how appropriately, will probably change your relationships
in this context very quickly!
Dependency Bonds (I am part of you)
A dependency bond represents a loss of identity, replacing
the need to fulfill an important aspect of life with the desire that another
person fulfils it. It is often an unconscious way to recreate a childhood relationship,
but in its essence is an attempt to allow someone else to provide the missing
sense of identity. (E.g.: "Without you, I lose
my self-esteem") Dependencies
may be manipulative - (E.g.: Unless you do this for me I will ...).
Sometimes the other person is also dependent -
(E.g.: "If you pretend that I am a good person, I will pretend
that you are a good person") creating a strong co-dependency.
Dissolving dependencies allows you to make important existential
decisions that you may have neglected.
Aka Bonds (You are part of me)
Another Hawaiian concept, an aka bond represents an
emotional connection to another person, and a potential loss of identity, by
replacing your desire to be self-sufficient. Aka translates from
Hawaiian as smoky, sticky, braided and stretchy, which may be how Hawaiian
healers perceived these connections. An "aka bond" is an emotional
connection to another person. (E.g., "I have not seen
so-and-so for years but I feel like we are still connected").
Such bonds are usually represented as feelings, but
can be readily visualized. Some aka bonds unpleasantly affect your sense of self.
They may encourage demands (E.g.: "Because
I feel connected to you, I want you to..."). Dissolving or replacing
aka bonds allows you to decide what specific behaviors you want to develop for
Identity Bonds (To be with you, I cannot be me)
Another Hawaiian concept, ele'ele'eke, seems to represent
a loss of identity by identifying with a limiting identity-belief
that pervades consciousness. (E.g.: "I am bad", "I am wicked").
Contrary evidence is rejected, and even endless encouragement does not seem to
reduce their effect. Such beliefs seem to have been created as a way of
bonding to important people. (E.g.: "I see
you as bad, so I will be bad too, and our mutual badness can bond us together").
My Hawaiian teachers described "dark energies trapped in
the body". Replacing them frees people of much negative
self-perception (and often of self-hatred) and encourages people to love
Phase 3 is complete when you have identified and resolved
significant relationship bonds, including those with people who have died. You
can now decide whether to re-create and enjoy relationships, and whether to enjoy
a lasting freedom from old influences. You can choose to apply these methods
to better enjoy future relationships. Having accepted full responsibility for
evaluating relationships, you can decide to create relationships that
support mutual evolution.
(An important Hawaiian healing ritual is
my translation: "making life right through sacred responsibility").
Phase 4 - Resolving Past Trauma
Trauma or stress may provide emotional obstacles to making
complex decisions. These past events may be unconscious - that is, you may have no
conscious memory of them. These events are elicited by encouraging you (whilst
experiencing Soul) to define a specific goal, or series of goals, that represent
your highest values. (E.g.: "Achieving what goal would convince you
that you are fulfilling your
life?"). Typically, if you consider concrete actions towards such an
important goal, you get strong emotions, which may overwhelm you and prevent
your achieving the important goal. As relationship bonds were resolved in Phase
3, these emotions likely originate from unresolved past trauma.
Each unresolved trauma seems to have the emotional components
of anger, and/or fear
and/or sadness. At this stage, a person's anger arises from events in which the
person's values were violated. Typically, a person is afraid of the consequences
of expressing their anger, and is sad about the consequences of not
expressing their anger. Identifying and resolving the specific traumatic
events requires that a person find and re-decide the meaning of the event and
decide how to express emotions in a way that supports their achieving their
self-selected important goal, with mentorship.
Phase 4 integrated the philosophy of Annegret Hallanzy with
my research with people who spontaneously healed themselves.
(Annegret and I evaluated many therapies to determine whether
we could use them at identity level, that is, how we could
better support people's decisions to fulfill their lives!)
(1998) After you have accepted your unpleasant
emotions, you can state your life goals resourcefully. The final phase is to
evaluate your past and present mentors, or role models, from integrity or Soul.
You can choose which role models to release, and which to keep, and choose new
inspirational role models for the various steps which lead to your life goals.
(2000) I added systemic diagnosis to
accelerate subsequent changework; it helps us understand the relationship structure and
consequences of negative emotions, guilt and entanglements. Relationship diagnosis
and resolving guilt provide a wider basis for our systemic coaching.
(2004) Some people CANNOT choose mentors! Some people have been so damaged by
previous mentors (e.g. parents, teachers, therapists, etc) that they will not
allow themselves to be mentored again. We resolve mentor damage
as part of our work.
Life Makes Sense!
On completion, you can make sense of your life! You can
make decisions true to your integrity. You
understand why you lived life your way. You have integrated your
fragmented personality, and you can make congruent decisions. You have
re-evaluated important relationships from the perspective of fulfillment, and
you can decide which relationships to nurture, and which relationships to change.
You have replaced or resolved unwanted or inappropriate relationship bonds,
and you can make
decisions independent of those bonds. You have reconciled the effect of
significant traumatic events, and you can decide how to express emotions
appropriately. You can choose role models that empower the future.
There is Life to be lived. There are important
decisions to make and important problems to solve. Striving to
achieve these goals will INCREASE the number of relationship
challenges and decisions that you make. Living with integrity is
not easier! Living with integrity is fulfilling.
You can ignore your past - or
to learn from it. You can ignore the future -
or plan it.
You can ignore people - entangle with people - or
create fulfilling relationships.
Do you want relationship counseling or
We can train
you to resolve a wide range of relationship challenges.
Part 1 of this Speech
Online Coaching, Counseling & Soulwork Therapy
Our training includes
Family Coaching and Team Coaching.
We found that individual coaching for achieving individual goals
may not make sense unless it includes the relationship systems
in which a person lives and works.
I thought you were just
another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.
Plagiarism is theft. Copyright © Martyn Carruthers,
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