Explorations and Reflections

on awakening the true self  in education

  • Mick Scott

How NORMAL it is to get stressed, anxious, or frustrated in situations in our lives!

😣 The fire alarm went off just as I was getting to the juicy part of a great lesson.

😩 My computer froze just as I was logging into Zoom.

😫 My wife misunderstood me and thought I was intentionally being mean.

😖 Traffic extended the travel time by 40 minutes.

Yet the truth is, stress, anxiousness, and frustration are a choice. And I'm no longer interested in making that choice.

So much seems "normal" about how we live. It's "normal" to:

  • feel insecure in a new situation

  • feel stressed when others are depending on us

  • feel unsafe around people we don't know

  • ruminate destructively on something someone said

  • analyze a situation until we're mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted

  • hope for a someday when everything will have worked out

"Normal" is not necessarily optimal. "Normal" is not necessarily healthy. "Normal" is not necessarily fulfilling.

You're not really normal anyway, are you?

You've got a whisper of something else inside. A spark of life yet unlived. A world of potential, of possibility, of opportunity nearly within reach.

You know there's more love possible. More ease, peace, and enjoyment possible. More understanding, compassion, and collaboration possible. More energy, inspiration, and courage possible.

Don't settle for 'normal' if you're inspired to go beyond it. Don't settle for the status quo for you or others when something else is possible.

Thanks so much for reading. ❤️

P.S. If you're interested in exploring how working with me can elevate your life and results beyond what's "normal," schedule a free exploration conversation with me.

  • Mick Scott

Things happen as we grow up, and we define ourselves by the experiences. These definitions can often act as fences to protect and guard our authentic, true self.

Uplifting definitions, like: I’m a good boy. I’m smart. I’m nice. I’m a hard worker. I'm loved. I’m likable. I can trust people.

And self-deprecating definitions, like: I’m worthless. I’m unlovable. I’m not enough. It’s all my fault. I’m bad. I’ve got to protect myself. Life is dangerous.

Sometimes it takes something to express ourselves through the thick shell of our invented identity.

Sometimes it takes something to really trust someone enough to allow them through that same thick shell.

If someone speaks the right password, they occur safe enough and we open up the gate and let them in. We allow ourselves to trust them, to love them. Also for these people, at least some of the time, we open the gate and let our authentic self out.

When our primary objective in life is to be safe, this is a valuable mechanism! In fact, this mechanism is over tens of thousands of years old for our species. It’s been honed over generations upon generations. This default mechanism has components built into our DNA and components baked into our culture.

People are dangerous! Life is dangerous! We can get hurt! Pay attention and play it safe!

And we all have this mechanism to some degree. For some of us it’s a lot weaker than others. For others of us, it’s a lot stronger.

What feels like it needs protection is our ego, our identity, our stories about ourselves and others that seem to give structure and permanence to ourselves, others, and the world when in fact it’s ephemeral and made-up.

But what if we didn't need as much protection as we thought? What if the true self that we’re guarding can’t actually be harmed as easily as we fear or in the ways that we anticipate? What if this true self we're protecting doesn't actually need to be guarded?

What if these safety mechanisms were no longer really needed as much as we think they are?

Our true self - soul, atman, buddha-nature, Christ-consciousness, whatever you want to call it - resides in Eden. It’s a pure, untarnishable, unbreakable core of our being that needs no protection. It’s whole, it’s complete, it’s perfect, and it’s beautiful.

Protecting this part of ourselves is like putting up a gated wall in Eden. Here are a few questions to ponder:

  • What is it we’re trying to keep out?

  • What is it we’re keeping in?

  • What are your personal passwords and conditions to allow someone through that gate?

  • What are the conditions that must be met to allow yourself to exit?

I invite you to try an experiment, even if just for a day: make that gate a little easier to open - make it a little easier to allow love in and to allow love out.

I'm curious what you would do, who you would be, and what love might you experience if you woke up one day and realized you've been living in Eden this whole time, and that it's a lot safer than we thought...

Thank you so much for reading. ❤️

💌 If you'd like to explore what it might look and feel like to fear a little less, love a little more, and live your life in service of your most true callings, schedule a free conversation and let's chat.

  • Mick Scott

We complain because we’re committed to something, we have needs and yearnings, and we get mis-trained to think that complaining is a productive way to get what we're after.

If we didn’t have background, underlying commitments, needs, or yearnings, we wouldn’t complain.

This simple fact about our complaints is an access to freedom, insight, and effectiveness for ourselves and for our relationships with others. Here’s how:

Diffusing our own amateur complaints

It’s not our circumstances in life that give us problems - it’s our complaints about our circumstances.

Our complaints about our life - which are complaints about ourselves, others, or situations - are an expression of an underlying commitment, need, or yearning. These commitments, needs, and yearnings are important and valuable to us. We really care about them.

Mostly, though, we hang out in the complaint. Complaint energy is the energy of being a victim. It’s the energy of being “at the effect” instead of “at the source.”

It’s okay to start with a complaint, but don’t stay there.

Here's a simple, 4-step method to resolve any complaint:

  1. Get clear on the specific complaint.

  2. See the commitment behind your complaint.

  3. Really see that complainer energy doesn't serve your commitment. Complainer energy is intended to help us avoid responsibility. So instead of complaining, choose whether to act proactively in service of your commitment or not.

  4. If you’ve chosen to act proactively, go for it! When we take committed action, there’s no room for complaining. If you’ve chosen to not act, then stop complaining.

Being unfazed by other people’s complaints

The skill I’m about to share is literally giving me goosebumps (“truth bumps”) right now. I’ve been so moved when others have used this on me, and I’ve seen others get moved when I’ve used it on them.

If behind every complaint is a commitment, a need, or a yearning, then we can learn to hear others' complaints not for the tedious or offensive way they sometimes sound, but as an access to compassion and love for someone with deep commitments, needs, and yearnings.

Most of the time when we’re complaining, we’re only present to the surface level of the complaint. The complaint is the part of the iceberg above the surface of the sea.

When someone truly hears our commitment beneath the surface, however, it’s an almost magical experience. We experience being heard, being seen, and being understood. It’s powerful.

In other words, one access to diffusing others’ complaints (and our offense at being complained about!) is to speak directly to their commitment, not to their complaint.

This technique is sometimes called “active listening” or “recreating,” and it is profound and powerful (I’ve written about it before here).

After we’ve reflected back to someone what their underlying commitment is, we can then give them a gentle poke via a question: “What’s something you’d like to do to honor this commitment that matters so much to you?”

(Described in my post last week, here's a recent mantra of mine to remind me that it's not about the surface level complaint: "It's not about the dishes.")

Getting in touch with our underlying commitments helps diffuse complainer energy and shifts us into creative, proactive, and empowered energy. Doing this for ourselves is powerful, and doing this with others is a gift.

I invite you, dear reader, to be proactive and give up your complaints in service of your commitments.

And thank you thank you thank you for engaging with my work. ❤️

P.S. If you are interested in exploring how coaching with me can help you get beyond your complaints and into creative, inspired, and empowered action, schedule a free conversation with me and let’s connect. ❤️